Most research on aboriginal mind and mental health has sought to apply or confirm preexisting European-derived theories among aboriginal people. Culture has been underappreciate. An understanding of uniquely aboriginal models for mind and mental health might lead to more effective and robust interventions. To address this issue, a core group of elders from five separate regions of North America was developed to help determine how aboriginal people conceived of mind, self, and identity before European contact. The process utilized for this (...) study is iterative and involves discussions of teachings, traditional stories, and elder's comments on conclusions drawn. The elders endorsed a relational theory of mind in which mind exists between people as a product of the stories told and created within and by that relationship. Mind is distinguished from consciousness which is without language and exists within the individual as awareness. Language immediately results in an "out there" orientation in which two or more individuals generate stories about their experiences. The community is the basic unit of study for mind and mental health, and mental "illness" is not distinguished from physical "illness," but rather all are seen as a continuum of suffering and pain. What emerged from this research is that North American theories of mind are more closely related to Daoist and Shinto theories than to the logical positivism which drives most of North America's conventional psychology and psychiatry. Within European traditions, however, the philosophy of Mikhail Bakhtin with his emphasis on a dialogical self coupled with system theory comes closest to resembling North American aboriginal theories. This model explains why ceremony and ritual, community interventions, talking circles (including AA and the Wellbriety Movement), and family therapy are more compatible with aboriginal thought than conventional North American biomedicine and psychology. (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)
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)
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.
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.
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)
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.
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)
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)
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)
This paper's purpose is to assess how management's perceptions regarding certain aspects of environmental reporting relate to the firm's actual reporting strategy. Toward that end, we propose a model where a firm's environmental disclosure is conditional upon executive assessments of corporate concerns. The study relies on a survey that was sent to environmental management executives from European and North American multinational firms enquiring about the determinants of corporate environmental disclosure. Responses from these executives were then contrasted with their firms' actual (...) environmental reporting practices, which was measured using a comprehensive multi-criteria grid. Results show that there is a relationship between environmental managers' attitudes toward various stakeholder groups and how those managers respond to the stakeholders via the decision to disclose and the actual disclosures made. Our model provides a perspective as to how a firm responds to the numerous stakeholders to whom it must be accountable. This accountability in turn relates to how the company communicates its actions to society in order to achieve or maintain its social legitimacy. (shrink)
The question of what firms do internally in the fight against bribery is probably as important to the successful outcome of that fight as formal anti-bribery law and enforcement. This paper looks at corporate approaches to anti-bribery commitment and compliance management using an inventory of 246 codes of conduct. It suggests that, while bribery is often mentioned in the codes of conduct, there is considerable diversity in the language and concepts adopted in anti-bribery commitments. This diversity is a feature of (...) the language used in describing parties to bribery and in defining which activities are prohibited (e.g. promising bribes versus actually giving them, gifts and entertainment, and solicitation. This diversity of language and concepts suggests that it might be useful to extend and deepen efforts in business associations and international organisations to build consensus on the meaning of bribery and corruption. In contrast, the bribery codes show evidence of an emerging consensus on managerial approaches to combating bribery. This involves the deployment of a distinctive mix of management tools, including financial record keeping, statements by executive officers, internal monitoring, whistle-blowing facilities, creation of compliance offices and threats of disciplinary action. (shrink)
The wealth of important and convergent evidence discussed in the target article contrasts with the poorly conceived theory put forward to explain it. The simulation theory does a better job of explaining how automatic “mirroring” mechanisms might work together with high-level cognitive processes. It also explains what the authors' PAM theory merely stipulates.