Year:

  1.  5
    Syntactical Informational Structural Realism.Majid Davoody Beni - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (4):623-643.
    Luciano Floridi’s informational structural realism takes a constructionist attitude towards the problems of epistemology and metaphysics, but the question of the nature of the semantical component of his view remains vexing. In this paper, I propose to dispense with the semantical component of ISR completely. I outline a Syntactical version of ISR. The unified entropy-based framework of information has been adopted as the groundwork of SISR. To establish its realist component, SISR should be able to dissolve the latching problem. We (...)
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  2.  3
    An Analysis of the Interaction Between Intelligent Software Agents and Human Users.Christopher Burr, Nello Cristianini & James Ladyman - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (4):735-774.
    Interactions between an intelligent software agent and a human user are ubiquitous in everyday situations such as access to information, entertainment, and purchases. In such interactions, the ISA mediates the user’s access to the content, or controls some other aspect of the user experience, and is not designed to be neutral about outcomes of user choices. Like human users, ISAs are driven by goals, make autonomous decisions, and can learn from experience. Using ideas from bounded rationality, we frame these interactions (...)
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  3.  13
    Retracted Article: Habits, Priming and the Explanation of Mindless Action.Ezio Di Nucci - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (4):795-795.
  4.  3
    Grounds for Trust: Essential Epistemic Opacity and Computational Reliabilism.Juan M. Durán & Nico Formanek - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (4):645-666.
    Several philosophical issues in connection with computer simulations rely on the assumption that results of simulations are trustworthy. Examples of these include the debate on the experimental role of computer simulations :483–496, 2009; Morrison in Philos Stud 143:33–57, 2009), the nature of computer data Computer simulations and the changing face of scientific experimentation, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Barcelona, 2013; Humphreys, in: Durán, Arnold Computer simulations and the changing face of scientific experimentation, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Barcelona, 2013), and the explanatory power of (...)
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  5.  6
    AI4People—An Ethical Framework for a Good AI Society: Opportunities, Risks, Principles, and Recommendations.Luciano Floridi, Josh Cowls, Monica Beltrametti, Raja Chatila, Patrice Chazerand, Virginia Dignum, Christoph Luetge, Robert Madelin, Ugo Pagallo, Francesca Rossi, Burkhard Schafer, Peggy Valcke & Effy Vayena - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (4):689-707.
    This article reports the findings of AI4People, an Atomium—EISMD initiative designed to lay the foundations for a “Good AI Society”. We introduce the core opportunities and risks of AI for society; present a synthesis of five ethical principles that should undergird its development and adoption; and offer 20 concrete recommendations—to assess, to develop, to incentivise, and to support good AI—which in some cases may be undertaken directly by national or supranational policy makers, while in others may be led by other (...)
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  6.  3
    Info-Metrics for Modeling and Inference.Amos Golan - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (4):787-793.
    Info-metrics is a framework for rational inference based on insufficient information. The complete info-metric framework, accompanied with many interdisciplinary examples and case studies, as well as graphical representations of the theory appear in the new book “Foundations of Info-Metrics: Modeling, Inference and Imperfect Information,” Oxford University Press, 2018. In this commentary, I describe that framework in general terms, demonstrate some of the ideas via simple examples, and provide arguments for using it to transform information into useful knowledge.
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  7.  5
    Killer Robot Arms: A Case-Study in Brain–Computer Interfaces and Intentional Acts.David Gurney - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (4):775-785.
    I use a hypothetical case study of a woman who replaces here biological arms with prostheses controlled through a brain–computer interface the explore how a BCI might interpret and misinterpret intentions. I define pre-veto intentions and post-veto intentions and argue that a failure of a BCI to differentiate between the two could lead to some troubling legal and ethical problems.
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  8.  5
    Computational Functionalism for the Deep Learning Era.Ezequiel López-Rubio - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (4):667-688.
    Deep learning is a kind of machine learning which happens in a certain type of artificial neural networks called deep networks. Artificial deep networks, which exhibit many similarities with biological ones, have consistently shown human-like performance in many intelligent tasks. This poses the question whether this performance is caused by such similarities. After reviewing the structure and learning processes of artificial and biological neural networks, we outline two important reasons for the success of deep learning, namely the extraction of successively (...)
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  9.  31
    What an Entangled Web We Weave: An Information-Centric Approach to Time-Evolving Socio-Technical Systems.Markus Luczak-Roesch, Kieron O’Hara, Jesse David Dinneen & Ramine Tinati - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (4):709-733.
    A new layer of complexity, constituted of networks of information token recurrence, has been identified in socio-technical systems such as the Wikipedia online community and the Zooniverse citizen science platform. The identification of this complexity reveals that our current understanding of the actual structure of those systems, and consequently the structure of the entire World Wide Web, is incomplete, which raises novel questions for data science research but also from the perspective of social epistemology. Here we establish the principled foundations (...)
