The Socratic method has a long history in teaching philosophy and mathematics, marked by such names as Karl Weierstra, Leonard Nelson and Gustav Heckmann. Its basic idea is to encourage the participants of a learning group (of pupils, students, or practitioners) to work on a conceptual, ethical or psychological problem by their own collective intellectual effort, without a textual basis and without substantial help from the teacher whose part it is mainly to enforce the rigid procedural rules designed to ensure (...) a fruitful, diversified, open and consensus-oriented thought process. Several features of the Socratic procedure, especially in the canonical form given to it by Heckmann, are highly attractive for the teaching of medical ethics in small groups: the strategy of starting from relevant singular individual experiences, interpreting and cautiously generalizing them in a process of inter-subjective confrontation and confirmation, the duty of non-directivity on the part of the teacher in regard to the contents of the discussion, the necessity, on the part of the participants, to make explicit both their own thinking and the way they understand the thought of others, the strict separation of content level and meta level discussion and, not least, the wise use made of the emotional and motivational resources developing in the group process. Experience shows, however, that the canonical form of the Socratic group suffers from a number of drawbacks which may be overcome by loosening the rigidity of some of the rules. These concern mainly the injunction against substantial interventions on the part of the teacher and the insistence on consensus formation rooted in Leonard Nelson's Neo-Kantian Apriorism. (shrink)
Starting from early scientific explorations of binocular rivalry, researchers have wondered about the degree to which an observer can exert voluntary attentional control over rivalry dynamics. The answer to this question would not only reveal the extent to which we may determine our own conscious visual experience, but also advance our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying binocular rivalry. Classic studies, intriguingly, reached contradictory conclusions, ranging from an absence of attentional control, as advocated by Breese, to nearly complete control of (...) rivalry dynamics, as reported by Helmholtz. Recent investigations have revisited this question, but the results have continued to echo the conflicting findings of earlier studies, seemingly precluding a comprehensive understanding of attentional effects on rivalry. Here, we review both classic and modern studies, and propose a unifying framework derived from the biased competition theory of attention. The key assumption of this theory is that the nature of stimulus conflict determines the limits of attentional modulation. For example, a condition in which unresolved stimulus conflict transpires through many levels of visual processing should be very susceptible to attentional control. When applied to binocular rivalry, this framework predicts strong attentional modulations under conditions of unresolved stimulus conflict (e.g., initial selection) and conditions where conflict is resolved at higher levels of visual processing (e.g., stimulus rivalry). Additionally, the efficacy of attentional control over rivalry can be increased by utilization of demanding, behaviorally relevant tasks, and likely through perceptual training paradigms. We show that this framework can help facilitate the understanding and synthesis of a diverse set of results on attentional control over rivalry, and we propose several directions for future research on this interesting topic. (shrink)
Dieter Lohmar, Phänomenologie der schwachen Phantasie. Untersuchungen der Psychologie, Cognitive Science, Neurologie und Phänomenologie zur Funktion der Phantasie in der Wahrnehmung Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10743-010-9069-3 Authors Andrea Staiti, Boston College Department of Philosophy Chestnut Hill MA USA Journal Husserl Studies Online ISSN 1572-8501 Print ISSN 0167-9848 Journal Volume Volume 26 Journal Issue Volume 26, Number 2.