• What Makes Something A (Digital) Computer?
    The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 19 53-60. 1998.
    Turing's analysis of the concept of computation is indisputably the foundation of computationalism, which is, in turn, the foundation of cognitive science. What is disputed is whether computationalism is explanatorily bankrupt. For Turing, all computers are digital computers and something becomes a computer just in case its 'behavior' is interpreted as implementing, executing, or satisfying some function 'f'. As 'computer' names a nonnatural kind, almost everyone agrees that a computational inte…Read more
  • To Work at the Foundations: Essays in Memory of Aron Gurwitsch
    with J. Claude Evans
    Springer Verlag. 1996.
    Aron Gurwitsch was one of the most important figures in the phenomenological movement between the 1920s and the 1970s. Through his introduction of Gestalt theoretical concepts into phenomenology, he exerted a powerful influence on Maurice Merleau-Ponty and others. The contributions to this memorial volume, most written by friends and students of Gurwitsch, contain critical studies of the work of Aron Gurwitsch and attempts to extend his philosophical analyses to new problems and fields. Ranging …Read more
  • Because computationalism and representationalism lay among the foundations of cognitive science, most cognitive scientists are convinced that without internal representations over which to operate, no intelligent system could do what it does. This view has recently come under attack by anticomputationalists of various stripes. Consequently, with the aim of understanding how brains work, my purpose for this dissertation is to determine whether it is appropriate, on computational grounds, to posit…Read more
  • Adam Drozdek, The Moral Dimension of Man in the Age of Computers (review)
    Philosophy in Review 16 97-98. 1996.
  • C. I. Lewis' action-oriented notion of cognition is consistent with a minimally representational picture of mind. I aim to show why. Toward this end, I explore some of the tensions between Lewis' theory of knowledge and his theory of mind. At face value, the former renders the latter implausible. Among other problems, no agent could act if she were required to entertain the myriad beliefs that Lewis claims figures in the guidance of action. But rather than abandon Lewis' story, I attempt to reha…Read more
  • Representations in the Brain
    In William P. Bechtel, Pete Mandik, Jennifer Mundale & Robert S. Stufflebeam (eds.), Philosophy and the Neurosciences: A Reader, Blackwell. pp. 395. 2001.
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    Why computation need not be traded only for internal representation
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1): 80-81. 1997.
    Although Clark & Thornton's “trading spaces” hypothesis is supposed to require trading internal representation for computation, it is not used consistently in that fashion. Not only do some of the offered computation-saving strategies turn out to be nonrepresentational, others (e.g., cultural artifacts) are external representations. Hence, C&T's hypothesis is consistent with antirepresentationalism.
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    Epistemic issues in procuring evidence about the brain: The importance of research instruments and techniques
    with William P. Bechtel
    In William P. Bechtel, Pete Mandik, Jennifer Mundale & Robert S. Stufflebeam (eds.), Philosophy and the Neurosciences: A Reader, Blackwell. pp. 55--81. 2001.
  • Brain matters: A case against representations in the brain
    In William P. Bechtel, P. M, Valerie , Jennifer Mundale & Robert S. Stufflebeam (eds.), Philosophy and the Neurosciences: A Reader, Blackwell. 2001.
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    PET: Exploring the myth and the method
    with William P. Bechtel
    Philsophy of Science 64 (4): 95-106. 1997.
    New research tools such as PET can produce dramatic results. But they can also produce dramatic artifacts. Why is PET to be trusted? We examine both the rationale that justifies interpreting PET as measuring brain activity and the strategies for interpreting PET results functionally. We show that functional ascriptions with PET make important assumptions and depend critically on relating PET results to those secured through other research techniques
  •  378
    PET: Exploring the myth and the method
    with William P. Bechtel
    Philosophy of Science 64 (4). 1997.
    New research tools such as PET can produce dramatic results. But they can also produce dramatic artifacts. Why is PET to be trusted? We examine both the rationale that justifies interpreting PET as measuring brain activity and the strategies for interpreting PET results functionally. We show that functional ascriptions with PET make important assumptions and depend critically on relating PET results to those secured through other research techniques