In this response to Malt's and Prinz's commentaries, I argue that neo-empiricist hypotheses fail to threaten the argument for the elimination of ‘concept’ because they are unlikely to be true of all concepts, if they are true at all. I also defend the hypothesis that we possess bodies of knowledge retrieved by default from long-term memory, and I argue that prototypes, exemplars, and theories form genuinely distinct concepts.
The notion of a recognitional concept (RC) is stated precisely and shown to be unrelated to the proper notion of a perceptually based concept, defining of concept empiricism. More fundamentally, it is argued that the notion of an RC does not reflect a potentially sensible candidate theory of concepts at all and therefore ought to be abandoned from concept-theoretical discourse. In the later parts of the paper, it is shown independently of these points that Fodor's attacks on RCs are in (...) all central respects based on fallacies and confusions. Thus, even if the notion of an RC were one worth defending, it could not be threatened by Fodor's attacks on it. Throughout the paper, I aim at clarification regarding the logical relations between various concept-theoretical options. (shrink)
Schulz has shown that the suppositional view of indicative conditionals leads to a corresponding view of epistemic modals. But his case backfires: the resulting theory of epistemic modals gets the facts wrong, and so we end up with a good argument against the suppositional view. I show how and why a dynamic view of indicative conditionals leads to a better theory of epistemic modals.
In contemporary discussions of the Ramsey Test for conditionals, it is commonly held that (i) supposing the antecedent of a conditional is adopting a potential state of full belief, and (ii) Modus Ponens is a valid rule of inference. I argue on the basis of Thomason Conditionals (such as ' If Sally is deceiving, I do not believe it') and Moore's Paradox that both claims are wrong. I then develop a double-indexed Update Semantics for conditionals which takes these two results (...) into account while doing justice to the key intuitions underlying the Ramsey Test. The semantics is extended to cover some further phenomena, including the recent observation that epistemic modal operators give rise to something very like, but also very unlike, Moore's Paradox. (shrink)
This dissertation has three parts. Part I, comprising chapters 1 and 2, addresses some basic commitments which must be presupposed in theorizing about concepts. Concepts, to a first approximation, are mental representations that are constituents of thoughts. Chapter 1 attempts to clarify the notion of representing. Chapter 2 reconstructs arguments in the work of Frege against the mental nature of thoughts and (by the same token) of concepts, arguing that they are confused and leave the notion of concepts as mental (...) representations unscathed. Part II, comprising chapters 3 to 5, pursues the aim of closing in on concepts in light of the widely shared understanding that concepts form a more specific class than just any kind of subpropositional mental representations. This part, if successful, should also help clarify the interrelations among a certain cluster of ideas which are customarily connected to the property of being a concept. Chapter 3 advocates storage in long-term memory as a basic, explanatorily principled criterion of delimiting concepts from nonconceptual mental representations. In leading up to this criterion, the chapter subjects to methodological critique the typical manner in which philosophers justify their assumption of a conceptual/nonconceptual-distinction. Chapter 4 investigates the idea that concepts are, in some sense, mental representations under which we categorize things in the world. Two versions of this idea of categorizing mental representations are distinguished, one metaphysical, the other psychological in kind. Both of these ideas, it is claimed, are inadequate to capture concepthood as such. Chapter 5 continues on the positive side, reconnecting to an earlier introduced idea which places concepts, other than sensory-perceptual events, in the realm of so-called high-level cognition. Concepts are not only stored in long-term memory, they are also capable of entering into cognitive processes that are flexible, rather than hardwired. Subdistinctions and explanations are provided that hopefully make the relevant notions workably precise. Part III of the dissertation moves on to engage in more specific debates in the theory of concepts. In one way or another, all three chapters in this part take as their points of departure the influential compositionality arguments against prototype theory often reiterated by Fodor, until recently the agenda-setting concept theorist in the philosophy of psychology. The chapters jointly aim to identify and correct a number of errors committed in the context of this debate: in the basic, generally accepted, presuppositions of these arguments (chapter 6); in the topography of concept-theoretical positions assumed by Fodor and adopted by subsequent commentators (chapter 7); and in the followup comments with which Fodor has intended to support and supplement these arguments (chapter 8). (shrink)
