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  1. What’s Wrong with the Minimal Conception of Innateness in Cognitive Science?J. Brendan Ritchie - forthcoming - Synthese:1-18.
    One of the classic debates in cognitive science is between nativism and empiricism about the development of psychological capacities. In principle, the debate is empirical. However, in practice nativist hypotheses have also been challenged for relying on an ill-defined, or even unscientific, notion of innateness as that which is “not learned”. Here this minimal conception of innateness is defended on four fronts. First, it is argued that the minimal conception is crucial to understanding the nativism-empiricism debate, when properly construed; Second, (...)
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    Decoding the Brain: Neural Representation and the Limits of Multivariate Pattern Analysis in Cognitive Neuroscience.J. Brendan Ritchie, David Michael Kaplan & Colin Klein - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (2):581-607.
    Since its introduction, multivariate pattern analysis, or ‘neural decoding’, has transformed the field of cognitive neuroscience. Underlying its influence is a crucial inference, which we call the decoder’s dictum: if information can be decoded from patterns of neural activity, then this provides strong evidence about what information those patterns represent. Although the dictum is a widely held and well-motivated principle in decoding research, it has received scant philosophical attention. We critically evaluate the dictum, arguing that it is false: decodability is (...)
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  3.  48
    Decoding the Brain: Neural Representation and the Limits of Multivariate Pattern Analysis in Cognitive Neuroscience.J. Brendan Ritchie, David Michael Kaplan & Colin Klein - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx023.
    Since its introduction, multivariate pattern analysis, or ‘neural decoding’, has transformed the field of cognitive neuroscience. Underlying its influence is a crucial inference, which we call the decoder’s dictum: if information can be decoded from patterns of neural activity, then this provides strong evidence about what information those patterns represent. Although the dictum is a widely held and well-motivated principle in decoding research, it has received scant philosophical attention. We critically evaluate the dictum, arguing that it is false: decodability is (...)
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  4.  58
    The Emergence of Metacognition: Affect and Uncertainty in Animals.Peter Carruthers & J. Brendan Ritchie - 2012 - In Michael Beran, Johannes Brandl, Josef Perner & Joëlle Proust (eds.), The Foundations of Metacognition. Oxford University Press. pp. 76.
    This chapter situates the dispute over the metacognitive capacities of non-human animals in the context of wider debates about the phylogeny of metarepresentational abilities. This chapter clarifies the nature of the dispute, before contrasting two different accounts of the evolution of metarepresentation. One is first-person-based, claiming that it emerged initially for purposes of metacognitive monitoring and control. The other is social in nature, claiming that metarepresentation evolved initially to monitor the mental states of others. These accounts make differing predictions about (...)
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  5.  87
    The Evolution of Self-Knowledge.Peter Carruthers, Logan Fletcher & J. Brendan Ritchie - 2012 - Philosophical Topics 40 (2):13-37.
    Humans have the capacity for awareness of many aspects of their own mental lives—their own experiences, feelings, judgments, desires, and decisions. We can often know what it is that we see, hear, feel, judge, want, or decide. This article examines the evolutionary origins of this form of self-knowledge. Two alternatives are contrasted and compared with the available evidence. One is first-person based: self-knowledge is an adaptation designed initially for metacognitive monitoring and control. The other is third-person based: self-knowledge depends on (...)
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  6.  15
    The Content of Marr’s Information-Processing Framework.J. Brendan Ritchie - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (7):1078-1099.
    ABSTRACTThe seminal work of David Marr, popularized in his classic work Vision, continues to exert a major influence on both cognitive science and philosophy. The interpretation of his work also co...
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  7.  12
    Talking About Causing Events.Christopher A. Vogel, Alexis Wellwood, Rachel Dudley & J. Brendan Ritchie - 2014 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 9.
    Questions about the nature of the relationship between language and extralinguistic cognition are old, but only recently has a new view emerged that allows for the systematic investigation of claims about linguistic structure, based on how it is understood or utilized outside of the language system. Our paper represents a case study for this interaction in the domain of event semantics. We adopt a transparency thesis about the relationship between linguistic structure and extralinguistic cognition, investigating whether different lexico-syntactic structures can (...)
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    Factors Determining Where Category-Selective Areas Emerge in Visual Cortex.Hans P. Op de Beeck, Ineke Pillet & J. Brendan Ritchie - 2019 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 23 (9):784-797.
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  9.  14
    Chalmers on Implementation and Computational Sufficiency.J. Brendan Ritchie - unknown
    Chalmers argues for the following two principles: computational sufficiency and computational explanation. In this commentary I present two criticisms of Chalmers’ argument for the principle of computational sufficiency, which states that implementing the appropriate kind of computational structure suffices for possessing mentality. First, Chalmers only establishes that a system has its mental properties in virtue of the computations it performs in the trivial sense that any physical system can be described computationally to some arbitrary level of detail; further argumentation is (...)
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  10.  41
    The Zombie Attack, Perry’s Parry, and a Riposte: A Slight Softening of the “Hard Problem” of Consciousness.J. Brendan Ritchie - 2017 - Topoi 36 (1):55-65.
    The “hard problem” of consciousness is a challenge for explanations of the nature of our phenomenal experiences. Chalmers has claimed that physicalist solutions to the challenge are ill-suited due, in part, to the zombie argument against physicalism. Perry has suggested that the zombie argument begs the question against the physicalist, and presents no relevant threat to the view. Although seldom discussed in the literature, I show there is defensive merit to Perry’s “parry” of the zombie attack. The success of the (...)
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  11.  27
    Massive Modularity is Consistent with Most Forms of Neural Reuse.J. Brendan Ritchie & Peter Carruthers - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):289-290.
    Anderson claims that the hypothesis of massive neural reuse is inconsistent with massive mental modularity. But much depends upon how each thesis is understood. We suggest that the thesis of massive modularity presented in Carruthers (2006) is consistent with the forms of neural reuse that are actually supported by the data cited, while being inconsistent with a stronger version of reuse that Anderson seems to support.
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