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Articles 1 - 28 of 28

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy of Mind

Higher-Order Thought And Borderline Cases Of Consciousness: An Objection To Hot, Francesca Karin Beach Jan 2019

Higher-Order Thought And Borderline Cases Of Consciousness: An Objection To Hot, Francesca Karin Beach

Scripps Senior Theses

David Rosenthal, in his Higher-Order Thought (HOT) theory of consciousness, argues that it is a higher-order thought to the effect that the subject is in a conscious state that makes one conscious of his or her own mental states. In this paper, I argue that since phenomenal consciousness can be vague and Rosenthal’s HOT cannot, HOT is not a necessary condition of phenomenal consciousness. I use primarily Ned Blocks’ refrigerator hum case and Sartre’s example of non-positional awareness to argue that the threshold which determines the degree of first-person awareness necessary for a mental state to be conscious ...


Beyond Enlightenment: The Evolution Of Agency And The Modularity Of The Mind In A Post-Darwinian World, Derek Elliott Dec 2018

Beyond Enlightenment: The Evolution Of Agency And The Modularity Of The Mind In A Post-Darwinian World, Derek Elliott

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Working out of the social and philosophical revolutions from the Enlightenment, contemporary action theory has unwittingly inherited several Cartesian ideas regarding the human mind: that it is unified, rational, and transparent. As a result, we have for too long conceived of action as intimately bound up with reason such that to act at all is to act for a reason, leaving us with theoretical difficulties in accounting for the behavior of non-human animals as well as irrational behavior in human beings.

But rather than propose that such difficulties can be resolved by retreating to a pre-Enlightenment view of human nature ...


Empirical Evidence And The Multiple Realization Of Mental Kinds, Danny Booth Jun 2018

Empirical Evidence And The Multiple Realization Of Mental Kinds, Danny Booth

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

This thesis explores the use of the concept 'realization' in the philosophy of mind. The primary focus is on the role realization plays in assessing or opposing identity theory. The history of the use of the concept of realization in the philosophy of mind is reviewed, and from that a set of desiderata to be used for assessing accounts of realization is extracted. The desiderata are applied to a sample account of realization proposed by Sydney Shoemaker. (2007) Next the application of 'realization' in contemporary contexts is considered, focusing on the idea that mental kinds are, potentially, multiply realized. Based ...


Indispensability Arguments For Non-Existents., Jason Messerschmitt Jan 2018

Indispensability Arguments For Non-Existents., Jason Messerschmitt

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

This essay is chiefly concerned with two fields of philosophy in which non-existent objects appear in indispensability claims for their existence, namely philosophy of mind and truthmaker theory. In the former, indispensability claims are derived from the apparent data of intentionality, understood as the mind’s direction upon objects. An intuitive survey of the apparent objects of thought will reveal an apparent array of non-existents, either coherent or incoherent. We may, for instance, apparently think of objects of fiction such as Sherlock Holmes or Pegasus, to name some famous examples from the literature. We may also apparently think of objects ...


Owning Our Implicit Attitudes: Responsibility, Resentment, And The Whole Self, Wesley Whitaker Jan 2018

Owning Our Implicit Attitudes: Responsibility, Resentment, And The Whole Self, Wesley Whitaker

CMC Senior Theses

Are implicit biases something we can rightly be held responsible for, and if so, how? A variety of social and cognitive psychological studies have documented the existence of wide-ranging implicit biases for over 30 years. These implicit biases can best be described as negative mental attitudes that operate immediately and unconsciously in response to specific stimuli. The first chapter of this thesis surveys the psychological literature, as well as presents findings of real-world experiments into racial biases. I then present the dominant model of implicit attitudes as mere associations, followed by evidence that at least some implicit attitudes take on ...


The Discursive Functioning Of Knowledge Claims In Research Studies On Children’S Conceptual Knowledge Of Number, Patrick D. Byers Sep 2016

The Discursive Functioning Of Knowledge Claims In Research Studies On Children’S Conceptual Knowledge Of Number, Patrick D. Byers

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Researchers interested in the development of conceptual knowledge of number have studied children’s behavior in various tasks or other contexts in order to draw conclusions about what they know. The guiding assumption of this work is that the presence or absence of a given form of knowledge is typically reflected in the ability/inability to perform certain types of behavior. Researchers complicate this assumption when they claim that (1) the ability to perform a given behavior may also reflect simple imitation or rote learning in the absence of understanding, and/or (2) that the inability to perform a certain ...


