This article deals with the rationality and functionality of the existence of regret and its influence on decision making. First, regret is defined as a negative, cognitively based emotion that we experience when realizing or imagining that our present situation would have been better had we acted differently. Next, it is discussed whether this experience can be considered rational and it is argued that rationality only applies to what we do with our regrets, not to the experience itself. Then, research (...) is reviewed showing that both the anticipation of future regret and the experience of retrospective regret influence behavior. The influence of anticipated regret can be considered rational as long as the decision maker can accurately predict the regret that may result from the decision. The influence of experienced regret cannot be considered rational, since decisions should be based on future outcomes, not historical ones. However, influence of experienced regret can be called functional since it may result in increased learning from our mistakes. (shrink)
This paper suggests that certain traditional ways of analysing the self start off in situations that are abstract or detached from normal experience, and that the conclusions reached in such approaches are, as a result, inexact or mistaken. The paper raises the question of whether there are more contextualized forms of self- consciousness than those usually appealed to in philosophical or psychological analyses, and whether they can be the basis for a more adequate theoretical approach to the self. First, we (...) develop a distinction between abstract and contextualized actions and intentions by drawing on evidence from studies of rehabilitation after brain damage, and we introduce the notion of intentional attitude. Second, we discuss several interesting conclusions drawn from theoretically and experimentally abstract approaches. These conclusions raise some important issues about both the nature of the self and reflexive consciousness. At the same time they indicate the serious limita- tions concerning what we can claim about self and self-consciousness within such abstract frameworks. Such limitations motivate the question of whether it is possible to capture a sense of self that is more embedded in contextualized actions. Specifically, our concern is to focus on first-person approaches. We identify two forms of self-consciousness, eco- logical self-awareness and embedded reflection, that (1) function within the kinds of contextualized activity we have indicated, and (2) can be the basis for a theoretical account of the self. Both forms of self-consciousness are closely tied to action and promise to provide a less abstract basis for developing a theoretical approach to the self. (shrink)
Presentation times of study words presented in the Deese/Roediger and McDermott (DRM) paradigm varied from 20 to 2000 ms per word in an attempt to replicate the false memory effect following extremely short presentations reported by . Both in a within-subjects design (Experiment 1) and in a between-subjects design (Experiment 2) subjects showed memory for studied words as well as a false memory effect for related critical lures in the 2000-ms condition. However, in the conditions with shorter presentation times (20 (...) ms in Experiment 1; 20 and 40 ms in Experiment 2) no memory for studied words, nor a false memory effect was found. We argue that there is at present no strong evidence supporting the claim for a nonconscious basis of the false memory effect. (shrink)
Two models of consciousness are contrasted with regard to their treatment of subjective timing. The standard Cartesian Theater model postulates a place in the brain where "it all comes together": where the discriminations in all modalities are somehow put into registration and "presented" for subjective judgment. In particular, the Cartesian Theater model implies that the temporal properties of the content-bearing events occurring within this privileged representational medium determine subjective order. The alternative, Multiple Drafts model holds that whereas the brain events (...) that discriminate various perceptual contents are distributed in both space and time in the brain, and whereas the temporal properties of these various events are determinate, none of these temporal properties determine subjective order, since there is no single, constitutive "stream of consciousness" but rather a parallel stream of conflicting and continuously revised contents. Four puzzling phenomena that resist explanation by the standard model are analyzed: two results claimed by Libet, an apparent motion phenomenon involving color change (Kolers and von Grunau), and the "cutaneous rabbit" (Geldard and Sherrick) an illusion of evenly spaced series of "hops" produced by two or more widely spaced series of taps delivered to the skin. The unexamined assumptions that have always made the Cartesian Theater model so attractive are exposed and dismantled. The Multiple Drafts model provides a better account of the puzzling phenomena, avoiding the scientific and metaphysical extravagances of the Cartesian Theater. (shrink)
The significance of consciousness in modern science is discussed by leading authorities from a variety of disciplines. Presenting a wide-ranging survey of current thinking on this important topic, the contributors address such issues as the status of different aspects of consciousness; the criteria for using the concept of consciousness and identifying instances of it; the basis of consciousness in functional brain organization; the relationship between different levels of theoretical discourse; and the functions of consciousness.
