In what follows I try to show that Spinoza modelled his project of rational psychology, in some of its major respects, upon Descartes's metaphysics of matter. I argue further that, like Descartes, who paid for the rationalization of the science of matter the price of having to leave out of his description non-quantifiable qualities, so Spinoza left out of his psychology the non-rationalizable aspects of emotions, i.e. whatever in them could not be subsumed under common notions. He therefore was left (...) with the cognitive aspects of emotions, keeping outside of his report the inner feeling which accompanies them. Spinoza's psychology, I claim, disregards any non-cognitive aspect of emotions. (shrink)
Despite the United States' economic abundance, "the good life" has proved elusive. Millions long for more time for friends and family, for reading or walking or relaxing. Instead our lives are frantic, hectic, and harried. In Graceful Simplicity, Jerome M. Segal, philosopher, political activist, and former staff member of the House Budget Committee, expands and deepens the contemporary discourse on simple living. He articulates his conception of a politics of simplicity--one rooted in beauty, peace of mind, appreciativeness, and generosity (...) of spirit. (shrink)
We discuss the challenge to truth-conditional semantics presented by apparent shifts in extension of predicates such as 'red'. We propose an explicit indexical semantics for 'red' and argue that our account is preferable to the alternatives on conceptual and empirical grounds.
Abstract: The paper begins with the assumption that psychological event tokens are identical to or constituted from physical events. It then articulates a familiar apparent problem concerning the causal role of psychological properties. If they do not reduce to physical properties, then either they must be epiphenomenal or any effects they cause must also be caused by physical properties, and hence be overdetermined. It then argues that both epiphenomenalism and over-determinationism are prima facie perfectly reasonable and relatively unproblematic views. The (...) paper proceeds to argue against Kim's ( Kim, 2000, 2005 ) attempt to articulate a plausible version of reductionism. It is then argued that psychological properties, along with paradigmatically causally efficacious macro-properties, such as toughness, are causally inefficacious in respect of their possessor's typical effects, because they are insufficiently distinct from those effects. It is finally suggested that the distinction between epiphenomenalism and overdeterminationism may be more terminological than real. (shrink)
In a number works Jerry Fodor has defended a reductive, causal and referential theory of cognitive content. I argue against this, defending a quasi-Fregean notion of cognitive content, and arguing also that the cognitive content of non-singular concepts is narrow, rather than wide.
This project continues our interdisciplinary research into computational and cognitive aspects of narrative comprehension. Our ultimate goal is the development of a computational theory of how humans understand narrative texts. The theory will be informed by joint research from the viewpoints of linguistics, cognitive psychology, the study of language acquisition, literary theory, geography, philosophy, and artiﬁcial intelligence. The linguists, literary theorists, and geographers in our group are developing theories of narrative language and spatial understanding that are being tested by the (...) cognitive psychologists and language researchers in our group, and a computational model of a reader of narrative text is being developed by the AI researchers, based in part on these theories and results and in part on research on knowledge representation and reasoning. This proposal describes the knowledge-representation and natural-language-processing issues involved in the computational implementation of the theory; discusses a contrast between communicative and narrative uses of language and of the relation of the narrative text to the story world it describes; investigates linguistic, literary, and hermeneutic dimensions of our research; presents a computational investigation of subjective sentences and reference in narrative; studies children’s acquisition of the ability to take third-person perspective in their own storytelling; describes the psychological validation of various linguistic devices; and examines how readers develop an understanding of the geographical space of a story. This report is a longer version of a project description submitted to NSF. This document, produced in May 2007, is a L ATEX version of Technical Report 89-07 (Buffalo: SUNY Buffalo Department of Computer Science, August 1989), with slightly.. (shrink)
This paper is principally devoted to comparing and contrasting poverty of stimulus arguments for innate cognitive apparatus in relation to language and in relation to folk psychology. These days one is no longer allowed to use the term ‘innate’ without saying what one means by it. So I will begin by saying what I mean by ‘innate’. Sections 2 and 3 will discuss language and theory of mind, respectively. Along the way, I will also briefly discuss other arguments for innate (...) cognitive apparatus in these areas. (shrink)
Truth-conditional semantics is the project of determining a way of assigning truth-conditions to sentences based on A) the extension of their constituents and B) their syntactic mode of composition. Truth-conditional semantics is the major research project of linguistic semantics and the project and its prospects are a central concern in contemporary philosophy of language.
