Cory D. Wright California State University, Long Beach
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  1.  31
    Matteo Colombo & Cory D. Wright (forthcoming). Explanatory Pluralism: An Unrewarding Prediction Error for Free Energy Theorists. Brain and Cognition.
    Courtesy of its free energy formulation, the hierarchical predictive processing theory of the brain (PTB) is often claimed to be a grand unifying theory. To test this claim, we examine a central case: activity of mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic (DA) systems. After reviewing the three most prominent hypotheses of DA activity—the anhedonia, incentive salience, and reward prediction error hypotheses—we conclude that the evidence currently vindicates explanatory pluralism. This vindication implies that the grand unifying claims of advocates of PTB are unwarranted. More generally, (...)
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  2.  13
    Iris van Rooij, Cory D. Wright, Johan Kwisthout & Todd Wareham (forthcoming). Rational Analysis, Intractability, and the Prospects of ‘as If’-Explanations. Synthese.
    Despite their success in describing and predicting cognitive behavior, the plausibility of so-called ‘rational explanations’ is often contested on the grounds of computational intractability. Several cognitive scientists have argued that such intractability is an orthogonal pseudoproblem, however, since rational explanations account for the ‘why’ of cognition but are agnostic about the ‘how’. Their central premise is that humans do not actually perform the rational calculations posited by their models, but only act as if they do. Whether or not the problem (...)
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  3.  3
    Cory Wright (forthcoming). Truth, Explanation, Minimalism. Synthese:1-23.
    Minimalists about truth contend that traditional inflationary theories systematically fail to explain certain facts about truth, and that this failure licenses a ‘reversal of explanatory direction’. Once reversed, they purport that their own minimal theory adequately explains all of the facts involving truth. But minimalists’ main objection to inflationism seems to misfire, and the subsequent reversal of explanatory direction, if it can be made sense of, leaves minimalism in no better explanatory position; and even if the objection were serviceable and (...)
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  4.  1
    Nathan Lackey & Cory Wright (2016). Review of Poincaré, Philosopher of Science. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 36 (4):157-159.
  5.  58
    Emily Barrett & Cory D. Wright (2015). Delusions and Other Irrational Beliefs. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):600-603.
  6.  38
    Cory D. Wright (2015). The Ontic Conception of Scientific Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 54:20-30.
    Wesley Salmon’s version of the ontic conception of explanation is a main historical root of contemporary work on mechanistic explanation. This paper examines and critiques the philosophical merits of Salmon’s version, and argues that his conception’s most fundamental construct is either fundamentally obscure, or else reduces to a non-ontic conception of explanation. Either way, the ontic conception is a misconception.
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  7.  17
    Cory D. Wright (2014). Review of Elijah Millgram's 'Hard Truths'. Mind 123 (492):1218-1221.
  8.  11
    Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen & Cory D. Wright (eds.) (2013). Truth and Pluralism: Current Debates. Oxford University Press.
    The relative merits and demerits of historically prominent views such as the correspondence theory, coherentism, pragmatism, verificationism, and instrumentalism have been subject to much attention in the truth literature and have fueled the long-lived debate over which of these views is the most plausible one. While diverging in their specific philosophical commitments, adherents of these historically prominent views agree in at least one fundamental respect. They are all alethic monists. They all endorse the thesis that there is only one property (...)
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  9.  74
    Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen & Cory D. Wright (2013). Draft, Pluralism About Truth as Alethic Disjunctivism. In Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen & Cory D. Wright (eds.), Truth Pluralism: Current Debates. Oxford University Press
    The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of various forms of alethic pluralism. Along the way we will draw a number of distinctions that, hopefully, will be useful in mapping the pluralist landscape. Finally, we will argue that a commitment to alethic disjunctivism, a certain brand of pluralism, might be difficult to avoid for adherents of the other pluralist views to be discussed. We will proceed as follows: Section 1 introduces alethic monism and alethic pluralism. Section 2 (...)
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  10.  8
    Njll Pedersen & Cory D. Wright (2013). Pluralism About Truth as Alethic Disjunctivism. In Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen & Cory D. Wright (eds.), Truth and Pluralism: Current Debates. Oxford University Press
  11.  26
    Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen & Cory D. Wright (2012). Pluralist Theories of Truth. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  12. Iris Rooij, Cory D. Wright & Todd Wareham (2012). Intractability and the Use of Heuristics in Psychological Explanations. Synthese 187 (2):471-487.
