The World in the Head

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Overview

The World in the Head collects the best of Robert Cummins' papers on mental representation and psychological explanation. Running through these papers are a pair of themes: that explaining the mind requires functional analysis, not subsumption under 'psychological laws', and that the propositional attitudes-belief, desire, intention-and their interactions, while real, are not the key to understanding the mind at a fundamental level. Taking these ideas seriously puts considerable strain on standard conceptions of rationality and reasoning, on truth-conditional semantics, and on our interpretation of experimental evidence concerning cognitive development, learning, and the evolution of mental traits and processes. The temptation to read the structure of mental states and their interactions off the structure of human language is powerful and seductive, but has created a widening gap between what most philosophers and social scientists take for granted about the mind, and the framework we need to make sense of what an accelerating biology and neuroscience are telling us about brains. The challenge for the philosophy of mind is to devise a framework that accommodates these developments. This is the underlying motivation for the papers in this collection.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199548033
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/26/2010
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Cummins is Professor and Chair in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Table of Contents

1 What is it Like to be a Computer? 1

2 The LOT of the Causal Theory of Mental Content 11

3 Systematicity 20

4 Systematiaty and the Cognition of Structured Domains Jim Blackmon David Byrd Pierre Poirier Martin Roth Georg Schwarz 46

5 Methodological Reflections on Belief 67

6 Inexplicit Information 86

7 Representation and Indication Pierre Poirier 98

8 Representation and Unexploited Content Jim Blackmon David Byrd Alexa Lee Martin Roth 120

9 Haugeland on Representation and Intentionality 135

10 Truth and Meaning 152

11 Meaning and Content in Cognitive Science Martin Roth 174

12 Representational Specialization: The Synthetic A Priori Revisited 194

13 Biological Preparedness and Evolutionary Explanation Denise Dellarosa Cummins 210

14 Cognitive Evolutionary Psychology Without Representational Nativism Denise Dellarosa Cummins Pierre Poirier 232

15 Connectionism and the Rationale Constraint on Cognitive Explanation 257

16 'How does it Work?' vs. 'What are the Laws?': Two Conceptions of Psychological Explanation 282

Bibliography 311

Name Index 321

Subject Index 325

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