Although we are enthusiastic about a Darwinian approach to culture, we argue that the overview presented in the target article does not sufficiently emphasize the crucial explanatory role that psychology plays in the study of culture. We use a number of examples to illustrate the variety of ways by which appeal to psychological factors can help explain cultural phenomena. (Published Online November 9 2006).
Humans interpret others. We are able to anticipate both the actions and intentional states of other agents. We do not do so perfectly, but since we are complex and flexible creatures even limited success needs explanation. For some years now SteveStich (frequently in collaboration with Shaun Nichols) has been both participant in, and observer of, debates about the foundation of these capacities (Stich and Nichols 1992; Stich and Nichols 1995). As a commentator on this debate, (...)Stich (with Nichols) gave explicit and fair-minded sketches of the cognitive architectures presupposed by the various theories of mindreading. As a participant, Stich has mostly been a defender of the theory-theory, the view that normal human agents have an internally represented theory of other agents and they use that theory in interpreting other agents. The main recent rival to this position, simulationism, claims that agents use their own decision-making mechanisms as a model of those of other agents, and derive their predictions by modelling others in something like the way aeronautical engineers derive predictions from the use of scale models in wind-tunnels. Stich has been sceptical about this alternative, for on his view simulation theory makes mistaken predictions about both the development of interpretive competence and about the pattern of interpretive success and failure. (shrink)
SteveStich used to be an eliminativist. As far as I can tell, he renounced eliminativism about the time that he moved from the west to the east pole.1 Stich was right to reject eliminativism, though I am not convinced that he rejected it for the right reasons. Stich 1983 contains a comprehensive attack on representational content, a central feature of both folk psychology and the Representational Theory of Mind, the leading philosophical construal of scientific psychology. (...)Stich’s current position on the role of content in psychological explanation is not entirely clear. One of my aims in this chapter is simply to invite Stich to clarify his views on representational content; the question that forms the title of this chapter is therefore addressed directly to Stich. I begin by sketching his original anti-content argument. I then trace some later developments in his thinking about content. I argue that content does play an important role in scientific psychology, for precisely the reasons that Stich identified in his original argument against content. I conclude with some general remarks on eliminativism. (shrink)
In this defense of Reliabilism, I argue that there has been 'selection for' accurate indexical beliefs. I offer empirical evidence and examples to suggest that SteveStich's defense of the opposite claim in The Fragmentation of Reason is misguided.
I argue that Stich's Syntactic Theory of Mind (STM) and a naturalistic narrow content functionalism run on a Language of Though story have the same exact structure. I elaborate on the argument that narrow content functionalism is either irremediably holistic in a rather destructive sense, or else doesn't have the resources for individuating contents interpersonally. So I show that, contrary to his own advertisement, Stich's STM has exactly the same problems (like holism, vagueness, observer-relativity, etc.) that he claims (...) plague content-based psychologies. So STM can't be any better than the Representational Theory of Mind (RTM) in its prospects for forming the foundations of a scientifically respectable psychology, whether or not RTM has the problems that Stich claims it does. (shrink)
Many philosophical naturalists eschew analysis in favor of discovering metaphysical truths from the a posteriori, contending that analysis does not lead to philosophical insight. A countercurrent to this approach seeks to reconcile a certain account of conceptual analysis with philosophical naturalism; prominent and influential proponents of this methodology include the late David Lewis, Frank Jackson, Michael Smith, Philip Pettit, and David Armstrong. Naturalistic analysis is a tool for locating in the scientifically given world objects and properties we quantify over in (...) everyday discourse. This collection gathers work from a range of prominent philosophers who are working within this tradition, offering important new work as well as critical evaluations of the methodology. Its centerpiece is an important posthumous paper by David Lewis, "Ramseyan Humility," published here for the first time. The contributors first address issues of philosophy of mind, semantics, and the new methodology's a priori character, then turn to matters of metaphysics, and finally consider problems regarding normativity. Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism is one of the first efforts to apply this approach to such a wide range of philosophical issues. _Contributors: _David Braddon-Mitchell, Mark Colyvan, Frank Jackson, Justine Kingsbury, Fred Kroon, David Lewis, Dustin Locke, Kelby Mason, Jonathan McKeown-Green, Peter Menzies, Robert Nola, Daniel Nolan, Philip Pettit, Huw Price, Denis Robinson, SteveStich, Daniel Stoljar The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket. (shrink)
