•  2927
    The Ethical Importance of Conflicts of Interest: Accounting and Finance Examples
    Business and Professional Ethics Journal 13 (1/2): 25-40. 1994.
    The general area of business and professional ethics is full of vexing and confusing problems. For example, questions concerning the im portance of ethical standards, whether ethics is unnecessary given appropriate legal enforcement, whether it is imperative to teach ethical behavior in professional education, and similar questions are all controversial. The specific ethical problems to be found in the areas of accounting and finance are at least as difficult as those in other areas. However, th…Read more
  •  1606
    Realistic virtual reality and perception
    Philosophical Psychology 23 (1): 23-42. 2010.
    Realistic uses of Virtual Reality technology closely integrate user training on virtual objects with VR-assisted user interactions with real objects. This paper shows how the Interactive Theory of Perception may be extended to cover such cases. Virtual objects are explained as concrete models that have an inner generation mechanism, and the ITP is used to explain how VR users can both perceive such local CMs, and perceptually represent remote real objects. Also, concepts of modeling and represen…Read more
  •  1172
    Internal versus external representation
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (1): 23-36. 2004.
    I argue that the concept of representation is ambiguous: a picture of 'a man', when there is no actual man that it depicts, both does, in one sense, and does not, in another sense, represent 'a man'--hence the need for a distinction of internal from external representation. Internal representation is also defended from reductive, non-referential alternative views, and from 'prosthesis' views of picturing, according to which seeing a picture of an actual man just is seeing through the picture to…Read more
  •  847
    A representational theory of artefacts and artworks
    British Journal of Aesthetics 41 (4): 353-370. 2001.
    The artefacts produced by artists during their creation of works of art are very various: paintings, writings, musical scores, and so on. I have a general thesis to offer about the relations of artefacts and artworks, but within the confines of this article I shall mainly discuss cases drawn from the art of painting, central specimens of which seem to be autographic in Nelson Goodman's sense, namely such that even the most exact duplication of them does not count as producing the same work of ar…Read more
  •  604
    Medium, subject matter and representation
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (1): 45-62. 2003.
    I argue that the physical marks on a canvas resulting from an artist's intentional, stylistic and expressive acts cannot themselves be the artist's expression, but instead they serve to signify or indicate those acts. Thus there is a kind of indicative content associated with a picture that is distinct from its subject matter (or 'representational content'). I also argue that this kind of indicative content is closely associated with the specific artistic medium chosen by the artist as her expre…Read more
  •  502
    A Refutation of Goodman's Type‐Token Theory of Notation
    Dialectica 57 (3): 330-336. 2003.
    In Languages of Art, Nelson Goodman presents a general theory of symbolic notation. However, I show that his theory could not adequately explain possible cases of natural language notational uses, and argue that this outcome undermines, not only Goodman's own theory, but any broadly type versus token based account of notational structure.Given this failure, an alternative representational theory is proposed, in which different visual or perceptual aspects of a given physical inscription each rep…Read more
  •  498
    Artistic expression as interpretation
    British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (1): 162-174. 2004.
    According to R. G. Collingwood in The Principles of Art, art is the expression of emotion--a much-criticized view. I attempt to provide some groundwork for a defensible modern version of such a theory via some novel further criticisms of Collingwood, including the exposure of multiple ambiguities in his main concept of expression of emotion, and a demonstration that, surprisingly enough, his view is unable to account for genuinely creative artistic activities. A key factor in the reconstruction …Read more
  •  493
    Artworks versus designs
    British Journal of Aesthetics 41 (2): 162-177. 2001.
    I propose a distinction between design intentions, activities and products, as opposed to artistic intentions, activities and artworks. Examples of design products would include a specific type of car (or any other invention or device) as well as closer relatives of art such as decorative wall designs. In order to distinguish artistic from design intentions, I present an example in which two sculptors independently work on a single object to produce two sculptures, which are distinct just be…Read more
  •  459
    A double content theory of artistic representation
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (3). 2005.
    The representational content or subject matter of a picture is normally distinguished from various non-representational components of meaning involved in artworks, such as expressive, stylistic or intentional factors. However, I show how such non subject matter components may themselves be analyzed in content terms, if two different categories of representation are recognized--aspect indication for stylistic etc. factors, and normal representation for subject matter content. On the account given…Read more
  •  448
    David Davies, art as performance
    with Reviews by Robert Stecker
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (1). 2005.
    In his absorbing book Art as Performance, David Davies argues that artworks should be identified, not with artistic products such as paintings or novels, but instead with the artistic actions or processes that produced such items. Such a view had an earlier incarnation in Currie’s widely criticized “action type hypothesis”, but Davies argues that it is instead action tokens rather than types with which artworks should be identified. This rich and complex work repays the closest study in spite of…Read more
  •  447
    A reflexive dispositional analysis of mechanistic perception
    Minds and Machines 16 (4): 479-493. 2006.
