Applied Geography, A World Perspective reviews progress in applied geography in different regions of the world. It does this through the eyes of an international panel of highly regarded academic practitioners. The book offers new prospects on the use of established approaches and explores exciting new territories. Together, the contributors provide a comprehensive picture of applied geography today. This book is of relevance to faculty and graduate students in the fields of geography, planning, public policy, regional science and other related (...) social and behavioural sciences. (shrink)
Meditation can be conceptualized as a family of complex tial to be speciﬁc about the type of meditation practice emotional and attentional regulatory training regimes under investigation. Failure to make such distinctions developed for various ends, including the cultivation of..
We show how a simple nonlinear dynamical system (the discrete quadratic iteration on the unit segment) can be the basis for modelling the embryogenesis process. Such an approach, even though being crude, can nevertheless prove to be useful when looking with the two main involved processes:i) on one hand the cell proliferation under successive divisions ii) on the other hand, the differentiation between cell lineages. We illustrate this new approach in the case of Caenorhabditis elegans by looking at the early (...) stages of embryogenesis, up to several hundreds of cells (lima bean larval stage). We show how the many results that have been obtained by several groups can be interpreted in terms of values for the parameters controlling the dynamical system. Furthermore, we can extend the model to the cases of genetic mutations. More precisely the teratogenetic and lethal effects are associated with abnormal variation of the control parameters with time. (shrink)
In this paper we define two types of formal biological entities corresponding to biological levels of organization, thebiolons and theorgons, the properties of which are phenomenologically analyzed and discussed.We examine then, in a rather speculative manner, how some characteristics of these entities may suggest analogies between properties of biological systems and some special features of quantum systems.
NOTES: Based on the book Socrates on trial written by Andrew Irvine and published by the University of Toronto Press. Performed at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, May 31-June 7, 2008. CONTENTS: Trailer, Who was Socrates?, Selected scenes, The production, Credits. UBC Library Catalogue Permanent URL: http://resolve.library.ubc.ca/cgi-bin/catsearch?bid=3956307.
This paper is a contribution to the history of ethics, being an account of an episode in the detachment of ethics from religion. According to certain 17th century Jesuits, a person who does not know or think of God can commit only a ‘philosophic or moral’ sin which cannot deserve eternal punishment. Arnauld’s attack on this ‘Philosophism’, and on the idea that to deserve blame one must know one is doing wrong, touched on voluntariness, intention, conscientiousness, sincerity, the justice of (...) God’s helping some and not others, the requirement to do the right thing for the right reason, and other matters related to wrongdoing, blame, punishment and excuses. (shrink)
Antoine Arnauld and Pierre Nicole were philosophers and theologians associated with Port-Royal Abbey, a centre of the Catholic Jansenist movement in seventeenth-century France. Their enormously influential Logic or the Art of Thinking, which went through five editions in their lifetimes, treats topics in logic, language, theory of knowledge and metaphysics, and also articulates the response of 'heretical' Jansenist Catholicism to orthodox Catholic and Protestant views on grace, free will and the sacraments. In attempting to combine the categorical (...) theory of the proposition with a Cartesian account of knowledge, their Logic represents the classical view of judgment which inspired the modern transformation in logic and semantic theory by Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein and recent philosophers. This edition presents a new translation of the text, together with a historical introduction and suggestions for further reading. (shrink)
Antoine Cantin-Brault | Résumé : C’est un lieu commun de dire d’Héraclite qu’il est obscur, mais d’où vient précisément cette obscurité ? Libérant la métaphysique à partir d’une constitution entendue comme onto-proto-logie, l’obscurité d’Héraclite semble participer à la fois d’une métaphysique déterminante qui cherche à dire l’étant suprême en un Logos totalisant, et d’une métaphysique indéterminante ne voulant que signifier le principe qui se situe au-delà de l’étant. Ces deux tendances sont illustrées par Hegel et Heidegger, en leurs interprétations (...) respectives d’Héraclite ; chacun énonce quelque chose de vrai, sans faire taire l’autre. Héraclite se découvre ainsi au carrefour de perspectives métaphysiques qui se préciseront plus tard, que son obscurité lui permet d’anticiper toutes deux. |: It is a commonplace to say that Heraclitus is obscure, but how exactly does one account for that obscurity ? Paving the way to metaphysics thanks to what has aptly been termed an onto-proto-logy, Heraclitus’s obscurity seems to come both from a determinate metaphysics that seeks to express the Supreme Being through a totalizing Logos, and from an indeterminate metaphysics seeking only to suggest that principle situated beyond being. Those two tendencies are illustrated by Hegel and Heidegger, in their respective interpretations of Heraclitus ; each one says something true, without silencing the other. Heraclitus thus appears at the crossroads between metaphysical perspectives that will become clearer later, which his obscurity enables him to anticipate both. (shrink)
