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  1. Why can’t we say what cognition is (at least for the time being).Marco Facchin - 2023 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 4.
    Some philosophers search for the mark of the cognitive: a set of individually necessary and jointly sufficient conditions identifying all instances of cognition. They claim that the mark of the cognitive is needed to steer the development of cognitive science on the right path. Here, I argue that, at least at present, it cannot be provided. First (§2), I identify some of the factors motivating the search for a mark of the cognitive, each yielding a desideratum the mark is supposed (...)
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  • Putting down the revolt: Enactivism as a philosophy of nature.Russell Meyer & Nick Brancazio - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13.
    Enactivists frequently argue their account heralds a revolution in cognitive science: enactivism will unseat cognitivism as the dominant paradigm. We examine the lines of reasoning enactivists employ in stirring revolt, but show that none of these prove compelling reasons for cognitivism to be replaced by enactivism. First, we examine the hard sell of enactivism: enactivism reveals a critical explanatory gap at the heart of cognitivism. We show that enactivism does not meet the requirements to incite a paradigm shift in the (...)
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  • Minds in the Metaverse: Extended Cognition Meets Mixed Reality.Paul Smart - 2022 - Philosophy and Technology 35 (4):1–29.
    Examples of extended cognition typically involve the use of technologically low-grade bio-external resources (e.g., the use of pen and paper to solve long multiplication problems). The present paper describes a putative case of extended cognizing based around a technologically advanced mixed reality device, namely, the Microsoft HoloLens. The case is evaluated from the standpoint of a mechanistic perspective. In particular, it is suggested that a combination of organismic (e.g., the human individual) and extra-organismic (e.g., the HoloLens) resources form part of (...)
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  • Motivation, counterfactual predictions and constraints: normativity of predictive mechanisms.Michał Piekarski - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-31.
    The aim of this paper is to present the ontic approach to the normativity of cognitive functions and mechanisms, which is directly related to the understanding of biological normativity in terms of normative mechanisms. This approach assumes the hypothesis that cognitive processes contain a certain normative component independent of external attributions and researchers’ beliefs. This component consists of specific cognitive mechanisms, which I call normative. I argue that a mechanism is normative when it constitutes given actions or behaviors of a (...)
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  • Phenomenal transparency and the extended mind.Paul Smart, Gloria Andrada & Robert William Clowes - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-25.
    Proponents of the extended mind have suggested that phenomenal transparency may be important to the way we evaluate putative cases of cognitive extension. In particular, it has been suggested that in order for a bio-external resource to count as part of the machinery of the mind, it must qualify as a form of transparent equipment or transparent technology. The present paper challenges this claim. It also challenges the idea that phenomenological properties can be used to settle disputes regarding the constitutional (...)
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  • Social and Enactive Perspectives on Pretending.Zuzanna Rucinska - 2019 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 10 (3).
    This paper presents pretending as an enacted and fundamentally social activity. First, it demonstrates why we should think of pretense as inherently social. Then, it shows how that fact affects our theory in terms of what is needed in order to pretend. Standardly, pretense is seen as requiring a mechanism that allows one to bypass the “obvious” re- sponse to the environment in order to opt for a symbolic response; that mechanism is im- aginative and representational. This paper shows that (...)
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  • Legal Concepts as Mental Representations.Marek Jakubiec - 2022 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 35 (5):1837-1855.
    Although much ink has been spilled on different aspects of legal concepts, the approach based on the developments of cognitive science is a still neglected area of study. The “mental” and cognitive aspect of these concepts, i.e., their features as mental constructs and cognitive tools, especially in the light of the developments of the cognitive sciences, is discussed quite rarely. The argument made by this paper is that legal concepts are best understood as mental representations. The piece explains what mental (...)
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  • What is ‘Representation’? – a Debate Between Tyler Burge and John McDowell.Sofia Miguens - 2020 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 11 (2).
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  • Patterns in Cognitive Phenomena and Pluralism of Explanatory Styles.Angela Potochnik & Guilherme Sanches de Oliveira - 2019 - Topics in Cognitive Science 12 (4):1306-1320.
    Debate about cognitive science explanations has been formulated in terms of identifying the proper level(s) of explanation. Views range from reductionist, favoring only neuroscience explanations, to mechanist, favoring the integration of multiple levels, to pluralist, favoring the preservation of even the most general, high-level explanations, such as those provided by embodied or dynamical approaches. In this paper, we challenge this framing. We suggest that these are not different levels of explanation at all but, rather, different styles of explanation that capture (...)
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  • Explanations in cognitive science: unification versus pluralism.Marcin Miłkowski & Mateusz Hohol - 2020 - Synthese 199 (Suppl 1):1-17.
    The debate between the defenders of explanatory unification and explanatory pluralism has been ongoing from the beginning of cognitive science and is one of the central themes of its philosophy. Does cognitive science need a grand unifying theory? Should explanatory pluralism be embraced instead? Or maybe local integrative efforts are needed? What are the advantages of explanatory unification as compared to the benefits of explanatory pluralism? These questions, among others, are addressed in this Synthese’s special issue. In the introductory paper, (...)
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  • Between Legal Philosophy and Cognitive Science: The Tension Problem.Marek Jakubiec - 2022 - Ratio Juris 35 (2):223-239.
    Ratio Juris, Volume 35, Issue 2, Page 223-239, June 2022.
