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Profile: Helen De Cruz
Profile: Helen De Cruz (Oxford Brookes University)
  1. Mathematical Symbols as Epistemic Actions.De Cruz Helen & De Smedt Johan - 2013 - Synthese 190 (1):3-19.
    Recent experimental evidence from developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience indicates that humans are equipped with unlearned elementary mathematical skills. However, formal mathematics has properties that cannot be reduced to these elementary cognitive capacities. The question then arises how human beings cognitively deal with more advanced mathematical ideas. This paper draws on the extended mind thesis to suggest that mathematical symbols enable us to delegate some mathematical operations to the external environment. In this view, mathematical symbols are not only used to (...)
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  2.  83
    Numerical Cognition and Mathematical Realism.Helen De Cruz - 2016 - Philosophers' Imprint 16 (16).
    Humans and other animals have an evolved ability to detect discrete magnitudes in their environment. Does this observation support evolutionary debunking arguments against mathematical realism, as has been recently argued by Clarke-Doane, or does it bolster mathematical realism, as authors such as Joyce and Sinnott-Armstrong have assumed? To find out, we need to pay closer attention to the features of evolved numerical cognition. I provide a detailed examination of the functional properties of evolved numerical cognition, and propose that they prima (...)
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  3. A Natural History of Natural Theology. The Cognitive Science of Theology and Philosophy of Religion.Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt - 2015 - MIT Press.
    [from the publisher's website] Questions about the existence and attributes of God form the subject matter of natural theology, which seeks to gain knowledge of the divine by relying on reason and experience of the world. Arguments in natural theology rely largely on intuitions and inferences that seem natural to us, occurring spontaneously—at the sight of a beautiful landscape, perhaps, or in wonderment at the complexity of the cosmos—even to a nonphilosopher. In this book, Helen De Cruz and Johan De (...)
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  4. Where Philosophical Intuitions Come From.Helen De Cruz - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):233-249.
    Intuitions play a central role in analytic philosophy, but their psychological basis is little understood. This paper provides an empirically-informed, psychological char- acterization of philosophical intuitions. Drawing on McCauley’s distinction between maturational and practiced naturalness, I argue that philosophical intuitions originate from several early-developed, specialized domains of core knowledge (maturational naturalness). Eliciting and deploying such intuitions in argumentative contexts is the domain of philosophical expertise, thus philosophical intuitions are also practiced nat- ural. This characterization has implications for the evidential value (...)
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  5. Religious Disagreement: An Empirical Study Among Academic Philosophers.Helen De Cruz - forthcoming - Episteme:1-17.
    Religious disagreement is an emerging topic of interest in social epistemology. Little is known about how philosophers react to religious disagreements in a professional context, or how they think one should respond to disagreement. This paper presents results of an empirical study on religious disagreement among philosophers. Results indicate that personal religious beliefs, philosophical training, and recent changes in religious outlook have a significant impact on philosophers' assessments of religious disagreement. They regard peer disagreement about religion as common, and most (...)
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  6. The Epistemic Value of Speculative Fiction.Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz - 2015 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 39 (1):58-77.
    Speculative fiction, such as science fiction and fantasy, has a unique epistemic value. We examine similarities and differences between speculative fiction and philosophical thought experiments in terms of how they are cognitively processed. They are similar in their reliance on mental prospection, but dissimilar in that fiction is better able to draw in readers (transportation) and elicit emotional responses. By its use of longer, emotionally poignant narratives and seemingly irrelevant details, speculative fiction allows for a better appraisal of the consequences (...)
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  7. A Cognitive Approach to the Earliest Art.Johan de Smedt & Helen de Cruz - 2011 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 69 (4):379-389.
    This paper takes a cognitive perspective to assess the significance of some Late Palaeolithic artefacts (sculptures and engraved objects) for philosophicalconcepts of art. We examine cognitive capacities that are necessary to produceand recognize objects that are denoted as art. These include the ability toattribute and infer design (design stance), the ability to distinguish between themateriality of an object and its meaning (symbol-mindedness), and an aesthetic sensitivity to some perceptual stimuli. We investigate to what extent thesecognitive processes played a role in (...)
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  8.  97
    An Extended Mind Perspective on Natural Number Representation.Helen De Cruz - 2008 - Philosophical Psychology 21 (4):475 – 490.
