Abstract This essay describes the value and validity of public dialogue on science?related issues. We define what is meant by ?dialogue?, the context within which dialogue takes place in relation to science, and the purposes of dialogue. We introduce a model to describe and analyse the practice of dialogue, at different stages in the development of science, its applications and their consequences. Finally, we place the practice of dialogue on science?related issues in relation to the wider political process and draw (...) out implications for scientists in particular. (shrink)
Though research on sustainable tour operating practices is increasing, its focus is mainly on large tour operators. Moreover, most research is geographically limited to Europe. Literature on inbound tour operators (ITOs) based in destination countries such as Africa is almost non-existent. In an effort to reduce the gap on literature available on sustainable tour operating in third world destinations, this research focuses on ITOs in Kenya. Its aim is to identify gaps between attitudes, intentions and behavior towards sustainable tourism of (...) ITOs in Kenya and shade some light on how these gaps can be addressed. A dedicated questionnaire survey was developed for this research and sent out to 300 ITOs in Kenya. Moreover, 10 in-depth interviews were held. This paper describes the background of the research, both from a scholarly and management perspective, and the developed research instruments. During the IABS 2011 conference full results will be presented. (shrink)
I started with no goal more ambitious than a critical discussion of Fiona Cowieâ€™s new book about innateness; it seemed to me that her arguments, unless refuted in detail, were likely to affront some or other abstract entity whose cause I favor: The Good, The True, The Beautiful; whatever. But there were so many things that the book struck me as being wrong about that the proposed critique became, in effect, an explication of the kind of nativism I think (...) a rationalist in cognitive psychology should endorse. And the more of that I came to explicate, the more digressions and elaborations suggested themselves. And elaborations of the digressions. And digressions from the elaborations. (shrink)
This volume collects together chapters that were originally delivered at a conference on the Admissible Contents of Experience that took place at the University of Glasgow in March 2006. The original papers were first published in a special edition of The Philosophy Quarterly (July 2009). -/- Introduction (Fiona Macpherson, University of Glasgow). -- 1. Perception And The Reach Of Phenomenal Content (Tim Bayne, University of Oxford). -- 2. Seeing Causings And Hearing Gestures (Steven Butterfill, University of Warwick). -- 3. (...) Experience And Content (Alex Byrne, Massachusetts Institute of Technology). -- 4. Is Perception A Propositional Attitude? (Tim Crane, University College London). -- 5. Conscious Reference (Alva Noë, University of California, Berkeley). -- 6. What Are The Contents Of Experiences? (Adam Pautz, University of Texas at Austin). -- 7. Aspect-Switching And Visual Phenomenal Character (Richard Price, University of Oxford). -- 8. The Visual Experience Of Causation (Susanna Siegel, Harvard University). -- 9. The Admissible Contents Of Visual Experience (Michael Tye, University of Texas at Austin). -- Index. (shrink)
Fiona Nicoll and Melissa Gregg met on the job at a new university having both moved from Sydney to Brisbane to take up their appointments. Here they share reflections on teaching a cultural theory course that they inherited from a prominent Australian Professor of Cultural Studies, offering the perspectives of two consecutive generations of cultural studies theorists now teaching in the field since the early 1990s. This situation gives rise to new interpretations regarding the value and uses of theory (...) in the classroom. Noting the subtle differences involved in teaching the same theoretical material in different cities, the ironies of teaching radical cultural theory in a conservative institutional environment, and the specific opportunities and challenges of teaching cultural studies theory as opposed to others, the article considers some of the silences teachers must also contend with in their classroom practice, drawing on and expanding the terrain established by Thorkelson's thesis. (shrink)
Can the phenomenal character of perceptual experience be altered by the states of one’s cognitive system, for example, one’s thoughts or beliefs? Ifone thinks that this can happen [at least in certain ways that are identWed in the paper] then one thinks that there can be cognitive penetration of perceptual experience; otherwise, one thinks that perceptual experience is cognitivelv impenetrable. I claim that there is one alleged case ofcognitive penetration that cannot be explained away by the standard strategies one can (...) typicallv use to explain away alleged cases. The case is one in which it seems subjects’ beliefs about the typical colour of objects ajfects their colour experience. I propose a two-step mechanism of indirect cognitive penetration that explains how cognitive penetration may occur. I show that there is independent evidence that each step in this process can occur. I suspect that people who are opposed to the idea that perceptual experience is cognitivelv penetrable will be less opposed to the idea when they come to consider this indirect mechanism and that those who are generallv sympathetic to the idea ofcognitive penetrability will welcome the elucidation ofthis plausible mechanism. (shrink)
Inspired by the writings of J. M. Hinton (1967a, 1967b, 1973), but ushered into the mainstream by Paul Snowdon (1980–1, 1990–1), John McDowell (1982, 1986), and M. G. F. Martin (2002, 2004, 2006), disjunctivism is currently discussed, advocated, and opposed in the philosophy of perception, the theory of knowledge, the theory of practical reason, and the philosophy of action. But what is disjunctivism?
