•  362
    Four Meta-methods for the Study of Qualia
    Erkenntnis 84 (1): 145-167. 2019.
    In this paper, we describe four broad ‘meta-methods’ employed in scientific and philosophical research of qualia. These are the theory-centred metamethod, the property-centred meta-method, the argument-centred meta-method, and the event-centred meta-method. Broadly speaking, the theory-centred meta-method is interested in the role of qualia as some theoretical entities picked out by our folk psychological theories; the property-centred meta-method is interested in some metaphysical properties of…Read more
  •  344
    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
  •  255
    On Characterizing Metaphysical Naturalism
    Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind 1 232-260. 2021.
    The disciplinary characterisation (DC) is the most popular approach to defining metaphysical naturalism and physicalism. It defines metaphysical naturalism with reference to scientific theories and defines physicalism with reference to physical theories, and suggests that every entity that exists is a posited entity of these theories. DC has been criticised for its inability to solve Hempel’s dilemma and a list of problems alike. In this paper, I propose and defend a novel version of DC that can…Read more
  •  240
    Alien worlds, alien laws, and the Humean conceivability argument
    with David Braddon-Mitchell and Andrew James Latham
    Ratio 33 (1): 1-13. 2020.
    Monism is our name for a range of views according to which the connection between dispositions and their categorical bases is intimate and necessary, or on which there are no categorical bases at all. In contrast, Dualist views hold that the connection between dispositions and their categorical bases is distant and contingent. This paper is a defence of Monism against an influential conceivability argument in favour of Dualism. The argument suggests that the apparent possibility of causal behavi…Read more
  •  237
    Russellian Physicalism and its Dilemma
    Philosophical Studies 178 2043-2062. 2021.
    Russellian monism – an influential doctrine proposed by Russell (1927/1992) – is roughly the view that the natural sciences can only ever tell us about the causal, dispositional, and structural properties of physical entities and not about their categorical properties, and, moreover, that our qualia are constituted by categorical properties. Recently, Stoljar (2001a, 2001b), Strawson (2008), Montero (2010, 2015), Alter and Nagasawa (2012), and Chalmers (2015) have attempted to develop this doctr…Read more
  •  228
    The Validation of Consciousness Meters: The Idiosyncratic and Intransitive Sequence of Conscious Levels
    with Andrew James Latham, Cameron Ellis, and David Braddon-Mitchell
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (3-4): 103-111. 2017.
    In this paper we describe a few interrelated issues for validating theories that posit levels of consciousness. First, validating levels of consciousness requires consensus about the ordering of conscious states, which cannot be easily achieved. This problem is particularly severe if we believe conscious states can be irreducibly smeared over time. Second, the relationship between conscious states is probably sometimes intransitive, which means levels of consciousness will not be amenable to a s…Read more
  •  226
    Emergentism and the Contingent Solubility of Salt
    Theoria 84 (4): 309-324. 2018.
    Alexander Bird (2001; 2002; 2007) offers a powerful argument showing that, regardless of whether necessitarianism or contingentism about laws is true, salt necessarily dissolves in water. The argument is that the same laws of nature that are necessary for the constitution of salt necessitate the solubility of salt. This paper shows that Bird’s argument faces a serious objection if the possibility of emergentism – in particular, C. D. Broad’s account – is taken into account. The idea is (roughly)…Read more
  •  72
    The Possibility of Emergent Conscious Causal Powers
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    Lewtas [2017] recently articulated an argument claiming that emergent conscious causal powers are impossible. In developing his argument, Lewtas makes several assumptions about emergence, phenomenal consciousness, categorical properties, and causation. We argue that there are plausible alternatives to these assumptions. Thus, the proponent of emergent conscious causal powers can escape Lewtas’s challenge.
  •  53
    Humility Regarding Intrinsic Properties
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2021.
    The Humility Thesis is a persistent thesis in contemporary metaphysics. It is known by a variety of names, including, but not limited to, Humility, Intrinsic Humility, Kantian Humility, Kantian Physicalism, Intrinsic Ignorance, Categorical Ignorance, Irremediable Ignorance, and Noumenalism. According to the thesis, we human beings, and any knowers that share our general ways of knowing, are irremediably ignorant of a certain class of properties that are intrinsic to material entities … Continue …Read more