The realization relation that allegedly holds between mental and physical properties plays a crucial role for so-called non-reductive physicalism because it is supposed to secure both the ontological autonomy of mental properties and, despite their irreducibility, their ability to make a causal difference to the course of the causally closed physical world. For a long time however, the nature of realization has largely been ignored in the philosophy of mind until a couple of years ago authors like Carl Gillett, Derk (...) Pereboom, or Sydney Shoemaker proposed accounts according to which realization is understood against the background of the so-called ‘causal theory of properties’. At least partially, the hope was to solve the problem of mental causation, in particular the kind of causal exclusion reasoning made famous by Jaegwon Kim, in a way acceptable to non-reductive physicalists. The paper asks whether a proper explication of the realization relation can indeed help explain how physically realized mental properties can be causally efficacious in the causally closed physical world and argues for a negative answer: it is important for the non-reductive physicalist to understand what exactly the realization relation amounts to, but it does not solve the problem of mental causation. (shrink)
Research in which participants report potentially dangerous health-related behaviors raises ethical and professional questions about what to do with that information. Policies and laws regarding reportable behaviors vary across states and Institutional Review Boards (IRB). In alcohol research, IRBs often require researchers to respond to participants who report dangerous drinking practices. Researchers have little guidance regarding how best to respond in such cases. Personalized feedback or general nonpersonalized information may prove differentially effective as a function of gender and/or level of (...) self-determination. This study evaluated response strategies for reducing peak blood alcohol concentration (BAC) among participants reporting dangerous BACs (≥ .35%) in the context of a two-year longitudinal intervention trial with 818 heavy drinking college students. After each assessment, participants who reported drinking to estimated BACs at or greater than .35% were sent either a personalized letter expressing concern and indicating their reported BAC or a nonpersonalized pamphlet that included general information about alcohol and other substances, referral information, and a BAC handout. Hierarchical linear modeling results revealed that both strategies were associated with reduced peak BAC when controlling for previous BAC. The personalized letter was more effective for women and for students who tend to regulate their behavior based on others' expectations and contingencies in the environment. This research provides some guidance for researchers considering appropriate responses to participants who report dangerous health behavior in the context of a research trial. (shrink)
During the past decade, the so-called “hypothesis of cognitive extension,” according to which the material vehicles of some cognitive processes are spatially distributed over the brain and the extracranial parts of the body and the world, has received lots of attention, both favourable and unfavourable. The debate has largely focussed on three related issues: (1) the role of parity considerations, (2) the role of functionalism, and (3) the importance of a mark of the cognitive. This paper critically assesses these issues (...) and their interconnections. Section 1 provides a brief introduction. Section 2 argues that some of the most prominent objections against the appeal to parity considerations fail. Section 3 shows that such considerations are nevertheless unsuitable as an argument for cognitive extension. First, the actual argumentative burden is carried by an underlying commitment to functionalism, not by the parity considerations themselves. Second, in the absence of an independently motivated mark of the cognitive, the argument based on parity considerations does not get off the ground, but given such a mark, it is superfluous. Section 4 argues that a similar dilemma arises for the attempt to defend cognitive extension by a general appeal to functionalism. Unless it can be independently settled what it is for a process to be cognitive, functionalism itself will be undermined by the possibility of cognitive extension. Like parity considerations, functionalism is thus either unable to support cognitive extension or superfluous. Hence, nothing short of the specification of an appropriate mark of the cognitive that can be fulfilled not only by intracranial but also by extended processes will do as an argument for cognitive extension. (shrink)
In a recent contribution to this journal, Andrew Fenton and Sheri Alpert have argued that the so-called “extended mind hypothesis” allows us to understand why Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) have the potential to change the self of patients suffering from Locked-in syndrome (LIS) by extending their minds beyond their bodies. I deny that this can shed any light on the theoretical, or philosophical, underpinnings of BCIs as a tool for enabling communication with, or bodily action by, patients with LIS: BCIs (...) are not a case of cognitive extension. I argue that Fenton and Alpert’s claim to the contrary is the result of a widespread confusion about some related, but significantly different, approaches to cognition that all fall under the heading of “situated cognition.” I first provide a short taxonomy of various situated approaches to cognition, highlighting (some of) their important commonalities and differences, which should dissolve some of the confusions surrounding them. Then I show why the extended mind hypothesis is unsuitable as a model of BCI enhancements of LIS patients’ capacity to interact with their surroundings, and I argue that the situated approach with obvious bearings on the sort of questions that were driving Fenton and Alpert is not the idea that cognition is extended , but the idea that cognition is enacted. (shrink)
The study of the mind has always been one of the main preoccupations of philosophers, and has been a booming area of research in recent decades, with remarkable advances in psychology and neuroscience. Oxford University Press now presents the most authoritative and comprehensive guide ever published to the philosophy of mind. An outstanding international team of contributors offer 45 specially written critical surveys of a wide range of topics relating to the mind. The first two sections cover the place of (...) the mind in the natural world: its ontological status, how it fits into the causal fabric of the universe, and the nature of consciousness. The third section focuses on the much-debated subjects of content and intentionality. The fourth section examines a variety of mental capacities, including memory, imagination, and emotion. The fifth section looks at epistemic issues, in particular regarding knowledge of one's own and other minds. The volume concludes with a section on self, personhood, and agency. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind will be an invaluable resource for advanced students and scholars of philosophy, and also for researchers in neighboring disciplines seeking a high-level survey of the state of the art in this flourishing field. (shrink)
After a brief promenade on the several notions of translations that appear in the literature, we concentrate on three paradigms of translations between logics: ( conservative ) translations , transfers and contextual translations . Though independent, such approaches are here compared and assessed against questions about the meaning of a translation and about comparative strength and extensibility of a logic with respect to another.
