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Profile: Lynne Rudder Baker (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
  1. Lynne Rudder Baker (2000). Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View. Cambridge University Press.
    What is a human person, and what is the relation between a person and his or her body? In her third book on the philosophy of mind, Lynne Rudder Baker investigates what she terms the person/body problem and offers a detailed account of the relation between human persons and their bodies. Baker's argument is based on the 'Constitution View' of persons and bodies, which aims to show what distinguishes persons from all other beings and to show how we can be (...)
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  2. Lynne Rudder Baker (1997). Why Constitution is Not Identity. Journal of Philosophy 94 (12):599-621.
  3. Lynne Rudder Baker (1993). Metaphysics and Mental Causation. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press 75-96.
    My aim is twofold: first, to root out the metaphysical assumptions that generate the problem of mental causation and to show that they preclude its solution; second, to dissolve the problem of mental causation by motivating rejection of one of the metaphysical assumptions that give rise to it. There are three features of this metaphysical background picture that are important for our purposes. The first concerns the nature of reality: all reality depends on physical reality, where physical reality consists of (...)
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  4. Lynne Rudder Baker (1987). Saving Belief. Princeton University Press.
     
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  5.  24
    Lynne Rudder Baker (1995). Explaining Attitudes: A Practical Approach to the Mind. Cambridge University Press.
    Explaining Attitudes offers a timely and important challenge to the dominant conception of belief found in the work of such philosophers as Dretske and Fodor. According to this dominant view beliefs, if they exist at all, are constituted by states of the brain. Lynne Rudder Baker rejects this view and replaces it with a quite different approach - practical realism. Seen from the perspective of practical realism, any argument that interprets beliefs as either brain states or states of immaterial souls (...)
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  6. Gareth B. Matthews & Lynne Rudder Baker (2010). The Ontological Argument Simplified. Analysis 70 (2):210-212.
    The ontological argument in Anselm’s Proslogion II continues to generate a remarkable store of sophisticated commentary and criticism. However, in our opinion, much of this literature ignores or misrepresents the elegant simplicity of the original argument. The dialogue below seeks to restore that simplicity, with one important modification. Like the original, it retains the form of a reductio, which we think is essential to the argument’s great genius. However, it seeks to skirt the difficult question of whether 'exists' is a (...)
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  7. Lynne Rudder Baker (2004). The Ontology of Artifacts. Philosophical Explorations 7 (2):99 – 111.
    Beginning with Aristotle, philosophers have taken artifacts to be ontologically deficient. This paper proposes a theory of artifacts, according to which artifacts are ontologically on a par with other material objects. I formulate a nonreductive theory that regards artifacts as constituted by - but not identical to - aggregates of particles. After setting out the theory, I rebut a number of arguments that disparage the ontological status of artifacts.
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  8. Lynne Rudder Baker (2009). Persons and the Extended-Mind Thesis. Zygon 44 (3):642-658.
    The extended-mind thesis (EM) is the claim that mentality need not be situated just in the brain, or even within the boundaries of the skin. Some versions take "extended selves" be to relatively transitory couplings of biological organisms and external resources. First, I show how EM can be seen as an extension of traditional views of mind. Then, after voicing a couple of qualms about EM, I reject EM in favor of a more modest hypothesis that recognizes enduring subjects of (...)
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  9.  35
    Lynne Rudder Baker (1995). Explaining Attitudes. Cambridge University Press.
    Explaining Attitudes develops a new account of propositional attitudes - practical realism.
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  10. Lynne Rudder Baker (2007). Persons and the Metaphysics of Resurrection. Religious Studies 43 (3):333-348.
    Theories of the human person differ greatly in their ability to underwrite a metaphysics of resurrection. This paper compares and contrasts a number of such views in light of the Christian doctrine of resurrection. In a Christian framework, resurrection requires that the same person who exists on earth also exists in an afterlife, that a postmortem person be embodied, and that the existence of a postmortem person is brought about by a miracle. According to my view of persons (the Constitution (...)
