As part of the conference commemorating Theoria's 75th anniversary, a round table discussion on philosophy publishing was held in Bergendal, Sollentuna, Sweden, on 1 October 2010. Bengt Hansson was the chair, and the other participants were eight editors-in-chief of philosophy journals: Hans van Ditmarsch (Journal of Philosophical Logic), Pascal Engel (Dialectica), Sven Ove Hansson (Theoria), Vincent Hendricks (Synthese), Søren Holm (Journal of Medical Ethics), Pauline Jacobson (Linguistics and Philosophy), Anthonie Meijers (Philosophical Explorations), Henry S. Richardson (Ethics) and Hans Rott (...) (Erkenntnis). (shrink)
The Unfinished Revolution compares the post-Second World War histories of the American and British gay and lesbian movements with an eye toward understanding how distinct political institutional environments affect the development, strategies, goals, and outcomes of a social movement. Stephen M. Engel utilizes an electic mix of source materials ranging from the theories of Mancur Olson and Michel Foucault to Supreme Court rulings and film and television dialogue. The two case study chapters function as brief historical sketches to elucidate (...) further the conclusions on theory and whilst being politically-oriented, they also examine gay influence and expansion into mainstream popular culture. The book also includes an appendix that surveys and assesses the analytical potential of five critical understandings of social movements: the classical approach, rational choice, resource mobilization, new social movement theories, and political opportunity structures. It will be of value to academics and students of sociology, political science, and history. (shrink)
Pascal Engel | : À partir d’une typologie des formes de connaissance, je soutiens qu’il y a trois formes principales de connaissance littéraire : cognitive propositionnelle, affective et pratique. La conception propositionnelle est erronée : la littérature ne fournit pas directement une forme de savoir que. La conception affective ou expressiviste peut au mieux dire qu’il y a des effets cognitifs des oeuvres littéraires. La conception pratique a le plus de chances d’être correcte, mais seulement si l’on accepte l’idée (...) que le savoir pratique est en partie basé sur le savoir propositionnel. | : Starting from a typology of kinds of knowledge, I argue that there are three basic conceptions of literary knowledge : cognitive propositional, affective , and practical. The cognitive conception is misguided : literary knowledge cannot be directly a form of knowledge that. The affective or expressivist conception is too weak : it can at best amount to the idea that there are cognitive effects of literary works. The practical conception is the most promising, but only if one accepts that knowing how is partly based on knowing that and propositional knowledge. (shrink)
The knowledge account of assertion (KAA) is the view that assertion is governed by the norm that the speaker should know what s/he asserts. It is not the purpose of this article to examine all the criticisms nor to try to give a full defence of KAA, but only to defend it against the charge of being normatively incorrect. It has been objected that assertion is governed by other norms than knowledge, or by no norm at all. It seems to (...) me, however, that a number of these criticisms are based on a number of misunderstandings of the notion of a norm and of the way it can regulated a given practice. Once we spell out in what sense knowledge can play a normative role in this context, the KAA appears much more plausible. (shrink)
How physicians approach patients and the problems they present is much influenced by the conceptual models around which their knowledge is organized. In this paper the implications of the biopsychosocial model for the study and care of a patient with an acute myocardial infarction are presented and contrasted with approaches used by adherents of the more traditional biomedical model. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
This article discusses the arguments against associating epistemic responsibility with the ordinary notion of agency. I examine the various 'Kantian' views which lead to a distinctive conception of epistemic agency and epistemic responsibility. I try to explain why we can be held responsible for our beliefs in the sense of obeying norms which regulate them without being epistemic agents.
