The hopes and fears expressed in the debate on human enhancement are not always based on a realistic assessment of the expected possibilities. Discussions about extreme scenarios may at times obscure the ethical and policy issues that are relevant today. This paper aims to contribute to an adequate and ethically sound societal response to actual current developments. After a brief outline of the ethical debate concerning neuro-enhancement, it describes the current state of the art in psychopharmacological science and current uses (...) of psychopharmacological enhancement, as well as the prospects for the near future. It then identifies ethical issues regarding psychopharmacological enhancements that require attention from policymakers, both on the professional and on the governmental level. These concern enhancement research, the gradual expansion of medical categories, off-label prescription and responsibility of doctors, and accessibility of enhancers on the Internet. It is concluded that further discussion on the advantages and drawbacks of enhancers on a collective social level is still needed. (shrink)
In Why pains are not mental objects (1998) Guy Douglasrightly argues that pains are modes rather than objects ofperceptions or sensations. In this paper I try to go a stepfurther and argue that there are circumstances when pains canbecome objects even while they remain modes of experience.By analysing cases of extreme pain as presented by Scarry,Sartre, Wiesel, Grahek and Wall, I attempt to show thatintense physical pain may evolve into a force that, likeimagination, can make our most intense state of (...) experiencebecome a mental object. I shall finally argue that, thoughextreme pains cannot serve as paradigm cases, they do showthe general importance of taking pain states to be objects. (shrink)
Recordings of neuronal activity in the monkey superior colliculus (SC) suggest that the two apparently independent effects of a visual distractor on both temporal (latency) and spatial (metrics) saccade parameters may be the result of lateral interactions between subpopulations of saccade-related neurons located at different sites on the motor map of the superior colliculus. One subpopulation is activated during the planing and initiation of a saccade; the other is activated by the appearance of a distractor. The inhibitory or facilitative nature (...) of this interaction depends on the distance between the distractor and the target and is consistent with the complex pattern of intrinsic and commissural collicular connections. (shrink)
Upshot: According to its introduction, the aim of Enaction is to “present the paradigm of enaction as a framework for a far-reaching renewal of cognitive science as a whole.” While many of the chapters make progress towards this aim, the book as a whole does not present enactivism as a coherent framework, and it could be argued that enactivism’s embrace of phenomenology means it is no longer a theory of cognition.
Against species essentialism Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9448-6 Authors Olivier Rieppel, Department of Geology, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2496, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Rethinking the Body and Its Boundaries Content Type Journal Article Category Editorial Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s11673-011-9353-8 Authors Leigh E. Rich, Department of Health Sciences (Public Health), Armstrong Atlantic State University, 11935 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA 31419, USA Michael A. Ashby, Palliative Care and Persistent Pain Services, Royal Hobart, Hospital, Southern Tasmania Area Health Service, and School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, 1st Floor, Peacock Building, Repatriation Centre, 90 Davey Street, Hobart, TAS 7000 Australia Pierre-Olivier Méthot, (...) ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society (Egenis), University of Exeter, Byrne House, St German’s Road, Exeter, EX4 4PJ UK Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529 Journal Volume Volume 9 Journal Issue Volume 9, Number 1. (shrink)
Educational authority is an issue in contemporary democracies. Surprisingly, little attention has been given to the problem of authority in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Emile and his work has not been addressed in the contemporary debate on the issue of authority in democratic education. Olivier Michaud's goals are, first, to address both of these oversights by offering an original reading of the problem of authority in Emile and then to rehabilitate the notion of “educational authority” for democratic educators today. Contrary to (...) progressive readings of Emile, he argues, Rousseau's position on this issue is not reducible to “education against authority.” What appears at first glance to be an education against authority is, in a deeper sense, an education toward and even within authority. Michaud contends that we have to embrace these complexities and contradictions that inform Rousseau's work in order to gain insights into the place and role of authority in democratic education. Michaud sheds light on Rousseau's stance on authority through a close study of specific topics addressed in Emile, including negative education, opinion, one's relation to God, friendship and loving relationships, and, finally, the relation Rousseau established with his reader. (shrink)
Michel Morange: La vie, l’évolution et l’histoire Content Type Journal Article Category Book Notice Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9595-4 Authors Mathias Grote, Institut für Philosophie, Literatur- Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany Pierre-Olivier Méthot, ESRC Centre for Genomics and Society (Egenis), University of Exeter, Byrne House, St German’s Road, Exeter, EX4 4PJ UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
