There seems to be a perfectly ordinary sense in which different speakers can use an empty name to talk about the same thing. Call this fictional coreference. It is a constraint on an adequate theory of empty names that it provide a satisfactory account of fictional coreference. The main claim of this paper is that the pretense theory of empty names does not respect this constraint.
AnnaPautz has recently argued that the pretense theory of thought about fiction cannot explain how two people can count as thinking about the same fictional character. This is based on conflating pretending and the serious thought that can be based on pretend. With this distinction in place, her objections are groundless.
This is a chapter from my book Perception (Routledge). I explain the physical state view of sensory experience (Papineau, McLaughlin, others). I criticize an argument against it based on the "transparency observation". Then I develop two alternative arguments against it. The first is a Leibniz's Law argument based on the essentially externally directed character of some experiences. The second concerns "brains in vats". Finally I consider a recent response due to David Papineau, which involves rejecting essential external directedness.
The Orwell centenary of 2003 has come and gone, but the pace of academic publications that usually accompany such biographical milestones has not slackened. The Cambridge Companion to George Orwell was released in summer 2007, John Rodden's Every Intellectual's Big Brother: George Orwell's Literary Siblings was published in 2006, On Nineteen Eighty-Four: Orwell and Our Future, the proceedings of a 1999 conference, came out in 2005. The striking thing about many of these publications, not to mention the ones which emerged (...) out of the commemorative activities of 2003 itself, is that they are more concerned with Orwell's reputation and relevance today than with his oeuvre as such. As many as five chapters of the Cambridge Companion have a “posthumous” focus; the proceedings of the largest centenary conference, George Orwell: Into the Twenty-First Century, raise the issue of Orwell and the war in Iraq more frequently than that of Orwell and World War II.The latter is not entirely surprising for an American conference which featured the “liberal hawk” and former Trotskyist journalist Christopher Hitchens as the keynote speaker, and whose proceedings were edited in accordance with a corresponding political agenda, but it is also indicative of a larger phenomenon, a phenomenon most thoroughly examined by John Rodden in books like George Orwell: The Politics of Literary Reputation and Scenes from an Afterlife: The Legacy of George Orwell. Few imaginative writers have been so compulsively remoulded, coopted, and invoked outside of their proper literary sphere; as Rodden's scrupulous documentation shows, no modern crisis from the Cold War to the war on terror has gone by without an Orwell headline to define it. What, one may ask, are the mechanisms behind this astounding popularity? How are reputations on this vast scale made? Looking at “the writer and his work” will only get one so far; one must also look outward, for the world's perception of Orwell is as interesting and intriguing a subject as Orwell himself. Rodden, the most prolific Orwell critic publishing today, has made this reception history his focus. (shrink)
In this paper we investigate composition models of incarnation, according to which Christ is a compound of qualitatively and numerically different constituents. We focus on three-part models, according to which Christ is composed of a divine mind, a human mind, and a human body. We consider four possible relational structures that the three components could form. We argue that a ‘hierarchy of natures’ model, in which the human mind and body are united to each other in the normal way, and (...) in which they are jointly related to the divine mind by the relation of co-action, is the most metaphysically plausible model. Finally, we consider the problem of how Christ can be a single person even when his components may be considered persons. We argue that an Aristotelian metaphysics, according to which identity is a matter of function, offers a plausible solution: Christ's components may acquire a radically new identity through being parts of the whole, which enables them to be reidentified as parts, not persons. (shrink)
How many hairs must a person lose before they become bald? There doesn’t seem to be an easy way of answering this. This is because “bald”, along with a large number of other words, is vague. This vagueness causes problems and Anna Mahtani specialises in thinking very precisely about these problems….
