Analyzing Montaigne's triptych painting, “Of the Education of Children,” reveals a series of ever-morphing, Dorian Gray–like canvases that depict metaphor mutations through which Montaigne defined education by distinguishing between schooling a child into a learned man and educating him into an able, active, and gentle person. Montaigne used metaphor and metaphor clusters to image key points in his educational philosophy, advanced his argument by intertwining, transmuting, and inverting metaphors, and thereby drew and vividly painted his philosophy of how to educate (...) a person from cradle to coffin. Because the etymology and pronunciation of “essay” (from the French essai) support Montaigne's imaging and exploiting of this genre's creative potential, VirginiaWorley begins by considering the term's etymology before positioning her analysis of Montaigne's work within metaphor research. She then examines the metaphors Montaigne used to paint the triptych word painting that embodies his philosophy of education: the meaning and value of educating in and for the art of living well. (shrink)
What is the status of the philosophical content of philosophy with children? Some think that philosophy can't be done with children, but Worley thinks it can as long as we qualify what we mean by 'philosophy' when doing philosophy with children. Worley distinguishes between statements that resemble philosophy but aren't, from genuine philosophical discussions with children, and, for Worley, the key is dialectical context and progress. In this paper he also argues for a level of philosophical expertise (...) from the facilitator and makes a normative case for why philosophy should be included in any curriculum for children. (shrink)
Yablo suggests that we can understand the possibility of mental causation by supposing that mental properties determine physical properties, in the classic sense of determination according to which red determines scarlet. Determinates and their determinables do not compete for causal relevance, so if mental and physical properties are related as determinable and determinates, they should not compete for causal relevance either. I argue that this solution won''t work. I first construct a more adequate account of determination than that provided by (...) Yablo. I then consider two common accounts of the mental, token identity theories and dispositional theories, and argue that on neither do mental and physical properties satisfy the requirements for determination. (shrink)
Some philosophers have suggested that, instead of attempting to arrive at a satisfactory definition of the physical, we should adopt the ‘via negativa.’ That is, we should take the notion of the mental as fundamental, and define the physical in contrast, as the non-mental. I defend a variant of this approach, based on some information about how children form concepts. I suggest we are hard-wired to form a concept of intentional agency from a very young age, and so there’s some (...) reason to believe that our concept of the physical does include, as part of its content, a contrast with the mental. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that we should not ascribe beliefs and desires to subjects like zombies or (present day) computers which do not have phenomenal consciousness. In order to ascribe beliefs, we must distinguish between personal and subpersonal content. There may be states in my brain which represent the array of light intensities on my retina, but these states are not beliefs, because they are merely subpersonal. I argue that we cannot distinguish between personal and subpersonal content without reference (...) to phenomenal consciousness. I argue for this by examining two attempts to account for belief without reference to phenomenal consciousness, functionalism and Dennett's patterns of behavior theory, and showing that they both fail. In the course of the arguments that these attempts fail, I develop some positive reasons for believing that phenomenal consciousness is indeed necessary. (shrink)
Kim argues that we can never have more than one complete and independent explanation for a single event. The existence of both mental and physical explanations for behavior would seem to violate this principle. We can avoid violating it only if we suppose that mental causal relationships supervene on physical causal relationships. I argue that although his solution is attractive in many respects, it will not do as it stands. I propose an alternate understanding of supervenient causation which preserves the (...) advantages of Kim's account while avoiding the problems. My analysis involves appeal to counterfactuals. Any counterfactual analysis must confront the problem that mental states appear to be screened off from causal relevance by physical states. I argue that screening off is not a problem, because cases in which mental states appear to be screened off are cases in which background conditions are not held constant. (shrink)
Philipp Otto Runge (1777-1810) was a leading German Romantic artist whose iconography represents a transition from the Neoclassical iconography of classical mythology and allegory to an abstract semiotic system of signs based on a mystical interpretation of nature. An admirer of Herder's theory of language, Runge's iconography was representative of a trend among Romantic artists to promote nationalism and cultural values through the implementation of formal epistemological systems in the medium of art. Runge's individual iconography reveals a synthesis of rational (...) and mystical systems of knowledge that emphasizes Herder's concept of the German Volk as a unique cultural identity, and presents an analogy between the creation of the cosmos, the organic origins of language, and the conception of the German Volk. Runge's iconography expresses the nationalist sentiments and linguistic theory of Herder that formed the basis of German propaganda movements during the Wars of Liberation, 1807-1815. (shrink)
Although great progress in neuroanatomy and physiology has occurred lately, we still cannot go directly to those levels to discover the neural mechanisms of higher cognition and consciousness. But we can use neurocomputational methods based on these details to push this project forward. Here we describe vector subtraction as an operation that computes sequential paths through high-dimensional vector spaces. Vector-space interpretations of network activity patterns are a fruitful resource in recent computational neuroscience. Vector subtraction also appears to be implemented neurally (...) in primate frontal eye field activity, which computes dimensions of saccadic eye movements. We use this apparent neural implementation as a model and construct from it a general neurocomputational account of an important type of sequential cognitive and conscious process. We defend the biological plausibility of all components of the general model and show that it yields testable anatomical and physiological predictions. We close by suggesting some interesting consequences for consciousness if our model characterizes correctly the neural mechanisms producing a common type of episode in our conscious streams. (shrink)
Evelyn Fox Keller and Susan Bordo are often cited as sources for the claim that the notion of objectivity found in Western science and analytic philosophy is male-biased. I argue that even if their arguments that objectivity is male-biased are successful, the bias they establish is not a sort which should worry any feminist analytic philosophers (or scientists). I also examine their suggestions for reconceiving objectivity and find them inadequately motivated.
