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  1. Baptizing Meanings for Concepts.Iris Oved - 2009 - Dissertation, Rutgers University
    Most people find it obvious that concepts like APPLE, DOG, WATER, CACTUS, SWIM, CHIRP, FURRY, and SMOOTH are acquired from perceptual experiences along with some kind of inferential procedure. Models of how these concepts are inferentially acquired, however, force the acquired concepts to be representationally complex, built from, and composed by, the more primitive representations. Since at least the time of Plato, philosophers and psychologists have struggled to find complex sets of representations that have the same meanings, definitionally or probabilistically, (...)
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  • Minding One's Cognitive Systems: When Does a Group of Minds Constitute a Single Cognitive Unit?Robert Rupert - 2005 - Episteme 1 (3):177-188.
    The possibility of group minds or group mental states has been considered by a number of authors addressing issues in social epistemology and related areas (Goldman 2004, Pettit 2003, Gilbert 2004, Hutchins 1995). An appeal to group minds might, in the end, do indispensable explanatory work in the social or cognitive sciences. I am skeptical, though, and this essay lays out some of the reasons for my skepticism. The concerns raised herein constitute challenges to the advocates of group minds (or (...)
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  • The Origins of Concepts.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (3):359 - 384.
    Certain of our concepts are innate, but many others are learned. Despite the plausibility of this claim, some have argued that the very idea of concept learning is incoherent. I present a conception of learning that sidesteps the arguments against the possibility of concept learning, and sketch several mechanisms that result in the generation of new primitive concepts. Given the rational considerations that motivate their deployment, I argue that these deserve to be called learning mechanisms. I conclude by replying to (...)
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  • Representation in Extended Cognitive Systems : Does the Scaffolding of Language Extend the Mind?Robert D. Rupert - 2010 - In Richard Menary (ed.), The Extended Mind. MIT Press.
  • Causal Theories of Mental Content.Robert D. Rupert - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (2):353–380.
    Causal theories of mental content (CTs) ground certain aspects of a concept's meaning in the causal relations a concept bears to what it represents. Section 1 explains the problems CTs are meant to solve and introduces terminology commonly used to discuss these problems. Section 2 specifies criteria that any acceptable CT must satisfy. Sections 3, 4, and 5 critically survey various CTs, including those proposed by Fred Dretske, Jerry Fodor, Ruth Garrett Millikan, David Papineau, Dennis Stampe, Dan Ryder, and the (...)
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  • Metaphysics of Quantity and the Limit of Phenomenal Concepts.Derek Lam - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (3):1-20.
    Quantities like mass and temperature are properties that come in degrees. And those degrees (e.g. 5 kg) are properties that are called the magnitudes of the quantities. Some philosophers (e.g., Byrne 2003; Byrne & Hilbert 2003; Schroer 2010) talk about magnitudes of phenomenal qualities as if some of our phenomenal qualities are quantities. The goal of this essay is to explore the anti-physicalist implication of this apparently innocent way of conceptualizing phenomenal quantities. I will first argue for a metaphysical thesis (...)
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  • Functionalism, Mental Causation, and the Problem of Metaphysically Necessary Effects.Robert D. Rupert - 2006 - Noûs 40 (2):256-83.
    The recent literature on mental causation has not been kind to nonreductive, materialist functionalism (‘functionalism’, hereafter, except where that term is otherwise qualified). The exclusion problem2 has done much of the damage, but the epiphenomenalist threat has taken other forms. Functionalism also faces what I will call the ‘problem of metaphysically necessary effects’ (Block, 1990, pp. 157-60, Antony and Levine, 1997, pp. 91-92, Pereboom, 2002, p. 515, Millikan, 1999, p. 47, Jackson, 1998, pp. 660-61). Functionalist mental properties are individuated partly (...)
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  • Memory, Natural Kinds, and Cognitive Extension; or, Martians Don't Remember, and Cognitive Science Is Not About Cognition.Robert D. Rupert - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (1):25-47.
    This paper evaluates the Natural-Kinds Argument for cognitive extension, which purports to show that the kinds presupposed by our best cognitive science have instances external to human organism. Various interpretations of the argument are articulated and evaluated, using the overarching categories of memory and cognition as test cases. Particular emphasis is placed on criteria for the scientific legitimacy of generic kinds, that is, kinds characterized in very broad terms rather than in terms of their fine-grained causal roles. Given the current (...)
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  • Hypothesis Formation and Testing in the Acquisition of Representationally Simple Concepts.[author unknown] - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (1):227-247.
    Observations from philosophy and psychology heavily favor the Empiricist tenet that many lexical concepts are learned. However, many observations also heavily favor the Nativist tenet that such concepts are representationally atomic. Fodor Representations: Philosophical essays on the foundations of cognitive science, 1981, LOT2: The language of thought revisited, 2008) has famously argued that representationally atomic concepts cannot be learned, at least not learned by hypothesis formation and testing. Concept theorists who want to preserve observations about concept learning have developed acquisition (...)
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  • Content and Its Vehicles in Connectionist Systems.Nicholas Shea - 2007 - Mind and Language 22 (3):246–269.
    This paper advocates explicitness about the type of entity to be considered as content- bearing in connectionist systems; it makes a positive proposal about how vehicles of content should be individuated; and it deploys that proposal to argue in favour of representation in connectionist systems. The proposal is that the vehicles of content in some connectionist systems are clusters in the state space of a hidden layer. Attributing content to such vehicles is required to vindicate the standard explanation for some (...)
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  • Where Concepts Come From: Learning Concepts by Description and by Demonstration.Dylan Sabo - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (3):531-549.
    Jerry Fodor’s arguments against the possibility of concept learning, and the responses that have been offered in defense of the coherence of concept learning, have both by and large assumed that concept learning is a descriptive process. I offer an alternative, ostensive approach to concept learning and explain how descriptive concept learning can be explained as a version of ostensive concept learning. I argue that an ostensive view of concept learning offers an empirically plausible and philosophically adequate account of concept (...)
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