Mapping cognitive structure onto the landscape of philosophical debate: An empirical framework with relevance to problems of consciousness, free will and ethics

Jared P. Friedman and Anthony I. Jack

Department of Philosophy and Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, Case Western Reserve University

[PDF of Jared Friedman and Tony Jack’s paper]

1. Introduction

This method of watching or even occasioning a contest between [mutually exclusive metaphysical] assertions, not in order to decide it to the advantage of one party or the other, but to investigate whether the object of the dispute is not perhaps a mere mirage at which each would snatch in vain without being able to gain anything even if he met with no resistance – this procedure, I say, can be called the skeptical method…[T]he skeptical method aims…to discover the point of misunderstanding in disputes that are honestly intended and conducted with intelligence by both sides… (Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, 1787/1999, A423/B451-A424/B452; emphasis in original).   Continue reading Mapping cognitive structure onto the landscape of philosophical debate: An empirical framework with relevance to problems of consciousness, free will and ethics

Explaining Injustice in Speech: Individualistic vs. Structural Explanation

Saray Ayala, San Francisco State University

[PDF of Saray Ayala’s paper]

[Jump to Valerie Soon’s commentary]
[Jump to Alex Madva’s commentary]
[Jump to Saray Ayala’s replies]

Abstract

Implicit bias has recently gained much attention in scholarly attempts to understand and explain different forms of social injustice by identifying causally relevant mental states in individual’ minds. Here we question the explanatory power of implicit bias in a particular type of injustice, testimonial injustice, and more generally in what we call speech injustice. Continue reading Explaining Injustice in Speech: Individualistic vs. Structural Explanation

Inference and Error in Comparative Psychology: The Case of Mindreading

Marta Halina, University of Cambridge

[PDF of Marta Halina’s paper]

[Jump to Irina Mikhalevich’s commentary]
[Jump to Robert Lurz’s commentary]
[Jump to Kristin Andrews’s commentary]

Abstract

Mindreading is the ability to attribute mental states to other agents. Over the last decade, there has been a wealth of experimental work on the question of whether nonhuman animals mindread. The positive results of these experiments have led many comparative psychologists to conclude that animals attribute some mental states, such as intentions and perceptions, to others. Sceptics remain, however. Continue reading Inference and Error in Comparative Psychology: The Case of Mindreading

Amodal Mind­-Perception: Combining Inferentialism and Perceptualism

Luke Roelofs, University of Toronto

[PDF of Luke Roelof’s paper]

[Jump to Jessie Munton’s commentary]
[Jump to Joel Smith’s commentary]
[Jump to Luke Roelofs’s replies]

Do we perceive the minds of others? Or do we infer that they have minds from what we do perceive, which is restricted to their bodily motions and expressions? Call a positive answer to the first question ‘perceptualism’, and a positive answer to the second ‘inferentialism’. Continue reading Amodal Mind­-Perception: Combining Inferentialism and Perceptualism

Talking about Minds: Social Experience, Pragmatic Development, and the False Belief Task

Evan Westra, University of Maryland

[PDF of Evan Westra’s paper]

[Jump to Shannon Spaulding’s commentary]
[Jump to J. Robert Thompson’s commentary]
[Jump to John Michael’s commentary]
[Jump to Evan Westra’s replies]

Abstract

Nativists about theory of mind have typically explained why children below the age of four fail the false belief task by appealing to the demands that these tasks place on their developing executive abilities. However, this sort of account cannot explain a wide range of evidence that shows that social and linguistic factors also affect when children pass this task. Continue reading Talking about Minds: Social Experience, Pragmatic Development, and the False Belief Task