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  1. Common Minds, Uncommon Thoughts: A Philosophical Anthropological Investigation of Uniquely Human Creative Behavior, with an Emphasis on Artistic Ability, Religious Reflection, and Scientific Study.Johan De Smedt - unknown
    The aim of this dissertation is to create a naturalistic philosophical picture of creative capacities that are specific to our species, focusing on artistic ability, religious reflection, and scientific study. By integrating data from diverse domains within a philosophical anthropological framework, I have presented a cognitive and evolutionary approach to the question of why humans, but not other animals engage in such activities. Through an application of cognitive and evolutionary perspectives to the study of these behaviors, I have sought to (...)
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  • Analyticity and Incorrigibility.Manuel Campos - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):689-708.
    The traditional point of view on analyticity implies that truth in virtue only of meaning entails a priori acceptability and vice versa. The argument for this claim is based on the idea that meaning as it concerns truth and meaning as it concerns competence are one and the same thing. In this parer I argue that the extensions of these notions do not coincide. I hold that truth in virtue of meaning---truth for semantic reasons--doesn’t imply a priori acceptability, and that (...)
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  • Natural Kinds: Rosy Dawn, Scholastic Twilight: Ian Hacking.Ian Hacking - 2007 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 61:203-239.
    The rosy dawn of my title refers to that optimistic time when the logical concept of a natural kind originated in Victorian England. The scholastic twilight refers to the present state of affairs. I devote more space to dawn than twilight, because one basic problem was there from the start, and by now those origins have been forgotten. Philosophers have learned many things about classification from the tradition of natural kinds. But now it is in disarray and is unlikely to (...)
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  • Précis of How Children Learn the Meanings of Words.Paul Bloom - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (6):1095-1103.
    Normal children learn tens of thousands of words, and do so quickly and efficiently, often in highly impoverished environments. In How Children Learn the Meanings of Words, I argue that word learning is the product of certain cognitive and linguistic abilities that include the ability to acquire concepts, an appreciation of syntactic cues to meaning, and a rich understanding of the mental states of other people. These capacities are powerful, early emerging, and to some extent uniquely human, but they are (...)
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  • Concepts and Cognitive Science.Stephen Laurence & Eric Margolis - 1999 - In Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence (eds.), Concepts: Core Readings. MIT Press. pp. 3-81.
    Given the fundamental role that concepts play in theories of cognition, philosophers and cognitive scientists have a common interest in concepts. Nonetheless, there is a great deal of controversy regarding what kinds of things concepts are, how they are structured, and how they are acquired. This chapter offers a detailed high-level overview and critical evaluation of the main theories of concepts and their motivations. Taking into account the various challenges that each theory faces, the chapter also presents a novel approach (...)
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  • On Thinking of Kinds: A Neuroscientific Perspective.Dan Ryder - 2006 - In Graham Macdonald & David Papineau (eds.), Teleosemantics: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 115-145.
    Reductive, naturalistic psychosemantic theories do not have a good track record when it comes to accommodating the representation of kinds. In this paper, I will suggest a particular teleosemantic strategy to solve this problem, grounded in the neurocomputational details of the cerebral cortex. It is a strategy with some parallels to one that Ruth Millikan has suggested, but to which insufficient attention has been paid. This lack of attention is perhaps due to a lack of appreciation for the severity of (...)
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  • Toward a Theory of the Empirical Tracking of Individuals: Cognitive Flexibility and the Functions of Attention in Integrated Tracking.Nicolas J. Bullot - 2009 - Philosophical Psychology 22 (3):353-387.
    How do humans manage to keep track of a gradually changing object or person as the same persisting individual despite the fact that the extraction of information about this individual must often rely on heterogeneous information sources and heterogeneous tracking methods? The article introduces the Empirical Tracking of Individuals theory to address this problem. This theory proposes an analysis of the concept of integrated tracking, which refers to the capacity to acquire, store, and update information about the identity and location (...)
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  • Perceptual Symbol Systems.Lawrence W. Barsalou - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):577-660.
