Anosognosia is literally ‘unawareness of or failure to acknowledge one’s hemi- plegia or other disability’ (OED). Etymology would suggest the meaning ‘lack of knowledge of disease’ so that anosognosia would include any denial of impairment, such as denial of blindness (Anton’s syndrome). But Babinski, who introduced the term in 1914, applied it only to patients with hemiplegia who fail to acknowledge their paralysis. Most commonly, this is failure to acknowledge paralysis of the left side of the body following damage to (...) the right hemisphere of the brain. In this paper, we shall mainly be concerned with anosognosia for hemiplegia. But we shall also use the term ‘anosognosia’ in an inclusive way to encompass lack of knowledge or acknowledgement of any impairment. Indeed, in the construction ‘anosognosia for X’, X might even be anosognosia for some Y. (shrink)
Professor Strawson was interviewed on video on location at King's College, London during the Spring of 1992. Professor Strawson discusses his thoughts on a variety of topics on which he has written previously, providing some illuminating insights into how his thoughts has progressed. The text published here is en excerpt from this interview, translated with kind permission of Mr Rudolf V. Fara, the producer, in which prof. Strawson discusses his philosophical views with Martin Davies, Wilde Reader in Mental Philosophy (...) at Oxford University, and Mark Sainsbury, Susan Stebbing Professor of Philosophy at King's College, University of London. (shrink)
I review and reconsider some of the themes of ‘Two notions of necessity’ (Davies and Humberstone, 1980) and attempt to reach a deeper understanding and appreciation of Gareth Evans’s reﬂections (in ‘Reference and contingency’, 1979) on both modality and reference. My aim is to plot the relationships between the notions of necessity that Humberstone and I characterised in terms of operators in two-dimensional modal logic, the notions of superﬁcial and deep necessity that Evans himself described, and the epistemic notion (...) of a priority. (shrink)
[Crispin Wright] Two kinds of epistemological sceptical paradox are reviewed and a shared assumption, that warrant to accept a proposition has to be the same thing as having evidence for its truth, is noted. 'Entitlement', as used here, denotes a kind of rational warrant that counter-exemplifies that identification. The paper pursues the thought that there are various kinds of entitlement and explores the possibility that the sceptical paradoxes might receive a uniform solution if entitlement can be made to reach sufficiently (...) far. Three kinds of entitlement are characterised and given prima facie support, and a fourth is canvassed. Certain foreseeable limitations of the suggested anti-sceptical strategy are noted. The discussion is grounded, overall, in a conception of the sceptical paradoxes not as directly challenging our having any warrant for large classes of our beliefs but as crises of intellectual conscience for one who wants to claim that we do. /// [MartinDavies] Wright's account of sceptical arguments and his use of the idea of epistemic entitlement are reviewed. His notion of non-transmission of epistemic warrant is explained and a concern about his notion of entitlement is developed. An epistemological framework different from Wright's is described and several notions of entitlement are introduced. One of these, negative entitlement, is selected for more detailed comparison with Wright's notion. Thereafter, the paper shows how the two notions of entitlement have contrasting consequences for non-transmission of warrant and how they go naturally with two conceptions of the presuppositions of epistemic projects. Problems for negative entitlement are explained and solutions are proposed. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction: does information matter?; Paul Davies and Niels Henrik Gregersen; Part I. History: 2. From matter to materialism ... and (almost) back Ernan McMullin; 3. Unsolved dilemmas: the concept of matter in the history of philosophy and in contemporary physics Philip Clayton; Part II. Physics: 4. Universe from bit Paul Davies; 5. The computational universe Seth Lloyd; 6. Minds and values in the quantum universe Henry Pierce Stapp; Part III. Biology: 7. The concept (...) of information in biology John Maynard Smith; 8. Levels of information: Shannon-Bolzmann-Darwin Terrence W. Deacon; 9. Information and communication in living matter Bernd-Olaf Küppers; 10. Semiotic freedom: an emerging force Jesper Hoffmeyer; 11. Care on earth: generating informed concern Holmes Rolston; Part IV. Philosophy and Theology: 12. The sciences of complexity - a new theological resource? Arthur Peacocke; 13. God as the ultimate informational principle Keith Ward; 14. Information, theology and the universe John F. Haught; 15. God, matter, and information: towards a Stoicizing Logos christology Niels Henrik Gregersen; 16. What is the 'spiritual body'? Michael Welker; Index. (shrink)
