Kiverstein & Kirchhoff, Dissolving the Causal-Constitutive Fallacy

The next meeting of the seminar is planned for March, 12th, at 12:00 (CET)  (NOTE THIS COULD CHANGE!). Our guest will be Julian KIverstein (and possibly Michael Kirchhoff). We will discuss a draft paper by J. Kiverstein and M. Kirchhoff, Dissolving the Causal-Constitutive Fallacy: Diachronic Constitution and the Metaphysics of the Extended Mind.

The paper abstract:
This paper questions the causal-constitutive fallacy raised against the thesis of the extended mind. It does so by arguing for  an inherently temporal view of the constitution relation: diachronic constitution. The notion of constitution, in common with other metaphysical dependence relations such as composition, realisation and grounding,  is standardly cast in entirely atemporal terms. We will argue however that temporalising the constitution relation is not as remarkable (nor problematic) as it might initially seem. It is (almost) inevitable, given local interactions between microscale and macroscale states of (coupled) dynamical systems. We primarily focus on the metaphysics of the extended mind in this paper. However, crucially we also show how our account of diachronic constitution has important implications for the metaphysics of dependence relations more generally as well as an emerging literature on inter-level explanations in the mechanistic framework.

The seminar is focused on discussing the papers, in a reading group style. The speaker first introduces the main theses of the paper (for around ten minutes), and then the floor is open for comments. In the online version of the seminar, the questions must be first signaled briefly on the chat to manage the flow of the discussion.

Mail Przemysław Nowakowski (p.nowakowski@ifispan.edu.pl) for the Google Meet link.

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Source: Cognitive Science in Search of Unity

Frazier, Calvo & Lee: The Neuro-Power of Movement in Plants

The next meeting of the seminar is planned for March, 5th, at 12:45 (CET) – note the change of the hour. Our guest will be Paco Calvo. We will discuss a draft paper by P. Adrian Frazier, Paco Calvo and David N. Lee, The Neuro-Power of Movement in Plants.

The paper has no official abstract yet but here’s the first paragraph:

The idea that plants are intelligent might not be a surprise to readers of Darwin’s “The Power of Movement in Plants”, published in 1880 and written with the help of his son, Francis. Drawing comparisons between plant and animal movements, and between root tips and the brains of lower animals, Darwin stopped just short of making an explicit argument for the intelligence of plants (cf. his arguments for earthworm intelligence in his 1881 book). He was particularly impressed by the fact that sensors could be located one place (the tips) and their effect (turgidity, or cell elongation) observed somewhere else, which he described as a “transmission of influence” from sensor to motor. Noting that plants have no nerves, he suggested that animal nerves are not for transmission, per se, but for more precise transmission. Darwin’s observations set the stage for the field of plant neurobiology, whose mission has been to put psychological meat
on the bare bones of Darwin’s suggestions.

The seminar is focused on discussing the papers, in a reading group style. The speaker first introduces the main theses of the paper (for around ten minutes), and then the floor is open for comments. In the online version of the seminar, the questions must be first signaled briefly on the chat to manage the flow of the discussion.

To receive a Google Meet link, please email Przemysław Nowakowski, p.nowakowski@ifispan.edu.pl

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Source: Cognitive Science in Search of Unity

Mark-Oliver Casper: A Spectrum of Integration…

The next meeting of the seminar is planned for February, 12th, at 12:00 (CET). Our guest will be Mark-Oliver Casper. We will discuss his draft “A Spectrum of Integration. Steps towards a Methodology of Situated Cognition Research”.

