Aim of the lectures -- Early Brahmanical literature -- Panini's grammar -- A passage from the Chandogya Upanisad -- The structures of languages -- The Buddhist contribution -- Vaisesika and language -- Verbal knowledge -- The contradictions of Nagarjuna -- The reactions of other thinkers -- Sarvastivada Samkhya -- The Agamasastra of Gaudapada -- Sankara -- Kashmiri Saivism -- Jainism -- Early Vaisesika -- Critiques of the existence of a thing before its arising -- Nyaya -- Mimamsa -- The Abhidharmakosa (...) bhasya of Vasubandhu -- The Abhidharmasamuccaya of Asanga and its bhasya -- Bhartrhari -- The problem of negation -- Dignaga and verbal knowledge -- The Bodhisattvabhumi -- Prajnakaragupta -- Indian thinkers and the correspondence principle -- Appendix. The Mahaprajnaparamitasastra and the Samkhya tanmatras. (shrink)
A dazzling blend of business vision, history, social psychology, and economics, The Support Economy starts with a compelling premise: People have changed more than the corporations upon which their well-being depends. In the chasm that now separates the new individuals from the old organizations is the opportunity to forge a capitalism suited to our times and so unleash a vast new potential for wealth creation. In recent years, many books have offered fixes for this crisis, but they have dealt only (...) with its symptoms. The Support Economy is the first book to critically examine its cause: Managerial capitalism has outlived the society it was once designed to serve. It successfully achieved the efficient production of goods and services, but today's individuals want more. They want to take their lives into their own hands and are ready to pay for the support and advocacy necessary to fulfill that yearning. The next leap forward in wealth creation depends upon developing a new capitalism that speaks to the needs of people today. The Support Economy will be the next "must read" big think book. It speaks to every business and technology leader, as well as every reader interested in the future of the economy and society. (shrink)
Both Husserl and Haugeland develop an account of constitution to address the question of how our mental episodes can be about physical objects and thus, through the intentional relation, bridge the gap between the mental and the physical. The respective theories of the two philosophers of very different background show not only how mental episodes can have empirical content, but also how this content is shaped by past experiences or a holistic background of other mental episodes. In this article I (...) first outline and then contrast their positions in order to show how the notion of constitution can be adopted to address major problems of contemporary philosophy of mind, especially the question of how the mind can be related to its physical environment. (shrink)
In what respects is episodic recollection active, and subject to the will, like perceptual imagination, and in what respects is it passive, like perception, and how do these matters relate to its epistemological role? I present an account of the ontology of episodic recollection that provides answers to these questions. According the account I recommend, an act of episodic recollection is not subject to epistemic evaluation—it is neither justified nor unjustified—but it can provide one with a distinctive source of warrant (...) for judgements about the past when it is accompanied by knowledge that one is recollecting, as well as knowledge of what one is recollecting. While the account concedes that when one recollects one's attitude to what is recollected cannot be one of observation, it nevertheless accommodates the notion that episodic recollection involves a form of mental time-travel—a case of re-visiting, or re-acquaintance with, some past episode. (shrink)
The relationship between perceptual experience and memory can seem to pose a chal- lenge for conceptualism, the thesis that perceptual experiences require the actualization of conceptual capacities. Since subjects can recall features of past experiences for which they lacked corresponding concepts at the time of the original experience, it would seem that a subject’s conceptual capacities do not impose a limit on what he or she can experience perceptually. But this conclusion ignores the fact that concepts can be composed of (...) other simpler concepts that a subject possessed earlier, and that de- monstrative capacities can explain how a subject can experience a particular feature of her environment, even when she lacks a fully general concept for that feature. Using these resources, conceptualism can explain the relation between perceptual experience and memory. Nevertheless, a puzzle remains for the defender of conceptualism. A cer- tain view about the relation between perceptual experience and mental imagery in epi- sodic memory – that imagery in recall matches the experience retained in it – can make it difficult to understand how conceptualism could be true. For if a subject’s conceptual capacities determine what the phenomenology of an experience (or memory of it) is like, then one would expect a perceptual experience and its recall in memory to differ in phenomenology if they involve different concepts. In this essay, I solve this puzzle for conceptualism by undermining the assumption that there is a match between im- agery in episodic memory and the phenomenal character of experience. (shrink)
Episodic memory often is conceptualized as a uniquely human system of long-term memory that makes available knowledge accompanied by the temporal and spatial context in which that knowledge was acquired. Retrieval from episodic memory entails a form of first–person subjectivity called autonoetic consciousness that provides a sense that a recollection was something that took place in the experiencer’s personal past. In this paper I expand on this definition of episodic memory. Specifically, I suggest that (a) the core features assumed unique (...) to episodic memory are shared by semantic memory, (b) episodic memory cannot be fully understood unless one appreciates that episodic recollection requires the coordinated function of a number of distinct, yet interacting, “enabling” systems. Although these systems – ownership, self, subjective temporality, and agency – are not traditionally viewed as memorial in nature, each is necessary for episodic recollection and jointly they may be sufficient, and (c) the type of subjective awareness provided by episodic recollection (autonoetic) is relational rather than intrinsic – i.e., it can be lost in certain patient populations, thus rendering episodic memory content indistinguishable from the content of semantic long-term memory. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to show that consciousness entails self-consciousness by focusing on the relationship between consciousness and memory. More specifically, I addreess the following questions: (1) does consciousness require episodic memory?; and (2) does episodic memory require self-consciousness? With the aid of some Kantian considerations and recent empirical data, it is argued that consciousness does require episodic memory. This is done after defining episodic memory and distinguishing it from other types of memory. An affirmative answer to (2) (...) is also warranted especially in the light of the issues raised in answering (1). I claim that 'consciousness entails self-consciousness' is thereby shown via the route through episodic memory, i.e. via affirmative answers to (1) and (2). My aim is to revive this Kantian thesis and to bring together current psychological research on amnesia with traditional philosophical perspectives on consciousness and memory. (shrink)
According to recent social interactionist accounts in developmental psychology, a child's learning to talk about the past with others plays a key role in memory development. Most accounts of this kind are centered on the theoretical notion of autobiographical memory and assume that socio-communicative interaction with others is important, in particular, in explaining the emergence of memories that have a particular type of connection to the self. Most of these accounts also construe autobiographical memory as a species of episodic memory, (...) but its episodic character, as such, is not typically seen as falling within the remit of an explanation in social interactionist terms. I explore the idea that socio-communicative interaction centered on talk about the past might also have an important role to play, quite independently of considerations about the involvement of the self in memory, in accounting for the emergence of memories that are episodic in character, i.e., memories that involve the recollection of particular past events. In doing so, I also try to shed light on a distinctive role that talk about the past plays in socio-communicative interaction. (shrink)
Episodic memory is usually regarded in a Conceptualist light, in the sense of its being dependent upon the grasp of concepts directly relevant to the act of episodic recollection itself, such as a concept of past times and of the self as an experiencer. Given this view, its development is typically timed as being in the early school-age years (Perner, 2001; Tulving, 2005). We present a minimalist, Non-Conceptualist approach in opposition to this view, but one that also exists in clear (...) contrast to the kind of minimalism (‘episodic-like’) espoused by Clayton and Dickinson (1998) with regard to memory in food-caching birds. While emphasising the nonconceptual elements of episodic memory (in common with the ‘episodic-like’ approach) we also insist on the essentially phenomenological nature of the memory (as does the Conceptualist approach). We propose the third year of life as a plausible onset period. Our view is rooted in Kantian assumptions about the spatiotemporal content of experience (and thus of re-experience) and about the synthetic unity of experience—and thus of re-experience. We answer two objections to this position. (shrink)
In a paper ?The intentionality of memory,? Jordi Fernández (2006) proposes a way of distinguishing between episodic and semantic memory. I identify three difficulties with his proposal and provide a way of drawing the distinction that avoids these shortcomings.
Recent findings suggest that our capacity to imagine the future depends on our capacity to remember the past. However, the extent to which episodic memory is involved in our capacity to think about what could have happened in our past, yet did not occur (i.e., episodic counterfactual thinking), remains largely unexplored. The current experiments investigate the phenomenological characteristics and the influence of outcome valence on the experience of past, future and counterfactual thoughts. Participants were asked to mentally simulate past, future, (...) and counterfactual events with positive or negative outcomes. Features of their subjective experiences during each type of simulation were measured using questionnaires and autobiographical interviews. The results suggest that clarity and vividness were higher for past than future and counterfactual simulations. Additionally, emotional intensity was lower for counterfactual simulations than past and future simulations. Finally, outcome valence influenced participants’ judgment of probability for future and counterfactual simulations. (shrink)
Is life different from the non-living? If so, how? And how, in that case, does biology as the study of living things differ from other sciences? These questions are traced through an exploration of episodes in the history of biology and philosophy. The book begins with Aristotle, then moves on to Descartes comparing his position with that of Harvey. In the eighteenth century the authors consider Buffon and Kant. In the nineteenth century the authors examine the Cuvier-Geoffroy debate, pre-Darwinian geology (...) and natural theology, Darwin and the transition from Darwin to the revival of Mendelism. Two chapters deal with the evolutionary synthesis and such questions as the species problem, the reducibility or otherwise of biology to physics and chemistry, and the problem of biological explanation in terms of function and teleology. The final chapters reflect on the implications of the philosophy of biology for philosophy of science in general. (shrink)
The effort to identify the neural substrate of episodic recall, though ambitious, lacks experimental support. By considering the data on c-fos activation by novel and familiar stimuli in recognition studies, we illustrate how inadequate experimental designs permit alternative interpretations. We stress that interpretation of c-fos expression changes should be supported by adequate recognition tests.
