David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Peter Carruthers & Peter K. Smith (eds.), [Book Chapter]. Cambridge University Press 39-74 (1996)
The debate over off-line simulation has largely focussed on the capacity to predict behavior, but the basic idea of off-line simulation can be cast in a much broader framework. The central claim of the off-line account of behavior prediction is that the practical reasoning mechanism is taken off-line and used for predicting behavior. However, there's no reason to suppose that the idea of off-line simulation can't be extended to mechanisms other than the practical reasoning system. In principle, any cognitive component can be taken off-line and used to perform some other function. On this view of off-line simulation, such accounts differ radically from traditional information-based accounts of cognitive capacities. And cognitive penetrability provides a wedge for empirically determining whether a capacity requires an information-based account or an off-line simulation account. Stich and Nichols (1992) argued that the simulation theory of behavior prediction was inadequate because behavior prediction seemed to be cognitively penetrable. We present empirical evidence that supports the claim that the behavior prediction is cognitively penetrable. As a result, the simulation account of behavior prediction still seems unpromising. However, off-line simulation might provide accounts of other cognitive capacities. Indeed, off- line simulation accounts have recently been offered for a strikingly diverse set of capacities including counterfactual reasoning, empathy and mental imagery. Goldman, for instance, maintains that counterfactual reasoning and empathy clearly demand off-line simulation accounts. We argue that there are alternative information-based explanations of these phenomena. Nonetheless, the off-line accounts of these phenomena are interesting and clearly worthy of further exploration.
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Citations of this work BETA
Frederique De Vignemont & Tania Singer (2006). The Empathic Brain: How, When and Why? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10 (10):435-441.
Alvin I. Goldman & Chandra S. Sripada (2005). Simulationist Models of Face-Based Emotion Recognition. Cognition 94 (3):193-213.
Jane Heal (1996). Simulation and Cognitive Penetrability. Mind and Language 11 (1):44-67.
Pascal Boyer, Philip Robbins & Anthony I. Jack (2005). Varieties of Self-Systems Worth Having. Consciousness and Cognition 14 (4):647-660.
Stephen Stich & Joshua Tarzia (2015). The Pretense Debate. Cognition 143:1-12.
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