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  1. William S. Robinson, Phenomenal Consciousness and Intentionality: Vive la Difference!
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  2. William S. Robinson (forthcoming). Hidden Nature Physicalism. Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-19.
    Hidden nature physicalists hold that an experiential quality and its hidden nature are the same property – even though they agree that our experiences are of experiential qualities but are not, in the same sense, experiences of their hidden natures. This paper argues that physicalists must be committed to ultimately giving accounts that involve no non-extensional relations, and that this commitment leads to an inability to explain how our experiences could be of experiential qualities, but not of their hidden natures.
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  3. William S. Robinson (forthcoming). James’s Evolutionary Argument. Disputatio.
  4. William S. Robinson (forthcoming). Red is the Hardest Problem. Topoi:1-12.
    Philip Pettit has advocated a “looks as powers” theory (LAPT) as an alternative to theories that rely on instances of qualia in their account of looking red. Andy Clark has offered a similar view. If these accounts are successful, the Hard Problem (HP) is moribund. This paper asks how red (assumed to be typical of sensory qualities) comes into cases of something’s looking red to someone. A likely suggestion leads to a conundrum for LAPT: the physical complexity that it attributes (...)
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  5. William S. Robinson (2014). Concept Acquisition and Experiential Change. Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 9 (1).
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  6. William S. Robinson (2013). Experiencing is Not Observing: A Response to Dwayne Moore on Epiphenomenalism and Self-Stultification. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (2):185-192.
    This article defends epiphenomenalism against criticisms raised in Dwayne Moore’s “On Robinson’s Response to the Self-Stultifying Objection”.
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  7. William S. Robinson (2011). A Frugal View of Cognitive Phenomenology. In Tim Bayne and Michelle Montague (ed.), Cognitive Phenomenology. Oxford University Press 197.
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  8. William S. Robinson (2008). 3 Experience and Representation. In Edmond Wright (ed.), The Case for Qualia. The MIT Press 73.
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  9. William S. Robinson (2008). Le dualisme conceptuel et l'intuition de la distinction chez David Papineau. Synthesis Philosophica 22 (2):319-333.
    Défendant le point de vue physicaliste de l’expérience, David Papineau propose une explication à l’intuition que les propriétés contenues dans les expériences se distinguent des propriétés nerveuses. Après avoir présenté quelques éléments de contexte, je soutiens que l’hypothèse de Papineau n’est pas la meilleure pour expliquer l’intuition de la distinction. Il existe une explication alternative, compatible avec le dualisme. A la différence de celle de Papineau, cette explication ne demande pas de supposer que l’intuition de la distinction soit fondée sur (...)
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  10. William S. Robinson (2008). Papineau's Conceptual Dualism and the Distinctness Intuition. Synthesis Philosophica 22 (2):319-333.
    As part of a defense of a physicalist view of experiences, David Papineau has offered an explanation for the intuition that properties found in experiences are distinct from neural properties. After providing some necessary background, I argue that Papineau’s explanation is not the best explanation of the distinctness intuition. An alternative explanation that is compatible with dualism is offered. Unlike Papineau’s explanation, this alternative does not require us to suppose that the distinctness intuition rests on fallacious reasoning. Relations of the (...)
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  11. William S. Robinson (2008). Papineaus konzeptualer Dualismus und die Intuition der Gewissheit. Synthesis Philosophica 22 (2):319-333.
    Im Rahmen seiner Verteidigung der physikalistischen Sichtweise der Erfahrung bot David Papineau 2002 die Erklärung an, dass bei der Intuition die erfahrungsmäßigen Eigenschaften anders geartet seien als neuronale Eigenschaften. Nach einer Schilderung des notwendigen Kontextes vertritt der Autor die These, dass Papineaus Erklärung zur Intuition der Gewissheit nicht die beste sei. Angeboten wird eine alternative, mit dem Dualismus kompatible Erklärung. Im Unterschied zu Papineaus Standpunkt setzt diese Alternative nicht die Annahme voraus, dass die Intuition der Gewissheit auf trugschlüssigen Gedankengängen beruhe. (...)
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  12. William S. Robinson (2006). Knowing Epiphenomena. Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (1-2):85-100.
    This paper begins with a summary of an argument for epiphenomenalism and a review of the author's previous work on the self-stultification objection to that view. The heart of the paper considers an objection to this previous work and provides a new response to it. Questions for this new response are considered and a view is developed in which knowledge of our own mentality is seen to differ from our knowledge of external things.
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  13. William S. Robinson (2006). What is It Like to Like? Philosophical Psychology 19 (6):743-765.
    The liking of a sensation, e.g., a taste, is a conscious occurrent but does not consist in having the liked sensation accompanied by a "pleasure sensation" - for there is no such sensation. Several alternative accounts of liking, including Aydede's "feeling episode" theory and Schroeder's representationalist theory are considered. The proposal that liking a sensation is having the non-sensory experience of liking directed upon it is explained and defended. The pleasure provided by thoughts, conversations, walks, etc., is analyzed and brought (...)
