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  1. The role of language in transcending core knowledge.Susan Carey - 2024 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 47:e123.
    What Babies Know (WBK) argues that core knowledge has a unique place in cognitive architecture, between fully perceptual and fully conceptual systems of representation. Here I argue that WBK's core knowledge is on the perception side of the perception/cognition divide. I discuss some implications of this conclusion for the roles language learning might play in transcending core knowledge.
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  • Response to commentaries on What Babies Know.Elizabeth S. Spelke - 2024 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 47:e146.
    Twenty-five commentaries raise questions concerning the origins of knowledge, the interplay of iconic and propositional representations in mental life, the architecture of numerical and social cognition, the sources of uniquely human cognitive capacities, and the borders among core knowledge, perception, and thought. They also propose new methods, drawn from the vibrant, interdisciplinary cognitive sciences, for addressing these questions and deepening understanding of infant minds.
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  • The Border Between Seeing and Thinking, by Ned Block.Eric Mandelbaum - forthcoming - Mind.
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  • A phone in a basket looks like a knife in a cup: Role-filler independence in visual processing.Alon Hafri, Michael Bonner, Barbara Landau & Chaz Firestone - 2024 - Open Mind.
    When a piece of fruit is in a bowl, and the bowl is on a table, we appreciate not only the individual objects and their features, but also the relations containment and support, which abstract away from the particular objects involved. Independent representation of roles (e.g., containers vs. supporters) and “fillers” of those roles (e.g., bowls vs. cups, tables vs. chairs) is a core principle of language and higherlevel reasoning. But does such role-filler independence also arise in automatic visual processing? (...)
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  • Is Religious Belief a Kind of Belief?Tim Crane - 2023 - Neue Zeitschrift für Systematicsche Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 65 (4):414-429.
    This paper discusses the familiar question of whether expressions of faith or conviction offered by religious believers really express their beliefs, in the standard sense of ‘belief’ used in philosophy and psychology. Some hold that these expressions do not express genuine beliefs because they do not meet the standards of rationality, coherence and integration which govern beliefs. So they must serve some other function. But this picture of ‘genuine belief’ is inadequate, for reasons independent of the phenomenon of religion. Once (...)
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  • Pictorial Syntax.Kevin J. Lande - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    It is commonly assumed that images, whether in the world or in the head, do not have a privileged analysis into constituent parts. They are thought to lack the sort of syntactic structure necessary for representing complex contents and entering into sophisticated patterns of inference. I reject this assumption. “Image grammars” are models in computer vision that articulate systematic principles governing the form and content of images. These models are empirically credible and can be construed as literal grammars for images. (...)
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  • Core knowledge, language learning, and the origins of morality and pedagogy: Reply to reviews of What babies know.Elizabeth S. Spelke - 2023 - Mind and Language 38 (5):1336-1350.
    The astute reviews by Hamlin and by Revencu and Csibra provide compelling arguments and evidence for the early emergence of moral evaluation, communication, and pedagogical learning. I accept these conclusions but not the reviewers' claims that infants' talents in these domains depend on core systems of moral evaluation or pedagogical communication. Instead, I suggest that core knowledge of people as agents and as social beings, together with infants' emerging understanding of their native language, support learning about people as moral agents, (...)
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  • The Formats of Cognitive Representation: A Computational Account.Dimitri Coelho Mollo & Alfredo Vernazzani - 2023 - Philosophy of Science.
    Cognitive representations are typically analysed in terms of content, vehicle and format. While current work on formats appeals to intuitions about external representations, such as words and maps, in this paper we develop a computational view of formats that does not rely on intuitions. In our view, formats are individuated by the computational profiles of vehicles, i.e., the set of constraints that fix the computational transformations vehicles can undergo. The resulting picture is strongly pluralistic, it makes space for a variety (...)
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  • The Binding Problem 2.0: Beyond Perceptual Features.Xinchi Yu & Ellen Lau - 2023 - Cognitive Science 47 (2):e13244.
    The “binding problem” has been a central question in vision science for some 30 years: When encoding multiple objects or maintaining them in working memory, how are we able to represent the correspondence between a specific feature and its corresponding object correctly? In this letter we argue that the boundaries of this research program in fact extend far beyond vision, and we call for coordinated pursuit across the broader cognitive science community of this central question for cognition, which we dub (...)
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  • Problems and mysteries of the many languages of thought.Eric Mandelbaum, Yarrow Dunham, Roman Feiman, Chaz Firestone, E. J. Green, Daniel Harris, Melissa M. Kibbe, Benedek Kurdi, Myrto Mylopoulos, Joshua Shepherd, Alexis Wellwood, Nicolas Porot & Jake Quilty-Dunn - 2022 - Cognitive Science 46 (12): e13225.
    “What is the structure of thought?” is as central a question as any in cognitive science. A classic answer to this question has appealed to a Language of Thought (LoT). We point to emerging research from disparate branches of the field that supports the LoT hypothesis, but also uncovers diversity in LoTs across cognitive systems, stages of development, and species. Our letter formulates open research questions for cognitive science concerning the varieties of rules and representations that underwrite various LoT-based systems (...)
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  • The language of thought hypothesis.Murat Aydede - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A comprehensive introduction to the Language of Though Hypothesis (LOTH) accessible to general audiences. LOTH is an empirical thesis about thought and thinking. For their explication, it postulates a physically realized system of representations that have a combinatorial syntax (and semantics) such that operations on representations are causally sensitive only to the syntactic properties of representations. According to LOTH, thought is, roughly, the tokening of a representation that has a syntactic (constituent) structure with an appropriate semantics. Thinking thus consists in (...)
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  • Models of Possibilities Instead of Logic as the Basis of Human Reasoning.P. N. Johnson-Laird, Ruth M. J. Byrne & Sangeet S. Khemlani - 2024 - Minds and Machines 34 (3):1-22.
    The theory of mental models and its computer implementations have led to crucial experiments showing that no standard logic—the sentential calculus and all logics that include it—can underlie human reasoning. The theory replaces the logical concept of validity (the conclusion is true in all cases in which the premises are true) with necessity (conclusions describe no more than possibilities to which the premises refer). Many inferences are both necessary and valid. But experiments show that individuals make necessary inferences that are (...)
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