There has been considerable discussion lately of the concept of open systems, which has revealed that different participants are using the terms ?openness? and ?closure? in different ways. The purpose of this paper is to address issues of meaning that arise in this particular discourse, with a view to clarifying both conflicts in usage and the underlying issues involved. We explore the different meanings of openness and closure extant in the literature, as applied at the ontological and epistemological levels, focusing (...) on our own use of the terms in relation to that which prevails in neoclassical economics on the one hand and to the use made of them by Tony Lawson and other critical realists on the other. (shrink)
In my 1983 book, Macroeconomics after Keynes, I claimed that much that was original in Keynes was to be found not at the level of theory but in his method. Shortly afterwards, Sheila Dow's book Macroeconomic Thought (1985) introduced those of us who are not specialist methodologists to what she called the ?mode of thought?. In that book, and subsequently, it has become clear that differences in approach between those who take their inspiration from Keynes and Kalecki and those I (...) shall loosely describe as neoclassicists lie at the level of mode of thought. Almost all post?Keynesians say that Keynes's General Theory is founded on a concern with time, uncertainty and organicism ? features of Keynes's mode of thought. Yet, as far as I know, no one has shown precisely what the relationships are between the identifiable aspects of Keynes's mode of thought and his method and theory. This is the task that this paper sets itself. I identify four key theoretical contributions and their corollaries, and show how they are related to the deeper levels of method and mode of thought. This exercise is contrasted with the three?level structure of typical neoclassical macroeconomic theory. The underlying purpose is to help modern theory develop in a fruitful way. (shrink)
Chicks reared in the absence of light and rat pups reared without extra stimulation fail to exhibit behavioral laterality, implying that a threshold amount of environmental stimulation is necessary for the brain to follow an asymmetry pathway. Reverse asymmetry has been reported in the chick, but not the rat, though a sex difference resembling reverse asymmetry has been found in the rat.
McGovern, Kevin A recent move in Victoria to decriminalise abortion invites reflection on this issue. In this article, I review the history which has led to the present situation, and then offer four comments.
This paper tests a model of corporate social responsiveness capabilities in an industry setting. It seeks to understand whether corporate social responsiveness can be a source of competitive advantage for a given company in an industry where participants face similar constraints and issues.
In this paper we review the literature on social learning mechanisms in the domestic chick, focusing largely on work from our own laboratories. The domestic chicken is a social-living bird that searches for food in flocks, avoids predators by following warnings from other flock members, and forms (stable) social hierarchies. All of these behaviors develop throughout ontogeny, largely during the very early stages post-hatch. Newly hatched chicks appear to have predispositions to orient towards and to pay greatest attention to (...) the biologically relevant characteristics of their immediate environment (i.e. to conspecifics: the mother bird and/or fellow hatchlings) from which they may subsequently learn. In addition, the chick has a lateralized brain; left and right hemispheres being specialized for certain behavioral functions and responses, and it appears that such behavioral lateralization is also transposed onto certain social learning situations, which will also be considered. Keywords: social learning; social cognition; chick; brain asymmetry. (shrink)
Much recent research has sought to uncover the neural basis of moral judgment. However, it has remained unclear whether "moral judgments" are sufficiently homogenous to be studied scientifically as a unified category. We tested this assumption by using fMRI to examine the neural correlates of moral judgments within three moral areas: (physical) harm, dishonesty, and (sexual) disgust. We found that the judgment ofmoral wrongness was subserved by distinct neural systems for each of the different moral areas and that these differences (...) were much more robust than differences in wrongness judgments within a moral area. Dishonest, disgusting, and harmful moral transgression recruited networks of brain regions associated with mentalizing, affective processing, and action understanding, respectively. Dorsal medial pFC was the only region activated by all scenarios judged to be morally wrong in comparison with neutral scenarios. However, this region was also activated by dishonest and harmful scenarios judged not to be morally wrong, suggestive of a domain-general role that is neither peculiar to nor predictive of moral decisions. These results suggest that moral judgment is not a wholly unified faculty in the human brain, but rather, instantiated in dissociable neural systems that are engaged differentially depending on the type of transgression being judged. (shrink)
In evolutionary biology changes in population structure are explained by citing trait fitness distribution. I distinguish three interpretations of fitness explanations—the Two‐Factor Model, the Single‐Factor Model, and the Statistical Interpretation—and argue for the last of these. These interpretations differ in their degrees of causal commitment. The first two hold that trait fitness distribution causes population change. Trait fitness explanations, according to these interpretations, are causal explanations. The last maintains that trait fitness distribution correlates with population change but does not cause (...) it. My defense of the Statistical Interpretation relies on a distinctive feature of causation. Causes conform to the Sure Thing Principle. Trait fitness distributions, I argue, do not. *Received July 2009; revised October 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy/Institute for the History, Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto, Victoria College, 91 Charles Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1K7, Canada; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Philosophers and social scientists have focussed a great deal of attention on our human capacity to trust, but relatively little on the capacity to hope. This is a significant oversight, as hope and trust are importantly interconnected. This paper argues that, even though trust can and does feed our hopes, it is our empowering capacity to hope that significantly underwrites—and makes rational—our capacity to trust.
