Abstract and Keywords
The philosophy of mind is a core area of philosophy. It has roots tracing back to ancient Greece, where the idea that the soul is distinct from the body originated. Philosophy of mind flourished during much of the period from the publication in the seventeenth century of René Descartes's magnificent works on the mind to the first quarter of the twentieth century, which closed with the publication of C. D. Broad's The Mind and Its Place in Nature. With the rise of behaviourism in the second quarter of that century, however, philosophical interest in the mind waned. Still, some mid-twentieth-century work stands out. With the fall of behaviourism in the late 1950s and early 1960s and the rise of cognitive science, interest in the mind and in its place in nature was renewed — and with enormous vigour. Since then research in the philosophy of mind has been booming.
The philosophy of mind is a core area of philosophy. It has roots tracing back to ancient Greece, where the idea that the soul is distinct from the body originated. Philosophy of mind flourished during much of the period from the publication in the seventeenth century of René Descartes's magnificent works on the mind to the first quarter of the twentieth century, which closed with the publication of C. D. Broad's The Mind and Its Place in Nature (1925). With the rise of behaviourism in the second quarter of that century, however, philosophical interest in the mind waned. Still, some mid‐twentieth‐century work stands out; we think here especially of Gilbert Ryle's The Concept of Mind (1949), Herbert Feigl's ‘The “Mental” and the “Physical” ’ (1958), J. J. C. Smart's ‘Sensations and Brain Processes’ (1959), and the literature on Ludwig Wittgenstein's private‐language argument that appeared during this time period. With the fall of behaviourism in the late 1950s and early 1960s and the rise of cognitive science, interest in the mind and in its place in nature was renewed—and with enormous vigour. Since then research in the philosophy of mind has been booming. It is our hope that this volume will serve not only as a sourcebook on philosophy of mind and a passageway into the vast contemporary literature, but also as a stimulus to research in the twenty‐first century.
The abundance of philosophical riches in contemporary philosophy of mind presented the editors with a dilemma. On the one hand, the volume had to deserve its august title The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind. On the other hand, the size of the volume had to be such that a normal human being could hold it in his or her hands. We thus had to decide which of the very many candidate topics for inclusion in the volume to in fact include. The selection process began at a lunch several years ago at which Peter Momtchiloff approached Brian McLaughlin about editing the volume. At the lunch, the decision was made that a division of labour was called for. Philosophical issues concerning the science of psychology (issues such as whether there are psychological laws, and the relationship of psychology to neuroscience) and issues in cognitive psychology (such as innateness, the bearing of evolution on psychological phenomena, the nature of our cognitive architecture, and the computational modelling of mental capacities) would be set aside for separate volumes, and the present volume would focus mainly on the core metaphysical and epistemological issues in the philosophy of mind—issues that make up the (p. 2) heart of the philosophy of mind. The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology appeared in 2007 (Dunbar and Barrett 2007). The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Psychology (Prinz, forthcoming) and The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Sciences (Stich, Samuels, and Margolis, forthcoming) are now under construction. These volumes and the present one are companions that complement one another.
Even within the focus of the present volume we have relied on a division of labour. The Oxford Handbook of Free Will (Kane 2002) rendered it unnecessary to include an essay on free will; The Oxford Handbook on Wittgenstein (McGinn, forthcoming), rendered it unnecessary to include an essay on the private‐language argument; The Oxford Handbook of Rationality (Mele and Rawlings 2004) rendered it unnecessary to include an essay on rationality; The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory (Kopp 2007) rendered it unnecessary to include an essay on moral psychology; and certain topics relevant to intentionality (e.g. rule following and interpretation) are covered in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language (Lepore and Smith 2006).
Still, even with all of this help, difficult editorial choices remained. Contributions to our understanding of the mind trace back to the work of Plato and Aristotle, and forward from them to the work of such giants as Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hobbes, Malebranche, Hume, Locke, Reid, and Kant. A number of the essays in the volume include historical discussion. But the volume contains no essays exclusively devoted to historical figures or to historical periods. Sweeping survey chapters treating the philosophy of mind during various periods of history would have been out of line with the level of depth of the other chapters in the volume and, moreover, can be found elsewhere in the literature; and there was no space for a proper treatment of historical figures. Relevant historical topics will be covered in future Oxford handbooks; for example, The Oxford Handbook of Plato (Fine, forthcoming) will contain an essay entitled ‘Plato on the Soul’.
Had modern humans evolved with the physical prowess of Neanderthals, Oxford would have allowed us to include more material. We are certain of that. As it is, Oxford allowed us a volume that a normal human being can hold in two hands, not constraining the heft of the volume to what can be held in a single hand alone. We are thus deeply grateful to the press for the enormously generous way in which it resolved our initial dilemma. We have a volume covering a cornucopia of core issues in contemporary philosophy of mind. The volume addresses the cluster of issues that fall under the heading ‘the mind–body problem’, and much more. If your interest lies in the place of mind in nature, the nature of consciousness, the nature of intentionality, the relationship between consciousness and intentionality, subjectivity, mental causation, mental content, propositional attitudes, whether thought requires language, our epistemic access to our own and other minds, folk psychology, personal identity, the unity of consciousness, or the nature of the self, then you have come to the right Oxford handbook. Dualism, idealism, physicalism, functionalism, and panpsychism are examined. So are the leading psychosemantic theories—the leading naturalistic theories of how the contents of mental states are determined. There are, moreover, essays focusing on mental abilities such as the ability to think, to remember, to imagine, to feel emotions, to focus our attention (p. 3) on perceived objects and properties, and to engage in intentional action. The topics covered comprise the heart of contemporary philosophy of mind.
All of the essays in the volume are previously unpublished. The contributors were chosen both because of their expertise in the subject of their essay and because of the passion they bring to the subject. They include many of the leading figures in the philosophy of mind, as well as a number of rising stars. We are honoured to edit a volume with such distinguished contributors.
The essays are long and substantive, engaging issues in depth. They aim not only to chart the terrain as concerns a philosophical issue, but also often to argue for particular positions. We encouraged the authors to indicate where they think the truth lies. In some cases authors were asked to present and defend philosophical positions that originated with them. The authors, one and all, do philosophy, rather than simply reporting what contemporary philosophical work has been done on a particular topic. (There are currently many excellent encyclopedia and philosophical‐dictionary entries that provide such reports; indeed a wealth of such material is available for free on the web.) The essays are one and all contributions to the philosophy of mind.
As editors are wont to do, we have sorted the essays into sections based on interrelated themes. But even given our broad section titles, it seemed in some cases an arbitrary decision to place an essay in one section rather than in another. We hope, in any case, that the sections provide a useful guide to exploring the volume. We should note that the order of essays in each section was decided entirely independently of considerations concerning either the relative centrality of the topic covered to the philosophy of mind or any assessment of the closeness of the content of the essay to the truth. Order was decided solely by pedagogical considerations. But the essays can be profitably read in any order. Each essay stands entirely on its own. A reader can begin anywhere. And a reader can skip around from one section to another following only the direction of his or her interests. To supplement the Table of Contents, we provide below a glimpse of the material in each of the essays. These strictly matter‐of‐fact summaries are self‐contained, and so they too can be read independently. Given that they are self‐contained, if one reads them in one sitting one will encounter some redundancy. But it is also the case that if one reads them in one sitting the relationships between various essays will become apparent.
