Philosophical Applications of Cognitive Science
My interest in cognitive science stems from a concern with our basic metaphysical presuppositions about the nature of reality. By investigating, for example, the ways in which humans normally represent natural kinds, I hope to answer the question: "What kind of thing do humans think natural kinds are?". In so doing, I take myself to be making use of psychology in much the same way as did Locke, Hume, Kant, and so on.
This project currently has two, completely distinct, parts. The first concerns the psychology of categories, in particular, natural kinds, which implicates certain elements of causal cognition. The second concerns moral psychology, and is an unexpected byproduct of my work on the social structure of science; it is currently in the desk drawer, but not forever.
- Theoretical Terms without Analytic Truths. Philosophical Studies, 160, 167–190.
- Why Represent Causal Relations? In A. Gopnik and L. Schulz (eds.), Causal Learning: Psychology, Philosophy, Computation, Oxford University Press, New York, 2007.
Work In Progress
- Philosophical Knowledge. A book project.
- How Natural Kind Concepts (Seem to) Fix the Reference of Natural Kind Terms. (This paper may now be superseded by other projects.)
- A Theory of Distributive Justice