Results for 'A. Wilson Robert'

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  1. Realism, Essence, and Kind: Resuscitating Species Essentialism?Robert A. Wilson - 1999 - In Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. pp. 187-207.
    This paper offers an overview of "the species problem", arguing for a view of species as homeostatic property cluster kinds, positioning the resulting form of realism about species as an alternative to the claim that species are individuals and pluralistic views of species. It draws on taxonomic practice in the neurosciences, especially of neural crest cells and retinal ganglion cells, to motivate both the rejection of the species-as-individuals thesis and species pluralism.
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  2. Biological Individuals.Robert A. Wilson & Matthew J. Barker - 2024 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The impressive variation amongst biological individuals generates many complexities in addressing the simple-sounding question what is a biological individual? A distinction between evolutionary and physiological individuals is useful in thinking about biological individuals, as is attention to the kinds of groups, such as superorganisms and species, that have sometimes been thought of as biological individuals. More fully understanding the conceptual space that biological individuals occupy also involves considering a range of other concepts, such as life, reproduction, and agency. There has (...)
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  3. Dehumanization, Disability, and Eugenics.Robert A. Wilson - 2021 - In Maria Kronfeldner (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Dehumanization. London, New York: Routledge. pp. 173-186.
    This paper explores the relationship between eugenics, disability, and dehumanization, with a focus on forms of eugenics beyond Nazi eugenics.
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  4. Philosophy of psychology.Robert A. Wilson - 2005 - In Sahotra Sarkar & Jessica Pfeifer (eds.), The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge. pp. 613-619.
    In the good old days, when general philosophy of science ruled the Earth, a simple division was often invoked to talk about philosophical issues specific to particular kinds of science: that between the natural sciences and the social sciences. Over the last 20 years, philosophical studies shaped around this dichotomy have given way to those organized by more fine-grained categories, corresponding to specific disciplines, as the literatures on the philosophy of physics, biology, economics and psychology--to take the most prominent four (...)
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    Cartesian Psychology and Physical Minds.Robert A. Wilson - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (188):392-395.
    This book offers a sustained critique of individualism in psychology, a view that has been the subject of debate between philosophers such as Jerry Fodor and Tyler Burge for many years. The author approaches individualism as an issue in the philosophy of science and by discussing issues such as computationalism and the mind's modularity he opens the subject up for non-philosophers in psychology and computer science. Professor Wilson carefully examines the most influential arguments for individualism and identifies the main (...)
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  6. When Traditional Essentialism Fails: Biological Natural Kinds.Robert A. Wilson, Matthew J. Barker & Ingo Brigandt - 2007 - Philosophical Topics 35 (1-2):189-215.
    Essentialism is widely regarded as a mistaken view of biological kinds, such as species. After recounting why (sections 2-3), we provide a brief survey of the chief responses to the “death of essentialism” in the philosophy of biology (section 4). We then develop one of these responses, the claim that biological kinds are homeostatic property clusters (sections 5-6) illustrating this view with several novel examples (section 7). Although this view was first expressed 20 years ago, and has received recent discussion (...)
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    The Shadows and Shallows of Explanation.Robert A. Wilson & Frank C. Keil - 2000 - In Frank C. Keil & Robert A. Wilson (eds.), Explanation and Cognition. Cambridge: MIT Press.. pp. 87-114.
    Reprinted, with modification, from Wilson and Keil 1998.
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    Convergent behavioral and neuropsychological evidence for a distinction between identification and production forms of repetition priming.John De Gabrieli, Chandan J. Vaidya, Maria Stone, Wendy S. Francis, Sharon L. Thompson-Schill, Debra A. Fleischman, Jared R. Tinklenberg, Jerome A. Yesavage & Robert S. Wilson - 1999 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 128 (4):479.
  9. Eugenic Thinking and the Cognitive Sciences.Robert A. Wilson - forthcoming - Open Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science.
    Eugenic thinking involves distinguishing between sorts or kinds of people in terms of the perceived desirable or undesirable traits that those people are likely to transmit to future generations. While eugenics itself is often thought of as an ideology that generated a social movement of global influence from roughly 1900 to 1945, eugenic thinking both pre-dates this period and continues to inform a range of contemporary debates and social policies, including those concerning prenatal screening, transhumanism, population control, and disability. Various (...)
