Classical thinking on rationality regards it as an all-or-nothing affair. It thus fails to account for the fact that institutions are powerful social factors that frame the contexts within which rational agents supposedly exercise their ability to choose. This poses the classic dilemma: should social explanation refer to individual decisions or to institutions? Wettersten skillfully criticizes some of the most advanced solutions to it, and attempts to formulate a better explanatory unit for the social sciences: the partially rational individual. Since (...) the partially rational individual is also only partially an individual,Wettersten's methodological reconciliation between individualism and holism seems to have some ontological implications too, ones that he seems reluctant to embrace. His book is nevertheless an interesting contribution to the controversy regarding the limits to the explanatory power of social theories. (shrink)
Abstract The central thesis of Karl Popper's philosophy is that intellectual and political progress are best achieved by not deferring to dogmatic authority. His philosophy of science is a plea for the replacement of classic dogmatic methodology with critical debate. His philosophy of politics, similarly, is a plea for replacing Utopian social and political engineering with a more fallibilist, piecemeal variety. Many confuse his anti?dogmatism with relativism, and his anti?authoritarianism with Cold War conservatism or even with libertarian politics. Not so: (...) he showed a clear preference for the ideal of truth over relativist complacency, for cosmopolitanism over nationalism, and for democratic control over unbridled capitalism. (shrink)
Neste artigo defendo que a Teoria da Informação Fortemente Semântica de Floridi (2004) – TIFS – está correta ao assumir a Tese da Veracidade, que por sua vez orienta a definição de informação semântica como “p é informação se e somente se p é constituído por dados bem-formados, com significado e verdadeiros”. Argumento que a teoria não é arbitrária, pois dá conta do desembaraço de conundrums filosóficos importantes, principalmente por evitar o paradoxo de Bar-Hillel e Carnap (1953), que é gerado (...) a partir da teoria clássica da informação semântica. Primeiro é discutido um dos principais resultados da teoria clássica, o de produzir “sentenças muito informativas para serem verdadeiras”. Depois são resumidas as motivações para a elaboração de uma “lógica de estar informado” e é mostrado como o sistema KTB-IL é montado e modelado mantendo-se entre os seus axiomas o da veracidade – K ou A4. Finalmente, a TIFS é examinada e defendida ao mostrar que ela restringe aleticamente a extensão do conceito clássico de informação para evitar problemas com tautologias e contradições. A TIFS oferece uma solução original ao capturar nossas intuições modais a respeito da informatividade como noção básica. (shrink)
Quine’s philosophy comprises a bewildering set of views whose integrating principle is his "confirmed extensionalism". The paper offers a historical as well as an intellectual reconstruction of extensionalism. Traditional extensionalism (Boole) freed logic from Aristotelian essentialism that had inhibited the development of logic. Quine’s confirmed extensionalism is the acceptance, as a matter of course, of the validity of Frege’s criticism of [Boole’s] extensionalism. His confirmed extensionalism is a generalized version of the philosophy of science known as conventionalism. As such, it (...) places the advancement of science outside the province of science proper. It is, thus, at odds with Quine’s repeated expressions of alliance with the Popperian (hypothetico-deductive) model of science. (shrink)
In his Meditations, Rene Descartes asks, "what am I?" His initial answer is "a man." But he soon discards it: "But what is a man? Shall I say 'a rational animal'? No: for then I should inquire what an animal is, what rationality is, and in this way one question would lead down the slope to harder ones." Instead of understanding what a man is, Descartes shifts to two new questions: "What is Mind?" and "What is Body?" These questions develop (...) into Descartes's main philosophical preoccupation: the Mind-Body distinction. How can Mind and Body be independent entities, yet joined--essentially so--within a single human being? If Mind and Body are really distinct, are human beings merely a "construction"? On the other hand, if we respect the integrity of humans, are Mind and Body merely aspects of a human being and not subjects in and of themselves? For centuries, philosophers have considered this classic philosophical puzzle. Now, in this compact, engaging, and long-awaited work UCLA philosopher Joseph Almog closely decodes the French philosopher's argument for distinguishing between the human mind and body while maintaining simultaneously their essential integration in a human being. He argues that Descartes constructed a solution whereby the trio of Human Mind, Body, and Being are essentially interdependent yet remain each a genuine individual subject. Almog's reading not only steers away from the most popular interpretations of Descartes, but also represents a scholar coming to grips directly with Descartes himself. In doing so, Almog creates a work that Cartesian scholars will value, and that will also prove indispensable to philosophers of language, ontology, and the metaphysics of mind. (shrink)
I am John's brain. In the flesh, I am just a rather undistinguished looking grey/white mass of cells. My surface is heavily convoluted and I am possessed of a fairly differentiated internal structure. John and I are on rather close and intimate terms; indeed, sometimes it is hard to tell us apart. But at times, John takes this intimacy a little too far. When that happens, he gets very confused about my role and functioning. He imagines that I organize and (...) process information in ways which echo his own perspective on the world. In short, he thinks that his thoughts are, in a rather direct sense, my thoughts. There is some truth to this of course. But things are really rather more complicated than John suspects, as I shall try to show. (shrink)
I critically discuss the account of self-knowledge presented in Dorit Bar-On’s Speaking My Mind (OUP 2004), focusing on Bar-On’s understanding of what makes our capacity for self-knowledge puzzling and on her ‘neo-expressivist’ solution to the puzzle. I argue that there is an important aspect of the problem of self-knowledge that Bar-On’s account does not sufficiently address. A satisfying account of self-knowledge must explain not merely how we are able to make accurate avowals about our own present mental states, but how (...) we can reasonably regard ourselves as entitled to claim self-knowledge. Addressing this aspect of the problem of self-knowledge requires confronting questions about the metaphysical nature of mental states, questions that Bar-On’s approach seeks to avoid. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that, if a common form of materialism is true, I cannot know my own thoughts, or even that I am thinking. I conclude that, since I can and do know these things, materialism about mind as I characterize it must be false.
