Collingwood's... descendants... will be engaged in conceptual analysis not unlike other modern forms of conceptual analysis but not so isolated, in principle and in practice, from the panorama of the human past, from the rich diversity of contemporary cultures, and from the perplexities of individual experience in art, religion, the privacies of thought, and the publicity of action. They will search out the a priori elements in experience and the empirical genesis of thought. They may try, although they will surely (...) fail, to make the scope of philosophy as wide as life itself, and this attempt would at least be not unwelcome in a time when some of the descendants of Socrates try, although they too will fail, to make the scope of philosophy as narrow as an academic department. Louis O. Mink. (shrink)
Informal logicians recognise the frequent use of unstated assumptions; some (e.g. Fisher) also recognise entertained arguments and recommend a suppositional approach (such as Mackie's) to conditional statements. It is here argued that these two be put together to make argument diagrams more accurate and subtle. Philosophical benefits also accrue: insights into Jackson's apparent violations of modus tollens and contraposition and McGee's counterexamples to the validity of modus ponens.
Genic selectionists (Williams 1966; Dawkins 1976) defend the view that genes are the (unique) units of selection and that all evolutionary events can be adequately represented at the genic level. Pluralistic genic selectionists (Sterelny and Kitcher 1988; Waters 1991; Dawkins 1982) defend the weaker view that in many cases there are multiple equally adequate accounts of evolutionary events, but that always among the set of equally adequate representations will be one at the genic level. We describe a range of cases (...) all involving stable equilibria actively maintained by selection. In these cases genotypic models correctly show that selection is active at the equilibrium point. In contrast, the genic models have selection disappearing at equilibrium. For deterministic models this difference makes no difference. However, once drift is added in, the two sets of models diverge in their predicted evolutionary trajectories. Thus, contrary to received wisdom on this matter, the two sets of models are not empirically equivalent. Moreover, the genic models get the facts wrong. (shrink)
Philosophy of biology is a vibrant and growing field. From initial roots in the metaphysics of species (Ghiselin, Hull), questions about whether biology has laws of nature akin to those of physics (Ruse, Hull), and discussions of teleology and function (Grene 1974, Brandon 1981), the field has grown since the 1970s to include a vast range of topics. Over the last few decades, philosophy has had an important impact on biology, partly through following the model of engagement with science (...) that was set by first-wave philosophers of biology like Marjorie Grene, Morton Beckner, David Hull, William Wimsatt and others. Today some parts of philosophy of biology are indistinguishable from theoretical biology. This is due in part to the impetus provided by second-wave philosophers of biology like James Griesemer, John Beatty, William Bechtel, Robert Brandon, Elisabeth Lloyd, and Elliott Sober. Indeed, philosophers have been instrumental in establishing theoretical biology as a field by collaborating with scientists, publishing in science journals, and by taking up conceptual questions at the heart of the biological enterprise. (shrink)
This is the first book to explore the cognitive science of effortless attention and action. Attention and action are generally understood to require effort, and the expectation is that under normal circumstances effort increases to meet rising demand. Sometimes, however, attention and action seem to flow effortlessly despite high demand. Effortless attention and action have been documented across a range of normal activities--from rock climbing to chess playing--and yet fundamental questions about the cognitive science of effortlessness have gone largely unasked. (...) -/- This book draws from the disciplines of cognitive psychology, neurophysiology, behavioral psychology, genetics, philosophy, and cross-cultural studies. Starting from the premise that the phenomena of effortless attention and action provide an opportunity to test current models of attention and action, leading researchers from around the world examine topics including effort as a cognitive resource, the role of effort in decision making, the neurophysiology of effortless attention and action, the role of automaticity in effortless action, expert performance in effortless action, and the neurophysiology and benefits of attentional training. -/- Contributors: Joshua M. Ackerman, James H. Austin, John A. Bargh, Roy F. Baumeister, Sian L. Beilock, Chris Blais, Matthew M. Botvinick, Brian Bruya, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Marci S. DeCaro, Arne Dietrich, Yuri Dormashev, László Harmat, Bernhard Hommel, Rebecca Lewthwaite, Örjan de Manzano, Joseph T. McGuire, Brian P. Meier, Arlen C. Moller, Jeanne Nakamura, Evgeny N. Osin, Michael I. Posner, Mary K. Rothbart, M. R. Rueda, Brandon J. Schmeichel, Edward Slingerland, Oliver Stoll, Yiyuan Tang, Töres Theorell, Fredrik Ullén, Robert D. Wall, Gabriele Wulf. (shrink)