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  14. William S. Robinson (2005). Thoughts Without Distinctive Non-Imagistic Phenomenology. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (3):534-561.
    Silent thinking is often accompanied by subvocal sayings to ourselves, imagery, emotional feelings, and non-sensory experiences such as familiarity, rightness, and confidence that we can go on in certain ways. Phenomenological materials of these kinds, along with our dispositions to give explanations or draw inferences, provide resources that are sufficient to account for our knowledge of what we think, desire, and so on. We do not need to suppose that there is a distinctive, non-imagistic 'what it is like' to think (...)
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  15. William S. Robinson (2005). Zooming in on Downward Causation. Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):117-136.
    . An attempt is made to identify a concept of ‘downward causation’ that will fit the claims of some recent writers and apply to interesting cases in biology and cognitive theory, but not to trivial cases. After noting some difficulties in achieving this task, it is proposed that in interesting cases commonly used to illustrate ‘downward causation’, (a) regularities hold between multiply realizable properties and (b) the explanation of the parallel regularity at the level of the realizing properties is non-trivial. (...)
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  16. William S. Robinson (2004). A Few Thoughts Too Many? In Rocco J. Gennaro (ed.), Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness: An Anthology. John Benjamins
  17. William S. Robinson (2004). Colors, Arousal, Functionalism, and Individual Differences. Psyche 10 (2).
    Some philosophers have regarded the connection between hues and certain arousal or affective qualities as so intimate as to make them inseparable, and this “necessary concomitance view” has been invoked to defend functionalism against arguments based on inverted spectra. Support for the necessary concomitance view has sometimes been thought to accrue from experiments in psychology. This paper examines three experiments, two of which apparently offer support for the view. It argues that careful consideration of these experiments undermines this appearance of (...)
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  18. William S. Robinson (2004). Perception, Affect and Epiphenomenalism: Commentary on Mangan's. Psyche 10 (1).
    This commentary begins by explaining how Mangan's important work leads to a question about the relation between non-sensory experiences and perception. Reflection on affect then suggests an addition to Mangan's view that may be helpful on this and perhaps some other questions. Finally, it is argued that acceptance of non-sensory experiences is fully compatible with epiphenomenalism.
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  19. William S. Robinson (2004). Understanding Phenomenal Consciousness. Cambridge University Press.
    William S. Robinson has for many years written insightfully about the mind-body problem. In Understanding Phenomenal Consciousness he focuses on sensory experience and perception qualities such as colors, sounds and odors to present a dualistic view of the mind, called Qualitative Event Realism, that goes against the dominant materialist views. This theory is relevant to the development of a science of consciousness which is now being pursued not only by philosophers but by researchers in psychology and the brain sciences. This (...)
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  20. William S. Robinson, Epiphenomenalism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Epiphenomenalism is the view that mental events are caused by physical events in the brain, but have no effects upon any physical events. Behavior is caused by muscles that contract upon receiving neural impulses, and neural impulses are generated by input from other neurons or from sense organs. On the epiphenomenalist view, mental events play no causal role in this process. Huxley (1874), who held the view, compared mental events to a steam whistle that contributes nothing to the work of (...)
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  21. William S. Robinson (2002). Jackson's Apostasy. Philosophical Studies 111 (3):277-293.
    Frank Jackson has abandoned his famous knowledge argument, and has explained why in a brief "Postscript on Qualia" . This explanation consists of a direct argument, and an attempt to explain away the intuition that lies at the heart of the knowledge argument. The direct argument is clarified and found to be subtly question-begging. The attempt to explain away the key intuition is reviewed and found to be inadequate. False memory traces, which Jackson mentions at the beginning of the direct (...)
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  22. William S. Robinson, Qualia Realism. A Field Guide to the Philosophy of Mind.
  23. William S. Robinson (1999). A Theory of Phenomenal Consciousness? Psyche 5 (4).
    Peter Carruthers offers a model that embraces first order representations and higher order representations or higher order thoughts . His model stipulates certain features of FORs and HOTs. Carruthers agrees with qualia realists that the FORs of his model are not adequate for phenomenal consciousness, and invokes HOTs to supply the required addition. It is argued that Carruthers' HOTs fail to provide anything that will enable him to account for phenomenal consciousness, i.e., that his model fails to include phenomenal consciousness (...)
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  24. William S. Robinson (1999). 8 Evolution and Self-Evidence. In Philip R. Loockvane (ed.), The Nature of Concepts: Evolution, Structure, and Representation. Routledge 168.
     
