The aim of this paper is to analyze a philosophical question (neutrality vs. theory-ladenness of observation) taking into consideration the empirical results of Cognitive Psychology (theories of perception). This is an important debate because the objectivity of science is at stake. In the Philosophy of Science there are two main positions with regard to observation, those of C. Hempel and N. R. Hanson. In the Philosophy of Mind there are also two important contrasting positions, those of J. Fodor and (...) Paul M. Churchland. I will analyze the consequences of recent theories of perception and vision developed within Cognitive Science for classical epistemological theses about observation. (shrink)
"Cognitive psychology," "cognitive neuroscience," and "philosophy of mind" are names for three very different scientific fields, but they label aspects of the same scientific goal: to understand the nature of mental phenomena. Today, the three disciplines strongly overlap under the roof of the cognitive sciences. The book's purpose is to present views from the different disciplines on one of the central theories in cognitive science: the theory of mental models. Cognitive psychologists report their research on the representation and processing (...) of mental models in human memory. Cognitive neuroscientists demonstrate how the brain processes visual and spatial mental models and which neural processes underlie visual and spatial thinking. Philosophers report their ideas about the role of mental models in relation to perception, emotion, representation, and intentionality. The single articles have different and mutually complementing goals: to introduce new empirical methods and approaches, to report new experimental results, and to locate competing approaches for their interpretation in the cross-disciplinary debate. The book is strongly interdisciplinary in character. It is especially addressed to researchers in any field related to mental models theory as both a reference book and an overview of present research on the topic in other disciplines. However, it is also an ideal reader for a specialized graduate course. (shrink)
I offer support for the view that physicalist theories of cognition don't reduce to neurophysiological theories. On my view, the mind-brain relationship is to be explained in terms of evolutionary forces, some of which tug in the direction of a reductionistic mind-brain relationship, and some of which which tug in the opposite direction. This theory of forces makes possible an anti-reductionist account of the cognitive mind-brain relationship which avoids psychophysical anomalism. This theory thus also responds to the complaint which arguably (...) lies behind the Churchlands' strongest criticisms of anti-reductionism — namely the complaint that anti-reductionists fail to supply principled explanations for the character of the mind-brain relationship. While lending support to anti-reductionism, the view defended here also insures a permanent place for mind-brain reduction as an explanatory ideal analogous to Newtonian inertial motion or Aristotelian natural motion. (shrink)
Classical symbolic computational models of cognition are at variance with the empirical findings in the cognitive psychology of memory and inference. Standard symbolic computers are well suited to remembering arbitrary lists of symbols and performing logical inferences. In contrast, human performance on such tasks is extremely limited. Standard models donot easily capture content addressable memory or context sensitive defeasible inference, which are natural and effortless for people. We argue that Connectionism provides a more natural framework in which to model (...) this behaviour. In addition to capturing the gross human performance profile, Connectionist systems seem well suited to accounting for the systematic patterns of errors observed in the human data. We take these arguments to counter Fodor and Pylyshyn's (1988) recent claim that Connectionism is, in principle, irrelevant to psychology. (shrink)
This article critically examines the views that psychology ?rst came into existence as a discipline ca. 1879, that philosophy and psychology were estranged in the ensuing decades, that psychology ?nally became scienti?c through the in?uence of logical empiricism, and that it should now disappear in favor of cognitive science and neuroscience. It argues that psychology had a natural philosophical phase (from antiquity) that waxed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, that this psychology transformed into experimental (...)psychology ca. 1900, that philosophers and psychologists collaboratively discussed the subject matter and methods of psychology in the ?rst two decades of the twentieth century, that the neobehaviorists were not substantively in?uenced by the Vienna Circle, that the study of perception and cognition in psy- chology did not disappear in the behaviorist period and so did not reemerge as a result of arti?cial intelligence, linguistics, and the computer analogy, that although some psychologists adopted the language-of-thought approach of traditional cognitive science, many did not, and that psychology will not go away because it contributes independently of cognitive science and neuroscience. (shrink)
Psychology is the study of thinking, and cognitive science is the interdisciplinary investigation of mind and intelligence that also includes philosophy, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, linguistics, and anthropology. In these investigations, many philosophical issues arise concerning methods and central concepts. The Handbook of Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science contains 16 essays by leading philosophers of science that illuminate the nature of the theories and explanations used in the investigation of minds. Topics discussed include representation, mechanisms, reduction, perception, consciousness, (...) language, emotions, neuroscience, and evolutionary psychology. Key Features - Comprehensive coverage of philosophy of psychology and cognitive science - Distinguished contributors: leading philosophers in this area - Contributions closely tied to relevant scientific research. (shrink)
It has recently been argued that the success of the connectionist program in cognitive science would threaten folk psychology. I articulate and defend a "minimalist" construal of folk psychology that comports well with empirical evidence on the folk understanding of belief and is compatible with even the most radical developments in cognitive science.
