Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason aims to determine boundaries of reason. Reason is a
faculty of the soul. But Kant does not deal explicitly with the question what a faculty of the soul itself may be. The dissertation construes Kant’s implicit notion of a mental faculty in relation to psychological debates in 17th and 18th century Germany. It can be shown that Kant agreed with Christian August Crusius in that faculties are real properties, an assumption that was denied by Christian Wolff. This poses a problem which is fundamental for understanding Kant’s project: How can we have knowledge of mental faculties at all? If knowledge of faculties was empirical for Kant, it would belong to psychology rather than to epistemology which, according to Kant, must not rely on empirical facts. In order to find out whether there can be knowledge a priori about mental faculties, the book provides a close reading of relevant passages from published texts and other sources (lecture transcripts, Reflexionen). The final result is negative: Kant has no conclusive argument for the real existence of mental faculties. Nevertheless, an awareness of Kant’s unwritten “metaphysics of the mental” is essential for understanding implicit premisses of Kant’s thought.
A growing number of researchers claim that our traditional views about what cognitive processes are and where they take place must be revised. According to these researchers, the cognitive processes that make up our minds can reach beyond the traditionally conceived boundaries of individual organisms to include as proper parts aspects of the organism’s physical, technological, and socio-cultural environment. This idea is known as the Extended Mind Thesis (EMT). In recent years a fruitful debate about the scope and validity of EMT has emerged both within the empirical sciences (e.g. psychology and neuroscience) and in the philosophy of mind. The goal of this chapter is to investigate the empirical support for EMT by clarifying the extent to which researchers in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience in their everyday work and practice already implicitly assume extended cognition ideas or even actively operate with them.
The collective monograph, «Langage, pensée et esprit» ("Language, mind and spirit") published in French, presents the outcome of an international research project conducted during the years 2012-2015 by an international group of experts in contemporary philosophy of language and Wittgenstein scholars. The co-authors represent the following universities: University of Bergen, Norway; Université Paris-8 Vincennes Saint-Denis, France; National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia; and Université de Tunis. The monograph examines diverse aspects of L. Wittgenstein's philosophy of language that are of considerable importance for today's philosophy of mind and for the epistemology of contemporary social sciences.
The distractive effects on attentional task performance in different paradigms are analyzed in this paper. I demonstrate how distractors may negatively affect (interference effect), positively (redundancy effect) or neutrally (null effect). Distractor effects described in literature are classified in accordance with their hypothetical source. The general rule of the theory is also introduced. It contains the formal prediction of the particular distractor effect, based on entropy and redundancy measures from the mathematical theory of communication (Shannon, 1948). Single- vs dual-process frameworks are considered for hypothetical mechanisms which underpin the distractor effects. Distractor profiles (DPs) are also introduced for the formalization and simple visualization of experimental data concerning the distractor effects. Typical shapes of DPs and their interpretations are discussed with examples from three frequently cited experiments. Finally, the paper introduces hierarchical hypothesis that states the level-fashion modulating interrelations between distractor effects of different classes.