Although well-documented, delusions have proved extremely hard to explain, and many important questions remain open, including the basic one of what kind of mental state a delusion is. The standard position is that delusions are beliefs (the doxastic conception); but there are difficulties for this view, and alternative characterizations have been offered. In this chapter I shall propose a new framework for conceptualizing delusions, building on recent work in philosophy of psychology and cognitive science. There are good reasons for thinking (...) that the term ‘belief’ is commonly used to refer to two different types of mental state, located at different levels. This view harmonizes with work in the psychology of reasoning, where many researchers now endorse some form of dual system theory. I shall outline what is, I believe, the most attractive version of this two-level view and show how it offers an account of delusions that explains our competing intuitions about their status. The chapter is in four sections. The first introduces the doxastic conception and its problems. The second distinguishes the two levels of belief, and argues that delusions, if they are beliefs at all, belong to the second. The third section offers an account of second-level belief, according to which it is a species of a broader mental type, acceptance, which is dependent on attitudes at the first level. The fourth section proposes that delusions are acceptances, some of which fall within, and some without, the narrower class of secondlevel beliefs, and the chapter concludes with some reflections on the implications of this view. Throughout, I shall focus on monothematic delusions, rather than the elaborate polythematic kind, and use simple, schematic examples. This is not because I think it is unimportant to pay attention to the diversity of delusions and the detail of clinical observation (far from it). Rather, it reflects the modest aim of the chapter, which is to propose a hypothesis for subsequent elaboration and evaluation.. (shrink)
There has been growing interest recently in the so-called cognitive conception of language – the idea that some human thought processes constitutively involve the representational resources of the language faculty – or, more colloquially, that we can think in natural language. This view is, I think, very attractive: there are theoretical reasons for endorsing it and introspection supports it, too. However, I shall not be defending the cognitive conception here. Instead, I shall be asking how a language-based cognitive system – (...) a linguistic mind, as it were – might have evolved. I begin by outlining some evolutionary criteria which a satisfactory version of the cognitive conception must meet. I then look at some recent versions of the doctrine and ask which best satisfies them. This will give us a reason for preferring that version, should we decide to endorse the cognitive conception in the first place. (shrink)
Non-monotonic inference is inference that is defeasible: in contrast with deductive inference, the conclusions drawn may be withdrawn in the light of further information, even though all the original premises are retained. Much of our everyday reasoning is like this, and a non-monotonic approach has applications to a number of technical problems in artificial intelligence. Work on formalizing non-monotonic inference has progressed rapidly since its beginnings in the 1970s, and a number of mature theories now exist – the most important (...) being default logic, autoepistemic logic, and circumscription. (shrink)
Dan lloyd (2011) issues a salutary warning against the assumption of what I shall call neural modularity—the view that there is a one-to-one mapping between cognitive functions and distinct brain regions. He shows how the assumption can distort the interpretation of neuroimaging studies and blind researchers to global structures and activity patterns that may be crucial to many aspects of cognitive function and dysfunction.In this note, I want to add a further dimension to the discussion by making connections with the (...) notion of mental modularity developed by evolutionary psychologists. What is the relation between mental and neural modularity? Do the arguments for massive mental modularity also support neural .. (shrink)
In Delusions and Other Irrational Beliefs , Lisa Bortolotti argues that the irrationality of delusions is no barrier to their being classified as beliefs. This comment asks how Bortolotti’s position may be affected if we accept that there are two distinct types of belief, belonging to different levels of mentality and subject to different ascriptive constraints. It addresses some worries Bortolotti has expressed about the proposed two-level framework and outlines some questions that arise for her if the framework is adopted. (...) It also suggests that, rather than being beliefs that fail to meet the relevant standards of rationality, delusions may be non-doxastic acceptances that were never meant to meet them. (shrink)
It can be argued that dual-system theorists should adopt an action - based view of System 2 (S2), on which S2 reasoning is an intentional activity. It can also be argued that they should adopt a dual - attitude theory, on which the two systems have distinct sets of propositional attitudes. However, Peter Carruthers has argued that on the action-based view there are no S2 attitudes. This paper replies to Carruthers, proposing a view of S2 attitudes as virtual ones, which (...) are partially realized in S1 attitudes. This view is compatible with, and a natural extension of, the action-based view. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction; Part I. Foundations: 1. History and core themes; 2. The representational theory of mind; 3. Cognitive architectures; Part II. Aspects of Cognition: 4. Perception; 5. Action; 6. Human learning and memory; 7. Reasoning and decision making; 8. Concepts; 9. Language; 10. Emotion; 11. Consciousness; Part III. Research Programs: 12. Cognitive neuroscience; 13. Evolutionary psychology; 14. Embodied, embedded, and extended cognition; 15. Animal cognition; Glossary.
