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The Self In The Age Of Cognitive Science: Decoupling The Self From The Personal Level, Robert D. Rupert Jan 2018

The Self In The Age Of Cognitive Science: Decoupling The Self From The Personal Level, Robert D. Rupert

Philosophic Exchange

Philosophers of mind commonly draw a distinction between the personal level – the distinctive realm of conscious experience and reasoned deliberation – and the subpersonal level, the domain of mindless mechanism and brute cause and effect. Moreover, they tend to view cognitive science through the lens of this distinction. Facts about the personal level are given a priori, by introspection, or by common sense; the job of cognitive science is merely to investigate the mechanistic basis of these facts. I argue that this view misrepresents the structure of cognitive-scientific enquiry. Taken at face value, cognitive science makes no commitment to the existence ...


Understanding Consciousness—Have We Cut The Gordian Knot Or Not? (Integration, Unity, And The Self), Robert Van Gulick Aug 2016

Understanding Consciousness—Have We Cut The Gordian Knot Or Not? (Integration, Unity, And The Self), Robert Van Gulick

Philosophic Exchange

No abstract provided.


Love And Duty, Julia Driver Jan 2014

Love And Duty, Julia Driver

Philosophic Exchange

The thesis of this paper is that there is an important asymmetry between a duty to love and a duty to not love: there is no duty to love as a fitting response to someone’s very good qualities, but there is a duty to not love as a fitting response to someone’s very bad qualities. The source of the asymmetry that I discuss is the two-part understanding of love: the emotional part and the evaluative commitment part. One cannot directly, or “at will,” control an emotional response, but one can undermine any commitment one would normally have under ...


Free Will And Neuroscience, Alfred Mele Jun 2013

Free Will And Neuroscience, Alfred Mele

Philosophic Exchange

Has modern neuroscience shown that free will is an illusion? Those who give an affirmative answer often argue as follows. The overt actions that have been studied in some recent experiments do not have corresponding consciously made decisions or conscious intentions among their causes. Therefore no overt actions have corresponding consciously made decisions or conscious intentions among their causes. This paper challenges this inference, arguing that it is unwarranted.


Pragmatism In Philosophy: The Hidden Alternative, Simon Blackburn Sep 2011

Pragmatism In Philosophy: The Hidden Alternative, Simon Blackburn

Philosophic Exchange

This paper contrasts two ways of understanding the function of human thought and language. According to representationalism, the function of thought and language is to refer to entities in the world and assert truths about them. By contrast, pragmatism seeks to understand the function of thought and language without any such appeal, at the most fundamental level, to the concepts of truth or reference.


Re-Humanizing Descartes, Alison Simmons Jul 2011

Re-Humanizing Descartes, Alison Simmons

Philosophic Exchange

Descartes’ mind-body dualism and his quest for objective knowledge can appear de-humanizing. My aim in this paper is to re-humanize Descartes. When we take a closer look at what Descartes actually says about human beings, it casts his entire thought in a much different light.


Philosophy Of Perception And The Phenomenology Of Visual Space, Gary Hatfield Jan 2011

Philosophy Of Perception And The Phenomenology Of Visual Space, Gary Hatfield

Philosophic Exchange

My aim in this paper is to consider various forms of perceptual realism, including, for purposes of comparison, the largely abandoned indirect or representative realism. After surveying the variety of perceptual realisms and considering their various commitments, I introduce some considerations concerning the phenomenology of visual space that cause trouble for most forms of direct realism. These considerations pertain to the perception of objects in the distance and, secondarily, to the perception of shapes at a slant. I argue that one of the lesser known varieties of perceptual realism, critical direct realism, can meet the challenges offered by the facts ...


Love As Intimate Identification, Bennett Helm Nov 2010

Love As Intimate Identification, Bennett Helm

Philosophic Exchange

It is widely acknowledged that love is a distinctively intimate form of concern in which we in some sense identify with our beloveds; it is common, moreover, to construe such identification in terms of the lover’s taking on the interests of the beloved. From this starting point, Harry Frankfurt argues that the paradigm form of love is that between parents and infants or young children. I think this is mistaken: the kind of loving attitude or relationship we can have towards or with young children is distinct in kind from that which we can have towards adult persons, as ...


Trust As Robustly Moral, Alisa Carse Oct 2010

Trust As Robustly Moral, Alisa Carse

Philosophic Exchange

Trust is more than mere reliance on another person. To trust someone is to rely on her goodwill for the care of something valuable. It is to have a confident expectation that the other person will take care of the valuable thing because she recognizes its value to you. It is to expect her to take care of it because she recognizes that she should take care of it. Therefore trust is a robustly moral attitude.


