In this provocative study, Robert Cummins takes on philosophers, both old and new, who pursue the question of mental representation as an abstraction, apart from the constraints of any particular theory or framework.
In exploring the nature of psychological explanation, this book looks at how psychologists theorize about the human ability to calculate, to speak a language and the like. It shows how good theorizing explains or tries to explain such abilities as perception and cognition. It recasts the familiar explanations of "intelligence" and "cognitive capacity" as put forward by philosophers such as Fodor, Dennett, and others in terms of a theory of explanation that makes established doctrine more intelligible to professionals and their students.
Philosophers have found that the concepts and technology of artificial intelligence provide useful ways to test theories of knowledge and reason. Conversely, researchers in artificial intelligence, noting that the production of information processing systems requires a prior theory of rationality, have begun writing philosophy. Philosophy and AI presents invited contributions that focus on the different perspectives and techniques that philosophy and AI bring to the theory of rationality.