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Profile: Christopher Mole (University of British Columbia)
  1. Attention and Consciousness.Christopher Mole - 2008 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (4):86-104.
    According to commonsense psychology, one is conscious of everything that one pays attention to, but one does not pay attention to all the things that one is conscious of. Recent lines of research purport to show that commonsense is mistaken on both of these points: Mack and Rock (1998) tell us that attention is necessary for consciousness, while Kentridge and Heywood (2001) claim that consciousness is not necessary for attention. If these lines of research were successful they would have important (...)
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  2. Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Essays.Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies & Wayne Wu (eds.) - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Attention has been studied in cognitive psychology for more than half a century, but until recently it was largely neglected in philosophy. Now, however, attention has been recognized by philosophers of mind as having an important role to play in our theories of consciousness and of cognition. At the same time, several recent developments in psychology have led psychologists to foundational questions about the nature of attention and its implementation in the brain. As a result there has been a convergence (...)
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  3.  66
    Attention is Cognitive Unison: An Essay in Philosophical Psychology.Christopher Mole - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    Highlights of a difficult history -- The preliminary identification of our topic -- Approaches -- Bradley's protest -- James's disjunctive theory -- The source of Bradley's dissatisfaction -- Behaviourism and after -- Heirs of Bradley in the twentieth century -- The underlying metaphysical issue -- Explanatory tactics -- The basic distinction -- Metaphysical categories and taxonomies -- Adverbialism, multiple realizability, and natural kinds -- Adverbialism and levels of explanation -- Taxonomies and supervenience relations -- Rejecting the process : first view (...)
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  4. Embodied Demonstratives: A Reply to Wu.Christopher Mole - 2013 - Mind 122 (485):231-239.
    Although Wayne Wu correctly identifies a flaw in the way in which my 2009 article frames the debate about ‘zombie action’, he fails in his attempts to strengthen the case for thinking that our actions are under less conscious control than we usually imagine. His argument, like the arguments that my earlier paper addressed, can be blocked by allowing that an embodied demonstrative concept can contribute contents to a visual experience.
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  5.  93
    Illusions, Demonstratives and the Zombie Action Hypothesis.Christopher Mole - 2009 - Mind 118 (472):995-1011.
    David Milner and Melvyn Goodale, and the many psychologists and philosophers who have been influenced by their work, claim that ‘the visual system that gives us our visual experience of the world is not the same system that guides our movements in the world’. The arguments that have been offered for this surprising claim place considerable weight on two sources of evidence — visual form agnosia and the reaching behaviour of normal subjects when picking up objects that induce visual illusions. (...)
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  6. Attention.Christopher Mole - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  7.  8
    Autism and ‘Disease’: The Semantics of an Ill-Posed Question.Christopher Mole - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-15.
    It often seems incorrect to say that psychiatric conditions are diseases, and equally incorrect to say that they are not. This results in what would seem to be an unsatisfactory stalemate. The present essay examines the considerations that have brought us to such a stalemate in our discussions of autism. It argues that the stalemate in this particular case is a reflection of the fact that we need to find the logical space for a position that rejects both positive and (...)
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  8. Faces and Brains: The Limitations of Brain Scanning in Cognitive Science.Christopher Mole, Corey Kubatzky, Jan Plate, Rawdon Waller, Marilee Dobbs & Marc Nardone - 2007 - Philosophical Psychology 20 (2):197 – 207.
    The use of brain scanning now dominates the cognitive sciences, but important questions remain to be answered about what, exactly, scanning can tell us. One corner of cognitive science that has been transformed by the use of neuroimaging, and that a scanning enthusiast might point to as proof of scanning's importance, is the study of face perception. Against this view, we argue that the use of scanning has, in fact, told us rather little about the information processing underlying face perception (...)
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  9. Attention in the Absence of Consciousness?Christopher Mole - 2008 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (2):44.
    A response to Christof Koch and Naotsugu Tsuchiya's 'Attention and Consciousness: Two Distinct Brain Processes'.
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  10. Supervaluation for Papineau's Phenomenal Concepts.Christopher Mole - manuscript
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  11.  49
    Confirmation, Refutation, and the Evidence of fMRI.Christopher Mole & Colin Klein - 2010 - In Stephen Hanson & Martin Bunzl (eds.), Foundational Issues in Human Brain Mapping. Cambridge: MIT Press. pp. 99.
    This chapter focuses on the confirmation, refutation, and evidence of functional magnetic resonance imaging data, and discusses the application of neuroimaging techniques to various fields, including cognitive sciences. It addresses the question of the role of neuroimaging data in providing informative evidence regarding hypotheses in cognitive science and explains differences in data, high-level null hypotheses, and ways to accommodate null hypotheses. Finally, the chapter looks into the scope of neuroimaging data in the cognitive sciences.
