Vanguard anti-narrativist Galen Strawson declares personal memory unimportant for self-constitution. But what if lapses of personal memory are sustained by a morally reprehensible amnesia about historical events, as happens in the work of W.G. Sebald? The importance of memory cannot be downplayed in such cases. Nevertheless, contrary to expectations, a concern for memory needn’t ally one with the narrativist position. Recovery of historical and personal memory results in self-dissolution and not self-unity or understanding in Sebald’s characters. In the end, (...) Sebald shows how memory can be significant, even imperative, within a deeply anti-narrativist outlook on the self, memory, and history. (shrink)
This paper defends the claim that, in order to have a concept of time, subjects must have memories of particular events they once witnessed. Some patients with severe amnesia arguably still have a concept of time. Two possible explanations of their grasp of this concept are discussed. They take as their respective starting points abilities preserved in the patients in question: (1) the ability to retain factual information over time despite being unable to recall the past event or situation (...) that information stems from, and (2) the ability to remember at least some past events or situations themselves (typically because retrograde amnesia is not complete). It is argued that a satisfactory explanation of what it is for subjects to have a concept of time must make reference to their having episodic memories such as those mentioned under (2). It is also shown how the question as to whether subjects have such memories, and thus whether they possess a concept of time, enters into our explanation of their actions. (shrink)
Is a painful experience less bad for you if you will not remember it? Do you have less reason to fear it? These questions bear on how we think about medical procedures and surgeries that use an anesthesia regimen that leaves patients conscious – and potentially in pain – but results in complete ‘drug-induced amnesia’ after the fact. I argue that drug-induced amnesia does not render a painful medical procedure a less fitting object of fear, and thus the (...) prospect of amnesia does not give patients a reason not to fear it. I expose three mistakes in reasoning that might explain our tendency to view pain or discomfort as less fearful in virtue of expected amnesia: a mistaken view of personal identity; a mistaken view of the target of anticipation; and a mistaken method of incorporating past evidence into calculations about future experiences. Ultimately my argument has implications for whether particular procedures are justified and how medical professionals should speak with anxious patients about the prospect of drug-induced amnesia. (shrink)
Belief revision theory concerns methods for reformulating an agent's epistemic state when the agent's beliefs are refuted by new information. The usual guiding principle in the design of such methods is to preserve as much of the agent's epistemic state as possible when the state is revised. Learning theoretic research focuses, instead, on a learning method's reliability or ability to converge to true, informative beliefs over a wide range of possible environments. This paper bridges the two perspectives by assessing the (...) reliability of several proposed belief revision operators. Stringent conceptions of minimal change are shown to occasion a limitation called inductive amnesia: they can predict the future only if they cannot remember the past. Avoidance of inductive amnesia can therefore function as a plausible and hitherto unrecognized constraint on the design of belief revision operators. (shrink)
It has been reported that, on average, most adults recall first memories formed around age 3.5. In general, most first memories are positive. However, whether these first memories tend to be visual or verbal and whether the period for childhood amnesia (CA) is greater for visual or verbal or for positive versus negative memories has not been determined. Because negative, stressful experiences disrupt memory and can injure memory centers such as the hippocampus and amygdala, and since adults who were (...) traumatized or abused during childhood (TA) reportedly suffer memory disturbances, it was hypothesized that those with a history of early trauma might suffer from a lengthier childhood amnesia and form their first recallable memories at a later age as compared to the general population (GP). Because the right hemisphere matures earlier than the language-dominant left hemisphere, and is dominant for visual and emotional memory, as well as the stress reponse, it was hypothesized that first recallable memories would be visual rather than verbal. Lastly, since stress can injure the brain and disrupt memory, it was hypothesized that the traumatized group would demonstrate memory and intellectual disturbances associated with right hemisphere injury as based on WAIS-R, Wechsler Memory Scale, and facial-memory testing. All hypotheses were supported. Positive and visual memories are formed before negative and verbal memories. TA CA offset, on average, is at age 6.1 versus 3.5 for GPs. TA PIQ (performance IQ), short-term visual memory, and facial memory were significantly reduced. (shrink)
