Is mental imagery pictorial? In Pylyshyn's view no empirical data provides convincing support to the “pictorial” hypothesis of mental imagery. Phenomenology, Pylyshyn says, is deeply deceiving and offers no explanation of why and how mental imagery occurs. We suggest that Pylyshyn mistakes phenomenology for what it never pretended to be. Phenomenological evidence, if properly considered, shows that mental imagery may indeed be pictorial, though not in the way that mimics visual perception. Moreover, Pylyshyn claims that the “pictorial hypothesis” is flawed (...) because the interpretation of “picture-like” objects in mental imagery takes a homunculus. However, the same point can be objected to Pylyshyn's own conclusion: if imagistic reasoning involves the same mechanisms and the same forms of representation as those that are involved in general reasoning, if they operate on symbol-based representations of the kind recommended by Pylyshyn (1984) and Fodor (1975), don't we need a phenomenological homunculus to tell an imagined bear from the real one? (shrink)
In agreement with some of the ideas expressed by Perruchet & Vinter (P&V), we believe that some phenomena hitherto attributed to “unconscious” processing may in fact reflect a fundamental distinction between direct and reflexive forms of consciousness. This dichotomy, developed by the phenomenological tradition, is substantiated by examples coming from experimental psychology and lesion neuropsychology.
This paper aims to argue for two related statements: first, that formal semantics should not be conceived of as interpreting natural language expressions in a single model (a very large one representing the world as a whole, or something like that) but as interpreting them in many different models (formal counterparts, say, of little fragments of reality); second, that accepting such a conception of formal semantics yields a better comprehension of the relation between semantics and pragmatics and of the role (...) to be played by formal semantics in the general enterprise of understanding meaning. For this purpose, three kinds of arguments are given: firstly, empirical arguments showing that the many models approach is the most straightforward and natural way of giving a formal counterpart to natural language sentences. Secondly, logical arguments proving the logical impossibility of a single universal model. And thirdly, theoretical arguments to the effect that such a conception of formal semantics fits in a natural and fruitful way with pragmatic theories and facts. In passing, this conception will be shown to cast some new light on the old problems raised by liar and sorites paradoxes. (shrink)
This papers aims to analyse sentences of a self-referential language containing a truth-predicate by means of a Smullyan-style tableau system. Our analysis covers three variants of Kripke's partial-model semantics (strong and weak Kleene's and supervaluational) and three variants of the revision theory of truth (Belnap's, Gupta's and Herzberger's).
This essay proposes going beyond the difference between literary writing and new communication technologies. This appears to be possible by using a genealogical perspective that can recognize the underlying relationships between communication strategies that on the surface seem different. For this, it is necessary to identify the remote and unexpected ascendancies of diverse languages at a moment when the various media express themselves in an increasingly similar style. Even literary language should be considered a medium that shapes and models reality, (...) using codes that are anthropological before they are aesthetic. As Viktor Shklovsky, Italo Calvino, and Paolo Fabbri have shown, literary language explores reality by revealing its incompleteness. On the contrary, ordinary language is confined to that incompleteness with its standard lexicon that would claim to enclose reality within a net of pre-established recurrences. Il saggio invita ad andare oltre il divario esistente tra scrittura letteraria e nuove tecnologie della comunicazione . Questo appare possibile attraverso una prospettiva genealogica che sappia riconoscere le relazioni sotterranee che si stabiliscono tra strategie comunicative che in superficie appaiono diverse. Per questo occorre riconoscere le ascendenze remote e inaspettate dei diversi linguaggi in un momento in cui i vari media si esprimono in maniera sempre più intrecciata. Anche il linguaggio letterario va considerato come un medium che foggia e plasma la realtà utilizzando codici che sono antropologici prima ancora che essere estetici. Come hanno mostrato sia pure in maniera diversa Viktor Šklovskij, Italo Calvino e Paolo Fabbri, il linguaggio letterario esplora la realtà, rivelandone l’incompiutezza alla quale è inchiodato il linguaggio ordinario: quel lessico usuale che pretenderebbe di racchiudere la realtà entro una griglia di ricorrenze prestabilite. (shrink)
The ontological question goes way back to Plato. In his Teetetus he already searched for the answer to question of “how is it possible that when a man stares at something he would not see anything anyway”. Quine is the author of a doctrine on ontology, “On what there is”. His work follows the path of medieval authors such as William of Ockham, who proposed the methodology that came to be known as Okcham's razor. The excessive proliferation of entities is (...) known as “Plato's beard”. Quine, among others, has shaved Plato's beard searching for logical and scientific simplicity. (shrink)
At the end of the 1960s “Supports/Surfaces” artists start deconstructing paintings to jeopardize their representational qualities. Claude Viallat and Daniel Dezeuze, for example, process canvases and frames to highlight their phisical aspect as opposed to the illusionistic realm or representation. This way polarities such as form/space and illusionistic space/real space start having a new, dialectic relationship.
