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Profile: Mark Bickhard (Lehigh University)
  1. Mark H. Bickhard, Psychopathology.
    In this paper I wish to address the question of the nature of psychopathology. It might naturally be felt that we already know a great deal about psychopathology, and thus that such a paper would be primarily a review and discussion of the literature; I will argue, however, that the most fundamental form of the question concerning the nature of psychopathology is rarely posed in the literature, that it is prevented from being posed by presuppositions inherent in standard theoretical approaches, (...)
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  2. Mark H. Bickhard, Critical Principles: On the Negative Side.
    neglected aspect: knowledge of error, or ‘‘negative’’ knowledge. The development of knowledge of what counts as error occurs via a kind of internal variation and selection, or quasi-evolutionary, process. Processes of reflection generate a hierarchy of principles of error.
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  3. Mark H. Bickhard, The Social Ontology of Persons.
    Persons are biological beings who participate in social environments. Is human sociality different from that of insects? Is human sociality different from that of a computer or robot with elaborate rules for social interaction in its program memory? What is the relationship between the biology of humans and the sociality of persons? I argue that persons constitute an emergent ontological level that develops out of the biological and psychological realm, but that is largely social in its own constitution. This requires (...)
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  4. Mark H. Bickhard, The Tragedy of Operationalism.
    Operational definitions were a neo-Machean development that connected with the positivism of Logical Positivism. Logical Positivism failed, with the failure of operational definitions being just one of multiple and multifarious failures of Logical Positivism more broadly. Operationalism, however, has continued to seduce psychology more than half a century after it was repudiated by philosophers of science, including the very Logical Positivists who had first taken it seriously. It carries with it a presupposed metaphysics that is false in virtually all of (...)
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  5. Mark H. Bickhard, Why Children Don't Have to Solve the Frame Problems.
    We all believe an unbounded number of things about the way the world is and about the way the world works. For example, I believe that if I move this book into the other room, it will not change color -- unless there is a paint shower on the way, unless I carry an umbrella through that shower, and so on; I believe that large red trucks at high speeds can hurt me, that trucks with polka dots can hurt me, (...)
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  6. Robert L. Campbell, Mark H. Bickhard, PO Box & Chandler-Ullmann Hall, Types of Constraints on Development: An Interactivist Approach.
    The interactivist approach to development generates a framework of types of constraints on what can be constructed. The four constraint types are based on: (1) what the constructed systems are about; (2) the representational relationship itself; (3) the nature of the systems being constructed; and (4) the process of construction itself. We give illustrations of each constraint type. Any developmental theory needs to acknowledge all four types of constraint; however, some current theories conflate different types of constraint, or rely on (...)
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  7. Mark H. Bickhard, Interactivism: A Manifesto.
  8. Mark H. Bickhard, The Biological Foundations of Cognitive Science.
  9. Mark H. Bickhard (2012). 9 The Emergent Ontology of Persons. In Jack Martin & Mark H. Bickhard (eds.), The Psychology of Personhood: Philosophical, Historical, Social-Developmental and Narrative Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. 165.
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  10. Jack Martin & Mark H. Bickhard (eds.) (2012). The Psychology of Personhood: Philosophical, Historical, Social-Developmental and Narrative Perspectives. Cambridge University Press.
    Machine generated contents note: 1. Introducing persons and the psychology of personhood Jack Martin and Mark H. Bickhard; Part I. Philosophical, Conceptual Perspectives: 2. The person concept and the ontology of persons Michael A. Tissaw; 3. Achieving personhood: the perspective of hermeneutic phenomenology Charles Guignon; Part II. Historical Perspectives: 4. Historical psychology of persons: categories and practice Kurt Danziger; 5. Persons and historical ontology Jeff Sugarman; 6. Critical personalism: on its tenets, its historical obscurity, and its future prospects James T. (...)
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  11. Jedediah Wp Allen & Mark H. Bickhard (2011). You Can't Get There From Here: Foundationalism and Development. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (3):124-125.
    The thesis of our commentary is that the framework used to address what are taken by Carey to be the open issues is highly problematic. The presumed necessity of an innate stock of representational primitives fails to account for the emergence of representation out of a nonrepresentational base. This failure manifests itself in problematic ways throughout Carey's book.
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  12. Mark H. Bickhard (2011). On the Concept of Concept. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 31 (2):102-105.
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  13. Mark H. Bickhard (2011). The Dynamics of Acting. Humana.Mente 15:177-187.
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  14. Richard Campbell & Mark H. Bickhard (2011). Physicalism, Emergence and Downward Causation. Axiomathes 21 (1):33-56.
    The development of a defensible and fecund notion of emergence has been dogged by a number of threshold issues neatly highlighted in a recent paper by Jaegwon Kim. We argue that physicalist assumptions confuse and vitiate the whole project. In particular, his contention that emergence entails supervenience is contradicted by his own argument that the ‘microstructure’ of an object belongs to the whole object, not to its constituents. And his argument against the possibility of downward causation is question-begging and makes (...)
