How can one think about the same thing twice without knowing that it's the same thing? How can one think about nothing at all (for example Pegasus, the mythical flying horse)? Is thinking about oneself special? One could mistake one's car for someone else's, but it seems one could not mistake one's own headache for someone else's. Why not? -/- R. M. Sainsbury and Michael Tye provide an entirely new theory--called 'originalism'-- which provides simple and natural solutions to these (...) puzzles and more. Originalism's central thesis is that concepts, the constituents of thoughts, are to be individuated by their origin, rather than epistemically or semantically. The doctrine has further valuable consequences for the nature of thought, our knowledge of our own thoughts, the nature of experience, the epistemology of perception-based beliefs, and for arguments based on conceivability. Sainsbury and Tye argue that although thought is special, there is no special mystery attaching to the nature of thought. Their account of the mind considers it as part of nature, as opposed to something with supernatural powers--which means that human beings have more opportunities to make mistakes than many have liked to think. (shrink)
Philosophers speak—or, rather, they respond to various forms of speaking that are handed to them. This book by one of our most distinguished philosophers focuses on the communicative aspect of philosophical thought. Peperzak’s central focus is “addressing”: what distinguishes speaking or writing from rumination is their being directed by someone to someone. To be involved in philosophy is to be part of a tradition through which thinkers propose their findings to others, who respond by offering their own appropriations to (...) their interlocutors.After a critical sketch of the conception of modern philosophy, Peperzak presents a succinct analysis of speaking, insisting on the radical distinction between speaking about and speaking to. He enlarges this analysis to history and tries to answer the question whether philosophy also implies a certain form of listening and responding to words of God. Since philosophical speech about persons can neither honor nor reveal their full truth, speaking and thinking about God is even more problematic. Meditation about the archaic Word cannot reach the Speaker unless it turns into prayer, or—as Descartes wrote—into a contemplation that makes the thinker “consider, admire, and adore the beauty of God’s immense light, as much as the eyesight of my blinded mind can tolerate.”“Thinking is a work of genuine and original scholarship which responds to the tradition of philosophical thinking with a critique of its language, style, focus, and scope.”—Catriona Hanley, Loyola College, Maryland. (shrink)
A User's Guide to Thought and Meaning presents a profound and arresting integration of the faculties of the mind - of how we think, speak, and see the world. Ray Jackendoff starts out by looking at languages and what the meanings of words and sentences actually do. He shows that meanings are more adaptive and complicated than they're commonly given credit for, and he is led to some basic questions: How do we perceive and act in the world? How (...) do we talk about it? And how can the collection of neurons in the brain give rise to conscious experience? As it turns out, the organization of language, thought, and perception does not look much like the way we experience things, and only a small part of what the brain does is conscious. Jackendoff concludes that thought and meaning must be almost completely unconscious. What we experience as rational conscious thought - which we prize as setting us apart from the animals - in fact rides on a foundation of unconscious intuition. Rationality amounts to intuition enhanced by language. -/- Written with an informality that belies both the originality of its insights and the radical nature of its conclusions, A User's Guide to Thought and Meaning is the author's most important book since the groundbreaking Foundations of Language in 2002. (shrink)
Do we think in natural language? Or is language only for communication? Much recent work in philosophy and cognitive science assumes the latter. In contrast, Peter Carruthers argues that much of human conscious thinking is conducted in the medium of natural language sentences. However, this does not commit him to any sort of Whorfian linguistic relativism, and the view is developed within a framework that is broadly nativist and modularist. His study will be essential reading for all those interested (...) in the nature and significance of natural language, whether they come from philosophy, psychology or linguistics. (shrink)
In this exciting new collection, a distinguished international group of philosophers contribute new essays on central issues in philosophy of language and logic, in honor of Michael Dummett, one of the most influential philosophers of the late twentieth century. The essays are focused on areas particularly associated with Professor Dummett. Five are contributions to the philosophy of language, addressing in particular the nature of truth and meaning and the relation between language and thought. Two contributors discuss time, in particular (...) the reality of the past. The last four essays focus on Frege and the philosophy of mathematics. The volume represents some of the best work in contemporary analytical philosophy. (shrink)