    Experimental studies indicate that nonhuman animals and infants represent numerosities above three or four approximately and that their mental number line is logarithmic rather than linear. In contrast, human children from most cultures gradually acquire the capacity to denote exact cardinal values. To explain this difference, I take an extended mind perspective, arguing that the distinctly human ability to use external representations as a complement for internal cognitive operations enables us to represent natural numbers. Reviewing neuroscientific, developmental, and anthropological evidence, (...)
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  9. Evolved Cognitive Biases and the Epistemic Status of Scientific Beliefs.Helen de Cruz & Johan de Smedt - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (3):411-429.
    Our ability for scientific reasoning is a byproduct of cognitive faculties that evolved in response to problems related to survival and reproduction. Does this observation increase the epistemic standing of science, or should we treat scientific knowledge with suspicion? The conclusions one draws from applying evolutionary theory to scientific beliefs depend to an important extent on the validity of evolutionary arguments (EAs) or evolutionary debunking arguments (EDAs). In this paper we show through an analytical model that cultural transmission of scientific (...)
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  10. The Relevance of Hume's Natural History of Religion for Cognitive Science of Religion.Helen De Cruz - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (3):653-674.
    Hume was a cognitive scientist of religion avant la lettre. His Natural History of Religion (1757 [2007]) locates the origins of religion in human nature. This paper explores similarities between some of his ideas and the cognitive science of religion, the multidisciplinary study of the psychological origins of religious beliefs. It also considers Hume’s distinction between two questions about religion: its foundation in reason (the domain of natural theology and philosophy of religion) and its origin in human nature (the domain (...)
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  11. Evolutionary Approaches to Epistemic Justification.Helen de Cruz, Maarten Boudry, Johan de Smedt & Stefaan Blancke - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (4):517-535.
    What are the consequences of evolutionary theory for the epistemic standing of our beliefs? Evolutionary considerations can be used to either justify or debunk a variety of beliefs. This paper argues that evolutionary approaches to human cognition must at least allow for approximately reliable cognitive capacities. Approaches that portray human cognition as so deeply biased and deficient that no knowledge is possible are internally incoherent and self-defeating. As evolutionary theory offers the current best hope for a naturalistic epistemology, evolutionary approaches (...)
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  12. Is Linguistic Determinism an Empirically Testable Hypothesis?Helen De Cruz - 2009 - Logique Et Analyse 208 (208):327-341.
  13. The Enduring Appeal of Natural Theological Arguments.Helen De Cruz - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (2):145-153.
    Natural theology is the branch of theology and philosophy that attempts to gain knowledge of God through non-revealed sources. In a narrower sense, natural theology is the discipline that presents rational arguments for the existence of God. Given that these arguments rarely directly persuade those who are not convinced by their conclusions, why do they enjoy an enduring appeal? This article examines two reasons for the continuing popularity of natural theological arguments: (i) they appeal to intuitions that humans robustly hold (...)
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  14. Reformed and Evolutionary Epistemology and the Noetic Effects of Sin.Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (1):49-66.
    Despite their divergent metaphysical assumptions, Reformed and evolutionary epistemologists have converged on the notion of proper basicality. Where Reformed epistemologists appeal to God, who has designed the mind in such a way that it successfully aims at the truth, evolutionary epistemologists appeal to natural selection as a mechanism that favors truth-preserving cognitive capacities. This paper investigates whether Reformed and evolutionary epistemological accounts of theistic belief are compatible. We will argue that their chief incompatibility lies in the noetic effects of sin (...)
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  15. Paley's Ipod: The Cognitive Basis of the Design Argument Within Natural Theology.Helen de Cruz & Johan de Smedt - 2010 - Zygon 45 (3):665-684.
    The argument from design stands as one of the most intuitively compelling arguments for the existence of a divine Creator. Yet, for many scientists and philosophers, Hume's critique and Darwin's theory of natural selection have definitely undermined the idea that we can draw any analogy from design in artifacts to design in nature. Here, we examine empirical studies from developmental and experimental psychology to investigate the cognitive basis of the design argument. From this it becomes clear that humans spontaneously discern (...)
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  16. The Innateness Hypothesis and Mathematical Concepts.Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt - 2010 - Topoi 29 (1):3-13.
    In historical claims for nativism, mathematics is a paradigmatic example of innate knowledge. Claims by contemporary developmental psychologists of elementary mathematical skills in human infants are a legacy of this. However, the connection between these skills and more formal mathematical concepts and methods remains unclear. This paper assesses the current debates surrounding nativism and mathematical knowledge by teasing them apart into two distinct claims. First, in what way does the experimental evidence from infants, nonhuman animals and neuropsychology support the nativist (...)
