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Profile: Kourken Michaelian (Bilkent University)
  1. Kourken Michaelian (forthcoming). Stanley B. Klein: The Two Selves—Their Metaphysical Commitments and Functional Independence. Minds and Machines:1-4.
    The main claim of this relatively brief but unusually ambitious book is, as the title suggests, that the self is not one but two. On the one hand, there is the epistemological self, which has a definite neurocognitive basis. On the other hand, there is the ontological self, which, in Klein’s view, is a matter of first-person subjectivity and may lack a material basis, in which case it may, in contrast to the epistemological self, not be amenable to investigation by (...)
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  2. Kourken Michaelian (2014). Individual and Collective Memory Consolidation: Analogous Processes on Different Levels. [REVIEW] Memory Studies 7 (2):254-264.
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  3. Kourken Michaelian (2014). Jfgi: From Distributed Cognition to Distributed Reliabilism. Philosophical Issues 24 (1):314-346.
    While, prima facie, virtue/credit approaches in epistemology would appear to be in tension with distributed/extended approaches in cognitive science, Pritchard () has recently argued that the tension here is only apparent, at least given a weak version of distributed cognition, which claims merely that external resources often make critical contributions to the formation of true belief, and a weak virtue theory, which claims merely that, whenever a subject achieves knowledge, his cognitive agency makes a significant contribution to the formation of (...)
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  4. Kourken Michaelian (2013). The Evolution of Testimony: Receiver Vigilance, Speaker Honesty, and the Reliability of Communication. Episteme 10 (1):37-59.
    Drawing on both empirical evidence and evolutionary considerations, Sperber et al. argue that humans have a suite of evolved mechanisms for . On their view, vigilance plays a crucial role in ensuring the reliability and hence the evolutionary stability of communication. This article responds to their argument for vigilance, drawing on additional empirical evidence (from deception detection research) and evolutionary considerations (from animal signalling research) to defend a more optimistic, quasi-Reidian view of communication. On this alternative view, the lion's share (...)
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  5. Kourken Michaelian (2013). The Information Effect: Constructive Memory, Testimony, and Epistemic Luck. Synthese 190 (12):2429-2456.
    The incorporation of post-event testimonial information into an agent’s memory representation of the event via constructive memory processes gives rise to the misinformation effect, in which the incorporation of inaccurate testimonial information results in the formation of a false memory belief. While psychological research has focussed primarily on the incorporation of inaccurate information, the incorporation of accurate information raises a particularly interesting epistemological question: do the resulting memory beliefs qualify as knowledge? It is intuitively plausible that they do not, for (...)
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  6. Kourken Michaelian & John Sutton (2013). Distributed Cognition and Memory Research: History and Current Directions. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (1):1-24.
    According to the hypotheses of distributed and extended cognition, remembering does not always occur entirely inside the brain but is often distributed across heterogeneous systems combining neural, bodily, social, and technological resources. These ideas have been intensely debated in philosophy, but the philosophical debate has often remained at some distance from relevant empirical research, while empirical memory research, in particular, has been somewhat slow to incorporate distributed/extended ideas. This situation, however, appears to be changing, as we witness an increasing level (...)
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  7. Kourken Michaelian (2012). Is External Memory Memory? Biological Memory and Extended Mind. Consciousness and Cognition 21 (3):1154-1165.
  8. Kourken Michaelian (2012). Metacognition and Endorsement. Mind and Language 27 (3):284-307.
    Real agents rely, when forming their beliefs, on imperfect informational sources (sources which deliver, even under normal conditions of operation, both accurate and inaccurate information). They therefore face the ‘endorsement problem’: how can beliefs produced by endorsing information received from imperfect sources be formed in an epistemically acceptable manner? Focussing on the case of episodic memory and drawing on empirical work on metamemory, this article argues that metacognition likely plays a crucial role in explaining how agents solve the endorsement problem.
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  9. Kourken Michaelian (2012). (Social) Metacognition and (Self-)Trust. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (4):481-514.
    What entitles you to rely on information received from others? What entitles you to rely on information retrieved from your own memory? Intuitively, you are entitled simply to trust yourself, while you should monitor others for signs of untrustworthiness. This article makes a case for inverting the intuitive view, arguing that metacognitive monitoring of oneself is fundamental to the reliability of memory, while monitoring of others does not play a significant role in ensuring the reliability of testimony.
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  10. Kourken Michaelian (2011). Generative Memory. Philosophical Psychology 24 (3):323 - 342.
