This article relates the emergence of a group of faculty researchers utilizing complexity science approaches. The narrative emerges from three projects combining research into complexity, communities, and technologies. Details of how the research was initiated, and the nature and quality of the conversational method, are provided. In addition, theoretical concepts that were consciously applied and others that arose through insights from the data as it was collected are discussed. Although this is like most real narratives, a never-ending story, it concludes (...) with a presentation of some of the ideas that separate complexity-informed research from other paradigms. (shrink)
We propose an approach to epistemic justification that incorporates elements of both reliabilism and evidentialism, while also transforming these elements in significant ways. After briefly describing and motivating the non-standard version of reliabilism that Henderson and Horgan call “transglobal” reliabilism, we harness some of Henderson and Horgan’s conceptual machinery to provide a non-reliabilist account of propositional justification (i.e., evidential support). We then invoke this account, together with the notion of a transglobally reliable belief-forming process, to give an account (...) of doxastic justification. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that Michelangelo Antonioni, in his first full-length colour feature, Red Desert (Il Deserto Rosso, 1964), uses cinematic language to explore what contemporary psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva, decades later, has called the crisis of primary narcissism, one of the 'new maladies' afflicting the modern subject, that she describes in Tales of Love (1983). In examining the struggles of subject formation, Antonioni poetically describes the devastating breakdown of both subjectivity and intersubjectivity in conditions of late modernity that Kristeva (...) details through her own psychoanalytic account. Into Antonioni's infamous statement 'Eros is sick', we can read Kristeva's suggestion that Narcissus, our capacity for love and loss, separateness and idealization—the very foundation for our being with others—is in a state of serious affliction. Through the trials of his main protagonist, Giuliana, Antonioni reveals that the acquisition of a distinct, differentiated identity, one that allows the subject to establish and maintain meaningful relationships and ethical bonds, without the risk of psychic disintegration, has become highly problematic—reaching the level of a collective crisis, rather than remaining an issue of individual illness. For Antonioni, psychic survival in the modern world is not merely a question of seamless integration, but a form of (dis)adaptation: the recognition of severance and of separation, both from nature and our own nature, that allows one to affirm her environment and act as an responsive agent in the world, without being overwhelmed or engulfed by otherness, or alterity. In Kristeva's terms, this involves the capacity to bear and, even, to creatively elaborate, the necessity of loss and separation from the primal (m)other—a painful process to which Giuliana eventually submits. (shrink)
Our true home is wilderness, even the world of everyday.—Henry G. Bugbee, Jr.Henry Bugbee was Born in New York City in 1915. This may not seem the most fortuitous birthplace for an interpreter of the wild rivers of Montana, but we might also remember that John Muir, interpreter of the High Sierras, was born in Scotland. Perhaps the movement west is an important prelude for such a vocation. Bugbee studied philosophy at Princeton and then at Berkeley, but before he could (...) finish his graduate work, he was called for naval service in the Pacific. The time at sea was a formative wilderness experience, on which his writing draws heavily. Returning from sea, he finished his PhD and took a teaching position at Harvard. Not .. (shrink)
In What Philosophers Know, Gary Gutting provides an epistemology of philosophical reflection. This paper focuses on the roles that various intuitive inputs are said to play in philosophical thought. Gutting argues that philosophers are defeasibly entitled to believe some of these, prior to the outcome of the philosophical reflection, and that they then rightly serve as significant (again defeasible) anchors on reflection. This paper develops a view of epistemic entitlement and applies it to argue that many prephilosophical convictions of the (...) kind Gutting discusses would be just the sort of belief for which entitlement would plausibly be defeated from the start. They then could not properly play the role in philosophical reflection that Gutting envisions for them. (shrink)
Yule (1982) has argued that examples from speech show that pronouns may be interpreted nonreferentially. In the present paper, it is argued that pronouns elicit procedures for the identification of referents which are in explicit focus (Sanford and Garrod, 1981). Three experiments are offered in support of this view. The discussion centres on the need for carefully assessing the knowledge-states of listeners when pronouns are used in the absence of antecedents. It is proposed that felicitous use of pronouns without antecedents (...) can occur only when listeners have particular things in mind which serve as ‘effective antecedents’. If the listeners do not have these in mind, then it is argued that such usage is infelicitous. It is also argued that speakers may have particular antecedents in mind even if listeners do not. (shrink)
