According to the Self-Location Thesis, one's own location can be among the things that visual experience represents, even when one's body is entirely out of view. By contrast, the Minimal View denies this, and says that visual experience represents things only as "to the right", etc., and never as "to the right of me". But the Minimal View is phenomenologically inadequate: it cannot explain the difference between a visual experience of self-motion and one of an oppositely moving world. (...) To show this, I argue (i) that these experiences are different in an important respect, (ii) that this difference is genuinely experiential, (iii) that it is visual, (iv) that it is not purely phenomenal, and (v) that it cannot be identified with anything other than the apparent motion of the self. So the Self-Location Thesis is upheld: reports of one’s own motion can correspond to aspects of visual experiences every bit as basic to their contents as the apparent motion or rest of the things one has in view. (shrink)
I argue that from a very weak recombination principle and plausible assumptions about the nature of parthood and location it follows that it's possible that the mereological structure of the material world and that of spacetime fail to correspond to one another in very radical ways. I defend, moreover, that rejecting the possibility of such failures of correspondence leaves us with a choice of equally radical alternatives. I also discuss a few ways in which their possibility is relevant to (...) various debates in metaphysics. (shrink)
Recently, Cody Gilmore has deployed an ingenious case involving backwards time travel to highlight an apparent conflict between the theory that objects persist by perduring, and the thesis that wholly coincident objects are impossible. However, careful attention to the concepts of location and parthood that Gilmore’s cases involve shows that the perdurantist faces no genuine objection from these cases, and that the perdurantist has a number of plausible and dialectically appropriate ways to avoid the supposed conflict.
Perceptualists say that having a pain in a body part consists in perceiving the part as instantiating some property. I argue that perceptualism makes better sense of the connections between pain location and the experiences undergone by people in pain than three alternative accounts that dispense with perception. Turning to fellow perceptualists, I also reject ways in which David Armstrong and Michael Tye understand and motivate perceptualism, and I propose an alternative interpretation, one that vitiates a pair of objections—due (...) to John Hyman—concerning the meaning of ‘Amy has a pain in her foot’ and the idea of bodily sensitivity. Perceptualism, I conclude, remains our best account of the location of pains. (shrink)
We perceive things in the external world as spatially located both with respect to each other and to ourselves, such that they are in principle accessible from where we seem to be. I hear the door bang behind me; I feel the pen on the desk over to my right; and I see you walking beneath the line of pictures, from left to right in front of me. By displaying these spatial relations between its objects and us, the perceivers, perception (...) places us in the perceived world: our world and the world we perceive are one. Clearly this is not achieved by our continually perceiving ourselves along with the things around us, and thus recovering our position with respect to them. Indeed I shall argue that there are serious difficulties with the suggestion that this might be the basic mechanism for perceptual self- location. Furthermore, I shall argue that our existence as an element of the objective order cannot be inferred from the raw given in sense perception. Hence it cannot even be on the right lines as an answer to the question 'What is it for perception to represent its objects as environmental to the subject?', that it should present these objects, along with the perceiving subject himself, or along with something from which his existence in the perceived world could be deduced, in the very same frame so to speak. Nevertheless it yields him an awareness of himself as there in the wings of that scene, genuinely located with respect to the action, yet somehow not normally quite getting onto the stage. And I shall argue here, that perceptual contents succeed in being self-locating in this way in.. (shrink)
Mental, mathematical, and moral facts are difficult to accommodate within an overall worldview due to the peculiar kinds of properties inherent to them. In this paper I argue that a significant class of social entities also presents us with an ontological puzzle that has thus far not been addressed satisfactorily. This puzzle relates to the location of certain social entities. Where, for instance, are organizations located? Where their members are, or where their designated offices are? Organizations depend on their (...) members for their existence, but the members of an organization can be where the organization is not. The designated office of an organization, however, need be little more than a mailbox. I argue that the problem can be solved by conceptualizing the relation between social entities and non-social entities as one of constitution, a relation of unity without identity. Constituted objects have properties that cannot be reduced to properties of the constituting objects. Thus, my attempt to solve the Location Problem results in an argument in favor of a kind of non-reductive materialism about the social. (shrink)
According to the evolutionary hypothesis of Silverman and Eals (1992, Sex differences in spatial abilities: Evolutionary theory and data. In J. H. Barkow, L. Cosmides, & J. Tooby (Eds.), The adapted mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture (pp. 533–549). Oxford: Oxford University Press), women evolutionary hypothesis, women surpass men in object location memory as a result of a sexual division in foraging activities among early humans. After surveying the main anthropological information on ancestral sex-related foraging, we review (...) the evidence on how robust women’s advantage in object location memory is. This leads us to suggest that the functional understanding of this type of memory would benefit from comparing men and women in carefully designed and ecologically meaningful cognitive contexts involving, for instance, incidental versus intentional settings that call for either the absolute or relative encoding of the locations of common versus uncommon objects. (shrink)
A female advantage in object recall is assumed to derive from an adaptation to gathering/foraging. Support for the Gathering Hypothesis has relied upon stimuli and methodologies that lack ecological validity. We report two studies in which object recognition and object location memory were addressed using real plants within naturalistic arrays. In the first, females were significantly quicker than males at finding specific plants in some small arrays, and they made significantly fewer mistakes in a larger array. Next, females also (...) located plants in a large and complex array significantly faster than males. We thus find some support for the Gathering Hypothesis using ecologically valid methods. (shrink)
