As stated by Jean-Pierre Changeux (2004) in his last book, The Physiology of Truth , objective knowledge does exist, and our brains are naturally equipped to recognise it. The results presented here provide the first insights on (1) the cerebral basis of reasoning errors, and (2) the neurocognitive dynamics that lead the human brain towards logical truth. We propose to call this new approach “neuropedagogy of reasoning”.
Intuitive predictions and judgements under uncertainty are often mediated by judgemental heuristics that sometimes lead to biases. Our micro-developmental study suggests that a presumption of rationality is justified for adult subjects, in so far as their systematic judgemental biases appear to be due to a specific executive-inhibition failure in working memory, and not necessarily to a lack of understanding of the fundamental principles of probability. This hypothesis was tested using an experimental procedure in which 60 adult subjects were trained to (...) inhibit the classical conjunction bias on a frequency judgement task derived from Tversky and Kahneman's work. Pre- and post-test performance was assessed via a probability judgement task. The data indicated a training effect, suggesting that subjects traditionally labelled as "irrational" with respect to the classical rules of inductive reasoning are in fact "inefficient inhibitors". These findings are discussed in terms of a polymorphous view of rationality. (shrink)
Using the matching bias example, the aim of the present studies was to show that adults' reasoning biases are due to faulty executive inhibition programming. In the first study, the subjects were trained on Wason's classical card selection task; half were given training in how to inhibit the perceptual matching bias (experimental group) and half in logic without the inhibition component (control group). On the pre- and post-tests, their performance was assessed on the Evans conditional rule falsification task (with a (...) negation in the antecedent of the rule), a task that also involves matching bias. In addition, subjects were tested for perceptual field dependence/independence using the Embedded Figures Test. The results brought out a specific inhibition training effect, as well as a clear-cut relationship in the experimental group between receptiveness to training and perceptual field independence. In the second study, the training paradigm was the same except that on the pre- and post-tests, the negation was in the consequent of the conditional rule (in this case, the perceptual matching response corresponds to the logical response). The subjects succeeded on the pre-test, and the matching-bias inhibition training had a negative effect on post-test performance. This specific negative priming effect confirms the inhibitory impact of our experimental training and outlines the dissociation of inhibition and logical components. (shrink)
I challenge here the concept of SOC in regard to the question of the consciousness or unconsciousness of logical errors. My commentary offers support for the demonstration of how neuroimaging techniques might be used in the psychology of reasoning to test hypotheses about a potential hierarchy of levels of consciousness (and thus of partial unconsciousness) implemented in different brain networks.
A translation of the renowned French reference book, Vocabulaire de sciences cognitives , the Dictionary of Cognitive Science presents comprehensive definitions of more than 120 terms. The editor and advisory board of specialists have brought together 60 internationally recognized scholars to give the reader a comprehensive understanding of the most current and dynamic thinking in cognitive science. Topics range from Abduction to Writing, and each entry covers its subject from as many perspectives as possible within the domains of psychology, artificial (...) intelligence, neuroscience, philosophy, and linguistics. This multidisciplinary work is an invaluable resource for all collections. (shrink)
I challenge two points in Cohen Kadosh & Walsh's (CK & W) argument: First, the definition of abstraction is too restricted; second, the distinction between representations and operations is too clear-cut. For example, taking Jean Piaget's I propose that another way to avoid orthodoxy in the field of numerical cognition is to consider inhibition as an alternative idea of abstraction.
