Abstract: There has recently been controversy over the existence of 'multiple realization' in addition to some confusion between different conceptions of its nature. To resolve these problems, we focus on concrete examples from the sciences to provide precise accounts of the scientific concepts of 'realization' and 'multiple realization' that have played key roles in recent debates in the philosophy of science and philosophy of psychology. We illustrate the advantages of our view over a prominent rival account ( Shapiro, 2000 and (...) 2004 ) and use our work to rebut recent objections to the long-standing claim that psychological properties are multiply realized. For we use scientific evidence, in combination with our more precise theoretical framework, to show that we have strong reason to believe that psychological properties are indeed multiply realized both at the biochemical and neuronal levels. (shrink)
This paper will defend the cognitivist view of cognition against recent challenges from Andy Clark and Richard Menary. It will also indicate the important theoretical role that cognitivism plays in understanding some of the core issues surrounding the hypothesis of extended cognition.
Among the many ideas that go by the name of “enactivism” there is the idea that by “cognition” we should understand what is more commonly taken to be behavior. For clarity, label such forms of enactivism “enactivismb.” This terminology requires some care in evaluating enactivistb claims. There is a genuine risk of enactivist and non-enactivist cognitive scientists talking past one another. So, for example, when enactivistsb write that “cognition does not require representations” they are not necessarily denying what cognitivists claim (...) when they write that “cognition requires representations.” This paper will draw attention to instances of some of these unnecessary confusions. (shrink)
Obviously perception is embodied. After all, if creatures were entirely disembodied, how could physical processes in the environment, such as the propagation of light or sound, be transduced into a neurobiological currency capable of generating experience? Is there, however, any deeper, more subtle sense in which perception is embodied? Perhaps. Alva Noë’s theory of en- active perception provides one proposal. Noë suggests a radical constitutive hypothesis according to which (COH) Perceptual experiences are constituted, in part, by the exercise of sensorimotor (...) skills. -/- On Noé's view, bodily processes form a constitutive element in per- ceptual experiences. By contrast, it is more commonly supposed that bodily processes have at most a causal role to play in the genesis of perceptual experiences. Roughly stated, (CAI-l} Perceptual experiences are caused, in part, by the exercise of sensorimotor skills. -/- Clearly these two hypotheses offer distinct conceptions of the embodiment of perception. One view maintains that there is a con- stitutive dependency between bodily processes and perceptual expe- riences, where the other maintains that there is a causal dependency. This paper will make the case that Noe fails to offer any evidence that. supports (COH) over (CAH) and that there is experimental evidence that favours (CAH) over (COH).E . (shrink)
Tools and technologies expand our capacities, including our cognitive capacities. Microscopes extend our perceptual capacities. Notebooks extend the natural limits of memory. These facts are important, for all that they are obvious. The extended cognition hypothesis wants more. Some external devices and processes are literal parts of cognitive processes themselves. When there is fast and reliable access to external data or processes, then the cognitive processes that occur uncontroversially inside the brain literally and controversially extend out into the world to (...) incorporate external structures or processes. Retrieval of an address from memory and retrieval of the same information from a notebook can both be fully cognitive processes involving fully cognitive representations. So say the proponents of extended cognition.It is an attractive metaphor. But is there any good reason to take it as literal truth? Adams and Aizawa argue that the debate on extended cognition implicates an …. (shrink)
Obviously perception is embodied. After all, if creatures were entirely disembodied, how could physical processes in the environment, such as the propagation of light or sound, be transduced into a neurobiological currency capable of generating experience? Is there, however, any deeper, more subtle sense in which perception is embodied? Perhaps. Alva Nos (2004) theory of enactive perception provides one proposal. Where it is commonly thought that.
