This paper begins by tracing interest in emergence in physics to the work of condensed matter physicist Philip Anderson. It provides a selective introduction to contemporary philosophical approaches to emergence. It surveys two exciting areas of current work that give good reason to re-evaluate our views about emergence in physics. One area focuses on physical systems wherein fundamental theories appear to break down. The other area is the quantum-to-classical transition, where some have claimed that a complete explanation of the behaviors (...) and features of the objects of classical physics entirely in quantum terms is now within our grasp. We suggest that the most useful way to approach the emergent/non-emergent distinction is in epistemic terms, and more specifically that the failure of reductive explanation is constitutive of emergence in physics. (shrink)
In this paper I defend the theory that knowledge is credit-worthy true belief against a family of objections, one of which was leveled against it in a recent paper by Jennifer Lackey. In that paper, Lackey argues that testimonial knowledge is problematic for the credit-worthiness theory because when person A comes to know that p by way of the testimony of person B, it would appear that any credit due to A for coming to believe truly that p belongs to (...) the testifier, B, rather than the hearer, A. If so, then knowledge would appear not to be a matter of credit for true belief. I think that the problem this raises actually has little to do with the fact that the knowledge comes by way of testimony, and that similar objections can be formulated in terms of perceptual and memorial knowledge. I will attempt to neutralize these objections by drawing a distinction between credit as praiseworthiness and credit as attributability. (shrink)
Recent work on emergence in physics has focused on the presence of singular limit relations between basal and upper-level theories as a criterion for emergence. However, over-emphasis on the role of singular limit relations has somewhat obscured what it means to say that a property or behaviour is emergent. This paper argues that singular limits are not central to emergence and develops an alternative account of emergence in terms of the failure of basal explainability. As a consequence, emergence and reduction, (...) long held to be two sides of the same coin in the emergentist tradition, are largely decoupled. (shrink)
Field theories have been central to physics over the last 150 years, and there are several theories in contemporary physics in which physical fields play key causal and explanatory roles. This paper proposes a novel field trope-bundle (FTB) ontology on which fields are composed of bundles of particularized property instances, called tropes and goes on to describe some virtues of this ontology. It begins with a critical examination of the dominant view about the ontology of fields, that fields are properties (...) of a substantial substratum. (shrink)
The problem of the current research is to develop an instrument that accurately measures individuals' adherence or nonadherence to both Protestant Ethic and contemporary work values. The study confirms that the traditional Protestant Ethic work values and the contemporary work values are different and the instrument used to measure the work values that individuals actually support is valid and reliable. Two scales were developed based on Protestant Ethic work values and contemporary work values. A four-point Likert scale was used to (...) indicate the extent of agreement or disagreement with statements written to represent Protestant Ethic and contemporary work values. Face and content validities of the instrument were established by using two panels of experts — one consisted of authorities in the area of work values; the other consisted of editorial critics. Reliability of the instrument was confirmed by the Kuder-Richardson and test-retest methods. Four sets of work values emerged with significant discrimination among them. (shrink)
Nick Huggett and Robert Weingard (1994) have recently proposed a novel approach to interpreting field theories in physics, one which makes central use of the fact that a field generally has an infinite number of degrees of freedom in any finite region of space it occupies. Their characterization, they argue, (i) reproduces our intuitive categorizations of fields in the classical domain and thereby (ii) provides a basis for arguing that the quantum field is a field. Furthermore, (iii) it accomplishes these (...) tasks better than does a well-known rival approach due to Paul Teller (1990, 1995). This paper contends that all three of these claims are mistaken, and suggests that Huggett and Weingard have not shown how counting degrees of freedom provides any insight into the interpretation or the formal properties of field theories in physics. (shrink)
Many explanations in physics rely on idealized models of physical systems. These explanations fail to satisfy the conditions of standard normative accounts of explanation. Recently, some philosophers have claimed that idealizations can be used to underwrite explanation nonetheless, but only when they are what have variously been called representational, Galilean, controllable or harmless idealizations. This paper argues that such a half-measure is untenable and that idealizations not of this sort can have explanatory capacities.
A signal development in contemporary physics is the widespread use, in explanatory contexts, of highly idealized models. This paper argues that some highly idealized models in physics have genuine explanatory power, and it extends the explanatory role for such idealizations beyond the scope of previous philosophical work. It focuses on idealizations of nonlinear oscillator systems.
