Class of 2024
Hometown: Queens, New York City, New York
Majors: Philosophy and Computer Science
Mellon Project: Against Attitudinal Discontinuism
Are memory and imagination two sides of the same coin? Modern cognitive neuroscience seems to offer a surprising “yes” to this question. The issue divides cognitive neuroscientists and philosophers of mind alike into two camps: continuists, who argue that memory and imagination differ only as a matter of degree, and discontinuists, who contend that memory and imagination are different mental kinds altogether. In “Defending Discontinuism, Naturally,” Sarah Robins generalizes the notion of a propositional attitude to introduce “seeming to remember,” the mental or episodic attitude of remembering a past event. Seeming to remember, Robins claims, is a different kind of mental attitude than that involved in imagining. In this paper, I offer three primary objections against Robins and, more generally, the discontinuists who defend a distinction in kind on the basis of introspective dissimilarity. First, I show that seeming to remember is neither necessary nor sufficient for remembering. Second, I argue that Robins' carving of mental attitudes is too permissive to map onto any carving of mental kinds. Third, I suggest that Robins fails to motivate her notion of kindhood—a notion which differs significantly from that of the continuists.
Research Interests: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind