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Profile: Peter Slezak (University of New South Wales)
  1. Peter Slezak, Cartesian ‘Ideas’ and the First (C17 Th) Cognitive Revolution.
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  2. Peter Slezak, Devitt’s ‘Ignorance of Language’.
     
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  3. Peter Slezak, Should Philosophy of Science Be Rated X Too?
    Proceedings of the Sixth International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Conference (IHPST), Denver, Colorado, November 7-10, 2001; and Australasian Association of History, Philosophy & Social Studies of Science (AAHPSSS), Melbourne University, June 25-28, 2001 (PDF).
     
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  4. Peter Slezak, Is Cognitive Science Relevant to Science Teaching?
    The Relevance of Cognitive Science to Teaching, Proceedings of the 6th International History, Philosophy & Science Teaching Conference (IHPST), Denver, Colorado, November 7-10, 2001. (PDF).
     
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  5. Peter Slezak, Frankfurt Examples: The Moral of the Stories.
     
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  6. Peter Slezak (2011). Review of Maurice A. Finocchiaro: Defending Copernicus and Galileo: Critical Reasoning in the Two Affairs. [REVIEW] Science and Education 20 (1):71-81.
    In reviewing Finocchiaro's book, I argue that Galileo deserved to be found guilty for the charges against him. A measure of Finocchiaro's scrupulously fair-minded presentation of the issues surrounding the Galileo Affair is the fact that a contrary case against his own exculpatory evaluation may be inferred from his meticulous scholarship. Specifically, to acknowledge that the standards of evaluation and judgment have changed since 1633 is not in any way to diminish Galileo's greatness but, on the contrary, to recognize his (...)
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  7. P. Slezak (2010). Radical Constructivism: Epistemology, Education and Dynamite. Constructivist Foundations 6 (1):102-111.
    Context: The current situation in philosophy of science includes central, ongoing debates about realism and anti-realism. The same question has been central to the theorising of radical constructivism and, in particular, to its implications for educational theory. However the constructivist literature does not make significant contact with the most important, mainstream philosophical discussions. Problem: Despite its overwhelming influence among educationalists, I suggest that the “radical constructivism” of Ernst Glasersfeld is an example of fashionable but thoroughly problematic doctrines that can have (...)
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  8. Peter Slezak (2010). Doubts About Descartes' Indubitability: The Cogito as Intuition and Inference. Philosophical Forum 41 (4):389-412.
    Kirsten Besheer has recently considered Descartes’ doubting appropriately in the context of his physiological theories in the spirit of recent important re-appraisals of his natural philosophy. However, Besheer does not address the notorious indubitability and its source that Descartes claims to have discovered. David Cunning has remarked that Descartes’ insistence on the indubitability of his existence presents “an intractable problem of interpretation” in the light of passages that suggest his existence is “just as dubitable as anything else”. However, although the (...)
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  9. Peter Slezak (2010). Doubts About Indubitability. Philosophical Forum 41 (4):389-412.
    Kirsten Besheer has recently considered Descartes’ doubting appropriately in the context of his physiological theories in the spirit of recent important re-appraisals of his natural philosophy. However, Besheer does not address the notorious indubitability and its source that Descartes claims to have discovered. David Cunning has remarked that Descartes’ insistence on the indubitability of his existence presents “an intractable problem of interpretation” in the light of passages that suggest his existence is “just as dubitable as anything else”. However, although the (...)
     
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  10. Peter Slezak (2009). Linguistic Explanation and ‘Psychological Reality’. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):3-20.
    Methodological questions concerning Chomsky’s generative approach to linguistics have been debated without consensus. The status of linguistics as psychology, the psychological reality of grammars, the character of tacit knowledge and the role of intuitions as data remain heatedly disputed today. I argue that the recalcitrance of these disputes is symptomatic of deep misunderstandings. I focus attention on Michael Devitt’s recent extended critique of Chomskyan linguistics and I suggest that his complaints are based on a failure to appreciate the special status (...)
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  11. Peter Slezak (2009). Review of John H. Sceski, Popper, Objectivity and the Growth of Knowledge. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (5).
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  12. Peter Slezak (2007). The Relevance of Cognitive Science to Teaching. Journal of Cognitive Science 8 (2):171-205.
    The Relevance of Cognitive Science to Teaching, Proceedings of the 6th International History, Philosophy & Science Teaching Conference (IHPST), Denver, Colorado, November 7-10, 2001. (PDF).
     
