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  1. Can Empirical Theories of Semantic Competence Really Help Limn the Structure of Reality?Steven Gross - 2006 - Noûs 40 (1):43–81.
    There is a long tradition of drawing metaphysical conclusions from investigations into language. This paper concerns one contemporary variation on this theme: the alleged ontological significance of cognitivist truth-theoretic accounts of semantic competence. According to such accounts, human speakers’ linguistic behavior is in part empirically explained by their cognizing a truth-theory. Such a theory consists of a finite number of axioms assigning semantic values to lexical items, a finite number of axioms assigning semantic values to complex expressions on the basis (...)
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  • Mind–Language =? The Significance of Non‐Verbal Autism.Wolfram Hinzen, Dominika Slušná, Kristen Schroeder, Gabriel Sevilla & Elisabet Vila Borrellas - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (4):514-538.
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  • Above and Beyond the Concrete: The Diverse Representational Substrates of the Predictive Brain.Michael Gilead, Yaacov Trope & Nira Liberman - 2020 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 43:1-63.
    In recent years, scientists have increasingly taken to investigate the predictive nature of cognition. We argue that prediction relies on abstraction, and thus theories of predictive cognition need an explicit theory of abstract representation. We propose such a theory of the abstract representational capacities that allow humans to transcend the “here-and-now.” Consistent with the predictive cognition literature, we suggest that the representational substrates of the mind are built as ahierarchy, ranging from the concrete to the abstract; however, we argue that (...)
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  • Lingering Stereotypes: Salience Bias in Philosophical Argument.Eugen Fischer & Paul E. Engelhardt - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (4):415-439.
    Many philosophical thought experiments and arguments involve unusual cases. We present empirical reasons to doubt the reliability of intuitive judgments and conclusions about such cases. Inferences and intuitions prompted by verbal case descriptions are influenced by routine comprehension processes which invoke stereotypes. We build on psycholinguistic findings to determine conditions under which the stereotype associated with the most salient sense of a word predictably supports inappropriate inferences from descriptions of unusual (stereotype-divergent) cases. We conduct an experiment that combines plausibility ratings (...)
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  • The Origins of Concepts.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (3):359 - 384.
    Certain of our concepts are innate, but many others are learned. Despite the plausibility of this claim, some have argued that the very idea of concept learning is incoherent. I present a conception of learning that sidesteps the arguments against the possibility of concept learning, and sketch several mechanisms that result in the generation of new primitive concepts. Given the rational considerations that motivate their deployment, I argue that these deserve to be called learning mechanisms. I conclude by replying to (...)
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  • The Linguistic Determination of Conscious Thought Contents.Agustín Vicente & Marta Jorba - 2017 - Noûs (3):737-759.
    In this paper we address the question of what determines the content of our conscious episodes of thinking, considering recent claims that phenomenal character individuates thought contents. We present one prominent way for defenders of phenomenal intentionality to develop that view and then examine ‘sensory inner speech views’, which provide an alternative way of accounting for thought-content determinacy. We argue that such views fare well with inner speech thinking but have problems accounting for unsymbolized thinking. Within this dialectic, we present (...)
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  • Could Evolution Explain Our Reliability About Logic.Joshua Schechter - 2013 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology 4. pp. 214.
    We are reliable about logic in the sense that we by-and-large believe logical truths and disbelieve logical falsehoods. Given that logic is an objective subject matter, it is difficult to provide a satisfying explanation of our reliability. This generates a significant epistemological challenge, analogous to the well-known Benacerraf-Field problem for mathematical Platonism. One initially plausible way to answer the challenge is to appeal to evolution by natural selection. The central idea is that being able to correctly deductively reason conferred a (...)
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  • Modularity of Mind.Philip Robbins - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The concept of modularity has loomed large in philosophy of psychology since the early 1980s, following the publication of Fodor’s landmark book The Modularity of Mind (1983). In the decades since the term ‘module’ and its cognates first entered the lexicon of cognitive science, the conceptual and theoretical landscape in this area has changed dramatically. Especially noteworthy in this respect has been the development of evolutionary psychology, whose proponents adopt a less stringent conception of modularity than the one advanced by (...)