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  10. Boundaries of the Mind: The Individual in the Fragile Sciences - Cognition.Robert A. Wilson - 2004 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
    Where does the mind begin and end? Most philosophers and cognitive scientists take the view that the mind is bounded by the skull or skin of the individual. Robert Wilson, in this provocative and challenging 2004 book, provides the foundations for the view that the mind extends beyond the boundary of the individual. The approach adopted offers a unique blend of traditional philosophical analysis, cognitive science, and the history of psychology and the human sciences. The companion volume, Genes (...)
  11. The individual in biology and psychology.Robert A. Wilson - 1999 - In Valerie Gray Hardcastle (ed.), Where Biology Meets Psychology. MIT Press. pp. 355--374.
    Individual organisms are obvious enough kinds of things to have been taken for granted as the entities that have many commonly attributed biological and psychological properties, both in common sense and in science. The sorts of morphological properties used by the folk to categorize individual animals and plants into common sense kinds (that's a dog; that's a rose), as well as the properties that feature as parts of phenotypes, are properties of individual organisms. And psychological properties, such as believing that (...)
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  12. Eugenics Undefended.Robert A. Wilson - 2019 - Monash Bioethics Review 37 (1-2):68-75.
  13. Sociobiology.Robert A. Wilson - 2014 - Eugenics Archives.
    This is an introductory article on sociobiology, particularly its relationship to eugenics. Sociobiology developed in the 1960s as a field within evolutionary biology to explain human social traits and behaviours. Although sociobiology has few direct connections to eugenics, it shares eugenics’ optimistic enthusiasm for extending biological science into the human domain, often with reckless sensationalism. Sociobiology's critics have argued that sociobiology also propagates a kind of genetic determinism and represents the zealous misapplication of science beyond its proper reach that characterized (...)
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  14. How to situate cognition: Letting nature take its course.Robert A. Wilson & Andy Clark - 2009 - In Murat Aydede & P. Robbins (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 55--77.
    1. The Situation in Cognition 2. Situated Cognition: A Potted Recent History 3. Extensions in Biology, Computation, and Cognition 4. Articulating the Idea of Cognitive Extension 5. Are Some Resources Intrinsically Non-Cognitive? 6. Is Cognition Extended or Only Embedded? 7. Letting Nature Take Its Course.
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  15. Genes and the Agents of Life: The Individual in the Fragile Sciences Biology.Robert A. Wilson - 2005 - New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
    Genes and the Agents of Life undertakes to rethink the place of the individual in the biological sciences, drawing parallels with the cognitive and social sciences. Genes, organisms, and species are all agents of life but how are each of these conceptualized within genetics, developmental biology, evolutionary biology, and systematics? The 2005 book includes highly accessible discussions of genetic encoding, species and natural kinds, and pluralism above the levels of selection, drawing on work from across the biological sciences. The book (...)
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  16. Ten questions concerning extended cognition.Robert A. Wilson - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (1):19-33.
    This paper considers ten questions that those puzzled by or skeptical of extended cognition have posed. Discussion of these questions ranges across substantive, methodological, and dialectical issues in the ongoing debate over extended cognition, such as whether the issue between proponents and opponents of extended cognition is merely semantic or a matter of convention; whether extended cognition should be treated in the same way as extended biology; and whether conscious mental states pose a special problem for the extended mind thesis. (...)
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  17. Meaning making and the mind of the externalist.Robert A. Wilson - 2010 - In Richard Menary (ed.), The Extended Mind. MIT Press. pp. 167--188.
    This paper attempts to do two things. First, it recounts the problem of intentionality, as it has typically been conceptualized, and argues that it needs to be reconceptualized in light of the radical form of externalism most commonly referred to as the extended mind thesis. Second, it provides an explicit, novel argument for that thesis, what I call the argument from meaning making, and offers some defense of that argument. This second task occupies the core of the paper, and in (...)
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  18. Locke's Primary Qualities.Robert A. Wilson - 2002 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 40 (2):201-228.