Aggleton & Brown (A&B) propose that the hippocampal-anterior thalamic and perirhinal-medial dorsal thalamic systems play independent roles in episodic memory, with the hippocampus supporting recollection-based memory and the perirhinal cortex, recognition memory. In this commentary we discuss whether there is experimental support for the A&B model from studies of long-term memory in semantic dementia.
he design-based approach is a methodology for investigating mechanisms capable of generating mental phenomena, whether introspectively or externally observed, and whether they occur in humans, other animals or robots. The study of designs satisfying requirements for autonomous agency can provide new deep theoretical insights at the information processing level of description of mental mechanisms. Designs for working systems (whether on paper or implemented on computers) can systematically explicate old explanatory concepts and generate new concepts that allow new and richer interpretations (...) of human phenomena. To illustrate this, some aspects of human grief are analysed in terms of a particular information processing architecture being explored in our research group. We do not claim that this architecture is part of the causal structure of the human mind; rather, it represents an early stage in the iterative search for a deeper and more general architecture, capable of explaining more phenomena. However even the current early design provides an interpretative ground for some familiar phenomena, including characteristic features of certain emotional episodes, particularly the phenomenon of perturbance (a partial or total loss of control of attention). The paper attempts to expound and illustrate the design-based approach to cognitive science and philosophy, to demonstrate the potential effectiveness of the approach in generating interpretative possibilities, and to provide first steps towards an information processing account of `perturbant', emotional episodes. (shrink)
This commentary provides a critique of Tsuda's target article, focusing on the hippocampus and episodic long-term memory. More specifically, the relevance of Cantor coding and chaotic itinerancy for long-term memory functioning is considered, given what we know about the involvement of the hippocampus in the mediation of long-term episodic memory (based on empirical neuroimaging studies and investigations of brain-damaged amnesic patients).
A new comprehensive framework for narrative understanding has been developed. Its centerpiece is a new situational logic calledEpisodic Logic (EL), a knowledge and semantic representation well-adapted to the interpretive and inferential needs of general NLU. The most distinctive features of EL is its natural language-like expressiveness. It allows for generalized quantifiers, lambda abstraction, sentence and predicate modifiers, sentence and predicate reification, intensional predicates (corresponding to wanting, believing, making, etc.), unreliable generalizations, and perhaps most importantly, explicit situational variables (denoting episodes, (...) events, states of affairs, etc.) linked to arbitrary formulas that describe them. These allow episodes to be explicitly related in terms of part-whole, temporal and causal relations. Episodic logical form is easily computed from surface syntax and lends itself to effective inference. (shrink)
(1) Substituting (as Solms does) forebrain for brainstem in the search for a dream “controller” is counterproductive, since a distributed system need have no single controller. (2) Evidence against episodic memory consolidation does not show that REM sleep has no role in other types of memory, contra Vertes & Eastman. (3) A generalization of Revonsuo's “threat simulation” model in reverse is more plausible and is empirically testable. [Hobson et al.; Solms; Revonsuo; Vertes & Eastman].
The term 'episodic memory' refers to our memory for unique, personal experiences, that we can date at some point in our past - our first day at school, the day we got married. It has again become a topic of great importance and interest to psychologists, neuroscientists, and philosophers. How are such memories stored in the brain, why do certain memories disappear (especially those from early in childhood), what causes false memories (memories of events we erroneously believe have really taken (...) place)? Since Endel Tulving's classic book 'Episodic memory' (OUP, 1983) very few books have been published on this topic. In recent years however, many of the assumptions made about episodic memory have had to be reconsidered as a result of new techniques, which have allowed us a far deeper understanding of episodic memory. In 'Episodic memory: new directions in research' three of the worlds leading researchers in the topic of memory have brought together a stellar team of contributors from the fields of cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, and neuroscience, to present an account of what we now know about about this fundamentally important topic. The list of contributors includes, amongst others, Daniel Schacter, Richard Morris, Fareneh Vargha-Khadem, and Endel Tulving. The work presented within this book will have a profound effect on the direction that future research in this topic will take. (shrink)
Elements of Episodic Memory was a seminal text in the memory literature, highly cited and influential. It has been unavailable for some years, but is now back in print as in its original form, with this reissue. -/- The book examines the critical role that retrieval processes play in remembering. It proposes that the nature of recollective experience is determined by the interaction between the 'episodic' trace information and the 'semantic' retrieval information. This basic theme is elaborated by tracing the (...) development of the ideas considering relevant empirical evidence, relating a proposed theoretical framework to the ideas held by other theorists, and dealing with criticisms advanced by others. -/- These issues are discussed from two perspectives. Firstly, from the point of view of 'detached science': the emphasis here is on ideas, hypotheses, evidence, logic and theory. The second is a personal commentary on the development of ideas at the first viewpoint, and provides observations about the psychology and sociology of a developing science. (shrink)
