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Why Must Homunculi Be So Stupid?

Mind 91:420 (1982)

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  1. Homunculi, the Mereological Fallacy and Crypto-Dualism. Two Dilemmas for the Intentional Stance.Gloria del Carmen Balderas Rosas - 2014 - Scientia et Fides 2 (2):9-28.
    Neuroscientist Maxwell Bennett and philosopher Peter Hacker defend the need to eradicate the mereological fallacy of cognitive neuroscience. This fallacy attributes to the parts of an animal psychological predicates that make sense only when applied to the whole animal. In contrast, philosopher Daniel Dennett argues that it is possible to explain behavior and cognitive abilities by applying the Intentional Stance to the brain, a stance that attributes increasingly simple psychological capacities to increasingly less intelligent homunculi. So, among other things, taking (...)
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  • Reductionism Ad Absurdum: Attneave and Dennett Cannot Reduce Homunculus (and Hence the Mind).Lance Nizami - 2018 - Kybernetes 47:163-185.
    Purpose – Neuroscientists act as proxies for implied anthropomorphic signal- processing beings within the brain, Homunculi. The latter examine the arriving neuronal spike-trains to infer internal and external states. But a Homunculus needs a brain of its own, to coordinate its capabilities – a brain that necessarily contains a Homunculus and so on indefinitely. Such infinity is impossible – and in well-cited papers, Attneave and later Dennett claim to eliminate it. How do their approaches differ and do they (in fact) (...)
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  • The Fallacy of the Homuncular Fallacy.Carrie Figdor - 2018 - Belgrade Philosophical Annual 31:41-56.
    A leading theoretical framework for naturalistic explanation of mind holds that we explain the mind by positing progressively "stupider" capacities ("homunculi") until the mind is "discharged" by means of capacities that are not intelligent at all. The so-called homuncular fallacy involves violating this procedure by positing the same capacities at subpersonal levels. I argue that the homuncular fallacy is not a fallacy, and that modern-day homunculi are idle posits. I propose an alternative view of what naturalism requires that reflects how (...)
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