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Ralph D. Ellis [61]Ralph David Ellis [1]
  1. Ralph D. Ellis (2014). Enactivism and the New Teleology: Reconciling the Warring Camps. Avant (2):173-198.
    Enactivism has the potential to provide a sense of teleology in purpose-directed action, but without violating the principles of efficient causation. Action can be distinguished from mere reaction by virtue of the fact that some systems are self-organizing. Self-organization in the brain is reflected in neural plasticity, and also in the primacy of motivational processes that initiate the release of neurotransmitters necessary for mental and conscious functions, and which guide selective attention processes. But in order to flesh out the enactivist (...)
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  2. Ralph D. Ellis (2013). Neuroscience as a Human Science: Integrating Phenomenology and Empiricism in the Study of Action and Consciousness. [REVIEW] Human Studies 36 (4):491-507.
    This paper considers where contemporary neuroscience leaves us in terms of how human consciousness fits into the material world, and whether consciousness is reducible to merely mechanical physical systems, or on the contrary whether consciousness is a self-organizing system that can in a sense use the brain for its own purposes. The paper discusses how phenomenology can be integrated with new findings about “neural plasticity” to yield new approaches to the mind–body problem and the place of consciousness as a causal (...)
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  3. Ralph D. Ellis, Directionality And Fragmentation In The Transcendental Ego.
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  4. Ralph D. Ellis (2012). The Snake That Eats Itself. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 19 (2):103-114.
    As globalized corporations are traded intemationally, with investors and workers from many countries, nation-states have diminishing interest in fighting wars promoting competitive profit interests of intemational companies. Theoretically, this trend could prompt diminution in the role of warfare. Militarism continues to serve corporations that are globally owned, operated, and controlled, fought by the very workers who then must compete against the resulting unregulated and often cormpt intemational labor and resource markets—driving down the real wages of domestic and foreign workers. But (...)
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  5. Ralph D. Ellis (2010). How the Mind Uses the Brain: To Move the Body and Image the Universe. Open Court.
    Introduction: Searching for the covert agent of consciousness -- The devil's pact (or, why the hard problem is now so hard) -- Action at the macro level : an agent-based theory of intentionality -- Action imagery and representation of the external world -- Do we need an emergency metaphysician? : action versus reaction at the micro level -- Herding neurons : the causal structure of self-organizing systems -- The paradoxes of phenomenal consciousness -- The self-organizing imagination : addressing the mind-body (...)
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  6. Ralph D. Ellis (2010). The Enactive Approach to Education. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 17 (2):131-141.
    If human motivation is "enactive" rather than merely a series of passive reactions to extemal stimuli, then a correspondingly "enactive" approach to education should be taken seriously. This paper argues that recent research on the emotional brain by such neuropsychologists as Jaak Panksepp, combined with a self-organizational approach to the concept of action, and the importance of the questioning process in human understanding of information, suggests that treating humanities education as intrinsically valuable, and not just as means toward other ends, (...)
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  7. Ralph D. Ellis (2009). Emotional Authenticity as a Central Basis of Moral Psychology. In Mikko Salmela & Verena Mayer (eds.), Emotions, Ethics, and Authenticity. John Benjamins. 5--179.
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  8. Ralph D. Ellis (2008). Love, Religion, and the Psychology of Inspiration. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 15 (2):6-40.
    While much of contemporary psychology preserves the legacy of behaviorism and consummatory drive-reductionism, this paper by contrast grounds itself in an "enactivist" approach to emotion and motivation, and goes on to consider the implications of this view for the psychology of inspiration, especially as applied to love and religion. Emotions are not responses to stimuli, but expressions of an active system. The tendency of complex systems is to prefer higher-energy basins of attraction rather than settle into satiation and dull comfort. (...)
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  9. Ralph D. Ellis (2008). Responses and Reactions. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 15 (2):128 - 146.
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  10. Ralph D. Ellis (2006). Phenomenology-Friendly Neuroscience: The Return to Merleau-Ponty as Psychologist. Human Studies 29 (1):33 - 55.
    This paper reports on the Kuhnian revolution now occurring in neuropsychology that is finally supportive of and friendly to phenomenology – the “enactive” approach to the mind-body relation, grounded in the notion of self-organization, which is consistent with Husserl and Merleau-Ponty on virtually every point. According to the enactive approach, human minds understand the world by virtue of the ways our bodies can act relative to it, or the ways we can imagine acting. This requires that action be distinguished from (...)
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  11. Ralph D. Ellis (2006). Spiritual Partnership and the Affirmation of the Value of Being. The Pluralist 1 (3):8 - 62.
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  12. Ralph D. Ellis (2006). The Present Personal. Review of Metaphysics 59 (3):651-653.
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  13. Ralph D. Ellis, Norman Fischer & James B. Sauer (2006). Foundations of Civic Engagement: Rethinking Social and Political Philosophy. Upa.
    Foundations of Civic Engagement is a comprehensive survey and reassessment of the entire field of social and political philosophy. Suitable for use as a primary text for courses on political thought, this book explores the basic arguments of the most important historical and contemporary figures—including Ancient Greek, modern and contemporary theories of communitarianism, social contract, feminism, postmodernsim, Marxism, and theories of communicative actions—and offers a thematic critique and integration of these philosophies.
     
