Carrie Figdor University of Iowa
About me
My main areas of research are in philosophy of cognitive science and neuroscience, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics. Other areas of research include neuroethics and philosophy of journalism.
My works
23 found

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  1. Big Data and Changing Concepts of the Human.Carrie Figdor - forthcoming - European Review.
    Big Data has the potential to enable unprecedentedly rigorous quantitative modeling of complex human social relationships and social structures. When such models are extended to nonhuman domains, they can undermine anthropocentric assumptions about the extent to which these relationships and structures are specifically human. Discoveries of relevant commonalities with nonhumans may not make us less human, but they promise to challenge fundamental views of what it is to be human.
     
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  2. Pieces of Mind: The Proper Domain of Psychological Predicates.Carrie Figdor - forthcoming - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  3. The Rise of Cognitive Science.Carrie Figdor - forthcoming - In Amy Kind (ed.), The Routledge History of the Philosophy of Mind. Routledge.
  4.  8
    (When) Is Scientific Reporting Ethical? The Case for Recognizing Shared Epistemic Responsibility in Science Journalism.Carrie Figdor - 2017 - Frontiers in Communication 2:1-7.
    Internal mechanisms that uphold the reliability of published scientific results have failed across many sciences, including some that are major sources of science news. Traditional methods for reporting science in the mass media do not effectively compensate for this unreliability. I argue for a new conceptual framework in which science journalists and scientists form a complex knowledge community, with science news as the interdisciplinary product. This approach motivates forms of collaboration and training that can improve the epistemic reliability of science (...)
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  5. Experimental Philosophy and the Underrepresentation of Women.Carrie Figdor & Matt L. Drabek - 2016 - In W. Buckwalter & J. Sytsma (eds.), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 590-602.
  6.  12
    Mindvaults: Sociocultural Grounds for Pretending and Imagining, by Radu J. Bogdan.Carrie Figdor - 2015 - Mind 124 (496):1235-1240.
  7. Review of Mindvaults, by Radu J. Bogdan (MIT Press). [REVIEW]Carrie Figdor - 2015 - Mind 124 (496).
     
