John Perry has urged that a semantic theory for natural languages ought to be concerned with the issue of cognitivesignificance—of how true identity statements containing different (utterances of) indexicals and proper names can be informative, held to be unaccountable by the referentialist view. The informativeness that he has in mind—one that has puzzled Frege, Kaplan and Wettstein—concerns knowledge about the world. In trying to solve this puzzle on referentialist terms, he comes up with the notion of (...) class='Hi'>cognitivesignificance as a special kind of a second-order content which should account for cognitivesignificance in the former sense. Focusing on his treatment of perceptual demonstratives, I argue that he fails to do so both on the level of second-order contents containing demonstrative utterances and on the level of second-order contents containing perceptual buffers as new notions associated with the perceptions and used to temporarily store ideas we gain from the perceptions, which he holds to be causally connected to each other. (shrink)
In "Has Semantics Rested on a Mistake?", Howard Wettstein denies that semantics must account for cognitivesignificance. He thus rejects Frege's condition of adequacy for semantics and rids the new theorists from seemingly intractable puzzles. In a more recent article, Wettstein claims that not only reference but even cognitivesignificance is not a matter of how the referent is presented to the mind of the speaker. In this paper, I submit that the crucial element in the (...) debate between new theorists and neo-Fregeans concerning the semantic significance of language is the connection between semantic matters and the human thougth. (shrink)
This dissertation aims at forging an archetectonic link between Kant's first and third Critiques within a cognitive-semantic framework. My aim is to show how the major conceptual innovations of Kant’s third Critique can be plausibly understood in terms of the theoretical aims of the first, (Critique of Pure Reason). However, unlike other cognition-oriented approaches to Kant's third Critique, which take the point of contact between the first and third Critique's to be the first Critique's Transcendental Analytic, I link these (...) two works via the first Critique's Transcendental Dialectic, specifically its discussions of the "ideas of pure reason." According to Kant, the “ideas of pure reason” (IPRs) — viz., the notions of self, world-whole, and God — are innate content-bearing entities representing three types of transempirical object, none of which are possible objects of cognition. However, although Kant denies that these rather unique content-bearers can be used for purposes of “speculative cognition,” he does think that they have an internal functional value for human cognitive systems. Although under my analysis of their functional value the IPRs subserve a highest-order aim which derives from theoretical reason — namely, to ground and optimize cognitive systematicity — their directive content in fact renders their implementation(thus their form of intentionality) more characteristic of practical reason. Kant’s positive account of reason’s “interest” in and use of the IPRs exhibits a kind of cognitive pragmatism. Of utmost concern to the cognitive-semantic enterprise, as I conceive it, is the development of (what might be called) a metaphysics of intentionality. A `metaphysics of intentionality', as I use the term, refers to a coherent set of postulative propositional cognitions (or, at any rate, content-bearing entities) implemented, first, for the sake of rationally explaining the phenomenological unity and object-directed character of our perceptual states and, second, to explain why the objects represented in such states are, or must be, law-governed and thus necessarily amenable to scientific investigation. On my view, the discussions in Kant’s third Critique nontrivially contribute to the development of a metaphysics of intentionality and thus to the larger cognitive-semantic enterprise of Kant's first Critique, and it is this link that lends Kant's third Critique a cognitivesignificance. (shrink)