Criminal Law And Common Sense: An Essay On The Perils And Promise Of Neuroscience, Stephen J. Morse Dec 2015

Criminal Law And Common Sense: An Essay On The Perils And Promise Of Neuroscience, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Trust, Trustworthiness, And The Moral Consequence Of Consistency, Jason R. D'Cruz Jan 2015

Trust, Trustworthiness, And The Moral Consequence Of Consistency, Jason R. D'Cruz

Philosophy Faculty Scholarship

Situationists such as John Doris, Gilbert Harman, and Maria Merritt suppose that appeal to reliable behavioral dispositions can be dispensed with without radical revision to morality as we know it. This paper challenges this supposition, arguing that abandoning hope in reliable dispositions rules out genuine trust and forces us to suspend core reactive attitudes of gratitude and resentment, esteem and indignation. By examining situationism through the lens of trust we learn something about situationism (in particular, the radically revisionary moral implications of its adoption) as well as something about trust (in particular, that the conditions necessary for genuine trust include ...


Neuroscience, Free Will, And Criminal Responsibility, Stephen J. Morse Jan 2015

Neuroscience, Free Will, And Criminal Responsibility, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter argues that the folk-psychological model of the person and responsibility is not challenged by determinism in general or by neurodeterminism in particular. Until science conclusively demonstrates that human beings cannot be guided by reasons and that mental states play no role in explaining behavior, the folk-psychological model of responsibility is justified. This chapter discusses the motivations to turn to science to solve the hard normative problems the law addresses, as well as the law's psychology and its concepts of the person and responsibility. Then it considers the general relation of neuroscience to law, which I characterize as ...


Language, Mind, And Cognitive Science: Remarks On Theories Of The Language-Cognition Relationships In Human Minds, Guillaume Beaulac Aug 2014

Language, Mind, And Cognitive Science: Remarks On Theories Of The Language-Cognition Relationships In Human Minds, Guillaume Beaulac

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

My dissertation establishes the basis for a systematic outlook on the role language plays in human cognition. It is an investigation based on a cognitive conception of language, as opposed to communicative conceptions, viz. those that suppose that language plays no role in cognition (its only role being to externalize thought). I focus, in Chapter 2, on three paradigmatic theories adopting this perspective, each offering different views on how language contributes to or changes cognition. In Chapter 3, I criticize current views held by dual-process theorists, and I develop a picture of the complex interaction between language and cognition that ...


Of Mills And Machines - Computing Thought Experiments On Consciousness, Aïda Raoult Apr 2014

Of Mills And Machines - Computing Thought Experiments On Consciousness, Aïda Raoult

Aïda Raoult

In this computing-oriented analysis, 5 of the most influential thought experiments on consciousness inspired by the development of A.I. in the 70s-80s are (1) presented as more refined versions of Leibniz’s mill (LM), (2) then reformulated in terms of LM which reveals a divergence in their approach of the mind-body problem; (3) combining this result with computational complexity theory shows the ontological question is less difficult to answer than the causal one. In the end, (4) these considerations participate in the debate over machine consciousness.


The Incoherence Of Denying My Death, Lajos L. Brons Dec 2013

The Incoherence Of Denying My Death, Lajos L. Brons

Lajos Brons

The most common way of dealing with the fear of death is denying death. Such denial can take two and only two forms: strategy 1 denies the finality of death; strategy 2 denies the reality of the dying subject. Most religions opt for strategy 1, but Buddhism seems to be an example of the 2nd. All variants of strategy 1 fail, however, and a closer look at the main Buddhist argument reveals that Buddhism in fact does not follow strategy 2. Moreover, there is no other theory that does, and neither can there be. This means that there is no ...


Carruthers And Constitutive Self-Knowledge, John C. Hill Jan 2013

Carruthers And Constitutive Self-Knowledge, John C. Hill

Student Publications

In his recent book, The Opacity of Mind, Peter Carruthers advances a skeptical theory of self-knowledge, integrating results from experimental psychology and cognitive science. In this essay, I want to suggest that the situation is not quite as dire as Carruthers makes it out to be. I respond to Carruthers by advancing a constitutive theory of self-knowledge. I argue that self-knowledge, so understood, is not only compatible with the empirical research that Carruthers utilizes, but also helps to make sense of these results.


