In this memorial essay on Sir Frank Kermode (1919–2010), the author focuses on his own exchange of views with Kermode during the 1970s. In Kermode's book The Sense of an Ending (1966), he had criticized Frank's essay “Spatial Form in Modern Literature” (1945) as part of a larger critique of what the Romantic-Symbolist tradition of English poetry had become in the twentieth century. Yeats, Pound, Eliot, and other late Symbolists had turned artists into advocates of an irrational wisdom (...) superior to reason and common sense, thus isolating—so Kermode argued—the world of art from that of ordinary human concerns. Rejecting their view of art, he turned instead to a pre-Romantic tradition (including Spenser and Milton) that the Symbolists had rejected. Among modern writers, Kermode turned to Wallace Stevens, who became his foil for Yeats, Eliot, and Pound, as well as the most important influence on his own later thinking. Joseph Frank, in this essay, recalls the combination of acerbic intelligence, social concern, gentility, and finally friendship that characterized his debate over these questions with Kermode. Frank recalls as an indication of his respect and admiration for Kermode that he wrote, in 1977, that, even if his own theory of spatial form were to be shown worthless, it would still have value in having provided some of the stimulus for Kermode to write The Sense of an Ending. (shrink)
This volume contains an array of essays that reflect, and reflect upon, the recent revival of scholarly interest in the self and consciousness. Various relevant issues are addressed in conceptually challenging ways, such as how consciousness and different forms of self-relevant experience develop in infancy and childhood and are related to the acquisition of skill; the role of the self in social development; the phenomenology of being conscious and its metapsychological implications; and the cultural foundations of conceptualizations of consciousness. Written (...) by notable scholars in several areas of psychology, philosophy, cognitive neuroscience, and anthropology, the essays are of interest to readers from a variety of disciplines concerned with central, substantive questions in contemporary social science, and the humanities. (shrink)
Preprint of Cole, Sacks, and Waterman. 2000. "On the immunity principle: A view from a robot." Trends in Cognitive Science 4 (5): 167, a response to Shaun Gallagher, S. 2000. "Philosophical conceptions of the self: implications for cognitive science," Trends in Cognitive Science 4 (1):14-21. Also see Shaun Gallagher, Reply to Cole, Sacks, and Waterman Trends in Cognitive Science 4, No. 5 (2000): 167-68.
In a majority of situations the normal adult maintains posture or moves without consciously monitoring motor activity. Posture and movement are usually close to automatic; they tend to take care of themselves, outside of attentive regard. One's body, in such cases, effaces itself as one is geared into a particular intentional goal. This effacement is possible because of the normal functioning of a body schema. Body schema can be defined as a system of preconscious, subpersonal processes that play a dynamic (...) role in governing posture and movement (Head, 1920). There is an important and often overlooked conceptual difference between the subpersonal body schema and what is usually called body image . The latter is most often defined as a conscious idea or mental representation that one has of one's own body (for example, Adame, Radell, Johnson, and Cole, 1991; Gardner and Moncrieff, 1988; Schilder, 1935). Despite the conceptual difference many researchers use the terms interchangeably, leading to both a terminological and conceptual confusion. (shrink)
Jerry Fodor, LOT 2: The Language of Thought Revisited , New York: Oxford University Press, 2008, x+228, $37.95, ISBN 978-0-119-954877-4 Content Type Journal Article Pages 439-443 DOI 10.1007/s11023-009-9164-4 Authors David Cole, University of Minnesota-Duluth Department of Philosophy 369 A B Anderson Hall Duluth MN 55812 USA Journal Minds and Machines Online ISSN 1572-8641 Print ISSN 0924-6495 Journal Volume Volume 19 Journal Issue Volume 19, Number 3.