Marcel Gauchet to mało znany w Polsce historyk i filozof francuski. Żadna z jego książek nie została do tej pory przetłumaczona na język polski. Dostępny w tym języku jest jeden z esejów pochodzący z La démocratie contre elle-même (Demokracja przeciwko sobie samej), opublikowany w kwartalniku „Res Publica Nowa” w grudniu 2002 r. pt. Nowy wiek osobowości. Próba psychologii współczesnej, przełożony i opracowany przez Wiktora Dłuskiego. W tekście tym Gauchet stawia tezę o mającej miejsce we współczesnym świecie rewolucji antropologicznej, polegającej (...) na zmianie roli rodziny ze wspólnoty ustanawiającej i podtrzymującej więzi społeczne na grupę społeczną niemającą wpływu na kształt życia społecznego. Przybliżenie sylwetki Gaucheta wydaje się niezbędne, albowiem jego myśl stanowi ważki i godny uwagi głos w dyskusji nad stanem współczesnej polityki oraz świata. -/- W niniejszym artykule skupię się na dwóch poruszonych przez Gaucheta zagadnieniach. Pierwsze z nich to ideologiczne konsekwencje ostatniego kryzysu gospodarczego, m. in. pokonanie lewicowej frakcji politycznej przez prawicową czy kryzys demokracji objawiający się dominacją interesów jednostkowych nad wspólnotowymi. Drugą kwestię stanowi kryzys liberalizmu polegający na występowaniu dwóch sprzecznych trendów na scenie politycznej, mianowicie,dominacji idei państwa interwencjonistycznego, dążącego do zbudowania dobrze funkcjonującego państwa opiekuńczego oraz rosnącego w siłę domagania się praw jednostki, co odbywa się, zdaniem Gaucheta, kosztem państwa. -/- Źródła będące podstawą niniejszego tekstu to przede wszystkim wywiad Macieja Nowickiego z Marcelem Gauchetem pt. Nie ma już lewicy, prawica zwyciężyła na zawsze opublikowany w miesięczniku „Europa. Magazyn Idei Newsweeka” w 2009 r. oraz wydane w 2007 r. I i II tom L’Avènement de la démocratie (Nadejście demokracji) Gaucheta. (shrink)
"Every other is truly other, but no other is wholly other." This is the claim that Aspects of Alterity defends. Taking up the question of otherness that so fascinates contemporary continental philosophy, this book asks what it means for something or someone to be other than the self. Levinas and those influenced by him point out that the philosophical tradition of the West has generally favored the self at the expense of the other. Such a self-centered perspective never encounters the (...) other qua other, however. In response, postmodern thought insists on the absolute otherness of the other, epitomized by the deconstructive claim "every other is wholly other." But absolute otherness generates problems and aporias of its own. This has led some thinkers to reevaluate the notion of relative otherness in light of the postmodern critique, arguing for a chiastic account that does justice to both the alterity and the similitude of the other. These latter two positions--absolute otherness and a rehabilitated account of relative otherness--are the main contenders in the contemporary debate.The philosophies of Emmanuel Levinas and Gabriel Marcel provide the point of embarkation for coming to understand the two positions on this question. Levinas and Marcel were contemporaries whose philosophies exhibit remarkably similar concern for the other but nevertheless remain fundamentally incompatible. Thus, these two thinkers provide a striking illustration of both the proximity of and the unbridgeable gap between two accounts of otherness.Aspects of Alterity delves into this debate, first in order understand the issues at stake in these two positions and second to determine which description better accounts for the experience of encountering the other.After a thorough assessment and critique of otherness in Levinas's and Marcel's work, including a discussion of the relationship of ethical alterity to theological assumptions, Aspects of Alterity traces the transmission and development of these two conceptions of otherness. Levinas's version of otherness can be seen in the work of Jacques Derrida and John D. Caputo, while Marcel's understanding of otherness influences the work of Paul Ricoeur and Richard Kearney.Ultimately, Aspects of Alterity makes a case for a hermeneutic account of otherness. Otherness itself is not absolute, but is a chiasm of alterity and similitude. Properly articulated, such an account is capable of addressing the legitimate ethical and epistemological concerns that lead thinkers to construe otherness in absolute terms, but without the "absolute aporias" that accompany such a characterization. (shrink)
THIS PAPER COMPARES THE WORK OF MERLEAU-PONTY WITH THAT OF MARCEL, TO WHOM HE IS SAID TO OWE A MAJOR INTELLECTUAL DEBT. ALTHOUGH THERE ARE APPARENT SIMILARITIES TO BE FOUND IN THEIR WORK, ESPECIALLY IN THEIR CONCEPTS OF "INCARNATION" AND "SITUATION," THERE ARE STRIKING DIVERGENCES IN THEIR VIEWS ABOUT "HISTORY." A STUDY OF THESE POINTS THE WAY TO AN EXPLORATION OF YET MORE FUNDAMENTAL DISAGREEMENTS BETWEEN THEIR SUPERFICIALLY SIMILAR "PHILOSOPHIES OF EXISTENCE.".
Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies , Marcel Mauss describes an archaic mode of human relations, the gift, whose analysis allows us to specify the reasons for our daily exchanges. Georg Simmel considers the same demands from the starting-point of Wechselwirkung (effects of reciprocity), which contains the properties of all human relations. Their research is based on the following question: Is society possible? The authors examine this question based on notions of sacrifice, reciprocity, and duration, which allow (...) them to isolate three conditions necessary for the existence of human relations: the personalization of, the commitment to, and the duration of this bond. Although it does not qualify as a response to the question asked above, the human relation appears as the inevitable question of sociological reasoning, able to stimulate and open new research perspectives. Key Words: anthropology duration exchange theory human relations Marcel Mauss philosophy reciprocity sacrifice Georg Simmel sociology. (shrink)
This article on mystery and hope at the boundary of reason in the postmodern situation responds to the challenge of postmodern thinking to philosophyby a recourse to the works of Gabriel Marcel and his best disciple, Paul Ricoeur. It develops along the lines of their interpretation of hope as a central phenomenon in human experience and existence, thus shedding light on the philosophical enterprise for the future. It is our purpose to dwell briefly on this postmodern challenge and then, (...) incorporating its positive contribution, to present theirs as an alternative philosophy at the boundary of reason. (shrink)
This article examines Gabriel Marcel’s unique approach to the existence of God, and its implications for traditional philosophy of religion. After some preliminary remarks about the realm of “problems” (which would include the “rational”), and about the question of whether Marcel thinks God’s existence admits of a rational argument, Part I explains his account of how the individual subject can arrive at an affirmation of God through experiences of fidelity and promise-making. Part II proposes a way in which (...)Marcel’s own philosophical and phenomenological approach could be regarded as a type of argument for the existence of God. The last section suggests that Marcel’s approach offers an advance upon the views of William Alston and John Hick concerning the analysis of religious experience. (shrink)
The question of personal immortality is a central one for Gabriel Marcel. Early in his life he took part in parapsychological experiments which convincedhim that one could, rarely and with great difficulty, communicate with the dead. In a philosophical vein he argued that each self has an eternal dimension which isof eternal worth. This dimension is particularly manifest in self-sacrifice, where I find it meaningful to give my life for another and when I unconditionally commitment myself in love to (...) another self. Marcel also cites the experience of trust or hope, and the experience that life is not an absurd freak accident of nature destined for eternal extinction but rather possesses absolute meaning and value. Yet, none of the above experiences involves certitude; one remains free to accept or reject them and what they claim to involve. (shrink)
This paper examines the postmodern question of the otherness of the other from the perspective of Gabriel Marcel’s philosophy. Postmodernity—typified by philosophical movements like deconstruction—has framed the question of otherness in all-or-nothing terms; either the other is absolutely, wholly other or the other is not other at all. On the deconstructive account, the latter position amounts to a kind of “violence” against the other. Marcel’s philosophy offers an alternative to this all-or-nothing model of otherness. His thought can satisfy (...) the fundamental (and legitimate) ethical and philosophical concerns of postmodern thinkers without resorting to the paroxysmal hyperbole that characterizes philosophies of absolute otherness. Moreover, Marcel’s critique of the “spirit of abstraction” offers a unique perspective on what might motivate such paroxysmal hyperbole. (shrink)
After reviewing how Jean Wahl interprets the early Marcel, specifically his Metaphysical Journal, in a seminal work whose title captured the philosophical spiritof the 1930s, Vers le concret (“Toward the Concrete”), I discuss the existentialist style of philosophizing, offer five criteria for judging a philosopher to be an existentialist and submit Marcel’s work to each. I turn to the appropriateness of calling him a neo-Socratic philosopher, an appellation he seemed to prefer, and conclude with some observations of how (...) this mixture of the Socratic and the existentialist places Marcel in the lineage of those like Michel Foucault and Pierre Hadot who speak of philosophy less as a doctrine and more as a way of life. (shrink)
In the post-September 11, 2001 world in which we live, French existentialist playwright and philosopher Gabriel Marcel’s works are especially relevant. Hisincreased popularity reflects both student and faculty interest in questions he raises about issues that remain vital concerns in our lives. Plays focusing on questions about life’s meaning, connected with insights from his philosophic essays, illustrate how Marcel engages personal reflection to clarify challenging situations. He uses dramatic imagination to investigate conflicting viewpoints, inviting the viewers to examine (...) their unique experience of the issues portrayed. Thus his individual journey to consciousness welcomes others to develop their own. Today’s classrooms also benefit from a greater availability of Marcel’s translated works in the form of books, scripts, videos, CDs, and Readers’ Theatre performances. (shrink)