    Prior to the twentieth century, theories of knowledge were inherently perceptual. Since then, developments in logic, statis- tics, and programming languages have inspired amodal theories that rest on principles fundamentally different from those underlying perception. In addition, perceptual approaches have become widely viewed as untenable because they are assumed to implement record- ing systems, not conceptual systems. A perceptual theory of knowledge is developed here in the context of current cognitive science and neuroscience. During perceptual experience, association areas in the (...)
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  • The Brain as a Model-Making Machine.Dan Ryder - manuscript
    In this paper, I will introduce you to a new theory of mental representation, emphasizing two important features. First, the theory coheres very well with folk psychology; better, I believe, than its competitors (e.g. Cummins, 1996; Dretske, 1988; Fodor, 1987 and Millikan, 1989, with which it has the most in common), though I will do little by way of direct comparison in this paper. Second, it receives support from current neuroscience. While other theories may be consistent with current neuroscience, none (...)
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  • Rethinking the Culture - Economy Dialectic.Lajos L. Brons - 2005 - Dissertation, University of Groningen
    The culture-economy dialectic (CED) – the opposition of the concepts and phenomena of culture and economy – is one of the most important ideas in the modern history of ideas. Both disciplinary boundaries and much theoretical thought in social science are strongly influenced or even determined by the CED. For that reason, a thorough analysis and evaluation of the CED is needed to improve understanding of the history of ideas in social science and the currently fashionable research on the cultural (...)
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  • Putting Thoughts to Work: Concepts, Systematicity, and Stimulus-Independence.Elisabeth Camp - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (2):275-311.
    I argue that we can reconcile two seemingly incompatible traditions for thinking about concepts. On the one hand, many cognitive scientists assume that the systematic redeployment of representational abilities suffices for having concepts. On the other hand, a long philosophical tradition maintains that language is necessary for genuinely conceptual thought. I argue that on a theoretically useful and empirically plausible concept of 'concept', it is necessary and sufficient for conceptual thought that a thinker be able to entertain many of the (...)
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  • SINBaD Neurosemantics: A Theory of Mental Representation.Dan Ryder - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (2):211-240.
  • The Plurality of Concepts.Daniel Aaron Weiskopf - 2009 - Synthese 169 (1):145-173.
    Traditionally, theories of concepts in psychology assume that concepts are a single, uniform kind of mental representation. But no single kind of representation can explain all of the empirical data for which concepts are responsible. I argue that the assumption that concepts are uniformly the same kind of mental structure is responsible for these theories’ shortcomings, and outline a pluralist theory of concepts that rejects this assumption. On pluralism, concepts should be thought of as being constituted by multiple representational kinds, (...)
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  • Concepts Are a Functional Kind. Comment on Machery's Doing Without Concepts.Elisabetta Lalumera - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):217-18.
    This commentary focuses on Machery's eliminativist claim, that ought to be eliminated from the theoretical vocabulary of psychology because it fails to denote a natural kind. I argue for the more traditional view that concepts are a functional kind, which provides the simplest account of the empirical evidence discussed by Machery.
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  • Concepts.Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence - 2003 - In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. pp. 190-213.
    This article provides a critical overview of competing theories of conceptual structure (definitional structure, probabilistic structure, theory structure), including the view that concepts have no structure (atomism). We argue that the explanatory demands that these different theories answer to are best accommodated by an organization in which concepts are taken to have atomic cores that are linked to differing types of conceptual structure.
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  • How to Perceive Reasons.Annalisa Coliva - 2016 - Episteme 13 (1):77-88.
    This paper deals with the question whether, and to what extent, perceptions can provide a justification for our empirical beliefs. In particular, it addresses the issue of whether they need to be conceptualized by a subject in order to play a justificatory role. It is argued that the conditions under which a subject can have perceptual representational contents and those under which those representational contents can play a justificatory role differ. The upshot is that perception can provide justification only for (...)
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  • Comment on Ryder's SINBAD Neurosemantics: Is Teleofunction Isomorphism the Way to Understand Representations?Marius Usher - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (2):241-248.
  • Learning Language.Ruth Garrett Millikan - unknown
    Many students of pragmatics and child language have come to believe that in order to learn a language a child must first have a 'theory of mind,' a grasp that speakers mentally represent the content they would convey when they speak. This view is reinforced by the Gricean theory of communication, according to which speakers intend their words to cause hearers to believe or to do certain things and hearers must recognize these intentions if they are to comply. The view (...)
