The question asked in this paper is: How can we investigate our phenomenal experience in ways that are accurate, in principle repeatable, and produce experiences that help clarify what we understand about the processes of sensing, perceiving, moving, and being in the world? This sounds like an impossible task, given that introspection has so often in scientific circles been considered to be unreliable, and that first-person accounts are often coloured by mistaken ideas about what and how we are experiencing. The (...) first-person experiments I suggest are different from experiments done in the psychology laboratory in that there is no narrowing down of the experiments to looking at a singular aspect of a question, and that they are to be carried out in most instances in a natural or specially structured environment without strict task controls or statistical experimental design. There is no intent to replace formal second- and third-person investigation, but to use a phenomenological approach to conjoin with hard research, and to suggest ways of awareness training that can enhance the skills of researchers. I take as a model an informal phenomenological approach for experimentation. I also suggest that it is possible through directing and broadening the attention process to turn consciousness towards what is non-conscious or unattended to in order to develop an improved sensory awareness and an ability to be open to experiencing without prejudging and without expectations. The idea is to go back to experience without first creating a theoretical stance from which to interpret what happens. I conclude with some other examples of this approach. (shrink)
Much attention has been given to determining whether an adolescent patient has the capacity to consent to research. This study explores the factors that influence adolescents' decisions to participate in a research study about youth violence and to determine positive or negative feelings elicited by being a research subject. The majority of subjects perceived their decision to participate to be free of coercion, and few felt badly about having participated. However, adolescents who were alone in the room during the assent (...) process were more likely to report that they chose freely to be a research subject. This study may influence the ways physicians communicate with adolescent patients around research assent within a clinical care environment. 1This article was presented at the Annual Meetings of The Pediatric Academic Societies in Baltimore, MD and The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine in Atlanta, GA in May, 2001. (shrink)
Between the years 1643 and 1649, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia (1618–80) and Rene; Descartes (1596–1650) exchanged fifty-eight letters—thirty-two from Descartes and twenty-six from Elisabeth. Their correspondence contains the only known extant philosophical writings by Elisabeth, revealing her mastery of metaphysics, analytic geometry, and moral philosophy, as well as her keen interest in natural philosophy. The letters are essential reading for anyone interested in Descartes’s philosophy, in particular his account of the human being as a union of mind (...) and body, as well as his ethics. They also provide a unique insight into the character of their authors and the way ideas develop through intellectual collaboration. Philosophers have long been familiar with Descartes’s side of the correspondence. Now Elisabeth’s letters—never before available in translation in their entirety—emerge this volume, adding much-needed context and depth both to Descartes’s ideas and the legacy of the princess. Lisa Shapiro’s annotated edition—which also includes Elisabeth’s correspondence with the Quakers William Penn and Robert Barclay—will be heralded by students of philosophy, feminist theorists, and historians of the early modern period. (shrink)
: This paper focuses on Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia's philosophical views as exhibited in her early correspondence with René Descartes. Elisabeth's criticisms of Descartes's interactionism as well as her solution to the problem of mind-body interaction are examined in detail. The aim here is to develop a richer picture of Elisabeth as a philosophical thinker and to dispel the myth that she is simply a Cartesian muse.
Commentators commonly assume that Descartes regards it as a function of the passions to inform us or teach us which things are beneficial and which are harmful. As a result, they tend to infer that Descartes regards the passions as an appropriate guide to what is beneficial or harmful. In this paper I argue that this conception of the role of the passions in Descartes is mistaken. First, in spite of a number of texts appearing to show the contrary, I (...) argue that Descartes does not regard it as the role of the passions to inform us about what is beneficial or harmful. Second, although Descartes calls the passions good and useful, I argue that Descartes does not think we should allow ourselves to be guided by them. When we recognize that the function of the passions is largely motivational and not informative, we can more easily understand Descartes's practical advice in The Passions of the Soul that happiness requires us to guide our passions instead of letting our passions guide us. (shrink)
Elisabeth Pacherie is a research fellow in philosophy at Institut Jean Nicod, Paris. Her main research and publications are in the areas of philosophy of mind, psychopathology and action theory. Her publications include a book on intentionality (_Naturaliser_ _l'intentionnalité_, Paris, PUF, 1993) and she is currently preparing a book on action and agency.