What is it to be seen (naked) by one's cat? In “L'animal que donc je suis” (2006), the first of several lectures that he presented at a conference on the “autobiographical animal,” Jacques Derrida tells of his discomfort when, emerging from his shower one day, he found himself being looked at by his cat. Th experience leads him, by way of reflections on the question of the animal, to what is arguably the question of his philosophy: Who am I? It (...) is not so much that Derrida wants to answer this question as to be free of it. His task here is to determine the sense of it— where it leads, for example, when it comes to the nature of the diff erence between himself and his cat. Unlike animal rights activists (and unlike philosophers Martha Nussbaum and Cora Diamond, who have recently addressed this issue), Derrida does not want to erase this difference but wants to multiply it in order (among other things) to affirm the absolute alterity or singularity of his cat, which cannot be subsumed by any category (such as the animal). His cat is an Other in a way that no human being (supposing there to be such a thing, which Derrida is not prepared to grant) could ever be. And here is where “the question who?” leads as well, namely, to a path of escape from absorption into any identity-machine. As Derrida puts it in A Taste for the Secret: Who am I when I am not one of you? In a hospitable world one would be free not to answer. (shrink)
Remarks such as âI am in painâ and âI think that itâs rainingâ are puzzling, since they seem to literally describe oneself as being in pain or having a particular thought, but their conditions of use tend to coincide with unequivocal expressions of pain or of that thought. This led Wittgenstein, among others, to treat such remarks as expressing, rather than as reporting, oneâs mental states. Though such expressivism is widely recognized as untenable, Bar-On has recently advanced a neo-expressivist view, (...) on which such remarks exhibit characteristics of both expressions of mental states and reports of those states. I argue against any attempt to see such remarks as both reporting and expressing the same mental states, and that a correct account rests on distinguishing the truth conditions of such remarks from their conditions of use. (shrink)
This is an introductory talk on why I am not a consequentialist. I am not going to go into the details of consequentialist theory, or to compare and contrast different versions of consequentialism. Nor am I going to present all the reasons I am not a consequentialist, let alone all the reasons why you should not be one. All I want to do is focus on some key problems that in my view, and the view of many others, make consequentialism (...) a totally unacceptable moral theory – a theory about what is right, what is good, or obligatory, or forbidden, or permissible, or praiseworthy. So let me begin by giving a basic definition of consequentialism, one all supporters of the view can agree on. Consequentialism is the theory that the fundamental aim of morality is to maximize value. Now I was tempted to say ‘sole aim’, but some consequentialists will disagree with that. They might hold, for instance, that one of the aims of morality is to abide by certain rules, or to cultivate certain virtues. But for them, what gives obedience to a rule or the cultivation of a virtue its point is that, ultimately, such behaviour maximizes value. So although maximizing value might not be the sole aim of morality – the sole answer to the question ‘What should I do to be good?’ and similar questions – still it is the fundamental aim of morality, and all other kinds of decision, action, and so on, derive their justification by reference to it. For my purposes, then, the difference between ‘sole’ and ‘fundamental’ is merely terminological. Now the first thing that might occur to someone is a pair of simple questions. Why should anyone believe that the fundamental aim of morality is to maximize value? What intuitive force does the idea even have in the first place? These are good questions. I was a consequentialist once, and I don’t think I ever posed them to myself. I just took it as understood that since so many philosophers were consequentialists, and since so many of my fellow students were as well, then even if it were ultimately shown not to be true, the maximization thought (as I will call it) was at least the obvious place to start when one did ethics.. (shrink)
The central issue of Descartes’s Meditations is an intensely personal one. Descartes asks a simple question of himself, one that each of us can also ask of ourselves, “What am I to believe?” One way of construing this question--indeed, the way Descartes himself construed it--is as a methodological one. The immediate aim is not so much to generate a specific list of propositions for me to believe. Rather, I want to formulate for myself some general advice about how to proceed (...) intellectually. (shrink)
Can we ever truly answer the question, “Who am I?” Moderated by Alex Voorhoeve (London School of Economics), neuro-philosopher Elie During (University of Paris, Ouest Nanterre), cognitive scientist David Jopling (York University, Canada), social psychologist Timothy Wilson (University of Virginia),and ethicist Frances Kamm (Harvard University) examine the difficulty of achieving genuine self-knowledge and how the pursuit of self-knowledge plays a role in shaping the self.
