In what follows I present an approach to the problem of consciousness, which I take to be suggested by Wittgenstein's remarks on sensation. As sketched here, this consists of a number of empirical hypotheses about the mind and how we represent it, and a series of arguments that these hypotheses explain phenomena which constitute the problem of consciousness, in such a way as to render them neither mysterious nor problematic.
How do pictures represent? In this book Robert Hopkins casts new light on an ancient question by connecting it to issues in the philosophies of mind and perception. He starts by describing several striking features of picturing that demand explanation. These features strongly suggest that our experience of pictures is central to the way they represent, and Hopkins characterizes that experience as one of resemblance in a particular respect. He deals convincingly with the objections traditionally assumed to be (...) fatal to resemblance views, and shows how his own account is uniquely well-placed to explain picturing's key features. His discussion engages in detail with issues concerning perception in general, including how to describe phenomena that have long puzzled philosophers and psychologists, and the book concludes with an attempt to see what a proper understanding of picturing can tell us about that deeply mysterious phenomenon, the visual imagination. (shrink)
In this companion volume to Singing the Body of God (Oxford 2002), Steven P. Hopkins has translated into contemporary American English verse poems written by the South Indian Srivaisnava philosopher and saint-poet Venkatesa (c. 1268-1369). These poems, in three different languages - Sanskrit, Tamil, and Maharastri Prakrit -- composed for one particular Hindu god, Vishnu Devanayaka, the "Lord of Gods" at Tiruvahindrapuram, form a microcosm of the saint-poet's work. They encompass major themes of Venkatesa's devotional poetics, from the play (...) of divine absence and presence in the world of religious emotions; the "telescoping" of time past and future in the eternal "present" of the poem; love, human vulnerability and the impassible perfected body of god; to the devotional experience of a "beauty that saves" and to what Hopkins terms the paradoxical coexistence of asymmetry and intimacy of lover and beloved at the heart of the divine-human encounter. Moreover, these poems form not only a thematic microcosm, but a linguistic one embracing all three of the poet's working languages. Like the remembered world of Proust's Combray in the taste of madeleine dipped in tea, or Blake's World in a Grain of Sand, we taste and see, in this one particular place, and in this one particular form of Vishnu, various protean forms and powers of the divine, and trace a veritable summa of theological, philosophical, and literary designs. Each translated poem forms a chapter in itself, has its own individual short Afterword, along with detailed linguistic and thematic notes and commentary. The volume concludes, for comparative reasons, with a translation of Tirumankaiyalvar's luminous cycle of verses for Devanayaka from the Periyatirumoli. As much an argument as an anthology, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of South Asian studies, comparative religion, and Indian literatures. (shrink)
Philosophers are increasingly coming to recognize the importance of Freudian theory for the understanding of the mind. The picture Freud presents of the mind's growth and organization holds implications not just for such perennial questions as the relation of mind and body, the nature of memory and personal identity, the interplay of cognitive and affective processes in reasoning and acting, but also for the very way in which these questions are conceived and an interpretation of the mind is sought. This (...) volume of essays, by some of today's leading philosophers, explores all these topics, as well as the methods, results and status of the theory itself, while two 'classical' discussions by Wittgenstein and Sartre are also included. A number of the contributions – those by Donald Davidson, W. D. Hart, Jim Hopkins, Adam Morton, David Pears and Richard Wollheim – have not been published before, and a very useful bibliography is provided. It is an anthology that will be vital to anyone interested in Freudian theory and, more generally, in philosophical psychology. (shrink)
Many films are made by a two-tier process: the photographing of events which themselves represent the story the film tells. The latter representation is often illusionistic. I explore two consequences. The first concerns what we see in film. I argue that we sometimes see in such films, not events representing the story told, but simply the events composing that story. The way is thereby opened to a unified aesthetic of film, whether made the two-tier way or not. The second consequence (...) is that, since we see these films as photographic, we sometimes experience them as photographic recordings of the events, possibly fictional, that compose the story told. (shrink)
In order to understand both consciousness and the Freudian unconscious we need to understand the notion of innerness that we apply to the mind. We can partly do so via the use of the theory of conceptual metaphor, and this casts light on a number of related topics.
