April 19, 2024 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm ET
South College E470

Verónica Gómez Sánchez (UC Berkeley)
Title: "Deflationist Cognitive Science" 

Abstract: There is a longstanding dispute concerning the structure of the psychological realm. ‘Representational realists’ maintain that the best explanations of human behaviors must mention the truth-conditional contents of relevant mental states (e.g., Fodor, Burge, Rescorla). ‘Psychological deflationists’ maintain that such contents are not required, since the relevant explanatory work can be done by less problematic notions like (non-semantic) computation and indication/information (e.g., Field, Egan, Ramsey). Developing a suggestion by Hartry Field (2001), I present a general deflationist strategy for paraphrasing away truth-conditional notions from canonical computational explanations, which undermines the standard abductive argument for representational realism. I then suggest an alternative argument for representational realism, which is motivated by the 'resource rational analysis' framework in computational cognitive science (Leider & Griffiths, 2020). This alternative argument is not threatened by similar deflationist paraphrases.



April 19, 2024 3:30pm
Beth Grybko
EMAIL: bellena@philos.umass.edu
PHONE: (413) 545-2330