The pivotal role of the relation part-of in the description of living organisms is widely acknowledged. Organisms are open systems, which means that in contradistinction to mechanical artifacts they are characterized by a continuous flow and exchange of matter. A closer analysis of the spatial relations in biological organisms reveals that the decision as to whether a given particular is part-of a second particular or whether it is only contained-in the second particular is often controversial. We here propose a rule-based (...) approach which allows us to decide on the basis of well-defined criteria which of the two relations holds between two anatomical objects, given that one spatially includes the other. We discuss the advantages and limitations of this approach, using concrete examples from human anatomy. (shrink)
I offer an explanation of how subjects are able to perceive the intrinsic spatial properties of objects, given that subjects always perceive from a particular location. The argument proceeds in two steps. First, I argue that a conception of space is necessary to perceive the intrinsic spatial properties of objects. This conception of space is spelled out by showing that perceiving intrinsic properties requires perceiving objects as the kind of things that are perceivable from other locations. Second, I show (...) that having such a conception of space presupposes that a subject represent her location in relation to perceived objects. More precisely the thesis is that a subject represents her location as the location from which she both perceives objects and would act in relation to objects were she to act. So I argue that perception depends on the capacity to know what it would be to act in relation to objects. (shrink)
The Sleeping Beauty problem is test stone for theories about self- locating belief, i.e. theories about how we should reason when data or theories contain indexical information. Opinion on this problem is split between two camps, those who defend the “1/2 view” and those who advocate the “1/3 view”. I argue that both these positions are mistaken. Instead, I propose a new “hybrid” model, which avoids the faults of the standard views while retaining their attractive properties. This model appears to (...) violate Bayesian conditionalization, but I argue that this is not the case. By paying close attention to the details of conditionalization in contexts where indexical information is relevant, we discover that the hybrid model is in fact consistent with Bayesian kinematics. If the proposed model is correct, there are important lessons for the study of self-location, observation selection theory, and anthropic reasoning. (shrink)
Paper begins: Chapter 4 of Hud Hudson’s stimulating book The metaphysics of hyperspace contains an discussion of the notion of location in a container spacetime. Hudson uses this idea to define a number of what we might call modes of extension or ways of being extended. A pertended object is what most people think of as a typical extended object — it is made up of spatial parts, one part for each region the object pervades. An entended object is (...) an extended simple (or a complex object made up of extended simples). Elsewhere, I’ve argued that entended objects are conceptually possible; that nothing about the concept of “extended” rules out entention. (More about how this argument works below). Hudson thinks that I did not go far enough. Besides pertended and entended objects, he also sees conceptual room for what he calls spanners and multiply located objects. These last two ways of being extended are even more exotic than extended simples. …. (shrink)
The Identity of Indiscernibles is the principle that there cannot be two individual things in nature that are qualitatively identical. The principle is not exactly popular. Michael Della Rocca tries to resurrect it by arguing that we must accept this principle, for otherwise we cannot explain the impossibility of completely overlapping indiscernible objects of the same kind that share all their parts and exist in the same place at the same time. I try to show that his argument goes wrong: (...) we need not embrace the identity of indiscernibles to deal with the co-location problem. (shrink)
In Chapter 7 of The Varieties of ReferenceEvans implicitly outlines a view to the effect that bodily awareness plays no role in perceptual self-location or in the specification of our perceptual perspective of the world. In this paper I discuss this story and offer an alternative proposal. Then I explore some consequences of this account for our understanding of the elusiveness of the self in perceptual experience.
My aim in this paper is to critically evaluate John Campbell's (2002) characterization of the sense of demonstrative terms and his account of why an object's location matters in our understanding of perceptually-based demonstrative terms. Campbell thinks that the senses of a demonstrative term are the different ways of consciously attending to an object. I will evaluate Campbell's account of sense by exploring and comparing two scenarios in which the actual location of a seen object is different from (...) its perceived location. I do this in order to motivate the following point: Campbell's characterization of the sense of a demonstrative term turns sense into a psychologistic notion. As a consequence of this, it is difficult to see how sense could underwrite reference. In short, I shall be arguing that Campbell's account of the ways of perceiving an object is simply inadequate as an account of the Fregean notion of sense, according to which the senses of a demonstrative term are the different ways of thinking about an object. (shrink)
This paper sets out a series of critical contrasts between Alain Badiou and Gilles Deleuze's philosophies of the event. It does so in the context of some likely objections to their positions from a broadly analytic position. These objections concern problems of individuation and location in space-time. The paper also explains Deleuze and Badiou's views on the event through a literary application on a short story by John Cheever. In conclusion it is argued that both thinkers have good answers (...) to the objections, but that they diverge on the ontological commitments of their definitions of the event. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Stephen Barker and Phil Dowe (2003)1 argue that multilocation is impossible. An object enjoys multi-location just in case it is wholly present at more than one (distinct) space-time region (106). One popular view that is committed to multi-located objects is endurantism, the doctrine that objects persist through time by being wholly present at each time they are located.2 So if Barker and Dowe are right, endurantism is in big trouble.