continent. 2.1 (2012): 56–58 Nechvatal, Joseph, Immersion Into Noise , Open Humanities Press, 2011, 267 pp, $23.99 (pbk), ISBN 1-60785-241-1. As someone who’s knowledge of “art” mostly began with the domestic (Western) and Japanese punk and noise scenes of the late 80’s and early 90’s, practices and theories of noise fall rather close to my heart. It is peeking into the esoteric enclaves of weird music and noise that helped me understand what I think I might like art to be: (...) A way of learning about the world through perturbation—exploration by incitement and speculation of possible conditions. What I have always loved about artistic investigations influenced by noisy aesthetics or sensibilities is that they can be simultaneously transcendent and absurd, amusing and revelatory, singular and pluralistic, mindless and intensely penetrating. The provocative friction that noise brings to bear on aesthetic experience, artistic practice, and “the” Art World acts as a kind of impulse response, proposing new energies while revealing underlying structure; noise signals are a simultaneous synthesis and analysis of spaces, subjects and relations. About two weeks prior to Christmas 2011, Joseph Nechvatal was generous enough to spend some time with me at 39 Quai des Grands Augustins, Paris . We each had one glass of red wine, briefly discussed common acquaintances, shared points of interest, and his published writings. We also, I recall, disagreed lightheartedly about how much contemporary relevance the ideas of telematic-artist Roy Ascott have for today’s art-and-technology practitioner (Joseph > Jamie). After the encounter, I read through a PDF version of Immersion Into Noise Joseph was kind enough to send me ( the HTML version is here ). A number of points of entry into cultures of “noise” are available these days. There are the acoustic-spatial approaches of thinkers like Douglas Kahn, Brandon LaBelle and Salome Voegelin; the techno-cultural musicologies of Jonathan Sterne and David Toop; the political writings of Jacques Attali, former adviser to President François Mitterrand, in his Noise: The Political Economy of Music (spoiler alert: It’s not really about music). Enter the new writings of one Joseph Nechvatal, with his invitation of an Immersion Into Noise . Nechvatal has been active for over 20 years in on- and off-line discussions of art, technology, virtuality, as well as his own set of art-theoretical departures and terminologies. A practicing artist, and instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, Immersion Into Noise , is Nechvatal’s third published volume. His writings, broadly, address a concern with the possibilities of a synthesis between the biological and the virtual, and the contemporary artistic resonances that these possibilities suggest. Nechvatal’s project is to try to name contemporary currents of artistic practice within our technologized culture. He comes at this through art history, post-modern philosophy, anthropology and consciousness studies. Portions of Immersion Into Noise have appeared in his PhD dissertation, as well as online art publications like Zing Magazine . An open-access publication, and part of the impressive and heartening activities of the Open Humanities Press, Nechvatal’s book is a somewhat unexpected addition to the Critical Climate Change series edited by Tom Cohen of SUNY University and Claire Colebrook of Penn State. Other titles in the series have address themes of post-globalism and cultures of threat. Joseph Nachvetal’s title is the first to focus entirely on art history, art practice and aesthetics. It is awkward to too easily fit Nechvatal’s writings in with the aforementioned burgeoning canon of cultural and artistic practice in, and writings on, noise (Russolo, Schaeffer, Cage and Yves Klein through to Kahn, LaBelle, Voegelin, et. al). Immersion Into Noise is not primarily an examination of sound-noise or phenomenologies of sound, and the relativist, non-objectivist possibilities arising therefrom in social, public, and exhibition art practices. Although Nechvatal makes mention of sonic practice and experience (his own encounter in 1968 with the technological complex was set in motion at a Jimi Hendrix concert