Marcin Miłkowski

Marcin Miłkowski
Polish Academy of Sciences | PAN · Institute of Philosophy and Sociology

PhD

About

95
Publications
27,377
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820
Citations
Additional affiliations
May 2005 - present
Polish Academy of Sciences
Education
September 2000 - January 2005
University of Warsaw
Field of study
  • Philosophy

Publications

Publications (95)
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we show how an open-source, language-independent proofreading tool has been built. Many languages lack contextual proofreading tools; for many others, only partial solutions are available. Using existing, largely language-independent tools and collaborative processes it is possible to develop a practical style and grammar checker and...
Book
In this book, Marcin Milkowski argues that the mind can be explained computationally because it is itself computational—whether it engages in mental arithmetic, parses natural language, or processes the auditory signals that allow us to experience music. Defending the computational explanation against objections to it—from John Searle and Hilary Pu...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary conglomerate of various research fields and disciplines, which increases the risk of fragmentation of cog-nitive theories. However, while most previous work has focused on theoretical integration, some kinds of integration may turn out to be monstrous, or result in superficially lumped and unrelated bodies...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, the Author reviewed the typical objections against the claim that brains are computers, or, to be more precise, information-processing mechanisms. By showing that practically all the popular objections are based on uncharitable (or simply incorrect) interpretations of the claim, he argues that the claim is likely to be true, relevant...
Article
Full-text available
Predictive processing (PP) has been repeatedly presented as a unificatory account of perception, action, and cognition. In this paper, we argue that this is premature: As a unifying theory, PP fails to deliver general, simple, homogeneous, and systematic explanations. By examining its current trajectory of development, we conclude that PP remains o...
Article
Bruineberg and colleagues criticisms' have been received but downplayed in the free energy principle (FEP) literature. We strengthen their points, arguing that Friston blanket discovery, even if tractable, requires a full formal description of the system of interest at the outset. Hence, blanket metaphysics is futile, and we postulate that research...
Article
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Alan Turing’s influence on subsequent research in artificial intelligence is undeniable. His proposed test for intelligence remains influential. In this paper, I propose to analyze his conception of intelligence by relying on traditional close reading and language technology. The Turing test is interpreted as an instance of conceptual engineering t...
Article
We argue that Yarkoni's proposed solutions to the generalizability crisis are half-measures because he does not recognize that the crisis arises from investigators' underappreciation of the roles of theory in experimental research. Rather than embracing qualitative analysis, the research community should make an effort to develop better theories an...
Preprint
*** This paper has now been published at Behavioral and Brain Sciences, please cite the published version: Rorot, W., Korbak, T., Litwin, P., & Miłkowski, M. (2022). Enough blanket metaphysics, time for data-driven heuristics. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 45, E206. doi:10.1017/S0140525X22000280 ***Bruineberg and colleagues criticisms’ have been r...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper proposes a novel way to understand various kinds of scientific representations in terms of cognitive artifacts. It introduces a novel functional taxonomy of cognitive artifacts prevalent in scientific practice, which covers a huge diversity of their formats, vehicles, and functions. It is argued that toolboxes, conceptual frameworks, the...
Article
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The debate between the defenders of explanatory unification and explanatory pluralism has been ongoing from the beginning of cognitive science and is one of the central themes of its philosophy. Does cognitive science need a grand unifying theory? Should explanatory pluralism be embraced instead? Or maybe local inte-grative efforts are needed? What...
Article
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In this paper, we defend a novel, multidimensional account of representational unification , which we distinguish from integration. The dimensions of unity are simplicity, generality and scope, non-monstrosity, and systematization. In our account, unification is a graded property. The account is used to investigate the issue of how research traditi...
Preprint
We argue that Yarkoni’s proposed solutions to the generalizability crisis are half-measures because he does not recognize that the crisis arises from investigators’ underappreciation of the roles of theory in experimental research. Rather than embracing qualitative analysis, the research community should make an effort to develop better theories an...
Article
A novel account of semantic information is proposed. The gist is that structural correspondence, analyzed in terms of similarity, underlies an important kind of semantic information. In contrast to extant accounts of semantic information, it does not rely on correlation, covariation, causation, natural laws, or logical inference. Instead, it relies...
