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Supervenience and Mind: Selected Philosophical Essays

Cambridge University Press (1993)

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  1. Grounding and Normative Explanation.Pekka Väyrynen - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):155-178.
    This paper concerns non-causal normative explanations such as ‘This act is wrong because/in virtue of__’. The familiar intuition that normative facts aren't brute or ungrounded but anchored in non- normative facts seems to be in tension with the equally familiar idea that no normative fact can be fully explained in purely non- normative terms. I ask whether the tension could be resolved by treating the explanatory relation in normative explanations as the sort of ‘grounding’ relation that receives extensive discussion in (...)
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  • Semiosis as an Emergent Process.João Queiroz & Charbel Niño El-Hani - 2006 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 42 (1):78-116.
    : In this paper, we intend to discuss if and in what sense semiosis (meaning process, cf. C. S. Peirce) can be regarded as an "emergent" process in semiotic systems. It is not our problem here to answer when or how semiosis emerged in nature. As a prerequisite for the very formulation of these problems, we are rather interested in discussing the conditions which should be fulfilled for semiosis to be characterized as an emergent process. The first step in this (...)
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  • Semiosis as an Emergent Process.João Queiroz & Charbel Niño El-Hani - 2006 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 42 (1):78-116.
    In this paper, we intend to discuss if and in what sense semiosis can be regarded as an "emergent" process in semiotic systems. It is not our problem here to answer when or how semiosis emerged in nature. As a prerequisite for the very formulation of these problems, we are rather interested in discussing the conditions which should be fulfilled for semiosis to be characterized as an emergent process. The first step in this work is to summarize a systematic analysis (...)
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  • The Super-Overdetermination Problem.John Donaldson - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Glasgow
    I examine the debate between reductive and non-reductive physicalists, and conclude that if we are to be physicalists, then we should be reductive physicalists. I assess how both reductionists and non-reductionists try to solve the mind-body problem and the problem of mental causation. I focus on the problem of mental causation as it is supposed to be faced by non-reductionism: the so-called overdetermination problem. I argue that the traditional articulation of that problem is significantly flawed, and I show how to (...)
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  • The Exclusion Problem and Counterfactual Theories of Causation.Yee Hang Sze - unknown
    Jaegwon Kim famously challenged non-reductive materialism/physicalism, a popular stance in the philosophy of mind, with the so-called exclusion argument. The argument is alleged to show that if NRM is true, then mental properties cannot be causes. In recent years, there have been many reactions to the exclusion problem based on counterfactual accounts of causation. In particular, List and Menzies gave an interesting response based on a Lewis-style counterfactual theory of causation, with some modifications made to Lewis’s semantics of counterfactuals. In (...)
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  • Libertad de la Voluntad y Poderes Causales.José Tomás Alvarado Marambio - 2012 - Veritas: Revista de Filosofía y Teología 26:107-123.
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  • Review of The Varieties of Consciousness by U.Kriegel.Svetlana Nagumanova - 2016 - Analysis 76 (4):553-556.
  • The Role of Supervenience and Constitution in Neuroscientific Research.Jens Harbecke - 2014 - Synthese 191 (5):1-19.
    This paper is concerned with the notions of supervenience and mechanistic constitution as they have been discussed in the philosophy of neuroscience. Since both notions essentially involve specific dependence and determination relations among properties and sets of properties, the question arises whether the notions are systematically connected and how they connect to science. In a first step, some definitions of supervenience and mechanistic constitution are presented and tested for logical independence. Afterwards, certain assumptions fundamental to neuroscientific inquiry are made explicit (...)
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  • What Is the Problem of Perception?Tim Crane - 2005 - Synthesis Philosophica 20 (2):237-264.
    What is the distinctively philosophical problem of perception? Here it is argued that it is the conflict between the nature of perceptual experience as it intuitively seems to us, and certain possibilities which are implicit in the very idea of experience: possibilities of illusion and to the world' which involves direct awareness of existing objects and their properties. But if one can have an experience of the same kind without the object being there -- a hallucination of an object -- (...)
