•  861
    The Heterogeneity of the Imagination
    Erkenntnis 78 (1): 141-159. 2013.
    Imagination has been assigned an important explanatory role in a multitude of philosophical contexts. This paper examines four such contexts: mindreading, pretense, our engagement with fiction, and modal epistemology. Close attention to each of these contexts suggests that the mental activity of imagining is considerably more heterogeneous than previously realized. In short, no single mental activity can do all the explanatory work that has been assigned to imagining
  •  574
    The Puzzle of Imaginative Desire
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3): 421-439. 2011.
    The puzzle of imaginative desire arises from the difficulty of accounting for the surprising behaviour of desire in imaginative activities such as our engagement with fiction and our games of pretend. Several philosophers have recently attempted to solve this puzzle by introducing a class of novel mental states?what they call desire-like imaginings or i-desires. In this paper, I argue that we should reject the i-desire solution to the puzzle of imaginative desire. The introduction of i-desires i…Read more
  •  480
    Panexperientialism, cognition, and the nature of experience
    PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 12. 2006.
    i>: This paper explores the plausibility of panexperientialism by an examination of Gregg Rosenberg.
  •  446
    What's so transparent about transparency?
    Philosophical Studies 115 (3): 225-244. 2003.
    Intuitions about the transparency of experience have recently begun to play a key role in the debate about qualia. Specifically, such intuitions have been used by representationalists to support their view that the phenomenal character of our experience can be wholly explained in terms of its intentional content.[i] But what exactly does it mean to say that experience is transparent? In my view, recent discussions of transparency leave matters considerably murkier than one would like. As I will …Read more
  •  314
    From the perspective of many philosophers of mind in these early years of the 21st Century, the debate between dualism and physicalism has seemed to have stalled, if not to have come to a complete standstill. There seems to be no way to settle the basic clash of intuitions that underlies it. Recently however, a growing number of proponents of Russellian monism have suggested that their view promises to show us a new way forward. Insofar as Russellian monism might allow us to break out of the cur…Read more
  •  298
    Philosophers have long suggested that our attitude of special concern for the future is problematic for a reductionist view of personal identity, such as the one developed by Derek Parfit in Reasons and Persons. Specifically, it is often claimed that reductionism cannot provide justification for this attitude. In this paper, I argue that much of the debate in this arena involves a misconception of the connection between metaphysical theories of personal identity and our special concern. A proper…Read more
  •  263
    Putting the image back in imagination
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (1): 85-110. 2001.
    Despite their intuitive appeal and a long philosophical history, imagery-based accounts of the imagination have fallen into disfavor in contemporary discussions. The philosophical pressure to reject such accounts seems to derive from two distinct sources. First, the fact that mental images have proved difficult to accommodate within a scientific conception of mind has led to numerous attempts to explain away their existence, and this in turn has led to attempts to explain the phenomenon of ima…Read more
  •  238
    Imagery and imagination
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2005.
    Both imagery and imagination play an important part in our mental lives. This article, which has three main sections, discusses both of these phenomena, and the connection between them. The first part discusses mental images and, in particular, the dispute about their representational nature that has become known as the _imagery debate_ . The second part turns to the faculty of the imagination, discussing the long philosophical tradition linking mental imagery and the imagination—a tradition tha…Read more
  •  227
    Qualia realism
    Philosophical Studies 104 (2). 2001.
    Philosophical Studies 104: 143-162 (2001).
  •  209
    Imaginative Vividness
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (1): 32-50. 2017.
    How are we to understand the phenomenology of imagining? Attempts to answer this question often invoke descriptors concerning the “vivacity” or “vividness” of our imaginative states. Not only are particular imaginings often phenomenologically compared and contrasted with other imaginings on grounds of how vivid they are, but such imaginings are also often compared and contrasted with perceptions and memories on similar grounds. Yet however natural it may be to use “vividness” and cognate term…Read more
  •  198
    The Irreducibility of Consciousness
    Disputatio 1 (19): 1-18. 2005.
