In this paper we introduce a paraconsistent reasoning strategy, Chunk and Permeate. In this, information is broken up into chunks, and a limited amount of information is allowed to flow between chunks. We start by giving an abstract characterisation of the strategy. It is then applied to model the reasoning employed in the original infinitesimal calculus. The paper next establishes some results concerning the legitimacy of reasoning of this kind – specifically concerning the preservation of the consistency of each chunk (...) – and concludes with some other possible applications and technical questions. (shrink)
Most academic efforts to understand morality and ideology come from theorists who limit the domain of morality to issues related to harm and fairness. For such theorists, conservative beliefs are puzzles requiring non-moral explanations. In contrast, we present moral foundations theory, which broadens the moral domain to match the anthropological literature on morality. We extend the theory by integrating it with a review of the sociological constructs of community, authority, and sacredness, as formulated by Emile Durkheim and others. We present (...) data supporting the theory, which also shows that liberals misunderstand the explicit moral concerns of conservatives more than conservatives misunderstand liberals. We suggest that what liberals see as a non-moral motivation for system justification may be better described as a moral motivation to protect society, groups, and the structures and constraints that are often (though not always) beneficial for individuals. Finally, we outline the possible benefits of a moral foundations perspective for System Justification Theory, including better understandings of 1) why the system-justifying motive is palliative despite some harmful effects, 2) possible evolutionary origins of the motive, and 3) the values and worldviews of conservatives in general. (shrink)
At this point in time the two-dimensional (2D) argument against physicalism is well known (Chalmers 2009; 2010), as are the many responses to it. However there has been a recent development that has yet to be widely discussed. Some philosophers have argued that we have equally compelling reasons to think that dualism is false based on the conceivability of mere physical duplicates which enjoy conscious experience in just the way we do (Martin 1998; Sturgeon 2000; Piccinini 2006; Frankish 2007; (...) class='Hi'>Brown 2010; Balog MS). This argument has not yet been properly understood and in this paper I aim to correct the most common misunderstandings. (shrink)
The relationship of words to the things they represent and to the mind that forms them has long been the subject of linguistic enquiry. Joseph Graham's challenging book takes this debate into the field of literary theory, making a searching enquiry into the nature of literary representation. It reviews the arguments of Plato's Cratylus on how words signify things, and of Chomsky's theory of the innate "natural" status of language (contrasted with Saussure's notion of its essential arbitrariness). In the (...) process, Graham explores the issues of meaning and intentionality in representation, and questions of how the mind represents the world. Graham's use of linguistic theories and models leads him to a new response to Wimsatt's notion of the verbal icon, Stanley Fish's concept of literature as self-consuming artifact, and de Man's idea of its function as an allegory of reading. In showing them in fact to be complementary, he transcends the current controversies among literary theorists, arguing that the solution lies not in epistemology or philosophy, but in psychology and the study of how literature teaches and why humans learn best by example. (shrink)
Perceptual entitlement and basic beliefs Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9603-3 Authors Peter J. Graham, University of California, 900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
This book develops an explanation for the roles of observation and theory in scientific endeavor that occupies the middle ground between empiricism and rationalism, and captures the strengths of both approaches. Brown argues that philosophical theories have the same epistemological status as scientific theories and constructs an epistemological theory that provides an account of the role that theory and instruments play in scientific observation. His theory of perception yields a new analysis of objectivity that combines the traditional view of (...) observation as the foundation of scientific objectivity with the contemporary recognition that observation is theory-dependent. (shrink)
Descartes is often accused of having fragmented the human being into two independent substances, mind and body, with no clear strategy for explaining the apparent unity of human experience. Deborah Brown argues that, contrary to this view, Descartes did in fact have a conception of a single, integrated human being, and that in his view this conception is crucial to the success of human beings as rational and moral agents and as practitioners of science. The passions are pivotal in (...) this, and in a rich and wide-ranging discussion she examines Descartes' place in the tradition of thought about the passions, the metaphysics of actions and passions, sensory representation, and Descartes' account of self-mastery and virtue. Her study is an important and original reading not only of Descartes' account of mind-body unity but also of his theory of mind. (shrink)
Time travelers and battles between people and machines provoke old philosophical questions: Can the past really be changed? How do we differentiate ourselves from machines? Can machines have an inner life? Brown (philosophy & critical thinking, LaGuardia Community Coll.) and Decker (philosophy, Eastern Washington Univ.; coeditor, Star Wars and Philosophy ) collect 19 essays by primarily young academics who pursue these questions with entertaining verve and philosophical skill. The Terminator story is about something well intentioned—a defense project—going wrong, but (...) none of the essays here presses this issue to a clear conclusion (readers whose interest is aroused would do well to read Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen's Moral Machines , concerned with actual machines and ones that might soon exist). Among the book's bright spots are contributions from Harry Chotiner and Jennifer Culver that show us something about how the movies work and explore the feminist issues posed by placing Sarah Connor at the center of the story. One essayist, Phillip Seng, addresses the philosophical trouble at the heart of the tale: telling good from evil in politics is hard. This book will earn a place in libraries by presenting serious issues in a way that attracts readers.—Leslie Armour, Dominican Univ. Coll., Ottawa, Ont. (shrink)
