The Neuroanatomy of Dancing

A poster that I made for a friend and would like to share.
Link to full size image: The Neuroanatomy of Dancing

The Neuroanatomy of Dancing

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Against an Evolutionary Account of Modularity in Peripheral Cognitive Abilities

A common way of looking at the mind is to say that it is modular, i.e. divided into units, each responsible for a different cognitive ability or domain. A criticism that can be made against this idea comes from its connection to evolutionary psychology. The genetic predetermination of modules as explained by evolutionary pressures is not easily squared with brain plasticity. Here I defend modularity by trying to separate it from evolutionary psychology.

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How Persuasive is Wilby’s Solution to the Problem of Common Knowledge in Joint Attention?

I attend to a candle. You attend to the candle. We know of each other doing just that. We jointly attend. Simple enough, right? Unfortunately, philosophically conceptualising this concept is rather difficult. It would have to be some action-enabling, open epistemic notion that is at the same time compatible with empirical evidence from psychology. Here I argue against one such notion from Wilby of shared mental states in joint attention. I also consider Tomasello’s critique of the applicability of philosophical accounts to psychology altogether.

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Is the Argument from Error a Convincing one Against the Simulation Theory of Mind?

How do I know what you are thinking right now without having direct access to your thoughts? Is it because I have a theory, or framework of propositions memorised that guide me, or do I run a simulation in my mind of what I would think if I were you? The first is called theory-theory (TT), the second simulation theory (ST). ST can be further divided into explicit accounts or those that use mirror neurones to explain how simulation takes place. Here I make a stance against strong versions of ST, especially those that mix mirror neurones with explicit accounts and will conclude that although explicit ST is problematic, it will be required to find a hybrid between ST and TT that may be able to incorporate empirical data in favour of both.

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The Hedonist Swine Meets Neuroscience

“Hedonists do what they want. Their goal in life is happiness for themselves. Swines.” That is how most critics of the value theory approach hedonism, as the philosophy of swine. Here I argue that this critique can be overcome by appealing to neuroscience. I start with some counterexamples that Freud offered on his deathbed, and then move on to a new neuroscientific account, which it turns out, may be no more promising..

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Does the Extended Mind Hypothesis Constitute a Reductio of Functionalism?

The purpose of this post is to give a brief overview over the complexity of the discussion surrounding the hypothesis of extended cognition (HEC) and functionalism. I give some key definitions, outline some motives from multiple realisability (MR) and the martian intuition (MI) and then rehearse the problems with these concepts in relation to functionalism and the HEC. To make it a bit my own, I also indulge myself by proposing to give up a strong version of the MI in order to stick to a notion of MR that is only applicable to actual world creatures. This is meant to propagate some idea of a posteriori functionalism that could prevent falling into the trap of a radical HEC.

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Playing Ball with Electrones: A New Puzzle for Pairing Physical and Mental Events

Two pairs of players through balls. Connecting who threw which is easy, you just follow its path through air. With mental events this is a bit more tricky, as was outlined by Jaegwon Kim. Here I argue that his solution for pairing just physical events is already problematic when considering the microscopic. As a consequence, the problem he constructs for pairing physical and mental events is a lot more head-ache inducing that we might have thought at first.