Terror management theory and research can rectify shortcomings in Atran & Norenzayan's (A&N's) analysis of religion. (1) Religious and secular worldviews are much more similar than the target article supposes; (2) a propensity for embracing supernatural beliefs is likely to have conferred an adaptive advantage over the course of evolution; and (3) the claim that supernatural agent beliefs serve a terror management function independent of worldview bolstering is not empirically supported.
What is Justice? Classic and Contemporary Readings, 2/e, brings together many of the most prominent and influential writings on the topic of justice, providing an exceptionally comprehensive introduction to the subject. It places special emphasis on "social contract" theories of justice, both ancient and modern, culminating in the monumental work of John Rawls and various responses to his work. It also deals with questions of retributive justice and punishment, topics that are often excluded from other volumes on justice. This new (...) edition features expanded and updated readings on justice and punishment and includes more recent responses to John Rawls's work. Part One of the book features selections from classical sources including Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, and Mencius, as well as excerpts from the Bible and the Koran. Part Two provides readings on the state of nature and the social contract, from Hobbes and Locke to Rawls, Nozick, Gauthier, and Baier. Part Three includes the Declaration of Independence and Amendments to the U.S. Constitution in addition to selections on property and social justice by Locke, Hume, Adam Smith, Engels, Marx, Mill, and several contemporary authors. Part Four offers a wide variety of readings on punishment, several of which address the death penalty. Part Five begins with selections from Rawls's work and includes responses from Dworkin, Nagel, Nozick, MacIntyre, Sandel, Walzer, Okin, and Rawls himself. Each selection is preceded by a brief introduction and each of the five parts opens with an introduction. The volume is further enhanced by a general introduction and an updated and extensive bibliography. Ideal for a wide variety of courses including social and political philosophy, ethics, philosophy of law, and contemporary moral problems, What Is Justice?, 2/e, does not assume any philosophical or specialized background. It is also engaging reading for anyone interested in justice. (shrink)
This book broadens the inquiry into emotion to comprehend a comparative cultural outlook. It begins with an overview of recent work in the West, and then proceeds to the main business of scrutinizing various relevant issues from both Asian and comparative perspectives. Original essays by experts in the field. Finally, Robert Solomon comments and summarizes.
We live our lives through our emotions, writes Robert Solomon, and it is our emotions that give our lives meaning. What interests or fascinates us, who we love, what angers us, what moves us, what bores us--all of this defines us, gives us character, constitutes who we are. In True to Our Feelings, Solomon illuminates the rich life of the emotions--why we don't really understand them, what they really are, and how they make us human and give meaning (...) to life. Emotions have recently become a highly fashionable area of research in the sciences, with brain imaging uncovering valuable clues as to how we experience our feelings. But while Solomon provides a guide to this cutting-edge research, as well as to what others--philosophers and psychologists--have said on the subject, he also emphasizes the personal and ethical character of our emotions. He shows that emotions are not something that happen to us, nor are they irrational in the literal sense--rather, they are judgements we make about the world, and they are strategies for living in it. Fear, anger, love, guilt, jealousy, compassion--they are all essential to our values, to living happily, healthily, and well. Solomon highlights some of the dramatic ways that emotions fit into our ethics and our sense of the good life, how we can make our emotional lives more coherent with our values and be more "true to our feelings" and cultivate emotional integrity. The story of our lives is the story of our passions. We fall in love, we are gripped by scientific curiosity and religious fervor, we fear death and grieve for others, we humble ourselves in envy, jealousy, and resentment. In this remarkable book, Robert Solomon shares his fascination with the emotions and illuminates our passions in an exciting new way. (shrink)
Philosophers since Aristotle have explored emotion, and the study of emotion has always been essential to the love of wisdom. In recent years Anglo-American philosophers have rediscovered and placed new emphasis on this very old discipline. The view that emotions are ripe for philosophical analysis has been supported by a considerable number of excellent publications. In this volume, Robert Solomon brings together some of the best Anglo-American philosophers now writing on the philosophy of emotion, with chapters from philosophers who (...) have distinguished themselves in the field of emotion research and have interdisciplinary interests, particularly in the social and biological sciences. The reader will find a lively variety of positions on topics such as the nature of emotion, the category of "emotion," the rationality of emotions, the relationship between an emotion and its expression, the relationship between emotion, motivation, and action, the biological nature versus social construction of emotion, the role of the body in emotion, the extent of freedom and our control of emotions, the relationship between emotion and value, and the very nature and warrant of theories of emotion. In addition, this book acknowledges that it is impossible to study the emotions today without engaging with contemporary psychology and the neurosciences, and moreover engages them with zeal. Thus the essays included here should appeal to a broad spectrum of emotion researchers in the various theoretical, experimental, and clinical branches of psychology, in addition to theorists in philosophy, philosophical psychology, moral psychology, and cognitive science, the social sciences, and literary theory. (shrink)
Is business ethics a contradiction in terms? Absolutely not, says Robert Solomon. In fact, he maintains that sound ethics is a necessary precondition of any long-term business enterprise, and that excellence in business must exist on the foundation of values that most of us hold dear. Drawing on twenty years of experience consulting with major corporations on ethics, Solomon clarifies the difficult ethical choices all people in business are faced with from time to time. He takes an "Aristotelian" (...) approach to ethical questions, reminding readers that a corporation--like an individual--is embedded in a community, and that corporate values such as fairness and honesty are meaningless until transformed into action. Values--coupled with action--become virtues, and virtues make possible any good business corporate relationship. Without a base of shared values, trust and mutual benefits, today's national and international business world will fall apart. In keeping with his conviction that virtue and profit must thrive together, Solomon both examines the ways in which deficient values actually destroy businesses, and debunks the pervasive myths that encourage unethical business practices. Complete with a working catalog of virtues designed to illustrate the importance of integrity in any business situation, this compelling handbook contains a goldmine of wisdom for either the small business manager or the corporate executive struggling with ethical issues. (shrink)
Not Passion's Slave is a collection of Solomon's most significant essay-length publications on the nature of emotions over the past twenty-five years. He develops two essential themes throughout the volume: firstly, he presents a "cognitive" theory of emotions in which emotions are construed primarily as evaluative judgments; secondly, he proposes an "existentialist" perspective in which he defends the idea that we are responsible for our emotions and, in a limited sense, "choose" them. The final section presents his current philosophical (...) position on the seeming "passivity" of the passions. Ultimately, Solomon advocates the idea that we have control over, and are essentially responsible for, the emotional and existential quality of our lives. (shrink)
