_The Intellectual Powers_ is a philosophical investigation into the cognitive and cogitative powers of mankind. It develops a connective analysis of our powers of consciousness, intentionality, mastery of language, knowledge, belief, certainty, sensation, perception, memory, thought, and imagination, by one of Britain’s leading philosophers. It is an essential guide and handbook for philosophers, psychologists, and cognitive neuroscientists. The culmination of 45 years of reflection on the philosophy of mind, epistemology, and the nature of the human person No other book in (...) epistemology or philosophy of psychology provides such extensive overviews of consciousness, self-consciousness, intentionality, mastery of a language, knowledge, belief, memory, sensation and perception, thought and imagination Illustrated with tables, tree-diagrams, and charts to provide overviews of the conceptual relationships disclosed by analysis Written by one of Britain’s best philosophical minds A sequel to Hacker’s _Human Nature: The Categorial Framework_ An essential guide and handbook for all who are working in philosophy of mind, epistemology, psychology, cognitive science, and cognitive neuroscience. (shrink)
This paper is a review of work on Newman's objection to epistemic structural realism (ESR). In Section 2, a brief statement of ESR is provided. In Section 3, Newman's objection and its recent variants are outlined. In Section 4, two responses that argue that the objection can be evaded by abandoning the Ramsey-sentence approach to ESR are considered. In Section 5, three responses that have been put forward specifically to rescue the Ramsey-sentence approach to ESR from the modern versions of (...) the objection are discussed. Finally, in Section 6, three responses are considered that are neutral with respect to one's approach to ESR and all argue (in different ways) that the objection can be evaded by introducing the notion that some relations/structures are privileged over others. It is concluded that none of these suggestions is an adequate response to Newman's objection, which therefore remains a serious problem for ESRists. Introduction Epistemic Structural Realism 2.1 Ramsey-sentences and ESR 2.2 WESR and SESR The Objection 3.1 Newman's version 3.2 Demopoulos and Friedman's and Ketland's versions Replies that Abandon the Ramsey-Sentence Approach to ESR 4.1 Redhead's reply 4.2 French and Ladyman's reply Replies Designed to Rescue the Ramsey-Sentence Approach 5.1 Zahar's reply 5.2 Cruse's reply 5.3 Melia and Saatsi's reply Replies that Argue that Some Structures/Relations are Privileged 6.1 A Carnapian reply 6.2 Votsis' reply 6.3 The Merrill/Lewis/Psillos reply Summary CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
How can anyone be rational in a world where knowledge is limited, time is pressing, and deep thought is often an unattainable luxury? Traditional models of unbounded rationality and optimization in cognitive science, economics, and animal behavior have tended to view decision-makers as possessing supernatural powers of reason, limitless knowledge, and endless time. But understanding decisions in the real world requires a more psychologically plausible notion of bounded rationality. In Simple heuristics that make us smart (Gigerenzer et al. 1999), we (...) explore fast and frugal heuristics – simple rules in the mind's adaptive toolbox for making decisions with realistic mental resources. These heuristics can enable both living organisms and artificial systems to make smart choices quickly and with a minimum of information by exploiting the way that information is structured in particular environments. In this précis, we show how simple building blocks that control information search, stop search, and make decisions can be put together to form classes of heuristics, including: ignorance-based and one-reason decision making for choice, elimination models for categorization, and satisficing heuristics for sequential search. These simple heuristics perform comparably to more complex algorithms, particularly when generalizing to new data – that is, simplicity leads to robustness. We present evidence regarding when people use simple heuristics and describe the challenges to be addressed by this research program. Key Words: adaptive toolbox; bounded rationality; decision making; elimination models; environment structure; heuristics; ignorance-based reasoning; limited information search; robustness; satisficing; simplicity. (shrink)
There are at least three things we might mean by "ethics in robotics": the ethical systems built into robots, the ethics of people who design and use robots, and the ethics of how people treat robots. This paper argues that the best approach to robot ethics is one which addresses all three of these, and to do this it ought to consider robots as socio-technical systems. By so doing, it is possible to think of a continuum of agency that lies (...) between amoral and fully autonomous moral agents. Thus, robots might move gradually along this continuum as they acquire greater capabilities and ethical sophistication. It also argues that many of the issues regarding the distribution of responsibility in complex socio-technical systems might best be addressed by looking to legal theory, rather than moral theory. This is because our overarching interest in robot ethics ought to be the practical one of preventing robots from doing harm, as well as preventing humans from unjustly avoiding responsibility for their actions. (shrink)
Traditional views of rationality posit general-purpose decision mechanisms based on logic or optimization. The study of ecological rationality focuses on uncovering the “adaptive toolbox” of domain-specific simple heuristics that real, computationally bounded minds employ, and explaining how these heuristics produce accurate decisions by exploiting the structures of information in the environments in which they are applied. Knowing when and how people use particular heuristics can facilitate the shaping of environments to engender better decisions.