Fiona Macpherson (2007). Synaesthesia. In Mario de Caro, Francesco Ferretti & Massimo Marraffa (eds.), Cartographies of the Mind: Philosophy and Psychology in Intersection Series: Studies in Brain and Mind, Vol. 4. Kleuwer.score: 3.0
Synaesthesia is most often characterised as a union or mixing of the senses. i Richard Cytowic describes it thus: “It denotes the rare capacity to hear colours, taste shapes or experience other equally startling sensory blendings whose quality seems difficult for most of us to imagine” ( 1997, 7). One famous example is of a man who “tasted shapes”. When he experienced flavours he also experienced shapes rubbing against his face or hands. ii Such popular characterisations are rough and ready. (...) What is certainly true about synaesthesia is that it involves the interaction between sensory phenomena: in response to certain stimuli some sensory phenomena are elicited in synaesthetes that are not elicited in non-synaesthetes. However, the exact nature of the additional sensory phenomena forms a large part of the debate on the nature of synaesthesia. Synaesthesia is a condition that has been known about for some time. In the late nineteenth century, and early twentieth, century very many articles appeared on the topic in the psychological literature. iii Much of this work on synaesthesia relied on introspective reports of subjects. In consequence, when later in the twentieth century psychologists eschewed introspective reports and radical behaviourist methodology became the order of the day, synaesthesia was rarely a topic of research. In more recent times, however, psychology has once again changed tack. With the advent of cognitive psychology and of objective techniques that try to probe the nature of conscious states of the mind that are reported in introspection, psychological interest in synaesthesia has resumed. Many new findings about the subject have recently been brought to light. In philosophy, interest in synaesthesia is only just beginning to arise. The phenomenon is potentially philosophically interesting for several reasons.. (shrink)
This is an entry for the Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Perception How many senses do humans possess? Five external senses, as most cultures have it—sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste? Should proprioception, kinaesthesia, thirst, and pain be included, under the rubric bodily sense? What about the perception of time and the sense of number? Such questions reduce to two. 1. How do we distinguish a sense from other sorts of information-receiving faculties? 2. By what principle do we distinguish (...) the senses? Aristotle discussed these questions in the De Anima. H. P. Grice revived them in 1967. More recently, they have taken on fresh interest as a result of a collection of essays edited by Fiona Macpherson. This entry reviews some approaches to these questions and advances some new ideas for the reader’s consideration. (shrink)
Representationalism is the position that the phenomenal character of an experience is either identical with, or supervenes on, the content of that experience. Many representationalists hold that the relevant content of experience is nonconceptual. I propose a counter-example to this form of representationalism that arises from the phenomenon of Gestalt switching, which occurs when viewing ambiguous figures. First, I argue that one does not need to appeal to the conceptual content of experience or to judge- ments to account for Gestalt (...) switching. I then argue that experiences of certain ambiguous figures are problematic because they have different phenomenal characters but that no difference in the nonconceptual content of these experiences can be identified. I consider three solutions to this problem that have been proposed by both philosophers and psychologists and conclude that none can account for all the ambiguous figures that pose the problem. I conclude that the onus is on representationalists to specify the relevant difference in content or to abandon their position. (shrink)
Arguments from the Logical Problem of Language Acquisition suggest that since linguistic experience provides few negative data that would falsify overgeneral grammatical hypotheses, innate knowledge of the principles of Universal Grammar must constrain learners hypothesis formulation. Although this argument indicates a need for domain-specific constraints, it does not support their innateness. Learning from mostly positive data proceeds unproblematically in virtually all domains. Since not every domain can plausibly be accorded its own special faculty, the probative value of the argument in (...) the linguistic case is dubious. In ignoring the holistic and probablistic nature of theory construction, the argument underestimates the extent to which positive data can supply negative evidence and hence overestimates the intractability of language learning in the absence of a dedicated faculty. While nativism about language remains compelling, the alleged Logical Problem contributes nothing to its plausibility and the emphasis on the Problem in the recent acquisition literature has been a mistake. (shrink)
I argue that we should reject the sparse view that there are or could be only a small number of rather distinct senses. When one appreciates this then one can see that there is no need to choose between the standard criteria that have been proposed as ways of individuating the senses—representation, phenomenal character, proximal stimulus and sense organ—or any other criteria that one may deem important. Rather, one can use these criteria in conjunction to form a fine-grained taxonomy of (...) the senses. We can think of these criteria as defining a multidimensional space within which we can locate each of the senses that we are familiar with and which also defines the space of possible senses there could be. (shrink)