A common methodological adage holds that diverse evidence better confirms a hypothesis than does the same amount of similar evidence. Proponents of Bayesian approaches to scientific reasoning such as Horwich, Howson and Urbach, and Earman claim to offer both a precise rendering of this maxim in probabilistic terms and an explanation of why the maxim should be part of the methodological canon of good science. This paper contends that these claims are mistaken and that, at best, Bayesian accounts of diverse (...) evidence are crucially incomplete. This failure should lend renewed force to a long-neglected global worry about Bayesian approaches. (shrink)
Recent work by Robert Batterman and Alexander Rueger has brought attention to cases in physics in which governing laws at the base level “break down” and singular limit relations obtain between base- and upper-level theories. As a result, they claim, these are cases with emergent upper-level properties. This paper contends that this inference—from singular limits to explanatory failure, novelty or irreducibility, and then to emergence—is mistaken. The van der Pol nonlinear oscillator is used to show that there can be a (...) full explanation of upper-level properties entirely in base-level terms even when singular limits are present. Whether upper-level properties are emergent depends not on the presence of a singular limit but rather on details of the ampliative approximation methods used. The paper suggests that focusing on explanatory deficiency at the base level is key to understanding emergence in physics. (shrink)
This discussion provides a brief commentary on each of the papers presented in the symposium on the conceptual foundations of field theories in physics. In Section 2 I suggest an alternative to Paul Teller's (1999) reading of the gauge argument that may help to solve, or dissolve, its puzzling aspects. In Section 3 I contend that Sunny Auyang's (1999) arguments against substantivalism and for "objectivism" in the context of gauge field theories face serious worries. Finally, in Section 4 I claim (...) that Gordon Fleming's (1999) proposal for hyperplane-dependent Newton-Wigner fields differs importantly from his previous arguments about hyperplane-dependent properties in quantum mechanics. (shrink)
The continuous pursuit and support of medical research on both a societal and individual level is frequently presupposed as laudable, or even obligatory. However, some critics have challenged the assumption that medical research ought to be conducted. These critics reject claims that there is a moral obligation to pursue research, and that medical research may always be justifiable given adequate safeguards and regulations. We align ourselves with critics of the research imperative to the extent that we believe that medical research (...) may only be an imperfect obligation, grounded in the principle of beneficence. Our central purpose in this article, however, is not to advance an original argument concerning the .. (shrink)
Are animals not ours to use? According to proponents of veganism such as Gary Francione, any and all use of animals by humans is exploitative and wrong. It is wrong because animals have intrinsic worth and humans' use of animals fails to respect that worth. Contra Francione, I argue that that there are conditions under which it may be morally appropriate to collect, consume, sell, or otherwise use animal products. Francione is mistaken in his belief that assigning intrinsic worth to (...) a being is impossible if said being is also conceived as a resource. Using and (non-instrumental) valuing are not mutually exclusive; if they were, many if not most human relationships would be deemed morally unacceptable. Through a series of thought experiments involving intra-human relationships, I suggest that moral condemnation of relationships within which a less dependent party regularly takes from a more dependent party is indefensible. In fact, relationships of use between asymmetrically dependent parties are essential to the functioning of cooperative society, and are therefore desirable. My aims with this article are to convince readers of the need to reject principled veganism, and to garner support for new philosophical accounts of morally appropriate human-nonhuman animal relationships. (shrink)
Andrew Wayne (1995) discusses some recent attempts to account, within a Bayesian framework, for the "common methodological adage" that "diverse evidence better confirms a hypothesis than does the same amount of similar evidence" (112). One of the approaches considered by Wayne is that suggested by Howson and Urbach (1989/1993) and dubbed the "correlation approach" by Wayne. This approach is, indeed, incomplete, in that it neglects the role of the hypothesis under consideration in determining what diversity in a (...) body of evidence is relevant diversity. In this paper, it is shown how this gap can be filled, resulting in a more satisfactory account of the evidential role of diversity of evidence. In addition, it is argued that Wayne's criticism of the correlation approach does not indicate a serious flaw in the approach. (shrink)
There is a lively debate about the descriptive concept of happiness. What do we mean when we say (using the word to express this descriptive concept) that a person is “happy”? One prominent answer is subjective local desire satisfactionism. On this view, to be happy at a time is to believe, with respect to the things that you want to be true at that time, that they are true. Wayne Davis developed and defended an interesting and sophisticated version of (...) this view in a series of papers. I present, explain, and attempt to refute his version of the theory. I then sketch what I take to be a better theory of happiness -- a form of intrinsic attitudinal hedonism. (shrink)
