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Introducing substance concepts

In On Clear and Confused Ideas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2000)

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  1. Informational Theories of Content and Mental Representation.Marc Artiga & Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (3):613-627.
    Informational theories of semantic content have been recently gaining prominence in the debate on the notion of mental representation. In this paper we examine new-wave informational theories which have a special focus on cognitive science. In particular, we argue that these theories face four important difficulties: they do not fully solve the problem of error, fall prey to the wrong distality attribution problem, have serious difficulties accounting for ambiguous and redundant representations and fail to deliver a metasemantic theory of representation. (...)
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  • Two Kinds of Information Processing in Cognition.Mark Sprevak - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (3):591-611.
    What is the relationship between information and representation? Dating back at least to Dretske, an influential answer has been that information is a rung on a ladder that gets one to representation. Representation is information, or representation is information plus some other ingredient. In this paper, I argue that this approach oversimplifies the relationship between information and representation. If one takes current probabilistic models of cognition seriously, information is connected to representation in a new way. It enters as a property (...)
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  • Natural Kindness.Matthew Slater - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):375-411.
    Philosophers have long been interested in a series of interrelated questions about natural kinds. What are they? What role do they play in science and metaphysics? How do they contribute to our epistemic projects? What categories count as natural kinds? And so on. Owing, perhaps, to different starting points and emphases, we now have at hand a variety of conceptions of natural kinds—some apparently better suited than others to accommodate a particular sort of inquiry. Even if coherent, this situation isn’t (...)
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  • 2 Induction, Samples, and Kinds.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2011 - In Michael O'Rourke, Joseph Keim Campbell & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science. MIT Press. pp. 33.
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  • Seeing Reasons.Jennifer Church - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (3):638-670.
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  • Seeing Reasons.Jennifer Church - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (3):638-670.
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  • Why mental content is not like water: reconsidering the reductive claims of teleosemantics.Peter Schulte - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2271-2290.
    According to standard teleosemantics, intentional states are selectional states. This claim is put forward not as a conceptual analysis, but as a ‘theoretical reduction’—an a posteriori hypothesis analogous to ‘water = H2O’. Critics have tried to show that this meta-theoretical conception of teleosemantics leads to unacceptable consequences. In this paper, I argue that there is indeed a fundamental problem with the water/H2O analogy, as it is usually construed, and that teleosemanticists should therefore reject it. Fortunately, there exists a viable alternative (...)
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  • Slicing Thoughts.Vojislav Bozickovic - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (1):3-13.
    According to a criterion of difference for thoughts derived from Frege, two thoughts are different if it is at the same time possible for a rational subject to take conflicting epistemic attitudes toward them. But applying this criterion to perception-based demonstrative thoughts seems to slice thoughts too finely and lead to their proliferation which makes the criterion implausible. I argue that such a proliferation of thoughts is blocked by transforming this criterion into a related one that is shown to be (...)
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  • How to Be A Reliabilist.Christoph9 Kelp - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2):346-374.
    In this paper, I aim to develop a novel virtue reliabilist account of justified belief, which incorporates insights from both process reliabilism and extant versions of virtue reliabilism. Like extant virtue reliabilist accounts of justi- fied belief, the proposed view takes it that justified belief is a kind of competent performance and that competent performances require reliable agent abilities. However, unlike extant versions of virtue reliabilism, the view takes abilities to essentially involve reliable processes. In this way, the proposed takes (...)
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  • Teleosemantics and Indeterminacy.Manolo Martínez - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (4):427-453.
    In the first part of the paper, I present a framework for the description and evaluation of teleosemantic theories of intentionality, and use it to argue that several different objections to these theories (the various indeterminacy and adequacy problems) are, in a certain precise sense, manifestations of the same underlying issue. I then use the framework to show that Millikan's biosemantics, her own recent declarations to the contrary notwithtanding, presents indeterminacy. In the second part, I develop a novel teleosemantic proposal (...)
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  • Polysemy and Word Meaning: An Account of Lexical Meaning for Different Kinds of Content Words.Agustin Vicente - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (4):947-968.
    There is an ongoing debate about the meaning of lexical words, i.e., words that contribute with content to the meaning of sentences. This debate has coincided with a renewal in the study of polysemy, which has taken place in the psycholinguistics camp mainly. There is already a fruitful interbreeding between two lines of research: the theoretical study of lexical word meaning, on the one hand, and the models of polysemy psycholinguists present, on the other. In this paper I aim at (...)
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  • Beyond Concepts.Laura Schroeter - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):363-377.
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  • Mary Meets Molyneux: The Explanatory Gap and the Individuation of Phenomenal Concepts.Macdonald Cynthia - 2004 - Noûs 38 (3):503-524.
