A number of recent publications have argued that a scientific approach to consciousness needs a rigorous approach to first-person data collection. As mainstream experimental psychology has long abandoned such introspective or phenomenological method, there is at present no generally agreed upon method for first-person data collection in experimental consciousness studies. There are, however, a number of recent articles that all claim to provide a unique contribution to such a methodology. This article reviews these suggestions and extracts their core features. It (...) is argued that the suggested methods are generally overlapping and compatible, and a number of concrete methods that easily are applied to experimental studies are put forward. (shrink)
Carleton B. Christensen, Self and World: From Analytic Philosophy to Phenomenology Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10743-010-9078-2 Authors Morten S. Thaning, Department of Philosophy, Politics, and Management, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark Journal Husserl Studies Online ISSN 1572-8501 Print ISSN 0167-9848 Journal Volume Volume 26 Journal Issue Volume 26, Number 3.
In the attempt to construct a scientific approach to consciousness, it has been proposed that transcendental phenomenology or phenomenological psychology be introduced into the framework of cognitive neuroscience. In this article, the consequences of such an approach in terms of basic assumptions, methods for the collection of data, and evaluation of the collected data are discussed. Especially, the proposed notions of mutual constraint and the second perso are discussed. It is concluded that even though naturalising of phenomenology might not prove (...) impossible, the projec has not yet found a coherent basic ground. (shrink)
The resurgent science of consciousness has been accompanied by a recent emphasis on the problem of measurement. Having dependable measures of consciousness is essential both for mapping experimental evidence to theory and for designing perspicuous experiments. Here, we review a series of behavioural and brain-based measures, assessing their ability to track graded consciousness and clarifying how they relate to each other by showing what theories are presupposed by each. We identify possible and actual conflicts among measures that can stimulate new (...) experiments, and we conclude that measures must prove themselves by iteratively building knowledge in the context of theoretical frameworks. Advances in measuring consciousness have implications for basic cognitive neuroscience, for comparative studies of consciousness and for clinical applications. (shrink)
Subliminal perception (SP) is today considered a well-supported theory stating that perception can occur without conscious awareness and have a significant impact on later behaviour and thought. In this article, we first present and discuss different approaches to the study of SP. In doing this, we claim that most approaches are based on a dichotomic measure of awareness. Drawing upon recent advances and discussions in the study of introspection and phenomenological psychology, we argue for both the possibility and necessity of (...) using an elaborated measure of subjective states. In the second part of the article, we present findings where these considerations are implemented in an empirical study. The results and implications are discussed in detail, both with reference to SP, and in relation to the more general problem of using elaborate introspective reports as data in relation to studies of cognition. (shrink)
Two of the Scandinavian countries, Sweden and Finland have recently joined the European Communities. Together with a third Scandinavian country, Denmark, which joined the Communities two decades ago it seems likely that Scandinavian views and attitudes will make a great impact on the future work of the European Communities — including the on-going harmonisation in the field of corporate social responsibility.This article provides an examination of the Scandinavian view on the five best known models for achieving corporate social responsibility and (...) it shows the likely impact of the admittance of the Scandinavian countries on the future work in the European Communities with regard to corporate social responsibility. (shrink)
