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Profile: Stephen Stich (Rutgers University)
  1. Stephen P. Stich, Michael A. Bishop's>.
    The flight to reference is a widely-used strategy for resolving philosophical issues. The three steps in a flight to reference argument are: (1) offer a substantive account of the reference relation, (2) argue that a particular expression refers (or does not refer), and (3) draw a philosophical conclusion about something other than reference, like truth or ontology. It is our contention that whenever the flight to reference strategy is invoked, there is a crucial step that is left undefended, and that (...)
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  2. Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (2013). If Folk Intuitions Vary, Then What? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):618-635.
    We have recently presented evidence for cross-cultural variation in semantic intuitions and explored the implications of such variation for philosophical arguments that appeal to some theory of reference as a premise. Devitt (2011) and Ichikawa and colleagues (forthcoming) offer critical discussions of the experiment and the conclusions that can be drawn from it. In this response, we reiterate and clarify what we are really arguing for, and we show that most of Devitt’s and Ichikawa and colleagues’ criticisms fail to address (...)
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  3. Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen P. Stich (eds.) (2006). The Innate Mind, Volume 2: Culture and Cognition. Oxford University Press.
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  4. Daniel Kelly, Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Kelby Mason & Stephen P. Stich (2006). The Role of Psychology in the Study of Culture. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):355-355.
    Although we are enthusiastic about a Darwinian approach to culture, we argue that the overview presented in the target article does not sufficiently emphasize the crucial explanatory role that psychology plays in the study of culture. We use a number of examples to illustrate the variety of ways by which appeal to psychological factors can help explain cultural phenomena.
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  5. Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen P. Stich (eds.) (2005). The Innate Mind. Oxford University Press.
    This is the first volume of a projected three-volume set on the subject of innateness. The extent to which the mind is innate is one of the central questions in the human sciences, with important implications for many surrounding debates. By bringing together the top nativist scholars in philosophy, psychology, and allied disciplines these volumes provide a comprehensive assessment of nativist thought and a definitive reference point for future nativist inquiry. The Innate Mind: Structure and Content, concerns the fundamental architecture (...)
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  6. John M. Doris & Stephen P. Stich (2005). As a Matter of Fact : Empirical Perspectives on Ethics. In Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
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  7. Edouard Machery, Daniel Kelly & Stephen P. Stich (2005). Moral Realism and Cross-Cultural Normative Diversity. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (6):830-830.
    We discuss the implications of the findings reported in the target article for moral theory, and argue that they represent a clear and genuine case of fundamental moral disagreement. As such, the findings support a moderate form of moral anti-realism – the position that, for some moral issues, there is no fact of the matter about what is right and wrong.
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  8. Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (2005). Reading One's Own Mind: Self-Awareness and Developmental Psychology. In M. Ezcurdia, R. Stainton & C. Viger (eds.), New Essays in Philosophy of Language and Mind. University of Calgary Press. 297-339.
    The idea that we have special access to our own mental states has a distinguished philosophical history. Philosophers as different as Descartes and Locke agreed that we know our own minds in a way that is quite different from the way in which we know other minds. In the latter half of the 20th century, however, this idea came under serious attack, first from philosophy (Sellars 1956) and more recently from developmental psychology.1 The attack from developmental psychology arises from the (...)
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  9. Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (2004). Semantics, Cross-Cultural Style. Cognition 92 (3):1-12.
    Theories of reference have been central to analytic philosophy, and two views, the descriptivist view of reference and the causal-historical view of reference, have dominated the field. In this research tradition, theories of reference are assessed by consulting one’s intuitions about the reference of terms in hypothetical situations. However, recent work in cultural psychology (e.g., Nisbett et al. 2001) has shown systematic cognitive differences between East Asians and Westerners, and some work indicates that this extends to intuitions about philosophical cases (...)
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  10. Richard Samuels & Stephen P. Stich (2004). Rationality and Psychology. In Piers Rawling & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Rationality. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 279-300.
  11. C. S. Sripada & Stephen P. Stich (2004). Evolution, Culture, and the Irrationality of the Emotions. In D. Evans & Pierre Cruse (eds.), Emotion, Evolution, and Rationality. Oxford University Press.
