The hypothesis that some moods are emotions has been rejected in philosophy, and is an unpopular alternative in psychology. This is because there is wide agreement that moods have a number of features distinguishing them from emotions. These include: lack of an intentional object and the related notion of lack of a goal; being of long duration; having pervasive or widespread effects; and having causes rather than reasons. Leading theories of mood have tried to explain these purported features by describing (...) moods as global changes in the mind affecting such things as predispositions to holding certain beliefs or the thresholds for triggering a range of relevant behaviors. I show instead that our best understanding of emotions can show that basic emotions either have or can appear to have each of these features. Thus, a plausible hypothesis is that certain moods are emotions. This theory is more parsimonious than the global change theories, and for this reason is to be preferred as an explanation of some moods. (shrink)
I defend the hypothesis that organisms that produce and recognize meaningful utterances tend to use simpler procedures, and should use the simplest procedures, to produce and recognize those utterances. This should be a basic principle of any naturalist theory of meaning, which must begin with the recognition that the production and understanding of meanings is work. One measure of such work is the minimal amount of space resources that must go into storing a procedure to produce or recognize a meaningful (...) utterance. This cost has an objective measure, called Kolmogorov Complexity. I illustrate the use of this measure for a naturalist theory of meaning by showing how it offers a straight solution to one of the most influential arguments for meaning irrealism: the skeptical challenge posed by Kripke. (shrink)
The emotions have been one of the most fertile areas of study in psychology, neuroscience, and other cognitive disciplines. Yet as influential as the work in those fields is, it has not yet made its way to the desks of philosophers who study the nature of mind. Passionate Engines unites the two for the first time, providing both a survey of what emotions can tell us about the mind, and an argument for how work in the cognitive disciplines can help (...) us develop new ways of understanding the mind as a whole. CraigDeLancey shows that our best philosophical and scientific understanding of the emotions provides essential insights on key issues in the philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence: intentionality, aesthetics, rationality, action theory, moral psychology, consciousness, ontology and autonomy. He provides an accessible overview of the science of emotion, explaining with minimal jargon the technical issues that arise. The book also offers new ways to understand the mind, suggesting that it is autonomy--and not cognition--that should be the core problem of the philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence. DeLancey argues that the philosophy of mind has been held back by an impoverished view of naturalism, and that a proper appreciation of the complexity of the sciences of mind, readily demonstrated by the science of emotion, will overcome this. Passionate Engines provides a unique, contemporary view of the link between science and philosophy, offering a bold new way of looking at the mind for scholars in a range of disciplines. Its accessible and refreshing approach will appeal to philosophers, psychologists, computer scientists, others in the cognitive disciplines, and lay people interested in the mind. (shrink)
Contemporary science presents us with the remarkable theory that the universe began to exist about fifteen billion years ago with a cataclysmic explosion called "the Big Bang." The question of whether Big Bang cosmology supports theism or atheism has long been a matter of discussion among the general public and in popular science books, but has received scant attention from philosophers. This book sets out to fill this gap by means of a sustained debate between two philosophers, William Lane (...) class='Hi'>Craig and Quentin Smith, who defend opposing positions. Craig argues that the Big Bang that began the universe was created by God, while Smith argues that the Big Bang has no cause. Alternating chapters by the two philosophers criticize and attempt to refute preceding arguments. Their arguments are based on Einstein's theory of relativity and include a discussion of the new quantum cosmology recently developed by Stephen Hawking and popularized in A Brief History of Time. (shrink)
Many scholars claim that a parsimony principle has ontological implications. The most common such claim is that a parsimony principle entails that the “world” is simple. This ontological claim appears to often be coupled with the assumption that a parsimony principle would be corroborated if the “world” were simple. I clarify these claims, describe some minimal features of simplicity, and then show that both these claims are either false or they depend upon an implausible notion of simplicity. In their stead, (...) I propose a minimal ontological claim: a parsimony principle entails a minimal realism about the existence of objects and laws, in order to allow that the descriptions of the relevant phenomena contain patterns. (shrink)
This paper defends the hypothesis that phenomenal experiences may be very complex information states. This can explain some of our most perplexing anti-physicalist intuitions about phenomenal experience. The approach is to describe some basic facts about information in such a way as to make clear the essential oversight involved, by way illustrating how various intuitive arguments against physicalism (such as Frank Jackson.
