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Profile: David Chalmers (Australian National University, New York University)
Profile: Douglas Chalmers (Columbia University)
  1.  35270 DLs
    David Bourget & David J. Chalmers (2014). What Do Philosophers Believe? Philosophical Studies 170:465-500.
    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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  2.  1355 DLs
    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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  3.  991 DLs
    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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  4.  887 DLs
    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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  5.  872 DLs
    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 , from there to a modal claim , and from there to a metaphysical claim.
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  6.  812 DLs
    David J. Chalmers (1995). Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 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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  7.  807 DLs
    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 . Ned Block and Robert Stalnaker say no.
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  8.  666 DLs
    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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  9.  626 DLs
    David Chalmers (2012). Constructing the World. Oxford University Press.
  10.  617 DLs
    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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  11.  602 DLs
    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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  12.  575 DLs
    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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  13.  488 DLs
    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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  14.  474 DLs
    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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  15.  454 DLs
    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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  16.  446 DLs
    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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  17.  434 DLs
    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 . 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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  18.  432 DLs
    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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  19.  417 DLs
    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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  20.  410 DLs
    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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  21.  408 DLs
    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 , 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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  22.  404 DLs
    David J. Chalmers, What is It Like to Be a Thermostat?
    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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  23.  397 DLs
    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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  24.  390 DLs
    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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  25.  390 DLs
    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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  26.  386 DLs
    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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  27.  381 DLs
    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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  28.  366 DLs
    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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  29.  360 DLs
    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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  30.  357 DLs
    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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  31.  355 DLs
    David J. Chalmers (2004). Epistemic Two-Dimensional Semantics. Philosophical Studies 118 (1-2):153-226.
  32.  346 DLs
    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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  33.  342 DLs
    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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  34.  336 DLs
    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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  35.  326 DLs
    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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  36.  323 DLs
    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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  37.  314 DLs
    David J. Chalmers (1999). Precis of The Conscious Mind. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (2):435-438.
  38.  305 DLs
    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. The papers I’m responding to are: Chris Hill & Brian McLaughlin, There are fewer things in reality than are (...)
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  39.  299 DLs
    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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  40.  290 DLs
    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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  41.  287 DLs
    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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  42.  277 DLs
    David J. Chalmers (1996). Is Experience Ubiquitous? In The Conscious Mind. Oxford University Press
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  43.  277 DLs
    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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  44.  261 DLs
    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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  45.  258 DLs
    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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  46.  257 DLs
    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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  47.  252 DLs
    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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  48.  252 DLs
    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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  49.  246 DLs
    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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  50.  243 DLs
    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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