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Profile: Lynne Rudder Baker (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Profile: Lynne Baker (Saint Mary's College of California)
Profile: Lauren Baker (University of South Carolina)
Profile: LaTasha Baker (Liberty University)
  1. Lynne Rudder Baker, Mind and Consciousness: 5 Questions.
    After an undergraduate degree with a major in mathematics, I turned to philosophy—in part because philosophy had all the interest of math (and logic) plus an indefinitely wide range of subject matter. I began philosophy at an intersection of metaphysics and philosophy of science. My dissertation, Ontological and Linguistic Aspects of Temporal Becoming, was on the philosophy of time. A convinced physicalist, I defended the idea that past, present and future (the A-series) are merely “mind-dependent.” I spent a year as (...)
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  2. Lynne Rudder Baker, Neuroscience and the Human Mind.
    I want to raise three questions for discussion: 1. How are a philosopher’s concerns about the human mind related to a neuroscientist’s concerns? 2. Can neuroscience explain everything that we want to understand about the human mind? 3. Does neuroscience threaten our dignity or humanity (or anything else that we cherish about ourselves)? Let’s take these questions one at a time.
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  3. Lynne Rudder Baker, Representation".
    My main reaction to "Intelligence without representation" is to applaud. Dreyfus's use of Merleau-Ponty is a refreshing new breeze in philosophy of psychology. About twenty or so years ago, philosophers struck an unfortunate course..
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  4. Lynne Rudder Baker, Shrinking Difference—Response to Replies.
    Amie Thomasson and I are in agreement about artifacts, in particular about the existential dependence of artifacts on human intentions. Thomasson says, “Since the very idea of an artifact is of something mind-dependent in certain ways, accepting mindindependence as an across-the-board criterion for existence gives us no reason to deny the existence of artifacts; it merely begs the question against them.” I agree entirely.
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  5. Lynne Rudder Baker, Amie Thomasson on Ordinary Objects.
    Amie Thomasson has won well-deserved praise for her book, Ordinary Objects. She defends a commonsense world view and gives us “reason to think that there are fundamental particles, plants and animals, sticks and stones, tables and chairs, and even marriages and mortgages.” (p. 181) Ordinary objects comprise a vast array of things—natural objects both scientific and commonsensical, artifacts, organisms, abstract social objects.
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  6. Lynne Rudder Baker, Collisions in Education: A View From the Trenches.
    In his neglected treatise on education, the great eighteenth-century German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, mentions that Benjamin Franklin “wondered why everyone didn’t learn to swim, since swimming is so pleasant and so useful.” Franklin..
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  7. Lynne Rudder Baker, Comment on William Hasker's “The Goodness of the Creator: An Open Theist Perspective”.
    Here’s what I intend to do. First, I want to summarize the paper as I see it. Then, as a philosopher is expected to do, I’ll present some questions and disagreements—both substantive and methodological—with Open Theism. Finally, despite the fact that I am an outsider, I want to comment on the debate over Open Theism within certain evangelical circles.
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  8. Lynne Rudder Baker, Our Place in Nature: Material Persons and Theism.
    One of the deepest assumptions of Judaism and its offspring, Christianity, is that there is an important difference between human persons and everything else that exists in Creation. We alone are made in God’s image. We alone are the stewards of the earth. It is said in Genesis that we have “dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps (...)
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  9. Lynne Rudder Baker, Science and the First-Person.
    I want to raise a question for which I have no definitive answer. The question is how to understand first-personal phenomena—phenomena that that can be discerned only from a first-personal point of view. The question stems from reflection on two claims: First, the claim of scientific naturalism that all phenomena can be described and explained by science; and second, the claim of science that everything within its purview is intersubjectively accessible, and hence that all science is constructed exclusively form the (...)
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  10. Lynne Rudder Baker, The Very Idea of Material Constitution.
    We run into instances of material constitution everywhere we turn. Material constitution is the relation that obtains between an octagonal piece of metal and a Stop sign, between strands of DNA molecules and genes, between pieces of paper and dollar bills, between stones and monuments, between lumps of clay and statues, between human persons and their bodies—the list is endless. Although there has been a great deal of controversy recently about the nature of material constitution, I want to enter the (...)
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  11. Lynne Rudder Baker, “What Does It Mean to Be One of Us?” A Response to Bransen.
