Drawing on previous models of anxiety, intermediate memory, the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, and goal-directed behaviour, a neuropsychological hypothesis is proposed for the generation of the contents of consciousness. It is suggested that these correspond to the outputs of a comparator that, on a moment-by-moment basis, compares the current state of the organism's perceptual world with a predicted state. An outline is given of the information-processing functions of the comparator system and of the neural systems which mediate them. The (...) hypothesis appears to be able to account for a number of key features of the contents of consciousness. However, it is argued that neitherthis nor any existing comparable hypothesis is yet able to explain why the brain should generate conscious experience of any kind at all. (shrink)
This paper compares the findings of content analyses of the corporate codes of ethics of Canada’s largest corporations in 1992 and 2003. For both years, a modified version of a technique used in several other studies was used to determine and categorize the contents of the codes. It was found, inter alia, that, in 2003, as in 1992, more of the codes were concerned with conduct against the firm than with conduct on behalf of the firm. Among the changes (...) from 1992 to 2003 were a significant increase in the frequency of mention of environmental affairs, legal responsibility as the basis of codes and enforcement/compliance procedures. (shrink)
Which objects and properties are represented in perceptual experience, and how are we able to determine this? The papers in this collection address these questions together with other fundamental questions about the nature of perceptual content. -/- The book draws together papers by leading international philosophers of mind, including Alex Byrne (MIT), Alva Noë (University of California, Berkeley), Tim Bayne (St Catherine’s College, Oxford), Michael Tye (University of Texas, Austin), Richard Price (All Souls College, Oxford) and Susanna Siegel (Harvard University) (...) -/- Essays address the central questions surrounding the content of perceptual experience -/- Investigates how are we able to determine the admissible contents of experience -/- Published in association with the journal Philosophical Quarterly. (shrink)
In addressing the metaphysical question of what colours are, a consideration that is commonly appealed to is how colours are represented—typically in perceptual experiences, but also in beliefs and linguistic utterances. Although representations need not accurately reflect the nature of what they represent—indeed, they need not represent anything that actually exists at all—the way colours are represented is often taken to provide at least a defeasible guide to the metaphysics: all else being equal, it seems we should prefer a theory (...) of what colours that is consistent with the way that they appear; otherwise, our theory of the nature of colour entails a potentially unattractive error theory about ordinary colour ascriptions. (shrink)
Last year the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) released a new set of revised guidelines upon environmental reporting practices for U.K companies. Two industrial sectors were selected – the Water industry and the Energy industry – and the most recent Environmental Reports produced by companies in these sectors were subjected to content analysis where the coding framework was heavily based on the DEFRA guidelines. Results are reported for the two industries separately and the two industries are (...) also compared. Whilst sectoral differences were found it was clear that many companies addressed most of the issues raised in the guidelines. However, others did not. Whilst no conclusions can be made about the quality of reporting the main areas of emphasis in each sector can be determined. (shrink)
Anne-Marie Weidler Kubanek: Nothing less than an adventure: Ellen Gleditsch and her life in science Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10698-011-9119-8 Authors Marelene Rayner-Canham, Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, NL, Canada Geoff Rayner-Canham, Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, NL, Canada Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238.