Managers often encounter situations that require them to make decisions with ethical implications that affect the organization as well as the managers themselves. The issue we address in this study concerns whether the ethical consistency of managerial decisions is situation dependent. That is, are the decisions managers make ethically consistent when they are faced with different ethical situations? We hypothesize that managerial decisions will vary depending on the type of ethical situation they encounter. We also hypothesize that gender plays a (...) role in determining the ethical consistency of managerial decisions. Results of statistical analyses support our hypotheses. (shrink)
Aesthetic judgements are autonomous, as many other judgements are not: for the latter, but not the former, it is sometimes justifiable to change one's mind simply because several others share a different opinion. Why is this? One answer is that claims about beauty are not assertions at all, but expressions of aesthetic response. However, to cover more than just some of the explananda, this expressivism needs combining with some analogue of cognitive command, i.e. the idea that disagreements over beuaty can (...) occur, and when they do it is a priori that one side has infringed the norms governing aesthetic discourse. This combination can be achieved by reading Kant’s aesthetic theory in expressivist terms. The resulting view is a form of quasi-realism about beauty. The position has its merits, but cannot ultimately explain the phenomena which motivate it. This conclusion generalises to quasi-realism about other matters. (shrink)
Can indistinguishable objects differ aesthetically? Manifestationism answers ‘no’ on the grounds that (i) aesthetically significant features of an object must show up in our experience of it; and (ii) a feature—aesthetic or not—figures in our experience only if we can discriminate its presence. Goodman’s response to Manifestationism has been much discussed, but little understood. I explain and reject it. I then explore an alternative. Doubles can differ aesthetically provided, first, it is possible to experience them differently; and, second, those experiences (...) reflect differences in the objects’ themselves. A range of objections to this position is considered, but all are found wanting. (shrink)
Is it legitimate to acquire one’s moral beliefs on the testimony of others? The pessimist about moral testimony says not. But what is the source of the difficulty? Here pessimists have a choice. On the Unavailability view, moral testimony never makes knowledge available to the recipient. On Unusability accounts, although moral testimony can make knowledge available, some further norm renders it illegitimate to make use of the knowledge thus offered. I suggest that Unusability accounts provide the strongest form of pessimist (...) view. I consider and reject five Unavailability accounts. I then argue that any such view will fail. But what is the norm rendering moral testimonial knowledge unusable? I suggest it lies in the requirement that we grasp for ourselves the moral reasons behind a moral view. This demand is one testimony cannot meet, and that claim holds whatever account we offer of the epistemology of testimony. However, while appeal to this requirement forms the most plausible pessimist view, it is another question whether pessimism is correct. (shrink)
Between people who unabashedly support eating meat and those who adopt moral vegetarianism, lie a number of people who are uncomfortably carnivorous and vaguely wish they could be vegetarians. Opposing animal suffering in principle, they can ignore it in practice, relying on the visual disconnect between supermarket meat and slaughterhouse practices not to trigger their moral emotions. But what if we could have the best of both worlds in reality—eat meat and not harm animals? The nascent biotechnology of tissue culture, (...) originally researched for medical applications, holds out just such a promise. Meat could be grown in vitro without killing animals. In fact, this technology may not just be an intriguing option, but might be our moral obligation to develop. (shrink)
In ‘Sight and Sensibility: Evaluating Pictures’ Dominic Lopes attempts two things. First, he attempts to solve the ‘Puzzle of Mimesis’: why do we value looking at pictures over looking at the things they depict? Second, he defends ‘interactionism’: the view that some aesthetic evaluations of pictures imply evaluations in moral and cognitive terms. I argue that the attempt to solve the Puzzle turns on the notion of ‘inflection’, and that that notion is more problematic than Lopes admits. I further argue (...) that Lopes’s defence of interactionism in fact establishes a thesis weaker than desired. (shrink)
Reid’s discussion of Molyneux’s question has been neglected. The Inquiry discusses the question twice, offering opposing answers. The first discussion treats the underlying issue as concerning common perceptibles of touch and vision, and in particular whether in vision we originally perceive depth. Although it is tempting to treat the second discussion as doing the same, this would render pointless various novel features Reid introduces in reformulating Molyneux’s question. Rather, the issue now is whether the blind can form a reasonable conception (...) of visual appearances, a conception that would allow them to perform Molyneux’s task. In explaining why Reid thought they can, I draw on his account of primary quality concepts as independent of sensation; of concept possession as ability, not acquaintance with sensation; and of visual appearance itself as in key part a matter of the perception of a primary quality, visible figure. Thus the issue does not concern cross-modality, what vision has in common with touch; but how even what is central in vision is amodal, able to be grasped independently of any sensory mode. Reid’s second Molyneux discussion thereby forms a focus for the Inquiry’s central claims, and the rejection of the Ideal Theory they entail. (shrink)
