According to Hutto and Satne, 521–536, 2015), an “essential tension” plagues contemporary neo-Pragmatist accounts of mental contents: their explanation of the emergence and constitution of intentional mental contents is circular. After identifying the problem, they also propose a solution: what neo-Pragmatists need to do, to overcome circularity, is to appeal to a primitive content-free variety of intentionality, different from the full-blown intentionality of propositional attitudes. In this paper, I will argue that, in addition to the problem of circularity, there is (...) another important problem that both neo-Pragmatist accounts, and Hutto and Satnes’s refinement of them, should also deal with: their difficulty to accommodate a host of recent empirical evidence and theoretical developments on the interdisciplinary field of animal cognition. I will call this difficulty the objection from animal minds, and I will present several arguments designed to show that, even though the notion of primitive intentionality, introduced by Hutto and Satne, may be useful to account for some of the most basic ways of dealing with the environment of nonhuman animals, it falls short of providing an adequate explanation of the full-range of cognitive capacities and behavioral dispositions that many animal species display. Thus, their proposal ends up being insufficient to help neo-Pragmatist approaches to overcome the problem of animal minds. Finally, I will suggest that overcoming this objection requires attributing to non-human animals some basic, yet content involving, kinds of intentional mental states. (shrink)
In this paper, I would like to explore the idea that some non-human animals may be incapable of detaching or separating some of their concepts both from other concepts and from the larger thought contents that they are part of. This, in turn, will make it impossible for them to recombine these undetachable concepts with others in every admissible way. I will begin by distinguishing three different ways in which one concept may be undetachable from others, and I will show (...) how each of them leads to specific restrictions in the kinds of conceptual re-combinations that they admit. Finally, I will try to provide some theoretical reasons, as well as some empirical evidence, to give at least initial support to the hypothesis that some non-human animals actually suffer from the limitations previously identified. (shrink)
El presente trabajo tiene dos objetivos centrales. Primero caracterizaré una variante de pragmatismo conceptual según la cual algunos conceptos deben entenderse como habilidades para identificar sustancias e identificar propiedades del entorno, y mostraré que quien cuenta con esas dos habilidades satisface, en grados diversos en cada caso, distintos requisitos centrales para la posesión de conceptos. Posteriormente defenderé la viabilidad de extender este enfoque a los animales no humanos, apelando a evidencia empírica que indica que distintas especies son capaces de identificar (...) sustancias de su entorno y que sugiere la presencia de habilidades para identificar propiedades en algunos primates y pájaros. (shrink)
Lurz and Krachun propose a new experimental protocol designed to discriminate genuine mindreading animals from mere behavior-readers and to give evidence in favor of the claim that chimpanzees are capable of attributing internal goals to others. They suggest that chimpanzees' variety of "internal goal attribution" consists in attributing to others basic intentional representations, baptized by Millikan as "pushmi-pullyu representations". Now, Millikan distinguishes what I propose to call 'pure' PPs from more complex varieties of PPs, which allow their owners to respond (...) more flexibly to their environments. But, what would happen if we tried to differentiate, analogously, between more or less sophisticated mind-readers in virtue of the sorts of PPs that they could attribute to others? What would attributing complex PPs consist in and how would such capacity increase the predictive powers of chimpanzee mind-readers? This paper offers an answer to these questions. Based on Millikan's work, I differentiate two varieties of complex PPs. Then, I examine what a basic mind-reader, only capable of attributing 'pure' PPs, would be able to do. After that, I distinguish two more sophisticated varieties of mindreading, each consisting in the attribution of one of the complex PPs previously presented, and I show how the ability to attribute complex PPs to others comes with more potent and flexible capacities to anticipate their behavior. Finally, I offer some reasons to think that attributing complex PPs is still simpler than full-blown mindreading and I briefly evaluate the prospects of extending this proposal to infant social cognition. (shrink)
Nuestros intentos por hallar palabras que capturen de modo preciso los contenidos de los pensamientos de los animales suelen tropezar con dificultades persistentes. En este trabajo evaluaré dos explicaciones de este fenómeno discutidas por Beck : la explicación basada en el carácter poco familiar de los contenidos animales -que él rechaza- y la basada en diferencias de formato -que resulta su favorita-. En primer lugar, objetaré las razones por las cuales Beck descarta la explicación basada en el carácter poco familiar (...) de los contenidos. En segundo lugar argumentaré que, aunque algunas dificultades para expresar lingüísticamente los pensamientos animales pueden surgir por diferencias de formato, hay otras que no parecen deberse a este factor. Luego sugeriré que, a fin de comprender adecuadamente el problema que nos ocupa, deberíamos elaborar una explicación dual que apele, en algunos casos, a las diferencias de contenido y, en otros, a las diferencias de formato. When we try to find a precise linguistic expression to the contents of animal thoughts we face persisting difficulties. In this paper, I will evaluate two alternative explanations of this phenomenon: the explanation from unfamiliar contents and the explanation from nonlinguistic format. Beck rejects the former and endorses the latter. I will begin by presenting objections against Beck's reasons to reject the explanation from unfamiliar contents. Afterwards, I will argue, against Beck, that even if some difficulties to put into words the contents of animal thoughts may be due to their nonlinguistic format, others have a different source. Thus, I will suggest that if we want to reach a more encompassing understanding of these difficulties, we need to develop a dual explanation which incorporates both differences in formats and differences in contents. (shrink)
