This chapter discusses the flaws of Clark’s extended mind hypothesis. Clark’s hypothesis assumes that the nature of the processes internal to an object has nothing to do with whether that object carries out cognitive processing. The only condition required is that the object is coupled with a cognitive agent and interacts with it in a certain way. In making this tenuous connection, Clark commits the most common mistake extended mind theorists make; alleging that an object becomes cognitive once it is (...) connected to a cognitive agent is a “coupling-constitution fallacy.” From this fallacy, many hastily proceed to the conclusion that the object or process constitutes part of the agent’s cognitive apparatus or cognitive processing. (shrink)
Among philosophers, there are at least two prevalent views about the core concept of intentional action. View I (Adams 1986, 1997; McCann 1986) holds that an agent S intentionally does an action A only if S intends to do A. View II (Bratman 1987; Harman 1976; and Mele 1992) holds that there are cases where S intentionally does A without intending to do A, as long as doing A is foreseen and S is willing to accept A as a consequence (...) of S’s action. Joshua Knobe (2003a) presents intriguing data that may be taken to support the second view.1 Knobe’s data show an asymmetry in folk judgements. People are more inclined to judge that S did A intentionally, even when not intended, if A was perceived as causing a harm (e.g. harming the environment). There is an asymmetry because people are not inclined to see S’s action as intentional, when not intended, if A is perceived as causing a beneﬁt (e.g. helping the environment). In this paper we will discuss Knobe’s results in detail. We will raise the question of whether his ordinary language surveys of folk judgments have accessed core concepts of intentional action. We suspect that instead Knobe’s surveys are tapping into pragmatic aspects of intentional language and its role in moral praise and blame. We will suggest alternative surveys that we plan to conduct to get at this difference, and we will attempt to explain the pragmatic usage of intentional language. (shrink)
Philosophical interest in situated cognition has been focused most intensely on the claim that human cognitive processes extend from the brain into the tools humans use. As we see it, this radical hypothesis is sustained by two kinds of mistakes, the confusion of coupling relations with constitutive relations and an inattention to the mark of the cognitive. Here we wish to draw attention to these mistakes and show just how pervasive they are. That is, for all that the radical philosophers (...) have said, the mind is still in the head. (shrink)
It is easy to give a list of cognitive processes. They are things like learning, memory, concept formation, reasoning, maybe emotion, and so on. It is not easy to say, of these things that are called cognitive, what makes them so? Knowing the answer is one very important reason to be interested in the mark of the cognitive. In this paper, consider some answers that we think do not work and then offer one of our own which ties cognition to (...) actions explained via the having of reasons. (shrink)
Philosophical interest in situated cognition has been focused most intensely on the claim that human cognitive processes extend from the brain into the tools humans use. As we see it, this radical hypothesis is sustained by two kinds of mistakes, confusing coupling relations with constitutive relations and an inattention to the mark of the cognitive. Here we wish to draw attention to these mistakes and show just how pervasive they are. That is, for all that the radical philosophers have said, (...) the mind is still in the head. (shrink)
Much of contemporary epistemology proceeds on the assumption that tracking theories of knowledge, such as those of Dretske and Nozick, are dead. The word on the street is that Kripke and others killed these theories with their counterexamples, and that epistemology must move in a new direction as a result. In this paper we defend the tracking theories against purportedly deadly objections. We detect life in the tracking theories, despite what we perceive to be a premature burial.
