Phillips & Silverstein emphasize the gain-control properties of NMDA synapses in cognitive coordination. We endorse their view and suggest that NMDA synapses play a crucial role in biased attentional competition and (visual) working memory. Our simulations show that NMDA synapses can control the storage rate of visual objects. We discuss specific predictions of our model about cognitive effects of NMDA-antagonists and schizophrenia.
The authors reject a computationally powerful unconscious. Instead, they suggest that simple unconscious processes give rise to complex conscious representations. We discuss evidence showing contrastive effects of conscious and unconscious processes, suggesting a distinction between these types of processes. In our view, conscious processes often serve to correct or control negative consequences of relatively simple unconscious processes.
We note two important problems in the Theory of Event Coding. First, because the representational format of features and events is unspecified, the theory is difficult to test. Second, the theory lacks a mechanism for the integration of features into an event code when the features are shared by different events. Possible ways of solving these problems are suggested.
O'Brien & Opie make unnecessary distinctions between vehicle and process theories and neglect empirically based distinctions between conscious and unconscious processing. We argue that phenomenal experience emerges, not just as a byproduct of input-driven parallel distributed processing, but as a result of constructive processing in recurrent neural networks. Stable network states may be necessary, but are not sufficient, for consciousness.
The distinction made by Page between localist and distributed representations seems confounded by the distinction between competitive and associative learning. His manifesto can also be read as a plea for competitive learning. The power of competitive models can even be extended further, by simulating similarity effects in forced-choice perceptual identification (Ratcliff & McKoon 1997) that have defied explanation by most memory models.
With the Supreme Court’s landmark _Brown_ decisions of 1954 and 1955, American education changed forever. But _Brown_ was just the beginning, and Raymond Wolters contends that its best intentions have been taken to unnecessary extremes. In this compelling study, a scholar who has long observed the traumas of school desegregation uncovers the changes and difficulties with which public education has dealt over the last fifty years—and argues that some judicial decisions were ill-advised. Dealing candidly with matters usually considered taboo (...) in academic discourse, Wolters argues that the Supreme Court acted correctly and in accordance with public sentiment in _Brown_ but that it later took a wrong turn by equating desegregation with integration. Retracing the history of desegregation and integration in America’s schools, Wolters distinguishes between several Court decisions, explaining that while _Brown_ called for desegregation by requiring that schools deal with students on a racially nondiscriminatory basis, subsequent decisions—_Green, Swann, Keyes_—required actual integration through racial balancing. He places these decisions in the context of educational reform in the 1950s that sought to encourage bright students through advanced placement and honors courses—courses in which African American and Hispanic students were less likely to be enrolled. Then with the racial unrest of the 1960s, the pursuit of academic excellence yielded to concerns for uplifting disadvantaged youths and ensuring the predominance of middle-class peer groups in schools. Wolters draws on rich historical records to document the devastating consequences of requiring racial balance and sheds new light on America’s legal, social, and cultural landscapes. He reexamines the educational theories of Kenneth Clark and James Coleman, and he challenges statistics that support the results of racial balancing by describing how school desegregation and integration actually proceeded in several towns, cities, and counties. _Race and Education_ is a bold challenge to political correctness in education and a corrective to the now widely accepted notion that desegregation and racially balanced integration are one and the same. It is essential reading for scholars of law and education and a wake-up call for citizens concerned about the future of America’s schools. (shrink)
In recent decades, English has become the uncontestable lingua franca of philosophy of science and of most other areas of philosophy and of the humanities. To have a lingua franca produces enormous benefits for the entire scientific community. The price for those benefits, however, is paid almost exclusively by non-native speakers of English. Section 1 identifies three asymmetries that individual NoNES researchers encounter: ‘publication asymmetry’, ‘resources asymmetry’, and ‘team asymmetry’. Section 2 deals with ‘globalized parochialism asymmetry’: thanks to English being (...) a lingua franca, a special perspective, mostly US and British, is being globalized and is replacing European topics and approaches. This has serious consequences for history of philosophy as well as for philosophical theory: thinkers of the past tend to be dealt with on the global level at best only if and insofar they are translated into English. Similarly, the theoretical agenda of globalized philosophy of scien... (shrink)
