Philosophy of Psychology

Edited by Mitchell Herschbach (California State University, Northridge)
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  1. Il canto dell’entusiasmo. Quotidianità ed entusiasmo: un’analisi a partire da Karl Jaspers.Elia Gonnella - 2020 - Studi Jaspersiani 8:145-163.
    Starting from Jaspers’ analysis of attitudes in Psychologie der Weltanschauungen and analyzing their causes, we find an essential description of the human being. The human condition of being in the world (Heidegger, Jaspers) can be troubled (Freud, Jung). However, this is characteristic for human life (Jaspers, Schellenbaum). Among all attitudes, the enthusiastic one is the more consistent with human being’s dynamic nature (Bergson, Jaspers, Schellenbaum). The human being feels himself deeply touched (Scheler, Jaspers) and becomes stunned. The aim of the (...)
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  2. Hypnosis and Meditation: A Neurophenomenological Comparison.Jelena Markovic & Evan Thompson - 2017 - In Amir Raz & Michael Lifshitz (eds.), Hypnosis and Meditation: Towards an Integrative Science of Conscious Planes. Oxford, UK: pp. 79-106.
    A necessary first step in collaboration between hypnosis research and meditation research is clarification of key concepts. The authors propose that such clarification is best advanced by neurophenomenological investigations that integrate neuroscience methods with phenomenological models based on first-person reports of hypnotic versus meditative experiences. Focusing on absorption, the authors argue that previous treatments of hypnosis and meditation as equivalent are incorrect, but that they can be fruitfully compared when characteristic features of the states described by these concepts are examined. (...)
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  3. Concepts as a Working Hypothesis.Samuel D. Taylor - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology.
    Some philosophers argue that all concepts cannot have the same representational structure, because no single kind of representation has been successful in accounting for the phenomena related to the formation and application of concepts. Here, I argue against this “appeal to cognitive science” by demonstrating that different theories of the kind concept cohere with different interpretations of the argument. To circumvent the threat of relativism, I argue that theories of concept should be understood as working hypotheses, which are provisionally accepted (...)
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  4. Beyond Essentialist Fallacies: Fine-Tuning Ideology Critique of Appeals to Biological Sex Differences.Rebekka Hufendiek - 2020 - Journal of Social Philosophy.
    A recurring claim made by evolutionary psychologists is that their opponents neglect biological explanations as such for ideological reasons. I argue in this paper that this is a self-immunizing strategy that avoids serious engagement with existing critique by exploiting the long history of essentialist fallacies and anti-essentialist debunking arguments. To argue for this claim, I reconstruct the general form of the essentialist fallacy as well as the history of anti-essentialist debunking arguments and suggest that they play a central role in (...)
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  5. Categorically Perceiving Motor Actions.Chiara Brozzo - 2020 - In Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in Philosophy of Neuroscience. pp. 465-482.
    In this chapter, I will present an empirical conjecture to the effect that some bodily actions are categorically perceived. These are bodily actions such as grasping or reaching for something, which I am going to call motor actions. My conjecture builds on one recently put forward about how the categorical perception of facial expressions of some emotions works. I shall motivate my own conjecture on the basis of both theoretical and empirical considerations, describe how it could be operationalised and what (...)
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  6. The Difficulty of Understanding: Complexity and Simplicity in Moral Psychological Description.Camilla Kronqvist & Natan Elgabsi - 2021 - Scientia Moralitas 6 (2):78-103.
    The social intuitionist approach to moral judgments advanced by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt presupposes that it is possible to provide an explanation of the human moral sense without normative implications. By contrast, Iris Murdoch’s philosophical work on moral psychology suggests that every description of morality necessarily involves evaluative features that reveal the thinker’s own moral attitudes and implicit philosophical pictures. In the light of this, we contend that Haidt’s treatment of the story about Julie and Mark, two siblings who decide (...)
