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Tony Cheng

Abstract

This paper develops the situational model of primate beliefs from the Prior-Lurz line of thought. There is a strong skepticism concerning primate beliefs in the analytic tradition which holds that beliefs have to be propositional and non-human animals do not have them (e.g., Davidson 1975, 1982). The response offered in this paper is twofold. First, two arguments against the propositional model as applied to other animals are put forward: an a priori argument from referential opacity and an empirical argument from varieties of working memory. Second, the Prior-Lurz situational model based on state of affairs as opposed to propositions is introduced and defended with two significant modifications. With this model of primate beliefs we can make progress in understanding how other primates can have certain mindreading capacity.

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Max Skipper Griffiths

Abstract

According to Carruthers’ (2006) massive modularity (MM) thesis, the central systems of the mind are widely encapsulated and operate via heuristics and approximation techniques similar to those found in computer science. It follows from this, he claims, that widely encapsulated central systems are feasibly tractable. I argue that insofar as Carruthers uses this weakened definition of encapsulation, his thesis faces a dilemma: either is a misnomer (Prinz, 2006) and therefore unrecognisable as a version of MM, or it isn’t, and must put forward a convincing version of MM (Samuels, 2006). I claim that Carruthers’ commitment to this claim about central systems meets this challenge by adopting an understanding of central systems whose information-frugal and processing-frugal operations allow for feasible tractability. I conclude that the CWT provides a plausible and distinctive account of MM.

Open access

Genevieve Hayman

Abstract

The potential for mirror neuron research to explain various aspects of social cognition has received considerable attention over the past two decades. Initially, mirror neuron research may seem in accordance with a phenomenological understanding of intersubjectivity, but the work of Dan Zahavi will be used to highlight significant incompatibilities between the two. Likewise, the enactivists Thomas Fuchs and Hanne De Jaegher identify significant issues with current interpretations of mirror neuron research and provide an alternative description of intersubjectivity. This article will assess whether the enactivists are able to provide a more phenomenologically consistent alternative to mirror neuron research alone, eventually determining that their enactive account overcomes Zahavi’s incompatibilities. Consequently, Fuchs and De Jaegher should acknowledge their relation to Husserlian descriptions of empathy in their account, and mirror neuron research should be contextualised within a broader, phenomenologically-compatible framework, as that of the enactivists.

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Open access

Ane Engelstad

Abstract

In this paper I present a problem for the Marxist idea of false consciousness, namely how it is vulnerable to accusations of dogmatism. I will argue that the concept must be further developed if it is to provide a plausible tool for systematic social analysis. In the second half of the paper I will show how this could be done if the account of false consciousness incorporates Shaun Gallagher’s theory of the socially extended mind. This is a theory that explores how the mind expands towards external objects and systems. I will conclude that it helps to reinstate false consciousness as a reliable tool for the analysis of cognitive dynamics within power structures.

Open access

Austin Dwyer, Meline Papazian and David Markwell

Open access

Religion as a philosophical matter

Concerns about truth, name, and habitation

Lars Albinus