The role of the arts has become crucial to understanding the origins of “modern human behavior,” but continues to be highly controversial as it is not always clear why the arts evolved and persisted. This issue is often addressed by appealing to adaptive biological explanations. However, we will argue that the arts have evolved culturally rather than biologically, exploiting biological adaptations rather than extending them. In order to support this line of inquiry, evidence from a number of disciplines will be (...) presented showing how the relationship between the arts, evolution, and adaptation can be better understood by regarding cultural transmission as an important second inheritance system. This will allow an alternative proposal to be formulated as to the proper place of the arts in human evolution. However, in order for the role of the arts to be fully addressed, the relationship of culture to genes and adaptation will be explored. Based on an assessment of the cognitive, biological, and cultural aspects of the arts, and their close relationship with ritual and associated activities, we will conclude with the null hypothesis that the arts evolved as a necessary but nonfunctional concomitant of other traits that cannot currently be refuted. (shrink)
Based upon the studies to be outlined, I will argue that the innocent eye should not be thought of as a kind of raw sensory data which, through various artistic devices, can become a focus of attention. In effect, I submit, various commentators have misrepresented this concept to the extent that it has caused much confusion in debates relating to art. In short, they continue to promote the notion of a viewer-centred representation as pure, untainted visual information that can be (...) accessed without recourse to visual knowledge. (shrink)
There has been much debate regarding when modern human cognition arose. It was previously thought that the technocomplexes and artifacts associated with a particular timeframe during the Upper Paleolithic could provide a proxy for identifying the signature of modern cognition. It now appears that this approach has underestimated the complexity of human behavior on a number of different levels. As the artifacts, once thought to be confined to Europe 40,000 years ago onwards, can now be found in other parts of (...) the world well before this date, especially in South Africa, this suggests that modern cognition arose well before this period. Moreover, the variability of the archaeological record from the time when anatomically modern humans appeared 200,000 years ago suggests cognitive factors alone are unable to explain the obvious unevenness. In this article, it will be demonstrated how neuro-cognition can be assimilated with population dynamics and the transmission of information between individuals and groups that can provide important insights as to the nature and origins of modern human cognition. (shrink)
The application of evolutionary ideas to socioeconomic systems has been an increasingly prominent theme in the work of Friedrich Hayek, and the motif has become dominant in his recent book. In an earlier issue of this journal, Viktor Vanberg raises two substantive criticisms of Friedrich Hayek' theory of cultural evolution that invoke some important questions concerning use of the evolutionary analogy in social science.
In this challenging book, David Hodgson takes a fresh approach to the question of free will, contending that close consideration of human rationality and human consciousness shows that together they give us free will, in a robust and indeterministic sense, and in a way that is consistent with what science tells us about the world.
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)
This is an analysis of the interpretation of Christian theology that is found in G. W. F. Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion. Hodgson argues that these lectures are among the most valuable resources from the nineteenth century for theology as it faces the challenges of modernity and postmodernity. The author is also editing and translating the critical edition of the lectures, which are being published concurrently by Oxford University Press.