    It is widely accepted that physicalism faces its most serious challenge when it comes to making room for the phenomenal character of psychological experience, its so-called what-it-is-like aspect. The challenge has surfaced repeatedly over the past two decades in a variety of forms. In a particularly striking one, Frank Jackson considers a situation in which Mary, a brilliant scientist who knows all the physical facts there are to know about psychological experience, has spent the whole of her life in a (...)
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  • Individualism, Externalism and Idiolectical Meaning.Robert Eamon Briscoe - 2006 - Synthese 152 (1):95-128.
    Semantic externalism in contemporary philosophy of language typically – and often tacitly – combines two supervenience claims about idiolectical meaning (i.e., meaning in the language system of an individual speaker). The first claim is that the meaning of a word in a speaker’s idiolect may vary without any variation in her intrinsic, physical properties. The second is that the meaning of a word in a speaker’s idiolect may vary without any variation in her understanding of its use. I here show (...)
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  • Methodological Encounters with the Phenomenal Kind.Nicholas Shea - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (2):307-344.
    Block’s well-known distinction between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness has generated a large philosophical literature about putative conceptual connections between the two. The scientific literature about whether they come apart in any actual cases is rather smaller. Empirical evidence gathered to date has not settled the issue. Some put this down to a fundamental methodological obstacle to the empirical study of the relation between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness. Block (2007) has drawn attention to the methodological puzzle and attempted to (...)
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  • Conventionalism and the World as Bare Sense-Data.Crawford L. Elder - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):261 – 275.
    We are confident of many of the judgements we make as to what sorts of alterations the members of nature's kinds can survive, and what sorts of events mark the ends of their existences. But is our confidence based on empirical observation of nature's kinds and their members? Conventionalists deny that we can learn empirically which properties are essential to the members of nature's kinds. Judgements of sameness in kind between members, and of numerical sameness of a member across time, (...)
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  • The Origins of Concepts.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (3):359 - 384.
    Certain of our concepts are innate, but many others are learned. Despite the plausibility of this claim, some have argued that the very idea of concept learning is incoherent. I present a conception of learning that sidesteps the arguments against the possibility of concept learning, and sketch several mechanisms that result in the generation of new primitive concepts. Given the rational considerations that motivate their deployment, I argue that these deserve to be called learning mechanisms. I conclude by replying to (...)
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  • Phenomenal and Perceptual Concepts.David Papineau - 2006 - In Torin Alter & Sven Walter (eds.), Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal Knowledge: New Essays on Consciousness and Physicalism. Oxford University Press. pp. 111--144.
    1 Introduction 2 Perceptual Concepts 2.1 Perceptual Concepts are not Demonstrative 2.2 Perceptual Concepts as Stored Templates 2.3 Perceptual Semantics 2.4 Perceptually Derived Concepts 3 Phenomenal Concepts.
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  • The Five Marks of the Mental.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
    The mental realm seems different to the physical realm; the mental is thought to be dependent on, yet distinct from the physical. But how, exactly, are the two realms supposed to be different, and what, exactly, creates the seemingly insurmountable juxtaposition between the mental and the physical? This review identifies and discusses five marks of the mental, features that set characteristically mental phenomena apart from the characteristically physical phenomena. These five marks (intentionality, consciousness, free will, teleology, and normativity) are not (...)
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  • Smaller Than a Breadbox: Scale and Natural Kinds.Julia R. Bursten - 2018 - British Journal for Philosophy of Science 69 (1):1-23.
    ABSTRACT I propose a division of the literature on natural kinds into metaphysical worries, semantic worries, and methodological worries. I argue that the latter set of worries, which concern how classification influences scientific practices, should occupy centre stage in philosophy of science discussions about natural kinds. I apply this methodological framework to the problems of classifying chemical species and nanomaterials. I show that classification in nanoscience differs from classification in chemistry because the latter relies heavily on compositional identity, whereas the (...)
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  • A Recipe for Concept Similarity.Tim Schroeder - 2007 - Mind and Language 22 (1):68-91.
    Sometimes your concept and mine have exactly the same content. When this is so, it is comparatively easy for me to understand what you say when you deploy your concept, for us to disagree, agree, and so on. But what if your concept and mine do not have exactly the same content? This question has occupied a number of philosophers, including Paul Churchland, Jerry Fodor, and Ernie Lepore. This paper develops a novel and rigorous measure of concept similarity, Proportion, such (...)
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  • On Thinking of Kinds: A Neuroscientific Perspective.Dan Ryder - 2006 - In Graham Macdonald & David Papineau (eds.), Teleosemantics: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 115-145.