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  12.  15
    Real Objective Beauty.Christopher Mole - 2016 - British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (4):367-381.
    Once we have distinguished between beauty and aesthetic value, we are faced with the question of whether beauty is a thing of value in itself. A number of theorists have suggested that the answer might be no. They have thought that the pursuit of beauty is just the indulgence of one particular taste: a taste that has, for contingent historical reasons, been privileged. This paper attempts to resist a line of thought that leads to that conclusion. It does so by (...)
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  13.  67
    The Contents of Olfactory Experience.Christopher Mole - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (11-12):173-79.
    Clare Batty has recently argued that the content of human olfactory experience is 'a very weak kind of abstract, or existentially quantified content', and so that 'there is no way things smell'. Her arguments are based on two claims. Firstly, that there is no intuitive distinction between olfactory hallucination and olfactory illusion. Secondly, that olfaction 'does not present smell at particular locations', and 'seems disengaged from any particular object'. The present article shows both of these claims to be false. It (...)
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  14.  15
    Attention in the Predictive Mind.Madeleine Ransom, Sina Fazelpour & Christopher Mole - 2017 - Consciousness and Cognition 47:99-112.
    It has recently become popular to suggest that cognition can be explained as a process of Bayesian prediction error minimization. Some advocates of this view propose that attention should be understood as the optimization of expected precisions in the prediction-error signal (Clark, 2013, 2016; Feldman & Friston, 2010; Hohwy, 2012, 2013). This proposal successfully accounts for several attention-related phenomena. We claim that it cannot account for all of them, since there are certain forms of voluntary attention that it cannot accommodate. (...)
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  15.  26
    Review of James Stazicker (Ed.) The Structure of Perceptual Experience. [REVIEW]Christopher Mole - 2016 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:1.
    NDPR review of James Stazicker (ed.) The Structure of Perceptual Experience.
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  16.  50
    The Metaphysics of Attention.Christopher Mole - 2011 - In Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies & Wayne Wu (eds.), Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 60-77.
    This paper gives a brief presentation of adverbialism about attention, and explains some of the reasons why it gives an appealing account of attention's metaphysics.
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  17.  39
    Attention and Cognitive Penetration.Christopher Mole - 2015 - In John Zeimbekis & Athanassios Raftopoulos (eds.), The Cognitive Penetrability of Perception: New Philosophical Perspectives. pp. 218-238.
  18. Fiction's Ontological Commitments.Christopher Mole - 2009 - Philosophical Forum 40 (4):473-488.
    This article examines one way in which a fiction can carry ontological commitments. The ontological commitments that the article examines arise in cases where there are norms governing discourse about items in a fiction that cannot be accounted for by reference to the contents of the sentences that constitute a canonical telling of that fiction. In such cases, a fiction may depend for its contents on the real-world properties of real-world items, and the fiction may, in that sense, be ontologically (...)
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  19.  1
    Attention is Cognitive Unison: An Essay in Philosophical Psychology.Christopher Mole - 2011 - Oxford University Press USA.
    Some psychological phenomena can be explained by identifying and describing the processes that constitute them. Others cannot be explained in that way. In Attention is Cognitive Unison Christopher Mole gives a precise account of the metaphysical difference that divides these two categories and shows that, when current psychologists attempt to explain attention, they assign it to the wrong one. Having rejected the metaphysical approach taken by our existing theories of attention Mole then develops a new theory. According to this theory (...)
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  20.  76
    Review of Probably Approximately Correct. [REVIEW]Christopher Mole - 2013 - TLS: The Times Literary Supplement 5772:32.
  21.  7
    Foucault and Kripke on the Proper Names of Authors.Christopher Mole - 2016 - Philosophy and Literature 40 (2):383-398.
    The semantic issues that Saul Kripke addressed in Naming and Necessity overlap substantially with those that were addressed by Michel Foucault in “What Is an Author?”. The present essay examines their area of overlap, with a view to showing that each of these works affords a perspective on the other, from which facets that are usually obscure can be brought into view. It shows that Foucault needs to take some assumptions from Kripke’s theory of naming in order to secure one (...)
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  22.  70
    The Motor Theory of Speech Perception.Christopher Mole - 2009 - In Matthew Nudds & Casey O'Callaghan (eds.), Sounds and Perception: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
    There is a long‐standing project in psychology the goal of which is to explain our ability to perceive speech. The project is motivated by evidence that seems to indicate that the cognitive processing to which speech sounds are subjected is somehow different from the normal processing employed in hearing. The Motor Theory of speech perception was proposed in the 1960s as an attempt to explain this specialness. The first part of this essay is concerned with the Motor Theory's explanandum. It (...)
