I propose a new perspective on the study of scientific revolutions. This is a transformation from an object-only perspective to an ontological perspective that properly treats objects and processes as distinct kinds. I begin my analysis by identifying an object bias in the study of scientific revolutions, where it takes the form of representing scientific revolutions as changes in classification of physical objects. I further explore the origins of this object bias. Findings from developmentalpsychology indicate that children (...) cannot distinguish processes from objects until the age of 7, but they have already developed a core system of object knowledge as early as 4 months of age. The persistence of this core system is responsible for the object bias among mature adults, i.e., the tendency to apply knowledge of physical objects to temporal processes. In light of the distinction between physical objects and temporal processes, I redraw the picture of the Copernican revolution. Rather than seeing it as a taxonomic shift from a geocentric to a heliocentric cosmology, we should understand it as a transformation from a conceptual system that was built around an object concept to one that was built around a process concept. (shrink)
The idea that we have special access to our own mental states has a distinguished philosophical history. Philosophers as different as Descartes and Locke agreed that we know our own minds in a way that is quite different from the way in which we know other minds. In the latter half of the 20th century, however, this idea came under serious attack, first from philosophy (Sellars 1956) and more recently from developmentalpsychology.1 The attack from developmental (...) class='Hi'>psychology arises from the growing body of work on. (shrink)
The idea that we have special access to our own mental states has a distinguished philosophical history. Philosophers as different as Descartes and Locke agreed that we know our own minds in a way that is quite different from the way in which we know other minds. In the latter half of the 20th century, however, this idea came under serious attack, first from philosophy (Sellars 1956) and more recently from developmentalpsychology.1 The attack from developmental (...) class='Hi'>psychology arises from the growing body of work on “mindreading”, the process of attributing mental states to people (and other organisms). During the last 15 years, the processes underlying mindreading have been a major focus of attention in cognitive and developmentalpsychology. Most of this work has been concerned with the processes underlying the attribution of mental states to other people. However, a number of psychologists and philosophers have also proposed accounts of the mechanisms underlying the attribution of mental states to oneself. This process of reading one’s own mind or becoming self-aware will be our primary concern in this paper. (shrink)
In this dissertation, I examine three philosophically important concepts that play a foundational role in developmentalpsychology: theory, representation, and belief. I describe different ways in which the concepts have been understood and present reasons why a developmental psychologist, or a philosopher attuned to cognitive development, should prefer one understanding of these concepts over another.
This article is an attempt to understand ethical theory not just as a set of well-developed philosophical perspectives but as a range of moral capacities that human beings more or less grow into over the course of their lives. To this end, we explore the connection between formal ethical theories and stage developmental psychologies, showing how individuals mature morally, regarding their duties, responsibilities, ideals, goals, values, and interests. The primary method is to extract from the writings of Kohlberg and (...) his students the cues that help to flesh out a developmental picture of a wide range of ethical perspectives. Thus, developmentalpsychology benefits from gaining a broader understanding of “morality” and “ethics,” and ethical theory benefits from a richer understanding of how moral maturity arises from youthful beginnings in juvenile and adolescent thinking. Results of this study offer insight into the difficulty of teaching ethics and a refined ability to assess moral maturity in business activity. (shrink)
In this article we focus on how the language of developmentalpsychology shapes our conceptualisations and understandings of childrearing and of the parent-child relationship. By analysing some examples of contemporary research, policy and popular literature on parenting and parenting support in the UK and Flanders, we explore some of the ways in which normative assumptions about parenthood and upbringing are imported into these areas through the language of developmentalpsychology. We go on to address the particular (...) attraction of developmentalpsychology in the field of parenting and upbringing within our current cultural context. Drawing on the work of (among others) Zygmunt Bauman, we will show how developmentalpsychology, as one of the instruments that contributes to a breaking down of our existential condition into a series of well-defined, and thus apparently manageable, tasks and categories, displaces rather than confronts the possibly limitless depth of the enormity of the reality of ‘being a parent’. (shrink)
Developmentalpsychology should play an essential constraining role in developmental cognitive neuroscience. Theories of neural development must account explicitly for the early emergence of knowledge and abilities in infants and young children documented in developmental research. Especially in need of explanation at the neural level is the early emergence of meta-representation.
Abstract The growing field of clinical?developmentalpsychology has been influenced by Lawrence Kohlberg's theory of moral judgement. Too literal a use of structural theory, however, has hindered this field's advancement. This paper argues that a new theory of self is required to apply appropriately developmental theory to clinical practice. The model consists of two related dimensions of self: self?complexity and biographical themes (schemata and themata). A perspective on normal and atypical development given by the interactions between these (...) components is described and implications for practice are discussed. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introducing persons and the psychology of personhood Jack Martin and Mark H. Bickhard; Part I. Philosophical, Conceptual Perspectives: 2. The person concept and the ontology of persons Michael A. Tissaw; 3. Achieving personhood: the perspective of hermeneutic phenomenology Charles Guignon; Part II. Historical Perspectives: 4. Historical psychology of persons: categories and practice Kurt Danziger; 5. Persons and historical ontology Jeff Sugarman; 6. Critical personalism: on its tenets, its historical obscurity, and its future prospects (...) James T. Lamiell; Part III. Social-Developmental Perspectives: 7. Conceiving of self and others as persons: evolution and development John Barresi, Chris Moore and Raymond Martin; 8. Position exchange theory and personhood: moving between positions and perspectives within physical, sociocultural and psychological space and time Jack Martin and Alex Gillespie; 9. The emergent ontology of persons Mark H. Bickhard; 10. Theorising personhood for the world in transition and change: reflections from a transformative activist stance on human development Anna Stetsenko; Part IV. Narrative Perspectives: 11. Identity and narrative as root metaphors of personhood Amia Lieblich and Ruthellen Josselson; 12. Storied persons: the double triad of narrative identity Mark Freeman. (shrink)
Evolutionary psychologists claim that the mind contains “hundreds or thousands” of “genetically speciﬁed” modules, which are evolutionary adaptations for their cognitive functions. We argue that, while the adult human mind/brain typically contains a degree of modularization, its “modules” are neither genetically speciﬁed nor evolutionary adaptations. Rather, they result from the brain’s developmental plasticity, which allows environmental task demands a large role in shaping the brain’s information-processing structures. The brain’s developmental plasticity is our fundamental psychological adaptation, and the “modules” (...) that result from it are adaptive responses to local conditions, not past evolutionary environments. If different individuals share common environ- ments, however, they may develop similar “modules,” and this process can mimic the development of genetically speciﬁed modules in the evolutionary psychologist’s sense. (shrink)
_The emerging discipline of evolutionary developmental biology has opened up many new _ _lines of investigation into morphological evolution. Here I explore how two of the core _ _theoretical concepts in ‘evo-devo’ – modularity and homology – apply to evolutionary _ _psychology. I distinguish three sorts of module - developmental, functional and mental _ _modules and argue that mental modules need only be ‘virtual’ functional modules. _ _Evolutionary psychologists have argued that separate mental modules are solutions to _ (...) _separate evolutionary problems. I argue that the structure of developmental modules in _ _an organism helps determine what counts as a separate evolutionary problem for that _ _organism. I suggest that homology as an organizing principle for research in _ _evolutionary psychology, has been severely neglected in favor of analogy (adaptive _ _function). I consider some arguments suggesting that determining homology is less _ _epistemically demanding than determining adaptive function and argue that _ _psychological categories defined by homology are, in fact, more suitable objects of _ _psychological - and particularly neuropsychological - investigation than categories _ _defined by analogy. _. (shrink)
Limitations of Dienes & Perner's (D&P's) theory are traced to the assumption that the higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness is true. D&P claim that 18-month-old children are capable of explicitly representing factuality, from which it follows (on D&P's theory) that they are capable of explicitly representing content, attitude, and self. D&P then attempt to explain 3-year-olds' failures on tests of voluntary control such as the dimensional change card sort by suggesting that at this age children cannot represent content and (...) attitude explicitly. We provide a better levels-of-consciousness account for age-related abulic dissociations between knowledge and action. (shrink)
Although we agree with the authors' criticism of the reigning approach to children's sociocognitive development, we raise three further issues. First, “mind talk” is not, in fact, any different from the other aspects of the social world about which children learn. Second, there is no choice between either the “single mind” or the “social context.” Finally, there is a spurious separation between organism and environment.
