•  11
    Camus’s Absurd and the Argument against Suicide
    Philosophia 1-19. forthcoming.
    There are striking differences between Camus’s early and late philosophical essays, but Camus often claimed that his works were part of one consistent project. This paper argues that, although Camus had a significant change in his views on the consequences of the absurd, throughout his life he also had a common concern with the relation of the absurd to morality. Showing this requires us to clarify what Camus meant by the “absurd,” and identify at least three different uses of the term by Camus:…Read more
  •  5
    Book reviews (review)
    with Rick Grush, Valerie Gray Hardcastle, R. Keith Sawyer, Benny Shanon, Alberto Greco, and John A. Barker
    Philosophical Psychology 10 (2): 231-257. 1997.
  •  77
    I defend and revise the systematic account of normative functions (teleofunctions), as recently developed by Gerhard Schlosser and by W. D. Christensen and M. H. Bickhard. This account proposes that teleofunctions are had by structures that play certain kinds of roles in complex systems. This theory is an alternative to the historical etiological account of teleofunctions, developed by Ruth Millikan and others. The historical etiological account is susceptible to a general ontological problem th…Read more
  •  105
    DeLancey shows that our understanding of emotion provides essential insight on key issues in philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence. He offers us a bold new approach to the study of the mind based on the latest scientific research and provides an accessible overview of the science of emotion.
  • Emotion, Action, and Intentionality
    Dissertation, Indiana University. 1999.
    The thesis defends the view that there are basic emotions---pancultural emotions that can be, but are not necessarily, propositional attitudes---and endorses a version of the affect program theory of emotions, augmented with a special stress upon the relation of emotions to motor capabilities and strategies. After developing a taxonomy of affects, I argue against the reduction of emotions to other mental states like belief, desire, or judgment. I then discuss how affects relate to belief. First,…Read more
  •  145
    Basic moods
    Philosophical Psychology 19 (4): 527-538. 2006.
    The hypothesis that some moods are emotions has been rejected in philosophy, and is an unpopular alternative in psychology. This is because there is wide agreement that moods have a number of features distinguishing them from emotions. These include: lack of an intentional object and the related notion of lack of a goal; being of long duration; having pervasive or widespread effects; and having causes rather than reasons. Leading theories of mood have tried to explain these purported features by…Read more
  •  98
    I defend the hypothesis that organisms that produce and recognize meaningful utterances tend to use simpler procedures, and should use the simplest procedures, to produce and recognize those utterances. This should be a basic principle of any naturalist theory of meaning, which must begin with the recognition that the production and understanding of meanings is work. One measure of such work is the minimal amount of space resources that must go into storing a procedure to produce or recognize a …Read more
  •  75
    This paper explores consequences of the claim that phenomenal experiences are physical events of great descriptive complexity. This claim is attractive both because it can explain our most perplexing intuitions about the quality of consciousness and also because it is suggestive of very productive research opportunities. I illustrate the former by showing that two of the most compelling anti-physicalist arguments about phenomenal experience – the modal argument of Kripke and the conceivability a…Read more
  •  5
    The view that organisms deserve moral respect because they have their own purposes is often grounded in a specification of the biological functions that the organism has. One way to identify such functions, adopted by Gary Varner, is to determine the etiology of some behavior based on the evolution of the structures enabling it. This view suffers from some unacceptable problems, including that some organisms with profound defects will by definition have a welfare interest in their defects. For e…Read more
  •  20
    Teleofunctions and oncomice: The case for revising Varner's value theory
    Environmental Ethics 26 (2): 171-188. 2004.
    The view that organisms deserve moral respect because they have their own purposes is often grounded in a specification of the biological functions that the organism has. One way to identify such functions, adopted by Gary Varner, is to determine the etiology of some behavior based on the evolution of the structures enabling it. This view suffers from some unacceptable problems, including that some organisms with profound defects will by definition have a welfare interest in their defects. For e…Read more
  •  99
    Phenomenal experience and the measure of information
    Erkenntnis 66 (3): 329-352. 2007.
