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Sara Aronowitz [19]Sarah Aronowitz [1]
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Sara Aronowitz
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
  1. Exploring by Believing.Sara Aronowitz - 2021 - Philosophical Review 130 (3):339-383.
    Sometimes, we face choices between actions most likely to lead to valuable outcomes, and actions which put us in a better position to learn. These choices exemplify what is called the exploration/exploitation trade-off. In computer science and psychology, this trade-off has fruitfully been applied to modulating the way agents or systems make choices over time. This article extends the trade-off to belief. We can be torn between two ways of believing, one of which is expected to be more accurate in (...)
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  2. A planning theory of belief.Sara Aronowitz - 2023 - Philosophical Perspectives 37 (1):5-17.
    What does it mean to hold a belief? Some of our ways of speaking in English suggest that to hold a belief is to have something in your mind: beliefs are things we acquire, defend, recover, and so on (Abelson, 1986). That is, believing is a matter of being in a state of having a thing. In this paper, I will argue for an alternative: believing is something we do. This is not a new suggestion. For instance, Matthew Boyle (2011) (...)
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  3. Semanticization Challenges the Episodic–Semantic Distinction.Sara Aronowitz - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Episodic and semantic memory are often taken to be fundamentally different mental systems, and contemporary philosophers often pursue research questions about episodic memory, in particular, in isolation from semantic memory. This paper challenges that assumption, and puts pressure on philosophical approaches to memory that break off episodic memory as its own standalone topic. I present and systematize psychological and neuroscientific theories of semanticization, the thesis that memory content tends to drift from episodic to semantic in structure over time and exposure (...)
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  4. Learning Through Simulation.Sara Aronowitz & Tania Lombrozo - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20.
    Mental simulation — such as imagining tilting a glass to figure out the angle at which water would spill — can be a way of coming to know the answer to an internally or externally posed query. Is this form of learning a species of inference or a form of observation? We argue that it is neither: learning through simulation is a genuinely distinct form of learning. On our account, simulation can provide knowledge of the answer to a query even (...)
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  5. Memory is a modeling system.Sara Aronowitz - 2018 - Mind and Language 34 (4):483-502.
    This paper aims to reconfigure the place of memory in epistemology. I start by rethinking the problem that memory systems solve; rather than merely functioning to store information, I argue that the core function of any memory system is to support accurate and relevant retrieval. This way of specifying the function of memory has consequences for which structures and mechanisms make up a memory system. In brief, memory systems are modeling systems. This means that they generate, update and manage a (...)
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  6. What Epistemic Reasons Are For: Against the Belief-Sandwich Distinction.Daniel J. Singer & Sara Aronowitz - forthcoming - In Billy Dunaway & David Plunkett (eds.), Meaning, Decision, and Norms: Themes from the Work of Allan Gibbard.
    The standard view says that epistemic normativity is normativity of belief. If you’re an evidentialist, for example, you’ll think that all epistemic reasons are reasons to believe what your evidence supports. Here we present a line of argument that pushes back against this standard view. If the argument is right, there are epistemic reasons for things other than belief. The argument starts with evidentialist commitments and proceeds by a series of cases, each containing a reason. As the cases progress, the (...)
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  7. Experiential Explanation.Sara Aronowitz & Tania Lombrozo - 2020 - Topics in Cognitive Science 12 (4):1321-1336.
    People often answer why-questions with what we call experiential explanations: narratives or stories with temporal structure and concrete details. In contrast, on most theories of the epistemic function of explanation, explanations should be abstractive: structured by general relationships and lacking extraneous details. We suggest that abstractive and experiential explanations differ not only in level of abstraction, but also in structure, and that each form of explanation contributes to the epistemic goals of individual learners and of science. In particular, experiential explanations (...)
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  8. The Problem of New Theories (3rd edition).Sara Aronowitz - forthcoming - In Kurt Sylvan, Matthias Steup, Jonathan Dancy & Ernest Sosa (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Epistemology, 3rd edition.
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  9. A Planning Theory of Incoherence in Belief.Sara Aronowitz - forthcoming - In Eric Schwitzgebel & Jonathan Jong (eds.), The Nature of Belief. Oxford University Press.
