•  33
    Free will, the self and the brain
    Behavioral Sciences and the Law 2 (25): 221-234. 2007.
    The free will problem is defined and three solutions are discussed: no-freedom theory, libertarianism, and compatibilism. Strict determinism is often assumed in arguing for libertarianism or no-freedom theory. It assumes that the history of the universe is fixed, but modern physics admits a certain degree of randomness in the determination of events. However, this is not enough for a compatibilist position—which is favored here—since freedom is not randomness. It is the I that chooses what to do…Read more
  •  46
    Pensamento e linguagem nas afirmações condicionais
    D.E.L.T.A 1 (29): 121-134. 2013.
    Conditional assertions are a peculiar language structure that manifests a specific cognitive operation. In order to express it, different languages have found different ways of using verb forms. Primary conditionals are here defined as those that presuppose the possibility of the falsity of both the antecedent and the consequent. In them, the truth of the antecedent appears as a sufficient condition for the truth of the consequent. The truth condition of primary conditionals is defined as the im…Read more
  •  17
    While agreeing with Fischborn’s (2018) contention that, according to one traditional definition of compatibilism, my position should be classified as that of a libertarian incompatibilist, I argue here for a different view of compatibilism. This view involves, on the one hand, local probabilistic causation of decisions (rather than universal strict determinism) and, on the other, free will conceived as involving decisions generated by a decision-making process carried out by the brain, which con…Read more
  • Meaning-preserving contraposition of conditionals
    Journal of Pragmatics 1 (152): 46-60. 2019.
    It is argued that contraposition is valid for a class of natural language conditionals, if some modifications are allowed to preserve the meaning of the original conditional. In many cases, implicit temporal indices must be considered, making a change in verb tense necessary. A suitable contrapositive for implicative counterfactual conditionals can also usually be found. In some cases, the addition of certain words is necessary to preserve meaning that is present in the original sentence and wou…Read more
  •  9
    This paper investigates whether 'even if A, B' is pragmatically polysemic, so that a nonconcessive conditional may have 'even if', and whether concessive conditionals, pragmatically defined, can fail to have 'even if' or a non-temporal 'still'. Different paraphrases are used to help elucidate pragmatic meanings. A theory of the pragmatic meanings of concessive and implicative conditionals is presented. The semantic meaning of 'even if' and the question of whether concessive conditionals imply th…Read more
  •  84
    This thesis explores the possibility of theoretically conceiving consciousness as an activity of the brain. Objections, based on the concept of qualia, to the identification of consciousness with a brain activity are refuted. Phenomenal consciousness is identified with access-consciousness. Consciousness is conceived as a higher order processing of informational states of the brain. The state of consciousness represents an integration of prior nonconscious states. Libet’s research on the timing …Read more
  •  34
    Free will and the readiness potential
    Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2). 2000.
    Talk at the ASSC4 conference (Brussels, 2000).
  •  302
    Problems in the timing of conscious experience
    Consciousness and Cognition 11 (2): 191-97. 2002.
    Libet's (2000) arguments in defense of his interpretation of his experimental results are insufficient. The claims of my critical review (Gomes, 2008) do not suffer with his new statements.
  •  47
    Freedom is often defined by the possibility of doing otherwise. The conditional interpretation of this possibility, advanced by Moore, maintains that to say that someone could have done otherwise is to say that someone would have done otherwise if she had decided to do so. This conception is adequate for the thesis that freedom is compatible with natural causality. The present article presents a defense of this interpretation against the argument with which Lehrer purports to have refuted it. As…Read more
  •  1209
    An extended examination of Libet's works led to a comprehensive reinterpretation of his results. According to this reinterpretation, the Minimum Train Duration of electrical brain stimulation should be considered as the time needed to create a brain stimulus efficient for producing conscious sensation and not as a basis for inferring the latency for conscious sensation of peripheral origin. Latency for conscious sensation with brain stimulation may occurafterthe Minimum Train Duration. Backward …Read more
  •  26
    If A, then B too, but only if C: a reply to Varzi
    Analysis 66 (2): 157-161. 2006.
    Varzi (2005) discussed 6 ways of symbolizing the sentence 'If Alf went to the movies then Beth went too, but only if she found a taxi-cab.' In the present reply, a seventh symbolization is offered, along with an analysis of the six alternatives discussed by Varzi.
  •  101
    Preparing to move and deciding not to move☆
    Consciousness and Cognition 19 (1): 457-459. 2010.