We all know about the vehicle/content distinction (see Dennett 1991a, Millikan 1991, 1993). We shouldn't confuse properties represented in content with properties of vehicles of content. In particular, we shouldn't confuse the personal and subpersonal levels. The contents of the mental states of subject/agents are at the personal level. Vehicles of content are causally explanatory subpersonal events or processes or states. We shouldn't suppose that the properties of vehicles must be projected into what they represent for subject/agents, or vice (...) versa. This would be to confuse the personal and subpersonal levels. (shrink)
This volume collects together chapters that were originally delivered at a conference on the Admissible Contents of Experience that took place at the University of Glasgow in March 2006. The original papers were first published in a special edition of The Philosophy Quarterly (July 2009). -/- Introduction (Fiona Macpherson, University of Glasgow). -- 1. Perception And The Reach Of Phenomenal Content (Tim Bayne, University of Oxford). -- 2. Seeing Causings And Hearing Gestures (Steven Butterfill, University of Warwick). -- 3. (...) Experience And Content (Alex Byrne, Massachusetts Institute of Technology). -- 4. Is Perception A Propositional Attitude? (Tim Crane, University College London). -- 5. Conscious Reference (Alva Noë, University of California, Berkeley). -- 6. What Are The Contents Of Experiences? (Adam Pautz, University of Texas at Austin). -- 7. Aspect-Switching And Visual Phenomenal Character (Richard Price, University of Oxford). -- 8. The Visual Experience Of Causation (Susanna Siegel, Harvard University). -- 9. The Admissible Contents Of Visual Experience (Michael Tye, University of Texas at Austin). -- Index. (shrink)
Representationalists hold that the phenomenal character of a perceptual experience is identical with, or supervenes on, an aspect of its representational content. As such, representationalism could be disproved by a counter-example consisting of two experiences that have the same representational content but differ in phenomenal character. In this paper, I discuss two recently proposed counter-examples to representationalism that involve ambiguous or reversible figures. I pursue two goals. My first, and most important, goal is to show that the representationalist can offer (...) plausible responses to both counter-examples. My second goal is to show the implications of these responses for the nature of the spatial representational contents of perceptual experiences. (shrink)
The purpose of the paper is to show that semanticexternalism â the thesis that contents are notdetermined by ``individualistic'' features of mentalstates â is mistaken. Externalist thinking, it isargued, rests on two mistaken assumptions: theassumption that if there is an externalist wayof describing a situation the situation exemplifiesexternalism, and the assumption that cases in which adifference in the environment of an intentional stateentails a difference in the state's intentional objectare cases in which environmental factors determine thestate's content. Exposing these (...) mistakes leads to seethat the conditions that are required for thetruth of externalism are inconsistent. (shrink)
The paper argues for the view advocated by Yolton that Locke's ideas are best viewed as intentional contents. Drawing on Smith and McIntyre's distincition between object- and content-theories of intentionality I seek it show that it belongs to the second category. The argument relies mainly on the analysis of Locke's discussion of meaning, the reality and adequacy of ideas and real essence.
The contents of perceptual experience, it has been argued, often include a characteristic “non-conceptual” component (Evans, 1982). Rejecting such views, McDowell (1994) claims that such contents are conceptual in every respect. It will be shown that this debate is compromised by the failure of both sides to mark a further, and crucial, distinction in cognitive space. This is the distinction between what is doubted here as mindful and mindless modes of perceiving: a distinction which cross-classifies the conceptual / (...) non-conceptual divide. The goal of the paper is to show that there can be both mindful personal level perceptual experiences whose content cannot be considered conceptual — pace McDowell (1994)— and that there are mindless personal level perceptual experiences whose content cannot be considered —pace Evans (1982)— nonconceptual. The resulting picture yields a richer four dimensional carving of the space of perceptual experience, and provides a better framework in which to accommodate the many subtleties involved in our sensory confrontations with the world. (shrink)
The question to be discussed is whether the distinction between the conceptual and the nonconceptual is best understood as pertaining primarily to intentional contents or to intentional states or attitudes. Some authors have suggested that it must be understood in the second way, in order to make the claim that experiences are nonconceptual compatible with the idea that one can also believe what one experiences. I argue that there is no need to do so, and that a conceptual content (...) can be understood as being simply one which is composed of concepts, without compromising this intuitive view of the relation between beliefs and experiences. (shrink)
