Full text Read free See used
Cosmides, Leda, , John Tooby. Evolutionary Psychology: A Primer
1997, Center for Evolutionary Psychology.
Expand entry
Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Patricia Rich

Abstract: The goal of research in evolutionary psychology is to discover and understand the design of the human mind.Evolutionary psychology is an approach to psychology, in which knowledge and principles from evolutionarybiology are put to use in research on the structure of the human mind. It is not an area of study, like vision,reasoning, or social behavior. It is a way of thinking about psychology that can be applied to any topic withinit.In this view, the mind is a set of information-processing machines that were designed by natural selection tosolve adaptive problems faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors. This way of thinking about the brain, mind,and behavior is changing how scientists approach old topics, and opening up new ones. This chapter is aprimer on the concepts and arguments that animate it.

Comment: This is an enjoyable introduction to the influential evolutionary psychology research program. It touches on many issues of longstanding interest to philosophers, such as the roles of nature and nurture and the normativity of abstract reasoning. I have used it in philosophy of biology and philosophy of social science courses. For more advanced students, it can be read together with Elisabeth Lloyd's paper 'Evolutionary Psychology: The Burdens of Proof.'

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text Read free See used
De Cruz, Helen, , . The Enduring Appeal of Natural Theological Arguments
2014, Philosophy Compass 9/2: 145-153.
Expand entry
Added by: Jamie Collin, Contributed by:

Abstract: Natural theology is the branch of theology and philosophy that attempts to gain knowledge of God through non-revealed sources. In a narrower sense, natural theology is the discipline that presents rational arguments for the existence of God. Given that these arguments rarely directly persuade those who are not convinced by their conclusions, why do they enjoy an enduring appeal? This article examines two reasons for the continuing popularity of natural theological arguments: (i) they appeal to intuitions that humans robustly hold and that emerge early in cognitive development; (ii) they serve an argumen- tative function by presenting particular religious views as live options. I conclude with observations on the role of natural theology in contemporary analytic philosophy of religion.

Comment: This would be useful in a course on philosophy or religion, metaphysics (where arguments for and against the existence of God are being considered), epistemology or religious epistemology. The paper is clear and non-technical. It does not provide arguments for or against the existence of God but considers the debate as a whole. It may then be useful for scene-setting, or for placing previously considered arguments in their context.

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text Read free See used
Egan, Frances, , . Folk psychology and cognitive architecture
1995, Philosophy of Science 62(2): 179-96.
Expand entry
Added by: Nick Novelli, Contributed by:

Abstract: It has recently been argued that the success of the connectionist program in cognitive science would threaten folk psychology. I articulate and defend a “minimalist” construal of folk psychology that comports well with empirical evidence on the folk understanding of belief and is compatible with even the most radical developments in cognitive science.

Comment: A good defense of folk psychology. Would be a good inclusion in a course on philosophy of mind/philosophy of cognitive science to show that scepticism need not be taken to extremes.

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text Read free See used
Egan, Frances, , . Representationalism
2012, In Eric Margolis, Richard Samuels & Stephen Stich (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Cognitive Science, OUP, 250-272.
Expand entry
Added by: Nick Novelli, Contributed by:

Abstract: Representationalism, in its most widely accepted form, is the view that the human mind is an information-using system, and that human cognitive capacities are to be understood as representational capacities. This chapter distinguishes several distinct theses that go by the name “representationalism,” focusing on the view that is most prevalent in cogntive science. It also discusses some objections to the view and attempts to clarify the role that representational content plays in cognitive models that make use of the notion of representation.

Comment: A very good overview of representationalism. Suitable for a preliminary introduction to the topic.

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text Read free See used
Kukla, Rebecca, , . Cognitive models and representation
1992, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (2):219-32.
Expand entry
Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Simon Fokt

Abstract: Several accounts of representation in cognitive systems have recently been proposed. These look for a theory that will establish how a representation comes to have a certain content, and how these representations are used by cognitive systems. Covariation accounts are unsatisfactory, as they make intelligent reasoning and cognition impossible. Cummins’ interpretation-based account cannot explain the distinction between cognitive and non-cognitive systems, nor how certain cognitive representations appear to have intrinsic meaning. Cognitive systems can be defined as model-constructers, or systems that use information from interpreted models as arguments in the functions they execute. An account based on this definition solves many of the problems raised by the earlier proposals

Comment:

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text Read free See used
Spaulding, Shannon, , . Mirror Neurons and Social Cognition
2013, Mind and Language 28 (2):233-257
Expand entry
Added by: Andrea Blomqvist, Contributed by:

Abstract: Mirror neurons are widely regarded as an important key to social cognition. Despite such wide agreement, there is very little consensus on how or why they are important. The goal of this paper is to clearly explicate the exact role mirror neurons play in social cognition. I aim to answer two questions about the relationship between mirroring and social cognition: What kind of social understanding is involved with mirroring? How is mirroring related to that understanding? I argue that philosophical and empirical considerations lead us to accord a fairly minimal role for mirror neurons in social cognition.

Comment: What processes enable mindreading is a prominent debate in social cognition. A view that has been proposed in recent years is that mirror neurons play a role in mindreading (for example suggested by Goldman, 2006). However, exactly which conclusions mirror neuron research allows us to draw is controversial, and here Spaulding provides interesting objections to a prominent mirror neuron study. This paper is particularly suitable in a social cognition module.

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text Read free See used
Taylor, Elanor, , . Explanation and the Explanatory Gap
2016, Acta Analytica 31 (1):77-88.
Expand entry
Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Simon Fokt

Abstract: The Explanatory Gap’ is a label for the idea that we cannot explain consciousness in terms of brain activity. There are many different formulations of the explanatory gap, but all discussion about it assumes that there is only one gap, which consists of the absence of a deductive explanation. This assumption is mistaken. In this paper, I show that the position that deductive explanation is privileged in this case is unmotivated. I argue that whether or not there is an explanatory gap depends on the kind of explanation in question, so there is no single, unified explanatory gap but only the absence and (perhaps) presence of different sorts of explanation.

Comment:

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text Read free See used
Von Eckardt, Barbara, , . The representational theory of mind
2012, In Keith Frankish & William Ramsey (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Cognitive Science. Cambridge University Press.
Expand entry
Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Simon Fokt

Abstract: It is argued that it is important for cognitive scientists to understand both the precise nature of RTM, and the challenges to it. The biggest foundational challenge is to develop an adequate naturalistic theory of how representational content is determined. Philosophers have proposed several ingenious theory-sketches of content determination but none accounts for the full range of semantic features mental representations arguably have. Another major challenge is the existence of non-representational competitor research programs. A likely future scenario is that we will be able to explain certain ‘low-level’ aspects of cognition without resort to representations but that representational hypotheses will still be needed to account for the intentionality-based features of cognition and ‘representation hungry’ higher-level processes.

Comment:

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Can’t find it?
Contribute the texts you think should be here and we’ll add them soon!