Factive verbs and factive mental states

My last post went back to babies, to see if the dawn of mental state attribution might show us something about the relationship between knowledge and belief.  Even for those who take the concept of belief to be innate or very early-developing, belief attribution is weirdly dependent on knowledge attribution …

#MindsOnline 2015, Session 1: Social Cognition

The Minds Online conference has begun, and our first session will be open for discussion through September 4. It is on the theme of Social Cognition, and includes the following papers: Tony Jack and Jared Friedman (Case Western Reserve): “Mapping cognitive structure onto the landscape of philosophical debate: an empirical framework …

In the Beginning Was Touch, or How Touch Enables the Social Communicative Capacities behind Joint Attention

Throughout the 20th century we find several examples where, once it has been established that a mental capacity is expressed through a specific mode, this link becomes so strong that anyone who doesn’t engage in this mode will be described as not possessing that mental capacity. For example, the link …

The Impossibility of Hugging Yourself, or How Touch Opens the Doors of Perception in Apes and Humans

As I mentioned in my first post, I had the opportunity to conduct research at Gombe National Park several years ago. In one of the trips from the national park to town to get provisions (and experience the luxury of a cold soda and indoor plumbing where you are not …

CFA: Language at the Interface

Call for Abstracts: Language at the Interface Department of Philosophy, Simon Fraser University Vancouver, April 24-26, 2015 Speakers Peter Carruthers (Maryland) Wolfram Hinzen (Barcelona/Durham) Friederike Moltmann (CNRS/NYU) Anna Papafragou (Delaware) Conference Overview Serious and detailed proposals concerning the relationship between language and thought—or, as it might be put today, the …

SpaceTimeMind

You may (or may not) have noticed that Pete Mandik and Richard Brown (me) have started a podcast, called SpaceTimeMind, where we talk about tax law updates for 2014, uh, I mean, er, we talk about space and time and mind! The first episode is up now (and has been …

Semantic properties of mind and language: The Standard View

Which, if any, semantic properties would the utterances of a community of language users have, even if we assumed that the language users had no internal semantic states? My answer will come in multiple posts. Note that by ‘semantic properties’ I mean things like reference, truth, aboutness, and usability-in-an-inference. I will ultimately argue, with a couple of caveats, that their expressions would have a full suite of semantic properties.

In this, the first post in the series, I summarize, defend, and clarify the Standard View of the relationship between the semantic properties of internal states and public linguistic expressions. I’d be interested in comments, as these are ideas I’m slowly developing, and injections of criticism at this early juncture would be most welcome.

The Argument for Concept Splitting from Language

In our forthcoming paper, “Splitting Concepts,” Sam Scott and I argue, among other things, that the notion of concept may need to be split into linguistic representations (responsible for cognition that involves language) and nonlinguistic representations (responsible for the rest of cognition). Roughly, the reason is that linguistic cognition appears …