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Philosophers at ANU

Last modified 1 Jan 70
Philosophy Program
Australian Research Council

ARC projects awarded 2003

Perception, interpretation, and the explanation of delusional beliefs
Prof MK Davies (RSSS, ANU), Dr I Gold (Monash), Dr D Stoljar (RSSS, ANU)
ARC Research Associate: Dr A Egan
2003 : $83,000
2004 : $84,000
2005 : $117,000

The occurrence of bizarrely false beliefs, called delusions, presents challenges, not only for clinical psychiatric practice, but also for psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy. The aim of this project is to make a distinctively philosophical contribution to our understanding of delusional beliefs by addressing three philosophical questions raised by the study of delusions, questions about perception, interpretation, and explanation. Answers to these questions will constitute substantial contributions to three central areas of philosophy, but their significance also extends beyond philosophy. They will impact on the scientific investigation of delusions and will contribute indirectly to the treatment and rehabilitation of sufferers.


Understanding phenomenal experience as a natural part of our world
Prof FC Jackson (RSSS, ANU), Dr D Stoljar (RSSS, ANU)
ARC Research Associate: Dr J O'Dea
2003 : $63,000
2004 : $63,000
2005 : $63,000

The natural sciences-physics, chemistry and biology-provide compelling accounts of our world. They contain, however, no overt mention of mental states and in particular the mental states with a phenomenology: states like itches and colour experiences. The challenge for naturalists is locate these states within the naturalist picture. This project develops and draws on representationalist accounts of mind to explain how to locate mental states that have a phenomenology within the naturalist's picture. This will yield new perspectives on the mental lives of machines.


Reasons and Rationality
Prof MA Smith (RSSS, ANU)
ARC Research Associates: Dr Tyler Doggett, Dr Richard Joyce, Dr Niko Kolodny, Dr Laurie Paul.
2003 : $65,000
2004 : $65,000
2005 : $65,000

The project explains how we assess the truth and falsehood of everyday claims about what people have reason to do. It also explains what legitimises our practice of praising and blaming people for their success and failure at doing what we think they have reason to do. In so doing it provides a foundation for both our ordinary practice of holding people responsible, and for the more institutionalised counterpart of this ordinary practice in the law.