    For about 2500 years, from Plato’s time until the closing decades of the 20th century, the dominant view was that the emotions are quite distinct from the processes of rational thinking and decision making, and are often a major impediment to those processes. But in recent years this orthodoxy has been challenged in a number of ways. Damasio (1994) has made a forceful case that the traditional view, which he has dubbed _Descartes’ Error_, is quite wrong, because emotions play a (...)
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  12. Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (2003). Mindreading. An Integrated Account of Pretence, Self-Awareness, and Understanding Other Minds. Oxford University Press.
    The everyday capacity to understand the mind, or 'mindreading', plays an enormous role in our ordinary lives. Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich provide a detailed and integrated account of the intricate web of mental components underlying this fascinating and multifarious skill. The imagination, they argue, is essential to understanding others, and there are special cognitive mechanisms for understanding oneself. The account that emerges has broad implications for longstanding philosophical debates over the status of folk psychology. Mindreading is another trailblazing volume (...)
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  13. Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (2003). Reading One's Own Mind: A Cognitive Theory of Self-Awareness. In Quentin Smith & Aleksandar Jokic (eds.), Consciousness: New Philosophical Perspectives. Oup.
  14. Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.) (2003). Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.
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  15. Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.) (2003). The Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.
    "The Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind "leads the reader through a broad range of topics, including Artificial Intelligence, Consciousness, Dualism, ...
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  16. Ted A. Warfield & Stephen P. Stich (eds.) (2003). Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.
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  17. Peter Carruthers, Stephen P. Stich & Michael Siegal (eds.) (2002). The Cognitive Basis of Science. Cambridge University Press.
    The Cognitive Basis of Science concerns the question 'What makes science possible?' Specifically, what features of the human mind and of human culture and cognitive development permit and facilitate the conduct of science? The essays in this volume address these questions, which are inherently interdisciplinary, requiring co-operation between philosophers, psychologists, and others in the social and cognitive sciences. They concern the cognitive, social, and motivational underpinnings of scientific reasoning in children and lay persons as well as in professional scientists. The (...)
     
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  18. Stephen P. Stich & Shaun Nichols (2002). Folk Psychology. In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. 35-71.
    For the last 25 years discussions and debates about commonsense psychology (or “folk psychology,” as it is often called) have been center stage in the philosophy of mind. There have been heated disagreements both about what folk psychology is and about how it is related to the scientific understanding of the mind/brain that is emerging in psychology and the neurosciences. In this chapter we will begin by explaining why folk psychology plays such an important role in the philosophy of mind. (...)
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  19. Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.) (2002). Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.
  20. Stephen P. Stich & Jonathan M. Weinberg (2001). Jackson's Empirical Assumptions. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):637-643.
  21. Ronald Mallon & Stephen P. Stich (2000). The Odd Couple: The Compatibility of Social Construction and Evolutionary Psychology. Philosophy of Science 67 (1):133-154.
    Evolutionary psychology and social constructionism are widely regarded as fundamentally irreconcilable approaches to the social sciences. Focusing on the study of the emotions, we argue that this appearance is mistaken. Much of what appears to be an empirical disagreement between evolutionary psychologists and social constructionists over the universality or locality of emotional phenomena is actually generated by an implicit philosophical dispute resulting from the adoption of different theories of meaning and reference. We argue that once this philosophical dispute is recognized, (...)
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  22. Stephen P. Stich & Ron Mallon (2000). The Odd Couple: The Compatibility of Social Construction and Evolutionary Psychology. Philosophy of Science 67 (1):133-154.
    Evolutionary psychology and social constructionism are widely regarded as fundamentally irreconcilable approaches to the social sciences. Focusing on the study of the emotions, we argue that this appearance is mistaken. Much of what appears to be an empirical disagreement between evolutionary psychologists and social constructionists over the universality or locality of emotional phenomena is actually generated by an implicit philosophical dispute resulting from the adoption of different theories of meaning and reference. We argue that once this philosophical dispute is recognized, (...)
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  23. Stephen P. Stich & Shaun Nichols (2000). A Cognitive Theory of Pretense. Cognition 74 (2):115-147.
    Recent accounts of pretense have been underdescribed in a number of ways. In this paper, we present a much more explicit cognitive account of pretense. We begin by describing a number of real examples of pretense in children and adults. These examples bring out several features of pretense that any adequate theory of pretense must accommodate, and we use these features to develop our theory of pretense. On our theory, pretense representations are contained in a separate mental workspace, a Possible (...)