This article discusses Philip Pettit’s neo-republicanism in light of the criterion of self-sustenance: the requirement that a political theory be capable of serving as a self-sustaining public philosophy for a pluralist democracy. It argues that this criterion can only be satisfied by developing an adequate politics of virtue. Pettit’s theory is built around the notion of freedom as non-domination, and he does not say much about the virtues of citizens or the policies the state may employ to encourage their development. (...) In order to explain the motivation to comply with republican laws that promote non-domination, Pettit relies on the phenomenon of civility and the mechanism of the intangible hand. But to understand what underlies an adequate level of robust civility one needs to focus on the more basic phenomenon of personal virtue. Policies that aim to promote non-domination should take into account the need to cultivate virtue among citizens, as well as the full range of conditions that favor its exercise. (shrink)
One of the more controversial uses of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) involves selecting embryos with a specific tissue type so that the child to be born can act as a donor to an existing sibling who requires a haematopoietic stem cell transplant. PGD with HLA tissue typing is used to select embryos that are free of a familial genetic disease and that are also a tissue match for an existing sibling who requires a transplant. Preimplantation HLA tissue typing occurs when (...) parents select embryos that are not at risk of a familial genetic disease to be a match for an existing sibling who requires a transplant. In Victoria, Australia, applications to use PGD with HLA tissue typing are reviewed by the Infertility Treatment Authority on a case by case basis. Preimplantation HLA tissue typing is prohibited prima facie because the embryo to be tested would not be at risk for a genetic abnormality or disease. Arguments for or against the use of PGD/HLA tissue typing are based on several key issues including the commodification and welfare of the donor child. This essay aims to show that that the same arguments apply to both PGD with HLA tissue typing and Preimplantation HLA tissue typing, and that the policy distinction between the two procedures is therefore ethically inconsistent. (shrink)
The broad issue in this paper is the relationship between cognitive psychology and neuroscience. That issue arises particularly sharply for cognitive neurospsychology, some of whose practitioners claim a methodological autonomy for their discipline. They hold that behavioural data from neuropsychological impairments are sufficient to justify assumptions about the underlying modular structure of human cognitive architecture, as well as to make inferences about its various components. But this claim to methodological autonomy can be challenged on both philosophical and empirical grounds. A (...) priori considerations about (cognitive) multiple realisability challenge the thesis on philosophical grounds, and neuroscientific findings from developmental disorders substantiate that challenge empirically. The conclusion is that behavioural evidence alone is inadequate for scientific progress since appearances of modularity can be thoroughly deceptive, obscuring both the dynamic processes of neural development and the endstate network architecture of real cognitive systems. (shrink)
Contributing Authors: Lilli Alanen & Frans Svensson, David Alm, Gustaf Arrhenius, Gunnar Björnsson, Luc Bovens, Richard Bradley, Geoffrey Brennan & Nicholas Southwood, John Broome, Linus Broström & Mats Johansson, Johan Brännmark, Krister Bykvist, John Cantwell, Erik Carlson, David Copp, Roger Crisp, Sven Danielsson, Dan Egonsson, Fred Feldman, Roger Fjellström, Marc Fleurbaey, Margaret Gilbert, Olav Gjelsvik, Kathrin Glüer & Peter Pagin, Ebba Gullberg & Sten Lindström, Peter Gärdenfors, Sven Ove Hansson, Jana Holsanova, Nils Holtug, Victoria Höög, Magnus Jiborn, Karsten Klint (...) Jensen, Sigurður Kristinsson, Isaac Levi, Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen, David Makinson, Anna-Sofia Maurin, Philippe Mongin, Kevin Mulligan, Lennart Nordenfelt, Jonas Olson, Erik J. Olsson, Ingmar Persson, Johannes Persson, Björn Petersson, Philip Pettit, Hans Rott, Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen, Krister Segerberg, John Skorupski, Howard Sobel, Fredrik Stjernberg, Fred Stoutland, Caj Strandberg, Pär Sundström, Folke Tersman, Torbjörn Tännsjö, Peter Vallentyne, Bruno Verbeek, Stella Villarmea, and Michael J. Zimmerman. (shrink)
