Understanding consciousness is a truly multidisciplinary project, attracting intense interest from researchers and theorists from diverse backgrounds. Thus, we now have computational scientists, neuroscientists, and philosophers all engaged in the same effort. This book draws together the work of leading researchers around the world, providing insights from these three general perspectives. The work is highlighted by a rare look at work being conducted by Japanese researchers.
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)
Ranging from Joseph Bellamy to Hilary Putnam, and from early New England Divinity Schools to contemporary university philosophy departments, historian Bruce Kuklick recounts the story of the growth of philosophical thinking in the United States. Readers will explore the thought of early American philosphers such as Jonathan Edwards and John Witherspoon and will see how the political ideas of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson influenced philosophy in colonial America. Kuklick discusses The Transcendental Club (members Henry David Thoreau, Ralph (...) Waldo Emerson) and describes the rise of pragmatism centered on Metaphysical Club of Cambridge (and members William James, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Charles Peirce). He examines the profound impact Darwinism had on American philosophy and looks at Idealists such as the Kantian Josiah Royce and the Hegelian John Dewey. The book shows how, in the twentieth century, the Nazi conquest of Europe unleashed a flood of European intellectuals onto these shores, including such major thinkers as Theodore Adorno, Erich Fromm, Rudolph Carnap, and Alfred Tarski. Finally, Kuklick examines the contributions of such contemporary philosophers as Sidney Hook and Willard Quine and such books as John Rawl's A Theory of Justice and Herbert Marcuse's One Dimensional Man. Kuklick pulls no punches in portraying the state of American philosophy today and its contested role in the intellectual life of the nation and the world. The range of philosophical thought in our nation's history has been great, from Edwards's Religious Affections to Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and Bruce Kuklick has captured it all in a book that blends intricate details with sweeping vision. (shrink)
Theories of Theories of Mind brings together contributions by a distinguished international team of philosophers, psychologists, and primatologists, who between them address such questions as: what is it to understand the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of other people? How does such an understanding develop in the normal child? Why, unusually, does it fail to develop? And is any such mentalistic understanding shared by members of other species? The volume's four parts together offer a state of the art survey of the (...) major topics in the theory-theory/simulationism debate within philosophy of mind, developmental psychology, the aetiology of autism and primatology. The volume will be of great interest to researchers and students in all areas interested in the 'theory of mind' debate. (shrink)
Human beings have the unique ability to consciously reflect on the nature of the self. But reflection has its costs. We can ask what the self is, but as David Hume pointed out, the self, once reflected upon, may be nowhere to be found. The favored view is that we are material beings living in the material world. But if so, a host of destabilizing questions surface. If persons are just a sophisticated sort of animal, then what sense is there (...) to the idea that we are free agents who control our own destinies? What makes the life of any animal, even one as sophisticated as Homo sapiens, worth anything? What place is there in a material world for God? And if there is no place for a God, then what hold can morality possibly have on us--why isn't everything allowed? Flanagan's collection of essays takes on these questions and more. He continues the old philosophical project of reconciling a scientific view of ourselves with a view of ourselves as agents of free will and meaning-makers. But to this project he brings the latest insights of neuroscience, cognitive science, and psychiatry, exploring topics such as whether the conscious mind can be explained scientifically, whether dreams are self-expressive or just noise, the moral socialization of children, and the nature of psychological phenomena such as multiple personality disorder and false memory syndrome. What emerges from these explorations is a liberating vision which can make sense of the self, agency, character transformation, and the value and worth of human life. Flanagan concludes that nothing about a scientific view of persons must lead to nihilism. (shrink)
This collection by a distinguished group of philosophers, psychologists, and physiologists reflects an interdisciplinary approach to the central question of cognitive science: how do we model the mind? Among the topics explored are the relationships (theoretical, reductive, and explanatory) between philosophy, psychology, computer science, and physiology; what should be asked of models in science generally, and in cognitive science in particular; whether theoretical models must make essential reference to objects in the environment; whether there are human competences that are resistant, (...) in principle, to modelling; whether simulated thinking and intentionality are really thinking and intentionality; how semantics can be generated from syntactics; the meaning of the terms "representations" and "modelling;" whether the nature of the "hardware" matters; and whether computer models of humans are "dehumanizing." Contributors include Donald Davidson, Daniel C. Dennett, Margaret A. Boden, Adam Morton, Dennis Noble, T. Poggio, Colin Blakemore, K.V. Wilkes, P.N. Johnson-Laird, and Jonathan St. B.T. Evans. (shrink)
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.
