•  31
    A dynamical systems approach to causation
    with Balázs Gyenis, Gábor Hofer-Szabó, and Gergely Kertész
    Synthese 1-23. forthcoming.
    Our approach aims at accounting for causal claims in terms of how the physical states of the underlying dynamical system evolve with time. Causal claims assert connections between two sets of physicals states—their truth depends on whether the two sets in question are genuinely connected by time evolution such that physical states from one set evolve with time into the states of the other set. We demonstrate the virtues of our approach by showing how it is able to account for typical causes, cau…Read more
  •  3
    Pre-Cueing Effects: Attention or Mental Imagery?
    Frontiers in Psychology 8. 2017.
    We argue that pre-cueing studies show that perception is cognitively penetrated via mental imagery. It is important to be clear about the relation between attention and mental imagery here. We do not want to question the role of attention in pre-cueing studies. After all, it is attention that is being pre-cued. The pre-cue draws attention to certain features, which via top-down connections induces mental imagery for the pre-cued properties, which, then, after stimulus-presentation, interacts wit…Read more
  •  2
    Beyond the REM-NREM Dichotomy: A Multidimensional Approach to Understanding Dreaming
    with G. Nemeth
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (11-12): 13-33. 2018.
    Traditionally, dream research focuses on accounting for typical psychological features of dream experiences characteristic of different sleep stages in terms of the global physiological features of the sleep stages in question. However, as subtle differences got into the forefront of enquiry, as, for example, in questions concerning between-stage similarities and within-stage differences of mentations, this methodology became insufficient. What recent findings and theoretical developments sugges…Read more
  •  9
    Attention and Aesthetic Experience
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (9-10): 66-87. 2016.
    This paper critically analyses a recent attempt to account for what is special about aesthetic experiences in terms of how one deploys one's attentional resources, i.e. how so-called aesthetic attention is exercised. While the paper defends this general framework of thinking about aesthetic experiences, it argues that the specific characterization of aesthetic attention that has been proposed is unsatisfactory, since it is incompatible with recent empirical findings on how the allocation of atte…Read more
  •  16
    Are higher mechanistic levels causally autonomous?
    with Gergely Kertesz
    Philosophy of Science. forthcoming.
    This paper provides a detailed analysis and explores the prospects of the arguments for higher-level causal autonomy available for the proponents of the mechanistic framework. Three different arguments are distinguished. After clarifying previously raised worries with regard to the first two arguments, the paper focuses on the newest version of the third argument that has recently been revived by William Bechtel. By using Bechtel’s own case study, it is shown that not even reference to constrain…Read more
  •  56
    Attention Is Amplification, Not Selection
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. forthcoming.
    We argue that recent empirical findings and theoretical models shed new light on the nature of attention. According to the resulting amplification view, attentional phenomena can be unified at the neural level as the consequence of the amplification of certain input signals of attention-independent perceptual computations. This way of identifying the core realizer of attention evades standard criticisms often raised against sub-personal accounts of attention. Moreover, this approach also reframe…Read more
  •  5
    Multidimensional Models of Degrees and Levels of Consciousness
    with Morten Overgaard
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 20 (10): 715-716. 2016.
  •  19
    A Multi‐Factor Account of Degrees of Awareness
    with Morten Overgaard
    Cognitive Science 42 (6): 1833-1859. 2018.
    In this paper we argue that awareness comes in degrees, and we propose a novel multi-factor account that spans both subjective experiences and perceptual representations. At the subjective level, we argue that conscious experiences can be degraded by being fragmented, less salient, too generic, or flash-like. At the representational level, we identify corresponding features of perceptual representations—their availability for working memory, intensity, precision, and stability—and argue that the…Read more
  • Redukció és emergencia
    Magyar Filozofiai Szemle 4. 2004.
  •  28
    The sensory basis of the epistemic gap: an alternative to phenomenal concepts
    with Zoltán Jakab
    Philosophical Studies 173 (8): 2105-2124. 2016.
