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21. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 34
Alan Weir A Neo-Formalist Approach to Mathematical Truth
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I outline a variant on the formalist approach to mathematics which rejects textbook formalism's highly counterintuitive denial that mathematical theorems express truths while still avoiding ontological commitment to a realm of abstract objects. The key idea is to distinguish the sense of a sentence from its explanatory truth conditions. I then look at various problems with the neo-formalist approach, in particular at the status of the notion of proof in a formal calculus and at problems which Gödelian results seem to pose for the tight link assumed between truth and proof.
22. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Michael V. Antony On the Temporal Boundaries of Simple Experiences
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I argue that the temporal boundaries of certain experiences — those I call ‘simple experiential events’ (SEEs) — have a different character than the temporal boundaries of the events most frequently associated with experience: neural events. In particular, I argue that the temporal boundaries of SEEs are more sharply defined than those of neural events. Indeed, they are sharper than the boundaries of all physical events at levels of complexity higher than that of elementary particle physics. If correct, it follows that the most common forms of identity theory-functionalism and dualism (according to which neurophysiological (or other complex) events play key roles through identification or correlation) — are mistaken. More positively, the conclusion supports recent approaches that attempt to explain conciousness by appeal to quantum physics.
23. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Kristin Andrews On Predicting Behavior
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I argue that the behavior of other agents is insufficiently described in current debates as a dichotomy between tacit theory (attributing beliefs and desires to predict behavior) and simulation theory (imagining what one would do in similar circumstances in order to predict behavior). I introduce two questions about the foundation and development of our ability both to attribute belief and to simulate it. I then propose that there is one additional method used to predict behavior, namely, an inductive strategy.
24. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Ira Altman The Concept of Intelligence
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Gilbert Ryle’s dispositional analysis of the concept of intelligence makes the error of assimilating intelligence to the category of dispositional or semi-dispositional concepts. Far from being a dispositional concept, intelligence is an episodic concept that refers neither to dispositions nor to ‘knowing how,’ but to a fashion or style of proceeding whose significance is adverbial. Being derivative from the function of the adverb ‘intelligently,’ the concept of intelligence does not have essential reference to specific verbs but rather to the manner or style of proceeding of nearly any verb that is descriptive of the proceedings of an agent. Intelligence- words are expressive of a manner of doing things that may be narrated in one of two ways. The first takes the form of a series of contrasts which, when put together as a list of disjuncts, may be called the contrast-criteria of intelligence. The second may take the form of the characteristic activities which comprise the criteria of intelligence.
25. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Angela J. Arkway Simulation, Folk Psychological Explanation, and Causal Laws
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The assumption that commonsense psychological explanations of behavior are causal underlies current debate between simulation theory and theory theory regarding the nature of cognitive mechanism responsible for our folk psychological practices. Theory theorists claim that these explanations are subsumed by the covering law model of causal explanation. Simulationists are not explicit about the nature of the explanations produced by simulation. In what follows, I propose a set of plausible conditions that a correct causal simulation-produced folk psychological explanation will satisfy and point out two prima facie problems. In discussing a possible solution, I discover that the latter incurs the need for some sort of causal law. An examination of two likely candidates for these laws reveals that neither is capable of playing the role required. I then suggest alternative routes that simulationists might explore in order to provide simulation theory with a sorely-needed account of the nature of the explanations produced by simulation.
26. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Angela J. Arkway The Simulation Theory and Explanations that ‘Make Sense of Behavior’
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Underlying the current debate between simulation theory and theory theory is the assumption that folk psychological explanations of behavior are causal. Simulationists Martin Davies, Tony Stone, and Jane Heal claim that folk psychological explanations are explanations that make sense of another person by citing the thoughts important to the determination of his behavior on a given occasion. I argue that it is unlikely these explanations will be causal. Davis et al. base their claim on the assumption that a certain isomorphism obtains between the cognitive mechanisms of human beings. Investigation into the nature of the isomorphism required reveals that it is of a sort that is unlikely to obtain. I suggest that in order to maintain their challenge to theory theory, simulationists must either motivate and describe a non-causal simulation-based account of folk psychological explanation or else delineate a causal account that attributes a nonessential, heuristic role to simulation.
27. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Katalin Balog Conceivability Arguments or the Revenge of the Zombies
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There is a tradition, going back at least to Descartes, of arguing against physicalism on the basis of claims about conceivability. Philosophers in this tradition claim that we can conceive of any physical facts obtaining without there being any phenomenal experience. From this conceptual claim it is further argued that it is metaphysically possible for any physical fact to obtain without the occurrence of any phenomenal experience. If this is correct, then physicalism as it is usually construed is false. In this paper I examine and refute the new conceivability arguments due to Frank Jackson and David Chalmers. I will argue, namely, that the crucial premiss of the arguments, the one that links conceivability with metaphysical possibility, is self-undermining. I proceed in two steps. First, I lay out the two arguments, and show that the crucial premiss in Jackson's argument, and so Chalmers' corresponding premiss as well, is self-undermining, and so that the alleged link between conceivability and metaphysical possibility does not exist. This does not amount to an argument for physicalism, except indirectly; what I show is that the argument on which non-physicalists most rely is ineffective.
28. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Piotr Boltuc Qualia, Robots and Complementarity of Subject and Object
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Jackson claims that a person who sees colors for the first time by this very fact acquires a certain knowledge which she or he could not have learned in a black and white world. This argument can be generalized to other secondary qualities. I argue that this claim is indefensible without implicit recourse to the first-person experience; also Nagel’s "what it is like" argument is polemically weak. Hence, we have no argument able to dismiss physicalism by consideration of first-person qualia (contra Jackson); however, it does not force us to endorse qualia-reductionism. In the second part of my paper I defend non-reductionism in a different way. Following Nagel and Harman, I try to avoid criticisms usually presented against Nagel, seeing subjectivity and objectivity as two complementary structures of the subjective and objective element of our language. I refer to classical German philosophy, phenomenology and Marxist dialectics which have developed a complementary approach crucial in the reductionist/anti-reductionist controversy in the philosophy of mind.
29. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Neil Campbel Reviving Psychophysical Supervenience
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Many philosophers has lost their enthusiasm for the concept of supervenience in the philosophy of mind. This is largely due to the fact that, as Jaegwon Kim has shown, familiar versions of supervenience describe relations of mere property covariation without capturing the idea of dependence. Since the dependence of the mental on the physical is a necessary requirement for even the weakest version of physicalism, it would seem that existing forms of supervenience cannot achieve that for which they were designed. My aim is to revive the concept of supervenience. I argue that if we construe supervenience along Davidsonian lines — as a relation connecting predicates rather than properties — then it avoids the shortcomings of the more familiar varieties.
30. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Paul Bernier Reflexive Transparency, Mental Content, and Externalism
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It has been disputed whether an externalist conception of the individuation of intentional states, such as beliefs and desires, is compatible with self-knowledge, that is, the claim that one's judgments about one's intentional states are non-evidential, non-inferential, and authoritative. I want to argue that these theses are indeed incompatible, notwithstanding an important objection to this incompatibility claim. The worry has been raised that if externalism is true, then for a subject to know, say, that he or she believes that p, the subject would need to know, on the basis of some evidence, the external conditions which determine the belief's content. Thus, externalism would be incompatible with self-knowledge. But many philosophers have accepted an objection suggesting that this worry is mistaken because in order to have a belief one need not know the metaphysical conditions determining its content, even if they are externalist. And thus, the subject's reflexive judgment about the belief would not need to rest on evidence about those external conditions. But this objection rests on a crucial assumption according to which mental content is reflexively transparent in the sense that a subject could not judge that she or he has an intentional state and be mistaken about the content of her or his state, even if the content is externally determined. My main purpose is not reflexively transparent on the assumption of externalism and, thus, self-knowledge and externalism are incompatible.
31. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
James Dallett On Images
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Concrete images are like pictures in the mind's imagination which have been transferred from real objects through the eyes. Abstract images also exist in the imagination, but are not easily described or communicated. Both images interplay in various ways as a person experiences emotional, dream and pure thought states of consciousness. Despite the interplay, the two kinds of images do not merge or meld into a third image type as a graduation between the two. Concrete images change, sometimes drastically. They never become abstract images, however deformed they are. Abstractions are somewhat assumed and exist as spontaneous and at times irrational images in the mind's eye. Light, reason, infinity and nothing are examples of abstract images which cannot be given accurate visual representation. Images take on different meanings with regard to language, death, prayer and society or politics; but the two types remain distinct. All human beings experience both concrete and abstract imagery. However, the level of ability to think abstractly varies from person to person.
32. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Ralph Ellis Why Isn’t Consciousness Empirically Observable?: Emotional Purposes As Basis For Self-Organization
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Most versions of the knowledge argument say that if a scientist observing my brain does not know what my consciousness 'is like,' then consciousness is not identical with physical brain processes. This unwarrantedly equates 'physical' with 'empirically observable.' However, we can conclude only that consciousness is not identical with anything empirically observable. Still, given the intimate connection between each conscious event (C) and a corresponding empirically observable physiological event (P), what P-C relation could render C empirically unobservable? Some suggest that C is a relation among Ps which is distinguishable because it is multi-realizable; that is, C could have been realized by P2 rather than P1 and still have been the same relation. C might even be a 'self-organizing' process, appropriating and replacing its own material substrata. How can this account explain the empirical unobservability of consciousness? Because the emotions motivating attention direction, partly constitutive of phenomenal states, are executed, not undergone, by organisms. Organisms-self-organizing processes actively appropriating their needed physical substrata-feel motivations by generating them. Thus, experiencing someone's consciousness entails executing his or her motivations.
33. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Nikolaj Demjançuk Problems of Mind as Action
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A large body of current literature details significant recent advances in our understanding of the mind. This boom has partly been stimulated by the explosive growth of cognitive science dedicated to advancing scientific understanding. This paper focuses on the nature of philosophical theory of mind, and seeks to find ways of talking about mind. Central to my argument is developing a description of mind as action. Concessive behaviorism depicts the mind as presented in complexes of actions and tendencies to act. If a philosophical theory of the mind emphasizes waving over silent cogitations and brain events, then it is behaviorist. This position defines the eliminative behaviorism. The most powerful and straightforward kind of non-eliminative behaviorism is analytic behaviorism arising from the view that all statements containing mental vocabulary can be analyzed into statements containing just the vocabulary of physical behavior. But perhaps a better way to think of beliefs is to understand only what each of them does, which is at the heart of the view known as functionalism. Therefore, special attention is given to considering behaviorist and functionalist theories.
34. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Roger Fellows Animal Belief
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If Mary believes a bone is on the lawn, then she literally believes that, though her belief may be mistaken. But, if her pet Fido rushes up to what is in fact a bit of bone-shaped plastic, then Fido does not believe that there is a bone on the lawn. However, the best explanation for Fido’s behavior may be that he initially believed there was a bone on the lawn. Unless we are methodological or analytical behaviorists, the claim that we can best explain the behavior of dumb animals by treating them as if they literally held beliefs (and desires) subject to various rationality constraints is hardly surprising. I argue that this instrumentalism does not support the realist view that dumb animals are literally to be credited with beliefs. In particular, I focus on Davidson’s argument that a creature can have beliefs only if it can be the interpreter of the speech of another. Davidson’s argument, which has not won wide acceptance, is the most subtle examination to date of the relation between belief and language. I examine the premises of his argument, indicate two major criticisms, and attempt to defend his conclusion that dumb animals lack beliefs by adducing supporting arguments.
35. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Andries Gouws “Mankind cannot bear too much reality”: sketch for a reconstruction of the Freudian unconscious
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This paper sketches a reconstruction of the Freudian unconscious, as well as an argument for its existence. The strategy followed sidesteps the extended debates about the validity of Freud's methods and conclusions. People are argued to have, as ideal types, two fundamental modes of fulfilling their desires: engagement with reality and wishful thinking. The first mode acknowledges the constraints reality imposes on the satisfaction of desires, while the second mode ignores or denies these constraints, inasmuch as they threaten to make such satisfaction impossible or unfeasible. The more aware one is that wishful thinking is just that, the less effective it becomes. Wishful thinking thus requires an unconscious; it is inimical to a clear, complete and unambiguous acknowledgment of its own status. The unconscious is subsequently reconceptualized in non-Cartesian terms; it is largely constituted by semantic phenomena: forms of representation which would conceal their meaning even if the full light of 'attention,' Cartesian 'consciousness' or 'introspection' were cast upon them.
36. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Lisa L. Hall The Self-Knowledge That Externalists Leave Out
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This paper addresses the relationship between self-knowledge, practical reason and Externalist theories of mind. Specifically, I argue that the kind of self-knowledge defended by Externalists is insufficient for intentional action. I claim that we know how to act only if we have access to beliefs about how our circumstances are related to our intended actions. I then go on to argue that the kind of mental content we need to characterize these beliefs is incompatible with the Externalist’s assumptions.
37. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
York H. Gunther Nonconceptuality and the Emotions
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I present an argument for the existence of nonconceptual states. A nonconceptual state is an intentional state which does not require the bearer to possess all requisite concepts in order to represent the state. I frame the debate by outlining two constraints that an argument for nonconceptuality should meet. First, successful argument must present a platitude of concepts and illustrate that there are intentional states which both actually violate this platitude (the empirical constraint) and explain behavior independently of conceptual states (the robustness constraint). This ensures that the notion of nonconceptuality established by the argument will have a significant part in the explanatory arsenal of the intentional psychologist. Secondly, I formulate a platitude of concepts based on the intuition that an individual can only legitimately be held responsible for behavior caused by conceptual states. After qualifying the platitude, I argue that emotional states actually violate the platitude and meet the necessary constraints. Finally, I defend my argument against two challenges: one which denies that the empirical constraint has been met and the other which denies that the robustness constraint has been met. I conclude my discussion with some general remarks on the nature of nonconceptual representation.
38. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Robert Hudson In Defense of Direct Perception
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My goal in this paper is to defend the claim that one can directly perceive an object without possessing any descriptive beliefs about this object. My strategy in defending this claim is to rebut three arguments that attack my view of direct perception. According to these arguments, the notion of direct perception as I construe it is objectionable since: (1) it is epistemically worthless since it leaves perceived objects uninterpreted; (2) it cannot explain how perceived objects are identified; and (3) it is ill-prepared to assign objective content to perceptual states.
39. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Henry Jackman Belief, Rationality and Psychophysical Laws
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Davidson argues (1) that the connection between belief and the "constitutive ideal of rationality" (2) precludes the possibility of their being any type-type identities between mental and physical events. However, there are radically different ways to understand both the nature and content of this "constitutive ideal," and the plausibility of Davidson’s argument depends on blurring the distinction between two of these ways. Indeed, it will be argued here that no consistent understanding of the constitutive ideal will allow it to play the dialectical role Davidson intends for it.
40. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 35
Kamaladevi R. Kunkolienker From “Mind” to “Supermind”: A Statement of Aurobindonian Approach
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In contrast to Western theories of mind, Aurobindo’s theory is comprehensive and holistic. This theory derives from his ontology. With respect to mind, Aurobindo contends that evolution will not stop with homo sapien. Rather, he posits higher levels of consciousness: Higher Mind, Illumined Mind, Intuitive Mind, Overmind, and Supermind. Higher Mind is an intermediary between the Truth-light above and the human mind. Illumined Mind is Spiritual light. Intuitive Mind possesses swift revelatory vision and luminous insight. Overmind acts as an intermediary between Supermind and Intuitive Mind. Supermind contains the self-determining truths of Divine Consciousness; it is the Real-Idea inherent in all cosmic force and existence.