This paper develops a counterexample to Davidson’s elaborate model of conventionless communication, first articulated in his (1986) and defended in his (1994a). The first part contains an analysis of the model and its assumptions. Then, in a second part, I present a case focused around the concept of overhearing. It subtracts active interaction from the model and reveals that, under these novel conditions, communication makes further demands on it, namely conformity of the prior interpretive theory of all but one of (...) the interacting members. The analysis of the case concludes, in the third part, that Davidson’s account is unsuited for explaining communication where active interpretive interactions are excluded. And hence, for describing the full range of our linguistic competence. (shrink)
The problem of time involves an overlap between physics, philosophy, psychology and neuroscience. My talk will discuss the role of time in physics but also emphasize that physics may need to expand to address issues usually regarded as being in the other domains. I will first review the mainstream physics view of time, as it arises in Newtonian theory, relativity theory and quantum theory. I will then discuss the various arrows of time, the most fundamental of which is the passage (...) of time associated with consciousness. I will argue that this goes beyond both relativity theory and quantum theory, so that one needs some new physical paradigm to accommodate it. A new paradigm is required anyway to describe quantum gravity and this may elucidate the nature of both time and consciousness. (shrink)
This article investigates the challenges posed by the reliability of knowledge in neurophenomenology and its connection to reality. Neurophenomenological research seeks to understand the intricate relationship between human consciousness, cognition, and the underlying neural processes. However, the subjective nature of conscious experiences presents unique epistemic challenges in determining the reliability of the knowledge generated in this research. Personal factors such as beliefs, emotions, and cultural backgrounds influence subjective experiences, which vary from individual to individual. On the other hand, scientific knowledge (...) aims to uncover universal truths based on empirical observations and objective principles. Reconciling the subjective and objective realms presents a significant challenge in determining the reliability of knowledge generated through neurophenomenological research. This article aims to examine the inherent limitations and challenges of neurophenomenological research to shed light on the complexities involved in understanding the nature of knowledge itself. This article highlights that the ontological implications of the reliability of knowledge in neurophenomenology arise from the question of how subjective experiences relate to objective reality. Understanding the neural correlates and mechanisms behind subjective experiences can provide insight into the underlying ontological nature of consciousness. (shrink)
This paper argues that hate differs from mere disliking in terms of its “depth,” which is understood via a notion of “othering,” whereby one rejects at least some aspect of the identity of the target of hate, identifying oneself as not being what they are. Fleshing this out reveals important differences between personal hate, which targets a particular individual, and impersonal hate, which targets groups of people. Moreover, impersonal hate requires focusing on the place hate has within particular sorts of (...) communities, enabling a further important distinction between “insider” and “outsider” hate in terms of whether the hater includes members of the targeted group within a particular community or rejects them as “beneath” membership in that community. (shrink)
I present Dean Zimmerman’s conceptualization of the varieties of substance dualism. I then focus attention on a form of dualism that he has discussed briefly in a few places, Thomistic dualism as he calls it, or hylomorphic dualism, as I call it. After explicating hylomorphic dualism, I consider the two places where Zimmerman says the most about it, finding, in one case, a way to alleviate a worry he raises using the resources internal to hylomorphism, and, in the other case, (...) a general agreement with his categorizing hylomorphic dualism as an intermediary position between substance dualism and materialism. Since hylomorphic dualism is something of an intermediary position between substance dualism and materialism, it stands to reason that it could be susceptible to attack from both sides. Thus, in the last portions of this article I consider the arguments Zimmerman answers against dualism and levels against materialism. I argue that the hylomorphic theorist can answer the charges against dualism at least as well as the other dualists can. I find that the main argument against materialism that Zimmerman provides, if sound, would also show any composite form of dualism to be false, too. Happily, the hylomorphic thinker has a method of denying the truth of the first premise of that argument, and so, of denying the soundness of the argument. (shrink)
This collection of newly commissioned essays, edited by NYU philosophers Paul Boghossian and Christopher Peacocke, resumes the current surge of interest in the proper explication of the notion of a priori. The authors discuss the relations of the a priori to the notions of definition, meaning, justification, and ontology, explore how the concept figured historically in the philosophies of Leibniz, Kant, Frege, and Wittgenstein, and address its role in the contemporary philosophies of logic, mathematics, mind, and science. The editors’ Introduction (...) familiarizes the reader with the issues that are to be explored in detail in later parts of the anthology. (shrink)
