Since the publication of David Lewis’ Counterfactuals, the standard line on subjunctive conditionals with impossible antecedents (or counterpossibles) has been that they are vacuously true. That is, a conditional of the form ‘If p were the case, q would be the case’ is trivially true whenever the antecedent, p, is impossible. The primary justification is that Lewis’ semantics best approximates the English subjunctive conditional, and that a vacuous treatment of counterpossibles is a consequence of that very elegant theory. Another justification (...) derives from the classical lore than if an impossibility were true, then anything goes. In this paper we defend non-vacuism, the view that counterpossibles are sometimes non-vacuously true and sometimes non-vacuously false. We do so while retaining a Lewisian semantics, which is to say, the approach we favor does not require us to abandon classical logic or a similarity semantics. It does however require us to countenance impossible worlds. An impossible worlds treatment of counterpossibles is suggested (but not defended) by Lewis (Counterfactuals. Blackwell, Oxford, 1973), and developed by Nolan (Notre Dame J Formal Logic 38:325–527, 1997), Kment (Mind 115:261–310, 2006a: Philos Perspect 20:237–302, 2006b), and Vander Laan (In: Jackson F, Priest G (eds) Lewisian themes. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004). We follow this tradition, and develop an account of comparative similarity for impossible worlds. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue that the neo-Aristotelian conception of “friendships of character” appears to misrepresent the essential nature of "genuine", or "true", friendship. We question the neo-Aristotelian imperative that true friendship entails disinterested love of the other “for their own sake” and strives at enhancing moral virtue. We propose an alternative conception of true friendship as involving affective and motivational features which we call closeness, intimacy, identity, and trust. Even on this minimal construal, however, friendship can turn vicious when (...) one of its characteristics becomes overpowering and thereby destroys the very goods for which the friendship was originally sought. (shrink)
Transient Truths: An Essay in the Metaphysics of Propositions provides the first book-length exposition and defense of semantic temporalism, the view that propositions are contents or semantic values that can change their truth-values across time.
According to the inferential view of language comprehension, we hear a speaker’s utterance and infer what was said, drawing on our competence in the syntax and semantics of the language together with background information. On the alternative perceptual view, fluent speakers have a non-inferential capacity to perceive the content of speech. On this view, when we hear a speaker’s utterance, the experience confers some degree of justification on our beliefs about what was said in the absence of defeaters. So, in (...) the absence of defeaters, we can come to know what was said merely on the basis of hearing the utterance. Several arguments have been offered against a pure perceptual view of language comprehension, among others, arguments pointing to its alleged difficulties accounting for homophones and the context-sensitivity of ordinary language. After responding to the arguments against the perceptual view of language comprehension, I provide a new argument in favor of the perceptual view by looking closer at the dependence of the justificatory qualities of experience on the notion of a defeater as well as the perceptual nature of language learning and language processing. (shrink)
I respond to three arguments aimed at establishing that natural kind properties — a kind of high-level properties — occur in the experiential content of visual perceptual experience: the argument from phenomenal difference, the argument from mandatory seeing, and the argument from associative agnosia. I conclude with a simple argument against the view that natural kind properties occur in the experiential content of visual experience.