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  • The Context-Sensitivity of Thought.Neil Hamilton Fairley - unknown
    I defend the claim that it is possible for thoughts to be context-sensitive. Assuming that a thought is a sentence of Mentalese and content is a function from indices to truth-values, then a thought, T, is context-sensitive IFF at least one of the following three conditions are met: T exhibits character-underdeterminacy, where T is character underdetermined iff a component of T makes an explicit reference to the context to establish content. T exhibits type-underdeterminacy, where T is type underdetermined iff there (...)
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  • Coversheet for social inheritance and the social mind: Introduction to the synthese topical collection on the cultural evolution of human social cognition.Richard Moore & Rachael L. Brown - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-17.
    In this introduction to the Synthese SI: The Cultural Evolution of Human Social Cognition, we introduce some basic theoretical terms that will help readers to navigate the volume. Subsequently we describe the papers that make up the volume and draw attention to points of agreement and disagreement between the authors. We also identify a number of outstanding issues for the field of cultural evolution research. The papers in the volume can be divided into three sections: The Cultural Evolution of Mindreading, (...)
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  • Language as a Necessary Condition for Complex Mental Content: A Review of the Discussion on Spatial and Mathematical Thinking. [REVIEW]Arkadiusz Gut & Robert Mirski - 2018 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 66 (3):33-56.
    In this article we review the discussion over the thesis that language serves as an integrator of contents coming from different cognitive modules. After presenting the theoretical considerations, we examine two strands of empirical research that tested the hypothesis — spatial cognition and mathematical cognition. The idea shared by both of them is that each is composed of two separate modules processing information of a specific kind. For spatial thinking these are geometric information about the location of the object and (...)
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  • Deconstruction and Excision in Philosophical Posthumanism.David Roden - 2010 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 21 (1):27 - 36.
    I distinguish the ethics of transhumanism from a related metaphysical position which I refer to as “speculative posthumanism.” Speculative posthumanism holds that posthumans might be radically non-human and thus unintelligible in human terms. I claim that this transcendence can be viewed as analogous to that of the thing-in-itself in Kantian and post-Kantian European philosophy. This schema implies an impasse for transhumanism because, while the radically non-human or posthuman would elude evaluation according to transhumanist principles such as personal autonomy or liberal (...)
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  • Conceptual Structure and the Emergence of the Language Faculty: Much Ado About Knotting.David J. Lobina - 2012 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (4):519-539.
    Abstract One perspective in contemporary linguistic theory defends the idea that the language faculty may result from the combinations of diverse systems and principles. As a case study, I critique a recent proposal by Juan Uriagereka and colleagues according to which the evolutionary emergence of the language faculty can be identified through studying the computational structure of knots as present within the fossil record. I here argue that the ability to conceptualize and, thereby, create knots is not parasitic on the (...)
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  • Can There Be a Feature‐Placing Language?Krasimira Filcheva - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Rules, Incentivization, and the Ontology of Human Society.Gabriel Guzmán & Cristian Frasser - 2017 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (6):440-462.
    Contemporary discussion about the ontology of society identifies two groups of perspectives. One of them, associated with Searle, includes rules in the inventory of elements that constitute social reality. The other one, associated with Smit, Buekens, and du Plessis, claims that rules can be reduced to more fundamental units. Despite the fact that both perspectives seem equally efficient in describing institutional phenomena, we identify both flaws in the viewpoint that dismisses rules and reasons to prefer the alternative position.
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  • Splitting Concepts.Gualtiero Piccinini & Sam Scott - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (4):390-409.
    A common presupposition in the concepts literature is that concepts constitute a sin- gular natural kind. If, on the contrary, concepts split into more than one kind, this literature needs to be recast in terms of other kinds of mental representation. We offer two new arguments that concepts, in fact, divide into different kinds: (a) concepts split because different kinds of mental representation, processed independently, must be posited to explain different sets of relevant phenomena; (b) concepts split because different kinds (...)
