O'Regan & Noë (O&N) argue that there is no need of internal, more or less picture-like, representation of the visual world in the brain. They propose a new approach in which vision is a mode of exploration of the world that is mediated by knowledge of sensorimotor contingencies. Data obtained in “change blindness” experiments support this assumption.
Norris, McQueen & Cutler demonstrated that feedback is never necessary during lexical access and proposed a new autonomous model, that is, the Merge model, taking into account the known behavioral data on word recognition. For sentence processing, recent event-related brain potentials (ERPs) data suggest that interactions can occur but only after an initial autonomous stage of processing. Thus at this level too, there is no evidence in favor of feedback.
Following Wallace’s suggestion, Darwin framed his theory using Spencer’s expression “survival of the fittest”. Since then, fitness occupies a significant place in the conventional understanding of Darwinism, even though the explicit meaning of the term ‘fitness’ is rarely stated. In this paper I examine some of the different roles that fitness has played in the development of the theory. Whereas the meaning of fitness was originally understood in ecological terms, it took a statistical turn in terms of reproductive success throughout (...) the 20th Century. This has lead to the ever-increasing importance of sexually reproducing organisms and the populations they compose in evolutionary explanations. I will argue that, moving forward, evolutionary theory should look back at its ecological roots in order to be more inclusive in the type of systems it examines. Many biological systems (e.g. clonal species, colonial species, multi-species communities) can only be satisfactorily accounted for by offering a non-reproductive account of fitness. This argument will be made by examining biological systems with very small or transient population structures. I argue this has significant consequences for how we define Darwinism, increasing the significance of survival (or persistence) over that of reproduction. (shrink)
Dans le silence qui entoure la question du temps et des temporalités dans l’espace oriental, l’ouvrage Les Ottomans et le temps constitue une contribution novatrice et précieuse. On ne peut que regretter qu’il ait fallu attendre près de dix ans pour prendre connaissance des résultats de travaux commencés dès 2003-2004 dans le cadre d’un séminaire de l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales, inscrit dans la continuité du travail fondateur de Louis Bazin sur Les systèmes chronologiques d..
In his book Frederic Schick develops his challenge to standard decision theory. He argues that talk of the beliefs and desires of an agent is not sufficient to explain choices. To account for a given choice we need to take into consideration how the agent understands the problem, how he sees in a selective way the options open to him. The author applies his new logic to a host of common human predicaments. Why do people in choice experiments act so (...) often against expectations? Why do people cooperate in situations where textbook logic predicts that they won't? What exactly is weakness of will? What are people reporting when they say their lives have no meaning for them? This book questions the foundations of technical and philosophical decision theory and will appeal to all those who work in that field, be they philosophers, economists or psychologists. (shrink)
This book is a unique introductory overview of decision theory. It is completely non-technical, without a single formula in the book. Written in a crisp and clear style it succinctly covers the full range of philosophical issues of rationality and decision theory, including game theory, social choice theory, prisoner's dilemma and much else. The book aims to expand the scope and enrich the foundations of decision theory. By addressing such issues as ambivalence, inner conflict, and the constraints imposed upon us (...) by our attachments to others, Frederic Schick reveals that our thinking is often more subtle than standard theories of rationality allow. Only a theory that respects that subtlety can illumine what is otherwise puzzling. The book contains many examples drawn from history and literature dealing with subjects such as love, war, friendship, and crime. (shrink)
A well-known proof by Alonzo Church, first published in 1963 by Frederic Fitch, purports to show that all truths are knowable only if all truths are known. This is the Paradox of Knowability. If we take it, quite plausibly, that we are not omniscient, the proof appears to undermine metaphysical doctrines committed to the knowability of truth, such as semantic anti-realism. Since its rediscovery by Hart and McGinn ( 1976), many solutions to the paradox have been offered. In this article, (...) we present a new proof to the effect that not all truths are knowable, which rests on different assumptions from those of the original argument published by Fitch. We highlight the general form of the knowability paradoxes, and argue that anti-realists who favour either an hierarchical or an intuitionistic approach to the Paradox of Knowability are confronted with a dilemma: they must either give up anti-realism or opt for a highly controversial interpretation of the principle that every truth is knowable. (shrink)