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  13. Peter Slezak (2006). Demons, Deceivers And Liars: Newcomb's Malin Génie. [REVIEW] Theory and Decision 61 (3):277-303.
    A fully adequate solution to Newcomb’s Problem (Nozick 1969) should reveal the source of its extraordinary elusiveness and persistent intractability. Recently, a few accounts have independently sought to meet this criterion of adequacy by exposing the underlying source of the problem’s profound puzzlement. Thus, Sorensen (1987), Slezak (1998), Priest (2002) and Maitzen and Wilson (2003) share the ‘no box’ view according to which the very idea that there is a right choice is misconceived since the problem is ill-formed or incoherent (...)
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  14. Peter Slezak (2004). There's More to Vision Than Meets the Eye. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (7):291-293.
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  15. Peter Slezak (2004). The World Gone Wrong? Images, Illusions, Mistakes and Misrepresentations. In Hugh Clapin, Phillip Staines & Peter Slezak (eds.), Representation in Mind: New Approaches to Mental Representation. Elsevier.
    In seeking to understand the extraordinary persistence and recalcitrance of the problems of intentionality, it is instructive to focus attention on one particular facet of the issue. The question of misrepresentation has been discussed recently as a puzzling aspect of the overall problem of the semantics of mental representation (Fodor 1984, 1994, Dretske 1994) and I propose to explore this issue as a loose thread which may be pulled to unravel the rest of the tangled ball.
     
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  16. Peter Slezak (2002). Thinking About Thinking: Language, Thought and Introspection. Language and Communication 22 (3):353-373.
    I do not think that the world or the sciences would ever have suggested to me any philosophical problems. What has suggested philosophical problems to me is things which other philosophers have said about the world or the sciences. (G.E. Moore, 1942, p. 14).
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  17. Peter Slezak (2002). The Imagery Debate: Déjà Vu All Over Again? Commentary on Zenon Pylyshyn. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):209-210.
    The imagery debate re-enacts controversies persisting since Descartes. The controversy remains important less for what we can learn about visual imagery than about cognitive science itself. In the tradition of Arnauld, Reid, Bartlett, Austin and Ryle, Pylyshyn’s critique exposes notorious mistakes being unwittingly rehearsed not only regarding imagery but also in several independent domains of research in modern cognitive science.
     