This thesis is an examination and critique of naturalistic representational theories of phenomenal character. Phenomenal character refers to the distinctive quality that perceptual and sensational experiences seem to have; it is identified with 'what it is like' to undergo experiences. The central claims of representationalism are that phenomenal character is identical with the content of experience and that all representational states, bearing appropriate relations to the cognitive system, are conscious experiences. These claims are taken to explain both how conscious experiential (...) states arise and their nature. After examining the desiderata for naturalistic explanations, I argue that theories which ascribe nonconceptual content to experiences are the most plausible versions of representationalism. Further, causal covariation and teleological theories yield distinctive and interesting representationalist positions, hence, they become the focus of this study. To assess representationalism, I investigate whether all differences in phenomenal character can be correlated with differences in content. I claim that a useful distinction can be drawn between implicit and explicit content, which allows one to best describe the phenomena of perfect and relative pitch. I then argue that ambiguous figures show that two experiences can have the same content but different phenomenal character. I explicate the Inverted Earth hypothesis and claim that to identify content and phenomenal character, representationalists either have to condone the possibility of philosophical zombies, or hold that people lack authoritative first-person knowledge of their current experiences. Both these positions are unpalatable. Finally, I argue that representationalists cannot ascribe contents to experiences of novel colours to account for their phenomenal character. I also question, in light of dissociation phenomena, whether there is one distinctive relationship that all experiences bear to the cognitive system. I conclude that phenomenal character cannot be identical with the type of content under investigation, and that naturalistic representationalist theories cannot fully explain conscious experience. (shrink)
 Recent philosophy of mind and epistemology has seen an important and influential trend towards accounting for at least some features of experiences in content-involving terms. It is a contested point whether ascribing content to experiences can account for all the intrinsic properties of experiences, but on many theories of experiences there are close links between the ascription of content and the ways in which experiences are ascribed and typed. The issues here have both epistemological and psychological dimensions. On the (...) one hand, a theory of experiential content has a fundamental role in explaining how knowledge of the world can be acquired through experience. On the other hand, there are important psychological questions about the phenomenology of experiences and the conditions under which content ascriptions are made. (shrink)
Block (2003) and Prinz (2006) have defended the idea that SSD perception remains in the substituting modality (auditory or tactile). Hurley and Noë (2003) instead argued that after substantial training with the device, the perceptual experience that the SSD user enjoys undergoes a change, switching from tactile/auditory to visual. This debate has unfolded in something like a stalemate where, I will argue, it has become difficult to determine whether the perception acquired through the coupling with an SSD remains in the (...) substituting or the substituted modality. Within this puzzling deadlock two new approaches have been recently suggested. Ward and Meijer (2010) describe SSD perception as visual-like but characterize it as a kind of artificially induced synaesthesia. Auvray et al. (2007) and Auvray and Myin (2009) suggest that SSDs let their users experience a new kind of perception. Deroy and Auvray (forthcoming) refine this position, and argue that this new kind of perception depends on pre-existing senses without entirely aligning with any of them. So, they have talked about perceptual experience in SSDs as going “beyond vision”. In a similar vein, Fiona MacPherson (2011b) claims that “if the subjects (SSD users) have experiences with both vision-like and touch-like representational characteristics then perhaps they have a sense that ordinary humans do not” (MacPherson 2011b, p.139). -/- I use this suggestion of MacPherson’s as a motivation for exploring more fully the idea that SSD perception is something new. In this paper, in line with Auvray and Deroy, I therefore argue that SSD perception (at least in long-term, experienced users) doesn’t align with any of the pre-existing senses and that although it relies (quite heavily) on them, it nevertheless counts as something different and partially new. Unlike Auvray and Deroy however, I tentatively explain the new sensory sensitivity that these devices enable in terms of artificially induced synaesthesia. So the main goal of this paper is to synthesize and integrate the empirical work of Ward and Meijer (2010) within the conceptual framework developed by Deroy and Auvray (forthcoming), trying to cash out, in a more specific way, the details of their idea that SSD perception goes “beyond vision”. In suggesting the emergence of a new sensory modality in practised SSD users, I aim to make more explicit the false dilemma on which both Block/Prinz and Hurley/Noë rely; the shared assumption that there are only two options available to explain SSD perception (namely, that it either stays in the substituting modality, or is entirely visual). In endorsing an emergence thesis, which aims at taking us out of the dead-end of the visual vs not-visual (auditory/tactile) dilemma by refusing its two horns, I thus aim at breaking the deadlock in which the philosophical debate about sensory substitution has fallen. (shrink)