Explaining the persistence of populations is an important quest in ecology, and is a modern manifestation of the balance of nature metaphor. Increasingly, however, ecologists see populations (and ecological systems generally) as not being in equilibrium or balance. The portrayal of ecological systems as “non-equilibrium” is seen as a strong alternative to deterministic or equilibrium ecology, but this approach fails to provide much theoretical or practical guidance, and warrants formalisation at a more fundamental level. This is available in adaptation theory, (...) which allows population persistence to be explained as an epiphenomenon stemming from the maintenance, survival, movement and reproduction of individual organisms. These processes take place within a physicochemical and biotic environment that persists through structured annual cycles, but which is also spatiotemporally dynamic and subject to stochastic variation. The focus is thus shifted from the overproduction of offspring and the consequent density dependent population pressure thought to follow, to the adaptations and ecological circumstances that support those relatively few individuals that do survive. (shrink)
This paper examines Jaegwon Kim's Supervenience Argument (SA) against nonreductive physicalism, concentrating on Kim's response to two of the most important objections against the SA: First, the Overdetermination Argument, according to which Kim has no convincing argument against the possibility that mental causation might be a case of genuine or systematic overdetermination; second, the Generalization Argument, according to which the SA would entail that causation at any level gives way to causation at the next lower level, thereby leading to an (...) untenable all-encompassing epiphenomenalism. It is argued that as of yet, Kim has failed to develop a coherent overall position, since various moves he makes in response to these criticisms are strangely at odds with other parts of his philosophical position. (shrink)
What is the nature of consciousness? How is consciousness related to brain processes? This volume collects thirteen new papers on these topics: twelve by leading and respected philosophers and one by a leading color-vision scientist. All focus on consciousness in the "phenomenal" sense: on what it's like to have an experience. Consciousness has long been regarded as the biggest stumbling block for physicalism, the view that the mind is physical. The controversy has gained focus over the last few decades, and (...) phenomenal knowledge and phenomenal concepts--knowledge of consciousness and the associated concepts--have come to play increasingly prominent roles in this debate. Consider Frank Jackson's famous case of Mary, the super-scientist who learns all the physical information while confined in a black-and-white room. According to Jackson, if physicalism is true, then Mary's physical knowledge should allow her to deduce what it's like to see in color. Yet it seems intuitively clear that she learns something when she leaves the room. But then how can consciousness be physical? Arguably, whether this sort of reasoning is sound depends on how phenomenal concepts and phenomenal knowledge are construed. For example, some argue that the Mary case reveals something about phenomenal concepts but has no implications for the nature of consciousness itself. Are responses along these lines adequate? Or does the problem arise again at the level of phenomenal concepts? The papers in this volume engage with the latest developments in this debate. The authors' perspectives range widely. For example, Daniel Dennett argues that anti-physicalist arguments such as the knowledge argument are simply confused; David Papineau grants that such arguments at least reveal important features of phenomenal concepts; and David Chalmers defends the anti-physicalist arguments, arguing that the "phenomenal concept strategy" cannot succeed. (shrink)
Epistemological approaches to mental causation argue that the notorious problem of mental causation as captured in the question “How can irreducible, physically realized, and potentially relational mental properties be causally efficacious in the production of physical effects?” has a very simple solution: One merely has to abandon any metaphysical considerations in favor of epistemological considerations and accept that our explanatory practice is a much better guide to causal relevance than the metaphysical reasoning carried out from the philosophical armchair. I argue (...) that epistemological approaches to mental causation do not enjoy any genuine advantage over theories which treat the problem of mental causation as a genuinely metaphysical problem. (shrink)
This paper attempts to answer the question of whether or not government is needed to build walkways near bodies of water such as rivers and lakes, or whether private enterprise can supply such needs. In it we argue that the market is indeed capable of instituting such amenities, despite the fact that there are either none such or at most very precious few in existence at the present time. This occurrence is explained on the grounds that government has preempted the (...) market that would otherwise have taken place in this regard. We also claim that the likelihood of private walkways being built is proportional to the population density of the surrounding habitat, on the grounds that privacy in densely populated regions is already compromised, and thus the costs of such walkways is lowered. (shrink)
Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit have defended a non-reductive account of causal relevance known as the ‘program explanation account’. Allegedly, irreducible mental properties can be causally relevant in virtue of figuring in non-redundant program explanations which convey information not conveyed by explanations in terms of the physical properties that actually do the ‘causal work’. I argue that none of the possible ways to spell out the intuitively plausible idea of a program explanation serves its purpose, viz., defends non-reductive physicalism against (...) Jaegwon Kim’s Causal Exclusion Argument according to which non-reductive physicalism is committed to epiphenomenalism because irreducible mental properties are ‘screened off’ from causal relevance by their physical realizers. Jackson and Pettit’s most promising explication of a program explanation appeals to the idea of invariance of effect under variation of realization , but I show that invariance of effect under variation of realization is neither necessary nor sufficient for causal relevance. (shrink)
