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  1. The Modularity of the Motor System.Myrto Mylopoulos - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 24 (3):376-393.
    In this paper, I make a case for the modularity of the motor system. I start where many do in discussions of modularity, by considering the extent to which the motor system is cognitively penetrable, i.e., the extent to which its processing and outputs are causally influenced, in a semantically coherent way, by states of central cognition. I present some empirical findings from a range of sensorimotor adaptation studies that strongly suggest that there are limits to such influence under certain (...)
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  • Unconscious perception and central coordinating agency.Joshua Shepherd & Myrto Mylopoulos - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):3869-3893.
    One necessary condition on any adequate account of perception is clarity regarding whether unconscious perception exists. The issue is complicated, and the debate is growing in both philosophy and science. In this paper we consider the case for unconscious perception, offering three primary achievements. First, we offer a discussion of the underspecified notion of central coordinating agency, a notion that is critical for arguments that purportedly perceptual states are not attributable to the individual, and thus not genuinely perceptual. We develop (...)
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  • Imagery in action. G. H. Mead’s contribution to sensorimotor enactivism.Guido Baggio - 2021 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 20 (5):935-955.
    The aim of the article is to outline several valuable elements of Mead’s pragmatist theory of perception in action developed in his The Philosophy of the Act, in order to strengthen the pragmatist legacy of the enactivist approach. In particular, Mead’s theory of perception in action turns out to be a forerunner of sensorimotor enactivist theory. Unlike the latter, however, Mead explicitly refers to imagery as an essential capacity for agency. Nonetheless, the article argues that the ways in which Mead (...)
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  • Skill and Sensitivity to Reasons.Joshua Shepherd - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):669-681.
    In this paper I explore the relationship between skill and sensitivity to reasons for action. I want to know to what degree we can explain the fact that the skilled agent is very good at performing a cluster of actions within some domain in terms of the fact that the skilled agent has a refined sensitivity to the reasons for action common to the cluster. The picture is a little bit complex. While skill can be partially explained by sensitivity to (...)
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  • Pluralistic Attitude-Explanation and the Mechanisms of Intentional Action.Daniel Burnston - 2021 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, Vol 7. Oxford, UK: pp. 130-153.
    According to the Causal Theory of Action (CTA), genuine actions are individuated by their causal history. Actions are bodily movements that are causally explained by citing the agent’s reasons. Reasons are then explained as some combination of propositional attitudes – beliefs, desires, and/or intentions. The CTA is thus committed to realism about the attitudes. This paper explores current models of decision-making from the mind sciences, and argues that it is far from obvious how to locate the propositional attitudes in the (...)
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  • Attention in Skilled Behavior: An Argument for Pluralism.Alex Dayer & Carolyn Dicey Jennings - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):615-638.
    Peak human performance—whether of Olympic athletes, Nobel prize winners, or you cooking the best dish you’ve ever made—depends on skill. Skill is at the heart of what it means to excel. Yet, the fixity of skilled behavior can sometimes make it seem a lower-level activity, more akin to the movements of an invertebrate or a machine. Peak performance in elite athletes is often described, for example, as “automatic” by those athletes: “The most frequent response from participants when describing the execution (...)
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  • Skilled Guidance.Denis Buehler - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):641-667.
    Skilled action typically requires that individuals guide their activities toward some goal. In skilled action, individuals do so excellently. We do not understand well what this capacity to guide consists in. In this paper I provide a case study of how individuals shift visual attention. Their capacity to guide visual attention toward some goal consists in an empirically discovered sub-system – the executive system. I argue that we can explain how individuals guide by appealing to the operation of this sub-system. (...)
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  • It Just Feels Right: An Account of Expert Intuition.Ellen Fridland & Matt Stichter - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1327-1346.
    One of the hallmarks of virtue is reliably acting well. Such reliable success presupposes that an agent is able to recognize the morally salient features of a situation, and the appropriate response to those features and is motivated to act on this knowledge without internal conflict. Furthermore, it is often claimed that the virtuous person can do this in a spontaneous or intuitive manner. While these claims represent an ideal of what it is to have a virtue, it is less (...)
