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  1. Modeling Mechanisms.Stuart Glennan - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):443-464.
    Philosophers of science increasingly believe that much of science is concerned with understanding the mechanisms responsible for the production of natural phenomena. An adequate understanding of scientific research requires an account of how scientists develop and test models of mechanisms. This paper offers a general account of the nature of mechanical models, discussing the representational relationship that holds between mechanisms and their models as well as the techniques that can be used to test and refine such models. The analysis is (...)
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  • Regularities and Causality; Generalizations and Causal Explanations.Jim Bogen - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (2):397-420.
    Machamer, Darden, and Craver argue (Mechanism) that causal explanations explain effects by describing the operations of the mechanisms (systems of entities engaging in productive activities) which produce them. One of this paper’s aims is to take advantage of neglected resources of Mechanism to rethink the traditional idea (Regularism) that actual or counterfactual natural regularities are essential to the distinction between causal and non-causal co-occurrences, and that generalizations describing natural regularities are essential components of causal explanations. I think that causal productivity (...)
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  • Knowledge and the Flow of Information.Fred Dretske - 1981 - MIT Press.
    This book presents an attempt to develop a theory of knowledge and a philosophy of mind using ideas derived from the mathematical theory of communication developed by Claude Shannon. Information is seen as an objective commodity defined by the dependency relations between distinct events. Knowledge is then analyzed as information caused belief. Perception is the delivery of information in analog form for conceptual utilization by cognitive mechanisms. The final chapters attempt to develop a theory of meaning by viewing meaning as (...)
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  • Is Semantic Information Meaningful Data?Luciano Floridi - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):351-370.
    There is no consensus yet on the definition of semantic information. This paper contributes to the current debate by criticising and revising the Standard Definition of semantic Information (SDI) as meaningful data, in favour of the Dretske-Grice approach: meaningful and well-formed data constitute semantic information only if they also qualify as contingently truthful. After a brief introduction, SDI is criticised for providing necessary but insufficient conditions for the definition of semantic information. SDI is incorrect because truth-values do not supervene on (...)
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  • Psychosemantics: The Problem of Meaning in the Philosophy of Mind.Jerry A. Fodor - 1987 - MIT Press.
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  • The Rediscovery of the Mind.John R. Searle - 1992 - MIT Press.
    The title of The Rediscovery of the Mind suggests the question "When was the mind lost?" Since most people may not be aware that it ever was lost, we must also then ask "Who lost it?" It was lost, of course, only by philosophers, by certain philosophers. This passed unnoticed by society at large. The "rediscovery" is also likely to pass unnoticed. But has the mind been rediscovered by the same philosophers who "lost" it? Probably not. John Searle is an (...)
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  • Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes.Paul M. Churchland - 1981 - Journal of Philosophy 78 (February):67-90.
    This article describes a theory of the computations underlying the selection of coordinated motion patterns, especially in reaching tasks. The central idea is that when a spatial target is selected as an object to be reached, stored postures are evaluated for the contributions they can make to the task. Weights are assigned to the stored postures, and a single target posture is found by taking a weighted sum of the stored postures. Movement is achieved by reducing the distance between the (...)
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  • The Informational Turn in Philosophy.Frederick R. Adams - 2003 - Minds and Machines 13 (4):471-501.
    This paper traces the application of information theory to philosophical problems of mind and meaning from the earliest days of the creation of the mathematical theory of communication. The use of information theory to understand purposive behavior, learning, pattern recognition, and more marked the beginning of the naturalization of mind and meaning. From the inception of information theory, Wiener, Turing, and others began trying to show how to make a mind from informational and computational materials. Over the last 50 years, (...)
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  • The Concept of Information in Biology.John Maynard Smith - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (2):177-194.
    The use of informational terms is widespread in molecular and developmental biology. The usage dates back to Weismann. In both protein synthesis and in later development, genes are symbols, in that there is no necessary connection between their form (sequence) and their effects. The sequence of a gene has been determined, by past natural selection, because of the effects it produces. In biology, the use of informational terms implies intentionality, in that both the form of the signal, and the response (...)
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  • Mental Representation.Hartry Field - 1978 - Erkenntnis 13 (July):9-61.
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  • The "Genetic Program" Program: A Commentary on Maynard Smith on Information in Biology.Kim Sterelny - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (2):195-201.
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  • Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
    The concept of mechanism is analyzed in terms of entities and activities, organized such that they are productive of regular changes. Examples show how mechanisms work in neurobiology and molecular biology. Thinking in terms of mechanisms provides a new framework for addressing many traditional philosophical issues: causality, laws, explanation, reduction, and scientific change.
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  • Minds, Brains and Programs.John R. Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
    What psychological and philosophical significance should we attach to recent efforts at computer simulations of human cognitive capacities? In answering this question, I find it useful to distinguish what I will call "strong" AI from "weak" or "cautious" AI. According to weak AI, the principal value of the computer in the study of the mind is that it gives us a very powerful tool. For example, it enables us to formulate and test hypotheses in a more rigorous and precise fashion. (...)
