•  28
    Intentionality Lite or Analog Content?
    with Jon Opie
    Philosophia 43 (3): 723-729. 2015.
    In their target article, Hutto and Satne eloquently articulate the failings of most current attempts to naturalize mental content. Furthermore, we think they are correct in their insistence that the only way forward is by drawing a distinction between two kinds of intentionality, one of which is considerably weaker than—and should be deployed to explain—the propositional variety most philosophers take for granted. The problem is that their own rendering of this weaker form of intentionality—cont…Read more
  •  6
    The connectionist vindication of folk psychology
    In Scott M. Christensen & Dale R. Turner (eds.), Folk Psychology and the Philosophy of Mind, L. Erlbaum. pp. 368--87. 1993.
  • Stich begins his paper "What is a Theory of Mental Representation?" (1992) by noting that while there is a dizzying range of theories of mental representation in today's philosophical market place, there is very little self-conscious reflection about what a theory of mental representation is supposed to do. This is quite remarkable, he thinks, because if we bother to engage in such reflection, some very surprising conclusions begin to emerge. The most surprising conclusion of all, according to S…Read more
  •  34
    Disunity defended: A reply to Bayne
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78 (2): 255-263. 2000.
    This Article does not have an abstract
  •  642
    Notes toward a structuralist theory of mental representation
    In Hugh Clapin, Phillip Staines & Peter Slezak (eds.), Representation in Mind: New Approaches to Mental Representation, Elsevier. pp. 1--20. 2004.
    Any creature that must move around in its environment to find nutrients and mates, in order to survive and reproduce, faces the problem of sensorimotor control. A solution to this problem requires an on-board control mechanism that can shape the creature’s behaviour so as to render it “appropriate” to the conditions that obtain. There are at least three ways in which such a control mechanism can work, and Nature has exploited them all. The first and most basic way is for a creature to bump into …Read more
  •  28
    Distinctions: Subpersonal and subconscious
    with Chris Mortensen and Belinda Paterson
    Psycoloquy. 1993.
    Puccetti argues that Dennett's views on split brains are defective. First, we criticise Puccetti's argument. Then we distinguish persons, minds, consciousnesses, selves and personalities. Then we introduce the concepts of part-persons and part-consciousnesses, and apply them to clarifying the situation. Finally, we criticise Dennett for some contribution to the confusion.
  •  28
    Sins of omission and commission
    with Jon Opie
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5): 997-998. 2001.
    O'Regan & Noë (O&N) fail to address adequately the two most historically important reasons for seeking to explain visual experience in terms of internal representations. They are silent about the apparently inferential nature of perception, and mistaken about the significance of the phenomenology accompanying dreams, hallucinations, and mental imagery.
  •  50
    Finding a place for experience in the physical-relational structure of the brain
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6): 966-967. 1999.
    In restricting his analysis to the causal relations of functionalism, on the one hand, and the neurophysiological realizers of biology, on the other, Palmer has overlooked an alternative conception of the relationship between color experience and the brain - one that liberalises the relation between mental phenomena and their physical implementation, without generating functionalism
  •  131
    Connectionism, analogicity and mental content
    Acta Analytica 22 (22): 111-31. 1989.
    In Connectionism and the Philosophy of Psychology, Horgan and Tienson (1996) argue that cognitive processes, pace classicism, are not governed by exceptionless, “representation-level” rules; they are instead the work of defeasible cognitive tendencies subserved by the non-linear dynamics of the brain’s neural networks. Many theorists are sympathetic with the dynamical characterisation of connectionism and the general (re)conception of cognition that it affords. But in all the excitement surround…Read more
  •  66
    Dienes & Perner offer us a theory of explicit and implicit knowledge that promises to systematise a large and diverse body of research in cognitive psychology. Their advertised strategy is to unpack this distinction in terms of explicit and implicit representation. But when one digs deeper one finds the “Higher-Order Thought” theory of consciousness doing much of the work. This reduces both the plausibility and usefulness of their account. We think their strategy is broadly correct, but that con…Read more
  •  179
    This commentry focuses on the one major ecumenical theme propounded in Andy Clark's Being There that I find difficult to accept; this is Clark’s advocacy, especially in the third and final part of the book, of the extended nature of the embedded, embodied mind
  •  15
    This issue brings together papers by Australasian philosophers on language, thought, and their relationship. Contributors were given complete freedom to treat these topics in any way they saw fit. The results reflect the diverse interests of Australasian philosophers, and, perhaps even more strikingly, the diversity of philosophical methods they employ to pursue these interests.
  •  32
    Defending the semantic conception of computation in cognitive science
    Journal of Cognitive Science 12 (4): 381-99. 2011.
    Cognitive science is founded on the conjecture that natural intelligence can be explained in terms of computation. Yet, notoriously, there is no consensus among philosophers of cognitive science as to how computation should be characterised. While there are subtle differences between the various accounts of computation found in the literature, the largest fracture exists between those that unpack computation in semantic terms (and hence view computation as the processing of representations) and …Read more
  •  23
    Chris Mortensen, Graham Nerlich, Garrett Cullity and Gerard O'Brien
  •  28
    The role of representation in computation
    with Jon Opie
    Cognitive Processing 10 (1): 53-62. 2009.
    Reformers urge that representation no longer earns its explanatory keep in cognitive science, and that it is time to discard this troublesome concept. In contrast, we hold that without representation cognitive science is utterly bereft of tools for explaining natural intelligence. In order to defend the latter position, we focus on the explanatory role of representation in computation. We examine how the methods of digital and analog computation are used to model a relatively simple target syste…Read more
  •  52
    The computational baby, the classical bathwater, and the middle way
    with Jon Opie
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (3): 348-349. 2002.
