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  1. The Social Origins of Folk Epistemology.Hugo Mercier - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (4):499-514.
    Because reasoning allows us to justify our beliefs and evaluate these justifications it is central to folk epistemology. Following Sperber, and contrary to classical views, it will be argued that reasoning evolved not to complement individual cognition but as an argumentative device. This hypothesis is more consistent with the prevalence of the confirmation and disconfirmation biases. It will be suggested that these biases render the individual use of reasoning hazardous, but that when reasoning is used in its natural, argumentative, context (...)
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  • When Experts Argue: Explaining the Best and the Worst of Reasoning. [REVIEW]Hugo Mercier - 2011 - Argumentation 25 (3):313-327.
    Expert reasoning is responsible for some of the most stunning human achievements, but also for some of the most disastrous decisions ever made. The argumentative theory of reasoning has proven very effective at explaining the pattern of reasoning’s successes and failures. In the present article, it is expanded to account for expert reasoning. The argumentative theory predicts that reasoning should display a strong confirmation bias. If argument quality is not sufficiently high in a domain, the confirmation bias will make experts (...)
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  • Collectivized Intellectualism.Julia Jael Smith & Benjamin Wald - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (2):199-227.
    We argue that the evolutionary function of reasoning is to allow us to secure more accurate beliefs and more effective intentions through collective deliberation. This sets our view apart both from traditional intellectualist accounts, which take the evolutionary function to be individual deliberation, and from interactionist accounts such as the one proposed by Mercier and Sperber, which agrees that the function of reasoning is collective but holds that it aims to disseminate, rather than come up with, accurate beliefs. We argue (...)
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  • Reasonable Irrationality: The Role of Reasons in the Diffusion of Pseudoscience.Stefaan Blancke, Maarten Boudry & Johan Braeckman - 2019 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 19 (5):432-449.
    Pseudoscience spreads through communicative and inferential processes that make people vulnerable to weird beliefs. However, the fact that pseudoscientific beliefs are unsubstantiated and have no basis in reality does not mean that the people who hold them have no reasons for doing so. We propose that, reasons play a central role in the diffusion of pseudoscience. On the basis of cultural epidemiology and the interactionist theory of reasoning, we will here analyse the structure and the function of reasons in the (...)
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  • Biased by Our Imaginings.Ema Sullivan‐Bissett - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (5):627-647.
    I propose a new model of implicit bias, according to which implicit biases are constituted by unconscious imaginings. I begin by endorsing a principle of parsimony when confronted with unfamiliar phenomena. I introduce implicit bias in terms congenial to what most philosophers and psychologists have said about their nature in the literature so far, before moving to a discussion of the doxastic model of implicit bias and objections to it. I then introduce unconscious imagination and argue that appeal to it (...)
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  • Overcoming the Shadow of Expertise: How Humility and Learning Goal Orientation Help Knowledge Leaders Become More Flexible.Mai P. Trinh - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • Teaching and the Life History of Cultural Transmission in Fijian Villages.Michelle A. Kline, Robert Boyd & Joseph Henrich - 2013 - Human Nature 24 (4):351-374.
    Much existing literature in anthropology suggests that teaching is rare in non-Western societies, and that cultural transmission is mostly vertical (parent-to-offspring). However, applications of evolutionary theory to humans predict both teaching and non-vertical transmission of culturally learned skills, behaviors, and knowledge should be common cross-culturally. Here, we review this body of theory to derive predictions about when teaching and non-vertical transmission should be adaptive, and thus more likely to be observed empirically. Using three interviews conducted with rural Fijian populations, we (...)
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  • Epistemic Vices in Organizations: Knowledge, Truth, and Unethical Conduct.Christopher Baird & Thomas S. Calvard - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 160 (1):263-276.
    Recognizing that truth is socially constructed or that knowledge and power are related is hardly a novelty in the social sciences. In the twenty-first century, however, there appears to be a renewed concern regarding people’s relationship with the truth and the propensity for certain actors to undermine it. Organizations are highly implicated in this, given their central roles in knowledge management and production and their attempts to learn, although the entanglement of these epistemological issues with business ethics has not been (...)