Das Thema dieser Überlegungen ist die deutsche Philosophie und sind deutsche Philosophen im Nationalsozialismus. (Für unsere politisch korrekten Ohrenspitzer(innen): es war keine Frau dabei.)1 Vorweg sei gesagt, verbrecherische Schurken finden wir unter ihnen nicht, anders als bei z. B. Juristen und Medizinern. ,,Auschwitz" wurde nicht von Philosophen betrieben. Die Praxisferne der Philosophie hat manchmal eben auch Vorteile. Teil I beschäftigt sich mit Philosophie und Philosophen im „Dritten Reich" im allgemeinen. Teil II stellt eine Fallstudie (Oskar Becker) vor, während der dritte (...) Teil ansatzweise eine noch skizzenhafte und vielleicht kontroverse Antwort auf die Frage versucht, welche philosophischen Umstände es begünstigt haben, daß Philosophen zu Naziphilosophen wurden, und welche dies vielleicht eher verhindert haben. (shrink)
As forms of private self-regulation, multi-stakeholder initiatives have emerged as an important empirical phenomenon in global governance processes. At the same time, MSIs are also theoretically intriguing because of their inherent double nature. On the one hand, MSIs spell out CSR standards that define norms for corporate behavior. On the other hand, MSIs are also the result of corporate and stakeholder behavior. We combine the perspectives of institutional theory and club theory to conceptualize this double nature of MSIs. Based on (...) a stage model that looks at the interplay of actor and institutional dynamics, we generate insights into why actors join a voluntary MSI, how the various motivations and intentions of the actors influence the standard development, and how these as well as the MSI design are subsequently influenced by both external and internal dynamics. (shrink)
Few people, if any, still argue that science in all its aspects is a value-free endeavor. At the very least, values affect decisions about the choice of research problems to investigate and the uses to which the results of research are applied. But what about the actual doing of science? -/- As Science, Values, and Objectivity reveals, the connections and interactions between values and science are quite complex. The essays in this volume identify the crucial values that play a role (...) in science, distinguish some of the criteria that can be used for value identification, and elaborate the conditions for warranting certain values as necessary or central to the very activity of scientific research. -/- Recently, social constructivists have taken the presence of values within the scientific model to question the basis of objectivity. However, the contributors to <I>Science, Values, and Objectivity</I> recognize that such acknowledgment of the role of values does not negate the fact that objects exist in the world. Objects have the power to constrain our actions and thoughts, though the norms for these thoughts lie in the public, social world. -/- Values may be decried or defended, praised or blamed, but in a world that strives for a modicum of reason, values, too, must be reasoned. Critical assessment of the values that play a role in scientific research is as much a part of doing good science as interpreting data. (shrink)
Recent experimental findings reveal dissociations of conscious and nonconscious performance in many fields of psychological research, suggesting that conscious and nonconscious effects result from qualitatively different processes. A connectionist view of these processes is put forward in which consciousness is the consequence of construction processes taking place in three types of working memory in a specific type of recurrent neural network. The recurrences arise by feeding back output to the input of a central (representational) network. They are assumed to be (...) intemalizations of motor-sensory feedback through the environment. In this manner, a subvocal-phonological, a visuo-spatial, and a somatosensory working memory may have developed. Representations in the central network, which constitutes long-term memory, can be kept active by rehearsal in the feedback loops. The sequentially recurrent architecture allows for recursive symbolic operations and the formation of (auditory, visual, or somatic) models of the external world which can be maintained, transformed and temporarily combined with other information in working memory. Moreover, the quasi-input from the loop directs subsequent attentional processing. The view may contribute to a formal framework to accommodate findings from disparate fields such as working memory, sequential reasoning, and conscious and nonconscious processes in memory and emotion. In theory, but probably not very soon in practice, such connectionist models might simulate aspects of consciousness. (shrink)
The short answer to this question is a firm and unambiguous “yes and no”. The long answer will take the whole talk. Indeed, it could easily take an entire book. It is therefore unavoidable to take recourse here and there to simplifying shortcuts and polemical exaggerations, in order to get the message clear.