Disjunctivism about perceptual appearances, as I conceive of it, is a theory which seeks to preserve a naïve realist conception of veridical perception in the light of the challenge from the argument from hallucination. The naïve realist claims that some sensory experiences are relations to mind-independent objects. That is to say, taking experiences to be episodes or events, the naïve realist supposes that some such episodes have as constituents mind-independent objects. In turn, the disjunctivist claims that in a case of (...) veridical perception like this very kind of experience that you now have, the experiential episode you enjoy is of a kind which could not be occurring were you having an hallucination. The common strategy of arguments from hallucination set out to show that certain things are true of hallucinations, and hence must be true of perceptions. For example, it is argued that hallucinations must have non-physical objects of awareness, or that such states are not relations to anything at all, but are at best seeming relations to objects. In insisting that veridical perceptual experience is of a distinct kind from hallucination, the disjunctivist denies that any of these conceptions of hallucination challenges our conception of veridical perceptions as relations to mind-independent objects. More specifically, I assume that the disjunctivist advocates naïve realism because they think that this position best articulates how sensory experience seems to us to be just through reflection. If the disjunctivist is correct in this contention, then anyone who accepts the conclusion of the argument from hallucination must also accept that the nature of sensory experience is other than it seems to us to be. In turn, one may complain that any such error theory is liable to lead to sceptical consequences. A Humean scepticism about the senses launches a challenge about our knowledge of the world through questioning the conception we have of what sense experience is, and how it can provide knowledge of the world.. (shrink)
Viewed from a certain perspective, nothing can seem more secure than introspection. Consider an ordinary conscious episode—say, your current visual experience of the colour of this page. You can judge, when reflecting on this experience, that you have a visual experience as of something white with black marks before you. Does it seem reasonable to doubt this introspective judgement? Surely not—such doubt would seem utterly fanciful. The trustworthiness of introspection is not only assumed by commonsense, it is also taken (...) for granted by many of theorists about the mind. Within both philosophy and the science of consciousness it is widely held that introspection is generally reliable, at least with respect to the question of one’s current (or immediately prior) conscious states. Without this assumption, we could not make sense of theorists’ widespread use of introspection, both in support of their own position and to undermine that of their opponents. (shrink)
In this paper I investigate two denials in Milton Friedman's Nobel Lecture (1976). The first is [i] the denial that 'Economics and its fellow social sciences' ought to be 'regarded more nearly as branches of philosophy.' The second is [ii] the denial that economics is 'enmeshed with values at the outset because they deal with human behaviour' (267). I show that Friedman's appeal to his methodology in the Nobel lecture fails on conceptual grounds internal to Friedman's methodology. Moreover, I show (...) that the failure is related to a broader systematic problem: when properly understood, Friedman's methodology shows that positive economics is (in a non-trivial sense) enmeshed in values. In order to account for Friedman's overreaching, I turn to the charged social context regarding Friedman's purported involvement with the Chicago Boys, who were then serving Chilean Dictator Pinochet. I conclude by explaining why I re-open the old chestnut of values in positive science. The episode allows me to raise a question of fundamental import about the relationship between expertise and society. (shrink)
Memory seems intuitively to consist in the preservation of some proposition (in the case of semantic memory) or sensory image (in the case of episodic memory). However, this intuition faces fatal difficulties. Semantic memory has to be updated to reflect the passage of time: it is not just preservation. And episodic memory can occur in a format (the observer perspective) in which the remembered image is different from the original sensory image. These difficulties indicate that memory cannot be preserved content. (...) It is proposed that what is preserved in memory isan underlying "trace", and that in every act of remembering, memorial content is reconstructed from the preserved trace. (shrink)
Reinterpretation of our data concerning sleep onset, motivated by the desire to pay close attention to “intra-individual regularities,” suggests that the experience of control might be a key factor in determining the subjective sense that sleep has begun. This loss of control seems akin to what Frith and others have described as “passivity experiences,” which also occur in schizophrenia. Although clearly sleep onset is not a schizophrenic episode, this similarity might help to explain other features of sleep onset. We (...) further speculate that we could build upon the discovery of various “intra-individual regularities” to construct a model of sleep onset and other forms of sleep mentation. (shrink)
Is it possible to misidentify the object of an episode of bodily awareness? I argue that it is, on the grounds that a person can reasonably be unsure or mistaken as to which part of his or her body he or she is aware of at a given moment. This requires discussing the phenomenon of body ownership, and defending the claim that the proper parts of one’s body are at least no less ‘principal’ among the objects of bodily awareness (...) than is the body as a whole. I conclude with some reasons why this should lead us to think that bodily awareness, unlike introspection, is a form of perception. (shrink)
Under the general heading of what we might loosely call emotional states, a familiar distinction can be drawn between emotions (strictly so-called) and moods. In order to judge under which of these headings a subject’s emotional episode falls, we advance a question of the form: What is the subject’s emotion of or about? In some cases (for example fear, sadness, and anger) the provision of an answer is straightforward: the subject is afraid of the loose tiger, or sad about (...) England’s poor performance in the World Cup, or angry with her errant child. Although the ways we find natural to talk in such situations can alter (afraid of, sad about, angry with, and so on), in each case the emotion has what Ronald de Sousa, following Wittgenstein, calls a target—“an actual particular to which that emotion relates.” (de Sousa, 1987, p.116). (shrink)
A singular thought can be characterized as a thought which is directed at just one object. The term ‘thought’ can apply to episodes of thinking, or to the content of the episode (what is thought). This paper argues that episodes of thinking can be just as singular, in the above sense, when they are directed at things that do not exist as when they are directed at things that do exist. In this sense, then, singular thoughts are not object-dependent.