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  11. Baker Lynne Rudder (2006). Moral Responsibility Without Libertarianism. Noûs 40 (2):307-330.
  12.  22
    Lynne Rudder Baker (2002). On Making Things Up. Philosophical Topics 30 (1):31-51.
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  13. Lynne Rudder Baker (2013). Three-Dimensionalism Rescued: A Brief Reply to Michael Della Rocca. Journal of Philosophy 110 (3):166-170.
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  14. Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). What Does It Mean to Be One of Us? Journal of Anthropological Psychology 10:9-11.
    Bransen takes the first question to pose ―the problem of man‘s uniqueness,‖ and his ultimate aim is to dissolve that problem. His method of dissolving it is by way of a detailed answer to the second question, which is the most fundamental. I want to show that Bransen‘s answer to the second question actually provides an answer to each of the other questions, and that instead of dissolving the problem of man‘s uniqueness (posed by question #1), what he offers is (...)
     
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  15. Lynne Rudder Baker (1999). What Am I? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (1):151-159.
    Eric T. Olson has argued that any view of personal identity in terms of psychological continuity has a consequence that he considers untenable—namely, that I was never an early-term fetus. I have several replies. First, the psychological-continuity view of personal identity does not entail the putative consequence; the appearance to the contrary depends on not distinguishing between de re and de dicto theses. Second, the putative consequence is not untenable anyway; the appearance to the contrary depends on not taking seriously (...)
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  16. Lynne Rudder Baker (2007). Social Externalism and First-Person Authority. Erkenntnis 67 (2):287 - 300.
    Social Externalism is the thesis that many of our thoughts are individuated in part by the linguistic and social practices of the thinker’s community. After defending Social Externalism and arguing for its broad application, I turn to the kind of defeasible first-person authority that we have over our own thoughts. Then, I present and refute an argument that uses first-person authority to disprove Social Externalism. Finally, I argue briefly that Social Externalism—far from being incompatible with first-person authority—provides a check on (...)
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  17. Lynne Rudder Baker (1999). Unity Without Identity: A New Look at Material Constitution. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 23 (1):144–165.
    relation between, say, a lump of clay and a statue that it makes up, or between a red and white piece of metal and a stop sign, or between a person and her body? Assuming that there is a single relation between members of each of these pairs, is the relation “strict” identity, “contingent” identity or something else?1 Although this question has generated substantial controversy recently,2 I believe that there is philo- sophical gain to be had from thinking through the (...)
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  18. Lynne Rudder Baker (2007). Naturalism and the First-Person Perspective. In Georg Gasser (ed.), How Successful is Naturalism? Publications of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society. Ontos Verlag
    The first-person perspective is a challenge to naturalism. Naturalistic theories are relentlessly third-personal. The first-person perspective is, well, first-personal; it is the perspective from which one thinks of oneself as oneself* without the aid of any third-person name, description, demonstrative or other referential device. The exercise of the capacity to think of oneself in this first-personal way is the necessary condition of all our self-knowledge, indeed of all our self-consciousness. As important as the first-person perspective is, many philosophers have not (...)
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  19. Lynne Rudder Baker (2002). The Ontological Status of Persons. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (2):370-388.
    Throughout his illustrious career, Roderick Chisholm was concerned with the nature of persons. On his view, persons are what he called ‘entia per se.’ They exist per se, in their own right. I too have developed an account of persons—I call it the ‘Constitution View’—an account that is different in important ways from Chisholm’s. Here, however, I want to focus on a thesis that Chisholm and I agree on: that persons have ontological significance in virtue of being persons. Although I’ll (...)
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  20.  65
    Lynne Rudder Baker, Philosophy in Mediis Rebus.