Gabriel Marcel is not typically read as a political theorist and social commentator. He never wrote a treatise devoted specifically to a systematic treatmentof politics. His writings, nevertheless, abound in political theorizing and social analysis. This study articulates Marcel’s socio-political thought, explicating itscoherence with his overall concrete philosophy and with his personal engagement in political events of his time. It develops through three themes. The first details Marcel’s particular approach to sociopolitical thought as a “watchman.” The second (...) shows why Marcel offers a “hopeful communitarianism” which overcomes the problems of collectivism and individualism. The third delineates Marcel’s views on the concrete, socio-political, and ethical issues of peace and population control. A brief closing section explains the importance of politics in Marcelian scholarship and the “prophetic” quality of his thought. (shrink)
The idea of ‘hope’ has received significant attention in the political sphere recently. But is hope just wishful thinking, or can it be something more than a political catch-phrase? This book argues that hope can be understood existentially, or on the basis of what it means to be human. Under this conception of hope, given to us by Gabriel Marcel, hope is not optimism, but the creation of ways for us to flourish. War, poverty and an absolute reliance on (...) technology are real-life evils that can suffocate hope. Marcel’s thought provides a way to overcome these negative experiences. An ethics of hope can function as an alternative to isolation, dread, and anguish offered by most existentialists. This book presents Marcel’s existentialism as a convincing, relevant moral theory; founded on the creation of hope, interwoven with the individual’s response to the death of God. Jill Hernandez argues that today’s reader of Marcel can resonate with his belief that the experience of pain can be transcended through a philosophy of hope and an escape from materialism. (shrink)
This article originally appeared in The Commonweal (October 5, 1962): 31–3. Michael Novak, a graduate student at the time, met Marcel while he was at Harvard University to deliver the William James lectures in the fall of 1961. Those lectures were subsequently printed in the volume, The Existential Background ofHuman Dignity (1963). The article is reprinted here with the kind permission of Michael Novak and the Commonweal magazine.
Gabriel Marcel spent most of his life developing a phenomenology of human intersubjectivity. While doing so he discovered the extent to which an authentic human community depends upon the relationship it has to nonhuman nature. By exploring Marcel’s critique of technology, as well as his religious phenomenology, I show the proximity to which Marcel’s philosophy approaches the currentegalitarian response of the radical ecology movement. Even though the bulk of Marcel’s work is concerned with human intersubjectivity, his (...) writings advocate a transcendence of anthropocentricism to what Marcel calls “cosmocentricism,” an existential attitude toward the world which submits to the sacredness of all beings, as well as to the bioregions within which all earthly creatures share the sacraments of life. (shrink)
In this paper, I take for granted that, today, something is radically wrong metaphysically with Western culture. I maintain that this problem arises, as Marcelsays, from the very depths of our being. This paper’s purpose is to consider some aspects of Marcel’s metaphysical teaching, especially about our need tostart philosophizing in the concrete, not the abstract, situation, to battle against the spirit of abstraction, and use these reflections for the practical purpose ofconsidering what sorts of steps we need to (...) take at the present moment to recover philosophical practice in the postmodern age. Within the context of this paper,I argue that Marcel is a realist humanist in the tradition of Plato and Aquinas whose battle against the spirit of abstraction is fundamentally a fight againstnominalism and sophistry. (shrink)
This paper presents an argument for seeing Marcel Duchamp and Robert Mapplethorpe as opposite ends of a tradition of negotiation of art with its conditions of production. The piece takes seriously Kant's suggestions concerning the fine arts and contests views of art that see the Kantian tradition as formally fixed.
This book is a critical appraisal of the distinctive modern school of thought known as French existentialism. It philosophically engages the ideas of the major French existentialists, namely, Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty, Marcel, Camus, and, because of his central role in the movement, especially Sartre, in a fresh attempt to elucidate their contributions to contemporary philosophy.
This chapter explores some of the similarities and differences in the philosophical methods of five philosophers often considered existentialists: Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, de Beauvoir and Marcel. The relationship between existentialism and phenomenological methods, as well as transcendental reasoning in general, is examined.