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Holly Andersen [14]Holly K. Andersen [1]
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Profile: Holly Andersen (Simon Fraser University)
  1. Holly Andersen (forthcoming). Mental Causation. In N. Levy J. Clausen (ed.), Springer Handbook of Neuroethics. Springer.
    The problem of mental causation in contemporary philosophy of mind concerns the possibility of holding two different views that are in apparent tension. The first is physicalism, the view that there is nothing more to the world than the physical. The second is that the mental has genuine causal efficacy in a way that does not reduce to pure physical particle-bumping. This article provides a historical background to this question, with focus on Davidson’s anomalous monism and Kim’s causal exclusion problem. (...)
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  2. Holly Andersen (2014). A Field Guide to Mechanisms: Part I. Philosophy Compass 9 (4):274-283.
    In this field guide, I distinguish five separate senses with which the term ‘mechanism’ is used in contemporary philosophy of science. Many of these senses have overlapping areas of application but involve distinct philosophical claims and characterize the target mechanisms in relevantly different ways. This field guide will clarify the key features of each sense and introduce some main debates, distinguishing those that transpire within a given sense from those that are best understood as concerning distinct senses. The ‘new mechanisms’ (...)
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  3. Holly Andersen (2014). A Field Guide to Mechanisms: Part II. Philosophy Compass 9 (4):284-293.
    In this field guide, I distinguish five separate senses with which the term ‘mechanism’ is used in contemporary philosophy of science. Many of these senses have overlapping areas of application but involve distinct philosophical claims and characterize the target mechanisms in relevantly different ways. This field guide will clarify the key features of each sense and introduce some main debates, distinguishing those that transpire within a given sense from those that are best understood as concerning two distinct senses. The ‘new (...)
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  4. Holly Andersen (2014). The Development of the ‘Specious Present’ and James’ Views on Temporal Experience. In Dan Lloyd Valtteri Arstila (ed.), Subjective Time: the philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience of temporality. MIT Press. 25-42.
    This chapter examines the philosophical discussion concerning the relationship between time, memory, attention, and consciousness, from Locke through the Scottish Common Sense tradition, in terms of its influence on James' development of the specious present doctrine. The specious present doctrine is the view that the present moment in experience is non punctate, but instead comprises some nonzero amount of time; it contrasts with the mathematical view of the present, in which the divide between past and future is merely a point (...)
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  5. Holly Andersen (2013). The Representation of Time in Agency. In Adrian Bardon & Heather Dyke (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Philosophy of Time. Wiley-Blackwell.
    This paper outlines some key issues that arise when agency and temporality are considered jointly, from the perspective of psychology, cognitive neuroscience, phenomenology, and action theory. I address the difference between time simpliciter and time as represented as it figures in phenomena like intentional binding, goal-oriented action plans, emulation systems, and ‘temporal agency’. An examination of Husserl’s account of time consciousness highlights difficulties in generalizing his account to include a substantive notion of agency, a weakness inherited by explanatory projects like (...)
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  6. Holly Andersen (2013). When to Expect Violations of Causal Faithfulness and Why It Matters. Philosophy of Science (5):672-683.
    I present three reasons why philosophers of science should be more concerned about violations of causal faithfulness (CF). In complex evolved systems, mechanisms for maintaining various equilibrium states are highly likely to violate CF. Even when such systems do not precisely violate CF, they may nevertheless generate precisely the same problems for inferring causal structure from probabilistic relationships in data as do genuine CF-violations. Thus, potential CF-violations are particularly germane to experimental science when we rely on probabilistic information to uncover (...)
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  7. Joshua Alexander, Mark Alicke, Holly Andersen, Michael Anderson, Kristin Andrews, István Aranyosi, Adam Arico, Nomy Arpaly, Robert Audi & Andrew Bailey (2012). Philosophical Psychology Would Like to Thank the Following for Contributing to the Journal as Reviewers This Past Year: Fred Adams Kenneth Aizawa. Philosophical Psychology 25 (1):161-163.
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  8. Holly Andersen (2012). Mechanisms: What Are They Evidence for in Evidence-Based Medicine. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 18 (5):992-999.
    Even though the evidence‐based medicine movement (EBM) labels mechanisms a low quality form of evidence, consideration of the mechanisms on which medicine relies, and the distinct roles that mechanisms might play in clinical practice, offers a number of insights into EBM itself. In this paper, I examine the connections between EBM and mechanisms from several angles. I diagnose what went wrong in two examples where mechanistic reasoning failed to generate accurate predictions for how a dysfunctional mechanism would respond to intervention. (...)
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  9. Holly Andersen (2012). The Case for Regularity in Mechanistic Causal Explanation. Synthese 189 (3):415-432.
    How regular do mechanisms need to be, in order to count as mechanisms? This paper addresses two arguments for dropping the requirement of regularity from the definition of a mechanism, one motivated by examples from the sciences and the other motivated by metaphysical considerations regarding causation. I defend a broadened regularity requirement on mechanisms that takes the form of a taxonomy of kinds of regularity that mechanisms may exhibit. This taxonomy allows precise explication of the degree and location of regular (...)
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  10. Holly Andersen (2011). Mechanisms, Laws, and Regularities. Philosophy of Science 78 (2):325-331.
    Leuridan (2010) argued that mechanisms cannot provide a genuine alternative to laws of nature as a model of explanation in the sciences, and advocates Mitchell’s (1997) pragmatic account of laws. I first demonstrate that Leuridan gets the order of priority wrong between mechanisms, regularity, and laws, and then make some clarifying remarks about how laws and mechanisms relate to regularities. Mechanisms are not an explanatory alternative to regularities; they are an alternative to laws. The existence of stable regularities in nature (...)
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  11. Holly K. Andersen (2010). Mental Causation: The Mind-Body Problem. By Anthony Dardis. Metaphilosophy 41 (3):450-455.
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  12. Holly Andersen & Rick Grush (2009). A Brief History of Time-Consciousness: Historical Precursors to James and Husserl. Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (2):277-307.
    William James’ Principles of Psychology, in which he made famous the ‘specious present’ doctrine of temporal experience, and Edmund Husserl’s Zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins, were giant strides in the philosophical investigation of the temporality of experience. However, an important set of precursors to these works has not been adequately investigated. In this article, we undertake this investigation. Beginning with Reid’s essay ‘Memory’ in Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, we trace out a line of development of ideas about (...)
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  13. Holly Andersen, Causation and the Awareness of Agency.
    I criticize the tendency to address the causal role of awareness in agency in terms of the awareness of agency, and argue that this distorts the causal import of experimental results in significant ways. I illustrate, using the work of Shaun Gallagher, how the tendency to focus on the awareness of agency obscures the role of extrospective awareness by considering it only in terms of what it contributes to the awareness of agency. Focus on awareness of agency separates awareness from (...)
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  14. Holly Andersen (2008). Unlocking the Philosophy of Science. Metascience 17 (3):407-410.
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  15. Holly Andersen, Two Causal Mistakes in Wegner's Illusion of Conscious Will.
    Daniel Wegner argues that our feelings of conscious will are illusory: these feelings are not causally involved in the production of action, which is rather governed by unconscious neural processes. I argue that Wegner's interpretation of neuroscientific results rests on two fallacious causal assumptions, neither of which are supported by the evidence. Each assumption involves a Cartesian disembodiment of conscious will, and it is this disembodiment that results in the appearance of causal inefficacy, rather than any interesting features of conscious (...)
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