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  24. Stephen P. Stich (1999). 35 The Recombinant DNA Debate: A Difficulty for Pascalian-Style Wagering. In Eleonore Stump & Michael J. Murray (eds.), Philosophy of Religion: The Big Questions. Blackwell Publishers. 6--300.
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  25. Michael A. Bishop & Stephen P. Stich (1998). The Flight to Reference, or How Not to Make Progress in the Philosophy of Science. Philosophy of Science 65 (1):33-49.
    The flight to reference is a widely-used strategy for resolving philosophical issues. The three steps in a flight to reference argument are: (1) offer a substantive account of the reference relation, (2) argue that a particular expression refers (or does not refer), and (3) draw a philosophical conclusion about something other than reference, like truth or ontology. It is our contention that whenever the flight to reference strategy is invoked, there is a crucial step that is left undefended, and that (...)
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  26. Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (1998). Rethinking Co-Cognition: A Reply to Heal. Mind and Language 13 (4):499-512.
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  27. Stephen P. Stich & Shaun Nichols (1998). Theory Theory to the Max. Mind and Language 13 (3):421-449.
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  28. Stephen P. Stich & Shaun Nichols (1997). Cognitive Penetrability, Rationality, and Restricted Simulation. Mind and Language 12 (3-4):297-326.
    In a series of recent papers, Jane Heal (1994, 1995a, 1995b, 1996a, 1996b) has developed her own quite distinctive version of simulation theory and offered a detailed critique of the arguments against simulation theory that we and our collaborators presented in earlier papers. Heal's theory is clearly set out and carefully defended, and her critique of our arguments is constructive and well informed. Unlike a fair amount of what has been written in this area in recent years, her work is (...)
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  29. Alan M. Leslie, Shaun Nichols, Stephen P. Stich & David B. Klein (1996). Varieties of Off-Line Simulation. In P. Carruthers & P. Smith (eds.), Theories of Theories of Mind. Cambridge University Press. 39-74.
    In the last few years, off-line simulation has become an increasingly important alternative to standard explanations in cognitive science. The contemporary debate began with Gordon (1986) and Goldman's (1989) off-line simulation account of our capacity to predict behavior. On their view, in predicting people's behavior we take our own decision making system `off line' and supply it with the `pretend' beliefs and desires of the person whose behavior we are trying to predict; we then let the decision maker reach a (...)
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  30. Adam Morton & Stephen P. Stich (eds.) (1996). Benacerraf and His Critics. Blackwell.
    a collection of articles by philosophers of mathematics on themes associated with the work of Paul Benacceraf.
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  31. Shaun Nichols, Stephen P. Stich, Alan M. Leslie & David B. Klein (1996). Varieties of Off-Line Simulation. In Peter Carruthers & Peter K. Smith (eds.), [Book Chapter]. Cambridge University Press. 39-74.
    The debate over off-line simulation has largely focussed on the capacity to predict behavior, but the basic idea of off-line simulation can be cast in a much broader framework. The central claim of the off-line account of behavior prediction is that the practical reasoning mechanism is taken off-line and used for predicting behavior. However, there's no reason to suppose that the idea of off-line simulation can't be extended to mechanisms other than the practical reasoning system. In principle, any cognitive component (...)
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  32. Stephen P. Stich (1996). Deconstructing the Mind. In Deconstructing the Mind. Oxford University Press, 1996. 479-482.
    Over the last two decades, debates over the viability of commonsense psychology have been center stage in both cognitive science and the philosophy of mind. Eliminativists have argued that advances in cognitive science and neuroscience will ultimately justify a rejection of our "folk" theory of the mind, and of its ontology. In the first half of this book Stich, who was at one time a leading advocate of eliminativism, maintains that even if the sciences develop in the ways that eliminativists (...)
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  33. Shaun Nichols, Stephen P. Stich & Alan M. Leslie (1995). Choice Effects and the Ineffectiveness of Simulation. Mind and Language 10 (4):437-45.
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  34. Stephen P. Stich & Shaun Nichols (1995). Second Thoughts on Simulation. In Martin Davies & Tony Stone (eds.), Mental Simulation. Blackwell.
    The essays in this volume make it abundantly clear that there is no shortage of disagreement about the plausibility of the simulation theory. As we see it, there are at least three factors contributing to this disagreement. In some instances the issues in dispute are broadly empirical. Different people have different views on which theory is favored by experiments reported in the literature, and different hunches about how future experiments are likely to turn out. In 3.1 and 3.3 we will (...)
