“The Self-consciousness Argument: Why Tooley’s Criticisms Fail Self-Consciousness Mental Props Fregean Equivocation Tooley,” Philosophical Studies, vol. 105, 2001, pp. 281-307.
© Kluwer Academic Publishers
In “Self-Consciousness” (Philosophical Review, 1997), the author establishes: (I) all the leading formulations of functionalism are mistaken because their proposed definitions wrongly admit realizations (vs. mental properties themselves) into the contents of self-consciousness, and (II) a certain nonreductive functionalism is the only viable alternative (which no longer underwrites functionalism’s materialist solution to the Mind-Body Problem). Michael Tooley’s critique provides no criticism of (I), except for a failed attack on certain familiar self-intimation principles. Moreover, by advocating a form of nonreductive functionalism himself, he tacitly accepts (II). While defending these points, the author discusses differences between Frege’s and Russell’s treatments of intensional contexts and the Kripke-Lewis controversy over theoretical terms.
“Fregean Equivocation and Ramsification on Sparse Theories,” Mind and Language, vol. 15, 2000, pp. 500-510.
© Blackwell Publishers
This paper begins with a brief summary of the Self-consciousness Argument, developed in the author’s paper “Self-consciousness.” (This argument is designed to refute the extant versions of functionalism — American functionalism, Australian functionalism, and language-of-thought functionalism.) After this summary is given, two thesis are defended. The first is that the Self-consciousness Argument is not guilty of a Fregean equivocation regarding embedded occurrences of mental predicates, as has been suggested by many commentators, including Mark McCullagh. The second thesis is that the Self-consciousness Argument cannot be avoided by weakening the psychological theory upon which Ramsified functional definitions are based. Specifically, it does no good to excise psychological principles involving embedded mental predicates. Why? Because functional definitions based on the resulting sparse theories are exposed to an interesting new family of counterexamples.
“Self-Consciousness,” The Philosophical Review, vol. 106, 1997, pp. 69-117.
© Cornell University
Self-consciousness constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to functionalism. Either the standard functional definitions of mental relations wrongly require the contents of self-consciousness to be propositions involving “realizations” rather than mental properties and relations themselves. Or else these definitions are circular. The only way to save functional definitions is to expunge the standard functionalist requirement that mental properties be second-order and to accept that they are first-order. But even the resulting “ideological” functionalism, which aims only at conceptual clarification, fails unless it incorporates the thesis that the mental properties are fully “natural” universals. Accordingly, mental properties are sui generis: first-order, nonphysical, natural universals.
“Mental Properties,” The Journal of Philosophy, vol. 91, 1994, pp. 185-208.
© The Journal of Philosophy, Inc.
It is argued that, because of scientific essentialism, two currently popular arguments against the mind-body identity thesis — the multiple-realizability argument and the Nagel-Jackson knowledge argument — are unsatisfactory as they stand and that their problems are incurable. It is then argued that a refutation of the identity thesis in its full generality can be achieved by weaving together two traditional Cartesian arguments — the modal argument and the certainty argument. This argument establishes, not just the falsity of the identity thesis, but also the metaphysical possibility of disembodiment.
“The Rejection of the Identity Thesis,” The Mind-Body Problem: A Guide to the Current Debate, Richard Warner and Tadeusz Szubka (eds.), Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1994, pp. 355-388.
In this paper, the arguments against the mind-body identity thesis from the author’s  paper, “Mental Properties,” are presented but in significantly more detail. It is shown that, because of scientific essentialism, two currently popular arguments against the identity thesis — the multiple-realizability argument and the Nagel-Jackson knowledge argument — are unsatisfactory as they stand and that their problems are incurable. It is then shown that a refutation of the identity thesis in its full generality can be achieved by weaving together two traditional Cartesian arguments — the modal argument and the certainty argument. This argument establishes, not just the falsity of the identity thesis, but also the metaphysical possibility of disembodiment. The paper ends with a discussion of the nature of the relation between the mind and the body.
“,” Objections to Physicalism, Howard Robinson (ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993, pp. 101-26.
After a brief history of Brentano’s thesis of intentionality, it is argued that intentionality presents a serious problem for materialism. First, it is shown that, if no general materialist analysis (or reduction) of intentionality is possible, then intentional phenomena would have in common at least one nonphysical property, namely, their intentionality. A general analysis of intentionality is then suggested. Finally, it is argued that any satisfactory general analysis of intentionality must share with this analysis a feature which entails the existence of a nonphysical “level of organization” (or a nonphysical family of “real patterns”). This argument is unusual in that it would go through even if, per impossibile, every particular type of mental phenomenon had a materialist analysis.
“The Logical Status of Mind,” Midwest Studies in Philosophy, vol. 10, 1986, pp. 231-74.
It is argued that the distinction between the mental and the nonmental is at bottom logical. The paper begins by sketching and defending a theory of intensional logic in which the notion of logically and metaphysically basic relations (called connections) can be defined. This notion is then employed in an analysis of intentionality: a connection is intentional iff it can contingently connect some individual to some proposition or concept independently of whether it connects the individual to some necessarily equivalent proposition or concept. After potential counterexamples have been explained away, the paper then extends the analysis to a general analysis of mentality. Finally, a “transcendental” argument is given for the thesis that at least some mental relations must be logically and metaphysically basic.
“Mind and Anti-Mind: Thinking Has No Functional Definition,” Midwest Studies in Philosophy, vol. 9, 1984, pp. 283-328.
Functionalism would be mistaken if there existed a system of deviant relations (an “anti-mind”) that had the same functional roles as the standard mental relations. In this paper such a system is constructed, using “Quinean transformations” of the sort associated with Quine’s thesis of the indeterminacy of translation. For example, a mapping m from particularistic propositions (e.g., that there exists a rabbit) to universalistic propositions (that rabbithood is manifested). Using m, a deviant relation thinking* is defined: x thinks* p iff x thinks m(p). Such deviant relations satisfy the commonly discussed functionalist psychological principles. Finally, a more complicated system of deviant relations is constructed, one satisfying sophisticated principles dealing with the self-conscious rational mind.
“An Inconsistency in Functionalism,” Synthese, Special Issue on Automaton-Theoretical Foundations of Psychology and Biology, vol. 38, 1978, pp. 333-72.
This paper demonstrates that there is an inconsistency in functionalism in psychology and philosophy of mind. Analogous inconsistencies can be expected in functionalisms in biology and social theory (edited).