•  20
    _Knowing By Perceiving_, by MillarAlan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. Pp. xiii + 222.
  •  5
    Perception and Probability
    Wiley: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. forthcoming.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
  •  342
    How do things look to the color-blind?
    In Jonathan Cohen & Mohan Matthen (eds.), Color Ontology and Color Science, Mit Press. pp. 259. 2010.
    Color-vision defects constitute a spectrum of disorders with varying degrees and types of departure from normal human color vision. One form of color-vision defect is dichromacy; by mixing together only two lights, the dichromat can match any light, unlike normal trichromatic humans, who need to mix three. In a philosophical context, our titular question may be taken in two ways. First, it can be taken at face value as a question about visible properties of external objects, and second, it may b…Read more
  •  92
    David Rosenthal couples his higher-order thought theory of consciousness with a theory of “mental qualities”, properties of mental states. The first thesis of this paper is that there are no mental qualities as Rosenthal conceives of them. The second thesis is that Rosenthal’s residual insights are significant. They naturally lead to a simple first-order theory of consciousness.
  •  502
    Perception and probability
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 1-21. 2021.
    One very popular framework in contemporary epistemology is Bayesian. The central epistemic state is subjective confidence, or credence. Traditional epistemic states like belief and knowledge tend to be sidelined, or even dispensed with entirely. Credences are often introduced as familiar mental states, merely in need of a special label for the purposes of epistemology. But whether they are implicitly recognized by the folk or posits of a sophisticated scientific psychology, they do not appear to…Read more
  •  58
    Eleven distinguished philosophers have contributed specially written essays on a set of topics much debated in recent years, including physicalism, qualia, semantic competence, conditionals, presuppositions, two-dimensional semantics, and the relation between logic and metaphysics. All these topics are prominent in the work of Robert Stalnaker, a major presence in contemporary philosophy, in honor of whom the volume is published. It also contains a substantial new essay in which Stalnaker replie…Read more
  •  93
    Gender identity is ill-suited as a basis for non-discrimination protections, as proposed in the 2019 Equality Act. Biological sex provides a clearer and better means to the same laudable end.
  •  304
    Comment on Yli-Vakkuri and Hawthorne, Narrow Content
    Philosophical Studies 178 (9): 3017-3026. 2020.
    This comment mainly examines Yli-Vakkuri and Hawthorne’s preferred framework for examining whether narrow content is viable, arguing that their framework is not well-suited to the task; once a more traditional framework is adopted, Y&H’s case against internalism is strengthened.
  •  7076
    Gender muddle: reply to Dembroff
    Journal of Controversial Ideas 1 (1). 2021.
    Dembroff’s “Escaping the natural attitude about gender” replies to my “Are women adult human females?”. This paper responds to Dembroff’s many criticisms of my arguments, as well as to the charge that “Are women...” “fundamentally is an unscholarly attempt to vindicate a political slogan that is currently being used to undermine civic rights and respect for trans persons”. I argue that Dembroff’s criticisms fail without exception, and explain why the claims about my motives are baseless.
  •  552
    At least in one well-motivated sense of ‘concept’, all perception involves concepts, even perception as practiced by lizards and bees. That is because—the paper argues—all perception involves belief.
  •  11039
    Are women adult human females?
    Philosophical Studies 177 (12): 3783-3803. 2020.
    Are women (simply) adult human females? Dictionaries suggest that they are. However, philosophers who have explicitly considered the question invariably answer no. This paper argues that they are wrong. The orthodox view is that the category *woman* is a social category, like the categories *widow* and *police officer*, although exactly what this social category consists in is a matter of considerable disagreement. In any event, orthodoxy has it that *woman* is definitely not a biological catego…Read more
  •  161
    Review of Brewer, Perception and Its Objects (review)
    Mind. forthcoming.
    Review of Perception and Its Objects (OUP 2011), by Bill Brewer
  •  214
    Schellenberg’s Capacitism
    Analysis 79 (4): 713-19. 2019.
    The Unity of Perception offers a grand synoptic vision of how perception, consciousness and knowledge fit together. It is a remarkable achievement. A short comment can only address fragments of Schellenberg’s picture; naturally I will look for weak spots.
  •  458
    The science of color and color vision
    In Fiona Macpherson & Derek Brown (eds.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Colour, Routledge. 2021.
    A survey of color science and color vision.
  •  317
    Objectivist reductionism
    In Fiona Macpherson & Derek Brown (eds.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Colour, Routledge. 2021.