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  7. Extended Implicit Bias: When the Metaphysics and Ethics of Implicit Bias Collide.Uwe Peters - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    It has recently been argued that to tackle social injustice, implicit biases and unjust social structures should be targeted equally because they sustain and ontologically overlap with each other. Here I develop this thought further by relating it to the hypothesis of extended cognition. I argue that if we accept common conditions for extended cognition then people’s implicit biases are often partly realized by and so extended into unjust social structures. This supports the view that we should counteract psychological and (...)
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  8. On Concepts and Ideas: Themes From G. W. Leibniz's New Essays.Lucia Oliveri - 2016 - In Christoph Kann David Hommen (ed.), Concepts and Categorization Systematic and Historical Perspectives. Münster, Germania: pp. 141-167.
    The topic of my paper is the virtual controversy between Leibniz and Lockeover concepts and ideas. At the end of the 17th century John Locke made a crucial contribution to semantics and philosophy: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. The work represents a decisive turning point for the discussion about ideas and innatism. Indeed, Locke’s aim was to dismantle the Cartesian theory according to which ideas are innate in our soul. Against this onto-epistemological thesis, Locke maintains that all our knowledge starts (...)
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  9. Positing Numerosities May Be Metaphysically Extravagant; Positing Representation of Numerosities is Not.Simon A. B. Brown - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44.
    Clarke and Beck assume that approximate number system representations should be assigned referents from our scientific ontology. However, many representations, both in perception and cognition, do not straightforwardly refer to such entities. If we reject Clarke and Beck's assumption, many possible contents for ANS representations besides number are compatible with the evidence Clarke and Beck cite.
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  10. The Number Sense Represents (Rational) Numbers.Sam Clarke & Jacob Beck - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44:1-57.
    On a now orthodox view, humans and many other animals possess a “number sense,” or approximate number system, that represents number. Recently, this orthodox view has been subject to numerous critiques that question whether the ANS genuinely represents number. We distinguish three lines of critique – the arguments from congruency, confounds, and imprecision – and show that none succeed. We then provide positive reasons to think that the ANS genuinely represents numbers, and not just non-numerical confounds or exotic substitutes for (...)
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  11. Existential Ludology and Peter Wessel Zapffe.Stefano Gualeni & Daniel Vella - 2021 - In Victor Navarro-Remesal & Oliver Perez-Latorre (eds.), Perspectives on the European Videogame. Amsterdam (The Netherlands): Amsterdam University Press. pp. 175-192.
    A relatively common approach in game studies understands gameworlds as constituting an existential situation for the player. Taking that stance, which is rooted in the European philosophical tradition of Existentialism, in this chapter we investigate the relationships and similarities between our existence within and without gameworlds. To do so, we first provide a review of existing literature in ‘existential ludology’ - work in game studies which considers our engagement with gameworlds from an existential perspective. In the second part of the (...)
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  12. Accessing Self-Control.Polaris Koi - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    Self-control is that which is enacted to align our behaviour with intentions, motives, or better judgment in the face of conflicting impulses of motives. In this paper, I ask, what explains interpersonal differences in self-control? After defending a functionalist conception of self-control, I argue that differences in self-control are analogous to differences in mobility: they are modulated by inherent traits and environmental supports and constraints in interaction. This joint effect of individual biology and environmental factors is best understood in terms (...)
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  13. The Most General Mental Act.Yair Levy - forthcoming - In Michael Brent & Lisa Miracchi (eds.), Mental Action and The Conscious Mind. Routledge.
    This chapter contributes to the ongoing debate over how to understand attention. It spells out and defends a novel account according to which attending is the most general type of mental act, that which one performs on some object if one performs any mental act on it at all. On this view, all mental acts are (to a first, rough approximation) species of attending. The view is novel in going against the grain of virtually all extant accounts, which work by (...)
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  14. Causation, Responsibility, and Typicality.Justin Sytsma - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (4):699-719.
    There is ample evidence that violations of injunctive norms impact ordinary causal attributions. This has struck some as deeply surprising, taking the ordinary concept of causation to be purely descriptive. Our explanation of the findings—the responsibility view—rejects this: we contend that the concept is in fact partly normative, being akin to concepts like responsibility and accountability. Based on this account, we predicted a very different pattern of results for causal attributions when an agent violates a statistical norm. And this pattern (...)
