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Alex Byrne

Alex Byrne is Professor of Philosophy at MIT and the coeditor of Fact and Value: Essays on Ethics and Metaphysics for Judith Jarvis Thomson (2001) and Readings on Color, volumes 1 and 2 (1997), all published by the MIT Press.

Titles by This Editor

Contemporary Readings

A central debate in contemporary philosophy of perception concerns the disjunctive theory of perceptual experience. Until the 1960s, philosophers of perception generally assumed that a veridical perception (a perceptual experience that presents the world as it really is) and a subjectively similar hallucination must have significant mental commonalities. Disjunctivists challenge this assumption, contending that the veridical perception and the corresponding hallucination share no mental core. Suppose that while you are looking at a lemon, God suddenly removes it, while keeping your brain activity constant. Although you notice no change, disjunctivists argue that the preremoval and postremoval experiences are radically different. Disjunctivism has gained prominent supporters in recent years, as well as attracting much criticism. This reader collects for the first time in one volume classic texts that define and react to disjunctivism. These include an excerpt from a book by the late J. M. Hinton, who was the first to propose an explicitly disjunctivist position, and papers stating a number of important objections.

Contributors: Alex Byrne, Jonathan Dancy, J. M. Hinton, Mark Johnston, Harold Langsam, Heather Logue, M. G. F. Martin, John McDowell, Alan Millar, Howard Robinson, A. D. Smith, Paul Snowdon

Essays on Ethics and Metaphysics for Judith Jarvis Thomson

The diversity of topics discussed in this book reflects the breadth of Judith Jarvis Thomson's philosophical work. Throughout her long career at MIT, Thomson's straightforward approach and emphasis on problem-solving have shaped philosophy in significant ways. Some of the book's contributions discuss specific moral and political issues such as abortion, self-defense, the rights and obligations of prospective fathers, and political campaign finance. Other contributions concern the foundations of moral theory, focusing on hedonism, virtue ethics, the nature of nonconsequentialism, and the objectivity of moral claims. Finally, contributions in metaphysics and epistemology discuss the existence of sets, the structures reflected in conditional statements, and the commitments of testimony.

Jonathan Bennett, Richard L. Cartwright, Joshua Cohen, N. Ann Davis, Catherine Z. Elgin, Gilbert Harman, Barbara Herman, Frances Myrna Kamm, Claudia Mills, T. M. Scanlon, Ernest Sosa.

The Philosophy of Color

Color is an endlessly fascinating subject to philosophers, scientists, and laypersons, as well an an instructive microcosm of cognitive science. In these two anthologies, Alex Byrne and David Hilbert present a survey of the important recent philosophical and scientific writings on color. The introduction to volume 1 provides a philosophical background and links the philosophical issues to the empirical work covered in volume 2. The bibliography in volume 1 is an extensive resource for those doing philosophical work on color. The scientific selections in volume 2 present work in color science that is relevant to philosophical thinking about color; the material is comprehensive and sophisticated enough to be useful to the scientific reader. The introduction to volume 2 is an overview of color science; the volume also contains suggestions for further reading.

The Science of Color