The Way of Ideas died an ignoble death, committed to the flames by behaviorist empiricists. Ideas, pictures in the head, perished with the Way. By the time those empiricists were supplanted at the helm by functionalists and causal theorists, a revolution had taken place in linguistics and the last thing anyone wanted to do was revive images as the medium of thought. Currently, some but not all cognitive scientists think that there probably are mental images - experiments in cognitive (...) psychology (e.g. Shepard and Metzler 1971) have shown it to be plausible to posit mental images. Even so, the phenomenon of mental imagery has been largely regarded as peripheral in cognition, perhaps even epiphenomenal. Images cannot fix the content of thought (intentions, rules), the Wittgenstein story went. The central processes of thought, so the post-Wittgenstein story goes, require a propositional representation system, a language of thought, universal and modeled on the machine languages of computers. The language of thought is compositional, productive, and, leading advocates argue, has a causal semantics. Images lack all of these essential qualities and so are hopeless as key players in thinking. (shrink)
What is the place of language in human cognition? Do we sometimes think in natural language? Or is language for purposes of interpersonal communication only? Although these questions have been much debated in the past, they have almost dropped from sight in recent decades amongst those interested in the cognitive sciences. Language and Thought is intended to persuade such people to think again. It brings together essays by a distinguished interdisciplinary team of philosophers and psychologists, who discuss various ways (...) in which language may be implicated in human cognition. The editors have provided an introduction which lays out the basic terms and history of the debate, and a consolidated bibliography which will provide a valuable reference resource for all those interested in this area. The volume will be of great interest to all researchers and students interested in language and its place in cognition. (shrink)
David Farrell Krell reflects on nine writers and philosophers, including Heidegger, Derrida, Blanchot, and Holderlin, in a personal exploration of the meaning of sensual love, language, tragedy, and death. The moon provides a unifying image that guides Krell's development of a new poetics in which literature and philosophy become one. Krell pursues important philosophical motifs such as time, rhythm, and desire, through texts by Nietzsche, Trakl, Empedocles, Kafka, and Garcia Marquez. He surveys instances in which poets or novelists explicitly address (...) philosophical questions, and philosophers confront literary texts--Heidegger's and Derrida's appropriations of Georg Trakl's poetry, Blanchot's obsession with Kafka's tortuous love affairs, and Garcia Marquez's use of Nietzsche's idea of the Eternal Return--all linked by the tragic hero Empedocles. In his search to understand the insatiable desire for completeness that patterns so much art and philosophy, Krell investigates the identification of the lunar voice with woman in various roles--lover, friend, sister, shadow, and narrative voice. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Preface -- Acknowledgements -- Notes on Contributors -- Introduction; Z.Radman -- The Mystery of the Background qua Background; H.L.Dreyfus -- PART I: ECHOING SEARLE'S AND DREYFUS' VIEWS ON THE BACKGROUND -- Ground-Level Intelligence:Action-Oriented Representation and the Dynamics of the Background; M.Cappuccio& M.Wheeler -- Exposing the Background: Deep and Local; D.D.Hutto -- The Background as Intentional, Conscious, and Nonconceptual; M.Schmitz -- Social Cognition, the Chinese Room, and the Robot Replies; S.Gallagher -- Contesting John's Searle' Social Ontology: (...) Institutions and Background; J.Margolis -- Music and the Background; D.Schmicking -- PART II: EXTENDED VIEWS ON THE BACKGROUND -- Implicit Precision; E.T.Gendlin -- Enkinaesthesia: The Essential Sensuous Background for Co-Agency; S.A.J.Stuart -- Steps Entailed in Foregrounding the Background: Taking the Challenge of Languaging Experience Seriously; M.Sheets-Johnstone -- The Body as Background: Pragmatism and Somasthetics; R.Shusterman -- The Background: A Tool of Potentiality; Z.Radman -- Embodied Technology as Implicit Knowledge of Modern Civilization; K.Mainzer -- Index. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: List of illustrations * Notes On Contributors * Introduction: B.Biebuyck, G.Buelens, O.de Graef, D.Hoens, S.Jttkandt * Who or What Decides: For Derrida: A Catastrophic Theory of Decision--J.Hillis Miller * Catastrophic Narratives and Why the Catastrophe to Catastrophe Might Have Already Happened--E.Vogt * Breath of Relief: Sloterdijk and the Politics of the Intimate--S.van Tuinen * Man is a swarm animal--J.Clemens * Notes on the Bird War: Biopolitics of the Visible (in the Era of Climate Change)--T.Cohen * Dialectical (...) Catastrophe: Hegels Allegory of Physiognomy and the Ethics of Survival--P.Moll * Catastrophe, Citationality and the Limits of Responsibility in Disgrace--G.Buelens * Unpredictable Inevitability and the Boundaries of Psychic Life; D.Nobus * Who is Nietzsche?--A.Badiou * Is Pleasure a Rotten Idea?--A.Schuster * Nationalist Ext(im)asy: Maurice Barrs and the Roots of Fascist Enjoyment--G.Chaitin * Topography of the Border: Derrida Rewriting Transcendental Aesthetics--J.Hodge * Index List of illustrations * Notes On Contributors * Introduction: B.Biebuyck, G.Buelens, O.de Graef, D.Hoens, S.Jttkandt * Who or What Decides: For Derrida: A Catastrophic Theory of Decision--J.Hillis Miller * Catastrophic Narratives and Why the Catastrophe to Catastrophe Might Have Already Happened--E.Vogt * Breath of Relief: Sloterdijk and the Politics of the Intimate--S.van Tuinen * Man is a swarm animal--J.Clemens * Notes on the Bird War: Biopolitics of the Visible (in the Era of Climate Change)--T.Cohen * Dialectical Catastrophe: Hegels Allegory of Physiognomy and the Ethics of Survival--P.Moll * Catastrophe, Citationality and the Limits of Responsibility in Disgrace--G.Buelens * Unpredictable Inevitability and the Boundaries of Psychic Life; D.Nobus * Who is Nietzsche?--A.Badiou * Is Pleasure a Rotten Idea?--A.Schuster * Nationalist Ext(im)asy: Maurice Barrs and the Roots of Fascist Enjoyment--G.Chaitin * Topography of the Border: Derrida Rewriting Transcendental Aesthetics--J.Hodge * Index. (shrink)