This book represents the attempt to provide the student in the one semester introductory course in logic with 1. a handbook of the fundamentals of the science, brief and succinct enough to be practical and yet substantial enough to provide him with the solid foundation of the traditional from which to approach the “mysteries” of modern developments in the field. 2. A working knowledge of the science, out of which there may be built the personal equipment with which the student (...) may be able to solve for himself the problems posed by the impact of the new on the old in the field of logic. 3. Sufficient problem material to enable the student to learn the use of logic, so that in reconciling in his own mind the new and the old, the modern and the traditional, he may do this logically. (shrink)
Olivier Bloch travaille sur l'histoire de la philosophie, et plus particulièrement sur l'histoire des doctrines, courants et traditions matérialistes, dans le domaine de la philosophie antique et dans celui de la philosophie de l'âge classique , en particulier en France , et en Grande-Bretagne . Depuis le début des années 80, ses recherches portent principalement sur les traditions libertines et clandestines de l'âge classique et leur prolongement dans le matérialisme des Lumières, et, dans cette perspective, sur les rapports entre (...) matérialisme et littérature, avec un intérêt tout particulier pour Cyrano de Bergerac, puis Molière. Ses collègues ont voulu lui rendre hommage par ce recueil d'études sur ses domaines de prédilection. (shrink)
State Violence, Coalitions, Subjects After a consideration of the reception of her work in France , Judith Butler assesses the political contribution of queer movements and minority struggles. She addresses the need for the left to reappropriate the forthright critique of the State and its violence and to examine the way minorities are produced. To do so, her analysis starts from the question of immigrant persons. She highlights the issues and the difficulties which are involved, if there is to be (...) a productive critique of the State, the aim of which is to contest it. As part of a dynamic political perspective, she proposes the creation of coalitions. She outlines the main lines of such a coalition, its dynamics and singularities, its articulation with the subject, but also its limits. In conclusion, she examines the issue of revolution and her relation to Marxist thought, indicating the outlines of her current thinking. (shrink)
This book presents the framework for a new, comprehensive approach to cognitive science. The proposed paradigm, enaction, offers an alternative to cognitive science's classical, first-generation Computational Theory of Mind. _Enaction_, first articulated by Varela, Thompson, and Rosch in _The Embodied Mind_, breaks from CTM's formalisms of information processing and symbolic representations to view cognition as grounded in the sensorimotor dynamics of the interactions between a living organism and its environment. A living organism enacts the world it lives in; its embodied (...) action in the world constitutes its perception and thereby grounds its cognition. _Enaction_ offers a range of perspectives on this exciting new approach to embodied cognitive science. Some chapters offer manifestos for the enaction paradigm; others address specific areas of research, including artificial intelligence, developmental psychology, neuroscience, language, phenomenology, and culture and cognition. Three themes emerge as testimony to the originality and specificity of enaction as a paradigm: the relation between first-person lived experience and third-person natural science; the ambition to provide an encompassing framework applicable at levels from the cell to society; and the difficulties of reflexivity. Taken together, the chapters offer nothing less than the framework for a far-reaching renewal of cognitive science. Contributors: Renaud Barbaras, Didier Bottineau, Giovanna Colombetti, Diego Cosmelli, Hanne De Jaegher, Ezequiel A. Di Paolo. Andreas K. Engel, Olivier Gapenne, Véronique Havelange, Edwin Hutchins, Michel Le Van Quyen, Rafael E. Núñez, Marieke Rohde, Benny Shanon, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Adam Sheya, Linda B. Smith, John Stewart, Evan Thompson. (shrink)
Of all the things we do and say, most will never be repeated or reproduced. Once in a while, however, an idea or a practice generates a chain of transmission that covers more distance through space and time than any individual person ever could. What makes such transmission chains possible? For two centuries, the dominant view was that humans owe their cultural prosperity to their powers of imitation. In this view, modern cultures exist because the people who carry them are (...) gifted at remembering, storing and reproducing information. How Traditions Live and Die proposes an alternative to this standard view. What makes traditions live is not a general-purpose imitation capacity. Cultural transmission is partial, selective, often unfaithful. Some traditions live on in spite of this, because they tap into widespread and basic cognitive preferences. These attractive traditions spread, not by being better retained or more accurately transferred, but because they are transmitted over and over. This theory is used to shed light on various puzzles of cultural change and to explain the special relation that links the human species to its cultures. Morin combines recent work in cognitive anthropology with new advances in quantitative cultural history, to map and predict the diffusion of traditions. This book is both an introduction and an accessible alternative to contemporary theories of cultural evolution. (shrink)
The main contention of this article is that current approaches to ontological emergence are not comprehensive, in that they share a common bias that make them blind to some conceptual space available to emergence. In this article, I devise an alternative perspective on ontological emergence called ‘flat emergence’, which is free of such a bias. The motivation is twofold: not only does flat emergence constitute another viable way to fulfill the initial emergentist promise, but it also allows for making sense (...) of some emergence ascriptions that traditional accounts are unable to accommodate. (shrink)
Sixteen years after Kim’s seminal paper offering a welcomed analysis of the emergence concept, I propose in this paper a needed extension of Kim’s work that does more justice to the actual diversity of emergentism. Rather than defining emergence as a monolithic third way between reductive physicalism and substance pluralism, and this through a conjunction of supervenience and irreducibility, I develop a comprehensive taxonomy of the possible varieties of emergence in which each taxon—theoretical, explanatory and causal emergence—is properly identified and (...) defined. This taxonomy has two advantages. First, it is unificatory in the sense that the taxa it contains derive from a common unity principle, which consequently constitutes the very hallmark of emergentism. Second, it can be shown that the emergence taxa it contains are able to meet the challenges that are commonly considered as being the hot topics on the emergentists’ agenda, namely the positivity, the consistency and the triviality/liberality challenges. (shrink)
In this paper, we show that it is not a conceptual truth about laws of nature that they are immutable. In order to do so, we survey three popular accounts of lawhood— necessitarianism, dispositionalism and ‘best system analysis’—and expose the extent, as well as the philosophical cost, of the amendments that should be enforced in order to leave room for the possibility of changing laws.
