• What is wrong with ad hoc hypotheses? Ever since Popper’s falsificationist account of adhocness, there has been a lively philosophical discussion about what constitutes adhocness in scientific explanation, and what, if anything, distinguishes legitimate auxiliary hypotheses from illicit ad hoc ones. This paper draws upon distinct examples from pseudoscience to provide us with a clearer view as to what is troubling about ad hoc hypotheses. In contrast with other philosophical proposals, our appro…Read more
  • What Is This Thing Called Science?
    A. F. Chalmers
    Erkenntnis 14 (3): 393-404. 1979.
  • Mind, matter, and death: Cognitive neuroscience and the problem of survival
    Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 87 41-84. 1993.
  • A little survey of induction
    In Peter Achinstein (ed.), Scientific Evidence: Philosophical Theories and Applications, . pp. 9-34. 2005.
    My purpose in this chapter is to survey some of the principal approaches to inductive inference in the philosophy of science literature. My first concern will be the general principles that underlie the many accounts of induction in this literature. When these accounts are considered in isolation, as is more commonly the case, it is easy to overlook that virtually all accounts depend on one of very few basic principles and that the proliferation of accounts can be understood as efforts to amelio…Read more
  • Hume’s philosophy of religion
    J. C. A. Gaskin
    Humanities Press. 1988.
  • When is parsimony a virtue
    Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235): 216-236. 2009.
    Parsimony is a virtue of empirical theories. Is it also a virtue of philosophical theories? I review four contemporary accounts of the virtue of parsimony in empirical theorizing, and consider how each might apply to two prominent appeals to parsimony in the philosophical literature, those made on behalf of physicalism and on behalf of nominalism. None of the accounts of the virtue of parsimony extends naturally to either of these philosophical cases. This suggests that in typical philosophical …Read more
  • The Mind-Body Problem at Century's Turn
    In Brian Leiter (ed.), The Future for Philosophy, Clarendon Press. pp. 129-152. 2004.
    A plausible terminus for the mind-body debate begins by embracing ontological physicalism—the view that there is only one kind of substance in the concrete world, and that it is material substance. Taking mental causation seriously, this terminus also embraces conditional reductionism, the thesis that only physically reducible (i.e., functionalizable) mental properties can be causally efficacious. Intentional/cognitive properties (what David Chalmers calls “psychological” aspects of mind) are ph…Read more
  • Russellian monism—an influential doctrine proposed by Russell (The analysis of matter, Routledge, London, 1927/1992)—is roughly the view that physics can only ever tell us about the causal, dispositional, and structural properties of physical entities and not their categorical (or intrinsic) properties, whereas our qualia are constituted by those categorical properties. In this paper, I will discuss the relation between Russellian monism and a seminal paradox facing epiphenomenalism, the paradox…Read more