•  15
    Sophisticated AI's will make decisions about how to respond to complex situations, and we may wonder whether those decisions will align with the moral values of human beings. I argue that pessimistic worries about this value alignment problem are overstated. In order to achieve intelligence in its full generality and adaptiveness, cognition in AI's will need to be embodied in the sense of the Embodied Cognition research program. That embodiment will yield AI's that share our moral foundations, n…Read more
  •  1
  •  83
    Is There a Reason for Skepticism?
    In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Harry S. Silverstein (eds.), Knowledge and Skepticism, Mit Press. pp. 287. 2010.
  •  365
    Simulation theory
    with Robert M. Gordon
    In L. Nagel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science, Nature Publishing Group. 2002.
    What is the simulation theory? Arguments for simulation theory Simulation theory versus theory theory Simulation theory and cognitive science Versions of simulation theory A possible test of the simulation theory.
  •  33
    Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of minds and intelligent behavior in human beings and animals. The challenge of integrating a study of the mind with a scientific world view has only recently attracted sustained effort. In this course, we will examine the various scientific methodologies that have been brought to bear to uncover the nature of the mind. We will critically assess the data and theoretical results that define contemporary cognitive science. Beyond the results of expe…Read more
  •  99
    Foundationalists and coherentists disagree over the structure of the part of the mental state corpus that is relevant for epistemic achievement (Bonjour, 1999; Dancy, 1989; Haack, 1993; Sosa, 1980; Pollock and Cruz, 1999). Given the goals of a theory of epistemic justification and the trajectory of the debate over the last three decades, it is not difficult to see how structural questions possess a kind of immediacy. In order to undertake an epistemic evaluation of a belief, one intuitive and ap…Read more
  •  69
    Mindreading: Mental state ascription and cognitive architecture
    Mind and Language 13 (3): 323-340. 1998.
    The debate between the theory-theory and simulation has largely ignored issues of cognitive architecture. In the philosophy of psychology, cognition as symbol manipulation is the orthodoxy. The challenge from connectionism, however, has attracted vigorous and renewed interest. In this paper I adopt connectionism as the antecedent of a conditional: If connectionism is the correct account of cognitive architecture, then the simulation theory should be preferred over the theory-theory. I use both d…Read more
  •  63
    Let me begin by signaling my enthusiasm both for the specific case offered by Cummins et al. against teleosemantics and for the overall framework from which this work derives. If the first approximation of the idea is that there will be material implicit in a representation that can be exploited by a cognitive agent that later acquires the right abilities to extract this material, and if this material looks a great deal like content, then the teleosemanticist will find accommodating it challengi…Read more
  •  34
    Parsimony and the triple-system model of concepts
    with Safa Zaki
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3): 230-231. 2010.
    Machery's dismissive position on parsimony requires that we examine especially carefully the data he provides as evidence for his complex triple-system account. We use the prototype-exemplar debate as an example of empirical findings which may not, in fact, support a multiple-systems account. We discuss the importance of considering complexity in scientific theory
  •  33
    Let me begin with the standard apology and expression of regret for not being able to comment on all of the intriguing and illuminating themes in Professor Churchland’s paper. I should at least note, though, my enthusiasm for his suggestive discussion of the complexity of all concepts, for his detailed portrayal of the resources of neural network models, and for his attempt to deflate our Cartesian pretensions by focusing on the commonality between human and infrahuman cognition. I restrict my d…Read more
  •  36
    I find myself ambivalent with respect to the line of argument that Schonbein offers. I certainly want to acknowledge and emphasize at the outset that Schonbein’s discussion has brought to the fore a number of central, compelling and intriguing issues regarding the nature of the dynamical approach to cognition. Though there is much that seems right in this essay, perhaps my view is that the paper invites more questions than it answers. My remarks here then are in the spirit of scouting some of th…Read more
  •  38
    In one of the more compelling introductions to philosophy, Bertrand Russell begins with this question: “Is there any knowledge in the world that is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it?” (Presumably he means to include women.) “So certain that no reasonable man could doubt it.” And it’s a good question to begin an introduction to philosophy with, because so often, philosophy is in the mode of skepticism, so often it’s in the mode of offering a critical assessment of conventional wisd…Read more
  •  74
    Simulation and the psychology of sociopathy
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (3): 525-527. 1997.
    Mealey's (1995a) psychological explanation of the sociopath's antisocial activity appeals to an incomplete or nonstandard theory of mind. This is not the only possible mechanism of mental state attribution. The simulation theory of mental state ascription offers a better hope of explaining the diverse elements of sociopathy reported by Mealey
  •  80
    Let me begin by saying that I am sympathetic to the simulation theory, especially where it is conceived of as a crucial and central addition alongside the theory-theory as the explanation of our capacity to attribute mental states, rather than as an exclusive and exhaustive account by itself.1 I part company with Professor Stueber, however, in that I view the recent simulation theory/theory- theory controversy as subject to resolution primarily through empirical findings. Still, it cannot be den…Read more
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  •  121
    The Chimerical Appeal of Epistemic Externalism
    with John Pollock
    In Richard Schantz (ed.), The Externalist Challenge, De Gruyter. pp. 125--42. 2004.
    Internalism in epistemology is the view that all the factors relevant to the justification of a belief are importantly internal to the believer, while externalism is the view that at least some of those factors are external. This extremely modest first approximation cries out for refinement (which we undertake below), but is enough to orient us in the right direction, namely that the debate between internalism and externalism is bound up with the controversy over the correct account of the disti…Read more
  •  23
    My first plea has to do with the adequacy of this approach for the diverse purposes that philosophers set out for conceptual analysis. It is unclear what to make of concepts that do not lend themselves to obvious analysis in terms of the sorts of benefits that motivate Fisher’s intuitive cases. Some of the central concepts of philosophy — just the ones that where conceptual analysis ought to be most at home — like Knowledge or Person or Just State are not ones where the benefit of determining wh…Read more