Cognitive neuropsychology is that branch of cognitive psychology that investi- gates people with acquired or developmental disorders of cognition. The aim is to learn more about how cognitive systems normally operate or about how they are normally acquired by studying selective patterns of cognitive break- down after brain damage or selective dif?culties in acquiring particular cogni- tive abilities. In the early days of modern cognitive neuropsychology, research focused on rather basic cognitive abilities such as speech comprehension or production at the (...) single-word level, reading and spelling, object and face recognition, and short-term memory. More recently the cognitive-neuro- psychological approach has been applied to the study of rather more complex domains of cognition such as belief ?xation (e.g. Coltheart and Davies, 2000; Langdon and Coltheart, 2000) and pragmatic aspects of communication (e.g. McDonald and Van Sommers, 1993). Our paper concerns the investigation of pragmatic disorders in one clinical group in which such disorders are common, patients with schizophrenia, and what the study of such people can tell us about the normal processes of communication. (shrink)
The work of Thomas Aquinas has always enjoyed a privileged position as a pillar of Catholic theology, but for centuries his standing among western philosophers was less sure. Today, Aquinas's work is recognized as a cornerstone of the western philosophical tradition. This book offers a full-scale introduction to Aquinas's philosophy. Brian Davies has collected in one volume the best recent essays on Aquinas by some of the world's foremost scholars of medieval philosophy. Taken together, they illuminate the entire spectrum (...) of Aquinas's thought: philosophy of nature, logic, metaphysics, natural theology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of action, and ethics. The essays are philosophically solid, readable, informative, critical, and evaluative of the texts of Aquinas. Davies frames the essays with a detailed introduction that provides an account of Aquinas's life and works, as well as of his major philosophical conclusions. (shrink)
In a recent essay, Jerrold Levinson defends his version of hypothetical intentionalism (HI), which is a theory of literary interpretation, from two criticisms. The first, argued by Stephen Davies, is that it is equivalent to the value-maximizing view. The second, argued by Robert Stecker, is that there are straightforward counterexamples to HI. We will argue that Levinson does not successfully fend off either criticism, and further, that in the process of attempting to do so, creates another dilemma for his (...) view. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Representing Stephen Davies's best shorter writings, these essays outline developments within the philosophy of music over the last two decades, and summarize the state of play at the beginning of a new century. Including two new and previously unpublished pieces, they address both perennial questions and contemporary controversies, such as that over the 'authentic performance' movement, and the impact of modern technology on the presentation and reception of musical works. Rather than attempting to reduce musical works to a single (...) type, Davies recognizes a great variety of kinds, and a complementary range of possibilities for their rendition. (shrink)
Cognitive neuropsychology is that branch of cognitive psychology that investigates people with acquired or developmental disorders of cognition. The aim is to learn more about how cognitive systems normally operate or about how they are normally acquired by studying selective patterns of cognitive breakdown after brain damage or selective difﬁculties in acquiring particular cognitive abilities. In the early days of modern cognitive neuropsychology, research focused on rather basic cognitive abilities such as speech comprehension or production at the single-word level, reading (...) and spelling, object and face recognition, and short-term memory. More recently the cognitive-neuropsychological approach has been applied to the study of rather more complex domains of cognition such as belief ﬁxation (e.g. Coltheart and Davies, 2000; Langdon and Coltheart, 2000) and pragmatic aspects of communication (e.g. McDonald and Van Sommers, 1993). Our paper concerns the investigation of pragmatic disorders in one clinical group in which such disorders are common, patients with schizophrenia, and what the study of such people can tell us about the normal processes of communication. (shrink)
The Genre Legong is a secular (balih-balihan) Balinese dance genre (Anon. 1971). Though originally associated with the palace, legong has long been performed in villages, especially at temple ceremonies, as well as at Balinese festivals of the arts. Since the 1920s, abridged versions of legong dances have featured in concerts organized for tourists and in overseas tours by Balinese orchestras. Indeed, the dance has become culturally emblematic, and its image is used to advertise Bali to the world. Traditionally, the dancers (...) are three young girls; the servant (condong), who dances a prelude, and two legong. All wear elaborate costumes of gilded cloth with ornate accessories and frangipani-crowned headdresses. The core repertoire consists of about fifteen dances (some of which are now lost), ranging in their longest versions from thirty to sixty minutes. Some of these are narrative, while others are abstract or general representations of nature, birds, insects, or plants. Those that involve narratives are, nevertheless, highly stylized, and the presentation of the drama is always secondary to the beauty of the dance. The genre is regarded as a treasury of the movements for Balinese women’s dance, and no dancer’s training is complete if she lacks a solid grounding in legong. The dance is accompanied by a gamelan of twenty-five or more players. Though the legong dance remains popular in areas of traditional strength, and despite efforts to revive it, it is generally in decline (Davies 2006). (shrink)
