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Philosophy of Mind

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Basic Minds Meet Content

Evolving Enactivism argues that cognitive phenomena—perceiving, imagining, remembering—can be best explained in terms of an interface between contentless and content-involving forms of cognition. Building on their earlier book Radicalizing Enactivism, which proposes that there can be forms of cognition without content, Daniel Hutto and Erik Myin demonstrate the unique explanatory advantages of recognizing that only some forms of cognition have content while others—the most elementary ones—do not.

Investigating the Constitution of the Shared World

Recent accounts of cognition attempt to overcome the limitations of traditional cognitive science by reconceiving cognition as enactive and the cognizer as an embodied being who is embedded in biological, psychological, and cultural contexts. Cultural forms of sense-making constitute the shared world, which in turn is the origin and place of cognition. This volume is the first interdisciplinary collection on the cultural context of embodiment, offering perspectives that range from the neurophilosophical to the anthropological.

Virtue and Character

Philosophers have discussed virtue and character since Socrates, but many traditional views have been challenged by recent findings in psychology and neuroscience. This fifth volume of Moral Psychology grows out of this new wave of interdisciplinary work on virtue, vice, and character. It offers essays, commentaries, and replies by leading philosophers and scientists who explain and use empirical findings from psychology and neuroscience to illuminate virtue and character and related issues in moral philosophy.

Rationalists about the psychology of moral judgment argue that moral cognition has a rational foundation. Recent challenges to this account, based on findings in the empirical psychology of moral judgment, contend that moral thinking has no rational basis. In this book, Hanno Sauer argues that moral reasoning does play a role in moral judgment—but not, as is commonly supposed, because conscious reasoning produces moral judgments directly. Moral reasoning figures in the acquisition, formation, maintenance, and reflective correction of moral intuitions.

In this book, Mark Fedyk offers a novel analysis of the relationship between moral psychology and allied fields in the social sciences. Fedyk shows how the social sciences can be integrated with moral philosophy, argues for the benefits of such an integration, and offers a new ethical theory that can be used to bridge research between the two.

Cognitive Science and Human Experience

This classic book, first published in 1991, was one of the first to propose the “embodied cognition” approach in cognitive science. It pioneered the connections between phenomenology and science and between Buddhist practices and science—claims that have since become highly influential. Through this cross-fertilization of disparate fields of study, The Embodied Mind introduced a new form of cognitive science called “enaction,” in which both the environment and first person experience are aspects of embodiment.

Essays in Dialogue with John Haugeland

In his work, the philosopher John Haugeland (1945–2010) proposed a radical expansion of philosophy’s conceptual toolkit, calling for a wider range of resources for understanding the mind, the world, and how they relate. Haugeland argued that “giving a damn” is essential for having a mind—suggesting that traditional approaches to cognitive science mistakenly overlook the relevance of caring to the understanding of mindedness.

Philosophers from Descartes to Kripke have struggled with the glittering prize of modern and contemporary philosophy: the mind-body problem. The brain is physical. If the mind is physical, we cannot see how. If we cannot see how the mind is physical, we cannot see how it can interact with the body. And if the mind is not physical, it cannot interact with the body. Or so it seems.

An Essay on the Content of Concepts

In cognitive science, conceptual content is frequently understood as the “meaning” of a mental representation. This position raises largely empirical questions about what concepts are, what form they take in mental processes, and how they connect to the world they are about. In Minds without Meaning, Jerry Fodor and Zenon Pylyshyn review some of the proposals put forward to answer these questions and find that none of them is remotely defensible.

Philosophers have traditionally assumed that the basic units of knowledge and understanding are concepts, beliefs, and argumentative inferences. In Cognitive Pluralism, Steven Horst proposes that another sort of unit—a mental model of a content domain—is the fundamental unit of understanding. He argues that understanding comes not in word-sized concepts, sentence-sized beliefs, or argument-sized reasoning but in the form of idealized models and in domain-sized chunks.

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