Duke Kunshan University
  •  270
    In his so-called argument from consciousness (AC), J. P. Moreland argues that the phenomenon of consciousness furnishes us with evidence for the existence of God. In defending AC, however, Moreland makes claims that generate an undesirable tension. This tension can be posed as a dilemma based on the contingency of the correlation between mental and physical states. The correlation of mental and physical states is either contingent or necessary. If the correlation is contingent then epiphenomenal…Read more
  •  121
    Doing, allowing, and the problem of evil
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 81 (3): 273-289. 2017.
    Many assume that the best, and perhaps only, way to address the so-called Problem of Evil is to claim that God does not do evil, but that God merely allows evil. This assumption depends on two claims: the doing-allowing distinction exists and the doing-allowing distinction is morally significant. In this paper I try to undermine both of these claims. Against I argue that some of the most influential analyses of the doing-allowing distinction face grave difficulties and that these difficulties ar…Read more
  •  101
    Occasionalism and non-reductive physicalism: another look at the continuous creation argument
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 75 (1): 39-57. 2014.
    Malebranche’s so-called conservation is continuous creation (CCC) argument has been celebrated as a powerful and persuasive argument for Occasionalism—the claim that only God has and exercises causal powers. In this paper I want to examine the CCC argument for Occasionalism by comparing it to Jaegwon Kim’s so-called Supervenience argument against non-reductive physicalism. Because the arguments have deep similarities it is interesting and fruitful to consider them in tandem. First I argue that b…Read more
  •  79
    Can Mary's Qualia Be Epiphenomenal?
    with Daniel Lim and Wang Hao
    Res Philosophica 91 (3): 503-512. 2014.
    Frank Jackson (1982) famously argued, with his so-called Knowledge Argument (KA), that qualia are non-physical. Moreover, he argued that qualia are epiphenomenal. Some have objected that epiphenomenalism is inconsistent with the soundness of KA. One way of developing this objection, following Neil Campbell (2003; 2012), is to argue that epiphenomenalism is at odds with the kind of behavioral evidence that makes the soundness of KA plausible. We argue that Campbell’s claim that epiphenomenalism i…Read more
  •  78
    Is compatibilism intuitive?
    with Ju Chen
    Philosophical Psychology 31 (6): 878-897. 2018.
    Eddy Nahmias, with various collaborators, has used experimental data to argue for the claim that folk intuition is generally compatibilist. We try to undermine this claim in two ways. First, we argue that the various formulations of determinism he uses are not conceptually equivalent, jeopardizing the kinds of conclusions that can be drawn from the resulting data. Second, prompted by these conceptual worries we supplement the typical quantitative surveys that dominate the extant literature with …Read more
  •  62
    Experimental Philosophy and Philosophy of Religion
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 9 (3): 139-158. 2017.
    Experimental Philosophy is a new and controversial movement that challenges some of the central findings within analytic philosophy by marshalling empirical evidence. The purpose of this short paper is twofold: to introduce some of the work done in experimental philosophy concerning issues in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics and to connect this work with several debates within the philosophy of religion. The provisional conclusion is that philosophers of religion must …Read more
  •  62
    Philosophy through Computer Science
    Teaching Philosophy 42 (2): 141-153. 2019.
    In this paper I hope to show that the idea of teaching philosophy through teaching computer science is a project worth pursuing. In the first section I will sketch a variety of ways in which philosophy and computer science might interact. Then I will give a brief rationale for teaching philosophy through teaching computer science. Then I will introduce three philosophical issues (among others) that have pedagogically useful analogues in computer science: (i) external world skepticism, (ii) numer…Read more
  •  58
    Brain simulation and personhood: a concern with the Human Brain Project
    Ethics and Information Technology 16 (2): 77-89. 2014.
    The Human Brain Project (HBP) is a massive interdisciplinary project involving hundreds of researchers across more than eighty institutions that seeks to leverage cutting edge information and communication technologies to create a multi-level brain simulation platform (BSP). My worry is that some brain models running on the BSP will be persons. If this is right then not only will the in silico experiments the HBP envisions being carried on the BSP be unethical the mere termination of certain bra…Read more
  •  54
    Why Not Overdetermination?
    Heythrop Journal 54 (2): 668-677. 2013.
    One way of responding to Jaegwon Kim's Causal Exclusion Argument is to argue that the relevant mental and physical properties overdetermine their effects. Insofar as this is a reasonable way of securing mental causation this presents a viable framework for understanding how divine and non-divine causes can conspire to bring about events in the world.
  •  52
    Exclusion, Overdetermination, and Vacuity
    Southwest Philosophy Review 27 (1): 57-64. 2011.
