What Is a Mind?

Last Saturday, in his Central APA commentary, Rick Grush raised this question and suggested it is the most fundamental question in the philosophy of mind. He also suggested that if you don’t understand this question and its importance you are missing something.I must be slow because I don’t think I …

Is the Brain Digital or Analog?

This is an old matter of debate in neuroscience, going back to the 1940s. The question has never been properly resolved. In my opinion, the question has never even been properly formulated.A recent study in Nature provides evidence that “in some sensory organs and invertebrate systems, neurons can also communicate …

Splitting Concepts

A widespread assumption in the literature on concepts is that concepts form a unified, or singular, natural kind, as opposed to a set of different natural kinds. That is, advocates of different accounts disagree on which kind of thing constitutes concepts, but they agree that there is only one such …

Atom by Atom Simulation of a Virus

My student Ken Johnson made the following interesting comment. It is especially relevant to those philosophers who like to casually write that in principle, everything can be computationally simulated based on the laws of physics. Notice that there is no reason to expect that Moore’s law will hold up for …

My Talk at Tucson 2006

I’m in Tucson, AZ, at the conference Towards a Science of Consciousness 2006.There are a lot more people than I expected. It’s about as large as an APA meeting, I would say.I gave my talk yesterday, arguing that conceivability arguments like the zombie conceivability argument are unsound. The zombie conceivabity …

Why is the Hard Problem so Hard?

D. Stoljar, Ignorance and Imagination: On the Epistemic Origin of the Problem of Consciousness. New York: Oxford University Press (due out in May 2006).Why is it so hard to explain phenomenal consciousness in physical (i.e., naturalistic, scientific) terms? Why do many find it easy to imagine zombies and other putative …

Pitt HPS Places 10 out of 10

Leiter Reports has a page up for posting junior philosophy hires.We at University of Missouri – St. Louis hired John Brunero, a graduate of Columbia who works in ethics and political philosophy.My alma mater, History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, placed 10 candidates out of 10. …

Models in Science

R. Frigg and S. Hartmann, Models in Science, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, (Spring 2006 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming URL =http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2006/entries/models-science/>.The Stanford Encyclopedia Entry on scientific modeling is out (since February 27, 2006). The authors are among the organizers of the upcoming conference on Models and Simulations. I expect …

Cognition and the Brain

A. Brook and K. Akins, eds., Cognition and the Brain: The Philosophy and Neuroscience Movement, Cambridge, CUP, 2005.A collection of articles by a group of good philosophers of neuroscience, on a wide range of topics (theory in neuroscience, representation, “visuomotor transformation,” color, consciousness). Should be of interest to most philosophers …

Philosophy Journals

Several people asked me what the good philosophy journals are. I can’t say about all areas of philosophy, but I have compiled an informal and provisional ranking based on Leiter’s ranking plus commentaries that were posted on his website in the past. It contains journals that publish in philosophy of …