One of the most profound insights of the dynamic systems perspective is that new structures resulting from the developmental process do not need to be planned in advance, nor is it necessary to have these structures represented in genetic or neurological templates prior to their emergence. Rather, new structures can emerge as components of the individual and the environment self-organize; that is, as they mutually constrain each other's actions, new patterns and structures may arise. This theoretical possibility brings into (...)developmental theory the important concept of indeterminism--the possibility that developmental outcomes may not be predictable in any simple linear causal way from their antecedents. This is the first book to take a critical and serious look at the role of indeterminism in psychological and behavioral development. * What is the source of this indeterminism? * What is its role in developmental change? * Is it merely the result of incomplete observational data or error in measurement? It reviews the concepts of indeterminism and determinism in their historical, philosophical, and theoretical perspectives--particularly in relation to dynamic systems thinking--and applies these general ideas to systems of nonverbal communication. Stressing the indeterminacy inherent to symbols and meaning making in social systems, several chapters address the issue of indeterminism from metaphorical, modeling, and narrative perspectives. Others discuss those indeterministic processes within the individual related to emotional, social, and cognitive development. (shrink)
This work explores the conceptual and empirical issues of the concept of knowledge and its relation to the pattern of our belief change, from formal and experimental perspectives. Part I gives an analysis of knowledge (called Sustainability) that is formally represented and naturalistically plausible at the same time, which is claimed to be a synthesized view of knowledge, covering not only empirical knowledge, but also knowledge of future, practical knowledge, mathematical knowledge, knowledge of general facts. Part II tries to formalize (...) the natural pattern of belief change assumed in Sustainability in terms of a specific formal theory of belief change, after carefully examining the notions of belief, belief change, and Information, from which the cognitive function F in Chapter 3 is actually constructed, which is later implemented by a computer program and its behavior against random input is demonstrated. In Part III we proceed to examine the analysis empirically. In particular, we will investigate Sustainability from the developmental point of view. We first justify experimental approach in philosophy as a legitimate method of philosophical investigation, and then developmental approach in particular. The specific proposal of experiment here is what we call the Gettier Task, an analogue of the famous false-belief task in developmentalpsychology, which has been much discussed in philosophy of mind. Two versions of the Gettier Task were tested on children aged from 6 to 12, and we claim that the data obtained empirically supports our analysis of knowledge, or Sustainability. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Preface -- Acknowledgements -- Notes on Contributors -- PART I: COMPLEXITY IN ANIMAL MINDS -- Introduction: M.McGonigle-Chalmers -- Relational and Absolute Discrimination Learning by Squirrel Monkeys: Establishing a Common Ground with Human Cognition; B.T.Jones -- Serial List Retention by Non-Human Primates: Complexity and Cognitive Continuity; F.R.Treichler -- The Use of Spatial Structure in Working Memory: A Comparative Standpoint; C.De Lillo -- The Emergence of Linear Sequencing in Children: A Continuity Account and a Formal Model; M.McGonigle-Chalmers&I.Kusel (...) -- Sensitivity to Quantity: What Counts Across Species?; S.T.Boysen&A.M.Yocom -- PART II: COMPLEXITY IN ROBOTS -- Editorial Introduction; D.McFarland -- Towards Cognitive Robotics: Robotics, Biology and DevelopmentalPsychology; M.Lee, U.Nehmzow&M.Rodriguez -- Structuring Intelligence: The Role of Hierarchy, Modularity and Learning in Generating Intelligent Behaviour; J.J.Bryson -- Epistemology, Access, and Computational Models; G.Luger -- Reasoning About Representations in Autonomous Systems: What P´Olya and Lakatos Have To Say; A.Bundy -- PART III: LANGUAGE, EVOLUTION AND THE COMPLEX MIND -- Editorial Introduction; K.Stenning -- How to Qualify for a Cognitive Upgrade: Executive Control, Glass Ceilings, and the Limits of Simian Success; A.Clark -- Private Codes and Public Structures; C.Allen -- The Emergence of Complex Language; W.Hinzen -- Language Evolution: Enlarging the Picture; K.Stenning&M.Van Lambalgen -- Epilogue: Reminiscences of Brendan McGonigle -- Index. (shrink)
In their effort to understand some phenomena, mechanisms, or relations between them, scientists observe reality and construct theories and models to explain their observations. The process is interactive: On the one hand, observations lead to formulating certain models and theories. On the other hand, models and theories direct scholars' observations, because they include conceptualizations of reality and also ideas how the observations should be made. Scientists, in fact, behave just like any human being and most of the animals: all create (...) representations and schemata concerning their living environments which then later on help them to behave in adaptive ways (Neisser 1976).Compared to everyday observations that .. (shrink)
Recent studies in developmentalpsychology have found evidence to suggest that there exists an innate system that accounts for the possibilities of early infant imitation and the existence of phantom limbs in cases of congenital absence of limbs. These results challenge traditional assumptions about the status and development of the body schema and body image, and about the nature of the translation process between perceptual experience and motor ability.
The goal of this chapter is to provide an integrated evolutionary and developmental account of the emergence of distinctively-human creative capacities. Our main thesis is that childhood pretend play is a uniquely human adaptation that functions in part to enhance adult forms of creativity. We review evidence that is consistent with such an account, and contrast our proposal favorably with a number of alternatives.
