I've uploaded my paper, "Something Mental is Just in the Head, and What the Mental out of the Head is Like", to our dropbox.com page for the working paper group. I could really, really use some help with it. Actually, I could really just use some advice on it, such as whether I should give up on it (it may well be one of those papers that is a blind alley).
Here's a little background. The paper began as a reply to Justin Fisher's article, "Nothing Mental is Just in the Head" (Nous, 2007). I presented an early version of it at a couple of conferences (the SPP and SSPP), and thought the basic idea behind it -- a thought-experiment intended to refute arguments against mental internalism (including Fisher's argument) -- was pretty darn cool. Actually, I still think that (though of course I might be wrong!). At any rate, I've never been able to get the paper into publishing shape, and I haven't worked on it for a few years now.
Basically, then, this is a last-ditch effort to see whether the paper can be salvaged. If not, that's fine. I've given up on papers before. I could really just use some honest advice on it. Can the paper be salvaged? If you think it can be, and you have any idea how it might, please do let me know. If you think it can't be, let me know that too. (Really, it's fine: I just want to know one way or the other!)
Also, here's a final thought: if there's anyone out there who might be interested in taking up the paper as a co-author, feel free to let me know that as well! Although I haven't talked about this on the blog before, I'd love to collaborate with people. It's always seemed to me a bit strange that philosophy has remained so single-author focused, as compared to other fields...In fact, I'd even be open to multiple co-authors. I have this crazy dream of someday publishing a kind of "crowd-sourced" paper by a bunch of people here at the Cocoon. How cool would that be? Anyway, maybe no one will be interested. I just thought I'd throw it out there!
With all that said, here again are the working paper group details and groundrules:
- The paper is posted over at Dropbox.com.
- In order to access it, you must email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for the login and password. Once you have these, just login into dropbox and download the paper.
- Barring unforseen and unfortunate circumstances, our dropbox login and password will be the same for all future working papers.
- The login, password, and working papers themselves are in no circumstance to be distributed to anyone. In order to maintain the integrity of our forum, I alone am authorized to distribute them.
- In order to maintain the safe and supportive integrity of the paper discussion, I will only distribute the login and password to registered members of The Philosophers' Cocoon.
- As always, any professional philosopher who wants to become a member of the Cocoon is welcome to email me to join. However, you must become a member to participate in the working paper group.
- Finally, here are some ground-rules for the paper discussion (which should simply proceed in the comments section below):
- You must have access to -- and presumably have read! -- the paper in order to comment.
- Comments should aim to be helpful in nature. If you raise an objection, try to suggest potential way(s) of resolving it. The purpose of this group is to help our friends here at the Cocoon improve their papers, not to show off one's awesome refutation skills.
- Be a good dude/dude-ette. Do everything you can to make this a positive experience for the paper presenters.
Thanks, in advance, to everyone who participates!