'Plain' persons tend to accept that free will exists and is inconsistent with determinism, but this commonsense position is widely debunked by professional philosophers and cognitive scientists. In this special issue of the _Journal of Consciousness Studies_ David Hodgson defends a simple, robust account of the plain person's position on free will, and intends it to support equally robust views of personal responsibility for conduct. In a lively debate his ideas are discussed and challenged by ten philosophers and scientists (...) of varying opinions, including Robert Kane, Henry Stapp, and veteran philosopher of mind J.J.C. Smart, with a response by the principal author. (shrink)
Gers (Biol Philos, 2011) provides a positive and constructive view of the project to generalise Darwinian principles in Geoffrey Hodgson and Thorbjørn Knudsen’s Darwin’s Conjecture. We note considerable overlap with his work and ours, and also with important recent work of Godfrey-Smith ( 2009 ), which Gers cites extensively. But we also note that there are differences in research objectives between Gers and Godfrey-Smith, on the one hand, and ourselves, on the other. Gers and Godfrey-Smith focus on the elucidation (...) of the most general principles possible. Our aim is to derive principles that are sufficiently abstract to span the natural and human social worlds, and then add additional principles to help understand the Darwinian evolution of human society. Furthermore, Gers and Godfrey-Smith critique a replicator concept that is different from ours. Once these points are made apparent, the criticisms are essentially disabled, and we end up in a position with different but complementary and overlapping research projects. (shrink)
The Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, developed in four versions from 1821 to 1831, represent the final and in some ways the decisive element of Hegel's entire philosophical system. This is Volume I of the first critical edition of the lectures, based on a complete re-editing of the sources. - ;The Hegel Lectures SeriesSeries Editor: Peter C. Hodgson Hegel's lectures have had as great a historical impact as the works he himself published. Important elements of his system are (...) elaborated only in the lectures, especially those given in Berlin during the last decade of his life. The original. (shrink)
An analysis of the interpretation of Christian theology that is found in G. W. F. Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion. Peter C. Hodgson argues that these lectures are among the most valuable resources from the nineteenth century for theology as it faces the challenges of modernity and postmodernity.
DAVID HODGSON: This article supports the proposition that, if a judgment about the aesthetic merits of an artistic object can take into account and thereby be influenced by the particular quality of the object, through gestalt experiences evoked by the object, then we have free will. It argues that it is probable that such a judgment can indeed take into account and be influenced by the particular quality of the object through gestalt experiences evoked by it, so as to (...) make it probable that we do have free will. The proposition is supported by reference to two basic tricks apparently involved in conscious processes, which I call the qualia trick and the chunking trick; and it is suggested that these tricks make possible and indeed probable the existence of a third trick, which I call the selection trick. (shrink)
David Hodgson Itâ€™s widely asserted by scientists and philosophers that our decisions and actions are wholly determined by physical processes of our brains; and many also assert that this means we cannot have free will and cannot, in any real sense, be responsible for what we do.Â In recent times, this has led to some questioning of the basis of criminal..
I want to take issue with the assertion by Flanagan and Polger that there are no good theories as to `why did evolution result in creatures who were more than just informationally sensitive'; that is, why evolution has apparently not produced zombies. I've proposed a theory which I'd like to think is good: that consciousness is for kinds of plausible reasoning not available to mechanistic systems -- that there have been evolutionary advantages in an organism being able to act out (...) choices between alternatives left open to it by the universal laws, choices which require consciousness of inconclusive and incommensurable reasons that the choices can resolve, and which are unique efficacious events rather than just the expression of the universal laws. This idea is developed and defended in Hodgson , 1994a, 1994b, 1995, 1996a, 1996b). No one has yet told me why it is no good. (shrink)
I much appreciated Elizabeth Schier's paper on Frank Jackson's knowledge argument, published in the January 2008 issue of Journal of Consciousness Studies (Schier, 2008) -- in part, I confess, because of resonances with my gestalt argument for free will (Hodgson, 2001; 2002; 2005; 2007a,b). I would like to offer two comments on this paper.