This paper is divided into two main sections. The first articulates what I believe Strawson's position to be. I contrast Strawson's usage of 'physicalism' with the mainstream use. I then explain why I think that Strawson's position is one of property dualism and substance monism. In doing this, I outline his view and Locke's view on the nature of substance. I argue that they are similar in many respects and thus it is no surprise that Strawson actually holds a view (...) on the mind much like one plausible interpretation of Locke's position. Strawson's use of terminology cloaks this fact and he does not himself explicitly recognize it in his paper. In the second section, I outline some of Strawson's assumptions that he uses in arguing for his position. I comment on the plausibility of his position concerning the relation of the mind to the body compared with mainstream physicalism and various forms of dualism. Before embarking on the two main sections, in the remainder of this introduction, I very briefly sketch Strawson's view. (shrink)
This paper provides a categorization of cross-modal experiences. There are myriad forms. Doing so allows us to think clearly about the nature of different cross-modal experiences and allows us to clearly formulate competing hypotheses about the kind of experiences involved in different cross-modal phenomena.
In this paper I examine whether representationalism can account for various thought experiments about colour inversions. Representationalism is, at minimum, the view that, necessarily, if two experiences have the same representational content then they have the same phenomenal character. I argue that representationalism ought to be rejected if one holds externalist views about experiential content and one holds traditional exter- nalist views about the nature of the content of propositional attitudes. Thus, colour inver- sion scenarios are more damaging to externalist (...) representationalist views than have been previously thought. More specifically, I argue that representationalists who endorse externalism about experiential content either have to become internalists about the content of propositional attitudes or they have to adopt a novel variety of externalism about the content of propositional attitudes. This novel type of propositional attitude externalism is investigated. It can be seen that adopting it forces one to reject Putnam. (shrink)
This article develops an approach to ethical globalization based on a feminist, political ethic of care; this is achieved, in part, through a comparison with, and critique of, Thomas Pogge's World Poverty and Human Rights. In his book, Pogge makes the valid and important argument that the global economic order is currently organized such that developed countries have a huge advantage in terms of power and expertise, and that decisions are reached purely and exclusively through self-interest. Pogge uses an institutional (...) rights framework to argue that direct responsibility for global poverty and inequality lies with the citizens of developed countries, since suffering and death are caused by global economic arrangements designed and imposed by our governments. While this argument is certainly compelling, I have argued that it tells us little about the actual effects of globalization on the real people of the South - including women, children and the elderly. As a result, it can offer little in the way of real alternatives or policy prescriptions. As a moral orientation, a care ethic relies on a relational moral ontology, and leads us to consider different values in terms of human flourishing. Moreover, it pushes us to consider the normative implications of aspects of the global political economy which are usually not 'seen' at all, including the global distribution of care work and the corresponding patterns of gender and racial inequality, the underprovision of care and resources for caring work in both the developed and developing world, and the ways in which unpaid or low-paid caring work helps to sustain a cycle of exploitation and inequality on a global scale. (shrink)
Reflection on skeptical scenarios in the philosophy of perception, made vivid in the arguments from illusion and hallucination, have led to the formulation of theories of the metaphysical and epistemological nature of perceptual experience. In recent times, the locus of the debate concerning the nature of perceptual experience has been the dispute between disjunctivists and common-kind theorists. Disjunctivists have held that there are substantial dissimilarities (either metaphysical or epistemological or both) between veridical perceptual experiences occurring when one perceives and perceptual (...) experiences involved in hallucination. Common-kind theorists have denied this. In this paper, I examine the nature of introspection – a faculty that has often been compared and contrasted to perception. I reflect on cases where introspection goes wrong in ways analogous to that in which our perceptual faculties can go wrong and formulate, what I take to be, an attractive theory of introspection. The cases that I focus on in which things go wrong are the case of zombies and the case of subjects with Anton’s syndrome. (Anton’s syndrome is a condition in which people who are blind claim that they can see.) I suggest that, just as it is possible to be a disjunctivist about perception, it is possible to be a disjunctivist about introspection. I argue that this is a good view of one type of introspection, namely, introspection of states that have phenomenal character, such as perceptual experiences. It has a good account to give of the cases in which such introspection seems to go wrong and it yields a plausible metaphysical and epistemological view of the nature of introspection. However, while I favour a disjunctive view of introspection, I do not favour a disjunctive view of perception. And, I suspect, that many disjunctivists about perception would not wish to condone my disjunctivist theory of introspection. I therefore go on to examine to what extent.. (shrink)
Which objects and properties are represented in perceptual experience, and how are we able to determine this? The papers in this collection address these questions together with other fundamental questions about the nature of perceptual content. -/- The book draws together papers by leading international philosophers of mind, including Alex Byrne (MIT), Alva Noë (University of California, Berkeley), Tim Bayne (St Catherine’s College, Oxford), Michael Tye (University of Texas, Austin), Richard Price (All Souls College, Oxford) and Susanna Siegel (Harvard University) (...) -/- Essays address the central questions surrounding the content of perceptual experience -/- Investigates how are we able to determine the admissible contents of experience -/- Published in association with the journal Philosophical Quarterly. (shrink)