    Introduction in chapter viii of book ii of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke provides various putative lists of primary qualities. Insofar as they have considered the variation across Locke's lists at all, commentators have usually been content simply either to consider a self-consciously abbreviated list (e.g., "Size, Shape, etc.") or a composite list as the list of Lockean primary qualities, truncating such a composite list only by omitting supposedly co-referential terms. Doing the latter with minimal judgment about what (...)
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  19. Promiscuous Realism.Robert A. Wilson - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (2):303-316.
    This paper is a critical discussion of John Dupré's recent defence of promiscuous realism in Part 1 of his The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science. It also discusses some more general issues in the philosophy of biology and science. Dupré's chief strategy of argumentation appeals to debates within the philosophy of biology, all of which concern the nature of species. While the strategy is well motivated, I argue that Dupré's challenge to essentialist and unificationist views (...)
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  20. Rethinking Incest Avoidance: Beyond the Disciplinary Groove of Culture-First Views.Robert A. Wilson - 2021 - Biological Theory 16 (3):162-175.
    The Westermarck Effect posits that intimate association during childhood promotes human incest avoidance. In previous work, I articulated and defended a version of the Westermarck Effect by developing a phylogenetic argument that has purchase within primatology but that has had more limited appeal for cultural anthropologists due to their commitment to conventionalist or culture-first accounts of incest avoidance. Here I look to advance the discussion of incest and incest avoidance beyond culture-first accounts in two ways. First, I shall dig deeper (...)
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  21. Wide computationalism.Robert A. Wilson - 1994 - Mind 103 (411):351-72.
    The computational argument for individualism, which moves from computationalism to individualism about the mind, is problematic, not because computationalism is false, but because computational psychology is, at least sometimes, wide. The paper provides an early, or perhaps predecessor, version of the thesis of extended cognition.
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  22. The Eugenic Mind Project.Robert A. Wilson - 2018 - Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    The Eugenic Mind Project is a wide-ranging, philosophical book that explores and critiques both past and present eugenic thinking, drawing on the author’s intimate knowledge of eugenics in North America and his previous work on the cognitive, biological, and social sciences, the fragile sciences. Informed by the perspectives of Canadian eugenics survivors in the province of Alberta, The Eugenic Mind Project recounts the history of eugenics and the thinking that drove it, and critically engages contemporary manifestations of eugenic thought, newgenics. (...)
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  23. Intentionality and phenomenology.Robert A. Wilson - 2003 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (4):413-431.
    This paper is a critique of some ideas about narrow content owing to Horgan and Tienson and Brian Loar.
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  24. Individualism, causal powers, and explanation.Robert A. Wilson - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 68 (2):103-39.
    This paper examines a recent, influential argument for individualism in psychology defended by Jerry Fodor and others, what I call the argument from causal powers. I argue that this argument equivocates on the crucial notion of "causal powers", and that this equivocation constitutes a deep problem for arguments of this type. Relational and individualistic taxonomies are incompatible, and it does not seem in general to be possible to factor the former into the latter. The distinction between powers and properties plays (...)
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  25. Eugenic Thinking.Robert A. Wilson - 2018 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 10.
    Projects of human improvement take both individual and intergenerational forms. The biosciences provide many technologies, including prenatal screening and the latest gene editing techniques, such as CRISPR, that have been viewed as providing the means to human improvement across generations. But who is fit to furnish the next generation? Historically, eugenics epitomizes the science-based attempt to improve human society through distinguishing kinds of people and then implementing social policies—from immigration restriction to sexual sterilization and euthanasia—that influence and even direct what (...)
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  26. Collective memory, group minds, and the extended mind thesis.Robert A. Wilson - 2005 - Cognitive Processing 6 (4).
    While memory is conceptualized predominantly as an individual capacity in the cognitive and biological sciences, the social sciences have most commonly construed memory as a collective phenomenon. Collective memory has been put to diverse uses, ranging from accounts of nationalism in history and political science to views of ritualization and commemoration in anthropology and sociology. These appeals to collective memory share the idea that memory ‘‘goes beyond the individual’’ but often run together quite different claims in spelling out that idea. (...)
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  27. Eugenics Offended.Robert A. Wilson - 2021 - Monash Bioethics Review 39 (2):169-176.
