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Alexandria Boyle
Cambridge University
  1.  42
    Conjoined twinning & biological individuation.Alexandria Boyle - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2395-2415.
    In dicephalus conjoined twinning, it appears that two heads share a body; in cephalopagus, it appears that two bodies share a head. How many human animals are present in these cases? One answer is that there are two in both cases—conjoined twins are precisely that, conjoined twins. Another is that the number of humans corresponds to the number of bodies—so there is one in dicephalus and two in cephalopagus. I show that both of these answers are incorrect. Prominent accounts of (...)
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  2.  12
    Remembering Events and Representing Time.Alexandria Boyle - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2505-2524.
    Episodic memory—memory for personally experienced past events—seems to afford a distinctive kind of cognitive contact with the past. This makes it natural to think that episodic memory is centrally involved in our understanding of what it is for something to be in the past, or to be located in time—that it is either necessary or sufficient for such understanding. If this were the case, it would suggest certain straightforward evidential connections between temporal cognition and episodic memory in nonhuman animals. In (...)
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  3.  42
    The Impure Phenomenology of Episodic Memory.Alexandria Boyle - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (5):641-660.
    Episodic memory has a distinctive phenomenology: it involves “mentally reliving” a past event. It has been suggested that characterising episodic memory in terms of this phenomenology makes it impossible to test for in animals, because “purely phenomenological features” cannot be detected in animal behaviour. Against this, I argue that episodic memory's phenomenological features are impure, having both subjective and objective aspects, and so can be behaviourally detected. Insisting on a phenomenological characterisation of episodic memory consequently does nothing to damage the (...)
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  4.  28
    Mapping the Minds of Others.Alexandria Boyle - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (4):747-767.
    Mindreaders can ascribe representational states to others. Some can ascribe representational states – states with semantic properties like accuracy-aptness. I argue that within this group of mindreaders, there is substantial room for variation – since mindreaders might differ with respect to the representational format they take representational states to have. Given that formats differ in their formal features and expressive power, the format one takes mental states to have will significantly affect the range of mental state attributions one can make, (...)
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  5.  55
    Mirror Self‐Recognition and Self‐Identification.Alexandria Boyle - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2):284-303.
    That great apes are the only primates to recognise their reflections is often taken to show that they are self-aware—however, there has been much recent debate about whether the self-awareness in question is psychological or bodily self-awareness. This paper argues that whilst self-recognition does not require psychological self-awareness, to claim that it requires only bodily self-awareness would leave something out. That is that self-recognition requires ‘objective self-awareness’—the capacity for first person thoughts like ‘that's me’, which involve self-identification and so are (...)
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  6. Replication, Uncertainty and Progress in Comparative Cognition.Alexandria Boyle - 2021 - Animal Behaviour and Cognition 8 (2):296-304.
    Replications are often taken to play both epistemic and demarcating roles in science: they provide evidence about the reliability of fields’ methods and, by extension, about which fields “count” as scientific. I argue that, in a field characterized by a high degree of theoretical openness and uncertainty, like comparative cognition, replications do not sit well in these roles. Like other experiments conducted under conditions of uncertainty, replications are often equivocal and open to interpretation. As a result, they are poorly placed (...)
     
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  7. The Mnemonic Functions of Episodic Memory.Alexandria Boyle - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    Episodic memory is the form of memory involved in remembering personally experienced past events. Here, I address two questions about episodic memory’s function: what does episodic memory do for us, and why do we have it? Recent work addressing these questions has emphasized episodic memory’s role in imaginative simulation, criticizing the mnemonic view on which episodic memory is “for” remembering. In this paper, I offer a defense of the mnemonic view by highlighting an underexplored mnemonic function of episodic memory – (...)
     
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