This conversation between two scholars of international law focuses on the contemporary realities of feminist analysis of international law and on current and future spaces of resistance. It notes that feminism has moved from the margin towards the centre, but that this has also come at a cost. As the language of women’s rights and gender equality has travelled into the international policy worlds of crisis management and peace and security, feminist scholars need to become more careful in their analysis (...) and find new ways of resistance. While noting that we live in dangerous times, this is also a hopeful discussion. (shrink)
This article explains what is meant by the creolizing of ideas and then demonstrates it through exploring a political observation about political illegitimacy made by eighteenth-century Genevan social and political thinker Jean-Jacques Rousseau and creolized when the nineteenth-century African-American educator and social critic Anna Julia Cooper argued that the ideal of independence that lay at the core of political doctrines of republican self-governance relied on forms of willful blindness that cloaked the ongoing dependence of all human beings on one (...) another. In conclusion, the article considers what Cooper's expansion of Rousseau's insight and creolized readings of political philosophy imply for our pursuit of just political institutions today. (shrink)
This special volume of Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy presents sixteen specially written essays on virtue and happiness, and the treatment of these topics by thinkers from the fifth century BC to the third century AD. It is published in honour of Julia Annas--one of the leading scholars in the field.
The long section on knowledge and the philosopher in books V–VII of the Republic is undoubtedly the most famous passage in Plato's work. So it is perhaps a good idea to begin by stressing how very peculiar, and in many ways elusive, it is. It is exciting, and stimulating, but extremely hard to understand.
Some years ago I started to write a book on virtue ethics, in which I tried to meet early criticisms of what was then a new way of doing ethics. The book continued to be unsatisfactory, and I finally abandoned it, realizing that I needed to get clear about virtue before producing a defence of virtue ethics. This need should have been obvious, especially since I frequently teach Platonic dialogues where Socrates gets people to see that they are doing what (...) I was doing, namely developing ideas about something without first examining what it is. The need became even more obvious as the field rapidly expanded with the production of Humean, Nietschean, Kantian and consequentialist kinds of virtue ethics. Within the field of neo-Aristotelian ethics itself it became clear that different aspects can be stressed: the importance of practical wisdom can be developed, for example, without defending a naturalistic account of the relation of virtue to happiness.I finally wrote a book to explore and d .. (shrink)
Perception is one of the most pervasive and puzzling problems in philosophy, generating a great deal of attention and controversy in philosophy of mind, psychology and metaphysics. If perceptual illusion and hallucination are possible, how can perception be what it intuitively seems to be, a direct and immediate access to reality? How can perception be both internally dependent and externally directed? Perception is an outstanding introduction to this fundamental topic, covering both the perennial and recent work on the problem. Adam (...)Pautz examines four of the most important theories of perception: the sense datum view; the internal physical state view; the representational view; and naïve realism, assessing each in turn. He also discusses the relationship between perception and the physical world and the issue of whether reality is as it appears. Useful examples are included throughout the book to illustrate the puzzles of perception, including hallucinations, illusions, the laws of appearance, blindsight, and neuroscientific explanations of our experience of pain, smell and color. The book covers both traditional philosophical arguments and more recent empirical arguments deriving from research in psychophysics and neuroscience. The addition of chapter summaries, suggestions for further reading and a glossary of terms make Perception essential reading for anyone studying the topic in detail, as well as for students of philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology and metaphysics. (shrink)
In this chapter, Pautz raises a puzzle about spatial experience for phenomenal internalists like Ned Block. If an accidental, lifelong brain-in-the-void (BIV) should have all the same experiences as you, it would have an experience as of items having various shapes, and be able to acquire concepts of those shapes, despite being cut off from real things with the shapes. Internalists cannot explain this by saying that BIV is presented with Peacocke-style visual field regions having various shapes, because these (...) would have to be non-physical sense data. They might instead explain this by saying that BIV “phenomenally represents” various shape properties. But since BIV lacks any interesting physical relations to shapes, this would imply that phenomenally representation is an irreducible relation. (shrink)