The intuitionistic conception of truth defended by Dummett, Martin Löf and Prawitz, according to which the notion of proof is conceptually prior1 to the notion of truth, is a particular version of the epistemic conception of truth. The paradox of knowability (first published by Frederic Fitch in 1963) has been described by many authors2 as an argument which threatens the epistemic, and the intuitionistic, conception of truth. In order to establish whether this is really so, one has to understand what (...) the epistemic conception of truth really is. So I shall start inpart I with a description of the matter at issue between theepistemic conception of truth and the opposite position, therealistic conception of truth. Inpart II I shall very briefly describe the paradox. Inpart III I shall try to answer the question which appears in the title of this paper: What can we learn from the paradox of knowability?. My conclusion will be that the paradox of knowability is not a refutation of the epistemic conception of truth, but helps us to better formulate (and understand) such a view. (shrink)
In an attempt to improve upon Alexander Pruss’s work (2006, pp. 240-248), I (Weaver, 2012) have argued that if all purely contingent events could be caused and something like a Lewisian analysis of causation is true (per Lewis, 2004), then all purely contingent events have causes. I dubbed the derivation of the universality of causation the “Lewisian argument”. The Lewisian argument assumed not a few controversial metaphysical theses, particularly essentialism, an incommunicable-property view of essences (per Plantinga 2003), and the idea (...) that counterfactual dependence is necessary for causation. There are, of course, substantial objections to such theses. While I think a fight against objections to the Lewisian argument can be won, I develop, in what follows, a much more intuitive argument for the universality of causation which takes as its inspiration a result from Frederic Fitch’s work (1963) (with credit to who we now know was Alonzo Church (2009)) that if all truths are such that they are knowable, then (counter-intuitively) all truths are known. The resulting Church-Fitch proof for the universality of causation is preferable to the Lewisian argument since it rests upon far weaker formal and metaphysical assumptions than those of the Lewisian argument. (shrink)
At the phenomenal level, consciousness arises in a consistently coherent fashion as a singular, unified field of recursive self-awareness (subjectivity) with explicitly orientational characteristics—that of a subject located both spatially and temporally in an egocentrically-extended domain. Understanding these twin elements of consciousness begins with the recognition that ultimately (and most primitively), cognitive systems serve the biological self-regulatory regime in which they subsist. The psychological structures supporting self-located subjectivity involve an evolutionary elaboration of the two basic elements necessary for extending self-regulation (...) into behavioral interaction with the environment: an orientative reference frame which consistently structures ongoing interaction in terms of controllable spatiotemporal parameters, and processing architecture that relates behavior to homeostatic needs via feedback. Over time, constant evolutionary pressures for energy efficiency have encouraged the emergence of anticipative feedforward processing mechanisms, and the elaboration, at the apex of the sensorimotor processing hierarchy, of self-activating, highly attenuated recursively-feedforward circuitry processing the basic orientational schema independent of external action output. As the primary reference frame of active waking cognition, this recursive self-locational schema processing generates a zone of subjective self-awareness in terms of which it feels like something to be oneself here and now. This is consciousness-as-subjectivity. (shrink)
The goal of this article is to put to the fore the importance and the relevance of the “second persons” in the framework of the relational ethics where the person has being related as a primacy over the individual as an isolated subject. While using the psychiatric team of an emergency unit (E.R.I.C.) as a leading thread we seek to show the anthropology of being related, which underlines the practical ethics of such emergency team.