Philosophy has as much to do with feelings as it does with thoughts and thinking. Philosophy, accordingly, requires not only emotional sensitivity but an understanding of the emotions, not as curious but marginal psychological phenomena but as the very substance of life. In this, the second book in a series devoted to his work on the emotions, Robert Solomon presents a defense of the emotions and of sentimentality against the background of what he perceives as a long history of (...) abuse in philosophy and social thought and art and literary criticism. The title piece reopens a classic debate about the role of sentimentality in art and literature. In subsequent chapters, Solomon discusses not only such "moral sentiments" as sympathy and compassion but also grief, gratitude, love, horror, and even vengeance. He also defends, with appropriate caution, the "seven deadly sins." The emotions, at least some emotions--are essential to a well-lived life. They are or can be virtues, features of the human condition without which civilized life would be unimaginable. (shrink)
Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the most popular and controversial philosophers of the last 150 years. Narcissistic, idiosyncratic, hyperbolic, irreverent--never has a philosopher been appropriated, deconstructed, and scrutinized by such a disparate array of groups, movements, and schools of thought. Adored by many for his passionate ideas and iconoclastic style, he is also vilified for his lack of rigor, apparent cruelty, and disdain for moral decency. In Living with Nietzsche, Solomon suggests that we read Nietzsche from a very different (...) point of view, as a provocative writer who means to transform the way we view our lives. This means taking Nietzsche personally. Rather than focus on the "true" Nietzsche or trying to determine "what Nietzsche really meant" by his seemingly random and often contradictory pronouncements about "the Big Questions" of philosophy, Solomon reminds us that Nietzsche is not a philosopher of abstract ideas but rather of the dazzling personal insight, the provocative challenge, the incisive personal probe. He does not try to reveal the eternal verities but he does powerfully affect his readers, goading them to see themselves in new and different ways. It is Nietzsche's compelling invitation to self-scrutiny that fascinates us, engages us, and guides us to a "rich inner life." Ultimately, Solomon argues, Nietzsche is an example as well as a promulgator of "passionate inwardness," a life distinguished by its rich passions, exquisite taste, and a sense of personal elegance and excellence. (shrink)
The Joy of Philosophy is a return to some of the perennial questions of philosophy--questions about the meaning of life; about death and tragedy; about the respective roles of rationality and passion in the good life; about love, compassion, and revenge; about honesty, deception, and betrayal; and about who we are and how we think about who we are. Recapturing the heart-felt confusion and excitement that originally brings us all to philosophy, internationally renowned teacher and lecturer Robert C. Solomon (...) offers both a critique of contemporary philosophy and an invitation to engage in philosophy in a different way. He attempts to save philosophy from itself and its self-imposed diet of thin arguments and logical analysis to recover the richness and complexity of life in thought. Solomon defends the passionate life in contrast to the life of thoughtful contemplation idealized by so many philosophers, attempting to recapture the kind of philosophy that Nietzsche celebrated as a "joyful wisdom.". (shrink)
Robert Solomon, widely recognized as a leading authority of continental philosophy and respected as a philosopher in his own right, here brings together twelve of his published articles focusing on key issues in the writings of major continental philosophers including Hegel, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Sartre, and Camus. The essays not only shed light on the thought and interrelations of these writers, but also develop a set of provocative and forcefully argued original theses, and encapsulate some of the central ideas of (...)Solomon's most important books. (shrink)
The flowering of creative and speculative philosophy that emerged in modern Europe--particularly in Germany--is a thrilling adventure story as well as an essential chapter in the history of philosophy. In this integrative narrative, Solomon provides an accessible introduction to the major authors and movements of modern European philosophy, including the Enlightenment and Romanticism, Rousseau, German Idealism, Kant, Fichte, Schelling and the Romantics, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Feuerbach, Max Brentano, Meinong, Frege, Dilthey, Bergson, Nietzsche, Husserl, Freud, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, hermeneutics, Sartre, Postmodernism, (...) Structuralism, Foucault, and Derrida. (shrink)
Do mountains exist? The answer to this question is surely: yes. In fact, ‘mountain’ is the example of a kind of geographic feature or thing most commonly cited by English speakers (Mark, et al., 1999; Smith and Mark 2001), and this result may hold across many languages and cultures. But whether they are considered as individuals (tokens) or as kinds (types), mountains do not exist in quite the same unequivocal sense as do such prototypical everyday objects as chairs (...) or people. (shrink)
This is a greatly abridged adaptation of Solomon and Higgins' 1995 OUP publication, A Short History of Philosophy. As in the longer book, the authors offer a guided tour of the full panorama of philosophy. Here, however, they concentrate on a few highlights of world philosophical history, offering the general reader a quick and painless introduction to the world's great philosophers.
In this accessible and comprehensive work, Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins cover the entire history of philosophy--ancient, medieval, and modern, from cultures both East and West--in its broader historical and cultural contexts. Major philosophers and movements are discussed along with less well-known but interesting figures. The authors examine the early Greek, Indic, and Chinese philosophers and the mythological traditions that preceded them, as well as the great religious philosophies, including Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, and Taoism. Easily understandable to students without (...) specialized knowledge of philosophy, A Short History of Philosophy demonstrates the relevance of philosophy to our times, illuminating the impact of the revolutions wrought by science, industry, colonialism, and sectarian warfare; the two world wars and the Holocaust; and the responses of philosophy in the schools of existentialism, postmodernism, feminism, and multiculturalism. In addition, the authors provide their own twists and interpretations of events, resulting in a broad view of the nature of philosophy as an intellectual discipline and its sometimes odd and dramatic consequences. (shrink)
The Greek philosopher Aristotle, writing over two thousand years before Wall Street, called people who engaged in activities which did not contribute to society "parasites." In his latest work, renowned scholar Robert C. Solomon asserts that though capitalism may require capital, but it does not require, much less should it be defined by the parasites it inevitably attracts. Capitalism has succeeded not with brute strength or because it has made people rich, but because it has produced responsible citizens and--however (...) unevenly--prosperous communities. It cannot tolerate a conception of business that focuses solely on income and vulgarity while ignoring traditional virtues of responsibility, community, and integrity. Many feel that there is too much lip-service and not enough understanding of the importance of cooperation and integrity in corporate life. This book rejects the myths and metaphors of war-like competition that cloud business thinking and develops an "Aristotelean" theory of business. The author's approach emphasizes several core concepts: the corporation as community, the search for excellence, the importance of integrity and sound judgment, as well as a more cooperative and humane vision of business. Solomon stresses the virtues of honesty, trust, fairness, and compassion in the competitive business world, and confronts the problem of "moral mazes" and what he posits as its solution--moral courage. (shrink)