    Reductive, naturalistic psychosemantic theories do not have a good track record when it comes to accommodating the representation of kinds. In this paper, I will suggest a particular teleosemantic strategy to solve this problem, grounded in the neurocomputational details of the cerebral cortex. It is a strategy with some parallels to one that Ruth Millikan has suggested, but to which insufficient attention has been paid. This lack of attention is perhaps due to a lack of appreciation for the severity of (...)
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  • Too Close for Comfort? Psychosemantics and the Distal.Dan Ryder - unknown
    What makes a mental representation about what it's about? The majority view among naturalists seems to be that representation has something to do with causation, or information, or correlation, or some other related notion. But such "information-based" views (e.g. Fodor, Prinz, Stalnaker, Usher, Mandik, Tye, and lots of other people who gesture towards this kind of theory1) cannot accommodate representation of the distal.
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  • SINBaD Neurosemantics: A Theory of Mental Representation.Dan Ryder - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (2):211-240.
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  • Baptizing Meanings for Concepts.Iris Oved - 2009 - Dissertation, Rutgers University
    Most people find it obvious that concepts like APPLE, DOG, WATER, CACTUS, SWIM, CHIRP, FURRY, and SMOOTH are acquired from perceptual experiences along with some kind of inferential procedure. Models of how these concepts are inferentially acquired, however, force the acquired concepts to be representationally complex, built from, and composed by, the more primitive representations. Since at least the time of Plato, philosophers and psychologists have struggled to find complex sets of representations that have the same meanings, definitionally or probabilistically, (...)
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  • Common Minds, Uncommon Thoughts: A Philosophical Anthropological Investigation of Uniquely Human Creative Behavior, with an Emphasis on Artistic Ability, Religious Reflection, and Scientific Study.Johan De Smedt - unknown
    The aim of this dissertation is to create a naturalistic philosophical picture of creative capacities that are specific to our species, focusing on artistic ability, religious reflection, and scientific study. By integrating data from diverse domains within a philosophical anthropological framework, I have presented a cognitive and evolutionary approach to the question of why humans, but not other animals engage in such activities. Through an application of cognitive and evolutionary perspectives to the study of these behaviors, I have sought to (...)
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  • Insegnare Concetti. Ricerca di Didattica Della Filosofia.Alberto Gaiani - unknown
    In Italian schools Philosophy is taught as History of Philosophy in the last three years of some courses of secondary schools. The aim of my research is to show that teaching Philosophy through some basic words can be a good approach to teach this subject at school. The words that are interesting for this approach are those that we use on a daily basis and do not consider problematic. Philosophy gives useful contents and methods in order to call into question (...)
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  • Concepts.Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence - 2003 - In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. pp. 190-213.
    This article provides a critical overview of competing theories of conceptual structure (definitional structure, probabilistic structure, theory structure), including the view that concepts have no structure (atomism). We argue that the explanatory demands that these different theories answer to are best accommodated by an organization in which concepts are taken to have atomic cores that are linked to differing types of conceptual structure.
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  • Wittgenstein Studies and Contemporary Pyrrhonism.Sergey Kulikov - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (4):929-941.
    Interpretation of Wittgenstein’s statement ‘whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent’ and consequences of rule-following paradox is the topic of this article. The revision of Wittgensteinian approach to the relations between speech and mind, and approaches to the speech by Vygotsky and Austin allow approving the disagreement with Wittgenstein and exhibit the cases when is necessary ‘to break silence and speak’. Argument is based on the hermeneutical approach to the skeptical image of Wittgenstein studies that disclose the meaning (...)
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  • Natural Kinds as Nodes in Causal Networks.Muhammad Khalidi - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1379-1396.
    In this paper I offer a unified causal account of natural kinds. Using as a starting point the widely held view that natural kind terms or predicates are projectible, I argue that the ontological bases of their projectibility are the causal properties and relations associated with the natural kinds themselves. Natural kinds are not just concatenations of properties but ordered hierarchies of properties, whose instances are related to one another as causes and effects in recurrent causal processes. The resulting account (...)
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  • Knowing What? Radical Versus Conservative Enactivism.Daniel D. Hutto - 2005 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (4):389-405.
    The binary divide between traditional cognitivist and enactivist paradigms is tied to their respective commitments to understanding cognition as based on knowing that as opposed to knowing how. Using O’Regan’s and No¨e’s landmark sensorimotor contingency theory of perceptual experience as a foil, I demonstrate how easy it is to fall into conservative thinking. Although their account is advertised as decidedly ‘skill-based’, on close inspection it shows itself to be riddled with suppositions threatening to reduce it to a rules-and-representations approach. To (...)