    This commentary continues an exchange on eugenics in Monash Bioethics Review between Anomaly (2018), Wilson (2019), and Veit, Anomaly, Agar, Singer, Fleischman, and Minerva (2021). The eponymous question, “Can ‘Eugenics’ be Defended?”, is multiply ambiguous and does not receive a clear answer from Veit et al.. Despite their stated desire to move beyond mere semantics to matters of substance, Veit et al. concentrate on several uses of the term “eugenics” that pull in opposite directions. I argue, first, that Veit (...)
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  28. Two views of realization.Robert A. Wilson - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 104 (1):1-31.
    This paper examines the standard view of realization operative incontemporary philosophy of mind, and proposes an alternative, generalperspective on realization. The standard view can be expressed, insummary form, as the conjunction of two theses, the sufficiency thesis andthe constitutivity thesis. Physicalists of both reductionist and anti-reductionist persuasions share a conception of realization wherebyrealizations are determinative of the properties they realize and physically constitutive of the individuals with those properties. Centralto the alternative view that I explore here is the idea that (...)
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  29. Philosophical Silences: Race, Gender, Disability, and Philosophical Practice.Robert A. Wilson - 2023 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 57 (4):1004-1024.
    Who is recognised as a philosopher and what counts as philosophy influence both the content of a philosophical education and academic philosophy’s continuing demographic skew. The “philosophical who” and the “philosophical what” themselves are a partial function of matters that have been passed over in collective silence, even if that now feels to some like a silence belonging to the distant past. This paper discusses some philosophical silences regarding race, gender, and disability in the context of reflection on philosophical education (...)
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  30. Incest, Incest Avoidance, and Attachment: Revisiting the Westermarck Effect.Robert A. Wilson - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (3):391-411.
    This article defends a version of the Westermarck Effect, integrating existing clinical, biological, and philosophical dimensions to incest avoidance. By focusing on care-based attachment in primates, my formulation of the effect suggests the power of a phylogenetic argument widely accepted by primatologists but not by cultural anthropologists. Identifying postadoption incest as a phenomenon with underexplored evidential value, the article sketches an explanatory strategy for reconciling the effect with the clinical reality of incest, concluding with an explicit argument against culture-first or (...)
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  31. Extended Mind and Identity.Robert A. Wilson & Bartlomiej A. Lenart - 2014 - In Jens Clausen & Neil Levy (eds.), Handbook of Neuroethics. Springer. pp. 423-439.
    Dominant views of personal identity in philosophy take some kind of psychological continuity or connectedness over time to be criterial for the identity of a person over time. Such views assign psychological states, particularly those necessary for narrative memory of some kind, special importance in thinking about the nature of persons. The extended mind thesis, which has generated much recent discussion in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science, holds that a person’s psychological states can physically extend beyond that person’s (...)
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  32. A puzzle about material constitution and how to solve it: Enriching constitution views in metaphysics.Robert A. Wilson - 2007 - Philosophers' Imprint 7:1-20.
    Are materially constituted entities, such as statues and glasses of liquid, something more than their material constituents? The puzzle that frames this paper stems from conflicting answers to this question. At the core of the paper is a distinctive way of thinking about material constitution that posits two concepts of constitution, compositional and ampliative constitution, with the bulk of the discussion devoted to developing distinct analyses for these concepts. Distinguishing these concepts solves our initial puzzle and enriches the space of (...)
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  33. Introduction.Robert A. Wilson - 1999 - In Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. Cambridge, MA, USA:
    This volume of twelve specially commissioned essays about species draws on the perspectives of prominent researchers from anthropology , botany, developmental psychology , the philosophy of biology and science, protozoology, and zoology . The concept of species has played a focal role in both evolutionary biology and the philosophy of biology , and the last decade has seen something of a publication boom on the topic (e.g., Otte and Endler 1989; Ereshefsky 1992b; Paterson 1994; lambert and Spence 1995; Claridge, Dawah, (...)
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  34. Confronting Silences.Robert A. Wilson - 2023 - Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society 6 (1):1-5.