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  15. Mark H. Bickhard (2010). Interactive Knowing: The Metaphysics of Intentionality. In Roberto Poli & Johanna Seibt (eds.), Theory and Applications of Ontology: Philosophical Perspectives. Springer Verlag. 207--229.
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  16. Mark H. Bickhard (2009). Interactivism: Introduction to the Special Issue. Synthese 166 (3):449-451.
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  17. Mark H. Bickhard (2009). The Interactivist Model. Synthese 166 (3):547 - 591.
    A shift from a metaphysical framework of substance to one of process enables an integrated account of the emergence of normative phenomena. I show how substance assumptions block genuine ontological emergence, especially the emergence of normativity, and how a process framework permits a thermodynamic-based account of normative emergence. The focus is on two foundational forms of normativity, that of normative function and of representation as emergent in a particular kind of function. This process model of representation, called interactivism, compels changes (...)
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  18. Mark H. Bickhard (2008). Social Ontology as Convention. Topoi 27 (1-2):139-149.
    I will argue that social ontology is constituted as hierarchical and interlocking conventions of multifarious kinds. Convention, in turn, is modeled in a manner derived from that of David K. Lewis. Convention is usually held to be inadequate for models of social ontologies, with one primary reason being that there seems to be no place for normativity. I argue that two related changes are required in the basic modeling framework in order to address this (and other) issue(s): (1) a shift (...)
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  19. Mark H. Bickhard (2007). Mechanism is Not Enough. Pragmatics and Cognition 15 (3):573-585.
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  20. Mark H. Bickhard (2005). Consciousness and Reflective Consciousness. Philosophical Psychology 18 (2):205-218.
    An interactive process model of the nature of representation intrinsically accounts for multiple emergent properties of consciousness, such as being a contentful experiential flow, from a situated and embodied point of view. A crucial characteristic of this model is that content is an internally related property of interactive process, rather than an externally related property as in all other contemporary models. Externally related content requires an interpreter, yielding the familiar regress of interpreters, along with a host of additional fatal problems. (...)
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  21. Mark H. Bickhard (2004). Process and Emergence: Normative Function and Representation. Axiomathes - An International Journal in Ontology and Cognitive Systems 14:135-169.
    Emergence seems necessary for any naturalistic account of the world — none of our familiar world existed at the time of the Big Bang, and it does now — and normative emergence is necessary for any naturalistic account of biology and mind — mental phenomena, such as representation, learning, rationality, and so on, are normative. But Jaegwon Kim’s argument appears to render causally efficacious emergence impossible, and Hume’s argument appears to render normative emergence impossible, and, in its general form, it (...)
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  22. Mark H. Bickhard (2004). Part II: Applications of Process-Based Theories: Process and Emergence: Normative Function and Representation. [REVIEW] Axiomathes 14 (1-3):121-155.
    Kim's argument appears to render causally efficacious emergence impossible: Hume's argument appears to render normative emergence impossible, and, in its general form, it precludes any emergence at all. I argue that both of these barriers can be overcome, and, in fact, that they each constitute reductions of their respective underlying presuppositions. In particular, causally efficacious ontological emergence can be modeled, but only within a process metaphysics, thus avoiding Kim's argument, and making use of non-abbreviatory forms of definition, thus avoiding Hume's (...)
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  23. Mark H. Bickhard (2004). The Dynamic Emergence of Representation. In Hugh Clapin (ed.), Representation in Mind. Elsevier. 71--90.
    A final version of this paper is in press as: Bickhard, M. H. (in press). The Dynamic Emergence of Representation. In H. Clapin, P. Staines, P. Slezak (Eds.) Representation in Mind: New Approaches to Mental Representation. Praeger.
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  24. Mark H. Bickhard (2004). Why Believe in Beliefs? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (1):100-101.
    A central pillar of Carpendale & Lewis's (C&L's) argument is Wittgenstein's later work on language. I suggest that this support is not as strong as might be wished, and offer an alternative approach to their conclusion that language learning, especially of folk psychology, involves a socially embedded constructivism.
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  25. Georgi Stojanov & Mark H. Bickhard (2004). Representation: Emulation and Anticipation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (3):418-418.
    We address the issue of the normativity of representation and how Grush might address it for emulations as constituting representations. We then proceed to several more detailed issues concerning the learning of emulations, a possible empirical counterexample to Grush's model, and the choice of Kalman filters as the form of model-based control.
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  26. Mark H. Bickhard (2003). An Integration of Motivation and Cognition. In L. Smith, C. Rogers & P. Tomlinson (eds.), Development and Motivation: Joint Perspectives. Leicester: British Psychological Society. 41-56.