    Bransen takes the first question to pose “the problem of man’s uniqueness,” and his ultimate aim is to dissolve that problem. His method of dissolving it is by way of a detailed answer to the second question, which is the most fundamental. I want to show that Bransen’s answer to the second question actually provides an answer to each of the other questions, and that instead of dissolving the problem of man’s uniqueness (posed by question #1), what he offers is (...)
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  12. Lynne Rudder Baker, What is Human Freedom?
    After centuries of reflection, the issue of human freedom remains vital largely because of its connection to moral responsibility. When I ask—What is human freedom?—I mean to be asking what kind of freedom is required for moral responsibility? Questions about moral responsibility are intimately connected to questions about social policy and justice; so, the issue of moral responsibility—of desert, of whether or not anyone is ever really praiseworthy or blameworthy—has practical as well as theoretical significance.
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  13. Lynne Rudder Baker (forthcoming). Making Sense of Ourselves: Self-Narratives and Personal Identity. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-9.
    Some philosophers take personal identity to be a matter of self-narrative. I argue, to the contrary, that self-narrative views cannot stand alone as views of personal (or numerical) identity. First, I consider Dennett’s self-narrative view, according to which selves are fictional characters—abstractions, like centers of gravity—generated by brains. Neural activity is to be interpreted from the intentional stance as producing a story. I argue that this is implausible. The inadequacy is masked by Dennett’s ambiguous use of ‘us’: sometimes ‘us’ refers (...)
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  14. L. R. Baker (2013). From Consciousness to Self-Consciousness. Grazer Philosophische Studien 84:19--38.
  15. Lynne Rudder Baker (2013). Constitution and Composition. The Monist 96:37-53.
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  16. Lynne Rudder Baker (2013). Ganeri, Jonardon., The Self: Naturalism, Consciousness and the First-Person Stance. Review of Metaphysics 67 (1):160-162.
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  17. Lynne Rudder Baker (2013). L7 The First-Person Perspective and its Relation to Natural Science. In Matthew C. Haug (ed.), Philosophical Methodology: The Armchair or the Laboratory? Routledge.
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  18. Lynne Rudder Baker (2013). Pereboom's Robust Nonreductive Physicalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):736-744.
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  19. Lynne Rudder Baker (2013). Technology and the Future of Persons. The Monist 96 (1):37-53.
  20. Lynne Rudder Baker (2013). Three-Dimensionalism Rescued: A Brief Reply to Michael Della Rocca. Journal of Philosophy 110 (3):166-170.
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  21. Lynne Rudder Baker (2013). Updating Anselm Again. Res Philosophica 90 (1):23-32.
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  22. Scott Reeves, Karen Leslie, Lindsay Baker, Eileen Egan‐Lee, France Légaré, Ivan Silver, Jay Rosenfield, Brian Hodges, Vernon Curran, Heather Armson & Simon Kitto (2013). Study Protocol for a Pilot Study to Explore the Determinants of Knowledge Use in a Medical Education Context. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 19 (5):829-832.
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  23. Lynne Rudder Baker (2012). From Consciousness to Self-Consciousness. Grazer Philosophische Studien 84 (1):19-38.
  24. Lynne Rudder Baker (2012). The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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  25. Lynne Baker (2011). Beyond the Cartesian Self. Phenomenology and Mind 1:60-69.
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  26. Lynne Baker (2011). Christian Materialism in a Scientific Age. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 70 (1):47-59.
    Many Christians who argue against Christian materialism direct their arguments against what I call ‘Type-I materialism’, the thesis that I cannot exist without my organic body. I distinguish Type-I materialism from Type-II materialism, which entails only that I cannot exist without some body that supports certain mental functions. I set out a version of Type-II materialism, and argue for its superiority to Type-I materialism in an age of science. Moreover, I show that Type-II materialism can accommodate Christian doctrines like the (...)
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  27. Lynne Rudder Baker (2011). Does Naturalism Rest on a Mistake. American Philosophical Quarterly 48 (2):161-173.
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  28. Lynne Rudder Baker (2011). First-Personal Aspects of Agency. Metaphilosophy 42 (1-2):1-16.
    Abstract: On standard accounts, actions are caused by reasons (Davidson), and reasons are taken to be neural phenomena. Since neural phenomena are wholly understandable from a third-person perspective, standard views have no room for any ineliminable first-personal elements in an account of the causation of action. This article aims to show that first-person perspectives play essential roles in both human and nonhuman agency. Nonhuman agents have rudimentary first-person perspectives, whereas human agents—at least rational agents and moral agents—have robust first-person perspectives. (...)