Betrayal trauma theory suggests that psychogenic amnesia is an adaptive response to childhood abuse. When a parent or other powerful figure violates a fundamental ethic of human relationships, victims may need to remain unaware of the trauma not to reduce suffering but rather to promote survival. Amnesia enables the child to maintain an attachment with a figure vital to survival, development, and thriving. Analysis of evolutionary pressures, mental modules, social cognitions, and developmental needs suggests that the degree to (...) which the most fundamental human ethics are violated can influence the nature, form, and processes of trauma and responses to trauma. (shrink)
Feminist Amnesia is an important challenge to contemporary academic feminism. Jean Curthoys argues that the intellectual decline of university arts education and the loss of a deep moral commitment in feminism are related phenomena. The contradiction set up by the radical ideas of the 1960s, and institutionalised life of many of its protagonists in the academy, has produced a special kind of intellectual distortion. This book criticizes current trends in feminist theory from the perspective of forgotten and allegedly outdated (...) feminist ideas. (shrink)
Dissociative identity disorder (DID; called multiple personality disorder in DSMIII-R) is a psychiatric condition in which two or more identity states recurrently take control of the person's behavior. A characteristic feature of DID is the occurrence of apparently severe amnestic symptoms. This paper is concerned with experimental research of memory function in DID and focuses on between-identity transfer of newly learned neutral material. Previous studies on this subject are reviewed and a pilot study with four subjects is described. This study (...) is specifically concerned with the question whether self-reported asymmetries in between-identity transfer can be replicated on experimental memory tests. A secondary aim was to examine whether, in the absence of explicit transfer, implicit transfer of information would occur. The results showed that the apparent amnestic asymmetry for explicit information was substantiated in the laboratory, although at least some leakage was present between the apparently amnestic identities. No evidence was found for better performance on implicit than on explicit memory tests in the apparently amnestic identities. In the discussion, parallels between apparent amnesia in DID and state-dependent memory are drawn, and the question of simulated amnesia is addressed. (shrink)
Aggleton & Brown have built a convincing case that hippocampus-related circuits may be involved in thalamic amnesia. It remains to be established, however, that their model represents a distinct neurological system, that the distinction between recall and familiarity captures the roles of these pathways in episodic memory, or that there are no other systems that contribute to the signs of amnesia associated with thalamic disease.
In general, we endorse Aggleton & Brown's thesis that the neuroanatomy of amnesia comprises two functionally distinct systems, but we are disappointed in the lack of detail regarding the critical functional contribution of the hippocampus. We also take issue with the characterization of the cortical areas surrounding the hippocampus, particularly the decreased emphasis on the cortical input to the hippocampus.
In this paper, I argue that Stanley and Williamson’s 2001 account of knowledge-how as a species of knowledge-that is wrong. They argue that a claim such as “Hannah knows how to ride a bicycle” is true if and only if Hannah has some relevant knowledge-that. I challenge their claim by considering the case of a famous amnesic patient named Henry M. who is capable of acquiring and retaining new knowledge-how but who is incapable of acquiring and retaining new knowledge-that. In (...) the first two sections of the paper, I introduce the topic of knowledge-how and give a brief overview of Stanley and Williamson’s position. In the third and fourth sections, I discuss the case of Henry M. and explain why it is plausible to describe him as someone who can retain new knowledge-how but not new knowledge-that. In the final sections of the paper, I argue that Henry M.’s case does indeed provide a counterexample to Stanley and Williamson’s analysis of knowing-how as a species of knowing-that, and I consider and respond to possible objections to my argument. (shrink)
This commentary provides a critique of Tsuda's target article, focusing on the hippocampus and episodic long-term memory. More specifically, the relevance of Cantor coding and chaotic itinerancy for long-term memory functioning is considered, given what we know about the involvement of the hippocampus in the mediation of long-term episodic memory (based on empirical neuroimaging studies and investigations of brain-damaged amnesic patients).