Mary’S Dilemma: A Novel Take On Jackson’S Famous Thought Experiment, Noah O. Abolafia-Rosenzweig Jan 2012

Mary’S Dilemma: A Novel Take On Jackson’S Famous Thought Experiment, Noah O. Abolafia-Rosenzweig

CMC Senior Theses

This paper explores and evaluates the famous Mary case put forward by Frank Jackson in support of what he calls the knowledge argument against physicalism. After laying out Jackson’s position, I set out to determine whether certain previous physicalist attempts at undermining it have been successful. Finding that they have not, I use their shortcomings to inform the construction of a new position, one which I argue renders the Mary case at odds with itself and frees physicalism from the knowledge argument’s grasp.


Affective Neuroscience And The Philosophy Of Self, Stephen Asma Dec 2011

Affective Neuroscience And The Philosophy Of Self, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The nature of self awareness and the origin and persistence of personal identity still loom large in contemporary philosophy of mind. Many philosophers have been wooed by the computational approach to consciousness, and they attempt to find the self amidst the phenomenon of neocortical information processing. Affective neuroscience offers another pathway to understanding the evolution and nature of self. This paper explores how affective neuroscience acts as a positive game-changer in the philosophical pursuit of self. In particular, we focus on connecting 'mammalian agency' to (a) subjective awareness, and (b) identity through time.


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.


Reconsidering The Mind/Body Distinction: Towards A Continuist Ontology Of Consciousness, Michael Robillard Jan 2009

Reconsidering The Mind/Body Distinction: Towards A Continuist Ontology Of Consciousness, Michael Robillard

Undergraduate Review

In his paper, “The State and Fate of Contemporary Philosophy of Mind,” John Haldane likens the present condition of Philosophy of Mind to that of the philosophically stultifying period of late scholasticism, where naming took the place of explaining, and philosophy was reduced to taxonomy. Haldane argues that our current physicalistic lexicon has made it virtually “impossible to accommodate the basic features of mindedness revealed in reflection and direct experience.” For Philosophy of Mind to progress, Haldane argues, we must “make space” for alternative modes of knowing that exist beyond the bounds of our current, overly physicalistic terminology.


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.


Review Of Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles To A Science Of Consciousness, Leslie Marsh Jan 2005

Review Of Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles To A Science Of Consciousness, Leslie Marsh

Leslie Marsh

The question of how a physical system gives rise to the phenomenal or experiential (olfactory, visual, somatosensitive, gestatory and auditory), is considered the most intractable of scientific and philosophical puzzles. Though this question has dominated the philosophy of mind over the last quarter century, it articulates a version of the age-old mind–body problem. The most famous response, Cartesian dualism, is on Daniel Dennett’s view still a corrosively residual and redundant feature of popular (and academic) thinking on these matters. Fifteen years on from his anti-Cartesian theory of consciousness (Consciousness Explained, 1991), Dennett’s frustration with this tradition is ...


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.


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.


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.


Unconscious Actions Emanating From The Human Cerebral Cortex, John C. Eccles Jan 1972

Unconscious Actions Emanating From The Human Cerebral Cortex, John C. Eccles

Philosophic Exchange

This paper presents some recent work of Roger Sperry and his associates on “split-brain cases.” The remarkable finding is that, after surgery, the actions that are programmed from one side of the cerebral cortex are not recognized by the other side of the cerebral cortex as belonging to the subject.


An Honest Ghost?, A. J. Ayer Jan 1970

An Honest Ghost?, A. J. Ayer

Philosophic Exchange

Gilbert Ryle’s The Concept of Mind purports to exorcise “the ghost in the machine” by translating all talk about the mind into talk about behavior, and sometimes Ryle asserts that he has succeeded in this endeavor. However, on closer inspection, there is still a residue of our private, mental lives left in Ryle’s account. So the ghost remains. But perhaps it is a more honest ghost, and that is still quite an achievement.


Professor Ayer’S Honest Ghost, Justus Hartnack Jan 1970

Professor Ayer’S Honest Ghost, Justus Hartnack

Philosophic Exchange

Professor Ayer is right that Ryle’s strongest thesis is incorrect. However, I do not agree with all of Ayer’s arguments for that conclusion. I also wish that Professor Ayer had examined some other mental concepts, which also seem to resist any kind of behaviorist reduction.


Response To Professor A. J. Ayer, Richard Taylor Jan 1970

Response To Professor A. J. Ayer, Richard Taylor

Philosophic Exchange

Professor Ryle does not deny the common distinction between inner and outer, nor that between public and private. What he denies is that either of these distinctions entail a third distinction – between minds and bodies. As far as I can tell, Professor Ayer has not shown that Ryle is mistaken about that.