Towards the end of his life, St. Thomas Aquinas produced a brief, non-technical work summarizing some of the main points of his massive Summa Theologiae. This 'compendium' was intended as an introductory handbook for students and scholars who might not have access to the larger work. It remains the best concise introduction to Aquinas's thought. Furthermore, it is extremely interesting to scholars because it represents Aquinas's last word on these topics. Aquinas does not break new ground or re-think earlier (...) positions but often states them more directly and with greater precision than can be found elsewhere. There is only one available English translation of the Compendium (published as 'Aquinas's Shorter Summa: Saint Thomas's Own Concise Version of his Summa Theologiae,' by Sophia Institute Press). It is published by a very small Catholic publishing house, is marketed to the devotional readership, contains no scholarly apparatus. Richard Regan is a highly respected Aquinas translator, who here relies on the definitive Leonine edition of the Latin text. His work will be received as the premier English version of this important text. (shrink)
THIS ARTICLE EXAMINES THREE QUESTIONS: (1) HOW CAN A TRIUNE NOTION OF GOD BE ACCOMMODATED IN WHITEHEAD’S DI-POLAR THEISM? (2) HOW CAN GOD BE THREE PERSONS AND YET ONE ACTUAL ENTITY? AND (3) HOW CAN GOD BE BOTH IMMANENT AND TRANSCENDENT? AFTER LOOKING AT THE WORK OF JOSEPH BRACKEN, S J AND LEWIS FORD ON THESE QUESTIONS, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT WHITEHEAD’S PHILOSOPHY CANNOT SERVE AS THE GROUND FOR A TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION OF TRINITARIAN THEOLOGY WITHOUT INVOLVING MAJOR DISTORTIONS OF HIS (...) ORIGINAL POSITION. (shrink)
This book explores the moral dimensions of public policy from an Aristotelian-Thomistic perspective. Regan begins with a thorough exposition of natural law theory and proposes ways in which ethical conclusions can be drawn from it. He then goes on to link natural law theory to an analysis of particular areas of public policy as diverse as public morals, social justice, and the morality of warfare.
Krueger & Funder (K&F) correctly identify work on conformity, obedience, bystander (non)intervention, and social cognition as among social psychology's most memorable contributions, but they incorrectly portray that work as stemming from a “negative research orientation.” Instead, the work they cite stimulates compassion for the human actor by revealing the enormous complexity involved in deciding what to think and do in difficult, uncertain situations.
In his paper, "animal rights" ("analysis" 37.4), R g frey claims to refute "the most important argument" for the view that animals have rights. We show that no prominent defender of the rights of animals has argued, Or should argue, In the way that frey suggests. Furthermore, We show that there is a plausible argument for the view that animals have rights that is left undiscussed by frey.
Discussion of J. Kevin O’Regan’s “Why Red Doesn’t Sound Like a Bell: Understanding the Feel of Consciousness” Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-20 DOI 10.1007/s13164-012-0090-7 Authors J. Kevin O’Regan, Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, CNRS - Université Paris Descartes, Centre Biomédical des Saints Pères, 45 rue des Sts Pères, 75270 Paris cedex 06, France Ned Block, Departments of Philosophy, Psychology and Center for Neural Science, New York University, 5 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003, USA Journal Review of (...) Philosophy and Psychology Online ISSN 1878-5166 Print ISSN 1878-5158. (shrink)
O'Regan and Noe present a wonderfully detailed and comprehensive defense of a position whose broad outline we absolutely and unreservedly endorse. They are right, it seems to us, to stress the intimacy of conscious content and embodied action, and to counter the idea of a Grand Illusion with the image of an agent genuinely in touch, via active exploration, with the rich and varied visual scene. This is an enormously impressive achievement, and we hope that the comments that follow (...) will be. (shrink)
