Biological constraints do not entail cognitive closure

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Abstract
From the premise that our biology imposes cognitive constraints on our epistemic activities, a series of prominent authors – most notably Fodor, Chomsky and McGinn – have argued that we are cognitively closed to certain aspects and properties of the world. Cognitive constraints, they argue, entail cognitive closure. I argue that this is not the case. More precisely, I detect two unwarranted conflations at the core of arguments deriving closure from constraints. The first is a conflation of what I will refer to as ‘representation’ and ‘object of representation’. The second confuses the cognitive scope of the assisted mind for that of the unassisted mind. Cognitive closure, I conclude, cannot be established from pointing out the (uncontroversial) existence of cognitive constraints.
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Archival date: 2019-03-07
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2014-09-30

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