Philosophy is an exciting and accessible subject, and this engaging text acquaints students with the core problems of philosophy and the many ways in which they are and have been answered. Introducing Philosophy: A Text with Integrated Readings, Eighth Edition, insists both that philosophy is very much alive today and that it is deeply rooted in the past. Accordingly, it combines substantial original sources from significant works in the history of philosophy and current philosophy with detailed commentary and explanation that (...) help to clarify the readings. The selections range from the oldest known fragments to cutting-edge essays in feminism, multiculturalism, and cognitive science. At the end of each chapter is a summary, a list of review questions, a glossary, and a bibliography with suggestions for further reading. Important philosophical terms are carefully introduced in the text and also summarized at the end of each chapter, and brief biographies of the philosophers are provided at the end of the book. New to the Eighth Edition: Addressing the needs of a new generation of students, Robert C. Solomon has included for the first time more than 300 study and review questions. Appearing throughout the text and at the end of each chapter, these questions require immediate feedback from students. They encourage students to articulate the central ideas of what they have just read, instead of just "passing through" on the way to the next reading . New selections expand and update the chapters on religion, knowledge, mind and body, freedom, ethics, justice, and beauty. The selections include work by Charles Hartshorne, Cory Juhl, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, Sextus Empiricus, Edmund L. Gettier, David Braddon-Mitchell and Frank Jackson, Colin McGinn, Daniel Dennett, Harry Frankfurt, Gilbert Harman, Emma Goldman, and Arthur C. Danto. A companion website at www.oup.com/us/solomon8e features 300 study and review questions (100 multiple-choice, 100 true-or-false, and 100 fill-in-the-blank), discussion questions, chapter overviews and summaries, topical links, suggestions for further reading, and PowerPoint lecture aids. (shrink)
Philosophy is a truly exciting and accessible subject, and this engaging text acquaints students with the core problems of philosophy and the many ways in which they have been answered. The book insists that philosophy is very much alive today but is also deeply rooted in the past. Accordingly, Introducing Philosophy combines substantial original sources from significant works in the history of philosophy with detailed commentary and explanation that help to clarify the readings. The selections range from the oldest known (...) fragments to cutting-edge essays in feminism, multiculturalism, and cognitive science. -/- Addressing the needs of a new generation of students, editor Robert Solomon has enhanced the eighth edition of Introducing Philosophy with more than 300 new study and review questions. Appearing at the ends of selections, sections, and chapters, these questions provide immediate feedback for students. They encourage students to articulate the central ideas of what they have just read, instead of just "passing through" on the way to the next reading. Each chapter is followed by a summary, a glossary, and a bibliography with suggestions for further readings. Important philosophical terms are carefully introduced within the text and also summarized at the end of each chapter, and brief biographies of the philosophers are provided at the end of the book. The eighth edition also features several new selections that expand and update chapters on religion, knowledge, mind and body, freedom, ethics, politics, and aesthetics. (shrink)
The Phenomenology of Spirit was Hegel's grandest experiement, changing our vision of the world and the very nature of philosophical enterprise. In this book, Solomon captures the bold and exhilarating spirit, presenting the Phenomenology as a thoroughly personal as well as philosophical work. He begins with a historical introduction, which lays the groundwork for a section-by-section analysis of the Phenomenology. Both the initiated as well as readers unacquainted with the intricacies of German idealism will find this to be an (...) accessible and exciting introduction to this great philosopher's monumental work. (shrink)
What is an Emotion?, 2/e, draws together important selections from classical and contemporary theories and debates about emotion. Utilizing sources from a variety of subject areas including philosophy, psychology, and biology, editor Robert Solomon provides an illuminating look at the "affective" side of psychology and philosophy from the perspective of the world's great thinkers. Part One of the book features five classic readings from Aristotle, the Stoics, Descartes, Spinoza, and Hume. Part Two offers classic and contemporary theories from the (...) social sciences, presenting selections from such thinkers as Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud alongside recent work from Paul Ekman, Catherine Lutz, and others. Part Three presents some of the extensive work on emotion that developed in Europe over the past century. Part Four includes essays representing the discussion of emotions among British and American analytic philosophers. The volume is enhanced by a comprehensive introduction by the editor and a multidisciplinary bibliography. What is an Emotion? is appropriate for any course in which the nature of emotion plays a major role, including philosophy of emotion, philosophy of mind, history of psychology, emotion and motivation, moral psychology, and history and psychology of consciousness courses. The second edition provides much more material on emotions in the sciences and more from recent philosophical theories, encompassing recent shifts in theorizing on three fronts: the wealth of new information on the central nervous system and the brain; new developments in cross-cultural research and anthropology; and the recent emphasis on "cognition" in emotion, both in philosophy and the social sciences. New selections include work by Antonio Damasio, Ronald De Sousa, Paul Ekman, Nico Frijda, Patricia Greenspan, Paul Griffiths, Richard Lazarus, Catherine Lutz, Martha Nussbaum, and Michael Stocker. (shrink)
Jerome Neu has been one of the most prominent voices in the philosophy of emotions for more than twenty years, that is, before the field was even a field. His Emotions, Thought, and Therapy (1977) was one of its most original and ground-breaking books. Neu is an uncompromising defender of what has been called the cognitive theory of emotions (as am I). But the ambiguity, controversy, and confusions own by the notion of a cognitive theory of emotion is what I (...) would like to focus on here. In so doing I will indicate some of the way sin which my own theory has developed. (shrink)
Do our minds extend beyond our brains? In a series of publications, Mark Rowlands has argued that the correct answer to this question is an affirmative one. According to Rowlands, certain types of operations on bodily and worldly structures should be considered to be proper and literal parts of our cognitive and mental processes. In this article, I present and critically evaluate Rowlands' position.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens o Mark Twain es el autor del Diario de Adán y Eva, Un yanki en la corte del rey Arturo, Las aventuras de Tom Sawyer, Las aventuras de Huckleberry Finn y otras. Este escritor norteamericano asumió la práctica literaria como un asunto que va más allá del entretenimiento: escribió para interpelar al lector. Y este detalle salta a la vista con un libro que rara veces es referenciado: Sobre la decadencia del arte de mentir, texto que (...) aborda una enfermedad axiológica en el mundo moderno: los peligros que acarrea seguir al pie de la letra los postulados universales de un Deber y una Verdad abstracta. A continuación se hace un análisis de este problema. (shrink)
According to the thesis of the extended mind (EM) , at least some token cognitive processes extend into the cognizing subject's environment in the sense that they are (partly) composed of manipulative, exploitative, and transformative operations performed by that subject on suitable environmental structures. EM has attracted four ostensibly distinct types of objection. This paper has two goals. First, it argues that these objections all reduce to one basic sort: all the objections can be resolved by the provision of an (...) adequate and properly motivated criterion—or mark—of the cognitive. Second, it provides such a criterion—one made up of four conditions that are sufficient for a process to count as cognitive. (shrink)
Miriam Solomon's social empiricism is marked by emphasis on community level rationality in science and the refusal to impose a distinction between the epistemic and the non-epistemic character of factors ("decision vectors") that incline scientists for or against a theory. While she attempts to derive some norms from the analysis of cases, her insistent naturalism undermines her effort to articulate norms for the (appropriate) distribution of decision vectors.
