31 found

Year:

  1.  11
    Globularization and Domestication.Antonio Benítez-Burraco, Constantina Theofanopoulou & Cedric Boeckx - 2018 - Topoi 37 (2):265-278.
    This paper aims to explore a potential connection between two hypotheses recently put forward in the context of language evolution. One hypothesis argues that some human-specific change in the hominin brain developmental program habilitated the neuronal workspace that enabled “cognitive modernity” to unfold, also resulting in our globularized braincase. The other argues that the cultural niche resulting from our self-domestication favored the emergence of natural languages. In this article we document numerous links between the genetic changes we have claimed may (...)
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  2.  12
    Precursors to Language.Michael C. Corballis - 2018 - Topoi 37 (2):297-305.
    One view of language is that it emerged in a single step in Homo sapiens, and depended on a radical transformation of human thought, involving symbolic representations and computational rules for combining them. I argue instead that language should be viewed as a communication system for the sharing of thoughts, and that thought processes themselves evolved well before the capacity to share them. One property often considered unique to language is generativity—the capacity to generate a potentially infinite variety of sentences. (...)
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  3.  2
    Introduction: Origin and Evolution of Language—An Interdisciplinary Perspective.Francesco Ferretti, Ines Adornetti, Alessandra Chiera, Erica Cosentino & Serena Nicchiarelli - 2018 - Topoi 37 (2):219-234.
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  4.  1
    What Are the Units of Language Evolution?Nathalie Gontier - 2018 - Topoi 37 (2):235-253.
    Universal Darwinism provides a methodology to study the evolution of anatomical form and sociocultural behavior that centers on defining the units and levels of selection, and it identifies the conditions whereby natural selection operates. In previous work, I have examined how this selection-focused evolutionary epistemology may be universalized to include theories that associate with an extended synthesis. Applied evolutionary epistemology is a metatheoretical framework that understands any and all kinds of evolution as phenomena where units evolve by mechanisms at levels (...)
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  5. Gricean Communication, Joint Action, and the Evolution of Cooperation.Richard Moore - 2018 - Topoi 37 (2):329-341.
    It is sometimes claimed that Gricean communication is necessarily a form of cooperative or ‘joint’ action. A consequence of this Cooperative Communication View is that Gricean communication could not itself contribute to an explanation of the possibility of joint action. I argue that even though Gricean communication is often a form of joint action, it is not necessarily so—since it does not always require intentional action on the part of a hearer. Rejecting the Cooperative Communication View has attractive consequences for (...)
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  6.  10
    Continuity and Discontinuity in Human Language Evolution: Putting an Old-Fashioned Debate in its Historical Perspective.Andrea Parravicini & Telmo Pievani - 2018 - Topoi 37 (2):279-287.
    The article reconstructs the main lines of three hypotheses in the current literature concerning the evolutionary pace which characterized the natural history of human language: the “continuist” and gradualist perspective, the “discontinuist” and evolution-free perspective, and the “punctuationist” view. This current debate appears to have a long history, which starts at least from Darwin’s time. The article highlights the similarities between the old and the modern debates in terms of history of ideas, and it shows the current limits of each (...)
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  7.  25
    An Updated Evolutionary Research Programme for the Evolution of Language.Francesco Suman - 2018 - Topoi 37 (2):255-263.
    Language evolution, intended as an open problem in the evolutionary research programme, will be here analyzed from the theoretical perspective advanced by the supporters of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. Four factors and two associated concepts will be matched with a selection of critical examples concerning genus Homo evolution, relevant for the evolution of language, such as the evolution of hominin life-history traits, the enlargement of the social group, increased cooperation among individuals, behavioral change and innovations, heterochronic modifications leading to increased (...)
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  8.  22
    Language Origins: An Evolutionary Framework.Ian Tattersall - 2018 - Topoi 37 (2):289-296.
    Opinions have varied wildly as to whether the roots of language run extremely deep in the human lineage, or, alternatively, whether this unprecedented capacity is a recent acquisition. The question has been exacerbated by the fact that language itself does not preserve, so that its possession by earlier hominids has had to be inferred from indirect material proxies. Here I argue that while most technological putative proxies from the Paleolithic are certainly evidence of highly complex cognitive states among our precursors, (...)