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  8.  64
    Is Free Will Necessary for Moral Responsibility?: A Case for Rethinking Their Relationship and the Design of Experimental Studies in Moral Psychology.Carrie Figdor & Mark Phelan - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (5):603-627.
    Philosophical tradition has long held that free will is necessary for moral responsibility. We report experimental results that show that the folk do not think free will is necessary for moral responsibility. Our results also suggest that experimental investigation of the relationship is ill served by a focus on incompatibilism versus compatibilism. We propose an alternative framework for empirical moral psychology in which judgments of free will and moral responsibility can vary independently in response to many factors. We also suggest (...)
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  9. On the Proper Domain of Psychological Predicates.Carrie Figdor - 2014 - Synthese:n.a..
    One question of the bounds of cognition is that of which things have it. A scientifically relevant debate on this question must explain the persistent and selective use of psychological predicates to report findings throughout biology: for example, that neurons prefer, fruit flies and plants decide, and bacteria communicate linguistically. This paper argues that these claims should enjoy default literal interpretation. An epistemic consequence is that these findings can contribute directly to understanding the nature of psychological capacities.
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  10.  48
    Verbs and Minds.Carrie Figdor - 2014 - In Mark Sprevak Jesper Kallestrup (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Mind.
    I introduce and defend verbialism, a metaphysical framework appropriate for accommodating the mind within the natural sciences and the mechanistic model of explanation that ties the natural sciences together. Verbialism is the view that mental phenomena belong in the basic ontological category of activities. If mind is what brain does, then explaining the mind is explaining how it occurs, and the ontology of mind is verbialist -- at least, it ought to be. I motivate verbialism by revealing a kind of (...)
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  11.  90
    What's the Use of an Intrinsic Property?Carrie Figdor - 2014 - In Robert Francescotti (ed.), Companion to Intrinsic Properties. De Gruyter. pp. 139-156.
    Work on the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction is often motivated by its use in other areas, such as intrinsic value, real vs. Cambridge change, supervenience and other topics. With the exception of Figdor 2008, philosophers have sought to articulate a global distinction -- a distinction between kinds of properties, rather than ways in which individuals have properties. I argue that global I/E distinctions are unable to do the work that allegedly motivates them, focusing on the case of intrinsic value.
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  12. New Scepticism About Science.Carrie Figdor - 2013 - Philosophers' Magazine 60 (-1):51 - 56.
    In this essay I raise a dilemma for science journalists based on recent skepticism raised by scientists about the credibility of published results in many fields. Due to systematic biases in the publication record, most published findings in these fields (including psychology and biological subfields) are almost certainly false. So should science reporters stop reporting these findings, given their mission to report verified truths? Or should they report the findings while saying they are almost certainly false?
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  13.  1
    New Scepticism About Science.Carrie Figdor - 2013 - The Philosophers' Magazine 60:51-56.
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  14. New Scepticism About Science.Carrie Figdor - 2013 - The Philosophers' Magazine 60:51-56.
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  15. What is the “Cognitive” in Cognitive Neuroscience?Carrie Figdor - 2013 - Neuroethics 6 (1):105-114.
    This paper argues that the cognitive neuroscientific use of ordinary mental terms to report research results and draw implications can contribute to public confusion and misunderstanding regarding neuroscience results. This concern is raised at a time when cognitive neuroscientists are increasingly required by funding agencies to link their research to specific results of public benefit, and when neuroethicists have called for greater attention to public communication of neuroscience. The paper identifies an ethical dimension to the problem and presses for greater (...)
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  16. Quantifying the Gender Gap: An Empirical Study of the Underrepresentation of Women in Philosophy.Molly Paxton, Carrie Figdor & Valerie Tiberius - 2012 - Hypatia 27 (4):949-957.
    The lack of gender parity in philosophy has garnered serious attention recently. Previous empirical work that aims to quantify what has come to be called “the gender gap” in philosophy focuses mainly on the absence of women in philosophy faculty and graduate programs. Our study looks at gender representation in philosophy among undergraduate students, undergraduate majors, graduate students, and faculty. Our findings are consistent with what other studies have found about women faculty in philosophy, but we were able to add (...)
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  17. Semantics and Metaphysics in Informatics: Toward an Ontology of Tasks (a Reply to Lenartowicz Et Al. 2010, Towards an Ontology of Cognitive Control).Carrie Figdor - 2011 - Topics in Cognitive Science 3 (2):222-226.
    This article clarifies three principles that should guide the development of any cognitive ontology. First, that an adequate cognitive ontology depends essentially on an adequate task ontology; second, that the goal of developing a cognitive ontology is independent of the goal of finding neural implementations of the processes referred to in the ontology; and third, that cognitive ontologies are neutral regarding the metaphysical relationship between cognitive and neural processes.
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  18.  15
    Is Objective News Possible?Carrie Figdor - 2010 - In Christopher Meyers (ed.), Journalism Ethics: A Philosophical Approach. Oxford University Press. pp. 153.
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  19. Neuroscience and the Multiple Realization of Cognitive Functions.Carrie Figdor - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (3):419-456.
    Many empirically minded philosophers have used neuroscientific data to argue against the multiple realization of cognitive functions in existing biological organisms. I argue that neuroscientists themselves have proposed a biologically based concept of multiple realization as an alternative to interpreting empirical findings in terms of one‐to‐one structure‐function mappings. I introduce this concept and its associated research framework and also how some of the main neuroscience‐based arguments against multiple realization go wrong. *Received October 2009; revised December 2009. †To contact the author, (...)
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  20. Objectivity in the News: Finding a Way Forward.Carrie Figdor - 2010 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 25 (1):19 – 33.
    Many media critics believe news reports are inevitably biased and have urged journalists to abandon the objectivity norm. I show that the main arguments for inevitable bias fail but identify factors that make producing objective news difficult. I indicate what the next steps should be to understand bias in the news and to combat it.
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  21. Semantic Externalism and the Mechanics of Thought.Carrie Figdor - 2009 - Minds and Machines 19 (1):1-24.
    I review a widely accepted argument to the conclusion that the contents of our beliefs, desires and other mental states cannot be causally efficacious in a classical computational model of the mind. I reply that this argument rests essentially on an assumption about the nature of neural structure that we have no good scientific reason to accept. I conclude that computationalism is compatible with wide semantic causal efficacy, and suggest how the computational model might be modified to accommodate this possibility.
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  22. Intrinsically/Extrinsically.Carrie Figdor - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (11):691-718.
    I separate two intrinsic/extrinsic distinctions that are often conflated: one between properties (the intrinsic/extrinsic, or I/E, distinction) and one between the ways in which properties are had by individuals (the intrinsically/extrinsically, or I-ly/E-ly, distinction). I propose an analysis of the I-ly/E-ly distinction and its relation to the I/E distinction that explains, inter alia, the puzzle of cross-classification: how it can be, for example, that the property of being square can be classified as an intrinsic property and yet individuals can be (...)
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  23.  77
    Can Mental Representations Be Triggering Causes?Carrie Figdor - 2003 - Consciousness and Emotion 4 (1):43-61.
    Fred Dretske?s (1988) account of the causal role of intentional mental states was widely criticized for missing the target: he explained why a type of intentional state causes the type of bodily motion it does rather than some other type, when what we wanted was an account of how the intentional properties of these states play a causal role in each singular causal relation with a token bodily motion. I argue that the non-reductive metaphysics that Dretske defends for his account (...)
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