The representational, propositional and conceptual dimension of infant belief attribution capacity

There are good reasons to suppose that the infant’s innate disposition for informational sensitivity is grounded on a representational mind. As Kim Sterelny (1991, p. 21) writes: «there can be no informational sensitivity without representation. To learn about the world and to use what we learn to act in new …

The assumption of universality in Natural Pedagogy and early Mindreading System

Gergely and Csibra argue that natural pedagogy has been selected during hominid evolution to ensure 1) fast and efficient acquisition and intergenerational transfer of cultural knowledge, and 2) overcoming the hard social environmental conditions of «cognitive opacity» for human cultural forms. Pedagogical cues work as an “interpretation switch”, signalling to …

Learning through … Natural Pedagogy

The book Learning through Others (2020) illustrates and discusses the infant social learning theory called “Natural Pedagogy”. The natural pedagogy theory, proposed by György Gergely and Gergely Csibra, has the ambitious scope of providing a model of infant social learning. This particular social learning system is funded on a communicative …

Affordances and Motivation

The study of emotions, the so-called affective turn, allows us to rethink crucial elements in psychology and philosophy of mind. There has been a concurrent surge in creative research and theory in the field of ecological psychology.[1] In our book, we seek to clarify the function of affective sentience in …

5. The Positive Semantic Argument

As I emphasized on Wednesday, phenomenal concepts are, in a sense, private. They are acquaintance-based indexicals that aren’t governed by any set of public norms, and which don’t defer to the expertise of others. Nor do they make any commitment to the underlying nature of the states referred to. When …

4. The Negative Semantic Argument

It is important to realize that first-personal phenomenal consciousness is all-or-nothing. Any given mental state is either phenomenally conscious or it isn’t. It makes no sense to talk of degrees of phenomenal consciousness, or partial phenomenal consciousness. This is another place where some of the distinctions drawn in Monday’s post …

3. Reducing the Phenomenal

The phenomenal concept strategy has been pursued by many different authors. The basic idea is to explain the problematic thought experiments (zombies, Mary, and the explanatory gap) in terms of the distinctive set of concepts we can use when thinking about our own access-conscious nonconceptual mental states. People differ over …

3. Aspects of the Self

In the previous post, I showed how the self-structure could be specified. The self has also some properties, e.g., phenomenal, social, and ethical ones, that are capable of being specified in structural terms. Let us begin with phenomenal aspects, which amount to the capacity to have consciousness and intentional states. …

2. Specifying Self-Structures

The Structural Realist theory of the Self (SRS) is presented as an extension of structural realism in the philosophy of many-particle physics. Structural realism addresses the problem of conflicting ontological consequences with regards to the existence of individual objects at the sub-particle level by making commitments to commonalities. In the …

1. Structuring the Self, a new metaphysical enterprise

As before, I am very grateful to John for letting me present my work. My new book Structuring the Self (2019, Palgrave Macmillan, Series New Directions in Philosophy and Cognitive Science), did not initially aim to introduce a new insight into the nature of selfhood so much as to give …

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We are grateful to Majid Davoody Beni for blogging this week on Structuring the Self, newly published by Palgrave Macmillan in the New Directions in Philosophy and Cognitive Science series. To view all of Majid’s posts on a single page, please click here.