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Profile: Marc Champagne (Trent University)
  1.  37
    Marc Champagne (2015). A Less Simplistic Metaphysics: Peirce’s Layered Theory of Meaning as a Layered Theory of Being. Sign Systems Studies 43 (4):523–552.
    This article builds on C. S. Peirce’s suggestive blueprint for an inclusive outlook that grants reality to his three categories. Moving away from the usual focus on (contentious) cosmological forces, I use a modal principle to partition various ontological layers: regular sign-action (like coded language) subsumes actual sign-action (like here-and-now events) which in turn subsumes possible sign-action (like qualities related to whatever would be similar to them). Once we realize that the triadic sign’s components are each answerable to this asymmetric (...)
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  2.  83
    Marc Champagne (2015). Poinsot Versus Peirce on Merging with Reality by Sharing a Quality. Versus: Quaderni di Studi Semiotici 120:31–43.
    C. S. Peirce introduced the term “icon” for sign-vehicles that signify their objects in virtue of some shared quality. This qualitative kinship, however, threatens to collapse the relata of the sign into one and the same thing. Accordingly, the late medieval philosopher of signs John Poinsot held that, “no matter how perfect, a concept [...] always retains a distinction, therefore, between the thing signified and itself signifying.” Poinsot is touted by his present-day advocates as a realist, but I believe that, (...)
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  3.  8
    Marc Champagne (2015). Experience and Life as Ever‐Present Constraints on Knowledge. Metaphilosophy 46 (2):235-245.
    This essay argues that acknowledging the existence of mind-independent facts is a matter of vital importance, in that acquiescence before the layout of the world is something demanded of knowing agents from the most elementary empirical deliverance to the most abstract construct. Building on the idea that normativity requires the presence of more than one option to choose from, the essay shows how the cessation of one's <span class='Hi'>life</span> is the disjunctive alternative of any experiential episode. This much has been (...)
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  4. Marc Champagne (2011). Axiomatizing Umwelt Normativity. Sign Systems Studies 39 (11):9-59.
    Prompted by the thesis that an organism’s umwelt possesses not just a descriptive dimension, but a normative one as well, some have sought to annex semiotics with ethics. Yet the pronouncements made in this vein have consisted mainly in rehearsing accepted moral intuitions, and have failed to concretely further our knowledge of why or how a creature comes to order objects in its environment in accordance with axiological charges of value or disvalue. For want of a more explicit account, theorists (...)
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  5.  18
    Marc Champagne (2014). Just Do It: Schopenhauer and Peirce on the Immediacy of Agency. Symposium: The Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 18 (2):209-232.
    In response to the claim that our sense of will is illusory, some philosophers have called for a better understanding of the phenomenology of agency. Although I am broadly sympathetic with the tenor of this response, I question whether the positive-theoretic blueprint it promotes truly heralds a tenable undertaking. Marshaling a Schopenhauerian insight, I examine the possibility that agency might not be amenable to phenomenological description. Framing this thesis in terms of Charles S. Peirce’s semiotic framework, I suggest a way (...)
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  6.  60
    Marc Champagne (2015). Don’T Be an Ass: Rational Choice and its Limits. Reason Papers 37 (1):137-147.
    Deliberation is often seen as the site of human freedom, but the binding power of rationality seems to imply that deliberation is, in its own way, a deterministic process. If one knows the starting preferences and circumstances of an agent, then, assuming that the agent is rational and that those preferences and circumstances don’t change, one should be in a position to predict what the agent will decide. However, given that an agent could conceivably confront equally attractive alternatives, it (...)
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  7.  9
    Marc Champagne (2016). Peat Bogs, Sperm, and Family Values: Teaching Naturalism Charitably. Sexuality and Culture.
    Introductory courses dealing with sex, gender and sexuality often assign excerpts from Thomas Aquinas as an exemplar of the naturalist view. Given that most novice students tend to side against such naturalism uncritically, they need to be exposed to a more charitable account of the biological considerations motivating a stance like Aquinas.’ With that in mind, this article presents accessible arguments aimed at restoring deliberative balance in the classroom.
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  8.  13
    Marc Champagne (2015). Sound Reasoning : Prospects and Challenges of Current Acoustic Logics. Logica Universalis 9 (3):331-343.
    Building on the notational principles of C. S. Peirce’s graphical logic, Pietarinen has tried to develop a propositional logic unfolding in the medium of sound. Apart from its intrinsic interest, this project serves as a concrete test of logic’s range. However, I argue that Pietarinen’s inaugural proposal, while promising, has an important shortcoming, since it cannot portray double-negation without thereby portraying a contradiction.
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  9.  15
    Marc Champagne (2015). Disjunctivism and the Ethics of Disbelief. Philosophical Papers 44 (2):139-163.
