Where is imagination in imaginative resistance? We seek to answer this question by connecting two ongoing lines of inquiry in different subfields of philosophy. In philosophy of mind, philosophers have been trying to understand imaginative attitudes’ place in cognitivearchitecture. In aesthetics, philosophers have been trying to understand the phenomenon of imaginative resistance. By connecting these two lines of inquiry, we hope to find mutual illumination of an attitude (or cluster of attitudes) and a phenomenon that have vexed (...) philosophers. Our strategy is to reorient the imaginative resistance literature from the perspective of cognitivearchitecture. Whereas existing taxonomies of positions in the imaginative resistance literature have focused on disagreements over the source and scope of the phenomenon, our taxonomy focuses on the psychological components necessary for explaining imaginative resistance. (shrink)
Do accounts of scientific theory formation and revision have implications for theories of everyday cognition? We maintain that failing to distinguish between importantly different types of theories of scientific inference has led to fundamental misunderstandings of the relationship between science and everyday cognition. In this article, we focus on one influential manifestation of this phenomenon which is found in Fodor's well-known critique of theories of cognitivearchitecture. We argue that in developing his critique, Fodor confounds a variety of (...) distinct claims about the holistic nature of scientific inference. Having done so, we outline more promising relations that hold between theories of scientific inference and ordinary cognition. (shrink)
The representational nature of human cognition and thought in general has been a source of controversies. This is particularly so in the context of studies of unconscious cognition, in which representations tend to be ontologically and structurally segregated with regard to their conscious status. However, it appears evolutionarily and developmentally unwarranted to posit such segregations, as,otherwise, artifact structures and ontologies must be concocted to explain them from the viewpoint of the human cognitivearchitecture. Here, from a by-and-large Classical (...) cognitivist viewpoint, I show why this segregation is wrong, and elaborate on the need to postulate an ontological and structural continuity between unconscious and conscious representations. Specifically, I hypothesize that this continuity is to be found in the symbolic-based interplay between the syntax and the semantics of thought, and I propose a model of human information processing characterized by the integration of syntactic and semantic representations. (shrink)
The dynamic approach to understanding of the human consciousness, its cognitive activities and cognitivearchitecture is one of the most promising approaches in the modern epistemology and cognitive science. The conception of embodied mind is under discussion in the light of nonlinear dynamics and of the idea co-evolution of complex systems developed by the Moscow scientific school. The cognitivearchitecture of the embodied mind is rather complex: data from senses and products of rational thinking, (...) the verbal and the pictorial, logic and intuition, the analytical and synthetic abilities of perception and of thinking, the local and the global, the analogue and the digital, the archaic and the post-modern are intertwined in it. In the process of cognition, co-evolution of embodied mind as an autopoietic system and its surroundings takes place. The perceptual and mental processes are bound up with the structure of human body. Nonlinear and circular connecting links between the subject of cognition and the world constructed by him can be metaphorically called a nonlinear cobweb of cognition. Cognition is an autopoietic activity because it is directed to the search of elements that are missed; it serves to completing integral structures. According to the theory of blow-up regimes in complex systems elaborated by Sergey P.Kudyumov and his followers, the idea of co-evolution is connected with the concept of tempoworlds. To co-evolve means to start to develop in one and the same tempoworld and to use the possibility – in case of a proper intergation into a whole structure – to accelerate the tempo of evolution. The cognitive activities of the human being can be considered as a movement (active walk) in landscapes of co-evolution when he cognizes and changes environment and is changed himself by the very activities. The similar conclusion can be drawn from Francisco Varela’s conception of enactive cognition. (shrink)
