Marc Champagne

Marc Champagne
Kwantlen Polytechnic University · Department of Philosophy

PhD (Philosophy); PhD (Semiotics)

About

107
Publications
65,969
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290
Citations
Citations since 2017
39 Research Items
218 Citations
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201720182019202020212022202301020304050
Additional affiliations
September 2015 - May 2017
Trent University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2014 - August 2015
University of Helsinki
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (107)
Book
Full-text available
It is often thought that consciousness has a qualitative dimension that cannot be tracked by science. Recently, however, some philosophers have argued that this worry stems not from an elusive feature of the mind, but from the special nature of the concepts used to describe conscious states. Marc Champagne draws on the neglected branch of philosoph...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In his book, Consciousness and the Philosophy of Signs, Marc Champagne argues that current philosophical puzzlement about the qualitative dimension of consciousness stems, historically and logically, from a failure to properly handle the fine-grained distinctions found in the semiotic theory of the American polymath, Charles Sanders Peirce. The aim...
Book
Full-text available
Jordan Peterson has attracted a high level of attention. Controversies may bring people into contact with Peterson’s work, but ideas are arguably what keep them there. Focusing on those ideas, this book explores Peterson’s answers to perennial questions. What is common to all humans, regardless of their background? Is complete knowledge ever possib...
Article
Full-text available
Following recent work by Don Ross (Ross, 2000; Ross & Spurrett, 2004), I contrast the influential theories of Daniel Dennett and Paul Churchland in information-theoretic terms. Dennett makes much of the fact that the morphological shorthand which emerges before a witness as she looks upon cohesive aggregates of matter commands some measure of predi...
Cover Page
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Are you worried about the many valuable experiences already rendered obsolete by Smartphones and social media -- and now look with concern at AI, Meta's VR, and Tesla's bots? Join the many subscribers who, each month, receive philosophical motivation to skip such bandwagons and stick to what really brings meaning: https://dashboard.mailerlite.com/...
Chapter
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Metaphysics is like semiotics: you either do it well or do it badly, but avoiding commitments in that domain is not an option. However, when we engage explicitly in metaphysical reflection, we realize that semiosis enjoys a double standing. On the one hand, the action of signs must be relied on to even raise the question of what is real and what is...
Poster
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Here is the sort of excerpt that you can expect to get every month when you subscribe. Enjoy -- and talk to you soon!
Conference Paper
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KPU’s Department of Philosophy routinely offers an introductory course in formal logic, but many who could benefit from this skill never get to do so. Partly, this is due to self-selection: students who are afraid that logic will feel like algebra never register for it. Partly, it is due to attrition: many of the students who do register never make...
Chapter
Full-text available
Sam Harris (2010) argues that, given our neurology, we can experience well-being, and that seeking to maximize this state lets us distinguish the good from the bad. He takes our ability to compare degrees of well-being as his starting point, but I think that the analysis can be pushed further, since there is a (non-religious) reason why well-being...
Presentation
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Now is a good time to think more critically about technology. Whereas philosophers used to ponder moral dilemmas in a merely speculative manner, programmers building self-guided cars need to be told what specific instructions to feed into a car in the event that it spins out of control and must hit, say, either a young or old person. The United Sta...
Article
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A typical device in film is to have a character narrating what is going on (sometimes by voice-over), but this narration is not always a reliable guide to the events. According to Maier, distortions may be caused by the narrator’s intent, naivety, use of drugs, and/or cognitive disorder/illness. What is common to these various causes, he argues, is...
Article
Full-text available
Since Peirce defined the first operators for three-valued logic, it is usually assumed that he rejected the principle of bivalence. However, I argue that, because bivalence is a principle, the strategy used by Peirce to defend logical principles can be used to defend bivalence. Construing logic as the study of substitutions of equivalent representa...
Preprint
Full-text available
Jordan Peterson gave a series of lectures on the Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories. His first lecture lasted two hours. In that time, Peterson managed to cover only a single line from the Bible. This lopsided gloss-to-text ratio, I argue, entails that the rational explanations actually do all the work while the Bible is dispensable...
