Chalmers Philosophy Of Mind Bibliography Creator

In recent years, philosophy of mind anthologies have proliferated, and as with the textbooks listed in Textbooks, the metaphysical issues covered in this section feature very prominently. As with newspapers and babies, the members of each year’s crop seem heftier than those of the last. This is great news for scholars seeking a comprehensive collection of readings all in one place, and most of those included here are of the “doorstopper” variety. Four of these—Chalmers 2002, Heil 2003, Lycan and Prinz 2008, and O’Connor and Robb 2003—cover a wide and representative range of topics in the philosophy of mind; the others cited in this section have more selective foci. Excellent smaller anthologies also exist, such as Warner and Szubka 1994 and McLaughlin and Cohen 2007. The papers in Crane and Patterson 2000 and McLaughlin and Cohen 2007 were published as cited for the first time; most of those in the other anthologies listed here are reprints of previously published papers.

  • Chalmers, David, ed. Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

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    This is one of the four consummate doorstopper anthologies included here. The readings collected in the first two hundred pages focus squarely on the metaphysical issues of this entry. An especially welcome feature of this anthology is that in several cases, classic papers are presented together with short extracts from later works by the same authors, in which their positions are further clarified and refined.

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  • Crane, Tim, and Sarah Patterson, eds. History of the Mind-Body Problem. London: Routledge, 2000.

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    A useful recent collection of historically informed papers on the issue of the relation between mental and physical/material phenomena. The papers were published here for the first time and are not generally available elsewhere.

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  • Heil, John, ed. Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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    Another of the four large general anthologies included here. Of these four, this is probably the one that includes the most material on the traditional metaphysical issues covered by this entry.

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  • Lycan, William, and Jesse Prinz, eds. Mind and Cognition: An Anthology. 3d ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2008.

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    The third of the four doorstopper anthologies included here. Parts 1, 4, 5, and 6 are especially relevant to the issues of this entry. The selections included are perhaps less canonical than those in the relevant sections of the other three. Includes a particularly rich selection of suggestions for further reading.

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  • McLaughlin, Brian, and Jonathan Cohen, eds. Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Mind. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2007.

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    This anthology is divided into sections, each of which presents papers taking opposing views on a given topic. The sections in Part 2 are especially relevant to the issues of this entry. The papers were specially written for the book and are not generally available elsewhere. The book is also more advanced, making it especially suitable for professionals and postgraduate students.

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  • O’Connor, Timothy, and David Robb, eds. Philosophy of Mind: Contemporary Readings. London: Routledge, 2003.

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    Another of the very large anthologies included here. The readings collected in Part 1 and Part 2 are especially relevant to the issues of this entry.

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  • Warner, Richard, and Tadeusz Szubka, eds. The Mind-Body Problem: A Guide to the Current Debate. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1994.

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    As the title suggests, this anthology focuses mainly on the traditional metaphysical issues covered by this entry. In contrast to many of the others cited here, however, it is of a manageable size.

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  • For other people with the same name, see David Chalmers (disambiguation).

    David John Chalmers (;[2] born 20 April 1966) is an Australian philosopher and cognitive scientist specializing in the areas of philosophy of mind and philosophy of language. He is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Consciousness at the Australian National University. He is also a University Professor, Professor of Philosophy and Neural Science, and a Director of the Center for Mind, Brain and Consciousness (along with Ned Block) at New York University.[3][4] In 2013, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.


    Since 2004, Chalmers has been Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Centre for Consciousness, and an ARC Federation Fellow at the Australian National University.

    Chalmers received his undergraduate degree in pure mathematics from the University of Adelaide in Australia and continued his studies at the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.[5] Chalmers received his PhD in philosophy and cognitive science from Indiana University Bloomington under Douglas Hofstadter. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology program directed by Andy Clark at Washington University in St. Louis from 1993 to 1995, and his first professorship was at UC Santa Cruz, from August 1995 to December 1998. Chalmers was subsequently appointed Professor of Philosophy (1999–2004) and, later, Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies (2002–2004) at the University of Arizona, sponsor of the Toward a Science of Consciousness[6] conference. After appearing as a plenary speaker at the first meeting, Chalmers has subsequently taken the role of co-organizer, alongside Stuart Hameroff, of this conference.

