The introspective devices framework proposed by Kammerer and Frankish (2023) offers an attractive conceptual tool for evaluating and developing accounts of introspection. However, the framework assumes that different views about the nature of introspection can be easily evaluated against a set of common criteria. In this paper, I set out to test this assumption by analyzing two formal models of introspection using the introspective device framework. The question I aim to answer is not only whether models developed outside of philosophy (...) can be successfully evaluated against the set of conceptual criteria proposed by Kammerer and Frankish, but also whether this kind of evaluation can reveal some limitations inherent to the framework. (shrink)
Lockean views of personal identity maintain that we are essentially persons who persist diachronically by virtue of being psychologically continuous with our former selves. In this article, I present a novel objection to this variant of psychological accounts, which is based on neurophysiological characteristics of the brain. While the mental states that constitute said psychological continuity reside in the cerebral hemispheres, so that for the former to persist only the upper brain must remain intact, being conscious additionally requires that a (...) structure originating in the brainstem—the ascending reticular activating system—be functional. Hence, there can be situations in which even small brainstem lesions render individuals irreversibly comatose and thus forever preclude access to their mental states, while the neural correlates of the states themselves are retained. In these situations, Lockeans are forced to regard as fulfilled their criterion of diachronic persistence since psychological continuity, as they construe it, is not disrupted. Deeming an entity that is never again going to have any mental experiences to be a person, however, is an untenable position for a psychological account to adopt. In their current form, Lockean views of personal identity are therefore incompatible with human neurophysiology. (shrink)
A thought process is an unfolding causal chain. Some thoughts cause others in virtue of their contents. Paradigmatic cases of personal level inference involve something more, some kind of appreciation or feeling that the conclusion follows from the premises. First- order processes are inadequate to account for the phenomenon. Attempts to capture the additional ingredient in terms of second-order beliefs have proven problematic. An intermediate position has, however, been overlooked. The extra ingredient could be an epistemic feeling, a form of (...) procedural metacognition. Extensive psychological research has shown that epistemic feelings are involved in monitoring many kinds of cognitive process, affecting how the processes unfold. Inferences may be no different. Inferences are also plausibly accompanied by an epistemic feeling, something like a feeling of reliability or unreliability. Such a feeling accounts for the phenomenological datum. It can also play a significant epistemic role for the thinker. (shrink)
Occurrences of sentences that are traditionally considered category mistakes, such as 'The red number is divisible by three', tend to elicit a sense of oddness in assessors. In attempting to explain this oddness, existing accounts in the philosophical literature commonly claim that occurrences of such sentences are associated with a defect or phenomenology unique to the class of category mistakes. It might be thought that recent work in experimental psycholinguistics—in particular, the recording of event-related brain potentials (patterns of voltage variation (...) in the brain)—holds the potential to shed new light on this debate. I review the relevant experimental results, before arguing that they present advocates of accounts of category mistakes with a dilemma: either the uniqueness claims should be rejected, or the experimental technique in question cannot be used to test existing accounts of category mistakes in the manner that philosophers might hope. (shrink)
Unlike the question of whether self-deception can be understood on the model of other-deception, the relationship between the two phenomena at the level of practice is hardly ever explored. Other-deception can support self-deception and vice versa. Self-deception often affects not only the beliefs and behavior of the self-deceiving person but also the beliefs and behavior of others who may become accomplices of self-deception. As I will show, however, it is difficult to describe this supportive relationship between self-deception and the deception (...) of others without conceptual contradiction. While “deflationary” approaches offer a convincing way to avoid the so-called paradoxes of self-deception, they do not resolve the conceptual tensions that arise here. I conclude by outlining a solution. (shrink)
According to the transparency thesis, some conscious states are transparent or “diaphanous”. This thesis is often believed to be incompatible with an inner‐awareness account of phenomenal consciousness. In this article, I reject this incompatibility. Instead, I defend a compatibilist approach to transparency. To date, most attempts to do so require a rejection of strong transparency in favor of weak transparency. In this view, transparent states can be attended to by attending (in the right way) to the presented world: that is, (...) they are merely translucent. Here, I first argue that this understanding of transparency is too weak to qualify as a compatibilist view. Drawing on insights from Franz Brentano, I then describe a middle road between strong and weak transparency. The crucial idea is that, although transparent states cannot be attended to, they can be noticed (under suitable conditions). This view, I submit, allows supporters of inner awareness to commit themselves to a more interesting understanding of transparency—moderate transparency—that preserves the initial intuition underlying the transparency metaphor. (shrink)
Drawing upon interdisciplinary research to rectify the neglect shown to smell in contemporary philosophy Stinking Philosophy! demonstrates the importance of examining olfactory philosophy as its own area of research. The purpose of this books is not to shame philosophy for its stench rather over the course of more than a decade I have been arguing that studying smell provides a means of making lateral progress on a range of central debates in philosophy of mind and perception. The book weaves together (...) my research on smell into a coherent coverage of the nature of odors, how we represent smells, think and communicate about smells as categories, and what smell can teach us about consciousness. (shrink)
This article asks: Is the human self, the stream of human consciousness, a single unique enduring actual entity or whole (like Alfred North Whitehead’s God) or a society of transient actual occasions (like Charles Hartshorne’s God)? It argues forcefully for the former and against the latter and concludes that both God and human selves are enduring but constantly developing actual entities who are constantly being enriched by new events, experiences, and activities in time.
