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January 28, 2005



What about the last two chapters of Fodor's book "The Mind Doesn't Work that Way?"

I found them to be pretty helpful.


Pretty good choices but for one thing. By some standards, linguistics is the most advanced branch of cog. sci (next to perception maybe), but it does not get a lot of attention in this collection. The two Chomsky pieces are of course alright, but what about some more stuff? Saying this, I personally can't think of works that really sum up what linguists are thinking and what has been achieved.

Steven Gross

Small typo: R. Samuels, not S. Samuels, in 3rd from the bottom.

Edouard Machery

The choice seems to be very reasonable--most of the classical papers I would have thought of were there.
A couple of points though:

1/ On concepts, instead of Peacocke which has little to do with the philosophy of cognitive science, I would have put one or two of the four papers:
Medin and Shaffer 1978, Psych. Review. The introduction of the exemplar view.
Nosofsky 86. The introduction of the generalized context model--which is the most used exemplar model in psychology of visual categorization.
Murphy and MEdin 1985, Psych. Rev. The introduction of the theory view.
Medin 1989. A famous review of the main views in psych at the end of the 80s.

2/ There is only one paper dedicated to decision making (samuels et al.). The issue deserve a full section. And the choice of paper is pretty obvious:
- something from Meehl on the comparison between actuarial and intuitive decision making (for example his review in 86)
- something from Kahneman and Tversky (=e.g., 82 review in their 82 anthology)
- something from Gigerenzer: ex: either the paper with Goldstein in 96 in psych rev or the paper in 2002 with the same Goldstein in psych rev.
- maybe something from Dawnes on the tally rule in decision making.

3/ Innateness:
2 papers could be added:
Griffiths 200? arguing that the concept of innateness covers different ideas that are loosely connected.
Samuels 2004 in TICS where he presents the primitivist view of innateness.

4/ In the last section (miscalleneous), it would be nice to add one of Meehl's papers on the meaning of psychological variables--the type of variables that questionnaires in psychology are supposed to evaluate. This is philosophy of psychology at its best.

If you have any interest in these papers, and do not know the exact reference, let me know and I'll find them for you.


Thanks for the helpful comments, both here and by e-mail. Anyone got any ideas about a piece on reduction for the section on foundations? Fodor's "Special Sciences" would be ideal, but it's in the philosophy of mind volume. It would be handy to have a piece that gives some sort of overview of issues about the identity theory, multiple realization, etc, as well as getting into issues about theory reduction.

Philip Robbins

This looks great overall. However I agree with Edouard that there are better choices than Peacocke for the concepts section. And there are some topics that would be nice either to expand or touch on.

1. The relation between language and thought (Whorf, etc.). There are good reviews of this area to be found in the introductory essay in Carruthers & Boucher's LANGUAGE AND THOUGHT (1998), also in Carruthers 2002 (BBS paper "The cognitive functions of language").

2. The frame problem. Maybe add Lormand's "Framing the frame problem"?

3. Rationality and emotion. It would be nice to have something by Damasio here; perhaps an excerpt from DESCARTES' ERROR (1994), since that's been incredibly influential.

4. Self-consciousness. Maybe add Gopnik's 1993 BBS paper ("How we know our own minds"). Nichols & Stich 2002 ("How to read your own mind", in Smith & Jokic, ASPECTS OF CONSCIOUSNESS) is another possibility.

5. Situated approaches to cognition. Perhaps Clark's 2001 "Millennial" essay in MIND & LANGUAGE (2001) -- "Reasons, robots, and the situated mind".

6. Cognitive architecture. More on modularity! How about adding Sperber's "The modularity of thought" after the Fodor precis of MoM?

7. Evolution and innateness. Shouldn't Samuels, Stich & Tremoulet 1999 go here, rather than in miscellaneous? Likewise with Griffiths' paper on emotion.

marc moffett

It might also be worth considering something from the recent work in cognitive linguistics. Perhaps something from Leonard Talmy, George Lakoff, or (on the more philosophical side) Peter Gardenfors.

Curtis Brown

For "something on reduction," one possibility might be something by Kim. Best for this purpose might be the final chapter of _Philosophy of Mind_; other possibilities include the last chapter of _Mind in a Physical World_ or essay 16, "Multiple Realization and the Metaphysics of Reduction," in _Supervenience and Mind_.


As Curtis (above) writes, ch4 of 'Mind In A Physical World' might be good for Reduction.


Thanks. "Multiple Realization and the Metaphysics of Reduction" is already included in the philosophy of mind volume. For this volume, I'm hoping for something that has more of a cognitive-science orientation, while still covering the philosophical bases.

jelle van dijk

As for the paper on reduction, Paul Churchland wrote a nice introductionary book that we used as students in cognitive science (matter and consciousness?), of which the second chapter discusses: dualism, identity theory (reductive materialism), philosophical behaviorism, functionalism , and, of course, closing up with eliminative materialism. Is that what you mean?

Another paper I would recommend is a paper by Tom Ziemke et al, in a special issue on Von Uexkull (don't remember the journal, can look it up for you). Ziemke has fundamental things to say about the claimed importance of embodiment, and links biologically oriented work with Brooks' robotics. Now I come to think of it, I also miss Randall Beer? And what about Varela (& Maturana)?

Tobias Schlicht

Nice. But what about the whole recent development of embodied enactive embedded cognition, e.g. papers by Varela, Thompson, Noe, Gallagher, or Wheeler? - And Phenomenological/embodied approaches are especially underrepresented in the chapter on Theory of Mind. - The papers by Searle, Turing and the selection from Marr's vision have been reprinted like a 100 times elsewhere.
Good luck!

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