Daniel Burnston & Philipp Haueis, Evolving Concepts of “Hierarchy” in Systems Neuroscience

Daniel Burnston (Tulane University) and Philipp Haueis (Bielefeld University) are the authors of this last post in this book symposium for the edited volume Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in Philosophy of Neuroscience (Springer 2021). Concepts in science change over time.  As new results are discovered and incorporated into an existing theoretical framework, …

Bryce Gessell, (Behind The Stage of) Prediction and Topological Models in Neuroscience

Bryce Gessell (Southern Virginia University) is the first author of this third post in this book symposium for the edited volume Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in Philosophy of Neuroscience (Springer 2021). We called our chapter “Prediction and Topological Models in Neuroscience,” and we wrote it in the spirit of Jack Gallant. Let …

Daniel Weiskopf, What Decoding Can’t Do

Daniel Weiskopf (Georgia State University) is the author of this third post in this book symposium for the edited volume Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in Philosophy of Neuroscience (Springer 2021). Neuroimaging has seen major advances in experimental design and data analysis in recent decades. Among these are new methods, provocatively referred to …

Mazviita Chirimuuta, Your Brain Is Like a Computer: Function, Analogy, Simplification

Mazviita Chirimuuta (Edinburgh) is the author of this second post in this book symposium for the edited volume Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in Philosophy of Neuroscience (Springer 2021). Science is a project of domestication in which the wild forces of nature are tamed and set to work for human advantage. We need …

Is there a philosophy of neuroscience?

The Neural Mechanisms Online Team (Fabrizio Calzavarini & Marco Viola) is grateful to the managing editors of The Brains Blog for the opportunity to present (a selection of chapters from) our edited collection throughout this week. * * * Drawing on the experience and on the network of the homonymous …

Extending epistemic innocence beyond belief

A picture of continuity Some beliefs are epistemically innocent when they are irrational but provide epistemic benefits that would not be available otherwise. We already saw some examples: delusion, confabulation, and optimistically biased beliefs. Here I explain why I apply epistemic innocence to different types of beliefs across clinical and …

Optimism: ignorance or hope?

Powerful agents We are likely to overestimate our capacities and make exceedingly rosy predictions about our future. This widespread bias towards optimism is a robust finding in psychology. It is also a clear case of epistemic irrationality which has serious implications for risk assessment. According to a recent article, unrealistic …

Confabulation: good, bad, or inevitable?

Incurable confabulators Philosophers sometimes describe humans as rational animals. It would be more accurate to say that we are confabulating animals. The problem is that it is not always easy to distinguish our frequent practice of confabulation from the rare moments when we exercise our rationality. A provocative idea is …

Expertise: An Interdisciplinary Solution

Over the week, I have sketched three attempts to answer the questions: What is an expert? and How does someone become an expert? Though I’ve glossed over many details, the accounts point roughly to the following features of expertise: Expertise involves extensive competence in a domain (including extensive tacit or …

Expertise and Performance

Regardless of the plausibility of truth-based accounts of expertise, no one doubts that there are performative experts. We trust airline pilots to get us where we’re going, engineers to build safe bridges, and surgeons to perform complicated procedures. And no one denies that performative expertise involves some degree of propositional …

Now Featured

We are thrilled that Jamie Carlin Watson is joining us until Friday! Watson will post daily about their new book Expertise: A Philosophical Introduction (2020, Bloomsbury Academic). You can find all their posts on one page here (as they become available).

Expertise: An Interdisciplinary Problem

I am grateful to The Brains Blog for the opportunity to discuss my book Expertise: A Philosophical Introduction (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020). In this opening post, I introduce what I call the five Big Questions about expertise and explain how my book focuses on attempts by philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists to …

Epistemic Injustice and Implicit Bias

This post about epistemic in justice and implicit bias by Kathy Puddifoot and Jules Holroyd is the fourth and final post of this week’s series on An Introduction to Implicit Bias: Knowledge, Justice, and the Social Mind (Routledge, 2020). Find the other posts here. Epistemic injustice occurs when a person …

The Limitations of Implicit Bias

This post about epistemic in justice and implicit bias by Susanna Siegel is the third post of this week’s series on An Introduction to Implicit Bias: Knowledge, Justice, and the Social Mind (Routledge, 2020). Find the other posts here. The first waves of research in psychology surrounding implicit bias claimed …

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