This commentary presents indirect support for Corballis's claim that language evolved out of a gestural system in our evolutionary past. Specifically, it presents behavioral and neurological evidence that present-day speech and gesture continue to be tightly integrated in language production and comprehension.
Ockham's razor is the principle that, all other things being equal, scientists ought to prefer simpler theories. In recent years, philosophers have argued that simpler theories make better predictions, possess theoretical virtues like explanatory power, and have other pragmatic virtues like computational tractability. However, such arguments fail to explain how and why a preference for simplicity can help one find true theories in scientific inquiry, unless one already assumes that the truth is simple. One new solution to that problem is (...) the Ockham efficiency theorem (Kelly 2002, Minds Mach 14: 485-505, 2004, Philos Sci 74:561-573, 2007a, b, Theor Comp Sci 383:270-289, c, d; Kelly and Glymour 2004), which states that scientists who heed Ockham's razor retract their opinions less often and sooner than do their non-Ockham competitors. The theorem neglects, however, to consider competitors following random ("mixed") strategies and in many applications random strategies are known to achieve better worst-case loss than deterministic strategies. In this paper, we describe two ways to extend the result to a very general class of random, empirical strategies. The first extension concerns expected retractions, retraction times, and errors and the second extension concerns retractions in chance, times of retractions in chance, and chances of errors. (shrink)
Through discussion of phenomenological and analytic traditions such as the philosophical problems of perceptual content, the content of demonstrative thoughts and the unity of proposition, Kelly explains that these concepts are not as alien to one another as most people believe.
The proto-code of ethics and conduct for European nurse directors was developed as a strategic and dynamic document for nurse managers in Europe. It invites critical dialogue, reflective thinking about different situations, and the development of specific codes of ethics and conduct by nursing associations in different countries. The term proto-code is used for this document so that specifically country-orientated or organization-based and practical codes can be developed from it to guide professionals in more particular or situation-explicit reflection and values. (...) The proto-code of ethics and conduct for European nurse directors was designed and developed by the European Nurse Directors Association’s (ENDA) advisory team. This article gives short explanations of the code’ s preamble and two main parts: Nurse directors' ethical basis, and Principles of professional practice, which is divided into six specific points: competence, care, safety, staff, life-long learning and multi-sectorial working. (shrink)
The passage above comes from the opening pages of Merleau-Ponty’s essay on Edmund Husserl. It proposes a risky interpretive principle. The main feature of this principle is that the seminal aspects of a thinker’s work are so close to him that he is incapable of articulating them himself. Nevertheless, these aspects pervade the work, give it its style, its sense and its direction, and therefore belong to it essentially. As Martin Heidegger writes, in a passage quoted by Merleau-Ponty:
The (...) greater the work of a thinker – which in no way coincides with the breadth and number of writings – the richer is what is un-thought in this work, which means, that which emerges in and through this work as having not yet been thought.2
The goal of Merleau-Ponty’s essay, he says, is “to evoke this un-thought-of element in Husserl’s thought”.3. (shrink)
There you are at the opera house. The soprano has just hit her high note – a glassshattering high C that fills the hall – and she holds it. She holds it. She holds it. She holds it. She holds it. She holds the note for such a long time that after a while a funny thing happens: you no longer seem only to hear it, the note as it is currently sounding, that glass-shattering high C that is loud and (...) high and pure. In addition, you also seem to hear something more. It is difficult to express precisely what this extra feature is. One is tempted to say, however, that the note now sounds like it has been going on for a very long time. Perhaps it even sounds like a note that has been going on for too long. In any event, what you hear no longer seems to be limited to the pitch, timbre, loudness, and other strictly audible qualities of the note. You seem in addition to experience, even to hear, something about its temporal extent. (shrink)
I begin by examining a recent debate between John McDowell and Christopher Peacocke over whether the content of perceptual experience is non-conceptual. Although I am sympathetic to Peacocke’s claim that perceptual content is non-conceptual, I suggest a number of ways in which his arguments fail to make that case. This failure stems from an over-emphasis on the “fine-grainedness” of perceptual content – a feature that is relatively unimportant to its non-conceptual structure. I go on to describe two other features of (...) perceptual experience that are more likely to be relevant to the claim that perceptual content is non-conceptual. These features are 1) the dependence of a perceived object on the perceptual context in which it is perceived and 2) the dependence of a perceived property on the object it is perceived to be a property of. (shrink)