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  • Whole Mind Theory: Massive Modularity Meets Dual Processes.Jonathan St B. T. Evans & David E. Over - 2008 - Thinking and Reasoning 14 (2):200 – 208.
  • Thinking Through Talking to Yourself: Inner Speech as a Vehicle of Conscious Reasoning.Wade Munroe - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-27.
  • De Se Attitudes and Computation.Neil Hamilton Fairley - 2020 - Theoria 87 (1):207-229.
    There has been debate between those who maintain that indexical expressions are not essential and those who maintain that such indexicals cannot be dispensed with without an important loss of content. This version of the essentialist view holds that thoughts must also have indexical elements. Indexical thoughts appear to be in tension with the computational theory of mind. In this case we have the following inconsistent triad: De se thoughts are essential. De se thoughts are indexical, they have a character. (...)
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  • Concepts and the Modularity of Thought.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (1):107-130.
    Having concepts is a distinctive sort of cognitive capacity. One thing that conceptual thought requires is obeying the Generality Constraint: concepts ought to be freely recombinable with other concepts to form novel thoughts, independent of what they are concepts of. Having concepts, then, constrains cognitive architecture in interesting ways. In recent years, spurred on by the rise of evolutionary psychology, massively modular models of the mind have gained prominence. I argue that these architectures are incapable of satisfying the Generality Constraint, (...)
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  • Thought, Language, and the Argument From Explicitness.Agustín Vicente & Fernando Martínez-Manrique - 2008 - Metaphilosophy 39 (3):381–401.
    This article deals with the relationship between language and thought, focusing on the question of whether language can be a vehicle of thought, as, for example, Peter Carruthers has claimed. We develop and examine a powerful argument—the "argument from explicitness"—against this cognitive role of language. The premises of the argument are just two: (1) the vehicle of thought has to be explicit, and (2) natural languages are not explicit. We explain what these simple premises mean and why we should believe (...)
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  • Reviving Whorf: The Return of Linguistic Relativity.Maria Francisca Reines & Jesse Prinz - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (6):1022-1032.
    The idea that natural languages shape the way we think in different ways was popularized by Benjamin Whorf, but then fell out of favor for lack of empirical support. But now, a new wave of research has been shifting the tide back toward linguistic relativity. The recent research can be interpreted in different ways, some trivial, some implausibly radical, and some both plausible and interesting. We introduce two theses that would have important implications if true: Habitual Whorfianism and Ontological Whorfianism. (...)
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  • Leges Sine Moribus Vanae: Does Language Make Moral Thinking Possible?Matteo Colombo - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (3):501-521.
    Does language make moral cognition possible? Some authors like Andy Clark have argued for a positive answer whereby language and the ways people use it mark a fundamental divide between humans and all other animals with respect to moral thinking (Clark, Mind and morals: essays on cognitive science and ethics. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1996; Moral Epistemol Nat Can J Philos Suppl XXVI, 2000a; Moral Epistemol Nat Can J Philos Suppl XXVI, 2000b; Philosophy of mental representation. Oxford University Press, Oxford, (...)
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  • Reflexivity, Functional Reference, and Modularity: Alternative Targets for Language Origins.Travis LaCroix - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):1234-1245.
    Researchers of language origins typically try to explain how compositional communication might evolve to bridge the gap between animal communication and natural language. However, as an explanatory target, compositionality has been shown to be problematic for a gradualist approach to the evolution of language. In this article, I suggest that reflexivity provides an apt and plausible alternative target that does not succumb to the problems that compositionality faces. I further explain how protoreflexivity, which depends on functional reference, gives rise to (...)
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  • Massive Modularity, Content Integration, and Language.Collin Rice - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):800-812.
