Philosophical interest in situated cognition has been focused most intensely on the claim that human cognitive processes extend from the brain into the tools humans use. As we see it, this radical hypothesis is sustained by two kinds of mistakes, confusing coupling relations with constitutive relations and an inattention to the mark of the cognitive. Here we wish to draw attention to these mistakes and show just how pervasive they are. That is, for all that the radical philosophers have said, (...) the mind is still in the head. (shrink)
Embodied cognition is sweeping the planet. On a non-embodied approach, the sensory system informs the cognitive system and the motor system does the cognitive system’s bidding. There are causal relations between the systems but the sensory and motor systems are not constitutive of cognition. For embodied views, the relation to the sensori-motor system to cognition is constitutive, not just causal. This paper examines some recent empirical evidence used to support the view that cognition is embodied and raises questions about some (...) of the claims being made by supporters. (shrink)
Among philosophers, there are at least two prevalent views about the core concept of intentional action. View I (Adams 1986, 1997; McCann 1986) holds that an agent S intentionally does an action A only if S intends to do A. View II (Bratman 1987; Harman 1976; and Mele 1992) holds that there are cases where S intentionally does A without intending to do A, as long as doing A is foreseen and S is willing to accept A as a (...) consequence of S’s action. Joshua Knobe (2003a) presents intriguing data that may be taken to support the second view.1 Knobe’s data show an asymmetry in folk judgements. People are more inclined to judge that S did A intentionally, even when not intended, if A was perceived as causing a harm (e.g. harming the environment). There is an asymmetry because people are not inclined to see S’s action as intentional, when not intended, if A is perceived as causing a beneﬁt (e.g. helping the environment). In this paper we will discuss Knobe’s results in detail. We will raise the question of whether his ordinary language surveys of folk judgments have accessed core concepts of intentional action. We suspect that instead Knobe’s surveys are tapping into pragmatic aspects of intentional language and its role in moral praise and blame. We will suggest alternative surveys that we plan to conduct to get at this difference, and we will attempt to explain the pragmatic usage of intentional language. (shrink)
This article is concerned with the shape of the story of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century moral philosophy as told by J. B. Schneewind in The Invention of Autonomy. After discussion of alternative possible shapes for such a story, the focus falls on the question to what extent, in Schneewind's account, strands of empiricist voluntarism and rationalist intellectualism are interwoven in Kant. This in turn leads to consideration of different types of voluntarism and their roles in early modern ethical theory. Correspondence:c1 robert. (...) class='Hi'>email@example.com. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Al Mele (2003) suggests that the Simple View of intentional action is “fiction” because it is “wholly unconstrained” by a widely shared (folk) concept of intentional action. The Simple View (Adams, 1986, McCann, 1986) states that an action is intentional only if intended. As evidence that the Simple View is not in accord with the folk notion of intentional action, Mele appeals to recent surveys of folk judgments by Joshua Knobe (2003, 2004a, 2004b). Knobe’s surveys (...) appear to show that the folk judge unintended but known side effects of actions to be performed intentionally. In this paper we will reject Mele’s suggestion that the Simple View is “fiction.” We will also discuss the relationship between surveys and philosophical theories, and the abilities of surveys to access folk core concepts. We will argue that considerations of both fail to support Mele’s suggestion. (shrink)
As teorias epistemológicas do rastreamento sustentam que o conhecimento é uma relação real entre o agente cognitivo e seu ambiente. Os estados cognitivos de um agente epistêmico fazem o rastreamento da verdade das proposições que são objeto de conhecimento ao embasarem a crença em indicadores confiáveis da verdade (evidência, razões, ou métodos de formação de crença). A novidade nessa abordagem é que se dá pouca ênfase no tipo de justificação epistêmica voltada ao fornecimento de procedimentos de decisão doxástica ou regras (...) de responsabilidade epistêmica. Este artigo oferece um pouco da história das teorias de rastreamento e, então, defende-as contra muitas objeções que se pretendem (equivocadamente) refutadoras dessas teorias. PALAVRAS – CHAVE – Teorias de rastreamento. Nozick. Dretske. Conhecimento. ABSTRACT Tracking theories of knowledge maintain that knowledge is a real relation between cognitive agent and environment. Cognitive states of a knower track the truth of known propositions by basing belief on reliable indicators of truth (evidence, reasons, or belief forming methods). The novelty of this approach is that it places little emphasis on epistemic justification of a kind that aims at guiding epistemic agents by giving doxastic decision procedures or rules of epistemic responsibility. This paper gives some of the history of tracking theories, and then defends them against many of the objections most often judged (mistakenly) to refute tracking theories. KEY WORDS – Tracking theories. Nozick. Dretske. Knowledge. (shrink)
