Philosophical Topics

Volume 50, Issue 1, Spring 2022

Inferentialism on Naturalized Grounds

Preston Stovall
Pages 109-134

On the Natural Ground of Discursive Cognition
Building a Heterodox Explanatory Bridge Between Philosophy and the Cognitive Sciences

Despite increasing interest in shared intentionality in both philosophy and the sciences over the last three decades, there has been little comparison of philosophical with empirical accounts of the phenomenon. At the same time, both philosophical and scientific investigations into shared intentionality as a ground of our cognition have developed into widespread research programs during this period. This has laid the groundwork for a productive conversation, across the sciences and humanities, about the nature of human cognition qua discursive or rational. In this essay, I map some of the conceptual terrain such a conversation would cover, and I consider some of the extant efforts to build explanatory bridges across research and conversational contexts—using the resources of one domain of understanding to help structure our understanding of another—to the benefit of both philosophical and scientific approaches to the study of human cognition.