Abstract. The topic of the March 2011 symposium in Zygon is “The Mythic Reality of the Autonomous Individual.” Yet few of the contributors even discuss “mythic reality.” Of the ones who do, most cavalierly use “myth” dismissively, as simply a false belief. Rather than reconciling myth with reality, they oppose myth to reality. Their view of myth is by no means unfamiliar or unwarranted, but they need to recognize other views of myth and to defend their own. Above all, they (...) need to appreciate the grip that any belief aptly labelled myth has—a grip that holds at least as much for a false belief as for a true one. (shrink)
The study compares Canadian and U.S. marketing researchers' attitudes, perceptions and intentions related to several areas of ethical concern. A particular focus involves salience of norms common to marketing research codes of ethics (COEs) and familiarity of such codes to marketing research professionals. Researchers' attitudes towards today's ethical climate are identified and compared between the two countries. Relationships are examined between familiarity, ethical intention and salience. Results indicate that U.S. and Canadian marketing researchers have similar perceptions of the relative importance (...) of specific ethical norms, but worldwide COEs do not reflect these perceptions. Canadian marketing researchers report having a greater familiarity with their firms' adopted COEs, but this finding is moderated by the type of researcher. Among other findings, results indicate that familiarity influences ethical intention only for highly salient issues. (shrink)
Sceptical theism has been employed by its adherents in an argument aimed at undermining the so called ‘noseeum inference’. Erik Wielenberg (2010) has recently argued that there is an equally plausible argument for the conclusion that sceptical theism implies that we do not know any proposition that has word-of-God justification only. Thus, sceptical theists need to give up their argument against the noseeum inference or accept the conclusion that we do not know any proposition that has word-of-God justification only. I (...) claim that sceptical theists need not face such a difficult choice because the argument that Wielenberg offers is not as plausible as their argument against the noseeum inference. (shrink)
Paul Churchland argues that Plantinga’s evolutionary argument against naturalism is unsuccessful and so we need not accept its conclusion. In this paper, we respond to Churchland’s argument. After we briefly recapitulate Plantinga’s argument and state Churchland’s argument, we offer three objections to Churchland’s argument: (1) its first premise has little to recommend it, (2) its second premise is false, and (3) its conclusion is consistent with, and indeed entails, the conclusion of Plantinga’s argument.
Since the terms of the health policy debate in the United States and Canada are largely supplied by biomedicine, the current crisis in health care is, in part, a product of biomedical rhetoric. In this essay, three metaphors widely identified as being associated with biomedicineâthe body is a machine, medicine is war,and medicine is a businessâare examined with a view to the ways in which they influence the health policy debate, not only with respect to outcomes, but also with respect (...) to what can be argued at all. The essay proposes that biomedical language itself be foregrounded as the constitutive material of public discourse on health policy. (shrink)
In this paper I use a distinction between the "anxiety of strangers" and the "fear of enemies" to show how uncertainty and tension experienced in the face of what is other and different need not lead to a nationalist insularity, but can be the occasion for an existential philosophical education - an education in which the resolute acceptance of strangeness allows us to reflect on our taken-for-granted about the everyday.
We investigate the procedure of "random sampling" where the alternatives are random variables. When comparing any two alternatives, the decision maker samples each of the alternatives once and ranks them according to the comparison between the two realizations. Our main result is that when applied to three alternatives, the procedure yields a cycle with a probability bounded above by 8 27 . Bounds are also obtained for other related procedures.