Chapter
Full-text available
Jordan Peterson gave a series of lectures on the Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories. His first lecture lasted two hours. In that time, Peterson managed to cover only a single line from the Bible. This lopsided gloss-to-text ratio, I argue, entails that the rational explanations actually do all the work while the Bible is dispensable...
Book
Full-text available
The Canadian psychology professor Jordan Peterson burst into public awareness when he opposed the compulsory use of newfangled gender pronouns. He has since published two best-selling books, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (2018) and Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life (2021), and has become the leading public intellectual on social media....
Preprint
The pandemic’s seclusion has resulted in a lot of us spending more time with our immediate families. It has also brought increased opportunities to waste away one’s hours browsing a Smartphone. Our cognitive resources are limited, so such devices designed to capture our attention necessarily divert us from other—potentially more rewarding—concerns....
Article
Full-text available
Do we suddenly become justified in treating robots like humans by positing new notions like “artificial moral agency” and “artificial moral responsibility”? I answer no. Or, to be more precise, I argue that such notions may become philosophically acceptable only after crucial metaphysical issues have been addressed. My main claim, in sum, is that “...
Article
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Thanks to advances in astronomical measurement and computer modeling, “now we know thousands of worlds” (Deacon 2020, 7). By contrast, “in 1990 all we could say was that one star, the Sun, out of hundreds of billions, definitely hosted planets” (ibid., 18). The word “definitely” does a lot of work here. Knowledge does not require, and indeed rarely...
Article
Full-text available
It is usually thought that only one being can be all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving. Challenging this monotheist conviction, I propose a universe ruled by two deities: ‘day shift God’ oversees the events that occur while the sun is up, whereas ‘night shift God’ oversees the events that occur while the sun is down. I survey objections to this...
Article
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Some have suggested that images can be arguments. Images can certainly bolster the acceptability of individual premises. We worry, though, that the static nature of images prevents them from ever playing a genuinely argumentative role. To show this, we call attention to a dilemma. The conclusion of a visual argument will either be explicit or impli...
Book
Full-text available
Collection of publications from 2006 to 2020.
Presentation
Full-text available
Superhero movies exemplify bigger-than-life conceptions of good and evil. Although religions already do this, superhero movies emerged from experimental storytelling. This suggests that meaning and moral guidance can be generated without lapsing into supernaturalism or dogmatism. For more on this, see https://marcchampagnephilosopher.online/in-prog...
Preprint
Full-text available
Jordan Peterson has attracted a high level of attention. Controversies may bring people into contact with Peterson’s work, but ideas are arguably what keep them there. Focusing on those ideas, this book explores Peterson’s answers to perennial questions. What is common to all humans, regardless of their background? Is complete knowledge ever possib...
Article
Full-text available
In this text, I offer a fresh gloss on the problem that motivates my book, Consciousness and the Philosophy of Signs.
Chapter
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Semiotics, the least-known branch of philosophy ending in -ics, can advance current debates about consciousness. Many philosophers of mind have urged us to distinguish between what an experience does and what an experience feels like. This distinction seems sensible enough, but it renders scientific inquiry insufficient, insofar as experimental met...
Article
The recent wave of data on exoplanets lends support to METI ventures (Messaging to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), insofar as the more exoplanets we find, the more likely it is that “exominds” await our messages. Yet, despite these astronomical advances, there are presently no well-confirmed tests against which to check the design of interstellar...
Article
Full-text available
In Natural propositions (2014), Stjernfelt contends that the interpretation of a proposition or dicisign requires the joint action of two kinds of signs. A proposition must contain a sign that conveys a general quality. This function can be served by a similarity-based icon or code-based symbol. In addition, a proposition must situate or apply this...
Article
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Kant posits the schema as a hybrid bridging the generality of pure concepts and the particularity of sensible intuitions. However, I argue that countenancing such schemata leads to a third-man regress. Siding with those who think that the mid-way posit of the Critique of Pure Reason's schematism section is untenable, my diagnosis is that Kant's tra...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper describes how bodily positions and gestures were used to teach argument diagramming to a student who cannot see. After listening to short argumentative passages with a screen reader, the student had to state the conclusion while touching his belly button. When stating a premise, he had to touch one of his shoulders. Premises lending inde...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Si on veut promouvoir un rapprochement entres les traditions dites "analytiques" et "continentales", il faut articuler des études ciblées. La philosophie du langage semble un bon point d"attelage. Or, si l"enquête philosophique à grande échelle sur le langage a beaucoup approfondie notre connaissance de cet aspect essentiel du fait humain, elle a a...