Although the application of the emulation model to the control of simple positioning movements is relatively straightforward, extending the scheme to actions requiring multisegmental, interlimb coordination complicates matters a bit. Special consideration of the demands in this case, both on sensory processing and on the process model (two key elements of the Kalman filter), are discussed.
I will discuss two possible options how a defender of the type identity-theory with respect to mental properties can avoid the conclusion of Putnam's Multiple Realizability Argument. I begin by offering a rigorous formulation of Putnam's argument, which has been lacking so far in the literature (section 2). This rigorous formulation shows that there are basically two possible options for avoiding the argument's conclusion. Contrary to current mainstream, I reject the first option?Kim's 'local reductionism'?as untenable (section 3). I endorse the (...) second option, which has been brought into discredit by being too closely associated with disjunctive properties. I first show that many of the criticisms of disjunctive properties miss their target or beg the question against their opponent view (sections 4 & 5). Then I argue that it is not necessary to tie the second option closely to disjunctive properties. Hence, even if we deny the legitimacy of disjunctive properties, the identity-theorist still need not accept the conclusion of the Multiple Realizability Argument since there is an alternative, though related, way to spell out the second response (section 6). (shrink)
In 'Jackson on physical information and qualia'(1984) Terry Horgan defended physicalism against Frank Jackson's Knowledge Argument by raising what later has been called the 'mode of presentation reply'- arguingthatthe Knowledge Argumentis fallacious because itsubtly equivocates on two different readings of 'physical information'. In 'Mary, Mary, quite contrary' (2000) however, George Graham and Terry Horgan maintain that none of the replies against Jackson has yet been successful, not even Horgan's own 1984 rejoinder.Tosubstantiate their claim, they present an allegedly improved version of (...) the Knowledge Argument, the 'Mary Mary Argument' whose default moral is property-dualism. In section 1, I will set the scene by making some clarifying remarks regarding Jackson's original argument. In section 2, I will consider several objections to the most promising physicalist rejoinder to the Knowledge Argument, the mode of presentation reply. In section 3 I will discuss the Mary Mary Argument and propose the indexical account of consciousness that, as it happens, is based on Horgan's own 1984 account as a possible solution. Finally,in section 4, I will argue that to the extent that the Mary Mary Argument exceeds the force of Jackson's original challenge it coincides with Joe Levine's Explanatory Gap Argument. (shrink)
Ecological theory is built upon assumptions about the fundamental nature of organism-environment interactions. We argue that two mutually exclusive sets of such assumptions are available and that they have given rise to alternative approaches to studying ecology. The fundamentally different premises of these approaches render them irreconcilable with one another. In this paper, we present the first logical formalisation of these two paradigms.The more widely-accepted approach - which we label the demographic paradigm - includes both population ecology and community ecology (...) (synecology). Demographic ecology assumes that the environment is relatively stable and that biotic processes, governed predominantly by resource availability, are the most important of ecological and evolutionary influences. Moreover, ecological processes are assumed to translate into directional selection pressures that drive significant evolutionary change on a local scale through the process of optimisation. (shrink)
We analyse theories and research approaches in ecology and find that they fall into two internally homogeneous groups of linked ideas, each comprising a unique set of premises. The two sets of interpretive statements are thus mutually exclusive; they constitute alternative theoretical developments in ecology and should not be seen as complementary. They can, therefore, be considered two paradigms (Kuhn, 1962). Our interpretation is supported by the minimal overlap, if any, in the premises and research directions of the two approaches. (...) We label the dominant group of ideas the demographic paradigm and the less developed one the autecological paradigm. The internal logic of the demographic paradigm of ecology is strongly developed and consistent. Its premises and logic extend into current models of population genetics, biogeography, palaeontology, evolutionary theory and conservation biology. Nevertheless, many phenomena contradict the premises of the demographic paradigm; these contradictions cannot be accommodated within its theoretical framework without major disruptions in logic ensuing. Such phenomena can, in contrast, be understood in terms of the autecological paradigm. Because the status and strengths of the autecological paradigm are generally unrecognised and because autecology is frequently misrepresented in the literature, we redefine its premises and clarify its structure and aims as an aid to its future development. (shrink)
Many people still believe in life after death, but modern institutions operate as though this were the only world - eternity is now eclipsed from view in society and even in the church. This book carefully observes the eclipse - what caused it, how full is it, what are its consequences, will it last? How significant is recent interest in near-death experiences and reincarnation?