The Internet: A Philosophical Inquiry explores the tensions between the warnings of the Neo-Luddites and the bright optimism of the Technophiles, Graham offers the first concise and accessible exploration of the issues which arise as we enter further into the world of Cyberspace. This original and fascinating study takes us to the heart of questions that none of us can afford to ignore: how does the Internet affect our concepts of identity, moral anarchy, censorship, community, democracy, virtual reality (...) and imagination? Free of jargon and full of stimulating ideas, this is essential reading for anyone wishing to think clearly and informatively about the complexities of our technological future. (shrink)
In the last two decades the idea of African Philosophy has undergone significant change and scrutiny. Some critics have maintained that the idea of a system of philosophical thought tied to African traditions is incoherent. In African Philosophy Lee Brown has collected new essays by top scholars in the field that in various ways respond to these criticisms and defend the notion of African Philosophy. The essays address both epistemological and metaphysical issues that are specific to the traditional conceptual (...) languages of sub-Saharan Africa. The primary focus of the collection is on traditional African conceptions of topics like mind, person, personal identity, truth, knowledge, understanding, objectivity, destiny, free will, causation, and reality. The contributors--who include Leke Adeofe, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Lee Brown, Segun Gbadegesin, D.A. Masolo, Albert Mosley, Ifeanyi Menkiti, and Kwasi Wiredu--incorporate concerns from various African philosophical traditions, including Akan, Azande, Bokis, Igno, Luo, and Yoruba. African Philosophy ultimately tries to bring a more rigorous conception of African philosophy into fruitful contact with Western philosophical concerns, specifically in the philosophies of psychology, mind, science, and language, as well as in metaphysics and epistemology. It will appeal to both scholars and students. (shrink)
In Smoke and Mirrors , James Robert Brown fights back against figures such as Richard Rorty, Bruno Latour, Michael Ruse and Hilary Putnam who have attacked realistic accounts of science. This enlightening work also demonstrates that science mirrors the world in amazing ways. The metaphysics and epistemology of science, the role of abstraction, abstract objects, and a priori ways of getting at reality are all examined in this fascinating exploration of how science reflects reality. Both a defense of science (...) and knowledge in general and a defense of a particular way of understanding science, Smoke and Mirrors will be provocative and lively reading for all those who have an interest in how science works. (shrink)
What do corporations look like when they have integrity, and how can we move more companies in that direction? Corporate Integrity offers a timely, comprehensive framework- and practical business lessons - bringing together questions of organizational design, communication practices, working relationships, and leadership styles to answer this question. Marvin T. Brown explores the five key challenges facing modern businesses as they try to respond ethically to cultural, interpersonal, organizational, civic and environmental challenges. He demonstrates that if corporations are to (...) meet the needs of civil society, they must facilitate inclusive communication patterns based on mutual recognition and civic cooperation. Corporate Integrity is essential reading for professionals in organizational ethics, business leaders, and graduate students looking for practical and reflective insights into doing business with integrity and purpose. (shrink)
"It's all in the genes." Is this true, and if so, what is all in the genes? Genes: A Philosophical Inquiry is a crystal clear and highly informative guide to a debate none of us can afford to ignore. Beginning with a much-needed overview of the relationship between science and technology, Gordon Graham lucidly explains and assesses the most important and controversial aspects of the genes debate: Darwinian theory and its critics, the idea of the "selfish" gene, evolutionary (...) psychology, memes, genetic screening and modification, including the risks of cloning and "designer" babies. The author considers areas often left out of the genes debate, such as the environmental risks of genetic engineering and how we should think about genes in the wider context of debates on science, knowledge and religion. Gordon Graham asks whether genetic engineering might be introducing God back into the debate and whether the risks of a brave new genetic world outweigh the potential benefits. Essential reading for anyone interested in science, technology, and philosophy, Genes: A Philosophical Inquiry is ideal for those wanting to find out more about the ethical implications of genetics and the future of biotechnology. (shrink)
Eight Theories of Ethics is a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental theories of ethics . Gordon Graham begins by introducing fundamental issues that underpin the concept of ethics, such as relativism and objectivity, before introducing eight major theories: * Egoism * Hedonism * Naturalism and Virtue Theory * Existentialism * Kantianism * Utilitarianism * Contractualism * Religion The author brings often abstract issues to life by drawing on examples from the great moral philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Mill, Nietzsche, (...) Kant and Sartre. Contemporary examples, such as Darwinism, debates over human nature, the environment and citizenship are given. (shrink)
In this title, Stuart Brown guides the reader through three main topics: whether there is life after death; whether there is a powerful, beneficent intelligence of God controlling the universe; and the nature and appropriate defense of religious belief or faith.
Richard Harvey Brown's pioneering explorations in the philosophy of social science and the theory of rhetoric reach a culmination in Social Science as Civic Discourse . In his earlier works, he argued for a logic of discovery and explanation in social science by showing that science and art both depend on metaphoric thinking, and he has applied that logic to society as a narrative text in which significant action by moral agents is possible. This new work is at (...) once a philosophical critique of social theory and a social-theoretical critique of politics. Brown proposes to redirect the language and the mission of the social sciences toward a new discourse for a humane civic practice. (shrink)
Feynman diagrams: conceptual tools for theoretical physicists Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9580-y Authors Laurie M. Brown, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60201, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Aggleton & Brown (A&B) propose that the hippocampal-anterior thalamic and perirhinal-medial dorsal thalamic systems play independent roles in episodic memory, with the hippocampus supporting recollection-based memory and the perirhinal cortex, recognition memory. In this commentary we discuss whether there is experimental support for the A&B model from studies of long-term memory in semantic dementia.