Chapter
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In the previous chapter, I looked at why phenomenal-consciousness must, by definition, repel all experimental testing. In this chapter, I want to explore an important consequence of this, namely “the meaning objection.” This objection asks how a qualitative experience with no detectable effects could ever be referred to by words or gestures. Bertra...
Chapter
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In the previous chapter, I added similarity-based signs or icons to the standard menu of referential options. In this chapter, I want to explore the ramifications of this addition for perception. Peirce saw good reason to push his prescissive analysis of iconicity down to a single quality. I thus contrast his account with that of John Poinsot, a me...
Chapter
Full-text available
In the previous chapter, I tried to keep ordinary colour perception from being philosophically dismissed. In this chapter, I want to argue that countenancing such qualities at a fundamental level is more promising than waiting for those qualities to emerge at higher levels of complexity. Although complex patterns are crucial to the deployment of ne...
Chapter
Full-text available
In the previous chapter, I argued that Peirce was on the right track when he approached the mind from a semiotic perspective. Having offered a primer on semiotics, I now want to use some of those helpful resources. Ned Block distinguishes access-consciousness and phenomenal-consciousness. Convinced that his distinction is a real one, Block posits a...
Chapter
Full-text available
The name “semiotics” comes from John Locke, but the branch of philosophy that this name picks out remains mostly unknown in the mainstream literature on consciousness. This chapter will thus offer a primer on semiotics, both as an abstract inquiry and as an organized pursuit. The starting assumption of semiotic inquiry is that conventional meaning,...
Chapter
Full-text available
Six chapters ago, I argued that philosophical worries about the qualitative dimension of consciousness should not be taken so seriously that they trigger a scientific search for qualia, but neither should those worries be belittled or dismissed. Throughout the book, I drew on the ideas of C. S. Peirce—specifically his ideas about prescission, tone,...
Method
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Handwritten notes of a brief tutorial on the method of Existential Graphs (Alpha system). Delivered before the members of the Trent University Critical Thinking Group on January 18, 2017.
Article
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Introductory courses dealing with sex, gender and sexuality often assign excerpts from Thomas Aquinas as an exemplar of the naturalist view. Given that most novice students tend to side against such naturalism uncritically, they need to be exposed to a more charitable account of the biological considerations motivating a stance like Aquinas.’ With...
Article
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Robert Brandom holds that what we mean is best understood in terms of what inferences we are prepared to defend, and that such a defence is best understood in terms of rule-governed social interactions. This manages to explain quite a lot. However, for those who think that there is more to making correct/incorrect inferences than obeying/breaking a...
Article
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Historians occasionally use timelines, but many seem to regard such signs merely as ways of visually summarizing results that are presumably better expressed in prose. Challenging this language-centered view, I suggest that timelines might assist the generation of novel historical insights. To show this, I begin by looking at studies confirming the...
Article
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Most inferentialists hope to bypass givenness by tracking the conditionals claimants are implicitly committed to. I argue that this approach is underdetermined because one can always construct parallel trees of conditionals. I illustrate this using the Müller-Lyer illusion and touching a table. In the former case, the lines are either even or uneve...
Article
Full-text available
Descartes holds that the tell-tale sign of a solid proof is that its entailments appear clearly and distinctly. Yet, since there is a limit to what a subject can consciously fathom at any given moment, a mnemonic shortcoming threatens to render complex geometrical reasoning impossible. Thus, what enables us to recall earlier proofs, according to De...
Article
Full-text available
Alethic functionalism, as propounded by Michael Lynch, is the view that there are different ways to be true, but that these differences nevertheless contain enough unity to forestall outright pluralism. This view has many virtues. Yet, since one could conceivably apply Lynch's "one and many" strategy to other debates, I try to show how his argument...