    A commentary is given on Trevena and Miller . The comparability of their experimental task and of the potential they recorded with those used and recorded by Libet, Gleason, Wright, and Pearl is questioned. An interpretation is given for the similarity of event-related potentials recorded when subjects decided to move and when they decided not to move
  •  682
    Are necessary and sufficient conditions converse relations?
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3). 2009.
    Claims that necessary and sufficient conditions are not converse relations are discussed, as well as the related claim that If A, then B is not equivalent to A only if B . The analysis of alleged counterexamples has shown, among other things, how necessary and sufficient conditions should be understood, especially in the case of causal conditions, and the importance of distinguishing sufficient-cause conditionals from necessary-cause conditionals. It is concluded that necessary and sufficient co…Read more
  •  166
    Three types of conditionals and their verb forms in English and Portuguese
    Cognitive Linguistics 19 (2): 219-240. 2008.
    An examination of conditionals in di¤erent languages leads to a distinction of three types of conditionals instead of the usual two (indicative and subjunctive). The three types can be explained by the degree of acceptance or as-if acceptance of the truth of the antecedent. The labels subjunctive and indicative are shown to be inadequate. So-called indicative conditionals comprise two classes, the very frequent uncertain-fact conditionals and the quite rare accepted-fact conditionals. Uncertain-…Read more
  •  139
    Is consciousness epiphenomenal? Comment on Susan Pockett
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (12): 77-79. 2005.
    In a provocative article published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, Susan Pockett argues for the plausibility of considering consciousness as an epiphenomenon of neural activity. This means that consciousness, though caused by the brain, would not in its turn have any role in the causation of neural activity and, consequently, of behaviour. Critical for her argument is the distinction she makes between 'consciousness per se' and 'the neural processing that accompanies it' . In her discus…Read more
  •  321
    Self‐awareness and the mind‐brain problem
    Philosophical Psychology 8 (2): 155-65. 1995.
    The prima facie heterogeneity between psychical and physical phenomena seems to be a serious objection to psychoneural identity thesis, according to many authors, from Leibniz to Popper. It is argued that this objection can be superseded by a different conception of consciousness. Consciousness, while being conscious of something, is always unconscious of itself . Consciousness of being conscious is not immediate, it involves another, second-order, conscious state. The appearance of mental state…Read more
  •  172
    Consciousness and its contents: A response to de Quincey
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (3): 107-112. 2007.
    'Consciousness' is used in different ways, but not all of these uses reflect clear concepts. In his target article Christian de Quincey (2006) notes that confusion about consciousness is widespread and sets out to distinguish two main meanings of the word. However, his treatment of the subject is confused and the proposed distinction misses the point. I argue that the effort to clarify the meaning of consciousness should proceed in a different direction. We should first find some empirical crite…Read more
  •  533
    Volition and the readiness potential
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (8-9): 59-76. 1999.
    1. Introduction The readiness potential was found to precede voluntary acts by about half a second or more (Kornhuber & Deecke, 1965). Kornhuber (1984) discussed the readiness potential in terms of volition, arguing that it is not the manifestation of an attentional processes. Libet discussed it in relation to consciousness and to free will (Libet et al. 1983a; 1983b; Libet, 1985, 1992, 1993). Libet asked the following questions. Are voluntary acts initiated by a conscious decision to act? Are t…Read more
  •  201
    Reinterpretations of Libet's results have received support from most commentaries. Libet's arguments against alternative hypotheses are contested. Latency depends on intensity. Integration of intensity and duration explains the Minimum Train Duration. Analogies of Libet's timing of intentions with control experiments indicate biases of opposite signs, according to intramodal or intermodal results. Rosenthal's view of nonconscious intentions becoming conscious after a delay is favored. Compatibil…Read more
  •  338
    A commentary on articles by Klein, Pockett, and Trevena and Miller, in this issue, is given. Average shift in the point of subjective equality , calculated by Klein on Libet's data, and corresponding change in mean shift, calculated by Libet et al. , may be “corrected,” taking as a reference point the end of the minimum train duration. Values obtained, if significant, indicate a latency for conscious sensation of the skin stimulus of at least 230 ms. Pockett's main conclusions are favored, but h…Read more
  •  368
    Varzi (2005) discussed 6 ways of symbolizing the sentence 'If Alf went to the movies then Beth went too, but only if she found a taxi-cab.' In the present reply, a seventh symbolization is offered, along with an analysis of the six alternatives discussed by Varzi.