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Profile: Murat Aydede (University of British Columbia)
  1. Murat Aydede, Are Phenomenal Zombies Really Conceivable?
    I argue that if we have a rich enough description of perceptual experiences from an information-theoretic viewpoint, it becomes surprisingly difficult (to put it mildly) to positively conceive philosophical zombies (as complete physical/functional duplicates that lack phenomenal consciousness). Hence, it is at best an open question whether zombies are positively conceivable. My argument requires paying close attention to the direct relation between phenomenology and information.
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  2. Murat Aydede, Is the Experience of Pain Transparent? Introspecting Phenomenal Qualities.
    I distinguish between two claims of transparency of experiences. One claim is weaker and supported by phenomenological evidence. This I call the Transparency Datum (TD). Pain experiences are consistent with TD. I formulate a stronger transparency thesis (ST) that is entailed by (strong) representationalism about phenomenology. I argue that pain experiences (as well as some other similar experiences) are not transparent in this strong sense. Hence I argue that representationalism is false. Then, I outline a framework about how the introspection (...)
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  3. Murat Aydede, Language of Thought Hypothesis: State of the Art.
    The Language of Thought Hypothesis (LOTH) is an empirical thesis about thought and thinking. For their explication, it postulates a physically realized system of representations that have a combinatorial syntax (and semantics) such that operations on representations are causally sensitive only to the syntactic properties of representations. According to LOTH, thought is, roughly, the tokening of a representation that has a syntactic (constituent) structure with an appropriate semantics. Thinking thus consists in syntactic operations defined over representations. Most of the arguments (...)
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  4. Murat Aydede (forthcoming). A Contemporary Account of Sensory Pleasure. In Lisa Shapiro (ed.), Pleasure: A History. Oxford University Press.
    [This is the penultimate version, please send me an email for the final version]. Some sensations are pleasant, some unpleasant, and some are neither. Furthermore, those that are pleasant or unpleasant are so to different degrees. In this essay, I want to explore what kind of a difference is the difference between these three kinds of sensations. I will develop a comprehensive three-level account of sensory pleasure that is simultaneously adverbialist, functionalist and is also a version of an experiential-desire account.
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  5. Murat Aydede & Matthew Fulkerson (forthcoming). Reasons and Theories of Sensory Affect. In David Bain, Michael Brady & Jennifer Corns (eds.), The Nature of Pain.
    [Penultimate draft] Some sensory experiences are pleasant, some unpleasant. This is a truism. But understanding what makes these experiences pleasant and unpleasant is not an easy job. Various difficulties and puzzles arise as soon as we start theorizing. There are various philosophical theories on offer that seem to give different accounts for the positive or negative affective valences of sensory experiences. In this paper, we will look at the current state of art in the philosophy of mind, present the main (...)
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  6. Murat Aydede (2014). How to Unify Theories of Sensory Pleasure: An Adverbialist Proposal. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):119-133.
    A lot of qualitatively very different sensations can be pleasant or unpleasant. The Felt-Quality Views that conceive of sensory affect as having an introspectively available common phenomenology or qualitative character face the “heterogeneity problem” of specifying what that qualitative common phenomenology is. In contrast, according to the Attitudinal Views, what is common to all pleasant or unpleasant sensations is that they are all “wanted” or “unwanted” in a certain sort of way. The commonality is explained not on the basis of (...)
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  7. Murat Aydede & Matthew Fulkerson (2014). Affect: Representationalists' Headache. Philosophical Studies 170 (2):175-198.
    Representationalism is the view that the phenomenal character of experiences is identical to their representational content of a certain sort. This view requires a strong transparency condition on phenomenally conscious experiences. We argue that affective qualities such as experienced pleasantness or unpleasantness are counter-examples to the transparency thesis and thus to the sort of representationalism that implies it.
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  8. Murat Aydede, The Language of Thought Hypothesis. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  9. Murat Aydede (2009). Is Feeling Pain the Perception of Something? Journal of Philosophy 106 (10):531-567.