Responsibility In A World Of Causes, Manuel Vargas Sep 2010

Responsibility In A World Of Causes, Manuel Vargas

Philosophic Exchange

A familiar chain of reasoning goes like this: if everything is caused, then no one is genuinely free; if no one is genuinely free, then no one can be morally responsible for anything; so if everything is caused, then no one can be morally responsible for anything. This paper will challenge the part of this reasoning that concerns moral responsibility. What is at stake for us when we ascribe moral responsibility to ourselves and others? This paper will argue that we can reconcile the idea of moral responsibility with a broadly scientific worldview.


Left-Libertarianism As A Promising Form Of Liberal Egalitarianism, Peter Vallentyne Jan 2009

Left-Libertarianism As A Promising Form Of Liberal Egalitarianism, Peter Vallentyne

Philosophic Exchange

Left libertarianism is a theory of justice that is committed to full self-ownership and to an egalitarian sharing of the value of natural resources. It is, I shall suggest, a promising way of capturing the liberal egalitarian values of liberty, security, equality, and prosperity.


Stories And The Meaning Of Life, John Martin Fischer Jan 2009

Stories And The Meaning Of Life, John Martin Fischer

Philosophic Exchange

This paper argues that the value of acting freely and responsibly is a species of the value of self-expression. When I act freely, I write a sentence in the story of my life, and this gives my life the shape of a narrative, which, in turn, gives my life a unique sort of meaning and value.


Atheism: Young Hegelian Style, Andrew Levine Jan 2009

Atheism: Young Hegelian Style, Andrew Levine

Philosophic Exchange

In the decade after the death of Hegel in 1833, a group of young philosophers sought to extend some of Hegel’s ideas to criticize contemporary thought and society. These were the so-called “Young Hegelians,” which included the young Karl Marx. With interest in Marx and Marxism on the wane, interest in the Young Hegelians has also subsided. That is unfortunate, since the Young Hegelians have much to teach us. This paper recounts the Young Hegelians’ critique of religion, beginning with that of Ludwig Feuerbach in his seminal work, The Essence of Christianity.


Stoic Equanimity In The Face Of Torture, Nancy Sherman Oct 2008

Stoic Equanimity In The Face Of Torture, Nancy Sherman

Philosophic Exchange

In what ways, if any, is Stoic equanimity a plausible armor for enduring torture? I believe that we can learn something about stoic equanimity in general by examining this especially hard case. It turns out that a broadly Stoic view still leaves a torture victim vulnerable to being forced to use one’s agency against oneself. In this sense, even the best Stoic armor has its limits.


The Emergence Of Consciousness, William Seager Jan 2006

The Emergence Of Consciousness, William Seager

Philosophic Exchange

According to the mainstream view in philosophy today, the world is a purely physical system, in which consciousness emerged as a product of increasing biological complexity, from non-conscious precursors composed of non-conscious components. The mainstream view is a beautiful, grand vision of the universe. However, it leaves no real place for consciousness. This paper explains why.


One Is Not Born But Becomes A Person: The Importance Of Philosophical Mothering, Jennifer Whiting Jan 2006

One Is Not Born But Becomes A Person: The Importance Of Philosophical Mothering, Jennifer Whiting

Philosophic Exchange

Annette Baier is my philosophical foremother. This paper examines Baier’s views on such topics as personal identity and philosophical methodology. It also examines the idea of motherhood, and the various forms that it takes.


The Search For The Semantic Grail, John Perry Jan 2003

The Search For The Semantic Grail, John Perry

Philosophic Exchange

One factor that has engendered skepticism about semantic content is the idea that there can be content only if there is exactly one thing that performs all the functions that have been associated with content. This paper argues that there is no such thing as content in this unified sense. Rather, what exists is a structure of related contents. Instead of a single grail, there is more of a semantic tea service.


The Plurality Of Consciousness, William G. Lycan Jan 2002

The Plurality Of Consciousness, William G. Lycan

Philosophic Exchange

There are many, distinct phenomena that have gone under the name “consciousness,” and there are many corresponding problems that have all been labeled “the problem of consciousness.” This paper distinguishes several of these distinct problems of consciousness, and proposes solutions to each of them.


Animal Minds, Fred Dretske Jan 2001

Animal Minds, Fred Dretske

Philosophic Exchange

One particular form of the problem of other minds is the problem of animal, non-human minds. Do dogs feel pride? Are cats ever embarrassed? Do ants feel anything when you step on them? In order to answer these questions, we must first ask and answer the question of what minds are supposed to do. Only then can we answer the question of animal minds.


