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Profile: John Michael (Central European University, University of Aarhus)
  1.  8
    John Michael & Leon De Bruin (2015). How Direct is Social Perception? Consciousness and Cognition 36:373-375.
  2.  11
    John Michael & Elisabeth Pacherie (2015). On Commitments and Other Uncertainty Reduction Tools in Joint Action. Journal of Social Ontology 1 (1):89–120.
    In this paper, we evaluate the proposal that a central function of commitments within joint action is to reduce various kinds of uncertainty, and that this accounts for the prevalence of commitments in joint action. While this idea is prima facie attractive, we argue that it faces two serious problems. First, commitments can only reduce uncertainty if they are credible, and accounting for the credibility of commitments proves not to be straightforward. Second, there are many other ways in which uncertainty (...)
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  3.  36
    John Michael (2014). Towards a Consensus About the Role of Empathy in Interpersonal Understanding. Topoi 33 (1):157-172.
    In recent years, there has been a great deal of controversy in the philosophy of mind, developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience both about how to conceptualize empathy and about the connections between empathy and interpersonal understanding. Ideally, we would first establish a consensus about how to conceptualize empathy, and then analyze the potential contribution of empathy to interpersonal understanding. However, it is not at all clear that such a consensus will soon be forthcoming, given that different people have fundamentally conflicting (...)
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  4. Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & John Michael (2015). Why Desire Reasoning is Developmentally Prior to Belief Reasoning. Mind and Language 30 (5):526-549.
    The predominant view in developmental psychology is that young children are able to reason with the concept of desire prior to being able to reason with the concept of belief. We propose an explanation of this phenomenon that focuses on the cognitive tasks that competence with the belief and desire concepts enable young children to perform. We show that cognitive tasks that are typically considered fundamental to our competence with the belief and desire concepts can be performed with the concept (...)
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  5.  36
    John Michael (2011). Interactionism and Mindreading. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (3):559-578.
    In recent years, a number of theorists have developed approaches to social cognition that highlight the centrality of social interaction as opposed to mindreading (e.g. Gallagher and Zahavi 2008 ; Gallagher 2001 , 2007 , 2008 ; Hobson 2002 ; Reddy 2008 ; Hutto 2004 ; De Jaegher 2009 ; De Jaegher and Di Paolo 2007 ; Fuchs and De Jaegher 2009 ; De Jaegher et al. 2010 ). There are important differences among these approaches, as I will discuss, but (...)
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  6. John Michael & Miles Macleod (2013). Applying the Causal Theory of Reference to Intentional Concepts. Philosophy of Science 80 (2):212-230.
    We argue that many recent philosophical discussions about the reference of everyday concepts of intentional states have implicitly been predicated on descriptive theories of reference. To rectify this, we attempt to demonstrate how a causal theory can be applied to intentional concepts. Specifically, we argue that some phenomena in early social de- velopment ðe.g., mimicry, gaze following, and emotional contagionÞ can serve as refer- ence fixers that enable children to track others’ intentional states and, thus, to refer to those states. (...)
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  7.  15
    John Michael (forthcoming). Putting Unicepts to Work: A Teleosemantic Perspective on the Infant Mindreading Puzzle. Synthese:1-24.
    In this paper, I show how theoretical discussion of recent research on the abilities of infants and young children to represent other agents’ beliefs has been shaped by a descriptivist conception of mental content, i.e., to the notion that the distal content of a mental representation is fixed by the core body of knowledge that is associated with that mental representation. I also show how alternative conceptions of mental content—and in particular Ruth Millikan’s teleosemantic approach—make it possible to endorse the (...)
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  8.  33
    John Michael, Wayne Christensen & Søren Overgaard (2013). Mindreading as Social Expertise. Synthese 191 (5):1-24.
    In recent years, a number of approaches to social cognition research have emerged that highlight the importance of embodied interaction for social cognition (Reddy, How infants know minds, 2008; Gallagher, J Conscious Stud 8:83–108, 2001; Fuchs and Jaegher, Phenom Cogn Sci 8:465–486, 2009; Hutto, in Seemans (ed.) Joint attention: new developments in psychology, philosophy of mind and social neuroscience, 2012). Proponents of such ‘interactionist’ approaches emphasize the importance of embodied responses that are engaged in online social interaction, and which, according (...)
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  9.  11
    John Michael, Kathleen Bogart, Kristian Tylen, Joel Krueger, Morten Bech, John R. Ostergaard & Riccardo Fusaroli (2015). Training in Compensatory Strategies Enhances Rapport in Interactions Involving People with Möebius Syndrome. Frontiers in Neurology 6 (213):1-11.