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  15. Interpretational Complexities in Developmental Research and a Piagetian Reading of the False-Belief Task.Alla Choifer - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (4):923-952.
    Theorizing about children’s early development is beset with interpretational complexities. I argue that there is a general tendency to over-interpret the experimental findings, and that one of the main causes of this is the difficulty of disengaging from our adult frame of reference when theorizing about the young child’s mind. One domain where this holds is children’s ability to differentiate themselves from others. In relation to this I first critically analyze some cases of interpretational complexities, and then apply my methodological (...)
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  16. Boredom and Cognitive Engagement: A Functional Theory of Boredom.Andreas Elpidorou - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology.
    The functional theory of boredom maintains that boredom ought to be defined in terms of its role in our mental and behavioral economy. Although the functional theory has recently received considerable attention, presentations of this theory have not specified with sufficient precision either its commitments or its consequences for the ontology of boredom. This essay offers an in-depth examination of the functional theory. It explains what boredom is according to the functional view; it shows how the functional theory can account (...)
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  17. Culture or Biology? If This Sounds Interesting, You Might Be Confused.Sebastian Watzl - 2019 - In Jaan Valsinger (ed.), Social Philosophy of Science for the Social Sciences. Cham: Springer. pp. 45-71.
    Culture or Biology? The question can seem deep and important. Yet, I argue in this chapter, if you are enthralled by questions about our biological differences, then you are probably confused. My goal is to diagnose the confusion. In debates about the role of biology in the social world it is easy to ask the wrong questions, and it is easy to misinterpret the scientific research. We are intuitively attracted to what is called psychological essentialism, and therefore interpret what is (...)
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  18. How Should We Think About Implicit Measures and Their Empirical “Anomalies”?Bertram Gawronski, Michael Brownstein & Alex Madva - forthcoming - WIREs Cognitive Science:1-6.
    Based on a review of several “anomalies” in research using implicit measures, Machery (2021) dismisses the modal interpretation of participant responses on implicit measures and, by extension, the value of implicit measures. We argue that the reviewed findings are anomalies only for specific—influential but long-contested—accounts that treat responses on implicit measures as uncontaminated indicators of trait-like unconscious representations that coexist with functionally independent conscious representations. However, the reviewed findings are to-be-expected “normalities” when viewed from the perspective of long-standing alternative frameworks (...)
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  19. Descartes on the Passions of the Soul and Internal Emotions: Two Challenges for Interoception Research in Emotions.Helena De Preester & John Dorsch - forthcoming - Danish Yearbook of Philosophy.
    On the basis of Descartes’s account of the passions of the soul, we argue that current interoception-based theories of emotions cannot account for the hallmark of a passion of the soul, i.e., that its effects are felt as being in the soul itself. We also pay attention to the epistemic functions of the passions and to Descartes’s category of emotions that are caused and occur in the soul alone. Certain passions of the soul and certain internal (or intellectual) emotions are (...)
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  20. The Origin of Pointing: Evidence for the Touch Hypothesis. O.' & Cathal Madagain - 2019 - Science Advances 5 (7).
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  21. Teorías descriptivistas de los conceptos y el argumento de ignorancia ¿Qué podemos extraer de la evidencia sobre demencia semántica?Erika Torres - forthcoming - In Proceedings IV and V Graduate Conference, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Teseo Press. pp. 1-17.
    This paper maintains, relying on empirical evidence from semantic dementia, that the descriptive information associate with concepts plays an important role in the performance of a variety of cognitive tasks, as it is suggested by Descriptivist Theories of Concepts (DTC). However, it also argues that it does not follow from this that such information determines the extension of concepts, as it is also suggested by DTC. The evidence from semantic dementia provides support to the thesis that the descript information is (...)
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  22. Laying One’s Cards on the Table: Experiencing Exile and Finding Our Feet in Moral Philosophical Encounters.Camilla Kronqvist & Natan Elgabsi - 2021 - Open Philosophy 4 (1):404-424.
