Thinking without Words

Author: Jose Luis Bermudez
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190450932
Format: PDF
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Thinking without Words provides a challenging new theory of the nature of non-linguistic thought. Many scientific disciplines treat non-linguistic creatures as thinkers, explaining their behavior in terms of their thoughts about themselves and about the environment. But this theorizing has proceeded without any clear account of the types of thinking available to non-linguistic creatures. One consequence of this is that ascriptions of thoughts to non-linguistic creatures have frequently been held to be metaphorical and not to be taken at face value. Berm?dez offers a conceptual framework for treating human infants and non-human animals as genuine thinkers. Whereas existing discussions of thought at the non-linguistic level have concentrated on how such thoughts might be physically realized, Berm?dez approaches the problem by considering what is required in explaining behavior in psychological terms. In developing a positive account of non-linguistic thought he shows how the experimental tools used by developmental psychologists and students of animal behavior can be used to give a precise account of the way in which a human infant or non-human animal is representing the world. Much of the book is devoted to exploring the differences between thinking without words and language-based thinking. Berm?dez argues that there are clear limits to the expressive power of non-linguistic thought. Nonetheless, he identifies primitive analogues at the non-linguistic level that can be used to explain sophisticated non-linguistic behaviors. Thinking Without Words is the first full-length philosophical study of this important topic. It is written with an interdisciplinary readership in mind and will appeal to philosophers, psychologists, and students of animal behavior.

Rationality Consciousness Free Will

Author: David Hodgson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190208600
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In recent years, philosophical discussions of free will have focused largely on whether or not free will is compatible with determinism. In this challenging book, David Hodgson takes a fresh approach to the question of free will, contending that close consideration of human rationality and human consciousness shows that together they give us free will, in a robust and indeterministic sense. In particular, they give us the capacity to respond appositely to feature-rich gestalts of conscious experiences, in ways that are not wholly determined by laws of nature or computational rules. The author contends that this approach is consistent with what science tells us about the world; and he considers its implications for our responsibility for our own conduct, for the role of retribution in criminal punishment, and for the place of human beings in the wider scheme of things. Praise for David Hodgson's previous work, The Mind Matters "magisterial...It is balanced, extraordinarily thorough and scrupulously fair-minded; and it is written in clear, straightforward, accessible prose." --Michael Lockwood, Times Literary Supplement "an excellent contribution to the literature. It is well written, authoritative, and wonderfully wide-ranging. ... This account of quantum theory ... will surely be of great value. ... On the front cover of the paper edition of this book Paul Davies is quoted as saying that this is "a truly splendid and provocative book". In writing this review I have allowed myself to be provoked, but I am happy to close by giving my endorsement to this verdict in its entirety!" --Euan Squires, Journal of Consciousness Studies "well argued and extremely important book." --Sheena Meredith, New Scientist "His reconstructions and explanations are always concise and clear." --Jeffrey A Barrett, The Philosophical Review "In this large-scale and ambitious work Hodgson attacks a modern orthodoxy. Both its proponents and its opponents will find it compelling reading." --J. R. Lucas, Merton College, Oxford

Philosophy of Psychology

Author: José Luis Bermúdez
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 9780415275941
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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José Luis Bermúdez introduces the philosophy of psychology as an interdisciplinary exploration of the nature and mechanisms of cognition. Philosophy of Psychology charts out four influential 'pictures of the mind' and uses them to explore central topics in the philosophical foundations of psychology, including the relation between different levels of studying the mind/brain; the nature and scope of psychological explanation; the architecture of cognition; and the relation between thought and language. Chapters cover all the core concepts, including: models of psychological explanation the nature of commonsense psychology arguments for the autonomy of psychology functionalist approaches to cognition computational models of the mind neural network modeling rationality and mental causation perception, action and cognition the language of thought and the architecture of cognition. Philosophy of Psychology: A Contemporary Introduction is a very clear and well-structured textbook from one of the leaders in the field.

Thoughts Without A Thinker

Author: Mark Epstein
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465063926
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The line between psychology and spirituality has blurred, as clinicians, their patients, and religious seekers explore new perspectives on the self. A landmark contribution to the field of psychoanalysis, Thoughts Without a Thinker describes the unique psychological contributions offered by the teachings of Buddhism. Drawing upon his own experiences as a psychotherapist and meditator, New York-based psychiatrist Mark Epstein lays out the path to meditation-inspired healing, and offers a revolutionary new understanding of what constitutes a healthy emotional life.

