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  1. Is 'Cause' Ambiguous?Phil Corkum - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179:2945-71.
    Causal pluralists hold that that there is not just one determinate kind of causation. Some causal pluralists hold that ‘cause’ is ambiguous among these different kinds. For example, Hall (2004) argues that ‘cause’ is ambiguous between two causal relations, which he labels dependence and production. The view that ‘cause’ is ambiguous, however, wrongly predicts zeugmatic conjunction reduction, and wrongly predicts the behaviour of ellipsis in causal discourse. So ‘cause’ is not ambiguous. If we are to disentangle causal pluralism from the (...)
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  • Breaking the language barrier: conceptual representation without a language-like format.Iwan Williams - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    An important part of the explanatory role of concepts is that they enable us to combine a wide variety of objects, properties and relations in thought, with contents spanning diverse domains. I discuss an argument that appears to show that paradigmatic non-linguistic representational formats are unsuited to play this role, and thus conceptual representation could not occur in these formats. I show that this argument fails, because it overlooks the possibility of individual concepts being shared between a number of special (...)
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  • Polysemy does not exist, at least not in the relevant sense.Gabor Brody & Roman Feiman - 2024 - Mind and Language 39 (2):179-200.
    Based on the existence of polysemy (e.g., lunch can refer to both food and events), it is argued that central tenets of externalist semantics and Fodorian concept atomism, an externalist theory on which words lack semantic structure, are unsound. We evaluate the premise that these arguments rely on—that polysemous words have separate, finer‐grained senses. We survey the evidence across psychology and linguistics and argue that it shows that polysemy does not exist, at least not in this “sense”. The upshot is (...)
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  • Does Cognitive Psychology Imply Pluralism About the Self?Christopher Register - 2024 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 15 (1):219-236.
    Psychologists and philosophers have recently argued that our concepts of ‘person’ or ‘self’ are plural. Some have argued that we should also adopt a corresponding pluralism about the metaphysics of the self. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, I sketch and motivate an approach to personal identity that supports the inference from facts about how we think about the self to facts about the nature of the self. On the proposed view, the self-concept partly determines the nature of (...)
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  • The Analytic/Synthetic Distinction.Georges Rey - 2012 - In Peter Adamson (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Does Cognitive Psychology Imply Pluralism About the Self?Christopher Register - 2023 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology (1):1-18.
    Psychologists and philosophers have recently argued that our concepts of ‘person’ or ‘self’ are plural. Some have argued that we should also adopt a corresponding pluralism about the metaphysics of the self. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, I sketch and motivate an approach to personal identity that supports the inference from facts about how we think about the self to facts about the nature of the self. On the proposed view, the self-concept partly determines the nature of (...)
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  • The best game in town: The reemergence of the language-of-thought hypothesis across the cognitive sciences.Jake Quilty-Dunn, Nicolas Porot & Eric Mandelbaum - 2023 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 46:e261.
    Mental representations remain the central posits of psychology after many decades of scrutiny. However, there is no consensus about the representational format(s) of biological cognition. This paper provides a survey of evidence from computational cognitive psychology, perceptual psychology, developmental psychology, comparative psychology, and social psychology, and concludes that one type of format that routinely crops up is the language-of-thought (LoT). We outline six core properties of LoTs: (i) discrete constituents; (ii) role-filler independence; (iii) predicate–argument structure; (iv) logical operators; (v) inferential (...)
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  • Engineering Social Concepts: Feasibility and Causal Models.Eleonore Neufeld - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    How feasible are conceptual engineering projects of social concepts that aim for the engineered concept to be widely adopted in ordinary everyday life? Predominant frameworks on the psychology of concepts that shape work on stereotyping, bias, and machine learning have grim implications for the prospects of conceptual engineers: conceptual engineering efforts are ineffective in promoting certain social-conceptual changes. Specifically, since conceptual components that give rise to problematic social stereotypes are sensitive to statistical structures of the environment, purely conceptual change won’t (...)
