•  385
    Multiple realizations
    Journal of Philosophy 97 (12): 635-654. 2000.
  •  378
    Understanding the Dimensions of Realization
    Journal of Philosophy 105 (4): 213-222. 2008.
    Carl Gillett has defended what he calls the “dimensioned” view of the realization relation, which he contrasts with the traditional “flat” view of realization (2003, 2007; see also Gillett 2002). Intuitively, the dimensioned approach characterizes realization in terms of composition whereas the flat approach views realization in terms of occupiers of functional roles. Elsewhere we have argued that the general view of realization and multiple realization that Gillett advances is not able to disch…Read more
  •  304
    Embodied Cognition
    Routledge. 2010.
    Embodied cognition often challenges standard cognitive science. In this outstanding introduction, Lawrence Shapiro sets out the central themes and debates surrounding embodied cognition, explaining and assessing the work of many of the key figures in the field, including George Lakoff, Alva Noë, Andy Clark, and Arthur Glenberg. Beginning with an outline of the theoretical and methodological commitments of standard cognitive science, Shapiro then examines philosophical and empirical arguments sur…Read more
  •  276
    Epiphenomenalism - the do's and the don 'ts'
    In G. Wolters & Peter K. Machamer (eds.), Studies in Causality: Historical and Contemporary, University of Pittsburgh Press. 2007.
    When philosophers defend epiphenomenalist doctrines, they often do so by way of a priori arguments. Here we suggest an empirical approach that is modeled on August Weismann
  •  257
    Embodied Cognition and Sport
    In Massimiliano Cappuccio (ed.), Handbook of Embodied Cognition and Sport Psychology, Mit Press. forthcoming.
    Successful athletic performance requires precision in many respects. A batter stands behind home plate awaiting the arrival of a ball that is less than three inches in diameter and moving close to 100 mph. His goal is to hit it with a ba­­t that is also less than three inches in diameter. This impressive feat requires extraordinary temporal and spatial coordination. The sweet spot of the bat must be at the same place, at the same time, as the ball. A basketball player must keep a ball bouncing a…Read more
  •  182
    Evolutionary theory meets cognitive psychology: A more selective perspective
    with William Epstein
    Mind and Language 13 (2): 171-94. 1998.
    Quite unexpectedly, cognitive psychologists find their field intimately connected to a whole new intellectual landscape that had previously seemed remote, unfamiliar, and all but irrelevant. Yet the proliferating connections tying together the cognitive and evolutionary communities promise to transform both fields, with each supplying necessary principles, methods, and a species of rigor that the other lacks. (Cosmides and Tooby, 1994, p. 85)
  •  165
    The Mind Incarnate
    MIT Press. 2004.
    Shapiro tests these hypotheses against two rivals, the mental constraint thesis and the embodied mind thesis. Collecting evidence from a variety of sources (e.g., neuroscience, evolutionary theory, and embodied cognition) he concludes that the multiple realizability thesis, accepted by most philosophers as a virtual truism, is much less obvious than commonly assumed, and that there is even stronger reason to give up the separability thesis. In contrast to views of mind that tempt us to see the m…Read more
  •  157
    Making sense of mirror neurons
    Synthese 167 (3). 2009.
    The discovery of mirror neurons has been hailed as one of the most exciting developments in neuroscience in the past few decades. These neurons discharge in response to the observation of others’ actions. But how are we to understand the function of these neurons? In this paper I defend the idea that mirror neurons are best conceived as components of a sensory system that has the function to perceive action. In short, mirror neurons are part of a hitherto unrecognized “sixth sense”. In this spir…Read more
  •  157
    Against proportionality
    with E. Sober
    Analysis 72 (1): 89-93. 2012.
    A statement of the form ‘C caused E’ obeys the requirement of proportionality precisely when C says no more than what is necessary to bring about E. The thesis that causal statements must obey this requirement might be given a semantic or a pragmatic justification. We use the idea that causal claims are contrastive to criticize both
  •  138
    How to test for multiple realization
    Philosophy of Science 75 (5): 514-525. 2008.
    When conceived as an empirical claim, it is natural to wonder how one might test the hypothesis of multiple realization. I consider general issues of testability, show how they apply specifically to the hypothesis of multiple realization, and propose an auxiliary assumption that, I argue, must be conjoined to the hypothesis of multiple realization to ensure its testability. I argue further that Bechtel and Mundale go astray because they fail to appreciate the need for this auxiliary assumption. …Read more
  •  112
    Junk representations
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3): 345-361. 1997.
    Many philosophers and psychologists who approach the issue of representation from a computational or measurement theoretical perspective end up having to deny the possibility of junk representations?representations present in an organism's head but that enter into no psychological processes or produce no behaviour. However, I argue, a more functional perspective makes the possibility of junk representations intuitively quite plausible?so much so that we may wish to question those views of repres…Read more
  •  111
    Andy Clark's Supersizing the Mind begins as a manifesto in which the components of an embodied theory of mind are carefully moved into place, proceeds to a defense of these components from recent critical attacks, and ends with words of caution to those who would seek to extract too much from the embodied perspective. Readers unfamiliar with Clark's earlier works are likely to find the result dazzling -- an exciting, novel, and coherent conception of the mind that dares one to abandon nearly eve…Read more
  •  100
    Mechanism or Bust? Explanation in Psychology
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (4): 1037-1059. 2017.
    ABSTRACT Proponents of mechanistic explanation have recently suggested that all explanation in the cognitive sciences is mechanistic, even functional explanation. This last claim is surprising, for functional explanation has traditionally been conceived as autonomous from the structural details that mechanistic explanations emphasize. I argue that functional explanation remains autonomous from mechanistic explanation, but not for reasons commonly associated with the phenomenon of multiple realiz…Read more
  •  97
    The nature of nature: Rethinking naturalistic theories of intentionality
    Philosophical Psychology 10 (3): 309-322. 1997.