Abstract: In the first half of this article, it is claimed that the interdisciplinary project of “situated cognition research” is lacking a systematic methodology and that its development will have beneficial effects for that research project without  restricting  its  progressive  potential.  In  the  second  half,  it  is  argued  that  the  development  of  such methodology is dependent on positions we hold in the context of philosophy of science. Especially positions of “explanatory pluralism” and “unification” need to be considered. If pluralist claims are supported, then more (e.g.)  explanation  types  should  be  taken  into  account  by  methodological  studies.  If  unificationist  claims  are endorsed, then less explanation types are deemed significant and worth to be elaborated as well as developed further. A categorical system is provided, the “spectrum of integration”, that arranges and relates a number of pluralist and unificationist positions. Depending on where philosophers place themselves on that spectrum, their methodological analysis varies due to their pluralist or unificationist commitments. The spectrum thereby helps to  determine  first  steps towards  a  methodology  of  situated  cognition  research  as  it  pre-structures  possible positions from where such a methodology can start.   

The seminar is focused on discussing the papers, in a reading group style. The speaker first introduces the main theses of the paper (for around ten minutes), and then the floor is open for comments. In the online version of the seminar, the questions must be first signaled briefly on the chat to manage the flow of the discussion.

To receive a Google Meet link, please email Przemysław Nowakowski, p.nowakowski@ifispan.edu.pl

Source: Cognitive Science in Search of Unity

Nir Fresco, How context can determine the identity of physical computation

The next meeting of the seminar is planned for January, 28th at 12:00 CET (note: Thursday!). We are delighted to host as our speaker Nir Fresco, who will be glad to discuss his draft How context can determine the identity of physical computation.

Abstract. Computational explanations in the cognitive sciences span multiple levels of analysis. The indeterminacy of computation complicates the endeavour of answering the question ‘What does a particular neural—or physical—system do?’ in computational terms. For a single physical process may often be described equally well as computing several different mathematical functions—none of which is explanatorily privileged. But at which level of analysis should the computational identity of a physical system P be determined? Some argue that the computational nature of P is wholly exhausted by P’s physical or functional structure. Others argue that contextual factors also play a role in determining P’s computational identity, but they diverge on what that role is. Others yet argue that contextual factors essentially determine the identity of P. This chapter surveys some of these views and ultimately claims that the environment can and often does play a role in fixing the computational identity of P, thereby advancing a long-arm functional individuation of computation. 

The seminar is focused on discussing the papers, in a reading group style. The speaker first introduces the main theses of the paper (for around ten minutes), and then the floor is open for comments. In the online version of the seminar, the questions must be first signaled briefly on the chat to manage the flow of the discussion. To receive the Google Meet link, please write to Dr. Przemysław Nowakowski, p.nowakowski@ifispan.edu.pl

Our next speaker in February (Feb 12) is Mark-Oliver Casper. Will discuss his draft A Spectrum of Integration. Steps towards a Methodology of Situated Cognition Research.

Source: Cognitive Science in Search of Unity

Bruineberg et al.: Emperor’s New Blankets

The next meeting of the seminar is planned for January, 15th at 12:00 CET. We are delighted to host as our speakers the authors of the paper: Bruineberg, Jelle and Dolega, Krzysztof and Dewhurst, Joe and Baltieri, Manuel (2020) The Emperor’s New Markov Blankets.

Abstract:  Markov blankets have been used to settle disputes central to philosophy of mind and cognition. Their development from a technical concept in Bayesian inference to a central concept within the free-energy principle is analysed. We propose to distinguish between instrumental Pearl blankets and realist Friston blankets. Pearl blankets are substantiated by the empirical literature but can do limited philosophical work. Friston blankets can do philosophical work, but require strong theoretical assumptions. Both are conflated in the current literature on the free-energy principle. Consequently, we propose that distinguishing between an instrumental and a realist research program will help clarify the literature.

The seminar is focused on discussing the papers, in a reading group style. The speaker first introduces the main theses of the paper (for around ten minutes), and then the floor is open for comments. In the online version of the seminar, the questions must be first signaled briefly on the chat to manage the flow of the discussion. To receive the Google Meet link, please contact Dr. Przemysław Nowakowski (pnowakowski@ifispan.edu.pl).

Source: Cognitive Science in Search of Unity

Philosophy of Cognitive Science Seminar Meetings in 2021

Here is the tentative schedule of the Philosophy of Cognitive Science in the first half of 2021. All meetings will be organized online. You can subscribe to our seminar announcements here (Google account required).

