Science & Logic

The Kiki-Bouba effect

Look at the picture above. Which one of the two figures would you call Kiki and which one would you call Bouba? I guess that you’ll say that the left one with jagged shapes is Kiki and the right one with round shapes is Bouba. If so, you are not alone. More than 95% of all people who were asked this question gave the same answer. Moreover, it’s an intercultural phenomenon and it’s also independent of age. The Kiki-Bouba effect prevails even in cultures with no written language and among pre-reader children. Apparently, the relation between the sound of a word and the image it evokes (and the other way round) is to a high extent innate in man. It belongs to man’s nature. On purpose I write “to a high extent”, for, as we saw already, not 100% of all who were asked the question called the jagged-shaped figure Kiki, and for some groups, like autists, and for some cultures the connection is weaker, though it still exists. Nevertheless, we can call the Kiki-Bouba effect a natural phenomenon.The effect was first discovered in 1929 by the German-American psychologist Wolfgang Köhler, but it has especially been investigated since Vilayanur S. Ramachandran and Edward M. Hubbard repeated Köhler’s experiment in 2001. They introduced also the nonsense words Kiki and Bouba. The effect exists also outside language. For instance, we call some music romantic and other music wild. In music the effect is used for evoking certain feelings or emotions.Linguists always... -

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THE FATE OF ANALYSIS, #34–The Picture Theory of Meaning, & Wittgenstein’s Argument Against It.

TABLE OF CONTENTS I. Introduction                                                                                                 II. Classical Analytic Philosophy                                                                II.1 What Classical Analytic Philosophy Is: Two Basic Theses                                           II.2 What Classical Analytic Philosophy Officially Isn’t: Its Conflicted Anti-Kantianism              II.3 Classical Analytic Philosophy Characterized in Simple, Subtler, and Subtlest Ways II.4 Three Kinds of Analysis: Decompositional, Transformative, and Conceptual                 II.5 Frege, The First … [continue reading] -

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Challenges to Metaphysical Realism

[Revised entry by Drew Khlentzos on January 25, 2021. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, model-theory-completeness.html, model-theory.html, notes.html] According to metaphysical realism, the world is as it is independent of how humans or other inquiring agents take it to be. The objects the world contains, together with their properties and the... -

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Karen Zumhagen-Yekplé and others on literature after Wittgenstein

¶ Another Zoom symposium on a Wittgenstein-related book, this one featuring Karen Zumhagen-Yekplé, Marjorie Perloff, et al.    -

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Challenges to Metaphysical Realism [Revised entry by Drew Khlentzos on January 25, 2021. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, model-theory-completeness.html, model-theory.html, notes.html] According to metaphysical realism, the world is as it is independent of how humans or other inquiring agents take it to be. The objects the world contains, together with their properties and the relations they enter into, fix the world's nature and these objects [together with the properties they have and the relations they enter into] exist independently... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


The Kiki-Bouba effect Look at the picture above. Which one of the two figures would you call Kiki and which one would you call Bouba? I guess that you’ll say that the left one with jagged shapes is Kiki and the right one with round shapes is Bouba. If so, you are not alone. More than 95% of all people who were asked this question gave the same answer. Moreover, it’s an intercultural phenomenon and it’s also independent... Philosophy by the Way -


My Ancestors Slept Here by Lawrence Rifkin MD When I, mild-mannered guy, journeyed to wild remote Africa, I made sure my mind was revved up with knowledge of evolution, and my body was revved up with vaccinations of typhoid, yellow fever, hepatitis A, tetanus, polio, meningococcus, and measles. With the best of romantic intentions, in a small gift box, I had surprised my wife on our 25th wedding anniversary with two blank airplane tickets and a pencil. “Write in wherever... Reason and Meaning -


Conflicts and their Resolutions: C+T Online Conference 2021 Details here. classical liberalismcosmos+taxisJoseph SchumpeterSpontaneous order Man Without Qualities -


Realities ≤ Universes ≤ Worlds ≤ Cosmos My new book project, The Weirdness of the World, engages big-picture metaphysics and cosmology. This has me thinking about solipsism and materialism (aka physicalism), among other things. According to solipsism, the only thing that exists is my own mind. According to materialism, the only things that exist are material things. These claims are ambiguous in scope. The only things that exist where? Consider ordinary cases of implicitly restricted quantifiers. If I say, "there's no beer!"... Splintered Mind -


Karen Zumhagen-Yekplé and others on literature after Wittgenstein Another Zoom symposium on a Wittgenstein-related book, this one featuring Karen Zumhagen-Yekplé, Marjorie Perloff, et al.    Language Goes on Holiday -


AND YOU THOUGHT I COULD NOT GET ANY MORE TRIVIAL This morning, as I was idly scanning the front page of the online New York Times, scrolling down at the very bottom I came on a little story with this headline:   “Your cat isn’t just getting high off catnip.”   As I thought about that sentence the following thought occurred to me. You could make seven sentences with seven entirely different meanings merely by moving the location of the word “just.” Watch:   Just... The Philosopher’s Stone -


Daniel Burnston & Philipp Haueis, Evolving Concepts of “Hierarchy” in Systems Neuroscience Daniel Burnston (Tulane University) and Philipp Haueis (Bielefeld University) are the authors of this last post in this book symposium for the edited volume Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in Philosophy of Neuroscience (Springer 2021). Concepts in science change over time.  As new results are discovered and incorporated into an existing theoretical framework, the connotations of concepts are often stretched, or their meanings changed altogether.  In recent philosophy of science, these concepts have been referred to as “patchworks,”... Brains Blog -


