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Lines of thought : central concepts in cognitive psychology

Author: Lance J Rips
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2011.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Lines of Thought addresses how we are able to think about abstract possibilities: How can we think about math, despite the immateriality of numbers, sets, and other mathematical entities? How are we able to think about what might have happened if history had taken a different turn? Questions like these turn up in nearly every part of cognitive science, and they are central to our human position of having only  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Lance J Rips
ISBN: 9780195183054 0195183053
OCLC Number: 702137094
Description: xxxii, 441 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: PrefaceIntroduction 0.1 Modalities and Commonalities 0.2 Modal Thinking in Cognitive Domains 0.3 Psychological Approaches to Modal Thinking 1. Individuals 1.1 Object Concepts and Object Identity 1.2 Theories of Object Concepts 1.3 A Causal Continuer Theory of Object Identity 1.4 Fission and Fusion 1.5 Extensions and Limitations Appendix: A Mathematical Version of the Causal Continuer Theory 2. Numbers 2.1 Words and Numbers 2.2 Possible Precursors of Natural Numbers 2.3 The Route to Concepts of Number 2.4 Knowledge of Mathematical Principles 2.5 Math Schemas 2.6 Concluding Comments3. Causes 3.1 How are Causal Relations Given to Us? 3.2 Reasoning from Causal Theories ` 3.3 Concluding Comments Appendix: Reasoning with Conditional and Causal Sentences4. Kinds 4.1 Modal Characteristics of Natural Categories: Psychological Evidence 4.2 What Explains Natural Categories' Modal Status? 4.3 Summary and Concluding Comments Appendix: The Gap Model5. Thoughts 5.1 Psychological Theories of Concepts and Concept Combination 5.2 Dual versus Unitary Models of Concept Combination 5.3 Concept Combination and Mental Theories 5.4 Is Concept Combination Possible?6. Reasons 6.1 Reasoning's Natural Kinds 6.2 The Reasoner's Toolkit 6.3 Unitary Theories 6.4 Partitioning Theories 6.5 Concluding CommentsConclusions: Cognitive Structure 7.1 Origins of Deduction and Mathematics 7.2 Origins of Causal Knowledge 7.3 A Role for Non-perceptual Structure in Cognition ReferencesSubject IndexAuthor Index
Responsibility: Lance J. Rips.

Abstract:

"Lines of Thought addresses how we are able to think about abstract possibilities: How can we think about math, despite the immateriality of numbers, sets, and other mathematical entities? How are we able to think about what might have happened if history had taken a different turn? Questions like these turn up in nearly every part of cognitive science, and they are central to our human position of having only limited knowledge concerning what is or might be true. Because we cannot experience hypothetical or future events or abstract concepts, we cannot use our ordinary sense of perception or memory to think about these subjects, so what underlies our ability to make these assumptions? Lance Rips explores people's beliefs about possibilities as they arise in the context of basic concepts, including numbers, causality, and reasons. He argues that beliefs about these concepts cannot be meaningfully reduced to perceptual information, remembered instances, or probabilities. He also claims that analogies to cognitive perception models are equally unhelpful in understanding what makes thinking of possibilities possible. Instead, he makes the case that our abilities here depend on the intrinsic hardwiring of the human mind. Lines of Thought provides an overview and a point of view on research in higher-level cognitive science, integrating theories from psychology, philosophy, and linguistics. The book is written in an accessible style that will provide students with essential background for their own thoughts about this domain"--Publisher description.

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Together with thoughtful reviews of signature phenomena in higher cognition, Rips argues compellingly that the cognitive system imposes abstract internal interpretations on experience, and that Read more...

 
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