"This collection of classic essays in the study of visual culture fills a major gap in this new and expanding intellectual field. Its major strength is its insistence on the importance of three central aspects of the study of visual culture: the sign, the institution and the viewing subject. It will provide readers, teachers and students with an essential text in visual and cultural studies." - Janet Wolff, University of Rochester Visual Culture: The Reader provides an invaluable resource of over (...) 30 key statements from a wide range of disciplines. Although underpinned by a focus on contemporary cultural theory, this reader puts issues of visual culture and the rhetoric of the image at centre stage. Divided into three parts, The Culture of the Visual, Regulating Photographic Meaning, Looking and Subjectivity, this reader enables students to make hitherto unmade connections across art, film and photography history and theory, semiotics, history, semiotics and communications, media studies, and cultural theory. The key statements are from the work of: Visual Culture: The Reader sets the agenda for the study of Visual Culture and will be an essential sourcebook for researchers and students alike. This is the reader for the module The Image and Visual Culture (D850) - part of The Open University Masters in Social Sciences Programme. (shrink)
C. Stephen Evans explains and defends Kierkegaard's account of moral obligations as rooted in God's commands, the fundamental command being `You shall love your neighbour as yourself'. The work will be of interest not only to those interested in Kierkegaard, but also to those interested in the relation between ethics and religion, especially questions about whether morality can or must have a religious foundation. As well as providing a comprehensive reading of Kierkegaard as an ethical thinker, Evans (...) puts him into conversation with contemporary moral theorists. Kierkegaard's divine command theory is shown to be an account that safeguards human flourishing, as well as protecting the proper relations between religion and state in a pluralistic society. (shrink)
Dienes' & Perner's proposals are discussed in relation to the distinction between explicit and implicit systems of thinking. Evans and Over (1996) propose that explicit processing resources are required for hypothetical thinking, in which mental models of possible world states are constructed. Such thinking requires representations in which the individuals' propositional attitudes including relevant beliefs and goals are made fully explicit.
'IF' is one of the most important and interesting words in the English language, being used to express hypothetical thought. The use of conditionals such as 'if' also distinguishes human intelligence from that of all other animals. In this volume, Jonathan Evans and David Over present a new theoretical approach to understanding hypothetical thought. The book draws on studies from the psychology of judgement and decision making, as well as philosophical logic.
Was love invented by European poets in the middle ages, as C. S. Lewis claimed, or is it part of human nature? Will winning the lottery really make you happy? Is it possible to build robots that have feelings? These are just some of the intriguing questions explored in this new guide to the latest thinking about the emotions. Drawing on a wide range of scientific research, from anthropology and psychology to neuroscience and artificial intelligence, Emotion: The Science of Sentiment (...) takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the human heart. Illustrating his points with entertaining examples from fiction, film, and popular culture, Dylan Evans ranges from the evolution of the emotions to the nature of love and happiness to the language of feelings, offering readers the most recent thinking on real life topics that touch us all. But Emotion is also a book filled with surprises. Readers will discover, for instance, that the basic emotions are felt the world over--whether we live in the shadow of Times Square or in the depths of the rain forest, we all feel the emotions of disgust, joy, surprise, anger, fear, and distress. We find out that, according to research, winning the lottery does not cause a lasting increase in happiness--a short-lived euphoria is followed in almost every case with a return to our usual emotional state, if not worse. And we meet Kismet, an MIT robot that can express a wide range of emotions, from fear to happiness. Fun to read and based on the latest scientific thinking, here is a stimulating look at our emotions. (shrink)
