46 found

Year:

  1.  17
    Introduction: Individual Concepts in Language and Thought.Tadeusz Ciecierski & Paweł Grabarczyk - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):349-356.
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  2. Perceptual Demonstrative Thought: A Property-Dependent Theory.Sean Crawford - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):439-457.
    The paper presents a new theory of perceptual demonstrative thought, the property-dependent theory. It argues that the theory is superior to both the object-dependent theory (Evans, McDowell) and the object-independent theory (Burge).
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  3.  59
    Truth Without Reference: The Use of Fictional Names.María de Ponte, Kepa Korta & John Perry - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):389-399.
    Singular terms without referents are called empty or vacuous terms. But not all of them are equally empty. In particular, not all proper names that fail to name an existing object fail in the same way: although they are all empty, they are not all equally vacuous. “Vulcan,” “Jacob Horn,” “Odysseus,” and “Sherlock Holmes,” for instance, are all empty. They have no referents. But they are not entirely vacuous or useless. Sometimes they are used in statements that are true or (...)
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  4.  15
    The Occasion-Sensitivity of Thought.Tamara Dobler - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):487-497.
    On the most common interpretation of occasion-sensitivity what varies cross-contextually is the truth-conditional content of representations. Jerry Fodor argues that when extended to mental representation this view has some problematic consequences. In this paper I outline an approach to occasion-sensitivity which circumvents Fodor’s objections but still maintains that the aspect of thought that guides deliberation and action is occasion-sensitive. On the proposed view, what varies cross-contextually are not truth conditions but rather the conditions for accepting a representation as true relative (...)
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  5. Proper Names, Rigidity, and Empirical Studies on Judgments of Identity Across Transformations.Vilius Dranseika, Jonas Dagys & Renatas Berniūnas - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):381-388.
    The question of transtemporal identity of objects in general and persons in particular is an important issue in both philosophy and psychology. While the focus of philosophers traditionally was on questions of the nature of identity relation and criteria that allow to settle ontological issues about identity, psychologists are mostly concerned with how people think about identity, and how they track identity of objects and people through time. In this article, we critically engage with widespread use of inferring folk judgments (...)
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  6.  24
    Descriptivism Without Quotation.Dirk Franken - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):367-379.
    Current descriptivist accounts of proper names entail two claims: that the expressions we know as different proper names are the bearers of different meanings and that the descriptions corresponding to these meanings contain quotations of the expressions whose meanings they are taken to be. While is the source of a number of intractable problems, descriptivists feel committed to it because it is the only available option to adhere to, which they use to take as a matter of course. In the (...)
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  7.  20
    Team Reasoning and the Rational Choice of Payoff-Dominant Outcomes in Games.Natalie Gold & Andrew M. Colman - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):305-316.
    Standard game theory cannot explain the selection of payoff-dominant outcomes that are best for all players in common-interest games. Theories of team reasoning can explain why such mutualistic cooperation is rational. They propose that teams can be agents and that individuals in teams can adopt a distinctive mode of reasoning that enables them to do their part in achieving Pareto-dominant outcomes. We show that it can be rational to play payoff-dominant outcomes, given that an agent group identifies. We compare team (...)
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  8.  21
    How to Pick Out a Dragon: Fiction and the Selection Problem.Fredrik Haraldsen - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):401-412.
    Non-actualist theories promise straightforward accounts of meaning, truth and reference of fictional discourse but are ostensibly saddled with a Selection Problem, that multiple possible candidates satisfy the role-descriptions associated with names used in fictions and no principled way to distinguish between them; yet if names are referential, there can only be one referent. The problem is often taken to be a serious—even decisive—obstacle for non-actualism, and the aim of this article is to show that the challenge can be met. I (...)
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  9. Structuring Decisions Under Deep Uncertainty.Casey Helgeson - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):257-269.
    Innovative research on decision making under ‘deep uncertainty’ is underway in applied fields such as engineering and operational research, largely outside the view of normative theorists grounded in decision theory. Applied methods and tools for decision support under deep uncertainty go beyond standard decision theory in the attention that they give to the structuring of decisions. Decision structuring is an important part of a broader philosophy of managing uncertainty in decision making, and normative decision theorists can both learn from, and (...)
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  10.  27
    The Diversity of Rational Choice Theory: A Review Note.Catherine Herfeld - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):329-347.