In this book Keith Graham examines the philosophical assumptions behind the ideas of group membership and loyalty. Drawing out the significance of social context, he challenges individualist views by placing collectivities such as committees, classes or nations within the moral realm. He offers a new understanding of the multiplicity of sources which vie for the attention of human beings as they decide how to act, and challenges the conventional division between self-interest and altruism. He also offers a systematic (...) account of the different ways in which individuals can identify with or distance themselves from the groups to which they belong. His study will be of interest to readers in a range of disciplines including philosophy, politics, sociology, law and economics. (shrink)
Cottingham : Western philosophy : an anthology (second edition) -- Cahoone : from modernism to postmodernism : an anthology (expanded -- Second edition) -- Lafollette : ethics in practice : an anthology (third edition) -- Goodin and Pettit: contemporary political philosophy: an anthology (second -- Edition) -- Eze: african philosophy : an anthology -- McNeill and Feldman : continental philosophy : an anthology -- Kim and Sosa : metaphysics : an anthology -- Lycan and Prinz : mind and cognition : (...) an anthology (third edition) -- Kuhse and Singer : bioethics : an anthology (second edition) -- Cummins and Cummins : minds, brains, and computers : the foundations of -- Cognitive science : an anthology -- Sosa, Kim, Fantl, and McGrath epistemology : an anthology (second edition) -- Kearney and Rasmussen : continental aesthetics, romanticism to -- Postmodernism : an anthology -- Martinich and Sosa : analytic philosophy : an anthology -- Jacquette : philosophy of logic : an anthology -- Jacquette : philosophy of mathematics : an anthology -- Harris, Pratt, and Waters : American philosophies : an anthology -- Emmanuel and Goold: modern philosophy from Descartes to Nietzsche : an anthology -- Scharff and Dusek : philosophy of technology ; the technological condition : an anthology -- Light and Rolston : environmental ethics : an anthology -- Taliaferro and Griffiths : philosophy of religion : an anthology -- Lamarque and Olsen : aesthetics and the philosophy of art; the analytic -- Tradition : an anthology -- John and Lopes : philosophy of literature ; contemporary and classic -- Readings : an anthology -- Cudd and Andreasen : feminist theory : a philosophical anthology -- Carroll and Choi : philosophy of film and motion pictures : an anthology -- Lange : philosophy of science : an anthology -- Shafer-Landau and Cuneo : foundations of ethics : an anthology -- Curren : philosophy of education : an anthology -- Shafer-Landau : ethical theory : an anthology -- Cahn and Meskin : aesthetics : a comprehensive anthology -- McGrew, Alspector-Kelly and Allhoff : the philosophy of science : an historical -- Anthology -- May and Brown : the philosophy of law : classic and contemporary readings -- Forthcoming -- Rosenberg and ARP : philosophy of biology : an anthology. (shrink)
New concepts are constantly being introduced into our thinking. Conceptual Systems explores how these new concepts are entered into our systems along with sufficient continuity with older ideas to ensure understanding. The encyclopaedic breadth of this text highlights the many different aspects and disciplines that together present an insightful view into the various theories of concepts. Harold Brown, a reputable author in the philosophy of science examines several historically influential theories of concepts as well as providing a clear view (...) on the general theory of conceptual change. Interesting case studies examine examples of conceptual change in the history of physics including the move in seventeenth century physics from Galileo to Descates to Newton; and the conceptual framework of the "standard model" in the late twentieth century high- energy physics. The key central themes in the philosophy of science that are explored in- depth in this enormous book make it an essential read for academics in this field. (shrink)
Evolutionary theory is one of the most wide-ranging and inspiring of scientific ideas. It offers a battery of methods that can be used to interpret human behaviour. But the legitimacy of this exercise is at the centre of a heated controversy that has raged for over a century. Many evolutionary biologists, anthropologists and psychologists are optimistic that evolutionary principles can be applied to human behaviour, and have offered evolutionary explanations for a wide range of human characteristics, such as homicide, religion (...) and sex differences in behaviour. Others are sceptical of these interpretations. Moreover, researchers disagree as to the best ways to use evolution to explore humanity, and a number of schools have emerged. Sense and Nonsense provides an introduction to the ideas, methods and findings of five such schools, namely, sociobiology, human behavioural ecology, evolutionary psychology, cultural evolution, and gene-culture co-evolution. In this revised and updated edition of their successful monograph, Laland and Brown provide a balanced, rigorous analysis that scrutinizes both the evolutionary arguments and the allegations of the critics, carefully guiding the reader through the mire of confusing terminology, claim and counter-claim, and polemical statements. This readable and informative introductory book will be of use to undergraduate and postgraduate students (for example, in psychology, anthropology and zoology), to experts on one approach who would like to know more about the other perspectives, and to lay-persons interested in evolutionary explanations of human behaviour. Having completed this book, the reader should feel better placed to assess the legitimacy of claims made about human behaviour under the name of evolution, and to make judgements as to what is sense and what is nonsense. (shrink)
Several forms of naturalism are currently extant. Proponents of the various approaches disagree on matters of strategy and detail but one theme is common: we have not received any revelations about the nature of the world -- including our own nature. Whatever knowledge we have has been acquired through a fallible process of conjecture and revision. This common theme will bring to mind the writings of Karl Popper and, in many respects, Popper is the father of contemporary naturalism. Along with (...) Popper, the form of naturalism that I would defend is realistic in the following sense: it considers the acquisition of knowledge of the nature of the world to be a pursuable long-term goal of our epistemic activities. (See Brown [1987, 1988, 1990].) Popper's central interest in truth has led him to object to the pervasive concern with concepts among contemporary philosophers. Truth, Popper insists, is the fundamental epistemic concern; propositions are the bearers of truth; and the evaluation of propositions should be at the center of our epistemic focus (e.g., 1965, pp. 18-21; 1972, pp. 123-24). Concern with concepts, Popper maintains, is a distraction. Yet, this leaves us in an odd position. When we study a particular subject matter, one of our main problems is to determine what kinds of entities and processes occur in that domain. But the kinds of entities and processes we attribute to a domain will be captured in the concepts we use for describing that domain and, from a naturalistic point of view, concepts are no more available through revelation than are propositions. As our knowledge develops, we must not only propose and evaluate propositions, we must also propose and evaluate concepts. (shrink)
Brown, Jean Review(s) of: Indexer please enter the following minimum information (where available): TITLE, AUTHOR(S) and ISBN for each book reviewed.Supernatural selection: How religion Evolved, by Matt J. Rossano Oxford Press. 2010.
