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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy of Mind

Some Non-Human Languages Of Thought, Nicolas J. Porot Sep 2019

Some Non-Human Languages Of Thought, Nicolas J. Porot

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

What might we learn if we take seriously the possibility of non-human Languages of Thought (LoT)? A LoT is a combinatorial set of mental representations. And, since mental representations and rules of combination vary in kind, there are many possible LoTs. Simple LoTs might lack familiar features of the putative human LoT, such as object representations, recursively defined rules of combination, sentential connectives, or predicate-argument structure. The most familiar arguments for the existence of LoTs, such as those from productivity, systematicity, concept learning, and perceptual computation, all fail when applied to non-human animals. But recent empirical evidence motivates attributing LoTs ...


Mentality And Fundamentality, Christopher D. Brown Sep 2019

Mentality And Fundamentality, Christopher D. Brown

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Extant well-considered problems with physicalism primarily come from two sources: philosophers of mind arguing that subjective experience does not fit into a physicalist world-picture, and metaphysicians trying to figure out the particular commitments of the view. I examine the thesis of physicalism in order to produce a clearer notion of the physical and to help straighten out physicalism’s entailments, while simultaneously providing a strategy for physicalists to sidestep well known anti-physicalist arguments concerning consciousness. This involves both a critical and a positive effort: on the critical side, I expose an issue with a popular way of understanding physicalism called ...


Creation, Destruction, And The Tension Between: A Cautionary Note On Individuation In Tristan Egolf, W. G. Sebald, And Niall Williams, Nicholas Kanaar Aug 2019

Creation, Destruction, And The Tension Between: A Cautionary Note On Individuation In Tristan Egolf, W. G. Sebald, And Niall Williams, Nicholas Kanaar

Masters Theses

The modern individual faces a psychological disconnect between his conscious mind and unconscious due primarily to the outward attachments that dictate false tenets of ontological worth. This thesis investigates the benchmark of creation and destruction and narrows in on its utility in the individual’s pursuit for individuation. The creation and destruction paradox is used to penetrate liminal space where personal transformation occurs, and it is used within those spaces to strip away old, ego-centric ideals in the service of new ones. C. G. Jung’s “archetypes of transformation” are the main tools of the psyche for assisting the conscious ...


Universe Of Things: A Human Presentation Of Food-For-Thought., Madeline Halpern May 2019

Universe Of Things: A Human Presentation Of Food-For-Thought., Madeline Halpern

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

I present this statement under three loose categories: People, Objects and their Environment. I consider People as human, Objects as art objects, domestic objects, and food, and Environment as the shared space of the former groups. Food directs this statement as I present each concept and creative process as a metaphorical dish. Material exploration carried me from a direct practice of reorienting acrylic paint and questioning object functionality through personified sculptures into theoretical thesis work in which I use interpersonal relations and the idea of consumption to translate tactile, gustatory and olfactory sensations into digital film. In this meal I ...


Its Skin Is My Skin, Bryan Page May 2019

Its Skin Is My Skin, Bryan Page

Graduate School of Art Theses

This text examines the complexity of attempting to empathize with bodies that are vastly othered from my own. This broad yet nuanced subject crosses epistemological boundaries and complicates the dualities between both the mind and body, and between the corporeal and the virtual. My desire to better understand the conditions of another’s experience originates from a painful traumatic loss which caused me to feel isolated and incomplete. In response to this suffering, I long to emotionally connect with other beings and create artwork that attempts to bridge the qualia of individual experience.

I am interested in the capacity (or ...


What Do Women Want? The Feminist Pursuit Of Happiness, Hannah Ruth Ellen May 2019

What Do Women Want? The Feminist Pursuit Of Happiness, Hannah Ruth Ellen

Honors Theses

“What do Women Want?” My thesis asks whether women can genuinely seek freedom while also hoping for happiness. I look closely at how male theorists define happiness and liberty for themselves and for others, and in particular for feminized others. My two central chapters focus on theories of individual happiness, happiness sought through another or others, and the ways feminist thinkers reimagine happiness in relationship to women’s freedom. I apply feminist critiques to the concept of psychodynamic therapy as an anti-revolutionary tool designed to isolate and silence women into believing that coping with oppression is equivalent to genuine happiness ...