The distinguished philosopher Robert M. Adams presents a major work on virtue, which is once again a central topic in ethical thought. A Theory of Virtue is a systematic, comprehensive framework for thinking about the moral evaluation of character. Many recent attempts to stake out a place in moral philosophy for this concern define virtue in terms of its benefits for the virtuous person or for human society more generally. In Part One of this book Adams presents and (...) defends a conception of virtue as intrinsic excellence of character, worth prizing for its own sake and not only for its benefits. In the other two parts he addresses two challenges to the ancient idea of excellence of character. One challenge arises from the importance of altruism in modern ethical thought, and the question of what altruism has to do with intrinsic excellence. Part Two argues that altruistic benevolence does indeed have a crucial place in excellence of character, but that moral virtue should also be expected to involve excellence in being for other goods besides the well-being (and the rights) of other persons. It explores relations among cultural goods, personal relationships, one's own good, and the good of others, as objects of excellent motives. The other challenge, the subject of Part Three of the book, is typified by doubts about the reality of moral virtue, arising from experiments and conclusions in social psychology. Adams explores in detail the prospects for an empirically realistic conception of excellence of character as an object of moral aspiration, endeavor, and education. He argues that such a conception will involve renunciation of the ancient thesis of the unity or mutual implication of all virtues, and acknowledgment of sufficient 'moral luck' in the development of any individual's character to make virtue very largely a gift, rather than an individual achievement, though nonetheless excellent and admirable for that. (shrink)
The original text, written in the language and style of 1909, is almost completely unreadable in 2011. I have taken the liberty of editing it and paraphrasing it for the sake of readability; I have made every effort to preserve the author’s original meaning. Section headings and tables have been added by Prof. Steinhart. Note that Figure 1 is by Adams.
We examine two approaches to functions: etiological and forward-looking. In the context of functions, we raise the question, familiar to philosophers of mind, about the explanatory role of properties that are not supervenient on the mere dispositional features of a system. We first argue that the question has no easy answer in either of the two approaches. We then draw a parallel between functions and goal directedness. We conclude by proposing an answer to the question: The explanatory importance of nonsupervenient (...) properties (like having the function of doing something, or like being goal-directed) does not lie in any special causal mechanism through which these properties bring about their effects; it lies rather in the different classification of the explananda types that these properties generate. (shrink)
I challenge Jackendoff's claim that semantics should not be paralyzed by a failure to solve Brentano's problem of intentionality. I argue that his account of semantics is in fact paralyzed because it fails to live up to his own standards of naturalization, has no account of falsity, and gives the wrong semantic objects for words and thoughts.
Tracking theories of knowledge are widely known to have the consequence that knowledge is not closed. Recent arguments by Vogel and Hawthorne claim both that there are no legitimate examples of knowledge without closure and that the costs of theories that deny closure are too great. This paper considers the tracking theories of Dretske and Nozick and the arguments by Vogel and Hawthorne. We reject the arguments of Vogel and Hawthorne and evaluate the costs of closure denial for tracking theories (...) of knowledge. (shrink)
How can the Body and Blood of Christ, without ever leaving heaven, come to be really present on eucharistic altars where the bread and wine still seem to be? Thirteenth and fourteenth century Christian Aristotelians thought the answer had to be "transubstantiation." -/- Acclaimed philosopher, Marilyn McCord Adams, investigates these later medieval theories of the Eucharist, concentrating on the writings of Thomas Aquinas, Giles of Rome, Duns Scotus, and William Ockham, with some reference to Peter Lombard, Hugh of St. (...) Victor, and Bonaventure. She examines how their efforts to formulate and integrate this theological datum provoked them to make significant revisions in Aristotelian philosophical theories regarding the metaphysical structure and location of bodies, differences between substance and accidents, causality and causal powers, and fundamental types of change. Setting these developments in the theological context that gave rise to the question draws attention to their understandings of the sacraments and their purpose, as well as to their understandings of the nature and destiny of human beings. -/- Adams concludes that their philosophical modifications were mostly not ad hoc, but systematic revisions that made room for transubstantiation while allowing Aristotle still to describe what normally and naturally happens. By contrast, their picture of the world as it will be (after the last judgment) seems less well integrated with their sacramental theology and their understandings of human nature. (shrink)
Preface to the second edition -- Preface to the first edition -- Psycho-mythology : meschugge? -- Dreams and fantasies : manifestations 0f the mythological unconscious -- African-American dreaming and the "lion in the path" : racism and the cultural unconscious -- "Hapless" the Centaur : an archetypal image, amplification, and active imagination -- Pegasus and visionary experience : from the white winged horse to the "flying red horse" -- The bull, the labyrinth, and the Minotaur : from archaeology to "archetypology" (...) (with an apology to Ariadne) -- Griffins, gold, and dinosaurs : mythology and "fantastic paleontology" -- Dreaming of a unicorn : a comparison of Lacanian and Jungian interpretation -- "Destiny" and the call to heroism : a dream of vocation and individuation -- List of publications by Michael Vannoy Adams. (shrink)
In this paper we defend a direct reference theory of names. We maintain that the meaning of a name is its bearer. In the case of vacuous names, there is no bearer and they have no meaning. We develop a unified theory of names such that one theory applies to names whether they occur within or outside fiction. Hence, we apply our theory to sentences containing names within fiction, sentences about fiction or sentences making comparisons across fictions. We then defend (...) our theory against objections and compare our view to the views of Currie, Walton, and others. (shrink)
Is intentionally doing A linked to the intention to do A? Knobe and Burra believe that the link between the English words ‘intention’ and ‘intentional’ may mislead philosophers and cognitive scientists to falsely believe that intentionally doing an action A requires one to have the intention to do A. Knobe and Burra believe that data from other languages..