    This open-access editorial discusses confronting silences in different disciplinary contexts, such as science and technology studies, cultural anthropology, and philosophy. It has a focus on race and concludes with thoughts about Indigenous expertise, the Australian referendum on the Indigenous Voice, to parliament, and racism.
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  35. The Biological Notion of Individual.Robert A. Wilson & Matthew J. Barker - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Individuals are a prominent part of the biological world. Although biologists and philosophers of biology draw freely on the concept of an individual in articulating both widely accepted and more controversial claims, there has been little explicit work devoted to the biological notion of an individual itself. How should we think about biological individuals? What are the roles that biological individuals play in processes such as natural selection (are genes and groups also units of selection?), speciation (are species individuals?), and (...)
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  36.  68
    Quantum psychology: how brain software programs you and your world.Robert Anton Wilson - 1990 - Tempe, Ariz.: New Falcon.
    Throughout human history, thoughts, values and behaviors have been colored by language and the prevailing view of the universe. With the advent of Quantum Mechanics, relativity, non-Euclidean geometries, non-Aristotelian logic and General Semantics, the scientific view of the world has changed dramatically from just a few decades ago. Nonetheless, human thinking is still deeply rooted in the cosmology of the middle ages. Quantum Psychology is the book to change your way of perceiving yourself--and the universe for the 21st Century. Some (...)
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  37. Eugenics Never Went Away.Robert A. Wilson - 2018 - Aeon 2018.
    Eugenics does not feel so distant from where I stand. This essay explains why.
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  38. Why kinship is progeneratively constrained: Extending anthropology.Robert A. Wilson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-20.
    The conceptualisation of kinship and its study remain contested within anthropology. This paper draws on recent cognitive science, developmental cognitive psychology, and the philosophy of science to offer a novel argument for a view of kinship as progeneratively or reproductively constrained. I shall argue that kinship involves a form of extended cognition that incorporates progenerative facts, going on to show how the resulting articulation of kinship’s progenerative nature can be readily expressed by an influential conception of kinds, the homeostatic property (...)
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  39. Embodied cognition.A. Wilson Robert & Foglia Lucia - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Cognition is embodied when it is deeply dependent upon features of the physical body of an agent, that is, when aspects of the agent's body beyond the brain play a significant causal or physically constitutive role in cognitive processing. In general, dominant views in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science have considered the body as peripheral to understanding the nature of mind and cognition. Proponents of embodied cognitive science view this as a serious mistake. Sometimes the nature of the (...)
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  40. Kinmaking, Progeneration, and Ethnography.Robert A. Wilson - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 91 (C):77-85.
    Philosophers of biology and biologists themselves for the most part assume that the concept of kin is progenerative: what makes two individuals kin is a direct or indirect function of reproduction. Derivatively, kinship might likewise be presumed to be progenerative in nature. Yet a prominent view of kinship in contemporary cultural anthropology is a kind of constructivism or performativism that rejects such progenerativist views. This paper critically examines an influential line of thinking used to critique progenerativism and support performativism that (...)
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  41. Group-level cognition.Robert A. Wilson - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (3):S262-S273.
    David Sloan Wilson has recently revived the idea of a group mind as an application of group selectionist thinking to cognition. Central to my discussion of this idea is the distinction between the claim that groups have a psychology and what I call the social manifestation thesis-a thesis about the psychology of individuals. Contemporary work on this topic has confused these two theses. My discussion also points to research questions and issues that Wilson's work raises, as well as (...)
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  42. The shadows and shallows of explanation.Robert A. Wilson & Frank Keil - 1998 - Minds and Machines 8 (1):137-159.
    We introduce two notions–the shadows and the shallows of explanation–in opening up explanation to broader, interdisciplinary investigation. The shadows of explanation refer to past philosophical efforts to provide either a conceptual analysis of explanation or in some other way to pinpoint the essence of explanation. The shallows of explanation refer to the phenomenon of having surprisingly limited everyday, individual cognitive abilities when it comes to explanation. Explanations are ubiquitous, but they typically are not accompanied by the depth that we might, (...)
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  43. Extended Vision.Robert A. Wilson - 2010 - In Nivedita Gangopadhyay, Michael Madary & Finn Spicer (eds.), Perception, Action and Consciousness. Oxford University Press..