_ Source: _Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 22 - 45 This essay discusses the views of Peter Olivi on the foundations of political power and agency. The central argument is that there is a strong connection between Olivi’s voluntarist psychology and his views concerning political power. According to Olivi, political power is ultimately based on the will of God, but in such a way that both the rulers and their subjects have, through their individual freedom, the liberty to use their (...) share of power as they will. In fact, Olivi conceptualises political power as an extension of the dominion that human beings have over their wills, which is essential for being a political agent in the full sense. By providing a philosophical analysis of the role of the freedom of the will within Olivi’s political philosophy, this essay sheds light on his conception of the relation between the human and the divine will, as well as on his understanding of political power. (shrink)
In this paper, I put forward a benchmark account of emergence in terms of non-explainability and explicate the relationship that exists between its synchronic and diachronic declinations. I develop an argument whose conclusion is that emergence is essentially a “two-faceted” notion, i.e. it always encapsulates both synchronic and diachronic dimensions. I then compare this account with alternative recent accounts of emergence that define the concept through the notion of unpredictability or topological non-equivalence.
The rise of blockchain as a techno-solution in the development sector underscores the critical imbalances of data power under ‘computational capitalism’. This article will consider the political economy of techno-solutionist and blockchain discourses in the developing world, using as its object of study blockchain projects in Pacific Island nations. Backed by US State Department soft power initiatives such as Tech Camp, these projects inculcate tech-driven notions of economic and political development, or ICT4D, while opening up new terrains for data accumulation (...) and platform control. Blockchain developers in search of proof of concept have found the development sector a fecund space for tech experimentation as they leverage a desire for tech-development and exploit regulatory weakness. The material implications of blockchain projects and discourse have been to create governance solutions which bypass the developing world state as a largely corrupting intermediary. In the Pacific, this has meant blockchain supply-chain management systems, proprietary financial innovation in humanitarian relief and an Asian Development Bank project to manage indigenous Fijian lands exclusively on the blockchain. In all these instances, discourses of solutionism, innovation and data empowerment have been deployed in aid of blockchain cartographies of control. (shrink)
Emergentism is often misleadingly described as a monolithic “third way” between radical monism and pluralism. In the particular case of biology, for example, emergentism is perceived as a middle course between mechanicism and vitalism. In the present paper I propose to show that the conceptual landscape between monism and pluralism is more complex than this classical picture suggests. On the basis of two successive analyses—distinguishing three forms of tension between monism and pluralism and a distinction between derivational and functional reduction—I (...) define three different versions of emergentism that can be considered as consistent middle courses between monism and pluralism . I then emphasise the advantage of this taxonomy of the concepts of emergence by applying the results of my analysis to the historical controversy that pertains to the relationship between life and matter. (shrink)
The relationship between divine and created causality was widely discussed in medieval and early modern philosophy. Contemporary scholars of these discussions typically stake out three possible positions: occasionalism, concurrentism, and mere-conservationism. It is regularly claimed that virtually no medieval thinker adopted the final view which denies that God is an immediate active cause of creaturely actions. The main aim of this paper is to further understanding of the medieval causality debate, and particularly the mere-conservationist position, by analysing Peter John Olivi's (...) neglected defence of it. The paper also includes discussion of Thomas Aquinas's arguments for concurrentism and an analysis of whether Olivi's objections refute his position. (shrink)