The theory of mind that medieval philosophers inherit from Augustine is predicated on the thesis that the human mind is essentially self-reflexive. This paper examines Peter John Olivi's (1248-1298) distinctive development of this traditional Augustinian thesis. The aim of the paper is three-fold. The first is to establish that Olivi's theory of reflexive awareness amounts to a theory of phenomenal consciousness. The second is to show that, despite appearances, Olivi rejects a higher-order analysis of consciousness in favor of a same-order (...) theory. The third and final is to show that, on his view, consciousness is both self-intimating and infallible. (shrink)
This collection of essays offers different ways of seeing twentieth-century art via the medium of aesthetics. Each essay explores a different vision: Pablo Picasso's Mercure , Paul Klee's work from the thirties, Yves Klein's concept of the Void, Ed Ruscha's gunpowder drawings, and Cy Twombly's Bacchus paintings. Having curated exhibitions on the majority of these artists, Olivier Berggruen's acquaintance with their work is profound, and his approach both scholarly and highly intimate. Olivier Berggruen lives in New York and (...) has curated museum exhibitions devoted to Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Yves Klein, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Ed Ruscha. (shrink)
Jean-Olivier Roy | : L’étude des nations et du nationalisme autochtones contemporains présente des défis en raison des divergences, chez les penseurs et les acteurs politiques, quant à leur nature et leur interprétation. Nous constatons que le nationalisme autochtone, à la base principalement ethnique ou culturel, accorde de plus en plus d’importance aux revendications politiques, dépassant ainsi les simples protections culturelles. Cet article pose l’hypothèse que les nations et le nationalisme autochtones, malgré les références aux traditions et à leur (...) origine immémoriale, sont des construits en perpétuelle mutation, notamment sous l’influence des nationalismes environnants et de la modernité politique. Pour développer cette hypothèse, nous examinons les propos des acteurs et des penseurs au moyen des différentes théories de la nation. | : The study of indigenous nations and nationalism poses several challenges based on the disagreements that their interpretation poses for the theorists and political actors alike. We note that indigenous nationalism, based on ethnic or cultural grounds, attributes increasing importance to political demands, thereby leaving behind claims for cultural protections. This article argues that despite references to tradition and culture, indigenous nations and nationalisms are in constant flux, subject to the influences of nationalisms around them and the demands of political modernity. To support this claim, we examine the proposals by several theorists and political actors across theories of the nation. (shrink)
This article discusses the theories of perception of Robert Kilwardby and Peter of John Olivi. Our aim is to show how in challenging certain assumptions of medieval Aristotelian theories of perception they drew on Augustine and argued for the active nature of the soul in sense perception. For both Kilwardby and Olivi, the soul is not passive with respect to perceived objects; rather, it causes its own cognitive acts with respect to external objects and thus allows the subject to perceive (...) them. We also show that Kilwardby and Olivi differ substantially regarding where the activity of the soul is directed to and the role of the sensible species in the process, and we demonstrate that there are similarities between their ideas of intentionality and the attention of the soul towards the corporeal world. (shrink)
This article discusses the notion of inner experience and self-knowledge in Peter John Olivi. According to Olivi, each act of cognition is accompanied by some sort of self-awareness or self-experience. Therefore, the problem of an infinite regress of acts of self-awareness arises. Olivi tries to solve this problem by drawing on a theory of reflection which bears a striking resemblance to modern self-representational or dispositional accounts of (self-)consciousness. Thus, in order to be said to be »known« or »certain« it is (...) not necessary for each single act of intellect to be followed by a higher-order act ; Olivi argues that in many cases a simple first-order cognitive act suffices. (shrink)
Abstract This paper studies Olivi's account of perceptual representation. It addresses two main questions: (1) how do perceptual representations originate? and (2) how do they represent their objects? Regarding (1), it is well known that Olivi emphasizes the activity of the soul in the production of perceptual representations. Yet it is sometimes argued that he overstresses the activity of the soul in a way that yields a philosophically problematic result. I argue that Olivi was well aware of the problem that (...) could be raised for his theory and that he sought to cope with it. Regarding (2), Pasnau argues that for Olivi, causal relationships with external objects determine the content of perceptual representations. I argue that, rather, perceptual representations are about their objects because they are their similitudes. This makes him an internalist about representational content. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to present a reconstruction of Olivi's account of signification of common names and to highlight certain intrusion of pragmatics into this account. The paper deals with the question of how certain facts, other than original imposition, may be relevant to determine the semantical content of an utterance, and not with the question of how we perform actions by means of utterances. The intrusion of pragmatics into Olivi's semantics we intend to point out may seem (...) minimal today, but was of a certain importance at his time. Even if the conventional codes still play a role in his explanation of how words acquire a semantical content, both the intention of the speaker and the communication context in which this intention is being effectuated are essential features of the actual signification of names. (shrink)
