Due to train connection issues, Mariel Goddu’s talk today (December 1st) has been postponed to 13:00 and will take place in room 2.111 at Waldweg 26.
Best wishes, Feride
Here is the title & abstract of Mariel Goddu’s talk (December 1st, 12:15):
Having a sense of the possible
In this talk, I am going to share some preliminary ideas for a philosophical project grounded in cognitive science that aims to answer the following question:
What sorts of cognitive capacities are involved in recognizing an „opportunity for action“? The talk has three parts.
In Part 1 (brief!), I am going to review considerations from evolutionary biology to make three uncontroversial claims: 1. Animals must act to live; 2. Acting involves being able to recognize opportunities for action; thus, 3. „Recognizing opportunities for action“ is a basic function of animal minds. This third point sets up the epistemological project: What does it mean to recognize an opportunity for action? What type of knowledge or belief does this require?
Then, in Part 2 (bulk!), I will review some key claims of an in-progress psychology review paper on the development of human-unique causal learning and reasoning. The literature reviewed suggests that both non-human animals and human children before the age of 4 do not have an objective understanding of causality––i.e., they do not view world events outside of their first-personal perspective in terms of generative causal relations, where certain events make other events happen. They only seem to have this sense about their own actions.
In Part 3 (speculation!), I will summarize why the „causal deficit“ suggested by the literature review is interesting, from two perspectives: 1. the question, „What is modal reasoning?“ from cognitive science, & 2. the question, „What is the (fundamental) ‚content‘ of cognition?“ from evolutionary epistemology.
Please register (see the link below) at the latest by Monday, November 28th, if you’d like to meet and/or have dinner with our guest speakers.
Registration form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScYLaWXitidOd1rWIT1AOkAl3YlVhVWwDMgXFkt3FyjME1j0w/viewform?usp=sf_link
Best wishes and have a nice weekend,