    In the exploratory study reported here, we tested the efficacy of an intervention designed to train teenagers with Möbius syndrome (MS) to increase the use of alternative communication strategies (e.g., gestures) to compensate for their lack of facial expressivity. Specifically, we expected the intervention to increase the level of rapport experienced in social interactions by our participants. In addition, we aimed to identify the mechanisms responsible for any such increase in rapport. In the study, five teenagers with MS interacted with (...)
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  10.  19
    Søren Overgaard & John Michael (2013). The Interactive Turn in Social Cognition Research: A Critique. Philosophical Psychology 28 (2):160-183.
    Proponents of the so-called “interactive turn in social cognition research” maintain that mainstream research on social cognition has been fundamentally flawed by its neglect of social interaction, and that a new paradigm is needed in order to redress this shortcoming. We argue that proponents of the interactive turn (“interactionists”) have failed to properly substantiate their criticisms of existing research on social cognition. Although it is sometimes unclear precisely what these criticisms of existing theories are supposed to target, we sketch two (...)
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  11.  9
    John Michael, Kathleen Bogart, Kristian Tylen, Joel Krueger, Morten Bech, John R. Ostergaard & Riccardo Fusaroli (2014). Control and Flexibility of Interactive Alignment: Mobius Syndrome as a Case Study. Cognitive Processing 15 (1):S125-126.
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  12.  60
    John Michael (2011). Shared Emotions and Joint Action. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (2):355-373.
    In recent years, several minimalist accounts of joint action have been offered (e.g. Tollefsen Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35:75–97, 2005; Sebanz et al. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 31(6): 234–1246, 2006; Vesper et al. Neural Networks 23 (8/9): 998–1003, 2010), which seek to address some of the shortcomings of classical accounts. Minimalist accounts seek to reduce the cognitive complexity demanded by classical accounts either by leaving out shared intentions or by characterizing them in a way that (...)
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  13.  7
    Anika Fiebich & John Michael (2015). Mental Actions and Mental Agency. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):683-693.
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  14.  1
    John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Mental Agency as Self-Regulation. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):815-825.
    The article proposes a novel approach to mental agency that is inspired by Victoria McGeer’s work on self-regulation. The basic idea is that certain mental acts leave further work to be done for an agent to be considered an authoritative self-ascriber of corresponding dispositional mental states. First, we discuss Richard Moran’s account of avowals, which grounds first-person authority in deliberative, self-directed agency. Although this view is promising, we argue that it ultimately fails to confront the empirical gap between occurrent judgments (...)
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  15.  34
    Wayne Christensen & John Michael (2013). Ian Apperly, Mindreaders: The Cognitive Basis of Theory of Mind. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (4):907-914.
  16.  45
    John Michael (2012). Mirror Neurons and Social Cognition: An Expanded Simulationist Framework. In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer 217--226.
    In this paper, I critically assess the thesis that the discovery of mirror neuron systems provides empirical support for the simulation theory of social cognition. This thesis can be analyzed into two claims: that MNSs are involved in understanding others’ intentions or emotions; and that the way in which they do so supports a simulationist viewpoint. I will be giving qualified support to both claims. Starting with, I will present theoretical and empirical points in support of the view that MNSs (...)
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  17.  17
    John Michael (forthcoming). The Interaction Theory of Social Cognition–a Critique. Philosophical Psychology.
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  18.  27
    John Michael (2012). Mirror Systems and Simulation: A Neo-Empiricist Interpretation. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (4):565-582.
    It is often claimed that the discovery of mirror neurons supports simulation theory (ST). There has been much controversy about this, however, as there are various competing models of the functional contribution of mirror systems, only some of which characterize mirroring as simulation in the sense required by ST. But a brief review of these models reveals that they all include simulation in some sense . In this paper, I propose that the broader conception of simulation articulated by neo-empiricist theories (...)
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  19.  11
    John Andrew Michael & Francesca Fardo (forthcoming). What (If Anything) is Shared in Pain Empathy? Philosophy of Science.
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  20.  8
    John Michael & Francesca Fardo (2014). What (If Anything) Is Shared in Pain Empathy? A Critical Discussion of De Vignemont and Jacob's Theory of the Neural Substrate of Pain Empathy. Philosophy of Science 81 (1):154-160.