We combine state-of-the-art techniques from computational linguisticsand theorem proving to build an engine for playing text adventures,computer games with which the player interacts purely through naturallanguage. The system employs a parser for dependency grammar and ageneration system based on TAG, and has components for resolving andgenerating referring expressions. Most of these modules make heavy useof inferences offered by a modern theorem prover for descriptionlogic. Our game engine solves some problems inherent in classical textadventures, and is an interesting test case for (...) the interactionbetween natural language processing and inference. (shrink)
During the early twentieth century, the Swiss Zoologist Adolf Naef (1883–1949) established himself as a leader in German comparative anatomy and higher level systematics. He is generally labeled an ‘idealistic morphologist’, although he himself called his research program ‘systematic morphology’. The idealistic morphology that flourished in German biology during the first half of the twentieth century was a rather heterogeneous movement, within which Adolf Naef worked out a special theoretical system of his own. Following a biographical sketch, we present an (...) English translation of a previously unpublished typescript from Naef’s estate, which Naef intended as the introduction to a textbook on Comparative Anatomy for which he was unable to find a publisher before his sudden death in 1949. The typescript contains Naef’s mature thoughts with unprecedented conciseness, focus, and clarity. The density of Naef’s text warrants a historical and contextual explication of its content. (shrink)
(Barthelemy} Charles (Pierre Joseph) Dunoycr (1786-1862) was born on May 20, 1786 at Carcnnac in ancient Turcnnc (Qucrcy, Cahorsin), the present-day Lot. His father, Jean-Jacqucs— Philippe Dunoyer, was scigncur dc Scgonzac. Destined at an early age for the order of St. Jean de Malte, he began his education in the order’s near-by house at Martel. With the confiscation of the 0rder’s houses in 1792, his aunt, formerly of the Visitation order, and, then, the former Benedictine prior of Carennac, continued (...) his education at home. I-lis secondary education was completed at Cahors in the écoie centrale, one of the newly established schools under the Directory in which the ideas of the 18th century philosophcs, and especially, the ldeologues, predorninated. ln 1803, Dunoyer went to Paris to study law at the newly founded Université de Jurisprudence. (shrink)
An artificial neural network called reaCog is described which is based on a decentralized, reactive and embodied architecture to control non-trivial hexapod walking in unpredictable environment (Walknet) as well as insect-like navigation (Navinet). In reaCog, these basic networks are extended in such a way that the complete system, reaCog, adopts the capability of inventing new behaviors and - via internal simulation - of planning ahead. This cognitive expansion enables the reactive system to be enriched with additional procedures. Here, we focus (...) on the question to what extent properties of phenomena to be characterized on a different level of description as for example consciousness can be found in this minimally cognitive system. Adopting a monist view, we argue that the phenomenal aspect of mental phenomena can be neglected when discussing the function of such a system. Under this condition, reaCog is discussed to be equipped with properties as are bottom-up and top-down attention, intentions, volition and some aspects of Access Consciousness. These properties have not been explicitly implemented but emerge from the cooperation between the elements of the network. The aspects of access consciousness found in reaCog concern the above mentioned ability to plan ahead and to invent and guide (new) actions. Furthermore, global accessibility of memory elements, another aspect characterizing Access Consciousness is realized by this network. reaCog allows for both reactive/automatic control and (access-) conscious control of behavior. We discuss examples for interactions between both the reactive domain and the conscious domain. Metacognition or Reflexive Consciousness is not a property of reaCog. Possible expansions are discussed to allow for further properties of Access Consciousness, verbal report on internal states, and for Metacognition. In summary, we argue that already simple networks allow for properties of consciousness if leaving the phenomenal aspect aside. (shrink)
Who thinks historically?A historian as such is like Melchizedek, fatherless and motherless, and without genealogy. When you ask him, “Where do you come from?” he must answer, “…I am a citizen of the world, and serve neither the Emperor, nor the King of France, but serve only the truth…”1But what is truth in historical thinking? What, or to be more precise, how, does it represent? How does it establish a certain relationship between its objective correlates, “[f]or falsity and truth have (...) to do with combination and separation”?2In our language the term History [Geschichte] unites…. (shrink)
