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Profile: Christopher Mole (University of British Columbia)
  1. Christopher Mole, Supervaluation for Papineau's Phenomenal Concepts.
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  2. Christopher Mole (2014). Dead Reckoning in the Desert Ant: A Defence of Connectionist Models. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (2):277-290.
    Dead reckoning is a feature of the navigation behaviour shown by several creatures, including the desert ant. Recent work by C. Randy Gallistel shows that some connectionist models of dead reckoning face important challenges. These challenges are thought to arise from essential features of the connectionist approach, and have therefore been taken to show that connectionist models are unable to explain even the most primitive of psychological phenomena. I show that Gallistel’s challenges are successfully met by one recent connectionist model, (...)
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  3. Christopher Mole (2013). Embodied Demonstratives: A Reply to Wu. Mind 122 (485):231-239.
    Although Wayne Wu correctly identifies a flaw in the way in which my 2009 article frames the debate about ‘zombie action’, he fails in his attempts to strengthen the case for thinking that our actions are under less conscious control than we usually imagine. His argument, like the arguments that my earlier paper addressed, can be blocked by allowing that an embodied demonstrative concept can contribute contents to a visual experience.
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  4. Christopher Mole (2013). Review of Jesse J. Prinz, The Conscious Brain. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Phiilosophical Reviews.
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  5. Christopher Mole (2013). Review of Probably Approximately Correct. [REVIEW] TLS: The Times Literary Supplement 5772:32.
  6. Christopher Mole (2013). The Performative Limits of Poetry. British Journal of Aesthetics 53 (1):55-70.
    J. L. Austin showed that performative speech acts can fail in various ways, and that the ways in which they fail can often be revealing, but he was not concerned with understanding performative failures that occur in the context of poetry. Geoffrey Hill suggests, in both his poetry and his prose writings, that these failures are more interesting than Austin realized. This article corrects Maximilian de Gaynesford’s misunderstanding of Hill’s treatment of this point. It then explains the way in which (...)
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  7. Christopher Mole (2012). Campbell, Richard. The Concept of Truth. [REVIEW] The Review of Metaphysics 65 (4):864-866.
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  8. Christopher Mole (2012). Three Philosophical Lessons for the Analysis of Criminal and Military Intelligence. Intelligence and National Security 27 (4):441-58.
    It has recently been suggested that philosophy – in particular epistemology – has a contribution to make to the analysis of criminal and military intelligence. The present article pursues this suggestion, taking three phenomena that have recently been studied by philosophers, and showing that they have important implications for the gathering and sharing of intelligence, and for the use of intelligence in the determining of military strategy. The phenomena discussed are: (1) Simpson's Paradox, (2) the distinction between resiliency and reliability (...)
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  9. Christopher Mole (2011). Nineteen Fifty Eight: Information Technology and the Reconceptualization of Creativity. The Cambridge Quarterly 40 (4):301-327.
    Nineteen fifty-eight was an extraordinary year for cultural innovation, especially in English literature. It was also a year in which several boldly revisionary positions were first articulated in analytic philosophy. And it was a crucial year for the establishment of structural linguistics, of structuralist anthropology, and of cognitive psychology. Taken together these developments had a radical effect on our conceptions of individual creativity and of the inheritance of tradition. The present essay attempts to illuminate the relationships among these developments, and (...)
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  10. Christopher Mole (2011). The Metaphysics of Attention. In Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies & Wayne Wu (eds.), Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Essays. Oxford University Press. 60.
    This paper gives a brief presentation of adverbialism about attention, and explains some of the reasons why it gives an appealing account of attention's metaphysics.
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  11. Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies & Wayne Wu (eds.) (2011). Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Essays. Oxford University Press.
    Attention has been studied in cognitive psychology for more than half a century, but until recently it was largely neglected in philosophy. Now, however, attention has been recognized by philosophers of mind as having an important role to play in our theories of consciousness and of cognition. At the same time, several recent developments in psychology have led psychologists to foundational questions about the nature of attention and its implementation in the brain. As a result there has been a convergence (...)
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  12. Christopher Mole, Attention. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  13. Christopher Mole (2010). Attention is Cognitive Unison: An Essay in Philosophical Psychology. Oxford University Press.
    Highlights of a difficult history -- The preliminary identification of our topic -- Approaches -- Bradley's protest -- James's disjunctive theory -- The source of Bradley's dissatisfaction -- Behaviourism and after -- Heirs of Bradley in the twentieth century -- The underlying metaphysical issue -- Explanatory tactics -- The basic distinction -- Metaphysical categories and taxonomies -- Adverbialism, multiple realizability, and natural kinds -- Adverbialism and levels of explanation -- Taxonomies and supervenience relations -- Rejecting the process : first view (...)
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  14. Christopher Mole (2010). The Contents of Olfactory Experience. Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (11-12):173-79.
    Clare Batty has recently argued that the content of human olfactory experience is 'a very weak kind of abstract, or existentially quantified content', and so that 'there is no way things smell'. Her arguments are based on two claims. Firstly, that there is no intuitive distinction between olfactory hallucination and olfactory illusion. Secondly, that olfaction 'does not present smell at particular locations', and 'seems disengaged from any particular object'. The present article shows both of these claims to be false. It (...)
