New Ideas in Psychology

  • Beyond neurophenomenology: A review of Colombetti's The Feeling Body
    Publication date: Available online 11 March 2015
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology

    Author(s): Tom Froese

    I review The Feeling Body: Affective Science Meets the Enactive Mind by Giovanna Colombetti (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2014, 288 pages, $40.00 hardcover). In this book Colombetti draws on the enactive theory of organismic embodiment and its key concept of sense-making in order to critically evaluate various aspects of mainstream affective science, including basic emotions and alternative constructionist approaches, as well as the cognitivist approach to emotion and appraisal theory. She defends and develops a dynamical systems approach to emotions and emphasizes the need for including more first-person methods of consciousness science in mainstream affective neuroscience. These are valuable contributions to affective science, and they also advance enactive theory. Colombetti’s proposal goes further than standard neurophenomenology in that she appeals to the bodily basis of feeling, thereby requiring a new sort of neuro-physio-phenomenology. Even more radically, she allows that all living beings are essentially affective beings, even those without a nervous system, and that emotional forms could be co-constituted by more than one person.

  • Can there be a science of the whole person? Form psychology, in search of a soul
    Publication date: Available online 27 February 2015
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology

    Author(s): Mark Freeman

  • Unitas multiplex: The person as agent
    Publication date: Available online 27 February 2015
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology

    Author(s): Rom Harré

  • Action guidance is not enough, representations need correspondence too: A plea for a two-factor theory of representation
    Publication date: Available online 13 February 2015
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology

    Author(s): Paweł Gładziejewski

    The aim of this article is to critically examine what I call Action-Centric Theories of Representation (ACToRs). I include in this category theories of representation that (1) reject construing representation in terms of a relation that holds between representation itself (the representational vehicle) and what is represented, and instead (2) try to bring the function that representations play for cognitive systems to the center stage. Roughly speaking, according to proponents of ACToRs, what makes a representation (that is, what is constitutive of it being a representation) is its being functionally involved in preselecting or guiding the actions of cognitive systems. I intend to argue that while definitely valuable, ACToRs are underconstrained and thus not entirely satisfying, since there exist structures that would count as representations according to ACToRs, but which do not play functional roles that could be nontrivially or in an explanatorily valuable way classified as representing something for a cognitive system. I outline a remedy for this theoretical situation by postulating that a fully satisfying theory of representation in cognitive science should have two factors; i.e., it should combine the pragmatic, action-oriented aspect present in ACToRs with an element that emphasizes the importance of the relation holding between a representational vehicle and what is represented.

  • Untangling two questions about mental representation
    Publication date: Available online 7 February 2015
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology

    Author(s): William Ramsey

    In their efforts to provide a naturalistic account of mental representation, both cognitive researchers and philosophers have failed to properly address an important distinction between two core dimensions of representation: the functional role of representing on the one hand, and the content associated with that role on the other hand. Instead, accounts of representation tend to either conflate these two or ignore the functional role aspect altogether. Here it is argued that by properly separating these two dimensions, we can gain a better understanding of the actual challenge we confront in explaining mental representation. Moreover, it is suggested that certain theories that have traditionally been viewed as competing accounts of representation should instead be treated as complementary accounts of these different dimensions. It is shown that by adopting this perspective, we can overcome certain traditional problems and also improve our understanding of empirical models of cognition, such as those that invoke cognitive maps in the hippocampus of animal brains.

  • Symbol Grounding Problem and causal theory of reference
    Publication date: Available online 7 February 2015
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology

    Author(s): Krystyna Bielecka

    In this paper, I juxtapose the Symbol Grounding Problem and causal theories of reference. In the first part of the paper, I show some basic assumptions they share in order to show, in the second part, some difficulties implied by these assumptions. These difficulties are: the meaning determination problem, the easy and hard disjunction problem, and the trivialization problem. My diagnosis is that both the easy and hard disjunction problem result from a more general difficulty with causal theories and the SGP solution, which is the possibility of misrepresenting, and in particular of accounting for system-detectable error. I emphasize some implications they have for the notion of representation. Finally, I enumerate some theoretical desiderata for a satisfactory account of naturalized semantics (and solutions to SGP) that would be free of the problems mentioned above.

  • From two systems to a multi-systems architecture for mindreading
    Publication date: Available online 3 February 2015
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology

    Author(s): Wayne Christensen , John Michael

    This paper critically examines Apperly and Butterfill’s parallel ‘two systems’ theory of mindreading and argues instead for a cooperative multi-systems architecture. The minimal mindreading system (system 1) described by Butterfill and Apperly is unable to explain the flexibility of infant belief representation or fast and efficient mindreading in adults, and there are strong reasons for thinking that infant belief representation depends on executive cognition and general semantic memory. We propose that schemas, causal representation and mental models help to explain the representational flexibility of infant mindreading and give an alternative interpretation of evidence that has been taken to show automatic, fast and efficient belief representation in adults.

  • Editorial Board/Publication Information
    Publication date: February 2015
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 37

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