Jerry Fodor presents a new development of his famous Language of Thought hypothesis, which has since the 1970s been at the centre of interdisciplinary debate about how the mind works. Fodor defends and extends the groundbreaking idea that thinking is couched in a symbolic system realized in the brain. This idea is central to the representational theory of mind which Fodor has established as a key reference point in modern philosophy, psychology, and cognitive science. The foundation stone of (...) our present cognitive science is Turing's suggestion that cognitive processes are not associations but computations; and computation requires a language of thought. So the latest on the Language of Thought hypothesis, from its progenitor, promises to be a landmark in the study of the mind. LOT 2 offers a more cogent presentation and a fuller explication of Fodor's distinctive account of the mind, with various intriguing new features. The central role of compositionality in the representational theory of mind is revealed: most of what we know about concepts follows from the compositionality of thoughts. Fodor shows the necessity of a referentialist account of the content of intentional states, and of an atomistic account of the individuation of concepts. Not least among the new developments is Fodor's identification and persecution of pragmatism as the leading source of error in the study of the mind today. LOT 2 sees Fodor advance undaunted towards the ultimate goal of a theory of the cognitive mind, and in particular a theory of the intentionality of cognition. No one who works on the mind can ignore Fodor's views, expressed in the coruscating and provocative style which has delighted and disconcerted countless readers over the years. (shrink)
It is human nature to wonder how things might have turned out differently--either for the better or for the worse. For the past two decades psychologists have been intrigued by this phenomenon, which they call counterfactual thinking. Specifically, researchers have sought to answer the "big" questions: Why do people have such a strong propensity to generate counterfactuals, and what functions does counterfactual thinking serve? What are the determinants of counterfactual thinking, and what are its adaptive and psychological (...) consequences? This important work brings together a collection of thought-provoking papers by social and cognitive psychologists who have made important theoretical and empirical contributions to our understanding of this topic. The essays in this volume contain novel theoretical insights, and, in many cases descriptions of previously unpublished empirical studies. The Psychology of Counterfactual Thinking provides an excellent overview of this fascinating topic for researchers, as well as advanced undergraduates and graduates in psychology--particularly those with an interest in social cognition, social judgment, decision judgment, decision making, thinking and reasoning. (shrink)
This book is a rich collection of philosophical essays radically interrogating key notions and preoccupations of the phenomenological tradition. While using Heidegger’s Being and Time as its permanent point of reference and dispute, this collection also confronts other important philosophers, such as Kant, Nietzsche, and Derrida. The projects of these pivotal thinkers of finitude are relentlessly pushed to their extreme, with respect both to their unexpected horizons and to their as yet unexplored analytical potential. A Finite Thinking shows that, (...) paradoxically, where the thought of finitude comes into its own it frees itself, not only to reaffirm a certain transformed and transformative presence, but also for a non-religious reconsideration and reaffirmation of certain theologemes, as well as of the body, heart, and love. This book shows the literary dimension of philosophical discourse, providing important enabling ideas for scholars of literature, cultural theory, and philosophy. (shrink)
In the opinion of many Western observers (e.g. Timothy Garton Ash) as well as Polish authors (e.g., Zdzisław Kransnodębski), the political thought of Solidarność was a mixture of ideas taken from different ideological traditions (right and left). What, in the aforementioned authors opinion, was a reason for pride was an object of criticism by Leszek Nowak, the eminent Polish philosopher, engaged in the movement. One of his most important charges against the political thought of this movement was its (...) intellectual provincialism and its inability to propose something new and fresh. The purpose of this paper is to present Nowak's reflection on the political thought of Solidarność in years 1980-1981. I show that he presses three general kinds of objections. According to Nowak, the political thought of the movement had formal-internal deficiencies (it provided no clear theoretical vision), cognitive deficiencies (it was incapable of offering an adequate diagnosis of the situation) and policy deficiencies (it was incapable of indicating the appropriate course of action). (shrink)
Ethics and rationality -- Moral frameworks -- Experience in context -- Aesthetic aspects of ethical thought -- Morals and metaphors -- Ethics and pluralism -- Moral thinking -- Afterword: diversity, relativism, and nonviolence.