How Can My Mind Move My Limbs? Mental Causation From Descartes To Contemporary Physicalism, Jaegwon Kim Jan 2000

How Can My Mind Move My Limbs? Mental Causation From Descartes To Contemporary Physicalism, Jaegwon Kim

Philosophic Exchange

Mental events enter into causal relations with bodily events. The philosophical task is to explain how this is possible. Descartes’ dualism of mental and material substances ultimately founders on the impossibility of pairing mental events with physical events as causes and effects. This is what I have called “the pairing problem.” Many contemporary views also fail to explain mental causation. In the end, we are left with a dilemma. If mental phenomena are irreducible to physical phenomena, then mental phenomena lose their causal efficacy. However, if mental phenomena are reducible to physical phenomena, then casts doubt on the very existence ...


Understanding The Human World: Structure, Instruction And Deconstruction, Peter Caws Jan 1999

Understanding The Human World: Structure, Instruction And Deconstruction, Peter Caws

Philosophic Exchange

This paper offers an account of the emergence of the human from the natural, for the species and for the individual. I show how human sciences are possible, and suggest some strategies for change based on the understanding that the human sciences provide.


The Scope Of Motivation And The Basis Of Practical Reason, Robert Audi Jan 1999

The Scope Of Motivation And The Basis Of Practical Reason, Robert Audi

Philosophic Exchange

This paper explores the relationship between motivation, desire, pleasure and value. I argue that the motivational grounds of action are the kinds of desires that tend, in rational persons, to be produced both by experience of the good, and by beliefs that something one can do would be good.


Luck And The Enigmas Of Fate, Nicholas Rescher Jan 1994

Luck And The Enigmas Of Fate, Nicholas Rescher

Philosophic Exchange

Luck is a formidable and ubiquitous factor in human life as we know it. It is a rogue force that prevents human life from being fully domesticated to rational management. This paper explores the nature of luck and its role in human life.


Is 'True Philosophy" Like True Art?, Kai Nielsen Jan 1994

Is 'True Philosophy" Like True Art?, Kai Nielsen

Philosophic Exchange

The question “What is philosophy?” is itself a contentious philosophical question. Some philosophers claim that other philosophers misunderstand the very point and purpose of philosophy. This paper explores several prominent conceptions of philosophy.


Mind And Brain In The 17th Century, Jonathan Bennett Jan 1994

Mind And Brain In The 17th Century, Jonathan Bennett

Philosophic Exchange

The 17th century saw an enormous amount of energy dedicated to the question of whether matter can think. This paper follows certain strands of this debate in Descartes, Locke, Leibniz and Spinoza. These strands of the debate are still relevant today.


Make-Believe And Its Role In Pictorial Representation And The Acquisition Of Knowledge, Kendall L. Walton Jan 1992

Make-Believe And Its Role In Pictorial Representation And The Acquisition Of Knowledge, Kendall L. Walton

Philosophic Exchange

Pictures are not merely imitations of visual forms, nor are they merely signs that signify or stand for things of the kind they represent. Pictures, like hobby horses, are props in games of make-believe in which people participate visually, and also psychologically.


Predictability And Explanation In The Social Sciences, Alasdair Macintyre Jan 1972

Predictability And Explanation In The Social Sciences, Alasdair Macintyre

Philosophic Exchange

Scientific explanation requires a certain type of predictability. The particulars that are studied by the social sciences do not possess that kind of predictability. Therefore the aspiration to construct scientific explanations in the social sciences is bound to fail.


A Response To Macintyre, Charles Taylor Jan 1972

A Response To Macintyre, Charles Taylor

Philosophic Exchange

I agree with a great deal of Professor Macintyre’s paper. However, his argument can be formulated without any appeal to unpredictability. The unpredictability of many human events is due to the role of self-interpretation in the constitution of those very same events.


Do Social Events Defy Scientific Prediction?, Paula G. Morrison Jan 1972

Do Social Events Defy Scientific Prediction?, Paula G. Morrison

Philosophic Exchange

If Professor Macintyre is correct, then there is not, and cannot be, any such thing as a scientific explanation or prediction of anything social, and hence there can never be any social science. This paper responds to Professor Macintyre’s argument, and rejects his position.


Linguistic Relativity: A Response To Professor Dewart, Henry Lee Smith, Jr. Jan 1972

Linguistic Relativity: A Response To Professor Dewart, Henry Lee Smith, Jr.

Philosophic Exchange

Language defines our experience. We receive impressions of the world through the distorting lenses of our linguistic systems, and we also project relationships that are not already there in the world. Thus, it is true that we can gain new insight into science and religion if we attend to our language. We can even hope for a future integration of the two.