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The matrix as metaphysics

In Christopher Grau (ed.), Philosophers Explore the Matrix. Oxford University Press. pp. 132 (2005)

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  1. Science Fiction as a Genre.Enrico Terrone - 2021 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 79 (1):16-29.
    Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with Stacie Friend’s claim that fiction is a genre, her notion of genre can be fruitfully applied to a paradigmatic genre such as science fiction. This article deploys Friend’s notion of genre in order to improve the influential characterization of science fiction proposed by Darko Suvin and to defend it from a criticism recently raised by Simon Evnine. According to Suvin, a work of science fiction must concern “a fictional ‘novum’ validated by cognitive (...)
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  • Pandemic - Catalyst of the Virtualization of the Social Space.Antonio Sandu - 2020 - Postmodern Openings 11 (1Sup2):115-140.
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  • The Virtual and the Real.David J. Chalmers - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (46):309-352.
    I argue that virtual reality is a sort of genuine reality. In particular, I argue for virtual digitalism, on which virtual objects are real digital objects, and against virtual fictionalism, on which virtual objects are fictional objects. I also argue that perception in virtual reality need not be illusory, and that life in virtual worlds can have roughly the same sort of value as life in non-virtual worlds.
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  • Against A Posteriori Functionalism.Marc A. Moffett - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):83-106.
    There are two constraints on any functionalist solution to the Mind-Body Problem construed as an answer to the question, “What is the relationship between the mental properties and relations (hereafter, simply the mental properties) and physical properties and relations?” The first constraint is that it must actually address the Mind-Body Problem and not simply redefine the debate in terms of other, more tractable, properties (e.g., the species-specific property of having human-pain). Such moves can be seen to be spurious by the (...)
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  • On the Possibility of Hallucinations.Farid Masrour - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):737-768.
    Many take the possibility of hallucinations to imply that a relationalist account, according to which perceptual experiences are constituted by direct relations to ordinary mind-independent objects, is false. The common reaction among relationalists is to adopt a disjunctivist view that denies that hallucinations have the same nature as perceptual experiences. This paper proposes a non-disjunctivist response to the argument from hallucination by arguing that the alleged empirical and a priori evidence in support of the possibility of hallucinations is inconclusive. A (...)
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  • Experimental Evidence for the Existence of an External World.Eric Schwitzgebel & Alan T. Moore - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (3):564--582.
    In the first experiment, I exhibit unreliable judgment about the primeness or divisibility of four-digit numbers, in contrast to a seeming Excel program. In the second experiment, I exhibit an imperfect memory for arbitrary-seeming three-digit number and letter combinations, in contrast to my seeming collaborator with seemingly hidden notes. In the third experiment, I seem to suffer repeated defeats at chess. In all three experiments, the most straightforward interpretation of the experiential evidence is that something exists in the universe that (...)
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  • Against 3N-Dimensional Space.Bradley Monton - 2013 - In David Albert Alyssa Ney (ed.), The Wave Function: Essays in the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.
    I argue that space has three dimensions, and quantum mechanics does not show otherwise. Specifically, I argue that the mathematical wave function of quantum mechanics corresponds to a property that an N-particle system has in three-dimensional space.
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  • Idealism and the Mind-Body Problem.David Chalmers - 2019 - In William Seager (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Panpsychism. New York: Routledge. pp. 353-373.
  • A Theodicy for Artificial Universes: Moral Considerations on Simulation Hypotheses.Stefano Gualeni - 2021 - International Journal of Technoethics 12 (1):21-31.
    ‘Simulation Hypotheses’ are imaginative scenarios that are typically employed in philosophy to speculate on how likely it is that we are currently living within a simulated universe as well as on our possibility for ever discerning whether we do in fact inhabit one. These philosophical questions in particular overshadowed other aspects and potential uses of simulation hypotheses, some of which are foregrounded in this article. More specifically, “A Theodicy for Artificial Universes” focuses on the moral implications of simulation hypotheses with (...)
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  • Sensorama: A Phenomenalist Analysis of Spacetime and Its Contents.Michael Pelczar - 2015 - Oxford University Press.