There is growing philosophical interest in “affective injustice”: injustice faced by individuals specifically in their capacity as affective beings. Current debates tend to focus on affective injustice at the psychological level. In this paper, I argue that the built environment can be a vehicle for affective injustice — specifically, what Wildman et al. (2022) term “affective powerlessness”. I use resources from ecological psychology to develop this claim. I consider two cases where certain kinds of bodies are, either intentionally or unintentionally, (...) deprived of access to goods affording the development and maintenance of their subjective well-being: hostile architecture and masking practices in autism. This deprivation, I argue further, leads to a significant weakening and diminishment of their spatial agency, hinders their well-being, and in so doing gives rise to a pervasive experience of affective powerlessness. By drawing attention to these themes, I show that an ecological approach helpfully supplements existing approaches. It highlights how affective injustice can emerge via the way bodies are positioned in space, and the central role that built environments play in determining this positioning. (shrink)
According to veridicalism, your beliefs about the existence of ordinary objects are typically true, and can constitute knowledge, even if you are in some global sceptical scenario. Even if you are a victim of Descartes’ demon, you can still know that there are tables, for example. Accordingly, even if you don’t know whether you are in some such scenario, you still know that there are tables. This refutes the standard sceptical argument. But does it solve the sceptical problem posed by (...) that argument? I argue that it does not, because we do not know substantively more about the external world according to veridicalism than we do according to the sceptical argument. Rather, veridicalism merely reformulates what little knowledge we have. I then draw some general conclusions about the nature of the sceptical problem, the formulation of the standard argument, and the significance of this for some other, non-veridicalist strategies. (shrink)
Body checking, characterized by the repeated visual or physical inspection of particular parts of one’s own body (e.g. thighs, waist, or upper arms) is one of the most prominent behaviors associated with eating disorders, particularly Anorexia Nervosa (AN). In this paper, we explore the explanatory potential of the Recalcitrant Fear Model of AN (RFM) in relation to body checking. We argue that RFM, when combined with certain plausible auxiliary hypotheses about the cognitive and epistemic roles of emotions, is able to (...) explain key characteristics of body checking, including how body checking behavior becomes habitual and compulsive. (shrink)
One of the crucial characteristics of the olfactory modality is that olfactory experiences commonly present odours as pleasant or unpleasant. Indeed, because of the importance of the hedonic aspects of olfactory experience, it has been proposed that the role of olfaction is not to represent the properties of stimuli, but rather to generate a valence-related response. However, despite a growing interest among philosophers in the study of the chemical senses, no dominant theory of sensory pleasure has emerged in the case (...) of human olfaction. The aim of this paper is to develop an argument based on the way in which olfactory valence is neurally encoded; one that demonstrates an advantage of the indicative representational approach to olfactory valence over approaches that characterise valence in terms of desires or commands. The argument shows that it is plausible to understand olfactory valence, at least in part, in terms of indicative representations. (shrink)
A prominent view holds that perception and memory are distinguished at least partly by their temporal orientation: Perception functions to represent the present, while memory functions to represent the past. Call this view perceptual presentism. This chapter critically examines perceptual presentism in light of contemporary perception science. I adduce evidence for three forms of perceptual sensitivity to the past: (i) shaping perception by past stimulus exposure, (ii) recruitment of mnemonic representations in perceptual processing, and (iii) perceptual representation of present objects (...) as possessing past properties. I argue that forms (i) and (ii) are consistent with perceptual presentism, while form (iii) poses a genuine threat to the view. While the empirical case for form (iii) remains inconclusive, I suggest that the most serious challenges to perceptual presentism derive from representations that integrate mnemonic and present-tensed elements in the performance of canonical perceptual functions, such as perceiving object continuity over time. (shrink)
Plotinus argues that materialism cannot explain reflexive cognition. He argues that mere bodies cannot engage in the self-reflexive activity of both cognizing some content and being cognitively aware of cognizing this content. Short of outright denying the cognitive unity underlying this phenomenon of self-awareness, materialism is in trouble. However, Plotinus bases his argument on the condition that material bodies are capable of a spatial unity at most, and while this condition has purchase on ancient materialists, it would be rejected today. (...) After considering objections based on our contemporary understanding of a material body, I amend Plotinus' argument to focus instead on the core materialist commitment to external efficient-causal relations. This amended argument regains its urgency for materialism, while retaining the spirit of Plotinus' view. (shrink)
We tend to applaud those who think for themselves: the ever-curious student, for example, or the grownup who does their own research. Even as we’re applauding, however, we ourselves often don’t think for ourselves. This book argues that’s completely OK. -/- In fact, it’s often best just to take other folks’ word for it, allowing them to do the hard work of gathering and evaluating the relevant evidence. In making this argument, philosopher Jonathan Matheson shows how 'expert testimony' and 'the (...) wisdom of crowds' are tested and provides convincing ideas that make it rational to believe something simply because other people believe it. Matheson then takes on philosophy’s best arguments against his thesis, including the idea that non-self-thinkers are free-riding on the work of others, Socrates’ claim that 'the unexamined life isn’t worth living,' and that outsourcing your intellectual labor makes you vulnerable to errors and manipulation. Matheson shows how these claims and others ultimately fail -- and that when it comes to thinking, we often need not be sheepish about being sheep. (shrink)
Conservation of the Circle is the only dynamic in Nature, and, therefore, the simple solution to the complex problem called ‘reality.’ (Also known as 'identity.') Financial, technological, and, therefore, psychological.