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  • Thinking Off Your Feet: Reply to My Critics.Michael Strevens - 2022 - Analysis 82 (2):343-353.
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  • Moving beyond content‐specific computation in artificial neural networks.Nicholas Shea - 2021 - Mind and Language 38 (1):156-177.
    A basic deep neural network (DNN) is trained to exhibit a large set of input–output dispositions. While being a good model of the way humans perform some tasks automatically, without deliberative reasoning, more is needed to approach human‐like artificial intelligence. Analysing recent additions brings to light a distinction between two fundamentally different styles of computation: content‐specific and non‐content‐specific computation (as first defined here). For example, deep episodic RL networks draw on both. So does human conceptual reasoning. Combining the two takes (...)
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  • The language-of-thought hypothesis as a working hypothesis in cognitive science.Jake Quilty-Dunn, Nicolas Porot & Eric Mandelbaum - 2023 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 46:e292.
    The target article attempted to draw connections between broad swaths of evidence by noticing a common thread: Abstract, symbolic, compositional codes, that is, language-of-thoughts (LoTs). Commentators raised concerns about the evidence and offered fascinating extensions to areas we overlooked. Here we respond and highlight the many specific empirical questions to be answered in the next decade and beyond.
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  • Proprietary linguistic meaning.Tim Pritchard - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-20.
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  • Twelve-month-olds disambiguate new words using mutual-exclusivity inferences.Barbara Pomiechowska, Gábor Bródy, Gergely Csibra & Teodora Gliga - 2021 - Cognition 213 (C):104691.
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  • Education, Consciousness and Negative Feedback: Towards the Renewal of Modern Philosophy of Education.Eetu Pikkarainen - 2021 - Philosophies 6 (2):25.
    Among the biggest challenges facing the contemporary human condition, and therefore also education, is responding to the climate crisis. One of the sources of the crisis is assumed to be _absent-mindedness_, presented by Leslie Dewart as a distortion of the development of human consciousness. Dewart’s poorly-known philosophical consciousness study is presented in this paper in broad outline. The problems in the study of consciousness, the most important of which are the qualitative representations—qualia—and the question of free will, are also briefly (...)
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  • Practical concepts and productive reasoning.Carlotta Pavese - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7659-7688.
    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 skilled 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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  • 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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  • The transparency of mental vehicles.Michael Murez - 2023 - Noûs:1-28.
    Modes of presentation (MOPs) are often said to have to be transparent, usually in the sense that thinkers can know solely via introspection whether or not they are deploying the same one. While there has been much discussion of threats to transparency stemming from externalism, another threat to transparency has gar- nered less attention. This novel threat arises if MOPs are robust, as I argue they should be according to internalist views of MOPs which identify them with represen- tational vehicles, (...)
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  • The Method of Cases’ Feet of Clay.Edouard Machery - 2022 - Analysis 82 (2):335-343.
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  • Mental simulation and language comprehension: The case of copredication.Michelle Liu - 2024 - Mind and Language 39 (1):2-21.
    Empirical evidence suggests that perceptual‐motor simulations are often constitutively involved in language comprehension. Call this “the simulation view of language comprehension”. This article applies the simulation view to illuminate the much‐discussed phenomenon of copredication, where a noun permits multiple predications which seem to select different senses of the noun simultaneously. On the proposed account, the (in)felicitousness of a copredicational sentence is closely associated with the perceptual simulations that the language user deploys in comprehending the sentence.
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  • How to Think about Zeugmatic Oddness.Michelle Liu - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-24.
    Zeugmatic oddness is a linguistic intuition of oddness with respect to an instance of zeugma, i.e. a sentence containing an instance of a homonymous or polysemous word being used in different meanings or senses simultaneously. Zeugmatic oddness is important for philosophical debates as philosophers often use it to argue that a particular philosophically interesting expression is ambiguous and that the phenomenon referred to by the expression is disunified. This paper takes a closer look at zeugmatic oddness. Focusing on relevant psycholinguistic (...)