      The field of machine perception is based on standard informational and computational approaches to perception. But naturalistic informational theories are widely regarded as being inadequate, while purely syntactic computational approaches give no account of perceptual content. Thus there is a significant need for a novel, purely naturalistic perceptual theory not based on informational or computational concepts, which could provide a new paradigm for mechanistic perception. Now specifically e…Read more
  •  444
    More on the Interactive Indexing Semantic Theory
    Minds and Machines 20 (3): 455-474. 2010.
    This article further explains and develops a recent, comprehensive semantic naturalization theory, namely the interactive indexing (II) theory as described in my 2008 Minds and Machines article Semantic Naturalization via Interactive Perceptual Causality (Vol. 18, pp. 527–546). Folk views postulate a concrete intentional relation between cognitive states and the worldly states they are about. The II theory eliminates any such concrete intentionality, replacing it with purely causal relations bas…Read more
  •  442
    Perception, introspection, and functional consonance
    Theoria 72 (4): 299-318. 2006.
    What is the relation between a perceptual experience of an object X as being red, and one's belief, if any, as to the nature of that experience? A traditional Cartesian view would be that, if indeed object X does seem to be red to oneself, then one's resulting introspective belief about it could only be a _conforming _belief, i.e., a belief that X perceptually seems to be _red _to oneself--rather than, for instance, a belief that X perceptually seems to be green to oneself instead. On such a Car…Read more
  •  420
    Varieties of visual representation
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (2): 183-206. 2002.
    Pictorial representation is one species of visual representation--but not the only one, I argue. There are three additional varieties or species of visual representation--namely 'structural', 'aspect' and 'integrative' representation--which together comprise a category of 'delineative' rather than depictive visual representation. I arrive at this result via consideration of previously neglected orientational factors that serve to distinguish the two categories. I conclude by arguing that picture…Read more
  •  413
    Joseph Margolis, What, After All, Is a Work of Art? Reviewed by
    Philosophy in Review 20 (2): 129-131. 2000.
    This book is the outcome of a series of lectures on art-related topics which Margolis gave in various places, including Finland, Russia, Japan and the USA, from 1995 through 1997. Mainly these lectures vividly distill views which Margolis has developed more fully elsewhere. Also, as his readers know, Margolis has an unusually allencompassing and closely integrated series of views on almost all of the main issues concerning both art and philosophy generally. Thus the task of a reviewer of this b…Read more
  •  398
    A Dual-Component View of Propositional Grasping
    with Dylan Sabo
    Erkenntnis 79 (3): 511-522. 2014.
    On a traditional or default view of the grasping or understanding of a singular proposition by an individual, it is assumed to be a unitary or holistic activity. However, naturalistic views of cognition plausibly could analyze propositional thinking in terms of more than one distinctive functional stage of cognitive processing, suggesting at least the potential legitimacy of a non-unitary analysis of propositional grasping. We outline a novel dual-component view of this kind, and show that it is…Read more
  •  388
    Resemblance, Restriction, and Content‐Bearing Features
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (1). 2005.
    In "A Restriction for Pictures and Some Consequences for a Theory of Depiction", Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 61, 4 (2003): 381-394, Michael Newall defended a resemblance view of depiction. He concentrated on pictures X involving a perpendicular view of the physical surface of another picture Y, and argued that the actual restrictions on what picture X can depict of Y's physical surface are best explained by a strict resemblance or similarity view. But I show that there are many probl…Read more
  •  379
    Representation as epistemic identification
    Philo 9 (1): 12-31. 2006.
    In a previous Philo article, it was shown how properties could be ontologically dispensed with via a representational analysis: to be an X is to comprehensively represent all the properties of an X. The current paper extends that representationalist (RT) theory by explaining representation itself in parallel epistemic rather than ontological terms. On this extended RT (ERT) theory, representations of X, as well as the real X, both may be identified as providing information about X, whether parti…Read more
  •  373
    The perception of representational content
    British Journal of Aesthetics 45 (4): 388-411. 2005.
    How can it be true that one sees a lake when looking at a picture of a lake, since one's gaze is directed upon a flat dry surface covered in paint? An adequate contemporary explanation cannot avoid taking a theoretical stand on some fundamental cognitive science issues concerning the nature of perception, of pictorial content, and of perceptual reference to items that, strictly speaking, have no physical existence. A solution is proposed that invokes a broadly functionalist, naturalistic theory …Read more
  •  357
    Representationalism and indeterminate perceptual content
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (3): 369-387. 2007.
    Representationalists who hold that phenomenal character can be explained in terms of representational content currently cannot explain counter-examples that involve indeterminate perceptual content, such as in the case of objects seen blurrily by someone with poor eyesight, or objects seen vaguely in misty conditions. But this problem can be resolved via provision of a more sophisticated double content (DC) view, according to which the representational content of perception is structured in two …Read more
  •  344
    Perceptual causality problems reflexively resolved
    Acta Analytica 20 (3): 11-31. 2005.
