Sun Yat Sen University, Zhuhai Campus
  •  44
    Beyond Combination: How Cosmic Consciousness Grounds Ordinary Experience
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (3): 390-410. 2018.
    The aim of this paper is twofold. First, our purpose is to propose and motivate a novel and scientifically informed variant of cosmopsychism, namely, the view that the experiences of ordinary subjects are ultimately grounded in an all-pervading cosmic consciousness. Second, we will demonstrate that this approach generates promising avenues for addressing familiar problems of phenomenal constitution. We use stochastic electrodynamics (SED) as the physical bedrock of our approach, supplementing it…Read more
  •  47
    Type‐Identity Statements and the Explanatory Gap: An Argument for Compatibility
    with Sungho Choi
    Dialectica 67 (4): 485-502. 2013.
    This paper challenges a popular thesis which we call the explanatory primitiveness thesis (for short, EPT), namely, the thesis that identities leave no logical space wherein explanatory questions may be formulated and explanatory gaps may reside. We argue that while EPT is, in all likelihood, flawless when the relevant domain consists of identity statements flanked by proper names of individuals it is a mistake to hold that the thesis generalizes to cover all identity statements. In particular, …Read more
  •  33
    In this book, Bogdan offers an empirically informed theory of the emergence and nature of predication with unmistakable pragmatic and developmental overtones. While the emphasis on psycho-pragmatic and developmental factors is most welcome, and while the discussion is informed and informative, Bogdan’s thesis suffers from some major weaknesses, in particular philosophical ones. Chief among these is an insufficient clarity with regard to the problem domain being addressed: Bogdan professes to off…Read more
  •  11
    A Far from Simple Introduction to Communication (review)
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (6): 481-491. 2017.
  •  33
    Consciousness and the first person
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (12): 57-91. 2007.
    According to John Searle's connection principle (CP) all intentional states are, necessarily, potentially conscious (Searle 1992). Thus formulated, CP implies that intentionality is ontologically dependent on consciousness. Searle's argument in favour of CP is based on the assumption that, while every intentional state is endowed with an aspectual shape, only conscious intentional states are intrinsically so endowed. In turn, the contention that only conscious intentional states are intrinsicall…Read more
  •  66
    Dynamical agents: Consciousness, causation, and two specters of epiphenomenalism
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (2): 225-243. 2009.
    The aim of this paper is to defend the causal efficacy of consciousness against two specters of epiphenomenalism. We argue that these challenges are best met, on the one hand, by rejecting all forms of consciousness-body dualism, and on the other, by adopting a dynamical systems approach to understanding the causal efficacy of conscious experience. We argue that this non-reductive identity theory provides the theoretical resources for reconciling the reality and efficacy of consciousness with th…Read more
  •  54
    Making it mental: in search for the golden mean of the extended cognition controversy
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (1): 1-26. 2013.
    This paper engages the extended cognition controversy by advancing a theory which fits nicely into an attractive and surprisingly unoccupied conceptual niche situated comfortably between traditional individualism and the radical externalism espoused by the majority of supporters of the extended mind hypothesis. I call this theory moderate active externalism, or MAE. In alliance with other externalist theories of cognition, MAE is committed to the view that certain cognitive processes extend acro…Read more
  •  29
    In this essay I offer a theory of the outward directedness of intentional states, namely, an account of what makes intentional states directed at their respective intentional objects. The theory is meant to be complementary to the canonical interactivist account of mental content in that the latter emphasizes the predicative, intensional, and internal aspects of representation whereas here I shall focus on its denotative, extensional, and external aspects. Thus, the aim is to establish that the …Read more
  •  24
    Fred Dretske's theory of indicatory functions (Dretske 1988 & 1994)is undoubtedly one of the more ambitious attempts to articulate a sound naturalistic foundation for an adequate theory of intentional content. In what follows I argue that, contrary to Dretske's explicit intentions, his theory fails a crucial adequacy test - that of accounting for mental content as a system-intrinsic property. Once examined in light of the first-person perspective of an embodied psy- chological agent, I argue,…Read more
  •  78
    This paper re-addresses Quine's indeterminacy of translation/inscrutability of reference thesis, as a problem for cognitive theories of content. In contradistinction with Quine's behavioristic semantics, theories of meaning, or content, in the cognitivist tradition endorse intentional realism, and are prone to be unsympathetic to Quine's thesis. Yet, despite this fundamental difference, I argue that they are just as vulnerable to the indeterminacy. I then argue that the vulnerability is rooted i…Read more
  •  103
    Stressing the Flesh: In Defense of Strong Embodied Cognition
    with Liam P. Dempsey
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3): 590-617. 2013.