A report of a person's desire can be true even if its embedded clause underspecifies the content of the desire that makes the report true. It is true that Fiona wants to catch a fish even if she has no desire that is satisfied if she catches a poisoned minnow. Her desire is satisfied only if she catches an edible, meal-sized fish. The content of her desire is more specific than the propositional content of the embedded clause in our (...) true report of her desires. Standard semantic accounts of belief reports require, however, that the embedded clause of a true belief report specify precisely the content of the belief that makes it true. Such accounts of belief reports therefore face what I call "the problem of underspecification" if they are extended to desire reports. Such standard accounts are sometimes refined by requiring that a belief report can be true not only if its subject has a belief with precisely the propositional content specified by its embedded clause, but also only if its subject grasps that content in a particular way. Such refinements do not, however, help to address the problem of underspecification for desire reports. (shrink)
In his recent book, Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong, Jerry Fodor retracts the radical concept-nativism he once defended. Yet that postion stood, virtually unchallenged, for more than twenty years. This neglect is puzzling, as Fodor's arguments against concepts being learnable from experience remain unanswered, and nativism has historically been taken very seriously as a response to empiricism's perceived shortcomings. In this paper, I urge that Fodorean nativism should indeed be rejected. I argue, however, that its deficiencies are not so (...) obvious that they can simply be taken for granted. Fodor can counter extant objections by stressing two distinctions: between historicist and counterfactual semantic theories and between explaining reference and explaining concept-acquisition. But, I argue, this victory is pyrrhic. Reformulated as objections to his account qua theory of concept-acquisition, and not qua theory of reference, analogous difficulties are fatal to the Fodorean position. (shrink)
The Architecture of Mind is an ambitious and informative work, surveying an impressive range of empirical literature and arguing that the mind is massively modular. However, it suffers from two major theoretical flaws. First, Carruthers’ concept of a module is weak, so much so that it robs his thesis of massive modularity of any real substance. Second, his conception of how the mind’s modules evolved ignores the role of niche construction and cultural evolution to its detriment.
The distinction between doing and allowing appears to have moral significance, but the very nature of the distinction is as yet unclear. Philippa Foot's ‘pre-existing threats’ account of the doing/allowing distinction is highly influential. According to the best version of Foot's account an agent brings about an outcome if and only if his behaviour is part of the sequence leading to that outcome. When understood in this way, Foot's account escapes objections by Warren Quinn and Jonathan Bennett. However, more analysis (...) is required to show what makes a relevant condition part of a sequence. Foot's account is promising, but incomplete. (shrink)
The senses, or sensory modalities, constitute the different ways we have of perceiving the world, such as seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling. But how many senses are there? How many could there be? What makes the senses different? What interaction takes place between the senses? This book is a guide to thinking about these questions. Together with an extensive introduction to the topic, the book contains the key classic papers on this subject together with nine newly commissioned essays. -/- (...) One reason that these questions are important is that we are receiving a huge influx of new information from the sciences that challenges some traditional philosophical views about the senses. This information needs to be incorporated into our view of the senses and perception. Can we do this whilst retaining our pre-existing concepts of the senses and of perception or do we need to revise our concepts? If they need to be revised, then in what way should that be done? Research in diverse areas, such as the nature of human perception, varieties of non-human animal perception, the interaction between different sensory modalities, perceptual disorders, and possible treatments for them, calls into question the platitude that there are five senses, as well as the pre-supposition that we know what we are counting when we count them as five (or more). -/- This book will serve as an inspiring introduction to the topic and as a basis from which further new research will grow. -/- This volume is the first on the philosophy of the non-visual senses. -/- It combines older, hard-to-find essays on the non-visual senses with contemporary essays by well-known philosophers in the field. -/- Macpherson's introduction to the volume traces the philosophy of the senses throughout history and points towards new directions in its future. -/- Readership: The market will be scholars in philosophy of mind, as well as students particularly in graduate seminars. (shrink)
This book traces a deep misunderstanding about the relation of concepts and reality in the history of philosophy. It exposes the influence of the mistake in the thought of Locke, Berkeley, Kant, Nietzche and Bradley and suggests that the solution can be found in Hegelian thought. Ellis argues that the treatment proposed exemplifies Hegel's dialectical method, an important contribution to this area of philosophy.