It is sometimes argued that Wittgenstein's conception of grammar and the role he allocated to grammar (in his sense of the term) in philosophy changed between the Big Typescript and the Philosophical Investigations. It is also held that some of the grammatical propositions Wittgenstein asserted prior to his writing of the Philosophical Investigations are theses, doctrines, opinions or dogmatism, which he abandoned by 1936/37. The purpose of this paper is to show these claims to be misunderstandings and misinterpretations. On all (...) important matters, his conception of grammar and of grammatical investigations, of grammatical statements or propositions and of grammatical clarification did not change between the Big Typescript and the Investigations. Grammatical propositions (e.g. the meaning of a word is its use; a sample in an ostensive definition belongs to the means of representation; belief is not a mental state) are no more theses, doctrines or opinions than is “a bachelor is an unmarried man.” Nor are they in any way dogmatic. (shrink)
The paper is concerned with the idea that the world is the totality of facts, not of things – with what is involved in thinking of the world in that way, and why one might do so. It approaches this issue through a comparison between Wittgenstein’s Tractatus and the identity theory of truth proposed by Hornsby and McDowell.The paper’s positive conclusion is that there is a genuine afﬁnity between these two. A negative contention is that the modern identity theory is (...) vulnerable to a complaint of idealism that the Tractatus can deﬂect. (shrink)
A way of reading the Tractatus has been proposed which, according to its advocates, is importantly novel and essentially distinct from anything to be found in the work of such previously influential students of the book as Anscombe, Stenius, Hacker or Pears. The point of difference is differently described, but the currently most used description seems to be Goldfarb’s term ‘resolution’ – hence one speaks of ‘the resolute reading’. I’ll shortly ask what resolution is. For now, it is enough that (...) it aims to give full weight to the penultimate section of the Tractatus in which Wittgenstein declares his propositions to be nonsense, where giving full weight to that declaration involves not hearing it as allowing that those ‘nonsensical’ propositions might have another kind of ‘sense’. In that same section Wittgenstein explains that these nonsense propositions, while devoid of meaning, have a use: to make the kind of use of them that their author intends – and so to understand him – requires recognizing that they are nonsense; and through that recognition one ‘surmounts’ these propositions, and is led ‘to see the world aright’. So there is a point to all this nonsense. What point? (shrink)
While theories of rationality and decision making typically adopt either a single-powertool perspective or a bag-of-tricks mentality, the research program of ecological rationality bridges these with a theoretically-driven account of when different heuristic decision mechanisms will work well. Here we described two ways to study how heuristics match their ecological setting: The bottom-up approach starts with psychologically plausible building blocks that are combined to create simple heuristics that fit specific environments. The top-down approach starts from the statistical problem facing the (...) organism and a set of principles, such as the bias– variance tradeoff, that can explain when and why heuristics work in uncertain environments, and then shows how effective heuristics can be built by biasing and simplifying more complex models. We conclude with challenges these approaches face in developing a psychologically realistic perspective on human rationality. (shrink)
Wittgenstein presents in the Tractatus a variable purporting to capture the general form of proposition. One understanding of what Wittgenstein is doing there, an understanding in line with the ‘new’ reading of his work championed by Diamond, Conant and others, sees it as a deflationary or even an implosive move—a move by which a concept sometimes put by philosophers to distinctively metaphysical use is replaced, in a perspicuous notation, by an innocent device of generalization, thereby dispersing the clouds of philosophy (...) that formerly surrounded the concept. By asking how Wittgenstein supposed his variable to work, and what work he imagined it was fit for, the paper questions the adequacy of that understanding. (shrink)
rené descartes famously and explicitly rejects appeals to final causes in natural philosophy, suggesting that such appeals depend on knowledge of God’s inscrutable ends.For since I now know that my own nature is very weak and limited, whereas the nature of God is immense, incomprehensible and infinite, I also know without more ado that he is capable of countless things whose causes are beyond my knowledge. And for this reason alone I consider the whole kind of causes, customarily sought from (...) an end, to be totally useless in physics; there is considerable rashness in thinking myself capable of investigating God’s ends.1This rejection did not go unnoticed nor without controversy. In the Fifth.. (shrink)
Wittgenstein, in the Tractatus, conceives the world as ‘the totality of facts’. Type-stratiﬁcation threatens that conception : the totality of facts is an obvious example of an illegitimate totality. Wittgenstein’s notion of truthoperation evidently has some role to play in avoiding that threat, allowing propositions, and so facts, to constitute a single type. The paper seeks to explain that role in a way that integrates the ‘philosophical’ and ‘technical’ pressures on the notion of an operation.