The core of George Orwell’s novel 1984 is a debate—if the verbal and intellectual component of an extended episode of brainwashing can properly be said to constitute a debate—, the debate between Winston Smith and O’Brien in the cells of the Ministry of Love. It is natural to read this debate as a debate between a realist (as regards the nature of truth) and an anti-realist. I offer a few representative passages from the book that demonstrate, I believe, that (...) if this is not the only possible way to understand the debate, it is one very natural way. I begin with some thoughts that passed through Winston’s mind as he was writing in his diary long before his arrest. (shrink)
Nietzsche frequently claims that agents are in some sense ignorant of their own actions. In this conference paper, I ask two questions: what exactly does Nietzsche mean by this claim, and how would the truth of this claim affect philosophical models of agency? I argue that Nietzsche's claim about self-ignorance is intended to draw attention to the fact that there are influences upon reflective episodes of choice that have three features. First, these influences are pervasive, occurring in every episode (...) of choice. Second, these influences are normatively significant, in that their presence typically affects the outcome of deliberation. Third, these influences are difficult to detect, in that one needs to acquire a great deal of self-knowledge in order to begin to counteract their effects. I briefly sketch the way in which these claims follow from Nietzsche's philosophical psychology. (shrink)
Are thought experiments nothing but arguments? I argue that it is not possible to make sense of the historical trajectory of certain thought experiments if one takes them to be arguments. Einstein and Bohr disagreed about the outcome of the clock-in-the-box thought experiment, and so they reconstructed it using different arguments. This is to be expected whenever scientists disagree about a thought experiment's outcome. Since any such episode consists of two arguments but just one thought experiment, the thought experiment (...) cannot be the arguments. (shrink)
By the age of two, children are able to engage in highly elaborate games of symbolic pretense, in which objects and actions in the actual world are taken to stand for objects and actions in a realm of make-believe. These games of pretense are marked by the presence of two central features, which I will call quarantining and mirroring (see also Leslie 1987; Perner 1991). Quarantining is manifest to the extent that events within the pretense-episode are taken to have (...) effects only within that pretense-episode (e.g. the child does not expect that ‘spilling’ ( pretend) ‘tea’1 will result in the table really being wet), or more generally, to the extent that proto-beliefs and proto-attitudes concerning the pretended state of affairs are not treated as beliefs and attitudes relevant to guiding action in the actual world. Mirroring is manifest to the extent that features of the imaginary situation that have not been explicitly stipulated are derivable via features of their real-world analogues (e.g. the child does expect that if she up-ends the teapot above the table, then the table will become wet in the pretense), or, more generally to the extent that imaginative content is taken to be governed by the same sorts of restrictions that govern believed content. (shrink)
Consider a typical fear episode. You are strolling down a lonely mountain lane when suddenly a huge wolf leaps towards you. A number of different interconnected elements are involved in the fear you experience. First, there is the visual and auditory perception of the wild animal and its movements. In addition, it is likely that given what you see, you may implicitly and inarticulately appraise the situation as acutely threatening. Then, there are a number of physiological changes, involving a (...) variety of systems controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Your heart races, your breathing becomes strained and your start trembling. These changes are accompanied by an expression of fear on your face: your mouth opens and your eyes widen while you stare at the wolf. There is also a kind of experience that you undergo. You are likely to feel a sort of pang, something that might consist in the perception of the physiological changes you are going through. Moreover, a number of thoughts are likely to cross your mind. You might think that the wild beast is about to tear you into pieces and that you’ll never escape from this. In addition to this, your attention focuses on the wolf and its movement, as well as, possibly, ways of escaping or defending yourself. Last, but not least, your fear is likely to come with a motivation, such as an urge to run away or to strike back. Whatever the details of the story, it is clear that a typical emotion episode involves a number of different components. Roughly, these components are a) a sensory perception or more generally an informational component, b) a kind of appraisal, d) physiological changes, c) conscious feelings, d) cognitive and attentional processes, and e) an actiontendency or more generally a motivational component. One central question in the theory of emotion is which, if any, of these components, constitute the emotion.. (shrink)
Abstract Narrative thinking has a very important role in our ordinary everyday lives?in our thinking about fiction, about the historical past, about how things might have been, and about our own past and our plans for the future. In this paper, which is part of a larger project, I will be focusing on just one kind of narrative thinking: the kind that we sometimes engage in when we think about, evaluate, and respond emotionally to, our own past lives from a (...) perspective that is external to the remembered events. Being able to do this is an essential part of what it is to have a narrative sense of self. Sometimes, I will suggest, we fail to have such responses?we are not able to think and feel as we should about an episode in our lives. On such occasions, there is a gap in our narrative sense of self?a gap which opens up especially where the past is in some sense tragic or traumatic. The desire to close this gap is what I will call a desire for emotional closure. (shrink)
