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Philosophy of Mind and Graduate Philosophy Study
This coming Sunday (April 10th), I’m presenting at the UMSL Philosopher’s Forum on philosophy of mind. Specifically, I’m presenting my response to Donald Davidson’s “Knowing One’s Own Mind.” While I’m not 100% done tweaking the paper for presentation, I do have a nearly complete working draft I’d like to share with everyone to see if I can get any feedback before presenting at the conference. Paper after the jump.
I haven’t spent much time on perception in my past studies, but Eric Schwitzgebel’s blog never ceases to boggle my mind with discussions of everyday experience. Case in point, yesterday’s post on mirrors and the perceived location of the things reflected in them.
I’m curious whether there are graduate students out there doing this sort of work. I’ve always been too preoccupied reading the “big picture” (overarching theory building) stuff to get into perception, and I feel like I might be missing out on some good stuff.
It would seem we have our first philosophy of mind paper submission (other than mine)! And what’s better, it’s quite good. So, today I bring you: “Strong Causal Closure, Total Causal Closure, and Physicalism” by Andrew Lee.
I have done my best to maintain the normal formatting of the paper while making sure it can be read here on the blog. If you spot any problems, let me know. Enjoy, and don’t forget to comment (my own comments will be showing up sometime soon).
Assuming my audience is the same audience I have set out to entertain (graduate students in philosophy), I doubt I am the first one around here who’s applied to multiple PhD programs only to find that none of the good ones saw fit to send them a golden ticket in the mail. Assuming I’m not alone in this, I doubt I am alone in wanting to share my writing sample with the masses. I, like so many before me, spent quite a bit of time writing and editing my writing sample, and it seems like such a waste for it to sit on my hard drive gathering dust while I wait to apply again next year with a different writing sample. Now, seeing as how I have this here “blog” about philosophy of mind, I have an excuse to share my sample which—surprise, surprise—has to do with philosophy of mind.
This paper was originally written over a year ago for a survey course I took in the 20th century analytic tradition, and has since been beaten into submission through multiple re-writes and edits. I’d like to believe the rough edges are all nice and polished, but I doubt that is the case. Regardless, it might be of some interest to those reading this blog. The paper is a relatively basic response to David Chalmer’s “Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness”. It is not an entirely friendly paper either; I vehemently disagree with Chalmers on mind and I think it shows. I just hope my vehemence does not deter the reader.
Before I get to the paper, I should note that if others would be so kind as to submit a paper of theirs (past writing sample or otherwise) I’d be more than happy to read them and post them with permission. For this particular project the papers need not be directly or even tangentially related to philosophy of mind. I’m more interested in providing fellow graduate students (or those wishing to become graduate students) an avenue by which they can see what others in their position are writing. As graduate students or undergraduates in their final semesters, we don’t often have the chance to publish papers at the academic level, and so we miss out on a great deal of feedback and exposure to other ideas. I hope this sort of practice will help rectify that. Furthermore, these sorts of papers can be a great deal of fun to read, and highly enlightening for those of us without many classmates writing on our same interests. Submissions can be sent to ersatzrobots(at)gmail(dot)com.
With that said, on to the paper…