•  1105
    Pretense, imagination, and belief: the Single Attitude theory
    Philosophical Studies 159 (2): 155-179. 2012.
    A popular view has it that the mental representations underlying human pretense are not beliefs, but are “belief-like” in important ways. This view typically posits a distinctive cognitive attitude (a “DCA”) called “imagination” that is taken toward the propositions entertained during pretense, along with correspondingly distinct elements of cognitive architecture. This paper argues that the characteristics of pretense motivating such views of imagination can be explained without positing a DC…Read more
  •  660
    A puzzle about visualization
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 10 (2): 145-173. 2011.
    Visual imagination (or visualization) is peculiar in being both free, in that what we imagine is up to us, and useful to a wide variety of practical reasoning tasks. How can we rely upon our visualizations in practical reasoning if what we imagine is subject to our whims? The key to answering this puzzle, I argue, is to provide an account of what constrains the sequence in which the representations featured in visualization unfold—an account that is consistent with its freedom. Three different p…Read more
  •  579
    Inner Speech and Metacognition: In Search of a Connection
    Mind and Language 29 (5): 511-533. 2014.
    Many theorists claim that inner speech is importantly linked to human metacognition (thinking about one's own thinking). However, their proposals all rely upon unworkable conceptions of the content and structure of inner speech episodes. The core problem is that they require inner speech episodes to have both auditory-phonological contents and propositional/semantic content. Difficulties for the views emerge when we look closely at how such contents might be integrated into one or more states or…Read more
  •  555
    Imaginative Attitudes
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3): 664-686. 2015.
    The point of this paper is to reveal a dogma in the ordinary conception of sensory imagination, and to suggest another way forward. The dogma springs from two main sources: a too close comparison of mental imagery to perceptual experience, and a too strong division between mental imagery and the traditional propositional attitudes (such as belief and desire). The result is an unworkable conception of the correctness conditions of sensory imaginings—one lacking any link between the conditions und…Read more
  •  530
    Self-knowledge and imagination
    Philosophical Explorations 18 (2): 226-245. 2015.
    How do we know when we have imagined something? How do we distinguish our imaginings from other kinds of mental states we might have? These questions present serious, if often overlooked, challenges for theories of introspection and self-knowledge. This paper looks specifically at the difficulties imagination creates for Neo-Expressivist, outward-looking, and inner sense theories of self-knowledge. A path forward is then charted, by considering the connection between the kinds of situations in w…Read more
  •  501
    What It Is to Pretend
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (1): 397-420. 2014.
    Pretense is a topic of keen interest to philosophers and psychologists. But what is it, really, to pretend? What features qualify an act as pretense? Surprisingly little has been said on this foundational question. Here I defend an account of what it is to pretend, distinguishing pretense from a variety of related but distinct phenomena, such as (mere) copying and practicing. I show how we can distinguish pretense from sincerity by sole appeal to a person's beliefs, desires, and intentions – and…Read more
  •  493
    Introspective misidentification
    Philosophical Studies 172 (7): 1737-1758. 2015.
    It is widely held that introspection-based self-ascriptions of mental states are immune to error through misidentification , relative to the first person pronoun. Many have taken such errors to be logically impossible, arguing that the immunity holds as an “absolute” necessity. Here I discuss an actual case of craniopagus twins—twins conjoined at the head and brain—as a means to arguing that such errors are logically possible and, for all we know, nomologically possible. An important feature of …Read more
  •  456
    Improvisation and the self-organization of multiple musical bodies
    with Ashley E. Walton, Michael J. Richardson, and Anthony Chemero
    Frontiers in Psychology 6 1-9. 2015.
  •  398
    On Choosing What to Imagine
    In A. Kind & P. Kung (eds.), Knowledge Through Imagination, Oxford University Press. pp. 61-84. 2016.
    If imagination is subject to the will, in the sense that people choose the content of their own imaginings, how is it that one nevertheless can learn from what one imagines? This chapter argues for a way forward in addressing this perennial puzzle, both with respect to propositional imagination and sensory imagination. Making progress requires looking carefully at the interplay between one’s intentions and various kinds of constraints that may be operative in the generation of imaginings. Le…Read more
  •  346
    Imagining Experiences
    Noûs 561-586. 2016.
    It is often held that in imagining experiences we exploit a special imagistic way of representing mentality—one that enables us to think about mental states in terms of what it is like to have them. According to some, when this way of thinking about the mind is paired with more objective means, an explanatory gap between the phenomenal and physical features of mental states arises. This paper advances a view along those lines, but with a twist. What many take for a special imagistic way of think…Read more
  •  340
    Unwitting Self‐Awareness?