    One of the obstacles facing massive modularity is how a pervasively modular mind might generate non-domain-specific thoughts by integrating the content produced by various domain-specific modules. Peter Carruthers has recently argued that the operations of the language faculty are constitutive of the process by which the human mind is able to integrate content from heterogeneous conceptual domains. In this article, I first argue that Carruthers's data do not provide support for either of two possible interpretations of his thesis. In addition, (...)
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  • Concepts, Meanings and Truth: First Nature, Second Nature and Hard Work.Paul M. Pietroski - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (3):247-278.
    I argue that linguistic meanings are instructions to build monadic concepts that lie between lexicalizable concepts and truth-evaluable judgments. In acquiring words, humans use concepts of various adicities to introduce concepts that can be fetched and systematically combined via certain conjunctive operations, which require monadic inputs. These concepts do not have Tarskian satisfaction conditions. But they provide bases for refinements and elaborations that can yield truth-evaluable judgments. Constructing mental sentences that are true or false requires cognitive work, not just an (...)
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  • Practical Reasoning in a Modular Mind.Peter Carruthers - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (3):259-278.
    This paper starts from an assumption defended in the author's previous work. This is that distinctivelyhuman flexible and creative theoretical thinking can be explained in terms of the interactions of a variety of modular systems, with the addition of just a few amodular components and dispositions. On the basis of that assumption it is argued that distinctively human practical reasoning, too, can be understood in modular terms. The upshot is that there is nothing in the human psyche that requires any (...)
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  • Thinking in Words: Language as an Embodied Medium of Thought.Guy Dove - 2014 - Topics in Cognitive Science 6 (3):371-389.
    Recently, there has been a great deal of interest in the idea that natural language enhances and extends our cognitive capabilities. Supporters of embodied cognition have been particularly interested in the way in which language may provide a solution to the problem of abstract concepts. Toward this end, some have emphasized the way in which language may act as form of cognitive scaffolding and others have emphasized the potential importance of language-based distributional information. This essay defends a version of the (...)
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  • Retracted : De Se Attitudes and Computation.Neil Hamilton Fairley - 2020 - Theoria 86 (3):429-429.
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  • Semantic Underdetermination and the Cognitive Uses of Language.Agustin Vicente & Fernando Martinez-Manrique - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (5):537–558.
    According to the thesis of semantic underdetermination, most sentences of a natural language lack a definite semantic interpretation. This thesis supports an argument against the use of natural language as an instrument of thought, based on the premise that cognition requires a semantically precise and compositional instrument. In this paper we examine several ways to construe this argument, as well as possible ways out for the cognitive view of natural language in the introspectivist version defended by Carruthers. Finally, we sketch (...)
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  • Origins of Human Communication - by Michael Tomasello.Steven Gross - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (2):237-246.
  • Why Are You Talking to Yourself? The Epistemic Role of Inner Speech in Reasoning.Wade Munroe - forthcoming - Noûs.
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  • Stereotypical Inferences: Philosophical Relevance and Psycholinguistic Toolkit.Eugen Fischer & Paul E. Engelhardt - 2017 - Ratio 30 (4):411-442.
    Stereotypes shape inferences in philosophical thought, political discourse, and everyday life. These inferences are routinely made when thinkers engage in language comprehension or production: We make them whenever we hear, read, or formulate stories, reports, philosophical case-descriptions, or premises of arguments – on virtually any topic. These inferences are largely automatic: largely unconscious, non-intentional, and effortless. Accordingly, they shape our thought in ways we can properly understand only by complementing traditional forms of philosophical analysis with experimental methods from psycholinguistics. This (...)
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  • Seeking Synthesis: The Integrative Problem in Understanding Language and Its Evolution.Rick Dale, Christopher T. Kello & P. Thomas Schoenemann - 2016 - Topics in Cognitive Science 8 (2):371-381.
    We discuss two problems for a general scientific understanding of language, sequences and synergies: how language is an intricately sequenced behavior and how language is manifested as a multidimensionally structured behavior. Though both are central in our understanding, we observe that the former tends to be studied more than the latter. We consider very general conditions that hold in human brain evolution and its computational implications, and identify multimodal and multiscale organization as two key characteristics of emerging cognitive function in (...)