This is an introduction to the English translation of Hogo Dingler's (1881-1954) grounsbreaking paper "Methodik statt Erkenntnistheorie und Wissenschaftslehre". Dingler is the founder of operationalism in physics and relatively little know in the Anglophone world.
This volume honors and examines the founders of the philosophy of logical empiricism. Historical and interpretive essays clarify the scientific philosophies of Carnap, Reichenbach, Hempel, Kant, and others, while exploring the main topics of logical empiricist philosophy of science.
n this article the author develops a critique of reductionism in biological sciences from three different points of view. The first is related to the problem of reduction in the context of scientific theories. More specifically, reduction deals with a special form of intertheoretic relationship between molecular biology and the rest of biology. The second meaning of reductionism has to do with the significance of its genetic outfit for the ontogeny of an organism, i.e. its development from zygote to its (...) final or adult structure and function. Third, closely related to this more biological topic are questions about the anthropological consequences of the application of reductionistic methodologies for the explanation and evaluation of human behaviour. (shrink)
Jonas' philosophical biology is an attempt to overcome the dualism, i.e., the alienation between man and world, which characterizes both Gnostic thinking and the Heiddegerian existentialist approach that Jonas had applied in its interpretation. This dualism leads both approaches to despise or, at least, to neglect nature.Jonas' philosophical biology is intended to provide an insight into the phenomenon of life that is more than a mere reflection of scientific epistemology. Rather, it regards itself as a cognitively significant approach towards the (...) living in its own right. At the same time, philosophical biology is not intended as an alternative to the scientific enterprise, but instead as a desirable and even necessary complement of it. In developing philosophical biology, Jonas additionally aims at securing a place for man in the order of the living that is more than just locating him somewhere in the order of primates. (shrink)
Leading biologists and philosophers of biology discuss the basic theories and concepts of biology and their connections with ethics, economics, and psychology, providing a remarkably unified report on the “state of the art” in the philosophy of biology.
Grünbaum's three chief fields of research were space-time philosophy, the methodological credentials of psychoanalysis, and reasons given in favor of the existence of God. Grünbaum defended the so-called conventionality thesis of physical geometry. He partially followed Hans Reichenbach in this respect but developed a new ontological argument for the conventionality claim in addition. In addressing the physical basis of the direction of time, Grünbaum advocated that there is a physical basis for the distinction between the past and the future, but (...) no such basis for the idea of a ‘present’ moving through time. His main claim in scrutinizing Freud’s theory methodologically was that supporting the causal claims Freud made would have required data that go beyond the clinical setting. Finally, Grünbaum worked on the philosophy of religion and set out to undermine arguments for the existence of God. (shrink)
In theoretical matters, ecclesiastical claims to knowledge have lead to various conflicts with science. Claims in orientational matters, sometimes connected to attempts to establish them as a rule for legislation, have often been in conflict with the justified claims of non-believers. In addition they violate the Principle of Autonomy of the individual, which is at the very heart of European identity so decisively shaped by the Enlightenment. The Principle of Autonomy implies that state legislation should not interfere in the life (...) of individual citizens, as long as his or her actions do not violate the rights of others. This paper—using the example of the theory of evolution—rejects ecclesiastical claims to theoretical knowledge as completely unfounded and preposterous. In the case of orientational knowledge—using the example of euthanasia—ecclesiastical claims to (universalizable) knowledge are shown to be unfounded as well. The Church’s position with respect to euthanasia and a range of other bio-ethical topics, such as pre-marital sex, contraception, abortion, indissolubility of