I develop several new arguments against claims about "cognitive phenomenology" and its alleged role in grounding thought content. My arguments concern "absent cognitive qualia cases", "altered cognitive qualia cases", and "disembodied cognitive qualia cases". However, at the end, I sketch a positive theory of the role of phenomenology in grounding content, drawing on David Lewis's work on intentionality. I suggest that within Lewis's theory the subject's total evidence plays the central role in fixing mental content and ruling out deviant interpretations. (...) However I point out a huge unnoticed problem, the problem of evidence: Lewis really has no theory of sensory content and hence no theory of what fixes evidence. I suggest a way of plugging this hole in Lewis's theory. On the resulting theory, which I call " phenomenal functionalism", there is a sense in which sensory phenomenology is the source of all determinate intentionality. Phenomenal functionalism has similarities to the theories of Chalmers and Schwitzgebel. (shrink)
In “Radical Interpretation” (1974), David Lewis asked: by what constraints, and to what extent, do the non-intentional, physical facts about Karl determine the intentional facts about him? There are two popular approaches: the reductive externalist program and the phenomenal intentionality program. I argue against both approaches. Then I sketch an alternative multistage account incorporating ideas from both camps. If we start with Karl's conscious experiences, we can appeal to Lewisian ideas to explain his other intentional states. This account develops the (...) multistage Lewisian approach presented at the end of my earlier "Does Phenomenology Ground Mental Content?" (2013). (shrink)
I address three interrelated issues concerning the contents of experiences. First, I address the preliminary issue of what it means to say that experiences have contents. Then I address the issue of why we should believe that experiences have contents. Finally, I address the issue of what the contents of experiences are.
H. H. Price (1932) held that experience is essentially presentational. According to Price, when one has an experience of a tomato, nothing can be more certain than that there is something of which one is aware. Price claimed that the same applies to hallucination. In general, whenever one has a visual experience, there is something of which one is aware, according to Price. Call this thesis Item-Awareness.
Phenomenal intentionality is irreducible. Empirical investigation shows it is internally-dependent. So our usual externalist (causal, etc.) theories do not apply here. Internalist views of phenomenal intentionality (e. g. interpretationism) also fail. The resulting primitivist view avoids Papineau's worry that terms for consciousness are highly indeterminate: since conscious properties are extremely natural (despite having unnatural supervenience bases) they are 'reference magnets'.
In this paper, I do a few things. I develop a (largely) empirical argument against naïve realism (Campbell, Martin, others) and for representationalism. I answer Papineau’s recent paper “Against Representationalism (about Experience)”. And I develop a new puzzle for representationalists.
Develops an empirical argument against naive realism-disjunctivism: if naive realists accept "internal dependence", then they cannot explain the evolution of perceptual success. Also presents a puzzle about our knowledge of universals.
This paper defends and develops the capacity view against insightful critiques from Matt McGrath, Adam Pautz, and Ram Neta. In response to Matt McGrath, I show why capacities are essential and cannot simply be replaced with representational content. I argue moreover, that the asymmetry between the employment of perceptual capacities in the good and the bad case is sufficient to account for the epistemic force of perceptual states yielded by the employment of such capacities. In response to Adam (...) class='Hi'>Pautz, I show why a perceiver’s belief is better justified than the belief of someone who suffers a subjectively indistinguishable hallucination. I show, moreover, why the capacity view is compatible with standard Bayesian principles and how it accounts for degrees of justification. In response to Ram Neta, I discuss the relationship between evidence and rational confidence, as well as the notion of evidence in light of an externalism about perceptual content. (shrink)
Using empirical research on pain, sound and taste, I argue against the combination of intentionalism about consciousness and a broadly ‘tracking’ psychosemantics of the kind defended by Fodor, Dretske, Hill, Neander, Stalnaker, Tye and others. Then I develop problems with Kriegel and Prinz's attempt to combine a Dretskean psychosemantics with the view that sensible properties are Shoemakerian response-dependent properties. Finally, I develop in detail my own 'primitivist' view of sensory intentionality.