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  10.  9
    A Computational Conundrum: “What is a Computer?” A Historical Overview.Istvan S. N. Berkeley - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):375-383.
    This introduction begins by posing the question that this Special Issue addresses and briefly considers historical precedents and why the issue is important. The discussion then moves on to the consideration of important milestones in the history of computing, up until the present time. A brief specification of the essential components of computational systems is then offered. The final section introduces the papers that are included in this volume.
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  11.  13
    Computers Aren’T Syntax All the Way Down or Content All the Way Up.Cem Bozşahin - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):543-567.
    This paper argues that the idea of a computer is unique. Calculators and analog computers are not different ideas about computers, and nature does not compute by itself. Computers, once clearly defined in all their terms and mechanisms, rather than enumerated by behavioral examples, can be more than instrumental tools in science, and more than source of analogies and taxonomies in philosophy. They can help us understand semantic content and its relation to form. This can be achieved because they have (...)
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  12.  13
    Does Kripke’s Argument Against Functionalism Undermine the Standard View of What Computers Are?Jeff Buechner - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):491-513.
    Kripke’s argument against functionalism extended to physical computers poses a deep philosophical problem for understanding the standard view of what computers are. The problem puts into jeopardy the definition in the standard view that computers are physical machines for performing physical computations. Indeed, it is entirely possible that, unless this philosophical problem is resolved, we will never have a good understanding of computers and may never know just what they are.
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  13.  14
    Computing Mechanisms Without Proper Functions.Joe Dewhurst - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):569-588.
    The aim of this paper is to begin developing a version of Gualtiero Piccinini’s mechanistic account of computation that does not need to appeal to any notion of proper functions. The motivation for doing so is a general concern about the role played by proper functions in Piccinini’s account, which will be evaluated in the first part of the paper. I will then propose a potential alternative approach, where computing mechanisms are understood in terms of Carl Craver’s perspectival account of (...)
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  14.  3
    Super Artifacts: Personal Devices as Intrinsically Multifunctional, Meta-Representational Artifacts with a Highly Variable Structure.Marco Fasoli - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):589-604.
    The computer is one of the most complex artifacts ever built. Given its complexity, it can be described from many different points of view. The aim of this paper is to investigate the representational structure and multifunctionality of a particular subset of computers, namely personal devices from a user-centred perspective. The paper also discusses the concept of “cognitive task”, as recently employed in some definitions of cognitive artifacts, and investigates the metaphysical properties of such artifacts. From a representational point of (...)
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  15.  11
    Computers in Abstraction/Representation Theory.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):445-463.
    Recently, Horsman et al. have proposed a new framework, Abstraction/Representation theory, for understanding and evaluating claims about unconventional or non-standard computation. Among its attractive features, the theory in particular implies a novel account of what is means to be a computer. After expounding on this account, I compare it with other accounts of concrete computation, finding that it does not quite fit in the standard categorization: while it is most similar to some semantic accounts, it is not itself a semantic (...)
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  16.  3
    The Role of Observers in Computations.Peter Leupold - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):427-444.
    John Searle raised the question whether all computation is observer-relative. Indeed, all of the common views of computation, be they semantical, functional or causal rely on mapping something onto the states of a physical or abstract process. In order to effectively execute such a mapping, this process would have to be observed in some way. Thus a probably syntactical analysis by an observer seems to be essential for judging whether a given process implements some computation or not. In order to (...)
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  17.  4
    Virtual Machines and Real Implementations.Tyler Millhouse - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):465-489.
    What does it take to implement a computer? Answers to this question have often focused on what it takes for a physical system to implement an abstract machine. As Joslin observes, this approach neglects cases of software implementation—cases where one machine implements another by running a program. These cases, Joslin argues, highlight serious problems for mapping accounts of computer implementation—accounts that require a mapping between elements of a physical system and elements of an abstract machine. The source of these problems (...)
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  18.  9
    From Computer Metaphor to Computational Modeling: The Evolution of Computationalism.Marcin Miłkowski - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):515-541.
    In this paper, I argue that computationalism is a progressive research tradition. Its metaphysical assumptions are that nervous systems are computational, and that information processing is necessary for cognition to occur. First, the primary reasons why information processing should explain cognition are reviewed. Then I argue that early formulations of these reasons are outdated. However, by relying on the mechanistic account of physical computation, they can be recast in a compelling way. Next, I contrast two computational models of working memory (...)
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  19.  22
    What is a Computer? A Survey.William J. Rapaport - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):385-426.
    A critical survey of some attempts to define ‘computer’, beginning with some informal ones, then critically evaluating those of three philosophers, and concluding with an examination of whether the brain and the universe are computers.