    In this paper, I review the literature on rational choice theory to scrutinize a number of criticisms that philosophers have voiced against its usefulness in economics. The paper has three goals: first, I argue that the debates about RCT have been characterized by disunity and confusion about the object under scrutiny, which calls into question the effectiveness of those criticisms. Second, I argue that RCT is not a single and unified choice theory—let alone an empirical theory of human behavior—as some (...)
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  11. The Structure of Content is Not Transparent.Thomas Hodgson - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):425-437.
    Sentences in context have semantic contents determined by a range of factors both internal and external to speakers. I argue against the thesis that semantic content is transparent to speakers in the sense of being immediately accessible to speakers in virtue of their linguistic competence.
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  12.  25
    Rational Preferences and Reindividuation of Relevant Alternatives in Decision Theory: Towards a Theory of Representation.Hadrien Mamou - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):283-292.
    In this essay, I will examine Broome’s argument in Weighing Goods that aims to show that moderate Humeanism, according to which any coherent sets of preferences should be rationally acceptable, is not a sustainable view of decision theory. I will focus more specifically on the argument Broome uses to support his claim, and show that although it may get some traction, it does not undermine moderate Humeanism as we know it. After reconstructing Broome’s argument, I argue that standard decision theory (...)
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  13.  7
    Names, Descriptions and Causal Descriptions. Is the Magic Gone?Genoveva Martí - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):357-365.
    Some of the fundamental lessons of the so-called revolution against descriptivism that occurred in the 70s are negative and it is not immediately apparent what kind of semantic theory should emerge as regards proper names, the alleged paradigms of genuinely referential terms. Some of the claims about names, most notably Ruth Barcan Marcus’ characterization of names as tags, appear to be too picturesque to provide the basis for a positive theory and, without a theory, it would seem that the referential (...)
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  14.  10
    Introduction: New Trends in Rational Choice Theory.Cédric Paternotte - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):243-244.
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  15.  32
    Gambling with Death.H. Orri Stefánsson - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):271-281.
    Orthodox expected utility theory imposes too stringent restrictions on what attitudes to risk one can rationally hold. Focusing on a life-and-death gamble, I identify as the main culprit the theory’s Linearity property, according to which the utility of a particular change in the risk of a bad outcome is independent of the original level of risk. Finally, I argue that a recent non-standard Bayesian decision theory, that does not have this property, handles risky gambles better than the orthodox theory.
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  16.  9
    Coordinated Rational Choice.Luca Tummolini & Wynn C. Stirling - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):317-327.
    When acting in social contexts, we are often able to voluntarily coordinate our choices with one another. It has been suggested that this ability relies on the adoption of preferences that transcend those of the individuals involved in the social interaction. Conditional game theory provides a formal framework that facilitates the study of coordinated rational choice in a way that disentangles the concepts of individual preference and group agency. We argue that these concepts are complementary: individual preferences are formed in (...)
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  17.  11
    Explaining Public Action.Víctor M. Verdejo - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):475-485.
    Actions are uncontroversially public. However, the prevailing model of explanation in the debate about the de se seems to conflict with this fact by proposing agent-specific explanations that yield agent-specific types of action—i.e. types of action that no two agents can instantiate. Remarkably, this point affects both proponents and critics of the de se. In this paper, I present this kind of problem, characterise the proper level of analysis for action explanation compatible with the publicity of action—i.e. the agent-bound level—and (...)
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  18.  16
    The Singularity of Experiences and Thoughts.Alberto Voltolini - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):459-473.
    Recently, various people have maintained that one must revise either the externalistically-based notion of singular thought or the naïve realism-inspired notion of relational particularity, as respectively applied to some thoughts and to some perceptual experiences. In order to do so, one must either provide a broader notion of singular thought or flank the notion of relational particularity with a broader notion of phenomenal particularity. I want to hold that there is no need of that revision. For the original notions can (...)
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  19.  15
    Correction to: Introduction: The Varieties of Enactivism.Dave Ward, David Silverman & Mario Villalobos - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):499-499.
    The original article was published with incomplete acknowledgement. The complete acknowledgement section is given in this correction.
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  20.  9
    Risk as a Consequence.Paul Weirich - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):293-303.
    Expected-utility theory advances representation theorems that do not take the risk an act generates as a consequence of the act. However, a principle of expected-utility maximization that explains the rationality of preferences among acts must, for normative accuracy, take the act’s risk as a consequence of the act if the agent cares about the risk. I defend this conclusion against the charge that taking an act’s consequences to comprehend all the agent cares about trivializes the principle of expected-utility maximization.