    Vision constitutes an interesting domain, or range of domains, for debate over the extended mind thesis, the idea that minds physically extend beyond the boundaries of the body. In part this is because vision and visual experience more particularly are sometimes presented as a kind of line in the sand for what we might call externalist creep about the mind: once all reasonable concessions have been made to externalists about the mind, visual experience marks a line beyond which lies a (...)
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  44. The Mind Beyond Itself.Robert A. Wilson - 2000 - In Dan Sperber (ed.), Metarepresentations: A Multidisciplinary Perspective. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 31-52.
    This paper argues that the metarepresentational systems we posses are wide or extended, rather than individualistic. There are two basic ideas. The first is that metarepresentation inherits its width from the mental representation of its objects. The second is that mental processing often operates on internal and external symbols, and this suggests that cognitive systems extend beyond the heads that house them.
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  45. The Sound of Music: Externalist Style.Luke Kersten & Robert A. Wilson - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (2):139-154.
    Philosophical exploration of individualism and externalism in the cognitive sciences most recently has been focused on general evaluations of these two views (Adams & Aizawa 2008, Rupert 2008, Wilson 2004, Clark 2008). Here we return to broaden an earlier phase of the debate between individualists and externalists about cognition, one that considered in detail particular theories, such as those in developmental psychology (Patterson 1991) and the computational theory of vision (Burge 1986, Segal 1989). Music cognition is an area in (...)
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  46. The Drink You Have When You’re Not Having a Drink.Robert A. Wilson - 2008 - Mind and Language 23 (3):273–283.
    The Architecture of the Mind is itself built on foundations that deserve probing. In this brief commentary I focus on these foundations—Carruthers’ conception of modularity, his arguments for thinking that the mind is massively modular in structure, and his view of human cognitive architecture.
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  47. Kinship Past, Kinship Present: Bio-Essentialism in the Study of Kinship.Robert A. Wilson - 2016 - American Anthropologist 118 (3).
    In this article, I reconsider bio-essentialism in the study of kinship, centering on David Schneider’s influential critique that concluded that kinship was “a non-subject” (1972:51). Schneider’s critique is often taken to have shown the limitations of and problems with past views of kinship based on biology, genealogy, and reproduction, a critique that subsequently led those reworking kinship as relatedness in the new kinship studies to view their enterprise as divorced from such bio-essentialist studies. Beginning with an alternative narrative connecting kinship (...)
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  48. The Role of Oral History in Surviving a Eugenic Past.Robert A. Wilson - 2015 - In Steven C. High (ed.), Beyond Testimony and Trauma: Oral History in the Aftermath of Mass Violence. Ubc Press. pp. 119-138.
    Despite the fact that the history of eugenics in Canada is necessarily part of the larger history of eugenics, there is a special role for oral history to play in the telling of this story, a role that promises to shift us from the muddled middle of the story. Not only has the testimony of eugenics survivors already played perhaps the most important role in revealing much about the practice of eugenics in Canada, but the willingness and ability of survivors (...)
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  49. Eugenics, Disability, and Bioethics.Robert A. Wilson - 2022 - In Joel Michael Reynolds & Christine Wieseler (eds.), The Disability Bioethics Reader. Oxford; New York: Routledge. pp. 21-29.
    This paper begins by saying enough about eugenics to explain why disability is central to eugenics (section 2), then elaborates on why cognitive disability has played and continues to play a special role in eugenics and in thinking about moral status (section 3) before identifying three reasons why eugenics remains a live issue in contemporary bioethics (section 4). After a reminder of the connections between Nazi eugenics, medicine, and bioethics (section 5), it returns to take up two more specific clusters (...)
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  50. The transitivity of material constitution.Robert A. Wilson - 2009 - Noûs 43 (2):363-377.
    In metaphysics, the view that material constitution is transitive is ubiquitous, an assumption expressed by both proponents and critics of constitution views. Likewise, it is typically assumed within the philosophy of mind that physical realization is a transitive relation. In both cases, this assumption of transitivity plays a role in discussion of the broader implications of a metaphysics that invokes either relation. Here I provide reasons for questioning this assumption and the uses to which this appeal to transitivity is put. (...)
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