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Daniel Stoljar
Australian National University
  1. Physicalism.Daniel Stoljar - 2010 - New York: Routledge.
    Physicalism, the thesis that everything is physical, is one of the most controversial problems in philosophy. Its adherents argue that there is no more important doctrine in philosophy, whilst its opponents claim that its role is greatly exaggerated. In this superb introduction to the problem Daniel Stoljar focuses on three fundamental questions: the interpretation, truth and philosophical significance of physicalism. In answering these questions he covers the following key topics: -/- (i)A brief history of physicalism and its definitions, (ii)what a (...)
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  2. Physicalism.Daniel Stoljar - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical, or as contemporary philosophers sometimes put it, that everything supervenes on, or is necessitated by, the physical. The thesis is usually intended as a metaphysical thesis, parallel to the thesis attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Thales, that everything is water, or the idealism of the 18th Century philosopher Berkeley, that everything is mental. The general idea is that the nature of the actual world (i.e. the universe and everything in it) conforms (...)
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  3. Ignorance and Imagination: The Epistemic Origin of the Problem of Consciousness.Daniel Stoljar - 2006 - New York, US: Oxford University Press USA.
    Ignorance and Imagination advances a novel way to resolve the central philosophical problem about the mind: how it is that consciousness or experience fits into a larger naturalistic picture of the world. The correct response to the problem, Stoljar argues, is not to posit a realm of experience distinct from the physical, nor to deny the reality of phenomenal experience, nor even to rethink our understanding of consciousness and the language we use to talk about it. Instead, we should view (...)
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  4. Two Conceptions of the Physical.Daniel Stoljar - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (2):253-281.
    The debate over physicalism in philosophy of mind can be seen as concerning an inconsistent tetrad of theses: (1) if physicalism is true, a priori physicalism is true; (2) a priori physicalism is false; (3) if physicalism is false, epiphenomenalism is true; (4) epiphenomenalism is false. This paper argues that one may resolve the debate by distinguishing two conceptions of the physical: on the theory‐based conception, it is plausible that (2) is true and (3) is false; on the object‐based conception, (...)
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  5. Physicalism and phenomenal concepts.Daniel Stoljar - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (2):296-302.
    A phenomenal concept is the concept of a particular type of sensory or perceptual experience, where the notion of experience is understood phenomenologically. A recent and increasingly influential idea in philosophy of mind suggests that reflection on these concepts will play a major role in the debate about conscious experience, and in particular in the defense of physicalism, the thesis that psychological truths supervene on physical truths. According to this idea—I call it the phenomenal concept strategy —phenomenal concepts are importantly (...)
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  6. Philosophical Progress: In Defence of a Reasonable Optimism.Daniel Stoljar - 2017 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Many people believe that philosophy makes no progress. Members of the general public often find it amazing that philosophers exist in universities at all, at least in research positions. Academics who are not philosophers often think of philosophy either as a scholarly or interpretative enterprise, or else as a sort of pre-scientific speculation. And many well-known philosophers argue that there is little genuine progress in philosophy. Daniel Stoljar argues that this is all a big mistake. When you think through exactly (...)
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  7. Introspection and Consciousness.Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.) - 2012 - , US: Oxford University Press.
    The topic of introspection stands at the interface between questions in epistemology about the nature of self-knowledge and questions in the philosophy of mind about the nature of consciousness. What is the nature of introspection such that it provides us with a distinctive way of knowing about our own conscious mental states? And what is the nature of consciousness such that we can know about our own conscious mental states by introspection? How should we understand the relationship between consciousness and (...)
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  8. Universities from an Epistemological Point of View.Daniel Stoljar - forthcoming - Humanities Review.
    Abstract: What is the nature and social function of universities? In this article I consider the well-known Humboldtian answer to this question, with a view not just to its inherent plausibility but to how it has changed over time. I pay particular attention to how different versions of the Humboldtian answer make different epistemological assumptions and conclude with a suggestion about how best to develop that answer in the future.
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  9. The Semantics of ‘What it’s like’ and the Nature of Consciousness.Daniel Stoljar - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):1161-1198.
    This paper defends a novel view of ‘what it is like’-sentences, according to which they attribute certain sorts of relations—I call them ‘affective relations’—that hold between events and individuals. The paper argues in detail for the superiority of this proposal over other views that are prevalent in the literature. The paper further argues that the proposal makes better sense than the alternatives of the widespread use of Nagel’s definition of conscious states and that it also shows the mistakes in two (...)