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  10. Subjectivity in Film: Mine, Yours, and No One's.Sara Aronowitz & Grace Helton - forthcoming - Ergo.
    A classic and fraught question in the philosophy of film is this: when you watch a film, do you experience yourself in the world of the film, observing the scenes? In this paper, we argue that this subject of film experience is sometimes a mere impersonal viewpoint, sometimes a first-personal but unindexed subject, and sometimes a particular, indexed subject such as the viewer herself or a character in the film. We first argue for subject pluralism: there is no single answer (...)
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  11.  29
    Space, and not Time, Provides the Basic Structure of Memory.Sara Aronowitz & Lynn Nadel - forthcoming - In Lynn Nadel & Sara Aronowitz (eds.), Space, Time, and Memory. Oxford University Press.
    When entering an environment, animals – including humans – tend to consult their memories to determine what they know about the place. This information is useful to determine: is this place safe? And what happens next? In this chapter, we argue on both empirical and conceptual grounds that memory is largely organized by space. Spatial relations determine what is recalled and which experiences are combined in generalizations. Time does not play an analogous role. We show that space and time in (...)
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  12.  63
    Retrieval is central to the distinctive function of episodic memory.Sara Aronowitz - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
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  13. Iqbal's Fractured Vision: History as a Science and the Moral Weight of the Past.Sara Aronowitz & Reza Hadisi - 2020 - Philosophy East and West 70 (4):881-905.
    This paper aims to understand how we reason from historical premises to normative conclusions, tracing this question through the work of Muhammad Iqbal. On our reading, he wavers between two views of history, one a kind of natural science, and the other akin to religious interpretation. These tell different stories about the lessons we draw from history.
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  14. The Parts of an Imperfect Agent.Sara Aronowitz - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind.
    Formal representations drawn from rational choice theory have been used in a variety of ways to fruitfully model the way in which actual agents are approximately rational. This analysis requires bridging between ideal normative theory, in which the mechanisms, representations, and other such internal parts are in an important sense interchangeable, and descriptive psychological theory, in which understanding the internal workings of the agent is often the main goal of the entire inquiry. In this paper, I raise a problem brought (...)
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  15.  14
    Representational structures only make their mark over time: A case from memory.Sara Aronowitz - 2023 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 46:e263.
    Memory structures range across the dimensions that distinguish language-like thought. Recent work suggests agent- or situation-specific information is embedded in these structures. Understanding why this is, and pulling these structures apart, requires observing what happens under major changes. The evidence presented for the language-of-thought (LoT) does not look broadly enough across time to capture the function of representational structure.
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  16. Memory Structure and Cognitive Maps.Sarah K. Robins, Sara Aronowitz & Arjen Stolk - forthcoming - In Felipe De Brigard & Walter Sinnott Armstrong (eds.), Neuroscience & Philosophy.
    A common way to understand memory structures in the cognitive sciences is as a cognitive map​. Cognitive maps are representational systems organized by dimensions shared with physical space. The appeal to these maps begins literally: as an account of how spatial information is represented and used to inform spatial navigation. Invocations of cognitive maps, however, are often more ambitious; cognitive maps are meant to scale up and provide the basis for our more sophisticated memory capacities. The extension is not meant (...)
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  17.  64
    The problem of arbitrary requirements: an abrahamic perspective.Sara Aronowitz, Marilie Coetsee & Amir Saemi - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 89 (3):221-242.
    Some religious requirements seem genuinely arbitrary in the sense that there seem to be no sufficient explanation of why those requirements with those contents should pertain. This paper aims to understand exactly what it might mean for a religious requirement to be genuinely arbitrary and to discern whether and how a religious practitioner could ever be rational in obeying such a requirement. We lay out four accounts of what such arbitrariness could consist in, and show how each account provides a (...)
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  18. Space, Time, and Memory.Lynn Nadel & Sara Aronowitz (eds.) - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
     
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  19.  27
    Review: The Fragmented Mind. [REVIEW]Sara Aronowitz - 2023 - Philosophical Review 132 (2).
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