    So, let us begin in the middle of things. There are two senses in which I think that philosophy must begin in the middle of things: The first is epistemological: I think that the Cartesian ideal of finding an absolute starting point without any presuppositions is illusory. The most that we can do is to be aware of our presuppositions; we cannot eliminate them. Wherever we choose to start, we are in the middle of things epistemologically. The second way in (...)
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  21. Lynne Rudder Baker (1999). What is This Thing Called 'Commonsense Psychology'? Philosophical Explorations 2 (1):3-19.
    What is this thing called ‘Commonsense Psychology’? The first matter to settle is what the issue is here. By ‘commonsense psychology,’ I mean primarily the systems of describing, explaining and predicting human thought and action in terms of beliefs, desires, hopes, fears, expectations, intentions and other so-called propositional attitudes. Although commonsense psychology encompasses more than propositional attitudes--e.g., emotions, traits and abilities are also within its purview--belief-desire reasoning forms the core of commonsense psychology. Commonsense psychology is what we use to explain (...)
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  22.  81
    Lynne Rudder Baker (2016). Making Sense of Ourselves: Self-Narratives and Personal Identity. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 15 (1):7-15.
    Some philosophers take personal identity to be a matter of self-narrative. I argue, to the contrary, that self-narrative views cannot stand alone as views of personal identity. First, I consider Dennett’s self-narrative view, according to which selves are fictional characters—abstractions, like centers of gravity—generated by brains. Neural activity is to be interpreted from the intentional stance as producing a story. I argue that this is implausible. The inadequacy is masked by Dennett’s ambiguous use of ‘us’: sometimes ‘us’ refers to real (...)
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  23. Lynne Rudder Baker (2013). Technology and the Future of Persons. The Monist 96 (1):37-53.
  24. Lynne Rudder Baker (1974). Temporal Becoming: The Argument From Physics. Philosophical Forum 6 (2):218-236.
    Arguments about temporal becoming often get nowhere. One reason for the impasse lies in the fact that the issue has been formulated as a choice between science on the one hand and common sense (or ordinary language) on the other as the primary source of ontological commitment.' Often' proponents of attributing temporal becoming to the physical universe look to everyday temporal concepts, find them infested with notions involving temporal becoming and conclude that becoming is a basic feature of the physical (...)
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  25. Lynne Rudder Baker (2007). Persons and Other Things. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (5-6):5-6.
    In the large recent literature on the nature of human persons, persons are usually studied in isolation from the world in which they live. What persons are most fundamentally, philosophers say, are human animals, or brains, or perhaps souls -- without any consideration of the social and physical environments without which persons would not exist. In this article, I want to compensate for such overly narrow focus. Instead of beginning with the nature of persons cut off from any environment, I (...)
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  26. Lynne Rudder Baker (1998). The First-Person Perspective: A Test for Naturalism. American Philosophical Quarterly 35 (4):327-348.
    Self-consciousness, many philosophers agree, is essential to being a person. There is not so much agreement, however, about how to understand what self-consciousness is. Philosophers in the field of cognitive science tend to write off self-consciousness as unproblematic. According to such philosophers, the real difficulty for the cognitive scientist is phenomenal consciousness--the fact that we have states that feel a certain way. If we had a grip on phenomenal consciousness, they think, self-consciousness could be easily handled by functionalist models. For (...)
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  27. Lynne Rudder Baker (1995). 'Need a Christian Be a Mind/Body Dualist' ? Faith and Philosophy 12 (4):489-504.
    Although prominent Christian theologians and philosophers have assumed the truth of mind/body dualism, I want to raise the question of whether the Christian ought to be a mind/body dualist. First, I sketch a picture of mind, and of human persons, that is not a form of mind/body dualism. Then, I argue that the nondualistic picture is compatible with a major traditional Christian doctrine, the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. Finally, I suggest that if a Christian need not be (...)
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  28.  23
    Lynne Rudder Baker (2015). Human Persons as Social Entities. Journal of Social Ontology 1 (1).
