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Philosophy of Mind

Edited by David Bourget and David Chalmers
Assistant editor: Chang Liu (University of Western Ontario)
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  1. added 2015-02-01
    Bence Nanay (forthcoming). The Role of Imagination in Decision-Making. Mind and Language.
    The psychological mechanism of decision-making has traditionally been modeled with the help of belief-desire psychology: the agent has some desires (or other pro-attitudes) and some background beliefs and deciding between two possible actions is a matter of comparing the probability of the satisfaction of these desires given the background beliefs in the case of the performance of each action. There is a wealth of recent empirical findings about how we actually make decisions that seems to be in conflict with this (...)
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  2. added 2015-02-01
    Bence Nanay (2014). Cognitive Penetration and the Gallery of Indiscernibles. Frontiers in Psychology 5:1527.
    Arthur Danto’s gallery of indiscernibles thought experiment is supposed to show that the attribution of some aesthetically relevant properties does not supervene on anything perceptual. I argue that this argument rests on false assumptions about the nature of perception: namely, that perception is cognitively impenetrable. If perception is cognitively penetrable, and we have plenty of evidence that it is, Danto’s argument fails to go through.
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  3. added 2015-01-31
    Gregg Caruso (forthcoming). If Consciousness is Necessary for Moral Responsibility, Then People Are Less Responsible Than We Think. Journal of Consciousness Studies.
  4. added 2015-01-31
    Gregg Caruso (forthcoming). Précis of Neil Levy’s Consciousness and Moral Responsibility. Journal of Consciousness Studies.
  5. added 2015-01-31
    José Eduardo Porcher (2014). Is Self-Deception Pretense? Manuscrito 37 (2):291-332.
    I assess Tamar Gendler's (2007) account of self-deception according to which its characteristic state is not belief, but imaginative pretense. After giving an overview of the literature and presenting the conceptual puzzles engendered by the notion of self-deception, I introduce Gendler's account, which emerges as a rival to practically all extant accounts of self-deception. I object to it by first arguing that her argument for abandoning belief as the characteristic state of self-deception conflates the state of belief and the process (...)
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  6. added 2015-01-31
    Pierfrancesco Basile (2014). Mind & Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False by Thomas Nagel. Process Studies 43 (1):111-114.
  7. added 2015-01-31
    Pierfrancesco Basile (2010). Materialist Vs. Panexperientialist Physicalism: Where Do We Stand? Process Studies 39 (2):264-284.
    This paper provides a brief critique of Jaegwon Kim’s evaluation of the achievements of materialist physicalism and then goes on to examine the case for panpsychism and the main objection that has been raised against it, i.e., the composition problem. The object of this examination is to lay bare the fundamental assumptions underlying both the main argument in support of the theory and the objection against it. Whitehead’s panexperientialism has a fair claim to be regarded as the most elaborate version (...)
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  8. added 2015-01-28
    Ittay Nissan-Rozen (forthcoming). A Triviality Result for the “Desire by Necessity” Thesis. Synthese:1-22.
    A triviality result for what Lewis called “the Desire by Necessity Thesis” and Broome : 265–267, 1991) called “the Desire as Expectation Thesis” is presented. The result shows that this thesis and three other reasonable conditions can be jointly satisfied only in trivial cases. Some meta-ethical implications of the result are discussed. The discussion also highlights several issues regarding Lewis’ original triviality result for “the Desire as Belief Thesis” that have not been properly understood in the literature.
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  9. added 2015-01-28
    Aleksandra Mroczko-Wąsowicz, What Can Sensorimotor Enactivism Learn From Studies on Phenomenal Adaptation in Atypical Perceptual Conditions? – A Commentary on Rick Grush and Colleagues. Open MIND.
  10. added 2015-01-28
    Aleksandra Mroczko-Wąsowicz & Danko Nikolić (2014). Semantic Mechanisms May Be Responsible for Developing Synesthesia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8:1-13.