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  • Embodied Skillful Performance: Where the Action Is.Inês Hipólito, Manuel Baltieri, Karl Friston & Maxwell J. D. Ramstead - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4457-4481.
    When someone masters a skill, their performance looks to us like second nature: it looks as if their actions are smoothly performed without explicit, knowledge-driven, online monitoring of their performance. Contemporary computational models in motor control theory, however, are instructionist: that is, they cast skillful performance as a knowledge-driven process. Optimal motor control theory, as representative par excellence of such approaches, casts skillful performance as an instruction, instantiated in the brain, that needs to be executed—a motor command. This paper aims (...)
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  • Weighing in on Decisions in the Brain: Neural Representations of Pre-Awareness Practical Intention.Robyn Repko Waller - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):5175-5203.
    Neuroscientists have located brain activity that prepares or encodes action plans before agents are aware of intending to act. On the basis of these findings and broader agency research, activity in these regions has been proposed as the neural realizers of practical intention. My aim in this paper is to evaluate the case for taking these neural states to be neural representations of intention. I draw on work in philosophy of action on the role and nature of practical intentions to (...)
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  • Concepts and Predication From Perception to Cognition.Jake Quilty-Dunn - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):273-292.
    Philosophical Issues, Volume 30, Issue 1, Page 273-292, October 2020.
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  • Bayes, Predictive Processing, and the Cognitive Architecture of Motor Control.Daniel C. Burnston - 2021 - Consciousness and Cognition 96:103218.
    Despite their popularity, relatively scant attention has been paid to the upshot of Bayesian and predictive processing models of cognition for views of overall cognitive architecture. Many of these models are hierarchical ; they posit generative models at multiple distinct "levels," whose job is to predict the consequences of sensory input at lower levels. I articulate one possible position that could be implied by these models, namely, that there is a continuous hierarchy of perception, cognition, and action control comprising levels (...)
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  • A Role for Conscious Accessibility in Skilled Action.Chiara Brozzo - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):683-697.
    Skilled sportsmen or musicians—more generally, skilled agents—often fill us with awe with the way they perform their actions. One question we may ask ourselves is whether they intended to perform some awe-inspiring aspects of their actions. This question becomes all the more pressing as it often turns out that these agents were not conscious of some of those aspects at the time of performance. As I shall argue, there are reasons for suspecting lack of conscious access to an aspect of (...)
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  • Exploring the Orthogonal Relationship Between Controlled and Automated Processes in Skilled Action.John Toner & Aidan Moran - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):577-593.
    Traditional models of skill learning posit that skilled action unfolds in an automatic manner and that control will prove deleterious to movement and performance proficiency. These perspectives assume that automated processes are characterised by low levels of control and vice versa. By contrast, a number of authors have recently put forward hybrid theories of skilled action which have sought to capture the close integration between fine-grained automatic motor routines and intentional states. Drawing heavily on the work of Bebko et al. (...)
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  • Habitual Actions, Propositional Knowledge, Motor Representations and Intentionality.Gabriele Ferretti & Silvano Zipoli Caiani - 2021 - Topoi 40 (3):623-635.
    Habitual actions have a history of practice and repetition that frees us from attending to what we are doing. Nevertheless, habitual actions seem to be intentional. What does account for the intentionality of habitual actions if they are automatically performed and controlled? In this paper, we address a possible response to a particular version of this issue, that is, the problem of understanding how the intention to execute a habitual action, which comes in a propositional format, interlocks with motor representations, (...)
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  • Visual Phenomenology Versus Visuomotor Imagery: How Can We Be Aware of Action Properties?Gabriele Ferretti - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3309-3338.
    Here is a crucial question in the contemporary philosophy of perception: how can we be aware of action properties? According to the perceptual view, we consciously see them: they are present in our visual phenomenology. However, this view faces some problems. First, I review these problems. Then, I propose an alternative view, according to which we are aware of action properties because we imagine them through a special form of imagery, which I call visuomotor imagery. My account is to be (...)
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  • Intelligent Action Guidance and the Use of Mixed Representational Formats.Joshua Shepherd - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 17):4143-4162.
