Our research on non-religion supports the proposed shift toward more interactive models of prejudice. Being nonreligious is easily hideable and, increasingly, of low salience, leading to experiences not easily understood via traditional or contemporary frameworks for studying prejudice and prejudice reduction. This context affords new opportunity to observe reverse forms of interactive prejudice, which can interfere with prejudice reduction.
The ability to explain the occurrence of errors in children's speech is an essential component of successful theories of language acquisition. The present study tested some generativist and constructivist predictions about error on the questions produced by ten English-learning children between 2 and 5 years of age. The analyses demonstrated that, as predicted by some generativist theories [e.g. Santelmann, L., Berk, S., Austin, J., Somashekar, S. & Lust. B. (2002). Continuity and development in the acquisition of inversion in yes/no questions: (...) dissociating movement and inflection, Journal of Child Language, 29, 813-842], questions with auxiliary DO attracted higher error rates than those with modal auxiliaries. However, in wh-questions, questions with modals and DO attracted equally high error rates, and these findings could not be explained in terms of problems forming questions with why or negated auxiliaries. It was concluded that the data might be better explained in terms of a constructivist account that suggests that entrenched item-based constructions may be protected from error in children's speech, and that errors occur when children resort to other operations to produce questions [e.g. Dabrowska, E. (2000). From formula to schema: the acquisition of English questions. Cognitive Liguistics, 11, 83-102; Rowland, C. F. & Pine, J. M. (2000). Subject-auxiliary inversion errors and wh-question acquisition: What children do know? Journal of Child Language, 27, 157-181; Tomasello, M. (2003). Constructing a language: A usage-based theory of language acquisition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press]. However, further work on constructivist theory development is required to allow researchers to make predictions about the nature of these operations. (shrink)
Biologists recognize Pavlovian conditioning as a mechanism by which individuals can adaptively modify their social and nonsocial behavior quickly to relevant features of the natural environment. This commentary supports Domjan et al.'s point that psychologists could gain important insights by broadening the range of species and behaviors they study and by continuing to adopt a functional perspective to investigate Pavlovian conditioning and other forms of learning.
As a conservation policy advocate and practitioner, Leopold was a pragmatist (in the vernacular sense of the word). He was not, however, a member of the school of philosophy known as American Pragmatism, nor was his environmental philosophy informed by any members of that school. Leopold's environmental philosophy was radically non-anthropocentric; he was an intellectual revolutionary and aspired to transform social values and institutions.
Aldo Leopold was a pragmatist in the vernacular sense of the word. Bryan G. Norton claims that Leopold was also heavily influenced by American Pragmatism, a formal school of philosophy. As evidence, Norton offers Leopold's misquotation of a definition of right (as truth) by political economist, A.T. Hadley, who was an admirer of the philosophy of William James. A search of Leopold's digitised literary remains reveals no other evidence that Leopold was directly influenced by any actual American Pragmatist or by (...) Pragmatism (although he may have been indirectly influenced by Pragmatism early in his career). A 1923 reference, by Leopold, to Hadley and Hadley's putative definition of truth, cited by Norton, is dripping with irony. Leopold, as he matured philosophically, regarded a profound cultural shift from anthropocentric dominionism and consumerism to an evolutionary-ecological worldview and an associated non-anthropocentric 'land ethic' to be necessary for successful and sustainable conservation. Hadley espoused a brutal form of Social Darwinism and his philosophy, as expressed in the book of Hadley's that Norton cites, is politically reactionary, militaristic and unconcerned with conservation. Leopold's mature philosophy and Hadley's – far from consonant, as Norton claims – are diametrically opposed. (shrink)
The superior colliculus (SC) integrates information from multiple sensory modalities to facilitate the detection and localization of salient events. The efficacy of “multisensory integration” is traditionally measured by comparing the magnitude of the response elicited by a cross-modal stimulus to the responses elicited by its modality-specific component stimuli, and because there is an element of randomness in the system, these calculations are made using response values averaged over multiple stimulus presentations in an experiment. Recent evidence suggests that multisensory integration in (...) the SC is highly plastic and these neurons adapt to specific anomalous stimulus configurations. This raises the question whether such adaptation occurs during an experiment with traditional stimulus configurations; that is, whether the state of the neuron and its integrative principles are the same at the beginning and end of the experiment, or whether they are altered as a consequence of exposure to the testing stimuli even when they are pseudo-randomly interleaved. We find that unisensory and multisensory responses do change during an experiment, and these changes are predictable. Responses that are initially weak tend to potentiate, responses that are initially strong tend to habituate, and the efficacy of multisensory integration waxes or wanes accordingly during the experiment as predicted by the “principle of inverse effectiveness”. These changes are presumed to reflect two competing mechanisms in the SC: potentiation reflecting increases in the expectation that a stimulus will occur at a given location, habituation reflecting decreases in stimulus novelty. These findings indicate plasticity in multisensory integration that allows animals to adapt to rapidly changing environmental events while suggesting important caveats in the interpretation of experimental data: the neuron studied at the beginning of an experiment is not the same at the end of it. (shrink)
The essay discusses the presumption of one's singularity, the uniqueness of one's time, the picturesqueness of one actions, and the capacity of human beings, whether corporately or individually, to begin everything or indeed anything again from scratch. Such presumptions are indeed present in some varieties of contemporary fanaticism, but, more to the point, it is suggested that the feeling of doing something for the first time is the oldest feeling in the world.
