All sentences are to be 16 words or less. If any sentence is longer than 16 words, your grade will be reduced. TAs can refuse to accept a paper until the word limit is met. The exercise is again meant to further clarity and conciseness in your writing.
Rules of thumb: (i) Use simple words, keeping vocabulary as concrete as possible. (ii) Use examples. (iii) Use active not passive voice as much as possible. Use transitive not intransitive verbs as much as possible. (iv) If you use a technical expression, or an expression Granny or your non-philosopher roommate would not understand, explain it clearly and concisely. If you can’t explain it, you shouldn’t use it. (v) Where there is an argument, break it down into steps, and make sure that the argument logically supports its conclusion–unless you are criticizing an argument with some logical gap in it. (vi) Keep the writing clear, simple, and direct. (vii) Read your paper outloud for yourself before handing it in. Try it out on a friend. If it is not clear to him/her, it probably isn’t clear enough to hand in.
The paper is to be on one of these three topics:
1. Explain path integration. Explain why one might think that certain types of path integration are not representational, and do not depend on perceptual capacities; also explain why one might be tempted to think that the capacities are representational and do involve perceptual constancies. Use the explication of perception, from class, as objective, sensory, representation by an individual, to support the explanation. Check Origins of Objectivity index on path integration
2. Explain Spelke’s argument that representing something as a body is a post-perceptual capacity. Explain what it is to be a perceptual capacity. Use a brief version of the account given in class (capacity for objective, sensory representation by an individual).
Explain Burge’s criticism of Spelke’s argument. For the Spelke-Burge interchange, see Origins of Objectivity 438-450.
3. By reference to the methodology of testing for dishabituation, explain how a psychologist might argue that an individual, like a monkey, that lacks language might have a capacity to represent something as a body. (See the discussion of dishabituation, or violation of expectancy, Carey, The Origin of Concepts pp. 40ff..) Then by reference to Burge’s discussion (Origins, 463-464) of what capacities are involved in perceiving something as a body, explain what evidence might show that the capacity to represent something as a body occurs at the level of perceptual representation. Be sure to explain what it is to have a perceptual capacity. Use a brief version of the account given in class (objective, sensory representation by an individual
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