The Curry-Howard isomorphism states an amazing correspondence between systems of formal logic as encountered in proof theory and computational calculi as found in type theory. For instance, minimal propositional logic corresponds to simply typed lambda-calculus, first-order logic corresponds to dependent types, second-order logic corresponds to polymorphic types, sequent calculus is related to explicit substitution, etc. The isomorphism has many aspects, even at the syntactic level: formulas correspond to types, proofs correspond to terms, provability corresponds to inhabitation, proof normalization corresponds to (...) term reduction, etc. But there is more to the isomorphism than this. For instance, it is an old idea---due to Brouwer, Kolmogorov, and Heyting---that a constructive proof of an implication is a procedure that transforms proofs of the antecedent into proofs of the succedent; the Curry-Howard isomorphism gives syntactic representations of such procedures. The Curry-Howard isomorphism also provides theoretical foundations for many modern proof-assistant systems (e.g. Coq). This book give an introduction to parts of proof theory and related aspects of type theory relevant for the Curry-Howard isomorphism. It can serve as an introduction to any or both of typed lambda-calculus and intuitionistic logic. Key features - The Curry-Howard Isomorphism treated as common theme - Reader-friendly introduction to two complementary subjects: Lambda-calculus and constructive logics - Thorough study of the connection between calculi and logics - Elaborate study of classical logics and control operators - Account of dialogue games for classical and intuitionistic logic - Theoretical foundations of computer-assisted reasoning · The Curry-Howard Isomorphism treated as the common theme. · Reader-friendly introduction to two complementary subjects: lambda-calculus and constructive logics · Thorough study of the connection between calculi and logics. · Elaborate study of classical logics and control operators. · Account of dialogue games for classical and intuitionistic logic. · Theoretical foundations of computer-assisted reasoning. (shrink)
Several authors within psychology, neuroscience and philosophy take for granted that standard empirical research techniques are applicable when studying consciousness. In this article, it is discussed whether one of the key methods in cognitive neuroscience – the contrastive analysis – suffers from any serious confounding when applied to the field of consciousness studies; that is to say, if there are any systematic difficulties when studying consciousness with this method that make the results untrustworthy. Through an analysis of theoretical arguments in (...) favour of using contrastive analysis, combined with analyses of empirical findings, I conclude by arguing for three factors that currently are confounding of research using contrastive analysis. These are (1) unconscious processes, (2) introspective reports, and (3) attention. (shrink)
: C. S. Peirce had no theory of metaphor and provided only few remarks concerning the trope. Yet, some of these remarks seem to suggest that Peirce saw metaphor as fundamental to consciousness and thought. In this article we sketch a possible connection between metaphor and cognition; we understand Peircean metaphor as rooted in abduction; it is part of an intricate relation between experience, body, sign and guessing instinct as a semeiotic mechanism which can convey new insights.
The article analyses the role and moral force of consent in BDSM (Sado-masochistic and related practice). The view defended accepts consent as a key feature in sexual morality, and explains in detail the relation between consent and autonomy. In brief, it is argued that consent as a genuine extension of personal autonomy both justifies and draws limits to justifiable BDSM-practices: autonomy-undermining practices cannot be justified by appealing to autonomy. The paper discusses in detail the necessary conditions for consent with an (...) emphasis on relevant pitfalls in the context of BDSM and moves to an analysis of the prevalent “official” morality of the BDSM-community, expressed in the slogan “safe, sane, and consensual.” Finally, it draws attention to an un-discussed parallel between sexual morality and the concept of exit-rights as it is known from political philosophy. (shrink)
Dienes and Seth (2010) conclude that confidence ratings and post-decision wagering are two comparable and recommendable measures of conscious experience. In a recently submitted paper, we have however found that both methods are problematic and seem less suited to measure consciousness than a direct introspective measure. Here, we discuss the methodology and conclusions put forward by Dienes and Seth, and why we think the two experiments end up with so different recommendations.
