In three experiments we studied lay observers’ attributions of responsibility for an antisocial act (homicide). We systematically varied both the degree to which the action was coerced by external circumstances and the degree to which the actor endorsed and accepted ownership of the act, a psychological state that philosophers have termed ‘identiﬁcation’. Our ﬁndings with respect to identiﬁcation were highly consistent. The more an actor was identiﬁed with an action, the more likely observers were to assign responsibility to the actor, (...) even when the action was performed under constraints so powerful that no other behavioral option was available. Our ﬁndings indicate that social cognition involving assignment of responsibility for an action is a more complex process than previous research has indicated. It would appear that laypersons’ judgments of moral responsibility may, in some circumstances, accord with philosophical views in which freedom and determinism are regarded to be compatible. (shrink)
Continuous recordings of brain electrical activity were obtained from a group of 176 patients throughout surgical procedures using general anesthesia. Artifact-free data from the 19 electrodes of the International 10/20 System were subjected to quantitative analysis of the electroencephalogram (QEEG). Induction was variously accomplished with etomidate, propofol or thiopental. Anesthesia was maintained throughout the procedures by isoflurane, desflurane or sevoflurane (N = 68), total intravenous anesthesia using propofol (N = 49), or nitrous oxide plus narcotics (N = 59). A set (...) of QEEG measures were found which reversibly displayed high heterogeneity of variance between four states as follows: (1) during induction; (2) just after loss of consciousness (LOC); (3) just before return of consciousness (ROC); (4) just after ROC. Homogeneity of variance across all agents within states was found. Topographic statistical probability images were compared between states. At LOC, power increased in all frequency bands in the power spectrum with the exception of a decrease in gamma activity, and there was a marked anteriorization of power. Additionally, a significant change occurred in hemispheric relationships, with prefrontal and frontal regions of each hemisphere becoming more closely coupled, and anterior and posterior regions on each hemisphere, as well as homologous regions between the two hemispheres, uncoupling. All of these changes reversed upon ROC. Variable resolution electromagnetic tomography (VARETA) was performed to localize salient features of power anteriorization in three dimensions. A common set of neuroanatomical regions appeared to be the locus of the most probable generators of the observed EEG changes. (shrink)
John Searle défend l’idée d’un «Arrière-plan» de l’intentionnalité, c’est-à-dire le point de vue selon lequel il existe un ensemble de capacités mentales non représentationnelles (ou non intentionnelles) qui rendent possible toute forme d’intentionnalité (donc sans lesquelles il n’y aurait pas de croyances, de désirs, d’intentions, etc.). J’examine d’une part dans cet article ses raisons de croire qu’il existe des capacités non représentationnelles et, de l’autre, ses arguments à l’appui de la thèse — la plus importante à ses yeux — (...) selon laquelle un état intentionnel ne peut être l’état qu’il est qu’à la condition qu’un tel Arrière-plan existe.John Searle upholds the idea of a “background” of intentionality. In his view there is an ensemble of non-representational (or non-intentional) mental capacities that make every form of intentionality possible (that is to say, without these mental capacities there would not be any beliefs, desires, intentions, etc.). I examine both his reasons to believe that there are non-representational mental capacities and the arguments he gives in support of the most important claim (according to him) that an intentional state cannot be this particular state unless the said “background” exists. (shrink)
Cet article analyse la manière dont l'engagement moral individuel est traité dans la théorie de la justice de John Rawls. En partant de la distinctionclé entre rationnel et raisonnable, la notion de « conformité » est décomposée en plusieurs strates. A une forme minimale de la conformité s'ajoutent des notions d'adhésion faible et d'adhésion forte. Diverses maximes de comportement individuel sont discutées, qui correspondent à différents degrés d'exigence morale. L'article s'achève sur une réflexion plus large sur le lien entre (...) engagement individuel et tolérance dans la société rawlsienne. This article analyzes the way in which individual moral commitment is treated in John Rawls's theory of justice. It starts with the central distinction between rational and reasonable and divides the notion of « compliance » into several components. Next to a minimal form of compliance, there is a weak form of adhesion and a strong one. Various maxims for individual behavior are discussed, corresponding to various degrees of moral demandingness. The article closes with a broader reflection on the link between moral commitment and tolerance in the Rawlsian society. (shrink)
For much of the first fifty years of its existence, analytic philosophy shunned discussions of normativity and ethics. Ethical statements were considered as pseudo-propositions, or as expressions of pro- or con-attitudes of minor theoretical significance. Nowadays, in contrast, prominent analytic philosophers pay close attention to normative problems. Here we focus our attention on the work of Searle, at the same time drawing out an important connection between Searle’s work and that of two other seminal figures in this development: H.L.A. Hart (...) and John Rawls. We show that all three thinkers tend to assume that there is but one type of normativity within the realm of social institutions – roughly, the sort of normativity that is involved in following the results of chess – and that they thereby neglect features that are of crucial significance for an adequate understanding of social reality. (shrink)
In this paper a number of oppositions which have haunted mathematics and philosophy are described and analyzed. These include the Continuous and the Discrete, the One and the Many, the Finite and the Infinite, the Whole and the Part, and the Constant and the Variable.