Tuomas Pernu

Tuomas Pernu
King's College London | KCL · Department of Philosophy

PhD

About

28
Publications
3,006
Reads
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217
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2014 - present
King's College London
Position
  • Visiting Research Fellow
January 2004 - September 2014
University of Helsinki
Position
  • PhD Student
September 2002 - May 2004
University of Helsinki
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (28)
Article
Full-text available
Debates on dualism continue to plague psychiatry. I suggest that these debates are based on false dichotomies. According to metaphysical physicalism, reality is ultimately physical. Although this view excludes the idea of entities distinct from physical reality, it does not compel us to favour neural over psychological interventions. According to m...
Chapter
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how different (even conflicting) interventions on nature can be scientifically justified: interventions can be deemed "effective" only in relation to specific target variables - in relation to variables the values of which we seek to control. Choosing the "right" target variables, in turn, depends on our value...
Article
Full-text available
Since our moral and legal judgments are focused on our decisions and actions, one would expect information about the neural underpinnings of human decision-making and action-production to have a significant bearing on those judgments. However, despite the wealth of empirical data, and the public attention it has attracted in the past few decades, t...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how different (even conflicting) interventions on nature can be scientifically justified: interventions can be deemed "effective" only in relation to specific target variables - in relation to variables the values of which we seek to control. Choosing the "right" target variables, in turn, depends on our value...
Article
Full-text available
A type of transcendental argument for libertarian free will maintains that if acting freely requires the availability of alternative possibilities, and determinism holds, then one is not justified in asserting that there is no free will. More precisely: if an agent A is to be justified in asserting a proposition P (e.g. "there is no free will"), th...
Article
Full-text available
The role of genetic relatedness in social evolution has recently come under critical attention. These arguments are here critically analyzed, both theoretically and empirically. It is argued that when the conceptual structure of the theory of natural selection is carefully taken into account, genetic relatedness can be seen to play an indispensable...
Article
The thesis of multiple realisation that Borsboom et al. are relying on should not be taken for granted. In dissolving the apparent multiple realisation, the reductionist research strategies in psychopathology research (the Research Domain Criteria [RDoC] framework, in particular) are bound to lead to eliminativism rather than reductionism. Therefor...
Article
Full-text available
The kin selection theory has recently been criticised on the basis of claiming that genetic relatedness among individuals within insect societies does not play a causal role in the evolution of social behaviour. We outline here a line of criticism of this view by demonstrating two things. First, there are strong conceptual, theoretical and empirica...
Article
Full-text available
The kin selection theory has recently been criticised on the basis of claiming that genetic relatedness does not play a causal role in the social evolution among individuals of insect societies. We outline here a line of criticism of this view by demonstrating two things. First, there are strong conceptual, theoretical and empirical reasons to thin...
Article
Full-text available
Some recent arguments defending the genuine causal efficacy of the mental have been relying on empirical research on neuroprosthetics. This essay presents a critical analysis of these arguments. The problem of mental causation, and the basic idea and results of neuroprosthetics are reviewed. It is shown how appealing to the research on neuroprosthe...
Article
Full-text available
A thoroughly physical view on reality and our common sense view on agency and free will seem to be in a direct conflict with each other: if everything that happens is determined by prior physical events, so too are all our actions and conscious decisions; you have no choice but to do what you are destined to do. Although this way of thinking has in...
Article
Full-text available
Supervenient libertarianism maintains that indeterminism may exist at a supervening agency level, consistent with determinism at a subven-ing physical level. It seems as if this approach has the potential to break the longstanding deadlock in the free will debate, since it concedes to the traditional incompatibilist that agents can only do otherwis...
Article
Full-text available
The mental realm seems different to the physical realm; the mental is thought to be dependent on, yet distinct from the physical. But how, exactly, are the two realms supposed to be different, and what, exactly, creates the seemingly insurmountable juxtaposition between the mental and the physical? This review identifies and discusses five marks of...
Article
Full-text available
A thoroughly physical view on reality and our common sense view on agency and free will seem to be in a direct conflict with each other: if everything that happens is determined by prior physical events, so too are all our actions and conscious decisions; you have no choice but to do what you are destined to do. Although this way of thinking has in...
Article
Full-text available
One of the main line of responses to the infamous causal exclusion problem has been based on the counterfactual account of causation. However, arguments have begun to surface to the effect that the counterfactual theory is in fact ill-equipped to solve the exclusion problem due to its commitment to downward causation. This argumentation is here cri...
Article
Two strains of interventionist responses to the causal exclusion argument are reviewed and critically assessed. On the one hand, one can argue that manipulating supervenient mental states is an effective strategy for manipulating the subvenient physical states, and hence should count as genuine causes to the subvenient physical states. But unless t...
Article
A critical analysis of recent interventionist responses to the causal exclusion problem is presented. It is argued that the response can indeed offer a solution to the problem, but one that is based on renouncing the multiple realizability thesis. The account amounts to the rejection of nonreductive physicalism and would thus be unacceptable to man...
Article
This article reviews the causal exclusion argument and confronts it with some recently proposed refutations based on the interventionist account of causation. I first show that there are several technical and interpretative difficulties in applying the interventionist account to the exclusion issue. Different ways of accommodating the two to one an...
Book
The notion of causal explanation is an essential element of the naturalistic world view. This view is typically interpreted to claim that we are only licensed to postulate entities that make a causal difference, or have causal power. The rest are epiphenomena and hence eliminable from the correct view of reality. The worry that some entities and ph...
Article
Emergence is analyzed by the principle of least action. The supreme law of nature describes diverse systems as actions that evolve from one state to another by consuming free energy in least time. As the system will either gain or lose quanta at the step of evolution, the systemic characteristics after the change of state cannot be reduced to those...
Article
The most fundamental issue of the neurosciences is the question of how or whether the mind and the body can interact with each other. It has recently been suggested in several studies that current neuroimaging evidence supports a view where the mind can have a well-documented causal influence on various brain processes. These arguments are critical...
Article
The concept of time is examined using the second law of thermodynamics that was recently formulated as an equation of motion. According to the statistical notion of increasing entropy, flows of energy diminish differences between energy densities tha form space. The flow of energy is identified with the flow of time. The non-Euclidean energy landsc...
Article
The project of treating knowledge as an empirical object of study has gained popularity in recent naturalistic epistemology. It is argued here that the assumption that such an object of study exists is in tension with other central elements of naturalistic philosophy. Two hypotheses are considered. In the first, “knowledge” is hypothesized to refer...
Article
According to one traditional view, empirical science is necessarily preceded by philosophical analysis. Yet the relevance of philosophy is often doubted by those engaged in empirical sciences. I argue that these doubts can be substantiated by two theoretical problems that the traditional conception of philosophy is bound to face. First, there is a...

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