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  20.  52
    The Swapping Constraint.Henry Ian Schiller - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):605-622.
    Triviality arguments against the computational theory of mind claim that computational implementation is trivial and thus does not serve as an adequate metaphysical basis for mental states. It is common to take computational implementation to consist in a mapping from physical states to abstract computational states. In this paper, I propose a novel constraint on the kinds of physical states that can implement computational states, which helps to specify what it is for two physical states to non-trivially implement the same (...)
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  21.  14
    Causality in the Sciences of the Mind and Brain.Lise Marie Andersen, Jonas Fogedgaard Christensen, Samuel Schindler & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (2):237-241.
  22.  21
    Intervening on the Causal Exclusion Problem for Integrated Information Theory.Matthew Baxendale & Garrett Mindt - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (2):331-351.
    In this paper, we examine the causal framework within which integrated information theory of consciousness makes it claims. We argue that, in its current formulation, IIT is threatened by the causal exclusion problem. Some proponents of IIT have attempted to thwart the causal exclusion problem by arguing that IIT has the resources to demonstrate genuine causal emergence at macro scales. In contrast, we argue that their proposed solution to the problem is damagingly circular as a result of inter-defining information and (...)
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  23.  23
    Discovering Brain Mechanisms Using Network Analysis and Causal Modeling.Matteo Colombo & Naftali Weinberger - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (2):265-286.
    Mechanist philosophers have examined several strategies scientists use for discovering causal mechanisms in neuroscience. Findings about the anatomical organization of the brain play a central role in several such strategies. Little attention has been paid, however, to the use of network analysis and causal modeling techniques for mechanism discovery. In particular, mechanist philosophers have not explored whether and how these strategies incorporate information about the anatomical organization of the brain. This paper clarifies these issues in the light of the distinction (...)
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  24.  6
    Intervention and Identifiability in Latent Variable Modelling.Jan-Willem Romeijn & Jon Williamson - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (2):243-264.
    We consider the use of interventions for resolving a problem of unidentified statistical models. The leading examples are from latent variable modelling, an influential statistical tool in the social sciences. We first explain the problem of statistical identifiability and contrast it with the identifiability of causal models. We then draw a parallel between the latent variable models and Bayesian networks with hidden nodes. This allows us to clarify the use of interventions for dealing with unidentified statistical models. We end by (...)
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  25.  10
    Reduction Without Elimination: Mental Disorders as Causally Efficacious Properties.Gottfried Vosgerau & Patrice Soom - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (2):311-330.
    We argue that any account of mental disorders that meets the desideratum of assigning causal efficacy to mental disorders faces the so-called “causal exclusion problem”. We argue that fully reductive accounts solve this problem but run into the problem of multiple realizability. Recently advocated symptom-network approaches avoid the problem of multiple realizability, but they also run into the causal exclusion problem. Based on a critical analysis of these accounts, we will present our own account according to which mental disorders are (...)
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  26.  5
    Interaction-Dominant Causation in Mind and Brain, and Its Implication for Questions of Generalization and Replication.Sebastian Wallot & Damian G. Kelty-Stephen - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (2):353-374.
    The dominant assumption about the causal architecture of the mind is, that it is composed of a stable set of components that contribute independently to relevant observables that are employed to measure cognitive activity. This view has been called component-dominant dynamics. An alternative has been proposed, according to which the different components are not independent, but fundamentally interdependent, and are not stable basic properties of the mind, but rather an emergent feature of the mind given a particular task context. This (...)
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  27.  25
    Rethinking Causality in Biological and Neural Mechanisms: Constraints and Control.Jason Winning & William Bechtel - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (2).
    Existing accounts of mechanistic causation are not suited for understanding causation in biological and neural mechanisms because they do not have the resources to capture the unique causal structure of control heterarchies. In this paper, we provide a new account on which the causal powers of mechanisms are grounded by time-dependent, variable constraints. Constraints can also serve as a key bridge concept between the mechanistic approach to explanation and underappreciated work in theoretical biology that sheds light on how biological systems (...)
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  28.  21
    Still Autonomous After All.Andrew Knoll - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):7-27.
    Recent mechanistic philosophers :1287–1321, 2016) have argued that the cognitive sciences are not autonomous from neuroscience proper. I clarify two senses of autonomy–metaphysical and epistemic—and argue that cognitive science is still autonomous in both senses. Moreover, mechanistic explanation of cognitive phenomena is not therefore an alternative to the view that cognitive science is autonomous of neuroscience. If anything, it’s a way of characterizing just how cognitive processes are implemented by neural mechanisms.
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  29.  17
    Toward Analog Neural Computation.Corey J. Maley - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):77-91.
