The Blank Slate – It isn’t what Pinker thinks

By Paul So In Steven Pinker’s popular book The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, Pinker characterizes the Blank State as “the idea that the human mind has no inherent structure and can be inscribed at will by society or ourselves.” Pinker is characterizing the loose set of views, commonly held by today’s humanities and social science intellectuals, […]

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Vision is (probably) Informationally Encapsulated from Flavor (Part II)

By Daniel Tippens Some notes on attention and sensory penetration I intend to argue that vision is informationally encapsulated (just “encapsulated” from here on out) from flavor. In the last post, we discussed the ideas of encapsulation and sensory penetration. The notion of encapsulation that I am working with takes place at the level of experience, and sensory penetration takes […]

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This Week’s Special: Jerry Fodor’s “Special Sciences (Or: the Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis)”

By Daniel A. Kaufman http://fitelson.org/woodward/fodor.pdf On tap this week is one of the most influential essays in the philosophy of science, since the Second World War:  Jerry Fodor’s “Special Sciences,” which appeared in the journal Synthese, in 1974. The paper did two very important things.  First, it struck a crippling blow against a certain kind of positivist view of the […]

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Vision is (probably) Informationally Encapsulated from Flavour (Part I)

By: Daniel Tippens Introduction Let’s understand our sensory systems in a common sense way to refer to the 5 senses we are familiar with: vision, touch, audition, and so on. A sensory system, understood in this paper, is characterized by certain sense organs, specific brain-areas dedicated to processing the information that those sense organs receive, and a certain kind of […]

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Panpsychism – is it testable?

By Paul So In recent years (late 90’s to the 21st century), Panpsychism has been enjoying some resurgence in philosophy. David Chalmers, Galen Strawson, Thomas Nagel, and others are seriously considering Panpsychism as a viable solution for the Mind-Body problem. But philosophers aren’t alone. In the natural sciences, some prominent scientists, even the well-known Christof Koch, are seriously considering Panpsychism […]

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