Two recent arguments purport to find a new and firmer foundation for evidentialism in the very nature of the concept of belief. Evidentialism is claimed to be a conceptual truth about belief, and pragmatism to be ruled out, conceptually. But can the conclusion of such conceptual arguments be regarded as the denial of pragmatism? The pragmatist traditionally conceived belief through its motivational role. Therefore, when confronted with conceptual evidentialism, the pragmatist should cede the term ‘belief,’ but insist that pragmatism be (...) understood as a claim about another attitude, a motivational duplicate of belief. Thus, the original dispute is simply relocated terminologically. (shrink)
For more than one decade, Andy Clark has defended the now-famous extended mind thesis, the idea that cognitive processes leak into the world. In this paper I analyse Clark’s theoretical justification for the thesis: explanatory simplicity. I argue that his way of justifying the thesis leads into contradiction, either at the level of propositional attitude ascriptions or at the theoretical level. I evaluate three possible strategies of dealing with this issue, concluding that they are all likely to fail and that (...) therefore, as regards explanatory simplicity, the burden of proof is on Clark’s side. The paper divides into two main sections: in “Simplicity and Coherence”, I define the two concepts that are important in this context (simplicity and explanatory coherence). In “How to Cope with Coherence”, these two concepts are applied to the central thought experiment, the Inga/Otto case. It will be shown that justifying the extended mind thesis by reference to simplicity may cause trouble, because ‘extended’ behavioural descriptions are likely to yield rather complicated explanations. (shrink)
Intercultural discourse (especially via a lingua franca when interlocutors have a false impression that they are speaking one and the same language) adds a new dimension â facework (the establishment of culture-sensitive politeness strategies) â to the theory and practice of argumentation from a number of perspectives: its specificity as compared to ordinary argumentational discourse, the interpretation of the concept of incommensurability, and the conduct of international negotiations. Politeness systems relevant for different cultures are not unpredictable, but represent linguistically and (...) cognitively a highly generalised universal system which can be adopted by interlocutors and used in practical discourse. Politeness expressions are governed by linguistic components â by language forms of a certain type and by specific discourse patterns. The proper choice of language forms and discourse patterns adds a special dimension to argumentative schemata. The politeness-relevant packaging of discourse adds a zero-step to the normative stages of an argumentative discussion (establishing hierarchical relations as such), and needs permanent alignment of these relations, by using correct language forms and discourse patterns. (shrink)
The article considers relations between the generations, with particular attention given to older workers, who also face the pressures of responsibilities to both parents and children. The situations in Norway and the UK are compared. The case is made for support structures, such as senior quality circles, at the threshold between employment and retirement.
Clark and Chalmer’s conception of spatially extended memory is underpinned by an objectified conception of biological memory. To the extent that this can be identified with a ‘storage’ approach to memory, criticisms of it are well known and an alternative approach, perhaps more suited to an enactive account of cognition, might be one which focuses on remembering as a type of action. In the Otto story the objectification of memory is apparent not only in C&C’s characterization of the notebook but (...) also in the notion that Inga’s memory is notebook-like. Insofar as Inga’s practices, or conceptions, of remembering might be notebook-like this should not be taken as evidence of the existence of an internal store, but could instead be the result of prior interaction with notebook-like artifacts. (shrink)
Sensory dysfunction has been shown to be a part of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Nowadays we have an objective, non-invasive tool with which to measure neural manifestations of sensory dysfunction. Defined as time-locked changes to external stimuli in the EEG, event-related potentials (ERPs) provide an objective index of information processing in the human brain. Importantly, ERPs may be analyzed through a variety of approaches such as conventional ERP analysis, analysis in the time-frequency domain, microstate segmentation and topographical analysis, as well (...) as source localisation analysis. Each of the methods gives distinct information; they also supplement each other. Here, an attempt is made to verify the validity of combining different approaches to study sensory dysfunction in neuropsychiatric disorders. For example, the data from a schizophrenic patient and an age- and sex-matched healthy subject generate a picture of the events which emerges after visual, proprioceptive and simultaneous presentation of stimuli in both modalities. This approach, though time-consuming, allows the visualisation of changes appearing in the malfunctioning brain as compared to the healthy brain. These methods could ultimately lead to a better establishment of one or more endophenotypes for the schizophrenic disorders. They might also serve as a way to track changes in response to various medications and therapies. (shrink)