In this paper we attempt to advance the enactive discourse on perception by highlighting the role of bodily affects as prenoetic constraints on perceptual experience. Enactivists argue for an essential connection between perception and action, where action primarily means skillful bodily intervention in one’s surroundings. Analyses of sensory-motor contingencies (as in Noë 2004) are important contributions to the enactive account. Yet this is an incomplete story since sensory-motor contingencies are of no avail to the perceiving agent without motivational pull in (...) one direction or another or a sense of the pertinent affective contingencies. Before directly addressing the issue of affect in perception, we explain our peculiar, low-level conception of affect as a form of world-involving intentionality that modulates (minimally) bodily behavior without necessarily possessing informational value of any kind. We then address the deficiency concerning affect in enactive accounts of perception by examining some exemplary forms of bodily affect that constrain perception. We show that bodily affect significantly contributes to (either limiting or enabling) our contact with the world in our perceptually operative attentive outlook, in a kind of perceptual interest or investment, and in social perception. (shrink)
Phillips & Singer (P&S) extend ideas derived from the observation eight years ago that the coherence (synchronization) of cortical oscillations can be modulated by the structure of visual stimuli. As described in the target article, a large part of the continued interest in this finding is related to independent theoretical work suggesting that synchronized cell firing could help solve the problem of binding together within cortex neuronal activity associated with different attributes of visual stimuli. The authors present an abstract “proof (...) of concept” model describing how their cortical processing scheme could work, but our biologically realistic models of cortical relationships suggest that the proposal is biologically implausible. Our realistic models lead to a very different interpretation of the significance of cortical oscillations. (shrink)
The primary assumption made in this series of target articles is that the cerebellum is directly involved in motor control. However, in my opinion, there is ample and growing experimental evidence to question this classical view, whether or not learning is involved. I propose, instead, that the cerebellum is involved in the control of data acquisition for many different sensory systems, [CRÉPEL et al., HOUK et al., SMITH, THACH].
Plane strain indentation of single crystals by a periodic array of flat rigid contacts is analyzed. The calculations are carried out, with the mechanical response of the crystal characterized by conventional continuum crystal plasticity or by discrete dislocation plasticity. The properties used in the conventional crystal plasticity description are chosen so that both theories give essentially the same response in uniform plane strain compression. The indentation predictions are then compared, focusing in particular on the effect of contact size and spacing. (...) The limiting cases of frictionless contacts and of perfectly sticking contacts are analyzed. Conventional continuum plasticity predicts a size-independent response. Unless the contact spacing to size ratio is very small, the predicted deformation mode under the contacts is a wedging mechanism of the type described by slip line theory, which is only weakly sensitive to friction conditions. For the micron scale contacts analyzed, discrete dislocation plasticity predicts a response that depends on the contact size as well as on the contact spacing to size ratio. When contacts are spaced sufficiently far apart, discrete dislocation plasticity predicts that the deformation is localized beneath the contacts, whereas for more closely spaced contacts, deformation occurs by shear bands extending relatively far into the crystal. Unless the contacts are sufficiently close together so that the response is essentially one of plane strain compression, the mean contact pressure predicted by discrete dislocation plasticity is substantially greater than that predicted by conventional continuum crystal plasticity and is more sensitive to the friction conditions. (shrink)
This book presents, in method, logical form, and philosophical content, a counterproposal to mainstream personal identity theory. The lotter's purported conflation of logical questions, i.e. reidentification with characterization, leads to an implausible reductionism about selves. A self-constituting narrative is the basis for identity, and contra reductionism, the ontological primitive of a person. As a dynamic valuational and intentional system, the narrative meaningfully constructs the autobiographical past through memory and both causally directs and emotively anticipates the experiences and form of future (...) selves. Schechtman's account, in contrast to mainstream theories, rightly connects identity to those four features that weigh heavily in our values, viz. survival, self-concern, responsibility, and compensation. Though bold and original, the account dispels a couple of important issues along with its rejection of mainstream theory. These issues, encountered most notably through fission cases, are taken up in the evaluation with a “narrative split”. (shrink)
This essay examines the interrelationship between legal, medical, and public knowledge in the case of Mary Mallon. The author argues that although Mallon was never convicted of any crime, she was under the constant surveillance of medical authorities because of her characterization as a recalcitrant typhoid carrier. Mallon's physical body became a contested site of controversy as various medical and legal communities fought for the legitimization of their own bodies of knowledge. Modern health care theorists and practitioners still use a (...) plethora of Typhoid Mary narratives in their discussions of the relationship between jurisprudence, ethics, and medicine. (shrink)
The psychological continuity theory of personal identity has recently been accused of not meeting what is claimed to be a fundamental requirement on theories of identity - to explain personal moral responsibility. Although they often have much to say about responsibility, the charge is that they cannot say enough. I set out the background to the charge with a short discussion of Locke and the requirement to explain responsibility, then illustrate the accusation facing the theory with details from Marya (...) Schechtman. I aim some questions at the challengers’ reading of Locke, leading to an argument that the psychological continuity theory can say all that it needs to say about responsibility, and so is not in any grave predicament, at least not with regard to this particular charge. (shrink)
Abstract A small but significant number of residents of Second Life (SL) insist that SL is as real to them as Real Life (RL) and that their SL avatars are as much themselves as their offscreen selves. This paper investigates whether this claim can be literally true in any philosophically interesting way. Using a narrative account of personal identity I argue that there is a way of understanding these identity claims according to which the actions and experiences of the offscreen (...) user and the online avatar are indeed actions and experiences of a single person. In the course of describing how this is so, the paper also uncovers new insights into how a narrative approach to personal identity should be structured and developed. Content Type Journal Article Category Special Issue Pages 1-15 DOI 10.1007/s13347-012-0062-y Authors Marya Schechtman, Department of Philosophy M/C 267, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1423 University Hall, 601 South Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60607, USA Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433. (shrink)