Based on Husserl’s distinction between mode of living presence (Modus der Leibhaftigkeit) and mode of certainty (Glaubensmodus der Gewißheit), which coincide in normal univocal perception, the paper argues for a distinction between two different types of accordance (Einstimmigkeit) in perceptual experience – local accordance and global accordance. While local accordance is characterized by the unfolding of appearances in agreement with lines of accordance instituted by recent perceptual apprehensions within a certain spatio-temporal domain, global accordance is characterized by the agreement between (...) appearances unfolding in local accordance with previous and simultaneous apprehensions concerning the spatio-temporal surroundings of this domain. As will be shown, to perceive something in local accordance amounts to perceiving it in the mode of living presence, while to perceive something in global accordance amounts to perceiving it in the belief mode of certainty (relative to a certain surrounding). In light of these considerations, an account of the perception of figments and immersion is put forward which does not invoke make-belief or the idea of an as-if-perception. (shrink)
Hutto and Myin have proposed an account of radically enactive (or embodied) cognition (REC) as an explanation of cognitive phenomena, one that does not include mental representations or mental content in basic minds. Recently, Zahidi and Myin have presented an account of arithmetical cognition that is consistent with the REC view. In this paper, I first evaluate the feasibility of that account by focusing on the evolutionarily developed proto-arithmetical abilities and whether empirical data on them support the radical enactivist view. (...) I argue that although more research is needed, it is at least possible to develop the REC position consistently with the state-of-the-art empirical research on the development of arithmetical cognition. After this, I move the focus to the question whether the radical enactivist account can explain the objectivity of arithmetical knowledge. Against the realist view suggested by Hutto, I argue that objectivity is best explained through analyzing the way universal proto-arithmetical abilities determine the development of arithmetical cognition. (shrink)
In this chapter, I sketch a philosophical framework of shared and diverging worlds and cultural significance. Although the framework proposed is basically a psychologically informed, philosophical approach, it is explicitly aimed at being applicable for agent-based social simulations. The account consists of three parts: (1) a formal ontology of human worlds, (2) an analysis of the pre-semantic significance of the objects of human worlds, and (3) an account of what it means for agents to share a world (or to live (...) in diverging worlds). In this chapter, I will give a brief and concise summary of my account. At the end, I will briefly outline how the proposed framework might be put to use for multiagent social simulation of complex social interaction scenarios involving diverging (cultural) backgrounds. (shrink)
Robert Audi’s Seeing, Knowing, & Doing argues that knowledge does not entail justification, given a broadly externalist conception of knowledge and an access internalist conception of justification, where justification requires the ability to cite one’s grounds or reasons. On this view, animals and small children can have knowledge while lacking justification. About cases like these and others, Audi concludes that knowledge does not entail justification. But the access internalist sense of “justification” is but one of at least two ordinary senses (...) of the term. On a broader or looser sense, “justification” means “being in the right” where that involves meeting a standard or norm. I argue that the beliefs of animals and small children can then meet standards or norms associated with truth and knowledge such that their beliefs may count as justified in this broader or looser sense. I then question whether knowledge fails to entail justification on this broader sense. (shrink)
This chapter states the contrast between presumptivism about testimonial warrant (often called anti-reductionism) and strict reductionism (associated with Hume) about testimonial warrant. Presumptivism sees an analogy with modest foundationalism about perceptual warrant. Strict reductionism denies this analogy. Two theoretical frameworks for these positions are introduced to better formulate the most popular version of persumptivism, a competence reliabilist account. Seven arguments against presumptivism are then stated and critiqued: (1) The argument from reliability; (2) The argument from reasons; (3) the argument from (...) positive reasons; (4) the argument from negative reasons; (5) the argument from agency; (6) the argument from psychological force; and (7) the argument from gullibility. If presumptivm is false, it is not for any of these arguments. (shrink)
