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Tony Cheng
University College London
Tony Cheng
City University of New York
  1.  39
    Quine's Naturalism and Behaviorisms.Tony Cheng - 2018 - Metaphilosophy 49 (4):548-567.
    This paper investigates the complicated relations between various versions of naturalism, behaviorism, and mentalism within the framework of W. V. O. Quine's thinking. It begins with Roger Gibson's reconstruction of Quine's behaviorisms and argues that it lacks a crucial ontological element and misconstrues the relation between philosophy and science. After getting clear of Quine's naturalism, the paper distinguishes between evidential, methodological, and ontological behaviorisms. The evidential and methodological versions are often conflated, but they need to be clearly distinguished in order (...)
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  2.  39
    A Mechanism for Spatial Perception on Human Skin.Francesca Fardo, Brianna Beck, Tony Cheng & Patrick Haggard - 2018 - Cognition 178:236-243.
    Our perception of where touch occurs on our skin shapes our interactions with the world. Most accounts of cutaneous localisation emphasise spatial transformations from a skin-based reference frame into body-centred and external egocentric coordinates. We investigated another possible method of tactile localisation based on an intrinsic perception of ‘skin space’. The arrangement of cutaneous receptive fields (RFs) could allow one to track a stimulus as it moves across the skin, similarly to the way animals navigate using path integration. We applied (...)
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  3.  56
    The Recurrent Model of Bodily Spatial Phenomenology.Tony Cheng & Patrick Haggard - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (3-4):55-70.
    In this paper, we introduce and defend the recurrent model for understanding bodily spatial phenomenology. While Longo, Azañón and Haggard (2010) propose a bottom-up model, Bermúdez (2017) emphasizes the top-down aspect of the information processing loop. We argue that both are only half of the story. Section 1 intro- duces what the issues are. Section 2 starts by explaining why the top- down, descending direction is necessary with the illustration from the ‘body-based tactile rescaling’ paradigm (de Vignemont, Ehrsson and Haggard, (...)
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  4.  37
    Spatial Perception and the Sense of Touch.Patrick Haggard, Tony Cheng, Brianna Beck & Francesca Fardo - 2017 - In The Subject's Matter: Self-Consciousness and the Body. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. pp. 97-114.
    It remains controversial whether touch is a truly spatial sense or not. Many philosophers suggest that, if touch is indeed spatial, it is only through its alliances with exploratory movement, and with proprioception. Here we develop the notion that a minimal yet important form of spatial perception may occur in purely passive touch. We do this by showing that the array of tactile receptive fields in the skin, and appropriately relayed to the cortex, may contain the same basic informational building (...)
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  5. Attention, Fixation, and Change Blindness.Tony Cheng - 2017 - Philosophical Inquiries 5 (1):19-26.
    The topic of this paper is the complex interaction between attention, fixation, and one species of change blindness. The two main interpretations of the target phenomenon are the ‘blindness’ interpretation and the ‘inaccessibility’ interpretation. These correspond to the sparse view (Dennett 1991; Tye, 2007) and the rich view (Dretske 2007; Block, 2007a, 2007b) of visual consciousness respectively. Here I focus on the debate between Fred Dretske and Michael Tye. Section 1 describes the target phenomenon and the dialectics it entails. Section (...)
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  6. Sensory Integration and the Unity of Consciousness. [REVIEW]Tony Cheng - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):632-635.
    Based on but not limited to material from a conference at Brown University in 2011, Sensory Integration and the Unity of Consciousness is an ambitious collection that brings together two distinct but inter- twined topics.1 In what follows, I briefly explain what sensory integration and the unity of conscious- ness amount to, highlight the contents of the papers, and finally end with general observations and suggestions. I will spend more time on sensory integration, since it is relatively unfamiliar terrain in (...)
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  7. The Trajectory of Self.Timothy Lane, Niall W. Duncan, Tony Cheng & Georg Northoff - 2016 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 20 (7):481-482.
    In a recent Opinion article, Sui and Humphreys [1] argue that experimental findings suggest self is ‘special’, in that self-reference serves a binding function within human cognitive economy. Contrasting their view with other functionalist positions, chiefly Dennett's [2], they deny that self is a convenient fiction and adduce findings to show that a ‘core self representation’ serves as an ‘integrative glue’ helping to bind distinct types of information as well as distinct stages of psycho- logical processing. In other words, where (...)
