1. 242573.512659
    The ethical task of becoming a better person requires identifying and fairly assessing one’s motivations. Any ethical theory needs to be consistent with the structure of human motivation. Ethics therefore requires an understanding of how self-deception about motivation is possible. The two main theories of self-deception about motivation are Sigmund Freud’s theory of repression and Jean-Paul Sartre’s theory of bad faith. Freud distinguishes between rationally structured and purely mechanistic aspects of the mind, arguing that repression is a process of preventing oneself from becoming conscious of some mechanistic item. Sartre argues that this explanation fails, since the activity of repression would need to be concealed but cannot be mechanistic. Sartre’s alternative rests on his theory of projects as the ground of motivations. Since projects structure conscious experience, they structure our reflective awareness of our own projects, which allows features of our projects to become hidden from our view. Sartre’s theory is internally coherent and consistent with the view of motivation currently emerging from social psychology. But it is inconsistent with his own theory of radical freedom. It requires instead Simone de Beauvoir’s theory of project sedimentation, which in turn entails a nonpurposive form of self-deception.
    Found 2 days, 19 hours ago on Jonathan Webber's site
  2. 358391.51271
    This article uses psychological and neural theories to illuminate the use of analogies in literary allegories. It shows how new theories of neural representation, encompassing both cognitive and emotional aspects, have the potential to make sense of many kinds of literary comparisons including allegories. The main text analyzed is George Orwell’s Animal Farm, whose effectiveness is discussed using the multiconstraint theory of analogy supplemented with observations about neural functioning.
    Found 4 days, 3 hours ago on Paul Thagard's site
  3. 395846.512728
    Automated geometry theorem provers start with logic-based formulations of Euclid’s axioms and postulates, and often assume the Cartesian coordinate representation of geometry. That is not how the ancient mathematicians started: for them the axioms and postulates were deep discoveries, not arbitrary postulates. What sorts of reasoning machinery could the ancient mathematicians, and other intelligent species (e.g. crows and squirrels), have used for spatial reasoning? “Diagrams in minds” perhaps? How did natural selection produce such machinery?
    Found 4 days, 13 hours ago on Aaron Sloman's site
  4. 462299.512744
    Computers and Thought are the two categories that together define Artificial Intelligence as a discipline. It is generally accepted that work in Artificial Intelligence over the last thirty years has had a strong influence on aspects of computer architectures. In this paper we also make the converse claim; that the state of computer architecture has been a strong influence on our models of thought. The Von Neumann model of computation has lead Artificial Intelligence in particular directions. Intelligence in biological systems is completely different. Recent work in behavior-based Artificial Intelligence has produced new models of intelligence that are much closer in spirit to biological systems. The non- Von Neumann computational models they use share many characteristics with biological computation.
    Found 5 days, 8 hours ago on Rodney Brooks's site
  5. 553997.512758
    A simple argument proposes a direct link between realism about quantum mechanics and one kind of metaphysical holism: if elementary quantum theory is at least approximately true, then there are entangled systems with intrinsic whole states for which the intrinsic properties and spatiotemporal arrangements of salient subsystem parts do not suffice.
    Found 6 days, 9 hours ago on Elizabeth Miller's site
  6. 554020.512782
    Think of a pointillist painting: hundreds of tiny pixels depicting a leafy scene. Each leaf is a constellation of primary colors, some expertly proportioned and arranged dots of red, yellow, and blue paint. These pixels are mutually independent: the color at one does not depend on or constrain the decoration anywhere else. Collectively, though, they determine all the contents of our painting: duplicate the geometry of the canvas and the pointy distribution of pigments and we thereby duplicate the whole integrated scene.
