•  24
    A role for representations in inflexible behavior
    Biology and Philosophy 35 (4): 1-18. 2020.
    Representationalists have routinely expressed skepticism about the idea that inflexible responses to stimuli are to be explained in representational terms. Representations are supposed to be more than just causal mediators in the chain of events stretching from stimulus to response, and it is difficult to see how the sensory states driving reflexes are doing more than playing the role of causal intermediaries. One popular strategy for distinguishing representations from mere causal mediators is …Read more
  •  45
    Representation in Cognitive Science, by SheaNicholas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. 292.
  •  35
    The Senses as Signalling Systems
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (3): 519-531. 2018.
    A central goal of philosophy of perception is to uncover the nature of sensory capacities. Ideally, we would like an account that specifies what conditions need to be met in order for an organism to count as having the capacity to sense or perceive its environment. And on the assumption that sensory states are the kinds of things that can be accurate or inaccurate, a further goal of philosophy of perception is to identify the accuracy conditions for sensory states. In this paper I recommend a no…Read more
  •  21
    Aristotle on the Sense-Organs
    Philosophical Review 109 (1): 89. 2000.
    Aristotle’s philosophy of mind is often understood as anticipating present-day functionalist approaches to the mental. In Aristotle on the Sense-Organs Johansen argues at length that such interpretations of what Aristotle has to say about the senses are untenable. First, Aristotle does not allow that the matter of a sense-organ can be identified without reference to the form or function of the organ, so sense-organs are not compositionally plastic. Second, Aristotle’s conception of sense-percept…Read more
  •  147
    Sensory malfunctions, limitations, and trade-offs
    Synthese 195 (4): 1705-1713. 2018.
    Teleological accounts of sensory normativity treat normal functioning for a species as a standard: sensory error involves departure from normal functioning for the species, i.e. sensory malfunction. Straightforward reflection on sensory trade-offs reveals that normal functioning for a species can exhibit failures of accuracy. Acknowledging these failures of accuracy is central to understanding the adaptations of a species. To make room for these errors we have to go beyond the teleological frame…Read more
  •  42
    The Platonic Approach to Sense-Perception
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 22 (1): 1-15. 2005.
  •  28
    Democritus against Reducing Sensible Qualities
    Ancient Philosophy 19 (2): 201-215. 1999.
  •  16
    Aristotle's Metaphysics. Aristotle, Joe Sachs
    Isis 92 (1): 153-154. 2001.
  •  701
    Are color experiences representational?
    Philosophical Studies 166 (1): 1-20. 2013.
    The dominant view among philosophers of perception is that color experiences, like color judgments, are essentially representational: as part of their very nature color experiences possess representational contents which are either accurate or inaccurate. My starting point in assessing this view is Sydney Shoemaker’s familiar account of color perception. After providing a sympathetic reconstruction of his account, I show how plausible assumptions at the heart of Shoemaker’s theory make trouble f…Read more
  • Third-Century Peripatetics on Vision
    Rutgers University Studies in Classical Humanities 12 355-362. 2004.
  •  654
    Everyday Thinking about Bodily Sensations
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3): 523-534. 2010.
    In the opening section of this paper we spell out an account of our na ve view of bodily sensations that is of historical and philosophical significance. This account of our shared view of bodily sensations captures common ground between Descartes, who endorses an error theory regarding our everyday thinking about bodily sensations, and Berkeley, who is more sympathetic with common sense. In the second part of the paper we develop an alternative to this account and discuss what is at stake in de…Read more
  •  27
    Reid on colour
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 10 (2). 2002.
    This Article does not have an abstract
  •  1568
    Burge’s Defense of Perceptual Content
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (3): 556-573. 2014.
    A central question, if not the central question, of philosophy of perception is whether sensory states have a nature similar to thoughts about the world, whether they are essentially representational. According to the content view, at least some of our sensory states are, at their core, representations with contents that are either accurate or inaccurate. Tyler Burge’s Origins of Objectivity is the most sustained and sophisticated defense of the content view to date. His defense of the view is p…Read more
  •  15
    Appetitive Desire in Later Plato
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 18 (3): 227-237. 2001.
  •  3587
    The Rational/Non-Rational Distinction in Plato's Republic
    Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 36 179-197. 2009.
    An attempt to show that Plato has a unified approach to the rationality of belief and the rationality of desire, and that his defense of that approach is a powerful one.
  •  178
    Aristotle on the sense-organs
    Philosophical Review 109 (1): 89-92. 2000.
    Aristotle’s philosophy of mind is often understood as anticipating present-day functionalist approaches to the mental. In Aristotle on the Sense-Organs Johansen argues at length that such interpretations of what Aristotle has to say about the senses are untenable. First, Aristotle does not allow that the matter of a sense-organ can be identified without reference to the form or function of the organ, so sense-organs are not compositionally plastic. Second, Aristotle’s conception of sense-percept…Read more
  •  421
    Reid's Rejection of Intentionalism
    Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 4 245-263. 2008.
  •  707
    Visual Prominence and Representationalism
    Philosophical Studies 164 (2): 405-418. 2013.
    A common objection to representationalism is that a representationalist view of phenomenal character cannot accommodate the effects that shifts in covert attention have on visual phenomenology: covert attention can make items more visually prominent than they would otherwise be without altering the content of visual experience. Recent empirical work on attention casts doubt on previous attempts to advance this type of objection to representationalism and it also points the way to an alternative …Read more
  •  1
    It is natural to suppose that honey tastes the way it does because it is sweet. Democritus, Plato and Aristotle all agree that this explanation is superficial and lacks causal depth; they attempt to explain gustatory phenomena by invoking explanatorily fundamental features of the world. As they work out their causal stories, do they give up on the common-sense explanation of why honey tastes the way it does? In other words, do they deny that sweetness and other sensible qualities are causally ef…Read more