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John Dewey

Science, M&E


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Peter Godfrey-Smith, Online Papers

Philosophy of Mind

• "Environmental Complexity and the Evolution of Cognition" is a summary of my 1996 book, Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature.

• "Triviality Arguments Against Functionalism" (Philosophical Studies, 2009) looks at arguments asserting that a functional description of the kind envisaged in mainstream functionalism about the mind is either trivially applicable to any complex system, or amounts to no more than behavioral description. Arguments in Hinckfuss, Lycan, Putnam, Searle, and Chalmers are discussed and extended.

 "Innateness and Genetic Information." Does recent work on information within biology help make sense of nativism? No.

 "Reduction in Real Life." An analysis of how reductionist explanation works in biology and related sciences, with applications to contemporary philosophy of mind (especially the "autonomy" of functional description).

• "On Folk Psychology and Mental Representation". An overview, looking at unorthodox positions on both topics. Appears in Representation in Mind: New Approaches to Mental Representation, edited by H. Clapin, P. Staines, and P. Slezak (Elsevier, 2004).

• "Folk Psychology as a Model" argues that folk psychology might be seen as a model rather than a theory. (This is not, as it might appear to be, a version of simulationism.) Appears in the Philosopher's Imprint, 2004.

• "On the Evolution of Representational and Interpretive Capacities" is about the co-evolution of internal representational states and our social skill of folk-psychological interpretation. Appears in the Monist, 2002. "Untangling the Evolution of Mental Representation" (2005) follows up the same themes.