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 ...
This volume is a direct result of a conference held at Princeton University to honor George A. Miller, an extraordinary psychologist. A distinguished panel of speakers from various disciplines -- psychology, philosophy, neuroscience and artificial intelligence -- were challenged to respond to Dr. Miller's query: "What has happened to cognition? In other words, what has the past 30 years contributed to our understanding of the mind? Do we really know anything that wasn't already clear to William James?" Each participant tried (...) to stand back a little from his or her most recent work, but to address the general question from his or her particular standpoint. The chapters in the present volume derive from that occasion. (shrink)
In this book, Hodgson presents a clear and compelling case against today's orthodox mechanistic view of the brain-mind, and in favor of the view that "the mind matters." In the course of the argument he ranges over such topics as consciousness, informal reasoning, computers, evolution, and quantum indeterminancy and non-locality. Although written from a philosophical viewpoint, the book has important implications for the sciences concerned with the brain-mind problem. At the same time, it is largely non-technical, and thus accessible to (...) the non-specialist reader. (shrink)
Psychologists and philosophers have assumed that psychological knowledge is knowledge about, and held by, the individual mind. _Psychological Knowledge_ challenges these views. It argues that bodies of psychological knowledge are social institutions like money or the monarchy, and that mental states are social artefacts like coins or crowns. Martin Kusch takes on arguments of alternative proposals, shows what is wrong with them, and demonstrates how his own social-philosophical approach constitutes an advance. We see that exists a substantial natural amount of (...) philosophical theorising, a body of work that tries to determine the nature and structure of folk psychology. An introduction to the workings of constuctivism, _Psychological Knowledge_ is an insightful introduction to the history of psychology and the recent philosophy of mind. (shrink)
Implicit learning is said to occur when a person learns about a complex stimulus without necessarily intending to do so, and in such a way that the resulting knowledge is difficult to express. Over the last 30 years, a number of studies have claimed to show evidence of implicit learning. In more recent years, however, considerable debate has arisen over the extent to which cognitive tasks can in fact be learned implicitly. Much of the debate has centred on the questions (...) of how unconscious, and how abstract, is implicitly acquired knowledge? The aim of this book is to provide students and researchers with a self-contained and balanced summary of the various theoretical and empirical positions that are currently shaping this exciting area of research. (shrink)
The Other Freud undertakes an exciting and original analysis of Freud's major writings on religion and culture. James DiCenso suggests that Freud's texts on religion are unjustifiably ignored or taken for granted, and he shows that Freud's commentary on religion are rich, multifaceted texts, and deserve far more attention. Using concepts derived primarily from Jacques Lacan and Julia Kristeva, DiCenso draws an unparalleled critical portrait of the "other Freud". This book is rich with new ideas and fresh interpretations.
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)
Like Alice following the white rabbit into a topsy-turvy world where the laws of logic don't apply, subversive thinking unearths the mysteries behind the mundane. Tracking the White Rabbit is a fascinating, original work that invites us to use depth psychology to challenge our deepest assumptions about world politics, theology, social norms, everyday speech, and usual ideas of sex and emotion. Raised in an environment of McCarthyism and rock-and-roll, Jungian analyst Lyn Cowan shows readers-through provocative essays on memory and homosexuality, (...) music and the art of cursing-that we can flip our ingrained attitudes on their heads and achieve a better understanding of our cultural landscape. America has been plagued by a flattening of its psychic life, Cowan argues, exhibited in the escalating need for external stimulation and the distrust of intense emotion. With humor and insight, she confronts the "isms" that entrap our imaginations (capitalism, fundamentalism, feminism, sexism, antisemitism, communism) in order to unearth a more soul-serving culture. Encouraging us to mine the creativity of spontaneous imagination, this psychology brings dramatic new ideas and themes into focus, breaking down barriers and yielding fresh perspectives on some of the more pressing individual dilemmas of our time: abortion, gender, language, homosexuality, and victimization. (shrink)
What is posthumanism and why does it matter? This book offers an introduction to the ways in which humanism's belief in the natural supremacy of the Family of Man has been called into question at different moments and from different theoretical positions. What is the relationship between posthumanism and technology? Can posthumanism have a politics—postcolonial or feminist? Are postmodernism and poststructuralism posthumanist? What happens when critical theory meets Hollywood cinema? What links posthumanism to science fiction. Posthumanism addresses these and other (...) questions in an attempt to come to terms with one of the most pressing issues facing contemporary society. (shrink)