Olivier Massin University of Geneva
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  1. Frédérique De Vignemont & Olivier Massin (forthcoming). Touch. In Mohan Matthen (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Perception. Oxford University Press.
    Since Aristotle, touch has been found especially hard to define. One of the few unchallenged intuition about touch, however, is that tactile awareness entertains some especially close relationship with bodily awareness. This article considers the relation between touch and bodily awareness from two different perspectives: the body template theory and the body map theory. According to the former, touch is defined by the fact that tactile content matches proprioceptive content. We raise some objections against such a bodily definition of touch (...)
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  2. Olivier Massin (2014). Quand Vouloir, c'est Faire [How to Do Things with Wants]. In R. Clot-Goudard (Dir.), L'Explication de L'Action. Analyses Contemporaines, Recherches Sur la Philosophie Et le Langage N°30, Paris, Vrin 30.
    This paper defends the action-theory of the Will, according to which willing G is doing F (F≠G) in order to make G happen. In a nutshell, willing something is doing something else in order to bring about what we want. -/- I argue that only the action-theory can reconcile two essential features of the Will. (i) its EFFECTIVITY: willing is closer to acting than desiring. (ii) its FALLIBILITY: one might want something in vain. The action-theory of the will explains EFFECTIVITY (...)
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  3. Olivier Massin & Marion Hämmerli (2014). Mélanges Chromatiques: la théorie brentanienne des couleurs multiples à la loupe [Chromatic Mixtures: Brentano on Multiple Colors]. In Charles Niveleau (ed.), Vers une philosophie scientifique. Le programme de Brentano. Demopolis.
    Some colors are compound colors, in the sense that they look complex: orange, violet, green..., by contrast to elemental colors like yellow or blue. In the chapter 3 of his Unterschungen zur Sinnespsychologie, Brentano purports to reconcile the claim that some colors are indeed intrinsically composed of others, with the claim that colors are impenetrable with respect to each other. His solution: phenomenal green is like a chessboard of blue and yellow squares. Only, such squares are so small that we (...)
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  4. Olivier Massin (2013). Determinables and Brute Similarities. In Christer Svennerlind, Jan Almäng & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Johanssonian Investigations. Ontos Verlag.
    Ingvar Johansson has argued that there are not only determinate universals, but also determinable ones. I here argue that this view is misguided by reviving a line of argument to the following effect: what makes determinates falling under a same determinable similar cannot be distinct from what makes them different. If true, some similarities — imperfect similarities between simple determinate properties — are not grounded in any kind of property-sharing. I suggest that determinables are better understood as maximal disjunctions of (...)
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  5. Olivier Massin (2011). Le Mutisme des Sens [The Deep Silence of the Senses]. In S. Laugier & C. Al-Saleh (eds.), J.L. Austin et la philosophie du langage ordinaire. Olms.
    The thesis defended is that ordinary perception does not present us with the existential independence of its objects from itself. The phenomenology of ordinary perception is mute with respect to the subject-object distinction. I call this view "phenomenal neutral monism" : though neutral monists are wrong about the metaphysics of perception (in every perceptual episode, there is a distinction between the perceptual act and its perceptual objet), they are right about its phenomenology. I first argue that this view is not (...)
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  6. Olivier Massin (2011). On Pleasures. Dissertation, Geneva
    This thesis introduces and defends the Axiological Theory of Pleasure (ATP), according to which all pleasures are mental episodes which exemplify an hedonic value. According to the version of the ATP defended, hedonic goodness is not a primitive kind of value, but amounts to the final and personal value of mental episodes. Beside, it is argued that all mental episodes –and then all pleasures– are intentional. The definition of pleasures I arrived at is the following : -/- x is a (...)
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  7. Olivier Massin (2011). Résistance Et Existence [Resistence and Existence]. Etudes de Philosophie 9:275- 310.
    I defend the view that the experience of resistance gives us a direct phenomenal access to the mind-independence of perceptual objects. In the first part, I address a humean objection against the very possibility of experiencing existential mind-independence. The possibility of an experience of mind-independence being secured, I argue in the second part that the experience of resistance is the only kind of experience by which we directly access existential mind-independence.
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  8. Olivier Massin (2010). L'objectivité du toucher [The Objectivity of the Sense of Touch]. Dissertation, Aix-Marseille
    This thesis vindicates the common-sense intuition that touch is more objective than the other senses. The reason why it is so, it is argued, is that touch is the only sense essential of the experience of physical effort, and that this experience constitutes our only acquaintance with the mind-independence of the physical world. The thesis is divided in tree parts. Part I argues that sensory modalities are individuated by they proper objects, realistically construed. Part II argues that the proper objects (...)
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  9. Olivier Massin (2009). The Metaphysics of Forces. Dialectica 64 (4):555-589.
    This paper defends the view that Newtonian forces are real, symmetrical and non-causal relations. First, I argue that Newtonian forces are real; second, that they are relations; third, that they are symmetrical relations; fourth, that they are not species of causation. The overall picture is anti-Humean to the extent that it defends the existence of forces as external relations irreducible to spatio-temporal ones, but is still compatible with Humean approaches to causation (and others) since it denies that forces are a (...)
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  10. Olivier Massin (2006). Complementarity Cannot Resolve the Emergence–Reduction Debate: Reply to Harré. Synthese 151 (3):511 - 517.
    Rom Harré thinks that the Emergence–Reduction debate, conceived as a vertical problem, is partly ill posed. Even if he doesn’t wholly reject the traditional definition of an emergent property as a property of a collection but not of its components, his point is that this definition doesn’t exhaust all the dimensions of emergence. According to Harré there is another kind (or dimension) of emergence, which we may call—somewhat paradoxically—“horizontal emergence”: two properties of a substance are horizontally emergent relative to each (...)
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