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  1. Finding the Bounds of Machery’s Critique. [REVIEW]Mikio Akagi - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (4):584-591.
    Volume 27, Issue 4, October 2019, Page 584-591.
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  • Mating Dances and the Evolution of Language: What’s the Next Step?Cameron Buckner & Keyao Yang - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):1289-1316.
    The Darwinian protolanguage hypothesis is one of the most popular theories of the evolution of human language. According to this hypothesis, language evolved through a three stage process involving general increases in intelligence, the emergence of grammatical structure as a result of sexual selection on protomusical songs, and finally the attachment of meaning to the components of those songs. The strongest evidence for the second stage of this process has been considered to be birdsong, and as a result researchers have (...)
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  • Simplicity and the Meaning of Mental Association.Mike Dacey - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (6):1207-1228.
    Some thoughts just come to mind together. This is usually thought to happen because they are connected by associations, which the mind follows. Such an explanation assumes that there is a particular kind of simple psychological process responsible. This view has encountered criticism recently. In response, this paper aims to characterize a general understanding of associative simplicity, which might support the distinction between associative processing and alternatives. I argue that there are two kinds of simplicity that are treated as characteristic (...)
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  • Working Memory is Not a Natural Kind and Cannot Explain Central Cognition.Javier Gomez-Lavin - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-27.
    Working memory is a foundational construct of cognitive psychology, where it is thought to be a capacity that enables us to keep information in mind and to use that information to support goal directed behavior. Philosophers have recently employed working memory to explain central cognitive processes, from consciousness to reasoning. In this paper, I show that working memory cannot meet even a minimal account of natural kindhood, as the functions of maintenance and manipulation of information that tie working memory models (...)
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  • Building Thinking Machines by Solving Animal Cognition Tasks.Matthew Crosby - forthcoming - Minds and Machines:1-27.
    In ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’, Turing, sceptical of the question ‘Can machines think?’, quickly replaces it with an experimentally verifiable test: the imitation game. I suggest that for such a move to be successful the test needs to be relevant, expansive, solvable by exemplars, unpredictable, and lead to actionable research. The Imitation Game is only partially successful in this regard and its reliance on language, whilst insightful for partially solving the problem, has put AI progress on the wrong foot, prescribing (...)
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  • Association and the Mechanisms of Priming.Mike Dacey - 2019 - Journal of Cognitive Science 20 (3):281-321.
    In psychology, increasing interest in priming has brought with it a revival of associationist views. Association seems a natural explanation for priming: simple associative links carry subcritical levels of activation from representations of the prime stimulus to representations of the target stimulus. This then facilitates use of the representation of the target. I argue that the processes responsible for priming are not associative. They are more complex. Even so, associative models do get something right about how these processes behave. As (...)
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  • Throwing light on black boxes: emergence of visual categories from deep learning.Ezequiel López-Rubio - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    One of the best known arguments against the connectionist approach to artificial intelligence and cognitive science is that neural networks are black boxes, i.e., there is no understandable account of their operation. This difficulty has impeded efforts to explain how categories arise from raw sensory data. Moreover, it has complicated investigation about the role of symbols and language in cognition. This state of things has been radically changed by recent experimental findings in artificial deep learning research. Two kinds of artificial (...)
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  • Cognition in Practice: Conceptual Development and Disagreement in Cognitive Science.Mikio Akagi - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    Cognitive science has been beset for thirty years by foundational disputes about the nature and extension of cognition—e.g. whether cognition is necessarily representational, whether cognitive processes extend outside the brain or body, and whether plants or microbes have them. Whereas previous philosophical work aimed to settle these disputes, I aim to understand what conception of cognition scientists could share given that they disagree so fundamentally. To this end, I develop a number of variations on traditional conceptual explication, and defend a (...)
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  • From Computer Metaphor to Computational Modeling: The Evolution of Computationalism.Marcin Miłkowski - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):515-541.
    In this paper, I argue that computationalism is a progressive research tradition. Its metaphysical assumptions are that nervous systems are computational, and that information processing is necessary for cognition to occur. First, the primary reasons why information processing should explain cognition are reviewed. Then I argue that early formulations of these reasons are outdated. However, by relying on the mechanistic account of physical computation, they can be recast in a compelling way. Next, I contrast two computational models of working memory (...)
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  • Functional Kinds: A Skeptical Look.Cameron Buckner - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):3915-3942.
    The functionalist approach to kinds has suffered recently due to its association with law-based approaches to induction and explanation. Philosophers of science increasingly view nomological approaches as inappropriate for the special sciences like psychology and biology, which has led to a surge of interest in approaches to natural kinds that are more obviously compatible with mechanistic and model-based methods, especially homeostatic property cluster theory. But can the functionalist approach to kinds be weaned off its dependency on laws? Dan Weiskopf has (...)
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  • Embodied Cognition: Looking Inward.Przemysław Nowakowski - 2017 - Hybris. Revista de Filosofía 38:74-97.
