Archive for the ‘PMS WIPS’ Category

PMS WIPS Publication

Friday, August 29th, 2008

One of the entries in the Brain Hammer PMS WIPS (Philosophy and/of Mind (and/or) Science Works In Progress Sessions) has recently been published: “The function of folk psychology: mind reading or mind shaping?” by Tadeusz W. Zawidzki in Philosophical Explorations.

Links: [publisher's page for the paper][further info on PMS WIPS][the original PMS WIPS discussion on Zawidzki's paper]

Abstract:

I argue for two claims. First I argue against the consensus view that accurate behavioral prediction based on accurate representation of cognitive states, i.e. mind reading, is the sustaining function of propositional attitude ascription. This practice cannot have been selected in evolution and cannot persist, in virtue of its predictive utility, because there are principled reasons why it is inadequate as a tool for behavioral prediction. Second I give reasons that favor an alternative account of the sustaining function of propositional attitude ascription. I argue that it serves a mind-shaping function. Roughly, propositional attitude ascription enables human beings to set up regulative ideals that function to mold behavior so as to make it easier to coordinate with.

PMS-WIPS 015 - Alex Morgan - What is a Theory of Scientific Representation?

Monday, December 31st, 2007

“What is a Theory of Scientific Representation?” by Alex Morgan, Rutgers University

ABSTRACT: I address the question of precisely what recent debates about scientific representation have been about. I respond to a recent paper by Callender & Cohen (2006), who argue that such debates have largely been concerned with non-issues, because (i) they have primarily addressed the question of what constitutes something’s being a scientific representation, and (ii) this ‘constitution question’ receives a trivial answer, for what constitutes something’s being a scientific representation is the fact that it is stipulated to be a scientific representation. I argue that the stipulation proposal doesn’t account well for the apparently non-arbitrary nature of much scientific representation, and that the constitution question presupposes problematic metaphysical and semantic theses. Contra Callender & Cohen, I propose that recent debates about scientific representation are best understood as provisional attempts to explain a certain empirical phenomenon: the use of representational artifacts for predictive and explanatory purposes.

[Link to full text of article]
[Link to further info on PMS WIPS]

PMS-WIPS 014 - Luke Jerzykiewicz - Platonist Epistemology and Cognition

Monday, December 17th, 2007

“Platonist Epistemology and Cognition” by Luke Jerzykiewicz, Clark University of Massachusetts and the University of Western Ontario

ABSTRACT: Recent findings in cognitive psychology are used to show that Stewart Shapiro’s [1997] account of human mathematical knowledge is in need of revision.

[Link to full text of article]
[Link to further info on PMS WIPS]

From Hacker to WIPS

Monday, December 17th, 2007

All the discussion of P.M.S. Hacker in the previous post makes me think of PMS. PMS WIPS, that is, and how there are two more additions forthcoming:

December 17, 2007 - PMS WIPS 014 - Luke Jerzykiewicz, Clark University of Massachusetts and the University of Western Ontario - Platonist Epistemology and Cognition

December 31, 2007 - PMS WIPS 015 - Alex Morgan, Rutgers University - What is a Theory of Scientific Representation?

Further submissions welcome, read guidelines here: [link].

What’s WIPS?

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

PMS WIPS = Philosophy and/of Mind (and/or) Science Works In Progress Sessions

PMS WIPS is an online forum for the discussion of works in progress in the philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and related areas.

Submissions for PMS WIPS will be reviewed by co-editors Brian Keeley (Pitzer College), Pete Mandik (William Paterson University), and Dan Weiskopf (University of South Florida). Accepted contributions and discussion forums will be hosted on Pete Mandik’s blog, Brain Hammer. Accepted contributions will remain on the blog for only six months (but may be removed earlier at the contributor’s request) to ease any worries contributors might have regarding prior publication of works to be sent later to the journals.

We aim to post accepted contributions roughly twice a month. Past contributors have included Paula Droege, Anthony Jack, Joshua Knobe, Uriah Kriegel, Nicholas Maxwell, Gualtiero Piccinini, Jesse Prinz, Philip Robbins, Andreas Roepstorff, Eric Schwitzgebel, Nick Treanor, and Tad Zawidzki.