    According to the increasingly popular perceptual/representational accounts of pain (and other bodily sensations such as itches, tickles, orgasms, etc.), feeling pain in a body region is perceiving a non-mental property or some objective condition of that region, typically equated with some sort of (actual or potential) tissue damage. In what follows I argue that given a natural understanding of what sensory perception requires and how it is integrated with (dedicated) conceptual systems, these accounts are mistaken. I will also examine the (...)
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  10. Murat Aydede (2009). Pain, Philosophical Aspects Of. In Tim Bayne, Axel Cleeremans & Patrick Wilken (eds.), Oxford Companion to Consciousness. 495-498.
    The ordinary conception of pain has two major threads that are in tension with each other. It is this tension that generates various puzzles in our philosophical understanding of pain. This is a short encyclopedia entry surveying some of the major philosophical puzzles about pain.
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  11. Murat Aydede & P. Robbins (eds.) (2009). The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge.
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  12. Philip Robbins & Murat Aydede (2009). A Short Primer on Situated Cognition. In Murat Aydede & P. Robbins (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge. 3--10.
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  13. Murat Aydede, Pain. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  14. Murat Aydede (2008). Review of Nikola Grahek, Feeling Pain and Being in Pain. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (1).
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  15. Murat Aydede (2005). Computation and Functionalism: Syntactic Theory of Mind Revisited. In G. Irzik & G. Guezeldere (eds.), Turkish Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science. Springer.
    There is a thesis often aired by some philosophers of psychology that syntax is all we need and there is no need to advert to intentional/semantic properties of symbols for purposes of psychological explanation. Indeed, the worry has been present since the first explicit articulation of so-called Computational Theory of Mind (CTM). Even Fodor, who has been the most ardent defender of the Language of Thought Hypoth- esis (LOTH) (which requires the CTM), has raised worries about its apparent consequences. The (...)
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  16. Murat Aydede (2005). Introduction: A Critical and Quasi-Historical Essay on Theories of Pain. In , Pain: New Essays on its Nature and the Methodology of its Study. Cambridge Ma: Bradford Book/Mit Press.
     
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  17. Murat Aydede (ed.) (2005). Pain: New Essays on its Nature and the Methodology of its Study. MIT Press.
  18. Murat Aydede (2005). The Main Difficulty with Pain. In , Pain: New Essays on its Nature and the Methodology of its Study. Cambridge Ma: Bradford Book/Mit Press. 123-136.
    Consider the following two sentences:
    (1) I see a dark discoloration in the back of my hand.
    (2) I feel a jabbing pain in the back of my hand.
    They seem to have the same surface grammar, and thus prima facie invite the same kind of semantic treatment. Even though a reading of ‘see’ in (1) where the verb is not treated as a success verb is not out of the question, it is not the ordinary and natural (...)
     
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  19. Murat Aydede & Guven Guzeldere (2005). Concepts, Introspection, and Phenomenal Consciousness: An Information-Theoretical Approach. Noûs 39 (2):197-255.
    This essay is a sustained attempt to bring new light to some of the perennial problems in philosophy of mind surrounding phenomenal consciousness and introspection through developing an account of sensory and phenomenal concepts. Building on the information-theoretic framework of Dretske (1981), we present an informational psychosemantics as it applies to what we call sensory concepts, concepts that apply, roughly, to so-called secondary qualities of objects. We show that these concepts have a special informational character and semantic struc-ture that closely (...)
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  20. Murat Aydede & D. Price (2005). The Experimental Use of Introspection in the Scientific Study of Pain and its Integration with Third-Person Methodologies: The Experiential-Phenomenological Approach. In , Pain: New Essays on its Nature and the Methodology of its Study. Mit Press. 243--273.
    Understanding the nature of pain depends, at least partly, on recognizing its subjectivity (thus, its first-person epistemology). This in turn requires using a first-person experiential method in addition to third-person experimental approaches to study it. This paper is an attempt to spell out what the former approach is and how it can be integrated with the latter. We start our discussion by examining some foundational issues raised by the use of introspection. We argue that such a first-person method in the (...)
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  21. Murat Aydede & Donald D. Price (2005). Introspection and Unrevisability: Reply to Commentaries. In , Pain: New Essays on its Nature and the Methodology of its Study. Cambridge Ma: Bradford Book/Mit Press.