This book, the third in a series on the life course, has significance in today's world of research, professional practice, and public policy because it symbolizes the gradual reemergence of power in the social sciences. Focusing on "self-directedness and efficacy" over the life course, this text addresses the following issues: * the causes of change * how changes affect the individual, the family system, social groups, and society at large * how various disciplines--anthropology, sociology, psychology, epidemiology--approach this field of (...) study, with consideration given to common themes and differences Finally, an effort is made to develop a multidisciplinary perspective unique to the study of self-directedness and efficacy. (shrink)
Recent work in various branches of philosophy has reinvigorated debate over the psychology behind moral judgment. Using Marc Hauser's categorization of theories as “Kantian,” “Humean,” or “Rawlsian” to frame the discussion, I argue that the existing evidence weighs against the Kantian model and partly in favor of both the Humean and the Rawlsian models. Emotions do play a causal role in the formation of our moral judgments, as the Humean model claims, but there are also unconscious principles shaping our (...) moral judgments, as the Rawlsian model predicts. Thus, Hauser's tripartite division of possible models of moral psychology is inadequate. Drawing on research in cognitive neuroscience, clinical and behavioral psychology, and psychopathology, I sketch a new, developmental sentimentalist model of moral psychology. I call it a “Mencian” model, after the Confucian philosopher Mencius. On this model, moral judgments are caused by emotions, but because of the way emotions are mapped onto particular actions, moral judgments unconsciously reflect certain principled distinctions. (shrink)
Embodied social cognition (ESC) aims to explicate how our embodiment shapes our knowledge of others, and in what this knowledge of others consists. Although there is much diversity amongst ESC accounts, common to all these accounts is the idea that our normal everyday interactions consist in non-mentalistic embodied engagements. In recent years, several theorists have developed and defended innovative and controversial accounts of ESC. These accounts challenge, and offer deflationary alternatives to, the standard cognitivist accounts of social cognition. As ESC (...) accounts grow in number and prominence, the time has come for a dedicated, sustained debate on ESC and its most controversial and innovative elements. The goal of this special issue is to host such a debate with the aim of bringing clarity to the discussion of social cognition. (shrink)
Some philosophers have suggested that, instead of attempting to arrive at a satisfactory definition of the physical, we should adopt the ‘via negativa.’ That is, we should take the notion of the mental as fundamental, and define the physical in contrast, as the non-mental. I defend a variant of this approach, based on some information about how children form concepts. I suggest we are hard-wired to form a concept of intentional agency from a very young age, and so there’s some (...) reason to believe that our concept of the physical does include, as part of its content, a contrast with the mental. (shrink)
It has often been argued, by philosophers and more recently by developmental psychologists, that our common-sense conception of the mind should be regarded as a scientific theory. However, those who advance this view rarely say much about what they take a scientific theory to be. In this paper, I look at one specific proposal as to how we should interpret the theory view of folk psychology--namely, by seeing it as having a structure analogous to that of a Lakatosian (...) research program. I argue that although the Lakatosian model may seem promising--particularly to those who are interested in studying the development of children's understanding of the mind--the analogy between Lakatosian research programs and folk psychology cannot be made good because folk psychology does not possess anything analogous to the positive heuristic of a Lakatosian research program. I also argue that Lakatos' account of theories may not be the best one for developmental psychologists to adopt because of the emphasis which Lakatos places on the social embeddedness of scientific theorising. (shrink)
The millennial vision quest -- Who are the changers? -- The great name debate -- How to read this book -- Magicians, manipulators, and muses -- The trouble with generalization -- History speaks -- The world of men and everyday affairs -- First things first -- Coming to your senses -- Hearing -- Smell -- Taste -- Sight -- Touch -- Emotion -- What to do with all of this information -- Activities -- Allies -- The importance of support -- (...) The ally relationship -- Who are the allies? -- Who allies are not! -- Ally-inviting conversations -- A note to you allies out there -- Strength : a warning label -- Ambivalence -- The trouble with change -- Safety first -- Building a net -- Walking against traffic -- Among other things -- Confidence and doubt -- A word about cultural ambivalence -- Structure and routine -- Morning, noon, and night -- Realistic routines -- Breaking it down -- When the heart is hurting -- When nothing seems to work -- The forest for the trees -- Living the daily life -- Stages of growth -- The stages of change -- Identifying your stage -- The stuff of myth and legend -- Haunted by the past -- The way-back-when time -- Rituals, ceremonies, and celebrations -- Setting goals -- Rules for successful goals -- Rewarding growth -- Inviting witnesses -- Obstacles to goals and growth -- Failure -- Boredom -- Giving away credit -- Reaffirming vows -- The final chapter. (shrink)
In this original work of psychoanalytic theory, John Muller explores the formative power of signs and their impact on the mind, the body and subjectivity, giving special attention to work of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce. Muller explores how Lacan's way of understanding experience through three dimensions--the real, the imaginary and the symbolic--can be useful both for thinking about cultural phenomena and for understanding the complexities involved in treating psychotic patients. Muller develops Lacan's (...) perspective gradually, presenting it as distinctive approaches to data from a variety of sources, such as cognitive, social and developmentalpsychology, literature, history, art, and psychoanalytic treatment. The book's first four chapters present Muller's reading of selected data from child development research, psychology and linguistics, approximating a semiotic model of "normal" development. The following three chapters examine in a Lacanian framework the structural basis of psychotic stages as indicative of massive semiotic failure in development. The final chapters on human narcissism suggest reasons that "normal" development may be impossible. (shrink)
This book proposes a series of interconnected arguments against the view that interpersonal understanding involves the use of a 'folk' or 'commonsense' psychology. Ratcliffe suggests that folk psychology, construed as the attribution of internal mental states in order to predict and explain behaviour, is a theoretically motivated and misleading abstraction from social life. He draws on phenomenology, neuroscience and developmentalpsychology to offer an alternative account that emphasizes patterned interactions between people in shared social situations.
Evolutionary Psychology is based on the idea that the mind is a set of special purpose thinking devices or modules whose domain-specific structure is an adaptation to ancestral environments. The modular view of the mind is an uncontroversial description of the periphery of the mind, the input-output sensorimotor and affective subsystems. The novelty of EP is the claim that higher order cognitive processes also exhibit a modular structure. Autism is a primary case study here, interpreted as a developmental (...) failure of a module devoted to social intelligence or Theory of Mind. In this article I reappraise the arguments for innate modularity of TOM and argue that they fail. TOM ability is a consequence of domain general development scaffolded by early, innately specified, sensorimotor abilities. The alleged Modularity of TOM results from interpreting the outcome of developmental failures characteristic of autism at too high a level of cognitive abstraction. (shrink)
v. 1. The origins of a theoretical psychology -- v. 2. Theory and method -- v. 3. Major theoretical positions in twentieth century psychology -- v. 4. The human dilemma : social, developmental, and abnormal psychology.