In the context of uncertainty and anxiety regarding the role of leadership and management, this article explores the relationship between Mintzberg’s concept of the distinction between the engaged and disconnected manager, Heidegger’s notion authentic and inauthentic being and Benner and Wrubel’s distinction between two forms of professional practice attunement: an attunement to technique and an attunement to lived experience. It argues that while Mintzberg outlines the distinction between engaged and disengaged management, he does not develop an understanding of the conditions (...) which lead a manager to be either engaged or disconnected. The role of anxiety in Heidegger’s distinction between authentic and inauthentic being and the role of stress and worry in Benner and Wrubel’s distinction between an attunement to technique and an attune- ment to the lived experience of professional practice provides the basis for understanding the relationship between engaged and disconnected management. After developing the theoretical perspectives of Mintzberg, Heidegger, Benner and Wrubel, two examples are presented: one of the way in which an engaged manager experiences anxiety as an opportunity for greater attune- ment to lived experience and one who experiences anxiety as a condition for disconnection and detachment from the lived experience of his leadership practice. (shrink)
The evaluative process of preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) that accompanies in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures is a "standard of care" implemented in order to increase the likelihood that a genetically "healthy" or nondisabled baby will result from pregnancy. PGS is also employed when maternal age is determined to be a risk factor, especially when "abnormal" embryos are perceived to be the cause of spontaneous abortion. The scope of genetic information currently available for examination and evaluation within the PGS process is (...) rapidly expanding, along with the notion of what is considered a "genetic risk." In order to receive treatment for infertility, a woman must consent to the stipulation of the .. (shrink)
The tendency of classical politics to embed the individual in universal and transcendental patterns of action followed in part from the recognition of the futility of unpredictable action oriented to the individual's transient personal future. By contrast, F. A. Hayek argues for liberalism and the rule of law because it is instrumental to the achievement of human ends. Michael Oakeshott, however, claims that freedom is a value in itself, and that liberalism should emphasize moral autonomy because the moral life is (...) public and not oriented to external ends. The moral life intimates a form of self?sufficiency in action, and self?sufficient action is timeless in the sense of being indifferent to either the past or the future. Oakeshott returns liberalism to the problems of classical politics without recourse to the dictatorial imposition of a single substantive good. (shrink)
This paper takes a simple, informal suggestion by Broome and another more explicit suggestion by Kamm for how to deal with asymmetric claims and shows how they can be interpreted to be consistent with two different social welfare functions: Sum-of-square-roots of individual utilities, and product of utilities. These functions are then used to analyze more complicated situations but I show that the first yields more intuitive results, and a better compromise of efficiency and justice, than the other. (Published Online July (...) 11 2006). (shrink)
The American and some other constitutions entrench property rights by requiring super majoritarian voting as a condition for amending or revoking their own provisions. Following Buchanan and Tullock [The Calculus of Consent, Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy (University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor), 1962], this paper analyzes individuals' interests behind a veil of ignorance, and shows that under some standard assumptions, a (simple) majoritarian rule should be adopted. This result changes if one assumes that preferences are consistent with the behavioral (...) phenomenon known as the endowment effect. It then follows that (at least some) property rights are best defended by super majoritarian protection. The paper then shows that its theoretical results are consistent with a number of doctrines underlying American Constitutional Law. (shrink)
Human agency -- Alienness : experiencing one's own incoherence -- Alienness, understanding, and self-deception -- God's project of self-deception -- Alienation and political agency -- How we fooled ourselves into believing in progress -- The monetary illusion -- The good life and economic activity -- Human activity : a molecular approach to action theory.