Performativity and performance of language are the subject of this re-writing of Derrida's position on the gift. Here the source of performativity is Althusser's while the source of the gift is not only Marcel Mauss, but also both the opening of Derrida's Given Time: I, Counterfeit Money and the signing through letters of Madame de Maintenon, wife of Louis XIV and founder of a school for girls. A third writing plays a role, that of a 1910 biography of Madame. The (...) paper is a ârelay,â a âre-playâ of the positions of the central âcharacters,â -- Derrida and Maintenon -- and a semiology of their writings. Out of this a new âgift of pedagogyâ is evoked in a conception of âpedagogical retreat.â. (shrink)
Previous research suggests that early performance of amnesic individuals in a probabilistic category learning task is relatively unimpaired. When combined with impaired declarative knowledge, this is taken as evidence for the existence of separate implicit and explicit memory systems. The present study contains a more ﬁne-grained analysis of learning than earlier studies. Using a dynamic lens model approach with plausible learning models, we found that the learning process is indeed indistinguishable between an amnesic and control group. However, in contrast to (...) earlier ﬁndings, we found that explicit knowledge of the task structure is also good in both the amnesic and the control group. This is inconsistent with a crucial prediction from the multiple-systems account. The results can be explained from a single system account and previously found diﬀerences in later categorization performance can be accounted for by a diﬀerence in learning rate. (shrink)
Anosognosia is literally ‘unawareness of or failure to acknowledge one’s hemi- plegia or other disability’ (OED). Etymology would suggest the meaning ‘lack of knowledge of disease’ so that anosognosia would include any denial of impairment, such as denial of blindness (Anton’s syndrome). But Babinski, who introduced the term in 1914, applied it only to patients with hemiplegia who fail to acknowledge their paralysis. Most commonly, this is failure to acknowledge paralysis of the left side of the body following damage to (...) the right hemisphere of the brain. In this paper, we shall mainly be concerned with anosognosia for hemiplegia. But we shall also use the term ‘anosognosia’ in an inclusive way to encompass lack of knowledge or acknowledgement of any impairment. Indeed, in the construction ‘anosognosia for X’, X might even be anosognosia for some Y. (shrink)
Memory of past episodes provides a sense of personal identity — the sense that I am the same person as someone in the past. We present a neurological case study of a patient who has accurate memories of scenes from his past, but for whom the memories lack the sense of mineness. On the basis of this case study, we propose that the sense of identity derives from two components, one delivering the content of the memory and the other generating (...) the sense of mineness. We argue that this new model of the sense of identity has implications for debates about quasi-memory. In addition, articulating the components of the sense of identity promises to bear on the extent to which this sense of identity provides evidence of personal identity. (shrink)
In this paper, I first consider a famous objection that the standard interpretation of the Lockean account of diachronicity (i.e., one’s sense of personal identity over time) via psychological connectedness falls prey to breaks in one’s personal narrative. I argue that recent case studies show that while this critique may hold with regard to some long-term autobiographical self-knowledge (e.g., episodic memory), it carries less warrant with respect to accounts based on trait-relevant, semantic felfknowledge. The second issue I address concerns the (...) question of diachronicity from the vantage point that there are (at least) two aspects of self—the self of psychophysical instantiation (what I term the epistemological self) and the self of first person subjectivity (what I term the ontological self; for discussion, see Klein SB, The self and its brain, Social Cognition, 30, 474–518, 2012). Each is held to be a necessary component of selfhood, and, in interaction, they are appear jointly sufficient for a synchronic sense of self (Klein SB, The self and its brain, Social Cognition, 30, 474–518, 2012). As pertains to diachronicity, by contrast, I contend that while the epistemological self, by itself, is precariously situated to do the work required by a coherent theory of personal identity across time, the ontological self may be better positioned to take up the challenge. (shrink)
In the movie, Memento, the hero, Leonard, suffers from a form of anterograde amnesia that results in an inability to lay down new memories. Nonetheless, he sets out on a quest to find his wife’s killer, aided by the use of notes, annotated polaroids, and (for the most important pieces of information obtained) body tattoos. Using these resources he attempts to build up a stock of new beliefs and to thus piece together the puzzle of his wife’s death. At (...) one point in the movie, a character exasperated by Leonard’s lack of biological recall, shouts. (shrink)
