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Peter Carruthers
University of Maryland, College Park
  1.  22
    The Opacity of Mind: An Integrative Theory of Self-Knowledge.Peter Carruthers - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Do we have introspective access to our own thoughts? Peter Carruthers challenges the consensus that we do: he argues that access to our own thoughts is always interpretive, grounded in perceptual awareness and sensory imagery. He proposes a bold new theory of self-knowledge, with radical implications for understanding of consciousness and agency.
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  2. The Architecture of the Mind: Massive Modularity and the Flexibility of Thought.Peter Carruthers - 2006 - Oxford University Press UK.
    This book is a comprehensive development and defense of one of the guiding assumptions of evolutionary psychology: that the human mind is composed of a large number of semi-independent modules. The Architecture of the Mind has three main goals. One is to argue for massive mental modularity. Another is to answer a 'How possibly?' challenge to any such approach. The first part of the book lays out the positive case supporting massive modularity. It also outlines how the thesis should best (...)
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  3.  3
    Human and Animal Minds: The Consciousness Questions Laid to Rest.Peter Carruthers - 2019 - Oxford University Press.
    Claims about consciousness in animals are often made in support of their moral standing. Peter Carruthers argues that there is no fact of the matter about animal consciousness and it is of no scientific or ethical significance. Sympathy for an animal can be grounded in its mental states, but should not rely on assumptions about its consciousness.
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  4.  5
    The Centered Mind: What the Science of Working Memory Shows Us About the Nature of Human Thought.Peter Carruthers - 2015 - Oxford University Press UK.
    The Centered Mind offers a new view of the nature and causal determinants of both reflective thinking and, more generally, the stream of consciousness. Peter Carruthers argues that conscious thought is always sensory-based, relying on the resources of the working-memory system. This system enables sensory images to be sustained and manipulated through attentional signals directed at midlevel sensory areas of the brain. When abstract conceptual representations are bound into these images, we consciously experience ourselves as making judgments or arriving at (...)
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  5. How We Know Our Own Minds: The Relationship Between Mindreading and Metacognition.Peter Carruthers - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (2):121-138.
    Four different accounts of the relationship between third-person mindreading and first-person metacognition are compared and evaluated. While three of them endorse the existence of introspection for propositional attitudes, the fourth claims that our knowledge of our own attitudes results from turning our mindreading capacities upon ourselves. Section 1 of this target article introduces the four accounts. Section 2 develops the “mindreading is prior” model in more detail, showing how it predicts introspection for perceptual and quasi-perceptual mental events while claiming that (...)
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  6. Phenomenal Consciousness: A Naturalistic Theory.Peter Carruthers - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
    How can phenomenal consciousness exist as an integral part of a physical universe? How can the technicolour phenomenology of our inner lives be created out of the complex neural activities of our brains? Many have despaired of finding answers to these questions; and many have claimed that human consciousness is inherently mysterious. Peter Carruthers argues, on the contrary, that the subjective feel of our experience is fully explicable in naturalistic terms. Drawing on a variety of interdisciplinary resources, he develops and (...)
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  7. Valence and Value.Peter Carruthers - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (3):658-680.
    Valence is a central component of all affective states, including pains, pleasures, emotions, moods, and feelings of desire or repulsion.This paper has two main goals. One is to suggest that enough is now known about the causes, consequences, and properties of valence to indicate that it forms a unitary natural-psychological kind, one that seemingly plays a fundamental role in motivating all kinds of intentional action. If this turns out to be true, then the correct characterization of the nature of valence (...)
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  8. The Cognitive Functions of Language.Peter Carruthers - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (6):657-674.
    This paper explores a variety of different versions of the thesis that natural language is involved in human thinking. It distinguishes amongst strong and weak forms of this thesis, dismissing some as implausibly strong and others as uninterestingly weak. Strong forms dismissed include the view that language is conceptually necessary for thought (endorsed by many philosophers) and the view that language is _de facto_ the medium of all human conceptual thinking (endorsed by many philosophers and social scientists). Weak forms include (...)
