John Vervaeke

John Vervaeke
University of Toronto | U of T · Department of Psychology

About

31
Publications
36,484
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434
Citations
Citations since 2017
17 Research Items
241 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080
2017201820192020202120222023020406080

Publications

Publications (31)
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the enactment of agency in the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. We argue that MER functioned as a distributed cognitive system, made up of highly specialized, though complementary, elements. To explain how a sense of shared agency was attained therein, we augment the distributed account with Tollefsen and Gallagher’s Philos...
Article
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The frame problem refers to the fact that organisms must be able to zero in on relevant aspects of the world and intelligently ignore the vast majority of the world that is irrelevant to their goals. In this paper we aim to point out the connection between two leading frameworks for thinking about how organisms achieve this. Predictive processing i...
Article
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The distinguishing feature of enactivist cognitive science is arguably its commitment to non-reductionism and its philosophical allegiance to first-person approaches, like phenomenology. The guiding theme of this article is that a theoretically mature enactivism is bound to be humanistic in its articulation, and only by becoming more humanistic can...
Article
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Background and Objectives: Although there is accumulating evidence for an inverse relation between life meaning and psychological distress, little is known about the mechanisms of this relation. Using cross-sectional, observational methods, this research examined fear of uncertainty as one potential mechanism. Design and Methods: Study 1 (N = 141)...
Article
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Nishitani and Neoplatonism both argue that overcoming the nihilism of non-being requires a confrontation with, and cultivation of, the experience of nothingness. This paper argues that the appreciation of nothingness is best realized in the practice of dialectic into dialogos, as adapted from the Socratic tradition. We argue that dialectic equips t...
Article
Scientists working in the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission (2004-2018) reported having a sense of presence on Mars. How is this possible, given that many of the factors underlying presence in mundane situations were absent? We use Riva and Waterworth's (2014) Three-Level model to elucidate how presence was achieved. It distinguishes among proto...
Article
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Although research on presence in virtual environments has increased in the last few decades due to the rise of immersive technologies, it has not examined how it is achieved in distributed cognitive systems. To this end, we examine the sense of presence on the Martian landscape experienced by scientific team members in the Mars Exploration Rover (M...
Preprint
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Interest in wisdom in the cognitive sciences, psychology, and education has been paralleled by conceptual confusions about its nature and assessment. To clarify these issues and promote consensus in the field, wisdom researchers met in Toronto in July of 2019, resolving disputes through discussion. Guided by a survey of scientists who study wisdom-...
Article
Full-text available
Interest in wisdom in the cognitive sciences, psychology, and education has been paralleled by conceptual confusions about its nature and assessment. To clarify these issues and promote consensus in the field, wisdom researchers met in Toronto in July of 2019, resolving disputes through discussion. Guided by a survey of scientists who study wisdom-...
Chapter
Full-text available
Let us begin the study of wisdom by noting that it involves some kind of cognitive improvement that affords the living of a good life. When we use the term 'cognition' or 'cognitive', it should be broadly construed as the terms are used in cognitive science, meaning thinking, reasoning, memory, emotion and perception. There are factors such as good...
Chapter
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In this paper we review arguments for the central nature of the problem of relevance, as well as arguing that relevance realization is the basis for general intelligence, supporting this position with recent findings in neurodynamics and neuroanatomy, as well as machine learning and graph theory.
Article
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We argue that an explanation of relevance realization is a pervasive problem within cognitive science, and that it is becoming the criterion of the cognitive in terms of which a new framework for doing cognitive science is emerging. We articulate that framework and then make use of it to provide the beginnings of a theory of relevance realization t...
Chapter
Full-text available
How body relates to mind is the fundamental question addressed by embodiment theory. Margaret Wilson’s (2002) wide-ranging review assessed six versions of the theory. Wilson concluded one to do with internalization is effective: allegedly abstract cognitive processes “make use of sensorimotor functions in exactly this kind of covert way” (p. 633)....
Article
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David Ritchie (2003b) defended Lakoff & Johnson’s (1980) theory of conceptual metaphor against criticism made by Vervaeke and Kennedy (1996). Though Ritchie modified theory of conceptual metaphor, he held fast to the idea that much of abstract thought depends on metaphorical projection from embodied experience. We argue therein lie reductionism’s d...
Article
This paper explores the question of whether rationality can be explained. We begin by discussing Fodor's sceptical view, together with some retorts by Philip Cam and Dan Dennett. Next we outline Chemiak's theory of minimal rationality, which claims to rescue central systems from inexplicability. We argue that Chemiak comes to his conclusion about t...
Article
George Lakoff (1987) put forward a new account of the standard prototype effects in Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal About the Mind (WF&DT) that has become increasingly popular since the book's publication. We believe, however, that the theory presented in WF&DT remains untenable for a number of reasons. Briefly, we argue t...
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George Lakoff's (1987) work has been a major force in the recent effort to redefine the study of concept formation, semantics, metaphor, and ultimately all of scientific psychology. In place of the traditional objectivist account of these domains, Lakoff offered experientialism, a position that has become increasingly popular in a wide array of psy...
Article
The problem with many contemporary criticisms of Chomsky and linguistic nativism is that they are based upon features of the theory that are no longer germane; aspects that have either been superseded by more adequate proposals, or that have been dropped altogether under the weight of contravening evidence. In this paper, rather than rehashing old...
Article
Metaphors are more than figures of speech, because they influence concepts as well as modes of expression. Metaphors also come in types, related to specific topics, such as warlike metaphors used to describe arguments. It is sometimes contended that the root metaphors for these types are implicit. However, there is little reason to suppose influent...
Article
Connectionist models of cognition are all the rage these days. They are said to provide better explanations than traditional symbolic computational models in a wide array of cognitive areas, from perception to memory to language to reasoning to motor action. But what does it actually mean to say that they "explain" cognition at all? In what sense d...
Article
In that metaphor is made up of ideas and their expression, not just language, it may occur in pictures, not just in verbal representation. Pictorial metaphors for action in line drawings frequently involve events depicted in ways that violate a standard usage of outline and show the course of the action aptly. Metaphoric line pictures may include a...
Article
Mark Johnson (1991) argues in favour of embodied experience as the basis for knowledge. An important implication of his analysis is that these experiences instigate pervasive metaphorical systems. Johnson's argument involves reductionist problems, chicken‐and‐egg problems and, at times, unclear criteria for what counts as a basic experience and a m...
Article
Two separate conceptions of intelligence persist within the cognitive science community: The psychometric conception in terms of general intelligence (g), and the categorical conception in terms of the criteria that an entity must meet to be an intelligent cognitive agent. In this paper, we argue that a framework of intelligence in terms of relevan...

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Project (1)
Archived project
Investigating converging lines of evidence suggesting that intelligence may have a threshold beyond which it starts becoming deleterious. This project is currently on hold, but will be completed in the future when we have formulated the idea sufficiently well.