To understand the possible forms of extraterrestrial intelligence, we need not only astrobiology theories about how life evolves given habitable planets, but also evolutionary psychology theories about how intelligence emerges given life. Wherever intelligent organisms evolve, they are likely to face similar behavioral challenges in their physical and social worlds. The cognitive mechanisms that arise to meet these challenges may then be copied, repurposed, and shaped by further evolutionary selection to deal with more abstract, higher-level cognitive tasks such as conceptual (...) reasoning, symbolic communication, and technological innovation, while retaining traces of the earlier adaptations for solving physical and social problems. These traces of evolutionary pathways may be leveraged to gain insight into the likely cognitive processes of ETIs. We demonstrate such analysis in the domain of search strategies and show its application in the domains of emotional aversions and social/sexual signaling. Knowing the likely evolutionary pathways to intelligence will help us to better search for and process any alien signals from the search for ETIs and to assess the likely benefits, costs, and risks of humans actively messaging ETIs. (shrink)
Philosophic inquiry into the mental states of elite athletes during skilled motor performance continues to grow. In contrast to the bulk of these works that focus almost exclusively on skillful performance, this paper examines athletic motor behavior from a point of inexactness ? or even failure ? in athletic performance. Utilizing the works of Michael Polanyi, who believed that both ideas of achievement and failure were equally necessary to understand the behavior of living things and their physical actions, I examine (...) the notion of failure as a framework to scrutinize the cognitive processes occurring during the development and performance of skilled motor behavior. After reviewing Polanyi?s conceptions of personal knowing to locate the source of inaccuracy in human activity, I present Polanyi?s distinction between two kinds of mistakes and apply each to inaccurate sport performance. I then suggest that mistakes in sport should be re-conceptualized beyond their current negative connotations. Instead, conceptions of mistakes should also include respect for ?man?s most distinguished act? ? that being the production of knowledge. From this expanded perspective, the value of inexact motor performance can be found in addition to notions of uncertainty and skill development in what Polanyi calls ?metaphysical implication of a groping for reality?. In some final thoughts, I will suggest future implications of the value of the inexact on broader sport issues. (shrink)
Nine of the papers collected here derive directly from a conference organized by Schirn in Munich in 1991. Seven others, three of them reprinted, have been intelligently chosen to complement the original nine. The collection has no overarching theme, nor is it dominated by any particular approach to Frege’s thought. It is “a mixed selection”, and aims to reflect “the prevailing tendency in current Frege scholarship”. The influence of Dreben is less in evidence than one might expect, but otherwise the (...) collection meets that broad brief pretty well. Some of the collection’s best papers—for example, those by Burge, Boolos, Dummett, Heck, and Terence Parsons—are essential reading. Inevitably, not all the others have that standing. But, excepting only an over-long essay by the editor, each deserves its place. (shrink)
The link between firm corporate social performance and executive compensation could be driven by a sorting effect , or by an incentive effect . Existing empirical work focuses exclusively on the incentive effect. In contrast, in this paper we explore the sorting effect of firm CSP on the initial compensation of newly hired executives. In doing so, we develop a novel theoretical approach based on an integration of stakeholder theory and human capital theory, suggesting a positive association between the initial (...) compensation of executives and firm CSP strengths and concerns. It also suggests that the strength of this relationship varies between different executive roles . We find support for this theoretical framework in a large sample of newly-hired executives employed by Standard & Poor 1500 firms. (shrink)
This paper assesses those features of Lesniewski's Ontology which make it difficult to understand for logicians accustomed to more orthodox systems of logic. It is seen that certain general features of presentation and content can, by selective acceptance or modification, be accommodated with a fairly orthodox viewpoint. The chief difficulty lies in the interpretation of Le?niewski's names, and the constant ???. Four interpretations are suggested in turn: Le?niewski's names as monadic predicates; as class terms; as common nouns; and as empty, (...) singular or plural terms. This last and least orthodox interpretation is argued to be the most suitable, but it is shown how it can be made to live in harmony with either the common noun or the class interpretation. (shrink)
