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Galen Barry
Iona College
  1. 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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  2. Morally Respectful Listening and its Epistemic Consequences.Galen Barry - 2020 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 58 (1):52-76.
  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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    Reply to Yenter: Spinoza, Number, and Diversity.Galen Barry - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (2):365-374.
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    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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    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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