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  17. Cognitive Science of Religion and the Study of Theological Concepts.Helen De Cruz - 2014 - Topoi 33 (2):487-497.
    The cultural transmission of theological concepts remains an underexplored topic in the cognitive science of religion (CSR). In this paper, I examine whether approaches from CSR, especially the study of content biases in the transmission of beliefs, can help explain the cultural success of some theological concepts. This approach reveals that there is more continuity between theological beliefs and ordinary religious beliefs than CSR authors have hitherto recognized: the cultural transmission of theological concepts is influenced by content biases that also (...)
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  18.  51
    The Imago Dei as a Work in Progress: A Perspective From Paleoanthropology.Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz - 2014 - Zygon 49 (1):135-156.
    This article considers the imago Dei from the perspective of paleoanthropology. We identify structural, functional, and relational elements of the imago Dei that emerged mosaically during human evolution. Humans are unique in their ability to relate to each other and to God, and in their membership of cultural communities where shared attention, the transmission of moral norms, and symbolic behavior are important elements. We discuss similarities between our approach and the concept of theosis adopted in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
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  19.  63
    The Role of Intuitive Ontologies in Scientific Understanding – the Case of Human Evolution.Helen de Cruz & Johan de Smedt - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):351-368.
    Psychological evidence suggests that laypeople understand the world around them in terms of intuitive ontologies which describe broad categories of objects in the world, such as ‘person’, ‘artefact’ and ‘animal’. However, because intuitive ontologies are the result of natural selection, they only need to be adaptive; this does not guarantee that the knowledge they provide is a genuine reflection of causal mechanisms in the world. As a result, science has parted ways with intuitive ontologies. Nevertheless, since the brain is evolved (...)
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  20. Is Teaching Children Young Earth Creationism Child Abuse?Helen De Cruz - 2013 - The Philosophers' Magazine 63:21-23.
    Richard Dawkins has argued on several occasions that bringing up your child religiously is a form of child abuse. According to Dawkins, teaching children about religion is fine (it helps them to understand cultural references, for instance), but indoctrinating children – by which Dawkins means any form of education that teaches religious beliefs as facts – is morally wrong and harmful. Dawkins is not alone: the American theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, for instance, recently argued that teaching Young Earth Creationism (henceforth (...)
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  21.  43
    The Imago Dei: Evolutionary and Theological Perspectives.Helen De Cruz & Yves Maeseneer - 2014 - Zygon 49 (1):95-100.
    This short article provides an introduction to a special section, consisting of six papers on human evolution and the imago Dei. These papers are the result of dialogue between theologians and philosophers of religion at the University of Oxford and the Catholic University of Leuven. All contributors focus on the imago Dei, and consider how this theological notion can be understood from an evolutionary perspective, looking at a variety of disciplines, including the psychology of reasoning, cognitive science of religion, paleoanthropology, (...)
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  22. Delighting in Natural Beauty: Joint Attention and the Phenomenology of Nature Aesthetics.Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 5 (4):167-186.
    Empirical research in the psychology of nature appreciation suggests that humans across cultures tend to evaluate nature in positive aesthetic terms, including a sense of beauty and awe. They also frequently engage in joint attention with other persons, whereby they are jointly aware of sharing attention to the same event or object. This paper examines how, from a natural theological perspective, delight in natural beauty can be conceptualized as a way of joining attention to creation. Drawing on an analogy between (...)
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  23.  45
    Disagreement, by Bryan Frances.Helen De Cruz - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):207-207.
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  24.  47
    Towards a Darwinian Approach to Mathematics.Helen De Cruz - 2006 - Foundations of Science 11 (1-2):157-196.
    In the past decades, recent paradigm shifts in ethology, psychology, and the social sciences have given rise to various new disciplines like cognitive ethology and evolutionary psychology. These disciplines use concepts and theories of evolutionary biology to understand and explain the design, function and origin of the brain. I shall argue that there are several good reasons why this approach could also apply to human mathematical abilities. I will review evidence from various disciplines (cognitive ethology, cognitive psychology, cognitive archaeology and (...)
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  25.  3
    Preliminary Results Of The Survey On Natural Theological Arguments.Helen De Cruz - 2012 - .
    What do philosophers think about arguments for the existence of God? To find out, I launched a survey among professional philosophers. This is a short summary of the results.