    The body is a highly complex, coordinated system engaged in coping with many environmental problems. It can be considered as some sort of opportunity or obstacle, with which internal processing must deal. Internal processing must take into account the possibilities and limitations of the particular body. In other words, even if the body is not involved in the realization of some cognitive explicit task, it is not a neutral factor of our understanding of why a system solves a task in (...)
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  • Is Behavioural Flexibility Evidence of Cognitive Complexity? How Evolution Can Inform Comparative Cognition.Irina Mikhalevich, Russell Powell & Corina Logan - 2017 - Interface Focus 7.
    Behavioural flexibility is often treated as the gold standard of evidence for more sophisticated or complex forms of animal cognition, such as planning, metacognition and mindreading. However, the evidential link between behavioural flexibility and complex cognition has not been explicitly or systematically defended. Such a defence is particularly pressing because observed flexible behaviours can frequently be explained by putatively simpler cognitive mechanisms. This leaves complex cognition hypotheses open to ‘deflationary’ challenges that are accorded greater evidential weight precisely because they offer (...)
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  • Extended Mind and Cognitive Enhancement: Moral Aspects of Cognitive Artifacts.Richard Heersmink - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (1):17-32.
    This article connects philosophical debates about cognitive enhancement and situated cognition. It does so by focusing on moral aspects of enhancing our cognitive abilities with the aid of external artifacts. Such artifacts have important moral dimensions that are addressed neither by the cognitive enhancement debate nor situated cognition theory. In order to fill this gap in the literature, three moral aspects of cognitive artifacts are singled out: their consequences for brains, cognition, and culture; their moral status; and their relation to (...)
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  • Situatedness and Embodiment of Computational Systems.Marcin Miłkowski - 2017 - Entropy 19 (4):162.
    In this paper, the role of the environment and physical embodiment of computational systems for explanatory purposes will be analyzed. In particular, the focus will be on cognitive computational systems, understood in terms of mechanisms that manipulate semantic information. It will be argued that the role of the environment has long been appreciated, in particular in the work of Herbert A. Simon, which has inspired the mechanistic view on explanation. From Simon’s perspective, the embodied view on cognition seems natural but (...)
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  • Is Empiricism Empirically False? Lessons From Early Nervous Systems.Marcin Miłkowski - 2017 - Biosemiotics 10 (2):229-245.
    Recent work on skin-brain thesis suggests the possibility of empirical evidence that empiricism is false. It implies that early animals need no traditional sensory receptors to be engaged in cognitive activity. The neural structure required to coordinate extensive sheets of contractile tissue for motility provides the starting point for a new multicellular organized form of sensing. Moving a body by muscle contraction provides the basis for a multicellular organization that is sensitive to external surface structure at the scale of the (...)
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  • Rational Inference: The Lowest Bounds.Cameron Buckner - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):697-724.
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  • Rational Inference: The Lowest Bounds.Cameron Buckner - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:1-28.
    A surge of empirical research demonstrating flexible cognition in animals and young infants has raised interest in the possibility of rational decision-making in the absence of language. A venerable position, which I here call “Classical Inferentialism”, holds that nonlinguistic agents are incapable of rational inferences. Against this position, I defend a model of nonlinguistic inferences that shows how they could be practically rational. This model vindicates the Lockean idea that we can intuitively grasp rational connections between thoughts by developing the (...)
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  • Rethinking the Problem of Cognition.Mikio Akagi - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3547-3570.
    The present century has seen renewed interest in characterizing cognition, the object of inquiry of the cognitive sciences. In this paper, I describe the problem of cognition—the absence of a positive characterization of cognition despite a felt need for one. It is widely recognized that the problem is motivated by decades of controversy among cognitive scientists over foundational questions, such as whether non-neural parts of the body or environment can realize cognitive processes, or whether plants and microbes have cognitive processes. (...)
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  • What Are Cognitive Processes? An Example-Based Approach.Albert Newen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4251-4268.
    The question “What are cognitive processes?” can be understood variously as meaning “What is the nature of cognitive processes?”, “Can we distinguish epistemically cognitive processes from physical and biochemical processes on the one hand, and from mental or conscious processes on the other?”, and “Can we establish a fruitful notion of cognitive process?” The present aim is to deliver a positive answer to the last question by developing criteria for what would count as a paradigmatic exemplar of a cognitive process, (...)
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  • Demarcating the Realm of Cognition.Somogy Varga - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie (3):435-450.
    The Extended Mind Hypothesis has given rise to stimulating philosophical debates about the boundaries of the realm of the cognitive. This paper first investigates the usefulness of a “mark of the cognitive,” and then focuses on two accounts that aim to provide such a mark, put forward by Fred Adams and Rebecca Garrison on one side and Mark Rowlands on the other. The paper provides a critical assessment of these accounts and uses empirical work on emotion regulation in infants to (...)
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