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Online Papers (.pdf) by Jussi Haukioja


"A Defence of the Conditional Analysis of Phenomenal Concepts". Philosophical Studies, vol. 139 (2008), 145-151.

A recent strategy for defending physicalism about the mind against the zombie argument relies on the so-called conditional analysis of phenomenal concepts. According to this analysis, what kinds of states our phenomenal concepts refer to depends crucially on whether the actual world is merely physical or not. John Hawthorne, David Braddon-Mitchell and Robert Stalnaker have claimed, independently, that this analysis explains the conceivability of zombies in a way consistent with physicalism, thus blocking the zombie argument. Torin Alter has recently presented three arguments against the conditional analysis strategy. This paper defends the conditional analysis strategy against Alter's objections.

"How (Not) to Specify Normal Conditions for Response-Dependent Concepts". Australasian Journal of Philosophy, vol. 85 (2007), 325-331.

The extensions of response-dependent concepts are a priori connected with the subjective responses that competent users of that concept have in normal conditions. There are two strategies for specifying normal conditions for response-dependent concepts: topic-specific and topic-neutral. On a topic-specific specification, a characterisation of normal conditions would be given separately for each response-dependent concept (or a non-trivial subset of response-dependent concepts, such as our colour concepts), whereas a topic-neutral specification would be given in a uniform way for all response-dependent concepts. In this paper I argue, using a thought experiment, that only topic-neutral specifications will deliver the a priori knowledge constitutive of response-dependence.

"Why the New Missing Explanation Argument Fails, Too". Erkenntnis, vol. 64 (2006), 169-175.

The so-called Missing Explanation Argument, put forward by Mark Johnston in the late 80's purported to show that our ordinary concepts of secondary qualities such as the colours cannot be response-dependent. A number of flaws were soon found in the argument. Partly in response to the criticism directed at the original argument, Johnston presented a new version in 1998. In this paper I show that the new version fails, too, for a simple reason: the kind of explanation which Johnston claims to be incompatible with a response-dependent account of the relevant concept is not an empirical explanation at all, but merely looks like one because of certain factors in Johnston's stage-setting for the argument.

"Semantic Externalism and A Priori Self-Knowledge". Ratio, vol. XIX (2006), 176-190.

The argument known as the 'McKinsey Recipe' tries to establish the incompatibility of semantic externalism (about natural kind concepts in particular) and a priori self-knowledge about thoughts and concepts by deriving from the conjunction of these theses an absurd conclusion, such as that we could know a priori that water exists. One reply to this argument is to distinguish two different readings of 'natural kind concept': (i) a concept which in fact denotes a natural kind, and (ii) a concept which aims to denote a natural kind. Paul Boghossian has argued, using a Dry Earth scenario, that this response fails, claiming that the externalist cannot make sense of a concept aiming, but failing, to denote a natural kind. In this paper I argue that Boghossian's argument is flawed. Borrowing machinery from two-dimensional semantics, using the notion of 'considering a possible world as actual', I claim that we can give a determinate answer to Boghossian's question: which concept would 'water' express on Dry Earth?

"Proto-Rigidity". Synthese, vol. 150 (2006), 155-169.

What is it for a predicate or a general term to be a rigid designator? Two strategies for answering this question can be found in the literature, but both run into severe difficulties. In this paper it is suggested that proper names and the usual examples of rigid predicates share a semantic feature which does the theoretical work usually attributed to rigidity. This feature cannot be equated with rigidity, but in the case of singular terms this feature entails their rigidity, as understood in the standard characterisation. Hence, it is appropriate to call this feature proto-rigidity.

"Hindriks on Rule-Following". Philosophical Studies, vol. 126 (2005), 219-239.

This paper is a reply to Frank Hindriks' paper "A Modest Solution to the Problem of Rule-Following" (Philosophical Studies, vol. 121). Hindriks claims to find room for what he calls a modest solution to the Kripkensteinian problem of rule-following, different from both straight and sceptical solutions. Hindriks criticises Philip Pettit's "ethocentric" solution and goes on to provide his own, "modest" one. My paper is in two parts. In the first part, I argue that there is no room for a "modest" solution to sceptical problems: depending on how one reads Kripke, Hindriks' "modest" solution is always going to turn out either straight or sceptical. In the second part, I defend the ethocentric solution against Hindriks' arguments. In particular, I argue that the topic-neutral specifications of favourable conditions which Pettit uses are superior to Hindriks' topic-specific ones.

"Is Solitary Rule-Following Possible?". Philosophia, vol. 32 (2005), 131-154.

The aim of this paper is to discover whether or not a solitary individual, a human being isolated from birth, could become a rule-follower. The argumentation against this possibility rests on the claim that such an isolate could not become aware of a normative standard, with which her actions could agree or disagree. As a consequence, theorists impressed by this line of argument adopt a view on which the normativity of rules arises from corrective practices in which agents engage in a community. However, it has been suggested that an isolated individual could engage in such a practice by herself. Three prospective examples of such cases are considered, and the possibility of solitary rule-following is vindicated. Furthermore, the nature of the goals at which rule-following practices generally aim is clarified.

"Kripke's Finiteness Objection to Dispositionalist Theories of Meaning". In Marek & Reicher (eds.): Experience and Analysis. Papers of the 27th International Wittgenstein Symposium, 137-139. Kirchberg am Wechsel: Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, 2004.

It is often thought that Blackburn and Boghossian have provided an effective reply to the finiteness objection to dispositional theories of meaning, presented by Kripke's Wittgenstein. In this paper I distinguish two possible readings of the sceptical demand for meaning-constitutive facts. The demand can be formulated in one of two ways: I call these A-questions and B-questions. Any theory of meaning will give one of these explanatory priority over the other. I then argue that the standard reply only works if B-questions are seen as prior, while the dominant dispositionalist theories of meaning see A-questions as prior.