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  14. Anthony P. Atkinson, I. S. Baker, Susan J. Blackmore, William Braud, Jean E. Burns, R. H. S. Carpenter, Christopher J. S. Clarke, Ralph D. Ellis, David Fontana, Christopher C. French, D. Radin, M. Schlitz, Stefan Schmidt & Max Velmans (2005). Open Peer Commentary on 'the Sense of Being Stared At' Parts 1 &. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (6):50-116.
  15. Ralph D. Ellis (2005). Curious Emotions: Roots of Consciousness and Personality in Motivated Action. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
    Emotion drives all cognitive processes, largely determining their qualitative feel, their structure, and in part even their content.
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  16. Ralph D. Ellis (2005). Generating Predictions From a Dynamical Systems Emotion Theory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2):202-203.
    Lewis's dynamical systems emotion theory continues a tradition including Merleau-Ponty, von Bertallanfy, and Aristotle. Understandably for a young theory, Lewis's new predictions do not follow strictly from the theory; thus their failure would not disconfirm the theory, nor their success confirm it – especially given that other self-organizational approaches to emotion (e.g., those of Ellis and of Newton) may not be inconsistent with these same predictions.
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  17. Ralph D. Ellis (2005). The Ambiguity of 'in Here/Out There' Talk: In What Sense is Perception 'Out in the World'? Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (6):82-87.
     
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  18. Ralph D. Ellis (2005). The Roles of Imagery and Metaemotion in Deliberate Choice and Moral Psychology. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (8-10):140-157.
    Understanding the role of emotion in reasoned, deliberate choice -- particularly moral experience -- requires three components: Meta-emotion, allowing self-generated voluntary imagery and/or narratives that in turn trigger first-order emotions we may not already have, but would like to have for moral or other reasons. Hardwired mammalian altruistic sentiments, necessary but not sufficient for moral motivation. Neuropsychological grounding for what Hume called 'love of truth,' with two important effects in humans: generalization of altruistic feelings beyond natural sympathy for conspecifics; and (...)
     
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  19. Ralph D. Ellis & Natika Newton (2005). Consciousness and Emotion: Agency, Conscious Choice, and Selective Perception. John Benjamins.
    The papers in this volume of Consciousness & Emotion Book Series are organized around the theme of "enaction.
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  20. Ralph D. Ellis & Natika Newton (2005). The Unity of Consciousness: An Enactivist Approach. Journal of Mind and Behavior 26 (4):225-280.
    The enactivist account of consciousness posits that motivated activation of sensorimotor action imagery anticipates possible action affordances of environmental situations, resulting in representation of the environment with a conscious “feel” associated with the valences motivating the anticipations. This approach makes the mind–body problem and the problem of mental causation easier to resolve, and offers promise for understanding how consciousness results from natural processes. Given a process-oriented understanding of the way many systems in non-conscious nature are “proto-motivated” toward realizing unactualized possibilities, (...)
     
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  21. Ralph D. Ellis (2004). Love and the Abyss an Essay on Finitude and Value.
     
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  22. Ralph D. Ellis (2004). Three Arguments Against Causal Indeterminacy. Philosophia 31 (3-4):331-344.
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  23. Ralph D. Ellis (2002). The Limited Roles of Unconscious Computation and Representation in Self-Organizational Theories of Mind. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (3):338-339.
    In addressing the shortcomings of computationalism, we should not throw the baby out with the bathwater. That consciousness is not merely an epiphenomenon with optional access to unconscious computations does not imply that unconscious computations, in the limited domain where they do occur (e.g., occipital transformations of visual data), cannot be reformulated in a way consistent with a self-organizational view.
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  24. Ralph D. Ellis, Natika Newton & Peter Zachar (2002). Irwin Goldstein. Consciousness and Emotion 3 (1):21-33.
  25. Ralph D. Ellis, Natika Newton & Peter Zachar (2002). Luc Faucher and Christine Tappolet. Consciousness and Emotion 3 (2):105-144.
  26. Ralph D. Ellis (2001). A Theoretical Model of the Role of the Cerebellum in Cognition, Attention and Consciousness. Consciousness and Emotion 2 (2):300-309.
  27. Ralph D. Ellis (2001). Can Dynamical Systems Explain Mental Causation? Journal of Mind and Behavior 22 (3):311-334.
    Dynamical systems promise to elucidate a notion of top–down causation without violating the causal closure of physical events. This approach is particularly useful for the problem of mental causation. Since dynamical systems seek out, appropriate, and replace physical substrata needed to continue their structural pattern, the system is autonomous with respect to its components, yet the components constitute closed causal chains. But how can systems have causal power over their substrates, if each component is sufficiently caused by other components? Suppose (...)
     