    Jaegwon Kim argues that if mental properties are irreducible with respect to physical properties then mental properties are epiphenomenal. I believe this conditional is false and argue that mental properties, along with their physical counterparts, may overdetermine their effects. Kim contends, however, that embracing overdetermination in the mental case, due to supervenience, renders the attribution of overdetermination vacuous. This way of blocking the overdetermination option, however, makes …Read more
  •  48
    Cognitive scientists of religion promise to lay bare the cognitive mechanisms that generate religious beliefs in human beings. Defenders of the debunking argument believe that the cognitive mechanisms studied in this field pose a threat to folk theism. A number of influential responses to the debunking argument rely on making two sets of distinctions: proximate/ultimate explanations and specific/general religious beliefs. I argue, however, that such responses have drawbacks and do not make room …Read more
  •  48
    God and Mental Causation
    Springer. 2015.
    This book lies at the intersection of philosophy of religion and philosophy of mind. It combines issues regarding divine action and mental causation. In particular, by using Jaegwon Kim's Causal Exclusion Argument as a foil, it explores possible ways of making sense of divine action in relation to some recent non-reductive physicalist strategies for vindicating mental causation. These insights are then applied to an argument for the existence of God based on the nature of phenomenal conscious…Read more
  •  38
    Can a Dualist Adopt Bennett's Strategy?
    Philosophical Forum 45 (3): 251-271. 2014.
    Karen Bennett (2003, 2008) has argued for and developed a way of defending a non-reductive physicalist solution to Jaegwon Kim's Causal Exclusion Argument. She argues that mental and physical causes can both be sufficient causes of the same event without being classified as overdetermining causes. This strategy, however, is only available to physicalists. I argue that dualists can adopt or adapt her strategy.
  •  35
    Causal Exclusion and Overdetermination
    International Philosophical Quarterly 53 (4): 353-369. 2013.
    Jaegwon Kim argues that if mental properties are irreducible with respect to physical properties, then mental properties are epiphenomenal. I believe that this conditional is false and argue that mental properties, along with their physical counterparts, may causally overdetermine their effects. Kim contends, however, that embracing causal overdetermination in the mental case should be resisted for at least three reasons: it is implausible, it makes mental properties causally dispensable, and it…Read more
  •  27
    Motivational Externalism and Misdescribing Cases
    with Xi Chen and Yili Zhou
    American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 7 (4): 218-219. 2016.
    Ryan Darby, Judith Edersheim, and Bruce Price (DEP) argue that patients with Behavioral-Variant Frontotemporal Dementia have intact moral knowledge. In effect, they assume a motivational externalist understanding of moral knowledge. We question this by probing the cases they present as evidence for their position.
  •  27
    Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War
    with Runya Liu
    Journal of Military Ethics 18 (2): 165-167. 2019.
    Volume 18, Issue 2, July 2019, Page 165-167.
  •  23
    Non-Reductive Physicalism is similar in many ways with, what I will call, Orthodox Theism. This strongly suggests that Non-Reductive Physicalist solutions to the Supervenience Argument can be adapted to offer Orthodox Theistic solutions to the Conservation is Continuous Creation Argument. One particular Non-Reductive Physicalist solution will be examined in detail and then applied in the debate over Occasionalism.
  •  21
    Philosophy through Machine Learning
    Teaching Philosophy 43 (1): 29-46. 2020.
    In a previous article, I motivated and defended the idea of teaching philosophy through computer science. In this article, I will further develop this idea and discuss how machine learning can be used for pedagogical purposes because of its tight affinity with philosophical issues surrounding induction. To this end, I will discuss three areas of significant overlap: good / bad data and David Hume’s so-called Problem of Induction, validation and accommodation vs. prediction in scientific theory s…Read more
  •  21
    In God and Mental Causation, Springer. 2015.
    J.P. Moreland’s (2009) so-called Argument from Consciousness (AC) for the existence of God is examined. One of its key premises, the contingency of the mind-body relation, is at odds with the possibility of mental causation. The AC may be rescued from this problem by adapting some of the lessons learned in chapter three concerning one of the Non-Reductive Physicalist solutions to the Supervenience Argument.
  •  15
    Rhetoric, Experimental Philosophy, and Irrelevance
    American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 9 (3): 160-162. 2018.
  •  11
    Malebranche’s so-called Conservation is Continuous Creation Argument (CCCA) for Occasionalism can be construed as an instance of the Generalized Exclusion Argument. This shows that the CCCA and the two stages of the Supervenience Argument are isomorphic with respect to each other. This allows interlocutors in these disparate areas of philosophy to engage in fruitful dialogue.
  •  9
    The Continuity of BCI-Mediated and Conventional Action
    American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 11 (1): 59-61. 2020.
  •  8
    Divergent Values and Adaptive Preferences: A Chinese Challenge?
    American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 10 (3): 132-134. 2019.
  •  7
    In God and Mental Causation, Springer. 2015.
    Jaegwon Kim’s (2005) most recent formulation of the so-called Supervenience Argument against Non-Reductive Physicalism is discussed. The two stages of Kim’s argument can be seen as instances of, what I will call, the Generalized Exclusion Argument.