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Jason Megill [18]Jason L. Megill [6]
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Profile: Jason Megill (Bentley University)
  1. Daniel Linford & Jason Megill (forthcoming). Cognitive Bias, the Axiological Question and the Probability of Theistic Belief. In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), Ontology of Theistic Beliefs: Meta-Ontological Perspectives. De Gruyter
    Some recent work in philosophy of religion addresses what can be called the “axiological question,” i.e., regardless of whether God exists, would it be good or bad if God exists? Would the existence of God make the world a better or a worse place? Call the view that the existence of God would make the world a better place “Pro-Theism.” We argue that Pro-Theism is not implausible, and moreover, many Theists, at least, (often implicitly) think that it is true. That (...)
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  2. Jason Megill & Daniel Linford (forthcoming). God, the Meaning of Life, and a New Argument for Atheism. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-17.
    We raise various puzzles about the relationship between God (if God exists) and the meaning of life (if life has meaning). These difficulties suggest that, even if we assume that God exists, and even if (as we argue) God’s existence would entail that our lives have meaning, God is not and could not be the source of the meaning of life. We conclude by discussing implications of our arguments: (i) these claims can be used in a novel argument for atheism; (...)
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  3. Jason Megill & Daniel Linford (forthcoming). On Computable Metaphysics: On the Uses and Limitations of Computational Metaphysics. In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), Ontology of Theistic Beliefs: Meta-Ontological Perspectives. De Gruyter
    Humans constantly produce strings of characters in symbolic languages, e.g., sentences in natural languages. We show that for any given moment in human history, the set of character strings that have been produced up to that moment, i.e., the sum total of human symbolic output up to that moment, is finite and so Turing computable. We then prove a much stronger result: a Turing machine can produce any particular set of symbolic output that we could possibly have produced. We then (...)
     
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  4. Jason Megill & Tim Melvin (forthcoming). Computability and Human Symbolic Output. Logic and Logical Philosophy.
    This paper concerns “human symbolic output,” or strings of characters produced by humans in our various symbolic systems; e.g., sentences in a natural language, mathematical propositions, and so on. One can form a set that consists of all of the strings of characters that have been produced by at least one human up to any given moment in human history. We argue that at any particular moment in human history, even at moments in the distant future, this set is finite. (...)
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  5. Jason Megill (2015). Fitch’s Paradox and the Existence of an Omniscient Being. In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), God, Truth, and Other Enigmas. De Gruyter 77-88.
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  6. Jason Megill (2014). An Argument Against Epiphenomenalism. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 9 (2):5 - 17.
    I formulate an argument against epiphenomenalism; the argument shows that epiphenomenalism is extremely improbable. Moreover the argument suggests that qualia not only have causal powers, but have their causal powers necessarily. I address possible objections and then conclude by considering some implications the argument has for dualism.
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  7. Jason Megill (2014). An Argument for Modal Realism. In Klaas Kraay (ed.), God and the Multiverse Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Perspectives. Routledge
    I formulate an argument for a weak version of modal realism; to be precise, I argue that there are multiple (i.e., at least two) worlds that contain concrete entities. I conclude by discussing some implications the argument has for theism.
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  8. Jason Megill (2014). Emotion, Cognition and Artificial Intelligence. Minds and Machines 24 (2):189-199.
    Some have claimed that since machines lack emotional “qualia”, or conscious experiences of emotion, machine intelligence will fall short of human intelligence. I examine this objection, ultimately finding it unpersuasive. I first discuss recent work on emotion that suggests that emotion plays various roles in cognition. I then raise the following question: are phenomenal experiences of emotion an essential or necessary component of the performance of these cognitive abilities? I then sharpen the question by distinguishing between four possible positions one (...)
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  9. Jason Megill (2014). Hume, Causation and Two Arguments Concerning God. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (2).
    In Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Hume (1779/1993) appeals to his account of causation (among other things) to undermine certain arguments for the existence of God. If 'anything can cause anything', as Hume claims, then the Principle of Causal Adequacy is false; and if the Principle of Causal Adequacy is false, then any argument for God's existence that relies on that principle fails. Of course, Hume's critique has been influential. But Hume's account of causation undermines the argument from evil at least (...)
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  10. Jason L. Megill, Tim Melvin & Alex Beal (2014). On Some Properties of Humanly Known and Humanly Knowable Mathematics. Axiomathes 24 (1):81-88.
    We argue that the set of humanly known mathematical truths (at any given moment in human history) is finite and so recursive. But if so, then given various fundamental results in mathematical logic and the theory of computation (such as Craig’s in J Symb Log 18(1): 30–32(1953) theorem), the set of humanly known mathematical truths is axiomatizable. Furthermore, given Godel’s (Monash Math Phys 38: 173–198, 1931) First Incompleteness Theorem, then (at any given moment in human history) humanly known mathematics must (...)
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  11. Jason Megill (2013). A Defense of Emergence. Axiomathes 23 (4):597-615.