One of the central elements of John Rawls’ argument in support of his two principles of justice is the intuitive normative ideal of citizens as free and equal. But taken in isolation, the claim that citizens are to be treated as free and equal is extremely indeterminate, and has virtually no clear implications for policy. In order to remedy this, the two principles of justice, together with the stipulation that citizens have basic interests in developing their moral capacities and pursuing (...) their conceptions of the good life, are meant to provide a more precise interpretation of what is involved in treating citizens as free and equal. Rawls’ critics, however, have argued that satisfying the two principles of justice is not the most appropriate or plausible way to respect the status of citizens as free and equal. In relation to this debate, the present paper has two aims. The first is to examine Rawls’ account of the type of freedom that a just society must guarantee equally to its citizens. I will argue that those who think of Rawls as a theorist of freedom as non-interference are mistaken, because his notion of liberty resembles in important respects the republican notion of freedom as non-domination. Second, I will consider the extent to which Rawls’ principles of justice successfully protect the freedom as non-domination of all citizens so as to effectively treat them as free and equal. (shrink)
Is it possible to talk about God without either misrepresentation or failing to assert anything of significance? The article begins by reviewing how, in attempting to answer this question, traditional theories of religious language have failed to sidestep both potential pitfalls adequately. After arguing that recently developed theories of metaphor seem better able to shed light on the nature of religious language, it considers the claim that huge areas of our language and, consequently, of our experience are shaped by metaphors. (...) Finally, it considers some of the more significant implications of this claim for our understanding of both religious language and religious experience. (shrink)
This paper examines a variety of intellectual responses to the religious and philosophical issues raised by religious plurality. While the specific questions raised by religious plurality differ across traditions, the more general problem that faces all religious intellectuals is how to provide a compelling theoretical account of the relationship between the various religions of the world. The paper briefly reviews religious exclusivism and inclusivism, before focusing upon theories of religious pluralism. After clarifying the distinction between religious pluralism and relativism about (...) religion, and comparing and assessing various forms of pluralism, the paper concludes that how compelling any particular theory of religious diversity proves to be will be dependent upon how convincing one finds the underlying understanding of religion. This implies that the real priority for scholars concerned with rival theories of religious plurality is to strive towards a common understanding of the nature of religion. (shrink)
Erratum to: The Bearable Lightness of Being Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10516-010-9127-7 Authors Bob Hale, Department of Philosophy, University of Sheffield, 45 Victoria St, Sheffield, S3 7QB UK Journal Axiomathes Online ISSN 1572-8390 Print ISSN 1122-1151.
Machine generated contents note: Chronology; Introduction John M. Najemy; 1. Niccol- Machiavelli: a portrait James B. Atkinson; 2. Machiavelli in the Chancery Robert Black; 3. Machiavelli, Piero Soderini, and the Republic of 1494-1512 Roslyn Pesman; 4. Machiavelli and the Medici Humfrey Butters; 5. Machiavelli's Prince in the epic tradition Wayne A. Rebhorn; 6. Society, class, and state in Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy John M. Najemy; 7. Machiavelli's military project and the Art of War Mikael Hörnqvist; 8. Machiavelli's History of Florence (...) Anna Maria Cabrini; 9. Machiavelli and Rome: the Republic as ideal and as history J. G. A. Pocock; 10. Philosophy and religion in Machiavelli Alison Brown; 11. Rhetoric and ethics in Machiavelli Virginia Cox; 12. Machiavelli and poetry Albert Russell Ascoli and Angela Matilde Capodivacca; 13. Comedian, tragedian: Machiavelli and traditions of Renaissance theatre Ronald Martinez; 14. Machiavelli and gender Barbara Spackman; 15. Machiavelli's afterlife and reputation to the eighteenth century Victoria Kahn; 16. Machiavelli in political thought from the Age of Revolutions to the present Je;re;mie Barthas; Index. (shrink)
Hegel thought Sophocles' Antigone was the finest tragedy, and he put drama atop his hierarchy of the arts, precisely at the point where his system transitions from aesthetics to the philosophy of religion. Hegel concluded his Aesthetics by writing, "Of all the masterpieces of the classical and modern world, the Antigone seems to me to be the most magnificent and satisfying work of art."1The Antigone owes its place in Hegel's hierarchy to its focus on Antigone's uncanny self-certainty. Positioned at the (...) juncture between Hegel's aesthetics and his philosophy of religion, it has at its centre a funeral rite, the most ancient and universal of all religious rituals. Antigone's perception of what she is called upon to .. (shrink)
Although I am broadly in sympathy with Carpendale & Lewis's (C&L's) version of social constructivism, I raise two issues they might address. One bears on the question of how social understanding develops: Is their resistance to individualism inappropriately combined with a resistance to internalism? A second question concerns a more radical implication of their view for what social understanding is.