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  18. Peter Slezak (2002). The Tripartite Model of Representation. Philosophical Psychology 15 (3):239-270.
    Robert Cummins [(1996) Representations, targets and attitudes, Cambridge, MA: Bradford/MIT, p. 1] has characterized the vexed problem of mental representation as "the topic in the philosophy of mind for some time now." This remark is something of an understatement. The same topic was central to the famous controversy between Nicolas Malebranche and Antoine Arnauld in the 17th century and remained central to the entire philosophical tradition of "ideas" in the writings of Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Reid and Kant. However, the scholarly, (...)
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  19. Peter P. Slezak (2002). The Imagery Debate: Déjà-Vu All Over Again? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):209-210.
    The imagery debate re-enacts controversies persisting since Descartes. The controversy remains important less for what we can learn about visual imagery than about cognitive science itself. In the tradition of Arnauld, Reid, Bartlett, Austin and Ryle, Pylyshyn's critique exposes notorious mistakes being unwittingly rehearsed not only regarding imagery but also in several independent domains of research in modern cognitive science.
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  20. Peter P. Slezak (2002). Talking to Ourselves: The Intelligibility of Inner Speech. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (6):699-700.
    The possible role of language in intermodular communication and non-domain-specific thinking is an empirical issue that is independent of the “vehicle” claim that natural language is “constitutive” of some thoughts. Despite noting objections to various forms of the thesis that we think in language, Carruthers entirely neglects a potentially fatal objection to his own preferred version of this “cognitive conception.”.
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  21. Peter Slezak (2000). Descartes' Startling Doctrine of the Reverse-Sign Relation. In John Schuster, Stephen Gaukroger & John Sutton (eds.), Descartes' Natural Philosophy. Routledge.
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  22. Peter Slezak (2000). The Mind-Brain Problem. In Evian Gordon (ed.), Integrative Neuroscience. Harwood Academic Publishers.
    The problem of explaining the mind persists essentially unchanged today since the time of Plato and Aristotle. For the ancients, of course, it was not a question of the relation of mind to brain, though the question was fundamentally the same nonetheless. For Plato, the mind was conceived as distinct from the body and was posited in order to explain knowledge which transcends that available to the senses. For his successor, Aristotle, the mind was conceived as intimately related to the (...)
     
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  23. Peter Slezak (1999). Situated Cognition. Perspectives on Cognitive Science.
    The self-advertising, at least, suggests that 'situated cognition' involves the most fundamental conceptual re-organization in AI and cognitive science, even appearing to deny that cognition is to be explained by mental representations. In their defence of the orthodox symbolic representational theory, A. Vera and H. Simon (1993) have rebutted many of these claims, but they overlook an important reading of situated arguments which may, after all, involve a revolutionary insight. I show that the whole debate turns on puzzles familiar (...)
     
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  24. Martin Rudwick, Naomi Oreskes, David Oldroyd, David Philip Miller, Alan Chalmers, John Forge, David Turnbull, Peter Slezak, David Bloor, Craig Callender, Keith Hutchison, Steven Savitt & Huw Price (1996). Review Symposia. Metascience 5 (1):7-85.
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  25. Peter Slezak (1996). The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning. Science and Education 5 (2):201-212.
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  26. P. Slezak, T. Caelli & R. Clark (eds.) (1995). Perspectives on Cognitive Science, Volume 1: Theories, Experiments, and Foundations. Ablex Publishing.
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  27. Peter Slezak (1995). The “Philosophical” Case Against Visual Images. In P. Slezak, T. Caelli & R. Clark (eds.), Perspectives on Cognitive Science, Volume 1: Theories, Experiments, and Foundations. Ablex Publishing.
    In their study of reasoning with diagrammatic and non-diagrammatic representations, Larkin and Simon (1987) are concerned with _external_ representations and explicitly avoid drawing inferences about the bearing of their work on the issue of internal, mental representations. Nonetheless, we may infer the bearing of their work on internal representations from the theories of Kosslyn, Finke and other ‘pictorialists’ who take internal representations to be importantly like external ones regarding their ‘privileged’ spatial properties of depicting and resembling their referents. Thus, Finke (...)
     
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  28. P. Slezak (1994). A 2nd Look at Bloor, David Knowledge and Social Imagery. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 24 (3):336-361.
     