Article
Predictive processing models of psychopathologies are not explanatorily consistent with the present account of abstract thought. These models are based on latent variables probabilistically mapping the structure of the world. As such, they cannot be informed by representational ontology based on mental objects and states. What actually is the case...
Article
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In his recent book, Daniel Dennett defends a novel account of semantic information in terms of design worth getting (Dennett, 2017). While this is an interesting proposal in itself, my purpose in this commentary is to challenge several of Dennett's claims. First, he argues that semantic information can be transferred without encoding and storing it...
Article
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Is there a field of social intelligence? Many various disciplines approach the subject and it may only seem natural to suppose that different fields of study aim at explaining different phenomena; in other words, there is no special field of study of social intelligence. In this paper, I argue for an opposite claim. Namely, there is a way to integr...
Article
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In this paper, we focus on the development of geometric cognition. We argue that to under- stand how geometric cognition has been constituted, one must appreciate not only indi- vidual cognitive factors, such as phylogenetically ancient and ontogenetically early core cognitive systems, but also the social history of the spread and use of cognitive...
Article
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The focus of this special issue of Theory & Psychology is on explanatory mechanisms in psychology, especially on problems of particular prominence for psychological science such as theoretical integration and unification. Proponents of the framework of mechanistic explanation claim, in short, that satisfactory explanations in psychology and related...
Article
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In this paper, I argue that embodied cognition, like many other research traditions in cognitive science, offers mostly fallible research heuristics rather than grand principles true of all cognitive processing. To illustrate this claim, I discuss Aizawa’s rebuttal of embodied and enactive accounts of vision. While Aizawa’s argument is sound agains...
Chapter
Full-text available
We seek to develop a thoroughly naturalized account of mental representation. The account makes use of the notion of a representational mechanism and an account of the role of error detection as based on coherence checking. The main point of our account is that representational mechanisms serve the biological functions of representing. These functi...
Article
Is the mathematical function being computed by a given physical system determined by the system’s dynamics? This question is at the heart of the indeterminacy of computation phenomenon (Fresco et al. [unpublished]). A paradigmatic example is a conventional electrical AND-gate that is often said to compute conjunction, but it can just as well be use...
Preprint
Full-text available
Is the mathematical function being computed by a given physical system determined by the system's dynamics? This question is at the heart of the indeterminacy of computation phenomenon (Fresco et al. [unpublished]). A paradigmatic example is a conventional electrical AND-gate that is often said to compute conjunction, but it can just as well be use...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we argue that several recent 'wide' perspectives on cognition (embodied, embedded, extended, enactive, and distributed) are only partially relevant to the study of cognition. While these wide accounts override traditional methodological individualism, the study of cognition has already progressed beyond these proposed perspectives to...
Article
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The purpose of this paper is to argue against the claim that morphological computation is substantially different from other kinds of physical computation. I show that some (but not all) purported cases of morphological computation do not count as specifically computational, and that those that do are solely physical computational systems. These la...
Article
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Replicability and reproducibility of computational models has been somewhat understudied by “the replication movement.” In this paper, we draw on methodological studies into the replicability of psychological experiments and on the mechanistic account of explanation to analyze the functions of model replications and model reproductions in computati...
Chapter
Does embodied cognition clash with the computational theory of mind? The critics of computational modeling claim that computational models cannot account for the bodily foundation of cognition, and hence miss essential features of cognition. In this chapter, I argue that it is natural to integrate computational modeling with bodily explanations of...
Chapter
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Explaining hallucinations computationally In this paper, computational explanations of episodes of hallucination are analyzed from the perspective of the mechanistic account of explanation. To make the discussion more specific, I focus on visual hallucinations occurring in people with Charles Bonnet Syndrome. Even if computational explanations, as...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, I argue that computationalism is a progressive research tradition. Its metaphysical assumptions are that nervous systems are computational, and that information processing is necessary for cognition to occur. First, the primary reasons why information processing should explain cognition are reviewed. Then I argue that early formulati...
