Albert Newen

Albert Newen
Ruhr-Universität Bochum | RUB · Institut für Philosophie II

Professor, Dr.

About

111
Publications
75,502
Reads
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5,002
Citations
Citations since 2016
32 Research Items
2348 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
Additional affiliations
March 2007 - present
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Position
  • Full Professor for Philosophy (W3)
Description
  • Research: Philosophy of Mind and Language
October 2003 - February 2007
University of Tuebingen
Position
  • Professor: Philosophy
October 1996 - August 2002
University of Bonn
Position
  • Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (111)
Article
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Many authors claim that being conscious constitutively involves being self-conscious, or conscious of oneself. This claim appears to be threatened by reports of ‘selfless’ episodes, or conscious episodes lacking self-consciousness, recently described in a number of pathological and nonpathological conditions. However, the credibility of these repor...
Article
Comparing knowledge with belief can go wrong in two dimensions: If the authors employ a wider notion of knowledge, then they do not compare like with like because they assume a narrow notion of belief. If they employ only a narrow notion of knowledge, then their claim is not supported by the evidence. Finally, we sketch a superior teleological view...
Article
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In recent years, theories of social understanding have moved away from arguing that just one epistemic strategy, such as theory-based inference or simulation constitutes our ability of social understanding. Empirical observations speak against any monistic view and have given rise to pluralistic accounts arguing that humans rely on a large variety...
Chapter
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In this paper, we call for a new approach to the psychology of free will attribution. While past research in experimental philosophy and psychology has mostly been focused on reasoning-based judgment ("the courtroom approach"), we argue that like agency and mindedness, free will can also be experienced perceptually ("the perceptual approach"). We f...
Article
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Episodic memories can no longer be seen as the re-activation of stored experiences but are the product of an intense construction process based on a memory trace. Episodic recall is a result of a process of scenario construction. If one accepts this generative framework of episodic memory, there is still a be big gap in understanding the role of th...
Conference Paper
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Do nonhuman animals (hereafter “animals”) possess empathy and if so to which degree? Can we develop a conceptual framework that allows us to characterize similarities and differences between implementations of empathy in humans and animals? We aim to answer these questions in two steps. First, we develop a new conceptual framework by distinguishing...
Article
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In ambiguous situations, infants have the tendency to gather information from a social interaction partner to regulate their behavior [social referencing (SR)]. There are two main competing theories concerning SR’s function. According to social-cognitive information-seeking accounts, infants look at social interaction partners to gain information a...
Article
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How can we solve the paradox of false-belief understanding: if infants pass the implicit false belief task (FBT) by nonverbal behavioural responses why do they nonetheless typically fail the explicit FBT till they are 4 years old? Starting with the divide between situational and cognitive accounts of the development of false-belief understanding, w...
Article
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In this article, we analyze and reject two versions of the content‐argument against animal beliefs, namely, the ontological argument from Davidson and the epistemological argument from Stich. One of the main defects of the strongest version of the argument is that it over‐intellectualizes belief ascriptions in humans and thus sets the comparative b...
Article
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One of the most pressing questions concerning singular demonstrative mental contents is what makes their content singular: that is to say, what makes it the case that individual objects are the representata of these mental states. Many philosophers have required sophisticated intellectual capacities for singular content to be possible, such as the...
Chapter
The aim of this contribution is to investigate the influence of logical tools on the development of semantic theories and vice versa. Pre-19th-century logic was limited to a few sentence forms and their logical interrelations. Modern predicate logic and later type logic, both inspired by investigating the meaning of mathematical sentences, widened...
Article
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Do we have to presuppose a self to account for human self-consciousness? If so, how should we characterize the self? These questions are discussed in the context of two alternatives, i.e., the no-self position held by Metzinger (2003, 2009) and the claim that the only self we have to presuppose is a narrative self (Dennett, 1992; Schechtman, 2007;...
Article
What are the main features that influence our attribution of moral responsibility? It is widely accepted that there are various factors which strongly influence our moral judgments, such as the agent’s intentions, the consequences of the action, the causal involvement of the agent, and the agent’s freedom and ability to do otherwise. In this paper,...
