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Articles 1 - 27 of 27

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 ...


Wittgenstein And Embodied Cognition: A Critique Of The Language Of Thought, Amber Sheldon Apr 2019

Wittgenstein And Embodied Cognition: A Critique Of The Language Of Thought, Amber Sheldon

Keck Undergraduate Humanities Research Fellows

The assertions of this paper will be concerned with language acquisition as it is presented in Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations in contrast with Jerry Fodor’s theory of tacit language described in The Language of Thought. This symbolic mental language is often analogized with the symbolic “language” of a computer. Fodor theorizes that the mind has an innate symbolic (and physically real) system of representation that comes prior to any natural language. Famously, with the private language argument, Wittgenstein contends that language is performed and produced by activity. One learns a language through practice and participation. In this paper ...


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 ...


Personality, Psychological Profiling, And Philosophy Of Science: The Insider Threat And Betrayers Of Trust, Editor Sep 2018

Personality, Psychological Profiling, And Philosophy Of Science: The Insider Threat And Betrayers Of Trust, Editor

International Bulletin of Political Psychology

This article describes philosophical challenges to the utility of profiling personality, especially with security and intelligence implications.


Counterterrorist Profiling, The Self, And The Problem Of Open And Quiet Skies, Editor Aug 2018

Counterterrorist Profiling, The Self, And The Problem Of Open And Quiet Skies, Editor

International Bulletin of Political Psychology

Psychological profiling supporting counterterrorism may be based on an invalid presumption.


In The Mind Of The Machine, Marcia Yang Jan 2018

In The Mind Of The Machine, Marcia Yang

CMC Senior Theses

As technology becomes more sophisticated, it becomes increasingly important to understand how we should ethically use technology. One question within this area of study is whether we should treat certain types of technology, like artificial intelligence, with more respect. If we do owe these machines some sort of moral status, another question is what level of moral status they have. In order to answer these questions, I argue that machines can be considered as minds under the view of machine functionalism. A significant problem for machine functionalism is whether it can account for emotions within the system it suggests. First ...


The Numerous Forms Of Occam’S Razor And Their Effect On Philosophy Of Mind, Mikayla L. O'Neal Jan 2016

The Numerous Forms Of Occam’S Razor And Their Effect On Philosophy Of Mind, Mikayla L. O'Neal

CMC Senior Theses

In the first chapter of this paper I focus on the general overview of Occam's Razor, and develop several interpretations and adaptations of Occam's Razor as a principle of simplicity. In the second chapter I apply these different interpretations in the Physicalism/Dualism debate, and critically assess the validity of these implementations of Occam's Razor in philosophy of mind. In the final chapter I give an overview of my discussion thus far, and make assertions about what my paper means for the usage of Occam's Razor's as a whole.


Chimpanzee Theory Of Mind: Looking In All The Wrong Places?, Kristin Andrews Apr 2015

Chimpanzee Theory Of Mind: Looking In All The Wrong Places?, Kristin Andrews

Kristin Andrews, PhD

I respond to an argument presented by Daniel Povinelli and Jennifer Vonk that the current generation of experiments on chimpanzee theory of mind cannot decide whether chimpanzees have the ability to reason about mental states. I argue that Povinelli and Vonk’s proposed experiment is subject to their own criticisms and that there should be a more radical shift away from experiments that ask subjects to predict behavior. Further, I argue that Povinelli and Vonk’s theoretical commitments should lead them to accept this new approach, and that experiments which offer subjects the opportunity to look for explanations for anomalous ...


Understanding Norms Without A Theory Of Mind, Kristin Andrews Apr 2015

Understanding Norms Without A Theory Of Mind, Kristin Andrews

Kristin Andrews, PhD

I argue that having a theory of mind requires having at least implicit knowledge of the norms of the community, and that an implicit understanding of the normative is what drives the development of a theory of mind. This conclusion is defended by two arguments. First I argue that a theory of mind likely did not develop in order to predict behavior, because before individuals can use propositional attitudes to predict behavior, they have to be able to use them in explanations of behavior. Rather, I suggest that the need to explain behavior in terms of reasons is the primary ...


