•  16
    Structural and indicator representations: a difference in degree, not kind
    with Gregory Nirshberg
    Synthese 1-18. forthcoming.
    Some philosophers have offered structural representations as an alternative to indicator-based representations. Motivating these philosophers is the belief that an indication-based analysis of representation exhibits two fatal inadequacies from which structural representations are spared: such an analysis cannot account for the causal role of representational content and cannot explain how representational content can be made determinate. In fact, we argue, indicator and structural representatio…Read more
  •  1
    Adapted Minds
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 27 85-104. 2001.
    Minds are obscure things. This is especially obvious and especially onerous to those interested in understanding the mind. One way to begin an investigation of mind, given its abstruseness, is to explore the implications of something we believe must be true of minds. This is the approach I take in this paper. Whatever uncertainties we have about the mind, it’s a safe bet that the mind is an adaptation. So, I begin with this truth about minds: minds are the product of evolution by natural selecti…Read more
  •  55
    Flesh matters: The body in cognition
    Mind and Language 34 (1): 3-20. 2019.
  •  2
    There are many who believe Moses parted the Red Sea and Jesus came back from the dead. Others are certain that exorcisms occur, ghosts haunt attics, and the blessed can cure the terminally ill. Though miracles are immensely improbable, people have embraced them for millennia, seeing in them proof of a supernatural world that resists scientific explanation. Helping us to think more critically about our belief in the improbable, The Miracle Myth casts a skeptical eye on attempts to justify belief …Read more
  •  28
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
  •  16
    Saving the phenomenal
    PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 5. 1999.
  •  385
    Multiple realizations
    Journal of Philosophy 97 (12): 635-654. 2000.
  •  2
    A review of Frederick Adams and Kenneth Aizawa (review)
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (2): 267-273. 2009.
  •  43
    The Multiple Realization Book
    Oxford University Press UK. 2016.
    Since Hilary Putnam offered multiple realization as an empirical hypothesis in the 1960s, philosophical consensus has turned against the idea that mental processes are identifiable with brain processes, and multiple realization has become the keystone of the 'antireductive consensus' across philosophy of science. Thomas W. Polger and Lawrence A. Shapiro offer the first book-length investigation of multiple realization, which serves as a starting point to a series of philosophically sophisticated…Read more
  •  82
    Mental Manipulations and the Problem of Causal Exclusion
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3). 2012.
    Christian List and Peter Menzies 2009 have looked to interventionist theories of causation for an answer to Jaegwon Kim's causal exclusion problem. Important to their response is the idea of realization-insensitivity. However, this idea becomes mired in issues concerning multiple realization, leaving it unable to fulfil its promise to block exclusion. After explaining why realization-insensitivity fails as a solution to Kim's problem, I look to interventionism to describe a different kind of sol…Read more
  •  111
    Andy Clark's Supersizing the Mind begins as a manifesto in which the components of an embodied theory of mind are carefully moved into place, proceeds to a defense of these components from recent critical attacks, and ends with words of caution to those who would seek to extract too much from the embodied perspective. Readers unfamiliar with Clark's earlier works are likely to find the result dazzling -- an exciting, novel, and coherent conception of the mind that dares one to abandon nearly eve…Read more
  • Book Review (review)
    Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 3 (1): 172-175. 2012.
  •  73
    Evolution Without Adaptation?
    with Robert Richardson
    Metascience 18 (2): 319-323. 2009.
  •  43
    Behavior, ISO functionalism, and psychology
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (2): 191-209. 1994.
  •  276
    Epiphenomenalism - the do's and the don 'ts'
    In G. Wolters & Peter K. Machamer (eds.), Studies in Causality: Historical and Contemporary, University of Pittsburgh Press. 2007.
    When philosophers defend epiphenomenalist doctrines, they often do so by way of a priori arguments. Here we suggest an empirical approach that is modeled on August Weismann
  •  157
    Against proportionality
    with E. Sober
    Analysis 72 (1): 89-93. 2012.
    A statement of the form ‘C caused E’ obeys the requirement of proportionality precisely when C says no more than what is necessary to bring about E. The thesis that causal statements must obey this requirement might be given a semantic or a pragmatic justification. We use the idea that causal claims are contrastive to criticize both
  •  9
    Arguing About the Mind (edited book)
    Routledge. 2007.
    _Arguing About the Mind_ is an accessible, engaging introduction to the core questions in the philosophy of mind. This collection offers a selection of thought-provoking articles that examine a broad range of issues from the mind and body relation to animal and artificial intelligence. Topics addressed include: the problem of consciousness; the nature of the mind; the relationship between the mind, body and world; the notion of selfhood; pathologies and behavioural problems; animal, machine and …Read more
  •  11
    Responses to critics
    with Thomas Polger
    Philosophical Psychology 31 (3): 446-457. 2018.
  •  40
    In defense of interventionist solutions to exclusion
    with Thomas W. Polger and Reuben Stern
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 68 51-57. 2018.
  •  13
    Mechanism or Bust? Explanation in Psychology
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. 2016.
  •  28
    Reduction redux
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 68 10-19. 2018.
  • Representational Content in Cognitive Psychology
    Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania. 1992.
    Against Stich's recommendation that we purge cognitive psychology of content I argue that ascriptions of representational content are both scientifically legitimate and essential to the continuing success of the cognitive sciences. Yet it is not the ordinary folk notion of content that informs many of these sciences, e.g. experimental cognitive psychology, cognitive ethology, and theory of perception. I develop an approach to representation that builds upon a Dretske-style analysis of representa…Read more
  •  4
    Saving the Phenomenal
    PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 5. 1999.
    Qualitative states are no threat to physicalism. They have a causal effect upon the world in virtue of their qualitative nature. This effect is exploited in biological mechanisms for representing the world. Representation requires differential responsiveness to different perceived properties of things. Qualia are taken to be tagged properties of internal representation models. These properties are properties for-the-organism. Such for-the-organism properties are to be expected in beings which pe…Read more
  •  35
    Adapted Minds
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (Supplement): 85-101. 2001.
    Minds are obscure things. This is especially obvious and especially onerous to those interested in understanding the mind. One way to begin an investigation of mind, given its abstruseness, is to explore the implications of something we believe must be true of minds. This is the approach I take in this paper. Whatever uncertainties we have about the mind, it’s a safe bet that the mind is an adaptation. So, I begin with this truth about minds: minds are the product of evolution by natural selecti…Read more
  •  4
    Last year, as some of you may recall, I took it upon my chairly shoulders to solve the problem of causation, where this problem can be stated this way: What is causation? According to the analysis I offered, C is a cause of E if and only if C makes E happen. I am happy to report that, in the year since delivering this account of causation, no objections have arisen. The critics have been silenced. Indeed, my colleague Dan Hausman, the Herbert Simon Professor of Philosophy, reports that he is no …Read more
  •  2
    On this, the 97th anniversary of the year of his birth, thoughts turn naturally to Willard Van Orman Quine. Quine, known as ‚ÄòVan‚Äô to his friends but ‚ÄòThat putz with the beret‚Äô to everyone else, was one of the great systematists of the last century. The range of topics he addressed is awesome: epistemology, confirmation, philosophical logic, set theory, analyticity, modality, and, perhaps most familiarly, the indeterminacy of translation. My focus in this, my final and most challenging ad…Read more