Article
Full-text available
C. S. Peirce is often credited as a forerunner of the verificationist theory of meaning. In his early pragmatist papers, Peirce did say that if we want to make our ideas clear(er), then we should look downstream to their actual and future effects. For many who work in philosophy of mind, this is enough to endorse functionalism and dismiss the whole...
Article
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This article builds on C. S. Peirce's suggestive blueprint for an inclusive outlook that grants reality to his three categories. Moving away from the usual focus on (contentious) cosmological forces, I use a modal principle to partition various ontological layers: regular sign-action (like coded language) subsumes actual signaction (like here-and-n...
Article
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Building on the notational principles of C. S. Peirce’s graphical logic, Pietarinen has tried to develop a propositional logic unfolding in the medium of sound. Apart from its intrinsic interest, this project serves as a concrete test of logic’s range. However, I argue that Pietarinen’s inaugural proposal, while promising, has an important shortcom...
Article
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I argue that the supposedly ‘professional’ style of the analytic tradition does not ensure professionalism, nor indeed, clear-mindedness.
Article
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In an attempt to start rectifying a lamentable disparity in scholarship, we evince fruitful points of similarity and difference in the ideas of Simone de Beauvoir and Ayn Rand, paying particular attention to their views on long-term projects. Endorsing what might be called an “Ethic of Resolve,” Rand praises those who undertake sustained goal-direc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
C. S. Peirce said, quite rightly, that if we want to make our ideas clear(er), then we should look downstream to their actual and potential effects. Yet, there is a tendency to overlook that this quintessential pragmatist recommendation is nested in a conditional: if you want clarity, then you should do this and that. I see no reason why anyone sho...
Article
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This paper argues that there is a conflict between two theses held by John McDowell, namely i) the claim that we are under a standing obligation to revise our beliefs if reflection demands it; and ii) the view that veridical experience is a mode of direct access to the world. Since (i) puts no bounds on what would constitute reasonable doubt, it in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It was C. S. Peirce who introduced the term “icon” to characterize those sign-vehicles that signify their objects in virtue of some shared quality. This qualitative kinship, however, threatens to collapse the relata of an iconic sign into one and the same thing. Accordingly, the late-medieval philosopher of signs John Poinsot held that, “no matter...
Article
Full-text available
Sparrow argues that military robots capable of making their own decisions would be independent enough to allow us denial for their actions, yet too unlike us to be the targets of meaningful blame or praise—thereby fostering what Matthias has dubbed “the responsibility gap.” We agree with Sparrow that someone must be held responsible for all actions...
Conference Paper
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The last time I addressed this Metaphysical Club, it was to sketch my programmatic aspiration of introducing Peircean iconicity into mainstream debates. Now, exactly five months later, I want to pause and share with you one result of my ongoing inquiries. Specifically, I want to voice an intellectual response to a series of lectures that Robert Bra...
Article
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Deliberation is often seen as the site of human freedom, but the binding power of rationality seems to imply that deliberation is, in its own way, a deterministic process. If one knows the starting preferences and circumstances of an agent, then, assuming that the agent is rational and that those preferences and circumstances don’t change, one shou...
Article
Full-text available
C. S. Peirce introduced the term "icon" for sign-vehicles that signify their objects in virtue of some shared quality. This qualitative kinship, however, threatens to collapse the relata of the sign into one and the same thing. Accordingly, the late-medieval philosopher of signs John Poinsot held that, "no matter how perfect, a concept [...] always...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The sense of mystery surrounding consciousness stems in large part from asking “How can technicolour phenomenology arise from soggy grey matter?” (McGinn 1989). Sogginess and greyness are important in stressing the contrast between our brains and our experience of the world. Indeed, skull-bound explanations seem to reinforce ontologies that populat...
Thesis
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One of the leading concerns animating current philosophy of mind is that, no matter how good a scientific account is, it will leave out “what it’s like” to be conscious. The challenge has thus been to study or at least explain away that qualitative dimension. Pursuant with that aim, I investigate how philosophy of signs in the Peircean tradition ca...
Conference Paper
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Most people would agree that their visual experience has a qualitative feel distinct from the verbal reports they make, but in analytic philosophy this first-person claim is viewed with suspicion. In an attempt to prove the existence of phenomenal consciousness, Ned Block has called on experiments conducted by the psychologist George Sperling. Desp...
