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Profile: Cameron Buckner (University of Houston, Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
  1. Cameron Buckner (forthcoming). Functional Kinds-A Skeptical Look. Synthese.
    The functionalist approach to kinds has suffered recently due to its association with law-based approaches to induction and explanation. Philosophers of science increasingly view nomological approaches as inappropriate for the special sciences like psychology and biology, which has led to a surge of interest in approaches to natural kinds that are more obviously compatible with mechanistic and model-based methods, especially homeostatic property cluster theory. But can the functionalist approach to kinds be weaned off its dependency on laws? Dan Weiskopf has (...)
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  2. Christy Mag Uidhir & Cameron Buckner (forthcoming). A Portrait of the Artist as an Aesthetic Expert. In Gregory Currie, Matthew Kieran & Aaron Meskin (eds.), Aesthetics and the Sciences. Oxford University Press.
    For the most part, the Aesthetic Theory of Art—any theory of art claiming that the aesthetic is a descriptively necessary feature of art—has been repudiated, especially in light of what are now considered traditional counterexamples. We argue that the Aesthetic Theory of Art can instead be far more plausibly recast by abandoning aesthetic-feature possession by the artwork for a claim about aesthetic-concept possession by the artist. This move productively re-frames and re-energizes the debate surrounding the relationship between art and the (...)
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  3. Cameron Buckner (2014). The Semantic Problem(s) with Research on Animal Mind‐Reading. Mind and Language 29 (5):566-589.
    Philosophers and cognitive scientists have worried that research on animal mind-reading faces a ‘logical problem’: the difficulty of experimentally determining whether animals represent mental states (e.g. seeing) or merely the observable evidence (e.g. line-of-gaze) for those mental states. The most impressive attempt to confront this problem has been mounted recently by Robert Lurz. However, Lurz' approach faces its own logical problem, revealing this challenge to be a special case of the more general problem of distal content. Moreover, participants in this (...)
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  4. Cameron Buckner (2013). A Property Cluster Theory of Cognition. Philosophical Psychology:1-30.
    Our prominent definitions of cognition are too vague and lack empirical grounding. They have not kept up with recent developments, and cannot bear the weight placed on them across many different debates. I here articulate and defend a more adequate theory. On this theory, behaviors under the control of cognition tend to display a cluster of characteristic properties, a cluster which tends to be absent from behaviors produced by non-cognitive processes. This cluster is reverse-engineered from the empirical tests that comparative (...)
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  5. Cameron Buckner (2013). In Search of Balance: A Review of Povinelli's World Without Weight. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):145-152.
    Povinelli and colleagues ask whether chimpanzees can understand the concept of weight, answering with a resounding ‘‘no’’. They justify their answer by appeal to over thirty previously unpublished experiments. I here evaluate in detail Povinelli’s arguments against his targets, questioning the assumption that such comparative questions will be resolved with an unequivocal ‘‘yes’’ or ‘‘no’’.
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  6. Cameron Buckner (2013). Morgan's Canon, Meet Hume's Dictum: Avoiding Anthropofabulation in Cross-Species Comparisons. Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):853-871.
    How should we determine the distribution of psychological traits—such as Theory of Mind, episodic memory, and metacognition—throughout the Animal kingdom? Researchers have long worried about the distorting effects of anthropomorphic bias on this comparative project. A purported corrective against this bias was offered as a cornerstone of comparative psychology by C. Lloyd Morgan in his famous “Canon”. Also dangerous, however, is a distinct bias that loads the deck against animal mentality: our tendency to tie the competence criteria for cognitive capacities (...)
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  7. Cameron Buckner (2012). Ordering Our Attributions of Order. Essays in Philosophy 13 (2):423-429.
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  8. Cameron Buckner (2012). The Ego Tunnel: The Science of Mind and the Myth of the Self. Philosophical Psychology 25 (3):457-461.
    Philosophical Psychology, Volume 0, Issue 0, Page 1-5, Ahead of Print.
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  9. Cameron Buckner (2011). Two Approaches to the Distinction Between Cognition and 'Mere Association'. International Journal for Comparative Psychology 24 (1):1-35.
    The standard methodology of comparative psychology has long relied upon a distinction between cognition and ‘mere association’; cognitive explanations of nonhuman animals behaviors are only regarded as legitimate if associative explanations for these behaviors have been painstakingly ruled out. Over the last ten years, however, a crisis has broken out over the distinction, with researchers increasingly unsure how to apply it in practice. In particular, a recent generation of psychological models appear to satisfy existing criteria for both cognition and association. (...)
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  10. Cameron Buckner, Mathias Niepert & Colin Allen (2011). From Encyclopedia to Ontology: Toward Dynamic Representation of the Discipline of Philosophy. Synthese 182 (2):205-233.
    The application of digital humanities techniques to philosophy is changing the way scholars approach the discipline. This paper seeks to open a discussion about the difficulties, methods, opportunities, and dangers of creating and utilizing a formal representation of the discipline of philosophy. We review our current project, the Indiana Philosophy Ontology (InPhO) project, which uses a combination of automated methods and expert feedback to create a dynamic computational ontology for the discipline of philosophy. We argue that our distributed, expert-based approach (...)
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  11. Jonathan M. Weinberg, Chad Gonnerman, Cameron Buckner & Joshua Alexander (2010). Are Philosophers Expert Intuiters? Philosophical Psychology 23 (3):331-355.
    Recent experimental philosophy arguments have raised trouble for philosophers' reliance on armchair intuitions. One popular line of response has been the expertise defense: philosophers are highly-trained experts, whereas the subjects in the experimental philosophy studies have generally been ordinary undergraduates, and so there's no reason to think philosophers will make the same mistakes. But this deploys a substantive empirical claim, that philosophers' training indeed inculcates sufficient protection from such mistakes. We canvass the psychological literature on expertise, which indicates that people (...)
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  12. Cameron Buckner, Adam Shriver, Stephen Crowley & Colin Allen (2009). How “Weak” Mindreaders Inherited the Earth. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (2):140-141.
    Carruthers argues that an integrated faculty of metarepresentation evolved for mindreading and was later exapted for metacognition. A more consistent application of his approach would regard metarepresentation in mindreading with the same skeptical rigor, concluding that the “faculty” may have been entirely exapted. Given this result, the usefulness of Carruthers’ line-drawing exercise is called into question.
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