All major journalism ethical codes explicitly state that journalists should protect editorial copy from undue influence by outside sources. However, much of the previous research on agricultural information has concentrated on what information various media communicate (gatekeeping studies) or communication's role in increasing innovation adoption (diffusion studies). Few studies have concentrated specifically on organizational and structural constraints that might adversely affect agricultural journalists' ethical standards; those that have, focus largely on farm magazines. A study of newspaper reporters who cover agricultural (...) news found that the most pressing ethical concern is the effect of advertiser (agri-business) pressure on editorial copy, and that their concerns in general parallel those of farm magazine writers and editors. The majority reported being in situations in which they might be exposed to advertiser pressure, including pressures to change or withhold editorial copy. Large minorities suggested that advertising pressures affect the overall environment in which agricultural journalists work, and more than one in ten said they allow advertiser pressures to influence editorial decisions. The newspaper reporters who cover agricultural beats showed slightly more resistance to advertiser pressure than did farm magazine editors in a parallel study. (shrink)
Studies of coexistence are based ultimately on the assumption that competitive exclusion is a general and accredited phenomenon in nature. However, the ecological and evolutionary impact of interspecific competition is of questionable significance. Review of three reputed examples of competitive exclusion in the field (Aphytis wasps, red and grey squirrels, and triclads) demonstrates that the widely-accepted competition-based interpretations are unlikely, that alternative explanations are overlooked, and that all other reported cases need critical reinvestigation. Although interspecific competition does undoubtedly occur, the (...) evidence suggests it is usually too weak and intermittent a force to achieve competitive exclusion or any other ecologically-significant result, except perhaps rarely and on a minor scale. Coexistence and community structure are therefore not ecological conditions to be especially accounted for, especially since their inherently comparative methods generate information that is largely superficial. Alternative questions that relate directly to species, the units of diversity, are discussed and they emphasize the primary habitat requirements of species, which are fixed during speciation. Neither the comparative approach of coexistence studies, nor the investigation of pattern is likely to be profitable, since the acquisition of species-specific characteristics during speciation requires historical research. At least one alternative theory of ecology, based on the close adaptation of organisms to the environment, is available. (shrink)
I propose a broad concept of happiness as an ultimate moral goal that is consistent with what reflective people desire and what people generally approve. Broad happiness includes many and various pleasures, a minimum of pain, a predominately active life and awareness of what can be attained. Besides these characteristics, which are found in Mill, I add that mental and physical faculties must be developed in accord with biological potential, people must be able to choose activities that exercise their developed (...) faculties and must be able to achieve many of the goals toward which their activities aim. This claim can be established by considering scientific data and analyzing what moralists usually approve. According to it, intellectual activities will be found to be the most important aspects of happiness.My concept will differ from Mill’s in that I reject the notion that happiness is synonymous with pleasure and the absence of pain, although both are part of happiness. Because Mill adopted this definition, his theory produced many anomalies. For example, in order to maintain that intellectual activities are morally superior, Mill was led to introduce qualities of pleasure. This maneuver is inconsistent with his empiricism. Moreover, the activities that are most approved from a moral point of view cannot be explained by the pleasure principle. The broad concept of happiness can account for the primacy of intellectual activities and those activities that are most often morally approved. (shrink)