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  11. added 2015-01-27
    Robert Briscoe (2014). Spatial Content and Motoric Significance. Avant (2):199-216.
    According to “actionism” (Noë 2010), perception constitutively depends on implicit knowledge of the way sensory stimulations vary as a consequence of the perceiver’s self-movement. My aim in this contribution is to develop an alternative conception of the role of action in perception present in the work of Gareth Evans using resources provided by Ruth Millikan’s biosemantic theory of mental representation.
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  12. added 2015-01-26
    Carl Sachs (forthcoming). The Ideology of Modernity and the Myth of the Given McDowell’s Equipoise and Adorno’s Cognitive Utopia. Philosophy and Social Criticism:0191453714563876.
    In his most recent work, McDowell argues that the oscillation between the Myth of the Given and coherentism can be avoided only by an ‘equipoise’ between the objective and the subjective. However, I argue that Adorno’s ‘cognitive utopia’ is a genuine 4th option distinct from equipoise and from the oscillation between the Myth of the Given and coherentism. McDowell’s inability to acknowledge the cognitive utopia is traced to his overly abstract conception of the disenchantment of nature, in contrast to Adorno’s (...)
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  13. added 2015-01-25
    Thomas H. Smith (2015). 'Shared Agency', Gilbert, and Deep Continuity. Journal of Social Ontology 1 (1).
    I compare Bratman’s theory with Gilbert’s. I draw attention to their similarities, query Bratman’s claim that his theory is the more parsimonious, and point to one theoretical advantage of Gilbert’s theory.
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  14. added 2015-01-24
    Ludovica Lorusso, Luca Pulina & Enrico Grosso (forthcoming). The Measure of Perceived Similarity Between Faces: Old Issues for a New Method. Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-23.
    Measuring perceived similarity is an important issue in visual perception of faces, since a measure of the perceived similarity between faces may be used to investigate fundamental tasks like face categorization and recognition. Despite its fundamental role, measuring perceived similarity between faces is not trivial from both a theoretical and methodological point of view. In this paper we present theoretical arguments that undermine the method currently most used to measure perceived similarity between faces in visual perception, and we propose an (...)
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  15. added 2015-01-24
    O. Koksvik (2014). Three Models of Phenomenal Unity. Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (7-8):105-131.
    There is something it is like for me to hear a seagull crying, something it is like to see a boat in the distance, and something it is like to suffer a slight headache. Each of these local conscious experiences have their own phenomenal character. The experiences are phenomenally unified just in case there is also something it is like to enjoy these and all the other local experiences I have at the relevant time together. For there is also something (...)
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  16. added 2015-01-24
    S. Watzl (2014). Attentional Organization and the Unity of Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (7-8):56-87.
    Could the organization of consciousness be the key to understanding its unity? This paper considers how the attentional organization of consciousness into centre and periphery bears on the phenomenal unity of consciousness. Two ideas are discussed: according to the first, the attentional organization of consciousness shows that phenomenal holism is true. I argue that the argument from attentional organization to phenomenal holism remains inconclusive. According to the second idea, attentional organization provides a principle of unity for conscious experience, i.e. it (...)
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  17. added 2015-01-24
    Jason Brown (2014). Mind and Brain: A Contribution From Microgenetic Theory. Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (1-2):54-73.
    Study of symptoms with focal brain lesions reveals a microtemporal transition that elaborates the mind/brain state. The pattern of this transition corresponds with that of developmental growth , which can be characterized in terms of whole-part relations. This correspondence is interpreted as indicating that the cognitive process is an extension of growth trends in pre- and post-natal life. The continuum of ontogenetic growth into the cognitive process is a transition from exuberance of form to specificity or from generality to precision, (...)
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  18. added 2015-01-24
    William Robinson (2014). Developing Dualism and Approaching the Hard Problem. Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (1-2):156-182.