In the movie, Memento, the hero, Leonard, suffers from a form of anterograde amnesia that results in an inability to lay down new memories. Nonetheless, he sets out on a quest to find his wife’s killer, aided by the use of notes, annotated polaroids, and (for the most important pieces of information obtained) body tattoos. Using these resources he attempts to build up a stock of new beliefs and to thus piece together the puzzle of his wife’s death. At (...) one point in the movie, a character exasperated by Leonard’s lack of biological recall, shouts: “YOU know? What do YOU know. YOU don’t know anything. In 10 minutes time YOU won’t even know you had this conversation” Leonard, however, believes that he does, day by day, come to know new things. But only courtesy of those photos, tattoos, tricks and ploys. Who is right?These are the kinds of question addressed at length in the paper (co-authored with David Chalmers) ‘The Extended Mind’. Is the mind contained (always? sometimes? never?) in the head? Or does the notion of thought allow mental processes (including believings) to inhere in extended systems of body, brain and aspects of the local environment? The answer, we claimed, was that mental states, including states of believing, could be grounded in physical traces that remained firmly outside the head. As long as a few simple conditions were met (more on which below), Leonard’s notes and tattoos could indeed count as new additions to his store of long-term knowledge and dispositional belief. In the present treatment I revisit this argument, defending our strong conclusion against a variety of subsequent observations and objections. In particular, I look at objections that rely on a contrast between the (putatively) intrinsic content of neural symbols and the merely derived content of external inscriptions, at objections concerning the demarcation of scientific domains via natural kinds, and at objections concerning the ultimate locus of agentive control and the nature of perception versus introspection. I also mention a possible alternative interpretation of the argument as (in effect) a reductio of the very idea of the mind as an object of scientific study. This is an interesting proposal. (shrink)
In psychiatry some disorders of cognition are distinguished from instances of normal cognitive functioning and from other disorders in virtue of their surface features rather than in virtue of the underlying mechanisms responsible for their occurrence. Aetiological considerations often cannot play a significant classificatory and diagnostic role, because there is no sufficient knowledge or consensus about the causal history of many psychiatric disorders. Moreover, it is not always possible to uniquely identify a pathological behaviour as the symptom of a certain (...) disorder, as disorders that are likely to differ both in their causal histories and in their overall manifestations may give rise to very similar patterns of behaviour. -/- Consider delusions as an example. It wouldn’t be correct to define delusions as those beliefs people form as a result of a neurobiological deficit and a hypothesis-evaluation deficit (as some versions of the two-factor theory of delusions suggest), because for some delusions no neurobiological deficit may be found, and reasoning biases and motivational factors may be contributors to the formation of the delusion (e.g. McKay et al., 2005). Moreover, it would be a mistake to define delusions as symptoms of schizophrenia alone, because they occur also in other disorders, including dementia, amnesia, and delusional disorders. Thus, aetiological considerations may appear in the description and analysis of delusions, but do not feature prominently in their definition. -/- In this paper I argue that the surface features used as criteria for the classification and diagnosis of disorders of cognition are often epistemic in character. I shall offer two examples: confabulations and delusions are defined as beliefs or narratives that fail to meet standards of accuracy and justification. Although classifications and diagnoses based on features of people’s observable behaviour are necessary at these early stages of neuropsychiatric research, given the variety of conditions in which certain phenomena appear, I shall attempt to show that current epistemic accounts of confabulations and delusions have limitations. Epistemic criteria can guide both research and clinical practice, but fail to provide sufficient conditions for the identification of delusions and confabulations, and fail to demarcate pathological from non-pathological narratives or beliefs. -/- Another limitation of current epistemic accounts – which I shall not address here – is the excessive focus on epistemic faults of confabulations and delusions at the expense of their epistemically neutral or advantageous features (see Bortolotti and Cox, 2009). This may lead to a misconception of delusions and confabulations, and to an oversimplification in the assessment of the needs of people who require clinical treatment for their psychotic symptoms. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to show that consciousness entails self-consciousness by focusing on the relationship between consciousness and memory. More specifically, I addreess the following questions: (1) does consciousness require episodic memory?; and (2) does episodic memory require self-consciousness? With the aid of some Kantian considerations and recent empirical data, it is argued that consciousness does require episodic memory. This is done after defining episodic memory and distinguishing it from other types of memory. An affirmative answer to (2) (...) is also warranted especially in the light of the issues raised in answering (1). I claim that 'consciousness entails self-consciousness' is thereby shown via the route through episodic memory, i.e. via affirmative answers to (1) and (2). My aim is to revive this Kantian thesis and to bring together current psychological research on amnesia with traditional philosophical perspectives on consciousness and memory. (shrink)
