This paper is concerned with decision proceedures for the 0-valued ukasiewicz logics,. It is shown how linear algebra can be used to construct an automated theorem checker. Two decision proceedures are described which depend on a linear programming package. An algorithm is given for the verification of consequence relations in, and a connection is made between theorem checking in two-valued logic and theorem checking in which implies that determing of a -free formula whether it takes the value one is NP-complete (...) problem. (shrink)
With this understanding, children are better able to anticipate the behavior of others and to attune their own behavior accordingly. In mentally retarded children with Down's syndrome, attainment of such competence is delayed, but it is generally acquired by the time they reach the mental age of 4, as measured by tests of nonverbal intelligence. Thus from a developmental perspective, attainment of the mental age of 4 appears to be of profound significance for acquisition of what we shall call psychological (...) competence : possession of the skills and resources people routinely call on in the.. (shrink)
Existence in Black is the first collective statement on the subject of Africana Philosophy of Existence. Drawing upon resources in Africana philosophy and literature, the contributors explore some of the central themes of Existentialism as posed by the context of what Frantz Fanon has identified as "the lived-experience of the black." Among questions posed and explored in the volume are: What is to be done in a world of near universal sense of superiority to, if not universal hatred of, black (...) folk?; What is black suffering?; What is the meaning (if any) of black existence? The introduction argues that a response to these questions requires a journey through the resources of identity questions in critical race theory and the teleological dimensions of liberation theory. The contributors address these questions through an analysis of nearly every dimension of Africana phiosophy. In the first half of the book, they address Black Philosophies of Existence in terms of Traditional African Philosophy, the Harlem Renaissance, Du Boisian Double-Consciousness, and Fanonian and Sartrean Philosophies of Existence. In the second half of the book, contributors consider racial identity through examinations of such concepts as equality, death, mimesis, property, embodiment, technology, disappointment, and dread. Part II is an exploration of postmodern challenges to "black existence" through discussions of postmodern conservatism, Nietzsche's thoughts on blacks, Richard Wright and fragmented consciousness, and feminist critiques of race. And Part IV is an examination of problems of historical responsibility and constructing black liberation theories. Contributors are: Ernest Allen, Jr., Robert Birt, Bernard Boxill, George Carew, Bobby Dixon, G.M. James Gonzales, Lewis R. Gordon, Leonard Harris, Floyd Hayes, III, Paget Henry, Patricia Huntington, Joy Ann James, Clarence Shole Johnson, Bill E. Lawson, Howard McGary, Roy D. Morrison, William Preston, Jean-Paul Sartre, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Gary Schwartz, Robert Westley, and Naomi Zack. (shrink)
The Structure of Emotions argues that emotion concepts should have a much more important role in the social and behavioural sciences than they now enjoy, and shows that certain influential psychological theories of emotions overlook the explanatory power of our emotion concepts. Professor Gordon also outlines a new account of the nature of commonsense (or ‘folk’) psychology in general.