Richard Matheson seeded several weird fish in the deep and dark waters of the American myth pool, not least as a prominent screenwriter for the legendary 1960s TV series The Twilight Zone. I Am Legend, a post-apocalyptic science fiction/horror novel, published in 1954 and set in 1976, remains one of his best known works.1 It shows up persistently on "Best of Horror" lists and is generally regarded as a milestone in modern Gothic fiction. What is it about this novel that (...) has invested it with canonical status? It tells a surpassingly bleak story, one that seems to encode very specific and largely outdated cultural anxieties. And as prophecy, it falls rather flat: Matheson depicts a vampire holocaust, and the .. (shrink)
“Avowals” are utterances that “ascribe [current] states of mind”; for instance utterances of ‘I have a terrible headache’ and ‘I’m finding this painting utterly puzzling’ (Bar-On 2004: 1). And avowals, “when compared to ordinary empirical reports…appear to enjoy distinctive security” (1), which Bar-On elaborates as follows: A subject who avows being tired, or scared of something, or thinking that p, is normally presumed to have the last word on the relevant matters; we would not presume to criticize her self-ascription or (...) to reject it on the basis of our contrary judgement. Furthermore, unlike ordinary empirical reports, and somewhat like apriori statements, avowals are issued with a very high degree of confidence and are not easily subjected to doubt. (3) The project of this ambitious, original, and challenging book is to explain why avowals have this distinctive security. Bar-On’s guiding idea is that avowals “can be seen as pieces of expressive behavior, similar in certain ways to bits of behavior that naturally express subjects’ states” (227). Crying and moaning are natural expressions of pain, yawning is a natural expression of tiredness, reaching for beer is a natural expression of the desire for beer, and so on. In some important sense, avowals are supposed to be like that. In what sense, though? It will be useful to begin with the simplest answer. (shrink)
On the one hand, arguably, I am neither this nor that. Arguably, neither is God this or that – so, am I God? Otherwise it seems that I must be this and God must be that. On the other hand, the being of the universe is not something of which I could plausibly be construed as the ultimate cause. That is God's creative act. Because I do not create the universe, I am not God. So I am God and I (...) am not God. Here's a solution: God is One but also Three, I am but one. (shrink)
Century has requested me to answer for his readers. I comply; but, to be frank, I find it a difficult task. If the editor or one of his contributors had only suggested a reason why I should be anything other than an Anarchist, I am sure I should have no difficulty in disputing the argument. And does not this very fact, after all, furnish in itself the best of all reasons why I should be an Anarchist – namely, the impossibility (...) of discovering any good reason for being anything else? To show the invalidity of the claims of State Socialism, Nationalism, Communism, Single taxism, the prevailing capitalism, and all the numerous forms of Archism existing or proposed, is at the same blow to show the validity of the claims of Anarchism. Archism once denied, only Anarchism can be affirmed. That is a matter of logic. (shrink)
A part of the “return to religion” now evident in European philosophy, this book represents the culmination of the career of a leading phenomenological thinker whose earlier works trace a trajectory from Marx through a genealogy of psychoanalysis that interprets Descartes’s “I think, I am” as “I feel myself thinking, I am.” In this book, Henry does not ask whether Christianity is “true” or “false.” Rather, what is in question here is what Christianity considers as truth, what kind of truth (...) it offers to people, what it endeavors to communicate to them, not as a theoretical and indifferent truth, but as the essential truth that by some mysterious affinity is suitable for them, to the point that it alone is capable of ensuring them salvation. In the process, Henry inevitably argues against the concept of truth that dominates modern thought and determines, in its multiple implications, the world in which we live. Henry argues that Christ undoes “the truth of the world,” that He is an access to the infinity of self-love, to a radical subjectivity that admits no outside, to the immanence of affective life found beyond the despair fatally attached to all objectifying thought. The Kingdom of God accomplishes itself in the here and now through the love of Christ in what Henry calls “the auto-affection of Life.” In this condition, he argues, all problems of lack, ambivalence, and false projection are resolved. (shrink)
addressing you, that probably the most easy and natural way for me to explain Anarchism would be for me to give the reasons why I myself am an Anarchist. I am not sure that they were altogether right in the matter, because in giving the reasons why I am an Anarchist, I may perhaps infuse too much of my own personality into the subject, giving reasons sufficient unto myself, but which cool reflection might convince me were not particularly striking as (...) reasons why other people should be Anarchists, which is, after all, the object of public speaking on this question. (shrink)
For several subsystems of second order arithmetic T we show that the proof-theoretic strength of T + (bar rule) can be characterized in terms of T + (bar induction) □ , where the latter scheme arises from the scheme of bar induction by restricting it to well-orderings with no parameters. In addition, we demonstrate that ACA + 0 , ACA 0 + (bar rule) and ACA 0 + (bar induction) □ prove the same Π 1 1 -sentences.