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  • John Searle’s Naturalism as a Hybrid Version of Naturalistic Psychophysical Dualism.Dmytro Sepetyi - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (52):23-44.
    The article discusses the relationship between John Searle’s doctrine of naturalism and various forms of materialism and dualism. It is argued that despite Searle’s protestations, his doctrine is not substantially differ- ent from the epiphenomenalistic property dualism, except for the admis- sion, in his later works, of the existence of an irreducible non-Humean self. In particular, his recognition that consciousness is unique in having an irreducible first-person ontology makes his disavowal of property du- alism purely verbalistic. As for epiphenomenalism, Searle’s (...)
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  • I trabocchetti della rappresentazione spaziale.Roberto Casati & Achille C. Varzi - 1999 - Sistemi Intelligent 11 (1):7–28.
    This is a position article summarizing our approach to the philosophy of space and spatial representation. Our concern is mostly methodological: above all, we argue that a number of philosophical puzzles that arise in this field—puzzles concerning the nature of spatial entities, their material and mereological constitution, their relationship with the space that they occupy—stem from a confusion between semantic issues and true metaphysical concerns.
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  • Where to Look for Emergent Properties.Agustín Vicente - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (2):156.
    Recent years have seen renewed interest in the emergence issue. The contemporary debate, in contrast with that of past times, has to do not so much with the mind–body problem as with the relationship between the physical and other domains; mostly with the biological domain. One of the main sources of this renewed interest is the study of complex and, in general, far-from-equilibrium self-preserving systems, which seem to fulfil one of the necessary conditions for an entity to be emergent; namely, (...)
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  • Who's Afraid of Undermining?Peter B. M. Vranas - 2002 - Erkenntnis 57 (2):151-174.
    The Principal Principle (PP) says that, for any proposition A, given any admissible evidence and the proposition that the chance of A is x%, one's conditional credence in A should be x%. Humean Supervenience (HS) claims that, among possible worlds like ours, no two differ without differing in the spacetime-point-by-spacetime-point arrangement of local properties. David Lewis (1986b, 1994a) has argued that PP contradicts HS, and the validity of his argument has been endorsed by Bigelow et al. (1993), Thau (1994), Hall (...)
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  • The Myth of Cognitive Agency: Subpersonal Thinking as a Cyclically Recurring Loss of Mental Autonomy.Thomas Metzinger - 2013 - Frontiers in Psychology 4:931.
    This metatheoretical paper investigates mind wandering from the perspective of philosophy of mind. It has two central claims. The first is that, on a conceptual level, mind wandering can be fruitfully described as a specific form of mental autonomy loss. The second is that, given empirical constraints, most of what we call “conscious thought” is better analyzed as a subpersonal process that more often than not lacks crucial properties traditionally taken to be the hallmark of personal-level cognition - such as (...)
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  • Is Psycho-Physical Emergentism Committed to Dualism? The Causal Efficacy of Emergent Mental Properties.Godehard Brüntrup - 1998 - Erkenntnis 48 (2-3):133-151.
  • Kymmenen haastetta kausaalisen selittämisen teorialle.Petri Ylikoski - 2002 - Ajatus 59:155-177.
    Väitöskirjassani Understanding Interests and Causal Explanation (2001) hahmottelin teoriaa yksittäisten tapahtumien kausaalisesta selittämisestä. Tässä kirjoituksessa tarkastelen niitä haasteita tai vaatimuksia, joihin teoriani yritti vastata. Alustavien huomioiden jälkeen esittelen ensiksi erityisesti selittämisen teoriaan liittyviä haasteita ja sen jälkeen yleisempiä filosofisia vaatimuksia hyväksyttävälle selittämisen teorialle.
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  • Realization.Carl F. Craver & Robert A. Wilson - 2006 - In P. Thagard (ed.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Elsevier.
    For the greater part of the last 50 years, it has been common for philosophers of mind and cognitive scientists to invoke the notion of realization in discussing the relationship between the mind and the brain. In traditional philosophy of mind, mental states are said to be realized, instantiated, or implemented in brain states. Artificial intelligence is sometimes described as the attempt either to model or to actually construct systems that realize some of the same psychological abilities that we and (...)