Bryce Gessell, (Behind The Stage of) Prediction and Topological Models in Neuroscience Bryce Gessell (Sothern Virginia University) is the first author of this third post in this book symposium for the edited volume Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in Philosophy of Neuroscience (Springer 2021). We called our chapter “Prediction and Topological Models in Neuroscience,” and we wrote it in the spirit of Jack Gallant. Let me explain why. Gallant and his lab are famous for decoding visual images from fMRI data, as in this paper. In 2016 he spoke at... Brains Blog -


I can jump 100 feet up in the air Consider a possible world w1 which is just like the actual world, except in one respect. In w1, in exactly a minute, I jump up with all my strength. And then consider a possible world w2 which is just like w1, but where moments after I leave the ground, a quantum fluctuation causes 99% of the earth’s mass to quantum tunnel far away. As a result, my jump takes me 100 feet in the air.... Alexander Pruss -


Daniel Weiskopf, What Decoding Can’t Do Daniel Weiskopf (Georgia State University) is the author of this third post in this book symposium for the edited volume Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in Philosophy of Neuroscience (Springer 2021). Neuroimaging has seen major advances in experimental design and data analysis in recent decades. Among these are new methods, provocatively referred to as mind-reading or brain-reading, that borrow tools from machine learning to decode cognitive processing from ongoing neural activity. These have not only promised to shed... Brains Blog -


Sheep in sheep's clothing Suppose you know the following facts. In County X, about 40% of sheep wear sheep costumes. There is also the occasional trickster who puts a sheep costume on a dog, but that’s really rare: so rare that 99.9% of animals that look like sheep are sheep, most of them being ordinary sheep but a large minority being sheep dressed up as sheep. You know you’re in County X, and you come across a field with... Alexander Pruss -


Mazviita Chirimuuta, Your Brain Is Like a Computer: Function, Analogy, Simplification Science is a project of domestication in which the wild forces of nature are tamed and set to work for human advantage. We need not dwell on the Baconian ideology expressed in the metaphors of “taming” and “setting to work”, and in the very opposition of the human and the natural that is here presupposed. Let us just attend to the word domestication – making something homely, the home (domicile) being the residence of a... Brains Blog -


Snake/Rope Master Analogy  Most philosophy writing is like a pint in a two gallon bucket: a few good points wrapped in repetition and waffle which tends to obscure them.  Sankara in his preamble to the Brahma-Sutra Bhasya reverses this m.o. to give a  concentrated aphoristic  expression of almost poetic compression.  The whole argument is put before you in a way that allow you to see it in a single comprehension.  That is its strength and its stumbling block. ... Ombhurbhuva -


THE FATE OF ANALYSIS, #35–Wittgenstein on Understanding & Rule-Following. TABLE OF CONTENTS I. Introduction                                                                                                 II. Classical Analytic Philosophy                                                                II.1 What Classical Analytic Philosophy Is: Two Basic Theses                                           II.2 What Classical Analytic Philosophy Officially Isn’t: Its Conflicted Anti-Kantianism              II.3 Classical Analytic Philosophy Characterized in Simple, Subtler, and Subtlest Ways II.4 Three Kinds of Analysis: Decompositional, Transformative, and Conceptual                 II.5 Frege, The First … [continue reading] Against Professional Philosophy -


Epistemic Calibration Bias and Blame-Aversion People typically treat having an importantly false belief as much more problematic than failing to have an importantly true belief.  They're more concerned about being over-confident than being under-confident in their credences.  But why?  Is such an epistemic asymmetry warranted?I'm dubious.  The ideal is to be epistemically well-calibrated: to have just the degree of confidence in an important proposition that is warranted by your evidence, such that in the long run exactly X% of your "X% confident" beliefs... Philosophy, et cetera -


Is there a philosophy of neuroscience? The Neural Mechanisms Online Team (Fabrizio Calzavarini & Marco Viola) is grateful to the managing editors of The Brains Blog for the opportunity to present (a selection of chapters from) our edited collection throughout this week. * * * Drawing on the experience and on the network of the homonymous web-events (https://www.neuralmechanisms.org/), the edited volume Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in Philosophy of Neuroscience (Springer 2021) comprises twenty chapters from a vast array of authors, dealing... Brains Blog -


Now Featured We are thrilled that some authors of the new edited volume Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in the Philosophy of Neuroscience (Springer, 2020) will be sharing and responding to comments this week. You can find a new post each day or find everything in one place here (as it becomes available). A list of this week’s authors and posts is below. Fabrizio Calzavarini & Marco Viola, Is There a Philosophy of Neuroscience?Mazviita Chirimuuta, Your Brain Is... Brains Blog -


S. Senn: “Beta testing”: The Pfizer/BioNTech statistical analysis of their Covid-19 vaccine trial (guest post) . Stephen Senn Consultant Statistician Edinburgh, Scotland The usual warning Although I have researched on clinical trial design for many years, prior to the COVID-19 epidemic I had had nothing to do with vaccines. The only object of these amateur musings is to amuse amateurs by raising some issues I have pondered and found interesting. Coverage matters In this blog I am going to cover the statistical analysis used by Pfizer/BioNTech (hereafter referred to as... Error Statistics -


The Dialogical Roots of Deduction, 2 Moving on to discuss Chapter 2 of Catarina Dutilh Novaes’s The Dialogical Roots of Deduction … CDN has argued in her opening chapter that “deduction remains a puzzling phenomenon. While a number of accounts have been proposed, none of them is entirely satisfactory.” So how to proceed? In §2.1, she proposes to adopt a “more encompassing perspective” than usual, using a wider range of “methodological approaches”. But what, more specifically, does that come to? She... Logic Matters -