Much of contemporary epistemology proceeds on the assumption that tracking theories of knowledge, such as those of Dretske and Nozick, are dead. The word on the street is that Kripke and others killed these theories with their counterexamples, and that epistemology must move in a new direction as a result. In this paper we defend the tracking theories against purportedly deadly objections. We detect life in the tracking theories, despite what we perceive to be a premature burial.
Our concerns fall into three areas: (1) Barsalou fails to make clear what simulators are (vs. what they do); (2) activation of perceptual areas of the brain during thought does not distinguish between the activation's being constitutive of concepts or a mere causal consequence (Barsalou needs the former); and (3) Barsalou's attempt to explain how modal symbols handle abstraction fails.
Herbert Simon says that the lines of communication should be opened between cognitive science and literary criticism. Why? Is it so that the two disciplines will be better able to appreciate and understand one another? I think so and Simon thinks so too. Is it so that cognitive scientists can learn something from literary critics and their understanding of the process of interpreting texts, so that cognitive scientists might better understand how minds work when engaged in this task? Again, I (...) think so, and Simon agrees, citing a few cognitive scientists for whom this understanding has paid off. For these reasons, I applaud Simon's attempt to open communication between the disciplines. However, here are a few reasons that Simon gives for attempting to open communication that seem incorrect (at least, to me). It is on these that I will focus. (shrink)
Causal theories of mental content attempt to explain how thoughts can be about things. They attempt to explain how one can think about, for example, dogs. These theories begin with the idea that there are mental representations and that thoughts are meaningful in virtue of a causal connection between a mental representation and some part of the world that is represented. In other words, the point of departure for these theories is that thoughts of dogs are about dogs because dogs (...) cause the mental representations of dogs. (shrink)
Abstract: Luciano Floridi has impressively applied the concept of information to problems in semantics and epistemology, among other areas. In this essay, I briefly review two areas where I think one may usefully raise questions about some of Floridi's conclusions. One area is in the project to naturalize semantics and Floridi's use of the derived versus nonderived notion of semantic content. The other area is in the logic of information and knowledge and whether knowledge based on information necessarily supports closure, (...) in every instance. I suggest that it does not and, thereby, raise a challenge to Floridi's logic of being informed. (shrink)
FredAdams (Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9(4): 619–628, 2010) criticizes the theory of embodied cognition (EC) which holds that conceptual and linguistic thought is grounded in the brain’s perceptual and sensorimotor systems. Among other things, Adams claims that: (1) EC is potentially committed to an implausible criterion of sentence meaningfulness; (2) EC lacks claimed advantages over rival accounts of conceptual thought; (3) relevant experimental data do not show constitutive, but only causal, involvement of perception in conception; (...) and (4) EC cannot account for the comprehension of abstract concepts. I respond to Adams that: (1) EC is not committed to an implausible criterion of meaningfulness, though it may be committed to holding that comprehension admits of degrees; (2) EC does have its claimed advantages over rival views; (3) the data do make a strong case for constitutive involvement and (4) a broad and comprehensive EC approach probably can account for the comprehension of abstract concepts. (shrink)
Three-valued accounts of conditionals frequently promise (a) to conform to the probabilistic view that conditionals are evaluated by conditional probabilities, and (b) to yield a plausible account of compounds of conditionals. However, McGee (1981) shows that probabilistic validity, the conception of validity most naturally associated with the probabilistic view, cannot be characterized by a finite matrix. Adams (1995) indicates a further generalization of this result. Nevertheless, Adams (1986) provides a description of probabilistic validity in three-valued terms by going (...) beyond the standard framework. Yet the language Adams considers is severely restricted: it does not contain compounds of conditionals. Thus, a natural question arises: Is there a plausible three-valued account of compounds of conditionals which agrees with probabilistic validity on the restricted language? In this note, I develop a general framework in which to address this question. The answer will be negative. (shrink)