The distinctive claim of the Gestalt psychologists (of Prague, Graz, Berlin, Leipzig, and Vienna) is that we are typically aware of wholes which have “Gestalt qualities”, such as being a melody, and that these qualities could not be properties of mere sums, for example of sums of tones. A common, stronger claim is that the wholes we are aware of are themselves “Gestalten”, the parts of which are inseparable from each other and from the wholes they belong to. The Gestalt (...) psychologists took themselves to be opposing associationistic and atomistic assumptions in psychology. The notion of a Gestalt is applied primarily in their accounts of perception and to a much lesser extent in their accounts of feelings (Gefühle), aesthetic and non-aesthetic, of their objects, of our awareness of the feelings of others, of our attributions of emotions, of our grasp of value and of the relations between affective phenomena and perception. (shrink)
Meaning (das Meinen), for example Sam's meaning that it rains by saying "es regnet", forms of life and the senses of propositions or thoughts are three categories that loom large in Wittgenstein's writings on language and mind. How do they stand to one another, how are they connected ? The question was addressed before Wittgenstein by the realist phenomenologists, Scheler, Hartmann and Ortega as well as by the Viennese philosopher and psychologist, Karl Bühler. Like Wittgenstein, these philosophers were quite (...) clear that the category to which meaning belongs and the category to which belong the senses of individual propositions cover a great variety of cases and that a form of life has many dimensions. Language is only one of the phenomena which go to make up human life (cf. RFM VI) or culture. The acts and activities of a person are one thing, the acts and activities of interacting persons another thing and the contents of both yet another thing. (shrink)
Emotions are said to be moral, as opposed to non-moral, in virtue of their objects. They are also said to be moral, for example morally good, as opposed to immoral, for example morally bad or evil, in virtue of their objects, nature, motives, functions or effects. The definition and content of moral matters are even more contested and contestable than the nature of emotions and of other affective phenomena. At the very least we should distinguish moral norms (one ought to (...) keep one’s promises, one ought not to tell lies), moral obligations (to look after one’s aged parents), moral right and wrong (murder), moral values (goodness, evil) and moral virtues (courage). And different accounts of morals and of morality understand norms, values and virtues and their interrelations in different ways. For example, such accounts disagree (1) about the relation between moral and non-moral oughts (the norms of prudence and rationality), the relation between moral and non-moral values (cognitive and aesthetic values, the values of pleasure and well-being, vital values such as health), and the relation between moral and intellectual virtues (accuracy, open-mindedness); and (2) about the moral weight to be attached to self-regarding attitudes and behaviour (egoism, egotism, self-love, self-respect, self-esteem, amour propre) and other-regarding attitudes and behaviour (altruism, “empathy”, sympathy, intolerance). Thus we may expect the range of putative moral emotions to display a bewildering variety. (shrink)
Suppose that realism about values is true, that there are objects and states of affairs which are intrinsically valuable, that some objects and states of affairs are intrinsically more valuable than others and that some objects and states of affairs are intrinsically valuable for Sam, and others for Maria.
