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  1. Teleology Beyond Explanation.Sehrang Joo, Sami Yousif & Joshua Knobe - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    People often think of and define objects teleologically. For instance, we might understand a hammer in terms of its purpose of driving in nails. Such teleological thinking also influences many further judgments, including of category membership, essence, causation, persistence, and mereology. But how should we understand teleological thinking in the first place? This paper addresses this question by separating two senses of teleological thinking: mere teleology (simply ascribing a telos to an object) and teleological explanation (thinking an object is actually (...)
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  • Against Teleological Essentialism.Eleonore Neufeld - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (4):e12961.
    In two recent papers, Rose and Nichols present evidence in favor of the view that humans represent category essences in terms of a telos, such as honey-making, and not in terms of scientific essences, such as bee DNA. In this paper, I challenge their interpretation of the evidence, and show that it is directly predicted by the main theory they seek to undermine. I argue that their results can be explained as instances of diagnostic reasoning about scientific essences.
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  • My Friend’s True Self: Children’s Concept of Personal Identity.Michaela Jirout Košová, Robin Kopecký, Pavel Oulovský, Matěj Nekvinda & Jaroslav Flegr - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34 (1):47-75.
    Our study explores the folk concept of personal identity in the developmental context. Two hundred and seventeen Czech children participated in an interview study based on a hypothetical scenario about a sudden change in their friend, someone they know, or some other unspecified person. The children were asked to judge to what extent particular changes (from six categories of traits) would change the identity core of their friend or some other person on a seven-point scale. We introduced both positive and (...)
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  • Polysemy and Thought: Toward a Generative Theory of Concepts.Jake Quilty-Dunn - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (1):158-185.
    Most theories of concepts take concepts to be structured bodies of information used in categorization and inference. This paper argues for a version of atomism, on which concepts are unstructured symbols. However, traditional Fodorian atomism is falsified by polysemy and fails to provide an account of how concepts figure in cognition. This paper argues that concepts are generative pointers, that is, unstructured symbols that point to memory locations where cognitively useful bodies of information are stored and can be deployed to (...)
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  • Human Tool Cognition Relies on Teleology.Mikołaj Hernik - 2020 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 43.
    Osiurak and Reynaud's account of human tool cognition misses key element: human capacity for functional representations and teleological inferences. I argue that the teleofunctional approach accounts better for some features of human tool cognition and points to a viable candidate for the cognitive “difference-maker” behind human technological success.
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  • Natural Compatibilism, Indeterminism, and Intrusive Metaphysics.Thomas Nadelhoffer, David Rose, Wesley Buckwalter & Shaun Nichols - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (8).
    The claim that common sense regards free will and moral responsibility as compatible with determinism has played a central role in both analytic and experimental philosophy. In this paper, we show that evidence in favor of this “natural compatibilism” is undermined by the role that indeterministic metaphysical views play in how people construe deterministic scenarios. To demonstrate this, we re-examine two classic studies that have been used to support natural compatibilism. We find that although people give apparently compatibilist responses, this (...)
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