The Honor of Thinking investigates the limits of criticism, theory, and philosophy in light of what Martin Heidegger and French post-Heideggerian philosophers have established about the nature and tasks of thinking. In addition to in-depth analyses of Walter Benjamin's conception of critique—and in particular the relation of critique to ethics, as well as alternative models of criticism (such as Heidegger's notion of “Auseinandersetzung,” and Derridean deconstruction)—this book contains essays on the notion of theory from the Greeks and the (...) early German Romantics to the contemporary use of this notion in literary studies. The last part of the book investigates the different ways of understanding philosophical thinking that are found in contemporary French thought, examining works of Foucault, Deleuze, Lyotard, and Derrida. (shrink)
In this book, Mohanty develops a new interpretation of the nature of Indian philsophical thinking. Using the original Sanskrit sources, he examines the concepts of consciousness and subjectivity, theories of language and logic, and meaning and truth, and explicates the concept of theoretical rationality which underlies the Indian philosophies. Mohanty brings to bear insights from modern western analytical and phenomenological philosophies, not so much for comparative purposes, but rather to interpret Indian thinking and to highlight its distinctive features.
I do not think that the world or the sciences would ever have suggested to me any philosophical problems. What has suggested philosophical problems to me is things which other philosophers have said about the world or the sciences. (G.E. Moore, 1942, p. 14).
Most people believe that science arose as a natural end-product of our innate intelligence and curiosity, as an inevitable stage in human intellectual development. But physicist and educator Alan Cromer disputes this belief. Cromer argues that science is not the natural unfolding of human potential, but the invention of a particular culture, Greece, in a particular historical period. Indeed, far from being natural, scientific thinking goes so far against the grain of conventional human thought that if it hadn't (...) been discovered in Greece, it might not have been discovered at all. In Uncommon Sense, Alan Cromer develops the argument that science represents a radically new and different way of thinking. Using Piaget's stages of intellectual development, he shows that conventional thinking remains mired in subjective, "egocentric" ways of looking at the world--most people even today still believe in astrology, ESP, UFOs, ghosts and other paranormal phenomena--a mode of thought that science has outgrown. He provides a fascinating explanation of why science began in Greece, contrasting the Greek practice of debate to the Judaic reliance on prophets for acquiring knowledge. Other factors, such as a maritime economy and wandering scholars (both of which prevented parochialism) and an essentially literary religion not dominated by priests, also promoted in Greece an objective, analytical way of thinking not found elsewhere in the ancient world. He examines India and China and explains why science could not develop in either country. In China, for instance, astronomy served only the state, and the private study of astronomy was forbidden. Cromer also provides a perceptive account of science in Renaissance Europe and of figures such as Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton. Along the way, Cromer touches on many intriguing topics, arguing, for instance, that much of science is essential complete; there are no new elements yet to be discovered. He debunks the vaunted SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project, which costs taxpayers millions each year, showing that physical limits--such as the melting point of metal--put an absolute limit on the speed of space travel, making trips to even the nearest star all but impossible. Finally, Cromer discusses the deplorable state of science education in America and suggests several provocative innovations to improve high school education, including a radical proposal to give all students an intensive eighth and ninth year program, eliminating the last two years of high school. Uncommon Sense is an illuminating look at science, filled with provocative observations. Whether challenging Thomas Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions, or extolling the virtues of Euclid's Elements, Alan Cromer is always insightful, outspoken, and refreshingly original. (shrink)
Until recently, cognitive science focused on such mental functions as problem solving, grammar, and pattern-the functions in which the human mind most closely resembles a computer. But humans are more than computers: we invent new meanings, imagine wildly, and even have ideas that have never existed before. Today the cutting edge of cognitive science addresses precisely these mysterious, creative aspects of the mind.The Way We Think is a landmark analysis of the imaginative nature of the mind. Conceptual blending is already (...) widely known in research laboratories throughout the world; this book, written to be accessible to both lay readers and interested scientists, is its definitive statement. Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner show that conceptual blending is the root of the cognitively modern human mind, and that conceptual blends themselves are continually combined and reblended to create the rich mental fabric in which we live.The Way We Think shows how this blending operates; how it is affected by (and gives rise to) language, identity, culture, and invention; and how we imagine what could be and what might have been. The result is a bold and exciting new view of how the mind works. (shrink)
1. Introduction: a name, not an essence -- 2. Why Jewish thought and what makes it Jewish? -- 3. Deadly philosophical abstraction -- 4. The stranger in your midst -- 5. Nefesh: the soul as flesh and blood -- 6. The environmentalist contribution to genocide -- 7. Torture -- 8. Hunger and homelessness -- 9. Philosophy, religion, and genocide -- 10. A concluding reflection on body and soul.