In At the Will of the Body , Arthur Frank told the story of his own illnesses, heart attack and cancer. That book ended by describing the existence of a "remission society," whose members all live with some form of illness or disability. The Wounded Storyteller is their collective portrait. Ill people are more than victims of disease or patients of medicine they are wounded storytellers. People tell stories to make sense of their suffering when they turn their diseases (...) into stories, they find healing. Drawing on the work of authors such as Oliver Sacks, Anatole Broyard, Norman Cousins, and Audre Lorde, as well as from people he met during the years he spent among different illness groups, Frank recounts a stirring collection of illness stories, ranging from the well-known--Gilda Radner's battle with ovarian cancer--to the private testimonials of people with cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, and disabilties. Their stories are more than accounts of personal suffering: they abound with moral choices and point to a social ethic. Frank identifies three basic narratives of illness in restitution, chaos, and quest. Restitution narratives anticipate getting well again and give prominence to the technology of cure. In chaos narratives, illness seems to stretch on forever, with no respite or redeeming insights. Quest narratives are about finding that insight as illness is transformed into a means for the ill person to become someone new. (shrink)
Contemporary health care often lacks generosity of spirit, even when treatment is most efficient. Too many patients are left unhappy with how they are treated, and too many medical professionals feel estranged from the calling that drew them to medicine. Arthur W. Frank tells the stories of ill people, doctors, and nurses who are restoring generosity to medicine--generosity toward others and to themselves. The Renewal of Generosity evokes medicine as the face-to-face encounter that comes before and after diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, (...) and surgeries. Frank calls upon the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, and literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin to reflect on stories of ill people, doctors, and nurses who transform demoralized medicine into caring relationships. He presents their stories as a source of consolation for both ill and professional alike and as an impetus to changing medical systems. Frank shows how generosity is being renewed through dialogue that is more than the exchange of information. Dialogue is an ethic and an ideal for people on both sides of the medical encounter who want to offer more to those they meet and who want their own lives enriched in the process. The Renewal of Generosity views illness and medical work with grace and compassion, making an invaluable contribution to expanding our vision of suffering and healing. (shrink)
This essay begins where Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue begins: facing a moral world in ruin. MacIntyre argues that this predicament leaves us with a choice: we can follow the path of Friedrich Nietzsche, accepting this moral destruction and attempting to create lives in a rootless, uncertain world, or the path of Aristotle, working to reclaim a world in which close-knit communities sustain human practices that make it possible for us to flourish. Jeff Frank rejects MacIntyre's framework and in this (...) essay attempts to create an alternative path, one of moral repair. Through a close reading of several poems from Robert Frost's North of Boston, Frank develops the notion of moral repair and describes its ethical and educational implications. (shrink)
Welcome to the world of cutting-edge math, physics, and neuroscience, where the search for the ultimate vacuum, the point of nothingness, ground zero of theory, has rendered the universe deep, rich, and juicy. "Modern physics has animated the void," says K. C. Cole in her entrancing journey into the heart of Nothing. Every time scientists and mathematicians think they have reached the ultimate void, new stuff appears: a black hole, an undulating string, an additional dimension of space or time, (...) repulsive anti-gravity, universes that breed like bunnies. Cole's exploration at the edge of everything is as animated and exciting as the void itself. Take Cole's hand on this adventure into the unknown, and you'll come back informed, amused, and excited. (shrink)
Do states have the right to prevent potential immigrants from crossing their borders, or should people have the freedom to migrate and settle wherever they wish? Christopher Heath Wellman and Phillip Cole develop and defend opposing answers to this timely and important question. Appealing to the right to freedom of association, Wellman contends that legitimate states have broad discretion to exclude potential immigrants, even those who desperately seek to enter. Against this, Cole argues that the commitment to the (...) moral equality of all human beings - which legitimate states can be expected to hold - means national borders must be open: equal respect requires equal access, both to territory and membership; and that the idea of open borders is less radical than it seems when we consider how many territorial and community boundaries have this open nature. In addition to engaging with each other's arguments, Wellman and Cole address a range of central questions and prominent positions on this topic. The authors therefore provide a critical overview of the major contributions to the ethics of migration, as well as developing original, provocative positions of their own. (shrink)
The effect of prism adaptation on movement is typically reduced when the movement at test (prisms off) differs on some dimension from the movement at training (prisms on). Some adaptation is latent, however, and only revealed through further testing in which the movement at training is fully reinstated. Applying a nonlinear attractor dynamic model (Frank, Blau, & Turvey, 2009) to available data (Blau, Stephen, Carello, & Turvey, 2009), we provide evidence for a causal link between the latent (or secondary) (...) aftereffect and an additive force term that is known to account for symmetry breaking. The evidence is discussed in respect to the hypothesis that recalibration aftereffects reflect memory principles (encoding specificity, transfer-appropriate processing) oriented to time-translation invariance—when later testing conserves the conditions of earlier training. Forgetting or reduced adaptation effects follow from the loss of this invariance and are reversed by its reinstatement. (shrink)
Bryan S. Turner: Can We Live Forever? A Social and Moral Inquiry Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 301-303 DOI 10.1007/s12376-009-0024-6 Authors Thomas R. Cole, University of Texas-Houston School of Medicine McGovern Center for Health, Humanities, and the Human Spirit Houston TX 77030 USA Journal Medicine Studies Online ISSN 1876-4541 Print ISSN 1876-4533 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 3.