    Engaging with the philosophical writings of Iris Murdoch, we submit that there are difficulties associated with providing a good description of morality that are intimately connected with difficulties in understanding other human beings. We suggest three senses in which moral philosophical reflection needs to account for our understanding of others: the failure to understand someone is not merely an intellectual failure, but also engages us morally; the moral question of understanding is not limited to the extent to which we understand (...)
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  23. Better Scared Than Sorry: The Pragmatic Account of Emotional Representation.Kris Goffin - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Some emotional representations seem to be unreliable. For instance, we are often afraid when there is no danger present. If emotions such as fear are so unreliable, what function do they have in our representational system? This is a problem for representationalist theories of emotion. I will argue that seemingly unreliable emotional representations are reliable after all. While many mental states strike an optimal balance between minimizing inaccurate representations and maximizing accurate representations, some emotional representations only aim at maximizing accuracy. (...)
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  24. Problems of Living Meaningfully in Psychiatry and Philosophy.Thaddeus Metz - 2021 - Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry 43 (6).
    A brief critical notice of Dan J Stein's new book _Problems of Living: Perspectives from Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Cognitive-Affective Science_.
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  25. Reasoning About Properties: A Computational Theory.Sangeet Khemlani & P. N. Johnson-Laird - forthcoming - Psychological Review.
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  26. Meanings of Words and the Possibilities of Psychology: Reflections on Jan Smedslund's Psycho-Logic.Michael McEachrane - 2020 - In Tobias G. Lindstad & Jaan Valsiner (eds.), Respect for Thought: Jan Smedslund's Legacy for Psychology. Cham, Schweiz:
  27. Charlie Kurth, The Anxious Mind: An Investigation Into the Varieties and Virtues of Anxiety. [REVIEW]Daniel Kelly - 2021 - Ethics 132 (1):249-255.
    Kurth wants us to understand and appreciate our anxiety more than we typically do. His concise and crisply written monograph makes a good case that we should. It deepens our understanding of what anxiety is, and of how it animates different facets of our mental and moral lives. The case he builds that, roughly, anxiety is one of the brain’s ways of affectively signaling and responding to uncertainty is clearly argued and meticulously organized. Kurth hits the targets he sets for (...)
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  28. Fearing the Worst yet to Come: Derrida and Health Anxiety.Molly Kelly - 2021 - Theory & Psychology 31 (4):632-645.
    Building from the works of Jacques Derrida, this article explores health anxiety’s aporetic relationship with medicine through a deconstructive approach. I argue that attention to Derrida’s writings (and in particular, his readings of pharmakon and autoimmunity) may prove useful in explaining the cyclical character of health anxiety and its ambivalent response to medical reassurance. What’s more, I demonstrate how structuralist interpretations of health anxiety as a signifier without referent prove insufficient within a Derridean account. Such a reading emphasizes the need (...)
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  29. Perceiving Agency.Mason Westfall - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    When we look around the world, some things are inert and others are ‘alive’. What is it to ‘look alive’? An account of animacy perception is crucial, both for a proper understanding of visual experience, and for downstream questions about the epistemology of social cognition. I argue that empirical work on animacy supports the view that animacy is genuinely perceptual. We should construe perception of animacy as perception of agents and perception of behavior. My proposal explains how static and dynamic (...)
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  30. Exploring the Orthogonal Relationship Between Controlled and Automated Processes in Skilled Action.John Toner & Aidan Moran - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):577-593.
    Traditional models of skill learning posit that skilled action unfolds in an automatic manner and that control will prove deleterious to movement and performance proficiency. These perspectives assume that automated processes are characterised by low levels of control and vice versa. By contrast, a number of authors have recently put forward hybrid theories of skilled action which have sought to capture the close integration between fine-grained automatic motor routines and intentional states. Drawing heavily on the work of Bebko et al. (...)
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  31. A Role for Conscious Accessibility in Skilled Action.Chiara Brozzo - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):683-697.