Moral relativism provides a compelling explanation of linguistic data involving ordinary moral expressions like 'right' and 'wrong'. But it is a very radical view. Because relativism relativizes sentence truth to contexts of assessment it forces us to revise standard linguistic theory. If, however, no competing theory explains all of the evidence, perhaps it is time for a paradigm shift. However, I argue that a version of moral contextualism can account for the same data as relativism without relativizing sentence truth to (...) contexts of assessment. This version of moral contextualism is thus preferable to relativism on methodological grounds. (shrink)
Reductionists about knowledge-wh hold that "s knows-wh" (e.g. "John knows who stole his car") is reducible to "there is a proposition p such that s knows that p, and p answers the indirect question of the wh-clause." Anti-reductionists hold that "s knows-wh" is reducible to "s knows that p, as the true answer to the indirect question of the wh-clause." I argue that both of these positions are defective. I then offer a new analysis of knowledge-wh as a special kind (...) of de re knowledge. (shrink)
Blindsight and vision for action seem to be exemplars of unconscious visual processes. However, researchers have recently argued that blindsight is not really a kind of uncon- scious vision but is rather severely degraded conscious vision. Morten Overgaard and col- leagues have recently developed new methods for measuring the visibility of visual stimuli. Studies using these methods show that reported clarity of visual stimuli correlates with accuracy in both normal individuals and blindsight patients. Vision for action has also come under (...) scrutiny. Recent ﬁndings seem to show that information processed by the dor- sal stream for online action contributes to visual awareness. Some interpret these results as showing that some dorsal stream processes are conscious visual processes (e.g., Gallese, 2007; Jacob & Jeannerod, 2003). The aim of this paper is to provide new support for the more traditional view that blindsight and vision for action are genuinely unconscious per- ceptual processes. I argue that individuals with blindsight do not have access to the kind of purely qualitative color and size information which normal individuals do. So, even though people with blindsight have a kind of cognitive consciousness, visual information process- ing in blindsight patients is not associated with a distinctly visual phenomenology. I argue further that while dorsal stream processing seems to contribute to visual awareness, only information processed by the early dorsal stream (V1, V2, and V3) is broadcast to working memory. Information processed by later parts of the dorsal stream (the parietal lobe) never reaches working memory and hence does not correlate with phenomenal awareness. I con- clude that both blindsight and vision for action are genuinely unconscious visual processes. (shrink)
While much has been written on love, the question of how romantic love differs from friendship love has only rarely been addressed. This chapter focuses on shedding some light on this question. I begin by considering goal-oriented approaches to love. These approaches, I argue, have the resources needed to account for the differences between friendship love and romantic love. But purely goal-oriented accounts fail on account of their utilitarian gloss of our loved ones. Even when they circumvent this criticism, they (...) make the mistake of conflating the motivational tendencies of love for its constitutive characteristics. I then turn my attention to David Velleman's account of love as a moral emotion but argue that his view lacks the resources to account for the differences between romantic love and friendship love. I then go on to sketch a socially situated account of love that does better in this respect. I conclude by reflecting on the normativity of love. (shrink)
There are two competing views of knowledge-how: Intellectualism and anti-intellectualism. According to the reductionist varieties of intellectualism defended by Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson (2001) and Berit Brogaard (2007, 2008, 2009), knowledge-how simply reduces to knowledge-that. To a first approximation, s knows how to A iff there is a w such that s knows that w is a way to A. For example, John knows how to ride a bicycle if and only if there is a way w such that (...) John knows that w is a way to ride a bicycle. John Bengson and Marc Moffett (2007) defend an anti-reductionist version of intellectualism which takes knowledge-how to require, in addition, that s understand the concepts involved in her belief. According to the anti-intellectualist accounts originally defended by Gilbert Ryle (1946) and many others after him, knowledge-how requires the possession of a practical ability and so knowing that w (for some w) is a way to A does not suffice for knowing-how. For example, John knows how to ride a bicycle only if John has the ability to ride it; if John merely knows that w (for some w) is a way to ride a bicycle, John does not know how to ride a bicycle. Here I will argue for a conciliatory position that is compatible with the reductionist variety of intellectualism: knowledge-how is reducible to knowledge-that. But, I argue, there are knowledge states which are not justification-entailing and knowledge states which are not belief-entailing. Both kinds of knowledge state require the possession of practical abilities. I conclude by arguing that the view defended naturally leads to a disjunctive conception of abilities as either essentially involving mental states or as not essentially involving mental states. Only the former kind of ability is a kind of knowledge-state, viz. a knowledge-how state. (shrink)
