Download Creations of the Mind: Theories of Artifacts and Their by Eric Margolis, Stephen Laurence PDF

By Eric Margolis, Stephen Laurence

Creations of the brain provides 16 unique essays by way of theorists from a large choice of disciplines who've a shared curiosity within the nature of artifacts and their implications for the human brain. all of the papers are written specifically for this quantity, they usually hide a huge variety of themes excited by the metaphysics of artifacts, our options of artifacts and the kinds that they symbolize, the emergence of an knowing of artifacts in babies' cognitive improvement, in addition to the evolution of artifacts and using instruments through non-human animals. This quantity may be a desirable source for philosophers, cognitive scientists, and psychologists, and the place to begin for destiny examine within the examine of artifacts and their position in human figuring out, improvement, and behavior.Contributors: John R. Searle, Richard E. Grandy, Crawford L. Elder, Amie L. Thomasson, Jerrold Levinson, Barbara C. Malt, Steven A. Sloman, Dan Sperber, Hilary Kornblith, Paul Bloom, Bradford Z. Mahon, Alfonso Caramazza, Jean M. Mandler, Deborah Kelemen, Susan Carey, Frank C. Keil, Marissa L. Greif, Rebekkah S. Kerner, James L. Gould, Marc D. Hauser, Laurie R. Santos, and Steven Mithen.

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Extra resources for Creations of the Mind: Theories of Artifacts and Their Representation

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Neither can I embrace across-the-board conventionalism about essentialness. My position is that artifacts have genuine, mind-independent existence—existence caused by us, to be sure, but not constituted by our believing what we do about where artifacts are to be found. Artifacts trace out mind-independent careers, mind-independent existences. But these existences too continue just so long as artifacts retain their essential properties, and so again the status of those properties as essential cannot itself be mind-dependent; otherwise it would after all follow that we carve out or construct the careers of artifacts.

INTENTIONS OR FUNCTIONS? I have already argued that artifactual substances, at least many of them, have as essential a nature as most natural substances, and that in many cases the distinction between artifactual and natural substances is artificial and unsubstantial. But that leaves the central problem of kinds of artifactual things. In specifying the L in similar-L for artifacts there are two obvious choices, the function of the thing and the intentions of the manufacturer. On the first choice, a kind of artifact is identified by taking a particular example and generalizing to objects created with the same intention.

So far as the traditional conception goes, a natural kind might be characterized by some distinctive combination of properties which individually are undistinctive, even ‘run of the mill’. There need be no one property responsible, by virtue of the laws of nature, for the presence of 38 Crawford L. Elder others which, singly or in combination, distinguish that kind from all others. Rather, the traditional conception leaves room for this possibility: that properties p1 , … , pn are essential properties of Xs just in case enough other properties cluster together with p1 , … , pn , by virtue of the laws of nature, that Xs are bound to possess properties or combinations of properties found in members of no other kind.

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