David Chalmers Australian National University, New York University
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About me
I am a philosopher at the Australian National University and New York University. I'm also one of the directors of PhilPapers.
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  1. David J. Chalmers (2014). Frontloading and Fregean Sense: Reply to Neta, Schroeter and Stanley. Analysis 74 (4):676-697.
  2. David J. Chalmers (2014). Intensions and Indeterminacy: Reply to Soames, Turner, and Wilson. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):249-269.
  3. David J. Chalmers (2014). Intuitions in Philosophy: A Minimal Defense. Philosophical Studies 171 (3):535-544.
    In Philosophy Without Intuitions, Herman Cappelen (2012) focuses on the metaphilosophical thesis he calls Centrality: contemporary analytic philosophers rely on intuitions as evidence for philosophical theories. Using linguistic and textual analysis, he argues that Centrality is false. He also suggests that because most philosophers accept Centrality, they have mistaken beliefs about their own methods.To put my own views on the table: I do not have a large theoretical stake in the status of intuitions, but unreflectively I find it fairly obvious (...)
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  4. David J. Chalmers (2014). Précis of Constructing the World. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):217-219.
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  5. David J. Chalmers (2014). Précis of The Character of Consciousness. Philosophical Studies 167 (3):747-748.
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  6. David J. Chalmers (2014). Summary. Analysis 74 (4):635-637.
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  7. David J. Chalmers (2014). Strong Necessities and the Mind–Body Problem: A Reply. Philosophical Studies 167 (3):785-800.
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  8. David J. Chalmers & Brian Rabern (2014). Two-Dimensional Semantics and the Nesting Problem. Analysis 74 (2):210-224.
    Graeme Forbes (2011) raises some problems for two-dimensional semantic theories. The problems concern nested environments: linguistic environments where sentences are nested under both modal and epistemic operators. Closely related problems involving nested environments have been raised by Scott Soames (2005) and Josh Dever (2007). Soames goes so far as to say that nested environments pose the “chief technical problem” for strong two-dimensionalism. We call the problem of handling nested environments within two-dimensional semantics “the nesting problem”. We show that the two-dimensional (...)
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  9. David Bourget & David J. Chalmers (2013). What Do Philosophers Believe? Philosophical Studies (3):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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  10. David J. Chalmers (2013). Summary of The Character of Consciousness. Analysis 73 (2):303-304.
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  11. David J. Chalmers (2013). The Contents of Consciousness: Reply to Hellie, Peacocke and Siegel. Analysis 73 (2):345-368.
    This is a reply to commentaries on my book, The Character of Consciousness, by Benj Hellie, Christopher Peacocke, and Susanna Siegel. The reply to Hellie focuses on issues about acquaintance and transparency. The reply to Peacocke focuses on externalism about spatial experience. The reply to Siegel focuses on whether there can be Frege cases in perceptual experience.
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  12. David Chalmers (2012). Constructing the World. Oxford University Press.
  13. David Chalmers (2012). The Varieties of Computation: A Reply. Journal of Cognitive Science 2012 (3):211-248.
  14. David J. Chalmers (2012). The Singularity: A Reply to Commentators. Journal of Consciousness Studies.
    I would like to thank the authors of the 26 contributions to this symposium on my article “The Singularity: A Philosophical Analysis”. I learned a great deal from the reading their commentaries. Some of the commentaries engaged my article in detail, while others developed ideas about the singularity in other directions. In this reply I will concentrate mainly on those in the first group, with occasional comments on those in the second. A singularity (or an intelligence explosion) is a rapid (...)
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  15. David J. Chalmers (2011). Actuality and Knowability. Analysis 71 (3):411-419.
    It is widely believed that for all p, or at least for all entertainable p, it is knowable a priori that (p iff actually p). It is even more widely believed that for all such p, it is knowable that (p iff actually p). There is a simple argument against these claims from four antecedently plausible premises.
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  16. David J. Chalmers (2011). A Computational Foundation for the Study of Cognition. Journal of Cognitive Science 12 (4):323-357.
    Computation is central to the foundations of modern cognitive science, but its role is controversial. Questions about computation abound: What is it for a physical system to implement a computation? Is computation sufficient for thought? What is the role of computation in a theory of cognition? What is the relation between different sorts of computational theory, such as connectionism and symbolic computation? In this paper I develop a systematic framework that addresses all of these questions. Justifying the role of computation (...)
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  17. David J. Chalmers (2011). Frege's Puzzle and the Objects of Credence. Mind 120 (479):587 - 635.
    The objects of credence are the entities to which credences are assigned for the purposes of a successful theory of credence. I use cases akin to Frege's puzzle to argue against referentialism about credence: the view that objects of credence are determined by the objects and properties at which one's credence is directed. I go on to develop a non-referential account of the objects of credence in terms of sets of epistemically possible scenarios.
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  18. David J. Chalmers (2011). Propositions and Attitude Ascriptions: A Fregean Account. Noûs 45 (4):595-639.
    When I say ‘Hesperus is Phosphorus’, I seem to express a proposition. And when I say ‘Joan believes that Hesperus is Phosphorus’, I seem to ascribe to Joan an attitude to the same proposition. But what are propositions? And what is involved in ascribing propositional attitudes?
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  19. David J. Chalmers (2011). Revisability and Conceptual Change in "Two Dogmas of Empiricism". Journal of Philosophy 108 (8):387-415.
    W.V. Quine’s article “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” is one of the most influential works in 20thcentury philosophy. The article is cast most explicitly as an argument against logical empiricists such as Carnap, arguing against the analytic/synthetic distinction that they appeal to along with their verificationism. But the article has been read much more broadly as an attack on the notion..