Article
It could be argued that computationalism presupposes multiple realizability of computation, while embodiment of cognitive agents is incompatible, or difficult to reconcile with multiple realizability. Thus, some proponents of embodied cognition could reject computationalism for this reason. This paper offers a reply: It is argued that computational...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, I argue against the use of the notion of multiple realization to defend a unified account of life, as proposed by Krzysztof Chodasewicz. I show that the notion of multiple realization is itself highly problematic but, most im­portantly, it cannot warrant antireductionist claims traditionally associated with it. In particular, it is u...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, I argue that, in his account of representational mechanisms, Paweł Gładziejewski should not defend the strong claim that only structural representations are genuinely representational. In particular, his reliance on Ramsey’s typology of representations has led him astray. Moreover, one of the conditions that representational mechanis...
Chapter
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I argue that there are no plausible non-representational explanations of episodes of hallucination. To make the discussion more specific, I focus on visual hallucinations in Charles Bonnet syndrome. I claim that the character of such hallucinatory experiences cannot be explained away non-representationally, for they cannot be taken as simple failur...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, I review the objections against the claim that brains are computers, or, to be precise, information-processing mechanisms. By showing that practically all the popular objections are based on uncharitable (or simply incorrect) interpretations of the claim, I argue that the claim is likely to be true, relevant to contemporary cognitive...
Article
Full-text available
Recent work on skin-brain thesis (de Wiljes et al. 2015; Keijzer 2015; Keijzer et al. 2013) suggests the possibility of empirical evidence that empiricism is false. It implies that early animals need no traditional sensory receptors to be engaged in cognitive activity. The neural structure required to coordinate extensive sheets of contractile tiss...
Article
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This paper centers around the notion that internal, mental representations are grounded in structural similarity, i.e., that they are so-called S-representations. We show how S-representations may be causally relevant and argue that they are distinct from mere detectors. First, using the neomechanist theory of explanation and the interventionist ac...
Article
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In this paper, the role of the environment and physical embodiment of computational systems for explanatory purposes will be analyzed. In particular, the focus will be on cognitive computational systems, understood in terms of mechanisms that manipulate semantic information. It will be argued that the role of the environment has long been appreciat...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, I review the objections against the claim that brains are computers, or, to be precise, information-processing mechanisms. By showing that practically all the popular objections are either based on uncharitable interpretation of the claim, or simply wrong, I argue that the claim is likely to be true, relevant to contemporary cognitiv...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, I show how semantic factors constrain the understanding of the computational phenomena to be explained so that they help build better mechanistic models. In particular, understanding what cognitive systems may refer to is important in building better models of cognitive processes. For that purpose, a recent study of some phenomena in...
Chapter
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The purpose of this chapter is to sketch the history of mechanistic models of the mental, as related to the technological project of trying to build mechanical minds, and discuss the uses of such models in psychological and cognitive explanations. Initially, they were supposed to show that mechanisms can in principle explain the mental. Today, effo...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, an account of theoretical integration in cognitive (neuro)science from the mechanistic perspective is defended. It is argued that mechanistic patterns of integration can be better understood in terms of constraints on representations of mechanisms, not just on the space of possible mechanisms, as previous accounts of integration had...
Chapter
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Multiple realizability (MR) is traditionally conceived of as the feature of computational systems, and has been used to argue for irreducibility of higher-level theories. I will show that there are several ways a computational system may be seen to display MR. These ways correspond to (at least) five ways one can conceive of the function of the phy...
Article
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In this paper, I focus on a problem related to teleological theories of content namely, which notion of function makes content causally relevant? It has been claimed that some functional accounts of content make it causally irrelevant, or epiphenomenal; in which case, such notions of function could no longer act as the pillar of naturalized semanti...
Chapter
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Explanations in cognitive science and computational neuroscience rely predominantly on computational modeling. Although the scientific practice is systematic, and there is little doubt about the empirical value of numerous models, the methodological account of computational explanation is not up-to-date. The current chapter offers a systematic acco...
Chapter
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Herbert A. Simon is well known for his account of bounded rationality. Whereas classical economics idealized economic agency and framed rational choice in terms of the decision theory, Simon insisted that agents need not be optimal in their choices. They might be mere satispcers, i.e., attain good enough goals rather than optimal ones. At the same...
Article
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In this paper, I argue that even if the Hard Problem of Content, as identified by Hutto and Myin, is important, it was already solved in natu- ralized semantics, and satisfactory solutions to the problem do not rely merely on the notion of information as covariance. I point out that Hutto and Myin have double standards for linguistic and mental rep...