German classicist's monumental study of the origins of European thought in Greek literature and philosophy. Brilliant, widely influential. Includes "Homer's View of Man," "The Olympian Gods," "The Rise of the Individual in the Early Greek Lyric," "Pindar's Hymn to Zeus," "Myth and Reality in Greek Tragedy," and "Aristophanes and Aesthetic Criticism.".
What laws of logic say -- Frege's target -- The twilight of empiricism -- Psychologism -- Morally alien thought -- To represent as so -- The proposition's progress -- Truth and merit -- The shape of the conceptual -- Thought's social nature -- Faust's way.
Meaning, Understanding, and Practice is a selection of the most notable essays of leading contemporary philosopher Barry Stroud on a set of topics central to analytic philosophy. In this collection, Stroud offers penetrating studies of meaning, understanding, necessity, and the intentionality of thought. Throughout he asks how much can be expected from a philosophical account of one's understanding of the meaning of something, and questions whether such an account can succeed without implying that the person understands many other things (...) as well. Most of the essays work with ideas derived from Wittgenstein, and five of the essays focus specifically on Wittgenstein's philosophy. Stroud's helpful introduction draws out the recurring themes he pursues and explains how his ideas and aims have developed over the years. (shrink)
Pettit presents a selection of essays touching upon metaphysics, philosophical psychology, and the theory of rational regulation. The first part of the book discusses the rule-following character of thought. The second considers how choice can be responsive to different sorts of factors, while still being under the control of thought. The third examines the implications of this view of choice and rationality for the normative regulation of social behavior.
A demanding introduction to logic and critical thinking, this book offers more traditional means of teaching the art of reasoning at a time when the field has become almost mathematical. Francis Dauer has rethought the framework for teaching reasoning in general and formal logic in particular, the desired epistemological context, and the role of the fallacies. The result is a coherent and very readable work, informed by Dauer's extensive experience teaching and writing on the subject.
"I know what you're thinking," we say, but how do we know what others are thinking or feeling? Because evolution has granted us what has come to be known as "Theory of Mind," the ability not only to be self-aware but aware of others' consciousness. Theory of Mind develops slowly-and in some cases, such as autism, develops little or not at all. Theory of Mind allows us to interact socially, to care about others, to manage our behavior in (...) groups, to fall in love, and--less admirably--it allows us to lie. Some of the subject matter covered in Mindreading: You are less likely to detect lies told to you by your longterm partner than by a new acquaintance.Female babies react more strongly and more often to another baby's cries than male babies. In other words, female children are more predisposed to become personally distressed by emotion in others and to cry in sympathy.In general, the female brain is superior to the male brain when it comes to social relationships; the male brain is better at spatial skills. People with autism follow the male trend, but to a much greater extreme.Autistics, like many normal men, collect things, focus on what seems to others to be trivial detail, and have a narrow range of interests. Could autism be an extreme form of the male brain?For evolutionary reasons, you should take very good care to detect eye gaze, because when another animal is looking at you it can mean one of the three 'F's. Either the animal wants to fight you, feed on you, or mate with you. (shrink)
Ruth Millikan has long argued that the phenomenon of confused thought requires us to abandon certain traditional programmes for mental semantics. On the one hand she argues that confused thought involves confused concepts, and on the other that Fregean senses, or modes of presentation, cannot be useful in theorizing about minds capable of confused thinking. I argue that while we might accept that concepts can be confused, we have no reason to abandon modes of presentation. Making sense (...) of confused thought requires recognizing modes of presentation. (shrink)
This book defends a novel theory of singular concepts, emphasizing the pragmatic requirements of singular concept possession and arguing that these requirements must be understood to institute traditions and policies of thought.
