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WMA Graduate Research Seminar, 2023/2024

Research seminar run in conjunction with the WMA Research Centre and open to all philosophy postgraduate students.
If you would like to receive email notifications about the seminar, please email h dot lerman at warwick dot ac dot uk
In Summer Term the seminar will take place on Wednesdays, weeks 4-7 and 9, at 14:00-16:00, in room S1.39.

In preparation for MindGrad we will dedicate the first 3 sessions to 3 papers by Matt Soteriou and the following 2 session to background reading for Lea Salje's talk.

Week 4: Matt Soteriou, ‘Determining the Future’ [pdf]

Week 5: Matt Soteriou, ‘The past made present: Mental time travel in episodic recollection’ [pdf]

Week 6: Matt Soteriou, ‘Waking Up and Being Conscious' [link]

Week 7: Eli Alshanetsky, Articulating a Thought, Introduction [link] and Chapter 2 'A Puzzle' [link]

Week 9: Alex Byrne, 'Knowing that I'm thinking' [link]


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PG Work in Progress Seminar

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Location: S2.77/MS Teams

This week’s speaker will be Johan Heemskerk (PhD)

Title: is "Gloss or Theory? A Worry for Science Based Theories of Content".


Many philosophers working on mental content pursue a particular methodology. This involves consulting cognitive science literature and attempting to extract a naturalistic theory of mental content. Such a theory should allow us to specify, for any given representation, how its content is determined. There is a sense, as Tyler Burge puts it, that cognitive science has discovered "without being fully aware of its own accomplishment" (Burge, 2010) an implicit theory of content determination. It is the job of the philosopher to make the implicit theory explicit, maybe with some details filled in. In this paper I attempt to motivate a worry for the philosopher inclined to follow such a methodology. Using an argument from Frances Egan, I raise the concern that cognitive scientists do not have an implicit theory of content. Rather, they assign content based on purely heuristic concerns, for instance a concern for communicating the theory to the reader. Content would then be a "gloss", without theoretical underpinnings. I do not attempt to answer this concern, but I do explore some ways we might begin to respond.


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