In general, epistemic emotions can be characterized as emotions that concern the subject's own states and mental processes and are associated with cognition and knowledge acquisition. They are the result of a cognitive inconsistency that may appear as a consequence of unexpected information that contradicts previous knowledge. They have a significant impact on the exploration and generation of knowledge about oneself and the world, as well as on conceptual changes and cognitive efficiency. There is no interspecies comparative perspective in experimental (...) studies on epistemic emotions. At first glance, this situation is not controversial, because the category of epistemic emotions has been defined in such a way that it seems to belong only to people. Inconsistencies arise when comparative research in the field of cognitive ethology, primatology or comparative psychology is analyzed. Researchers point to a number of behaviors of nonhuman animals that prove that they have a wide range of emotions - including those that stand out in the catalog of epistemic emotions, i.e. surprise, curiosity or uncertainty. The presented article is an attempt to answer the questions posed in the title and an introduction to research on an adequate model of epistemic emotions, taking into account the results of research in the above-mentioned areas. (shrink)
1. Our 'vision' of our surroundings is minimal as to the richness of what is out there. That is because our eyes and optical faculties are severely limited in seeing a semblance of that reality. -/- 2. When speaking of 'reality', there are numberless levels of that subject matter. There is the reality of what each organism sees. There is the reality of the different conditions a perceiving person is in, for example, what is the speed the observing agent watching (...) the perceived object and that will change the 'reality' of what they see if we change the speed. -/- 3. In summation there is no unity in any perceived object. (shrink)
In everyday conversation, messages are often communicated indirectly, implicitly. Why do we seem to communicate so inefficiently? How speakers choose to express a message (modulating confidence, using less explicit formulations) has been proposed to impact how committed they will appear to be to its content. This commitment can be assessed in terms of accountability – is the speaker held accountable for what they communicated? – and deniability – can the speaker plausibly deny they intended to communicate it? We investigated two (...) factors that may influence commitment to implicitly conveyed messages. In a preregistered online study, we tested the hypothesis that the degree of meaning strength (strongly or weakly communicated) and the level of meaning used by the speaker (an enrichment or a conversational implicature) modulate accountability and plausible deniability. Our results show that both meaning strength and level of meaning influence speaker accountability and plausible deniability. Participants perceived enrichments to be harder to deny than conversational implicatures, and strongly implied content as more difficult to deny than weakly implied content. Furthermore, participants held the speaker more accountable to content conveyed via an enrichment than to content conveyed via an implicature. These results corroborate previously found differences between levels of meaning (enrichment vs. implicature). They also highlight the largely understudied role of meaning strength as a cue to speaker commitment in communication. (shrink)
[Special issue honoring Nikola Grahek] Representationalism in philosophy of perception has become more or less the dominant view. There are various versions of it not all of which are motivated by the same set of concerns. Different metaphysical and epistemological agendas are at work in different strands of the movement. In this paper, I will focus on what has come to be known as strong representationalism. This view has reductive and non-reductive versions, which are usually paired with realist and irrealist (...) versions respectively. First, I will develop a simple, largely empirical, argument against the realist reductive version. Later, rather more briefly, I will extend the argument to cover irrealist representationalism. (shrink)
Résumé La croyance que l'on est (ou pas) dans un état de douleur est singulière en ceci qu'elle semble pouvoir être qualifiée d'infaillibilité ou d'incorrigibilité logique, de même que le cogito. Mais comment se peut-il que l'existence d'une croyance (vraie) et l'existence du fait qui est l'objet de cette croyance puisssent constituer la même existence? Je propose ici une réponse à cette question. Parfois, une croyance peut être un désir.