This important volume provides an overview of the history of social, economic, and political thought prior to the development of disciplinary categories in social sciences. It contextualizes the thought movements in the matrix of pre-modern intellectual traditions as well as the long-range history of society, polity, and economy in modern India. Thematically organized into five sections, the first part examines the evolution of economic thinking in modern India. The next section deals with the discourse of social reform, (...) critical studies of society, and the emergence of academic sociology. The third part highlights the perspectives of the hegemonized and oppressed social groups--the view "from below". The two concluding segments respectively discuss gender and reform movements and the role of political thought in the national movement. Thematically organized into five sections, the first part examines the evolution of economic thinking in modern India. The next section deals with the discourse of social reform, critical studies of society, and the emergence of academic sociology. The third part highlights the perspectives of the hegemonized and oppressed social groups--the view "from below". The two concluding segments respectively discuss gender and reform movements and the role of political thought in the national movement. In spite of its primary historical character, this Project, both in its conceptualization and execution, has been shaped by many scholars drawn from different disciplines. It is for the first time that an endeavor of such a unique and comprehensive character has been undertaken to study critically a major world civilization like India. (shrink)
Fourteen of the American philosopher's most influential essays appear here, offering profound reflections on many different aspects of knowledge, reality, and epistemology. These papers on experimental logic are rooted in the implication that possession of knowledge implies a judgment, resulting from an inquiry or investigation. The presence of this "inquiry stage" suggests an intermediate and mediating phase between the external world and knowledge, an area conditioned by other factors. Expanding upon this basis, these essays consider the relationship of thought (...) and its subject matter; the antecedents and stimuli of thought, data, and meanings; the objects of thought; control of ideas by facts; and similar topics. Unabridged republication of the classic 1916 edition. (shrink)
We argue that thought insertion primarily involves a disruption of the sense of ownership for thoughts and that the lack of a sense of agency is but a consequence of this disruption. We defend the hypothesis that this disruption of the sense of ownership stems from a fail- ure in the online integration of the contextual information related to a thought, in partic- ular contextual information concerning the different causal factors that may be implicated in their production. Loss (...) of unity of consciousness, manifested by incoherent subjective experiences is a general phenomenal characteristic of schizophrenia. This loss of coherence has been hypothesized to reflect a generalized deficit of contextual information integration not conveyed by, but related to, a target event. This deficit is manifested across many cog- nitive domains. We argue that it is also manifested in the process of thinking itself, result- ing in causally decontextualized thoughts that are experienced as inserted thoughts. (shrink)
Book description: Much contemporary philosophical debate centres on the topics of logic, thought and language, and on the connections between these topics. This collection of articles is based on the Royal Institute of Philosophy’s annual lecture series for 2000–2001. Its contributors include a number of those working at the forefront of the field, and in their papers they reflect their own current pre-occupations. As such, the volume will be of interest to all philosophers, whether their own work is within (...) the areas of language and thought or not. (shrink)
The concepts of autonomy and of critical thinking play a central role in many contemporary accounts of the aims of education. This book analyses their relationship to each other and to education, exploring their roles in mortality and politics before examining the role of critical thinking in fulfilling the educational aim of preparing young people for autonomy. The author analyses different senses of the terms 'autonomy' and 'critical thinking' and the implications for education. Implications of the discussion (...) for contemporary practice are also considered. (shrink)
Divided into two parts, the first concentrates on the logical properties of propositions, their relation to facts and sentences, and the parallel objects of commands and questions. The second part examines theories of intentionality and discusses the relationship between different theories of naming and different accounts of belief.
In the history of Brazilian education, it is only since the 1980s, during the redemocratization of Brazil, that proposals for public education in a socialist perspective have been presented. The past two decades have been marked by a growing interest in Gramscian thought, mainly in the educational field, making possible the elaboration of proposals for public school organization in Brazil. However, intellectuals and pedagogues in Brazil have confused the Gramscian 'unitary school' with what is known in Brazil as the (...) 'polytechnical school', a vague idea of education which is attributed to Marx and taken up by Lenin in the course of the Soviet Revolution. The two conceptions of education differ because of the varying historical contexts in which Marx, Lenin and Gramsci lived and developed their thinking on the roles of State and school. These fundamental differences have been overlooked during the diffusion of Gramscian thought in Brazil, causing confusion in the understanding of the 'unitary school' and the 'polytechnical school'. (shrink)
Plotinus (205-269 AD) led the philosophical movement of Neoplatonism, which reinterpreted Plato's thought later in antiquity and went on to become a dominant force in the history of ideas. Emilsson's in-depth study of Plotinus' central doctrine of Intellect caters for the increasing interest in Plotinus with philosophical clarity and rigor.
This essay reconsiders David Hume’s thinking on the fate of the British Empire and the future of established religion. It provides a detailed reconstruction of the development of Hume’s views on Britain’s successive attempts to impose or regain its authority over its North American colonies and compares these views with the stance taken during the American Crisis by Adam Smith and Josiah Tucker. Fresh light is shed on this area of Hume’s later political thought by a new letter, (...) appended to the essay, which at the same time provides an illuminating glimpse of his abiding preoccupation with the future of established religion. It is argued that this evidence of Hume’s privately held views belies the notion that his thinking on political and religious matters was fundamentally opposed to that of his friends among the philosophes. It is consequently misleading to regard Hume as an opponent of the more radical wing of the Enlightenment. (shrink)
Facing up to the head -- The secreting head -- Being my head -- The head comes to -- Airhead : breathing and its variations -- Communicating with air -- Enjoying and suffering my head -- Communicating without air -- Notes on the red-cheeked animal : the geology of a blush -- The watchtower -- The sensory room -- Having and using my head -- Head traffic : eating, vomiting and smoking -- Head on head : notes on kissing -- (...) Headgear -- Caretaking my head -- In the wars -- The dwindles -- Knowing (and not knowing) my head -- Head and world -- The thinking head -- Epilogue: Heading off. (shrink)
Reading good books -- After virtue, what? -- All's fair in war and politics -- Captain relative, be gone! -- Dumbing down the kids -- What became of God? -- The philosopher meets John Madden -- What's on TV tonight? -- Flotsam and Jetsam.