In a recent essay, Jerrold Levinson defends his version of hypothetical intentionalism (HI), which is a theory of literary interpretation, from two criticisms. The first, argued by Stephen Davies, is that it is equivalent to the value-maximizing view. The second, argued by Robert Stecker, is that there are straightforward counterexamples to HI. We will argue that Levinson does not successfully fend off either criticism, and further, that in the process of attempting to do so, creates another dilemma for his (...) view. (shrink)
In this wide-ranging book, Brian Davies discusses the basis for scientists' claims to knowledge about the world. He looks at science historically, emphasizing not only the achievements of scientists from Galileo onwards, but also their mistakes. He rejects the claim that all scientific knowledge is provisional, by citing examples from chemistry, biology and geology. A major feature of the book is its defense of the view that mathematics was invented rather than discovered. A large number of examples are used (...) to illustrate these points, and many of the deep issues in today's world discussed-from psychology and evolution to quantum theory, consciousness and even religious belief. Disentangling knowledge from opinion and aspiration is a hard task, but this book provided a clear guide to the difficulties. (shrink)
Philosophical Perspectives on Art presents a series of essays devoted to two of the most fundamental topics in the philosophy of art: the distinctive character of artworks and what is involved in understanding them as art. In Part I, Stephen Davies considers a wide range of questions about the nature and definition of art. Can art be defined, and if so, which definitions are the most plausible? Do we make and consume art because there are evolutionary advantages to doing (...) so? Has art completed the mission that guided its earlier historical development, and if so, what is to become of it now? Should architecture be classified as an art form? -/- Part II turns to the interpretation and appreciation of art. What is the target and purpose of the critic's interpretation? Is interpretation primarily directed at uncovering artists' intended meanings? Can apparently contradictory interpretations of a given piece both be true? Are interpretative evaluations entailed by descriptions of a work's aesthetic and artistic characteristics? In addition to providing fresh answers to these and other central questions in aesthetics, Davies considers the nature and content of metaphor, and the relation between the expressive qualities of a work of art and the emotions of its creator. (shrink)
We have, as a theological community, generally lost a language in which to speak of the created-ness of the world. As a consequence, our discourses of reason cannot bridge the way we know God and the way we know the world. Therefore, argues Oliver Davies, a primary task of contemporary theology is the regeneration of a Christian account of the world as sacramental, leading to the formation of a Christian conception of reason and a new Christocentric understanding of the (...) real. Both the Johannine tradition of creation through the Word and a Eucharistic semiotics of Christ as the embodied, sacrificial and creative speech of God serve the project of a repairal of Christian cosmology. The world itself is viewed as a creative text authored by God, of which we as interpreters are an integral part. This is a wide-ranging and convincing book that makes an important contribution to modern theology. (shrink)
Using a model quantum clock, I evaluate an expression for the time of a nonrelativistic quantum particle to transit a piecewise geodesic path in a background gravitational ﬁeld with small spacetime curvature (gravity gradient), in the case that the apparatus is in free fall. This calculation complements and extends an earlier one (Davies 2004) in which the apparatus is ﬁxed to the surface of the Earth. The result conﬁrms that, for particle velocities not too low, the quantum and classical (...) transit times coincide, in conformity with the principle of equivalence. I also calculate the quantum corrections to the transit time when the de Broglie wavelengths are long enough to probe the spacetime curvature. The results are compared with the calculation of Chiao and Speliotopoulos (2003), who propose an experiment to measure the foregoing effects. (shrink)
Humanism offers students a clear and lucid introductory guide to the complexities of Humanism, one of the most contentious and divisive of artistic or literary concepts. Showing how the concept has evolved since the Renaissance period, Davies discusses humanism in the context of the rise of Fascism, the onset of World War II, the Holocaust, and their aftermath. Humanism provides basic definitions and concepts, a critique of the religion of humanity, and necessary background on religious, sexual and political themes (...) of modern life and thought, while enlightening the debate between humanism, modernism and antihumanism through the writings and works of such key figures as Pico Erasmus, Milton, Nietzsche, and Foucault. (shrink)
In 1922 Charles Hartshorne, then an aspiring young philosopher, wrote to Edgar Sheffield Brightman, a preeminent philosopher of religion for twenty-three subsequent years and, remarkably, almost every letter was preserved. In their introductory essays, editors Randall Auxier and Mark Davies place the unusually rich and intensive correspondence in its intellectual context and address the relationship between personalism and process philosophy/theology in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and social philosophy.
