Davidson’s anomalous monism, his argument for the identity between mental and physical event tokens, has been frequently attacked, usually demanding a higher degree of physicalist commitment. My objection runs in the opposite direction: the identities inferred by Davidson from mental causation, the nomological character of causality and the anomaly of the mental are philosophically problematic and, more dramatically, incompatible with his famous argument against the third dogma of empiricism, the separation of content from conceptual scheme. Given the anomaly of (...) the mental and the absence of psychophysical laws, there are no conceptual resources to relate mental and physical predicates. We fall in the third dogma if we claim that the very same token event is mental and physical. One of the premises must be rejected: I will claim that we do not need a law to subsume cause and effect to be entitled to speak of causation. Davidson has never offered an argument to back this premise. Against such a dogma I will sketch some ideas pointing towards a different conception of causality, singularist and undetachable from explanatory practices. (shrink)
Anomalous Monism is a type of property dualism in the philosophy of mind. Property dualism combines the thesis that mental phenomena are strictly irreducible to physical phenomena with the denial that mind and body are discrete substances. For the anomalous monist, the plausibility of property dualism derives from the fact that although mental states, events and processes have genuine causal powers, the causal relationships that they enter into with physical entities cannot be explained by appeal to fundamental laws (...) of nature. This doctrine about the relationship between mind and body was first explicitly defended by Donald Davidson in his paper “Mental Events,” though its root in the Western philosophical tradition go back at least as far as Spinoza. It was a topic of energetic debate and disagreement among English-speaking philosophers for the last thirty years of the twentieth century. (shrink)
The Logical Reconstruction of the World (Aufbau) is oneof the major works of Rudolf Carnap in which he attempts to put an end to some of the traditional disputes in epistemology by using what he calls 'construction theory'. According to this theory, one or more constructional systems can be designed in which all the scientific and pre-scientific objects are logically made out of a limited number of basic elements. Carnap introduces some options for the basis of this system and chooses (...) the domain of the autopsychological, i.e., the domain of private elementary experiences, among them and tries to construct all the concepts out of them. This phenomenalistic reduction sometimes is seen as embracing a Cartesian dualism of mind and body or even a mentalistic monism. However, in this paper, I shall try to show that the traditional dualist-monist debates are among those disputes that the construction theory aims to get rid of. I will show that Carnap's position on the mind-body problem is really close to what Davidson later termed as 'Anomalous Monism' and that this is why Carnap fails to complete his logical construction at a crucial step. Whenever possible, logical constructions are to be substituted for inferred entities. (shrink)
Collinearity or correspondence between the contours of the inducing figure to allow `contour continuation' or `figure completion' were, according to G. Kanizsa, the necessary conditions for producing anomalous surfaces or contours. Since Kanizsa's early work various hypotheses have been advanced to explain the phenomenon, but very few examples of anomalous contours that do not satisfy the above conditions have been reported. When two small white discs (1 cm in diameter) are set on a larger black disc in slow (...) rotation, the two discs, after some observation time, will appear as the extremities of a rigid cylinder displaced in depth. The surface of the cylinder, under dim illumination, appears as a whitish transparent surface. However, when the two discs are substituted by a circle and a semicircle of the same size, a clear anomalous contour appears to form the cylinder, even under clear light conditions and when the colours are reversed; i.e., black circles on white disc. The anomalous contours are not apparent when the configuration is stationary. I will demonstrate how the anomalous contours of a stereokinetic cylinder can be obtained even without the “interruption” of the lines in the semicircle. (shrink)
Bermúdez (Philosophy of psychology: a contemporary introduction, Routledge, London, 2005) identifies the “Interface Problem” as the central problem in the philosophy of psychology: how commonsensical psychological explanations can be integrated with lower-level (cognitive, biological, etc.) explanations? In particular, since folk psychology is meant to provide causal explanations on a par with, say, neurobiological explanations, the question of how to understand the relation between the two layers arises naturally. Donald Davidson claimed that the interface problem is actually ill-posed and put forward (...) his version of the “Autonomy Picture”, the view known as anomalous monism. This work reviews Davidson’s proposal in the light of digital universes: we model the key claims of the theory using cellular automata and show that Davidson’s original version of the Autonomy Picture (which differs, in some respects, from what is discussed by Bermúdez) is immune to two arguments against autonomy. (shrink)