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  23.  48
    Attention to Unseen Objects.Christopher Mole - 2014 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (11-12):41-56.
    Can one pay attention to objects without being conscious of them? Some years ago there was evidence that had been taken to show that the answer is 'yes'. That evidence was inconclusive, but there is recent work that makes the case more compellingly: it now seems that it is indeed possible to pay attention to objects of which one is not conscious. This is bad news for theories in which the connection between attention and consciousness is taken to be an (...)
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  24.  10
    Causes and Correlates of Intrusive Memory: A Response to Clark, MacKay, Holmes and Bourne.Christopher Mole - 2016 - Psychological Medicine 46 (15):3255-3258.
  25.  8
    Are There Special Mechanisms of Involuntary Memory?Christopher Mole - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (3):557-571.
    Following the precedent set by Dorthe Berntsen’s 2009 book, Involuntary Autobiographical Memory, this paper asks whether the mechanisms responsible for involuntarily recollected memories are distinct from those that are responsible for voluntarily recollected ones. Berntsen conjectures that these mechanisms are largely the same. Recent work has been thought to show that this is mistaken, but the argument from the recent results to the rejection of Berntsen’s position is problematic, partly because it depends on a philosophically contentious view of voluntariness. Berntsen (...)
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  26.  38
    Symposium on P. Koralus, "The Erotetic Theory of Attention".Philipp Koralus, Felipe De Brigard, Christopher Mole, Catherine Stinson & Sebastian Watzl - 2014 - Mind and Language Symposia at the Brains Blog.
  27.  72
    Attention, Self, and The Sovereignty of Good.Christopher Mole - 2007 - In Anne Rowe (ed.), Iris Murdoch: A reassessment.
    Iris Murdoch held that states of mind and character are of the first moral importance, and that attention to one's states of mind and character are a widespread source of moral failure. Maintaining both of these claims can lead to problems in the account of how one could become good. This paper explains the way in which Murdoch negotiated those problems, focusing, in particular on /The Sovereignty of Good/ and /The Nice and The Good/.
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  28.  27
    Vision and Abstraction: An Empirical Refutation of Nico Orlandi’s Non-Cognitivism.Christopher Mole & Jiaying Zhao - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (3):365-373.
    This article argues against the non-cognitivist theory of vision that has been formulated in the work of Nico Orlandi. It shows that, if we understand ‘representation’ in the way Orlandi recommends, then the visual system’s response to abstract regularities must involve the formation of representations. Recent experiments show that those representations must be used by the visual system in the production of visual experiences. Their effects cannot be explained by taking them to be non-visual effects involving attention or memory. This (...)
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  29.  17
    A Methodological Flaw in ‘The Neural Basis of Flashback Formation: The Impact of Viewing Trauma’.Christopher Mole - 2016 - Psychological Medicine 46 (8):1785-1786.
    In their 2013 study of traumatic flashback formation, Bourne, Mackay and Holmes raise the question of whether the propensity of a traumatic experience to produce flashbacks is determined by the emotions that are felt at the time of that experience. They suggest that it is not, but the grounds on which they make this suggestion are flawed. Further research is required. That research will need to overcome a significant methodological difficulty — one which is hard to avoid when fMRI data (...)
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  30. On the Demonstration of Blindsight in Monkeys.Christopher Mole & Sean D. Kelly - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (4):475-483.
    The work of Alan Cowey and Petra Stoerig is often taken to have shown that, following lesions analogous to those that cause blindsight in humans, there is blindsight in monkeys. The present paper reveals a problem in Cowey and Stoerig's case for blindsight in monkeys. The problem is that Cowey and Stoerig's results would only provide good evidence for blindsight if there is no difference between their two experimental paradigms with regard to the sorts of stimuli that are likely to (...)
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  31.  24
    The Good of Friendship at the End of Life.Christopher Mole - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (4):445-459.
    This article attempts to explain the value that we assign to the presence of friends at the time when life is ending. It first shows that Aristotle’s treatment of friendship does not provide a clear account of such value. It then uses J. L. Austin’s notion of performativity to supplement one recent theory of friendship – given by Dean Cocking and Jeanette Kennett – in such a way that that theory can then account for friendship’s special value at our time (...)
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  32.  60
    The Performative Limits of Poetry.Christopher Mole - 2013 - British Journal of Aesthetics 53 (1):55-70.
