Olivier Massin

Olivier Massin
Université de Neuchâtel | UniNE · Institut de philosophie (IPHILO)

PhD

About

61
Publications
22,825
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160
Citations
Additional affiliations
March 2017 - present
University of Zurich
Position
  • Professor
September 2006 - February 2017
University of Geneva
Position
  • Maître-Assistant

Publications

Publications (61)
Article
Full-text available
What are economic exchanges? The received view has it that exchanges are mutual transfers of goods motivated by inverse valuations thereof. As a corollary, the standard approach treats exchanges of services as a subspecies of exchanges of goods. We raise two objections against this standard approach. First, it is incomplete, as it fails to take int...
Research
Full-text available
The thesis defended, the “guise of the ought”, is that the formal objects of desires are norms (oughts to be or oughts to do) rather than values (as the “guise of the good” thesis has it). It is impossible, in virtue of the nature of desire, to desire something without it being presented as something that ought to be or that one ought to do. This v...
Research
Full-text available
This paper defends a realist account of the composition of Newtonian forces, dubbed ‘residualism’. According to residualism, the resultant force acting on a body is identical to the component forces acting on it that do not prevent each other from bringing about its acceleration. Several reasons to favor residualism over alternative accounts of the...
Article
Full-text available
What is the contrary of pleasure? “Pain” is one common answer. This paper argues that pleasure instead has two natural contraries: unpleasure and hedonic indifference. This view is defended by drawing attention to two often-neglected concepts: the formal relation of polar opposition and the psychological state of hedonic indifference. The existence...
Article
This paper defends the view that Newtonian forces are real, symmetrical and non-causal relations. First, I argue that Newtonian forces are real; second, that they are relations; third, that they are symmetrical relations; fourth, that they are not species of causation. The overall picture is anti-Humean to the extent that it defends the existence o...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluative theories of emotions purport to shed light on the nature of emotions by appealing to values. Three kinds of evaluative theories of emotions dominate the recent literature: the judgment theory equates emotions with value judgments; the perceptual theory equates emotions with perceptions of values, and the attitudinal theory equates emotio...
Article
Full-text available
Ainslie argues there are two main kinds of willpower: suppression, which is necessarily effortful, and resolve, which is not. We agree with the distinction but argue that all resolve is effortful. Alleged cases of effortless resolve are indeed cases of what Ainslie calls habits, namely stable results of prior uses of resolve.
Chapter
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Touch seems to enjoy some epistemic advantage over the other senses when it comes to attesting to the reality of external objects. The question is not whether only what appears in tactile experiences is real. It is whether only what appears in tactile experiences feels real to the subject. This chapter first clarifies how the rather vague idea of a...
Chapter
Full-text available
The paper aims at clarifying the distinctions and relations between pain and suffering. Three negative theses are defended: 1. Pain and suffering are not identical. 2. Pain is not a species of suffering, nor is suffering a species of pain, nor are pain and suffering of a common (proximate) genus. 3. Suffering cannot be defined as the perception of...
Preprint
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The paper aims at clarifying the distinctions and relations between pain and suffering. Three negative theses are defended: 1. Pain and suffering are not identical. 2. Pain is not a species of suffering, nor is suffering a species of pain, nor are pain and suffering of a common genus. 3. Suffering cannot be defined as the perception of a pain's bad...
Article
Full-text available
Brentano's theory of continuity is based on his account of boundaries. The core idea of the theory is that boundaries and coincidences thereof belong to the essence of continua. Brentano is confident that he developed a full-fledged, boundary-based, theory of continuity 1 ; and scholars often concur: whether or not they accept Brentano's take on co...
Article
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Adolf Reinach belongs to the Brentanian lineage of Austrian Aristotelianism. His theory of social acts is well known, but his account of ownership has been mostly overlooked. This paper introduces and defends Reinach’s account of ownership. Ownership, for Reinach, is not a bundle of property rights. On the contrary, he argues that ownership is a pr...