    My topic is the intelligent guidance of action. In this paper I offer an empirically grounded case for four ideas: that [a] cognitive processes of practical reasoning play a key role in the intelligent guidance of action, [b] these processes could not do so without significant enabling work done by both perception and the motor system, [c] the work done by perceptual and motor systems can be characterized as the generation of information specialized for action guidance, which in turn suggests (...)
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  • Neural Representations Observed.Eric Thomson & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):191-235.
    The historical debate on representation in cognitive science and neuroscience construes representations as theoretical posits and discusses the degree to which we have reason to posit them. We reject the premise of that debate. We argue that experimental neuroscientists routinely observe and manipulate neural representations in their laboratory. Therefore, neural representations are as real as neurons, action potentials, or any other well-established entities in our ontology.
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  • Free Will, Causality, and Neuroscience.Bernard Feltz, Marcus Missal & Andrew Cameron Sims (eds.) - 2019 - Brill.
    This book aims to show that recent developments in neuroscience permit a defense of free will. Through language, human beings can escape strict biological determinism.
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  • Knowledge How.Jeremy Fantl - 2012 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • The Two Visual Systems Hypothesis and Contrastive Underdetermination.Thor Grünbaum - 2021 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 17):4045-4068.
    This paper concerns local yet systematic problems of contrastive underdetermination of model choice in cognitive neuroscience debates about the so-called two visual systems hypothesis. The underdetermination problem is systematically generated by the way certain assumptions about the representationalist nature of computation are translated into experimental practice. The problem is that behavioural data underdetermine the choice between competing representational models. In this paper, I diagnose how these assumptions generate underdetermination problems in the choice between competing functional models of perception–action. Using the (...)
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  • The Skill of Translating Thought Into Action: Framing The Problem.Wayne Christensen - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology (3):1-27.
    The nature of the cognition-motor interface has been brought to prominence by Butterfill & Sinigaglia, who argue that the representations employed by the cognitive and motor systems should not be able to interact with each other. Here I argue that recent empirical evidence concerning the interface contradicts several of the assumptions incorporated in Butterfill & Sinigaglia’s account, and I seek to develop a theoretical picture that will allow us to explain the structure of the interface presented by this evidence. The (...)
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  • Are Visuomotor Representations Cognitively Penetrable? Biasing Action-Guiding Vision.Josefa Toribio - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 17):1-19.
    Is action-guiding vision cognitively penetrable? More specifically, is the visual processing that guides our goal-directed actions sensitive to semantic information from cognitive states? This paper critically examines a recent family of arguments whose aim is to challenge a widespread and influential view in philosophy and cognitive science: the view that action-guiding vision is cognitively impenetrable. I argue, in response, that while there may very well be top–down causal influences on action-guiding vision, they should not be taken to be an instance (...)
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  • What Is Minimally Cooperative Behavior?Kirk Ludwig - 2020 - In Anika Fiebich (ed.), Minimal Cooperation and Shared Agency. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 9-40.
    Cooperation admits of degrees. When factory workers stage a slowdown, they do not cease to cooperate with management in the production of goods altogether, but they are not fully cooperative either. Full cooperation implies that participants in a joint action are committed to rendering appropriate contributions as needed toward their joint end so as to bring it about, consistently with the type of action and the generally agreed upon constraints within which they work, as efficiently as they can, where their (...)
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  • Agency, Perception, Space and Subjectivity.Rick Grush & Alison Springle - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (5):799-818.
    The goal of this paper is to illuminate the connections between agency, perception, subjectivity, space and the body. Such connections have been the subject matter of much philosophical work. For example, the importance of the body and bodily action on perception is a growth area in philosophy of mind. Nevertheless, there are some key relations that, as will become clear, have not been adequately explored. We start by examining the relation between embodiment and agency, especially the dependence of agency on (...)
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  • Practical Concepts and Productive Reasoning.Carlotta Pavese - forthcoming - Synthese:1-30.
    Can we think of a task in a distinctively practical way? Can there be practical concepts? In recent years, epistemologists, philosophers of mind, as well as philosophers of psychology have appealed to practical concepts in characterizing the content of know-how or in explaining certain features of skillful action. However, reasons for positing practical concepts are rarely discussed in a systematic fashion. This paper advances a novel argument for the psychological reality of practical concepts that relies on evidence for a distinctively (...)