This paper examines how coherence of the contents of evidence affects the transmission of probabilistic support from the evidence to the hypothesis. It is argued that coherence of the contents in the sense of the ratio of the positive intersection reduces the transmission of probabilistic support, though this negative impact of coherence may be offset by other aspects of the relations among the contents. It is argued further that there is no broader conception of coherence whose impact (...) on the transmission of probabilistic support is never offset by other aspects of the relations among the contents. The paper also examines reasons for the contrary impression that coherence of the contents increases the transmission of probabilistic support, especially in the special case where the hypothesis to evaluate is the conjunction of the contents of evidence. (shrink)
This article introduces and discusses the initial results of a survey focused on the contents, role and effectiveness of company codes of ethics. The article examines the contents of the codes of ethics of companies operating in the private sector in Italy, quoted on the Italian Stock Exchange (Standard& Poor/Mib-Milano Indice Borsa). The purpose of this investigation was to identify any correlations between sector characteristics and the contents of the codes of ethics, which would enable us to (...) map out the main principles followed in writing the companies' codes of ethics. The analysis was conducted in order to ascertain whether there were common factors deriving from the shared ethical questions faced by the companies operating in the same sector of activity. As the first step, the 40 companies were subdivided into three main economic categories -Industrial, Financial and Service. Then the contents of each code of ethics were evaluated and classified in accordance with different criteria. The main categories of classification were based on -general principles, social values, rules of conduct, relationships with third parties, implementation and sanctions. The next objective was to investigate whether these characteristics were due to the regulation of the sector of reference, the existence of sector benchmarks for best practice, or simply companies' voluntary stance on ethical issues. The main conclusions were that the codes of ethics of the Italian companies that we analysed do not seem to show relevant differences traceable to sector of activity, and their adoption is affected by several reasons other than intentionally ethical considerations. (shrink)
In the ongoing debate, there are a set of mind-body theories sharing a certain physicalist assumption: whenever a genuine cause produces an effect, the causal efficacy of each of the nonphysical properties that participate in that process is determined by the instantiation of a well-defined set of physical properties. These theories would then insist that a nonphysical property could only be causally efficacious insofar as it is physically implemented. However, in what follows we will argue against the idea that fine-grained (...) mental contents could be physically implemented in the way that functional properties are. Therefore, we will examine the metaphysical conditions under which the implementing mechanism of a particular instance of a functional property may be individuated, and see how genuine beliefs and desires—insofar as they track the world—cannot meet such conditions. (shrink)
I address three interrelated issues concerning the contents of experiences. First, I address the preliminary issue of what it means to say that experiences have contents. Then I address the issue of why we should believe that experiences have contents. Finally, I address the issue of what the contents of experiences are.
Certain simple thoughts about pictures suggest that the contents of pictures are closely bound to vision. But how far can the striking features of depiction be accounted for merely in terms of the especially visual contents which belong to pictures, without considering, for example, any issues concerning the nature of the visual experiences with which pictures provide us? This article addresses that question by providing an account of the distinctively visual contents belonging to pictures, and by using (...) that account to explain many notable general facts about depiction. Some implications of the resulting framework for the main stream of current theorizing about pictorial representation are also discussed. (shrink)
This paper explores a new understanding of mind or mental representation by arguing that contents at the personal level are not carried by vehicles. Contentful mental states at the personal level are distinctive by virtue of their vehicle-less nature: the subpersonal physiological or functional states that are associated with and enable personal level contents cannot be understood as their vehicles, neither can the sensations or the sensory conditions associated with perceptual contents. This result is obtained by first (...) extending the interpretationist ideas of Davidson and Dennett to show that subpersonal physiological or functional states cannot be construed as the vehicles of personal level contents. Then the anti-foundationalist arguments of Sellars are extended to show that sensory states cannot stand as vehicles to perceptual contents. The line of argumentation extended from Sellars also provides a critique of the current trend to posit non-conceptual contents. (shrink)
My purpose is to take a close look at the nature of visual content. I discuss the view that visual experiences have only existential contents, the view that visual experiences have either singular or gappy contents, and the view that visual experiences have multiple contents. I also consider a proposal about visual content inspired by Kaplan's well known theory of indexicals. I draw out some consequences of my discussion for the thesis of intentionalism with respect to the (...) phenomenal character of visual experience. (shrink)