In analyzing implicit bias, one key issue is to clarify its metaphysical nature. In this paper, I develop a novel account of implicit bias by highlighting a particular kind of belief-like state that is partly constituted by phenomenal experiences. I call these states ‘qualiefs’ for three reasons: qualiefs draw upon qualitative experiences of what an object seems like to attribute a property to this very object, they share some of the distinctive features of proper beliefs, and they also share some (...) characteristics of what Gendler calls ‘aliefs’. I proceed as follows: First, I develop a general theory of qualiefs. Second, I argue that implicit bias involves generic qualiefs that involve experiences that have been shaped by stereotypes. Elaborating on the particular content of a generic qualief, I explain why we are unaware of the bias even though it involves an experience. Third, I demonstrate that the qualief-model best explains the key features of implicit bias: it accounts for the biases´ implicitness and automaticity. Moreover, it elucidates how implicit bias can be insensitive to logical form and evidence, but at the same time it can serve as propositional input to further mental states. (shrink)
In this work, we introduce what we believe to be a more sensitive variation of the Metaproblem of consciousness, structured by philosopher Keith Frankish (2017): the Illusion Problem. To do so, we explore the process that leads us to treat each and every quale as an illusion, in addition to showing how qualia are present in most supposedly physicalist theories, which we will later call “Closeted Dualism”. We also emphasize that the illusionist theory is already widely used or considered by (...) philosophers who seek a scientifically plausible way out of the problems of consciousness. Once done, the reader will be ready for the more “technical” part of this article, in which we explore and defend the main concepts and mechanisms of Illusionism. (shrink)
The work of Gregory Bateson offers a metaphysical basis for a “process psychology,” that is, a view of psychological practice and research guided by an ontology of becoming—identifying change, difference, and relationship as the basic elements of a foundational metaphysics. This article explores the relevance of Bateson's recursive epistemology, his re-conception of the Great Chain of Being, a first-principles approach to defining the nature of mind, and understandings of interaction and difference, pattern and symmetry, interpretation and context. Bateson's philosophical contributions (...) will be drawn into relationship with Wittgenstein's philosophy of language as use, Melnyk's theory of causal levels of explanation, Korzybski's account of map and territory, the rejection of the heuristic rigidity of substantialist ontologies, and a cybernetics communication science-informed approach to contextual bi-directionality of causality. We thereby arrive at an understanding of Bateson's process psychology that, given its ecological-systemic nature, is explanatorily applicable across the mind sciences. This process psychology equips us to answer the question: What is mind? Not by explanatory appeal to substantial entities contained within mind, but instead by recourse to the contextually relevant patterns for understanding mind to a particular purpose. We have thereby attended to the gulf between heuristics and fundamentals, between psychological models and an onto-epistemic account of reality. Insufficient attention has been given to characterising the vital nature of Bateson's philosophical oeuvre to psychological practice. This article draws out Bateson's relevance to establishing foundational principles for a process psychology capable of reinvigorating psychological thought. (shrink)
This chapter explores the early phenomenological accounts of Ressentiment provided by Else Voigtländer, Max Scheler, and Adolf Reinach. In particular, it examines the self-deceptive processes that lead to the “inversion of values” inherent to Ressentiment, i.e., how an object previously felt as valuable is denuded of its worth when the subject realizes that she cannot achieve it. For the comparative analysis of the three accounts, attention is paid to three crucial issues: 1) the origins of Ressentiment (etiology); 2) its place (...) in the taxonomy of the affective mind (ontology); and 3) the psychological mechanisms responsible for the inversion of value (psychology). The early phenomenological accounts are then analyzed in the light of recent accounts of Ressentiment elaborated by authors close to the phenomenological tradition. It is argued that the early phenomenological accounts provide central insights on the interrelation between affectivity and value. (shrink)
