The contributors to this volume examine recent controversies about the importance of common sense psychology for our understanding of the human mind. Common sense provides a familiar and friendly psychological scheme by which to talk about the mind. Its categories tend to portray the mind as quite different from the rest of nature, and thus irreducible to physical matters and its laws. In this volume a variety of positions on common sense psychology from critical to supportive, from exegetical to speculative, (...) are represented. Among the questions posed are: Is common sense psychology an empirical theory, a body of analytic knowledge, a practice or a strategy? If it is a legitimate enterprise can it be naturalized or not? If it is not legitimate can it be eliminated? Is its fate tied to our understanding of consciousness? Should we approach its concepts and generalizations from the standpoint of conceptual analysis or from the philosophy of science? (shrink)
Unlike most current researchers in philosophy and psychology, who view interpretation as a way to understand the minds and behavior of others, Radu J. Bogdan sets out to establish a new evolutionary and practical view of interpretation. According to Bogdan, the ability to interpret others' mental states has evolved under communal, political, and epistemic pressures to enable us to cope with the impact of other organisms on our own goals in the competition to survive. Interpretation evolved among primates (...) by natural and then cultural selection. As an adaptation, it is a competence in the form of a battery of practical skills that serve the interpreter's interests in social interactions. Evolutionary theory does not just deepen our understanding of interpretation; without it, we cannot understand what interpretation is and how it does its job. Interpreting Minds raises many thought-provoking issues for philosophers of mind and culture; evolutionary, developmental, and social psychologists; ethologists; cognitive and cultural anthropologists; evolutionary biologists; and others interested in cognitive development. (shrink)
In this paper I offer a proof-theoretic defence of meaning-invariant logical pluralism. I argue that there is a relation of co-determination between the operational and structural aspects of a logic. As a result, some features of the consequence relation are induced by the connectives. I propose that a connective is defined by those rules which are conservative and unique, while at the same time expressing only connective-induced structural information. This is the key to stabilizing the meaning of the connectives across (...) multiple determinations of the consequence relation. (shrink)
Proof-theoretic semantics is an alternative to model-theoretic semantics. It aims at explaining the meaning of the logical constants in terms of the inference rules that govern their behaviour in proofs. We argue that this must be construed as the task of explaining these meanings relative to a logic, i.e., to a consequence relation. Alas, there is no agreed set of properties that a relation must have in order to qualify as a consequence relation. Moreover, the association of a consequence relation (...) to a logical calculus is not as straightforward as it may seem. We show that these facts are problematic for the proof-theoretic project but the problems can be solved. Our thesis is that the consequence relation relevant for proof-theoretic semantics is the one given by the sequent-to-sequent derivability relation in Gentzen systems. (shrink)
Some of the topics presented in this volume of original essays on contemporary approaches to belief include the problem of misrepresentation and false belief, conscious versus unconscious belief, explicit versus tacit belief, and the durable versus ephemeral question of the nature of belief. The contributors, Fred Dretske, Keith Lehrer, William Lycan, Stephen Schiffer, Stephen P. Stich, and the editor, Radu Bogdan, focus on the mental realization of belief, its cognitive and behavioral aspects, and the semantic aspects of its content. (...) This interdisciplinary study takes advantage of many new theories in what has become an important area of research. (shrink)
Intra-theoretical logical pluralism is a form of meaning-invariant pluralism about logic, articulated recently by Hjortland :355–373, 2013). This version of pluralism relies on it being possible to define several distinct notions of provability relative to the same logical calculus. The present paper picks up and explores this theme: How can a single logical calculus express several different consequence relations? The main hypothesis articulated here is that the divide between the internal and external consequence relations in Gentzen systems generates a form (...) of intra-theoretical logical pluralism. (shrink)
