This collection of articles pays homage to the creativity and scientific rigor Jerome Singer has brought to the study of consciousness and play. It will interest personality, social, clinical and developmental psychologists alike.
The primary aim of this study is to dissolve the mind-body problem. It shows how the ‘problem’ separates into two distinct sets of issues, concerning ontology on the one hand, and explanation on the other, and argues that explanation – whether or not human behaviour can be explained in physical terms – is the more crucial. The author contends that a functionalist methodology in psychology and neurophysiology will prove adequate to explain human behaviour. Defence of this thesis requires: an examination (...) of the mental/physical dichotomy, and its rejection in favour of a distinction between psychological and physical terms; a description and discussion of functionalism in psychology and neurophysiology, showing how the notorious problem of the necessary intensionality of psychological terms may be circumvented; an examination of the role of computer simulation in psycho-physical research; and an explanation of how the phenomena of sentience fit the functional framework. The book concludes that the thesis presented is in all essentials that of Aristotle; Aristotle had no ‘mind-body problem’, and were it not for a subsequent over-obsession with Cartesian scepticism, we need not have had one either. (shrink)
cognitive, neuropsychological, and neurophysiological studies of both memory and consciousness. Before proceeding further, some discussion of terminology is necessary. It comes as no surprise to state that "consciousness" is one of the ...
Since the beginning of philosophy, philosophers have sought objective knowledge: knowledge of things whose existence does not depend on one's conceiving of them. This book uses lessons from debates over objective knowledge to characterize the kinds of reasons pertinent to philosophical and other theoretical views. It argues that we cannot meet skeptics' typical demands for nonquestion-begging support for claims to objective truth, and that therefore we should not regard our supporting reasons as resistant to skeptical challenges. One key lesson is (...) that a constructive, explanatory approach to philosophy must change the subject from skeptic-resistant reasons to perspectival reasons arising from variable semantic commitments and instrumental, purpose-relative considerations. The book lays foundations for such a reorientation of philosophy, treating fundamental methodological issues in ontology, epistemology, the theory of meaning, the philosophy of mind, and the theory of practical rationality. It explains how certain perennial debates in philosophy rest not on genuine disagreement, but on conceptual diversity: talk about different matters. The book shows how acknowledgment of conceptual diversity can resolve a range of traditional disputes in philosophy. It also explains why philosophers need not anchor their discipline in the physicalism of the natural sciences. (shrink)
The Character of Mind provides a sweeping and accessible general introduction to the philosophy of mind. Colin McGinn covers all of the main topics--the mind-body problem, the nature of acquaintance, the relation between thought and language, agency, and the self.In particular, McGinn addresses the issue of consciousness, and the difficulty of combining the two very different perspectives on the mind that arise from introspection and from the observation of other people. This second edition has been updated with three new cutting-edge (...) chapters on consciousness, content, and cognitive science to make it the reader of choice on this vital topic. (shrink)
A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind is designed both to provide a selection of core readings on the subject and to make those readings accessible by providing commentaries to guide the reader through initially intimidating material. Each commentary explains technical concepts and provides background on obscure arguments as they arise, setting them in the historical and intellectual milieu from which they emerged. The readings concentrate on providing the student with a solid grounding in the theories of representative figures (...) of the major philosophical movements, from Plato and Aristotle to important recent figures such as Fodor and Dennett. A glossary of key terms is also included. (shrink)
In Minds and Bodies, one of philosophy's most dynamic and versatile thinkers gathers nearly forty review essays written over the past twenty years for publications of a nonspecialized kind. They cover biography, particularly of Russell and Wittgenstein; philosophy of mind, especially consciousness; and ethics, with an emphasis on applied ethics. Lucid and accessible, these essays together form a vivid picture of contemporary philosophy for the general reader, and will be welcomed by those within the philosophical community for their crisp critical (...) insights and rigorous assessments. (shrink)
In Kant and the Demands of Self-Consciousness, Pierre Keller examines Kant's theory of self-consciousness and argues that it succeeds in explaining how both subjective and objective experience are possible. Previous interpretations of Kant's theory have held that he treats all self-consciousness as knowledge of objective states of affairs, and also that self-consciousness can be interpreted as knowledge of personal identity. By developing this striking new interpretation Keller is able to argue that transcendental self-consciousness underwrites a general theory of objectivity and (...) subjectivity at the same time. (shrink)
Frontiers of Consciousness is a study of the problem of consciousness in a historic period of revolutionary change, and an authentic example of “interdisciplinary studies.” The book contains a wealth of insight into the conceptual interrelationships between the work of the American philosophers who have been called the Builders (William James, Josiah Royce, Charles Peirce, and John Dewey) and the work of three great modernist poets (T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams).