[About the book]: This volume is a state-of-the-art survey of the psychology of reasoning, based around, and in tribute to, one of the field's most eminent figures: Jonathan St B.T. Evans.In this collection of cutting edge research, Evans' collaborators and colleagues review a wide range of important and developing areas of inquiry. These include biases in thinking, probabilistic and causal reasoning, people's use of 'if' sentences in arguments, the dual-process theory of thought, and the nature of human rationality. These foundational (...) issues are examined from various angles and finally integrated in a concluding panoramic chapter written by Evans himself.The eighteen chapters, all written by leading international researchers, combine state-of the-art research with investigation into the most fundamental questions surrounding human mental life, such as:What is the architecture of the human mind?Are humans rational, and what is the nature of this rationality?How do we think hypothetically? The Science of Reason offer s a unique combination of breadth, depth and integrative vision, making it an indispensable resource for researchers and students of human reason. (shrink)
This commentary highlights the distinction between belief and pragmatic acceptance, and asks whether the positive illusions discussed in section 13 of the target article may be judicious pragmatic acceptances rather than adaptive misbeliefs. I discuss the characteristics of pragmatic acceptance and make suggestions about how to determine whether positive illusions are attitudes of this type.
Carruthers considers and rejects a mixed position according to which we have interpretative access to unconscious thoughts, but introspective access to conscious ones. I argue that this is too hasty. Given a two-level view of the mind, we can, and should, accept the mixed position, and we can do so without positing additional introspective mechanisms beyond those Carruthers already recognizes.
There is a duality in our everyday view of belief. On the one hand, we sometimes speak of credence as a matter of degree. We talk of having some level of confidence in a claim (that a certain course of action is safe, for example, or that a desired event will occur) and explain our actions by reference to these degrees of confidence – tacitly appealing, it seems, to a probabilistic calculus such as that formalized in Bayesian decision theory. On (...) the other hand, we also speak of belief as an unqualified, or flat-out, state (‘plain belief’ as it is sometimes called), which is either categorically present or categorically absent. We talk of simply believing or thinking that something is the case, and we cite these flat-out attitudes in explanation of our actions – appealing to classical practical reasoning of the sort formalized in the so-called ‘practical syllogism’.1 This tension in everyday discourse is reflected in the theoretical literature on belief. In formal epistemology there is a division between those in the Bayesian tradition, who treat credence as graded, and those who think of it as a categorical attitude of some kind. The Bayesian perspective also contrasts with the dominant view in philosophy of mind, where belief is widely regarded as a categorical state (a token sentence of a mental language, inscribed in a functionally defined ‘belief box’, according to one popular account). A parallel duality is present in our everyday view of desire. Sometimes we talk of having degrees of preference or desirability; sometimes we speak simply of wanting or desiring something tout court, and, again, this tension is reflected in the theoretical literature. What should we make of these dualities? Are there two different types of belief and desire – partial and flat-out, as they are sometimes called? If so, how are they related? And how could both have a role in guiding rational action, as the everyday view has it? The last question poses a particular challenge in relation to flat-out belief and desire.. (shrink)
There is now abundant evidence for the existence of two types of processing in human reasoning, decision making, and social cognition — one type fast, automatic, effortless, and non-conscious, the other slow, controlled, effortful, and conscious — which may deliver different and sometimes conflicting results (for a review, see Evans 2008). More recently, some cognitive psychologists have proposed ambitious theories of cognitive architecture, according to which humans possess two distinct reasoning systems — two minds, in fact — now widely referred (...) to as System 1 and System 2 (Evans 2003; Evans and Over 1996; Kahneman and Frederick 2002; Sloman 1996, 2002; Stanovich 1999, 2004, this volume). A composite characterization of the two systems runs as follows. System 1 is a collection of autonomous subsystems, many of which are old in evolutionary terms and whose operations are fast, automatic, effortless, non-conscious, parallel, shaped by biology and personal experience, and independent of working memory and general intelligence. System 2 is more recent, and its processes are slow, controlled, effortful, conscious, serial, shaped by culture and formal tuition, demanding of