Cognitive science is a child of the 1950s, the product of a time when psychology, anthropology and linguistics were redefining themselves and computer science and neuroscience as disciplines were coming into existence. Psychology could not participate in the cognitive revolution until it had freed itself from behaviorism, thus restoring cognition to scientific respectability. By then, it was becoming clear in several disciplines that the solution to some of their problems depended crucially on solving problems traditionally allocated to other disciplines. Collaboration (...) was called for: this is a personal account of how it came about. (shrink)
This volume is a direct result of a conference held at Princeton University to honor George A. Miller, an extraordinary psychologist. A distinguished panel of speakers from various disciplines -- psychology, philosophy, neuroscience and artificial intelligence -- were challenged to respond to Dr. Miller's query: "What has happened to cognition? In other words, what has the past 30 years contributed to our understanding of the mind? Do we really know anything that wasn't already clear to William James?" Each participant tried (...) to stand back a little from his or her most recent work, but to address the general question from his or her particular standpoint. The chapters in the present volume derive from that occasion. (shrink)
While deductive validity provides the limiting upper bound for evaluating the strength and quality of inferences, by itself it is an inadequate tool for evaluating arguments, arguing, and argumentation. Similar remarks can be made about rhetorical success and dialectical closure. Then what would count as ideal argumentation? In this paper we introduce the concept of cognitive compathy to point in the direction of one way to answer that question. It is a feature of our argumentation rather than my argument or (...) your argument. In that respect, compathy is like the harmonies achieved by an accomplished choir, the spontaneous coordination of athletic teamwork, or the experience of improvising jazz musicians when they are all in the flow together. It is a characteristic of arguments, not a virtue that can be attributed to individual arguers. It makes argumentation more than just the sum of its individual parts. The concept of cognitive compathy is brought into focus by locating it at the confluence of two lines of thought. First, we work up to the concept of compathy by contrasting it with empathy and sympathy in the context of emotions, which is then transplanted into epistemic, cognitive, and argumentative soil. Second, the concept is analytically linked to ideal argumentation by way of authenticity in communication. In the final section, we explore the extent to which argumentative virtues are conducive to producing compathetic argumentation, but reach the unhappy conclusion that the extra value of compathetic argumentation also transcends the evaluative reach of virtue argumentation theory. (shrink)
This essay argues for internalism in maintaining that there is a sense of “determination” – namely “a selection of one” – according to which phenomenological content determines the object of an experience. The subject may not be able to describe the object in a way which distinguishes it from all other objects, but the object is nevertheless determined by the unity of sense, or noema, which presents it.
Four philosophical problems--predication, speech acts, rules, and innate ideas--are discussed in the light of their implications for psychological and linguistic research. The discussion of predication concerns both form and use. With respect to form, it is argued that our lexical memory is organized according to a predicate-argument formula that underlies the subject-predicate form of our sentences. With respect to use, it is argued that the illocutionary force of the sentence as a speech act must be taken into account. Both the (...) formation and the use of such verbal constructions are normally characterized by systems of rules, but there is no clear account of what a rule is or how it might operate to control behavior, and this problem is especially difficult when, as in language, the person's knowledge of the rules is implicit. The innate basis for our human ability to acquire linguistic rules is considered and the problem of innateness is redefined around the conjecture that there are innate, language-specific mechanisms unique to human beings. The problem of investigating such language-specific mechanisms psychologically, however, is quite difficult at the present time. (shrink)
In this essay I argue that there is a sense in which phenomenological content determines the object of a conscious experience. "Phenomenological content" consists of the senses and sense-structures which become apparent when a subject engages in phenomenological reflection. An introduction to phenomenology is provided for those who are unfamiliar with its practice and literature. ;Various philosophers have argued that the sense of a verbal expression does not determine its reference. Ronald McIntyre has maintained that the arguments against the determination (...) of reference by sense can also be used to show that phenomenological content does not determine the object of a conscious experience. I argue that there is a sense of "determination" for which McIntyre is correct, but that there is another sense of "determination" according to which it would be correct to say that phenomenological content determines the object. ;If "determination" is used in a functional sense, in which A determines B if there is some function which yields B as output given A as input, then McIntyre is correct. The twin earth examples of Putnam and Burge clearly show that two subjects can have experiences with the same phenomenological content but different objects, so phenomenological content does not determine the object in this "functional" sense. But if "determination" means just "selection of one", then there is a determination of the object by phenomenological content from the perspective of, or with respect to, the experience itself. ;The object of a conscious experience is determined through being presented in that experience via a unity of sense . Such determination would not occur if a unity of sense could present anything other than a single, distinct, object. But every unity of sense in the phenomenological content of an experience presents something single and distinct. So there is a sense in which the object of a conscious experience is determined by phenomenological content through presentation. (shrink)