Allowing For Every Contingency, Raam P. Gokhale Nov 2012

Allowing For Every Contingency, Raam P. Gokhale

Raam P Gokhale

A Dialogue on Determinism, Contingency and Free Will


Mindscapes And Landscapes: Hayek And Simon On Cognitive Extension, Leslie Marsh Oct 2012

Mindscapes And Landscapes: Hayek And Simon On Cognitive Extension, Leslie Marsh

Leslie Marsh

Hayek’s and Simon’s social externalism runs on a shared presupposition: mind is constrained in its computational capacity to detect, harvest, and assimilate “data” generated by the infinitely fine-grained and perpetually dynamic characteristic of experience in complex social environments. For Hayek, mind and sociality are co-evolved spontaneous orders, allowing little or no prospect of comprehensive explanation, trapped in a hermeneutically sealed, i.e. inescapably context bound, eco-system. For Simon, it is the simplicity of mind that is the bottleneck, overwhelmed by the ambient complexity of the environmental. Since on Simon’s account complexity is unidirectional, Simon is far more ...


Are We Three?, Raam P. Gokhale Feb 2012

Are We Three?, Raam P. Gokhale

Raam P Gokhale

A Mindful Trialogue


Locke And Berkeley At Twenty Paces, Frederick J. White Iii Jan 2012

Locke And Berkeley At Twenty Paces, Frederick J. White Iii

Frederick J White III

Does the world exist? Or more properly questioned, does anything of the world exist beyond our ideas of it? Locke and Berkeley have become seconds at twenty paces on this dichotomy, and we are asked to consider the outcome of the duel.


Hayek's Philosophical Psychology, Leslie Marsh Dec 2010

Hayek's Philosophical Psychology, Leslie Marsh

Leslie Marsh

Hayek's philosophical psychology as set out in his The Sensory Order (1952) has, for the most part, been neglected. Despite being lauded by computer scientist grandee Frank Rosenblatt and by Nobel prize-winning biologist Gerald Edelman, cognitive scientists -- with a few exceptions -- have yet to discover Hayek's philosophical psychology. On the other hand, social theorists, Hayek's traditional disciplinary constituency, have only recently begun to take note and examine the importance of psychology in the complete Hayek corpus. This volume brings together for the first time state-of-the-art contributions from neuroscientists and philosophers of mind as well as economists and ...


From Slumdog To Maddog, Raam P. Gokhale Nov 2010

From Slumdog To Maddog, Raam P. Gokhale

Raam P Gokhale

A hearing in the court of Sanity


Introduction To The Achilles Of Rational Psychology, Thomas M. Lennon, Robert J. Stainton Dec 2007

Introduction To The Achilles Of Rational Psychology, Thomas M. Lennon, Robert J. Stainton

Robert J. Stainton

No abstract provided.


Michael Wheeler: Reconstructing The Cognitive World: The Next Step, Leslie Marsh Jan 2007

Michael Wheeler: Reconstructing The Cognitive World: The Next Step, Leslie Marsh

Leslie Marsh

Michael Wheeler is the latest in a new wave of philosophical theorists that fall within a loose coalition of anti-representationalism (or anti-Cartesianism): Dynamical –, Embodied –, Extended –, Distributed –, and Situated –, theories of cognition (DEEDS an apt acronym). Against this background, cognition for Wheeler is, or should be, a more ecumenical concept. This ecumenical approach would still be amenable to making theoretical distinctions, the central one being the notion of offline and online styles of intelligence, a distinction that makes conceptual space for another closely related notion, that of propositional knowledge (knowing that) and tacit knowledge (knowing how).


Dewey: The First Ghost-Buster?, Leslie Marsh Jan 2006

Dewey: The First Ghost-Buster?, Leslie Marsh

Leslie Marsh

Ghost-busting, or less colloquially, anti-Cartesianism or non-representationalism, is a loose and internally fluid coalition (philosophical and empirical) comprising Dynamical, Embodied, Extended, Distributed, and Situated (DEEDS) theories of cognition. Gilbert Ryle – DEEDS’ anglophonic masthead [1] – supposedly exorcised the Cartesian propensity to postulate mind as an apparition-like entity somehow situated in the body. Ryle’s behaviouristic recommendation was, that just as we don’t see the wind blowing but only see the trees waving, so too should we conceive intelligence as manifest though action. The Cartesian ghost of old has mutated, taking the form of the ‘Machine in the Machine’, the brain ...


Review Of Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles To A Science Of Consciousness, Leslie Marsh Jan 2005

Review Of Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles To A Science Of Consciousness, Leslie Marsh

Leslie Marsh

The question of how a physical system gives rise to the phenomenal or experiential (olfactory, visual, somatosensitive, gestatory and auditory), is considered the most intractable of scientific and philosophical puzzles. Though this question has dominated the philosophy of mind over the last quarter century, it articulates a version of the age-old mind–body problem. The most famous response, Cartesian dualism, is on Daniel Dennett’s view still a corrosively residual and redundant feature of popular (and academic) thinking on these matters. Fifteen years on from his anti-Cartesian theory of consciousness (Consciousness Explained, 1991), Dennett’s frustration with this tradition is ...