What is essential to language? Two thinkers active in Vienna in the 1930's, Karl Bühler and Ludwig Wittgenstein, gave apparently incompatible answers to this question. I compare what Wittgenstein says about language and reference at the beginning of his Philosophical Investigations with some aspects of the descriptive analysis of language worked out by Bühler between 1907 and 1934, a systematic development of the philosophies of mind and language of such heirs of Brentano as Martinak, Marty, Meinong, Landgrebe and Husserl. Y (...) a-Uil quelque chose qui est essentiel au langage? Deux penseurs actifs à Vienne dans les années trente, Karl Bühler et Ludwig Wittgenstein, donnent à cette question des réponses qui sont apparemment incompatibles. Je compare ce que Wittgenstein dit du langage et de la référence au début de ses Investigations Philosophiques avec quelques aspects de l'analyse descriptive élaborée par Bühler entre 1907 et 1934, un développement systématique des philosophies de l'esprit et du langage des héritiers de Brentano tels que Martinak, Marty, Meinong, Landgrebe et Husserl. (shrink)
Kevin Mulligan | : La philosophie des valeurs cognitives, et des vertus et des vices intellectuels, prête peu d’attention au phénomène de la liberté intérieure et de son rapport à la sottise. On doit au poète et penseur polonais, Czesław Miłosz, une étude classique de ce rapport, La pensée captive (1953), examinée ici. Il est aussi question ici de l’apport d’une autre analyse de Miłosz au sujet du coeur de Julien Sorel et du ressentiment à la philosophie de la sottise. (...) | : The philosophy of cognitive values and of intellectual vices and virtues pays little attention to the phenomenon of inner freedom and its relation to foolishness. We owe to the Polish poet and philosopher, Czesław Miłosz, a classic study of this relation, The Captive Mind (1953). I examine the contribution of this study and of an earlier and little known analysis by Miłosz of the heart of Julien Sorel and resentment to the philosophy of foolishness. (shrink)
Mental and behavioral disorders represent a signiﬁcant portion of the public health burden in all countries. The human cost of these disorders is immense, yet treatment options for sufferers are currently limited, with many patients failing to respond sufﬁciently to available interventions and drugs. High quality ontologies facilitate data aggregation and comparison across different disciplines, and may therefore speed up the translation of primary research into novel therapeutics. Realism-based ontologies describe entities in reality and the relationships between them in such (...) a way that – once formulated in a suitable formal language – the ontologies can be used for sophisticated automated reasoning applications. Reference ontologies can be applied across different contexts in which different, and often mutually incompatible, domain-speciﬁc vocabularies have traditionally been used. In this contribution we describe the Mental Functioning Ontology (MF) and Mental Disease Ontology (MD), two realism-based ontologies currently under development for the description of humanmental functioning and disease. We describe the structure and upper levels of the ontologies and preliminary application scenarios, and identify some open questions. (shrink)
Ontologies are being developed throughout the biomedical sciences to address standardization, integration, classiﬁcation and reasoning needs against the background of an increasingly data-driven research paradigm. In particular, ontologies facilitate the translation of basic research into beneﬁts for the patient by making research results more discoverable and by facilitating knowledge transfer across disciplinary boundaries. Addressing and adequately treating mental illness is one of our most pressing public health challenges. Primary research across multiple disciplines such as psychology, psychiatry, biology, neuroscience and pharmacology (...) needs to be integrated in order to promote a more comprehensive understanding of underlying processes and mechanisms, and this need for integration only becomes more pressing with our increase in understanding of differences among individuals and populations at the molecular level concerning susceptibility to speciﬁc illnesses. Substance addiction is a particularly relevant public health challenge in the developed world, affecting a substantial percentage of the population, often co-morbid with other illnesses such as mood disorders. Currently, however, there is no straightforward automated method to combine data of relevance to the study of substance addiction across multiple disciplines and populations. In this contribution, we describe a framework of interlinked, interoperable bio-ontologies for the annotation of primary research data relating to substance addiction, and discuss how this framework enables easy integration of results across disciplinary boundaries. We describe entities and relationships relevant for the description of addiction within the Mental Functioning Ontology, Chemical Entities of Biological Interest Ontology, Protein Ontology, Gene Ontology and the Neuroscience Information Framework ontologies. (shrink)
We conclude that the commentators seem to fundamentally agree on the substance of our proposal of a partial real definition of emotion as a dynamic episode which has to fulfill a certain number of conditions to count as a member of the class. We raise the issue of prescriptive functions of a definition, suggesting parallels to biomedical ontologies. We also clarify the issues of linguistic and cultural relativity and of differences in the nature of individual emotions.