Basic-Acceptance Teleosemantics, Esteban Withrington May 2019

Basic-Acceptance Teleosemantics, Esteban Withrington

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

I propose an approach to naturalize semantics that combines the use-theory of meaning with teleosemantics. More specifically, I combine Horwich’s claim that the meanings of words are engendered by the acceptance of basic sentences that govern their deployment with the teleosemantic model, developed by Millikan, Papineau and Neander, according to which the meanings of symbols are related to functions determined by the history of their use and of the underlying biological mechanisms responsible for it.

Horwich’s account is general enough to offer plausible explanations of the meanings of all kinds of words and provides a plausible explanation of ...


The Poetic Function Of Imagination: The Parallel Process Of Poiêsis, Angela Carlson Apr 2019

The Poetic Function Of Imagination: The Parallel Process Of Poiêsis, Angela Carlson

Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses

In the advent of Postmodernism, modern approaches to understanding the nature of things is being put into question. As the gap between objective and subjective realms of experiences is narrowing, there is an increased need for a more artful approach to science. This paper serves as my attempt to promote the field of Expressive Arts Therapy (ExATh) as a mode of poetic science for understanding the experience of ‘Being’ in the world. Through a critical review of the semantic development of the ancient Greek concepts poiêsis, noêsis, and aisthêsis, the imagination is identified as a function of alêthaic revealing, personified ...


Dog Breed Classification Using Convolutional Neural Networks: Interpreted Through A Lockean Perspective, Xavier S. Higa Apr 2019

Dog Breed Classification Using Convolutional Neural Networks: Interpreted Through A Lockean Perspective, Xavier S. Higa

Senior Theses

The problem of fine-grained classification is one in which traditionally humans have fared better than computers. Only recently, with the advent of complex Machine Learning techniques, we have seen systems that can compete with or beat humans at this problem. In this work, we trained two Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) on the Stanford Dogs dataset and made them recognize dog breeds. We also analyzed the response maps of the CNNs with the aim of determining which breed-specific features the networks had learned in order to classify the images. Upon obtaining these features, we attempted to gain an insight into them ...


Thesis/Thesis Document 2, Jessamyn Plotts Apr 2019

Thesis/Thesis Document 2, Jessamyn Plotts

Art Theses and Dissertations

Thesis/thesis document 2 explores the subversive power of the painted image, made by a physical performative act. Such acts are not confined to the production of the art object, but expand across the landscape, involving the minds, bodies, and things of culture adjacent to the making process. Following the thinking of Maurice-Merleau Ponty, Thesis/thesis document 2 understands painting not as the container of a finite, legible message, but as a physical platform for the conveyance of perceptual, personal, and experiential ambiguity. Made in this way, painted images offer a powerful alternative to the proliferation of propaganda and advertisement ...


The Methodological Puzzle Of Phenomenal Consciousness: What It Is, And Why It Is Still Unsolved, Qiuyang Shen Apr 2019

The Methodological Puzzle Of Phenomenal Consciousness: What It Is, And Why It Is Still Unsolved, Qiuyang Shen

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The question of whether cognitive access is a constitutively necessary part of phenomenal consciousness has been the center of the debate of consciousness for several decades. It has been recognized that there exists a methodological puzzle in the study of consciousness (Block, 2006; Phillips, 2018). The puzzle can be roughly described as follows: how can we empirically find out whether certain cognitively inaccessible states are phenomenally conscious or not, when the way we identify conscious mental states is always confounded with cognitive access? This thesis reviews two current approaches to solve the methodological puzzle - one approach appeals to the Inference ...


Painting Intimacy: Art-Based Research Of Intimacy, Michal Lev Mar 2019

Painting Intimacy: Art-Based Research Of Intimacy, Michal Lev

Expressive Therapies Dissertations

This art-based research explores whether — and, if so, how — the process of painting, together with witnessing and reflection on the process and imagery, further an understanding of intimacy. The research also examines the conditions that favor intimacy, the obstacles to intimacy, and the particular features of artistic media, processes and reflection, through the editing of video footage, that can further the intimate experience. The participants in the study were five adults (including the researcher) between the ages of thirty and eighty who were familiar with the creation of visual art. Among them were three women and two men who vary ...


