•  1859
    Artificial Intelligence is at a turning point, with a substantial increase in projects aiming to implement sophisticated forms of human intelligence in machines. This research attempts to model specific forms of intelligence through brute-force search heuristics and also reproduce features of human perception and cognition, including emotions. Such goals have implications for artificial consciousness, with some arguing that it will be achievable once we overcome short-term engineering challenges…Read more
  •  1409
    On the evolution of conscious attention
    Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 22 (3): 595-613. 2015.
    This paper aims to clarify the relationship between consciousness and attention through theoretical considerations about evolution. Specifically, we will argue that the empirical findings on attention and the basic considerations concerning the evolution of the different forms of attention demonstrate that consciousness and attention must be dissociated regardless of which definition of these terms one uses. To the best of our knowledge, no extant view on the relationship between consciousness a…Read more
  •  721
    Review of Space, Time, and Number in the Brain (review)
    Mathematical Intelligencer 37 (2): 93-98. 2015.
    Albert Einstein once made the following remark about "the world of our sense experiences": "the fact that it is comprehensible is a miracle." (1936, p. 351) A few decades later, another physicist, Eugene Wigner, wondered about the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences, concluding his classic article thus: "the miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor des…Read more
  •  576
    Inferential Abilities and Common Epistemic Goods
    Naturalizing Epistemic Virtue (CUP). 2013.
    While the situationist challenge has been prominent in philosophical literature in ethics for over a decade, only recently has it been extended to virtue epistemology . Alfano argues that virtue epistemology is shown to be empirically inadequate in light of a wide range of results in social psychology, essentially succumbing to the same argument as virtue ethics. We argue that this meeting of the twain between virtue epistemology and social psychology in no way signals the end of virtue episte…Read more
  •  527
    The main thesis of this paper is that two prevailing theories about cognitive penetration are too extreme, namely, the view that cognitive penetration is pervasive and the view that there is a sharp and fundamental distinction between cognition and perception, which precludes any type of cognitive penetration. These opposite views have clear merits and empirical support. To eliminate this puzzling situation, we present an alternative theoretical approach that incorporates the merits of these vie…Read more
  •  452
    Contextuality in the Integrated Information Theory
    with J. Acacio de Barros and Leonardo De Assis
    In J. A. de Barros, B. Coecke & E. Pothos (eds.), Lecture Notes on Computer Science, . forthcoming.
    Integrated Information Theory (IIT) is one of the most influential theories of consciousness, mainly due to its claim of mathematically formalizing consciousness in a measurable way. However, the theory, as it is formulated, does not account for contextual observations that are crucial for understanding consciousness. Here we put forth three possible difficulties for its current version, which could be interpreted as a trilemma. Either consciousness is contextual or not. If contextual, either II…Read more
  •  234
    Early and Late Time Perception: on the Narrow Scope of the Whorfian Hypothesis
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (1): 133-154. 2019.
    The Whorfian hypothesis has received support from recent findings in psychology, linguistics, and anthropology. This evidence has been interpreted as supporting the view that language modulates all stages of perception and cognition, in accordance with Whorf’s original proposal. In light of a much broader body of evidence on time perception, I propose to evaluate these findings with respect to their scope. When assessed collectively, the entire body of evidence on time perception shows that the …Read more
  •  222
    Conceptual knowledge: Grounded in sensorimotor states, or a disembodied deus ex machina?
    with Ezequiel Morsella, Jason Hubbard, and Pareezad Zarolia
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (6): 455-456. 2010.
    If embodied models no longer address the symbol grounding problem and a conceptual system can step in and resolve categorizations when embodied simulations fail, then perhaps the next step in theory-building is to isolate the unique contributions of embodied simulation. What is a disembodied conceptual system incapable of doing with respect to semantic processing or the categorization of smiles?
  •  222
    “Epistemic Dexterity: A Ramseyian Account of Epistemic Virtue” by Abrol Fairweather & Carlos Montemayor: A modification of F.P. Ramsey’s success semantics supports a naturalized theory of epistemic virtue that includes motivational components and can potentially explain both epistemic reliability and responsibility with a single normative-explanatory principle. An “epistemic Ramsey success” will also provide a better account of the “because of” condition central to virtue-reliabilist accounts of…Read more
  •  174
    Lane et al. propose an integrative model for the reconsolidation of traces in their timely and impressive article. This commentary draws attention to tradeoffs between accuracy and self-narrative integrity in the model. The tradeoffs concern the sense of agency in memory and its role in both implicit and explicit memory reconsolidation, rather than balances concerning degrees of emotional arousal.
