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Wedding without tin cans? Limited epistemic access, managing content of experience, requirement of extensionality, and normative commitment.

Dr. Sebastian Tomasz Kolodziejczyk

Thursday, September 25, 2014, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

Jagiellonian University, Institute of Philosophy (KRAKOW)

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Abstract: Paul Thagard (2009: 237) famously draws a picture of position of philosophy within domain of cognitive sciences as a nightmare for scientists. In reaction to such the stance, Andrew Brook (2009) argues that we have to be very careful when talking about mutual relationships between philosophy and cognitive science and it is a need of time to make clear distinction between philosophy in cognitive science and philosophy of cognitive science.

In my talk two steps are going to be done. Firstly, I will claim that almost all available ideas of relations between philosophy and cognitive science eventually ends up at a metatheoretical level. It may imply that philosophers have dramatically little to say about what is really at stake in sciences of cognition. Though there have always been scientists keen on sophisticated outcomes of philosophers it is expected from philosophy, that if it wanted somehow to join sciences, it would have to be done by a change of philosophical methodology. Secondly, both Thagard and Brook (also Dennett) have some promising but undeveloped ideas that should draw our attention. These ideas I will put forward and explore in different directions. I will start with limited epistemic access thesis, then go through some observations of a role of intensional language in managing content of everyday experience, next I will refer to what I call 'requirement of extensionality' which must be met if someone wants to do serious science. In addition to that, it will be said that a main massage philosophers want to send out to scientists from the point of view of their metatheoretical stories is what I call 'normative commitment' that is irritating even for the most polite researchers but at the same time it seems to be unavoidable part of cognitive scientists theoretical equipment.

About speaker: Dr. Sebastian Tomasz Kołodziejczyk, philosopher from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, post-doc in the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (2008-2009), in Department of Philosophy at University of Geneva (2010-2011), regularly collaborating with the RUCCS. Main areas of specialization are metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. Completing soon (hopefully) his two books about nature of empirical experience and criticism of metaphysics in modern and contemporary philosophy.          

Dr. Sebastian Tomasz Kolodziejczyk