This paper explores consequences of the claim that phenomenal experiences are physical events of great descriptive complexity. This claim is attractive both because it can explain our most perplexing intuitions about the quality of consciousness and also because it is suggestive of very productive research opportunities. I illustrate the former by showing that two of the most compelling anti-physicalist arguments about phenomenal experience – the modal argument of Kripke and the conceivability argument of Chalmers – are not sound if this (...) claim is true. I illustrate the latter by showing that significant empirical predictions are a consequence of this claim. (shrink)
I defend and revise the systematic account of normative functions (teleofunctions), as recently developed by Gerhard Schlosser and by W. D. Christensen and M. H. Bickhard. This account proposes that teleofunctions are had by structures that play certain kinds of roles in complex systems. This theory is an alternative to the historical etiological account of teleofunctions, developed by Ruth Millikan and others. The historical etiological account is susceptible to a general ontological problem that has been under-appreciated, and that offers important (...) reasons to adopt the systematic account. However, the systematic account must be revised to allow for two distinct kinds of teleofunctions in order to avoid another ontological problem. (shrink)
I argue that natural realism is the best approach to explaining some emotional actions, and thus is the best candidate to explain the relevant emotions. I take natural realism to be the view that these emotions are motivational states which must be identified by using (not necessarily exclusively) naturalistic discourse which, if not wholly lacking intentional terms, at least does not require reference to belief and desire. The kinds of emotional actions I consider are ones which continue beyond the satisfaction (...) of the desires that could plausibly be said to motivate the agent. As a contrast to a realist position about emotions I examine interpretationist theories of mind, using Dennett and Davidson as examples, and show that the emotional actions in question will fail to be explained by these theories. In conclusion, I provide one weak version of a natural realist view of emotions, and show how it succeeds where interpretationism fails. (shrink)
The superfunctionality claim is that phenomenal experiences are more than functional (objective, causal) relations. This is one of the most widely used but least attacked claims in the anti-physicalist literature on consciousness. Coupled with one form of structuralism, the view that science only explains functional relations, the superfunctionality claim entails that science will not explain phenomenal experience. The claim is therefore essential to many anti-physicalist arguments. I identify an open question argument for the superfunctionality claim that expresses an intuition deserving (...) of explanation. Using the experience of fear as an example, I show that this intuition cannot distinguish between whether conscious experiences are more than functional relations, or whether instead they are just very complex (including, constituted by very complex functional relations). I give reasons to suspect that the latter is more likely the case. This renders physicalism safe from the superfunctionality claim. This also provides a challenge to the proponents of the superfunctionality claim: they should explain why paradigmatically mysterious phenomenal experiences are correlated with extensive and complex physical correlates. (shrink)
Raymond Van Arragon considers my my suggestion that most of those who never have the opportunity to accept Christ during their earthly lives suffer from transworld damnation, and he offers four different interpretations of that notion. He argues that at least three of these interpretations are such that on them the suggestion becomes implausible. I maintain that once my suggestion is properly understood, then, despite Van Arragon’s misgivings, it ought not to be thought implausible even on the first two, boldest (...) interpretations he offers. (shrink)
I express two concerns with the theory of emotion that Rolls provides: (1) rewards and punishers alone fail to explain the basic emotions; (2) Rolls needs to clarify his notion of the intentionality of emotions. I also criticize his theory of consciousness, arguing that it fails to explain qualia, and that ironically it is emotions which make this most evident.
The view that organisms deserve moral respect because they have their own purposes is often grounded in a specification of the biological functions that the organism has. One way to identify such functions, adopted by Gary Varner, is to determine the etiology of some behavior based on the evolution of the structures enabling it. This view suffers from some unacceptable problems, including that some organisms with profound defects will by definition have a welfare interest in their defects. For example, this (...) view entails that the patented oncomice, intentionally engineered and bred for a genetic defect that leads to extremely high incidence of cancer, would have a welfare interest in the development of tumors. The systems-based theory of biological functions, which refers not to the evolution of structures but rather to their role in the organism, escapes these problems, and shows how a theory of an organism’s welfare interest in its purposes can be grounded in a sound naturalistic approach. This approach also has some fruitful corollaries, including an elegant theory of why species may require special moral regard. (shrink)
Lewis argues convincingly that a DS approach to emotion theory will be fruitful. He also appears to hold that there are DS principles that constitute a theory or are substantial empirical claims. I argue that this latter move is a mistake.
