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David Pitt
California State University, Los Angeles
  1. The Phenomenology of Cognition, Or, What Is It Like to Think That P?David Pitt - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (1):1-36.
    A number of philosophers endorse, without argument, the view that there’s something it’s like consciously to think that p, which is distinct from what it’s like consciously to think that q. This thesis, if true, would have important consequences for philosophy of mind and cognitive science. In this paper I offer an argument for it, and attempt to induce examples of it in the reader. The argument claims it would be impossible introspectively to distinguish conscious thoughts with respect to their (...)
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  2. Introspection, Phenomenality, and the Availability of Intentional Content.David Pitt - 2011 - In Tim Bayne & Michelle Montague (eds.), Cognitive Phenomenology. Oxford University Press. pp. 141-173.
    Some analytic philosophers have recently been defending the thesis that there’s “something it’s like” to consciously think a particular thought, which is qualitatively different from what it’s like to be in any other kind of conscious mental state and from what it’s like to think any other thought, and which constitutes the thought’s intentional content. (I call this the “intentional phenomenology thesis”). One objection to this thesis concerns the introspective availability of such content: If it is true that intentional phenomenology (...)
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  3. Intentional Psychologism.David Pitt - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 146 (1):117-138.
    In the past few years, a number of philosophers ; Horgan and Tienson 2002; Pitt 2004) have maintained the following three theses: there is a distinctive sort of phenomenology characteristic of conscious thought, as opposed to other sorts of conscious mental states; different conscious thoughts have different phenomenologies; and thoughts with the same phenomenology have the same intentional content. The last of these three claims is open to at least two different interpretations. It might mean that the phenomenology of a (...)
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  4. Acquaintance and Phenomenal Concepts.David Pitt - 2019 - In The Knowledge Argument. Cambridge: Cambridege University Press. pp. 87-101.
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  5.  87
    The Paraphenomenal Hypothesis.David Pitt - 2017 - Analysis 77 (4):735-741.
    Reductive representationalism is the view that the qualitative properties associated with conscious experience are properties of the objects of the experience, and not of the experience itself. A prima facie problem for this view arises from dreams and hallucinations, in which qualitative properties are experienced but not instantiated in external objects of perception. I argue that representationalist attempts to solve it by appeal to actually uninstantiated properties are guilty of an absurdity akin to that which Ryle accused Descartes of in (...)
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  6. In Defense of Definitions.David Pitt - 1999 - Philosophical Psychology 12 (2):139-156.
    The arguments of Fodor, Garret, Walker and Parkes [(1980) Against definitions, Cognition, 8, 263-367] are the source of widespread skepticism in cognitive science about lexical semantic structure. Whereas the thesis that lexical items, and the concepts they express, have decompositional structure (i.e. have significant constituents) was at one time "one of those ideas that hardly anybody [in the cognitive sciences] ever considers giving up" (p. 264), most researchers now believe that "[a]ll the evidence suggests that the classical [(decompositional)] view is (...)
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  7. Indexical Thought.David Pitt - 2013 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Phenomenal Intentionality. Oxford University Press. pp. 49-70.
    Call a thought whose expression involves the utterance of an indexical an indexical thought. Thus, my thoughts that I’m annoyed, that now is not the right time, that this is not acceptable, are all indexical thoughts. Such thoughts present a prima facie problem for the thesis that thought contents are phenomenally individuated -- i.e., that each distinct thought type has a proprietarily cognitive phenomenology such that its having that phenomenology makes it the thought that it is -- given the assumption (...)
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  8. Alter Egos and Their Names.David Pitt - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (10):531-552.
    Failure of substitutivity of coreferential terms, one of the hallmarks of referential opacity, is standardly explained in terms of the presence of an expression (such as a verb of propositional attitude, a modal adverb or quotation marks) with opacity-inducing properties. It is thus assumed that any term in a complex expression for which substitutivity fails will be within the scope of an expression of one of these types, and that where there is an expression of one of these types there (...)
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  9. Nativism and the Theory of Content.David Pitt - 2000 - ProtoSociology 14:222-239.