The explanatory challenge of sentience is known as the “hard problem of consciousness”: How does subjective experience arise from physical objects and their relations? Despite some optimistic claims, the perennial struggle with this question shows little evidence of imminent resolution. In this article I focus on the “why” rather than on the “how” of sentience. Specifically, why did sentience evolve in organic lifeforms? From an evolutionary perspective this question can be framed: “What adaptive problem(s) did organisms face in their evolutionary (...) past and how were those challenges met? I argue that sentience was a critical component of the adaptive solution (i.e., adopting an agentic stance) to increasingly complex and unpredictable demands placed on vertebrates approximately 500 million years ago (the so-called Cambrian explosion). One consequence of taking an agentic stance is that it freed the organism from its neural moorings, positioning it within phenomenal space outside its brain. (shrink)
One of the central criteria for free will is “Could I have done otherwise?” But because of a temporal asymmetry in human choice, the question makes no sense. The question is backward-looking, while human choices are forward-looking. At the time when any choice is actually made, there is as of yet no action to do otherwise. Expectation is the only thing to contradict (do other than). So the ability to do something not expected by the ultimate expecter, Laplace’s demon, is (...) a better criterion for free will. If human action is fundamentally unpredictable, then we have free will. Scientists have studied a form of fundamental unpredictability, known as undecidability. The features that make a system capable of undecidable dynamics have been identified: program-data duality; potential to access an infinite computational medium; and the ability to implement negation. Humans have all three of these features, so we very likely are fundamentally unpredictable, so we have free will. (shrink)
Naturalistic epistemology is usually associated with Quine’s turn from an a priori and traditional to a descriptive understanding of knowledge. In this paper, however, we will look at theories developed from Quine’s ideas - Millikan’s teleosemantics and Kornblith’s cognitive ethology. We will answer three questions: (i) Can a bee know?; (ii) What can a bee know?; and (iii) Does the bee know? First, we will answer the question of animal cognitive capacities using Kornblith’s understanding of the epistemic environment and the (...) basic features of cognitive ethology. We will then set up teleosemantics as a framework in which Millikans attempts to naturalize intentional states and answer the question of the knowledge content in animals. By understanding natural signs and considering the non-propositional content of mental representations in animals, we will answer the third question and show how Kornblith and cognitive ethologists attempt to track the processes of forming reliable true beliefs in different kinds of organisms. We will answer each of the three questions above by drawing on the research of apiologists and cognitive ethologists to provide empirical support for the theses of our work and so that we do not remain only on attempts, possible introductions, and anecdotes of naturalistic conceptions of knowledge, but provide concrete descriptions of the world and the place of knowledge in it. (shrink)
Relying on euthanasia’s definitionally derived set of propositions to provide its purpose, claims, and benefit, we obtain the core concept. Nonetheless, given its core concept, euthanasia is demonstrated to provide no benefit to the animal to justify its use. Euthanasia 1) cannot possibly, and therefore does not, end unbearable suffering, 2) it fails to hasten death, and 3) it, therefore, provides no perceptible relief to the patient. These findings are significant because the argument’s validity does not permit euthanasia to satisfy (...) its definitionally derived purpose, claims, or benefit on logical grounds. In other words, the argument is that as a form of legalized assisted suicide, euthanasia is wrong but not in the way principled arguments would suggest. Additionally, irrespective of euthanasia actually doing what it claims, if it is allowed to be provisioned, then euthanasia will affect vulnerable populations exactly like nonprincipled arguments claim. Therefore, despite sharing aspects with each type of argument in the extant literature, my argument against euthanasia can be categorized as neither principled nor nonprincipled, which makes it significant because it may be the first of a new category of argument against the concept and practice to enter the discourse on euthanasia. As a corollary, since we prove that unbearable suffering logically entails death, when it is authentic signifying that death is imminent, because euthanasia’s only purpose is to end unbearable suffering by inducing death, euthanasia is completely obviated. (shrink)
The aim of this article is twofold: First, it is argued that Tyler Burge’s case for externalism in the philosophy of mind, which is based on Hilary Putnam’s twin-earth thought experiment, fails. Second, it is shown that a convincing argument for externalism can be nonetheless construed by relying on Putnam’s thought experiment.
