What is Cognitive Science

Understanding Self-Locating Thought

Dr. Andy Egan

Thursday, October 27, 2011, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

Rutgers University, Department of Philosophy

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Pretty much everybody agrees that there's an interesting, distinctive phenomenon of self-locating thought - there's something distinctive, for example, about the kind of doxastic state that tends to give rise to sincere assertions of "my pants are on fire", or "I am the messy shoppper". There's much less agreement on what kind of theoretical apparatus to use to model the phenomenon. One big fight in this neighborhood is between people who follow David Lewis and go for a theory in which self-locating thoughts have a distinctive sort of *content*, and between those who follow John Perry and go for a theory in which self-locating thoughts have an ordinary sort of content, but employ a distinctive sort of *mode of presentation*. I'll try to make the case for a Lewisian, fancy-content sort of account, by undermining some of the arguments against and concerns about such views, and by arguing that a Lewisian account makes for a theory that fits better with the methods of decision theory and formal epistemology.

Dr. Andy Egan


"What is Cognitive Science?"

This lunchtime talks series is designed to introduce the University community to issues in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science is one the the few fields where modern developments in computer science and artificial intelligence promise to shed light on classical problems in psychology and the philosophy of the mind. Ancient questions of how we see the world, understand language, and reason, and questions such as 'how a material system can know about the outside world', are being explored with the powerful new conceptual prosthetics of computer modeling.

The talks in this lunchtime lecture series are every Thursday during the Fall semester from ** 12:00-1:00 ** in the Psychology Building, Room 101 on  Busch Campus.

Note: Talks are also announced by email (with reminders sent the day of the talk) to people who have requested to be placed on our announce list. If you would like to be added to our announce list, please email the Business Office (business_manager@ruccs.rutgers.edu).