Recent policy changes in the European Union have introduced the requirement for publicly funded research to be published in open access. This can be seen as part of a mode of democratic accountability that not only promotes transparency but also, Naomi Hodgson argues, is constituted by visibility and openness. By drawing attention to the way in which the researcher is asked to understand herself in this policy context, Hodgson illustrates how particular technologies of performance measurement and management, and (...) of publication, enter the researcher into this economy of visibility. The understanding of openness as a corrective to the traditional closed access system of publishing and the marketization of academia is challenged, then, in this article, which indicates how these technologies of reading and writing constitute the researcher as a particular figure in the emergent mode of governance. (shrink)
In this essay, Naomi Hodgson reconsiders the value of Michel Foucault’s normalization thesis to the study of educationalization in relation to contemporary educational policy and research. Hodgson begins by analyzing educational researchers’ response to the recent introduction of citizenship education in England, focusing specifically on a review of research, policy, and practice in this area commissioned by the British Educational Research Association . She argues that the BERA review exemplifies the field of education policy sociology in that it (...) is conducted according to the concepts of its parent discipline of sociology but lacks critical theoretical engagement with them. Instead, such work operationalizes sociological concepts in service of educational policy solutions. Hodgson identifies three dominant discourses of citizenship education within the BERA review— the academic discourse of education policy sociology, contemporary political discourse, and the discourse of inclusive education — and draws attention to the relation of citizenship education to policy initiatives, and thus to educationalization. She then discusses Foucault’s concept of normalization in terms of the demand on the contemporary subject to orient the self in a certain relation toward learning informed by the need for competitiveness in the European and global context. Ultimately, Hodgson concludes that the language and rhetoric of education policy sociology implicate such research in the process of educationalization itself. (shrink)
Brown and Hodgson present a new English edition of Hegel's 1822-3 lectures on the philosophy of world history. Here he sets out his vision of the development of reason, spirit, and culture in human history, as it advances inexorably towards the establishment of a political state of free, fully self-conscious individuals and just institutions.
Offering the only anthology of Hegel's religious thought, Vanderbilt University's Professor Peter C. Hodgson provides sympathetic and clear entree to the German philosopher's religious achievement through his major relevant texts starting with early theological writings and culminating with Hegel's1824 lectures on the philosophy of religion.
This edition makes available an entirely new version of Hegel's lectures on the development and scope of world history. Volume I presents Hegel's surviving manuscripts of his introduction to the lectures and the full transcription of the first series of lectures. These works treat the core of human history as the inexorable advance towards the establishment of a political state with just institutions-a state that consists of individuals with a free and fully-developed self-consciousness. Hegel interweaves major themes of spirit and (...) culture-including social life, political systems, commerce, art and architecture, religion, and philosophy-with an historical account of peoples, dates, and events. Following spirit's quest for self-realization, the lectures presented here offer an imaginative voyage around the world, from the paternalistic, static realm of China to the cultural traditions of India; the vast but flawed political organization of the Persian Empire to Egypt and then the Orient; and the birth of freedom in the West to the Christian revelation of free political institutions emerging in the medieval and modern Germanic world. Brown and Hodgson's new translation is an essential resource for the English reader, and provides a fascinating account of the world as it was conceived by one of history's most influential philosophers. The Editorial Introduction surveys the history of the texts and provides an analytic summary of them, and editorial footnotes introduce readers to Hegel's many sources and allusions. For the first time an edition is made available that permits critical scholarly study, and translates to the needs of the general reader. (shrink)
The Hegel Lectures SeriesSeries Editor: Peter C. Hodgson Hegel's lectures have had as great a historical impact as the works he himself published. Important elements of his system are elaborated only in the lectures, especially those given in Berlin during the last decade of his life. The original editors conflated materials from different sources and dates, obscuring the development and logic of Hegel's thought. The Hegel Lectures series is based on a selection of extant and recently discovered transcripts and (...) manuscripts. The original lecture series are reconstructed so that the structure of Hegel's argument can be followed. Each volume presents an accurate new translation accompanied by an editorial introduction and annotations on the text, which make possible the identification of Hegel's many allusions and sources. Lectures on the Philosophy of ReligionOne-Volume Edition, The Lectures of 1827Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion represent the final and in some ways the decisive element of his entire philosophical system. In Peter C. Hodgson's masterly three-volume edition, being reissued in the Hegel Lectures Series, from which this volume is extracted, the