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  9. Mindreading in Infancy.Peter Carruthers - 2013 - Mind and Language 28 (2):141-172.
    Various dichotomies have been proposed to characterize the nature and development of human mindreading capacities, especially in light of recent evidence of mindreading in infants aged 7 to 18 months. This article will examine these suggestions, arguing that none is currently supported by the evidence. Rather, the data support a modular account of the domain-specific component of basic mindreading capacities. This core component is present in infants from a very young age and does not alter fundamentally thereafter. What alters with (...)
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  10.  24
    Meaning and Mental Representation.Peter Carruthers - 1990 - Philosophical Quarterly 40 (161):527-530.
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  11. The Animals Issue: Moral Theory in Practice.Peter Carruthers - 1992 - Cambridge University Press.
    Do animals have moral rights? In contrast to the philosophical gurus of the animal rights movement, whose opinion has held moral sway in recent years, Peter Carruthers here claims that they do not. He explores a variety of moral theories, arguing that animals lack direct moral significance. This provocative but judiciously argued book will appeal to all those interested in animal rights, whatever their initial standpoint. It will also serve as a lively introduction to ethics, demonstrating why theoretical issues in (...)
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  12. Theories of Theories of Mind.Peter Carruthers & Peter K. Smith (eds.) - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
    Theories of Theories of Mind brings together contributions by a distinguished international team of philosophers, psychologists, and primatologists, who between them address such questions as: what is it to understand the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of other people? How does such an understanding develop in the normal child? Why, unusually, does it fail to develop? And is any such mentalistic understanding shared by members of other species? The volume's four parts together offer a state of the art survey of the (...)
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  13. The Case Against Cognitive Phenomenology.Peter Carruthers & Bénédicte Veillet - 2011 - In Tim Bayne & Michelle Montague (eds.), Cognitive phenomenology. Oxford University Press. pp. 35.
    The goal of this chapter is to mount a critique of the claim that cognitive content (that is, the kind of content possessed by our concepts and thoughts) makes a constitutive contribution to the phenomenal properties of our mental lives. We therefore defend the view that phenomenal consciousness is exclusively experiential (or nonconceptual) in character. The main focus of the chapter is on the alleged contribution that concepts make to the phenomenology of visual experience. For we take it that if (...)
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  14. Language, Thought and Consciousness: An Essay in Philosophical Psychology.Peter Carruthers - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
    Do we think in natural language? Or is language only for communication? Much recent work in philosophy and cognitive science assumes the latter. In contrast, Peter Carruthers argues that much of human conscious thinking is conducted in the medium of natural language sentences. However, this does not commit him to any sort of Whorfian linguistic relativism, and the view is developed within a framework that is broadly nativist and modularist. His study will be essential reading for all those interested in (...)
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  15. Introspection: Divided and Partly Eliminated.Peter Carruthers - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (1):76-111.
    This paper will argue that there is no such thing as introspective access to judgments and decisions. It won't challenge the existence of introspective access to perceptual and imagistic states, nor to emotional feelings and bodily sensations. On the contrary, the model presented in Section 2 presumes such access. Hence introspection is here divided into two categories: introspection of propositional attitude events, on the one hand, and introspection of broadly perceptual events, on the other. I shall assume that the latter (...)
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  16.  72
    Consciousness: Essays From a Higher-Order Perspective.Peter Carruthers - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Peter Carruthers's essays on consciousness and related issues have had a substantial impact on the field, and many of his best are now collected here in revised form. The first half of the volume is devoted to developing, elaborating, and defending against competitors one particular sort of reductive explanation of phenomenal consciousness, which Carruthers now refers to as 'dual-content theory'. Phenomenal consciousness - the feel of experience - is supposed to constitute the 'hard problem' for a scientific world view, and (...)
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  17.  66
    Two Systems for Mindreading?Peter Carruthers - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (1):141-162.