Traditionally, philosophers have appealed to the phenomenological similarity between visual experience and visual imagery to support the hypothesis that there is significant overlap between the perceptual and imaginative domains. The current evidence, however, is inconclusive: while evidence from transcranial brain stimulation seems to support this conclusion, neurophysiological evidence from brain lesion studies (e.g., from patients with brain lesions resulting in a loss of mental imagery but not a corresponding loss of perception and vice versa) indicates that there are functional and (...) anatomical dissociations between mental imagery and perception. Assuming that the mental imagery and perception do not overlap, at least, to the extent traditionally assumed, then the question arises as to what exactly mental imagery is and whether it parallels perception by proceeding via several functionally distinct mechanisms. In this review, we argue that even though there may not be a shared mechanism underlying vision for perception and conscious imagery, there is an overlap between the mechanisms underlying vision for action and unconscious visual imagery. On the basis of these findings, we propose a modification of Kosslyn’s model of imagery that accommodates unconscious imagination and explore possible explanations of the quasi-pictorial phenomenology of conscious visual imagery in light of the fact that its underlying neural substrates and mechanisms typically are distinct from those of visual experience. (shrink)
Hatred: Understanding Our Most Dangerous Emotion The first in-depth philosophical analysis of personal hate and group hate, Hate: Understanding Our Most Dangerous Emotion explores how personal hatred can foster domestic violence and emotional abuse, how hate-proneness is a main contributor to the aggressive tendencies of borderlines, narcissists and psychopaths, how seemingly ordinary people embark on some of history's worst hate crimes, and how cohesive groups, subjected to spontaneous forces of group polarization, can develop extremist viewpoints of the sort that motivate (...) hate crimes, mass shootings, and terrorism. The book's first part explores hate in intimate relationships, looking for an answer to the question of why our intimate relationships can survive hate and resentment, but not disrespect or contempt. Berit "Brit" Brogaard shows that where contempt creates an irreparable power imbalance, hate is tied to fear, which our brains may reinterpret as thrill, attraction and excitement. But this can also make hate a dangerous emotion that convinces people to hang onto abusive relationships. When tied to vengeance and the dark triad of personality, hate is not only dangerous but also dehumanizing. Vengeance and the dark personalities are not essential to hate, however. Without them, hate can have more admirable ends. The book's second part explores the polarizing forces that can bias cohesive groups of like-minded individuals and contribute to what is effectively a hate crisis. Drawing on history, politics, legal theory, philosophy, and psychology, Brogaard shows how cultural myths about femininity, ethnic groups, and the land of opportunity perpetuate misogyny, white supremacy and anti-Semitism. But, she argues, politicians and policymakers have it in their power to address the hate crisis through legislation that preserves the original incentive behind the first-amendment right to free speech. (shrink)
David Milner and Melvyn Goodale’s dissociation hypothesis is commonly taken to state that there are two functionally specialized cortical streams of visual processing originating in striate (V1) cortex: a dorsal, action-related “unconscious” stream and a ventral, perception-related “conscious” stream. As Milner and Goodale acknowledge, findings from blindsight studies suggest a more sophisticated picture that replaces the distinction between unconscious vision for action and conscious vision for perception with a tripartite division between unconscious vision for action, conscious vision for perception, and (...) unconscious vision for perception. The combination excluded by the tripartite division is the possibility of conscious vision for action. But are there good grounds for concluding that there is no conscious vision for action? There is now overwhelming evidence that illusions and perceived size can have a significant effect on action (Bruno & Franz, 2009; Dassonville & Bala, 2004; Franz & Gegenfurtner, 2008; McIntosh & Lashley, 2008). There is also suggestive evidence that any sophisticated visual behavior requires collaboration between the two visual streams at every stage of the process (Schenk & McIntosh, 2010). I nonetheless want to make a case for the tripartite division between unconscious vision for action, conscious vision for perception, and unconscious vision for perception. My aim here is not to refute the evidence showing that conscious vision can affect action but rather to argue (a) that we cannot gain cognitive access to action-guiding dorsal stream representations, and (b) that these representations do not correlate with phenomenal consciousness. This vindicates the semi-conservative view that the dissociation hypothesis is best understood as a tripartite division. (shrink)
In this paper I provide empirical and theoretical considerations in favor of a non-inferential view of speech comprehension. On the view defended, we typically comprehend speech by perceiving or grasping apparently conveyed meanings directly rather than by inferring them from, say, linguistic principles and perceived phonemes. “Speech” is here used in the broad sense to refer not only to verbal expression, but also written messages, including Braille, and conventional signs and symbols, like emojis, a stop sign or a swastika. Along (...) the way I define what I mean by ‘inference’ and provide an account of what it means to say that we perceive apparently conveyed meanings. (shrink)
When does a human being begin to exist? We argue that it is possible, through a combination of biological fact and philosophical analysis, to provide a definitive answer to this question. We lay down a set of conditions for being a human being, and we determine when, in the course of normal fetal development, these conditions are first satisfied. Issues dealt with along the way include: modes of substance-formation, twinning, the nature of the intra-uterine environment, and the nature of the (...) relation between fetus and mother (connection, parthood, dependence). (shrink)
Written with a general audience in mind, On Romantic Love offers a new theory of love as a partially unconscious, sometimes rational and always controllable emotion, while explaining some of the neuroscience underlying our wildest passions.