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  29. Peter Slezak (1994). A Second Look at David Bloor's: Knowledge and Social Imagery. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 24 (3):336-361.
    The recent republication of David Bloor's Knowledge and Social Imagery in a second edition provides an occasion to reappraise the celebrated work which launched the so-called Strong Programme in the sociology of scientific knowledge. This work embodies the general outlook and foundational principles in a way that is still characteristic of its descendents. Above all, the recent republication of Bloor's original book is evidence of the continuing interest and importance of the work, but it also provides the clearest evidence of (...)
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  30. Peter Slezak (1994). Suchting and the Sleep of Reason. Science and Education 3 (1):69-72.
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  31. Peter Slezak (1994). Sociology of Scientific Knowledge and Science Education Part 2: Laboratory Life Under the Microscope. Science and Education 3 (4):329-355.
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  32. Peter Slezak (1994). Sociology of Scientific Knowledge and Scientific Education: Part I. Science and Education 3 (3):265-294.
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  33. Peter Slezak (1994). The Social Construction of Social Constructionism. Inquiry 37 (2):139 – 157.
    The republication of David Bloor's Knowledge and Social Imagery is evidence of the continuing interest and importance of the work but also provides the clearest evidence of the shortcomings of the enterprise. The new Afterword of Bloor's second edition addresses criticisms of the Strong Programme, but the theses which Bloor now defends are substantially weaker claims than the iconoclastic tenets of the original manifesto. Moreover, in a related strategy, Bloor asserts that criticisms made since 1975 have given him no reason (...)
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  34. Peter Slezak, When Can Visual Images Be Re-Interpreted? Non-Chronometric Tests of Pictorialism.
    are needed on which the contending accounts deliver different predictions. The question of re-interpreting images can be seen.
     
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  35. Peter Slezak (1991). Bloor's Bluff: Behaviourism and the Strong Programme. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 5 (3):241 – 256.
    Abstract The accumulated case studies in the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge have been taken to establish the Strong Programme's thesis that beliefs have social causes in contradistinction to psychological ones. This externalism is essentially a commitment to the stimulus control of behaviour which was the principal tenet of orthodox Skinnerian Behaviorism. Offered as ?straight forward scientific hypotheses? these claims of social determination are asserted to be ?beyond dispute?. However, the causes of beliefs and especially their contents has also been the (...)
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  36. Peter Slezak (1991). Can Images Be Rotated and Inspected? A Test of the Pictorial Medium Theory. Proceedings.
    images. But clearly, it only begs the deeper questions.
     
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  37. Peter Slezak (1990). Man Not a Subject for Science? Social Epistemology 4 (4):327 – 342.
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  38. Peter Slezak (1990). On Rhetorical Strategies: Verstehen Sie? Social Epistemology 4 (4):357 – 360.
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  39. Peter Slezak (1990). Reinterpreting Images. Analysis (October) 235 (October):235-243.
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  40. Peter Slezak (ed.) (1989). Computers, Brains and Minds. Kluwer.
  41. Peter Slezak (1989). How Not to Naturalize the Theory of Action. In. In , Computers, Brains and Minds. Kluwer. 137--166.
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  42. Peter Slezak (1988). Was Descartes a Liar? Diagonal Doubt Defended. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (3):379-388.
  43. Peter Slezak (1986). Actions, Cognition and the Self. Synthese 66 (3):405 - 435.
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  44. Peter Slezak (1984). Minds, Machines and Self-Reference. Dialectica 38 (1):17-34.
  45. Peter Slezak (1983). Descartes's Diagonal Deduction. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 34 (March):13-36.
    I OFFER AN ANALYSIS OF DESCARTES'S COGITO WHICH IS RADICALLY NOVEL WHILE INCORPORATING MUCH AVAILABLE INSIGHT. BY ENLARGING FOCUS FROM THE DICTUM ITSELF TO THE REASONING OF DOUBT, DREAMING AND DEMON, I DEMONSTRATE A CLOSE PARALLEL TO THE LOGIC OF THE LIAR PARADOX. THIS HELPS TO EXPLAIN FAMILIAR PARADOXICAL FEATURES OF DESCARTES'S ARGUMENT. THE ACCOUNT PROVES TO BE TEXTUALLY ELEGANT AND, MOREOVER, HAS CONSIDERABLE INDEPENDENT PHILOSOPHICAL PLAUSIBILITY AS AN ACCOUNT OF MIND AND SELF.
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  46. Peter Slezak (1982). Godel's Theorem and the Mind. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 33 (March):41-52.
  47. Peter Slezak (1981). Language and Psychological Reality: A Discussion of Rudolf Botha's Study. Synthese 49 (December):427-439.