The goal of “Phenomenology of Distraction“ is to explore the imbrication of attention and distraction within existential spatiality and temporality. First, I juxtapose the Heideggerian dispersion of concern (which includes, among other things, the attentive comportment) in everyday life, conceived as a way to get distracted from one's impending mortality, to Fernando Pessoa's embracing of the inauthentic, superficial, and restless existence, where attention necessarily reverts into distraction. Second, I consider the philosophical confessions of St. Augustine and Jean-Jacques Rousseau as evidence (...) for the proto-phenomenological temporal synthesis that hinges upon distraction and dispersion, despite the confessors' best efforts to pay attention to their inner life and to concentrate it in the eternal present. The paper concludes with an assessment of the ethical effects of mutual distraction, outlining a model of “distracted intersubjectivity.. (shrink)
A cueing paradigm was employed to examine modulation of distraction due to a visual singleton. Subjects were required to make a saccade to a shape-singleton target. A predictive location cue indicated the hemifield where a target would appear. Older adults made more anticipatory saccades than younger adults, and were less accurate for making an eye movement in the vicinity of a target. However, younger and older adults likewise benefited from the cue; distraction was reduced when the distractor singleton appeared in (...) an uncued hemisphere. The ability to compensate for problems with distraction in older and younger adults through use of the precue suggests that attention to a general region of space, rather than a specific location, may be enough to modulate distraction. (shrink)
Responding to potential hazards is likely to require precaution-related recalibration, the extensive integration of complex variables related to inferred risk and fitness. By swamping working memory with goal-demoted actions and focusing recalibration on the inferred threat, ritualized behaviors may serve to increase the efficacy of precaution-related recalibration. This benefit may be an important mechanism maintaining non-pathological ritualized behavior. (Published Online February 8 2007).
This study investigated attention to a spatial location using a new spatial preparation task. Participants responded to a target dot presented in the center of a display and ignored a distractor dot presented to the right or left of the center. In an attempt to vary the level of preparatory attention directed to the target, the distractor dot was presented prior to the onset time of the target and the relative frequency of distractor dots to target dots within a block (...) of trials was varied. The results from the first three experiments showed that when instructions induce weak preparatory attention to the target location, response times to a target on target-only trials increase substantially as the percentage of trials containing a distractor increases from 0 to 75%. In Experiments 2 and 3, instructions and display saliency were used to induce strong preparatory attention to the target location, resulting in almost constant response times across distractor percentages. Experiment 4 varied percentage of target trials in the absence of distractors, with the result that response times decreased as target trial percentage increased. Accounts of these data by early ''activity-based'' and late ''criterion-based'' attention theories are compared, and the early theory is given a more detailed description within the context of a cognitive neuroscience theory of attention. (shrink)
We argue that the effects of evaluative learning may occur (a) without conscious perception of the affective stimuli, (b) without awareness of the stimulus contingencies, and (c) without any awareness that learning has occurred at all. Whether the three experiments reported in our target article provide conclusive evidence for either or any of these assertions is discussed in the commentaries of De Houwer and Field. We respond with the argument that when considered alongside other studies carried out over the past (...) few decades, our experiments provide compelling evidence for a theory that posits a dissociation between evaluative learning and contingency awareness. (shrink)
Both Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin borrow from Freudian theory in their analyses of fetishism’s relation to the contemporary reception of cultural products. I will argue that both authors have confused the Marxian and Freudian theories of fetishism, resulting in mistaken conclusions about artistic reception. By disentangling the Marxian and Freudian elements in both authors’ positions, I want to show that 1) Adorno’s characterization of regressive listening implies, contrary to his intentions, that the current reception of artwork is in fact (...) antagonistic to fetishism, and that 2) his criticism of Benjamin’s optimism toward “reception in distraction” is nevertheless justified. If I am correct, it may be necessary to reassess Adorno’s demand for asceticism in advanced art. The current danger may not be “fetishism” at all, but rather the troublesome consequences of fetishism’s decline. (shrink)