While the extended cognition (EC) thesis has gained more followers in cognitive science and in the philosophy of mind and knowledge, our main goal is to discuss a different area of significance of the EC thesis: its relation to philosophy of science. In this introduction, we outline two major areas: (I) The role of the thesis for issues in the philosophy of cognitive science, such as: How do notions of EC figure in theories or research programs in (...)cognitive science? Which versions of the EC thesis appear, and with which arguments to support them? (II) The potentials and limits of the EC thesis for topics in general philosophy of science, such as: Can naturalism perhaps be further advanced by means of the more recent EC thesis? Can we understand “big science” or laboratory research better by invoking some version of EC? And can the EC thesis help in overcoming the notorious cognitive/social divide in science studies? (shrink)
Frege’s ‘differential dubitability’ test is a test for differences in cognitive value: if one can rationally believe that p while simultaneously doubting that q, then the contents p and q amount to different ‘cognitive values’. If subject S is rational, does her simultaneous adoption of different attitudes towards p and q require that the difference between p and q (as cognitive values) be transparent to her? It is natural to think so. But I argue that, if attitude (...) anti-individualism is true, then rational differential dubitability does not presuppose that differences in cognitive value are transparent. The significance of this argument lies in what it tells us, both about the notion of cognitive value and its relation to the differential dubitability test, but also about the prospects for a Burge-type position which aims to combine attitude anti-individualism with a (qualified) reliance on the differential dubitability test. (shrink)
Chalmers (The character of consciousness, 2010) argues for an acquaintance theory of the justification of direct phenomenal beliefs. A central part of this defense is the claim that direct phenomenal beliefs are cognitively significant. I argue against this. Direct phenomenal beliefs are justified within the specious present, and yet the resources available with the present ‘now’ are so impoverished that it barely constrains the content of a direct phenomenal belief. I argue that Chalmers’s account does not have the resources for (...) explaining how direct phenomenal beliefs support the inference from ‘this E is R’ to ‘that was R.’. (shrink)
This study constitutes a contribution to the discussion about moral reasoning in business. Kohlberg’s (1971, in Cognitive Development and Epistemology (Academic Press, New York), 1976, in Moral Development and Behavior: Theory and Research and Social Issues (Holt, Rienhart and Winston, New York)) cognitive moral development (CMD) theory is one explanation of moral reasoning. One unresolved debate on the topic of CMD is the charge that Kohlbergian-type CMD theory is gender biased. This research puts forth the proposal that the (...) issue may be elucidated by exposing an ambiguity in “gender” (Borna and White: 2003, Journal of Business Ethics 47, 89–99; Gentile: 1993, Psychological Science 4(2), 120–122; Unger: 1979, American Psychologist 34(11), 1085–1094). We use the Sociomoral Reflective Objective Measure (SROM) to measure CMD and the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) to measure gender as a psychosocial concept, rather than as a biological classification. The results of our study indicate that high femininity, measured as a psychosocial attribute, is associated with significantly lower Kohlbergian-type CMD scores among business practitioners. Sex moderates the effect of gender on CMD, but only indirectly. Our research also reveals that education plays a significant moderating role in the relationship between gender and moral reasoning. In addition, age has a significant direct effect on CMD scores of business practitioners. (shrink)
This is the second in a series of two articles that serve as an introduction to recent debates about cognitive phenomenology. Cognitive phenomenology can be defined as the experience that is associated with cognitive activities, such as thinking, reasoning, and understanding. What is at issue in contemporary debates is not the existence of cognitive phenomenology, so defined, but rather its nature and theoretical role. The first article examines questions about the nature of cognitive phenomenology, while (...) the second article explores the philosophical implications of these questions for the role of consciousness in theories of intentionality, introspective self-knowledge, and knowledge of the external world. (shrink)
We use names to talk about objects. We use predicates to talk about properties and relations. We use sentences to attribute properties and relations to objects. We say things when we utter sentences, often things we believe.