    In a recent article in Philosophy of Science, De Vignemont and Jacob defend the view that empathy involves interpersonal similarity between an empathizer and a target person with respect to internal affective states. Focusing on empathy for pain, they propose a theory of the neural substrate of pain empathy. We point out several flaws in their interpretation of the data and argue that currently available data do not differentiate between De Vignemont and Jacob’s model and alternative models. Finally, we offer (...)
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  21.  26
    John Michael, Simulation as an Epistemic Tool Between Theory and Practice: A Comparison of the Relationship Between Theory and Simulation in Science and Folk Psychology. EPSA07.
    Simulation as an epistemic tool between theory and practice: A Comparison of the Relationship between Theory and Simulation in Science and in Folk Psychology In this paper I explore the concept of simulation that is employed by proponents of the so-called simulation theory within the debate about the nature and scientific status of folk psychology. According to simulation theory, folk psychology is not a sort of theory that postulates theoretical entities (mental states and processes) and general laws, but a practice (...)
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  22.  18
    John Michael (2011). Four Models of the Functional Contribution of Mirror Systems. Philosophical Explorations 14 (2):185 - 194.
    Four distinct models of the functional contribution of mirror neurons to social cognition can be distinguished: direct matching, inverse modeling, response modeling, and predictive coding. Each entails a different way in which an agent's own capacities for action and affective experience contribute to understanding and/or predicting others' actions and affective experience. In this paper, the four models and their theoretical frameworks are elucidated, empirical data and theoretical arguments bearing upon each are reviewed, and falsifiable predictions that could help to distinguish (...)
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  23.  1
    John Michael & Alessandro D’Ausilio (2015). Domain-Specific and Domain-General Processes in Social Perception – A Complementary Approach. Consciousness and Cognition 36:434-437.
    In this brief discussion, we explicate and evaluate Heyes and colleagues’ deflationary approach to interpreting apparent evidence of domain-specific processes for social percep- tion. We argue that the deflationary approach sheds important light on how functionally specific processes in social perception can be subserved at least in part by domain-general processes. On the other hand, we also argue that the fruitfulness of this approach has been unnecessarily hampered by a contrastive conception of the relationship between domain- general and domain-specific processes. (...)
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  24.  12
    John Michael & Friedrich Stadler (2010). John T. Blackmore , Ryoichi Itagaki , and Setsuko Tanaka (Eds.), Ernst Mach's Philosophy Pro and Con . Bethesda, MD, and Tokyo: Sentinel Open Press (2009), 253 Pp., $25.00. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 77 (1):137-140.
  25.  4
    John Michael (2012). Emergence–Still Trendy After All These Years. In R. Creath (ed.), Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook. Springer Verlag 169--180.
    Ever since the heyday of British Emergentism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries , discussions of emergence have been a fairly constant source of titillation as well as controversy and confusion. Different authors have used the terms “emergence” and “emergentism” to characterize a myriad related but distinct conceptions, spanning fields as various as physics, chemistry, biology, sociology, psychology, robotics and philosophy.
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  26.  8
    John F. Michael (1988). Man's Potential: Views of J. F. Lincoln and Wilhelm von Humboldt. Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 8 (2):23-26.
    Interest in philosophy of management continues to grow. Growth of the philosophy of management might result from the consideration of man's potential as viewed by two different men, an industrialist and a philosopher. James Finney Lincoln was president and board chairman of The Lincoln Electric Company for 37 years. During that time, and for 14 previous years when he was the firm's general manager, he developed a philosophy basic to a practice of business management that gained national and international attention. (...)
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  27. Marc Lange, Peter Vickers, John Michael, Miles MacLeod, Alexander R. Pruss, David John Baker, Clark Glymour & Simon Fitzpatrick (2013). 1. Really Statistical Explanations and Genetic Drift Really Statistical Explanations and Genetic Drift (Pp. 169-188). Philosophy of Science 80 (2).
     
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  28. Mattia Gallotti & John Michael (eds.) (2014). Perspectives on Social Ontology and Social Cognition. Springer.
    Perspectives on Social Ontology and Social Cognition brings together contributions discussing issues arising from theoretical and empirical research on social ontology and social cognition. It is the first comprehensive interdisciplinary collection in this rapidly expanding area. The contributors draw upon their diverse backgrounds in philosophy, cognitive science, behavioral economics, sociology of science and anthropology. -/- Based largely on contributions to the first Aarhus-Paris conference held at the University of Aarhus in June 2012, the book addresses such questions as: If the (...)
     
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  29. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Animal Mental Action: Planning Among Chimpanzees. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):745-760.
