Roger F. Gibson, Jr.

Last night, at the University of Missouri, Columbia Symposium on the work of W.V.O. Quine and Roger Gibson, Chase Wrenn announced the festschrift for Roger Chase has been editing. My and Josh Weisberg’s paper, Type-Q Materialism is forthcoming in that volume (link to uncorrected page proofs). Other contributors include Alex Orenstein, Bob Barrett, Dagfinn Follesdal, David Henderson, Ernie Lepore, Eve Gaudet, Joe Ullian, Josefa Toribio, Ken Shockley, Lars Bergstrom, Richard Creath, and Robert Thompson.

One of the articles I’m especially excited about is Thompson’s. Here’s the title and abstract from his website:


Gibson and Quine: Experimental philosophy and the reciprocal containment of epistemology and ontology:
One of Roger Gibson’s most valuable philosophical contributions is his interpretation of W.V. Quine as a systematic philosopher. Much of his work has consisted in laying out Quine’s central themes and showing the various relationships among them. Gibson invariably highlights a terse claim in Quine, one which has been passed over by most philosophers, and shows how this claim embodies a crucial relationship among the Quinean themes. In this paper, I want to highlight one such claim: that for Quine, epistemology and ontology reciprocally contain one another. I will use this claim to analyze recent work in experimental philosophy which suggests an instability in the intuitions to which analytic epistemologists appeal. While it may seem that this empirical investigation is an example of Quinean naturalized epistemology, par excellence, I will argue that the results are much less interesting than they seem, if we are to be thoroughgoing Quineans. These results may offer more evidence that there is no non-natural source for knowledge, but they are only significant if one adopts a theory of explanation and confirmation which is radically non-Quinean. Given that Quine was not above offering thought experiments of his own, I will attempt to give a more thoroughly Quinean account of these results.

Anyway, Josh and I and a bazillion other zombies are descending upon Tuscon AZ for the Toward a Science of Consciousness conference next week. If you’ll be in town, dear Brain Hammer reader, please say ‘hi’.

9 Responses to “Roger F. Gibson, Jr.”

  1. Rasputin says:

    Hey man, I got here with the help of consciousentity.com… I’m seriously thinking of taking philosophy and some sort of cognitive science thing when I go to the university…
    Philip K. Dick was a major influence on me taking this direction.

    While I’m at it, what do you think about solipsism and Nick Bostrom’s Simulation Argument? Many people have commented on the second, not so many on the first. Those who did, claim that solipsism is bullshit and that philosophy at large is for failing to dispruve such stance. But I don’t know…
    Solipsism doesn’t get you anywhere, but in the mind of a skilled universe-creator it can serve as a cool plot (i.e Philip Dick, Satoshi Kon, Borges [only read 2 of his stories- Circular Ruins and The Library of Babel] and JHWA, hehe).

  2. Rasputin says:

    Hey man, I got here with the help of consciousentity.com… I’m seriously thinking of taking philosophy and some sort of cognitive science thing when I go to the university…
    Philip K. Dick was a major influence on me taking this direction.

    While I’m at it, what do you think about solipsism and Nick Bostrom’s Simulation Argument? Many people have commented on the second, not so many on the first. Those who did, claim that solipsism is bullshit and that philosophy at large is for failing to dispruve such stance. But I don’t know…
    Solipsism doesn’t get you anywhere, but in the mind of a skilled universe-creator it can serve as a cool plot (i.e Philip Dick, Satoshi Kon, Borges [only read 2 of his stories- Circular Ruins and The Library of Babel] and JHWA, hehe).

    Sorry if this message was duplicated in any way.

  3. Pete Mandik says:

    If anyone besides me declares that only they exist, I automatically know that they are wrong. And if I ever felt compelled to try to convince anyone else that only I exist, then I tacitly undermine my own position: if I genuinely believed that only I exist, I wouldn’t expend any energy trying to convince anyone else. So when multiple people get together to talk about solipsism, its like a bunch of people getting together to masturbate.

    Now I feel dirty for even having written this comment.

  4. Rasputin says:

    Ohhh! Don’t feel bad! Read this poetic dialog (or trialog) from Family Guy:
    Meg Griffin: I’m going to the mall the later, maybe you can come and help me pick out some underwear.
    Brian Griffin: Uhh, I don’t think that’s going to be a possibility, uhhh, I have plans, with Chris! Chris and I have plans this afternoon!
    Chris Griffin: [Chris walks by] We do?
    Brian Griffin: Yeah, yeah! We’re doing that thing, we’re doing what you usually do on a Thursday afternoon!
    Chris Griffin: Masturbate?
    Brian Griffin: That’s it, that’s what we’re going to do together.
    Chris Griffin: Well, maybe back to back, but I gotta tell you, I’m not 100% on this.

    And if an animated deep-voiced dog and a blond fat kid are masturbating together, it means that it’s socially acceptable, wrong?

    Other solipsists are pretty nagging, with their whole Blade Runner attitude… But I dunno..I kinda feel that when I’m taking the Solipsist standppint it… just feels right. Like believing in god. Aside from the fact that solipsism is more… logical. maybe.

    Are you familiar with Robert Anton Wilson? He also influenced my derranged thought in may ways.

  5. Eric Thomson says:

    Rasputin: definitely take some philosophy classes.

  6. Rasputin says:

    Yeah, RAW ruled my world. Prometheus Rising and Quantum Psychology changed the way I see reality.

    Eric: thanks, I’m going to. I know that the neuroscience major in my country has courses on the mind/body problem…

    The only thing in philosophy that repels (sp?) me is the fact that while philosophy can be fascinating (for example philosophytalk.org, intorductory books like Metaphysics by Richard Taylor) there seems to be SO MUCH pure BS in it… I don’t even know how to approach stuff like Baudrillard, Heidegger and all of those who are considered po-mo. I like the KISS principle- keep is simple, stupid. I got Bertrand Russel on my side, and Richard Dawkins…

    But… what if in fact the king HAS clothes, only they are super high-tech cool camouflage clothes that stupid farmers such as I can’t see? What if all those french dudes do have something very simple yet profound to say?

  7. JR Thompson says:

    Hey Pete,

    I’m looking forward to reading that paper too. The problem is that it is still under construction. I submitted a different paper for the Gibson volume, but my paper on experimental philosophy and Quine will be ready sooner or later.

    Cheers–JRT

  8. Pete Mandik says:

    Thanks for the update, JR. I look forward to reading that puppy.