The strict-tolerant approach to paradox promises to erect theories of naïve truth and tolerant vagueness on the firm bedrock of classical logic. We assess the extent to which this claim is founded. Building on some results by Girard we show that the usual proof-theoretic formulation of propositional ST in terms of the classical sequent calculus without primitive Cut is incomplete with respect to ST-valid metainferences, and exhibit a complete calculus for the same class of metainferences. We also argue that the (...) latter calculus, far from coinciding with classical logic, is a close kin of Priest’s LP. (shrink)
A logical constant is weakly disharmonious if its elimination rules are weaker than its introduction rules. Substructural weak disharmony is the weak disharmony generated by structural restrictions on the eliminations. I argue that substructural weak disharmony is not a defect of the constants which exhibit it. To the extent that it is problematic, it calls into question the structural properties of the derivability relation. This prompts us to rethink the issue of controlling the structural properties of a logic by means (...) of harmony. I argue that such a control is possible and desirable. Moreover, it is best achieved by global tests of harmony. (shrink)
The theme of this essay is rather simple, though its demonstration is not. It is that humans think reflexively or metamentally because -- and often in the forms in which -- they interpret each other. In this essay ‘metamental’ means ‘about mental’ and ‘reflexive mind’ means ‘a mind thinking about its own thoughts.’ To think reflexively or metamentally is to think about thoughts deliberately and explicitly, as in thinking that my current thoughts about metamentation are right. Thinking about thoughts requires (...) understanding thoughts as thoughts, as mental structures that represent; it also requires an ability to relate thoughts to other thoughts and to recognize such inter-thought relations. Since metamentation is essential to and uniquely distinctive of human minds, the idea that it originates in interpreting other minds can be encapsulated in the slogan that minds are minded because minds mind minds. This word play translates as: minds evolve into reflexive minds because they mind other minds -- where ‘minding other minds’ means interacting and bonding with other minds, being concerned or curious about them, representing their relations to the world, manipulating and using these relations for some purpose, and the like. All of this amounts (in my terminology) to interpreting other minds in social contexts of cooperation, communication, education, politics, and so on. It follows that intermental relations among individuals, handled by a distinct competence for interpretation, are essential to the evolution of abilities to represent intramental relations among thoughts, typical of a reflexive mind. I take ‘interpretation’ to be a convenient, short, and grammatically flexible label for what is known in philosophy as commonsense or folk psychology and in psychology as theory of mind, mindreading, or naive psychology. Interpretation is a cognitive rapport between an interpreter (she, in this book) and a subject (he), whereby she represents his mind-world relations, from the simplest, such as seeing.... (shrink)
Arguments, the story goes, have one or more premises and only one conclusion. A contentious generalisation allows arguments with several disjunctively connected conclusions. Contentious as this generalisation may be, I will argue nevertheless that it is justified. My main claim is that multiple conclusions are epiphenomena of the logical connectives: some connectives determine, in a certain sense, multiple-conclusion derivations. Therefore, such derivations are completely natural and can safely be used in proof-theoretic semantics.
Eliminativism assumes that commonsense psychology describes and explains the mind in terms of the internal design and operation of the mind. If this assumption is invalidated, so is eliminativism. The same conditional is true of intentional realism. Elsewhere (Bogdan 1991) I have argued against this 'folk- theory-theory' assumption by showing that commonsense psychology is not an empirical prototheory of the mind but a biosocially motivated practice of coding, utilizing, and sharing information from and about conspecifics. Here, without presupposing a (...) specific analysis of commonsense psychology, I want to challenge a key implication of the 'folk-theory-theory' assumption to the effect that commonsense psychology is committed to a definite architecture of the mind. (shrink)
Logical nihilism is the view that the relation of logical consequence is empty: there are counterexamples to any putative logical law. In this paper, I argue that the nihilist threat is illusory. The nihilistic arguments do not work. Moreover, the entire project is based on a misguided interpretation of the generality of logic.
