•  13
    Symposium on J.-L. Dessalles's Why we Talk
    with Jean-Louis Dessalles, Fiona Cowie, and Jason Mckenzie Alexander
    Biology and Philosophy 25 (5). 2010.
  •  109
    The Two Sources of Moral Standing
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (3): 303-324. 2012.
    There are two primary traditions in philosophical theorizing about moral standing—one emphasizing Experience (the capacity to feel pain and pleasure) and one emphasizing Agency (complexity of cognition and lifestyle). In this article we offer an explanation for this divide: Lay judgments about moral standing depend importantly on two independent cues (Experience and Agency), and the two philosophical traditions reflect this aspect of folk moral cognition. In support of this two-source hypothesis…Read more
  •  131
    Concept empiricism: A methodological critique
    Cognition 104 (1): 19-46. 2006.
    Thanks to Barsalou
  •  9
    A better philosophy for a better psychology: Comment on Slaney and Racine
    Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 31 (2): 90-95. 2011.
    In their thought-provoking article, Slaney and Racine put forth several criticisms of the traditional view that concepts are mental representations used in the cognitive processes that underlie human higher cognitive competences . Considerations of a broadly Wittgensteinian nature underlie their criticisms. In this article, I argue that the considerations advanced by Slaney and Racine do not undermine the clear account of the nature of mental states and psychological processes developed in the 1…Read more
  •  10
    Précis of Doing without Concepts
    Philosophical Studies 149 (3): 401-410. 2010.
  •  26
    The role of psychology in the study of culture
    with Dan Kelly, Ron Mallon, Kelby Mason, and Steve Stich
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4): 355-355. 2006.
    Although we are enthusiastic about a Darwinian approach to culture, we argue that the overview presented in the target article does not sufficiently emphasize the crucial explanatory role that psychology plays in the study of culture. We use a number of examples to illustrate the variety of ways by which appeal to psychological factors can help explain cultural phenomena. (Published Online November 9 2006).
  •  193
    Massive Modularity and Brain Evolution
    Philosophy of Science 74 (5): 825-838. 2007.
    Quartz (2002) argues that some recent findings about the evolution of the brain (Finlay & Darlington, 1995) are inconsistent with evolutionary psychologists’ massive modularity hypothesis. In substance, Quartz contends that since the volume of the neocortex evolved in a concerted manner, natural selection did not act on neocortical systems independently of each other, which is a necessary condition for the massive modularity of our cognition to be true. I argue however that Quartz’s argument fai…Read more
  •  235
    In several disciplines within science—evolutionary biology, molecular biology, astrobiology, synthetic biology, artificial life—and outside science—primarily ethics—efforts to define life have recently multiplied. However, no consensus has emerged. In this article, I argue that this is no accident. I propose a dilemma showing that the project of defining life is either impossible or pointless. The notion of life at stake in this project is either the folk concept of life or a scientific concept.…Read more