_sciousness called ‘neurophenomenology’ (Varela 1996) and illustrates it with a_ _recent pilot study (Lutz et al., 2002). At a theoretical level, neurophenomenology_ _pursues an embodied and large-scale dynamical approach to the_ _neurophysiology of consciousness (Varela 1995; Thompson and Varela 2001;_ _Varela and Thompson 2003). At a methodological level, the neurophenomeno-_ _logical strategy is to make rigorous and extensive use of first-person data about_ _subjective experience as a heuristic to describe and quantify the large-scale_ _neurodynamics of consciousness (Lutz 2002). The paper (...) foocuses on_ _neurophenomenology in relation to three challenging methodological issues_ _about incorporating first-person data into cognitive neuroscience: (i) first-person_ _reports can be biased or inaccurate; (ii) the process of generating first-person_ _reports about an experience can modify that experience; and (iii) there is an ‘ex-_ _planatory gap’ in our understanding of how to relate first-person, phenomeno-_ _logical data to third-person, biobehavioural data._. (shrink)
This paper analyzes an explicit instantiation of the program of neurophenomenology in a neuroscientific protocol. Neurophenomenology takes seriously the importance of linking the scientific study of consciousness to the careful examination of experience with a specific first-person methodology. My first claim is that such strategy is a fruitful heuristic because it produces new data and illuminates their relation to subjective experience. My second claim is that the approach could open the door to a natural account of the structure of human (...) experience as it is mobilized in itself in such methodology. In this view, generative passages define the type of circulation which explicitly roots the active and disciplined insight the subject has about his/her experience in a biological emergent process. (shrink)
Meditation can be conceptualized as a family of complex tial to be specific about the type of meditation practice emotional and attentional regulatory training regimes under investigation. Failure to make such distinctions developed for various ends, including the cultivation of..
The answer which Joseph Almog gives to the question which serves as the title of his recent book What Am I? (subtitled: Descartes and the Mind-Body Problem) is based upon his interpretation of (1) and objection to Descartes' argument for the distinction of the mind and the body raised by Antoine Arnauld, as well as Descartes' response to it, and (2) Descartes' letters of 9 February 1645 to Denis Mesland. I will argue that both of these interpretations are incorrect, (...) and as such do not support the conclusions which Almog claims to draw from them. The answer, then to the question of what I am which Almog provides is, I believe, not one Descartes would have held, nor one which his writings support. (Published Online October 13 2005). (shrink)
Advancing the reductionist conviction that biology must be in agreement with the assumptions of reductive physicalism (the upward hierarchy of causal powers, the upward fixing of facts concerning biological levels) A. Rosenberg argues that downward causation is ontologically incoherent and that it comes into play only when we are ignorant of the details of biological phenomena. Moreover, in his view, a careful look at relevant details of biological explanations will reveal the basic molecular level that characterizes biological systems, defined by (...) wholly physical properties, e.g., geometrical structures of molecular aggregates (cells). In response, we argue that contrary to his expectations one cannot infer reductionist assumptions even from detailed biological explanations that invoke the molecular level, as interlevel causal reciprocity is essential to these explanations. Recent very detailed explanations that concern the structure and function of chromatin—the intricacies of supposedly basic molecular level—demonstrate this. They show that what seem to be basic physical parameters extend into a more general biological context, thus rendering elusive the concepts of the basic level and causal hierarchy postulated by the reductionists. In fact, relevant phenomena are defined across levels by entangled, extended parameters. Nor can the biological context be explained away by basic physical parameters defining molecular level shaped by evolution as a physical process. Reductionists claim otherwise only because they overlook the evolutionary significance of initial conditions best defined in terms of extended biological parameters. Perhaps the reductionist assumptions (as well as assumptions that postulate any particular levels as causally fundamental) cannot be inferred from biological explanations because biology aims at manipulating organisms rather than producing explanations that meet the coherence requirements of general ontological models. Or possibly the assumptions of an ontology not based on the concept of causal powers stratified across levels can be inferred from biological explanations. The incoherence of downward causation is inevitable, given reductionist assumptions, but an ontological alternative might avoid this. We outline desiderata for the treatment of levels and properties that realize interlevel causation in such an ontology. (shrink)
Descartes's claim that the eternal truths were freely created by God is fraught with interpretive difficulties. The main arguments in the literature are classified as concerning the ontological status or the modalities of possibility and necessity of the eternal truths. The views of the principal defenders of the Creation Doctrine – Robert Desgabets, Pierre Sylvain Régis, and Antoine Le Grand are contrasted with those of Nicolas Malebranche. In clarifying the theological, ontological, and logical terms of the debate we can (...) see that what was at stake was the objectivity and certainty of the truths of mathematics and physics. I conclude by suggesting that this issue might fruitfully be used to clarify the disparate discussions in the contemporary literature. (shrink)