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  35. Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (1995). Reply to Clark and Smolensky: Do Connectionist Minds Have Beliefs? In C. Macdonald & Graham F. Macdonald (eds.), Connectionism: Debates on Psychological Explanation. Blackwell.
  36. Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (1994). Folk Psychology. Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science:235--255.
    For the last 25 years discussions and debates about commonsense psychology (or “folk psychology,” as it is often called) have been center stage in the philosophy of mind. There have been heated disagreements both about what folk psychology is and about how it is related to the scientific understanding of the mind/brain that is emerging in psychology and the neurosciences. In this chapter we will begin by explaining why folk psychology plays such an important role in the philosophy of mind. (...)
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  37. Stephen P. Stich (1994). The Virtues, Challenges and Implications of Connectionism. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (4):1047-1058.
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  38. Stephen P. Stich & Stephen Laurence (1994). Intentionality and Naturalism. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 19 (1):159-82.
    ...the deepest motivation for intentional irrealism derives not from such relatively technical worries about individualism and holism as we.
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  39. Stephen P. Stich & R. Ravenscroft (1994). What is Folk Psychology? Cognition 50:447-68.
    For the last two decades a doctrine called ‘‘eliminative materialism’’ (or sometimes just ‘‘eliminativism’’) has been a major focus of discussion in the philosophy of mind. It is easy to understand why eliminativism has attracted so much attention, for it is hard to imagine a more radical and provocative doctrine. What eliminativism claims is that the intentional states and processes that are alluded to in our everyday descriptions and explanations of people’s mental lives and their actions are _myths_. Like the (...)
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  40. Stephen P. Stich (1993). The Future of Folk Psychology. In Scott M. Christensen & Dale R. Turner (eds.), Folk Psychology and the Philosophy of Mind. L. Erlbaum. 93.
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  41. Stephen P. Stich & Shaun Nichols (1993). Folk Psychology: Simulation or Tacit Theory? Mind and Language 7 (1-2):35-71.
    A central goal of contemporary cognitive science is the explanation of cognitive abilities or capacities. [Cummins 1983] During the last three decades a wide range of cognitive capacities have been subjected to careful empirical scrutiny. The adult's ability to produce and comprehend natural language sentences and the child's capacity to acquire a natural language were among the first to be explored. [Chomsky 1965, Fodor, Bever & Garrett 1974, Pinker 1989] There is also a rich literature on the ability to solve (...)
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  42. E. J. Lowe & Stephen P. Stich (1992). The Fragmentation of Reason: Preface to a Pragmatic Theory of Cognitive Evaluation. Philosophical Quarterly 42 (166):98.
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  43. Stephen P. Stich (1992). What is a Theory of Mental Representation? Mind 101 (402):243-61.
  44. William Ramsey, Stephen P. Stich & J. Garon (1991). Connectionism, Eliminativism, and the Future of Folk Psychology. In William Ramsey, Stephen P. Stich & D. Rumelhart (eds.), Philosophy and Connectionist Theory. Lawrence Erlbaum. 499-533.
  45. William Ramsey, Stephen P. Stich & D. M. Rumelhart (eds.) (1991). Philosophy and Connectionist Theory. Lawrence Erlbaum.
    The philosophy of cognitive science has recently become one of the most exciting and fastest growing domains of philosophical inquiry and analysis. Until the early 1980s, nearly all of the models developed treated cognitive processes -- like problem solving, language comprehension, memory, and higher visual processing -- as rule-governed symbol manipulation. However, this situation has changed dramatically over the last half dozen years. In that period there has been an enormous shift of attention toward connectionist models of cognition that are (...)
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  46. Stephen P. Stich (1991). Causal Holism and Commonsense Psychology: A Reply to O'Brien. Philosophical Psychology 4 (2):179-181.
  47. Stephen P. Stich (1991). Do True Believers Exist? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 65:229-44.
     
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  48. Stephen P. Stich (1991). Evaluating Cognitive Strategies. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (1):207 - 213.
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  49. Stephen P. Stich (1991). Narrow Content Meets Fat Syntax. In Barry M. Loewer & Georges Rey (eds.), Meaning in Mind: Fodor and His Critics. Blackwell.
     
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  50. Stephen P. Stich (1991). The Fragmentation of Reason: Précis of Two Chapters. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (1):179 - 183.
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