Roige, Aida, The Kinda Hard Problem for animal consciousness research. Forthcoming in Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.
Which non-human animals are phenomenally conscious? In this paper I argue that the distribution of phenomenal consciousness in the animal world is an unsolvable issue, because of an underlying problem inherent in the field: what I call the Kinda Hard problem. The Kinda Hard problem arises because the grounds on which we base our consciousness attributions to humans third-personally are either unavailable or ambiguous once we move to the animal case. Its nature is that of an epistemic problem: we cannot collect enough evidential grounds to justify attributions of phenomenal consciousness (and attributions of its lack) to non-human animals. Thus, it is impossible to ground rational belief one way or another regarding animal consciousness. This paper presents the problem and explains how it differs from other problems of consciousness.
Roige, Aida, and Carruthers, Peter (2019): Cognitive instincts versus cognitive gadgets: A fallacy. Mind & Language. 34: 540– 550. https://doi.org/10.1111/mila.12251The main thesis of Heyes' book is that all of the domain-specific learning mechanisms that make the human mind so different from the minds of other animals are culturally created and culturally acquired gadgets . The only innate differences are some motivational tweaks, enhanced capacities for associative learning, and enhanced executive function abilities. But Heyes' argument depends on contrasting cognitive gadgets with cognitive instincts , which are said to be innately specified. This ignores what has for some years been the mainstream nativist/anti‐empiricist view, which commits only to partially specified learning systems that become elaborated and built through domain‐specific learning.
Jenkins, Carrie S.I., Heaton, Jasper; Roige, Aida (forthcoming). Art and emotions: romantic love. Chapter, in: Christy Mag Uidhir (ed): Art & Philosophy: New Essays at the Intersection. Oxford University Press. Draft available.We claim that popular music has a(n often harmful) role in the construction of romantic love.
Roige, Aida (2015): Intelligence and IQ testing. Entry in the Encyclopedia of Eugenics of the Living Archives on Eugenics Project, funded by the Research Council of Canada. Open access.Intelligence, genius and mental ability were a cluster of traits that received much attention in eugenics discourse. Intelligence was regarded as one of the good qualities superior individuals possessed, in turn beneficial for society as a whole. On the other hand, the socially problematic or unproductive were identified as being of inferior mental quality: “feeble-minded”. By and large, eugenicists thought that (1) intelligence was a unitary psychological trait that could be measured, being quantified as an intelligence quotient (IQ); (2) intelligence was paired with educational achievement, reputation, and economic success; (3) a certain degree of intelligence was necessary to act morally and to foresee the consequences of one’s actions. Despite the prominent role of intelligence in the history of eugenics, there is considerable lack of clarity in what this general mental ability was considered to be.
In preparation or under review
A paper on the question of the distribution of animal consciousness (Revise & Resubmit)
Two papers on mechanistic explanation in cognitive science (under review)
A paper on Marr's tri-level hypothesis and natural kinds in cognitive science (in preparation)
A paper on what sort of thing are mental disorders (in preparation)
Some recent presentations:
Medical Grand Rounds, UM Capital Region Medical Center, August 2022: Patients' autonomy, surrogates, and advance directives.
Central APA, Chicago, February 2022: The Kinda Hard problem for animal consciousness research.
Eastern APA, Baltimore, January 2022: A mixed box: mechanisms in cognitive science.
Meeting of the International Society for History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB). Oslo, Norway, 2019: Carving the brain: are modules and mechanisms the same thing?
European Society for the History of Human Sciences (ESHHS). Budapest, Hungary, 2019: Eugenicist thought and the development of intelligence testing.
Philosophy of Science Association (PSA) meeting. Seattle, USA, 2018: Strategies to attribute phenomenal consciousness to animals, and where they fail.
(for a full list of presentations, see CV)
I recently was a project member of the following two research groups, financed by the Spanish ministry of science:
Barcelona History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) Research Group
Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain (2013 - ) PI: Thomas Sturm
Mechanisms in the sciences: from the biological to the social (MECABIOSOC) Research Group
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain. (2019 - 2020) PI: Cristian Saborido
In the past, I had also been a Research Assistant for the Metaphysics of Love Project, lead by Carrie Jenkins at the University of British Columbia, as well as a project member of the Technology and Cognition research group (TECNOCOG), at Autonomous University of Barcelona, and a junior research fellow at the philosophy institute of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).