The global array may be a useful concept in studying behavior in a complex environment, especially in the context of dynamical systems theory. However, Stoffregen & Bardy's arguments are weakened by the conflation of sensation and perception, and by the lack of evidence for synergy between stimulus energy arrays; strong evidence places the convergence of sensory stimuli inside the head.
In this paper I consider three widespread assumptions: (1) the assumption that we are accountable for our intentional actions only if they are in some special sense ours; (2) the assumption that it is possible for us to be more or less “true to” ourselves, and that we are flawed human beings to the extent that we lack “integrity”; and (3) the assumption that we can sometimes give ourselves reasons by giving ourselves commands. I acknowledge that, as Ruediger Bittner has (...) argued, each of these assumptions is problematic, and that the failure to appreciate the problems has led many philosophers astray. I try to show, however, that it is possible to make sense of each assumption in a way that addresses Bittner’s concerns. (shrink)
The existence of neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) is not enough for philosophical purposes. On the other hand, there's more to NCC than meets the sceptic's eye. (I) NCC are useful for a better understanding of conscious experience, for instance: (1) NCC are helpful to explain phenomenological features of consciousness – e.g., dreaming. (2) NCC can account for phenomenological opaque facts – e.g., the temporal structure of consciousness. (3) NCC reveal properties and functions of consciousness which cannot be elucidated either (...) by introspective phenomenology or by psychological experiments alone – e.g., vision. (II) There are crucial problems and shortcomings of NCC: (1) Correlation implies neither causation nor identity. (2) There are limitations of empirical access due to the problem of other minds and the problem of self-deception, and (3) due to the restrictions provided by inter- and intraindividual variations. (4) NCC cannot be catched by neuroscience alone because of the externalistic content of representations. Therefore, NCC are not sufficient for a naturalistic theory of mind, (5) nor are they necessary because of the possibility of multiple realization. (III) Nevertheless, NCC are relevant and important for the mind-body problem: (1) NCC reveal features that are necessary at least for behavioral manifestations of human consciousness. (2) But NCC are compatible with very different proposals for a solution of the mind-body problem. This seems to be both advantageous and detrimental. (3) NCC restrict nomological identity accounts. (4) The investigation of NCC can refute empirical arguments for interactionism as a case study of John Eccles' dualistic proposals will show. (5) The discoveries of NCC cannot establish a naturalistic theory of mind alone, for which, e.g., a principle of supervenience and a further condition – and therefore philosophical arguments – are required. (shrink)
Barsalou's theory of perceptual symbol systems is considered from a metacognitive perspective. Two examples are discussed in terms of the proposed perceptual symbol theory. First, recent results in research on feeling-of-knowing judgement are used to argue for a representation of familiarity with input cues. This representation should support implicit memory. Second, the ability of maintaining a theory of other people's beliefs (theory of mind) is considered and it is suggested that a purely simulation-based view is insufficient to explain the available (...) evidence. Both examples characterize areas where Barsalou's theory would benefit from additional detail. (shrink)
MARXISM AND LIBERALISM edited by Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred D. Miller, Jr., Jeffrey Paul and John Ahrens New York: Basil Blackwell, 1986. 223 pp., $14?95 (paper) LIBERALISM by John Gray Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986. 106 pp., $9.95 (paper).