This chapter examines the core explanatory strategies of cognitive science and their application to the study of psychopathology. In addition to providing a taxonomy of different strategies, we illustrate their application, with special attention to Autism Spectrum Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder. We conclude by considering two challenges to the prospects of a developed cognitive science of psychopathology.
Do accounts of scientific theory formation and revision have implications for theories of everyday cognition? We maintain that failing to distinguish between importantly different types of theories of scientific inferencehas led to fundamental misunderstandings of the relationship between science andeveryday cognition. In this paper, we focus on one influential manifestation of this phenomenon which is found in Fodor’s well-known critique of theories of cognitive architecture. We argue that in developing his critique, Fodor confoundsa variety of distinct claims about the holistic (...) nature of scientific inference. Having done so, we outline more promising relations that hold between theories of scientific inference and ordinary cognition. (shrink)
The concept of innateness appears in systematic research within cognitive science, but it also appears in less systematic modes of thought that long predate the scientific study of the mind. The present studies therefore explore the relationship between the properly scientific uses of this concept and its role in ordinary folk understanding. Studies 1-4 examined the judgments of people with no specific training in cognitive science. Results showed (a) that judgments about whether a trait was innate were not affected by (...) whether or not the trait was learned, but (b) such judgments were impacted by moral considerations. Study 5 looked at the judgments of both non-scientists and scientists, in conditions that encouraged either thinking about individual cases or thinking about certain general principles. In the case-based condition, both non-scientists and scientists showed an impact of moral considerations but little impact of learning. In the principled condition, both non-scientists and scientists showed an impact of learning but little impact of moral considerations. These results suggest that both non-scientists and scientists are drawn to a conception of innateness that differs from the one at work in contemporary scientific research but that they are also both capable of 'filtering out' their initial intuitions and using a more scientific approach. (shrink)
The philosophy of cognitive science is concerned with fundamental philosophical and theoretical questions connected to the sciences of the mind. How does the brain give rise to conscious experience? Does speaking a language change how we think? Is a genuinely intelligent computer possible? What features of the mind are innate? Advances in cognitive science have given philosophers important tools for addressing these sorts of questions; and cognitive scientists have, in turn, found themselves drawing upon insights from philosophy--insights that have often (...) taken their research in novel directions. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science brings together twenty-one newly commissioned chapters by leading researchers in this rich and fast-growing area of philosophy. It is an indispensible resource for anyone who seeks to understand the implications of cognitive science for philosophy, and the role of philosophy within cognitive science. (shrink)
There is a puzzling tension in contemporary scientific attitudes towards human nature. On the one hand, evolutionary biologists correctly maintain that the traditional essentialist conception of human nature is untenable; and moreover that this is obviously so in the light of quite general and exceedingly well-known evolutionary considerations. On the other hand, talk of human nature abounds in certain regions of the sciences, especially in linguistics, psychology and cognitive science. In this paper I articulate a conception of human nature that (...) a) captures how cognitive and behavioral scientists tend to deploy the notion whilst, b) evading standard evol-utionary objections, and c) allowing human nature – and theories thereof – to fulfill many of their traditional theoretical roles. (shrink)
Though we are in broad agreement with much of Elqayam & Evans' (E&E's) position, we criticize two aspects of their argument. First, rejecting normativism is unlikely to yield the benefits that E&E seek. Second, their conception of rational norms is overly restrictive and, as a consequence, their arguments at most challenge a relatively restrictive version of normativism.
This book argues that we have moved into a new cultural period, automodernity, which represents a social, psychological, and technological reaction to postmodernity. In fact, by showing how individual autonomy is now being generated through technological and cultural automation, Samuels posits that we must rethink modernity and postmodernity. Part of this rethinking entails stressing how the progressive political aspects of postmodernism need to be separated from the aesthetic consumption of differences in automoderntiy. Choosing culturally relevant studies of The Matrix, Grand (...) Theft Auto, Eminem and Jurassic Park, he interprets these medias through the lens of eminent theorists like Slavoj Zizek, Frederic Jameson, and Henry Jenkins. Ultimately, he argues that what defines postmodernity is the stress on social construction, secular humanism, and progressive social movements that challenge the universality and neutrality of modern reason. (shrink)
Among the most pervasive and fundamental assumptions in cognitive science is that the human mind (or mind-brain) is a mechanism of some sort: a physical device com- posed of functionally speciﬁable subsystems. On this view, functional decomposition – the analysis of the overall system into functionally speciﬁable parts – becomes a central project for a science of the mind, and the resulting theories of cognitive archi- tecture essential to our understanding of human psychology.
has a more speciﬁc role to play in the development of Of course, the conclusion to draw is not that innateness innate cognitive structure. In particular, a common claim claims are trivially false or that they cannot be character-.