Imagine how it must appear to the Martian making his first visit to earth. Let us suppose that he too is an intelligent being whose intelligence has, however, evolved without the mediation of language, but rather, say, through the development of ESP. So he is something like the angels who, according to St. Thomas, can see things directly in their essences and communicate thought without language. What is the first thing he notices about earthlings? That they are forever making mouthy (...) little sounds--clicks, hisses, howls, hoots, explosions, squeaks--some of which sounds name things in the world and are uttered in short sequences which say something about these things and events in the world. (shrink)
The sheer multitude of criteria of empirical significance has been taken as evidence that the pre-analytic notion being explicated is too vague to be useful. I show instead that a significant number of these criteria—by Ayer, Popper, Przełęcki, Suppes, and David Lewis, among others—not only form a coherent whole, but also connect directly to the theory of definition, the notion of empirical content as explicated by Ramsey sentences, and the theory of measurement; two criteria by Carnap and Sober are (...) trivial, but can be saved and connected to the other criteria by slight modifications. A corollary is that the ordinary language defense of Lewis, the conceptual arguments by Ayer and Popper, the theoretical considerations by Przełęcki, and the practical considerations by Suppes all apply to the same criterion or closely related criteria. Furthermore, the equivalence of some criteria allows for their individual justifications to be taken cumulatively and, together with the entailment relations between nonequivalent criteria, suggest criteria for general auxiliary assumptions, comparative criteria, and more liberal conceptions of observation. (shrink)
Unlike traditional Western philosophy, which places no special emphasis on the importance of family structure, traditional Chinese philosophy represented by Confucianism is a set of theories that give family a primary position. With family as the foundation, a complete framework of “human body → two genders → family and clan” is formed. Therefore, family in Chinese philosophy is existent, gender-interactive and diachronic. It should also be noted that family also plays a fundamental role in Chinese theories on cosmology, religion, and (...) many other subjects. In other words, Chinese culture as a whole is imprinted with reflections on family. Nowadays, as the value of family becomes less prominent, re-examining ancient Chinese philosophy will undoubtedly bear theoretical significance. Meanwhile, traditional Chinese philosophy can also offer an ideological framework for the re-construction of family values in the contemporary world. (shrink)
Some years ago, Howard Wettstein provided an original defense of the New Theory of Reference (NTR), the doctrine that singular terms such as names and indexicals are directly referential terms (DRTs), contributing only their reference to the truth-conditions of the tokened sentence they occur in. Wettstein maintained that in order to be semantically adequate, NTR does not have to account for what he calls Frege’s data on cognitivesignificance, those puzzling facts about language that prompt one to think (...) that meaning entails more than reference to (real) objects. He later put forward another, apparently paradoxical, thesis, namely that whatever this cognitivesignificance that explains Frege’s data is, it cannot be reduced to the representations one has in one’s mind. In what follows, however, I will first apply the notion of referential anaphorical transfer to mixed contexts in order to show that a New Theorist has to reject Wettstein’s initial thesis as it stands, although she may endorse a weaker version of it, one that especially tallies with his second thesis. I will further argue that, insofar as rejecting Wettstein’s initial thesis does not force the New Theorist to revert to a representional conception of cognitivesignificance, in particular one based on the notion of a mental file, the latter thesis is absolutely correct. It is thus fitted to become a cornerstone of the New Theory, whatever form of non-mentalistic interpretation the New Theorist might wish to give to the notion of cognitivesignificance. (shrink)
An attractive approach to the semantic paradoxes holds that cases of semantic pathology give rise to indeterminacy. What attitude should a rational agent have toward a proposition that it takes to be indeterminate in this sense? Orthodoxy holds that rationality requires that an agent disbelieve such a proposition. I argue that a rational agent should be such that it is indeterminate whether it believes the proposition in question. For rational agents, indeterminacy in the objects of their attitudes will filter up (...) to the attitudes themselves. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to examine the usefulness of the Machamer, Darden, and Craver (2000) mechanism approach to gaining an understanding of explanation in cognitive neuroscience. We argue that although the mechanism approach can capture many aspects of explanation in cognitive neuroscience, it cannot capture everything. In particular, it cannot completely capture all aspects of the content and significance of mental representations or the evaluative features constitutive of psychopathology.