. In this paper, we consider the nature of recent corporate abuses both in the U.S. and in Europe, and how globalization has had an impact on amplifying their consequences. We discuss the rules-based and principles-based remedies that have been proposed in each region, respectively. With a focus on the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOA), we examine the principles forwarded by this act, and how it addresses those principles with specific rules and governance mechanisms. Invoking Integrative Social Contracts Theory (ISCT), we (...) conclude with a reconciliation of the principles and rules-based approaches to corporate governance as suggested by theory. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: List of contributors; Acknowledgments; Introduction: the humanist tradition in Russian philosophy G. M. Hamburg and Randall A. Poole; Part I. The Nineteenth Century: 1. Slavophiles, Westernizers, and the birth of Russian philosophical humanism Sergey Horujy; 2. Alexander Herzen Derek Offord; 3. Materialism and the radical intelligentsia: the 1860s Victoria S. Frede; 4. Russian ethical humanism: from populism to neo-idealism Thomas Nemeth; Part II. Russian Metaphysical Idealism in Defense of Human Dignity: 5. Boris Chicherin and human (...) dignity in history G. M. Hamburg; 6. Vladimir Solov'iev's philosophical anthropology: autonomy, dignity, perfectibility Randall A. Poole; 7. Russian panpsychism: Kozlov, Lopatin, Losskii James P. Scanlan; Part III. Humanity and Divinity in Russian Religious Philosophy after Solov'iev: 8. A Russian cosmodicy: Sergei Bulgakov's religious philosophy Paul Valliere; 9. Pavel Florenskii's trinitarian humanism Steven Cassedy; 10. Semën Frank's expressivist humanism Philip J. Swoboda; Part IV. Freedom and Human Perfectibility in the Silver Age: 11. Religious humanism in the Russian silver age Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal; 12. Russian liberalism and the philosophy of law Frances Nethercott; 13. Imagination and ideology in the new religious consciousness Robert Bird; 14. Eschatology and hope in silver age thought Judith Deutsch Kornblatt; Part V. Russian Philosophy in Revolution and Exile: 15. Russian Marxism Andrzej Walicki; 16. Adventures in dialectic and intuition: Shpet, Il'in, Losev Philip T. Grier; 17. Nikolai Berdiaev and the philosophical tasks of the emigration Stuart Finkel; 18. Eurasianism: affirming the person in an 'Era of Faith' Martin Beisswenger; Afterword: on persons as open-ended ends-in-themselves (the view from two novelists and two critics) Caryl Emerson; Bibliography. (shrink)
This study surveys debates on citizenship, the state, and the bases of political stability. The survey begins by presenting the primary sense of 'citizenship' as a legal status and the question of the sorts of political communities people can belong to as citizens. (Multi)nation-states are suggested as the main site of citizenship in the contemporary world, without ignoring the existence of alternative possibilities. Turning to discussions of citizen identity, the study shows that some of the discussion is motivated by a (...) perceived need for citizens to have a sense of political belonging, on the assumption that such a sense promotes political activity and has other personal and social benefits. But there are serious problems with the strategy of understanding the relevant sense of belonging in terms of identification with the nation-state. The study explores a more promising way to generate this sense of belonging. First, societies should function, to a sufficiently high degree, in accord with political principles of justice and democratic decision making. Second, there should be a general consensus on political principles among citizens, as well as high levels of engagement in democratic deliberation. (shrink)
What is hope? Though variously characterized as a cognitive attitude, an emotion, a disposition, and even a process or activity, hope, more deeply, a unifying and grounding force of human agency. We cannot live a human life without hope, therefore questions about the rationality of hope are properly recast as questions about what it means to hope well. This thesis is defended and elaborated as follows. First, it is argued that hope is an essential and distinctive feature of human agency, (...) both conceptually and developmentally. The author then explores a number of dimensions of agency that are critically implicated in the art of hoping well, drawing on several examples from George Eliot’s Middlemarch. The article concludes with a short section that suggests how hoping well in an individual context may be extended to hope at the collective level. (shrink)
Internalist pluralism is an attractive and elegant theory. However, there are two apparently powerful objections to this approach that prevent its widespread adoption. According to the first objection, the resulting analysis of religious belief systems is intrinsically atheistic; while according to the second objection, the analysis is unsatisfactory because it allows religious objects simply to be defined into existence. In this article, I demonstrate that an adherent of internalist pluralism can deflect both of these objections, and in the course of (...) so arguing, I deploy a distinction between “conceptual-scheme targetability” and “successful conceptual-scheme targeting”. (shrink)
