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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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  • Confused Terms in Ordinary Language.Greg Frost-Arnold & James R. Beebe - 2020 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 29 (2):197-219.
    Confused terms appear to signify more than one entity. Carnap maintained that any putative name that is associated with more than one object in a relevant universe of discourse fails to be a genuine name. Although many philosophers have agreed with Carnap, they have not always agreed among themselves about the truth-values of atomic sentences containing such terms. Some hold that such atomic sentences are always false, and others claim they are always truth-valueless. Field maintained that confused terms can still (...)
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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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  • Prospects for Probabilistic Theories of Natural Information.Ulrich Stegmann - unknown
    Acknowledgements Andrea Scarantino, Nicholas Shea, Mark Sprevak, and three anonymous referees provided incisive and constructive comments, for which I am very grateful. In 2012, earlier versions of this paper were delivered in Edinburgh, at the Joint Session in Stirling, and at a workshop on natural information in Aberdeen. I thank participants for their feedback.
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  • Species in Three and Four Dimensions.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2008 - Synthese 164 (2):161-184.
    There is an interesting parallel between two debates in different domains of contemporary analytic philosophy. One is the endurantism– perdurantism, or three-dimensionalism vs. four-dimensionalism, debate in analytic metaphysics. The other is the debate on the species problem in philosophy of biology. In this paper I attempt to cross-fertilize these debates with the aim of exploiting some of the potential that the two debates have to advance each other. I address two issues. First, I explore what the case of species implies (...)
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  • Mental Files in Development: Dual Naming, False Belief, Identity and Intensionality.Josef Perner & Brian Leahy - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (2):491-508.
    We use mental files to present an analysis of children's developing understanding of identity in alternative naming tasks and belief. The core assumption is that younger children below the age of about 4 years create different files for an object depending on how the object is individuated. They can anchor them to the same object, hence think of the same object whether they think of it as a rabbit or as an animal. However, the claim is, they cannot yet link (...)
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  • Teleología y semántica del contenido mental, una investigación sobre los problemas de la fijación del contenido desde presupuestos naturalistas.Andrés L. Jaume Rodríguez - 2011 - Cuadernos Salmantinos de Filosofía 38:303-328.
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  • Agentive und andere Fähigkeiten: Bemerkungen zu Agents' Abilities von Romy Jaster.David Löwenstein - 2020 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 74 (3):448-453.
    Agents' Abilities ist ein Geschenk von einem Buch, das man nicht genug loben kann. Und deswegen versuche ich es erst gar nicht. Stattdessen beschränke ich mich auf einige konstruktiv-kritische Bemerkungen, die in zwei miteinander verbundenen Bereichen Perspektiven der Weiterentwicklung und Verfeinerung aufzeigen sollen.
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  • Signaling Without Cooperation.Marc Artiga - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (3):357-378.
    Ethological theories usually attribute semantic content to animal signals. To account for this fact, many biologists and philosophers appeal to some version of teleosemantics. However, this picture has recently came under attack: while mainstream teleosemantics assumes that representational systems must cooperate, some biologists and philosophers argue that in certain cases signaling can evolve within systems lacking common interest. In this paper I defend the standard view from this objection.
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  • Cell Types as Natural Kinds.Matthew H. Slater - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):170-179.
    Talk of different types of cells is commonplace in the biological sciences. We know a great deal, for example, about human muscle cells by studying the same type of cells in mice. Information about cell type is apparently largely projectible across species boundaries. But what defines cell type? Do cells come pre-packaged into different natural kinds? Philosophical attention to these questions has been extremely limited [see e.g., Wilson (Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays, pp 187–207, 1999; Genes and the Agents of Life, (...)
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  • Psychiatric Disorders Qua Natural Kinds: The Case of the “Apathetic Children”.Marion Godman - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):144-152.
    In this article I examine some of the issues involved in taking psychiatric disorders as natural kinds. I begin by introducing a permissive model of natural kind-hood that at least prima facie seems to allow psychiatric disorders to be natural kinds. The model, however, hinges on there in principle being some grounding that is shared by all members of a kind, which explain all or most of the additional shared projectible properties. This leads us to the following question: what grounding (...)