Article
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This paper suggests that reference to phenomenal qualities is best understood as involving iconicity, that is, a passage from sign-vehicle to object that exploits a similarity between the two. This contrasts with a version of the ‘phenomenal concept strategy’ that takes indexicality to be central. However, since it is doubtful that phenomenal quali...
Article
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Treating groups as agents is not at all difficult; teenagers and social scientists do it all the time with great success. Reading Group Agency, though, makes it look like rocket science...
Article
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Semiotics (sometimes spelled “semeiotic”) is the name first given by John Locke, and later reprised by Charles S. Peirce, for the “doctrine of signs,” or the study of how some things can stand for other things to still other things. This deliberate inquiry can be contrasted with “folk semiotic” accounts, which assume that there is some intrinsic fe...
Article
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In response to the claim that our sense of will is illusory, some philosophers have called for a better understanding of the phenomenology of agency. Although I am broadly sympathetic with the tenor of this response, I question whether the positive-theoretic blueprint it promotes truly heralds a tenable undertaking. Marshaling a Schopenhauerian ins...
Article
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In an effort to carve a distinct place for social facts without lapsing into a holistic ontology, John Greenwood has sought to define social phenomena solely in terms of the attitudes held by the actor(s) in question. I argue that his proposal allows for the possibility of a "lone collectivity" that is (1) unpalatable in its own right and (2) incom...
Article
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Shaun Gallagher has actively looked into the possibility that psychopathologies involving “thought insertion” might supply a counterexample to the Cartesian principle according to which one can always recognize one’s own thoughts as one’s own. Animated by a general distrust of a priori demonstrations, Gallagher is convinced that pitting clinical ca...
Article
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This short essay seeks to identify and prevent a pitfall that attends less careful inquiries into "physiosemiosis." It is emphasized that, in order to truly establish the presence of sign-action in the non-living world, all the components of a triadic sign-including the interpretant-would have to be abiotic (that is, not dependent on a living organ...
Conference Paper
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In Basics of Semiotics (1990), John Deely allotted considerable ontological space for “physiosemiosis,” that is, sign-action purportedly occurring at the level of purely material interactions. However, despite enjoying some limited argumentative underpinnings, commitment to such abiotic semiosis continues to trade principally on intuitions - even i...
Conference Paper
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Although Stathis Psillos is clearly a scientific realist, it is much harder to pin down why exactly he endorses this view. The most plausible gloss consists in a double-negation: Psillos is a realist because he is against anti-realism. Although logically this ought to count as an affirmation, from a dialectic standpoint a defense of scientific real...
Conference Paper
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It is a staple assumption that decision theory captures a core algorithm of human thinking. While I do not challenge this claim, I argue that there are cases -- notably those involving equally attractive options -- where those rational resources are genuinely powerless to adjudicate choices. Although my underlying aim is to promote some form of vol...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In his 1927 Analysis of Matter and elsewhere, Russell argued that we can successfully infer the structure of the external world from that of our explanatory schemes. While nothing guarantees that the intrinsic qualities of experiences are shared by their objects, he held that the relations tying together those relata perforce mirror relations that...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It was Augustine who first defined the "signum" as "something which is itself sensed and which indicates to the mind something beyond the sign itself" (De Dialectica). One means of effecting this passage is by exploiting the similarity a sign-vehicle can have with its object. However, such a likeness, if sufficiently pronounced, threatens to merge...
Chapter
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Robert Sparrow argues that military robots capable of making their own decisions would be independent enough to allow us denial for their actions, yet too unlike us to be the targets of meaningful blame or praise—thereby fostering what Matthias has dubbed ―the responsibility gap.‖ We agree with Sparrow that someone must be held responsible for all...
Article
Full-text available
In his 1927 Analysis of Matter and elsewhere, Bertrand Russell argued that we can successfully infer the structure of the external world from the structure of our explanatory schemes. While nothing guarantees that the intrinsic qualities of experiences are shared by their objects, he held that the relations tying together those relata perforce mirr...