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  15. Christopher Mole & Colin Klein (2010). Confirmation, Refutation, and the Evidence of fMRI. In Stephen Hanson & Martin Bunzl (eds.), Foundational Issues in Human Brain Mapping. MIT Press. 99.
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  16. Christopher Mole (2009). Fiction's Ontological Commitments. Philosophical Forum 40 (4):473-488.
    This article examines one way in which a fiction can carry ontological commitments. The ontological commitments that the article examines arise in cases where there are norms governing discourse about items in a fiction that cannot be accounted for by reference to the contents of the sentences that constitute a canonical telling of that fiction. In such cases, a fiction may depend for its contents on the real-world properties of real-world items, and the fiction may, in that sense, be ontologically (...)
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  17. Christopher Mole (2009). Illusions, Demonstratives and the Zombie Action Hypothesis. Mind 118 (472):995-1011.
    David Milner and Melvyn Goodale, and the many psychologists and philosophers who have been influenced by their work, claim that ‘the visual system that gives us our visual experience of the world is not the same system that guides our movements in the world’. The arguments that have been offered for this surprising claim place considerable weight on two sources of evidence — visual form agnosia and the reaching behaviour of normal subjects when picking up objects that induce visual illusions. (...)
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  18. Christopher Mole (2009). On Explaining How Things Work and Explaining How to Work Things. [REVIEW] International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (5):739-752.
    A critical notice of Carl Craver's <em>Explaining the Brain: Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience</em>.
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  19. Christopher Mole (2009). The Matter of Fact in Literature. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (4):483-502.
    Some works of literature are compromised because their authors get the facts wrong. In other works deviations from the facts don’t seem to matter, and authors quite legitimately make things up. This paper gives an account of the various ways in which matters of fact can make a difference to the aesthetic value of works of literature. It concludes by showing how this account can be applied in determining when a concern with matters of fact is an important part of (...)
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  20. Christopher Mole (2009). The Motor Theory of Speech Perception. In Matthew Nudds & Casey O'Callaghan (eds.), Sounds and Perception: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
    There is a long‐standing project in psychology the goal of which is to explain our ability to perceive speech. The project is motivated by evidence that seems to indicate that the cognitive processing to which speech sounds are subjected is somehow different from the normal processing employed in hearing. The Motor Theory of speech perception was proposed in the 1960s as an attempt to explain this specialness. The first part of this essay is concerned with the Motor Theory's explanandum. It (...)
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  21. Christopher Mole (2008). Attention and Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (4):86-104.
    According to commonsense psychology, one is conscious of everything that one pays attention to, but one does not pay attention to all the things that one is conscious of. Recent lines of research purport to show that commonsense is mistaken on both of these points: Mack and Rock (1998) tell us that attention is necessary for consciousness, while Kentridge and Heywood (2001) claim that consciousness is not necessary for attention. If these lines of research were successful they would have important (...)
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  22. Christopher Mole (2008). Attention in the Absence of Consciousness? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (2):44.
    A response to Christof Koch and Naotsugu Tsuchiya's 'Attention and Consciousness: Two Distinct Brain Processes'.
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  23. Christopher Mole (2008). Beauty, Desire and Ignorance. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (4):581 – 593.
    A critical notice of Alexander Nehamas's Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Art.
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  24. Christopher Mole (2007). Attention, Self, and The Sovereignty of Good. In Anne Rowe (ed.), Iris Murdoch: A reassessment.
    Iris Murdoch held that states of mind and character are of the first moral importance, and that attention to one's states of mind and character are a widespread source of moral failure. Maintaining both of these claims can lead to problems in the account of how one could become good. This paper explains the way in which Murdoch negotiated those problems, focusing, in particular on /The Sovereignty of Good/ and /The Nice and The Good/.
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  25. Christopher Mole, Corey Kubatzky, Jan Plate, Rawdon Waller, Marilee Dobbs & Marc Nardone (2007). Faces and Brains: The Limitations of Brain Scanning in Cognitive Science. Philosophical Psychology 20 (2):197 – 207.
    The use of brain scanning now dominates the cognitive sciences, but important questions remain to be answered about what, exactly, scanning can tell us. One corner of cognitive science that has been transformed by the use of neuroimaging, and that a scanning enthusiast might point to as proof of scanning's importance, is the study of face perception. Against this view, we argue that the use of scanning has, in fact, told us rather little about the information processing underlying face perception (...)
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  26. Christopher Mole & Sean D. Kelly (2006). On the Demonstration of Blindsight in Monkeys. Mind and Language 21 (4):475-483.
    The work of Alan Cowey and Petra Stoerig is often taken to have shown that, following lesions analogous to those that cause blindsight in humans, there is blindsight in monkeys. The present paper reveals a problem in Cowey and Stoerig's case for blindsight in monkeys. The problem is that Cowey and Stoerig's results would only provide good evidence for blindsight if there is no difference between their two experimental paradigms with regard to the sorts of stimuli that are likely to (...)
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  27. Christopher Mole (2005). Attention is Cognitive Unison. Dissertation, Princeton University
  28. Christopher Mole (2005). Review of Naomi Eilan, Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack, Johannes Roessler (Eds), Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds -- Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (9).
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