What does belief in God amount to? Can we reasonably believe in God's existence without argument or evidence? Can God's existence be proved? Can we believe in miracles? Is there life after death? In this book, Brian Davies provides a critical examination of some fundamental questions posed by religious belief. Completely rewritten in order to cover the latest developments in the field, the new edition of this highly successful textbook will once again prove the ideal introduction for all students (...) of the philosophy of religion. The book is highly accessible and covers all the key elements of a course in the philosophy of religion. It is designed to complement Brian Davies' Philosophy of Religion: A Guide and Anthology, although the book can also be used as a stand-alone introduction. (shrink)
In the last 20 years postmodernism has had a powerful effect on the discipline of history and is now forcing empiricist historians to articulate their methods, and to defend them as both possible and virtuous. In this concise introduction, Stephen Davies explains what historians mean by empiricism, examines the origins, growth and persistence of empirical methods, and shows how students can apply these methods to their own work.
Is it possible to be both a philosopher and a religious believer? Is philosophy a friend or foe to religious belief? Does talk of God make sense? Does God exist? What is God? Ideal for anyone pondering these and similar questions, Philosophy of Religion: A Guide and Anthology provides a comprehensive, authoritative, and accessible overview of the subject. Carefully edited by Brian Davies, it contains a wide-ranging selection of 65 of the best classical and contemporary writings on the philosophy (...) of religion, together with substantial commentary, introductory material, discussion questions, and detailed guides to further reading. The editorial material sets the selections in context and guides students through the readings. Part I of the book examines the relation between philosophy and religion; Parts II-IV consider the existence and nature of God; Part V addresses the "problem of evil" that has puzzled thinkers for centuries; and Parts VI and VII are devoted to the relationship between morality and religion and to the question of life after death. An extensive treatment of the major issues that Western philosophers have faced in thinking about religion, Philosophy of Religion is an exceptional text. No other book on the market offers this combination of an introductory guide along with such a substantial anthology of readings. (shrink)
In this sweeping survey, acclaimed science writers Paul Davies and John Gribbin provide a complete overview of advances in the study of physics that have revolutionized modern science. From the weird world of quarks and the theory of relativity to the latest ideas about the birth of the cosmos, the authors find evidence for a massive paradigm shift. Developments in the studies of black holes, cosmic strings, solitons, and chaos theory challenge commonsense concepts of space, time, and matter, and (...) demand a radically altered and more fully unified view of the universe. (shrink)
In his paper ‘Scmantic Theory and Tacit Knowlcdgc’, Gareth Evans uscs a familiar kind of cxamplc in ordcr to render vivid his account of tacit knowledge. We arc to consider a finite language, with just one hundrcd scntcnccs. Each scntcncc is made up of a subjcct (a name) and a prcdicatc. The names are ‘a’, ‘b’, . . ., T. The prcdicatcs arc ‘F’, ‘G’, . . ., ‘O’. Thc scntcnccs have meanings which dcpcnd in a systematic way upon their (...) construction. Thus, all scntcnccs containing ‘a’ mean something about john; all scntcnccs containing ‘b’ mean something about Harry; all scntcnccs containing ‘F’ mean something about being bald; all scntcnccs containing ‘G’ mean something about being happy; and so 011. For this vcry simple language L, wc arc to consider various semantic theories. We could consider thcorics whosc dclivcranccs about wholc scntcnccs are of.. (shrink)
Starting from Dennett's distinction between personal and sub-personal levels of description, I consider the relationships amongst three levels: the personal level, the level of information-processing mechanisms, and the level of neurobiology. I defend a conception of the relationship between the personal level and the sub-personal level of information-processing mechanisms as interaction without reduction . Even given a nonreductionist conception of persons, philosophical theorizing sometimes supports downward inferences from the personal to the sub-personal level. An example of a downward inference is (...) provided and an objection is considered. (shrink)
Mental simulation is the simulation, replication or re-enactment, usually in imagination, of the thinking, decision-making, emotional responses, or other aspects of the mental life of another person. According to simulation theory, mental simulation in imagination plays a key role in our everyday psychological understanding of other people. The same mental resources that are used in our own thinking, decision-making or emotional responses are redeployed in imagination to provide an understanding of the thoughts, decisions or emotions of another.