Considerable debate in philosophy of psychology has recently focussed upon two central themes. One concerns the ontological status of propositional attitudes like beliefs and desires, the other on the proper computational account of cognitive architecture. In the ontological debate, the two most prominent positions are eliminativism, which claims that commonsense psychology is false because there are no such things as beliefs and desires; and versions of intentional realism, which counters that beliefs and desires actually do exist in the mind/brain. In (...) the cognitive architecture debate, there are again two outstanding views: classical cognitivism, which holds that cognition is something closely akin to symbol manipulation; and parallel distributed processing, which roughly maintains that cognition is the distributed activation of several simple, non-symbolic processing units. Furthermore, in spite of their different topics, the two debates have been linked by a number of authors who suggest that where you stand in the cognitive architecture debate should help determine where you stand in the debate over prepositional attitudes. So, for example, writers like Jerry Fodor have used the plausibility of classical cognitivism to defend a realist interpretation of propositional attitudes, while writers like SteveStich and myself have argued that certain forms of connectionism support eliminativism. (shrink)
In recent years there has been a great deal of discussion about the prospects of developing a ‘naturalized epistemology’, though different authors tend to interpret this label in quite different ways. One goal of this paper is to sketch three projects that might lay claim to the ‘naturalized epistemology’ label, and to argue that they are not all equally attractive. Indeed, I'll maintain that the first of the three—the one I'll attribute to Quine—is simply incoherent. There is no way we (...) could get what we want from an epistemological theory by pursuing the project Quine proposes. The second project on my list is a naturalized version of reliabilism. This project is not fatally flawed in the way that Quine's is. However, it's my contention that the sort of theory this project would yield is much less interesting than might at first be thought. (shrink)
The everyday capacity to understand the mind, or 'mindreading', plays an enormous role in our ordinary lives. Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich provide a detailed and integrated account of the intricate web of mental components underlying this fascinating and multifarious skill. The imagination, they argue, is essential to understanding others, and there are special cognitive mechanisms for understanding oneself. The account that emerges has broad implications for longstanding philosophical debates over the status of folk psychology. Mindreading is another trailblazing (...) volume in the prestigious interdisciplinary Oxford Cognitive Science series. (shrink)
From Descartes to Popper, philosophers have criticized and tried to improve the strategies of reasoning invoked in science and in everyday life. In recent years leading cognitive psychologists have painted a detailed, controversial, and highly critical portrait of common sense reasoning. Stephen Stich begins with a spirited defense of this work and a critique of those writers who argue that widespread irrationality is a biological or conceptual impossibility.Stich then explores the nature of rationality and irrationality: What is it (...) that distinguishes good reasoning from bad? He rejects the most widely accepted approaches to this question approaches which unpack rationality by appeal to truth, to reflective equilibrium or conceptual analysis. The alternative he defends grows out of the pragmatic tradition in which reasoning is viewed as a cognitive tool. Stich's version of pragmatism leads to a radical epistemic relativism and he argues that the widespread abhorrence of relativism is ill founded. (shrink)
When the policies and activities of one country or generation harm both other nations and later generations, they constitute serious injustices. Recognizing the broad threat posed by anthropogenic climate change, advocates for an international climate policy development process have expressly aimed to mitigate this pressing contemporary environmental threat in a manner that promotes justice. Yet, while making justice a primary objective of global climate policy has been the movement's noblest aspiration, it remains an onerous challenge for policymakers. -/- Atmospheric Justice (...) is the first single-authored work of political theory that addresses this pressing challenge via the conceptual frameworks of justice, equality, and responsibility. Throughout this incisive study, Steve Vanderheiden points toward ways to achieve environmental justice by exploring how climate change raises issues of both international and intergenerational justice. In addition, he considers how the design of a global climate regime might take these aims into account. Engaging with the principles of renowned political philosopher John Rawls, he expands on them by factoring in the needs of future generations. Vanderheiden also demonstrates how political theory can contribute to reaching a better understanding of the proper human response to climate change. By showing how climate policy offers insights into resolving contemporary controversies within political theory, he illustrates the ways in which applying normative theory to policy allows us to better understand both. -/- Thoroughly researched and persuasively argued, Atmospheric Justice makes an important step toward providing us with a set of carefully elaborated first principles for achieving environmental justice. (shrink)
Through a collection of original essays from leading philosophical scholars, _Stich and His Critics_ provides a thorough assessment of the key themes in the career of philosopher Stephen Stich. Provides a collection of original essays from some of the world's most distinguished philosophers Explores some of philosophy's most hotly-debated contemporary topics, including mental representation, theory of mind, nativism, moral philosophy, and naturalized epistemology.
