Philosophy Colloquium: Zoe Drayson, “What We Talk about When We Talk about Mental States”
Department of Philosophy, University of California, Davis
-Cognitive scientists in the 1980s were interested in the semantics of psychological state ascriptions: both realists and eliminativists agreed that the truth of such ascriptions depended on facts about cognitive architecture. But the semantics and the science of the mind have since gone their separate ways. Semantic approaches to mental states (e.g. Stanley and Williamson 2001 on know-how) steer clear of empirical claims about cognition, and scientifically inclined theories of the mind (e.g. the predictive processing theories of Clark 2013 and Hohwy 2013) have nothing to say about the truthmakers of psychological predicates. This separation may be ending, however, with the rise of Literalism (Figdor 2018) and Fictionalism (Demeter 2013, Toon 2016), which are both positions attempting to reconcile the semantic and scientific elements of philosophy of mind. In this paper, I explore the reasons behind the previous separation of semantics and science, and the challenges facing these new attempts to bring them back together.
This event is free and and open to the public.