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Profile: Itay Shani
  1. Liam P. Dempsey & Itay Shani (forthcoming). Three Misconceptions Concerning Strong Embodiment. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-23.
    The strong embodied mind thesis holds that the particular details of one’s embodiment shape the phenomenological and cognitive nature of one’s mind. On the face of it, this is an attractive thesis. Yet strong embodiment faces a number of challenges. In particular, there are three prominent misconceptions about the scope and nature of strong embodiment: 1) that it violates the supposed multiple realizability of mentality; 2) that it cannot accommodate mental representation; and 3) that it is inconsistent with the extended (...)
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  2. Itay Shani (forthcoming). Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False. :1-5.
    Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False. . ???aop.label???. doi: 10.1080/09515089.2013.804045.
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  3. Itay Shani (2014). Naturalized Sacredness? A Realist, Panentheist, and Perennialist Alternative to Kauffman's Constructivism. Zygon 49 (1):22-41.
    In his recent book Reinventing the Sacred, renowned biologist and systems theorist Stuart Kauffman offers an avenue for the revival of the sacred and for reconciling sacredness with a robust scientific outlook. According to Kauffman, God is a human cultural invention, and he urges us to reinvent the sacred as the ceaseless creativity in nature. I argue that Kauffman's proposal suffers from a major shortcoming, namely, being at odds with the nature, and content, of authentic experiences of the sacred, experiences (...)
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  4. Liam P. Dempsey & Itay Shani (2013). Stressing the Flesh: In Defense of Strong Embodied Cognition. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):590-617.
    In a recent paper, Andy Clark (2008) has argued that the literature on embodied cognition reveals a tension between two prominent strands within this movement. On the one hand, there are those who endorse what Clark refers to as body-centrism, a view which emphasizes the special contribution made by the body to a creature’s mental life. Among other things, body centrism implies that significant differences in embodiment translate into significant differences in cognition and consciousness. On the other hand, there are (...)
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  5. Itay Shani (2013). Making It Mental: In Search for the Golden Mean of the Extended Cognition Controversy. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (1):1-26.
    This paper engages the extended cognition controversy by advancing a theory which fits nicely into an attractive and surprisingly unoccupied conceptual niche situated comfortably between traditional individualism and the radical externalism espoused by the majority of supporters of the extended mind hypothesis. I call this theory moderate active externalism, or MAE. In alliance with other externalist theories of cognition, MAE is committed to the view that certain cognitive processes extend across brain, body, and world—a conclusion which follows from a theory (...)
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  6. Itay Shani & Sungho Choi (2013). Type‐Identity Statements and the Explanatory Gap: An Argument for Compatibility. Dialectica 67 (4):485-502.
    This paper challenges a popular thesis which we call the explanatory primitiveness thesis (for short, EPT), namely, the thesis that identities leave no logical space wherein explanatory questions may be formulated and explanatory gaps may reside. We argue that while EPT is, in all likelihood, flawless when the relevant domain consists of identity statements flanked by proper names of individuals it is a mistake to hold that the thesis generalizes to cover all identity statements. In particular, we argue that EPT (...)
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  7. Itay Shani (2011). Aim That Bow! An Interactivist Gaze at the Problem of Intentional Tracking. Axiomathes 21 (1):67-97.
    In this essay I offer a theory of the outward directedness of intentional states, namely, an account of what makes intentional states directed at their respective intentional objects. The theory is meant to be complementary to the canonical interactivist account of mental content in that the latter emphasizes the predicative, intensional, and internal aspects of representation whereas here I shall focus on its denotative, extensional, and external aspects. Thus, the aim is to establish that the two projects are not only (...)
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  8. Itay Shani (2010). Mind Stuffed with Red Herrings: Why William James' Critique of the Mind-Stuff Theory Does Not Substantiate a Combination Problem for Panpsychism. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 25 (4):413-434.
  9. Liam Dempsey & Itay Shani (2009). Dynamical Agents: Consciousness, Causation, and Two Specters of Epiphenomenalism. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (2):225-243.