Robert Cummins [(1996) Representations, targets and attitudes, Cambridge, MA: Bradford/MIT, p. 1] has characterized the vexed problem of mental representation as "the topic in the philosophy of mind for some time now." This remark is something of an understatement. The same topic was central to the famous controversy between Nicolas Malebranche and Antoine Arnauld in the 17th century and remained central to the entire philosophical tradition of "ideas" in the writings of Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Reid and Kant. However, the (...) scholarly, exegetical literature has almost no overlap with that of contemporary cognitive science. I show that the recurrence of certain deep perplexities about the mind is a systematic and pervasive pattern arising not only throughout history, but also in a number of independent domains today such as debates over visual imagery, symbolic systems and others. Such historical and contemporary convergences suggest that the fundamental issues cannot arise essentially from the theoretical guise they take in any particular case. (shrink)
Attention to internal body sensations is practiced in most meditation traditions. Many traditions state that this practice results in increased awareness of internal body sensations, but scientific studies evaluating this claim are lacking. We predicted that experienced meditators would display performance superior to that of nonmeditators on heartbeat detection, a standard noninvasive measure of resting interoceptive awareness. We compared two groups of meditators (Tibetan Buddhist and Kundalini) to an age- and body mass index-matched group of nonmeditators. Contrary to our prediction, (...) we found no evidence that meditators were superior to nonmeditators in the heartbeat detection task, across several sessions and respiratory modulation conditions. Compared to nonmeditators, however, meditators consistently rated their interoceptive performance as superior and the difficulty of the task as easier. These results provide evidence against the notion that practicing attention to internal body sensations, a core feature of meditation, enhances the ability to sense the heartbeat at rest. (shrink)
History and philosophy complement and overlap each other in subject matter, but the two disciplines exhibit conflict over methodology. Since Hempel's challenge to historians that they should adopt the covering law model of explanation, the methodological conflict has revolved around the respective roles of the general and the particular in each discipline. In recent years, the revival of narrativism in history, coupled with the trend in philosophy of science to rely upon case studies, joins the methodological conflict anew. So long (...) as contemporary philosophy of science relies upon history's methodology to construct its case studies, it subjects itself to a paradoxical situation: the better the history, the worse the philosophy. An example of the methodological conflict is presented in the case of Antoine Lavoisier. This example also serves our ultimateconclusion, which is that distinctively philosophical methods of case-study design promise enhanced prescriptive powers for philosophy of science. (shrink)
This is a critical examination of Antoine Arnauld's Logic or the Art of Thinking (1662), commonly known as the Port-Royal Logic. Rather than reading this work from the viewpoint of post-Fregean formal logic or the viewpoint of seventeenth-century intellectual history, I approach it with the aim of exploring its relationship to that contemporary field which may be labeled informal logic and/or argumentation theory. It turns out that the Port-Royal Logic is a precursor of this current field, or conversely, that (...) this field may be said to be in the same tradition. (shrink)
This paper attempts to argue for the theory-ladenness of evidence. It does so by employing and analysing an episode from the history of eighteenth century chemistry. It delineates attempts by Joseph Priestley and Antoine Lavoisier to construct entirely different kinds of evidence for and against a particular hypothesis from a set of agreed upon observations or (raw) data. Based on an augmented version of a distinction, drawn by J. Bogen and J. Woodward, between data and phenomena it is shown (...) that the role of theoretical auxiliary assumptions is very important in constructing evidence for (or against) a theory from observation or (raw) data. In revolutionary situations, rival groups hold radically different theories and theoretical auxiliary assumptions. These are employed to construct very different evidence from the agreed upon set of observations or (raw) data. Hence, theory resolution becomes difficult. It is argued that evidence construction is a multi-layered exercise and can be disputed at any level. What counts as unproblematic observation or (raw) data at one level may become problematic at another level. The contingency of these constructions and the (un)problematic nature of evidence are shown to be partially dependent upon the scientific knowledge that the scientific community possesses. (shrink)