    In a recent paper, Andy Clark (2008) has argued that the literature on embodied cognition reveals a tension between two prominent strands within this movement. On the one hand, there are those who endorse what Clark refers to as body-centrism, a view which emphasizes the special contribution made by the body to a creature’s mental life. Among other things, body centrism implies that significant differences in embodiment translate into significant differences in cognition and consciousness. On th…Read more
  •  138
    There is a famous passage in chapter six of James’ Principles of Psychology whose import, many believe, deals a devastating blow to the explanatory aspirations of panpsychism. In the present paper I take a close look at James’ argument, as well as at the claim that it underlies a powerful critique of panpsychism. Apart from the fact that the argument was never aimed at panpsychism as such, I show that it rests on highly problematic assumptions which, if followed to their logical consequences, ar…Read more
  •  138
    Cosmopsychism: A Holistic Approach to the Metaphysics of Experience
    Philosophical Papers 44 (3): 389-437. 2015.
    This paper introduces cosmopsychism as a holistic alternative to atomistic panpsychism, and as a general perspective on the metaphysics of consciousness. I begin with some necessary background details concerning contemporary panpsychism and the problems it faces, and then proceed to the theory itself. The starting point of the theory is the assumption that an all pervading cosmic consciousness is the single ontological ultimate. From this assumption, a panpsychist ontology of mind with distinct …Read more
  •  72
    The myth of reductive extensionalism
    Axiomathes 17 (2): 155-183. 2007.
    Extensionalism, as I understand it here, is the view that physical reality consists exclusively of extensional entities. On this view, intensional entitities must either be eliminated in favor of an ontology of extensional entities, or be reduced to such an ontology, or otherwise be admitted as non-physical. In this paper I argue that extensionalism is a misguided philosophical doctrine. First, I argue that intensional phenomena are not confined to the realm of language and thought. Rather, the …Read more
  •  36
    Consciousness ties together knowledge and feeling, or sapience and sentience. The connection between these two constitutive aspects — the informational and the phenomenal — is deep, but how are we to make sense of it? One influential approach maintains that sentience ultimately reduces to sapience, namely, that phenomenal consciousness is a function of representational relations between mental states which, barring these relations, would not, and could not, be conscious. In this paper I take iss…Read more
  •  55
    Three misconceptions concerning strong embodiment
    with Liam P. Dempsey
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (4): 827-849. 2015.
    The strong embodied mind thesis holds that the particular details of one’s embodiment shape the phenomenological and cognitive nature of one’s mind. On the face of it, this is an attractive thesis. Yet strong embodiment faces a number of challenges. In particular, there are three prominent misconceptions about the scope and nature of strong embodiment: 1) that it violates the supposed multiple realizability of mentality; 2) that it cannot accommodate mental representation; and 3) that it is inco…Read more
  •  40
    In his recent book Reinventing the Sacred, renowned biologist and systems theorist Stuart Kauffman offers an avenue for the revival of the sacred and for reconciling sacredness with a robust scientific outlook. According to Kauffman, God is a human cultural invention, and he urges us to reinvent the sacred as the ceaseless creativity in nature. I argue that Kauffman's proposal suffers from a major shortcoming, namely, being at odds with the nature, and content, of authentic experiences of the sa…Read more
  •  75
    Computation and intentionality: A recipe for epistemic impasse
    Minds and Machines 15 (2): 207-228. 2005.
    Searle’s celebrated Chinese room thought experiment was devised as an attempted refutation of the view that appropriately programmed digital computers literally are the possessors of genuine mental states. A standard reply to Searle, known as the “robot reply” (which, I argue, reflects the dominant approach to the problem of content in contemporary philosophy of mind), consists of the claim that the problem he raises can be solved by supplementing the computational device with some “appropriate”…Read more
  •  28
    In this paper I offer a novel analysis of Quine's indeterminacy puzzle and an unorthodox approach to its resolution. It is argued that the ultimate roots of indeterminacy lie not in behaviorism per se, but rather in Quine's commitment to a fundamental assumption about the nature of perceptual input, namely, the assumption that sensory information is strictly extensional. Calling this assumption the 'principle of input extensionalism' (PIE) I first demonstrate the fundamental role that it plays i…Read more
  •  28
    Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False. . ???aop.label???. doi: 10.1080/09515089.2013.804045
  •  20
    Review essay: The mind as a scientific object
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (2): 229-241. 2007.
    The prevailing message of this volume lies in the claim that psychology ought to come to terms with the irreducible cultural dimensions of mind. Though this is an important message, the author argues that an uncritical shift in favor of a cultural approach runs the risk of imposing uniquely human characteristics on the general study of the mind. Moreover, by treating the nature-nurture dichotomy as an axiom, the bulk of the articles in this collection fail to consider the possibility of transcen…Read more