Allow me to recapitulate some territory that will be familiar to most readers. Here is how the problem of mental causation has typically been set up since shortly after the onset of non-reductive physicalism. It is now widely assumed that the realm of the physical is causally closed: every physical event has a complete physical cause, a cause that is sufficient for the event’s occurrence. This apparently leaves us with a limited number of options concerning psychological causation, none of which (...) appear hugely attractive. Either: (a) the psychological is epiphenomenal and can have no causal impact on the physical, or (b) the psychological is identical with the physical, or (c) thoughts and actions are all over-determined, each one having two distinct sufficient causes. Option (b) subdivides into two further options. Either (b1) the psychological reduces to the physical and every psychological property is identical with some physical property, or (b2) token psychological events are identical with or constituted from token physical events but psychological properties are not identical with physical properties. (b1) is widely held to be inconsistent with the multiple realisation of the psychological by the physical. And (b2) appears to bring us back to the original problematic, with the properties as the locus of tension. If one event causes another it does so in virtue some of its properties and not others. If I throw a stone at a window and the window breaks, it is because the stone was hard and heavy that it broke the window and not, say, because it was grey and millions of years old. The properties in virtue of which an event has a particular effect are typically called the ‘causally efficacious properties of the cause with respect to the effect.’ Suppose, then that token neural event causes an action. We can ask ‘Does it do so in virtue of its physical properties or its psychological properties?’ and we are back to choosing between options (a) and (c) or returning to (b1).. (shrink)
This paper describes a holistic approach and an interdisciplinary curriculum in enhancing critical thinking and education for democracy at the junior-high schools and highschools levels. The curriculum includes academic subjects such as the humanities, sciences, social sciences and art. The aim of this curriculum is not to teach an additional lesson in history, political sciences, art, etc., but to fostercritical thinking and democratic behavior. The theoretical framework has two bases. The first derives from eighteenth century rationalism and scientific thinking, while (...) the second is from the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century. Both produced social economies and a political structure of mass democracy. The focal point here is that critical thinking is a prerequisite for the existence of democratic values and principles in a post-modern society. The program integrates McPeck’s strategies on the conception of critical thinking and the dialectic technique of Richard Paul. The curriculum is designed forone or two semesters (14 to 28 meetings). It is built in a modular fashion, in which each subject stands on its own and is presented by various lecturers from different domains. The curriculum was implemented in junior high and high schools in Haifa and vicinity."It is this consensus around liberal democracy as the final form of government that I have called “the end of history.”(Fukuyama, F (1990) in Fortune, January 15, 1990, p. 75). (shrink)
Please allow me to recapitulate some territory that will be familiar to most readers. Here is how the problem of mental causation has typically been set up since shortly after the onset of non-reductive physicalism. It is now widely assumed that the realm of the physical is causally closed. This means that the probability of any event’s occurring is fully determined by physical causes, and physical causes alone. There is no space in the physical causal nexus for any non-physical event (...) to exert any influence. (shrink)
This paper discusses and criticizes Segal’s 1989 argument against singular object-dependent thoughts. His argument aims at showing that object-dependent thoughts are explanatorily redundant. My criticism of Segal’s argument has two parts. First, I appeal to common anti-individualist arguments to the effect that Segal’s type of argument only succeeds in establishing that object-dependent thoughts are explanatorily redundant for those aspects of subjects’ behaviour that do not require reference to external objects. Secondly, Segal’s view on singular thoughts is (...) at odds with his view on the semantics of proper names, which favours the singularity and object-dependency of the truth-conditions of sentences in which they occur. In particular, his views are at odds with a position he holds, that truth-conditional semantics can adequately account for all aspects of speakers’ linguistic competence in the use of proper names. (shrink)
Gideon Yaffe’s “subjectivism about attempts” rest on the Transfer Principle: “If a particular form of conduct is legitimately criminalized, then the attempt to engage in that form of conduct is also legitimately criminalized.” From the perspective of a moral concern with culpability, this principle seems to get to the heart of the matter: the true essence of what is wrong with attempting to commit a crime. Unfortunately, Yaffe’s argument for the Transfer Principle is based on an equivocation and therefore (...) logically unsound. The moral core of the Principle is still sound, but we can’t tell from Yaffe’s book how far that principle would take us in the criminal law. (shrink)