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  • Flexible Occurrent Control.Denis Buehler - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):2119-2137.
    There has recently been much interest in the role of attention in controlling action. The role has been mischaracterized as an element in necessary and sufficient conditions on agential control. In this paper I attempt a new characterization of the role. I argue that we need to understand attentional control in order to fully understand agential control. To fully understand agential control we must understand paradigm exercises of agential control. Three important accounts of agential control—intentional, reflective, and goal-represented control—do not (...)
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  • Skill and strategic control.Ellen Fridland - forthcoming - Synthese:1-28.
    This paper provides an account of the strategic control involved in skilled action. When I discuss strategic control, I have in mind the practical goals, plans, and strategies that skilled agents use in order to specify, structure, and organize their skilled actions, which they have learned through practice. The idea is that skilled agents are better than novices not only at implementing the intentions that they have but also at forming the right intentions. More specifically, skilled agents are able formulate (...)
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  • The Skill of Self-Control.Juan Pablo Bermúdez - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    Researchers often claim that self-control is a skill. It is also often stated that self-control exertions are intentional actions. However, no account has yet been proposed of the skillful agency that makes self-control exertion possible, so our understanding of self-control remains incomplete. Here I propose the skill model of self-control, which accounts for skillful agency by tackling the guidance problem: how can agents transform their abstract and coarse-grained intentions into the highly context-sensitive, fine-grained control processes required to select, revise and (...)
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  • Knowledge How, Procedural Knowledge, and the Type-Token Action Clause.Garry Young - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (3):327-343.
    This paper argues that the propositions “S knowing how to Φ entails that S has the ability to Φ” and “S knowing how to Φ does not entail the ability to Φ” can both be true and non-contradictory when true, so long as one distinguishes between Φ as an action-type and Φ as an action-token. In order to defend this claim, recent work by Young, Levy, and Gaultier is discussed with a view to integrating into a coherent and novel position (...)
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  • Mental Structures.Kevin J. Lande - 2020 - Noûs.
    An ongoing philosophical discussion concerns how various types of mental states fall within broad representational genera—for example, whether perceptual states are “iconic” or “sentential,” “analog” or “digital,” and so on. Here, I examine the grounds for making much more specific claims about how mental states are structured from constituent parts. For example, the state I am in when I perceive the shape of a mountain ridge may have as constituent parts my representations of the shapes of each peak and saddle (...)
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  • Thinking by Doing: Rylean Regress and the Metaphysics of Action.Markos Valaris - 2020 - Synthese 197 (8):3395-3412.
    Discussions of Ryle’s regress argument against the “intellectualist legend” have largely focused on whether it is effective against a certain view about knowledge how, namely, the view that knowledge how is a species of propositional knowledge. This is understandable, as this is how Ryle himself framed the issue. Nevertheless, this focus has tended to obscure some different concerns which are no less pressing—either for Ryle or for us today. More specifically, I argue that a version of Ryle’s regress confronts any (...)
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  • Solving the Interface Problem Without Translation: The Same Format Thesis.Gabriele Ferretti & Silvano Zipoli Caiani - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (1):301-333.
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  • Skill’s Psychological Structures. [REVIEW]Ellen Fridland - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (2):555-562.
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  • Interactive Expertise in Solo and Joint Musical Performance.Glenda Satne & Simon Høffding - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):427-445.
    The paper presents two empirical cases of expert musicians—a classical string quartet and a solo, free improvisation saxophonist—to analyze the explanatory power and reach of theories in the field of expertise studies and joint action. We argue that neither the positions stressing top-down capacities of prediction, planning or perspective-taking, nor those emphasizing bottom-up embodied processes of entrainment, motor-responses and emotional sharing can do justice to the empirical material. We then turn to hybrid theories in the expertise debate and interactionist accounts (...)
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  • A Distinction Concerning Vision-for-Action and Affordance Perception.Gabriele Ferretti - 2021 - Consciousness and Cognition 87:103028.