In this essay, I argue that it is sometimes inappropriate to appeal to moral criteria in artistic judgments, even when the moral content of an artwork contributes to its artistic value. I suggest that this is the case with artworks that (1) are “interrogative” in form, posing a question or problem that remains unresolved in the work, and (2) have moral dilemmas as a principal theme. Using Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as an example of morally interrogative artwork, (...) I critique Wayne Booth’s moral defense of the novel. I argue that because Booth incorrectly attributes a moral stance to the book, he overlooks its value as a provocation to critical reflection about morality. (shrink)
Wayne Martin’s Theories of Judgment marks a significant advance in the philosophical analysis of judgment. He understands that the domain of judgment is so large that it allows only a selective treatment. We can expand Martin’s insight by acknowledging that this domain is, in fact, hypercomplex and therefore unsurveyable in Wittgenstein’s sense. Martin’s treatment of judgments can, however, be extended in a number of directions. Of particular importance is it to understand the linguistic aspect of theoretical judgments, the challenges (...) to the synthetic conception of judgment constituted not only by existential, but also by impersonal and negative judgments, and the exploration of the links between the notions of judgment and truth. (shrink)
WayneMartin's Theories of Judgment marks a significant advance in the philosophical analysis of judgment. He understands that the domain of judgment is so large that it allows only a selective treatment. We can expand Martin's insight by acknowledging that this domain is, in fact, hypercomplex and therefore unsurveyable in Wittgenstein's sense. Martin's treatment of judgments can, however, be extended in a number of directions. Of particular importance is it to understand the linguistic aspect of theoretical (...) judgments, the challenges to the synthetic conception of judgment constituted not only by existential, but also by impersonal and negative judgments, and the exploration of the links between the notions of judgment and truth. (shrink)
[First Paragraph] In his recent book, Implicature: Intention, Convention, and Principle in the Failure of Gricean Theory (1998), Wayne Davis argues that the Gricean approach to conversational implicature is bankrupt and offers a new approach of his own. Although I disagree with Davis both in general and in detail, I think nonetheless that the problems he raises'or close relatives of them-- are serious and important problems which should give any Gricean pause. This is an extremely worthwhile book, even (...) for those who disagree with it. (shrink)
Wayne (1995) critiques the Bayesian explication of the conﬁrmational signiﬁcance of evidential diversity (CSED) oﬀered by Horwich (1982). Presently, I argue that Wayne’s reconstruction of Horwich’s account of CSED is uncharitable. As a result, Wayne’s criticisms ultimately present no real problem for Horwich. I try to provide a more faithful and charitable rendition of Horwich’s account of CSED. Unfortunately, even when Horwich’s approach is charitably reconstructed, it is still not completely satisfying.
Jonathan Kvanvig's book, The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding (Kvanvig, 2003), is a wonderful example of doing epistemology in a style that Kvanvig himself has termed "value−driven epistemology." On this approach, one takes questions about epistemic value to be central to theoretical concerns, including the concern to provide an adequate account of knowledge. This approach yields the demand that theories of knowledge must provide, not just an adequate account of the nature of knowledge, but also an account (...) of the value of knowledge. Given the near−universal assumption that knowledge has a special kind of value, this demand seems reasonable, though surprisingly hard to satisfy. Another consequence of this approach to doing epistemology is that certain assumptions about epistemic value, like what sorts of things have it and what sorts of things don't, and where such value comes from, become much more salient to the epistemic enterprise. In his book, Kvanvig challenges the assumption that knowledge has some unique store of epistemic value. And he investigates the matter by asking questions about what the bearers of epistemic value are and where they get it. He concludes, of course, that knowledge as we have come to conceive it in 21st century epistemology has no such special value. (shrink)
The essays in the first part, Approaches to Ontology, explore different philosophical frameworks in which the ontology of QFT could fruitfully be examined. Despite their differences, they all agree that traditional ontologies, in particular substance-attribute ontology, are unsuitable for QFT. Peter Simons begins by pointing out why substance-attribute ontology, applied set theory, fact ontology, occurrent ontologies, and trope theory are inadequate ontologies for QFT and then puts forward his own suggestion: factored ontology. The main idea of this ontology is to (...) posit basic features (so-called ‘factors’) and to view objects as suitable combinations of some of these factors. He presents an outline of a version of a factored ontology, called PACIS, which he and his collaborators have developed over the last fifteen years and which they have – in their view successfully – applied to different domains in the natural and the social sciences. Given this success, Simons is confident that this framework will also prove fruitful in the case of QFT. However, he does not give any further argument for this claim and does not make an attempt at formulating a concrete factor 1 ontology of QFT. He merely puts forward his framework as a conceptual tool and leaves it to the philosopher of physics to work out an interpretation of QFT in its terms. (shrink)