Two themes run through Wollheim’s work: the importance of history to the practice and appreciation of the arts, and the centrality of experience in appreciation. Prima facie, these are in tension. Reconciling them requires two steps. First, adopt a notion of experience on which features can be experienced even if we must have experience-independent access to the fact that the work exhibits them. Second, state what makes a particular experience appropriate to the work. What does so? Although Wollheim toyed with (...) a more ambitious line, I suggest that he should have given the obvious answer, that the appropriate experience reflects the work’s nature. (shrink)
I raise two questions that bear on the aesthetics of painting and sculpture. First, painting involves perspective, in the sense that everything represented in a painting is represented from a point, or points, within represented space; is sculpture also perspectival? Second, painting is specially linked to vision; is sculpture linked in this way either to vision or to touch? To clarify the link between painting and vision, I describe the perspectival structure of vision. Since this is the same structure we (...) find in painting, the link is that painting manifests the perspective of vision. Touch is also perspectival, but the perspective involved is different from that in vision. Thus we can answer my second question, concerning the relations of the art forms to the senses, by addressing the first, concerning the role of perspective in sculpture. I argue that sculpture exhibits neither the perspectival structure of vision, nor that of touch. It is not perspectival, and it is not linked to either sense as painting is to vision. I close by considering the aesthetic significance of these conclusions. + This paper is a modified version of an Inaugural Lecture at the University of Sheffield. I am grateful to the University, for the opportunity to give the lecture; to my colleagues and friends, for their generous support on that occasion; to Marion Thain, for discussion; and to the Leverhulme Trust, for the award of a Philip Leverhulme prize, which made possible the research here presented. (shrink)
What philosophical issue or issues does Molyneux’s question raise? I concentrate on two. First, are there any properties represented in both touch and vision? Second, for any such common perceptible, is it represented in the same way in each, so that the two senses support a single concept of that property? I show that there is space for a second issue here, describe its precise relations to Molyneux’s question, and argue for its philosophical significance. I close by arguing that Gareth (...) Evans conflated the two issues, and thereby provide further grounds for distinguishing them. (shrink)
Ever since Ernst Cassirer in his epochal book Individuum und Kosmos in der Philosophie der Renaissance1 labeled Nicholas of Cusa “the first modern thinker,” interest in Cusa’s thought has burgeoned. At various times, both before and after Cassirer, Nicholas has been viewed as a forerunner of Leibniz,2 a harbinger of Kant,3 a prefigurer of Hegel,4 indeed, as an anticipator of the whole of..
What reasons are there to value pictures? I consider one: that pictures enable us to judge, and more than that to savour, the beauty (if any) of the objects they depict. I clarify and defend this claim, tentatively explore what might explain it, consider how far it might generalize beyond beauty to other features of aesthetic interest, and assess its importance for the aesthetics of pictures.
There is a common assumption about pictures, that seeing them produces in us something like the same effects as seeing the things they depict. This assumption lies behind much empirical research into vision, where experiments often expose subjects to pictures of things in order to investigate the processes involved in cognizing those things themselves. Can philosophy provide any justification for this assumption? I examine this issue in the context of Flint Schier's account of pictorial representation. Schier attempts to infer the (...) assumption from what he takes to be the fundamental facts about picturing. I argue that there is no plausible form of Schier's basic claims from which the assumption can be inferred. I then reject a second argument, that by appealing to the assumption Schier could explain why it is impossible to depict a particular without depicting it as having certain properties. I conclude that those sympathetic to the assumption need to articulate and defend some version of it suited to their needs. (shrink)
The changing world of health care finance has led to a paradigm shift in health care with health care being viewed more and more as a commodity. Many have argued that such a paradigm shift is incompatible with the very nature of medicine and health care. But such arguments raise more questions than they answer. There are important assumptions about basic concepts of health care and markets that frame such arguments.