Turning Images in Philosophy, Science, and Religion: A New Book of Nature brings together new essays addressing the role of images and imagination recruited in the perennial debates surrounding nature, mind, and God. -/- The debate between "new atheists" and religious apologists today is often hostile. This book sets a new tone by locating the debate between theism and naturalism (most "new atheists" are self-described "naturalists") in the broader context of reflection on imagination and aesthetics. The eleven essays will be (...) of interest to anyone who is fascinated by the power of imagination and the role of aesthetics in deciding between worldviews or philosophies of nature. Representing a variety of points of view, authors include outstanding philosophers of religion and of science, a distinguished art historian, and a visual artist. -/- The book begins with Martin Kemp's essay on the work of the biologist, mathematician and classical scholar D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson in which Kemp develops the idea of "structural intuitions and a critique of reductive thinking about the natural world. This is followed by Geoffrey Gorham's overview and analysis of images of nature and God found in early modern science and philosophy. Anthony O'Hear questions a reductive, naturalist account of the origin of mind and values. Dale Jacquette offers a thoroughgoing naturalistic philosophy of the emergence of intentionality and a unique argument about the emergence of art and the aesthetic appreciation of nature. E.J. Lowe brings to light some challenges facing naturalistic approaches to human imaginative sensibility. Douglas Hedley articulates and defends a cognitive account of imagination, highlighting some of the difficulties confronting naturalism. Daniel N. Robinson offers a sweeping treatment of nature and naturalism, historically engaging Aristotle, Kant, Hegel and others. Conor Cunningham provides an aggressive critique of contemporary naturalism. Gordon Graham investigates the resources of naturalism in accounting for our sense of the sacred. Mark Wynn provides a subtle understanding of imagination and perception, suggesting how these may play into the theism - naturalism debate. The book concludes with Jil Evans' reflections on how images of the Galapagos Islands have been employed philosophically to picture either a naturalist or theistic image of nature. (shrink)
This authoritative and lively exploration of the theories of contemporary feminism covers all the major variants of feminist political thought from the "traditional" schools of the women's movement-particularly radical, liberal, and socialist-to today's postmodern texts. Feminist Theory Today examines the epistemological challenge from critical legal theory and postmodernist thought; the divergences within, as well as between, feminist schools; and the protests from women marginalized by the feminist movement, including those who are lesbian and those who are black. It also interrogates (...) the dialectic equality and difference and reconceptualizes this pervasive tenet of feminist thought. Author Judith Evans documents the changes in socialist feminism from its revolutionary origins to its current focus on modifying liberal democratic forms. Students and teachers of women's studies, sociology, and political theory will find this an authoritative and lively exploration of the theories of contemporary feminism. It is also essential reading for anyone seeking to understand why the women's movement is as it is today. (shrink)
In Taking Christian Moral Thought Seriously--the first book in the Christian Ethics series--editor Jeremy A. Evans establishes that the separation of church and state is not a principle of the U.S. Constitution (or any other founding ...
Covering the work of Frege, Russell, and more recent work on singular reference, this important book examines the concepts of perceptually-based demonstrative identification, thought about oneself, and recognition-based demonstrative identification.
The idea that intuition plays a basic role in moral knowledge and moral philosophy probably began in the eighteenth century. British philosophers such as Anthony Shaftsbury, Francis Hutcheson, Thomas Reid, and later David Hume talk about a “moral sense” that they place in John Locke’s theory of knowledge in terms of Lockean reflexive perceptions, while Richard Price seeks a faculty by which we obtain our ideas of right and wrong. In (...) the twentieth century intuitionism in moral philosophy was revived by the works of G. E. Moore, H. A. Prichard, and W. D. Ross. These philosophers reject Kantian deontological ethics and utilitarianism insisting that intuition is the only source of moral knowledge. Recently, there is a renewed interest in intuition by philosophers doing meta-philosophy by reflecting on what philosophers do, and why they disagree. In this essay we plan to take some of this recent literature on intuition and apply it to moral philosophy. We will proceed by (1) defining a conception of intuition, (2) answering some skeptical challenges, (3) delimiting its target, and (4) arguing that intuition is often a source of moral knowledge. (shrink)
