University Of Oxford
  • University Of Oxford
    Faculty Of Philosophy
    Post-doctoral Fellow
Institut Jean Nicod
Department of Philosophy- CNRS
PhD, 2014
Areas of Interest
General Philosophy of Science
  •  31
    Concept Appraisal
    with Sapphira R. Thorne, Jake Quilty-Dunn, Nicholas Shea, and James A. Hampton
    Cognitive Science 45 (5). 2021.
    This paper reports the first empirical investigation of the hypothesis that epistemic appraisals form part of the structure of concepts. To date, studies of concepts have focused on the way concepts encode properties of objects and the way those features are used in categorization and in other cognitive tasks. Philosophical considerations show the importance of also considering how a thinker assesses the epistemic value of beliefs and other cognitive resources and, in particular, concepts. We de…Read more
  •  23
    Does empirical evidence support perceptual mindreading?
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (4): 298-306. 2020.
    According to perceptual accounts of mindreading, we can see, rather than cognize, other people's mental states. On one version of this approach, certain mental properties figure in the contents of our perceptual experiences. In a recent paper, Varga has appealed to empirical research to argue that intentions and emotions can indeed be seen, rather than cognized. In this paper, I argue that none of the evidence adduced to support the perceptual account of mindreading shows that we see mental prop…Read more
  •  12
    Représentation mentale (Version Académique)
    L'Encyclopédie Philosophique. 2020.
    En première approximation, on peut caractériser une « représentation mentale » comme une entité mentale avec des caractéristiques sémantiques : quand je crois que le chat est sur la table, mon état mental a un contenu représentationnel (il représente le chat comme étant sur la table) et des conditions de satisfaction (ou vérité) qui font que mon état représente correctement ce à propos de quoi est la représentation (ma croyance est vraie si le chat est effectivement sur la table, et fausse dans …Read more
  •  3
    Mentale Repräsentationen - Grundlagentexte
    with Tobias Schlicht and Joulia Smortchkova
    Suhrkamp. 2018.
    Der Begriff der mentalen Repräsentation spielt eine zentrale Rolle in Theorien über geistige Phänomene und Mechanismen der Informationsverarbeitung. Philosophen, Psychologen und Neurowissenschaftler diskutieren lebhaft darüber, wie es uns beziehungsweise unserem Gehirn gelingt, die Welt zu repräsentieren, und was mentale Repräsentationen genau sind. Der Band versammelt die zentralen Texte der Debatte – von Ned Block und Fred Dretske bis zu Jerry Fodor und Ruth Millikan – erstmals in deutscher Üb…Read more
  •  292
    Metacognitive Development and Conceptual Change in Children
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (4): 745-763. 2020.
    There has been little investigation to date of the way metacognition is involved in conceptual change. It has been recognised that analytic metacognition is important to the way older children acquire more sophisticated scientific and mathematical concepts at school. But there has been barely any examination of the role of metacognition in earlier stages of concept acquisition, at the ages that have been the major focus of the developmental psychology of concepts. The growing evidence that even …Read more
  •  191
    After-effects and the reach of perceptual content
    Synthese 198 (8): 7871-7890. 2020.
    In this paper, I discuss the use of after-effects as a criterion for showing that we can perceive high-level properties. According to this criterion, if a high-level property is susceptible to after-effects, this suggests that the property can be perceived, rather than cognized. The defenders of the criterion claim that, since after-effects are also present for low-level, uncontroversially perceptual properties, we can safely infer that high-level after-effects are perceptual as well. The critic…Read more
  •  152
    Representational Kinds
    In Joulia Smortchkova, Krzysztof Dolega & Tobias Schlicht (eds.), What are Mental Representations?. forthcoming.
    Many debates in philosophy focus on whether folk or scientific psychological notions pick out cognitive natural kinds. Examples include memory, emotions and concepts. A potentially interesting type of kind is: kinds of mental representations (as opposed, for example, to kinds of psychological faculties). In this chapter we outline a proposal for a theory of representational kinds in cognitive science. We argue that the explanatory role of representational kinds in scientific theories, in conjunc…Read more
  •  20
    From the “coding metaphor” to a theory of representation
    with Jonathan Birch
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42. 2019.
    Brette highlights a conceptual problem in contemporary neuroscience: Loose talk of “coding” sometimes leads to a conflation of the distinction between representing and merely detecting a property. The solution is to replace casual talk of “coding” with an explicit, demanding set of conditions for neural representation. Various theories of this general type can be found in the philosophical literature.
  •  5
    What Are Mental Representations?
    Oxford University Press. 2020.
    Mental representation is one of core theoretical constructs within cognitive science and, together with the introduction of the computer as a model for the mind, is responsible for enabling the ‘cognitive turn’ in psychology and associated fields. Conceiving of cognitive processes, such as perception, motor control, and reasoning, as processes that consist in the manipulation of contentful vehicles representing the world has allowed us to refine our explanations of behavior and has led to tremen…Read more
  •  519
    Seeing Goal-Directedness: A Case for Social Perception
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3): 855-879. 2020.
    This article focuses on social perception, an area of research that lies at the interface between the philosophy of perception and the scientific investigation of human social cognition. Some philosophers and psychologists appeal to resonance mechanisms to show that intentional and goal-directed actions can be perceived. Against these approaches, I show that there is a class of simple goal-directed actions, whose perception does not rely on resonance. I discuss the role of the superior temporal …Read more
  •  376
    Encapsulated social perception of emotional expressions
    Consciousness and Cognition 47 38-47. 2017.
    In this paper I argue that the detection of emotional expressions is, in its early stages, informationally encapsulated. I clarify and defend such a view via the appeal to data from social perception on the visual processing of faces, bodies, facial and bodily expressions. Encapsulated social perception might exist alongside processes that are cognitively penetrated, and that have to do with recognition and categorization, and play a central evolutionary function in preparing early and rapid res…Read more
  •  51
    Seeing emotions without mindreading them
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (3): 525-543. 2017.
    According to direct perception approaches we directly see others’ emotions, and by seeing emotions we immediately ascribe them to others. Direct perception is explicitly presented as an alternative account of mindreading, but it also contains an implicit thesis about the extent of the reach of perception. In this paper emotion perception is defended: siding with the direct perception approach I claim that we can simply see emotions and not just low level features of the facial and bodily display…Read more
  •  114
    Singular Thought: Object‐Files, Person‐Files, and the Sortal PERSON
    Topics in Cognitive Science 6 (4): 632-646. 2014.
    In philosophy, “singular thought” refers to our capacity to represent entities as individuals, rather than as possessors of properties. Philosophers who defend singularism argue that perception allows us to mentally latch onto objects and persons directly, without conceptualizing them as being of a certain sort. Singularists assume that singular thought forms a unified psychological kind, regardless of the nature of the individuals represented. Empirical findings on the special psychological rol…Read more
  •  258
    The Mental Files Theory of Singular Thought: A Psychological Perspective
    In Rachel Goodman, James Genone & Nick Kroll (eds.), Singular Thought and Mental Files, Oxford University Press. pp. 107-142. 2020.
    We argue that the most ambitious version of the mental files theory of singular thought, according to which mental files are a wide-ranging psychological natural kind underlying all and only singular thinking, is unsupported by the available psychological data. Nevertheless, critical examination of the theory from a psychological perspective opens up promising avenues for research, especially concerning the relationship between our perceptual capacity to individuate and track basic individuals, …Read more