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David Bourget University of Western Ontario
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About me
I'm an assistant professor in the department of philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. I'm also the proud creator of PhilPapers.
My works
11 items found.
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  1. David Bourget, A General Reply to the Arguments From Blur, Double Vision, Perspective, and Other Kinds of Perceptual Distortion Against Representationalism.
    This paper offers a general reply to arguments from perceptual distortion (e.g. blur, perspective, double vision) against the representationalist thesis that the phenomenal characters of experiences supervene on their intentional contents. It has been argued that distorted and undistorted experiences are counterexamples to this thesis because they can share contents without sharing phenomenal characters. In reply, I suggest that cases of perceptual distortion do not constitute counterexamples to the representationalist thesis because the contents of distorted experiences are always impoverished in (...)
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  2. David Bourget, Regimentation and the Science of Consciousness.
    A chief aim of the science of consciousness is to discover general principles that determine exactly which states of phenomenal consciousness occur in exactly which conditions. In this paper I argue that making progress towards the discovery of such principles requires developing a new regimented language for describing phenomenal states. This language should allow us to describe phenomenal states in a way that is commensurable with our descriptions of physical states. I suggest one way of doing this. My approach extends (...)
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  3. David Bourget & Angela Mendelovici (2014). Tracking Representationalism. In Andrew Bailey (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: The Key Thinkers. Continuum. 209-235.
    This paper overviews the current status of debates on tracking representationalism, the view that phenomenal consciousness is a matter of tracking features of one's environment in a certain way. We overview the main arguments for the view and the main objections and challenges it faces. We close with a discussion of alternative versions of representationalism that might overcome the shortcomings of tracking representationalism.
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  4. Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget (2014). Naturalizing Intentionality: Tracking Theories Versus Phenomenal Intentionality Theories. Philosophy Compass 9 (5):325-337.
    This paper compares tracking and phenomenal intentionality theories of intentionality with respect to the issue of naturalism. Tracking theories explicitly aim to naturalize intentionality, while phenomenal intentionality theories generally do not. It might seem that considerations of naturalism count in favor of tracking theories. We survey key considerations relevant to this claim, including some motivations for and objections to the two kinds of theories. We conclude by suggesting that naturalistic considerations may in fact support phenomenal intentionality theories over tracking theories.
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  5. David Bourget & David J. Chalmers (2013). What Do Philosophers Believe? Philosophical Studies:1-36.
    What are the philosophical views of contemporary professional philosophers? We surveyed many professional philosophers in order to help determine their views on 30 central philosophical issues. This article documents the results. It also reveals correlations among philosophical views and between these views and factors such as age, gender, and nationality. A factor analysis suggests that an individual’s views on these issues factor into a few underlying components that predict much of the variation in those views. The results of a metasurvey (...)
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  6. Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget (2013). Review of Tim Bayne and Michelle Montague's Cognitive Phenomenology. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):601-604.
    (2013). Cognitive Phenomenology, edited by Tim Bayne and Michelle Montague. Australasian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 91, No. 3, pp. 601-604. doi: 10.1080/00048402.2013.800126.
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  7. David Bourget (2010). Consciousness is Underived Intentionality. Noûs 44 (1):32 - 58.
    Representationalists argue that phenomenal states are intentional states of a special kind. This paper offers an account of the kind of intentional state phenomenal states are: I argue that they are underived intentional states. This account of phenomenal states is equivalent to two theses: first, all possible phenomenal states are underived intentional states; second, all possible underived intentional states are phenomenal states. I clarify these claims and argue for each of them. I also address objections which touch on a range (...)
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  8. David Bourget (2010). Paperless Philosophy as a Philosophical Method. Social Epistemology 24 (4):363-375.
    I discuss the prospects for novel communication methods in academic research. I describe communication tools which could enhance the practice of conceptual analysis.
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  9. David Bourget (2010). The Representational Theory of Consciousness. Dissertation, Australian National University
    A satisfactory solution to the problem of consciousness would take the form of a simple yet fully general model which specifies the precise conditions under which any given state of consciousness occurs. Science has uncovered numerous correlations between consciousness and neural activity, but it has not yet come anywhere close to this. We are still looking for the Newtonian laws of consciousness. -/- One of the main difficulties with consciousness is that we lack a language in which to formulate illuminating (...)
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  10. William E. Seager & David Bourget (2007). Representationalism About Consciousness. In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell. 261-276.
    A representationalist-friendly introduction to representationalism which covers a number of central problems and objections.
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  11. David Bourget (2004). Quantum Leaps in Philosophy of Mind. Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (12):17--42.
    I discuss the quantum mechanical theory of consciousness and freewill offered by Stapp (1993, 1995, 2000, 2004). First I show that decoherence-based arguments do not work against this theory. Then discuss a number of problems with the theory: Stapp's separate accounts of consciousness and freewill are incompatible, the interpretations of QM they are tied to are questionable, the Zeno effect could not enable freewill as he suggests because weakness of will would then be ubiquitous, and the holism of measurement in (...)
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