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Profile: Beth Preston (University of Georgia)
  1. Beth Preston (2014). Tool Use and Causal Cognition, Edited by Teresa McCormack, Christoph Hoerl, and Stephen Butterfill. Mind 123 (492):1212-1218.
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  2. Beth Preston (2013). Synthetic Biology as Red Herring. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):649-659.
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  3. Beth Preston (2012). A Philosophy of Material Culture: Action, Function, and Mind. routledge.
    This book focuses on material culture as a subject of philosophical inquiry and promotes the philosophical study of material culture by articulating some of the central and difficult issues raised by this topic and providing innovative solutions to ...
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  4. Beth Preston (2009). Biological and Cultural Proper Functions in Comparative Perspective. In Ulrich Krohs & Peter Kroes (eds.), Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds: Comparative Philosophical Perspectives. Mit Press.
    Both biological traits and artifacts have proper functions. But accounts of proper function are typically based on the biological case. So adapting these accounts to the artifact case requires finding cultural analogues of biological concepts. This can go wrong in two ways. The biological concepts may not pick out either biological or cultural proper functions correctly; or they may have no cultural analogues. I argue that things have gone wrong in the first way with regard to selection and in the (...)
     
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  5. Beth Preston (2008). Review of Eric Margolis, Stephen Laurence (Eds.), Creations of the Mind: Theories of Artifacts and Their Representation. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (5).
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  6. Beth Preston (2006). Social Context and Artefact Function. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):37-41.
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  7. Beth Preston (2003). Of Marigold Beer: A Reply to Vermaas and Houkes. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (4):601-612.
    Vermaas and Houkes advance four desiderata for theories of artifact function, and classify such theories into non-intentionalist reproduction theories on the one hand and intentionalist non-reproduction theories on the other. They argue that non-intentionalist reproduction theories fail to satisfy their fourth desideratum. They maintain that only an intentionalist non-reproduction theory can satisfy all the desiderata, and they offer a version that they believe does satisfy all of them. I reply that intentionalist non-reproduction theories, including their version, fail to satisfy their (...)
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  8. Beth Preston (2002). Review: What Functions Explain: Functional Explanation and Self-Reproducing Systems. [REVIEW] Mind 111 (444):888-891.
  9. Beth Preston (1998). Cognition and Tool Use. Mind and Language 13 (4):513–547.
    Tool use rivals language as an important domain of cognitive phenomena, and so as a source of insight into the nature of cognition in general. But the favoured current definition of tool use is inadequate because it does not carve the phenomena of interest at the joints. Heidegger's notion of equipment provides a more adequate theoretical framework. But Heidegger's account leads directly to a non-individualist view of the nature of cognition. Thus non-individualism is supported by concrete considerations about the nature (...)
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  10. Beth Preston (1998). Why is a Wing Like a Spoon? A Pluralist Theory of Function. Journal of Philosophy 95 (5):215-254.
    Function theorists routinely speculate that a viable function theory will be equally applicable to biological traits and artifacts. However, artifact function has received only the most cursory scrutiny in its own right. Closer scrutiny reveals that only a pluralist theory comprising two distinct notions of function--proper function and system function--will serve as an adequate general theory. The first section describes these two notions of function. The second section shows why both notions are necessary, by showing that attempts to do away (...)
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  11. Beth Preston & Victoria Davion (1997). Mind and Morals: Essays on Cognitive Science and Ethics. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 7 (3):447-451.
  12. Beth Preston (1996). Merleau-Ponty and Feminine Embodied Existence. Man and World 29 (2):167-186.
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  13. Beth Preston (1995). The Ontological Argument Against the Mind-Machine Hypothesis. Philosophical Studies 80 (2):131-57.
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  14. Beth Preston (1994). Behaviorism and Mentalism: Is There a Third Alternative? Synthese 100 (2):167-96.
    Behaviorism and mentalism are commonly considered to be mutually exclusive and conjunctively exhaustive options for the psychological explanation of behavior. Behaviorism and mentalism do differ in their characterization of inner causes of behavior. However, I argue that they are not mutually exclusive on the grounds that they share important foundational assumptions, two of which are the notion of an innerouter split and the notion of control. I go on to argue that mentalism and behaviorism are not conjunctively exhaustive either, on (...)
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  15. Beth Preston (1994). Husserl's Non-Representational Theory of Mind. Southern Journal of Philosophy 32 (2):209-232.
  16. Beth Preston, Matthew Elton, Michael Losonsky, Saul Traiger, Randall R. Dipert & Jerome A. Shaffer (1994). Book Reviews. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 4 (3):353-376.
  17. Beth Preston (1993). Heidegger and Artificial Intelligence. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (1):43-69.
  18. Beth Preston (1991). Anthropocentrism, and the Evolution of 'Intelligence'. Minds and Machines 1 (3):259-277.
    Intuitive conceptions guide practice, but practice reciprocally reshapes intuition. The intuitive conception of intelligence in AI was originally highly anthropocentric. However, the internal dynamics of AI research have resulted in a divergence from anthropocentric concerns. In particular, the increasing emphasis on commonsense knowledge and peripheral intelligence (perception and movement) in effect constitutes an incipient reorientation of intuitions about the nature of intelligence in a non-anthropocentric direction. I argue that this conceptual shift undermines Joseph Weizenbaum's claim that the project of artificial (...)
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