In the contemporary debate on moral status, it is not uncommon to find philosophers who embrace the following basic moral principle: -/- The Principle of Full Moral Status: The degree to which an entity E possesses moral status is proportional to the degree to which E possesses morally relevant properties until a threshold degree of morally relevant properties possession is reached, whereupon the degree to which E possesses morally relevant properties may continue to increase, but the degree to which E (...) possesses moral status remains the same. -/- One philosopher who has contributed significantly to the contemporary debate on moral status and embraces the Principle of Full Moral Status is Mary Anne Warren. Warren holds not only that it is possible for some entities to possess full moral status, but that some entities actually do, e.g., normal adult human beings. I argue that two of Warren’s primary arguments for the Principle of Full Moral Status—the Argument from Pragmatism and the Argument from Explanatory Power—are significantly flawed. (shrink)
The article considers Jürgen Habermas's views on the relationship between postmetaphysical philosophy and religion. It outlines Habermas's shift from his earlier, apparently dismissive attitude towards religion to his presently more receptive stance. This more receptive stance is evident in his recent emphasis on critical engagement with the semantic contents of religion and may be characterized by two interrelated theses: (a) the view that religious contributions should be included in political deliberations in the informally organized public spheres of contemporary democracies, (...) though translated into a secular language for the purposes of legislation and formal decision making and (b) the view that postmetaphysical philosophy should seek to salvage the semantic contents of religious traditions in order to supply the evocative images, exemplary figures, and inspirational narratives it needs for its social and political projects. With regard to (a), it argues that the translation requirement impairs the political autonomy of religious believers and other metaphysically inclined citizens, suggesting that this difficulty could be alleviated by making a distinction between epistemologically authoritarian and non-authoritarian religious beliefs. With regard to (b), it argues that the salvaging operation is not as straightforward as Habermas seems to suppose and that social and political philosophy may not be able to tap the semantic power of religious traditions without relying on metaphysical assumptions; it concludes that, here, too, a distinction between authoritarian and non-authoritarian approaches to knowledge and validity may be useful. (shrink)
In this paper I aim to situate the Naiyayika theory of perception in contemporary philosophy of mind. Following the ancients, I suggest we reconsider the taxonomy and the assumed interactions between kinds of perceptual content. This reclassification will lead us to reconsider some aspects of the Cartesian conception of mind that continue to influence the work of contemporary theorists. I focus attention on different accounts of sensory perception favoured by ancient Indian Naiyayika philosophers and Descartes as a starting point for (...) reconsidering contemporary accounts of perceptual content.I show that Descartes' account of sensory perception provides the impetus for a causal-explanatory account of conceptual content in terms of its non-conceptual counterpart. Though contemporary philosophers claim to have cast off their Cartesian heritage, my discussion reveals that some of its tenets continue to influence the work of contemporary philosophers. I offer reasons for rejecting yet another Cartesian influence and recommend that we follow the Nyaya taxonomy of perceptual states. (shrink)
Contents: Preface. Johannes BRANDL: Semantic Holism Is Here To Stay. Michael DEVITT: A Critique of the Case for Semantic Holism. Georges REY: The Unavailability of What We Mean: A Reply to Quine, Fodor and LePore. Joseph LEVINE: Intentional Chemistry. Louise ANTHONY: Conceptual Connection and the Observation/Theory Distinction. Gilbert HARMAN: Meaning Holism Defended. Kirk A. LUDWIG: Is Content Holism Incoherent? Anne BEZUIDENHOUT: The Impossibility of Punctate Mental Representations. Takashi YAGISAWA: The Cost of Meaning Solipsism. Alberto PERUZZI: Holism: The Polarized (...) Spectrum. Jonathan BERG: Inferential Roles, Quine, and Mad Holism. Jerry FODOR & Ernest LEPORE: Replies. (shrink)
So begins "For Anne Gregory," published by W. B. Yeats in 1933. It is surely one of his most charming poems.1 The poem's lilting rhythm and affectionate tone effectively soften—even disguise—what is arguably a dark and dismaying message. Anne is destined to be loved not for herself alone, but for an accidental physical attribute—her blond hair. Why do I claim that the poem's message is dark? Why should it dismay Anne if she is loved for the beauty (...) of her hair? Is that not better, after all, than not being loved in the first place? And what would it be to love Anne for herself "alone"? Love Anne for her sweet disposition; for her ability always to say the right thing; for her kindness; but for her yellow hair? .. (shrink)
Normative standards are often applied to emotions. Are there normative standards that apply to emotions in virtue solely of facts about their nature? I will argue that the answer is no. The psychological, behavioural, and neurological evidence suggests that emotions are representational brain states with various kinds of biological functions. Facts about biological functions are not (and do not by themselves entail) normative facts. Hence, there are no nor- mative standards that apply to emotions just in virtue of their having (...) various kinds of biolog- ical functions. Moreover, the peculiar features of emotions make the view that representational content is essentially normative very implausible. Hence, the representational properties of emotions cannot be seen as entailing normative standards. The conclusion is that there are no normative standards that apply to emotions solely in virtue of their nature. Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (shrink)