In this paper I will use sex by deception as a case study for highlighting some of the most tricky concepts around sexuality and moral psychology, including rape, consensual sex, sexual rights, sexual autonomy, sexual individuality, and disrespectful sex. I begin with a discussion of morally wrong sex as rooted in the breach of five sexual liberty rights that are derived from our fundamental human liberty rights: sexual self-possession, sexual autonomy, sexual individuality, sexual dignity and sexual privacy. I then argue (...) (against the standard interpretation) that experimental findings in moral psychology show that the principle of respect for persons—a principle that grounds our human liberty rights—drives our intuitive moral judgments. In light of this discussion, I examine a puzzle about sex by deception—a puzzle which at first may seem to compel us to define 'rape' strictly in terms of force rather than sexual autonomy. I proceed by presenting an argument against the view that, as a rule, sex by deception undermines consent—a position held by prominent thinkers such as Philippe Patry (2001), Onora O’Neill (2003), Rubenfeld (2012), Tom Dougherty (2013a, 2013b), Joyce M. Short (2013), and Danielle Bromwich and Joseph Millum (2013, 2018). As we will see, sex following deception to increase your chances does not always constitute rape. Lying about your age, education, job, family background, marital status, or interest in a relationship, for example, does not make your sex partner incapable of consenting, which is to say that sex by deception need not be rape. I even go so far as to say that sex with another person that is facilitated by withholding information about having a venereal disease shouldn't be classified as rape. Although sex by deception doesn't compromise consent, it nonetheless violates the principle of respect for persons, not by vitiating sexual autonomy and compromising consent, but by failing to respect other sexual rights, such as our rights to sexual dignity, individuality, and privacy. (shrink)
A meaningful life, we shall argue, is a life upon which a certain sort of valuable pattern has been imposed by the person in question - a pattern which involves in serious ways the person having an effect upon the world. Meaningfulness is thus a special kind of value which a human life can bear. Two interrelated difficulties face ths proposal. One concerns responsiblity: how are we to account for the fact that a life that satisfies the above criteria can (...) have more meaning than a life with the same positive outcomes but which lacks responsiblity on the part of the agent? The other turns on these outcomes themselves: how can the meaningfulness engendered by actions you perform now be affected by what those actions go on to produce in the future, perhaps even after your death? We provide a response to both of these difficulties. (shrink)
In this book, Brit Brogaard defends the view that visual experience is like belief in having a representational content. Her defense differs from most previous defenses of this view in that it begins by looking at the language of ordinary speech. She provides a linguistic analysis of what we say when we say that things look a certain way or that the world appears to us to be a certain way. She then argues that this analysis can be used to (...) argue for the view that visual experience has a representation content that mediates between you and the world when you visually perceive. (shrink)
Is color experience cognitively penetrable? Some philosophers have recently argued that it is. In this paper, we take issue with the claim that color experience is cognitively penetrable. We argue that the notion of cognitive penetration that has recently dominated the literature is flawed since it fails to distinguish between the modulation of perceptual content by non-perceptual principles and genuine cognitive penetration. We use this distinction to show that studies suggesting that color experience can be modulated by factors of the (...) cognitive system do not establish that color experience is cognitively penetrable. Additionally, we argue that even if color experience turns out to be modulated by color-related beliefs and knowledge beyond non-perceptual principles, it does not follow that color experience is cognitively penetrable since the experiences of determinate hues involve post-perceptual processes. We conclude with a brief discussion of the implications that these ideas may have on debates in philosophy. (shrink)
This paper defends the view that we have special relationship duties that do not derive from our moral duties. Our special relationship duties, I argue, are grounded in what I call close relationships. Sharing a close relationship with another person, I suggest, requires that both people conceive of themselves as being motivated to promote the other’s interests. So, staying true to oneself demands being committed to promoting the interests of those with whom we share a close relationship. Finally, I show (...) that the proposed account of special relationship duties circumvents two problems facing self-conception accounts of special relationship duties. (shrink)
There has been a recent surge in interest in two questions concerning the nature of perceptual experience; viz. the question of whether perceptual experience is sometimes cognitively penetrated and that of whether high-level properties are presented in perceptual experience. Only rarely have thinkers been concerned with the question of whether the two phenomena are interestingly related. Here we argue that the two phenomena are not related in any interesting way. We argue further that this lack of an interesting connection between (...) the two phenomena has potentially devastating consequences for naïve realism. Finally, we consider the possibility of a disunified view of experience that takes perceptual experience to be a matter of both being directly perceptually related to mind-independent objects and property instances as well as consciously representing these entities. (shrink)