    This paper explores the implications of the psychology of constructive memory for philosophical theories of the metaphysics of memory and for a central question in the epistemology of memory. I first develop a general interpretation of the psychology of constructive memory. I then argue, on the basis of this interpretation, for an updated version of Martin and Deutscher's influential causal theory of memory. I conclude by sketching the implications of this updated theory for the question of memory's status as a (...)
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  11. Kourken Michaelian (2011). Is Memory a Natural Kind? Memory Studies 4 (2):170-189.
    Though researchers often refer to memory as if it were a unitary phenomenon, a natural kind, the apparent heterogeneity of the various "kinds" of memory casts doubt on this default view. This paper argues, first, that kinds of memory are individuated by memory systems. It argues, second, for a view of the nature of kinds of memory informed by the tri-level hypothesis. If this approach to kinds of memory is right, then memory is not in fact a natural kind.
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  12. Kourken Michaelian (2011). The Epistemology of Forgetting. Erkenntnis 74 (3):399-424.
    The default view in the epistemology of forgetting is that human memory would be epistemically better if we were not so susceptible to forgetting—that forgetting is in general a cognitive vice. In this paper, I argue for the opposed view: normal human forgetting—the pattern of forgetting characteristic of cognitively normal adult human beings—approximates a virtue located at the mean between the opposed cognitive vices of forgetting too much and remembering too much. I argue, first, that, for any finite cognizer, a (...)
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  13. Kourken Michaelian (2010). In Defence of Gullibility: The Epistemology of Testimony and the Psychology of Deception Detection. Synthese 176 (3):399-427.
    Research in the psychology of deception detection implies that Fricker, in making her case for reductionism in the epistemology of testimony, overestimates both the epistemic demerits of the antireductionist policy of trusting speakers blindly and the epistemic merits of the reductionist policy of monitoring speakers for trustworthiness: folk psychological prejudices to the contrary notwithstanding, it turns out that monitoring is on a par (in terms both of the reliability of the process and of the sensitivity of the beliefs that it (...)
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  14. Kourken Michaelian (2010). The Metaphysics of Memory. [REVIEW] European Journal of Philosophy 18 (4):623-626.
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  15. Kourken Michaelian (2009). Margaret Cavendish's Epistemology. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 17 (1):31 – 53.
    This paper provides a systematic reconstruction of Cavendish's general epistemology and a characterization of the fundamental role of that theory in her natural philosophy. After reviewing the outlines of her natural philosophy, I describe her treatment of 'exterior knowledge', i.e. of perception in general and of sense perception in particular. I then describe her treatment of 'interior knowledge', i.e. of self-knowledge and 'conception'. I conclude by drawing out some implications of this reconstruction for our developing understanding of Cavendish's natural philosophy.
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  16. Kourken Michaelian (2009). Reliabilism and Privileged Access. Journal of Philosophical Research 34:69-109.
    Reliabilism is invoked by a standard causal response to the slow switching argument for incompatibilism about mental content externalism and privileged access. Though the response in question is negative, in that it only establishes that, given such an epistemology, externalism does not rule privileged access out, the appeal to reliabilism involves an assumption about the reliability of introspection, an assumption that in turn grounds a simple argument for the positive conclusion that reliabilism itself implies privileged access. This paper offers a (...)
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  17. Kourken Michaelian (2008). Privileged Standpoints/ Reliable Processes. Hypatia 23 (1):65-98.
    : This article attempts to reconcile Sandra Harding's postmodernist standpoint theory with process reliabilism in first-order epistemology and naturalism in metaepistemology. Postmodernist standpoint theory is best understood as consisting of an applied epistemological component and a metaepistemological component. Naturalist metaepistemology and the metaepistemological component of postmodernist standpoint theory have produced complementary views of knowledge as a socially and naturally located phenomenon and have converged on a common concept of objectivity. The applied epistemological claims of postmodernist standpoint theory usefully can be (...)
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  18. Kourken Michaelian (2008). Testimony as a Natural Kind. Episteme 5 (2):pp. 180-202.
    I argue, first, that testimony is likely a natural kind (where natural kinds are accurately described by the homoeostatic property cluster theory) and that if it is indeed a natural kind, it is likely necessarily reliable. I argue, second, that the view of testimony as a natural kind and as necessarily reliable grounds a novel, naturalist global reductionism about testimonial justification and that this new reductionism is immune to a powerful objection to orthodox Humean global reductionism, the objection from the (...)
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