Conference Presentations

On this page you can find information on my conference presentations (e.g., handouts, slides, and papers).

      • I attempt to defend the constitutive micropsychist against the subject-summing problem. I argue that the problem only arises if we accept full revelation, as Philip Goff (2017) argues we should. Full revelation entails phenomenal transparency, the thesis that our phenomenal concepts reveal the full essential nature of conscious states. I argue that the Russellian monist is committed to the thesis that conscious states are essentially material and that, because this aspect of their essential nature isn't revealed in our phenomenal concepts, full realization is false. In its place, I suggest we accept partial revalation, which entails phenomenal translucency, the thesis that phenomenal concepts reveal part of the essential nature of conscious states. If we do not grasp the full essential nature of conscious states, then, I argue, we can explain why the subject-summing problem appears to be a problem, but that it is an epistemic problem and not a metaphyical one. I borrow this strategy from the emergentist who acknowledges that they cannot explain how consciousness emerges, but they can explain why they can't explain it. In the same way, the constitutive micropsychist who accepts partial revelation can acknowledge that they can't explain how subjects combine, but they can explain why they can't explain it.

      • Supervenience has become an indispensable concept in the philosophy of mind for describing the relationship between mental states and physical states. Bennett (2007) argues that only physicalists can accept the mental supervening on the physical with metaphysical necessity—i.e., for any two possible worlds where the physical states are the same, the mental states are the same. Further, Bennett (2007) argues that this entails that metaphysically necessary supervenience is sufficient for the truth of physicalism. This paper argues, contra Bennett (2007), that some viable anti-physicalist positions can accept metaphysically necessary supervenience of the mental over the physical. Specifically, this paper argues that some versions of emergentism—Horgan’s (2010) Moorean minimal emergentism and Wilson’s (Forthcoming) strong emergence—are able to accept metaphysically necessary supervenience. Finally, if these anti-physicalist positions can accept metaphysically necessary supervenience, then adherents to these positions may utilize Bennett’s (2007) compatibilist solution to the exclusion problem.