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  • Mercier and Sperber's Argumentative Theory of Reasoning: From Psychology of Reasoning to Argumentation Studies.Cristián Santibáñez Yáñez - 2012 - Informal Logic 32 (1):132-159.
    Mercier and Sperber (2011a, 2011b; Mercier, 2011a, 2011b, 2011c, and 2011d) have presented a stimulating and provocative new theory of reasoning: the argumentative theory of reasoning. They maintain that argumentation is a meta-representational module. In their evolutionary view of argumentation, the function of this module would be to regulate the flow of information between interlocutors through persuasiveness on the side of the communicator and epistemic vigilance on the side of the audience. The aim of this paper is to discuss the (...)
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  • Concept‐Metacognition.Nicholas Shea - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Concepts are our tools for thinking. They enable us to engage in explicit reasoning about things in the world. Like physical tools, they can be more or less good, given the ways we use them – more or less dependable for categorisation, learning, induction, action-planning, and so on. Do concept users appreciate, explicitly or implicitly, that concepts vary in dependability? Do they feel that some concepts are in some way defective? If so, we metacognize our concepts. One example that has (...)
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  • Storytelling as Adaptive Collective Sensemaking.Lucas M. Bietti, Ottilie Tilston & Adrian Bangerter - 2019 - Topics in Cognitive Science 11 (4):710-732.
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  • Folk-Economic Beliefs as “Evidential Fiction”: Putting the Economic Public Discourse Back on Track.Alberto Acerbi & Pier Luigi Sacco - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
    Folk-economic beliefs may be regarded as “evidential fictions” that exploit the natural tendency of human cognition to organize itself in narrative form. Narrative counter-arguments are likely more effective than logical debunking. The challenge is to convey sound economic reasoning in narratively conspicuous forms – an opportunity for economics to rethink its role and agency in public discourse, in the spirit of its old classics.
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  • The Primary Foundations of Followership.Micha Popper & Omri Castelnovo - 2019 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 49 (3):348-358.
    Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, EarlyView.
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  • Educating Students to Consistency Via Argumentation.Elisabetta Montanari - 2019 - Informal Logic 39 (3):263-286.
    In this paper, the role played in learning to argue by an essential and yet under-researched epistemic and argumentative norm is discussed, namely, the consistency requirement. An argumentative intervention is presented, that is designed to enhance the understanding of this norm among high school students, to enable them to recognize contradictions in the process of argumentation and to familiarize them with the argumentative strategies related to the reductio ad absurdum. There follows a description of how the designed intervention was implemented (...)
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  • Religious Disagreement.Helen De Cruz - 2019 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    This Element examines what we can learn from religious disagreement, focusing on disagreement with possible selves and former selves, the epistemic significance of religious agreement, the problem of disagreements between religious experts, and the significance of philosophy of religion. Helen De Cruz shows how religious beliefs of others constitute significant higher-order evidence. At the same time, she advises that we should not necessarily become agnostic about all religious matters, because our cognitive background colors the way we evaluate evidence. This allows (...)
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  • A Sociobiological Account of Indirect Speech.Viviana Masia - 2017 - Interaction Studies: Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems 18 (1):142-160.
    Indirect speech is a remarkable trait of human communication. The present paper tackles the sociobiological underpinnings of communicative indirectness discussing both socio-interactional and cognitive rationales behind its manifestation in discourse. From a social perspective, the use of indirect forms in interactions can be regarded as an adaptive response to the epistemic implications of transacted new information in small primary groups, representing – in Givón’s terms – our “bio-cultural” descent. The design features of indirect strategies today may therefore be explained in (...)
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  • You Can Laugh at Everything, but Not with Everyone.Tiffany Morisseau, Martial Mermillod, Cécile Eymond, Jean-Baptiste Van Der Henst & Ira A. Noveck - 2017 - Latest Issue of Interaction Studies 18 (1):116-141.