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  • Thought, Language, and Reasoning. Perspectives on the Relation Between Mind and Language.Hannes Fraissler - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Luxembourg
    This dissertation is an investigation into the relation between mind and language from different perspectives, split up into three interrelated but still, for the most part, self-standing parts. Parts I and II are concerned with the question how thought is affected by language while Part III investigates the scope covered by mind and language respectively. Part I provides a reconstruction of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s famous Private Language Argument in order to apply the rationale behind this line of argument to the relation (...)
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  • Reasoning, Rationality, and Representation.Wade Munroe - 2020 - Synthese 198 (9):8323-8345.
    Recently, a cottage industry has formed with the goal of analyzing reasoning. The relevant notion of reasoning in which philosophers are expressly interested is fixed through an epistemic functional description: reasoning—whatever it is—is our personal-level, rationally evaluable means of meeting our rational requirements through managing and updating our attitudes. Roughly, the dominant view in the extant literature as developed by Paul Boghossian, John Broome, and others is that reasoning is a rule-governed operation over propositional attitudes that results in a change (...)
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  • Inner Speech: Nature and Functions.Agustin Vicente & Fernando Martinez Manrique - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (3):209-219.
    We very often discover ourselves engaged in inner speech. It seems that this kind of silent, private, speech fulfils some role in our cognition, most probably related to conscious thinking. Yet, the study of inner speech has been neglected by philosophy and psychology alike for many years. However, things seem to have changed in the last two decades. Here we review some of the most influential accounts about the phenomenology and the functions of inner speech, as well as the methodological (...)
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  • Thinking with Maps.Elisabeth Camp - 2007 - Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):145–182.
    Most of us create and use a panoply of non-sentential representations throughout our ordinary lives: we regularly use maps to navigate, charts to keep track of complex patterns of data, and diagrams to visualize logical and causal relations among states of affairs. But philosophers typically pay little attention to such representations, focusing almost exclusively on language instead. In particular, when theorizing about the mind, many philosophers assume that there is a very tight mapping between language and thought. Some analyze utterances (...)
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  • Ecology, Domain Specificity, and the Origins of Theory of Mind: Is Competition the Catalyst?Derek E. Lyons & Laurie R. Santos - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (5):481–492.
  • What Would It Mean for Natural Language to Be the Language of Thought?Gabe Dupre - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (4):773-812.
    Traditional arguments against the identification of the language of thought with natural language assume a picture of natural language which is largely inconsistent with that suggested by contemporary linguistic theory. This has led certain philosophers and linguists to suggest that this identification is not as implausible as it once seemed. In this paper, I discuss the prospects for such an identification in light of these developments in linguistic theory. I raise a new challenge against the identification thesis: the existence of (...)
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  • Culturally Embedded Schemata for False Belief Reasoning.Leda Berio - 2020 - Synthese (Special Issue: THE CULTURAL EVOL):1-30.
    I argue that both language acquisition and cultural and social factors contribute to the formation of schemata that facilitate false belief reasoning. While the proposal for an active role of language acquisition in this sense has been partially advanced by several voices in the mentalizing debate, I argue that other accounts addressing this issue present some shortcomings. Specifically, I analyze the existing proposals distinguishing between “structure-oriented” views :1858–1878, 2007; de Villiers in Why language matters for theory of mind. Oxford University (...)
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  • Sexual Selection for Syntax and Kin Selection for Semantics: Problems and Prospects.Tadeusz Wieslaw Zawidzki - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (4):453-470.
    The evolution of human language, and the kind of thought the communication of which requires it, raises considerable explanatory challenges. These systems of representation constitute a radical discontinuity in the natural world. Even species closely related to our own appear incapable of either thought or talk with the recursive structure, generalized systematicity, and task-domain neutrality that characterize human talk and the thought it expresses. W. Tecumseh Fitch’s proposal (2004, in press) that human language is descended from a sexually selected, prosodic (...)