    How does the modern scientific conception of time constrain the project of assigning the mind its proper place in nature? On the scientific conception, it makes no sense to speak of the duration of a pain, or the simultaneity of sensations occurring in different parts of the brain. Such considerations led Henri Poincaré, one of the founders of the modern conception, to conclude that consciousness does not exist in spacetime, but serves as the basic material out of which we must (...)
     
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  • Virtual Reality: Digital or Fictional?Neil McDonnell & Nathan Wildman - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (55):371-397.
    Are the objects and events that take place in Virtual Reality genuinely real? Those who answer this question in the affirmative are realists, and those who answer in the negative are irrealists. In this paper we argue against the realist position, as given by Chalmers, and present our own preferred irrealist account of the virtual. We start by disambiguating two potential versions of the realist position—weak and strong— and then go on to argue that neither is plausible. We then introduce (...)
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  • Kant Meets Cyberpunk.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (55).
    I defend a how-possibly argument for Kantian transcendental idealism, drawing on concepts from David Chalmers, Nick Bostrom, and the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction. If we are artificial intelligences living in a virtual reality instantiated on a giant computer, then the fundamental structure of reality might be very different than we suppose. Indeed, since computation does not require spatial properties, spatiality might not be a feature of things as they are in themselves but instead only the way that things necessarily (...)
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  • Virtual Realism: Really Realism or Only Virtually So? A Comment on D. J. Chalmers’s Petrus Hispanus Lectures.Claus Beisbart - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (55):297-331.
    What is the status of a cat in a virtual reality environment? Is it a real object? Or part of a fiction? Virtual realism, as defended by D. J. Chalmers, takes it to be a virtual object that really exists, that has properties and is involved in real events. His preferred specification of virtual realism identifies the cat with a digital object. The project of this paper is to use a comparison between virtual reality environments and scientific computer simulations to (...)
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  • Epistemology Quantized: Circumstances in Which We Should Come to Believe in the Everett Interpretation.David Wallace - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (4):655-689.
    I consider exactly what is involved in a solution to the probability problem of the Everett interpretation, in the light of recent work on applying considerations from decision theory to that problem. I suggest an overall framework for understanding probability in a physical theory, and conclude that this framework, when applied to the Everett interpretation, yields the result that that interpretation satisfactorily solves the measurement problem. Introduction What is probability? 2.1 Objective probability and the Principal Principle 2.2 Three ways of (...)
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  • Use Your Illusion: Spatial Functionalism, Vision Science, and the Case Against Global Skepticism.E. J. Green & Gabriel Oak Rabin - 2020 - Analytic Philosophy 61 (4):345-378.
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  • The Real Advantages of the Simulation Solution to the Problem of Natural Evil.Dustin Crummett - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
    Nick Bostrom has famously defended the credibility of the simulation hypothesis – the hypothesis that we live in a computer simulation. Barry Dainton has recently employed the simulation hypothesis to defend the ‘simulation solution’ to the problem of natural evil. The simulation solution claims that apparently natural evils are in fact the result of wrong actions on the part of the people who create our simulation. In this way, it treats apparently natural evils as actually being moral evils, allowing them (...)
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  • How to Entrain Your Evil Demon.Jakob Hohwy - 2017 - Philosophy and Predictive Processing.
    The notion that the brain is a prediction error minimizer entails, via the notion of Markov blankets and self-evidencing, a form of global scepticism — an inability to rule out evil demon scenarios. This type of scepticism is viewed by some as a sign of a fatally flawed conception of mind and cognition. Here I discuss whether this scepticism is ameliorated by acknowledging the role of action in the most ambitious approach to prediction error minimization, namely under the free energy (...)
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  • How to Knit Your Own Markov Blanket.Andy Clark - 2017 - Philosophy and Predictive Processing.
    Hohwy (Hohwy 2016, Hohwy 2017) argues there is a tension between the free energy principle and leading depictions of mind as embodied, enactive, and extended (so-called ‘EEE1 cognition’). The tension is traced to the importance, in free energy formulations, of a conception of mind and agency that depends upon the presence of a ‘Markov blanket’ demarcating the agent from the surrounding world. In what follows I show that the Markov blanket considerations do not, in fact, lead to the kinds of (...)