Recently psychologists and experimental philosophers have reported findings showing that in some cases ordinary people's moral intuitions are affected by factors of dubious relevance to the truth of the content of the intuition. Some defend the use of intuition as evidence in ethics by arguing that philosophers are the experts in this area, and philosophers' moral intuitions are both different from those of ordinary people and more reliable. We conducted two experiments indicating that philosophers and non-philosophers do indeed sometimes have (...) different moral intuitions, but challenging the notion that philosophers have better or more reliable intuitions. (shrink)
In epistemology, fake-barn thought experiments are often taken to be intuitively clear cases in which a justified true belief does not qualify as knowledge. We report a study designed to determine whether non-philosophers share this intuition. The data suggest that while participants are less inclined to attribute knowledge in fake-barn cases than in unproblematic cases of knowledge, they nonetheless do attribute knowledge to protagonists in fake-barn cases. Moreover, the intuition that fake-barn cases do count as knowledge is negatively correlated with (...) age; older participants are less likely than younger participants to attribute knowledge in fake-barn cases. We also found that increasing the number of defeaters (fakes) does not decrease the inclination to attribute knowledge. (shrink)
In recent years, there has been much concern expressed about the under-representation of women in academic philosophy. Our goal in this paper is to call attention to a cluster of phenomena that may be contributing to this gender gap. The findings we review indicate that when women and men with little or no philosophical training are presented with standard philosophical thought experiments, in many cases their intuitions about these cases are significantly different. In section 1 we review some of the (...) data on the under-representation of women in academic philosophy. In section 2 we explain how we use the term 'intuition,' and offer a brief account of how intuitions are invoked in philosophical argument and philosophical theory building. In the third section we set out the evidence for gender differences in philosophical intuition and mention some evidence about gender differences in decisions and behaviors that are (or should be) of considerable interest to philosophers. In the fourth section, our focus changes from facts to hypotheses. In that section we explain how differences in philosophical intuition might be an important part of the explanation for the gender gap in philosophy. The fifth section is a brief conclusion. (shrink)
Socially responsible investing (SRI) has emerged in recent years as a dynamic and quickly growing segment of the U.S. financial services industry involving over $2 trillion in professionally managed assets. Its conceptual origins can be found in the early history of civilization, with it's modern roots in the 1960s. This paper provides an overview of the breadth and depth of the concept and practice of socially and environmentally responsible investing, describes the investment strategies that together define SRI as currently practiced (...) in the U.S., offers several observations about some of the factors fueling its dramatic growth, and presents data showing that investors who choose to invest in a socially and environmentally responsible manner can do so without giving up investment returns. SRI has matured to a point where virtually any investment need can be met through portfolio design that integrates an investor's personal values, institutional mission, and/or social priorities. The socially responsible investment industry in the United States is a young phenomenon. Even referring to it as an "industry" ten years ago may have been a bit of a stretch. While it has grown dramatically in recent years, it is an area of work, of study and of practical application that continues to evolve in many significant ways. One intriguing example of the ongoing development of the field can be found in the analysis of the language used to describe it. The terms social investing, socially responsible investing, ethical investing, socially aware investing, socially conscious investing, green investing, values-based investing, and mission-based or mission-related investing all refer to the same general process and are often used interchangeably. (shrink)
Over the last two decades, debates over the viability of commonsense psychology have been center stage in both cognitive science and the philosophy of mind. Eliminativists have argued that advances in cognitive science and neuroscience will ultimately justify a rejection of our "folk" theory of the mind, and of its ontology. In the first half of this book Stich, who was at one time a leading advocate of eliminativism, maintains that even if the sciences develop in the ways that (...) eliminativists foresee, none of the arguments for ontological elimination are tenable. Rather than being resolved by science, he contends, these ontological disputes will be settled by a pragmatic process in which social and political considerations have a major role to play. In later chapters, Stich argues that the widespread worry about "naturalizing" psychological properties is deeply confused, since there is no plausible account of what naturalizing requires on which the failure of the naturalization project would lead to eliminativism. He also offers a detailed analysis of the many different notions of folk psychology to be found in philosophy and psychology, and argues that simulation theory, which purports to be an alternative to folk psychology, is not supported by recent experimental findings. (shrink)
Stich and Nisbett offer an analysis of the concept of a justified inference rule, building upon the efforts of Goodman. They fault Goodman's view on the grounds that it is incompatible with some recent psychological research on reasoning. We criticize their proposal by arguing that it is subject to much the same objections as those they raise against other accounts.