    In this paper, by analyzing the Chalmers-Searle debate about Chalmers’ zombie thought experiment, I attempt to determine the implications that the irreducibility of consciousness has for the truth of materialism. While Chalmers claims that the irreducibility of consciousness forces us to embrace dualism, Searle claims that it has no deep metaphysical import and, in particular, that it is fully consistent with his materialist theory of mind. I argue that this disagreement hinges on the notion of …Read more
  •  189
    Restrictions on representationalism
    Philosophical Studies 134 (3): 405-427. 2007.
    According to representationalism, the qualitative character of our phenomenal mental states supervenes on the intentional content of such states. Strong representationalism makes a further claim: the qualitative character of our phenomenal mental states _consists in_ the intentional content of such states. Although strong representationalism has greatly increased in popularity over the last decade, I find the view deeply implausible. In what follows, I will attempt to argue against strong repres…Read more
  •  188
    Shoemaker, self-blindness and Moore's paradox
    Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210): 39-48. 2003.
    I show how the 'innersense' (quasiperceptual) view of introspection can be defended against Shoemaker's influential 'argument from selfblindness'. If introspection and perception are analogous, the relationship between beliefs and introspective knowledge of them is merely contingent. Shoemaker argues that this implies the possibility that agents could be selfblind, i.e., could lack any introspective awareness of their own mental states. By invoking Moore's paradox, he rejects this possibility. B…Read more
  •  135
    How to believe in qualia
    In Edmond Wright (ed.), The Case for Qualia, Mit Press. pp. 285--298. 2008.
    in The Case for Qualia,ed. by Edmond Wright , MIT Press (2008), pp. 285-298.
  •  124
    Knowledge Through Imagination (edited book)
    with Peter Kung
    Oxford University Press UK. 2016.
    Imagination is celebrated as our vehicle for escape from the mundane here and now. It transports us to distant lands of magic and make-believe, and provides us with diversions during boring meetings or long bus rides. Yet the focus on imagination as a means of escape from the real world minimizes the fact that imagination seems also to furnish us with knowledge about it. Imagination seems an essential component in our endeavor to learn about the world in which we live--whether we're planning for…Read more
  •  121
    Imagination occupies a central place in philosophy, going back to Aristotle. However, following a period of relative neglect there has been an explosion of interest in imagination in the past two decades as philosophers examine the role of imagination in debates about the mind and cognition, aesthetics and ethics, as well as epistemology, science and mathematics. This outstanding _Handbook_ contains over thirty specially commissioned chapters by leading philosophers organised into six clear sect…Read more
  •  96
    As persons, we are importantly different from all other creatures in the universe. But in what, exactly, does this difference consist? What kinds of entities are we, and what makes each of us the same person today that we were yesterday? Could we survive having all of our memories erased and replaced with false ones? What about if our bodies were destroyed and our brains were transplanted into android bodies, or if instead our minds were simply uploaded to computers? In this engaging and accessi…Read more
  •  77
    Introspection
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2005.
    Introspection is the process by which someone comes to form beliefs about her own mental states. We might form the belief that someone else is happy on the basis of perception – for example, by perceiving her behavior. But a person typically does not have to observe her own behavior in order to determine whether she is happy. Rather, one makes this determination by introspecting
  •  46
    Knowledge and Mind: A Philosophical Introduction (review)
    Teaching Philosophy 25 (1): 98-101. 2002.
  •  43
    The construction of social reality (review)
    Social Theory and Practice 27 (2): 345-351. 2001.
  •  40
    David Lewis has argued that “having an experience is the best way or perhaps the only way, of coming to know what that experience is like”; when an experience is of a sufficiently new sort, mere science lessons are not enough. Developing this Lewisian line, L.A. Paul has suggested that some experiences are epistemically transformative. Until an individual has such an experience it remains epistemically inaccessible to her. No amount of stories and theories and testimony from others can teach …Read more
  •  36
    Metaphysics at the multiplex
    The Philosophers' Magazine 55 (55): 112-113. 2011.
    This is a brief review of the movie "Source Code."
  •  35
    The question of personal identity—what makes a person the same person over time—is puzzling. Through the course of a life, someone might undergo a dramatic alteration in personality, radically change her values, lose almost all of her memories, and undergo significant changes in her physical appearance. Given all of these potential changes, why should we be inclined to regard her as the same person? Battlestar Galactica presents us with an even bigger puzzle: What makes a Cylon the same Cylon ov…Read more