An internal reconstruction and an immanent critique of Bourdieu's generative structuralism is presented. Rather than starting with the concept of "habitus," as is usually done, the article tries to systematically reconstruct Bourdieu's theory by an analysis of the relational logic that permeates his whole work. Tracing the debt Bourdieu's approach owes to Bachelard's rationalism and Cassirer's relationalism, the article examines Bourdieu's epistemological writings of the 1960s and 70s. It tries to make the case that Bourdieu's sociological metascience represents a rationalist (...) version of Bhaskar's critical realism, and enjoins Bourdieu to give heed to the realist turn in the philosophy of the natural and the social sciences. The article shows how Bourdieu's epistemological assumptions are reflected in his primary theoretical constructs of "habitus" and "field." To concretize their discussion, it analyzes Bourdieu's reinterpretation of Weber in his theory of the field of religion and of the young Mannheim in his theory of the scientific field. (shrink)
Ecological fitness has been suggested to provide a unifying definition of fitness. However, a metric for this notion of fitness was in most cases unavailable except by proxy with differential reproductive success. In this article, I show how differential persistence of lineages can be used as a way to assess ecological fitness. This view is inspired by a better understanding of the evolution of some clonal plants, colonial organisms, and ecosystems. Differential persistence shows the limitation of an ensemblist noncausal understanding (...) of evolution. Causal explanations are necessary to understand the evolution by natural selection of these biological systems. †To contact the author write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Montreal, P.O. Box 6128, Station Centre‐Ville, Montreal, Quebec, H3C 3J7 Canada; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
First, some reminiscences. In the years 1973-80, when I was an undergraduate and then graduate student at Oxford, Michael Dummett’s formidable and creative philosophical presence made his arguments impossible to ignore. In consequence, one pole of discussion was always a form of anti-realism. It endorsed something like the replacement of truth-conditional semantics by verification-conditional semantics and of classical logic by intuitionistic logic, and the principle that all truths are knowable. It did not endorse the principle that all truths are known. (...) Nor did it mention the now celebrated argument, first published by Frederic Fitch (1963), that if all truths are knowable then all truths are known. (shrink)
For Quine, a paradox is an apparently successful argument having as its conclusion a statement or proposition that seems obviously false or absurd. That conclusion he calls the proposition of the paradox in question. What is paradoxical is of course that if the argument is indeed successful as it seems to be, its conclusion must be true. On this view, to resolve the paradox is (1) to show either that (and why) despite appearances the conclusion is true after all, or (...) that the argument is fallacious, and (2) if the former, to explain away the deceptive appearances. Quine divides paradoxes into three groups. A veridical paradox is one whose proposition or conclusion is in fact true despite its air of absurdity. We decide that a paradox is veridical when we look carefully at the argument and it convinces us, i.e., it manages to show us how it is that the conclusion is true after all and appearances to the contrary were misleading. Quine’s two main examples of this are the puzzle of Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance (who has reachError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMaped the age of twenty-one after passing only five birthdays), and the Barber Paradox, which Quine considers simply a sound proof that there can be no such barber as is described.1 A falsidical paradox is one whose proposition or conclusion is indeed obviously false or self-contradictory, but which contains a fallacy that is detectably responsible for delivering the absurd conclusion. We decide that a paradox is falsidical when we look carefully at the argument and spot the fallacy. Quine’s leading example here is De Morgan’s trick argument for the proposition that 2 = 1. (shrink)
We argue that a fashionable interpretation of the theory of natural selection as a claim exclusively about populations is mistaken. The interpretation rests on adopting an analysis of fitness as a probabilistic propensity which cannot be substantiated, draws parallels with thermodynamics which are without foundations, and fails to do justice to the fundamental distinction between drift and selection. This distinction requires a notion of fitness as a pairwise comparison between individuals taken two at a time, and so vitiates the interpretation (...) of the theory as one about populations exclusively. (shrink)
The knowability paradox derives from a proof by Frederic Fitch in 1963. The proof purportedly shows that if all truths are knowable, it follows that all truths are known. Antirealists, wed as they are to the idea that truth is epistemic, feel threatened by the proof. For what better way to express the epistemic character of truth than to insist that all truths are knowable? Yet, if that insistence logically compels similar assent to some omniscience claim, antirealism is in jeopardy. (...) Response to the paradox has drifted toward a common theme, a theme I will argue is a non-starter in resolving the paradox. Seeing this point will also make clear the philosophical inadequacy of simply viewing the paradox as a refutation of a wide range of antirealisms. (shrink)
Philosophers of biology have been absorbed by the problem of defining evolutionary fitness since Darwin made it central to biological explanation. The apparent problem is obvious. Define fitness as some biologists implicitly do, in terms of actual survival and reproduction, and the principle of natural selection turns into an empty tautology: those organisms which survive and reproduce in larger numbers, survive and reproduce in larger numbers. Accordingly, many writers have sought to provide a definition for ‘fitness’ which avoid this outcome. (...) In particular the definition of fitness as a probabilistic propensity has been widely favored.1 Others, recognizing that no definition both correct and complete can actually be provided, have accepted the consequence that the leading principle of the theory is a definitional truth and attempted to mitigate the impact of this outcome for the empirical character of the theory.2 Still others have argued that ‘fitness’ is properly viewed as a term undefined in the theory of natural selection (on the model of mass—a term undefined in Newtonian mechanics).3 But few have contemplated the solution to this problem proposed by Mohan Matthen and André Ariew (hereafter, MA), in.. (shrink)