In Philosophy Without Intuitions Herman Cappelen argues that unlike what is commonly thought, contemporary analytic philosophers do not typically rely on intuitions as evidence. If they do indeed rely on intuitions, that should be evident from their written works, either explicitly in the form of ‘intuition’ talk or by means of other indicators. However, Cappelen argues, while philosophers do engage in ‘intuition’ talk, that is not a good indicator that they rely on intuitions, as ‘intuition’ and its cognates have many (...) meanings that are irrelevant to this particular question. He identifies three other indicators and argues by appeal to case studies that these indicators are not present. I argue here that an account of intuitions as intellectual seemings draws attention to intuition features that Cappelen does not consider. These intuition features appear to be regularly present in the works of contemporary analytic philosophers. (shrink)
This chapter focuses on the relationship between consciousness and knowledge, and in particular on the role perceptual consciousness might play in justifying beliefs about the external world. We outline a version of phenomenal dogmatism according to which perceptual experiences immediately, prima facie justify certain select parts of their content, and do so in virtue of their having a distinctive phenomenology with respect to those contents. Along the way we take up various issues in connection with this core theme, including the (...) possibility of immediate justification, the dispute between representational and relational views of perception, the epistemic significance of cognitive penetration, the question of whether perceptual experiences are composed of more basic sensations and seemings, and questions about the existence and epistemic significance of high-level content. In a concluding section we briefly consider how some of the topics pursued here might generalize beyond perception. (shrink)
Blindsight is a kind of residual vision found in people with lesions to V1. Subjects with blindsight typically report no visual awareness, but they are nonetheless able to make above-chance guesses about the shape, location, color and movement of visual stimuli presented to them in their blind field. A different kind of blindsight, sometimes called type 2 blindsight, is a kind of residual vision found in patients with V1 lesions in the presence of some residual awareness. Type 2 blindsight differs (...) from ordinary visual experience in lacking the particularity, transparency and fine-grainedness often taken to be essential to visual experience, at least in veridical cases. I argue that the case of type 2 blindsight provides a counterexample to the view that these characteristics are essential to veridical visual experience and that this gives us reason to resist the view that visual experience is essentially a perceptual relation to external objects. In the second part of the paper I argue that the case of type 2 blindsight yields important insights into the effects of attentional modulation on perceptual content and that cases of attentional modulation of appearance are not at odds with the view that the phenomenology of visual experience flows from its content. (shrink)
The paradox of knowability is a logical result suggesting that, necessarily, if all truths are knowable in principle then all truths are in fact known. The contrapositive of the result says, necessarily, if in fact there is an unknown truth, then there is a truth that couldn't possibly be known. More specifically, if p is a truth that is never known then it is unknowable that p is a truth that is never known. The proof has been used to argue (...) against versions of anti-realism committed to the thesis that all truths are knowable. For clearly there are unknown truths; individually and collectively we are non-omniscient. So, by the main result, it is false that all truths are knowable. The result has also been used to draw more general lessons about the limits of human knowledge. Still others have taken the proof to be fallacious, since it collapses an apparently moderate brand of anti-realism into an obviously implausible and naive idealism. (shrink)
Perceptual reports are utterances of sentences that contain a perceptual verb, such as ‘look’, ‘sound’, ‘feel’, ‘see’, and ‘perceive’. It is natural to suppose that at least in many cases, these types of reports reflect aspects of the phenomenal character and representational content of a subject’s perceptual experiences. For example, an utterance of ‘my chair looks red but it’s really white’ appears to reflect phenomenal properties of the speaker’s experience of a chair. Whether perceptual reports actually reflect these things is (...) a substantial question and one with which this entry will be partially concerned. This article begins with a linguistic analysis of perceptual verbs and then considers some potential implications of this analysis for the philosophy of perception, given the assumption that perceptual reports sometimes express truths. (shrink)
It is widely agreed that contraposition, strengthening the antecedent and hypothetical syllogism fail for subjunctive conditionals. The following putative counter-examples are frequently cited, respectively.