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  26.  14
    Das Beispiel bei Husserl.Christian Ferencz-Flatz, Maarten Boudry, Helen de Cruz, Johan Smedt, Zwarte Doos Ban Pandora, Katrien Schaubroeck, Jens de Vleminck, Ignace Verhack, Nicolas de Warren & Steven Spileers - 2011 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 73 (2):261.
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  27.  77
    Knowledge of Number and Knowledge of Language: Number as a Test Case for the Role of Language in Cognition.Helen De Cruz & Pierre Pica - 2008 - Philosophical Psychology 21 (4):437 – 441.
    The relationship between language and conceptual thought is an unresolved problem in both philosophy and psychology. It remains unclear whether linguistic structure plays a role in our cognitive processes. This special issue brings together cognitive scientists and philosophers to focus on the role of language in numerical cognition: because of their universality and variability across languages, number words can serve as a fruitful test case to investigate claims of linguistic relativism.
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  28. An Enhanced Argument for Innate Elementary Geometric Knowledge and its Philosophical Implications.Helen De Cruz - 2007 - In Bart Van Kerkhove (ed.), New perspectives on mathematical practices. Essays in philosophy and history of mathematics. World Scientific.
    The idea that formal geometry derives from intuitive notions of space has appeared in many guises, most notably in Kant’s argument from geometry. Kant claimed that an a priori knowledge of spatial relationships both allows and constrains formal geometry: it serves as the actual source of our cognition of principles of geometry and as a basis for its further cultural development. The development of non-Euclidean geometries, however, seemed to definitely undermine the idea that there is some privileged relationship between our (...)
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  29.  39
    The Cognitive Appeal of the Cosmological Argument.Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz - unknown
    The cosmological argument has enjoyed and still enjoys substantial popularity in various traditions of natural theology. We propose that its enduring appeal is due at least in part to its concurrence with human cognitive predispositions, in particular intuitions about causality and agency. These intuitions seem to be a stable part of human cognition. We will consider implications for the justification of the cosmological argument from externalise and internalise perspectives.
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  30.  44
    Het 'Universele Zuur' van de Evolutionaire Psychologie?Maarten Boudry, Helen De Cruz, Stefaan Blancke & Johan De Smedt - 2011 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 73 (2):287-305.
    In a previous issue of Tijdschrift voor Filosofie, Filip Buekens argues that evolutionary psychology (EP), or some interpretations thereof, have a corrosive impact on our ‘manifest self-image’. Buekens wants to defend and protect the global adequacy of this manifest self-image in the face of what he calls evolutionary revisionism. Although we largely agree with Buekens’ central argument, we criticize his analysis on several accounts, making some constructive proposals to strengthen his case. First, Buekens’ argument fails to target EP, because his (...)
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  31.  22
    Why Humans Can Count Large Quantities Accurately.Helen De Cruz - 2004 - Philosophica 74.
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  32.  1
    The Philosopher’s Rut.Helen de Cruz - 2016 - The Philosophers' Magazine 72:41-42.
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  33.  21
    The Artistic Design Stance and the Interpretation of Paleolithic Art.Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (2):139-140.
    The artistic design stance is an important part of art appreciation, but it remains unclear how it can be applied to artworks for which art historical context is no longer available, such as Ice Age art. We propose that some of the designer's intentions can be gathered noninferentially through direct experience with prehistoric artworks.
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  34.  38
    Bridging the Gap Between Intuitive and Formal Number Concepts: An Epidemiological Perspective.Helen De Cruz - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (6):649-650.
    The failure of current bootstrapping accounts to explain the emergence of the concept of natural numbers does not entail that no link exists between intuitive and formal number concepts. The epidemiology of representations allows us to explain similarities between intuitive and formal number concepts without requiring that the latter are directly constructed from the former.
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  35.  4
    How Does Complex Mathematical Theory Arise? Phylogenetic and Cultural Origins of Algebra.Helen De Cruz - 2007 - In Carlos Gershenson, Diederik Aerts & Bruce Edmonds (eds.), Worldviews, Science, and Us: Philosophy and Complexity. World Scientific.
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  36. Advances in Religion, Cognitive Science, and Experimental Philosophy.Helen De Cruz & Ryan Nichols (eds.) - 2016 - Bloomsbury Academic.
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  37. Feature: Philosophers Who Found Success Outside the Academy.Helen De Cruz - 2015 - The Philosophers' Magazine 68:10-17.
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  38. Is Teaching Children Young Earth Creationism Child Abuse?Helen De Cruz - 2013 - The Philosophers' Magazine 63:21-23.
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