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  • Kuhnian Paradigms: On Meaning and Communication Breakdown in Medicine. [REVIEW]Stefan Dragulinescu - 2011 - Medicine Studies 2 (4):245-263.
    In this paper, I enquire whether there are Kuhnian paradigms in medicine, by way of analysing a case study from the history of medicine—the discovery of the germ theory of disease in the nineteenth century. I investigate the Kuhnian aspects of this event by comparing the work of the famous school of microbiology founded by Robert Koch with a rival school, powerful in the nineteenth century, but now almost forgotten, founded by Carl Nageli. Through my case study, I show that (...)
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  • Know-How as Competence. A Rylean Responsibilist Account.David Löwenstein - 2017 - Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann.
    What does it mean to know how to do something? This book develops a comprehensive account of know-how, a crucial epistemic goal for all who care about getting things right, not only with respect to the facts, but also with respect to practice. It proposes a novel interpretation of the seminal work of Gilbert Ryle, according to which know-how is a competence, a complex ability to do well in an activity in virtue of guidance by an understanding of what it (...)
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  • Seeing Reasons.Jennifer Church - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (3):638-670.
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  • Why Tracking Theories Should Allow for Clean Cases of Reliable Misrepresentation.Angela Mendelovici - 2016 - Disputatio 8 (42):57-92.
    Reliable misrepresentation is getting things wrong in the same way all the time. In Mendelovici 2013, I argue that tracking theories of mental representation cannot allow for certain kinds of reliable misrepresentation, and that this is a problem for those views. Artiga 2013 defends teleosemantics from this argument. He agrees with Mendelovici 2013 that teleosemantics cannot account for clean cases of reliable misrepresentation, but argues that this is not a problem for the views. This paper clarifies and improves the argument (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy and Moral Responsibility.Gunnar Björnsson - forthcoming - In Dana Kay Nelkin & Derk Pereboom (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Responsibility. Oxford University Press.
    Can experimental philosophy help us answer central questions about the nature of moral responsibility, such as the question of whether moral responsibility is compatible with determinism? Specifically, can folk judgments in line with a particular answer to that question provide support for that answer. Based on reasoning familiar from Condorcet’s Jury Theorem, such support could be had if individual judges track the truth of the matter independently and with some modest reliability: such reliability quickly aggregates as the number of judges (...)
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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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  • Basic Action and Practical Knowledge.Will Small - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    It is a commonplace in philosophy of action that there is and must be teleologically basic action: something done on an occasion without doing it by means of doing anything else. It is widely believed that basic actions are exercises of skill. As the source of the need for basic action is the structure of practical reasoning, this yields a conception of skill and practical reasoning as complementary but mutually exclusive. On this view, practical reasoning and complex intentional action depend (...)
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  • The Mental Files Theory of Singular Thought: A Psychological Perspective.Michael Murez, Joulia Smortchkova & Brent Strickland - 2020 - In Rachel Goodman, James Genone & Nick Kroll (eds.), Singular Thought and Mental Files. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 107-142.
    We argue that the most ambitious version of the mental files theory of singular thought, according to which mental files are a wide-ranging psychological natural kind underlying all and only singular thinking, is unsupported by the available psychological data. Nevertheless, critical examination of the theory from a psychological perspective opens up promising avenues for research, especially concerning the relationship between our perceptual capacity to individuate and track basic individuals, and our higher level capacities for singular thought.
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  • Re-Organizing Organizational Accounts of Function.Marc Artiga - 2011 - Applied Ontology 6 (2):105-124.
    In this paper I discuss a recent theory on functions called Organizational Account. This theory seeks to provide a new definition of function that overcomes the distinction between etiological and dispositional accounts and that could be used in biology as well as in technology. I present a definition of function that I think captures the intuitions of Organizational Accounts and consider several objections.
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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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  • Are Abilities Dispositions?Barbara Vetter - forthcoming - Synthese 196 (1).
    Abilities are in many ways central to what being an agent means, and they are appealed to in philosophical accounts of a great many different phenomena. It is often assumed that abilities are some kind of dispositional property, but it is rarely made explicit exactly which dispositional properties are our abilities. Two recent debates provide two different answers to that question: the new dispositionalism in the debate about free will, and virtue reliabilism in epistemology. This paper argues that both answers (...)