Article
Full-text available
The claim defended in the paper is that the mechanistic account of explanation can easily embrace idealization in big-scale brain simulations, and that only causally relevant detail should be present in explanatory models. The claim is illustrated with two methodologically different models: (1) Blue Brain, used for particular simulations of the cor...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial models of cognition serve different purposes, and their use determines the way they should be evaluated. There are also models that do not represent any particular biological agents, and there is controversy as to how they should be assessed. At the same time, modelers do evaluate such models as better or worse. There is also a widesprea...
Article
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The purpose of this paper is to present a general mechanistic framework for analyzing causal representational claims, and offer a way to distinguish genuinely representational explanations from those that invoke representations for honorific purposes. It is usually agreed that rats are capable of navigation (even in complete darkness, and when imme...
Article
The topic of representation is crucial for the project of naturalizing the mind and meaning. The aim of this issue is to present the current debates over the notion of cognitive representation, and in particular, to focus on specific case studies in cognitive science and psychology. The key areas of the debate include the controversy between anti-re...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Is there a field of social intelligence? Many various disciplines approach the subject and it may only seem natural to suppose that different fields of study aim at explaining different phenomena; in other words, there is no special field of study of social intelligence. In this paper, I argue for an opposite claim. Namely, there is a way to integr...
Article
Full-text available
In most accounts of realization of computational processes by physical mechanisms, it is presupposed that there is one-to-one correspondence between the causally active states of the physical process and the states of the computation. Yet such proposals either stipulate that only one model of computation is implemented, or they do not reflect upon...
Article
Full-text available
The paper proposes an empirical method to investigate linguistic prescriptions as inherent corrective behaviors. The behaviors in question may but need not necessarily be supported by any explicit knowledge of rules. It is possible to gain insight into them, for example by extracting information about corrections from revision histories of texts (o...
Chapter
The Computational Theory of Mind (CTM) claims that the mind is a computer, so the theory is also known as computationalism. It is generally assumed that CTM is the main working hypothesis of cognitive science. CTM is often understood as a specific variant of the Representational Theory of Mind (RTM), which claims that cognition is manipulation of r...
Chapter
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I discuss whether there are some lessons for philosophical inquiry over the nature of simulation to be learnt from the practical methodology of reengineering. I will argue that reengineering serves a similar purpose as simulations in theoretical science such as computational neuroscience or neurorobotics, and that the procedures and heuristics of r...
Article
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In this paper, I argue that the supposedly new theory of consciousness proposed recently by David Chalmers is very close to classical functionalism. Indeed, it treats some of the controversial assumptions of functionalism as naturally necessary. This is, however, very unfortunate, as they lead to numerous tensions in his view. In the first part, I...
Article
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Bronię tezy, że podstawowym rodzajem wyja'sniania w kognitywistyce jest wyja'snianie działania mechanizmów przetwarzania informacji. Mechanizmy te stanowią złożone, zorganizowane układy, których funkcjonowanie zależy od interakcji ich czę'sci i zachodzących w nich procesów. Konstytutywne wyja'snianie działania każdego takiego mechanizmu musi obejmo...
Chapter
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In this chapter, I argue that some aspects of cognitive phenomena cannot be explained computationally. In the first part, I sketch a mechanistic account of computational explanation that spans multiple levels of organization of cognitive systems. In the second part, I turn my attention to what cannot be explained about cognitive systems in this way...
Article
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By wide cognition we mean extended, embodied, enacted, embedded, and distributed cognition, which are related but distinct concepts. In contradiction to traditional frameworks of cognitive science, they do not explain cognitive phenomena solely with manipulation of (language-like) internal representations but stress the fact that minds can extend i...
Article
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In this paper, I describe several approaches to automatic or semi-automatic development of symbolic rules for grammar checkers from the information contained in corpora. The rules obtained this way are an important addition to manually-created rules that seem to dominate in rule-based checkers. However, the manual process of creation of rules is co...
Article
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I argue that influential purely syntactic views of computation, shared by such philosophers as John Searle and Hilary Putnam, are mistaken. First, I discuss common objections, and during the discussion I mention additional necessary conditions of implementation of computations in physical processes that are neglected in classical philosophical acco...