O SET THE STAGE for the discussion, I will rehearse and clarify a well-known dispute between A. J. Ayer and J. L. Austin concerning whether perceptual judgments are inferences. Both in his Sense and Sensibilia and in his "Other Minds," Austin carefully distinguishes recognizing that p from inferring that p. For the purpose of comparing his position to Ayer's, we might put his basic claim in this way: given the way words such as "recognize" and "infer" are used outside philosophical (...) discussions, one clearly distinguishes instances of recognizing from instances of inferring. Yet Ayer does not dispute that, but replies that while non-philosophers do make a sharp distinction between the two, it is arbitrary for philosophical purposes. Claims based upon one's having recognized something are sufficiently like claims based upon one's having inferred, Ayer supposes, that it is useful to treat them as instances of a common category. So the issue is not whether the distinction is recognized outside philosophical circles, but whether it is a defensible and useful one to make. Clearly, Austin insists upon the distinction because he supposes that failing to make it will promote philosophical confusion; indeed, he argues that one traditional problem of skepticism is largely due to this confusion. In his "Other Minds," Austin tries to suggest how recognizing differs from inferring by showing how the sorts of questions or challenges brought to bear differ between the two sorts of claim: for inferences, one wants a rehearsal of the pieces of evidence and an account of their connections to the judgment; for perceptual claims of recognition, one explores whether the observer had the opportunity to see what he claimed to have seen, whether he had acquired the expertise to recognize the sort of thing he claimed to have seen, and whether the circumstances were free of evident distraction and defect. But his readers' appreciation of these things depends. (shrink)
Companies are beginning to recognise the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as presenting a new business model and an opportunity for building innovative forms of competitive advantage. Boards are instrumental in shaping and overseeing such strategies and active engagement around what it means to be a responsible and responsive enterprise can strengthen the Board's potential as a strategic influence on long-term value creation. Yet many companies align with Friedman's contention that adopting and practising CSR is a distraction from their (...) core obligation, which is to act in their shareholders' best interests. Based on directors' perceptions, the paper examines responses by Boards to socially related aspects of their governance role and reports on their external orientation and receptiveness toward wider social obligations. The findings suggest that these Boards hold a narrow view of their fiduciary duty, which is closer to the shareholder model than the stakeholder approach to corporate governance. (shrink)
According to Unconscious Thought Theory (Dijksterhuis & Nordgren, 2006), complex decisions are best made after a period of distraction assumed to elicit “unconscious thought”. Here, we suggest instead that the superiority of decisions made after distraction results from the fact that conscious deliberation can deteriorate impressions formed online during information acquisition. We found that participants instructed to form an impression made better decisions after distraction than after deliberation, thereby replicating earlier findings. However, decisions made immediately were just as good as (...) decisions made after distraction, which suggests (1) that people had already made their decision during information acquisition, (2) that deliberation-without-attention does not occur during distraction, and (3) that ruminating about one's first impression can deteriorate decision quality. Strikingly, in another condition that should have favored unconscious thought even more, deliberated decisions were better than immediate or distracted decisions. These findings were replicated in a field study. (shrink)
This article considers the ethical implications of digital virtual reality (DVR) within the context of the place of virtual reality in general in human life and development. This is elaborated through a comparative analysis of the continuity and discontinuity between virtual reality in other mediated forms and DVR. The important role played by virtual reality in human creativity and adaptation sets the context for considering the ethics of DVR in 4 main areas: epistemological questions, questions of distraction and displacement, the (...) content of DVR, and questions of power. (shrink)
Contemporary culture increasingly suffers from problems of attention, over-stimulation, and stress, and a variety of personal and social discontents generated by deceptive body images. This book argues that improved body consciousness can relieve these problems and enhance one’s knowledge, performance, and pleasure. The body is our basic medium of perception and action, but focused attention to its feelings and movements has long been criticized as a damaging distraction that also ethically corrupts through self-absorption. In Body Consciousness, Richard Shusterman refutes such (...) charges by engaging the most influential twentieth-century somatic philosophers and incorporating insights from both Western and Asian disciplines of body-mind awareness. (shrink)
Schemas contribute to adaptation, filtering novelty though knowledge-expectancy structures, the residue of past contingencies and their consequences. Adaptation requires a balance between flexible, dynamic context-sensitivity and the cognitive efficiency that schemas afford in promoting persistent goal pursuit despite distraction. Affects can form and disrupt schemas. Transient affective experiences systematically alter selectivity of attentiveness to the directly experienced present environment, the internal environment, and to the stored experiences of memory. Enduring personal stylistic predispositions, like implicit motives and affective schemas, influence how (...) experience is perceived, responded to, and integrated; they shape memory and influence present experiential patterns, individually and intersubjectively. Such systematic influences are potential sources of error in the study of memory if not mapped; so far, individual personality differences have just been a source of complication in the literature on emotion-congruent perception and memory. I synthesize what findings there are about how personality differences, emotions, and affects contribute to the structuring and integration of perceptions and memories both directly and by way of hot, affectively-anchored schemas. Case studies from experimental and personality psychology highlight a conception of personality and affective experience relevant to memory research and cognitive science. (shrink)
