•  34
    Concepts and the Appeal to Cognitive Science
    Düsseldorf University Press. 2021.
    This book evaluates whether or not we can decide on the best theory of concepts by appealing to the explanatory results of cognitive science. It undertakes an in-depth analysis of different theories of concepts and of the explanations formulated in cognitive science. As a result, two reasons are provided for thinking that an appeal to cognitive science cannot help to decide on the best theory of concepts.
  •  29
    Cognitive Instrumentalism about Mental Representations
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (3): 518-550. 2022.
    Representationalists and anti-representationalists disagree about whether a naturalisation of mental content is possible and, hence, whether positing mental representations in cognitive science is justified. Here, I develop a novel way to think about mental representations based on a philosophical description of (cognitive) science inspired by cognitive instrumentalism. On this view, our acceptance of theories positing mental representations and our beliefs in (something like) mental representat…Read more
  •  26
    The Explanatory Role of Concepts
    Erkenntnis 86 (5): 1045-1070. 2021.
    Machery and Weiskopf argue that the kind concept is a natural kind if and only if it plays an explanatory role in cognitive scientific explanations. In this paper, we argue against this explanationist approach to determining the natural kind-hood of concept. We first demonstrate that hybrid, pluralist, and eliminativist theories of concepts afford the kind concept different explanatory roles. Then, we argue that we cannot decide between hybrid, pluralist, and eliminativist theories of concepts, …Read more
  •  16
    Two kinds of explanatory integration in cognitive science
    Synthese 198 (5): 4573-4601. 2019.
    Some philosophers argue that we should eschew cross-explanatory integrations of mechanistic, dynamicist, and psychological explanations in cognitive science, because, unlike integrations of mechanistic explanations, they do not deliver genuine, cognitive scientific explanations. Here I challenge this claim by comparing the theoretical virtues of both kinds of explanatory integrations. I first identify two theoretical virtues of integrations of mechanistic explanations—unification and greater qua…Read more
  •  16
    Causation and cognition: an epistemic approach
    Synthese 199 (3-4): 9133-9160. 2021.
    Kaplan and Craver :601–627, 2011) and Piccinini and Craver :283–311, 2011) argue that only mechanistic explanations of cognition are genuine causal explanations, because only evidence of mechanisms reveals the causal structure of cognition. I first argue that this claim is grounded in a commitment to the mechanistic account of causality, which cannot be endorsed by a defender of causal-nonmechanistic explanations. Then, I defend the epistemic theory of causality, which holds that causal explanat…Read more
  •  12
    Concepts as a working hypothesis
    Philosophical Psychology (4): 569-594. 2021.
    Some philosophers argue that all concepts cannot have the same representational structure, because no single kind of representation has been successful in accounting for the phenomena related to the formation and application of concepts. Here, I argue against this “appeal to cognitive science” by demonstrating that different theories of the kind concept cohere with different interpretations of the argument. To circumvent the threat of relativism, I argue that theories of concept should be unders…Read more
  •  10
    Mastering as an Inferentialist Alternative to the Acquisition and Participation Metaphors for Learning
    with Ruben Noorloos and Arthur Bakker
    Journal of Philosophy of Education 51 (4): 769-784. 2017.
    A tension has been identified between the acquisition and participation metaphors for learning, and it is generally agreed that this tension has still not been adequately resolved. In this paper, we offer an alternative to the acquisition and participation metaphors for learning: the metaphor of mastering. Our claim is that the mastering metaphor, as grounded in inferentialism, allows one to treat both the acquisition and participation dimensions of learning as complementary and mutually constit…Read more
  •  2
    Evidence and Cognition
    Erkenntnis 1-22. forthcoming.
    Cognitive theorists routinely disagree about the evidence supporting claims in cognitive science. Here, we first argue that some disagreements about evidence in cognitive science are about the evidence available to be drawn upon by cognitive theorists. Then, we show that one’s explanation of why this first kind of disagreement obtains will cohere with one’s theory of evidence. We argue that the best explanation for why cognitive theorists disagree in this way is because their evidence is what th…Read more