There is a sort of natural closeness between Sartre and violence. Many have claimed that Sartre was fascinated by violence. Authors as diverse as Michel-Antoine Burnier and Mohamed Harbi have criticised the violence in Sartre, and even Bernard-Henri Lévy sees in Sartre's preface to Fanon's Les Damnés de la Terre a 'Sartre possédé'. Unlike these authors, we claim that Sartre was in no way fascinated by violence. In his eyes, violence was an historical fact that was characteristic of his (...) time and which he, personally, discovered at an early age. What is more, Sartre's violence is situational. If he discovered the world in books, it was also in books that he discovered violence. Books and history were the melting pots of a violence that haunts Sartre's work. The historical situations in which he found himself explain the omnipresence of violence in his work. (shrink)
Recent brain imaging studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have implicated insula and anterior cingulate cortices in the empathic response to another’s pain. However, virtually nothing is known about the impact of the voluntary generation of compassion on this network. To investigate these questions we assessed brain activity using fMRI while novice and expert meditation practitioners generated a loving-kindness-compassion meditation state. To probe affective reactivity, we presented emotional and neutral sounds during the meditation and comparison periods. Our main hypothesis (...) was that the concern for others cultivated during this form of meditation enhances affective processing, in particular in response to sounds of distress, and that this response to emotional sounds is modulated by the degree of meditation training. The presentation of the emotional sounds was associated with increased pupil diameter and activation of limbic regions (insula and cingulate cortices) during meditation (versus rest). During meditation, activation in insula was greater during presentation of negative sounds than positive or neutral sounds in expert than it was in novice meditators. The strength of activation in insula was also associated with self-reported intensity of the meditation for both groups. These results support the role of the limbic circuitry in emotion sharing. The comparison between meditation vs. rest states between experts and novices also showed increased activation in amygdala, right temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), and right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) in response to all sounds, suggesting, greater detection of the emotional sounds, and enhanced mentation in response to emotional human vocalizations for experts than novices during meditation. Together these data indicate that the mental expertise to cultivate positive emotion alters the activation of circuitries previously linked to empathy and theory of mind in response to emotional stimuli.. (shrink)
Intent upon harmonizing doctrines of their predecessors, some Neoplatonic commentators are faced with a problem of resolving doctrinal discrepancies so as to restore the συµφωνία in the history of philosophy. This article considers a particular example of this attempt ats harmonization: how Simplicius reconciles Aristotle's Categories with the Neopythagorean doctrine of the Pseudo-Archytas. The chronological inversion introduced by the counterfeiter produces remarkable effects on the late Platonic doctrine about general terms, to the extent that a commentator such as Simplicius works (...) to reduce the dissonance between Archytas' and Aristotle's words. This paper has three aims: to restore the general grid that Simplicius uses for reading and commenting on Archytas through Aristotle; to identify the exegetical strategies aimed at a doctrinal reconciliation; to consider a specific case, provided by the doctrine of weight, which engenders a new physical theory by Simplicius. (shrink)
The capacity to stabilize the content of attention over time varies among individuals, and its impairment is a hallmark of several mental illnesses. Impairments in sustained attention in patients with attention disorders have been associated with increased trial-to-trial variability in reaction time and event-related potential deficits during attention tasks. At present, it is unclear whether the ability to sustain attention and its underlying brain circuitry are transformable through training. Here, we show, with dichotic listening task performance and electroencephalography, that training (...) attention, as cultivated by meditation, can improve the ability to sustain atten- tion. Three months of intensive meditation training reduced variability in attentional processing of target tones, as indicated by both enhanced theta-band phase consistency of oscillatory neural responses over anterior brain areas and reduced reaction time variability. Furthermore, those individuals who showed the greatest increase in neural response consistency showed the largest decrease in behav- ioral response variability. Notably, we also observed reduced variability in neural processing, in particular in low-frequency bands, regardless of whether the deviant tone was attended or unattended. Focused attention meditation may thus affect both distracter and target processing, perhaps by enhancing entrainment of neuronal oscillations to sensory input rhythms, a mechanism important for controlling the content of attention. These novel findings highlight the mechanisms underlying focused attention meditation and support the notion that mental training can significantly affect attention and brain function. (shrink)
The central character in Sartre's 1938 novel La Nausée, Antoine Roquentin, has lost his sense of things, and now the world appears to him as utterly unstable. Roquentin suffers from what he calls ?nausea,? a condition caused by an ontological intuition that the self, as well as the world through which that ?self? moves, lacks a substantial nature. The novel portrays Sartre's own philosophical account of the self in La transcendence de l'égo. Here Sartre argues that Husserl's account of (...) consciousness is not radical enough; the ?I? or ego is a pseudo-source of activity (and Sartre thus draws very close to a particularly Buddhist account of personal identity). My essay questions Roquentin's response to his ontological insight: why is this the occasion for ?nausea?? Why doesn't Roquentin (as King Milinda famously does) celebrate and embrace his ?non-self?? I argue that Sartre's depiction of Roquentin's ailment, and the unsatisfactory solution he provides, misunderstands both the aggregate nature of things as well as authentically rendered consciousness-only (vijñaptim?tra). (shrink)