Over the past few decades, reasoning and rationality have been the focus of enormous interdisciplinary attention, attracting interest from philosophers, psychologists, economists, statisticians and anthropologists, among others. The widespread interest in the topic reflects the central status of reasoning in human affairs. But it also suggests that there are many different though related projects and tasks which need to be addressed if we are to attain a comprehensive understanding of reasoning.
Though nativist hypotheses have played a pivotal role in the development of cognitive science, it remains exceedingly obscure how they—and the debates in which they ﬁgure—ought to be understood. The central aim of this paper is to provide an account which addresses this concern and in so doing: a) makes sense of the roles that nativist theorizing plays in cognitive science and, moreover, b), explains why it really matters to the contemporary study of cognition. I conclude by outlining a range (...) of further implications of this account for current debate in cognitive science. (shrink)
A central claim of the target article is that language is the medium of domain-general, cross-modular thought; and according to Carruthers, the main, direct evidence for this thesis comes from a series of fascinating studies on spatial reorientation. I argue that the these studies, in fact, provide us with no reason whatsoever to accept this cognitive conception of language.
During the last 25 years, researchers studying human reasoning and judgment in what has become known as the “heuristics and biases” tradition have produced an impressive body of experimental work which many have seen as having “bleak implications” for the rationality of ordinary people (Nisbett and Borgida 1975). According to one proponent of this view, when we reason about probability we fall victim to “inevitable illusions” (Piattelli-Palmarini 1994). Other proponents maintain that the human mind is prone to “systematic deviations from (...) rationality” (Bazerman & Neale 1986) and is “not built to work by the rules of probability” (Gould 1992). It has even been suggested that human beings are “a species that is uniformly probability-blind” (Piattelli-Palmarini 1994). This provocative and pessimistic interpretation of the experimental findings has been challenged from many different directions over the years. One of the most recent and energetic of these challenges has come from the newly emerging field of evolutionary psychology, where it has been argued that it’s singularly implausible to claim that our species would have evolved with no “instinct for probability” and, hence, be “blind to chance” (Pinker 1997, 351). Though evolutionary psychologists concede that it is possible to design experiments that “trick our probability.. (shrink)
What are the elements from which the human mind is composed? What structures make up our _cognitive architecture?_ One of the most recent and intriguing answers to this question comes from the newly emerging interdisciplinary field of evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary psychologists defend a _massively modular_ conception of mental architecture which views the mind –including those parts responsible for such ‘central processes’ as belief revision and reasoning— as composed largely or perhaps even entirely of innate, special-purpose computational mechanisms or ‘modules’ that (...) have been shaped by natural selection to handle the sorts of recurrent information processing problems that confronted our hunter-gatherer forebears (Cosmides and Tooby,192; Sperber, 1994; Samuels, 1998a). (shrink)
In recent years evolutionary psychologists have developed and defended the Massive Modularity Hypothesis, which maintains that our cognitive architecture—including the part that subserves ‘central processing’ —is largely or perhaps even entirely composed of innate, domain-specific computational mechanisms or ‘modules’. In this paper I argue for two claims. First, I show that the two main arguments that evolutionary psychologists have offered for this general architectural thesis fail to provide us with any reason to prefer it to a competing picture of the (...) mind which I call the Library Model of Cognition. Second, I argue that this alternative model is compatible with the central theoretical and methodological commitments of evolutionary psychology. Thus I argue that, at present, the endorsement of the Massive Modularity Hypothesis by evolutionary psychologists is both unwarranted and unmotivated. (shrink)