I take up the issue of whether pleasure is a kind of sensation (a feeling episode) or not. This issue was much discussed by philosophers of the 1950's and 1960's, and no resolution was reached. There were mainly two camps in the discussion: those who argued for a dispositional account of pleasure, and those who favored an episodic feeling (sensational) view of pleasure. Here, relying on some recent scientific findings I offer an account of pleasure which neither dispositionalizes nor (...) sensationalizes pleasure. As is usual in the tradition, I compare pleasure with pain, and try to see its similarities and differences. I argue that pain and pleasure experiences have typically a complex phenomenology normally not so obvious in introspection. After distinguishing between affective and sensory components of these experiences, I argue that although pain experiences normally consist of both components proper to them, pleasure, in contradistinction to pain, is only the affective component of a total experience that may involve many sensations proper and cognitions. Moreover, I hold that although the so-called "physical" pleasure is itself not a sensation proper, it is nevertheless an episodic affective reaction (in a primitive sense) to sensations proper. (shrink)
What can we conclude from a mere handful of case studies? The field of HPS has witnessed too many hasty philosophical generalizations based on a small number of conveniently chosen case studies. One might even speculate that dissatisfaction with such methodological shoddiness contributed decisively to a widespread disillusionment with the whole HPS enterprise. Without specifying clear mechanisms for history-philosophy interaction, we are condemned to either making unwarranted generalizations from history, or writing entirely "local" histories with no bearing on an overall (...) understanding of the scientific process. I propose a move away from the habit of viewing historical cases as an inductive evidence-base for general philosophical theses. The relation between historical and philosophical studies should not be seen as one between the particular and the general, but as a relation between the concrete and the abstract. An abstract framework is necessary for telling any concrete story at all. In this paper I explore how doing concrete history can help our abstract philosophizing. In the absence of ready-made philosophical concepts appropriate for understanding a given historical episode, the historian is compelled to craft new abstract philosophical concepts. Therefore, history-writing can be a very effective method of philosophical discovery. I will illustrate these claims through a discussion of two investigations in HPS from my own recent and current work: (1) temperature measurement and epistemic iteration; (2)constitution and laboratory practices in the Chemical Revolution. (This will also raise, and solve, a problem of reflexivity: how can we use case studies to show how to go beyond case studies?). (shrink)
What sort of an episode is perception? What are the objects of such episodes? What is the grammatical and logical form of perceptual reports, direct and indirect? Each of these questions has been the subject of recent discussion. In what follows I set out one answer to each of them and explore some of the ways these answers support and complement each other. The answers adopted are: to perceive - and I shall normally only have in mind visual perception (...) - is not to judge or to conceptualize but a sui generis mental mode or activity involving non-conceptual content; perception is of particulars only; the complements of perceptual verbs are, with one exception, non-propositional and indirect perceptual reports are made true by direct perceptual relations between subjects and particulars of various sorts. (shrink)
Many philosophers hold that the phenomenology of thinking (also known as cognitive phenomenology) reduces to the phenomenology of the speech, sensory imagery, emotions or feelings associated with it. But even if this reductionist claim is correct, there is still a properly cognitive dimension to the phenomenology of at least some thinking. Specifically, conceptual content makes a constitutive contribution to the phenomenology of at least some thought episodes, in that it constitutes what I call their thematic unity. Often, when a thought (...)episode has a phenomenal character, the various associated speech, sensory imagery, emotions or feelings are often organized around a common theme, constituted by the conceptual content of one's thinking. (shrink)
This paper follows the tradition of treating Zhuangzi's Butterfly Dream episode as presenting a version of skepticism. However, unlike the prevalent interpretations within that tradition, it attempts to show that the skepticism conveyed in the episode is more radical than it has been conceived, such that the episode can be read as a skeptical response to Descartes' refutation of skepticism based on the _Cogito, ergo sum_ proof. The paper explains how the lack of commitment in Zhuangzi to (...) the dubious assumption about 'I' that it necessarily refers to something existing to which Descartes seems to uncritically adhere allows Zhuangzi to doubt what for Descartes is absolutely indubitable: _I exist_. (shrink)
This paper explores the question of whether it is possible to be communist without Marx. This entails encountering the ontological dimension of communism, that is, the material tenor of this ontology, its residual effectiveness, the desire of human beings to go beyond capital, and the reality of the episode of statism.