The present study extends the study of individuals' ethical ideology withinthe context of marketing ethics issues. A national sample of marketing professionals participated. Respondents' ethical ideologies were classified as absolutists, situationists, exceptionists, or subjectivists using the Ethical Position Questionnaire (Forsyth, 1980). Respondents then answered questions about three ethically ambiguous situations common to marketing and sales. The results indicated that marketers' ethical judgments about the situations differed based on their ethical ideology, with absolutists rating the actions as most unethical. The findings (...) are consistent with those of two earlier studies that utilized samples of business students (Barnett et al., 1994, 1995). The results suggest that personal moral philosophy is an important influence on ethical decision making that should be considered in empirical studies of business ethics. The results also support the utility of the Ethical Position Questionnaire (Forsyth, 1980) as a means for researchers and practitioners to assess individuals' ethical ideology. (shrink)
There are four areas of concern in the ethical pursuit of tourism. Too often, tourism development is planned without consideration of the local environment's or community's needs and characteristics. An ethical treatment of the environment and community should involve consideration and participation in the planning and decision-making process, as well as implementing effective guidelines to assure fairness in employing both traditional and non-traditional employees. Finally, the industry must pay special attention to the target market: tourists.
While the classical Greco-Roman tradition is not ordinarily thought of as associated with radical individualism, many of the central concerns of such radical individualists as Frédéric Bastiat, Herbert Spencer, Benjamin Tucker, Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek, and Ayn Rand—including their views on human sociality, spontaneous order, and the relation between self-interest and non-instrumental concern for others—are shown to be inheritances from and developments of Platonic, Aristotelian, Epicurean, and Stoic ideas. Hence those working in the classical tradition have reason (...) to explore the radical individualist tradition and vice versa. (shrink)
Bottom lines and codes provide a corporation with guidelines for dealing with the inside and outside world. Bottom lines have the oldest papers through Frederic Taylor's Scientific Management, dated beginning 20th century. Codes came into existence in its midst with the emerging sustainability agenda, referring both to technical detail and human judgement. Corporate codes present themselves as a policy document with collective rules handed down by way of a top-down approach. Since an effective code is dependent on the motivation of (...) individual employees, this article proposes the additional view of a bottom-up approach. By sharing values in concrete work employees become co-owners of the code. Top-down and bottom-up approaches thus emerge in a complementary relationship. A relevant organisational context would be a parallel structure of action and reflection, thus facilitating balanced thinking in the sustainability domain and contributing to an 'ethical calibre' or 'moral standard' of a corporation. (shrink)
This is an extract2 from “Une défaite,” an unfinished novel which, according to Simone de Beauvoir, Sartre wrote in 1927. Apparently, Sartre was inspired by Charles Andler's biography of Nietzsche and the triangular relationship of Nietzsche, Wagner and Cosima Wagner. The latter, Franz Liszt's daughter, was initially married to Hans von Bülow with whom she had two daughters, and then she married Wagner with whom she had two more daughters. Nietzsche admired her greatly. Sartre became fascinated by this ambiguous, (...) complex and conflictual triangle. Sartre also identified with Nietzsche and “the destiny of the solitary man.” The portagonist, Frédéric, who is one year older than Sartre, is also an ironic self-portrait of Sartre, while Cosima is a prototype for Anny in Nausea; both are modelled on Simone Jollivet. Cosima plays both mother and sister to Frédéric. The triangular relationship is often repeated in Sartre's affective existence. The fairy tale is the best written chapter in the novel. (shrink)
Max Weber and Georg Simmel are considered as ideal-typical founders of sociology. Whereas Simmel pleaded for a large conception of sociology, which would include the epistemological and metaphysical issues as well, Max Weber explicitly excluded philosophical questions from the domain of sociology. A philosophical reading of Max Weber's sociology, which uncovers his philosophy in the margins of his sociological texts, shows, however, that his sociology is predicated on a disenchanted Weltanschauung, a decisionistic ideology and a nominalist epistemology. Key Words: critical (...) theory decisionism disenchantment epistemology foundations nominalism philosophy realism Simmel sociology value-freedom Weber. (shrink)
It is a mistake to think that instrumental rationality fixes a single standard for judging or describing actions. While there is a core conception of instrumental rationality, we appeal to different elaborations of that conception for different purposes. An action can be instrumentally rational in some sense(s) but not in others. As we learn more about behavior, it is possible to add useful elaborations of the core conception of instrumental rationality. In this paper, I propose a newelaboration based on Frederic (...) Schick’s work on understandings. (shrink)
The idea of creation as the free, spontaneous, and joyous play (līlā) of the gods has been a pervasive motif in Indian thought since Vedic times. In the tradition of Advaita Vedānta, however, where the sole Reality is Brahman alone, divine playfulness is given an illusionistic interpretation and līlā becomes an expression of the deceptive power of māyā.