It is often assumed that cognitive science is built upon folk psychology, and that challenges to folk psychology are therefore challenges to cognitive science itself. We argue that, in practice, cognitive science and folk psychology treat entirely non-overlapping domains: cognitive science considers aspects of mental life which do not depend on general knowledge, whereas folk psychology considers aspects of mental life which do depend on general knowledge. We back up our argument on theoretical grounds, and also (...) illustrate the separation between cognitive scientific and folk psychological phenomena in a number of cognitive domains. We consider the methodological and theoretical significance of our arguments for cognitive science research. (shrink)
I argue that intentional psychology does not stand in need of vindication by a lower-level implementation theory from cognitive science, in particular the representational theory of mind (RTM), as most famously Jerry Fodor has argued. The stance of the paper is novel in that I claim this holds even if one, in line with Fodor, views intentional psychology as an empirical theory, and its theoretical posits as as real as those of other sciences. I consider four metaphysical arguments (...) for the idea that intentional psychological states, such as beliefs, must be seen as requiring in-the-head mental representations for us to be able to understand their characteristic causal powers and argue that none of them validly generate their desired conclusions. I go on to argue that RTM, or some computational version thereof, is not motivated by appeal to the nature of cognitive science research either. I conclude that intentional psychology, though an empirical theory, is autonomous from details of lower level mechanism in a way that renders RTM unwarranted. (shrink)
Pickering and Chater (P&C) maintain that folk psychology and cognitive science should neither compete nor cooperate. Each is an independent enterprise, with a distinct subject matter and characteristic modes of explanation. P&C''s case depends upon their characterizations of cognitive science and folk psychology. We question the basis for their characterizations, challenge both the coherence and the individual adequacy of their contrasts between the two, and show that they waver in their views about the scope of each. We conclude (...) that P&C do not so muchdiscover ascreate the gap they find between folk psychology and cognitive science. It is an artifact of their implausible and unmotivated attempt to demarcate the two areas, and of the excessively narrow accounts they give of each. (shrink)
Quite unexpectedly, cognitive psychologists find their field intimately connected to a whole new intellectual landscape that had previously seemed remote, unfamiliar, and all but irrelevant. Yet the proliferating connections tying together the cognitive and evolutionary communities promise to transform both fields, with each supplying necessary principles, methods, and a species of rigor that the other lacks. (Cosmides and Tooby, 1994, p. 85).
Current computational psychology, especially as described by Fodor (1975, 1980, 1981), Pylyshyn (1980), and Stich (1983), is both a bold, promising program for cognitive science and an alternative to naturalistic psychology (Putnam 1975). Whereas naturalistic psychology depends on the general scientific framework to fix the meanings of general terms and, hence, the content of thoughts utilizing or expressed in those terms, computational cognitive theory banishes semantical considerations in psychological investigations, embracing methodological, not ontological, solipsism. I intend to (...) argue that computational psychology cannot individuate thoughts as it promises. For, semantics is fundamental in fixing an important subset of the computational relations that, according to the computational theory, are supposed both to obtain among thoughts and, thereby, to determine their identity conditions. If what I contend is correct, then contrary to what its advocates maintain, computational psychology is not preferable to naturalistic psychology as a research strategy in cognitive science. (shrink)
In a previous article we have shown that Kuhn's theory of concepts is independently supported by recent research in cognitive psychology. In this paper we propose a cognitive re-reading of Kuhn's cyclical model of scientific revolutions: all of the important features of the model may now be seen as consequences of a more fundamental account of the nature of concepts and their dynamics. We begin by examining incommensurability, the central theme of Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions, according to two (...) different cognitive models of concept representation. We provide new support for Kuhn 's mature views that incommensurability can be caused by changes in only a few concepts, that even incommensurable conceptual systems can be rationally compared, and that scientific change of the most radical sort—the type labeled revolutionary in earlier studies—does not have to occur holistically and abruptly, but can be achieved by a historically more plausible accumulation of smaller changes. We go on to suggest that the parallel accounts of concepts found in Kuhn and in cognitive science lead to a new understanding of the nature of normal science, of the transition from normal science to crisis, and of scientific revolutions. The same account enables us to understand how scientific communities split to create groups supporting new paradigms, and to resolve various outstanding problems. In particular, we can identify the kind of change needed to create a revolution rather precisely. This new analysis also suggests reasons for the unidirectionality of scientific change. (shrink)