I offer a critical reconstruction of Kant's thesis that aesthetic judgement is founded on the principle of the purposiveness of nature. This has been taken as equivalent to the claim that aesthetics is directly linked to the systematicity of nature in its empirical laws. I take issue both with Henry Allison, who seeks to marginalize this claim, and with Avner Baz, who highlights it in order to argue that Kant's aesthetics are merely instrumental for his epistemology. My solution is that (...) aesthetic judgement operates as an exemplary presentation of our general ability to schematise an intuition with a concept at the empirical level. I suggest that this counts as an empirical schematism. Although aesthetic judgement is not based on empirical systematicity, it can nevertheless offer indirect support for the latter in so far as it is a particular revelation of purposiveness in general. (shrink)
I propose a counterexample to naturalistic representational theories of phenomenal character. The counterexample is generated by experiences of novel colours reported by Crane and Piantanida. I consider various replies that a representationalist might make, including whether novel colours could be possible colours of objects and whether one can account for novel colours as one would account for binary colours or colour mixtures. I argue that none of these strategies is successful and therefore that one cannot fully explain the nature of (...) the phenomenal character of perceptual experiences using a naturalistic conception of representation. (shrink)
Some naturalistic theories of consciousness give an essential role to teleology.1 This teleology is said to arise due to natural selection. Thus it is claimed that only certain states, namely, those that have been selected for by evolutionary pro- cesses because they contribute to (or once contributed to) an organism’s fitness, are conscious states. These theories look as if they are assigning a creative role to natural selection. If a state is conscious only if it has been selected for, then (...) selec- tion appears to be able to create a new feature of states, namely, their conscious nature. Yet, intuitively, natural selection cannot create anything. Natural selec- tion chooses certain features that already exist and makes them more (or less) prevalent in a population, but it cannot bring features into existence itself. Natu- ral selection can select for conscious states, but it cannot create them. This con- clusion has recently been argued for by Steven Horst (1999). If it is right, then teleological theories of conscious states should be rejected. A state cannot become a conscious experience in virtue of having been selected for by evolu- tionary process. (shrink)
Disjunctivism is the focus of a lively debate spanning the philosophy of perception, epistemology, and the philosophy of action. Adrian Haddock and Fiona Macpherson present 17 specially written essays, which examine the different forms of disjunctivism and explore the connections between them.
I examine Roger Scruton's account of the religious and soteriological significance of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde . The relation between Scruton and Wagner remains unclear, and the position at issue is a curious amalgam of the two. I refer to its author as ‘Scruton's Wagner’. Scruton's Wagner argues that erotic love has religious and soteriological significance, and that the notions of religion and salvation are to be defined in terms which are shorn of any reference to God. I argue that (...) there may be good reasons for setting these limits short of God, but that Scruton's Wagner does not provide them. (shrink)
Abstract I argue for a new interpretation of the argument for the non-identity of Being and Difference at Sophist 255c-e, which turns on a distinction between modes of being a property. Though indebted to Frede (1967), the distinction differs from his in an important respect: What distinguishes the modes is not the subject's relation to itself or to something numerically distinct, but whether it constitutes or conforms to the specification of some property. Thus my view, but not his, allows self-participation (...) for Forms. Against Frede and the more traditional interpretation, I maintain that the distinction is not introduced by way of the pros alla / kath' hauta distinction, or by way of uses or senses of the verb `to be', but is established prior to the argument and is deployed in its frame. Moreover, since I read the argument's scope as restricted to properties in what I shall call the attribute mode, my interpretation can explain, as its rivals cannot, why the criterion of difference at 255d6-7 does not apply to the Form, Difference, itself. (shrink)
: This paper responds to the sense of "crisis" or "trouble" that dominates contemporary feminist debate about the categories of sex and gender. It argues that this perception of crisis has emerged from a fundamental confusion of theoretical and political issues concerning the implications of the sex/gender debate for political representation and agency. It explores the sense in which this confusion is manifest in a debate between Seyla Benhabib and Judith Butler.
