David Braddon-Mitchell and Frank Jackson’s popular introduction to philosophy of mind and cognition is now available in a fully revised and updated edition. Ensures that the most recent developments in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science are brought together into a coherent, accessible whole. Revisions respond to feedback from students and teachers and make the volume even more useful for courses. New material includes: a section on Descartes’ famous objection to materialism; extended treatment of connectionism; coverage of the view (...) that psychology is autonomous; fuller discussion of recent debates over phenomenal experience; and much more. (shrink)
A number of recent theories of quantum gravity lack a one-dimensional structure of ordered temporal instants. Instead, according to many of these views, our world is either best represented as a single three-dimensional object, or as a configuration space composed of such three-dimensional objects, none of which bear temporal relations to one another. Such theories will be empirically self-refuting unless they can accommodate the existence of conscious beings capable of representation. For if representation itself is impossible in a timeless world, (...) then no being in such a world could entertain the thought that a timeless theory is true, let alone believe such a theory or rationally believe it. This paper investigates the options for understanding representation in a three-dimensional, timeless, world. Ultimately it concludes that the only viable option is one according to which representation is taken to be deeply non-naturalistic. Ironically then we are left with two seemingly very unattractive options. Either a very naturalistic motivation—taking seriously a live view in fundamental physics—leads us to a very non-naturalistic view of the mental, or else views in the philosophy of mind partly dictate what is an acceptable theory in physics. (shrink)
Many philosophical naturalists eschew analysis in favor of discovering metaphysical truths from the a posteriori, contending that analysis does not lead to philosophical insight. A countercurrent to this approach seeks to reconcile a certain account of conceptual analysis with philosophical naturalism; prominent and influential proponents of this methodology include the late David Lewis, Frank Jackson, Michael Smith, Philip Pettit, and David Armstrong. Naturalistic analysis is a tool for locating in the scientifically given world objects and properties we quantify over in (...) everyday discourse. This collection gathers work from a range of prominent philosophers who are working within this tradition, offering important new work as well as critical evaluations of the methodology. Its centerpiece is an important posthumous paper by David Lewis, "Ramseyan Humility," published here for the first time. The contributors first address issues of philosophy of mind, semantics, and the new methodology's a priori character, then turn to matters of metaphysics, and finally consider problems regarding normativity. Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism is one of the first efforts to apply this approach to such a wide range of philosophical issues. _Contributors: _David Braddon-Mitchell, Mark Colyvan, Frank Jackson, Justine Kingsbury, Fred Kroon, David Lewis, Dustin Locke, Kelby Mason, Jonathan McKeown-Green, Peter Menzies, Robert Nola, Daniel Nolan, Philip Pettit, Huw Price, Denis Robinson, Steve Stich, Daniel Stoljar The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket. (shrink)
The two-dimensional framework in semantics has the most power and plausibility when combined with a kind of global semantic neo-descriptivism. If neo-descriptivism can be defended on the toughest terrain - the semantics of ordinary proper names - then the other skirmishes should be easier. This paper defends neo-descriptivism against two important objections: that the descriptions may be inaccessibly locked up in sub-personal modules, and thus not accessible a priori, and that in any case all such modules bottom out in purely (...) causal mechanisms, and that thus an externalist causal metasemantic theory will best account for them. I agree both that many descriptions are in some sense modularized, and that they bottom out in causal mechanisms. But I argue that these are not the relevant descriptions that two-dimensionalism trades in, and which make us, in an important sense, masters of our meanings. (shrink)
Some theories of personal identity allow some variation in what it takes for a person to survive from context to context; and sometimes this is determined by the desires of person-stages or the practices of communities.This leads to problems for decision making in contexts where what is chosen will affect personal identity.‘Temporal Phase Pluralism’ solves such problems by allowing that there can be a plurality of persons constituted by a sequence of person stages. This illuminates difficult decision making problems when (...) persons have to choose between different life-altering choices. (shrink)