    A survey of arguments for and against the view that colors are physical properties.
  •  474
    Color relationalism and relativism
    Topics in Cognitive Science 9 (1): 172-192. 2017.
    This paper critically examines color relationalism and color relativism, two theories of color that are allegedly supported by variation in normal human color vision. We mostly discuss color relationalism, defended at length in Jonathan Cohen's The Red and the Real, and argue that the theory has insuperable problems.
  •  243
    Are colors secondary qualities?
    with David Hilbert
    In Lawrence Nolan (ed.), Primary and Secondary Qualities: The Historical and Ongoing Debate, Oxford University Press. 2011.
    The Dangerous Book for Boys Abstract: Seventeenth and eighteenth century discussions of the senses are often thought to contain a profound truth: some perceptible properties are secondary qualities, dispositions to produce certain sorts of experiences in perceivers. In particular, colors are secondary qualities: for example, an object is green iff it is disposed to look green to standard perceivers in standard conditions. After rebutting Boghossian and Velleman’s argument that a certain kind of …Read more
  •  117
    Hoffman’s “proof” of the possibility of spectrum inversion
    with David Hilbert
    Consciousness and Cognition 15 (1): 48-50. 2006.
    Philosophers have devoted a great deal of discussion to the question of whether an inverted spectrum thought experiment refutes functionalism. (For a review of the inverted spectrum and its many philosophical applications, see Byrne, 2004.) If Ho?man is correct the matter can be swiftly and conclusively settled, without appeal to any empirical data about color vision (or anything else). Assuming only that color experiences and functional relations can be mathematically represented, a simple math…Read more
  •  437
    What is gender identity?
    Arc Digital (jan 9). 2019.
    The often poorly explained notion of gender identity, and the attendant cisgender/transgender distinction, are critically examined.
  •  240
    Is sex socially constructed?
    Arc Digital (nov 30). 2018.
    Three arguments for the thesis that sex is socially constructed are examined and rejected. No such argument could succeed, because sex is not socially constructed.
  •  30
    On Denoting
    with Alex Byrne and Michael Thau
    Mind 14 (56): 479-493. 1905.
    Richard Heck, in "The Sense of Communication" (Mind, 104, pp. 79-106, 1995), argues against the "Hybrid View"--the claim, roughly, that names are Millian while beliefs are Fregean. We argue that Heck's argument fails
  •  479
    Perception and ordinary objects
    In Javier Cumpa & Bill Brewer (eds.), The Nature of Ordinary Objects, Cambridge University Press. 2019.
    The paper argues -- against the standard view in metaphysics -- that the existence of ordinary objects like tomatoes is (near-enough) established by the fact that such things are apparently encountered in perception.
  •  344
    Is sex binary?
    Arc Digital (nov 1). 2018.
    Response to Anne Fausto-Sterling's New York Times Op-Ed, in which she purports to explain why sex isn't binary.
  •  58
    The Norton Introduction to Philosophy, 2nd Edition (edited book)
    with Gideon Rosen, Elizabeth Harman, Joshua Cohen, and Seana Shiffrin
    W.W. Norton & Company. 2018.
  •  189
    "This admirable volume of readings is the first of a pair: the editors are to be applauded for placing the philosophy of color exactly where it should go, in ...
  •  9
    Transparency and Self-Knowledge
    Oxford University Press. 2018.
    You know what someone else is thinking and feeling by observing them. But how do you know what you are thinking and feeling? This is the problem of self-knowledge: Alex Byrne tries to solve it. The idea is that you know this not by taking a special kind of look at your own mind, but by an inference from a premise about your environment.
  •  18
    Review: Soames on Quine and Davidson (review)
    Philosophical Studies 135 (3): 439-449. 2007.
    A discussion of Quine and Davidson, as interpreted and criticized in Scott Soames' "Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century, Volume II"
  •  276
    Do Colours Look Like Dispositions? Reply to Langsam and Others
    Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203): 238-245. 2001.
    Dispositional theories of colour have been attacked by McGinn and others on the ground that ‘Colours do not look like dispositions’. Langsam has argued that on the contrary they do, in ‘Why Colours Do Look Like Dispositions’, The Philosophical Quarterly, 50 , pp. 68–75. I make three claims. First, neither side has made its case. Secondly, it is true, at least on one interpretation, that colours do not look like dispositions. Thirdly, this does not show that dispositionalism about colours is fals…Read more
  •  26
    Dialectica 60 (3): 337-340. 2006.