Ross argues that the location problem for color-the problem of how it is represented as occupying a particular location in space-constitutes an objection to color subjectivism. There are two ways in which the location problem can be interpreted. First, it can be read as a why-question about the relation of visual experience to the environment represented: Why does visual experience represent a patch of color as located in this part of space rather than that? On this interpretation, (...) the subjectivist can answer Ross's objection by appealing to the physical location of reflectance rather than color. Second, it can be read as a how-question about visual representation itself: How does visual experience put together the experience of a color with the experience of its being located in space? This version makes the location problem a problem about visual experience itself and renders the ontology of color irrelevant to its solution. The location problem is thus no more a problem for the color subjectivist than for the color realist. (shrink)
I consider the idea of a propositional logic of location based on the following semantic framework, derived from ideas of Prior. We have a collection L of locations and a collection S of statements such that a statement may be evaluated for truth at each location. Typically one and the same statement may be true at one location and false at another. Given this semantic framework we may proceed in two ways: introducing names for locations, predicates for (...) the relations among them and an “at” preposition to express the value of statements at locations; or introduce statement operators which do not name locations but whose truth-conditional effect depends on the truth or falsity of embedded statements at various locations. The latter is akin to Prior’s approach to tense logic. In any logic of location there will be some basic operators which we can define. By ringing the changes on the topology of locations, different logical systems may be generated, and the challenge for the logician is then in each case to find operators, axioms and rules yielding a proof theory adequate to the semantics. The generality of the approach is illustrated with familiar and not so familiar examples from modal, tense and place logic, mathematics, and even the logic of games. To the memory of Ted Dawson, who introduced me to philosophy and the writings of Arthur Prior. (shrink)
Most event-referring expressions are vague: it is utterly difficult, if not impossible, to specify the exact spatiotemporal location of an event from the words that we use to refer to it. We argue that in spite of certain prima facie obstacles, such vagueness can be given a purely semantic (broadly supervaluational) account.
According to the Particularist Theory of Events, events are real things that have a spatiotemporal location. I argue that some events do not have a spatial location in the sense required by the theory. These events are ordinary, nonmental events like Smith’s investigating the murder and Carol’s putting her coat on the chair. I discuss the significance of these counterexamples for the theory.
In “The Location Problem for Color Subjectivism,” Peter Ross argues against what he calls subjectivism — the view that “colors are not describable in physical terms, ... [but are] mental processes or events of visual states” (2),1 and in favor of physicalism — a view according to which colors are “physical properties of physical objects, such as reﬂectance properties” (10). He rejects an argument that has been oﬀered in support of subjectivism, and argues that, since no form of subjectivism (...) is able to account for our perception of color, we are better oﬀ adopting physicalism. (shrink)
At the phenomenal level, consciousness can be described as a singular, unified field of recursive self-awareness, consistently coherent in a particualr way; that of a subject located both spatially and temporally in an egocentrically-extended domain, such that conscious self-awareness is explicitly characterized by I-ness, now-ness and here-ness. The psychological mechanism underwriting this spatiotemporal self-locatedness and its recursive processing style involves an evolutionary elaboration of the basic orientative reference frame which consistently structures ongoing spatiotemporal self-location computations as i-here-now. Cognition computes (...) action-output in the midst of ongoing movement, and consequently requires a constant self-locating spatiotemporal reference frame as basis for these computations. Over time, constant evolutionary pressures for energy efficiency have encouraged both the proliferation of anticipative feedforward processing mechansims, and the elaboration, at the apex of the sensorimotor processing hierarchy, of self-activating, highly attenuated recursively-feedforward circuitry processing the basic orientational schema independent of external action output. As the primary reference frame of active waking cognition, this recursive i-here-now processing generates a zone of subjective self-awareness in terms of which it feels like something to be oneself here and now. This is consciousness. (shrink)
Most event-referring expressions are vague it is utterly difficult, if not impossible, to specify the exact spatiotemporal location of an event from the words that we use to refer to it. We argue that in spite of certain prima facie obstacles, such vagueness can be given a purely semantic (broadly supervaluational) account.
Many familiar forms of property realism identify properties with sui generis ontological categories like universals or tropes and posit a fundamental instantiation relation that unifies objects with their properties. In this paper, I develop and defend locationism, which identifies properties with locations and holds that the occupation relation that unifies objects with their locations also unifies objects with their properties. Along with the theoretical parsimony that locationism enjoys, I argue that locationism resolves a puzzle for actualists regarding the ontological status (...) of uninstantiated properties. I also note some promising applications of the locationist framework to the metaphysics of quantities and possible worlds. (shrink)