Attempts to defend the moral significance of the distinction between doing and allowing harm directly have left many unconvinced. I give an indirect defence of the moral significance of the distinction between doing and allowing, focusing on the agent's duty to reason in a way that is responsive to possible harmful effects of their behaviour. Due to our cognitive limitations, we cannot be expected to take all harmful consequences of our behaviour into account. We are required to be responsive to (...) harmful consequences that have some feature that makes it easy for us to become aware of them. I show that, under Jonathan Bennett's analysis of the doing/allowing distinction, harm that is incidentally done has such a feature, which is not shared by harm that is incidentally allowed. Any plausible analysis of the doing/allowing distinction will entail a similar asymmetry. It follows that, prima facie, an agent who incidentally does harm has violated a moral requirement (the deliberative requirement) which an agent who incidentally allows harm has not violated. 1. (shrink)
The last 10 years has seen the development and deployment of new biotechnologies not just as potential treatments but also as potential enhancements. The definition and differentiation of treatment (therapy) from enhancement is an ongoing clinical, ethical and social debate that ranges across a proliferating number of convergent technologies. Many of these innovations will ‘come-on-line’ as present generations of young people will be reaching adulthood and considering parenthood. This paper reports on a project that explored the possibilities for human enhancement (...) with young people in order to gather their attitudes towards enhancement and the types of arguments/reasoning they employ when thinking about the possibilities and the techniques. The project focused on if/how distinctions are made between treatment and enhancement, between the different techniques that might be used for enhancement (genetic and non-genetic) and perceptions of risks and benefits. The young people’s viewpoints, their methods of reasoning and underlying values are compared with those of bioethicists writing on the topic. (shrink)
In this paper we provide a reflexive account of fieldwork in out of school clubs in a range of localities across England and Wales. By reflecting upon our personal experiences of researching with children aged between 5 and 12 years, we examine the impact of the positionality of the researcher on the research encounter, and highlight the ways in which relationships between adult researchers and child subjects are gendered. Finally, we identify a number of issues for researchers to consider when (...) working with children in the field. (shrink)
Our pollution of the environment seems set to lead to widespread problems in the future, including disease, scarcity of resources, and bloody conflicts. It is natural to think that we are required to stop polluting because polluting harms the future individuals who will be faced with these problems. This natural thought faces Derek Parfit’s famous Non-Identity Problem ( 1984 , pp. 361–364). The people who live on the polluted earth would not have existed if we had not polluted. Our polluting (...) behaviour does not make these individuals worse off. It may therefore seem that we do not harm them by polluting. Parfit argues that we should replace person-affecting principles with an impersonal principle of beneficence, Principle Q ( 1984 , p. 360.). I argue that Principle Q cannot give an adequate account of our duties to refrain from polluting. I consider attempts to solve the Non-Identity Problem by denying that to harm someone an agent must make them worse off. I argue that such responses provide a partial solution to the Non-Identity Problem. They do show that we harm future individuals in a morally relevant sense by polluting. Nonetheless, this is only a partial solution. The Non-Identity Problem still suggests that our harm-based reasons not to pollute are less strong than we intuitively believe. Thus on its own an appeal to the claim that we harm future individuals is not able to give a fully satisfactory account of why we are required not to pollute. (shrink)
Fiona Cowie’s _What’s Within_ consists of three parts. In the first, she examines the early modern rationalist- empiricist debate over nativism, isolating what she considers the two substantive “strands” (67)1 that truly separated them: whether there exist domain-specific learning mechanisms, and whether concept acquisition is amenable to naturalistic explanation. She then turns, in the book’s succeeding parts, to where things stand today with these issues. The second part argues that Jerry Fodor’s view of concepts is continuous with traditional nativism (...) in that it precludes a naturalistic story of concept acquisition. Cowie objects, however, to Fodor’s path to this conclusion and thus sees no reason to endorse it. The third part assesses Chomskyan nativism as a contemporary instance of positing domain- specific learning mechanisms. Though she is highly critical of how “poverty of the stimulus” arguments and the like have been used to lend credence to stronger conclusions, she holds that such arguments do indeed support the nativist’s domain-specificity claim. Cowie’s reconsideration of nativism thus limits itself to concepts and language (a few exceptions aside: there are two brief forays into face recognition and a mention of pathogen response). The terrain she does cover, however, is vast; and Cowie’s illuminating discussions will stimulate anyone interested in the area. As I focus on a few large-scale qualms in what follows, let me mention in particular that much of what is of interest in Cowie’s book is to be found in her detailed consideration of specific arguments. (shrink)