Journalists covering the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech aggravated the trauma felt by victims' families and survivors, raising ethical questions about the role of media at major news events in an Internet-enabled era of continuous coverage. Some journalists breached professional norms by knocking on doors at 6 a.m., claiming a hidden camera was a breast pump and bullying reluctant interviewees. Even conscientious journalists, however, exacerbated the ordeal through their overabundance. By forcing survivors to endure repetitious interviews and making mourners (...) feel they were being stalked, journalists demonstrated they must embrace press pools to minimize harm in the future. (shrink)
Virginia Held's Feminist Morality defends the idea that it is possible to transform the "public" sphere by remaking it on the model of existing "private" relationships such as families. This paper challenges Held's optimism. It is argued that feminist moral inquiry can aid in transforming the public sphere only by showing just how much the allegedly "private" realms of families and personal relationships are shaped-and often misshapen-by public demands and concerns.
I articulate what I refer to as Jefferson’s “land ethic,” drawing primarily from his Notes on the State of Virginia. In the first section, I discuss Jefferson’s conception of the intimate relationship between the natural and political constitution of America and his vindication of both. In the second section, I examine the centrality of the environment in Jefferson’s political vision for America: a landbasedrepublicanism. In the third section, I elaborate Jefferson’s view as to the proper relationship between human beings (...) and their environment by focusing on the form of nature to which he believes human beings most intimately relate: one’s estate. Jefferson’s understanding of the land draws from John Locke’s theory of property, but whereas Locke’s concept of property is closely associated with the economic values that facilitate human destruction of the environment, Jefferson’s environmentalism focuses on the other side of the relation: the ways in which a particular nature—a climate, one’s landholding, the New World in general–can influence human nature and politics. (shrink)
Care ethicists have long insisted that Kantian moral theory fails to capture the partiality that ought to be present in our personal relationships. In her most recent book, Virginia Held claims that, unlike impartial moral theories, care ethics guides us in how we should act toward friends and family. Because these actions are performed out of care, they have moral value for a care ethicist. The same actions, Held claims, would not have moral worth for a Kantian because of (...) the requirement of impartiality. Although Kantian moral theory is an impartial theory, I argue that the categorical imperative in the Formulation of Humanity as an End and the duty of respect require that we give special treatment to friends and family because of their relationships with us. Therefore, this treatment does have moral value for a Kantian. (shrink)
B. H. Slater has argued that there cannot be any truly paraconsistent logics, because it's always more plausible to suppose whatever negation symbol is used in the language is not a real negation, than to accept the paraconsistent reading. In this paper I neither endorse nor dispute Slater's argument concerning negation; instead, my aim is to show that as an argument against paraconsistency, it misses (some of) the target. A important class of paraconsistent logics — the preservationist logics — are (...) not subject to this objection. In addition I show that if we identify logics by means of consequence relations, at least one dialetheic logic can be reinterpreted in preservationist (non-dialetheic) terms. Thus the interest of paraconsistent consequence relations — even those that emerge from dialetheic approaches — does not depend on the tenability of dialetheism. Of course, if dialetheism is defensible, then paraconsistent logic will be required to cope with it. But the existence (and interest) of paraconsistent logics does not depend on a defense of dialetheism. (shrink)
This paper discusses a number of themes and arguments in The Quest for Reality: Stroud's distinction between philosophical and ordinary questions about reality; the similarity he finds between the view that coloris unreal and the view that it is subjective; his argument against thesecondary quality theory; his argument against the error theory; and the disappointing conclusion of the book.
: This essay suggests that to understand the pacifist position Woolf takes in her critique of fascism and patriarchy, it is essential to recognize how, not only why, she explores the relationship between narrative and political authority. Creating an intersection between a feminist conceptualization of Woolf's narrative technique and philosophical notions about ethical forms of representation, it argues that Woolf fragments the locus of narrative authority in Three Guineas to model a stylistic resistance to linguistic practices she thinks support totalitarian (...) ideology. (shrink)