The paper discusses the utility of the notion of consciousness for the behavioural and brain sciences. It describes four distinctively different senses of 'conscious', and argues that to cope with the heterogeneous phenomena loosely indicated thereby, these sciences not only do not but should not discuss them in terms of 'consciousness'. It is thus suggested that 'the problem' allegedly posed to scientists by consciousness is unreal; one need neither adopt a realist stance with respect to it, nor include the term (...) and its cognates in the sciences' conceptual apparatus. The paper briefly examines Nagel's  article, since this presents the strongest counter to the thesis proposed. (shrink)
This paper explores the relationship between common-sense psychology (CSP) and scientific psychology (SP) — which we could call the mind-mind problem. CSP has come under much attack recently, most of which is thought to be unjust or misguided. This paper's first section examines the many differences between the aims, interests, explananda, explanantia, methodology, conceptual frameworks, and relationships to the neurosciences, that divide CSP and SP. Each of the two is valid within its own territory, and there is no competition between (...) them — primarily because CSP is not, and has no interest in being, a scientific theory. In the second section some implications are drawn. First, neither CSP nor SP has the mind-body problem in its familiar form. Second, CSP, for excellent reasons, is not equipped to handle irrational or non-rational behaviour; there are some grounds for believing that this can and should be the task of SP. Third, philosophical psychology, or armchair theories of action, perception, etc., are doomed to failure. And, fourth, the realm of the psychological is so heterogeneous that no single model for either CSP or SP is likely to succeed. (shrink)
Recent work in the philosophy of science has been debunking theory and acclaiming practice. Recent work in philosophical psychology has been neglecting practice and emphasizing theory, suggesting that common?sense psychology is in all essential respects like any scientific theory. The marriage of these two strands of thought would serve to make science and common sense virtually indistinguishable. My paper resists this conflation. The main target is the attempt to assimilate everyday psychology to a scientific theory; I argue that this is (...) badly mistaken, and does a disservice both to scientific and to common?sense psychology. A secondary aim is to argue that some of the new pragmatism in the philosophy of science is overstated. The suggested conflation would have interesting implications, as would its denial; in a concluding section, some of these implications are briefly explored. (shrink)
Abstract Surprisingly, little theoretical attention has so far been paid to the ?Comparative Assumption?: the attempt to extrapolate from species to species in psychology (and particularly to the human species). This paper examines the problems and the possibilities inherent in the Comparative Assumption. Perhaps the most important conclusion of the paper is that much more work is needed on this intriguing question.
This article finds little to disagree with in Neurophilosophy The sole area of disagreement is with Professor Churchland's attitude to common?sense psychology. Unfortunately, though, the author has already attempted to describe what should be the proper view of common?sense psychology in an earlier article in this very journal. Therefore the present article tries to build on the earlier one, advocating an instrumentalist constraal of many ordinary?language mental terms ? a construal with which Professor Churchland is unlikely to agree, but which, (...) if she did agree, would give her further ammunition with which to beat her opponents. The other main strand of this article suggests that Aristotle has anticipated Professor Churchland (and also most other theoreticians of psychology and physiology), and so, willy?nilly, we are ? correctly ? returning to an Aristotelian picture of human capacity and activity. (shrink)
SEE AUTHOR'S BLURB FOR LEAFLETS This collection of papers by distinguished philosophers, psychologists, and physiologists reflects an interdisciplinary approach to the central question of cognitive science: how do we model the mind? Among the questions explored are the relationships (theoretical, reductive, and explanatory) between philosophy, psychology, computer science, and physiology; what should be asked of models in science generally, and in cognitive science in particular; whether theoretical models must make essential reference to objects in the environment; whether there are human (...) competences that are resistant, in principle, to modelling; whether simulated thinking and intentionality are really thinking and intentionality; how semantics can be generated from syntactics; the meaning of the terms `representation' and `modelling'; whether the nature of the `hardware' matters; and whether computer models of humans are `dehumanizing'. (shrink)
Exploring the evolution of the conceptual persona of the idiot from the philosophical idiot in Deleuze to the Russian idiot in Deleuze and Guattari, this article suggests that their use of the figure of Antonin Artaud as a model for an idiocy that is freed from the image of thought is problematic since Artaud in fact evinces a nostalgia for the capacity for thought. The article invites the writings of Kathy Acker and argues that Acker makes possible a more (...) successful way of thinking of the event of thought beyond the Image and thereby a new conceptual persona of the post-Russian idiot. (shrink)
Kathy Rudy: Loving Animals: Toward a New Animal Advocacy Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9354-y Authors Anna Peterson, Department of Relilgion, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Yoga is thousands of years old, but because of its current popularity, some people wrongly dismiss it as just another exercise fad made fashionable by celebrities. In fact, as author Kathy Phillips demonstrates in this large, beautifully illustrated book, yoga is a gentle but powerful means of achieving strength, flexibility, serenity, and a healthy balance between body and mind. Originating on the Indian subcontinent at the dawn of civilization, yoga is now accepted worldwide as an effective way to deal (...) with physical and emotional stress. The Spirit of Yoga is a sensible introduction for beginners, and a source of inspiration for current practitioners who would like to learn more. It explains differences among the various yoga disciplines, enabling readers to make a considered choice that best fits their needs. The author uses her experience as a yoga teacher to describe exercises and postures-also shown in color photos-that can promote physical health and body flexibility while inducing emotional tranquility. Yoga positions are suggested as effective remedies for physical ailments and for discomforts produced by everyday stress. The author's witty approach to her subject demystifies today's yoga hype while offering readers sound guidance and emphasizing the entirely real benefits they can derive from this honorable discipline. The book's foreword is by the international fashion model Christy Turlington. Hundreds of color photos and illustrations. (shrink)
In a congressional hearing in the spring of 1996, talk show host Kathie Lee Gifford was charged with endorsing clothing made in Honduran sweatshops by exploited children. Resulting media coverage focused public attention on a seamy underside of the "global economy." Redemption strategies used by Gifford and her public relations consultant, and repeated and promoted through the mass media, fed a larger controversy over the meaning of the concept of the global economy and its ethical implications for the American public.
