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William Seager
University of Toronto at Scarborough
  1. The Routledge Handbook of Panpsychism.William Seager (ed.) - 2019 - Routledge.
    Panpsychism is the view that consciousness a sh the most puzzling and strangest phenomenon in the entire universe a sh is a fundamental and ubiquitous feature of the.
     
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  2. Theories of Consciousness: An Introduction and Assessment.William Seager - 1999 - Routledge.
    Theories of Consciousness provides an introduction to a variety of approaches to consciousness, questions the nature of consciousness, and contributes to current debates about whether a scientific understanding of consciousness is possible. While discussing key figures including Descartes, Fodor, Dennett and Chalmers, the book incorporates identity theories, representational theories, intentionality, externalism and new information-based theories.
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  3. Consciousness, Information, and Panpsychism.William Seager - 1995 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):272-88.
    The generation problem is to explain how material configurations or processes can produce conscious experience. David Chalmers urges that this is what makes the problem of consciousness really difficult. He proposes to side-step the generation problem by proposing that consciousness is an absolutely fundamental feature of the world. I am inclined to agree that the generation problem is real and believe that taking consciousness to be fundamental is promising. But I take issue with Chalmers about what it is to be (...)
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  4. Panpsychism, Aggregation and Combinatorial Infusion.William Seager - 2010 - Mind and Matter 8 (2):167-184.
    Deferential Monadic Panpsychism is a view that accepts that physical science is capable of discovering the basic structure of reality. However, it denies that reality is fully and exhaustively de- scribed purely in terms of physical science. Consciousness is missing from the physical description and cannot be reduced to it. DMP explores the idea that the physically fundamental features of the world possess some intrinsic mental aspect. It thereby faces a se- vere problem of understanding how more complex mental states (...)
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  5. Theories of Consciousness: An Introduction.William Seager - 1999 - Routledge.
    The most remarkable fact about the universe is that certain parts of it are conscious. Somehow nature has managed to pull the rabbit of experience out of a hat made of mere matter. Making its own contribution to the current, lively debate about the nature of consciousness, Theories of Consciousness introduces variety of approaches to consciousness and explores to what extent scientific understanding of consciousness is possible. Including discussion of key figures, such as Descartes, Foder, Dennett and Chalmers, the book (...)
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  6. Representationalism About Consciousness.William E. Seager & David Bourget - 2007 - In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell. pp. 261-276.
    A representationalist-friendly introduction to representationalism which covers a number of central problems and objections.
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  7.  36
    Supervenience and Mind: Selected Philosophical Essays.William Seager - 1996 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (3):730-733.
  8. Panpsychism.William Seager - 2009 - In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press.
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  9. The 'Intrinsic Nature' Argument for Panpsychism.William E. Seager - 2006 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (10-11):129-145.
    Strawson’s case in favor of panpsychism is at heart an updated version of a venerable form of argument I’ll call the ‘intrinsic nature’ argument. It is an extremely interesting argument which deploys all sorts of high caliber metaphysical weaponry (despite the ‘down home’ appeals to common sense which Strawson frequently makes). The argument is also subtle and intricate. So let’s spend some time trying to articulate its general form.
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  10. Panpsychism.William E. Seager - 2002 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    1 Non-reductive physicalists deny that there is any explanation of mentality in purely physical terms, but do not deny that the mental is entirely determined by and constituted out of underlying physical structures. There are important issues about the stability of such a view which teeters on the edge of explanatory reductionism on the one side and dualism on the other (see Kim 1998). 2 Save perhaps for eliminative materialism (see Churchland 1981 for a classic exposition). In fact, however, while.
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  11.  67
    Metaphysics of Consciousness.William Seager - 1991 - Routledge.
    _Metaphysics of Consciousness_ opens with a development of the physicalist outlook that denies the need for any explanation of the mental. This "inexplicability" is demonstrated not to be sufficient as refutation of physicalism. However, the inescapable particularity of modes of consciousness appears to overpower this minimal physicalism. This book proposes that such an inference requires either a wholly new conception of how consciousness is physical or a deep and disturbing new kind of physical inexplicability.
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  12.  19
    The Problem of Consciousness by Colin McGinn. [REVIEW]William Seager - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (6):327-330.
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  13. Emotional Introspection.William E. Seager - 2002 - Consciousness and Cognition 11 (4):666-687.