    This paper argues that there is a conflict between two theses held by John McDowell, namely i) the claim that we are under a standing obligation to revise our beliefs if reflection demands it; and ii) the view that veridical experience is a mode of direct access to the world. Since puts no bounds on what would constitute reasonable doubt, it invites skeptical concerns which overthrow. Conversely, since says that there are some experiences which we are entitled to trust, it (...)
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  10. Marc Champagne (2011). What About Suicide Bombers? A Terse Response to a Terse Objection. Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 11 (2):233–236.
    Stressing that the pronoun "I" picks out one and only one person in the world (i.e., me), I argue against Hunt (and other like-minded Rand commentators) that the supposed "hard case" of destructive people who do not care for their own lives poses no special difficulty for rational egoism. I conclude that the proper response to a terse objection like "What about suicide bombers?" is the equally terse assertion "But I don't want to get blown up.".
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  11. Marc Champagne (2012). Russell and the Newman Problem Revisited. Analysis and Metaphysics 11:65 - 74.
    In his 1927 Analysis of Matter and elsewhere, Russell argued that we can successfully infer the structure of the external world from that of our explanatory schemes. While nothing guarantees that the intrinsic qualities of experiences are shared by their objects, he held that the relations tying together those relata perforce mirror relations that actually obtain (these being expressible in the formal idiom of the Principia Mathematica). This claim was subsequently criticized by the Cambridge mathematician Max Newman as true but (...)
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  12.  22
    Marc Champagne (forthcoming). Brandom, Peirce, and the Overlooked Friction of Contrapiction. Synthese:1-16.
    Robert Brandom holds that what we mean is best understood in terms of what inferences we are prepared to defend, and that such a defence is best understood in terms of rule-governed social interactions. This manages to explain quite a lot. However, for those who think that there is more to making correct/incorrect inferences than obeying/breaking accepted rules, Brandom’s account fails to adequately capture what it means to reason properly. Thus, in an effort to sketch an alternative that does not (...)
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  13.  55
    Marc Champagne, Reply to My Commentator. Argument Cultures: Proceedings of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation.
    A reply to a critic who, by his very criticisms, demonstrates my point about analytic philosophy's narrow-minded approach to differing styles of exposition.
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  14. Marc Champagne (2006). Some Convergences and Divergences in the Realism of Charles Peirce and Ayn Rand. Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 8 (1):19-39.
    Structured around Charles S. Peirce's three-fold categorical scheme, this article proposes a comparative study of Ayn Rand and Peirce's realist views in general metaphysics. Rand's stance is seen as diverging with Peirce's argument from asymptotic representation but converging with arguments from brute relation and neutral category. It is argued that, by dismissing traditional subject-object dualisms, Rand and Peirce both propose iconoclastic construals of what it means to be real, dismissals made all the more noteworthy by the fact each chose to (...)
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  15.  21
    Marc Champagne & Mimi Reisel Gladstein (2015). Beauvoir and Rand: Asphyxiating People, Having Sex, and Pursuing a Career. The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 15 (1):23-41.
    In an attempt to start rectifying a lamentable disparity in scholarship, we evince fruitful points of similarity and difference in the ideas of Simone de Beauvoir and Ayn Rand, paying particular attention to their views on long-term projects. Endorsing what might be called an “Ethic of Resolve,” Rand praises those who undertake sustained goal-directed actions such as careers. Beauvoir, however, endorses an “Ethic of Ambiguity” that makes her more skeptical about the prospects of carrying out lifelong projects without deluding oneself. (...)
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  16.  30
    Marc Champagne (2014). Referring to the Qualitative Dimension of Consciousness: Iconicity Instead of Indexicality. Dialogue 53 (1):135-182.
    This paper suggests that reference to phenomenal qualities is best understood as involving iconicity, that is, a passage from sign-vehicle to object that exploits a similarity between the two. This contrasts with a version of the ‘phenomenal concept strategy’ that takes indexicality to be central. However, since it is doubtful that phenomenal qualities are capable of causally interacting with anything, indexical reference seems inappropriate. While a theorist like David Papineau is independently coming to something akin to iconicity, I think some (...)
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  17.  15
    Marc Champagne & Ryan Tonkens (2015). Bridging the Responsibility Gap in Automated Warfare. Philosophy and Technology 28 (1):125-137.
    Sparrow argues that military robots capable of making their own decisions would be independent enough to allow us denial for their actions, yet too unlike us to be the targets of meaningful blame or praise—thereby fostering what Matthias has dubbed “the responsibility gap.” We agree with Sparrow that someone must be held responsible for all actions taken in a military conflict. That said, we think Sparrow overlooks the possibility of what we term “blank check” responsibility: A person of sufficiently high (...)
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  18.  95
    Marc Champagne (2009). Explaining the Qualitative Dimension of Consciousness: Prescission Instead of Reification. Dialogue 48 (1):145-183.