The illuminated building is surrounded by nocturnal darkness. Visibly displayed are people working late at the office. The cover of Kathi Weeks’s excellent book clearly sets the scene for her analysis of the problems we might well have—or should have—with work in its current configuration. One apparently has to work, but it is also supposed to be “good” to work; one should always try to work more, be more performative, exert oneself more, put in the extra hours to become more (...) efficient. Drawing on Weber’s analysis of the Protestant work ethic and its constitutive contradictions, Weeks wants us to question this productivist model of the “ever more” that can cost us so dearly. She sets out to render strange our .. (shrink)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an area of great interest, yet little is known about how CSR is perceived and practiced in the professional sport industry. This study employs a mixed-methods approach, including a survey, and a qualitative content analysis of responses to open-ended questions, to explore how professional sport executives define CSR, and what priorities teams have regarding their CSR activities. Findings from this study indicate that sport executives placed different emphases on elements of CSR including a focus on (...) philanthropic activities and ethical behaviors. The data suggest that professional sport executives view CSR as a strategic imperative for their business. Sport executives indicated that a number of factors influenced the practice of their CSR including: philanthropy (altruistic giving), an emphasis on the local community, partnerships, and ethical concerns. We also examine important organizational variables for sport (winning, revenues, and team value) and highlight their relationship with reported CSR involvement. We discuss the implications of the findings and propose recommendations for both theory and practice. (shrink)
I am interested in fear of non-existence, which is often discussed in terms of fear one’s own death, or as it is sometimes called, fear of death as such. This form of fear has been denied by some philosophers. Cognitive theories of the emotions have particular trouble in dealing with it, granting it a status that is simultaneously paradigmatic yet anomalous with respect to fear in general. My paper documents these matters, and considers a number of responses. I provide examples (...) from philosophy and literature of fear of non-existence, and distinguish it from other death-related fears. I then look at the success that cognitive theories of the emotions have had in dealing with other “problematic” fears, such as phobias, and examine how the solutions here fail to apply to fear of non-existence. The problem lies with the perceptual-centred model of fear that is typically called upon. Against this I recommend a retreat to a belief-centred model for fear of non-existence. I argue that there are other fears that are better explained by a belief-centred rather a perceptual-based approach. This reinforces the plausibility of the belief-centred model, and goes some way to alleviating the anomalous and problematic status of the fear of non-existence. (shrink)
This article contributes to the development of a professional responsibility theory of public relations ethics. Toward that end, we examine the roles of a public relations practitioner as a professional, an institutional advocate, and the public conscience of institutions served. In the article, we review previously suggested theories of public relations ethics and propose a new theory based on the public relations professional's dual obligations to serve client organizations and the public interest.
I compare and assess two significant and opposing approaches to the self with respect to what they have to say about death: the anti-narrativist, as articulated by Galen Strawson, and the narrativist, as pieced together from a variety of accounts. Neither party fares particularly well on the matter of death. Both are unable to point towards a view of death that is clearly consistent with their views on the self. In the narrativist’s case this inconsistency is perhaps not as explicit (...) but is in the end more entrenched. (shrink)
The main concern of this paper is to show that understanding mental variation may prove to be relevant to inquiry into thought experiments. First, I examine why Ernst Mach considered the ability to vary the contents of one's thoughts the principal requirement for thought experimentation. Second, I illustrate the wide applicability of mental variation in thought experiments. Third, I suggest, following Kathleen Wilkes, that variation is frequently employed in “realistic” thought experiments.
Vanguard anti-narrativist Galen Strawson declares personal memory unimportant for self-constitution. But what if lapses of personal memory are sustained by a morally reprehensible amnesia about historical events, as happens in the work of W.G. Sebald? The importance of memory cannot be downplayed in such cases. Nevertheless, contrary to expectations, a concern for memory needn’t ally one with the narrativist position. Recovery of historical and personal memory results in self-dissolution and not self-unity or understanding in Sebald’s characters. In the end, Sebald (...) shows how memory can be significant, even imperative, within a deeply anti-narrativist outlook on the self, memory, and history. (shrink)
Has Derek Parfit modified his views on personal identity in light of Quassim Cassam’s neo-Kantian argument that to experience the world as objective, we must think of ourselves as enduring subjects of experience? Both parties suggest there is no longer a serious dispute between them. I retrace the path that led to this truce, and contend that the debate remains open. Parfit’s recent work reveals a re-formulation of his ostensibly abandoned claim that there could be impersonal descriptions of reality. I (...) show why Parfit still needs this claim, and how it conflicts with the neo-Kantian view. (shrink)
How does the concept of a person affect our beliefs about ourselves and the world? In an intriguing recent addition to his established Reductionist view of personal identity, Derek Parfit speculates that there could be beings who do not possess the concept of a person. Where we talk and think about persons, selves, subjects, or agents, they talk and think about sequences of thoughts and experiences related to a particular brain and body. Nevertheless their knowledge and experience of the world (...) is unaffected, in that it is largely like our own. It is their view of ‘themselves’ that is different (and superior) to ours. My paper critically assesses this ‘impersonal beings’ hypothesis through an examination of Parfit’s construal of the concept of a person. I argue that Parfit’s understanding of the concept of a person undermines his impersonal beings hypothesis. (shrink)