The question posed by Dunn and Kirsner (D&K) is an instance of a more general one: What can we infer from data? One answer, if we are talking about logically valid deductive inference, is that we cannot infer theories from data. A theory is supposed to explain the data and so cannot be a mere summary of the data to be explained. The truth of an explanatory theory goes beyond the data and so is never logically guaranteed by the data. (...) This is not just a point about cognitive neuropsychology, or even about psychology in general. It is a familiar point about all science. (shrink)
1923; Young, this volume); the Cotard delusion (Cotard, 1882; Berrios and Luque, 1995; Young, this volume); the Fregoli delusion (Courbon and Fail, 1927; de Pauw, Szulecka and Poltock, 1987; Ellis, Whitley and Luaute´, 1994); the delusion of mirrored-self misidentiﬁ- cation (Foley and Breslau, 1982; Breen et al., this volume); a delusion of reduplicative param- nesia (Benson, Gardner and Meadows, 1976; Breen et al., this volume); a delusion sometimes found in patients suffering from unilateral neglect (Bisiach, 1988); and the delusions of (...) alien control and of thought insertion, which are characteristic of schizophrenia (Frith, 1992). (shrink)
This paper is about the contemporary debate concerning folk psychology – the debate between the proponents of the theory theory of folk psychology and the friends of the simulation alternative.1 At the outset, we need to ask: What should we mean by this term ‘folk psychology’?
who are unrecognizable because they are in disguise. ¼ The person I see in the mirror is not really me. ¼ A person I knew who died is nevertheless in the hospital ward today. ¼ This arm [the speaker’s left arm] is not mine it is yours; you have..
We provide a battery of examples of delusions against which theoretical accounts can be tested. Then, we identify neuropsychological anomalies that could produce the unusual experiences that may lead, in turn, to the delusions in our battery. However, we argue against Maher’s view that delusions are false beliefs that arise as normal responses to anomalous experiences. We propose, instead, that a second factor is required to account for the transition from unusual experience to delusional belief. The second factor in the (...) aetiology of delusions can be described superficially as a loss of the ability to reject a candidate for belief on the grounds of its implausibility and its inconsistency with everything else that the patient knows. But we point out some problems that confront any attempt to say more about the nature of this second factor. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to demonstrate a _prima facie_ tension between our commonsense conception of ourselves as thinkers and the connectionist programme for modelling cognitive processes. The language of thought hypothesis plays a pivotal role. The connectionist paradigm is opposed to the language of thought; and there is an argument for the language of thought that draws on features of the commonsense scheme of thoughts, concepts, and inference. Most of the paper (Sections 3-7) is taken up with the (...) argument for the language of thought hypothesis. The argument for an opposition between connectionism and the language of thought comes towards the end (Section 8), along with some discussion of the potential eliminativist consequences (Sections 9 and. (shrink)
In this paper, I define tacit knowledge as a kind of causal-explanatory structure, mirroring the derivational structure in the theory that is tacitly known. On this definition, tacit knowledge does not have to be explicitly represented. I then take the notion of a modular theory, and project the idea of modularity to several different levels of description: in particular, to the processing level and the neurophysiological level. The fundamental description of a connectionist network lies at a level between the processing (...) level and the physiological level. At this level, connectionism involves a characteristic departure from modularity, and a correlative absence of syntactic structure. This is linked to the fact that tacit knowledge descriptions of networks are only approximately true. A consequence is that strict causal systematicity in cognitive processes poses a problem for the connectionist programme. (shrink)
According to the theory theory of folk psychology, our engagement in the folk psychological practices of prediction, interpretation and explanation draws on a rich body of knowledge about psychological matters. According to the simulation theory, in apparent contrast, a fundamental role is played by our ability to identify with another person in imagination and to replicate or re-enact aspects of the other person’s mental life. But amongst theory theorists, and amongst simulation theorists, there are significant differences of approach.
