•  5
    Perceptual illusionism
    Analytic Philosophy. forthcoming.
    Analytic Philosophy, EarlyView.
  •  4
    Perceptual illusionism
    Analytic Philosophy. forthcoming.
    Analytic Philosophy, EarlyView.
  •  38
    Perceptual illusionism
    Analytic Philosophy. forthcoming.
    Perceptual illusionism is the view that perceptual experience is, in general, radically illusory. That is, perceptual experience presents objects as having certain sensible properties and standing in certain sensible relations, but nothing in the subject’s environment has those properties or stands in those relations. This paper makes the case for perceptual illusionism by showing how a broad set of philosophical and scientific considerations converge to support illusionism about the full range …Read more
  •  194
    The modal argument improved
    Analysis 80 (4): 629-639. 2021.
    The modal argument against materialism, in its most standard form, relies on a compatibility thesis to the effect that the physical truths are compatible with the absence of consciousness. I propose an alternative modal argument that relies on an incompatibility thesis: The existence of consciousness is incompatible with the proposition that the physical truths provide a complete description of reality. I show that everyone who accepts the premises of the standard modal argument must accept the …Read more
  •  170
    Unknowable Colour Facts
    Mind 130 (519): 909-941. 2021.
    It is common for an object to present different colour appearances to different perceivers, even when the perceivers and viewing conditions are normal. For example, a Munsell chip might look unique green to you and yellowish green to me in normal viewing conditions. In such cases, there are three possibilities. Ecumenism: both experiences are veridical. Nihilism: both experiences are non-veridical. Inegalitarianism: one experience is veridical and the other is non-veridical. Perhaps the most imp…Read more
  •  168
    Imagine your mirror-inverted counterpart on Mirror Earth, a perfect mirror image of Earth. Would her experiences be the same as yours, or would they be phenomenally mirror-inverted? I argue, first, that her experiences would be phenomenally the same as yours. I then show that this conclusion gives rise to a puzzle, one that I believe pushes us toward some surprising and philosophically significant conclusions about the nature of perception. When you have a typical visual experience as of somethi…Read more
  •  73
    Color and a priori knowledge
    Philosophical Studies 178 (1): 293-315. 2021.
    Some truths about color are knowable a priori. For example, it is knowable a priori that redness is not identical to the property of being square. This extremely modest and plausible claim has significant philosophical implications, or so I shall argue. First, I show that this claim entails the falsity of standard forms of color functionalism, the view that our color concepts are functional concepts that pick out their referents by way of functional descriptions that make reference to the subjec…Read more
  •  351
    Why Nearly Everything Is Knowable A Priori
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (1): 80-100. 2020.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
  •  55
    Indeterminate perception and colour relationism
    Analysis 79 (1): 25-34. 2019.
    One of the most important objections to sense data theory comes from the phenomenon of indeterminate perception, as when an object in the periphery of one’s visual field looks red without looking to have any determinate shade of red. As sense data are supposed to have precisely the properties that sensibly appear to us, sense data theory evidently has the implausible consequence that a sense datum can have a determinable property without having any of its determinates. In this article, I show th…Read more
  •  101
    What is the consequence argument an argument for?
    Analysis 77 (2): 278-287. 2017.
    The consequence argument is widely regarded as the most important argument for incompatibilism. In this paper, I argue that, although the consequence argument may be sound in its standard formulations, it does not support any thesis that could reasonably be called ‘incompatibilism’.
  •  80
    Color and Shape: A Plea for Equal Treatment
    Philosophers' Imprint 16. 2016.
    Many philosophers, especially in the wake of the 17th century, have favored an inegalitarian view of shape and color, according to which shape is mind-independent while color is mind-dependent. In this essay, I advance a novel argument against inegalitarianism. The argument begins with an intuition about the modal dependence of color on shape, namely: it is impossible for something to have a color without having a shape. I then argue that, given reasonable assumptions, inegalitarianism contradic…Read more
  •  157
    Pains and reasons: Why it is rational to kill the Messenger
    Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256): 423-433. 2014.
    In this paper, we defend the representationalist theory of phenomenal consciousness against a recent objection due to Hilla Jacobson, who charges representationalism with a failure to explain the role of pain in rationalizing certain forms of behavior. In rough outline, her objection is that the representationalist is unable to account for the rationality of certain acts, such as the act of taking pain killers, which are aimed at getting rid of the experience of pain rather than its intentional …Read more
  •  127
    Paradise Regained: A Non-Reductive Realist Account of the Sensible Qualities
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (1): 38-52. 2018.
    This paper defends a non-reductive realist view of the sensible qualities—roughly, the view that the sensible qualities are really instantiated by the external objects of perception, and not reducible to response-independent physical properties or response-dependent relational properties. I begin by clarifying and motivating the non-reductive realist view. I then consider some familiar difficulties for the view. Addressing these difficulties leads to the development and defence of a general theo…Read more
  •  66
    Spatial Experience and Special Relativity
    Philosophical Studies 174 (9): 2297-2313. 2017.
    In recent work, David Chalmers argues that “Edenic shapes”—roughly, the shape properties phenomenally presented in spatial experience—are not instantiated in our world. His reasons come largely from the theory of Special Relativity. Although Edenic shapes might have been instantiated in a classical Newtonian world, he maintains that they could not be instantiated in a relativistic world like our own. In this essay, I defend realism about Edenic shape, the thesis that Edenic shapes are instantiat…Read more