Deflationist Cognitive Science
Veronica Gómez Sánchez (University of California, Berkeley)

December 7, 2023, 4:00pm - 6:00pm

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University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Columbia University

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The Method, Theory, and Reality Speaker Series has an upcoming talk by Veronica Gomez Sanchez on "Deflationist Cognitive Science." 

Abstract: According to a version of deflationism about truth, attributions of truth-conditional contents to mental states do not play a robust role in the best scientific explanations of behavior. Theories that appear to invoke truth-conditional contents can be paraphrased in terms of less metaphysically problematic notions, without loss in explanatory power. This talk develops a challenge for representational realism based on the availability of such deflationist paraphrases, building on the work of Hartry Field and Frances Egan. I consider a number of popular attempts to clarify the explanatory role of content and argue that none of them yields a satisfactory response to the deflationist challenge, as I understand it. I end by presenting a more promising response on behalf of the realist, but show that it rests on potentially controversial assumptions about the role of truth conditions in structuring neural mechanisms.

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Meeting ID: 922 1740 8527

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