    Externalism is the view that the intentional content of a mental state supervenes on its relations to objects in the extramental world. Nativism is the view that some of the innate states of the mind/brain have intentional content. I consider both “causal” and “nomic” versions of externalism, and argue that both are incompatible with nativism. I consider likely candidates for a compatibilist position – a nativism of “narrow” representational states, and a nativism of the contentless formal “vehicles” of representational states. (...)
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  10. Conscious Belief.David Pitt - 2016 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 7 (1):121-126.
    Tim Crane maintains that beliefs cannot be conscious because they persist in the absence of consciousness. Conscious judgments can share their contents with beliefs, and their occurrence can be evidence for what one believes; but they cannot be beliefs, because they don’t persist. I challenge Crane’s premise that belief attributions to the temporarily unconscious are literally true. To say of an unconscious agent that she believes that p is like saying that she sings well. To say she sings well is (...)
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  11.  32
    A Return to Simple Sentences.David Pitt - 2021 - In Stephen Biggs and Heimir Geirsson (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Reference. New York: Routledge. pp. 145-52.
    This paper replies a number of objections brought against the solution to Jennifer Saul's puzzle of failure of substitutivity in transparent contexts presented in my 2001 paper "Alter Egos and Their Names".
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  12.  87
    Consciousness and Intentionality.David Pitt - 2018 - In Rocco J. Gennaro (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Consciousness. New York: Routledge. pp. 260-270.
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  13.  45
    Compositional Idioms.David Pitt & Jerrold J. Katz - 2000 - Language 76:409-432.
    In this paper we argue that there is a large class of expressions, typified by ‘plastic flower’, ‘stuffed animal’ and ‘kosher bacon’, that have a unique semantics combining compositional, idiomatic and decompositional interpretation. These expressions are compositional because their constituents contribute their meanings to the meanings of the wholes; they are idiomatic because their interpretation involves assigning dictionary entries to non-terminal elements in their syntactic structure; and they are decompositional because their meanings have proper parts that are not the meanings (...)
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  14.  27
    Conscious Thinking.David Pitt - 2013 - In Harold Pashler (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Mind. Thousand Oaks, USA: Sage Publications. pp. 186-189.
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  15.  99
    Loar's Compromised Internalism.David Pitt - 2020 - In Arthur Sullivan (ed.), Sensations, Thoughts, Language. New York: Routledge. pp. 203-224.
    According to Brian Loar, an adequate theory of intentionality must acknowledge the fundamental role phenomenology plays in the determination of intentional content. It must take into account individuals’ experience of their intentional states, from a subjective point of view. From this perspective, intentional content is internally determined (given that phenomenology is). On the other hand, Loar is convinced (by arguments given by Tyler Burge) that mental states also have externally determined contents, fixed by objective facts about thinkers’ sociolinguistic environments. This (...)
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  16.  49
    On Markerese.David Pitt - 2003 - Philosophical Forum 34 (3-4):267–300.
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  17.  40
    Phenomenal Compositionality and Context Effects.David Pitt - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (5-6):494-498.
    The thesis that conceptual content is experiential faces a prima facie objection. Phenomenology is not in general compositional. For example, the experienced color of a thing will change depending on its context. If conceptual phenomenology is also subject to context effects, then thought contents will not be compositional. However, the compositionality of thought content is, arguably, explanatorily indispensable. This paper considers several different conceptions of compositionality, but in the end maintains there is no introspective evidence for conceptual context effects.
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  18.  28
    What Is Tonality?David Pitt - 1995 - International Journal of Musicology 4:291-300.
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  19.  70
    What Kind of Science is Linguistics?David Pitt - 2018 - In Christina Behme & Martin Neef (eds.), Essays on Linguistic Realism. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 7-20.
    I argue that what determines whether a science is ‘formal’ or ‘empirical’ is not the ontological status of its objects of study, but, rather, its methodology. Since all sciences aim at generalizations, and generalizations concern types, if types are abstract (non-spatiotemporal) objects, then all sciences are concerned to discover the nature of certain abstract objects. What distinguishes empirical from formal sciences is how they study such things. If the types of a science have observable instances (‘tokens’), then the nature of (...)
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