Most models of generational succession in sexually reproducing populations necessarily move back and forth between genic and genotypic spaces. We show that transitions between and within these spaces are usually hidden by unstated assumptions about processes in these spaces. We also examine a widely endorsed claim regarding the mathematical equivalence of kin-, group-, individual-, and allelic-selection models made by Lee Dugatkin and Kern Reeve. We show that the claimed mathematical equivalence of the models does not hold. *Received January 2007; revised (...) April 2008. †To contact the authors, please write to: Elisabeth Lloyd, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, 130 Goodbody Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405; e-mail: email@example.com; Richard Lewontin, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138; Marcus Feldman, Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
Elisabeth Blum and Paul Richard Blum, both Loyola University Maryland, jointly published: Giordano Bruno: Spaccio della bestia trionfante / Austreibung des triumphierenden Tieres, a translation form the Italian into German with introduction and extensive commentary at Meiner Verlag in Hamburg (Germany) 2009. ISBN: 978-3-7873-1805-6.
Abstract If tacit ethical ideals shape policy and practice, even when practitioners are not fully aware of underlying philosophical assumptions, then philosophical frameworks that support diagnostic, evaluative, and adaptive capacity in the sphere of action are critical to sustainability. Thompson’s agrarian-influenced sustainability framework substantially advances beyond the prevailing triple bottom line approach, as experimental evaluation of biofuels sustainability illustrates. By suggesting that governance of complex social-natural systems lies at the core of contemporary sustainability challenges, Thompson illuminates the critical importance of (...) social capacity for deliberation and choice—a powerful and somewhat unexpected theme requiring more development by philosophers and practitioners alike going forward. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-26 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9338-y Authors Elisabeth Graffy, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Madison Wisconsin, 101 Observatory Hill Office Bldg, 1225 Observatory Dr, Madison, WI 53706, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
Rauprich O, Marckmann G, Vollmann J: Gleichheit und Gerechtigkeit in der modernen Medizin Content Type Journal Article Pages 71-75 DOI 10.1007/s10202-007-0032-0 Authors Elisabeth Weisser-Lohmann, Institut für Philosophie FernUniversität Hagen 58084 Hagen Germany Journal Poiesis & Praxis: International Journal of Technology Assessment and Ethics of Science Online ISSN 1615-6617 Print ISSN 1615-6609 Journal Volume Volume 5 Journal Issue Volume 5, Number 1.
Metaphor is a pervasive feature of language. We use metaphor to talk about the world in both familiar and innovative ways, and in contexts ranging from everyday conversation to literature and scientific theorizing. However, metaphor poses serious challenges for standard theories of meaning, because it seems to straddle so many important boundaries: between language and thought, between semantics and pragmatics, between rational communication and mere causal association.
Philosophers have often adopted a dismissive attitude toward metaphor. Hobbes (1651, ch. 8) advocated excluding metaphors from rational discourse because they “openly profess deceit,” while Locke (1690, Bk. 3, ch. 10) claimed that figurative uses of language serve only “to insinuate wrong ideas, move the passions, and thereby mislead the judgment; and so indeed are perfect cheats.” Later, logical positivists like Ayer and Carnap assumed that because metaphors like..