Humanitarian maps assembled using digital technology are indicative of transformations underway in how the world is made knowable, sensible, and actionable, including for international legal purposes. These transformations are exemplified by the Missing Maps Project (MMP), an initiative of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, a U.S.-registered non-profit, and three other non-governmental organisations operating internationally: American Red Cross; British Red Cross; and Médecins Sans Frontières. Projects such as the MMP make it harder for international lawyers to lay claim to, and seek to (...) imaginatively reorient, shared repositories of common sense. Meanwhile, international legal scholars continue to propagate ideas that the world may be reimagined with their help, largely without regard to such transformations. In lieu of imagination’s standard evocation to the end of enhancing critical agency in international legal writing, this article contends that the idiosyncratic notion of imagination advanced in the writings of Walter Benjamin may be better attuned to ongoing shifts in sense-making apparent in international humanitarian mapping. Walter Benjamin’s atypical rendering of imagination as a ‘purely receptive, uncreative’ force in a field of technological reproduction offers international legal scholars another way of thinking about agency and prospects for re-forming their field in the face of its burgeoning digitalisation. (shrink)
Chronic pain is one of the most disabling conditions globally, yet we are still missing a satisfying theoretical framework to guide research and clinical practice. This is highly relevant as research and practice are not taking place in a vacuum but are always shaped by a particular philosophy of pain, that is, a set of implicitly or explicitly prevailing assumptions about what chronic pain is and how it is to be addressed. In looking at recent history, we identify a promising (...) trend from neuro-centrism to the application of the biopsychosocial model. Unfortunately, due to its limited theoretical foundation, the biopsychosocial model is too often implemented in a reductionist, fragmented, and linear manner. In particular, it remains too vague concerning the relationship between involved biological, psychological, and social processes. Sanneke de Haan prominently labeled this the integration problem. In this paper, we introduce five different facets of the integration problem that every philosophy of pain needs to address: (i) ontological, (ii) conceptual, (iii) explanatory, (iv) methodologicalMethodological, and (v) therapeutic. We develop an enactive theory of chronic pain and outline how far it provides solutions to these different integration challenges. (shrink)
Where does a probabilistic language-of-thought (PLoT) come from? How can we learn new concepts based on probabilistic inferences operating on a PLoT? Here, I explore these questions, sketching a traditional circularity objection to LoT and canvassing various approaches to addressing it. I conclude that PLoT-based cognitive architectures can support genuine concept learning; but, currently, it is unclear that they enjoy more explanatory breadth in relation to concept learning than alternative architectures that do not posit any LoT.
We argue that Quilty-Dunn et al.'s commitment to representational pluralism undermines their case for the language-of-thought hypothesis as the evidence they present is consistent with the operation of the other representational formats that they are willing to accept.
The target article attempted to draw connections between broad swaths of evidence by noticing a common thread: Abstract, symbolic, compositional codes, that is, language-of-thoughts (LoTs). Commentators raised concerns about the evidence and offered fascinating extensions to areas we overlooked. Here we respond and highlight the many specific empirical questions to be answered in the next decade and beyond.
The explanation for everything in Nature, everything in human history, future, and-or, past, is the conservation of a circle, proven by, the circular-linear relationship between, the solstice and the equinox.
Introduction. The article presents the relational aspect of non-emotionality as a type of cognition and scientific development of reality in particular. The focus is on non-emotional states that influence scientific activity and characterize the modern type of scientific rationality, as well as the relational concept of time. The aim of the research in this regard is to study the ontological sources of the phenomenon of non-emotionality, the conditions and relationships that lead to creative solutions. Theoretical analysis. The relational approach allows (...) us to explore the possibilities of the mind in a state of emotionlessness both in scientific activity and in the cognitive process as a whole. Non-emotionality performs signaling and regulatory functions, which are expressed, firstly, in the fact that the absence of feelings arises in connection with the specifics of the surrounding reality or together with changes in the human body, and, secondly, unemotionality helps to overcome emerging barriers and prevents unwanted activity, that is, the regulatory mechanisms of non-emotionality can contribute to both the growth of emotionality and remove its excess right up to a complete blockage. Conclusion. The relational analysis of the phenomenon of non-emotionality reveals the possibilities of the human mind in special states of unemotionality to carry out creative activity, to get out of extreme situations when solving research problems in scientific activity. (shrink)
Mental health has become a key concern within social discourse in recent years, and with it, the discussion about the lived experience of pain. In dealing with this experience there has been a shift away from merely relying on medical care towards more holistic approaches involving community support, public awareness, and social change. However, little if any attention has been paid in this context to the contribution of aesthetic experience engendered by art that expresses and publicly shares with others the (...) lived experience of pain. With reference to Phantom Limb, an art exhibition curated by Euan Grey and held at the Victoria Galleries and Museum Liverpool in 2016, I argue that aesthetic experience plays a crucial role in making sense of pain and suffering, thus breaking new ground in the appreciation of the significance of art for public mental health and holistic approaches towards patients. (shrink)
Quilty-Dunn et al. claim that all complex infant and animal reasoning implicate language-of-thought hypothesis (LOTH)-like structures. We agree with the authors that the mental life of animals can be explained in representationalist terms, but we disagree with their idea that the complexity of mental representations is best explained by appealing to abstract concepts, and instead, we explain that it doesn't need to.