Metaphysics is largely an a priori business, albeit a business that is sensitive to the findings of the physical sciences. But sometimes what the physical sciences tell us about our own world underdetermines what we should think about the metaphysics of how things actually are, and even how they could be. This chapter has two aims. The first is to defend a particular conception of the methodology of a priori metaphysics by, in part, exemplifying that methodology and revealing its results. (...) The second is to present a new account of holes. These two aims dovetail nicely. We are independently interested in providing a better analysis of the concept <hole> that yields a more plausible metaphysical story about holes. But focusing on holes is also a good way to explore the methodology we endorse: for this is an area of metaphysics that is sufficiently self-contained and narrow in focus that it provides a manageable case study, while at the same time raising interesting and deep issues about the nature of space. Ultimately we defend a new, functionalist, analysis of holes, which, unlike its rivals, neither misidentifies nor renders us implausibly eliminativist about holes under various different metaphysical suppositions about the nature of space. In the process, we set out the complex relations between the intension of “hole,” and its extension at various worlds under different suppositions about the nature of space. In explicating these relations our account exemplifies what we take to be the core methodology in a priori metaphysics. (shrink)
The paper defends a combination of perdurantism with mereological universalism by developing semantics of temporary predications of the sort ’some P is/was/will be (a) Q’. We argue that, in addition to the usual application of causal and other restrictions on sortals, the grammatical form of such statements allows for rather different regimentations along three separate dimensions, according to: (a) whether ‘P’ and ‘Q’ are being used as phase or substance sortal terms, (b) whether ‘is’, ‘was’, and ‘will be’ are the (...) ‘is’, ‘was’, ‘will be’ of identity or of constitution, and (c) whether ‘Q’ is being used as a subject or predicate term. We conclude that this latitude is beneficial, as it conforms with linguistic reality (i.e., the multiple uses actually in place) and also enables one to turn what is ordinarily perceived as a problem for universalist perdurantism viz., a commitment to all sorts of weird and gerrymandered temporally extended entities, into an advantage, for the richness in questions allows us to make sense of. (shrink)
How can the reference of theoretical terms be stable over changes of theory? I defend an approach to this that does not depend on substantive metasemantic theories of reference. It relies on the idea that in contexts of use, terms may play a role in a theory that in turn points to a further (possibly unknown) theory. Empirical claims are claims about the nature of the further theories, and the falsification of these further theories is understood not as showing that (...) a term in the original theory fails to refer, but rather that a scientific hypothesis encapsulated by the further theory is mistaken. Introduction 1.1 Two theories involving ‘cat’ 1.2 Some objections 1.3 Doing it with matrices 1.4 The theory so far Approximate truth 2.1 Modes of reference 2.2 Papineau's solution Meaning, analyticity and verbal dispositions 3.1 Theory 1 and the folk theory 3.2 Is the armchair too comfortable? 3.3 What role for the armchair? 3.4 How can we be mistaken about our dispositions? 3.5 The theory of reference and the theory of meaning. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that the insistence by Fodor et. al. that the Language of Thought hypothesis must be true rests on mistakes about the kinds of explanations that must be provided of cognitive phenomena. After examining the canonical arguments for the LOT, we identify a weak version of the LOT hypothesis which we think accounts for some of the intuitions that there must be a LOT. We then consider what kinds of explanation cognitive phenomena require, and conclude that (...) three main confusions lead to the invalid inference of the truth of a stronger LOT hypothesis from the weak and trivial version. These confusions concern the relationship between syntax and semantics, the nature of higher-level causation in cognitive science, and differing roles of explanations invoking intrinsic structures of minds on the one hand, and aetiological or evolutionary accounts of their properties on the other. (shrink)
