Physicalists

Project description

Physicalists sometimes claim that dualists can’t give a satisfactory account of how the mental causally interacts with the physical. What are the physicalist’s reasons to think that the dualist can’t give a satisfactory account of this? Do you think that the dualists have any effective replies?
Kim, J. Philosophy of Mind, Westview press, ch. 2 and 7
Kim, J. “The many problems of mental causation” (excerpt in anthology)
Yablo, S. “Mental causation” (in anthology)
Bennett, K. “Mental causation” (in Philosophy Compass)
Heil, J. and Mele, A. Mental Causation, Oxford University Press (this is an anthology with several useful papers)
Papineau, D. “The causal closure of the physical and naturalism”
Lowe, E.J. “Non-Cartesian substance dualism and the problem of mental causation”
Brentano and Chisholm think that intentionality characterizes mental phenomena–that is, that mental phenomena are characterized by the fact that they are directed towards something, or about something, or represent something. Some philosophers have tried to account for this feature of mental phenomena in purely natural terms, and often in causal terms. What is, in your view, the most promising such account? Can this account really explain the nature of intentionality?
Dretske, F. “Misrepresentation”
Dretske, F. “A recipe for thought” (in anthology)
Millikan, R. “Biosemantics” (in anthology)
Neander, K. “Teleological theories of mental content”
Boghossian, P. “Naturalizing content”
McLaughlin, B. “What is wrong with correlational psychosemantics?”
Propositional attitudes are the kind of mental states that we ascribe by means of verbs like ‘believe’ or ‘wish’. Most people think that when we ascribe someone a propositional attitude we are really describing a feature of that person, just like we would describe her height or the color of her hair. Philosophers like Churchland and Dennett have challenged this view. What reasons do they offer to challenge this view? Can their challenges be met? Focus on either Churchland or Dennett.
Churchland, P. “Eliminative materialism and the propositional attitudes” (in anthology)
Dennett, D. “True believers: the intentional strategy and why it works” (in anthology)
Dennett, D. “Intentional systems” in Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology.
Dennett, D. “Brain writing and mind reading” in Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology.
Fodor, J. Lepore, E., “Is intentional ascription intrinsically normative?” in Dennett and his critics
Lycan, W., Pappas, G. “What is eliminative materialism?”
Stich, S. “Do true believers exist?”
Boghossian, P. “The status of content”
Boghossian, P. “The status of content revisited”
Kitcher, P. “In defense of intentional psychology”
Some philosophers have claimed that physicalist theories of the mind can’t account for qualia. One famous argument to this effect is Jackson’s knowledge argument in “Epiphenomenal qualia”. What exactly is Jackson’s argument? Is it effective against physicalist views of the mind?
Jackson, F. “Epiphenomenal qualia” (in anthology)
Jackson, F. “What Mary didn’t know”
Jackson, F. “The knowledge argument, diaphanousness, representationalism” in Phenomenal concepts and phenomenal knowledge. (Jackson got cold feet and attacks his own argument, but many people still think it’s good)
Lewis, D. “What experience teaches” (in anthology)
Loar, B. “Phenomenal states” (in anthology)
Dennett, D. “Quining qualia” (in anthology)
Dennett, D. “What RoboMary knows” in Phenomenal concepts and phenomenal knowledge.
Horgan, T. “Jackson on physical information and qualia”
Churchland, P. “Knowing qualia, a reply to Jackson” in A Neurocomputational perspective: the nature of mind and the structure of science.

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Physicalists

Project description

Physicalists sometimes claim that dualists can’t give a satisfactory account of how the mental causally interacts with the physical. What are the physicalist’s reasons to think that the dualist can’t give a satisfactory account of this? Do you think that the dualists have any effective replies?
Kim, J. Philosophy of Mind, Westview press, ch. 2 and 7
Kim, J. “The many problems of mental causation” (excerpt in anthology)
Yablo, S. “Mental causation” (in anthology)
Bennett, K. “Mental causation” (in Philosophy Compass)
Heil, J. and Mele, A. Mental Causation, Oxford University Press (this is an anthology with several useful papers)
Papineau, D. “The causal closure of the physical and naturalism”
Lowe, E.J. “Non-Cartesian substance dualism and the problem of mental causation”
Brentano and Chisholm think that intentionality characterizes mental phenomena–that is, that mental phenomena are characterized by the fact that they are directed towards something, or about something, or represent something. Some philosophers have tried to account for this feature of mental phenomena in purely natural terms, and often in causal terms. What is, in your view, the most promising such account? Can this account really explain the nature of intentionality?
Dretske, F. “Misrepresentation”
Dretske, F. “A recipe for thought” (in anthology)
Millikan, R. “Biosemantics” (in anthology)
Neander, K. “Teleological theories of mental content”
Boghossian, P. “Naturalizing content”
McLaughlin, B. “What is wrong with correlational psychosemantics?”
Propositional attitudes are the kind of mental states that we ascribe by means of verbs like ‘believe’ or ‘wish’. Most people think that when we ascribe someone a propositional attitude we are really describing a feature of that person, just like we would describe her height or the color of her hair. Philosophers like Churchland and Dennett have challenged this view. What reasons do they offer to challenge this view? Can their challenges be met? Focus on either Churchland or Dennett.
Churchland, P. “Eliminative materialism and the propositional attitudes” (in anthology)
Dennett, D. “True believers: the intentional strategy and why it works” (in anthology)
Dennett, D. “Intentional systems” in Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology.
Dennett, D. “Brain writing and mind reading” in Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology.
Fodor, J. Lepore, E., “Is intentional ascription intrinsically normative?” in Dennett and his critics
Lycan, W., Pappas, G. “What is eliminative materialism?”
Stich, S. “Do true believers exist?”
Boghossian, P. “The status of content”
Boghossian, P. “The status of content revisited”
Kitcher, P. “In defense of intentional psychology”
Some philosophers have claimed that physicalist theories of the mind can’t account for qualia. One famous argument to this effect is Jackson’s knowledge argument in “Epiphenomenal qualia”. What exactly is Jackson’s argument? Is it effective against physicalist views of the mind?
Jackson, F. “Epiphenomenal qualia” (in anthology)
Jackson, F. “What Mary didn’t know”
Jackson, F. “The knowledge argument, diaphanousness, representationalism” in Phenomenal concepts and phenomenal knowledge. (Jackson got cold feet and attacks his own argument, but many people still think it’s good)
Lewis, D. “What experience teaches” (in anthology)
Loar, B. “Phenomenal states” (in anthology)
Dennett, D. “Quining qualia” (in anthology)
Dennett, D. “What RoboMary knows” in Phenomenal concepts and phenomenal knowledge.
Horgan, T. “Jackson on physical information and qualia”
Churchland, P. “Knowing qualia, a reply to Jackson” in A Neurocomputational perspective: the nature of mind and the structure of science.

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