Multidisciplinary studies indicate that auditory hallucinations may arise from speech perception neurocircuitry without disrupted theory of mind capacities. Computer simulations of excessive pruning in speech perception neural networks provide a model for these hallucinations and demonstrate that connectivity reductions just below a “psychotogenic threshold” enhance information processing. These data suggest a process whereby vulnerability to schizophrenia is maintained in the human population despite reproductive disadvantages of this illness.
Book review of Maxine Sheets-Johnstone’s The Roots of Morality Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11097-011-9206-2 Authors Benedict Smith, Department of Philosophy, Durham University, 50 Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3HN UK Journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences Online ISSN 1572-8676 Print ISSN 1568-7759.
Maxine Greene is arguably the most important philosopher of education in the US today, but until now she has not been the subject of sustained scholarly analysis and investigation. This study of Green's contribution is organized from several points of view: studies of her four books; studies of the intellectual and aesthetic influences upon her theory; and her influence on the various specialization within the broad field of education-the teaching of English, arts education, philosophy of education, curriculum studies, religious (...) education, cognitive theory, and theory of teaching. (shrink)
This paper discusses the most persistent controversial issue that occurred in Western educational philosophy ever since Socrates questioned the Sophists: the role of truth in teaching. Ways of teaching these kinds of controversy issues are briefly considered to isolate their epistemic characteristics, which will enable the interpretation of Plato and Dewey as exemplars of rationalism and empiricism regarding the role of knowledge in the curriculum and thus include their partial truths in the epistemic ethos of teaching. The consideration of pedagogy (...) will then include the partial truths of rationalism and empiricism in the epistemic ethos of teaching by following Kant's ?Concepts without percepts are empty; perceptions without conceptions are blind?. This claim, however, is narrowed down in two ways compatible with postmodernism and the heavy emphasis on constructionism in faculties of education. After quoting Harry Broudy's statement that the educational epistemic ethos should be domain?specific, guided by the experts? inquiry protocols in each curricular area, it is narrowed down further with Maxine Greene's explication that it should be pluralistic and lesson?specific. This epistemic ethos is not argued as a synthesis but as an aggregate of the partial truths of various epistemologies in the spirit of the postmodern doubt in any one theory of knowledge without throwing out the baby with the dirty bath water. Finally, the streams of consciousness involved in teaching and learning good knowledge are described phenomenologically to disclose how truth can be disclosed in teaching, thereby grounding propositional knowledge, for example, ontologically in the being of the student and in the being of the world. (shrink)
This article begins with a summary phenomenological analysis of movement in conjunction with the question of “quality” in movement. It then specifies the particular kind of memory involved in a dancer’s memorization of a dance. On the basis of the phenomenological analysis and specification of memory, it proceeds to a clarification of meaning in dance. Taking its clue from the preceding sections, the concluding section of the article sets forth reasons why present-day cognitive science is unable to provide insights into (...) dance, notably because being largely tethered to happenings in the brain, it lacks foundational grounding in experience, specifically, the actual experience of movement, which is to say in kinesthesia. (shrink)
As its title indicates, this article shows animation to be the fundamental, essential, and properly descriptive concept to understandings of animate life. A critical and constructive path is taken toward an illumination of these threefold dimensions of animation. The article is critical in its attention to a central linguistic formulation in cognitive neuroscience, namely, enaction ; it is constructive in setting forth an analysis of affectivity as exemplar of a staple of animate life, elucidating its biological and existential foundations in (...) animation. (shrink)
This paper raises fundamental questions about the claims of art historian David Freedberg and neuroscientist Vittorio Gallese in their article "Motion, Emotion and Empathy in Esthetic Experience." It does so from several perspectives, all of them rooted in the dynamic realities of movement. It shows on the basis of neuroscientific research how connectivity and pruning are of unmistakable import in the interneuronal dynamic patternings in the human brain from birth onward. In effect, it shows that mirror neurons are contingent on (...) morphology and corporeal-kinetic tactile-kinesthetic experience. Accordingly, it poses and answers the overlooked but seminally important question of how mirror neurons come to be. The original neuromuscular research of Parma neuroscientists and the findings of Marc Jeannerod concerning kinesthesia support the answer that the "underpinnings" of visual art appreciation are themselves underpinned. An abbreviated phenomenological analysis of movement and its implications regarding the fact that the making of all art is quintessentially contingent on movement, hence a dynamic enterprise, further bolster the given answer as does a brief review of an empirical phenomenological analysis of the natural dynamic congruency of emotions and movement. In the end, the paper shows that movement and life are of a piece in the creation and appreciation of art as in everyday life. (shrink)