    Many cognitive scientists, having discovered that some computational-level characterization f of a cognitive capacity φ is intractable, invoke heuristics as algorithmic-level explanations of how cognizers compute f. We argue that such explanations are actually dysfunctional, and rebut five possible objections. We then propose computational-level theory revision as a principled and workable alternative.
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  13.  82
    Cory D. Wright (2012). Is Pluralism About Truth Inherently Unstable? Philosophical Studies 159 (1):89-105.
    Although it’s sometimes thought that pluralism about truth is unstable---or, worse, just a non-starter---it’s surprisingly difficult to locate collapsing arguments that conclusively demonstrate either its instability or its inability to get started. This paper exemplifies the point by examining three recent arguments to that effect. However, it ends with a cautionary tale; for pluralism may not be any better off than other traditional theories that face various technical objections, and may be worse off in facing them all.
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  14. Cory D. Wright (2012). Mechanistic Explanation Without the Ontic Conception. European Journal of Philosophy of Science 2 (3):375-394.
    The ontic conception of scientific explanation has been constructed and motivated on the basis of a putative lexical ambiguity in the term explanation. I raise a puzzle for this ambiguity claim, and then give a deflationary solution under which all ontically-rendered talk of explanation is merely elliptical; what it is elliptical for is a view of scientific explanation that altogether avoids the ontic conception. This result has revisionary consequences for New Mechanists and other philosophers of science, many of whom have (...)
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  15. Cory D. Wright (2010). Truth, Ramsification, and the Pluralist's Revenge. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):265-283.
    Functionalists about truth employ Ramsification to produce an implicit definition of the theoretical term _true_, but doing so requires determining that the theory introducing that term is itself true. A variety of putative dissolutions to this problem of epistemic circularity are shown to be unsatisfactory. One solution is offered on functionalists' behalf, though it has the upshot that they must tread on their anti-pluralist commitments.
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  16. Cory D. Wright & Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen (2010). New Waves in Truth. In Cory D. Wright & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (eds.), New Waves in Truth. Palgrave Macmillan
  17. Cory D. Wright & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (eds.) (2010). New Waves in Truth. Palgrave Macmillan.
    New Waves in Truth offers eighteen new and original research papers on truth and other alethic phenomena by twenty promising young scholars working on truth today. Contributions to the volume span truth ascriptions, deflationism, realism and the correspondence theory, the value of truth, and kinds of truth and truth-apt discourse. The research programs of the contributors are beginning to reset that agenda, and each is positioned to make new waves throughout the subject.
     
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  18. Cory D. Wright & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (2010). Truth, Pluralism, Monism, Correspondence. In Cory D. Wright & Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen (eds.), New Waves in Truth. Palgrave Macmillan
    When talking about truth, we ordinarily take ourselves to be talking about one-and-the-same thing. Alethic monists suggest that theorizing about truth ought to begin with this default or pre-reflective stance, and, subsequently, parlay it into a set of theoretical principles that are aptly summarized by the thesis that truth is one. Foremost among them is the invariance principle.
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  19.  9
    Cory D. Wright & Nikolaj Jll Pedersen (2010). Truth, Pluralism, Monism, Correspondence. In Cory D. Wright & Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen (eds.), New Waves in Truth. Palgrave Macmillan
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  20. William Bechtel & Cory D. Wright (2009). What is Psychological Explanation? In P. Calvo & J. Symons (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Psychology. Routledge 113--130.
    Due to the wide array of phenomena that are of interest to them, psychologists offer highly diverse and heterogeneous types of explanations. Initially, this suggests that the question "What is psychological explanation?" has no single answer. To provide appreciation of this diversity, we begin by noting some of the more common types of explanations that psychologists provide, with particular focus on classical examples of explanations advanced in three different areas of psychology: psychophysics, physiological psychology, and information-processing psychology. To analyze what (...)
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  21. Cory D. Wright (2008). Embodied Cognition: Grounded Until Further Notice? British Journal of Psychology 99:157-164.
    Embodied Cognition is the kind of view that is all trees, no forest. Mounting experimental evidence gives it momentum in fleshing out the theoretical problems inherent in Cognitivists’ separation of mind and body. But the more its proponents compile such evidence, the more the fundamental concepts of Embodied Cognition remain in the dark. This conundrum is nicely exemplified by Pecher and Zwaan’s book, Grounding Cognition, which is a programmatic attempt to rally together an array of empirical results and linguistic data, (...)
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  22. Ioan Muntean & Cory D. Wright (2007). Autonomy, Allostasic Mechanisms, and AI: A Biomimetic Perspective. Pragmatics and Cognition 15:489–513.
