Contemporary philosophers of mind tend to assume that the world of nature can be reduced to basic physics. Yet there are features of the mind consciousness, intentionality, normativity that do not seem to be reducible to physics or neuroscience. This explanatory gap between mind and brain has thus been a major cause of concern in recent philosophy of mind. Reductionists hold that, despite all appearances, the mind can be reduced to the brain. Eliminativists hold that it cannot, and that this (...) implies that there is something illegitimate about the mentalistic vocabulary. Dualists hold that the mental is irreducible, and that this implies either a substance or a property dualism. Mysterian non-reductive physicalists hold that the mind is uniquely irreducible, perhaps due to some limitation of our self-understanding. In this book, Steven Horst argues that this whole conversation is based on assumptions left over from an outdated philosophy of science. While reductionism was part of the philosophical orthodoxy fifty years ago, it has been decisively rejected by philosophers of science over the past thirty years, and for good reason. True reductions are in fact exceedingly rare in the sciences, and the conviction that they were there to be found was an artifact of armchair assumptions of 17th century Rationalists and 20th century Logical Empiricists. The explanatory gaps between mind and brain are far from unique. In fact, in the sciences it is gaps all the way down.And if reductions are rare in even the physical sciences, there is little reason to expect them in the case of psychology. Horst argues that this calls for a complete re-thinking of the contemporary problematic in philosophy of mind. Reductionism, dualism, eliminativism and non-reductive materialism are each severely compromised by post-reductionist philosophy of science, and philosophy of mind is in need of a new paradigm. Horst suggests that such a paradigm might be found in Cognitive Pluralism: the view that human cognitive architecture constrains us to understand the world through a plurality of partial, idealized, and pragmatically-constrained models, each employing a particular representational system optimized for its own problem domain. Such an architecture can explain the disunities of knowledge, and is plausible on evolutionary grounds. (shrink)
This book introduces an account of cognitive architecture, Cognitive Pluralism, on which the basic units of understanding are models of particular content domains. Having many mental models is a good adaptive strategy for cognition, but models can be incompatible with one another, leading to paradoxes and inconsistencies of belief, and it may not be possible to integrate the understanding supplied by multiple models into a comprehensive and self-consistent "super model". The book applies the theory to explaining intuitive reasoning and cognitive (...) illusions and explores implications for epistemology, semantics, and disunity of science. (shrink)
The contributions to this volume all deal with the crucial problem of change in the religious traditions of the ancient world. They range from broad overviews to detailed case-studies, discussing examples from Greek, Roman, Jewish, Christian and Manichaean literature.
Many hold that theoretical reasoning aims at truth. In this paper, I ask what it is for reasoning to be thus aim-directed. Standard answers to this question explain reasoning’s aim-directedness in terms of intentions, dispositions, or rule-following. I argue that, while these views contain important insights, they are not satisfactory. As an alternative, I introduce and defend a novel account: reasoning aims at truth in virtue of being the exercise of a distinctive kind of cognitive power, one that, unlike ordinary (...) dispositions, is capable of fully explaining its own exercises. I argue that this account is able to avoid the difficulties plaguing standard accounts of the relevant sort of mental teleology. (shrink)
This paper provides an analysis of U.S. farmland owners, operators, and workers by race, ethnicity, and gender. We first review the intersection between racialized and gendered capitalism and farmland ownership and farming in the United States. Then we analyze data from the 2014 Tenure and Ownership Agricultural Land survey, the 2012 Census of Agriculture, and the 2013–2014 National Agricultural Worker Survey to demonstrate that significant nation-wide disparities in farming by race, ethnicity and gender persist in the U.S. In 2012–2014, White (...) people owned 98% and operated 94% of all farmland. They generated 98% of all farm-related income from land ownership and 97% of income from farm owner-operatorship. Meanwhile, People of Color farmers were more likely to be tenants rather than owners, owned less land, and generated less farm-related wealth per person than their White counterparts. Hispanic farmers were also disproportionately farm laborers. In addition to racial and ethnic disparities, there were disparities by gender. About 63% of non-operating landowners, 86% of farm operators, and 87% of tenant farmers were male, and female farmers tended to generate less income per farmer than men. This data provides evidence of ongoing racial, ethnic and gender disparities in agriculture in the United States. We conclude with a call to address the structural drivers of the disparities and with recommendations for better data collection. (shrink)
Since the seventeenth century, our understanding of the natural world has been one of phenomena that behave in accordance with natural laws. While other elements of the early modern scientific worldview may be rejected or at least held in question—the metaphor of the world as a great machine, the narrowly mechanist assumption that all physical interactions must be contact interactions, the idea that matter might actually be obeying rules laid down by its Divine Author – the notion of natural law (...) has continued to play a pivotal role in actual scientific practice, in our philosophical interpretations of science, and in their its metaphysical implications. (shrink)
We present a high-level declarative programming language for representing argumentation schemes, where schemes represented in this language can be easily validated by domain experts, including developers of argumentation schemes in informal logic and philosophy, and serve as executable specifications for automatically constructing arguments, when applied to a set of assumptions. This new rule language for representing argumentation schemes is validated by using it to represent twenty representative argumentation schemes.