Introduction, by G. Holton.--Three eighteenth-century social philosophers: scientific influences on their thought, by H. Guerlac.--Science and the human comedy: Voltaire, by H. Brown.--The seventeenth-century legacy: our mirror of being, by G. de Santillana.--Contemporary science and the contemporary world view, by P. Frank.--The growth of science and the structure of culture, by R. Oppenheimer.--The Freudian conception of man and the continuity of nature, by J. S. Bruner.--Quo vadis, by P. W. Bridgman.--Prospects for a new synthesis: science and the humanities as (...) complementary activities, by C. Morris.--A humanist looks at science, by H. M. Jones. (shrink)
The following letters were written by the distinguished British chemist Professor Brian G. Gowenlock in response to Tibor Frank’s article on “Networking, Cohorting, Bonding: Michael Polanyi in Exile,” Tradition and Discovery 23:2 (2001-2002): 5-19. The two letters contribute to the history of the Manchester years of Michael Polanyi with interesting details concerning several of his colleagues and contemporaries. These informative comments by a former student of Michael Polanyi will improve our knowledge of the last years of Polanyi as a (...) physical chemist. (shrink)
Sympathy and other moral emotions described by David Hume (1740/1978) and Adam Smith (1759/1966) motivate people to incur a host of costs they could easily avoid. Such emotions pose a challenge to evolutionary biologists, who have long stressed the primacy of narrow self-interest in Darwinian selection. In earlier work, I argued (Frank, 1987, 1988) that natural selection might have favored moral sentiments because of their capacity to facilitate solutions to one-shot social dilemmas. Here, I present a capsule summary of (...) the basic argument. (shrink)
The Niemi-Frank definition of sophisticated voting can now be evaluated on two grounds. First, we can compare our definition to Farquharson's. For the most part, the two definitions yield identical outcomes. Both pickCondorcet winners a very high proportion of the time and prevent the selection of Condorcet losers. The major differences are in the logic underlying the two definitions and in the rate of determinacy of outcomes. Here there is a tradeoff. The logic underlying the Farquharson model is especially (...) persuasive, although it is our feeling that the Niemi-Frank definition comes closer to mirroring the way in which voters might actually analyze a plurality situation. In any case, the price paid by the Farquharson definition for its ironclad logic is a much higher rate of indeterminacy. In over half of the cases, the Farquharson logic fails to lead to any conclusion whatsoever. The Niemi-Frank definition yields many more determinate situations, with mostly Condorcet winners and with strategies that make good, if not completely unassailable sense.A second way of evaluating the Niemi-Frank definition is in comparison with sincere voting. A commonly-cited shortcoming of plurality voting is that often fails to choose a Condorcet winner. As we notedearlier, sophisticated plurality voting, unlike binary voting, is imperfect in this respect. Nonetheless, even taking account of the indeterminacy thatremains in the Niemi-Frank definition, sophisticated voting picked a Condorcet winner about 10 percent more frequently than did sincere voting as well as eliminating the possibility of a Condorcet loser being chosen. By this measure, the Niemi-Frank definition is not only acceptable but suggests that this form of strategic behavior actually leads tobetter outcomes.By proposing and now by testing a new definition of sophisticated voting under plurality rule, we have begun to make some headway on understanding strategic behavior and its effects in an outwardly simple yet deceptively complex voting system. We are, of course, far from finished. Most significantly, our definition applies to only three alternatives, and Farquharson's (even if one is willing to live with its high indeterminacy) becomes extraordinarily cumbersome with more than three alternatives? In any event, the results of this foray into sophisticated nonbinary voting suggests once again that strategic behavior, rather than making things worse, improves the chances that the outcome will be the one most favored by the majority criterion. (shrink)
Considerations of personal identity bear on John Searle's Chinese Room argument, and on the opposed position that a computer itself could really understand a natural language. In this paper I develop the notion of a virtual person, modelled on the concept of virtual machines familiar in computer science. I show how Searle's argument, and J. Maloney's attempt to defend it, fail. I conclude that Searle is correct in holding that no digital machine could understand language, but wrong in holding that (...) artificial minds are impossible: minds and persons are not the same as the machines, biological or electronic, that realize them. (shrink)