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  20. David J. Chalmers (2011). The Nature of Epistemic Space. In Andy Egan & Brian Weatherson (eds.), Epistemic Modality. Oxford University Press.
    There are many ways the world might be, for all I know. For all I know, it might be that there is life on Jupiter, and it might be that there is not. It might be that Australia will win the next Ashes series, and it might be that they will not. It might be that my great-grandfather was my great-grandmother's second cousin, and it might be that he was not. It might be that copper is a compound, and it (...)
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  21. David J. Chalmers (2011). Verbal Disputes. Philosophical Review 120 (4):515-566.
    The philosophical interest of verbal disputes is twofold. First, they play a key role in philosophical method. Many philosophical disagreements are at least partly verbal, and almost every philosophical dispute has been diagnosed as verbal at some point. Here we can see the diagnosis of verbal disputes as a tool for philosophical progress. Second, they are interesting as a subject matter for first-order philosophy. Reflection on the existence and nature of verbal disputes can reveal something about the nature of concepts, (...)
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  22. Karen Bennett, Stephen Biggs, Ross Cameron, David Chalmers & Ranpal Dosanjh (2010). What is Hume's Dictum, and Why Believe It? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (3).
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  23. David J. Chalmers (2010). The Singularity: A Philosophical Analysis. Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (9-10):9 - 10.
    What happens when machines become more intelligent than humans? One view is that this event will be followed by an explosion to ever-greater levels of intelligence, as each generation of machines creates more intelligent machines in turn. This intelligence explosion is now often known as the “singularity”. The basic argument here was set out by the statistician I.J. Good in his 1965 article “Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine”: Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far (...)
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  24. D. Chalmers, D. Manley & R. Wasserman (eds.) (2009). Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.
  25. David J. Chalmers (2009). Ontological Anti-Realism. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.
    The basic question of ontology is “What exists?”. The basic question of metaontology is: are there objective answers to the basic question of ontology? Here ontological realists say yes, and ontological anti-realists say no. (Compare: The basic question of ethics is “What is right?”. The basic question of metaethics is: are there objective answers to the basic question of ethics? Here moral realists say yes, and moral anti-realists say no.) For example, the ontologist may ask: Do numbers exist? The Platonist (...)
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  26. David J. Chalmers (2009). The Two-Dimensional Argument Against Materialism. In Brian P. McLaughlin & Sven Walter (eds.), Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press.
    A number of popular arguments for dualism start from a premise about an epistemic gap between physical truths about truths about consciousness, and infer an ontological gap between physical processes and consciousness. Arguments of this sort include the conceivability argument, the knowledge argument, the explanatory-gap argument, and the property dualism argument. Such arguments are often resisted on the grounds that epistemic premises do not entail ontological conclusion. My view is that one can legitimately infer ontological conclusions from epistemic premises, if (...)
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  27. David Chalmers (2008). A Piece of iMe. The Philosophers' Magazine 43:41-49.
    The radical view, the view we’re kind of pushing, is that the iPhone can be seen literally as a part of my mind. I actually remember things: in virtue of this information being in the iPhone, it is part of my memory. The iPhone isn’t just a tool for my cognition, it’s part of my cognition.
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  28. David Chalmers (2008). Varieties of Emergence. In Philip Clayton & Paul Davies (eds.), The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis From Science to Religion. Oup Oxford.
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  29. David J. Chalmers (2008). Foreword to Andy Clark's Supersizing the Mind. In Andy Clark (ed.), Supersizing the Mind. Oxford University Press.
    A month ago, I bought an iPhone. The iPhone has already taken over some of the central functions of my brain. It has replaced part of my memory, storing phone numbers and addresses that I once would have taxed my brain with. It harbors my desires: I call up a memo with the names of my favorite dishes when I need to order at a local restaurant. I use it to calculate, when I need to figure out bills and tips. (...)
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  30. David J. Chalmers (2008). Mind and Consciousness: Five Questions. In Patrick Grim (ed.), Mind and Consciousness: Five Questions. Automatic Press.
    Growing up, I was a mathematics and science geek. I read everything I could in these areas. Every now and then, something would point in a philosophical direction. Perhaps my most important influence was reading Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach as a teenager. I read it initially for the mathematical parts, but it planted a seed for thinking about the mind. Later, Hofstadter and Dennett’s The Mind’s I got me thinking more about the mind–body problem in particular.
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  31. David J. Chalmers (2007). Phenomenal Concepts and the Explanatory Gap. In Torin Alter & Sven Walter (eds.), Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal Knowledge: New Essays on Consciousness and Physicalism. Oxford University Press.
    Confronted with the apparent explanatory gap between physical processes and consciousness, there are many possible reactions. Some deny that any explanatory gap exists at all. Some hold that there is an explanatory gap for now, but that it will eventually be closed. Some hold that the explanatory gap corresponds to an ontological gap in nature.
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  32. David J. Chalmers (2007). The Hard Problem of Consciousness. In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell.
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  33. David J. Chalmers & Alan Hájek (2007). Ramsey + Moore = God. Analysis 67 (294):170–172.
    Frank Ramsey (1931) wrote: If two people are arguing 'if p will q?' and both are in doubt as to p, they are adding p hypothetically to their stock of knowledge and arguing on that basis about q. We can say that they are fixing their degrees of belief in q given p. Let us take the first sentence the way it is often taken, as proposing the following test for the acceptability of an indicative conditional: ‘If p then q’ (...)
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  34. David J. Chalmers (2006). Perception and the Fall From Eden. In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual Experience. Oxford University Press. 49--125.
    In the Garden of Eden, we had unmediated contact with the world. We were directly acquainted with objects in the world and with their properties. Objects were simply presented to us without causal mediation, and properties were revealed to us in their true intrinsic glory.
