• The Moral Parody Argument Against Panpsychism
    Philosophical Studies 179 (1). 2022.
    I exploit parallel considerations in the philosophy of mind and metaethics to argue that the reasoning employed in an important argument for panpsychism overgeneralizes to support an analogous position in metaethics: panmoralism. Next, I raise a number of problems for panmoralism and thereby build a case for taking the metaethical parallel to be a reductio ad absurdum of the argument for panpsychism. Finally, I contrast panmoralism with a position recently defended by Einar Duenger Bohn and argu…Read more
  • In this paper, I provide an argument for pannormism, the view according to which there are normative properties all the way down. In particular, I argue for what I call the trickling down principle, which says that if there is a metaphysically basic normative property, then, if whatever instantiates it has a ground, that ground instantiates it as well.
  • Panpsychism, The Combination Problem, and Plural Collective Properties
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2): 383-394. 2019.
    I develop and defend a version of panpsychism that avoids the combination problem by appealing to plural collective properties.
  • Varieties of Necessity
    In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility, Oxford Up. pp. 253-281. 2002.
    It is argued that there are three main forms of necessity --the metaphysical, the natural and the normative--and that none of them is reducible to the others or to any other form of necessity. In arguing for a distinctive form of natural necessity, it is necessary to refute a version of the doctrine of scientific essentialism; and in arguing for a distinctive form of normative necessity, it is necessary to refute certain traditional and contemporary versions of ethical naturalism
  • Is there a supervenience problem for robust moral realism?
    Philosophical Studies 176 (6): 1391-1408. 2019.
    The paper describes the problem for robust moral realism of explaining the supervenience of the moral on the non-moral, and examines five objections to the argument: The moral does not supervene on the descriptive, because we may owe different obligations to duplicates. If the supervenience thesis is repaired to block, it becomes trivial and easy to explain. Supervenience is a moral doctrine and should get an explanation from within normative ethics rather than metaethics. Supervenience is a con…Read more
  • What Acquaintance Teaches
    In Thomas Raleigh & Jonathan Knowles (eds.), Acquaintance: New Essays, Oxford University Press. 2019.
    In her black and white room, Mary doesn’t know what it is like to see red. Only after undergoing an experience as of something red and hence acquainting herself with red can Mary learn what it is like. But learning what it is like to see red requires more than simply becoming acquainted with it. To be acquainted with something is to know it, but such knowledge, as we argue, is object-knowledge rather than propositional-knowledge. To know what it is like one must know an appropriate propositional…Read more
  • Enlightening the fully informed
    Michael Pelczar
    Philosophical Studies 126 (1): 29-56. 2005.
    This paper develops a response to the knowledge argument against physicalism. The response is both austere, in that it does not concede the existence of non-physical information , and natural, in that it acknowledges the alethic character of phenomenal knowledge and learning. I argue that such a response has all the advantages and none of the disadvantages of existing objections to the knowledge argument. Throughout, the goal is to develop a response that is polemically effective in addition to …Read more
  • I develop a new argument against Russellian Monism about consciousness.
  • Someone who knew everything about the world’s physical nature could, apparently, suffer from ignorance about various aspects of conscious experience. Someone who knew everything about the world’s physical and mental nature could, apparently, suffer from moral ignorance. Does it follow that there are ways the world is, over and above the way it is physically or psychophysically? This paper defends a negative answer, based on a distinction between knowing the fact that p and knowing that p. This d…Read more
  • Real Definition
    Analytic Philosophy 56 (3): 189-209. 2015.
  • Revelation and physicalism
    Synthese 194 (7): 2345-2366. 2017.
    Discussion of the challenge that acquaintance with the nature of experience poses to physicalism.
  • The aim of this paper is to assess the relationship between anti-physicalist arguments in the philosophy of mind and anti-naturalist arguments in metaethics, and to show how the literature on the mind-body problem can inform metaethics. Among the questions we will consider are: (1) whether a moral parallel of the knowledge argument can be constructed to create trouble for naturalists, (2) the relationship between such a "Moral Knowledge Argument" and the familiar Open Question Argument, and (3) …Read more
  • I argue for three claims. First, there is a strong argument for identity physicalism (Lewis, Sider, Dorr) over dualism. It does achieve the physicalist dream of a maximally simple and uniform view of reality. However, there are also strong arguments against identity physicalism concerning the special nature of conscious experiences. Second, although nonidentity "ground" physicalism (Campbell, Johnston, Schaffer) is a possible fallback position, there is no reason to prefer to property dualism. I…Read more
  • To Be F Is To Be G
    Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1): 39-134. 2016.
    This paper is an investigation of the general logic of "identifications", claims such as 'To be a vixen is to be a female fox', 'To be human is to be a rational animal', and 'To be just is to help one's friends and harm one's enemies', many of which are of great importance to philosophers. I advocate understanding such claims as expressing higher-order identity, and discuss a variety of different general laws which they might be thought to obey. [New version: Nov. 4th, 2016]