Quantum Uncertainty Reduction (Qur) Theory Of Attended Access And Phenomenal Consciousness, Anatoly V. Nichvoloda Feb 2019

Quantum Uncertainty Reduction (Qur) Theory Of Attended Access And Phenomenal Consciousness, Anatoly V. Nichvoloda

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

In this dissertation I defend a theory of perceptual consciousness titled “Quantum Uncertainty Reduction” (QUR[1]) Theory of Attended Access and Phenomenal Consciousness.” Consciousness is widely perceived as a phenomenon that poses a special explanatory problem for science. The problem arises in the apparent rift between an immediate first-person acquaintance with consciousness and our lack of ability to provide an objective/scientific third-person characterization of consciousness.

I begin by reviewing philosophical ideas of Ned Block, David Chalmers and Jesse Prinz whose characterizations of consciousness provide a conceptual framework that the proposed theory aims to satisfy. Block and Chalmers argue that ...


A Defense Of Pure Connectionism, Alex B. Kiefer Feb 2019

A Defense Of Pure Connectionism, Alex B. Kiefer

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Connectionism is an approach to neural-networks-based cognitive modeling that encompasses the recent deep learning movement in artificial intelligence. It came of age in the 1980s, with its roots in cybernetics and earlier attempts to model the brain as a system of simple parallel processors. Connectionist models center on statistical inference within neural networks with empirically learnable parameters, which can be represented as graphical models. More recent approaches focus on learning and inference within hierarchical generative models. Contra influential and ongoing critiques, I argue in this dissertation that the connectionist approach to cognitive science possesses in principle (and, as is becoming ...


Nigga Is Historical: This Is Not An Invitation For White People To Say Nigga, Sandy Williams Iv Jan 2019

Nigga Is Historical: This Is Not An Invitation For White People To Say Nigga, Sandy Williams Iv

Theses and Dissertations

Over the past several years I have been on a quest to locate a world beyond the one I’ve been presented. I am interested in the history of atomic particles - like everything that radiates off of a monument (both literally and those things that are metaphorically reified) - invisible things, and the ways in which these things insect beyond our knowledge systems. This inquiry takes many forms. Mine is a conceptually based practice linked to record keeping and time, and the ways in which these concepts find plurality within our culture; or more pointedly, the importance that we attach to ...


Believing Fictions: A Philosophical Analysis Of Fictional Engagement, Jack Rhein Gleiberman Jan 2019

Believing Fictions: A Philosophical Analysis Of Fictional Engagement, Jack Rhein Gleiberman

CMC Senior Theses

Works of fiction do things to us, and we do things because of works of fiction. When reading Hamlet, I mentally represent certain propositions about its characters and events, I want the story and its characters to go a certain way, and I emotionally respond to its goings-on. I might deem Hamlet a coward, I might wish that Hamlet stabbed Claudius when he had the chance, and I might feel sorrow at Ophelia’s senseless suicide. These fiction-directed mental states seem to resemble the propositional attitudes of belief, desire, and emotion, respectively — the everyday attitudes that represent and orient us ...


Global Consciousness: A Functionalist Neurophilosophical Perspective, Connor C. Bowen Jan 2019

Global Consciousness: A Functionalist Neurophilosophical Perspective, Connor C. Bowen

CMC Senior Theses

The purpose of this thesis is to explore a thought-provoking consequence of the functionalist theory of mind. Given the current organizational structure of Earth and field theories of consciousness in neuroscience, Earth is probably conscious. The argument is explored through an examination of the current organizational structure of Earth and field theories of consciousness in neuroscience, which leads to the conclusion that Earth is conscious. Various theories of mind have been proposed by neuroscientists and philosophers alike in an attempt to qualify what consciousness is and what provides the basis for consciousness to occur. Support, in the form of data ...