structural integrity of the lectures - delivered in 1821, 1824, 1827, and 1831 - is established for the first time in an English critical edition based on a complete re-editing of the German sources by Walter Jaeschke. This one-volume edition presents the full text and footnotes of the 1827 lectures, making the work available in a convenient form for study.Of the lectures that can be fully reconstructed, those of 1827 are the clearest, most mature, and most accessible to nonspecialists. In them, readers will find Hegel engaged in lively debates and important refinements of his treatment of the concept of religion, the Oriental religions and Judaism, Christology, the Trinity, the God-world relationship, and many other topics.This edition contains an editorial introduction, critical annotations on the text and tables, bibliography, and glossary from the complete edition. The English translation has been prepared by a team of eminent Hegel scholars: Robert F. Brown, Peter C. Hodgson, and J. Michael Stewart, with the assistance of H. S. Harris. (shrink)
The central claim of Kant's political philosophy is that rational agents sharing a territory can justifiably be forced to live under a state; they have, in Kant's words, a duty of right to leave the state of nature. Perhaps something along these lines is entailed by any theory of state legitimacy, but the point raises special difficulties for Kant. He believes that rational agents have a right to freedom; that is, he believes that a rational agent's external freedom - her (...) ability to set and pursue ends for herself without being subject to the choices of others - can justifiably be restricted only for the sake of external freedom itself. To establish that human beings can be forced to join a civil condition, it will therefore not do to show that the state promotes security, prosperity or any other such value: Kant has to show that human beings living side by side need a state to be free. (shrink)
The individual informed consent model remains critical to the ethical conduct and regulation of research involving human beings. Parental informed consent process in a rural setting of northern Ghana was studied to describe comprehension and retention among parents as part of the evaluation of the existing informed consent process.
Max Bennett is a distinguished Australian neuroscientist, Peter Hacker an Oxford philosopher and leading authority on Wittgenstein. A book resulting from their collaboration, Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience, has received high praise. According to the Blackwell website, G.H. von Wright asserts that it 'will certainly, for a long time to come, be the most important contribution to the mind-body problem that there is'; and Sir Anthony Kenny says it 'shows that the claims made on behalf of cognitive science are ill-founded'. M.R. (...) Bennett & P.M.S. Hacker, Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience. (shrink)
David Chalmers distinguishes the hard problem of consciousness -- why should a physical system give rise to conscious experiences at all -- with what he calls the easy problems, the explanation of how cognitive systems, including human brains, perform various cognitive functions. He argues that the easy problems are easy because the performance of any function can be explained by specifying a mechanism that performs the function. This article argues that conscious experiences have a role in the performance by human (...) beings of some cognitive functions, that can't be realised by mechanisms of the kind studied by the objective sciences; and that accordingly some of Chalmers’ easy problems will not be fully solved unless and until the hard problem is solved. (shrink)
In my experience, plain persons (here meaning persons who are neither philosophers or cognitive scientists) tend to accept something like a libertarian position on free will, namely that free will exists and is inconsistent with determinism. That position is widely debunked by philosophers and cognitive scientists. My view at present is that something like this plain person's position is not only defensible but likely to be closer to the truth than opposing views. To put this to the test, I have (...) written a simple and straightforward outline of what I hope is a philosophically and scientifically respectable version of the plain person's position on free will, and have offered it for demolition by those who say such a view is untenable. My account of free will is a robust one, explicitly inconsistent with determinism and intended to support equally robust views of personal responsibility for conduct. I see three broad areas of difficulty for this account. (shrink)
The established definition of replication in terms of the conditions of causality, similarity and information transfer is very broad. We draw inspiration from the literature on self-reproducing automata to strengthen the notion of information transfer in replication processes. To the triple conditions of causality, similarity and information transfer, we add a fourth condition that defines a “generative replicator” as a conditional generative mechanism, which can turn input signals from an environment into developmental instructions. Generative replication must have the potential to (...) enhance complexity, which in turn requires that developmental instructions are part of the information that is transmitted in replication. Demonstrating the usefulness of the generative replicator concept in the social domain, we identify social generative replicators that satisfy all of the four proposed conditions. (shrink)
Advancing a general Darwinian framework to explain culture is an exciting endeavor. It requires that we face up to the challenge of identifying the specific components that are effective in replication processes in culture. This challenge includes the unsolved problem of explaining cultural inheritance, both at the level of individuals and at the level of social organizations and institutions.
My paper responds to certain themes of Professor John McMurtry's recent book, Unequal Freedoms: The Global Market as an Ethical System. Although I am in general sympathy with McMurtry's penetrating critique of conventional market theory and practice, I find Unequal Freedoms ambivalent on the critical question of whether endorsing and enacting the life-value code McMurtry proposes would require only a mitigation of the principles and definitive activities of the competitive market system or whether significant reforms within the system would have (...) to be deep structural ones. It is argued that the second alternative is inescapable. I defend my perspective from the point of view of a philosophical analysis of orthodox or neo-classical theory-construction about the competitive market order. In particular, I examine three fundamental principles of such modelling: the maximization of the satisfaction of self-interest, the unboundedness of consumer desire for material goods, and the distribution of monetized wealth. In order for McMurtry's "civil commons" to survive, the practice of each of these principles would need to be radically modified. However, in doing so, competitive capitalism would lose its essential identity as a socio-economic order. (shrink)
This is a review article about John Searle's most recent book The Rediscovery of the Mind, which criticizes it for not going far enough in its departure from orthodox materialistic views of the brain and mind. It argues that Searle's two central propositions, consciousness is irreducible and consciousness cannot cause anything that cannot be explained by the causal behaviour of neurons, are incompatible; and suggests that it is reasonable and scientifically respectable to reject the latter rather than the former.
Einstein’s special theory of relativity has had a wide influence on fields far removed from physics. It has given the impression that physics has shown that there are now no absolute truths, that all beliefs are relative to the observer, and that traditional stable landmarks have been washed away. We each have our own frame of reference that is as good as any other frame, so that there are no absolute standards by which our actions may be judged. The predictions (...) of relativity theory, such as the elimination of simultaneity, the variation of mass with velocity, and the equivalence of mass and energy, are all highly counterintuitive and yet are precisely confirmed by detailed measurements. The clear rocklike mechanical physics of Newton seems to have dissolved into a swirling mist of unintelligible concepts, and familiar certainties seem to have disappeared. A detailed analysis of relativity theory shows, however, a completely different picture. Properly understood, it is a logical extension of Newtonian physics that expresses the relations of space and time in a more exact and elegant way and in the process shows forth more clearly the invariant features of the world. The apparently counterintuitive features appear as natural consequences that extend and refine our classical concepts. The traditional landmarks remain, but God’s world is more subtle than we had previously imagined. (shrink)
Current developments in the sciences of the brain and mind sometimes seem to suggest that criminal conduct is a symptom of brain disorder or illness that should be treated rather than punished.Â This paper argues that the insights of these sciences should be taken very seriously by lawyers, but not to the detriment of common-sense ideas of responsibility or of their incorporation into the legal categories used in the criminal law.
The turn to cosmopolitanism in educational research on citizenship education is indicative of a wider discourse of cosmopolitanism evident throughout social and cultural policy. This discourse represents a more 'light-hearted' use of the term than the philosophical tradition offers. This discourse should not be dismissed, however, but, instead, attention should be paid to who the citizen is that is addressed by such language. An analysis informed by Foucault's concept of governmentality draws attention to the way in which the discourse of (...) cosmopolitanism relates to the entrepreneurial self and the form of accountability demanded of the knowledge economy. A particular understanding of citizenship and of our relations to others becomes apparent. In educational research on citizenship education, cosmopolitanism is afforded a problem-solving role in relation to globalisation and, more specifically, diversity. Attention is drawn to a meta-level, of the role of particular forms of research in answering to the demand for accountability. Research practice in educational research, or more specifically, education policy sociology concerned with citizenship education, is conducted in terms of the policy language it seeks to critique. Rather than seeking the openness associated with cosmopolitanism, therefore, such research is itself accountable to the demands for particular knowledge of the citizenry. This treatment is also evident in contemporary urban planning policy, similarly concerned with cosmopolitanism as a response to diversity and inclusion. In the current discourse of cosmopolitanism, 'diversity', 'inclusion' and indeed 'citizenship' operate in particular ways through social and educational policy that rather than being dismissed should be addressed due to their role in the construction of contemporary citizenship. (shrink)