Evolutionary psychology is widely understood as involving an integration of evolutionary theory and cognitive psychology, in which the former promises to revolutionise the latter. In this paper, I suggest some reasons to doubt that the assumptions of evolutionary theory and of cognitive psychology are as directly compatible as is widely assumed. These reasons relate to three different problems of specifying adaptive functions as the basis for characterising cognitive mechanisms: the disjunction problem, the grain problem and the environment (...) problem. Each of these problems can be understood as arising from incommensurate characterisations of the nature and role of 'the environment' in the two approaches. Purported solutions to the problems appear to require detailed information concerning the EEA (environment of evolutionary adaptedness), with the disjunction problem placing the lowest requirement, the environment problem placing the highest requirement, and the grain problem placing an intermediate one. In each case, such information is not likely to be forthcoming, because it may require iterating through successively more distant EEA's with no principled stopping point. This produces a dilemma for evolutionary psychology - either to solve these apparently insoluble problems, or to attempt to avoid them but in doing so forego detailed evolutionary constraints on cognition. (shrink)
In a previous article we have shown that Kuhn's theory of concepts is independently supported by recent research in cognitive psychology. In this paper we propose a cognitive re?reading of Kuhn's cyclical model of scientific revolutions: all of the important features of the model may now be seen as consequences of a more fundamental account of the nature of concepts and their dynamics. We begin by examining incommensurability, the central theme of Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions, according to two (...) different cognitive models of concept representation. We provide new support for Kuhn ?s mature views that incommensurability can be caused by changes in only a few concepts, that even incommensurable conceptual systems can be rationally compared, and that scientific change of the most radical sort?the type labeled revolutionary in earlier studies?does not have to occur holistically and abruptly, but can be achieved by a historically more plausible accumulation of smaller changes. We go on to suggest that the parallel accounts of concepts found in Kuhn and in cognitive science lead to a new understanding of the nature of normal science, of the transition from normal science to crisis, and of scientific revolutions. The same account enables us to understand how scientific communities split to create groups supporting new paradigms, and to resolve various outstanding problems. In particular, we can identify the kind of change needed to create a revolution rather precisely. This new analysis also suggests reasons for the unidirectionality of scientific change. (shrink)
Drawing on the results of modem psychology and cognitive science we suggest that the traditional theory of concepts is no longer tenable, and that the alternative account proposed by Kuhn may now be seen to have independent empirical support quite apart from its success as part of an account of scientific change. We suggest that these mechanisms can also be understood as special cases of general cognitive structures revealed by cognitive science. Against this background, incommensurability is not an insurmountable (...) obstacle to accepting Kuhn's position, as many philosophers of science still believe. Rather it becomes a natural consequence of cognitive structures that appear in all human beings. (shrink)
Concept representation is still an open problem in the field of ontology engineering and, more generally, of knowledge representation. In particular, the issue of representing “non classical” concepts, i.e. concepts that cannot be defined in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions, remains unresolved. In this paper we review empirical evidence from cognitive psychology, according to which concept representation is not a unitary phenomenon. On this basis, we sketch some proposals for concept representation, taking into account suggestions from psychological research. (...) In particular, it seems that human beings employ both prototype-based and exemplar-based representations in order to represent non classical concepts. We suggest that a similar, hybrid prototype-exemplar based approach could also prove useful in the field of knowledge representation technology. Finally, we propose conceptual spaces as a suitable framework for developing some aspects of this proposal. (shrink)
There is converging evidence from developmental and cognitive psychology, as well as from neuroscience, to suggest that the self is both special and social, and that self-other interaction is the driving force behind self-development. We review experimental findings which demonstrate that human infants are motivated for social interactions and suggest that the development of an awareness of other minds is rooted in the implicit notion that others are like the self. We then marshal evidence from functional neuroimaging explorations of (...) the neurophysiological substrate of shared representations between the self and others, using various ecological paradigms such as mentally representing one's own actions versus others' actions, watching the actions executed by others, imitating the others' actions versus being imitated by others. We suggest that within this shared neural network the inferior parietal cortex and the prefrontal cortex in the right hemisphere play a special role in the essential ability to distinguish the self from others, and in the way the self represents the other. Interestingly, the right hemisphere develops its functions earlier than the left. (shrink)
The past three decades have witnessed a remarkable growth of research interest in the mind. This trend has been acclaimed as the ‘cognitive revolution’ in psychology. At the heart of this revolution lies the claim that the mind is a computational system. The purpose of this paper is both to elucidate this claim and to evaluate its implications for cognitive psychology. The nature and scope of cognitive psychology and cognitive science are outlined, the principal assumptions underlying the (...) information processing approach to cognition are summarised and the nature of artificial intelligence and its relationship to cognitive science are explored. The ‘computational metaphor’ of mind is examined and both the theoretical and methodological issues which it raises for cognitive psychology are considered. Finally, the nature and significance of ‘connectionism’—the latest paradigm in cognitive science—are briefly reviewed. (shrink)