This paper explores how individuals experiencing hostile affective states such as envy, jealousy, hate, contempt, and Ressentiment tend to deceive themselves about their own mental states. More precisely, it examines how the feeling of being diminished in worth experienced by the subject of these hostile affective states motivates a series of self-deceptive maneuvers that generate a fictitious upliftment of the subject’s sense of self. After introducing the topic (section 1), the paper explores the main arguments that explain why several hostile (...) affective states involve a feeling of diminution in the subject’s own value (section 2). Next, it offers an analysis of how the negative feeling of self-worth motivates self-deception. While in extrinsically motivated self-deception, the subject feels diminished in worth after negatively evaluating her own hostile affective states, in intrinsically motivated self-deception, the negative feelings of self-worth are constituent elements of the hostile affective state in question (section 3). Cases of intrinsically motivated self-deception are particularly intriguing because in them the motivation for self-deception is inherent to the hostile affective state, independently of external reasons. I coin the expression “self-deceptive style” to capture the distinctive form in which each hostile affective state intrinsically motivates changes in the architecture of the mind (e.g., perception, imagining, memory, judgment, attention, etc.) in order to generate an upliftment of the self (section 4). To show the descriptive and explanatory function of this concept, a comparative analysis of the self-deceptive styles of envy and hate is provided (section 5). The conclusion summarizes the main findings and explores directions for further research (section 6). (shrink)
Future robots should have common sense about the world in order to handle the problems they will encounter. A large part of this commonsense knowledge must be naive physics knowledge, since carrying out even the simplest everyday chores requires familiarity with physics laws. But how should one start codifying this knowledge? What kind of skills should be elicited from the experts (each and every one of us)? This paper will attempt to provide some hints by studying the mental models of (...) force and motion. (shrink)
This chapter explains how mindmelding — the direct experience by one person of another's conscious states — is in fact possible. The temporal lobes causally interact with the prefrontal lobes by way of fiber bundles that run underneath the cortical surface. This provides the perfect first experiment in mindmelding: to ‘branch’ those fiber bundles and run the other end into the brain of another person. Evidence is provided that these bundles have close connections to consciousness, in that whatever affects them (...) has immediate effects on consciousness. Then, before responding to several objections, the chapter considers another issue brought up by these experiments — the question of the relation between mindmelding and mindreading. Is mindmelding similar to mindreading? Does the existence of a mindreading system help us achieve mindmelding? (shrink)
Drawing on Laurie A. Paul’s notion of “transformative experience”, this paper explores transformative philosophical experiences and analyses the structure of the attitude underlying them. It is argued that these experiences have to be explained not in cognitive terms but as a change in our affective attitude. More precisely, these experiences lead us to feel values in a novel manner. However, in order to make the philosophical experience epistemically transformative and provide a new perspective from which we can acquire new philosophical (...) insights, this feeling of value must meet certain moral conditions such as being open, humble and aware of possible self-deceptive tendencies. Since affectivity is central to the person we are, epistemically transformative experiences in philosophy go hand in hand with personal transformation. (shrink)
Your belief that Obama is a Democrat wouldn’t be the belief that it is if it didn't represent Obama, nor would the pain in your ankle be the state that is if, say, it felt like an itch. Accordingly, it is tempting to hold that phenomenal and representational properties are essential to the mental states that have them. But, as several theorists have forcefully argued (including Kripke (1980) and Burge (1979, 1982)) this attractive idea is seemingly in tension with another (...) equally attractive thesis, namely, the token-identity thesis; the thesis according to which every mental state token is identical with some or other token physical state. In this paper, we show that these seemingly incontrovertible essentialist intuitions are in fact compatible with ‘token physicalism’ regarding the mental.1 Given a suitably plentitudinous ontology of objects, we argue that there are physical things with which our token mental states can be identified. This is preferable to existing views that give up the essentiality claims or simply reject the token-identity thesis. (shrink)
In this chapter, we first present findings indicating that psilocybin-induced visual distortions and impaired executive functioning originate in temporary disruptions of bottom-up and top-down attentional mechanisms. We then revisit a recent predictive processing account of psychedelic experiences and argue that it lacks the resources to provide an adequate account of psychedelic experiences. Lastly, we propose an alternative theory of perceptual processing that can explain how the psilocybin-induced disruptions of attentional mechanisms may elicit psychedelic experiences.