    Found 6 days, 9 hours ago on Elizabeth Miller's site
  7. 749304.512815
    When philosophers ponder whether machines could be conscious, they are generally interested in a particular form of AI: AGI, or artificial general intelligence. AGI doesn’t exist yet, but we now have domain specific intelligences like AlphaGo and Watson, the world Go and Jeopardy! champions, respectively. These systems outperform humans in specific domains, and they are impressive. But AI seems to be developing exponentially, and within the next ten or twenty years there will likely be forms of artificial general intelligence (AGI). AGI is a kind of general, flexible intelligence that can do things like make breakfast without burning the house down, while thinking of mathematics and answering the phone. Its intelligence is not limited to a single domain, like chess. Because AGIs are general, flexible, integrate knowledge across domains, and exhibit human-level intelligence or beyond, AGIs seem like better candidates for being conscious than existing systems.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Susan Schneider's site
  8. 769766.512832
    It is difficult for the metaphysician to not be fascinated by Stephen Hawking’s question, ‘What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to govern?’ (Hawking, 1988, p. 174). Like a Tuscan countryside in the eyes of a painter, this statement inspires quite the stream of consciousness, at least in my idiosyncratic mind. For one thing, Hawking’s wording sounds as if abstract entities provide push and pull to the universe. Why would the equations govern anything, rather than merely describing how events tend to unfold? Objections aside though, I like Hawking’s question because it makes me wonder, given the mathematical nature of fundamental physical theories, what, in the realm of concreta, the lofty equations are describing. And, in another blip of consciousness, I am reminded of my Russellian monist friends, who would perhaps see, in Hawking’s question, the related question: how do we know what is ontologically fundamental, if science just details the nomological-causal structure of the world, and remains silent about its underlying categorical properties? Not quite like the rich hues of Tuscany at sunset, but alas, the mathematical nature of physics intrigues me.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Susan Schneider's site
  9. 771397.512851
    This study investigated the development of intuitions about which properties are associated with the brain and which are associated with the body. A sample of 60 children aged 6, 8, and 10 years, as well a sample of 20 adults, were told about a brain transplant between two individuals and were asked about where certain properties resided after the transplant. Adults and older children construed the characteristics associated with fine-motor behaviour, culpability, social contract and best friendships as transferring with the brain. Characteristics associated with gross-motor behaviour, physical/biological properties, ownership and familial relationships were more likely to be seen as remaining with the body. Domain-based explanations for this pattern of results are discussed. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Frank Keil's site
  10. 775796.512865
    Personality is increasingly being viewed as a complex and changing system. Self-processes are worth considering in this context because of their highly dynamic quality: they interact and influence one another in extremely intricate ways. In this chapter we first classify self-related terms and examine the following key processes in detail: self-awareness and associated processes (e.g., self-reflection, self-distancing, mindfulness), mental time travel (autobiography and prospection), and self-knowledge (including self-concept). More briefly, we also review Theory-of-Mind, self-rumination, self-esteem, and self-talk. We present information about neuroanatomy, subtypes, measurement, and functions of self-processes, as well as links with personality. Some important messages proposed are: (1) self-awareness is made up of various sub-processes and must be divided into self-reflection and self-rumination, (2) prospection depends on autobiographical knowledge, (3) our self-concept often is inaccurate, and (4) self-talk is present in most—if not all—other self-processes.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Alain Morin's site
  11. 1088819.512879
    With phenomenal characters, we seem finally to have come face to face with paradigmatic instances of intrinsic properties. The hurtfulness of pain, the acrid smell of sulphur, the taste and flavor of pineapple—these things are intrinsic qualities if anything is.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on James Van Cleve's site
  12. 1088825.512893
    Many viewers of time travel movies and readers of time travel fiction see loops where there are none. The loops they think are there are persistent cognitive illusions. In what follows I explain why they are illusions and how the illusion arises.https://www.philosophicalprogress.org/sourcesadmin
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on James Van Cleve's site
  13. 1093074.512908
    Although Reid never addresses Molyneux’s question by name, he has much to say that bears upon it, particularly in his discussions of the capacities of the blind and the relations of visible to tangible figure. My goal in this essay is to ascertain and evaluate Reid’s answer. On a first reading, it can seem that Reid gives two inconsistent answers. I shall argue, however, that the inconsistency goes away once we distinguish different versions of what is being asked. I shall also argue that Reid’s answer of yes to one important Molyneux question is more plausible than Berkeley’s answer of no.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on James Van Cleve's site
  14. 1093098.512922
    Discussions of whether perceptual states have nonconceptual content typically define the issue in a way that is bound to be confusing to anyone entering the debate for the first time—they conflate questions about the nature of contents per se with questions about the requirements on perceivers if they are to be in states with those contents. My principal aim in what follows is to provide a more perspicuous way of setting up the issue, building on work by Speaks, Byrne, and Crowther. My secondary aim is to sharpen and endorse one of the arguments for the nonconceptuality of perceptual states— the argument from experience as a source of concepts.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on James Van Cleve's site
  15. 1094546.512936