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  • In search of an ontology for 4E theories: from new mechanism to causal powers realism.Charles Lassiter & Joseph Vukov - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9785-9808.
    Embodied, embedded, enactive, and extended theorists do not typically focus on the ontological frameworks in which they develop their theories. One exception is 4E theories that embrace New Mechanism. In this paper, we endorse the New Mechanist’s general turn to ontology, but argue that their ontology is not the best on the market for 4E theories. Instead, we advocate for a different ontology: causal powers realism. Causal powers realism posits that psychological manifestations are the product of mental powers, and that (...)
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  • Wide computationalism revisited: distributed mechanisms, parismony and testability.Luke Kersten - 2024 - Philosophical Explorations 27 (2):1-18.
    Recent years have seen a surge of interest in applying mechanistic thinking to computational accounts of implementation and individuation. One recent extension of this work involves so-called ‘wide’ approaches to computation, the view that computational processes spread out beyond the boundaries of the individual. These ‘mechanistic accounts of wide computation’ maintain that computational processes are wide in virtue of being part of mechanisms that extend beyond the boundary of the individual. This paper aims to further develop the mechanistic account of (...)
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  • Long-arm functional individuation of computation.Nir Fresco - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13993-14016.
    A single physical process may often be described equally well as computing several different mathematical functions—none of which is explanatorily privileged. How, then, should the computational identity of a physical system be determined? Some computational mechanists hold that computation is individuated only by either narrow physical or functional properties. Even if some individuative role is attributed to environmental factors, it is rather limited. The computational semanticist holds that computation is individuated, at least in part, by semantic properties. She claims that (...)
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  • Enactivism Meets Mechanism: Tensions & Congruities in Cognitive Science.Jonny Lee - 2023 - Minds and Machines 33 (1):153-184.
    Enactivism advances an understanding of cognition rooted in the dynamic interaction between an embodied agent and their environment, whilst new mechanism suggests that cognition is explained by uncovering the organised components underlying cognitive capacities. On the face of it, the mechanistic model’s emphasis on localisable and decomposable mechanisms, often neural in nature, runs contrary to the enactivist ethos. Despite appearances, this paper argues that mechanistic explanations of cognition, being neither narrow nor reductive, and compatible with plausible iterations of ideas like (...)
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  • Cognitive Artifacts and Their Virtues in Scientific Practice.Marcin Miłkowski - 2022 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 67 (1):219-246.
    One of the critical issues in the philosophy of science is to understand scientific knowledge. This paper proposes a novel approach to the study of reflection on science, called “cognitive metascience”. In particular, it offers a new understanding of scientific knowledge as constituted by various kinds of scientific representations, framed as cognitive artifacts. It introduces a novel functional taxonomy of cognitive artifacts prevalent in scientific practice, covering a huge diversity of their formats, vehicles, and functions. As a consequence, toolboxes, conceptual (...)
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  • A marriage of convenience - defending explanatory integration of phenomenology with mechanism. In response to Williams.Marek Pokropski - 2022 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 22 (3):753-760.
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  • Mechanistic Explanation, Interdisciplinary Integration and Interpersonal Social Coordination.Matti Sarkia - 2024 - Social Epistemology 38 (2):173-193.
    Prominent research programs dealing with the nature and mechanisms of interpersonal social coordination have emerged in cognitive science, developmental psychology and evolutionary anthropology. I argue that the mechanistic approach to explanation in contemporary philosophy of science can facilitate interdisciplinary integration and division of labor between these different disciplinary research programs. By distinguishing phenomenal models from mechanistic models and structural decomposition from functional decomposition in the process of mechanism discovery, I argue that behavioral and cognitive scientists can make interlocking contributions to (...)
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  • The methodological role of mechanistic-computational models in cognitive science.Jens Harbecke - 2020 - Synthese 199 (Suppl 1):19-41.
    This paper discusses the relevance of models for cognitive science that integrate mechanistic and computational aspects. Its main hypothesis is that a model of a cognitive system is satisfactory and explanatory to the extent that it bridges phenomena at multiple mechanistic levels, such that at least several of these mechanistic levels are shown to implement computational processes. The relevant parts of the computation must be mapped onto distinguishable entities and activities of the mechanism. The ideal is contrasted with two other (...)
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  • Toward a Mechanistic Account of Extended Cognition.Paul R. Smart - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology 35 (8):1107-1135.
    There have been a number of attempts to apply mechanism-related concepts to the notion of extended cognition. Such accounts appeal to the idea that extended cognitive routines are realized by mechanisms that transcend some salient border or boundary. The present paper describes some of the challenges confronting the effort to develop a mechanistic account of extended cognition. In particular, it describes five problems that must be resolved if we are to make sense of the idea that extended cognition can be (...)
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  • Ekologia poznawcza jako tradycja badawcza w kognitywistyce.Witold Wachowski - 2021 - Argument: Biannual Philosophical Journal 11 (1).
    Cognitive ecology as a research tradition in cognitive science: The article presents cognitive ecology as a research tradition in cognitive science, under which studies on embodied cognition and various forms of situated cognition are conducted. At the same time, the basic heuristic of cognitive ecology and its relationship to methodological individualism are identified. The paper includes the history of the concept of “cognitive ecology”, historical approaches preceding this research tradition, as well as an outline of contemporary research related to it. (...)
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