In cognitive science, the concept of dissociation has been central to the functional individuation and decomposition of cognitive systems. Setting aside debates about the legitimacy of inferring the existence of dissociable systems from ‘behavioural’ dissociation data, the main idea behind the dissociation approach is that two cognitive systems are dissociable, and thus viewed as distinct, if each can be damaged, or impaired, without affecting the other system’s functions. In this article, I propose a notion of functional independence (...) that does not require dissociability, and describe an approach to the functional decomposition and modelling of cognitive systems that complements the dissociation approach. I show that highly integrated cognitive and neurocognitive systems can be decomposed into non-dissociable but functionally independent components, and argue that this approach can provide a general account of cognitive specialization in terms of a stable structure–function relationship. 1 Introduction2 Functional Independence without Dissociability3 FI Systems and Cognitive Architecture4 FI Systems and Cognitive Specialization. (shrink)
The debate between the theory-theory and simulation has largely ignored issues of cognitivearchitecture. In the philosophy of psychology, cognition as symbol manipulation is the orthodoxy. The challenge from connectionism, however, has attracted vigorous and renewed interest. In this paper I adopt connectionism as the antecedent of a conditional: If connectionism is the correct account of cognitivearchitecture, then the simulation theory should be preferred over the theory-theory. I use both developmental evidence and constraints on explanation (...) in psychology to support this claim. (shrink)
An important application of cognitive architectures is to provide human performance models that capture psychological mechanisms in a form that can be “programmed” to predict task performance of human–machine system designs. Although many aspects of human performance have been successfully modeled in this approach, accounting for multitalker speech task performance is a novel problem. This article presents a model for performance in a two-talker task that incorporates concepts from psychoacoustics, in particular, masking effects and stream formation.
This paper explores the difference between Connectionist proposals for cognitive a r c h i t e c t u r e a n d t h e s o r t s o f m o d e l s t hat have traditionally been assum e d i n c o g n i t i v e s c i e n c e . W e c l a i m t h a t t (...) h e m a j o r d i s t i n c t i o n i s t h a t , w h i l e b o t h Connectionist and Classical architectures postulate representational mental states, the latter but not the former are committed to a symbol-level of representation, or to a ‘language of thought’: i.e., to representational states that have combinatorial syntactic and semantic structure. Several arguments for combinatorial structure in mental representations are then reviewed. These include arguments based on the ‘systematicity’ of mental representation: i.e., on the fact that cognitive capacities always exhibit certain symmetries, so that the ability to entertain a given thought implies the ability to entertain thoughts with semantically related contents. We claim that such arguments make a powerful case that mind/brain architecture is not Connectionist at the cognitive level. We then consider the possibility that Connectionism may provide an account of the neural (or ‘abstract neurological’) structures in which Classical cognitivearchitecture is implemented. We survey a n u m b e r o f t h e s t a n d a r d a r g u m e n t s t h a t h a v e b e e n o f f e r e d i n f a v o r o f Connectionism, and conclude that they are coherent only on this interpretation. (shrink)
The view that moral cognition is subserved by a two-tieredarchitecture is defended: Moral reasoning is the result both ofspecialized, informationally encapsulated modules which automaticallyand effortlessly generate intuitions; and of general-purpose,cognitively penetrable mechanisms which enable moral judgment in thelight of the agent's general fund of knowledge. This view is contrastedwith rival architectures of social/moral cognition, such as Cosmidesand Tooby's view that the mind is wholly modular, and it is argued thata two-tiered architecture is more plausible.