Tener miedo del más allá, sentirse amado incondicionalmente por un ser superior, avergonzarse de la condición imperfecta del ser humano, son algunos ejemplos de emociones que no dudaríamos en calificar como religiosas. Ahora bien ¿Cómo describir su estructura? ¿Por qué llamamos a estas emociones “religiosas”? ¿Cuálos son los rasgos distintivos que sirven para diferenciarlas de las emociones “no religiosas”? En este artículo se examinan los rasgos distintivos de las emociones religiosas. Para ello, se analizan tres elementos cruciales de la experiencia (...) emocional: su fenomenología, sus bases cognitivas y su relación con los valores. Se argumenta que las emociones religiosas poseen profundidad experiencial afectando totalmente a la persona, tienen un contenido religioso y responden a valores religiosos. Cada una de estas tres condiciones es necesaria para considerar a una emoción como religiosa, aunque por sí sola ninguna es suficiente. Son las tres condiciones conjuntas lo que explica el carácter religioso de una emoción. (shrink)
Metacognitive mental states are mental states about mental states. For example, I may be uncertain whether my belief is correct. In social discourse, an interlocutor’s metacognitive certainty may constitute evidence about the reliability of their testimony. For example, if a speaker is certain that their belief is correct, then we may take this as evidence in favour of their belief, or its content. This paper argues that, if metacognitive certainty is genuine evidence, then it is disproportionate evidence for extreme beliefs. (...) In support of the argument, we report findings from five studies with different participant samples, designs, and measures. These studies show that, the more extreme an agent’s belief (positive or negative), the more certain they are about it, and vice versa. This relationship might contribute to moralism, virtue signalling, and polarisation, which in turn may be epistemically and morally problematic. Therefore, we caution against taking metacognitive certainty as genuine evidence. (shrink)
It is a platitude that when we reason, we often take things for granted, sometimes even justifiably so. The chemist might reason from the fact that a substance turns litmus paper red to that substance being an acid. In so doing, they take for granted, reasonably enough, that this test for acidity is valid. We ordinarily reason from things looking a certain way to their being that way. We take for granted, reasonably enough, that things are as they look Although (...) it is a platitude that we often take things for granted when we reason—whether justifiably or not—one might think that we do not have to. In fact, it is a natural expectation that were we not pressed by time, lack of energy or focus, we could always in principle make explicit in the form of premises every single presupposition we make in the course of our reasoning. In other words, it is natural to expect it to be true that presuppositionless reasoning is possible. In this essay, I argue that it is false: presuppositionless reasoning is impossible. Indeed, I think this is one of the lessons of a long-standing paradox about inference and reasoning known as Lewis Carroll’s (1985) regress of the premises. Many philosophers agree that Carroll’s regress teaches us something foundational about reasoning. I part ways about what it is that it teaches us. What it teaches us is that the structure of reasoning is constitutively presuppositional. (shrink)
According to a popular account, rationality is a kind of coherence of an agent’s mental states and, more specifically, a matter of fulfilling norms of coherence. For example, in order to be rational, an agent is required to intend to do what they judge they ought to and can do. This norm has been called ‘Enkrasia’. Another norm requires that, ceteris paribus, an agent retain their intention over time. This has been called ‘Persistence of Intention’. This paper argues that thus (...) understood norms of rationality may at times conflict. More specifically, Enkrasia and Persistence of Intention may place demands on the agent that are impossible to fulfil. In these cases, the framework of requirements does not provide us with norms that make us rational. A rival account, according to which rationality is a kind of responsiveness to one’s available reasons, can overcome the problem. (shrink)
What’s the difference between those psychological posits that are ‘me’ and those that are not? Distinguishing between these psychological kinds is important in many domains, but an account of what the distinction consists in is challenging. I argue for Psychological Constructionism: those psychological posits that correspond to the kinds within folk psychology are personal, and those that don’t, aren’t. I suggest that only constructionism can answer a fundamental challenge in characterizing the personal level—the plurality problem. The things that plausibly qualify (...) as personal are motley. Other attempts at accounting for the personal level either cannot accommodate this plurality, or cannot explain what unifies the personal. Given arguments others have given for a pluralistic conception of folk psychology, constructionism explains and predicts this plurality in a systematic and unified way, thereby solving the plurality problem. (shrink)