In this undergraduate textbook Lewis R. Gordon offers the first comprehensive treatment of Africana philosophy, beginning with the emergence of an Africana (i.e. African diasporic) consciousness in the Afro-Arabic world of the Middle Ages. He argues that much of modern thought emerged out of early conflicts between Islam and Christianity that culminated in the expulsion of the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula, and from the subsequent expansion of racism, enslavement, and colonialism which in their turn stimulated reflections on reason, (...) liberation, and the meaning of being human. His book takes the student reader on a journey from Africa through Europe, North and South America, the Caribbean, and back to Africa, as he explores the challenges posed to our understanding of knowledge and freedom today, and the response to them which can be found within Africana philosophy. (shrink)
In this essay, Mordechai Gordon interprets Martin Buber's ideas on dialogue, presence, and especially his notion of embracing in an attempt to shed some light on Buber's understanding of listening. Gordon argues that in order to understand Buber's conception of listening, one needs to examine this concept in the context of his philosophy of dialogue. More specifically, his contention is that closely examining Buber's notion of embracing the other is critical to making sense of his conception of listening. (...)Gordon's analysis suggests that, in Buber's model, listening involves a kind of active attentiveness to another's words or actions, engaging them as though they are directed specifically at us. Gordon's discussion of dialogue and listening also indicates that the relation between speaking and listening is one of reciprocity and mutual dependence and that listening plays an essential role in initiating many dialogues by creating a space in which two people can embrace each other as complete individuals. (shrink)
In his 1961 monograph, Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority , the late phenomenologist, Emmanuel Levinas, noted that “everyone will readily agree that it is of the highest importance to know whether we are not duped by morality” (1961/1969, p. 21). What follows thereafter is an extensive attempt to ground a quasi-Kantian existential ethics based on interpersonal, face to face, relations (Beavers 2001). That philosophy should invite such an attempt already signifies that we might be in trouble where (...) ethics are concerned. After all, when one looks back over history, it appears that we have not made much progress in this area. (shrink)
The intellectual history of the last quarter of this century has been marked by the growing influence of Africana thought--an area of philosophy that focuses on issues raised by the struggle over ideas in African cultures and their hybrid forms in Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean. Existentia Africana is an engaging and highly readable introduction to the field of Africana philosophy and will help to define this rapidly growing field. Lewis R. Gordon clearly explains Africana existential thought to (...) a general audience, covering a wide range of both classic and contemporary thinkers--from Douglass and DuBois to Fanon, Davis and Zack. (shrink)
In this article I examine ditransitive verbs that can describe caused possession (e.g. give, throw, send) by looking at their lexical aspectual properties, a methodology that has proved fruitful for the exploration of (in)transitive verbs. I show that as a whole these ditransitives share a number of aspectual properties in common with (in)transitive verbs of change of state and motion, suggesting a single shared underlying analysis, which I outline in terms of the scalar analysis of change of Beavers (forthcoming (...) b). However, a difficulty of such an analysis is that for many ditransitives, the putative result state (caused possession) is cancellable, which complicates how factors such as telicity are calculated on most models of aspect. To account for this, I show that all ditransitives nonetheless entail at least some non-cancellable result, though there is considerable micro-variation in what that result is. The result is an aspectually based classification of ditransitives quite similar to previously proposed classes of (in)transitives. I also show that the analysis I develop may shed some light on why certain classes of ditransitives only rarely participate in the dative alternation. (shrink)
What is the simulation theory? Arguments for simulation theory Simulation theory versus theory theory Simulation theory and cognitive science Versions of simulation theory A possible test of the simulation theory.
The Phenomenological Mind, by Shaun Gallagher and Dan Zahavi, is part of a recent initiative to show that phenomenology, classically conceived as the tradition inaugurated by Edmund Husserl and not as mere introspection, contributes something important to cognitive science. (For other examples, see “References” below.) Phenomenology, of course, has been a part of cognitive science for a long time. It implicitly informs the works of Andy Clark (e.g. 1997) and John Haugeland (e.g. 1998), and Hubert Dreyfus explicitly uses it (e.g. (...) 1992). But where the former use phenomenology in the background as broad context and Dreyfus uses it primarily (though not exclusively) as a critique of conventional AI, Gallagher and Zahavi wish to indicate a positive and constructive place for it within cognitive science. They do not recommend that we simply accept pronouncements of thinkers like Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre and Merleau‐Ponty and apply them to questions of cognition, but that we use revised forms of phenomenology to illuminate dimensions of cognitive experience that are missing in current research. The book is presented as an “introduction to philosophy of mind and cognitive science” written from a phenomenological perspective. It seeks to justify the use of phenomenology in cognitive science by showing what kinds of questions it asks and answers, the variety of uses to which it has recently been put and the fruitfulness of some of its findings. The catalog of topics, for the most part, matches other introductions to the philosophy of mind, such as questions of method, consciousness, perception, intentionality, embodiment, action, agency and other minds. One issue presented here that is not generally dealt with in existing philosophy of mind and cognitive science texts is temporality, a mainstay of the continental tradition. After an introductory chapter that places phenomenology in the context of other approaches, the book lays out the main tenets of phenomenological method. Here, one encounters expected components of phenomenology: the epoché (described below), phenomenological reduction, eidetic variation, and so on. This traditional fare is soon followed by some potential surprises, namely, attempts to “naturalize” phenomenology, a few attempts to formalize it, and the emergence of ‘neurophenomenology’. Each of these is a bit surprising because Husserl was a vocal critic of naturalism, seeing transcendental phenomenology as an alternative to the empirical study of consciousness. He was also skeptical about the possibilities of mathematizing phenomenology. Gallagher and Zahavi acknowledge these points, but since they are not repeating history or undertaking exegesis, strict adherence to canonical phenomenology is not required. Naturalizing phenomenology means recognizing that “the phenomena it studies are part of nature and are therefore also open to empirical investigation” (p.. (shrink)
I argue that there is no conflict between the simulation theory, once it is freed from certain constraints carried over from theory theory, and Gallagher's view that our primary and pervasive way of engaging with others rests on 'direct', non-mentalizing perception of the 'meanings' of others' facial expressions, gestures, and intentional actions.
