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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. 16-43.
    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. 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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  4. 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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  5.  64
    Disillusioned.Katalin Balog - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):38-53.
    In “The Meta-Problem of Consciousness”, David Chalmers draws a new framework in which to consider the mind-body problem. In addition to trying to solve the hard problem of consciousness – the problem of why and how brain processes give rise to conscious experience –, he thinks that philosophy, psychology, neuro-science and the other cognitive sciences should also pursue a solution to what he calls the “meta-problem” of consciousness – i.e., the problem of why we think there is a problem with (...)
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  6. Simple Mindedness: In Defense of Naive Naturalism in the Philosophy of Mind.≪/Article-Title≫≪ Cont. [REVIEW]Katalin Balog & Jennifer Hornsby - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (4):562-565.
    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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  7.  76
    Psychology, Neuroscience and the Consciousness Dilemma.Katalin Balog - manuscript
    Phenomenality and accessibility are two aspects of conscious experience. “Phenomenality” refers to the felt, experiential aspect of experience, and “accessibility” to a cognitive aspect of it: its availability in general to thought processes, reasoning, decision making, etc. In this paper, I present a dilemma for theorizing about the connection between them. Either there is a conceptual connection linking phenomenality and accessibility (i.e., it is not possible to conceive of a phenomenal experience that is not cognitively accessible for the subject) or (...)
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  8. Thinking About Consciousness.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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  9.  49
    Ontological Novelty, Emergence, and the Mind-Body Problem.Katalin Balog - 2006 - In Günter Abel (ed.), Kreativität. Hamburg, Germany: pp. 371-399.
    This paper is an exposition and comparison between two views concerning fundamental ontology in the context of the Mind-Body Problem: physicalism and emergent property dualism. I assess the pros and cons of each position and argue that physicalism provides an overall more plausible metaphysics.
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  10. 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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  11.  62
    Either/Or: Subjectivity, Objectivity and Value.Katalin Balog - 2020 - In John Schwenkler & Enoch Lambert (eds.), Becoming Someone New: Essays on Transformative Experience, Choice, and Change. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    My concern in this paper is the role of subjectivity in the pursuit of the good. I propose that subjective thought as well as a subjective mental process underappreciated in philosophical psychology – contemplation – are instrumental for discovering and apprehending a whole range of value. In fact, I will argue that our primary contact with these values is through experience and that they could not be properly understood in any other way. This means that subjectivity is central to our (...)
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  12.  36
    Son of Saul, Kierkegaard, and the Holocaust.Katalin Balog - 2016 - The New York Times.
    Art often is the subject of philosophy; it is more rare that a work of art becomes philosophy, pursued by means other than language. In its cinematic way, Son of Saul, a Hungarian film by László Nemes about the Holocaust, engages with the same set of problems that the nineteenth century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard wrote about.
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  13. Hard, Harder, Hardest.Katalin Balog - 2020 - In Arthur Sullivan (ed.), Sensations, Thoughts, and Language: Essays in Honor of Brian Loar. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 265-289.
    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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  14. 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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  15. Commentary on Frank Jackson’s From Metaphysics to Ethics.Katalin Balog - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):645–652.
    Frank Jackson uses the a priori entailment thesis 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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  16. Indeterminacy and the Mind-Body Problem.Katalin Balog - manuscript
    This paper is an examination of the mind’s relationship to the physical world, in light of the dialectic between anti-physicalist arguments and physicalist responses. Having developed a master argument against the anti-physicalist, I then notice that there is a puzzling symmetry between dualist attacks on physicalism and physicalist replies. Each position can be developed in a way to defend itself from attacks from the other position. My suggestion is that the reason for the seeming unresolvability of the problem is that (...)
     
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  17. Comments on Ned Block's Target Article “Consciousness, Accessibility, and the Mesh Between Psychology and Neuroscience”. [REVIEW]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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  18. 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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  19. Conceivability Arguments.Katalin Balog - 1998 - Dissertation, Rutgers University
    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 (...)
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  20.  23
    Simple Mindedness: In Defense of Naive Naturalism in the Philosophy of Mind.Katalin Balog - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (4):562-565.
    Jennifer Hornsby’s Simple Mindedness consists of twelve essays organized into sections focusing on three issues: the ontology of persons and mental events, how actions fit into a world of natural law, and the nature of intentional explanations. Most of the essays have been previously published but many of these are revised and include addenda. The collection is unified by its defending a position in the philosophy of mind Hornsby calls “naive naturalism.” She advertises naive naturalism as neither physicalist nor Cartesian. (...)
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  21.  1
    Conceivability Arguments or the Revenge of the Zombies.Katalin Balog - 1998 - The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 35:34-45.
    There is a tradition, going back at least to Descartes, of arguing against physicalism on the basis of claims about conceivability. Philosophers in this tradition claim that we can conceive of any physical facts obtaining without there being any phenomenal experience. From this conceptual claim it is further argued that it is metaphysically possible for any physical fact to obtain without the occurrence of any phenomenal experience. If this is correct, then physicalism as it is usually construed is false. In (...)
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  22. Consciousness and Meaning: Selected Essays by Brian Loar.Katalin Balog & Stephanie Beardman - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    One of the most important problems of twentieth century analytic philosophy concern the place of the mind – and in particular, of consciousness and intentionality – in a physical universe. Brian Loar’s essays in the philosophy of mind in this volume include his major contributions in this area. His central concern was how to understand consciousness and intentionality from the subjective perspective, and especially, how to understand subjectivity in a physical universe. He was committed to the reality and reliability of (...)
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  23. Consciousness and Meaning: Selected Essays.Katalin Balog & Stephanie Beardman (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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