This paper proposes a brain-inspired cognitivearchitecture that incorporates approximations to the concepts of consciousness, imagination, and emotion. To emulate the empirically established cognitive efficacy of conscious as opposed to non-conscious information processing in the mammalian brain, the architecture adopts a model of information flow from global workspace theory. Cognitive functions such as anticipation and planning are realised through internal simulation of interaction with the environment. Action selection, in both actual and internally simulated interaction with (...) the environment, is mediated by affect. An implementation of the architecture is described which is based on weightless neurons and is used to control a simulated robot. (shrink)
In the late 1980s, there were many who heralded the emergence of connectionism as a new paradigm – one which would eventually displace the classically symbolic methods then dominant in AI and Cognitive Science. At present, there remain influential connectionists who continue to defend connectionism as a more realistic paradigm for modeling cognition, at all levels of abstraction, than the classical methods of AI. Not infrequently, one encounters arguments along these lines: given what we know about neurophysiology, it is (...) just not plausible to suppose that our brains are digital computers. Thus, they could not support a classical architecture. I argue here for a middle ground between connectionism and classicism. I assume, for argument's sake, that some form(s) of connectionism can provide reasonably approximate models – at least for lower-level cognitive processes. Given this assumption, I argue on theoretical and empirical grounds that most human mental skills must reside in separate connectionist modules or sub-networks. Ultimately, it is argued that the basic tenets of connectionism, in conjunction with the fact that humans often employ novel combinations of skill modules in rule following and problem solving, lead to the plausible conclusion that, in certain domains, high level cognition requires some form of classical architecture. During the course of argument, it emerges that only an architecture with classical structure could support the novel patterns of information flow and interaction that would exist among the relevant set of modules. Such a classical architecture might very well reside in the abstract levels of a hybrid system whose lower-level modules are purely connectionist. (shrink)
Sober and Wilson have propose a cluster of arguments for the conclusion that “natural selection is unlikely to have given us purely egoistic motives” and thus that psychological altruism is true. I maintain that none of these arguments is convincing. However, the most powerful of their arguments raises deep issues about what egoists and altruists are claiming and about the assumptions they make concerning the cognitivearchitecture underlying human motivation.
Recent work in cognitive neuroscience on the child's Theory of Mind (ToM) has pursued the idea that the ability to metarepresent mental states depends on a domain-specific cognitive subystem implemented in specific neural circuitry: a Theory of Mind Module. We argue that the interaction of several domain-general mechanisms and lower-level domain-specific mechanisms accounts for the flexibility and sophistication of behavior, which has been taken to be evidence for a domain-specific ToM module. This finding is of more general interest (...) since it suggests a parsimonious cognitivearchitecture can account for apparent domain specificity. We argue for such an architecture in two stages. First, on conceptual grounds, contrasting the case of language with ToM, and second, by showing that recent evidence in the form of fMRI and lesion studies supports the more parsimonious hypothesis. Theory of Mind, Metarepresentation, and Modularity Developmental Components of ToM The Analogy with Modularity of Language Dissociations without Modules The Evidence from Neuroscience Conclusion CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
What are the elements from which the human mind is composed? What structures make up our _cognitive architecture?_ One of the most recent and intriguing answers to this question comes from the newly emerging interdisciplinary field of evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary psychologists defend a _massively modular_ conception of mental architecture which views the mind –including those parts responsible for such ‘central processes’ as belief revision and reasoning— as composed largely or perhaps even entirely of innate, special-purpose computational mechanisms or (...) ‘modules’ that have been shaped by natural selection to handle the sorts of recurrent information processing problems that confronted our hunter-gatherer forebears (Cosmides and Tooby,192; Sperber, 1994; Samuels, 1998a). (shrink)