This book differs from others by rejecting the dualist approach associated in particular with Descartes. It also casts serious doubt on the forms of materialism that now dominate English language philosophy. Drawing in particular on the work of Wittgenstein, a central place is given to the importance of the notion of a human being in our thought about ourselves and others.
Elements of Mind provides a unique introduction to the main problems and debates in contemporary philosophy of mind. Author Tim Crane opposes those currently popular conceptions of the mind that divide mental phenomena into two very different kinds (the intentional and the qualitative) and proposes instead a challenging and unified theory of all the phenomena of mind. In light of this theory, Crane engages students with the central problems of the philosophy of mind--the mind-body problem, the problem of intentionality (or (...) mental representation), the problem of consciousness, and the problem of perception--and attempts to find solutions to these problems. A fresh and engaging exploration of the main issues in the philosophy of mind, Elements of Mind is easily accessible to students with no background in the subject. (shrink)
The theories of language and society of Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) are examined in this textual analysis of the full range of his theoretical writings, with special emphasis on his little-known early works. Vico's fundamental importance in the history of European ideas lies in his strong anti-Cartesian, anti-French and anti-Enlightenment views. In an age in which intellectuals adopted a rational approach, Vico stressed the nonrational element in man - in particular, imagination - as well as social and civil relationships, none of (...) them reducible to the scientific theories so popular in his time. (shrink)
Perspectives on emotion -- Epistemological and methodological perspectives -- method, research question and hypotheses -- The independent variables -- Results: self-perceived competence in oral and written language -- Results: communicating feelings (in general) -- Results: communicating anger and swearing -- Results: attitudes towards languages and perception of emotionality of swearwords -- Results: foreign language anxiety -- Results: code-switching and emotion. -- Concluding remarks.
Drawing on work in psychophysics, psychometrics, and sensory neurophysiology, Clark analyzes the character and defends the integrity of psychophysical explanations of qualitative facts, arguing that the structure of such explanations is sound and potentially successful.
In this highly original monograph, Nicholas Georgalis proposes that the concept of minimal content is fundamental both to the philosophy of mind and to the philosophy of language. He argues that to understand mind and language requires minimal content -- a narrow, first-person, non-phenomenal concept that represents the subject of an agent's intentional state as the agent conceives it. Orthodox third-person objective methodology must be supplemented with first-person subjective methodology. Georgalis demonstrates limitations of a strictly third-person methodology in the study (...) of mind and language and argues that these deficiencies can be corrected only by the incorporation of a first-person methodology. Nevertheless, this expanded methodology makes possible an objective understanding of the subjective. Georgalis argues against the conflation of consciousness and subjectivity with phenomenal experience. Consequently, and contrary to common belief, he argues that consciousness without phenomenality is as strongly implicated in intentionality as it is in phenomenal states. He proposes a broader understanding of the "hard problem" of consciousness, arguing that there is an "explanatory gap problem" for both phenomenal and intentional states. His theory provides a framework that renders the vexing relations between mental and brain states comprehensible. Georgalis also argues for novel explanations of the phenomenal and of representation -- explanations that follow from the core concept of minimal content. Treating the topics of meaning and reference, he introduces a first-person concept of intended reference derivative from minimal content that resolves various problems in the philosophy of language. Eschewing ontology, Georgalis proposes his theory as a means to make sense of, analyze, and relate issues in the philosophies of mind and language. The concept of minimal content, he argues, plays a necessary, pivotal, unifying, and foundational role in advancing our understanding of these issues. (shrink)
Introduction -- Fundamental ontology : external realism and scientific naturalism -- Consciousness and materialist theories of mind -- Intentional mental states -- Reason and action -- From acts to speech acts : the intention to communicate -- From sounds to words : the intention to represent -- On the meaning of meaning : critical remarks -- The construction of social reality -- Topics concerning institutional reality : reasons, language, politics, and the background.