    Arguments for property dualism offer a strong challenge to materialist views, but even if they are regarded as successful, a large task remains, namely, to develop a positive account of the place of non-physical properties in the world -- one that holds some promise of eventual satisfaction regarding the hard problem. After noting some difficulties in current approaches to this task, this paper outlines one possible line of development for a dualistic view. Like all other suggestions for routes to progress (...)
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  19. added 2015-01-24
    Neil Levy (2014). The Value of Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (1-2):127-138.
    Consciousness, or its lack, is often invoked in debates in applied and normative ethics. Conscious beings are typically held to be significantly more morally valuable than non-consious, so that establishing whether a being is conscious becomes of critical importance. In this paper, I argue that the supposition that phenomenal consciousness explains the value of our experiences or our lives, and the moral value of beings who are conscious, is less well-grounded than is commonly thought. A great deal of what matters (...)
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  20. added 2015-01-24
    F. De Brigard (2014). Self-Stultification Objection. Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (5-6):120-130.
    Epiphenomenalism holds that mental events are caused by physical events while not causing any physical effects whatsoever. The self-stultification objection is a venerable argument against epiphenomenalism according to which, if epiphenomenalism were true, we would not have knowledge of our own sensations. For the past three decades, W.S. Robinson has called into question the soundness of this objection, offering several arguments against it. Many of his arguments attempt to shift the burden of proof onto the opponents of epiphenomenalism, hoping to (...)
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  21. added 2015-01-24
    O. Koksvik (2014). Aspects of Phenomenal Unity: Editorial Introduction. Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (7-8):6-12.
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  22. added 2015-01-24
    John Smythies (2014). The Nature of Consciousness and its Relation to the Brain: The Pith of a Formidable Problem and its Possible Solution. Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (1-2):183-202.
    This paper presents an enquiry into the essential nature of phenomenal consciousness and its relation to the neural correlates of consciousness in the brain . It first combines critical accounts of current ideas about the nature of NCCs themselves and about what constitutes phenomenal consciousness. This is followed by an examination of how these two may be related with a particular focus on pointing out the defects in the currently most popular hypothesis in this field, namely the identity theory. The (...)
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  23. added 2015-01-24
    Chris Clarke (2014). Quantum and Consciousness: A Cognitive Subsystems Perspective. Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (3-4):74-88.
    A survey is presented of possible connections between quantum theory and consciousness that have been proposed in the past and those that have now opened as a result of work on cognitive subsystems of the brain in the past 10 years. It is argued that, in the light of such work and in contrast to speculations prior to it, these connections can now be seen as necessary and their investigation as feasible.
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  24. added 2015-01-24
    Uwe Peters (2014). Self-Knowledge and Consciousness of Attitudes. Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (1-2):139-155.
    Suppose we know our own attitudes, e.g. judgments and decisions, only by unconsciously interpreting ourselves. Would this undermine the assumption that there are conscious attitudes? Carruthers has argued that if the mentioned view of selfknowledge is combined with either of the two most common approaches to consciousness, i.e. the higher-order state account or the global workspace theory , then the conjunction of these theories implies that there are no conscious attitudes. I shall show that Carruthers' argument against the existence of (...)
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  25. added 2015-01-24
    Woojin Han (2014). Can the Conditional Analysis Strategy Help Physicalism? Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (1-2):110-126.
    Braddon-Mitchell , Hawthorne , and Stalnaker provide a physicalistic argument that depends on the following two conditionals. If we experience dualistic pain, zombies are possible. On the other hand, if the actual world is physicalistic, zombies are impossible. Based on these conditionals, it is derived that zombies are conceivable but this does not entail their possibility. This line of argument for physicalism is referred to as the Conditional Analysis Strategy . I claim that the CAS does not help physicalists defuse (...)
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  26. added 2015-01-24
    Drew Mcdermott (2013). Computationally Constrained Beliefs. Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (5-6):124-150.
    People and intelligent computers, if there ever are any, will both have to believe certain things in order to be intelligent agents at all, or to be a particular sort of intelligent agent. I distinguish implicit beliefs that are inherent in the architecture of a natural or artificial agent, in the way it is 'wired', from explicit beliefs that are encoded in a way that makes them easier to learn and to erase if proven mistaken. I introduce the term IFI, (...)