It has been argued that dual process theories are not consistent with Oaksford and Chater’s probabilistic approach to human reasoning (Oaksford and Chater in Psychol Rev 101:608–631, 1994 , 2007 ; Oaksford et al. 2000 ), which has been characterised as a “single-level probabilistic treatment[s]” (Evans 2007 ). In this paper, it is argued that this characterisation conflates levels of computational explanation. The probabilistic approach is a computational level theory which is consistent with theories of general cognitivearchitecture (...) that invoke a WM system and an LTM system. That is, it is a single function dual process theory which is consistent with dual process theories like Evans’ ( 2007 ) that use probability logic (Adams 1998 ) as an account of analytic processes. This approach contrasts with dual process theories which propose an analytic system that respects standard binary truth functional logic (Heit and Rotello in J Exp Psychol Learn 36:805–812, 2010 ; Klauer et al. in J Exp Psychol Learn 36:298–323, 2010 ; Rips in Psychol Sci 12:29–134, 2001 , 2002 ; Stanovich in Behav Brain Sci 23:645–726, 2000 , 2011 ). The problems noted for this latter approach by both Evans Psychol Bull 128:978–996, ( 2002 , 2007 ) and Oaksford and Chater (Mind Lang 6:1–38, 1991 , 1998 , 2007 ) due to the defeasibility of everyday reasoning are rehearsed. Oaksford and Chater’s ( 2010 ) dual systems implementation of their probabilistic approach is then outlined and its implications discussed. In particular, the nature of cognitive decoupling operations are discussed and a Panglossian probabilistic position developed that can explain both modal and non-modal responses and correlations with IQ in reasoning tasks. It is concluded that a single function probabilistic approach is as compatible with the evidence supporting a dual systems theory. (shrink)
This paper discusses essential motivational representations necessary for a comprehensive computational cognitivearchitecture. It hypothesizes the need for implicit drive representations, as well as explicit goal representations. Drive representations consist of primary drives — both low-level primary drives (concerned mostly with basic physiological needs) and high-level primary drives (concerned more with social needs), as well as derived (secondary) drives. On the basis of drives, explicit goals may be generated on the ﬂy during an agent’s interaction with various situations. (...) These motivational representations help to make cognitive architectural models more comprehensive and provide deeper explanations of psychological processes. This work represents a step forward in making computational cognitive architectures better reﬂections of the human mind and all its motivational complexity and intricacy. (shrink)
In this paper we compare two theories about the cognitivearchitecture underlying morality. One theory, proposed by Sripada and Stich (forthcoming), posits an interlocking set of innate mechanisms that internalize moral norms from the surrounding community and generate intrinsic motivation to comply with these norms and to punish violators. The other theory, which we call the M/C model was suggested by the widely discussed and influential work of Elliott Turiel, Larry Nucci and others on the “moral/conventional task”. This (...) theory posits two distinct mental domains, the moral and the conventional, each of which gives rise to a characteristic suite of judgments about rules in that domain and about transgressions of those rules. We give an overview of both theories and of the data each was designed to explain. We go on to consider a growing body of evidence that suggests the M/C model is mistaken. That same evidence, however, is consistent with the Sripada and Stich theory. Thus, we conclude that the M/C model does not pose a serious challenge for the Sripada and Stich theory. (shrink)
For the last thirty years, cognitive scientists have attempted to describe the cognitivearchitecture of typically developing human beings, using, among other sources of evidence, the dissociations that result from developmental psychopathologies such as autism spectrum disorders, Williams syndrome, and Down syndrome. Thus, in his recent defense of the massive modularity hypothesis, Steven Pinker insists on the importance of such dissociations to identify the components of the typical cognitivearchitecture (2005, 4; my emphasis): This kind (...) of faculty psychology has numerous advantages (...). It is supported by the existence of neurological and genetic disorders that target these faculties unevenly, such as a difficulty in recognizing faces (and facelike shapes) but not other objects, or a difficulty in reasoning about minds but not about objects or pictures. Similarly, Simon Baron-Cohen writes (1998, 335; my emphasis; see also Temple, 1997): I suggest that the study of mental retardation would profit from the application of the framework of cognitive neuropsychology (…). In cognitive neuropsychology, one key question running through the investigator’s mind is “Is this process or mechanism intact or impaired in this person?” When cognitive neuropsychology is done well, a patient’s cognitive system is examined with specific reference to a model of the normal cognitive system. And, not infrequently, evidence from the patient’s cognitive deficits leads to a revision of the model of the normal system. However, in recent years, the use of developmental psychopathologies to identify the components of the typical cognitivearchitecture has come under heavy fire. In a series of influential articles, neuropsychologist Annette Karmiloff-Smith has argued that findings about the pattern of impairments and preserved capacities in people with developmental psychopathologies say nothing about the cognitivearchitecture of.. (shrink)
This paper describes how meta-cognitive processes (i.e., the self monitoring and regulating of cognitive processes) may be captured within a cognitivearchitecture Clarion. Some currently popular cognitive architectures lack sufficiently complex built-in meta-cognitive mechanisms. However, a sufficiently complex meta-cognitive mechanism is important, in that it is an essential part of cognition and without it, human cognition may not function properly. We contend that such a meta-cognitive mechanism should be an integral part of (...) a cognitivearchitecture. Thus such a mechanism has been developed within the Clarion cognitivearchitecture. The paper demonstrates how human data of two meta-cognitive experiments are simulated using Clarion. The simulations show that the meta-cognitive processes represented by the experimental data (and beyond) can be adequately captured within the Clarion framework. (shrink)
