N. G. de Bruijn, now professor emeritus of the Eindhoven University of Technology, was a pioneer in the field of interactive theorem proving. From 1967 to the end of the 1970’s, his work on the Automath system introduced the architecture that is common to most of today’s proof assistants, and much of the basic technology. But de Bruijn was a mathematician first and foremost, as evidenced by the many mathematical notions and results that bear his name, among them de Bruijn (...) sequences, de Bruin graphs, the de Bruijn-Newman constant, and the de Bruijn-Erd¨. (shrink)
A Partial Combinatory Algebra is completable if it can be extended to a total one. In  it is asked (question 11, posed by D. Scott, H. Barendregt, and G. Mitschke) if every PCA can be completed. A negative answer to this question was given by Klop in [12, 11]; moreover he provided a sufficient condition for completability of a PCA (M, ·, K, S) in the form of ten axioms (inequalities) on terms of M. We prove that just one (...) of these axiom (the so called Barendregt's axiom) is sufficient to guarantee (a slightly weaker notion of) completability. (shrink)
Andrea Staiti, Geistigkeit, Leben und geschichtliche Welt in der Transzendentalphänomenologie Husserls Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s10743-012-9103-8 Authors Nicholas de Warren, Department of Philosophy, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA 02481, USA Journal Husserl Studies Online ISSN 1572-8501 Print ISSN 0167-9848.
This issue of Mélusine pursues the research initiated in 1982 on the surrealist book, without giving the last word on such a complex subject. Demonstrating erudition worthy of La Revue d'histoire littéraire de la France, the contributors propose new ideas and points of view. By the sheer abundance of technical terms, the articles would have astonished the avant-garde poets and artists in question, who were so very fond of entertainment. Some contributors examine the illustrated book, the artist's book and the (...) book-object in general as surrealist publications, while others focus on a single book or even on the non-book imagined by André Breton.In her introduction, editor Andrea Oberhuber describes the evolution of .. (shrink)
« Météorite tombé de l’autre côté du Rhin, Dietrich ne semble d’aucun temps philosophique assignable, rebelle à tous les « ismes », splendide, mais isolé – d’un mot : “Teutonique” ». C’est la connaissance de ce grand penseur, Theodoricus Teutonicus von Vriberg, Thierry ou Dietrich de Freiberg en français, que vient enrichir la thèse de doctorat d’Andrea Colli, publiée en 2010 aux éditions Marietti. Cette recherche prolonge la redécouverte de cet « épineux outsider » dont le coup de lancement (...) .. (shrink)
Perhaps almost all non-theists will agree that ‘the problem of evil’ has some role in their reasons for rejecting traditional Western theism. When they consult their intuitions, non-theists typically do not find it credible to suppose that this is the kind of world which could have been created by an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good being. Moreover, when they review their reasons for non-belief, non-theists typically find that a catalogue of the amounts and kinds of evils which are to be found in (...) the world adds some weight to the case against the existence of such a being. (shrink)
In this provocative book, Nye argues that feminist attempts to spin coherent theories from the threads of the various philosophies of man fail as the patriarchal assumptions of each theory resist and undermine every effort. Nevertheless, she claims, although the threads cannot be woven into a coherent tapestry, as dedicated feminist Arachnes meticulously separate strand from strand, "the mechanisms of oppression are finally understood" and the patriarchal tapestries begin to unravel.