This experiment investigated the effect of format (line vs. bar), viewers’ familiarity with variables, and viewers’ graphicacy (graphical literacy) skills on the comprehension of multivariate (three variable) data presented in graphs. Fifty-five undergraduates provided written descriptions of data for a set of 14 line or bar graphs, half of which depicted variables familiar to the population and half of which depicted variables unfamiliar to the population. Participants then took a test of graphicacy skills. As predicted, the format influenced viewers’ interpretations (...) of data. Specifically, viewers were more likely to describe x–y interactions when viewing line graphs than when viewing bar graphs, and they were more likely to describe main effects and “z–y” (the variable in the legend) interactions when viewing bar graphs than when viewing line graphs. Familiarity of data presented and individuals’ graphicacy skills interacted with the influence of graph format. Specifically, viewers were most likely to generate inferences only when they had high graphicacy skills, the data were familiar and thus the information inferred was expected, and the format supported those inferences. Implications for multivariate data display are discussed. (shrink)
I am the world’s leading expert on the current contents of my left pocket (a handkerchief, some change). I can also lay claim to being the world’s leading expert on the contents of my mind – if I say that I think it is too warm in here, I can be assumed to be right about this. But the two cases are perhaps only superficially alike. No one else knows much about the current contents of my pockets, because no one (...) else has checked my pockets. If someone else were to go through the steps needed to check my pockets, she would know as much as I do about their contents. The persons checking my pockets could find out that I had made a mistake – perhaps I had overlooked a subway ticket. The steps required for finding out such things are essentially the same as the steps I have to take (insert hand, empty pocket, check contents). This does not hold for the contents of my mind. My claim to know what I am thinking right now seems to be of a different kind, when compared with my knowledge of the contents of my pockets. My thoughts are mine, and I have a special relation to them. This relation seems to be special in many ways. Perhaps even the idea of being an expert on the contents of one’s own mind is misguided; perhaps the analogy with ordinary experts is misleading – there seems to be nothing like getting better and better at judging something that is there for the experts to judge. Perhaps the whole idea of there being something there to be an expert about is wrong. When trying to come to grips with questions concerning the first person, we quickly get entangled in a whole <span class='Hi'>bunch</span> of tricky issues, issues that have occupied philosophers at least since Descartes. Descartes’ particular views on what there is to know about the contents of my own mind, and how I could come to be so good at this, have to a great extent set the agenda for virtually all later discussions of the first person, even though there is a widespread agreement that Descartes got most things wrong.. (shrink)
My name is Doug Adam. I am a convicted felon. I turned myself in, in mid-1987, to a U.S. attorney in New York, pleading guilty to felony charges of tax fraud and fraud on a mutual fund. It leftme scared to death, millions of dollars in debt, with no job, and at the age of37 back living with my parents while I awaited sentencing. What began then was a painful process of self discovery. After thriving on competition and perfection all (...) my life, how could I admit I wasn't perfect? Perfection wasn't even close. I was a felon. (shrink)
An investigation into the conditions conducive to the emergence of heterogeneity amoung agents is presented. This is done by using a model of creative artificial agents to investigate some of the possibilities. The simulation is based on Brian Arthur's 'El Farol Bar' model but extended so that the agents also learn and communicate. The learning and communication is implemented using an evolutionary process acting upon a population of strategies inside each agent. This evolutionary learning process is based on a Genetic (...) Programming algorithm. This is chosen to make the agents as creative as possible and thus allow the outside edge of the simulation trajectory to be explored. A detailed case study from the simulations show how the agents have differentiated so that by the end of the run they had taken on qualitatively different roles. It provides some evidence that the introduction of a flexible learning process and an expressive internal representation has facilitated the emergence of this heterogeneity. (shrink)
Since 1985, I have divided my professional life between teaching philosophy and practicing law in Northampton, Massachusetts. I am part of two excellent professional communities, the faculty of Smith College and the Hampshire County Bar. Making allowance for the usual sources of adult unhappiness--one gets divorced, has a drug or alcohol or gambling problem, a debilitating disease or injury, a child in jail, etc.-! -, we Northampton lawyers seem generally to be a happy lot. We are public-spirited, appearing disproportionately on (...) the boards of local nonprofit corporations. I know of no local polls on the question but our fellow townspeople appear to hold us in good esteem. We get on well with one another-- perhaps rather better than do my academic colleagues. Our chief source of professional anxiety is attracting remunerative employment in a highly competitive labor market. Still, virtually everyone seems to make at least a passable living and some obviously prosper. Very few of us have burned out and left practice. When we talk shop we often complain about particular judges, our clients and occasionally other lawyers, but never about the value of our profession. We do not often indulge in abstract speculation. (My lawyer friends take no interest at all in my writings on jurisprudence.) But our demeanors do not bespeak inchoate unhappiness with our professional lives. We are evidently pro! ud of what we do. (shrink)
In “Defining the Moving Image” Noël Carroll proposes the following necessary conditions for achieving his task: in his view, x is a moving image (1) only if x is a detached display, (2) only if x belongs to the class of things from which the impression of movement is technically possible, (3) only if performance tokens of x are generated by a template that is a token, and (4) only if performance tokens of x are not artworks in their own (...) right.”1 Later he adds a fifth condition: (5) x is a moving image only if it is twodimensional.2 I will argue that the third condition is circular, while none of the remaining conditions are in fact necessary. The first condition. Something is a “moving image” only if it is a “detached display.” To use one of Carroll’s examples, if I’m watching a horse race (even through binoculars), “I can still orient myself spatially to the finish line.” But “Suppose that I am watching Casablanca and what I see on the screen is Rick’s bar. I cannot, on the basis of the image, orient my body to the bar – to the spatial coordinates of that structure as it existed some time in the early forties in California (nor could I orient my body by means of the image to the putative fictional locale [in North Africa] of the film).”. (shrink)