    Chalmers' 1996 book, The Conscious Mind, was described by The Sunday Times as "one of the best science books of the year".[7] In the book, Chalmers argues that all forms of physicalism (whether reductive or non-reductive) that have dominated modern philosophy and science fail to account for the existence (that is, presence in reality) of consciousness itself. He proposes an alternative dualistic view he calls naturalistic dualism (but which might also be characterized by more traditional formulations such as property dualism, neutral monism, or double-aspect theory).

    He is the lead singer of the Zombie Blues band which performed at the Qualia Fest in 2012[8] in New York. Chalmers is an editor on topics in the philosophy of mind for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.[9]

    On 14 June 2016 David Chalmers visited Moscow to hold a lecture at Moscow State University focused on solving the Hard problem of consciousness.[10] He also gave an interview about it before holding a lecture at the Moscow State University.[11]


    Philosophy of mind[edit]

    Chalmers is best known for his formulation of the notion of a hard problem of consciousness in both his 1996 book and in the 1995 paper "Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness". He makes a distinction between "easy" problems of consciousness, such as explaining object discrimination or verbal reports, and the single hard problem, which could be stated "why does the feeling which accompanies awareness of sensory information exist at all?" The essential difference between the (cognitive) easy problems and the (phenomenal) hard problem is that the former are at least theoretically answerable via the standard strategy in philosophy of mind: functionalism. Chalmers argues for an "explanatory gap" from the objective to the subjective, and criticizes physical explanations of mental experience, making him a dualist. Chalmers characterizes his view as "naturalistic dualism": naturalistic because he believes mental states are caused by physical systems (such as brains); dualist because he believes mental states are ontologically distinct from and not reducible to physical systems.

    In support of this, Chalmers is famous for his commitment to the logical (though, importantly, not natural) possibility of philosophical zombies.[12] These zombies, unlike the zombie of popular fiction, are complete physical duplicates of human beings, lacking only qualitative experience. Chalmers argues that since such zombies are conceivable to us, they must therefore be logically possible. Since they are logically possible, then qualia and sentience are not fully explained by physical properties alone. Instead, Chalmers argues that consciousness is a fundamental property ontologically autonomous of any known (or even possible) physical properties[citation needed], and that there may be lawlike rules which he terms "psychophysical laws" that determine which physical systems are associated with which types of qualia. He further speculates that all information-bearing systems may be conscious, leading him to entertain the possibility of conscious thermostats and a qualified panpsychism he calls panprotopsychism. Chalmers maintains a formal agnosticism on the issue, even conceding that the viability of panpsychism places him at odds with the majority of his contemporaries. According to Chalmers, his arguments are similar to a line of thought that goes back to Leibniz's 1714 "mill" argument; the first substantial use of philosophical "zombie" terminology may be Robert Kirk's 1974 "Zombies vs. Materialists".[13]

    After the publication of Chalmers's landmark paper, more than twenty papers in response were published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies. These papers (by Daniel Dennett, Colin McGinn, Francisco Varela, Francis Crick, and Roger Penrose, among others) were collected and published in the book Explaining Consciousness: The Hard Problem. John Searle critiqued Chalmers's views in The New York Review of Books.[14]

    With Andy Clark, Chalmers has written The Extended Mind, an article about the borders of the mind.[15]

    Philosophy of language[edit]

    Chalmers has published works on the "theory of reference" concerning how words secure their referents. He, together with others such as Frank Jackson, proposes a kind of theory called two dimensionalism arguing against Saul Kripke. Before Kripke delivered the famous lecture series Naming and Necessity in 1970, the descriptivism advocated by Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell was the orthodoxy. Descriptivism suggests that a name is indeed an abbreviation of a description, which is a set of properties or, as later modified by John Searle, a disjunction of properties. This name secures its reference by a process of properties fitting: whichever object fits the description most, then it is the referent of the name. Therefore, the description is seen as the connotation, or, in Fregean terms, the sense of the name, and it is via this sense by which the denotation of the name is determined.

