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Profile: Katalin Balog (Rutgers University - Newark)
  1. In Defense of the Phenomenal Concept Strategy1.Katalin Balog - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1):1-23.
    During the last two decades, several different anti-physicalist arguments based on an epistemic or conceptual gap between the phenomenal and the physical have been proposed. The most promising physicalist line of defense in the face of these arguments – the Phenomenal Concept Strategy – is based on the idea that these epistemic and conceptual gaps can be explained by appeal to the nature of phenomenal concepts rather than the nature of non-physical phenomenal properties. Phenomenal concepts, on this proposal, involve unique (...)
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  2. Acquaintance and the Mind-Body Problem.Katalin Balog - 2012 - In Simone Gozzano & Christopher S. Hill (eds.), New Perspectives on Type Identity: The Mental and the Physical. Cambridge University Press. pp. 16.
    In this paper I begin to develop an account of the acquaintance that each of us has with our own conscious states and processes. The account is a speculative proposal about human mental architecture and specifically about the nature of the concepts via which we think in first personish ways about our qualia. In a certain sense my account is neutral between physicalist and dualist accounts of consciousness. As will be clear, a dualist could adopt the account I will offer (...)
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  3. Phenomenal Concepts.Katalin Balog - 2009 - In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), Oxford Handbook in the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 292--312.
    This article is about the special, subjective concepts we apply to experience, called “phenomenal concepts”. They are of special interest in a number of ways. First, they refer to phenomenal experiences, and the qualitative character of those experiences whose metaphysical status is hotly debated. Conscious experience strike many philosophers as philosophically problematic and difficult to accommodate within a physicalistic metaphysics. Second, PCs are widely thought to be special and unique among concepts. The sense that there is something special about PCs (...)
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  4. Conceivability, Possibility, and the Mind-Body Problem.Katalin Balog - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (4):497-528.
    This paper was chosen by The Philosopher’s Annual as one of the ten best articles appearing in print in 2000. Reprinted in Volume XXIII of The Philosopher’s Annual. In his very influential book David Chalmers argues that if physicalism is true then every positive truth is a priori entailed by the full physical description – this is called “the a priori entailment thesis – but ascriptions of phenomenal consciousness are not so entailed and he concludes that Physicalism is false. As (...)
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  5. Hard, Harder, Hardest.Katalin Balog - manuscript
    In this paper I discuss three problems of consciousness. The first two have been dubbed the “Hard Problem” and the “Harder Problem”. The third problem has received less attention and I will call it the “Hardest Problem”. The Hard Problem is a metaphysical and explanatory problem concerning the nature of conscious states. The Harder Problem is epistemological, and it concerns whether we can know, given physicalism, whether some creature physically different from us is conscious. The Hardest Problem is a problem (...)
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  6. Jerry Fodor on Non-Conceptual Content.Katalin Balog - 2009 - Synthese 167 (3):311 - 320.
    Proponents of non-conceptual content have recruited it for various philosophical jobs. Some epistemologists have suggested that it may play the role of “the given” that Sellars is supposed to have exorcised from philosophy. Some philosophers of mind (e.g., Dretske) have suggested that it plays an important role in the project of naturalizing semantics as a kind of halfway between merely information bearing and possessing conceptual content. Here I will focus on a recent proposal by Jerry Fodor. In a recent paper (...)
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  7. Stor®.Katalin Balog - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (4).
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  8. Physicalism, Dualism, and Metaphysical Gridlock.Katalin Balog - manuscript
    In this paper I survey the landscape of anti-physicalist arguments and physicalist responses to them. The anti-physicalist arguments I discuss start from a premise about a conceptual, epistemic, or explanatory gap between physical and phenomenal descriptions and conclude from this – on a priori grounds – that physicalism is false. My primary aim is to develop a master argument to counter these arguments. With this master argument in place, it is apparent that there is a puzzling symmetry between dualist attacks (...)
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  9. Phenomenal Judgment and the HOT Theory: Comments on David Rosenthal’s “Consciousness, Content, and Metacognitive Judgments”. [REVIEW]Katalin Balog - 2000 - Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2):215-219.
    In this commentary I criticize David Rosenthal’s higher order thought theory of consciousness . This is one of the best articulated philosophical accounts of consciousness available. The theory is, roughly, that a mental state is conscious in virtue of there being another mental state, namely, a thought to the effect that one is in the first state. I argue that this account is open to the objection that it makes “HOT-zombies” possible, i.e., creatures that token higher order mental states, but (...)
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  10. Commentary on Frank Jackson's From Metaphysics to Ethics. [REVIEW]Katalin Balog - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):645–652.