Formerly a spectral apparition that haunted behaviorism and provided a puzzle about our knowledge of other minds, the inverted spectrum possibility has emerged as an important challenge to functionalist accounts of qualia. The inverted spectrum hypothesis raises the possibility that two individuals might think and behave in the same way yet have different qualia. The traditional supposition is of an individual who has a subjective color spectrum that is inverted with regard to that had by other individuals. When he looks (...) at red objects, this individual has the qualia normally produced in others by blue objects. And when presented with a blue object, this individual experiences qualia that most persons experience only when presented with red objects. And so forth - the Invert's color spectrum is the inverse of normal; there are systematic inter-subjective differences in qualia. (shrink)
I present a theory of the nature and basis of the conscious experience characteristic of occurent propositional attitudes: thinking this or that. As a preliminary I offer an extended criticism of Paul Schweizer's treatment of such consciousness as unexplained secondary qualities of neural events. I also attempt to rebut arguments against the possibility of functionalist accounts of conscious experience and qualia.
Thought experiments have been used by philosophers for centuries, especially in the study of personal identity where they appear to have been used extensively and indiscriminately. Despite their prevalence, the use of thought experiments in this area of philosophy has been criticized in recent times. Bernard Williams criticizes the conclusions that are drawn from some experiments, and retells one of these experiments from a different perspective, a retelling which leads to a seemingly opposing result. Wilkes criticizes the method of thought (...) experimentation itself, suggesting that the results drawn from the experiments are tainted by a faulty method. This paper examines both these types of objection, and concludes that neither can be sustained. (shrink)
Functionalism, a philosophical theory, has empirical consequences. Functionalism predicts that where systematic transformations of sensory input occur and are followed by behavioral accommodation in which normal function of the organism is restored such that the causes and effects of the subject's psychological states return to those of the period prior to the transformation, there will be a return of qualia or subjective experiences to those present prior to the transform. A transformation of this type that has long been of philosophical (...) interest is the possibility of an inverted spectrum. Hilary Putnam argues that the physical possibility of acquired spectrum inversion refutes functionalism. I argue, however, that in the absence of empirical results no a priori arguments against functionalism, such as Putnam's, can be cogent. I sketch an experimental situation which would produce acquired spectrum inversion. The mere existence of qualia inversion would constitute no refutation of functionalism; only its persistence after behavioral accommodation to the inversion would properly count against functionalism. The cumulative empirical evidence from experiments on image inversion suggests that the results of actual spectrum inversion would confirm rather than refute functionalism. (shrink)
For each $n > 0$ , two alternative axiomatizations of the theory of strings over n alphabetic characters are presented. One class of axiomatizations derives from Tarski's system of the Wahrheitsbegriff and uses the n characters and concatenation as primitives. The other class involves using n character-prefixing operators as primitives and derives from Hermes' Semiotik. All underlying logics are second order. It is shown that, for each n, the two theories are synonymous in the sense of deBouvere. It is further (...) shown that each member of one class is synonymous with each member of the other class; thus that all of the theories are synonymous with each other and with Peano arithmetic. Categoricity of Peano arithmetic then implies categoricity of each of the above theories. (shrink)
Dretske’s Naturalizing the Mind sets out the case for holding that mental states in general are natural representers of reality. Mental states have functions; for many states the function is to indicate what is going on in the world. Among such indicator states are beliefs. The content of these states is given by what they are supposed to represent. So if a state is supposed to indicate that it’s dark, then “it’s dark” is the content of the state. Thus we (...) can characterize how the organism takes things to be, its subjectivity, by noting first what physical (neural) state it is in, and second what the biological indicator function of that state is. Thus the mind and meaning are naturalized. (shrink)