We present results from a study about women and employee-elected board members, and fill some of the gaps in the literature about their contribution to board effectiveness. The empirical data are from a unique data set of Norwegian firms. Board effectiveness is evaluated in relation to board control tasks, including board corporate social responsibility (CSR) involvement. We found that the contributions of women and employee-elected board members varied depending on the board tasks studied. In the article we also explored the (...) effects of the esteem of the women and employee-elected board members, and we used creative discussions in the boardroom as a mediating variable. Previous board research, including research about women and employee-elected directors, questions if the board members contribute to board effectiveness. The main message from this study is that it may be more important to ask how, rather than if, women and employee-elected board members contribute, and we need to open the black box of actual board behavior to explore how they may contribute. (shrink)
Recent research suggests that language evolution is a process of cultural change, in which linguistic structures are shaped through repeated cycles of learning and use by domain-general mechanisms. This paper draws out the implications of this viewpoint for understanding the problem of language acquisition, which is cast in a new, and much more tractable, form. In essence, the child faces a problem of induction, where the objective is to coordinate with others (C-induction), rather than to model the structure of the (...) natural world (N-induction). We argue that, of the two, C-induction is dramatically easier. More broadly, we argue that understanding the acquisition of any cultural form, whether linguistic or otherwise, during development, requires considering the corresponding question of how that cultural form arose through processes of cultural evolution. This perspective helps resolve the “logical” problem of language acquisition and has far-reaching implications for evolutionary psychology. (shrink)
This article presents the view that the problem of consciousness per definition can not be seen as a strictly scientific or strictly philosophical problem. The first idea, especially, leads to important difficulties: First of all, the idea has in most cases implied some rather superficial reductionistic or functionalistic a priori assumptions, and, secondly, it can be shown that some of the most commonly used empirical methods in these regards are inadequate. Especially so in the case of contrastive analysis, (...) widely used in cognitive neuroscience. However, this criticism does not lead to the conclusion that scientific methods are inadequate as such, only that they always work on a pre-established background of theory, of which one must be explicit. (shrink)
We give a syntactic translation from first-order intuitionistic predicate logic into second-order intuitionistic propositional logic IPC2. The translation covers the full set of logical connectives ∧, ∨, →, ⊥, ∀, and ∃, extending our previous work, which studied the significantly simpler case of the universal-implicational fragment of predicate logic. As corollaries of our approach, we obtain simple proofs of nondefinability of ∃ from the propositional connectives and nondefinability of ∀ from ∃ in the second-order intuitionistic propositional logic. We also show (...) that the ∀-free fragment of IPC2 is undecidable. (shrink)
In their comment on Sandberg, Timmermans, Overgaard, and Cleeremans (2010), Dienes and Seth argue that increased sensitivity of the Perceptual Awareness Scale (PAS) is a consequence of the scale being less exclusive rather than more exhaustive. According to Dienes and Seth, this is because PAS may measure some conscious content, though not necessarily relevant conscious content, ‘‘If one saw a square but was only aware of seeing a flash of something, then one has not consciously seen a square.” In this (...) reply, we claim that there is a difference between conscious visual experience, which may be partial, and the resulting conscious content, which is conceptual. Whereas PAS measures the first, confidence judgments and post-decision wagering measure the second. (shrink)
Academic debate on the strategic importance of women corporate directors is widely recognized and still open. However, most corporate boards have only one woman director or a small minority of women directors. Therefore they can still be considered as tokens. This article addresses the following question: does an increased number of women corporate boards result in a build up of critical mass that substantially contributes to firm innovation? The aim is to test if ‘at least three women’ could constitute the (...) desired critical mass by identifying different minorities of women directors (one woman, two women and at least three women). Tests are conducted on a sample of 317 Norwegian firms. The results suggest that attaining critical mass – going from one or two women (a few tokens) to at least three women (consistent minority) – makes it possible to enhance the level of firm innovation. Moreover, the results show that the relationship between the critical mass of women directors and the level of firm innovation is mediated by board strategic tasks. Implications for both theory and practice, and future research directions are discussed. (shrink)
In a recent response paper to Brogaard (2011a), Morten Overgaard and Thor Grünbaum argue that my case for the claim that blindsight subjects are not visually conscious of the stimuli they correctly identify rests on a mistaken necessary criterion for determining whether a conscious experience is visual or non-visual. Here I elaborate on the earlier argu- ment while conceding that the question of whether blindsight subjects are visually con- scious of the visual stimuli they correctly identify largely is an (...) empirical question. I conclude by sketching a method for testing whether blindsight subjects have visual con- sciousness of stimuli presented to them in their blind ﬁeld. (shrink)
