26 found
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  1. A recipe for complete non-wellfounded explanations.Alexandre Billon - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    In a previous article on cosmological arguments, I have put forward a few examples of complete infinite and circular explanations, and argued that complete non-wellfounded explanations such as these might explain the present state of the world better than their well-founded theistic counterparts (Billon, 2021). Although my aim was broader, the examples I gave there implied merely causal explanations. In this article, I would like to do three things: • Specify some general informative conditions for complete and incomplete non-wellfounded causal (...)
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  2. Making Sense of the Cotard Syndrome: Insights from the Study of Depersonalisation.Alexandre Billon - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (3):356-391.
    Patients suffering from the Cotard syndrome can deny being alive, having guts, thinking or even existing. They can also complain that the world or time have ceased to exist. In this article, I argue that even though the leading neurocognitive accounts have difficulties meeting that task, we should, and we can, make sense of these bizarre delusions. To that effect, I draw on the close connection between the Cotard syndrome and a more common condition known as depersonalisation. Even though they (...)
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  3. Does consciousness entail subjectivity? The puzzle of thought insertion.Alexandre Billon - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (2):291 - 314.
    (2013). Does consciousness entail subjectivity? The puzzle of thought insertion. Philosophical Psychology: Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 291-314. doi: 10.1080/09515089.2011.625117.
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  4. What is it like to lack mineness? Depersonalization as a probe for the scope, nature and role of mineness.Alexandre Billon - 2023 - In Manuel García-Carpintero & Marie Guillot (eds.), Self-Experience: Essays on Inner Awareness. cambridge: OUP. pp. 314-342.
    Patients suffering from depersonalization complain of feeling detached from their body, their mental states, and actions or even from themselves. In this chapter, I argue that depersonalization consists in the lack of a phenomenal feature that marks my experiences as mine, which is usually called “mineness,” and that the study of depersonalization constitutes a neglected yet incomparable probe to assess empirically the scope, role, and even the nature of mineness. Here is how I will proceed. After describing depersonalization (§2) and (...)
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  5. Are infinite explanations self-explanatory?Alexandre Billon - 2021 - Erkenntnis 88 (5):1935-1954.
    Consider an infinite series whose items are each explained by their immediate successor. Does such an infinite explanation explain the whole series or does it leave something to be explained? Hume arguably claimed that it does fully explain the whole series. Leibniz, however, designed a very telling objection against this claim, an objection involving an infinite series of book copies. In this paper, I argue that the Humean claim can, in certain cases, be saved from the Leibnizian “infinite book copies” (...)
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  6. Jaspers' Dilemma: The Psychopathological Challenge to Subjectivity Theories of Consciousness.Alexandre Billon & Uriah Kriegel - 2015 - In R. Gennaro (ed.), Disturbed Consciousness. MIT Press. pp. 29-54.
    According to what we will call subjectivity theories of consciousness, there is a constitutive connection between phenomenal consciousness and subjectivity: there is something it is like for a subject to have mental state M only if M is characterized by a certain mine-ness or for-me-ness. Such theories appear to face certain psychopathological counterexamples: patients appear to report conscious experiences that lack this subjective element. A subsidiary goal of this chapter is to articulate with greater precision both subjectivity theories and the (...)
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  7. Why Are We Certain that We Exist?Alexandre Billon - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):723-759.
    Descartes was certain that he was thinking and he was accordingly certain that he existed. Like Descartes, we seem to be more certain of our thoughts and our existence than of anything else. What is less clear is the reason why we are thus certain. Philosophers throughout history have provided different interpretations of the cogito, disagreeing both on the kind of thoughts it characterizes and on the reasons for its cogency. According to what we may call the empiricist interpretation of (...)
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  8.  68
    Introspection in the Disordered Mind: And the Superintrospectionitis Thesis.Alexandre Billon - 2023 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 30 (9):49-62.
    In their target article, Kammerer and Frankish (K&F) wonder what forms introspection could take in non-human animals, enhanced humans, artificial intelligences, and aliens. In this short note, I focus on disordered or neurodiverse minds. More specifically, I assess a claim that has often been made more or less implicitly to the effect that, in virtue of their conditions, people with schizophrenia or depersonalization disorder have superior introspective abilities that allow them to discern some important but normally hidden characteristics of our (...)
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  9. Basic Self‐Awareness.Alexandre Billon - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (3):732-763.
    Basic self-awareness is the kind of self-awareness reflected in our standard use of the first-person. Patients suffering from severe forms of depersonalization often feel reluctant to use the first-person and can even, in delusional cases, avoid it altogether, systematically referring to themselves in the third-person. Even though it has been neglected since then, depersonalization has been extensively studied, more than a century ago, and used as probe for understanding the nature and the causal mechanisms of basic self-awareness. In this paper, (...)
