•  935
    Deciding what role perspicuous representations play in Wittgenstein’s philosophy matters, not only for determining what one thinks of the contributions of this great figure of twentieth century philosophy but also for recognising the ‘live options’ for conducting philosophical enquiries full stop. It is not surprising, given this importance, that perspicuous representations is the topic of the opening chapter of Gordon Baker’s posthumous collection of essays on philosophical method. In that cont…Read more
  •  39
    This paper introduces this special issue which is focused on its target paper - The Natural Origins of Content. The target paper has had a robust and considered set of fifteen replies; a literal A to Z of papers. This extended introduction explains the background thinking and challenges that motivated the target article's proposed research programme. It also provides a sneak peak preview and navigational aid to the special issue’s contents. Brief highlights of each commentary are provided and th…Read more
  •  78
    Folk Psychology without Theory or Simulation
    In D. Hutto & M. Ratcliffe (eds.), Folk Psychology Reassessed, Springer. pp. 115--135. 2007.
    This paper spells out just how the Narrative Practice Hypothesis, if true, undercuts any need to appeal to either theory or simulation when it comes to explaining the basis of folk psychological understanding: these heuristics do not come into play other than in cases of in which the framework is used to speculate about why another may have acted. To add appropriate force to this observation, I first say something about why we should reject the widely held assumption that the primary business of…Read more
  •  29
    Established wisdom in cognitive science holds that the everyday folk psychological abilities of humans -- our capacity to understand intentional actions performed for reasons -- are inherited from our evolutionary forebears. In _Folk Psychological Narratives_, Daniel Hutto challenges this view and argues for the sociocultural basis of this familiar ability. He makes a detailed case for the idea that the way we make sense of intentional actions essentially involves the construction of narratives …Read more
  •  132
    Folk psychology as narrative practice
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (6-8). 2009.
    There has been a long-standing interest in the putative roles that various so-called ‘theory of mind’ abilities might play in enabling us to understand and enjoy narratives. Of late, as our understanding of the complexity and diversity of everyday psychological capacities has become more nuanced and variegated, new possibilities have been articulated: (i) that our capacity for a sophisticated, everyday understanding of actions in terms of reason (our folk psychology) may itself be best character…Read more
  •  92
    Editorial: Social Cognition: Mindreading and Alternatives
    with Mitchell Herschbach and Victoria Southgate
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (3): 375-395. 2011.
    Human beings, even very young infants, and members of several other species, exhibit remarkable capacities for attending to and engaging with others. These basic capacities have been the subject of intense research in developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, comparative psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind over the last several decades. Appropriately characterizing the exact level and nature of these abilities and what lies at their basis continues to prove a tricky business. …Read more
  •  2
    First communions
    In J. Zlatev, T. Racine, C. Sinha & E. Itkonen (eds.), The Shared Mind: Perspectives on Intersubjectivity, John Benjamins. pp. 12--245. 2008.
  •  56
  •  40
    Edouard Machery , Doing Without Concepts. (review)
    Philosophy in Review 33 (2): 142-145. 2013.
  •  84
    Enactivism, from a Wittgensteinian Point of View
    American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (3): 281-302. 2013.
    Enactivists seek to revolutionize the new sciences of the mind. In doing so, they promote adopting a thoroughly anti-intellectualist starting point, one that sees mentality as rooted in engaged, embodied activity as opposed to detached forms of thought. In advocating the so-called embodied turn, enactivists touch on recurrent themes of central importance in Wittgenstein's later philosophy. More than this, today's enactivists characterize the nature of minds and how they fundamentally relate to t…Read more
  •  910
    The core claim of this paper is that mind minding of the sort required for the simplest and most pervasive forms of joint attentional activity is best understood and explained in non-representational, enactivist terms. In what follows I will attempt to convince the reader of its truth in three steps. The first step, section two, clarifies the target explanandum. The second step, section three, is wholly descriptive. It highlights the core features of a Radically Enactivist proposal about elemen…Read more
  •  116
    Extensive enactivism: why keep it all in?
    with Michael D. Kirchhoff and Erik Myin
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8 (706). 2014.
    Radical enactive and embodied approaches to cognitive science oppose the received view in the sciences of the mind in denying that cognition fundamentally involves contentful mental representation. This paper argues that the fate of representationalism in cognitive science matters significantly to how best to understand the extent of cognition. It seeks to establish that any move away from representationalism toward pure, empirical functionalism fails to provide a substantive “mark of the cognit…Read more
  •  13
    Davidson’s Identity Crisis
    Dialectica 52 (1): 45-61. 1998.
    Professor Davidson's anomalous monism has been subject to the criticism that, despite advertisements to the contrary, if it were true mental properties would be epiphenomenal. To this Davidson has replied that his critics have misunderstood his views concerning the extensional nature of causal relations and the intensional character of causal explanations. I call this his 'extension reply'. This paper argues that there are two ways to read Davidson's 'extension reply'; one weaker and one stronge…Read more
  •  933
    Misreadings, clarifications and reminders: A reply to Hutchinson and read
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14 (4). 2006.