Article
Full-text available
Stressing that the pronoun "I" picks out one and only one person in the world (i.e., me), I argue against Hunt (and other like-minded Rand commentators) that the supposed "hard case" of destructive people who do not care for their own lives poses no special difficulty for rational egoism. I conclude that the proper response to a terse objection lik...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Alethic functionalism, in the hands of Michael Lynch, is the view that there are different ways to be true, but that these differences nevertheless betray enough unity to forestall outright pluralism. In this way, truth is said to both “one and many”—to use Lynch’s (2009) succinct formula. On this view, truth consists of a handful of consensual tru...
Article
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Prompted by the thesis that an organism's umwelt possesses not just a descriptive dimension, but a normative one as well, some have sought to annex semiotics with ethics. Yet the pronouncements made in this vein have consisted mainly in rehearsing accepted moral intuitions, and have failed to concretely fur-ther our knowledge of why or how a creatu...
Conference Paper
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Ross and Ladyman in their recent book Everything Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalised defend both an ontology consisting entirely of relations and two important constraints that any proposed ontology must meet if it is not to be considered to be the product of empty speculation. These are the Principle of Naturalistic Closure (PNC) and the Primacy of P...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It was C. S. Peirce who introduced the term of “icon” to characterize those sign-vehicles that signify their objects in virtue of some shared quality. To bear an iconic relation to something else, then, is to guide interpretation to that terminus by exploiting a similarity which would obtain regardless of the additional interpretive effect. This es...
Conference Paper
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In his 1985 essay, "Vital Signs," Thomas Sebeok famously spoke of "that minuscule segment of nature some anthropologists grandly compartmentalize as culture" (American Journal of Semiotics, vol. 3, no. 3, p. 2). This provocative characterization was meant to deflate the claims of thinkers who regard anything and everything as "socially constructed....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In his Analysis of Matter (1927) and elsewhere, Russell argued that we can successfully infer the structure of the external world from that of our explanatory schemes. While nothing guarantees that the intrinsic qualities of experiences are shared by their objects, he held that the relations tying together those relata perforce mirror relations tha...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It was the biologist Jakob von Uexküll who first proposed the concept of “umwelt” or “around-world” to account for those deep experiential discrepancies that follow from the species-specific constitution of the senses. The idea, in a nutshell, is that a same worldly scene appears very different depending on which creature is doing the apprehension,...
Conference Paper
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Structural realists have basically made their case in two ways. First, they have highlighted telling historical examples of mathematical expressions surviving radical theory-change. Second, they have proposed that this is so because “structure” enjoys (epistemological or metaphysical) primacy over “nature”, such that a vindication of scientific rea...
Conference Paper
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Robert Brandom has identified what he calls "the rational constraint constraint", that is, "to make intelligible how perceptual experience embodies the way the world imposes not merely causal, but rational constraints on thinking". But it is well worth asking: why should we take effective knowledge of the world to matter at all? As we understand it...
Conference Paper
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One claim reiterated with increasing boldness by the “analytic” tradition in philosophy is that what sets it apart from long-time rivals is a shared adherence to proper norms of argumentation. Gradated deviancy from this (supposedly univocal) canon by English-speaking practitioners has therefore raised important questions about who can repair under...
Conference Paper
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This paper seeks to bring into sharper relief the gulf which separates Daniel Dennett's intentional stance from Paul Churchland's eliminative materialism. Although most studies tend to see this as a straightforward disagreement over the ontology of the mental as such, we think the traditional angle is largely unhelpful, especially given Dennett's r...
Conference Paper
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À se fier sur le ton confiant avec lequel on déclare la chose, on jurerait que la question est depuis longtemps close : la logique ne s'apprend pas par les sens. Le chef d'accusation standard veut que la théorie empiriste déborde les bornes de ses connaissances lorsqu'elle maintient pouvoir abstraire les principes généraux de la logique du flux de...
Conference Paper
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Umberto Eco stated in A Theory of Semiotics that "Every time there is possibility of lying, there is a sign-function" (1976, p. 58). In this vein, the American semiotician John Deely has called for an integrated account "that does not conceal or find paradoxical or embarrassing the single most decisive and striking feature of human language, which...