The Re-enchantment of the World is a philosophical exploration of the role of art and religion as sources of meaning in an increasingly material world dominated by science. Gordon Graham takes as his starting point Max Weber's idea that contemporary Western culture is marked by a 'disenchantment of the world' -- the loss of spiritual value in the wake of religion's decline and the triumph of the physical and biological sciences. Relating themes in Hegel, Nietzsche, Schleiermacher, Schopenhauer, and Gadamer (...) to topics in contemporary philosophy of the arts, Graham explores the idea that art, now freed from its previous service to religion, has the potential to re-enchant the world. In so doing, he develops an argument that draws on the strengths of both 'analytical' and 'continental' traditions of philosophical reflection. -/- The opening chapter examines ways in which human lives can be made meaningful as a background to the debates surrounding secularization and secularism. Subsequent chapters are devoted to painting, literature, music, architecture, and festival with special attention given to Surrealism, 19th-century fiction, James Joyce, the music of J. S. Bach and the operas of Wagner. Graham concludes that that only religion properly so called can 'enchant the world', and that modern art's ambition to do so fails. (shrink)
This edition makes available an entirely new version of Hegel's lectures on the development and scope of world history. Volume I presents Hegel's surviving manuscripts of his introduction to the lectures and the full transcription of the first series of lectures (1822-23). These works treat the core of human history as the inexorable advance towards the establishment of a political state with just institutions-a state that consists of individuals with a free and fully-developed self-consciousness. Hegel interweaves major themes of spirit (...) and culture-including social life, political systems, commerce, art and architecture, religion, and philosophy-with an historical account of peoples, dates, and events. Following spirit's quest for self-realization, the lectures presented here offer an imaginative voyage around the world, from the paternalistic, static realm of China to the cultural traditions of India; the vast but flawed political organization of the Persian Empire to Egypt and then the Orient; and the birth of freedom in the West to the Christian revelation of free political institutions emerging in the medieval and modern Germanic world. Brown and Hodgson's new translation is an essential resource for the English reader, and provides a fascinating account of the world as it was conceived by one of history's most influential philosophers. The Editorial Introduction surveys the history of the texts and provides an analytic summary of them, and editorial footnotes introduce readers to Hegel's many sources and allusions. For the first time an edition is made available that permits critical scholarly study, and translates to the needs of the general reader. (shrink)
Originally published in 1966 and now recognized as a classic, Norman O. Brown's meditation on the condition of humanity and its long fall from the grace of a natural, instinctual innocence is available once more for a new generation of readers. Love's Body is a continuation of the explorations begun in Brown's famous Life Against Death . Rounding out the trilogy is Brown's brilliant Apocalypse and/or Metamorphosis.
We live in a culture which, while largely dependent on science for its material welfare, is largely ignorant of the new ideas and perspectives on which science is based. This book examines the true significance of science and technology for society over the last three hundred years. Professor Hanbury Brown's insight and experience have resulted in a novel approach to the discussion of the cultural role of science. After reviewing the history of how science grew to be both useful (...) to, and feared by society, the book traces the same period in the context of new ideas and concepts in scientific research. Later chapters deal with society's current view of science and the need for attitudes to be changed, and then a discussion of the religious dimensions of science. This book aims to clear away some of the popular misconceptions about science and to put in their place a wider and deeper understanding of the nature of science and its value to society. (shrink)
Each of the two major approaches to Aristotle--the unitarian, which understands his work as forming a single, unified system, and the developmentalist, which seeks a sequence of developing ideas--has inherent limitations. This book proposes a synthetic view of Aristotle that sees development as a change between systematic theories. Setting theories of the so-called logical works beside theories of the physical and metaphysical treatises, Graham shows that Aristotle's doctrines fall into two distinct systems of philosophies that are genetically related. (...) This study--the first major alternative to the unitarian approach since Jaeger pioneered the developmentalist method in 1923--provides a sweeping reappraisal of Aristotle's science and metaphysics and a new approach to the problem of substance presented in the Metaphysics. (shrink)
Genocide in Rwanda, multiple murder at Denver or Dunblane, the gruesome activities of serial killers - what makes these great evils, and why do they occur? In addressing such questions this book, unusually, interconnects contemporary moral philosophy with recent work in New Testament scholarship. The conclusions to emerge are surprising. Gordon Graham argues that the inability of modernist thought to account satisfactorily for evil and its occurrence should not lead us to embrace an eclectic postmodernism, but to take seriously (...) some unfashionable pre-modern conceptions - Satan, demonic possession, spiritual powers, cosmic battles. Precisely because it strives to observe the high standards of clarity and rigour that are the hallmarks of philosophy in the analytical tradition, the book makes a powerful case for the rejection of humanism and naturalism, and for explaining the moral obligation to struggle against evil by reference to the New Testament's cosmic narrative. (shrink)
Deftly combining political science and philosophy, Graham systematically examines the central political ideologies of the Western world, including liberalism, socialism, democracy, nationalism, fascism, anarchy, and conservatism. He provides a clear account of the place of ideology in politics, touching on various sociological explanations as well as Marxist definitions. He explores the ideas of Mill, Marx, Locke, Luther, Fanon, Mussolini, and Burke as well as those of recent writers such as Robert Nozick, Roger Scruton, and Michael Oakeshott.
