•  59
    Noûs, EarlyView.
  •  1
    Reviews (review)
    with Allison Barnes, Cara Spencer, and Gavin B. Sullivan
    Philosophical Psychology 20 (6): 815-833. 2007.
  •  13
    The merits of higher-order thought theories
    Trans/Form/Ação 41 (s1): 31-48. 2018.
    Over many years and in many publications David Rosenthal has developed, defended and applied his justly well-known higher-order thought theory of consciousness.2 In this paper I explain the theory, then provide a brief history of a major objection to it. I suggest that this objection is ultimately ineffectual, but that behind it lies a reason to look beyond Rosenthal's theory to another sort of HOT theory. I then offer my own HOT theory as a suitable alternative, before concluding in a final sec…Read more
  •  41
    Personhood, consciousness, and god: how to be a proper pantheist
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 85 (1): 77-98. 2019.
    In this paper I develop a theory of personhood which leaves open the possibility of construing the universe as a person. If successful, it removes one bar to endorsing pantheism. I do this by examining a rising school of thought on personhood, on which persons, or selves, are understood as identical to episodes of consciousness. Through a critique of this experiential approach to personhood, I develop a theory of self as constituted of qualitative mental contents, but where these contents are al…Read more
  •  3
    The Knowledge Argument (edited book)
    Cambridge University Press. 2019.
    Frank Jackson's knowledge argument imagines a super-smart scientist, Mary, forced to investigate the mysteries of human colour vision using only black and white resources. Can she work out what it is like to see red from brain-science and physics alone? The argument says no: Mary will only really learn what red looks like when she actually sees it. Something is therefore missing from the science of the mind, and from the 'physicalist' picture of the world based on science. This powerful and cont…Read more
  •  18
    Neutral Monism
    Philosophy Now 121 9-11. 2017.
  •  234
    Mental Chemistry1: Combination for Panpsychists
    Dialectica 66 (1): 137-166. 2012.
    Panpsychism, an increasingly popular competitor to physicalism as a theory of mind, faces a famous difficulty, the ‘combination problem’. This is the difficulty of understanding the composition of a conscious mind by parts which are themselves taken to be phenomenally qualitied. I examine the combination problem, and I attempt to solve it. There are a few distinct difficulties under the banner of ‘the combination problem’, and not all of them need worry panpsychists. After homing in on the genui…Read more
  •  2
    Reviews: Reviews (review)
    Philosophy 85 (3): 413-418. 2010.
  •  88
    Consciousness and The Prospects of Physicalism. By Derk Pereboom
    Philosophical Quarterly 63 (253): 824-827. 2013.
    © 2013 The Editors of The Philosophical QuarterlyThis is a very good, very helpful book. In describing two possible outgrowths of contemporary physicalism, Pereboom performs a feat of time‐travel: he takes us forward to see the fruits ultimately to be produced by current seeds of thought. One of these branches—based on the ‘qualitative inaccuracy’ thesis—almost represents a parody of prevailing physicalist epistemic treatments of consciousness, to the extent that I can't shake the feeling that t…Read more
  •  13
    Adaptiveness, law-of-effect theory, and control-system theory
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (2): 253-253. 2000.
    It is suggested that the control-system theory of Domjan et al. restates in engineering vocabulary the primary thesis of law-of-effect theories: namely, that classical-conditioning arrangements may involve CR-contingent reinforcement. The research cited by Domjan et al. is relevant to the idea that classical conditioning is an adaptive process, but is irrelevant to their control-system theory.
  •  69
    This Article does not have an abstract
  •  690
    There Is No Argument that the Mind Extends
    Journal of Philosophy 108 (2): 100-108. 2011.
    There is no Argument that the Mind Extends On the basis of two argumentative examples plus their 'parity principle', Clark and Chalmers argue that mental states like beliefs can extend into the environment. I raise two problems for the argument. The first problem is that it is more difficult than Clark and Chalmers think to set up the Tetris example so that application of the parity principle might render it a case of extended mind. The second problem is that, even when appropriate versions of t…Read more
  •  186
    Being realistic - why physicalism may entail panexperientialism
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (10-11): 40-52. 2006.