Determiner phrases embedded under a propositional attitude verb have traditionally been taken to denote answers to implicit questions. For example, 'the capital of Vermont' as it occurs in 'John knows the capital of Vermont' has been thought to denote the proposition which answers the implicit question 'what is the capital of Vermont?' Thus, where 'know' is treated as a propositional attitude verb rather than an acquaintance verb, 'John knows the capital of Vermont' is true iff John knows that Montpelier is (...) the capital of Vermont. The traditional view lost its popularity long ago, because it was thought to rest on the controversial assumption that determiner phases embedded under a propositional attitude verb function semantically in the same way as the corresponding wh-clauses. Here we defend the traditional assumption against objections. We then argue that wh-clauses are not to be given a uniform treatment as indirect questions. When occurring under a propositional attitude verb, wh-clauses are better treated as having a predicate-type semantic value. We conclude by considering some possible objections to the predicate view. (shrink)
In ‘The Epistemic Significance of Perceptual Learning’ Elijah Chudnoff argues that cases from perceptual learning show that perception not only generates reasons for beliefs but also preserves those reasons over time in perceptual learning cases. In this paper, we dispute the idea that perceptual learning enables the preservation of perceptual reasons. We then argue for an alternative view, viz. the view that perceptual learning is epistemically significant insofar as it modifies our perceptual system in such a way as to make (...) us capable of perceiving subtle low-level properties and high-level properties. Acquiring the capacity to perceive these properties is what enables us to achieve expertise in a variety of subject matters. Along the way, we argue against two main points in Chudnoff’s paper. The first is that, pace Chudnoff, perceptual learning does not result in the acquisition of n... (shrink)
I start out by reviewing the semantics of ‘seem’. As ‘seem’ is a subject-raising verb, ‘it seems’ can be treated as a sentential operator. I look at the semantic and logical properties of ‘it seems’. I argue that ‘it seems’ is a hyperintensional and contextually flexible operator. The operator distributes over conjunction but not over disjunction, conditionals or semantic entailments. I further argue that ‘it seems’ does not commute with negation and does not agglomerate with conjunction. I then show that (...) the mental states expressed by perceptual uses of ‘seem’ have non-conceptual, yet perspectival contents. In the final part of the paper I argue that while the content of the mental states expressed by perceptual uses of ‘seem’ are non-conceptual, having a mental state of this type requires possessing conceptual abilities corresponding to what the mental state represents. (shrink)
The truthmaker theory rests on the thesis that the link between a true judgment and that in the world to which it corresponds is not a one-to-one but rather a one-to-many relation. An analogous thesis in relation to the link between a singular term and that in the world to which it refers is already widely accepted. This is the thesis to the effect that singular reference is marked by vagueness of a sort that is best understood in supervaluationist terms. (...) In what follows we show that the supervaluationist approach to singular reference, when wedded to the truthmaker idea, yields a framework of surprising power, which offers a uniform set of solutions to a range of problems regarding identity, reference and knowledge, problems which have hitherto been dealt with on an ad hoc basis. (shrink)
Perspectivalism is a semantic theory according to which the contents of utterances and mental states (perhaps of a particular kind) have a truth-value only relative to a particular perspective (or standard) determined by the context of the speaker, assessor, or bearer of the mental state. I have defended this view for epistemic terms, moral terms and predicates of personal taste elsewhere (Brogaard 2008a, 2008b, forthcoming a). The main aim of this paper is to defend perspectivalism about color perception and color (...) discourse. The content of color perception and color discourse, I will argue, has a truth-value only relative to an appropriate viewing condition and the perceiver, or a perceiver deferred to. (shrink)
Integration information theories posit that the integration of information is necessary and/or sufficient for consciousness. In this paper, we focus on three of the most prominent information integration theories: Information Integration Theory, Global Workspace Theory, and Attended Intermediate-Level Theory. We begin by explicating each theory and key concepts they utilize. We then argue that the current evidence indicates that the integration of information is neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness. Unlike GWT and AIR, IIT maintains that conscious experience is both (...) necessary and sufficient for consciousness. We present empirical evidence indicating that simple features are experienced in the absence of feature integration and argue that it challenges IIT’s necessity claim. In addition, we challenge IIT’s sufficiency claim by presenting evidence from hemineglect cases and amodal completion indicating that contents may be integrated and yet fail to give rise to subjective experience. Moreover, we present empirical evidence from subjects with frontal lesions who are unable to carry out simple instructions and argue that they are irreconcilable with GWT. Lastly, we argue that empirical evidence indicating that patients with visual agnosia fail to identify objects they report being conscious of present a challenge to AIR’s necessity claim. (shrink)
Four-dimensionalism is the thesis that everyday objects, such as you and me, are space-time worms that persist through time by having temporal parts none of which is identical to the object itself. Objects are aggregates or sums of such temporal parts. The main virtue of fourdimensionalism is that it solves—or does away with—the problem of identity through change.1 The main charge raised against it is that it is inconsistent with the thesis according to which there is change in the world.2 (...) If this charge could be sustained, then we would need compelling arguments in support of the view that things are four-dimensional, since the view that there is no change in the world conflicts with so many of our most well-supported common-sense beliefs. In what follows, however, I want to show that, contrary to what is usually believed, fourdimensionalism does not entail a changeless world. (shrink)
With the aid of some results from current linguistic theory I examine a recent anti-Fregean line with respect to hybrid talk of numbers and ordinary things, such as ‘the number of moons of Jupiter is four’. I conclude that the anti-Fregean line with respect to these sentences is indefensible.