A definition of emotion common to the affective sciences is an urgent desideratum. Lack of such a definition is a constant source of numerous misunderstandings and a series of mostly fruitless debates. There is little hope that there ever will be agreement on a common definition of emotion, given the sacred traditions of the disciplines involved and the egos of the scholars working in these disciplines. Our aim here is more modest. We propose a list of elements for a working (...) definition of emotion and discuss the justification for the inclusion of elements from our respective perspectives (philosophy and psychology). This working partial definition may at least serve as a litmus test to examine theories of emotion, old and new, across disciplinary boundaries. (shrink)
Affective science conducts interdisciplinary research into the emotions and other affective phenomena. Currently, such research is hampered by the lack of common definitions of te rms used to describe, categorise and report both individual emotional experiences and the results of scientific investigations of such experiences. High quality ontologies provide formal definitions for types of entities in reality and for the relationships between such entities, definitions which can be used to disambiguate and unify data across different disciplines. Heretofore, there has been (...) little effort directed towards such formal representation for affective phenomena, in part because of widespread debates within the affective science community on matters of definition and categorization. We describe our efforts towards developing an Emotion Ontology (EMO) to serve the affective science community. We here focus on conformity to the BFO upper ontology and disambiguation of polysemous terminology. (shrink)
Affective science conducts interdisciplinary research into the emotions and other affective phenomena. Currently, such research is hampered by the lack of common definitions of terms used to describe, categorise and report both individual emotional experiences and the results of scientific investigations of such experiences. High quality ontologies provide formal definitions for types of entities in reality and for the relationships between such entities, definitions which can be used to disambiguate and unify data across different disciplines. Heretofore, there has been little (...) effort directed towards such formal representation for affective phenomena, in part because of widespread debates within the affective science community on matters of definition and categorization. To address this requirement, we are developing an Emotion Ontology (EMO). The full ontology and generated OWLDoc documentation are available for download from https://emotion-ontology.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/. (shrink)
French translation of "Truth-Makers" (1984). A realist theory of truth for a class of sentence holds that there are entities in virtue of which these sentences are true or false. We call such entities ‘truthmakers’ and contend that those for a wide range of sentences about the real world are moments (dependent particulars). Since moments are unfamiliar we provide a definition and a brief philosophical history, anchoring them in our ontology by showing that they are objects of perception. The core (...) of our theory is the account of truthmaking for atomic sentences, in which we expose a pervasive ‘dogma of logical form’, which says that atomic sentences cannot have more than one truthmaker. The authors uphold the mutual independence of logical and ontological complexity. The theory is compared with that of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, and the authors outline formal principles of truthmaking taking account of both kinds of complexity and suggesting how to overcome Wittgenstein’s problem of negation. (shrink)
What is the relation between the intentionality of states and attitudes which can miss their mark, such as belief and desire, and the intentionality of acts, states and attitudes which cannot miss their mark, such as the different types of knowledge and simple seeing? Two theories of the first type of intentionality, the theory of correctness conditions and the theory of satisfaction conditions, are compared. It is argued that knowledge always involves knowledge of formal objects such as facts and values, (...) that emotions are reactions to (apparently) known values and that beliefs are reactions to known or apparently known facts or to the objects of relational states. (shrink)
Consider "Sam is sad" and "Sam exemplifies the property of being sad". The second sentence mentions a property and predicates the relation of exemplification. It belongs to a large class of sentences which mention such formal objects as propositions, states of affairs, facts, concepts and sets and predicate formal properties such as the truth of propositions, the obtaining of states of affairs and relations such as falling under concepts and being members of sets. The first sentence belongs to a distinct (...) class of sentences in which only non-formal objects are mentioned and only non-formal properties and relations are predicated. We can, it seems, infer validly from the first sentence to the second. They are also equivalent. And Sam exemplifies the property of sadness because Sam is sad. What is the relation between inference, equivalence and explanation in the case of our two sentences and in analogous cases? What right have we to assume that there are formal objects? (shrink)