Regardless or independent of any actuality or actualization and exempt from spatiotemporal and causal conditions, each individual possibility is pure. Actualism excludes the existence of individual pure possibilities, altogether or at least as existing independently of actual reality. In this paper, I demonstrate, on the grounds of my possibilist metaphysics—panenmentalism—how some of the most fascinating scientific discoveries in chemistry could not have been accomplished without relying on pure possibilities and the ways in which they relate to each other (for instance, (...) in theoretical models). The discoveries are the following: Dan Shechtman’s discovery of quasicrystals; Linus Pauling’s alpha helix; the discovery of F. Sherwood Rowland and Mario J. Molina concerning the destruction of the atmospheric ozone layer; and Neil Bartlett’s noble gas compounds. On the grounds of the analysis of these cases, actualism must fail, whereas panenmentalism gains support. (shrink)
Erotikon brings together leading contemporary intellectuals from a variety of fields for an expansive debate on the full meaning of eros . Renowned scholars of philosophy, literature, classics, psychoanalysis, theology, and art history join poets and a novelist to offer fresh insights into a topic that is at once ancient and forever young. Restricted neither by historical period nor by genre, these contributions explore manifestations of eros throughout Western culture, in subjects ranging from ancient philosophy and baroque architecture to modern (...) literature and Hollywood cinema. An idea charged with paradox, eros has always defied categorization, and yet it cannot--it will not--be ignored. Erotikon aims to raise the difficult question of what, if anything, unifies the erotic manifold. How is eros in a sculpture like eros in a poem? Does the ancient story of Cupid and Psyche still speak meaningfully to modern readers, and if so, why? Is Plato's eros the same as Freud's? Or Proust's? And what is the erotic dimension in Nietzsche's thought? While each essay takes on a specific issue, together they constitute a wide-ranging conversation in which these broader questions are at play. A compilation of the latest, best efforts to reckon with eros , Erotikon will appeal not just to scholars and educators, but also to artists and critics, to the curious and the disillusioned, to the prurient and the prudent. Contributors: Shadi Bartsch Peter Brooks J. M. Coetzee Catharine Edwards Anthony Grafton Tom Gunning David M. Halperin Valentina Izmirlieva Jonathan Lear Eric Marty Susan Mitchell Glenn W. Most Martha C. Nussbaum Robert B. Pippin James I. Porter Philippe Roger Ingrid D. Rowland Eric L. Santner Mark Strand David Tracy Richard Wollheim Slavoj Zizek. (shrink)
This paper argues that an ecological approach to psychology of the sort advanced by J. J. Gibson provides a coherent and powerful alternative to the computational, information-processing, paradigm. The paper argues for two principles. Firstly, one cannot begin to understand what internal information processing an organism must accomplish until one understands what information is available to the organism in its environment. Secondly, an organism can process information by acting on or manipulating physical structures in its environment. An attempt is made (...) to show how these principles can be extended to cognition as a whole. It is suggested that these principles may have a foundation in evolutionary biology. (shrink)
In an influential critique, Jerry Fodor and Zenon Pylyshyn point to the existence of a potentially devastating dilemma for connectionism (Fodor and Pylyshyn ). Either connectionist models consist in mere associations of unstructured representations, or they consist in processes involving complex representations. If the former, connectionism is mere associationism, and will not be capable of accounting for very much of cognition. If the latter, then connectionist models concern only the implementation of cognitive processes, and are, therefore, not informative at the (...) level of cognition. I shall argue that Fodor and Pylyshyn's argument is based on a crucial misunderstanding, the same misunderstanding which motivates the entire language of thought hypothesis. (shrink)
This article argues that weak supervenience is sufficiently strong to establish a reasonable and plausible materialism. Supervenience is a relation between families of properties, Such that, Roughly speaking, Family a supervenes on family b if any objects which are indiscernible with respect to b are thereby indiscernible with respect to a. Weak supervenience is supervenience restricted to one possible world; strong supervenience is a "necessary" supervenience extending across some principled set of possible worlds. These notions are made somewhat more rigorous (...) following jaegwon kim's development of them. Kim has argued that only strong supervenience can ground a 'robust' materialism, So the article begins by criticizing his arguments for this position. It argues that any form of strong supervenience is in fact too strong to characterize materialism as it is normally conceived, For materialism is neither logically nor physically necessary. But the day is saved as weak supervenience can be shown to be just sufficiently strong to ground materialism. In particular, It is shown that supervenience can support counterfactuals without requiring any notion of "necessary" supervenience. (shrink)