Over the past thirty years, it is been common to hear the mind likened to a digital computer. This essay is concerned with a particular philosophical view that holds that the mind literally is a digital computer (in a specific sense of “computer” to be developed), and that thought literally is a kind of computation. This view—which will be called the “Computational Theory of Mind” (CTM)—is thus to be distinguished from other and broader attempts to connect the mind with computation, (...) including (a) various enterprises at modeling features of the mind using computational modeling techniques, and (b) employing some feature or features of production-model computers (such as the stored program concept, or the distinction between hardware and software) merely as a guiding metaphor for understanding some feature of the mind. This entry is therefore concerned solely with the Computational Theory of Mind (CTM) proposed by Hilary Putnam  and developed most notably for philosophers by Jerry Fodor [1975, 1980, 1987, 1993]. The senses of ‘computer’ and ‘computation’ employed here are technical; the main tasks of this entry will therefore be to elucidate: (a) the technical sense of ‘computation’ that is at issue, (b) the ways in which it is claimed to be applicable to the mind, (c) the philosophical problems this understanding of the mind is claimed to solve, and (d) the major criticisms that have accrued to this view. (shrink)
Social scientists have not integrated relevant knowledge from the biological sciences into their explanations of human behavior. This failure is due to a longstanding antireductionistic bias against the natural sciences, which follows on a commitment to the view that social facts must be explained by social laws. This belief has led many social scientists into the error of reifying abstract analytical constructs into entities that possess powers of agency. It has also led to a false nature-culture dichotomy that effectively undermines (...) the place of biology in social scientific explanation. Following the principles of methodological individualism, we show how behavioral explanations supported by data and theory from the neurosciences can be used to correct the errors of reificationist thinking in the social sciences. We outline a mechanistic approach to the explanation of human behavior with the hope that the biological sciences will begin to find greater acceptance among social scientists. (shrink)
Towards the end of Beyond Reduction Horst hypothesizes that ‘it is a general design principle of the cognitive architecture of humans that the mind possesses multiple models for understanding and interacting practically with different aspects of the world’. The suggestion is made following a discussion of recent research in cognitive science. According to Horst, the hypothesis is also consistent with what recent non-reductionist tendencies in the philosophy of science teach us. Taken together, Horst claims these two sets (...) of evidence motivate a new post-reductionist approach to the philosophy of mind. After outlining the route Horst takes to reach this claim, I shall raise a worry I have about the claim and the route taken to it.Beyond Reduction is in three parts. Part one frames the debate. In Chapter 1 Horst notes how naturalism is a view to which nearly all philosophers of mind, some of whom hold quite disparate views, would subscribe. He formulates a schema for naturalism that he thinks most would accept: ‘naturalism about domain D is the view that all features of D are to be accommodated within the framework of nature as it is understood by the natural sciences’. Horst acknowledges that the schema under-describes matters. The notion of ‘accommodation’ may be understood as involving either explanation or metaphysical determination; it is also unclear how we are to understand ‘the …. (shrink)
In this book, I offer an account of intentional action. The book has two main parts: in the first part, I discuss and criticize the currently prevailing account of intentional action—the Causal Theory of Action (CTA)—and, in the second part, I offer my alternative account. The CTA proposes essentially two conditions for something that you do to be an intentional action: (1) what you do is represented by your intention (or other mental attitudes), and (2) it is caused by your (...) intention. Against the CTA, I argue that, since it conceives of representation and causality as essentially separate conditions, it cannot explain why, when someone acts intentionally, it is not a mere accident that both conditions are jointly satisfied: i.e., that the intention causes the movement it represents. The CTA’s inability to rule out such accidentality is, as I argue further, the deeper source of the notorious problem of deviant causation. Given this diagnosis, I claim that the key for a satisfactory account of intentional action is to conceive of the essential unity of representation and causality in intentional action. Doing so, I suggest, requires understanding a distinctive sort of causality at work in intentional action. Following the work of G.E.M. Anscombe, I argue that what is distinctive of the sort of causal-explanatory connection captured in action explanations like “S is doing A because she intends to do B” is that it is essentially known by the acting subject. In the final sections of the book, I then develop and defend a conception of the sort of self-knowledge involved in intentional action. (shrink)
Over the past several decades, the philosophical community has witnessed the emergence of an important new paradigm for understanding the mind.1 The paradigm is that of machine computation, and its influence has been felt not only in philosophy, but also in all of the empirical disciplines devoted to the study of cognition. Of the several strategies for applying the resources provided by computer and cognitive science to the philosophy of mind, the one that has gained the most attention from philosophers (...) has been the Computational Theory of Mind (CTM). CTM was first articulated by Hilary Putnam (1960, 1961), but finds perhaps its most consistent and enduring advocate in Jerry Fodor (1975, 1980, 1981, 1987, 1990, 1994). It is this theory, and not any broader interpretations of what it would be for the mind to be a computer, that I wish to address in this paper. What I shall argue here is that the notion of symbolic representation employed by CTM is fundamentally unsuited to providing an explanation of the intentionality of mental states (a major goal of CTM), and that this