This article is first in a series dedicated to issues in the intellectual history of Mīmāṃsā in early modern India and part of a larger effort to broaden the basis for understanding the new formulations of central topics of the Mīmāṃsā textual-ritual complex in this period. It examines how the Varanasi scholar Khaṇḍadevamiśra makes use of Navyanyāya tools of analysis by putting under the microscope the example of his investigation and new formulation of the signification of agent and agency by (...) the verbal affix in his ample analysis of the cognition of the meaning elements of a sentence. Authors of Mīmāṃsā works in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries gradually and selectively adopt the tools and techniques of cognitive analysis and the characteristic new idiom elaborated by Navyanaiyāyikas a few centuries earlier. This process of adoption arises on the sidelines of the Advaita–Dvaita Vedānta controversy in South India, then subsequently flourishes in Varanasi, as I have followed elsewhere. In his analysis of the topic studied here, Khaṇḍadeva uses the new tools to revisit the Mīmāṃsā tradition in order to advance his new formulation while refuting certain Navyanyāya rival positions. (shrink)
The existence of the obligation to follow rules in sport is widely accepted, but there are only a few studies that provide accounts that justify it. Building upon Wolff's challenge to traditional political theories, this study proposes a theory that limits the level of normativity to which participants in sport contests are bound in an effort to maximize their autonomy. Instead of constructing a unitary theory of obligations to follow sport rules, a pluralistic account is offered, one that allows for (...) multiple sources of normativity, thus augmenting the freedom of communities to play games according to their values. (shrink)
In the recent literature on proof-theoretic semantics, there is mention of a generality condition on defining rules. According to this condition, the schematic formulation of the defining rules must be maximally general, in the sense that no restrictions should be placed on the contexts of these rules. In particular, context variables must always be present in the schematic rules and they should range over arbitrary collections of formulae. I argue against imposing such a condition, by showing that it has undesirable (...) results and that it is ill-supported by the arguments brought in its favour. (shrink)
Conventionalism in sport philosophy has been rejected as unable to provide a theory of normativity and as collapsing in ethical relativism, but this criticism is rather imprecise about its target, which invites doubt about the legitimacy of the concept of conventionalism described by its critics. Instead, a more charitable and legitimate account of conventionalism is proposed, one that draws inspiration from conventionalism in axiomatic geometry and is able to avoid the counterarguments directed against conventionalism. This new model allows for a (...) number of non-conventional elements of sport, namely the definition of sport and certain central moral norms, while at the same time arguing that normativity in sport is not exhausted by them, which leaves athletic communities with authority over a broad range of norms. (shrink)
Information is the fuel of cognition. At its most basic level, information is a matter of structures interacting under laws. The notion of information thus reflects the (relational) fact that a structure is created by the impact of another structure. The impacted structure is an encoding, in some concrete form, of the interaction with the impacting structure. Information is, essentially, the structural trace in some system of an interaction with another system; it is also, as a consequence, the structural fuel (...) which drives the impacted system's subsequent processes and behavior. Information takes various forms because the world has many levels of compositional and functional complexity, under different constraints. The key constraints that matter in the understanding of information are natural patterns of organization, or types, and systematic correlations among types, or laws. These level- sensitive constraints, in the form of types and laws, shape the very form in which information is tokened in some structure, that is, the very form in which it is encoded. As a result, the information-producing interactions bring about different sorts of structures, with various sorts of causal effects and functions, whence so many ways in which information is coded and utilized. (shrink)
Looks at what the author calls "mindvaulting," or the human mind's ability to vault over the realm of current perception, motivation, emotion and action, to leap—consciously and deliberately—to past or future, possible or impossible, ...