Ethics as a philosophical discipline has always been preoccupied with theory to the detriment of practice and the exclusion of material culture. Lately, practice has been rehabilitated, but material culture continues to be ignored. Cultural critics and sociologists have attended to it but have also refrained from a moral assessment of it. The findings of Csikszentmihalyi and Rochberg?Halton, however, reflect two kinds of cultural realities that sponsor two kinds of conduct. The first kind, represented by musical instruments, I call commanding (...) reality. It invites social and physical engagement and provides orientation within the world. The second kind, exemplified by stereos, consists of consumable commodities and conduces to a life of distraction and disorientation. I conclude that ethics is not just a matter of conduct within whatever reality but of deciding which kind of reality we favor over the other. My plea is on behalf of commanding reality. Modern philosophy has been at two removes from the real world. First, in aspiring to theory, it has been distanced from practice. Theory can inform practice, but practice is richer than theory and, above all, self?sustaining. Practice can survive without theory while theory arises from a practice and perishes without the nourishment of a practice. Practice, as philosophers have always seen it, is in turn removed from its tangible setting. Yet material culture constrains and details practice decisively. Practice, abstracted from its tangible circumstances, is reduced to gesturing and sometimes to posturing. (shrink)
Cohen begins by defining ‘Color Physicalism’ so that the position is incompatible with Color Relationalism (unlike Byrne and Hilbert 2003, 7, and note 18). Physicalism, in any event, is something of a distraction, since Cohen’s argument from perceptual variation is directed against any view on which minor color misperception is common (Byrne and Hilbert 2004). A typical color primitivist, for example, is equally vulnerable to the argument. Suppose that normal human observers S1 and S2 are viewing a chip C, as (...) in Cohen’s example. C looks unique green to S1, and bluish green to S2. The problem, as Cohen has it, is to explain “what could (metaphysically) make it the case” that S1, say, and not S2, is perceiving C correctly. He purports to find the explanation “extremely hard to imagine”, and so concludes that both S1 and S2 are perceiving C correctly. (That is not the only option, of course: Hardin concludes that neither is perceiving the chip correctly.). (shrink)
Functional hypotheses about animal signalling often refer to mental states of the sender or the receiver. Mental states are functional categorizations of neurophysiological states. Functional questions about animal signals are intertwined with causal questions. This interrelationship is illustrated in regard to avian distraction displays. In purposive signalling, the sender has a goal of influencing the behavior of the receiver. Purposive signalling is innovative if the sender's goal is unrelated to the biological function of the signal. This may be the case (...) in some instances of false alarm calling. Biological functionalism differs from philosophical functionalism in its concept of identity and in the specification of relevant inputs and outputs. (shrink)
In slapstick comedy, the worst thing that could happen usually does: The person with a sore toe manages to stub it, sometimes twice. Such errors also arise in daily life, and research traces the tendency to do precisely the worst thing to ironic processes of mental control. These monitoring processes keep us watchful for errors of thought, speech, and action and enable us to avoid the worst thing in most situations, but they also increase the likelihood of such errors when (...) we attempt to exert control under mental load (stress, time pressure, or distraction). Ironic errors in attention and memory occur with identifiable brain activity and prompt recurrent unwanted thoughts; attraction to forbidden desires; expression of objectionable social prejudices; production of movement errors; and rebounds of negative experiences such as anxiety, pain, and depression. Such ironies can be overcome when effective control strategies are deployed and mental load is minimized. (shrink)
Separated from its anchorage in religion, ethics has followed the social sciences in seeing human beings as fundamentally characterized by self-interest, so that altruism is either naively idealistic or arrogantly self-sufficient. Colin Grant contends that, as a modern secular concept, altruism is a parody on the self-giving love of Christianity, so that its dismissal represents a social levelling that loses the depths that theology makes intelligible and religion makes possible. The Christian affirmation is that God is characterized by (...) self-giving love (agape), then expected of Christians. Lacking this theological background, the focus on self-interest in sociobiology and economics, and on human realism in the political focus of John Rawls or the feminist sociability of Carol Gilligan, finds altruism naive or a dangerous distraction from real possibilities of mutual support. This book argues that to dispense with altruism is to dispense with God and with the divine transformation of human possibilities. (shrink)
absorbed state. (7.7) Empirically, a state like fantasy, selective attention, absent-minded day-dreaming and probably hypnosis, in which conscious experience is unusually resistant to distraction. Theoretically, a case in which access to the Global Workspace (GW) is controlled by a coherent context hierarchy , giving little opportunity for outside information to compete for conscious access (4.32). See als ideomotor theory, access, and options context.
