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Profile: Bernard Molyneux (University of California, Davis)
  1. Bernard Molyneux (2012). How the Problem of Consciousness Could Emerge in Robots. Minds and Machines 22 (4):277-297.
    I show how a robot with what looks like a hard problem of consciousness might emerge from the earnest attempt to make a robot that is smart and self-reflective. This problem arises independently of any assumption to the effect that the robot is conscious, but deserves to be thought of as related to the human problem in virtue of the fact that (1) the problem is one the robot encounters when it tries to naturalistically reduce its own subjective states (2) (...)
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  2. Bernard Molyneux (2011). On The Infinitely Hard Problem Of Consciousness. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):211 - 228.
    I show that the recursive structure of Leibniz's Law requires agents to perform infinitely many operations to psychologically identify the referents of phenomenal and physical concepts, even though the referents of ordinary concepts (e.g. Hesperus and Phosphorus) can be identified in a finite number of steps. The resulting problem resembles the hard problem of consciousness in the fact that it appears (and indeed is) unsolvable by anyone for whom it arises, and in the fact that it invites dualist and eliminativist (...)
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  3. Bernard Molyneux (2010). Why the Neural Correlates of Consciousness Cannot Be Found. Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (9-10):168-188.
    From the assumption that the presence of consciousness is detectable, in the first instance, only from behavioral indicators, I offer a proof to the effect that, with respect to any theory T that states that some particular state or process is the neural correlate of consciousness, there are always rival neural correlates that, from T’s perspective, can never be empirically ruled out. That's because, with respect to these states, the means of detecting consciousness is disrupted along with the empirical test. (...)
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  4. Joshua Earlenbaugh & Bernard Molyneux (2009). Intuitions Are Inclinations to Believe. Philosophical Studies 145 (1):89 - 109.
    Advocates of the use of intuitions in philosophy argue that they are treated as evidence because they are evidential. Their opponents agree that they are treated as evidence, but argue that they should not be so used, since they are the wrong kinds of things. In contrast to both, we argue that, despite appearances, intuitions are not treated as evidence in philosophy whether or not they should be. Our positive account is that intuitions are a subclass of inclinations to believe. (...)
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  5. Joshua Earlenbaugh & Bernard Molyneux (2009). If Intuitions Must Be Evidential Then Philosophy is in Big Trouble. Studia Philosophica Estonica 2 (2):35-53.
    Many philosophers claim that intuitions are evidential. Yet it is hard to see how introspecting one's mental states could provide evidence for such synthetic truths as those concerning, for example, the abstract and the counterfactual. Such considerations have sometimes been taken to lead to mentalism---the view that philosophy must concern itself only with matters of concept application or other mind-dependent topics suited to a contemplative approach---but this provides us with a poor account of what it is that philosophers take themselves (...)
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  6. Bernard Molyneux (2009). Why Experience Told Me Nothing About Transparency. Noûs 43 (1):116-136.
    The transparency argument concludes that we're directly aware of external properties and not directly aware of the properties of experience. Focusing on the presentation used by Michael Tye (2002) I contend that the argument requires experience to have content that it cannot plausibly have. I attribute the failure to a faulty account of the transparency phenomenon and conclude by suggesting an alternative understanding that is independently plausible, is not an error-theory and yet renders the transparency of experience compatible with mental-paint (...)
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  7. Bernard Molyneux (2007). Primeness, Internalism and Explanatory Generality. Philosophical Studies 135 (2):255 - 277.
    Williamson (2000) [Knowledge and its Limits, Oxford: Oxford University Press] argues that attempts to substitute narrow mental states or narrow/environmental composites for broad and factive mental states will result in poorer explanations of behavior. I resist Williamson.
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