This discussion paper responds to two recent articles in Biology and Philosophy that raise similar objections to cultural attraction theory, a research trend in cultural evolution putting special emphasis on the fact that human minds create and transform their culture. Both papers are sympathetic to this idea, yet both also regret a lack of consilience with Boyd, Richerson and Henrich’s models of cultural evolution. I explain why cultural attraction theorists propose a different view on three points of concern for our (...) critics. I start by detailing the claim that cultural transmission relies not chiefly on imitation or teaching, but on cognitive mechanisms like argumentation, ostensive communication, or selective trust, whose evolved or habitual function may not be the faithful reproduction of ideas or behaviours. Second, I explain why the distinction between context biases and content biases might not always be the best way to capture the interactions between culture and cognition. Lastly, I show that cultural attraction models cannot be reduced to a model of guided variation, which posits a clear separation between individual and social learning processes. With cultural attraction, the same cognitive mechanisms underlie both innovation and the preservation of traditions. (shrink)
Generic stereotypes are generically formulated generalizations that express a stereotype, like “Mexican immigrants are rapists” and “Muslims are terrorists.” Stereotypes like these are offensive and should not be asserted by anyone. Yet when someone does assert a sentence like this in a conversation, it is surprisingly difficult to successfully rebut it. The meaning of generic sentences is such that they can be true in several different ways. As a result, a speaker who is challenged after asserting a generic stereotype can (...) often simply dismiss the objection and maintain that the stereotype is true in a way that is compatible with the challenger’s objection. In this paper, a semantic theory for generics is presented that accounts for this type of defensive shifting in upholding generic stereotypes. This theory is then used to develop two strategies to object more efficiently. The first strategy is to immediately deny that either of the two possible ways in which a generic can be true obtains. The second strategy is to deny the satisfaction of an additional condition that is necessary for a generic sentence to be true. (shrink)
This chapter defends an axiological theory of pain according to which pains are bodily episodes that are bad in some way. Section 1 introduces two standard assumptions about pain that the axiological theory constitutively rejects: (i) that pains are essentially tied to consciousness and (ii) that pains are not essentially tied to badness. Section 2 presents the axiological theory by contrast to these and provides a preliminary defense of it. Section 3 introduces the paradox of pain and argues that since (...) the axiological theory takes the location of pain at face value, it needs to grapple with the privacy, self-intimacy and incorrigibility of pain. Sections 4, 5 and 6 explain how the axiological theory may deal with each of these. (shrink)
Several philosophers have recently tried to define natural kinds in epistemic terms only. Given the persistent problems with finding a successful metaphysical theory, these philosophers argue that we would do better to describe natural kinds solely in terms of their epistemic usefulness, such as their role in supporting inductive inferences. In this paper, I argue against these epistemology-only theories of natural kinds and in favor of, at least partly, metaphysical theories. I do so in three steps. In the first section (...) of the paper, I propose two desiderata for a theory of natural kinds. In the second section, I discuss one example of a ‘general’ epistemology-only theory, proposed by Marc Ereshefsky and Thomas Reydon, and argue that theories like theirs fail to provide adequate criteria of natural kinds. In the third section, I focus on one example of a ‘specific’ epistemology-only theory, proposed by P. D. Magnus, and use it to show why such theories cannot justify the claim that the proposed epistemic criteria account for the naturalness of kinds. (shrink)
Some generic generalizations have both a descriptive and a normative reading. The generic sentence “Philosophers care about the truth”, for instance, can be read as describing what philosophers in fact care about, but can also be read as prescribing philosophers to care about the truth. On Leslie’s account, this generic sentence has two readings due to the polysemy of the kind term “philosopher”. In this paper, I first argue against this polysemy account of descriptive/normative generics. In response, a contextualist semantic (...) theory for generic sentences is introduced. Based on this theory, I argue that descriptive/normative generics are contextually underspecified. (shrink)