This book provides a formal ontology of senses and the belief-relation that grounds the distinction between de dicto, de re, and de se beliefs as well as the opacity of belief reports. According to this ontology, the relata of the belief-relation are an agent and a special sort of object-dependent sense (a "thought-content"), the latter being an "abstract" property encoding various syntactic and semantic constraints on sentences of a language of thought. One bears the belief-relation to a thought-content T just (...) in case one (is disposed as one who) inwardly affirms a certain sentence S of one’s language of thought that satisfies what T encodes, which in turn requires that S’s non-logical parts stand in appropriate semantical relations to items specified by T. Since these items may include other senses as well as ordinary objects, beliefs of arbitrary complexity are automatically accommodated. Within the framework of the formal ontology, a context-dependent compositional semantics is then provided for a fragment of regimented English capable of formulating ascriptions of belief—a semantics that treats substitutional opacity as a genuine semantic datum. Finally, the resulting picture of belief and its attribution is defended by showing how it solves standard puzzles, avoids objections to rival accounts, and satisfies certain adequacy conditions not fulfilled by traditional theories. Along the way, clarification and defense is offered for the ingredient conception of object-dependent senses, and it is shown how adoption of the language of thought hypothesis permits Bertrand Russell’s obscure doctrine of logical forms to be understood in a way that not only vindicates his Multiple Relation theory of de re belief but also reveals the connection between these logical forms and thought-contents. (shrink)
Elliott Sober and Ken Waters both raise interesting and difficult challenges for various aspects of the position I set out in Evolution and the Levels of the Selection. I am grateful to them for their penetrating criticisms of my work, and find myself in agreement with many of their points.
Doctors must now take a fifth vital sign from their patients: pain reports. I use this as a case study to discuss how different schools of psychology (introspectionism, behaviorism, cognitive psychology) have treated verbal reports about the contents of consciousness. After examining these differences, I suggest that, with new methods of mapping data about neurobiological states with behavioral data and with verbal reports about conscious experience, we should reconsider some of the introspectionists' goals and methods. I discuss examples from (...) cognitive psychology, including pain researchers' attempts to develop self-reports of pain so that they can be, like other vital signs, reliable indicators of internal states. (shrink)
The approach of Hobson et al. is limited to the description of global states of consciousness, although more detailed analyses of the specific contents of consciousness would also be required. Furthermore, their account of the mind-brain relationship remains obscure. Nielsen's discussion suffers from conceptual and definitional unclarity. Mentation during sleep could be clarified by reconceptualizing it as an issue about the contents of consciousness. Vertes & Eastman do not consider the types of memory (emotional) and learning (implicit) that (...) are relevant during REM sleep, and therefore dismiss on inadequate grounds the possibility of memory functions associated with REM sleep. [Hobson et al.; Nielsen; Vertes & Eastman]. (shrink)
In her book, Moral Status, Mary Anne Warren defends a comprehensive theory of the moral status of various entities. Under this theory, she argues that animals may have some moral rights but that their rights are much weaker in strength than the rights of humans, who have rights in the fullest, strongest sense. Subsequently, Warren believes that our duties to animals are far weaker than our duties to other humans. This weakness is especially evident from the fact that Warren (...) believes that it is frequently permissible for humans to kill animals for food. Warren’s argument for her view consists primarily in the belief that we have inevitable practical conflicts with animals that make it impossible to grant them equal rights without sacrificing basic human interests. However, her arguments fail to justify her conclusions. In particular, Warren fails to justify her beliefs that animals do not have an equal right to life and that it is permissible for humans to kill animals for food. (shrink)
This paper has two goals: first, to show that the footnote and structure of App. 20, to which too little careful attention has been given, ultimately undermine a great many interpretations of Hume’s dissatisfaction with his theory of personal identity; and second, to offer an interpretation that both heeds these textual features and (unlike other interpretations consistent with these features) renders Hume worried about something that would have truly bothered him. Hume’s problem, I contend, concerns the relation, in his genetic (...) explanation of ideas such as that of the self, between (i) the objects of the perceptions along which there is a smooth and uninterrupted progress of thought, and (ii) the contents of the ideas that the mind in such cases sometimes subsequently invents. (shrink)