Volition And The Readiness Potential, Paul David Sanford Jan 2019

Volition And The Readiness Potential, Paul David Sanford

Online Theses and Dissertations

In the “Libet study” the onset of movement-related brain activity preceded the reported time of the conscious intention to move, suggesting that non-conscious brain processes predetermine voluntary movements (Libet, Gleason, Wright, & Pearl, 1983). While the study’s basic results have been replicated, its validity and assumptions have been questioned. Dominik et al. (2017) provided evidence against the study’s assumption that movement and intention to move are distinct events. In this study, in which researchers did not train participants to distinguish between movement and intention, reports for intention and movement were identical. This differed from the Libet study, in which ...


Higher-Order Thought And Borderline Cases Of Consciousness: An Objection To Hot, Francesca Karin Beach Jan 2019

Higher-Order Thought And Borderline Cases Of Consciousness: An Objection To Hot, Francesca Karin Beach

Scripps Senior Theses

David Rosenthal, in his Higher-Order Thought (HOT) theory of consciousness, argues that it is a higher-order thought to the effect that the subject is in a conscious state that makes one conscious of his or her own mental states. In this paper, I argue that since phenomenal consciousness can be vague and Rosenthal’s HOT cannot, HOT is not a necessary condition of phenomenal consciousness. I use primarily Ned Blocks’ refrigerator hum case and Sartre’s example of non-positional awareness to argue that the threshold which determines the degree of first-person awareness necessary for a mental state to be conscious ...


Pursuing Natural Unity, Consciousness Included, Rowen Cox-Rubien Jan 2019

Pursuing Natural Unity, Consciousness Included, Rowen Cox-Rubien

Scripps Senior Theses

An ontological exploration of consciousness and how it is related to the body and other aspects of physical reality. Framed by David Chalmers' conception of "The Hard Problem", we begin from a physicalist perspective to discuss the problem of mental causation, which is the inquiry of how the mind communicates and interacts with the body. From here we examine the employment of identity reduction to functionalize and therefore physically explain mentality. We find that reductionist methods, the backbone of scientific investigation, do not work to explain conscious experience, because conscious experience is not quantifiable--it is qualitative. Thus we are left ...


A Hundred Houses: Pauline Leader And The Spatial Poetics Of Disability, Carl Robert Nelson Jan 2019

A Hundred Houses: Pauline Leader And The Spatial Poetics Of Disability, Carl Robert Nelson

Senior Projects Spring 2019

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Multidisciplinary Studies of Bard College.


Beyond Enlightenment: The Evolution Of Agency And The Modularity Of The Mind In A Post-Darwinian World, Derek Elliott Dec 2018

Beyond Enlightenment: The Evolution Of Agency And The Modularity Of The Mind In A Post-Darwinian World, Derek Elliott

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Working out of the social and philosophical revolutions from the Enlightenment, contemporary action theory has unwittingly inherited several Cartesian ideas regarding the human mind: that it is unified, rational, and transparent. As a result, we have for too long conceived of action as intimately bound up with reason such that to act at all is to act for a reason, leaving us with theoretical difficulties in accounting for the behavior of non-human animals as well as irrational behavior in human beings.

But rather than propose that such difficulties can be resolved by retreating to a pre-Enlightenment view of human nature ...


Theories Of Perception And Recent Empirical Work, Philip Zigman Sep 2018

Theories Of Perception And Recent Empirical Work, Philip Zigman

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

In this dissertation I answer the following question: Does recent empirical work give us reason to think that naive realism is false or that indirect realism is correct? There is a small amount of literature arguing that recent empirical findings pose problems for naive realism and suggest that perception involves mental representation. I review this literature and the arguments therein, examine the relevant empirical work, and argue that recent empirical work on perception does give us reason to reject naive realism and to favour an indirect realist view that countenances mental representations.


The Syndrome Of Romantic Love, Arina Pismenny Sep 2018

The Syndrome Of Romantic Love, Arina Pismenny

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

What kind of phenomenon is romantic love? Many philosophers, psychologists, and ordinary folk think it is an emotion. I challenge this assumption and argue instead that romantic love is best characterized as a syndrome ⎼ a pattern comprised of different kinds of mental states and behaviors that tend to co-occur. An examination of major emotion theories in philosophy and psychology demonstrates that romantic love does not fit into any of them. Likewise, the commonly endorsed but increasingly controversial categories of basic and nonbasic emotions do not account for romantic love. While both culture and evolution have shaped the phenomenon of romantic ...