It is widely held that free speech is a distinctive and privileged social kind. But what is free speech? In particular, is there any unified phenomenon that is both free speech and which is worthy of the special value traditionally attached to free speech? We argue that a descendent of the classic Millian justification of free speech is in fact a justification of a more general social condition; and, via an argument that 'free speech' names whatever natural social kind is (...) justified by the best arguments, that free speech is therefore this more general condition. This condition involves not merely the orthodox freedom (in some sense) of speakers to distribute words, but also two less frequently acknowledged dimensions of free speech: audience understanding and consideration. We conclude with some discussion of the policy implications of this conception of free speech. (shrink)
In order to improve our understanding of the components that reflect functionally important processes during reward anticipation and consumption, we used principle components analyses (PCA) to separate and quantify averaged ERP data obtained from each stage of a modified monetary incentive delay (MID) task. Although a small number of recent ERP studies have reported that reward and loss cues potentiate ERPs during anticipation, action preparation, and consummatory stages of reward processing, these findings are inconsistent due to temporal and spatial overlap (...) between the relevant electrophysiological components. Our results show three components following cue presentation are sensitive to incentive cues (N1, P3a, P3b). In contrast to previous research, reward‐related enhancement occurred only in the P3b, with earlier components more sensitive to break‐even and loss cues. During feedback anticipation, we observed a lateralized centroparietal negativity that was sensitive to response hand but not cue type. We also show that use of PCA on ERPs reflecting reward consumption successfully separates the reward positivity from the independently modulated feedback‐P3. Last, we observe for the first time a new reward consumption component: a late negativity distributed over the left frontal pole. This component appears to be sensitive to response hand, especially in the context of monetary gain. These results illustrate that the time course and sensitivities of electrophysiological activity that follows incentive cues do not follow a simple heuristic in which reward incentive cues produce enhanced activity at all stages and substages. (shrink)
In this paper we describe a few interrelated issues for validating theories that posit levels of consciousness. First, validating levels of consciousness requires consensus about the ordering of conscious states, which cannot be easily achieved. This problem is particularly severe if we believe conscious states can be irreducibly smeared over time. Second, the relationship between conscious states is probably sometimes intransitive, which means levels of consciousness will not be amenable to a single continuous measure. Finally, even if a multidimensional approach (...) to levels of consciousness is adopted, we argue that there are further problems for its validation. (shrink)
This paper proffers an account of why interdisciplinary research on, inter alia, the nature of time can be fruitful even if the disciplines in question have different explanatory pro-jects. We suggest that the special sciences perform a subject setting role for lower-level disciplines such as physics. In essence, they tell us where, amongst a theory of the physical world, we should expect to locate phenomena such as temporality; they tell us what it would take for there to be time. Physical (...) theory tells us whether there is anything like that in the world and what its hidden nature is. Only working in tandem can physics and the special sciences locate and describe the phenomenon that is time. (shrink)
Harold Noonan has recently argued (2003) that one of Lewis’s (1983: 76– 77) arguments for the view that objects persist by perduring is flawed. Lewis’s argument can be divided into two main sections, the first of which attempts to show that it is possible that there exists a world of temporal parts or stages, and the second, which attempts to show that our world is such a world. Noonan claims that there is a flaw in each of these two stages.We (...) argue to the contrary. (shrink)
I argue against a priori objections to the view that causation may be reducible to some micro-structural process in principle discoverable by physics. I distinguish explanation from causation, and argue that the main objections to such a reduction stem from conflating these two notions. Explanation is the collection of pragmatically relevant, possibly counterfactual information about causation; and causation is to be identified in a necessary a posteriori way with whatever physical processes underwrite our explanatory claims.
The idea of a folk theory has played many important roles in much recent philosophy. To do the work they are designed for, they need to be both internal features of agents who possess them, and yet scrutable without the full resources of empirical cognitive science. The worry for the theorist of folk theories, is that only one of these desiderata is met in each plausible conception of a folk theory. This paper outlines a third conception that meets them both.1.