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  10. Is there a persuasive argument for an inner awareness theory of consciousness?Daniel Stoljar - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (4):1555-1575.
    According to (what I will call) an inner awareness theory of consciousness, you are in a (phenomenally) conscious state only if you are aware, in some sense, of your being in the state. This theory is widely held, but what arguments are there for holding it? In this paper, I gather together in a systematic way the main arguments for holding the theory and suggest that none of them is persuasive. I end the paper by asking what our attitude to (...)
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  11.  24
    Physicalism.Daniel Stoljar - 2009 - In Tim Bayne, Axel Cleeremans & Patrick Wilken (eds.), The Oxford Companion to Consciousness. New York, NY, USA: pp. 529-532.
  12.  87
    Deflationism about Truth.Bradley Armour-Garb, Daniel Stoljar & James Woodbridge - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Deflationism about truth, what is often simply called “deflationism”, is really not so much a theory of truth in the traditional sense, as it is a different, newer sort of approach to the topic. Traditional theories of truth are part of a philosophical debate about the nature of a supposed property of truth. Philosophers offering such theories often make suggestions like the following: truth consists in correspondence to the facts; truth consists in coherence with a set of beliefs or propositions; (...)
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  13. The argument from diaphanousness.Daniel Stoljar - 2004 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 30 (Supplement):341--90.
    1. Introduction In ‘The Refutation of Idealism’, G.E.Moore observed that, "when we try to introspect the sensation of blue, all we can see is the blue: the other element is as if it were diaphanous" (1922; p.25). Many philosophers, but Gilbert Harman (1990, 1996) in particular, have suggested that this observation forms the basis of an argument against qualia, usually called the argument from diaphanousness or transparency.1 But even its friends concede that it is none too clear what the argument (...)
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  14. Introspection and Consciousness: An Overview.Daniel Stoljar & Declan Smithies - 2012 - In Daniel Stoljar & Declan Smithies (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    Introspection stands at the interface between two major currents in philosophy and related areas of science: on the one hand, there are metaphysical and scientific questions about the nature of consciousness; and on the other hand, there are normative and epistemological questions about the nature of self-knowledge. Introspection seems tied up with consciousness, to the point that some writers define consciousness in terms of introspection; and it is also tied up with self-knowledge, since introspection is the distinctive way in which (...)
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  15. Imagination, Fiction, and Perspectival Displacement.Justin D'Ambrosio & Daniel Stoljar - 2023 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind 3.
    The verb 'imagine' admits of perspectival modification: we can imagine things from above, from a distant point of view, or from the point of view of a Russian. But in such cases, there need be no person, either real or imagined, who is above or distant from what is imagined, or who has the point of view of a Russian. We call this the puzzle of perspectival displacement. This paper sets out the puzzle, shows how it does not just concern (...)
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  16. Does the exclusion argument put any pressure on dualism.Daniel Stoljar & Christian List - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):96-108.
    The exclusion argument is widely thought to put considerable pressure on dualism if not to refute it outright. We argue to the contrary that, whether or not their position is ultimately true, dualists have a plausible response. The response focuses on the notion of ‘distinctness’ as it occurs in the argument: if 'distinctness' is understood one way, the exclusion principle on which the argument is founded can be denied by the dualist; if it is understood another way, the argument is (...)
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  17. The deflationary theory of truth.Daniel Stoljar - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    According to the deflationary theory of truth, to assert that a statement is true is just to assert the statement itself. For example, to say that ‘snow is white’ is true, or that it is true that snow is white, is equivalent to saying simply that snow is white, and this, according to the deflationary theory, is all that can be said significantly about the truth of ‘snow is white’.
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  18. Chalmers v Chalmers.Daniel Stoljar - 2020 - Noûs 54 (2):469-487.
    This paper brings out an inconsistency between David Chalmers's dualism, which is the main element of his philosophy of mind, and his structuralism, which is the main element of his epistemology. The point is ad hominem , but the inconsistency if it can be established is of considerable independent interest. For the best response to the inconsistency, I argue, is to adopt what Chalmers calls ‘type‐C Materialism’, a version of materialism that has been much discussed in recent times because of (...)