In this paper, I examine a variety of agents that appear in Kantian ethics in order to determine which would be necessary to make a robot a genuine moral agent. However, building such an agent would require that we structure into a robot’s behavioral repertoire the possibility for immoral behavior, for only then can the moral law, according to Kant, manifest itself as an ought, a prerequisite for being able to hold an agent morally accountable for its actions. Since (...) building a moral robot requires the possibility of immoral behavior, I go on to argue that we cannot morally want robots to be genuine moral agents, but only beings that simulate moral behavior. Finally, I raise but do not answer the question that if morality requires us to want robots that are not genuine moral agents, why should we want something different in the case of human beings. (shrink)
An ascent routine (AR) allows a speaker to self-ascribe a given propositional attitude (PA) by redeploying the process that generates a corresponding lower level utterance. Thus, we may report on our beliefs about the weather by reporting (under certain constraints) on the weather. The chief criticism of my AR account of self-ascription, by Alvin Goldman and others, is that it covers few if any PA’s other than belief and offers no account of how we can attain reliability in identifying our (...) attitude as belief, desire, hope, etc., without presupposing some sort of recognition process. The criticism can be answered, but only by giving up a tacit—and wholly unnecessary—assumption that has influenced discussions of ascent routines. Abandoning the assumption allows a different account of ARs that avoids the criticism and even provides an algorithm for finding a corresponding lower level utterance for any PA. The account I give is supported by research on children’s first uses of a propositional attitude vocabulary. (shrink)
The question of the source of the moral "ought" is no small question, nor is it unimportant. Our own philosophical tradition has dealt with the question in several ways producing a variety of answers. Some of these include locating the "ought" in the structure of reason (Kant), in the human being's desire for pleasure (Utilitarianism), or in the will of God (Aquinas). The reason why the question is so important is because different conceptions of the source of the moral (...) ought ultimately give rise to different conceptions of what is right and wrong; they also affect the way we answer the biggest of all ethical questions, why be good. (shrink)
In the first part of the paper, I try to clarify the cluster of moods and questions we refer to generically as the problem of the meaning of life. I propose that the question of meaning emerges when we perform a spontaneous transcendental reduction on the phenomenon my life, a reduction that leaves us confronting an unjustified and unjustifiable curiosity. In Part 2, I turn to the film ikiru, Kurosawa''s masterpiece of 1952, for an existentialist resolution of the problem.
