Physicalists about the mind are committed to claims about property identities. Following Kripke's well-known discussion, modal arguments have emerged as major threats to such claims. This paper argues that modal arguments can be resisted by adopting a counterpart theoretic account of modal claims, and in particular modal claims involving properties. Thus physicalists have a powerful motive to adopt non-Kripkean accounts of the metaphysics of modality and the semantics of modal expressions.
The main aim of this paper is to highlight the need to address the conceptual problem of “implicit knowledge” or “implicit cognition” —a notion especially important in the study of the nonverbal minds of animals and infants. We review some uses of the term ‘implicit’ in psychology and allied disciplines,and conclude that conceptual clarification of this notion is not only lacking, but largely avoided and reduced to a methodological problem. We propose that this elusive notion is central in the study (...) not only of animal and infant minds, but also the human adult mind. Some promising approaches in developmental and evolutionary psychology towards innovative conceptualisation of implicit knowledge remain conceptually underdeveloped and in need of reconsideration and re-elaboration. We conclude by suggesting that the challenge of implicit cognition and nonverbal minds will only be solved through a concerted interdisciplinary approach between psychology and other disciplines. (shrink)
The hard problem of consciousness is to explain why certain physical states are conscious: why do they feel the way they do, rather than some other way or no way at all? Arthur Reber claims to solve the hard problem. But he does not: even if we grant that amoebae are conscious, we can ask why such organisms feel the way they do, and Reber’s theory provides no answer. Still, Reber’s theory may be methodologically useful: we do not yet have (...) a satisfactory theory of consciousness, but perhaps the study of simple minds is a way to go about finding one. (shrink)