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Profile: Brie Gertler (University of Virginia)
  1. Brie Gertler (forthcoming). Renewed Acquaintance. In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford University Press. 89-123.
    I will elaborate and defend a set of metaphysical and epistemic claims that comprise what I call the acquaintance approach to introspective knowledge of the phenomenal qualities of experience. The hallmark of this approach is the thesis that, in some introspective judgments about experience, (phenomenal) reality intersects with the epistemic, that is, with the subject’s grasp of that reality. In Section 1 of the paper I outline the acquaintance approach by drawing on its Russellian lineage. A more detailed picture of (...)
     
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  2. Brie Gertler (2012). Conscious States as Objects of Awareness: On Uriah Kriegel, Subjective Consciousness: A Self-Representational Theory. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 159 (3):447-455.
    Conscious states as objects of awareness: on Uriah Kriegel, Subjective consciousness: a self - representational theory Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-9 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9763-9 Authors Brie Gertler, Corcoran Department of Philosophy, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
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  3. Brie Gertler (2012). Understanding the Internalism-Externalism Debate: What is the Boundary of the Thinker? Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):51-75.
    Externalism about mental content is now widely accepted. It is therefore surprising that there is no established definition of externalism. I believe that this is a symptom of an unrecognized fact: that the labels 'mental content externalism'-and its complement 'mental content internalism'-are profoundly ambiguous. Under each of these labels falls a hodgepodge of sometimes conflicting claims about the organism's contribution to thought contents, the nature of the self, relations between the individual and her community, and the epistemic availability of thoughts. (...)
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  4. Brie Gertler (2011). Self-Knowledge and the Transparency of Belief. In Anthony Hatzimoysis (ed.), Self-Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
    In this paper, I argue that the method of transparency --determining whether I believe that p by considering whether p -- does not explain our privileged access to our own beliefs. Looking outward to determine whether one believes that p leads to the formation of a judgment about whether p, which one can then self-attribute. But use of this process does not constitute genuine privileged access to whether one judges that p. And looking outward will not provide for access to (...)
     
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  5. Brie Gertler (2011). Self-Knowledge. Routledge.
    The problem of self-knowledge is one of the most fascinating in all of philosophy and has crucial significance for the philosophy of mind and epistemology. Gertler assesses the leading theoretical approaches to self-knowledge, explaining the work of many of the key figures in the field: from Descartes and Kant, through to Bertrand Russell and Gareth Evans, as well as recent work by Tyler Burge, David Chalmers, William Lycan and Sydney Shoemaker. -/- Beginning with an outline of the distinction between self-knowledge (...)
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  6. Brie Gertler (2009). The Subject's Point of View – Katalin Farkas. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237):743-747.
  7. Brie Gertler (2009). Introspection. In Patrick Wilken, Timothy J. Bayne & Axel Cleeremans (eds.), The Oxford Companion to Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    Alas, things are not quite so simple. As James implies, the term ‘introspection’ literally means ‘looking within’, but of course we do not visually inspect the interiors of our crania. What unites proponents of introspection is the claim that we can recognize our own mental states through some sort of attention—a non-visual ‘looking’—whose immediate objects are thoughts or sensations within oneself, in a non-spatial sense of ‘within’. (The term ‘introspection’ is occasionally given an ecumenical gloss, to refer to any method (...)
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  8. Brie Gertler (2009). The Role of Ignorance in the Problem of Consciousness: Critical Review of Daniel Stoljar, Ignorance and Imagination: The Epistemic Origin of the Problem of Consciousness (Oxford University Press, 2006). Noûs 43 (2):378-393.
    The plain man thinks that material objects must certainly exist, since they are evident to the senses. Whatever else may be doubted, it is certain that anything you can bump into must be real; this is the plain man’s metaphysic. This is all very well, but the physicist comes along and shows that you never bump into anything: even when you run your hand along a stone wall, you do not really touch it. When you think you touch a thing, (...)
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  9. Brie Gertler, Self-Knowledge. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    "Self-knowledge" is commonly used in philosophy to refer to knowledge of one's particular mental states, including one's beliefs, desires, and sensations. It is also sometimes used to refer to knowledge about a persisting self -- its ontological nature, identity conditions, or character traits. At least since Descartes, most philosophers have believed that self-knowledge is importantly different from knowledge of the world external to oneself, including others' thoughts. But there is little agreement about what precisely distinguishes self-knowledge from knowledge in other (...)
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  10. Brie Gertler (2007). Content Externalism and the Epistemic Conception of the Self. Philosophical Issues 17 (1):37–56.
    Our fundamental conception of the self seems to be, broadly speaking, epistemic: selves are things that have thoughts, undergo experiences, and possess reasons for action and belief. In this paper, I evaluate the consequences of this epistemic conception for the widespread view that properties like thinking that arthritis is painful are relational features of the self.
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  11. Brie Gertler (2007). Overextending the Mind? In Brie Gertler & Lawrence Shapiro (eds.), Arguing About the Mind. Routledge. 192--206.
    Clark and Chalmers argue that the mind is extended – that is, its boundary lies beyond the skin. In this essay, I will criticize this conclusion. However, I will also defend some of the more controversial elements of Clark and Chalmers's argument. I reject their conclusion because I think that their argument shows that a seemingly innocuous assumption, about internal states and processes, is flawed. My goal is not to conclusively refute Clark and Chalmers's conclusion. My aim is only to (...)
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  12. Brie Gertler (2007). Tienson's Challenge to Content Externalism. Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (S1):60-65.
    In this commentary, I examine John Tienson’s argument that reflection on the epistemic situation of the Cartesian meditator suggests that intentional content is narrow. My aim is to show how his argument is closely connected to another prominent objection to externalism—the McKinsey argument.
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  13. Brie Gertler & Lawrence A. Shapiro (eds.) (2007). Arguing About the Mind. Routledge.
    Introduction -- Consciousness : what is the problem? -- Consciousness : how should it be studied? -- Is the mind physical? -- How is your mind related to your body? : how is it related to the world? -- What is the self? -- What can pathological cases teach us about the mind? -- How can we know whether-and what-non-human animals think? -- Can machines think? -- Is there intelligent life on other planets?
     
