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J. Brendan Ritchie
National Institute of Mental Health
  1. What’s wrong with the minimal conception of innateness in cognitive science?J. Brendan Ritchie - 2020 - Synthese 199 (Suppl 1):159-176.
    One of the classic debates in cognitive science is between nativism and empiricism about the development of psychological capacities. In principle, the debate is empirical. However, in practice nativist hypotheses have also been challenged for relying on an ill-defined, or even unscientific, notion of innateness as that which is “not learned”. Here this minimal conception of innateness is defended on four fronts. First, it is argued that the minimal conception is crucial to understanding the nativism-empiricism debate, when properly construed; Second, (...)
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  2. Computing in the nick of time.J. Brendan Ritchie & Colin Klein - 2023 - Ratio 36 (3):169-179.
    The medium‐independence of computational descriptions has shaped common conceptions of computational explanation. So long as our goal is to explain how a system successfully carries out its computations, then we only need to describe the abstract series of operations that achieve the desired input–output mapping, however they may be implemented. It is argued that this abstract conception of computational explanation cannot be applied to so‐called real‐time computing systems, in which meeting temporal deadlines imposed by the systems with which a device (...)
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  3. Material perception for philosophers.J. Brendan Ritchie, Vivian C. Paulun, Katherine R. Storrs & Roland W. Fleming - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (10):e12777.
    Common everyday materials such as textiles, foodstuffs, soil or skin can have complex, mutable and varied appearances. Under typical viewing conditions, most observers can visually recognize materials effortlessly, and determine many of their properties without touching them. Visual material perception raises many fascinating questions for vision researchers, neuroscientists and philosophers, yet has received little attention compared to the perception of color or shape. Here we discuss some of the challenges that material perception raises and argue that further philosophical thought should (...)
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