Abstract Recently, strong arguments have been offered for the inclusion of jus post bellum in just war theory. If this addition is indeed justified, it is plain that, due to the variety in types of post-conflict situation, the content of jus post bellum will necessarily vary. One instance when it looks as if it should become "extended" in its scope, ranging well beyond (for example) issues of "just peace terms," is when occupation of a defeated enemy is necessary. In this (...) situation, this article argues that an engagement by jus post bellum with the morality of post-conflict reconstruction is unavoidable. However, the resulting extension of jus post bellum 's stipulations threatens to generate conflict with another tenet that it would surely wish to endorse with respect to "just occupation," namely, that sovereignty or self-determination should be restored to the occupied people as soon as is reasonably possible. Hence, the action-guiding objective of the theory could become significantly problematized. The article concludes by considering whether this problem supports the claim that the addition of jus post bellum to just war theory is actually more problematic than its supporters have realized. (shrink)
In this paper, I show that the question of how dual process theories of reasoning and judgement account for conflict between System 1 (heuristic) and System 2 (analytic) processes needs to be explicated and addressed in future research work. I demonstrate that a simple additive probability model that describes such conflict can be mapped on to three different cognitive models. The pre-emptive conflict resolution model assumes that a decision is made at the outset as to whether a heuristic or analytic (...) process will control the response. The parallel-competitive model assumes that each system operates in parallel to deliver a putative response, resulting sometimes in conflict that then needs to be resolved. Finally, the default-interventionist model involves the cueing of default responses by the heuristic system that may or may not be altered by subsequent intervention of the analytic system. A second, independent issue also emerges from this discussion. The superior performance of higher-ability participants on reasoning tasks may be due to the fact that they engage in more analytic reasoning ( quantity hypothesis ) or alternatively to the fact that the analytic reasoning they apply is more effective ( quality hypothesis ). (shrink)
It often seems obvious to us that our pleasures can justify our actions. If I ask you why you’re reading right now instead of dancing, and if your answer is that reading, unlike dancing, is just something you like to do, then (all else equal) your answer seems perfectly sufficient. To demand that you specify some further end you have in enjoying yourself would seem unreasonable if not bizarre. As Elizabeth Anscombe observes, “‘It’s pleasant’ is an adequate answer to ‘What’s (...) the good of it?’ or ‘What do you want that for?’ I.e. the chain of ‘Why’s’ comes to an end with this answer.” (Anscombe 1957/1999, 77) And from this observation alone it is natural to infer—as Plato’s Academic colleague Eudoxus apparently does—that your taking pleasure in something gives you a special, non-derivative reason to pursue that thing. Consider the following argument, attributed by Aristotle to Eudoxus in book X of the Nicomachean Ethics. (shrink)
[About the book] This book explores the idea that we have two minds - automatic, unconscious, and fast, the other controlled, conscious, and slow. In recent years there has been great interest in so-called dual-process theories of reasoning and rationality. According to such theories, there are two distinct systems underlying human reasoning - an evolutionarily old system that is associative, automatic, unconscious, parallel, and fast, and a more recent, distinctively human system that is rule-based, controlled, conscious, serial, and slow. Within (...) the former, processes the former, processes are held to be innate and to use heuristics that evolved to solve specific adaptive problems. In the latter, processes are taken to be learned, flexible, and responsive to rational norms. Despite the attention these theories are attracting, there is still poor communication between dual-process theorists themselves, and the substantial bodies of work on dual processes in cognitive psychology and social psychology remain isolated from each other. This book brings together leading researchers on dual processes to summarize the state-of-the-art, highlight key issues, present different perspectives, explore implications, and provide a stimulus to further work. It includes new ideas about the human mind both by contemporary philosophers interested in broad theoretical questions about mental architecture and by psychologists specialising in traditionally distinct and isolated fields. For all those in the cognitive sciences, this is a book that will advance dual-process theorizing, promote interdisciplinary communication, and encourage further applications of dual-process approaches. (shrink)
Genealogy is a critical method employed most notably by Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault. Although he does not explicitly acknowledge it, Mikhail Bakhtin, the Russian linguist and philosopher of language, also uses this method. I examine the way these three thinkers construe both the critical and the affirmative roles of genealogy. The 'affirmative role' refers to what genealogy itself valorizes in exposing the limits of the universal claims it critiques. I identify three tasks of the critical role of genealogy and (...) explore what I feel are two limitations of its affirmative side: the anonymity of Nietzsche's 'eternal return of the same' and the indeterminacy of Foucault's 'undefined work of freedom'. I argue that a judicious use of Bakhtin's notions of 'voice' and 'dialogized heteroglossia' can help genealogy to overcome these two limitations without resurrecting the totalizing systems of thought that all three thinkers repudiate. Key Words: Bakhtinian 'voice' Friedrich Nietzsche genealogy 'heteroglossia' Michel Foucault Mikhail Bakhtin multi-voiced body power resistance will-to-power. (shrink)