Unarticulated Constituents And Theories Of Meaning, Jesse Rappaport Sep 2018

Unarticulated Constituents And Theories Of Meaning, Jesse Rappaport

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This work is an investigation into a phenomenon introduced by John Perry that I call ‘totally unarticulated constituents.’ These are entities that are part of the propositional content of a speech act, but are not represented by any part of the sentence uttered or of the thought that is being expressed - that is, they are fully unarticulated. After offering a novel definition of this phenomenon, I argue that totally unarticulated constituents are attested in natural language, and may in fact be quite common. This raises fatal problems for a prominent theory of underspecification defended by Jason Stanley, according to which ...


Empirical Evidence And The Multiple Realization Of Mental Kinds, Danny Booth Jun 2018

Empirical Evidence And The Multiple Realization Of Mental Kinds, Danny Booth

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

This thesis explores the use of the concept 'realization' in the philosophy of mind. The primary focus is on the role realization plays in assessing or opposing identity theory. The history of the use of the concept of realization in the philosophy of mind is reviewed, and from that a set of desiderata to be used for assessing accounts of realization is extracted. The desiderata are applied to a sample account of realization proposed by Sydney Shoemaker. (2007) Next the application of 'realization' in contemporary contexts is considered, focusing on the idea that mental kinds are, potentially, multiply realized. Based ...


Radical Social Ecology As Deep Pragmatism: A Call To The Abolition Of Systemic Dissonance And The Minimization Of Entropic Chaos, Arielle Brender May 2018

Radical Social Ecology As Deep Pragmatism: A Call To The Abolition Of Systemic Dissonance And The Minimization Of Entropic Chaos, Arielle Brender

Student Theses 2015-Present

This paper aims to shed light on the dissonance caused by the superimposition of Dominant Human Systems on Natural Systems. I highlight the synthetic nature of Dominant Human Systems as egoic and linguistic phenomenon manufactured by a mere portion of the human population, which renders them inherently oppressive unto peoples and landscapes whose wisdom were barred from the design process. In pursuing a radical pragmatic approach to mending the simultaneous oppression and destruction of the human being and the earth, I highlight the necessity of minimizing entropic chaos caused by excess energy expenditure, an essential feature of systems that aim ...


Communication Ethics: Ellul's Complexity Of Form, Marianne Pabis May 2018

Communication Ethics: Ellul's Complexity Of Form, Marianne Pabis

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This project aims to enlarge understanding of Ellul’s dilemma of the ethical Christian communicator through a hermeneutic exploration of his intentionally un-paradigmatic treatment of technology as the determining factor in the formation of contemporary structural realities, a claim central to Ellul’s theory of technological society. It attends to the question of why, over the course of more than 50 books and over 1,000 articles, Ellul has refused to expound upon this claim as an overarching theoretical construct. As a contribution to the field of communication ethics from Ellul’s Christocentric perspective, this work also explicates the importance ...


Semantic Realism And Historicity: Brandom, Habermas And Hegel, Norman Schultz May 2018

Semantic Realism And Historicity: Brandom, Habermas And Hegel, Norman Schultz

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The thesis of this dissertation is that Habermas’ universal pragmatic and the recent neo-pragmatist semantic realism of Brandom, aimed at bridging the divide, are both based on misinterpretations of Hegel. Both approaches misunderstand the central Hegelian idea of historicity, and thus fail to establish a correct connection to Hegel. The aim of the dissertation is to point to and sketch Hegel’s idea of historicity. As part of the discussion, I will defend the controversial thesis that Hegel did not have a system, but rather a historical account of how we develop knowledge under the historical conditions of society. Hegel ...


Thinking With Images, Ed Sarkis May 2018

Thinking With Images, Ed Sarkis

Philosophy ETDs

This thesis argues that images are necessary for thinking. If this is true then the nature of images needs to be understood. The problem with many accounts of perception is assuming that representing what we see is a matter of accurate depiction. The problem is solved by attending to the skills of visual discernment rather than judgments about those perceptions. My approach is both historical and analytic. Aristotle, Hume, and Wittgenstein give accounts of perception which are critically discussed. The notion that an image is a copy is rejected by showing how complicated and indeterminate that relation is. Images have ...