Graham, Noelle Comparisons are drawn between media reporting of eating disorders and other.forms of self-harm. Proper understanding of these illnesses can protect sufferers from further harm caused by inaccurate and insensitive reporting.
Is choice necessary for moral responsibility? And does choice imply alternative possibilities of some significant sort? This paper will relate these questions to the argument initiated by Harry Frankfurt that alternative possibilities are not required for moral responsibility, and to John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza's extension of that argument in terms of guidance control in a causally determined world. I argue that attending to Frankfurt's core conceptual distinction between the circumstances that make an action unavoidable and those that bring (...) it about that the action is performed – a distinction emphasised in his recent restatement – provides a new route into an analysis of Frankfurt's argument by showing how it depends on a person's ‘decision to act’ involving the exercise of choice. The implicit reliance of Frankfurt's argument on this notion of choice, however, undermines his claim that the example of the counterfactual intervener strengthens the compatibilist case by providing a counter-example to the principle of alternative possibilities. I also argue that Frankfurt's reliance on the exercise of choice for moral responsibility is also evident in the Fischer/Ravizza argument, and that a close analysis of both arguments shows that such exercise of choice is not available if causal determinism is true. (shrink)
Differences in ethical ideology are thought to influence individuals'' reasoning about moral issues (Forsyth and Nye, 1990; Forsyth, 1992). To date, relatively little research has addressed this proposition in terms of business-related ethical issues. In the present study, four groups, representing four distinct ethical ideologies, were created based on the two dimensions of the Ethical Position Questionnaire (idealism and relativism), as posited by Forsyth (1980). The ethical judgments of individuals regarding several business-related issues varied, depending upon their ethical ideology.
This contribution explores the psychological basis of illusion and the feeling of what is real in relation to a process theory (microgenesis) of mind/brain states. The varieties of illusion and the alterations in the feeling of realness are illustrated in cases of clinical pathology, as well as in everyday life. The basis of illusion does not rest in a comparison of appearance to reality nor in the relation of image to object, since these are antecedent and consequent phases in the (...) same mental state. The study of pathological illusions and hallucinations shows that the feeling of realness in an object depends on its coherence within and across perceptual modalities. Illusion is shown to be not the taking of the phenomenal for the real, but the overlooking of the real in the phenomenal, since all things exist, i.e. are real, as categories of intrinsic relations in the unique mode of their conception. Finally, the implications of the account are discussed in relation to moral conduct, self-realization, acceptance, and the will to enjoy a world of 'brain-born' mental phenomena. (shrink)
Philosophers have been talking about brain states for almost 50 years and as of yet no one has articulated a theoretical account of what one is. In fact this issue has received almost no attention and cognitive scientists still use meaningless phrases like 'C-fiber firing' and 'neuronal activity' when theorizing about the relation of the mind to the brain. To date when theorists do discuss brain states they usually do so in the context of making some other argument with the (...) result being that any discussion of what brain states are has a distinct en passant flavor. In light of this it is a goal of mine to make brain states the center of attention by providing some general discussion of them. I briefly look at the argument of Bechtel and Mundale, as I think that they expose a common misconception philosophers had about brain states early on. I then turn to briefly examining Polger's argument, as I think he offers an intuitive account of what we expect brain states to be as well as a convincing argument against a common candidate for knowledge about brain states that is currently "on the scene." I then introduce a distinction between brain states and states of the brain: Particular brain states occur against background states of the brain. I argue that brain states are patterns of synchronous neural firing, which reflects the electrical face of the brain; states of the brain are the gating and modulating of neural activity and reflect the chemical face of the brain. (shrink)
Microgenesis is a process model of the mind/brain state that has developed out of the study of clinical symptoms that arise with damage to the brain. The microgenetic theory of the mental state provides an account of the neural basis of duration, the present moment, and the replacement of one mental state by the next. The resemblance of this theory to the concepts of momentariness and the replication of points in Buddhist writings is explored here.