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  35. David J. Chalmers, Response to Scott Soames on Two-Dimensionalism.
    At the April 2006 meeting of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association, in an author-meets-critics session on Scott Soames' book _Reference and Description: The Case Against Two-Dimensionalism_ , I presented a comment on Soames' book, "Scott Soames' Two-Dimensionalism" . The other critic was Robert Stalnaker. Soames presented his response to critics . Below is a reply to Soames' response to me, for those who were at the session and interested others. Note that this response was mostly written before (...)
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  36. David J. Chalmers (2006). Strong and Weak Emergence. In P. Davies & P. Clayton (eds.), The Re-Emergence of Emergence. Oxford University Press.
    The term ‘emergence’ often causes confusion in science and philosophy, as it is used to express at least two quite different concepts. We can label these concepts _strong_ _emergence_ and _weak emergence_. Both of these concepts are important, but it is vital to keep them separate.
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  37. David J. Chalmers, Scott Soames' Two-Dimensionalism.
    Scott Soames’ Reference and Description contains arguments against a number of different versions of two-dimensional semantics. After early chapters on descriptivism and on Kripke’s anti-descriptivist arguments, a chapter each is devoted to the roots of twodimensionalism in “slips, errors, or misleading suggestions” by Kripke and Kaplan, and to the two-dimensional approaches developed by Stalnaker (1978) and by Davies and Humberstone (1981). The bulk of the book (about 200 pages) is devoted to “ambitious twodimensionalism”, attributed to Frank Jackson, David Lewis, and (...)
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  38. David J. Chalmers (2006). The Foundations of Two-Dimensional Semantics. In Manuel Garcia-Carpintero & Josep Macia (eds.), Two-Dimensional Semantics: Foundations and Applications. Oxford University Press. 55-140.
    Why is two-dimensional semantics important? One can think of it as the most recent act in a drama involving three of the central concepts of philosophy: meaning, reason, and modality. First, Kant linked reason and modality, by suggesting that what is necessary is knowable a priori, and vice versa. Second, Frege linked reason and meaning, by proposing an aspect of meaning (sense) that is constitutively tied to cognitive signi?cance. Third, Carnap linked meaning and modality, by proposing an aspect of meaning (...)
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  39. David J. Chalmers (2006). Two-Dimensional Semantics. In E. Lepore & B. Smith (eds.), Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press.
    Two-dimensional approaches to semantics, broadly understood, recognize two "dimensions" of the meaning or content of linguistic items. On these approaches, expressions and their utterances are associated with two different sorts of semantic values, which play different explanatory roles. Typically, one semantic value is associated with reference and ordinary truth-conditions, while the other is associated with the way that reference and truth-conditions depend on the external world. The second sort of semantic value is often held to play a distinctive role in (...)
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  40. David J. Chalmers (2005). The Matrix as Metaphysics. In Christopher Grau (ed.), Philosophers Explore the Matrix. Oxford University Press. 132.
    The Matrix presents a version of an old philosophical fable: the brain in a vat. A disembodied brain is floating in a vat, inside a scientist’s laboratory. The scientist has arranged that the brain will be stimulated with the same sort of inputs that a normal embodied brain receives. To do this, the brain is connected to a giant computer simulation of a world. The simulation determines which inputs the brain receives. When the brain produces outputs, these are fed back (...)
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  41. D. Chalmers & P. Pettit (2004). On Behalf of the Australian Health Ethics Committee. Towards a Consensual Culture in the Ethical Review of Research, Medical Journal of Australia, 1998; Vol. 168, Pp. 79-82; and Cribb R,'Ethical Regulation A. Nd Humanities Research in Australia: Problems and Consequences. [REVIEW] Monash Bioethics Review 23 (3):39-57.
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  42. David Chalmers (2004). O enigma da experiência consciente. Critica.
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  43. David J. Chalmers (2004). A matrix enquanto hipótese metafísica. Critica.
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  44. David J. Chalmers (2004). Epistemic Two-Dimensional Semantics. Philosophical Studies 118 (1-2):153-226.
  45. David J. Chalmers (2004). How Can We Construct a Science of Consciousness? In Michael S. Gazzaniga (ed.), The Cognitive Neurosciences Iii. Mit Press. 1111--1119.
    In recent years there has been an explosion of scientific work on consciousness in cognitive neuroscience, psychology, and other fields. It has become possible to think that we are moving toward a genuine scientific understanding of conscious experience. But what is the science of consciousness all about, and what form should such a science take? This chapter gives an overview of the agenda.
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  46. David J. Chalmers (2004). Imagination, Indexicality, and Intensions. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1):182-90.
    John Perry's book Knowledge, Possibility, and Consciousness is a lucid and engaging defense of a physicalist view of consciousness against various anti-physicalist arguments. In what follows, I will address Perry's responses to the three main anti-physicalist arguments he discusses: the zombie argument (focusing on imagination), the knowledge argument (focusing on indexicals), and the modal argument (focusing on intensions).
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  47. David J. Chalmers (2004). Phenomenal Concepts and the Knowledge Argument. In Peter Ludlow, Yujin Nagasawa & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), There's Something About Mary: Essays on Phenomenal Consciousness and Frank Jackson's Knowledge Argument. MIT Press. 269.
    *[[This paper is largely based on material in other papers. The first three sections and the appendix are drawn with minor modifications from Chalmers 2002c (which explores issues about phenomenal concepts and beliefs in much more depth, mostly independently of questions about materialism). The main ideas of the last three sections are drawn from Chalmers 1996, 1999, and 2002a, although with considerable revision and elaboration. ]].