Virtually all of the essays note that one or another issue in the philosophy of mind remains unresolved. Indeed, fundamental issues in the philosophy of mind remain unresolved. The heart of the philosophy of mind continues to beat to the drum of dialectical debate. This volume is testament to that. Positions defended in one essay are sometimes attacked in another; a presupposition of one essay is sometimes challenged in another; a problem presented as insuperable in one essay is sometimes claimed in another to be resolvable; in some cases there is an important question whether a position taken in one essay is in conflict with a position taken in another. We won't highlight these matters; highlighting is unnecessary, since they will leap from the page even in the brief matter‐of‐fact summaries below. Nor will we try to adjudicate any of the disputes or to indicate where we believe the truth lies. We (p. 4) refrain from doing so not only because it would be inappropriate in an introduction such as this one, but also because on a number of issues there is no consensus even among the editors. We leave the adjudication of these philosophical disputes to the reader. One learns philosophy by doing philosophy. Engaging with the essays in this volume will take one to the cutting edge of debates that animate the heart of contemporary philosophy of mind.
I The Place of Mind in Nature
1. Jaegwon Kim's ‘Mental Causation’.
As Kim points out, the problem of mental causation—the problem of how mental states and events can have causal effects—is essentially coeval with the mind–body problem. Descartes famously argued that mental substances are distinct from physical substances in that mental substances are not located in space. Given this substance dualism, the question arises as to how the mental and the physical are related. Descartes's answer was that they are causally related; specifically that minds and brains causally interact. Certain states of and changes in the brain cause states of and changes in a non‐spatial mental substance; and states of and changes in the mental substance cause certain states of and changes in the brain. In response, Princess Elisabeth wrote to Descartes: ‘I admit that it would be easier for me to concede matter and extension to the mind than it would be for me to concede the capacity to move a body and be moved by one to an immaterial thing’ (Garber 2001: 172). As Kim notes, this may well be the first statement of a causal case for physicalism. The debate over whether dualism can capture mental causation had begun.
Kim argues that Cartesian substance‐dualist accounts of mental causation succumb to ‘a pairing problem’—the problem of linking mental events with their alleged causes and effects. He argues that the problem can be resolved only if causes and effects are located in a space–time framework, and hence that the problem of mental causation is insuperable for Cartesian substance dualism. Kim goes on to present a number ways in which the problem of mental causation arises even for various contemporary theories of mind that reject Cartesian substance dualism but that nevertheless maintain the property‐dualist view that mental properties are not identical with physical properties. He notes that Donald Davidson's doctrine of anomalous monism faces the problem of how mental events can have causal effects in virtue of being instances of mental properties, given that causation, on Davidson's view, is subsumption under a strict physical law. In addition, Kim argues that the functionalist thesis that mental properties are functional properties that are realized by, though not identical to, physical properties cannot vindicate the view that instances of mental properties have causal effects. Moreover, he discusses his own supervenience (or exclusion) argument for the claim that mental events are either reducible to physical events or else epiphenomena (devoid of causal effects). (p. 5) He defends his argument against a variety of objections that have been raised to it in the literature, including the objections that the argument relies on assumptions that have the absurd consequence that special‐science causation is impossible, that it relies on an untenable productive/generative conception of causation, and that it fails to rule out the possibility that mental causation involves a tenable form of overdetermination.
2. David Papineau's ‘The Causal Closure of the Physical and Naturalism’.
Papineau presents the considerations in favour of the principle of the causal closure of the physical—roughly, the principle that every caused physical event has a sufficient physical cause—from a historical perspective, examines ways in which the thesis can be made more precise, and explores the connections between the principle and the issue of whether two varieties of naturalism are true. He points out that the causal‐closure principle is invoked in the causal argument for physicalism, the argument that anything with physical effects must in some sense be physical: it must either be identical with something physical or at least be metaphysically necessitated by something physical. Papineau, moreover, discusses the role of the principle of the causal closure of the physical in the defence of the philosophical doctrine of methodological naturalism—the doctrine that ‘philosophy uses the same methods of investigation as the natural sciences’—and in defence of the doctrine of ontological naturalism, ‘which says that the subject matter of philosophy coincides with that of the natural sciences’.
3. E. J. Lowe's ‘Dualism’.
As Lowe points out, mental–physical dualism comes in two varieties: substance dualism and property dualism. He discusses both. He distinguishes Cartesian substance dualism—the view that mental substances are immaterial entities that bear only mental properties—from non‐Cartesian substance dualism, which claims that mental substances are the bearers of mental properties but allows that they bear physical properties as well. Substance dualists claim that a person is not her body (or any part of it). Two traditional arguments for this view are the conceivability argument and the indivisibility argument. The conceivability argument runs (roughly) as follows: I can conceive that I could exist without having a body; so I can exist without having a body; thus, I am not my body. The indivisibility argument runs: My body is divisible into parts; I am not so divisible; so I am not identical to my body. Lowe maintains that both arguments are wanting. But in his view there are two more promising arguments for substance dualism; namely, the replacement argument and the unity argument. The gist of the replacement argument is this: If all parts of a person's body were gradually replaced by artificial substitutes, the person would survive the procedure; neither her biological body nor any part of it would survive it; thus a person is (p. 6) not her body or any part of it. The central premises of the unity argument, which Lowe takes to be the more compelling of the two arguments, are that (1) I am the subject of all and only my own mental states, and that (2) neither my body as a whole nor any part of it could be the subject of all and only my own mental states. In his discussion of property dualism Lowe focuses mainly on the question of how, if property dualism is true, mental causation can be reconciled with the causal closure of the physical—the thesis that every caused physical event has a sufficient physical cause. The alleged tension between mental causation and the causal closure of the physical can be overcome, he argues, if we recognize that there is a distinction between fact causation and event causation. He maintains that a mental fact (a fact to the effect that someone is in a certain mental state) can cause a physical fact without a mental event causing a physical event.
4. Sven Walter's ‘Epiphenomenalism’.
One response to the problem of mental causation is to deny a presupposition of the question of how mental states and events have causal effects. The question of how they have effects presupposes that they have effects. Epiphenomenalism is the thesis that mental states and events have no causal effects. If epiphenomenalism is true, then although it appears that mental states and events causally contribute to the production of our behaviour, they are in fact devoid of behavioural effects, since they are devoid of any effects. Behaviour and mental states are, rather, dual effects of common physical causes in the brain. Walter discusses two prominent objections to epiphenomenalism. The first is the argument from evolution, according to which since epiphenomena cannot be selected for, and since the mind was selected for in the course of evolution, epiphenomenalism must be false. The second is the argument from other minds, according to which epiphenomenalism undermines any justification for our confidence that others enjoy a mental life. Walter also considers an issue that has so far been largely neglected in discussions of epiphenomenalism; namely, the issue of which account of causation would allow for a coherent formulation of the epiphenomenalist's position that mental events are caused by brain events but have no causal effects. He argues that on all the leading approaches to causation either brain events fail to cause mental events or mental events have causal effects; and so the epiphenomenalist's position may turn out to be incoherent.