It is often assumed that cognitive science is built upon folk psychology, and that challenges to folk psychology are therefore challenges to cognitive science itself. We argue that, in practice, cognitive science and folk psychology treat entirely non-overlapping domains: cognitive science considers aspects of mental life which do not depend on general knowledge, whereas folk psychology considers aspects of mental life which do depend on general knowledge. We back up our argument on theoretical grounds, and also (...) illustrate the separation between cognitive scientific and folk psychological phenomena in a number of cognitive domains. We consider the methodological and theoretical significance of our arguments for cognitive science research. (shrink)
A variety of inaccurate claims about Gold's Theorem have appeared in the cognitive science literature. I begin by characterizing the logic of this theorem and its proof. I then examine several claims about Gold's Theorem, and I show why they are false. Finally, I assess the significance of Gold's Theorem for cognitive science.
Recently there has been a surge of new Fregeans who claim that the direct designation theory, as understood by contemporary Russellians, does not, and cannot, account for the different cognitivesignificance of statements containing different but codesignative names or indexicals. Instead, they say we must use a fine grained notion of propositions; one which builds a mode of presentation into proposition in addition to including in them the object referred to by the name or indexical in the sentence (...) expressing the proposition. Thus we have Mark Richard, John Perry, and Mark Crimmins championing theories that build the mode of presentation into propositions, making the mode of presentation affect the truth conditions of belief reports. What is interesting, though, is that all three accept the direct designationalists claim that proper names, indexicals, and demonstratives are directly referential.I present four problems for the direct designation theorists and argue that the problem the new Fregeans use to motivate their move to include cognitivesignificance in propositions is the least basic of the four problems. I then provide an account of beliefs of singular propositions which does not require us to build modes of presentations into propositions and which solves the problems posed for the direct designation theory. (shrink)
Mark Wilson presents a highly original and broad-ranging investigation of the way we get to grips with the world conceptually, and the way that philosophical problems commonly arise from this. He combines traditional philosophical concerns about human conceptual thinking with illuminating data derived from a large variety of fields including physics and applied mathematics, cognitive psychology, and linguistics. Wandering Significance offers abundant new insights and perspectives for philosophers of language, mind, and science, and will also reward the interest (...) of psychologists, linguists, and anyone curious about the mysterious ways in which useful language obtains its practical applicability. (shrink)
There is an argument that has recently been deployed in favor of thinking that the mind is mostly (or even exclusively) composed of cognitive modules; an argument that draws from some ideas and concepts of evolutionary and of developmental biology. In a nutshell, the argument concludes that a mind that is massively composed of cognitive mechanisms that are cognitively modular (henceforth, c-modular) is more evolvable than a mind that is not c-modular (or that is scarcely c-modular), since a (...)cognitive mechanism that is c-modular is likely to be biologically modular (henceforth, b-modular), and b-modular characters are more evolvable (e.g., Sperber 2002, Carruthers 2005). In evolutionary biology, the evolvability of a character in an organism is understood as the “organism’s capacity to facilitate the generation of non-lethal selectable phenotypic variation from random mutation” with respect to that character. Here I will argue that the notion of cognitive modularity needed to make this argument plausible will have to be understood in terms of the biological notion of variational independence; that is, it will have to be understood in such a way that a cognitive feature is c-modular only if few or no other morphological changes (cognitive and not) are significantly correlated with variations of that feature arising in members of the relevant population. I will also argue that all –except for (possibly) one—of the connotations contained in a cluster of notions of cognitive modularity widely accepted in some of the mainstream currents of thought in classical cognitive science, are simply irrelevant to the argument. In order to argue for this, I will have to examine the question as to whether there are any strong theoretical connections between (1) those connotations and (2) notions of modularity accepted in biology, specially in evolutionary and in developmental biology, that are thought to be most relevant to arguments to the effect that biological modularity enhances evolvability. (shrink)
In this paper art history and visual studies, the disciplines that study visual culture, are presented as a field whose conjectural paradigm can be used to understand the epistemic problems associated with abduction. In order to do so, significant statements, concepts and arguments from the work of several specialists in this field have been highlighted. Their analysis shows the fruitfulness and potential for understanding the study of visual culture as a field that is interwoven with the assumptions of abductive cognition.