If personal identity consists in non-branching psychological continuity, then the sharp breaks in psychological connectedness characteristic of Multiple Personality Disorder implicitly commit psychological continuity theories to a metaphysically extravagant reification of alters. Animalist theories of personal identity avoid the reification of alternate personalities by interpreting multiple personality as a failure to integrate alternative autobiographical memory schemata. In the normal case, autobiographical memory cross-classifies a human life, and in so doing provides access to a variety of interpretative frameworks with their associated (...) clusters of general event memory and episodic memory. Multiples exhibit erratic behavior because they cannot access reliably the intersecting autobiographical memory schemata that permit graceful transitions between social roles, behavioral repertoire and emotional dispositions. Selves, in both normal and certain pathological cases, are best understood as semi-fictional narratives created by human animals to serve their social, emotional and physical needs. (shrink)
The issue of meaningful yet unexpressed background-to language and to our experiences of the body-is one whose exploration is still in its infancy. There are various aspects of ''invisible,'' implicit, or background experiences which have been investigated from the viewpoints of phenomenology, cognitive psychology, and linguistics. I will argue that James's concept of the phenomenon of fringes, as explicated by Gurwitsch, provides a structural framework from which to investigate and better understand ideas and concepts that are indeterminate, particularly those experienced (...) in the sense of being sought-after. Johnson's conception of the image-schematic gestalt (ISG) provides an approach to bridging the descriptive gap between phenomenology and cognitive psychology. Starting from an analysis of the fringes, I will turn to a consideration of the tip-of-tongue (TOT) state, as a kind of feeling-of-knowing (FOK) state, from a variety of approaches, focusing mainly on cognitive psychology and phenomenology. I will then integrate a phenomenological analysis of these experiences, from the James/Gurwitsch structural viewpoint, with a cognitive/phenomenological analysis in terms of ISGs, and further integrate that with a cognitive/functional analysis of the relation between consciousness and retrieval, employing Anderson et al's theory of inhibitory mechanisms in cognition. This synthesis of these viewpoints will be employed to explore the thesis that the TOT state and similar experiences may relate to the gestalt nature of schemas, and that figure/ground and other contrast-enhancing structures may be both explanatory and descriptive characterizations of the field of consciousness. (shrink)
A novel conceptual framework is introduced for the Complexity Levels Theory in a Categorical Ontology of Space and Time. This conceptual and formal construction is intended for ontological studies of Emergent Biosystems, Super-complex Dynamics, Evolution and Human Consciousness. A claim is defended concerning the universal representation of an item’s essence in categorical terms. As an essential example, relational structures of living organisms are well represented by applying the important categorical concept of natural transformations to biomolecular reactions and relational structures that (...) emerge from the latter in living systems. Thus, several relational theories of living systems can be represented by natural transformations of organismic, relational structures. The ascent of man and other living organisms through adaptation, is viewed in novel categorical terms, such as variable biogroupoid representations of evolving species. Such precise but flexible evolutionary concepts will allow the further development of the unifying theme of local-to-global approaches to highly complex systems in order to represent novel patterns of relations that emerge in super- and ultra-complex systems in terms of compositions of local procedures. Solutions to such local-to-global problems in highly complex systems with ‘broken symmetry’ might be possible to be reached with the help of higher homotopy theorems in algebraic topology such as the generalized van Kampen theorems (HHvKT). Categories of many-valued, Łukasiewicz-Moisil (LM) logic algebras provide useful concepts for representing the intrinsic dynamic ‘asymmetry’ of genetic networks in organismic development and evolution, as well as to derive novel results for (non-commutative) Quantum Logics. Furthermore, as recently pointed out by Baianu and Poli (Theory and applications of ontology, vol 1. Springer, Berlin, in press), LM-logic algebras may also provide the appropriate framework for future developments of the ontological theory of levels with its complex/entangled/intertwined ramifications in psychology, sociology and ecology. As shown in the preceding two papers in this issue, a paradigm shift towards non-commutative, or non-Abelian, theories of highly complex dynamics—which is presently unfolding in physics, mathematics, life and cognitive sciences—may be implemented through realizations of higher dimensional algebras in neurosciences and psychology, as well as in human genomics, bioinformatics and interactomics. (shrink)
What we believe depends on more than the purely intrinsic facts about us: facts about our environment or context also help determine the contents of our beliefs. 1 This observation has led several writers to hope that beliefs can be divided, as it were, into two components: a "core" that depends only on the individual?s intrinsic properties; and a periphery that depends on the individual?s context, including his or her history, environment, and linguistic community. Thus Jaegwon Kim suggests that "within (...) each noninternal psychological state that enters into the explanation of some action or behavior we can locate an ?internal core state? which can assume the causal-explanatory role of the noninternal state."2 In the same vein, Stephen Stich writes that "nonautonomous" states, like belief, are best viewed as "conceptually complex hybrids" made up of an autonomous component together with historical and contextual features.3 John Perry, whose term I have adopted, distinguishes between belief states, which are determined by an individual?s intrinsic properties, and objects of belief, which are not.4 And Daniel Dennett makes use of the same notion when he asks:5. (shrink)
Abstract The principal aim of this paper is to give a positive analysis of self-deception. I argue that self-deception is a species ?self-emplotment?. Through narrative self-emplotment one groups the events of one's life thematically in order to understand and monitor oneself. I argue that self-emplotment is an unextraordinary feature of mental life that is a precondition of agency. Self-emplotment, however, proceeds according to certain norms, some of which provide apparent justification for self-deceptive activity. A secondary aim of the paper is (...) to sketch the common characteristics between self-deception and self-knowledge. The framework of self-emplotment from which self-deception can emerge is also the framework that delivers self-knowledge; to the extent that the activity of self-emplotment is partially constitutive of what it means to possess self-knowledge, the self-deceiver may be closer to a state of self-knowledge than the person who fails to engage in significant introspective narrative. (shrink)