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  9.  12
    Reconsidering the Role of Manual Imitation in Language Evolution.Antonella Tramacere & Richard Moore - 2018 - Topoi 37 (2):319-328.
    In this paper, we distinguish between a number of different phenomena that have been called imitation, and identify one form—a high fidelity mechanism for social learning—considered to be crucial for the development of language. Subsequently, we consider a common claim in the language evolution literature, which is that prior to the emergence of vocal language our ancestors communicated using a sophisticated gestural protolanguage, the learning of some parts of which required manual imitation. Drawing upon evidence from recent work in neuroscience, (...)
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  10.  10
    Facilitating Automation in Sentence Processing: The Emergence of Topic and Presupposition in Human Communication.Edoardo Lombardi Vallauri & Viviana Masia - 2018 - Topoi 37 (2):343-354.
    Human attention is limited in its capacity and duration. In language, this is manifested in many ways, but more conspicuously in the strategies by which information is distributed in utterances, that is, their information structures. We contend that the pragmatic categories of Topic and Presupposition precisely meet the necessity to modulate attentional resources on sentence contents, and they do this by “directing” certain contents to automatic and others to controlled processing mechanisms. We discuss experimental findings suggesting that presupposed or topicalized (...)
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  11.  9
    Defining Pantomime for Language Evolution Research.Przemysław Żywiczyński, Sławomir Wacewicz & Marta Sibierska - 2018 - Topoi 37 (2):307-318.
    Although pantomimic scenarios recur in the most important historical as well as current accounts of language origins, a serious problem is the lack of a commonly accepted definition of “pantomime”. We scrutinise several areas of study, from theatre studies to semiotics to primatology, pointing to the differences in use that may give rise to misunderstandings, and working towards a set of definitional criteria of “pantomime” specifically useful for language evolution research. We arrive at a definition of pantomime as a communication (...)
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  12.  23
    The Scope of Debiasing in the Classroom.Guillaume Beaulac & Tim Kenyon - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):93-102.
    Critical thinking is often taught with some emphasis on categories and operations of cognitive biases. The underlying thought is that knowledge of biases equips students to reduce them. The empirical evidence, however, doesn’t provide much support for this thought. We have previously argued that the emphasis on debiasing in critical thinking education is worth preserving, but in light of a more explicit and broader conception of debiasing. We now argue that this broader conception of debiasing strategies obliges critical thinking instructors (...)
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  13.  27
    The Pros and Cons of Identifying Critical Thinking with System 2 Processing.Jean-François Bonnefon - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):113-119.
    The dual-process model of cognition but most especially its reflective component, system 2 processing, shows strong conceptual links with critical thinking. In fact, the salient characteristics of system 2 processing are so strikingly close to that of critical thinking, that it is tempting to claim that critical thinking is system 2 processing, no more and no less. In this article, I consider the two sides of that claim: Does critical thinking always require system 2 processing? And does system 2 processing (...)
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  14.  23
    Scientific Expertise: Epistemic and Social Standards—The Example of the German Radiation Protection Commission.Martin Carrier & Wolfgang Krohn - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):55-66.
    In their self-understanding, expert committees solely draw on scientific knowledge to provide policy advice. However, we try to show, first, on the basis of material related to the German Radiation Protection Commission that much of their work consists in active model building. Second, expert advice is judged by criteria that diverge from standards used for judging epistemic research. In particular, the commitment to generality or universality is replaced by the criterion of specificity, and the value of precision gives way to (...)
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  15.  26
    Studies of Expertise and Experience.Harry Collins - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):67-77.
    I describe the program of analysis of expertise known as ‘Studies of Expertise and Experience’, or ‘SEE’ and contrast it with certain philosophical approaches. SEE differs from many approaches to expertise in that it takes the degree of ‘esotericity’ of the expertise to be one of its characteristics: esotericity is not a defining characteristic of expertise. Thus, native language speaking is taken to be an expertise along with gravitational wave physics. Expertise is taken to be acquired by socialisation within expert (...)