It is commonly assumed that the scientific study of emotions should focus on discrete categories such as fear, anger, sadness, joy, disgust, shame, guilt, and so on. This view has recently been questioned by the emergence of the “core affect movement,” according to which discrete emotions are not natural kinds. Affective science, it is argued, should focus on core affect, a blend of hedonic and arousal values. Here, I argue that the empirical evidence does not support the thesis that core (...) affect is a more “natural” category than discrete emotions. I conclude by recommending a splitting strategy in our search for natural affective kinds. †To contact the author, please write to: Andrea Scarantino, Department of Philosophy and Neuroscience Institute, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 4089, Atlanta, GA 30302‐4089; email: email@example.com. (shrink)
The history of modern philosophy is a major topic in philosophy and is crucial to an understanding of the advent of feminist philosophy. Feminism and Modern Philosophy introduces fundamental topics in modern philosophy from a feminist perspective. It takes the student through the subject step by step by looking at the main thinkers most usually examined on a course in modern philosophy and by examining the role of gender in studying classic philosophical texts. The book covers the following structure looking (...) at the ideas and work of the important thinkers in this period: * Rereading the canon * The attack on modernist philosophical reason * The nature of "Man" * The search for male allies * Discovering women philosophers * Are there universal philosophical truths? * The function of history within the discipline of philosophy Each chapter looks closely at the way in which the traditional philosophical canon has been re-interpreted by feminist theory and examines the implications for our interpretation of specific texts. It looks at, for example: * A feminist critique of Cartesian rationalism * The implications of Locke's state of nature for the idea of the family * An appreciation of Hume's unique "collaboration" with Annette Baier Chapters close with a summary and the book contains an extensive annotated bibliography. Andrea Nye's style is student friendly and will be ideal for anyone coming to the topic for the first time. It will be appropriate for philosophy as well as gender studies courses looking at the development of modern Western thought. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Plato on aporia and self-knowledge Andrea Wilson Nightingale; 2. Cross-examining happiness: reason and community in the Socratic dialogues of Plato Sara Ahbel-Rappe; 3. Inspiration, recollection, and mimesis in Plato's Phaedrus Kathryn A. Morgan; 4. Plato's Theaetetus as an ethical dialogue David Sedley; 5. Divine contemplating mind Allan Silverman; 6. Aristotle and the history of Skepticism Alan Code; 7. Stoic selection: objects, actions, and agents Stephen White; 8. Beauty and its relation to goodness in Stoicism (...) Richard Bett; 9. How dialectical was Stoic dialectic? Luca Castagnoli; 10. Socrates speaks in Seneca, De vita beata 24-28 James Ker; 11. Seneca's Platonism: the soul and its divine origin Gretchen Reydams-Schils; 12. The status of the individual in Plotinus Kenneth Wolfe; A. A. Long: Publications 1963-2009; Index locorum; General index. (shrink)
Dieter Lohmar, Phänomenologie der schwachen Phantasie. Untersuchungen der Psychologie, Cognitive Science, Neurologie und Phänomenologie zur Funktion der Phantasie in der Wahrnehmung Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10743-010-9069-3 Authors Andrea Staiti, Boston College Department of Philosophy Chestnut Hill MA USA Journal Husserl Studies Online ISSN 1572-8501 Print ISSN 0167-9848 Journal Volume Volume 26 Journal Issue Volume 26, Number 2.
In his central educational work, The Science of Education (1806), J.F. Herbart did not explicitly develop a theory of listening, yet his concept of the teacher as a guide in the moral development of the learner gives valuable insight into the moral dimension of listening within teacher-student interaction. Herbart's theory radically calls into question the assumed linearity between listening and obedience to external authority, not only illuminating important distinctions between socialization and education, but also underscoring consequences for our understanding of (...) the role of listening in educational relations. In this inquiry, Andrea English argues that critical listening in teaching contributes to the moral education and development of the learner. To do this, she examines Herbart's view of the teacher's task as a moral guide in the realm of moral education. English contends that reexamining Herbart's theory of education (a theory that is, for the most part, no longer discussed in Anglo-American educational philosophy) can productively inform our understanding of moral education in democratic and pluralist societies. (shrink)
Andrea Falcon's work is guided by the exegetical ideal of recreating the mind of Aristotle and his distinctive conception of the theoretical enterprise. In this concise exploration of the significance of the celestial world for Aristotle's science of nature, Falcon investigates the source of discontinuity between celestial and sublunary natures and argues that the conviction that the natural world exhibits unity without uniformity is the ultimate reason for Aristotle's claim that the heavens are made of a special body, unique (...) to them. This book presents Aristotle as a totally engaged, systematic investigator whose ultimate concern was to integrate his distinct investigations into a coherent interpretation of the world we live in, all the while mindful of human limitations to what can be known. Falcon reads in Aristotle the ambition of an extraordinarily curious mind and the confidence that that ambition has been largely fulfilled. (shrink)
Andrea Borghini Terzina: C’è qualcuno qui? Prima: Si, salve. Stavo scrivendo, ma non fa niente, venga pure. Terzina: Scrivendo? Ma a chi, se questa è una chat e io sono il primo visitatore oltre a lei, e non sono..