Article
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This paper suggests that it is largely a want of notional distinctions which fosters the “explanatory gap” that has beset the study of consciousness since T. Nagel’s revival of the topic. Modifying Ned Block’s controversial claim that we should countenance a “phenomenal-consciousness” which exists in its own right, we argue that there is a way to r...
Article
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A recent article in this journal caught my attention, and prompted me to voice reservations I initially had reservations about voicing. Upon quoting the fairly noncommittal definition of the sign as nothing more than a triadic relation — “A interprets B as representing C” — Marcello Barbieri questions whether this (Peircean) model is still appropri...
Chapter
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"Representation" is one of those Janus-faced terms that seems blatantly obvious when used in a casual or pre-theoretic manner, but which reveals itself far more slippery when attentively studied. Any allusion to "metarepresentation", it would then seem, only compounds these difficulties. Fortunately, there is a rich discursive strand which makes it...
Conference Paper
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Collingwood and Dilthey both maintained that social scientists come to know the subjects they study by re-enacting the thoughts of these subjects in the laboratory of their own minds. Although this reliance on introspection as a means data-gathering may strike the contemporary ear as outdated, ongoing developments in philosophy of mind suggest that...
Article
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The goal of this article is twofold. First, it revises the historiographic partition proposed by John Deely in Four Ages of Understanding (2001) by arguing that the moment marking the beginning of philosophical Modernity has been vividly recorded in Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy with the experiment with the wax. Second, an upshot of th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
À l'instar de B. Russell, il est coutumier d'aborder la pensée de Gottlob Frege avec une certaine révérence. Si la renommée du logicien de Iéna est largement méritée, se juchent néanmoins sur certaines de ses thèses les plus sobres des positions dont le bien-fondé philosophique est loin d'aller de soi. Tel est le cas avec la célèbre distinction ent...

Questions

Questions (23)
Question
If you don't know what ChatGPT is, watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uQqMxXoNVs. Then, watch the (excellent) movie Her by Spike Jonze. Then, watch this lecture (from the 36 minute mark):
Finally, picture your child bringing a cell phone home as their partner for your family's holiday dinner.
Make no mistake: this WILL happen. So, take time to think and tell me what you would do. I am curious to see people's responses...
Question
Science fiction is fiction no more. Indeed, have a look at this: https://youtu.be/LWtlQZCcp8A?t=6051
What in the world are we doing, calling it "her"?!? The current woke insanity is merely a dress rehearsal for someone more momentous, so if we fail to get this right while the stakes are relatively low, we will be doomed later on...
I feel clean knowing that I meticulously denounce this stuff in public, both in articles (https://philarchive.org/archive/CHATMO-36) and in my forthcoming book/newsletter (https://dashboard.mailerlite.com/forms/193187/69229747477939843/share)
Not everyone specializes in this area. But, if you share my worry that we are uncritically sleepwalking towards a future that we will likely come to regret, do say so below (and share with others).
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The question is prompted by this terrific talk by Jonathan Haidt, which I urge you to watch in full: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gatn5ameRr8
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What do you think of Sam Harris, the author of Islam and the Future of Tolerance, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, Lying, Free Will, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason?
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Discussions are only as productive as the concepts they employ. The current discussion of mandates and other state measures is quite muddled. So, without prejudging the outcome of the debates, some disambiguation is in order. After all, terminology matters -- and catchy terminology matters even more.
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When it comes to ideas, art can accomplish things that purely theoretical writing cannot. Mindful of that power, I am using films instead of readings in an upcoming course on philosophy, so I would like to know your experiences.
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Important developments require important minds. Who have you learned much from?
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As Sowell's immensely-productive life nears its end, it is interesting to track his influence...

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Projects (3)
Project
To explore, in groundbreaking books and articles, the philosophical ideas of thinkers who by choice, temperament, or necessity, operate(d) outside or at the margins of academic philosophy.
Project
To make Luddite responses to technological change rest on a positive basis that is carefully justified, independently attractive, and more than reactionary.
Project
To concretely explore, in ground-breaking articles and books, the powerful but neglected vantage afforded by philosophy of signs or semiotics.