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  27. added 2015-01-23
    John Barnden (2014). Running Into Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (5-6):33-56.
    It is proposed that conscious qualia arise when and only when the 'running' of physical processes takes a special, complex form. Running in general is the unified unfolding of processes through time, and is claimed to be an additional quality of physical processes beyond their state trajectories. The type of running needed for conscious qualia is reflexive in physically affecting and responding to itself. Intuitively, running is essentially the flow of causation, and the self-affecting/responding is a matter of causation bearing (...)
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  28. added 2015-01-23
    Gary Bartlett (2014). Against the Necessity of Functional Roles for Conscious Experience: Reviving and Revising a Neglected Argument. Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (1-2):33-53.
    While the claim that certain functional states are sufficient for conscious experience has received substantial critical attention, the claim that functional states are necessary is rarely addressed. Yet the latter claim is perhaps now more common than the former. I aim to revive and revise a neglected argument against the necessity claim, by Michael Antony. The argument involves manipulating a conscious subject's brain so as to cancel a disposition which is supposedly crucial to the realization of an experience that the (...)
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  29. added 2015-01-23
    G. Barnard (2014). Exploring the Unseen Worlds of Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (3-4):40-59.
    For the past two decades, my research has primarily focused on two interrelated questions: 1)What do the data from mysticism and non-ordinary states of consciousness imply about the nature of consciousness understood broadly? 2) In what ways does a careful examination of the nature of consciousness illuminate the processes that undergird mysticism and non-ordinary states of consciousness? In my attempts to offer coherent, cogent, and compelling answers to these questions, I have been helped, immeasurably, by the work of William James (...)
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  30. added 2015-01-23
    Darren Bradley (2014). A Relevant Alternatives Solution to the Bootstrapping and Self-Knowledge Problems. Journal of Philosophy 111 (7):379-393.
  31. added 2015-01-21
    Santiago Echeverri (forthcoming). Indexing the World? Visual Tracking, Modularity, and the Perception–Cognition Interface. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu033.
    Research in vision science, developmental psychology, and the foundations of cognitive science has led some theorists to posit referential mechanisms similar to indices. This hypothesis has been framed within a Fodorian conception of the early vision module. The article shows that this conception is mistaken, for it cannot handle the ‘interface problem’—roughly, how indexing mechanisms relate to higher cognition and conceptual thought. As a result, I reject the inaccessibility of early vision to higher cognition and make some constructive remarks on (...)
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  32. added 2015-01-21
    Andrei A. Buckareff (2014). Deciding to Believe Redux. In Jonathan Matheson Rico Vitz (ed.), The Ethics of Belief: Epistemic Norms and Social Contexts. Oxford University Press. 33-50.
    The ways in which we exercise intentional agency are varied. I take the domain of intentional agency to include all that we intentionally do versus what merely happens to us. So the scope of our intentional agency is not limited to intentional action. One can also exercise some intentional agency in omitting to act and, importantly, in producing the intentional outcome of an intentional action. So, for instance, when an agent is dieting, there is an exercise of agency both with (...)
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  33. added 2015-01-20
    Angelica Kaufmann (forthcoming). Animal Mental Action: Planning Among Chimpanzees. Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-16.
    I offer an argument for what mental action may be like in nonhuman animals. Action planning is a type of mental action that involves a type of intention. Some intentions are the causal mental antecedents of proximal mental actions, and some intentions are the causal mental antecedents of distal mental actions. The distinction between these two types of “plan-states” is often spelled out in terms of mental content. The prominent view is that while proximal mental actions are caused by mental (...)
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  34. added 2015-01-19
    David Rose (forthcoming). Belief is Prior to Knowledge. Episteme.