Article
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What would be an adequate theory of social understanding? In the last decade, the philosophical debate has focused on Theory Theory, Simulation Theory and Interaction Theory as the three possible candidates. In the following, we look carefully at each of these and describe its main advantages and disadvantages. Based on this critical analysis, we f...
Chapter
Gegenüber Fakten, die die eigene Person betreffen, sind wir oft taub und blind. Ist das vernünftig? Ja, sagen die Philosophen Albert Newen und Gottfried Vosgerau. Denn diese Form der Täuschung schützt und stabilisiert unser Selbstbild.
Article
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Writing over a century ago, Darwin hypothesized that vocal expression of emotion dates back to our earliest terrestrial ancestors. If this hypothesis is true, we should expect to find cross-species acoustic universals in emotional vocalizations. Studies suggest that acoustic attributes of aroused vocalizations are shared across many mammalian speci...
Article
Gesture and sign form an integrated communication system, as do gesture and speech. Communicative acts in both systems combine categorical linguistic (words or signs) with imagistic (gestures) components. Additionally, both sign and speech can employ modifying components that convey iconic information tied to a linguistic base morpheme. An accurate...
Article
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The debate about direct perception encompasses different topics, one of which concerns the richness of the contents of perceptual experiences. Can we directly perceive only low-level properties, like edges, colors etc. (the sparse-content view), or can we perceive high-level properties and entities as well (the liberal-content view)? The aim of the...
Article
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Increasing a company's short-term profit seems to be still the primary responsibility of business leaders, but profit-oriented decision strategies may also elicit long-term side effects. While positive side effects might be considered as an additional benefit, negative side effects are a crucial problem calling for social responsibility. One centra...
Poster
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Social stimuli grab our attention. However, it has rarely been investigated how variations in attention affect the processing of social stimuli, although the answer could help us uncover details of social cognition processes such as action understanding. In the present study, we examined how changes to bottom-up attention affects neural EEG-respons...
Article
Humans typically combine linguistic and nonlinguistic information to comprehend emotions. We adopted an emotion identification Stroop task to investigate how different channels interact in emotion communication. In experiment 1, synonyms of "happy" and "sad" were spoken with happy and sad prosody. Participants had more difficulty ignoring prosody t...
Article
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To which extent is it justified to adopt Kant as a godfather of cognitive science? To prepare the stage for an answer of this question, we need to set aside Kant’s general transcendental approach to the mind which is radically anti-empiricist and instead turn our attention to his specific topics and claims regarding the mind which are often not foc...
Article
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The question “What are cognitive processes?” can be understood variously as meaning “What is the nature of cognitive processes?”, “Can we distinguish epistemically cognitive processes from physical and biochemical processes on the one hand, and from mental or conscious processes on the other?”, and “Can we establish a fruitful notion of cognitive p...
Article
How can we investigate the foundations of consciousness? In addressing this question, we will focus on the two main strategies that authors have adopted so far. On the one hand, there is research aimed at characterizing a specific content, which should account for conscious states. We may call this the content approach. On the other hand, one finds...
Article
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Do our background beliefs, desires, and mental images influence our perceptual experience of the emotions of others? In this paper, we will address the possibility of cognitive penetration (CP) of perceptual experience in the domain of social cognition. In particular, we focus on emotion recognition based on the visual experience of facial expressi...
Article
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We develop a version of a direct perception account of emotion recognition on the basis of a metaphysical claim that emotions are individuated as patterns of characteristic features. On our account, emotion recognition relies on the same type of pattern recognition as is described for object recognition. The analogy allows us to distinguish two for...
Article
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According to Interaction Theory (IT), neither Theory Theory (TT) nor Simulation Theory (ST) give an adequate account of how we understand others. Their shared defect, it is claimed, is that both focus on third-person observation of the other, and neglect the role of social interaction. While interaction theory is made to account for the latter, it...
Chapter
In diesem Beitrag antworten die Autoren des Hauptbeitrags „Soziale Kognition“ auf die Kommentare und skizzieren ein Zwischenergebnis der Debatte zum Thema sowie zu den Aussichten einer interdisziplinären anthropologischen Forschungsinitiative.