“Intentional Attributions to Animals without Language: Aspectuality and Referential Opacity”. It is generally accepted that intentional attributions are referentially opaque. But, as it is also stressed in the literature, referential opacity introduces difficulties to those who defend the attribution of intentionalmental states to non-human animals. In this paper: i) I identify one of these difficulties –which I call the problem of nonsense –; ii) I offer an answer to that problem. In order to accomplish ii), I begin by examining which (...) are the behavioral and representational requisites that a creature has to satisfy so that our mental states attributions to it are referentially opaque but, at the same time, avoid the problem of nonsense. Secondly, I offer some empirical examples of non-human animals which seem to follow such requirements. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that the formalisms for decoherence originally devised to deal just with closed or open systems can be subsumed under a general conceptual framework, in such a way that they cooperate in the understanding of the same physical phenomenon. This new perspective dissolves certain conceptual difficulties of the einselection program but, at the same time, shows that the openness of the quantum system is not the essential ingredient for decoherence. †To contact the authors, please write to: (...) Mario Castagnino, CONICET-IAFE, Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires, Casilla de Correos 67, Sucursal 28, 1428 Buenos Aires, Argentina; Roberto Laura, IFIR-Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Av. Pellegrini 250, 2000 Rosario, Argentina; Olimpia Lombardi, CONICET-Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires, C. Larralde 3440, 6°D, 1430, Buenos Aires; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
The burden of this piece is to draw together into a coherent whole the somewhat diverse strands of Israel Scheffler's thought on the philosophy of religion. Extrapolating from personal discussions with Professor Scheffler, various of his books, articles, and other unpublished materials authored and kindly provided by him, I contend that he adumbrates a post-empiricist rendering of religious belief which masterfully avoids some philosophical problems, while unwittingly giving rise to others. Committed to the view that the methodology of science â (...) in one or other of its more acceptable guises â provides the most reliable measure of the content and structure of reality. Scheffler is bound conceptually to redefine Jewish belief in such a way that the traditional conflict between religion and science never emerges. Consistent with this end, he is concerned to divest traditional Judaism of its metaphysical garb, so that what remains are simply the matters of living to which religion ought properly on his view address itself. The Bible is thus reconceptualized as a piece of rich literature, of no real difference in logical kind to any other piece of rich literature, except that it defines uniquely, along with the Torah and other relevant Jewish literature, the history of the particular community whose perception of human values and meaningfulness forms the core of what it is to be Jewish. (shrink)
The authors of this book show that the failure of public health arises, not from a failure of contemporary medicine, but from a failure of the philosophical assumptions upon which it rests. They suggest an alternative approach to health care that derives from a ecological and holistic philosophy of nature.
In his recent book The Idea of Justice, Amartya Sen suggests that political philosophy should move beyond the dominant, Rawls-inspired, methodological paradigm – what Sen calls ‘transcendental institutionalism’ – towards a more practically oriented approach to justice: ‘realization-focused comparison’. In this article, I argue that Sen's call for a paradigm shift in thinking about justice is unwarranted. I show that his criticisms of the Rawlsian approach are either based on misunderstandings, or correct but of little consequence, and conclude that the (...) Rawlsian approach already delivers much of what Sen himself wants from a theory of justice. (shrink)
In this paper, I defend brain death as a criterion for determining death against objections raised by Don Marquis, Michael Nair-Collins, Doyen Nguyen, and Laura Specker Sullivan. I argue that any definition of death for beings like us relies on some sortal concept by which we are individuated and identified and that the choice of that concept in a practical context is not determined by strictly biological considerations but involves metaphysical, moral, social, and cultural considerations. This view supports acceptance (...) of a more pluralistic legal definition of death as well as acceptance of brain death as death. (shrink)
Many theists of a traditional bent have been bothered by the apparent tension between God's essential omnipotence and his essential moral goodness. Nelson Pike draws attention to the conflict between these two attributes in his article ‘Omnipotence and God's Ability to Sin’, and there have been many attempts to respond to it since that time. Most of these responses argue that the essential omnipotence and essential goodness of God are not logically incompatible, so that the traditional conception of God is (...) not incoherent; I think the arguments have been largely successful. However, some theists have found the typical responses to Pike less than convincing, and are tempted to surrender the claim that God has moral perfection essentially in favour of the more modest claim that God is morally perfect in the actual world though in some possible worlds God is morally defective. I argue in this paper that this fall-back position is incoherent. More accurately, I argue that a necessary being who is essentially omniscient and essentially omnipotent cannot be contingently morally perfect or contingently morally defective. Any such being is either essentially good or essentially evil. Since the latter alternative seems unattractive, I argue that theists should embrace the essential moral perfection of God. (shrink)
El ámbito de los estudios kantianos y, más concretamente, la evaluación del lugar que la antropología ocupa en la arquitectónica del criticismo se verá decididamente beneficiado por esta nueva aportación que la investigadora italiana Laura Anna Macor, investigadora de la Universidad de Padua, dedica al estudio de la influencia ejercida por la filosofía crítica de Kant en el primer Idealismo alemán. El lector interesado en el volumen que reseñamos encontrará ulteriores fuentes de esclarecimiento sobre el objeto de investigación, a (...) saber, la compleja y ambigua relación entre antropología y moral en la primera recepción del criticismo, en otros trabajos de la misma Autora2, que contribuyen a definir una figura, que aquí se propone identificar con una elipse (2010, p. 17 y 163), cuyos focos estarían ocupados respectivamente por la fundamentación kantiana de la moral y por el discurso antropológico revitalizado por J. G. Sulzer y sus discípulos en Württemberg y, posteriormente, por F. Schiller en Turingia, elipse cuyo contorno termina de dibujar este volumen publicado en 2011. (shrink)
This essay is a response to the comments and critique of Laura Purdy to my earlier paper "Re-Fusing Nature/Nurture" (1983, 621-632). In it I re-emphasize that the traditional nature/nurture dichotomy is based upon an unacceptable ontology and briefly note the type of metaphysic that would serve as a more appropriate basis.
