Ideas of David Papineau, by Theme

[British, b.1947, British, born 1947, based at Cambridge University, and then King's College, London]

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1. Philosophy / G. Scientific Philosophy / 3. Scientism
All worthwhile philosophy is synthetic theorizing, evaluated by experience
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 5. Naturalism
Externalism may be the key idea in philosophical naturalism
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 11. Ontological Commitment / e. Ontological commitment problems
Our best theories may commit us to mathematical abstracta, but that doesn't justify the commitment
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / a. Beliefs
Belief truth-conditions are normal circumstances where the belief is supposed to occur
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 9. A Priori from Concepts
A priori knowledge is analytic - the structure of our concepts - and hence unimportant
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 7. Causal Perception
Perceptual concepts can't just refer to what causes classification
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 2. Intuition
Intuition and thought-experiments embody substantial information about the world
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 1. Mind / e. Questions about mind
The only serious mind-brain theories now are identity, token identity, realization and supervenience
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 3. Mental Causation
Maybe mind and body do overdetermine acts, but are linked (for some reason)
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / c. Knowing other minds
Young children can see that other individuals sometimes have false beliefs
Do we understand other minds by simulation-theory, or by theory-theory?
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 8. Brain
Researching phenomenal consciousness is peculiar, because the concepts involved are peculiar
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / a. Consciousness
Whether octopuses feel pain is unclear, because our phenomenal concepts are too vague
Our concept of consciousness is crude, and lacks theoretical articulation
We canít decide what 'conscious' means, so it is undecidable whether cats are conscious
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / e. Cause of consciousness
Maybe a creature is conscious if its mental states represent things in a distinct way
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / f. Higher-order thought
The 'actualist' HOT theory says consciousness comes from actual higher judgements of mental states
Actualist HOT theories imply that a non-conscious mental event could become conscious when remembered
States are conscious if they could be the subject of higher-order mental judgements
Higher-order judgements may be possible where the subject denies having been conscious
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 6. Epiphenomenalism
The epiphenomenal relation of mind and brain is a 'causal dangler', unlike anything else
Maybe minds do not cause actions, but do cause us to report our decisions
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 8. Dualism of Mind Critique
How does a dualist mind represent, exist outside space, and be transparent to itself?
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 8. Functionalism critique
Functionalism needs causation and intentionality to explain actions
Role concepts either name the realising property, or the higher property constituting the role
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 2. Anomalous Monism
If causes are basic particulars, this doesn't make conscious and physical properties identical
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 5. Supervenience of mind
Epiphenomenalism is supervenience without physicalism
Supervenience requires all mental events to have physical effects
Supervenience can be replaced by identifying mind with higher-order or disjunctional properties
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 1. Physical Mind
Knowing what it is like to be something only involves being (physically) that thing
The completeness of physics is needed for mind-brain identity
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 2. Reduction of Mind
Mind-brain reduction is less explanatory, because phenomenal concepts lack causal roles
Weak reduction of mind is to physical causes; strong reduction is also to physical laws
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 5. Causal Argument
It is absurd to think that physical effects are caused twice, so conscious causes must be physical
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 6. Conceptual Dualism
Accept ontological monism, but conceptual dualism; we think in a different way about phenomenal thought
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 7. Anti-Physicalism / b. Multiple realisability
If a mental state is multiply realisable, why does it lead to similar behaviour?
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 7. Anti-Physicalism / c. Knowledge argument
Mary acquires new concepts; she previously thought about the same property using material concepts
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 1. Thought
Thinking about a thing doesn't require activating it
Consciousness affects bodily movement, so thoughts must be material states
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 5. Mental Files
There is a single file per object, memorised, reactivated, consolidated and expanded [Recanati]
18. Thought / C. Content / 6. Broad Content
Most reductive accounts of representation imply broad content
If content hinges on matters outside of you, how can it causally influence your actions?
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 5. Meaning as Verification
Verificationists tend to infer indefinite answers from undecidable questions
Verificationism about concepts means you can't deny a theory, because you can't have the concept
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 2. Semantics
Teleosemantics equates meaning with the item the concept is intended to track
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 8. Possible Worlds Semantics
Truth conditions in possible worlds can't handle statements about impossibilities
Thought content is possible worlds that make the thought true; if that includes the actual world, it's true
19. Language / F. Communication / 4. Private Language
The Private Language argument only means people may misjudge their experiences
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / b. Causal relata
Causation is based on either events, or facts, or states of affairs
Causes are instantiations of properties by particulars, or they are themselves basic particulars
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 10. Closure of Physics
The completeness of physics cannot be proved
Determinism is possible without a complete physics, if mental forces play a role
Modern biological research, especially into the cell, has revealed no special new natural forces
27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 2. Thermodynamics / c. Conservation of energy
Quantum 'wave collapses' seem to violate conservation of energy