Emotions, Values, and the Law brings together ten of John Deigh's essays written over the past fifteen years. In the first five essays, Deigh ask questions about the nature of emotions and the relation of evaluative judgment to the intentionality of emotions, and critically examines the cognitivist theories of emotion that have dominated philosophy and psychology over the past thirty years. A central criticism of these theories is that they do not satisfactorily account for the emotions of babies or animals (...) other than human beings. Drawing on this criticism, Deigh develops an alternative theory of the intentionality of emotions on which the education of emotions explains how human emotions, which innately contain no evaluative thought, come to have evaluative judgments as their principal cognitive component. The second group of five essays challenge the idea of the voluntary as essential to understanding moral responsibility, moral commitment, political obligation, and other moral and political phenomena that have traditionally been thought to depend on people's will. Each of these studies focuses on a different aspect of our common moral and political life and shows, contrary to conventional opinion, that it does not depend on voluntary action or the exercise of a will constituted solely by rational thought. Together, the essays in this collection represent an effort to shift our understanding of the phenomena traditionally studied in moral and political philosophy from that of their being products of reason and will, operating independently of feeling and sentiment to that of their being manifestations of the work of emotion. (shrink)
Of all the problems facing science none are more challenging yet fascinating than those posed by consciousness. In The Science of Consciousness leading researchers examine how consciousness is being investigated in the key areas of cognitive psychology, neuropsychology and clinical psychology. Within cognitive psychology, special focus is given to the function of consciousness, and to the relation of conscious processing to nonconscious processing in perception, learning, memory and information dissemination. Neuropsychology includes examination of the neural conditions for consciousness and the (...) effects of brain damage. Finally, mind/body interactions in clinical and experimental settings are considered, including the somatic effects of imagery, biofeedback and placebo effects. Every chapter is written by an expert in the field. They each provide a clear overview of existing research along with an exciting new synthesis of consciousness studies. The The Science of Consciousness will be invaluable for students, researchers and clinicians interested in the developments and directions of this rapidly growing field. (shrink)
Contemporary Materialism presents an important collection of recent work on materialism in connection with metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and theories of value. This anthology charts the contemporary problems, positions and themes on the topic of materialism. It illuminates materialism's complex intersection with related subjects such as cognition and psychology. By gathering a wide-range of philosophical interventions around the subject of materialism, this anthology provides a valuable discussion of how materialism can effectively serve the purposes of philosophical assessment. (...) To further assist the reader, it also contains an extensive bibliography on contemporary materialism. (shrink)
Directed to scholars and senior-level graduate students, this book is an iconoclastic survey of the history of dualism and its impact on contemporary cognitive psychology. It argues that much of modern cognitive or mentalist psychology is built upon a cryptodualism--the idea that the mind and brain can be thought of as independent entities. This dualism pervades so much of society that it covertly influences many aspects of modern science, particularly psychology. To support the argument, the history of dualism is extended (...) over 100,000 years--from the Paleolithic times until modern philosophical and psychological thinking. The questions regarding this topic that are answered in the book are: 1) Does dualism influence the scientific theories of psychology? 2) If so, should dualism be put aside in the search for a more objective analysis of human mentation? (shrink)
This volume is a collection of new and previously published essays focusing on one of the most exciting and actively discussed topics in contemporary philosophy: naturalistic theories of mental content. The volume brings together important papers written by some of the most distinguished theorists working in the field today. Authors contributing to the volume include Jerry Fodor, Rugh Millikan, Fred Dretske, Ned Block, Robert Cummins, and Daniel Dennett.
Psychological Metaphysics is an exploration of the most basic and important assumptions in the psychological construction of reality, with the aim of showing what they are, how they originate, and what they are there for. Peter White proposes that people basically understand causation in terms of stable, special powers of things operating to produce effects under suitable conditions. This underpins an analysis of people's understanding of causal processes in the physical world, and of human action. In making a radical break (...) with the Heiderian tradition, Psychological Metaphysics suggests that causal attribution is in the service of the person's practical concerns and any interest in accuracy or understanding is subservient to this. Indeed, a notion of regularity in the world is of no more than minor importance, and social cognition is not a matter of cognitive mechanisms or processes but of cultural ways of thinking imposed upon tacit, unquestioned, universalassumptions. Incorporating not only research and theory in social cognition and developmental psychology, but also philosophy and the history of ideas, Psychological Metaphysics will be challenging to everyone interested in how we try to understand the world. (shrink)
This study examines the relationship between thought and language by considering the views of Kant and the later Wittgenstein along with many strands of contemporary debate in the area of mental content. Building on an analysis of the nature of concepts and conceptions of objects, Gillett provides an account of psychological explanation and the subject of experience, offers a novel perspective on mental representation and linguistic meaning, looks at the difficult topics of cognitive roles and singular thought, and concludes with (...) an outline of certain considerations relevant to skeptical arguments and the nature of perception. The resulting synthesis demonstrates interesting correlations with current work in cognitive and developmental psychology, and is directly relevant to continuing work in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophical psychology. (shrink)