    Causal theories of perception typically have problems in explaining deviant causal chains. They also have difficulty with other unusual putative cases of perception involving prosthetic aids, defective perception, scientifically extended cases of perception, and so on. But I show how a more adequate reflexive causal theory, in which objects or properties X cause a perceiver to acquire X-related dispositions toward that very same item X, can provide a plausible and principled perceptual explanati…Read more
  •  328
    Theater, representation, types and interpretation
    American Philosophical Quarterly 39 (2): 197-209. 2002.
    In the performing arts, including music, theater, dance and so on, theoretical issues both about artworks and about performances of them must be dealt with, so that their theoretical analysis is inherently more complex and troublesome than that of nonperforming arts such as painting or film, in which primarily only artworks need to be discussed. Thus it is especially desirable in the case of the performing arts to look for defensible broad theoretical simplifications or generalizations that coul…Read more
  •  325
    The double content of perception
    Synthese 146 (3): 225-243. 2005.
    Clearly we can perceive both objects, and various aspects or appearances of those objects. But how should that complexity of perceptual content be explained or analyzed? I argue that perceptual representations normally have a double or two level nested structure of content, so as to adequately incorporate information both about contextual aspects Y(X) of an object X, and about the object X itself. On this double content (DC) view, perceptual processing starts with aspectual data Y?(X?) as a high…Read more
  •  325
    The Abstractness of Artworks and Its Implications for Aesthetics
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 66 (4): 341-353. 2008.
    Artworks have at least some necessary content properties, as do abstract entities such as propositions. But no concrete item, whether an object, event, process etc., could have any necessary content property. So no artwork could be identical with a concrete item. Hence artworks must be abstract. I also argue that artworks are only contingently connected with concrete items, just as propositions are only contingently linked to their linguistic tokens.
  •  316
    Naturalized perception without information
    Journal of Mind and Behavior 25 (4): 349-368. 2004.
    The outlines of a novel, fully naturalistic theory of perception are provided, that can explain perception of an object X by organism Z in terms of reflexive causality. On the reflexive view proposed, organism Z perceives object or property X just in case X causes Z to acquire causal dispositions reflexively directed back upon X itself. This broadly functionalist theory is potentially capable of explaining both perceptual representation and perceptual content in purely causal terms, making no us…Read more
  •  303
    Semantic Naturalization via Interactive Perceptual Causality
    Minds and Machines 18 (4): 527-546. 2008.
    A novel semantic naturalization program is proposed. Its three main differences from informational semantics approaches are as follows. First, it makes use of a perceptually based, four-factor interactive causal relation in place of a simple nomic covariance relation. Second, it does not attempt to globally naturalize all semantic concepts, but instead it appeals to a broadly realist interpretation of natural science, in which the concept of propositional truth is off-limits to naturalization at…Read more
  •  296
    The propositional challenge to aesthetics
    British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2): 115-144. 2008.
    It is generally accepted that Picasso might have used a different canvas as the vehicle for his painting Guernica, and also that the artwork Guernica itself necessarily represents a certain historical episode—rather than, say, a bowl of fruit. I argue that such a conjunctive acceptance entails a broadly propositional view of the nature of representational artworks. In addition, I argue—via a comprehensive examination of possible alternatives—that, perhaps surprisingly, there simply is no other a…Read more
  •  295
    The reflexive theory of perception
    Behavior and Philosophy 33 (1): 17-40. 2005.
    ABSTRACT: The Reflexive Theory of Perception (RTP) claims that perception of an object or property X by an organism Z consists in Z being caused by X to acquire some disposition D toward X itself. This broadly behavioral perceptual theory explains perceptual intentionality and correct versus incorrect, plus successful versus unsuccessful, perception in a plausible evolutionary framework. The theory also undermines cognitive and perceptual modularity assumptions, including informational or purely…Read more
  •  290
    Four Theories of Inversion in Art and Music
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (1): 1-19. 2002.
    Issues about the nature and ontology of works of art play a central part in contemporary aesthetics. But such issues are complicated by the fact that there seem to be two fundamentally different kinds of artworks. First, a visual artwork such as a picture or drawing seems to be closely identified with a particular physical object, in that even an exact copy of it does not count as being genuinely the same work of art. Nelson Goodman describes such works as being “autographic.” Second, other art…Read more
  •  289
    A naturalistic, reflexive dispositional approach to perception
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (4): 583-601. 2005.
    This paper will investigate the basic question of the nature of perception, as theoretically approached from a purely naturalistic standpoint. An adequate theory must not only have clear application to a world full of pre-existing biological examples of perception of all kinds, from unicellular perception to conscious human perception, but it must also satisfy a series of theoretical or philosophical constraints, as enumerated and discussed in Section 1 below. A perceptual theory invoking _refle…Read more