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  48. David J. Chalmers (2004). The Representational Character of Experience. In Brian Leiter (ed.), The Future for Philosophy. Oxford University Press. 153--181.
    Consciousness and intentionality are perhaps the two central phenomena in the philosophy of mind. Human beings are conscious beings: there is something it is like to be us. Human beings are intentional beings: we represent what is going on in the world.Correspondingly, our specific mental states, such as perceptions and thoughts, very often have a phenomenal character: there is something it is like to be in them. And these mental states very often have intentional content: they serve to represent the (...)
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  49. Timothy J. Bayne & David J. Chalmers (2003). What is the Unity of Consciousness? In Axel Cleeremans (ed.), The Unity of Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    At any given time, a subject has a multiplicity of conscious experiences. A subject might simultaneously have visual experiences of a red book and a green tree, auditory experiences of birds singing, bodily sensations of a faint hunger and a sharp pain in the shoulder, the emotional experience of a certain melancholy, while having a stream of conscious thoughts about the nature of reality. These experiences are distinct from each other: a subject could experience the red book without the singing (...)
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  50. David J. Chalmers (2003). Consciousness and its Place in Nature. In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. 102--142.
    Consciousness fits uneasily into our conception of the natural world. On the most common conception of nature, the natural world is the physical world. But on the most common conception of consciousness, it is not easy to see how it could be part of the physical world. So it seems that to find a place for consciousness within the natural order, we must either revise our conception of consciousness, or revise our conception of nature. In twentieth-century philosophy, this dilemma is (...)
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  51. David J. Chalmers (2003). The Content and Epistemology of Phenomenal Belief. In Quentin Smith & Aleksandar Jokic (eds.), Consciousness: New Philosophical Perspectives. Oxford University Press. 220--72.
    Experiences and beliefs are different sorts of mental states, and are often taken to belong to very different domains. Experiences are paradigmatically phenomenal, characterized by what it is like to have them. Beliefs are paradigmatically intentional, characterized by their propositional content. But there are a number of crucial points where these domains intersect. One central locus of intersection arises from the existence of phenomenal beliefs: beliefs that are about experiences.
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  52. David J. Chalmers (2003). The Nature of Narrow Content. Philosophical Issues 13 (1):46-66.
    A content of a subject's mental state is narrow when it is determined by the subject's intrinsic properties: that is, when any possible intrinsic duplicate of the subject has a corresponding mental state with the same content. A content of a subject's mental state is..
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  53. David J. Chalmers (2002). Does Conceivability Entail Possibility? In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. 145--200.
    There is a long tradition in philosophy of using a priori methods to draw conclusions about what is possible and what is necessary, and often in turn to draw conclusions about matters of substantive metaphysics. Arguments like this typically have three steps: first an epistemic claim (about what can be known or conceived), from there to a modal claim (about what is possible or necessary), and from there to a metaphysical claim (about the nature of things in the world).
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  54. David J. Chalmers (2002). Foundations. In , Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Oxford University Press. 1--9.
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  55. David J. Chalmers (2002). On Sense and Intension. Philosophical Perspectives 16 (s16):135-82.
    What is involved in the meaning of our expressions? Frege suggested that there is an aspect of an expression.
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  56. David J. Chalmers (ed.) (2002). Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Oxford University Press.
    What is the mind? Is consciousness a process in the brain? How do our minds represent the world? Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings is a grand tour of writings on these and other perplexing questions about the nature of the mind. The most comprehensive collection of its kind, the book includes sixty-three selections that range from the classical contributions of Descartes to the leading edge of contemporary debates. Extensive sections cover foundational issues, the nature of consciousness, and the (...)
     
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  57. David J. Chalmers (ed.) (2002). Philosophy of Mind: Contemporary Readings. OUP.
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  58. David J. Chalmers (2002). The Components of Content. In , Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Oxford University Press.
    [[This paper appears in my anthology _Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings_ (Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 608-633. It is a heavily revised version of a paper first written in 1994 and revised in 1995. Sections 1, 7, 8, and 10 are similar to the old version, but the other sections are quite different. Because the old version has been widely cited, I have made it available (in its 1995 version) at http://consc.net/papers/content95.html.
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  59. David J. Chalmers (2002). The Components of Content (Revised Version). In , Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Oup Usa.
  60. David J. Chalmers (2002). The St. Petersburg Two-Envelope Paradox. Analysis 62 (274):155–157.
    I reason: (1) For any x, if I knew that A contained x, then the odds are even that B contains either 2x or x/2, so the expected amount in B would be 5x/4. So (2) for all x, if I knew that A contained x, I would have an expected gain in switching to B. So (3) I should switch to B. But this seems clearly wrong, as my information about A and B is symmetrical.
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  61. Gareth B. Matthews New, Andrew Bailey, Sarah Buss, Steven M. Cahn, Howard Caygill, David J. Chalmers, John Christman, Michael Clark, David E. Cooper & Simon Critchley (2002). Books for Review and for Listing Here Should Be Addressed to Emily Zakin, Review Editor, Department of Philosophy, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056. Teaching Philosophy 25 (4):403.
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  62. David J. Chalmers & Frank Jackson (2001). Conceptual Analysis and Reductive Explanation. Philosophical Review 110 (3):315-61.
    Is conceptual analysis required for reductive explanation? If there is no a priori entailment from microphysical truths to phenomenal truths, does reductive explanation of the phenomenal fail? We say yes (Chalmers 1996; Jackson 1994, 1998). Ned Block and Robert Stalnaker say no (Block and Stalnaker 1999).
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  63. David J. Chalmers (2000). What is a Neural Correlate of Consciousness? In Thomas Metzinger (ed.), Neural Correlates of Consciousness. MIT Press. 17--39.