  •  164
    The relationship between attention and consciousness is one that is crucial for understanding perception and different types of conscious experience, and we commend this analysis of the topic by Pitts, Lutsyshyna, and Hillyard (2018). We have also examined this relationship closely (e.g., Montemayor & Haladjian, 2015) and would like to point out a few potential contradictions in the Pitts et al. paper that require clarification, particularly in the attempt to reconcile aspects of recurrent proc…Read more
  •  107
    Consciousness and Memory: A Transactional Approach
    Essays in Philosophy 19 (2): 231-252. 2018.
    The prevailing view about our memory skills is that they serve a complex epistemic function. I shall call this the “monistic view.” Instead of a monistic, exclusively epistemic approach, I propose a transactional view. On this approach, autobiographical memory is irreducible to the epistemic functions of episodic memory because of its essentially moral and empathic character. I argue that this transactional view provides a more plausible and integral account of memory capac…Read more
  •  68
    We’ve seen a significant increase in the attention AI research is receiving this past decade, in large part due to some of the impressive feats of machine learning, particularly deep learning. This has resulted in something of a hype in the ability of AI’s in tackling various issues. The aim of the current essay is to examine the speculative questions “what would it mean for systems to transition from merely intelligently executing a task to knowledgably executing a task?” and “what is the relat…Read more
  •  61
    We present an account of the evolutionary development of the experiences of empathy that marked the beginning of morality and art. We argue that aesthetic and moral capacities provided an important foundation for later epistemic developments. The distinction between phenomenal consciousness and attention is discussed, and a role for phenomenology in cognitive archeology is justified-critical sources of evidence used in our analysis are based on the archeological record. We claim that what made o…Read more
  •  59
    Compositionality in language and arithmetic
    with Fuat Balci
    Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 27 (1): 53-72. 2007.
    The lack of conceptual analysis within cognitive science results in multiple models of the same phenomena. However, these models incorporate assumptions that contradict basic structural features of the domain they are describing. This is particularly true about the domain of mathematical cognition. In this paper we argue that foundational theoretic aspects of psychological models for language and arithmetic should be clarified before postulating such models. We propose a means to clarify these f…Read more
  •  55
    In this book, Carlos Montemayor and Harry Haladjian consider the relationship between consciousness and attention. The cognitive mechanism of attention has often been compared to consciousness, because attention and consciousness appear to share similar qualities. But, Montemayor and Haladjian point out, attention is defined functionally, whereas consciousness is generally defined in terms of its phenomenal character without a clear functional purpose. They offer new insights and proposals about…Read more
  •  29
    This dissertation offers new proposals, based on a philosophical appraisal of scientific findings, to address old philosophical problems regarding our immediate acquaintance with time. It focuses on two topics: our capacity to determine the length of intervals and our acquaintance with the present moment. A review of the relevant scientific findings concerning these topics grounds the main contributions of this dissertation. Thus, this study introduces to the philosophical literature an empirica…Read more
  •  27
    Minding Time: A Philosophical and Theoretical Approach to the Psychology of Time offers an innovative philosophical account of the most fundamental kinds of time representation.
  •  26
    Language and Intelligence
    Minds and Machines 1-16. forthcoming.
    This paper explores aspects of GPT-3 that have been discussed as harbingers of artificial general intelligence and, in particular, linguistic intelligence. After introducing key features of GPT-3 and assessing its performance in the light of the conversational standards set by Alan Turing in his seminal paper from 1950, the paper elucidates the difference between clever automation and genuine linguistic intelligence. A central theme of this discussion on genuine conversational intelligence is th…Read more
  •  24
    Implementation, Formalization, and Representation: Challenges for Integrated Information Theory
    with J. A. de Barros and L. P. G. De Assis
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (1-2): 107-132. 2019.