The overall goal of this essay is to explore the initial findings of neuroscientific research on meditation; in doing so, the essay also suggests potential avenues of further inquiry. The essay consists of three sections that, while integral to the essay as a whole, may also be read independently. The first section, “Defining Meditation,” notes the need for a more precise understanding of meditation as a scientific explanandum. Arguing for the importance of distinguishing the particularities of various traditions, the section (...) presents the theory of meditation from the paradigmatic perspective of Buddhism, and it discusses the difficulties encountered when working with such theories. The section includes an overview of three practices that have been the subject of research, and it.. (shrink)
During the seventeenth century there were different ways of opposing the new mechanical philosophy and the old Aristotelian philosophy. Remarkably enough, one of this way succeeded in becoming stable beyond the moment of its formulation, one according to which Descartes would be the benchmark by which the works of other natural philosophers of the seventeenth century fall either on the side of the old or the new. I consequently examine the French debate where this representation emerges, a debate that took (...) place along with the development of a Cartesian propaganda in the 1660s and the ensuing official condemnations of the philosophy of Descartes, which was said to constitute a danger for the mystery of Eucharist. But these condemnations pronounced in the name of theology, as numerous and radical as they were, were not considered to be sufficient. They were assisted by numerous polemical works, the audience of which were learned companies of courteous honnêtes gens, and the object of which was to defend a certain way of proceeding in natural philosophy. I consequently concentrate on two correlated questions, the question of what kind of ontological entities are necessary for the establishment of a good physics, and the correlated question of what norms should be adopted in natural philosophy. I show quite systematically that the criticisms of Cartesian philosophers by the Oratorian Jean-Baptiste de La Grange, the bishop Pierre-Daniel Huet, and various Jesuits, Ignace Pardies, Antoine Rochon, Louis Le Valois, Gabriel Daniel, René Rapin, and Honoré Fabri respond to the mockeries of Gérauld de Cordemoy, Jacques Rohault, Louis de La Forge, Bernard Lamy, Nicolas Malebranche or Antoine Arnauld concerning the scholastic entities. Not only do I contrast their philosophical arguments concerning ontological entities and the norms to be respected in physics, but also their ways of defining the philosophical enterprise and its public. (shrink)
To fulfill their crucial duty of relieving suffering in their patients, physicians may have to administer palliative sedation when they implement treatment-limitation decisions such as the withdrawal of life-supporting interventions in patients with poor prognosis chronic severe brain injury. The issue of palliative sedation deserves particular attention in adults with serious brain injuries and in neonates with severe and irreversible brain lesions, who are unable to express pain or to state their wishes. In France, treatment limitation decisions for these patients (...) are left to the physicians. Treatment-limitation decisions are made collegially, based on the presence of irreversible brain lesions responsible for chronic severe disorders of consciousness. Before these decisions are implemented, they are communicated to the relatives. Because the presence and severity of pain cannot be assessed in these patients, palliative analgesia and/or sedation should be administered. However, palliative sedation is a complex strategy that requires safeguards to prevent a drift toward hastening death or performing covert euthanasia. In addition to the law on patients' rights at the end of life passed in France on April 22, 2005, a recent revision of Article 37 of the French code of medical ethics both acknowledges that treatment-limitation decisions and palliative sedation may be required in patients with severe brain injuries and provides legal and ethical safeguards against a shift towards euthanasia. This legislation may hold value as a model for other countries where euthanasia is illegal and for countries such as Belgium and Netherlands where euthanasia is legal but not allowed in patients incapable of asking for euthanasia but in whom a treatment limitation decision has been made. (shrink)
This short note develops some ideas along the lines of the stimulating paper by Heylighen (Found Sci 15 4(3):345–356, 2010a ). It summarizes a theme in several writings with Francis Bailly, downloadable from this author’s web page. The “geometrization” of time and causality is the common ground of the analysis hinted here and in Heylighen’s paper. Heylighen adds a logical notion, consistency, in order to understand a possible origin of the selective process that may have originated this organization of (...) natural phenomena. We will join our perspectives by hinting to some gnoseological complexes, common to mathematics and physics, which may shed light on the issues raised by Heylighen. (shrink)