I offer two, complementary, accounts of the visual nature of representational picturing. One, in terms of six features of depiction, sets an explanatory task. The other, in terms of the experience to which depiction gives rise, promises to meet that need. Elsewhere I have offered an account of this experience that allows this promise to be fulfilled. I sketch that view, and defend it against Wollheim's claim that it cannot meet certain demands on a satisfactory account. I then turn to (...) Wollheim's own view, arguing that it suffers from crucial obscurities. These prevent it from meeting the explanatory commitments I describe, and are only exacerbated by the demands Wollheim himself imposes. (shrink)
Congenitally blind people can make and understand ‘tactile pictures’ – representations form of raised ridges on flat surfaces. If made visible, these representations can serve as pictures for the sighted. Does it follow that we should take at face value the idea that they are pictures made for touch? I explore this question, and the related issue of the aesthetics of ‘tactile pictures’ by considering the role in both depiction and pictorial aesthetics of experience, and by asking how far the (...) experience of those engaging with representations through touch can approximate to that of those engaging with them through sight. (shrink)
Three philosophical problems -- the problem of the external world, the problem of other minds, and the problem of consciousness -- seem rooted in the way we conceive experience. We tend to think of our experiences as having a nature which is radically distinct from that of the world which they present to us. This emerges in a series of oppositions as between experience and the world, which we can set out as follows.
If, as Schmitt suggests, Heidegger bases the claim that moods are cognitive on the philosophical distinction between theoretical and non-theoretical knowing, then much of what Heidegger says in this connection turns out to be either unclear, trivially true, or else false. Yet Schmitt himself only occasionally seems to recognize how dubious this account really is. Moreover, in attempting to help Heidegger say what he means, Schmitt's interpretation in Chapter 5 falters. It falters because(1) the emphatic likening of moods to skills,(2) (...) the introduction of the bizzare notion “knowing how occurrently,” and (3) the misconceiving of self-deception, are not to be found in Sein und Zeit. They represent, rather, an imposition upon Sein und Zeit from without. This fact means either that Schmitt's interpretation is faulty or else that it is as much reconstructive as explicative. And if reconstructive, then several conceptual mistakes are attributable to him more than to Heidegger. In spite of these difficulties Martin Heidegger on Being Human is a prize book. It attempts to understand a thinker better than he understood himself. And according to Schleiermacher this is the goal of every hermeneutic.In contrast to the successful parts of the book, the chapter on moods fails to make sense out of Heidegger's view - one reason being, I would guess, that Heidegger is, after all, equivocating on the German word “Stimmung.” Sometimes he uses it to refer specifically to states such as being depressed, being serene, being anxious. At other times he uses it to refer vaguely to Dasein's “attunement” to the world. If the human being is always already (immer schon) attuned to the world, and if such a posture toward the world is also considered a mood, then in some imprecise way one's being in a mood might be a necessary condition for any belief to affect him emotionally. But, of course, “mood” in this broad sense would indicate an ontologically, and not a causally, necessary condition. And so, it would not follow that every belief which affected one emotionally need have some specific mood (e.g., depression, serenity, anxiety) as its necessary causal antecedent. Nor would it follow that, as a matter of fact, a change of belief could not effect a specific change of mood.I fear that with regard to some topics the sense in which one understands Heidegger better than he understood himself may well be the original Socratic sense: one knows what Heidegger himself does not know, viz., that the conceptions of Sein und Zeit are not always intelligible. And one wonders whether any philosophical midwifery can really be of aid - at least with respect to the claim that moods are cognitive. (shrink)
Within the context of employee rights and management social responsibility, this paper identifies and explores three ethical dimensions of downsizing. Using ANOVA and Scheffe post-hoc statistical techniques, groups involved in the downsizing decision making process were compared with groups affected by the process on each ethical dimension. Results indicated that those affected by the process attached greater ethical significance to these dimensions than those who were involved in formulating and implementing/communicating downsizing decisions.
In this article we assess the extant literature on women’s careers appearing in selected career, management and psychology journals from 1990 to the present to determine what is currently known about the state of women’s careers at the dawn of the 21st century. Based on this review, we identify four patterns that cumulatively contribute to the current state of the literature on women’s careers: women’s careers are embedded in women’s larger-life contexts, families and careers are central to women’s lives, women’s (...) career paths reflect a wide range and variety of patterns, and human and social capital are critical factors for women’s careers. We also identify paradoxes that highlight the disconnection between organizational practice and scholarly research associated with each of the identified patterns. Our overall conclusion is that male-defined constructions of work and career success continue to dominate organizational research and practice. We provide direction for a research agenda on women’s careers that addresses the development of integrative career theories relevant for women’s contemporary lives in hopes of providing fresh avenues for conceptualizing career success for women. Propositions are identified for more strongly connecting career scholarship to organizational practice in support of women’s continued career advancement. (shrink)
The target article by Corballis presents an interesting and novel theoretical perspective on the evolution of language, speech, and handedness. There are two specific aspects of the article that will be addressed in this commentary: (a) the link between Broca's area and gestural communication in chimpanzees, and (b) the issue of population-level handedness in great apes, notably chimpanzees.