Quilty-Dunn et al. maintain that language-of-thought hypothesis (LoTH) is the best game in town. We counter that LoTH is merely one source of models – always wrong, sometimes useful. Their reasons for liking LoTH are compatible with the view that LoTH provides a sometimes pragmatically useful level of abstraction over processes and mechanisms that fail to fully live up to LoT requirements.
Introduction. The study is aimed at identifying emotional factors that determine the deficit of social perception in neurasthenia. Theoretical analysis. Insufficient knowledge of the phenomenology of neurasthenia and the difficulties of its differential diagnosis at the stage of pathological personality development is shown. The lack of targeted assistance to patients and their objectively rapid disability is emphasized. The hypothesis is formulated that patients with neurasthenia have a pronounced violation of social perception, determined by social anhedonia. Empirical analysis. In the group (...) of patients with neurasthenia, in comparison with healthy subjects, there are pronounced difficulties in recognizing emotions by verbal and nonverbal manifestations, finding the necessary tone of communication and weakness of analytical abilities that allow to anticipate the dynamics of social situations. Factor analysis has shown the decisive role of emotional determinants in the development of the studied disorders – a high level of social anhedonia and associated personal, reactive anxiety and depression. Conclusion. Emotional factors form a pronounced social anhedonia that determines the formation of social perception deficit. A weak focus on the details of social situations, a tendency to attribute one’s own experiences to others determine the low level of effectiveness of social interaction, gradual withdrawal from contacts and complete social disintegration. (shrink)
Memory structures range across the dimensions that distinguish language-like thought. Recent work suggests agent- or situation-specific information is embedded in these structures. Understanding why this is, and pulling these structures apart, requires observing what happens under major changes. The evidence presented for the language-of-thought (LoT) does not look broadly enough across time to capture the function of representational structure.
The evidence that the target article cites for language-of-thought (LoT) structure in perceptual object representations concerns perceptual working memory, not perception. Perception is iconic, not structured like an LoT. Perceptual working memory representations contain the remnants of iconic perceptual representations, often recoded, in a discursive envelope.
Context: Among the many theories of pain, the biopsychosocial explanation of pain remains the most established in medicine. However, the three components are unevenly represented, with emphasis on the biological component. From this perspective the experience of pain may considered as an epiphenomenon. Problem: I empirically investigated the characteristics of pain (especially chronic pain) and investigated how these characteristics relate to existing conceptualizations of pain. Method: A case-study approach was used to demonstrate different ways of understanding and describing pain. Case-study (...) data were collected by two co-researchers through a series of clinical and research-focused phenomenological interviews with eleven people experiencing chronic pain. The aim of the analysis was to explore and evaluate empirical support for the 5E theory of pain. Results: The findings point to the insufficiency of the biopsychosocial approach to understanding pain and support a qualitatively different approach to its investigation. The enactivist and phenomenological approach, and the “horizons of attending to experience,” may open new perspectives on pain perception. Implications: Enactivism and phenomenology offer important theoretical advancements. A shift away from biological or biologically oriented approaches (e.g., biomedical and biopsychosocial models) is necessary to better understand the complexity of first-person experience of chronic pain. The shift is needed because of the complex and overwhelming nature of (chronic) pain, which cannot be described by (any) three components. However, understanding the process of constant interaction between somebody in pain and herself, and with her environment, meaning understanding the dynamic of how pain is embodied, embedded, enacted, extended and emotive, can bring a new level of understanding of pain and patients who suffer. “Horizons of attending to experience” are an additional offering for the holistic approach to understanding patients in pain, and to facilitate better coping. Constructivist content: When studying phenomena of consciousness such as pain, an enactivist and phenomenological approach should be considered, consistent with the constructivist approach. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the article “A Moving Boundary, a Plastic Core: A Contribution to the Third Wave of Extended-Mind Research” by Timotej Prosen. Abstract: The role of representation in the extended mind is central to understanding the philosophical commitments of the hypothesis and its relation to other accounts of cognition. While the target article provides an important analysis of the development and outlook for the extended mind and its relation to enactivism and active inference, it does not discuss the (...) possibility of the free-energy framework as non-representational. I argue that such a reading allows for more fruitful exchanges between the extended mind, enactivism, and active inference. (shrink)