Concern about two problems runs through the work of davidson: the problem of accounting for the "explanatory force" of rational explanations, and the problem posed for materialism by the apparent anomalousness of psychological events. davidson believes that his view of mental causation, imbedded in his theory of "anomalous monism," can provide satisfactory answers to both questions. however, it is argued in this paper that davidson's program contains a fundamental inconsistency; that his metaphysics, while grounding the doctrine of anomalous (...) monism, makes impossible a successful response to the problem of explanatory force in terms of a causal theory of action. (shrink)
I argue that, on plausible assumptions, anomalous entails monism epiphenomenalism of the mental. The plausible assumptions are (1) events are particulars; (2) causal relations are extensional; (3) mental properties are epiphrastic. A principle defender of anomalous monism, Donald Davidson, acknowledges that anomalous monism is committed to (1) and (2). I argue that it is committed to (3) as well. Given (1), (2), and (3), epiphenomenalism of the mental falls out immediately. Three attempts to salvage anomalous monism (...) from epiphenomenalism of the mental are examined and rejected. I conclude with reflections on the status of non-reductive physicalism. (shrink)
Disabled people frequently find themselves in situations where their quality of life and wellbeing is being measured or judged by others, whether in decisions about health care provision or assessments for social supports. Recent debates about wellbeing and how it might be assessed (through subjective and/or objective measures) have prompted a renewed focus on disabled people’s wellbeing because of its seemingly ‘anomalous’ nature; that is, whilst to external (objective) observers the wellbeing of disabled people appears poor, based on subjective (...) assessments, people with disabilities report a good quality of life. In this paper, I examine an article by the philosopher Dan Moller in which he seeks to explain this ‘disability paradox’. Despite agreeing with his analysis that there is more to what people value than happiness, his explanation reflects some of the difficulties presented in philosophical accounts which seek to understand the lives of disabled people: this includes an analysis which fails to problematise definitions of wellbeing and who has the ‘voice’ to do the defining; which negates the multiple identities and subject positions that disabled people occupy; and which lacks recognition of the social contexts which mediate disabled people’s lives. I suggest that there is a need to incorporate disabled people’s voices into research which deepens our empirical knowledge about the relationship between impairment and wellbeing, including the social circumstances that shape disabled people’s agency. (shrink)
In his paper "Supervenience Revisisted", Simon Blackburn redeployed his novel modal argument against moral realism as an argument against Donald Davidson's position of 'anomalous monism' in the philosophy of mind (Blackburn 1985).' I shall assess this redeployment. In the first part of this paper, I shall lay out Blackburn's argument. In the second and longer part I shall examine Davidson's denial of psychophysical laws in the light of this argument.
Ervin Laszlo has used the ancient concept of the Akashic Records for the basis of his "Akashic Field" (A-field) model, one that has obvious implications for parapsychology, the scientific study of anomalous human-human and human-environment interactions, that is, "psi." Experiments with "telepathic" and "precognitive" dreams are one example of parapsychological research that may fit the A-field model because of its information-carrying potential. Psi appears to be a complex system, one that may reflect the connective "web" posited by the A-field (...) model. In other words, the "universal knowledge" implicit in the old descriptions of the Akashic Records may have a modern-day counterpart. (shrink)
The essay discusses Donald Davidson’s concept of anomalous monism in the framework of Husserlian phenomenology. It develops in four stages. Section 1 is devoted to a critical presentation of the argument for anomalous monism. Section 2 succinctly examines those Husserlian notions that best provide the ground for a discussion parallel to Davidson’s. In Sect. 3, the aporetic status of “mental causation” is analyzed by providing a genetic-phenomenological account of efficient causation. Section 4 draws some general conclusions concerning the (...) kind of efficaciousness that must be attributed to consciousness and discusses the sense in which anomalous monism can be defended in a phenomenological framework, but not in a naturalistic one. (shrink)