    J. L. Austin showed that performative speech acts can fail in various ways, and that the ways in which they fail can often be revealing, but he was not concerned with understanding performative failures that occur in the context of poetry. Geoffrey Hill suggests, in both his poetry and his prose writings, that these failures are more interesting than Austin realized. This article corrects Maximilian de Gaynesford’s misunderstanding of Hill’s treatment of this point. It then explains the way in which (...)
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  33.  45
    Review of Jesse J. Prinz, The Conscious Brain. [REVIEW]Christopher Mole - 2013 - Notre Dame Phiilosophical Reviews.
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  34.  45
    Three Philosophical Lessons for the Analysis of Criminal and Military Intelligence.Christopher Mole - 2012 - Intelligence and National Security 27 (4):441-58.
    It has recently been suggested that philosophy – in particular epistemology – has a contribution to make to the analysis of criminal and military intelligence. The present article pursues this suggestion, taking three phenomena that have recently been studied by philosophers, and showing that they have important implications for the gathering and sharing of intelligence, and for the use of intelligence in the determining of military strategy. The phenomena discussed are: (1) Simpson's Paradox, (2) the distinction between resiliency and reliability (...)
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  35.  60
    The Matter of Fact in Literature.Christopher Mole - 2009 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (4):483-502.
    Some works of literature are compromised because their authors get the facts wrong. In other works deviations from the facts don’t seem to matter, and authors quite legitimately make things up. This paper gives an account of the various ways in which matters of fact can make a difference to the aesthetic value of works of literature. It concludes by showing how this account can be applied in determining when a concern with matters of fact is an important part of (...)
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  36.  22
    Dead Reckoning in the Desert Ant: A Defence of Connectionist Models.Christopher Mole - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (2):277-290.
    Dead reckoning is a feature of the navigation behaviour shown by several creatures, including the desert ant. Recent work by C. Randy Gallistel shows that some connectionist models of dead reckoning face important challenges. These challenges are thought to arise from essential features of the connectionist approach, and have therefore been taken to show that connectionist models are unable to explain even the most primitive of psychological phenomena. I show that Gallistel’s challenges are successfully met by one recent connectionist model, (...)
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  37.  21
    Campbell, Richard. The Concept of Truth. [REVIEW]Christopher Mole - 2012 - Review of Metaphysics 65 (4):864-866.
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  38.  36
    Beauty, Desire and Ignorance.Christopher Mole - 2008 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (4):581 – 593.
    A critical notice of Alexander Nehamas's Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Art.
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  39.  31
    On Explaining How Things Work and Explaining How to Work Things. [REVIEW]Christopher Mole - 2009 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (5):739-752.
    A critical notice of Carl Craver's <em>Explaining the Brain: Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience</em>.
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  40.  22
    Nineteen Fifty Eight: Information Technology and the Reconceptualization of Creativity.Christopher Mole - 2011 - The Cambridge Quarterly 40 (4):301-327.
    Nineteen fifty-eight was an extraordinary year for cultural innovation, especially in English literature. It was also a year in which several boldly revisionary positions were first articulated in analytic philosophy. And it was a crucial year for the establishment of structural linguistics, of structuralist anthropology, and of cognitive psychology. Taken together these developments had a radical effect on our conceptions of individual creativity and of the inheritance of tradition. The present essay attempts to illuminate the relationships among these developments, and (...)
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  41.  29
    Review of Naomi Eilan, Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack, Johannes Roessler (Eds), Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds -- Issues in Philosophy and Psychology[REVIEW]Christopher Mole - 2005 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (9).
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  42. Attention is Cognitive Unison.Christopher Mole - 2005 - Dissertation, Princeton University
  43. The Manifestability of Attention.Christopher Mole - 2007 - Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society:111-130.
    This essay focuses on three features of attention: (1) that it can be manifested in behaviour; (2) that it improves one’s epistemic position vis-à-vis one’s activities; and (3) that attentive performance is experienced as single-minded concentration. I show that views according to which there is a particular process of attention struggle to accommodate all three of these features, and that the most natural alternative to these process-based views is a view that treats attention as an adverbial phenomenon analogous to unison.
     
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  44.  10
    The Unexplained Intellect: Complexity, Time, and the Metaphysics of Embodied Thought.Christopher Mole - 2016 - Routledge.
    The relationship between intelligent systems and their environment is at the forefront of research in cognitive science. The Unexplained Intellect: Complexity, Time, and the Metaphysics of Embodied Thought shows how computational complexity theory and analytic metaphysics can together illuminate long-standing questions about the importance of that relationship. It argues that the most basic facts about a mind cannot just be facts about mental states, but must include facts about the dynamic, interactive mental occurrences that take place when a creature encounters (...)
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