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  29. G. B. Matthews & L. R. Baker (2011). Reply to Oppy's Fool. Analysis 71 (2):303-303.
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  30. Lori Baker (2010). From the Glass Ocean a Novel in Progress. Common Knowledge 16 (1):128-136.
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  31. Lynne Rudder Baker (2010). Temporal Reality. In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Harry Silverstein (eds.), Time and Identity. Mit Press.
    Nonphilosophers, if they think of philosophy at all, wonder why people work in metaphysics. After all, metaphysics, as Auden once said of poetry, makes nothing happen.1 Yet some very intelligent people are driven to spend their lives exploring metaphysical theses. Part of what motivates metaphysicians is the appeal of grizzly puzzles (like the paradox of the heap or the puzzle of the ship of Theseus). But the main reason to work in metaphysics, for me at least, is to understand the (...)
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  32. Lynne Rudder Baker & Gareth Matthews (2010). Anselm's Argument Reconsidered. Review of Metaphysics 64 (1):31-54.
    Anselm’s argument for the existence of God in Proslogion 2 has a little-noticed feature: It can be properly formulated only by beings who have the ability to think of things and refer to things independently of whether or not they exist in reality. The authors explore this cognitive ability and try to make clear the role it plays in the ontological argument. Then, we offer a new version of the ontological argument, which, we argue, is sound: it is valid, has (...)
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  33. Gareth B. Matthews & Lynne Rudder Baker (2010). The Ontological Argument Simplified. Analysis 70 (2):210-212.
    The ontological argument in Anselm’s Proslogion II continues to generate a remarkable store of sophisticated commentary and criticism. However, in our opinion, much of this literature ignores or misrepresents the elegant simplicity of the original argument. The dialogue below seeks to restore that simplicity, with one important modification. Like the original, it retains the form of a reductio, which we think is essential to the argument’s great genius. However, it seeks to skirt the difficult question of whether 'exists' is a (...)
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  34. Lynne Rudder Baker (2009). Identity Across Time: A Defense of Three-Dimensionalism. In Ludger Honnefelder, Benedikt Schick & Edmund Runggaldier (eds.), Unity and Time in Metaphysics. Walter de Gruyter Inc.
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  35. Lynne Rudder Baker (2009). Nonreductive Materialsim. In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind. Oup Oxford.
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  36. Lynne Rudder Baker (2009). Nonreductive Materialism I. Introduction. In Brian McLaughlin and Ansgar Beckermann (ed.), Oxford Handbook for the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press.
    The expression ‘nonreductive materialism’ refers to a variety of positions whose roots lie in attempts to solve the mind-body problem. Proponents of nonreductive materialism hold that the mental is ontologically part of the material world; yet, mental properties are causally efficacious without being reducible to physical properties.s After setting out a minimal schema for nonreductive materialism (NRM) as an ontological position, I’ll canvass some classical arguments in favor of (NRM).1 Then, I’ll discuss the major challenge facing any construal of (NRM): (...)
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  37. Lynne Rudder Baker (2009). Persons and the Extended-Mind Thesis. Zygon 44 (3):642-658.
    The extended-mind thesis (EM) is the claim that mentality need not be situated just in the brain, or even within the boundaries of the skin. Some versions take "extended selves" be to relatively transitory couplings of biological organisms and external resources. First, I show how EM can be seen as an extension of traditional views of mind. Then, after voicing a couple of qualms about EM, I reject EM in favor of a more modest hypothesis that recognizes enduring subjects of (...)
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  38. Lynne Rudder Baker (2009). Saving God: Religion After Idolatry. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
    Saving God is a rich and provocative book. It aims to "save God" from idolatrous believers, who take God to be largely concerned with the welfare and destiny of human creatures. Banning idolatry, Johnston is led to a panentheistic conception of "the Highest One," who (or which) is not separable from Nature. With echoes of Spinoza and, to a lesser extent, Whitehead, Johnston argues that the natural world is all that there is, but, properly understood, can be seen as "the (...)
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  39. Lynne Rudder Baker (2009). The Metaphysics of Malfunction. Techne 13 (2):82-92.