Both Nietzsche and Merleau-Ponty repudiate the mirror view of perception and embrace what Nietzsche refers to as solar love or creative perception. I argue that Merleau-Ponty thinks of this type of perception primarily in terms of convergence and Nietzsche in terms of divergence. I then show how, contrary to their own emphases, Merleau-Ponty's notion of flesh and Nietzsche's idea of chaos suggest that convergence and divergence are abstractions from an ontologically prior realm of hybrid perceptions. In this realm, each perception (...) is shot through with the others, simultaneously inside and outside one another. The creative tension among these perceptions continually produces new perspectives or voices, that is, a realm whose very being is metamorphosis. Moreover, this realm of hybrid perceptions suggests a political principle that might prove attractive for communities in an age of diversity and cultural hybridity. (shrink)
Most readers of ancient Greek psychology will agree that the Philebus is where we find Platos best attempt to theorize about bodily pain.1 But they will probably also agree that the account he develops there has no real chance of being true, and so should not have much appeal to us today at least insofar as we are philosophers rather than historians. Its this second conviction that I want to challenge in what follows. More specifically, I want to argue (...) for two connected claims about the merits of Platos account: first, that despite its flaws which are significant it is stronger and more subtle than most commentators have yet realized; and second, that it anticipates in interesting ways a view that has become both increasingly popular and increasingly controversial in the last couple of decades: the view that pains like beliefs, desires, hopes, and fears are mental states with representational content. I will call this view representationalism. (shrink)
Articulating the good of liberal education—what we should teach and why we should teach it—is necessary to resist the subversion of liberal education to economic or political ends and the mania for measurable skills. I argue that Iris Murdoch's philosophical writings enrich the work of contemporary Aristotelians, such as Joseph Dunne and Alasdair MacIntyre, on these issues. For Murdoch, studies in the arts and intellectual subjects, by connecting students to the inescapable contingency and finitude of human existence, contribute to the (...) cultivation of intellectual and moral virtues and thus to human flourishing. (shrink)
Most of us — philosophers and non-philosophers alike — accept that at least some pleasures are appropriate targets of ethical criticism. Even hedonists typically concede that there’s something bad about taking pleasure in certain states or events, such as the undeserved suffering of other people.1 So it’s not particularly surprising to find that Plato, the first philosopher to deal with this issue in any significant detail, holds a similar view. In three of his most celebrated dialogues — the Gorgias, the (...) Phaedo, and the Republic — he gives lengthy arguments to the effect that part of what it is to be virtuous is to be pleased by the right sort of thing in the right sort of way.2 In the Philebus, however, he takes this idea in a dramatic new direction. He has Socrates insist, with great fanfare, that pleasures are to be criticized in precisely the same way that beliefs are (36c-42c). Indeed, he has Socrates go so far as to say that pleasures, like beliefs, are bad just insofar as, and just because, they are false (40e9-10).3 This claim — which I will call the Grounding Thesis — is liable to strike most of us, at least initially, as misguided if not unintelligible. Even those who accept that pleasures and pains can be bearers of ethical value are not inclined to accept that the ethical value in question here is, or is grounded in, any sort of semantic or representational value.4 Nor are they likely to accept that it is useful (or even possible) to assign such values to.. (shrink)