    Skilled sportsmen or musicians—more generally, skilled agents—often fill us with awe with the way they perform their actions. One question we may ask ourselves is whether they intended to perform some awe-inspiring aspects of their actions. This question becomes all the more pressing as it often turns out that these agents were not conscious of some of those aspects at the time of performance. As I shall argue, there are reasons for suspecting lack of conscious access to an aspect of (...)
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  32. Emotions as Modulators of Desire.Brandon Yip - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-24.
    We commonly appeal to emotions to explain human behaviour: we seek comfort out of grief, we threaten someone in anger and we hide in fear. According to the standard Humean analysis, intentional action is always explained with reference to a belief-desire pair. According to recent consensus, however, emotions have independent motivating force apart from beliefs and desires, and supplant them when explaining emotional action. In this paper I provide a systematic framework for thinking about the motivational structure of emotion and (...)
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  33. Introduction: Understanding Hunger.Andrea Borghini & Davide Serpico - 2021 - Topoi 40 (3):503-506.
  34. Self-Reflexive Cognitive Bias.Joshua Mugg & Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-21.
    Cognitive scientists claim to have discovered a large number of cognitive biases, which have a tendency to mislead reasoners. Might cognitive scientists themselves be subject to the very biases they purport to discover? And how should this alter the way they evaluate their research as evidence for the existence of these biases? In this paper, we posit a new paradox, which bears a striking resemblance to some classical logical paradoxes. Suppose that research R appears to be good evidence for the (...)
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  35. Taking Social Psychology Out of Context.Michael Brownstein, Daniel Kelly & Alex Madva - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
    We endorse Cesario’s call for more research into the complexities of “real-world” decisions and the comparative power of different causes of group disparities. Unfortunately, these reasonable suggestions are overshadowed by a barrage of non sequiturs, misdirected criticisms of methodology, and unsubstantiated claims about the assumptions and inferences of social psychologists.
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  36. Values in Psychometrics.Lisa D. Wijsen, Denny Borsboom & Anna Alexandrova - forthcoming - Perspectives on Psychological Science.
    When it originated in the late 19th century, psychometrics was a field with both a scientific and a social mission: psychometrics provided new methods for research into individual differences, and at the same time, these psychometric instruments were considered a means to create a new social order. In contrast, contemporary psychometrics - due to its highly technical nature and its limited involvement in substantive psychological research - has created the impression of being a value-free discipline. In this article, we develop (...)
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  37. Is Blindsight Possible Under Signal Detection Theory? Comment on Phillips (2021).Matthias Michel & Hakwan Lau - 2021 - Psychological Review 128 (3):585-591.
    Phillips argues that blindsight is due to response criterion artefacts under degraded conscious vision. His view provides alternative explanations for some studies, but may not work well when one considers several key findings in conjunction. Empirically, not all criterion effects are decidedly non-perceptual. Awareness is not completely abolished for some stimuli, in some patients. But in other cases, it was clearly impaired relative to the corresponding visual sensitivity. This relative dissociation is what makes blindsight so important and interesting.
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  38. Bias and Blindsight: A Reply to Michel and Lau (2021).Ian Phillips - 2021 - Psychological Review 128 (3):592-595.
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  39. Blindsight is Qualitatively Degraded Conscious Vision.Ian Phillips - 2021 - Psychological Review 128 (3):558-584.
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  40. Editorial: Integrating Philosophical and Scientific Approaches in Consciousness Research.Christopher Gutland, Wenjing Cai & Anthony Vincent Fernandez - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
  41. Against Teleological Essentialism.Eleonore Neufeld - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (4):e12961.
    In two recent papers, Rose and Nichols present evidence in favor of the view that humans represent category essences in terms of a telos, such as honey-making, and not in terms of scientific essences, such as bee DNA. In this paper, I challenge their interpretation of the evidence, and show that it is directly predicted by the main theory they seek to undermine. I argue that their results can be explained as instances of diagnostic reasoning about scientific essences.
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  42. The Relevance of the Philosophy of Psychology to a Science of Psychology.Rom Harre - 2005 - In Christina E. Erneling & David Martel Johnson (eds.), The Mind as a Scientific Object: Between Brain and Culture. Oup Usa.