This is an essential guide to an thinker. Frederic Jameson sees Lyotard as responding to a contemporary "crisis of representation" in the sciences -- a crisis which calls into question "an essentially realistic epistemology, which conceives of representation as the reproduction, for subjectivity, of an objectivity that lies outside it -- projects a mirror theory of knowledge and art, whose fundamental evaluative categories are those of adequacy, accuracy, and Truth itself.".
Purpose With the increasing sophistication of neuroimaging technologies in medicine, new language is being sought to make sense of the findings. The aim of this paper is to explore whether the brain-reading metaphor used to convey current medical or neurobiological findings imports unintended significations that do not necessarily reflect the genuine findings made by physicians and neuroscientists. Methods First, the paper surveys the ambiguities of the readability metaphor, drawing from the history of science and medicine, paying special attention to the (...) sixteenth through nineteenth centuries. Next, the paper addresses more closely the issue of how metaphors may be confusing when used in medicine in general, and neuroscience in particular. The paper then explores the possible misleading effects associated with the contemporary use of the brain-reading metaphor in neuroimaging research. Results Rather than breaking new ground, what we see in current scientific language is a persistence of both a constraining and expansive set of language practices forming a relatively continuous tradition linking current neuroimaging to past scientific investigations into the brain. Conclusions The use of the readability metaphor thus carries with it both positive and negative effects. Physicians and neuroscientists must resort to the use of terms already laden with abstracted meanings, and often burdened by tradition, at the risk of importing through these words connotations that do not tally with the sought-after objectivity of empirical science. (shrink)
Late medieval theories of language and contemporary philosophy of language have been compared on numerous occasions. Here, we would like to compare two debates: that between the nature of Virtus sermonis , on the medieval side—focusing on a statute published in 1340 by the Faculty of Arts of the University of Paris and its opponents—and, on the contemporary side, the on-going discussion on the semantics-pragmatics distinction and how the truth-value of an utterance should be established. Both the statute and Gricean (...) pragmatics insist on the importance of taking into account the speaker's intention and the context in establishing the signification of an utterance. Yet, upon closer examination, a more convincing parallel might be drawn between the statute's position and current theories in truth-conditional pragmatics. Focusing on a few aspects of the statute that seem to find a counterpart within contemporary pragmatics, we try to show how the issues they give rise to converge, but also diverge. (shrink)
A system of natural deduction rules is proposed for an idealized form of English. The rules presuppose a sharp distinction between proper names and such expressions as the c, a (an) c, some c, any c, and every c, where c represents a common noun. These latter expressions are called quantifiers, and other expressions of the form that c or that c itself, are called quantified terms. Introduction and elimination rules are presented for any, every, some, a (an), and the, (...) and also for any which, every which, and so on, as well as rules for some other concepts. One outcome of these rules is that Every man loves some woman is implied by, but does not imply, Some woman is loved by every man, since the latter is taken to mean the same as Some woman is loved by all men. Also, Jack knows which woman came is implied by Some woman is known by Jack to have come, but not by Jack knows that some woman came. (shrink)
At the phenomenal level, consciousness can be described as a singular, unified field of recursive self-awareness, consistently coherent in a particualr way; that of a subject located both spatially and temporally in an egocentrically-extended domain, such that conscious self-awareness is explicitly characterized by I-ness, now-ness and here-ness. The psychological mechanism underwriting this spatiotemporal self-locatedness and its recursive processing style involves an evolutionary elaboration of the basic orientative reference frame which consistently structures ongoing spatiotemporal self-location computations as i-here-now. Cognition computes action-output (...) in the midst of ongoing movement, and consequently requires a constant self-locating spatiotemporal reference frame as basis for these computations. Over time, constant evolutionary pressures for energy efficiency have encouraged both the proliferation of anticipative feedforward processing mechansims, and the elaboration, at the apex of the sensorimotor processing hierarchy, of self-activating, highly attenuated recursively-feedforward circuitry processing the basic orientational schema independent of external action output. As the primary reference frame of active waking cognition, this recursive i-here-now processing generates a zone of subjective self-awareness in terms of which it feels like something to be oneself here and now. This is consciousness. (shrink)