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  • Pragmatic Experimental Philosophy.Justin C. Fisher - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (3):412-433.
    This paper considers three package deals combining views in philosophy of mind, meta-philosophy, and experimental philosophy. The most familiar of these packages gives center-stage to pumping intuitions about fanciful cases, but that package involves problematic commitments both to a controversial descriptivist theory of reference and to intuitions that “negative” experimental philosophers have shown to be suspiciously variable and context-sensitive. In light of these difficulties, it would be good for future-minded experimental philosophers to align themselves with a different package deal. This (...)
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  • A Neo-Kantian Account of Perception.Leslie Stevenson - 2018 - Philosophy 93 (3):411-431.
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  • Complex First? On the Evolutionary and Developmental Priority of Semantically Thick Words.Markus Werning - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):1096-1108.
    The Complex-First Paradox consists in a set of collectively incompatible but individually well-confirmed propositions that regard the evolution, development, and cortical realization of the meanings of concrete nouns. Although these meanings are acquired earlier than those of other word classes, they are semantically more complex and their cortical realizations more widely distributed. For a neurally implemented syntaxsemantics interface, it should thus take more effort to establish a link between a concept and its lexical expression. However, in ontogeny and phylogeny, capabilities (...)
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  • Ontology and Perception.Jeffrey Galko - 2004 - Essays in Philosophy 5 (1):1-18.
    The ontological question of what there is, from the perspective of common sense, is intricately bound to what can be perceived. The above observation, when combined with the fact that nouns within language can be divided between nouns that admit counting, such as ‘pen’ or ‘human’, and those that do not, such as ‘water’ or ‘gold’, provides the starting point for the following investigation into the foundations of our linguistic and conceptual phenomena. The purpose of this paper is to claim (...)
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  • Outline of a New Approach to the Nature of Mind.Dr Petros A. M. Gelepithis - manuscript
    I propose a new approach to the constitutive problem of psychology ‘what is mind?’ The first section introduces modifications of the received scope, methodology, and evaluation criteria of unified theories of cognition in accordance with the requirements of evolutionary compatibility and of a mature science. The second section outlines the proposed theory. Its first part provides empirically verifiable conditions delineating the class of meaningful neural formations and modifies accordingly the traditional conceptions of meaning, concept and thinking. This analysis is part (...)
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  • A Theoretical Framework for the Study of Spatial Cognition.Maurizio Tirassa, Antonella Carassa & Giuliano Geminiani - 2000 - In [Book Chapter].
    We argue that the locomotion of organisms is better understood as a form of interaction with a subjective environment, rather than as a set of behaviors allegedly amenable to objective descriptions. An organism's interactions with its subjective environment are in turn understandable in terms of its cognitive architecture. We propose a large-scale classification of the possible types of cognitive architectures, giving a sketch of the subjective structure that each of them superimposes on space and of the relevant consequences on locomotion. (...)
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  • To Trust or Not to Trust? Children’s Social Epistemology.Fabrice Clément - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (4):531-549.
    Philosophers agree that an important part of our knowledge is acquired via testimony. One of the main objectives of social epistemology is therefore to specify the conditions under which a hearer is justified in accepting a proposition stated by a source. Non-reductionists, who think that testimony could be considered as an a priori source of knowledge, as well as reductionists, who think that another type of justification has to be added to testimony, share a common conception about children development. Non-reductionists (...)
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  • What Makes Words Special? Words as Unmotivated Cues.Pierce Edmiston & Gary Lupyan - 2015 - Cognition 143:93-100.
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  • Sortals for Dummies.John E. Sarnecki - 2008 - Erkenntnis 69 (2):145-164.
    Advocates of sortal essentialism have argued that concepts like “thing” or “object” lack the unambiguous individuative criteria necessary to play the role of genuine sortals in reference. Instead, they function as “dummy sortals” which are placeholders or incomplete designations. In disqualifying apparent placeholder sortals, however, these philosophers have posed insuperable problems for accounts of childhood conceptual development. I argue that recent evidence in psychology demonstrates that children do possess simple or basic sortals of physical objects or things. I contend that (...)
