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Profile: Theodore Bach (Associate Professor, Bowling Green State University Firelands)
  1. Gender Is a Natural Kind with a Historical Essence.Theodore Bach - 2012 - Ethics 122 (2):231-272.
    Traditional debate on the metaphysics of gender has been a contrast of essentialist and social-constructionist positions. The standard reaction to this opposition is that neither position alone has the theoretical resources required to satisfy an equitable politics. This has caused a number of theorists to suggest ways in which gender is unified on the basis of social rather than biological characteristics but is “real” or “objective” nonetheless – a position I term social objectivism. This essay begins by making explicit the (...)
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  2.  90
    Social Categories Are Natural Kinds, Not Objective Types (and Why It Matters Politically).Theodore Bach - 2016 - Journal of Social Ontology 2 (2):177-201.
    There is growing support for the view that social categories like men and women refer to “objective types” (Haslanger 2000, 2006, 2012; Alcoff 2005). An objective type is a similarity class for which the axis of similarity is an objective rather than nominal or fictional property. Such types are independently real and causally relevant, yet their unity does not derive from an essential property. Given this tandem of features, it is not surprising why empirically-minded researchers interested in fighting oppression and (...)
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  3. Children and Added Sugar: The Case for Restriction.Theodore Bach - 2016 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 32 (4).
    It is increasingly clear that children's excessive consumption of products high in added sugar causes obesity and obesity-related health problems like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. Less clear is how best to address this problem through public health policy. In contrast to policies that might conflict with adult's right to self-determination — for example sugar taxes and soda bans — this article proposes that children's access to products high in added sugars should be restricted in the same (...)
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  4. Review of Sally Haslanger, Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique. [REVIEW]Theodore Bach - 2014 - Ethics 124 (3):612-617.
    There has been a significant amount of research, from a variety of disciplines, targeting the nature and political status of human categories such as woman, man, Black, and Latino. The result is a tangle of concepts and distinctions that often obscure more than clarify the subject matter. This incentivizes the creation of fresh terms and distinctions that might disentangle the old, but too often these efforts just add to the snarl. The process iterates, miscommunication becomes standard, and insufficiently vetted concepts (...)
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  5.  59
    Going Live: On the Value of a Newspaper-Centered Philosophy Seminar.Theodore Bach - 2015 - American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy 1:191-200.
    For the last several years I have made the daily newspaper the pedagogical center piece of my philosophy seminar. This essay begins by describing the variations, themes, and logistics of this approach. The essay then offers several arguments in support of the value of this approach. The first argument references measurable indicators of success. A second argument contends that by “going live” with philosophical concepts, the newspaper-centered approach is uniquely well-positioned to motivate and excite the philosophy student. A third argument (...)
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  6. A Unified Account of General Learning Mechanisms and Theory‐of‐Mind Development.Theodore Bach - 2014 - Mind and Language 29 (3):351-381.
    Modularity theorists have challenged that there are, or could be, general learning mechanisms that explain theory-of-mind development. In response, supporters of the ‘scientific theory-theory’ account of theory-of-mind development have appealed to children's use of auxiliary hypotheses and probabilistic causal modeling. This article argues that these general learning mechanisms are not sufficient to meet the modularist's challenge. The article then explores an alternative domain-general learning mechanism by proposing that children grasp the concept belief through the progressive alignment of relational structure that (...)
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    Structure-Mapping: Directions From Simulation to Theory.Theodore Bach - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 24 (1):23-51.
    The theory of mind debate has reached a “hybrid consensus” concerning the status of theory-theory and simulation-theory. Extant hybrid models either specify co-dependency and implementation relations, or distribute mentalizing tasks according to folk-psychological categories. By relying on a non-developmental framework these models fail to capture the central connection between simulation and theory. I propose a “dynamic” hybrid that is informed by recent work on the nature of similarity cognition. I claim that Gentner’s model of structure-mapping allows us to understand simulation (...)
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  8. Analogical Cognition: Applications in Epistemology and the Philosophy of Mind and Language.Theodore Bach - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (5):348-360.
    Analogical cognition refers to the ability to detect, process, and learn from relational similarities. The study of analogical and similarity cognition is widely considered one of the ‘success stories’ of cognitive science, exhibiting convergence across many disciplines on foundational questions. Given the centrality of analogy to mind and knowledge, it would benefit philosophers investigating topics in epistemology and the philosophies of mind and language to become familiar with empirical models of analogical cognition. The goal of this essay is to describe (...)
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  9.  93
    Pornography as Simulation.Theodore Bach - 2010 - In Dave Monroe (ed.), Pornography: Philosophy for Everyone.
    This essay explains the prevalence of porn consumption by modeling it as a form of simulation. According to simulation theory (Gordon 1986, Goldman 2006) people predict and explain other’s behavior by using their own mind to model the mind of a target individual, much like an engineer might use a model aircraft to simulate the behavior of an actual aircraft. However, the cognitive mechanisms required for simulation have application outside of psychological interpretation. For example, it is plausible that while consuming (...)
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  10.  47
    Psychological Concept Acquisition.Theodore Bach - 2013 - In N. Payette (ed.), Connected Minds: Cognition and Interaction in the Social World. Cambridge Scholars Press.
    This essay adjudicates between theoretical models of psychological concept acquisition. I provide new reasons to be skeptical about both simulationist and modularist models. I then defend the scientific-theory-theory account against familiar objections. I conclude by arguing that the scientific-theory-theory account must be supplemented by an account of hypothesis discovery.
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  11.  6
    Haslanger, Sally.Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pp. 490. $99.00. [REVIEW]Theodore Bach - 2014 - Ethics 124 (3):612-617.
  12.  1
    Children and Added Sugar: The Case for Restriction.Theodore Bach - 2016 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 33 (2):n/a-n/a.
    It is increasingly clear that children's excessive consumption of products high in added sugar causes obesity and obesity-related health problems like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. Less clear is how best to address this problem through public health policy. In contrast to policies that might conflict with adult's right to self-determination — for example sugar taxes and soda bans — this article proposes that children's access to products high in added sugars should be restricted in the same (...)
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