Professor Ausonio Marras

London, Ontario, CANADA N6A 3K7  Tel.:     (519) 661-2111 ext. 85769
Department of Philosophy Fax:     (519) 661-3922
University of Western Ontario  E-mail:

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Research Interests

Philosophy of mind and foundations of psychology. In my recent research I have been defending a version of  "non-reductive materialism" with the aim of grounding an account of mental causation and action explanation. I am currently concerned with a reassessment of the "multiple realizability" thesis and its implications for the issue of psychophysical reduction.

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Graduate Courses Taught:

Intentionality, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, epistemology, foundations of cognitive science, foundations of artificial intelligence; Carnap, Russell, Sellars, Quine, Searle, Stich, Fodor, Davidson, Kim.

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Selected Publications


Language Learning and Concept Acquisition, ed. with W. Demopoulos, Ablex Publishing Co., 1986.

Forms of Representation (co-editor with B. Freed and P. Maynard). North Holland, 1975.

Intentionality, Mind, and Language, edited with introductory essay and critical bibliography. University of Illinois Press, 1972.

Agent, Action, and Reason (co-editor with R.W. Binkley and R.N. Bronaugh). University of Toronto Press and Blackwell's, 1971.

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Articles and Critical Reviews

`The Prospects for Nonreductive Physicalism' (forthcoming in a book on Supervenience and Reduction, edited by Xavier Donato).

`Causal and Explanatory Autonomy: Reply to Menzies', co-authored with Juhani Yli-Vakkuri (forthcoming in a book on Emergence edited by Graham Macdonald and Cynthia Macdonald).

`The “Supervenience Argument”: Kim’s Challenge to Nonreductive Physicalism”, co-authored with Juhani Yli-Vakkuri, in F. Orilia and S. Gozzano, eds., Tropes, Universals, and the Philosophy of Mind. Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag, 2008, pp. 101-132.

`Kim's Supervenience Argument and Nonreductive Physicalism', Erkenntnis 66 (2007), pp. 305-327.

`Emergence and Reduction: Reply to Kim', Synthese 151 (2006), pp. 561-569 (special issue edited by Max Kistler).

`Consciousness and Reduction', British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (2005), pp. 335-361.

`Functionalism without Multiple Supervenience', Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (2004), p. 632..

`Commonsense Refutations of Eliminativism', in D. Johnson and C.E. Erneling, The Mind as a Scientific Object, Oxford UP, 2005, pp. 206-210.

Review of Action and Its Explanation, by David-Hillel Ruben (Oxford UP 2003), Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews,

2     `Audi on Substantive vs Instrumental Rationality', Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2003): 194-200

       `Methodological and Ontological Aspects of the Mental Causation Problem', in Sven Walter and Heinz-Dieter Heckmann, eds., Physicalism and Mental Causation: The Metaphysics of Mind and Action, Imprint Academic, 2003, pp. 229-250

       `Kim on Reduction', Erkenntnis 57 (2002): 231-257.

`Putnam's Critique of Metaphysical Realism: Identity and Supervenience', Synthese 126 (2001), pp. 407-426.

Critical Notice of Mind in a Physical World by Jaegwon Kim (MIT Press, 1998), Canadian Journal of Philosophy 30 (2000), 137-160

Critical Review of Gilbert Ryle: itinerari concettuali by Grazia Ramoino Melilli (Pisa, Italy: Edizioni ETS, 1997), European Journal of Philosophy (1999), 113-118.

Critical Notice of Symbols, Computation, and Intentionality: a Critique of the Computational Theory of Mind by S.W. Horst (University of California Press, 1996), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (1999), 832-835.

`Intentionality and the Computational Model of the Mind', Metalogicon 11 (1998), 81-102.

`Kim's Principle of Explanatory Exclusion', Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (1998), 439-451.

`Davidson on Intentional Causation', in Denis Fisette, ed., Consciousness and Intentionality: Models and Modalities of Attribution, Kluwer, 1998, pp. 311-324.