    A number of two-systems accounts have been proposed to explain the apparent discrepancy between infants’ early success in nonverbal mindreading tasks, on the one hand, and the failures of children younger than four to pass verbally-mediated false-belief tasks, on the other. Many of these accounts have not been empirically fruitful. This paper focuses, in contrast, on the two-systems proposal put forward by Ian Apperly and colleagues. This has issued in a number of new findings. The present paper shows that the (...)
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  18. Meta-Cognition in Animals: A Skeptical Look.Peter Carruthers - 2008 - Mind and Language 23 (1):58–89.
    This paper examines the recent literature on meta-cognitive processes in non-human animals, arguing that in each case the data admit of a simpler, purely first-order, explanation. The topics discussed include the alleged monitoring of states of certainty and uncertainty, knowledge-seeking behavior in conditions of uncertainty, and the capacity to know whether or not the information needed to solve some problem is stored in memory. The first-order explanations advanced all assume that beliefs and desires come in various different strengths, or degrees.
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  19.  59
    The Philosophy of Psychology.George Botterill & Peter Carruthers - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
    What is the relationship between common-sense, or 'folk', psychology and contemporary scientific psychology? Are they in conflict with one another? Or do they perform quite different, though perhaps complementary, roles? George Botterill and Peter Carruthers discuss these questions, defending a robust form of realism about the commitments of folk psychology and about the prospects for integrating those commitments into natural science. Their focus throughout the book is on the ways in which cognitive science presents a challenge to our common-sense self-image (...)
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  20. Theories of Theories of Mind.G. Segal, P. Carruthers & K. Smith - 1996 - In Peter Carruthers & Peter K. Smith (eds.), Theories of Theories of Mind. Cambridge University Press.
  21.  10
    Rationality and Reasoning.Jonathan St B. T. Evans, David E. Over & Peter Carruthers - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (1):189-194.
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  22. Meta-Cognition in Animals: A Skeptical Look.Peter Carruthers - 2007 - Mind and Language 22 (1):58–89.
    This paper examines the recent literature on meta-cognitive processes in non-human animals, arguing that in each case the data admit of a simpler, purely first-order, explanation. The topics discussed include the alleged monitoring of states of certainty and uncertainty, the capacity to know whether or not one has perceived something, and the capacity to know whether or not the information needed to solve some problem is stored in memory. The first-order explanations advanced all assume that beliefs and desires come in (...)
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  23.  37
    Pragmatic Development Explains the Theory-of-Mind Scale.Evan Westra & Peter Carruthers - 2017 - Cognition 158:165-176.
    Henry Wellman and colleagues have provided evidence of a robust developmental progression in theory-of-mind (or as we will say, “mindreading”) abilities, using verbal tasks. Understanding diverse desires is said to be easier than understanding diverse beliefs, which is easier than understanding that lack of perceptual access issues in ignorance, which is easier than understanding false belief, which is easier than understanding that people can hide their true emotions. These findings present a challenge to nativists about mindreading, and are said to (...)
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  24.  8
    Phenomenal Consciousness.Peter Carruthers - 2001 - Mind 110 (440):1057-1062.
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  25.  61
    Perceiving Mental States.Peter Carruthers - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 36:498-507.
  26. Brute Experience.Peter Carruthers - 1989 - Journal of Philosophy 86 (May):258-269.
  27.  96
    Basic Questions.Peter Carruthers - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (2):130-147.
    This paper argues that a set of questioning attitudes are among the foundations of human and animal minds. While both verbal questioning and states of curiosity are generally explained in terms of metacognitive desires for knowledge or true belief, I argue that each is better explained by a prelinguistic sui generis type of mental attitude of questioning. I review a range of considerations in support of such a proposal and improve on previous characterizations of the nature of these attitudes. I (...)
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  28.  88
    Mindreading in Adults: Evaluating Two-Systems Views.Peter Carruthers - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):673-688.