    The rise of medically unexplained conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome in the United States looks remarkably similar to the explosion of neurasthenia diagnoses in the late nineteenth century. In this paper, I argue the historical connection between neurasthenia and today’s medically unexplained conditions hinges largely on the uncritical acceptance of naturalism in medicine. I show how this cultural acceptance shapes the way in which we interpret and make sense of nervous distress while, at the same time, neglecting the unique social and historical forces that continue to produce it. I draw on the methods of hermeneutic philosophy to expose the limits of naturalism and forward an account of health and illness that acknowledges the extent to which we are always embedded in contexts of meaning that determine how we experience and understand our suffering.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on Journal of Applied Hermeneutics
  16. 1381028.51295
    In a series of articles in this journal, Michael Tye (2002) and Paul Noordhof (2001, 2002) have sparred over the correct explanation of the putative invalidity of the following argument: the pain is in my fingertip; the fingertip is in my mouth; therefore, the pain is in my mouth. Whereas Tye explains the failure of the argument by stating that “pain” creates an intensional context, Noordhof maintains that the “in” in “the pain is in my fingertip” is not spatial, but has state-attributing character. In this paper, we offer a third account, explaining the failure of the argument through state-attributing pragmatic implicatures. Empirical evidence is provided in support of this account.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  17. 1381050.512966
    The standard view in philosophy treats pains as phenomenally conscious mental states. This view has a number of corollaries, including that it is generally taken to rule out the existence of unfelt pains. The primary argument in support of the standard view is that it supposedly corresponds with the commonsense conception of pain. In this paper, we challenge this doctrine about the commonsense conception of pain, and with it the support offered for the standard view, by presenting the results of a series of new empirical studies that indicate that lay people not only tend to believe that unfelt pains are possible, but actually, quite common.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  18. 1431480.512981
    A central question for philosophical psychology is which mental faculties form natural kinds. There is hot debate over the kind status of faculties as diverse as consciousness, seeing, concepts, emotions, constancy and the senses. In this paper, I take emotions and concepts as my main focus, and argue that questions over the kind status of these faculties are complicated by the undeservedly overlooked fact that natural kinds are indeterminate in certain ways. I will show that indeterminacy issues have led to an impasse in the debates over emotions and concepts. I examine possible ways to resolve this impasse, and argue against one of them. I then suggest a different method, which places more emphasis on a close analysis of predictive and explanatory practices in psychology. I argue that when we apply this method, a new position emerges: that it is indeterminate whether concepts or emotions are natural kinds. They are neither determinately natural kinds, nor determinately not natural kinds. Along the way, we will see that natural kinds have been put to two completely different theoretical uses, which are often been blurred together, and that they are ill-suited to fulfil one of them.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  19. 1485621.512995
    Taking literally the concept of emotional truth requires breaking the monopoly on truth of belief-like states. To this end, I look to perceptions for a model of non-propositional states that might be true or false, and to desires for a model of propositional attitudes the norm of which is other than the semantic satisfaction of their propositional object. Those models inspire a conception of generic truth, which can admit of degrees for analogue representations such as emotions; belief-like states, by contrast, are digital representations. I argue that the gravest problem—objectivity—is not insurmountable.
    Found 2 weeks, 3 days ago on Adam Morton's site
  20. 1558152.51301
    Is phenomenal consciousness constitutively related to cognitive access? Despite being a fundamental issue for any science of consciousness, its empirical study faces a severe methodological puzzle. Recent years have seen numerous attempts to address this puzzle, either in practice, by offering evidence for a positive or negative answer, or in principle, by proposing a framework for eventual resolution. The present paper critically considers these endeavours, including partial-report, metacognitive and no-report paradigms, as well as the theoretical proposal that we can make progress by studying phenomenal consciousness as a natural kind. It is argued that the methodological puzzle remains obdurately with us and that, for now, we must adopt an attitude of humility towards the phenomenal.
    Found 2 weeks, 4 days ago on Ian Phillips's site
  21. 1657731.513026
    I thank Galen Strawson for his passionate attack on my views, since it provides a large, clear target for my rebuttal. I would never have dared put Strawson’s words in the mouth of Otto (the fictional critic I invented as a sort of ombudsman for the skeptical reader of Consciousness Explained) for fear of being scolded for creating a strawman. A full-throated, table-thumping Strawson serves me much better. He clearly believes what he says, thinks it is very important, and is spectacularly wrong in useful ways. His most obvious mistake is his misrepresentation of my main claim: If [Dennett] is right, no one has ever really suffered, in spite of agonizing diseases, mental illness, murder, rape, famine, slavery, bereavement, torture, and genocide. And no one has ever caused anyone else pain.
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on Daniel Dennett's site
  22. 1662397.513043
    Empirical research into moral decision-making is often taken to have normative implications. For instance, in his recent book, Joshua Greene (2013) relies on empirical findings to establish utilitarianism as a superior normative ethical theory. Kantian ethics, and deontological ethics more generally, is a rival view that Greene attacks. At the heart of Greene’s argument against deontology is the claim that deontological moral judgments are the product of certain emotions and not of reason.