Causal theories of mental content attempt to explain how thoughts can be about things. They attempt to explain how one can think about, for example, dogs. These theories begin with the idea that there are mental representations and that thoughts are meaningful in virtue of a causal connection between a mental representation and some part of the world that is represented. In other words, the point of departure for these theories is that thoughts of dogs are about dogs because dogs (...) cause the mental representations of dogs. (shrink)
In this paper we defend a direct reference theory of names. We maintain that the meaning of a name is its bearer. In the case of vacuous names, there is no bearer and they have no meaning. We develop a unified theory of names such that one theory applies to names whether they occur within or outside fiction. Hence, we apply our theory to sentences containing names within fiction, sentences about fiction or sentences making comparisons across fictions. We then defend (...) our theory against objections and compare our view to the views of Currie, Walton, and others. (shrink)
Tracking theories of knowledge are widely known to have the consequence that knowledge is not closed. Recent arguments by Vogel and Hawthorne claim both that there are no legitimate examples of knowledge without closure and that the costs of theories that deny closure are too great. This paper considers the tracking theories of Dretske and Nozick and the arguments by Vogel and Hawthorne. We reject the arguments of Vogel and Hawthorne and evaluate the costs of closure denial for tracking theories (...) of knowledge. (shrink)
Embodied cognition is sweeping the planet. On a non-embodied approach, the sensory system informs the cognitive system and the motor system does the cognitive system’s bidding. There are causal relations between the systems but the sensory and motor systems are not constitutive of cognition. For embodied views, the relation to the sensori-motor system to cognition is constitutive, not just causal. This paper examines some recent empirical evidence used to support the view that cognition is embodied and raises questions about some (...) of the claims being made by supporters. (shrink)
People intend to do things, try to do things, and do things. Do they also will to do things? More precisely, if people will to do things and their willing bears upon what they do, is willing, or volition, something distinct from intending and trying? This question is central to the intention/volition debate, a debate about the ingredients of the best theory of the nature and explanation of human action. A variety of competing conceptions of volition, intention, and trying have (...) been advanced in the literature; it would be impossible to examine each thoroughly in a single paper. We can show, however, that the major functional roles ascribed to volition are nicely filled by a triad composed of intention, trying, and information feedback. Sections I and II below develop an account of the connection between intention and trying. Section III examines leading arguments for the existence of volitions and decomposes volitions into members of the triad just identified. (shrink)
This paper traces the application of information theory to philosophical problems of mind and meaning from the earliest days of the creation of the mathematical theory of communication. The use of information theory to understand purposive behavior, learning, pattern recognition, and more marked the beginning of the naturalization of mind and meaning. From the inception of information theory, Wiener, Turing, and others began trying to show how to make a mind from informational and computational materials. Over the last 50 years, (...) many philosophers saw different aspects of the naturalization of the mind, though few saw at once all of the pieces of the puzzle that we now know. Starting with Norbert Wiener himself, philosophers and information theorists used concepts from information theory to understand cognition. This paper provides a window on the historical sequence of contributions made to the overall project of naturalizing the mind by philosophers from Shannon, Wiener, and MacKay, to Dennett, Sayre, Dretske, Fodor, and Perry, among others. At some time between 1928 and 1948, American engineers and mathematicians began to talk about `Theory of Information' and `Information Theory,' understanding by these terms approximately and vaguely a theory for which Hartley's `amount of information' is a basic concept. I have been unable to find out when and by whom these names were first used. Hartley himself does not use them nor does he employ the term `Theory of Transmission of Information,' from which the two other shorter terms presumably were derived. It seems that Norbert Wiener and Claude Shannon were using them in the Mid-Forties. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Tristan Haze offers two examples that, he claims, are counterexamples to Nozick's Theory of Knowledge. Haze claims his examples work against Nozick's theory understood as relativized to belief forming methods M. We believe that they fail to be counterexamples to Nozick's theory. Since he aims the examples at tracking theories generally, we will also explain why they are not counterexamples to Dretske's Conclusive Reasons Theory of Knowledge.
In a recent paper, Al Mele (2003) suggests that the Simple View of intentional action is “fiction” because it is “wholly unconstrained” by a widely shared (folk) concept of intentional action. The Simple View (Adams, 1986, McCann, 1986) states that an action is intentional only if intended. As evidence that the Simple View is not in accord with the folk notion of intentional action, Mele appeals to recent surveys of folk judgments by Joshua Knobe (2003, 2004a, 2004b). Knobe’s surveys appear (...) to show that the folk judge unintended but known side effects of actions to be performed intentionally. In this paper we will reject Mele’s suggestion that the Simple View is “fiction.” We will also discuss the relationship between surveys and philosophical theories, and the abilities of surveys to access folk core concepts. We will argue that considerations of both fail to support Mele’s suggestion. (shrink)
A great deal of attention has been paid in recent years to the function- al roles of intentions in intentional action. In this paper we sketch and defend a position on this issue while attacking a provocative alternative. Our position has its roots in a cybernetic theory of purposive behavior and is only part of the larger task of understanding all goal-directed behavior. Indeed, a unified model of goal-directed behavior, with appropriate modifications for different types of systems, is a long-range (...) ambition. (shrink)
In this article, we will describe higher order thought theories of consciousness. Then we will describe some examples from synesthesia. Finally, we will explain why the latter may be relevant to the former.
This article examines the intersection of the theory of extended mind/cognition and theory of knowledge. In the minds of some, it matters to conditions for knowing whether the mind extends beyond the boundaries of body and brain. I examine these intuitions and find no support for this view from tracking theories of knowledge. I then argue that the apparent difference extended mind is supposed to have for ability or credit theories is also illusory.
