New feature: “Inline Comments”

I’ve just installed a lovely new plug-in that makes it possible to append your comments not just to the bottom of a post, but to the particular paragraph that you’re interested in discussing. To do this, just hover over the paragraph in question, and look for the little “talk” box, like so:

Screenshot 2014-10-30 16.19.02

(If someone has already left a comment on that paragraph, the box will contain a number instead.) Just click on the box, and add your comment — it’s as simple as that!

Please let me know if there are any difficulties with this, or if it turns out not to be that useful.

New Book: The Biological Mind

One of the most neglected perspectives in traditional philosophy of mind/cogsci is that the mind is a biological system, and that therefore philosophy of mind/cogsci is a branch of philosophy of biology.

Fortunately, Justin Garson has just published The Biological Mind (Routledge), an introduction to the philosophy of mind that considers the mind as a biological system and draws insights from the philosophy of biology.

The book is clear, insightful, well written, and goes way beyond a review of the literature to offer a fresh perspective on the philosophy of mind. I’ve already had two paper ideas from reading it and I’m not even done reading it. I highly recommend it.


An excellent profile of Felipe De Brigard

… at Duke Today. An excerpt:

De Brigard believes that our considerations of what actually happened, what could have happened and what might happen are closely linked in our brains because these kinds of mental simulations are likely to allow us to rehearse ways the world could be. He think’s it’s a hedge against future uncertainty.

He maintains that memory is not primarily for remembering, but is rather part of a larger system for playing out hypotheticals. Every time you retrieve a memory it becomes subject to distortion. Research by De Brigard and others suggests this lack of fidelity serves some purpose in affecting the way you think about your future.

Many philosophers, and a handful of neuroscientists, are skeptical that their two fields can bolster one another, De Brigard said.

Philosophers in particular seem resistant to the idea of applying scientific methods and tools, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, to questions they deem traditionally philosophical, he said.

“A lot of philosophers are not convinced that what I do is really philosophy,” De Brigard said, adding that it feels risky to ask such unconventional research questions.

“At this time and age, I see no better way to advance knowledge than to work at the intersection of research disciplines, and I cannot think of a university that is better positioned to do so than Duke,” said De Brigard, who arrived at Duke in July 2013.

Here again is the whole thing, and here again is the site for the Templeton-sponsored Summer Seminars on Neuroscience and Philosophy that De Brigard and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong will be hosting at Duke beginning in May, 2016.

CFP: “Social Minds” Philosophy Graduate Conference


The Philosophy Department at the University of Maryland, College Park is pleased to announce the Social Minds Philosophy Graduate Conference, which will take place on April 18th and 19th, 2015. Keynote presentations will be given by Bryce Huebner (Georgetown) and Tad Zawidzki (George Washington). Graduate students are invited to submit papers on the topic of social cognition, broadly construed to include topics in the philosophy of cognitive science, moral psychology, social epistemology, and the philosophy of language. Submissions may be a maximum of 3,000 words, and must be submitted via email in .pdf or .docx format The deadline for submission is January 2, 2014.

Short talks on neuroscience by Nancy Kanwisher

This is a very cool initiative.

From the “About” page:

In this site, I hope to share with a broad audience some of the the progress we’ve made and the challenges we still face in the effort to understand the human mind and brain.The site is a pilot effort testing whether the format of a browsable collection of short talks is an effective way to do so.

Up already are sets of talks on face perception, fMRI, and more. Check it out!

(h/t Felipe De Brigard)

Recent work by Brains contributors

(Sorry it’s been a while since I posted one of these!) The following books and articles by contributors to the Brains blog were added to PhilPapers from mid-July to September. – JS

Marcus Arvan (forthcoming). How to Rationally Approach Life’s Transformative Experiences. Philosophical Psychology.

Robert Briscoe (forthcoming). Review of Words and Images: An Essay on the Origin of Ideas, by Christopher Gauker. Mind.

Robert Briscoe & John Schwenkler (forthcoming). Conscious Vision in Action. Cognitive Science.

Berit Brogaard (2014). A Partial Defense of Extended Knowledge. Philosophical Issues 24 (1):39-62.

Glenn Carruthers (forthcoming). Making Sense of Spousal Revenge Filicide. Aggression and Violent Behavior.

Glenn Carruthers & Elizabeth Schier (forthcoming). Why Are We Still Being Hornswoggled? Dissolving the Hard Problem of Consciousness.Topoi.

Carl Gillett (2014). Brains, Neuroscience, and Animalism: On the Implications of Thinking Brains. Southern Journal of Philosophy 52 (S1):41-52.

Carolyn Dicey Jennings & Bence Nanay (forthcoming). Action Without Attention. Analysis.

Kristina Musholt (forthcoming). Review of S. Prosser & F. Recanati (Eds) Immunity to Error Through Misidentification. Mind.

Kristina Musholt (2014). Review of “The Self in Question” by Andy Hamilton. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2014 (7).

Eddy Nahmias, Jason Shepard & Shane Reuter (2014). It’s OK If ‘My Brain Made Me Do It': People’s Intuitions About Free Will and Neuroscientific Prediction. Cognition 133 (2):502-516.

Frank Scalambrino (2014). Review of Alva Noë , Varieties of Presence. Philosophy in Review 34 (3-4):171-173.

Miguel Ángel Sebastián (2014). La mente extendida. Dianoia 59 (72):169-172.

Adam Shriver (2014). Review of Why Animals Matter: Animal Consciousness, Animal Welfare, and Human Well-Being by Marian Stamp Dawkins. Environmental Ethics 36 (2):253-254.

Katrina L. Sifferd (forthcoming). What Does It Mean to Be a Mechanism? Stephen Morse, Non-Reductivism, and Mental Causation. Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-17.

A group blog on topics in the philosophy and science of mind