A commonplace in contemporary philosophy is that mental content has normative properties. A number of writers associate this view to the idea that the normativity of content is essentially connected to its social character. I agree with the first thesis, but disagree with the second. The paper examines three kinds of views according to which the norms of thought and content are social: Wittgensteinâs rule following considerations, Davidsonâs triangulation argument, and Brandomâs inferential pragmatics, and criticises each. It is argued that (...) there are objective conceptual norms constitutive of mental content, but that these are not essentially social. (shrink)
Theories of binding have recently come into the focus of the consciousness debate. In this review, we discuss the potential relevance of temporal binding mechanisms for sensory awareness. Specifically, we suggest that neural synchrony with a precision in the millisecond range may be crucial for conscious processing, and may be involved in arousal, perceptual integration, attentional selection and working memory. Recent evidence from both animal and human studies demonstrates that specific changes in neuronal synchrony occur during all of these processes (...) and that they are distinguished by the emergence of fast oscillations with frequencies in the gamma-range. (shrink)
Skeptics try to persuade us of our ignorance with arguments like the following: 1. I dont know that I am not a handless brain-in-a-vat [BIV]. 2. If I dont know that I am not a handless BIV, then I dont know that I have hands. Therefore, 3. I dont know that I have hands. The BIV argument is valid, its premises are intuitively compelling, and yet, its conclusion strikes us as absurd. Something has to go, but what? Contextualists contend that (...) an adequate solution to the skeptical problem must: (i) retain epistemic closure, (ii) explain the intuitive force of skeptical arguments by explaining why their premises initially seem so compelling, and (iii) account for the truth of our commonsense judgment that we do possess lots of ordinary knowledge. Contextualists maintain that the key to such a solution is recognizing that the semantic standards for knows vary from context to context such that in skeptical contexts the skeptics premises are true and so is her conclusion; but in ordinary contexts, her conclusion is false and so is her first premise. Despite its initial attractiveness, the contextualist solution comes at a significant cost, for contextualism has many counterintuitive results. After presenting the contextualist solution, I identify a number of these costs. I then offer a noncontextualist solution that meets the adequacy constraint identified above, while avoiding the costs associated with contextualism. Hence, one of the principal reasons offered for adopting a contextualist theory of knowledge–its supposedly unique ability to adequately resolve the skeptical problem – is undermined. (shrink)
Among recent theories of the nature of self-knowledge, the rationalistic view, according to which self-knowledge is not a cognitive achievement—perceptual or inferential—has been prominent. Upon this kind of view, however, self-knowledge becomes a bit of a mystery. Although the rationalistic conception is defended in this article, it is argued that it has to be supplemented by an account of the transparency of belief: the question whether to believe that P is settled when one asks oneself whether P.
Simon Blackburn has shown that there is an analogy between the problem of moral motivation in ethics (how can moral reasons move us?) and the problem of what we might call the power of logical reasons (how can logical reasons move us, what is the force of the 'logical must?'). In this paper, I explore further the parallel between the internalism problem in ethics and the problem of the power of logical reasons, and defend a version of psychologism about reasons, (...) although not one of the Humean form. I discuss two forms of cognitivism: (i) a pure cognitivism and 'hard' realism modelled after Dancy's parallel conception in ethics: when we grasp logical reasons we grasp facts, which are directly known to us; (ii) a Kantian form of cognitivism, based on the idea that compulsion by reason goes with the capacity of reflection. I argue that (i) is implausible, and that (ii) fails to meet the internalist requirement. One would then seem to be left with what Dancy calls, about practical reasoning, psychologism about reasons. I sketch what might be such a psychologism. But it fails to account for the objectivity of logical reasons. I argue that the relevant state here is a form of dispositional knowledge of logical reasons. (shrink)
Belief is not a unified phenomenon. In this paper I argue, as a number of other riters argue, that one should distinguish a variety of belief-like attitudes: believing proper - a dispositional state which can have degrees - holding true - which can occur without understanding what one believes - and accepting - a practical and contextual attitude that has a role in deliberation and in practical reasoning. Acceptance itself is not a unified attitude. I explore the various relationships and (...) differences between these doxastic attitudes, and claim that although acceptance is distinct from belief, it rests upon it, and is therefore a species of belief. (shrink)
Cognitive functions like perception, memory, language, or consciousness are based on highly parallel and distributed information processing by the brain. One of the major unresolved questions is how information can be integrated and how coherent representational states can be established in the distributed neuronal systems subserving these functions. It has been suggested that this so-called ''binding problem'' may be solved in the temporal domain. The hypothesis is that synchronization of neuronal discharges can serve for the integration of distributed neurons into (...) cell assemblies and that this process may underlie the selection of perceptually and behaviorally relevant information. As we intend to show here, this temporal binding hypothesis has implications for the search of the neural correlate of consciousness. We review experimental results, mainly obtained in the visual system, which support the notion of temporal binding. In particular, we discuss recent experiments on the neural mechanisms of binocular rivalry which suggest that appropriate synchronization among cortical neurons may be one of the necessary conditions for the buildup of perceptual states and awareness of sensory stimuli. (shrink)
The identity theory of truth, according to which true thoughts are identical with facts, is very hard to formulate. It oscillates between substantive versions, which are implausible, and a merely truistic version, which is difficult to distinguish from deflationism about truth. This tension is present in the form of identity theory that one can attribute to McDowell from his views on perception, and in the conception defended by Hornsby under that name.