5. Julie Yoo's ‘Anomalous Monism’.
The doctrine of anomalous monism was proposed and defended by Donald Davison. It is the doctrine that every particular mental event is identical to some particular physical event or other (token physicalism), but mental properties are not identical to physical properties (property dualism); and, moreover, there can be no strict psychophysical laws (psychophysical anomalism). Yoo presents Davidson's argument for token physicalism, and two of his main lines of argument for psychophysical (p. 7) anomalism. She also addresses two of the main concerns about the doctrine of anomalous monism. Given token physicalism, Davidson can maintain that mental events are causes since every mental event is identical with some physical event that has causal effects. One of the central premises of Davidson's argument for token physicalism, however, is that causation requires subsumption under a strict physical law. This raises the concern that Davidson is committed to a kind of type or property epiphenomenalism, according to which events have causal effects only in virtue of falling under types (or instantiating properties) cited in strict physical laws, and so never in virtue of falling under mental types (or instantiating mental properties). Another concern about anomalous monism is that token physicalism is too weak to be a substantive form of physicalism since it is silent about whether mental properties are dependent on physical properties. Advocates of anomalous monism, including Davidson, however, hold that mental properties are dependent on physical properties in that they supervene on them: two events cannot differ in their mental properties without differing in their physical properties. But the supervenience thesis in question can be interpreted in a number of non‐equivalent ways, and it remains an issue whether there is a psychophysical‐supervenience thesis strong enough for anomalous monism to count as a substantive kind of physicalism yet weak enough to be consistent with psychophysical anomalism.
6. Lynne Rudder Baker's ‘Non‐reductive Materialism’.
According to Baker, non‐reductive materialism is the view that although every concrete particular is either microphysical or made up entirely of microphysical phenomena (so that there are no immaterial souls, entelechies, or the like), it is nevertheless the case that (1) there are mental properties that are distinct from any physical properties; that (2) mental properties depend on physical properties; and that (3) mental properties make a causal contribution to what happens. She points out that proponents of the doctrine face the issue of how to reconcile (3) with (1) and (2). She examines in detail the leading arguments that given the causal closure of the physical, (1) and (2) can be reconciled with (3) only by assuming a kind of untenable overdetermination of physical events by mental events. And she discusses her own version of non‐reductive materialism, the property‐constitution view, according to which mental properties are constituted by physical properties. This version of non‐reductive materialism, she maintains, can accommodate the causal efficacy of mental properties and intention‐dependent properties in a way that is consistent with the causal closure of the physical and involves no untenable overdetermination.
7. Robert Van Gulick's ‘Functionalism’.
Van Gulick discusses the historical roots of the functionalist approach to the mind and distinguishes a variety of versions of functionalism. These versions all have in common that types of mental states (events, processes) are to be understood in terms (p. 8) of the functional roles that their instances play in suitably organized systems. The roles in question consist of relations to inputs to the system, outputs of the system, and to internal states of the system. On one version of functionalism the relevant functional roles are those specified by folk psychology; on another version they are the functional roles specified by scientific psychology. The notion of functional role, moreover, has been specified in a variety of ways—as computational role, as causal role, and as teleological role, or as some combination of these. Van Gulick also distinguishes ontological functionalism and analytical functionalism. Ontological functionalism concerns the nature of types of mental states (events, etc.). On one version, occupant functionalism, a type of mental state is taken to be the occupant of a certain functional role; on another version, role functionalism, it is taken to be the higher‐order state of being in some state or other that occupies the functional role. Analytical functionalism is a claim about mental concepts; namely, that such concepts can be analysed in functional terms. Van Gulick also discusses arguments for and against the functionalist approach to the mind. He notes that the overall plausibility of the functionalist approach depends on how it comes to grips with ‘the three big C's’—content, causation, and consciousness. He maintains that with regard to content, functionalism comes off well since virtually all current major theories of mental content are in one way or another functionalist. As concerns causation, matters are more difficult, given that it has been argued that the price of functionalism is the causal impotence of the mental; but, van Gulick claims, this issue remains unresolved. Consciousness seems to be especially difficult for functionalism because of the apparent possibility of inverted and absent‐qualia scenarios. But even here, van Gulick argues, matters are not settled. He maintains that for opponents of functionalism to simply insist that any functional roles that may be specified by functionalists in the future will allow for inverted or absent qualia would beg the question against the functionalist programme. Van Gulick concludes that the objections that have been raised against functionalism are indecisive.
8. Ansgar Beckermann's ‘What is Property Physicalism?’.
Much of the contemporary philosophical discussion of physicalism has focused on property physicalism. But how, exactly, should the doctrine of property physicalism be formulated? Beckermann argues that in the end there are two rival answers to this question: identity theory and reductive‐explainability theory. According to the first, every mental property is identical to a physical property. According to the second, every mental property is reductively explainable in terms of physical (and functional) properties. Beckermann argues that certain kinds of properties are candidates for identity theses—for example properties such as being water, being granite, and being a cloud—and he argues that certain other kinds of properties, properties such as transparency and water‐solubility, are candidates only for reductive explanation. Mental properties, he argues, are of the second kind: they are candidates only for reductive explanation. He thus concludes that property physicalists must maintain that mental properties are reductively explainable in terms of physical properties.
(p. 9) 9. Barbara Montero's ‘What is the Physical?’.
Without an informative characterization of what it is for something to be physical, the doctrine that everything is physical lacks substantive content. Montero discusses and rejects some attempts to characterize the physical, including the suggestions that the physical is that which is relevantly similar to a class of prototypical physical objects and properties, that the physical is that which current physics posits, and that the physical is that which a true and complete physics would posit. Montero argues that rather than attempting to offer an informative characterization of the physical, it is more productive to formulate the issues motivating the debate over physicalism as ones of whether certain kinds of phenomena, such as mental phenomena, numerical phenomena, and normative phenomena, are fundamental phenomena.
10. Howard Robinson's ‘Idealism’.
As Robinson points out, idealism is not a theory about the nature of mind, but rather a theory about the nature of the physical world: idealists claim that the physical world is dependent on mind; indeed, they hold that mind is the ground of the physical world. There are, he notes, two main versions of this idea: (1) the physical world exists only as a complex feature of experience; and (2) the physical world itself is a mind, or consists of minds. He presents the two main lines of argument for idealism, one of which appeals to sensory qualities (such as colour, taste, etc.), and the other of which appeals to features of our conception of the world. The first line of argument is that there will be a vicious regress of dispositional powers unless such powers are ultimately grounded in intrinsic sensory qualities. The second line of argument is that our conception of the world, as manifested in our language about it, possesses certain features that cannot be understood as representations of aspects of a concrete, mind‐independent reality, and so that our conception of the world is not a conception of a mind‐independent reality; indeed, even if anti‐idealists posit abstract entities such as universals, they cannot form any coherent conception of how a world might be in itself, independently of categories that are modes of understanding or interpretation. Robinson examines both of these lines of arguments in great detail, offering responses to the leading attempts to rebut them. He concludes that anti‐idealists have yet to show why these lines of argument fail.