What are the meanings of empty names such as ‘Vulcan,’ ‘Pegasus,’ and ‘Santa Claus’ in such sentences as ‘Vulcan is the tenth planet,’ ‘Pegasus flies,’ and especially ‘Santa Claus does not exist’?Our view, developed in Adams et al., consists of a direct-reference account of the meaning of empty names in combination with a pragmatic-implicature account of why we have certain intuitions that seem to conflict with a direct-reference account.
Sven Bernecker develops a theory of propositional memory that is at odds with the received epistemic theory of memory. On Bernecker’s account the belief that is remembered must be true, but it need not constitute knowledge, nor even have been true at the time it was acquired. I examine his reasons for thinking the epistemic theory of memory is false and mount a defense of the epistemic theory.
We examine two approaches to functions: etiological and forward-looking. In the context of functions, we raise the question, familiar to philosophers of mind, about the explanatory role of properties that are not supervenient on the mere dispositional features of a system. We first argue that the question has no easy answer in either of the two approaches. We then draw a parallel between functions and goal directedness. We conclude by proposing an answer to the question: The explanatory importance of nonsupervenient (...) properties (like having the function of doing something, or like being goal-directed) does not lie in any special causal mechanism through which these properties bring about their effects; it lies rather in the different classification of the explananda types that these properties generate. (shrink)
In a recent very interesting and important challenge to tracking theories of knowledge, Williams & Sinhababu claim to have devised a counter-example to tracking theories of knowledge of a sort that escapes the defense of those theories by Adams & Clarke. In this paper we will explain why this is not true. Tracking theories are not undermined by the example of the backward clock, as interesting as the case is.
In ‘‘The Myth of Original Intentionality,’’ Daniel Dennett appears to want to argue for four claims involving the familiar distinction between original (or underived) and derived intentionality. 1. Humans lack original intentionality. 2. Humans have derived intentionality only. 3. There is no distinction between original and derived intentionality. 4. There is no such thing as original intentionality. We argue that Dennett’s discussion fails to secure any of these conclusions for the contents of thoughts.
The analysis of function-ascribing statements, such as “the function of x is y”, is proving to be a difficult matter. It is difficult because we are only beginning to see the complexity which is involved in ascribing functions. The process of discovery has been slow and tedious, with each newly constructed analysis of the meaning of functional ascriptions yielding insights into the structure of functional analysis and functional explanation. However, as each analysis is, in turn, dismantled, we seem to see (...) our insights slip away. In the wake of each exchange, a new member is added to the list of desiderata for an analysis of function-ascribing statements. Thus, the matter of finding a proper analysis of function attributions becomes more and more complex. (shrink)
InPsychosemantics Jerry Fodor offered a list of sufficient conditions for a symbol “X” to mean something X. The conditions are designed to reduce meaning to purely non-intentional natural relations. They are also designed to solve what Fodor has dubbed the “disjunction problem”. More recently, inA Theory of Content and Other Essays, Fodor has modified his list of sufficient conditions for naturalized meaning in light of objections to his earlier list. We look at his new set of conditions and give his (...) motivation for them-tracing them to problems in the literature. Then we argue that Fodor's conditions still do not work. They are open to objections of two different varieties: they are too strong and too weak. We develop these objections and indicate why Fodor's new, improved list of conditions still do not work to naturalize meaning. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Drawing inspiration from Fred Dretske, L. S. Carrier, John A. Barker, and Robert Nozick, we develop a tracking analysis of knowing according to which a true belief constitutes knowledge if and only if it is based on reasons that are sensitive to the fact that makes it true, that is, reasons that wouldn’t obtain if the belief weren’t true. We show that our sensitivity analysis handles numerous Gettier-type cases and lottery problems, blocks pathways leading to skepticism, and validates the (...) epistemic closure thesis that correct inferences from known premises yield knowledge of the conclusions. We discuss the plausible views of Ted Warfield and Branden Fitelson regarding cases of knowledge acquired via inference from false premises, and we show how our sensitivity analysis can account for such cases. We present arguments designed to discredit putative counterexamples to sensitivity analyses recently proffered by Tristan Haze, John Williams and Neil Sinhababu, which involve true statements made by untrustworthy informants and strange clocks that sometimes display the correct time while running backwards. Finally, we show that in virtue of employing the paradox-free subjunctive conditionals codified by Relevance Logic theorists instead of the paradox-laden subjunctive conditionals codified by Robert Stalnaker and David Lewis. (shrink)