    The aim of this article is to show that human persons belong, ontologically, in social ontology. After setting out my views on ontology, I turn to persons and argue that they have first-person perspectives in two stages (rudimentary and robust) essentially. Then I argue that the robust stage of the first-person persective is social, in that it requires a language, and languages require linguistic communities. Then I extend the argument to cover the rudimentary stage of the first-person perspective as well. (...)
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  29.  11
    Lynne Rudder Baker (1991). [Book Review] Saving Belief, a Critique of Physicalism. [REVIEW] Criminal Justice Ethics 10 (4):27-40.
  30. Lynne Rudder Baker (2005). When Does a Person Begin? Social Philosophy and Policy 22 (2):25-48.
    According to the Constitution View of persons, a human person is wholly constituted by (but not identical to) a human organism. This view does justice both to our similarities to other animals and to our uniqueness. As a proponent of the Constitution View, I defend the thesis that the coming-into-existence of a human person is not simply a matter of the coming-into-existence of an organism, even if that organism ultimately comes to constitute a person. Marshalling some support from developmental psychology, (...)
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  31.  73
    Lynne Rudder Baker (2003). Why Christians Should Not Be Libertarians: An Augustinian Challenge. Faith and Philosophy 20 (4):460-478.
    The prevailing view of Christian philosophers today seems to be that Christianity requires a libertarian conception of free will. Focusing on Augustine’s mature anti-Pelagian works, I try to show that the prevailing view is in error. Specifically, I want to show that---on Augustine’s view of grace-a libertarian account of free will is irrelevant to salvation. On Augustine’s view, the grace of God through Christ is sufficient as weIl as necessary for salvation. Salvation is entirely in the hands of God, totally (...)
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  32. Lynne Rudder Baker (1987). Content by Courtesy. Journal of Philosophy 84 (April):197-213.
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  33. Lynne Rudder Baker (1982). De Re Belief in Action. Philosophical Review 91 (3):363-387.
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  34.  57
    Lynne Rudder Baker (2013). Updating Anselm Again. Res Philosophica 90 (1):23-32.
    I set out four general facts about things that we can refer to and talk about, whether they exist or not. Then, I set out an argument for the existence of God. Myargument, like Anselm’s original argument, is a reductio ad absurdum: It shows that the assumption that God does not exist leads to a contradiction. Theargument is short and in ordinary language. Each line of the argument, other than the reductio premise, is justified by one of the general facts. (...)
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  35. Lynne Rudder Baker (2000). Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View. Cambridge University Press.
    What is a human person, and what is the relation between a person and his or her body? In her third book on the philosophy of mind, Lynne Rudder Baker investigates what she terms the person/body problem and offers a detailed account of the relation between human persons and their bodies. Baker's argument is based on the 'Constitution View' of persons and bodies, which aims to show what distinguishes persons from all other beings and to show how we can be (...)
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  36.  47
    Lynne Rudder Baker (2001). Material Persons and the Doctrine of Resurrection. Faith and Philosophy 18 (2):151-167.
    Many Christians assume that there are only two possibilities for what a human person is: either Animalism (the view that we are fundamentally animals) or Immaterialism (the view that we are fundamentally immaterial souls). I set out a third possibility: the Constitution View (the view that we are material beings, constituted by bodies but not identical to the bodies that now constitute us.) After setting out and briefly defending the Constitution View, I apply it to the doctrine of resurrection. I (...)
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  37. Lynne Rudder Baker (2009). Nonreductive Materialsim. In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind. OUP Oxford
     
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  38.  36
    Lynne Rudder Baker (2002). Replies. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):623–635.
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  39. Lynne Rudder Baker (2004). Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion. Malden MA: Blackwell Publishing.
