Coherence in Thought and Action

ISBN-10: 0262700921
ISBN-13: 9780262700924
Edition: N/A
Authors: Paul Thagard
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Description: This book is an essay on how people make sense of each other and the world they live in. Making sense is the activity of fitting something puzzling into a coherent pattern of mental representations that include concepts, beliefs, goals, and actions.  More...

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Book details

List price: $28.00
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 7/26/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 328
Size: 4.75" wide x 7.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

This book is an essay on how people make sense of each other and the world they live in. Making sense is the activity of fitting something puzzling into a coherent pattern of mental representations that include concepts, beliefs, goals, and actions. Paul Thagard proposes a general theory of coherence as the satisfaction of multiple interacting constraints, and discusses the theory's numerous psychological and philosophical applications. Much of human cognition can be understood in terms of coherence as constraint satisfaction, and many of the central problems of philosophy can be given coherence-based solutions. Thagard shows how coherence can help to unify psychology and philosophy, particularly when addressing questions of epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, politics, and aesthetics. He also shows how coherence can integrate cognition and emotion.

Preface
Acknowledgments
Coherence in Philosophy and Psychology
Coherence in Psychology
Coherence in Philosophy
Why Philosophy Abandoned Psychology
Cognitive Naturalism
Summary
Coherence as Constraint Satisfaction
Constraint Satisfaction
Coherence Problems
Computing Coherence
Measuring Coherence
Summary
Knowledge
Haack's "Foundherentism" and Explanatory Coherence
Analogical Coherence
Deductive Coherence
Perceptual Coherence
Conceptual Coherence
Unifying Coherence
Objections to Coherene Theories
Language
Summary
Reality
Truth and the World
Correspondence and Approximate Truth
Mind and Body
Other Minds
God
Summary
Appendix: The Comparative Coherence of Materialism, Dualism, and Theism
Ethics and Politics
Deliberative Coherence
Deductive Coherence
Explanatory Coherence
Analogical Coherence
Making Sense of Ethics
Putting It All Together
The Coherence of Abortion
Normative Issues
Politics: Justifying the State
What Kind of State?
Conclusion
Summary
Emotion
The Importance of Trust
Coherence-Based Inference
Emotional Coherence: Theory
Emotional Coherence: Model
Emotional Coherence and Trust
Empathy
Nationalism
Metacoherence
Beauty and Symmetry
Humor
Cognitive Therapy
Evidence for Emotional Coherence Theory
Normative Considerations
Summary
Consensus
Consensus in Science and Medicine
A Model of Consensus
Consensus and the Causes of Ulcers
Consensus and the Origin of the Moon
Benefits of Consensus Conferences
Consensus in Value Judgments
Summary
Probability
Two Traditions in Causal Reasoning
Probabilistic Networks
Translating ECHO into Probabilistic Networks
Tracking Probabilistic Problems with ECHO
Conclusion
Summary
The Future of Coherence
References
Index

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