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Profile: Jacob Beck (York University)
  1. Jacob Beck, Can Bootstrapping Explain Concept Learning?
    Susan Carey’s account of bootstrapping aims to explain how important new concepts are learned. After arguing that Carey’s own formulations of bootstrapping fail in this aim, I critically evaluate three reformulations of bootstrapping that may have a better chance at success.
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  2. Jacob Beck (forthcoming). Analogue Magnitude Representations: A Philosophical Introduction. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Empirical discussions of mental representation appeal to a wide variety of representational kinds. Some of these kinds, such as the sentential representations underlying language use and the pictorial representations of visual imagery, are thoroughly familiar to philosophers. Others have received almost no philosophical attention at all. Included in this latter category are analogue magnitude representations, which enable a wide range of organisms to primitively represent spatial, temporal, numerical, and related magnitudes. This paper aims to introduce analogue magnitude representations to a (...)
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  3. Jacob Beck (forthcoming). Sense, Mentalese, and Ontology. Protosociology, 30 (Special Issue: Concepts.
    Modes of presentation are often posited to accommodate Frege’s puzzle. Philosophers differ, however, in whether they follow Frege in identifying modes of presentation with Fregean senses, or instead take them to be formally individuated symbols of “Mentalese”. Building on Fodor, Margolis and Laurence defend the latter view by arguing that the mind-independence of Fregean senses renders them ontologically suspect in a way that Mentalese symbols are not. This paper shows how Fregeans can withstand this objection. Along the way, a clearer (...)
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  4. Jacob Beck (2013). The Only Good Reason to Ban Steroids in Baseball: To Prevent an Arms Race. The Atlantic.
    I review six bad arguments for banning performance-enhancing drugs from sports--and a seventh good one.
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  5. Jacob Beck (2013). Why We Can't Say What Animals Think. Philosophical Psychology 26 (4):520–546.
    Realists about animal cognition confront a puzzle. If animals have real, contentful cognitive states, why can’t anyone say precisely what the contents of those states are? I consider several possible resolutions to this puzzle that are open to realists, and argue that the best of these is likely to appeal to differences in the format of animal cognition and human language.
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  6. Jacob Beck (2012). Do Animals Engage in Conceptual Thought? Philosophy Compass 7 (3):218-229.
    This paper surveys and evaluates the answers that philosophers and animal researchers have given to two questions. Do animals have thoughts? If so, are their thoughts conceptual? Along the way, special attention is paid to distinguish debates of substance from mere battles over terminology, and to isolate fruitful areas for future research.
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  7. Jacob Beck (2012). The Generality Constraint and the Structure of Thought. Mind 121 (483):563-600.
    According to the Generality Constraint, mental states with conceptual content must be capable of recombining in certain systematic ways. Drawing on empirical evidence from cognitive science, I argue that so-called analogue magnitude states violate this recombinability condition and thus have nonconceptual content. I further argue that this result has two significant consequences: it demonstrates that nonconceptual content seeps beyond perception and infiltrates cognition; and it shows that whether mental states have nonconceptual content is largely an empirical matter determined by the (...)
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  8. Laura Moravec & Jacob Beck (1986). Amodal Completion: Simplicity is Not the Explanation. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 24 (4):269-272.
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  9. Jacob Beck (1974). Relation Between Similarity Grouping and Peripheral Discriminability. Journal of Experimental Psychology 102 (6):1145.
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  10. Jacob Beck (1966). Effect of Surround Size on the Perception of Texture Patterns. Journal of Experimental Psychology 72 (1):68.
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  11. Jacob Beck (1965). Apparent Spatial Position and the Perception of Lightness. Journal of Experimental Psychology 69 (2):170.
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  12. Jacob Beck (1962). Supplementary Report: An Examination of an Aspect of the Gelb Effect. Journal of Experimental Psychology 64 (2):199.
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  13. Jacob Beck (1961). Judgments of Surface Illumination and Lightness. Journal of Experimental Psychology 61 (5):368.
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  14. Jacob Beck (1959). Stimulus Correlates for the Judged Illumination of a Surface. Journal of Experimental Psychology 58 (4):267.
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  15. Jacob Beck & James J. Gibson (1955). The Relation of Apparent Shape to Apparent Slant in the Perception of Objects. Journal of Experimental Psychology 50 (2):125.
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  16. Julian E. Hochberg & Jacob Beck (1954). Apparent Spatial Arrangement and Perceived Brightness. Journal of Experimental Psychology 47 (4):263.
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