Prenatal screening, consisting of maternal serum screening and nuchal translucency screening, is on the verge of expansion, both by being offered to more pregnant women and by screening for more conditions. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have each recently recommended that screening be extended to all pregnant women regardless of age, disease history, or risk status. This screening is commonly justified by appeal to the value of autonomy, or women's (...) choice. In this paper, I critically examine the value of autonomy in the context of prenatal screening to determine whether it justifies the routine offer of screening and the expansion of screening services. I argue that in the vast majority of cases the option of prenatal screening does not promote or protect women's autonomy. Both a narrow conception of choice as informed consent and a broad conception of choice as relational reveal difficulties in achieving adequate standards of free informed choice. While there are reasons to worry that women's autonomy is not being protected or promoted within the limited scope of current practice, we should hesitate before normalizing it as part of standard prenatal care for all. (shrink)
Cultural safety is a relatively new concept that has emerged in the New Zealand nursing context and is being taken up in various ways in Canadian health care discourses. Our research team has been exploring the relevance of cultural safety in the Canadian context, most recently in relation to a knowledge-translation study conducted with nurses practising in a large tertiary hospital. We were drawn to using cultural safety because we conceptualized it as being compatible with critical theoretical perspectives that foster (...) a focus on power imbalances and inequitable social relationships in health care; the interrelated problems of culturalism and racialization; and a commitment to social justice as central to the social mandate of nursing. Engaging in this knowledge-translation study has provided new perspectives on the complexities, ambiguities and tensions that need to be considered when using the concept of cultural safety to draw attention to racialization, culturalism, and health and health care inequities. The philosophic analysis discussed in this paper represents an epistemological grounding for the concept of cultural safety that links directly to particular moral ends with social justice implications. Although cultural safety is a concept that we have firmly positioned within the paradigm of critical inquiry, ambiguities associated with the notions of 'culture', 'safety', and 'cultural safety' need to be anticipated and addressed if they are to be effectively used to draw attention to critical social justice issues in practice settings. Using cultural safety in practice settings to draw attention to and prompt critical reflection on politicized knowledge, therefore, brings an added layer of complexity. To address these complexities, we propose that what may be required to effectively use cultural safety in the knowledge-translation process is a 'social justice curriculum for practice' that would foster a philosophical stance of critical inquiry at both the individual and institutional levels. (shrink)
This paper examines developing trust in two related senses: (1) rationally overcoming distrust, and (2) developing a mature capacity for trusting/distrusting. In focussing exclusively on the first problem, traditional philosophical discussions fail to address how an evidence- based paradigm of rationality is easily co-opted by (immature) agents in support of irrational distrust (or trust) - a manifestation of the second problem. Well-regulated trust requires developing a capacity to tolerate the uncertainties that chracterise relationships among fully autonomous self-directed agents. Early relationships (...) lack this uncertainty since care-givers take primary responsibility for determining a child's interests, reducing the scope (if not the intensity) of potential conflict between self and other. Once agents recognize that adulthood demands foregoing the security embedded in such relationships of dependency, they are free to embrace a more appropriate paradigm of rationality for guiding their thought and action in interactions with others. (shrink)
Until recently philosophy of religion has been almost exclusively focused upon the analysis of western religious ideas. The central concern of the discipline has been the concept God , as that concept has been understood within Judaeo-Christianity. However, this narrow remit threatens to render philosophy of religion irrelevant today. To avoid this philosophy of religion should become a genuinely multicultural discipline. But how, if at all, can philosophy of religion rise to this challenge? The paper considers fictionalism about religious discourse (...) as a possible methodological standpoint from which to practice a tradition-neutral form of philosophy of religion. However, after examining some of the problems incurred by fictionalism, the paper concludes that fictionalism and religious diversity are uneasy bedfellows; which implies that fictionalism is unlikely to be the best theory to shape the practice of philosophy of religion in a multicultural context. (shrink)