    ABSTRACT: This paper suggests that it is largely a want of notional distinctions which fosters the “explanatory gap” that has beset the study of consciousness since T. Nagel’s revival of the topic. Modifying Ned Block’s controversial claim that we should countenance a “phenomenal-consciousness” which exists in its own right, we argue that there is a way to recuperate the intuitions he appeals to without engaging in an onerous reification of the facet in question. By renewing with the full type/token/tone trichotomy (...)
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  19. Marc Champagne (2008-09). What Anchors Semiosis: How Descartes Changed the Subject. RS/SI (Recherches Sémiotiques / Semiotic Inquiry) 28 (3-1):183–197.
    The goal of this article is twofold. First, it revises the historiographic partition proposed by John Deely in Four Ages of Understanding (2001) by arguing that the moment marking the beginning of philosophical Modernity has been vividly recorded in Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy with the experiment with the wax. Second, an upshot of this historical study is that it helps make sense of Deely’s somewhat iconoclastic use of the words “subject” and “subjectivity” to designate mind-independent worldly things. The hope (...)
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  20.  23
    Marc Champagne, We, the Professional Sages: Analytic Philosophy’s Arrogation of Argument. Argument Cultures: Proceedings of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation.
    One claim reiterated with increasing boldness by the “analytic” tradition in philosophy is that what sets it apart from long-time rivals is a shared adherence to proper norms of argumentation. Gradated deviancy from this canon by English-speaking practitioners has therefore raised important questions about who can repair under the banner “professional philosopher.” We will portray as deeply worrisome the idea that argumentation should secure not just conclusions, but disciplinary membership as well.
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  21. Marc Champagne (2009). Some Semiotic Constraints on Metarepresentational Accounts of Consciousness. In John N. Deely & Leonard G. Sbrocchi (eds.), Semiotics. Legas Press 557-564.
    "Representation" is one of those Janus-faced terms that seems blatantly obvious when used in a casual or pre-theoretic manner, but which reveals itself far more slippery when attentively studied. Any allusion to "metarepresentation", it would then seem, only compounds these difficulties. Taking the metarepresentationalist framework in its roughest outline as our point of departure, we thus articulate four key "structural" features that appear binding for any such theory.
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  22.  2
    Marc Champagne & Mimi Reisel Gladstein (2015). Beauvoir and Rand. Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 15 (1):23-41.
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  23.  78
    Marc Champagne (2009). A Note on M. Barbieri's "Scientific Biosemiotics". American Journal of Semiotics 25 (1-2):155-161.
    A densely-packed critique of some current trends in semiotics.
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  24.  67
    Marc Champagne (2013). Can “I” Prevent You From Entering My Mind? Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (1):145-162.
    Shaun Gallagher has actively looked into the possibility that psychopathologies involving “thought insertion” might supply a counterexample to the Cartesian principle according to which one can always recognize one’s own thoughts as one’s own. Animated by a general distrust of a priori demonstrations, Gallagher is convinced that pitting clinical cases against philosophical arguments is a worthwhile endeavor. There is no doubt that, if true, a falsification of the immunity to error through misidentification would entail drastic revisions in how we conceive (...)
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  25.  38
    Marc Champagne (2013). Choosing Between the Long and Short Informational Routes to Psychological Explanation. Philosophical Psychology 26 (1):129-138.
    Following recent work by Don Ross (Ross, 2000; Ross & Spurrett, 2004), I contrast the influential theories of Daniel Dennett and Paul Churchland in information-theoretic terms. Dennett makes much of the fact that the morphological shorthand which emerges before a witness as she looks upon cohesive aggregates of matter commands some measure of predictive power. This, for him, speaks against eliminating recourse to an intentional vocabulary. By contrast, the eliminative materialism defended by Churchland does not gloss such informational compressibility as (...)
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  26.  16
    Marc Champagne (2014). Book Review: Group Agency: The Possibility, Design, and Status of Corporate Agents. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (2):252-258.
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  27.  1
    Marc Champagne (2014). Just Do It: Schopenhauer and Peirce on the Immediacy of Agency. Symposium 18 (2):209-232.
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  28.  7
    Marc Champagne (2011). Postuleerides omailma normatiivsust. Kokkuvõte. Sign Systems Studies 39 (1):59-59.
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  29.  5
    Marc Champagne (2011). Постулируя нормативность умвельта. Резюме. Sign Systems Studies 39 (1):58-58.
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  30.  6
    Marc Champagne (2013). A Necessary Condition for Proof of Abiotic Semiosis. Semiotica 2013 (197):283-287.
    This short essay seeks to identify and prevent a pitfall that attends less careful inquiries into “physiosemiosis.” It is emphasized that, in order to truly establish the presence of sign-action in the non-living world, all the components of a triadic sign - including the interpretant - would have to be abiotic (that is, not dependent on a living organism). Failure to heed this necessary condition can lead one to hastily confuse a natural sign (like smoke coming from fire) for an (...)
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  31. Marc Champagne (2011). Axiomatizing Umwelt Normativity. Sign Systems Studies 39 (1):9.
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