1. The philosophical problem of what we see My topic revolves around what is apparently a very basic question. Stripped of all additions and in its leanest, most economical form, this is the question: "What do we see?" But in this most basic form the question admits of at least three different interpretations. In the first place, one might understand it to be an epistemological question, perhaps one with skeptical overtones. "What do we see?", on this reading, is short for (...) something like "What things in the world are we justified in believing we see, given the possibility of evil demon scenarios and all the other impedimenta to genuine sight that have become the working tools of epistemologists over the last 350 years?" I shall not be concerned with the question in this skeptical sense. I intend the parenthetical addition to the question, "What do we see (when we do)?", along with the bald-faced assumption that the condition so specified at least sometimes obtains, to rule out discussion along these sorts of epistemological lines, at least for the purposes of this paper. Whether or not this condition in fact obtains, of course, will not effect the position I’m defending. (shrink)
Both cognitive science and phenomenology accept the primacy of the organism-environment system and recognize that cognition should be understood in terms of an embodied agent situated in its environment. How embodiment is seen to shape our world, however, is fundamentally different in these two disciplines. Embodiment, as understood in cognitive science, reduces to a discussion of the consequences of having a body like ours interacting with our environment and the relationship is one of contingent causality. Embodiment, as understood phenomenologically, represents (...) the condition of intelligibility of certain terms in our experience and, as such, refers to one aspect of that background which presupposes our understanding of the world. The goals and approach to modeling an embodied agent in its environment are also fundamentally different dependent on which relationship is addressed. These differences are highlighted and are used to support our phenomenologically based approach to organism-environment interaction and its relationship to brain function. (shrink)
Homer has a unique understanding of the body. On his view the body is that by means of which we are subject to moods, and moods are what attune us to our situation. Being attuned to a situation, in turn, opens us to the various ways things and people can be engaging. We agree with Homer that this receptivity is evident throughout our entire existence. It characterizes everything from our basic bodily skills for coping with objects and people to our (...) tendency to be immersed in and guided by moods such as the erotic or the agonistic – whole ways for a situation to matter. (shrink)
I am very much in sympathy with the overall approach of John Campbell’s paper, “Reference as Attention”. My sympathy extends to a variety of its features. I think he is right to suppose, for instance, that neuropsychological cases provide important clues about how we should treat some traditional philosophical problems concerning perception and reference. I also think he is right to suppose that there are subtle but important relations between the phenomena of perception, action, consciousness, attention, and reference. I even (...) think that there is probably something importantly right about the main claim of the paper. I take this to be the claim that there is a tight connection – of some sort at any rate – between our capacity to refer demonstratively to perceptually presented objects and our capacity to attend to those objects in our conscious awareness of them. What precisely this connection consists in, however, remains a mystery to me. My goal in these comments is to clarify this result. I will begin, in section 2, with a fairly general statement of the problem I take Campbell to have set himself. Following this, in section 3, I will focus more particularly on what kind of relation Campbell takes to exist, or does exist, or perhaps could exist between attention and demonstrative reference. I examine four options, the first three of which seem to admit of clear counterexamples, and the fourth of which is too weak to be of any real interest. (shrink)
We argue that heterophenomenology both over- and under-populates the intentional realm. For example, when one is involved in coping, one’s mind does not contain beliefs. Since the heterophenomenologist interprets all intentional commitment as belief, he necessarily overgenerates the belief contents of the mind. Since beliefs cannot capture the normative aspect of coping and perceiving, any method, such as heterophenomenology, that allows for only beliefs is guaranteed not only to overgenerate beliefs but also to undergenerate other kinds of intentional phenomena.