    A number of convergent recent findings with adults have been interpreted as evidence of the existence of two distinct systems for mindreading that draw on separate conceptual resources: one that is fast, automatic, and inflexible; and one that is slower, controlled, and flexible. The present article argues that these findings admit of a more parsimonious explanation. This is that there is a single set of concepts made available by a mindreading system that operates automatically where it can, but which frequently (...)
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  29. Simulation and Self-Knowledge: A Defence of the Theory-Theory.Peter Carruthers - 1996 - In Peter Carruthers & Peter K. Smith (eds.), Theories of Theories of Mind. Cambridge University Press. pp. 22--38.
    In this chapter I attempt to curb the pretensions of simulationism. I argue that it is, at best, an epistemological doctrine of limited scope. It may explain how we go about attributing beliefs and desires to others, and perhaps to ourselves, in some cases. But simulation cannot provide the fundamental basis of our conception of, or knowledge of, minded agency.
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  30. Hume Variations.P. Carruthers - 2005 - Mind 114 (453):141-145.
  31. The Case for Massively Modular Models of Mind.Peter Carruthers - 2006 - In Robert J. Stainton (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science. Blackwell.
    My charge in this chapter is to set out the positive case supporting massively modular models of the human mind.1 Unfortunately, there is no generally accepted understanding of what a massively modular model of the mind is. So at least some of our discussion will have to be terminological. I shall begin by laying out the range of things that can be meant by ‘modularity’. I shall then adopt a pair of strategies. One will be to distinguish some things that (...)
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  32.  52
    Comparative Psychology Without Consciousness.Peter Carruthers - 2018 - Consciousness and Cognition 63:47-60.
  33. On Being Simple Minded.Peter Carruthers - 2004 - American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (3):205-220.
  34. Block's Overflow Argument.Peter Carruthers - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly:65-70.
    This article challenges Block's ‘overflow argument’ for the conclusion that phenomenal consciousness and access-consciousness are distinct. It shows that the data can be explained just as well in terms of a distinction between contents that are made globally accessible through bottom–up sensory stimulation and those that are sustained and made available in working memory through top-down attention.
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  35.  44
    Explicit nonconceptual metacognition.Peter Carruthers - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (7):2337-2356.
    The goal of this paper is to explore forms of metacognition that have rarely been discussed in the extensive psychological and philosophical literatures on the topic. These would comprise explicit instances of meta-representation of some set of mental states or processes in oneself, but without those representations being embedded in anything remotely resembling a theory of mind, and independent of deployment of any sort of concept-like representation of the mental. Following a critique of some extant suggestions made by Nicholas Shea, (...)
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  36. Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness.Peter Carruthers - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  37. The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents.Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen Stich (eds.) - 2005 - Oxford University Press USA.
    This is the first volume of a projected three-volume set on the subject of innateness. The extent to which the mind is innate is one of the central questions in the human sciences, with important implications for many surrounding debates. By bringing together the top nativist scholars in philosophy, psychology, and allied disciplines these volumes provide a comprehensive assessment of nativist thought and a definitive reference point for future nativist inquiry. The Innate Mind: Structure and Content, concerns the fundamental architecture (...)
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  38. The Illusion of Conscious Will.Peter Carruthers - 2007 - Synthese 159 (2):197 - 213.
    Wegner (Wegner, D. (2002). The illusion of conscious will. MIT Press) argues that conscious will is an illusion, citing a wide range of empirical evidence. I shall begin by surveying some of his arguments. Many are unsuccessful. But one—an argument from the ubiquity of self-interpretation—is more promising. Yet is suffers from an obvious lacuna, offered by so-called ‘dual process’ theories of reasoning and decision making (Evans, J., & Over, D. (1996). Rationality and reasoning. Psychology Press; Stanovich, K. (1999). Who is (...)
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  39. The Phenomenal Concept Strategy.Peter Carruthers & Benedicte Veillet - 2007 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (9-10):212-236.