Some of the recent philosophical literature on moral luck attempts to make headway in the moral-luck debate by employing the resources of empirical psychology, in effect arguing that some of the intuitive judgments relevant to the moral-luck debate are best explained - and so presumably explained away - as the output of well-documented cognitive biases. We argue that such attempts are empirically problematic, and furthermore that even if they were not, it is still not at all clear what philosophical (...)significance they would have. (shrink)
Since the seventies, it has been customary to assume that intentionality is independent of consciousness. Recently, a number of philosophers have rejected this assumption, claiming intentionality is closely tied to consciousness, inasmuch as non- conscious intentionality in some sense depends upon conscious intentionality. Within this alternative framework, the question arises of how to account for unconscious intentionality, and different authors have offered different accounts. In this paper, I compare and contrast four possible accounts of unconscious intentionality, which I call potentialism, (...) inferentialism, eliminativism, and interpretivism. The first three are the leading accounts in the existing literature, while the fourth is my own proposal, which I argue to be superior. I then argue that an upshot of interpretivism is that all unconscious intentionality is ultimately grounded is a specific kind of cognitive phenomenology. (shrink)
This article clarifies three principles that should guide the development of any cognitive ontology. First, that an adequate cognitive ontology depends essentially on an adequate task ontology; second, that the goal of developing a cognitive ontology is independent of the goal of finding neural implementations of the processes referred to in the ontology; and third, that cognitive ontologies are neutral regarding the metaphysical relationship between cognitive and neural processes.
Cognitive systems research has predominantly been guided by the historical distinction between emotion and cognition, and has focused its efforts on modelling the “cognitive” aspects of behaviour. While this initially meant modelling only the control system of cognitive creatures, with the advent of “embodied” cognitive science this expanded to also modelling the interactions between the control system and the external environment. What did not seem to change with this embodiment revolution, however, was the attitude towards affect (...) and emotion in cognitive science. This paper argues that cognitive systems research is now beginning to integrate these aspects of natural cognitive systems into cognitive science proper, not in virtue of traditional “embodied cognitive science”, which focuses predominantly on the body’s gross morphology, but rather in virtue of research into the interoceptive, organismic basis of natural cognitive systems. (shrink)
Because of its complexity, contemporary scientific research is almost always tackled by groups of scientists, each of which works in a different part of a given research domain. We believe that understanding scientific progress thus requires understanding this division of cognitive labor. To this end, we present a novel agent-based model of scientific research in which scientists divide their labor to explore an unknown epistemic landscape. Scientists aim to climb uphill in this landscape, where elevation represents the significance (...) of the results discovered by employing a research approach. We consider three different search strategies scientists can adopt for exploring the landscape. In the first, scientists work alone and do not let the discoveries of the community as a whole influence their actions. This is compared with two social research strategies, which we call the follower and maverick strategies. Followers are biased towards what others have already discovered, and we find that pure populations of these scientists do less well than scientists acting independently. However, pure populations of mavericks, who try to avoid research approaches that have already been taken, vastly outperform both of the other strategies. Finally, we show that in mixed populations, mavericks stimulate followers to greater levels of epistemic production, making polymorphic populations of mavericks and followers ideal in many research domains. (shrink)
Attention to the conversational role of alethic terms seems to dominate, and even sometimes exhaust, many contemporary analyses of the nature of truth. Yet, because truth plays a role in judgment and assertion regardless of whether alethic terms are expressly used, such analyses cannot be comprehensive or fully adequate. A more general analysis of the nature of truth is therefore required – one which continues to explain the significance of truth independently of the role alethic terms play in discourse. (...) We undertake such an analysis in this paper; in particular, we start with certain elements from Kant and Frege, and develop a construct of truth as a normative modality of cognitive acts (e.g., thought, judgment, assertion). Using the various biconditional T-schemas to sanction the general passage from assertions to (equivalent) assertions of truth, we then suggest that an illocutionary analysis of truth can contribute to its locutionary analysis as well, including the analysis of diverse constructions involving alethic terms that have been largely overlooked in the philosophical literature. Finally, we briefly indicate the importance of distinguishing between alethic and epistemic modalities. (shrink)
