Tag Archives: philosophical methodology

“Ontology and Methodology in Analytic Philosophy” in Theories and Applications of Ontology Vol. 1 J. Seibt and R. Poli (eds.) New York: Springer. 349-394, 2010.

This is a highly incomplete sketch of the methodology and history of ontology in the analytic tradition from Frege to Lewis.  It appeared as Chapter 16 of  Theories and Applications of Ontology Vol. 1 J. Seibt and R. Poli (eds.) New York: Springer. 349-394, 2010. You can read a penultimate version here:  Ontology and Methodology in Analytic Philosophy

“Intuition and Philosophical Methodology” Axiomathes (2008) 18:67–89

Intuition serves a variety of roles in contemporary philosophy. This paper provides a historical discussion of the revival of intuition in the 1970s, untangling some of the ways that intuition has been used and offering some suggestions concerning its proper place in philosophical investigation. Contrary to some interpretations of the results of experimental philosophy, I argue that generalized skepticism with respect to intuition is unwarranted. Intuition can continue to play an important role as part of a methodologically conservative stance towards philosophical investigation. I argue that methodological conservatism should be sharply distinguished from the process of evaluating individual propositions. Nevertheless, intuition is not always a reliable guide to truth and experimental philosophy can serve a vital ameliorative role in determining the scope and limits of our intuitive competence with respect to various areas of inquiry. Please continue reading here: intuition and philosophical methodology

“The Complexity of Information Processing Tasks in Vision.’” In Carlos Gershenson, Diederik Aerts, and Bruce Edmonds (eds.) “Philosophy and Complexity: Essays on Epistemology, Evolution, and Emergence.” Singapore: World Scientific 300-314, 2007

The basic presupposition of cognitive science is that mental life is more complicated (or complex) than it appears; there is more to memory, attention, perception and the like, than meets the inner eye.  In most mainstream cognitive science, the hidden workings of the mind are treated as information processing systems…Read more here: The Complexity of Information Processing Tasks in Vision

“Explanation, Representation and the Dynamical Hypothesis” Minds and Machines 11: 521-541, 2001

This paper challenges arguments that systematic patterns of intelligent behavior license the claim that representations must play a role in the cognitive system analogous to that played by syntactical structures in a computer program. In place of traditional computational models, I argue that research inspired by Dynamical Systems theory can support an alternative view of representations. My suggestion is that we treat linguistic and representational structures as providing complex multi-dimensional targets for the development of individual brains. This approach acknowledges the indispensability of the intentional or representational idiom in psychological explanation without locating representations in the brains of intelligent agents.

Read more here: Explanation, Representation and the Dynamical Hypothesis