Beliefs and Subdoxastic States

This week, I’m blogging about my new book, The Epistemic Role of Consciousness (Oxford University Press, September 2019). Today, I’ll discuss the epistemic role of consciousness in cognition. Could there be a cognitive zombie – that is, an unconscious creature with the capacity for cognition? As I use the term, …

Applications of the Account of the Evolution of Representational Decision Making

Today—in my (alas!) last posting—I suggest some ways the account of the evolution of representational decision making laid out in my book (and sketched in outline last time on the blog) can be applied to a number of open questions in philosophy, psychology, and economics. I will focus on three …

The Evolution of Representational Decision Making

Why did some organisms switch from relying just on reflexive—i.e. purely perceptually-driven—interactions with the world to also employing the tools of representational decision making? What adaptive and other benefits does the reliance on representational decision making yield? Today, I sketch aspects of the answers to these questions; for more details, …

Foundations of the Investigation of the Evolution of Representational Decision Making

Before it is possible to begin the investigation of the evolution of representational decision making it is necessary to address three foundational issues: (1) The nature of representational decision making—what is it that we are investigating? (2) The reality of representational decision making—why think that representational decision making is a …

Efficient Cognition—The Evolution of Representational Decision Making

I want to thank John Schwenkler for inviting me to blog about my new book, Efficient Cognition—The Evolution of Representational Decision Making. I am excited to be sharing with you all the reasons why I find the evolution of representational decision making such a fascinating research project. I also look …

4. Inference and Experience: conceptual challenges to inferentialism

I find the challenges to the coherence of inferentialism much more powerful than the objections inherent in alternatives. That’s why I devote more time in the book to making the case that inferentialism is coherent, and to explaining what form it could take. Perhaps a first type of challenge to …

CFP: Beliefs and Subdoxastic Attitudes

Centre for Philosophical Psychology and European Network for Sensory Research Workshop on beliefs and subdoxastic attitudes, May 31, 2017 Call for papers Confirmed speakers: Lisa Bortolotti (Birmingham) Anna Ichino (Antwerp) L. A. Paul (UNC) Eric Schwitzgebel (UC Riverside) There are no parallel sections. Only blinded submissions are accepted. Length: 3000 …

First-Personal Self-Knowledge

The extent and interest of third-personal self-knowledge notwithstanding, first-personal self-knowledge too deserves attention. In The Varieties of Self-Knowledge three chapters are devoted to a critique of contemporary accounts of it. In particular, I consider Armstrong’s reliabilist model, Peacocke’s and Burge’s different kinds of rationalism, Evans’s transparency method and its two …

The Varieties of Self-Knowledge

Despite their differences, all previously reviewed accounts have something in common. That is, they adhere to monism with respect to self-knowledge. What they all do is focus on one specific instance, provide what seems at least a prima facie suitable explanation and then try to generalize it to all other …

Symposium on Helming, Strickland, and Jacob, “Solving the Puzzle about Early Belief-Ascription”

I am very pleased to launch our latest Mind & Language symposium on Katharina A. Helming, Brent Strickland, and Pierre Jacob’s “Solving the Puzzle about Early Belief-Ascription” from the journal’s September 2016 issue, with commentaries by  Hayley Clatterbuck (Rochester), Marco Fenici (Florence), Daniel Hutto (Wollongong), Josef Perner (Salzburg), Rose Scott (UC Merced),  and Evan Westra with Peter Carruthers (Maryland).

Upcoming Events at the Brains blog

With the Minds Online conference now in the rearview mirror we are back to regular programming here at Brains, including two upcoming journal symposia and visits from the authors of several new and forthcoming books: Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday 10/11, Carl Gillett will blog for several days about his book Reduction and Emergence in …

The Unexplained Intellect: The Mind’s Dynamic Foundations

One theme of this week’s posts has been the claim that dynamic entities are among the most metaphysically basic of the things in the mental domain.  I’ve made only the vaguest gestures towards saying what I mean by this (in response to Gualtiero’s earlier comment). By dynamic entities, I mean …

The Unexplained Intellect: Consequences of Imperfection

The previous post argued that Theoretical Computer Science can show things to be naturalistically inexplicable—(where this is much stronger than showing them to be inexplicable with a Classically Computational Theory)—by showing those things to require more time than the universe allows.  I’ve not yet said anything about which things might …

Belief, willpower, and implicit bias

Keith Frankish Visiting Research Fellow, The Open University www.keithfrankish.com Jo sincerely affirms that black people are no less trustworthy than white people. Yet despite this, she consistently behaves in ways that reflect the assumption that black people are less trustworthy — subtly adjusting her behaviour towards black people across a …

Symposium on Hayley Clatterbuck, “Chimpanzee Mindreading and the Value of Parsimonious Mental Models”

I’m happy to initiate our latest Mind & Language symposium on  Hayley Clatterbucks’s  “Chimpanzee Mindreading and the Value of Parsimonious Mental Models,” from the journal’s September 2015 issue, with commentaries by Cameron Buckner (Houston), Shannon Spaulding (Oklahoma), and Jennifer Vonk (Oakland). There has been a long-standing debate about whether apes, dogs, corvids, and possibly other animals have the capacity to engage in …

Yes, We Can: Get from the State View to the Content View

In my previous post, I referred several times to the state view/content view distinction. As has been argued by authors such as Byrne (2005) or Crowther (2006), the distinction is problematic for nonconceptualists to the extent that they want to make a claim about perceptual content. For central pro-nonconceptualist arguments …

#MindsOnline2015, Session 3: Belief and Reasoning

The third session of the Minds Online conference has begun! It is on the theme of Belief and Reasoning, and includes the following papers: Ram Neta (UNC) “Basing Is Conjuring” (KEYNOTE) Grace Helton (University of Antwerp): “The Revisability View of Belief” Commentators: Michael Bishop and Neil Van Leeuwen Jack Marley-Payne (MIT): “Against Intellectualist Theories of …