Machine generated contents note: Chapter 1 Acknowledgments -- Chapter 2 Introduction: The Chatter of the Present -- Chapter 3 Definitions of Solitude -- Chapter 4 Distraction: The Flip Side of Engagement -- Chapter 5 Antigone: Literature as "Thinking Apart" -- Chapter 6 The Workshop Model in New York City -- Chapter 7 The Folly of the "Big Idea" -- Chapter 8 The Cult of Success -- Chapter 9 Mass Personalization and the "Underground Man" -- Chapter 10 The Need for Loneliness (...) -- Chapter 11 The Practice of Solitude -- Chapter 12 Discernment and the Public Sphere -- Chapter 13 Conclusion: Setting up Shop -- Chapter 14 Bibliography -- Chapter 15 About the Author -- Chapter 16 Index. (shrink)
distraction that leads innocent Post Keynesians into “classical sin.” Davidson (1994, 1996) argues that core Post Keynesian (PK) ideas such as that insufficient aggregate demand arise from fundamental uncertainty in a monetary economy do not depend on nonlinearity or complexity, that these core concepts are axiomatically and ontologically true, and that the inability of agents to forecast well in dynamically complex situations reflects mere epistemological problems of insufficient computational abilities. Thus complex dynamics is merely a classical stalking horse. This writer (...) (Rosser, 1990, 1998, 2001) disagrees with the argument presented above and its relatives (Mirowski, 1990; Carrier, 1993). Dynamic complexity provides a foundation for fundamental uncertainty in Keynesian and PK models, and this applies to most of the various sub-branches of PKE besides Davidson’s “fundamentalist” or “Keynes-Post Keynesian”2 approach. The argument will be considered regarding three subdivisions of Post Keynesianism as identified by Hamouda and Harcourt (1988): the aforementioned fundamentalist Keynesianism, Sraffian (or neo-Ricardian), and Kaleckian (or Kaleckian- Robinsonian).3 Following King (2002, chap. 10), I admit to being more in sympathy with those he describes as “synthesizers” than with the more partisan sectarians of these approaches.4 I shall describe how each sub-branch has been analyzed using ideas of.. (shrink)
According to unconscious thought theory, complex decisions are best made after a period of distraction assumed to elicit ‘‘unconscious thought.’’ Here, the authors suggest instead that the superiority of decisions made after distraction results from the fact that conscious deliberation can deteriorate impressions formed on-line during information acquisition. The authors found that participants instructed to form an impression made better decisions after distraction than after deliberation, thereby replicating earlier findings. However, decisions made immediately were just as good as decisions made (...) after distraction, which suggests (a) that people had already made their decision during information acquisition, (b) that deliberation without attention does not occur during distraction, and (c) that ruminating about one’s first impression can deteriorate decision quality. Strikingly, in another condition that should have favored unconscious thought even more, deliberated decisions were better than immediate or distracted decisions. These findings were replicated in a field study. (shrink)
Introduction: Why moral judgments can be objective -- Theorists v. their theories : the case of agent causation -- Ethics and its controversial assumptions : individualism & human success -- Virtue, liberty, and private property : aspects of humanist political economy -- Economic analysis and the pursuit of liberty -- Human rights and poverty -- Rights, values, regulation, and health care -- The morality of smoking -- Philosophy, physics, and common sense -- The calculation problem & the tragedy of the (...) common -- Government budget crises -- Right to private property -- Revisiting a critique -- Leo Strauss & neo-conservatism -- Tocqueville & Ayn Rand -- Should the constitution be rescued? -- Distraction of anarchism -- On owning intellectual stuff -- Fetal rights & liberty -- Speculation on post-communism -- The right to be wrong -- Reflections on democracy -- The flaws of stakeholder theory -- Individualism should respect rights. (shrink)
The feminine complaint that Alex's passion echoes, raising it to a level rarely attained, is not limited to the pursuit of sexual jouissance . Nor can it be reduced to an aversion on the part of women to a morality of the signifier, as maintained by a certain reading of Freud. Very precisely, the persistent note in feminine restlessness is a certain relationship of the subject to the insufficiency of the signifier, which the quest for love registers. The fact that (...) language lacks the very quality that would make it credible and that would guarantee that discourse corresponds to what desire attests to is what delivers femininity over to the unnameable. In love she requires from the other member of the social bond the signifier that is lacking within the structure of femininity and that causes the call to jouissance in her body that drives her to distraction. Thus, the structure at stake in femininity, to which Alex's hysterical passion bears witness, defines in writing, that is, by a mark left on the body, the limitation of the reality of a jouissance which persists beyond the signifier and the object of the fantasy. When the analyst's desire offers support to this quest for a limit to jouissance on the part of a subject, it is in desire that the reality of sex and the other is linked to the signifier that would testify to the truth of the amorous discourse in the unconscious. Thus from one man to another, from the love of the father to the loss of a son, including the desire of the lover and the law of the husband, a woman finds herself supporting, with the letter of her body, the signifier which in its words testifies to jouissance as a place to lose oneself. (shrink)
