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  1. Imagination: A Sine Qua Non of Science.Michael T. Stuart - 2017 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy (49):9-32.
    What role does the imagination play in scientific progress? After examining several studies in cognitive science, I argue that one thing the imagination does is help to increase scientific understanding, which is itself indispensable for scientific progress. Then, I sketch a transcendental justification of the role of imagination in this process.
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  • Crossing the Invisible Line: De-Differentiation of Wake, Sleep and Dreaming May Engender Both Creative Insight and Psychopathology.Sue Llewellyn - 2016 - Consciousness and Cognition 46:127-147.
  • Creativity as potentially valuable improbable constructions.Mark Fedyk & Fei Xu - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-24.
    We argue that creative ideas are potentially valuable improbable constructions. We arrive at this formulation of creativity after considering several problems that arise for the theories that suggest that creativity is novelty, originality, or usefulness. Our theory avoids these problems. But since we also derive our theory of creativity from the scientific commitments of a more general theory of cognitive development, a theory called rational constructivism, our theory is unique insofar as it explains creativity in both adults and children through (...)
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  • Search and Coherence-Building in Intuition and Insight Problem Solving.Michael Öllinger & Albrecht von Müller - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
  • Generalizing Prototype Theory: A Formal Quantum Framework.Diederik Aerts, Jan Broekaert, Liane Gabora & Sandro Sozzo - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  • Coherence in the Visual Imagination.Michael O. Vertolli, Matthew A. Kelly & Jim Davies - 2018 - Cognitive Science 42 (3):885-917.
    An incoherent visualization is when aspects of different senses of a word are present in the same visualization. We describe and implement a new model of creating contextual coherence in the visual imagination called Coherencer, based on the SOILIE model of imagination. We show that Coherencer is able to generate scene descriptions that are more coherent than SOILIE's original approach as well as a parallel connectionist algorithm that is considered competitive in the literature on general coherence. We also show that (...)
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  • Intention, Emotion, and Action: A Neural Theory Based on Semantic Pointers.Tobias Schröder, Terrence C. Stewart & Paul Thagard - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (5):851-880.
    We propose a unified theory of intentions as neural processes that integrate representations of states of affairs, actions, and emotional evaluation. We show how this theory provides answers to philosophical questions about the concept of intention, psychological questions about human behavior, computational questions about the relations between belief and action, and neuroscientific questions about how the brain produces actions. Our theory of intention ties together biologically plausible mechanisms for belief, planning, and motor control. The computational feasibility of these mechanisms is (...)
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  • The Curious Case of the Refrigerator–TV: Similarity and Hybridization.Michael Gibbert, James A. Hampton, Zachary Estes & David Mazursky - 2012 - Cognitive Science 36 (6):992-1018.
    This article examines the role of similarity in the hybridization of concepts, focusing on hybrid products as an applied test case. Hybrid concepts found in natural language, such as singer songwriter, typically combine similar concepts, whereas dissimilar concepts rarely form hybrids. The hybridization of dissimilar concepts in products such as jogging shoe mp3 player and refrigerator TV thus poses a challenge for understanding the process of conceptual combination. It is proposed that models of conceptual combination can throw light on the (...)
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  • Concepts as Semantic Pointers: A Framework and Computational Model.Peter Blouw, Eugene Solodkin, Paul Thagard & Chris Eliasmith - 2016 - Cognitive Science 40 (5):1128-1162.
    The reconciliation of theories of concepts based on prototypes, exemplars, and theory-like structures is a longstanding problem in cognitive science. In response to this problem, researchers have recently tended to adopt either hybrid theories that combine various kinds of representational structure, or eliminative theories that replace concepts with a more finely grained taxonomy of mental representations. In this paper, we describe an alternative approach involving a single class of mental representations called “semantic pointers.” Semantic pointers are symbol-like representations that result (...)
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  • The Brain is Wider Than the Sky: Analogy, Emotion, and Allegory.Paul Thagard - 2011 - Metaphor and Symbol 26 (2):131-142.
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  • Modeling Human Decision-Making: An Overview of the Brussels Quantum Approach.Diederik Aerts, Massimiliano Sassoli de Bianchi, Sandro Sozzo & Tomas Veloz - forthcoming - Foundations of Science.
    We present the fundamentals of the quantum theoretical approach we have developed in the last decade to model cognitive phenomena that resisted modeling by means of classical logical and probabilistic structures, like Boolean, Kolmogorovian and, more generally, set theoretical structures. We firstly sketch the operational-realistic foundations of conceptual entities, i.e. concepts, conceptual combinations, propositions, decision-making entities, etc. Then, we briefly illustrate the application of the quantum formalism in Hilbert space to represent combinations of natural concepts, discussing its success in modeling (...)
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  • Explanatory Identities and Conceptual Change.Paul Thagard - 2014 - Science & Education 23 (7):1531-1548.
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  • Philosophical Conceptual Analysis as an Experimental Method.Michael T. Stuart - 2015 - In Thomas Gamerschlag, Doris Gerland, Rainer Osswald & Wiebke Petersen (eds.), Meaning, Frames, and Conceptual Representation. Düsseldorf University Press. pp. 267-292.
    Philosophical conceptual analysis is an experimental method. Focusing on this helps to justify it from the skepticism of experimental philosophers who follow Weinberg, Nichols & Stich. To explore the experimental aspect of philosophical conceptual analysis, I consider a simpler instance of the same activity: everyday linguistic interpretation. I argue that this, too, is experimental in nature. And in both conceptual analysis and linguistic interpretation, the intuitions considered problematic by experimental philosophers are necessary but epistemically irrelevant. They are like variables introduced (...)