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  • Cornell Realism, Explanation, and Natural Properties.Luis R. G. Oliveira & Timothy Perrine - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):1021-1038.
    The claim that ordinary ethical discourse is typically true and that ethical facts are typically knowable seems in tension with the claim that ordinary ethical discourse is about features of reality friendly to a scientific worldview. Cornell Realism attempts to dispel this tension by claiming that ordinary ethical discourse is, in fact, discourse about the same kinds of things that scientific discourse is about: natural properties. We offer two novel arguments in reply. First, we identify a key assumption that we (...)
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  • The Supervenience Argument.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & Ausonio Marras - 2008 - In S. Gozzano & F. Oralia (eds.), Universals, Tropes and the Philosophy of Mind. Ontos Verlag. pp. 101-132.
  • The Mind-Body Problem.Tim Crane - 1999 - In Rob Wilson & Frank Keil (eds.), The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
    The mind-body problem is the problem of explaining how our mental states, events and processes—like beliefs, actions and thinking—are related to the physical states, events and processes in our bodies. A question of the form, ‘how is A related to B?’ does not by itself pose a philosophical problem. To pose such a problem, there has to be something about A and B which makes the relation between them seem problematic. Many features of mind and body have been cited as (...)
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  • Mentaalinen kausaatio.Panu Raatikainen - 2007 - In Syy. Helsinki: Gaudeamus.
    Ajatus mentaalisesta kausaatiosta – siitä että mentaaliset ominaisuudet, tilat tai tapahtumat aiheuttavat fysikaalisia vaikutuksia, esimerkiksi ruumiinliikkeitä ja käyttäytymistä – on keskeinen osa niin arkiajattelua kuin tieteellistä psykologiaakin. Itsessään se tuntuu lähes latteudelta. Tarkemmassa filosofisessa tarkastelussa se kuitenkin synnyttää huomattavia filosofisia ongelmia (ks. esim. Block 1990; Heal & Mele 1993; Crane 1995).
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  • Introduction: The Character of Physicalism.Andreas Elpidorou - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):435-455.
    The aim of this editorial introduction is twofold. First, Sects. 1–8 offer a critical introduction to the metaphysical character of physicalism. In those sections, I present and evaluate different ways in which proponents of physicalism have made explicit the metaphysical dependence that is said to hold between the non-physical and the physical. Some of these accounts are found to be problematic; others are shown to be somewhat more promising. In the end, some important lessons are drawn and different options for (...)
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  • Downward Determination in Semiotic Multi-Level Systems.Joao Queiroz & Charbel El-Hani - 2012 - Cybernetics and Human Knowing -- A Journal of Second Order Cybernetics, Autopoiesis & Semiotics 1 (2):123-136.
    Peirce's pragmatic notion of semiosis can be described in terms of a multi-level system of constraints involving chance, efficient, formal and final causation. According to the model proposed here, law-like regularities, which work as boundary conditions or organizational principles, have a downward effect on the spatiotemporal distribution of lower-level semiotic items. We treat this downward determinative influence as a propensity relation: if some lower-level entities a,b,c,-n are under the influence of a general organizational principle, W, they will show a tendency (...)
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  • Should Explanations Omit the Details?Darren Bradley - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    There is a widely shared belief that the higher level sciences can provide better explanations than lower level sciences. But there is little agreement about exactly why this is so. It is often suggested that higher level explanations are better because they omit details. I will argue instead that the preference for higher level explanations is just a special case of our general preference for informative, logically strong, beliefs. I argue that our preference for informative beliefs entirely accounts for why (...)
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  • Reductivism, Nonreductivism and Incredulity About Streumer’s Error Theory.N. G. Laskowski - 2018 - Analysis 78 (4):766-776.