    I offer an argument for what mental action may be like in nonhuman animals. Action planning is a type of mental action that involves a type of intention. Some intentions are the causal mental antecedents of proximal mental actions, and some intentions are the causal mental antecedents of distal mental actions. The distinction between these two types of “plan-states” is often spelled out in terms of mental content. The prominent view is that while proximal mental actions are caused by mental (...)
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  30. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Cognitive Penetrability and Ethical Perception. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):665-682.
    In recent years there has been renewed philosophical interest in the thesis that perceptual experience is cognitively penetrable, i.e., roughly, the view that the contents and/or character of a subject’s perceptual experience can be modified by what a subject believes and desires. As has been widely noted, it is plausible that cognitive penetration has implications for perception’s epistemic role. On the one hand, penetration could make agents insensitive to the world in a way which epistemically ‘downgrades’ their experience. On the (...)
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  31. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Cognitive Penetration and the Tribunal of Experience. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):641-663.
    Perception purports to help you gain knowledge of the world even if the world is not the way you expected it to be. Perception also purports to be an independent tribunal against which you can test your beliefs. It is natural to think that in order to serve these and other central functions, perceptual representations must not causally depend on your prior beliefs and expectations. In this paper, I clarify and then argue against the natural thought above. All perceptual systems (...)
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  32. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Cognitive Penetration and Predictive Coding: A Commentary on Lupyan. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):571-584.
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  33. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Cognitive Penetrability of Perception in the Age of Prediction: Predictive Systems Are Penetrable Systems. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):547-569.
    The goal of perceptual systems is to allow organisms to adaptively respond to ecologically relevant stimuli. Because all perceptual inputs are ambiguous, perception needs to rely on prior knowledge accumulated over evolutionary and developmental time to turn sensory energy into information useful for guiding behavior. It remains controversial whether the guidance of perception extends to cognitive states or is locked up in a “cognitively impenetrable” part of perception. I argue that expectations, knowledge, and task demands can shape perception at multiple (...)
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  34. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Cognitive Penetrability of Social Perception: A Case for Emotion Recognition. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):617-620.
    Adams & Kveraga argue that social visual perception is cognitively penetrable by extending a top-down model for visual object recognition to visual perception of social cues. Here I suggest that, in their view, a clear link between the top-down contextual influences that modulate social visual perception and the perceptual experience of a subject is missing. Without such a link their proposal is consistent with explanations that need not involve cognitive penetration of perceptual experience but only modifications of perceptual judgments formed (...)
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  35. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Epistemic Akrasia and Mental Agency. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):827-842.
    In this work, I argue for the possibility of epistemic akrasia. An individual S is epistemically akratic if the following conditions hold: S knowingly believes that P though she judges that it is epistemically wrong to do so and Having these mental states displays a failure of rationality that is analogous to classic akrasia. I propose two different types of epistemic akrasia involving different kinds of evidence on which the subject bases her evaluation of her akratic belief. I examine three (...)
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  36. John Michael (2011). Editorial Introduction. Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (7-8):6-11.
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  37. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Focused Daydreaming and Mind-Wandering. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):791-813.
    In this paper, I describe and discuss two mental phenomena which are somewhat neglected in the philosophy of mind: focused daydreaming and mind-wandering. My aim is to show that their natures are rather distinct, despite the fact that we tend to classify both as instances of daydreaming. The first difference between the two, I argue, is that, while focused daydreaming is an instance of imaginative mental agency, mind-wandering is not—though this does not mean that mind-wandering cannot involve mental agency at (...)
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  38. John Michael (1990). Fish Shticks: Rhetorical Questions in Stanley Fish's «Doing What Comes Naturally». Diacritics 20 (2):54-74.
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  39. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Is Willpower Just Another Way of Tying Oneself to the Mast? Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):779-790.
    This paper argues against the intuition that willpower and so called ‘tying to the mast’ strategies are fundamentally different types of mental actions to achieve self control. The argument for this surprising claim is that at least on the most plausible account of willpower an act of willpower consists in an intentional mental action that disables the mental agent and thereby creates a mental tie. The paper then defends this claim against the objection that tying to the mast strategies do (...)
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  40. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Mental Activity & the Sense of Ownership. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):881-896.
    I introduce and defend the notion of a cognitive account of the sense of ownership. A cognitive account of the sense of ownership holds that one experiences something as one's own only if one thinks of something as one's own. By contrast, a phenomenal account of the sense of ownership holds that one can experience something as one's own without thinking about anything as one's own. I argue that we have no reason to favour phenomenal accounts over cognitive accounts, that (...)
