Philosophical work on perception traditionally concerns whether perceptual acquaintance with things in the world is compatible with the possibility of illusions and hallucinations. Given that you cannot tell definitively if you are hallucinating, how are you ever acquainted with things like tomatoes, barns, collisions, colors, sounds, and odors?
Attacks on religious doctrines are often characterized as a form of bigotry and traditional analyses of the concept support this view. I argue that regarding such attacks as bigotry is inconsistent with a variety of contemporary moral attitudes and social goals. I offer an improved account of when we should ascribe bigotry – one that is more coherent with views on tolerance and the importance of open debate. This account focuses upon the justification for hostile attitudes and also limits the (...) target of bigoted thought to persons, not to doctrines, religious or otherwise. I argue that while it is indeed possible to adopt bigoted attitudes toward people classified on the basis of their religious beliefs, it is not possible to hold bigoted attitudes against the beliefs themselves. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction; Part I. Foundations: 1. History and core themes; 2. The representational theory of mind; 3. Cognitive architectures; Part II. Aspects of Cognition: 4. Perception; 5. Action; 6. Human learning and memory; 7. Reasoning and decision making; 8. Concepts; 9. Language; 10. Emotion; 11. Consciousness; Part III. Research Programs: 12. Cognitive neuroscience; 13. Evolutionary psychology; 14. Embodied, embedded, and extended cognition; 15. Animal cognition; Glossary.
In accounting for the way we explain and predict behavior, two major positions are the theory-theory and the simulation theory. Recently, several authors have advocated a hybrid position, where elements of both theory and simulation are part of the account. One popular strategy for incorporating simulation is to note that we sometimes assign mental states to others by performing cognitive operations in ourselves that mirror what has occurred in the target. In this article, I argue that this way of thinking (...) about simulation is misguided. The confusion stems from a failure to appreciate how the application of any internal theory, including folk psychology, requires the employment of other cognitive sub-systems and mechanisms. Just as we need to use our visual system to see what another person is seeing, so too we sometimes need to use our own internal sub-systems to ascertain facts about another's mental states. In many such cases, our cognitive mechanisms are used more as ?fact-finders? rather than as simulators. After spelling all this out, I offer two ways to demarcate cognitive processes that are real simulation from those that are simply used in the application of a theory. (shrink)
Eliminative materialism (or eliminativism) is the radical claim that our ordinary, common-sense understanding of the mind is deeply wrong and that some or all of the mental states posited by common-sense do not actually exist. Descartes famously challenged much of what we take for granted, but he insisted that, for the most part, we can be confident about the content of our own minds. Eliminative materialists go further than Descartes on this point, since they challenge of the existence of various (...) mental states that Descartes took for granted. (shrink)
In “Connectionism and the fats of folk psychology”, Forster and Saidel argue that the central claim of Ramsey, Stich and Garon (1991)—that distributed connectionist models are incompatible with the causal discreteness of folk psychology—is mistaken. To establish their claim, they offer an intriguing model which allegedly shows how distributed representations can function in a causally discrete manner. They also challenge our position regarding projectibility of folk psychology. In this essay, I offer a response to their account and show how their (...) model fails to demonstrate that our original argument was mistaken. While I will discuss several difficulties with their model, my primary criticism will be that the features of their model that are causally discrete are not truly distributed, while the features that are distributed are not really discrete. Concerning the issue of projectibility, I am more inclined to agree with Forster and Saidel and I offer a revised account of what we should have said originally. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore the implications of recent empirical research on concept representation for the philosophical enterprise of conceptual analysis. I argue that conceptual analysis, as it is commonly practiced, is committed to certain assumptions about the nature of our intuitive categorization judgments. I then try to show how these assumptions clash with contemporary accounts of concept representation in cognitive psychology. After entertaining an objection to my argument, I close by considering ways in which conceptual analysis might be altered (...) to accord better with the empirical work. (shrink)
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 (...) inspired by the network-like architecture of the brain. Because of their unique architecture and style of processing, connectionist systems are generally regarded as radically different from the more traditional symbol manipulation models. This collection was designed to provide philosophers who have been working in the area of cognitive science with a forum for expressing their views on these recent developments. Because the symbol-manipulating paradigm has been so important to the work of contemporary philosophers, many have watched the emergence of connectionism with considerable interest. The contributors take very different stands toward connectionism, but all agree that the potential exists for a radical shift in the way many philosophers think of various aspects of cognition. Exploring this potential and other philosophical dimensions of connectionist research is the aim of this volume. (shrink)
Eliminative materialism is the position that common?sense psychology is false and that beliefs and desires, like witches and demons, do not exist. One of the most popular criticisms of this view is that it is self?refuting or, in some sense, incoherent. Hence, it is often claimed that eliminativism is not only implausible, but necessarily false. Below, I assess the merits of this objection and find it seriously wanting. I argue that the self?refutation objection is (at best) a misleading reformulation of (...) much more mundane objections to eliminativism and that, contrary to its advocates? endorsements, it adds nothing of genuine interest to the debate over the existence of prepositional attitudes. (shrink)
Along with the increasing popularity of connectionist language models has come a number of provocative suggestions about the challenge these models present to Chomsky's arguments for nativism. The aim of this paper is to assess these claims. We begin by reconstructing Chomsky's argument from the poverty of the stimulus and arguing that it is best understood as three related arguments, with increasingly strong conclusions. Next, we provide a brief introduction to connectionism and give a quick survey of recent efforts to (...) develop networks that model various aspects of human linguistic behavior. Finally, we explore the implications of this research for Chomsky's arguments. Our claim is that the relation between connectionism and Chomsky's views on innate knowledge is more complicated than many have assumed, and that even if these models enjoy considerable success the threat they pose for linguistic nativism is small. (shrink)