    We are sympathetic with the broad aims of Perruchet & Vinter's “mentalistic” framework. But it is implausible to claim, as they do, that human cognition can be understood without recourse to unconsciously represented information. In our view, this strategy forsakes the only available mechanistic understanding of intelligent behaviour. Our purpose here is to plot a course midway between the classical unconscious and Perruchet &Vinter's own noncomputational associationism.
  •  26
    Functional resemblance and the internalization of rules
    with Jon Opie
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (4): 695-696. 2001.
    Kubovy and Epstein distinguish between systems that follow rules, and those that merely instantiate them. They regard compliance with the principles of kinematic geometry in apparent motion as a case of instantiation. There is, however, some reason to believe that the human visual system internalizes the principles of kinematic geometry, even if it does not explicitly represent them. We offer functional resemblance as a criterion for internal representation. [Kubovy & Epstein].
  •  123
    Cognitive science and phenomenal consciousness: A dilemma, and how to avoid it
    with Jon Opie
    Philosophical Psychology 10 (3): 269-86. 1997.
    When it comes to applying computational theory to the problem of phenomenal consciousness, cognitive scientists appear to face a dilemma. The only strategy that seems to be available is one that explains consciousness in terms of special kinds of computational processes. But such theories, while they dominate the field, have counter-intuitive consequences; in particular, they force one to accept that phenomenal experience is composed of information processing effects. For cognitive scientists, t…Read more
  •  241
    A connectionist theory of phenomenal experience
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (1): 127-148. 1999.
    When cognitive scientists apply computational theory to the problem of phenomenal consciousness, as many of them have been doing recently, there are two fundamentally distinct approaches available. Either consciousness is to be explained in terms of the nature of the representational vehicles the brain deploys; or it is to be explained in terms of the computational processes defined over these vehicles. We call versions of these two approaches _vehicle_ and _process_ theories of consciousness, r…Read more
  •  85
    The multiplicity of consciousness and the emergence of the self
    In A. S. David & T. T. J. Kircher (eds.), The Self and Schizophrenia: A Neuropsychological Perspective, Cambridge University Press. pp. 107-120. 2003.
    One of the most striking manifestations of schizophrenia is thought insertion. People suffering from this delusion believe they are not the author of thoughts which they nevertheless own as experiences. It seems that a person’s sense of agency and their sense of the boundary between mind and world can come apart. Schizophrenia thus vividly demonstrates that self awareness is a complex construction of the brain. This point is widely appreciated. What is not so widely appreciated is how radically …Read more
  •  143
    Putting content into a vehicle theory of consciousness
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (1): 175-196. 1999.
    The connectionist vehicle theory of phenomenal experience in the target article identifies consciousness with the brain’s explicit representation of information in the form of stable patterns of neural activity. Commentators raise concerns about both the conceptual and empirical adequacy of this proposal. On the former front they worry about our reliance on vehicles, on representation, on stable patterns of activity, and on our identity claim. On the latter front their concerns range from the ge…Read more
  •  65
    Dispensing with the dynamic unconscious
    with Jon Jureidini
    Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 9 (2): 141-153. 2002.
    In recent years, a number of contemporary proponents of psychoanalysis have sought to derive support for their conjectures about the _dynamic_ unconscious from the empirical evidence in favor of the _cognitive_ unconscious. It is our contention, however, that far from supporting the dynamic unconscious, recent work in cognitive science suggests that the time has come to dispense with this concept altogether. In this paper we defend this claim in two ways. First, we argue that any attempt to shor…Read more
  •  40
    A conflation of folk psychologies
    Prospects for Intentionality Working Papers in Philosophy 3 42-51. 1993.
    Stich begins his paper "What is a Theory of Mental Representation?" by noting that while there is a dizzying range of theories of mental representation in today's philosophical market place, there is very little self-conscious reflection about what a theory of mental representation is supposed to do. This is quite remarkable, he thinks, because if we bother to engage in such reflection, some very surprising conclusions begin to emerge. The most surprising conclusion of all, according to Stich, i…Read more
  •  15
    Vehicles of consciousness
    with Jon Opie
    In Tim Bayne, Axel Cleeremans & Patrick Wilken (eds.), The Oxford Companion to Consciousness, Oxford University Press. 2009.
  •  149
    The disunity of consciousness
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (3): 378-95. 1998.
    It is commonplace for both philosophers and cognitive scientists to express their allegiance to the "unity of consciousness". This is the claim that a subject’s phenomenal consciousness, at any one moment in time, is a single thing. This view has had a major influence on computational theories of consciousness. In particular, what we call single-track theories dominate the literature, theories which contend that our conscious experience is the result of a single consciousness-making process or m…Read more
  •  40
    Internalizing communication
    with Jon Opie
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (6): 694-695. 2002.
    Carruthers presents evidence concerning the cross-modular integration of information in human subjects which appears to support the “cognitive conception of language.” According to this conception, language is not just a means of communication, but also a representational medium of thought. However, Carruthers overlooks the possibility that language, in both its communicative and cognitive roles, is a nonrepresentational system of conventional signals – that words are not a medium we think in, b…Read more
  •  76
    Connectionist vehicles, structural resemblance, and the phenomenal mind
    Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal 34 (1-2): 13-38. 2001.
    We think the best prospect for a naturalistic explanation of phenomenal consciousness is to be found at the confluence of two influential ideas about the mind. The first is the _computational _ _theory of mind_: the theory that treats human cognitive processes as disciplined operations over neurally realised representing vehicles.1 The second is the _representationalist theory of _ _consciousness_: the theory that takes the phenomenal character of conscious experiences (the “what-it-is-likeness”…Read more