working memory, and related to general intelligence. In addition, it is often claimed that the two systems employ different procedures and serve different goals, with System 1 being highly contextualized, associative, heuristic, and directed to goals that serve the reproductive interests of our genes, and System 2 being decontextualized, rule-governed, analytic, and serving our goals as individuals. This is a very strong hypothesis, and theorists are already recognizing that it requires substantial qualification and complication (Evans 2006a, 2008, this volume; Stanovich this volume; Samuels, this volume). There are numerous issues. Do the various features mentioned really divide up into just two groups in the neat way suggested? Are the features ascribed to each system exclusive to that system, and are they essential to it? Are the systems completely separate or do they share processing resources? Do they operate in parallel and compete for control of behaviour, or do they cooperate, with System 1 generating default responses that are then assessed and sometimes overridden by System 2? There are also related questions about the memory systems associated with.... (shrink)
[About the book] This book explores the idea that we have two minds - automatic, unconscious, and fast, the other controlled, conscious, and slow. In recent years there has been great interest in so-called dual-process theories of reasoning and rationality. According to such theories, there are two distinct systems underlying human reasoning - an evolutionarily old system that is associative, automatic, unconscious, parallel, and fast, and a more recent, distinctively human system that is rule-based, controlled, conscious, serial, and slow. Within (...) the former, processes the former, processes are held to be innate and to use heuristics that evolved to solve specific adaptive problems. In the latter, processes are taken to be learned, flexible, and responsive to rational norms. Despite the attention these theories are attracting, there is still poor communication between dual-process theorists themselves, and the substantial bodies of work on dual processes in cognitive psychology and social psychology remain isolated from each other. This book brings together leading researchers on dual processes to summarize the state-of-the-art, highlight key issues, present different perspectives, explore implications, and provide a stimulus to further work. It includes new ideas about the human mind both by contemporary philosophers interested in broad theoretical questions about mental architecture and by psychologists specialising in traditionally distinct and isolated fields. For all those in the cognitive sciences, this is a book that will advance dual-process theorizing, promote interdisciplinary communication, and encourage further applications of dual-process approaches. (shrink)
This book explores the idea that we have two minds - automatic, unconscious, and fast, the other controlled, conscious, and slow. In recent years there has been great interest in so-called dual-process theories of reasoning and rationality. According to such theories, there are two distinct systems underlying human reasoning - an evolutionarily old system that is associative, automatic, unconscious, parallel, and fast, and a more recent, distinctively human system that is rule-based, controlled, conscious, serial, and slow. Within the former, processes (...) the former, processes are held to be innate and to use heuristics that evolved to solve specific adaptive problems. In the latter, processes are taken to be learned, flexible, and responsive to rational norms. -/- Despite the attention these theories are attracting, there is still poor communication between dual-process theorists themselves, and the substantial bodies of work on dual processes in cognitive psychology and social psychology remain isolated from each other. This book brings together leading researchers on dual processes to summarize the state-of-the-art, highlight key issues, present different perspectives, explore implications, and provide a stimulus to further work. It includes new ideas about the human mind both by contemporary philosophers interested in broad theoretical questions about mental architecture and by psychologists specialising in traditionally distinct and isolated fields. For all those in the cognitive sciences, this is a book that will advance dual-process theorizing, promote interdisciplinary communication, and encourage further applications of dual-process approaches. (shrink)
This paper defends direct activism-the view that it is possible to form beliefs in a causally direct way. In particular, it addresses the charge that direct activism entails voluntarism-the thesis that we can form beliefs at will. It distinguishes weak and strong varieties of voluntarism and argues that, although direct activism may entail the weak variety, it does not entail the strong one. The paper goes on to argue that strong voluntarism is non-contingently false, sketching a new argument for that (...) conclusion. This argument does not tell against the weak form of voluntarism, however, and the final part of the paper argues that weak voluntarism, and consequently direct activism, remains a coherent and defensible position. (shrink)