The aim of this paper is to propose a systematic classification of emotions which can also characterize their nature. The first challenge we address is the submission of clear criteria for a theory of emotions that determine which mental phenomena are emotions and which are not. We suggest that emotions as a subclass of mental states are determined by their functional roles. The second and main challenge is the presentation of a classification and theory of emotions that can account for (...) all existing varieties. We argue that we must classify emotions according to four developmental stages: 1. pre-emotions as unfocussed expressive emotion states, 2. basic emotions, 3. primary cognitive emotions, and 4. secondary cognitive emotions. We suggest four types of basic emotions (fear, anger, joy and sadness) which are systematically differentiated into a diversity of more complex emotions during emotional development. The classification distinguishes between basic and non-basic emotions and our multi-factorial account considers cognitive, experiential, physiological and behavioral parameters as relevant for constituting an emotion. However, each emotion type is constituted by a typical pattern according to which some features may be more significant than others. Emotions differ strongly where these patterns of features are concerned, while their essential functional roles are the same. We argue that emotions form a unified ontological category that is coherent and can be well defined by their characteristic functional roles. Our account of emotions is supported by data from developmentalpsychology, neurobiology, evolutionary biology and sociology. (shrink)
People are minded creatures; we have thoughts, feelings and emotions. More intriguingly, we grasp our own mental states, and conduct the business of ascribing them to ourselves and others without instruction in formal psychology. How do we do this? And what are the dimensions of our grasp of the mental realm? In this book, Alvin I. Goldman explores these questions with the tools of philosophy, developmentalpsychology, social psychology and cognitive neuroscience. He refines an approach called (...) simulation theory, which starts from the familiar idea that we understand others by putting ourselves in their mental shoes. Can this intuitive idea be rendered precise in a philosophically respectable manner, without allowing simulation to collapse into theorizing? Given a suitable definition, do empirical results support the notion that minds literally create (or attempt to create) surrogates of other peoples mental states in the process of mindreading? Goldman amasses a surprising array of evidence from psychology and neuroscience that supports this hypothesis. (shrink)
The Modern Synthesis of Darwinism and genetics regards non-genetic factors as merely constraints on the genetic variations that result in the characteristics of organisms. Even though the environment (including social interactions and culture) is as necessary as genes in terms of selection and inheritance, it does not contain the information that controls the development of the traits. S. Oyama’s account of the Parity Thesis, however, states that one cannot conceivably distinguish in a meaningful way between nature-based (i.e., gene-based) and nurture-based (...) (i.e., environment-based) characteristics in development because the information necessary for the resulting characteristics is contained at both levels. Oyama and others argue that the Parity Thesis has far-reaching implications for developmentalpsychology, in that both nativist and interactionist developmental accounts of motor, cognitive, affective, social, and linguistic capacities that presuppose a substantial nature/nurture dichotomy are inadequate. After considering these arguments, we conclude that either Oyama’s version of the Parity Thesis does not differ from the version advocated by liberal interactionists, or it renders precarious any analysis involving abilities present at birth (despite her claim to the contrary). More importantly, developmental psychologists need not discard the distinction between innate characteristics present at birth and those acquired by learning, even if they abandon genocentrism. Furthermore, we suggest a way nativists can disentangle the concept of maturation from a genocentric view of biological nature. More specifically, we suggest they can invoke the maturational segment of the developmental process (which involves genetic, epigenetic and environmental causes) that results in the biological “machinery” (e.g. language acquisition device) which is necessary for learning as a subsequent segment of the developmental process. (shrink)
Evolutionary psychologists argue that selective pressures in our ancestral environment yield a highly specialized set of modular cognitive capacities. However, recent papers in developmentalpsychology and neuroscience claim that evolutionary accounts of modularity are incompatible with the flexibility and plasticity of the developing brain. Instead, they propose cortical and neuronal brain structures are fixed through interactions with our developmental environment. Buller and Gray Hardcastle contend that evolutionary accounts of cognitive development are unacceptably rigid in light of evidence (...) of cortical plasticity. The developing structure of the brain is both too random and too sensitive to external stimuli to be the product of a fixed genetic mechanism. They also claim that the complexity of the human brain cannot be explained in terms of our meager genetic endowment. There simply are not enough genes to program the intricate neuronal structures that are essential to cognition. I argue that neither of these arguments are persuasive. Small numbers of genes can function to determine diverse phenotypical outcomes through evolutionarily selected developmental systems. Similarly, theories of modularity do not rule out the possibility that innate cognitive systems exploit environmental regularities to guide the developing structure of the brain. Consequently, the anti-adaptionist consequences of these positions should be rejected. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- 1. Quantum Mechanics as a General Framework -- 2. Classical and Quantum Information and Entropy -- 3. The Brain: An Outlook -- 4. Vision -- 5. Dealing with Target's Motion and Our Own Movement -- 6. Complexity: A Necessary Condition -- 7. General Features of Life -- 8. The Organism as a Semiotic and Cybernetic System -- 9. Phylogeny -- 10. Ontogeny -- 11. Epigeny -- 12. Representational Semiotics -- 13. The Brain as an Information-Control (...) System -- 14. Decisional, Emotional and Cognitive Systems -- 15. Behavior -- 16. Learning -- 17. Memory -- 18. The Basic Symbolic Systems -- 19. What Symbols Are -- 20. Intentionality and Conceptualization -- 21. Consciousness -- 22. Development and Culture -- 23. Language -- 24. Mind and Brain (Body) -- 25. Final Philosophical Remarks. (shrink)
Although scientific naturalistic philosophers have been concerned with the role of scientific psychology in illuminating problems in moral psychology, they have paid less attention to the contributions that it might make to issues of moral ontology. In this paper, I illustrate how findings in moral developmentalpsychology illuminate and advance the discussion of a long-standing issue in moral ontology, that of moral realism. To do this, I examine Gilbert Harman and Nicholas Sturgeon's discussion of that issue. (...) I contend that their explorations leave the issue unresolved. To break the stalemate, I appeal to empirical psychological findings about moral internalization—the process by which children acquire the capacity to act in terms of moral norms. I contend that these findings illuminate the issue, suggest a way to advance it, and tend to support a moral realist position. (shrink)
Critical consideration is given the empirical evidence for psychological models of religious development, its supposed relationship to other domains of psychological development, and especially, moral development. Significant problems with stage conceptions in these models augur a fundamental rethinking of religious development as a construct in developmentalpsychology. Model of Hierarchical Complexity has demonstrable promise for enabling greater precision in constructs and methods. This may resolve some central problems and advance research in the field.
Psychological Metaphysics is an exploration of the most basic and important assumptions in the psychological construction of reality, with the aim of showing what they are, how they originate, and what they are there for. Peter White proposes that people basically understand causation in terms of stable, special powers of things operating to produce effects under suitable conditions. This underpins an analysis of people's understanding of causal processes in the physical world, and of human action. In making a radical break (...) with the Heiderian tradition, Psychological Metaphysics suggests that causal attribution is in the service of the person's practical concerns and any interest in accuracy or understanding is subservient to this. Indeed, a notion of regularity in the world is of no more than minor importance, and social cognition is not a matter of cognitive mechanisms or processes but of cultural ways of thinking imposed upon tacit, unquestioned, universalassumptions. Incorporating not only research and theory in social cognition and developmentalpsychology, but also philosophy and the history of ideas, Psychological Metaphysics will be challenging to everyone interested in how we try to understand the world. (shrink)
As Hecht points out, finding unequivocal evidence for phylogenetic knowledge structures is problematic, if not impossible. But if phylogeny could be dropped, then internalization starts to resemble the “theory theory” approaches of developmentalpsychology. For example, an appreciation of falling objects leads to a very strong bias that could be regarded as internalized knowledge acquired during ontogeny. [Hecht; Shepard].
