Department of Philosophy
Vendredi 21 octobre 2016, 15h00
Local DS-3470 du Pavillon J.-A. DeSève
320, rue Sainte-Catherine Est, Montréal
We represent ourselves as possessing explicit and determinate mental states: I believe Montréal is a great city; I want a cup of coffee; and I want to give an interesting talk. We also represent one another as having mental states of this sort. But why do we do this? In this talk, I will explore one plausible answer to this question, and I will suggest that it opens up intriguing possibilities for thinking and acting together. I will begin by arguing that human minds traffic in two fundamentally distinct kinds of representations. We use error-driven learning mechanisms to construct increasingly accurate maps of our evaluative landscape; and we use linguistically-structured representations to broadcast our commitments to shared understandings of the world we inhabit, and to engage in acts of supra-personal cognitive control (Shea et al 2014). Engaging in acts of explicit metacognition forces us to highlight particular aspects of our evaluative maps, as there is no neat mapping between shared linguistic practices and individual evaluative maps. But just as importantly, representing mental states explicitly allows us to broadcast our current state, in ways that provide shared materials for broadening and revising our understanding of the world (both individually and collectively).
(Notez que cette conférence sera donnée en anglais)
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