Today the use of English is dominant, and even epistemologists in the " use English, using " But why, and to what extent can this be justified? As the first volume ever to be dedicated solely to this topic, the papers collected here will contribute to this important topic and in epistemology in general.
Samuels and Stich explore the debate over the extent to which ordinary human reasoning and decision making is rational. One prominent cluster of views, often associated with the heuristics and biases tradition in psychology, maintains that human reasoning is, in important respects, normatively problematic or irrational. Samuels and Stich start by sketching some key experimental findings from this tradition and describe a range of pessimistic claims about the rationality of ordinary people that these and related findings are sometimes (...) taken to support. Such pessimistic interpretations of the experimental findings have not gone unchallenged however: Samuels and Stich outline some of the research on reasoning that has been done by evolutionary psychologists and sketch a cluster of more optimistic theses about ordinary reasoning that such psychologists defend. Although Samuels and Stich think that the most dire pronouncements made by writers in the heuristics and biases tradition are unwarranted, they also maintain that the situation is rather more pessimistic than sometimes suggested by evolutionary psychologists. They conclude by defending this “middle way” and sketch a family of “dual processing” theories of reasoning which, they argue, offer some support for the moderate interpretation they advocate. (shrink)
Improvisation is ubiquitous in life. It deserves, we suggest, to occupy a more central role in cognitive science. In the current paper, we take the case of jazz improvisation as a rich model domain from which to explore the nature of improvisation and expertise more generally. We explore the activity of the jazz improviser against the theoretical backdrop of Dreyfus’s account of expertise as well as of enactivist and 4E accounts of cognition and action. We argue that enactivist and 4E (...) accounts provide a rich source of insights on improvisation that go beyond Dreyfus’s notion of skilled coping, for example, through the central enactivist notion of “sense-making”. At the same time, however, we see improvisation also as suggesting an extension of enactivist theory. We see expert improvisers, in music and in life, as walking on a path of open-ended expansion of their mindful experiential relation with their doing. At the heart of an improviser’s expertise, we propose, lies a form of “higher-level inner sense-making” that spontaneously creates novel forms of agentive goal-directedness in the moment. Our account thus supplants Dreyfus’s idea of the ego-less absorbed expert by that of a mindful improviser enacting spontaneous expressions of herself, in music or in life. (shrink)
Whether it would take one decade or several centuries, many agree that it is possible to create a *superintelligence*---an artificial intelligence with a godlike ability to achieve its goals. And many who have reflected carefully on this fact agree that our best hope for a "friendly" superintelligence is to design it to *learn* values like ours, since our values are too complex to program or hardwire explicitly. But the value learning approach to AI safety faces three particularly philosophical puzzles: first, (...) it is unclear how any intelligent system could learn its final values, since to judge one supposedly "final" value against another seems to require a further background standard for judging. Second, it is unclear how to determine the content of a system's values based on its physical or computational structure. Finally, there is the distinctly ethical question of which values we should best aim for the system to learn. I outline a potential answer to these interrelated puzzles, centering on a "miktotelic" proposal for blending a complex, learnable final value out of many simpler ones. (shrink)
In what ways should we include future humanoid robots, and other kinds of artificial agents, in our moral universe? We consider the Organic view, which maintains that artificial humanoid agents, based on current computational technologies, could not count as full-blooded moral agents, nor as appropriate targets of intrinsic moral concern. On this view, artificial humanoids lack certain key properties of biological organisms, which preclude them from having full moral status. Computationally controlled systems, however advanced in their cognitive or informational capacities, (...) are, it is proposed, unlikely to possess sentience and hence will fail to be able to exercise the kind of empathic rationality that is a prerequisite for being a moral agent. The organic view also argues that sentience and teleology require biologically based forms of self-organization and autonomous self-maintenance. The organic view may not be correct, but at least it needs to be taken seriously in the future development of the field of Machine Ethics. (shrink)
