Representing Plants?

Reading my two previous posts, you might complain that perceiving and remembering require concepts, ideas, or even thoughts, which are basically representations, and plants don’t have those, so they don’t perceive or remember. For the same reason, you might add, they don’t have minds. Do plants have representations? Phototropism can …

Perception: Representational Properties and Phenomenological Properties

Consider the visual experience of a normally functioning subject who consciously sees a red ball in front of her in daylight. This experience has representational properties, it is of or about something, e.g. the red ball, and it has phenomenological properties, e.g. there is something it is like to see …

CFP Special Issue of Minds and Machines on Computation and Representation in Cognitive Neuroscience

GUEST EDITOR Gualtiero Piccinini, University of Missouri – St. Louis INTRODUCTION Cognitive neuroscientists routinely explain cognition in terms of neural computations over neural representations. Yet some critics argue that cognitive neuroscience does not need the notions of neural computation and representations or, worse, that these notions are untenable. Whether or …

Explaining Representation in New Ideas in Psychology

A special issue of New Ideas in Psychology on Explaining Representation, edited by Marcin Miłkowski and Konrad Talmont-Kaminski is just out, with contributions by Bill Ramsey, Paweł Gładziejewski, Rob Clowes and Dina Mendonça, Wayne Christensen and John Michael, Witold Hensel, Krystyna Bielecka, Paweł Grabarczyk and myself. Some of the contributions are based on talks …

#MindsOnline2015 Session 4: Philosophy of Neuroscience and Cognitive Science

The fourth and final session of the Minds Online conference has begun! It is focused on the Philosophy of Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, and includes the following papers: Karen Neander (Duke) “Why I’m Not A Content Pragmatist” (Keynote) Marcelo Fischborn (Federal University of Santa Maria): “Libet-Style Experiments, Neuroscience, and Libertarian Free Will” …

#MindsOnline2015, Session 2: Perception and Consciousness

The second session of the 2015 Minds Online conference has begun! It is on the theme of Perception and Consciousness, and includes the following papers: Nico Orlandi (UC Santa Cruz): Bayesian Perception Is Ecological Perception (KEYNOTE) Derek H. Brown (Brandon University): “Colour Layering and Colour Relationalism” Commentators: Mazviita Chirimuuta and Jonathan Cohen Jonathan Farrell (Manchester): “‘What …

Self and Others

To provide a full account of the ability to think “I”-thoughts, we need an explanation of the transition from implicitly self-related information to explicit self-representation. In the previous post, I argued that world-directed action and perception do not require explicit self-representation. This raises the question of when explicit self-representation does …

The Importance of Miscomputation

Anyone familiar with the philosophical literature on representation is familiar with the notion of misrepresentation. The standard view is that any robust notion of representation must make it possible to have misrepresentation. If something cannot misrepresent, it does not represent at all. At least not in the most interesting and …

Anxiety about the internal

This post ends with a brief discussion about anxiety about the internal. I take that anxiety to arise when we see strong arguments for the idea that theories cannot successfully posit non-reducible mental states that provide distinctive causal explanations. The idea that the causal powers producing our beliefs, actions and …

“Let me quickly wash my hands one more time”

The announcement of my contributions says that they will in part concern my recent Keeping the World in Mind: Mental Representations and the Sciences of the Mind. The overriding theme of that book is the proper understanding of “representation” as it occurs in recent cognitive neuroscience, broadly understood. I argue …

Decomposing the hierarchy of thought

Like other social animals, humans are status-conscious creatures, obsessed with hierarchy and rankings. This is obvious in the realm of finance, the entertainment industry, and academic reputation-chasing, but it also turns up in the more staid realms of theory. Psychology and ethology make frequent reference to the distinction between 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 …