Propositional relationalists about the attitudes claim to find support for their view in what they assume to be the dyadic relational logical form of the predicates by which we canonically attribute propositional attitudes. In this paper I argue that the considerations that they adduce in support of this assumption, specifically for the assumption that the that-clauses that figure in these predicates are singular terms, are suspect on linguistic grounds. Propositional relationalism may nonetheless be true, but the logical form of attitude (...) predicates provides no grounds for thinking this to be so. (shrink)
In the present article, I introduce Husserl’s analyses of ‘natural causality’ and ‘volitional causality’, which are collected in the volume ‘Wille und Handlung’ of the Husserliana edition Studien zur Struktur des Bewußtseins. My aim is to show that Husserl’s insight into these phenomena enables us to understand more clearly both the specificity of, and the relation between, the motivational nexus belonging to the sphere of the will in contrast with the causal laws of nature. In light of this understanding, in (...) the last part of the article I reflect on whether and to what extent there is, in fact, an ontological and epistemological compatibility between volitional causality and natural causality. (shrink)
The question I address in this paper is what is it exactly for desires to possess a certain strength. And my aim is twofold. First, I argue for a pluralistic account of desire strength. On this view, there are several dimensions along which desires possess greater or lesser strength, and none of them is intrinsically privileged. My second aim is to highlight some time-based properties of desires, recurrence and persistence. Both desires’ degree of persistence across time and their rate of (...) episodic recurrence are, I argue, further dimensions of desire strength. (shrink)
En este trabajo analizo el entramado conceptual de la concepción causal de la metáfora (Davidson 1978). Para ello me enfocaré en primer lugar en su discusión con las concepciones semánticas, lo que nos llevará a discutir el tratamiento davidsoniano de la noción de significado y su distinción entre significado de la oración y significado del hablante. Luego plantearé un problema interno a este enfoque, en términos de cómo entender esta última distinción dentro del marco nominalista del pragmatismo davidsoniano. Finalmente, analizaré (...) las consecuencias de adoptar este enfoque a la hora de pensar a las metáforas como vehículos para la transmisión de contenido cognitivo. (shrink)
Pancomputationalism is the view that everything is a computer. This, if true, poses some difficulties to the computational theory of cognition. In particular, the strongest version of it suggested by John Searle seems enough to trivialize computational cognitivists’ core idea on which our cognitive system is a computing system. The aim of this paper is to argue against Searle’s pancomputationalism. To achieve this, I will draw a line between realized computers and unrealized computers. Through this distinction, I expect that it (...) will become evident that Searle’s pancomputationalism should be understood in terms of unrealized computers, while the computational theory of cognition is concerned with realized computers. (shrink)
Attribution theorists assume that character information informs judgments of blame. But there is disagreement over why. One camp holds that character information is a fundamental determinant of blame. Another camp holds that character information merely provides evidence about the mental states and processes that determine responsibility. We argue for a two-channel view, where character simultaneously has fundamental and evidential effects on blame. In two large factorial studies (n = 495), participants rate whether someone is blameworthy when he makes a mistake (...) (burns a cake or misses a bus stop). Although mental state inferences predict blame judgments, character information does not. Using mediation analyses, we find that character information influences responsibility via two channels (Studies 3–4; n = 447), which are sensitive to different kinds of information (Study 5; n = 149). On the one hand, forgetfulness increases judgments of responsibility, because mental lapses manifest an objectionable character flaw. On the other hand, forgetfulness decreases judgments of state control, which in turn decreases responsibility judgments. These two channels cancel out, which is why we find no aggregate effect of forgetfulness on responsibility. Our results challenge several fundamental assumptions about the role of character information in moral judgment, including that good character typically mitigates blame. (shrink)