This presentation argues that the question about “future” presupposes an analysis of the current state of the discipline, which again in turn must be seen in the light of its history. The presentation then unfolds a rough reconstruction of that history from Baumgarten and Kant, over Romanticism’s establishing of the partnership with Art and Truth in the continental tradition and up to 20th century’s settling with especially that tradition, led by endeavours both within art itself, in the art sciences, and (...) in different branches of philosophical aesthetics. On the basis of this, it finally discusses the future of aesthetics: its status as a scholarly discipline, the need for it in our world, and proposes some issues to be at aesthetics’ future agenda of research. (shrink)
Many philosophers and medical scientists assume thatdisease categories or entities used to classify concrete cases ofdisease, are often defined by disease mechanisms or causalprocesses. Others suggest that diseases should always be definedin this manner. This paper discusses these standpoints criticallyand concludes that they are untenable, not only when `diseasemechanism' refers to an objective mechanism, but also when`mechanism' refers to a pragmatically demarcated part of thetotal ``objective'' causal structure of diseases. As an alternativeto principles that use the concept of disease mechanism (...) oranalogous concepts, a pragmatic approach is suggested anddescribed. This approach has been suggested before, but inproblematic or inadequate versions. This paper proposes a versioncompiled of two ``pragmatic principles'' and shows that they aremuch more adequate than the principle of disease mechanism. Withreference to a case study of a still ongoing internationaldiscussion of various candidates for a classification system formalignant lymphomas, including REAL (Revised European–AmericanClassification of Lymphoid Neoplasms) in which the concept ofdisease mechanism or analogous concepts plays a very small part,it is shown just how pivotal these two pragmatic principles canbe in actual discussions of definitions of diseases. Finally, itis pointed out that with regard to modern philosophy of languageit may, at least in some cases, be problematic to distinguishbetween the two pragmatic principles as they stand. (shrink)
Previous research on lexical development has aimed to identify the factors that enable accurate initial word-referent mappings based on the assumption that the accuracy of initial word-referent associations is critical for word learning. The present study challenges this assumption. Adult English speakers learned an artificial language within a cross-situational learning paradigm. Visual fixation data were used to assess the direction of visual attention. Participants whose longest fixations in the initial trials fell more often on distracter images performed significantly better at (...) test than participants whose longest fixations fell more often on referent images. Thus, inaccurate initial word-referent mappings may actually benefit learning. (shrink)
The nub of the following argument is that there is a conflict between the idea of (liberal) neutrality on the one hand, and an intuitively plausible idea of political representation on the other. The conflict arises when neutrality is seen as a condition for political legitimacy: neutralist political representation is only legitimate insofar as the representative does not advance political ideas based on conceptions of the good that are not endorsed by the whole of the (reasonable) polity. However, we often (...) encounter examples of political representation that do not live up to this demand but nevertheless seem legitimate. Hence, neutralists should explain either why this counterintuitive notion of representation does not follow from neutrality or explain what representatives are meant and allowed to do in such a political arrangement. A plausible neutralist rejoinder to this is to say that legitimacy is not dependent on neutrality for all political decisions. Neutrality is important (only or predominantly) regarding a certain body of political decisions, viz., using the Rawlsian idiom, 'constitutional essentials and matters of basic justice.' However, such a two-levelled approach is not without its problems. I argue that a skein of theoretical and practical challenges to the two-levelled approach undermines, or at least weakens, this attempt to solve the problem about representation and neutrality, and that the two-levelled approach is unclear in certain key aspects. The aim of the article is, however, quite modest. It is not to challenge neutrality per se ; rather, it is a call for further clarification of the issues pertaining to the relationship between neutrality and representation. (shrink)
Blindsight and vision for action seem to be exemplars of unconscious visual processes. However, researchers have recently argued that blindsight is not really a kind of uncon- scious vision but is rather severely degraded conscious vision. Morten Overgaard and col- leagues have recently developed new methods for measuring the visibility of visual stimuli. Studies using these methods show that reported clarity of visual stimuli correlates with accuracy in both normal individuals and blindsight patients. Vision for action has also come (...) under scrutiny. Recent ﬁndings seem to show that information processed by the dor- sal stream for online action contributes to visual awareness. Some interpret these results as showing that some dorsal stream processes are conscious visual processes (e.g., Gallese, 2007; Jacob & Jeannerod, 2003). The aim of this paper is to provide new support for the more traditional view that blindsight and vision for action are genuinely unconscious per- ceptual processes. I argue that individuals with blindsight do not have access to the kind of purely qualitative color and size information which normal individuals do. So, even though people with blindsight have a kind of cognitive consciousness, visual information process- ing in blindsight patients is not associated with a distinctly visual phenomenology. I argue further that while dorsal stream processing seems to contribute to visual awareness, only information processed by the early dorsal stream (V1, V2, and V3) is broadcast to working memory. Information processed by later parts of the dorsal stream (the parietal lobe) never reaches working memory and hence does not correlate with phenomenal awareness. I con- clude that both blindsight and vision for action are genuinely unconscious visual processes. (shrink)
We agree with Caplan & Waters that there are problems with the single-resource theory of sentence comprehension. However, we challenge their dual-resource alternative on theoretical and empirical grounds and point to a more coherent solution that abandons the notion of working memory resources.