Perception Hallucination and Illusion

Author: William Fish
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199888736
Format: PDF, ePub
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The idea of a disjunctive theory of visual experiences first found expression in J.M. Hinton's pioneering 1973 book Experiences. In the first monograph in this exciting area since then, William Fish develops a comprehensive disjunctive theory, incorporating detailed accounts of the three core kinds of visual experience--perception, hallucination, and illusion--and an explanation of how perception and hallucination could be indiscriminable from one another without having anything in common. In the veridical case, Fish contends that the perception of a particular state of affairs involves the subject's being acquainted with that state of affairs, and that it is the subject's standing in this acquaintance relation that makes the experience possess a phenomenal character. Fish argues that when we hallucinate, we are having an experience that, while lacking phenomenal character, is mistakenly supposed by the subject to possess it. Fish then shows how this approach to visual experience is compatible with empirical research into the workings of the brain and concludes by extending this treatment to cover the many different types of illusion that we can be subject to.

Thought and Language

Author: John Preston
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521587419
Format: PDF, ePub
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This collection of papers includes contributions by several of today's best-known philosophers of mind and language.

What Are We

Author: Eric T. Olson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199884218
Format: PDF
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From the time of Locke, discussions of personal identity have often ignored the question of our basic metaphysical nature: whether we human people are biological organisms, spatial or temporal parts of organisms, bundles of perceptions, or what have you. The result of this neglect has been centuries of wild proposals and clashing intuitions. What Are We? is the first general study of this important question. It beings by explaining what the question means and how it differs from others, such as questions of personal identity and the mind-body problem. It then examines in some depth the main possible accounts of our metaphysical nature, detailing both their theoretical virtues and the often grave difficulties they face. The book does not endorse any particular account of what we are, but argues that the matter turns on more general issues in the ontology of material things. If composition is universal--if any material things whatever make up something bigger--then we are temporal parts of organisms. If things never compose anything bigger, so that there are only mereological simples, then we too are simples--perhaps the immaterial substances of Descartes--or else we do not exist at all (a view Olson takes very seriously). The intermediate view that some things compose bigger things and others do not leads almost inevitably to the conclusion that we are organisms. So we can discover what we are by working out when composition occurs.

A Man Without Words

Author: Susan Schaller
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520959310
Format: PDF, ePub
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For more than a quarter of a century, Ildefonso, a Mexican Indian, lived in total isolation, set apart from the rest of the world. He wasn't a political prisoner or a social recluse, he was simply born deaf and had never been taught even the most basic language. Susan Schaller, then a twenty-four-year-old graduate student, encountered him in a class for the deaf where she had been sent as an interpreter and where he sat isolated, since he knew no sign language. She found him obviously intelligent and sharply observant but unable to communicate, and she felt compelled to bring him to a comprehension of words. The book vividly conveys the challenge, the frustrations, and the exhilaration of opening the mind of a congenitally deaf person to the concept of language. This second edition includes a new chapter and afterword.

I Am Not a Machine

Author: Jack Lynch
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781593301514
Format: PDF, ePub
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The humanist's plaintive cry, "I am not a machine" is in response to the mainstream cognitive science view that the human mind is similar to a computational machine, what scientist's call a formal system. In a series of three books, Dr. Lynch challenges these mainstream theories by showing how human cognition consists of two parts: a part inherited from the nonhuman primates that is not based on language, and a part that is based on human natural syntactic language. Natural language is therefore, not just a means of communication, as asserted by most cognitive scientists, but is essential to what is often referred to as human thought or reason. Humans can, of course, think without using language but only in a way that is also shared by our chimp cousins. Characterizing that languageless mode of cognition is the focus of this first book, Thinking Without Words.

Rethinking Language Mind and Meaning

Author: Scott Soames
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400866332
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In this book, Scott Soames argues that the revolution in the study of language and mind that has taken place since the late nineteenth century must be rethought. The central insight in the reigning tradition is that propositions are representational. To know the meaning of a sentence or the content of a belief requires knowing which things it represents as being which ways, and therefore knowing what the world must be like if it is to conform to how the sentence or belief represents it. These are truth conditions of the sentence or belief. But meanings and representational contents are not truth conditions, and there is more to propositions than representational content. In addition to imposing conditions the world must satisfy if it is to be true, a proposition may also impose conditions on minds that entertain it. The study of mind and language cannot advance further without a conception of propositions that allows them to have contents of both of these sorts. Soames provides it. He does so by arguing that propositions are repeatable, purely representational cognitive acts or operations that represent the world as being a certain way, while requiring minds that perform them to satisfy certain cognitive conditions. Because they have these two types of content—one facing the world and one facing the mind—pairs of propositions can be representationally identical but cognitively distinct. Using this breakthrough, Soames offers new solutions to several of the most perplexing problems in the philosophy of language and mind.