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Token identity is that every instance of a mental state is identical with an instance of a physical state - but the types do not match for example, pain in an octopus may be identical with the firing of a different type of neuron from that in humans. This realistic distinction, however, is in conflict with the relativistic notion that thought and world are interconnected.

The correspondence theory of truth, which states that truth consists of the correspondence between thought and reality, is associated with realism.

Critics of this theory contest the nature of the concept of correspondence, taken as a kind of mirroring, and they also dispute the distinction between subject and object. Idealism and relativism, therefore, adhere to the coherence theory of truth: the more beliefs in a system are coherent, the truer they are. Relativism also adheres to another theory, the [Page ] consensus theory of truth: truth is what is agreed upon by common consent.

Both theories of truth are criticized by realists, because the world does not play any role in the theories, and, as to the latter theory, realists do not like the idea that truth is dependent on group-think. The pragmatic theory of truth claims that the truth, or better the reliability because truth is never absolute , of a belief cannot be conceived apart from its practical consequences, but is demonstrated in a subsequent experiment, test or action.

The prototype of a symbol manipulator, a Turing machine can read a symbol from tape, perform an elementary operation on it, and write the result back. The English mathematician Alan Turing proved that every task that could be written as a set of elementary operations an algorithm could be executed on a universal Turing machine.

However, it is impossible to verify general laws: they can only be confirmed or falsified. NOTE Very useful dictionaries are Blackburn for philosophy; Reber for psychology; and for philosophy of science, Psillos CQ Press Your definitive resource for politics, policy and people. Remember me? Back Institutional Login Please choose from an option shown below. Need help logging in? Click here.

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Using AI Methods to Evaluate a Minimal Model for Perception : Open Philosophy

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Preface to the Third Edition. Action is what a human agent does. Adaptationism is the mistaken view that natural selection is the only cause for the phenotypic features of organisms, and that therefore for each and every feature of an organism a straightforward evolutionary function can be found.

Artificial Intelligence AI is making machines computers, or better, computer programs do things that would require intelligence, if done by men in Minsky's definition : for example, playing chess, constructing mathematical proofs, answering insight questions about a story, etc.


Background is a concept in the philosophy of mind meaning the general and implicit know-how and capacities that enable a person to function in, or to understand, her environment. Belief is a mental state, a thought, by which a proposition is held to be true, and upon which one is prepared to act: which guides action, as pragmatism would add.

Cause, Causality, Causation is a relation between two events, such that the first can be said to bring about or necessitate the second event, so that it must occur. Computational Theory of Mind is the theory that mental processes essentially consist of computation, i. Connectionism is an approach in cognitive psychology and Artificial Intelligence that uses self-organizing networks modelled on neural networks of interconnected nodes, in which a change of weights in the connections underlies the network's learning of a discriminating response.

Consensus Theory of Truth See Truth. Context of Discovery in this context the focus is on a reliable description of the historical, social and even psychological circumstances and influences that were relevant to the discovery of a scientific theory.

Context of Justification in this context the focus is on the methodological requirements of a scientific theory, its logical argument, i. Correspondence Theory of Truth See Truth.

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Deductive-Nomological Model of Explanation is the view that explaining is deriving a proposition describing the event to be explained the explanandum from a general law or set of laws the explanans : for example, all plants containing chlorophyll are green, grass contains chlorophyll, therefore grass is green. Determinism is the metaphysical doctrine that the past completely determines the future, that every event has a sufficient cause or set of causes.

Eliminativism is the claim that folk psychological categories like beliefs and desires eventually can, and should, be eliminated and replaced by neuroscientific terms: we will talk about the firing of our neurons rather than about the pain when we hit our thumb. Emergence is when a system has new properties that are not present in the constituents: these are called emergent, and the system is more than the sum of its parts.

Empiricism is a doctrine in philosophy and, in particular, a position in epistemology, which says that all knowledge comes from the senses, and that only those expressions have [Page ] a claim to knowledge and to truth that can be translated, directly or indirectly, into sense impressions. Epistemology is the theory of knowledge, a main branch of philosophy.