I consider whether there are philosophical developments which can deepen our understanding of God. I focus upon the relation between experience and physical things and the nature of value. I reject the narrow limits of experience presupposed by the verificationist, and the related monopoly of science on reality. I recommend a conception of reality which is rich enough to accommodate physical things and also the intertwining of value in the natural world. I detect structural similarities between these two problems and (...) the problem of God, and consider how they might be related at the level of content. (shrink)
I am concerned to examine a mode of argumentation in recent analytic philosophy which, I claim, has its origin in Hegel's ‘dialectical’ method. I give examples of this mode of argumentation in McDowell and Wiggins, followed by a formal representation which distinguishes two possible models both of which have negative and positive aspects. I consider what the commitments of the negative aspect of this approach are, and argue that the desire to avoid naturalism constitutes a common goal. I turn then (...) to its positive aspect, making explicit and criticising some of the metaphilosophical implications contained therein. Finally, I make brief contact with Hegel. (shrink)
At the core of conceptual understandings underlying a common-sense comprehension of matter is an assumed opposition of the intelligible and the sensible. Drawing on the writings of Giles Deleuze, Luce Irigaray and Elizabeth Grosz, this essay attempts to rethink the relations of matter through the work of materiality in the context of art. Focusing on the installation COVERS, by Melbourne-based artist Fiona Abicare, this examination argues that a mobilization of the disordering effects of matter instigates an interval. In this (...) passage of undecidability an understanding of matter as a vehicle for expression or medium for signifying something external to itself is challenged via a ceaseless interchange across the thresholds of surface and depth, face and mask, ornament and decoration. (shrink)
I defend externalism about color experiences and color thoughts, which I argue color objectivism requires. Externalists face the following question: would a subject’s wearing inverting lenses eventually change the color content of, for instance, those visual experiences the subject reports with “red”? From the work of Ned Block, David Velleman, Paul Boghossian, Michael Tye, and Fiona Macpherson, I extract problems facing those who answer “Yes” and problems facing those who answer “No.” I show how these problems can be overcome, (...) leaving externalism available to the color objectivist. (shrink)
Is there a space of the sensory modalities? Such a space would be one in which we can represent all the actual, and at least some of the possible, sensory modalities. The relative position of the senses in this space would indicate how similar and how different the senses were from each other. The construction of such a space might reveal unconsidered features of the actual and possible senses, help us to define what a sense is, and provide grounds that (...) we might use to decide what is one token sense rather than multiple token senses. -/- In this paper, I explore, refine, and defend the idea that we can construct such a space—an idea that I briefly proposed in earlier work (Macpherson 2011a and 2011b). In doing so, I defend the idea from an objection that Richard Gray (2012) has voiced. Gray claims that the dimensions of the space of sensory modalities must generate a non-‐arbitrary ordering of the senses. He argues that we cannot find dimensions that do so. I disagree. I identify different ways in which a space could be arbitrary but I argue that we can define a space of the sensory modalities in a non-arbitrary manner. I give examples of what the dimensions might be. (shrink)
Presented at the University of Glasgow Conference on "Individuating the Senses", organized by Professor Fiona MacPherson, Department of Philosophy and Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience, 4 and 5 December 2004. This is the final draft of May 2005, under review for publication as part of the volume of conference proceedings.
The Gendered Cyborg brings together material from a variety of disciplines that analyze the relationship between gender and technoscience, and the way that this relationship is represented through ideas, language and visual imagery. The book opens with key feminist articles from the history and philosophy of science. They look at the ways that modern scientific thinking has constructed oppositional dualities such as objectivity/subjectivity, human/machine, nature/science, and male/female, and how these have constrained who can engage in science/technology and how they have (...) limited our ideas of the possibilities for both humanity and science. Later sections contain readings that present key feminist theories about representation to examine how gender and technoscience are represented in areas of particular contemporary interest: the new human reproductive technologies, science fiction, film and the Internet. The readings constantly ask "Is this for women, for human beings?" Contributors: Alison Adam, Anne Balsamo, Lynda K. Bundtzen, Barbara Creed, Mary Ann Doane, Dion Farquhar, Jennifer González, Evelynn M. Hammonds, Donna Haraway, Fiona Hovenden, Luce Irigaray, Linda Janes, Gill Kirkup, Nina Lykke, Sadie Plant, Rosalind Pollack Perchesky, Londa Schiebinger, Vivian Sobchack, Deborah Lynn Steinberg, Nancy Leys Stepan, Nina Wakeford, Kathryn Woodward. (shrink)