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  • Philosophical Foundations of the Death and Anti-Death Discussion.Jeremy Horne - 2017 - Death And Anti-Death Set of Anthologies 15:72.
    Perhaps there has been no greater opportunity than in this “VOLUME FIFTEEN of our Death And Anti-Death set of anthologies” to write about how might think about life and how to avoid death. There are two reasons to discuss “life”, the first being enhancing our understanding of who we are and why we may be here in the Universe. The second is more practical: how humans meet the physical challenges brought about by the way they have interacted with their environment. (...)
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  • ¿Un mundo nuevo? Realidad virtual, realidad aumentada, inteligencia artificial, humanidad mejorada, Internet de las cosas.Antonio Manuel Liz Gutiérrez - 2020 - Arbor 196 (797):572.
    Las nuevas tecnologías parecen estar cambiando radicalmente nuestro mundo. Analizamos aquí las condiciones para que esto sea así con relación a un grupo muy importante de fenómenos vinculados a las tecnologías computacionales y a las biotecnologías, que responden a denominaciones de uso ya muy extendido, en buena medida gracias a los medios de comunicación: realidad virtual, realidad aumentada, inteligencia artificial, humanidad mejorada e Internet de las cosas. Argumentamos que la inteligencia artificial ocupa entre ellos un lugar central y que la (...)
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  • Epistemic Internalism and Perceptual Content: How a Fear of Demons Leads to an Error Theory of Perception.Robert J. Howell - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2153-2170.
    Despite the fact that many of our beliefs are justified by perceptual experience, there is relatively little exploration of the connections between epistemic justification and perceptual content. This is unfortunate since it seems likely that some views of justification will require particular views of content, and the package of the two might be quite a bit less attractive than either view considered alone. I will argue that this is the case for epistemic internalism. In particular, epistemic internalism requires a view (...)
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  • How to Undercut Radical Skepticism.Santiago Echeverri - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1299-1321.
    Radical skepticism relies on the hypothesis that one could be completely cut off from the external world. In this paper, I argue that this hypothesis can be rationally motivated by means of a conceivability argument. Subsequently, I submit that this conceivability argument does not furnish a good reason to believe that one could be completely cut off from the external world. To this end, I show that we cannot adequately conceive scenarios that verify the radical skeptical hypothesis. Attempts to do (...)
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  • Idealism and Illusions.Robert Smithson - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    According to the idealist, facts about phenomenal experience determine facts about the physical world. Any such view must account for illusions: cases where there is a discrepancy between the physical world and our experiences of it. In this paper, I critique some recent idealist treatments of illusions before presenting my own preferred account. I then argue that, initial impressions notwithstanding, it is actually the realist who has difficulties properly accounting for illusions.
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  • External World Skepticism, Confidence and Psychologism About the Problem of Priors.Sharon Berry - 2019 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 57 (3):324-346.
    In this paper I will draw attention to an important route to external world skepticism, which I will call confidence skepticism. I will argue that we can defang confidence skepticism (though not a meeker ‘argument from might’ which has got some attention in the 20th century literature on external world skepticism) by adopting a partially psychologistic answer to the problem of priors. And I will argue that certain recent work in the epistemology of mathematics and logic provides independent support for (...)
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  • Chalmers V Chalmers.Daniel Stoljar - 2020 - Noûs 54 (2):469-487.
    This paper brings out an inconsistency between David Chalmers's dualism, which is the main element of his philosophy of mind, and his structuralism, which is the main element of his epistemology. The point is ad hominem , but the inconsistency if it can be established is of considerable independent interest. For the best response to the inconsistency, I argue, is to adopt what Chalmers calls ‘type‐C Materialism’, a version of materialism that has been much discussed in recent times because of (...)
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  • ‘This Is the Bad Case’: What Brains in Vats Can Know.Aidan McGlynn - 2018 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 92 (1):183-205.