This article identifies already existing theoretical and methodological commonalities between evolutionary biology and phenomenology, concentrating specifically on their common pursuit of origins. It identifies in passing theoretical support from evolutionary biology for present-day concerns in philosophy, singling out Sartre’s conception of fraternity as an example. It anchors its analysis of the common pursuit of origins in Husserl’s consistent recognition of the grounding significance of Nature and in his consistent recognition of animate forms of life other than human. It enumerates and (...) exemplifies five basic errors of continental philosophers with respect to Nature, errors testifying to a philosophical fundamentalism that distorts the intricate interconnections and relationships of Nature in favor of a preferred knowledge rooted in ontological reductionism. It shows that to discover and appreciate the common ground, one must indeed study “the things themselves.”. (shrink)
This article begins with a critical discussion of the commonly used phenomenological term “self-affection,” showing how the term is problematic. It proceeds to clarify obscurities and other impediments in current usage of the term through initial analyses of experience and to single out a transcendental clue found in Husserl’s descriptive remarks on wakeful world-consciousness, a clue leading to a basic phenomenological truth of wakeful human life. The truth centers on temporality and movement, and on animation. The three detailed investigations that (...) follow – of sensations and dynamics with respect to affectivity and movement, of the experiential connection between affectivity and movement, and of the defining features that Husserl identifies as “the sphere of ownness” – show specifically how temporality and movement are linked and how animation is at the heart of what is called ‘self-affection’. They show further that Nature in the form of the felt dynamics of life itself warrants substantive and assiduous phenomenological elucidation. (shrink)
What does it mean to lead a moral life?In her first extended study of moral philosophy, Judith Butler offers a provocative outline for a new ethical practice—one responsive to the need for critical autonomy and grounded in a new sense of the human subject.Butler takes as her starting point one’s ability to answer the questions “What have I done?” and “What ought I to do?” She shows that these question can be answered only by asking a prior question, “Who is (...) this ‘I’ who is under an obligation to give an account of itself and to act in certain ways?” Because I find that I cannot give an account of myself without accounting for the social conditions under which I emerge, ethical reflection requires a turn to social theory.In three powerfully crafted and lucidly written chapters, Butler demonstrates how difficult it is to give an account of oneself, and how this lack of self-transparency and narratibility is crucial to an ethical understanding of the human. In brilliant dialogue with Adorno, Levinas, Foucault, and other thinkers, she eloquently argues the limits, possibilities, and dangers of contemporary ethical thought.Butler offers a critique of the moral self, arguing that the transparent, rational, and continuous ethical subject is an impossible construct that seeks to deny the specificity of what it is to be human. We can know ourselves only incompletely, and only in relation to a broader social world that has always preceded us and already shaped us in ways we cannot grasp. If inevitably we are partially opaque to ourselves, how can giving an account of ourselves define the ethical act? And doesn’t an ethical system that holds us impossibly accountable for full self-knowledge and self-consistency inflict a kind of psychic violence, leading to a culture of self-beratement and cruelty? How does the turn to social theory offer us a chance to understand the specifically social character of our own unknowingness about ourselves?In this invaluable book, by recasting ethics as a project in which being ethical means becoming critical of norms under which we are asked to act, but which we can never fully choose, Butler illuminates what it means for us as “fallible creatures” to create and share an ethics of vulnerability, humility, and ethical responsiveness. Judtith Butler is the Maxine Elliot Professor of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. The most recent of her books are Precarious Life: The Power of Mourning and Violence and Undoing Gender. (shrink)