    The search for neural correlates of consciousness (or NCCs) is arguably the cornerstone in the recent resurgence of the science of consciousness. The search poses many difficult empirical problems, but it seems to be tractable in principle, and some ingenious studies in recent years have led to considerable progress. A number of proposals have been put forward concerning the nature and location of neural correlates of consciousness. A few of these include.
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  64. D. Chalmers (1999). Review Article. Accounting for 'Europe'. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 19 (3):517-536.
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  65. David J. Chalmers (1999). Color—Introduction. In S. Hameroff, A. Kaszniak & David Chalmers (eds.), Toward a Science of Consciousness Iii: The Third Tucson Discussions and Debates. Mit Press. 3--49.
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  66. David J. Chalmers (1999). First-Person Methods in the Science of Consciousness. Consciousness Bulletin.
    As I see it, the science of consciousness is all about relating _third-person data_ - about brain processes, behavior, environmental interaction, and the like - to _first-person data_ about conscious experience. I take it for granted that there are first-person data. It's a manifest fact about our minds that there is something it is like to be us - that we have subjective experiences - and that these subjective experiences are quite different at different times. Our direct knowledge of subjective (...)
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  67. David J. Chalmers (1999). Is There Synonymy in Ockham's Mental Language. In P. V. Spade (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Ockham. Cambridge. 76.
    William of Ockham's semantic theory was founded on the idea that thought takes place in a language not unlike the languages in which spoken and written communication occur. This mental language was held to have a number of features in common with everyday languages. For example, mental language has simple terms, not unlike words, out of which complex expressions can be constructed. As with words, each of these terms has some meaning, or signification; in fact Ockham held that the signification (...)
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  68. David J. Chalmers (1999). Materialism and the Metaphysics of Modality. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (2):473-96.
    This appeared in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59:473-93, as a response to four papers in a symposium on my book The Conscious Mind . Most of it should be comprehensible without having read the papers in question. This paper is for an audience of philosophers and so is relatively technical. It will probably also help to have read some of the book. (There is a corresponding precis of the book, written for the symposium.) The papers I’m responding to are: Chris (...)
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  69. David J. Chalmers (1999). Precis of The Conscious Mind. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (2):435-438.
  70. David J. Chalmers (1999). Vision and Consciousness—Introduction. In S. Hameroff, A. Kaszniak & David Chalmers (eds.), Toward a Science of Consciousness Iii: The Third Tucson Discussions and Debates. Mit Press. 3--123.
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  71. S. Hameroff, A. Kaszniak & David Chalmers (eds.) (1999). Toward a Science of Consciousness III: The Third Tucson Discussions and Debates. MIT Press.
    The first two conferences and books have become touchstones for the field. This volume presents a selection of invited papers from the third conference.
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  72. David J. Chalmers (1998). On the Search for the Neural Correlate of Consciousness. In Stuart R. Hameroff, Alfred W. Kaszniak & A.C. Scott (eds.), Toward a Science of Consciousness II. MIT Press. 2--219.
    *[[This paper appears in _Toward a Science of Consciousness II: The Second Tucson Discussions and Debates_ (S. Hameroff, A. Kaszniak, and A.Scott, eds), published with MIT Press in 1998. It is a transcript of my talk at the second Tucson conference in April 1996, lightly edited to include the contents of overheads and to exclude some diversions with a consciousness meter. A more in-depth argument for some of the claims in this paper can be found in Chapter 6 of my (...)
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  73. David J. Chalmers (1998). TT Ontology, the Hard Problem of Experience,-*'-*'Free Will, and Agency. In Stuart R. Hameroff, Alfred W. Kaszniak & A. C. Scott (eds.), Toward a Science of Consciousness Ii. Mit Press. 2--79.
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  74. David J. Chalmers (1998). The Problems of Consciousness. In H. Jasper, L. Descarries, V. Castellucci & S. Rossignol (eds.), Consciousness: At the Frontiers of Neuroscience. Lippincott-Raven. 29 - 59.
    This paper is an edited transcription of a talk at the 1997 Montreal symposium on "Consciousness at the Frontiers of Neuroscience". There's not much here that isn't said elsewhere, e.g. in "Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness" and "How Can We Construct a Science of Consciousness?"]].
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  75. Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers (1998). The Extended Mind. Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
    Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin? The question invites two standard replies. Some accept the demarcations of skin and skull, and say that what is outside the body is outside the mind. Others are impressed by arguments suggesting that the meaning of our words "just ain't in the head", and hold that this externalism about meaning carries over into an externalism about mind. We propose to pursue a third position. We advocate a very different (...)
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  76. David J. Chalmers (1997). Availability: The Cognitive Basis of Experience? In Ned Block, Owen J. Flanagan & Guven Guzeldere (eds.), The Nature of Consciousness. Mit Press. 148-149.
    [[This was written as a commentary on Ned Block 's paper "On A Confusion about a Function of Consciousness" . It appeared in _Behavioral_ _and Brain Sciences_ 20:148-9, 1997, and also in the collection _The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates_ (MIT Press, 1997) edited by Block, Flanagan, and Guzeldere. ]].
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  77. David J. Chalmers (1997). Moving Forward on the Problem of Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 4 (1):3-46.
    This paper is a response to the 26 commentaries on my paper "Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness". First, I respond to deflationary critiques, including those that argue that there is no "hard" problem of consciousness or that it can be accommodated within a materialist framework. Second, I respond to nonreductive critiques, including those that argue that the problems of consciousness are harder than I have suggested, or that my framework for addressing them is flawed. Third, I address positive (...)
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  78. David J. Chalmers, On ``Consciousness and the Philosophers''.