The world's economy expands, food production increases, and technology links people as never before. But the human population grows, rainforests decline, species become extinct, climate change threatens extreme weather, cancer kills more than ever, and nearly a billion people starve as the gap between rich and poor widens. Environmental Ethics Today addresses these matters by exploring beliefs of fact and value guiding human interactions with nature. The style is journalistic, featuring actual controversies and individual stories, but the content is philosophically (...) rigorous. Abstract theories, ideas, and methods, such as utilitarianism, contractarianism, and hermeneutics are introduced as needed to understand and solve practical problems. Should respect for nature limit genetic engineering? Is economic growth the best measrure of progress or can materialism inhibit family values? Does globalization mostly help Third World countries or harm people and poor women? Are experiments on animals immoral? Is biodiversity valuable apart from any human advantage? Overall, does human welfare conflict with nature's integrity. Environmental Ethics Today considers many views including those of Aldo Leopold, Vandana Shiva, Garrett Hardin, Peter Singer, Julian Simon, David Korten, Jane Goodall, Holmes Rolston III, J. Baird Callicott, Karen Warren, Tom Regan, Val Plumwood, Wendell Berry, Father Thomas Berry, Daniel Quinn, and Arne Naess. (shrink)
When brief blank fields are placed between alternating displays of an original and a modified scene, a striking failure of perception is induced: the changes become extremely difficult to notice, even when they are large, presented repeatedly, and the observer expects them to occur (Rensink, O'Regan, & Clark, 1997). To determine the mechanisms behind this induced "change blindness", four experiments examine its dependence on initial preview and on the nature of the interruptions used. Results support the proposal that representations (...) at the early stages of visual processing are highly volatile, and that focused attention is needed to stabilize them sufficiently to support the perception of change. (shrink)
Call u the triplet of cone quantum catch for the light that is incident on a surface, and v the triplet of cone quantum catch for the light that is reflected off that surface. Philipona & O'Regan (2006) present results from numerical calculations showing that: 1. each surface can be associated with a 3 by 3 matrix A such that the relation v = A u to a very high degree of accuracy for any natural illuminant, 2. the vast (...) majority of such matrices associated with Munsell chips have three real eigenvalues, 3. Munsell chips that are most often given a name in the World Color Survey are chips whose associated matrices have a singular configuration of eigenvalues, as measured by a "singularity index". The conclusion of the paper is that this striking coincidence lends credence to the idea that data about color naming derive from facts about natural lights, surface reflexion properties, and human photopigments, rather than from facts about neural pathways or cortical representations. (shrink)
Methods. We employed a "flicker" technique, in which an original and a modified image (each of duration 240 ms) continually alternated, with a blank field (duration 80 ms) between each display. Images were all of real-world scenes. One of three kinds of change (appearance/disappearance, color, or translation) was made to an object or region in each scene. Changes were large and easily seen under normal conditions. Subjects viewed the flicker display, and pressed a key when they noticed the change.