    In Unbelievable Errors, Bart Streumer argues via elimination for a global error theory, according to which all normative judgments ascribe properties that do not exist. Streumer also argues that it is not possible to believe his view, which is a claim he uses in defending his view against several objections. I argue that reductivists and nonreductivists have compelling responses to Streumer's elimination argument – responses constituting strong reason to reject Streumer’s diagnosis of any alleged incredulity about his error theory.
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  • Causal Overdetermination and Kim’s Exclusion Argument.Michael Roche - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):809-826.
    Jaegwon Kim’s influential exclusion argument attempts to demonstrate the inconsistency of nonreductive materialism in the philosophy of mind. Kim’s argument begins by showing that the three main theses of nonreductive materialism, plus two additional considerations, lead to a specific and familiar picture of mental causation. The exclusion argument can succeed only if, as Kim claims, this picture is not one of genuine causal overdetermination. Accordingly, one can resist Kim’s conclusion by denying this claim, maintaining instead that the effects of the (...)
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  • Why There Are No Token States.Eric Marcus - 2009 - Journal of Philosophical Research 34:215-241.
    The thesis that mental states are physical states enjoys widespread popularity. After the abandonment of typeidentity theories, however, this thesis has typically been framed in terms of state tokens. I argue that token states are a philosopher’s fiction, and that debates about the identity of mental and physical state tokens thus rest on a mistake.
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  • The Interactivist Model.Mark H. Bickhard - 2009 - Synthese 166 (3):547 - 591.
    A shift from a metaphysical framework of substance to one of process enables an integrated account of the emergence of normative phenomena. I show how substance assumptions block genuine ontological emergence, especially the emergence of normativity, and how a process framework permits a thermodynamic-based account of normative emergence. The focus is on two foundational forms of normativity, that of normative function and of representation as emergent in a particular kind of function. This process model of representation, called interactivism, compels changes (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Geometry I: The Problem of Exactness.Anne Newstead & Franklin James - 2010 - Proceedings of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science 2009.
    We show how an epistemology informed by cognitive science promises to shed light on an ancient problem in the philosophy of mathematics: the problem of exactness. The problem of exactness arises because geometrical knowledge is thought to concern perfect geometrical forms, whereas the embodiment of such forms in the natural world may be imperfect. There thus arises an apparent mismatch between mathematical concepts and physical reality. We propose that the problem can be solved by emphasizing the ways in which the (...)
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  • Nonreductive Physicalism or Emergent Dualism : The Argument From Mental Causation.John Ross Churchill - 2010 - In Robert C. Koons & George Bealer (eds.), The Waning of Materialism. Oxford University Press.
    Throughout the 1990s, Jaegwon Kim developed a line of argument that what purport to be nonreductive forms of physicalism are ultimately untenable, since they cannot accommodate the causal efficacy of mental states. His argument has received a great deal of discussion, much of it critical. We believe that, while the argument needs some tweaking, its basic thrust is sound. In what follows, we will lay out our preferred version of the argument and highlight its essential dependence on a causal-powers metaphysic, (...)
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  • The Emergence of a Shared Action Ontology: Building Blocks for a Theory.Thomas Metzinger & Vittorio Gallese - 2003 - Consciousness and Cognition 12 (4):549-571.
    To have an ontology is to interpret a world. In this paper we argue that the brain, viewed as a representational system aimed at interpreting our world, possesses an ontology too. It creates primitives and makes existence assumptions. It decomposes target space in a way that exhibits a certain invariance, which in turn is functionally significant. We will investigate which are the functional regularities guiding this decomposition process, by answering to the following questions: What are the explicit and implicit assumptions (...)
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  • Colors as Explainers?Andrew Botterell - 2003 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (6):785-786.
    Byrne & Hilbert argue that colors are reflectance properties of objects. They also claim that a necessary condition for something's being a color is that it causally explain – or be causally implicated in the explanation of – our perceptions of color. I argue that these two positions are in conflict.
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  • Properties, Powers, and the Subset Account of Realization.Paul Audi - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):654-674.