Mereotopology faces problems when its methods are extended to deal with time and change. We offer a new solution to these problems, based on a theory of partitions of reality which allows us to simulate (and also to generalize) aspects of set theory within a mereotopological framework. This theory is extended to a theory of coarse- and ﬁne-grained histories (or ﬁnite sequences of partitions evolving over time), drawing on machinery developed within the framework of the so-called ‘consistent histories’ interpretation of (...) quantum mechanics. (shrink)
This paper examines Milner and Goodale’s hypothesis about the two visual streams and raises the questions of whether properties in egocentric space (commonly associated with the vision-for-action, or "dorsal," stream) can be part of the phenomenal content of perceptual experience, or only properties in allocentric space (commonly associated with the vision-for-perception, or "ventral," stream) can play this role, and how (if at all) properties in egocentric space differ from properties in allocentric space. These questions are reminiscent of issues raised by (...) Christopher Peacocke's "equal-sized trees" case: if you are looking at equal-sized trees on the side of a road, the trees will phenomenally look to you to be equally tall. But it is also true that a tree will take up more of the space in your visual field the closer it is to you. So, the equal-sized trees will also phenomenally look to you to have different heights. Your (visual) perceptual experience is not illusory. That is, the trees veridically look to you to have the same height, and they also veridically look to you to have different heights. Call the sort of issue raised here the "problem of dual looks." I provide a solution to the problem of dual looks that helps shed light on whether properties in egocentric space can be part of the phenomenal content of perceptual experience, and how (if at all) properties in egocentric space differ from properties in allocentric space. (shrink)
The article provides the state of the art on the debate about whether the semantics of ‘look’ statements commits us to any particular theory of perceptual experience. The debate began with Frank Jackson's argument that ‘look’ statements commit us to a sense‐datum theory of perception. Thinkers from different camps have since then offered various rejoinders to Jackson's argument. Others have provided novel arguments from considerations of the semantics of ‘look’ to particular theories of perception. The article closes with an argument (...) of this sort for a representational theory of perceptual experience. (shrink)
Relativism offers an ingenious way of accommodating most of our intuitions about 'know': the truth-value of sentences containing 'know' is a function of parameters determined by a context of use and a context of assessment. This sort of double-indexing provides a more adequate account of the linguistic data involving 'know' than does standard contextualism. However, relativism has come under recent attack: it supposedly cannot account for the factivity of 'know', and it entails, counterintuitively, that circumstances of evaluation have features that (...) cannot be shifted by any intensional operator. I offer replies to these objections on behalf of the relativist. I then argue that a version of contextualism can account for the same data as relativism without relativizing sentence truth to contexts of assessment. This version of contextualism is thus preferable to relativism on methodological grounds. (shrink)
Virtue reliabilism appears to have a major advantage over generic reliabilism: only the former has the resources to explain the intuition that knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief. I argue that this appearance is illusory. It is sustained only by the misguided assumption that a principled distinction can be drawn between those belief-forming methods that are grounded in the agent’s intellectual virtues, and those that are not. A further problem for virtue reliabilism is that of explaining why knowledge (...) is more valuable than mere justified true belief. I argue that virtue reliabilism lacks the resources to explain this value difference. I conclude by considering what it would take for a theory to explain the extra value of knowledge over mere justified true belief. (shrink)
The assumption that the future is open makes well known problems for traditional semantics. According to a commonly held intuition, today's occurrence of the sentence 'There will be a sea battle tomorrow', while truth-valueless today, will have a determinate truth-value by tomorrow night. Yet given traditional semantics, sentences that are truth-valueless now cannot later 'become' true. Relativistic semantics has been claimed to do a better job of accommodating intuitions about future contingents than non-relativistic semantics does. However, intuitions about future contingents (...) cannot by themselves give good reasons for shifting to a new paradigm, for despite the initial appearances, standard non-relativistic semantics (plus an account of truth-value gaps) can accommodate both intuitions about future contingents. (shrink)
The so-called Meno problem is one of the recent trendy topics in epistemology.1 In a nutshell, the Meno problem is that of explaining why we value knowledge more than true belief. In his recent book The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding Jon Kvanvig argues quite convincingly that no existing account of knowledge can accommodate the intuition that the value of knowledge exceeds the value of true belief.
