Wynn's claims are, in principle, entirely reasonable; although, as always, the devil is in the details. With respect to Wynn's discussion of the cultural evolution of artifactual symmetry, we provide a few more arguments for the utility of mirror symmetry and extend the enquiry into the tacit and explicit processing of natural and artifactual symmetry.
We outline some ways in which motor neglect (the underutilization of a limb despite adequate strength) and hysterical paralysis (failure to move a limb despite no relevant structural damage or disease) may throw light on the pathophysiology of catatonia. We also comment on the manifold inadequacies of distinguishing too firmly between symptoms of “neurologic origin” and of “psychiatric origin.”.
We describe some of the signs and symptoms of left visuo-spatial neglect. This common, severe and often long-lasting impairment is the most striking consequence of right hemisphere brain damage. Patients seem to (over-)attend to the right with subsequent inability to respond to stimuli in contralesional space. We draw particular attention to how patients themselves experience neglect. Furthermore, we show that the neglect patient's loss of awareness of left space is crucial to an understanding of the condition. Even after left space (...) has been brought into the patient's consciousness (either by local cueing on the left or by an emphasis on global properties of the scene as a whole), this awareness of left space rapidly declines. We suggest that much of the symptomology of left neglect can be interpreted as a disconnection between brain mechanisms that are relatively specialized for local (detail) visual processing and global (panoramic) processing. This failure of communication between functional (subpersonal) mechanisms then has consequences for how perceptual and representational content enters into awareness. Failure of the local contents of left space to be consciously accessed is, in turn, an important aspect of why left neglect is so difficult to remediate. Patients can ''know'' that they have neglect but are cut off from the perceptual awareness that would enable them to overcome their attentional bias to the right. (shrink)
In this important study Nicholas Wolterstorff interprets and discusses the ethics of belief which Locke developed in the latter part of Book IV of his "Essay Concerning Human Understanding." After lengthy discussion on the origin of ideas, the nature of language, and the nature of knowledge, Locke got around to arguing what he indicated in the opening Epistle to the Reader to be his overarching aim: how we ought to govern our belief, especially (though by no means only) on matters (...) of religion and morality. Professor Wolterstorff shows that what above all placed this topic on Locke's agenda was the collapse, in his day, of a once-unified moral and religious tradition in Europe into warring factions. Locke's epistemology was thus a culturally and socially engaged one; it was his response to the cultural crisis of his day. Convinced also that of genuine knowledge we human beings have very little, Locke argued that instead of following tradition we ought to turn "to the things themselves" and let "Reason be your guide." This view of Locke, in which centrality is given to the last book of the "Essay," invites an interpretation of the origins of modern philosophy different from most of the current ones. Accordingly, after discussing Hume's powerful attack on Locke's recommended practice, Wolterstorff argues for Locke's originality and discusses his contribution to the modernity of post-sixteenth-century philosophy. (shrink)
According to common interpretations of mill's 'proof' of utility (chapter 4 utilitarianism), The conclusion, "the general happiness is desirable", Is said to be a simple maximizing conception and to ignore the competing desirability or deontic claims of justice. I offer a construction of the 'proof' such that the term "general happiness" in the conclusion is seen to include equitable distribution of happiness among persons as a rational condition of goodness. This construction turns crucially on the idea that each person has (...) an equal rational claim for as much happiness as possible; accordingly, As a consequence of resolving the conflict of rational claims, The general happiness is conceived as that state of affairs in which each person gains as much happiness as possible compatible with a like result for all others. (shrink)