Brentano’s suggestion that intentionality is the mark of the mental is typically spelled out in terms of the thesis that all and only mental states are intentional. An influential objection is that intentionality is not necessary for mentality. What about the idea that only mental states are intentional? In his 2008 paper published in Analysis, Nes shows that on a popular characterization of intentionality, notably defended by Crane, some non-mental states come out as intentional. Crane replies that the concept of (...) representation solves the problem. In this paper, I argue that no representational account of intentionality meets Nes’s challenge. After distinguishing between two notions of representation, I contend that there are two versions of Crane’s representational account, but neither of them is able to solve the problem posed by Nes. (shrink)
What forms, then, does curiosity take? And what are the curiosity formations of our time? Of our universities? Of our disciplines? Of our material lives beyond the discursive? Where one asks these questions—and who it is that asks—matters. Drawing on Virginia Woolf, Zora Neale Hurston, and Michel Foucault, I chart out the grammar of curiosity formations in and beyond the university.
Here, we defend the thesis whereby the event plays a main role of sense in the meaning of certain sentences. This thesis is based on the one hand on recent work in the metaphysics of so-called “happening” entities, which has led to a distinction between concrete physical processes and abstract events, the latter being conceived as psychological constructs accounting for stabilities or changes in the world. Furthermore, we look back at the work on intentionality carried out in the Brentanian school (...) at the turn of the 20th century and we relate abstract events to the mental states of affairs studied by Twardowski but which were then neglected by contemporary philosophers of language. Abstract events, thus characterized, have the contingent property of occurring, when facts obtain and realize them. We suggest that the facts in question correspond to Wittgensteinian states of affairs. (shrink)
We argue that social deliberation may increase an agent’s confidence and credence under certain circumstances. An agent considers a proposition H and assigns a probability to it. However, she is not fully confident that she herself is reliable in this assignment. She then endorses H during deliberation with another person, expecting him to raise serious objections. To her surprise, however, the other person does not raise any objections to H. How should her attitudes toward H change? It seems plausible that (...) she should increase the credence she assigns to H and, at the same time, increase the reliability she assigns to herself concerning H. A Bayesian model helps us to investigate under what conditions, if any, this is rational. (shrink)
This short peer-reviewed text is a concise overview of neurodiversity, the natural diversity of human brain functioning including ways that are currently pathologized as disorders. The concept is essential to understanding humans and societies.
Time is one of humankind’s unanswerable mysteries. Aristotle called time “the most unknown of unknown things.” What time is and even if it objectively exists are unanswerable questions. Time is intangible. -/- There have been and will be countless theories about time. Many, including in science, are simply useful definitions or conventions, and each is looking at time in a particular way and for a particular purpose. This paper looks at a variety of significant perspectives from physics, philosophy and psychology. (...) A key is to demonstrate that there are many different incomplete and subjective ways of looking at what ultimately is beyond our mental grasp. (shrink)
The horror genre (in film, literature etc.) has, for its seemingly paradoxical aesthetic appeal, been the subject of much debate in contemporary, analytic philosophy of art. At the same time, however, the nature of horror as an affective phenomenon has been largely neglected by both aestheticians and philosophers of mind. The standard view of the affective nature of horror in contemporary philosophy follows Noël Carroll in holding that horror in art (or “art-horror”) is an emotion resulting from the combination of (...) disgust and fear. The view is also often accompanied by the view that horror in art is a distinct affect from horror in real life. This raises the question of what the relationship between horror in art and in real life might be. By looking within and outside art and the horror genre, and using a combination of historical, philosophical and empirical arguments, I argue for a departure from such standard views on the affective nature of horror. In alternative, I outline a novel view, on which horror is common to both real life and art and is primarily, typically individuated by a set of (output) affective reactions. (shrink)
A *qualation* does not contain merely references to qualia, but contains actual qualia. There are many differences to equations. Qualations are irreducibly 1st-person and are required for the statement of a hard problem.
