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Sara Aronowitz
Princeton University
  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. Memory is a Modeling System.Sara Aronowitz - 2019 - 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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  4. 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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  5.  53
    Retrieval is Central to the Distinctive Function of Episodic Memory.Sara Aronowitz - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
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  6. Exploring by Believing.Sara Aronowitz - forthcoming - The Philosophical Review.
    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. In this paper, I argue that the trade-off also extends to belief. We can be torn between two ways of believing, one of which is expected (...)
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  7. 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.
    Tis 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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    The problem of arbitrary requirements: an abrahamic perspective.Sara Aronowitz, Marilie Coetsee & Amir Saemi - 2021 - 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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  9. 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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