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (3): 719-726. 2014.
    This is a contribution to a book symposium on Joelle Proust’s The Philosophy of Metacognition: Mental Agency and Self-Awareness (OUP). While there is much to admire in Proust’s book, the legitimacy of her distinction between “procedural” and “analytic” metacognition can be questioned. Doing so may help us better understand the relevance of animal metacognition studies to human self-knowledge.
  •  328
    Inner Speech: New Voices -- Introduction
    In Peter Langland-Hassan & Agustin Vicente (eds.), Inner Speech: New Voices, Oxford University Press. 2018.
    This is the introductory chapter to the anthology: Inner Speech: New Voices, to be published in fall 2018 by OUP. It gives an overview of current debates in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience concerning inner speech, and situates the chapters of the volume with respect to those debates.
  •  287
    Inner speech deficits in people with aphasia
    with Frank R. Faries, Michael J. Richardson, and Aimee Dietz
    Frontiers in Psychology 6 1-10. 2015.
    Despite the ubiquity of inner speech in our mental lives, methods for objectively assessing inner speech capacities remain underdeveloped. The most common means of assessing inner speech is to present participants with tasks requiring them to silently judge whether two words rhyme. We developed a version of this task to assess the inner speech of a population of patients with aphasia and corresponding language production deficits. As expected, patients’ performance on the silent rhyming task …Read more
  •  259
    From Introspection to Essence: The Auditory Nature of Inner Speech
    In Peter Langland-Hassan & Agustin Vicente (eds.), Inner Speech: New Voices, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    To some it is a shallow platitude that inner speech always has an auditory-phonological component. To others, it is an empirical hypothesis with accumulating support. To yet others it is a false dogma. In this chapter, I defend the claim that inner speech always has an auditory-phonological component, confining the claim to adults with ordinary speech and hearing. It is one thing, I emphasize, to assert that inner speech often, or even typically, has an auditory-phonological component—quite…Read more
  •  251
    Many philosophers and psychologists have sought to explain experiences of auditory verbal hallucinations and “inserted thoughts” in schizophrenia in terms of a failure on the part of patients to appropriately monitor their own inner speech. These self-monitoring accounts have recently been challenged by some who argue that AVHs are better explained in terms of the spontaneous activation of auditory-verbal representations. This paper defends two kinds of self-monitoring approach against the spont…Read more
  •  226
    Metacognitive deficits in categorization tasks in a population with impaired inner speech
    with Christopher Gauker, Michael J. Richardson, Aimee Deitz, and Frank F. Faries
    Acta Psychologica 181 62-74. 2017.
    This study examines the relation of language use to a person’s ability to perform categorization tasks and to assess their own abilities in those categorization tasks. A silent rhyming task was used to confirm that a group of people with post-stroke aphasia (PWA) had corresponding covert language production (or “inner speech”) impairments. The performance of the PWA was then compared to that of age- and education-matched healthy controls on three kinds of categorization tasks and on metacognit…Read more
  •  225
    Pain and Incorrigibility
    In J. Corns (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain, Routledge. forthcoming.
    This chapter (from Routledge's forthcoming handbook on the philosophy of pain) considers the question of whether people are always correct when they judge themselves to be in pain, or not in pain. While I don't show sympathy for traditional routes to the conclusion that people are "incorrigible" in their pain judgments, I explore--and perhaps even advocate--a different route to such incorrigibility. On this low road to incorrigibility, a sensory state's being judged unpleasant is what makes it…Read more
  •  200
    In recent years, language has been shown to play a number of important cognitive roles over and above the communication of thoughts. One hypothesis gaining support is that language facilitates thought about abstract categories, such as democracy or prediction. To test this proposal, a novel set of semantic memory task trials, designed for assessing abstract thought non-linguistically, were normed for levels of abstractness. The trials were rated as more or less abstract to the degree that ans…Read more
  •  187
    What Sort of Imagining Might Remembering Be?
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1-21. forthcoming.
    This paper unites current philosophical thinking on imagination with a burgeoning debate in the philosophy of memory over whether episodic remembering is simply a kind of imagining. So far, this debate has been hampered by a lack of clarity in the notion of ‘imagining’ at issue. Several options are considered and constructive imagining is identified as the relevant kind. Next, a functionalist account of episodic memory is defended as a means to establishing two key points: first, one need no…Read more
  •  158
    Abstract:  How it is that one's own thoughts can seem to be someone else's? After noting some common missteps of other approaches to this puzzle, I develop a novel cognitive solution, drawing on and critiquing theories that understand inserted thoughts and auditory verbal hallucinations in schizophrenia as stemming from mismatches between predicted and actual sensory feedback. Considerable attention is paid to forging links between the first-person phenomenology of thought insertion and the posi…Read more
  •  153
    Explaining Imagination
    Oxford University Press. 2020.