I argue that strong representationalism, the view that for a perceptual experience to have a certain phenomenal character just is for it to have a certain representational content (perhaps represented in the right sort of way), encounters two problems: the dual looks problem and the duplication problem. The dual looks problem is this: strong representationalism predicts that how things phenomenally look to the subject reflects the content of the experience. But some objects phenomenally look to both have and not have (...) certain properties, for example, my bracelet may phenomenally look to be circular-shaped and oval-shaped (and hence non-circularshaped). So, if strong representationalism is true, then the content of my experience ought to represent my bracelet as being both circular-shaped and non-circular-shaped. Yet, intuitively, the content of my experience does not represent my bracelet as being both circular-shaped and non-circular-shaped. The duplication problem is this. On a standard conception of content, spatio-temporally distinct experiences and experiences had by distinct subjects may differ in content despite the fact that they are phenomenally indistinguishable. But this undermines the thesis that phenomenal character determines content. I argue that the two problems can be solved by applying a version of an idea from David Chalmers, which is to recognize the existence of genuinely centered properties in the content of perceptual experience. (shrink)
The paper starts out by distinguishing two closely related hypotheses about extended cognition. According to the strong hypothesis, there are no intrinsic representations in the brain. This is a version of the extended-mind view defended by Andy Clark and Richard Menary. On the weak hypothesis, there are intrinsic representations in the brain but some types of cognition, knowledge or memory are constituted by particular types of external devices or environmental factors that extend beyond the skull and perhaps beyond the skin. (...) This type of view was defended, for example, by Andy Clark and David Chalmers. After drawing this distinction and clarifying the notions of causal influence and constitution, I defend the second weaker hypothesis with respect to procedural knowledge and knowledge of action and show why this sort of view supports what we might call a ‘situationist-friendly virtue epistemology’. (shrink)
Perceptual appearances of personality can be highly inaccurate, for example, when they rely on race, masculinity, and attractiveness, factors that have little to do with personality, as well as when they are the result of perceiver effects, such as an idiosyncratic tendency to view others negatively. This raises the question of whether these types of appearances can provide immediate justification for our judgments about personality. I argue that there are three reasons that we should think that they can. The inaccuracy (...) of these types of appearances is not nearly as widespread as it may initially seem. Even thin-slicing in zero-acquaintance conditions seems to reliably track many personality traits. The thought that perceptual appearances of personality can justify our beliefs only in conjunction with background information rests on a failure to acknowledge the existence of genuine high-level perceptual appearances of personality. Perceiver effect cases are not unlike cases in which we have inaccurate low-level perceptual appearances in unfavorable perceptual conditions. (shrink)
There is no question that the constituents of cells and organisms are joined together by the part-whole relation. Genes are part of cells, and cells are part of organisms. Species taxa, however, have traditionally been conceived of, not as wholes with parts, but as classes with members. But why does the relation change abruptly from part-whole to class-membership above the level of organisms? Ghiselin, Hull and others have argued that it doesn't. Cells and organisms are cohesive mereological sums, and since (...) species taxa are like cells and organisms in the relevant respects, they, too, are cohesive mereological sums. I provide further reasons in support of the thesis that species are mereological sums. I argue, moreover, that the advocate of this thesis is committed to a form of pluralism with respect to the species concept. (shrink)