This is a plausible reading of what Clark and Chalmers had in mind at the time, but it is not the radical claim at stake in the extended cognition debate. It is a familiar functionalist view of cognition and the mind that it can be realized in a wide range of distinct material bases. Thus, for many species of functionalism about cognition and the mind, it follows that they can be realized in extracranial substrates. And, in truth, even some non-functionalist (...) views of cognition apparently allow for the possibility that cognition extends into the external world. So, the (logical, conceptual, or nomological) possibility of extended cognition seems to us not the kind of radical view the advocates of this view have often implied. This is not, of course, to assess or pass judgment on the truth of these possibilities; it is only to note that they are not what most agitates people about the hypothesis of extended cognition. Framing the radical extended cognition hypothesis is a more delicate matter than framing the modal extended cognition hypothesis, but something like the following is in the ballpark. The radical extended cognition hypothesis maintains that, in many mundane cases of tool use, human cognitive processes extend into the tools. The principal reason this hypothesis is so delicate is that there remains much room for dispute about what constitutes a. (shrink)
This paper pursues two lines of thought that help characterize the differences between some versions of virtue epistemology and the hypothesis that cognitive processes are realized by brain, body, and world.
One way that scientifically recognized properties are multiply realized is by “compensatory differences” among realizing properties. If a property G is jointly realized by two properties F1 and F2, then G can be multiply realized by having changes in the property F1 offset changes in the property F2. In some cases, there are scientific laws that articulate how distinct combinations of physical quantities can determine one and the same value of some other physical quantity. One moral to draw is that (...) in such cases we have the multiple realization of a single determinate, “fine grained” property instance that is exactly similar to another instance. As simple as this moral is, it has ramifications for a number of recent discussions of multiple realization in science. Taken collectively, these ramifications indicate that multiple realization by compensatory adjustments merits greater attention in the philosophy of science literature than it has hitherto received. (shrink)
One account of the history of computation might begin in the 1930's with some of the work of Alonzo Church, Alan Turing, and Emil Post. One might say that this is where something like the core concept of computation was first formally articulated. Here were the first attempts to formalize an informal notion of an algorithm or effective procedure by which a mathematician might decide one or another logico-mathematical question. As each of these formalisms was shown to compute the same (...) set of functions—the partial recursive functions—each of them might be described as a form of Turing-equivalent computation. This work set the cornerstone for what we might call computation theory. This history might then proceed to give pride of place to this form of computation in subsequent developments in cognitive science and in related disciplines and subdisciplines. Such a history might note that, in the 1940's, the results of this work would have been transferred into the emerging field of computer science with the design and construction of the first electronic digital computers. Here one would mention Turing again, as well as perhaps Norbert Wiener, Julian Bigelow, John von Neumann, and many others. At about the same time, this theory of computation would have been inserted into the theory of neural networks by way of Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts's seminal work, “A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity.” Somewhat later, during the 1960's, Hilary Putnam introduced Turing machine tables into the philosophy of mind as a tool for illuminating various features of the mind-body problem, eventually transforming the intellectual landscape in.. (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)
One of the boldest claims one finds in the enactivist and embodied cognition literature is that perceiving is bodily action. Research on the role of eye movements in vision have been thought to support PBA, whereas research on paralysis has been thought to pose no challenge to PBA. The present paper, however, will argue just the opposite. Eye movement research does not support PBA, whereas paralysis research presents a strong challenge that seems not to have been fully appreciated.
In the extended mind literature, one sometimes finds the claim that there is no neural correlate of consciousness. Instead, there is a biological or ecological correlate of consciousness. Consciousness, it is claimed, supervenes on an entire organism in action. Alva No's view. First, it challenges the evidence he offers from neuroplasticity. Second, it presses a problem with paralysis. Third, it draws attention to a challenge from the existence of metamers and visual illusions.