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  • Learning Language.Ruth Garrett Millikan - unknown
    Many students of pragmatics and child language have come to believe that in order to learn a language a child must first have a 'theory of mind,' a grasp that speakers mentally represent the content they would convey when they speak. This view is reinforced by the Gricean theory of communication, according to which speakers intend their words to cause hearers to believe or to do certain things and hearers must recognize these intentions if they are to comply. The view (...)
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  • Justified Belief: Knowledge First‐Style.Christoph9 Kelp - unknown
    Recent knowledge first epistemology features a number of different accounts of justified belief, including a knowledge first reductionism according to which to believe justifiably is to know Sutton, Littlejohn, Williamson, a knowledge first version of accessibilism Millar and a knowledge first version of mentalism Bird. This paper offers a knowledge first version of virtue epistemology and argues that it is preferable to its knowledge first epistemological rivals: only knowledge first virtue epistemology manages to steer clear of a number of problems (...)
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  • Phenomenal Intentionality and the Problem of Cognitive Contact.A. Young Christopher - unknown
    Part 1 of the thesis questions the traditional relation model of intentionality. After fixing reference on the target phenomenon, intentionality, and explaining my interest in it, I ask what sorts of things intentionality might be a relation to. I consider ordinary objects, properties, propositions and hybrid views, and conclude all make the intentional relation appear rather mysterious. From there, I move on to examine the relation view’s most prominent proponents, the tracking theorists—pointing out some challenges such views face, and concluding (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Social Kinds.Rebecca Mason - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):841-850.
    It is a truism that humans are social animals. Thus, it is no surprise that we understand the world, each other, and ourselves in terms of social kinds such as money and marriage, war and women, capitalists and cartels, races, recessions, and refugees. Social kinds condition our expectations, inform our preferences, and guide our behavior. Despite the prevalence and importance of social kinds, philosophy has historically devoted relatively little attention to them. With few exceptions, philosophers have given pride of place (...)
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  • Is Conceptual Atomism a Plausible Theory of Concepts?Jack M. C. Kwong - 2007 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (3):413-434.
    Conceptual atomism is the view according to which most lexical concepts lack ‘internal’ or constituent structure. To date, it has not received much attention from philosophers and psychologists. A centralreason is that it is thought to be an implausible theory of concepts, resulting in untenable implications. The main objective of this paper is to present conceptual atomism as a viable alternative, with a view toachieving two aims: the first, to characterize and to elucidate conceptual atomism; and the second, to dispel (...)
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  • Dealing with the Changeable and Blurry Edges of Living Things: A Modified Version of Property-Cluster Kinds.María J. Ferreira Ruiz & Jon Umerez - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):493-518.
    Despite many attempts to achieve an adequate definition of living systems by means of a set of necessary and sufficient conditions, the opinion that such an enterprise is inexorably destined to fail is increasingly gaining support. However, we believe options do not just come down to either having faith in a future success or endorsing skepticism. In this paper, we aim to redirect the discussion of the problem by shifting the focus of attention from strict definitions towards a philosophical framework (...)
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  • Naturalizing Epistemology: Prospectus 2006.William F. Harms - 2006 - Biological Theory 1 (1):23-24.
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  • Complexity, Hypersets, and the Ecological Perspective on Perception-Action.Anthony Chemero & M. T. Turvey - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (1):23-36.
    The ecological approach to perception-action is unlike the standard approach in several respects. It takes the animal-in-its-environment as the proper scale for the theory and analysis of perception-action, it eschews symbol based accounts of perception-action, it promotes self-organization as the theory-constitutive metaphor for perception-action, and it employs self-referring, non-predicative definitions in explaining perception-action. The present article details the complexity issues confronted by the ecological approach in terms suggested by Rosen and introduces non-well-founded set theory as a potentially useful tool for (...)
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  • Teleosemantics Re-Examined: Content, Explanation and Norms: Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury and Kenneth Williford : Millikan and Her Critics. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, 2013, 297 Pp.Carolyn Price - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (4):587-596.
    This essay reviews a collection of thirteen critical essays on the work of Ruth Millikan. The collection covers a broad range of her work, focusing in particular on her account of simple intentionality, her theory of concepts and her metaphysical views. I highlight and briefly discuss three issues that crop up repeatedly though the collection: (1) Millikan’s externalism (and in particular, her emphasis on how intentional states are used, rather than how they are produced); (2) the nature of intentional explanation; (...)
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  • Representation in the Genome and in Other Inheritance Systems.Nicholas Shea - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):313-331.