Philosophy in the West divides into three parts: Analytic Philosophy (AP), Continental Philosophy (CP), and History of Philosophy (HP). But all three parts are in a bad way. AP is sceptical about the claim that philosophy can be a science, and hence is uninterested in the real world. CP is never pursued in a properly theoretical way, and its practice is tailor-made for particular political and ethical conclusions. HP is mostly developed on a regionalist basis: what is studied is determined (...) by the nation or culture to which a philosopher belongs, rather than by the objective value of that philosopher’s work. Progress in philosophy can only be attained by avoiding these pitfalls. (shrink)
This book is presumably a collection of essays delivered at a conference, though it's hard to say. There is no cover description and the editors' introduction, where this information might have been found, is missing from the volume (at least from my copy) in spite of being listed in the table of contents. A curious editorial slip. In fact, from an editorial perspective this book is a disaster. Not only is the format reminiscent of those camera ready volumes that jammed (...) our libraries in the late Eighties, when word processors began to spread and people started using them to produce entire books without knowing how to handle line spacing and hyphenation -- not to mention orphans and widows, footnotes, tabs, apostrophes, etc. There are also lots of typos, English infelicities, punctuation disorders. Obviously nobody checked the page proofs. There are even formulas that were not properly converted from the original files and have been printed with the infamous boxes in place of the logical symbols. Publishing academic books in analytic philosophy is becoming increasingly difficult and not every publisher can afford serious copy editing. But charging 74 euros for such a poorly manufactured item is appalling. (shrink)
§1 Simple Seeing and its Relations §2 Acquaintance, Apprehension, Belief, Knowledge, Action & Externalism §3 Simple Seeing, Sense and Meaning §4 Simple Seeing and Primitive Certainty ...at one time they dispute eagerly over certainty of thought, though certainty is not a habit of the mind at all, but a quality of propositions, and the speakers are really arguing about certitude... (James Joyce, 1903, Occasional, Critical and Political Writing, ed. Kevin Barry, 2000, OUP, 69) Like many others, I believe that to (...) see is not, in the simplest cases, to believe or judge. This is a purely negative thesis. What sort of attitude, then, is involved in simple seeing? The answer set out here is that to see is typically to enjoy a form of primitive certainty which is not any type of belief. In order to make the answer plausible it is important to set out also the relations between seeing, belief, knowledge, and certainty. (shrink)
The view that psychological episodes have a physical nature (physicalism) and the view that they have a mental nature (Cartesian dualism) can be distinguished from the view that they have a purely normative nature. I explore some strands of a distinct, fourth view: psychological episodes are what they are because of the actual and possible relations of defeasible justification in which they stand; defeasible justification is an internal relation; it is not at bottom a normative matter; rule-following presupposes such internal (...) relations; to follow a rule is not to break it. (shrink)
What sort of an episode is perception? What are the objects of such episodes? What is the grammatical and logical form of perceptual reports, direct and indirect? Each of these questions has been the subject of recent discussion. In what follows I set out one answer to each of them and explore some of the ways these answers support and complement each other. The answers adopted are: to perceive - and I shall normally only have in mind visual perception - (...) is not to judge or to conceptualize but a sui generis mental mode or activity involving non-conceptual content; perception is of particulars only; the complements of perceptual verbs are, with one exception, non-propositional and indirect perceptual reports are made true by direct perceptual relations between subjects and particulars of various sorts. (shrink)
The answer I shall sketch is not mine. Nor, as far as I can tell, is it an answer to be found in the voluminous literature inspired by Kripke’s work. Many of the elements of the answer are to be found in the writings of Wittgenstein and his Austro-German predecessors, Martinak, Husserl, Marty, Landgrebe and Bühler. Within this Austro-German tradition we may distinguish between a strand which is Platonist and anti-naturalist and a strand which is nominalist and naturalist. Thus Husserl’s (...) account of what he calls “directly referring” uses of singular terms invokes senses or individual concepts, albeit simple, not descriptive senses. But the account of reference fixing and reference given by Landgrebe, Bühler and Wittgenstein rejects senses.1 I confine further reference to these writers to footnotes since my aim here is to develop and unify some of their suggestions, in particular by comparing them with more recent work (cf. Mulligan 1997). (shrink)
Derrida uses ideas and claims of Husserl to formulate his philosophy of deconstruction. I show that he provides a garbled account of Husserl and suggest that his misunderstandings explain many features of the philosophy of deconstruction.