    Any theory of information needs to comply with what we call the implementation, formalization, and representation constraints. These constraints are justified by basic considerations concerning scientific modelling and methodology. In the first part of this paper, we argue that the implementation and formalization constraints cannot be satisfied because the relation between Shannon information and IIT must be clarified. In the second part of the paper, we focus on the representation constraint. …Read more
  •  19
    From Physical Time to a Dualistic Model of Human Time
    with Ronald P. Gruber and Richard A. Block
    Foundations of Science 25 (4): 927-954. 2020.
    There is a long standing debate as to whether or not time is ‘real’ or illusory, and whether or not human time is a direct reflection of physical time. Differing spacetime cosmologies have opposing views. Exactly what human time entails has, in our opinion, led to the failure to resolve this ‘two times’ problem. To help resolve this issue we propose a dualistic model of human time in which each component has both an illusory and non-illusory aspect. With the dualistic model we are able to provid…Read more
  •  17
    This edited volume examines aspects of the mind/consciousness that are relevant to the interpretations of quantum mechanics. In it, an international group of contributors focus on the possible connections between quantum mechanics and consciousness. They look at how consciousness can help us with quantum mechanics as well as how quantum mechanics can contribute to our understanding of consciousness. For example, what do different interpretations aimed at solving the measurement problem in quantu…Read more
  •  17
    A central claim in Luiz Pessoa’s (2013) book is that the terms “emotion” and “cognition” can be useful in characterizing behaviors but will not be cleanly mapped into brain regions. In order to be verified, this claim requires models for the integration and interfacing of emotion and cognition; yet, such models remain problematic.
  •  13
    Time: Biological, intentional and cultural
    In Jo Alyson Parker, Paul Harris & Christian Steineck (eds.), Time: Limits and Constraints, Brill. pp. 13--39. 2010.
    In this paper, I propose that time representation should be classified as agent dependent motor-intentional, agent dependent conceptual and agent independent conceptual. I employ this classification to explain certain features of psychological and cultural time and discuss how biological time constrains such features. The paper argues that motor-intentional time is a crucial psychophysical link that bridges the gap between purely biochemical cycles and conceptual-intentional representations of t…Read more
  •  13
    Measurements and Knowledge
    Cosmos and History 11 (2): 201-204. 2015.
    This paper discusses the importance of scientifically informed philosophy and philosophically informed science for improving extant approaches to the study of the mind, and in particular, of conscious awareness. By using the work of Patrick Suppes as an illustration, the paper shows that a balance between science and philosophy is needed not only to produce new insights, but also to prevent dogmatism
  •  11
    In principle obstacles for empathic AI: why we can’t replace human empathy in healthcare
    with Jodi Halpern and Abrol Fairweather
    AI and Society 1-7. forthcoming.
    What are the limits of the use of artificial intelligence in the relational aspects of medical and nursing care? There has been a lot of recent work and applications showing the promise and efficiency of AI in clinical medicine, both at the research and treatment levels. Many of the obstacles discussed in the literature are technical in character, regarding how to improve and optimize current practices in clinical medicine and also how to develop better data bases for optimal parameter adjustmen…Read more
  •  8
    The Problem of the Base and the Nature of Information
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (9-10): 91-102. 2017.
    I present three problems regarding the Problem of the Base. They concern the nature of information, the kind of Platonism that physicalists allegedly confront, and the constraints imposed by causal principles. These problems focus on the notion of information and its relation to the Problem of the Base. I also highlight the importance of Schneider's paper, particularly its relevance for future debates.
  •  5
    On the human uniqueness of the temporal reasoning system
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42. 2019.
    A central claim by Hoerl & McCormack is that the temporal reasoning system is uniquely human. But why exactly? This commentary evaluates two possible options to justify the thesis that temporal reasoning is uniquely human, one based on considerations regarding agency and the other based on language. The commentary raises problems for both of these options.
  •  3
    This commentary focuses on the importance of attention skills in the development of universal associative learning, and it explains why the centrality of attention in UAL presents a considerable difficulty for the UAL approach. Attentional abilities are not just developmentally related to UAL but are in fact explanatory of UAL. The main problem is that all the types of attention involved in UAL can be dissociated from consciousness. This means that while attention skills for UAL might be necessa…Read more