The “grand problem” of AI has always been to build artificial agents of human-level intelligence, capable of operating in environments of real-world complexity. OSCAR is a cognitivearchitecture for such agents, implemented in LISP. OSCAR is based on my extensive work in philosophy concerning both epistemology and rational decision making. This paper provides a detailed overview of OSCAR. The main conclusions are that such agents must be capablew of operating against a background of pervasive ignorance, because the real (...) world is too complex for them to know more than a small fraction of what is true. This is handled by giving the agent the power to reason defeasibily. The OSCAR system of defeasible reasoning is sketched. It is argued that if epistemic cognition must be defeasible, planning must also be done defeasibly, and the best way to do that is to reason defeasibly about plans. A sketch is given about how this might work. (shrink)
According to Carruthers ants and bees have minds. This claim is to be understood realistically. We do not interpret the overt behaviour of ants and bees by ascribing to them beliefs and desires in an instrumental manner. They rather possess minds in the relevant cognitive sense. In this paper, I propose to pave the way for a reductio against such a polemic view. In particular, I shall argue that if ants and bees have minds, by the same token, plants (...) do have minds too. In my view, the problem has to do with Carruthers' underlying technical concept of cognitivearchitecture; a concept which, as I shall argue, can be called into question both on empirical and conceptual grounds. Según Carruthers, las hormigas y las abejas tienen mente. Esta afirmación debe entenderse de modo realista. No es que interpretemos la conducta abierta de hormigas y abejas en términos de creencias y deseos atribuidos instrumentalmente. Se trata más bien de que tienen tales estados mentales en el sentido cognitivo relevante. En este trabajo, me propongo llevar esta polémica concepción a una reductio. En particular, argumentaré que si las hormigas y las abejas tienen mente, por la misma razón las plantas también la tendrían. A mi modo de ver, el problema tiene que ver con el concepto técnico de arquitectura cognitiva de Carruthers ; un concepto que puede ser cuestionado sobre bases empíricas y conceptuales, según argüiré. (shrink)
The Newell Test is an important step in advancing our understanding of cognition. One critical constraint is missing from this test : A cognitivearchitecture must be self-contained. ACT-R and connectionism fail on this account. I present an alternative proposal, called Distributed Adaptive Control, and expose it to the Newell Test with the goal of achieving a clearer specification of the different constraints and their relationships, as proposed by Anderson & Lebiere.
The “grand problem” of AI has always been to build artificial agents with human-like intelligence. That is the stuff of science fiction, but it is also the ultimate aspiration of AI. In retrospect, we can understand what a difficult problem this is, so since its inception AI has focused more on small manageable problems, with the hope that progress there will have useful implications for the grand problem. Now there is a resurgence of interest in tackling the grand problem head-on. (...) Perhaps AI has made enough progress on the little problems that we can fruitfully address the big problem. The objective is to build agents of human-level intelligence capable of operating in environments of real-world complexity. I will refer to these as GIAs — “generally intelligent agents”. OSCAR is a cognitivearchitecture for GIAs, implemented in LISP.1 OSCAR draws heavily on my work in philosophy concerning both epistemology (Pollock 1974, 1986, 1990, 1995, 1998, 2008b, 2008; Pollock and Cruz 1999; Pollock and Oved, 2005) and rational decision making (2005, 2006, 2006a). (shrink)
I intend to show some of the limits of the decision-theoretic model in connection with the analysis of cognitive agency. Although the concept of maximum expected utility can be helpful for explaining the decision-making process, it is certainly not the primary motor that moves agents to action. Moreover, it has been noticed elsewhere that this model is inadequate to the analysis of single cases of practical reasoning. A theory is proposed that introduces a plan-structure as a basic idea. In (...) order to know its very conceptual scope, we need to accommodate that theory to a cognitivearchitecture whereby the rational and autonomous agent makes choices and deliberates between courses of action to achieve specific goals that are of its interest. The paper endeavours also to clarify the relationship between the different modules that should constitute the architecture of an agent to accomplish the requisites of efficiency and autonomy in a changeable and dynamic world. (shrink)
Schmitt has equivocated about the underlying psychology of sociosexuality, but from the data presented in the target article, it would appear that he has drawn out the underlying cognitivearchitecture. In this commentary, I describe this architecture and discuss two emerging hypotheses about heterosexual and homosexual male sociosexuality.