I would like to begin by talking about General Education in America. General Education plays a very particular and interesting role in American Higher Education. A typical undergraduate at one of our colleges or universities is expected to satisfy a range of requirements in his or her major area of study (mathematics, economics, philosophy, etc.); and they will also take a range of electives – courses that are not required for graduation but in which the student might want to explore (...) a developing interest. In addition to both of these, however, most undergraduate institutions (though not all) require that students satisfy a range of general education requirements as well. These are the requirements that must be satisfied for the student to count – in the opinion of the institution – as generally educated. They are the requirements, in other words, that every student must fulfill regardless of their areas of interest or specialty in order to be prepared to enter the broader world and to aspire to live a good life in it. (shrink)
& How does neuronal activity bring about the interpretation of visual space in terms of objects or complex perceptual events? If they group, simple visual features can bring about the integration of spikes from neurons responding to different features to within a few milliseconds. Considered as a potential solution to the ‘‘binding problem,’’ it is suggested that neuronal synchronization is the glue for binding together different features of the same object. This idea receives some support from correlated- and periodic-stimulus motion (...) paradigms, both of which suggest that the segregation of a figure from ground is a direct result of the temporal correlation of visual signals. One could say that perception of a highly correlated visual.. (shrink)
Current cognitive science models of perception and action assume that the objects that we move toward and perceive are represented as determinate in our experience of them. A proper phenomenology of perception and action, however, shows that we experience objects indeterminately when we are perceiving them or moving toward them. This indeterminacy, as it relates to simple movement and perception, is captured in the proposed phenomenologically based recurrent network models of brain function. These models provide a possible foundation from which (...) predicative structures may arise as an emergent phenomenon without the positing of a representing subject. These models go some way in addressing the dual constraints of phenomenological accuracy and neurophysiological plausibility that ought to guide all projects devoted to discovering the physical basis of human experience. (shrink)
The work of Alan Cowey and Petra Stoerig is often taken to have shown that, following lesions analogous to those that cause blindsight in humans, there is blindsight in monkeys. The present paper reveals a problem in Cowey and Stoerig's case for blindsight in monkeys. The problem is that Cowey and Stoerig's results would only provide good evidence for blindsight if there is no difference between their two experimental paradigms with regard to the sorts of stimuli that are likely to (...) come to consciousness. We show that the paradigms could differ in this respect, given the connections that have been shown to exist between working memory, perceptual load, attention, and consciousness. (shrink)
1. The philosophical problem of what we see My topic revolves around what is apparently a very basic question. Stripped of all additions and in its leanest, most economical form, this is the question: "What do we see?" But in this most basic form the question admits of at least three different interpretations. In the first place, one might understand it to be an epistemological question, perhaps one with skeptical overtones. "What do we see?", on this reading, is short for (...) something like "What things in the world are we justified in believing we see, given the possibility of evil demon scenarios and all the other impedimenta to genuine sight that have become the working tools of epistemologists over the last 350 years?" I shall not be concerned with the question in this skeptical sense. I intend the parenthetical addition to the question, "What do we see (when we do)?", along with the bald-faced assumption that the condition so specified at least sometimes obtains, to rule out discussion along these sorts of epistemological lines, at least for the purposes of this paper. Whether or not this condition in fact obtains, of course, will not effect the position I'm defending. (shrink)
the world. 1 Whereas the content of our beliefs, thoughts, and judgements necessarily involves "conceptualization" or "concept application", the content of our perceptual experiences is, according to Evans, "non-conceptual". Because Evans takes it for granted that we are often able to entertain thoughts about an object in virtue of having perceived it, a central problem in.
