Second thoughts on simulation
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Martin Davies & Tony Stone (eds.), Mental Simulation. Blackwell (1995)
The essays in this volume make it abundantly clear that there is no shortage of disagreement about the plausibility of the simulation theory. As we see it, there are at least three factors contributing to this disagreement. In some instances the issues in dispute are broadly empirical. Different people have different views on which theory is favored by experiments reported in the literature, and different hunches about how future experiments are likely to turn out. In 3.1 and 3.3 we will consider two cases that fall under this heading. With a bit of luck these disputes will be resolved as more experiments are done and more data become available. Faulty arguments are a second source of disagreement. In 3.2 and 3.4 we will set out two dubious arguments advanced by our critics and try to explain exactly why we think they are mistaken. The third source of disagreement is terminological. Terms like "theory-theory," "simulation theory" and a number of others are often not clearly defined, and they are used in different ways by different authors. (Worse yet, we suspect they are sometimes used in different ways by a single author on different occasions). Thus it is sometimes the case that what appears to be a substantive disagreement turns out to be simply a verbal dispute. Moreover, since the labels "theory-theory" and "simulation theory" are each used to characterize a broad range of theories, it may well turn out that some of the theories falling under both headings are correct. In Sections 1 and 2, we will set out a variety of different views for which the labels "theory-theory" and "simulation theory" might be used. As we proceed we'll point out a number of places where disagreements diminish when distinctions among different versions of the theory-theory and the simulation theory are kept clearly in mind.
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R. Saxe (2005). Against Simulation: The Argument From Error. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):174-79.
Victoria McGeer (2015). Mind-Making Practices: The Social Infrastructure of Self-Knowing Agency and Responsibility. Philosophical Explorations 18 (2):259-281.
Jane Heal (1996). Simulation and Cognitive Penetrability. Mind and Language 11 (1):44-67.
Stephen Stich & Ian Ravenscroft (1994). What is Folk Psychology? Cognition 50 (1-3):447-468.
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