    This paper explores the impact of group affiliation with respect to the on-line processing and appreciation of jokes, using facial electromyography activity and offline evaluations as dependent measures. Two experiments were conducted in which group affiliation varied between the participant and each of two independent speakers whose described political profiles were distinguished through one word: “Right” versus “Left.” Experiment 1 showed that jokes were more highly evaluated and that associated EMG activity was more intense when it was later determined that (...)
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  • From Open-Source Software to Wikipedia: ‘Backgrounding’ Trust by Collective Monitoring and Reputation Tracking.Paul B. de Laat - 2014 - Ethics and Information Technology 16 (2):157-169.
    Open-content communities that focus on co-creation without requirements for entry have to face the issue of institutional trust in contributors. This research investigates the various ways in which these communities manage this issue. It is shown that communities of open-source software—continue to—rely mainly on hierarchy (reserving write-access for higher echelons), which substitutes (the need for) trust. Encyclopedic communities, though, largely avoid this solution. In the particular case of Wikipedia, which is confronted with persistent vandalism, another arrangement has been pioneered instead. (...)
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  • Böses Blut – ein Rückblick: Bindung und Psychoanalyse, 2015.Peter Fonagy & Chloe Campbell - 2017 - Psyche 71 (4):275-305.
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  • Why Do We Remember? The Communicative Function of Episodic Memory.Johannes B. Mahr & Gergely Csibra - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
    Episodic memory has been analyzed in a number of different ways in both philosophy and psychology, and most controversy has centered on its self-referential,autonoeticcharacter. Here, we offer a comprehensive characterization of episodic memory in representational terms and propose a novel functional account on this basis. We argue that episodic memory should be understood as a distinctive epistemic attitude taken toward an event simulation. In this view, episodic memory has a metarepresentational format and should not be equated with beliefs about the (...)
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  • The Edenic Theory of Reference.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (3):276-308.
    I argue for a theory of the optimal function of the speech act of referring, called the edenic theory. First, the act of singular reference is defined directly in terms of Gricean communicative intentions. Second, I propose a doxastic constraint on the optimal performance of such acts, stating, roughly, that the speaker must not have any relevant false beliefs about the identity or distinctness of the intended object. In uttering a singular term on an occasion, on this theory, one represents (...)
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  • What Goes Around Comes Around: The Evolutionary Roots of the Belief in Immanent Justice.Nicolas Baumard & Coralie Chevallier - 2012 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 12 (1-2):67-80.
    The belief in immanent justice is the expectation that the universe is designed to ensure that evil is punished and virtue rewarded. What makes this belief so ‘natural’? Here, we suggest that this intuition of immanent justice derives from our evolved sense of fairness. In cases where a misdeed is followed by a misfortune, our sense of fairness construes the misfortune as a way to compensate for the misdeed. To test this hypothesis, we designed a set of studies in which (...)
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  • Emotion, Deliberation, and the Skill Model of Virtuous Agency.Charlie Kurth - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (3):299-317.
    A recent skeptical challenge denies deliberation is essential to virtuous agency: what looks like genuine deliberation is just a post hoc rationalization of a decision already made by automatic mechanisms (Haidt 2001; Doris 2015). Annas’s account of virtue seems well-equipped to respond: by modeling virtue on skills, she can agree that virtuous actions are deliberation-free while insisting that their development requires significant thought. But Annas’s proposal is flawed: it over-intellectualizes deliberation’s developmental role and under-intellectualizes its significance once virtue is acquired. (...)
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  • The Evolution of Primate Communication and Metacommunication.Joëlle Proust - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (2):177-203.
    Against the prior view that primate communication is based only on signal decoding, comparative evidence suggests that primates are able, no less than humans, to intentionally perform or understand impulsive or habitual communicational actions with a structured evaluative nonconceptual content. These signals convey an affordance-sensing that immediately motivates conspecifics to act. Although humans have access to a strategic form of propositional communication adapted to teaching and persuasion, they share with nonhuman primates the capacity to communicate in impulsive or habitual ways. (...)
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  • Social Appraisal and Social Referencing: Two Components of Affective Social Learning.Fabrice Clément & Daniel Dukes - 2017 - Emotion Review 9 (3):253-261.