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  41. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Nowhere and Everywhere: The Causal Origin of Voluntary Action. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):761-778.
    The idea that intentions make the difference between voluntary and non-voluntary behaviors is simple and intuitive. At the same time, we lack an understanding of how voluntary actions actually come about, and the unquestioned appeal to intentions as discrete causes of actions offers little if anything in the way of an answer. We cite evidence suggesting that the origin of actions varies depending on context and effector, and argue that actions emerge from a causal web in the brain, rather than (...)
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  42. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Perception of Absence and Penetration From Expectation. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):621-640.
    I argue that perception of absence presents a top-down effect from expectations on perception, but then show that this cognitive effect is atypical and indirect. This calls into question usefulness of some of the existing notions of cognitive penetrability of perception and generates new questions about indirect cognitive influences on perception.
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  43. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Relations Between Agency and Ownership in the Case of Schizophrenic Thought Insertion and Delusions of Control. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):865-879.
    This article addresses questions about the sense of agency and its distinction from the sense of ownership in the context of understanding schizophrenic thought insertion. In contrast to “standard” approaches that identify problems with the sense of agency as central to thought insertion, two recent proposals argue that it is more correct to think that the problem concerns the subject’s sense of ownership. This view involves a “more demanding” concept of the sense of ownership that, I will argue, ultimately depends (...)
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  44. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Reply to Macpherson: Further Illustrations of the Cognitive Penetrability of Perception. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):585-589.
    My reply to Macpherson begins by addressing whether it is effects of cognition on early vision or perceptual performance that I am interested in. I proceed to address Macpherson’s comments on evidence from cross-modal effects, interpretations of linguistic effects on image detection, evidence from illusions, and the usefulness of predictive coding for understanding cognitive penetration. By stressing the interactive and distributed nature of neural processing, I am committing to a collapse between perception and cognition. Following such a collapse, the very (...)
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  45. Mattia Gallotti & John Michael (2014). Objects in Mind. In Mattia Gallotti & John Michael (eds.), Perspectives on Social Ontology and Social Cognition. Springer
  46. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Social Vision: Breaking a Philosophical Impasse? Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):611-615.
    I argue that findings in support of Adams and Kveraga’s functional forecast model of emotion expression processing help settle the debate between rich and sparse views of the content of perceptual experience. In particular, I argue that these results in social vision suggest that the distinctive phenomenal character of experiences involving high-level properties such as emotions and social traits is best explained by their being visually experienced as opposed to being brought about by perceptual judgments.
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  47. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Social Vision: Functional Forecasting and the Integration of Compound Social Cues. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):591-610.
    For decades the study of social perception was largely compartmentalized by type of social cue: race, gender, emotion, eye gaze, body language, facial expression etc. This was partly due to good scientific practice, and partly due to assumptions that each type of social cue was functionally distinct from others. Herein, we present a functional forecast approach to understanding compound social cue processing that emphasizes the importance of shared social affordances across various cues. We review the traditional theories of emotion and (...)
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  48. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). Time and Action: Impulsivity, Habit, Strategy. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):717-743.
    Granting that various mental events might form the antecedents of an action, what is the mental event that is the proximate cause of action? The present article reconsiders the methodology for addressing this question: Intention and its varieties cannot be properly analyzed if one ignores the evolutionary constraints that have shaped action itself, such as the trade-off between efficient timing and resources available, for a given stake. On the present proposal, three types of action, impulsive, routine and strategic, are designed (...)
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  49. John Michael, Anika Fiebich, Susanna Siegel & Zoe Jenkin (2015). There Are No Primitive We-Intentions. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):695-715.
    John Searle’s account of collective intentions in action appears to have all the theoretical pros of the non-reductivist view on collective intentionality without the metaphysical cons of committing to the existence of group minds. According to Searle, when we collectively intend to do something together, we intend to cooperate in order to reach a collective goal. Intentions in the first-person plural form therefore have a particular psychological form or mode, for the we-intender conceives of his or her intended actions as (...)
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  50. John A. Michael (1990). The Lowenfeld Lectures. Penn State University Press.
    The seminal ideas of the most influential modern art educator are presented here as he developed them, in edited transcripts of Viktor Lowenfeld's 1958 class lectures and discussions on art education and art therapy. The transcripts serves as explication of Lowenfeld's_ Creative and Mental Growth_, now going into a seventh edition—with posthumous collaborators since the author's death in 1960—translated into all the world's major languages. The experiential basis of Lowenfeld's ideas is revealed through the autobiographical and reflective quality of his (...)
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