Without a doubt, Levinas' principal concern in philosophy is how the self meets the Other. His magnum opus, Totality and Infinity, bears the subtitle, An Essay on Exterior- ity. Exteriority refers to a region beyond the horizons of the self, that which "is" beyond transcendental subjectivity. If there are such "beings" as other selves, that is, other subjects, they exist out there in the exterior. But if knowledge is confined to the interior—as Levinas says it must be—then the Other cannot (...) be known. He writes, "There is in knowledge, in the final account, an impossibility of escaping the self; hence sociality cannot have the same structure as knowledge" (EI 60). (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: PART I: HEIDEGGER'S FUNDAMENTAL -- ONTOLOGY OF DASEIN -- Section A: Being and Time -- 1 Dasein and the World -- 2 Dasein's Being-in, Care, and Truth -- 3 Dasein and Temporality -- Section B: Heidegger's Rejection of the I-Thou -- 4 Phenomenology and Dasein -- 5 Heidegger's First Critique of the I-Thou -- 6 The I-Thou in Heidegger's Study of Kant -- 7 Metaphysics and Logic -- PART II: BUBER'S I-THOU -- Section A: I and (...) Thou -- 8 First Presentation of the I-Thou -- 9 Living the I-Thou -- Section B: Beyond I and Thou -- 10 The I-Thou and Dialogue -- 11 Buber's Critique of Heidegger -- 12 Conclusion and Some Implications -- Selected Bibliography -- Index. (shrink)
Most students of philosophy, at one time or another, have worked through Descartes' Meditations and witnessed this reduction of the world to the res cogitans and consequent attempt to recover the real, or extra-mental, world through proofs for God's existence and divine veracity. Whatever our final assessment of the validity and soundness of these proofs may be, there can be no doubt that the judgment of history is that they fail, leaving Descartes' conception of the self forever confined to the (...) horizons of thought. Without the proofs for God's existence, Descartes becomes an idealist. Indeed, Kant labels him a "problematic idealist" for whom "there is only one empirical assertion that is indubitably certain, namely that 'I am'" (Critique of Pure Reason B274), suggesting that, as far as Kant is concerned, Descartes' attempt to prove the real existence of anything outside of his mind, including God, does not work. And Schopenhauer, just before claiming that "true philosophy must at all costs be idealistic," praises Descartes for finding the "only correct starting point ... of all philosophy" (World as Will and Representation II, 4). Husserl is so taken by this starting point that he will title one of his introductions to pure phenomenology, Cartesian Meditations, thus inviting his reader to repeat Descartes' Meditations, this time, without the proofs for God's existence and divine veracity. Due to the tradition in which he has been passed down to us, Descartes may be called not only the "father of modern philosophy," but also "the grandfather of transcendental phenomenology." Oddly enough, evidence for this claim is seen in the fact that, at least within contemporary continental circles, Heidegger's reworking of the Husserlian project gets conceived (wrongly, I think) as a simultaneous reworking of the Cartesian project.. (shrink)
In his famous 1950 paper where he presents what became the benchmark for success in artificial intelligence, Turing notes that "at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted" (Turing 1950, 442). Kurzweil (1990) suggests that Turing's prediction was correct, even if no machine has yet to pass the Turing Test. In the wake of the (...) computer revolution, research in artificial intelligence and cognitive science has pushed in the direction of interpreting "thinking" as some sort of computational process. On this understanding, thinking is something computers (in principle) and humans (in practice) can both do. It is difficult to say precisely when in history the meaning of the term "thinking" headed in this direction. Signs are already present in the mechanistic and mathematical tendencies of the early Modern period, and maybe even glimmers are apparent in the ancient Greeks themselves. But over the long haul, we somehow now consider "thinking" as separate from the categories of "thoughtfulness" (in the general sense of wondering about things), "insight" and "wisdom." Intelligent machines are all around us, and the world is populated with smart cars, smart phones and even smart (robotic) appliances. But, though my cell phone might be smart, I do not take that to mean that it is thoughtful, insightful or wise. So, what has become of these latter categories? They seem to be bygones left behind by scientific and computational conceptions of thinking and knowledge that no longer have much use for them. In 2000, Allen, Varner and Zinser addressed the possibility of a Moral Turing Test (MTT) to judge the success of an automated moral agent (AMA), a theme that is repeated in Wallach and Allen (2009).. (shrink)
This paper supports the basic integrity of the folk psychological conception of consciousness and its importance in cognitive theorizing. Section 1 critically examines some proposed definitions of consciousness, and argues that the folk- psychological notion of phenomenal consciousness is not captured by various functional-relational definitions. Section 2 rebuts the arguments of several writers who challenge the very existence of phenomenal consciousness, or the coherence or tenability of the folk-psychological notion of awareness. Section 3 defends a significant role for phenomenal consciousness (...) in the execution of a certain cognitive task, viz., classification of one's own mental states. Execution of this task, which is part of folk psychologizing, is taken as a datum in scientific psychology. It is then argued (on theoretical grounds) that the most promising sort of scientific model of the self-ascription of mental states is one that posits the kinds of phenomenal properties invoked by folk psychology. Cognitive science and neuroscience can of course refine and improve upon the folk understanding of consciousness, awareness, and mental states generally. But the folk-psychological constructs should not be jettisoned; they have a role to play in cognitive theorizing. (shrink)