is normative in the sense that (1) it aims to make recommendations for improving human judgment; (2) it aims to have a practical impact on morally and politically significant human decisions and actions; and (3) it studies normative, rational judgment qua rational judgment. These nonstandard ways of understanding ACP as normative collectively suggest a new interpretation of the strong replacement thesis that does not call for replacing normative epistemic concepts, relations, and inquiries with descriptive, causal ones. Rather, it calls for (...) recognizing that the aims and normative inquiries of epistemology and normative psychology have become intermutual in nature. Key Words: Heuristics and biases • applied cognitive psychology • normative psychology • rationality • naturalized epistemology • Epistemics • Applied Naturalized Epistemology • strong replacement • strategic reliabilism • ameliorative psychology. (shrink)
Decompositional analysis is the process of constructing explanations of the characteristics of whole systems in terms of characteristics of parts of those whole systems. Cognitive psychology is an endeavour that develops explanations of the capacities of the human organism in terms of descriptions of the brain's functionally defined information-processing components. This paper details the nature of this explanatory strategy, known as functional analysis. Functional analysis is contrasted with two other varieties of decompositional analysis, namely, structural analysis and capacity analysis. (...) After an examination of these three varieties of analysis, there follows a consideration of a mistake to avoid when conducting decompositional analyses in psychology, and a possible limitation on their explanatory scope. (shrink)
Cowan's analysis of human short-term memory (STM) and attention in terms of processing limits in the range of 4 items (or “chunks”) is discussed from the point of view of cognitive neuroscience. Although, Cowan already provides many important theoretical insights, we need to learn more about how to build further bridges between cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience.
Recent work in various branches of philosophy has reinvigorated debate over the psychology behind moral judgment. Using Marc Hauser's categorization of theories as “Kantian,” “Humean,” or “Rawlsian” to frame the discussion, I argue that the existing evidence weighs against the Kantian model and partly in favor of both the Humean and the Rawlsian models. Emotions do play a causal role in the formation of our moral judgments, as the Humean model claims, but there are also unconscious principles shaping our (...) moral judgments, as the Rawlsian model predicts. Thus, Hauser's tripartite division of possible models of moral psychology is inadequate. Drawing on research in cognitive neuroscience, clinical and behavioral psychology, and psychopathology, I sketch a new, developmental sentimentalist model of moral psychology. I call it a “Mencian” model, after the Confucian philosopher Mencius. On this model, moral judgments are caused by emotions, but because of the way emotions are mapped onto particular actions, moral judgments unconsciously reflect certain principled distinctions. (shrink)
In this paper I consider the relation between Descartes' psychology of vision and the cognitive science approach to psychology (henceforth CS). In particular, I examine Descartes' the Optics (1637) in the light of David Marr's (1982) position in CS. My general claim is that CS can be seen as a rediscovery of Descartes' psychology of vision. In the first section, I point to a parallel between Descartes' epistemological revolution, which created the modem version of the problem of (...) perception, and the cognitive revolution. These fundamental revolutions in theoretical psychology were both inspired and legitimated by a revolution in mathematics. They took place in accordance with one of Marr's maxims: “To the desirable via the possible”. In the second section, I demonstrate that in the Optics, Descartes explains perception of metrical properties in a way that — on a detailed level — is in accordance with how Man argues that complex information processing systems have to be explained: both Descartes and Man emphasize the co-ordination of logical and physical analysis. In the third section, I claim that Descartes' arguments for a sharp distinction between mechanical transmission of sense data (sensation) and non-mechanical inferences on those sense data (thinking) are sound arguments seen from Man's position in CS. Descartes' arguments are based on his logical and physical analysis. Malebranche's radicalized version of Cartesian dualism turns Descartes' empirically-based assumption that mechanisms cannot realize inferences into a metaphysical assumption. In the final section, I argue that this metaphysical assumption contributes to an understanding of perception as a non-symbolic, non-inferential bottom-up process in mainstream monistic and mechanistic scientific psychology until the cognitive revolution. (shrink)
In this review essay, numerous historical errors in The Cognitive Revolution in Psychology by Bernard J. Baars are discussed. Approximately one-half of the book is devoted to interviews of people who have been important in the cognitive revolution, but several of the interviews are less informative than they might have been. Many of the interviews involved a minimum of interaction between Baars and the interviewees. Additionally, interesting topics, the nature of representation for example, are introduced but not considered (...) in sufficient detail to make a contribution to either cognitive science or the history of psychology. (shrink)
Pothos's analysis is difficult to relate to real human mental processes. He tackles four quite different areas of psychology and adduces evidence from a large number of paradigms. Yet despite this very large scope, he employs a single, simplistic descriptive framework. An epistemological analysis, supported by illustrations from real world decision-making, shows that this steers us away from, rather than towards, an understanding of real human cognitive processes.