In his Meditations, René Descartes asks, "what am I?" His initial answer is "a man." But he soon discards it: "But what is a man? Shall I say 'a rational animal'? No: for then I should inquire what an animal is, what rationality is, and in this way one question would lead down the slope to harder ones." Instead of understanding what a man is, Descartes shifts to two new questions: "What is Mind?" and "What is Body?" These questions develop (...) into Descartes's main philosophical preoccupation: the Mind-Body distinction. How can Mind and Body be independent entities, yet joined--essentially so--within a single human being? If Mind and Body are really distinct, are human beings merely a "construction"? On the other hand, if we respect the integrity of humans, are Mind and Body merely aspects of a human being and not subjects in and of themselves? For centuries, philosophers have considered this classic philosophical puzzle. Now, in this compact, engaging, and long-awaited work, UCLA philosopher Joseph Almog closely decodes the French philosopher's argument for distinguishing between the human mind and body while maintaining simultaneously their essential integration in a human being. He argues that Descartes constructed a solution whereby the trio of Human Mind, Body, and Being are essentially interdependent yet remain each a genuine individual subject. Almog's reading not only steers away from the most popular interpretations of Descartes, but also represents a scholar coming to grips directly with Descartes himself. In doing so, Almog creates a work that Cartesian scholars will value, and that will also prove indispensable to philosophers of language, ontology, and the metaphysics of mind. (shrink)
What can I know? Clever animals in the universe : what is truth? ; Lucy in the sky : where do we come from? ; The cosmos of the mind : how does my brain function? ; A winter's eve in the Thirty Years' War : how do I know who I am? ; Mach's momentous experience : who is "I"? ; Mr. Spock in love : what are feelings? ; Ruling the roost : what is my subconscious? ; Now (...) what was that? What is memory? ; The fly in the bottle : what is language? -- What should I do? Rousseau's error : do we need other people? ; The sword of the dragon slayer : why do we help others? ; The law within me : why should I be good? ; The Libet experiment : can I will what I will? ; The case of Gage : is there morality in the brain? ; I feel what you feel : does it pay to be good? ; The man on the bridge : is morality innate? ; Aunt Bertha shall live : are we entitled to kill? ; The birth of dignity : is abortion moral? ; End of life : should euthanasia be allowed? ; Beyond sausage and cheese : may we eat animals? ; Great apes in the cultural arena : how should we treat great apes? ; The wail of the whale : why should we protect nature? ; Tears of a clone : can people be copied? ; Ready-made children : where is reproductive medicine heading? ; "Bridge into the spirit world" : how far can neuroscience go? -- What can I hope for? The greatest conceivable being : does God exist? ; The archdeacon's watch : does nature have meaning? ; "A quite normal improbability" : what is love? ; Do be do be do : what is freedom? ; Robinson's used oil : do we need possessions? ; The Rawls game : what is just? ; Isles of the blessed : what is a happy life? ; The distant garden : can happiness be learned? ; The matrix machine : does life have meaning? (shrink)
I Am Dynamite ignites an alternative theory of the self and will, wrapped up in a combustible assault upon scholarly convention. Asking why the real effort of constructing and living within an identity is so often overlooked, it examines the subjective experience of existing in the world, with the power to define and transform oneself. Considering the trials and triumphs of five very different modern subjects--Primo Levi, Ben Glaser, Stanley Spencer, Rachel Silberstein and Friedrich Nietzsche--Nigel Rapport asks: can consciousness of (...) being a self in the world enable control over one's life within it? Calling for a renewed appreciation of the extraordinary within us all, this richly inventive work seeks to restore knowledge to its essential practical and moral aims--aiding and informing the lives we actually live. (shrink)
Wie entsteht eine Wahrnehmung? Wir betrachten einen derzeit nahezu vergessenen philosophischen wie psychologischen Ansatz, der eine solche Theorie entwickelte. Die Vorgeschichte dieser Theorie beginnt bei Alexius Meinongs Relationstheorie (1882) und dessen frühen Bemühungen zur Psychologie. Christian von Ehrenfels, aufbauend auf Meinongs Vorarbeiten sowie Ernst Machs Analyse der Empfindungen von 1886, gibt der Theoriegenese 1890 durch seine Arbeit über Gestaltqualitäten starken Auftrieb. Die Grazer Schule übernimmt das Thema unter dem Aspekt: Sind Gestalten als Ganzes erfaßbar, oder werden sie auf der Basis (...) elementarer Empfindungen erst durch einen psychischen Akt produziert? Anhand der geometrisch-optischen Täuschungen gehen zunächst Stephan Witasek und später Vittorio Benussi dieser Frage ab 1894 auch experimentell nach. Zunächst kann ausgeschlossen werden, daß solche Täuschungen Urteilstäuschungen sind, daß sie also Vorstellungstäuschungen sein müssen. Als wichtig für die psychologische Theorie der Vorstellungsproduküon erweist sich Meinongs philosophische Konzeption der Gegenstände höherer Ordnung. Rudolf Ameseder legt 1904 eine gegenstandstheoretische Skizze der Produktionstheorie vor. Benussi zeigt ebenfalls 1904 wiederum am Beispiel der optischen Täuschungen, daß diese keine Empfindungstäuschungen sind (was Witasek angenommen hatte), sondern Produktionstäuschungen. Damit ist experimentell belegt, daß es psychische Produktionen gibt. (shrink)
I have argued in a number of writings that the philosophical part (though not the neurobiological part) of the traditional mind-body problem has a fairly simple and obvious solution: All of our mental phenomena are caused by lower level neuronal processes in the brain and are themselves realized in the brain as higher level, or system, features. The form of causation is.
Dualists think that not all the facts are physical facts. They think that there are facts about phenomenal consciousness that cannot be explained in purely physical terms—facts about what it’s like to see red, what it’s like to feel sandpaper, what it’s like to run 10 miles when it’s 15° F out, and so on. These phenomenal facts are genuine ‘extras’, not fixed by the physical facts and the physical laws. To use the standard metaphor: even after God settled the (...) physical facts and laws, he had more work to do to put the phenomenal facts in place. Some dualists think that the additional work involves the creation of a special kind of nonphysical substance. More common these days are dualists who think that the additional work merely involves the creation and positioning of special nonphysical properties, and that is the only form of dualism that I will be explicitly concerned with here. The property dualist’s claim is that phenomenal properties, or at least protophenomenal properties, are among the basic furniture of the world. (shrink)
He was not just my teacher and my friend. He was my hero, a man who was quietly but passionately committed to truth, to clarity, to understanding everything under the sun–and to making himself understood. More than anybody else he has made me proud to be a philosopher, so I would like to dedicate my Presidential Address to his memory.
