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Adam Michael Bricker
University of Turku
  1. Knowledge is a Mental State (at Least Sometimes).Adam Michael Bricker - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    It is widely held in philosophy that knowing is not a state of mind. On this view, rather than knowledge itself constituting a mental state, when we know, we occupy a belief state that exhibits some additional non-mental characteristics. Fascinatingly, however, new empirical findings from cognitive neuroscience and experimental philosophy now offer direct, converging evidence that the brain can—and often does—treat knowledge as if it is a mental state in its own right. While some might be tempted to keep the (...)
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  2. The Neural and Cognitive Mechanisms of Knowledge Attribution: An EEG Study.Adam Michael Bricker - 2020 - Cognition 203:104412.
    Despite the ubiquity of knowledge attribution in human social cognition, its associated neural and cognitive mechanisms are poorly documented. A wealth of converging evidence in cognitive neuroscience has identified independent perspective-taking and inhibitory processes for belief attribution, but the extent to which these processes are shared by knowledge attribution isn't presently understood. Here, we present the findings of an EEG study designed to directly address this shortcoming. These findings suggest that belief attribution is not a component process in knowledge attribution, (...)
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    Do Judgements About Risk Track Modal Ordering?Adam Michael Bricker - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (3):200-208.
    On the standard conception of risk, the degree to which an event is risky is the function of the probability of that event. Recently, Duncan Pritchard has challenged this view, proposing instead a modal account on which risk is conceived of in terms of modal ordering (2015). On this account, the degree of risk for any given event is a function of its modal distance from the actual world, not its likelihood. Pritchard's main motivation for this is that the probabilistic (...)
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  4. I Hear You Feel Confident.Adam Michael Bricker - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    Here I explore a new line of evidence for belief-credence dualism, the thesis that beliefs and credences are distinct and equally fundamental types of mental states. Despite considerable recent disagreement over this thesis, little attention has been paid in philosophy to differences in how our mindreading systems represent the beliefs and credences of others. Fascinatingly, the systems we rely on to accurately and efficiently track others’ mental states appear to function like belief-credence dualists: Credence is tracked like an emotional state, (...)
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  5. The Myth of Stochastic Infallibilism.Adam Michael Bricker - forthcoming - Episteme:1-16.
    There is a widespread attitude in epistemology that, if you know on the basis of perception, then you couldn’t have been wrong as a matter of chance. Despite the apparent intuitive plausibility of this attitude, which I’ll refer to here as “stochastic infallibilism”, it fundamentally misunderstands the way that human perceptual systems actually work. Perhaps the most important lesson of signal detection theory (SDT) is that our percepts are inherently subject to random error, and here I’ll highlight some key empirical (...)
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  6.  22
    Visuomotor Noise and the Non-Factive Analysis of Knowledge.Adam Michael Bricker - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Edinburgh
    It is all but universally accepted in epistemology that knowledge is factive: S knows that p only if p. The purpose of this thesis is to present an argument against the factivity of knowledge and in doing so develop a non-factive approach to the analysis of knowledge. The argument against factivity presented here rests largely on empirical evidence, especially extant research into visuomotor noise, which suggests that the beliefs that guide everyday motor action are not strictly true. However, as we (...)
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  7.  71
    Neural phase: a new problem for the modal account of epistemic luck.Adam Michael Bricker - 2019 - Synthese (8):1-18.
    One of the most widely recognised intuitions about knowledge is that knowing precludes believing truly as a matter of luck. On Pritchard’s highly influential modal account of epistemic luck, luckily true beliefs are, roughly, those for which there are many close possible worlds in which the same belief formed in the same way is false. My aim is to introduce a new challenge to this account. Starting from the observation—as documented by a number of recent EEG studies—that our capacity to (...)
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    Postnarrativism, Historiographical Evaluation, and Truth.Adam Michael Bricker - 2019 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 15 (1):106-124.
    The problem of historiographical evaluation is simply this: By what evaluative criteria might we say that certain works of historiography are better than others? One recently proposed solution to this problem comes by way of Kuukkanen’s postnarrativist philosophy of historiography.1 Kuukkanen argues that because many historiographically interesting statements lack truth-values, we cannot evaluate historiographical claims on a truth-functional basis. In the place of truth, Kuukkanen suggests that we evaluate historiographical claims in terms of justification. The problem with this proposal, as (...)
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    There Are Actual Brains in Vats Now.Adam Michael Bricker - 2019 - Logos and Episteme 10 (2):135-145.
    There are brains in vats in the actual world. These “cerebral organoids” are roughly comparable to the brains of three-month-old foetuses, and conscious cerebral organoids seem only a matter of time. Philosophical interest in conscious cerebral organoids has thus far been limited to bioethics, and the purpose of this paper is to discuss cerebral organoids in an epistemological context. In doing so, I will argue that it is now clear that there are close possible worlds in which we are BIVs. (...)
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  10. Knowledge and the Brain: Why the Knowledge-Centric Theory of Mind Program Needs Neuroscience.Adam Michael Bricker - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
    The knowledge-centric Theory of Mind research program suggested by Phillips et al. stands to gain significant value by embracing a neurocognitive approach that takes full advantage of techniques like fMRI and EEG. This neurocognitive approach has already begun providing important insights into the mechanisms of knowledge attribution, insights which support the claim that it is more basic than belief attribution.
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  11.  92
    Close Error, Visual Perception, and Neural Phase: A Critique of the Modal Approach to Knowledge.Adam Michael Bricker - 2021 - Theoria 87 (5):1123-1152.
    The distinction between true belief and knowledge is one of the most fundamental in philosophy, and a remarkable effort has been dedicated to formulating the conditions on which true belief constitutes knowledge. For decades, much of this epistemological undertaking has been dominated by a single strategy, referred to here as the modal approach. Shared by many of the most widely influential constraints on knowledge, including the sensitivity, safety, and anti-luck/risk conditions, this approach rests on a key underlying assumption — the (...)
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    Knowing Falsely: the Non-factive Project.Adam Michael Bricker - 2022 - Acta Analytica 37 (2):263-282.
    Quite likely the most sacrosanct principle in epistemology, it is near-universally accepted that knowledge is factive: knowing that p entails p. Recently, however, Bricker, Buckwalter, and Turri have all argued that we can and often do know approximations that are strictly speaking false. My goal with this paper is to advance this nascent non-factive project in two key ways. First, I provide a critical review of these recent arguments against the factivity of knowledge, allowing us to observe that elements of (...)
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    Epistemic Judgments Are Insensitive to Probabilities.Adam Michael Bricker - 2020 - Metaphilosophy 51 (4):499-521.
    Multiple epistemological programs make use of intuitive judgments pertaining to an individual’s ability to gain knowledge from exclusively probabilistic/statistical information. This paper argues that these judgments likely form without deference to such information, instead being a function of the degree to which having knowledge is representative of an agent. Thus, these judgments fit the pattern of formation via a representativeness heuristic, like that famously described by Kahneman and Tversky to explain similar probabilistic judgments. Given this broad insensitivity to probabilistic/statistical information, (...)
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