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  28. Ralph D. Ellis (2001). Implications of Inattentional Blindness for "Enactive" Theories of Consciousness. Brain and Mind 2 (3):297-322.
    Mack and Rock show evidence that no consciousperception occurs without a prior attentiveact. Subjects already executing attention taskstend to neglect visible elements extraneous tothe attentional task, apparently lacking evenbetter-than-chance ``implicit perception,''except in certain cases where the unattendedstimulus is a meaningful word or has uniquepre-tuned salience similar to that ofmeaningful words. This is highly consistentwith ``enactive'' notions that consciousnessrequires selective attention via emotional subcortical and limbic motivationalactivation as it influences anterior attentionmechanisms. Occipital activation withoutconsciousness suggests that motivated search,enacted through the organism's (...)
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  29. Ralph D. Ellis (2001). Three Elements of Causation: Biconditionality, Asymmetry, and Experimental Manipulability. Philosophia 28 (1-4):103-125.
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  30. Ralph D. Ellis (2000). Consciousness, Self-Organization, and the Process-Substratum Relation: Rethinking Nonreductive Physicalism. Philosophical Psychology 13 (2):173-190.
    Knowing only what is empirically knowable can't by itself entail knowledge of what consciousness "is like." But if dualism is to be avoided, the question arises: how can a process be completely empirically unobservable when all of its components are completely observable? The recently emerging theory of self-organization offers resources with which to resolve this problem: Consciousness can be an empirically unobservable process because the emotions motivating attention are experienced only from the perspective of the one whose phenomenal states are (...)
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  31. Ralph D. Ellis (2000). Efferent Brain Processes and the Enactive Approach to Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (4):40-50.
    [opening paragraph]: Nicholas Humphrey argues persuasively that consciousness results from active and efferent rather than passive and afferent functions. These arguments contribute to the mounting recent evidence that consciousness is inseparable from the motivated action planning of creatures that in some sense are organismic and agent-like rather than passively mechanical and reactive in the way that digital computers are. Newton calls this new approach the ‘action theory of understanding'; Varela et al. dubbed it the ‘enactive’ view of consciousness. It was (...)
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  32. Ralph D. Ellis (2000). Integrating the Physiological and Phenomenological Dimensions of Affect and Motivation. In The Caldron of Consciousness: Motivation, Affect and Self-Organization. John Benjamins. 16--1.
  33. Ralph D. Ellis (ed.) (2000). The Caldron of Consciousness: Motivation, Affect and Self-Organization. John Benjamins.
  34. Ralph D. Ellis & Natika Newton (eds.) (2000). The Caldron of Consciousness: Motivation, Affect and Self-Organization--An Anthology. Amsterdam: J Benjamins.
    CHAPTER 1 Integrating the Physiological and Phenomenological Dimensions of Affect and Motivation Ralph D. Ellis Clark Atlanta University A neglected but ...
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  35. Ralph D. Ellis & Natika Newton (eds.) (2000). The Caldron of Consciousness: Motivation, Affect and Self-Organization- An Anthology. Advances in Consciousness Research. John Benjamins.
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  36. Ralph D. Ellis & Natika Newton (2000). The Interdependence of Consciousness and Emotion. Consciousness and Emotion 1 (1):1-10.
  37. Ralph D. Ellis (1999). Integrating Neuroscience and Phenomenology in the Study of Consciousness. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 30 (1):18-47.
    Phenomenology and physiology become commensurable through a self-organizational physiology and an "enactive" view of consciousness. Self-organizing processes appropriate and replace their own needed substrata, rather than merely being caused by interacting components. Biochemists apply this notion to the living/nonliving distinction. An enactive approach sees consciousness as actively executed by an agent rather than passively reacting to stimuli. Perception does not result from mere stimulation of brain areas by sensory impulses; unless motivated organismic purposes first anticipate and "look for" emotionally relevant (...)
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  38. Ralph D. Ellis (1999). The Dance Form of the Eyes: What Cognitive Science Can Learn From Art. Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (6-7):6-7.
    Art perception offers action affordances for the self-generated movement of the eyes, the mind, and the emotions; thus some scenes are ’easy to look at', and evoke different kinds of moods depending on what kind of affordances they present for the eyes, the brain, and the action schemas that further the dynamical self-organizing patterns of activity toward which the organism tends, as reflected in its ongoing emotional life. Art can do this only because perception is active rather than passive, and (...)
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  39. Ralph D. Ellis (1999). The Existential Condition at the Millennium. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 6 (3/4):51-57.
    This essay describes the authentic use of religious experience to address the value expressive dimension of being human. This value expressive dimension intensifies our experiential affirmation of the value of existence itself in a way not available through attaining valued or valuable outcomes.
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  40. Ralph D. Ellis (1999). Why Isn't Consciousness Empirically Observable? Emotion, Self-Organization, and Nonreductive Physicalism. Journal of Mind and Behavior 20 (4):391-402.
    Most versions of the knowledge argument say that, since scientists observing my brain wouldn't know what my consciousness "is like," consciousness isn't describable as a physical process. Although this argument unwarrantedly equates the physical with the empirically observable, we can conclude, not that consciousness is nonphysical but that consciousness isn't identical with anything empirically observable. But what kind of mind&endash;body relation would render possible this empirical inaccessibility of consciousness? Even if multiple realizability may allow a distinction between consciousness and its (...)
     