According to contemporary representationalism, phenomenal qualia—of specifically sensory experiences—supervene on representational content. Most arguments for representationalism share a common, phenomenological premise: the so-called “transparency thesis.” According to the transparency thesis, it is difficult—if not impossible—to distinguish the quality or character of experiencing an object from the perceived properties of that object. In this paper, I show that Husserl would react negatively to the transparency thesis; and, consequently, that Husserl would be opposed to at least two versions of contemporary representationalism. First, (...) I show that Husserl would be opposed to strong representationalism, since he believes the cognitive content of a perceptual episode can vary despite constancy of sensory qualia. Second, I then show that Husserl would be opposed to weak representationalism, since he believes that sensory qualia—specifically, the sort that he calls “kinesthetic sensations”—can vary despite constancy in representational content. (shrink)
Aristotle has famously made the claim that having the right emotion at the right time is an essential part of moral virtue. Why might this be the case? I consider five possible relations between emotion and virtue and argue that an adequate answer to this question involves the epistemic status of emotion, that is, whether the perceptual awareness and hence the understanding of the object of emotion is like or unlike the perceptual awareness of an unemotional awareness of the same (...) object. If an emotional awareness does not have a unique character, then it is unlikely that emotions provide an understanding that is different from unemotional states of awareness: they are perhaps little more than “hot-blooded” instances of the same understanding. If, on the other hand, an emotional state involves a perceptual awareness that is unique to the emotion, then emotions are cognitively significant, providing an understanding of the object of the emotion that is absent in a similar but unemotional episode of awareness. I argue the latter and substantiate the claim that emotions are essential to moral virtue because they can be essential to a full understanding of the situations that they involve. In such cases, emotions are not merely a symptom of the possession of an adequate understanding, but are rather necessary for having an adequate understanding. (shrink)
With respect to inductive reasoning, there are at least two broad projects that have been of interest to philosophers. The first project is that of accurately describing paradigmatic instances of inductive reasoning in the sciences and in everyday life. Thus, we might ask, of some particular historical episode, how exactly Newton, or Darwin, or Einstein arrived at some conclusion on the basis of the evidence that was before him. The second project is one of justification. The task here is (...) that of showing why paradigmatic inductive reasoning is good reasoning, or why skeptical challenges which purport to undermine the legitimacy of such reasoning fail to do so. As I understand it, this second, justificatory project prominently includes, but is not limited to, the task of either solving or dissolving Hume’s skeptical critique of induction. Neither of these projects is trivial. Indeed, many think that we are currently far from successfully completing either one. But in any case, it would seem that the descriptive project has a certain priority to the justification project. After all, how could one justify our inductive practices, or defend them against skeptical challenge, in the absence of some reasonably detailed and accurate description of those practices? Given this apparent priority, it is a striking fact that the justification project has often been pursued in the absence of any significant attention to the project of accurate description. In particular, a great deal of the traditional discussion of Hume’s problem of induction has proceeded against the background of hopelessly crude models of our actual inductive practice—a fact sometimes acknowledged by participants in such discussions themselves. Plausibly, the thought which underlies this procedure is the following: whatever force Hume’s critique ultimately possesses, that force is not tied to the specific content of the general rules or principles that we follow in reasoning inductively. Rather, the force of Hume’s critique depends on our following any general rules or principles at all.. (shrink)
Traditional approaches to theory structure and theory change in science do not fare well when confronted with the practice of certain fields of science. We offer an account of contemporary practice in molecular biology designed to address two questions: Is theory change in this area of science gradual or saltatory? What is the relation between molecular biology and the fields of traditional biology? Our main focus is a recent episode in molecular biology, the discovery of enzymatic RNA. We argue (...) that our reconstruction of this episode shows that traditional approaches to theory structure and theory change need considerable refinement if they are to be defended as generally applicable. 1This paper emerged from discussions between us, and we are both equally responsible for its errors. We would like to thank Yvonne Paterson for helpful comments. (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)
Fertile grounds for theoretical inquiry can be found in the oddest corners. Contemporary television programming provides viewers with several talk shows of the grotesque, as I will call them, in which the aim of each episode is to put some monstrous human phenomenon on display with the help of a host and a participating studio audience. In this paper I will try to support the unlikely claim that these talk shows, which include The Jerry Springer Show and Sally Jesse (...) Raphael (among others), provide remarkably fruitful foci for theoretical attention. My plan is to give a reading of the ideological structure of talk shows of the grotesque. In particular, my interest lies in a relatively recent strand of ideological theory that has treated questions concerning the nature and reproduction of ideology as serious ontological questions: questions that go to the heart of our philosophical understanding of subjectivity, autonomy, and the metaphysics of belief and other intentional attitudes. Here I take the work of Louis Althusser, Judith Butler, and Slavoj i ek as paradigmatic and seminal representatives of this type of theorizing. My eye, in this paper, will be turned toward showing how the contemporary talk show of the grotesque provides us with a case study through which we can productively interrogate this new theoretical turn in our understanding of ideology. After spending a substantial amount of time laying down some theoretical groundwork, during which I take a selective and usurious tour through recent theories of ideology, performativity, and the constitution of subjectivity, I will analyze the talk show phenomenon by dividing it into four levels of participatory activity: those of the host, the guests, the studio audience, and the television audience. I will argue.. (shrink)