11. William Seager's ‘Pansychism’.
Panpsychism is the doctrine that mentality is ontologically fundamental and ubiquitous. It is fundamental in that it is irreducible. It is ubiquitous in that everything in space–time, even atoms and more elementary particles, has some form of mentality. Robinson presents a brief history of panpsychism from the Presocratic period, through Spinoza and Leibniz, to certain nineteenth‐century philosophers. He also compares and contrasts panpsychism with versions of dualism, physicalism, (p. 10) and emergence, pointing out how certain theoretical considerations seem to favour pansychism. Further, he considers how panpsychists might respond to the leading lines of objection to their position. Pansychism, Seager concludes, stands as a perennially interesting metaphysical doctrine that may yet turn out to offer the best way of understanding the fundamental nature of mind and matter.
II The Nature of Consciousness and the Place of Consciousness in Nature
12. John Perry's ‘Subjectivity’.
Perry provides a detailed characterization of our subjective life within the framework of understanding the mind as an informational system. He maintains that all of our experiences have both ‘feels’—‘what‐it‐is‐like for us as subjects’ aspects—and contents that can be satisfied or fail to be satisfied. He thus holds that bodily sensations such as aches and pains have contents as well as feels, and that even experiences of thinking something have feels as well as contents. He examines a number of basic metaphysical and epistemological issues concerning subjectivity. And he appeals to the different roles concepts can play in our information‐processing systems to argue that Frank Jackson's knowledge argument—an argument to the effect that one could in principle know all physical truths and yet not know what it is like to have certain experiences—fails to refute physicalism.
13. David M. Rosenthal's ‘Higher‐order Theories of Consciousness’.
Rosenthal points out that higher‐order theories of consciousness are concerned with the problem of state consciousness; namely, the problem of what it is for a state to be a conscious state. The basic idea of higher‐order theories is that a state is conscious if one is conscious of the state in some suitable way. There is no circularity here since the mental state by which one is conscious of the state need not itself be a conscious state. There are two broad kinds of higher‐order theory. According to inner‐sense theories, the relevant way in which the subject must be conscious of the state is by sensing the state; according to higher‐order‐thought theories, the way in which the subject must be conscious of the state is by having in a certain way a thought that she is in the state. Rosenthal discusses both the considerations in favour of each of the two different kinds of higher‐order‐theories and the difficulties that each faces. He distinguishes two kinds of higher‐order‐thought theories: dispositional (p. 11) higher‐order‐thought theories and intrinsic higher‐order‐content theories. He concludes with a discussion of the central issue of how being conscious of a state with mental qualities can make the difference between there being something it is like for one to be in that state and there being nothing that it is like.
14. Michael Tye's ‘Representationalist Theories of Consciousness’.
According to representationalist theories of consciousness, the qualitative aspect of a phenomenal state, its ‘what‐it‐is‐like for the subject’ aspect, just is (or at least supervenes upon) the representational content of the phenomenal state. Tye presents the leading considerations that have been advanced in favour of representationalist theories of consciousness, and surveys various kinds of representationalist theories. Moreover, he addresses two of the most formidable arguments against representationalist theories; namely, the inverted‐spectrum argument and the inverted‐earth argument.
15. Alex Byrne's ‘Sensory Qualities, Sensible Qualities, Sensational Qualities’.
Byrne claims that sensible qualities are qualities that we perceive, such as redness, roundness, sweetness, and motion. When we veridically perceive a red apple, we perceive not only the apple but also the redness of the apple, which seems to be a quality of the apple itself. Sensory qualities are supposed to be qualities of experiences, rather than of things that are experienced; other terms for sensory qualities, he says, are ‘qualia’ and ‘the phenomenal (or qualitative) character of an experience’. Sensational qualities, Byrne claims, are supposed to be qualities of mental entities that are the immediate objects of experience—sense data. Byrne claims that many historical figures, and some contemporary ones, try to identify sensible qualities with sensory qualities or with dispositions to produce experiences with sensory qualities. He maintains, however, that although there are sensible qualities such as redness, sweetness, and the like, it should be controversial whether there are any sensory qualities. He further claims that if there are none, then a lot of the motivation for secondary‐quality theories of sensible qualities—theories of sensible qualities as dispositions to produce certain kinds of experiences or as the grounds of such dispositions—evaporates. Moreover, he says that the hard problem of consciousness—roughly, the problem of how to reductively explain the phenomenal character of conscious states—arguably presupposes that there are sensory qualities; and so if there are none, the problem dissolves. He recommends that we eschew positing sensory qualities and see how quickly—or indeed whether—we run into sand.
(p. 12) 16. Joseph Levine's ‘The Explanatory Gap’.
The explanatory gap thesis is the claim that there is an unbridgeable explanatory gap between the qualitative aspects of experiences (their ‘what‐it‐is‐like for the subject’ aspects) and physical and functional properties. It thus entails that a reductive explanation of the qualitative aspects of experiences in terms of such properties is impossible. Levine explicates the explanatory gap thesis, and discusses how it relates to certain arguments for dualism. He notes that materialists respond to the thesis either by maintaining that the explanatory gap is eliminable in that it can be bridged or else by arguing that although there is an unbridgeable explanatory gap, the gap can be adequately explained without assuming property dualism, and indeed in a way compatible with materialism. The current leading strategy for reconciling materialism with an ineliminable explanatory gap is to try to explain the explanatory gap as a conceptual gap, rather than an ontological gap, by appeal to the distinctive role of phenomenal concepts in our cognitive architecture. Some implementations of the strategy maintain that phenomenal concepts afford us an acquaintance with the qualitative characters of our experiences, and appeal to this acquaintance relation to offer an epistemic explanation of the explanatory gap. Levine notes, however, that this faces the problem of how the relation of acquaintance itself can be accounted for in physicalist or functional terms. Moreover, he maintains that all of the extant implementations of the phenomenal‐concept strategy face formidable challenges that their proponents have yet to meet.
17. Katalin Balog's ‘Phenomenal Concepts’.
Phenomenal concepts are supposed to be concepts that we can apply directly to our occurrent experiences without any mediating mode of presentation of the properties in virtue of which they apply. The notion of a phenomenal concept figures prominently in recent debates between physicalists and property dualists concerning consciousness. Dualists tend to argue for their position by appeal to epistemological gaps between physical (and functional) truths and truths about the qualitative aspects of experience. Proponents of the phenomenal‐concept strategy argue that the existence of these epistemological gaps can be fully explained by appeal to some (physicalistically explicable) features of phenomenal concepts, and so without having to invoke property dualism. Balog examines in great detail the phenomenal‐concept strategy and its uses in defence of physicalism. She discusses as well both the various extant theories of phenomenal concepts and the challenges that remain for proponents of the strategy.
