Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Contemporary Philosophy of Mind and Buddhist Thought - Spackman - 2012 - Philosophy Compass - Wiley Online Library

Contemporary Philosophy of Mind and Buddhist Thought - Spackman - 2012 - Philosophy Compass - Wiley Online Library:
AbstractRecent years have seen a growing interest in Buddhist thought as a potential source of alternative conceptions of the nature of the mind and the relation between the mental and the physical. This article considers and assesses three different models of what contemporary philosophy of mind can learn from Buddhist thought. One model, advocated by Alan Wallace, holds that we can learn from Buddhist meditation that both individual consciousness and the physical world itself emerge from a deeper, “primordial” consciousness. A second model, supported by Owen Flanagan, maintains that we should accept from Buddhist thought only what is compatible with physicalism, and thus draws from Buddhism only insights into moral psychology and spirituality. Evan Thompson has developed a third, phenomenological approach, which derives from Buddhism a non-dualistic account of the relation between the mental and the physical, dissolving the “explanatory gap” between them. I suggest that all of these models face significant challenges, and propose a different model derived from the Buddhist philosopher Nāgārjuna, which shows the potential to resolve some of the challenges facing contemporary theories of consciousness.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mandik Blog Roundup, Sept. 2012 edition

Besides blogging here at Brain Hammer, I'm also blogologizing all over these bloggy bits of the blogosphere:

This Is Philosophy of Mind (http://tipom.blogspot.com)
A companion blog for the book This Is Philosophy of Mind: An Introduction by Pete Mandik, forthcoming from Wiley-Blackwell Publishers.

Alternate Minds (http://cogsciphi.blogspot.com)
Cognitive Science Fiction and Philosophy.

Punctate Mind (http://petemandik.tumblr.com)
Art snips.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ask Brain Hammer: Singular Content

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a brain.

Dear Pete,
Please can you help! What is 'singular content'.  As in perception is receptive to the nature of particular things and so acquires 'singular content'; imagination lacks 'singular content'
I don't understand. Can you please clear this one piece of terminology for me?
Best wishes,

First, consider different contents of thoughts.
1. Thoughts with general content about apples:
Thinking that apples are good to eat. Thinking that apples are larger
than strawberries.
2. Thoughts with singular content--thoughts concerning a particular apple.
Thinking that this apple has a worm in it. Thinking that the last
apple I ate made me feel a little sick.

Now, consider a seeming fact about perception:
Two twins, each looking at a distinct, though highly similar apple,
are each perceiving a different particular apple. Each percept concerns just
one apple (and so is singular) instead of apples in general or in the
abstract (and so is not general).

Contrast perception with imagination. Imagine a tiny purple elephant
walking on top of an apple.

Now, is there some particular, actual apple that your imagination
concerns? No, not necessarily. In this sense, then, imagination lacks
the singular content that perception (allegedly) has.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

CFP: SSPP 2013

Call for Philosophy Papers
The Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology announces a call for papers for its One Hundred and Fifth Annual Meeting, to be held February 28 – March 2, 2013 in Austin, TX. SSPP meetings feature concurrent programs in Philosophy and Psychology, as well as plenary sessions jointly sponsored by the Philosophy and Psychology Program Committees. The deadline for all submissions is October 15, 2012.
President’s Invited Speaker:
Patricia Smith Churchland
UC San Diego/Salk Institute, San Diego
Invited Speakers:
Austen Clark, University of Connecticut
Fred Dretske, Duke University
Michael Tye, University of Texas, Austin
Invited Symposia:
Epistemology of Perception
Jack Lyons
Susanna Siegel
Owen Flanagan
Steven Horst
New Perspectives on Type Identity
Alyssa Ney
Thomas Polger
Introspection & Self-Knowledge
Peter Carruthers
Brie Gertler
Eric Schwitzgebel
Attention! (Joint Symposium)
Marisa Carrasco
Robert Kentridge
Christopher Mole
Sebastian Watzl
Epistemic Paradoxes
Krista Lawlor
Roy Sorensen
Michael Veber
The Philosophy Program Committee encourages the submission of papers and symposium proposals. Their selection will be based on quality and relevance to Philosophy, Psychology, and other sciences of the mind. The aim of the committee is to present a program as balanced as the quality of submissions in each area permits.
Submissions exceeding 3,000 words will not be considered. Submissions should include a word count and an abstract of no more than 150 words. Self-reference should be deleted to permit blind reviewing. All papers submitted and presented should employ gender-neutral language. All submissions must be made using our online submission system at: http://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=sspp2013
Under the Keywords section, in addition to descriptions of the submission, please include any of the following if they are applicable: To volunteer to be a session chair: ‘Chair.’ To comment on a paper: ‘Comment.’ To be considered for a Graduate Student Travel Award: ‘GSTA.’ To be considered for the Griffith Prize: ‘Griffith.’ For details and eligibility see: http://www.southernsociety.org/griffithaward.htm
Please direct Philosophy Program related questions to the Program Chair, Rik Hine at: rikhine@gmail.com