Beyond Single Mindedness: A response

The resistance is growing. In a letter to the editor of the journal Cognitive Science, 28 prominent cognitive scientists produce a manifesto, a minimal joint appeal to resist a spectre that haunts the established order. “Move beyond single-mindedness!” is the rallying cry. Why this? Why now? A brain meets two wiggles. It does nothing. It […]

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Letting the world speak back

To some, the controlled experiment, with an a priori hypothesis, generating predicted effects, and capable of repeated repetition by independent researchers, represents the epitome of science, the demonstration of its indubitable powers of making the “external” world intelligible, and providing our most secure path out of the thickets of superstition and ignorance. This interpretation values […]

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Averages and Liturgy

Averaging is a common way to arrive at a description of a group of particulars. But in obtaining an average, we necessarily lose that which distinguishes any one particular from the more general underlying form, if, indeed, there is an underlying form. There may not be. The average number of legs on a human is […]

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A little story about science

Once there was simple science. It studied objects and their relations, and it tried to characterise them truthfully, for it was an ethical science. To do this, it had to remove its own biases and opinions from the discussions it curated. This resulted in an objective picture that commanded assent precisely because it was so […]

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Becoming Water

Bruce Lee was not a great philosopher. But he did beat Chuck Norris, so there’s that. His words here are not terrifically original, but they stem from an orthodox understanding of the nature of skilled human action as expressed within the Daoist tradition. “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water […]

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I don’t have an accent!

A colleague recently came upon me from behind with the observation “I recognised you from your gait”.  I didn’t say it, but my immediate thought was “I don’t have a gait”.  We are familiar with this of course from the pointless insistence that “I don’t have an accent, everyone else does”.  How better to demonstrate […]

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Dynamism vs. defaults

An enactive perspective treats many of the nouns with which we routinely describe ourselves as emergent phenomena.  This has serious entailments.  The way the elements of our folk psychology crop up as unquestioned formal objects within psychological theory can no longer be sustained. Put simply, taking an enactive perspective means setting aside notions of standard, normal […]

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Direct Perception

Marek notes: In a two-line email a couple of weeks ago Fred plucked at a loose thread. It was a simple question: “What sense can we make of the term “direct perception”. Is this perception by a subject of a world?” Like so many simple questions, working with it has produced not so much progress […]

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