    Orthodoxy has it that knowledge is a composite of belief and non-mental factors. However, Timothy Williamson suggests that orthodoxy implies that the concept of belief is acquired before the concept of knowledge, whereas developmental data suggest the reverse. More recently, Jennifer Nagel reviews the psychological evidence, building a psychological case that the concept of knowledge emerges prior to belief. I assess the psychological state of the art and find support for the opposite conclusion. Overall the empirical evidence supports the orthodox (...)
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  35. added 2015-01-18
    Mitchell Aboulafia (1989). A Mead Divided Against Himself: A Mead Divided Against Himself," Comments on R. Collins' "Toward a Neo-Meadian Sociology of Mind,. Symbolic Interaction 12 (1).
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  36. added 2015-01-16
    Sam Coleman (forthcoming). Quotational Higher-Order Thought Theory. Philosophical Studies.
  37. added 2015-01-16
    Dustin Stokes & Elliot Paul (forthcoming). Naturalistic Approaches to Creativity. In J. Sytsma W. Buckwalter (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy.
    We offer a brief characterization of creativity, followed by a review of some of the reasons people have been skeptical about the possibility of explaining creativity. We then survey some of the recent work on creativity that is naturalistic in the sense that it presumes creativity is natural (as opposed to magical, occult, or supernatural) and is therefore amenable to scientific inquiry. This work is divided into two categories. The broader category is empirical philosophy, which draws on empirical research while (...)
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  38. added 2015-01-16
    Steven Gross, Thitaporn Chaisilprungraung, Elizabeth Kaplan, Jorge Aurelio Menendez & Jonathan Flombaum, Problems for the Purported Cognitive Penetration of Perceptual Color Experience and Macpherson’s Proposed Mechanism. Though and Perception.
    Fiona Macpherson (2012) argues that various experimental results provide strong evidence in favor of the cognitive penetration of perceptual color experience. Moreover, she proposes a mechanism for how such cognitive penetration occurs. We argue, first, that the results on which Macpherson relies do not provide strong grounds for her claim of cognitive penetrability; and, second, that, if the results do reflect cognitive penetrability, then time-course considerations raise worries for her proposed mechanism. We base our arguments in part on several of (...)
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  39. added 2015-01-15
    Steven M. Duncan, Negative Emotions.
    I have a theory of the emotions that many people find unflattering. I contend that all emotions, as such, are negative and neither life-enhancing or truth-connected. In this essay, I present this theory and my reasons for it.
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  40. added 2015-01-15
    Michelle Montague (forthcoming). Cognitive Phenomenology and Conscious Thought. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-15.
    How does mental content feature in conscious thought? I first argue that for a thought to be conscious the content of that thought must conscious, and that one has to appeal to cognitive phenomenology to give an adequate account of what it is for the content of a thought to be conscious. Sensory phenomenology cannot do the job. If one claims that the content of a conscious thought is unconscious, one is really claiming that there is no such thing as (...)
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  41. added 2015-01-14
    James L. Marsh (2014). Lonergan in the World: Self-Appropriation, Otherness, and Justice. University of Toronto.
  42. added 2015-01-13
    Steven M. Duncan, Objections to Dualism.
    In this essay, I discuss the standard objections to substance dualism and conclude that they are far less formidable than is usually supposed.
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  43. added 2015-01-13
    Shannon Spaulding (forthcoming). On Direct Social Perception. Consciousness and Cognition.
    Direct Social Perception (DSP) is the idea that we can non-inferentially perceive others’ mental states. In this paper, I argue that the standard way of framing DSP leaves the debate at an impasse. I suggest two alternative interpretations of the idea that we see others’ mental states: others’ mental states are represented in the content of our perception, and we have basic perceptual beliefs about others’ mental states. I argue that the latter interpretation of DSP is more promising and examine (...)
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  44. added 2015-01-11
    Bradley Rives (2015). Which Are the Genuine Properties? Metaphilosophy 46 (1):104-126.