On August 19, 1297, a young man of royal heritage died in the household of the Count of Provence and King of Naples at Brignoles, a short distance from Marseille. The young man was Louis of Anjou, a Franciscan friar and Bishop of Toulouse, who had renounced his inheritance and claim to the Kingdom of Naples to pursue a religious vocation. Only twenty-three years old when he died, Louis nevertheless had long been inspired by Franciscan spirituality, and less than eight (...) months before had realized his dream of professing vows within the Order of Friars Minor at the same time that he submitted to consecration as Bishop of Toulouse. In March of the following year, Peter of John Olivi, a native son of .. (shrink)
Peter of John Olivi composed Question 57 of his Quaestiones in secundum librum Sententiarum (“Questions on the Second Book of the Sentences”) in the decade after William of Moerbeke had translated, not long before 1270, Aristotle’s On Rhetoric into Latin.2 It was above all Moerbeke’s translation that gave thirteenth-century Europe access to the analysis of the emotions that Aristotle had placed in Book Two of the work. Two earlier translations existed: one that Hermannus Alemannus had made from an Arabic translation (...) in 1256, and another that an anonymous translator had done from the Greek, sometime in the middle of the century.3 Few had read Hermannus’s version; and even fewer that of the unknown translator. In .. (shrink)
The received view in philosophy of biology is that biological taxa (species and higher taxa) do not have essences. Recently some philosophers (Boyd, Devitt, Griffiths, LaPorte, Okasha, and Wilson) have suggested new forms of biological essentialism. They argue that according to these new forms of essentialism biological taxa do have essences. This paper critically evaluates the new biological essentialism. The paper’s thesis is that the costs of adopting the new biological essentialism are many, yet the benefits are none. So there (...) is no compelling reason to resurrect essentialism concerning biological taxa. (shrink)
This paper defends hedonic intentionalism, the view that all pleasures, including bodily pleasures, are directed towards objects distinct from themselves. Brentano is the leading proponent of this view. My goal here is to disentangle his significant proposals from the more disputable ones so as to arrive at a hopefully promising version of hedonic intentionalism. I mainly focus on bodily pleasures, which constitute the main troublemakers for hedonic intentionalism. Section 1 introduces the problem raised by bodily pleasures for hedonic intentionalism and (...) some of the main reactions to it. Sections 2 and 3 rebut two main approaches equating bodily pleasures with non- intentional episodes. More precisely, section 2 argues that bodily pleasures cannot be purely non-intentional self-conscious feelings, by relying on Brentano’s objection to Hamilton’s theory of pleasure. Section 3 argues that bodily pleasures cannot be non-intentional sensory qualities by relying on Brentano’s objections to Stumpf’s theory of pleasure. Section 4 develops a brentanian view of the intentionality of bodily pleasures by claiming bodily pleasures are directed at a sui generis class of sensory qualities. Section 5 presents an objection to Brentano’s later theory of pleasure according to which all sensory pleasures are directed at sensing acts. (shrink)
This paper defends the view that Newtonian forces are real, symmetrical and non-causal rela- tions. First, I argue that Newtonian forces are real; second, that they are relations; third, that they are symmetrical relations; fourth, that they are not species of causation. The overall picture is anti-Humean to the extent that it defends the existence of forces as external relations irreducible to spatio-temporal ones, but is still compatible with Humean approaches to causation (and others) since it denies that forces are (...) a species of causation. (shrink)
Species are generally considered to be the basic units of evolution, and hence to constitute spatio-temporally bounded entities. In addition, it has been argued that species also instantiate a natural kind. Evolution is fundamentally about change. The question then is how species can remain the same through evolutionary change. Proponents of the species qua individuals thesis individuate species through their unique evolutionary origin. Individuals, or spatio-temporally located particulars in general, can be bodies, objects, events, or processes, or a combination of (...) these. It is here argued that species are best understood as open or closed, causally integrated processual systems that also instantiate an historically conditioned homeostatic property cluster natural kind. (shrink)
This paper argues (i) that the possibility of experiencing at once pleasures and unpleasures does not threaten the contrariety of pleasure and unpleasure. (ii) That the hedonic balance calculated by adding all pleasures and displeasures of a subject at a time yields an abstract result that does not correspond to any new psychological reality. There are no resultant feelings. (iii) That there are nevertheless, in some cases, sentimental fusions: when the co-occurent pleasures and unpleasures do not have any bodily location, (...) and that their intentional object vanishes, they truly fuse with each other, giving rise to sentimental mixtures in which the initial pleasures and unpleasures are no longer discernible. (shrink)
I defend the view that the experience of resistance gives us a direct phenomenal access to the mind-independence of perceptual objects. In the first part, I address a humean objection against the very possibility of experiencing existential mind-independence. The possibility of an experience of mind-independence being secured, I argue in the second part that the experience of resistance is the only kind of experience by which we directly access existential mind-independence.