For philosophers, the current phase of the debate with which this volume is concerned can be taken to have begun in 1986, when Jane Heal and Robert Gordon published their seminal papers (Heal, 1986; Gordon, 1986; though see also, for example, Stich, 1981; Dennett, 1981). They raised a dissenting voice against what was becoming a philosophical orthodoxy: that our everyday, or folk, understanding of the mind should be thought of as theoretical. In opposition to this picture, Gordon and Heal argued (...) that we are not theorists but simulators. For psychologists, the debate had begun somewhat earlier when Heider (1958) produced his work on lay psychology; and in more recent times the psychological debate had continued in developmental psychology and in work on animal cognition. (shrink)
A major recurrent feature of the intellectual landscape in cognitive science is the appearance of a collection of essays by Noam Chomsky. These collections serve both to inform the wider cognitive science community about the latest developments in the approach to the study of language that Chomsky has advocated for almost fifty years now,1 and to provide trenchant criticisms of what he takes to be mistaken philosophical objections to this approach. This new collection contains seven essays, the earliest of which (...) were first published about ten years ago. So the linguistic work that is summarised is within the principles and parameters approach and some of the essays (particularly the first and last) provide an outline of the main ideas of the emerging minimalist programme.2 But this is not primarily a book about the details of recent linguistic theory. Rather, in these essays Chomsky offers a wealth of critical commentary on some of the most influential arguments in the philosophy of mind and language that have appeared over the past two decades or so. Indeed, Chomsky discusses a vast range of philosophical topics and reaches some radical conclusions – that many influential philosophical discussions on language and mind are utterly misconceived and that, for example, the traditional mind-body problem cannot even be coherently stated. (shrink)
I defend a conception of the relationship between the personal and sub-personal levels as interaction withoutreduction.There are downward inferences from the personal to the sub-personal level but we find upward explanatory gaps when we try to construct illuminating accounts of personal level conditions using just sub-personal level notions. This conception faces several serious challenges but the objection that I consider in this paper says that, when theories support downward inferences from the personal to the sub-personal level, this is the product (...) of an unacceptably • mechanistic view of persons. According to this objection, if we were to focus on persons as conscious rational thinkers and agents then the support for putative downward inferences would be undermined. I consider and reject developments of this objection in response to two arguments for downward inferences. (shrink)
This paper is about the contemporary debate concerning folk psychology – the debate between the proponents of the theory theory of folk psychology and the friends of the simulation alternative.1 At the outset, we need to ask: What should we mean by this term ‘folk psychology’?
The aim of this paper is to clarify and critically assess the methods of evolutionary psychology, and offer a sketch of an alternative methodology. My thesis is threefold. (1) The methods of inquiry unique to evolutionary psychology rest upon the claim that the discovery of theadaptive functions of ancestral psychological capacities leads to the discovery of thepsychological functions of those ancestral capacities. (2) But this claim is false; in fact, just the opposite is true. We first must discover the psychological (...) functions of our psychological capacities in order to discover their adaptive functions. Hence the methods distinctive of evolutionary psychology are idle in our search for the mechanisms of the mind. (3) There are good reasons for preferring an alternative to the methods of evolutionary psychology, an alternative that aims to discover the functions of our psychological capacities by appeal to the concept of awhole psychology. (shrink)
This paper addresses a problem about epistemic warrant. The problem is posed by philosophical arguments for externalism about the contents of thoughts, and similarly by philosophical arguments for architecturalism about thinking, when these arguments are put together with a thesis of first person authority. In each case, first personal knowledge about our thoughts plus the kind of knowledge that is provided by a philosophical argument seem, together, to open an unacceptably ‘non-empirical’ route to knowledge of empirical facts. Furthermore, this unwelcome (...) prospect of transferring a ‘non-empirical’ warrant from premises about our own mental states and about philosophical theory to a conclusion about external environment or internal architecture seems to depend upon little more than the possibility of knowledge by inference. (The use of the scare-quoted term ‘non-empirical’ is explained a couple of paragraphs further on.). (shrink)
He then argues that (1), (2) and (3) constitute an inconsistent triad as follows (1991, p. 15): Suppose (1) that Oscar knows a priori that he is thinking that water is wet. Then by (2), Oscar can simply deduce E, using premisses that are knowable a priori, including the premiss that he is thinking that water is wet. Since Oscar can deduce E from premisses that are knowable a priori, Oscar can know E itself a priori. But this contradicts (3), (...) the assumption that E cannot be known a priori. Hence (1), (2), and (3) are inconsistent. McKinsey’s conclusion is that ‘anti-individualism is inconsistent with privileged access’ (ibid.). (shrink)
[I]f you could know a priori that you are in a given mental state, and your being in that state conceptually or logically implies the existence of external objects, then you could know a priori that the external world exists. Since you obviously _can.
