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61. ProtoSociology: Volume > 13
Christopher W. Tindale The Authority of Testimony
62. ProtoSociology: Volume > 13
Hans Lenk Interdisziplinarität und Interpretation
63. ProtoSociology: Volume > 13
John Woods Peirce’s Abductive Enthusiasms
64. ProtoSociology: Volume > 13
Henry W. Johnstone, Jr. “‘Any,’ ‘Every,’ and the Philosophical Argumentum ad Hominem”
65. ProtoSociology: Volume > 13
Ellery Eells Causal Decision Theory
66. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Alvin I. Goldman Folk Psychology and Mental Concepts
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There are several different questions associated with the study of folk psychology: (1) what is the nature of our commonsense concepts of mental states?, (2) how do we attribute mental states, to ourselves and to other people?, and (3) how do we acquire our concepts and skills at mental-state attribution?Three general approaches to these questions are examined and assessed: theory theory, simulation theory, and rationality theory. A preliminary problem is to define each of these approaches. Alternative definitions are explored, centering on which questions each approach tries to answer and how it answers them. For example, simulation theorists substantially agree on the answer to question (2) but not on the answer to question (1). The paper then turns to some serious problems facing both rationality theory and theory theory.Rationality theory is faulted for its inadequate treatment of question (1) and for its implausible answers to question (2). Theory theory is faulted for the problems it encounters in explaining first-person attribution, and for its treatment of attributed reasoning about change (the “frame problem”). Turning to simulation theory, the paper argues against Gordon’s “ascent routine” account of first-person attribution and in favor of an inner detection account. Finally, the paper addresses the question of the contents of our mental-state concepts. How do these concepts incorporate both behavioral features and inner features? A dual-representation hypothesis is advanced, and linked speculatively to mirror neurons.
67. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Philip Pettit How the Folk Understand Folk Psychology
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Let folk psychology consist in the network of concepts, and associated beliefs, in terms of which we make sense of minded performance.This paper addresses the question of how we, the folk, come to understand those concepts: this, as distinct from the separate question as to how we come to apply them in the interpretation of particular minds, our own and those of others.The argument is that even though the network of concepts is akin to a set of theoretical, interdefined terms, still it is possible to explain how we, the folk, understand them without suggesting that we are proto-scientists. The understanding required can be based on a sort of know-how: that is, a practical, untheoretical, form of knowledge.
68. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Jane Heal Understanding Other Minds from the Inside
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We find it natural to say that creatures with minds can (sometimes at least) be understood ‘from the inside’. The paper explores what could be meant by this attractive but, on reflection, somewhat mysterious idea. It suggests that it may find a hospitable placement, which makes its content and appeal clearer, in one version of the so-called ‘simulation theory’ approach to grasp of psychological concepts. Simulation theory suggests that ability to use imagination in rethinking others’ thoughts and in recreating their trains of reasoning is central to our grasp and use of psychological concepts.On this view to think of another’s mind is not to think of some intricate quasi-mechanical assemblage of items in the other’s head which causally explain her behavior. If this is all that the ‘inside’ of another person, i.e. her mind, were like, then there would be no question of anything being ‘from’ it. The simulation view, however, emphasizes that thoughts essentially have content and that identifying another’s thought, and working out its possible effects, involves identifying its content and oneself entertaining thoughts with the same content.So, on this approach, to think of another’s mind is to think of a complex but rationally unified set of thoughts, a set which is conceived as had by one subject but where the contents and relations can be grasped and appreciated by another. Some of these thoughts will be indexical and the whole can thus be said to constitute the subject’s point of view on the world, both literally and metaphorically. Grasping this point of view is, the paper suggests, what is meant by speaking of ‘understanding from the inside’.
69. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
David M. Rosenthal Content, Interpretation, and Consciousness
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According to Dennett, the facts about consciousness are wholly fixed by the effects consciousness has on other things. But if a mental state's being conscious consists in one's having a higher-order thought about that state, we will in principle have an independent way to fix those facts. Dennett also holds that our speech acts sometimes determine what our thoughts are, since speech acts often outrun in content the thoughts they express.I argue that what thoughts we have is independent of how we express them in speech, and that this is consonant with speech acts’ often seeming to have more fine grained content than the thoughts they express. This model has the advantage, compared with Dennett’s, of accommodating our folk-psychological taxonomy of intentional states and preserving the traditional idea that speech acts express antecedent intentional states. Speech acts doubtless do sometimes have richer content than the thoughts they express, though sometimes verbally expressing a thought simply makes us conscious in a more fine-grained way of what that content is.On the higher-order-thought model, as on Dennett’s, a mental state’s being conscious is, in effect, our spontaneously interpreting ourselves as being in that state. But such spontaneous self-interpretation need not be the last word on what content our thoughts have. Even though the content of speech acts sometimes outrun that of the thoughts they express, we can explain why the two seem always to be exactly the same. Even when a speech act is richer in content than the thought it expresses, the well-entrenched pragmatic equivalence between saying something and saying that one thinks that thing ensures that one will be conscious of one’s thought as having the richer content of the speech act that expresses it. We are conscious of our thoughts as having the content that our speech acts would capture.
70. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Christopher S. Hill From Assertion to Belief: The Role of Linguistic Data in the Practice of Belief-Ascription
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This paper is concerned with the question of how we arrive at knowledge of the propositional attitudes of other agents. I describe a number of methods, but focus on the method that involves arriving at conclusions about the beliefs of others from information about their assertions and acts of assent. I attempt to give a reasonably full characterization of this method.Among other things, I maintain that when it is properly understood, the method is seen to be altogether independent of simulation. Thus, one conclusion of the paper is that simulation is not in any sense a universal method. At best, it is a method that we use in a highly restricted range of situations. Another conclusion is that there are features of the method of inference from assertion and assent that tend to provide support for the theory-theory – that is, for the view that our ascriptive practice involves the implicit use of a body of principles that resembles a scientific theory.
71. ProtoSociology: Volume > 14
Jay L. Garfield Orcid-ID Thought as Language: A Metaphor Too Far
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Language has often served both as a metaphor for thought. It is highly plausible that language serves as an epistemic entre into thought and that language structures adult human thought to a considerable degree. The language metaphor is, however, uncritically extended as a literal model of thought.This paper criticizes this extension, arguing that thought is not literally implemented in language and distinguishing legitimate from illegitimate uses of language as a device for understanding thought.
72. 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.
73. 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.
74. 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.
75. 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.
76. 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.
77. 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.
78. 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.
79. 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.
80. 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.