How Can My Mind Move My Limbs? Mental Causation From Descartes To Contemporary Physicalism, Jaegwon Kim Jan 2000

How Can My Mind Move My Limbs? Mental Causation From Descartes To Contemporary Physicalism, Jaegwon Kim

Philosophic Exchange

Mental events enter into causal relations with bodily events. The philosophical task is to explain how this is possible. Descartes’ dualism of mental and material substances ultimately founders on the impossibility of pairing mental events with physical events as causes and effects. This is what I have called “the pairing problem.” Many contemporary views also fail to explain mental causation. In the end, we are left with a dilemma. If mental phenomena are irreducible to physical phenomena, then mental phenomena lose their causal efficacy. However, if mental phenomena are reducible to physical phenomena, then casts doubt on the very existence ...


The Deflation Of Belief States, Robert J. Stainton Dec 1996

The Deflation Of Belief States, Robert J. Stainton

Robert J. Stainton

A criticism of Arthur Collins' attempt to deflate beliefs states by treating them as merely correctness-making properties of persons.


Propositional Attitude Psychology As An Ideal Type, Justin Schwartz Jan 1992

Propositional Attitude Psychology As An Ideal Type, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

his paper critiques the view, widely held by philosophers of mind and cognitive scientists, that psychological explanation is a matter of ascribing propositional attitudes (such as beliefs and desires) towards language-like propositions in the mind, and that cognitive mental states consist in intentional attitudes towards propositions of a linguistic quasi-linguistic nature. On this view, thought is structured very much like a language. Denial that propositional attitude psychology is an adequate account of mind is therefore, on this view, is tantamount to eliminative materialism, the denial that human beings are thinking beings.

I dispute this on the basis of recent work ...


Who's Afraid Of Multiple Realizability?: Functionalism, Reductionism, And Connectionism, Justin Schwartz Dec 1991

Who's Afraid Of Multiple Realizability?: Functionalism, Reductionism, And Connectionism, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

Philosophers have argued that on the prevailing theory of mind, functionalism, the fact that mental states are multiply realizable or can be instantiated in a variety of different physical forms, at least in principle, shows that materialism or physical is probably false. A similar argument rejects the relevance to psychology of connectionism, which holds that mental states are embodied and and constituted by connectionist neural networks. These arguments, I argue, fall before reductios ad absurdam, proving too much -- they apply as well to genes, which are multiply realizable, but the reduction of which to DNA is one the core cases ...


Reduction, Elimination, And The Mental, Justin Schwartz Jan 1991

Reduction, Elimination, And The Mental, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

The antireductionist arguments of many philosophers for example, Fodor and Davidson, are motivated by a worry that successful reduction (whatever that would be) would eliminate rather than conserve or explain the mental. This worry derives from an misunderstanding of the classic deductive nomological empiricist account of reduction. Although this account does not, in fact, underwrite "cognitive suicide," it should be rejected as positivist baggage. Philosophy of psychology and mind needs to have more detailed attention to issues of reduction on philosophy of sciences and natural scientific analogies that serve as models for reduction. I consider a range of central cases ...


On Being In The Mind, Roderick Firth Jan 1971

On Being In The Mind, Roderick Firth

Philosophic Exchange

There is exactly one good reason to prefer dualism to the identity theory, and it is is this: whereas brain events occur in a particular spatial location inside the head, it is nonsensical to say that mental events occur in any particular location. Professor Shaffer’s other objections to the identity theory are either parasitic on this one, or else unsuccessful.


Ethical And Epistemic Dilemmas Of Behaviorism And The Identity Thesis, George J. Stack Jan 1971

Ethical And Epistemic Dilemmas Of Behaviorism And The Identity Thesis, George J. Stack

Philosophic Exchange

Jerome Shaffer’s argument against behaviorism and the identity theory assume that the wrongness of causing pain is constituted entirely by that effect. However, the intrinsic wrongness of such actions lies in the intentions of the agent, not in the physical responses of the victim.


The Philosophy Of Mind And Some Ethical Implications, Jerome A. Shaffer Jan 1971

The Philosophy Of Mind And Some Ethical Implications, Jerome A. Shaffer

Philosophic Exchange

Materialism is the view that the only things in existence are material – matter in motion. Materialists hold that mental events are either identical to bodily events, or that mental events are particular kinds of behavior exhibited by particular material objects. These theories face several serious problems, involving spatial location, privileged access, and other phenomena. Moreover, these theories cannot explain why it is wrong to cause pain in another person. It is not obvious why it is wrong to cause another person to exhibit pain behavior, nor is it obviously wrong to cause physical events to occur in another person’s ...