In 2002, Luciano Floridi published a paper called What is the Philosophy of Information?, where he argues for a new paradigm in philosophical research. To what extent should his proposal be accepted? Is the Philosophy of Information actually a new paradigm, in the Kuhninan sense, in Philosophy? Or is it only a new branch of Epistemology? In our discussion we will argue in defense of Floridi’s proposal. We believe that Philosophy of Information has the types of features had by other (...) areas already acknowledge as authentic in Philosophy. By way of an analogical argument we will argue that since Philosophy of Information has its own topics, method and problems it would be counter-intuitive not to accept it as a new philosophical area. To strengthen our position we present and discuss main topics of Philosophy of Information. (shrink)
Closure is the epistemological thesis that if S knows that P and knows that P implies Q, then if S infers that Q, S knows that Q. Fred Dretske acknowledges that closure is plausible but contends that it should be rejected because it conflicts with the plausible thesis: Conclusive reasons : S knows that P only if S believes P on the basis of conclusive reasons, i.e., reasons S wouldn‘t have if it weren‘t the case that P. Dretske develops an (...) analysis of knowing that centers on CR, and argues that the requirement undermines skepticism by implying the falsity of closure. We develop a Dretske-style analysis of knowing that incorporates CR, and we argue that this analysis not only accords with closure, but also implies it. In addition, we argue that the analysis accounts for the prima facie plausibility of closure-invoking skeptical arguments, and nonetheless implies that they are fallacious. If our arguments turn out to be sound, the acceptability of Dretske‘s analysis of knowing will be significantly enhanced by the fact that, despite implying closure, it undermines closure-based skepticism. (shrink)
As teorias epistemológicas do rastreamento sustentam que o conhecimento é uma relação real entre o agente cognitivo e seu ambiente. Os estados cognitivos de um agente epistêmico fazem o rastreamento da verdade das proposições que são objeto de conhecimento ao embasarem a crença em indicadores confiáveis da verdade (evidência, razões, ou métodos de formação de crença). A novidade nessa abordagem é que se dá pouca ênfase no tipo de justificação epistêmica voltada ao fornecimento de procedimentos de decisão doxástica ou regras (...) de responsabilidade epistêmica. Este artigo oferece um pouco da história das teorias de rastreamento e, então, defende-as contra muitas objeções que se pretendem (equivocadamente) refutadoras dessas teorias. PALAVRAS – CHAVE – Teorias de rastreamento. Nozick. Dretske. Conhecimento. ABSTRACT Tracking theories of knowledge maintain that knowledge is a real relation between cognitive agent and environment. Cognitive states of a knower track the truth of known propositions by basing belief on reliable indicators of truth (evidence, reasons, or belief forming methods). The novelty of this approach is that it places little emphasis on epistemic justification of a kind that aims at guiding epistemic agents by giving doxastic decision procedures or rules of epistemic responsibility. This paper gives some of the history of tracking theories, and then defends them against many of the objections most often judged (mistakenly) to refute tracking theories. KEY WORDS – Tracking theories. Nozick. Dretske. Knowledge. (shrink)
Assume that epistemic justification has a cognitive function and that a belief's being justified is not just its being caused by the appropriate information (for this property of the belief may be cognitively impenetrable). What is the function of epistemic justification? it cannot be to actualize knowledge-The belief's being caused by appropriate information alone does that! so what is its function? I suggest it is to cause us to believe and/or take action.
Is intentionally doing A linked to the intention to do A? Knobe and Burra believe that the link between the English words ‘intention’ and ‘intentional’ may mislead philosophers and cognitive scientists to falsely believe that intentionally doing an action A requires one to have the intention to do A. Knobe and Burra believe that data from other languages..
Abstract: Luciano Floridi has impressively applied the concept of information to problems in semantics and epistemology, among other areas. In this essay, I briefly review two areas where I think one may usefully raise questions about some of Floridi's conclusions. One area is in the project to naturalize semantics and Floridi's use of the derived versus nonderived notion of semantic content. The other area is in the logic of information and knowledge and whether knowledge based on information necessarily supports closure, (...) in every instance. I suggest that it does not and, thereby, raise a challenge to Floridi's logic of being informed. (shrink)
Our concerns fall into three areas: (1) Barsalou fails to make clear what simulators are (vs. what they do); (2) activation of perceptual areas of the brain during thought does not distinguish between the activation's being constitutive of concepts or a mere causal consequence (Barsalou needs the former); and (3) Barsalou's attempt to explain how modal symbols handle abstraction fails.
There are both externalist and internalist theories of the phenomenal content of conscious experiences. Externalists like Dretske and Tye treat the phenomenal content of conscious states as representations of external properties. Internalists think that phenomenal conscious states are reducible to electrochemical states of the brain in the style of the type-type identity theory. In this paper, we side with the representationalists and visit a dispute between them over the test case of Swampman. Does Swampman have conscious phenomenal states or not? (...) Dretske and Tye disagree on this issue. We try to settle the dispute in favor of Dretske's theory. (shrink)