Predicative Minds: The Social Ontogeny of Propositional Thinking (Bradford Books) (MIT Press)

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This essay focuses critically on two major targets, called representationalism and naturalism, whose assumptions and conclusions are examined in almost each chapter, relative to the topic of interest. Both views are shown to ignore cognitive agency and the pragmatics of an agent's current cognition. In the search for objective and infallible guarantees of knowledge both views end up being "subsystemic epistemologies". In contrast, the general message of this essay is that we need an agent-orient… Read more This essay focuses critically on two major targets, called representationalism and naturalism, whose assumptions and conclusions are examined in almost each chapter, relative to the topic of interest.

In contrast, the general message of this essay is that we need an agent-oriented epistemology. Chapter I outlines the general framework of my inquiry. Chapter II characterizes the concept of cognitive agent, and contrasts it with the concept of subsystemic capabilities which only explains what makes an agent's cognition objectively possible but cannot explain what it consists in. Chapter III argues that an agent's current cognition is contextual, local, indexical and governed by a set of pragmatic and strategic parameters.

These parameters include an agent's current uncertainty, the theme and attention frame of his cognition, his tasks and objectives, some given and new information, the categorial articulation and the level of descriptive detail of that information, etc. I argue that it is not representations but increments in cognitive information that constitute the content of an agent's current cognition.

Chapter IV argues that, being geared to pragmatically determined increments in information, one's belief and acceptance should be understood functionally as ways in which one treats information and not as features of one's physiological constitution or internal experience. The same view is extended, in chapter VI, to evidence and justification.

Some implications of this view for the analysis of knowledge and the Gettier counterexamples to it are explored in some detail.

Breadcrumb

Chapter V shows that the general pragmatic features of one's incremental cognition apply to linguistic communication as well. An achievement is a successful undertaking. To understand what one achieves when one is said to know something requires understanding what one's cognitive undertaking consists in. In cognition one typically undertakes to increase one's information about a given topic in order to reduce an uncertainty, solve a problem, make a decision, act and so forth. An increment in information does its cognitive job whether it is veridical or not, whether it is justified or not.

The failure of an increment to be veridical or justified affects its epistemic but not its cognitive status. The cognitive function of an informational increment is thus conceptually distinct from, prior to, and hence required for the understanding of, its epistemic accomplishment. A philosophical theory of cognition qua informational incrementation is thus a prerequisite of, and places constraints on, a theory of knowledge as epistemic achievement.


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Young Believers or Secular Citizens? In this paper, I explore the effects of religious denomination and patterns of church-going on the construction of political values for high-school students.

David E. Rumelhart Prize

I argue that religion plays a role in the formation of political attitudes among teenagers and it influences their political participation. I examine whether this relationship is constructed along denominational lines. From a theoretical perspective, previous research heralded the compatibility between Western Christianity and the democrati… Read more In this paper, I explore the effects of religious denomination and patterns of church-going on the construction of political values for high-school students.

From a theoretical perspective, previous research heralded the compatibility between Western Christianity and the democratic form of government. Samuel Huntington, in his famous Clash of Civilization, argued that there is a natural symbiosis between Western Christianity and democratic forms of government, going insofar as to separate the world into religious civilizations. While, this approach essentializes religion as a fixed and immutable entity, Huntington also neglects the importance of dynamic historical, political and social contexts that can, and, in fact, do affect the functioning of religion in different countries, and hence their ability and willingness to accommodate democracy.

While I do not attempt to disconfirm fundamental huntingtonian thinking, I do raise the questions of how context can and does influence the intimate relationship between religion and politics. The analysis is conducted on survey data collected by the Center for the Study of Democracy CSD at Babes-Bolyai University with subjects of years old, and the results show that, while Greek Orthodox students do not seem to differ in their political values form their Catholic and Protestant counterparts, they are more prone to participate politically.


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  • Nevertheless, their active participatory behavior is only more pronounced in what voting is concerned, an opposite effect being recorder for any other acts of political participation. Social and Political Philosophy. Communication by shared meaning, themastery of word semantics,metarepresentation and metamentation aremental abilities, uniquely human, that share a sense ofintentionality or reference. The latteris developed by a naive psychology or interpretation — acompetence dedicated to representingintentional relations between conspecifics and the world.

    Theidea that interpretation builds new mentalabilities around a sense of reference is based on three linesof analysis — conceptual, psychological andevolutionary. The conceptual analysis reveals that a senseof reference is at the heart of the abilitiesin question. Psychological data track tight developmentalcorrelations between interpretation and theabilities it designs. Finally, an evolutionary hypothesislooks at why interpretation designed thosenew abilities around a sense of reference. Theory of Mind and Folk Psychology, Misc.