Metaphor appears to be a paradigmatically pragmatic phenomenon. It involves a gap between the conventional meaning of words and their occasion-specific use, of precisely the kind that motivates distinguishing pragmatics from semantics. This assumption is so widespread that it has received little explicit justification, but at least two obvious considerations can be offered in its support. First, metaphorical interpretation is importantly parasitic on literal meaning. If a hearer doesn’t know the literal meanings of the relevant expressions, she will only accidentally (...) succeed in interpreting an utterance metaphorically. In children, the general ability to comprehend and to knowingly produce metaphors (especially those based on abstract similarities) develops later than the capacity for literal speech (Vosniadou 1987). Moreover, various cognitive and brain disorders, such as autism (Happé 1995), schizophrenia (Langdon et al. 2002), and lesions in the right hemisphere (Brownell et al. 1990) significantly impair metaphorical comprehension, while there are no converse cases of impairment in literal comprehension with preserved capacity to interpret metaphors. Second, metaphorical interpretation depends not just on knowledge of the conventional meanings of the words uttered and their mode of combination, but also on substantive and wide-ranging presuppositions (real or mutually pretended) about the referents of the relevant expressions. As a result, the same sentence can receive dramatically different metaphorical interpretations in distinct contexts. For instance, sentence (1). (shrink)
Many philosophers claim that metaphor is indispensable for various purposes. What I shall call the ‘Indispensability Thesis’ is the view that we use at least some metaphors to think, to express, to communicate, or to discover what cannot be thought, expressed, communicated, or discovered without metaphor. I argue in this paper that support for the Indispensability Thesis is based on several confusions. I criticize arguments presented by Stephen Yablo, Berys Gaut, Richard Boyd, and Elisabeth Camp for the Indispensability Thesis, (...) and distinguish it from several plausible claims with which it is easily confused. Although I do not show that the thesis is false, I provide seven grounds for suspicion of our sense (if we have it) that some metaphors are indispensable for the purposes claimed by advocates of the Indispensability Thesis. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Recently, philosophers have discovered that they have a lot to learn from, or at least to ponder about, fiction. Many metaphysicians are attracted to fiction as a model for our talk about purported objects and properties, such as numbers, morality, and possible worlds, without embracing a robust Platonist ontology. In addition, a growing group of philosophers of mind are interested in the implications of our engagement with fiction for our understanding of the mind and emotions: If I don’t believe that (...) Anna Karenina exists, can I really pity her, or hope or desire that she extricate herself from her tragic situation? And why is there no “morality fiction,” analogous to science fiction? I suspect that philosophers have been especially comfortable thinking about fiction because it seems, at least prima facie, to employ the imagination in a way that conforms to a standard model of the mind. Specifically, contemporary philosophers tend to think of imagination as a form of mental pretense. Mental pretense can take two main forms: a cognitive attitude of supposing a set of propositions to be true (make-believe) or else an experiential state of imaging a scenario as if it were before one (imaging). Much of our pretense intertwines the cognitive and experiential modalities, of course. But both share a crucial common feature: all of one’s imaginative effort is invested in pretending that certain contents obtain. In this sense, we can understand imagination as the “offline” simulation of actual beliefs and perceptions (and perhaps other attitudes as well), where we analyze these in the normal way, as states individuated by their attitude and representational content. While I share the burgeoning interest in fiction, I want to suggest that we also have a lot to learn from poetry, and in particular from poetic metaphor. I will argue.. (shrink)
After a long period of neglect, the phenomenology of action has recently regained its place in the agenda of philosophers and scientists alike. The recent explosion of interest in the topic highlights its complexity. The purpose of this paper is to propose a conceptual framework allowing for a more precise characterization of the many facets of the phenomenology of agency, of how they are related and of their possible sources. The key assumption guiding this attempt is that the processes through (...) which the phenomenology of action is generated and the processes involved in the specification and control of action are strongly interconnected. I argue in favor of a three-tiered dynamic model of intention, link it to an expanded version of the internal model theory of action control and specification, and use this theoretical framework to guide an analysis of the contents, possible sources and temporal course of complementary aspects of the phenomenology of action. (shrink)