This volume offers a critical appreciation of the work of 16 leading curriculum theorists through critical expositions of their writings. Written by a leading name in Curriculum Studies, the book includes a balance of established curriculum thinkers and contemporary curriculum analysts from education as well as philosophy, sociology and psychology. With theorists from the UK, the US and Europe, there is also a spread of political perspectives from radical conservatism through liberalism to socialism and libertarianism. Theorists included are: John Dewey, (...) Lev Vygotsky, Ralph Tyler, Joseph Schwab, Jerome Bruner, Maxine Greene, Basil Bernstein, Micheal Foucault, Paul Hirst, Donald Schon, Lawrence Stenhouse, Elliott Eisner, John White, Michael Apple, Henry Giroux and Robin Usher. This book is ideal for students looking for an introduction to some of the key educational thinkers of our time. It can also be used as a companion volume to the Routledge four-volume set on Curriculum Theory , 2003, which is also edited by David Scott. (shrink)
Competition obscures the realities and significance of play, in particular, the bodily play originating in infancy and typical of young children. A multidisciplinary perspective on child's play elucidates the nature of child's play and validates the distinction between competition and play. The article begins with a consideration of ethological research on play in young human and nonhuman animals, proceeds to a consideration of psychological research on laughter as a primary kinetic marker of play, and ends with a philosophical examination of (...) the foundational moral significances of child's play. (shrink)
Developmental and clinical psychological findings on infancy over the past twenty years and more refute in striking ways both Piaget's and Lacan's negative characterizations of infants. Piaget's thesis is that the infant has an undifferentiated sense of self; Lacan's thesis is that the infant is no more than a fragmented piece of goods — a corps morcelé. Through an examination of recent and notable analyses of infancy by infant psychiatrist Daniel Stern, this paper highlights important features within the radically different (...) accounts. In particular, it examines Stern's account of self-agency —a facet of the core self. In doing so, the paper brings to light corporeal matters of fact and shows :how recent developmental-clinical data on infants accord with facets of bodily life described by Husserl. The paper contrasts these corporeal matters of fact and facets of bodily life with Piaget's and Lacan's notion of an infant as incompetent and deficient. On the basis of its empirical-phenomenological findings, the paper underscores the need to recognize the richness of nonverbal life and to give movement and the tactile-kinesthetic body their conceptual due. (shrink)
Genuine reconciliation between first- and third-person methodologies and knowledge requires respect for both phenomenological and scientific epistemologies. Recent pragmatic, theoretical, and verbal attempts at reconciliation by cognitive scientists compromise phenomenological method and knowledge. The basic question is thus: how do we begin reconciling first- and third-person epistemologies? Because life is the unifying concept across phenomenological and cognitive disciplines, a concept consistently if differentially exemplified in and by the phenomenon of movement, conceptual complementarities anchored in the animate properly provide the foundation (...) for reconciliation. Research by people in neuroscience and in dynamic systems theory substantiate this thesis, providing fundamental examples of conceptual complementarity between phenomenology and science. (shrink)
This article examines immortality ideologies in Western philosophy as exemplified in the writings of Descartes, Heidegger, and Derrida, showing in each instance the distinctiveness of the ideology. The distinctiveness is doubly significant: it broadens understandings of the nature of immortality ideologies generally and deepens comparative understandings of the ideologies of the philosophers discussed. Pertinent writings of Otto Rank, the psychiatrist who first wrote of immortality ideologies, contribute in fundamental ways to the discussion as do pertinent writings of cultural anthropologist Ernest (...) Becker, who elaborated and publicized Rank's thesis concerning immortality ideologies. The notion of an ideology, clarified in the beginning as an empirically unfounded belief structure, hence an illusion, is taken up briefly but pointedly at the end in the context of Rank's distinction between rational and irrational elements of the self as they are played out in the creations of the hero-artist. The article ends by examining his distinction in the context of the philosophic perspectives discussed, most notably the perspective of Heidegger. (shrink)
Philosophical consideration of dance has gained in vigor, diversity, and sophistication in recent decades -- even though philosophers disagree sharply on what philosophy is! Divergent methodological approaches range from the phenomenological explorations of Maxine Sheets- Johnstone, the existentialist approach of Sandra Horton Fraleigh, and the postmodernist continental work of Susan Foster to more traditional "British-American" analysis by such well-known philosophers as Nelson Goodman, Joseph Margolis, and Francis Sparshott.