This article examines how the action logics associated with the stages of consciousness development of organizational leaders can influence the meaning, which these leaders give to corporate greening and their capacity to consider the specific complexities, values, and demands of environmental issues. The article explores how the seven principal action logics identified by Rooke and Torbert (2005, Harvard Business Review 83 (4), 66–76; Opportunist, Diplomat, Expert, Achiever, Individualist, Strategist and Alchemist) can affect environmental leadership. An examination of the strengths and (...) limitations of these action logics reveals the relevance of the so-called post-conventional stages of consciousness to the recognition and effective management of complex environmental issues. Suggestions are also made for promoting organizational contexts conducive to the development of a post-conventional environmental leadership. (shrink)
Despite the amount of work that has been produced on the subject over the years, the ‘transformation of cladistics’ is still a misunderstood episode in the history of comparative biology. Here, I analyze two outstanding, highly contrasting historiographic accounts on the matter, under the perspective of an influential dichotomy in the philosophy of science: the opposition between Scientific Realism and Empiricism. Placing special emphasis on the notion of ‘causal grounding’ of morphological characters ( sensu Olivier Rieppel) in modern developmental (...) biology’s (mechanistic) theories, I arrive at the conclusion that a ‘new transformation of cladistics’ is philosophically plausible. This ‘reformed’ understanding of ‘pattern cladistics’ entails retaining the interpretation of cladograms as ‘schemes of synapomorphies’, but in association to construing cladogram nodes as ‘developmental-genetic taxic homologies’, instead of ‘standard Darwinian ancestors’. The reinterpretation of pattern cladistics presented here additionally proposes to take Bas Van Fraassen’s ‘constructive empiricism’ as a philosophical stance that could properly support such analysis of developmental-genetic data for systematic purposes. The latter suggestion is justified through a reappraisal of previous ideas developed by prominent pattern cladists (mainly, Colin Patterson), which concerned a scientifically efficient ‘observable/non-observable distinction’ linked to the conceptual pair ‘ontogeny and phylogeny’. Finally, I argue that a robust articulation of Antirealist alternatives in systematics may provide a rational basis for its disciplinary separation from evolutionary biology, as well as for a critical reconsideration of the proper role of certain Scientific Realist positions, currently popular in comparative biology. (shrink)
Our thesis is that proprioception is not a sixth sense distinct from the sense of touch, but a part of that tactile (or haptic) sense. The tactile sense is defined as the sense whose direct intentional objects are macroscopic mechanical properties. We first argue (against D. Armstrong, 1962; B. O'Shaughnessy 1989, 1995, 1998 and M. Martin, 1992, 1993,1995) that the two following claims are incompatible : (i) proprioception is a sense distinct from touch; (ii) touch is a bipolar modality, that (...) intrinsically has both a subjective-bodily pole and objective pole. We then argue that the bipolarity of touch should be preferred over the introduction of a sui generis sense of the body. We try to revive Aristotle suggestion according to which the body is the tactile medium (like the air for sight). Since this medium is constantly changing its shape, we need some specific channel of information about its state : proprioception, functionally defined, is that part of touch which informs us about the state of this changing tactile medium. Though muscular and articular receptors are usually dedicated to inform us about the mechanical properties of the tactile media, and the skin receptors about the mechanical properties of the tactile objects, this is not essentially so. In weighting or wielding experiments we access the weight of external objects even when skin sensitivity is absent; in prosthetic touch, the skin receptors play the role usually assigned to muscle and articular receptors, namely to inform us about the mechanical state of the tactile medium. So proprioception, anatomically defined, can play both the role of informing us about the tactile medium, or about the tactile objects. That other sensory modalities also rely on proprioceptive information should be understood in terms of cross-modal dependencies: of sight, hearing, smell, taste...on touch. (shrink)
Organizational citizenship behaviors have been the topic of much research attempting to understand the motivations, manifestations, and impacts of these behaviors on organizational development. However, studies have been based essentially on an anthropocentric and intra-organizational perspective that tends to ignore broader environmental issues. Due to the complexity of environmental issues and their human, informal, and preventive aspects, consideration of these issues requires voluntary and decentralized initiatives that draw on organizational citizenship behaviors. The role of these behaviors has been neglected, or (...) even ignored, in studies of environmental management, which have focused mainly on the explicit, formal, and prescriptive aspects of organizations. The aim of this article is to shed light on the pertinence of organizational citizenship behaviors in improving the efficacy and efficiency of environmental management. The article discusses how the principal dimensions of these behaviors can be applied to the environmental practices of organizations and underlines their importance in responding to essential challenges of environmental management, including the complexity of environmental issues, limitations of formal management systems, the need to consider tacit knowledge, the importance of helping relationships, and the promotion of␣social legitimacy among organizations. Measures to encourage eco-efficiency and establish a favorable context for the emergence of citizenship behaviors are also proposed. (shrink)