An archive of Mark Sharlow's two blogs, "The Unfinishable Scroll" and "Religion: the Next Version." Covers Sharlow's views on metaphysics, epistemology, mind, science, religion, and politics. Includes topics and ideas not found in his papers.
Machine generated contents note: Part I. General: 1. The Gödel editorial project: a synopsis Solomon Feferman; 2. Future tasks for Gödel scholars John W. Dawson, Jr., and Cheryl A. Dawson; Part II. Proof Theory: 3. Kurt Gödel and the metamathematical tradition Jeremy Avigad; 4. Only two letters: the correspondence between Herbrand and Gödel Wilfried Sieg; 5. Gödel's reformulation of Gentzen's first consistency proof for arithmetic: the no-counter-example interpretation W. W. Tait; 6. Gödel on intuition and on Hilbert's finitism W. (...) W. Tait; 7. The Gödel hierarchy and reverse mathematics Stephen G. Simpson; 8. On the outside looking in: a caution about conservativeness John P. Burgess; Part III. Set Theory: 9. Gödel and set theory Akihiro Kanamori; 10. Generalizations of Gödel's universe of constructible sets Sy-David Friedman; 11. On the question of absolute undecidability Peter Koellner; Part IV. Philosophy of Mathematics: 12. What did Gödel believe and when did he believe it? Martin Davis; 13. On Gödel's way in: the influence of Rudolf Carnap Warren Goldfarb; 14. Gödel and Carnap Steve Awodey and A. W. Carus; 15. On the philosophical development of Kurt Gödel Mark van Atten and Juliette Kennedy; 16. Platonism and mathematical intuition in Kurt Gödel's thought Charles Parsons; 17. Gödel's conceptual realism Donald A. Martin. (shrink)
<span class='Hi'>Mark</span> Balaguer’s project in this book is extremely ambitious; he sets out to defend both platonism and ﬁctionalism about mathematical entities. Moreover, Balaguer argues that at the end of the day, platonism and ﬁctionalism are on an equal footing. Not content to leave the matter there, however, he advances the anti-metaphysical conclusion that there is no fact of the matter about the existence of mathematical objects.1 Despite the ambitious nature of this project, for the most part Balaguer does (...) not shortchange the reader on rigor; all the main theses advanced are argued for at length and with remarkable clarity and cogency. There are, of course, gaps in the account (some of which are described below) but these should not be allowed to overshadow the sig-. (shrink)
‘It is of the very nature of consciousness to be intentional’ said Jean-Paul Sartre, ‘and a consciousness that ceases to be a consciousness of something would ipso facto cease to exist’.1 Sartre here endorses the central doctrine of Husserl’s phenomenology, itself inspired by a famous idea of Brentano’s: that intentionality, the mind’s ‘direction upon its objects’, is what is distinctive of mental phenomena. Brentano’s originality does not lie in pointing out the existence of intentionality, or in inventing the terminology, which (...) derives from scholastic discussions of concepts or intentiones.2 Rather, his originality consists in his claim that the concept of intentionality marks out the subject matter of psychology: the mental. His view was that intentionality ‘is characteristic exclusively of mental phenomena. No physical phenomenon manifests anything like it’.3 This is Brentano’s thesis that intentionality is the mark of the mental. Despite the centrality of the concept of intentionality in contemporary philosophy of mind, and despite the customary homage paid to Brentano as the one who revived the terminology and placed the concept at the centre of philosophy, Brentano’s thesis is widely rejected by contemporary philosophers of mind. What is more, its rejection is not something which is thought to require substantial philosophical argument. Rather, the falsity of the thesis is taken as a starting-point in many contemporary discussions of intentionality, something so obvious that it only needs to be stated to be recognised as true. Consider, for instance, these remarks from the opening pages of Searle’s Intentionality: Some, not all, mental states and events have Intentionality. Beliefs, fears, hopes and desires are Intentional; but there are forms of nervousness, elation and undirected anxiety that are not Intentional.... My beliefs and desires must always be about something. But my nervousness and undirected anxiety need not in that way be about anything.4 Searle takes this as obvious, so obvious that it is not in need of further argument or elucidation. (shrink)
Response to Mark Schroeder’s Slaves of the passions Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9656-3 Authors Jonathan Dancy, The University of Reading, Reading, UK Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Recently, it has been a part of the so-called consequentializing project to attempt to construct versions of consequentialism that can support agent-relative moral constraints. Mark Schroeder has argued that such views are bound to fail because they cannot make sense of the agent relative value on which they need to rely. In this paper, I provide a fitting-attitude account of both agent-relative and agent-neutral values that can together be used to consequentialize agent-relative constraints.
