Archive for March 2015
Call For Abstracts: Enriching Embodied Cognition
Boğaziçi University, Istanbul
June 9th-11th, 2015
This workshop will be centered around material for the manuscript of Hutto and Myin’s latest book, Enriching Embodied Cognition: A Unified Enactivist and Ecological Framework, which is a follow-up to their 2013 book Radicalizing Enactivism: Basic Minds without Content.
Articles and draft material will be circulated to the participants in advance, and in the morning sessions Hutto and Myin will present and discuss core arguments with the participants. In the afternoon participants will present papers. These papers should be on themes discussed in the book, but do not have to be direct responses to Hutto and Myin’s work. If you would be interested in presenting a paper at the workshop, please send a short abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 20th. Successful applicants will be informed by April 25th.
Enriching Embodied Cognition: A Unified Enactivist and Ecological Framework will provide an enriched understanding of embodied cognition: showing just how embodied it is and just how it is embodied. This book integrates what is best in the replacement approaches, advancing the sciences of the mind by providing a novel framework for non-representational embodied cognition one that refines and critically synthesizes the main insights of the enactivist and ecological traditions. Hutto and Myin argue that once unified replacement approaches have all that is needed to do the necessary enriching work. In making their case Hutto and Myin highlight a recognized danger call it the Retention Worry that many applications of embodied, enactive cognition, (with headline cases in psychology, psychiatry and sports science) are missing the point. The Retention Worry arises for any account of embodied cognition that retains too much traditional thinking about the role of mental representations in cognition, for such accounts fail to successfully motivate any role for the body or environment, let alone the one identified in the research]. Only by clarifying what, if any, role representations play in cognitive science explanations will we gain a deeper and clearer understanding of the nature of embodied cognition.
This workshop is organized as part of Lucas Thorpe’s Tubitak project: Concepts and Beliefs: From Perception to Action.
The proposed chapter structure of the book can be found below the fold:
Please join us:
Friday April 3, 5pm
TB 130 (Anderson Hall)
How to Save Mental Causation
Non-reductive physicalism holds that mental properties, such as beliefs, desires, sensations and so on, are “nothing over and above” physical properties, but that mental properties are not identical with physical properties. Most non-reductive physicalists also believe that mental properties can be causally efficacious: my belief that it is raining can cause me to open my umbrella. Some opponents of non-reductive physicalism, most notably Jaegwon Kim, argue that if mental properties are not identifiable with physical properties, mental causation is difficult to account for: physical properties do all the causal work, so there is no room for mental causes. In this talk, I will explore the success and the limitations of one particular response to this problem. This response suggests that the causal powers of a mental property are a subset of the causal powers of a physical property that realizes it. Because of this subset relation, mental properties are parts of physical properties, and parts and wholes don’t causally compete. I will argue that this parthood claim is problematic. If it is taken literally, the metaphysical commitments to justify it are implausible. If it is taken metaphorically, then what it takes to respond to Kim’s challenge is available to all non-reductive physicalists. I believe that the parthood claim should be taken metaphorically, and that non-reductive physicalists can successfully respond to Kim’s objection without any appeal to a part-whole relation.
Talk, István Aranyosi (Bilkent), “Description, acquaintance, and the a posteriori physicalist response to the Knowledge Argument”
5pm, Monday, March 30
TB 130 (Anderson Hall)
One of the popular physicalist responses to the Knowledge Argument (KA) is based on
the idea that knowledge is opaque, hence, according to this response the argument fails
to establish anything about ontology. Rather, what it does establish is that propositions
containing exclusively physical and functional concepts do not a priori entail propositions
that contain phenomenal concepts. Defenders of KA, while acknowledging that
knowledge is opaque, have replied by pointing out that the physicalist have merely
shifted the focus of the problem. KA can be applied to the new items brought in by the
physicalist, such as: the property of having phenomenal concepts, the fact that there
are phenomenal modes of presentation, or that there is a knowing relation to physical
properties involving phenomenal content. All these are not entailed by the totality of
descriptive, physical truths, hence, physicalism is still false.
I will show, based on some ideas related to the difference between knowledge by
acquaintance and knowledge by description, that the concession made by defenders
of KA to the effect that the argument establishes at most the existence of phenomenal
concepts or phenomenal modes of presentations of physical properties leads to the demise
of KA. Yet, if the concession is not made, then KA is begging the question.
Call for Abstracts/Papers/Commentators: Aristotelian Themes in Metaphysics and Koslicki Book Workshop
Talk at Bogazici next Friday: Frank Chouraqui (Koc), The Paradox of Fiction: A Phenomenological Proposal
Please join us.
Friday, March 13
Anderson Hall 130 (TB 130)
In this talk, I attempt to formulate a solution to the traditional paradox of emotional response to fiction. I begin with a critique of the existing solutions, arguing that they fail the tests of parallelism and/or parasitism. I draw from this critique the requirements for a satisfactory solution. I then propose a solution which involves rejecting neither of the premises of the paradox, but rather rejecting the common view that emotions rely on existence-beliefs. I then proceed to offer an account of the controversial view that the beliefs relevant to emotional responses to fiction may be treated independently from existence-beliefs. I argue that this route, although unavoidable, demand an ontological discussion of the relations between emotion and belief. I finish by discussing the basic outlines of an ontology which could support this view.
if you have any questions, email marksteen[at-symbol]gmail[dot]com