The four kinds of explanation identified by Aquinas at the beginning of his commentary on Aristotle's Ethics are deployed to show that the identity of the human person is sui generis and mysterious, even though each of its elements is more or less readily accessible to our understanding. The essay attends particularly to the explorations by Aquinas and, with different techniques, by Shakespeare of the experience and understanding of (a) one's lasting presence to oneself as one and the same bodily (...) and mental self, and (b) one's self-shaping by one's free choices, especially of commitments. Shakespeare further explores these, quite deliberately, through displays of mistaken identity and humiliating deflations of the personas one constructs for life in society. (shrink)
Eric T. Olson has argued that any view of personal identity in terms of psychological continuity has a consequence that he considers untenable-namely, that he was never an early-term fetus. I have several replies. First, the psychological-continuity view of personal identity does not entail the putative consequence; the appearance to the contrary depends on not distinguishing between de re and de dicto theses. Second, the putative consequence is not untenable anyway; the appearance to the contrary depends on not taking seriously (...) an idea that underlies a plausible view of persons that I call `the Constitution View.' Finally, Olson's own "Biological View of personal identity" has liabilities of its own. (shrink)
3.1. Why logic is a priori. 3.2. Why mathematics is a priori. 3.3. Why ethics is a priori. 3.4. The nature of a priori knowledge - Acquired through the faculty of reason; knowledge of universals. 4. Universals 4.1. What are they? - "universal" & "particular" defined 4.2. The (real) problem of universals - "nominalism" & "realism" defined; why these are the only two possible positions. 4.3. Rand the realist - why Rand must be a realist, whether she knows it or (...) not 5. More on ethics: 5.1. The value of life - the need (and lack) of a proof that life is good in the Objectivist ethics. 5.2. Rand's derivation (?) of egoism - How not to argue for egoism. 5.3. Is egoism self-evident? - The need for arguments for or against egoism. (shrink)
Massimo Dell'Utri (1990) provides a reconstruction of Hilary Putnam's argument (1981, chapter 1) to show that the hypothesis that we are brains in a vat is self-refuting. I will explain why the argument Dell'Utri offers us is, on the face of it, quite problematic. Then I will provide a way out of the difficulty.
Scott Campbell has recently defended the psychological approach to personal identity over time by arguing that a person is literally a series of mental events. Rejecting four-dimensionalism about the persistence of physical objects, Campbell regards constitutionalism as the main rival version of the psychological approach. He argues that his "series view" has two clear advantages over constitutionalism: it avoids the "two thinkers" objection and it allows a person to change bodies. In addition, Campbell suggests a reply to the objection, often (...) raised against views such as his, that thoughts must be distinct from their thinker. In this paper, I argue that Campbell's responses to the "two thinkers" and the "thoughts/thinker" objections are unsuccessful. Furthermore, his reply to the latter leads to four-dimensionalism of the kind he wanted to avoid – and this view too allows a person to change bodies. Moreover, I argue that it speaks against the series view that generalised versions of it fare much more poorly than do generalised versions of constitutionalism and four-dimensionalism. (shrink)
The neurocognitive structure of the acting self has recently been widely studied, yet is still perplexing and remains an often confounded issue in cognitive neuroscience, psychopathology and philosophy. We provide a new systematic account of two of its main features, the sense of agency and the sense of ownership, demonstrating that although both features appear as phenomenally uniform, they each in fact are complex crossmodal phenomena of largely heterogeneous functional and (self-)representational levels. These levels can be arranged within a gradually (...) evolving, onto- and phylogenetically plausible framework which proceeds from basic non-conceptual sensorimotor processes to more complex conceptual and meta-representational processes of agency and ownership, respectively. In particular, three fundamental levels of agency and ownership processing have to be distinguished: The level of feeling, thinking and social interaction. This naturalistic account will not only allow to ‘‘ground the self in action”, but also provide an empirically testable taxonomy for cognitive neuroscience and a new tool for disentangling agency and ownership disturbances in psychopathology (e.g. alien hand, anarchic hand, anosognosia for one’s own hemiparesis). (shrink)
In this paper I examine the question of whether the characterization of physicalism that is presupposed by some influential anti-physicalist arguments, namely, the so-called conceivability arguments, is a good characterization of physicalism or not. I compare this characterization with some alternative ones, showing how it can overcome some problems, and I defend it from several objections. I conclude that any arguments against physicalism characterised in that way are genuine arguments against physicalism, as intuitively conceived.
