When animals choose between completing a cognitive task and “escaping,” proper interpretation of their behavior depends crucially on methodological details, including how forced and freely chosen tests are mixed and whether appropriate transfer tests are administered. But no matter how rigorous the test, it is impossible to go beyond functional similarity between human and nonhuman behaviors to certainty about human-like consciousness.
In a remarkable and utterly original work of philosophical history, Richard Allen revivifies David Hartley's Observations on Man, his Frame, his Duty, and his Expectations (1749). Though it includes a detailed and richly annotated chronology, this is not a straight intellectual biography, attentive as it might be to the intricacies of Hartley's Cambridge contacts, or the mundane rituals of his medical practice, or the internal development of the doctrine of association of ideas. Instead Allen brings Hartley's book, a psychological epic (...) with a mystical finale, sympathetically to life in a generous and ambitious historical gesture of mutual recognition. Late 20th-century readers "are in a better position to understand Hartley's work" than were earlier sympathizers like Joseph Priestley and John Stuart Mill; and in turn, Allen argues that "Hartley has something to say to us" about just how rich and strange a full mechanistic psychology might be. (shrink)
The collaborative projects described in this e-book have already produced thrilling new danceworks, new technologies, and innovative experimental methods. As the papers collected here show, a further happy outcome is the emergence of intriguing and hybrid kinds of writing. Aesthetic theory, cognitive psychology, and dance criticism merge, as authors are appropriately driven more by the heterogeneous nature of their topics than by any fixed disciplinary affiliation. We can spy here the beginnings of a mixed phenomenology and ethnography of dance practice (...) and choreographic cognition, which is deeply informed and empirically inspired by the best current theory in the sciences of the embodied mind [footnote 1]. These sciences must themselves increasingly deal with culture and cognition all at once: questions about pleasure in movement, habit and skill, and kinaesthetic memory, for example, require neuroscientific, physiological, psychological, sociological, and anthropological investigation simultaneously. These then are essentially collaborative enterprises, and the active interpenetration of the concerns of dance practitioners and academic researchers is one remarkable success of Unspok en Knowledges and Conceiving Connections. (shrink)
Published in Darren Tofts, Annemarie Jonson, and Alessio Cavallaro (eds), _Prefiguring Cyberculture: an intellectual history_ (MIT Press and Power Publications, December 2002). Please do send comments: email me. Back to my main publications page . Back to my home page.
This paper assesses several prominent recent attacks on the view that epistemic justification is conceptually prior to knowledge. I argue that this view—call it the Received View (RV)—emerges from these attacks unscathed. I start with Timothy Williamson’s two strongest arguments for the claim that all evidence is knowledge (E>K), which impugns RV when combined with the claim that justification depends on evidence. One of Williamson’s arguments assumes a false epistemic closure principle; the other misses some alternative (to E>K) explanations of (...) a putative fact about the evidence a particular subject has. Next, I neutralize each of Jonathan Sutton’s three recent arguments to the conclusion that any justified belief constitutes knowledge. Finally, I consider a recent analysis of justification due to Alexander Bird, according to which justified belief is possible knowledge. I argue that Bird’s analysis delivers neither a sufficient nor (more importantly) a necessary condition for justification. [Word count: 149]. (shrink)
In Without Justification, Jonathan Sutton undermines the orthodox view that a justified belief needn’t constitute knowledge; develops a battery of arguments for the unorthodox thesis that you justifiedly believe P iff you know P; and explores the topics of testimony and inference in light of his equation of justification and knowledge (J=K). This book is essential reading at epistemology’s cutting edge. In §I, we’ll take an extended tour of the book, raising various questions and objections along the way. In (...) §II, we’ll assess Sutton’s three main arguments for J=K, which form the heart of his project. (shrink)
At times we may be called to be companions on a journey we would rather not take--the journey of a loved one toward the end of life. For those who choose to serve as close companions of terminally ill relatives or friends, Parting offers the collective wisdom of people from many cultures and faith traditions as a "travel guide" for meaningful companionship--helping someone toward a peaceful transition from this life. Sections of the book discuss how to cross the bridge from (...) ordinary conversation to spiritual reflection how to provide comforts for the body, mind, and soul and how to care for yourself while concentrating on the needs of another. Transcending any specific religion or culture, this handbook addresses universal spiritual needs. Designed for easy reading by weary travelers, this practical, pocket-sized guide prepares the spiritual companion for an enriching experience, even on the journey toward life's end. It is an indispensable tool for family members and friends, hospice workers, religious leaders, counselors, and medical providers. (shrink)
Does the formation of delusions involve abnormal reasoning? According to the prominent ‘two-factor’ theory of delusions (e.g. Coltheart, 2007), the answer is yes. The second factor in this theory is supposed to affect a deluded individual's ability to evaluate candidates for belief. However, most published accounts of the two-factor theory have not said much about the nature of this second factor. In an effort to remedy this shortcoming, Coltheart, Menzies and Sutton (2010) recently put forward a Bayesian account of (...) inference in delusions. I outline some criticisms of this important account, and sketch an alternative account of delusional inference that, I argue, avoids these criticisms. Specifically, I argue that the second factor in delusion formation involves a systematic deviation from Bayesian updating, a deviation that may be characterized as a bias towards ‘explanatory adequacy’. I present a numerical model of this idea and show that my alternative account is broadly consistent with prominent prediction error models of delusion formation (e.g. Corlett, Murray et al., 2007). (shrink)
Although hierarchical approaches are evidently important to reinforcement learning, most existing hierarchical RL models either do not involve automatically developing hierarchies (i.e., using pre-determined hierarchies; e.g., Dayan and Hinton 1993, Sutton 1995, Pre-cup et al 1998, Parr and Russell 1997, Dietterich 1997), or involve only domain-speci c processes. Models in the latter category rely on domain-speci c knowledge or procedures and are thus not generic or autonomous; for example, Lin (1993), Moore and Atkeson (1994), and Singh (1994). The problems (...) of such hierarchies include in exibility (because the characteristics of the domain can change over time) and lack of generality (because domain-speci c hierarchies most likely vary from domain to domain). This is true even when limited learning is used to ne tune mostly pre-determined hierarchies (e.g., Parr and Russell 1997, Dietterich 1997). (shrink)
The Orthodox View (OV) of the relation between epistemic justification and knowledge has it that justification is conceptually prior to knowledge—and so, can be used to provide a noncircular account of knowledge. OV has come under threat from the increasingly popular “Knowledge First” movement (KFM) in epistemology. I assess several anti-OV arguments due to three of KFM’s most prominent members: Timothy Williamson, Jonathan Sutton, and Alexander Bird. I argue that OV emerges from these attacks unscathed.