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  8. Evaluating Williamson’s Anti-Scepticism.Tony Cheng - 2008 - Sorites 21:06-11.
    Timothy Williamson’s Knowledge and its Limits has been highly influential since the beginning of this century. It can be read as a systematic response to scepticism. One of the most important notions in this response is the notion of «evidence,» which will be the focus of the present paper. I attempt to show primarily two things. First, the notion of evidence invoked by Williamson does not address the sceptical worry: he stipulates an objective notion of evidence, but this begs the (...)
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  9. Why Animals Are Persons.Tony Cheng - 2016 - Animal Sentience 1 (10):5-6.
    Rowlands’s case for attributing personhood to lower animals is ultimately convincing, but along the way he fails to highlight several distinctions that are crucial for his argument: Personhood vs. personal identity; the first person vs. its mental episodes; and pre- reflective awareness in general vs. one specific case of it.
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  10.  86
    Obstacles to Testing Molyneux's Question Empirically.Tony Cheng - 2015 - I-Perception 6 (4).
    There have recently been various empirical attempts to answer Molyneux’s question, for example, the experiments undertaken by the Held group. These studies, though intricate, have encountered some objections, for instance, from Schwenkler, who proposes two ways of improving the experiments. One is “to re-run [the] experiment with the stimulus objects made to move, and/or the subjects moved or permitted to move with respect to them” (p. 94), which would promote three dimensional or otherwise viewpoint-invariant representations. The other is “to use (...)
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  11.  56
    Iconic Memory and Attention in the Overflow Debate.Tony Cheng - 2017 - Cogent Psychology 4 (1):01-11.
    The overflow debate concerns this following question: does conscious iconic memory have a higher capacity than attention does? In recent years, Ned Block has been invoking empirical works to support the positive answer to this question. The view is called the “rich view” or the “Overflow view”. One central thread of this discussion concerns the nature of iconic memory: for example how rich they are and whether they are conscious. The first section discusses a potential misunderstanding of “visible persistence” in (...)
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  12. The Sceptical Paradox and the Nature of the Self.Tony Cheng - 2016 - Philosophical Investigations 39 (1):3-14.
    In the present article, I attempt to relate Saul Kripke's “sceptical paradox” to some issues about the self; specifically, the relation between the self and its mental states and episodes. I start with a brief reconstruction of the paradox, and venture to argue that it relies crucially on a Cartesian model of the self: the sceptic regards the Wittgensteinian “infinite regress of interpretation” as the foundation of his challenge, and this is where he commits the crucial mistake. After the diagnosis, (...)
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  13.  90
    A Plea for the Plurality of Function.Tony Cheng - 2016 - Review of Contemporary Philosophy 15:70-81.
    In this paper I defend a pluralistic approach in understanding function, both in biological and other contexts. Talks about function are ubiquitous and crucial in biology, and it might be the key to bridge the “manifest image” and the “scientific image” identified by Sellars (1962). However, analysis of function has proven to be extremely difficult. The major puzzle is to make sense of “time-reversed causality”: how can property P be the cause of its realizer R? For example, “pumping blood” is (...)
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  14. Book Review: The First Sense. [REVIEW]Tony Cheng - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6:1196.
    The First Sense: A Philosophical Study of Human Touch is one of the rare contributions in theoretical and philosophical psychology exclusively on human's sense of touch in the past decades. Although the study is conducted from a philosophical point of view, it is highly empirically informed. The author seeks to base his distinctions and arguments on empirical findings, but also offers his own original ideas and theses. In Section The Structure and Contents of the Book I discuss the structure and (...)
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  15.  89
    Compositionality and Believing That.Tony Cheng - 2016 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 15:60-76.
    This paper is about compositionality, belief reports, and related issues. I begin by introducing Putnam’s proposal for understanding compositionality, namely that the sense of a sentence is a function of the sense of its parts and of its logical structure (section 1). Both Church and Sellars think that Putnam’s move is superfluous or unnecessary since there is no relevant puzzle to begin with (section 2). I will urge that Putnam is right in thinking that there is indeed a puzzle with (...)
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  16.  90
    Self, Action and Passivity.Tony Cheng - 2015 - Philosophical Writings 44 (1):01-19.