    A powerful reply to a range of familiar anti-physicalist arguments has recently been developed. According to this reply, our possession of phenomenal concepts can explain the facts that the anti-physicalist claims can only be explained by a non-reductive account of phenomenal consciousness. Chalmers (2006) argues that the phenomenal concept strategy is doomed to fail. This article presents the phenomenal concept strategy, Chalmers' argument against it, and a defence of the strategy against his.
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  40. The Animals Issue.Peter Carruthers - 1993 - Environmental Values 2 (4):370-371.
     
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  41. On Central Cognition.Peter Carruthers - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (1):143-162.
    This article examines what is known about the cognitive science of working memory, and brings the findings to bear in evaluating philosophical accounts of central cognitive processes of thinking and reasoning. It is argued that central cognition is sensory based, depending on the activation and deployment of sensory images of various sorts. Contrary to a broad spectrum of philosophical opinion, the central mind does not contain any workspace within which goals, decisions, intentions, or non-sensory judgments can be active.Introduction: philosophers’ commitmentsMost (...)
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  42.  72
    The Metaphysics of the Tractatus.Peter Carruthers - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this remarkably clear and original study of the Tractatus Peter Carruthers has two principal aims. He seeks to make sense of Wittgenstein's metaphysical doctrines, showing how powerful arguments may be deployed in their support. He also aims to locate the crux of the conflict between Wittgenstein's early and late philosophies. This is shown to arise from his earlier commitment to the objectivity of logic and logical relations, which is the true target of attack of his later discussion of rule-following. (...)
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  43.  66
    Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness.Peter Carruthers - 2007 - In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell.
  44.  48
    Without Good Reason: The Rationality Debate in Philosophy and Cognitive Science.Peter Carruthers - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (1):189-193.
  45.  37
    Invertebrate Concepts Confront the Generality Constraint (and Win).Peter Carruthers - 2009 - In Robert W. Lurz (ed.), The Philosophy of Animal Minds. Cambridge University Press. pp. 89--107.
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  46.  93
    Consciousness and Concepts.Robert Kirk & Peter Carruthers - 1992 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 66 (1):23-60.
  47. Moral Responsibility and Consciousness.Matt King & Peter Carruthers - 2012 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (2):200-228.
    Our aim in this paper is to raise a question about the relationship between theories of responsibility, on the one hand, and a commitment to conscious attitudes, on the other. Our question has rarely been raised previously. Among those who believe in the reality of human freedom, compatibilists have traditionally devoted their energies to providing an account that can avoid any commitment to the falsity of determinism while successfully accommodating a range of intuitive examples. Libertarians, in contrast, have aimed to (...)
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  48.  63
    Opening Up Vision: The Case Against Encapsulation.Ryan Ogilvie & Peter Carruthers - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (4):721-742.
    Many have argued that early visual processing is encapsulated from the influence of higher-level goals, expectations, and knowledge of the world. Here we confront the main arguments offered in support of such a view, showing that they are unpersuasive. We also present evidence of top–down influences on early vision, emphasizing data from cognitive neuroscience. Our conclusion is that encapsulation is not a defining feature of visual processing. But we take this conclusion to be quite modest in scope, readily incorporated into (...)
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  49. Phenomenal Concepts and Higher-Order Experiences.Peter Carruthers - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):316-336.
    Relying on a range of now-familiar thought-experiments, it has seemed to many philosophers that phenomenal consciousness is beyond the scope of reductive explanation. (Phenomenal consciousness is a form of state-consciousness, which contrasts with creature-consciousness, or perceptual-consciousness. The different forms of state-consciousness include various kinds of access-consciousness, both first-order and higher-order--see Rosenthal, 1986; Block, 1995; Lycan, 1996; Carruthers, 2000. Phenomenal consciousness is the property that mental states have when it is like something to possess them, or when they have subjectively-accessible feels; (...)
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  50. Natural Theories of Consciousness.Peter Carruthers - 1998 - European Journal of Philosophy 6 (2):203-22.
    Many people have thought that consciousness.
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