David Bourget University of Western Ontario
About me
I'm an assistant professor in the department of philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. I'm also the proud creator of PhilPapers.
My works
14 found

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  1.  93
    Intensional Perceptual Ascriptions.David Bourget - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    This paper defends the view that perceptual ascriptions such as “Jones sees a cat” are sometimes intensional. I offer a range of examples of intensional perceptual ascriptions, respond to objections to intensional readings of perceptual ascriptions, and show how widely accepted semantic accounts of intensionality can explain the key features of intensional perceptual ascriptions.
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  2.  29
    Why Are Some Phenomenal Experiences 'Vivid' and Others 'Faint'? Representationalism, Imagery, and Cognitive Phenomenology.David Bourget - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
    One central brand of representationalism claims that the specific phenomenal character of an experience is fully determined by its content. A challenge for this view is that cognitive and perceptual experiences sometimes seem to have the same representational content while differing in phenomenal character. In particular, it might seem that one can have faint imagery experiences or conscious thoughts with the same contents as vivid perceptual experiences. This paper argues that such cases never arise, and that they are probably metaphysically (...)
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  3. Phenomenal Intentionality.David Bourget & Angela Mendelovici - 2016 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Phenomenal intentionality is a kind of intentionality, or aboutness, that is grounded in phenomenal consciousness, the subjective, experiential feature of certain mental states. The phenomenal intentionality theory (PIT), is a theory of intentionality according to which there is phenomenal intentionality, and all other kinds of intentionality at least partly derive from it. In recent years, PIT has increasingly been seen as one of the main approaches to intentionality.
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  4. Representationalism, Perceptual Distortion and the Limits of Phenomenal Concepts.David Bourget - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):16-36.
    This paper replies to objections from perceptual distortion against the representationalist thesis that the phenomenal characters of experiences supervene on their intentional contents. It has been argued that some pairs of distorted and undistorted experiences share contents without sharing phenomenal characters, which is incompatible with the supervenience thesis. In reply, I suggest that such cases are not counterexamples to the representationalist thesis because the contents of distorted experiences are always impoverished in some way compared to those of normal experiences. This (...)
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  5. The Role of Consciousness in Grasping and Understanding.David Bourget - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (1).
    One sometimes believes a proposition without grasping it. For example, a complete achromat might believe that ripe tomatoes are red without grasping this proposition. My aim in this paper is to shed light on the difference between merely believing a proposition and grasping it. I focus on two possible theories of grasping: the inferential theory, which explains grasping in terms of inferential role, and the phenomenal theory, which explains grasping in terms of phenomenal consciousness. I argue that the phenomenal theory (...)
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  6. What Do Philosophers Believe?David Bourget & David J. Chalmers - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):465-500.
    What are the philosophical views of contemporary professional philosophers? We surveyed many professional philosophers in order to help determine their views on 30 central philosophical issues. This article documents the results. It also reveals correlations among philosophical views and between these views and factors such as age, gender, and nationality. A factor analysis suggests that an individual's views on these issues factor into a few underlying components that predict much of the variation in those views. The results of a metasurvey (...)
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  7. Tracking Representationalism.David Bourget & Angela Mendelovici - 2014 - In Andrew Bailey (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: The Key Thinkers. Continuum. pp. 209-235.
    This paper overviews the current status of debates on tracking representationalism, the view that phenomenal consciousness is a matter of tracking features of one's environment in a certain way. We overview the main arguments for the view and the main objections and challenges it faces. We close with a discussion of alternative versions of representationalism that might overcome the shortcomings of tracking representationalism.
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  8. Naturalizing Intentionality: Tracking Theories Versus Phenomenal Intentionality Theories.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (5):325-337.
    This paper compares tracking and phenomenal intentionality theories of intentionality with respect to the issue of naturalism. Tracking theories explicitly aim to naturalize intentionality, while phenomenal intentionality theories generally do not. It might seem that considerations of naturalism count in favor of tracking theories. We survey key considerations relevant to this claim, including some motivations for and objections to the two kinds of theories. We conclude by suggesting that naturalistic considerations may in fact support phenomenal intentionality theories over tracking theories.
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  9. Review of Tim Bayne and Michelle Montague's Cognitive Phenomenology[REVIEW]Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):601-604.
    A review of Cognitive Phenomenology by Tim Bayne and Michelle Montague, with some thoughts on the epistemology of the cognitive phenomenology debate.
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  10. Consciousness is Underived Intentionality.David Bourget - 2010 - Noûs 44 (1):32 - 58.
    Representationalists argue that phenomenal states are intentional states of a special kind. This paper offers an account of the kind of intentional state phenomenal states are: I argue that they are underived intentional states. This account of phenomenal states is equivalent to two theses: first, all possible phenomenal states are underived intentional states; second, all possible underived intentional states are phenomenal states. I clarify these claims and argue for each of them. I also address objections which touch on a range (...)
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  11. Paperless Philosophy as a Philosophical Method.David Bourget - 2010 - Social Epistemology 24 (4):363-375.
    I discuss the prospects for novel communication methods in academic research. I describe communication tools which could enhance the practice of conceptual analysis.
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  12. The Representational Theory of Consciousness.David Bourget - 2010 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    A satisfactory solution to the problem of consciousness would take the form of a simple yet fully general model which specifies the precise conditions under which any given state of consciousness occurs. Science has uncovered numerous correlations between consciousness and neural activity, but it has not yet come anywhere close to this. We are still looking for the Newtonian laws of consciousness. -/- One of the main difficulties with consciousness is that we lack a language in which to formulate illuminating (...)
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  13. Representationalism About Consciousness.William E. Seager & David Bourget - 2007 - In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell. pp. 261-276.
    A representationalist-friendly introduction to representationalism which covers a number of central problems and objections.
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  14. Quantum Leaps in Philosophy of Mind.David Bourget - 2004 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (12):17--42.
    I discuss the quantum mechanical theory of consciousness and freewill offered by Stapp (1993, 1995, 2000, 2004). First I show that decoherence-based arguments do not work against this theory. Then discuss a number of problems with the theory: Stapp's separate accounts of consciousness and freewill are incompatible, the interpretations of QM they are tied to are questionable, the Zeno effect could not enable freewill as he suggests because weakness of will would then be ubiquitous, and the holism of measurement in (...)
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