The phenomenon known as matching bias consists of a tendency to see cases as relevant in logical reasoning tasks when the lexical content of a case matches that of a propositional rule, normally a conditional, which applies to that case. Matching is demonstrated by use of the negations paradigm that is by using conditionals in which the presence and absence of negative components is systematically varied. The phenomenon was first published in 1972 and the present paper reviews the history of (...) research and theorising on the problem in the subsequent 25 years. Theories of matching bias considered include those based on several broad frameworks including the heuristic-analytic theory, the mental models theory, the theory of optimal data selection, and relevance theory as well as the specific processing-negations account. The ability of these theories to account for a range of phenomena is considered, including the effects of linguistic form, realistic content, and explicit negation on the matching bias effect. Of particular importance are recent findings showing that the bias is observable on a wider range of linguistic forms than has generally been thought, and that it is almost entirely dependent on the use of implicit negation in the logical cases to which rules are applied. The reasons for the general suppression of matching when realistic content is used are, however, unclear and a need for further research is identified here. It is concluded that matching bias is a highly robust effect which is closely connected with the problem of understanding implicit negation. Most of the theories in the literature are unable to account for at least some of the major phenomena discovered in research on the bias. The accounts that fare best are those that posit local effects of negation, including the heuristic-analytic and processing negations theories. (shrink)
Carruthers’proposals would seem to implicate language in what is known as System 2 thinking (explicit) rather than System 1 thinking (implicit) in contemporary dual process theories of thinking and reasoning. We provide outline description of these theories and show that while Carruthers’characterization of non-verbal processes as domain-specific identifies one critical feature of System 1 thinking, he appears to overlook the fact that much cognition of this type results from domain-general learning processes. We also review cognitive psychological evidence that shows that (...) language and the explicit representations it supports are heavily involved in supporting System 1 thinking, but falls short of supporting his claim that it is the medium in which domain-general thinking occurs. (shrink)
Most people think that it is possible, if not common, for us to do things that we know are better left undone. But in a famous passage of Plato’s Protagoras (351b-358e) Socrates argues otherwise. His conclusion, roughly put, is that we are capable of acting incorrectly only if (and only when) we fail to recognize that we are acting incorrectly. If he is right about this, then we could never do anything we knew was better left undone, since our having (...) this knowledge would always be sufficient to prevent us from making any such practical mistakes. So either most people are wrong about the power of knowledge over action, or the argument Socrates gives us in the Protagoras — which I will call the Knowledge Argument — is unsound. (shrink)
In this study, we examine the belief bias effect in syllogistic reasoning under both standard presentation and in a condition where participants are required to respond within 10 seconds. As predicted, the requirement for rapid responding increased the amount of belief bias observed on the task and reduced the number of logically correct decisions, both effects being substantial and statistically significant. These findings were predicted by the dual-process account of reasoning, which posits that fast heuristic processes, responsible for belief bias, (...) compete with slower analytic processes that can lead to correct logical decisions. Requiring rapid responding thus differentially inhibits the operation of analytic reasoning processes, leading to the results observed. (shrink)
This paper pursues two goals. The first concerns clarifying the relationship between Deleuze and the Russian linguist and culturologist, Mikhail Bakhtin. Not only does Deleuze refer to Bakhtin as a primary source for his emphasis on voice and indirect discourse, both thinkers valorise heterogeneity and creativity. I argue Deleuze's notions of ‘deterritorialisation’ and ‘reterritorialisation’ parallel Bakhtin's idea of ‘heteroglossia’ and ‘monoglossia’. Clarifying the relationship between Deleuze and Bakhtin leads directly to the second of my two other goals. I will argue (...) that an important difference in their characterisation of voice reveals a strong point in Deleuze's philosophy, one related to the political sphere. At the same time, however, Deleuze's particular way of articulating this point conceals a weakness, one related to the idea of the subject. I will conclude my paper by suggesting a way to address this weakness. (shrink)
Many philosophers and psychologists now argue that emotions play a vital role in reasoning. This paper explores one particular way of elucidating how emotions help reason which may be dubbed ?the search hypothesis of emotion?. After outlining the search hypothesis of emotion and dispensing with a red herring that has marred previous statements of the hypothesis, I discuss two alternative readings of the search hypothesis. It is argued that the search hypothesis must be construed as an account of what emotions (...) typically do, rather than as a definition of emotion. Even as an account of what emotions typically do, the search hypothesis can only be evaluated in the context of a specific theory of what emotions are. 1 Introduction 2 The search hypothesis of emotion 3 A red herring: the frame problem 4 The search problem 5 Two readings of the search hypothesis 6 Two final remarks 7 Conclusion. (shrink)