The debate between the theory‐theory and simulation has largely ignored issues of cognitivearchitecture. In the philosophy of psychology, cognition as symbol manipulation is the orthodoxy. The challenge from connectionism, however, has attracted vigorous and renewed interest. In this paper I adopt connectionism as the antecedent of a conditional: If connectionism is the correct account of cognitive archi‐tecture, then the simulation theory should be preferred over the theory‐theory. I use both developmental evidence and constraints on explanation in (...) psychology to support this claim. (shrink)
Recent work in cognitive neuroscience on the child's Theory of Mind has pursued the idea that the ability to metarepresent mental states depends on a domain-specific cognitive subystem implemented in specific neural circuitry: a Theory of Mind Module. We argue that the interaction of several domain-general mechanisms and lower-level domain-specific mechanisms accounts for the flexibility and sophistication of behavior, which has been taken to be evidence for a domain-specific ToM module. This finding is of more general interest since (...) it suggests a parsimonious cognitivearchitecture can account for apparent domain specificity. We argue for such an architecture in two stages. First, on conceptual grounds, contrasting the case of language with ToM, and second, by showing that recent evidence in the form of fMRI and lesion studies supports the more parsimonious hypothesis. Theory of Mind, Metarepresentation, and Modularity Developmental Components of ToM The Analogy with Modularity of Language Dissociations without Modules The Evidence from Neuroscience Conclusion. (shrink)
We briefly review and discuss symbolic expressions of the cognitivearchitecture of the human mind/brain, focusing on the Quaternion, the Axis Mundi and the Tree of Life, and elaborate on a quaternary diagram that expresses a contemporary worldview. While traditional symbols contain vertical and horizontal dimensions related to transcendence and immanence, respectively, in the contemporary interpretation the vertical axis refers to diachronic processes as biological evolution and cultural history, while the horizontal axis refers to synchronic relations as the (...) interactions of individuals in society. In spite of these differences, we claim that old and new symbols are similar, expressing the cognitivearchitecture of the human mind/brain in the world of experience. (shrink)
This book aims to understand human cognition and psychology through a comprehensive computational theory of the human mind, namely, a computational "cognitivearchitecture". The goal of this work is to develop a unified framework for understanding the human mind, and within the unified framework, to develop process-based, mechanistic explanations of a large variety of psychological phenomena. Specifically, the book first describes the essential Clarion framework and its cognitive-psychological justifications, then its computational instantiations, and finally its applications to (...) capturing, simulating, and explaining various psychological phenomena and empirical data. The book shows how the models and simulations shed light on psychological mechanisms and processes through the lens of a unified framework.In fields ranging from cognitive science, to psychology, to artificial intelligence, and even to philosophy, researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, and practitioners of various kinds may have interest in topics covered by this book. The book may also be suitable for seminars or courses, at graduate or undergraduate levels, on cognitive architectures or cognitive modeling. (shrink)
This chapter begins with an overview of the controversy surrounding the study of children and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders, and how these inform theories of neurocognitive architecture. It weighs the arguments for and against what we might learn from studying individuals who have fundamental biological impairments. It then discusses the example of research on theory of mind in two different disorders — autism and Williams syndrome — which has highlighted a number of important aspects of how this core (...) class='Hi'>cognitive capacity develops in both normal and atypical populations. (shrink)
The Global Workspace theory of consciousness explains conscious-unconscious dichotomies in cognitive processing in the context of a proposal about the qualitative properties of the architecture of cognition . This represents a theoretical and methodological approach to the study of consciousness which, as I will argue in this commentary, has at least two major advantages. A first advantage is that GW theory as a proposal about the architecture of cognition has the potential to explain consciousness-related phenomena in mechanistic (...) terms, thereby avoiding the homunculus problem. A second advantage is that GW theory makes explicit use of conscious-unconscious dichotomies to specify a proposal about the architecture of cognition, thereby using an extra source of constraint which proponents of computational instantiations of such architectures have largely ignored in the past. (shrink)
