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Galen Barry
Iona College
  1. Morally Respectful Listening and its Epistemic Consequences.Galen Barry - 2020 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 58 (1):52-76.
    What does it mean to listen to someone respectfully, that is, insofar as they are due recognition respect? This paper addresses that question and gives the following answer: it is to listen in such a way that you are open to being surprised. A specific interpretation of this openness to surprise is then defended.
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  2. The Nozick Game.Galen Barry - 2017 - Teaching Philosophy 40 (1):1-10.
    In this article I introduce a simple classroom exercise intended to help students better understand Robert Nozick’s famous Wilt Chamberlain thought experiment. I outline the setup and rules of the Basic Version of the Game and explain its primary pedagogical benefits. I then offer several more sophisticated versions of the Game which can help to illustrate the difference between Nozick’s libertarianism and luck egalitarianism.
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  3. Spinoza and the Problem of Other Substances.Galen Barry - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (4):481-507.
    ABSTRACTMost of Spinoza’s arguments for God’s existence do not rely on any special feature of God, but instead on merely general features of substance. This raises the following worry: those arguments prove the existence of non-divine substances just as much as they prove God’s existence, and yet there is not enough room in Spinoza’s system for all these substances. I argue that Spinoza attempts to solve this problem by using a principle of plenitude to rule out the existence of other (...)
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  4. Spinoza and the Feeling of Freedom.Galen Barry - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):1-15.
    ABSTRACTWe seem to have a direct experience of our freedom when we act. Many philosophers take this feeling of freedom as evidence that we possess libertarian free will. Spinoza denies that we have free will of any sort, although he admits that we nonetheless feel free. Commentators often attribute to him what I call the ‘Negative Account’ of the feeling: it results from the fact that we are conscious of our actions but ignorant of their causes. I argue that the (...)
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  5.  79
    Reply to Yenter: Spinoza, Number, and Diversity.Galen Barry - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (2):365-374.
    Clarke attacks Spinoza's monism on the grounds that it cannot explain how a multiplicity of things follows from one substance, God. This article argues that Clarke assumes that Spinoza's God is countable. It then sketches a way in which multiplicity can follow from God's uncountable nature.
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  6.  88
    Cartesian Modes and The Simplicity of Mind.Galen Barry - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (1):54-76.
    Malebranche argues that we lack a clear idea of the mind because we cannot, even in principle, derive all the possible modes of mind solely from the idea of thought. But we can, in principle, derive all the possible modes of body from the idea of extension. Therefore, there is epistemic asymmetry between our ideas of mind and body. I offer a defense of Descartes whereby he can assert that we have a clear idea of mind despite this asymmetry. I (...)
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  7.  66
    Spinoza and Counterpossible Inferences.Galen Barry - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Spinoza reasons about impossibilities on a regular basis. But he also says they're unthinkable and that reasoning is a mental process. How can he do this? The paper defends a linguistic account of counterpossible inferences in Spinoza's geometrical method.
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  8. Spinoza and the Logical Limits of Mental Representation.Galen Barry - 2019 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1):5.
    This paper examines Spinoza’s view on the consistency of mental representation. First, I argue that he departs from Scholastic tradition by arguing that all mental states—whether desires, intentions, beliefs, perceptions, entertainings, etc.—must be logically consistent. Second, I argue that his endorsement of this view is motivated by key Spinozistic doctrines, most importantly the doctrine that all acts of thought represent what could follow from God’s nature. Finally, I argue that Spinoza’s view that all mental representation is consistent pushes him to (...)
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  9.  43
    Spinoza on the Resistance of Bodies.Galen Barry - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 86:56-67.
    People attribute resistance to bodies in Spinoza's physics. It's not always clear what they mean when they do this, or whether they are entitled to. This article clarifies what it would mean, and examines the evidence for attributing resistance. The verdict: there's some evidence, but not nearly as much as people think.
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  10. The Oxford Handbook of Spinoza. [REVIEW]Galen Barry - 2019 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 27 (3):652-654.
    Volume 27, Issue 3, May 2019, Page 652-654.
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  11.  59
    Using Conway’s Game of Life to Teach Free Will.Galen Barry - 2018 - Teaching Philosophy 41 (4):337-347.
    The concept of determinism proves to be a persistent stumbling block to student comprehension of issues surrounding free will. Students tend to commit two main errors. First, they often confuse determinism with the related but importantly different idea of fatalism. Second, students often do not adequately understand that mental states, such as desires or beliefs, can function as deterministic causes. This paper outlines a straightforward in-class exercise modeled after John Horton Conway’s “Game of Life” computer simulation. The exercise aims to (...)
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