The two main psychological theories of the ordinary conditional were designed to account for inferences made from assumptions, but few premises in everyday life can be simply assumed true. Useful premises usually have a probability that is less than certainty. But what is the probability of the ordinary conditional and how is it determined? We argue that people use a two stage Ramsey test that we specify to make probability judgements about indicative conditionals in natural language, and we describe experiments (...) that support this conclusion. Our account can explain why most people give the conditional probability as the probability of the conditional, but also why some give the conjunctive probability. We discuss how our psychological work is related to the analysis of ordinary indicative conditionals in philosophical logic. (shrink)
Three experiments investigated the effect of rarity on people's selection and interpretation of data in a variant of the pseudodiagnosticity task. For familiar (Experiment 1) but not for arbitrary (Experiment 3) materials, participants were more likely to select evidence so as to complete a likelihood ratio when the initial evidence they received was a single likelihood concerning a rare feature. This rarity effect with familiar materials was replicated in Experiment 2 where it was shown that participants were relatively insensitive to (...) explicit manipulations of the likely diagnosticity of rare evidence. In contrast to the effects for data selection, there was an effect of rarity on confidence ratings after receipt of a single likelihood for arbitrary but not for familiar materials. It is suggested that selecting diagnostic evidence necessitates explicit consideration of the alternative hypothesis and that consideration of the possible consequences of the evidence for the alternative weakens the rarity effect in confidence ratings. Paradoxically, although rarity effects in evidence selection and confidence ratings are in the spirit of Bayesian reasoning, the effect on confidence ratings appears to rely on participants thinking less about the alternative hypothesis. (shrink)
In this article I explore the underlying political philosophy of public bioethics by comparing it to technocratic authority, particularly the technocratic authority claimed by economists in Mexico in the 1980s and 1990s. I find that public bioethics - at least in the dominant forms - is implicitly designed for and tries to use technocratic authority. I examine how this type of bioethics emerged and has continued. I finish by arguing that, as claims to technocratic authority go, bioethics is in an (...) incredibly weak position, which partly explains why it has never gained the degree of public legitimacy that other technocracies have gained. I conclude by arguing for a "technocracy-lite" orientation for public bioethics. (shrink)
In the past few decades, research in the psychology of emotion has benefited greatly from being located in a firm evolutionary framework. It is argued that research in the psychology of mood might attain equal rigour by taking a similar approach. An evolutionary framework for mood research would be based on evolutionary psychology, the main thesis of which is the Massive Modularity Hypothesis. Translating the folk-psychological language of moods into the scientific language of modules might clarify many theoretical questions and (...) provide a sound basis for empirical research. It is argued that such an evolutionary approach would reveal mood to be a much more heterogeneous category than emotion. While the six basic emotions identified by Paul Ekman are probably each subserved by a single module, prototypical moods such as elation, depression, anxiety and irritability are likely to be subserved by a wide range of modules. An evolutionary approach to mood might therefore lead to the elimination of the concept of mood from scientific psychology altogether. (shrink)
In the Philebus Plato argues that every rational human being, given the choice, will prefer a life that is moderately thoughtful and moderately pleasant to a life that is utterly thoughtless or utterly pleasureless. This is true, he thinks, even if the thoughtless life at issue is intensely pleasant and the pleasureless life at issue is intensely thoughtful. Evidently Plato wants this argument to show that neither pleasure nor thought, taken by itself, is sufficient to make a life choiceworthy for (...) us. But there is some disagreement among commentators about whether or not he also wants the argument to show why. Is the argument designed to establish that we should reject thoughtless and pleasureless lives because some pleasures and some thoughts are goods? Or is it silent on this issue? Many interpreters take the first option, claiming that Plato uses the argument to attack both the hedonist view that only pleasures are goods and the intellectualist view that only thoughts are goods. My aim in this paper is to show that the second option is at least as attractive as the first, both exegetically and philosophically. (shrink)