18. David J. Chalmers's ‘The Two‐dimensional Argument Against Materialism’.
A number of the leading arguments for dualism concerning consciousness start from a premise about an epistemic gap between physical (or functional) truths and truths (p. 13) about consciousness, and then infer that there is an ontological gap between physical (and functional) phenomena and consciousness. These arguments include the knowledge argument and various conceivability arguments. One conceivability argument runs as follows: (1) it is conceivable that a physical duplicate of an individual who enjoys consciousness could be devoid of consciousness (and so be ‘a zombie’); (2) given that this is conceivable, it is metaphysically possible; (3) hence, it is metaphysically possible; (4) therefore, materialism (or physicalism) is false for consciousness. One leading materialist strategy for responding to such arguments is to concede the epistemic gap but to deny that it entails ontological dualism. Thus, a materialist might accept (1) and yet reject (2). The framework of two‐dimensional semantics has been invoked to justify certain principles linking certain epistemic facts to modal facts concerning what is possible. According to two‐dimensionalism, terms (and on some versions concepts) have two intensions, a primary intension and a secondary intension; and the primary intension, but not the secondary intension, is relevant to matters of cognitive significance. It is claimed that this framework can accommodate Kripkean cases of a posteriori necessity (such as that it is necessary yet a posteriori that water is identical with H20), and that it can do so without availing materialists of an avenue of response to the dualist arguments in question. Chalmers spells out in detail how the two‐dimensional framework can be invoked to try to justify certain principles linking the epistemic and the modal that can be appealed to in order to establish dualism concerning consciousness on the basis of certain epistemic facts.
III Intentionality and Theories of Mental Content
19. Daniel Dennett's ‘Intentional Systems Theory’.
At the centre of Dennett's philosophy of mind is his theory of intentionality, intentional systems theory, according to which anything whose behaviour is usefully and voluminously predictable from the intentional stance is an intentional system. Dennett distinguishes the intentional stance from two other predictive stances, the physical stance and the design stance, and points out the usefulness and wide applicability of the intentional systems theory. He challenges the alleged distinction between original (‘real’) and derived (‘as if’) intentionality. Moreover, he responds to two objections to intentional systems theory; namely, that it is instrumentalistic, and that it is too liberal in what it counts as an intentional system.
20. Frances Egan's ‘Wide Content’.
The idea that mental content is wide content is the idea that it is individuated at least in part by environmental factors or social factors. If mental content is wide, (p. 14) then two individuals can be exactly alike in every intrinsic physical respect, and yet have mental states with different contents. Egan discusses in detail the Twin Earth thought‐experiments of Hilary Putnam and of Tyler Burge offered in support of different externalist theories of mental content, which entail that mental content is wide. She also discusses an argument of Gareth Evans that certain thoughts have wide content in that they contain individuals as constituents. She examines various challenges to these externalist theses. She critically examines the idea that there are psychological contents that are narrow—that are determined by intrinsic properties of appropriate individuals. Moreover, she addresses a number of issues concerning wide content, including the issue of whether wide content is causally relevant to behaviour. She defends the view that wide contents are causally explanatory.
21. Gabriel Segal's ‘Narrow Content’.
The idea that the content of a mental state is narrow is the idea that it is determined solely by intrinsic conditions of the individual in the state. If the content of a mental state is narrow, then two individuals exactly alike in every intrinsic respect would be such that the one is in a mental state with that content if and only if the other is. Twin Earth thought‐experiments developed by Hilary Putnam and Tyler Burge have been used by them and others to argue that mental content is not narrow content, but rather wide content in that it is partly individuated by environmental or social factors. Segal discusses some theories according to which there is a kind of mental content that is narrow, and so a kind of mental content that an individual on Earth and the individual's doppelgänger on Twin Earth share. But he also presents a case that the various Twin Earth thought‐experiments simply fail to show that the contents we ordinarily attribute to mental states using that‐clauses are wide, rather than narrow.
22. Fred Dretske's ‘Information‐theoretic Semantics’.
Information‐theoretic semantics attempts to ground the meaning (or content) of mental states or natural‐language expressions in an objective, mind‐and‐language‐independent notion of information. It is a part of a larger philosophical effort to naturalize mental content, thereby contributing to the naturalization of mentality. If symbols are the bearers of meaning, then information‐theoretic semantics locates the primary source of this meaning in certain naturalistic relations these symbols participate in. Dretske explicates the relevant notions of information and meaning, and spells out the information‐theoretic programme in detail. He also discusses a number of problems that have been raised for this programme, including the disjunction problem (essentially the problem of whether the programme can capture misrepresentation, e.g. false belief), the grain problem (the problem of whether the programme can capture content as fine‐grained as mental content seems to be), and the issue of whether content is causally relevant to the explanation of behaviour (given its relational nature).
(p. 15) 23. Ruth Garrett Millikan's ‘Biosemantics’.
Biosemantics is a kind of naturalistic, teleological theory of mental content. Biosemantics tries to explain how states have mental content by appealing to a teleological notion of function: what a mental state represents depends on the functions of the state in the system that uses or produces it, where the notion of function is the notion of what something was selected for by natural selection or some other natural process of selection. As Millikan points out, if the notion of function is anchored in natural selection, then a teleological theory of mental content presupposes that mental representations can sometimes benefit an organism. What is needed is thus an account of how mental representation can be beneficial. The bulk of Millikan's essay is devoted to a discussion of three different kinds of representation—descriptive representations (representations that are designed to represent facts), directive representations (representations that tell what to do) and ‘pushmi‐pullyu’ representations (the most primitive and fundamental kind of representations)—and to showing exactly what role these kinds of representations play in her biosemantic account of the contents of mental representations.
24. Robert J. Matthews's ‘A Measurement‐theoretic Account of Propositional Attitudes’.
The sentences by which we attribute propositional attitudes have a relational logical form. The main‐clause verb of sentences of the form ‘x believes (desires, etc.) that S’ expresses a relation between the possessor of the propositional attitude and an abstract particular that is the referent of the that‐clause. According to a traditional view, the propositional‐attitude state attributed by such a sentence (the belief, or desire, etc.) consists of the subject's bearing a certain relationship to the referent of the that‐clause. Matthews notes that it has proved notoriously difficult for this view to account for the psychological role of propositional‐attitudes states. And he rejects the view. In its place, he defends a measurement‐theoretic approach, according to which propositional‐attitude predicates such as ‘believes that S’ have a different function: they function like the numerical‐measure predicates that we use to attribute physical magnitudes, predicates such as ‘has a mass of 5 kg’. The point is that although the sentences by which we attribute propositional attitudes are relational in form, the relations they express are not constitutive of the propositional‐attitude states attributed. The state of an object's having a mass of 5 kg does not consist, even in part, in the object's bearing some relation to the number 5. Rather, the mass of the object is specified by a location on a mathematical scale. Similarly, an individual's believing that S does not consist, even in part, in the individual's bearing a relation to the referent of ‘that S’. Rather, the abstract entities that are the referents of that‐clauses are used to represent, measurement‐theoretically, the belief state that is attributed. Matthews discusses in detail this measurement‐theoretic account and its philosophical implications.
(p. 16) 25. Ralph Wedgwood's ‘The Normativity of the Intentional’.