Several forms of naturalism are currently extant. Proponents of the various approaches disagree on matters of strategy and detail but one theme is common: we have not received any revelations about the nature of the world -- including our own nature. Whatever knowledge we have has been acquired through a fallible process of conjecture and revision. This common theme will bring to mind the writings of Karl Popper and, in many respects, Popper is the father of contemporary naturalism. Along with (...) Popper, the form of naturalism that I would defend is realistic in the following sense: it considers the acquisition of knowledge of the nature of the world to be a pursuable long-term goal of our epistemic activities. (See Brown [1987, 1988, 1990].) Popper's central interest in truth has led him to object to the pervasive concern with concepts among contemporary philosophers. Truth, Popper insists, is the fundamental epistemic concern; propositions are the bearers of truth; and the evaluation of propositions should be at the center of our epistemic focus (e.g., 1965, pp. 18-21; 1972, pp. 123-24). Concern with concepts, Popper maintains, is a distraction. Yet, this leaves us in an odd position. When we study a particular subject matter, one of our main problems is to determine what kinds of entities and processes occur in that domain. But the kinds of entities and processes we attribute to a domain will be captured in the concepts we use for describing that domain and, from a naturalistic point of view, concepts are no more available through revelation than are propositions. As our knowledge develops, we must not only propose and evaluate propositions, we must also propose and evaluate concepts. (shrink)
Occasionally, we catch philosophers agreeing, if not on answers then at least on what questions matter. At present, nearly anyone working in ethics will tell you we need to understand practical reasoning. And nearly anyone interested in practical reason will tell you we need to know whether one can pursue something without seeing it as good. I want to ask, of this latter question, whether it really does matter philosophically. I don’t doubt that we need to understand how value is (...) related to desire, reasons, deliberation, character, choice, action and so on. But I am worried that the tendency to square off over the guise of the good is a distraction. Accordingly, I begin by considering why the relation between pursuit and value is philosophically interesting. Then I argue that, if I am right about why it is interesting, we don’t need to settle whether it is possible to pursuing things without seeing them under the aspect of the good. As I see it, what makes the guise of the good interesting is that it promises to.. (shrink)
Aaron Ridley has concluded that “Collingwood’s global Idealism is really only a distraction from the much more important and interesting ideas that constitute his aesthetics.” My paper takes issue with this conclusion. Collingwood’s idealism is an integral part of his aesthetics, and it simply cannot be shucked off, leaving his aesthetics untouched and intact. A careful reading of Collingwood’s oeuvre in aesthetics reveals that it is his long-standing antipathy to realism that grounds both his critique of pseudo-art and his own (...) theory of art, particularly his idealist theory of the imagination. If Collingwood’s aesthetics are interesting and important, so is the idealism that grounds them. (shrink)
A Hebbian model for speech generation opens a number of paths. A cross-linguistic scheme of functional relationships (inspired by Aristotle) dispenses with distraction by the “parts of speech” distinctions, while bridging the gap between “content” and “structure” words. A gradient model identifies emotional and rational dynamics and shows speech generation as a process where a speaker's dissatisfaction gets minimized.
Campbell, Ray Trying to fully understand what was behind the recent amendments to the Criminal Code in Queensland and the continued pressure to change the law on abortion is something like trying to do a jigsaw puzzle. However, in this case there are one or two foreign pieces that really do not contribute to the true picture, but are introduced as a distraction.
At the end of the sixth volume of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Laurence Sterne’s irremediably digressive narrator looks back over the story he has told so far. He presents to the reader five horizontal lines drawn on the page, each of which is the line taken by the narrative in one of the preceding five volumes of the novel.1 Each of the lines is interrupted at intervals by a series of fantastical loops and squiggles, darting forward or (...) back for anticipations and flashbacks, dented by brief subplots, or ballooning outward in wild-goose chases, extended commentaries, and stories within stories. He claims his storytelling is improving: while his distraction in the first volume “led us a vagary some .. (shrink)