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  19. Russellian Monism or Nagelian Monism?Daniel Stoljar - 2015 - In Torin Alter & Yujin Nagasawa (eds.), Consciousness in the Physical World: Perspectives on Russellian Monism. New York, NY, USA:
  20. In Praise of Poise.Daniel Stoljar - 2019 - In Adam Pautz & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Blockheads! Essays on Ned Block's Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness. Cambridge, MA, USA:
  21. Panpsychism and Non-standard Materialism: Some Comparative Remarks.Daniel Stoljar - 2020 - In William Seager (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Panpsychism. New York, NY, USA:
    Much of contemporary philosophy of mind is marked by a dissatisfaction with the two main positions in the field, standard materialism and standard dualism, and hence with the search for alternatives. My concern in this paper is with two such alternatives. The first, which I will call non-standard materialism, is a position I have defended in a number of places, and which may take various forms. The second, panpsychism, has been defended and explored by a number of recent writers. My (...)
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  22. There's Something About Mary: Essays on Phenomenal Consciousness and Frank Jackson's Knowledge Argument.Peter Ludlow, Yujin Nagasawa & Daniel Stoljar (eds.) - 2004 - MIT Press.
    The arguments presented in this comprehensive collection have important implications for the philosophy of mind and the study of consciousness.
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  23. Physicalism and the necessary A Posteriori.Daniel Stoljar - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):33-55.
  24. Four Kinds of Russellian Monism.Daniel Stoljar - 2014 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Mind. Routledge. pp. 17.
    “Russellian Monism” is a name given to a family of views in philosophy of mind. The family is exciting because it seems to present an alternative both to materialism and to dualism. After briefly setting out the need for this alternative, I distinguish four different kinds of Russellian Monism (RM), and assess their pros and cons. My own feeling, as will emerge in the final section of the paper, is that only the fourth of these represents a viable version of (...)
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  25. Realism v Equilibrism about Philosophy.Daniel Stoljar - forthcoming - Syzetesis 1.
    Abstract: According to the realist about philosophy, the goal of philosophy is to come to know the truth about philosophical questions; according to what Helen Beebee calls equilibrism, by contrast, the goal is rather to place one’s commitments in a coherent system. In this paper, I present a critique of equilibrism in the form Beebee defends it, paying particular attention to her suggestion that various meta-philosophical remarks made by David Lewis may be recruited to defend equilibrism. At the end of (...)
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  26. What is Consciousness?Amy Kind & Daniel Stoljar - 2023 - New York: Routledge.
    What is consciousness and why is it so philosophically and scientifically puzzling? For many years philosophers approached this question assuming a standard physicalist framework on which consciousness can be explained by contemporary physics, biology, neuroscience, and cognitive science. This book is a debate between two philosophers who are united in their rejection of this kind of "standard" physicalism - but who differ sharply in what lesson to draw from this. Amy Kind defends dualism 2.0, a thoroughly modern version of dualism (...)
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  27. Emotivism and truth conditions.Daniel Stoljar - 1993 - Philosophical Studies 70 (1):81 - 101.
    By distinguishing between pragmatic and semantic aspects of emotivism, and by distinguishing between inflationary and deflationary conceptions of truth conditions, this paper defends emotivism against a series of objections. First, it is not the case (as Blackburn has argued) that emotivism must explain the appearance that moral sentences have truth conditions. Second, it is not the case (as Boghossian has argued) that emotivism presupposes that non-moral sentences have inflationary truth conditions. Finally, it is not the case (as Geach and Blackburn (...)
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  28. Vendler’s puzzle about imagination.Justin D’Ambrosio & Daniel Stoljar - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12923-12944.
    Vendler’s :161–173, 1979) puzzle about imagination is that the sentences ‘Imagine swimming in that water’ and ‘Imagine yourself swimming in that water’ seem at once semantically different and semantically the same. They seem semantically different, since the first requires you to imagine ’from the inside’, while the second allows you to imagine ’from the outside.’ They seem semantically the same, since despite superficial dissimilarity, there is good reason to think that they are syntactically and lexically identical. This paper sets out (...)
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  29. A neuron doctrine in the philosophy of neuroscience.Ian Gold & Daniel Stoljar - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):809-830.
    It is widely held that a successful theory of the mind will be neuroscientific. In this paper we ask, first, what this claim means, and, secondly, whether it is true. In answer to the first question, we argue that the claim is ambiguous between two views--one plausible but unsubstantive, and one substantive but highly controversial. In answer to the second question, we argue that neither the evidence from neuroscience itself nor from other scientific and philosophical considerations supports the controversial view.
