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11. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
Inês Hipólito Inês Hipólito
Mind and Brain States: Embedding the Mental in the Living Organism
Mind and Brain States

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With neurons emergence, life alters itself in a remarkable way. This embodied neurons become carriers of signals, and processing devices: it begins an inexorable progression of functional complexity, from increasingly drawn behaviors to the mind and eventually to consciousness [Damasio, 2010]. In which moment has awareness arisen in the history of life? The emergence of human consciousness is associated with evolutionary developments in brain, behavior and mind, which ultimately lead to the creation of culture, a radical novelty in natural history. It is in this context of biological evolution of conscious brains that we raise the question: how conscious brains connect with each other? In order to answer it, I will explore how brain states and conscious states each participate in dynamic interactive processes involving the whole organism. I will argue that a possible way to overcome the hard problem of consciousness might be based on the notion of embodiment as a process of embedding the mental in the living organism relating dynamically with the environment through the sensorymotor experience. In order to do so, I will provide an assembly between an anthropologic perspective of consciousness with contemporary Philosophy of Mind, Interaction Theory [Gallagher 2001, 2008; Zahavi 2001, 2008; Fuchs and De Jaegher 2009].
12. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
James Grindeland James Grindeland
Blockers: A Reply to Hawthorne
Blockers: A Reply to Hawthorne

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Physicalism is roughly the thesis that everything is physical. The two most popular ways of formulating physicalism rigorously are the ways given by Frank Jackson and David Chalmers. The best objections, in turn, include John Hawthorne’s ‘blocker’ objections. Hawthorne argues that, if it is possible for there to be non-physical beings or properties that prevent certain mental phenomena from existing (i.e., non-physical blockers), Jackson’s and Chalmers’ formulations will be inadequate. Jackson’s formulation will be inadequate by virtue of not capturing all of the right physical dependence principles. Chalmers’ formulation will be inadequate in so far as, when modified to define ‘restricted physicalisms’, such as physicalism of the mental, the restricted formulations will not capture all of the right physical dependence principles. By contrast, I argue that Hawthorne’s blocker arguments are misguided on the grounds that non-physical blockers are impossible; I argue that his critique of Chalmers’ formulation is unsound by virtue of falsely presupposing that restricted physicalisms require restricted formulations of physicalism (I argue that it is only necessary to define physicalism of a world); and I argue that Jackson’s and Chalmers’ formulations capture all of the right physical dependence principles.
13. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
René Jagnow René Jagnow
Can We See Natural Kind Properties?
Can We See Natural Kind Properties?

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Which properties can we visually experience? Some authors hold that we can experience only low-level properties such as color, illumination, shape, spatial location, and motion. Others believe that we can also experience high-level properties, such as being a dog or being a pine tree. On the basis of her method of phenomenal contrast, Susanna Siegel has recently defended the latter view. One of her central claims is that we can best account for certain phenomenal contrasts if we assume that we can visually experience natural kind properties. In this paper, I argue that certain kinds of low-level properties, namely shape-gestalt properties, can explain these phenomenal contrasts just as well as high-level properties. If successful, this is a modest, but nevertheless significant result. Even though it does not prove the falsity of Siegel’s proposal, it nevertheless secures the existence of a plausible alternative.
14. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
Bin Zhao Bin Zhao
Phenomenal Character, Representational Content, and the Internal Correlation of Experience: Arguments Against Tracking Representationalism
Phenomenal Character, Representational Content, and the Internal Correlation of Experience

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Tracking representationalism is the theory that phenomenal consciousness is a matter of tracking physical properties in an appropriate way. This theory holds that phenomenal character can be explained in terms of representational content, and it also entails that there is unlikely to be a strong correlation between phenomenal character and neural states. However, the empirical evidence shows that both claims cannot be true. So, tracking representationalism is wrong. Its fault is due to ignoring the internal correlation of experience, the existence of which shows that phenomenal character is shaped by neural states to a large extent, so it cannot be wholly explained by representational content.
15. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
José Eduardo Porcher José Eduardo Porcher
Can Anosognosia Vindicate Traditionalism about Self-Deception?
Can Anosognosia Vindicate Traditionalism about Self-Deception?

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The traditional conception of self-deception takes it for an intrapersonal form of interpersonal deception. However, since the same subject is at the same time deceived and deceived, this means attributing the agent a pair of contradictory beliefs. In the course of defending a deflationary conception of self-deception, Mele (1997) has challenged traditionalists to present convincing evidence that there are cases of self-deception in which what he calls the dual belief-requirement is satisfied. Levy (2009) has responded to this challenge affirming that there is at least one real cases of self-deception that meets this requirement, namely, that of anosognosia. In this family of conditions, the patient apparently believes that there is nothing wrong with her while, at the same time, providing behavioral cues that indicate that the patient is somehow aware of his disease. If Levy is right, then traditionalism about self-deception could be vindicated, after having been widely abandoned due to its need to postulate exotic mental processes in order to make sense of the attribution of contradictory beliefs. In this paper, I assess whether Levy’s response to Mele’s challenge is successful by analyzing his interpretation of the empirical evidence to which he appeals. Finally, I attack the cogency of the underlying commitments about the nature of folk psychology to which one is required to defer in order to draw from conflicting evidence the attribution of contradictory beliefs.
16. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Alexei Cherniak Alexei Cherniak
Belief Content and Belief State
Belief Content and Belief State