Many criticisms have been made of optimization theory (Laville, 1999a). These objections may be explained by the fact that human rationality is bounded – that decisions are constrained by cognitive limitations (Simon, 1982). In the present paper, I will show that if rationality is bounded, then we must study the processes of decision. My thesis is that cognitive limitations lead to procedural rationality. Although this assertion has already been sustained implicitly by Simon (1959) and explicitly by Mongin (1986), it has (...) not been argued in sufficient depth. (shrink)
Transcendentalism is an American literary, political, and philosophical movement of the early nineteenth century, centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson. Other important transcendentalists were Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Amos Bronson Alcott, Frederic Henry Hedge, and Theodore Parker. Stimulated by English and German Romanticism, the Biblical criticism of Herder and Schleiermacher, and the skepticism of Hume, the transcendentalists operated with the sense that a new era was at hand. They were critics of their contemporary society for its unthinking conformity, and urged (...) that each individual find, in Emerson's words, “an original relation to the universe” (O, 3). Emerson and Thoreau sought this relation in solitude amidst nature, and in their writing. By the 1840s they, along with other transcendentalists, were engaged in the social experiments of Brook Farm, Fruitlands, and Walden; and, by the 1850's in an increasingly urgent critique of American slavery. (shrink)
E. O. Wilson (1974: 54) describes the problem that social organisms pose: “On what bases do we distinguish the extremely modified members of an invertebrate colony from the organs of a metazoan animal?” This framing of the issue has inspired many to look more closely at how groups of organisms form and behave as emergent individuals. The possible existence of “superorganisms” test our best intuitions about what can count and act as genuine biological individuals and how we should study them. (...) As we will discuss, colonies of certain organisms display many of the properties that we usually reserve only to individual organisms. Although there is good reason to believe that many social insects form genuine emergent biological individuals, the conclusion offered here is of a slightly different sort. I will argue that to understand some social insects' interactions and the emergent traits they give rise to, it may be helpful to shift our understanding from a community-level approach to an ecosystem-level approach. I will argue that viewing certain insect colonies (termites) as parts of ecosystems allows us to better understand some of the adaptations that have emerged from their evolution. (shrink)
William James's The Varieties of Religious Experience is one of the world's most popular attempts to meld science and religion. Academic reviews of the book were mixed in Europe and America, however, and prominent contemporaries, unsure whether it was science or theology, struggled to interpret it. James's reliance on an inherently ambiguous understanding of the subconscious as a means of bridging between religion and science accounts for some of the interpretive difficulties, but it does not explain why his overarching question (...) was so obscure, why psychopathology and unusual experiences figured so prominently, or why he gave us so many examples and so little argument. To understand these persistent puzzles we need to do more than acknowledge James's indebtedness to Frederic Myers's conception of the subconscious. We need to read VRE in the context of the transatlantic network of experimental psychologists and psychical researchers who provided the primary intellectual inspiration for the book. Doing so not only locates and clarifies the underlying question that animated the work but also illuminates the structural and rhetorical similarities between VRE and Myers's Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death. In contrast to the individual case studies of hysterics, mediums, and mystics produced by others in this network, both Myers and James adopted a natural-history approach in which they arranged examples of automatisms to produce a rhetorical effect, thus invoking science in order to evoke a religious response. Where Myers organized his examples to make a case for human survival of death, James organized his to make a case for the involvement of higher powers in the transformation of the self. Read in this way, VRE marks a dramatic shift from a religious preoccupation with life after death to a religious preoccupation with this-worldly self-transformation. (shrink)