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  • John Dewey’s Experience and Nature.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2014 - Topoi 33 (1):285-291.
    John Dewey’s Experience and Nature has the potential to transform several areas of philosophy. The book is lengthy and difficult, but it has great importance for a knot of issues in epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind. It bears also on metaphilosophy, devoting many pages to the discipline’s characteristic pathologies, and advancing a view of what sort of guidance “naturalism” provides. Later chapters move on to discuss art, morality, and value. So this is a major statement by Dewey. It may (...)
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  • In Defense of Phenomenological Approaches to Social Cognition: Interacting with the Critics.Shaun Gallagher - 2012 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (2):187-212.
    I clarify recently developed phenomenological approaches to social cognition. These are approaches that, drawing on developmental science, social neuroscience, and dynamic systems theory, emphasize the involvement of embodied and enactive processes together with communicative and narrative practices in contexts of intersubjective understanding. I review some of the evidence that supports these approaches. I consider a variety of criticisms leveled against them, and defend the role of phenomenology in the explanation of social cognition. Finally, I show how these phenomenological approaches can (...)
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  • Inner Speech.Peter Langland-Hassan - forthcoming - WIREs Cognitive Science.
    Inner speech travels under many aliases: the inner voice, verbal thought, thinking in words, internal verbalization, “talking in your head,” the “little voice in the head,” and so on. It is both a familiar element of first-person experience and a psychological phenomenon whose complex cognitive components and distributed neural bases are increasingly well understood. There is evidence that inner speech plays a variety of cognitive roles, from enabling abstract thought, to supporting metacognition, memory, and executive function. One active area of (...)
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  • Untangling the Knot of Intentionality: Between Directedness, Reference, and Content.Pierre Steiner - 2019 - Studia Semiotyczne 33 (1):83-104.
    The notion of “intentionality” is much invoked in various foundational theories of meaning, being very often equated with “meaning”, “content” and “reference”. In this paper, I propose and develop a basic distinction between two concepts and, more fundamentally, properties of intentionality: intentionality-T and intentionality-C. Representationalism is then defined as the position according to which intentionality-T can be reduced to intentionality-C, in the form of representational states. Nonrepresentationalism is rejecting this reduction, and argues that intentionality-T is more fundamental than intentionality-C. Non-representationalism (...)
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  • Towards a Vygotskyan Cognitive Robotics: The Role of Language as a Cognitive Tool.Marco Mirolli - 2011 - New Ideas in Psychology 29:298-311.
    Cognitive Robotics can be defined as the study of cognitive phenomena by their modeling in physical artifacts such as robots. This is a very lively and fascinating field which has already given fundamental contributions to our understanding of natural cognition. Nonetheless, robotics has to date addressed mainly very basic, low­level cognitive phenomena like sensory­motor coordination, perception, and navigation, and it is not clear how the current approach might scale up to explain high­level human cognition. In this paper we argue that (...)
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  • Representation, Levels, and Context in Integrational Linguistics and Distributed Cognition.John Sutton - 2004 - Language Sciences (6):503-524.
    Distributed Cognition and Integrational Linguistics have much in common. Both approaches see communicative activity and intelligent behaviour in general as strongly con- text-dependent and action-oriented, and brains as permeated by history. But there is some ten- sion between the two frameworks on three important issues. The majority of theorists of distributed cognition want to maintain some notions of mental representation and computa- tion, and to seek generalizations and patterns in the various ways in which creatures like us couple with technologies, (...)
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  • Conscious Thought is for Facilitating Social and Cultural Interactions: How Mental Simulations Serve the Animal–Culture Interface.Roy F. Baumeister & E. J. Masicampo - 2010 - Psychological Review 117 (3):945-971.
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  • Moving Ourselves, Moving Others: Motion and Emotion in Intersubjectivity, Consciousness, and Language.Andrea Schiavio - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (5):735-739.