The recent discovery of an interpretation of constructive type theory into abstract homotopy theory suggests a new approach to the foundations of mathematics with intrinsic geometric content and a computational implementation. Voevodsky has proposed such a program, including a new axiom with both geometric and logical significance: the Univalence Axiom. It captures the familiar aspect of informal mathematical practice according to which one can identify isomorphic objects. While it is incompatible with conventional foundations, it is a powerful addition to homotopy (...) type theory. It also gives the new system of foundations a distinctly structural character. (shrink)
Can an event’s blameworthiness distort whether people see it as intentional? In controversial recent studies, people judged a behavior’s negative side effect intentional even though the agent allegedly had no desire for it to occur. Such a judgment contradicts the standard assumption that desire is a necessary condition of intentionality, and it raises concerns about assessments of intentionality in legal settings. Six studies examined whether blameworthy events distort intentionality judgments. Studies 1 through 4 show that, counter to recent claims, intentionality (...) judgments are systematically guided by variations in the agent’s desire, for moral and nonmoral actions alike. Studies 5 and 6 show that a behavior’s negative side effects are rarely seen as intentional once people are allowed to choose from multiple descriptions of the behavior. Specifically, people distinguish between “knowingly” and “intentionally” bringing about a side effect, even for immoral actions. These studies suggest that intentionality judgments are unaffected by a behavior’s blameworthiness. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to argue against the claim that the term “belief”, as it functions in philosophical psychology, has natural-kind term semantics; this thesis is central to the famous Lycan–Stich argument against eliminative materialism. I will argue that the current debate concerning the discrepancy between the professed opinions and actions, especially the debate concerning the idea of aliefs, shows that the concept of belief is plastic and amenable to conceptual engineering. The plasticity and amenability to conceptual (...) engineering of the concept of belief give us, in turn, a reason to doubt that “belief” functions in a way that is presupposed in the Lycan–Stich argument. Finally, I point to an alternative to both eliminativism and the natural kind view, namely the idea that we should treat belief as a human kind. (shrink)
A comprehensive reference to category theory for students and researchers in mathematics, computer science, logic, cognitive science, linguistics, and philosophy. Useful for self-study and as a course text, the book includes all basic definitions and theorems, as well as numerous examples and exercises.
Moral judgments about an agent's behavior are enmeshed with inferences about the agent's mind. Folk psychology—the system that enables such inferences—therefore lies at the heart of moral judgment. We examine three related folk-psychological concepts that together shape people's judgments of blame: intentionality, choice, and free will. We discuss people's understanding and use of these concepts, address recent findings that challenge the autonomous role of these concepts in moral judgment, and conclude that choice is the fundamental concept of the three, defining (...) the core of folk psychology in moral judgment. (shrink)
The link between corporate philanthropy and firm value has been controversial. On one hand, corporate philanthropy is often criticized as an agency cost because it may serve narrow managerial self-interests. On the other hand, corporate philanthropy may enhance firm value because it improves the relationships between firms and their stakeholders. In this study, we argue that this controversy is contingent upon whether corporate governance mechanisms can stimulate the financial benefit of corporate philanthropy. Based on a sample of U.S. firms from (...) 1996 to 2003, we find that CEO long-term pay positively moderates the relationship between corporate philanthropy and firm value while multiboard outside directors negatively moderate this relationship. Contrary to our expectations, we find that the relationship between corporate philanthropy and firm value enhances as CEO tenure increases. Our findings show that corporate governance plays an important moderating role in the relationship between corporate philanthropy and firm value. (shrink)
Standard epistemology takes it for granted that there is a special kind of value: epistemic value. This claim does not seem to sit well with act utilitarianism, however, since it holds that only welfare is of real value. I first develop a particularly utilitarian sense of “epistemic value”, according to which it is closely analogous to the nature of financial value. I then demonstrate the promise this approach has for two current puzzles in the intersection of epistemology and value theory: (...) first, the problem of why knowledge is better than mere true belief, and second, the relation between epistemic justification and responsibility. (shrink)
