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Honours Session 2019

1:30 Wednesday 10 July 

Room 67.302

This is a special session reserved for short presentations by current undergraduate and honours students attending AAP 2019.

Undergraduate presenters will have a five minutes to describe a topic, argument or idea they think is exciting and interesting, followed by five minutes of discussion. Honours presenters will have fifteen minutes to present their current work, followed by ten minutes of discussion. Come along and support the next generation of philosophers!

Marianne McAllister - Macquarie

"Enactive Cognition: A Predictive Path Forward”

A current challenge facing enactive and embodied cognition is the development of empirical theories about how the brain, body and environment interact. A particular topic generating lively debate is how to position predictive coding theories of mind with respect to embodied accounts. Recent empirical research offers a way forward by exploring the role of dopamine regulated salience in Bayes-optimal perception -- an account that suggests a unifying theory for dopamine. Complimenting this is qualitative work on selective affordance responsiveness in OCD patients treated with deep brain stimulation, in which observed changes in responsiveness to environmental cues invite the development of neurodynamical models grounded in the notion of the anticipating brain. I forward an approach combining the two accounts and explore its application to the discovery of neural mechanisms underlying openness to affordances in bipolar disorder, for which multiple lines of evidence suggest a central role for the dopaminergic system. These guidelines to the potential identification of underlying pathological mechanisms aim to contribute to a path forward for embodied cognition.

Raphael Morris - Monash

"Interpretive Context, Counterpart Theory, and Fictional Realism without Contradictions”

Models for truth in fiction must account for canonical and interpretive variations in different, often contrary, versions of a fiction. This involves addressing two key questions: how to interpret the truth of sentences about fiction (the ‘Interpretation Problem’) and the metaphysical nature of fictional worlds and entities (the ‘Metaphysical Problem’). My reply to the Interpretation Problem is a semantic contextualism influenced by Cameron (2012), while my reply to the Metaphysical Problem involves extending and generalising the counterpart theoretic analysis put forth by Lewis (1978). The proposed analysis considers interpretive context as a set of worlds, W, constituting the domain of a counterpart relation, and states that a sentence φ is true in interpretive context W iff φ is true at every world (w ∈ W). Finally, I consider the implications of this analysis for singular terms in fiction, concluding that singular terms delineate sets of counterparts. For fictional uses of singular terms for pre-existing objects (e.g. ‘London’ in the Holmes stories), familiar properties of the corresponding actual-world entities may be salient in restricting the domain of the counterpart relation. By reframing interpretation in terms of a variable-domain counterpart relation, the account tolerates a plurality of interpretive approaches while avoiding contradictions.

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