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The paper is dedicated to the analysis of a contribution of the distinction between states and contents of beliefs to the explanation of changes of beliefs in some specific situations such as changed stakes or evidence. The plausible idea about beliefs is that an agent may have two different beliefs in the same proposition representing different relations to that proposition - belief states. Different accounts of states of beliefs were proposed. The claim critically observed in the paper is that a change of belief may be explained as a change of either proposition believed or state of belief. It is argued that explanations of changes of beliefs in terms of changes in their states are reducible to explanations in terms of changes in their propositional contents. In particular it is argued that cases where changing beliefs are expressed by sentences with so called essential indexicals, which are considered to be cases of changing belief states, but not propositions, may be described as rather instances of changing belief's propositional contents. There is also the account of belief as triadic relation between believer, believed propositions and mode of its presentation by believers. According to it belief change may be represented as a change of the mode of presentation which preserves propositional content of the belief. Against this account it is argued that modes of presentation of propositions either does not in fact contribute to semantic contents of corresponding beliefs or may be assimilated by their propositional contents. It seems plausible that to be relevant to the belief change the information is to be at least available to a competent reflexive agent of the belief, and this information then may be added to a propositional content of that belief after some reflection.
17. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Ivan A. Karpenko Ivan A. Karpenko
The Notion of Space in Some Modern Physics Theories
The Notion of Space in Some Modern Physics Theories

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The article analyzes a number of modern physics approaches in different aspects, which are directly or indirectly affected by the problem of space. The variations of cosmologies based on the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, the theory of inflation, the holographic universe model, the model of the virtual universe, etc. and their scientifically validated combinations are examined for specifics of category of space interpretation in each case. In reliance to the historical and philosophical analys is the connection between the traditional interpretations of the concept of space in philosophy and the modern ones in physics is established. The context of some modern physical theories is concluded to bring new dimensions to the understanding of space (while retaining certain classical concepts).
18. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Steve Fuller Стив Фуллер
Customised Science as a Reflection of 'Protscience'
Клиентская наука как выражение научного плюрализма

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This article is concerned with two concepts. The first is a coinage of the author, 'Protscience', a contracted form of 'Protestant science', made in reference to the 16th—17th century Protestant Reformation, when the members of Western Christendom took their religion into their hands, specifically by reading the Bible for themselves and interpreting its relevance fortheir lives.Today we witness a similar tendency with regard to the dominant epistemic authority, science, whose 'reformation' often portrayed as 'democratisation'. However, a more exact understanding draws on the article's second key concept, the distinction drawn in marketing between 'customer' and 'consumer'. The former purchases to sell (i.e. a retailer), whereas the latter purchases to use. Many of the so-called 'anti-science' movements of recent times can be explained as a rise in 'science customisation', whereby people who have acquainted themselves with the latest science adopt a discretionary attitude towards what they will and will not believe of what they have learned. Keywords: anticipatory governance, democracy, New Age, placebo effect, Protestant Reformation, Protscience, science customisation.
19. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Dimitris Kilakos Димитрис Килакос
How Could Vygotsky Inform an Approach to Scientific Representations?
Применение идей Выготского в исследовании проблемы научных представлений

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In the quest for a new social turn in philosophy of science, exploring the prospects of a Vygotskian perspective could be of significant interest, especially due to Vugotsky ’s emphasis on the role of culture and socialisation in the development of cognitive functions. However, a philosophical reassessment of Vygotsky's ideas in general has yet to be done.As a step towards this direction, I attempt to elaborate an approach on scientific representations by drawing inspirations from Vygotsky. Specifically, I work upon Vygotsky's understanding on the nature and function of concepts, mediation and zone of proximal development.I maintain that scientific representations mediate scientific cognition in a tool-like fashion (Like Vygotsky's signs). Scientific representations are consciously acquired through deliberate inquiry in a specific context, where it turns to be part of a whole system, reflecting the social practices related to scientific inquiry, just scientific concepts do in Vygotsky's understanding. They surrogate the real processes or effects understudy, by conveying some of the features of the represented systems. Vygotsky's solution to the problem of the ontological status of concepts points to an analogous understanding for abstract models, which should be regarded neither as fictions nor as abstract objects.I elucidate these views by using the examples of the double-helix model of DNA structure and of the development of our understanding of the photoelectric effect.
20. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Olga Stoliarova О.Е. Столярова
MiIlieu, Embodiment, and Cultural Studies of Science: Comment on Rom Harre’s the Social Ingredients in All Ways of Acquiring Reliable Knowledge
Проблема телесного воплощения и исследование науки в контексте cultural studies

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The article discusses the concept of milieu in its connection with a problem of embodiment as it is today posed in the cultural studies of science. It is pointed out that if we take the embodied milieu as a precondition and result of our theoretical and practical activities, then it challenges the traditional sense of the word «social and, accordingly, the basic purposes of a social philosophy of science.