Theoretical explication of a growing body of empirical data on consciousness-related anomalous phenomena is unlikely to be achieved in terms of known physical processes. Rather, it will first be necessary to formulate the basic role of consciousness in the definition of reality before such anomalous experience can adequately be represented. This paper takes the position that reality is constituted only in the interaction of consciousness with its environment, and therefore that any scheme of conceptual organization developed to represent (...) that reality must reflect the processes of consciousness as well as those of its environment. In this spirit, the concepts and formalisms of elementary quantum mechanics, as originally proposed to explain anomalous atomic-scale physical phenomena, are appropriated via metaphor to represent the general characteristics of consciousness interacting with any environment. More specifically, if consciousness is represented by a quantum mechanical wave function, and its environment by an appropriate potential profile, Schrödinger wave mechanics defines eigenfunctions and eigenvalues that can be associated with the cognitive and emotional experiences of that consciousness in that environment. To articulate this metaphor it is necessary to associate certain aspects of the formalism, such as the coordinate system, the quantum numbers, and even the metric itself, with various impressionistic descriptors of consciousness, such as its intensity, perspective, approach/avoidance attitude, balance between cognitive and emotional activity, and receptive/assertive disposition. With these established, a number of the generic features of quantum mechanics, such as the wave/particle duality, and the uncertainty, indistinguishability, and exclusion principles, display metaphoric relevance to familiar individual and collective experiences. Similarly, such traditional quantum theoretic exercises as the central force field and atomic structure, covalent molecular bonds, barrier penetration, and quantum statistical collective behavior become useful analogies for representation of a variety of consciousness experiences, both normal and anomalous, and for the design of experiments to study these systematically. (shrink)
Professor Jessica Utts and I were given the task of evaluating the program on "Anomalous Mental Phenomena" carried out at SRI International (formerly the Stanford Research Institute) from 1973 through 1989 and continued at SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation) from 1992 through 1994. We were asked to evaluate this research in terms of its scientific value. We were also asked to comment on its potential utility for intelligence applications.
This paper presents an analysis of the forms of response that scientists make when confronted with anomalous data. We postulate that there are seven ways in which an individual who currently holds a theory can respond to anomalous data: (1) ignore the data; (2) reject the data; (3) exclude the data from the domain of the current theory; (4) hold the data in abeyance; (5) reinterpret the data; (6) make peripheral changes to the current theory; or (7) change (...) the theory. We analyze psychological experiments and cases from the history of science to support this proposal. Implications for the philosophy of science are discussed. (shrink)
What R&P term the implies that the psi-conducive state is related to the induction of an altered state of consciousness (ASC). Yet there is a problem in embedding psi in the ASC, because one anomaly is replacing another. This seems to be a general strategy in the literature of the anomalous.
Davidson's anomalous monism, his argument for the identity between mental and physical event tokens, has been frequently attacked, usually demanding a higher degree of physicalist commitment. My objection runs in the opposite direction: the identities inferred by Davidson from mental causation, the nomological character of causality and the anomaly of the mental are philosophically problematic and, more dramatically, incompatible with his famous argument against the third dogma of empiricism, the separation of content from conceptual scheme. Given the anomaly of (...) the mental and the absence of psychophysical laws, there are no conceptual resources to relate mental and physical predicates. We fall in the third dogma if we claim that the very same token event is mental and physical. One of the premises must be rejected: I will claim that we do not need a law to subsume cause and effect to be entitled to speak of causation. Davidson has never offered an argument to back this premise. Against such a dogma I will sketch some ideas pointing towards a different conception of causality, singularist and undetachable from explanatory practices. (shrink)
_The Logical Reconstruction of the World (Aufbau) is one of the major works of Rudolf Carnap in which he attempts to put an end to some of the traditional disputes in epistemology by using what he calls 'construction theory'. In this paper, I shall try to show that the traditional dualist-monist debates are among those disputes that the construction theory aims to get rid of. I will show that Carnap's position on the mind-body problem is really close to what Davidson (...) later termed as 'anomalous monism' and that this is why Carnap fails to complete his logical construction at a crucial step. (edited). (shrink)
We address anticipated fermion–antifermion and dimension-4 gauge-field vacuum-condensate contributions to the magnetic portion of the fermion–photon vertex function in the presence of a vacuum with nonperturbative content, such as that of QCD. We discuss how inclusion of such condensate contributions may lead to a vanishing anomalous magnetic moment, in which case vacuum condensates may account for the apparent consistency between constituent quark masses characterizing baryon magnetic moments and those characterizing baryon spectroscopy.