Papers online and still open for comment are:

Please email contributions (with accompanying abstracts) to Pete Mandik (petemandik @ petemandik.com). Feel free to contact any of the co-editors with questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

Brian Keeley (brian_keeley @ pitzer.edu)
Dan Weiskopf (weiskopf @ shell.cas.usf.edu)
Pete Mandik (petemandik @ petemandik.com)

(remove spaces from above e-mail addresses)

PMS WIPS 013 - Chase Wrenn - The Unreality of Realization

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

“The Unreality of Realization” by Chase Wrenn, Alabama University

ABSTRACT: This paper argues against the realization principle, which states that lower-level properties bear the realization relation to higher-level properties. It begins with a review of some principles of naturalistic metaphysics. Then it criticizes popular reasons for embracing the realization principle, and finally it argues against the principle directly. The most popular reasons for embracing the principle depend on the dubious assumption that special science theories cannot be true unless special science predicates designate properties. The realization principle itself turns out to be false because the realization relation fails the naturalistic test for reality; the realization relation makes no causal difference to the world.

[Link to full text of article]
[Link to further info on PMS WIPS]

Reminder: Philosophy of Mind and Science Works-in-Progress

Monday, August 13th, 2007

Reminder: The online Philosophy of Mind and Science Works-in-Progress Sessions are accepting submissions. For editorial information and links to past WIPS, see here.

PMS-WIPS 012 - Robert Thompson - Believe it, or Not? Explaining why children fail the standard false belief task

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

“Believe it, or Not? Explaining why children fail the standard false belief task” by Robert Thompson, Rice University.

ABSTRACT: It is not widely discussed, especially among philosophers of cognitive science, that children before the age of four can pass simpler versions of False Belief Tasks. There has been little discussion (and no consensus) about how to characterize the understanding these younger children manifest in these tasks. Success on these tasks, on the face of it, need not trouble the orthodox interpretation of the Standard False Belief Task (SFBT); these children simply understand the representational nature of belief, and hence, master the full-blown concept of belief, at an earlier age than commonly thought. Recent results have shown, however, that children as young as 13 months of age can pass such simplified tasks, and I think there are good reasons not to attribute mastery of the full- blown concept of belief to children at this age. Based on this evidence, I will argue that the abilities of these young children provide a serious challenge to the orthodox interpretation of the SFBT, and that we need a different analysis of the mindreading abilities of children at all of these ages. The major change that allows the child to pass the SFBT is not, I will claim, understanding the representational nature of belief. I propose an alternative analysis of the developmental data, stressing that understanding beliefs should be distinguished from mastering the full-blown concept of belief, and that the latter may involve capacities that go well beyond what has been described traditionally as aspects of ToM.

[Link to full text of article]
[Link to further info on PMS WIPS]

PMS WIPS - Uriah Kriegel - A Cross-Order Integration Hypothesis for the Neural Correlate of Consciousness

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

“A Cross-Order Integration Hypothesis for the Neural Correlate of Consciousness ” by Uriah Kriegel, University of Arizona and University of Sydney.

Abstract. One major problem many hypotheses regarding the neural correlate of consciousness (NCC) face is what we might call “the why question”: why would this particular neural feature, rather than another, correlate with consciousness? The purpose of the present paper is to develop a NCC hypothesis that answers this question. The proposed hypothesis is inspired by the Cross-Order Integration (COI) theory of consciousness, according to which consciousness arises from the functional integration of a first-order representation of an external stimulus and a second-order representation of that first-order representation. The proposal comes in two steps. The first step concerns the “general shape” of the NCC and can be directly derived from COI theory. The second step is a concrete hypothesis that can be arrived at by combining the general shape with empirical considerations.

[Link to full text of article]

[Link to further info on  PMS WIPS]

PMS 010 - Gualtiero Piccinini - The Mind as Neural Software? Revisiting Functionalism, Computationalism, and Computational Functionalism

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

“The Mind as Neural Software? Revisiting Functionalism, Computationalism, and Computational Functionalism” by Gualtiero Piccinini, University of Missouri – St. Louis.

ABSTRACT: Defending or attacking either functionalism or computationalism requires clarity on what they amount to and what evidence counts for or against them. My goal here is not to evaluate their plausibility. My goal is to formulate them and their relationship clearly enough that we can determine which type of evidence is relevant to them. I aim to dispel some sources of confusion that surround functionalism and computationalism, recruit recent philosophical work on mechanisms and computation to shed light on them, and clarify how functionalism and computationalism may or may not legitimately come together.

[Link to full text of article]

[Link to further info on PMS WIPS]