    I defend a physicalistic version of ontological emergence; qualia emerge from the brain, but are physical properties nevertheless. First, I address the following questions: what are the central tenets of physicalistic ontological emergentism; what are the relationships between these tenets; what is the relationship between physicalistic ontological emergentism and non-reductive physicalism; and can there even be a physicalistic version of ontological emergentism? This discussion is merely an attempt to clarify exactly what a physicalistic version of ontological emergentism must claim, and (...)
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  12. Jason Megill (2012). The Lucas-Penrose Argument About Gödel's Theorem. In J. Feiser & B. Dowden (eds.), Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  13. Jason Megill (2012). Two Ontological Arguments for the Existence of an Omniscient Being. In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), Ontological Proofs Today. Ontos Verlag 50--77.
  14. Jason Megill & Amy Reagor (2012). A Modal Theistic Argument. In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), Ontological Proofs Today. Ontos Verlag 50--89.
  15. Jason Megill (2011). Evil and the Many Universes Response. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 70 (2):127-138.
    I formulate and defend a version of the many universes (or multiverse) reply to the atheistic argument from evil. Specifically, I argue that (i) if we know that any argument from evil (be it a logical or evidential argument) is sound, then we know that God would be (or at least probably would be) unjustified in actualizing our universe. I then argue that (ii) there might be a multiverse and (iii) if so, then we do not know that God would (...)
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  16. Jon Cogburn & Jason Megill (2010). Are Turing Machines Platonists? Inferentialism and the Computational Theory of Mind. Minds and Machines 20 (3):423-439.
    We first discuss Michael Dummett’s philosophy of mathematics and Robert Brandom’s philosophy of language to demonstrate that inferentialism entails the falsity of Church’s Thesis and, as a consequence, the Computational Theory of Mind. This amounts to an entirely novel critique of mechanism in the philosophy of mind, one we show to have tremendous advantages over the traditional Lucas-Penrose argument.
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  17. Evan Sandsmark & Jason L. Megill (2010). Cosmological Argument: A Pragmatic Defense. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 2 (1):127 - 142.
    We formulate a sort of "generic" cosmological argument, i.e., a cosmological argument that shares premises (e.g., "contingent, concretely existing entities have a cause") with numerous versions of the argument. We then defend each of the premises by offering pragmatic arguments for them. We show that an endorsement of each premise will lead to an increase in expected utility; so in the absence of strong evidence that the premises are false, it is rational to endorse them. Therefore, it is rational to (...)
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  18. Jason Megill & Joshua M. Mitchell (2009). A Modest Modal Ontological Argument. Ratio 22 (3):338-349.
    We formulate a new modal ontological argument; specifically, we show that there is a possible world in which an entity that has at least the property of omnipotence exists. Then we argue that if such an entity is possible, it is necessary as well.
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  19. Jason Megill (2007). Naturalism, Physicalism and Epiphenomenalism. Philosophical Psychology 20 (6):681 – 686.
    I argue that physicalistic naturalism entails the falsity of epiphenomenalism. I conclude by briefly discussing implications of my argument for cognitive science, non-reductive physicalism, and the possibility of formulating a naturalistic form of dualism.
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  20. Jason L. Megill (2005). Locke's Mysterianism: On the Unsolvability of the Mind-Body Problem. Locke Studies 5:119-147.
  21. Jason L. Megill & Jon Cogburn (2005). Easy's Gettin' Harder All the Time: The Computational Theory and Affective States. Ratio 18 (3):306-316.
    We argue that A. Damasio’s (1994) Somatic Marker hypothesis can explain why humans don’t generally suffer from the frame problem, arguably the greatest obstacle facing the Computational Theory of Mind. This involves showing how humans with damaged emotional centers are best understood as actually suffering from the frame problem. We are then able to show that, paradoxically, these results provide evidence for the Computational Theory of Mind, and in addition call into question the very distinction between easy and hard problems (...)
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  22. Jason L. Megill (2004). Are We Paraconsistent? On the Lucas-Penrose Argument and the Computational Theory of Mind. Auslegung 27 (1):23-30.
  23. Jason Megill (2003). What Role Do the Emotions Play in Cognition?: Towards a New Alternative to Cognitive Theories of Emotion. Consciousness and Emotion 4 (1):81-100.
    This paper has two aims: (1) to point the way towards a novel alternative to cognitive theories of emotion, and (2) to delineate a number of different functions that the emotions play in cognition, functions that become visible from outside the framework of cognitive theories. First, I hold that the Higher Order Representational (HOR) theories of consciousness — as generally formulated — are inadequate insofar as they fail to account for selective attention. After posing this dilemma, I resolve it in (...)
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  24. Jason L. Megill (2003). What Role Do the Emotions Play in Cognition? Towards a New Alternative to Cognitive Theories of Emotion. Consciousness and Emotion 4 (1):81-100.
    This paper has two aims: (1) to point the way towards a novel alternative to cognitive theories of emotion, and (2) to delineate a number of different functions that the emotions play in cognition, functions that become visible from outside the framework of cognitive theories. First, I hold that the Higher Order Representational (HOR) theories of consciousness ? as generally formulated ? are inadequate insofar as they fail to account for selective attention. After posing this dilemma, I resolve it in (...)
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