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  25. William S. Robinson (1999). Philosophy's Second Revolution. Teaching Philosophy 22 (1):88-91.
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  26. William S. Robinson (1999). Qualia Realism and Neural Activation Patterns. Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (10):65-80.
    A thought experiment focuses attention on the kinds of commonalities and differences to be found in two small parts of visual cortical areas during responses to stimuli that are either identical in quality, but different in location, or identical in location and different only in the one visible property of colour. Reflection on this thought experiment leads to the view that patterns of neural activation are the best candidates for causes of qualitatively conscious events . This view faces a strong (...)
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  27. William S. Robinson (1999). Representation and Cognitive Explanation. In Understanding Representation in the Cognitive Sciences: Does Representation Need Reality, Riegler. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Pub
     
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  28. William S. Robinson (1999). Understanding Representation in the Cognitive Sciences: Does Representation Need Reality, Riegler. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Pub.
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  29. William S. Robinson (1998). A Gap Not Bridged. Consciousness and Cognition 7 (2):210-211.
  30. William S. Robinson (1998). Could a Robot Be Qualitatively Conscious? Aisb 99:13-18.
     
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  31. William S. Robinson (1998). Intrinsic Qualities of Experience: Surviving Harman's Critique. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 47 (3):285-309.
    Gilbert Harman (1990) seeks to defend psychophysical functionalism by articulating a representationalist view of the qualities of experience. The negative side of the present paper argues that the resources of this representationalist view are insufficient to ground the evident distinction between perception and (mere) thought. This failure makes the view unable to support the uses to which Harman wishes to put it. Several rescuing moves by other representationalists are considered, but none is found successful. Part of the difficulty in Harman's (...)
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  32. William S. Robinson (1997). Some Nonhuman Animals Can Have Pains in a Morally Relevant Sense. Biology and Philosophy 12 (1):51-71.
    In a series of works, Peter Carruthers has argued for the denial of the title proposition. Here, I defend that proposition by offering direct support drawn from relevant sciences and by undercutting Carruthers argument. In doing the latter, I distinguish an intrinsic theory of consciousness from Carruthers relational theory of consciousness. This relational theory has two readings, one of which makes essential appeal to evolutionary theory. I argue that neither reading offers a successful view.
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  33. William S. Robinson (1996). Mild Realism, Causation, and Folk Psychology. Philosophical Psychology 8 (2):167-87.
    Daniel Dennett (1991) has advanced a mild realism in which beliefs are described as patterns “discernible in agents' (observable) behavior” (p. 30). I clarify the conflict between this otherwise attractive theory and the strong realist view that beliefs are internal states that cause actions. Support for strong realism is sometimes derived from the assumption that the everyday psychology of the folk is committed to it. My main thesis here is that we have sufficient reason neither for strong realism nor for (...)
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  34. William S. Robinson (1996). The Hardness of the Hard Problem. Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (1):14-25.
    This paper offers an account of why the Hard Problem cannot be solved within our present conceptual framework. The reason is that some property of each conscious experience lacks structure, while explanations of the kind that would overcome the Hard Problem require structure in the occurrences that are to be explained. This account is apt to seem incorrect for reasons that trace to relational theories of consciousness. I thus review a highly developed representative version of relational theory and explain why (...)
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  35. William S. Robinson (1995). Brain Symbols and Computationalist Explanation. Minds and Machines 5 (1):25-44.
    Computationalist theories of mind require brain symbols, that is, neural events that represent kinds or instances of kinds. Standard models of computation require multiple inscriptions of symbols with the same representational content. The satisfaction of two conditions makes it easy to see how this requirement is met in computers, but we have no reason to think that these conditions are satisfied in the brain. Thus, if we wish to give computationalist explanations of human cognition, without committing ourselvesa priori to a (...)
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  36. William S. Robinson (1995). Direct Representation. Philosophical Studies 80 (3):305-22.
  37. William S. Robinson (1994). Orwell, Stalin, and Determinate Qualia. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 75 (2):151-64.
  38. William S. Robinson (1994). What is Cognitive Science? Review of Metaphysics 48 (2):436-437.
  39. William S. Robinson, Commentary.
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  40. William S. Robinson (1992). Computers, Minds, and Robots. Temple University Press.
  41. William S. Robinson (1992). Penrose and Mathematical Ability. Analysis 52 (2):80-88.
  42. William S. Robinson (1991). Rationalism, Expertise, and the Dreyfuses' Critique of AI Research. Southern Journal of Philosophy 29 (2):271-90.
  43. William S. Robinson (1990). Brains and People. Behavior and Philosophy 18 (2):101-104.
     
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  44. William S. Robinson (1990). Mark Sacks, The World We Found: The Limits of Ontological Talk Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 10 (4):157-159.
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  45. William S. Robinson (1990). States and Beliefs. Mind 99 (393):33-51.
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  46. William S. Robinson (1989). Psychosemantics. Review of Metaphysics 42 (3):619-620.
  47. William S. Robinson (1988). Brains and People: An Essay on Mentality and its Causal Conditions. Temple University Press.
     
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  48. William S. Robinson (1986). Ascription, Intentionality and Understanding. The Monist 69 (4):584-597.
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  49. William S. Robinson (1986). It's Past Fixing. Mind 95 (378):230-232.
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  50. William S. Robinson (1985). Intentionality, Ascription, and Understanding: Remarks on Professor Hocutt's" Spartans, Strawmen, and Symptoms". Behaviorism 13 (2):157-162.
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