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Mikio Akagi
Texas Christian University
  1.  59
    Rethinking the Problem of Cognition.Mikio Akagi - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3547-3570.
    The present century has seen renewed interest in characterizing cognition, the object of inquiry of the cognitive sciences. In this paper, I describe the problem of cognition—the absence of a positive characterization of cognition despite a felt need for one. It is widely recognized that the problem is motivated by decades of controversy among cognitive scientists over foundational questions, such as whether non-neural parts of the body or environment can realize cognitive processes, or whether plants and microbes have cognitive processes. (...)
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  2.  10
    Finding the Bounds of Machery’s Critique. [REVIEW]Mikio Akagi - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (4):584-591.
  3.  16
    Beyond Concepts: Unicepts, Language, and Natural Information. [REVIEW]Mikio Akagi - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
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    Representation Re-Construed: Answering the Job Description Challenge with a Construal-Based Notion of Natural Representation.Mikio Akagi - manuscript
    Many philosophers worry that cognitive scientists apply the concept REPRESENTATION too liberally. For example, William Ramsey argues that scientists often ascribe natural representations according to the “receptor notion,” a causal account with absurd consequences. I rehabilitate the receptor notion by augmenting it with a background condition: that natural representations are ascribed only to systems construed as organisms. This Organism-Receptor account rationalizes our existing conceptual practice, including the fact that scientists in fact reject Ramsey’s absurd consequences. The Organism-Receptor account raises some (...)
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    Phenomenality, Conscious States, and Consciousness Inessentialism.Mikio Akagi - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-17.
    I draw attention to an ambiguity of the expression ‘phenomenal consciousness’ that is an avoidable yet persistent source of conceptual confusion among consciousness scientists. The ambiguity is between what I call phenomenality and what I call conscious states, where the former denotes an abstract property and the latter denotes a phenomenon or class of its instances. Since sentences featuring these two terms have different semantic properties, it is possible to equivocate over the term ‘consciousness’. It is also possible to fail (...)
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    Going Against the Grain: Functionalism and Generalization in Cognitive Science.Mikio Akagi - manuscript
    Functionalism is widely regarded as the central doctrine in the philosophy of cognitive science, and is invoked by philosophers of cognitive science to settle disputes over methodology and other puzzles. I describe a recent dispute over extended cognition in which many commentators appeal to functionalism. I then raise an objection to functionalism as it figures in this dispute, targeting the assumption that generality and abstraction are tightly correlated. Finally, I argue that the new mechanist framework offers more realistic resources for (...)
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    Cognition in Practice: Conceptual Development and Disagreement in Cognitive Science.Mikio Akagi - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    Cognitive science has been beset for thirty years by foundational disputes about the nature and extension of cognition—e.g. whether cognition is necessarily representational, whether cognitive processes extend outside the brain or body, and whether plants or microbes have them. Whereas previous philosophical work aimed to settle these disputes, I aim to understand what conception of cognition scientists could share given that they disagree so fundamentally. To this end, I develop a number of variations on traditional conceptual explication, and defend a (...)
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