The so-called ‘cognitive revolution’ (Gardner, 1985) in American psychology owed much to developments in adjacent disciplines, especially theoretical linguistics and computer science. Indeed, the cognitive revolution brought forth, not only a change in the conception of psychology, but also an inter-disciplinary approach to understanding the mind, involving philosophy, anthropology and neuroscience along with computer science, linguistics and psychology. Many commentators agree in dating the conception of this inter-disciplinary approach, cognitive science, to 11 September 1956, the second day of a symposium (...) on information theory held at MIT (Miller, 2003). Over the next twenty years or so, cognitive science developed an institutional presence through research centres, conferences, journals, and a substantial infusion of funds from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. (shrink)
Fred Dretske asserts that the conscious or phenomenal experiences associated with our perceptual states—e.g. the qualitative or subjective features involved in visual or auditory states—are identical to properties that things have according to our representations of them. This is Dretske's version of the currently popular representational theory of consciousness . After explicating the core of Dretske's representational thesis, I offer two criticisms. I suggest that Dretske's view fails to apply to a broad range of mental phenomena that have rather distinctive (...) subjective or qualitative features. I also suggest that Dretske's view, in identifying conscious experiences with features of our perceptual states, casts its aim too low. It deflates further than it should and, in consequence, fails to capture what are arguably some of the most important phenomena associated with our conscious lives. (shrink)
In B. Repacholi and V. Slaughter (eds), _Individual Differences in Theory of Mind: Implications for Typical and Atypical_ _Development_. Macquarie Monographs in Cognitive Science. Hove, E. Sussex: Psychology Press, 2003..
1. Introduction For philosophers, the current phase of the debate with which this volume is concerned can be taken to have begun in 1986, when Jane Heal and Robert Gordon published their seminal papers (Heal, 1986; Gordon, 1986; though see also, for example, Stich, 1981; Dennett, 1981). They raised a dissenting voice against what was becoming a philosophical orthodoxy: that our everyday, or folk, understanding of the mind should be thought of as theoretical. In opposition to this picture, Gordon and (...) Heal argued that we are not theorists but simulators. For psychologists, the debate had begun somewhat earlier when Heider (1958) produced his work on lay psychology; and in more recent times the psychological debate had continued in developmental psychology and in work on animal cognition. (shrink)
In this paper, I shall defend externalism for the contents of perceptual experience. A perceptual experience has representational properties; it presents the world as being a certain way. A visual experience, for example, might present the world to a subject as containing a surface with a certain shape, lying at a certain distance, in a certain direction; perhaps a square with sides about 30 cm, lying about one metre in front of the subject, in a direction about 20 degrees to (...) the left of straight ahead. (shrink)
_Two notions of autonomy are distinguished. The respective_ _denials that psychology is autonomous from neurobiology are neuron_ _doctrines, moderate and radical. According to the moderate neuron_ _doctrine, inter-disciplinary interaction need not aim at reduction. It is_ _proposed that it is more plausible that there is slippage from the_ _moderate to the radical neuron doctrine than that there is confusion_ _between the radical neuron doctrine and the trivial version._.
Sitting in the philosopher’s armchair, I am not engaged in any detailed empirical investigation of the world. But, as I pursue philosophy’s distinctive armchair methodology, I sometimes come upon arguments that appear to disclose requirements for thought. According to some of these arguments, being a thinking person requires having the right kind of history, or having the right kind of cognitive architecture. According to other arguments, being able to think about particular topics requires being a member of a community of (...) speakers, or being in contact with the right kinds of stuff. These arguments have the potential to raise an epistemological problem. For, suppose that armchair philosophical arguments such as these can yield knowledge about requirements for thought, and suppose too that I can know from the armchair that I am a thinking being who has thoughts about various particular topics. Then I seem to have a route to armchair knowledge about my history, my cognitive architecture, my community, and my material environment – knowledge about these things that does not depend on detailed empirical investigation of the world. (shrink)