    John Searle's review of my book The Conscious Mind appeared in the March 6, 1997 edition of the New York Review of Books. I replied in a letter printed in their May 15, 1997 edition, and Searle's response appeared simultaneously. I set up this web page so that interested people can see my reply to Searle in turn, and to give access to other relevant materials.
     
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  79. David J. Chalmers (1997). Reply to Mulhauser's Review of The Conscious Mind. Psyche.
    First, I should clarify the notion of "taking consciousness seriously", which serves as a premise in my work. Mulhauser characterizes this as the assumption that no cognitive theory of consciousness will suffice. The latter assumption would indeed beg some crucial questions, but it is not the assumption that I make. I make an assumption about the problem of consciousness, not about any solution. To quote (p. xii): Throughout the book, I have assumed that consciousness exists, and that to redefine the (...)
     
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  80. David J. Chalmers (1997). Response to Searle. New York Review of Books 44 (8).
    In my book _The Conscious Mind_ , I deny a number of claims that John Searle finds "obvious", and I make some claims that he finds "absurd". But if the mind/body problem has taught us anything, it is that nothing about consciousness is obvious, and that one person's obvious truth is another person's absurdity. So instead of throwing around this sort of language, it is best to examine the claims themselves and the arguments that I give for them, to see (...)
     
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  81. David J. Chalmers (1996). Can Consciousness Be Reductively Explained? In The Conscious Mind. Oxford University Press.
  82. David J. Chalmers (1996). Does a Rock Implement Every Finite-State Automaton? Synthese 108 (3):309-33.
    Hilary Putnam has argued that computational functionalism cannot serve as a foundation for the study of the mind, as every ordinary open physical system implements every finite-state automaton. I argue that Putnam's argument fails, but that it points out the need for a better understanding of the bridge between the theory of computation and the theory of physical systems: the relation of implementation. It also raises questions about the class of automata that can serve as a basis for understanding the (...)
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  83. David J. Chalmers (1996). Is Experience Ubiquitous? In The Conscious Mind. Oxford University Press.
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  84. David J. Chalmers (1996). Minds, Machines, and Mathematics. Psyche 2:11-20.
    In his stimulating book SHADOWS OF THE MIND, Roger Penrose presents arguments, based on Gödel's theorem, for the conclusion that human thought is uncomputable. There are actually two separate arguments in Penrose's book. The second has been widely ignored, but seems to me to be much more interesting and novel than the first. I will address both forms of the argument in some detail. Toward the end, I will also comment on Penrose's proposals for a "new science of consciousness".
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  85. David J. Chalmers (1996). Naturalistic Dualism. In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Conscious Mind. Oxford University Press. 359--368.
  86. David J. Chalmers (1996). Supervenience and Materialism. In The Conscious Mind. Oxford University Press. 697-709.
     
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  87. David J. Chalmers (1996). The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory. Oxford University Press.
    The book is an extended study of the problem of consciousness. After setting up the problem, I argue that reductive explanation of consciousness is impossible (alas!), and that if one takes consciousness seriously, one has to go beyond a strict materialist framework. In the second half of the book, I move toward a positive theory of consciousness with fundamental laws linking the physical and the experiential in a systematic way. Finally, I use the ideas and arguments developed earlier to defend (...)
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  88. David J. Chalmers (1996). The Metaphysics of Information. In The Conscious Mind.
     
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  89. David J. Chalmers (1996). The Paradox of Phenomenal Judgment. In The Conscious Mind. Oxford University Press.
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  90. David J. Chalmers (1995). Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia. In Thomas Metzinger (ed.), Conscious Experience. Ferdinand Schoningh. 309--328.
    It is widely accepted that conscious experience has a physical basis. That is, the properties of experience (phenomenal properties, or qualia) systematically depend on physical properties according to some lawful relation. There are two key questions about this relation. The first concerns the strength of the laws: are they logically or metaphysically necessary, so that consciousness is nothing "over and above" the underlying physical process, or are they merely contingent laws like the law of gravity? This question about the strength (...)
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  91. David J. Chalmers (1995). Explaining Consciousness: The'Hard Problem'. Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-219.
     
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  92. David J. Chalmers (1995). Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness. Consciousness and Emotion in Cognitive Science: Conceptual and Empirical Issues 2 (3):200-19.
    To make progress on the problem of consciousness, we have to confront it directly. In this paper, I first isolate the truly hard part of the problem, separating it from more tractable parts and giving an account of why it is so difficult to explain. I critique some recent work that uses reductive methods to address consciousness, and argue that such methods inevitably fail to come to grips with the hardest part of the problem. Once this failure is recognized, the (...)
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  93. David J. Chalmers (1995). The Puzzle of Conscious Experience. Scientific American 273 (6):80-86.
    Conscious experience is at once the most familiar thing in the world and the most mysterious. There is nothing we know about more directly than consciousness, but it is extraordinarily hard to reconcile it with everything else we know. Why does it exist? What does it do? How could it possibly arise from neural processes in the brain? These questions are among the most intriguing in all of science.
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  94. D. Chalmers & Cp Kyriacou (1994). Glowing Reports on Biorhythms Research (Vol 183, Pg 340, 1993). Bioessays 16 (4):299-299.
     
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  95. David J. Chalmers (1994). On Implementing a Computation. Minds and Machines 4 (4):391-402.
    To clarify the notion of computation and its role in cognitive science, we need an account of implementation, the nexus between abstract computations and physical systems. I provide such an account, based on the idea that a physical system implements a computation if the causal structure of the system mirrors the formal structure of the computation. The account is developed for the class of combinatorial-state automata, but is sufficiently general to cover all other discrete computational formalisms. The implementation relation is (...)