The paper assesses Martin's recent logico-phenomenological account of judgment that is cast in the form of an eclectic history of judging, from Hume and Kant through the 19th century to Frege and Heidegger as well as current neuroscience. After a preliminary discussion of the complex unity and temporal modalities of judgment that draws on a reading of Titian's "Allegory of Prudence" (National Gallery, London), the remainder of the paper focuses on Martin's views on Kant's logic in general and his theory (...) of singular existential judgment in particular. The paper argues against Martin's key claims of the primacy of formal logic over transcendental logic and of the synthetic nature of judgment in Kant. It also takes issue with each of the four interpretations of singular existential judgment in Kant offered by Martin: existence as logical predicate, as copula, as thesis and as logical subject. (shrink)
Myrvold (2003) has proposed an attractive Bayesian account of why theories that unify phenomena tend to derive greater epistemic support from those phenomena than do theories that fail to unify them. It is argued, however, that "unification" in Myrvold's sense is both too easy and too difficult for theories to achieve. Myrvold's account fails to capture what it is that makes unification sometimes count in a theory's favor.
What does quantum ﬁeld theory (QFT) tell us about the furniture of the world? Seventeen essays gathered in the four parts of Ontological Aspects of Quantum Field Theory address this question from different angles and with different objectives. Together, they form a wide-ranging and up-to-date volume that makes a valuable contribution to an ongoing discussion, which, due to the comprehensive introduction by the editors, can be of interest to experts and novices alike.
Martin offers an intriguing account of nineteenth century challenges to the traditional theory of judgment as a synthesis of subject and predicate (the synthesis theory)--criticisms motivated largely by the problem posed by existential judgments, which need not have two terms at all. Such judgments led to a theory of "thetic" judgments, whose essential feature is to "posit" something, rather than to combine terms (as in synthetic judgment). I argue, however, that Kant's official definition of judgment already implicitly recognizes the importance (...) of positing, and that its (otherwise confusing) abstract generality actually affords Kant's own logic an adequate way to accommodate existential judgments within the traditional synthesis theory. Preservation of a synthetic account of judgment is also found to be independently important for Kant's larger aims in the theory of cognition. (shrink)
In “On Begging the Systematicity Question,” Wayne Davis criticizes the suggestion of Cummins et al. that the alleged systematicity of thought is not as obvious as is sometimes supposed, and hence not reliable evidence for the language of thought hypothesis. We offer a brief reply.
H. P. Grice virtually discovered the phenomenon of implicature (to denote the implications of an utterance that are not strictly implied by its content). Gricean theory claims that conversational implicatures can be explained and predicted using general psycho-social principles. This theory has established itself as one of the orthodoxes in the philosophy of language. Wayne Davis argues controversially that Gricean theory does not work. He shows that any principle-based theory understates both the intentionality of what a speaker implicates and (...) the conventionality of what a sentence implicates. In developing his argument the author explains that the psycho-social principles actually define the social function of implicature conventions, which contribute to the satisfaction of those principles. This challenging book will be of importance to philosophers of language and linguists, especially those working in pragmatics and sociolinguistics. (shrink)
Abstract MacFarlane distinguishes “context sensitivity” from “indexicality,” and argues that “nonindexical contextualism” has significant advantages over the standard indexical form. MacFarlane’s substantive thesis is that the extension of an expression may depend on an epistemic standard variable even though its content does not. Focusing on ‘knows,’ I will argue against the possibility of extension dependence without content dependence when factors such as meaning, time, and world are held constant, and show that MacFarlane’s nonindexical contextualism provides no advantages over indexical contextualism. (...) The discussion will shed light on the definition of indexicals as well as the meaning of ‘knows,’ and highlight important constraints on the way meaning can be represented in semantics. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-14 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9831-1 Authors Wayne A. Davis, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116. (shrink)