    We argue that the concepts of mechanism and autonomy appear to be antagonistic when autonomy is conflated with agency. Once these concepts are disentangled, it becomes clearer how autonomy emerges from complex forms of control. Subsequently, current biomimetic strategies tend to focus on homeostatic regulatory systems; we propose that research in AI and robotics would do well to incorporate biomimetic strategies that instead invoke models of allostatic mechanisms as a way of understanding how to enhance autonomy in artificial systems.
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  23. Gila Sher & Cory D. Wright (2007). Truth as a Normative Modality of Cognitive Acts. In Geo Siegwart & Dirk Griemann (eds.), Truth and Speech Acts: Studies in the Philosophy of Language. Routledge 280-306.
    Attention to the conversational role of alethic terms seems to dominate, and even sometimes exhaust, many contemporary analyses of the nature of truth. Yet, because truth plays a role in judgment and assertion regardless of whether alethic terms are expressly used, such analyses cannot be comprehensive or fully adequate. A more general analysis of the nature of truth is therefore required – one which continues to explain the significance of truth independently of the role alethic terms play in discourse. We (...)
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  24. Cory D. Wright (2007). Is Psychological Explanation Going Extinct? In Huib Looren de Jong & Maurice Schouten (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Oxford: Blackwell
    Psychoneural reductionists sometimes claim that sufficient amounts of lower-level explanatory achievement preclude further contributions from higher-level psychological research. Ostensibly, with nothing left to do, the effect of such preclusion on psychological explanation is extinction. Reductionist arguments for preclusion have recently involved a reorientation within the philosophical foundations of neuroscience---namely, away from the philosophical foundations and toward the neuroscience. In this chapter, I review a successful reductive explanation of an aspect of reward function in terms of dopaminergic operations of the mesocorticolimbic (...)
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  25. Cory D. Wright & William P. Bechtel (2007). Mechanisms and Psychological Explanation. In Paul Thagard (ed.), Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Elsevier
    As much as assumptions about mechanisms and mechanistic explanation have deeply affected psychology, they have received disproportionately little analysis in philosophy. After a historical survey of the influences of mechanistic approaches to explanation of psychological phenomena, we specify the nature of mechanisms and mechanistic explanation. Contrary to some treatments of mechanistic explanation, we maintain that explanation is an epistemic activity that involves representing and reasoning about mechanisms. We discuss the manner in which mechanistic approaches serve to bridge levels rather than (...)
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  26. Cory D. Wright (2005). On the Functionalization of Pluralist Approaches to Truth. Synthese 145 (1):1-28.
    Traditional inflationary approaches that specify the nature of truth are attractive in certain ways; yet, while many of these theories successfully explain why propositions in certain domains of discourse are true, they fail to adequately specify the nature of truth because they run up against counterexamples when attempting to generalize across all domains. One popular consequence is skepticism about the efficaciousness of inflationary approaches altogether. Yet, by recognizing that the failure to explain the truth of disparate propositions often stems from (...)
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  27. Cory D. Wright (2005). Remarks on the Functionalization of Pluralism About Truth. Synthese 145 (1):1-28.
     
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  28.  11
    Cory D. Wright (2005). Review of Michael Lynch's 'True to Life: Why Truth Matters'. International Philosophical Quarterly 45 (2):271-273.
  29. Cory D. Wright (2000). Eliminativist Undercurrents in the New Wave Model of Psychoneural Reduction. Journal of Mind and Behavior 21 (4):413-436.
    "New wave" reductionism aims at advancing a kind of reduction that is stronger than unilateral dependency of the mental on the physical. It revolves around the idea that reduction between theoretical levels is a matter of degree, and can be laid out on a continuum between a "smooth" pole (theoretical identity) and a "bumpy" pole (extremely revisionary). It also entails that both higher and lower levels of the reductive relationship sustain some degree of explanatory autonomy. The new wave predicts that (...)
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  30.  3
    Alex Beard, Matteo Colombo & Cory Wright, The Heuristic Identity Theory and Brain Reward Function: A Case of Mistaken Identity Theory.
    This paper employs a case study from the history of neuroscience—-brain reward function-—to scrutinize the inductive argument for the so-called ‘Heuristic Identity Theory’. The case not only disconfirms HIT, but illustrates why other case studies previously thought to support HIT also fold under scrutiny. After further scrutiny, we conclude that HIT is not an alternative to the traditional identity theory so much as an epicycle on the mechanistic approach to explanation.
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