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Profile: Mitchell Herschbach (California State University, Northridge)
  1. Mitchell Herschbach (2012). Mirroring Versus Simulation: On the Representational Function of Simulation. Synthese 189 (3):483-513.
    Mirror neurons and systems are often appealed to as mechanisms enabling mindreading, i.e., understanding other people’s mental states. Such neural mirroring processes are often treated as instances of mental simulation rather than folk psychological theorizing. I will call into question this assumed connection between mirroring and simulation, arguing that mirroring does not necessarily constitute mental simulation as specified by the simulation theory of mindreading. I begin by more precisely characterizing “mirroring” (Sect. 2) and “simulation” (Sect. 3). Mirroring results in a (...)
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  2. Mitchell Herschbach (2012). On the Role of Social Interaction in Social Cognition: A Mechanistic Alternative to Enactivism. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (4):467-486.
    Researchers in the enactivist tradition have recently argued that social interaction can constitute social cognition, rather than simply serve as the context for social cognition. They contend that a focus on social interaction corrects the overemphasis on mechanisms inside the individual in the explanation of social cognition. I critically assess enactivism’s claims about the explanatory role of social interaction in social cognition. After sketching the enactivist approach to cognition in general and social cognition in particular, I identify problems with an (...)
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  3. Mitchell Herschbach & William Bechtel (2011). Relating Bayes to Cognitive Mechanisms. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (4):202-203.
    We support Enlightenment Bayesianism's commitment to grounding Bayesian analysis in empirical details of psychological and neural mechanisms. Recent philosophical accounts of mechanistic science illuminate some of the challenges this approach faces. In particular, mechanistic decomposition of mechanisms into their component parts and operations gives rise to a notion of levels distinct from and more challenging to accommodate than Marr's.
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  4. Daniel D. Hutto, Mitchell Herschbach & Victoria Southgate (2011). Editorial: Social Cognition: Mindreading and Alternatives. [REVIEW] Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (3):375-395.
    Human beings, even very young infants, and members of several other species, exhibit remarkable capacities for attending to and engaging with others. These basic capacities have been the subject of intense research in developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, comparative psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind over the last several decades. Appropriately characterizing the exact level and nature of these abilities and what lies at their basis continues to prove a tricky business. The contributions to this special issue investigate whether and to (...)
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  5. William Bechtel & Mitchell Herschbach (2010). Philosophy of the Cognitive Sciences. In Fritz Allhoff (ed.), Philosophies of the Sciences. Wiley-Blackwell. 239--261.
    Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary research endeavor focusing on human cognitive phenomena such as memory, language use, and reasoning. It emerged in the second half of the 20th century and is charting new directions at the beginning of the 21st century. This chapter begins by identifying the disciplines that contribute to cognitive science and reviewing the history of the interdisciplinary engagements that characterize it. The second section examines the role that mechanistic explanation plays in cognitive science, while the third focuses (...)
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  6. Mitchell Herschbach (2008). Folk Psychological and Phenomenological Accounts of Social Perception. Philosophical Explorations 11 (3):223 – 235.
    Theory theory and simulation theory share the assumption that mental states are unobservable, such that mental state attribution requires an extra psychological step beyond perception. Phenomenologists deny this, contending that we can directly perceive people's mental states. Here I evaluate objections to theory theory and simulation theory as accounts of everyday social perception offered by Dan Zahavi and Shaun Gallagher. I agree that their phenomenological claims have bite at the personal level, distinguishing direct social perception from conscious theorizing and simulation. (...)
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  7. Mitchell Herschbach (2008). False-Belief Understanding and the Phenomenological Critics of Folk Psychology. Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (12):33-56.
    The dominant account of human social understanding is that we possess a 'folk psychology', that we understand and can interact with other people because we appreciate their mental states. Recently, however, philosophers from the phenomenological tradition have called into question the scope of the folk psychological account and argued for the importance of 'online', non-mentalistic forms of social understanding. In this paper I critically evaluate the arguments of these phenomenological critics, arguing that folk psychology plays a larger role in human (...)
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  8. Mitchell Herschbach (2008). The Concept of Simulation in Control-Theoretic Accounts of Motor Control and Action Perception. In B. C. Love, K. McRae & V. M. Sloutsky (eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society. 315--20.
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