The paper addresses a central problem in evolutionary biology and cognitive science; evolution of a neural based learning phenotype from a structured genotype. It describes morphogenesis of a neural network-based cognitive system, starting from a single genotype having a modulon control structure. It further shows how such a system, denoted as GALA architecture, growing its own recurrent axon connections, can further develop into various structures capable of learning in different learning modes, such as advice learning, reinforcement learning, (...) and emotion learning. The paper particularly considers the emotion learning systems and their motivational structure. A simulation experiment is provided to illustrate the theoretical issues discussed. (shrink)
It has recently been argued that the success of the connectionist program in cognitive science would threaten folk psychology. I articulate and defend a "minimalist" construal of folk psychology that comports well with empirical evidence on the folk understanding of belief and is compatible with even the most radical developments in cognitive science.
In recent attempts to characterize the cognitive mechanisms underlying altruistic motivation, one central question is the extent to which the capacity for altruism depends on the capacity for understanding other minds, or ‘mindreading’. Some theorists maintain that the capacity for altruism is independent of any capacity for mindreading; others maintain that the capacity for altruism depends on fairly sophisticated mindreading skills. I argue that none of the prevailing accounts is adequate. Rather, I argue that altruistic motivation depends on a (...) basic affective system, a ‘Concern Mechanism’, which requires only a minimal capacity for mindreading. (shrink)
The outstanding stumbling blocks to any reductive account of phenomenal consciousness remain the subjectivity of phenomenal properties and cognitive and epistemic gaps that plague the relationship between physical and phenomenal properties. I suggest that a deflationary interpretation of both is available to defenders of self- representational accounts.
We present a cognitive-physicalist account of phenomenal consciousness. We argue that phenomenal concepts do not differ from other types of concepts. When explaining the peculiarities of conscious experience, the right place to look at is sensory/ perceptual representations and their interaction with general conceptual structures. We utilize Jerry Fodor’s psycho- semantic theory to formulate our view. We compare and contrast our view with that of Murat Aydede and Güven Güzeldere, who, using Dretskean psychosemantic theory, arrived at a solution different (...) from ours in some ways. We have suggested that the representational atomism of certain sensory experiences plays a central role in reconstructing the epistemic gap associated with conscious experience, still, atomism is not the whole story. It needs to be supple- mented by some additional principles. We also add an account of introspection, and suggest some cognitive features that might distinguish representational atoms with phenomenal character from those without it. (shrink)
The novel approach presented in this paper accounts for the occurrence of the epistemic gap and defends physicalism against anti-physicalist arguments without relying on so-called phenomenal concepts. Instead of concentrating on conceptual features, the focus is shifted to the special characteristics of experiences themselves. To this extent, the account provided is an alternative to the Phenomenal Concept Strategy. It is argued that certain sensory representations, as accessed by higher cognition, lack constituent structure. Unstructured representations could freely exchange their causal roles (...) within a given system which entails their functional unanalysability. These features together with the encapsulated nature of low level complex processes giving rise to unstructured sensory representations readily explain those peculiarities of phenomenal consciousness which are usually taken to pose a serious problem for contemporary physicalism. I conclude that if those concepts which are related to the phenomenal character of conscious experience are special in any way, their characteristics are derivative of and can be accounted for in terms of the cognitive and representational features introduced in the present paper. (shrink)
systematicity is. Until systematicity is adequately systematicity. Most contributors to these debates have clarified, we cannot know whether classical paid little or no attention to the alleged empirical.