In Slaves of the Passions, Mark Schroeder provides a systematic, rigorously argued defense of a Humean theory of reasons for action, taking pains to respond to influential objections to the view. While inspired by Hume, Schroeder makes it clear that he aims to develop a Humean theory, not necessarily one that Hume himself embraced, and for this reason little is said about Hume in the book. One respect in which Schroeder takes himself to be departing from Hume is in (...) developing a normative account. On his reading, Hume held that only beliefs could stand in the reason relation (187, n11), whereas Schroeder, like many contemporary Humeans, holds that actions can as well. He sets out to develop a theory of this .. (shrink)
In recent times there have been a number of proposals for a nominalistic philosophy of mathematics. These proposals divide into two quite distinct camps: those who take mathematical propositions to be true, and those who take them to be untrue.2 Both options face substantial difficulties, but let’s focus on the first option. The problem here is in asserting that mathematical propositions such as ‘there exist infinitely many complex roots of the Riemann zeta function’ are true (as this one surely is) (...) and then to go on to deny that there are any complex numbers. To do this just seems inconsistent, or at least “intellectually dishonest” (Putnam, 1971, p. 347). One way to approach this problem is to reinterpret the mathematical claims in question so that they come out true, but do not refer to mathematical objects. So for example, Geoffrey Hellman  interprets mathematical claims to be about possible structures. Such options, since they do not take mathematical claims at face value, must employ a non-uniform semantics and this is thought, by almost everyone, to be a significant price to pay for one’s nominalism. The problem is particularly acute when one considers mixed mathematical and empirical statements such as ‘there exists a planet with mass m and location (x, y, z) and a function G that describes the gravitational potential of the planet at time t’. Here different parts of a single sentence must be treated differently—the talk of planets (and perhaps fields) is treated literally but the mathematical parts are treated non-literally. Apparently the only alternative to reinterpreting mathematical discourse is to follow Hartry Field  and deny the truth of mathematical propositions. But this option is very counterintuitive. (shrink)
In Slaves of the Passions Mark Schroeder puts forward Hypotheticalism, his version of a Humean theory of normative reasons that is capable, so he argues, to avoid many of the difficulties Humeanism is traditionally vulnerable to. In this critical notice, I first outline the main argument of the book, and then proceed to highlight some difficulties and challenges. I argue that these challenges show that Schroeder's improvements on traditional Humeanism – while they do succeed in making the view more (...) immune to some argumentative moves and somewhat more plausible – pushes rather strongly in non-Humean directions. This, together with the remaining failures of Schroeder's Hypotheticalism, should make us more rather than less suspicious of the prospects of Humeanism. (shrink)
Andy Clark once remarked that we make the world smart so we don’t have to be (Clark, 1997). What he meant was that human beings (along with many other animals) alter and transform their environments in order to accomplish certain tasks that would prove difficult (or indeed impossible) without such transformations. This remarkable insight goes a long way towards explaining many aspects of human culture, ranging from linguistic notational systems to how we structure our cities. It also provides the basis (...) for Mark Rowlands’ thought-provoking and insightful book, The New Science of the Mind. (shrink)
The metaphysical importance of the compatibility question: comments on Mark Balaguer’s Free Will as an Open Scientific Problem Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-12 DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9897-4 Authors Michael McKenna, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Mark Schroeder’s Hypotheticalism: agent-neutrality, moral epistemology, and methodology Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9657-2 Authors Tristram McPherson, Department of Philosophy, University of Minnesota Duluth, 361 A. B. Anderson Hall, 1121 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
In Morality Without Foundations, Mark Timmons argues that moral judgments (e.g. “cruelty is wrong”) have what he calls “evaluative assertoric content,” and so, are true or false. However, I argue that, even if correct, this argument renders moral truth or falsity mysterious.
The paper considers various ruminations on the aftermath of the death of a close one, and the processes of grieving and mourning. The conceptual examination of how grief impacts on its sufferers, from different cultural perspectives, is followed by an analytical survey of current thinking among psychologists, psychoanalysts and philosophers on the enigma of grief, and on the associated practice of mourning. Robert C. Solomon reflected deeply on the 'extreme emotion' of grief in his extensive theorizing on the emotions, (...) particularly in his essay 'On Grief and Gratitude', commenting that grief is 'often described as a very private, personal emotion, characterized by social withdrawal and shutting oneself off from the world' (2004: 73). While dialoguing with the spirit of Solomon by way also of a tribute to his immense insights, the paper engages in critical reflections on recent thinking in this area elsewhere - notably, in Heidegger, Freud, Nussbaum, Casey, Gustafson, and Kristeva - and offers a refreshing critique toward an alternative to the received wisdom. (shrink)
During the past decade, the so-called “hypothesis of cognitive extension,” according to which the material vehicles of some cognitive processes are spatially distributed over the brain and the extracranial parts of the body and the world, has received lots of attention, both favourable and unfavourable. The debate has largely focussed on three related issues: (1) the role of parity considerations, (2) the role of functionalism, and (3) the importance of a mark of the cognitive. This paper critically assesses these (...) issues and their interconnections. Section 1 provides a brief introduction. Section 2 argues that some of the most prominent objections against the appeal to parity considerations fail. Section 3 shows that such considerations are nevertheless unsuitable as an argument for cognitive extension. First, the actual argumentative burden is carried by an underlying commitment to functionalism, not by the parity considerations themselves. Second, in the absence of an independently motivated mark of the cognitive, the argument based on parity considerations does not get off the ground, but given such a mark, it is superfluous. Section 4 argues that a similar dilemma arises for the attempt to defend cognitive extension by a general appeal to functionalism. Unless it can be independently settled what it is for a process to be cognitive, functionalism itself will be undermined by the possibility of cognitive extension. Like parity considerations, functionalism is thus either unable to support cognitive extension or superfluous. Hence, nothing short of the specification of an appropriate mark of the cognitive that can be fulfilled not only by intracranial but also by extended processes will do as an argument for cognitive extension. (shrink)
In assessing the appropriateness of a scientific community's research effort, Solomon considers a number of "decision vectors," divided into the empirical and non-empirical. Value judgments get sorted as non-empirical vectors. By way of contrast, I introduce Anderson's discussion of the evidential role of value judgments. Like Anderson, I argue that value judgments are empirical in the relevant sense. I argue further that Solomon's decision matrix needs to be reconceptualized: the distinction should not be between the empirical vs. non-empirical, (...) but between the relevant vs. irrelevant. Whether particular value judgments are relevant or not is an empirical question, to be decided on a case-by-case basis. (shrink)
An inadequate grasp of the role of imagination has vitiated understanding of human cognition in western thinking. Extending a project initiated with George Lakoff in _Metaphors we Live By_ (1980), Mark Johnson's book _The Body in the Mind_ (1987) offers the claim that all thinking originates in bodily experience. A range of schemata formed during our early experience manipulating a physical world of surfaces, distances, and forces, lays the foundation of later, more abstract modes of thought. In presenting his (...) argument, Johnson lays special stress on the qualities and dynamics of the image schemata, the (generally unnoticed) metaphoricity of the transformations underlying abstract thought, and the new significance that should be attributed to the imagination, which is the general term Johnson wishes to claim for the mental processes he expounds. In this paper I draw attention to the importance of Johnson's insights for understanding literary response. In particular, I will show how a typical procedure of literary texts involves bringing to awareness image schemata of the kind that Johnson describes. At the same time, several problems in Johnson's account which limit its usefulness will also be examined: an undue reliance upon the spatial properties of schemata; a conflation of dead with live or poetic metaphors; and a neglect of other bodily influences on thought, especially kinaesthetic and affective aspects. These problems, for example, limit the usefulness of Johnson's attempt to build on Kant's theory of imagination. In comparison with Coleridge, who also attempted to build on Kant, Johnson is unable to overcome the formalism of Kant's theory. Coleridge's account of imagination, I will suggest, provides a better foundation for examining the bodily basis of meaning, while remaining compatible with Johnson's intentions and his more valuable insights. (shrink)
“Choose your words wisely,” my mother used to say, “because you never know who’s listening.” Oddly, this is something about which my dear mother and Mark Richard apparently would agree. They both seem to think that the words you use say something about who you are, and if you use bad words, then you are a bad person. About this, I have no doubt that they are right - those who use slurs, at least in the context of many (...) assertive utterances, are surely racists, anti-Semites or whatever. But MR in his paper points out that matters go further than this, for our conversational interactions with slur words can show us to be of such dubious moral status even if we don’t utter them; just our normal practices of accepting the utterances of others would be sufficient for this result. But something is surely amiss here; no doubt we can know the meaning of slur-words, and so comprehend the utterances of others, without impugning our moral stature in any way. (shrink)
Robert C. Solomon saw spirituality and emotion as interpenetrating themes. I will summarize his views on spirituality and then introduce the articles in the special issue in his honor. Relating emotional integrity to spirituality, Bob argues that it is precisely through engagement - throwing ourselves into relationships and endeavors - that we come to recognize ourselves as part of something much larger than ourselves. Spirituality is an on-going adventure according to Bob, and it recommends itself in the way that (...) all adventures do. It is exciting and fun, a matter of an overflowing passionate life. (shrink)
artificial life, each of which is a grand challenge requiring a major advance on a fundamental issue for its solution. Each problem is briefly explained, and, where deemed helpful, some promising paths to its solution are indicated.