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  21.  8
    Introduction: Mind and Brain.Brian Ball, Fintan Nagle & Ioannis Votsis - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):1-3.
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  22.  15
    An Excess of Meaning: Conceptual Over-Interpretation in Confabulation and Schizophrenia.Joshua A. Bergamin - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):163-176.
    I argue that ordinary confabulation is a side-effect of an interpretive faculty that makes sense of the world by rationalising our experience within the context of a personal and cultural narrative. However, I argue that a hyperactivity of the same process manifests as schizotypy—latent schizophrenic tendencies—that can lead to extreme dissociation of interpretation from experience. I first give a phenomenological account of the process of interpretation, arguing that it is enacted through the creation of conceptual cognitive content from an originary (...)
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  23.  5
    Regulation, Normativity and Folk Psychology.Victor Fernandez Castro - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):57-67.
    Recently, several scholars have argued in support of the idea that folk psychology involves a primary capacity for regulating our mental states and patterns of behavior in accordance with a bunch of shared social norms and routines :259–281, 2015; Zawidzki, Philosophical Explorations 11:193–210, 2008; Zawidzki, Mindshaping: A new framework for understanding human social cognition, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2013). This regulative view shares with the classical Dennettian intentional stance its emphasis on the normative character of human socio-cognitive capacities. Given those similarities, (...)
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  24.  20
    Does Confabulation Pose a Threat to First-Person Authority? Mindshaping, Self-Regulation and the Importance of Self-Know-How.Leon de Bruin & Derek Strijbos - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):151-161.
    Empirical evidence suggests that people often confabulate when they are asked about their choices or reasons for action. The implications of these studies are the topic of intense debate in philosophy and the cognitive sciences. An important question in this debate is whether the confabulation studies pose a serious threat to the possibility of self-knowledge. In this paper we are not primarily interested in the consequences of confabulation for self-knowledge. Instead, we focus on a different issue: what confabulation implies for (...)
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  25.  43
    A History of Qualia.Daniel C. Dennett - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):5-12.
    The philosophers’ concept of qualia is an artifact of bad theorizing, and in particular, of failing to appreciate the distinction between the intentional object of a belief and the cause of that belief. Qualia, like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, have a history but that does not make them real. The cause of a hallucination, for instance, may not resemble the intentional object hallucinated at all, and the representation in the brain is not rendered in special subjective properties.
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  26. Interventionism for the Intentional Stance: True Believers and Their Brains.Markus I. Eronen - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):45-55.
    The relationship between psychological states and the brain remains an unresolved issue in philosophy of psychology. One appealing solution that has been influential both in science and in philosophy is Dennett’s concept of the intentional stance, according to which beliefs and desires are real and objective phenomena, but not necessarily states of the brain. A fundamental shortcoming of this approach is that it does not seem to leave any causal role for beliefs and desires in influencing behavior. In this paper, (...)
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  27.  25
    Dennett on Consciousness: Realism Without the Hysterics.Francis Fallon - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):35-44.
    Dennett’s theory of consciousness is often misread as broadly anti-realist. His aversion to ontology encourages readers to form their own interpretations, and the rhetoric he employs often seems to support the anti-realist reading. Dennett does offer defenses against the anti-realist charge, but these are piecemeal and diffuse. This paper examines Dennett’s most current expression, which proves insufficient on its own as a resolution to the ontological dispute. Drawing on related discussions in an attempt to find a resolution leads to a (...)
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  28.  32
    Confabulating Reasons.Marianna Bergamaschi Ganapini & Marianna Bergamaschi Ganapini - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):189-201.
    In this paper, I will focus on a type of confabulation that emerges in relation to questions about mental attitudes whose causes we cannot introspectively access. I argue against two popular views that see confabulations as mainly offering a psychological story about ourselves. On these views, confabulations are the result of either a cause-tracking mechanism or a self-directed mindreading mechanism. In contrast, I propose the view that confabulations are mostly telling a normative story: they are arguments primarily offered to justify (...)
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  29.  6
    Performance-Similarity Reasoning as a Source for Mechanism Schema Evaluation.Raoul Gervais - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):69-79.
    In this paper, I explicate and discuss performance-similarity reasoning as a strategy for mechanism schema evaluation, understood in Lindley Darden’s sense. This strategy involves inferring hypotheses about the mechanism responsible for cognitive capacities from premises describing the performance of those capacities; performance-similarity reasoning is a type of Inference to the Best Explanation, or IBE. Two types of such inferences are distinguished: one in which the performance of two systems is compared, and another when the performance of two systems under intervention (...)