We develop an extension of the familiar linear mixed logit model to allow for the direct estimation of parametric non-linear functions defined over structural parameters. Classic applications include the estimation of coefficients of utility functions to characterize risk attitudes and discounting functions to characterize impatience. There are several unexpected benefits of this extension, apart from the ability to directly estimate structural parameters of theoretical interest.
This paper presents an integrated discussion of methods and ethics by drawing on participatory research with children in Ethiopia and Kenya. It examines the complex social, ethical, practical and methodological dilemmas of research with HIV-affected children, and explores how we confronted some of these dilemmas before, during and after fieldwork. The paper interrogates the role and limitations of ?global? ethical standards in childhood research, and the ways in which the researchers? gender, ethnicity/race, material power, knowledge and insider-outsider position all intersect (...) to affect: (a) the level of children's involvement in the research process; (b) the generation of knowledge about the field; and (c) the negotiation of ethics in collaborative ways. We argue that doing ethical research with HIV-affected children should not be based solely on dominant and de-contextualised understandings of ethics, knowledge and social relations, but should be negotiated reflexively and through dialogue with participants, including the children, their guardians and ?local? community members?all with the aim of doing good and avoiding harm in the research process. (shrink)
Cognitive developmental disorders cannot be properly understood without due attention to the developmental process, and we commend the authors’simulations in this regard. We note the contribution of these simulations to the nascent field of connectionist modeling of developmental disorders and outline a set of criteria for assessing individual models in the hope of furthering future modeling efforts.
Certain methods and weapons are traditionally considered to be ?mala in se?, i.e. evil in themselves. Examples are mass rape campaigns and land mines. This article examines different interpretations of the principle that belligerents ought not to use such means. Some interpretations are reductionist in the sense that they see the principle as an instance of other principles regulating conduct in war (jus in bello), namely the principles of discrimination and proportionality. I suggest a horizontal and a vertical dimension of (...) the latter. Resort to violence can then be unjustified if (1) the persons are not liable to be attacked because they bear no (or not enough) responsibility for the relevant threat, (2) the amount of harm is disproportionate compared to what can be achieved by the resort to violent force, or (3) the kind of harm is disproportionate by making individual persons suffer in ways that no one should have to endure. I defend the vertical dimension of proportionality as a key to understanding the principle of mala in se and consider whether it leads to an absolute prohibition against such means. (shrink)
We question the behavioral premise underlying Ainslie's claims about hyperbolic discounting theory. The alleged evidence for humans can be easily explained as an artefact of experimental procedures that do not control for the credibility of payment over different time horizons. In appropriately controlled and financially motivated settings, human behavior is consistent with conventional exponential preferences.
Secretion is a fundamental cellular process involving the regulated release of intracellular products from cells. Physiological functions such as neurotransmission, or the release of hormones and digestive enzymes, are all governed by cell secretion. Anomalies in the processes involved in secretion contribute to the development and progression of diseases such as diabetes and other hormonal disorders. To unravel the mechanisms that govern such diseases, it is essential to understand how hormones, growth factors and neurotransmitters are synthesized and processed, and how (...) their signals are recognized, amplified and transmitted by intracellular signaling pathways in the target cells. Here, we discuss diverse aspects of the detailed mechanisms involved in secretion based on mathematical models. The models range from stochastic ones describing the trafficking of secretory vesicles to deterministic ones investigating the regulation of cellular processes that underlie hormonal secretion. In all cases, the models are closely related to experimental results and suggest theoretical predictions for the secretion mechanisms. (shrink)
One supposition underlying the Anderson & Lebiere (A&L) target article is that the maximally broad “encompassing of its subject matter – the behavior of man” (cf. sect. 6, last para.) is regarded as an unquestioned quality criterion for guiding cognitive research. One might argue for an explicit specification of the limitations of a given paradigm, rather than extending it to apply to as many domains as possible.
