Neuroenhancement offers the prospect of improving the cognitive, emotional and motivational functions of healthy individuals. Of all the conceivable interventions, psychopharmacology provides the most readily available ones, such as antidepressants which are thought to make people better than well . However, up until now, whether they possess such an enhancing ability remains controversial and therefore in this systematic review we will evaluate the effect and safety of modern antidepressants in healthy individuals. A search of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases and cross-references (...) was carried out and the pharmaceutical industry was contacted for suitable data. Trials published in any language through the third week of July 2007 were regarded. Included were single or double blind randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials that compared a placebo to one or more of the following antidepressants: bupropion, citalopram, duloxetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, moclobemide, paroxetine, reboxetine, sertraline or venlafaxine in any dose or dosing schedule. Eligible studies were those involving healthy people of any age and either sex who showed no evidence of a psychiatric disorder, cognitive decline or other disease. One hundred thirty-five articles met our inclusion criteria reporting single dose trials and trials with repeated drug administration. Sixty-five of these articles were eligible for a statistical analysis. Based on a linear mixed model, a meta-analysis and a fixed effects meta-regression were performed. Pooling of results by meta-analysis was stratified by the outcome measures (a) mood, (b) emotional processing, (c) wakefulness, (d) attention, (e) memory, and (f) executive functions. On a significance level of pÂ <Â 0.05 the following significant results emerged: After a single dose of an antidepressant, a significant effect was shown in two of the analysed outcomes. Firstly, there was a small yet significant negative effect on wakefulness. On memory, a positive effect after several measurements was found, but this result could be traced to the results of the one study out of all included studies, which had that many assessment points. The analysis of trials with repeated drug administration (mean duration 14Â days, standard deviation 9) yielded the following effects: on mood, a non-significant positive effect was detected that was continuously increasing and reached significance at the last assessment point. Regarding attention, a fluctuating effect was found, while for memory, the fact that the two groups started with a group difference confounded the results. For wakefulness there was no significant effect in any particular assessment point, while for emotional processing and executive functions, the small number of studies did not allow for any effect to emerge. In summary, no consistent evidence for enhancing effects of antidepressants could be found. There is little evidence so far to support the popular opinion that antidepressants have a positive effect on the mood of healthy individuals after repeated administration. No evidence of a significant adverse event profile could be found. The studies included in this systematic review not only provide insufficient evidence for or against any effect in healthy people, but they are inapt to be used for answering this question. This may be explained by the fact that most of them were not designed to examine neuroenhancement effects. The growing public interest in neuroenhancement stands in stark contrast to the paucity of data on enhancement effects of available psychopharmacological agents. (shrink)
(2013). Phenomenal Consciousness: Understanding the Relation Between Experience and Neural Processes in the Brain, by Dimitris Platchias. Australasian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 91, No. 3, pp. 617-620. doi: 10.1080/00048402.2013.788529.
Dimitris Vardoulakis, The Doppelgänger: Literature's Philosophy Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 418-422 Authors Carlo Salzani, Monash University, Australia Journal Critical Horizons: A Journal of Philosophy & Social Theory Online ISSN 1568-5160 Print ISSN 1440-9917 Journal Volume Volume 12 Journal Issue Volume 12, Number 3 / 2011.
This collection of essays covers the classical heritage and Islamic culture, classical Arabic science and philosophy, and Muslim religious sciences, showing continuation of Greek and Persian thought as well as original Muslim contributions ...
According to some representationalists (M. Tye, Ten problems of consciousness, MIT Press, Massachusetts, USA, 1995; W.G. Lycan, Consciousness and experience, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 1996; F. Dretske, Naturalising the mind, MIT Press, Massachusetts, USA 1995), qualia are identical to external environmental states or features. When one perceives a red rose for instance, one is visually representing the actual redness of the rose. The represented redness of the rose is the actual redness of the rose itself. Thus redness is not (...) a property of one’s experience but an externally constituted property of the perceived physical object. In this sense, qualia are out there, in the external world. Here, I argue that the main representationalist arguments to this effect, if successful, establish no more than a symmetrical supervenience relation between representational content and qualia, and that a supervenience relation alone (albeit symmetrical) doesn’t suffice for identity. This supervenience thesis between qualia and representational content leaves open the question as to the essential nature of qualia. (shrink)
This paper explores a form of activism that operates with and within matter. For more than 150 years materialism has informed activist practice through materialist conceptions of history and modes of production. The paper discusses the ambivalences of these previous configurations of activism and materialism and explores possibilities for enacting activist interventions in conditions where politics is not only performed as a politics of history but as the fundamental capacity to remake and transform processes of matter and life. What is (...) activism when politics is increasingly performed as a politics of matter? What is activism when it comes to a materialist understanding of matter itself? (shrink)
This paper explores the way that Elizabeth Presa's artworks respond to Jacques Derrida's thought. By examining how the particularity (the beside) and its supplements (the besides) operate in Presa's works, it is shown how this movement between beside and besides is also central to Derrida's thought.
The rhetoric of the social model of disability is presented, and its basic claims are critiqued. Proponents of the social model use the distinction between impairment and disability to reduce disabilities to a single social dimension—social oppression. They downplay the role of biological and mental conditions in the lives of disabled people. Consequences of denying biological and mental realities involving disabilities are discussed. People will benefit most by recognizing both the biological and the social dimensions of disabilities.
Employing Searle’s views, I begin by arguing that students of Mathematics behave similarly to machines that manage symbols using a set of rules. I then consider two types of Mathematics, which I call Cognitive Mathematics and Technical Mathematics respectively. The former type relates to concepts and meanings, logic and sense, whilst the latter relates to algorithms, heuristics, rules and application of various techniques. I claim that an upgrade in the school teaching of Cognitive Mathematics is necessary. The aim is to (...) change the current mentality of the stakeholders so as to compensate for the undue value presently attached to Technical Mathematics, due to advances in technology and its applications, and thus render the two sides of Mathematics equal. Furthermore, I suggest a reorganization/systematization of School Mathematics into a cognitive network to facilitate students’ understanding of the subject. The final goal is the transition from mechanical execution of rules to better understanding and in-depth knowledge of Mathematics. (shrink)
This collection, the first broadly interdisciplinary volume dealing with Spinozan thought, asserts the importance of Spinoza’s philosophy of immanence for contemporary cultural and philosophical debates.
Pelczar and Rainsbury advance a theory of proper names which purports, inter alia, to implement Kripke�s causal theory of name reference in order to explain reference change. The key tool for accomplishing this is the notion of a dubbing-in-force. In this paper I aim to show that this special appeal to dubbings does not sustain any real advance over Kripke�s account at least with respect to the problem of inadvertent referential shift. I argue that this theory has not offered any (...) theory of reference transmission, which I take as a precondition for explaining the problem of reference change, and that the notion of a dubbing-in-force is unnecessary for name reference. (shrink)