    There is ongoing controversy as to whether the genome is a representing system. Although it is widely recognised that DNA carries information, both correlating with and coding for various outcomes, neither of these implies that the genome has semantic properties like correctness or satisfaction conditions, In the Scope of Logic, Methodology, and the Philosophy of Sciences, Vol. II. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp. 387–400). Here a modified version of teleosemantics is applied to the genome to show that it does indeed have semantic (...)
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  • Concepts: Stored or Created?Marco Mazzone & Elisabetta Lalumera - 2010 - Minds and Machines 20 (1):47-68.
    Are concepts stable entities, unchanged from context to context? Or rather are they context-dependent structures, created on the fly? We argue that this does not constitute a genuine dilemma. Our main thesis is that the more a pattern of features is general and shared, the more it qualifies as a concept. Contextualists have not shown that conceptual structures lack a stable, general core, acting as an attractor on idiosyncratic information. What they have done instead is to give a contribution to (...)
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  • The Return of the Replicator: What is Philosophically Significant in a General Account of Replication and Selection? [REVIEW]Bence Nanay - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (1):109-121.
    The aim of this paper is to outline a typologyof selection processes, and show that differentsub-categories have different explanatorypower. The basis of this typology of selectionprocesses is argued to be the difference ofreplication processes involved in them. Inorder to show this, I argue that: 1.Replication is necessary for selection and 2.Different types of replication lead todifferent types of selection. Finally, it isargued that this typology is philosophicallysignificant, since it contrasts cases ofselection (on the basis of the replicationprocesses involved in them) (...)
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  • Is Color-Dispositionalism Nasty and Unecological?Nenad Miscevic - 2007 - Erkenntnis 66 (1-2):203 - 231.
    This article is a brief presentation and defense of response-dispositionalist intentionalism against a family of objections. The view claims that for a surface to have an objective stable color is to have a disposition to cause in normal observers a response, namely, intentional phenomenal-color experience. The objections, raised recently by M. Johnston, B. Stroud, and by Byrne and Hilbert, claim that any dispositionalist view is unfair to the naive perceiver-thinker, saddles her with massive error and represents her as maladaptated to (...)
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  • Armchair Luck: Apriority, Intellection and Epistemic Luck. [REVIEW]Nenad Miščević - 2007 - Acta Analytica 22 (1):48-73.
    The paper argues that there is such a thing as luck in acquisition of candidate a priori beliefs and knowledge, and that the possibility of luck in this “armchair” domain shows that definitions of believing by luck that p offered in literature are inadequate, since they mostly rely on the possibility of it being the case that not- p. When p is necessary, such a definition should be supplemented by one pointing to variation in belief, not in the fact believed. (...)
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  • What is an Empirical Analysis of Causation?Thomas D. Bontly - 2006 - Synthese 151 (2):177-200.
    Philosophical accounts of causation have traditionally been framed as attempts to analyze the concept of a cause. In recent years, however, a number of philosophers have proposed instead that causation be empirically reduced to some relation uncovered by the natural sciences: e.g., a relation of energy transfer. This paper argues that the project of empirical analysis lacks a clearly defined methodology, leaving it uncertain how such views are to be evaluated. It proposes several possible accounts of empirical analysis and argues (...)
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  • Ruth Garrett Millikan, Language: A Biological Model. [REVIEW]William Cameron - 2008 - Minds and Machines 18 (1):127-131.
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  • I—R. M. Sainsbury and Michael Tye: An Originalist Theory of Concepts.R. M. Sainsbury & Michael Tye - 2011 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 85 (1):101-124.
    We argue that thoughts are structures of concepts, and that concepts should be individuated by their origins, rather than in terms of their semantic or epistemic properties. Many features of cognition turn on the vehicles of content, thoughts, rather than on the nature of the contents they express. Originalism makes concepts available to explain, with no threat of circularity, puzzling cases concerning thought. In this paper, we mention Hesperus/Phosphorus puzzles, the Evans-Perry example of the ship seen through different windows, and (...)
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  • Negation, Contrariety, and Practical Reasoning: Comments on Millikan’s Varieties of Meaning.José Luis Bermúdez - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (3):663-669.
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  • Discriminatory Capacities, Russell's Principle, and the Importance of Losing Sight of Objects.Gersel Johan Peter - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (3):700-720.
    What capacities for discrimination must a subject possess in order to entertain singular thoughts? Evans has suggested that a subject must be able to discriminate his referent from all other entities in order to be able to do so; what he calls Russell's Principle. Evans' view has few followers, and he has been repeatedly accused of presenting no argument in its favour. In this paper I present what I take to be Evans' argument. I suggest that he has been misinterpreted (...)
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