•  55
    Letters to the Editor
    with Sanford G. Thatcher, James S. Stramel, Heather Blair, David Christensen, Ronald De Sousa, Timothy F. Murphy, Harold J. Dumain, Joseph A. Grispino, Todd Volker, Anto Knežević, and Karen M. Kuss
    Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 68 (5). 1995.
    A letter protesting the publication of a homophobic rant in the Proceedings of the APA.
  •  2
    I maintain that Leibniz's distinction between 'organic machines of nature' and the artificial machine that we produce cannot be adequately understood simply in terms of differing orders of structural complexity. It is not simply that natural machines, having been made by God, are infinitely more complex than the products of our own artifice. Instead, Leibniz's distinction is a thoroughly metaphysical one, having its root in his belief that every natural machine is a corporeal substance, the unit…Read more
  • I maintain that dispositions are not causally relevant to their manifestations. The paper begins with a negative argument, which is intended to undermine David Lewis’ recent attempt to restore causal potency to dispositions by identifying their instantiations with the instantiations of their causal bases. I conclude that Lewis’ attempt to vindicate the causal credentials of dispositions meets obstacles that are analogous to those that beset Donald Davidson’s attempt to accord a causal role to th…Read more
  •  1
    Persons and Causes: The Metaphysics of Free Will (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 57 (1): 170-171. 2003.
    This excellent book contributes to the debate about freedom in analytic philosophy. While O’Connor does not make matters easy for the reader by often sacrificing clarity for conciseness, he presents an ingenious defense of agent causation.
  •  971
    The Know-How Response to Jackson’s Knowledge Argument
    Journal of Philosophical Research 24 (January): 113-26. 1999.
    I defend Frank Jackson's knowledge argument against physicalism in the philosophy of mind from a criticism that has been advanced by Laurence Nemirow and David Lewis. According to their criticism, what Mary lacked when she was in her black and white room was a set of abilities; she did not know how to recognize or imagine certain types of experience from a first-person perspective. Her subsequent discovery of what it is like to experience redness amounts to no more than her acquisition of these …Read more
  •  269
    After briefly summarizing Rosenthal’s higher-order thought theory of consciousness, I consider difficulties that arise for his account from the possibility of an ‘empty HOT’, a HOT that occurs in the absence of the mental state that it purports to represent. I criticize Rosenthal’s responses to this objection, and conclude that the difficulties that derive from the possibility of such misrepresentation are fatal to his HOT-theory
  •  354
    An Idle Threat: Epiphenomenalism Exposed
    Dissertation, University of Toronto. 1999.
    In this doctoral dissertation I consider, and reject, the claim that recent varieties of non-reductive physicalism, particularly Donald Davidson's anomalous monism, are committed to a new kind of epiphenomenalism. Non-reductive physicalists identify each mental event with a physical event, and are thus entitled to the belief that mental events are causes, since the physical events with which they are held to be identical are causes. However, Jaegwon Kim, Ernest Sosa and others have argued that i…Read more
  •  1461
    Kim on overdetermination, exclusion, and nonreductive physicalism
    In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation, Imprint Academic. 2003.
    An analysis and rebuttal of Jaegwon Kim's reasons for taking nonreductive physicalism to entail the causal irrelevance of mental features to physical phenomena, particularly the behaviour of human bodies.
  •  257
    In this paper, a criticism of representationalist views of consciousness is developed. These views are often supported by an appeal to a transparency thesis about conscious states, according to which an experience does not itself possess the qualities of which it makes one conscious. The experience makes one conscious of these qualities by representing them, not by instantiating them. Against this, it is argued that some of the properties of which one is conscious are had by the conscious state …Read more
  •  62
    Are Mental Properties Causally Relevant?
    Dialogue 40 (3): 509-528. 2001.
    Nonreductivist physicalists are increasingly regarded as unwitting epiphenomenalists, since their refusal to reduce mental traits to physical properties allegedly implies that even if there are mental causes, none of them produces its effects by virtue of its being a type of mental state. I examine and reject a reply to this concern that relies on the idea of ​​"tropes". I take the failure of the tropes-based model of causal relevance to illustrate a confusion at the heart of the notion of causa…Read more
  •  395
    Tye's criticism of the knowledge argument
    Dialogue 34 (4): 713-26. 1995.
    A defense of Frank Jackson's knowledge argument from an objection raised by Michael Tye , according to which Mary acquires no new factual knowledge when she first sees red but, instead, merely comes to know old facts in a new way