    While there is controversy over which of several naturalistic theories of the mental is most plausible, there is consensus regarding the desideratum of a naturalistically respectable theory. A naturalistic theory of the mental, it is agreed, must explicate representation in nonintentional terms. I argue that this constraint does not get at the heart of what it is to be natural. On the one hand, it fails to provide us with a meaningful distinction between the natural and the unnatural. On the oth…Read more
  •  92
    A review of Frederick Adams and Kenneth Aizawa, the Bounds of cognition (review)
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (2): 267-273. 2009.
    In The Bounds of Cognition, Fred Adams and Kenneth Aizawa treat the arguments for extended cognition to withering criticism. I summarize their main arguments and focus special attention on their distinction between the extended cognitive system hypothesis and the extended cognition hypothesis, as well as on their demand for a mark of the mental
  •  90
    Dynamics and Cognition
    Minds and Machines 23 (3): 353-375. 2013.
    Many who advocate dynamical systems approaches to cognitive science believe themselves committed to the thesis of extended cognition and to the rejection of representation. I argue that this belief is false. In part, this misapprehension rests on a warrantless re-conception of cognition as intelligent behavior. In part also, it rests on thinking that conceptual issues can be resolved empirically. Once these issues are sorted out, the way is cleared for a dynamical systems approach to cognition t…Read more
  •  85
    Can psychology be a unified science?
    Philosophy of Science 72 (5): 953-963. 2005.
    Jaegwon Kim has argued that if psychological kinds are multiply realizable then no single psychological theory can describe regularities ranging over psychological states. Instead, psychology must be fractured, with human psychology covering states realized in the human way, martian psychology covering states realized in the martian way, and so on. I show that even if one accepts the principles that motivate Kim.
  •  84
    Prediction and accommodation in evolutionary psychology
    with M. Forster
    Psychological Inquiry 11 31-33. 2000.
    Ketelaar and Ellis have provided a remarkably clear and succinct statement of Lakatosian philosophy of science and have also argued compellingly that the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution fills the Lakatosian criteria of progressivity. We find ourselves in agreement with much of what Ketelaar and Ellis say about Lakatosian philosophy of science, but have some questions about (1) the place of evolutionary psychology in a Lakatosian framework, and (2) the extent to which evolutionary psychology tr…Read more
  •  82
    Mental Manipulations and the Problem of Causal Exclusion
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3). 2012.
    Christian List and Peter Menzies 2009 have looked to interventionist theories of causation for an answer to Jaegwon Kim's causal exclusion problem. Important to their response is the idea of realization-insensitivity. However, this idea becomes mired in issues concerning multiple realization, leaving it unable to fulfil its promise to block exclusion. After explaining why realization-insensitivity fails as a solution to Kim's problem, I look to interventionism to describe a different kind of sol…Read more
  •  78
    Lessons from Causal Exclusion
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3): 594-604. 2010.
    Jaegwon Kim’s causal exclusion argument has rarely been evaluated from an empirical perspective. This is puzzling because its conclusion seems to be making a testable claim about the world: supervenient properties are causally inefficacious. An empirical perspective, however, reveals Kim’s argument to rest on a mistaken conception about how to test whether a property is causally efficacious. Moreover, the empirical perspective makes visible a metaphysical bias that Kim brings to his argument tha…Read more
  •  73
    Evolution Without Adaptation?
    with Robert Richardson
    Metascience 18 (2): 319-323. 2009.
  •  70
    Unifying traditional cognitive science is the idea that thinking is a process of symbol manipulation, where symbols lead both a syntactic and a semantic life. The syntax of a symbol comprises those properties in virtue of which the symbol undergoes rule-dictated transformations. The semantics of a symbol constitute the symbolsÕ meaning or representational content. Thought consists in the syntactically determined manipulation of symbols, but in a way that respects their semantics. Thus, for insta…Read more
  •  70
    Identity, variability, and multiple realization in the special sciences
    with Thomas W. Polger
    In Hill Christopher & Gozzano Simone (eds.), New Perspectives on Type Identity: The Mental and the Physical, Cambridge University Press. pp. 264. 2012.
    Issues of identity and reduction have monopolized much of the philosopher of mind’s time over the past several decades. Interestingly, while investigations of these topics have proceeded at a steady rate, the motivations for doing so have shifted. When the early identity theorists, e.g. U. T. Place ( 1956 ), Herbert Feigl ( 1958 ), and J. J. C. Smart ( 1959 , 1961 ), fi rst gave voice to the idea that mental events might be identical to brain processes, they had as their intended foil the view t…Read more
  •  65
    A clearer vision
    Philosophy of Science 64 (1): 131-53. 1997.
    Frances Egan argues that the states of computational theories of vision are individuated individualistically and, as far as the theory is concerned, are not intentional. Her argument depends on equating the goals and explanatory strategies of computational psychology with those of its algorithmic level. However, closer inspection of computational psychology reveals that the computational level plays an essential role in explaining visual processes and that explanations at this level are nonindiv…Read more
  •  59
    Embodied Cognition: Lessons from Linguistic Determinism
    Philosophical Topics 39 (1): 121-140. 2011.
    A line of research within embodied cognition seeks to show that an organism’s body is a determinant of its conceptual capacities. Comparison of this claim of body determinism to linguistic determinism bears interesting results. Just as Slobin’s (1996) idea of thinking for speaking challenges the main thesis of linguistic determinism, so too the possibility of thinking for acting raises difficulties for the proponent of body determinism. However, recent studies suggest that the body may, after al…Read more
  •  58
    (No abstract is available for this citation)