This article tries to create a bridge of understanding between cognitive scientists and phenomenologists who work on attention. In light of a phenomenology of attention and current psychological and neuropsychological literature on attention, I translate and interpret into phenomenological terms 20 key cognitive science concepts as examined in the laboratory and used in leading journals. As a preface to the lexicon, I outline a phenomenology of attention, especially as a dynamic three-part structure, which I have freely amended from (...) the work of phenomenologist and Gestalt philosopher Aron Gurwitsch (1901â1973). As a conclusion, I discuss the nature of subjectivity in attention and attention research, and whether attention might be the same as consciousness. (shrink)
This paper takes a cognitive perspective to assess the significance of some Late Palaeolithic artefacts (sculptures and engraved objects) for philosophicalconcepts of art. We examine cognitive capacities that are necessary to produceand recognize objects that are denoted as art. These include the ability toattribute and infer design (design stance), the ability to distinguish between themateriality of an object and its meaning (symbol-mindedness), and an aesthetic sensitivity to some perceptual stimuli. We investigate to what extent thesecognitive processes played (...) a role in the production and appreciation of somerecently discovered Palaeolithic artefacts. (shrink)
Recent work in neuroimaging suggests that some patients diagnosed as being in the persistent vegetative state are actually conscious. In this paper, we critically examine this new evidence. We argue that though it remains open to alternative interpretations, it strongly suggests the presence of consciousness in some patients. However, we argue that its ethical significance is less than many people seem to think. There are several different kinds of consciousness, and though all kinds of consciousness have some ethical (...) class='Hi'>significance, different kinds underwrite different kinds of moral value. Demonstrating that patients have phenomenal consciousness — conscious states with some kind of qualitative feel to them — shows that they are moral patients, whose welfare must be taken into consideration. But only if they are subjects of a sophisticated kind of access consciousness — where access consciousness entails global availability of information to cognitive systems — are they persons, in the technical sense of the word employed by philosophers. In this sense, being a person is having the full moral status of ordinary human beings. We call for further research which might settle whether patients who manifest signs of consciousness possess the sophisticated kind of access consciousness required for personhood. (shrink)
Biological theories of religious belief are sometimes understood to undermine the very beliefs they are describing, proposing an alternative explanation for the causes of belief different from that given by religious believers themselves. This article surveys three categories of biological theorizing derived from evolutionary biology, cognitive science of religion, and neuroscience. Although each field raises important issues and in some cases potential challenges to the legitimacy of religious belief, in most cases the significance of these theories for the (...) holding of religious beliefs is not very great. (shrink)
In Book I, Part I, Section VII of the Treatise, Hume sets out to settle, once and for all, the early modern controversy over abstract ideas. In order to do so, he tries to accomplish two tasks: (1) he attempts to defend an exemplar-based theory of general language and thought, and (2) he sets out to refute the rival abstraction-based account. This paper examines the successes and failures of these two projects. I argue that Hume manages to articulate a plausible (...) theory of general ideas; indeed, a version of his account has defenders in contemporary cognitive science. But Hume fails to refute the abstraction-based account, and as a result, the early modern controversy ends in a stalemate, with both sides able to explain how we manage to speak and think in general terms. Although Hume fails to settle the controversy, he nevertheless advances it to a point from which we have yet to progress: the contemporary debate over abstract ideas in cognitive science has stalled on precisely this point. (shrink)