    The orthodox position in epistemology, for both externalists and internalists, is that a subject in a ‘bad case’—a sceptical scenario—is so epistemically badly off that they cannot know how badly off they are. Ofra Magidor contends that externalists should break ranks on this question, and that doing so is liberating when it comes time to confront a number of central issues in epistemology, including scepticism and the new evil demon problem for process reliabilism. In this reply, I will question whether (...)
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  • Replies.Michael Pelczar - 2016 - Analysis 76 (4):479-501.
  • Defending Phenomenalism.Michael Pelczar - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):574-597.
    According to phenomenalism, physical things are a certain kind of possibility for experience. This paper clarifies the phenomenalist position and addresses some main objections to it, with the aim of showing that phenomenalism is a live option that merits a place alongside dualism and materialism in contemporary metaphysical debate.
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  • The Conceptual Impossibility of Free Will Error Theory.Andrew H. Latham - 2019 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 15 (2):99-120.
    This paper argues for a view of free will that I will call the conceptual impossibility of the truth of free will error theory - the conceptual impossibility thesis. I will argue that given the concept of free will we in fact deploy, it is impossible for our free will judgements—judgements regarding whether some action is free or not—to be systematically false. Since we do judge many of our actions to be free, it follows from the conceptual impossibility thesis that (...)
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  • Structuralism as a Response to Skepticism.David J. Chalmers - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (12):625-660.
    Cartesian arguments for global skepticism about the external world start from the premise that we cannot know that we are not in a Cartesian scenario such as an evil-demon scenario, and infer that because most of our empirical beliefs are false in such a scenario, these beliefs do not constitute knowledge. Veridicalist responses to global skepticism respond that arguments fail because in Cartesian scenarios, many or most of our empirical beliefs are true. Some veridicalist responses have been motivated using verificationism, (...)
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  • What RoboDennett Still Doesn't Know.Michael Beaton - 2005 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (12):3-25.
    The explicit aim of Daniel Dennett’s new paper ‘What RoboMary Knows’ is to show that Mary will necessarily be able to come to know what it is like to see in colour, if she fully understands all the physical facts about colour vision. I believe we can establish that Dennett’s line of reasoning is flawed, but the flaw is not as simple as an equivocation on ‘knows’. Rather, it goes to the heart of functionalism and hinges on whether or not (...)
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  • A Sellarsian Transcendental Argument Against External World Skepticism.Marin Geier - forthcoming - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism:1-31.
    This paper investigates the relation between what James Conant has called Kantian and Cartesian varieties of skepticism. It is argued that a solution to the most prominent example of a Kantian variety of skepticism, i.e. Kripkensteinian skepticism about rule-following and meaning, can be found in the works of Wilfrid Sellars. It is then argued that, on the basis of that very same solution to the Kantian problematic of rule-following and meaning, a novel argument against external world skepticism can be formulated. (...)
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  • The Conceptual Impossibility of Free Will Error Theory.Andrew James Latham - 2019 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 15 (2):99-120.
    This paper argues for a view of free will that I will call the conceptual impossibility of the truth of free will error theory - the conceptual impossibility thesis. I will argue that given the concept of free will we in fact deploy, it is impossible for our free will judgements - judgements regarding whether some action is free or not - to be systematically false. Since we do judge many of our actions to be free, it follows from the (...)
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  • Long-Term Trajectories of Human Civilization.Seth D. Baum, Stuart Armstrong, Timoteus Ekenstedt, Olle Häggström, Robin Hanson, Karin Kuhlemann, Matthijs M. Maas, James D. Miller, Markus Salmela, Anders Sandberg, Kaj Sotala, Phil Torres, Alexey Turchin & Roman V. Yampolskiy - 2019 - Foresight 21 (1):53-83.
    Purpose This paper aims to formalize long-term trajectories of human civilization as a scientific and ethical field of study. The long-term trajectory of human civilization can be defined as the path that human civilization takes during the entire future time period in which human civilization could continue to exist. -/- Design/methodology/approach This paper focuses on four types of trajectories: status quo trajectories, in which human civilization persists in a state broadly similar to its current state into the distant future; catastrophe (...)