Wayne Waxman here presents an ambitious and comprehensive attempt to link the philosophers of what are known as the British Empiricists--Locke, Berkeley, and Hume--to the philosophy of German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Much has been written about all these thinkers, who are among the most influential figures in the Western tradition. Waxman argues that, contrary to conventional wisdom, Kant is actually the culmination of the British empiricist program and that he shares their methodological assumptions and basic convictions about human thought (...) and knowledge. (shrink)
In an effort to construct a plausible theory of experience-based welfare, Wayne Sumner imposes two requirements on the relevant kind of experience: the information requirement and the autonomy requirement. I argue that both requirements are problematic.First, I argue (very briefly) that a well-know case like ‘the deceived businessman’ need not support the information requirement as Sumner believes. Second, I introduce a case designed to cast further doubt on the information requirement. Third, I attend to a shortcoming in Sumner’s theory (...) of welfare, namely that it is unclear which of later and informed assessments are to be treated as authoritative when it comes to the evaluation of a person’s welfare. Finally, I suggest that, in combination with ‘welfarism’ (to which Sumner subscribes, and which has it that welfare is all that matters from a moral viewpoint), the information requirement entail morally troublesome conclusions: e.g. the conclusion that, from a moral point of view, we should, other things being equal, only to be concerned with the alternative that makes one person slightly better off in respect of welfare instead of also being morally concerned with the alternative that makes one person very happy. (shrink)
Wayne Martin traces attempts to develop theories of judgment in British Empiricism, the logical tradition stemming from Kant, nineteenth-century psychologism, recent experimental neuropsychology, and the phenomenological tradition associated with Brentano, Husserl and Heidegger. His reconstruction of vibrant but largely forgotten nineteenth-century debates links Kantian approaches to judgment with twentieth-century phenomenological accounts. He also shows that the psychological, logical and phenomenological dimensions of judgment are not only equally important, but fundamentally interlinked.
Wayne Davis presents a highly original approach to the foundations of semantics, showing how the so-called "expression" theory of meaning can handle names and other problematic cases of nondescriptive meaning. The fact that thoughts have parts ("ideas" or "concepts") is fundamental: Davis argues that like other unstructured words, names mean what they do because they are conventionally used to express atomic or basic ideas. In the process he shows that many pillars of contemporary philosophical semantics, from twin earth arguments (...) to the necessity of identity, are unfounded. (shrink)
Propositionalism is the view that intentional attitudes, such as belief, are relations to propositions. Propositionalists argue that propositionalism follows from the intuitive validity of certain kinds of inferences involving attitude reports. Jubien (2001) argues powerfully against propositions and sketches some interesting positive proposals, based on Russell’s multiple relation theory of judgment, about how to accommodate “propositional phenomena” without appeal to propositions. This paper argues that none of Jubien’s proposals succeeds in accommodating an important range of propositional phenomena, such as the (...) aforementioned validity of attitude-report inferences. It then shows that the notion of a predication act-type, which remains importantly Russellian in spirit, is sufficient to explain the range of propositional phenomena in question, in particular the validity of attitude-report inferences. The paper concludes with a discussion of whether predication act-types are really just propositions by another name. (shrink)
The authors comments on several articles on addiction. Research suggests that addicted individuals have substantial impairments in cognitive control of behavior. The authors maintain that a proper study of addiction must include a neurobiological model of addiction to draw the attention of bioethicists and addiction neurobiologists. They also state that more addiction neuroscientists like S. E. Hyman are needed as they understand the limits of their research. Accession Number: 24077921; Authors: Carter, Adrian 1; Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org Hall, Wayne 1; (...) Affiliations: 1: The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; Subject: EDITORIALS; Subject: ADDICTIONS; Subject: BEHAVIOR; Subject: HYMAN, S. E.; Subject: NEUROBIOLOGISTS; Subject: NEUROSCIENTISTS; Number of Pages: 3p. (shrink)
For Lack of a Better Plan: A Framework for Ethical, Legal, and Clinical Challenges in Complex Inpatient Discharge Planning Content Type Journal Article Pages 311-326 DOI 10.1007/s10730-009-9117-6 Authors Jane Jankowski, Albany Medical Center Albany NY 12208 USA Terese Seastrum, Northeast Health 2212 Burdett Ave. Troy NY 12180 USA Robert N. Swidler, Northeast Health 2212 Burdett Ave. Troy NY 12180 USA Wayne Shelton, Alden March Bioethics Institute, Albany Medical College 47 New Scotland Avenue, MC 153 Albany NY 12208-3478 USA Journal (...) HEC Forum Online ISSN 1572-8498 Print ISSN 0956-2737 Journal Volume Volume 21 Journal Issue Volume 21, Number 4. (shrink)