In addition to the standard ellipsis process known as VP-ellipsis, another ellipsis process, known as pseudo-gapping, was first brought to the fore-front in the 1970’s by Sag (1976) and N. Levin (1986). This process elides subparts of a VP, as in (1): (1) Although I don’t like steak, I do___pizza. Developing ideas of K.S. Jayaseelan (Jayaseelan (1990)), Howard Lasnik has developed an analysis in which pseudo-gapping, which, in some instances, looks as though it is simply deleting a verb, is in (...) fact deletion of a verb phrase, so that pseudo-gapping is really a probe into the structure of the verb phrase. I will examine pseudo-gapping in detail, and will show that it truly is a gold mine of insight into a number of fundamental issues in syntax. More concretely, I will demonstrate that a careful, detailed analysis of this process will bear on the derivational level at which Principle A of the binding theory applies, as well as the amount of explicit encoding within syntactic representations of informational structure, particularly focus. The paper will also re-assess Lasnik’s conclusion that pseudo-gapping provides evidence for Larson’s (1988) V-raising to a higher empty V position, a case of head movement, and will show that the movement involved is actually a case of remnant movement, or XP-movement. (shrink)
In this article the author maintains that complexity theory relies on reductionist assumptions, showing itself not to be completely convincing in dealing with the issue of novelty. First, an outline of Mark C. Taylor's The Moment of Complexity is presented as an exemplary case, particularly for his attempt to import complexity theory into the social sciences. Then, the connection between complexity theory and evolutionism is considered, arguing that this connection prevents complexity theory from giving a convincing account of the (...) emergence of novelty. A provisional conclusion is offered by arguing that novelty should be conceived as arising from a "widening" of reduction at the individual level. (shrink)
Griffiths (2001) make a number of comments about James Mark Baldwin's motivations and character at the time that he was developing what later became known as the "Baldwin effect." Some of these comments I found to be misleading. I attempt to correct the historical record concerning the origins of the "Baldwin effect.".
Solomon has made the case, in Social Empicism (2001) for socially naturalized analysis of the dynamics of scientific inquiry that takes seriously two critical insights: that scientific rationality is contingent, disunified, and socially emergent; and that scientific progress is often fostered by factors traditionally regarded as compromising sources of bias. While elements of this framework are widely shared, Solomon intends it to be more resolutely social, more thoroughly naturalizing, and more ambitiously normative than other contextualizing epistemologies currently on (...) offer. Four focal issues are addressed in the commentaries that follow: Solomon's characterization of empirical success as a goal of science (Clough); her distinction between empirical and non-empirical decision vectors and the viability of the multivariate analysis she proposes for assessing epistemic fairness in their distribution (Clough; Richardson); the plausibility of her thesis that normatively appropriate consensus is a (rare) limiting case rather than an intrinsically desirable outcome of inquiry (Oreskes; Richardson); and her conviction that a socially naturalized analysis of science can ground norms of scientific rationality (Longino; Oreskes). (shrink)
Mark Dooley has recently argued (principally against Simon Critchley) that the attempt to establish too strong a connection between Jacques Derrida and Emmanuel Levinas not only distorts crucial disparities between their respective philosophies, it also contaminates Derridas recent work with Levinass inherent political naivety. In short, on Dooleys reading, Levinas is only of inspirational value for Derrida. I am not concerned with defending Critchleys own reading of the DerridaLevinas connection. My objective is rather to demonstrate, first, the way in (...) which Dooleys argument hinges upon a misreading of Levinas and Derrida, and, second, why Derridas recent thinking is in fact fundamentally Levinasian. Key Words: contingency guilt Holocaust hospitality institutions nature suffering third party violence. (shrink)
The ideological interface between Muslims and liberal educators undoubtedly is strained in the realm of sex education, and perhaps on no topic more so than homosexuality. Mark Halstead argues that schools should not try to ?undermine the faith? of Muslims, who object to teaching homosexuality as an ?acceptable alternative lifestyle?. In this article, I will argue against his monolithic presentation of Islam. Furthermore, I will argue that because Halstead presents a narrow view of Islam he is neglectful of gay (...) and lesbian Muslims who are particularly vulnerable to the unrepentant hostilities of their own communities, and he limits the options available to sex educators in such a way as to discourage genuine encounters between homosexuals and Muslims. (shrink)
According to a subjectivist view of some concept, C, there is an a priori implication of subjective responses in C's application or possession conditions. Subjectivists who intend their view to be descriptive of our practice with C will hold that it is possible for there to be true empirical claims which explain such responses in terms of certain things being C. Mark Johnston's "missing-explanation argument" employs a substitution principle with a view to establishing that these strands of subjectivism are (...) inconsistent. I suggest that Johnston's substitution principle survives an attempt by Alex Miller to show that it is unreliable, but that it is prey to a counterexample which cannot be explained away by the proponent of the missing-explanation argument. I conclude that the missing-explanation argument poses no threat to subjectivism. (shrink)
This essay has three goals. First, it argues that Solomon's claim that consensus is not a telos of science is both original and striking. Second, it raises doubts about whether Solomon's arguments support it. Third, it asks whether the claim is coherent at all.
