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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.




Saying, "if Mary had watered Sam's plant, it wouldn't have died," is an ordinary way to identify Mary not watering Sam's plant as the cause of its death. But there are problems with this statement. If we identify Mary's omitted action as the cause, we seemingly admit an inordinate number of omissions as causes. For any counterfactual statement containing the omitted action is true (e.g. if Hillary Clinton had watered Sam's plant, it wouldn't have died). The statement, moreover, is mysterious because it is not clear why one protasis is more salient than any alternatives such as "if Sam hadn't …

Contributors
Henne, Paul, Kobes, Bernard W, Pinillos, Nestor A, et al.
Created Date
2013

Emergentism offers a promising compromise in the philosophy of mind between Cartesian substance dualism and reductivistic physicalism. The ontological emergentist holds that conscious mental phenomena supervene on physical phenomena, but that they have a nature over and above the physical. However, emergentist views have been subjected to a variety of powerful objections: they are alleged to be self-contradictory, incompatible with mental causation, justified by unreliable intuitions, and in conflict with our contemporary scientific understanding of the world. I defend the emergentist position against these objections. I clarify the concepts of supervenience and of ontological novelty in a way that ensures …

Contributors
Watson, Jeffrey J., Kobes, Bernard W, Pinillos, Nestor, et al.
Created Date
2013

The purpose of this thesis is to present and analyze experimental evidence involving anti-substitution intuitions about co-referential names in simple sentences. In her book Simple Sentences, Substitution, and Intuitions, Jennifer Saul claims that anti-substitution intuitions involving co-referential names in simple sentences are particularly resistant, so much so that they exist even when one is given an identity statement that shows that the two names refer to the same individual. She uses this claim to motivate her thesis that a psychological explanation is needed to understand why these anti-substitution intuitions exist. Her theory is that before people know that two names …

Contributors
Zimmerman, Thomas Scott, Pinillos, Nestor, Reynolds, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2014

Given the success of science, weak forms of mind-brain dependence are commonly treated as uncontroversial within contemporary philosophies of mind. More controversial are the different metaphysical claims inferred from this dependence, many ascribing ontological priority to the brain. Consider the following three propositions: (i) neurological events are essentially identified by their role in material systems, laws, and causes that are constitutively non-rational; (ii) at least some mental events are essentially identified in virtue of their role in the use of reason; (iii) all mental events are realized by, identical to, or composed out of, neurological events. (i) is uncontroversial. However, …

Contributors
Goodrich, Gregory A, Kobes, Bernard W, White, Michael J, et al.
Created Date
2011

Panpsychist double aspect theory, the most promising version of panpsychism, holds that the mental and the physical are mutually irreducible properties, or features, of ultimate matter, therefore they both are ontologically fundamental and ubiquitous. This version of panpsychism involves the following two notions: anti-reductivism and anti- emergentism. The former states that mental phenomena are not recordable in terms of physics. The latter implies that mental phenomena do not causally arise only from a certain macroscale physical condition, and the mental and the physical do not constitute an ontological hierarchy. From these notions, it follows that any macroscale mental phenomenon is …

Contributors
Noh, Hyungrae, Kobes, Bernard W, Reynolds, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2013

This thesis explores the conceptual span and plausibility of emergence and its applicability to the problem of mental causation. The early parts of the project explicate a distinction between weak and strong emergence as described by Jaegwon Kim. They also consider Kim's objections regarding the conceptual incoherence of strong emergence and the otiose nature of weak emergence. The paper then explores Mark Bedau's in-between conception of emergence and ultimately finds that middle conception to be both coherent and useful. With these three emergence distinctions in hand, the thesis goes on to explore Evan Thompson's recent work - Mind in Life …

Contributors
Fournier, Thomas, Kobes, Bernard W, Reynolds, Steven L, et al.
Created Date
2013