Explanation means in normal discourse to make something easier to understand, to elucidate, or to answer a why-question. Explanatory Pluralism or Multiplicity of explanations contrasts with reductionism and unified science. Falsification means showing a statement to be false. Foundationalism is a usually dismissive label for those normative positions in epistemology or the philosophy of science, like positivism, which demand that true knowledge and science should be demarcated from irrationality or pseudo-science by building upon secure epistemological foundations, such as empiricism, rationalism or other views which call upon universal, ahistoric principles or the postulates of rationality.

Free Will using a simple and practical definition, is the ability to make relatively unconstrained choices. Functional explanation describes the way a thing works, what its goal or function is in a system or environment, rather than its physical characteristics.

Functionalism is the thesis that mental states are functional states of a machine or a brain, implying that the actual physical make-up of the machine the implementation is irrelevant to the functional role it realizes. Ideology according to a Marxist interpretation, is the production of ideas, the set of beliefs, conceptions, categories, moral standards, etc. Idiographic is the method leading to the understanding of individual, unique events from the Greek idios meaning unique, individual , as in the human sciences and history: it is opposed to the nomothetic method.

Incommensurability means literally having no common yardstick. Individualism is a thesis in the philosophy of mind, holding that for purposes of psychological explanation only the internal features of an organism are relevant, i. Intentionality is the distinguishing property of mental states or psychological phenomena, implying that they have a content, and are directed at, about, or involved with objects, whereas physical things lack this property. Laws are a much-debated concept in the philosophy of science.

Materialism is a metaphysical doctrine in philosophy that the world and all its entities and phenomena, including psychological phenomena, are manifestations of spatiotemporal matter. Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that tries to answer questions about the general or abstract nature of reality, and also about a reality that is supposed to lie behind the world and that is not accessible using scientific method. Methodological Solipsism See Solipsism. Model is sometimes used as a synonym for a theory as in a model of the brain : it is mostly, however, a kind of mini-theory, usually in a more or less visual or metaphorical form.

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Modularity is the idea that the mind consists of a set of more or less separate skills or special purpose processors. Multiple Realizability See Functionalism. Multiplicity of explanation See Explanatory Pluralism. Naturalism is a claim that the methods of natural science can be applied to all phenomena, including mental processes.

Nomothetic is the method for finding general laws from the Greek nomos meaning law , as in the positivistic notion of explanation. Ontology is a main branch of philosophy, concerned with the question of what kinds of things, properties and events exist fundamentally as furniture of the world.

Physicalism is a reductive materialist doctrine in philosophy of science saying that all the sciences or scientific theories should be reduced to physics, and that only the language and methods of physics are scientifically respectable. Pragmatism is the philosophical view that knowledge should primarily be considered as guiding our actions in coping with the world, rather than as a theoretical set of beliefs, or a picture corresponding in some way with the world.

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Rationalism is an answer to the epistemological question about the origin of knowledge. Realism is the view that our knowledge, or scientific theories, correspond to reality. Reductionism See Eliminativism; Materialism; Physicalism. Relativism holds that theories, concepts and categories are not absolutely true or valid, but are irredeemably dependent on subjective views, social contexts and historical processes: there is no such thing as objective knowledge, no knowable world independent from knowing subjects; neither are there objective criteria to assess whether one of the many possible perspectives is more warranted than another.

Representation Mental representation is a crucial but problematic concept in cognitive psychology. Semantics concerns the meaning of linguistic representations utterances and by extension of mental representations thoughts. Social Constructionism See Constructionism, Social. Social Interactionism See Symbolic Interactionism. Solipsism is the view that only oneself and one's experiences exist and that, accordingly, one can only know what is in one's own mind. Symbolic Interactionism is a sociological theory that sees language and shared meanings as the principal way of interaction between people.

Syntactical refers to the form of statements, that is, the logical or formal linguistic relations between sentences or parts thereof.