Following Burge, many anti-individualists suppose that a subject can possess a concept even if she incompletely understands it. While agreeing that this is possible, I argue that there is a limit on the extent to which a subject can incompletely understand the set of concepts she thinks with. This limit derives from our conception of our ability to reflectively evaluate our own thoughts or, as Burge puts it, our ability to engage in critical reasoning. The paper extends Burge's own work (...) on critical reasoning. He argued that critical reasoning imposes a limit on the extent to which we can be mistaken about what thoughts we are having; in general, we can know non-empirically what we are thinking (Burge, "Our Entitlement to Self-Knowledge", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society XCVI, 1996). He does not explicitly consider whether critical reasoning also imposes a limit on incomplete understanding of thoughts. (shrink)
In this dissertation I develop a structural model of phenomenal consciousness that integrates contemporary experimental and theoretical work in philosophy and cognitive science. I argue that phenomenology must be “naturalized” and that it should be acknowledged as a major component of empirical research. I use this model to describe important phenomenal structures, and I then employ it to provide a detailed explication of tip-of-tongue phenomena. The primary aim of “structural phenomenology” is the creation of a general framework within which descriptions (...) of experiences may be organized. The work of Husserl, Gurwitsch, the Gestalt psychologists, and many contemporary philosophers and cognitive scientists reveals several basic parameters underlying subjectivity. Chapter I argues that Husserlian methodology possesses problems both of praxis and of internal logic, and that its phenomenological descriptions cannot have the certainty he claimed. Consequently, an adequate phenomenology must incorporate empirical studies. This conclusion enables explicit transitions between empirical investigations and phenomenological insights. Chapter II introduces the theoretical framework underlying my model. I identify four parameters applicable to all experiences: 1) the degree of volitional emphasis with which something is experienced, i.e., the intensity of our focus on it, 2) the degree of non-volitional emphasis, i.e., the degree to which it is salient, 3) a variant of intentionality I term “directionality”, and 4) the property of recursion. Experiences are embedded within a complex set of relationships that unify and direct a layered phenomenal structure. I support these claims with evidence discovered over the past two centuries of research. Chapter III applies my model to the tip-of-tongue (TOT) state, in which difficulty remembering is accompanied by a sense of active searching. I show that a phenomenological description of the TOT experience is dependent on cognitive data, and that a phenomenological analysis is necessary to properly interpret these data. By showing how structural phenomenology offers a perspective from which to elucidate the results of experimental studies, I hope to clarify and establish the explicit role of introspection in empiricism, and of empiricism in phenomenology. (shrink)
The main contribution of this paper is a new account of how a community may introduce a term for a natural kind in advance of knowing the correct scientific account of that kind. The account is motivated by the inadequacy of the currently dominant accounts of how a community may do this, namely those proposed by Kripke and by Putman. Their accounts fail to deal satisfactorily with the facts that (1) typically, an item that instantiates one natural kind instantiates several (...) - 'the higher-level natural kinds problem', and (2) natural kinds often occur in nature in impure form - 'the composition problem' .On the account I propose, a term for a natural kind gains its reference by being associated with a recognitional capacity for that kind. I show how members of a scientifically ignorant community could have a recognitional capacity for a natural kind, say gold, as opposed to a certain kind of appearance, for instance the appearance that gold actually has. I argue that members of such a community can have recognitional capacities for particular natural kinds despite the actual or possible existence of duplicate kinds, e.g. water. After developing the account in detail, I show how it can deal with the two problems faced by Kripke's and Putnam's problem. The case of natural kind terms is crucial to the central debate in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind about whether we can refer non-descriptively to objects and kinds in the world. I take the account I propose to be a non-descriptive account of linguistic reference to natural kinds that can be used to support externalism in the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
Too little attention has been paid by philosophers to the cognitive and epistemic dimensions of emotional disturbances such as depression, grief, and anxiety and to the possibility of justification or warrant for such conditions. The chief aim of the present paper is to help to remedy that deficiency with respect to depression. Taxonomy of depression reveals two distinct forms: depression (1) with intentionality and (2) without intentionality. Depression with intentionality can be justified or unjustified, warranted or unwarranted. I argue that (...) the effort of Aaron Beck to show that depressive reasoning is necessarily illogical and distorted is flawed. I identify an essential characteristic of that depression which is a mental illness. Finally, I describe the potential of depression to provide credal contact with important truths. (shrink)
This paper outlines a multidimensional conception of Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) that differs from the 'orthodox' conception in terms of the content of its commitment to the reality of the self. Unlike the orthodox conception it recognizes that selves are fuzzy entities. By appreciating the possibility that selves are fuzzy entities, it is possible to rebut a form of fictionalism about the self which appeals to clinical data from MPD. Realism about self can be preserved in the face of multiple (...) personalities. (shrink)
Examples of classic thought experiments are presented and some morals drawn. The views of my fellow symposiasts, Tamar Gendler, John Norton, and James McAllister, are evaluated. An account of thought experiments along a priori and Platonistic lines is given. I also cite the related example of proving theorems in mathematics with pictures and diagrams. To illustrate the power of these methods, a possible refutation of the continuum hypothesis using a thought experiment is sketched.
