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Profile: David Cole (University of Manchester)
  1. David J. Cole, Dretske on Naturalizing the Mind.
    Dretske’s Naturalizing the Mind sets out the case for holding that mental states in general are natural representers of reality. Mental states have functions; for many states the function is to indicate what is going on in the world. Among such indicator states are beliefs. The content of these states is given by what they are supposed to represent. So if a state is supposed to indicate that it’s dark, then “it’s dark” is the content of the state. Thus we (...)
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  2. David J. Cole, Natural Language and Natural Meaning.
    In Book II of the _Essay_, at the beginning of his discussion of language in Chapter II ("Of the Signification of Words"), John Locke writes that we humans have a variety of thoughts which might profit others, but that unfortunately these thoughts lie invisible and hidden from others. And so we use language to communicate these thoughts. As a result, "words, in their primary or immediate signification,stand for nothing but _the ideas in the mind of him that uses them_.
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  3. David J. Cole, Pinker on the Thinker: Against Mentalese Monopoly.
    thought and problem solving in persons lacking natural language altogether would be a decisive challenge, but there is no clear evidence of any abstract thinking capabilities similar to those evinced by the scientists. Pinker cites languageless persons rebuilding broken locks - this is evidence of perhaps visual imagery, but not mentalese (at least not without quite a bit more detail and argument than we are given). Spiders, e.g., build marvelous things, but no inference to spiderese appears to be warranted. There (...)
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  4. David J. Cole (2003). Gerald Edelman and Giulio Tononi, a Universe of Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination, New York: Basic Books, 2000, XIII+ 274 Pp., $17.00 (Paper), ISBN 0-465-01377-. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 13 (3):445-449.
  5. David J. Cole (2003). Gerald Edelman and Giulio Tononi, New York: Basic Books, 2000, Xiii+ 274 Pp., $17.00 (Paper), ISBN 0-465-01377-5. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 13 (3):445-449.
  6. David J. Cole (2002). The Function of Consciousness. In James H. Fetzer (ed.), Consciousness Evolving. John Benjamins. 287-305.
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  7. David J. Cole, Inverted Spectrum Arguments.
    Formerly a spectral apparition that haunted behaviorism and provided a puzzle about our knowledge of other minds, the inverted spectrum possibility has emerged as an important challenge to functionalist accounts of qualia. The inverted spectrum hypothesis raises the possibility that two individuals might think and behave in the same way yet have different qualia. The traditional supposition is of an individual who has a subjective color spectrum that is inverted with regard to that had by other individuals. When he looks (...)
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  8. David J. Cole (1999). I Don't Think So: Pinker on the Mentalese Monopoly. Philosophical Psychology 12 (3):283-295.
    Stephen Pinker sets out over a dozen arguments in The language instinct (Morrow, New York, 1994) for his widely shared view that natural language is inadequate as a medium for thought. Thus he argues we must suppose that the primary medium of thought and inference is an innate propositional representation system, mentalese. I reply to the various arguments and so defend the view that some thought essentially involves natural language. I argue mentalese doesn't solve any of the problems Pinker cites (...)
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  9. David J. Cole, Sense and Sentience.
    Surely one of the most interesting problems in the study of mind concerns the nature of sentience. How is it that there are sensations, rather than merely sensings? What is it like to be a bat -- or why is it like anything at all? Why aren't we automata or responding but unfeeling Zombies? How does neural activity give rise to subjective experience? As Leibniz put the problem (Monadology section 17):
    _It must be confessed, however, that Perception_ [consciousness?]_, and (...)
    _anything to explain Perception._ [Montgomery trans.]. (shrink)
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  10. David J. Cole, Hearing Yourself Think: Natural Language, Inner Speech, and Thought.
    "Mantras were not viewed as the only means of expressing truth, however. Thought, which was defined as internalized speech, offered yet another aspect of truth. And if words and thoughts designated different aspects of truth, or reality, then there had to be an underlying unity behind all phenomena" (S. A. Nigosian 1994: World Faiths, p. 84).
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  11. Barbara Abbott, Annette Herskovits, Philip L. Peterson, Alfred R. Mele, David J. Cole, Daniel Crevier, Francis Jeffry Pelletier, Istvan S. N. Berkeley, Brendan J. Kitts, Mike Brown & George Paliouras (1996). Book Reviews. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 6 (2):239-285.
  12. David J. Cole (1994). Thought and Qualia. Minds and Machines 4 (3):283-302.
    I present a theory of the nature and basis of the conscious experience characteristic of occurent propositional attitudes: thinking this or that. As a preliminary I offer an extended criticism of Paul Schweizer's treatment of such consciousness as unexplained secondary qualities of neural events. I also attempt to rebut arguments against the possibility of functionalist accounts of conscious experience and qualia.
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  13. David J. Cole (1994). The Causal Powers of CPUs. In Eric Dietrich (ed.), Thinking Computers and Virtual Persons. Academic Press.
     
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  14. Erwin M. Segal, Meredith Williams, David J. Cole, James Geller, Yorick Wilks, Shoshana Loeb, Kim Sterelny, Jerry Fodor, Sara Heinämaa & Ausonio Marras (1993). Book Reviews. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 3 (3):335-375.
  15. David J. Cole (1991). Artificial Intelligence and Personal Identity. Synthese 88 (September):399-417.
    Considerations of personal identity bear on John Searle's Chinese Room argument, and on the opposed position that a computer itself could really understand a natural language. In this paper I develop the notion of a virtual person, modelled on the concept of virtual machines familiar in computer science. I show how Searle's argument, and J. Maloney's attempt to defend it, fail. I conclude that Searle is correct in holding that no digital machine could understand language, but wrong in holding that (...)
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  16. David J. Cole (1991). Artificial Minds: Cam on Searle. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 69 (September):329-33.
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  17. David J. Cole (1990). Functionalism and Inverted Spectra. Synthese 82 (2):207-22.
    Functionalism, a philosophical theory, has empirical consequences. Functionalism predicts that where systematic transformations of sensory input occur and are followed by behavioral accommodation in which normal function of the organism is restored such that the causes and effects of the subject's psychological states return to those of the period prior to the transformation, there will be a return of qualia or subjective experiences to those present prior to the transform. A transformation of this type that has long been of philosophical (...)
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  18. David J. Cole (1984). Thought and Thought Experiments. Philosophical Studies 45 (May):431-44.
    Thought experiments have been used by philosophers for centuries, especially in the study of personal identity where they appear to have been used extensively and indiscriminately. Despite their prevalence, the use of thought experiments in this area of philosophy has been criticized in recent times. Bernard Williams criticizes the conclusions that are drawn from some experiments, and retells one of these experiments from a different perspective, a retelling which leads to a seemingly opposing result. Wilkes criticizes the method of thought (...)
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  19. David J. Cole & F. Foelber (1984). Contingent Materialism. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 65:74-85.
     
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  20. David J. Cole (1979). Meaning and Knowledge. Philosophical Studies 36 (3):329 - 331.
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