The four-principle approach to biomedical ethics is used worldwide by practitioners and researchers alike but it is rather unclear what exactly people do when they apply this approach. Ranking, specification, and balancing vary greatly among different people regarding a particular case. Thus, a sound and coherent applicability of principlism seems somewhat mysterious. What are principlists doing? The article examines the methodological strengths and weaknesses of the applicability of this approach. The most important result is that a sound and comprehensible application (...) of the four principles is additionally ensured by making use of the organizing meta-principle of common morality, which is the starting point and constraining framework of moral reasoning. (shrink)
Noesis is an Internet search engine dedicated to mapping the profession of philosophy online. In this paper, I recount the history of the project's development since 1998 and discuss the role it may play in representing philosophy optimally, adequately, fairly, and accessibly. Unlike many other representations of philosophy, Noesis is dynamic in the sense that it constantly changes and inclusive in the sense that it lets the profession speak for itself about what philosophy is, how it is practiced, and why (...) it is important. In this paper, I explain how Noesis is dynamic and inclusive. I close by suggesting why such a communitarian representation of the profession is both timely and necessary. (shrink)
If we follow a traditional reading of Descartes and throw in some of our favorite German philosophers (Kant, Husserl and Heidegger, for instance) we can isolate a doctrinal current that says that the pure intellect has no immediate access to the extra-mental world. This reduction of experience to reason forces the question of the external world’s existence, leading to Heidegger’s assertion that the scandal of philosophy was not that it had yet to furnish a proof for the external world’s existence, (...) as Kant thought, but that the question emerged in the first place. Prior to representing realities, the human being dwells in the world. Knowing is, thus, founded on Being-in-the-world. Once this is remembered, it seems quite extraneous to inquire about the existence of the external world, since it is given as part of the structure of human experience. But, if the question of the external world's existence arises when we reduce experience to rational experience, then we have learned something important about the structures involved in knowing the world. Knowing succeeds by breaking away from Being-in-theworld. As Levinas says, "it is still and always a solitude" (EI 60). Though knowledge might begin as a mode of Being-in-the-world, it succeeds by turning its back on these origins and entering upon another terrain. Thus, Heidegger's recourse to the external world could not be within knowledge. Instead, he grounded it in concern, the primordial way in which the human being dwells in the world. Knowing is but one way in which the human being exhibits this concern. Where Husserl showed the limits of representation to be within the parameters of the transcendental ego, Heidegger pushed the frontiers of the world down to another level, the level of function. On this level, the human being dwells as a worker; things are construed as implements for-the-sake-of something else. These implements refer to other implements in a referential totality guided by "circumspection." The world of function is held together as a totality by an intricate web of references, each pointing to others.. (shrink)
One of the central issues in political philosophy is the problem of perspective: if there is a dispute as to how justice is to be defined, or a dispute as to whether a particular situation is unjust, how do we determine who is right? I reject the claim that an idealized speech situation or a transcendental perspective can legitimately be invoked to resolve such disputes. In their place, I discuss critical theory's commitment to the position that all perspectives are ideo (...) logical, partial, and rooted in interests. I then discuss Lukács's notion that, given that ideology and interests are ineluctable, certain per spectives are epistemologically privileged (though not transcenden tal). I discuss the notion of the preferential option for the poor in liberation theology, as an instance of such a claim of epistemological privilege. I argue that this has implications for the concept of alterity, and specifically for the role of the Other in a community of discourse. Finally, I discuss Lyotard's notion of incommensurable phrase regi mens, and the particular kind of harm which is done by exclusion from a discursive community. Key Words: critical theory epistemological privilege liberation theology Lukács Lyotard. (shrink)