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  • Individual Conceptual Structure and Legal Experts' Efficient Communication.Jan Engberg - 2009 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 22 (2):223-243.
    The article investigates characteristics of legal concepts as found in academic articles, focusing upon the knowledge base of legal experts. It is a cognitively oriented study of one of the semiotic basics of communication for academic legal purposes. The purpose is to study the structure of knowledge elements connected to the concept of “Criminal liability of corporations” from US law in and across individual experts in order to look for individual differences and similarities. The central concern is to investigate the (...)
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  • Mathematical Symbols as Epistemic Actions.De Cruz Helen & De Smedt Johan - 2013 - Synthese 190 (1):3-19.
    Recent experimental evidence from developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience indicates that humans are equipped with unlearned elementary mathematical skills. However, formal mathematics has properties that cannot be reduced to these elementary cognitive capacities. The question then arises how human beings cognitively deal with more advanced mathematical ideas. This paper draws on the extended mind thesis to suggest that mathematical symbols enable us to delegate some mathematical operations to the external environment. In this view, mathematical symbols are not only used to (...)
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  • Concepts and Epistemic Individuation.Wayne A. Davis - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):290-325.
    Christopher Peacocke has presented an original version of the perennial philosophical thesis that we can gain substantive metaphysical and epistemological insight from an analysis of our concepts. Peacocke's innovation is to look at how concepts are individuated by their possession conditions, which he believes can be specified in terms of conditions in which certain propositions containing those concepts are accepted. The ability to provide such insight is one of Peacocke's major arguments for his theory of concepts. I will critically examine (...)
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  • Applying the Causal Theory of Reference to Intentional Concepts.John Michael & Miles MacLeod - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (2):212-230.
    We argue that many recent philosophical discussions about the reference of everyday concepts of intentional states have implicitly been predicated on descriptive theories of reference. To rectify this, we attempt to demonstrate how a causal theory can be applied to intentional concepts. Specifically, we argue that some phenomena in early social de- velopment ðe.g., mimicry, gaze following, and emotional contagionÞ can serve as refer- ence fixers that enable children to track others’ intentional states and, thus, to refer to those states. (...)
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  • Embodied Cognition and Abstract Concepts: Do Concept Empiricists Leave Anything Out?Guido Löhr - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (2):161-185.
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  • Atomism, Pluralism, and Conceptual Content.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (1):131-163.
    Conceptual atomists argue that most of our concepts are primitive. I take up three arguments that have been thought to support atomism and show that they are inconclusive. The evidence that allegedly backs atomism is equally compatible with a localist position on which concepts are structured representations with complex semantic content. I lay out such a localist position and argue that the appropriate position for a non-atomist to adopt is a pluralist view of conceptual structure. I show several ways in (...)
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  • On the Functional Origins of Essentialism.H. Clark Barrett - 2001 - [Journal (Paginated)] (in Press) 2 (1):1-30.
    This essay examines the proposal that psychological essentialism results from a history of natural selection acting on human representation and inference systems. It has been argued that the features that distinguish essentialist representational systems are especially well suited for representing natural kinds. If the evolved function of essentialism is to exploit the rich inductive potential of such kinds, then it must be subserved by cognitive mechanisms that carry out at least three distinct functions: identifying these kinds in the environment, constructing (...)
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  • Thinking with Maps.Elisabeth Camp - 2007 - Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):145–182.
    Most of us create and use a panoply of non-sentential representations throughout our ordinary lives: we regularly use maps to navigate, charts to keep track of complex patterns of data, and diagrams to visualize logical and causal relations among states of affairs. But philosophers typically pay little attention to such representations, focusing almost exclusively on language instead. In particular, when theorizing about the mind, many philosophers assume that there is a very tight mapping between language and thought. Some analyze utterances (...)
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  • On Going Nowhere with Our Words: New Skepticism About the Philosophical Method of Cases.Avner Baz - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (1):64-83.