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  • Austere Realism: Contextual Semantics Meets Minimal Ontology, by Terence Horgan and Matjaž Potrč.Justin Khoo - 2015 - Mind 124 (496):1292-1299.
    Review of Horgan and Potrc (2008). I discuss both their linguistic and ontological theses.
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  • Plausible Permissivism.Michael G. Titelbaum & Matthew Kopec - manuscript
    Abstract. Richard Feldman’s Uniqueness Thesis holds that “a body of evidence justifies at most one proposition out of a competing set of proposi- tions”. The opposing position, permissivism, allows distinct rational agents to adopt differing attitudes towards a proposition given the same body of evidence. We assess various motivations that have been offered for Uniqueness, including: concerns about achieving consensus, a strong form of evidentialism, worries about epistemically arbitrary influences on belief, a focus on truth-conduciveness, and consequences for peer disagreement. (...)
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  • A New Theory of Free Will.Marcus Arvan - 2013 - Philosophical Forum 44 (1):1-48.
    This paper shows that several live philosophical and scientific hypotheses – including the holographic principle and multiverse theory in quantum physics, and eternalism and mind-body dualism in philosophy – jointly imply an audacious new theory of free will. This new theory, "Libertarian Compatibilism", holds that the physical world is an eternally existing array of two-dimensional information – a vast number of possible pasts, presents, and futures – and the mind a nonphysical entity or set of properties that "read" that physical (...)
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  • 1% Skepticism.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):271-290.
    A 1% skeptic is someone who has about a 99% credence in non-skeptical realism and about a 1% credence in the disjunction of all radically skeptical scenarios combined. The first half of this essay defends the epistemic rationality of 1% skepticism, appealing to dream skepticism, simulation skepticism, cosmological skepticism, and wildcard skepticism. The second half of the essay explores the practical behavioral consequences of 1% skepticism, arguing that 1% skepticism need not be behaviorally inert.
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  • Are Sensory Concepts Learned by “Abstraction” From Experience?Pär Sundström - 2018 - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    In recent years, many philosophers and scientists have argued or accepted that it is impossible to learn primitive sensory concepts like “blue” and “red”. This paper defends a more qualified picture. I try to show that some received characterisations of “learning” are nonequivalent and point towards different learning-nonlearning distinctions. And, on some ways of specifying such a distinction, it might be correct that we do not and cannot “learn” a concept of blue. But on other ways of specifying such a (...)
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  • Cognitive Science and Epistemic Openness.Michael L. Anderson - 2006 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 5 (2):125-154.
    b>. Recent findings in cognitive science suggest that the epistemic subject is more complex and epistemically porous than is generally pictured. Human knowers are open to the world via multiple channels, each operating for particular purposes and according to its own logic. These findings need to be understood and addressed by the philosophical community. The current essay argues that one consequence of the new findings is to invalidate certain arguments for epistemic anti-realism.
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  • The Power of Appearances.Nenad Popovic - forthcoming - Brill.
    _ Source: _Page Count 14 One common problem with anti-skepticism and skepticism alike is their failure to account for our sometimes conflicting epistemic intuitions. In order to address this problem and provide a new direction for solving the skeptical puzzle, I consider a modified version of the puzzle that is based on knowledge claims about appearances and does not result in a paradox. I conclude that combining the elements of both the original and modified puzzle can potentially guide us towards (...)
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  • Real Virtuality: A Code of Ethical Conduct. Recommendations for Good Scientific Practice and the Consumers of VR-Technology.Michael Madary & Thomas Metzinger - 2016 - Frontiers in Robotics and AI 3:1-23.
    The goal of this article is to present a first list of ethical concerns that may arise from research and personal use of virtual reality (VR) and related technology, and to offer concrete recommendations for minimizing those risks. Many of the recommendations call for focused research initiatives. In the first part of the article, we discuss the relevant evidence from psychology that motivates our concerns. In Section “Plasticity in the Human Mind,” we cover some of the main results suggesting that (...)