Taking its clues from Popperian philosophy of science, cladistics adopted a number of assumptions of the empiricist tradition. These include the identification of a dichotomy between observation reports and theoretical statements and its subsequent abandonment on the basis of the insight that all observation reports are theory-laden. The neglect of the ‘context of discovery’, which is the step of theory (hypothesis) generation. The emphasis on coherentism in the ‘context of justification’, which is the step of evaluation of the relative merits (...) of alternative theories. The appeal to a total evidence approach in phylogenetic inference. And finally, a silence about causation, which results in an instrumentalist approach to phylogeny reconstruction. This paper explores how these empiricist assumptions are embedded in phylogenetic systematics, and why these assumptions are problematic for cladists (or any taxonomists). (shrink)
The history of biological systematics documents a continuing tension between classifications in terms of nested hierarchies congruent with branching diagrams (the ‘Tree of Life’) versus reticulated relations. The recognition of conflicting character distribution led to the dissolution of the scala naturae into reticulated systems, which were then transformed into phylogenetic trees by the addition of a vertical axis. The cladistic revolution in systematics resulted in a representation of phylogeny as a strictly bifurcating pattern (cladogram). Due to the ubiquity of character (...) conflict—at the genetic or morphological level, or at any level in between—some characters will necessarily have to be discarded ( qua noise) in favor of others in support of a strictly bifurcating phylogenetic tree. Pattern analysts will seek maximal congruence in the distribution of characters (ultimately of any kind) relative to a branching tree-topology; process explainers will call such tree-topologies into question by reference to incompatible evolutionary processes. Pattern analysts will argue that process explanations must not be brought to bear on pattern reconstruction; process explainers will insist that the reconstructed pattern requires a process explanation to become scientifically relevant, i.e., relevant to evolutionary theory. The core question driving the current debate about the adequacy of the ‘Tree of Life’ metaphor seems to be whether the systematic dichotomization of the living world is an adequate representation of the complex evolutionary history of global biodiversity. In ‘Questioning the Tree of Life’, it seems beneficial to draw at least four conceptual distinctions: pattern reconstruction versus process explanation as different epistemological approaches to the study of phylogeny; open versus closed systems as expressions of different kinds of population (species) structures; phylogenetic trees versus cladograms as representations of evolutionary processes versus patterns of relationships; and genes versus species as expressions of different levels of causal integration and evolutionary transformation. (shrink)
Social reporting has become an increasingly important dimension of the corporate social responsibility process. The growing necessity to include the social dimension in reporting practices raises important questions about the nature of social responsibility and its impact on corporate and individual behaviour and performance. The literature has yet to provide a reliable theoretical definition of corporate social responsibility and performance, however. Based on the approach proposed by Simons, we argue that organisational reporting about social responsibility can be viewed as a (...) learning tool in some instances. Under this view the design and implementation of corporate social reporting procedures may lead to individual and organisational dynamic changes that foster organisational performance. Research propositions are then derived from the analysis. (shrink)
Kaiho Seiry (1755-1817) is probably the first Japanese thinker to proclaim the contractual nature of human relationships. I examine in this paper the view of human beings that led him to this conclusion. Giving up previous definitions of humans, Seiry focuses on the faculty of practical reason. While this leads him to recognize a hierarchy of humans, some having more humanity than others, it also allows him to develop the most modern understanding of social relationship available in his time. His (...) radical reinterpretation of what it is to be a human being is all the more remarkable because it was done with the concepts and ideas provided by the Chinese Classics. Establishing new connections, giving new life to ideas that were never exploited, Seiry showed it was possible to make sense of modernity without using foreign concepts. (shrink)
