•  8
    The philosophical content of this work revolves around the following metaphor: Suppose an organism is growing within your body and spreading nano-sized tentacles through your muscles and into your heart, lungs, bowels, and brain; and that this parasite binds with your organs, co-opts the organs for its own use, and more, makes your organs dependent upon the parasite for their survival and functioning. Suppose destroying any tendril of the parasite causes it to infiltrate the body faster, to cons…Read more
  •  25
    The Sleeping Beauty Problem is a polarizing thought experiment involving a fair coin toss, memory erasure and temporal uncertainty. Despite its simplicity there is no agreed upon solution. In this work I put forward a set of arguments that support the so-called Halfer or 1/2 solution to the problem, while undermining the competing Thirder or 1/3 solution. In analyzing Elga’s original argument for the 1/3 solution, I bring to light a subtle but clear contradiction in his reasoning using temporal …Read more
  •  100
    Von Mises’ wine/water paradox has served as a foundation for detractors of the Principle of Indifference and logical probability. Mikkelson recently proposed a first solution, and here several additional solutions to the paradox are explained. Learning from the wine/water paradox, I will argue that it is meaningless to consider a particular probability apart from the sample space containing the probabilistic event in question.
  •  97
    Many cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, and philosophers of science consider it uncontroversial that the brain processes information. In this work we broadly consider the types of experimental evidence that would support this claim, and find that although physical features of specific brain areas selectively covary with external stimuli or abilities, there is no direct evidence supporting an information processing function of any particular brain area.
  •  32
    Informational ontologies more and more envelop the natural sciences. The growth of communication technologies and social networking characterize our age. Instead of seeing our world solely as matter in motion, as did Democritus, we now imagine living in a world composed of flowing information. Bits of information have since replaced atoms of matter, and the space-time movement of bits is now called communication. This work is partly a criticism of the materialism and idealism that gave birt…Read more
  •  71
    It is a common tactic, going back to the beginnings of religion and philosophy, to presume that we are enveloped in a world of untruth and illusion, thereby fueling our movement toward truth. In more modern times, Descartes demonstrates this process clearly with his Meditations. This work extends the Cartesian skeptical position by challenging the concept of illusion itself, asking those who have ever called something ‘an illusion’ to question the meaning of these assertions. This broader skep…Read more
  •  102
    Cognitive neuroscientists use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure properties of a participant’s brain during a cognitive task. These imaging results are transformed into compelling pictures of brain activity using statistical models. I will argue that, for a broad class of experiments, neuroimaging experts have a tendency to over‐interpret the functional significance of their data. This over‐interpretation appears to follow from contentious theoretical assumptions about the m…Read more
  •  70
    A randomly selected number from the infinite set of positive integers—the so-called de Finetti lottery—will not be a finite number. I argue that it is still possible to conceive of an infinite lottery, but that an individual lottery outcome is knowledge about set-membership and not element identification. Unexpectedly, it appears that a uniform distribution over a countably infinite set has much in common with a continuous probability density over an uncountably infinite set.
  •  57
    Many of us consider it uncontroversial that information processing is a natural function of the brain. Since functions in biology are only won through empirical investigation, there should be a significant body of unambiguous evidence that supports this functional claim. Before we can interpret the evidence, however, we must ask what it means for a biological system to process information. Although a concept of information is generally accepted in the neurosciences without critique, in other bio…Read more
  •  56
    In studying causation, many examples are presented assuming that determinism holds in the world of the example such as the notoriously difficult to resolve preemptive and preventative situations. We show that for deterministic examples that this conditional preemptive situation is either (i)vacuously true, (ii)contradictory, or (iii) implies indeterminism. Along the way we formulate a specific block space-time definition of determinism, and suggest that commonsense causation theories need focus …Read more