Erving Goffman’s “Asylums” is a key text in the development of contemporary, community-orientated mental health practice. It has survived as a trenchant critique of the asylum as total institution, and its publication in 1961 in book form marked a further stage in the discrediting of the asylum model of mental health care. In this paper, some responses from a range of disciplines to this text, 50 years on, are presented. A consultant psychiatrist with a special interest in cultural psychiatry and (...) mental health legislation, two collaborating psychotherapists in adult and forensic mental health, a philosopher, and a recent medical graduate, present their varying responses to the text. The editors present these with the hope of encouraging further dialogue and debate from service users, carers, clinicians, and academics and researchers across a range of disciplines. (shrink)
Culture affects the way people move their eyes to extract information in their visual world. Adults from Eastern societies (e.g., China) display a disposition to process information holistically, whereas individuals from Western societies (e.g., Britain) process information analytically. In terms of face processing, adults from Western cultures typically fixate the eyes and mouth, while adults from Eastern cultures fixate centrally on the nose region, yet face recognition accuracy is comparable across populations. A potential explanation for the observed differences relates to (...) social norms concerning eye gaze avoidance/engagement when interacting with conspecifics. Furthermore, it has been argued that faces represent a ‘special’ stimulus category and are processed holistically, with the whole face processed as a single unit. The extent to which the holistic eye movement strategy deployed by East Asian observers is related to holistic processing for faces is undetermined. To investigate these hypotheses, we recorded eye movements of adults from Western and Eastern cultural backgrounds while learning and recognizing visually homogeneous objects: human faces, sheep faces and greebles. Both group of observers recognized faces better than any other visual category, as predicted by the specificity of faces. However, East Asian participants deployed central fixations across all the visual categories. This cultural perceptual strategy was not specific to faces, discarding any parallel between the eye movements of Easterners with the holistic processing specific to faces. Cultural diversity in the eye movements used to extract information from visual homogenous objects is rooted in more general and fundamental mechanisms. (shrink)
The title of Andy Clark's book is, among other things, a reference to one of the central terms in Martin Heidegger's early work: "Dasein" (being there) is the word that Heidegger uses to refer to beings like ourselves. Clark is no Heidegger scholar, but the reference is deliberate; among the predecessors to his book he lists not only Heidegger himself, but also the American Heidegger scholar Hubert Dreyfus and the French Heideggerean phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty. This triumvirate has played an increasingly (...) important role in recent years among the "alternative" cognitive science set, owing largely to the influence of Dreyfus's 1979 book What Computers Can't Do (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1979), which enlisted Heideggerian and Merleau-Pontean arguments in the fight against classical symbolic processing approaches to artificial intelligence. Clark's book fits squarely in this "alternative" tradition, and it is an important contribution to the existing literature. It surveys a large array of results in cognitive scientifically oriented fields ranging from robotics to developmental psychology, and it argues convincingly that these results should encourage us to embrace a radical new research paradigm in the cognitive sciences. The central claim is that mainstream cognitive scientists should, like their more revolutionary colleagues, learn to substitute for "the disembodied, atemporal intellectualist vision of mind ... the image of mind as a controller of embodied action" (p. 7). As a clear and brightly written account of this alternative movement in cognitive science, and perhaps even as a kind of mission statement for the new paradigm, Clark's book is one of the finest I have read. It is limited, however, by the fact that the interesting and well-described empirical work that forms the center of his presentation does not always provide sufficient resources for addressing the equally important philosophical problems lurking. (shrink)
Roger’s official statement of the thesis that he defends reads as follows: Uniqueness : If an agent whose total evidence is E is fully rational in taking doxastic attitude D to P, then necessarily, any subject with total evidence E who takes a different attitude to P is less than fully rational. Following Roger, I’ll call someone who denies Uniqueness a Permissivist . In what follows, I’ll argue against Uniqueness and defend Permissivism.
Racism is a problem with many facets, and a strategy of divide and conquer is useful in making the problem more tractable. One facet, which is also a core question of contemporary social morality, concerns how we ought to handle racial categorization, by which we mean, for instance, thinking of a person as black, Korean, Latino, white, etc. While it is widely agreed that racial categorization played a crucial role in past racial oppression, there remains wide disagreement among philosophers and (...) social theorists about a role for racial categorization in future endeavors. At one extreme of this disagreement are short-term eliminativists who want to eliminate racial categorization relatively quickly (e.g. Appiah 1995, D’Souza 1996, Muir 1993, Wasserstrom 2001 (1980), Webster 1992, Zack 1993, 2002), typically because they view it as mistaken and oppressive. At the opposite extreme, long-term conservationists hold that racial identities and communities are beneficial and that racial categorization – suitably reformed – is essential to fostering them (e.g. Outlaw 1990, 1995, 1996). In between these two poles, there are many who believe that racial categorization is valuable (and perhaps necessary). (shrink)