Ingvar Johansson has argued that there are not only determinate universals, but also determinable ones. I here argue that this view is misguided by reviving a line of argument to the following effect: what makes determinates falling under a same determinable similar cannot be distinct from what makes them different. If true, some similarities — imperfect similarities between simple determinate properties — are not grounded in any kind of property-sharing. I suggest that determinables are better understood as maximal disjunctions of (...) brutely and imperfectly similar determinates. Such brute similarities have been thought to clash with realism about universals. I argue that this worry stems from the mistaken assumption that perfect and imperfect similarities are relations of a same kind. If exact and inexact resemblances are distinct and heterogeneous explananda, the realist about universals might explain the first thanks to property-sharing, while happily leaving imperfect similarities between properties unexplained. (shrink)
Humans massively depend on communication with others, but this leaves them open to the risk of being accidentally or intentionally misinformed. To ensure that, despite this risk, communication remains advantageous, humans have, we claim, a suite of cognitive mechanisms for epistemic vigilance. Here we outline this claim and consider some of the ways in which epistemic vigilance works in mental and social life by surveying issues, research and theories in different domains of philosophy, linguistics, cognitive psychology and the social sciences.
The thesis defended is that ordinary perception does not present us with the existential independence of its objects from itself. The phenomenology of ordinary perception is mute with respect to the subject-object distinction. I call this view "phenomenal neutral monism" : though neutral monists are wrong about the metaphysics of perception (in every perceptual episode, there is a distinction between the perceptual act and its perceptual objet), they are right about its phenomenology. I first argue that this view is not (...) as counter-intuitive as it might initially seem, by stressing (i) that the lack of presentation of the mind-independence of perceptual objects does not entail their being presented as mind-dependent. (ii) That phenomenal neutral monism is true of ordinary perception in the thin sense, but not in the thick sense (that includes expectations, guesses, feelings etc. grounded on thin perception). (iii) That the concept of a perceptual perspective or point of view should not be confused with the concept of the subject or intentional act of perception. Second, I propose three positive arguments in favor of phenomenal neutral monism. (i) It does justice to the recurring idea that only resistance to our will presents us with the world qua independent from us. (ii) It does justice to the recurring idea that the most natural attitude towards the perceptual world is that of being absorbed in it. (iii) It is entailed by the view that intentional acts are phenomenally transparent (a view held by Russell and Moore, and most contemporary representationalists) together with the view that in order to be presented with a relation (here the act-object distinction) one has to be presented with its relata. (shrink)
Any advanced theory of physics contains modules defined as essential components that are themselves theories with different domains of application. Different kinds of modules can be distinguished according to the way in which they fit in the symbolic and interpretive apparatus of a theory. The number and kind of the modules of a given theory vary as the theory evolves in time. The relative stability of modules and the variability of their insertion in other theories play a vital role in (...) the application, comparison, construction, and communication of theories. Modularity conveys some global unity to physics through the sharing of modules by diverse theories. This alternative to rigid hierarchies and holistic totalities permits a dynamical, plastic, and symbiotic approach to physical theory. (shrink)
The philosopher David Lewis is credited by many social scientists, including mainstream economists, with having founded the modern (game-theoretical) approach to conventions, viewed as solutions to recurrent coordination problems. Yet it is generally ignored that he revised his approach, soon after the publication of his well-known book. I suggest that this revision has deep implications (probably not perceived by Lewis himself) on the analytical links between coordination, uncertainty and rationality. Thinking anew about these issues leads me to map out an (...) alternative social scientific research programme. The traditional ontological equipment of methodological individualism should be reinforced in order to admit the existence of an “intersubjective” world beside the two familiar worlds: the “objective” world of observable things, and the “subjective” world of expectations and individual beliefs. In particular, language becomes necessary to understand coordination via conventions, rather than the other way round. That has led a group of institutionalist economists and pragmatist sociologists to develop an enlarged model of rationality, no longer isolated from questions of coordination and values. This model is the basis for the “Economics of Conventions”. (shrink)