`Metaphysical Foundations of Action-Explanation', in R. Tuomela and G. Holmstrom-Hintikka, eds., Contemporary Action Theory: Vol 1: General Theory of Action, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997, pp. 45-64.

`Action Explanation and Mental Causation', in F. Ferretti and E. Gola, eds, Filosofia della Mente e Scienze Cognitive, Napoli, Rdizioni Scientifiche Italiane, 1997, pp. 233-254.

`The Debate on Mental Causation: Davidson and His Critics', Dialogue 36 (1997), 177-195.

`The Causal Relevance of Mental Properties,' Philosophia 25 (1997), 389-400.

Article on Behaviorism, Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, Cambridge U.P., 1995 (revised 2nd ed. 1999).

`Nonreductive Materialism and Mental Causation', Canadian Journal of Philosophy 24 (1994), 465-494.

`Supervenience and the Relevance of Content', in C. Casati and G. White, eds., Philosophy and the Cognitive Sciences. Papers of the XVI International Wittgenstein Symposiumy, Kirchberg am Wechsel, Austria: The Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, 1993, 341-345.

`Materialism, Functionalism, and Supervenient Qualia', Dialogue 32 (1993), 475-492.

`Supervenience and Reducibility: An Odd Couple', Philosophical Quarterly 43 (1993), 215-222.

`Psychophysical Supervenience and Nonreductive Materialism' in Synthese 95 (1993), 275-304.

`Behavioristic Approaches,' Handbuch der Sprachphilosophie, ed. M. Dascal et al., Berlin: Walter De Gruyter, 1992, pp. 705-717.

Critical Notice of Natural Signs, L. Addis (Temple U. P, 1989), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1992), 222-227.

`The Weak and Strong RTM: Stich's Interpretation of Fodor', Dialogue 26 (1987), 349-355.

Critical Notice of From Folk Psychology to Cognitive Science by S. Stich (MIT Press, 1983), Philosophy of Science 54 (1987), 115-127.

`The Churchlands on Methodological Solipsism and Computational Psychology', Philosophy of Science 52 (1985), 295-309.

Critical Notice of Language and Learning, ed. by M. Piattelli-Palmarini (Harvard U.P. 1981), Canadian Journal of Philosophy 13 (1983), 277-291.

`Intentionality Revisited', Philosophia 12 (1983), 13-27.

`Rules, Meaning, and Behavior: reflections on Sellars' Philosophy of Language', J.C. Pitt, ed., The Philosophy of Wilfrid Sellars: Queries and Extensions (Reidel, 1978), pp. 163-187.

`The Behaviorist Foundation of Sellars' Semantics, Dialogue 16 (1977), 661-675.

`Sellars' Behaviorism: A Reply to Fred Wilson', Philosophical Studies 30 (1976), 413-418.

`Scholastic Roots of Brentano's Conception of Intentionality', in l. McAlister, ed., The Philosophy of Brentano (London: Duckworth, 1976), pp.

`Intentionality, Referential Opacity, and Semantic drift: A Reply to Morick and Elugardo' (with R.J. Lithown), Philosophical Studies 26 (1975), 427-443.

`Intentionality without Extensionality' (with R.J. Lithown), Philosophical Studies 25 (1974), 62-69.

`Reply to Sellars', Canadian Journal of Philosophy 2 (1973), 495-501.

`On Sellars' Linguistic Theory of Conceptual Activity', Canadian Journal of Philosophy 2 (1973), 471-483.

`Sellars on Thought and Language', Nous 7 (1973), 152-163.

`Intentionality and Cognitive Sentences', Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 29 (1968), 257-263.

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Teaching and Research Appointments

1966-1967: Instructor of Italian, Duke University

1967-present: University of Western Ontario Department of Philosophy; full professor since 1978; department Chair 1984-88.


Colgate University, B.A. 1963 (Philosophy)

Università Cattolica, Milan, Italy, 1965-66 (Research in Medieval Philosophy)

Duke University, Ph.D. 1967 (Philosophy; minor, Comparative Literature)

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Tuesday May 06, 2008
Department of Philosophy, Talbot College

University of Western Ontario
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