  • Bruineberg, Jelle and Dolega, Krzysztof and Dewhurst, Joe and Baltieri, Manuel (2020) The Emperor’s New Markov Blankets, January 15th, 12:00 CET
  • Nir Fresco, January 28th (Thursday!), 12:00 CET
  • Marc-Oliver Casper, February 12th, 12:00 CET
  • Paweł Gładziejewski, February (exact date TBA)
  • Paco Calvo, March 5th, 12:00 CET
  • Lilia Gurova, March (exact date TBA)
  • Uljana Feest, April 9th, 16:00 CET (note: different time)
  • Marcin Moskalewicz, April (exact date TBA)
  • Tomas Marvan, May 14th, 12:00 CET

This post will be updated as we go along 🙂

Source: Cognitive Science in Search of Unity

van Rooij & Baggio: Theory before the Test. How to build high-verisimilitude explanatory theories in psychological science

The next meeting of the seminar is planned for December, 18th at 12:00 CET. We are delighted that our speaker is Professor Iris van Rooij. We will discuss her forthcoming paper, co-authored with Giosuè Baggio: Theory before the test: How to build high-verisimilitude explanatory theories in psychological science available at https://psyarxiv.com/7qbpr
Abstract: Drawing on the philosophy of psychological explanation (Cummins, 1983; 2000), we suggest that psychological science, by focusing on effects, may lose sight of its primary explananda: psychological capacities. We revisit Marr’s (1982) levels-of-analysis framework, which has been remarkably productive and useful for cognitive psychological explanation. We discuss ways in which Marr’s framework may be extended to other areas of psychology, such as social, developmental, and evolutionary psychology, bringing new benefits to these fields. Next, we show how theoretical analyses can endow a theory with minimal plausibility even prior to contact with empirical data: we call this the theoretical cycle. Finally, we explain how our proposal may contribute to addressing critical issues in psychological science, including how to leverage effects to understand capacities better.

The seminar is focused on discussing the papers, in a reading group style. The speaker first introduces the main theses of the paper (for around ten minutes), and then the floor is open for comments. In the online version of the seminar, the questions must be first signaled briefly on the chat to manage the flow of the discussion. To receive the Google Meet link, please contact Dr. Przemysław Nowakowski (prrono@wp.pl)

Source: Cognitive Science in Search of Unity

Error Detection and Representational Mechanisms

Type Book Section
Author Krystyna Bielecka
Author Marcin Miłkowski
Editor Joulia Smortchkova
Editor Krzysztof Dołęga
Editor Tobias Schlicht
Place New York
Publisher Oxford University Press
Pages 287-313
ISBN 978-0-19-068667-3
Date 2020
Book Title What are Mental Representations?

Source: Publications

Colombo & Palacios: Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics and the Free Energy Principle in Biology

Our next meeting of the seminar is planned for December, 4th. The speaker will be Matteo Colombo with his paper (co-authored with Patricia Palacios), Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics and the Free Energy Principle in Biology.

The seminar is focused on discussing the papers, in a reading group style. The speaker first introduces the main theses of the paper (for around ten minutes), and then the floor is open for comments. In the online version of the seminar, the questions must be first signaled briefly on the chat to manage the flow of the discussion. The meeting will be held through Google Meet. Please write to Dr. Przemysław Nowakowski (prrono@wp.pl) to receive the link.

Source: Cognitive Science in Search of Unity

Alistair Isaac: Measurement

On November, 13th, at 12:00, during the meeting of the Philosophy of Cognitive Science Seminar, we will discuss Chapter 2 of Alistair Isaac’s book (in-progress) The Measure of Mind in Nature. The meeting will be fully online.

Please contact Przemysław Nowakowski (prrono@wp.pl) for the Google Meet link

The next meeting is planned on December, 4th. The speaker will be Matteo Colombo with his paper (co-authored with Patricia Palacios), Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics and the Free Energy Principle in Biology.

Source: Cognitive Science in Search of Unity

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