In the sport ethics literature, the general attitude with regard to the influence of commercialization in sport is to draw attention to the ways it undermines sport and morally corrupts those involved in it. This paper attempts to provide a counternarrative to this literature, focusing on criticism of commodification of sport that revolves around the idea of fairness. A brief libertarian framework is presented and three characteristics of sport are outlined, which are shown to make sport a particularly well-suited context (...) for libertarian approaches. Unlike a good deal of human activities, engaging and disengaging from sport carries few internal barriers, a fact that creates the opportunity for participants to introduce alternatives to the established way of playing sport. In this case, if alternatives to certain means of playing sport can always be found, then no concrete instance in which sport is played can truly be considered as unfair as individuals always.. (shrink)
Many philosophers and a few psychologists think that we understand our own minds before we understand those of others. Most developmental psychologists think that children understand their own minds at about the same time they understand other minds, by using the same cognitive abilities. I disagree with both views. I think that children understand other minds before they understand their own. Their self-understanding depends on some cognitive abilities that develop later than, and independently of, the abilities involved in understanding other (...) minds. This is the general theme of this chapter. (shrink)
Aside from brute force, there are several philosophically respectable ways of eliminating the mental. In recent years the most popular elimination strategy has been directed against our common sense or folk psychological understanding of the mental. The strategy goes by the name of eliminative materialism (or eliminativism, in short). The motivation behind this strategy seems to be the following. If common sense psychology can be construed as the principled theory of the mental, whose vocabulary and principles implicitly define what counts (...) as mental, then eliminating the theory is eliminating its subject matter. If the theory is shown to be false, then its subject matter does not exist. If, in other words, common sense psychology can be shown to describe and explain nothing real in human cognition, then the mental itself is a fiction. (shrink)
Previous studies showed that self-interest biases moral perception of others’ unethical actions. Moreover, affective changes in attitudinal responses towards the perpetrator of an immoral act drives the bias. In the present studies, we attempted to answer the question whether people are aware of the self-interest bias in their judgments of others’ behavior. We conducted two experiments showing that moral judgments of verbally described and imagined actions were dominated by norms rather than self-interest and that people were not aware that self-interest (...) distorted their moral judgment. The unawareness of the self-interest bias among the participants was attributable to omission of their own emotional responses when forecasting their moral judgments. We discuss the importance of emotions presence in studies on moral judgments as well as contribution of the present research to the intuitionist approach to moral judgment. (shrink)
: The dual perspective model of agency and communion predicts that observers tend to interpret a target’s behavior more in terms of communion than agency, whereas actors interpret their behavior more in terms of agency. The present research for the first time tests this model in real interactions. Previously unacquainted participants had a short conversation and afterwards rated their own behavior and their interaction partner’s behavior in terms of agency and communion. Supporting the dual perspective model, observers rated the actor’s (...) behavior higher on communion than on agency, and higher on communion than actors themselves did. Findings for actors were more complex: Actors rated their own behavior as more agentic than observers did. However, they also rated their behavior high on communion. We discuss implications for the dual perspective model as well as for understandings in social interactions. (shrink)
What is it that one thinks or believes when one thinks or believes something? A mental formula? A sentence in some natural language? Its truth conditions? Or perhaps an abstract proposition? The current story of content is fairly ecumenical. It says that a number of aspects, some mental, other semantic, go into our understanding of content. Yet the current story is incomplete. It leaves out a very important aspect of content, one which I call incremental information. It is information in (...) a specific format, information as a limited or local increment, structured by a number of underlying parameters. It is in the form of such increments that information drives cognition and behavior. This is why, perhaps of all aspects of content, it is incremental information which matters most when we want to understand cognitive attitudes and performances. This in turn must have an impact on our philosophical notions of content, propositional attitudes, inference, justification and knowledge. (shrink)
Lower limb major amputations are both life-saving procedures and life-changing events. Individual responses to limb loss are varied and complex, some individuals experience functional, psychological and social dysfunction, many others adjust and function well. Some patients refuse amputation for religious and/or cultural reasons. One of the greatest difficulties for a person undergoing amputation surgery is overcoming the psychological stigma that society associates with the loss of a limb. Persons who have undergone amputations are often viewed as incomplete individuals. The medical (...) and physical consequences of amputation serve as the centerpiece in acute care and are commonly at the forefront of prosthetic rehabilitation. Prosthetic prescription aims to compensate for functional and/or cosmetic losses where possible. The aims of rehabilitation following amputation are to restore acceptable levels of functioning that allow individuals to achieve their goals, to facilitate personal health, and to improve participation in society and quality of life either with or without prosthesis. Our article aims at underscoring some medical, social and religious aspects that can contribute to the wellbeing of patients who suffer a life changing event such as lower limb amputation. (shrink)
This chapter provides the teleological foundations for our analysis of guidance to goal. Its objective is to ground goal-directedness genetically. The basic suggestion is this. Organisms are small things, with few energy resources and puny physical means, battling a ruthless physical and biological nature. How do they manage to survive and multiply? CLEVERLY, BY ORGANIZING.