    One of the most vivid aspects of consciousness is the experience of emotion, yet this topic is given relatively little attention within consciousness studies. Emotions are crucial, for they provide quick and motivating assessments of value, without which action would be misdirected or absent. Emotions also involve linkages between phenomenal and intentional consciousness. This paper examines emotional consciousness from the standpoint of the representational theory of consciousness . Two interesting developments spring from this. The first is the need for the (...)
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  14.  77
    A Cold Look at HOT Theory.William E. Seager - 2004 - In Rocco J. Gennaro (ed.), Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness: An Anthology. John Benjamins.
  15.  92
    Disjunctive Laws and Supervenience.William E. Seager - 1991 - Analysis 51 (2):93-98.
  16. Ground Truth and Virtual Reality: Hacking Vs. Van Fraassen.William Seager - 1995 - Philosophy of Science 62 (3):459-478.
    Hacking argues against van Fraassen's constructive empiricism by appeal to features of microscopic imaging. Hacking relies on both our practices involving imaging instruments and the structure of the images produced by these micropractices. Van Fraassen's reply is formally correct yet fundamentally unsatisfying. I aim to strengthen van Fraassen's reply, but must then extend constructive empiricism, specifically the central notion of "theoretical immersion." I argue that immersion is more analogous to entering a virtual reality than to learning a language. This metaphor (...)
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  17.  18
    Metaphysics of Consciousness.John Heil & William Seager - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (4):612.
  18. Emergentist Panpsychism.William Seager - 2012 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (9-10):9-10.
    There are many possible forms of panpsychism. In this paper, I discuss a type of panpsychism in which the complex mental states of higher-level entities emerge from a system, or organization, of fundamental entities which possess extremely simple forms of mentality. I argue that this sort of panpsychism is surprisingly plausible, especially in light of the notorious difficulties raised by consciousness. Emergentist panpsychism faces a distinctive challenge, however. In so far as panpsychism embraces emergentism of the mental, a purely physicalist (...)
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  19.  74
    Weak Supervenience and Materialism.William E. Seager - 1988 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 48 (June):697-709.
    THIS ARTICLE ARGUES THAT WEAK SUPERVENIENCE IS\nSUFFICIENTLY STRONG TO ESTABLISH A REASONABLE AND PLAUSIBLE\nMATERIALISM. SUPERVENIENCE IS A RELATION BETWEEN FAMILIES\nOF PROPERTIES, SUCH THAT, ROUGHLY SPEAKING, FAMILY A\nSUPERVENES ON FAMILY B IF ANY OBJECTS WHICH ARE\nINDISCERNIBLE WITH RESPECT TO B ARE THEREBY INDISCERNIBLE\nWITH RESPECT TO A. WEAK SUPERVENIENCE IS SUPERVENIENCE\nRESTRICTED TO ONE POSSIBLE WORLD; STRONG SUPERVENIENCE IS A\n"NECESSARY" SUPERVENIENCE EXTENDING ACROSS SOME PRINCIPLED\nSET OF POSSIBLE WORLDS. THESE NOTIONS ARE MADE SOMEWHAT\nMORE RIGOROUS FOLLOWING JAEGWON KIM'S DEVELOPMENT OF THEM.\nKIM HAS ARGUED THAT ONLY (...)
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  20. A Brief History of the Philosophical Problem of Consciousness.William E. Seager - 2007 - In P. D. Zelazo, Morris Moscovitch & Evan Thompson (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness. Cambridge University Press. pp. 9--33.
  21. Dennett, Part I and II.William E. Seager - 1999 - In Theories of Consciousness: An Introduction and Assessment. Routledge.
     
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  22.  87
    Introspection and the Elementary Acts of Mind.William Seager - 2000 - Dialogue 39 (1):53-76.
    RÉSUMÉ: Fred Dretske a développé, à titre de composante de sa théorie de la conscience, une théorie de l'introspection. Celle-ci présente une plausibilité indépendante, elle résiste à des objections qui affectent nombre d'autres théories et elle suggère des liens très féconds dans plusieurs domaines de la science cognitive. La version qu'en donne Dretske est restreinte à la connaissance introspective des états perceptuels. Mon objectif ici est d'étendre la théorie à tous les états mentaux. Le mécanisme qui est fondamental dans cette (...)
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  23. Representational Theories of Consciousness, Parts I and II.William E. Seager - 1999 - In Theories of Consciousness: An Introduction and Assessment. Routledge.
     
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  24.  51
    Tye on Consciousness: Time to Panic? [REVIEW]William E. Seager - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 113 (3):237-247.