_tableau_ can be given a full and satisfying explanation, while others cannot. We can explain in a full and satisfying way why the water in the mug is identical with H2O, why its liquidity is identical with a state of its molecular bonds, and why its heat is identical with its molecules being in motion. But we cannot explain in the same way why the neural processes which Joe undergoes when he looks at the mug are such as to make (...) the mug look green, and not red. The latter explanations have gaps. (shrink)
When your word processor or email program is running on your computer, this creates a "virtual machine” that manipulates windows, files, text, etc. What is this virtual machine, and what are the virtual objects it manipulates? Many standard arguments in the philosophy of mind have exact analogues for virtual machines and virtual objects, but we do not want to draw the wild metaphysical conclusions that have sometimes tempted philosophers in the philosophy of mind. A computer file is not made of (...) epiphenomenal ectoplasm. I argue instead that virtual objects are "supervenient objects". The stereotypical example of supervenient objects is the statue and the lump of clay. To this end I propose a theory of supervenient objects. Then I turn to persons and mental states. I argue that my mental states are virtual states of a cognitive virtual machine implemented on my body, and a person is a supervenient object supervening on his cognitive virtual machine. (shrink)
Soc. …I speak of what I scarcely understand; but the soul when thinking appears to me to be just talking—asking questions of herself and answering them, affirming and denying. And when she has arrived at a decision, either gradually or by a sudden impulse, and has at last agreed, and does not doubt, this is called her opinion. I say, then, that to form an opinion is to speak, and opinion is a word spoken,—I mean, to oneself and in silence, (...) not aloud or to another: What think you? Theaet. I agree. (shrink)
Abstract This article explores the notion of the dislocated self following deep brain stimulation (DBS) and concludes that when personal identity is understood in dynamic, narrative, and relational terms, the claim that DBS is a threat to personal identity is deeply problematic. While DBS may result in profound changes in behaviour, mood and cognition (characteristics closely linked to personality), it is not helpful to characterize DBS as threatening to personal identity insofar as this claim is either false, misdirected or trivially (...) true. The claim is false insofar as it misunderstands the dynamic nature of identity formation. The claim is misdirected at DBS insofar as the real threat to personal identity is the discriminatory attitudes of others towards persons with motor and other disabilities. The claim is trivially true insofar as any dramatic event or experience integrated into one’s identity-constituting narrative could then potentially be described as threatening. From the perspective of relational personal identity, when DBS dramatically disrupts the narrative flow, this disruption is best examined through the lens of agency. For illustrative purposes, the focus is on DBS for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Content Type Journal Article Category Original Paper Pages 1-14 DOI 10.1007/s12152-011-9137-1 Authors Françoise Baylis, Faculty of Medicine, Novel Tech Ethics, Dalhousie University, 1379 Seymour Street, P.O. Box 15000, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2 Journal Neuroethics Online ISSN 1874-5504 Print ISSN 1874-5490. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that ad hominem arguments are not always fallacious. More explicitly, in certain cases of practical reasoning, the circumstances of a person are relevant to whether or not the conclusion should be accepted. This occurs, I suggest, when a person gives advice to others or prescribes certain courses of action but fails to follow her own advice or act in accordance with her own prescriptions. This is not an instance of a fallacious tu quoque provided that (...) such circumstantial ad hominem arguments are construed as rebuttals to appeals (administrative) authority (of expertise), or so I argue. (shrink)
A major division among ontologists has always been the one between those who believe that all entities are particular, and those who believe that at least some entities are universal. I find myself with the latter, and in this paper I offer part of the reasons why this is so. More precisely, I offer a reason why we ought to reject tropism, due to the failure of this view to account for the similarities we experience among entities. In the paper, (...) two tentative accounts are considered and rejected: one postulating the existence of a relation of primitive resemblance; the other denying the existence of any similarity. (shrink)
Time travelers and battles between people and machines provoke old philosophical questions: Can the past really be changed? How do we differentiate ourselves from machines? Can machines have an inner life? Brown (philosophy & critical thinking, LaGuardia Community Coll.) and Decker (philosophy, Eastern Washington Univ.; coeditor, Star Wars and Philosophy ) collect 19 essays by primarily young academics who pursue these questions with entertaining verve and philosophical skill. The Terminator story is about something well intentioned—a defense project—going wrong, but none (...) of the essays here presses this issue to a clear conclusion (readers whose interest is aroused would do well to read Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen's Moral Machines , concerned with actual machines and ones that might soon exist). Among the book's bright spots are contributions from Harry Chotiner and Jennifer Culver that show us something about how the movies work and explore the feminist issues posed by placing Sarah Connor at the center of the story. One essayist, Phillip Seng, addresses the philosophical trouble at the heart of the tale: telling good from evil in politics is hard. This book will earn a place in libraries by presenting serious issues in a way that attracts readers.—Leslie Armour, Dominican Univ. Coll., Ottawa, Ont. (shrink)
This paper argues that Michael Dummett's proposed distinction between a declarative sentence's "assertoric content" and "ingredient sense" is not in fact supported by what Dummett presents as paradigmatic evidence in its support.
