•  291
    Selections from perception
    In Alex Byrne & Heather Logue (eds.), Disjunctivism: Contemporary Readings, Mit Press. pp. 153. 2009.
  •  285
    The irrelevance of intentionality to perception
    Philosophical Quarterly 24 (October): 300-315. 1974.
  •  257
    Perception
    Routledge. 1994.
    Questions about perception remain some of the most difficult and insoluble in both epistemology and in the philosophy of mind. This controversial but highly accessible introduction to the area explores the philosophical importance of those questions by re-examining what had until recent times been the most popular theory of perception - the sense-datum theory. Howard Robinson surveys the history of the arguments for and against the theory from Descartes to Husserl. He then shows that the objecti…Read more
  •  235
    Why phenomenal content is not intentional
    European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 5 (2): 79-93. 2009.
    I argue that the idea that mental states possess a primitive intentionality in virtue of which they are able to represent or ‘intend’ putative particulars derives largely from Brentano‘s misinterpretation of Aristotle and the scholastics, and that without this howler the application of intentionality to phenomenal content would never have gained currency.
  •  129
    Berkeley’s Thought (review)
    Mind 113 (451): 571-575. 2004.
  •  128
    Varieties of Ontological Argument
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (2): 41--64. 2012.
    I consider what I hope are increasingly sophisticated versions of ontological argument, beginning from simple definitional forms, through three versions to be found in Anselm, with their recent interpretations by Malcolm, Plantinga, Klima and Lowe. I try to show why none of these work by investigating both the different senses of necessary existence and the conditions under which logically necessary existence can be brought to bear. Although none of these arguments work, I think that they lead t…Read more
  •  106
    The assumption of materialism Howard Robinson believes is false
  •  99
    Some externalist strategies and their problems
    Croatian Journal of Philosophy 3 (7): 21-34. 2003.
    I claim that there are four major strands of argument for externalism and set out to discuss three of them. The four are: (A) That referential thoughts are object-dependent. This I do not discuss. (B) That the semantics of natural kind terms is externalist. (C) That all semantic content, even of descriptive terms, stems from the causal relations of representations to the things or properties they designate in the external world. (D) That, because meaning is a social product and no individual can…Read more
  •  97
    Objections to Physicalism (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 1993.
    Physicalism has, over the past twenty years, become almost an orthodoxy, especially in the philosophy of mind. Many philosophers, however, feel uneasy about this development, and this volume is intended as a collective response to it. Together these papers, written by philosophers from Britain, the United States, and Australasia, show that physicalism faces enormous problems in every area in which it is discussed. The contributors not only investigate the well-known difficulties that physicalism…Read more
  •  88
    Dualism
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008.
    This entry concerns dualism in the philosophy of mind. The term ‘dualism’ has a variety of uses in the history of thought. In general, the idea is that, for some particular domain, there are two fundamental kinds or categories of things or principles. In theology, for example a ‘dualist’ is someone who believes that Good and Evil — or God and the Devil — are independent and more or less equal forces in the world. Dualism contrasts with monism, which is the theory that there is only one fundament…Read more
  •  86
  •  80
    Dualism
    In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind, Blackwell. pp. 85--101. 2002.
    This entry concerns dualism in the philosophy of mind. The term ‘dualism’ has a variety of uses in the history of thought. In general, the idea is that, for some particular domain, there are two fundamental kinds or categories of things or principles. In theology, for example a ‘dualist’ is someone who believes that Good and Evil — or God and the Devil — are independent and more or less equal forces in the world. Dualism contrasts with monism, which is the theory that there is only one fundament…Read more
  •  79
    Essays on Berkeley: A Tercentennial Celebration (edited book)
    with John Foster
    Oxford University Press. 1985.
    Marking the tercentenary of Berkeley's birth, this collection of previously unpublished essays covers such Berkeleian topics as: imagination, experience, and possibility; the argument against material substance; the physical world; idealism; science; the self; action and inaction; beauty; and the general good. Among the contributors are: Christopher Peacocke, Ernest Sosa, Margaret Wilson, C.C.W. Taylor, and J.O. Urmson.