In What’s Wrong With Microphysicalism?, Andreas H üttemann argues against the ontological priority of the microphysical, in favour of a ‘pluralism’ that accepts physical systems of all scales as interdependent equals. This is thoughtful and original work, deploying an understanding of the relevant physics to mount a serious challenge to the dominant microphysicalist view.
As early as 1941, George Allen Morgan wrote that Nietzsche’s thought is “saturated with the historical point of view.” It is breathtaking how long it has taken scholarly writing on Nietzsche to catch up with Morgan and pay this aspect of Nietzsche’s thought the serious attention it deserves. Marcus Andreas Born’s study is therefore a very welcome development as a serious and engaged examination of Nietzsche’s “historical thought.” As his subtitle indicates, Born’s approach focuses on Nietzsche’s concept of genealogy. He (...) ties genealogy closely to history by suggesting that Nietzsche proposes genealogy as his way of revising, and improving on, existing approaches to history (18). For Born, as for .. (shrink)
Whereas liberals tend to emphasize harm as the decisive criterion for legitimizing criminalisation, moralists take a qualified notion of wrongfulness as sufficient even when no harm is at hand. This comment takes up Andreas von Hirsch’s “dual element approach” requiring both harm and wrongfulness as necessary conditions for criminalisation and argues that Joel Feinberg’s account of harming as violation of moral rights is perfectly compatible with it. Subsequently, two issues from the liberalism-moralism debate on criminalisation are examined: The difficulty of (...) how to determine wrongfulness beyond the scope of harming, and the so far disregarded question of whether the democratic legislator is free within the framework of constitution to criminalise whatever conduct he wants to prevent irrespective of philosophical constraints. (shrink)
Francisco Valles, also known as ‘The Divine Valles’, was most probably the greatest Spanish physician of the Renaissance and succeeded Andreas Vesalius, whom he knew well, as the personal doctor of Philip II of Spain. Valles studied in Alcalá and wrote several works, among which the influential Controversiarum medicarum et philosophicarum. The importance of Valles’s contribution to the debate concerning the number, the specific tasks, and the localization of the internal senses in Aristotle and in Galen is attested by Pedro (...) da Fonseca’s appreciation of his contribution and by the relevance of Valles’s works to the study of the history of philosophy and of anatomy, in antiquity, in the Renaissance and in scholasticism. (shrink)
When Catriona MacKenzie and Natalie Stoljar published their anthology Relational Autonomy in 2000, their aim was to rehabilitate the concept of autonomy for feminist theory by focusing attention on its social dimensions and disentangling it from suspect ideals of radical independence and self-reliance. Since then, the concept of relational autonomy has gained considerable currency—not just among feminist philosophers, but also among an increasing number of participants in the wider debate. As others have pointed out, the phrase “relational autonomy” does not (...) name a single view, but instead designates a loosely related collection of views that share an emphasis on the social embeddedness of the self and on the social structures and relations that make autonomy possible.1 This renewed focus on relational concepts has surely enriched and deepened our thinking about the nature and conditions of individual agency, both within feminist theory and without. (shrink)
The epistemology of modality is gradually coming to play a central role in general discussions about modality. This paper is a contribution in this direction, in particular I draw a comparison between Lewis’s Modal realism and Timothy Williamson’s recent account of modality in terms of counterfactual thinking. In order to have criteria of evaluation, I also formulate four requirements which are supposed to be met by any theory of modality to be epistemologically adequate.