Normative accounts of the correctness of belief have often been misconstrued. The norm of truth for belief is a constitutive norm which regulates our beliefs through ideals of reason. I try to show that this kind of account can meet some of the main objections which have been raised against normativism about belief: that epistemic reasons enjoy no exclusivity, that the norm of truth does not guide, and that normativism cannot account for suspension of judgement.
The paper takes as its starting point the observation that people can be led to retract knowledge claims when presented with previously ignored error possibilities, but offers a noncontextualist explanation of the data. Fallibilist epistemologies are committed to the existence of two kinds of Kp -falsifying contingencies: (i) Non-Ignorable contingencies [NI-contingencies] and (ii) Properly-Ignorable contingencies [PI-contingencies]. For S to know that p, S must be in an epistemic position to rule out all NI-contingencies, but she need not be able to (...) rule out the PI-contingencies. What is required vis-à-vis PI-contingencies is that they all be false . In mentioning PI-contingencies, an interlocutor can lead S mistakenly to think that these contingencies are NI-contingencies, when in fact they are not. Since S cannot rule out these newly mentioned contingencies and since she mistakenly takes them to be NI-contingencies , it is quite natural that she retract her earlier knowledge claim. In short, mentioning NI-contingencies creates a distortion effect. It makes S think that the standards for knowledge are higher than they actually are, which in turn explains why she mistakenly thinks she lacks knowledge. Conclusion: The primary linguistic data offered in support of contextualism can be explained without resorting to contextualism. (shrink)
What is the relationship between logic and reasoning? How do logical norms guide inferential performance? This paper agrees with Gilbert Harman and most of the psychologists that logic is not directly relevant to reasoning. It argues, however, that the mental model theory of logical reasoning allows us to harmonise the basic principles of deductive reasoning and inferential perfomances, and that there is a strong connexion between our inferential norms and actual reasoning, along the lines of Peacocke’s conception of inferential role.
This article examines Keith Lehrer's distinction between belief and acceptance and how it differs from other accounts of belief and of the family of doxastic attitudes. I sketch a different taxonomy of doxastic attitudes. Lehrer's notion of acceptance is mostly epistemic and at the service of his account of the "loop of reason", whereas for other writers acceptance is mostly a pragmatic attitude. I argue, however, that his account of acceptance underdetermines the role that the attitude of trust plays in (...) his analysis of reason. (shrink)
Since ancient times philosophy has dealt with the relation between technology and man. Nowadays this is especially true in the context of the philosophy of technology. Technology is interpreted as an anthropological constant to construct an environment in which man can survive. Acting in the field of technology is to act rationally with a purpose, i.e., in the framework of a means-end relation, and it is employed for coping with experiences (Widerfahrnisse) by means of using tools. Like technology, language can (...) be reconstructed as a symbolic form and thus as a technological means, as a tool so that the employment of metaphors can also be described as an employment of tools. Using technology has effects on man as well as on his self-image. Thus, philosophy of technology creates different ideas of man, which have to become subject to ethical discourses. (shrink)