Friday, January 21, 2005

Yet Another Plea for Requests

This blog has gotten more attention in January than it had gotten in November and December combined, and if things don't change dramatically, it will have received more unique visitors (which is a somewhat specious classification, I know) in January, its 5th month, than in the first 4 months of its existence combined. While I don't expect the attention to last, I want to take advantage of it while I've got it. One of the purposes of all of the cognitive science posts is to promote the discipline that I find so interesting, but that so many know so little about. For that reason, I periodically ask for requests, and since many of you who are reading this may be new visitors, I thought now would be a good time to do so again. So, if you have any requests for posts on any topic in cognitive science, let me know in comments or email, and if I feel like I can post on it competently, I will.

Right now, I'm working on the art stuff, and I will eventually post on some more issues related to attention and consciousness, with the hope of eventually discussing some of my own views on consciousness, but in the meantime, I'm more than willing to post on whatever it is you are curious about. So, let me know what that might be. Also, if you have any other suggestions, feel free to write me about those, too.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the Consciousness/Phenomenology section on this website
http://wernicke.ccn.upenn.edu/epstein_web/pubs.shtml
especially these two papers:
http://wernicke.ccn.upenn.edu/epstein_web/epstein_cc_PUBLISHED.pdf
http://wernicke.ccn.upenn.edu/epstein_web/epstein_proust_prepub.pdf 

Posted by Mark Liberman

Anonymous said...

Mark, you're a mind reader. I was actually going to use some of Epstein's work (particularly the paper on Proust) in the last post on art. It's some very interesting stuff. I've always been fascinated by James' concept of the fringe, and I really like the way Epstein uses it in a phenomenology of aesthetic experience. 

Posted by Chris

Anonymous said...

Chris,

How about a critical analysis of Lakoff's work on cognitive linguistics and metaphor? You've explicitly avoided talking about his work in that area, from what I've seen (I may be wrong). Who knows, maybe it will be therapeutic to get your feelings out there.

If not, would you be willing to talk about the cognitive science of mathematics, especially the development of number recognition in infants? I've heard the research in that area is somewhat controversial. This is not unrelated to the Lakoff request, by the way, since Lakoff wrote a book recently on mathematics, metaphor, and embodiment, though I can't remember the title off hand. Maybe, "Where Mathematics Comes From."

Thanks. 

Posted by Spencer

Anonymous said...

Spencer, it's been a while since I've really talked about Lakoff, but I have a few different posts that criticize him directly. Try these:
Understanding Frames With an Eye Towards Using Them BetterLakoff's View of MetaphorIdioms, Metaphors, and Lakoff, Oh My!Each of these talks about the case against Lakoff, with the second and third getting into the theoretical and empirical arguments pretty heavily.

As for math development, I'd be happy to. It's definitely an interesting area of research, especially with the recent cross-cultural focus. 

Posted by Chris

Anonymous said...

wow, those blead together. anyway, they're all in the "Lakoff & Framing" category link over on the sidebar. 

Posted by Chris

Anonymous said...

I'm always interested in cognitive science takes on issues related to Hume; it's not the sort of history of philosophy I usually do, but there is a fair amount of Humean scholarship that tries to pin down, using cog. sci., precisely what Hume got wrong and right about various issues, so it's occasionally useful for me to have some general notion of what cog. sci. currently suggests about issues Hume would have been interested in -- mental representation, how we identify causes and effects, moral reasoning (particularly the role of sentiments in our moral reasoning), etc.

Naturally, you don't have to relate it explicitly to Hume; I'm just interested in what's going on with regard to the general topics he discusses. Your recent posts on religion, for instance, were very useful from this perspective, because Hume occasionally touches on similar issues; if I ever come across a paper discussing Hume and cog. sci. work on religion (most people who do this sort of thing don't look at Hume on religion much, but they are bound to eventually), I have a much better idea of where to look if I need to get clearer about these things. Likewise, if ever I'm giving a paper on Hume's philosophy of religion and someone asks about whether there's reason to believe Hume right on this or that point, I have a general notion of at least where to point people for further information, and why. (A question like this came up at a paper given by someone else at the APA, where someone asked the presenter a question about whether such-and-such claim of Hume's philosophy of religion were right; when you did your post on Promiscuous Teleology, I thought, "Aha, if I were ever asked that question, now I would at least be able to tell people where they can look to find the answer.")

Err...I'm sure there was a specific suggestion somewhere in that comment. 

Posted by Brandon

Anonymous said...

Brandon, there's definitely some good stuff in there. I would have a hard time relating it to Hume, as it's been a while since I've read him at length, but I can certainly talk about mental representation (my primary research area), and I've done some stuff on cause/effect too. The moral stuff is a bit more difficult, for me, because a lot of the literature on moral reasoning is under the auspices of "social psychology," but I know about a bit of it from a study I did years ago (which never went anywhere), so I might be able to come up with something. 

Posted by Chris

Anonymous said...

I read an early draft of this a few years ago and it was pretty bad. He came to the meeting of the Duke Philosophy of Biology group and we gave him a lot of grief that night. I now found the final version of the paper and like it much better, even see some of my own suggestions incorporated into the paper. I was thinking about commenting on it myself, and may get to it one day, but I would love to see your take on it, from your perspective. Here is the URL:

Brian Keeley - Making Sense of the Senses
http://mugwump.pitzer.edu/~bkeeley/WORK/PUBS/msos/msos.pdf 

Posted by coturnix

Anonymous said...

Coturnix,
Wow, that's a very difficult problem (the differentation of the senses), and from what I can tell, philosophers are really struggling with it. I haven't read Keeley's paper (but I will now), but I usually approach it from Alva Noe's sensorimotor theory of vision, which has a particular way of differenting the senses. Unfortunately, the sensorimotor theory of vision has some major flaws in other areas, so I don't always trust it. In short, I really don't know how to differentiate the senses. If I can say something about it, though, I will certainly do so (I've never been one to keep my mouth shut). 

Posted by Chris

Anonymous said...

OK, give it a shot one of these days, and I will also give it a shot. Then, we can compare notes and both learn something in the process. 

Posted by coturnix

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in how cognitives looks at the problem of reference. Does cognitive science tend to be internalist or externalist and how does it deal with the "world out there." 

Posted by Clark

Anonymous said...

Clark, that's a great one, because it gets right at one of my complaints about my field, namely the belief that our concepts "carve the world at its joints," as Elanor Rosch famously said. 

Posted by Chris

Lizzie said...

I'm asking you my question this to you as an academic and general psychology person, not as a specifically Cognitive Psychologist. I hope it's not too inappropriate- it might not fit in to Mixing Memory at all. But, My friend claims that one of the reasons you bond to the person you're having sex with is as a Pavlovian response (in addition to any chemical rewards). The sex partner gives you pleasure, therefore you feel bonded to them. What do you think? This doesn't seem right to me for some reason, but I can't really say why. Oh, except for that I think the whole thing about Pavlov's dogs was that the bell was an unrelated stimulus. But aside from that, do you have an opinion for us?

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