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  10. Mineness first: three challenges to contemporary theories of bodily self-awareness.Alexandre Billon - 2017 - In Frederique De Vignemont & Adrian J. T. Alsmith (eds.), The Subject's Matter: Self-Consciousness and the Body. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. pp. 189-216.
    Depersonalization is a pathological condition consisting in a deep modification of the way things appear to a subject, leading him to feel estranged from his body, his actions, his thoughts, his mind and even from himself. In this article, I argue that the study of depersonalization raises three challenges for recent theories of the sense of bodily ownership. These challenges—which I call the centrality challenge, the dissociation challenge and the grounding challenge— thwart most of these theories and suggest that the (...)
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  11. Basic Self‐Awareness.Alexandre Billon - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (4).
    Basic self-awareness is the kind of self-awareness reflected in our standard use of the first-person. Patients suffering from severe forms of depersonalization often feel reluctant to use the first-person and can even, in delusional cases, avoid it altogether, systematically referring to themselves in the third-person. Even though it has been neglected since then, depersonalization has been extensively studied, more than a century ago, and used as probe for understanding the nature and the causal mechanisms of basic self-awareness. In this paper, (...)
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  12. Paradoxical hypodoxes.Alexandre Billon - 2019 - Synthese 196 (12):5205-5229.
    Most paradoxes of self-reference have a dual or ‘hypodox’. The Liar paradox (Lr = ‘Lr is false’) has the Truth-Teller (Tt = ‘Tt is true’). Russell’s paradox, which involves the set of sets that are not self-membered, has a dual involving the set of sets which are self-membered, etc. It is widely believed that these duals are not paradoxical or at least not as paradoxical as the paradoxes of which they are duals. In this paper, I argue that some paradox’s (...)
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  13. Depersonalization and the sense of bodily ownership.Alexandre Billon - 2022 - In Adrian Alsmith & Matthew Longo (eds.), Routledge Handbook of body awareness. Routledge. pp. 366-379.
    Depersonalization consists in a deep modification of the way things appear to a subject, leading him to feel estranged from his body, his actions, his thoughts, and his mind, and even from himself. Even though, when it was discovered at the end of the 19th century, this psychiatric condition was widely used to probe certain aspects of bodily awareness, and more specifically the sense of bodily ownership (SBO), it has been strangely neglected in contemporary debates. In this chapter, I argue (...)
     
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  14. Have we vindicated the motivational unconscious yet? A conceptual review.Alexandre Billon - 2011 - Frontiers in Psychoanalysis and Neuropsychoanalysis 2.
    Motivationally unconscious (M-unconscious) states are unconscious states that can directly motivate a subject’s behavior and whose unconscious character typically results from a form of repression. The basic argument for M-unconscious states claims that they provide the best explanation to some seemingly non rational behaviors, like akrasia, impulsivity or apparent self-deception. This basic argument has been challenged on theoretical, empirical and conceptual grounds. Drawing on recent works on apparent self-deception and on the ‘cognitive unconscious’ I assess those objections. I argue that (...)
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  15.  11
    Have We Vindicated the Motivational Unconscious Yet? A Conceptual Review.Alexandre Billon - 2011 - Frontiers in Psychology 2.
  16.  32
    The psychopathology of metaphysics: Depersonalization and the problem of reality.Alexandre Billon - 2024 - Metaphilosophy 55 (1):3-30.
    According to a common philosophical intuition, the deep nature of things is hidden from us, and the world as we know it through perception and science is, just like a dream, shadows, or a computer simulation, somehow shallow and lacking in reality. This “intuition of unreality” clashes with a strong, but perhaps more naive, intuition to the effect that the world as we know it seems perfectly real. Shadows, dreams, or informational structures appear too unreal to be identical to the (...)
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  17. Irrationality and Happiness: A (Neo-)Shopenhauerian argument for rational pessimism.Alexandre Billon - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (1):1-26.
    There is a long tradition in philosophy of blaming passions for our unhappiness. If only we were more rational, it is claimed, we would live happier lives. I argue that such optimism is misguided and that, paradoxically, people with desires, like us, cannot be both happy and rational. More precisely, if someone rational has desires he will not be fully happy, and if he has some desires that are rational and – in a yet-to-be-specified sense – demanding, he will be (...)
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  18. The truth-tellers paradox.Alexandre Billon - 2013 - Logique Et Analyse (204).
