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  1. Deictic Codes, Demonstratives, and Reference: A Step Toward Solving the Grounding Problem.Athanassios Raftopoulos & Vincent C. Müller - 2002 - In Wayne D. Gray & Christian D. Schunn (eds.), Cogsci 2002, 24th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Lawrence Erlbaum. pp. 762-767.
    In this paper we address the issue of grounding for experiential concepts. Given that perceptual demonstratives are a basic form of such concepts, we examine ways of fixing the referents of such demonstratives. To avoid ‘encodingism’, that is, relating representations to representations, we postulate that the process of reference fixing must be bottom-up and nonconceptual, so that it can break the circle of conceptual content and touch the world. For that purpose, an appropriate causal relation between representations and the world (...)
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Nativism in Cognitive Science, Misc
  1. The Small Number System.Eric Margolis - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (1):113-134.
    I argue that the human mind includes an innate domain-specific system for representing precise small numerical quantities. This theory contrasts with object-tracking theories and with domain-general theories that only make use of mental models. I argue that there is a good amount of evidence for innate representations of small numerical quantities and that such a domain-specific system has explanatory advantages when infants’ poor working memory is taken into account. I also show that the mental models approach requires previously unnoticed domain-specific (...)
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  2. What’s Wrong with the Minimal Conception of Innateness in Cognitive Science?J. Brendan Ritchie - forthcoming - Synthese:1-18.
    One of the classic debates in cognitive science is between nativism and empiricism about the development of psychological capacities. In principle, the debate is empirical. However, in practice nativist hypotheses have also been challenged for relying on an ill-defined, or even unscientific, notion of innateness as that which is “not learned”. Here this minimal conception of innateness is defended on four fronts. First, it is argued that the minimal conception is crucial to understanding the nativism-empiricism debate, when properly construed; Second, (...)
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  3. Review of The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker (2008) (Review Revised 2019).Michael Starks - 2019 - In Talking Monkeys -- Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Religion and Politics on a Doomed Planet -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2019 Michael Starks 3rd Edition. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 254-267.
    I start with some famous comments by the philosopher (psychologist) Ludwig Wittgenstein because Pinker shares with most people (due to the default settings of our evolved innate psychology) certain prejudices about the functioning of the mind, and because Wittgenstein offers unique and profound insights into the workings of language, thought and reality (which he viewed as more or less coextensive) not found anywhere else. There is only reference to Wittgenstein in this volume, which is most unfortunate considering that he was (...)
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  4. Review of The Mind’s I by Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett (1981) (Review Revised 2019.Michael Starks - 2019 - In Talking Monkeys -- Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Religion and Politics on a Doomed Planet -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2019 Michael Starks 3rd Edition. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 223-229.
    A mixed bag dominated by H & D's reductionist nonsense. This is a follow-up to Hofstadter´s famous (or infamous as I would now say, considering its unrelenting nonsense) Godel, Escher, Bach (1980). Like its predecessor, it is concerned largely with the foundations of artificial intelligence, but it is composed mostly of stories, essays and extracts from a wide range of people, with a few essays by DH and DD and comments to all of the contributions by one or the other (...)
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  5. Review of Ludwig Wittgenstein by Edward Kanterian (2007)(Review Revised 2019).Michael Starks - 2019 - In The Logical Structure of Human Behavior. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 302-308.
    Overall, it is first rate with accurate, sensitive and penetrating accounts of his life and thought in roughly chronological order, but, inevitably (i.e., like everyone else) it fails, in my view, to place his work in proper context and gets some critical points wrong. It is not made clear that philosophy is armchair psychology and that W was a pioneer in what later became cognitive or evolutionary psychology. One would not surmise from this book that he laid out the foundations (...)
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  6. Scientism on Steroids: A Review of Freedom Evolves by Daniel Dennett (2003) (Review Revised 2019).Michael Starks - 2019 - In Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century-- Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2019 4th Edition Michael Starks. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 200-216.
    ``People say again and again that philosophy doesn´t really progress, that we are still occupied with the same philosophical problems as were the Greeks. But the people who say this don´t understand why it has to be so. It is because our language has remained the same and keeps seducing us into asking the same questions. As long as there continues to be a verb ´to be´ that looks as if it functions in the same way as ´to eat and (...)
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  7. Innateness as Genetic Adaptation: Lorenz Redivivus (and Revised).Nathan Cofnas - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (4):559-580.
    In 1965, Konrad Lorenz grounded the innate–acquired distinction in what he believed were the only two possible sources of information that can underlie adaptedness: phylogenetic and individual experience. Phylogenetic experience accumulates in the genome by the process of natural selection. Individual experience is acquired ontogenetically through interacting with the environment during the organism’s lifetime. According to Lorenz, the adaptive information underlying innate traits is stored in the genome. Lorenz erred in arguing that genetic adaptation is the only means of accumulating (...)
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  8. There Must Be Encapsulated Nonconceptual Content in Vision.Vincent C. Müller - 2005 - In Athanassios Raftpoulos (ed.), Cognitive penetrability of perception: Attention, action, attention and bottom-up constraints. Nova Science. pp. 157-170.
    In this paper I want to propose an argument to support Jerry Fodor’s thesis (Fodor 1983) that input systems are modular and thus informationally encapsulated. The argument starts with the suggestion that there is a “grounding problem” in perception, i. e. that there is a problem in explaining how perception that can yield a visual experience is possible, how sensation can become meaningful perception of something for the subject. Given that visual experience is actually possible, this invites a transcendental argument (...)
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  9. Nativism, Empiricism, and Ockham’s Razor.Simon Fitzpatrick - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (5):895-922.
    This paper discusses the role that appeals to theoretical simplicity have played in the debate between nativists and empiricists in cognitive science. Both sides have been keen to make use of such appeals in defence of their respective positions about the structure and ontogeny of the human mind. Focusing on the standard simplicity argument employed by empiricist-minded philosophers and cognitive scientists—what I call “the argument for minimal innateness”—I identify various problems with such arguments—in particular, the apparent arbitrariness of the relevant (...)
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  10. Intrinsic Multiperspectivity: Conceptual Forms and the Functional Architecture of the Perceptual System.Rainer Mausfeld - 2011 - In Welsch Wolfgang, Singer Wolf & Wunder Andre (eds.), Interdisciplinary Anthropology. Springer. pp. 19--54.
    It is a characteristic feature of our mental make-up that the same perceptual input situation can simultaneously elicit conflicting mental perspectives. This ability pervades our perceptual and cognitive domains. Striking examples are the dual character of pictures in picture perception, pretend play, or the ability to employ metaphors and allegories. I argue that traditional approaches, beyond being inadequate on principle grounds, are theoretically ill equipped to deal with these achievements. I then outline a theoretical perspective that has emerged from a (...)
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  11. Innateness.Steven Gross & Georges Rey - forthcoming - In Eric Margolis, Richard Samuels & Stephen Stich (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press.
    A survey of innateness in cognitive science, focusing on (1) what innateness might be, and (2) whether concepts might be innate.
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  12. The Resurrection of Innateness.James Maclaurin - 2002 - The Monist 85 (1):105-130.
    The notion of innateness is widely used, particularly in philosophy of mind, cognitive science and linguistics. Despite this popularity, it remains a controversial idea. This is partly because of the variety of ways in which it can be explicated and partly because it appears to embody the suggestion that we can determine the relative causal contributions of genes and environment in the development of biological individuals. As these causes are not independent, the claim is metaphysically suspect. This paper argues that (...)
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