ABSRACT: An increasing number of writers (for example, Kim ((1992), (1999)), Bechtel and Mundale (1999), Keeley (2000), Bickle (2003), Polger (2004), and Shapiro ((2000), (2004))) have attacked the existence of multiple realization and wider views of the special sciences built upon it. We examine the two most important arguments against multiple realization and show that neither is successful. Furthermore, we also defend an alternative, positive view of the ontology, and methodology, of the special science. In contrast to the claims of (...) recent critics, we show that methodological connections between the neurosciences and psychology are plausibly often the result of multiple realization. (shrink)
In two recent books, Jerry Fodor has developed a set of sufficient conditions for an object “X” to non-naturally and non-derivatively mean X. In an earlier paper we presented three reasons for thinking Fodor's theory to be inadequate. One of these problems we have dubbed the “Pathologies Problem”. In response to queries concerning the relationship between the Pathologies Problem and what Fodor calls “Block's Problem”, we argue that, while Block's Problem does not threatenFodor's view, the Pathologies Problem does.
In an earlier paper, we argued that Fodorian Semantics has serious difficulties. However, we suggested possible ways that one might attempt to fix this. Ted Warfield suggests that our arguments can be deflected and he does this by making the very moves that we suggested. In our current paper, we respond to Warfield's attempts to revise and defend Fodorian Semantics against our arguments that such a semantic theory is both too strong and too weak. To get around our objections, Warfield (...) proposes a modified reading of one of Fodor's conditions and proposes adding a new condition to the theory. We show that neither the modified reading nor the additional condition saves the asymmetric causal dependency approach to naturalized semantics. (shrink)
One might have thought that if something has two or more distinct realizations, then that thing is multiply realized. Nevertheless, some philosophers have claimed that two or more distinct realizations do not amount to multiple realization, unless those distinct realizations amount to multiple “ways” of realizing the thing. Corey Maley, Gualtiero Piccinini, Thomas Polger, and Lawrence Shapiro are among these philosophers. Unfortunately, they do not explain why multiple realization requires multiple “ways” of realizing. More significantly, their efforts to articulate multiple (...) “ways” of realizing turn out to be problematic. (shrink)
It is sometimes suggested that the history of computation in cognitive science is one in which the formal apparatus of Turing-equivalent computation, or effective computability, was exported from mathematical logic to ever wider areas of cognitive science and its environs. This paper, however, indicates some respects in which this suggestion is inaccurate. Computability theory has not been focused exclusively on Turing-equivalent computation. Many essential features of Turing-equivalent computation are not captured in definitions of computation as symbol manipulation. Turing-equivalent computation did (...) not play the role in McCulloch and Pitts’s early cybernetic work that is sometimes attributed to it. Finally, various segments of the neuroscientific community invoke a notion of computation that differs from the Turing-equivalent notion.Keywords: Circular causality; Computation; Cortical maps; Neural networks; Symbol manipulation; Turing-equivalent computation. (shrink)
Terry Horgan and John Tienson have suggested that connectionism might provide a framework within which to articulate a theory of cognition according to which there are mental representations without rules (RWR) (Horgan and Tienson 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992). In essence, RWR states that cognition involves representations in a language of thought, but that these representations are not manipulated by the sort of rules that have traditionally been posited. In the development of RWR, Horgan and Tienson attempt to forestall a particular (...) line of criticism, theSyntactic Argument, which would show RWR to be inconsistent with connectionism. In essence, the argument claims that the node-level rules of connectionist networks, along with the semantic interpretations assigned to patterns of activation, serve to determine a set of representation-level rules incompatible with the RWR conception of cognition. The present paper argues that the Syntactic Argument can be made to show that RWR is inconsistent with connectionism. (shrink)
In the extended mind literature, one sometimes finds the claim that there is no neural correlate of consciousness. Instead, there is a biological or ecological correlate of consciousness. Consciousness, it is claimed, supervenes on an entire organism in action. Alva Noë is one of the leading proponents of such a view. This paper resists Noë's view. First, it challenges the evidence he offers from neuroplasticity. Second, it presses a problem with paralysis. Third, it draws attention to a challenge from the (...) existence of metamers and visual illusions. (shrink)