    The aim of this paper is to defend the causal efficacy of consciousness against two specters of epiphenomenalism. We argue that these challenges are best met, on the one hand, by rejecting all forms of consciousness-body dualism, and on the other, by adopting a dynamical systems approach to understanding the causal efficacy of conscious experience. We argue that this non-reductive identity theory provides the theoretical resources for reconciling the reality and efficacy of consciousness with the neurophysiology of the brain and (...)
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  10. Itay Shani (2009). The Whole Rabbit: On the Perceptual Roots of Quine's Indeterminacy Puzzle. Philosophical Psychology 22 (6):739 – 763.
    In this paper I offer a novel analysis of Quine's indeterminacy puzzle and an unorthodox approach to its resolution. It is argued that the ultimate roots of indeterminacy lie not in behaviorism per se, but rather in Quine's commitment to a fundamental assumption about the nature of perceptual input, namely, the assumption that sensory information is strictly extensional. Calling this assumption the 'principle of input extensionalism' (PIE) I first demonstrate the fundamental role that it plays in generating Quine's argument for (...)
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  11. Itay Shani (2008). Against Consciousness Chauvinism. The Monist 91 (2):294-323.
  12. Itay Shani (2007). Consciousness and the First Person. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (12):57-91.
    According to John Searle's connection principle (CP) all intentional states are, necessarily, potentially conscious (Searle 1992). Thus formulated, CP implies that intentionality is ontologically dependent on consciousness. Searle's argument in favour of CP is based on the assumption that, while every intentional state is endowed with an aspectual shape, only conscious intentional states are intrinsically so endowed. In turn, the contention that only conscious intentional states are intrinsically aspectual and perspectival is based on what I call the Cartesian view of (...)
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  13. Itay Shani (2007). Review Essay: The Mind as a Scientific Object. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (2):229-241.
    The prevailing message of this volume lies in the claim that psychology ought to come to terms with the irreducible cultural dimensions of mind. Though this is an important message, the author argues that an uncritical shift in favor of a cultural approach runs the risk of imposing uniquely human characteristics on the general study of the mind. Moreover, by treating the nature-nurture dichotomy as an axiom, the bulk of the articles in this collection fail to consider the possibility of (...)
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  14. Itay Shani (2007). Teleonomic Functions and Intrinsic Intentionality: Dretske's Theory as a Test Case. Cognitive Systems Research 8 (1):15-27.
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  15. Itay Shani (2007). The Myth of Reductive Extensionalism. Axiomathes 17 (2):155-183.
    Extensionalism, as I understand it here, is the view that physical reality consists exclusively of extensional entities. On this view, intensional entitities must either be eliminated in favor of an ontology of extensional entities, or be reduced to such an ontology, or otherwise be admitted as non-physical. In this paper I argue that extensionalism is a misguided philosophical doctrine. First, I argue that intensional phenomena are not confined to the realm of language and thought. Rather, the ontology of such phenomena (...)
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  16. Itay Shani (2005). Computation and Intentionality: A Recipe for Epistemic Impasse. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 15 (2):207-228.
    Searle’s celebrated Chinese room thought experiment was devised as an attempted refutation of the view that appropriately programmed digital computers literally are the possessors of genuine mental states. A standard reply to Searle, known as the “robot reply” (which, I argue, reflects the dominant approach to the problem of content in contemporary philosophy of mind), consists of the claim that the problem he raises can be solved by supplementing the computational device with some “appropriate” environmental hookups. I argue that not (...)
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  17. Itay Shani (2005). Intension and Representation: Quine's Indeterminacy Thesis Revisited. Philosophical Psychology 18 (4):415 – 440.
    This paper re-addresses Quine's indeterminacy of translation/inscrutability of reference thesis, as a problem for cognitive theories of content. In contradistinction with Quine's behavioristic semantics, theories of meaning, or content, in the cognitivist tradition endorse intentional realism, and are prone to be unsympathetic to Quine's thesis. Yet, despite this fundamental difference, I argue that they are just as vulnerable to the indeterminacy. I then argue that the vulnerability is rooted in a theoretical commitment tacitly shared with Quine, namely, the commitment to (...)
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