It is often claimed in contemporary philosophy of mind that the intentional is normative—that intentional mental states (such as propositional attitudes) are normative. Wedgwood examines ways in which this claim has been understood. One way of understanding the claim is as a metaphysical claim concerning the nature or essence of intentional states; namely, that the nature or essence of such states includes normative factors. Wedgwood also examines in detail various lines of argument that have been advanced for the view that the intentional is normative. According to the entailment line of argument, there are some facts about our intentional states that entail normative facts, and so intentional states are essentially normative. Another line of argument presupposes an interpretation theory of intentional states. According to this interpretation line of argument, intentional states are normative in that the right way to interpret an intentional agent is the most charitable reading of his or her behavioural dispositions, the way that, consistent with other constraints, makes the agent's dispositions most rational and most sensitive to the norms that apply to intentional states. Yet another line of argument is to support the claim that the intentional is normative by arguing against the view that the nature of our intentional states is determined by features of our relevant dispositions that can be specified in wholly non‐normative terms. Wedgwood argues that all three of these lines of argument are wanting. He goes on to make a case that the intentional is normative by arguing that only a normative kind of dispositionalism can give an adequate account of the nature of intentional mental states.
26. Christopher Peacocke's ‘Concepts and Possession Conditions’.
As Peacocke points out, the nature of concepts is a controversial issue that interacts with the theory of thought, and with fundamental metaphysical and epistemological issues. He discusses the view that concepts are abstract objects, the view that they are mental representations with syntactic and semantic properties, and the pleonastic view that they are grammatical fictions. He discusses Frege's principle of individuation of concepts, which he states as the principle that concept A is distinct from concept B if and only if a thinker can rationally judge some complete (truth‐evaluable) content containing the concept A without judging the corresponding content containing B. He discusses as well the problem of what distinguishes conceptual content from non‐conceptual content. Moreover, he explores a number of questions concerning concepts that remain open. Types of concepts, he holds, typically have rationality profiles, and one open question is: Can all aspects of rationality specific to a given type of concept be explained in terms of the nature of that type of concept? Another open question is: How should we conceive of the relation between concepts and knowledge? Yet another is: What is the role of reference and truth in the individuation of concepts? A fourth open question is: Is (p. 17) there some unified explanation of the range of apparent characteristics of conceptual content? Do, for example, all these characteristics flow from the idea of concepts individuated in part by reasons for being in states involving them? Some concepts, he maintains, are individuated by external factors. And he cites yet another open question: What is the correct account of the relation between external individuation of mental states, epistemic norms for judging given conceptual content, and the identity of the concepts in that content? The task remains, he notes, to integrate our metaphysics, epistemology, and theory of thought for the domain of concepts themselves.
27. José Luis Bermúdez's ‘The Distinction between Conceptual and Nonconceptual Content’.
Bermúdez points out that notions of non‐conceptual content have been invoked in discussions of perceptual experience, of subpersonal computational states, and of the mental states of non‐linguistic animals and pre‐linguistic humans. Thus, it has been argued, for instance, that something can look F (e.g. right‐angled) to a visual perceiver who lacks the concept of F, and thus that a perceiver's visual experience can represent something as F without that involving any conceptualization of F by the perceiver. Also, it has been claimed that computational cognitive states have contents, but that the subpersonal‐level processes in which they participate do not consist of the exercise of concepts. And it has been claimed that higher non‐linguistic animals and pre‐linguistic humans have propositional attitudes despite lacking concepts. Bermúdez provides a detailed survey of these and a number of other theoretical discussions. Moreover, he examines a number of arguments for and against the existence of non‐conceptual content. Maintaining that there is non‐conceptual content, he engages the fundamental issues of what non‐conceptual content is, and how non‐conceptual content is different from conceptual content. Further, he sketches how Peacocke's notion of a scenario content, a kind of non‐conceptual visual content, could be developed with the help of his (Bermúdez's) notion of canonical object‐properties to yield a more adequate account of non‐conceptual visual content.
28. Tim Crane's ‘Intentionalism’.
Crane embraces Brentano's thesis that all mental phenomena are intentional. All mental states, not only states such as beliefs, desires, and intentions, but also emotions, perceptual experiences, and sensations are intentional in that they are about or directed upon or concern something. He explicates Brentano's thesis and presents various ways in which the thesis has been developed in the literature. Moreover, he compares and contrasts representationalism with intentionalism. Representationalism is the position that the phenomenal or qualitative character of a conscious mental state (its ‘what‐it‐is‐like for the subject’ aspect) is determined by its intentional (p. 18) content. Intentionalism is the view that the phenomenal character of a conscious mental state is determined by its entire intentional nature. Crane argues that intentionalism is the superior of the two. He points out that there is a distinction between intentional content and intentional mode. The belief that p and the hope that p have the same intentional content, but the states have different intentional modes: one is a belief, the other a hope. Perceptual experiences, too, can have different modes: the visual mode, the auditory mode, etc.; indeed, Crane maintains that all conscious states have intentional modes. According to intentionalism, the phenomenal character of a conscious mental state is determined by its content and its mode, rather than by its content alone. Thus, phenomenal character supervenes on the combination of intentional content and intentional mode: conscious states cannot differ in their phenomenal character without differing either in their intentional content or their intentional mode.
29. Michelle Montague's ‘The Content of Perceptual Experience’.
Montague addresses the question: What is the content of a perceptual experience? She maintains that the answer is: Whatever is given to one in having the experience. She argues that the content of an experience includes more than the worldly state of affairs that it presents, the state of affairs that we express using a that‐clause when attributing the perceptual experience. She argues that the content includes as well the phenomenal character of the experience—the ‘what‐it‐is‐like for the subject’ aspect of the experience. She argues further that it also includes an awareness of the experience itself, even though this awareness is normally in the background, rather than in the foreground of attention, since attention is normally focused on the environmental state of affairs that we are experiencing. Montague discusses this view of the content of perceptual experience in the context of a wide range of central debates: the debate over whether experience is phenomenologically transparent, the externalism versus internalism debate about intentional content, the direct versus indirect‐realism debate, and the debate over whether there is a unified kind of experience common to perception and hallucination or whether instead disjunctivism is true.
30. George Graham, Terence Horgan, and John Tienson's ‘Phenomenology, Intentionality, and the Unity of the Mind’.
As Graham, Horgan, and Tienson note, we are both conscious beings and intentional beings. We are conscious in that there is something it is like to be us; and we are intentional beings in that we occupy representational mental states. They note that the currently dominant view is that there are two independent features that a mental state can have: a mental state can have representational (intentional) content and (p. 19) it can have a phenomenological character (a ‘what it‐is‐like for the subject’ aspect). They call the thesis that phenomenology and intentionality are mutually independent ‘separatism’. More specifically, separatism is the thesis that a mental state can have intentionality without having a phenomenal character and a mental state can have a phenomenal character without having intentionality. Separatists will typically claim, for example, that a belief state has intentionality but no phenomenal character, and that a feeling of pain has a phenomenal character but no intentional content. Inseparatism is the thesis that phenomenology and intentionality are inseparable. Graham, Horgan, and Tienson advocate a thesis they call ‘moderate inseparatism’. They formulate the thesis as follows: mental states that uncontroversially have intentional content have phenomenal character, and mental states that uncontroversially possess phenomenal character have intentional content. They spell out the separatism/inseparatism debate, present a case for moderate inseparatism, and address objections to it.
