KEYNOTE: The Amodal Brain

Distinguished Professor
Director of the Center for Philosophy of Science
Center for Philosophy of Science
University of Pittsburgh


Abstract: In this talk, I will criticize neo-empiricism, i.e., the view that concepts and percepts are the same kind of representation, and I will show that the brain is an amodal system: Cognitive neuroscience supports Descartes against Hume. I also offer a novel interpretation of the body of evidence that was taken in the 1990s and 2000s to support neo-empiricist theories of concepts: the offloading hypothesis.

The Paper


KEYNOTE: Skilled Seemings

Helen De Cruz
School of History, Philosophy and Culture
Oxford Brookes University

Abstract: We have seemings as a result of the ordinary workings of our cognitive faculties (ordinary seemings), and seemings as the result of long-standing deliberate training and practice (skilled seemings). Do these kinds of seemings confer justification in the same way? I argue that, in spite of their similar phenomenology, ordinary and skilled seemings have distinct developmental origins and neurological underpinnings, and that these differences matter for the justification of beliefs formed on the basis of these seemings. I identify three key areas where skilled and ordinary seemings differ: cognitive penetrability, metaphysical structure, and social practice.

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