A core question of contemporary social morality concerns how we ought to handle racial categorization. By this we mean, for instance, classifying or thinking of a person as Black, Korean, Latino, White, etc.2 While it is widely agreed that racial categorization played a crucial role in past racial oppression, there remains disagreement among philosophers and social theorists about the ideal role for racial categorization in future endeavors. At one extreme of this disagreement are short-term eliminativists who want to do away (...) with racial categorization relatively quickly (e.g. Appiah 1995, D’Souza 1996, Muir 1993, Wasserstrom 2001 /1980, Webster 1992, Zack 1993, 2002), typically because they view it as mistaken and oppressive. At the far opposite end of the spectrum, long-term conservationists hold that racial identities and communities are beneficial, and that racial categorization – suitably reformed – is essential to fostering them (e.g. Outlaw.. (shrink)
A core question of contemporary social morality concerns how we ought to handle racial categorization. By this we mean, for instance, classifying or thinking of a person as Black, Korean, Latino, White, etc.² While it is widely FN:2 agreed that racial categorization played a crucial role in past racial oppression, there remains disagreement among philosophers and social theorists about the ideal role for racial categorization in future endeavors. At one extreme of this disagreement are short-term eliminativists who want to do (...) away with racial categorization relatively quickly (e.g. Appiah, 1995; D’Souza, 1996; Muir, 1993; Wasserstrom, 2001/1980; Webster, 1992; Zack, 1993, 2002), typically because they view it as mistaken and oppressive. At the opposite end of the spectrum, long-term conservationists hold that racial identities and communities are beneﬁcial, and that racial categorization —suitably reformed —is essential to fostering them (e.g. Outlaw, 1990, 1995, 1996). While extreme forms of conservationism have fewer proponents in academia than the most radical eliminativist positions, many theorists advocate more moderate positions. In between the two poles, there are many who believe that racial categorization is valuable (and perhaps necessary) given the continued existence of racial inequality and the lingering effects of past racism (e.g. Haslanger, 2000; Mills, 1998; Root, 2000; Shelby, 2002, 2005; Sundstrom, 2002; Taylor, 2004; Young, 1989). Such authors agree on the short-term need for racial categorization in at least some domains, but they often differ with regard to its long-term value. (shrink)
The first part of the paper sketches the rationale for the classical theistic thesis that, though God is not really related to the world, the world is really related to God. Part II delineates four sets of recent criticisms ofthis thesis: (a) an objection which assesses it as conflating transparent and opaque construals of intentional propositions, (b) a dilemma which regards it as undermining either free divine creativity or God’s knowledge of the contingent, (c) arguments which view its adherence to (...) an absolute divine immutability and independence as in conflict both with God’s knowledge of a changing creation and with human knowledge of God, and (d) two religiously inspired objections which contend that the thesis is contradictory to the biblical claim that God is personally related to the world. Part III develops the linguistic essence of the classical thesis through the syntactical insights of Sommers’ logic and defends it against the objections posed. (shrink)
Cet essai met en cause la comparaison historique courante qui relie le traitement husserlien de la conscience du temps à la tradition philosophique occidentale par le biais du livre IX des Confessions d’Augustin. Je soutiens notamment que cette comparaison n’est valable qu’à l’égard des leçons sur le temps de 1905 (qui expliquent l’appréhension du temps par le recours à l’étirement de la conscience opéré par la mémoire) et non pour la théorie husserlienne ultérieure, que l’on peut dater autour de 1908 (...) (qui critique ouvertement les premières leçons à cause la position défectueuse et contre-intuitive qu’y était défendue selon laquelle la mémoire étend la perception). Après avoir pointé les défauts de la théorie du temps partagée par Augustin et par le Husserl de 1905, j’approfondis la distinction, élaborée plus tard par Husserl à partir de 1911, entre mémoire et rétention, et j’examine l’hypothèse selon laquelle la théorie aristotélicienne du temps telle qu’elle est présentée dans le IVème livre de la Physique pourrait représenter une meilleur terme de comparaison historique pour la théorie husserlienne de la maturité, notamment dans la mesure où elle s’appuie sur l’idée que c’est « l’esprit qui dit les “maintenant” comme deux ». (shrink)
SAS.1 If what I say to you today should seem to you out of place, you must blame the chairman of your executive committee and not me; for, when she asked me to contribute something for this meeting, she assured me that anything which affected the relation of medical women to society, anything which related to the advancement of science, was a proper subject of discussion at the annual meeting of the Alumnae Association. SAS.2 Herbert Spencer closes the second (...) volume of his Principles of Sociology ” with.. (shrink)