    Social learning is likely to include affective processes: it is necessary for newcomers to discover what value to attach to objects, persons, and events in a given social environment. This learning relies largely on the evaluation of others’ emotional expressions. This study has two objectives. Firstly, we compare two closely related concepts that are employed to describe the use of another person’s appraisal to make sense of a given situation: social appraisal and social referencing. We contend that social referencing constitutes (...)
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  • Pragmatics as Metacognitive Control.Mikhail Kissine - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  • Reading Short Forms Cognitively: Mindreading and Procedural Expressions in La Rochefoucauld and La Bruyère.Kirsti Sellevold - 2014 - Paragraph 37 (1):96-111.
    Drawing primarily on Relevance Theory, this essay explores mindreading strategies in the works of La Rochefoucauld and La Bruyère. The first part shows how La Bruyère exploits such strategies in bridging the gap between author and reader and in building his character portraits through observation of bodily behaviour. It also shows how he stages mindreading between characters. The second part analyses the procedural expressions ‘souvent’ and ‘ne que’ as linguistic clues to mental processes, more specifically as a device for bypassing (...)
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  • A Cognitive Account of Belief: A Tentative Road Map.Michael H. Connors & Peter W. Halligan - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
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  • What Makes Weird Beliefs Thrive? The Epidemiology of Pseudoscience.Maarten Boudry, Stefaan Blancke & Massimo Pigliucci - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (8):1177-1198.
    What makes beliefs thrive? In this paper, we model the dissemination of bona fide science versus pseudoscience, making use of Dan Sperber's epidemiological model of representations. Drawing on cognitive research on the roots of irrational beliefs and the institutional arrangement of science, we explain the dissemination of beliefs in terms of their salience to human cognition and their ability to adapt to specific cultural ecologies. By contrasting the cultural development of science and pseudoscience along a number of dimensions, we gain (...)
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  • Scientific Explanation and the Philosophy of Persuasion: Understanding Rhetoric Through Scientific Principles and Mechanisms.Catalin Constantin Mitelut - unknown
    This thesis explores the issue of whether Aristotle's Rhetoric is consistent with the principles and tools of contemporary science. The approach is to review Aristotle's Rhetoric in light of explanatory mechanisms from psychology, biology, cognitive science and neuroscience. The thesis begins by reviewing Aristotle's Rhetoric and modern rhetorical contributions from Chaim Perelman and Christopher Tindale. A discussion of several psychological principles of reasoning and their relevance to philosophical rhetoric follows. Next, a computational cognitive science framework on emotions and cognition and (...)
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  • Fictional Persuasion and the Nature of Belief.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2017 - In Ema Sullivan-Bissett, Helen Bradley & Paul Noordhof (eds.), Art and Belief. Oxford University Press. pp. 174-193.
    Psychological studies on fictional persuasion demonstrate that being engaged with fiction systematically affects our beliefs about the real world, in ways that seem insensitive to the truth. This threatens to undermine the widely accepted view that beliefs are essentially regulated in ways that tend to ensure their truth, and may tempt various non-doxastic interpretations of the belief-seeming attitudes we form as a result of engaging with fiction. I evaluate this threat, and argue that it is benign. Even if the relevant (...)
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  • Self-Deception as Affective Coping. An Empirical Perspective on Philosophical Issues.Federico Lauria, Delphine Preissmann & Fabrice Clément - 2016 - Consciousness and Cognition 41:119-134.
    In the philosophical literature, self-deception is mainly approached through the analysis of paradoxes. Yet, it is agreed that self-deception is motivated by protection from distress. In this paper, we argue, with the help of findings from cognitive neuroscience and psychology, that self-deception is a type of affective coping. First, we criticize the main solutions to the paradoxes of self-deception. We then present a new approach to self-deception. Self-deception, we argue, involves three appraisals of the distressing evidence: (a) appraisal of the (...)
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  • Religious Conversion, Transformative Experience, and Disagreement.Helen De Cruz - 2018 - Philosophia Christi 20 (1):265-276.