In this paper, I discuss conditionals as illocutionary speech acts whose interpretation depends upon the whole of the social context in which they are uttered and whose purpose is to affect the opinions and actions of others. I argue for a suppositional approach to conditional statements based in what philosophers call the Ramsey test and developing the psychological theory that conditionals elicit a process of hypothetical thinking in their listeners. By reference to the experimental psychological literature on conditionals, I show (...) that in general conditionals, even ones that are basic or abstract in nature, are not treated as truth-functional or material by ordinary people. Drawing upon the suppositional nature of conditionals and the influence of pragmatic implicature, I discuss uses of conditionals as advice, inducement, persuasions and dissuasion, arguing that speakers use conditionals to try to influence the beliefs and actions of their listeners by shaping their hypothetical thought about possibilities. (shrink)
The aim of the present research was to develop a difficulty model for logical reasoning problems involving complex ordered arrays used in the Graduate Record Examination. The approach used involved breaking down the problems into their basic cognitive elements such as the complexity of the rules used, the number of mental models required to represent the problem, and question type. Weightings for these different elements were derived from two experimental studies and from the reasoning literature. Based on these weights, difficulty (...) models were developed which were then tested against new data. The models had excellent predictive validity and showed the relative influence of rule based factors and factors relating to the number of underlying models. Different difficulty models were needed for different question types, suggesting that people used a variety of approaches and, at a wider level, that both mental models and mental rules may be used in reasoning. (shrink)
: What is truly beautiful? For Søren Kierkegaard the beautiful is to be found in an integrated self, one that is freely chosen. This article explores Kierkegaard's "aesthetic" stage of existence through the character of Augusto Pérez, the protagonist of Miguel de Unamuno's novel, Niebla. After establishing a solid link between Unamuno and Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard's "ethical" stage is used to critique the "aesthetic" stage on aesthetic grounds, on the basis of the beauty found in life's work, a calling. The conclusion (...) is that the sphere of the "aesthetic" does not achieve Kierkegaard's "aesthetics" of an integrated, fully existing self. (shrink)
By concentrating on abortion, the culture wars have avoided facing a crisis about the end of life. This paper explores four themes: (1) the technological transformation of birth and death into matters of decision, not matters of fact; (2) abortion as the nexus of Eros (sex) with Thanatos (death); (3) the real crisis, conveniently masked by our obsession with sex, looming at the end of life, not at its beginning; (4) the surplus-repression that protects us from assuming responsibility for choosing (...) between life and death. (shrink)
Rousseau's political thought has been accredited with major influence upon subsequent radical democratic thinking, but in fact its contradictions and obscurities render the real import of its legacy deeply ambiguous. This article aims to identify its central message through clarification of the Social Contract's presuppositions and prescriptions, interpreted in the light of his other writings. Although the modernity of his thought is evident in the priority he gives to individual freedom, Rousseau's disturbing novelty lies in his belief that this can (...) only be reconciled with the interests of political community when people are, by contemporary standards, severely underdeveloped in their individuality. For him, modern socialization irreversibly blocks this reconciliation and compounds the oppression of individuals by distorting their authentic identities. Thus, Rousseau ought to be seen as offering nothing but a critique of any aspiration to salvage genuine liberty in society now. The article urges a redefinition of his contribution to political thought and depicts him as an early articulator of powerful challenges to the main aims of contractarian and democratic theory, which the latter is still unwisely apt to ignore. (shrink)
One obstacle faced by proposals of retrocausal influences in quantum mechanics is the perceived high conceptual cost of making such a proposal. I assemble here a metaphysical picture consistent with the possibility of retrocausality and not precluded by the known physical structure of our reality. I conclude that given the right mix of some reasonable metaphysical and epistemological ingredients there is no conceptual cost to such a picture.