    However, as Kripke argued in Naming and Necessity, a name does not secure its reference via any process of description fitting. Rather, a name determines its reference via a historical-causal link tracing back to the process of naming. And thus, Kripke thinks that a name does not have a sense, or, at least, does not have a sense which is rich enough to play the reference-determining role. Moreover, a name, in Kripke's view, is a rigid designator, which refers to the same object in all possible worlds. Following this line of thought, Kripke suggests that any scientific identity statement such as "Water is H2O" is also a necessary statement, i.e. true in all possible worlds. Kripke thinks that this is a phenomenon that the descriptivist cannot explain.

    And, as also proposed by Hilary Putnam and Kripke himself, Kripke's view on names can also be applied to the reference of natural kind terms. The kind of theory of reference that is advocated by Kripke and Putnam is called the direct reference theory.

    However, Chalmers disagrees with Kripke, and all the direct reference theorists in general. He thinks that there are two kinds of intension of a natural kind term, a stance which is now called two dimensionalism. For example, the words,

    "Water is H2O"

    are taken to express two distinct propositions, often referred to as a primary intension and a secondary intension, which together compose its meaning.[16]

    The primary intension of a word or sentence is its sense, i.e., is the idea or method by which we find its referent. The primary intension of "water" might be a description, such as watery stuff. The thing picked out by the primary intension of "water" could have been otherwise. For example, on some other world where the inhabitants take "water" to mean watery stuff, but where the chemical make-up of watery stuff is not H2O, it is not the case that water is H2O for that world.

    The secondary intension of "water" is whatever thing "water" happens to pick out in this world, whatever that world happens to be. So if we assign "water" the primary intension watery stuff then the secondary intension of "water" is H2O, since H2O is watery stuff in this world. The secondary intension of "water" in our world is H2O, and is H2O in every world because unlike watery stuff it is impossible for H2O to be other than H2O. When considered according to its secondary intension, water means H2O in every world. Via this secondary intension, Chalmers proposes a way simultaneously to explain the necessity of the identity statement and to preserve the role of intension/sense in determining the reference.

    Philosophy of verbal disputes[edit]

    In recent work, Chalmers has concentrated on verbal disputes.[17] He argues that a dispute is best characterized as "verbal" when it concerns some sentence S which contains a term T such that (i) the parties to the dispute disagree over the meaning of T, and (ii) the dispute arises solely because of this disagreement. In the same work, Chalmers proposes certain procedures for the resolution of verbal disputes. One of these he calls the "elimination method", which involves eliminating the contentious term and observing whether any dispute remains.


    See also[edit]


    External links[edit]

    1. ^CV
    2. ^"The Thinking Ape: The Enigma of Human Consciousness"
    3. ^
    4. ^"People – NYU Center for Mind, Brain and Consciousness". Retrieved 2016-12-11. 
    5. ^Cognitive Science Online
    6. ^
    7. ^The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory (1996), paperback edition, back cover.
    8. ^
    9. ^"Editorial Board (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)". Retrieved 10 December 2016. 
    10. ^The hard problem of consciousness: 300 years on. Lecture at the MSU
    11. ^Consciousness and the Universe. Interview with David Chalmers
    12. ^Burkeman, Oliver (21 January 2015). "Why can't the world's greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness?". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
    13. ^David Chalmers. "Zombies on the web". Retrieved 7 January 2017.  
    14. ^Searle's review of The Conscious Mind 6 March 1997 (subscription required)
      Chalmers' response to Searle and Searle's reply 15 May 1997 (free access)
    15. ^ Analysis 58:10-23, 1998. Reprinted in The Philosopher's Annual, 1998.
    16. ^for a fuller explanation see Chalmers, David. The Conscious Mind. Oxford UP: 1996. Chapter 2, section 4.
    17. ^ Philosophical Review, 120:4, 2011.


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