Mark Silcox University of Central Oklahoma
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About me
I'm an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Central Oklahoma. I am the co-author (with Jon Cogburn) PHILOSOPHY THROUGH VIDEO GAMES (taylor & Francis, 2008) and our co-edited Open Court Volume DUNGEONS & DRAGONS AND PHILOSOPHY: RAIDING THE TEMPLE OF WIsdOM came our in late 2012. I'm mainly interested in metaethics, aesthetics, the philosophy of language, and the philosophy of games.
My works
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  1. Jon Cogburn & Mark Silcox (2014). Against Brain-in-a-Vatism: On the Value of Virtual Reality. Philosophy and Technology 27 (4):561-579.
    The term “virtual reality” was first coined by Antonin Artaud to describe a value-adding characteristic of certain types of theatrical performances. The expression has more recently come to refer to a broad range of incipient digital technologies that many current philosophers regard as a serious threat to human autonomy and well-being. Their concerns, which are formulated most succinctly in “brain in a vat”-type thought experiments and in Robert Nozick's famous “experience machine” argument, reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the way that (...)
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  2. Mark Silcox (2014). Psychological Trauma and the Simulated Self. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (3):349-364.
    In the 1980s, there was a significant upsurge in diagnoses of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Ian Hacking suggests that the roots of this tendency lie in the excessive willingness of psychologists past and present to engage in the “psychologization of trauma.” I argue that Hacking makes some philosophically problematic assumptions about the putative threat to human autonomy that is posed by the increasing availability, attractiveness, and plausibility of various forms of simulated experience. I also suggest how a different set of axiological (...)
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  3. Mark Silcox (2013). On the Value of Make-Believe. Journal of Aesthetic Education 46 (4):20-31.
    Around the middle of the twentieth century, psychologists rediscovered the value of make-believe. Beginning in the 1940s and 1950s, there was a sudden and considerable outpouring of books that explored the pedagogical and therapeutic significance of imaginative play. Numerous experimental studies published since then have emphasized the importance of games of make-believe in the cognitive development and successful socialization of the very young.1 And increased attention to the use of mental imagery and fantasy in various forms of psychotherapy over the (...)
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  4. Mark Silcox (2012). Comments on Stephen Davey's “The Problem With (Quasi-Realist) Expressivism”. Southwest Philosophy Review 28 (2):9-13.
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  5. Mark Silcox (2012). The Cry of Nature. Southwest Philosophy Review 27 (1):215-223.
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  6. Jon Cogburn & Mark Silcox (2011). Computability Theory and Ontological Emergence. American Philosophical Quarterly 48 (1):63.
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  7. Mark Silcox (2010). The Virtuous Parent. Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (4):499-508.
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  8. Mark Silcox (2009). Reply to Rosebury. Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (2):245-248.
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  9. Mark Silcox (2007). On the Conceivability of an Omniscient Interpreter. Dialogue 46 (4):627-636.
    l examine the “omniscient interpreter” (OI) argument against scepticism that Donald Davidson published in 1977 only to retract it twenty-two years later. I argue that the argument’s persuasiveness has been underestimated. I defend it against the charges that Davidson assumes the actual existence of an OI and that Davidson’s other philosophical commitments are incompatible with the very conceivability of an OI. The argument’s surface implausibility derivesfrom Davidson’s suggestion that an OI would attribute beliefs using the same methods as afallible human (...)
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  10. Mark Silcox (2007). Undergraduate Relativism and Cicero's De Amicitia. Teaching Ethics 8 (1):29-38.
  11. Mark Silcox (2006). Virtue Epistemology and Moral Luck. Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (2):179--192.
    Thomas Nagel has proposed that the existence of moral luck mandates a general attitude of skepticism in ethics. One popular way of arguing against Nagel’s claim is to insist that the phenomenon of moral luck itself is an illusion , in the sense that situations in which it seems to occur may be plausibly re-described so as to show that agents need not be held responsible for the unlucky outcomes of their actions. Here I argue that this strategy for explaining (...)
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  12. Mark Silcox & Jon Cogburn (2006). Computability Theory and Literary Competence. British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (4):369-386.
    criticism defend the idea that an individual reader's understanding of a text can be a factor in determining the meaning of what is written in that text, and hence must play a part in determining the very identity conditions of works of literary art. We examine some accounts that have been given of the type of readerly ‘competence’ that a reader must have in order for her responses to a text to play this sort of constitutive role. We argue that (...)
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  13. Jon Cogburn & Mark Silcox (2005). Computing Machinery and Emergence: The Aesthetics and Metaphysics of Video Games. Minds and Machines 15 (1):73-89.
    We build on some of Daniel Dennett’s ideas about predictive indispensability to characterize properties of video games discernable by people as computationally emergent if, and only if: (1) they can be instantiated by a computing machine, and (2) there is no algorithm for detecting instantiations of them. We then use this conception of emergence to provide support to the aesthetic ideas of Stanley Fish and to illuminate some aspects of the Chomskyan program in cognitive science.
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  14. Mark Silcox, Mind and Anomalous Monism. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Anomalous Monism is a type of property dualism in the philosophy of mind. Property dualism combines the thesis that mental phenomena are strictly irreducible to physical phenomena with the denial that mind and body are discrete substances. For the anomalous monist, the plausibility of property dualism derives from the fact that although mental states, events and processes have genuine causal powers, the causal relationships that they enter into with physical entities cannot be explained by appeal to fundamental laws of nature. (...)
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  15. Mark Silcox (2004). Review of" Rule-Following and Realism". [REVIEW] Essays in Philosophy 5 (1):40.
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