Perceptual attention is essential to both thought and agency, for there is arguably no demonstrative thought or bodily action without it. Psychologists and philosophers since William James have taken attention to be a ubiquitous and distinctive form of consciousness, one that leaves a characteristic mark on perceptual experience. As a process of selecting specific perceptual inputs, attention influences the way things perceptually appear. It may then seem that it is a specific feature of perceptual representation that constitutes what it is (...) like to consciously attend to an object. In fact conscious attention is more complicated. In what follows, I argue that the phenomenology of conscious attention to what is perceived involves not just a way of perceptually locking on to a specific object. It necessarily involves a way of cognitively locking on to it as well. (shrink)
Do self-monitoring accounts, a dominant account of the positive symptoms, explain auditory verbal hallucination (AVH)? In this essay, I argue that the account fails to answer many crucial questions any explanation of AVH must address. Where the account provides a plausible answer, I make a case for an alternative explanation: AVH is not the result of a failed control mechanism, namely failed self-monitoring, but the persistent automaticity of auditory experience of a voice. The argument emphasizes the importance of careful examination (...) of phenomenology as a constraint on causal models of the positive symptoms in schizophrenia. (shrink)
In response to Mole 2009, I present an argument for zombie action. The crucial question is not whether we are zombie agents but to what extent. I argue that current evidence supports only minimal zombie agency. [Note: this is forthcoming with a response from Chris Mole].
Attention has been studied in cognitive psychology for more than half a century, but until recently it was largely neglected in philosophy. Now, however, attention has been recognized by philosophers of mind as having an important role to play in our theories of consciousness and of cognition. At the same time, several recent developments in psychology have led psychologists to foundational questions about the nature of attention and its implementation in the brain. As a result there has been a convergence (...) of interest in fundamental questions about attention. This volume presents the latest thinking from the philosophers and psychologists who are working at the interface between these two disciplines. Its fourteen chapters contain detailed philosophical and scientific arguments about the nature and mechanisms of attention; the relationship between attention and consciousness; the role of attention in explaining reference, rational thought, and the control of action; the fundamental metaphysical status of attention, and the details of its implementation in the brain. These contributions combine ideas from phenomenology, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and philosophy of mind to further our understanding of this centrally important mental phenomenon, and to bring to light the foundational questions that any satisfactory theory of attention will need to address. (from OUP website). (shrink)
I argue that when perception plays a guiding role in intentional bodily action, it is a necessary part of that action. The argument begins with a challenge that necessarily arises for embodied agents, what I call the Many-Many Problem. The Problem is named after its most common case where agents face too many perceptual inputs and too many possible behavioral outputs. Action requires a solution to the Many-Many Problem by selection of a specific linkage between input and output. In bodily (...) action the agent perceptually selects, and in this way perceptually attends to, relevant information so as to guide the execution of specific movements. Since perceptual attention is a necessary part of solving the Many-Many Problem, it is a necessary part of bodily action. Indeed, the process of implementing a solution to the Many-Many Problem, as constrained by the agent's motivational state, just is the agent's performing an intentional bodily action in the relevant way. (shrink)
This paper argues that the form of explanation at issue in the hard problem of consciousness is scientifically irrelevant, despite appearances to the contrary. In particular, it is argued that the 'sense of understanding' that plays a critical role in the form of explanation implicated in the hard problem provides neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition on satisfactory scientific explanation. Considerations of the actual tools and methods available to scientists are used to make the case against it being a (...) necessary condition, and work by J.D. Trout that exploits psychological research on the hindsight and overconfidence biases is used to show that it is not a sufficient condition. It is argued, however, that certain intellectual and moral concerns give us good reason to still try to meet the hard problem's explanatory challenge, despite its extrascientific nature. (shrink)
This paper considers the connection between automaticity, control and agency. Indeed, recent philosophical and psychological works play up the incompatibility of automaticity and agency. Specifically, there is a threat of automaticity, for automaticity eliminates agency. Such conclusions stem from a tension between two thoughts: that automaticity pervades agency and yet automaticity rules out control. I provide an analysis of the notions of automaticity and control that maintains a simple connection: automaticity entails the absence of control. An appropriate analysis, however, shows (...) that actions are forms of control and pervasively automatic even if automaticity implies the absence of control. Consequences are drawn for the theory of mental agency and the psychological concepts of automaticity and control. (shrink)