A collection of essays dealing with issues connected with rule-following and decision-making from the perspectives of philosophy and various sciences. The Reader will learn about the diverse relations to rule-following behaviour of such phenomena as cognitive control, emotions, decision-making heuristics and creativity. The contributions also concern the problem of normativity as it is present in logic, moral epistemology and rational choice theory. Furthermore, the roles of evolution and of neural processes for the emergence of rule-following behaviour are analyzed.
Giuseppe Di Pellegrino, Jan Woleński, Edward Nęcka, Piotr Winkielman, Peter Jones, Matthew Kramer, Antonino Rotolo, Jan Kozłowski, Bartosz Brożek, Wojciech Załuski, Bipin Indurkhya, Magdalena Senderecka, Szymon Wichary, Bartłomiej Kucharzyk.
Jerzy Stelmach, Bartosz Brożek, Łukasz Kwiatek.
The Normative Mind. In Defence of a Heresy
A Cognitive Perspective on Norms
Jan Kozłowski, Marcin Czarnołęski.
From Ape to Einstein: Some Speculations on the Evolution of Morality, Mind, and Cooperation in Humans
Piotr Winkielman, Evan W. Carr, Galit Hofree, Liam C. Kavanagh.
Imitation, Emotion, and Embodiment
Łukasz Kwiatek, Mateusz Hohol.
Embodiment, Simulation and the Meaning of Language
Normative vs. Heuristic Decision Processes: The Impact of Emotions
Rational Choice Theory, Moral Decision-Making and Folk Psychology
Normativity of Logic
The Theory of Action-Explanation: Some Dimensions
Belief in Naturalism: An Epistemologist’s Philosophy of Mind
The Real Cement of Civil Society
Editing: AEDDAN SHAW
Cover design: MARIUSZ BANACHOWICZ
Layout: MIROSŁAW KRZYSZKOWSKI
Publication Supported by The John Templeton Foundation Grant "The Limits of Scientific Explanation"
© Copyright by Copernicus Center Press, 2016
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Primatologists claim that the minds of chimpanzees and bonobos are not so very different from the human mind: after all, they may possess some rudimentary theory of mind, exhibit some kinds of altruism, be capable of simple tool use, and take part in complex social interactions. Yet neither chimpanzees nor bonobos have developed anything remotely resembling human language, not to mention discovering something akin to the general theory of relativity, composing Die Kunst der Fuge or writing The Brothers Karamazov. The evolutionary gap between our species may be relatively small, but the cultural difference is a cavernous abyss.
The human mind is arguably at its best in science, art and literature. We have managed to uncover (much of) the structure of reality; our technological inventions have reshaped the face of the Earth; we are capable of expressing complex feelings and ideas in music and painting; and we have produced literary masterpieces which speak to the very nature of humanity. All those great achievements are something to be proud of; at the same time, however, they lead to a perceptual shift which successfully obscures the basic mechanisms behind the operations of the human mind. They produce an impression that in order to explain our cultural advantage over other species, one needs to concentrate on t uniquely human capacities such as language use, theory-construction or artistic expression. According to this view, the paradigmatic function of the human mind is to describe reality – in the sciences, in art, and literature. Of course, we undertake action; but action is something derivative: humans are capable of acting rationally, but rational action is always based on a rational – sufficiently justified – account of the relevant aspect of reality.
The problem is that the explanation of how typically human abilities are possible and where they come from cannot proceed in this way. In order to understand what contributed to the cultural abyss between humans and other primates, we need to concentrate on what we share with those other species. This immediately leads to a change in perspective: our minds, similarly to the minds of chimpanzees and bonobos, are primarily tools for acting in the world, not ‘mirrors of reality’. In other words, the human mind must be - at its roots - normative or action-oriented. Only through explaining the mechanisms behind our actions – the mechanisms we largely share with other primates – may we find a satisfactory account of our descriptive capacities for science, art and literature. The road to a successful explanation of the operations of the human mind must lead through its normative foundations.
The essays collected in this volume constitute an attempt to shed some light on the various dimensions of the normative mind. They differ both in scope and perspective: some are devoted to the general issues connected with the architecture of mind, others pertain to more specific problems, such as moral judgement; some are largely based on the findings of psychology and neuroscience, while others take advantage of philosophical argumentation. They all share, however, a conviction that the explanation of the normative dimension of our mental life constitutes the key to a better understanding of what it means to be human.