  25.  88
    Real Patterns and Surface Metaphysics.William E. Seager - 2000 - In Andrew Brook, Don Ross & David L. Thompson (eds.), Dennett's Philosophy: A Comprehensive Assessment. MIT Press. pp. 95--129.
    Naturalism is supposed to be a Good Thing. So good in fact that everybody wants to be a naturalist, no matter what their views might be1. Thus there is some confusion about what, exactly, naturalism is. In what follows, I am going to be pretty much, though not exclusively, concerned with the topics of intentionality and consciousness, which only deepens the confusion for these are two areas.
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  26. Dretske on HOT Theories of Consciousness.William E. Seager - 1994 - Analysis 54 (4):270-76.
  27.  44
    The Metaphysics of Consciousness.William Seager - 1994 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):155-167.
  28.  53
    Externalism and Token Identity.William E. Seager - 1992 - Philosophical Quarterly 42 (169):439-48.
    Donald Davidson espouses two fundamental theses about the individuation of mental events. The thesis of causal individuation asserts that sameness of cause and effect is sufficient and necessary for event identity. The thesis of content individuation gives only a sufficient condition for difference of mental events: if e and f have different contents then they are different mental events. I argue that given these theses, psychological externalism--the view that mental content is determined by factors external to the subject of the (...)
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  29.  37
    Descartes on the Union of Mind and Body.William E. Seager - 1988 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 5 (2):119 - 132.
  30. The Elimination of Experience.William Seager - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (2):345-65.
  31. Functionalism, Qualia and Causation.William E. Seager - 1983 - Mind 92 (April):174-88.
  32.  26
    Scientific Anti-Realism and the Epistemic Community.William Seager - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:181-187.
    Bas van Fraassen has presented a most vigorous argument in support of an anti-realist interpretation of science. In defence of his view he revives the seemingly moribund 'observable-unobservable' distinction, and employs it in the attempt to show that science provides no grounds for accepting, as real, entities which it itself classifies as unobservable. Traditional arguments against the observable-unobservable distinction can be reinterpreted as arguments for the reality of what is unobservable to humans. The argument is quite straightforward. We could create (...)
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  33.  55
    Consciousness, Value and Functionalism.William E. Seager - 2001 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 7.
    Charles Siewert presents a series of thought experiment based arguments against a wide range of current theories of phenomenal consciousness which I believe achieves a considerable measure of success. One topic which I think gets insufficient attention is the discussion of functionalism and I address this here. Before that I consider the intriguing issue, which is seldom considered but figures prominently at the close of Siewert's book, of the value of consciousness. In particular, I broach the question of whether the (...)
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  34. Rosenberg, Reducibility and Consciousness.William E. Seager - 2006 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 12.
    Rosenberg’s general argumentative strategy in favour of panpsychism is an extension of a traditional pattern. Although his argument is complex and intricate, I think a model that is historically significant and fundamentally similar to the position Rosenberg advances might help us understand the case for panpsychism. Thus I want to begin by considering a Leibnizian argument for panpsychism.
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  35. Emergence and Supervenience.William E. Seager - manuscript
    The metaphysical relation of supervenience has seen most of its service in the fields of the philosophy of mind and ethics. Although not repaying all of the hopes some initially invested in it – the mind-body problem remains stubbornly unsolved, ethics not satisfactorily naturalized – the use of the notion of supervenience has certainly clarified the nature and the commitments of so- called non-reductive materialism, especially with regard to the questions of whether explanations of supervenience relations are required and whether (...)
     
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  36.  46
    I. The Representational Theory of Consciousness.William Seager - unknown
    It would be hard to deny that the experience of emotion is one of the most significant aspects of consciousness. While it is possible to imagine a being who enjoyed some forms of consciousness while lacking any awareness of its emotional states, such a being’s conscious life would be radically different from human consciousness. Yet, I believe that in fact we are surrounded by such beings and, most of the time, we ourselves are such. This is not to say that (...)
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  37.  41
    The Discreet Charm of Counterpart Theory.Graeme Hunter & William Seager - 1980 - Analysis 41 (2):73 - 76.
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  38.  30
    The Logic of Lost Lingens.William Seager - 1990 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 19 (4):407 - 428.
  39.  80
    Classical Levels, Russellian Monism and the Implicate Order.William Seager - 2013 - Foundations of Physics 43 (4):548-567.
    Reception of the Bohm-Hiley interpretation of quantum mechanics has a curiously Janus faced quality. On the one hand, it is frequently derided as a conservative throwback to outdated classical patterns of thought. On the other hand, it is equally often taken to task for encouraging a wild quantum mysticism, often regarded as anti-scientific. I will argue that there are reasons for this reception, but that a proper appreciation of the dual scientific and philosophical aspects of the view reveals a powerful (...)