Book description: The capacity to represent and think about time is one of the most fundamental and least understood aspects of human cognition and consciousness. This book throws new light on central issues in the study of the mind by uniting, for the first time, psychological and philosophical approaches dealing with the connection between temporal representation and memory. Fifteen specially written essays by leading psychologists and philosophers investigate the way in which time is represented in memory, and the role memory (...) plays in our ability to reason about time. They offer insights into current theories of memory processes and of the mechanisms and cognitive abilities underlying temporal judgements, and draw out fundamental issues concerning the phenomenology and epistemology of memory and our understanding of time. The chapters are arranged into four sections, each focused on one area of current research: Keeping Track of Time, and Temporal Representation; Memory, Awareness and the Past; Memory and Experience; Knowledge and the Past: The Epistemology and Metaphysics of Time. A general introduction gives an overview of the topics discussed and makes explicit central themes which unify the different philosophical and psychological approaches. (shrink)
[INTRODUCTION] Like the terms 'dialectic', 'Aufhebung' (or 'sublation'), and 'Geist', the term 'concrete universal' has a distinctively Hegelian ring to it. But unlike these others, it is particularly associated with the British strand in Hegel's reception history, as having been brought to prominence by some of the central British Idealists. It is therefore perhaps inevitable that, as their star has waned, so too has any use of the term, while an appreciation of the problematic that lay behind it has seemingly (...) vanished: if the British Idealists get any sort of mention in a contemporary metaphysics book (which is rarely), it will be Bradley's view of relations or truth that is discussed, not their theory of universals, so that the term has a rather antique air, buried in the dusty volumes of Mind from the turn of the nineteenth century. This is not surprising: the episode known as British Idealism can appear to be a period that is lost to us, in its language, points of historical reference (Lotze, Sigwart, Jevons), and central preoccupations (the Absolute). Even while interest in Hegel continues to grow, interest in his Logic has grown more slowly than in the rest of his work, with Book III of the Logic remaining as the daunting peak of that challenging text - while it is here that the British Idealists focussed their attention and claimed to have uncovered that 'exotic' but 'vanished specimen', the concrete universal. Finally, as the trend of reading Hegel pushes ever further in a non-metaphysical direction, it might be thought that the future of the concrete universal is hardly likely to be brighter than its recent past - for it may seem hard to imagine how a conception championed by the British Idealists, who were apparently shameless in their metaphysical commitments, can find favour in these more austere and responsible times. In this paper, however, I want to make a case for holding that there is something enlightening to be found in how some of the British Idealists approached the 'concrete universal', both interpretatively and philosophically. At the interpretative level, I will argue that while not everything these Idealists are taken to mean by the term is properly to be found in Hegel, their work nonetheless relates to a crucial and genuine strand in Hegel's position, so that their discussion of this issue is an important moment in the reception history of his thought. At a philosophical level, I think that the question that concerned Hegel and these British Idealists retains much of its interest, as does their shared approach to it: namely, how far does our thought involve a mere abstraction from reality, and what are the metaphysical and epistemological implications if it turns out it does not? As such, I will suggest, taking seriously what these British Idealists have to say about the concrete universal can help us both in our understanding of Hegel, and in our appreciation of the contribution Hegel's position can make to our thinking on the issues that surround this topic. (shrink)
Since the early 1980s, private, for-profit corporations have become increasingly involved in all aspects of scientific research, especially of biomedical research. In this essay, I argue that there are dangerous epistemic consequences of this trend, which should be more thoroughly examined by social epistemologists. In support of this claim, I discuss a recent episode of pharmaceutical research involving the painkiller Vioxx. I argue that the research on Vioxx was epistemically problematic and that the primary cause of these inadequacies was (...) faulty institutional arrangements. More specifically, the research was organized in such a way as to allow short-term commercial interests to compromise epistemic integrity. Thus, the Vioxx case study, in conjunction with numerous case studies developed elsewhere, provides strong reasons for believing that the privatization of the biomedical sciences is epistemically worrisome, and it suggests that the primary response to this situation should be a social, or organizational, one. What kind of organizational response would be most beneficial? I briefly discuss two prominent social epistemological proposals for how scientific research should be organized - namely those of Philip Kitcher and Helen Longino - and I suggest that they are incapable of dealing with the phenomenon of privatization. I then draw upon the Vioxx episode in order to outline an alternative suggestion for reorganizing certain aspects of pharmaceutical research. (shrink)
In Experiment, Right or Wrong, Allan Franklin continues his investigation of the history and philosophy of experiment presented in his previous book, The Neglect of Experiment. In this new study, Franklin considers the fallibility and corrigibility of experimental results and presents detailed histories of two such episodes: 1) the experiment and the development of the theory of weak interactions from Fermi's theory in 1934 to the V-A theory of 1957 and 2) atomic parity violation experiments and the Weinberg-Salam unified theory (...) of electroweak interactions of the 1970s and 1980s. In these episodes Franklin demonstrates not only that experimental results can be wrong, but also that theoretical calculations and the comparison between experiment and theory can also be incorrect. In the second episode, Franklin contrasts his view of an "evidence model" of science in which questions of theory choice, confirmation, and refutation are decided on the basis of reliable experimental evidence, with that proposed by the social constructivists. (shrink)