marriage, and homosexuality, rests on a very peculiar ethical position. This ethical position is the natural right theory, which—far from being universalizable—is shared by very few people. Among other things, this position presupposes the belief in God as the creator of nature, and the assumption that ethical norms can be derived from this premise. Thus ecclesiastical knowledge claims, cannot be justified in a way which could be reasonably supposed to be universally acceptable. Kant (see the quote) was the first to require this sort of justification. Claims that fail to implement Kant’s stipulations should be eliminated by what I would like to call “Kant’s razor”. (shrink)
Somewhat traumatized by the Galileo Affair the Church until recently showed low profile in the conflicts with science, evolutionary theory included. The talk presents a categorization of possible relationships between science and religion by distinguishing between "Galilean conflicts", which are about mutually exclusive statements about matters of fact, and Freudian conflicts where an empirical science tries to explain away religion as a phenomenon in its own right. In the light of this distinction I deal with the reactions of the Church (...) since 1859, particularly with the ambiguous position of the present Pope. (shrink)
Emerging as a hot topic in the mid-twentieth century, causality is one of the most frequently discussed issues in contemporary philosophy. Causality has been a central concept in philosophy as well as in the sciences, especially the natural sciences, dating back to its beginning in Greek thought. David Hume famously claimed that causality is the cement of the universe. In general terms, it links eventualities, predicts the consequences of action, and is the cognitive basis for the acquisition and the use (...) of categories and concepts in the child. Indeed, how could one answer why-questions, around which early rational thought begins to revolve, without hitting on the relationships between reason and consequence, cause and effect, or without drawing these distinctions? But a comprehensive definition of causality has been notoriously hard to provide, and virtually every aspect of causation has been subject to much debate and analysis. _Thinking about Causes_ brings together top philosophers from the United States and Europe to focus on causality as a major force in philosophical and scientific thought. Topics addressed include: ancient Stoicism and moral philosophy; the case of sacramental causality; traditional causal concepts in Descartes; Kant on transcendental laws; the influence of J. S. Mill's politics on his concept of causation; plurality in causality; causality in modern physics; causality in economics; and the concept of free will. Taken together, the essays in this collection provide the best current thinking about causality, especially as it relates to the philosophy of science. (shrink)
The paper - originally a lecture in the "40th Anniversary Lecture Series 2001-2002" of the University of Pittsburgh (attached to the Italian text)- gives a survey of the development of philosophy of science in Germany and of the role tthe Pittsburgh Center for Philosophy of Science plays in this development.
Ce chapitre reprend, en l’enrichissant, un article antérieur sur la philosophie de la biologie de l’empirisme logique, en en examinant les thèses centrales telles qu’elles sont exprimées lors des rencontres de Prague, de Paris et de Copenhague, rencontres décisives pour le développement du mouvement et son rayonnement dans le monde occidental. Je montre que l’empirisme logique n’a pas contribué au développement de la philosophie de la biologie, comme il l’a fait pour celui de la philosophie de la physique ou des (...) mathématiques. Les raisons de cet échec sont triples: 1o) les empiristes logiques n’avaient qu’une vague connaissance des sciences biologiques; 2o) ils se sont focalisés sur un cadre stérile, l’antivitalisme et le réductionisme, qu’ils prenaient pour la philosophie de la biologie; 3o) cela les a empêchés de traiter des véritables problèmes de la biologie. Entre les différentes sections de ce chapitre, j’insère des « intermezzos» qui replacent différents protagonistes de ces rencontres dans un contexte plus large. (shrink)
The paper - originally a lecture in the "40th Anniversary Lecture Series 2001-2002" - gives a survey of the development of philosophy of science in Germany and of the role tthe Pittsburgh Center for Philosophy of Science plays in this development.