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  16.  3
    Contextual Debiasing and Critical Thinking: Reasons for Optimism.Vasco Correia - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):103-111.
    In this article I argue that most biases in argumentation and decision-making can and should be counteracted. Although biases can prove beneficial in certain contexts, I contend that they are generally maladaptive and need correction. Yet critical thinking alone seems insufficient to mitigate biases in everyday contexts. I develop a contextualist approach, according to which cognitive debiasing strategies need to be supplemented by extra-psychic devices that rely on social and environmental constraints in order to promote rational reasoning. Finally, I examine (...)
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  17.  23
    Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum: A Vision.Robert H. Ennis - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):165-184.
    This essay offers a comprehensive vision for a higher education program incorporating critical thinking across the curriculum at hypothetical Alpha College, employing a rigorous detailed conception of critical thinking called “The Alpha Conception of Critical Thinking”. The program starts with a 1-year, required, freshman course, two-thirds of which focuses on a set of general critical thinking dispositions and abilities. The final third uses subject-matter issues to reinforce general critical thinking dispositions and abilities, teach samples of subject matter, and introduce subject-specific (...)
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  18.  66
    Expertise.Alvin I. Goldman - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):3-10.
    This paper offers a sizeable menu of approaches to what it means to be an expert. Is it a matter of reputation within a community, or a matter of what one knows independently of reputation? An initial proposal characterizes expertise in dispositional terms—an ability to help other people get answers to difficult questions or execute difficult tasks. What cognitive states, however, ground these abilities? Do the grounds consist in “veritistic” states or in terms of evidence or justifiedness? To what extent (...)
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  19.  19
    Expert Knowledge and Human Wisdom: A Socratic Note on the Philosophy of Expertise.Jörg Hardy & Margarita Kaiser - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):79-89.
    In this paper we attempt to understand what Socrates says about expertise and virtue in Plato’s dialogue Laches in the light of Socrates’ idea of “human wisdom” in the Apology of Socrates. Conducting a good life requires both “knowledge about good and bad things”, that is, knowledge about human well-being, and “human wisdom”. Socrates aspires to epistemic autonomy: Trust in your own reason, and don’t let any expert tell you anything about your own happiness.
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  20.  13
    Do Programmes Delineating Critical Thinking as a Learning Outcome Facilitate its Teaching? International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and Lebanese Baccalaureate Programme.Yara Yasser Hilal - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):201-217.
    Critical thinking continues to be viewed as a prerequisite skill for lifelong learning. It is not surprising therefore, that academic programmes delineate CT as a goal and a learning outcome. However, there are concerns regarding the extent to which the aims and objectives of the programmes are aligned with pedagogies for CT. Both the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and the Lebanese Baccalaureate Programme clearly delineate CT as a goal and a learning outcome. The study examines the facilitation of teaching CT (...)
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  21.  15
    Stimulating Reflection and Self-Correcting Reasoning Through Argument Mapping: Three Approaches.Michael H. G. Hoffmann - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):185-199.
    A large body of research in cognitive science differentiates human reasoning into two types: fast, intuitive, and emotional “System 1” thinking, and slower, more reflective “System 2” reasoning. According to this research, human reasoning is by default fast and intuitive, but that means that it is prone to error and biases that cloud our judgments and decision making. To improve the quality of reasoning, critical thinking education should develop strategies to slow it down and to become more reflective. The goal (...)
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  22.  16
    A Role for Reasoning in a Dialogic Approach to Critical Thinking.Deanna Kuhn - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):121-128.
    We note the development of the widely employed but loosely defined construct of critical thinking from its earliest instantiations as a measure of individual ability to its current status, marked by efforts to better connect the construct to the socially-situated thinking demands of real life. Inquiry and argument are identified as key dimensions in a process-based account of critical thinking. Argument is identified as a social practice, rather than a strictly individual competency. Yet, new empirical evidence is presented documenting a (...)
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  23. Expertise: A Practical Explication.Christian Quast - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):11-27.