IV Self, Unity of Consciousness, and Personal Identity
31. Galen Strawson's ‘The Self’.
Strawson claims that when used by a human being the word ‘I’ sometimes refers to the human being as a whole and that it sometimes refers instead to the self of the human being at the time in question. In Strawson's view, a self is a subject of experience, and it is not identical with a whole human being. The reason that selves are not identical to whole human beings is that a self exists only as long as it is consciously experiencing. Human beings, in contrast, can of course continue to exist when they have no experiences at all; for example, in periods of dreamless sleep. There is not a single self that is the subject of all of the experiences that a human being has over his or her lifetime. Rather, there are many, many selves, each of which lasts exactly as long as the conscious experience of which it is the subject. Strawson maintains, however, that selves, like whole human beings, are physical objects or substances, and so rejects mental–physical substance dualism.
32. Paul Raymont and Andrew Brook's ‘Unity of Consciousness’.
Raymont and Brook discuss five varieties of unity of consciousness: (1) unified consciousness of an individual object, (2) unified consciousness of the content of an experience, (3) unified consciousness of acts of experiencing, (4) unified consciousness of one's self, and (5) unity of focal attention. They point out that the first four ideas are found in Kant and the fifth in Wilhelm Wundt. They discuss how mental (p. 20) disorders such as dissociative‐identity disorder, severe schizophrenia, dysexecutive syndrome, and simultagnosia reveal how these ways in which consciousness is normally unified can break down. They discuss as well the disunity of the consciousness in individuals who have undergone commissurotomies.
33. Tamar Szabó Gendler's ‘Personal Identity and Metaphysics’.
Issues concerning personal identity include: (1) Given a person X at a time t, with which past and future entities (if any) is X (numerically) identical? (2) Which facts determine the answer to (1)? (3) On what bases do we ordinarily make judgements about (1) and on what bases could we do so in principle? Gendler examines in detail John Locke's views on such issues, and poses problems for any Lockean approach. She also discusses in detail three contemporary approaches to issues of personal identity.
V A Variety of Mental Abilities
34. Colin McGinn's ‘Imagination’.
Imagination, McGinn claims, is a basic faculty of the mind intimately connected to various mental capacities, including the creative capacities expressed in the arts and in science. He distinguishes two types of imagination: sensory imagination, the forming of a mental image, and conceptual imagination, entertaining a possibility in the conceptual style. He contrasts sensory imagination with sensory perception, arguing both against the Humean view that imagination is a kind of perception and against the Kantian view that perception is a kind of imagination. As concerns cognitive imagination, McGinn argues that imagining‐that is not a kind of believing‐that; unlike believing‐that, imagining‐that is subject to the will, requires attention, and does not purport to be knowledge of the world. He claims that imagining‐that gives us a (fallible) means to consider the merely possible, and therefore bears on linguistic meaning. As he puts it, understanding the meaning of a sentence is the imaginative apprehension of the possibility expressed by it.
35. Louise Antony's ‘Thinking’.
Antony examines a number of philosophical issues concerning the activity of thinking. Moreover, she draws on intuitive considerations about the nature of thought, marshalled by thinkers as apparently antagonistic as René Descartes and Alan Turing, to make a case for the account of thinking as computation: as consisting of the (p. 21) operation of structure‐sensitive processes defined over the compositional structures of mental symbols possessing contents.
36. John Heil's ‘Language and Thought’.
A number of contemporary philosophers hold that thinking, or at least higher‐order thinking (thinking about mental states), requires possession of a natural language. Heil argues against this view. Conscious thinking, he maintains, is imagistic, and the images used in thinking need not be linguistic images; they can be ‘pictorial’. He relies on the idea that representations only have a meaning when they are used by some agent to mean something. Thinking does not consist in the mere having of images, but rather in using those images in certain ways. The images so used need not be linguistic images. According to Heil, the correlation we find between the capacity for language and the capacity for thought is not due to one requiring the other, but rather to both having a common cause: a structure that enables a being to form and use representations in certain ways.
37. John Campbell's ‘Consciousness and Reference’.
Campbell maintains that our ability to know the reference of our singular and general terms is based, ultimately, on our ability to focus our conscious attention on objects and properties. Consciousness of objects and of properties, he tells us, provides us, respectively, with knowledge of the reference of our demonstrative singular terms and of the reference of certain of our general terms. In spelling out this thesis he relies on Russell's distinction between knowledge of truths and knowledge by acquaintance, and on Russell's idea that the latter is more basic than the former. Campbell discusses both consciousness of objects and consciousness of properties within the context of G. E. Moore's idea of the transparency of conscious awareness. Campbell argues, among other things, that Russell's idea of conscious acquaintance with properties has been misunderstood in the literature. As concerns perceptual conscious awareness of objects, he argues, among other things, that it consists of a three‐place relation between a person, a standpoint, and the object: the person is conscious of an object from a standpoint. The standpoint will differ depending on the kind of sense modality in question. Campbell maintains that it is consciousness of the object demonstrated that provides us with knowledge of the reference of our demonstrative terms.
38. Krista Lawlor's ‘Memory’.
Lawlor provides a wide‐ranging survey of recent work in the psychology and in the philosophy of memory. She shows, moreover, the centrality of issues concerning memory in a wide range of core philosophical subjects. These include autonomous agency, self‐consciousness, reference, mental content, and reasoning.
(p. 22) 39. Jesse Prinz's ‘Emotions: Motivating Feelings’.
Prinz reviews the leading theories of emotions, and points out that those theories can be divided into two categories: cognitivist and non‐cognitivist. Cognitivists claim that emotions are or require thoughts, while non‐cognivists deny this. He presents evidence in support of a non‐cognitivist approach that builds on the James/Lange theory, according to which emotions are feelings of changes in the body. He argues that emotions are an important source of information, even though they are bodily feelings. Emotions, he contends, make a distinctive contribution to decision making since, unlike thoughts or judgements, they present information in a way that motivates action.
40. Alfred R. Mele's ‘Intention and Intentional Action’.
We have the ability to plan courses of action and to intentionally carry them out. What is the relationship between intentions and intentional actions? What is it to act intentionality? Intentions, Mele argues, differ from desires by their settledness. While one can desire to do something without being at all settled on doing it, to intend to do something is, in part, to be settled on doing it. Intentions are formed by decisions, and should cohere with one's beliefs. Also, Mele examines two analyses of what makes an action intentional. The first is that an agent S intentionally A‐ed if and only if S A‐ed the way S intended to A. The second is that an agent S intentionally A‐ed if and only if S A‐ed for a reason. He points out that both analyses face problems. How one responds to these problems depends in part, he maintains, on what aim one pursues as a philosopher of action: on whether one aims to analyse the folk concept of intentional action or to build an adequate theory of intentional action. Mele addresses a third topic as well: the causalism versus anti‐causalism debate. According to Mele, standard causalism can be characterized by two theses: (1) An event's being an action depends on how it was caused; and (2) proper explanations of actions are causal explanations. Mele examines two objections to causalism—the problem of causal deviance and the problem of vanishing agents—and argues that neither is decisive.