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  40. The Worm in the Cheese Leibniz, Consciousness and Matter.William Seager - 1991 - Studia Leibnitiana 23 (1):79-91.
    Leibniz argumentiert in der Monadologie, daß das Bewußtsein nicht auf rein mechanische und materielle Prozesse reduziert werden kann. Diesem wohlbekannten Argument wird bisweilen ein elementarer Trugschluß der Zusammensetzung vorgeworfen. Meiner Meinung nach hingegen weist dieses Argument eher auf ein grundlegendes Problem in unserem physikalischen Verständnis des menschlichen Geistes hin, einem Verständnis, das auch heute noch akzeptiert wird. Ich zeige jedoch weiterhin, daß Leibniz nicht erkannt hat, daß sein Argument die Möglichkeit offen läßt, daß es unsere begrifflichen Grenzen sind, die uns (...)
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  41. Emergence and Efficacy.William Seager - 2005 - In Christina E. Erneling & David Martel Johnson (eds.), The Mind as a Scientific Object: Between Brain and Culture. Oup Usa.
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  42.  91
    Credibility, Confirmation and Explanation.William Seager - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (3):301-317.
  43. Natural Fabrications: Science, Emergence and Consciousness.William Seager - 2012 - Springer.
    The spectacular success of the scientific enterprise over the last four hundred years has led to the promise of an all encompassing vision of the natural world. In this elegant picture, everything we observe is based upon just a few fundamental processes and entities. The almost infinite variety and complexity of the world is thus the product of emergence. But the concept of emergence is fraught with controversy and confusion. This book ponders the question of how emergence should be understood (...)
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  44. Is Self-Representation Necessary for Consciousness?William Seager - 2006 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 12.
    Brook and Raymont do not assert that self-representing representations are sufficient to generate consciousness, but they do assert that they are necessary, at least in the sense that self-representation provides the most plausible mechanism for generating conscious mental states. I argue that a first-order approach to consciousness is equally capable of accounting for the putative features of consciousness which are supposed to favor the self-representational account. If nothing is gained the simplicity of the first-order theory counts in its favor. I (...)
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  45.  68
    Fodor's Theory of Content: Problems and Objections.William E. Seager - 1993 - Phiosophy of Science 60 (2):262-77.
    Jerry Fodor has recently proposed a new entry into the list of information based approaches to semantic content aimed at explicating the general notion of representation for both mental states and linguistic tokens. The basic idea is that a token means what causes its production. The burden of the theory is to select the proper cause from the sea of causal influences which aid in generating any token while at the same time avoiding the absurdity of everything's being literally meaningful (...)
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  46. Beyond Theories: Cartwright and Hacking.William Seager - 2012 - In James R. Brown (ed.), Philosophy of Science: The Key Thinkers. Continuum Books. pp. 213.
     
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  47. A New Idea Of Reality: Pauli on the Unity of Mind and Matter.William Seager - 2011 - Mind and Matter 9 (1):37-52.
    In his extraphysical speculations around the mid 20th century, the physicist Wolfgang Pauli proposed, together with the psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, a kind of 'dual-aspect monism' as a framework for conceiving of the mind-matter problem. It is discussed how this framework can be related to more recent developments in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mind.
     
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  48. Yesterday’s Algorithm: Penrose and the Gödel Argument.William Seager - 2003 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 3 (9):265-273.
    Roger Penrose is justly famous for his work in physics and mathematics but he is _notorious_ for his endorsement of the Gödel argument (see his 1989, 1994, 1997). This argument, first advanced by J. R. Lucas (in 1961), attempts to show that Gödel’s (first) incompleteness theorem can be seen to reveal that the human mind transcends all algorithmic models of it1. Penrose's version of the argument has been seen to fall victim to the original objections raised against Lucas (see Boolos (...)
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  49.  88
    Reply to Forbes.William Seager & Alonso Church - 1982 - Analysis 42 (4):224.
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  50. Thought and Syntax.William E. Seager - 1992 - Philosophy of Science Association 1992:481-491.
    It has been argued that Psychological Externalism is irrelevant to psychology. The grounds for this are that PE fails to individuate intentional states in accord with causal power, and that psychology is primarily interested in the causal roles of psychological states. It is also claimed that one can individuate psychological states via their syntactic structure in some internal "language of thought". This syntactic structure is an internal feature of psychological states and thus provides a key to their causal powers. I (...)
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