Kateryna Samoilova: Mental Action in Light of the Kripkensteinian Puzzle

Friday, October 26, 2018, 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Photo of Kateryna Samoilova standing in front of chalkboard which reads I Teach Because I Am
Kateryna Samoilova, assistant professor of philosophy at California State University, Chico, presents her paper on Mental Action in Light of the Kripkensteinian Puzzle. Free.
Humanities Building, Room 587
Philosophy Department
Philosophy Department
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Mental Action in Light of the Kripkensteinian Puzzle

Building on the work of Kripke (1982) and Wittgenstein (1953), Boghossian (2008) puzzled over what it means to follow a rule. Rule-following naturally seems to be a matter of acting on an intentional state, which in turn seems to be a matter of inferring. But then inferring itself seems to be a matter of rule-following.

In this paper, Samoilova argues that this puzzle stretches beyond the narrow topics of rule-following and inference and into the realm of mental actions more generally. Rule following and inferring are mental actions, if anything is. Moreover, actions are commonly understood in terms of their causal antecedents such as intentions or belief-desire combinations. If mental actions are no different, the stage is set for the Kripkensteinian puzzle to apply to mental actions in general. To avoid the puzzle, we need to approach mental actions from a different angle than we are used to with bodily actions.

Kateryna Samoilova

Kateryna Samoilova received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Brown University in 2013. Her areas of specialization are philosophy of mind and epistemology, while her research interests include philosophy of psychology and cognitive science, metaphysics and philosophy of action. She is particularly interested in the nature of the various cognitive capacities, such as perception, introspection, and reasoning, and how they contribute to our rationality.


Photo by Jason Halley/California State University, Chico