The paper proposes a new version of direct act consequentialism that will provide the same evaluations of the rightness of acts as indirect disposition, motive or character consequentialism, thus reconciling the coherence of direct consequentialism with the plausible results in cases of indirect consequentialism. This is achieved by seeing that adopting certain kinds of moral dispositions causally constrains our future acts, so that the maximizing acts ruled out by the disposition can no longer be chosen. Thus when we act we (...) do the best we can, which is all that is required for rightness according to act consequentialism. (shrink)
that there is something rationally or conceptually defective in judging that an act is right without being in any way motivated towards it—is one which has tended to lead either to error theories of ethics on the one hand, or acceptance of the truth of internalism on the other. This paper argues that it does play a kind of subject-setting role, but that our responses to cases can be rationalised without requiring that internalism is true for ethical realism to be (...) vindicated. Instead what is required is that something like internalism be believed to be true. The widespreadness of the internalist intuition is part of what makes it the case that some actions are right and others wrong. Of course these beliefs might be false—as the present author holds—consistent with ethical realism, just so long as they are widely held, and whatever else it takes to vindicate realism is the case. In such a situation, widespread false belief would be part of what makes it so that some acts are right, and others wrong. (shrink)
We argue that a certain variety of presentist time travel ends up significantly undermining the motivational foundations which lead some, but not all, presentists to their view. We suggest that if presentism is motivated by phenomenology, and part of that phenomenology is that it’s an experiential datum that we experience temporal passage, then the basis for believing presentism is less secure than we might have thought.
This paper aims to provide an overview of the conceptual terrain of what we call conative accounts of personal identity. These are views according to which the same-person relation in some sense depends on a range of broadly conative phenomena, especially desires, behaviours and conventions. We distinguish views along three dimensions: what role the conations play, what kinds of conations play that role, and whether the conations that play that role are public or private. We then offer a more detailed (...) consideration of direct private conativism—the version of conativism that we favour—before considering how conativists ought respond to a general worry, according to which any conativist view will lead us to be radically pluralist about persons. (shrink)
The paper makes three points about the modularity of folk psychology and the significance of metarepresentation: The hope that metarepresentation may provide a principled divide between intentional and merely representational systems focuses on a divide of mechanism. I suggest that we also look for a divide of task: the difference could be a principled difference in the task performed by the systems, not in how the task is performed. There is no incompatibility between the hypothesis that folk psychology is modular (...) and the observation that we have conscious access to some of the principles of folk psychology on even a slightly moderated understanding of modularity. Much of the debate about the theoretical nature of FP hangs on what counts as a theory. Different conceptions of theory form a continuum, and it is unclear what hangs on the position that FP occupies within it. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that reflection on the patterns of practical concern that agents like us exhibit strongly suggests that the same person relation comes in continuous degrees rather than being an all or nothing matter. We call this the SP-degree thesis. Though the SP-degree thesis is consistent with a range of views about personal-identity, we argue that combining desire-first approaches to personal-identity with the SP-degree thesis better explains our patterns of practical concern, and hence gives us reason to (...) endorse such an approach. We then argue that the combination of the SP-degree thesis and the desire-first approach are best modelled by a stage-theoretic view of persistence according to which temporal counterpart relations are non-symmetric relations that come in continuous degrees. Ultimately, we think that the overall appeal of this package of views provides reason to accept the package: reasons that outstrip the reasons we have to endorse any particular member of the package. (shrink)
This paper proffers an account of why interdisciplinary research on, inter alia, the nature of time can be fruitful even if the disciplines in question have different explanatory projects. We suggest that the special sciences perform a subject setting role for lower-level disciplines such as physics. In essence, they tell us where, amongst a theory of the physical world, we should expect to locate phenomena such as temporality; they tell us what it would take for there to be time. Physical (...) theory tells us whether there is anything like that in the world and what its hidden nature is. Only working in tandem can physics and the special sciences locate and describe the phenomenon that is time. (shrink)
This paper identifies problems with indexicalism and abverbialism about temporary intrinsic properties, and solves them by disentangling two senses in which a particular may possess a property simpliciter. The first sense is the one identified by adverbialists in which a particular possesses at all times the property as a matter of foundational metaphysical fact regardless of whether it is manifest. The second involves building on adverbialism to produce a semantics for property-manifestation according to which different members of a family of (...) second-order properties of the foundational property are relevant to property manifestation at different times. (shrink)