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  • Coordination, Content, and Conflation.Kyle Landrum - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (3):638-652.
    Coordination is the presumption that distinct representations have the same referential content. Philosophers have discussed ways in which the presence of coordination might bear on the metasemantic determination of content. One test case for exploring the relationship between coordination and content is the phenomenon of conflation — the situation in which representations are about distinct things but are nevertheless coordinated. In this paper, I use observations about conflation to develop an anaphoric metasemantics for some representations in which coordination plays an (...)
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  • A Hole in the Box and a Pain in the Mouth.Laurenz C. Casser & Henry Ian Schiller - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (4):pqaa091.
    The following argument is widely assumed to be invalid: there is a pain in my finger; my finger is in my mouth; therefore, there is a pain in my mouth. The apparent invalidity of this argument has recently been used to motivate the conclusion that pains are not spatial entities. We argue that this is a mistake. We do so by drawing attention to the metaphysics of pains and holes and provide a framework for their location which both vindicates the (...)
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  • Polysemy: Pragmatics and sense conventions.Robyn Carston - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (1):108-133.
    Polysemy, understood as instances of a single linguistic expression having multiple related senses, is not a homogenous phenomenon. There are regular (apparently, rule‐based) cases and irregular (resemblance‐based) cases, which have different processing profiles. Although a primary source of polysemy is pragmatic inference, at least some cases become conventionalised and linguistically encoded. Three main issues are discussed: (a) the key differences between regular and irregular cases and the role, if any, of a “core meaning”; (b) the distinction between pragmatic polysemy and (...)
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  • Sharing Our Concepts with Machines.Patrick Butlin - 2021 - Erkenntnis 88 (7):3079-3095.
    As AI systems become increasingly competent language users, it is an apt moment to consider what it would take for machines to understand human languages. This paper considers whether either language models such as GPT-3 or chatbots might be able to understand language, focusing on the question of whether they could possess the relevant concepts. A significant obstacle is that systems of both kinds interact with the world only through text, and thus seem ill-suited to understanding utterances concerning the concrete (...)
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  • Literal and metaphorical meaning: in search of a lost distinction.Nicholas Allott & Mark Textor - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    The distinction between literal and figurative use is well-known and embedded in ‘folk linguistics’. According to folk linguistics, figurative uses deviate from literal ones. But recent work on lexical modulation and polysemy shows that meaning deviation is ubiquitous, even in cases of literal use. Hence, it has been argued, the literal/figurative distinction has no value for theorising about communication. In this paper, we focus on metaphor and argue that here the literal–figurative distinction has theoretical importance. The distinction between literal and (...)
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  • Constructing Embodied Emotion with Language: Moebius Syndrome and Face-Based Emotion Recognition Revisited.Hunter Gentry - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Some embodied theories of concepts state that concepts are represented in a sensorimotor manner, typically via simulation in sensorimotor cortices. Fred Adams (2010) has advanced an empirical argument against embodied concepts reasoning as follows. If concepts are embodied, then patients with certain sensorimotor impairments should perform worse on categorization tasks involving those concepts. Adams cites a study with Moebius Syndrome patients that shows typical categorization performance in face-based emotion recognition. Adams concludes that their typical performance shows that embodiment is false. (...)
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  • Conceptual Revision in Action.Ethan Landes & Kevin Reuter - manuscript
    Conceptual engineering is the practice of revising concepts to improve how people talk and think. Its ability to improve talk and thought ultimately hinges on the successful dissemination of desired conceptual changes. Unfortunately, the field has been slow to develop methods to directly test what barriers stand in the way of propagation and what methods will most effectively propagate desired conceptual change. In order to test such questions, this paper introduces the masked time-lagged method. The masked time-lagged method tests people's (...)
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