    This article considers three views about which properties are genuine. According to the first view, we should look to successful commonsense and scientific explanations in determining which properties are genuine. On this view, predicates that figure in such explanations thereby pick out genuine properties. According to the second view, the only predicates that pick out genuine properties are those that figure in our best scientific explanations. On this view, predicates that figure in commonsense explanations pick out genuine properties only if (...)
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  45. added 2015-01-08
    Fiora Salis (forthcoming). The Problem of Satisfaction Conditions and the Dispensability of I-Desires. Erkenntnis.
    The problem of satisfaction conditions arises from the apparent difficulties of explaining the nature of the mental states involved in our emotional responses to tragic fictions. Greg Currie has recently proposed to solve the problem by arguing for the recognition of a class of imaginative counterparts of desires - what he and others call i-desires. In this paper I will articulate and rebut Currie's argument in favour of i-desires and I will put forward a new solution in terms of genuine (...)
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  46. added 2015-01-08
    Andreas Dorschel (2014). Icons without turn: Über Bilder und Worte. In Wilhelm Vossenkuhl (ed.), Quo vadis Design? 4 Thesen. 17-37.
    Images, or icons, have been made the subject of a ‘turn’. But no new epoch under its sign is looming. The image is just one medium among others. The best we can do is to face what it may and what it may not achieve. Its main competitor is the word – though there is a field of transition between both. Words and numbers surpass the image when one needs to refer to something that cannot be seen – this holds (...)
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  47. added 2015-01-08
    Lei Zhong (2014). Sophisticated Exclusion and Sophisticated Causation. Journal of Philosophy 111 (7):341-360.
    The Exclusion Argument, which aims to deny the causal efficacy of irreducible mental properties, is probably the most serious challenge to non-reductive physicalism. Many proposed solutions to the exclusion problem can only reject simplified exclusion arguments, but fail to block a sophisticated version I introduce. In this paper, I attempt to show that we can refute the sophisticated exclusion argument by appeal to a sophisticated understanding of causation, what I call the 'Dual-condition Conception of Causation'. Specifically, I argue that the (...)
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  48. added 2015-01-07
    Kieran Setiya, Selfish Reasons.
    Argues against the rationality of self-concern. Non-instrumental interest in my own well-being is not justified by the fact that it is mine. This follows from the metaphysics of first-person thought, as thought about the object of immediate knowledge. The argument leaves room for rational self-interest as a form of self-love that is justified, like love for others, by the fact of our shared humanity.
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  49. added 2015-01-07
    Gabriella Crocco & Eva-Maria Engelen (forthcoming). Kurt Gödel's Philosophical Remarks (Max Phil). In Gabriella Crocco & Eva-Maria Engelen (eds.), Kurt Gödel: Philosopher-Scientist. Presses Universitaires de Provence.
    Kurt Gödel left Philosophical Remarks in his Nachlass that he himself entitled Max Phil (Maximen Philosophie). The opus originally comprised 16 notebooks but one has been lost. The content is on the whole the outline of a rational metaphysics able to relate the different domains of knowledge and of moral investigations to each other. The notebooks were at first started as an intellectual diary in which Gödel writes an account of what he does and especially about what he should do (...)
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  50. added 2015-01-07
    Eva-Maria Engelen (forthcoming). What is the Link Between Aristotle’s Philosophy of Mind, the Iterative Conception of Set, Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems and God? About the Pleasure and the Difficulties of Interpreting Kurt Gödel’s Philosophical Remarks. In Gabriella Crocco & Eva-Maria Engelen (eds.), Kurt Gödel: Philosopher-Scientist. Presses Universitaires de Provence.
    It is shown in this article in how far one has to have a clear picture of Gödel’s philosophy and scientific thinking at hand (and also the philosophical positions of other philosophers in the history of Western Philosophy) in order to interpret one single Philosophical Remark by Gödel. As a single remark by Gödel (very often) mirrors his whole philosophical thinking, Gödel’s Philosophical Remarks can be seen as a philosophical monadology. This is so for two reasons mainly: Firstly, because it (...)
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