Article
Full-text available
Although widely used across psychology, economics, and philosophy, the concept of effort is rarely ever defined. This article argues that the time is ripe to look for an explicit general definition of effort, makes some proposals about how to arrive at this definition, and suggests that a force-based approach is the most promising. Section 1 presen...
Article
Can we maintain that purple seems composed of red and blue without giving up the impenetrability of the red and blue parts that compose it? Brentano thinks we can. Purple, according to him, is a chessboard of red and blue tiles which, although individually too small to be perceived, are together indistinctly perceived within the purple. After a pre...
Chapter
Full-text available
The thesis defended in this essay, the “guise of the ought,” is that the formal objects of desires are norms (oughts-to-be or oughts-to-do) rather than values (as the “guise of the good” thesis has it). It is impossible, in virtue of the nature of desire, to desire something without it being presented as something that ought to be or that one ought...
Chapter
Full-text available
To appear, " Brentano on Sensation and Sensory qualities " , in Routledge Handbook of Brentano and the Brentano School, ed. U. Kriegel] The term " sensation " (Empfindung) famously displays an act/object ambiguity. It might be used to refer:
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter defends an axiological theory of pain according to which pains are bodily episodes that are bad in some way. Section 1 introduces two standard assumptions about pain that the axiological theory constitutively rejects: (i) that pains are essentially tied to consciousness and (ii) that pains are not essentially tied to badness. Section 2...
Article
This paper defends a realist account of the composition of Newtonian forces, dubbed ‘residualism’. According to residualism, the resultant force acting on a body is identical to the component forces acting on it that do not prevent each other from bringing about its acceleration. Several reasons to favor residualism over alternative accounts of the...
Research
Full-text available
I present and defend Reinach's theory of ownership according to which, prior to the positive law, one finds a distinction between possession, ownership and property rights. Ownership is not a bundle of positive rights, but a primitive natural relation that grounds the absolute right to behave as one wishes towards the thing one owns. In reply to so...
Research
Full-text available
I argue that pleasure is not only necessarily good, but also essentially so. Part of the nature of pleasure is to be (personally, finally) good.
Research
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The thesis vindicates the common-sense intuition that touch is more objective than the other senses. The reason why it is so, it is argued, is that touch is the only sense essential of the experience of physical effort, and that this experience constitutes our only acquaintance with the mind-independence of the physical world. The thesis is divided...
Research
Full-text available
This thesis introduces and defends the Axiological Theory of Pleasure (ATP), according to which all pleasures are mental episodes which exemplify an hedonic value. According to the version of the ATP defended, hedonic goodness is not a primitive kind of value, but amounts to the final and personal value of mental episodes. Beside, it is argued that...
Chapter
Full-text available
Some colors are compound colors, in the sense that they look complex: orange, violet, green..., by contrast to elemental colors like yellow or blue. In the chapter 3 of his Unterschungen zur Sinnespsychologie, Brentano purports to reconcile the claim that some colors are indeed intrinsically composed of others, with the claim that colors are impene...
Chapter
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We review the history of the philosophy of fondue since Aristotle so as to arrive at the formulation of the paradox of Swiss fondue. Either the wine and the cheese cease to exist (Buridan), but then the fondue is not really a mixture of wine and cheese. Or the wine and the cheese continue to exist. If they do, then either they continue to exist in...
Chapter
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The thesis defended is that at a certain arbitrary level of granularity, mountains have sharp, bona fide boundaries. In reply to arguments advanced by Varzi (2001), Smith & Mark (2001, 2003) I argue that the lower limit of a mountain is neither vague nor fiat. Relying on early works by Cayley (1859), Maxwell (1870) and Jordan (1872), this lower lim...
Chapter
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The proper sensible criterion of sensory individuation holds that senses are individuated by the special kind of sensibles on which they exclusively bear about (colors for sight, sounds for hearing, etc.). H. P. Grice objected to the proper sensibles criterion that it cannot account for the phenomenal difference between feeling and seeing shapes or...