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  • Abstraction and Insight: Building Better Conceptual Systems to Support More Effective Social Change.Steven Wallis - 2015 - Foundations of Science 20 (2):189-198.
    When creating theory to understand or implement change at the social and/or organizational level, it is generally accepted that part of the theory building process includes a process of abstraction. While the process of abstraction is well understood, it is not so well understood how abstractions “fit” together to enable the creation of better theory. Starting with a few simple ideas, this paper explores one way we work with abstractions. This exploration challenges the traditionally held importance of abstracting concepts from (...)
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  • Thought Experiments Considered Harmful.Paul Thagard - 2014 - Perspectives on Science 22 (2):122-139.
    Thought experiments have been influential in philosophy at least since Plato, and they have contributed to science at least since Galileo. Some of this influence is appropriate, because thought experiments can have legitimate roles in generating and clarifying hypotheses, as well as in identifying problems in competing hypotheses. I will argue, however, that philosophers have often overestimated the significance of thought experiments by supposing that they can provide evidence that supports the acceptance of beliefs. Accepting hypotheses merely on the basis (...)
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  • The Science of Conceptual Systems: A Progress Report.Steven Wallis - 2016 - Foundations of Science 21 (4):579-602.
    In this paper I provide a brief history of the emerging science of conceptual systems, explain some methodologies, their sources of data, and the understandings that they have generated. I also provide suggestions for extending the science-based research in a variety of directions. Essentially, I am opening a conversation that asks how this line of research might be extended to gain new insights—and eventually develop more useful and generally accepted methods for creating and evaluating theory. This effort will support our (...)
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  • The Self as a System of Multilevel Interacting Mechanisms.Paul Thagard - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology (2):1-19.
    This paper proposes an account of the self as a multilevel system consisting of social, individual, neural, and molecular mechanisms. It argues that the functioning of the self depends on causal relations between mechanisms operating at different levels. In place of reductionist and holistic approaches to cognitive science, I advocate a method of multilevel interacting mechanisms. This method is illustrated by showing how self-concepts operate at several different levels.
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  • Two Theories of Consciousness: Semantic Pointer Competition Vs. Information Integration.Paul Thagard & Terrence C. Stewart - 2014 - Consciousness and Cognition 30:73-90.
  • Design Science Research for Computational Thinking in Constructionist Education: A Pragmatist Perspective.Vladimiras Dolgopolovas, Valentina Dagienė, Eglė Jasutė & Tatjana Jevsikova - 2019 - Problemos 95.
    [full article, abstract in English; abstract in Lithuanian] The article examines the modern computer-based educational environment and the requirements of the possible cognitive interface that enables the learner’s cognitive grounding by incorporating abductive reasoning into the educational process. Although the main emphasis is on cognitive and physiological aspects, the practical tools for enabling computational thinking in a modern constructionist educational environment are discussed. The presented analytical material and developed solutions are aimed at education with computers. However, the proposed solutions can (...)
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  • Cognitive Science and Thought Experiments: A Refutation of Paul Thagard's Skepticism.Michael T. Stuart - 2014 - Perspectives on Science 22 (2):264-287.
    Paul Thagard has recently argued that thought experiments are dangerous and misleading when we try to use them as evidence for claims. This paper refutes his skepticism. Building on Thagard’s own work in cognitive science, I suggest that Thagard has much that is positive to say about how thought experiments work. My last section presents some new directions for research on the intersection between thought experiments and cognitive science.
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  • The Self as a System of Multilevel Interacting Mechanisms.Paul Thagard - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (2):145-163.
  • Nihilism, Skepticism, and Philosophical Method: A Response to Landau on Coherence and the Meaning of Life.Paul Thagard - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (4):619-621.
  • Convolution and Modal Representations in Thagard and Stewart’s Neural Theory of Creativity: A Critical Analysis.Jean-Frédéric de Pasquale & Pierre Poirier - 2016 - Synthese 193 (5):1535-1560.
    According to Thagard and Stewart :1–33, 2011), creativity results from the combination of neural representations, and combination results from convolution, an operation on vectors defined in the holographic reduced representation framework. They use these ideas to understand creativity as it occurs in many domains, and in particular in science. We argue that, because of its algebraic properties, convolution alone is ill-suited to the role proposed by Thagard and Stewart. The semantic pointer concept allows us to see how we can apply (...)
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  • On the Origins of the Philosophy of Thought Experiments: The Forerun.Yiftach Fehige & Michael T. Stuart - 2014 - Perspectives on Science 22 (2):179-220.
    Philosophical debate about the nature and function of thought experiments would be impoverished without good historical sources. And while valuable work is being done on the history of thought experiments, a comprehensive discussion of the history of philosophical investigation into thought experiments is still absent in the literature (but see Kühne 2005; Moue et al. 2006). In what follows we take the first steps towards providing a more complete picture of the diverse attempts to shed light on thought experiments.The term (...)
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  • Abstraction and Insight: Building Better Conceptual Systems to Support More Effective Social Change.Steven E. Wallis - 2014 - Foundations of Science 19 (4):353-362.
    When creating theory to understand or implement change at the social and/or organizational level, it is generally accepted that part of the theory building process includes a process of abstraction. While the process of abstraction is well understood, it is not so well understood how abstractions “fit” together to enable the creation of better theory. Starting with a few simple ideas, this paper explores one way we work with abstractions. This exploration challenges the traditionally held importance of abstracting concepts from (...)
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