    ​Imagination will remain a mystery—we will not be able to explain imagination—until we can break it into parts we already understand. Explaining Imagination is a guidebook for doing just that, where the parts are other ordinary mental states like beliefs, desires, judgments, and decisions. In different combinations and contexts, these states constitute cases of imagining. This reductive approach to imagination is at direct odds with the current orthodoxy, according to which imagination is a …Read more
  •  141
    Inner Speech
    WIREs Cognitive Science. forthcoming.
    Inner speech travels under many aliases: the inner voice, verbal thought, thinking in words, internal verbalization, “talking in your head,” the “little voice in the head,” and so on. It is both a familiar element of first-person experience and a psychological phenomenon whose complex cognitive components and distributed neural bases are increasingly well understood. There is evidence that inner speech plays a variety of cognitive roles, from enabling abstract thought, to supporting metacogni…Read more
  •  96
    Currie’s (2010) argument that “i-desires” must be posited to explain our responses to fiction is critically discussed. It is argued that beliefs and desires featuring ‘in the fiction’ operators—and not sui generis imaginings (or "i-beliefs" or "i-desires")—are the crucial states involved in generating fiction-directed affect. A defense of the “Operator Claim” is mounted, according to which ‘in the fiction’ operators would be also be required within fiction-directed sui generis imaginings (or "…Read more
  •  56
    Creativity
    In Explaining Imagination. pp. 262-296. 2020.
    Comparatively easy questions we might ask about creativity are distinguished from the hard question of explaining transformative creativity. Many have focused on the easy questions, offering no reason to think that the imagining relied upon in creative cognition cannot be reduced to more basic folk psychological states. The relevance of associative thought processes to songwriting is then explored as a means for understanding the nature of transformative creativity. Productive artificial neur…Read more
  •  54
    Metacognition without introspection
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (2): 151-152. 2009.
    While Carruthers denies that humans have introspective access to cognitive attitudes such as belief, he allows introspective access to perceptual and quasi-perceptual mental states. Yet, despite his own reservations, the basic architecture he describes for third-person mindreading can accommodate first-person mindreading without need to posit a distinct mode of access to any of one's own mental states
  •  40
    Creating Time: Social Collaboration in Music Improvisation
    with Ashley E. Walton, Auriel Washburn, Anthony Chemero, Heidi Kloos, and Michael J. Richardson
    Topics in Cognitive Science 10 (1): 95-119. 2018.
    Musical collaboration emerges from the complex interaction of environmental and informational constraints, including those of the instruments and the performance context. Music improvisation in particular is more like everyday interaction in that dynamics emerge spontaneously without a rehearsed score or script. We examined how the structure of the musical context affords and shapes interactions between improvising musicians. Six pairs of professional piano players improvised with two different …Read more
  •  31
    Book Review: A. Zimmerman's "Belief: A Pragmatic Picture" (review)
    The Philosophical Review. forthcoming.
    Faced with the live, forced, and momentous option of whether to accept some form of theism, William James had the will to believe in God. Moved by similar pragmatic principles, Aaron Zimmerman advises self-professed egalitarians to believe they lack racist beliefs—even in the face of less explicit indices that, for some, point in the opposite direction.
  •  28
    Inner Speech: New Voices (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2018.
    Much of what we say is never said aloud. It occurs only silently, as inner speech. We chastise, congratulate, joke and cajole, all without making a sound. This distinctively human ability to create public language in the privacy of our own minds is no less remarkable for its familiarity. And yet, until recently, inner speech remained at the periphery of philosophical and psychological theorizing. This essay collection, from an interdisciplinary group of leading philosophers, psychologists, …Read more
  •  22
    A Not Imaginative Solution to the Paradox of Fiction
    In Explaining Imagination, Oxford University Press. pp. 234-261. 2020.
    The chapter considers the “paradox of fiction,” understood as the claim that it is in some sense irrational or inappropriate to respond emotionally to mere fictions. Several theorists have held that special features of imagination, or other “arational” mental reflexes, play a role in its resolution. I argue, to the contrary, that imagination need not enter into the solution, and that the paradox can be resolved in a way that shows our responses to fictions to be reasonable and warranted, even …Read more
  •  22
    Belief: A Pragmatic Picture (review)
    Philosophical Review 130 (2): 326-330. 2021.