2. Do Experts Really Perceive the World Differently from Non-Experts?

People sometimes say things like the following: Cabernet Sauvignon tastes different to an expert wine taster than to a novice; or, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony sounds different to a seasoned conductor than it does to someone just hearing it for the first time. But does wine literally taste differently (or the …

4. Cognitive Structures, Predictive Coding and the Free Energy Principle

As I explained in the previous post, CSR’s account of scientific representation is based on the neuroscientific account of the brain-world relationship. The neuroscientific account is presented in terms of the Predictive Processing Theory (PPT) and the Free Energy Principle (FEP) as being developed by Karl Friston and others. PPT …

Where Are All the Successful Analyses?

I promised a surprise for today’s post. It’s a nasty one. Philosophical analysis is a search for the essential natures of such things as knowledge, justice, and causality. I’ve been defending analysis on two fronts. First, I’ve argued that it its inputs—the case judgments delivered by our “starter theories” of …

The Substantiality of Philosophical Analysis

The story so far: Concepts of philosophical categories such as knowledge or justice, are, or gain their cognitive significance from, explanatory theories of the relevant domain (involving epistemic explanation in the case of knowledge and moral explanation in the case of justice). Thanks to the way that concepts semantically hook …

The Reliability of Case Judgments

If the “theory-theory“ of concepts sketched in the previous post is correct, then we begin the philosophical analysis of a category such as knowledge equipped with nothing more than some rudimentary beliefs about the place of knowledge in the explanatory order. These beliefs may paint a rather partial or even …

Philosophical Concepts as Natural Kind Concepts

I want to argue that philosophical analysis, a.k.a. the method of cases, is a worthy pursuit: that it reliably gives us substantial knowledge. The linchpin of my strategy is an appeal to cognitive psychology to show that philosophical concepts—the concept of knowledge, the concept of justice, the concept of causality, …

The Philosopher in the Armchair

A philosopher goes into the armchair and brings back knowledge. What world have they been exploring? What is this knowledge of, and how did they find it? These are questions that philosophy, the most methodologically self-conscious of all the disciplines, can’t help but ask itself over and over again. They …

Mind the body (4) What kind of first-personal content?

In the previous post, I argued that the feeling of ownership must be conceived of as an affective feeling. But one may wonder whether this affective feeling is not just a side-effect of the feeling of ownership, and not the feeling itself. Evolutionary significance indeed is only a consequence of ownership …

Mind the body (3) What is the experience of bodily ownership?

The claim so far is that it feels different when one is aware that a hand is one’s own and when one is not. Now one needs to explore this phenomenological difference and determine its nature. There are three ways to go from here: Bodily experiences represent only low-level sensory …

Mind the body (2) A phenomenal contrast for bodily ownership

Ten years ago, Susanna Siegel proposed the method of phenomenal contrast in order to determine the type of properties that are represented in perceptual experiences. In brief, do we see only lines and colors or do we also see pine trees? Her method proceeds in two steps. First, one describes a …

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We are grateful to Frederique de Vignemont for blogging this week on Mind the Body: An Exploration of Bodily Self-Awareness (Oxford, 2018). To view all her posts on a single page, please click here.

Mind the body (1) A most intimate and obscure relation with one’s body

Although introspectively familiar, it is hard to exactly pinpoint the nature of the specific relationship that we have uniquely with our own body. We are aware of our bodily posture, of its temperature, of its physiological balance, of the pressure exerted on it, and so forth. Insofar as these properties are …