Topoi

http://link.springer.com/journal/11245

List of Papers (Total 80)

The Neglect of Epistemic Considerations in Logic: The Case of Epistemic Assumptions

The two different layers of logical theory—epistemological and ontological—are considered and explained. Special attention is given to epistemic assumptions of the kind that a judgement is granted as known, and their role in validating rules of inference, namely to aid the inferential preservation of epistemic matters from premise judgements to conclusion judgement, while...

Free Energy and the Self: An Ecological–Enactive Interpretation

According to the free energy principle all living systems aim to minimise free energy in their sensory exchanges with the environment. Processes of free energy minimisation are thus ubiquitous in the biological world. Indeed it has been argued that even plants engage in free energy minimisation. Not all living things however feel alive. How then did the feeling of being alive get...

Precise Worlds for Certain Minds: An Ecological Perspective on the Relational Self in Autism

Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) presents a challenge to social and relational accounts of the self, precisely because it is broadly seen as a disorder impacting social relationships. Many influential theories argue that social deficits and impairments of the self are the core problems in ASC. Predictive processing approaches address these based on general purpose neurocognitive...

Schizophrenia and the Scaffolded Self

A family of recent externalist approaches in philosophy of mind argues that our psychological capacities are synchronically and diachronically “scaffolded” by external (i.e., beyond-the-brain) resources. I consider how these “scaffolded” approaches might inform debates in phenomenological psychopathology. I first introduce the idea of “affective scaffolding” and make some...

Rationality and Future Discounting

The best justification of time-discounting is roughly that it is rational to care less about your more distant future because there is less of you around to have it. I argue that the standard version of this argument, which treats both psychological continuity and psychological connectedness as reasons to care about your future, can only rationalize an irrational—because...

Perceptual Demonstrative Thought: A Property-Dependent Theory

The paper presents a new theory of perceptual demonstrative thought, the property-dependent theory. It argues that the theory is superior to both the object-dependent theory (Evans, McDowell) and the object-independent theory (Burge).

Rational Preferences and Reindividuation of Relevant Alternatives in Decision Theory: Towards a Theory of Representation

In this essay, I will examine Broome’s argument in Weighing Goods (1991; sections 5.4 and 5.5) that aims to show that moderate Humeanism, according to which any coherent sets of preferences should be rationally acceptable, is not a sustainable view of decision theory. I will focus more specifically on the argument Broome uses to support his claim, and show that although it may...

The Occasion-Sensitivity of Thought

On the most common interpretation of occasion-sensitivity what varies cross-contextually is the truth-conditional content of representations. Jerry Fodor argues that when extended to mental representation this view has some problematic consequences. In this paper I outline an approach to occasion-sensitivity which circumvents Fodor’s objections but still maintains that the aspect...

Content Pragmatism Defended

In the literature on the nature and role of cognitive representation, three positions are taken across the conceptual landscape: robust realism, primitivism, and eliminativism. Recently, a fourth alternative that tries to avoid the shortcomings of traditional views has been proposed: content pragmatism. My aim is to defend pragmatism about content against some recent objections...

The Structure of Content is Not Transparent

Sentences in context have semantic contents determined by a range of factors both internal and external to speakers. I argue against the thesis that semantic content is transparent to speakers in the sense of being immediately accessible to speakers in virtue of their linguistic competence.

The Seeming Interdependence Between the Concepts of Valid Inference and Proof

We may try to explain proofs as chains of valid inference, but the concept of validity needed in such an explanation cannot be the traditional one. For an inference to be legitimate in a proof it must have sufficient epistemic power, so that the proof really justifies its final conclusion. However, the epistemic concepts used to account for this power are in their turn usually...

The Invention of Consciousness

In English we use the word “invention” in two ways. First, to mean a new device or process developed by experimentation, and designed to fulfill a practical goal. Second, to mean a mental fabrication, especially a falsehood, designed to please or persuade. In this paper I argue that human consciousness is an invention in both respects. First, it is a cognitive faculty, evolved by...

Thought Experiments, Formalization, and Disagreement

In the last decade, philosophers have offered a number of proposals concerning the logical form of hypothetical cases, or thought experiments, as these are used for purposes of testing philosophical claims. In this paper, I discuss what the desiderata for a formal proposal are. Employing a comparison with general philosophy of science, I suggest that one important desideratum is...

How (not) to Argue For Moral Enhancement: Reflections on a Decade of Debate

The controversy over moral bioenhancement has fallen into a stalemate between advocates and critics. We wish to overcome this stalemate by addressing some of the key challenges any moral enhancement project has to meet. In particular, we shall argue that current proposals are unpersuasive as they, first, fail to diagnose the often complex causes of contemporary moral maladies and...

Two Types of Choice-Functional Indefinites: Evidence from Ga (Kwa)

There is a longstanding discussion whether wide-scope indefinites denote choice functions that are existentially bound (Matthewson 1999; Reinhart 1997; Winter 1997) or remain free (Kratzer 1998). Data from Ga, an under-researched language spoken in Ghana, show that there are (i) wide-scope indefinites denoting existentially bound skolemized choice functions whose parameter is...

Goal Slippage: A Mechanism for Spontaneous Instrumental Helping in Infancy?

In recent years, developmental psychologists have increasingly been interested in various forms of prosocial behavior observed in infants and young children—in particular comforting, sharing, pointing to provide information, and spontaneous instrumental helping. We briefly review several models that have been proposed to explain the psychological mechanisms underpinning these...