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  40. Lynne Rudder Baker (2009). Nonreductive Materialism I. Introduction. In Brian McLaughlin and Ansgar Beckermann (ed.), Oxford Handbook for the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press
    The expression ‘nonreductive materialism’ refers to a variety of positions whose roots lie in attempts to solve the mind-body problem. Proponents of nonreductive materialism hold that the mental is ontologically part of the material world; yet, mental properties are causally efficacious without being reducible to physical properties.s After setting out a minimal schema for nonreductive materialism (NRM) as an ontological position, I’ll canvass some classical arguments in favor of (NRM).1 Then, I’ll discuss the major challenge facing any construal of (NRM): (...)
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  41. Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). A Metaphysics of Ordinary Things and Why We Need It. Philosophy 83 (1):5-24.
    Metaphysics has enjoyed a vigorous revival in the last few decades. Even so, there has been little ontological interest in the things that we interact with everyday—trees, tables, other people.1 It is not that metaphysicians ignore ordinary things altogether. Indeed, they are happy to say that sentences like ‘The daffodils are out early this year’ or ‘My computer crashed again’ are true. But they take the truth of such sentences not to require that a full description of reality mention daffodils (...)
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  42.  82
    Lynne Rudder Baker (1999). What Am I? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (1):151 - 159.
    Eric T. Olson has argued that any view of personal identity in terms of psychological continuity has a consequence that he considers untenable—namely, that I was never an early-term fetus. I have several replies. First, the psychological-continuity view of personal identity does not entail the putative consequence; the appearance to the contrary depends on not distinguishing between de re and de dicto theses. Second, the putative consequence is not untenable anyway; the appearance to the contrary depends on not taking seriously (...)
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  43.  3
    Lynne Rudder Baker (1997). Why Constitution is Not Identity. Journal of Philosophy 94 (12):599.
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  44.  47
    Lynne Rudder Baker (2011). Does Naturalism Rest on a Mistake. American Philosophical Quarterly 48 (2):161-173.
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  45.  55
    Lynne Rudder Baker (1988). Cognitive Suicide. In Robert H. Grimm & D. D. Merrill (eds.), Contents of Thought. University of Arizona Press 401--13.
  46.  55
    Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). Big-Tent Metaphysics. Abstracta 2 (3):8-15.
    Eric Olson won the hearts of my graduate students by dedicating his book “to the unemployed philosophers.” (The students subsequently got fine jobs, but it’s the thought (or rather the sympathy) that counts.) As appreciated as the dedication was, however, I doubt that it was responsible for the wonderful reception that Olson’s book, The Human Animal, has had. Rather, the cleverness of his arguments, the vigor with which Olson writes, and the new interpretations of old thought experiments and arguments have (...)
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  47. Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). The Shrinking Difference Between Artifacts and Natural Objects. American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers.
    Artifacts are objects intentionally made to serve a given purpose; natural objects come into being without human intervention. I shall argue that this difference does not signal any ontological deficiency in artifacts qua artifacts. After sketching my view of artifacts as ordinary objects, I’ll argue that ways of demarcating genuine substances do not draw a line with artifacts on one side and natural objects on the other. Finally, I’ll suggest that philosophers have downgraded artifacts because they think of metaphysics as (...)
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  48. Lynne Rudder Baker (2003). The Difference That Self-Consciousness Makes. In Klaus Petrus (ed.), On Human Persons: Metaphysical Research, Volume 1. Heusenstamm Nr Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag
    With all the attention given to the study of consciousness recently, the topic of self-consciousness has been relatively neglected. “It is of course [phenomenal] consciousness rather than...self-conscious that has seemed such a scientific mystery,” a prominent philosopher comments.1 Phenomenal consciousness concerns the aspect of a state that feels a certain way: roses smell like this; garlic tastes like that; middle C sounds like this, and so on. Although phenomenal consciousness is surely a fruitful area of scientific investigation, I hope to (...)
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  49. Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). The Irrelevance of the Consequence Argument. Analysis 68 (297):13–22.
  50.  87
    Lynne Rudder Baker (1991). Dretske on the Explanatory Role of Belief. Philosophical Studies 63 (July):99-111.
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