In this illuminating study Craig argues that the standard practice of analyzing the concept of knowledge has radical defects--arbitrary restriction of the subject matter and risky theoretical presuppositions. He proposes a new approach similar to the "state-of-nature" method found in political theory, building the concept up from a hypothesis about its social function and the needs it fulfills. Shedding light on much that philosophers have written about knowledge, its analysis and the obstacles to its analysis, and the debate over (...) skepticism, this compelling work will be of interest to students and scholars of epistemology and the philosophy of language. (shrink)
What is the connection between philosophy as studied in universities and those general views of man and reality which are commonly considered "philosophy"? Through his attempt to rediscover this connection, Craig offers a view of philosophy and its history since the early 17th century. Craig discusses the two contrary visions of man's essential nature that dominated this period--one portraying man as made in the image of God and required to resemble him as closely as possible, the (...) other depicting man as the autonomous creator of his own environment and values--and uses this context to clarify previously opaque textual detail. Illustrating how general concepts embodied by philosophical thought can be embodied in other media--especially literary--the author brings together disparate disciplines; he also reveals striking similarities between Anglo-American and certain 20th-century continental European lines of thought. (shrink)
Kalam cosmological arguments have recently been the subject of criticisms, at least inter alia, by physicists---Paul Davies, Stephen Hawking---and philosophers of science---Adolf Grunbaum. In a series of recent articles, William Craig has attempted to show that these criticisms are “superficial, iII-conceived, and based on misunderstanding.” I argue that, while some of the discussion of Davies and Hawking is not philosophically sophisticated, the points raised by Davies, Hawking and Grunbaum do suffice to undermine the dialectical efficacy of kalam cosmological (...) arguments. (shrink)
Craig and Moreland present a rigorous analysis and critique of the major varieties of contemporary philosophical naturalism and advocate that it should be abandoned in light of the serious difficulties raised against it. The contributors draw on a wide range of topics including: epistemology, philosophy of science, value theory to basic analytic ontology, philosophy of mind and agency, and natural theology.
The question of whether or not God exists is endlessly fascinating and profoundly important. Now two articulate spokesmen--one a Christian, the other an atheist--duel over God's existence in a lively and illuminating battle of ideas. In God?, William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong bring to the printed page two debates they held before live audiences, preserving all the wit, clarity, and immediacy of their public exchanges. With none of the opaque discourse of academic logicians and divinity-school theologians, the authors (...) make claims and comebacks that cut with precision. Their arguments are sharp and humorous, as each philosopher strikes quickly to the heart of his opponent's case. For example, Craig claims that we must believe in God to explain objective moral values, such as why rape is wrong. Sinnott-Armstrong responds that what makes rape wrong is the harm to victims of rape, so rape is immoral even if there is no God. From arguments about the nature of infinity and the Big Bang, to religious experience and divine action, to the resurrection of Jesus and the problem of evil, the authors treat us to a remarkable display of intelligence and insight--a truly thought-provoking exploration of a classic issue that remains relevant to contemporary life. (shrink)
According to Stephen Finlay, ‘A ought to X’ means that X-ing is more conducive to contextually salient ends than relevant alternatives. This in turn is analysed in terms of probability. I show why this theory of ‘ought’ is hard to square with a theory of a reason’s weight which could explain why ‘A ought to X’ logically entails that the balance of reasons favours that A X-es. I develop two theories of weight to illustrate my point. I first look (...) at the prospects of a theory of weight based on expected utility theory. I then suggest a simpler theory. Although neither allows that ‘A ought to X’ logically entails that the balance of reasons favours that A X-es, this price may be accepted. For there remains a strong pragmatic relation between these claims. (shrink)