  27. Mark H. Bickhard (2003). Some Notes on Internal and External Relations and Representation. Consciousness and Emotion 4 (1):101-110.
    Internal relations are those relations that are intrinsic to the nature of one or more of the relata. They are a kind of essential relation, rather than an essential property. For example, an arc of a circle is internally related to the center of that circle in the sense that.
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  28. Mark H. Bickhard (2003). Variations in Variation and Selection: The Ubiquity of the Variation-and-Selective-Retention Ratchet in Emergent Organizational Complexity, Part II: Quantum Field Theory. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 8 (3):283-293.
    If the general arguments concerning theinvolvement of variation and selection inexplanations of ``fit'' are valid, then variationand selection explanations should beappropriate, or at least potentiallyappropriate, outside the paradigm historisticdomains of biology and knowledge. In thisdiscussion, I wish to indicate some potentialroles for variation and selection infoundational physics – specifically inquantum field theory. I will not be attemptingany full coherent ontology for quantum fieldtheory – none currently exists, and none islikely for at least the short term future. Instead, I wish to (...)
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  29. Mark H. Bickhard & Donald T. Campbell (2003). Variations in Variation and Selection: The Ubiquity of the Variation-and-Selective-Retention Ratchet in Emergent Organizational Complexity. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 8 (3):215-282.
    The variation and selection form of explanationcan be prescinded from the evolutionary biologyhome ground in which it was discovered and forwhich it has been most developed. When this isdone, variation and selection explanations arefound to have potential application to a widerange of phenomena, far beyond the classicalbiological ground and the contemporaryextensions into epistemological domains. Itappears as the form of explanation most suitedto phenomena of fit. It is also found toparticipate in multiple interestingrelationships with other forms of explanation. We proceed with (...)
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  30. Mark H. Bickhard (2002). Mind as Process. In F.G. Riffert & Marcel Weber (eds.), Searching for New Contrasts. Vienna: Peter Lang. 285-294.
    assumptions about the phenomena of interest with process models. Thus, phlogiston has been replaced by combustion, caloric by random thermal motion, and vital fluid by far- from-equilibrium self-reproducing organizations of process. The most significant exceptions to this historical pattern are found in studies of the mind. Here, substance assumptions are still ubiquitous, ranging from models of representation to those of emotions to personality and psychopathology. Substance assumptions do pernicious damage to our ability to understand such phenomena. In this discussion, I (...)
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  31. Wayne David Christensen & Mark H. Bickhard (2002). The Process Dynamics of Normative Function. The Monist 85 (1):3-28.
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  32. Mark H. Bickhard (2001). Function, Anticipation, Representation. AIP Conference Proceedings 573:459-469.
    Function emerges in certain kinds of far-from-equilibrium systems. One important kind of function is that of interactive anticipation, an adaptedness to temporal complexity. Interactive anticipation is the locus of the emergence of normative representational content, and, thus, of representation in general: interactive anticipation is the naturalistic core of the evolution of cognition. Higher forms of such anticipation are involved in the subsequent macro-evolutionary sequence of learning, emotions, and reflexive consciousness.
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  33. Mark H. Bickhard (2001). The Emergence of Contentful Experience. In T. Kitamura (ed.), What Should Be Computed to Understand and Model Brain Function? World Scientific.
    There are many facets to mental life and mental experience. In this chapter, I attempt to account for some central characteristics among those facets. I argue that normative function and representation are emergent in particular forms of the self-maintenance of far from thermodynamic equilibrium systems in their essential far-from-equilibrium conditions. The nature of representation that is thereby modeled.
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  34. Mark H. Bickhard (2000). Autonomy, Function, and Representation. Communication and Cognition-Artificial Intelligence 17 (3-4):111-131.
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  35. Mark H. Bickhard (2000). Benny Shanon, the Representational and the Presentational: An Essay on Cognition and the Study of the Mind, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, U.K.: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1993, ISBN 0-7450-1095-4; Paramus, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1994, VI + 409 Pp., $66.00 (Paper), ISBN 0-13-302225-. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 10 (2):313-317.
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  36. Mark H. Bickhard (2000). Emergence. In P.B. Andersen, Claus Emmeche, N.O. Finnemann & P.V. Christiansen (eds.), Downward Causation. University of Aarhus Press. 322-348.
    * This paper was to have been written jointly with Don Campbell. His tragic death on May 6, 1996, occurred before we had been able to do much planning for the paper. As a result, this is undoubtedly a very different paper than if Don and I had written it together, and, undoubtedly, not as good a paper. Nevertheless, I believe it maintains at least the spirit of what we had discussed. Clearly, all errors are mine alone.
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  37. Mark H. Bickhard (2000). Information and Representation in Autonomous Agents. Cognitive Systems Research 1 (2):65-75.
