Neil Van Leeuwen

Learn More
Galen Strawson argues that we have a sense of mental selves, which are entities that have mental features but do not have bodily features. In particular, he argues that there is a form of self-consciousness that involves a conception of the mental self. His mental self view is opposed to the embodied self view, the view that the self must be conceived of as(More)
Recently, Gualtiero Piccinini and Carl Craver (2011) have argued that functional analyses in psychology lack explanatory autonomy from explanations in neuroscience. In this thesis I argue against this claim by motivating and defending a pragmatic-epistemic conception of autonomous psychological explanation. I argue that this conception of autonomy need not(More)
The aim of this thesis is to offer up a structure of what I call Emotional Self-Knowledge—roughly, knowledge of one's own emotions. I begin with a broad understanding of an emotion event, according to which emotion events include a set of bodily feelings in response to some object. I then argue that knowledge of the object and the feeling of the emotion are(More)
This thesis challenges the restrictive definition of 'gay' used in legal discourse, argues for the adoption of a broader definition that is inclusive of more gay individuals, and demonstrates that the adoption of a broader definition would help frame gay rights debates in a way that is more acceptable to both progressives and conservatives. Current legal(More)
According to Eli Hirsch many ontological disputes are verbal because, in these disputes, each side is most charitably interpreted as speaking the truth in its own language. In this thesis I argue that the ontological disputes Hirsch targets can't be verbal. The problem with Hirsch's proposal is that these ontological disputes are explicable in terms of(More)
In this thesis, I apply teleofunctionalism to a current debate concerning the normativity of practical rationality. Assuming teleofunctionalism is the correct theory of mental phenomena, I argue that it can provide a promising account of the normativity of practical rationality. This claim is motivated by the idea that a capacity to represent internal(More)
I argue against the commonly held intuition that robots and virtual agents will never have emotions by contending robots can have emotions in a sense that is functionally similar to humans , even if the robots' emotions are not exactly equivalent to those of humans. To establish a foundation for assessing the robots' emotional capacities, I first define(More)
It is widely believed that we have immediate, introspective access to the content of our own thoughts. This access is assumed to be privileged in a way that our access to the thought content of others is not. It is also widely believed that, in many cases, thought content is individuated according to properties that are external to the thinker's head. I(More)
I argue that the question of whether or not all of our choices are determined by the past and the laws of physics requires answering the question of whether or not quantum mechanisms could have a functional role in the parts of our brain that are identical to conscious experience. I take a physicalist position on the mind-body problem as opposed to a(More)