    In this paper I will introduce a practical explication for the notion of expertise. At first, I motivate this attempt by taking a look on recent debates which display great disagreement about whether and how to define expertise in the first place. After that I will introduce the methodology of practical explications in the spirit of Edward Craig’s Knowledge and the state of nature along with some conditions of adequacy taken from ordinary and scientific language. This eventually culminates in the (...)
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  24.  8
    Introduction: The Philosophy of Expertise—What is Expertise?Christian Quast & Markus Seidel - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):1-2.
  25.  18
    Symptoms of Expertise: Knowledge, Understanding and Other Cognitive Goods.Oliver R. Scholz - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):29-37.
    In this paper, I want to make two main points. The first point is methodological: Instead of attempting to give a classical analysis or reductive definition of the term “expertise”, we should attempt an explication and look for what may be called symptoms of expertise. What this comes to will be explained in due course. My second point is substantial: I want to recommend understanding as an important symptom of expertise. In order to give this suggestion content, I begin to (...)
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  26.  30
    Promoting Critical Thinking in Higher Education: My Experiences as the Inaugural Eugene H. Fram Chair in Applied Critical Thinking at Rochester Institute of Technology.Clarence Burton Sheffield - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):155-163.
    From 2012 to 2015 I was the first Eugene H. Fram Chair in Applied Critical Thinking at Rochester Institute of Technology, in Rochester, NY. To the best of my knowledge it is the only such endowed position devoted solely to this at a major North American university. It was made possible by a generous 3 million dollar gift from an anonymous alumnus who wished to honor a retired faculty member who had taught for 51 years. The honoree was revered for (...)
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  27.  18
    Cicero on Pompey’s Command: Heuristic Rhetoric and Teaching the Art of Strategic Reasoning.Gabor Tahin - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):143-154.
    Through the example of a paradigmatic deliberative speech from classical oratory, the paper addresses two fundamental questions of teaching rhetorical reasoning. First, the paper shows that a speech from ancient Greek and Roman political or judicial oratory could provide effective means to teach a variety of argumentation skills, the recognition of fallacies and an awareness of biases in the target audience. Second, the paper uses the speech to consider an elusive problem of rhetorical or critical reasoning instruction, namely how students (...)
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  28.  28
    The Shoulders of Giants: A Case for Non-Veritism About Expert Authority.Jamie Carlin Watson - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):39-53.
    Among social epistemologists, having a certain proportion of reliably formed beliefs in a subject matter is widely regarded as a necessary condition for cognitive expertise. This condition is motivated by the idea that expert testimony puts subjects in a better position than non-expert testimony to obtain knowledge about a subject matter. I offer three arguments showing that veritism is an inadequate account of expert authority because the reliable access condition renders expertise incapable of performing its social role. I then develop (...)
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  29.  16
    Introduction: Reasoning, Argumentation, and Critical Thinking Instruction.Frank Zenker - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):91-92.
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  30.  20
    Assessing Levels of Epistemological Understanding: The Standardized Epistemological Understanding Assessment.Natalia Żyluk, Karolina Karpe, Mikołaj Michta, Weronika Potok, Katarzyna Paluszkiewicz & Mariusz Urbański - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):129-141.
    This article describes the process of modification and Polish adaptation of an instrument constructed to assess the level of epistemological understanding. The original tool was developed by Kuhn et al. in order to account for transitions between, and coordination of, subjective and objective dimensions of knowing across different judgement domains. Our aim was to improve its psychometric properties. The main changes included extending the list of test items, a new administration procedure and the introduction of a quantitative scoring method. The (...)
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  31.  39
    Precise Worlds for Certain Minds: An Ecological Perspective on the Relational Self in Autism.Axel Constant, Jo Bervoets, Kristien Hens & Sander Van de Cruys - 2018 - Topoi:1-12.
    Autism Spectrum Condition presents a challenge to social and relational accounts of the self, precisely because it is broadly seen as a disorder impacting social relationships. Many influential theories argue that social deficits and impairments of the self are the core problems in ASC. Predictive processing approaches address these based on general purpose neurocognitive mechanisms that are expressed atypically. Here we use the High, Inflexible Precision of Prediction Errors in Autism approach in the context of cultural niche construction to explain (...)
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