    The philosophical “method of cases” has been the subject of intense discussion. In a recent paper, Frank Jackson attempts to vindicate the method by proposing that it is underwritten by the “representational view of language.” Jackson's proposal is potentially very significant. For if it is true, then the method of cases stands, but quite possibly also falls, with the representational view of language as characterized by Jackson. The aim of this paper is to question the philosophical method of cases by (...)
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  • How Language Programs the Mind.Gary Lupyan & Benjamin Bergen - 2016 - Topics in Cognitive Science 8 (1).
    Many animals can be trained to perform novel tasks. People, too, can be trained, but sometime in early childhood people transition from being trainable to something qualitatively more powerful—being programmable. We argue that such programmability constitutes a leap in the way that organisms learn, interact, and transmit knowledge, and that what facilitates or enables this programmability is the learning and use of language. We then examine how language programs the mind and argue that it does so through the manipulation of (...)
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  • The Ontogenesis of Trust.Fabrice Clement, Melissa Koenig & Paul Harris - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (4):360-379.
    Psychologists have emphasized children's acquisition of information through firsthand observation. However, many beliefs are acquired from others' testimony. In two experiments, most 4yearolds displayed sceptical trust in testimony. Having heard informants' accurate or inaccurate testimony, they anticipated that informants would continue to display such differential accuracy and they trusted the hitherto reliable informant. Yet they ignored the testimony of the reliable informant if it conflicted with what they themselves had seen. By contrast, threeyearolds were less selective in trusting a reliable (...)
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  • Generalizations and Kinds in Natural Science: The Case of Species.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (2):230-255.
    Species in biology are traditionally perceived as kinds of organisms about which explanatory and predictive generalizations can be made, and biologists commonly use species in this manner. This perception of species is, however, in stark contrast with the currently accepted view that species are not kinds or classes at all, but individuals. In this paper I investigate the conditions under which the two views of species might be held simultaneously. Specifically, I ask whether upon acceptance of an ontology of species (...)
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  • On Swampkinds.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 1996 - Mind and Language 11 (1):103-17.
    Suppose lightning strikes a dead tree in a swamp; I am standing nearby. My body is reduced to its elements, while entirely by coincidence (and out of different molecules) the tree is turned into my physical replica. My replica, The Swampman.....moves into my house and seems to write articles on radical interpretation. No one can tell the difference.
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  • Natural Epistemology or Evolved Metaphysics? Developmental Evidence for Early-Developed, Intuitive, Category-Specific, Incomplete, and Stubborn Metaphysical Presumptions.Pascal Boyer - 2000 - Philosophical Psychology 13 (3):277 – 297.
    Cognitive developmental evidence is sometimes conscripted to support ''naturalized epistemology'' arguments to the effect that a general epistemic stance leads children to build theory-like accounts of underlying properties of kinds. A review of the evidence suggests that what prompts conceptual acquisition is not a general epistemic stance but a series of category-specific intuitive principles that constitute an evolved ''natural metaphysics''. This consists in a system of categories and category-specific inferential processes founded on definite biases in prototype formation. Evidence for this (...)
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  • Concept Individuation, Possession Conditions, and Propositional Attitudes.Wayne A. Davis - 2005 - Noûs 39 (1):140-66.
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  • Analyticity and Incorrigibility.Manuel Campos - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):689-708.
    The traditional point of view on analyticity implies that truth in virtue only of meaning entails a priori acceptability and vice versa. The argument for this claim is based on the idea that meaning as it concerns truth and meaning as it concerns competence are one and the same thing. In this paper I argue that the extensions of these notions do not coincide. I hold that truth in virtue of meaning— truth for semantic reasons—doesn't imply a priori acceptability, and (...)
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  • On the Functional Orgins of Essentialism.H. Clark Barrett - 2001 - Mind and Society 2 (1):1-30.
    This essay examines the proposal that psychological essentialism results from a history of natural selection acting on human representation and inference systems. It has been argued that the features that distinguish essentialist representational systems are especially well suited for representing natural kinds. If the evolved function, of essentialism is to exploit the rich inductive potential of such kinds, then it must be subserved by cognitive mechanisms that carry out at least three distinct functions: identifying these kinds in the environment, constructing (...)
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