We show that a linear specific heat at low temperatures for glass follows naturally from general considerations on the glassy state. From the same considerations we obtain the experimentally observed anomalous low-temperature thermal conductivity, and we predict an ultrasonic attenuation which increases at low temperatures. Possible relationships with the linear specific heat in magnetic impurity systems are pointed out. We suggest experimental study of the relaxation of thermal and other properties.
A comprehensive mechanism-based crystallographic constitutive model has been developed for L12-structured Ni3Al-based intermetallic single crystals. This model represents the unusual thermomechanical behaviours of Ni3Al, such as the anomalous temperature dependence of both the flow stress and strain-hardening rate (SHR), the strain dependence of these anomalous behaviours and an orientation-dependent tension?compression asymmetry. The model framework was based on two major contributions to plastic flow, namely the repeated cross-slip exhaustion and athermal defeat of screw-character dislocations, and the motion of macro-kinks (...) (MKs). The contribution of irreversible obstacle storage was incorporated into the constitutive formulations as a resistance against the glide of MKs. The model was implemented in a finite element method numerical framework, and the simulation results showed qualitative agreement with experimental observations. ?This paper is dedicated to Dr. Peter M. Hazzledine (1940?2005), one of few pioneers who brought the unique dislocation behaviour of L12 intermetallics to scientific attention. (shrink)
Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a pediatric movement disorder that may affect control signaling in the brain. Previous work has proposed a dual-networks architecture of control processing involving a task-maintenance network and an adaptive control network (Dosenbach et al., 2008). A prior resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI) analysis in TS has revealed functional immaturity in both putative control networks, with “anomalous” correlations (i.e. correlations outside the typical developmental range) limited to the adaptive control network (Church et al., 2009). The present (...) study used functional MRI (fMRI) to study brain activity related to adaptive control (by studying start-cues signals), and to task-maintenance (by studying signals sustained across a task set). Two hypotheses from the previous rs-fcMRI results were tested. First, adaptive control (i.e., start-cue) activity will be altered in TS, including activity inconsistent with typical development (“anomalous”). Second, group differences found in task maintenance (i.e., sustained) activity will be consistent with functional immaturity in TS. We examined regions found through a direct comparison of adolescents with and without TS, as well as regions derived from a previous investigation that showed differences between unaffected children and adults. The TS group showed decreased start-cue signal magnitude in regions where start-cue activity is unchanged over typical development, consistent with anomalous adaptive control. The TS group also had higher magnitude sustained signals in frontal cortex regions that overlapped with regions showing differences over typical development, consistent with immature task maintenance in TS. The results demonstrate task-related fMRI signal differences anticipated by the atypical functional connectivity found previously in adolescents with TS, strengthening the evidence for functional immaturity and anomalous signaling in control networks in adolescents with TS. (shrink)
Anti-phase domain boundaries were observed in ?-brass, CuZn, with the eieetron microscope by an anomalous contrast mechanism. The operative refection was a fundamental instead of a normal superlattice reflection. The contrast was explained by a small change in lattice parameter at the anti-phase domain boundary. Normal anti-phase domain boundary contrast was also observed with a superlattice reflection even though the difference in scattering factor between Cu and Zn is only about 1%.
