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Robert D. Rupert
University of Colorado, Boulder
  1. Challenges to the Hypothesis of Extended Cognition.Robert D. Rupert - 2004 - Journal of Philosophy 101 (8):389-428.
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  2. Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension. [REVIEW]Robert D. Rupert - 2009 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 30 (4).
    For well over two decades, Andy Clark has been gleaning theoretical lessons from the leading edge of cognitive science, applying a combination of empirical savvy and philosophical instinct that few can match. Clark’s most recent book, Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension, brilliantly expands his oeuvre. It offers a well-informed and focused survey of research in the burgeoning field of situated cognition, a field that emphasizes the contribution of environmental and non-neural bodily structures to the production of intelligent (...)
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  3. Embodiment, Consciousness, and Neurophenomenology: Embodied Cognitive Science Puts the (First) Person in Its Place.Robert D. Rupert - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (3-4):148-180.
    This paper asks about the ways in which embodimentoriented cognitive science contributes to our understanding of phenomenal consciousness. It is first argued that central work in the field of embodied cognitive science does not solve the hard problem of consciousness head on. It is then argued that an embodied turn toward neurophenomenology makes no distinctive headway on the puzzle of consciousness; for neurophenomenology either concedes dualism in the face of the hard problem or represents only a slight methodological variation on (...)
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  4. What Is a Cognitive System?Robert D. Rupert - forthcoming - Cognitive Semantics 5.
    A theory of cognitive systems individuation is presented and defended. The approach has some affinity with Leonard Talmy's Overlapping Systems Model of Cognitive Organization, and the paper's first section explores aspects of Talmy's view that are shared by the view developed herein. According to the view on offer -- the conditional probability of co-contribution account (CPC) -- a cognitive system is a collection of mechanisms that contribute, in overlapping subsets, to a wide variety of forms of intelligent behavior. Central to (...)
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  5. Memory, Natural Kinds, and Cognitive Extension; or, Martians Don’T Remember, and Cognitive Science Is Not About Cognition.Robert D. Rupert - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (1):25-47.
    This paper evaluates the Natural-Kinds Argument for cognitive extension, which purports to show that the kinds presupposed by our best cognitive science have instances external to human organism. Various interpretations of the argument are articulated and evaluated, using the overarching categories of memory and cognition as test cases. Particular emphasis is placed on criteria for the scientific legitimacy of generic kinds, that is, kinds characterized in very broad terms rather than in terms of their fine-grained causal roles. Given the current (...)
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  6. Representation and Mental Representation.Robert D. Rupert - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (2):204-225.
    This paper engages critically with anti-representationalist arguments pressed by prominent enactivists and their allies. The arguments in question are meant to show that the “as-such” and “job-description” problems constitute insurmountable challenges to causal-informational theories of mental content. In response to these challenges, a positive account of what makes a physical or computational structure a mental representation is proposed; the positive account is inspired partly by Dretske’s views about content and partly by the role of mental representations in contemporary cognitive scientific (...)
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  7.  74
    Epistemic Value in the Subpersonal Vale.J. Adam Carter & Robert D. Rupert - 2020 - Synthese:1-30.
    A vexing problem in contemporary epistemology – one with origins in Plato’s Meno – concerns the value of knowledge, and in particular, whether and how the value of knowledge exceeds the value of mere (unknown) true opinion. The recent literature is deeply divided on the matter of how best to address the problem. One point, however, remains unquestioned: that if a solution is to be found, it will be at the personal level, the level at which states of subjects or (...)
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  8. Embodiment, Consciousness, and the Massively Representational Mind.Robert D. Rupert - 2011 - Philosophical Topics 39 (1):99-120.
    In this paper, I claim that extant empirical data do not support a radically embodied understanding of the mind but, instead, suggest (along with a variety of other results) a massively representational view. According to this massively representational view, the brain is rife with representations that possess overlapping and redundant content, and many of these represent other mental representations or derive their content from them. Moreover, many behavioral phenomena associated with attention and consciousness are best explained by the coordinated activity (...)
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  9. Functionalism, Mental Causation, and the Problem of Metaphysically Necessary Effects.Robert D. Rupert - 2006 - Noûs 40 (2):256-83.
    The recent literature on mental causation has not been kind to nonreductive, materialist functionalism (‘functionalism’, hereafter, except where that term is otherwise qualified). The exclusion problem2 has done much of the damage, but the epiphenomenalist threat has taken other forms. Functionalism also faces what I will call the ‘problem of metaphysically necessary effects’ (Block, 1990, pp. 157-60, Antony and Levine, 1997, pp. 91-92, Pereboom, 2002, p. 515, Millikan, 1999, p. 47, Jackson, 1998, pp. 660-61). Functionalist mental properties are individuated partly (...)
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  10. Cognitive Systems and the Supersized Mind. [REVIEW]Robert D. Rupert - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (3):427 - 436.
    In Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension (Clark, 2008), Andy Clark bolsters his case for the extended mind thesis and casts a critical eye on some related views for which he has less enthusiasm. To these ends, the book canvasses a wide range of empirical results concerning the subtle manner in which the human organism and its environment interact in the production of intelligent behavior. This fascinating research notwithstanding, Supersizing does little to assuage my skepticism about the hypotheses (...)
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  11. Embodied Knowledge, Conceptual Change, and the A Priori; or, Justification, Revision, and the Ways Life Could Go.Robert D. Rupert - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (2):169-192.
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  12. Group Minds and Natural Kinds.Robert D. Rupert - forthcoming - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies.