     
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  22. Murat Aydede (2003). Is Introspection Inferential? In Brie Gertler (ed.), Privileged Access: Philosophical Accounts of Self-Knowledge. Ashgate.
    I introduce the Displaced Perception Model of Introspection developed by Dretske which treats introspection of phenomenal states as inferential and criticize it.
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  23. Murat Aydede & Guven Guzeldere (2002). Some Foundational Problems in the Scientific Study of Pain. Philosophy of Science Supplement 69 (3):265-83.
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  24. Murat Aydede (2001). Naturalism, Introspection, and Direct Realism About Pain. Consciousness and Emotion 2 (1):29-73.
    This paper examines pain states (and other intransitive bodily sensations) from the perspective of the problems they pose for pure informational/representational approaches to naturalizing qualia. I start with a comprehensive critical and quasi-historical discussion of so-called Perceptual Theories of Pain (e.g., Armstrong, Pitcher), as these were the natural predecessors of the more modern direct realist views. I describe the theoretical backdrop (indirect realism, sense-data theories) against which the perceptual theories were developed. The conclusion drawn is that pure representationalism about pain (...)
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  25. Murat Aydede & Guven Guzeldere (2001). Consciousness, Conceivability Arguments, and Perspectivalism: The Dialectics of the Debate. Communication and Cognition 34 (1-2):99-122.
  26. Murat Aydede & P. Robbins (2001). Are Frege Cases Exceptions to Intentional Generalizations? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):1-22.
    This piece criticizes Fodor's argument (in The Elm and the Expert, 1994) for the claim that Frege cases should be treated as exceptions to (broad) psychological generalizations rather than as counterexamples.
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  27. Murat Aydede (2000). An Analysis of Pleasure Vis-a-Vis Pain. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (3):537-570.
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  28. Murat Aydede (2000). Computation and Intentional Psychology. Dialogue 39 (2):365-379.
    The relation between computational and intentional psychology has always been a vexing issue. The worry is that if mental processes are computational, then these processes, which are defined over symbols, are sensitive solely to the non-semantic properties of symbols. If so, perhaps psychology could dispense with adverting in its laws to intentional/semantic properties of symbols. Stich, as is well-known, has made a great deal out of this tension and argued for a purely "syntactic" psychology by driving a wedge between a (...)
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  29. Murat Aydede (2000). Emotions or Emotional Feelings? (Commentary on Rolls' The Brain and Emotion). Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (2):192-194.
    It turns out that Rolls’s answer to Nagel’s (1974) question, "What is it like to be a bat?" is brusque: there is nothing it is like to be a bat . . . provided that bats don’t have a linguistically structured internal representational system that enables them to think about their first-order thoughts which are also linguistically structured. For phenomenal consciousness, a properly functioning system of higher-order linguistic thought (HOLT) is necessary (Rolls 1998, p. 262). By this criterion, not only (...)
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  30. Murat Aydede (2000). On the Type/Token Relation of Mental Representations. Facta Philosophica 2 (1):23-50.
    According to the Computational/Representational Theory of Thought (CRTT ? Language of Thought Hypothesis, or LOTH), propositional attitudes, such as belief, desire, and the like, are triadic relations among subjects, propositions, and internal mental representations. These representations form a representational _system_ physically realized in the brain of sufficiently sophisticated cognitive organisms. Further, this system of representations has a combinatorial syntax and semantics, but the processes that operate on the representations are causally sensitive only to their syntax, not to their semantics. On (...)
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  31. Murat Aydede & Guven Guzeldere (2000). Consciousness, Intentionality, and Intelligence: Some Foundational Issues for Artificial Intelligence. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 12 (3):263-277.
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  32. Murat Aydede (1999). What Makes Perceptual Symbols Perceptual? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):610-611.
    It is argued that three major attempts by Barsalou to specify what makes a perceptual symbol perceptual fail. It is suggested that one way to give such an account is to employ the symbols.
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  33. Murat Aydede (1998). Aristotle on Episteme and Nous: The Posterior Analytics. Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (1):15-46.