This conversation between Laura Mulvey and Roberta Sassatelli offers a historical reconstruction of Mulvey’s work, from her famous essay ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ to her most recent reflections on male gaze, film technology and visual culture. The conversation initially deals with the socio-cultural context in which the ‘Visual Pleasure...’ essay was produced by outlining a number of possible theoretical parallelisms with other scholars, from Foucault to Barthes to Goffman. Then, on the basis of Mulvey’s latest book, Death 24× (...) a Second, and of a variety of contemporary examples, the emphasis is on the relative shift in Mulvey’s work from gender to time and visual technology. Finally, the conversation focuses on the concept of ‘gendered scopic regime’ and the potential re-articulation of the male gaze through the technological re-direction and control of the visual. (shrink)
Upshot: Gabriele Chiari and the late Maria Laura Nuzzo’s new book, Constructivist Psychotherapy: A Narrative Hermeneutic Approach, is a?densely packed little tome that marks the most fully developed effort so far to present a model of personal construct psychotherapy that theoretically incorporates aspects of radical constructivism, narrative psychology, and social constructionism. The theoretically inclined will not be disappointed.
Laura Valentini’s Justice in a Globalized World presents, with admirable clarity, a new, hybrid conception of global justice that builds on insights from both cosmopolitans and statists, especially their relational variants. Relational cosmopolitans generally argue that substantial economic cooperation and interdependence (i.e., the relevant economic relations) trigger robust obligations of distributive justice. They then argue that, as a matter of fact, these relations obtain globally in virtue of intensifying global trade, capital flows, and labor migration. Thus, relational cosmopolitans conclude (...) that obligations of distributive justice directly apply to the global economic order. Relational statists, by contrast, argue that obligations of distributive justice are trigged by coercive, political relations. Furthermore, these coercive relations only obtain—and can only be justified—within a state. As a consequence, the global order is a ‘secondary site’ of justice that ought to be con. (shrink)
Le présent ouvrage est la deuxième édition, revue et augmentée, de Parole onascoltate. Le donne e la costruzione dello Stato-nazione in Italia e in Francia. 1789-1860, préface de Ginevra Conti Odorisio, Roma, Editori Riunti, 1994. Fruit d'une recherche franco-italienne sur les relations entre les femmes et la politique au XIXe siècle (Christiane Veauvy, chargée de recherches au CNRS, a donné un enseignement sur les saint-simoniennes dans le séminaire universitaire de Laura Pisano, pro..
En este trabajo cuestiono las razones que ofrecen David Miller y Laura Valentini para afirmar que el deber de reducir la desigualdad dentro del propio Estado tiene prioridad sobre el deber de reducir la pobreza extrema global. Según Miller, los deberes globales, a diferencia de los domésticos, no pueden legítimamente hacerse cumplir mediante la fuerza, y por esa razón son meros deberes humanitarios que tienen menor peso que los deberes domésticos, que son deberes de justicia. Según Valentini, el deber (...) de reducir la desigualdad doméstica tiene prioridad sobre los deberes humanitarios globales porque el primero es un deber de no dañar, mientras que los segundos son meros deberes de ayudar. El problema principal de ambas propuestas consiste en que fallan en su intento de mostrar que los deberes de reducir la pobreza extrema global no son también deberes de justicia. In this article I question David Miller and Laura Valentini's reasons to claim that duties to reduce inequalities inside the State should be prioritized over duties to reduce extreme global poverty. According to Miller, global duties, unlike domestic ones, cannot be legitimately enforced, and they are therefore mere humanitarian duties that weigh less than domestic duties, which are duties of justice. According to Valentini, domestic duties should be prioritized over global humanitarian duties because the former are duties not to harm, while the latter are mere duties to help. I argue that both views fail in their attempt to show that duties to reduce extreme global poverty are not duties ofjustice too. (shrink)
This essay is a discussion of the radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger. It is an assessment of the moral advice that she dispenses her radio show, and kinds of criticisms to which she has been subjected.