In recent years the 'zombie argument' has come to occupy a central role in the case against physicalist views of consciousness, in large part because of the powerful advocacy it has received from David Chalmers.1 In this paper I seek to neutralize it by showing that a parallel argument can be run for physicalism, an argument turning on the conceivability of what I shall call anti-zombies. I shall argue that the result is a stand-off, and that the zombie argument offers (...) no independent reason to reject physicalism. (shrink)
Questions about the relation between mind and world have long occupied philosophers of mind. In _Consciousness in Action_ Susan Hurley invites us to adopt a ninety-degree shift and consider the relation between perception and action. The central theme of the book is an attack on what Hurley dubs the _Input-Output Picture_ of perception and actionthe picture of perceptions as sensory inputs to the cognitive system and intentions as motor outputs from it, with the mind occupying the buffer zone in between. (...) Hurley argues that this picture confuses the personal level of normatively constrained mental contents and the subpersonal level of causal processes sustaining the mind. The notions of perception and action belong to the former, those of input and output to the latter. In place of the Input-Output picture, Hurley proposes a _Two-level _ _Interdependence View_. At the subpersonal level, she points out, there are not only one-way processes from input to output but also a host of feedback loops from output to inputsome internal to the central nervous system, some of wider orbit, involving proprioception, for example, or visual feedback on movement. The system as a whole can be seen as a _dynamical singularity_a tangle of sensorimotor feedback loops centred on the organism but extending out into the world beyond. The processes at this level are the vehicles of perceptions and actions, but, Hurley insists, the two levels cannot be mapped onto each other in a simple way. Changes on the output side may affect the content of perceptions, and changes on the input side may affect that of intentions. Perception and intention are in this way _interdependent_. The point here is not the uncontroversial one that perceptions and intentions can _cause_ changes in each other. That would be compatible with the Input-Output Picture. The dependency, in Hurleys view, is not instrumental, but _constitutive_: the contents of perceptions and intentions are each constituted by processes involving both inputs and outputs.. (shrink)
Mind and Supermind offers a new perspective on the nature of belief and the structure of the human mind. Keith Frankish argues that the folk-psychological term 'belief' refers to two distinct types of mental state, which have different properties and support different kinds of mental explanation. Building on this claim, he develops a picture of the human mind as a two-level structure, consisting of a basic mind and a supermind, and shows how the resulting account sheds light on a number (...) of puzzling phenomena and helps to vindicate folk psychology. Topics discussed include the function of conscious thought, the cognitive role of natural language, the relation between partial and flat-out belief, the possibility of active belief formation, and the nature of akrasia, self-deception, and first-person authority. This book will be valuable for philosophers, psychologists, and cognitive scientists. (shrink)
Carruthers suggests that natural language, in the form of inner speech, may be the vehicle of conscious propositional thought, but he argues that its fundamental cognitive role is as the medium of cross-modular thinking, both conscious and nonconscious. I argue that there is no evidence for nonconscious cross-modular thinking and that the most plausible view is that cross-modular thinking, like conscious propositional thinking, occurs only in inner speech.
This chapter outlines a new argument for the view that language has a cognitive role. I suggest that humans exhibit two distinct kinds of belief state, one passively formed, the other actively formed. I argue that actively formed beliefs (_virtual beliefs_, as I call them) can be identified with _premising policies_, and that forming them typically involves certain linguistic operations. I conclude that natural language has at least a limited cognitive role in the formation and manipulation of virtual beliefs.
This paper takes another look at Davidson's paratactic theory of indirect discourse and evaluates some revisions to it, proposed recently by Ian Rumfitt (Mind, 1993). Davidson's original version of the theory – according to which indirect speech reports refer to token utterances – has a problem dealing with ambiguity. Rumfitt suggests that we can solve this problem by supposing that the immediate objects of verbs in indirect speech are token representations of disambiguated LF tree-structures. I argue that this proposal is (...) inadequate and suggest that it is better to think of indirect speech as relating speakers to utterance types. (shrink)