Mark Jordan’s recent book, Rewritten Theology, challenges the way in which the achievement of Thomas Aquinas has been both received and reformulated,often in order to serve particular theological and philosophical ends. It helps to unmask the often hidden presuppositions behind efforts to “police” Thomism, efforts which frequently require a revision and a rewriting of the texts of Aquinas themselves. At a time when it appears that there is a repristinization of the Thomistic “synthesis” reminiscent of Garrigou-Lagrange, this book is (...) an auspicious reminder that such “synthesis” often comes at the cost of fidelity to theMaster in whose name it is fashioned. (shrink)
In a recent article in The European Legacy, Mark Cortes Favis argued that the figure of Kierkegaard expressed a tension between two aspects of writing?the Socratic and the Platonic. While Favis is correct to see a duality in Kierkegaard's writing, his article does not fully answer the problem of how we can account for our interpretation of this tension. Given that the duality within Kierkegaard's writing transgresses the boundaries of author and reader, we cannot easily circumscribe any claims on (...) his writing without considering its effect on our reading. Rather, the characteristic duality of his authority manifests itself in a number of ways in the task of identifying the philosophical meaning of his texts. Kierkegaard's relationship to Socrates is thus symptomatic of a number of figural dualities that pervade interpretations of his work. By surveying the ways in which these interpretations draw on the axiom of duality in order to ascribe an authority to Kierkegaard's texts, I suggest Favis's argument that Kierkegaard's writing expresses both Socratic and Platonic aspects should be placed within the wider duality at work in the interpretation of Kierkegaard's work. (shrink)
Abstract This paper critically examines John Mark Mattox's view of the nature of the moral appropriateness of particular response options. By so doing, I aim to engage the wider readership in a debate, which I hope leads to greater clarity and precision of thinking on these topics. After summarizing Mattox's view, I argue first that in order for Mattox's ultimate conclusion to hold in moral terms, he must abandon the argument on the permissibility of nuclear reprisal to re-establish nuclear (...) deterrence and instead anchor this response solely on the moral grounds of retributive justice. Secondly, I argue that the morally superior and politically efficacious counter-nuclear terrorist response is to hunt down the nuclear terrorists and hold them accountable for war crimes in the International Criminal Court. This response is consistent with just war theoretic principles, and it also affirms the moral virtues of honor, dignity, and humane treatment in contexts where they are needed the most ? the holocausts of nuclear terrorist attacks. (shrink)
Perhaps the philosophical thesis most commonly associated with Brentano is that intentionality is the mark of the mental. But in fact Brentano often and centrally uses also what he calls ‘inner perception’ to demarcate the mental. In this paper, I offer a new interpretation of Brentano’s conception of the interrelations between mentality, intentionality, and inner perception. According to this interpretation, Brentano took the concept of mind to be a natural-kind concept, with intentionality constituting the underlying nature of the mental (...) and inner-perceivability serving as the concept’s reference-fixer. (shrink)
Applied mathematics often operates by way of shakily rationalizedexpedients that can neither be understood in a deductive-nomological nor in an anti-realist setting.Rather do these complexities, so a recent paper of Mark Wilson argues, indicate some element in ourmathematical descriptions that is alien to the physical world. In this vein the mathematical opportunistopenly seeks or engineers appropriate conditions for mathematics to get hold on a given problem.Honest mathematical optimists, instead, try to liberalize mathematical ontology so as to include all physicalsolutions. (...) Following John von Neumann, the present paper argues that the axiomatization of a scientifictheory can be performed in a rather opportunistic fashion, such that optimism and opportunism appear as twomodes of a single strategy whose relative weight is determined by the status of the field to beinvestigated. Wilson's promising approach may thus be reformulated so as to avoid precarious talk about a physicalworld that is void of mathematical structure. This also makes the appraisal of the axiomatic method inapplied matthematics less dependent upon foundationalist issues. (shrink)
[Przekład] Czy nasze umysły wykraczają poza nasze mózgi? W serii swoich publikacji Mark Rowlands argumentuje za pozytywną odpowiedzią na to pytanie. Zgodnie z Rowlandsem pewne typy działań w cielesnych lub materialnych układach należy rozpatrywać jako właściwe i dosłowne elementy naszych procesów poznawczych czy mentalnych. W niniejszym artykule dokonuję krytycznego omówienia stanowiska Rowlandsa.
In a recent essay appearing in this journal, I argued that, even on the assumption that the fetus is a person from the moment of conception, a Christian can consistently hold that while abortion is always murder, it ought to be legally permitted. On the assumption that the ultimate fate of moral innocents is eternal bliss, abortion, I argued, does not result in thesort of harm that ought to be legally prohibited under certain principles of moral legitimacy. Mark C. (...) Murphy published a response to this essay in which he disputes my argument that abortion does not, under such an assumption, result in harm. In this brief essay, I reply to his criticism. (shrink)
Although he has written extensively on a broad array of topics, Mark Bevir is most famous for his influential and controversial book The Logic of the History of Ideas (Cambridge University Press, 1999). In a wide-ranging interview, Bevir responds to a number of criticisms and mischaracterizations of the book, clarifies his aims in writing it, and identifies his relationship of his postfoundationalism to both analytical and continental philosophy. Additionally, Bevir articulates a hitherto unexpected ethical dimension to the work, suggesting (...) that it seeks to provide for a philosophy of the human sciences that incorporates those capacities for agency and reasoning that make us fully human and are thus deserving of respect. As such, he connects the book to the broader web of moral and political beliefs that underpin his work as a whole. (shrink)
In The Nature of Consciousness, Mark Rowlands argues that phenomenal properties, which constitute what it is like to have a conscious experience, are “transcendental”: that they are properties by which we are conscious of the nonphenomenal world, but they are not objects of conscious awareness or even linguistic reference. He uses that conclusion to support a mysterian position on the explanatory-gap problem: that it is impossible to understand how phenomenal consciousness arises from physical systems such as the brain.
In Decision Theory as Philosophy, Mark Kaplan reissues a number of perennial questions within decision theory and epistemology, particularly regarding the relevance of decision theory to epistemology and the scope of an epistemology informed by a “modest” Bayesian decision theory. Much of Kaplan’s book represents a challenge to what he calls the “Orthodox” Bayesian theory of decision and evidence. His arguments turn positive in the fourth chapter, in which he argues for the “Assertion View” of belief---an attempted reconciliation of (...) the categorical notion of belief (as distinct from disbelief) with that of confidence, which comes in degrees. Theapproach to epistemology manifest in Decision Theory, while commendable in some respects, suffers fundamentally from its methodological commitment to the primacy of preference principles over and above distinctively epistemic principles. But to express this last misgiving is just to doubt whether decision theory has much of its own to contribute to epistemology. (shrink)
Professor Strawson was interviewed on video on location at King's College, London during the Spring of 1992. Professor Strawson discusses his thoughts on a variety of topics on which he has written previously, providing some illuminating insights into how his thoughts has progressed. The text published here is en excerpt from this interview, translated with kind permission of Mr Rudolf V. Fara, the producer, in which prof. Strawson discusses his philosophical views with Martin Davies, Wilde Reader in Mental Philosophy at (...) Oxford University, and Mark Sainsbury, Susan Stebbing Professor of Philosophy at King's College, University of London. (shrink)
Robert Solomon’s philosophy of emotion should be understood in the light of his lifelong commitment to existentialism and his advocacy of “the passionate life” as a means of creating value. Although he developed his views in the framework of the “cognitive theory” of emotions, closer examination reveals many themes in common with a socially situated, transactionalist view of emotions.
