13 found
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  1. Anthropomorphism as Cognitive Bias.Mike Dacey - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):1152-1164.
    Philosophers and psychologists have long worried that the human tendency to anthropomorphize leads us to err in our understanding of nonhuman minds. This tendency, which I call intuitive anthropomorphism, is a heuristic used by our unconscious folk psychology to understand nonhuman animals. The dominant understanding of intuitive anthropomorphism underestimates its complexity. If we want to understand and control intuitive anthropomorphism, we must treat it as a cognitive bias and look to the empirical evidence. This evidence suggests that the most common (...)
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  2.  56
    The Varieties of Parsimony in Psychology.Mike Dacey - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (4):414-437.
    Philosophers and psychologists make many different, seemingly incompatible parsimony claims in support of competing models of cognition in nonhuman animals. This variety of parsimony claims is problematic. Firstly, it is difficult to justify each specific variety. This problem is especially salient for Morgan's Canon, perhaps the most important variety of parsimony claimed. Secondly, there is no systematic way of adjudicating between particular claims when they conflict. I argue for a view of parsimony in comparative psychology that solves these problems, based (...)
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  3.  74
    Rethinking associations in psychology.Mike Dacey - 2016 - Synthese 193 (12):3763-3786.
    I challenge the dominant understanding of what it means to say two thoughts are associated. The two views that dominate the current literature treat association as a kind of mechanism that drives sequences of thought. The first, which I call reductive associationism, treats association as a kind of neural mechanism. The second treats association as a feature of the kind of psychological mechanism associative processing. Both of these views are inadequate. I argue that association should instead be seen as a (...)
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  4.  57
    Associationism without associative links: Thomas Brown and the associationist project.Mike Dacey - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 54 (C):31-40.
    There are two roles that association played in 18th–19th century associationism. The first dominates modern understanding of the history of the concept: association is a causal link posited to explain why ideas come in the sequence they do. The second has been ignored: association is merely regularity in the trains of thought, and the target of explanation. The view of association as regularity arose in several forms throughout the tradition, but Thomas Brown (1778–1820) makes the distinction explicit. He argues that (...)
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  5.  15
    The shared project, but divergent views, of the Empiricist associationists.Mike Dacey - 2024 - Philosophical Psychology 37 (4):759-781.
    Despite its long period of dominance, the details of associationism as developed by the British Empiricists in the 18th and 19th centuries are often ignored or forgotten today. Perhaps as a result, modern understandings of Empiricist associationism are often oversimplified. In fact, there is no single core view that can be viewed as definitional, or even weaker, as characteristic, of the tradition. The actual views of associationists in this tradition are much more diverse than any such view would allow, even (...)
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  6.  33
    Simplicity and the Meaning of Mental Association.Mike Dacey - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (6):1207-1228.
    Some thoughts just come to mind together. This is usually thought to happen because they are connected by associations, which the mind follows. Such an explanation assumes that there is a particular kind of simple psychological process responsible. This view has encountered criticism recently. In response, this paper aims to characterize a general understanding of associative simplicity, which might support the distinction between associative processing and alternatives. I argue that there are two kinds of simplicity that are treated as characteristic (...)
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  7.  17
    Simplicity and the Meaning of Mental Association.Mike Dacey - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (6):1207-1228.
    Some thoughts just come to mind together. This is usually thought to happen because they are connected by associations, which the mind follows. Such an explanation assumes that there is a particular kind of simple psychological process responsible. This view has encountered criticism recently. In response, this paper aims to characterize a general understanding of associative simplicity, which might support the distinction between associative processing and alternatives. I argue that there are two kinds of simplicity that are treated as characteristic (...)
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  8. Association and the Mechanisms of Priming.Mike Dacey - 2019 - Journal of Cognitive Science 20 (3):281-321.
    In psychology, increasing interest in priming has brought with it a revival of associationist views. Association seems a natural explanation for priming: simple associative links carry subcritical levels of activation from representations of the prime stimulus to representations of the target stimulus. This then facilitates use of the representation of the target. I argue that the processes responsible for priming are not associative. They are more complex. Even so, associative models do get something right about how these processes behave. As (...)
     
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  9.  60
    The paper topic machine: creativity, credit and the unconscious.Mike Dacey - 2018 - Analysis 78 (4):614-622.
    It is commonly thought that unconscious processes cannot produce actions deserving praise or blame. I present a thought experiment designed to generate a contradicting intuition: at least in this case, we do give credit for the product of an unconscious process. The target is creativity. Many instances of creative thought begin with a step that unconsciously generates a new idea by combining existing ideas. The resulting ideas are selected and developed by later processing. This first step could be replaced with (...)
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  10.  5
    Reference.Mike Dacey & Ron Mallon - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Malden, MA: Wiley. pp. 369–389.
    This chapter summarizes much of the recent work in experimental philosophy. It begins with some background, introducing the philosophical dispute between descriptivists and causal‐historical accounts of reference that has served as the primary focus of experimental work. The chapter also reviews some reasons to think that understanding reference may have very general philosophical implications. It introduces preliminary experimental work on reference by Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols, and Stephen Stich, which suggested the existence of cultural diversity in judgments about (...)
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  11.  86
    Associationism in the Philosophy of Mind.Mike Dacey - 2020 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Association dominated theorizing about the mind in the English-speaking world from the early eighteenth century through the mid-twentieth and remained an important concept into the twenty-first. This endurance across centuries and intellectual traditions means that it has manifested in many different ways in different views of mind. This article traces associationist themes as they developed over the years by presenting the views of central historical figures in each era, focusing specifically on their conception of the associative relation and how it (...)
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  12.  35
    Evidence in Default: Rejecting Default Models of Animal Minds.Mike Dacey - 2023 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 74 (2):291-312.
    Comparative psychology experiments typically test a null statistical hypothesis against an alternative. Coupled with Morgan’s canon, this is often taken to imply that the model positing the simpler psychological capacity should be treated as a ‘default’ that must be ruled out before any other model can be accepted. It has been posited that this practice neglects evidence. I argue that the problem is deeper, including the way it structures the evaluation of evidence that is considered; it frames model choice around (...)
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  13.  6
    Separate substantive from statistical hypotheses and treat them differently.Mike Dacey - 2022 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 45.
    I suggest addressing the problems Yarkoni identifies by separating substantive from statistical hypotheses, and treating them differently. A statistical test of experimental data only bears directly on statistical hypotheses. Evaluation of related substantive hypotheses requires an additional, qualitative inference to the best explanation. Statistical inference cannot do all of the work of theory choice.
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