Article
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We explore the developmental paradox of false belief understanding. This paradox follows from the claim that young infants already have an understanding of false belief, despite the fact that they consistently fail the elicited-response false belief task. First, we argue that recent proposals to solve this paradox are unsatisfactory because they (i...
Article
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In this paper, we develop an impure somatic theory of emotion, according to which emotions are constituted by the integration of bodily perceptions with representations of external objects, events, or states of affairs. We put forward our theory by contrasting it with Prinz's (2004) pure somatic theory, according to which emotions are entirely cons...
Article
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Ausgehend von einem Grundverständnis kognitiver Systeme wird soziale Kognition als die Gruppe der kognitiven Prozesse behandelt, die sich mit den Leistungen der Selbst-Fremd-Differenzierung und des Selbst-Fremd-Austauschs befassen und die der Interaktion und Kommunikation mit anderen Menschen dienen. Die Debatte zur sozialen Kognition wird am Probl...
Chapter
Um Missverständnisse zu vermeiden, soll zunächst Selbstbewusstsein im umgangssprachlichen Sinne abgegrenzt werden. Im Alltag sprechen wir einer Person Selbstbewusstsein zu, wenn wir ein besonders sicheres und couragiertes Auftreten charakterisieren möchten. Dagegen ist mit Selbstbewusstsein im philosophischen Sinne die Fähigkeit und der Zustand gem...
Article
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The contributions in this part of the present issue mainly originate from the Carnap Lectures 2011 in Bochum where Prof. Tim Crane (Cambridge, UK) and Prof. Katalin Farkas (Budapest) presented keynote lectures under the heading "The Boundaries of the Mental". The full workshop program is available on our website: http://www. ruhr-uni-bochum.de/phil...
Article
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Over the last couple of decades, most neuroscientific research on social cognition has been dominated by a third-person paradigm in which participating subjects are not actively engaging with other agents but merely observe them. Recently this paradigm has been challenged by researchers who promote a second-person approach to social cognition, and...
Article
The elicited-response false belief task has traditionally been considered as reliably indicating that children acquire an understanding of false belief around 4 years of age. However, recent investigations using spontaneous-response tasks suggest that false belief understanding emerges much earlier. This leads to a developmental paradox: if young i...
Chapter
Full-text available
First, we argue for the metaphysical claim that emotions are individuated as patterns of characteristic features. Our second claim concerns the epistemology of emotion recognition: We demonstrate that emotion recognition is a process pattern recognition that relies on the same type of pattern recognition typical for object recognition. The analogy...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, it is argued that phenomenal concepts – conceived as a specific kind of mental representations – should be classified as concepts in contrast to concepts. Phenomenal concepts are acquired in ontogeny, and they are based on a set of theoretical principles, i.e. a mini-theory about the status of experiences as subjective and private. B...
Conference Paper
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We report on the design of a blended-learning course in elementary symbolic logic. Challenges and solutions pertaining to the Blackboard e-learning environment (Blackboard Academic Suite Release 8.0) and a customized Gentzen-style proof checker are described. The purpose is to provide orientation for those in the planning stage of similar projects.
Chapter
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Moderne Entwicklungen in den grundlagenorientierten und klinischen Neurowissenschaften haben aktuell eine intensive Debatte zu damit verbundenen ethischen Fragen angeregt. Hirneingriffe im weitesten Sinn weisen gegenüber anderen Problemzonen einer allgemeinen Bioethik eine Besonderheit auf, weil hier auf die natürliche Grundlage der epistemischen I...
Article
Self-deception is a special kind of motivational dominance in belief-formation. We develop criteria which set paradigmatic self-deception apart from related phenomena of auto-manipulation such as pretense and motivational bias. In self-deception rational subjects defend or develop beliefs of high subjective importance in response to strong counter-...
Article
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Spatial perspective taking is an everyday cognitive process that is involved in predicting the outcome of goal directed behavior. We used dynamic virtual stimuli and fMRI to investigate at the neural level whether motion perception interacts with spatial perspective taking in a life-like design. Subjects were asked to perform right-left-decisions a...