Complex a.c. incremental permeability measurements have been made on In-Tl alloys to investigate the dependence of the superconducting surface nucleation field H c3 on surface treatment. Freshly electropolished or etched surfaces of high Tl content alloys had anomalously high H c3/H c2 values which were restored towards the Saint-James-de Gennes value of 1·7 on annealing. For the anomalous surfaces the ratio Hc3 H c2 was found to be temperature dependent. It is suggested that anomalous behaviour is due to (...) increased scattering of normal electrons near the surface caused by preferential solution of In during electropolishing or etching. It is shown that the general features of anomalous behaviour can be accounted for theoretically; this is done by modifying, to first-order perturbation, the surface nucleation condition derived from the Gor'kov linear equation for the energy gap function assuming an extra attractive non-local surface scattering potential. (shrink)
The principle of the anomalousness of the mental (PAM) is one of the most controversial principles in Donald Davidson’s argument for anomalous monism (AM). It states that there cannot be any laws (psychophysical or psychological) on the basis of which mental events can be predicted and explained. The argument against such psychological laws rests on the claim that psychology is not a comprehensive closed system (though physics is). Here I sketch the argument for AM, focusing on the role of (...) PAM and the concept of closure. I present characterizations of the notion of closure offered by William Stanton and Brian McLaughlin. McLaughlin argues that Stanton’s characterization makes the argument for AM circular. McLaughlin offers a different characterization, but I argue that given Davidson’s criterion of event identity and individuation, the two are equivalent and thus both are subject to McLaughlin’s objection. If I’m right about this, there are still a couple of options open to Davidson and the defenders of Anomalous Monism. However, I conclude by indicating why neither seems promising to me. (shrink)
This work provides a discussion of bistability conditions, switching autowave properties and emergence of dissipative structures in semiconducting fibers with anomalous positive dependence of electrical resistivity on temperature of sigmoid type, (1?+?e ?T )?1. An open system thermodynamics approach is utilized for the analysis of this dissipative solid-state system. The approach aims to represent the structure of the solution space of its governing equation in the form of physical phase diagrams, known as non-equilibrium phase diagrams, and two specific binary (...) diagrams have been obtained here. One of the diagrams, where the electrical power density and ambient temperature represent external parameters, shows a wide region with dissipative structures as non-uniform steady-state temperature profiles on the fiber. The possibility of efficient external control over the dissipative structure geometry is also demonstrated. (shrink)
This paper describes an abductive process model of anomalous data integration. The model makes use of the entrenchment of the current explanation (amount of data explained) and the probability of alternative explanations. It is hypothesised that increasing confirmation of the anom-aly itself increases the probability of alternative explanations. In an experimental study we found that both the entrenchment of an existing explanation and confirmation of the anomaly clearly influence how people resolve anomalous data. These results are in agreement (...) with the predic-tions of the model. (shrink)
The anomalous X-ray scattering (AXS) technique was applied to the structural analysis of a rapidly quenched Zr70Pd30 glassy alloy. The AXS analysis and subsequent reverse Monte Carlo (RMC) simulation allowed three partial pair distribution functions to be obtained, together with a three-dimensional structural model. A Voronoi polyhedral analysis of the nearest neighbour region confirms the overall preference of an icosahedral-like local structural unit. An ideal icosahedron around Pd, composed of Pd?Zr pairs with covalent nature, is suggested to be one (...) of the important structural features for the easy formation of the nano-icosahedral phase by low temperature annealing. (shrink)
The theory of small-angle scattering is reviewed with special attention paid to the anomalous scattering and multiphase systems. A general equation is derived that describes the scattering of a multiphase system as a sum of scattering functions of each of the phases, as if it scattered alone in a two-phase system, and interphase interference scattering functions. These scattering functions depend only on the spatial distribution of the phase boundaries, but not on the scattering density. Contrast variation techniques are most (...) rewarding when the scattering density of only one phase can be varied. For anomalous small-angle X-ray scattering (ASAXS), this means the most favourable is the case in which resonant atoms are contained in one phase only. The general equation involves n(p ? 1) unknown partial atomic number density differences, where p is the number of phases and n the number of the different atom types in the sample. These partial atomic number density differences can be found if a suitable structure model is applied to calculate the phase scattering functions. Then, the phase compositions and densities can be calculated by solving a system of linear equations incorporating the atom number conservation law. The partial structure factors formalism is also reviewed. Corresponding equations for a system of n types of atoms and p phases are derived. The number of independent partial structure factors is p(p ? 1)/2 and depends on the number of phases, but not on the number of the types of the atoms in the sample, as in the case of wide-angle scattering. (shrink)
