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[Clicking on a title will download the penultimate MS version of the paper. Papers in progress and in submission are unlisted for purposes of blind review.]

 

Forthcoming papers:

 

Against the necessity of functional roles for conscious experience: reviving and revising a neglected argument. Forthcoming in the Journal of Consciousness Studies. The most common kind of argument against functionalist theories of consciousness goes after the claim that functional states are sufficient for conscious states. Almost no one ever goes after the claim that functional states are necessary for conscious states. In this paper I go after that claim by picking up and revising an argument by Michael Antony (1994).

 

Internalism and the snapshot conception of phenomenal experience: a reply to Fisher. Forthcoming in Philosophical Psychology. This is a (partial) reply to Justin Fisher's argument against mental internalism in his 2007 paper in Nous. I contend that as it concerns phenomenal internalism, Fisher's argument rests on a dubious assumption about the nature of phenomenal experience.

 

On phenomenal character and Petri dishes. Forthcoming in the Journal of Philosophical Research. We've all heard the argument that phenomenal internalism is hopeless because it entails that a clump of cells in a Petri dish could experience pain. But the argument was never defended in print until a 2007 paper by Michael Tye. In this short paper I contend that Tye's argument is wholly unconvincing.

 

 

Published papers:

 

Computational theories of conscious experience: between a rock and a hard place. Erkenntnis, 76 (2012), 195-209. Tim Maudlin (1989) and Mark Bishop (2002) have argued that computationalism about conscious experience conflicts with the highly intuitive thesis that conscious experience supervenes on physical activity. Colin Klein (2008) proposes a way for computationalists to respect this 'activity thesis'. I argue that his attempt fails.

 

Recent texts in philosophy of mind. Teaching Philosophy, 33 (2010), 291-307. A review article evaluating, for pedagogical effectiveness, six recently-published textbooks (three monographs: Maslin, Montero, Kukla & Walmsley; and three anthologies: Lycan & Prinz, Gertler & Shapiro, McLaughlin & Cohen) in philosophy of mind.

 

An argument against spanking. Public Affairs Quarterly, 24 (2010), 65-77. This paper was prompted by the NZ government's 2007 decision to criminalize smacking (a.k.a. spanking). In discussion with a fellow Kiwi philosopher I found myself arguing (rather to my own surprise) that the spanking of children is morally wrong, and I ended up turning this into a paper. It has now been reprinted (in slightly abridged form) in W. H. Shaw's textbook Social and Personal Ethics (8th ed., 2014).

 

Whither internalism? How internalists should respond to the extended mind hypothesis. Metaphilosophy, 39 (2008), 163-184. Argues that the 'extended mind hypothesis' (a.k.a active externalism, vehicle externalism, etc) necessarily does not refute internalism. I show that internalism is (or at least ought to be) entirely compatible with the EMH, and therefore that we need to reformulate internalism in order to allow for this compatibility.

 

On the correct treatment of Inverted Earth. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 89 (2008), 294-311.

This paper was born of my frustration, while writing my dissertation, at the considerable disarray I saw in the literature on the Inverted Earth case. I argue that once it is correctly understood, the case shows that the causal covariational brand of wide representationalism about qualia is just hopeless.

 

[With Brian McLaughlin] Have Noe and Thompson cast doubt on the neural correlates of consciousness programme? Journal of Consciousness Studies, 11 (2004), 56-67. A commentary on a target article in JCS by Alva Noe and Evan Thompson, in which they attack the scientific programme to discover the neural correlates of conscious experience. We argue that their attacks all miss the mark. [I do not have an electronic copy of this paper.]