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  • How We Ought to Describe Computation in the Brain.Chris Eliasmith - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (3):313-320.
    I argue that of the four kinds of quantitative description relevant for understanding brain function, a control theoretic approach is most appealing. This argument proceeds by comparing computational, dynamical, statistical and control theoretic approaches, and identifying criteria for a good description of brain function. These criteria include providing useful decompositions, simple state mappings, and the ability to account for variability. The criteria are justified by their importance in providing unified accounts of multi-level mechanisms that support intervention. Evaluation of the four (...)
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  • Information in Genetics and Developmental Biology: Comments on Maynard Smith.Sahotra Sarkar - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (2):208-213.
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  • Emergence, Singularities, and Symmetry Breaking.Robert Batterman - 2011 - Foundations of Physics 41 (6):1031-1050.
    This paper looks at emergence in physical theories and argues that an appropriate way to understand socalled “emergent protectorates” is via the explanatory apparatus of the renormalization group. It is argued that mathematical singularities play a crucial role in our understanding of at least some well-defined emergent features of the world.
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  • The Extended Replicator.Kim Sterelny, Kelly C. Smith & Michael Dickison - 1996 - Biology and Philosophy 11 (3):377-403.
    This paper evaluates and criticises the developmental systems conception of evolution and develops instead an extension of the gene's eye conception of evolution. We argue (i) Dawkin's attempt to segregate developmental and evolutionary issues about genes is unsatisfactory. On plausible views of development it is arbitrary to single out genes as the units of selection. (ii) The genotype does not carry information about the phenotype in any way that distinguishes the role of the genes in development from that other factors. (...)
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  • The Mindreader and the Scientist.Heidi Lene Maibom - 2003 - Mind and Language 18 (3):296-315.
    Among theory theorists, it is commonly thought that folk psychological theory is tacitly known. However, folk psychological knowledge has none of the central features of tacit knowledge. But if it is ordinary knowledge, why is it that we have difficulties expressing anything but a handful of folk psychological generalisations? The reason is that our knowledge is of theoretical models and hypotheses, not of universal generalisations. Adopting this alternative view of (scientific) theories, we come to see that, given time and reflection, (...)
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  • Robosemantics: How Stanley the Volkswagen Represents the World. [REVIEW]Christopher Parisien & Paul Thagard - 2008 - Minds and Machines 18 (2):169-178.
    One of the most impressive feats in robotics was the 2005 victory by a driverless Volkswagen Touareg in the DARPA Grand Challenge. This paper discusses what can be learned about the nature of representation from the car’s successful attempt to navigate the world. We review the hardware and software that it uses to interact with its environment, and describe how these techniques enable it to represent the world. We discuss robosemantics, the meaning of computational structures in robots. We argue that (...)
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  • When Mechanistic Models Explain.Carl F. Craver - 2006 - Synthese 153 (3):355-376.
    Not all models are explanatory. Some models are data summaries. Some models sketch explanations but leave crucial details unspecified or hidden behind filler terms. Some models are used to conjecture a how-possibly explanation without regard to whether it is a how-actually explanation. I use the Hodgkin and Huxley model of the action potential to illustrate these ways that models can be useful without explaining. I then use the subsequent development of the explanation of the action potential to show what is (...)
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  • Decision Field Theory: A Dynamic-Cognitive Approach to Decision Making in an Uncertain Environment.Jerome R. Busemeyer & James T. Townsend - 1993 - Psychological Review 100 (3):432-459.
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  • Why Cognitive Science Needs Philosophy and Vice Versa.Paul Thagard - 2009 - Topics in Cognitive Science 1 (2):237-254.
    Contrary to common views that philosophy is extraneous to cognitive science, this paper argues that philosophy has a crucial role to play in cognitive science with respect to generality and normativity. General questions include the nature of theories and explanations, the role of computer simulation in cognitive theorizing, and the relations among the different fields of cognitive science. Normative questions include whether human thinking should be Bayesian, whether decision making should maximize expected utility, and how norms should be established. These (...)
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  • After the Philosophy of Mind: Replacing Scholasticism with Science.Tony Chemero & Michael Silberstein - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (1):1-27.
    We provide a taxonomy of the two most important debates in the philosophy of the cognitive and neural sciences. The first debate is over methodological individualism: is the object of the cognitive and neural sciences the brain, the whole animal, or the animal--environment system? The second is over explanatory style: should explanation in cognitive and neural science be reductionist-mechanistic, inter-level mechanistic, or dynamical? After setting out the debates, we discuss the ways in which they are interconnected. Finally, we make some (...)
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  • The Language of Thought.Jerry A. Fodor - 1975 - Harvard University Press.
    INTRODUCTION: TWO KINDS OF RLDUCTIONISM The man who laughs is the one who has not yet heard the terrible news. BERTHOLD BRECHT I propose, in this book, ...