In his paper "rights" ("the philosophical quarterly", Volume 15, 1965, Pages 115-127), H j mccloskey maintains that only beings who can possess interests can possess rights; and he goes on to argue that animals cannot satisfy this requirement. In his paper "mccloskey on why animals cannot have rights" ("the philosophical quarterly", Volume 26, 1976, Pages 251-257), Tom regan disputes mccloskey's requirement. First, He queries whether mccloskey's "is" a requirement for the possession of rights; second, He tries to show that (...) animals can nevertheless satisfy it. On both counts, I contend that regan's arguments do not work. I also set out a mccloskey-Like position which is not open to regan's attack upon its legitimacy. I conclude with an example designed to show why regan has failed to establish that animals have interests. (shrink)
Many current neurophysiological, psychophysical, and psychological approaches to vision rest on the idea that when we see, the brain produces an internal representation of the world. The activation of this internal representation is assumed to give rise to the experience of seeing. The problem with this kind of approach is that it leaves unexplained how the existence of such a detailed internal representation might produce visual consciousness. An alternative proposal is made here. We propose that seeing is a way of (...) acting. It is a particular way of exploring the environment. Activity in internal representations does not generate the experience of seeing. The out- side world serves as its own, external, representation. The experience of seeing occurs when the organism masters what we call the gov- erning laws of sensorimotor contingency. The advantage of this approach is that it provides a natural and principled way of accounting for visual consciousness, and for the differences in the perceived quality of sensory experience in the different sensory modalities. Sev- eral lines of empirical evidence are brought forward in support of the theory, in particular: evidence from experiments in sensorimotor adaptation, visual “filling in,” visual stability despite eye movements, change blindness, sensory substitution, and color perception. (shrink)
This paper contrasts two enactive theories of visual experience: the sensorimotor theory (O’Regan and Noë, Behav Brain Sci 24(5):939–1031, 2001; Noë and O’Regan, Vision and mind, 2002; Noë, Action in perception, 2004) and Susan Hurley’s (Consciousness in action, 1998, Synthese 129:3–40, 2001) theory of active perception. We criticise the sensorimotor theory for its commitment to a distinction between mere sensorimotor behaviour and cognition. This is a distinction that is firmly rejected by Hurley. Hurley argues that personal level cognitive (...) abilities emerge out of a complex dynamic feedback system at the subpersonal level. Moreover reflection on the role of eye movements in visual perception establishes a further sense in which a distinction between sensorimotor behaviour and cognition cannot be sustained. The sensorimotor theory has recently come under critical fire (see e.g. Block, J Philos CII(5):259–272, 2005; Prinz, Psyche, 12(1):1–19, 2006; Aizawa, J Philos CIV(1), 2007) for mistaking a merely causal contribution of action to perception for a constitutive contribution. We further argue that the sensorimotor theory is particularly vulnerable to this objection in a way that Hurley’s active perception theory is not. This presents an additional reason for preferring Hurley’s theory as providing a conceptual framework for the enactive programme. (shrink)
This paper looks at two puzzles raised by the phenomenon of inattentional blindness. First, how can we see at all if, in order to see, we must first perceptually attend to that which we see? Second, if attention is required for perception, why does it seem to us as if we are perceptually aware of the whole detailed visual field when it is quite clear that we do not attend to all that detail? We offer a general framework for thinking (...) about perception and perceptual consciousness that addresses these questions and we propose, in addition, an informal account of the relation between attention and consciousness. On this view, perceptual awareness is a species of attention. (shrink)
There is an argument promulgated by certain philosophers (notably Dennett 1988, 1991), claiming that from a logical and philosophical point of view the notion of "qualia" makes no sense. On the other hand, other philosophers (e.g. Nagel 1974, Peacocke 1983, and Block 1990) say that qualia must exist since otherwise there would be "nothing it's like" to have sensations: we humans would merely be empty vessels making movements and interacting with our environments, but there would be no inside "feel" to (...) anything. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to argue that the tactic of granting a fetus the legal status of a person will not, contrary to the expectations of opponents of abortion, provide grounds for a general prohibition on abortions. I begin by examining two arguments, one moral (J. J. Thomson's A Defense of Abortion) and the other legal (D. Regan's Rewriting Roe v. Wade), which grant the assumption that a fetus is a person and yet argue to the conclusion (...) that abortion is permissible. However, both Thomson and Regan rely on the so-called bad samaritan principle. This principle states that a person has a right to refuse to give aid. Their reliance on this principle creates problems, both in the moral and the legal contexts, since the bad samaritan principle is intended to apply to passive refusals to aid; abortion, however, does not look like any such passive denial of aid, and so it does not seem like the sort of action covered by the bad samaritan principle. In defense of the positions outlined by Thomson and Regan, I argue that the apparent asymmetry between abortion and the usual type of case covered by the bad samaritan principle is only apparent and not a genuine problem for their analyses. I conclude with a defense of the morality of the bad samaritan principle. (shrink)