Andy Clark once remarked that we make the world smart so we don’t have to be (Clark, 1997). What he meant was that human beings (along with many other animals) alter and transform their environments in order to accomplish certain tasks that would prove difficult (or indeed impossible) without such transformations. This remarkable insight goes a long way towards explaining many aspects of human culture, ranging from linguistic notational systems to how we structure our cities. It also provides the basis (...) for Mark Rowlands’ thought-provoking and insightful book, The New Science of the Mind. (shrink)
Foreign commotions.—Political executions.—Solomon’s trade by the Red Sea.—Trade over the Syrian Desart.—Visit of the Queen of Sheba.—Gold vessels of theTemple.—Building of the Temple.—Bondmen in Israel.—The Temple worship.—The Decalogue.—Dowry of an Egyptian Princess.—Solomon’s idolatry.—Hostilities against Solomon.—Death of Solomon.—Chronology of the Kings.—Chronological table.
With extraordinary chutzpa and deep philosophical seriousness, Solomon ben Joshua of Lithuania renamed himself after his medieval intellectual hero, Moses Maimonides. Maimon was perhaps the most brilliant and certainly the most controversial figure of the late-eighteenth century Jewish Enlightenment. He scandalized rabbinic authorities, embarrassed Moses Mendelssohn, provoked Kant, charmed Goethe, and inspired Fichte, among others. This is the first study of Maimon to integrate his idiosyncratic philosophical idealism with his popular autobiography, and with his early unpublished exegetical, mystical, and (...) Maimonidean work in Hebrew. In doing so, it illuminates the intellectual and spiritual possibilities open to a European Jew at the turn of the eighteenth century. (shrink)
Instead of reading Spinoza's account of the imagination in an anthropocentric way, as dependent on the traditional doctrine of human faculties, the author considers it as a consequence of his physics and cosmology. Knowledge by signs, as Spinoza calls imagination, has to be rooted in his theory of marks and images, and concerns all beings (human and non human) that are capable of marking and being marked by other bodies in the infinite semiosis of nature.
Is choice necessary for moral responsibility? And does choice imply alternative possibilities of some significant sort? This paper will relate these questions to the argument initiated by Harry Frankfurt that alternative possibilities are not required for moral responsibility, and to John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza's extension of that argument in terms of guidance control in a causally determined world. I argue that attending to Frankfurt's core conceptual distinction between the circumstances that make an action unavoidable and those that (...) bring it about that the action is performed – a distinction emphasised in his recent restatement – provides a new route into an analysis of Frankfurt's argument by showing how it depends on a person's ‘decision to act’ involving the exercise of choice. The implicit reliance of Frankfurt's argument on this notion of choice, however, undermines his claim that the example of the counterfactual intervener strengthens the compatibilist case by providing a counter-example to the principle of alternative possibilities. I also argue that Frankfurt's reliance on the exercise of choice for moral responsibility is also evident in the Fischer/Ravizza argument, and that a close analysis of both arguments shows that such exercise of choice is not available if causal determinism is true. (shrink)
Extended Cognition (EC) hypothesizes that there are parts of the world outside the head serving as cognitive vehicles. One criticism of this controversial view is the problem of “cognitive bloat” which says that EC is too permissive and fails to provide an adequate necessary criterion for cognition. It cannot, for instance, distinguish genuine cognitive vehicles from mere supports (e.g. the Yellow Pages). In response, Andy Clark and Mark Rowlands have independently suggested that genuine cognitive vehicles are distinguished from supports (...) in that the former have been “recruited,” i.e. they are either artifacts, or, products of evolution. I argue against this proposal. There are counter examples to the claim that “Teleological” EC is either necessary or sufficient for cognition. Teleological EC conflates different types of scientific projects, and inherits content externalism’s alienation from historically impartial cognitive science. (shrink)
The idea that there is something that it is like to have a thought is gaining acceptance in the philosophical community and has been argued for recently by several philosophers. Now, within this camp there is a debate about which component of the, say, the belief, is qualitative? Is the qualitative component part of the content of the belief, or part of the mental attitude that we take towards the content? Some argue that the qualitative character is had by the (...) content of the thought; others argue that it belongs to the attitude type itself. I examine the two answers and argue that the quality of thought is best understood as taking a qualitative mental attitude towards some representational content. Each propositional attitude is distinguished by a unique quality and it is having that quality with respect to the content that makes it a belief, fear (etc.) that p. (shrink)
This is a plausible reading of what Clark and Chalmers had in mind at the time, but it is not the radical claim at stake in the extended cognition debate. It is a familiar functionalist view of cognition and the mind that it can be realized in a wide range of distinct material bases. Thus, for many species of functionalism about cognition and the mind, it follows that they can be realized in extracranial substrates. And, in truth, even some non-functionalist (...) views of cognition apparently allow for the possibility that cognition extends into the external world. So, the (logical, conceptual, or nomological) possibility of extended cognition seems to us not the kind of radical view the advocates of this view have often implied. This is not, of course, to assess or pass judgment on the truth of these possibilities; it is only to note that they are not what most agitates people about the hypothesis of extended cognition. Framing the radical extended cognition hypothesis is a more delicate matter than framing the modal extended cognition hypothesis, but something like the following is in the ballpark. The radical extended cognition hypothesis maintains that, in many mundane cases of tool use, human cognitive processes extend into the tools. The principal reason this hypothesis is so delicate is that there remains much room for dispute about what constitutes a “mundane” case of tool use, such as keeping a notebook at hand at all times, versus an exotic case of tool use, such as having a computer memory chip implanted in one’s brain. Clark never in so many words defends the idea that there are actual cases of extended cognition. Rather, his tacit commitment must be inferred from such things as his proposal that the brain is made to use tools, so we should view tools as part of the mind (Cf., Clark, 2005, p. 8ff.). (shrink)