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Profile: David Leech Anderson (Illinois State University)
  1. David Leech Anderson (2012). Machine Intentionality, the Moral Status of Machines, and the Composition Problem. In Vincent C. Müller (ed.), The Philosophy & Theory of Artificial Intelligence. Springer. 312-333.
    According to the most popular theories of intentionality, a family of theories we will refer to as “functional intentionality,” a machine can have genuine intentional states so long as it has functionally characterizable mental states that are causally hooked up to the world in the right way. This paper considers a detailed description of a robot that seems to meet the conditions of functional intentionality, but which falls victim to what I call “the composition problem.” One obvious way to escape (...)
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  2. David Leech Anderson (2012). Causality-Dependent Consciousness and Consciousness-Dependent Causality. Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (5-6):5-6.
    This paper has two main goals. First, it asks whether causality is an adequate foundation for those theories of cognition and consciousness that are built upon it. The externalist revolution has reconceived all three dimensions of cognition -- the semantic, the epistemological, and the mental -- upon a foundation of 'causal connections of the appropriate type'. Yet, these new theories almost completely ignore the long-standing controversies surrounding the very nature of causality, and the very real threat that 'causality' may be (...)
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  3. David Leech Anderson (2009). A Semantics for Virtual Environments and the Ontological Status of Virtual Objects. APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers 9 (1):15-19.
    Virtual environments engage millions of people and billions of dollars each year. What is the ontological status of the virtual objects that populate those environments? An adequate answer to that question requires a developed semantics for virtual environments. The truth-conditions must be identified for “tree”-sentences when uttered by speakers immersed in a virtual environment (VE). It will be argued that statements about virtual objects have truth-conditions roughly comparable to the verificationist conditions popular amongst some contemporary antirealists. This does not mean (...)
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  4. David Leech Anderson (2007). Consciousness and Realism. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (1):1-17.
    There is a long and storied history of debates over 'realism' that has touched literally every academic discipline. Yet realism- antirealism debates play a relatively minor role in the contemporary study of consciousness. In this paper four basic varieties of realism and antirealism are explored and their potential impact on the study of consciousness is considered. Reasons are offered to explain why there is not more debate over these issues, including a discussion of the powerful influence of externalist versions of (...)
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  5. David Leech Anderson (1995). A Dogma of Metaphysical Realism. American Philosophical Quarterly 32 (1):1 - 11.
    There is a dogma about metaphysical realism that is well nigh universal: "If one is a metaphysical realist about the external world, then one ought to be a semantic realist about (all) external- world statements". I argue that this dogma should be rejected. It is possible for a metaphysical realist to be a "semantic dualist", holding that some middle- sized object statements receive a realist interpretation, but that most such statements require an antirealist interpretation. To show that a semantically dual (...)
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  6. David Leech Anderson (1993). What is the Model-Theoretic Argument? Journal of Philosophy 60 (6):311-322.
    In a recent article, James Van Cleve joins a growing throng who have argued that Hilary Putnam's model-theoretic argument (and his "just more theory" response) begs the question against those who hold externalist theories of reference. Van Cleve has misinterpreted Putnam's argument. Putnam does not demand that the statements which make up the causal theory of reference must, themselves, do the reference-fixing. That would be question-begging. Rather, Putnam's argument is a "reductio", which can only be blocked with a theory of (...)
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  7. David Leech Anderson (1987). The Realism-Idealism Debate: Theoretical and Practical. Dissertation, Harvard University
    The thesis of this dissertation is that "the realism-idealism debate" is both a theoretical and a practical dispute. The practical dimension has been largely ignored because the deficiencies in the theoretical positions have gone unnoticed. As theoretical doctrines, realism and idealism are best interpreted as semantic theories specifying the conditions in virtue of which our statements are true and false. As semantic doctrines, however, both realism and idealism are false. Neither semantic theory is consistent with other philosophical positions to which (...)
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