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Profile: Ema Sullivan-Bissett (University of Birmingham)
  1.  46
    Ema Sullivan-Bissett (2015). Implicit Bias, Confabulation, and Epistemic Innocence. Consciousness and Cognition 33:548-560.
    In this paper I explore the nature of confabulatory explanations of action guided by implicit bias. I claim that such explanations can have significant epistemic benefits in spite of their obvious epistemic costs, and that such benefits are not otherwise obtainable by the subject at the time at which the explanation is offered. I start by outlining the kinds of cases I have in mind, before characterising the phenomenon of confabulation by focusing on a few common features. Then I introduce (...)
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  2.  61
    Ema Sullivan-Bissett & Paul Noordhof (2013). A Defence of Owens' Exclusivity Objection to Beliefs Having Aims. Philosophical Studies 163 (2):453-457.
    In this paper we argue that Steglich-Petersen’s response to Owens’ Exclusivity Objection does not work. Our first point is that the examples Steglich-Petersen uses to demonstrate his argument do not work because they employ an undefended conception of the truth aim not shared by his target (and officially eschewed by Steglich-Petersen himself). Secondly we will make the point that deliberating over whether to form a belief about p is not part of the belief forming process. When an agent enters into (...)
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  3.  7
    Ema Sullivan-Bissett & Paul Noordhof (forthcoming). Another Defence of Owen’s Exclusivity Objection to Beliefs Having Aims. Logos and Episteme 8.
    David Owens objected to the truth-aim account of belief on the grounds that the putative aim of belief does not meet a necessary condition on aims, namely, that aims can be weighed against other aims. If the putative aim of belief cannot be weighed, then belief does not have an aim after all. Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen responded to this objection by appeal to other deliberative contexts in which the aim could be weighed, and we argued that this response to Owens failed (...)
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  4.  21
    Ema Sullivan-Bissett (2016). Malfunction Defended. Synthese:1-22.
    Historical accounts of biological function are thought to have, as a point in their favour, their being able to accommodate malfunction. Recently, this has been brought into doubt by Paul Sheldon Davies’s argument for the claim that both selected malfunction (that of the selected functions account) and weak etiological malfunction (that of the weak etiological account), are impossible. In this paper I suggest that in light of Davies’s objection, historical accounts of biological function need to be adjusted to accommodate malfunction. (...)
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  5.  13
    Ema Sullivan-Bissett (2016). The Role of Emotions and Values in Competence. Journal of Medical Ethics.
  6.  15
    Lisa Bortolotti, Ema Sullivan-Bissett & Rachel Gunn (2016). What Makes a Belief Delusional? In I. McCarthy, K. Sellevold & O. Smith (eds.), Cognitive Confusions. Legenda. pp. 37-51.
    In philosophy, psychiatry, and cognitive science, definitions of clinical delusions are not based on the mechanisms responsible for the formation of delusions. Some of the defining features of delusions are epistemic and focus on whether delusions are true, justified, or rational, as in the definition of delusions as fixed beliefs that are badly supported by evidence). Other defining features of delusions are psychological and they focus on whether delusions are harmful, as in the definition of delusions as beliefs that disrupt (...)
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  7.  2
    Ema Sullivan-Bissett (2017). Aims and Exclusivity. European Journal of Philosophy 24 (3).
    If belief has an aim by being a intentional activity, then it ought to be the case that the aim of belief can be weighed against other aims one might have. However, this is not so with the putative truth aim of belief: from the first-person perspective, one can only be motivated by truth considerations in deliberation over what to believe. From this perspective then, the aim cannot be weighed. This problem is captured by David Owens's Exclusivity Objection to belief (...)
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  8.  23
    Lisa Bortolotti & Ema Sullivan-Bissett (2015). Costs and Benefits of Imperfect Cognitions. Consciousness and Cognition 33:487-489.
    Introduction to a special issue of Consciousness and Cognition on the costs and benefits of imperfect cognitions.
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  9.  8
    Ema Sullivan-Bissett (2012). Changing Approaches to Blindsight: Relevant, but Not Decisive: Reply to Foley. Philosophical Writings:56-60.
  10.  28
    Ema Sullivan-Bissett & Rafe Mcgregor (2012). Better No Longer to Be. South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):55-68.
    David Benatar argues that coming into existence is always a harm, and that – for all of us unfortunate enough to have come into existence – it would be better had we never come to be. We contend that if one accepts Benatar’s arguments for the asymmetry between the presence and absence of pleasure and pain, and the poor quality of life, one must also accept that suicide is preferable to continued existence, and that his view therefore implies both anti-natalism (...)
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  11.  6
    Ema Sullivan-Bissett (2015). The Aim of Belief, Edited by Timothy Chan. Mind 124 (496):1258-1264.
    Review of Timothy Chan's (ed.) The Aim of Belief.
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  12.  12
    Lisa Botolotti & Ema Sullivan-Bissett (2014). Review of New Essays on Belief: Constitution, Content and Structure by Nikolaj Nottelmann. [REVIEW] Dialectica 68 (1):141-146.
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  13. Ema Sullivan-Bissett, Helen Bradley & Paul Noordhof (eds.) (forthcoming). Art and Belief. Oxford University Press.
  14. Ema Sullivan-Bissett (forthcoming). Biological Function and Epistemic Normativity. Philosophical Explorations.
    I give a biological account of epistemic normativity. My account explains the sense in which it is true that belief is subject to a standard of correctness, and reduces epistemic norms to there being doxastic strategies which guide how best to meet that standard. Additionally, I give an explanation of the mistakes we make in our epistemic discourse, understood as either taking epistemic properties and norms to be sui generis and irreducible, and/or as failing to recognize the reductive base of (...)
     
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  15. Tom Stoneham & Ema Sullivan-Bissett (forthcoming). Another Failed Refutation of Scepticism. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy.
    Jessica Wilson has recently offered a more sophisticated version of the self-defeat objection to Cartesian scepicism. She argues that the assertion of Cartesian scepticism results in an unstable vicious regress. The way out of the regress is to not engage with the Cartesian sceptic at all, to stop the regress before it starts, at the warranted assertion that the external world exists. We offer three reasons why this objection fails: first, the sceptic need not accept Wilson’s characterization of the sceptical (...)
     
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