I have argued that the traditional free will debate has focused too much on whether free will is compatible with determinism and not enough on whether free will is compatible with specific causal explanations for our actions, including those offered by empirical psychology. If free will is understood as a set of cognitive and volitional capacities, possessed and exercised to varying degrees, then psychology can inform us about the extent to which humans (as a species and as individuals) (...) possess those capacities and manage to exercise them across various situations. While recent work on the role of consciousness in action has been misinterpreted to suggest its role is illusory, recent work in social psychology presents a more viable challenge to our free will. The extent to which we can act on reasons we would accept or can know why we are doing what we do appears to be much less than we presume. Further work is necessary, of course, and it will need to involve both philosophical analysis and psychological investigation. Questions regarding the nature of human freedom and responsibility clearly require the conceptual resources of philosophy and the empirical resources of psychology. (shrink)
I suggest a pluralistic account of folk psychology according to which not all predictions or explanations rely on the attribution of mental states, and not all intentional actions are explained by mental states. This view of folk psychology is supported by research in developmental and social psychology. It is well known that people use personality traits to predict behavior. I argue that trait attribution is not shorthand for mental state attributions, since traits are not identical to (...) beliefs or desires, and an understanding of belief or desire is not necessary for using trait attributions. In addition, we sometimes predict and explain behavior through appeal to personality traits that the target wouldn't endorse, and so could not serve as the target's reasons. I conclude by suggesting that our folk psychology includes the notion that some behavior is explained by personality traits—who the person is—rather than by beliefs and desires—what the person thinks. Consequences of this view for the debate between simulation theory and theory theory, as well as the debate on chimpanzee theory of mind are discussed. (shrink)
“A dynamic developmental theory of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) predominantly hyperactive/impulsive and combined subtypes” is a major contribution linking comparative psychology with clinical developmental neuropsychopathology. In this commentary, I place some critical remarks concerning the theory's explanation of sleep problems, inhibition, error monitoring, and motor control.
This chapter examines several ways in which philosophical attention to intuition can contribute to empirical scientific psychology. The authors then discuss one prevalent misuse of intuition. An unspoken assumption of much argumentation in the philosophy of mind has been that to articulate our folk psychological intuitions, our ordinary concepts of belief, truth, meaning, and so forth, is itself sufficient to give a theoretical account of what belief, truth, meaning, and so forth, actually are. It is believed that this assumption (...) rests on an inadequate understanding of the nature of intuition and its appropriate applications, and that it results in errors. Three notable examples of this sort of misuse of intuition in philosophy are briefly discussed. Finally, the authors provide developmental evidence for the mutability and fallibility of everyday intuitions about the mind, evidence that undermines arguments, that depend on taking such intuitions as a final authority for substantive claims about what the mind is like. (shrink)
In the third chapter of his book Psychosemantics , Jerry A. Fodor argues that the truth of meaning holism (the thesis that the content of a psychological state is determined by the totality of that state's epistemic liaisons) would be fatal for intentionalistic psychology. This is because holism suggests that no two people are ever in the same intentional state, and so a psychological theory that generalizes over such states will be composed of generalizations which fail to generalize. Fodor (...) then sets out to show that there is no reason to believe in holism by arguing that its primary foundation (i.e. functional-role semantics), when properly understood (i.e. when construed as a two-factor theory of content), is demonstrably false. In this paper, I argue two claims. First, I try to show that Fodor has seriously misrepresented two-factor theories and that his arguments against his strawman do nothing to indicate the falsity of the genuine article. Second, I argue that if one accepts meaning holism in the form of a two-factor theory, there is no particular reason to think that one is hereby committed to the futility of intentionalistic psychology. In making this point, I make a brief excursion into the psychological literature during which I discuss the belief perseverance phenomenon, the encoding specificity hypothesis, and a problem in human deductive reasoning. My second argument leads to a discussion of how such a psychology could be developed even if no two people are ever in the same intentional state. (shrink)
The theory of concepts advanced in the dissertation aims at accounting for a) how a concept makes successful practice possible, and b) how a scientific concept can be subject to rational change in the course of history. Traditional accounts in the philosophy of science have usually studied concepts in terms only of their reference; their concern is to establish a stability of reference in order to address the incommensurability problem. My discussion, in contrast, suggests that each scientific concept consists of (...) three components of content: 1) reference, 2) inferential role, and 3) the epistemic goal pursued with the concept's use. I argue that in the course of history a concept can change in any of these three components, and that change in one component—including change of reference—can be accounted for as being rational relative to other components, in particular a concept's epistemic goal. This semantic framework is applied to two cases from the history of biology: the homology concept as used in 19th and 20th century biology, and the gene concept as used in different parts of the 20th century. The homology case study argues that the advent of Darwinian evolutionary theory, despite introducing a new definition of homology, did not bring about a new homology concept (distinct from the pre-Darwinian concept) in the 19th century. Nowadays, however, distinct homology concepts are used in systematics/evolutionary biology, in evolutionary developmental biology, and in molecular biology. The emergence of these different homology concepts is explained as occurring in a rational fashion. The gene case study argues that conceptual progress occurred with the transition from the classical to the molecular gene concept, despite a change in reference. In the last two decades, change occurred internal to the molecular gene concept, so that nowadays this concept's usage and reference varies from context to context. I argue that this situation emerged rationally and that the current variation in usage and reference is conducive to biological practice. The dissertation uses ideas and methodological tools from the philosophy of mind and language, the philosophy of science, the history of science, and the psychology of concepts. (shrink)
Until recently, the notions of function and multiple realization were supposed to save the autonomy of psychological explanations. Furthermore, the concept of supervenience presumably allows both dependence of mind on brain and non-reducibility of mind to brain, reconciling materialism with an independent explanatory role for mental and functional concepts and explanations. Eliminativism is often seen as the main or only alternative to such autonomy. It gladly accepts abandoning or thoroughly reconstructing the psychological level, and considers reduction if successful as equivalent (...) with elimination. In comparison with the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of biology has developed more subtle and complex ideas about functions, laws, and reductive explanation than the stark dichotomy of autonomy or elimination. It has been argued that biology is a patchwork of local laws, each with different explanatory interests and more or less limited scope. This points to a pluralistic, domain-specific and multi-level view of explanations in biology. Explanatory pluralism has been proposed as an alternative to eliminativism on the one hand and methodological dualism on the other hand. It holds that theories at different levels of description, like psychology and neuroscience, can co-evolve, and mutually influence each other, without the higher-level theory being replaced by, or reduced to, the lower-level one. Such ideas seem to tally with the pluralistic character of biological explanation. In biological psychology, explanatory pluralism would lead us to expect many local and non-reductive interactions between biological, neurophysiological, psychological and evolutionary explanations of mind and behavior. This idea is illustrated by an example from behavioral genetics, where genetics, physiology and psychology constitute distinct but interrelated levels of explanation. Accounting for such a complex patchwork of related explanations seems to require a more sophisticated and precise way of looking at levels than the existing ideas on (reductive and non-reductive) explanation in the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