Abstract: This paper argues that most of the alleged straight solutions to the sceptical paradox which Kripke (1982) ascribed to Wittgenstein can be regarded as the first horn of a dilemma whose second horn is the paradox itself. The dilemma is proved to be a by-product of a foundationalist assumption on the notion of justification, as applied to linguistic behaviour. It is maintained that the assumption is unnecessary and that the dilemma is therefore spurious. To this end, an alternative conception (...) of the justification of linguistic behaviour is outlined, a conception that vindicates some of the insights behind Kripke's Wittgenstein's sceptical solution of the paradox. This alternative conception is defended against two objections (both familiar from McDowell's works): (1) that it would imply that for the linguistic community there is no authority, no standard to meet and, therefore, no possibility of error and (2) that it would lead to a kind of idealism. (shrink)
I examine the central theoretical construct of ecological psychology, the concept of an affordance. In the first part of the paper, I illustrate the role affordances play in Gibson's theory of perception. In the second part, I argue that affordances are to be understood as dispositional properties, and explain what I take to be their characteristic background circumstances, triggering circumstances and manifestations. The main purpose of my analysis is to give affordances a theoretical identity enriched by Gibson's visionary insight, but (...) independent of the most controversial claims of the Gibsonian movement. (shrink)
Personhood is a foundational concept in ethics, yet defining criteria have been elusive. In this article we summarize attempts to define personhood in psychological and neurological terms and conclude that none manage to be both specific and non-arbitrary. We propose that this is because the concept does not correspond to any real category of objects in the world. Rather, it is the product of an evolved brain system that develops innately and projects itself automatically and irrepressibly onto the world whenever (...) triggered by stimulus features such as a human-like face, body, or contingent patterns of behavior. We review the evidence for the existence of an autonomous person network in the brain and discuss its implications for the field of ethics and for the implicit morality of everyday behavior. (shrink)
Computation and information processing are among the most fundamental notions in cognitive science. They are also among the most imprecisely discussed. Many cognitive scientists take it for granted that cognition involves computation, information processing, or both – although others disagree vehemently. Yet different cognitive scientists use ‘computation’ and ‘information processing’ to mean different things, sometimes without realizing that they do. In addition, computation and information processing are surrounded by several myths; first and foremost, that they are the same thing. In (...) this paper, we address this unsatisfactory state of affairs by presenting a general and theory-neutral account of computation and information processing. We also apply our framework by analyzing the relations between computation and information processing on one hand and classicism and connectionism on the other. We defend the relevance to cognitive science of both computation, in a generic sense that we fully articulate for the first time, and information processing, in three important senses of the term. Our account advances some foundational debates in cognitive science by untangling some of their conceptual knots in a theory-neutral way. By leveling the playing field, we pave the way for the future resolution of the debates’ empirical aspects. (shrink)
Right after our tragedy, my idea of forgiveness was to be free of this thing, – the anger, the pain, the absorption. It was totally personal. It was a survival tactic to leave this experience behind. It had nothing to do with the offender. The second level was realizing how the word forgiveness applies to the relationship between the victim and the offender. How it means accepting and working on that relationship after a murder. The latter is more complicated. Now (...) I think I see that forgiveness is more of integrating the experience into my life in a controlled way, rather than letting it go or escaping it. (shrink)
This paper defends an egalitarian conception of global justice against two kinds of criticism. Many who defend egalitarian principles of justice do so on the basis that all humans are part of a common 'association' of some kind. In this paper I defend the humanity-centred approach which holds that persons should be included within the scope of distributive justice simply because they are fellow human beings. The paper has four substantive sections - the first addresses Andrea Sangiovanni's reciprocity-based argument (...) for the claim that egalitarian principles apply only within the state. The second responds to Michael Blake's coercion-based argument for the thesis that egalitarian principles apply only within the state. A third section draws attention to a general problem with associational accounts of distributive justice. Finally, I seek to show how a humanity-centred cosmopolitanism can accommodate the insights associated with an associational approach. (shrink)