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  14. Brie Gertler (2006). Consciousness and Qualia Cannot Be Reduced. In Robert J. Stainton (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science (Contemporary Debates in Philosophy). Blackwell. 202-216.
  15. Brie Gertler (2005). The Knowledge Argument. In The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. MacMillan.
    The definitive statement of the Knowledge Argument was formulated by Frank Jackson, in a paper entitled “Epiphenomenal Qualia” that appeared in The Philosophical Quarterly in 1982. Arguments in the same spirit had appeared earlier (Broad 1925, Robinson 1982), but Jackson’s argument is most often compared with Thomas Nagel’s argument in “What is it Like to be a Bat?” (1974). Jackson, however, takes pains to distinguish his argument from Nagel’s. This entry will follow standard practice in focusing on Jackson’s argument, though (...)
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  16. Brie Gertler (2004). Agency and Self-Awareness: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
    Johannes Roessler and Naomi Eilan (eds.), Agency and Self-Awareness: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology , Oxford, 2003, 400pp, $29.95 (pbk), ISBN 019924562..
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  17. Brie Gertler (2004). Simulation Theory on Conceptual Grounds. Protosociology 20:261-284.
    I will present a conceptual argument for a simulationist answer to (2). Given that our conception of mental states is employed in attributing mental states to others, a simulationist answer to (2) supports a simulationist answer to (1). I will not address question (3). Answers to (1) and (2) do not yield an answer to (3), since (1) and (2) concern only our actual practices and concepts. For instance, an error theory about (1) and (2) would say that our practices (...)
     
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  18. Brie Gertler (2004). We Can't Know a Priori That H2O Exists. But Can We Know a Priori That Water Does? Analysis 64 (1):44-47.
  19. Brie Gertler (2003). How to Draw Ontological Conclusions From Introspective Data. In , Privileged Access: Philosophical Accounts of Self-Knowledge. Ashgate. 233.
  20. Brie Gertler (2003). Introduction to Privileged Access: Philosophical Theories of Self-Knowledge. In , Privileged Access: Philosophical Theories of Self-Knowledge. Ashgate.
     