Human, cognition, interaction, and culture are thoroughly intertwined. Without cognition and interaction, there would be no culture. Without culture, cognition and interaction would be very different affairs, as they are among other social species. The effect of culture on mental life has always been a main concern of the social sciences and, after a long period of almost total neglect, it is more and more taken into consideration in cognitive psychology. The effect of cognition, and in particular of the (...) ability to attribute mental states to others, on interaction has become a important topic of investigation in developmental and social psychology. Little attention, on the other hand, is paid to the effect of cognition on culture. All would agree, of course that the human mind is what makes human culture possible. Quite generally, however, the mind is seen as a mere enabler of culture, a pure opportunity with no constraints attached, nothing that might contribute to shaping, or at least to biasing cultural contents. Against this neglect of cognition, I will argue that understanding the mind is doubly important to the study of culture. Psychological considerations are crucial both to a proper characterization of what is cultural and to a proper explanation of cultural phenomena. Most anthropologists may be too savvy to still talk of the mind as a “blank slate”, but they too often meet any discussion of psychological factors in culture with a blank stare. Most evolutionary theorists who see cultural evolution as an analogue of biological evolution by natural selection postulate rather than investigate the few particulars of the human mind.. (shrink)
There is converging evidence from developmental and cognitive psychology, as well as from neuroscience, to suggest that the self is both special and social, and that self-other interaction is the driving force behind self-development. We review experimental findings which demonstrate that human infants are motivated for social interactions and suggest that the development of an awareness of other minds is rooted in the implicit notion that others are like the self. We then marshal evidence from functional neuroimaging explorations (...) of the neurophysiological substrate of shared representations between the self and others, using various ecological paradigms such as mentally representing one's own actions versus others' actions, watching the actions executed by others, imitating the others' actions versus being imitated by others. We suggest that within this shared neural network the inferior parietal cortex and the prefrontal cortex in the right hemisphere play a special role in the essential ability to distinguish the self from others, and in the way the self represents the other. Interestingly, the right hemisphere develops its functions earlier than the left. (shrink)
In studying folk psychology, cognitive and developmental psychologists have mainly focused on how people conceive of non-experiential states such as beliefs and desires. As a result, we know very little about how non-philosophers (or the folk) understand the mental states that philosophers typically classify as being phenomenally conscious. In particular, it is not known whether the folk even tend to classify mental states in terms of their being or not being phenomenally conscious in the first place. Things have (...) changed dramatically in the last few years, however, with a flurry of ground-breaking research by psychologists and experimental philosophers. In this article I will review this work, carefully distinguishing between two questions: First, are the ascriptions that the folk make with regard to the mental states that philosophers classify as phenomenally conscious related to their decisions about whether morally right or wrong action has been done to an entity? Second, do the folk tend to classify mental states in the way that philosophers do, distinguishing between mental states that are phenomenally conscious and mental states that are not phenomenally conscious? (shrink)
Evolutionary psychology is widely understood as involving an integration of evolutionary theory and cognitive psychology, in which the former promises to revolutionise the latter. In this paper, I suggest some reasons to doubt that the assumptions of evolutionary theory and of cognitive psychology are as directly compatible as is widely assumed. These reasons relate to three different problems of specifying adaptive functions as the basis for characterising cognitive mechanisms: the disjunction problem, the grain problem and the environment (...) problem. Each of these problems can be understood as arising from incommensurate characterisations of the nature and role of 'the environment' in the two approaches. Purported solutions to the problems appear to require detailed information concerning the EEA (environment of evolutionary adaptedness), with the disjunction problem placing the lowest requirement, the environment problem placing the highest requirement, and the grain problem placing an intermediate one. In each case, such information is not likely to be forthcoming, because it may require iterating through successively more distant EEA's with no principled stopping point. This produces a dilemma for evolutionary psychology - either to solve these apparently insoluble problems, or to attempt to avoid them but in doing so forego detailed evolutionary constraints on cognition. (shrink)
In this paper it is argued that we would not be logically obliged or rationally inclined to reject the ontology of contentful psychological states postulated by folk psychology even if the explanations advanced by folk psychology turned out to be generally inaccurate or inadequate. Moreover, it is argued that eliminativists such as Paul Churchland do not establish that folk psychological explanations are, or are likely to prove, generally inaccurate or inadequate. Most of Churchland's arguments—based upon developments within connectionist (...) neuroscience—only cast doubt upon the adequacy of 'sentential' theories of cognitive processing, not upon scientifically developed forms of folk psychological explanation of behavior, such as those offered by contemporary social psychology. Finally, it is noted that Churchland's brand of eliminativism rests upon a crude reductive criterion of theoretical adequacy that has little to recommend it, and suggested that the recognized theoretical limitations of contemporary social psychology may be precisely due to its historical commitment to this reductive criterion. (shrink)
This paper reflects on the relationship between Husserlian phenomenology and scientific psychology. It tries to show how phenomenological results have relevance and validity for present-day cognitive developmentalpsychology by arguing that consciousness matters in the study of the representational mind. The paper presents some methodological remarks concerning empirical or applied phenomenology; it describes the conception of an exploratory developmental study with 3 to 9-year-old children viewing a complex pictorial display; it then illustrates how a phenomenological interpretation (...) of the data works; in conclusion, it sketches a view of realism about conscious experiences which is taken to be inherent in the phenomenological perspective of understanding the representational mind. (shrink)
This paper argues that self-deception cannot be explained without employing a depth-psychological ("psychodynamic") notion of the unconscious, and therefore that mainstream academic psychology must make space for such approaches. The paper begins by explicating the notion of a dynamic unconscious. Then a brief account is given of the "paradoxes" of self-deception. It is shown that a depth-psychological self of parts and subceptive agency removes any such paradoxes. Next, several competing accounts of self-deception are considered: an attentional account, a constructivist (...) account, and a neo-Sartrean account. Such accounts are shown to face a general dilemma: either they are able only to explain unmotivated errors of self-perception--in which case they are inadequate for their intended purpose--or they are able to explain motivated self-deception, but do so only by being instantiation mechanisms for depth-psychological processes. The major challenge to this argument comes from the claim that self-deception has a "logic" different to other-deception--the position of Alfred Mele. In an extended discussion it is shown that any such account is explanatorily adequate only for some cases of self-deception--not by any means all. Concluding remarks leave open to further empirical work the scope and importance of depth-psychological approaches. (shrink)
This book is about aesthetic processes and play from the perspectives of psychologists, philosophers, and semiologists. They explore the underlying processes from many viewpoints, including the prehistoric roots of language and art; the historical evolution of artistic, literary, and musical styles; the structure of artworks from both gestalt and semiotic perspectives; the biological and psychological processes underlying production and appreciation; the appeal of sentimental art; emotional responses to art and other aesthetic forms; personality in relation to artistic style; the testing (...) and measurement of art-related skills; the relations between social life and literary understanding; literature in relation to media; as well as neurobiological, developmental and individual growth perspectives on play activity. (shrink)