An exposition of Spinoza's views of the cause and cure of death. He holds death to be disruption of mind/body which need not involve becoming a corpse; amnesia counts. It follows that his criterion of personal identity includes memory, so Spinozistic immortality is impersonal. The cause of death is always something external, for nothing can destroy itself. (This principle, however, is not universally true; Spinoza was led to it by mistaken physics.) Suicide is irrational. Fear of death is to (...) be overcome by realization that since adequate ideas are eternal, to the extent that they consitute our minds we are eternal also. (But if so, isn't suicide rational after all? And since language depends on memory, the eternal understanding of adequate ideas is non-linguistic and non-symbolic; what then can it be?). (shrink)
To gain insight into human nature philosophers often discuss the inferior performance that results from deficits such as blindsight or amnesia. Less often do they look at superior abilities. A notable exception is Herbert Dreyfus who has developed a theory of expertise according to which expert action generally proceeds automatically and unreflectively. We address one of Dreyfus’s primary examples of expertise: chess. At first glance, chess would seem an obvious counterexample to Dreyfus’s view since, clearly, chess experts are engaged (...) in deep strategic thought. However, Dreyfus’s argument is subtle. He accepts that analysis and deliberation play a role in chess, yet he thinks that all such thought is predicated on intuitive, arational expert perception, and action. We argue that even the so-called intuitive aspect of chess is rational through and through. (shrink)
Aggleton & Brown rightly point out the shortcomings of the medial temporal lobe hypothesis as an approach to anterograde amnesia. Their broader perspective is a necessary corrective, and one hopes it will be taken very seriously. Although they correctly note the dangers of conflating recognition and recall, they themselves make a similar mistake in discussing familiarity; we suggest an alternative approach. We also discuss implications of their view for an analysis of retrograde amnesia. The notion that there are (...) two routes by which the hippocampus can reactivate neuronal ensembles in the neocortex could help us understand some currently puzzling facts about the dynamics of memory consolidation. (shrink)
Now that consciousness is thoroughly out of the way, we can focus more precisely on the kinds of things that can happen underneath. A contrast can be made between dissociation and repression. Dissociation is where a memory record or set of autobiographical memory records cannot be retrieved; repression is where there is retrieval of a record but, because of the current task specification, the contents of the record, though entering into current processing, are not allowed into consciousness. I look at (...) hypnotic amnesia and dissociative identity disorder in relation to this contrast. (shrink)
Repression continues to be controversial. One insight crystallized by the commentaries is that there is a serious semantic problem, partly resulting from a long silence in psychology on repression. In this response, narrow views (e.g., that repression needs always be unconscious, must yield total amnesia) are challenged. Broader conceptions of repression, both biological and social, are considered, with a special stress on repression of meanings (denial). Several issues – generilizability, falsifiability, personality factors, the interaction of repression with cognitive channel (...) (e.g., recall vs. dreams), and false-memory as repression – are discussed. (shrink)
The head and the stomach January 1996 -- Borges in Sarajevo March 1996 -- Fin de siècle and new millenarium May 1996 -- Cold racism July 1996 -- The last enemy November 1996 -- The grounded plane January 1997 -- Dialectic in the dialectic August 1997 -- Voyage to the country of the last sociologists November 1997 -- Justice in the past April 1998 -- The crisis of art or a crisis of thought July 1998 -- Is cinema to blame (...) March 1999? -- The nameless war May 1999 -- One image right can sweep away another October 1999 -- The syllogism of corruption October 2000 -- Voici/voila : the destiny of images January 2001 -- From facts to interpretations : the new quarrel over the holocaust April 2001 -- From one torture to another June 2001 -- The filmmaker, the people and the government August 2001 -- Time, words, war November 2001 -- Philosophy in the bathroom January 2002 -- Prisoners of the infinite march 2002 -- From one month of May to another June 2002 -- Victor Hugo : the ambiguities of a bicentenary August 2002 -- The machine and the foetus January 2003 -- Death of the author or all too living artist April 2003 -- Logic of amnesia June 2003 -- The principle of insecurity September 2003 -- The new fictions of evil November 2003 -- Criminal democracy March 2004 -- The difficult heritage of Michel Foucault June 2004 -- The new reasons for the lie A\august 2004 -- Beyond art October 2004 -- The politics of images February 2005 -- Democracy and its doctors May 2005. (shrink)