In his excellent book *The Metaphysics of Sensory Experience* (2021), David Papineau argues against standard theories of sensory experience: the sense datum view, representationalism, naïve realism, and so on. The only view left standing is his own “qualitative view”. On Papineau’s physicalist version, all experiences are nothing but neural states, and the only features essentially involved in experience are intrinsic neural properties (29-30, 95-97). In my book *Perception* (2021), I developed an argument from spatial experience against this kind of view (...) (also Pautz 2010, 2017). Here I elaborate on that argument in the light of Papineau’s discussion. (shrink)
Many favor representationalism about color experience. To a first approximation, this view holds that experiencing is like believing. In particular, like believing, experiencing is a matter of representing the world to be a certain way. Once you view color experience along these lines, you face a big question: do our color experiences represent the world as it really is? For instance, suppose you see a tomato. Representationalists claim that having an experience with this sensory character is necessarily connected with representing (...) a distinctive quality as pervading a round area out there in external space. Let us call it “sensible redness” to highlight the fact that the representation of this property is necessarily connected with the sensory character of the experience. Is this property, sensible redness, really co-instantiated with roundness out there in the space before you? (shrink)
In “The Meta-Problem of Consciousness”, David Chalmers briefly raises a problem about how the connection between consciousness and our verbal and other behavior appears “lucky”. I raise a counterexample to Chalmers’s formulation of the problem. Then I develop an alternative formulation. Finally, I consider some responses, including illusionism about consciousness.
The Significance Argument (SA) for the irreducibility of consciousness is based on a series of new puzzle-cases that I call multiple candidate cases. In these cases, there is a multiplicity of physical-functional properties or relations that are candidates to be identified with the sensible qualities and our consciousness of them, where those candidates are not significantly different. I will argue that these cases show that reductive materialists cannot accommodate the various ways in which consciousness is significant and must allow massive (...) vagueness in conscious experience. I also will argue that a nonreductive theory of the conscious-of relation can easily provide a very satisfying, unified explanation of the ways in which this relation is significant. (shrink)
This is a chapter from my introductory book *Perception* covering the representational view of experience. I use the Ramsey-Lewis method to define the theoretical term "experiential representation". I clarify and discuss various questions for representationalists, for instance, "how rich is the content of experience?" and "is the content of visual experience singular or general?" Finally, I address some objections to representationalism - in particular, that it cannot explain perceptual presence (John Campbell), and that it cannot explain the "laws of appearance" (...) (constraints on how things can appear). (shrink)
In this paper I will present a puzzle about visual appearance. There are certain necessary constraints on how things can visually appear. The puzzle is about how to explain them. I have no satisfying solution. My main thesis is simply that the puzzle is a puzzle. I will develop the puzzle as it arises for representationalism about experience because it is currently the most popular theory of experience and I think it is along the right lines. However, everyone faces a (...) form of the puzzle, including the naïve realist. In §1 I explain representationalism about experience. In §§2-3 I develop the puzzle and criticize a response due to Ned Block and Jeff Speaks and another response based on a novel form of representationalism (“sensa representationalism”). In §4 I argue that defenders of “perceptual confidence” (Morrison, Munton, my earlier self) face an instance of the puzzle. In §5 I suggest that everyone faces a form of the puzzle. (shrink)
This paper elaborates on an argument in my book *Perception*. It has two parts. In the first part, I argue against what I call "basic" naive realism, on the grounds that it fails to accommodate what I call "internal dependence" and it requires an empirically implausible theory of sensible properties. Then I turn Craig French and Ian Phillips’ modified naïve realism as set out in their recent paper "Austerity and Illusion". It accommodates internal dependence. But it may retain the empirically (...) implausible theory of sensible properties. And it faces other empirical problems. Representationalism about experiences avoids those problems and is to be preferred. (shrink)
Do the new sciences of well-being provide knowledge that respects the nature of well-being? This book written from the perspective of philosophy of science articulates how this field can speak to well-being proper and can do so in a way that respects the demands of objectivity and measurement.