[Stephen Makin] Aristotle draws two sets of distinctions in Metaphysics 9.2, first between non-rational and rational capacities, and second between one way and two way capacities. He then argues for three claims: [A] if a capacity is rational, then it is a two way capacity [B] if a capacity is non-rational, then it is a one way capacity [C] a two way capacity is not indifferently related to the opposed outcomes to which it can give rise I provide explanations (...) of Aristotle's terminology, and of how [A]-[C] should be understood. I then offer a set of arguments which are intended to show that the Aristotelian claims are plausible. \\\ [Nicholas Denyer] In De Caelo 1: 11-12 Aristotle argued that whatever is and always will be true is necessarily true. His argument works, once we grant him the highly plausible principle that if something is true, then it can be false if and only if it can come to be false. For example, assume it true that the sun is and always will be hot. No proposition of this form can ever come to be false. Hence this proposition cannot be false. Hence it is necessarily true, and so too is anything that follows from it. In particular, it is necessarily true that the sun is hot. Moreover, if the sun not only is and always will be hot, but also always has been, then it follows by similar reasoning that the sun not only cannot now fail to be hot, but also never could have failed. Anything everlastingly true is therefore, in the strictest sense of the term, necessarily true. (shrink)
Is there a contradiction in Stephen Colbert’s attitudes towards race? How can he consistently claim to be colorblind and yet hold a national search for a new "black friend"? I argue that Stephen is trying to claim rights and shirk responsibilities on matters of race relations in America, and that his famous notion of "truthiness" is an extension of this attitude to other areas of social and political discourse.
[This is a nearly final review of Stephen Davies The Artful Species, for the British Journal of Aesthetics.] In this review, I outline the evolved roles of (a) emotions/drives/appetites, and (b) "telic" pleasure, which results from getting something beneficial. I argue that, contrary to Davies, aesthetic appreciation does not fall into either of the above categories (as normally understood). That is, aesthetic appreciation can neither be a drive to possess its object, nor pleasure in possessing that object. Rather, it (...) is pleasure in contemplating that object. Evolutionary accounts fail, therefore, if they rely on the benefits provided by aesthetic objects. They must rather demonstrate the benefits of contemplating these objects. (shrink)
In mathematical logic, Craig’s Theorem (not to be confused with Craig’s Interpolation Theorem) states that any recursively enumerable theory is recursively axiomatizable. Its epistemological interest concerns its possible use as a method of eliminating “theoretical content” from scientific theories.
I would like to thank the editors of Philosophy East and West for courteously asking me if I would like to respond to Matthew Dasti and Stephen Phillips' very thoughtful remarks about the review I wrote of Phillips' translation and commentary on the pratyakṣa chapter of Gaṅgeśa's Tattvacintāmaṇi, prepared in collaboration with N. S. Ramanuja Tatacharya (Phillips and Tatacharya 2004). Let me begin by reaffirming what I said at the beginning of my review, that the book is "a monumental (...) and momentous achievement, one whose importance cannot be understated." I have indeed enormous admiration for the magnitude of their achievement and respect for the contribution they have made through this translation to the field of .. (shrink)
In a series of much discussed articles and books, William Lane Craig defends the view that the past could not consist in a beginningless series of events. In the present paper, I cast a critical eye on just one part of Craig's case for the finitude of the past – viz. his philosophical argument against the possibility of actually infinite sets of objects in the ‘real world’. I shall try to show that this argument is unsuccessful. I shall (...) also take a close look at several considerations that are often thought to favour the possibility of an actual infinite, arguing in each case that Craig's response is inadequate. (shrink)
According to orthodox Christianity, salvation depends on faith in Christ. If, however, God eternally punishes those who die ignorant of Christ, it appears that we have special instance of the problem of evil: the punishment of the religiously innocent. This is called the soteriological problem of evil. Using Molina's concept of middle knowledge, William Lane Craig develops a solution to this problem which he considers a theodicy. As developed by Craig, the Molinist theodicy rests on the problematic assumption (...) that all informed persons who would freely reject Christ are culpable. Using an informed Muslim as a counter-example, I try to show that Craig's Molinist solution begs the question. (shrink)