    Ttler=‘Ttler is true’ says of itself that it is true. It is a truth-teller. I argue that we have equally telling arguments (i) to the effect that all truth-tellers must have the same truth-value (ii) and the effect that truth-tellers differ in truth-value. This is what I call the Truth-Tellers paradox. This paradox stems from the fact that the truth-value of a truth-teller like Ttler should be determined by the fact that it says of itself that it is true (which (...)
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  19. What is the Point of Persistent Disputes? The meta-analytic answer.Alexandre Billon & Philippe Vellozzo - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    Many philosophers regard the persistence of philosophical disputes as symptomatic of overly ambitious, ill-founded intellectual projects. There are indeed strong reasons to believe that persistent disputes in philosophy (and more generally in the discourse at large) are pointless. We call this the pessimistic view of the nature of philosophical disputes. In order to respond to the pessimistic view, we articulate the supporting reasons and provide a precise formulation in terms of the idea that the best explanation of persistent disputes entails (...)
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  20. Can Fregeans Have 'I'-Thoughts?Alexandre Billon & Marie Guillot - 2014 - Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad de Costa Rica (136):97-105.
    We examine how Frege’s contrast between identity judgments of the forms “a=a” vs. “a=b” would fare in the special case where ‘a’ and ‘b’ are complex mental representations, and ‘a’ stands for an introspected ‘I’-thought. We first argue that the Fregean treatment of I-thoughts entails that they are what we call “one-shot thoughts”: they can only be thought once. This has the surprising consequence that no instance of the “a=a” form of judgment in this specific case comes out true, let (...)
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  21.  48
    Le cosmos des brindilles : un sublime pour notre époque.Alexandre Billon - 2022 - Klesis 52.
    Le sentiment du sublime est une expérience de la nature qui nous fait prendre conscience de la place paradoxale que nous occupons dans le cosmos et provoque par ce biais un plaisir ambivalent. Selon la théorie classique, kantienne, cette expérience proviendrait d’une sorte de combat de catch mental, dont on perdrait les premiers rounds en laissant la nature déborder nos sens, mais que l’on finirait par remporter grâce à la puissance de notre raison et de notre liberté. On n’aurait d’expérience (...)
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  22.  15
    Conscience et scientisme.Alexandre Billon - 2022 - Lato Sensu: Revue de la Société de Philosophie des Sciences 9 (1):23-27.
    Recension du livre de François Kammerer, Conscience et Matière, Éditions matériologiques, 2019.
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  23.  56
    « Dousir » et « plaileur » l'énigme de l'attribution d'expériences.Alexandre Billon - 2010 - Philosophie 105 (2):64-90.
    Cet article aborde le problème de la justification des attributions d'expérience à autrui (problem of other minds). Je compare ce problème à d'autres problèmes sceptiques contemporains dus à Nelson Goodman et Saoül Kripke et je montre qu'il constitue un défi plus pressant et auquel il est plus difficile de répondre de manière modeste. Je propose une solution radicale à ce problème, qui repose sur l'idée, avérée empiriquement, selon laquelle nous disposons de deux formes d'empathie distinctes pour accéder à autrui. Très (...)
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  24.  42
    Editorial: Schizophrenia and Other Pathologies of Self-Awareness Widening the Focus.Alexandre Billon - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (2):257-261.
  25. My own truth ---Pathologies of Self-Reference and Relative Truth.Alexandre Billon - 2011 - In Rahman Shahid, Primiero Giuseppe & Marion Mathieu (eds.), Logic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science, Vol. 23. springer.
    emantic pathologies of self-reference include the Liar (‘this sentence is false’), the Truth-Teller (‘this sentence is true’) and the Open Pair (‘the neighbouring sentence is false’ ‘the neighbouring sentence is false’). Although they seem like perfectly meaningful declarative sentences, truth value assignment to their uses seems either inconsistent (the Liar) or arbitrary (the Truth-Teller and the Open-Pair). These pathologies thus call for a resolution. I propose such a resolution in terms of relative-truth: the truth value of a pathological sentence use (...)
     
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  26.  24
    Usages contemporains de Descartes : introduction.Alexandre Billon & Édouard Mehl - 2018 - Methodos 18.
    « La bête cartésienne, remarque Richard Stalnaker dans une monographie récente (Stalnaker 2008), est une hydre qui ne se laisse pas tuer. Wittgenstein, Ryle, Quine, Sellars, Davidson (sans même mentionner Heidegger) ont peut-être coupé quelques têtes, mais elles ne cessent de repousser. Descartes n’est plus le croquemitaine qu’il était. » Qu’on le déplore, comme Stalnaker, ou que l’on s’en réjouisse, force est de constater que Descartes continue d’être cité, invoqué, critiqué dans la plu...
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