Wendy Brown’s approach in Politics out of History is characterized by an attempt to analyze the presence of the past which can be read not only under the light of Nietzsche’s legacy, but also through a comparison with Hannah Arendt’s conception of the gap between the past and the future. Like Arendt, Brown aims to look at the present as the site of politics and freedom, even though the former conceives the break with tradition as the unavoidable starting point, while (...) the latter assumes that that break is not fully accomplished because it was not recognized. Rather, it produces Wounded Attachments whose effect is that of limiting the possibility of left criticism. Moving from this parallel, Brown’s analysis is compared to the Italian philosophy of sexual difference, stressing their common interest in thinking freedom beyond a female identity built on a presumed common oppression. (shrink)
Foucault's category of the "society of normalization" is no longer apt to grasp the functioning of contemporary societies. The logic and mathematics of normalization have been replaced by the logic and mathematics of optimization. Such a historical passage marks the birth of ethopolitics.
In this highly readable and compact introduction to Durkheim's thought, Gianfranco Poggi examines all of Durkheim's central works and assesses their significance today, a century after his death. Poggi's analyses includes a study of what Durkheim meant by 'society' and an evaluation of Durkheim's contributions to both political sociology and the sociology of law. Poggi's clear and concise reappraisal of one of the most important modern thinkers will be essential reading for students of sociology and an invaluable guide for (...) anyone studying the ways modern societies function. (shrink)
Shi and Aharonov have shown that the Toffoli gate and the Hadamard gate give rise to an approximately universal set of quantum computational gates. The basic algebraic properties of this system have been studied in Dalla Chiara et al. (Foundations of Physics 39(6):559–572, 2009), where we have introduced the notion of Shi-Aharonov quantum computational structure. In this paper we propose an algebraic abstraction from the Hilbert-space quantum computational structures, by introducing the notion of Toffoli-Hadamard algebra. From an intuitive point (...) of view, such abstract algebras represent a natural quantum generalization of both classical and fuzzy-like structures. (shrink)
Alexander James Dallas' An Exposition of the Causes and Character of the War was written as part of an effort by the then US government to explain and justify its declaration of war in 1812. However publication coincided with the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War. The Exposition is especially interesting for the insight it provides into the self-constraint of American foreign policy and of the conduct of a war. The focus is on the foreign policy (...) of the early republic and the related philosophy of law and war. A central idea is that international law should chiefly benefit those remaining at peace. -/- Dallas was a Philadelphian who settled there in 1783, the year of the Peace of Paris which ended the War of Independence, arriving from Jamaica after a British education. He wrote much on law, becoming the first recorder of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He later served as Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and federal district attorney for Eastern Pennsylvania, appointed by President Jefferson. He was appointed Secretary of Treasury by President Madison. -/- In this edition the original text is presented with annotations to help identify persons and events of interest. The editor has also added an Introduction, a Bibliography, a short Chronology of Dallas' life and the events of the War, and an analytical Index. As such this annotated edition presents a key primary source in a manner helpful to research for students of the early Republic. (shrink)
In this paper we shall address some issues concerning the relation between the content and the nature of perceptual experiences. More precisely, we shall ask whether the claim that perceptual experiences are by nature relational implies that they cannot be intentional. As we shall see, much depends in this respect on the way one understands the possibility for one to be wrong about the phenomenal nature of one's own experience. We shall describe and distinguish a series of errors that can (...) occur in our introspective access to our perceptual experiences. We shall argue that once the nature of these different kinds of error are properly understood, the metaphysical claim that perceptual experiences are relational can be seen to be compatible with the view that they are intentional. (shrink)
The claim that consciousness is propositional has be widely debated in the past. For instance, it has been discussed whether consciousness is always propositional, whether all propositional consciousness is linguistic, whether propositional consciousness is always articulated, or whether there can be non-articulated propositions. In contrast, the question of whether propositions are conscious has not very often been the focus of attention.