This paper explores Landmann-Kalischer’s analogy between the sensing of secondary qualities and the feeling of values in her work “Philosophie der Werte” (Philosophy of Values) (1910). Attention is paid to the epistemic motivation of the analogy, the distinction between pure feelings and affects, and the relation of pure feelings to value judgments. Her account is contrasted with two other accounts of the Brentanian tradition: Scheler’s approach within early phenomenology and Meinong’s account within the Graz School. I demonstrate that Landmann-Kalischer’s pioneering (...) work helped to forge a new view of affectivity which became dominant among Brentano’s followers. According to this new view, there is a type of affective experience which is both intentional and cognitive. More precisely, she argued that the affective experience in question is a feeling. The paper also argues that her account can enrich today’s meta-ethical research. It is argued that her account of pure feelings provides arguments against the view that makes emotions responsible for the apprehension of value. Furthermore, it is shown that we need an analysis of how objective knowledge of value can be obtained from our affective intuitions. -/- . (shrink)
In Propelled, Elpidorou persuasively argues that the three prima facie undesirable conditions of boredom, frustration and anticipation are, in fact, importantly valuable to human life. His method is an interesting combination of existentialist explorations and reporting of cognitive science research, all written in a style more friendly to the analytic-philosophical tradition. However, I argue, the book’s precision and depth of philosophical analysis have some limitations. This is so in two main respects: first, in the relative lack of discussion of important (...) philosophical antecedents, and secondly, in the relative lack of critical engagement with some of the empirical literature the book discusses. (shrink)
Mental fictionalism holds that folk psychology should be regarded as a kind of fiction. The present version gives a Lewisian prefix semantics for mentalistic discourse, where roughly, a mentalistic sentence “p” is true iff “p” is deducible from the folk psychological fiction. An eliminativist version of the view can seem self-refuting, but this charge is neutralized. Yet a different kind of “self-effacing” emerges: Mental fictionalism appears to be a mere “parasite” on a future science of cognition, without contributing anything substantial. (...) The paper then rebuts the objection, illustrating that prefix semantics resolves a lingering problem for eliminativism from Boghossian. The problem is that eliminativists seem unable to adopt realism about neuroscience, for such realism implies that neuroscientific statements *represent* reality accurately. However, a deflationary version of prefix semantics allows the eliminativist to draw an ontologically relevant distinction (roughly) between truths that have a story-telling prefix and those that do not. (Deflationism means there is no implication that the unprefixed sentences robustly represent reality.) The overarching lesson is that eliminativists need to approach to ontology carefully so to avoid self-refutation; however, prefix semantical mental fictionalism provides the resources for them to do so. (shrink)
Objectophilia (also known as Objectum-Sexuality) involves romantic and sexual attraction to specific objects. Objectophiles often develop deep and enduring emotional, romantic, and sexual relations with specific inanimate (concrete or abstract) objects such as trains, bridges, cars, or words. . The determinants of objectophilia are poorly understood. The aim of this paper is to examine the determining factors of objectophilia. We examine four hypotheses about the determinants of objectophilia (pertaining to fetishism, synesthesia, cross-modal mental imagery, and autism) and argue that the (...) most likely determining factors of objectophilia are the social and non-social features of autism. Future studies on the determinants of objectophilia could enhance our understanding and potentially lessen the marginalization experienced by objectophiles. (shrink)
On several current views, including those of Matthew Kieran, Gary Iseminger, Jerrold Levinson, and Noël Carroll, aesthetic appreciation or experience involves second-order awareness of one’s own mental processes. But what if it turns out that we don’t have introspective access to the processes by which our aesthetic responses are produced? I summarize several problems for introspective accounts that emerge from the psychological literature: aesthetic responses are affected by irrelevant conditions; they fail to be affected by relevant conditions; we are ignorant (...) of their causes and thus confabulate in explaining them; our attempts to offer explanations change our preferences; and the preferences we form after explanation are lower in quality. I suggest that by distinguishing introspective awareness of mental processes from introspective awareness of mental states, we can safeguard a worthwhile concept of aesthetic experience. In addition, we should recognize that theoretical, rather than introspective, understanding of our mental processes may play a valuable role in aesthetic appreciation. (shrink)