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  41. Ralph D. Ellis (1998). The Embodied and Transcendental Self. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 5 (2/3):67-83.
    The ‘embodied self’ is the purposeful dimension of any organism capable of acting toward a unified motivation to maintain a self-organizing structure by appropriating, replacing, and reproducing material components to serve as substrata. We reflect on the ‘self’ in this sense when we direct attention away from the objects of experience and toward the way our bodies motivate our experiences in terms of emotional purposes of the organism, by looking, searching, shifting the focus of attention, etc.---actions rather than reactions of (...)
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  42. Ralph D. Ellis & Natika Newton (1998). Three Paradoxes of Phenomenal Consciousness: Bridging the Explanatory Gap. Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (4):419-42.
    Any physical explanation of consciousness seems to leave unresolved the ‘explanatory gap': Isn't it conceivable that all the elements in that explanation could occur, with the same information processing outcomes as in a conscious process, but in the absence of consciousness? E.g. any digital computational process could occur in the absence of consciousness. To resolve this dilemma, we propose a biological-process-oriented physiological- phenomenological characterization of consciousness that addresses three ‘paradoxical’ qualities seemingly incompatible with the empirical realm: The dual location of (...)
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  43. Ralph D. Ellis (1997). Purposeful Processes, Personalism, and the Contemporary Natural and Cognitive Sciences. Personalist Forum 13 (1):49-67.
  44. Ralph D. Ellis (1996). Ray Jackendoff's Phenomenology of Language as a Refutation of the 'Appendage' Theory of Consciousness. Pragmatics and Cognition 4 (1):125-137.
    Since Jackendoff has shown that language facilitates abstract and complex thought by making possible subtle manipulations of the focus of attention, and since the kind of attention relevant here is attention to aspects of intentional objects in conscious awareness, it follows that the abstract and complex thinking that language facilitates owes much to the working of a conscious process. This, however, conflicts with Jackendoff's view of consciousness as something which does not play a direct part in thinking, but is only (...)
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  45. Ralph D. Ellis (1995). Questioning Consciousness: The Interplay of Imagery, Cognition, and Emotion in the Human Brain. John Benjamins.
    ... Geoffrey Underwood (University of Nottingham) Francisco Varela (CREA, Ecole Polytechnique. Paris) Volume 2 Ralph D. Ellis Questioning Consciousness ...
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  46. Ralph D. Ellis (1995). The Imagist Approach to Inferential Thought Patterns: The Crucial Role of Rhythm Pattern Recognition. Pragmatics and Cognition 3 (1):75-109.
    Tmagists' hold that inferential thinking is built up from combinations of sensory and sensorimotor images in various patterns and modalities, and that the images are a more basic mental and neurophysiological operation than the logical thinking and conceptualization that are built up front them. 'Computationalists' hold just the opposite view — that images result from previous inferential processing which is more basic than the images. Suppose we define inference as the kind of thought process that we actually undergo when we (...)
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  47. Ralph D. Ellis (1992). A Critique of Concepts of Non-Sufficient Causation. Philosophical Inquiry 14 (1-2):1-10.
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  48. Ralph D. Ellis (1992). A Thought Experiment Concerning Universal Expansion. Philosophia 21 (3-4):257-275.
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  49. Ralph D. Ellis (1992). Moral Pluralism Reconsidered: Is There an Intrinsic-Extrinsic Value Distintion? Philosophical Papers 21 (1):45-64.
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  50. Ralph D. Ellis (1991). Coherence and Verification in Ethics. Upa.
    This book is an attempt to come to grips with problems of the epistemological basis of ethical beliefs by building on criticisms of approaches to this problem which have been attempted in the recent past. Because of the extensive discussions and criticism of these various alternatives, the book is useful to all who are concerned with the epistemology of ethics.
     
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