  •  74
    Reply to Nathan: How to reconstruct the causal argument (review)
    Acta Analytica 20 (3): 7-10. 2005.
    Nicholas Nathan tries to resist the current version of the causal argument for sense-data in two ways. First he suggests that, on what he considers to be the correct reconstruction of the argument, it equivocates on the sense of proximate cause. Second, he defends a form of disjunctivism, by claiming that there might be an extra mechanism involved in producing veridical hallucination that is not present in perception. I argue that Nathan’s reconstruction of the argument is not the appropriate on…Read more
  •  73
    The Failure of Disjunctivism to Deal with "Philosophers' Hallucinations"
    In Fiona Macpherson & Dimitris Platchias (eds.), Hallucination, Mit Press. pp. 313-330. 2013.
    This chapter starts by restating the causal-hallucinatory argument against naive realism. This argument depends on the possibility of “philosophers' hallucinations.” It draws attention to the role of what the chapter refers to as the nonarbitrariness of philosophers' hallucinations in supporting this argument. The chapter then discusses three attempts to refute the argument. Two of them, those associated with John McDowell and with Michael Martin, are explicitly forms of disjunctivism. The third…Read more
  •  73
    A ’Trinitarian’ Theory of the Self
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 5 (1): 181--195. 2013.
    I argue that the self is simple metaphysically, whilst being complex psychologically and that the persona that links these moments might be dubbed ”creativity’ or ”imagination’. This theory is trinitarian because it ascribes to the self these three ”features’ or ”moments’ and they bear at least some analogy with the Persons of the Trinity, as understood within the neo- platonic, Augustinian tradition.
  •  69
    In recent years, a significant number of philosophers from an orthodox analytic background have begun to advocate theories of composite objects, which they say are strikingly similar to Aristotle’s hylomorphism. These theories emphasize the importance of structure, or organization—which they say is closely connected to Aristotle’s notion of form—in defining what it is for a composite to be a genuine object. The reality of these structures is closely connected with the fact that they are held to …Read more
  •  55
    Thought experiments are usually employed by philosophers as a tool in conceptual analysis. We pose ourselves questions such as “Would it be the same F if p?” or “Would it count as knowledge if q,” where p and q state some bizarre circumstances that are unlikely actually to occur and may even be beyond current technical possibility. The answers we are inclined to give to such questions are held to throw light on the nature of our concepts of, in these cases, identity and knowledge. But the facts …Read more
  •  50
    Quality, Thought and Consciousness
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 67 203-216. 2010.
    My objective in this essay is to argue for two things. The first is that intellectual mental states are not physicalistically reducible, just as qualia are not reducible. The second is that thoughts and qualia are not as different as is sometimes believed, but not because thoughts are qualia-like by being mental images, but because qualia are universals and their apprehension is a proto-intellectual act. I shall mainly be concerned with the first of these topics
  •  41
    Mind and Body in Aristotle
    Classical Quarterly 28 (01): 105-. 1978.
    In this paper I hope to show that a particular modern approach to Aristotle's philosophy of mind is untenable and, out of that negative discussion, develop some tentative suggestions concerning the interpretation of two famous and puzzling Aristotelian maxims. These maxims are, first, that the soul is the form of the body and, second, that perception is the reception of form without matter. The fashionable interpretation of Aristotle which I wish to criticize is the attempt to assimilate him to …Read more
  •  34
    Substance dualism and its rationale
    In Richard Swinburne (ed.), Free Will and Modern Science, Oup/british Academy. 2011.
    Substance dualism is the view that humans are essentially immaterial souls, and that conscious events are events in that soul. This chapter considers the arguments for and against this view. It argues that such questions as ‘Would I have existed if my mother's egg had been fertilized by a different though genetically identical sperm from my father?’ must have a sharp yes-or-no answer, but that they would not have a sharp answer if being me consisted simply of being made of similar genetic materi…Read more