Torture continues to be a pressing political issue in North America, yet religious scholarly reflection on the ethics of torture remains all but sidelined in public discourse for a variety of complex reasons. These reasons are explored—and critiqued—in this collection of reflections by Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and feminist religious ethicists. These scholars find that historical amnesia, forced if not twisted readings of classical texts and contemporary human rights instruments, and sociological factors are but a few of the factors challenging (...) contemporary religious ethical discourse on torture. (shrink)
Within Piaget there is an implicit theory of the development of explicit memory. It rests in the dynamical trajectory underlying the development of causality, object, space and time – a complex (COST) supporting a symbolic relationship integral to the explicit. Cassirer noted the same dependency in the phenomena of aphasias, insisting that a symbolic function is being undermined in these deficits. This is particularly critical given the reassessment of Piaget’s stages as the natural bifurcations of a self-organizing dynamic system. The (...) elements of a theoretical framework required to support explicit memory are developed, to include, (1) the complex developmental trajectory supporting the emergence of the explicit in Piaget, (2) the concrete dynamical system and the concept of a non-differentiable time contained in Bergson’s theory required to support a conscious, as opposed to an implicit remembrance, (3) the relation to current theories of amnesia, difficulties posed by certain retrograde amnesic phenomena, the role of the hippocampus and limitations of connectionist models, (4) the fact that nowhere in this overall framework does the loss of explicit memory imply or require the destruction of experience “stored in the brain.”. (shrink)
This essay analyzes the representations of time and memory in Holocaust literature through a comparative study of Charlotte Delbo’s memoir Days and Memory and Ida Fink’s three stories “A Scrap of Time,” “A Second Scrap of Time,” and “Traces.” Although both the writers make use of time and memory to represent the Holocaust, their ways of representation vary significantly. Memory and time are used in Delbo to show the timelessness in complex layers of memory and to recreate a reality through (...) inventive narrative style. Whereas, in Fink, they are used to delineate the scraps of time in the ruins of memory and to create a tragic domestic reality through conventional narrativity. Moreover, this essay cautions against the danger of misrepresentation of memory as “amnesia,” often represented in the canonical postmodernist views of memory. (shrink)
Aggleton & Brown suggest that whereas familiarity is computed in perirhinal cortex, the hippocampus contributes to recollection. This account raises issues about the definition of amnesia, clarifies confusion about dual-process models of recognition, and sits comfortably with accounts of hippocampal function from outside the amnesia literature. The model can – and should – be tested. Some preliminary data suggest that it may need changes.
Immoral excesses of American foreign policy are so severe and so deep-rooted that American patriotism is now a moral burden. This love, which pulls toward amnesia, wishful thinking and inattention to urgent foreign interests, should be replaced by commitment to a global social movement that seeks to hem in the American empire. Teachers can advance this cause without abusing their positions. But to do so, they must violate distinctive social expectations at different levels of American education.
The belief that memory is essential to the self is common. Extreme amnesia, e.g., Korsakoff Syndrome, is held to dissolve the afflicted person’s self. This belief is a misconception that rests on a confusion of epistemic with ontological relevance. Epistemically, memory is relevant to the self: a subject’s self-knowledge partly depends on memories of past experiences. However, it is not by virtue of these memories that the subject is a self: ontologically, memory is irrelevant to that status. The fact (...) that an individuals conception of herself as existing through time is wanting does not prevent that individual from being a self at a given point in time. As the past is there whether or not it is remembered, so the self is there whether or not it remembers. If instead we define the self as awareness of being a subject of experience, the self may survive even the most extreme forms of amnesia. Being a self is an important social value, a prerequisite of numerous legal or moral rights. This in itself is questionable, like the social exclusion it may entail. Denying an amnesic person a self is therefore more than a logical mistake: it is a social exclusion that can also be questioned on ethical grounds. (shrink)
The basic biological situation -- Credulity, and the skeptical tradition -- The early period -- Construction of the inner realm -- Brain, mind, religion -- Infantile amnesia -- Prayer and faith -- Angelic encounters -- Are we 'wired for God'?.
