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Profile: Derek Ball (University of St. Andrews)
  1. There Are No Phenomenal Concepts.Derek Ball - 2009 - Mind 118 (472):935-962.
    It has long been widely agreed that some concepts can be possessed only by those who have undergone a certain type of phenomenal experience. Orthodoxy among contemporary philosophers of mind has it that these phenomenal concepts provide the key to understanding many disputes between physicalists and their opponents, and in particular offer an explanation of Mary’s predicament in the situation exploited by Frank Jackson's knowledge argument. I reject the orthodox view; I deny that there are phenomenal concepts. My arguments exploit (...)
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  2.  47
    Monsters and the Theoretical Role of Context.Brian Rabern & Derek Ball - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Kaplan (1989) famously claimed that monsters--operators that shift the context--do not exist in English and "could not be added to it". Several recent theorists have pointed out a range of data that seem to refute Kaplan's claim, but others (most explicitly Stalnaker 2014) have offered a principled argument that monsters are impossible. This paper interprets and resolves the dispute. Contra appearances, this is no dry, technical matter: it cuts to the heart of a deep disagreement about the fundamental structure of (...)
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  3. Property Identities and Modal Arguments.Derek Ball - 2011 - Philosophers' Imprint 11 (13).
    Physicalists about the mind are committed to claims about property identities. Following Kripke's well-known discussion, modal arguments have emerged as major threats to such claims. This paper argues that modal arguments can be resisted by adopting a counterpart theoretic account of modal claims, and in particular modal claims involving properties. Thus physicalists have a powerful motive to adopt non-Kripkean accounts of the metaphysics of modality and the semantics of modal expressions.
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  4. One Dogma of Millianism.Derek Ball & Bryan Pickel - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):70-92.
    Millians about proper names typically claim that it is knowable apriori that Hesperus is Phosphorus. We argue that they should claim instead that it is knowable only aposteriori that Hesperus is Hesperus, since the Kripke-Putnam epistemic arguments against descriptivism are special cases of Quinean arguments that nothing is knowable apriori, and Millians have no resources to resist the more general Quinean arguments.
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  5.  38
    The Myth of the Intuitive: Experimental Philosophy and Philosophical Method, by Max Deutsch. [REVIEW]Derek Ball - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):414-415.
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  6. Consciousness and Conceptual Mastery.Derek Ball - 2013 - Mind 122 (486):fzt075.
    Torin Alter (2013) attempts to rescue phenomenal concepts and the knowledge argument from the critique of Ball 2009 by appealing to conceptual mastery. I show that Alter’s appeal fails, and describe general features of conceptual mastery that suggest that no such appeal could succeed.
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  7. Twin-Earth Externalism and Concept Possession.Derek Ball - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (3):457-472.
    It is widely believed that Twin-Earth-style thought experiments show that the contents of a person's thoughts fail to supervene on her intrinsic properties. Several recent philosophers have made the further claim that Twin-Earth-style thought experiments produce metaphysically necessary conditions for the possession of certain concepts. I argue that the latter view is false, and produce counterexamples to several proposed conditions. My thesis is of particular interest because it undermines some attempts to show that externalism is incompatible with privileged access.
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  8.  79
    Critical Notice: Consciousness and the Prospects of Physicalism, by Derk Pereboom.Derek Ball - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (1):118-129.
    Critical notice of Derk Pereboom's "Consciousness and the Prospects of Physicalism". Discusses Pereboom's idea that conscious states might be misrepresented in introspection, and his idea that instantiations of mental properties are composed of instantiations of physical properties.
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  9.  68
    Indexicality, Transparency, and Mental Files.Derek Ball - 2015 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (4):353-367.
    Francois Recanati’s Mental Files presents a picture of the mind on which mental representations are indexical and transparent. I dispute this picture: there is no clear case for regarding mental representations as indexical, and there are counterexamples to transparency.
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  10.  54
    Two-Dimensionalism and the Social Character of Meaning.Derek Ball - 2013 - Erkenntnis (S3):1-29.
    This paper develops and critiques the two-dimensionalist account of mental content developed by David Chalmers. I first explain Chalmers’s account and show that it resists some popular criticisms. I then argue that the main interest of two-dimensionalism lies in its accounts of cognitive significance and of the connection between conceivability and possibility. These accounts hinge on the claim that some thoughts have a primary intension that is necessarily true. In this respect, they are Carnapian, and subject to broadly Quinean attack. (...)
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  11.  25
    There’s Something About Mary. [REVIEW]Derek Ball - 2014 - The Philosophers' Magazine 64:119-121.
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  12.  26
    Two-Dimensionalism and the Social Character of Meaning.Derek Ball - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):567-595.
    This paper develops and critiques the two-dimensionalist account of mental content developed by David Chalmers. I first explain Chalmers's account and show that it resists some popular criticisms. I then argue that the main interest of two-dimensionalism lies in its accounts of cognitive significance and of the connection between conceivability and possibility. These accounts hinge on the claim that some thoughts have a primary intension that is necessarily true. In this respect, they are Carnapian, and subject to broadly Quinean attack. (...)
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    There’s Something About Mary. [REVIEW]Derek Ball - 2014 - The Philosophers' Magazine 64:119-121.
  14. One Dogma of Millianism.Derek Ball & Bryan Pickel - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):70-92.
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