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  21. Brie Gertler (ed.) (2003). Privileged Access: Philosophical Accounts of Self-Knowledge. Ashgate.
    When read as demands for justification, these questions seem absurd. We don’t normally ask people to substantiate assertions like “I think it will rain tomorrow” or “I have a headache”. There is, at the very least, a strong presumption that sincere self-attributions about one’s thoughts and feelings are true. In fact, some philosophers believe that such self-attributions are less susceptible to doubt than any other claims. Even those who reject that extreme view generally acknowledge that there is some salient epistemic (...)
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  22. Brie Gertler (2002). Can Feminists Be Cartesians? Dialogue 41 (1):91-112.
    I defend one leading strand of Descartes's thought against feminist criticism. I will show that Descartes's “first-person” approach to our knowledge of minds, which has been criticized on feminist grounds, is at least compatible with key feminist views. My argument suggests that this strand of Cartesianism may even bolster some central feminist positions.
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  23. Brie Gertler (2002). Explanatory Reduction, Conceptual Analysis, and Conceivability Arguments About the Mind. Noûs 36 (1):22-49.
    My aim here is threefold: (a) to show that conceptual facts play a more significant role in justifying explanatory reductions than most of the contributors to the current debate realize; (b) to furnish an account of that role, and (c) to trace the consequences of this account for conceivability arguments about the mind.
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  24. Brie Gertler (2002). Review of John Perry, Knowledge, Possibility, and Consciousness. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2002 (1).
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  25. Brie Gertler (2001). Introspecting Phenomenal States. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (2):305-28.
    This paper defends a novel account of how we introspect phenomenal states, the Demonstrative Attention account (DA). First, I present a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for phenomenal state introspection which are not psychological, but purely metaphysical and semantic. Next, to explain how these conditions can be satisfied, I describe how demonstrative reference to a phenomenal content can be achieved through attention alone. This sort of introspective demonstration differs from perceptual demonstration in being non-causal. DA nicely explains key intuitions (...)
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  26. Brie Gertler (2001). The Explanatory Gap is Not an Illusion: A Reply to Michael Tye. Mind 110 (439):689-694.
    The claim that there is an explanatory gap between physical and phenomenal properties is perhaps the leading current challenge to materialist views about the mind. Tye tries to block this challenge, not by providing an explanation to bridge the gap but by denying that phenomenalphysical identities introduce an explanatory gap. Since an explanatory gap exists only if there is something unexplained that needs explaining, and something needs explaining only if it can be explained (whether or not it lies within the (...)
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  27. Brie Gertler (2001). The Relationship Between Phenomenality and Intentionality: Comments on Siewert's The Significance of Consciousness. Psyche 7 (17).
    Charles Siewert offers a persuasive argument to show that the presence of certain phenomenal features logically suffices for the presence of certain intentional ones. He claims that this shows that (some) phenomenal features are inherently intentional. I argue that he has not established the latter thesis, even if we grant the logical sufficiency claim. For he has not ruled out a rival alternative interpretation of the relevant data, namely, that (some) intentional features are inherently phenomenal.
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  28. Brie Gertler (2000). Functionalism's Methodological Predicament. Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (1):77-94.
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  29. Brie Gertler (2000). The Mechanics of Self-Knowledge. Philosophical Topics 28 (2):125-46.
    It is often said that we can know our own thoughts more directly or with more certainty than anyone else can know them. And this disparity is usually taken to be principled, in that we would not be the rational, reflective beings that we are without it. My aim is to trace the consequences of a principled disparity between self-knowledge and other-knowledge for what may be termed the “mechanics ” of self-knowledge . I use a new thought experiment to show (...)
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  30. Brie Gertler (2000). The World Without, the Mind Within. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):235-238.
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  31. Brie Gertler (1999). Frank Jackson, From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis:From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis. Ethics 110 (1):202-205.
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  32. Brie Gertler (1999). A Defense of the Knowledge Argument. Philosophical Studies 93 (3):317-336.
    This paper calls into question the viability of materialist reduction of the phenomenal. I revisit the 'Knowledge Argument', which claims that there is information about the phenomenal which is not reducible to, nor even inferable from, information about the physical. I demonstrate the failure of the two chief strategies for blocking the Knowledge Argument: (1) analyzing phenomenal knowledge as an ability, and (2) construing it as knowledge of facts which are ontologically reducible to (though conceptually distinct from) physical facts. Materialist (...)
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  33. Brie Gertler (1999). From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis. Ethics 110 (1):202-205.
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