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101. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Robert M. Gordon Sellars’s Ryleans Revisited
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It is often said that the simulation vs. theory debate must be resolved empirically. But part of the needed empirical work, perhaps the decisive part, is “armchair” testing against philosophical touchstones such as intentionality, opacity, and Moore’s paradox. I will assay Sellars' myth of “our Rylean ancestors,” frequently cited as the prototypical “theory” theory.Sellars’ laudable aim was to show how “privileged access” could be preserved without making first person ascriptions of mental predicates incorrigible or dependent on “immediate experience.” He attempted this by portraying these ascriptions as essentially theoretical: We are so conditioned that, when situational and behavioral evidence indicates certain theoretical states and episodes, we make the corresponding self-ascriptions, without having to consider the evidence.Sellars’ approach fails, however, because self-reports are actually coordinated only with verbal behavior – typically, the outward-looking “expression” of a state in the non-mental ‘Rylean’ language. (Such coordination is illustrated, in the case of belief ascription, by Moore’s paradox, and more generally, by what I call “ascent routines.”) Thus our self-reports could not be a product of theory-based training – nor directly theory-based, as some psychologists suggest. Given this coordination, the only way to achieve Sellars’ aim – without sacrificing nivocality – is to suppose ascriptions to others to be “third person self-ascriptions” based on the other’s situation and behavior, as the simulation theory maintains. Sensitive to nonverbal as well as verbal behavior, they prevail over first person ascriptions. This leads to a certain conception of people: peepholes through which the world reappears, possibly transformed.
102. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Brian P. McLaughlin Why Intentional Systems Theory Cannot Reconcile Physicalism With Realism about Belief and Desire
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In this paper, I examine Daniel Dennett’s well-known intentional systems theory of belief and desire from the perspective of physicalism. I begin with a general discussion of physicalism. In the course of that discussion, I present familiar ways that one might attempt to reconcile physicalism with belief-desire realism. I then argue that intentional systems theory will not provide a reconciliation of physicalism and belief-desire realism.
103. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Louise Röska-Hardy Self-Ascription and Simulation Theory
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This paper examines the two leading simulation approaches to mental selfascription, Alvin Goldman’s introspectionist account and Robert Gordon’s nonintrospectionist, “ascent routine” account, with a view to determining their adequacy as accounts of our ordinary self-ascriptions of mental states.I begin by reviewing the features of everyday mental state ascriptions and argue that an adequate account of mental state attribution must be able to account for the salient features of those mental attributions we make by using the sentences of a language we know (section 1). By way of introducing the simulation accounts, I outline the tenets of the ‘Theory’-Theory of mental state ascription and sketch the simulationists’ objections to it (section 2). The specific proposals of Alvin Goldman (section 3) and Robert Gordon to ascent routine simulation approach (section 4) are then examined in detail. I argue that both Goldman’s and Gordon’s approaches to mental self-ascription have serious shortcomings. However, the difficulties facing their respective positions suggest *investigating a third approach to the self-ascription of mental states.
104. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Gerhard Preyer Primary Reasons: From Radical Interpretation to a Pure Anomalism of the Mental
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The paper gives a reconstruction of Donald Davidson’s theory of primary reasons in the context of the unified theory of meaning and action and its ontology of individual events. This is a necessary task to understand this philosophy of language and action because since his article “Actions, Reasons, and Causes” (1963) he has developed and modified his proposal on describing and explaining actions. He has expanded the “unified theory” to a composite theory of beliefs and desires as a total theory of behavior. At first, the anomalous monism was a byproduct. Yet, the step to this philosophy of the mental is not contingent. It will be shown that the anomalous monism as the primary feature of the mental does not lead us to a materialic monism in our ontology. If the evidence of radical interpretation has no echo in natural science, we have to give up materialism.Following this, I will argue for a pure anomalism. Or, in other words, for the ascription of propositional attitudes given by the semantical analysis of sentences of such attitudes does not commit us to a materialistc framework in our ontological thinking. Yet, to understand Davidson’s unified theory, we have to grasp the role of individual events in this framework since the ontological reduction of individual events explains par example the relation between the mind and the body, and the possibility of autonomous action in the world of causality. I do not argue for a dualism of properties between the physical of the mental in the manner of other philosophers, since from the radical interpreters point the empirical restrictions of the speaker’s attitudes and behavior cannot be fixed for all cases.
105. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Consuelo Preti Belief and Desire Under The Elms
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This paper begins with an exposition the apparent tension between externalist theories of content and common-sense belief/desire psychology, with a view to resolving the conflict between these two views. The second part of the paper is a criticism of Fodor’s reformulation of Twin Earth type cases.I argue that this attempt to mitigate the damage such cases do to the tenability of folk psychological explanation cannot work, because Twin Earth cases pose a metaphysical problem for content and explanation, not a nomological one, as Fodor argues. I discuss this in detail, by arguing that Twin Earth cases are illustrations of a metaphysical appearance/reality distinction for (some kinds of) content.The paper concludes with a strategy for blending content externalism with a robust folk psychology: one that centers on the distinction between causation and causal explanation.
106. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Rebecca Kukla How to Get an Interpretivist Committed
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I argue that interpretivists ought to broaden and enrich the constitutive standards of interpretability and epistemic agency that they have inherited from classic Davidsonian theory. Drawing heavily upon John Haugeland’s recent account of objective truth- telling, I claim that in order to be an interpretable epistemic agent at all, a being must have various kinds of practical (yet genuinely epistemic) commitments that cannot be reduced to combinations of beliefs and desires.On the basis of this claim, I argue that radical interpreters must appeal to many commitments held by their interpretees other than assents to observation sentences and commitments to sincerity; hence the interpretive tools available in the Davidsonian toolbox are insufficient. I suggest that we ought to take the behaviors manifesting the various commitments that constitute epistemic agency as straightforwardly available from a third-personal observational perspective, and thus as no threat to the basic spirit of interpretivism.At the same time, I claim that these behaviors cannot be individuated in non-normative, physicalist terms, so my account should indeed pose a threat to naturalists of a certain stripe. I end by revisiting and moderately revising Davidson's notorious deflation of the problem of radical skepticism.
107. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Raffaella De Rosa On Fodor’s Claim that Classical Empiricists and Rationalists Agree on the Innateness of Ideas
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Jerry Fodor has argued that Classical Empiricists are as committed to the innateness of (at least some) ideas as Classical Rationalists. His argument, however, is proven inconclusive by an ambiguity surrounding “innate ideas”.Textual evidence for this ambiguity is provided and the “Dispositional Nativism” that, prima facie, makes Empiricist and Rationalist views similar dissolves into two distinct views about the nature of both the mind’s and the environment’s contribution in the process of concept acquisition.Once the Empiricist’s Dispositional Nativism is not conflated with the Rationalist’s, it becomes evident that the Empiricist can accept the premises of Fodor’s argument without accepting his conclusion and, hence, remain unmoved in her conviction that no ideas are innate.
108. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
David Pitt Nativism and the Theory of Content
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Externalism is the view that the intentional content of a mental state supervenes on its relations to objects in the extramental world. Nativism is the view that some of the innate states of the mind/brain have intentional content.I consider both “causal” and “nomic” versions of externalism, and argue that both are incompatible with nativism. I consider likely candidates for a compatibilist position – a nativism of “narrow” representational states, and a nativism of the contentless formal “vehicles” of representational states. I argue that “narrow nativism” is either too implausible to appeal to the nativist – because it entails that innate representational states are lost as the mind becomes more experienced, or too costly to appeal to the externalist – because a reasonable version of it requires the analytic-synthetic distinction.Finally, I argue that “syntactic nativism” is indistinguishable from classical anti-nativist empiricism, given the latter’s broad tolerance for innate implementation of psychological principles and mechanisms.
109. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Erwin Rogler On David Lewis’ Philosophy of Mind
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Are there eliminativist tendencies in Lewis’s theory of mind? Prima facie one would like to give a negative answer to this question. Lewis (1994) conceives his theory as “Reduction of Mind”. Certainly, both reduction and elimination of mental states are regarded as materialist, yet nevertheless as competive strategies. Relying on folk psychology (FP), as Lewis does, is objected to by eliminativists who denounce FP mainly because they think it is a theory that is essentially wrong. Yet, Lewis sees the importance of FP residing only in its causal schemes that explain behavior and not in its role of specifying internal states by specific mental properties. Should therefore the reduction of mental states not be considered as eliminativist in a certain sense? There is an ambiguity in these concepts that forbids an immediate answer. The problem will be elaborated in section II and III with regard to intentional and qualitative mental states. As a preliminary tho that I discuss in section I central aspects and problems of Lewis’ theory of mind.
110. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Thomas Baldwin Nearly Logic
111. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
James E. Tomberlin Logical Form, Actualism, and Ontology
112. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Barbara Von Eckardt, Jeffrey S. Poland In Defense of the Standard View
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In Explaining Attitudes, Lynne Rudder Baker considers two views of what it is to have a propositional attitude, the Standard View and Pragmatic Realism, and attempts to argue for Pragmatic Realism. The Standard View is, roughly, the view that “the attitudes, if there are any, are (or are constituted by, or are realized in) particular brain states” (p. 5). In contrast, Pragmatic Realism that a person has a propositional attitude if and only if there are certain counterfactuals true of that person.Baker’s case against the Standard View is a complex one. One aspect of that case is that there are no good general arguments for the Standard View. We argue that one of the three she considers, an argument from causal explanation, can be defended. The problematic premise, according to Baker, is the claim that unless beliefs are [identical to, constituted by, or realized by] brain states, they cannot causally explain behavior. Baker tackles this premise in two ways: in Chapter 4, she attempts to undermine the brain-explain thesis by taking issue with the conception of causal explanation that she believes supports it; in Chapter 5, she argues against the brain-explain thesis directly, by attempting to show that it is false, whether or not the Standard View is true. Neither of these attempts are successful, on our view.The alternative version of the causal argument we develop uses the doctrine of physicalism as a supplementary premise rather than appeal to a reductive conception of causal explanation. After presenting this alternative version, we consider how Baker might respond to it by drawing on her discussion of materialism. We conclude that Baker’s argument against materialism does not generalize to physicalism as we construe it.
113. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Contributors
114. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Arend Kulenkampff, Frank Siebelt What a Noncognitivist might tell a Moral Realist
115. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
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116. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
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117. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
On ProtoSociology
118. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
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119. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
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120. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
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