This article is the keynote address of the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill, Barbados, philosophy symposium in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the British outlawing the Atlantic Slave Trade. The paper explores questions of enslavement and freedom through challenges of philosophical anthropology, philosophy of social change, and metacritical reflections posed by African Diasporic or Africana philosophy. Such challenges include the relevance and legitimacy of philosophical reflection to the lives of racialized slaves and concludes with a discussion (...) of the implications of the analysis for an understanding of the “face” of political life and the importance of the concept of “home” for a cogent theory of freedom. (shrink)
I begin the analysis of understanding by considering the initially plausible claim that understanding is a species of knowledge. In order to do this, I investigate a variety of ways in which the two epistemic states might come apart, and see whether the notion that they often do so is plausible. I progress to examine a number of the most common and plausible hallmark features of understanding discussed in the current literature, and go on to try and clarify the different (...) sorts of understanding that are available to agents whilst trying to discover which of these is epistemically significant (and why). I then explore the value problem for knowledge in more depth, explaining that there are in fact three interrelated value problems and looking at what degree of success the most promising attempt to solve these problems has had. Following that, I look at the properties which I believe are primarily responsible for the value of understanding, and investigate whether its possessing such properties allows us to better explain why understanding might be finally valuable even if knowledge is not. To conclude, I summarise what import my discussion has for the practice of contemporary epistemological theorising in general, and briefly review possibly fruitful avenues for further research. (shrink)
Mammalian brains contain a variety of self-centered socio-emotional systems. An understanding of how they interact with more recent cognitive structures may be essential for understanding empathy. Preston & de Waal have neglected this vast territory of proximal brain issues in their analysis.
Freedom, conceived ontologically, is power's condition of possibility. Yet, considering that the subject's interests and identity are constantly shaped, one still has to explain how – theoretically speaking – individuals can resist control. This is precisely the issue I address in the following pages. Following a brief overview of Foucault's contribution to our understanding of power, I turn to discuss the role of visibility vis-à-vis control, and show how the development of disciplinary techniques reversed the visibility of power. While Foucault (...) illustrates that during different historical periods, distinct modes of visibility are produced by power in order to control society, I argue that the very same power that produces visibility is concomitantly dependent upon it. In addition, I maintain that visibility is a necessary component of resistance. But Foucault – perhaps due to his premature death – never adequately explains how individuals can resist the mechanisms of control in a world in which power is ubiquitous. To help clarify this enigma, I turn to Hannah Arendt's insights into power, freedom, plurality, and natality. These concepts, I claim, can serve as a corrective to Foucault because they make room for resistance without assuming that humans can exit power's web. (shrink)
The concept of monophyly is central to much of modern biology. Despite many efforts over many years, important questions remain unanswered that relate both to the concept itself and to its various applications. This essay focuses primarily on four of these: i) Is it possible to define monophyly operationally, specifically with respect to both the structures of genomes and at the levels of the highest phylogenetic categories (kingdoms, phyla, classes)? ii) May the mosaic and chimeric structures of genomes be sufficiently (...) important factors in phylogeny that situations exist in which the concept may not be applicable? iii) In the history of life on earth were there important groups of organisms that probably had polyphyletic, rather than monophyletic, origins? iv) Does the near universal search for monophyletic origins of clades lead, on occasion, to both undesirable narrowing of acceptable options for development of evolutionary scenarios and sometimes actual omission from consideration of less conventional types of both data and modes of thought, possibly at the expense of biological understanding? Three sections in the essay consider possible answers to these questions: i) A reassessment is made of major features of both the concept and some of its applications. Recent research results make it seem improbable that there could have been single basal forms for many of the highest categories of evolutionary differentiation (kingdoms, phyla, classes). The universal tree of life probably had many roots. Facts contributing to this perception include the phylogenetically widespread occurrences of: horizontal transfers of plasmids, viral genomes, and transposons; multiple genomic duplications; the existence and properties of large numbers of gene families and protein families; multiple symbioses; broad-scale hybridizations; and multiple homoplasys. Next, justifications are reassessed for the application of monophyletic frameworks to two major evolutionary developments usually interpreted as having been monophyletic: ii) the origins of life; and iii) the origins of the vertebrate tetrapods. For both cases polyphyletic hypotheses are suggested as more probable than monophyletic hypotheses. Major conclusions are, as answers to the four questions posed above: probably not, yes, yes, and yes. (shrink)