This article describes two uses of folk psychology in scientific psychology. Use 1 deals with the way in which folk theories and beliefs are imported into social psychological models on the basis that they exert causal influences on cognition or behavior (regardless of their validity or scientific usefulness). Use 2 describes the practice of mining elements from folk psychology for building an overarching psychological theory that goes beyond common sense (and assumes such elements are valid or scientifically (...) useful). This distinction is then applied to both common practices within psychology and the philosophical arguments concerning the scientific validity of folk psychology. Adopting a social psychological perspective, I argue that (a) the two uses are often conflated in psychology with deleterious consequences; and (b) that the arguments for the elimination of folk psychology as a basis for scientific psychology presented by Churchland and others, are weakened by the failure to attend to this distinction. (shrink)
Abstract Ramsey, Stick and Garon (1991) argue that if the correct theory of mind is some parallel distributed processing theory, then folk psychology must be false. Their idea is that if the nodes and connections that encode one representation are causally active then all representations encoded by the same set of nodes and connections are also causally active. We present a clear, and concrete, counterexample to RSG's argument. In conclusion, we suggest that folk psychology and connectionism are best (...) understood as complementary theories. Each has different limitations, yet each will co?evolve with the other in an overlapping domain of ?normal? psychology. (shrink)
Evolutionary psychologists attempt to infer our evolved psychology from the selection pressures present in our ancestral environments. Their use of this inference strategy?often called ?adaptive thinking??is thought to be justified by way of appeal to a rather modest form of adaptationism, according to which the mind's adaptive complexity reveals it to be a product of selection. I argue, on the contrary, that the mind's being an adaptation is only a necessary and not a sufficient condition for the validity of (...) adaptive thinking, and that evolutionary psychology's predictive project is in fact committed to an extremely strong and highly implausible form of adaptationism. According to this ?strong adaptationism,? the macroevolutionary trajectory of a population is determined by, and therefore predictable on the basis of, the selection pressures acting upon it. Not only is this form of adaptationism prima facie highly implausible, it requires making a number of naïve and likely false assumptions concerning the nature of heritable phenotypic variation in natural populations. In particular, it assumes that phenotypic variation is inevitably small in its extent, unbiased in its direction, and copious in its quantity. Because it is unlikely that these conditions obtain as a general rule, and even more unlikely that they obtained in early human populations, I conclude that there is little reason to believe that adaptive thinking can be used to infer the current structure of our minds from evidence of past selection pressures. (shrink)
The relation of teleological to causal explanations in psychology is examined. Nagel's claim that they are logically equivalent is rejected. Two arguments for their non-equivalence are considered: (i) the impossibility of specifying initial conditions in the case of teleological explanations and (ii) the claim that different kinds of logic are involved. The view that causal explanations provide only necessary conditions whereas teleological explanations provide sufficient conditions is rejected: causal explanations can provide sufficient conditions, typically being unable to provide necessary (...) ones, whereas teleological explanations tend to point to necessary features. Nor is a distinction in terms of intensional and extensional logic entirely satisfactory, although there is some support for the view that teleological and causal explanations invoke different types of explanatory framework. A key feature of teleogical explanation is the achievement of the same goal by a variety of means. Thus its main scientific function is likely to be heuristic rather than predictive. (shrink)
This paper offers an evolutionary account of chronic pain. Chronic pain is a maladaptive by-product of pain mechanisms and neural plasticity, both of which are highly adaptive. This account shows how evolutionary psychology can be integrated with Flanagan's natural method, and in a way that avoids the usual charges of panglossian adaptationism and an uncritical commitment to a modular picture of the mind. Evolutionary psychology is most promising when it adopts a bottom-up research strategy that focuses on basic (...) affective and motivational systems (as opposed to higher cognitive functions) that are phylogenetically deep. (shrink)
The `developmental systems'' perspective in biology is intended to replace the idea of a genetic program. This new perspective is strongly convergent with recent work in psychology on situated/embodied cognition and on the role of external `scaffolding'' in cognitive development. Cognitive processes, including those which can be explained in evolutionary terms, are not `inherited'' or produced in accordance with an inherited program. Instead, they are constructed in each generation through the interaction of a range of developmental resources. (...) The attractors which emerge during development and explain robust and/or widespread outcomes are themselves constructed during the process. At no stage is there an explanatory stopping point where some resources control or program the rest of the developmental cascade. `Human nature'' is a description of how things generally turn out, not an explanation of why they turn out that way. Finally, we suggest that what is distinctive about human development is its degree of reliance on external scaffolding. (shrink)
For the last thirty years, cognitive scientists have attempted to describe the cognitive architecture of typically developing human beings, using, among other sources of evidence, the dissociations that result from developmental psychopathologies such as autism spectrum disorders, Williams syndrome, and Down syndrome. Thus, in his recent defense of the massive modularity hypothesis, Steven Pinker insists on the importance of such dissociations to identify the components of the typical cognitive architecture (2005, 4; my emphasis): This kind of faculty psychology (...) has numerous advantages (...). It is supported by the existence of neurological and genetic disorders that target these faculties unevenly, such as a difficulty in recognizing faces (and facelike shapes) but not other objects, or a difficulty in reasoning about minds but not about objects or pictures. Similarly, Simon Baron-Cohen writes (1998, 335; my emphasis; see also Temple, 1997): I suggest that the study of mental retardation would profit from the application of the framework of cognitive neuropsychology (…). In cognitive neuropsychology, one key question running through the investigator’s mind is “Is this process or mechanism intact or impaired in this person?” When cognitive neuropsychology is done well, a patient’s cognitive system is examined with specific reference to a model of the normal cognitive system. And, not infrequently, evidence from the patient’s cognitive deficits leads to a revision of the model of the normal system. However, in recent years, the use of developmental psychopathologies to identify the components of the typical cognitive architecture has come under heavy fire. In a series of influential articles, neuropsychologist Annette Karmiloff-Smith has argued that findings about the pattern of impairments and preserved capacities in people with developmental psychopathologies say nothing about the cognitive architecture of.. (shrink)
Philosophical discussion of molecular and developmental biology began in the late 1960s with the use of genetics as a test case for models of theory reduction. With this exception, the theory of natural selection remained the main focus of philosophy of biology until the late 1970s. It was controversies in evolutionary theory over punctuated equilibrium and adaptationism that first led philosophers to examine the concept of developmental constraint. Developmental biology also gained in prominence in the 1980s as (...) part of a broader interest in the new sciences of self-organization and complexity. The current literature in the philosophy of molecular and developmental biology has grown out of these earlier discussions under the influence of twenty years of rapid and exciting growth of empirical knowledge. Philosophers have examined the concepts of genetic information and genetic program, competing definitions of the gene itself and competing accounts of the role of the gene as a developmental cause. The debate over the relationship between development and evolution has been enriched by theories and results from the new field of 'evolutionary developmental biology'. Future developments seem likely to include an exchange of ideas with the philosophy of psychology, where debates over the concept of innateness have created an interest in genetics and development. (shrink)
Daniel Dennett (1991) has advanced a mild realism in which beliefs are described as patterns “discernible in agents' (observable) behavior” (p. 30). I clarify the conflict between this otherwise attractive theory and the strong realist view that beliefs are internal states that cause actions. Support for strong realism is sometimes derived from the assumption that the everyday psychology of the folk is committed to it. My main thesis here is that we have sufficient reason neither for strong realism nor (...) for the supporting assumption about the commitments of folk psychology. Several generally implicit arguments in support of the latter assumption are considered. Explicit arguments for it by Ramsey et al. (1990) and Wellman (1990) are examined and judged unsuccessful. An explicit argument for strong realism by Cummins (in conversation) is also found inadequate. Consideration of this latter argument helps to explain why we cannot be satisfied with Dennett's own very brief discussion of causation by beliefs. (shrink)