The paper reviews the military policy of a new independent Republic of Tajikistan over 1991-2011. The smallest by territory Central Asian republic lived through a five-year civil war on its way to an independent sovereign democratic state which seven million people were wise enough to reach national reconciliation in 1997. The majority of Tajikistan population is on the verge of poverty, which is indicative of the inadequate social policy. The country is rich in Pamir water which is drawn from eleven (...) glaciers as well as cotton, electric energy and aluminum. Tajikistan secures its military power owing to cooperation with the CIS, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The Republic develops all-embracing cooperation with such Asian countries as India, Pakistan, Turkey, China and Iran. Among European countries it is Germany that allocated funds for strengthening the border with Afghanistan, which notably stands out. Cooperation with the NATO within the Partnership for Peace Program helps the military of the Republic to dispose of outdated ammunition as well as take part in NATO peacekeeping operations in accordance with resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. The Russian Federation having the largest foreign military alignment in the territory of the Republic remains the main strategic partner and guarantor of the national sovereignty of Tajikistan. The Republic still faces the problems of energy resources, terrorism and international drug trafficking. The internal political situation requires continuous international monitoring. UN observers left the country in 2000. The authoritarian government does not contribute to development of the democratic foundation of civil society. Today's Armed Forces of Tajikistan are of insignificant numerical strength and poorly-armed. The Army needs modernization and adaptation to a present-day environment. (shrink)
The aim of this historically oriented article is to give an account of the methodological similarity of Whitehead and Russell with regard to the logico-mathematicalmode of philosophical analysis, and of Whitehead and Moore with regard to common sense. According to the authors, these similarities, especially when taken together, justify the classification of Whitehead as an analytic philosopher. Because of the doctrinal uniqueness of Whitehead, however, they also hold that he will always remain an atypical analytic philosopher.
A distinguished wise man, Emil Cioran, with whom I share a country of birth and the thought that follows, said once that the two most interesting things in life are gossip and metaphysics. I can hardly think of a more self evident and enjoyable truth, if wisely construed. This volume combines the two pleasures, for it is an exercise in the metaphysics of wise gossip, of how we make sense of each other, and how, as a result we interpret, explain, (...) rationalize and evaluate our representations and actions. The body of wisdom which allows us to do all this is currently currently called folk or common sense psychology. I will also call it psychofolklore or the folklore of the mind. (shrink)
If there is a dogma in the contemporary philosophy of the cognitive mind, it must be the notion that cognition is semantic causation or, differently put, that it is semantics that runs the psyche. This is what the notion of psychosemantics and (often) intentionality are all about. Another dogma, less widespread than the first but almost equally potent, is that common sense psychology is the implicit theory of psychosemantics. The two dogmas are jointly encapsulated in the following axiom. Mental attitudes (...) such as beliefs and desires have essentially semantic contents, or are semantically evaluable. (This is why they are called propositional attitudes.) Mental attitudes have causal powers in virtue of their semantic properties. The content of an attitude has causal powers qua semantic, or more exactly in virtue of its syntactic structure which reflects relevant semantic properties and relations. (Propositions attitudinized cause in virtue of their semantically sensitive syntax.) It is the fact that mental attitudes cause in virtue of being semantic that explains why the cognitive mind is essentially semantic and why common sense psychology is implicitly true of the semantic mind. (shrink)
A substantial amount of research showed that agency and communion are two basic dimensions of content in social cognition. Based on the well-supported idea that people typically think about themselves and close others in agentic rather than communal terms, we tested the hypothesis that agentic thinking about unknown others makes them subjectively closer. This hypothesis was confirmed in four experiments differently priming agentic versus communal thinking on others. As predicted, increases in closeness resulting from the agentic thinking about others were (...) constrained to cognitive load conditions where participants were occupied with a parallel task. We conclude that the agentic content of thoughts about others serves as an intuitive, heuristic cue of their psychological closeness. (shrink)