This paper employs some outcomes (for the most part due to David Lewis) of the contemporary debate on the metaphysics of dispositions to evaluate those dispositional analyses of meaning that make use of the concept of a disposition in ideal conditions. The first section of the paper explains why one may find appealing the notion of an ideal-condition dispositional analysis of meaning and argues that Saul Kripke’s well-known argument against such analyses is wanting. The second section focuses on Lewis’ work (...) in the metaphysics of dispositions in order to call attention to some intuitions about the nature of dispositions that we all seem to share. In particular, I stress the role of what I call ‘Actuality Constraint’. The third section of the paper maintains that the Actuality Constraint can be used to show that the dispositions with which ideal-condition dispositional analyses identify my meaning addition by ‘+’ do not exist (in so doing, I develop a suggestion put forward by Paul Boghossian). This immediately implies that ideal-condition dispositional analyses of meaning cannot work. The last section discusses a possible objection to my argument. The point of the objection is that the argument depends on an illicit assumption. I show (1) that, in fact, the assumption in question is far from illicit and (2) that even without this assumption it is possible to argue that the dispositions with which ideal-condition dispositional analyses identify my meaning addition by ‘+’ do not exist. (shrink)
In order to rebut G. E. Moore’s open question argument, ethical naturalists adopt a theory of direct reference for our moral terms. T. Horgan and M. Timmons have argued that this theory cannot be applied to moral terms, on the ground that it clashes with competent speakers’ linguistic intuitions. While Putnam’s Twin Earth thought experiment shows that our linguistic intuitions confirm the theory of direct reference, as applied to ‘water’, Horgan and Timmons devise a parallel thought experiment about moral terms, (...) in order to show that this theory runs against our linguistic intuitions about such terms. My claim is that the Horgan–Timmons argument does not work. I concede that their thought experiment is a good way to test the applicability of the theory of direct reference to moral terms, and argue that the upshot of their experiment is not what they claim it is: our linguistic intuitions about Moral Twin Earth are parallel to, not different from, our intuitions about Twin Earth. (shrink)
– The paper defends a naturalistic version of modal actualism according to which what is metaphysically possible is determined by dispositions found in the actual world. We argue that there is just one world—this one—and that all genuine possibilities are anchored by the dispositions exemplified in this world. This is the case regardless of whether or not those dispositions are manifested. As long as the possibility is one that would obtain were the relevant disposition manifested, it is a genuine possibility. (...) Furthermore, by starting from actual dispositional properties and branching out, we are able to include possibilities that are quite far removed from any state of affairs that happens to obtain, while still providing a natural and actual grounding of possibility. Stressing the importance of ontological considerations in any theory of possibility, it is argued that the account of possibility in terms of dispositional properties provides a more palatable ontology than those of its competitors. Coming at it from the other direction, the dispositional account of possibility also provides motivation for taking an ontology of dispositions more seriously. As well as the relevant dispositional notions required to lay out the view, the paper discusses the dispositional realism needed as the basis for the account of possibility. (shrink)
According to a widespread view, a complete explanatory reduction of all aspects of the human mind to the electro-chemical functioning of the brain is at hand and will certainly produce vast and positive cultural, political and social consequences. However, notwithstanding the astonishing advances generated by the neurosciences in recent years for our understanding of the mechanisms and functions of the brain, the application of these findings to the specific but crucial issue of human agency can be considered a “pre-paradigmatic science” (...) (in Thomas Kuhn’s sense). This implies that the situation is, at the same time, intellectually stimulating and methodologically confused. More specifically—because of the lack of a solid, unitary and coherent methodological framework as to how to connect neurophysiology and agency—it frequently happens that tentative approaches, bold but very preliminary claims and even clearly flawed interpretations of experimental data are taken for granted. In this article some examples of such conceptual confusions and intellectual hubris will be presented, which derive from the most recent literature at the intersection between neurosciences, on the one hand, and philosophy, politics and social sciences, on the other hand. It will also be argued that, in some of these cases, hasty and over-ambitious conclusions may produce negative social and political consequences. The general upshot will be that very much has still to be clarified as to what and how neurosciences can tell us about human agency and that, in the meantime, intellectual and methodological caution is to be recommended. (shrink)