    Any artefact – a hammer, a telescope, an artificial hip – may malfunction. Conceptually speaking, artefacts have an inherent normative aspect. I argue that the normativity of artefacts should be understood as part of reality, and not just “in our concepts.” I first set out Deflationary Views of artefacts, according to which there are no artefactual properties, just artefactual concepts. According to my contrasting view – the Constitution View – there are artefactual properties that things in the world really have. (...)
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  40. Lynne Rudder Baker (2009). The Second-Person Account of the Problem of Evil. In Kevin Timpe & Eleonore Stump (eds.), Metaphysics and God: Essays in Honor of Eleonore Stump. Routledge.
     
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  41. L. Michelle Baker (2008). Before Reproduction: The Distortion of Generation. Philosophia 36 (3):299-312.
    Jean Baudrillard has posited a theory of ‘the precession of simulacra’, arguing that it is no longer possible to tell the difference between an image and the meaning it purports to represent because technology allows the image to precede its meaning. Christa Wolf, while researching Cassandra: A Novel and Four Essays (1984), traveled to Greece and discovered the ways in which language in the rational, Western model of civilization has been distorted. Both Baudrillard and Wolf are disturbed by the ways (...)
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  42. Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). “Tätigsein Und Die Erste-Person-Perspektive” (Agency and the First-Person Perspective). In Bruno Niederbacher & Edmund Runggaldier (eds.), Was Sind Menschliche Personen? Onto Verlag.
    It is no news that you and I are agents as well as persons. Agency and personhood are surely connected, but it is not obvious just how they are connected. I believe that being a person and being an agent are intimately linked by what I call a ‘first-person perspective’: All persons and all agents have first-person perspectives. Even so, the connection between personhood and agency is not altogether straightforward. There are different kinds of agents, and there are different kinds (...)
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  43. Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). A Metaphysics of Ordinary Things and Why We Need It. Philosophy 83 (1):5-24.
    Metaphysics has enjoyed a vigorous revival in the last few decades. Even so, there has been little ontological interest in the things that we interact with everyday—trees, tables, other people.1 It is not that metaphysicians ignore ordinary things altogether. Indeed, they are happy to say that sentences like ‘The daffodils are out early this year’ or ‘My computer crashed again’ are true. But they take the truth of such sentences not to require that a full description of reality mention daffodils (...)
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  44. Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). Big-Tent Metaphysics. Abstracta 2 (3):8-15.
    Eric Olson won the hearts of my graduate students by dedicating his book “to the unemployed philosophers.” (The students subsequently got fine jobs, but it’s the thought (or rather the sympathy) that counts.) As appreciated as the dedication was, however, I doubt that it was responsible for the wonderful reception that Olson’s book, The Human Animal, has had. Rather, the cleverness of his arguments, the vigor with which Olson writes, and the new interpretations of old thought experiments and arguments have (...)
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  45. Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). Review: Eric T. Olson: What Are We? A Study in Personal Ontology. [REVIEW] Mind 117 (468):1120-1122.
  46. Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). Response to Eric Olson. Abstracta 3 (3):43-45.
  47. Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). The Irrelevance of the Consequence Argument. Analysis 68 (297):13–22.
    Peter van Inwagen has offered two versions of an influential argument that has come to be called ‘the Consequence Argument’. The Consequence Argument purports to demonstrate that determinism is incompatible with free will.1 It aims to show that, if we assume determinism, we are committed to the claim that, for all propositions p, no one has or ever had any choice about p. Unfortunately, the original Consequence Argument employed an inference rule (the β-rule) that was shown to be invalid. (McKay (...)
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  48. Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). The Shrinking Difference Between Artifacts and Natural Objects. American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers.
    Artifacts are objects intentionally made to serve a given purpose; natural objects come into being without human intervention. I shall argue that this difference does not signal any ontological deficiency in artifacts qua artifacts. After sketching my view of artifacts as ordinary objects, I’ll argue that ways of demarcating genuine substances do not draw a line with artifacts on one side and natural objects on the other. Finally, I’ll suggest that philosophers have downgraded artifacts because they think of metaphysics as (...)
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  49. Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). What Does It Mean to Be One of Us? Journal of Anthropological Psychology 10:9-11.
    Bransen takes the first question to pose ―the problem of man‘s uniqueness,‖ and his ultimate aim is to dissolve that problem. His method of dissolving it is by way of a detailed answer to the second question, which is the most fundamental. I want to show that Bransen‘s answer to the second question actually provides an answer to each of the other questions, and that instead of dissolving the problem of man‘s uniqueness (posed by question #1), what he offers is (...)
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