The Internet has become a field of dragon teeth for a person’s identity. It has made it possible for your identity to be mistaken by a credit agency, spied on by the government, foolishly exposed by yourself, pilloried by an enemy, pounded by a bully, or stolen by a criminal. These harms to one’s integrity could be inflicted in the past, but information technology has multiplied and aggravated such injuries. They have not gone unnoticed and are widely bemoaned and discussed. (...) The government and private watchdogs are working to protect the identity of citizens though at least in the United States both the government and individuals all too often side with prosperity when it conflicts with privacy. Still, these information-technological threats to identity have been recognized and can be reasonably met through legislation, regulation, and discretion. There is another kind of danger to our identity that is more difficult to define and to meet, for it has no familiar predecessors, has no criminal aspects, and exhibits no sharp moral or cultural contours. Still that threat to our identity haunts us constantly and surfaces occasionally in conversations and the media. It makes us feel displaced, distracted, and fragmented at the very times when to all appearances we seem to be connected, busy, and energetic. At the same time, the culture of technology, and of information technology particularly, has opened up fields of diversity and contingency that invite us to comprehend our identities in newly responsible, intricate, and open-minded ways. (shrink)
It’s morning. You sit down at your desk, cup of coffee in hand, and prepare to begin your day. First, you turn on your computer. Once it is running, you check your e-mail. Having decided it is all spam, you trash it. You close the window on your e-mail program, but leave the program running so that it will periodically check the mail server to see whether you have new mail. If it finds new mail it will alert you by (...) playing a musical tone. Next you start your word processor. You have in mind to write a paper in moral philosophy about whether people who send spam. (shrink)
This essay examines the perspective from which Bas van Fraassen, in his book, The Empirical Stance , explains the project of empiricism. I argue that this perspective is a robustly transcendental perspective, which suggests that the tradition of empiricism lacks the resources to explain itself. I offer an alternative history of epistemic voluntarism in twentieth-century philosophy to the history van Fraassen himself provides, one that finds the novelty in van Fraassen’s own views to be precisely his reintroduction of the knowing (...) mind into the tradition of analytic philosophy of science. (shrink)
Russell's Principle states that in order to think about an object I must know which thing it is, in the sense of being able to distinguish it from all other things. I show that, contra Strawson, Evans and Cassam, Russell's Principle cannot be applied to first-person thought so as to yield necessary conditions of self-consciousness. Footnotes1 Thanks to Naomi Eilan, Keith Hossack, Lucy O'Brien and Ann Whittle for helpful comments.
In this paper I examine a new variant of the well-known idea that the self is an abstract object. I propose a simple model of the self as a property of temporal slices of a body's history. I argue that this model, when combined with even a modest realism with regard to properties, implies that the self has many of the chief features traditionally attributed to selves. I conclude that this model allows one to reconcile the full reality of the (...) self with even the most deflationary materialistic theories of consciousness. (shrink)
Let me start with what you should not do. Do not attend too many seminars in your own field. Otherwise you may simply end up adding a comment to the existing literature, which is mostly made up of comments on previous comments which were themselves only marginal comments. If you want a good idea, look at the world around you or take courses in other disciplines. Some of the papers in my own dissertation (like my 1979 paper on a principal-agent (...) problem with moral hazard and an infinite horizon) were thought of while daydreaming in some law courses I took. (shrink)
The Content Sceptic argues that a subject could not have introspective knowledge of a thought whose content is individuated widely. This claim is incorrect, relying on the tacit assumption that introspective knowledge differs significantly from other species of knowledge. The paper proposes a reliabilist model for understanding introspective knowledge according to which introspective knowledge is simply another species of knowledge, and according to which claims to introspective knowledge are not, as suggested by the Content Sceptic, defeated by the mere possibility (...) of error. This way of understanding introspective knowledge affords a robust theory of privileged access consistent with semantic externalism. (shrink)
The dynamical systems approach in cognitive science offers a potentially useful perspective on both brain and behavior. Indeed, the importation of formal tools from dynamical systems research has already paid off for our field in many ways. However, like some other theoretical perspectives in cognitive science, the dynamical systems approach comes in both moderate or pragmatic and “fundamentalist” varieties (Jones & Love, 2011). In the latter form, dynamical systems theory can rise to some stirring rhetorical heights. However, as argued here, (...) it also triggers a number of serious and specific reservations. (shrink)
Philosophical discussions of apologies have focused on apologizing for wrong actions. Such a focus overlooks an important dimension of moral failures, namely, failures of character. However, when one attempts to revise the standard account of apology to make room for failures of character, two objections emerge. The first is rooted in the psychology of shame. The second stems from the purported social function of apologies. This paper responds to these objections and, in so doing, sheds further light both on why (...) we apologize (when we are in the wrong) and on why we accept apologies (when others are). (shrink)
Mind is not some mysterious mind stuff; no such stuff exists and the universe comprises only physical matter. It is an emergent property of certain complex material entities, not brains alone but whole human beings living and coping in the physical and social world. This thesis involves three ideas: materialism, emergent properties, and intentionality. The first two belong to the mind-body problem and the status of mental properties in the material universe. The third refers to the mind-world relation, the symbiotic (...) relation between subject and object in cognition and experience. (shrink)
Research on detrimental workplace behaviors has increased recently, predominantly focusing on justice issues. Research from the integrity testing literature, which is grounded in trait theory, has not received as much attention in the management literature. Trait theory, agency theory, and psychological contracts theory each have different predictions about employee performance that is harmful to the organization. While on the surface they appear contradictory, this paper describes how each can be (...) integrated to increase our understanding of detrimental workplace behaviors.Deborah L. Kidder is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management at Towson University, in Towson, MD, USA. Her Ph.D. is in Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesta. Her research interests involve issues of trust and equity, perceptions of (un) fairness at work, and the consequences of (un)fair treatment for employees and organizations. She teaches courses in Human Resource Management, Organizational Behavior, Leadership, and Negotiation. (shrink)
Which nonhuman animals experience conscious pain? Common sense suggests that the answer is obvious for all mammals and birds: they do! But people's intuitions begin to waver when it comes to reptiles, amphibians, ﬁsh, or invertebrates. Do lobsters feel pain when boiled alive? A recent study by the Norwegian government said that they don't. But Norway has a signiﬁcant lobster ﬁshing industry to protect, so it's easy regard the study with suspicion.