There seems to be a minimal core that every theory wishing to accommodate the intuition that the future is open must contain: a denial of physical determinism (i.e. the thesis that what future states the universe will be in is implied by what states it has been in), and a denial of strong fatalism (i.e. the thesis that, at every time, what will subsequently be the case is metaphysically necessary).1 Those two requirements are often associated with the idea of an (...) objective temporal flow and the non-reality of the future. However, at least certain ways to frame the “openness” intuition do not rely on any of these. Branching Time Theory (BTT) is one such: it is compatible with the denial that time flow is objective and it is couched in a language with a (prima facie) commitment to an eternalist ontology. BTT, though, urges us to resist certain intuitions about the determinacy of future claims, which arguably do not lead either to physical determinism or to fatalism. Against BTT, supporters of the Thin Red Line Theory (TRL) argue that their position avoids determinism and fatalism, while also representing the fact that there is a future which is “special” because it is the one that will be the case. But starting with Belnap and Green 1994, some have objected to the tenability of TRL, mainly on metaphysical grounds. In particular, those argue that “positing a thin red line amounts to giving up objective indeterminism,”2 and that “has unacceptable consequences, ranging from a mistreatment of actuality to an inability to talk coherently about what would have happened had what is going to happen not taken place.”3 In this paper, we wish to reframe the.. (shrink)
Interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB) is a burgeoning interdisciplinary field that focuses on ways in which relationships shape and transform the architecture and functioning of the human brain. IPNB points to four specific conditions that appear to encourage the emergence of empathy. Further, these conditions, when gathered together, may constitute the core components of a spirituality of compassion. Following definitions and a discussion of interdisciplinary method, this essay delineates IPNB's main tenets and demonstrates ways in which IPNB sheds light on important aspects (...) of human empathy and compassion. Drawing on this analysis, it introduces the four conditions that encourage the emergence of empathy in individuals and groups and shows why they may be central elements of a spirituality of compassion. A case study, in which the Native American Ojibwe practice of the talking circle is described and assessed through the lens of the IPNB-derived spirituality of compassion, demonstrates the evaluative usefulness of this set of conditions. (shrink)
I advance an objection to Graham Priest’s account of fictional entities as nonexistent objects. According to Priest, fictional characters do not have, in our world, the properties they are represented as having; for example, the property of being a bank clerk is possessed by Joseph K. not in our world but in other worlds. Priest claims that, in this way, his theory can include an unrestricted principle of characterization for objects. Now, some representational properties attributed to fictional characters, a kind (...) of fictional entities, involve a crucial reference to the world in which they are supposed to be instantiated. I argue that these representational properties are problematic for Priest’s theory and that he cannot accept an unrestricted version of the principle of characterization. Thus, while not refuting Priest’s theory, I show that it is no better off than other Meinongian theories. (shrink)
Since the cognitive revolution, it’s become commonplace that cognition involves both computation and information processing. Is this one claim or two? Is computation the same as information processing? The two terms are often used interchangeably, but this usage masks important differences. In this paper, we distinguish information processing from computation and examine some of their mutual relations, shedding light on the role each can play in a theory of cognition. We recommend that theoristError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode (...) CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMaps of cognition be explicit and careful in choosing 1 notions of computation and information and connecting them together. Much confusion can be avoided by doing so. Keywords: computation, information processing, computationalism, computational theory of mind, cognitivism. (shrink)
John Rawls famously claims that ‘justice is the first virtue of social institutions’. On one of its readings, this remark seems to suggest that social institutions are essential for obligations of justice to arise. The spirit of this interpretation has recently sparked a new debate about the grounds of justice. What are the conditions that generate principles of distributive justice? I am interested in a specific version of this question. What conditions generate egalitarian principles of distributive justice and give rise (...) to equality as a demand of justice? My paper focuses on relationalist answers to this question. Advocates of relationalism assume that ‘principles of distributive justice have a relational basis’, in the sense that ‘practice mediated relations in which individuals stand condition the content, scope and justification of those principles’. To say that principles of justice are ‘based’ on and ‘conditioned’ by practice mediated relations is ambiguous. I will here be concerned with advocates of what I call the relationalist requirement , viz. positions which assume that ‘practice mediated relations’ constitute a necessary existence condition for principles of egalitarian distributive justice. Relationalists who endorse this view come in different varieties. My focus is on relationalists