In this paper we articulate and diagnose a previously unrecognized problem for theories of entitlement, what we call the Claims Conundrum. It applies to all entitlements that are originally generated by some claim-generating action, such as laboring, promising, or contract-signing. The Conundrum is spurred by the very plausible thought that a later claim to the object to which one is entitled is a function of whether that original claim-generating action is attributable to one. This is further assumed to depend on (...) one’s being identical to the person who performed the claim-generating action. But the right theory of personal identity for grounding these later claims proves quite elusive. In demonstrating both the Claims Conundrum and diagnosing its source, we begin with its instantiation in John Locke’s theories of personal identity and initial acquisition, and then we gradually expand its net to include both Lockean and non-Lockean theories of both, moving ultimately to show that this is a problem for most entitlements generally. We then diagnose the source of the trouble, showing that a basic assumption about the link between attributability and identity that most people take to be obvious is in fact false, clearing a path for future investigation into this overlooked but serious problem’s resolution. (shrink)
This critical review of Soames's history of analytic philosophy evaluates Soames's enterprise by reference to the degree to which it achieves his goals of (i) providing an overview of analytic philosophy 1900-75, (ii) explaining what the most important analytic philosophers thought, (iii) selecting some of the most important works of each philosopher for discussion, and (iv) properly evaluating the developments of the period. On all counts Soames's history is found sorely wanting. The overview it offers is riddled with distortion, its (...) explanations are frequently mistaken and uncomprehending, its selection is demonstrably inadequate and its evaluations ill-informed and ill-judged. (shrink)
Frege's theory of real numbers has undeservedly received almost no attention, in part because what we have is only a fragment. Yet his theory is interesting for the light it throws on logicism, and it is quite different from standard modern approaches. Frege polemicizes vigorously against his contemporaries, sketches the main features of his own radical alternative, and begins the formal development. This paper summarizes and expounds what he has to say, and goes on to reconstruct the most important steps (...) which he is likely to have subsequently taken. The various difficulties facing his theory in this reconstruction are outlined, and some surprising consequences drawn about the nature of his logicism. (shrink)
SummaryLeśniewski presented his logical systems in a way which conformed to his nominalism, so the question arises whether Leśniewski's logic can be given a natural formal semantics which, unlike current versions, avoids commitment to abstract entities. Building on hints in Wittgenstein's Tractatus, I develop the idea of a way of meaning which is the basis for what I call combinatorial semantics. I then consider whether this commits us to abstract objects or an intensional metalogic.
Shepard promotes the important view that evolution constructs cognitive mechanisms that work with internalized aspects of the structure of their environment. But what can this internalization mean? We contrast three views: Shepard's mirrors reflecting the world, Brunswik's lens inferring the world, and Simon 's scissors exploiting the world. We argue that Simon 's scissors metaphor is more appropriate for higher-order cognitive mechanisms and ask how far it can also be applied to perceptual tasks. [Barlow; Kubovy & Epstein; Shepard].
We investigate how nonstandard reals can be established constructively as arbitrary infinite sequences of rationals, following the classical approach due to Schmieden and Laugwitz. In particular, a total standard part map into Richman's generalised Dedekind reals is constructed without countable choice.
But logic as it stands, e.g. in Principia Mathematica, can quite well be applied to our ordinary propositions; e.g. from ‘All men are mortal’ and ‘Socrates is a man’ there follows according to this logic ‘Socrates is mortal’, which is obviously correct, even though I equally obviously do not know what structure is possessed by the thing Socrates or the property of mortality. Here they just function as simple objects.