Recently, Colin McGinn has argued that Kripke's Cartesian argument against the mind-body identity thesis is not effective against anomalous monism. This paper attempts to show that the Cartesian has at his disposal an argument that is stronger than that formulated by Kripke, and one that cannot be rebutted by the anomalous monist in the way suggested by McGinn. The paper concludes with a suggestion as to the sort of identity theory one would have to subscribe to in order (...) to resist the stronger Cartesian argument. (shrink)
Within recent discussions in the Philosophy of Mind, the nature of conscious phenomenal states or qualia (also called ‘raw feels’ or the feel of ‘what it is like to be’) has been an important focus of interest. Proponents of Mind-Body Type-Identity theories have claimed that mental states can be reduced to neurophysiological states of the brain. Others have denied that such a reduction is possible; for them, there remains an explanatory gap. In this paper, functionalist, physicalist, epiphenomenalist, and biological models (...) of the mind are discussed and compared. Donald Davidson’s Anomalous Monism is proposed as a unifying framework for a non-reductive theory of qualia and consciousness. Downward Causation, Emergence through Symmetry-breaking, and Dynamical Systems Theory are used to show how consciousness and qualia emerge from their neural substrate and can also be causally efficacious. (shrink)
It is argued that kripke's objections to the identity theory can be met by token theories. the crucial point is that the existence of the required qualitative counterparts is consistent with the absence of psychophysical correlations.
identity theory , usually attributed to J.J.C. Smart (Smart, 1959) and U.T. Place (Place, 1956), claimed that kinds of mental states are identical to kinds of brain states. Sensations of pain, for instance, were said to be identical to the firing of C-fibres or some such type of neurological state. According to this view, then, pain, conceived as a _kind_ of mental state, is said to be _reduced_ to a certain kind of neurological state. The reduction envisaged here was modelled (...) on the kind of reduction seen in other areas of the sciences. For instance, lightning can be said to be reduced to a rapid discharge of electrons in the atmosphere. When such a reduction is made scientists are not saying that there are two phenomena that are correlated, but rather that lightning is. (shrink)
Kafka's writings are frequently interpreted as representing the historical period of modernism in which he was writing. Little attention has been paid, however, to the possibility that his writings may reflect neural mechanisms in the processing of self during hypnagogic (i.e., between waking and sleep) states. Kafka suffered from dream-like, hypnagogic hallucinations during a sleep-deprived state while writing. This paper discusses reasons (phenomenological and neurobiological) why the self projects an imaginary double (autoscopy) in its spontaneous hallucinations and how Kafka's writings (...) help to elucidate the underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms. I further discuss how the proposed mechanisms may be relevant to understanding paranoid delusions in schizophrenia. Literature documents and records cognitive and neural processes of self with an intimacy that may be otherwise unavailable to neuroscience. To elucidate this approach, I contrast it with the apparently popularizing view that the symptoms of schizophrenia result from what has been called an operative (i.e., pre-reflective) hyper-reflexivity. The latter approach claims that pre-reflective self-awareness (diminished in schizophrenia) pervades all conscious experience (however, in a manner that remains unverifiable for both phenomenological and experimental methods). This contribution argues the opposite: the. (shrink)
Kim maintains that a physicalist has only two genuine options, eliminativism and reductionism. But physicalists can reject both by using the Strict Implication thesis (SI). Discussing his arguments will help to show what useful work SI can do.(1) His discussion of anomalous monism depends on an unexamined assumption to the effect that SI is false.
Must mental properties figure in psychological causal laws if they are causally efficacious? And do those psychological causal laws give the essence of mental properties? Contrary to the prevailing consensus, I argue that, on the usual conception of laws that is in play in these debates, there are in fact lawless causally efficacious properties both in and out of the philosophy of mind. I argue that this makes a great difference to the philosophical relevance of empirical psychology. I begin by (...) making the case that revolutions and hurricanes are lawless phenomena, before arguing for a similar thesis about creativity, love, courage, dreams, daydreams, and musings. Furthermore, the empirical research on these phenomena suggests that the philosophical issues may be independent of what empirical psychology can tell us. (shrink)