    According to the standard and largely traditional interpretation, Aristotle’s conception of nous, at least as it occurs in the Posterior Analytics, is geared against a certain set of skeptical worries about the possibility of scientific knowledge, and ultimately of the knowledge of Aristotelian first principles. On this view, Aristotle introduces nous as an intuitive faculty that grasps the first principles once and for all as true in such a way that it does not leave any room for the skeptic to (...)
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  34. Murat Aydede (1998). Fodor on Concepts and Frege Puzzles. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 79 (4):289-294.
    ABSTRACT. Fodor characterizes concepts as consisting of two dimensions: one is content, which is purely denotational/broad, the other the Mentalese vehicle bearing that content, which Fodor calls the Mode of Presentation (MOP), understood "syntactically." I argue that, so understood, concepts are not interpersonally sharable; so Fodor's own account violates what he calls the Publicity Constraint in his (1998) book. Furthermore, I argue that Fodor's non-semantic, or "syntactic," solution to Frege cases succumbs to the problem of providing interpersonally applicable functional roles (...)
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  35. Murat Aydede (1997). Has Fodor Really Changed His Mind on Narrow Content? Mind and Language 12 (3-4):422-58.
    In his latest book, The Elm and the Expert (1994), Fodor notoriously rejects the notion of narrow content as superfluous. He envisions a scientific intentional psychology that adverts only to broad content properties in its explanations. I argue that Fodor's change in view is only apparent and that his previous position (1985-1991) is extensionally equivalent to his "new" position (1994). I show that, despite what he says narrow content is for in his (1994), Fodor himself has previously never appealed to (...)
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  36. Murat Aydede (1997). Language of Thought: The Connectionist Contribution. Minds and Machines 7 (1):57-101.
    Fodor and Pylyshyn's critique of connectionism has posed a challenge to connectionists: Adequately explain such nomological regularities as systematicity and productivity without postulating a "language of thought" (LOT). Some connectionists like Smolensky took the challenge very seriously, and attempted to meet it by developing models that were supposed to be non-classical. At the core of these attempts lies the claim that connectionist models can provide a representational system with a combinatorial syntax and processes sensitive to syntactic structure. They are not (...)
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  37. Murat Aydede (1997). Pure Informational Semantics and the Narrow/Broad Dichotomy. In Dunja Jutronic (ed.), The Maribor Papers in Naturalized Semantics. Maribor. 157.
    The influence of historical-causal theories of reference developed in the late sixties and early seventies by Donnellan, Kripke, Putnam and Devitt has been so strong that any semantic theory that has the consequence of assigning disjunctive representational content to the mental states of twins (e.g. [H2O or XYZ]) has been thereby taken to refute itself. Similarly, despite the strength of pre-theoretical intuitions that exact physical replicas like Davidson's Swampman have representational mental states, people have routinely denied that they have any (...)
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  38. Murat Aydede, Kent Bach & Rod Bertolet (1997). List of Contrlbutors. In Dunja Jutronic (ed.), The Maribor Papers in Naturalized Semantics. Maribor. 415.
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  39. Güven Güzeldere & Murat Aydede (1997). On the Relation Between Phenomenal and Representational Properties. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1):151-153.
    We argue that Block's charge of fallacy remains ungrounded so long as the existence of P-consciousness, as Block construes it, is independently established. This, in turn, depends on establishing the existence of “phenomenal properties” that are essentially not representational, cognitive, or functional. We argue that Block leaves this fundamental thesis unsubstantiated. We conclude by suggesting that phenomenal consciousness can be accounted for in terms of a hybrid set of representational and functional properties.
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  40. Murat Aydede (1995). Connectionism and the Language of Thought. CSLI Technical Report.
    Fodor and Pylyshyn's (F&P) critique of connectionism has posed a challenge to connectionists: Adequately explain such nomological regularities as systematicity and productivity without postulating a "language of thought'' (LOT). Some connectionists declined to meet the challenge on the basis that the alleged regularities are somehow spurious. Some, like Smolensky, however, took the challenge very seriously, and attempted to meet it by developing models that are supposed to be non-classical.
     
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