Genetic epistemology analyzes the growth of knowledge both in the individual person (genetic psychology) and in the socio-historical realm (the history of science). But what the relationship is between the history of science and genetic psychology remains unclear. The biogenetic law that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny is inadequate as a characterization of the relation. A critical examination of Piaget's Introduction à l'Épistémologie Généntique indicates these are several examples of what I call stage laws common to both areas. Furthermore, there (...) is at least one example of a paradoxical inverse relation between the two — geometry. Both similarities and differences between the two domains require an explanation, a developmental explanation. Although such an explanation seems to be psychological in nature, it is not merely empirical but also normative (since psychology is both factual and normative according to Piaget). Hence genetic epistemology need not be reduced to psychology (narrowly conceived), but rather should be seen as being both empirical and normative and thus similar to certain types of contemporary philosophy of science. (shrink)
The dispute between individualism and anti-individualism is about the individuation of psychological states, and individualism, on some accounts, is committed to the claim that psychological subjects together with their environments do not constitute integrated computational systems. Hence on this view the computational states that explain psychological states in computational accounts of mind will not involve the subject''s natural and social environment. Moreover, the explanation of a system''s interaction with the environment is, on this view, not the primary goal of computational (...) theorizing. Recent work in computational developmentalpsychology (by A. Karmiloff-Smith and J. Rutkowska) as well as artificial agents or embedded artificial systems (by L.P. Kaelbling, among others) casts doubt on these claims. In these computational models, the environment does not just trigger and sustain input for computational operations, but some computational operations actually involve environmental structures. (shrink)
This article is the sequel to 'Intentionality and Modern philosophical psychology, I. The modern reduction of intentionality,' (Philosophical Psychology, 3 (2), 1990) which examined the view of intentionality pioneered by Carnap and reaching its apotheosis in the work of Daniel Dennett. In 'Intentionality and modem philosophical psychology, II. The return to representation' (Philosophical Psychology, 4(1), 1991) I examined the approach to intentionality which can be traced back to the work of Noam Chomsky but which has been (...) given its canonical treatment in the work of Jerry Fodor. In this article, the last in the series, I explore a very recent approach to intentionality which has been associated especially with the work of Ruth Garrett Millikan and Colin McGinn, and might, if the phrase were not so rebarbative, be called “the biologizing of intentionality'. (shrink)
This authored book provides an innovative and systematic account of key debates within the social psychology of knowledge, using the theory of social representations as a guide. This account is then elaborated and integrated into a conceptually coherent theoretical framework to further the social psychological dimensions of the relationship between representations, knowledge and context. Jovchelovitch highlights the social psychological components of the process of knowledge formation and their impact in the constitution of communities, culture and public spheres. Whilst this (...) exploration contributes to an understanding of the genesis, logic and function of knowledge in social life, it also shows that context is essential to understanding the dynamics of representation and emphasises the fundamental unity between the two. This book offers a significant and stimulating contribution to the field of social representations and will make essential reading for those wanting to follow this debate at thecutting edge of social, cultural and developmentalpsychology as well as sociology, anthropology and cultural studies. (shrink)
In rounded terms and modem dress a theory of intentionality is a theory about how humans take in information via the senses and in the very process of taking it in understand it and, most often, make subsequent use of it in guiding human behaviour. The problem of intentionality in this century has been the problem of providing an adequate explanation of how a purely physical causal system, the brain, can both receive information and at the same time understand it, (...) that is, to put it even more briefly, how a brain can have semantic content. In these two articles, one in this issue of the journal and one in the next, I engage in a critical examination of the two most thoroughly canvassed approaches to the theory and problem of intentionality in philosophical psychology over the last hundred years. In the first article, entitled 'The modern reduction of intentionality, ' I examine the approach pioneered by Carnap and reaching its apotheosis in the work of Daniel Dennett. In the second article, entitled 'The return to representation, 'I examine the approach which can be traced back to the work of Noam Chomsky but which has been given its canonical treatment in the work of Jerry Fodor. (shrink)
This article questions social constructionists' claims to introduce Wittgenstein's philosophy to psychology. The philosophical fiction of a neonate Crusoe is introduced to cast doubt on the interpretations and use of the private language argument to support a new psychology developed by the constructionists. It is argued that a neonate Crusoe's viability in philosophy and apparent absence in psychology offends against the integrity of the philosophical contribution Wittgenstein might make to psychology. The consequences of accepting Crusoe's viability (...) are explored as they appear in both philosophy and psychology. (shrink)
According to explanatory individualism, every action must be explained in terms of an agent's desire. According to explanatory nonindividualism, we sometimes act on our desires, but it is also possible for us to act on others' desires without acting on desires of our own. While explanatory nonindividualism has guided the thinking of many social scientists, it is considered to be incoherent by most philosophers of mind who insist that actions must be explained ultimately in terms of some desire of the (...) agent. In the first part of the paper, I show that some powerful arguments designed to demonstrate the incoherence of explanatory nonindividualism fail. In the second part of the paper, I offer a nonindividualist explanation of the apparent obviousness of belief-desire psychology. I argue that there are two levels of the intelligibility of our actions. On the more fundamental (explanatory) level, the question "Why did the agent do something?" admits a variety of folk-psychological categories. But there is another (formation-of-self) level, at which the same question admits only of answers that ultimately appeal only to the agent's own desires. Explanatory individualism results from the confusion of the two levels. (shrink)
Folk psychological realism is the view that folk psychology is true and that people really do have propositional attitudes, whereas anti-realism is the view that folk psychology is false and people really do not have propositional attitudes. We argue that anti-realism is not worthy of acceptance and that realism is eminently worthy of acceptance. However, it is plainly epistemically possible to favor either of two forms of folk realism: scientific or non-scientific. We argue that non-scientific realism, while perhaps (...) unpopular among philosophers of mind, is a distinct form of realism from scientific realism, and that it is not yet knowable whether scientific or non-scientific realism is true. We also outline how adopting realism, but remaining neutral between scientific and non-scientific realism, offers fresh insights into such topics as instrumentalism, supervenience, the language of thought hypothesis, and elimin-ativism. (shrink)
The frequency of the use of deception in American psychological research was studied by reviewing articles from journals in personality and social psychology from 1921 to 1994. Deception was used rarely during the developmental years of social psychology into the 1930s, then grew gradually and irregularly until the 1950s. Between the 1950s and 1970s the use of deception increased significantly. This increase is attributed to changes in experimental methods, the popularity of realistic impact experiments, and the influence (...) of cognitive dissonance theory. Since 1980 there appears to have been a decrease in the use of deception as compared to previous decades which is related to changes in theory, methods, ethical standards, and federal regulation of research. (shrink)
This important book brings recent findings and theories in biology and psychology to bear on the fundamental question in ethics of what it means to behave morally. It explains how we acquire and put to work our capacities to act morally and how these capacities are reliable means to achieving true moral beliefs, proper moral motivations, and successful moral actions. By presenting a complete model of moral agency based on contemporary evolutionary theory, developmental biology and psychology, and (...) social cognitive theory, the book offers a unique perspective. It will be read with profit by a broad swathe of philosophers, as well as psychologists and biologists. (shrink)