    Symposium contribution on Frank Jackson’s a priori entailment thesis – which he employs to connect metaphysics and conceptual analysis. In the book he develops this thesis within the two-dimensional framework and also proposes a formal argument for it. I argue that the two-dimensional framework doesn’t provide independent support for the a priori entailment thesis since one has to build into the framework assumptions as strong as the thesis itself.
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    Thinking About Consciousness. [REVIEW]Katalin Balog - 2004 - Mind 113 (452):774-778.
    Papineau in his book provides a detailed defense of physicalism via what has recently been dubbed the “phenomenal concept strategy”. I share his enthusiasm for this approach. But I disagree with his account of how a physicalist should respond to the conceivability arguments. Also I argue that his appeal to teleosemantics in explaining mental quotation is more like a promissory note than an actual theory.
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  12. Review: Thinking About Consciousness. [REVIEW]Katalin Balog - 2004 - Mind 113 (452):774-778.
    Papineau in his book provides a detailed defense of physicalism via what has recently been dubbed the “phenomenal concept strategy”. I share his enthusiasm for this approach. But I disagree with his account of how a physicalist should respond to the conceivability arguments. Also I argue that his appeal to teleosemantics in explaining mental quotation is more like a promissory note than an actual theory.
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  13. Comments on Ned Block's Target Article “Consciousness, Accessibility, and the Mesh Between Psychology and Neuroscience”.Katalin Balog - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (4):499-500.
    Block argues that relevant data in psychology and neuroscience shows that access consciousness is not constitutively necessary for phenomenality. However, a phenomenal state can be access conscious in two radically different ways. Its content can be access conscious, or its phenomenality can be access conscious. I’ll argue that while Block’s thesis is right when it is formulated in terms of the first notion of access consciousness, there is an alternative hypothesis about the relationship between phenomenality and access in terms of (...)
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  14. Review of Torin Alter, Sven Walter , Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal Knowledge: New Essays on Consciousness and Physicalism[REVIEW]Katalin Balog - 2008 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (5).
    The book under review is a collection of thirteen essays on the nature phenomenal concepts and the ways in which phenomenal concepts figure in debates over physicalism. Phenomenal concepts are of special interest in a number of ways. First, they refer to phenomenal experiences, and the qualitative character of those experiences whose metaphysical status is hotly debated. There are recent arguments, originating in Descartes’ famous conceivability argument, that purport to show that phenomenal experience is irreducibly non-physical. Second, phenomenal concepts are (...)
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  15.  14
    Simple Mindedness.Katalin Balog - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (4):562-565.
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  16.  1
    Simple Mindedness: In Defense of Naive Naturalism in the Philosophy of Mind.Katalin Balog & Jennifer Hornsby - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (4):562.
    Hornsby is a defender of a position in the philosophy of mind she calls “naïve naturalism”. She argues that current discussions of the mind-body problem have been informed by an overly scientistic view of nature and a futile attempt by scientific naturalists to see mental processes as part of the physical universe. In her view, if naïve naturalism were adopted, the mind-body problem would disappear. I argue that her brand of anti-physicalist naturalism runs into difficulties with the problem of mental (...)
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  17.  12
    Simple Mindedness: In Defense of Naive Naturalism in the Philosophy of Mind.< Cont.Katalin Balog - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (4):562-565.
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    Jerry Fodor on Non-Conceptual Content.Katalin Balog - 2009 - Synthese 170 (2):311-320.
    Proponents of non-conceptual content have recruited it for various philosophical jobs. Some epistemologists have suggested that it may play the role of "the given" that Sellars is supposed to have exorcised from philosophy. Some philosophers of mind have suggested that it plays an important role in the project of naturalizing semantics as a kind of halfway between merely information bearing and possessing conceptual content. Here I will focus on a recent proposal by Jerry Fodor. In a recent paper he characterizes (...)
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  19.  9
    Access to Phenomenality: A Necessary Condition of Phenomenality?Katalin Balog - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6).
  20. Conceivability Arguments.Katalin Balog - 1998 - Dissertation, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
    The dissertation addresses the mind-body problem, and in particular, the problem of how to fit phenomenal consciousness into the rest of reality. Phenomenal consciousness---the what it's like feature of experience---can appear to the scientifically inclined philosopher to be deeply mysterious. It is difficult to understand how the swirl of atoms in the void, the oscillation of field values, the firing of synapses, or anything physical can add up to the smells, tastes, feelings, moods, and so forth that comprise our phenomenal (...)
     
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  21.  30
    Consciousness and Meaning: Selected Essays by Brian Loar.Katalin Balog, Stephanie Beardman & Brian Loar (eds.) - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    One of the most important problems of modern philosophy concerns the place of subjectivity in a purely physical universe. Brian Loar was a major contributor to the discussion of this problem for over four decades. This volume brings together his most important and influential essays in the philosophy of language and of mind.
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