The now growing literature on the content and sources of the phenomenology of first-person agency highlights the multi-faceted character of the phenomenology of agency and makes it clear that the experience of agency includes many other experiences as components. This paper examines the possible relations between these components of our experience of acting and the processes involved in action specification and action control. After a brief discussion of our awareness of our goals and means of action, it will focus on (...) the sense of agency for a given action, understood as the sense the agent has that he or she is the author of that action. I argue that the sense of agency can be analyzed as a compound of more basic experiences, including the experience of intentional causation, the sense of initiation and the sense of control. I further argue that the sense of control may itself be analysed into a number of more specific, partially dissociable experiences. (shrink)
Some otherwise rational people appear to believe strange things. Sometimes people believe that someone, usually a near relative or member of their family - often their spouse - has been replaced by an impostor. Sometimes people believe that they are dead. These two delusions – known as the Capgras and Cotard delusion respectively – are instances of monothematic delusions, for they are limited to very specific topics. Other monothematic delusions involve the delusion that one is being followed by known people (...) in disguise (the Frégoli delusion), or that the person one sees in the mirror is someone else (mirrored-self misidentification). We will focus on the Capgras delusion. (shrink)
In this paper we defend the doxastic conception of delusions against the metacognitive account developed by Greg Currie and collaborators. According to the metacognitive model, delusions are imaginings that are misidentified by their subjects as beliefs: the Capgras patient, for instance, does not believe that his wife has been replaced by a robot, instead, he merely imagines that she has, and mistakes this imagining for a belief. We argue that the metacognitive account is untenable, and that the traditional conception of (...) delusions as beliefs should be retained. (shrink)
I take up three puzzles about our emotional and evaluative responses to fiction. First, how can we even have emotional responses to characters and events that we know not to exist, if emotions are as intimately connected to belief and action as they seem to be? One solution to this puzzle claims that we merely imagine having such emotional responses. But this raises the puzzle of why we would ever refuse to follow an author’s instructions to imagine such responses, since (...) we happily imagine many other implausible things. A natural response to this second puzzle is that our responses to fiction are real, and so can’t just be conjured up in response to an author’s demands. However, this simple response is inadequate, because we often respond differently to people and events in fiction than we would if we encountered them in real life. Solving these three puzzles in a consistent way requires the notion of a “perspective” on a fictional world. I sketch an account of this intuitive but frustratingly amorphous notion: perspectives are tools for organizing our thinking, which can in turn alter our emotional and evaluative responses. Cultivating a perspective can be illuminating, entertaining, or corrupting — or all three at once. (shrink)
Many philosophers have offered accounts of shared actions aimed at capturing what makes joint actions intentionally joint. I first discuss two leading accounts of shared intentions, proposed by Michael Bratman and Margaret Gilbert. I argue that Gilbert’s account imposes more normativity on shared intentions than is strictly needed and that Bratman’s account requires too much cognitive sophistication on the part of agents. I then turn to the team-agency theory developed by economists that I see as offering an alternative route to (...) shared intention. I concentrate on Michael Bacharach’s version of team-agency theory, according to which shared agency is a matter of team-reasoning, team-reasoning depends on group identification and group identification is the result of processes of self-framing. I argue that it can yield an account of shared intention that is less normatively loaded and less cognitively demanding. (shrink)
Can there be a philosophy of taste? This paper opens by raising some metaphilosophical questions about the study of taste – what it consists of and what method we should adopt in pursuing it. It is suggested that the best starting point for philosophising about taste is against the background of 18th-century epistemology and philosophy of mind, and the conceptual tools this new philosophical paradigm entails. The notion of aesthetic taste in particular, which emerges from a growing sense of dissatisfaction (...) with an undifferentiated category of taste, comes to be set apart from gustatory taste on account of its normativity and aspirations to objectivity. The paradox of taste, as found in Hume and Kant, is examined, and shown to be highly relevant to contemporary metaphysical debate within aesthetics. Specifically, this paper argues that both Realists and Anti-Realists rely more heavily than assumed on the idea of taste. (shrink)