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  30. The conceivability argument and two conceptions of the physical.Daniel Stoljar - 2001 - Philosophical Perspectives 15:393-413.
    The conceivability argument against physicalism1 starts from the prem- ises that: It is conceivable that I have a zombie-twin, i.e., that there is someone who is physically identical to me and yet who lacks phenomenal con- sciousness; and If it is conceivable that I have a zombie-twin, then it is possible that I have a zombie-twin. These premises entail that physicalism is false, for physicalism is the claim—or can be assumed for our purposes to be the claim2—that.
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  31. Underestimating the World.Daniel Stoljar - forthcoming - Journal of Consciousness Studies.
    Galen Strawson has contrasting attitudes to consciousness and free will. In the case of the former, he says it is a fundamental element of nature whose denial is the “greatest woo-woo of the human mind.” In the case of the latter, by contrast, he says it is not merely non-existent but “provably impossible.” Why the difference? This paper suggests this distinctive pattern of positions is generated by underestimating the world (to adapt a phrase Strawson uses himself in another context). If (...)
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  32.  90
    Distinctions in distinction.Daniel Stoljar - 2007 - In Jesper Kallestrup & Jakob Hohwy (eds.), Being Reduced: New Essays on Causation and Explanation in the Special Sciences. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter begins with a putative puzzle between non-reductive physicalism according to which psychological properties are distinct from, yet metaphysically necessitated by, physical properties, and Hume's dictum according to which there are no necessary connections between distinct existences. However, the puzzle dissolves once care is taken to distinguish between distinct kinds of distinction: numerical distinctness, mereological distinctness, and what the chapter calls ‘weak modal distinctness’ and ‘strong modal distinctness’. For each of these notions, it turns out that either it makes (...)
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  33. Introspection and Necessity.Daniel Stoljar - 2018 - Noûs 52 (2):389-410.
    What is the connection between being in a conscious mental state and believing that you yourself are currently in that state? On the one hand, it is natural to think that this connection is, or involves, a necessary connection of some sort. On the other hand, it is hard to know what the nature of this necessary connection is. For there are plausible arguments according to which this connection is not metaphysically necessary, not rationally necessary, and not merely naturally necessary. (...)
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  34. Two Notions of Resemblance and the Semantics of 'What it's Like'.Justin D'Ambrosio & Daniel Stoljar - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    According to the resemblance account of 'what it's like' and similar constructions, a sentence such as 'there is something it’s like to have a toothache' means 'there is something having a toothache resembles'. This account has proved controversial in the literature; some writers endorse it, many reject it. We show that this conflict is illusory. Drawing on the semantics of intensional transitive verbs, we show that there are two versions of the resemblance account, depending on whether 'resembles' is construed notionally (...)
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  35. The Materialist Sixties.Daniel Stoljar - forthcoming - In John Symons & Charles Wolfe (eds.), History and Philosophy of Materialism. Routledge.
    Abstract: The 1960s saw the publication of many works in philosophy in which materialism (or physicalism) was a major theme even if not always endorsed. But how should we assess the ‘materialist sixties’? This paper argues that what is distinctive about the period is that it combines materialist metaphysics with materialist meta-philosophy, and, in so doing, solved a problem that dogged the discipline of philosophy since it assumed its modern form in the 19th century.
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  36.  64
    Does the Exclusion Argument Put Any Pressure on Dualism?Christian List & Daniel Stoljar - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):96-108.
    The exclusion argument is widely thought to put considerable pressure on dualism, if not to refute it outright. We argue to the contrary that, whether or not their position is ultimately true, dualists have a plausible response. The response focuses on the notion of ‘distinctness’ that is employed to distinguish between mental and physical properties: if ‘distinctness’ is understood in one way, the exclusion principle on which the argument rests can be denied by the dualist; if it is understood in (...)
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  37. The argument from revelation.Daniel Stoljar - 2009 - In Robert Nola & David Braddon Mitchell (eds.), Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism. MIT Press.
    1. Introduction The story of Canberra, the capital of Australia, is roughly as follows. In 1901, when what is called.
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  38. The Epistemic Approach to the Problem of Consciousness.Daniel Stoljar - 2020 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford, UK:
  39.  21
    Introduction.Daniel Stoljar - 2003 - In Peter Ludlow, Yujin Nagasawa & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), There's Something About Mary. MIT Press.