An ontogenetically-informed epistemology is necessary to understandings of apprenticeship learning. The methodology required in this enterprise is a constructive phenomenology, a phenomenology that takes into account the fact that as infants, we were apprentices of our own bodies: we all learned our bodies and learned to move ourselves. The major focus of this essay is on infant social relationships that develop on the ground of our original corporeal-kinetic apprenticeship. It shows how joint attention, imitation, and turn-taking - all richly examined (...) areas in infant social development - are the foundation of apprenticeship learning in later adult life. The relationship between each infant capacity and later apprenticeship learning is demonstrated in examples from present-day research, specifically, research in the areas of medicine, sport, music, and tailoring, and research carried out by philosophers on apprenticeship learning. (shrink)
Recently, in cognitive science, the enactivist account of cognition has been gaining ground, due in part to studies of movement in conjunction with thought. The idea, as Noë (2009), has put it, that “cognition is not something happening inside us or to us, but it’s something we do, something we achieve,” is increasingly supported by research on joint attention, movement coordination, and gesture. Not surprisingly, therefore, enactivists have also begun to look at “movement specialists”—dancers—for both scientific and phenomenological accounts of (...) thinking with and through movement. In this paper, I argue that a serious exploration of dance and movement does not merely bolster the enactivist view, but rather, it suggests a radical enactivism, as envisaged by, e.g., Hutto (2011). To support this claim, I examine an account of “Thinking in Movement” provided by Maxine Sheets-Johnstone (1981, 2009) in order to highlight the ways in which intentional agency and meaning-making occur in improvisational dance. These processes, I further argue, closely mirror some of the key components of participatory sense making, as described by De Jaegher and Di Paolo (Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6(4):485–507, 2007). This is beneficial to my case, because it permits a discussion of “thought-full action” that does not depend upon standard cognitivist frameworks for explanation. By carefully focusing on how agency can help to separate mere “thrashing about” from meaningful movement, this paper aim to strengthen the position of radical enactivism from the unique perspective and dance and sense-making. (shrink)
An examination of animate from reveals corporeal archetypes that underlie both human sexual behavior and the reigning Western biological paradigm of human sexuality that reworks the archetypes to enforce female oppression. Viewed within the framework of present-day social constructionist theory and Western biology, I show how both social constructionist feminists who disavow biology and biologists who reduce human biology to anatomy forget evolution and thereby forego understandings essential to the political liberation of women.
: Using Judith Butler's notion that bodies are materialized via performances, "resignifying" disability involves a "democratizing contestation" of staircases because they exclude those in wheelchairs. Paleoanthropologist Maxine Sheets-Johnstone shows how consistent bipedal locomotion, together with the knowledge that we will die (upon which mutuality is based), are ingredients of our pan-hominid speciation, not contingent constructions. As axiologically important as contestation is, it forecloses the possibility of achieving a mutuality with others, that is wonderfully possible.
Abstract Ethical action takes place when spaces are opened for concrete choices made by situated human beings. Enmeshed in relationships and projects, such human beings must attend to the impinging social and political contexts and attempt to overcome the carelessness, systematization, and neglect that stand in the way of morality. Unable to depend on abstract formulations or ahistorical norms, they must continue clarifying their experience and creating their values by means of continuing dialogue. Carried on in the clearest language possible, (...) conducted against backgrounds of intersubjectively lived life, the dialogue must be governed by agreed?upon rules of civility and friendship. The ethical commitments that arise out of communication of this kind must be marked by passion, by an attentiveness to the deficiencies, the particularities, the possibilities of the world. They must be part of a community in?the?making, with more and more persons included, all articulating visions of still untapped possibility. (shrink)
Robert Preece’s The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra and Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s Everyday Consciousness and Primordial Awareness are reviewed. Both books address Tibetan Buddhism, and their common threads underscore this discussion. Even when separated from their original contexts, the Tibetan Buddhist teachings offer understandings about a common human nature and a method of transforming consciousness through awareness.
[Kinesthetic Memory] This paper attempts to elucidate the nature of kinesthetic memory, demonstrate its centrality to everyday human movement, and thereby promote fresh cognitive and phenomenological understandings of movement in everyday life. Prominent topics in this undertaking include kinesthesia, dynamics, and habit. The endeavor has both a critical and constructive dimension.