result undercuts a second major goal of CTM, sometimes refered to as the vindication of intentional psychology. This line of argument is related to the discussions of derived intentionality by Searle (1980, 1983, 1984) and Sayre (1986, 1987). But whereas those discussions seem to be concerned with the causal dependence of familiar sorts of symbolic representation upon meaning-bestowing acts, my claim is rather that there is not one but several notions of meaning to be had, and that the notions that are applicable to symbols are conceptually dependent upon the notion that is applicable to mental states in the fashion that Aristotle refered to as paronymy. That is, an analysis of the notions of meaning applicable to symbols reveals that they contain presuppositions about meaningful mental states, much as Aristotle's analysis of the sense of healthy that is applied to foods reveals that it means conducive to having a healthy body, and hence any attempt to explain mental semantics in terms of the semantics of symbols is doomed to circularity and regress. I shall argue, however, that this does not have the consequence that computationalism is bankrupt as a paradigm for cognitive science, as it is possible to reconstruct CTM in a fashion that avoids these difficulties and makes it a viable research framework for psychology, albeit at the cost of losing its claims to explain intentionality and to vindicate intentional psychology. I have argued elsewhere (Horst, 1996) that local special sciences such as psychology do not require vindication in the form of demonstrating their reducibility to more fundamental theories, and hence failure to make good on these philosophical promises need not compromise the broad range of work in empirical cognitive science motivated by the computer paradigm in ways that do not depend on these problematic treatments of symbols. (shrink)
Shaping the Future maps out the ascetic practices of a Neitzschean way of life. Hutter argues that Nietzsche's doctrines are attempts and "temptations" that aim to provoke his free-spirited readers into changing themselves by putting philosophy into practice in their lives.
Are empirical theories empirically testable? In this article Theoretische Begriffe und die Prüfbarkeit von Theorien V. Gadenne comes to the conclusion that theories are testable. On this basis he criticizes the non-statement view which asserts the contrary. It is shown that this criticism, however, is erroneous.
An enkratic agent is someone who intends to do A because she believes she should do A. Being enkratic is usually understood as something rationality requires of you. However, we must distinguish between different conceptions of enkratic rationality. According to a fairly common view, enkratic rationality is solely a normative requirement on agency: it tells us how agents should think and act. However, I shall argue that this normativist conception of enkratic rationality faces serious difficulties: it makes it a mystery (...) how an agent's thinking and acting can be guided by the enkratic requirement, which, as I shall further argue, is something that an adequate conception of enkratic rationality must be able to explain. This, I suggest, motivates exploring a different account of enkratic rationality. On this view, enkratic rationality is primarily a constitutive requirement on agency: it is a standard internal to agency, i.e., a standard that partly spells out what it is to exercise one's agential powers well. (shrink)
Most contemporary philosophers of mind claim to be in search of a 'naturalistic' theory. However, when we look more closely, we find that there are a number of different and even conflicting ideas of what would count as a 'naturalization' of the mind. This article attempts to show what various naturalistic philosophies of mind have in common, and also how they differ from one another. Additionally, it explores the differences between naturalistic philosophies of mind and naturalisms found in ethics, epistemology, (...) and philosophy of science. Section 1 introduces a distinction between two types of project that have been styled 'naturalistic', which I call philosophical naturalism and empirical naturalism . Sections 2 to 6 canvass different strands of philosophical naturalism concerning the mind, followed by a much briefer discussion of attempts to provide empirical naturalizations of the mind in Section 7 . Section 8 concludes the essay with a consideration of the relations between philosophical and empirical naturalism in philosophy of mind, arguing that at least some types of philosophical naturalism are incompatible with empirical naturalism. (shrink)
In 2007 a social scientist and a designer created a spatial installation to communicate social science research about the regulation of emerging science and technology. The rationale behind the experiment was to improve scientific knowledge production by making the researcher sensitive to new forms of reactions and objections. Based on an account of the conceptual background to the installation and the way it was designed, the paper discusses the nature of the engagement enacted through the experiment. It is argued that (...) experimentation is a crucial way of making social science about science communication and engagement more robust. (shrink)
Asserting that nonverbal signs are the deep structure of language and meaning is the event of an association of nonverbal and linguistic signs, Ruthr of sets out an argument for a body-oriented theory of language by way of a review of how language has been viewed in the 20th century, an elaboration of the meaning of language, and discussion of a number of theorists including Vico, Peirce, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Derrida, Cixous, Irigaray, Banting, and Grosz.
the article deals with the interrelation between galileo and the visual arts. it presents a couple of drawings from the hand of galileo and confronts them with viviani's report that galileo had not only wanted to become an artist in his youth but stayed close to the field of visual arts throughout his lifetime. in the ambiance of these drawings the famous moon watercolors are not in the dark. they represent a very acute and reasonable tool to convince the people (...) who trusted images more than words. the article ends with panofsky's argument that it was galileo's anti-mannerist notion of art that evoked a repulsion of kepler's ellipses. it tries to show that it was again an aesthetical prejudice that hindered einstein from accepting panofsky's theory. (shrink)