VI Epistemic Issues
41. Adam Morton's ‘Folk Psychology’.
Social life is based on our ability to ascribe mental states to other people and to predict and explain their behaviour in terms of such states. This ability is called ‘mind reading’ in the current literature. It has been claimed that this ability is based on knowledge of folk psychology. But what, exactly, are the resources we rely on in making such ascriptions and predictions? Two answers are much debated. Subtleties (p. 23) aside, the theory‐theory tells us that we rely on an explicit theory that tells us what mental states a person would be in in various circumstances, and what a person would do if she were in those states. The simulation theory holds that we rely on the ability to simulate what mental states we would be in various circumstances and what we would do. Morton maintains that in fact both simulation and theory play a role, and so finds Stephen Stich and Shaun Nichol's distinction between information‐rich procedures and information‐poor procedures more useful than the traditional theory‐theory/simulation theory distinction. Information‐rich procedures involve heavy reliance on theory, while information‐poor procedures require engagement in simulation. Morton maintains that our ability to ascribe mental states and to predict the behaviour of other people on the basis of such states relies on three basic resources: (1) a mental‐category theory, our understanding of which is based in part on our linguistic abilities; (2) the capacity for simulation, which is based in part on our ability to engage in counterfactual thinking, and normally on the ability (manifested very early in life) to track the gaze of other people; and (3) a how‐to manual, providing information about what kind of simulation works under which circumstances, what information about others is relevant in modelling their mental states, and so on. Morton argues that this account can be developed to handle questions about the phylogenetic evolution and ontogenetic development of folk psychology. However, he points out that many questions remain, including epistemological questions concerning the reliability of the procedures in question, and the justification of our mental attributions.
42. Anita Avramides's ‘Other Minds’.
Avramides critically examines two would‐be solutions to the problem of other minds and defends another. The first is the argument from analogy. From my knowledge that I have a mind, a mind that causes certain behaviour, and from the observation that there are others who are physically similar to me and who behave similarly to me, I conclude that these other individuals have a mind. Several objections have been raised against this argument, including that the inference rests on an induction from a single case, and that it is impossible to check the conclusion. The second argument is the argument from best explanation. The ascription of mental states to others provides the best explanation of their behaviour under certain circumstances. Avramides claims that both of these solutions are inadequate because they leave room for scepticism about other minds. According to Avramides, our belief that we are not alone in the universe, that there are other people who, for example, feel pain, is not a hypothesis; it is, rather, as Thomas Reid argued, a first principle that leaves no room for coherent doubt. It is deeply rooted in our conception of mind. Avramides claims that if we abandon the mistaken Cartesian conception of mind, we can come to see that the relation between mind and behaviour is not a contingent one, but rather a necessary one.
(p. 24) 43. Cynthia Macdonald's ‘Introspection’.
Macdonald argues for her own version of an introspectionist account of authoritative self‐knowledge by comparing and contrasting it with alternative accounts. As she points out, introspectionist accounts of self‐knowledge fall within the broader domain of theories of self‐knowledge, understood as views about the nature of and basis for one's knowledge of one's own mental states and events, including one's beliefs, desires, conscious episodes of thinking, and sensations. Theories of self‐knowledge are motivated by the apparent need to account for a number of striking features of at least some such knowledge, which ordinary empirical knowledge, including knowledge of the mental states of others, is typically thought to lack. Knowledge of certain of one's mental states is said to be epistemically direct or immediate in some sense (for example, in being non‐inferential and/or non‐evidence‐based), and privileged and/or authoritative, perhaps in being incorrigible, or infallible, or transparent to oneself (or all three of these). Introspectionist theories attempt to account for some, or all, of these features by reference to a special method by which this knowledge is obtained. Macdonald argues that the main alternatives to her view account for some of these features at the expense of others, or suffer from additional problems that her account avoids.
44. Jessica Brown's ‘Semantic Externalism and Self‐Knowledge’.
According to semantic externalism, the contents of a subject's thoughts are at least partly individuated by factors in her environment. One of the main objections to semantic externalism is that it is incompatible with the fact that we normally have privileged access to our thoughts; privileged in the sense that we can normally know what we are thinking a priori; a priori in the sense that the knowledge is not based, directly or indirectly, upon investigation of the environment. Brown notes that there are two main problems that proponents of the view that semantic externalism and such privileged access are compatible must address: the achievement problem and the consequence problem. The achievement problem is that given semantic externalism it is difficult to see how a subject could achieve privileged access; for it seems that if a subject's thought contents are partly individuated by her environment, then the subject's knowledge of what she is thinking would have to be based, at least indirectly, on empirical information about her environment. The consequence problem is that the conjunction of semantic externalism and privileged access seems to have the consequence that we can have a priori knowledge of facts about our environment that it patently seems could be known only a posteriori. Brown points out several promising avenues for compatibilists to explore to resolve the achievement problem. As concerns the consequence problem, she argues that it in fact does not follow from semantic externalism that there are a priori knowable entailments from the fact that one is having certain thoughts to contingent facts (p. 25) about the environment. She concludes that semantic externalism may well be compatible with privileged access.
45. Kent Bach's ‘Self‐deception’.
Bach examines the so‐called paradoxes of self‐deception as well as a wide variety of other issues concerning self‐deception. He notes that the view that being self‐deceived requires having intentionally deceived oneself seems to have paradoxical consequences. It seems to have the consequence that the self‐deceiver has succeeded in carrying out an intention to believe something that the self‐deceiver believes is false, while retaining the belief that it is false and knowledge of the stratagem. But how could one successfully carry out the stratagem in such a circumstance? And how could one believe that p and believe that not p at the same time? Some philosophers attempt to answer the first question by positing unconscious intentions; some claim instead that in self‐deception one part of a person intentionally deceives another part of the person, so that the part that successfully carries out the stratagem is not the part that is taken in by it. Some philosophers attempt to answer the second question by distinguishing two kinds of beliefs, for example, central beliefs and avowed beliefs. Bach critically examines these various would‐be answers to the questions. He argues in favour of rejecting the idea that self‐deception requires intentionally deceiving oneself, and maintains instead that in self‐deception one unintentionally misleads oneself in certain ways. And he argues that rather than self‐deception requiring contradictory beliefs, in self‐deception one has a complex disposition to resist consciously thinking something that one believes (or at least takes there to be strong evidence for and normally would believe), and to affirmatively think something contrary to that proposition. Moreover, he explores in detail the role of attention and inattention in the various activities by which a self‐deceiver unintentionally acquires and sustains the disposition in question, activities that include evasion, rationalization, and what he calls jamming. The last involves using one's imagination to conjure fanciful alternatives to the unwanted truth, and using the mere possibilities in question to support the case that the matter is unsettled. Bach discusses many other issues concerning self‐deception as well, including how self‐deception can be twisted. Typical cases of self‐deception involve wishful thinking. But in cases of twisted self‐deception a person is self‐deceived that p, yet wishes that p were not the case. Whereas the straight self‐deceiver cannot face up to some unpleasant truth, and so evades it, the twisted self‐deceiver cannot get his mind off some undesirable falsehood, and ends up disposed to affirmatively think it.
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