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Consciousness, Perception, And Short-Term Memory, Henry F. Shevlin Sep 2016

Consciousness, Perception, And Short-Term Memory, Henry F. Shevlin

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Dissertation Abstract: Consciousness, Perception, and Short-Term Memory

When we engage in almost any perceptual activity – recognizing a face, listening out for a phone-call, or simply taking in a sunset – information must be briefly stored and processed in some form of short-term memory. For philosophers attempting to develop an empirically grounded account of perception and conscious experience, it is therefore crucial to engage with scientific theories of the kinds of short-term memory mechanisms that underlie our moment-to-moment retention of information about the world. To that end, in this dissertation I review recent scientific evidence for a new form of rapid but ...


Semantic Holism Revisited, Chun-Ping Yen Sep 2016

Semantic Holism Revisited, Chun-Ping Yen

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

I defend semantic holism, the view that the meaning of an expression is determined by its relations to every other expression in the language of individual competent users. I argue that, once properly understood, most disadvantages attributed to holism can be dissolved and suggest that the core division between the holist and the non-holist is on the question whether invariant meanings shared across all possible occasions where the corresponded expressions are uttered are necessary for the explanation of meaning sharing. I give reason why the answer is negative and demonstrate how to explain our linguistic interaction without such invariant meanings.


Seeing And Perceptual Content, Ben S. Phillips Sep 2016

Seeing And Perceptual Content, Ben S. Phillips

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

There are two widely held assumptions about perception: ascriber-independence (the view that the facts regarding what a subject perceives, as well as what her perceptual states represent, are independent of the interests of those attributing the relevant states to her), and determinacy (the view that perceptual content is relatively determinate). I challenge both of these assumptions, and develop a new approach to perceptual content, with implications for theories of mental content more broadly. In chapter one, I address the question of whether, in addition to low-level features, vision represents ordinary objects. I argue that there is just no fact of ...


The Discursive Functioning Of Knowledge Claims In Research Studies On Children’S Conceptual Knowledge Of Number, Patrick D. Byers Sep 2016

The Discursive Functioning Of Knowledge Claims In Research Studies On Children’S Conceptual Knowledge Of Number, Patrick D. Byers

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Researchers interested in the development of conceptual knowledge of number have studied children’s behavior in various tasks or other contexts in order to draw conclusions about what they know. The guiding assumption of this work is that the presence or absence of a given form of knowledge is typically reflected in the ability/inability to perform certain types of behavior. Researchers complicate this assumption when they claim that (1) the ability to perform a given behavior may also reflect simple imitation or rote learning in the absence of understanding, and/or (2) that the inability to perform a certain ...


Wandering In Contemporary Literature: A Narrative Theory Of Cognition, Hillel E. Broder Feb 2016

Wandering In Contemporary Literature: A Narrative Theory Of Cognition, Hillel E. Broder

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This study offers a theory of wandering cognition as an animating feature of western literature, in general, and of contemporary literature, in particular. Unlike existing theories of peripatetic bodies and minds in fiction that focus primarily on political critiques, cultural practices, or pleasures of digression, this theory of wandering offers an aesthetic philosophy and ethical critique of representing cognition, memory, and narrative identity that finds affinities in the political, phenomenological, and ethical thought of Walter Benjamin, Emmanuel Levinas, and Giorgio Agamben.

Unlike existing cognitive theories of literature that apply cognitive theory to literary study (or vice versa), this study develops ...


Toward A Kripkean Concept Of Number, Oliver R. Marshall Feb 2016

Toward A Kripkean Concept Of Number, Oliver R. Marshall

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Saul Kripke once remarked to me that natural numbers cannot be posits inferred from their indispensability to science, since we’ve always had them. This left me wondering whether numbers are objects of Russellian acquaintance, or accessible by analysis, being implied by known general principles about how to reason correctly, or both. To answer this question, I discuss some recent (and not so recent) work on our concepts of number and of particular numbers, by leading psychologists and philosophers. Special attention is paid to Kripke’s theory that numbers possess structural features of the numerical systems that stand for them ...