Why I’m Not a Content Pragmatist

Karen Neander, Duke University

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Content pragmatism is sometimes considered a viable alternative to dualism, eliminativism and naturalism, but I’m not convinced that it’s even a genuine fourth alternative. Seeking a fourth alternative along the lines of content pragmatism might seem appealing, given the difficulties with the other three positions. But if we put it under pressure from one direction or another it threatens to topple over into one or another of the alternatives. I start with a quick look at dualism, eliminativism and naturalism with respect to mental content and then look at the allegedly contrasting claims of the content pragmatist. Continue reading Why I’m Not a Content Pragmatist

Libet-Style Experiments, Neuroscience, and Libertarian Free Will

Marcelo Fischborn (Federal University of Santa Maria)

[Published version of the paper]

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Abstract: People have disagreed on the significance of Libet-style experiments for discussions about free will. In what specifically concerns free will in a libertarian sense, some argue that Libet-style experiments pose a threat to its existence by providing support to the claim that decisions are determined by unconscious brain events. Others disagree by claiming that determinism, in a sense that conflicts with libertarian free will, cannot be established by Continue reading Libet-Style Experiments, Neuroscience, and Libertarian Free Will

Three Problems for the Predictive Coding Theory of Attention

Madeleine Ransom (University of British Columbia)

Sina Fazelpour (University of British Columbia)

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While philosophers of science and epistemologists are well acquainted with Bayesian methods of belief updating, there is a new Bayesian revolution sweeping neuroscience and perceptual psychology. First proposed by Helmholtz, predictive coding is the view that the human brain is fundamentally a hypothesis generator. Though predictive coding has most prominently offered Continue reading Three Problems for the Predictive Coding Theory of Attention

Information and Metacognition

Miguel Ángel Sebastián (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)

Marc Artiga (Universitat de Barcelona)0

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Representations are daily postulated in mainstream neuroscience. Nonetheless, few have actually tried to offer a general theory of representation based on those practices. Recently, some approaches have attempted to develop this idea and defend that the relation of representation can be explained in purely informational terms. In this paper we argue that such informational theories cannot provide a satisfactory account of the relation of representation. Continue reading Information and Metacognition