    Philosophy of Psychology Philosophy of Cognitive Science. More theory and evolution, please! Heyes's skepticism about theory of mind ToM in nonhuman primates exploits the idea of a strong and unified theory of mind in humans based on an unanalyzed category of mental state. It also exploits narrow debates about crucial observations and experiments while neglecting wider evolutionary trends. I argue against both exploitations. Aside from brute force, there are several philosophically respectable ways of eliminating the mental. In recent years the most popular elimination strategy has been directed against our common sense or folk psychological understanding of the mental.

    The strategy goes by the name of eliminative materialism or eliminativism, in short.

    Logic & Language - subjects & predicates in symbolic logic (Logic 2 of 5)

    The motivation behind this strategy seems to be the following. If common sense psychology can be construed as the principled theory of the mental, whose vocabulary… Read more Aside from brute force, there are several philosophically respectable ways of eliminating the mental. If common sense psychology can be construed as the principled theory of the mental, whose vocabulary and principles implicitly define what counts as mental, then eliminating the theory is eliminating its subject matter.

    If the theory is shown to be false, then its subject matter does not exist. If, in other words, common sense psychology can be shown to describe and explain nothing real in human cognition, then the mental itself is a fiction. Greenwood, Scott M. There are losses as well as gains. Curran, Anthony Grafton, Pamela O. Long, and Benjamin Weiss The many meanings of obelisks across nearly forty Nearly every empire worthy of the name — from ancient Rome to the United centuries, from Ancient Egypt States — has sought an Egyptian obelisk to place in the center of a ceremonial which invented them to space.

    Obelisks — giant standing stones, invented in Ancient Egypt as sacred twentieth-century America which put them in objects — serve no practical purpose. For much of their history their inscriptions, Hollywood epics. This beautifully illustrated book traces the fate and many meanings of obelisks across nearly forty centuries — what they meant to the Egyptians, and Publications of the Burndy Library how other cultures have borrowed, interpreted, understood, and misunderstood them through the years.

    In each culture obelisks have taken on new meanings and associations. To a twentieth-century reader of Freud, the obelisk had anatomical and psychological connotations. And so on, and so on. The history of obelisks is a story of technical achievement, imperial conquest, Christian piety and triumphalism, egotism, scholarly brilliance, political hubris, bigoted nationalism, demo- cratic self-assurance, Modernist austerity, and Hollywood kitsch — in short, the story of Western civilization.

    Brian A. Pamela O. Long is an independent historian. Laft: Obelisks at Karnak, photographed in the s by Francis Frith.

    Radu Bogdan (Tulane University) - PhilPeople

    About half of these areas were occupied or regularly used by indigenous peoples. Millions who had been living sustainably on their land for generations were displaced in the interests of conservation. In Conservation April 6 x 9, pp. Refugees, Mark Dowie tells this story. Yet for more Also available than a hundred years, these two forces have been at odds.

    When conservationists and native peoples acknowledge the interdependence of biodiversity conservation and cultural survival, Dowie writes, they can together create a new and much more effective paradigm for conservation. What began as a grassroots movement to promote responsible co-opted: from ecobranding development has become a bullet point in corporate ecobranding strategies. Parr argues that the more popular sustainability March development becomes, the more it becomes commodified; the more mainstream 6 x 9, pp.

    And the more issues of sustainability are aligned with those of national security, the more military values are conflated with the goals of sustainable development. Parr looks closely at five examples of the hijacking of sustainability: corporate image-greening by such companies as British Petroleum BP and Wal-Mart; Hollywood activism by Leonardo DiCaprio and other movie industry figures; the autonomy of communal ecovillages vs.

    Parr then examines key challenges to sustainability — waste disposal, disaster relief and environmental refugees, slum development, and poverty. Sustainability, Parr says, has captured our imagi- nation at a time when we are discouraged and demoralized by a failed war and general governmen- tal incompetence; it offers an alternative narrative of the collective good — an idea now compromised and endangered by corporate, military, and government interests. She is the author of Deleuze and Memorial Culture and other books. On people, time, politics, ethics, mess: the real world.

    Architecture, Jeremy Till argues with conviction in this engaging, sometimes pugnacious book, is dependent on things outside itself. Despite the claims of architects to autonomy, purity, and control, architecture is buffeted by uncertainty and contingency.