    According to the subset account of realization, a property, F, is realized by another property, G, whenever F is individuated by a non-empty proper subset of the causal powers by which G is individuated (and F is not a conjunctive property of which G is a conjunct). This account is especially attractive because it seems both to explain the way in which realized properties are nothing over and above their realizers, and to provide for the causal efficacy of realized properties. (...)
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  • Panentheism, Panpsychism and Neuroscience : In Search of an Alternative Metaphysical Framework in Relation to Neuroscience, Consciousness, Free Will, and Theistic Beliefs.Oliver Li - unknown
    This thesis philosophically examines, critically discusses, and proposes how a plausible philosophical framework of consciousness and free will should be formulated. This framework takes into account contemporary scientific research on human consciousness and free will and its possible challenges; also it is examined how this framework should be related to theistic beliefs – especially those connected to human and divine consciousness and free will. First, an overview of important research within the natural sciences about the conscious mind is presented together (...)
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  • Review of David Chalmers, The Conscious Mind. [REVIEW]Eric Dietrich - 1998 - Minds and Machines 8 (3):441-461.
    When Charles Darwin died in April, 1882, he left behind a world changed forever. Because of his writings, most notably, of course, The Origin of Species, by 1882, evolution was an almost universally acknowledged fact. What remained in dispute, however, was how evolution occurred. So because of Darwin’s work, everyone accepted that new species emerge over time, yet few agreed with him that it was natural selection that powered the change, as Darwin hypothesized. Chalmers’ book, The Conscious Mind , reminds (...)
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  • The Mental the Macroscopic, and Their Effects.Max Kistler - 2006 - Epistemologia 29 (1):79-102.
  • Précis de La Nature de la Volonté et Disputatio.Joëlle Proust - 2008 - Philosophiques:0-00.
    Cet article résume l'ouvrage paru en 2005 et répond aux objections de Stéphane Chauvier, Daniel Laurier et Pierre Livet dans le cadre d'une disputatio organisée par la revue Philosophiques.
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  • Critique du programme de naturalisation en philosophie de l’esprit.J. Nicolas Kaufmann - 2008 - Philosophiques 35 (2):483-512.
    La naturalisation est la tendance à la mode dans les travaux sur l’esprit et la conscience. Comment est-il possible de donner une explication naturaliste de la conscience sans en nier tout aspect phénoménal, expérientiel et intentionnel? J’aborderai cette question à travers l’exemple des théories de Dretske. Après avoir procédé à un examen des thèses représentationnalistes dont se réclame celui-ci, je mettrai en lumière que la principale faille de sa position est l’absence totale d’une caractérisation de la structure des états intentionnels/représentationnels, (...)
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  • Non-Reductive Physicalism and Degrees of Freedom.J. Wilson - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (2):279-311.
    Some claim that Non-reductive Physicalism is an unstable position, on grounds that NRP either collapses into reductive physicalism, or expands into emergentism of a robust or ‘strong’ variety. I argue that this claim is unfounded, by attention to the notion of a degree of freedom—roughly, an independent parameter needed to characterize an entity as being in a state functionally relevant to its law-governed properties and behavior. I start by distinguishing three relations that may hold between the degrees of freedom needed (...)
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  • What is Global Supervenience?Stephan Leuenberger - 2009 - Synthese 170 (1):115 - 129.
    The relation of global supervenience is widely appealed to in philosophy. In slogan form, it is explained as follows: a class of properties A supervenes on a class of properties B if no two worlds differ in the distribution of A-properties without differing in the distribution of B-properties. It turns out, though, that there are several ways to cash out that slogan. Three different proposals have been discussed in the literature. In this paper, I argue that none of them is (...)
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  • Current Physics and 'the Physical'.Agustin Vicente - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):393-416.
    Physicalism is the claim that that there is nothing in the world but the physical. Philosophers who defend physicalism have to confront a well-known dilemma, known as Hempel’s dilemma, concerning the definition of ‘the physical’: if ‘the physical’ is whatever current physics says there is, then physicalism is most probably false; but if ‘the physical’ is whatever the true theory of physics would say that there is, we have that physicalism is vacuous and runs the risk of becoming trivial. This (...)