Stephen Pinker sets out over a dozen arguments in The language instinct (Morrow, New York, 1994) for his widely shared view that natural language is inadequate as a medium for thought. Thus he argues we must suppose that the primary medium of thought and inference is an innate propositional representation system, mentalese. I reply to the various arguments and so defend the view that some thought essentially involves natural language. I argue mentalese doesn't solve any of the problems Pinker cites (...) for the view that we think in natural language. So I don't think I think the way he thinks I think. (shrink)
The Way of Ideas died an ignoble death, committed to the flames by behaviorist empiricists. Ideas, pictures in the head, perished with the Way. By the time those empiricists were supplanted at the helm by functionalists and causal theorists, a revolution had taken place in linguistics and the last thing anyone wanted to do was revive images as the medium of thought. Currently, some but not all cognitive scientists think that there probably are mental images - experiments in cognitive psychology (...) (e.g. Shepard and Metzler 1971) have shown it to be plausible to posit mental images. Even so, the phenomenon of mental imagery has been largely regarded as peripheral in cognition, perhaps even epiphenomenal. Images cannot fix the content of thought (intentions, rules), the Wittgenstein story went. The central processes of thought, so the post-Wittgenstein story goes, require a propositional representation system, a language of thought, universal and modeled on the machine languages of computers. The language of thought is compositional, productive, and, leading advocates argue, has a causal semantics. Images lack all of these essential qualities and so are hopeless as key players in thinking. (shrink)
"Mantras were not viewed as the only means of expressing truth, however. Thought, which was defined as internalized speech, offered yet another aspect of truth. And if words and thoughts designated different aspects of truth, or reality, then there had to be an underlying unity behind all phenomena" (S. A. Nigosian 1994: World Faiths, p. 84).
In Book II of the _Essay_, at the beginning of his discussion of language in Chapter II ("Of the Signification of Words"), John Locke writes that we humans have a variety of thoughts which might profit others, but that unfortunately these thoughts lie invisible and hidden from others. And so we use language to communicate these thoughts. As a result, "words, in their primary or immediate signification,stand for nothing but _the ideas in the mind of him that uses them_.
thought and problem solving in persons lacking natural language altogether would be a decisive challenge, but there is no clear evidence of any abstract thinking capabilities similar to those evinced by the scientists. Pinker cites languageless persons rebuilding broken locks - this is evidence of perhaps visual imagery, but not mentalese (at least not without quite a bit more detail and argument than we are given). Spiders, e.g., build marvelous things, but no inference to spiderese appears to be warranted. There (...) simply is much we don. (shrink)
Studies of perception have focussed on sensation, though more recently the perception of action has, once more, become the subject of investigation. These studies have looked at acute experimental situations. The present paper discusses the subjective experience of those with either clinical syndromes of loss of movement or sensation (spinal cord injury, sensory neuronopathy syndrome or motor stroke), or with experimental paralysis or sensory loss. The differing phenomenology of these is explored and their effects on intention and agency discussed. It (...) is shown that sensory loss can have effects on the focussing of motor command and that for some a sense of agency can return despite paralysis. (shrink)
Surely one of the most interesting problems in the study of mind concerns the nature of sentience. How is it that there are sensations, rather than merely sensings? What is it like to be a bat -- or why is it like anything at all? Why aren't we automata or responding but unfeeling Zombies? How does neural activity give rise to subjective experience? As Leibniz put the problem (Monadology section 17):
_It must be confessed, however, that Perception_ [consciousness?]_, and (...) that which depends upon it, are_ _inexplicable by mechanical means, that is to say, by figures and motions. Supposing that there were a_ _machine whose structure produced thought, sensation, and perceptions, we could conceive of it as increased_ _in its interior size with the same proportions until one was able to enter into its interior, as he would into a_ _mill. Now, on going into it he would find only pieces working upon one another, but never would he find_
_anything to explain Perception._ [Montgomery trans.]. (shrink)
To what extent is imagination dependent on embodied experience? In attempting to answer such questions I consider the experiences of those who have to come to terms with altered neurological function, namely those with spinal cord injury at the neck. These people have each lost all sensation and movement below the neck. How might these new ways of living affect their imagination?