    Religious conversion gives rise to disagreement with one’s former self and with family and friends. Because religious conversion is personally and epistemically transformative, it is difficult to judge whether a former epistemic peer is still one’s epistemic peer post-conversion, just like it is hard for the convert to assess whether she is now in a better epistemic position than prior to her conversion. Through Augustine’s De Utilitate Credendi (The Usefulness of Belief) I show that reasoned argument should play a crucial (...)
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  • Epistemic Innocence and the Production of False Memory Beliefs.Katherine Puddifoot & Lisa Bortolotti - 2018 - Philosophical Studies:1-26.
    Findings from the cognitive sciences suggest that the cognitive mechanisms responsible for some memory errors are adaptive, bringing benefits to the organism. In this paper we argue that the same cognitive mechanisms also bring a suite of significant epistemic benefits, increasing the chance of an agent obtaining epistemic goods like true belief and knowledge. This result provides a significant challenge to the folk conception of memory beliefs that are false, according to which they are a sign of cognitive frailty, indicating (...)
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  • Speakers Are Honest Because Hearers Are Vigilant.Dan Sperber - unknown - Episteme 10:1.
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  • “Strategically Wrong”: Bias and Argumentation.Santibanez Yanez Cristian - unknown
    The brain is composed of mutually inconsistent modules that contain contradictory beliefs. What consequences could this view have on argumentation? In order to sketch an answer, first the family of concepts of what is called generalized deception is discussed; then, this discussion is applied to the problem of the social influence bias to observe both how the mind works strategically wrong and what kind of arguments are used within this mental design in a social argumentative context.
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  • Conspiracy and Bias: Argumentative Features and Persuasiveness of Conspiracy Theories.Oswald Steve - unknown
    This paper deals with the argumentative biases Conspiracy Theories typically suffer from and pursues two goals: the identification of recurring argumentative and rhetorical features of conspiracy theories, which translates into an attempt to elaborate their argumentative profile ; the elaboration of a cognitively-grounded account of CTs in terms of their persuasiveness. To fulfil goal, I examine online instances of different cases of CTs. Building on the general rhetorical features of CTs identified by Byford, I elaborate a first argumentative profile surveying (...)
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  • Don’T Worry, Be Gappy! On the Unproblematic Gappiness of Alleged Fallacies.Fabio Paglieri - unknown
    The history of fallacy theory is long, distinguished and, admittedly, checkered. I offer a bird eye view on it, with the aim of contrasting the standard conception of fallacies as attractive and universal errors that are hard to eradicate with the contemporary preoccupation with “non-fallacious fallacies”, that is, arguments that fit the bill of one of the traditional fallacies but are actually respectable enough to be used in appropriate contexts. Godden and Zenker have recently argued that reinterpreting alleged fallacies as (...)
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  • Embodying the Mind by Extending It.Pierre Jacob - 2012 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (1):33-51.
    To subscribe to the embodied mind (or embodiment) framework is to reject the view that an individual’s mind is realized by her brain alone. As Clark ( 2008a ) has argued, there are two ways to subscribe to embodiment: bodycentrism (BC) and the extended mind (EM) thesis. According to BC, an embodied mind is a two-place relation between an individual’s brain and her non-neural bodily anatomy. According to EM, an embodied mind is a threeplace relation between an individual’s brain, her (...)
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  • Preadolescents Solve Natural Syllogisms Proficiently.Guy Politzer, Christelle Bosc-Miné & Emmanuel Sander - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (S5):1031-1061.
    “Natural syllogisms” are arguments formally identifiable with categorical syllogisms that have an implicit universal affirmative premise retrieved from semantic memory rather than explicitly stated. Previous studies with adult participants have shown that the rate of success is remarkably high. Because their resolution requires only the use of a simple strategy and an operational use of the concept of inclusion, it was hypothesized that these syllogisms would be within the grasp of non-adult participants, provided they have acquired the notion of deductive (...)