Chapter
A l'origine de la philosophie comme des sciences, il y a, selon Aristote, "l'étonnement de ce que les choses sont ce qu'elles sont". Nul doute qu'Aristote aurait trouvé en Suisse maints sujets d'étonnement : Qu'est-ce qu'une vache ? Qu'est-ce qu'une montagne ? Qu'est-ce que le Röstigraben ? Qu'est-ce qu'une fondue ? Qu'est-ce qu'un trou dans l'emme...
Chapter
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Ingvar Johansson has argued that there are not only determinate universals, but also determinable ones. I here argue that this view is misguided by reviving a line of argument to the following effect: what makes determinates falling under a same determinable similar cannot be distinct from what makes them different. If true, some similarities — imp...
Chapter
Full-text available
Since Aristotle, touch has been found especially hard to define. One of the few unchallenged intuition about touch, however, is that tactile awareness entertains some especially close relationship with bodily awareness. This article considers the relation between touch and bodily awareness from two different perspectives: the body template theory a...
Article
Full-text available
This paper defends the action-theory of the Will, according to which willing G is doing F (F≠G) in order to make G happen. In a nutshell, willing something is doing something else in order to get what we want. I argue that only the action-theory can reconcile two essential features of the Will. (i) its EFFECTIVITY: willing is closer to acting than...
Chapter
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This paper defends hedonic intentionalism, the view that all pleasures, including bodily pleasures, are directed towards objects distinct from themselves. Brentano is the leading proponent of this view. My goal here is to disentangle his significant proposals from the more disputable ones so as to arrive at a hopefully promising version of hedonic...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper argues (i) that the possibility of experiencing at once pleasures and unpleasures does not threaten the contrariety of pleasure and unpleasure. (ii) That the hedonic balance calculated by adding all pleasures and displeasures of a subject at a time yields an abstract result that does not correspond to any new psychological reality. There...
Chapter
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The thesis defended is that ordinary perception does not present us with the existential independence of its objects from itself. The phenomenology of ordinary perception is mute with respect to the subject-object distinction. I call this view "phenomenal neutral monism" : though neutral monists are wrong about the metaphysics of perception (in eve...
Article
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I defend the view that the experience of resistance gives us a direct phenomenal access to the mind-independence of perceptual objects. In the first part, I address a humean objection against the very possibility of experiencing existential mind-independence. The possibility of an experience of mind-independence being secured, I argue in the second...
Article
Rom Harr thinks that the Emergence–Reduction debate, conceived as a vertical problem, is partly ill posed. Even if he doesn’t wholly reject the traditional definition of an emergent property as a property of a collection but not of its components, his point is that this definition doesn’t exhaust all the dimensions of emergence. According to Harr t...
Article
Full-text available
Nous soutenons que la proprioception, en tant que sensibilité articulaire et musculaire, n'est pas un sixième sens, qui serait distinct du toucher. Toucher et proprioception constituent un seul sens : celui qui nous permet d'avoir accès aux propriétés mécaniques mésoscopiques de la réalité. Ce n'est qu'en renonçant à cette distinction que l'on peut...
Article
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1 Component and resultant forces An apple is falling from the tree. According to Newton's second law of motion, its acceleration is determined by the sum of all the forces exerted on it. Let us assume that in that case only two forces act on the apple : the gravitation exerted by the earth on the apple (call it − → G) and the resistance or friction...

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Projects (6)
Project
The goal of my research is roughly to provide an empirically-informed account of strength of will (and thereby of weakness of will) that i) unifies our multifarious ordinary uses of the concept, ii) clarifies its relation with related notions such as "self-control", "willpower" and "effort". Among other things, I assess on both conceptual and experimental grounds whether a distinct faculty (or "muscle") of willpower is warranted.