This paper presents the findings of a study of purchasing and supply management professionals in India conducted to identify the key ethical issues they face in carrying out their work related responsibilities as well as to determine the extent to which various factors appear to be helpful or to present challenges to their efforts to act ethically in the course of their work. The Indian findings are then compared to those for studies conducted among purchasing and supply management professionals in (...) the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Key findings for the four studies are summarized and implications for business and the professions are presented. (shrink)
The idea of the “nation” has played only a small role in modern political philosophy because of its apparent irrationalism and amoralism. David Miller, however, sets out to show that these charges can be overcome: nationality is a rational element of one’s cultural identity, and nations are genuinely ethical communities. In this paper I argue that his project fails. The defence against the charge of irrationalism fails because Miller works within a framework of ethical particularism which leads to a position (...) of metaethical relativism. A consequence of this relativism is that a community’s moral principles and boundaries of exclusion cannot be rationally justified to those constructed as “outsiders”. The defence against the charge of amoralism fails because Miller does not so much provide an argument to show that nations are ethical communities as assume they are; we are therefore left without resources to discriminate between ethical and unethical nations. I apply these problems to Miller’s treatment of the question of immigration, arguing that it shows that his version of “liberal” nationalism has a tendency to collapse towards a conservative position on such issues. This should not give us any great confidence that the nation, as Miller presents it, should be embraced by modern political philosophy. (shrink)
. This paper presents the findings of two surveys conducted in April 2003 of Chartered Life Underwriters (CLUs) and Chartered Financial Consultants (ChFCs) who are members of the Society of Financial Service Professionals. The first survey of 3000 CLUs and ChFCs – the life insurance industry’s most highly regarded professionals – was aimed at identifying the key ethical issues faced by professionals working in the life insurance industry today. A comparison of these findings with those of earlier studies conducted in (...) 1990 and 1995 suggests that while the key ethical issues facing those working in the life insurance business today are essentially the same as those encountered during industry’s highly troubled ethical environment of the early 1990s, these issues are perceived as presenting somewhat less serious problems than in the past. The second survey of 3000 CLUs and ChFCs was aimed at determining the extent to which these professionals perceive the industry created Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA) as having contributed to any change in the ethical environment that has taken place. The findings suggest that IMSA has played an important role in influencing senior managers to more strongly encourage and support ethical market conduct, a critical step in improving the industry’s ethical environment. (shrink)
This paper articulates a feminist poststructural philosophy of education by combining the work of Luce Irigaray and Michel Foucault. This acts as an underpinning for a philosophy of desire (McWilliam, 1999) in education, or as a minor philosophy of education where multiple movements of bodies are enacted through theoretical methodologies and research. These methods include qualitative analysis and critical discourse analysis; where the conjunction Irigaray-Foucault is a paradigm for dealing with educational phenomena. It is also a rigorous materialism (Braidotti, 2005) (...) that opens up the way in which we think about philosophical bodies in education with language. This simultaneously creates gaps in our thinking about the problems associated with philosophical bodies in education, where the imagination may intercede and Eros can do his work, ‘For if Eros possessed all that he desires, he would desire no more’ (Irigaray, 1993, p. 22). (shrink)