Although Caenorhabditis elegans was chosen and modified to be an organism that would facilitate a reductionist program for neurogenetics, recent research has provided evidence for properties that are emergent from the neurons. While neurogenetic advances have been made using C. elegans which may be useful in explaining human neurobiology, there are severe limitations on C. elegans to explain any significant human behavior.
Leibniz viewed the principle of continuity, the principle that all natural changes are produced by degrees, as a useful heuristic for evaluating the truth of a theory. Since the Cartesian laws of motion entailed discontinuities in the natural order, Leibniz could safely reject it as a false theory. The principle of continuity has similar implications for analyses of Leibniz's theory of consciousness. I briefly survey the three main interpretations of Leibniz's theory of consciousness and argue that the standard account entails (...) a discontinuity that Leibniz could not allow. I argue that the principle of continuity and the textual data favor an interpretation according to which a conscious mental state just is a perception that is distinct to a sufficient degree. (shrink)
In this article, I develop a higher-order interpretation of Leibniz's theory of consciousness according to which memory is constitutive of consciousness. I offer an account of Leibniz's theory of memory on which his theory of consciousness may be based, and I then show that Leibniz could have developed a coherent higher-order account. However, it is not clear whether Leibniz held (or should have held) such an account of consciousness; I sketch an alternative that has at least as many advantages as (...) the higher-order theory. This analysis provides an important antecedent to the contemporary discussions of higher-order theories of consciousness. (shrink)
Throughout his philosophical career at Michigan, UCLA, Yale, and Oxford, Robert Merrihew Adams's wide-ranging contributions have deeply shaped the structure of debates in metaphysics, philosophy of religion, history of philosophy, and ethics. Metaphysics and the Good: Themes from the Philosophy of Robert Merrihew Adams provides, for the first time, a collection of original essays by leading philosophers dedicated to exploring many of the facets of Adams's thought, a philosophical outlook that combines Christian theism, neo-Platonism, moral realism, metaphysical idealism, and a (...) commitment to both historical sensitivity and rigorous analytic engagement. Tied together by their aim of exploring, expanding, and experimenting with Adams's views, these eleven essays are coupled with an intellectual autobiography by Adams himself that was commissioned especially for this volume. As the introduction to the volume explains, the purpose of Metaphysics and the Good is to explore Adams's work in the very manner that he prescribes for understanding the ideas of others. By experimenting with Adams's conclusions, "pulling a string here to see what moves over there, so to speak," as Adams puts it, our authors throw into greater relief what makes Adams such an original and stimulating philosopher. In doing so, these essays contribute not only to the exploration of Adams's continuing interests, but they also advance original and important philosophical insights of their own. (shrink)
The account of vagueness Bertrand Russell provided in his 1923 paper, entitled simply “Vagueness” (see Russell 1997), has been thought by some to be inconsistent. One main objection, raised by Timothy Williamson (1994), is that Russell’s attempt early in the paper to distinguish vagueness from generality is at odds with the definition of vagueness he presents later in the same paper. It is as if, as Williamson puts it, Russell “backslides” from his previous distinction (1994, 60), resulting in a conflation (...) of generality and vagueness that is at best problematic for a rigorous account of the phenomenon of vagueness. In this paper, I will defend Russell from this particular objection. While his 1923 paper may not be as clear at various points as one might hope, I do believe it is possible to construct a single theory of vagueness that can be applied equally well to his earlier and later discussions. Thus, Russell’s view is not ultimately inconsistent. In this paper, I will first present the interpretation of Russell’s concept of vagueness that falls prey to the charge of conflating vagueness and generality. Once the problem is clear, I will present an alternative interpretation, one that arises from certain reflections on G. W. Leibniz’s theory of perception. This Leibnizian interpretation of Russell, I will argue, resolves the apparent contradiction in Russell’s account of vagueness. (shrink)
In this aricle, I argue that Descartes can be seen as a occupying a distinct middle ground between ancient music theory, which was being revived in the Renaissance, and eighteenth-century aestheticians. Descartes’ approach to music had its roots in humanist thought but, even from the start, it wasn’t simply another humanist theory of music. The views Descartes begins to develop in his early years, in the Compendium musicae (1618), is continuous with the views he articulates near the end of his (...) life in the Passions of the Soul (1649). And the position on the effects of music is an interesting and important one, bridging humanist thought with the new philosophy. Unlike the humanists, Descartes will be unwilling to identify particular musical proportions as intrinsically connected with pleasure or other affects, but he will nevertheless develop an objective account of aesthetic value. (shrink)
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s work has been mined by writers about music and music education such as Ian Buchanan, Marcel Swiboda, Marianne Kielian-Gilbert, and Elizabeth Gould, as they have reflected on how music and music education should be construed.1 Our present task is to examine critically Deleuze and Guattari’s ideas in our reading of their book A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, with a view to determining the merits of their ideas as a basis for a philosophy of music (...) education.2 As such, we ask three principal questions: What are Deleuze and Guattari asking us to believe? What is our assessment of their contributions and detractions? What are the implications of our analysis for .. (shrink)
A study found that women participating in mammography screening were content with the programme and the paternalistic invitations that directly encourage participation and include a pre-specified time of appointment. We argue that this merely reflects that the information presented to the invited women is seriously biased in favour of participation. Women are not informed about the major harms of screening, and the decision to attend has already been made for them by a public authority. This short-circuits informed decision-making and the (...) legislation on informed consent, and violates the autonomy of the women. Screening invitations must present both benefits and harms in a balanced fashion, and should offer, not encourage, participation. It should be stated clearly that the choice not to participate is as sensible as the choice to do so. To allow this to happen, the responsibility for the screening programmes must be separated from the responsibility for the information material. (shrink)