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  • Towards a Fictionalist Philosophy of Mathematics.Robert Knowles - unknown
    In this thesis, I aim to motivate a particular philosophy of mathematics characterised by the following three claims. First, mathematical sentences are generally speaking false because mathematical objects do not exist. Second, people typically use mathematical sentences to communicate content that does not imply the existence of mathematical objects. Finally, in using mathematical language in this way, speakers are not doing anything out of the ordinary: they are performing straightforward assertions. In Part I, I argue that the role played by (...)
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  • Two-Dimensionalism and the Social Character of Meaning.Derek Nelson Ball - 2013 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):567-595.
    This paper develops and critiques the two-dimensionalist account of mental content developed by David Chalmers. I first explain Chalmers's account and show that it resists some popular criticisms. I then argue that the main interest of two-dimensionalism lies in its accounts of cognitive significance and of the connection between conceivability and possibility. These accounts hinge on the claim that some thoughts have a primary intension that is necessarily true. In this respect, they are Carnapian, and subject to broadly Quinean attack. (...)
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  • A Verisimilitudinarian Analysis of the Linda Paradox.Gustavo Cevolani, Vincenzo Crupi & Roberto Festa - 2012 - VII Conference of the Spanish Society for Logic, Methodology and Philosphy of Science.
    The Linda paradox is a key topic in current debates on the rationality of human reasoning and its limitations. We present a novel analysis of this paradox, based on the notion of verisimilitude as studied in the philosophy of science. The comparison with an alternative analysis based on probabilistic confirmation suggests how to overcome some problems of our account by introducing an adequately defined notion of verisimilitudinarian confirmation.
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  • Decoding Rich Spatial Information with High Temporal Resolution.Mark G. Stokes, Michael J. Wolff & Eelke Spaak - 2015 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 19 (11):636-638.
  • The Dark Side of the Loon. Explaining the Temptations of Obscurantism.Filip Buekens & Maarten Boudry - 2015 - Theoria 81 (2):126-142.
    After contrasting obscurantism with bullshit, we explore some ways in which obscurantism is typically justified by investigating a notorious test-case: defences of Lacanian psychoanalysis. Obscurantism abuses the reader's natural sense of curiosity and interpretive charity with the promise of deep and profound insights about a designated subject matter that is often vague or elusive. When the attempt to understand what the speaker means requires excessive hermeneutic efforts, interpreters are reluctant to halt their quest for meaning. We diagnose this as a (...)
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  • Culturally Transmitted Misbeliefs.Dan Sperber, Ryan T. McKay & Daniel C. Dennett - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):534.
    Most human beliefs are acquired through communication, and so are most misbeliefs. Just like the misbeliefs discussed by McKay & Dennett (M&D), culturally transmitted misbeliefs tend to result from limitations rather than malfunctions of the mechanisms that produce them, and few if any can be argued to be adaptations. However, the mechanisms involved, the contents, and the hypothetical adaptive value tend to be specific to the cultural case.
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  • Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory.Dan Sperber - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57.
    Short abstract (98 words). Reasoning is generally seen as a means to improve knowledge and make better decisions. However, much evidence shows that reasoning often leads to epistemic distortions and poor decisions. This suggests that the function of reasoning should be rethought. Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade. Reasoning so conceived is adaptive given humans’ exceptional dependence on communication and vulnerability to misinformation. A wide range of (...)
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  • Do Easterners and Westerners Treat Contradiction Differently?Hugo Mercier, Yuping Qu, Peng Lu, Jean-Baptiste Van der Henst & Jiehai Zhang - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 15 (1-2):45-63.
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  • The Complementarity of Mindshaping and Mindreading.Uwe Peters - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (3):533-549.
    Why do we engage in folk psychology, that is, why do we think about and ascribe propositional attitudes such as beliefs, desires, intentions etc. to people? On the standard view, folk psychology is primarily for mindreading, for detecting mental states and explaining and/or predicting people’s behaviour in terms of them. In contrast, McGeer (1996, 2007, 2015), and Zawidzki (2008, 2013) maintain that folk psychology is not primarily for mindreading but for mindshaping, that is, for moulding people’s behavior and minds (e.g., (...)
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