Rom Harré thinks that the Emergence–Reduction debate, conceived as a vertical problem, is partly ill posed. Even if he doesn’t wholly reject the traditional definition of an emergent property as a property of a collection but not of its components, his point is that this definition doesn’t exhaust all the dimensions of emergence. According to Harré there is another kind (or dimension) of emergence, which we may call—somewhat paradoxically—“horizontal emergence”: two properties of a substance are horizontally emergent relative to each (...) other if they cannot be displayed in the same conditions. Contrary to vertical emergence, horizontal emergence is a symmetrical relation. Harré endorses horizontal emergentism. I argue that this position faces a principled difficulty: it makes it impossible to bind different horizontally emergent discourses in an interesting way. Physics and biology for example become “island” discourses, each speaking of a distinct kind of entities. The only way to ensure that two different discourses can relate to the same entity is to reintroduce verticality into the picture. (shrink)
Using the matching bias example, the aim of the present studies was to show that adults' reasoning biases are due to faulty executive inhibition programming. In the first study, the subjects were trained on Wason's classical card selection task; half were given training in how to inhibit the perceptual matching bias (experimental group) and half in logic without the inhibition component (control group). On the pre- and post-tests, their performance was assessed on the Evans conditional rule falsification task (with a (...) negation in the antecedent of the rule), a task that also involves matching bias. In addition, subjects were tested for perceptual field dependence/independence using the Embedded Figures Test. The results brought out a specific inhibition training effect, as well as a clear-cut relationship in the experimental group between receptiveness to training and perceptual field independence. In the second study, the training paradigm was the same except that on the pre- and post-tests, the negation was in the consequent of the conditional rule (in this case, the perceptual matching response corresponds to the logical response). The subjects succeeded on the pre-test, and the matching-bias inhibition training had a negative effect on post-test performance. This specific negative priming effect confirms the inhibitory impact of our experimental training and outlines the dissociation of inhibition and logical components. (shrink)
This thesis introduces and defends the Axiological Theory of Pleasure (ATP), according to which all pleasures are mental episodes which exemplify an hedonic value. According to the version of the ATP defended, hedonic goodness is not a primitive kind of value, but amounts to the final and personal value of mental episodes. Beside, it is argued that all mental episodes –and then all pleasures– are intentional. The definition of pleasures I arrived at is the following : -/- x is a (...) pleasure of a person P =df x is an intentional episode of P which is finally good for P. (shrink)
A long-standing debate has dominated systematic biology and the ontological commitments made by its theories. The debate has contrasted individuals and the part – whole relationship with classes and the membership relation. This essay proposes to conceptualize the hierarchy of higher taxa is terms of a hierarchy of homeostatic property cluster natural kinds (biological species remain largely excluded from the present discussion). The reference of natural kind terms that apply to supraspecific taxa is initially fixed descriptively; the extension of those (...) natural kind terms is subsequently established by empirical investigation. In that sense, classification precedes generalization, and description provides guidance to empirical investigation. The reconstruction of a hierarchy of (homeostatic property cluster) natural kinds is discussed in the light of cladistic methods of phylogeny reconstruction. (shrink)
The theory and practice of contemporary comparative biology and phylogeny reconstruction (systematics) emphasizes algorithmic aspects but neglects a concern for the evidence. The character data used in systematics to formulate hypotheses of relationships in many ways constitute a black box, subject to uncritical assessment and social influence. Concerned that such a state of affairs leaves systematics and the phylogenetic theories it generates severely underdetermined, we investigate the nature of the criteria of homology and their application to character conceptualization in the (...) context of transformationist and generative paradigms. Noting the potential for indeterminacy in character conceptualization, we conclude that character congruence (the coherence of character statements) relative to a hierarchy is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for phylogeny reconstruction. Specifically, it is insufficient due to the lack of causal grounding of character hypotheses. Conceptualizing characters as homeostatic property cluster natural kinds is in accordance with the empirical practice of systematists. It also accounts for the lack of sharpness in character conceptualization, yet requires character identification and re-identification to be tied to causal processes. (shrink)