•  37
    Reason, Will, and Sensation: Studies in Descartes’s Metaphysics
    Philosophical Review 105 (4): 536-538. 1996.
    This volume of fourteen essays commemorating the 350th anniversary of the publication of Descartes’s Meditations represents several current trends in Descartes scholarship. Among the essays there are close textual analyses, discussions of the scholastic Aristotelian influence on Descartes, and an emphasis on metaphysical topics rather than the epistemological ones that dominated the Anglo-American literature twenty years ago. The volume bears the mark of being a collection of conference papers i…Read more
  •  60
    Human beings pose a problem for Descartes’ metaphysics. They seem to be more than a mere sum of their mental and bodily parts; human beings, Descartes insists, are unions of mind and body. But what does that union amount to? In the first, negative, part of this paper I argue that, by Descartes’ own lights, there is no way for us to answer this question if we are looking for a proper metaphysics of the union. Metaphysics is the job of the intellect; it involves understanding. On Descartes’ consid…Read more
  • It is no surprise that the phenomenal qualities of our sensory experience pose recalcitrant philosophical problems for a physical materialist metaphysics. The colors of flowers as we experience them by sight, the taste of a ripe peach, and the smell of fresh-cut grass are undeniably part of the experienced world; yet in their phenomenal mode, they do not seem well-placed in the physicist's world of particles and energy fields. It seems, prima facie, that the metaphysical programs found in earlie…Read more
  •  96
    Pattern of neuronal activity associated with conscious and unconscious processing of visual signals
    with Arash Sahraie, Lawrence Weiskrantz, J. L. Barbur, and M. Brammer
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Usa 94 9406-9411. 1997.
  •  139
    Descartes on the cognitive structure of sensory experience
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3). 2003.
    Descartes is often thought to bifurcate sensory experience into two distinct cognitive components: the sensing of secondary qualities and the more or less intellectual perceiving of primary qualities. A closer examination of his analysis of sensory perception in the Sixth Replies and his treatment of sensory processing in the Dioptrics and Treatise on Man teIls a different story. I argue that Descartes offers a unified cognitive account of sensory experience according to which the senses and int…Read more
  •  17
    Re-Humanizing Descartes
    Philosophic Exchange 41 (1). 2011.
    Descartes’ mind-body dualism and his quest for objective knowledge can appear de-humanizing. My aim in this paper is to re-humanize Descartes. When we take a closer look at what Descartes actually says about human beings, it casts his entire thought in a much different light.
  •  126
    Cartesian Consciousness Reconsidered
    Philosophers' Imprint 12. 2012.
    Descartes revolutionized our conception of the mind by identifying consciousness as the mark of the mental: all and only thoughts are conscious. Today the idea that all thoughts are conscious seems obviously wrong. Worse, however, Descartes himself seems to posit a whole host of unconscious thoughts. Something is not as it seems. Either Descartes is remarkably inconsistent, or his claim that all thought is conscious is more nuanced than it appears. In this paper I argue that while Descartes was …Read more
  •  5
    Leibnizian Consciousness Reconsidered
    Studia Leibnitiana 43 (2): 196-215. 2011.
  •  47
    Spatial Perception from a Cartesian Point of View
    Philosophical Topics 31 (1/2): 395-423. 2003.
  •  228
    What did Leibniz have to contribute to the philosophy of mind? To judge from textbooks in the philosophy of mind, and even Leibniz commentaries, the answer is: not much. That may be because Leibniz’s philosophy of mind looks roughly like a Cartesian philosophy of mind. Like Descartes and his followers, Leibniz claims that the mind is immaterial and immortal; that it is a thinking thing ; that it is a different kind of thing from body and obeys its own laws; and that it comes stocked with innate …Read more