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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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  • What Words Mean and Express: Semantics and Pragmatics of Kind Terms and Verbs.Agustin Vicente - 2017 - Journal of Pragmatics 117:231-244.
    For many years, it has been common-ground in semantics and in philosophy of language that semantics is in the business of providing a full explanation about how propositional meanings are obtained. This orthodox picture seems to be in trouble these days, as an increasing number of authors now hold that semantics does not deal with thought-contents. Some of these authors have embraced a “thin meanings” view, according to which lexical meanings are too schematic to enter propositional contents. I will suggest (...)
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  • Visual Reference and Iconic Content.Santiago Echeverri - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):761-781.
    Evidence from cognitive science supports the claim that humans and other animals see the world as divided into objects. Although this claim is widely accepted, it remains unclear whether the mechanisms of visual reference have representational content or are directly instantiated in the functional architecture. I put forward a version of the former approach that construes object files as icons for objects. This view is consistent with the evidence that motivates the architectural account, can respond to the key arguments against (...)
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  • Short Review of Varieties of Meaning, R. G. Millikan. [REVIEW]Nicholas Shea - 2009 - Philosophical Review 118 (1):127-130.
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  • Filosofía práctica impura y normativa.Guillermo Lariguet - 2014 - Co-herencia 11 (20):187-213.
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  • Beyond Concepts.Laura Schroeter - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):363-377.
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  • Mental Files and Identity.François Recanati - 2011 - In Anne Reboul (ed.), Philosophical Papers Dedicated to Kevin Mulligan.
    Mental files serve as individual or singular concepts. Like singular terms in the language, they refer, or are supposed to refer. What they refer to is not determined by properties which the subject takes the referent to have (i.e. by the information stored in the file), but through relations to various entities in the environment in which the file fulfills its function. Files are based on acquaintance relations, and the function of the file is to store whatever information is made (...)
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  • Agents’ Abilities.Romy Jaster - 2020 - Berlin, New York: De Gruyter.
    In the book, I provide an account of what it is for an agent to have an ability. According to the Success View, abilities are all about success across possible situations. In developing and applying the view, the book elucidates the relation between abilities on the one hand and possibility, counterfactuals, and dispositions on the other; it sheds light on the distinction between general and specific abilities; it offers an understanding of degrees of abilities; it explains which role intentions and (...)
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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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  • Naming and Normativity.Osamu Kiritani - 2008 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 29 (1-2):49-54.
    Evolutionary theory has recently been applied to language. The aim of this paper is to contribute to such an evolutionary approach to language. I argue that Kripke’s causal account of proper names, in terms of natural selection, captures the norm of uses of a proper name, which is to refer to the same object as past others’ uses in a linguistic community. My argument appeals to Millikan’s theory of direct proper functions, which captures the norms of various functional entities in (...)
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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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  • Educating the Design Stance: Issues of Coherence and Transgression. Commentary on Bullot & Reber.Norman H. Freeman & Melissa L. Allen - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
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  • Comments on Miranda Fricker's Epistemic Injustice.Sanford Goldberg - 2010 - Episteme 7 (2):138-150.
    Miranda Fricker's Epistemic Injustice is a wide-ranging and important book on a much-neglected topic: the injustice involved in cases in which distrust arises out of prejudice. Fricker has some important things to say about this sort of injustice: its nature, how it arises, what sustains it, and the unhappy outcomes associated with it for the victim and the society in which it takes place. In the course of developing this account, Fricker also develops an account of the epistemology of testimony. (...)
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  • Epistemological Holism and Semantic Holism.William Cornwell - 2002 - In Yves Bouchard (ed.), Perspectives on Coherentism. Aylmar, Quebec: Editions du Scribe. pp. 17-33.
    This paper draws upon the works of Wilfred Sellars, Jerry Fodor, and Ruth Millikan to argue against epistemological holism and conceptual holism. In the first section, I content that contrary to confirmation holism, there are individual beliefs ("basic beliefs") that receive nondoxastic/noninferential warrant. In the earliest stages of cognitive development, modular processes produce basic beliefs about how things are. The disadvantage of this type of basic belief is that the person may possess information that should have defeated the belief but (...)