Article
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Stanley and Williamson (The Journal of Philosophy 98(8), 411–444 2001) reject the fundamental distinction between what Ryle once called ‘knowing-how’ and ‘knowing-that’. They claim that knowledge-how is just a species of knowledge-that, i.e. propositional knowledge, and try to establish their claim relying on the standard semantic analysis of ‘know...
Article
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Accepted: Grazer Philosophische Studien Consider Ralph. Ralph is strolling along the beach where he sees a man wearing a brown hat, black sunglasses and a trench coat. He has seen this man several times before in town and his strange and secretive behaviour has made Ralph suspicious. Since the man, let's call him Ortcutt, always tries to cover his...
Article
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In a recent experiment with functional magnetic-resonance imaging, we found that brain activity in the extrastriate body area (EBA) distinguished between observed self- and other-generated movements, being significantly higher during observation of someone else's movement. Here, we investigated further the role of EBA in self-other distinctions usi...
Article
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Consciousness and mental disorders Consciousness is a unique phenomenon that can be characterized by the subjective experience, the so-called phenomenal quality involved in one's own mental states such as perceptions, judgments, thoughts, intentions to act, feelings or desires. We have to refer to this subjective experiential space when we try to d...
Chapter
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Article
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This paper presents arguments from empirical research and from philosophical considerations to the effect that phenomenality and content are two distinct and independent features of mental representations, which are both relational. Thus, it is argued, classical arguments that infer phenomenality from content have to be rejected. Likewise, theories...
Article
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Understanding and predicting other people's mental states and behavior are important prerequisites for social interactions. The capacity to attribute mental states such as desires, thoughts or intentions to oneself or others is referred to as mentalizing. The right posterior temporal cortex at the temporal-parietal junction has been associated with...
Article
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The sense of agency is a central aspect of human self-consciousness and refers to the experience of oneself as the agent of one's own actions. Several different cognitive theories on the sense of agency have been proposed implying divergent empirical approaches and results, especially with respect to neural correlates. A multifactorial and multilev...
Article
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The neurocognitive structure of the acting self has recently been widely studied, yet is still perplexing and remains an often confounded issue in cognitive neuroscience, psychopathology and philosophy. We provide a new systematic account of two of its main features, the sense of agency and the sense of ownership, demonstrating that although both f...
Article
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Deficits in social cognition and interaction, such as in mentalizing and imitation behavior, are hallmark features of autism spectrum disorders. Both imitation and mentalizing are at the core of the sense of agency, the awareness that we are the initiators of our own behavior. Little evidence exists regarding the sense of agency in autism. Thus, we...
Article
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There is an increasing amount of empirical work investigating the sense of agency, i.e. the registration that we are the initiators of our own actions. Many studies try to relate the sense of agency to an internal feed-forward mechanism, called the "comparator model". In this paper, we draw a sharp distinction between a non-conceptual level of feel...
Article
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The aim of this paper is to propose a systematic classification of emotions which can also characterize their nature. The first challenge we address is the submission of clear criteria for a theory of emotions that determine which mental phenomena are emotions and which are not. We suggest that emotions as a subclass of mental states are determined...
Data
The aim of this paper is to propose a systematic classification of emotions which can also characterize their nature. The first challenge we address is the submission of clear criteria for a theory of emotions that determinewhich mental phenomena are emotions and which are not. We suggest that emotions as a subclass of mental states are determined...
Article
Full-text available
Self-knowledge is knowledge of one’s own states (or processes) in an indexical mode of presentation. The philosophical debate is concentrating on mental states (or processes). If we characterize self-knowledge by natural language sentences, the most adequate utterance has a structure like “I know that I am in mental state M”. This common sense char...
Article
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The aim of this paper is to define a notion of supervenience which can adequately describe the systematic dependence of extrinsic as well as of intrinsic higher-level properties on base-level features. We argue that none of the standard notions of supervenience—the concepts of weak, strong and global supervenience—fulfil this function. The concept...