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  • When Rational Reasoners Reason Differently.Michael G. Titelbaum & Matthew Kopec - manuscript
    Different people reason differently, which means that sometimes they reach different conclusions from the same evidence. We maintain that this is not only natural, but rational. In this essay we explore the epistemology of that state of affairs. First we will canvass arguments for and against the claim that rational methods of reasoning must always reach the same conclusions from the same evidence. Then we will consider whether the acknowledgment that people have divergent rational reasoning methods should undermine one’s confidence (...)
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  • Thinking About Spacetime.David Yates - forthcoming - In Christian Wüthrich, Baptiste Le Bihan & Nick Huggett (eds.), Philosophy Beyond Spacetime. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Several different quantum gravity research programmes suggest, for various reasons, that spacetime is not part of the fundamental ontology of physics. This gives rise to the problem of empirical coherence: if fundamental physical entities do not occupy spacetime or instantiate spatiotemporal properties, how can fundamental theories concerning those entities be justified by observation of spatiotemporally located things like meters, pointers and dials? I frame the problem of empirical coherence in terms of entailment: how could a non-spatiotemporal fundamental theory entail spatiotemporal (...)
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  • Antiskeptische Trittbrettfahrer des semantischen Externalismus.Jochen Briesen - 2011 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 65 (4):100-122.
    Die philosophische Skepsis bezweifelt argumentativ, dass Menschen über Wissen verfügen. Eine interessante und viel beachtete Reaktion auf diese Skepsis basiert auf dem semantischen Externalismus. Obwohl die antiskeptische Strategie des Externalismus im Laufe der Jahre entscheident verbessert wurde, krankt sie in den Augen vieler Philosophen immer noch an einer stark beschränkten Reichweite: Sie ist nur hinsichtlich ganz bestimmter Varianten skeptischer Argumentation erfolgreich – durch geschickte Modifikation des skeptischen Arguments ist der Skeptiker in der Lage, sein Argument gegen den externalistischen Angriff zu (...)
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  • Underdetermination Skepticism and Skeptical Dogmatism.Mark Walker - 2015 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 5 (3):218-251.
  • Affordances and Phenomenal Character in Spatial Perception.Simon Prosser - 2011 - Philosophical Review 120 (4):475-513.
    Intentionalism is the view that the phenomenal character of a conscious experience is wholly determined by, or even reducible to, its representational content. In this essay I put forward a version of intentionalism that allows (though does not require) the reduction of phenomenal character to representational content. Unlike other reductionist theories, however, it does not require the acceptance of phenomenal externalism (the view that phenomenal character does not supervene on the internal state of the subject). According the view offered here, (...)
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  • Intuition.Ole Koksvik - 2011 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    In this thesis I seek to advance our understanding of what intuitions are. I argue that intuitions are experiences of a certain kind. In particular, they are experiences with representational content, and with a certain phenomenal character. -/- In Chapter 1 I identify our target and provide some important reliminaries. Intuitions are mental states, but which ones? Giving examples helps: a person has an intuition when it seems to her that torturing the innocent is wrong, or that if something is (...)
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  • Skepticism, Externalism, and Inference to the Best Explanation.Jochen Briesen - 2008 - Abstracta 4 (1):5-26.
    This paper focuses on a combination of the antiskeptical strategies offered by semantic externalism and the inference to the best explanation. I argue that the most difficult problems of the two strategies can be solved, if the strategies are combined: The strategy offered by semantic externalism is successful against standard skeptical brain-in-a-vat arguments. But the strategy is ineffective, if the skeptical argument is referring to the recent-envatment scenario. However, by focusing on the scenario of recent envatment the most difficult problems (...)
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  • Spreading the Joy? Why the Machinery of Consciousness is (Probably) Still in the Head.Andy Clark - 2009 - Mind 118 (472):963-993.
    Is consciousness all in the head, or might the minimal physical substrate for some forms of conscious experience include the goings on in the (rest of the) body and the world? Such a view might be dubbed (by analogy with Clark and Chalmers’s ( 1998 ) claims concerning ‘the extended mind’) ‘the extended conscious mind’. In this article, I review a variety of arguments for the extended conscious mind, and find them flawed. Arguments for extended cognition, I conclude, do not (...)
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