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  23. 1662413.513074
    Any successful account of the metaphysics of mechanistic causation must satisfy at least five key desiderata. In this paper, I lay out these five desiderata and explain why existing accounts of the metaphysics of mechanistic causation fail to satisfy them. I then present an alternative account which does satisfy the five desiderata. According to this alternative account, we must resort to a type of ontological entity that is new to metaphysics, but not to science: constraints. In this paper, I explain how a constraints-based metaphysics fits best with the emerging consensus on the nature of mechanistic explanation.
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  24. 1686630.513098
    We’ve all heard of the Marshmallow Test. Put a kid in a room with a marshmallow on a plate in front of them. Tell them that they can eat that marshmallow now, if they want, but if they can refrain from eating it for ten minutes, you’ll give them three. …
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on John Danaher's blog
  25. 2260317.513115
    An important part of Hume’s philosophy is grounded in a fundamental distinction between two kinds of perceptions: impressions and ideas. Existing views of the distinction are that the former are livelier than the latter, that the former are causally prior to the latter, that the latter are copies of the former, that the former but not the latter are perceptions of an objective realm, and that the former are feelings whereas the latter are thoughts. I argue that all of these views of the distinction are problematic, and should be replaced by the Reflection view, according to which (simple) ideas are, while impressions are not, the direct products of reflection on other perceptions.
    Found 3 weeks, 5 days ago on Samuel Rickless's site
  26. 2268856.51313
    Computational cognitive neuroscience lies at the intersection of computational neuroscience, which aims to describe structures and processes in the brain through computational modeling and mathematical analysis, and cognitive neuroscience, which aims to explain behavior and cognition through the identification and description of neural mechanisms. Computational cognitive neuroscience invokes the descriptive tools of the former to achieve the explanatory aims of the latter: Computational models and mathematical analyses are used to identify and describe not just any structures and processes in the brain, but just those structures and processes that constitute the mechanisms of behavior and cognition.
    Found 3 weeks, 5 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  27. 2495656.513146
    Three studies provided evidence that syntax influences intentionality judgments. In Experiment 1, participants made either speeded or unspeeded intentionality judgments about ambiguously intentional subjects or objects. Participants were more likely to judge grammatical subjects as acting intentionally in the speeded relative to the reflective condition (thus showing an intentionality bias), but grammatical objects revealed the opposite pattern of results (thus showing an unintentionality bias). In Experiment 2, participants made an intentionality judgment about one of the two actors in a partially symmetric sentence (e.g., ‘‘John exchanged products with Susan’’). The results revealed a tendency to treat the grammatical subject as acting more intentionally than the grammatical object. In Experiment 3 participants were encouraged to think about the events that such sentences typically refer to, and the tendency was significantly reduced. These results suggest a privileged relationship between language and central theory-of-mind concepts. More specifically, there may be two ways of determining intentionality judgments: (1) an automatic verbal bias to treat grammatical subjects (but not objects) as intentional (2) a deeper, more careful consideration of the events typically described by a sentence.
    Found 4 weeks ago on Joshua Knobe's site
  28. 2601573.513162
    Consciousness is one of the most elusive phenomena of the natural world. But it is, after all, part of the natural world. It has presumably evolved at some point, as a result of certain natural processes taking place within the causally integrated spatiotemporal system we call Nature. What need is there, then, for a philosophy of consciousness? As a natural phenomenon, should it not submit to theoretical explanation by the natural sciences? There is no philosophy of owls; owls are natural phenomena, so the theory of owls is part of a natural science – zoology. We now also have a lively science of consciousness, conducted by cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists among others. What do philosophers have to contribute here?
    Found 1 month ago on Uriah Kriegel's site
  29. 2611809.513176
    You feel a tickle in your toe, you taste a tangy lemon drop, you smell coffee brewing. These experiences have a distinctive feel, a qualitative character that constitutes what it’s like to feel a tickle or taste lemon or smell coffee. Dualism about consciousness says that this qualitative character is something over and above the physical processes associated with such experiences.
    Found 1 month ago on Brie Gertler's site
  30. 2613675.513191
    In what has become one of the most famous passages in philosophy of mind, Gareth Evans wrote: …in making a self-ascription of a belief, one’s eyes are, so to speak, or occasionally literally, directed outward—upon the world. If someone asks me ‘Do you think there is going to be a third world war?’ I must attend, in answering him, to precisely the same outward phenomena as I would attend to if I were answering the question ‘Will there be a third world war?’ (1982, 225) Evans went on to say that this observation tells against theories of self-knowledge or introspection that postulate a sort of inner sense (‘Cartesian’ theories, he called them) and instead points to something different. But how should we understand Evans’s comments, and what sort of anti-Cartesian theory do they point to?
    Found 1 month ago on Daniel Stoljar's site