    The phenomenal character of conscious experience has long been regarded as the major problem for physicalist accounts of consciousness. In recent years, defenders of physicalism have typically been relying on the so-called Phenomenal Concept Strategy to avoid dualism. In this paper, we argue with PCS that cognitive-physicalistic explanations can account for the peculiarities of phenomenal character. However, we think that the conceptual features PCS investigates are not the genuine causes of the…Read more
  •  374
    We present a cognitive-physicalist account of phenomenal consciousness. We argue that phenomenal concepts do not differ from other types of concepts. When explaining the peculiarities of conscious experience, the right place to look at is sensory/ perceptual representations and their interaction with general conceptual structures. We utilize Jerry Fodor’s psycho- semantic theory to formulate our view. We compare and contrast our view with that of Murat Aydede and Güven Güzeldere, who, using Dr…Read more
  •  45
    This paper focuses on two issues related to ontological emergence: whether it is a coherent notion, and its relation to the doctrine of physicalism. First, it is argued that ontological emergence is best understood as a thesis relying on three fundamental tenets claiming that emergents are basic, genuinely causal, and determined by the physical realm. The paper elucidates the roles of these tenets, and introduces an interpretation that is able to resolve any apparent contradiction between the te…Read more
  •  22
    Although having conscious experiences is a fundamental feature of our everyday life, our understanding of what consciousness is is very limited. According to one of the main conclusions of contemporary philosophy of mind, the qualitative aspect of consciousness seems to resist functionalisation, i.e. it cannot be adequately defined solely in terms of functional or causal roles, which leads to an epistemic gap between phenomenal and scientific knowledge. Phenomenal qualities, then, seem to be, in…Read more
  •  615
    In contemporary literature, the fact that there is negative causation is the primary motivation for rejecting the physical connection view, and arguing for alternative accounts of causation. In this paper we insist that such a conclusion is too fast. We present two frameworks, which help the proponent of the physical connection view to resist the anti-connectionist conclusion. According to the first framework, there are positive causal claims, which co-refer with at least some negative causal cl…Read more
  •  101
    The present paper surveys the three most prominent accounts in contemporary debates over how sound reduction should be executed. The classical Nagelian model of reduction derives the laws of the target-theory from the laws of the base theory plus some auxiliary premises (so-called bridge laws) connecting the entities of the target and the base theory. The functional model of reduction emphasizes the causal definitions of the target entities referring to their causal relations to base entities. T…Read more
  •  49
  •  111
    The novel approach presented in this paper accounts for the occurrence of the epistemic gap and defends physicalism against anti-physicalist arguments without relying on so-called phenomenal concepts. Instead of concentrating on conceptual features, the focus is shifted to the special characteristics of experiences themselves. To this extent, the account provided is an alternative to the Phenomenal Concept Strategy. It is argued that certain sensory representations, as accessed by higher cogniti…Read more
  •  27
    The Extended Mind Thesis (EMT) is traditionally formulated against the bedrock of functionalism, and ongoing debates are typically bogged down with questions concerning the exact relationship between EMT and different versions of functionalism. In this paper, I offer a novel ally for EMT: the new mechanistic approach to explanation. I argue that the mechanistic framework provides useful resources not just to disambiguate EMT, and to show which objections fail to pose a serious challenge, but als…Read more
  •  129
    Causation at different levels: tracking the commitments of mechanistic explanations
    with Gergely Kertész
    Biology and Philosophy 26 (3): 365-383. 2011.
    This paper tracks the commitments of mechanistic explanations focusing on the relation between activities at different levels. It is pointed out that the mechanistic approach is inherently committed to identifying causal connections at higher levels with causal connections at lower levels. For the mechanistic approach to succeed a mechanism as a whole must do the very same thing what its parts organised in a particular way do. The mechanistic approach must also utilise bridge principles connecti…Read more