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Profile: Todd Buras
  1. Todd Buras & Rebecca Copenhaver (eds.) (forthcoming). Mind, Knowledge and Action: Essays in Honor of Reid’s Tercentenary.
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  2. Todd Buras (2009). An Argument Against Causal Theories of Mental Content. American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (2):117-129.
    Some mental states are about themselves. Nothing is a cause of itself. So some mental states are not about their causes; they are about things distinct from their causes. If this argument is sound, it spells trouble for causal theories of mental content—the precise sort of trouble depending on the precise sort of causal theory. This paper shows that the argument is sound (§§1-3), and then spells out the trouble (§4).
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  3. Todd Buras (2009). The Function of Sensations in Reid. Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (3):pp. 329-353.
    For Reid, the external senses have a “double province.” They give rise to both sensation and perception. This essay is about the relation of sensation and perception, a relation Reid’s sign theory of sensations describes. Drawing on Reid’s distinctions between general and particular principles of our constitution, relative and absolute conceptions, and original and acquired perception, the paper systematizes Reid’s sporadic comments on the sign theory. The aim is to offer an interpretation which reveals the overall structure, rationale and coherence (...)
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  4. Todd Buras (2008). Three Grades of Immediate Perception: Thomas Reid's Distinctions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (3):603–632.
    1. Introduction. Like other direct realists, Thomas Reid offered an alternative to indirect realist and idealist accounts of perception. Reids alternative aimed to preserve the indirect realists commitment to realism about the objects of perception, and the idealists commitment to the immediacy of the minds relation to the objects of perception. Reid holds that what you perceive is mind independent or external; and your relation to such objects in perception is direct or immediate. In his own words, something which is (...)
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  5. Todd Buras (2007). Manifest Activity: Thomas Reid's Theory of Action. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 116 (1):145-147.
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  6. Todd Buras (2007). Review of Ryan Nichols, Thomas Reid's Theory of Perception. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (8).
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  7. Todd Buras (2006). Counterpart Theory, Natural Properties, and Essentialism. Journal of Philosophy 103 (1):27-42.
    David Lewis advised essentialists to judge his counterpart theory a false friend. He also argued that counterpart theory needs natural properties. This essay argues that natural properties are all essentialists need to find a true friend in counterpart theory. Section one explains why Lewis takes counterpart theory to be anti-essentialist and why he thinks it needs natural properties. Section two establishes the connection between the natural properties counterpart theory needs and the essentialist consequences Lewis disavows. Section three answers two objections: (...)
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  8. Todd Buras (2005). The Nature of Sensations in Reid. History of Philosophy Quarterly 22 (3):221 - 238.
    For Reid, sensations do not enter into the analysis of perception proper. Instead they “intervene” between the effects of bodily qualities on our sense organs and our perception of those qualities (Inq VI xxi, 174).1 The question addressed in this essay is: What sort of thing does Reid take this interloper to be?2 The answer defended is that sensations are reflexive mental acts, i.e., acts which take themselves as objects.
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  9. Todd Buras (2002). The Problem with Reid's Direct Realism. Philosophical Quarterly 52 (209):457-477.
    There is a problem about the compatibility of Reid's commitment to both a sign theory of sensations and also direct realism. I show that Reid is committed to three different senses of the claim that mind independent bodies and their qualities are among the immediate objects of perception, and I then argue that Reid's sign theory conflicts with one of these. I conclude by advocating one proposal for reconciling Reid's claims, deferring a thorough development and defence of the proposal to (...)
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