    Mary is confined to a black-and-white room, is educated through black-and-white books and through lectures relayed on black-and white television. In this way she learns everything there is to know about the physical nature of the world. She knows all the physical facts about us and our environment, in a wide sense of 'physical' which includes everything in completed physics, chemistry, and neurophysiology, and all there is to know about the causal and relational facts consequent upon all this, including of (...)
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  40.  90
    Global Response-Dependence and Noumenal Realism.Daniel Stoljar - 1998 - The Monist 81 (1):85-111.
  41.  39
    Introduction to Blockheads! Essays on Ned Block's Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness.Daniel Stoljar - 2019 - In Adam Pautz & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Blockheads! Essays on Ned Block's Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness. Cambridge, MA:
  42. The Regress Objection to Reflexive Theories of Consciousness.Daniel Stoljar - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (3):293-308.
    According to a reflexive theory of consciousness, a person is in a conscious state only if they are conscious of, or aware of, being in the state. This paper reconsiders the well-known regress objection against theories of this sort, according to which they entail that if you are in one conscious state, you are in an infinity of such states. I distinguish two versions of the reflexive theory, a cognitive version and a phenomenal version, and argue that, while the cognitive (...)
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  43. Perceptual consciousness and intensional transitive verbs.Justin D’Ambrosio & Daniel Stoljar - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (12):3301-3322.
    There is good reason to think that, in every case of perceptual consciousness, there is something of which we are conscious; but there is also good reason to think that, in some cases of perceptual consciousness—for instance, hallucinations—there is nothing of which we are conscious. This paper resolves this inconsistency—which we call the presentation problem—by (a) arguing that ‘conscious of’ and related expressions function as intensional transitive verbs and (b) defending a particular semantic approach to such verbs, on which they (...)
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  44. Is there Progress in Philosophy? A Brief Case for Optimism.Daniel Stoljar - 2017 - In Russell Blackford & Damien Broderick (eds.), Philosophy's Future: The Problem of Philosophical Progress. New Jersey, USA:
    This chapter sets out an optimistic view of philosophical progress.The key idea is that the historical record speaks in favor of there being progress at least if we are clear about what philosophical problems are, and what it takes to solve them. I end by asking why so many people tend toward a pessimistic view of philosophical progress.
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  45. Knowledge of Perception.Daniel Stoljar - 2012 - In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. New York, NY, USA:
  46. How Not to Identify a Research Programme Concerning Introspection.Daniel Stoljar - 2023 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 30 (9):215-222.
    Kammerer and Frankish (this issue) aim to set out a new research programme concerning introspection. I argue they have done no such thing, since the definition they are working with is too general. I further argue that, while it is possible to restrict the definition and so formulate a related research programme, this will have a different shape to the one they envisage.
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  47. Distinctions in Distinction.Daniel Stoljar - 2008 - In Jakob Hohwy & Jesper Kallestrup (eds.), Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation. Oxford University Press.
     
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  48. Two Conceivability Arguments Compared.Daniel Stoljar - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt1):27-44.
    This paper compares and contrasts two conceivability arguments: the zombie argument (ZA) against physicalism, and the perfect actor argument (AA) against behaviourism. I start the paper by assuming that the arguments are of the same kind, and that AA is sound. On the basis of these two assumptions I criticize the most common philosophical suggestions in the literature today about what is wrong with ZA, and what is right in it. I end the paper by suggesting that the comparison between (...)
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  49. Philosophy as Synchronic History.Daniel Stoljar - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (2):155-172.
    Bernard Williams argues that philosophy is in some deep way akin to history. This article is a novel exploration and defense of the Williams thesis —though in a way anathema to Williams himself. The key idea is to apply a central moral from what is sometimes called the analytic philosophy of history of the 1960s to the philosophy of philosophy of today, namely, the separation of explanation and laws. I suggest that an account of causal explanation offered by David Lewis (...)
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  50. The Consequences Of Intentionalism.Daniel Stoljar - 2007 - Erkenntnis 66 (1-2):247-270.
    This article explores two consequences of intentionalism. My first line of argument focuses on the impact of intentionalism on the 'hard problem' of phenomenal character. If intentionalism is true, the phenomenal supervenes on the intentional. Furthermore, if physicalism about the intentional is also true, the intentional supervenes on the physical. Therefore, if intentionalism and physicalism are both true, then, by transitivity of supervenience, physicalism about the phenomenal is true. I argue that this transitivity argument is not persuasive, because on any (...)
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