    In this paper I first examine two important assumptions underlying the argument that physicalism entails panpsychism. These need unearthing because opponents in the literature distinguish themselves from Strawson in the main by rejecting one or the other. Once they have been stated, and something has been said about the positions that reject them, the onus of argument becomes clear: the assumptions require careful defence. I believe they are true, in fact, but their defence is a large project th…Read more
  •  35
    Review of Daniel N. Robinson, Consciousness and Mental Life (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (1). 2009.
  •  80
    Quotational higher-order thought theory
    Philosophical Studies 172 (10): 2705-2733. 2015.
    Due to their reliance on constitutive higher-order representing to generate the qualities of which the subject is consciously aware, I argue that the major existing higher-order representational theories of consciousness insulate us from our first-order sensory states. In fact on these views we are never properly conscious of our sensory states at all. In their place I offer a new higher-order theory of consciousness, with a view to making us suitably intimate with our sensory states in experien…Read more
  •  357
    Taking their motivation from the perceived failure of the reductive physicalist project concerning consciousness, panpsychists ascribe subjectivity to fundamental material entities in order to account for macro-consciousness. But there exists an unresolved tension within the mainstream panpsychist position, the seriousness of which has yet to be appreciated. I capture this tension as a dilemma, and offer advice to panpsychists on how to resolve it. The dilemma is as follows: Panpsychists take th…Read more
  •  573
    Chalmers has provided a dilemmatic master argument against all forms of the phenomenal concept strategy. This paper explores a position that evades Chalmers's argument, dubbed Type Bb: it is for Type B physicalists who embrace horn b of Chalmers's dilemma. The discussion concludes that Chalmers fails to show any incoherence in the position of a Type B physicalist who depends on the phenomenal concept strategy.
  •  350
    Reading Tye’s new book reminded me of slowly sipping a good specimen of a dry vodka Martini. In both cases much is accomplished by the skilful assembly of only a few key ingredients. I don’t really like dry vodka Martinis, though, and similarly I found many of the thoughts offered by Consciousness Revisited to be too bitter to swallow. A sophisticated piece of work, however, it certainly is
  •  49
    with Allison Barnes, Cara Spencer, and Gavin B. Sullivan
    Philosophical Psychology 20 (6). 2007.
    This Article does not have an abstract
  •  3693
    Why the Ability Hypothesis is best forgotten
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (2-3): 74-97. 2009.
    According to the knowledge argument, physicalism fails because when physically omniscient Mary first sees red, her gain in phenomenal knowledge involves a gain in factual knowledge. Thus not all facts are physical facts. According to the ability hypothesis, the knowledge argument fails because Mary only acquires abilities to imagine, remember and recognise redness, and not new factual knowledge. I argue that reducing Mary’s new knowledge to abilities does not affect the issue of whether she also…Read more
  •  840
    Mind under Matter
    In David Skrbina (ed.), Mind that Abides, Benjamins. 2009.
    Panpsychism is an eminently sensible view of the world and its relation to mind. If God is a metaphysician, and regardless of the actual truth or falsity of panpsychism, it is certain that he regards the theory as an honest and elegant competitor on the field of ontologies. And if God didn’t create a panpsychist world, then there’s a fair chance that he wishes he had done so, or will do next time around. The difficulties panpsychism faces, then, are not metaphysical ones. They are, instead, difficu…Read more
  •  1
    Phenomenal Qualities: Sense, Perception, and Consciousness (edited book)
    Oxford University Press UK. 2015.
    What are phenomenal qualities, the qualities of conscious experiences? Are phenomenal qualities subjective, belonging to inner mental episodes of some kind, or should they be seen as objective, belonging in some way to the physical things in the world around us? Are they physical properties at all? And to what extent do experiences represent the things around us, or the states of our own bodies? Fourteen original papers, written by a team of distinguished philosophers and psychologists, explore …Read more