Alvin Goldman’s contributions to contemporary epistemology are impressive—few epistemologists have provided others so many occasions for reflecting on the fundamental character of their discipline and its concepts. His work has informed the way epistemological questions have changed (and remained consistent) over the last two decades. We (the authors of this paper) can perhaps best suggest our indebtedness by noting that there is probably no paper on epistemology that either of us individually or jointly have produced that does not in its (...) notes and references bear clear testimony to the influence of Professor Goldman’s arguments. The present paper is no exception (and this would be a particularly inapt place to break with our tradition of indebtedness). Professor Goldman has produced a series of discussions that we find particularly important for coming to terms with the venerable idea that there may be truths that can be known a priori (Goldman 1992a, 1992b, 1999). We do not altogether follow his lead, while he draws on the idea that a priori justification has something to do with innateness or processess, we prefer to accentuate the idea that a priori justification turns on a conceptually grounded truths and access via acquired conceptual competence (at least in many significant philosophical cases). Still, in developing our understanding we have been aided by much that Professor Goldman says regarding concepts, conceptual competence, and related psychological processes. The influences should become progressively clear, particularly in the later sections of this paper. What would it take for there to be a priori knowledge or justification? We can begin by reflecting on a widely agreed on answer to this question—one that purports to identify something that would at least be adequate for a priori justification. The answer will then serve as one anchor for the present investigation, a bit of shared ground on which empiricists and rationalists can, and typically do, agree.. (shrink)
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Eliminative materialism, as William Lycan (this volume) tells us, is materialism plus the claim that no creature has ever had a belief, desire, intention, hope, wish, or other â€œfolk-psychologicalâ€ state. Some contemporary philosophers claim that eliminative materialism is very likely true. They sketch certain potential scenarios, for the way theory might develop in cognitive science and neuroscience, that they claim are fairly likely; and they maintain that if such scenarios (...) turned out to be the truth about humans, then eliminative materialism would be true. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Broadly speaking, there are two ways to reply to such arguments, for those who maintain that eliminative materialism is false (or that the likelihood of its being true is very low). One way is to argue that the scenarios the eliminativists envision are themselves extremely unlikelyâ€”that we can be very confident, given what we now know (including nontendentious scientific knowledge), that those scenarios will not come to pass. The other is to argue that even if they did come to pass, this would not undermine common-sense psychology anyway. People would still have beliefs, etc. The two strategies are not incompatible; one could pursue them both. But the second strategy attacks eliminativism at a more fundamental level. And if it can be successfully carried out, then the dialectical state of play will be strikingly secure for folk psychology. For, then it will turn out that folk psychology simply is not hostage to the kinds of potential empirical-theoretical developments that the eliminativists envision. It doesnâ€™t matter, as far as the integrity of folk psychology is concerned, whether or not such scenarios are likely to come to pass. Eliminativist arguments inevitably rely, often only implicitly, on certain assumptions about what it takes for a creature to have beliefs, desires, and other folk-psychological statesâ€”assumptions about some alleged necessary condition(s) for being a true believer (to adapt this colorful usage from Dennett 1987).. (shrink)
This paper applies Plato’s cave allegory to Enron’s success and downfall. Plato’s famous tale of cave dwellers illustrates the different levels of truth and understanding. These levels include images, the sources of images, and the ultimate reality behind both. The paper first describes these levels of perception as they apply to Plato’s cave dwellers and then provides a brief history of the rise of Enron. Then we apply Plato’s levels of understanding to Enron, showing how the company created its image (...) and presented information to support that image, and how the public eventually emerged from the cave to realize the truth about Enron’s actual accounting practices and financial state, which led to the corporation’s downfall. We find Plato’s allegory both useful in analyzing the relationship between Enron and the public and instructive about the power and moral responsibility of Enron’s executives. (shrink)