Article
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W artykule przedstawiono argumenty, że konfirmacja tezy, iż istnieją moduły umysłowe wyja'sniające cechy umysłu, jest z kilku powodów kłopotliwa. Po pierwsze, istnieje kilka konkurencyjnych teorii modularno'sci, które zresztą nie zawsze się wykluczają, przez co nie można między nimi rozstrzyga'c eksperymentalnie. Po drugie, tezy na temat modularno'...
Chapter
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In large computer-aided translation (CAT) projects, especially in software localization, one of the main problems is to maintain the consistent style of the translated text. To tackle this problem, translators have to follow different guidelines defined in style guides for different translation jobs. Yet, in the case of conflicting guidelines (for...
Book
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This white paper is part of a series that promotes knowledge about language technology and its potential. It addresses educators, journalists, politicians, language communities and others. The availability and use of language technology in Europe varies between languages. Consequently, the actions that are required to further support research and d...
Chapter
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The explanatory practices in neurosciences vary wildly, and there is a good reason for this: there are simply different theoretical interests in different branches of neural research. The chemical processes in individual neurons call for a different kind of explanation than processes explained by cognitive neuroscience. Yet in cognitive neuroscienc...
Article
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In this article, after presenting the basic idea of causal accounts of implementation and the problems they are supposed to solve, I sketch the model of computation preferred by Chalmers and argue that it is too limited to do full justice to computational theories in cognitive science. I also argue that it does not suffice to replace Chalmers’ favo...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this paper, we evaluate using the SRX (Segmentation Rules eX-change) standard for specifying sentence segmentation rules. The rules were originally created for a proofreading tool called LanguageTool. As proofreading tools are quite sensitive to segmentation errors, the underlying segmentation mechanisms must be sufficiently reliable. Even thoug...
Article
In this paper, we show how an open-source, language-independent proofreading tool has been built. Many languages lack contextual proofreading tools; for many others, only partial solutions are available. Using existing, largely language-independent tools and collaborative processes it is possible to develop a practical style and grammar checker and...
Article
Full-text available
Można niekiedy odnieść wrażenie, że czasy obliczeniowych teorii umysłu już minęły i pora poszukać rozwiązań bardziej radykalnych. Współcześni fi lozofowie lubują się wręcz w kontrowersyjnych propozycjach ontologicz-nych. Jedni ożywiają panpsychizm, do niedawna uważany za stanowisko kompletnie martwe. Inni przywołują popularny na przełomie XIX i XX...
Article
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Conference Paper
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In this paper, we evaluate using the SRX (Segmentation Rules eXchange) standard for specifying sentence segmentation rules. The rules were originally created for a proofreading tool called LanguageTool. As proofreading tools are quite sensitive to segmentation errors, the underlying segmentation mechanisms must be sufficiently reliable. Even though...
Article
Full-text available
In Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Daniel Dennett claims that evolution is algorithmic. On Dennett's analysis, evolutionary processes are trivially algorithmic because he assumes that all natural processes are algorithmic. I will argue that there are more robust ways to understand algorithmic processes that make the claim that evolution is algorithmic emp...
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Article
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The goal of the article is to show that a complete answer to the title question can be given only in the context of the natural sciences. We believe that the group of cognitive sciences are the most reliable source of information about cognitive mental processes is. Making use of their achievements we present a series of criteria for possessing a m...
Chapter
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The standard objection against naturalised epistemology is that it cannot account for normativity in epistemology (Putnam 1982; Kim 1988). There are different ways to deal with it. One of the obvious ways is to say that the objection misses the point: It is not a bug; it is a feature, as there is nothing interesting in normative principles in epist...
Article
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Autor podejmuję próbę całościowej oceny prawomocności tez filozoficznych Nietzschego, analizując metody uzasadniania stosowane przez autora Tako rzecze Zaratustra. Aby móc odpowiedzialnie powiedzieć, czy dany filozof ma rację nieprzypadkowo, trzeba zbadać stosowane przezeń metody uzasadniania twierdzeń. Jeśli okażą się one poprawne, mówimy, że ów f...

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Projects (5)
Project
An account of computational explanation in terms of new mechanism
Archived project
To account for explanations in cognitive science as based on computational models and computational simulations