at the Chicago Coliseum), he does so only by way of introducing a broader concept of “art-noise.” The noise-scape can envelope various kinds of involvement in all kinds of art, by artists, audiences, and distributed amalgams of all of these. Midway through the book, we are offered characteristics of an “immersive noise vision theory.” This theory, leading to an even more syncretic thinking about the art experience, is sketched out through further reference to the author’s personal observation, as well as his art-historical research and notes. Personal examples take on the reflex of a kind of art-noise-travel-writing, as Nechvatal visits Ryoji Ikeda’s Datamatics [ver 2.0] installation at the Centre Pompidou, Paris), hears Cecil Taylor at Alice Tully Hall in New York, spends time with the cave paintings of Lascaux, France, and explores the Wagner-inspired Venus Grotto of Linderhof, Bavaria, to name a few. These site-events, to varying degrees, are renderings of noise-art’s potential to “place us back into a ritual position by dragging art down into the felt 360° noise-perspective of the enthusiastic and participatory.” (p.103) The arc of the ideas proposed here position immersiveness, saturation and “scopic all-over tension” as most productively foundational to noise art, or art-noise. An itinerary from the most ancient of artistic expressions (cave drawings) to the most digital of presentations is charted (Ikeda’s minimal/maximal bitwise works for synchronized audio and visual projection). The harsh sonic onslaught of Masami Akita (a.k.a. Merzbow), is, under this analysis, not so far from colossal denseness of the churches of the High Baroque (Nechvatal visits the Rosario Chapel in Santo Domingo Church, Puebla, Mexico). And there is much more here, eaten up by noise: A rethinking of the work of Duchamp, Jackson Pollock, Nicolas Schöffler (whom Nechvatal names the true “the Father of Cybernetic Art”) and the Happenings of Alan Kaprow, all as art-noise in their own right. Each of these artists and moments demonstrate techniques of destabilization, immersiveness, frame-breaking and “all-over fullness and fervor.” Here is writing on art and art history that is as ambitious as it is promising: “wildly visionary,” Nechvatal states as in conclusion. Self-admittedly far-reaching to the point of verging on totalization, we are asked to consider that the moments, spaces, arts and artists Nechvatal appreciates in the book all derive from an increasingly prevalent “noise consciousness.” Along the way we gain an appreciation of noise as a productive and proactive tension in art, rather than an unwanted signal or unwelcome intrusion. Most promising here for me are Nechvatal’s revealing descriptions of the potential for noise to make manifest the material-perceptual framework of individual and collective art experience. How might we allow what we have been repeatedly taught is our contemporary condition of “information overload” to transform itself into a calm, warm, sympathetic kind of inundation. Treatment of experience in this way, dissolves boundaries between the bodily, informational, material and technical complexes that make up our world, and is the promise of a radical, if momentary, Immersion Into Noise. (shrink)
Neorepublican treatments of Hobbes argue that his conception of liberty was deliberately developed to counter a revived and Roman-rooted republican theory of liberty. In doing so, Hobbes rejects republican liberty, and, with it, Roman republicanism. We dispute this narrative and argue that rather than rejecting Roman liberty, per se, Hobbes identifies and attacks a language of liberty, Roman in character, often abused by ambitious persons. This is possible because Roman liberty—and, by extension, Hobbes’s relationship to it—is more complex than neorepublican (...) authors have allowed. Drawing on Roman sources, along with Hobbes’s major works, we argue that Hobbes’s theory of liberty owes much to his engagement with Roman sources, and that this theory speaks to the egalitarian elements in his political thought. (shrink)
In order to determine whether there is a significant difference between the medical literature and the surgical literature in terms of their bioethics content, we conducted a computerized search of the MEDLINE database. The journals searched were selected from the 'Medicine' and 'Surgery' sections of the 'Brandon-Hill List', and the search was limited to 1992 issues of these journals. Three hundred and seven bioethics bibliographic records (out of a total of 11,239 articles indexed) were retrieved from the 15 medical (...) journals searched, while 17 bioethics bibliographic records (out of a total of 2,645 articles indexed) were retrieved from the 12 surgical journals searched. We conclude that there is a statistically significant (p < 0.001) difference between the medical literature and the surgical literature with respect to their quantitative bioethics content. (shrink)