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  96. David J. Chalmers (1994). Review of Journal of Consciousness Studies. [REVIEW] Times Literary Supplement.
    How does conscious experience emerge from a physical basis? At a first glance, this is the question about the mind that most needs answering. So it is curious that those who study the mind professionally have often avoided the question entirely. In psychology, the cognitive revolution did not make consciousness respectable: most cognitive psychologists have stuck to subjects such as learning, memory, and perception instead. Neuroscientists have been known to speculate on the topic, but usually only late at night, after (...)
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  97. David J. Chalmers (1993). Connectionism and Compositionality: Why Fodor and Pylyshyn Were Wrong. Philosophical Psychology 6 (3):305-319.
    This paper offers both a theoretical and an experimental perspective on the relationship between connectionist and Classical (symbol-processing) models. Firstly, a serious flaw in Fodor and Pylyshyn’s argument against connectionism is pointed out: if, in fact, a part of their argument is valid, then it establishes a conclusion quite different from that which they intend, a conclusion which is demonstrably false. The source of this flaw is traced to an underestimation of the differences between localist and distributed representation. It has (...)
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  98. David J. Chalmers, Determining the Moment of Consciousness? Commentary on Valerie Hardcastle.
    It's very interesting to see neurophysiological evidence brought to bear on the puzzling question of conscious experience. Many have observed that information-processing models of cognition seem to leave consciousness untouched; it is natural to hope that turning to neurophysiology might lead us to the Holy Grail. Still, I think there are reasons to be skeptical. There are good reasons to suppose that neurophysiological investigation contributes to cognitive explanation at best in virtue of constraining the information-processing structure of cognition. Of course (...)
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  99. David J. Chalmers (1993). Self-Ascription Without Qualia: A Case-Study. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (1):35-36.
    In Section 5 of his interesting article, Goldman suggests that the consideration of imaginary cases can be valuable in the analysis of our psychological concepts. In particular, he argues that we can imagine a system that is isomorphic to us under any functional description, but which lacks qualitative mental states, such as pains and color sensations. Whether or not such a being is empirically possible, it certainly seems to be logically possible, or conceptually coherent. Goldman argues from this possibility to (...)
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  100. David Chalmers (1992). Connectionist Models: Proceedings of the 1990 Summer School Workshop. Morgan Kaufmann.
     
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  101. David Chalmers (1992). The Evolution of Learning: An Experiment in Genetic Connectionism. In Connectionist Models: Proceedings of the 1990 Summer School Workshop. Morgan Kaufmann.
    This paper explores how an evolutionary process can produce systems that learn. A general framework for the evolution of learning is outlined, and is applied to the task of evolving mechanisms suitable for supervised learning in single-layer neural networks. Dynamic properties of a network’s information-processing capacity are encoded genetically, and these properties are subjected to selective pressure based on their success in producing adaptive behavior in diverse environments. As a result of selection and genetic recombination, various successful learning mechanisms evolve, (...)
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  102. David J. Chalmers (1992). Subsymbolic Computation and the Chinese Room. In J. Dinsmore (ed.), The Symbolic and Connectionist Paradigms: Closing the Gap. Lawrence Erlbaum. 25--48.
    More than a decade ago, philosopher John Searle started a long-running controversy with his paper “Minds, Brains, and Programs” (Searle, 1980a), an attack on the ambitious claims of artificial intelligence (AI). With his now famous _Chinese Room_ argument, Searle claimed to show that despite the best efforts of AI researchers, a computer could never recreate such vital properties of human mentality as intentionality, subjectivity, and understanding. The AI research program is based on the underlying assumption that all important aspects of (...)
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  103. David J. Chalmers, Robert M. French & Douglas R. Hofstadter (1992). High-Level Perception, Representation, and Analogy:A Critique of Artificial Intelligence Methodology. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intellige 4 (3):185 - 211.
    High-level perception--”the process of making sense of complex data at an abstract, conceptual level--”is fundamental to human cognition. Through high-level perception, chaotic environmen- tal stimuli are organized into the mental representations that are used throughout cognitive pro- cessing. Much work in traditional artificial intelligence has ignored the process of high-level perception, by starting with hand-coded representations. In this paper, we argue that this dis- missal of perceptual processes leads to distorted models of human cognition. We examine some existing artificial-intelligence models--”notably (...)
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  104. David J. Chalmers, Consciousness and Cognition.
    *[[I wrote this paper in January of 1990, but did not publish it because I was never entirely happy with it. My ideas on consciousness were in a state of flux, ultimately evolving into those represented in my book _The Conscious Mind_ (Oxford University Press, 1996). I now think that some parts of this paper are unsatisfactory, especially the positive theory outlined at the end, although a successor to that theory is laid out in the book. Nevertheless, I think the (...)
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  105. David J. Chalmers, Deep Systematicity and Connectionist Representation.
    1. I think that by emphasizing theoretical spaces of representations, Andy has put his finger on an issue that is key to connectionism's success, and whose investigation will be a key determinant of the field's further progress. I also think that if we look at representational spaces in the right way, we can see that they are deeply related to classical phenomenon of systematicity in representation. I want to argue that the key to understanding representational spaces, and in particular their (...)
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  106. David J. Chalmers (1990). Computing the Thinkable. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (4):658-659.
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  107. David J. Chalmers (1990). Syntactic Transformations on Distributed Representations. Connection Science 2:53-62.
    There has been much interest in the possibility of connectionist models whose representations can be endowed with compositional structure, and a variety of such models have been proposed. These models typically use distributed representations that arise from the functional composition of constituent parts. Functional composition and decomposition alone, however, yield only an implementation of classical symbolic theories. This paper explores the possibility of moving beyond implementation by exploiting holistic structure-sensitive operations on distributed representations. An experiment is performed using Pollack’s Recursive (...)