    Computationalism about the brain is the view that the brain literally performs computations. For the view to be interesting, we need an account of computation. The most well-developed account of computation is Turing Machine computation, the account provided by theoretical computer science which provides the basis for contemporary digital computers. Some have thought that, given the seemingly-close analogy between the all-or-nothing nature of neural spikes in brains and the binary nature of digital logic, neural computation could be a species of (...)
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  30.  62
    Towards a Cognitive Neuroscience of Intentionality.Alex Morgan & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):119-139.
    We situate the debate on intentionality within the rise of cognitive neuroscience and argue that cognitive neuroscience can explain intentionality. We discuss the explanatory significance of ascribing intentionality to representations. At first, we focus on views that attempt to render such ascriptions naturalistic by construing them in a deflationary or merely pragmatic way. We then contrast these views with staunchly realist views that attempt to naturalize intentionality by developing theories of content for representations in terms of information and biological function. (...)
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  31.  11
    No-Report Paradigmatic Ascription of the Minimally Conscious State: Neural Signals as a Communicative Means for Operational Diagnostic Criteria.Hyungrae Noh - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):173-189.
    The minimally conscious sta te (MCS) is usually ascribed when a patientwith brain damage exhibits obser vable volitional behaviors that predict recovery ofcognitive funct ions. Nevertheless, a patient with brain damage who lacks motorcapacit y might nonetheless be in MCS. For this reason, some clinicians use neuralsignals as a communicative means for MCS ascription. For instance, a vegetativestate patient is diagnosed with MCS if activity in the motor area is observed whenthe instruction to imagine wiggling toes is given. The validi (...)
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  32.  28
    Computation and Representation in Cognitive Neuroscience.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):1-6.
  33.  14
    Neural Representations Beyond “Plus X”.Alessio Plebe & Vivian M. De La Cruz - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):93-117.
    In this paper we defend structural representations, more specifically neural structural representation. We are not alone in this, many are currently engaged in this endeavor. The direction we take, however, diverges from the main road, a road paved by the mathematical theory of measure that, in the 1970s, established homomorphism as the way to map empirical domains of things in the world to the codomain of numbers. By adopting the mind as codomain, this mapping became a boon for all those (...)
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  34.  15
    A Theory of Resonance: Towards an Ecological Cognitive Architecture.Vicente Raja - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):29-51.
    This paper presents a blueprint for an ecological cognitive architecture. Ecological psychology, I contend, must be complemented with a story about the role of the CNS in perception, action, and cognition. To arrive at such a story while staying true to the tenets of ecological psychology, it will be necessary to flesh out the central metaphor according to which the animal perceives its environment by ‘resonating’ to information in energy patterns: what is needed is a theory of resonance. I offer (...)
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  35.  12
    The Brain as an Input–Output Model of the World.Oron Shagrir - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):53-75.
    An underlying assumption in computational approaches in cognitive and brain sciences is that the nervous system is an input–output model of the world: Its input–output functions mirror certain relations in the target domains. I argue that the input–output modelling assumption plays distinct methodological and explanatory roles. Methodologically, input–output modelling serves to discover the computed function from environmental cues. Explanatorily, input–output modelling serves to account for the appropriateness of the computed function to the explanandum information-processing task. I compare very briefly the (...)
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  36.  54
    Neural Representations Observed.Eric Thomson & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):191-235.
    The historical debate on representation in cognitive science and neuroscience construes representations as theoretical posits and discusses the degree to which we have reason to posit them. We reject the premise of that debate. We argue that experimental neuroscientists routinely observe and manipulate neural representations in their laboratory. Therefore, neural representations are as real as neurons, action potentials, or any other well-established entities in our ontology.
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  37.  37
    Predictive Processing and the Representation Wars.Daniel Williams - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):141-172.
    Clark has recently suggested that predictive processing advances a theory of neural function with the resources to put an ecumenical end to the “representation wars” of recent cognitive science. In this paper I defend and develop this suggestion. First, I broaden the representation wars to include three foundational challenges to representational cognitive science. Second, I articulate three features of predictive processing’s account of internal representation that distinguish it from more orthodox representationalist frameworks. Specifically, I argue that it posits a resemblance-based (...)
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  38.  38
    Peeking Inside the Black Box: A New Kind of Scientific Visualization.Michael T. Stuart & Nancy J. Nersessian - 2018 - Minds and Machines:1-21.
    Computational systems biologists create and manipulate computational models of biological systems, but they do not always have straightforward epistemic access to the content and behavioural profile of such models because of their length, coding idiosyncrasies, and formal complexity. This creates difficulties both for modellers in their research groups and for their bioscience collaborators who rely on these models. In this paper we introduce a new kind of visualization that was developed to address just this sort of epistemic opacity. The visualization (...)
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