This paper presents a new way of thinking about the relationship between humans and the nonhuman animals in their care. Most ethical analysis of the treatment of nonhuman animals has focussed on questions of moral status, justice, and the wrongness of harming them. This paper does something different, it examines the role played by trust in interspecies relationships. In both agriculture and laboratory settings, humans deliberately foster trusting relationships with nonhuman animals. An intrinsic feature of the trusting relationship in these (...) settings is that it is created in order to be exploited and betrayed. However, little consideration has been given to asking what a deliberate betrayal of another species says about the character of those who carry out the betrayals. This paper argues that regardless of the moral status of nonhuman animals, a willingness to foster trust in order to exploit the vulnerability of a nonhuman suggests a serious character flaw. Our failure thus far to apprehend systematic forms of betrayal indicates a moral blind-spot when it comes to other species. (shrink)
Abstract Stephen P. Stich rejects the de dicto?de re belief state and ascription distinction. He proposes an analysis by which belief sentences imply univocal doxastic predicates expressing functionally similar states of belief subjects and counterfactual third person belief ascribers, concluding that the apparent opacity of de dicto belief sentences is better explained by the unsystematic contextually?sensitive similarity vaguenesses of belief ascriptions. But Stick's reduction appeals to contexts of background beliefs which themselves unavoidably exhibit ramified de dicto?de re ambiguity. The (...) distinction is presupposed rather than eliminated by Stick's method, which effectively blocks the extensional reduction of belief state opacity. (shrink)
The debate over off-line simulation has largely focussed on the capacity to predict behavior, but the basic idea of off-line simulation can be cast in a much broader framework. The central claim of the off-line account of behavior prediction is that the practical reasoning mechanism is taken off-line and used for predicting behavior. However, there's no reason to suppose that the idea of off-line simulation can't be extended to mechanisms other than the practical reasoning system. In principle, any cognitive component (...) can be taken off-line and used to perform some other function. On this view of off-line simulation, such accounts differ radically from traditional information-based accounts of cognitive capacities. And cognitive penetrability provides a wedge for empirically determining whether a capacity requires an information-based account or an off-line simulation account. Stich and Nichols (1992) argued that the simulation theory of behavior prediction was inadequate because behavior prediction seemed to be cognitively penetrable. We present empirical evidence that supports the claim that the behavior prediction is cognitively penetrable. As a result, the simulation account of behavior prediction still seems unpromising. However, off-line simulation might provide accounts of other cognitive capacities. Indeed, off- line simulation accounts have recently been offered for a strikingly diverse set of capacities including counterfactual reasoning, empathy and mental imagery. Goldman, for instance, maintains that counterfactual reasoning and empathy clearly demand off-line simulation accounts. We argue that there are alternative information-based explanations of these phenomena. Nonetheless, the off-line accounts of these phenomena are interesting and clearly worthy of further exploration. (shrink)
I believe that tenured historians, philosophers, and sociologists of science—when presented with the opportunity—have a professional obligation to get involved in public controversies over what should count as science. I stress ‘tenured’ because the involved academics need to be materially protected from the consequences of their involvement, given the amount of misrepresentation and abuse that is likely to follow, whatever position they take. Indeed, the institution of academic tenure justifies itself most clearly in such heat-seeking situations, where one may appear (...) to offer a reasoned defense for views that many consider indefensible. To be sure, the opportunities for involvement will vary in kind and number, but I believe that we are obliged to embrace them. In the specific case of ‘demarcation’ questions of what counts as science, the people who possess the sort of general and comparative knowledge most relevant for adducing this matter are historians, philosophers, and sociologists of science—not professional scientists unschooled in these areas.. (shrink)
This paper is the first in a two-part series in which we discuss several notions of completeness for systems of mathematical axioms, with special focus on their interrelations and historical origins in the development of the axiomatic method. We argue that, both from historical and logical points of view, higher-order logic is an appropriate framework for considering such notions, and we consider some open questions in higher-order axiomatics. In addition, we indicate how one can fruitfully extend the usual set-theoretic semantics (...) so as to shed new light on the relevant strengths and limits of higher-order logic. (shrink)