The Duhem?Quine thesis asserts that any empirical evaluation of a theory is in fact a composite test of several interconnected hypotheses. Recalcitrant evidence signals falsity within the conjunction of hypotheses, but logic alone cannot pinpoint the individual element(s) inside the theoretical cluster responsible for a false prediction. This paper considers the relevance of the Duhem?Quine thesis for experimental economics. A starting point is to detail how laboratory evaluations of economic hypotheses constitute composite tests. Another aim is to scrutinize the strategy (...) of conducting a series of experiments in order to hem in the source(s) of disconfirmative evidence. A Bayesian approach is employed to argue that reproducing experiments may be useful in terms of identifying plausible causes of recalcitrant data. (shrink)
In this article we review the biosemiotic art exhibition «Signs of life» (Livstegn), that was organized by the Danish installation artist Morten Skriver and the biosemiotician Jesper Hoffmeyer in 2011 at the Esbjerg Art Museum (Denmark). The exhibition presented five central (bio)semiotic concepts using artistic tools: the semiosphere, the sign, semiotic scaffolding, semiotic freedom, and surfaces.
In Dalton Conley argues that inequalities between siblings are larger than inequalities at the level of the overall society. Our article discusses the normative implications for institutions of this observation. We show that the question of state intervention for curbing intra-family inequality reveals an internal tension within liberalism between autonomy and toleration, which bears on the forms that the intervention of institutions may take. Despite the pros and cons of both commitments, autonomy-based liberalism appears more compatible with the involvement of (...) the state for egalitarian reasons within the family than toleration-based liberalism. (shrink)
Blindsight is classically defined as residual visual capacity, e.g., to detect and identify visual stimuli, in the total absence of perceptual awareness following lesions to V1. However, whereas most experiments have investigated what blindsight patients can and cannot do, the literature contains several, often contradictory, remarks about remaining visual experience. This review examines closer these remarks as well as experiments that directly approach the nature of possibly spared visual experiences in blindsight.
Theories that involve plainly false and even bizarre assumptions could have an important role in bundling empirical facts and allowing these to be understood, handled and used as modules in the construction of mechanisms by economists with human cognitive limits. Absurd theories would be subcomponents used in a valid explanatory strategy as long as the mechanisms only derive the implications of the facts summarised. This provides a defence and explanation of parts of current practise, but also imposes hard limits on (...) such theorising. (shrink)
Play behaviour is notorious for constituting a much debated, yet little clarified field of research. In this article, attempts are made to reach conclusions on the relation between human play and the play of other animals (especially cat play), as well as on the very character of play. The concept of Umwelt is reviewed, as are definitions of animal play, categorization of animal play and the role of meta-communication in playful behaviour. For some, play is a symbol of everythingthat is (...) good. The author of the current article does not deny that social morality may have originated from play behaviour, but stresses the existence of cruelty play, which leads to additional assumptions. Another notion that is treated in some detail is perceptual play, which proves to demonstrate complex semiotic play that is related first of all to signification. At the end of the article an alternative categorization of animal play is suggested, in which the fundamental role of mind games is emphasized. Throughout the text, examples of play behaviour are offered by the two domestic cats Muki and Maluca. (shrink)
In this paper I will sketch an Umwelt ethics, i.e., an ethics that rests heavily on fundamental features of Jakob von Uexküll’s Umwelt theory. In the course of an interpretation of the Umwelt theory, a number of concepts are introduced. These include ontological niche, common-Umwelt, total Umwelt and bio-ontological monad. I then present an Uexküllian reading of the deep ecology platform. It is suggested that loss of biodiversity, considered as a physio-phenomenal entity, is the most crucial aspect of the ecological (...) crisis, which can be understood as an ontological crisis. (shrink)