    This is a reply to Hutchinson, P. and Read, R. “An Elucidatory Interpretation of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus: Critique of Daniel D. Hutto’s and Marie McGinn’s Reading of Tractatus 6.54″. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14(1) 2006: 1-29. A further reply from Hutchinson, P.”Unsinnig: A Reply to Hutto” is also forthcoming.
  •  512
    Cognition without representation?
    In A. Reigler & Markus F. Peschl (eds.), Understanding Representation, Plenum Press. 1999.
    A principled understanding of representations requires that they have objective, systematic content. It is claimed that there is an interesting form of nonconceptual, intentionality which is processed by non-systematic connectionist networks and has its correctness conditions provided by a modest biosemantics; but this type of content is not properly representational. Finally, I consider the consequences that such a verdict has on eliminativist views that look to connectionism as a means of radi…Read more
  •  42
    Choking RECtified: embodied expertise beyond Dreyfus
    with Raúl Sánchez-García
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (2): 309-331. 2015.
    On a Dreyfusian account performers choke when they reflect upon and interfere with established routines of purely embodied expertise. This basic explanation of choking remains popular even today and apparently enjoys empirical support. Its driving insight can be understood through the lens of diverse philosophical visions of the embodied basis of expertise. These range from accounts of embodied cognition that are ultra conservative with respect to representational theories of cognition to those …Read more
  •  51
    This comment on Stueber’s article clarifies the nature of the core disagreement between his approach to understanding reasons and mine. The purely philosophical nature of the dispute is highlighted. It is argued that understanding someone’s narrative often suffices for understanding the person’s reasons in ordinary cases. It is observed that Stueber has yet to provide a compelling counter case. There is also a brief clarification of some of the empirical commitments of the narrative practice hyp…Read more
  •  242
    Professor Dennett has recently embarked on what he considers a “demystifying philosophical investigation” with respect to the phenomena of consciousness. In essence the strategy he has employed is one of getting us to “trade in” our ordinary intuitions so as to soften us up for the first phases of a full-fledged “scientific” explanation of consciousness in terms of sub-personal systems and their ontogenetic origins. His hope is that, once we are freed from certain misleading metaphors about the …Read more
  • The postmodern 'dismantling' of the self is often regarded, in sensationalist terms, as threatening to undermine most if not all of our familiar ideas concerning philosophy and morality. This is so because in challenging our 'commonplace' concept of what it is to be a person - a concept with a heavy Cartesian legacy - it also challenges the standard visions of how we stand, or fail to stand, as knowers in relation to reality and causes upset to the grounds for many of our ethico-political practi…Read more
  •  17
    Analytic Philosophy: The History of an Illusion–By Aaron Preston
    Philosophical Investigations 33 (2): 187-191. 2010.
  •  85
    This paper argues that mind-reading hypotheses, of any kind, are not needed to best describe or best explain basic acts of social cognition. It considers the two most popular MRHs: one-ToM and two-ToM theories. These MRHs face competition in the form of complementary behaviour reading hypotheses. Following Buckner, it is argued that the best strategy for putting CBRHs out of play is to appeal to theoretical considerations about the psychosemantics of basic acts of social cognition. In particular…Read more
  •  961
    Consciousness and Conceptual Schema
    In Paavo Pylkkanen & Tere Vaden (eds.), Dimensions of Conscious Experience, John Benjamins. pp. 15-43. 2001.
    There are two importantly different ways in which consciousness resists incorporation into our familiar object-based conceptual schema which, when analysed, help to explain why it is regarded as such a philosophically recalcitrant phenomena. One concerns the nonconceptual nature of basic forms of conscious experience, the other concerns the fact that attempts to understand the nature of such experience in an object-based schema, as is demanded by some forms of physicalism, is inappropriate. My c…Read more
  •  25
    Beyond Physicalism
    John Benjamins. 2000.
    Unlike standard attempts to address the so-called ‘hard problem’ of consciousness, which assume our understanding of consciousness is unproblematic, this book begins by focusing on phenomenology and is devoted to clarifying the relations between intentionality, propositional content and experience. In particular, it argues that the subjectivity of experience cannot be understood in representationalist terms. This is important, for it is because many philosophers fail to come to terms with subjec…Read more
  •  40
    Action understanding: How low can you go?
    Consciousness and Cognition 22 (3): 1142-1151. 2013.
  •  1025
    Bradleyian Metaphysics: A Healthy Scepticism
    Bradley Studies 4 (1): 82-96. 1998.
    Leemon McHenry has recently written an article which aims "to evaluate the plausibility of Bradley's conception of metaphysics" (McHenry, 1996, p. 159). In the process of this evaluation he draws an important distinction between two kinds of metaphysical project, which he labels "'pure' and 'naturalized' metaphysics" (McHenry, 1996, p. 159). In McHenry's terms, the pure metaphysician approaches his task by appeal to 'pure thinking' alone. Although he defines the method of pure metaphysicians as …Read more