Almost a hundred years ago, John Dewey clarified the relationship between democracy and education. However, the enactment of a 'deeply democratic' educational practice has proven elusive throughout the ensuing century, overridden by managerial approaches to schooling young people and to the standardized, technical preparation and professional development of teachers and educational leaders. A powerful counter-narrative to this 'standardized management paradigm' exists in the field of curriculum studies, but is largely ignored by mainstream approaches to the professional development of educators. This (...) paper argues for a reconceptualized, differentiated, and 'disciplined' approach to the professional development of educators in democratic societies that builds capacity for curriculum leadership. In support of this proposal, we amplify the tenets of Dewey's pragmatic social and educational philosophy, which have long been at the heart of democratic educational thought, with Badiou's more contemporary thinking about the important relationships between truth as inspirational awakening, subjectification as existential commitment, and ethical fidelity as 'for all' action. (shrink)
Reliablists have argued that the important evaluative epistemic concept of being justified in holding a belief, at least to the extent that that concept is associated with knowledge, is best understood as concerned with the objective appropriateness of the processes by which a given belief is generated and sustained. In particular, they hold that a belief is justified only when it is fostered by processes that are reliable (at least minimally so) in the believer’s actual world. Of course, reliablists typically (...) recognize other concepts of justification--typically subjective notions--which are given a noncompeting sort of epistemic legitimacy. However, they have tended to focus on the epistemically central notion of "strong justification," and have come to settle on this familiar reliablist analysis, supposing that it pretty much exhausts what there is to say about "objective justification.". (shrink)
In codifying the methods of translation, several writers have formulated maxims that would constrain interpreters to construe their subjects as (more or less) rational speakers of the truth. Such maxims have come to be known as versions of the principle of charity. W. V. O. Quine suggests an empirical, not purely methodological, basis for his version of that principle. Recently, Stephen Stich has criticized Quine's attempt to found the principle of charity in translation on information about the probabilities of various (...) sorts of mistakes. Here 1 defend Quine's approach. These issues have important implications for the supposed a priori status of human rationality. (shrink)
This paper explores the role and limits of cognitive simulation in understanding or explaining others. In simulation, one puts one's own cognitive processes to work on pretend input similar to that one supposes that the other plausibly had. Such a process is highly useful. However, it is also limited in important ways. Several limitations fall out from the various forms of cognitive diversity. Some of this diversity results from cultural differences, or from differences in individuals' cognitive biographies. Such diversity is (...) clearly important in history. Some sorts of such diversity are discussed, with attention to the results of contemporary cognitive science. It is argued that one must sometimes employ mixed (simulation-based/theory-based) strategies, and that sometimes what is done will be neither purely simulation nor purely theory-based. (shrink)
Shenker has claimed that Von Neumann's argument for identifying the quantum mechanical entropy with the Von Neumann entropy, S() = – ktr( log ), is invalid. Her claim rests on a misunderstanding of the idea of a quantum mechanical pure state. I demonstrate this, and provide a further explanation of Von Neumann's argument.
Descriptions of social norms can be explanatory. The erotetic approach to explanation provides a useful framework. I describe one very broad kind of explanation-seeking why-question, a genus that is common to the special sciences, and argue that descriptions of norms can serve as an answer to such why-questions. I draw upon Woodwards recent discussion of the explanatory role of generalizations with a significant degree of invariance. Descriptions of norms provide what is, in effect, a generalization regarding the kind of historically (...) contingent system a group or society, a generalization with a significant degree of invariance. Key Words: explanation invariance norms social sciences erotetic laws. (shrink)
To mark the 30th anniversary of Richard Dawkins’s book, OUP is to issue a collection of essays about his work. Here, professor of psychology at Harvard University, wonders if Dawkins’s big idea has not gone far enough..