    This paper defends the hypothesis that phenomenal experiences may be very complex information states. This can explain some of our most perplexing anti-physicalist intuitions about phenomenal experience. The approach is to describe some basic facts about information in such a way as to make clear the essential oversight involved, by way illustrating how various intuitive arguments against physicalism (such as Frank Jackson
  •  33
    Real emotions
    Philosophical Psychology 11 (4): 467-487. 1998.
    I argue that natural realism is the best approach to explaining some emotional actions, and thus is the best candidate to explain the relevant emotions. I take natural realism to be the view that these emotions are motivational states which must be identified by using (not necessarily exclusively) naturalistic discourse which, if not wholly lacking intentional terms, at least does not require reference to belief and desire. The kinds of emotional actions I consider are ones which continue beyond…Read more
  •  16
    Lewis's DS approach is a tool, not a theory
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2): 201-201. 2005.
    Lewis argues convincingly that a DS approach to emotion theory will be fruitful. He also appears to hold that there are DS principles that constitute a theory or are substantial empirical claims. I argue that this latter move is a mistake.
  •  18
    Emotion and the computational theory of mind
    In S. O'Nuillain, Paul McKevitt & E. MacAogain (eds.), Two Sciences of Mind, John Benjamins. 1997.
    The case for computationalism about the mind is in doubt when we acknowledge that there are mental phenomena that require, for a proper accounting, that we get below the level of symbol processing. Such phenomena show us that a computational theory of mind cannot be complete. Chief among these phenomena is emotion.
  •  133
    Does a Parsimony Principle Entail a Simple World?
    Metaphysica 12 (2): 87-100. 2011.
    Many scholars claim that a parsimony principle has ontological implications. The most common such claim is that a parsimony principle entails that the “world” is simple. This ontological claim appears to often be coupled with the assumption that a parsimony principle would be corroborated if the “world” were simple. I clarify these claims, describe some minimal features of simplicity, and then show that both these claims are either false or they depend upon an implausible notion of simplicity. I…Read more
  •  42
    Emotion and the function of consciousness
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (5-6): 492-99. 1996.
    Certain arguments that phenomenal conscious states play no role, or play a role that could be different, depend upon the seeming plausibility of thought experiments such as the inverted spectrum or phenomenal zombie. These thought experiments are always run for perceptual states like colour vision. Run for affective states like emotions, they become absurd, because the prior intension of our concepts of emotional states are that the phenomenal experience is inseparable from their motivational as…Read more
  •  19
    Commitment and attunement
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (4): 579-594. 2014.
    Heidegger’s view of attunement, and evolutionary theories of emotion, would appear to be wholly independent accounts of affects. This paper argues that we can understand the phenomenology of attunement and the evolutionary functionalist theory of emotions as distinct perspectives on those same emotions. The reason that the two perspectives are distinct is that some affects can act as commitment mechanisms, and this requires them to be experienced in a way that obscures their ultimate functional …Read more
  •  31
    Consciousness and the superfunctionality claim
    Philosophical Studies 161 (3): 433-451. 2012.
    The superfunctionality claim is that phenomenal experiences are more than functional (objective, causal) relations. This is one of the most widely used but least attacked claims in the anti-physicalist literature on consciousness. Coupled with one form of structuralism, the view that science only explains functional relations, the superfunctionality claim entails that science will not explain phenomenal experience. The claim is therefore essential to many anti-physicalist arguments. I identify a…Read more
  •  24
    Affect programs, intentionality, and consciousness
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (2): 197-198. 2000.
    I express two concerns with the theory of emotion that Rolls provides: (1) rewards and punishers alone fail to explain the basic emotions; (2) Rolls needs to clarify his notion of the intentionality of emotions. I also criticize his theory of consciousness, arguing that it fails to explain qualia, and that ironically it is emotions which make this most evident.
  •  64
    The European Legacy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 403-404, June 2012