The World in the Head

Paperback | April 24, 2013

byRobert Cummins

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The World in the Head collects the best of Robert Cummins' papers on mental representation and psychological explanation. Running through these papers are a pair of themes: that explaining the mind requires functional analysis, not subsumption under "psychological laws", and that thepropositional attitudes - belief, desire, intention - and their interactions, while real, are not the key to understanding the mind at a fundamental level. Taking these ideas seriously puts considerable strain on standard conceptions of rationality and reasoning, on truth-conditional semantics, andon our interpretation of experimental evidence concerning cognitive development, learning and the evolution of mental traits and processes. The temptation to read the structure of mental states and their interactions off the structure of human language is powerful and seductive, but has created a widening gap between what most philosophers and social scientists take for granted about the mind, and the framework we need to make sensewhat an accelerating biology and neuroscience are telling us about brains. The challenge for the philosophy of mind is to devise a framework that accommodates these developments. This is the underlying motivation for the papers in this collection.

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The World in the Head collects the best of Robert Cummins' papers on mental representation and psychological explanation. Running through these papers are a pair of themes: that explaining the mind requires functional analysis, not subsumption under "psychological laws", and that thepropositional attitudes - belief, desire, intention -...

Robert Cummins is Professor and Chair in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:340 pagesPublished:April 24, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199548048

ISBN - 13:9780199548040

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsPreface1. What it is like to be a computer2. The LOT of the causal theory of mental content3. Systematicity4. Systematicity and the cognition of the structured domains with Jim Blackmon, David Byrd, Pierre Poirier, Martin Roth, and Georg Schwarz5. Methodological reflections on belief6. Inexplicit information7. Representation and indication with Pierre Poirier8. Representation and unexploited content with Jim Blackmon, David Byrd, Alexa Lee, and Martin Roth9. Haugeland on representation and intentionality10. Truth and meaning11. Meaning and content in cognitive science with Martin Roth12. Representational specialization: the synthetic a priori revisited13. Biological preparedness and evolutionary explanation with Denise Dellarosa Cummins14. Cognitive evolutionary psychology without representational nativism15. Connectionism and the rationale constraint on cognitive explanation16. 'How does it work?' vs. 'What are the laws?': Two conceptions of psychological explanation

Editorial Reviews

"The papers in this collection constitute an important and stimulating contribution to these debates ... Researchers working on these and related issues will greatly benefit from the lucid and thought-provoking discussions gathered here." --Mind