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  • An Unstable Eliminativism.John W. Carroll & William R. Carter - 2005 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (1):1–17.
    In his book Objects and Persons, Trenton Merricks has reoriented and fine-tuned an argument from the philosophy of mind to support a selective eliminativism about macroscopic objects.1 The argument turns on a rejection of systematic causal overdetermination and the conviction that microscopic things do the causal work that is attributed to a great many (though not all) macroscopic things. We will argue that Merricks’ argument fails to establish his selective eliminativism.
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  • Criteria of Personal Identity and the Limits of Conceptual Analysis.Theodore Sider - 2001 - Philosophical Perspectives 15 (s15):189-209.
    When is there no fact of the matter about a metaphysical question? When multiple candidate meanings are equally eligible, in David Lewis's sense, and fit equally well with ordinary usage. Thus given certain ontological schemes, there is no fact of the matter whether the criterion of personal identity over time is physical or psychological. But given other ontological schemes there is a fact of the matter; and there is a fact of the matter about which ontological scheme is correct.
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  • The Nature of Appearance in Kant’s Transcendentalism: A Seman- Tico-Cognitive Analysis.Sergey L. Katrechko - 2018 - Kantian Journal 37 (3):41-55.
  • Real Potential.Jennifer McKitrick - 2018 - In Kristina Engelhard & Michael Quante (eds.), Handbook of Potentiality. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 229-260.
    There's a student in my philosophy class who has "real potential." I might express this thought in any of the following ways: "She is potentially a philosopher"; "She is a potential philosopher"; "She has the potential to be a philosopher." The first way uses a cognate of "potential" as an adverb to modify "is." The second ways uses "potential" as an adjective to modify "philosopher." However, the third way uses "potential" as a noun to refer to something that the student (...)
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  • A Defense of the Knowledge Argument.John Martin DePoe - unknown
    Defenders of the Knowledge Argument contend that physicalism is false because knowing all the physical truths is not sufficient to know all the truths about the world. In particular, proponents of the Knowledge Argument claim that physicalism is false because the truths about the character of conscious experience are not knowable from the complete set of physical truths. This dissertation is a defense of the Knowledge Argument. Chapter one characterizes what physicalism is and provides support for the claim that if (...)
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  • An Enlightened Revolt: On the Philosophy of Nicholas Maxwell.Agustin Vicente - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (4):38: 631- 648.
    This paper is a reaction to the book “Science and the Pursuit of Wisdom”, whose central concern is the philosophy of Nicholas Maxwell. I distinguish and discuss three concerns in Maxwell’s philosophy. The first is his critique of standard empiricism (SE) in the philosophy of science, the second his defense of aim-oriented rationality (AOR), and the third his philosophy of mind. I point at some problematic aspects of Maxwell’s rebuttal of SE and of his philosophy of mind and argue in (...)
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  • Individualism, Externalism and Idiolectical Meaning.Robert Eamon Briscoe - 2006 - Synthese 152 (1):95-128.
    Semantic externalism in contemporary philosophy of language typically – and often tacitly – combines two supervenience claims about idiolectical meaning (i.e., meaning in the language system of an individual speaker). The first claim is that the meaning of a word in a speaker’s idiolect may vary without any variation in her intrinsic, physical properties. The second is that the meaning of a word in a speaker’s idiolect may vary without any variation in her understanding of its use. I here show (...)
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  • Representationalism, Supervenience, and the Cross-Modal Problem.John W. O’dea - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 130 (2):285-95.
    The representational theory of phenomenal experience is often stated in terms of a supervenience thesis: Byrne recently characterises it as the thesis that “there can be no difference in phenomenal character without a difference in content”, while according to Tye, “[a]t a minimum, the thesis is one of supervenience: necessarily, experiences that are alike in their representational contents are alike in their phenomenal character.” Consequently, much of the debate over whether representationalism is true centres on purported counter-examples – that is (...)
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  • Introduction. Le scepticisme à l’'ge classique : enjeux et perspectives.Sébastien Charles - 2008 - Philosophiques 35 (1):161.
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