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  30.  20
    The Consciousness of Embodied Cognition, Affordances, and the Brain.Valerie Gray Hardcastle - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):23-33.
    Tony Chemero advances the radical thesis that cognition and consciousness are actually the same thing. I question this conclusion. Even if we are the brain–body environmental synergies that Chemero and others claim, we will not be able to conclude that consciousness is just cognition because this view actually expands cognition beyond being the sort of natural kind upon which to hook phenomenal experience. Identifying consciousness with cognition either means consciousness exists at multiple levels of organization in the universe, or more (...)
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  31.  17
    The Invention of Consciousness.Nicholas Humphrey - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):13-21.
    In English we use the word “invention” in two ways. First, to mean a new device or process developed by experimentation, and designed to fulfill a practical goal. Second, to mean a mental fabrication, especially a falsehood, designed to please or persuade. In this paper I argue that human consciousness is an invention in both respects. First, it is a cognitive faculty, evolved by natural selection, designed to help us make sense of ourselves and our surroundings. But then, second, it (...)
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  32.  23
    Superstitious Confabulations.Anna Ichino - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):203-217.
    Superstition and confabulation are extremely pervasive in our cognitive lives. Whilst both these phenomena are widely discussed in the recent psychological literature, however, the relationship between them has not been the object of much explicit attention. In this paper, I argue that this relationship is actually very close, and deserves indepth consideration. I argue that superstitious and confabulatory attitudes share several key features and are rooted in the same psychological mechanisms. Moreover, some of the key features that superstitious and confabulatory (...)
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  33.  17
    Confabulation, Rationalisation and Morality.Anneli Jefferson - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):219-227.
    In everyday confabulation and rationalisation of behaviour, agents provide sincerely believed explanations of behaviour which are ill-grounded and normally inaccurate. In this paper, I look at the commonalities and differences between confabulations and rationalisations and investigate their moral costs and benefits. Following Summers and Velleman, I argue that both can be beneficial because they constrain future behaviour through self-consistency motivations. However, I then show that the same features that make confabulations and rationalisations beneficial in some cases can also make them (...)
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  34.  72
    Confabulating as Unreliable Imagining: In Defence of the Simulationist Account of Unsuccessful Remembering.Kourken Michaelian - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):133-148.
    This paper responds to Bernecker’s attack on Michaelian’s simulationist account of confabulation, as well as his defence of the causalist account of confabulation :432–447, 2016a) against Michaelian’s attack on it. The paper first argues that the simulationist account survives Bernecker’s attack, which takes the form of arguments from the possibility of unjustified memory and justified confabulation, unscathed. It then concedes that Bernecker’s defence of the causalist account against Michaelian’s attack, which takes the form of arguments from the possibility of veridical (...)
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  35.  17
    Correction to: Confabulating as Unreliable Imagining: In Defence of the Simulationist Account of Unsuccessful Remembering.Kourken Michaelian - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):149-149.
    The article “Confabulating as Unreliable Imagining: In Defence of the Simulationist Account of Unsuccessful Remembering”, written by “Kourken Michaelian”, was originally published electronically on the publisher’s internet portal https://link.springer.com/article/https://doi.org/10.1007/s11245-018-9591-z on 15 October 2018 without open access.
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  36.  36
    Content Pragmatism Defended.Dimitri Coelho Mollo - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):103-113.
    In the literature on the nature and role of cognitive representation, three positions are taken across the conceptual landscape: robust realism, primitivism, and eliminativism. Recently, a fourth alternative that tries to avoid the shortcomings of traditional views has been proposed: content pragmatism. My aim is to defend pragmatism about content against some recent objections moved against the view. According to these objections, content pragmatism fails to capture the role played by representation in the cognitive sciences; and/or is an unstable view (...)
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  37.  29
    What Kind of Information is Brain Information?Charles Rathkopf - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):95-102.
    Neural systems process information. This platitude contains an interesting ambiguity between multiple senses of the term “information.” According to a popular thought, the ambiguity is best resolved by reserving semantic concepts of information for the explication of neural activity at a high level of organization, and quantitative concepts of information for the explication of neural activity at a low level of organization. This article articulates the justification behind this view, and concludes that it is an oversimplification. An analysis of the (...)