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  43. Is Choice Blindness a Case of Self-Ignorance?Ema Sullivan-Bissett & Lisa Bortolotti - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5437-5454.
    When subject to the choice-blindness effect, an agent gives reasons for making choice B, moments after making the alternative choice A. Choice blindness has been studied in a variety of contexts, from consumer choice and aesthetic judgement to moral and political attitudes. The pervasiveness and robustness of the effect is regarded as powerful evidence of self-ignorance. Here we compare two interpretations of choice blindness. On the choice error interpretation, when the agent gives reasons she is in fact wrong about what (...)
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  44. Fearful Object Seeing.Felipe Nogueira de Carvalho - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10:1-18.
    What is it like to perceive a feared object? According to a popular neo-Gibsonian theory in psychology, fear biases our perceptions of objects so as to encourage particular kinds of actions: when we are afraid, spiders may be perceived as physically closer than they are in order to promote fleeing. Firestone mounted severe criticisms against this view, arguing that these cases are better explained by non-perceptual biases that operate on accurate perceptions of the external environment. In this paper I will (...)
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  45. The Nature of Desire.Panos Theodorou - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34 (3):448-452.
  46. Editorial: Replicability in Cognitive Science.Brent Strickland & Helen De Cruz - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (1):1-7.
    This special issue on what some regard as a crisis of replicability in cognitive science (i.e. the observation that a worryingly large proportion of experimental results across a number of areas cannot be reliably replicated) is informed by three recent developments. -/- First, philosophers of mind and cognitive science rely increasingly on empirical research, mainly in the psychological sciences, to back up their claims. This trend has been noticeable since the 1960s (see Knobe, 2015). This development has allowed philosophers to (...)
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  47. Epistemic Feelings, Metacognition, and the Lima Problem.Nathaniel Greely - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6803-6825.
    Epistemic feelings like tip-of-the-tongue experiences, feelings of knowing, and feelings of confidence tell us when a memory can be recalled and when a judgment was correct. Thus, they appear to be a form of metacognition, but a curious one: they tell us about content we cannot access, and the information is supplied by a feeling. Evaluativism is the claim that epistemic feelings are components of a distinct, primitive metacognitive mechanism that operates on its own set of inputs. These inputs are (...)
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  48. ‘We Have Come to Be Destroyed’: The ‘Extraordinary’ Child in Science Fiction Cinema in Early Cold War Britain.Laura Tisdall - 2021 - History of the Human Sciences 34 (5):8-31.
    Depictions of children in British science fiction and horror films in the early 1960s introduced a new but dominant trope: the ‘extraordinary’ child. Extraordinary children, I suggest, are disturbing because they violate expected developmental norms, drawing on discourses from both the ‘psy’ sciences and early neuroscience. This post-war trope has been considered by film and literature scholars in the past five years, but this existing work tends to present the extraordinary child as an American phenomenon, and links these depictions to (...)
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  49. How the Body Narrows the Interaction with the Environment.Marcello Costantini & Mog Stapleton - 2015 - In Yann Coello & Martin Fischer (eds.), Foundations of embodied cognition: Perceptual and emotional embodiment. pp. 181-197.
    Embodiment matters to perception and action. Beyond the triviality that, under normal circumstances, we need a body in order to perceive the world and act in it, our particular embodiment, right here, right now, both enables and constrains our perception of possibilities for action. In this chapter, we provide empirical support for the idea that the structural and morphological features of the body can narrow the set of our possible interactions with the environment by shaping the way we perceive the (...)
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  50. When Time Becomes Personal. Aging and Personal Identity.Christian Sternad - 2021 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 20 (2):311-319.
    Aging is an integral part of human existence. The problem of aging addresses the most fundamental coordinates of our lives but also the ones of the phenomenological method: time, embodiment, subjectivity and intersubjectivity, and even the social norms that grow into the very notion of aging as such. In my article, I delineate a phenomenological analysis of aging and show how such an analysis connects with the debate concerning personal identity: I claim that aging is not merely a physical process, (...)
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