Given the almost universal assumption that democracy is a 'good thing', the goal of mankind, it is easy to forget that 'rule by the people' has been vehemently opposed by some of the most distinguished thinkers in the Western tradition. The author attempts to combat collective amnesia by systematically exploring and evaluating anti-democratic thought since the French Revolution. Using categories first introduced by A. O. Hirschman in The Rhetoric of Reaction, Femia examines the various arguments under the headings of (...) 'perversity', 'futility', and 'jeopardy'. This classification scheme enables him to highlight the fatalism and pessimism of anti-democratic thinkers, their conviction that democratic reform would be either pointless or destructive. Femia shows how they failed to understand the adaptability of democracy, its ability to co-exist with the traditional and elitist values. But, controversially, he also argues that some of their predictions and observations have been confirmed by history. (shrink)
We have argued elsewhere (2002) that moral responsibility over time depends in part upon the having of psychological connections which facilitate forms of self-control. In this paper we explore the importance of mental time travel – our ordinary ability to mentally travel to temporal locations outside the present, involving both memory of our personal past and the ability to imagine ourselves in the future – to our agential capacities for planning and control. We suggest that in many individuals with dissociative (...) disorders, forms of amnesia, or other frontal lobe damage, our capacity for mental time travel is impaired, resulting in commensurate losses to agency, autonomy, and a forensic condition essential for holding persons responsible: in legal terms, the capacity for mens rea. (shrink)
Studies of neuropsychological patients are relevant to models of how long-term memories are stored. If amnesia is considered a binding deficit and not a difficulty in transferring information from short-term to long-term memory, it is unclear why context-free semantic learning is impaired. Also the model should account for the reverse temporal gradient seen in patients with semantic dementia.
Are non-human animals conscious? When do babies begin to feel pain? What function is served by consciousness? What evidence could resolve these issues? In The Evolution of Consciousness, psychologist Euan Macphail tackles these questions and more by exploring such topics as: animal cognition; unconscious learning and perception in humans; infantile amnesia; theory of mind in primates; and the nature of pleasure and pain. Experimental results are placed in theoretical context by tracing the development of concepts of consciousness in animals (...) and humans. Written in an accessible style, this book will be of interest to students and professionals in psychology, philosophy, and linguistics, as well as all those interested in the nature of consciousness. (shrink)
Introduction : first things : two black and blue thoughts -- Author's note I. a sewing needle inside a plastic and rubber suction cup sitting on a watch spring, or, an object for seeing nothing -- Elegy of milk, in black and blue : the bruising of La Chambre claire -- "A" is for Alice, for amnesia, for anamnesis: a fairy tale (almost blue) called La Jetée -- Happiness with a long piece of black leader : Chris Marker's sans (...) soleil -- Author's note II. She wrote me -- "Summer was inside the marble": Alain Resnais and Magurite Duras's Hiroshima mon amour. (shrink)
Objective: To review the principles and practice of the use of conscious sedation for IVF.Design: The pertinent literature was reviewed and recommendations are provided.Result(s): Conscious sedation appears to be the most commonly used method of pain relief for transvaginal retrieval of oocytes. Conscious sedation does not require the presence of an anesthesiologist and can be done in freestanding clinics. Agents commonly used include opioids in combination with benzodiazepines. This combination minimizes pain, decreases anxiety, and provides sedation and some amnesia (...) Adjuvants such as promethazine and hydroxyzine can also be used but often are not needed. Conscious sedation is well tolerated by patients and does not require highly specialized equipment. However, there are specific safeguards that should be followed. Only a few toxicity studies have been performed, but they are reassuring because they have not found significant effects on fertilization or cleavage.Conclusion(s): Conscious sedation appears to be a safe and cost-effective method of providing analgesia and anesthesia for transvaginal retrieval of oocytes. (shrink)