A is for Alice and astronomers arguing about acceleration -- B is for Bernard's body-exchange machine -- C is for the Catholic cannibal -- D is for Maxwell's demon -- E is for evolution (and an embarrassing problem with it) -- F is for the forms lost forever to the prisoners of the cave -- G is for Galileo's gravitational balls -- H is for Hume's shades -- I is for the identity of indiscernibles -- J is for Henri Poincaré (...) and alternative geometries -- K is for the Kritik and Kant's kind of thought experiments -- L is for Lucretius' spear -- M is for Mach's motionless chain -- N is for Newton's bucket -- O is for Olbers' paradox -- P is for Parfit's person -- Q is for the questions raised by thought experiments quotidiennes -- R is for the rule-ruled room -- S is for Salvatius' ship, sailing along its own space-time line -- T is for the time-travelling twins -- U is for the universe, and Einstein's attempts to understand it -- V is for the vexed case of the violinist -- W is for Wittgenstein's beetle -- X is for xenophanes and thinking by examples -- Y is for counterfactuals and a backwards approach to history -- Z is for Zeno and the mysteries of infinity. (shrink)
It is part of our everyday experience that there is a reliable connection between moral opinions and motivation. Thinking that an act is right (wrong) tends to be accompanied by motivation to (avoid to) perform the act in question. This is mirrored in moral talk. We tend to think that someone who says that he thinks that it is right (wrong) to act in a certain way without being motivated, to some extent, will most likely be speaking insincerely. Moveover, (...) moral utterances have a dynamic function to exhort and guide conduct. This suggests that moral utterances involve a kind of attitudinal expressiveness that makes them very different from prosaically factual utterances. These commonsensical features of our moral practice represent the practicality of moral thought and talk. The main purpose of this essay is to investigate how the practicality of moral thought and talk is best represented and whether it supports either a cognitivist or noncognitivist analysis of moral judgments. I argue that sophisticated versions of internalism and externalism, the main competing explanations of the connection between moral judgments and motivation, represent the reliable connection equally good and that the relevant kind of attitudinal expression can be accomodated by both cognitivists and noncognitivists. The upshot is that considerations based on the practicality of moral thought and talk does not cut much philosophical ice. Hence, the rivalry between cognitivists and noncognitivists analyses must be settled beyond considerations based on practicality. Maybe the belief-like features of moral thought and talk can tilt things in favor of cognitivism. However, noncognitivists have different ways of accommodating the belief-like features. In fact, in the wake of different accommodation projects one wonders what remains of the traditional debate between cognitivist and noncognitivist analyses, a debate that shaped metaethics as we know it. (shrink)
'Working Memory, Thought, and Action' is the magnum opus of one of the most influential cognitive psychologists of the past 50 years. This new volume on the model he created (with Graham Hitch) discusses the developments that have occurred within the model in the past twenty years, and places it within a broader context. -/- Working memory is a temporary storage system that underpins our capacity for coherent thought. Some 30 years ago, Baddeley and Hitch proposed a way (...) of thinking about working memory that has proved to be both valuable and influential in its application to practical problems. This book updates the theory, discussing both the evidence in its favour, and alternative approaches. In addition, it discusses the implications of the model for understanding social and emotional behaviour, concluding with an attempt to place working memory in a broader biological and philosophical context. Inside are chapters on the phonological loop, the visuo-spatial sketchpad, the central executive and the episodic buffer. There are also chapters on the relevance to working memory of studies of the recency effect, of work based on individual differences, and of neuroimaging research. -/- The broader implications of the concept of working memory are discussed in the chapters on social psychology, anxiety, depression, consciousness and on the control of action. Finally, Baddeley discusses the relevance of a concept of working memory to the classic problems of consciousness and free will. -/- This new volume from one of the pioneers in memory research will doubtless emulate the success of its predecessor, and be a major publication within the psychological literature. (shrink)
Buddhism traces its origin to the teachings of the historical figure of Gautama, the Buddha. Buddhist system addresses perennial human concerns and articulates profound insights into human nature and thus provides a practical context against the back ground of which it is possible to unravel the meaning of lives. Different branches of this school developed various scriptural traditions. Among them early Buddhist thought branched out into diversity of orders, schools of thought and teaching lineages. Wisdom and compassion are (...) the distinctive marks of Buddhism and this strife-tormented world is in dire need of these qualities. Buddhism not only talks about these qualities, it also illustrates the way how to acquire the same. Post-modernism which is a movement in different fields, culture, philosophy, literature, and arts etc. claims to decentralize the importance of reason. There are many post modern thinkers like, Derrida, Lyotard, Deleuze, Guattari, Levinas who worked in their own way and they discerned a shift in the art and culture of their societies from a distinctively modern phase to a postmodernist phase. Considering these observations this paper is motivated by two questions. On the one hand, one is constantly intrigued by the vast treasures of early Buddhist heritage; on the other hand, one is perplexed by the post modern deconstructive method which has some point of similarities with early Buddhistthought. In between these two lines of thinking this paper tries to argue that the better our understanding and appreciation of this ancient legacy of Buddhist treasures becomes, the more able we will be to grasp the lines of post-modern thinking. There are certain concepts of Buddhism namely, language, writing, desire, suffering, death which are all important issues to the post-modern thinkers. The present paper is an effort to high light some of these concepts against the back ground of early Buddhist traditions. (shrink)