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  38.  9
    What Kind of Information is Brain Information?Charles Rathkopf - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):95-102.
    Neural systems process information. This platitude contains an interesting ambiguity between multiple senses of the term “information.” According to a popular thought, the ambiguity is best resolved by reserving semantic concepts of information for the explication of neural activity at a high level of organization, and quantitative concepts of information for the explication of neural activity at a low level of organization. This article articulates the justification behind this view, and concludes that it is an oversimplification. An analysis of the (...)
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  39.  25
    Mnemonic Confabulation.Sarah Robins - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):121-132.
    Clinical use of the term “confabulation” began as a reference to false memories in dementia patients. The term has remained in circulation since, which belies shifts in its definition and scope over time. “Confabulation” now describes a range of disorders, deficits, and anomalous behaviors. The increasingly wide and varied use of this term has prompted many to ask: what is confabulation? In recent years, many have offered answers to this question. As a general rule, recent accounts are accounts of broad (...)
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  40.  53
    Can Informational Theories Account for Metarepresentation?Miguel Ángel Sebastián & Marc Artiga - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):81-94.
    In this essay we discuss recent attempts to analyse the notion of representation, as it is employed in cognitive science, in purely informational terms. In particular, we argue that recent informational theories cannot accommodate the existence of metarepresentations. Since metarepresentations play a central role in the explanation of many cognitive abilities, this is a serious shortcoming of these proposals.
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  41.  30
    Gaslighting, Confabulation, and Epistemic Innocence.Andrew D. Spear - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):229-241.
    Recent literature on epistemic innocence develops the idea that a defective cognitive process may nevertheless merit special consideration insofar as it confers an epistemic benefit that would not otherwise be available. For example, confabulation may be epistemically innocent when it makes a subject more likely to form future true beliefs or helps her maintain a coherent self-concept. I consider the role of confabulation in typical cases of interpersonal gaslighting, and argue that confabulation will not be epistemically innocent in such cases (...)
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  42.  3
    Gaslighting, Confabulation, and Epistemic Innocence.Andrew D. Spear - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):229-241.
    Recent literature on epistemic innocence develops the idea that a defective cognitive process may nevertheless merit special consideration insofar as it confers an epistemic benefit that would not otherwise be available. For example, confabulation may be epistemically innocent when it makes a subject more likely to form future true beliefs or helps her maintain a coherent self-concept. I consider the role of confabulation in typical cases of interpersonal gaslighting, and argue that confabulation will not be epistemically innocent in such cases (...)
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  43.  5
    Confabulation, Explanation, and the Pursuit of Resonant Meaning.Sophie Stammers - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):177-187.
    People with dementia sometimes confabulate, offering sincere explanations of their situation which are not grounded in evidence. Similar explanation-giving behaviour occurs frequently in the non-clinical population. Some see this as evidence that clinical and non-clinical confabulations emanate from the same essential feature of cognition, a drive to provide causal theories. Others maintain that clinical confabulations are not attempts to identify causal relations, but narratives which create and emphasise socially important meanings :647–673, 2006). We can reconcile these accounts, preserving the explanatory (...)
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  44.  9
    Introduction: Philosophical Perspectives on Confabulation.Sophie Stammers & Lisa Bortolotti - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):115-119.
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  45.  33
    The Pragmatics of Non-denoting Descriptions.Andrei Moldovan - 2020 - Topoi (2):413-423.
    One challenge that the proponent of the Fregean theory of definite descriptions has to meet is to account for those truth-value intuitions that do not match the predictions of her theory. What needs an explanation is why sentences such as ‘The king of France is sitting in that chair’ [pointing at an empty chair] are intuitively false, while semantically truth-valueless. The existence of such cases was pointed out by Strawson :216–231, 1954) and Russell :385–389, 1957), and much discussed in the (...)
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  46.  14
    Evidence, Defeasibility, and Metaphors in Diagnosis and Diagnosis Communication.Pietro Salis & Francesca Ervas - 2020 - Topoi:1-17.
    The paper investigates the epistemological and communicative competences the experts need to use and communicate evidence in the reasoning process leading to diagnosis. The diagnosis and diagnosis communication are presented as intertwined processes that should be jointly addressed in medical consultations, to empower patients’ compliance in illness management. The paper presents defeasible reasoning as specific to the diagnostic praxis, showing how this type of reasoning threatens effective diagnosis communication and entails that we should understand diagnostic evidence as defeasible as well. (...)
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