    In a series of works Hubert Dreyfus argues that phenomenological considerations can show the falsity of John McDowell’s claim that ours actions are permeated with rationality. Dreyfus changes the details of his objections several times in this debate, but I shall argue that there is an implicit false assumption lurking in his thinking throughout his exchanges with McDowell. Originally Dreyfus proposed a distinction between “detached rule-following” and “situation-specific way of coping,” and later he replaces it with the distinction between “subjectivity” (...)
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  17.  39
    The Situational Structure of Primate Beliefs.Tony Cheng - 2016 - Perspectives: International Postgraduate Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):50-57.
    This paper develops the situational model of primate beliefs from the Prior-Lurz line of thought. There is a strong skepticism concerning primate beliefs in the analytic tradition which holds that beliefs have to be propositional and non-human animals do not have them (e.g., Davidson 1975, 1982). The response offered in this paper is twofold. First, two arguments against the propositional model as applied to other animals are put forward: an a priori argument from referential opacity and an empirical argument from (...)
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  18.  18
    Review of Shaun Gallagher’s and Dan Zahavi’s The Phenomenological Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science. [REVIEW]Tony Cheng - 2010 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 16 (2):01-04.
    One might interpret the locution “the phenomenological mind” as a declaration of a philosophical thesis that the mind is in some sense essentially phenomenological. Authors Gallagher & Zahavi appear to have intended it, however, to refer more to the phenomenological tradition and its methods of analysis. From the subheading of this book, one gains an impression that readers will see how the resources and perspectives from the phenomenological tradition illuminate various issues in philosophy of mind and cognitive science in particular. (...)
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  19.  10
    Review of Attention is Cognitive Unison. [REVIEW]Tony Cheng - 2011 - Metapsychology 15 (29).
    Attention is Cognitive Unison is probably the only book exclusively on attention in the philosophy literature in the past few decades. Before this, of course we have some nice books on relevant themes, for example John Campbell's Reference and Consciousness (2002). However, although Campbell invokes the notion of attention to do some explanatory works, his exposition of the very idea of attention is not as thoroughgoing as Mole's book. As Mole's summary of relevant history shows, in philosophy there was Alan (...)
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  20.  10
    Review of The Character of Consciousness. [REVIEW]Tony Cheng - 2011 - Metapsychology 15 (6).
    Recently philosopher David Chalmers published his second book. As the first one, the main theme is consciousness. This collection of papers is divided into six parts by the author. They are the problems, the science, the metaphysics, the concepts, the contents, and the unity of consciousness. They cover most aspects of consciousness discussed in philosophy of mind. Part II (the science) and part IV (concepts) can be seen as the epistemology of consciousness; part V (the contents) and part VI (the (...)
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  21. Consciousness and the Flow of Attention.Tony Cheng - 2012 - Dissertation, City University of New York, Graduate Center
    Visual phenomenology is highly elusive. One attempt to operationalize or to measure it is to use ‘cognitive accessibility’ to track its degrees. However, if Ned Block is right about the overflow phenomenon, then this way of operationalizing visual phenomenology is bound to fail. This thesis does not directly challenge Block’s view; rather it motivates a notion of cognitive accessibility different from Block’s one, and argues that given this notion, degrees of visual phenomenology can be tracked by degrees of cognitive accessibility. (...)
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  22. Phenomenal Specificity.Tony Cheng - 2014 - Dissertation, University College London
    The essay is a study of phenomenal specificity. By ‘phenomenal’ here we mean conscious awareness, which needs to be cashed out in detail throughout the study. Intuitively, one dimension of phenomenology is along with specificity. For example it seems appropriate to say that one’s conscious awareness in the middle of the visual field is in some sense more specific than the awareness in the periphery under normal circumstances. However, it is difficult to characterise the nature of phenomenal specificity in an (...)
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  23. World and Subject: Themes From McDowell.Tony Cheng - 2008 - Dissertation, National Chengchi University, Taiwan
    This essay is an inquiry into John McDowell’s thinking on ‘subjectivity.’ The project consists in two parts. On the one hand, I will discuss how McDowell understands and responds to the various issues he is tackling; on the other, I will approach relevant issues concerning subjectivity by considering different aspects of it: a subject as a perceiver, knower, thinker, speaker, agent, person and (self-) conscious being in the world. The inquiry begins by identifying and resolving a tension generated by the (...)
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