A search for consensus about the methodology of discovery among physicians and physiologists led the author to identify a crucial anomaly of medical historiography: in general, physicians stress the significance of clinicopathologic method, while physiologists emphasize the experimental. Hence, physicians and bench scientists might be perceived as members of epistemically distinct research traditions. However, analysis of the historical development of discoveries in medicine, exemplified by case studies in physiology, bacteriology, immunology, and therapeutics, reveals that the epistemic dichotomy is illusory. (...) Both physicians and bench scientists discover in the same way: by identifying and explaining clinical anomalies. It is argued that the sociological role of experimentation is to dramatize clinical hypotheses and not test them in a Popperian sense. Keywords: accident, anomaly, continuity, experiment, logic of discovery, psycholinguistic realm CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
In his paper, “The Paradox of Forgiveness“ (this Journal 6 (2009), p. 365-393), Leo Zaibert defends the novel and interesting claim that to forgive is deliberately to refuse to punish. I argue that this is mistaken.
Artworks frequently are the objects of multiple and apparently conflicting aesthetic judgements. This commonplace of the artworld poses a challenge for realist metaphysics, because to assert conflicting judgements of an artwork seems to amount to asserting p & p. Critical pluralism is an ever-more frequently invoked solution to this impasse. What its varieties share in common is the claim that the disagreement between judgements is only an apparent one. I argue, however, that critical pluralism masquerades either as relativism or anti-realism. (...) I examine a number of pluralist proposals, including one that attempts to reconcile pluralism with critical monism, and argue that they are inadequate to their advertised task. Finally, I sketch a solution employing dialetheic logic that captures both intuitions about these cases: that sometimes, judgements about artworks can truly conflict and jointly be true. (shrink)
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) was one of the great thinkers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and is known as the last “universal genius”. He made deep and important contributions to the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, logic, philosophy of religion, as well as mathematics, physics, geology, jurisprudence, and history. Even the eighteenth century French atheist and materialist Denis Diderot, whose views could not have stood in greater opposition to those of Leibniz, could not help being awed by his achievement, writing (...) in his Encyclopedia, “Perhaps never has a man read as much, studied as much, meditated more, and written more than Leibniz… What he has composed on the world, God, nature, and the soul is of the most sublime eloquence. If his ideas had been expressed with the flair of Plato, the philosopher of Leipzig would cede nothing to the philosopher of Athens.” (Vol. 9, p. 379) Indeed, Diderot's mood was almost despairing in a remark from another piece, which also has a great deal of truth in it: “When one compares the talents one has with those of a Leibniz, one is tempted to throw away one's books and go die quietly in the dark of some forgotten corner.” More than a century later, Gottlob Frege, who fortunately did not cast his books away in despair, expressed similar admiration, declaring that “in his writings, Leibniz threw out such a profusion of seeds of ideas that in this respect he is virtually in a class of his own.” (“Boole's logical Calculus and the Concept script” in Posthumous Writings , p. 9) The aim of this entry is primarily to introduce Leibniz's life and summarize and explicate his views in the realms of metaphysics, epistemology, philosophical theology, and natural philosophy. (shrink)
This paper addresses D. C. Williams’s question, “How can Leibniz know that he is a member of the actual world and not merely a possible monad on the shelf of essence?” A variety of answers are considered. Ultimately, it is argued that no particular perception of a state of affairs in the world can warrant knowledge of one’s actuality, nor can the awareness of any property within oneself; rather, it is the nature of experience itself, with the flow of perceptions, (...) that guarantees our actuality. A consequence of this view is that no non-actual individuals can truly be said to experience their worlds, nor can they ask the question if they are actual or not. (shrink)