Abstract Some aspects of the coverage of bioethical issues in Japanese (11) and German (10 series) biology textbooks for lower secondary school have been investigated, concentrating on the treatment of environmental issues. It was found that German textbooks devote more space to these problems than the Japanese ones and that the style of presentation in German books is aimed at appealing to the emotions of the pupils, whereas that of the Japanese ones is a more traditional scientific one. The inclusion (...) of ethical view points in biology teaching is discussed in this context. (shrink)
This paper investigates the effects of (surface) DP-internal quantifying expressions on semantic interpretation. In particular, I investigate two syntactic constructions in which an adjective takes scope out of its embedding DP, thus raising an interesting question for strict compositionality. Regarding the first construction, I follow Larson (1999) and assume that the adjective incorporates into the determiner of its DP, forming a complex quantifier [D+A]. I present new evidence in favor of this analysis. Since Larson's semantic analysis of complex quantifiers [D+A] (...) makes a wrong prediction, I propose an alternative, empirically more adequate analysis that treats D+A compounds as pluractional quantifiers in the sense of Lasersohn (1995). Finally, I turn to the second construction, arguing that – despite superficial similarities to the first construction - it should not be analyzed in terms of complex quantifier formation, but in terms of LF-movement of the adjective to Spec,DP. The discussion suggests that there is more than one way for DP-internal modifiers to take DP-external scope in natural language. (shrink)
Machery (2009) has proposed that the notion of ‘concept’ ought to be eliminated from the theoretical vocabulary of psychology. I raise three questions about his argument: (1) Is there a meaningful distinction between concepts and background knowledge? (2) Do we need to discard the hybrid view? (3) Are there really categories of things in the world that are the basis for concepts? Although I argue that the answer to all three is ‘no’, I agree with Machery's conclusion that seeking a (...) single characterization of concepts will not be fruitful for understanding cognitive representations and processes. (shrink)
This fascinating collection on artifacts brings together seven papers by philosophers with nine by psychologists, biologists, and an archaeologist. The psychological papers include two excellent discussions of empirical work on the mental representation of artifact concepts – an assessment by Malt and Sloman of a large variety of studies on the conflicting ways we classify artifacts and extend our applications of artifact categories to new cases, and a review by Mahon and Caramazza of data from semantically impaired patients and from (...) neuroimaging on concepts of living kinds versus artifact kinds. Following these are three papers on the development of artifact concepts in children, including a short but provocative piece by Keil, Greif, and Kerner arguing that there is a mismatch between the patterns of development for our concepts of artifacts and the patterns of representation we end up developing. The final part of the book includes authoritative papers on artifact use by insects, birds, and mammals, by primates, and by Australopithecines and Neanderthals. (shrink)
PowerMaster was a malt liquor which Heileman Brewing Company sought to market to inner-city blacks in the early 1990s. Due to widespread opposition, Heileman ceased its marketing of PowerMaster. This paper begins by exploring the moral objections of moral illusion, moral insensitivity and unfair advantage brought against Heileman’s marketing campaign. Within the current market system, it is argued that none of these criticism was clearly justified. Heileman might plausibly claim it was fulfilling its individual moralresponsibilities.Instead, Heileman’s marketing program must be (...) viewed as part of a group of marketing programs which all targeted inner-city blacks. It is argued that those marketers who target this particular market segment constitute a group which is collectively responsible for theharms imposed by their products on inner-city blacks. This responsibility is reducible neither to individual responsibility nor to a shared responsibility. It constitutes a dimension of moral responsibility to which marketers must pay attention. (shrink)
This article reports on the Boundaries in Practice (BIP) Scale developed to measure knowledge, comfort, ethical decision making, and experience. Few instruments used in studies conducted on professional/?client boundaries have been validated. The BIP demonstrated sound face, content and construct validity, and adequate internal consistency reliability. The BIP Scale provides the first reliable and valid means of investigating multiple boundary domains across health disciplines and teams. The sensitivity and complexity of boundary issues and the serious consequences of breaches highlight the (...) importance of a valid and reliable measure in building empirical knowledge in this field. (shrink)
This paper explores industry-level, collective stakeholder action. It argues that when industry stakeholders perceive change to be radically in conflict with their shared beliefs, this motivates them to act collectively at the industry level. The introduction of Cardhu pure malt in the Scotch whisky industry is used here as an illustrative example.