A series of representations must be semantics-driven if the members of that series are to combine into a single thought. Where semantics is not operative, there is at most a series of disjoint representations that add up to nothing true or false, and therefore do not constitute a thought at all. There is necessarily a gulf between simulating thought, on the one hand, and actually thinking, on the other. A related point is that a popular doctrine (...) - the so-called 'computational theory of mind' (CTM) - is based on a confusion. CTM is the view that thought-processes consist in 'computations', where a computation is defined as a 'form-driven' operation on symbols. The expression 'form-driven operation' is ambiguous, and may refer either to syntax-driven operations or to morphology-driven operations. Syntax-driven operations presuppose the existence of operations that are driven by semantic and extra-semantic knowledge. So CTM is false if the terms 'computation' and 'form-driven operation' are taken to refer to syntax-driven operations. Thus, if CTM is to work, those expressions must be taken to refer to morphology-driven operations; and CTM therefore fails, given that an operation must be semantics-driven if it is to qualify as a thought. CTM therefore fails on every disambiguation of the expressions 'formal operation' and 'computation,' and it is therefore false. (shrink)
It will be shown in this article that an ontological approach for some problems related to the interpretation of Quantum Mechanics could emerge from a re-evaluation of the main paradox of early Greek thought: the paradox of Being and non-Being, and the solutions presented to it by Plato and Aristotle. More well known are the derivative paradoxes of Zeno: the paradox of motion and the paradox of the One and the Many. They stem from what was perceived by classical (...) philosophy to be the fundamental enigma for thinking about the world: the seemingly contradictory results that followed from the co-incidence of being and non-being in the world of change and motion as we experience it, and the experience of absolute existence here and now. The most clear expression of both stances can be found, again following classical thought, in the thinking of <span class='Hi'>Heraclitus</span> of Ephesus and Parmenides of Elea. The problem put forward by these paradoxes reduces for both Plato and Aristotle to the possibility of the existence of stable objects as a necessary condition for knowledge. Hence the primarily ontological nature of the solutions they proposed: Plato's Theory of Forms and Aristotle's metaphysics and logic. Plato's and Aristotle's systems are argued here to do on the ontological level essentially the same: to introduce stability in the world by introducing the notion of a separable, stable object, for which a principle of contradiction is valid: an object cannot be and not-be at the same place at the same time. So it becomes possible to forbid contradiction on an epistemological level, and thus to guarantee the certainty of knowledge that seemed to be threatened before. After leaving Aristotelian metaphysics, early modern science had to cope with these problems: it did so by introducing "space" as the seat of stability, and "time" as the theater of motion. But the ontological structure present in this solution remained the same. Therefore the fundamental notion `separable system', related to the notions observation and measurement, themselves related to the modern concepts of space and time, appears to be intrinsically problematic, because it is inextricably connected to classical logic on the ontological level. We see therefore the problems dealt with by quantum logic not as merely formal, and the problem of `non-locality' as related to it, indicating the need to re-think the notions `system', `entity', as well as the implications of the operation `measurement', which is seen here as an application of classical logic (including its ontological consequences) on the material world. (shrink)
This paper explores the way in which God as the infinite ground of existence is discerned by the imagination and understanding. The representation of the apophatic divine is facilitated by the working of the human mind, which means that the manifold nature of thinking establishes the presence of God. In the metaphysical speculations of kabbalah and tantra the singular light of Ein Sof and Paramashiva intersects with the human imagination, and is refracted into a multiple display of understanding. So (...) the mind acts as a prism through which God is conceptualized and delineated. It constitutes a mediated envisaging of the Absolute, and the corollary of this perception is the engendering of the divine presence, notably as the feminine Shekhinah and Shakti. In short, in these two apparently different traditions—of kabbalistic and tantric thought—there is a detectably common theme of the notions of activity and force in creation as betokening a feminine representation of God’s being. (shrink)