Context: The current state of extended-mind research involves different frameworks, predictive processing and enactivism, among others. It is unclear to what degree these two frameworks converge toward a unified conception of the extended mind. Problem: The third wave of extended-mind research expands the scope of what has been acknowledged as a legitimate case of extended mind under the parity principle and complementarity principle of the first two waves. The two central commitments of the third wave are: (a) That extended cognitive (...) agents exhibit plasticity (b) that extended cognitive systems may not be organism-centered. I explore a general notion of boundary that might accommodate those two claims and provide a general criterion of what constitutes a case of extended mind. Method: I employ the method of conceptual analysis. I explore several conceptions of mental boundary and plasticity with regard to the context of the wider conceptual frameworks within which they are embedded, namely predictive processing and enactivism. I confront the two frameworks with regard to how the notions they provide fare against the issues of third-wave extended-mind research. Results: a) I confront the notion of boundary of cognitive agents based on the Markov-blanket formalism with the enactivist notion of mental boundary based on operational closure and argue for the latter approach. (b) I argue that plasticity of mental boundaries exhibits two fundamental facets that can be distinguished and accounted for by recourse to Ashby’s conception of ultrastability and the notion of perceptual inference as employed by the free-energy principle, if the two notions are integrated into the enactivist framework. Implications: Predictive processing and enactivism cannot be reconciled regarding their respective notions of boundary of cognitive agents. In this regard, enactivism provides a better point of departure for the third wave of extended-mind research. Notions of active and perceptual inference based on the free-energy principle might nevertheless provide insights that enrich the enactivist position and lead to a more nuanced perspective on the extended mind. Constructivist content: Constructivist epistemology forms the theoretical background of some key notions, utilized throughout the article, namely the conception of mind as autonomous and self-organizing. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the article “Kaleidoscope of Pain: What and How Do You See Through It” by Maja Smrdu. Abstract: Relational dynamics are the vital cornerstone for a holistic understanding of chronic pain, particularly for a 5E stance. Enactivism and Buddhism prove most expedient to examine such dynamics in a theoretical and practical fashion.
Open peer commentary on the article “Kaleidoscope of Pain: What and How Do You See Through It” by Maja Smrdu. Abstract: Pain remains an unintelligible mystery. Given Smrdu’s efforts to expand the horizons for dealing with chronic pain, I re-present some constructivist ideas regarding communication, including commonly assumed features of communications between patients and clinicians, in particular sharing experience and understanding.
Open peer commentary on the article “A Moving Boundary, a Plastic Core: A Contribution to the Third Wave of Extended-Mind Research” by Timotej Prosen. Abstract: I extend the conclusion of Prosen’s target article by sketching out what it could mean for an aesthetic object to constitute an extended mind. After providing two examples of a musically extended mind, I continue by closely investigating the classical form of the string quartet. I show that it acts as an external bound of viability (...) by setting up a novel and specific kind of aesthetic experience of chamber music. By doing this I provide a clear example of what Prosen calls an “aesthetic catalyst.”. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the article “Kaleidoscope of Pain: What and How Do You See Through It” by Maja Smrdu. Abstract: Welcoming Smrdu’s proposal to shed light on the experience of pain through the lens of phenomenology and enactivism, I offer two suggestions that may support the kind of 5E approach to pain she develops. First, I argue that a shift from the biopsychosocial model to a phenomenological 5E theory requires understanding “experience” as functioning as both explanans and explanandum. Second, (...) I suggest that comparing varieties of pain - including mental pain - may help further elucidate the different dimensions that shape the experience of pain according to the 5E approach. (shrink)
This is a paper about a general representational theory of consciousness. It is quite old, and much progress has been made since. We are building and tracking consensus arround the ideas in the Representational Qualia Theory camp on Canonizer.