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  • How Properties Hold Together in Substances.Joseph E. Earley - 2016 - In Eric Scerri & Grant Fisher (eds.), Essays in Philosophy of Chemistry. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 199-216.
    This article aims to clarify how aspects of current chemical understanding relate to some important contemporary problems of philosophy. The first section points out that the long-running philosophical debates concerning how properties stay together in substances have neglected the important topic of structure-determining closure. The second part describes several chemically-important types of closure and the third part shows how such closures ground the properties of chemical substances. The fourth section introduces current discussions of structural realism (SR) and contextual emergence: the (...)
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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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  • Mental Files.François Recanati - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
    Over the past fifty years the philosophy of language and mind has been dominated by a nondescriptivist approach to content and reference. This book attempts to recast and systematize that approach by offering an indexical model in terms of mental files. According to Recanati, we refer through mental files, the function of which is to store information derived through certain types of contextual relation the subject bears to objects in his or her environment. The reference of a file is determined (...)
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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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  • Social Categories Are Natural Kinds, Not Objective Types (and Why It Matters Politically).Theodore Bach - 2016 - Journal of Social Ontology 2 (2):177-201.
    There is growing support for the view that social categories like men and women refer to “objective types” (Haslanger 2000, 2006, 2012; Alcoff 2005). An objective type is a similarity class for which the axis of similarity is an objective rather than nominal or fictional property. Such types are independently real and causally relevant, yet their unity does not derive from an essential property. Given this tandem of features, it is not surprising why empirically-minded researchers interested in fighting oppression and (...)
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  • Naturalized Perception Without Information.John Dilworth - 2004 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 25 (4):349-368.
    The outlines of a novel, fully naturalistic theory of perception are provided, that can explain perception of an object X by organism Z in terms of reflexive causality. On the reflexive view proposed, organism Z perceives object or property X just in case X causes Z to acquire causal dispositions reflexively directed back upon X itself. This broadly functionalist theory is potentially capable of explaining both perceptual representation and perceptual content in purely causal terms, making no use of informational concepts. (...)
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  • Singular Thoughts and de Re Attitude Reports.James Openshaw - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (4):415-437.
    It is widely supposed that if there is to be a plausible connection between the truth of a de re attitude report about a subject and that subject’s possession of a singular thought, then ‘acquaintance’-style requirements on singular thought must be rejected. I show that this belief rests on poorly motivated claims about how we talk about the attitudes. I offer a framework for propositional attitude reports which provides both attractive solutions to recalcitrant puzzle cases and the key to preserving (...)
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  • Concepts as Soft Detectors - On the Role Concepts Play in Perception.Paweł Grabarczyk - 2016 - New Ideas in Psychology 40:86-93.
    The idea that concepts play a significant role in some perceptions is widespread but everybody seems to differ as to where to draw the line. Some researchers say that the difference between direct and indirect, concept driven acts of perception manifests itself whenever we perceive abstract or general properties. Others point at second order properties or causal properties. I call this inability to precisely differentiate between acts of direct and indirect perception “The Division Problem”. Furthermore there is always a question (...)
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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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  • Representation in Cognitive Science.Nicholas Shea - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    How can we think about things in the outside world? There is still no widely accepted theory of how mental representations get their meaning. In light of pioneering research, Nicholas Shea develops a naturalistic account of the nature of mental representation with a firm focus on the subpersonal representations that pervade the cognitive sciences.
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  • Environments of Intelligence. From Natural Information to Artficial Interaction.Hajo Greif - 2017 - London: Routledge.
    What is the role of the environment, and of the information it provides, in cognition? More specifically, may there be a role for certain artefacts to play in this context? These are questions that motivate "4E" theories of cognition (as being embodied, embedded, extended, enactive). In his take on that family of views, Hajo Greif first defends and refines a concept of information as primarily natural, environmentally embedded in character, which had been eclipsed by information-processing views of cognition. He continues (...)
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