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 …

5. A control theory of the mind

For the last day of blogging my book The Emotional Mind, I’m going to skip straight to the last chapter on mental architecture. This is where propose a control theory of the mind as a whole. It is perhaps the most ambitious and speculative chapter of a book that is …

2. Architecture of the Implicit Mind

Part 1 of The Implicit Mind makes the case that “implicit attitudes” are mental states that cause us to act in relatively spontaneous ways, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. I offer an unorthodox description of implicit attitudes, distinguish implicit attitudes from other folk psychological kinds, and show how …

1. The Virtues and Vices of Spontaneity

To avoid becoming a victim of violent assault, people are often coached to trust their gut feelings. “Trust your INSTINCTS,” the University of Oklahoma Police Department says, “believe your inner feelings when you get uncomfortable about a person or situation. Respond as soon as you feel uncomfortable!”[1] Gavin De Becker, …

Empirically-Informed Approaches to Weakness of Will: A Brains Blog Roundtable

Weakness of will is a traditional puzzle in the philosophy of action. The puzzle goes something like this:

FOLK PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORY: If, at time t, an agent judges that it is better to do A than B, and she believes she is free to do A, then, provided she tries to do either at that time, she will try to do A and not B.

WEAKNESS OF WILL: An agent judges that it is better to do A than B, believes that she is free to do A, but tries to do B.

But taken together, these statements are inconsistent. FOLK PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORY precludes the possibility of weakness of will (as characterized in WEAKNESS OF WILL), but WEAKNESS OF WILL asserts that it occurs. So can WEAKNESS OF WILL be possible, and if so, how?

Perceptual Idealism and Phenomenal Geometry

My account of 3D vision attempts to preserve many of the traditional commitments of naïve realism, whilst rejecting its central tenet of mind-independence. In this fourth post I explain why this provides a more satisfactory solution to variations in scene geometry with viewing conditions than recent ‘four-dimensional’ accounts. 1. Naïve …