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  108. David Chalmers, Soames on Two-Dimensionalism.
    Here the extension of a sentence token is a truth-value, the extension of a name is an individual, and so on. Scenarios are most often understood as centered possible worlds – i.e. ordered triples of worlds, individuals, and times - although they may also be understood in other ways.
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  109. David Chalmers, Zombies on the Web.
    Zombies are hypothetical creatures of the sort that philosophers have been known to cherish. A zombie is physically identical to a normal human being, but completely lacks conscious experience. Zombies look and behave like the conscious beings that we know and love, but "all is dark inside." There is nothing it is like to be a zombie.
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  110. David J. Chalmers, A Taxonomy of Cognitive Jokes.
    This is just a beginning categorization. I claim no 'objective correctness' for it. And of course the categories can be fluid, and the same joke can be a member of more than one category (and perhaps it will be funnier if it is). But thinking about the jokes which I can recall from the Humour Weekend, most seem to fall squarely into one or another category, indicating that perhaps this is a useful way of dividing jokes. It seems to me (...)
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  111. David J. Chalmers, Analog Vs. Digital Computation.
    It is fairly well-known that certain hard computational problems (that is, 'difficult' problems for a digital processor to solve) can in fact be solved much more easily with an analog machine. This raises questions about the true nature of the distinction between analog and digital computation (if such a distinction exists). I try to analyze the source of the observed difference in terms of (1) expanding parallelism and (2) more generally, infinite-state Turing machines. The issue of discreteness vs continuity will (...)
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  112. David J. Chalmers, Determining the Moment of Consciousness?
    It's very interesting to see neurophysiological evidence brought to bear on the puzzling question of conscious experience. Many have observed that information-processing models of cognition seem to leave consciousness untouched; it is natural to hope that turning to neurophysiology might lead us to the Holy Grail. Still, I think there are reasons to be skeptical. There are good reasons to suppose that neurophysiological investigation contributes to cognitive explanation at best in virtue of constraining the information-processing structure of cognition. Of course (...)
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  113. David J. Chalmers, How Cartesian Dualism Might Have Been True.
    We could have been characters in a huge computer simulation. It is a familiar idea that the whole world might be simulated on a computer, and things would seem exactly the same to us (and indeed, who is to say that we are not).
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  114. David J. Chalmers, Is the Continuum Hypothesis True, False, or Neither?
    Thanks to all the people who responded to my enquiry about the status of the Continuum Hypothesis. This is a really fascinating subject, which I could waste far too much time on. The following is a summary of some aspects of the feeling I got for the problems. This will be old hat to set theorists, and no doubt there are a couple of embarrassing misunderstandings, but it might be of some interest to non professionals.
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  115. David J. Chalmers, Mind and Modality.
    What follows are compressed versions of three lectures on the subject of "Mind and Modality", given at Princeton University the week of October 12-16, 1998. The first two form a series; the third stands alone to some extent. All are philosophically technical, and probably of interest mainly to philosophers. I hope that they make sense, at least to those familiar with my book _The Conscious Mind_ . Lecture 1 recapitulates some of the material in the book in a somewhat different (...)
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  116. David J. Chalmers, Pick a Number Between Zero and Infinity.
    In article <18311.25b44848@merrimack.edu> ain14924@merrimack.edu writes: Reminds me of a friend of mine who claims that the number 17 is "the most random" number. His proof ran as follows: pick a number. It's not really as good a random number as 17, is it? (Invariable Answer: "Umm, well, no...") This reminds me of a little experiment I did a couple of years ago. I stood on a busy street corner in Oxford, and asked passers by to "name a random number between (...)
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  117. David J. Chalmers, The First Person and Third Person Views (Part I).
    Intro to what "first person" and "third person" mean. (outline the probs of the first person) (convenience of third person vs absoluteness of first person) (explain terminology) Dominance of third person, reasons. (embarassment with first person) (division of reactions) (natural selection - those who can make the most noise) (analogy with behaviourism) Reductionism, hard line and soft line Appropriation of first person terms by reductionists.
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  118. David J. Chalmers, The Tyranny of the Subjunctive.
    (1a) If Prince Albert Victor killed those people, he is Jack the Ripper (and Jack the Ripper killed those people). (1b) If Prince Albert Victor had killed those people, Jack the Ripper wouldn't have (and Prince Albert wouldn't have been Jack the Ripper).
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  119. David J. Chalmers, The Two-Envelope Paradox: A Complete Analysis?
    A wealthy eccentric places two envelopes in front of you. She tells you that both envelopes contain money, and that one contains twice as much as the other, but she does not tell you which is which. You are allowed to choose one envelope, and to keep all the money you find inside.
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  120. David J. Chalmers, What is It Like to Be a Thermostat? (Commentary on Dan Lloyd, "What is It Like to Be a Net?&Quot;).
    The project that Dan Lloyd has undertaken is admirable and audacious. He has tried to boil down the substrate of information-processing that underlies conscious experience to some very simple elements, in order to gain a better understanding of the phenomenon. Some people will suspect that by considering a model as simple as a connectionist network, Dan has thrown away everything that is interesting about consciousness. Perhaps there is something to that complaint, but I will take a different tack. It seems (...)
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  121. David J. Chalmers, Intuitions: A Minimal Defense.
    In Philosophy Without Intuitions, Herman Cappelen focuses on the metaphilosophical thesis he calls Centrality: Contemporary analytic philosophers rely on intuitions as evidence for philosophical theories. Using linguistic and textual analysis, he argues that Centrality is false. He also suggests that because most philosophers accept Centrality, they have mistaken beliefs about their own methods.
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