A wave of recent work in metaphysics seeks to undermine the anti-reductionist, functionalist consensus of the past few decades in cognitive science and philosophy of mind. That consensus apparently legitimated a focus on what systems do, without necessarily and always requiring attention to the details of how systems are constituted. The new metaphysical challenge contends that many states and processes referred to by functionalist cognitive scientists are epiphenomenal. It further contends that the problem lies in functionalism itself, and (...) that, to save the causal significance of mind, it is necessary to re-embrace reductionism. We argue that the prescribed return to reductionism would be disastrous for the cognitive and behavioral sciences, requiring the dismantling of most existing achievements and placing intolerable restrictions on further work. However, this argument fails to answer the metaphysical challenge on its own terms. We meet that challenge by going on to argue that the new metaphysical skepticism about functionalist cognitive science depends on reifying two distinct notions of causality (one primarily scientific, the other metaphysical), then equivocating between them. When the different notions of causality are properly distinguished, it is clear that functionalism is in no serious philosophical trouble, and that we need not choose between reducing minds or finding them causally impotent. The metaphysical challenge to functionalism relies, in particular, on a naïve and inaccurate conception of the practice of physics, and the relationship between physics and metaphysics. Key Words: explanation; functionalism; mental causation; metaphysics; reductionism. (shrink)
The past 25 years have witnessed an increasing awareness of the importance of cognitive control in the regulation of complex behavior. It now sits alongside attention, memory, language, and thinking as a distinct domain within cognitive psychology. At the same time it permeates each of these sibling domains. This introduction reviews recent work on cognitive control in an attempt to provide a context for the fundamental question addressed within this topic: Is cognitive control to be understood (...) as resulting from the interaction of multiple distinct control processes, or are the phenomena of cognitive control emergent? (shrink)
Philosophers of mind and cognitive scientists have recently taken renewed interest in cognitive penetration, in particular, in the cognitive penetration of perceptual experience. The question is whether cognitive states like belief influence perceptual experience in some important way. Since the possible phenomenon is an empirical one, the strategy for analysis has, predictably, proceeded as follows: define the phenomenon and then, definition in hand, interpret various psychological data. However, different theorists offer different and apparently inconsistent definitions. And (...) so in addition to the usual problems (e.g., definitions being challenged by counterexample), an important result is that different theorists apply their definitions and accordingly get conflicting answers to the question “Is this a genuine case of cognitive penetration?”. This hurdle to philosophical and scientific progress can be remedied, I argue, by returning attention to the alleged consequences of the possible phenomenon. There are three: theory-ladenness of perception in contexts of scientific theory choice, a threat to the general epistemic role of perception, and implications for mental architecture. Any attempt to characterize or define, and then empirically test for, cognitive penetration should be constrained by these consequences. This is a method for interpreting and acquiring experimental data in a way that is agreeable to both sides of the cognitive penetration debate. Put crudely, the question shifts to “Is this a cognitive-perceptual relation that results in (or constitutes) one or more of the relevant consequences?” In answering this question, relative to various data, it may turn out that there is no single unified phenomenon of cognitive penetration. But this should be no matter, since it is the consequences that are of central importance to philosophers and scientists alike. (shrink)
The past three decades have witnessed a remarkable growth of research interest in the mind. This trend has been acclaimed as the ‘cognitive revolution’ in psychology. At the heart of this revolution lies the claim that the mind is a computational system. The purpose of this paper is both to elucidate this claim and to evaluate its implications for cognitive psychology. The nature and scope of cognitive psychology and cognitive science are outlined, the principal assumptions underlying (...) the information processing approach to cognition are summarised and the nature of artificial intelligence and its relationship to cognitive science are explored. The ‘computational metaphor’ of mind is examined and both the theoretical and methodological issues which it raises for cognitive psychology are considered. Finally, the nature and significance of ‘connectionism’—the latest paradigm in cognitive science—are briefly reviewed. (shrink)
We discuss the development of cognitive neuroscience in terms of the tension between the greater sophistication in cognitive concepts and methods of the cognitive sciences and the increasing power of more standard biological approaches to understanding brain structure and function. There have been major technological developments in brain imaging and advances in simulation, but there have also been shifts in emphasis, with topics such as thinking, consciousness, and social cognition becoming fashionable within the brain sciences. The discipline (...) has great promise in terms of applications to mental health and education, provided it does not abandon the cognitive perspective and succumb to reductionism. (shrink)