This study examined the performance and future predictions for the Middle East produced by 18 global climate models participating in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. Under the Special Report on Emission Scenarios A2 emissions scenario the models predict an overall temperature increase of ~1.4 K by mid-century, increasing to almost 4 K by late-century for the Middle East. In terms of precipitation the southernmost portion of the domain experiences a small increase in precipitation due to the (...) Northward movement of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. The largest change however is a decrease in precipitation that occurs in an area covering the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey, Syria, Northern Iraq, Northeastern Iran and the Caucasus caused by a decrease in storm track activity over the Eastern Mediterranean. Other changes likely to impact the region include a decrease of over 170,000 km 2 in viable rainfed agriculture land by late-century, increases in the length of the dry season that reduces the length of time that the rangelands can be grazed, and changes in the timing of the maximum precipitation in Northern Iran that will impact the growing season, forcing changes in cropping strategy or even crop types. (shrink)
The Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction hypothesis, proposed as an explanation of the Michelson-Morley result, fails to account for the Kennedy-Thorndike result. Hence, Grünbaum argues, the hypothesis has been falsified. However, the contraction hypothesis as formulated by Lorentz is false for the very fundamental reason that it entails a contradiction, namely, the consequence that light waves must have a variable velocity along what by definition is taken to be a rest length. Furthermore, the attempt to resolve this contradiction by coupling the Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction (...) with the hypothesis that clock rates are a function of velocity, is open to a sound, methodological objection. The Michelson-Morley result is fully satisfied, provided only that the lengths of the interferometer arms, in the longitudinal and transverse positions, are thought to be related to one another in a certain ratio, and this ratio may be interpreted as a contraction in both arms. Since this twofold contraction hypothesis suffices to explain both the Michelson-Morley and the Kennedy-Thorndike results, and since it entails no contradiction, there is no need to correct both the length of rods and the rate of clocks. Therefore, the combined clock-rod hypothesis, and with it the Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction hypothesis, must be rejected. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that it is often adaptive to use one's background beliefs when interpreting information that, from a normative point of view, is incomplete. In both of the experiments reported here participants were presented with an item possessing two features and were asked to judge, in the light of some evidence concerning the features, to which of two categories it was more likely that the item belonged. It was found that when participants received evidence relevant to (...) just one of these hypothesised categories (i.e. evidence that did not form a Bayesian likelihood ratio) they used their background beliefs to interpret this information. In Experiment 2, on the other hand, participants behaved in a broadly Bayesian manner when the evidence they received constituted a completed likelihood ratio. We discuss the circumstances under which participants, when making their judgements, consider the alternative hypothesis. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our results for an understanding of hypothesis testing, belief revision, and categorisation. (shrink)
Williams argues that humans have evolved special purpose adaptations for eliciting medical attention from others, such as a specific facial expression of pain. She also recognises that such adaptations would almost certainly have coevolved with adaptations for providing and responding to medical care. The placebo response may be one such adaptation, and any evolutionary account of pain must also address this important phenomenon.
Medicine, as Byron Good argues, reconstitutes thehuman body of our daily experience as a medical body,unfamiliar outside medicine. This reconstitution can be seen intwo ways: (i) as a salutary reminder of the extent to which thereality even of the human body is constructed; and (ii) as anarena for what Stephen Toulmin distinguishes as theintersection of natural science and history, in which many ofphilosophy''s traditional (and traditionally abstract) questionsare given concrete and urgent form.This paper begins by examining a number of dualities (...) between themedical body and the body familiar in daily experience. Toulmin''s epistemological analysis of clinical medicine ascombining both universal and existential knowledge is thenconsidered. Their expression, in terms of attention,respectively, to natural science and to personal history, isexplored through the epistemological contrasts between themedical body and the familiar body, noting the traditionalphilosophical questions which they in turn illustrate. (shrink)
We report the results of three experiments designed to assess the role of suppositions in human reasoning. Theories of reasoning based on formal rules propose that the ability to make suppositions is central to deductive reasoning. Our first experiment compared two types of problem that could be solved by a suppositional strategy. Our results showed no difference in difficulty between problems requiring affirmative or negative suppositions and very low logical solution rates throughout. Further analysis of the error data showed a (...) pattern of responses, which suggested that participants reason from a superficial representation of the premises in these arguments and this drives their choice of conclusion. Our second experiment employed a different set of suppositional problems but with extremely similar proofs in terms of the rules applied and number of inferential steps required. As predicted by our interpretation of reasoning strategies employed in Experiment 1, logical performance was very much higher on these problems. Our third experiment showed that problems that could be solved by constructing an initial representation of the premises were easier than problems in which this representation was not sufficient. This effect was independent of the suppositional structure of the problems. We discuss the implications of this research for theories of reasoning based on mental models and inference rules. (shrink)