This paper approaches the question of corporate integrity and leadership from a civic perspective, which means that corporations are seen as members of civil society, corporate members are seen as citizens, and corporate decisions are guided by civic norms. Corporate integrity, from this perspective, requires that the communication patterns that constitute interpersonal relationships at work exhibit the civic norm of reciprocity and acknowledge the need for security and the right to participate. Since leaders are members of corporate relationships, their integrity (...) will be determined by the integrity of these interpersonal relationships, and by their efforts to improve them. (shrink)
Whether human thinking can be formalized and whether machines can think in a human sense are questions that have been addressed by both Peirce and Searle. Peirce came to roughly the same conclusion as Searle, that the digital computer would not be able to perform human thinking or possess human understanding. However, his rationale and Searle's differ on several important points. Searle approaches the problem from the standpoint of traditional analytic philosophy, where the strict separation of syntax and semantics renders (...) understanding impossible for a purely syntactical device. Peirce disagreed with that analysis, but argued that the computer would only be able to achieve algorithmic thinking, which he considered the simplest type. Although their approaches were radically dissimilar, their conclusions were not. I will compare and analyze the arguments of both Peirce and Searle on this issue, and outline some implications of their conclusions for the field of Artificial Intelligence. (shrink)
This article presents a conceptual framework within feminist therapy theory for viewing overt and covert racist behaviors as forms of unethical action. Using the personal as theoretical and political, the author traces her process of having her consciousness raised regarding the issue of racism in psychotherapy. Racism is then conceptualized as an ethics problem in terms of lack of mutuality and respect, violation of boundaries, and unethical imbalance of power in the therapy relationship. The concept of antiracism, a proactive stance (...) to address overt and covert racism in therapy, is presented as a strategy for moving toward more ethical therapy practice. (shrink)
Philosophical discussions of prioritarianism, the view that we ought to give priority to those who are worse off, have hitherto been almost exclusively focused on cases involving a fixed population. The aim of this paper is to extend the discussion of prioritarianism to encompass also variable populations. I argue that prioritarianism, in its simplest formulation, is not tenable in this area. However, I also propose several revised formulations that, so I argue, show more promise.
Ronald Dworkin’s work on the topic of equality over the past twenty-five years or so has been enormously influential, generating a great deal of debate about equality both as a practical aim and as a theoretical ideal. The present article attempts to assess the importance of one particular aspect of this work. Dworkin claims that the acceptance of abstract egalitarian rights to equal concern and respect can be thought to provide a kind of plateau in political argument, accommodating as it (...) does a number of well-known ethical theories of social arrangement from utilitarianism to libertarianism. The article explores the moral foundations of these egalitarian rights and critically examines five specific reasons for supposing they matter in political debate. It is argued that though these reasons are perhaps less constructive than they might be reasonably expected to be, there is another more fundamental question we can ask about the scope of egalitarian rights the answer to which might ultimately help to explain their fundamental nature and importance. That question is: equality among whom? (shrink)
A major theme of recent philosophy of science has been the rejection of the empiricist thesis that, with the exception of terms which play a purely formal role, the language of science derives its meaning from some, possibly quite indirect, correlation with experience. The alternative that has been proposed is that meaning is internal to each conceptual system, that terms derive their meaning from the role they play in a language, and that something akin to "meaning" flows from conceptual framework (...) to experience. Much contemporary debate on the nature of conceptual change is a direct outgrowth of this holistic view of concepts, and much of the inconclusiveness of that debate derives from the lack of any clear understanding of what a conceptual system is, or of how conceptual systems confer meaning on their terms. (shrink)
Reductionism about testimony holds that testimonial warrant or entitlement is just a species of inductive warrant. Anti-Reductionism holds that it is different from inductive but analogous to perceptual or memorial warrant. Perception receives much of its positive epistemic status from being reliably truthconducive in normal conditions. One reason to reject the epistemic analogy is that testimony involves agency – it goes through the will of the speaker – but perception does not. A speaker might always choose to lie or otherwise (...) deliberately mislead. It is argued that the force of this derives (in part) from Libertarianism about agency, and that Libertarianism, if it undermines the Anti-Reductionist explanation of why we are entitled to rely upon testimony, undermines the Reductionist explanation as.. (shrink)
Metacognitive attitudes can affect behavior but do they do so, as Koriat claims, because they enhance voluntary control? This Commentary makes a case for saying that metacognitive consciousness may enhance not control but subjective predictability and may be best studied by examining not just healthy, well-integrated cognizers, but victims of multilevel mental disorders.
All our conscious experiences, linguistic and nonlinguistic, are bound up with and dependent on a background that is vague, unexpressed, and sometimes unconscious. The combination of William JamesÕs concept of "fringes" coupled with Aaron GurwitschÕs analysis of the field of consciousness provides a general structure in which to embed phenomenal descriptions, enabling fringe phenomena to be understood, in part, relative to other experiences. I will argue, drawing on examples from Drew LederÕs book, The Absent Body, that specific and detailed phenomena (...) can and should be interrelated through JamesÕs and GurwitschÕs analyses. I am proposing first that phenomenological descriptions in general could benefit from explicit consideration of the context of the phenomena within the totality of the field of consciousness, and second, that establishing that context requires a general structural model of that field, similar to that provided by Gurwitsch. (shrink)