    Information and representation are thought to be intimately related. Representation, in fact, is commonly considered to be a special kind of information. It must be a _special_ kind, because otherwise all of the myriad instances of informational relationships in the universe would be representational -- some restrictions must be placed on informational relationships in order to refine the vast set into those that are truly representational. I will argue that information in this general sense is important to genuine agents, but (...)
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  38. Mark H. Bickhard (2000). Motivation and Emotion: An Interactive Process Model. In Ralph D. Ellis & Natika Newton (eds.), The Caldron of Consciousness: Motivation, Affect and Self-Organization. John Benjamins. 161.
    In this chapter, I outline dynamic models of motivation and emotion. These turn out not to be autonomous subsystems, but, instead, are deeply integrated in the basic interactive dynamic character of living systems. Motivation is a crucial aspect of particular kinds of interactive systems -- systems for which representation is a sister aspect. Emotion is a special kind of partially reflective interaction process, and yields its own emergent motivational aspects. In addition, the overall model accounts for some of the crucial (...)
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  39. A. Levine & Mark H. Bickhard (1999). Concepts: Where Fodor Went Wrong. Philosophical Psychology 12 (1):5-23.
    In keeping with other recent efforts, Fodor's CONCEPTS focuses on the metaphysics of conceptual content, bracketing such epistemological questions as, "How can we know the contents of our concepts?" Fodor's metaphysical account of concepts, called "informational atomism," stipulates that the contents of a subject's concepts are fixed by the nomological lockings between the subject and the world. After sketching Fodor's "what else?" argument in support of this view, we offer a number of related criticisms. All point to the same conclusion: (...)
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  40. Mark H. Bickhard (1998). A Process Model of the Emergence of Representation. In G. L. Farre & T. Oksala (eds.), Emergence, Complexity, Hierarchy, Organization, Selected and Edited Papers From the Echo Iii Conference. Acta Polytechnica Scandinavica. 3-7.
    Two challenges to the very possibility of emergence are addressed, one metaphysical and one logical. The resolution of the metaphysical challenge requires a shift to a process metaphysics, while the logical challenge highlights normative emergence, and requires a shift to more powerful logical tools -- in particular, that of implicit definition. Within the framework of a process metaphysics, two levels of normative emergence are outlined: that of function and that of representation.
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  41. Mark H. Bickhard (1998). Levels of Representationality. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 10 (2):179-215.
    The dominant assumptions -- throughout contemporary philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence -- about the ontology underlying intentionality, and its core of representationality, is that of encodings -- some sort of informational or correspondence or covariation relationship between the represented and its representation that constitutes that representational relationship. There are many disagreements concerning details and implementations, and even some suggestions about claimed alternative ontologies, such as connectionism (though none that escape what I argue is the fundamental flaw in these (...)
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  42. Mark H. Bickhard (1997). Constructivisms and Relativisms: A Shopper's Guide. Science and Education 6 (1-2):29-42.
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  43. Mark H. Bickhard (1997). Is Cognition an Autonomous Subsystem. In S. O'Nuillain, Paul McKevitt & E. MacAogain (eds.), Two Sciences of Mind. John Benjamins. 115--131.
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  44. Mark H. Bickhard (1996). Troubles with Computationalism. In W. O'Donahue & Richard F. Kitchener (eds.), The Philosophy of Psychology. Sage Publications. 173--183.
  45. Mark H. Bickhard (1993). Representational Content in Humans and Machines. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 5:285-33.
    This article focuses on the problem of representational content. Accounting for representational content is the central issue in contemporary naturalism: it is the major remaining task facing a naturalistic conception of the world. Representational content is also the central barrier to contemporary cognitive science and artificial intelligence: it is not possible to understand representation in animals nor to construct machines with genuine representation given current (lack of) understanding of what representation is. An elaborated critique is offered to current approaches to (...)
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  46. Robert L. Campbell & Mark H. Bickhard (1993). Knowing Levels and the Child's Understanding of Mind. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (1):33.
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  47. Mark H. Bickhard (1992). How Does the Environment Affect the Person? In L. T. Winegar & Jaan Valsiner (eds.), Children's Development Within Social Contexts: Metatheoretical, Theoretical and Methodological Issues. Erlbaum.
    How Does the Environment Affect the Person? Mark H. Bickhard invited chapter in Children's Development within Social Contexts: Metatheoretical, Theoretical and Methodological Issues, Erlbaum. edited by L. T. Winegar, J. Valsiner, in press.
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  48. Robert L. Campbell & Mark H. Bickhard (1991). If Human Cognition is Adaptive, Can Human Knowledge Consist of Encodings? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (3):488-489.
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  49. Mark H. Bickhard & D. Michael Richie (1983). On The Nature Of Representation: A Case Study Of James Gibson's Theory Of Perception. Ny: Praeger.
     
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