Following arguments put forward in my book (Why red doesn’t sound like a bell: understanding the feel of consciousness. Oxford University Press, New York, USA, 2011), this article takes a pragmatic, scientist’s point of view about the concepts of consciousness and “feel”, pinning down what people generally mean when they talk about these concepts, and then investigating to what extent these capacities could be implemented in non-biological machines. Although the question of “feel”, or “phenomenal consciousness” as it is called by (...) some philosophers, is generally considered to be the “hard” problem of consciousness, the article shows that by taking a “sensorimotor” approach, the difficulties can be overcome. What remains to account for are the notions of so-called “access consciousness” and the self. I claim that though they are undoubtedly very difficult, these are not logically impossible to implement in robots. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- 1. Introduction -- Consciousness and Sensorimotor Dynamics: Methodological Issues -- 2. Computational consciousness, D. Ballard -- 3. Explaining what people say about sensory qualia, J. Kevin O'Regan -- 4. Perception, action, and experience: unraveling the golden braid, A. Clark -- The Two-Visual Systems Hypothesis -- 5. Cortical visual systems for perception and action, A.D. Milner and M.A. Goodale -- 6. Hermann Lotze's Theory of 'Local Sign': evidence from pointing responses in an illusory (...) figure, D.R. Melmoth -- Understanding Agency and Object Perception -- 7. Two visual systems and the feeling of presence, M. Matthen -- 8. Spatial coordinates and phenomenology in the two-visual systems model, P. Jacob and F. de Vignemont -- 9. Perceptual experience and the capacity to act, S. Schellenberg -- Perception and Action: Studies in Cognitive Neuroscience -- 10. Why does the perception-action functional dichotomy not match the ventral-dorsal streams in anatomical segregation: optic ataxia and the function of the dorsal stream, Y. Rossetti et al -- 11. Mapping the neglect syndrome onto neurofunctional streams, G. Vallar and F. Mancini -- 12. Motor representations and the perception of space: perceptual judgments of the boundary of action space, Y. Delevoye-Turrell -- The Role of Action and Sensorimotor Knowledge in Sensorimotor Theories of Perception -- 13. Vision without representation, A. Noe -- 14. Sensorimotor knowledge and the contents of experience, J. Kiverstein -- Boundaries of the Agent -- 15. Extended vision, R. A. Wilson. (shrink)
The paper proposes a way of bridging the gapbetween physical processes in the brain and the ''''felt''''aspect of sensory experience. The approach is based onthe idea that experience is not generated by brainprocesses themselves, but rather is constituted by theway these brain processes enable a particular form of''''give-and-take'''' between the perceiver and theenvironment. From this starting-point we are able tocharacterize the phenomenological differences betweenthe different sensory modalities in a more principledway than has been done in the past. We are also (...) ableto approach the issues of visual awareness andconsciousness in a satisfactory way. Finally weconsider a number of testable empirical consequences,one of which is the striking prediction of thephenomenon of ''''change blindness''''. (shrink)
The most important clarification we bring in our reply to commentators concerns the problem of the “explanatory gap”: that is, the gulf that separates physical processes in the brain from the experienced quality of sensations. By adding two concepts (bodiliness and grabbiness) that were not stressed in the target article, we strengthen our claim and clarify why we think we have solved the explanatory gap problem, – not by dismissing qualia, but, on the contrary, by explaining why sensations have a (...) “feel” and why “feels” feel the way they do. We additionally clarify our views on: internal representations (we claim internal representations cannot explain why sensation has a feel), on behaviorism (we are not behaviorists), on perception and action (we believe there can be perception without action), and on the brain (we believe the brain does do something important in perception). (shrink)
Observers inspected normal, high quality color displays of everyday visual scenes while their eye movements were recorded. A large display change occurred each time an eye blink occurred. Display changes could either involve "Central Interest" or "Marginal Interest" locations, as determined from descriptions obtained from independent judges in a prior pilot experiment. Visual salience, as determined by luminance, color, and position of the Central and Marginal interest changes were equalized.