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  • Lot 2: The Language of Thought Revisited.Jerry A. Fodor - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
    Jerry Fodor presents a new development of his famous Language of Thought hypothesis, which has since the 1970s been at the centre of interdisciplinary debate about how the mind works. Fodor defends and extends the groundbreaking idea that thinking is couched in a symbolic system realized in the brain. This idea is central to the representational theory of mind which Fodor has established as a key reference point in modern philosophy, psychology, and cognitive science. The foundation stone of our present (...)
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  • Information, Arbitrariness, and Selection: Comments on Maynard Smith.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (2):202-207.
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  • Scientific Pluralism.Stephen H. Kellert, Helen E. Longino & C. Kenneth Waters (eds.) - 2006 - Univ of Minnesota Press.
    Scientific pluralism is an issue at the forefront of philosophy of science. This landmark work addresses the question, Can pluralism be advanced as a general, philosophical interpretation of science?
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  • The Intentional Stance.Daniel C. Dennett - 1987 - MIT Press.
    Through the use of such "folk" concepts as belief, desire, intention, and expectation, Daniel Dennett asserts in this first full scale presentation of...
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  • Dynamical Models: An Alternative or Complement to Mechanistic Explanations?David M. Kaplan & William Bechtel - 2011 - Topics in Cognitive Science 3 (2):438-444.
    Abstract While agreeing that dynamical models play a major role in cognitive science, we reject Stepp, Chemero, and Turvey's contention that they constitute an alternative to mechanistic explanations. We review several problems dynamical models face as putative explanations when they are not grounded in mechanisms. Further, we argue that the opposition of dynamical models and mechanisms is a false one and that those dynamical models that characterize the operations of mechanisms overcome these problems. By briefly considering examples involving the generation (...)
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  • Re-Engineering Philosophy for Limited Beings: Piecewise Approximations to Reality.William C. Wimsatt - 2007 - Harvard University Press.
    This book offers a philosophy for error-prone humans trying to understand messy systems in the real world.
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  • Multiple Realizability and Universality.R. Batterman - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (1):115-145.
    This paper concerns what Jerry Fodor calls a 'metaphysical mystery': How can there by macroregularities that are realized by wildly heterogeneous lower level mechanisms? But the answer to this question is not as mysterious as many, including Jaegwon Kim, Ned Block, and Jerry Fodor might think. The multiple realizability of the properties of the special sciences such as psychology is best understood as a kind of universality, where 'universality' is used in the technical sense one finds in the physics literature. (...)
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  • Folk Psychology as a Model.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2005 - Philosophers' Imprint 5:1-16.
    I argue that everyday folk-psychological skill might best be explained in terms of the deployment of something like a model, in a specific sense drawn from recent philosophy of science. Theoretical models in this sense do not make definite commitments about the systems they are used to understand; they are employed with a particular kind of flexibility. This analysis is used to dissolve the eliminativism debate of the 1980s, and to transform a number of other questions about the status and (...)
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  • Asymptotics and the Role of Minimal Models.Robert W. Batterman - 2002 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (1):21-38.
    A traditional view of mathematical modeling holds, roughly, that the more details of the phenomenon being modeled that are represented in the model, the better the model is. This paper argues that often times this ‘details is better’ approach is misguided. One ought, in certain circumstances, to search for an exactly solvable minimal model—one which is, essentially, a caricature of the physics of the phenomenon in question.
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  • From Folk Psychology to Cognitive Science: The Case Against Belief.Stephen P. Stich - 1983 - MIT Press.
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  • Emergence and Convergence Qualitative Novelty and the Unity of Knowledge.Mario Bunge - 2003 - University of Toronto Press.
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  • Intentional Systems.Daniel C. Dennett - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (February):87-106.
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  • A Dynamic Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action.David Morris, E. Thelen & L. B. Smith - 1997 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (2).
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  • Hot Thought: Mechanisms and Applications of Emotional Cognition.Paul Thagard - 2006 - Cambridge MA: Bradford Book/MIT Press.
    A description of mental mechanisms that explain how emotions influence thought, from everyday decision making to scientific discovery and religious belief, and an analysis of when emotion can contribute to good reasoning.
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  • Reducing Psychology While Maintaining its Autonomy Via Mechanistic Explanations.William Bechtel - 2007 - In M. Schouten & H. L. De Joong (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Blackwell.
    Arguments for the autonomy of psychology or other higher-level sciences have often taken the form of denying the possibility of reduction. The form of reduction most proponents and critics of the autonomy of psychology have in mind is theory reduction. Mechanistic explanations provide a different perspective. Mechanistic explanations are reductionist insofar as they appeal to lower-level entities—the component parts of a mechanism and their operations— to explain a phenomenon. However, unlike theory reductions, mechanistic explanations also recognize the fundamental role of (...)
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  • Natural Kind Terms and the Status of Folk Psychology.Scott R. Sehon - 1997 - American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (3):333-44.
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  • Sex and Death. An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology (M. Matthen).Kim Sterelny & Paul E. Griffiths - 2002 - Philosophical Books 43 (1):78-78.
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  • Mind As Motion: Explorations in the Dynamics of Cognition.Tim van Gelder & Robert Port (eds.) - 1995 - MIT Press.
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