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Sara Aronowitz
Princeton University
  1. Exploring by Believing.Sara Aronowitz - forthcoming - The Philosophical Review.
    Sometimes, we face choices between actions most likely to lead to valuable outcomes, and actions which put us in a better position to learn. These choices exemplify what is called the exploration/exploitation trade-off. In computer science and psychology, this trade-off has fruitfully been applied to modulating the way agents or systems make choices over time. In this paper, I argue that the trade-off also extends to belief. We can be torn between two ways of believing, one of which is expected (...)
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  2. Memory Structure and Cognitive Maps.Sarah K. Robins, Sara Aronowitz & Arjen Stolk - forthcoming - In Felipe De Brigard & Walter Sinnott Armstrong (eds.), Neuroscience & Philosophy.
    A common way to understand memory structures in the cognitive sciences is as a cognitive map​. Cognitive maps are representational systems organized by dimensions shared with physical space. The appeal to these maps begins literally: as an account of how spatial information is represented and used to inform spatial navigation. Invocations of cognitive maps, however, are often more ambitious; cognitive maps are meant to scale up and provide the basis for our more sophisticated memory capacities. The extension is not meant (...)
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  3. What Epistemic Reasons Are For: Against the Belief-Sandwich Distinction.Daniel J. Singer & Sara Aronowitz - forthcoming - In Billy Dunaway & David Plunkett (eds.), Meaning, Decision, and Norms: Themes from the Work of Allan Gibbard.
    The standard view says that epistemic normativity is normativity of belief. If you’re an evidentialist, for example, you’ll think that all epistemic reasons are reasons to believe what your evidence supports. Here we present a line of argument that pushes back against this standard view. If the argument is right, there are epistemic reasons for things other than belief. The argument starts with evidentialist commitments and proceeds by a series of cases, each containing a reason. As the cases progress, the (...)
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  4. Iqbal's Fractured Vision: History as a Science and the Moral Weight of the Past.Sara Aronowitz & Reza Hadisi - 2020 - Philosophy East and West 70 (4):881-905.
    If we look at the sources and foundations of modern ways of living, it becomes clear that the whole world is steeped in jāhilīyah [ignorance], and all the marvelous material comforts and high-level inventions do not diminish this ignorance. … It is now not in that simple and primitive form of the ancient jāhilīyah, but takes the form of claiming that the right to create values, to legislate rules of collective behaviour, and to choose any way of life rests with (...)
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  5. Learning Through Simulation.Sara Aronowitz & Tania Lombrozo - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20.
    Mental simulation — such as imagining tilting a glass to figure out the angle at which water would spill — can be a way of coming to know the answer to an internally or externally posed query. Is this form of learning a species of inference or a form of observation? We argue that it is neither: learning through simulation is a genuinely distinct form of learning. On our account, simulation can provide knowledge of the answer to a query even (...)
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    Experiential Explanation.Sara Aronowitz & Tania Lombrozo - forthcoming - Topics in Cognitive Science.
    People often answer why-questions with what we call experiential explanations: narratives or stories with temporal structure and concrete details. In contrast, on most theories of the epistemic function of explanation, explanations should be abstractive: structured by general relationships and lacking extraneous details. We suggest that abstractive and experiential explanations differ not only in level of abstraction, but also in structure, and that each form of explanation contributes to the epistemic goals of individual learners and of science. In particular, experiential explanations (...)
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