    The claim is frequently made that structured collections of individuals who are themselves subjects of mental and cognitive states – such collections as courts, countries, and corporations – can be, and often are, subjects of mental or cognitive states. And, to be clear, advocates for this so-called group-minds hypothesis intend their view to be interpreted literally, not metaphorically. The existing critical literature casts substantial doubt on this view, at least on the assumption that groups are claimed to instantiate the same (...)
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  13. Ceteris Paribus Laws, Component Forces, and the Nature of Special-Science Properties.Robert D. Rupert - 2008 - Noûs 42 (3):349-380.
    Laws of nature seem to take two forms. Fundamental physics discovers laws that hold without exception, ‘strict laws’, as they are sometimes called; even if some laws of fundamental physics are irreducibly probabilistic, the probabilistic relation is thought not to waver. In the nonfundamental, or special, sciences, matters differ. Laws of such sciences as psychology and economics hold only ceteris paribus – that is, when other things are equal. Sometimes events accord with these ceteris paribus laws (c.p. laws, hereafter), but (...)
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  14. The Sufficiency of Objective Representation.Robert D. Rupert - forthcoming - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Mind. Routledge.
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  15. The Self in the Age of Cognitive Science: Decoupling the Self From the Personal Level.Robert D. Rupert - 2018 - Philosophic Exchange 2018.
    Philosophers of mind commonly draw a distinction between the personal level – the distinctive realm of conscious experience and reasoned deliberation – and the subpersonal level, the domain of mindless mechanism and brute cause and effect. Moreover, they tend to view cognitive science through the lens of this distinction. Facts about the personal level are given a priori, by introspection, or by common sense; the job of cognitive science is merely to investigate the mechanistic basis of these facts. I argue (...)
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  16. Individual Minds as Groups, Group Minds as Individuals.Robert D. Rupert - manuscript
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  17. Against Group Cognitive States.Robert D. Rupert - 2014 - In Gerhard Preyer, Frank Hindriks & Sara Rachel Chant (eds.), From Individual to Collective Intentionality. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 97-111.
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  18. Mental Representations and Millikan’s Theory of Intentional Content: Does Biology Chase Causality?Robert D. Rupert - 1999 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):113-140.
    In her landmark book, Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories (Millikan1984),1 Ruth Garrett Millikan utilizes the idea of a biological function to solve philosophical problems associated with the phenomena of language, thought, and meaning. Language and thought are activities of biological organisms, according to Millikan, and we should treat them as such when trying to answer related philosophical questions. Of special interest is Millikan’s treatment of intentionality. Here Millikan employs the notion of a biological function to explain what it is (...)
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  19. Enactivism and Cognitive Science: Triple Review of J. Stewart, O. Gapenne, and E. A. Di Paolo (Eds.), Enaction: Towards a New Paradigm for Cognitive Science; Anthony Chemero, Radical Embodied Cognitive Science; and Mark Rowlands, The New Science of the Mind”. [REVIEW]Robert D. Rupert - 2016 - Mind 125 (497):209-228.
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  20. The Causal Theory of Properties and the Causal Theory of Reference, or How to Name Properties and Why It Matters.Robert D. Rupert - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (3):579 - 612.
    forthcoming in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
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  21. Causal Theories of Intentionality.Robert D. Rupert - forthcoming - In Hal Pashler (ed.), The Encyclopedia of the Mind. Sage Publications.
    This entry surveys a range of proposed solutions to the problem of intentionality, that is, the problem of explaining how human thoughts can be about, or be directed toward, objects. The family of solutions described here takes the content of a mental representation—what that concept represents or is about—to be a function of causal relations between mental representations and their typically external objects. This emphasis on causal relations should be understood broadly, however, so as to cover theories couched in terms (...)
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  22. Embodied Functionalism and Inner Complexity: Simon’s 21st-Century Mind.Robert D. Rupert - 2016 - In R. Frantz and L. Marsh (ed.), Minds, Models, and Milieux: Commemorating the Centennial of the Birth of Herbert Simon. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 7–33.
    This chapter argues that Simon anticipated what has emerged as the consensus view about human cognition: embodied functionalism. According to embodied functionalism, cognitive processes appear at a distinctively cognitive level; types of cognitive processes (such as proving a theorem) are not identical to kinds of neural processes, because the former can take various physical forms in various individual thinkers. Nevertheless, the distinctive characteristics of such processes — their causal structures — are determined by fine-grained properties shared by various, often especially (...)
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  23. Frege’s Puzzle and Frege Cases: Defending a Quasi-Syntactic Solution.Robert D. Rupert - 2008 - Cognitive Systems Research 9:76-91.
    There is no doubt that social interaction plays an important role in language-learning, as well as in concept acquisition. In surprising contrast, social interaction makes only passing appearance in our most promising naturalistic theories of content. This is particularly true in the case of mental content (e.g., Cummins, 1996; Dretske, 1981, 1988; Fodor, 1987, 1990a; Millikan, 1984); and insofar as linguistic content derives from mental content (Grice, 1957), social interaction seems missing from our best naturalistic theories of both.1 In this (...)
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  24. The Functionalist's Body.Robert D. Rupert - 2014 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 5 (2):258-268.
    Interview with professor Robert D Rupert.
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  25. LOT 2: The Language of Thought Revisited. [REVIEW]Robert D. Rupert - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):559-562.
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  26.  74
    Best Test Theory of Extension.Robert D. Rupert - 1996 - Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
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  27. Extended Cognition, Extended Selection, and Developmental Systems Theory.Robert D. Rupert - manuscript
    I respond to Karola Stotz's criticisms of my previously published challenges to the inference from developmental systems theory to an extended view of cognition.
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