that view social and political institutions as the relevant ‘practice mediated relation’. The question at stake, then, is this: Are institutionally mediated relations a necessary condition for equality to arise as a demand of justice? Strong relationalists of the institutionalist cast, call them advocates of the institutionalist requirement , differ in important respects. They argue about what set of institutions is foundationally significant, and they disagree on why only that institutional relation gives rise to egalitarian obligations of justice. My paper engages two ways of arguing for the institutionalist requirement : Julius’s framing argument and Andrea Sangiovanni’s reciprocity argument . The issue at stake are the grounds of egalitarian justice and I will argue that the institutionalist requirement is mistaken. It is not the case that egalitarian obligations of distributive justice arise only between and solely in virtue of individuals sharing a common institution. (shrink)
Abstract: The spirited part, thumos, plays a complex and often disputed role in Plato's account of the soul. The doctrine of the soul as specifically tri-partitioned seems to depend on a substantial conception of thumos as fundamental and non-reducible. Building on John Cooper's contribution in the discussion of the topic, this article aims to show that the role of thumos is characterised by an indispensable, deep-rooted urge for dignified self-preservation. The view is supported by Plato's own examples, and discussed with (...) regards to Myles Burnyeat's account of thumos as an essentially social phenomenon. The main claim is that in order to preserve the Platonist idea of thumos as fundamental one should discard Burnyeat's characterisation of thumos as unequivocally social, and instead advocate a view of thumos as concerned with a particular form of self-preservation, which Cooper's account suggests, but does not fully elaborate. (shrink)
Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are a highly complex and rich phenomena, and this has a number of important clinical, theoretical and methodological implications. However, until recently, this fact has not always been incorporated into the experimental designs and theoretical paradigms used by researchers within the cognitive sciences. In this paper, we will briefly outline two recent examples of phenomenologically informed approaches to the study of AVHs taken from a cognitive science perspective. In the first example, based on Larøi and Woodward (...) (Harv Rev Psychiatry 15:109–117, 2007 ), it is argued that reality monitoring studies examining the cognitive underpinnings of hallucinations have not reflected the phenomenological complexity of AVHs in their experimental designs and theoretical framework. The second example, based on Jones (Schizophr Bull, in press, 2010 ), involves a critical examination of the phenomenology of AVHs in the context of two other prominent cognitive models: inner speech and intrusions from memory. It will be shown that, for both examples, the integration of a phenomenological analysis provides important improvements both on a methodological, theoretical and clinical level. This will be followed by insights and critiques from philosophy and clinical psychiatry—both of which offer a phenomenological alternative to the empiricist–rationalist conceptualisation of AVHs inherent to the cognitive sciences approach. Finally, the paper will conclude with ideas as to how the cognitive sciences may integrate these latter perspectives into their methodological and theoretical programmes. (shrink)
I argue that Amie Thomasson’s recent theory of the methodology to be applied to find the truth-conditions for claims of existence faces serious objections. Her account is based on Devitt and Sterelny’s solution to the qua problem for theories of reference fixing; however, such a solution cannot be also applied to analyze existential claims.
This paper focuses on the emergent neo-Jamesian perspective concerning the phenomenology of art and aesthetic experience. Starting from the distinction between nucleus and fringe in the stream of thought described by William James, it can be argued that our appreciation of a work of art is guided by a vague and blurred perception of a much more powerful content, of which we are not fully aware. Accordingly, a work of art is seen as a kind of metaphor of our mental (...) life, objectified to be able to reach out to a much larger audience. However, it is a “realistic” theory rooted in evolutionary psychology, which claims that our mind developed within a framework shaped by environmental pressures. The aesthetics illustrated by several novelists develops a paradigm for this theory. The search for the neuronal correlates of stream of consciousness allows to make a comparison with the recent findings of neuroaesthetics and to reject its claim that it is unnecessary to take phenomenology and psychology into account. (shrink)
A major division among ontologists has always been the one between those who believe that all entities are particular, and those who believe that at least some entities are universal. I find myself with the latter, and in this paper I offer part of the reasons why this is so. More precisely, I offer a reason why we ought to reject tropism, due to the failure of this view to account for the similarities we experience among entities. In the paper, (...) two tentative accounts are considered and rejected: one postulating the existence of a relation of primitive resemblance; the other denying the existence of any similarity. (shrink)