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  • Author Reply: Emotional Episodes Are Action Episodes.Agnes Moors & Yannick Boddez - 2017 - Emotion Review 9 (4):353-354.
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  • Shared Intentionality and Automatic Imitation: The Case of La Ola.Piotr Tomasz Makowski - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (5):465-492.
    This article argues that such large-scale cases of crowd behavior as the Mexican Wave constitute forms of shared intentionality which cannot be explained solely with the use of the standard intentionalistic ontology. It claims that such unique forms of collective intentionality require a hybrid explanatory lens in which an account of shared goals, intentions, and other propositional attitudes is combined with an account of the motor psychology of collective agents. The paper describes in detail the intentionalistic ontology of La Ola (...)
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  • From Freedom From to Freedom To: New Perspectives on Intentional Action.Sofia Bonicalzi & Patrick Haggard - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • Skilled Action and the Double Life of Intention.Joshua Shepherd - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (2):286-305.
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  • Interface Problems in the Explanation of Action.Daniel C. Burnston - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (2):242-258.
    When doing mental ontology, we must ask how to individuate distinct categories of mental states, and then, given that individuation, ask how states from distinct categories interact. One promising proposal for how to individuate cognitive from sensorimotor states is in terms of their representational form. On these views, cognitive representations are propositional in structure, while sensorimotor representations have an internal structure that maps to the perceptual and kinematic dimensions involved in an action context. This way of thinking has resulted in (...)
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  • Memory Systems and the Control of Skilled Action.Wayne Christensen, John Sutton & Kath Bicknell - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (5):692-718.
    ABSTRACTIn keeping with the dominant view that skills are largely automatic, the standard view of memory systems distinguishes between a representational declarative system associated with cognitive processes and a performance-based procedural system. The procedural system is thought to be largely responsible for the performance of well-learned skilled actions. Here we argue that most skills do not fully automate, which entails that the declarative system should make a substantial contribution to skilled performance. To support this view, we review evidence showing that (...)
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  • Longer, Smaller, Faster, Stronger: On Skills and Intelligence.Ellen Fridland - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (5):759-783.
    ABSTRACTHow does practice change our behaviors such that they go from being awkward, unskilled actions to elegant, skilled performances? This is the question that I wish to explore in this paper. In the first section of the paper, I will defend the tight connection between practice and skill and then go on to make precise how we ought to construe the concept of practice. In the second section, I will suggest that practice contributes to skill by structuring and automatizing the (...)
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  • Fodor on Imagistic Mental Representations.Daniel C. Burnston - 2020 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 11 (1):71-94.
    : Fodor’s view of the mind is thoroughly computational. This means that the basic kind of mental entity is a “discursive” mental representation and operations over this kind of mental representation have broad architectural scope, extending out to the edges of perception and the motor system. However, in multiple epochs of his work, Fodor attempted to define a functional role for non-discursive, imagistic representation. I describe and critique his two considered proposals. The first view says that images play a particular (...)
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  • Intellectualism and the Argument From Cognitive Science.Arieh Schwartz & Zoe Drayson - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (5):662-692.
    Intellectualism is the claim that practical knowledge or ‘know-how’ is a kind of propositional knowledge. The debate over Intellectualism has appealed to two different kinds of evidence, semantic and scientific. This paper concerns the relationship between Intellectualist arguments based on truth-conditional semantics of practical knowledge ascriptions, and anti-Intellectualist arguments based on cognitive science and propositional representation. The first half of the paper argues that the anti-Intellectualist argument from cognitive science rests on a naturalistic approach to metaphysics: its proponents assume that (...)
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  • The Psychological Reality of Practical Representation.Carlotta Pavese - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (5):784-821.
    ABSTRACTWe represent the world in a variety of ways: through percepts, concepts, propositional attitudes, words, numerals, recordings, musical scores, photographs, diagrams, mimetic paintings, etc. Some of these representations are mental. It is customary for philosophers to distinguish two main kinds of mental representations: perceptual representation and conceptual representation. This essay presupposes a version of this dichotomy and explores the way in which a further kind of representation – procedural representation – represents. It is argued that, in some important respects, procedural (...)
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