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Sara Aronowitz
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
  1. 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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  2. Semanticization Challenges the Episodic–Semantic Distinction.Sara Aronowitz - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Episodic and semantic memory are often taken to be fundamentally different mental systems, and contemporary philosophers often pursue research questions about episodic memory, in particular, in isolation from semantic memory. This paper challenges that assumption, and puts pressure on philosophical approaches to memory that break off episodic memory as its own standalone topic. I present and systematize psychological and neuroscientific theories of semanticization, the thesis that memory content tends to drift from episodic to semantic in structure over time and exposure (...)
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  3. Experiential Explanation.Sara Aronowitz & Tania Lombrozo - 2020 - Topics in Cognitive Science 12 (4):1321-1336.
    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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    The Parts of an Imperfect Agent.Sara Aronowitz - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind.
    Formal representations drawn from rational choice theory have been used in a variety of ways to fruitfully model the way in which actual agents are approximately rational. This analysis requires bridging between ideal normative theory, in which the mechanisms, representations, and other such internal parts are in an important sense interchangeable, and descriptive psychological theory, in which understanding the internal workings of the agent is often the main goal of the entire inquiry. In this paper, I raise a problem brought (...)
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  5. 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.
    Tis paper aims to understand how we reason from historical premises to normative conclusions, tracing this question through the work of Muhammad Iqbal. On our reading, he wavers between two views of history, one a kind of natural science, and the other akin to religious interpretation. These tell different stories about the lessons we draw from history.
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  6. 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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