Victoria Davion in “Itch Scratching, Patio Building, and Pesky Flies: Biocentric Individualism Revisited” takes biocentric individualism to task, focusing in particular on my paper, “Reverence for Life as a Viable Environmental Virtue.” Davion levels a wide-range of criticisms, and concludes that we humans would be better off putting biocentric individualism aside to focus on more important issues and positions. Worries raised by Davion can be defended by elaborating on the position laid out in the original paper, including a background (...) normative theory appealing to hypothetical virtuous ideal observers, upon which the position is drawn. Many of her criticisms appear to arise out of misreading or ignoring what is explicitly argued. When these misconstruals are corrected, it becomes clear that there is still space for a viable virtue of reverence for life. (shrink)
This article applies Hilary Putnam’s theory of internal realism to the issue of religious plurality. The result of this application – ‘internalist pluralism’ – constitutes a paradigm shift within the Philosophy of Religion. Moreover, internalist pluralism succeeds in avoiding the major difficulties faced by John Hick’s famous theory of religious pluralism, which views God, or ‘the Real,’ as the noumenon lying behind diverse religious phenomena. In side-stepping the difficulties besetting Hick’s revolutionary Kantian approach, without succumbing to William Alston’s critique of (...) conceptual-scheme dependence, internalist pluralism provides a solution to significant theoretical problems, while doing so in a manner that is respectful of cultural diversity and religious sensitivities. (shrink)
This paper examines the professions as examples of “moral community” and explores how professional leaders possessed of moral intelligence can make a contribution to enhance the ethical fabric of their communities. The paper offers a model of ethical leadership in the professional business sector that will improve our understanding of how ethical behavior in the professions confers legitimacy and sustainability necessary to achieving the professions’ goals, and how a leadership approach to ethics can serve as an effective tool for the (...) dissemination of moral values in the organization. (shrink)
The astonishing growth of the Internet coupled with its unique capabilities has captured the attention of the marketing community. Although many businesses are acknowledging the importance of a Web site, to date, little attention has been given to the business community'sperceptions of the ethicality of this new medium. A national sample of marketing executives was surveyed regarding their perceptions of: (1) regulation of the Internet, (2) the potential ethical issues via Internet marketing facing their industry, and (3) the role of (...) ethics and Internet marketing in their organization. Results and recommendations for incorporating Internet ethical guidelines into organizations are discussed. (shrink)
Human beings, even very young infants, and members of several other species, exhibit remarkable capacities for attending to and engaging with others. These basic capacities have been the subject of intense research in developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, comparative psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind over the last several decades. Appropriately characterizing the exact level and nature of these abilities and what lies at their basis continues to prove a tricky business. The contributions to this special issue investigate whether and to (...) what extent the exercise of such capacities count as, or are best explained by, a genuine understanding of minds, where such understanding depends on the creatures in question possessing capacities for attributing a range of mental states and their contents in systematic ways. The question that takes center stage is: Do the capacities for attending to and engaging with others in question involve mindreading or is this achieved by other means? In this editorial we will review the state of the debate between mindreading and alternative accounts of social cognition. The issue is organized as follows: the first two papers review the experimental literature on mindreading in primates (Bermúdez) and children (Low & Wang), and the kinds of arguments made for mindreading and alternative accounts of social cognition. The next set of papers (Hedger & Fabricius, Lurz & Krachun, Zawidzki, and de Bruin et al.) further critique the existing experimental data and defend various mindreading and non-mindreading accounts. The final set of papers address further issues raised by phenomenological (Jacob, Zahavi), enactive (Michael), and embodied (Spaulding) accounts of social cognition. (shrink)
Published in: Edwina Taborsky, ed. (1999): Semiosis. Evolution. Energy: Towards a Reconceptualization of the Sign. Shaker Verlag, Aachen. (pp. 89-108). The book is based on the meeting "Semiosis. Evolution. Energy, Third International Conference on Semiotics", Victoria Collage, University of Toronto, Canada, October 17-19, 1997 (programme and list of papers, see the SEE web page:http://www.library.utoronto.ca/see).