The debate over the objects of episodic memory has for some time been stalled, with few alternatives to familiar forms of direct and indirect realism being advanced. This paper moves the debate forward by building on insights from the recent psychological literature on memory as a form of episodic hypothetical thought (or mental time travel) and the recent philosophical literature on relationalist and representationalist approaches to perception. The former suggests that an adequate account of the objects of episodic memory will (...) have to be a special case of an account of the objects of episodic hypothetical thought more generally. The latter suggests that an adequate account of the objects of episodic hypothetical thought will have to combine features of direct realism and representationalism. We develop a novel pragmatist-inspired account of the objects of episodic hypothetical thought that has the requisite features. (shrink)
This paper proposes a novel account of the contents of memory. By drawing on insights from the philosophy of perception, I propose a hybrid account of the contents of memory designed to preserve important aspects of representationalist and relationalist views. The hybrid view I propose also contributes to two ongoing debates in philosophy of memory. First, I argue that, in opposition to eternalist views, the hybrid view offers a less metaphysically-charged solution to the co-temporality problem. Second, I show how the (...) hybrid view conceives of the relationship between episodic memory and other forms of episodic thinking. I conclude by considering some disanalogies between perception and memory and by replying to objections. I argue that, despite there being important differences between memory and perception, those differences do not harm my project. (shrink)
Radical enactivism, an increasingly influential approach to cognition in general, has recently been applied to memory in particular, with Hutto and Peeters New directions in the philosophy of memory, Routledge, New York, 2018) providing the first systematic discussion of the implications of the approach for mainstream philosophical theories of memory. Hutto and Peeters argue that radical enactivism, which entails a conception of memory traces as contentless, is fundamentally at odds with current causal and postcausal theories, which remain committed to a (...) conception of traces as contentful: on their view, if radical enactivism is right, then the relevant theories are wrong. Partisans of the theories in question might respond to Hutto and Peeters’ argument in two ways. First, they might challenge radical enactivism itself. Second, they might challenge the conditional claim that, if radical enactivism is right, then their theories are wrong. In this paper, we develop the latter response, arguing that, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, radical enactivism in fact aligns neatly with an emerging tendency in the philosophy of memory: radical enactivists and causal and postcausal theorists of memory have begun to converge, for distinct but compatible reasons, on a contentless conception of memory traces. (shrink)
This paper develops a theory of perception that reconciles representationalism and relationalism by relying on pragmatist ideas. I call it the pragmatic view of perception. I argue that fully reconciling representationalism and relationalism requires, first, providing a theory in which how we perceive the world involves representations; second, preserving the idea that perception is constitutively shaped by its objects; and third, offering a direct realist account of perception. This constitutes what I call the Hybrid Triad. I discuss how Charles Peirce’s (...) theory of perception can provide a framework for such a view and I devote the rest of the paper to developing my own pragmatic and Peircean theory of perception. In particular, I argue that considering perception as a continuous temporal process, which essentially involves interaction with the environment, allows us to do justice to the Hybrid Triad. I motivate this view by discussing how a pragmatic theory of perception would deal with issues such as the distinction between veridical and non-veridical experiences and the nature of perceptual objects. (shrink)
The questions of whether episodic memory is a propositional attitude, and of whether it has propositional content, are central to discussions about how memory represents the world, what mental states should count as memories, and what kind of beings are capable of remembering. Despite its importance to such topics, these questions have not been addressed explicitly in the recent literature in philosophy of memory. In one of the very few pieces dealing with the topic, Fernández (2006) provides a positive answer (...) to the initial questions by arguing that the propositional attitude view of memory, as I will call it, provides a simple account of how memory possesses truth-conditions. A similar suggestion is made by Byrne (2010) when he proposes that perception and episodic memory have the same kind of content, differing only in degree. Against the propositional attitude view, I will argue that episodic memory does not have propositional content, and therefore, that it is not a propositional attitude. My project here is, therefore, mainly critical. I will show that, if empirical work is to inform our philosophical theories of memory in any way, we have good reasons to deny, or at least to be skeptical, of the prospects of the propositional attitude view of episodic memory. (shrink)
La possibilité d’une définition naturaliste de la santé et d’une distinction entre le normal et le pathologique qui ne repose pas sur des normes culturelles, sociales ou subjectives est au cœur des débats en philosophie de la médecine. Or le concept statistique de la normalité, fondamental pour une définition objective de la santé, soulève d’importantes difficultés. Christopher Boorse défend une « théorie bio-statistique » qui, en articulant ce concept à une notion non normative de fonction biologique, résoudrait ces difficultés. L’identification (...) de la santé et de la normalité au sens statistique demeure toutefois centrale dans sa définition. Après avoir précisé le rôle que joue la normalité statistique dans la BST, nous dégageons, à partir de l’épidémiologie contemporaine, un certain nombre de problèmes et questions que cette définition naturaliste soulève.The liability for a naturalist definition of health and for a value-free distinction between the normal and the pathological is at the core of discussions on health and disease in philosophy of medicine. But the statistical concept of normality, a central one for any objective definition of health, raises numerous problems. Christopher Boorse argues for a « biostatistical theory » which aims at solving these difficulties by articulating a statistical concept of normality and a non-normative concept of biological function. However the BST is still based on identifying normality and health with the most frequent. After analyzing in details the true role of statistical normality in BST, I will show how results and data from modern epidemiology can be mobilized to reveal several limits and difficulties with respect to this naturalist definition of health and disease. (shrink)
Unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS, previously known as vegetative state) occurs after patients survive a severe brain injury. Patients suffering from UWS have lost awareness of themselves and of the external environment and do not retain any trace of their subjective experience. Current data demonstrate that neuronal functions subtending consciousness are not completely reset in UWS; however, they are reduced below the threshold required to experience consciousness. The critical factor that determines whether patients will recover consciousness is the distance of their (...) neuronal functions from this threshold level. Recovery of consciousness occurs through functional and/or structural changes in the brain, i.e., through neuronal plasticity. Although some of these changes may occur spontaneously, a growing body of evidence indicates that rehabilitative interventions can improve functional outcome by promoting adaptive functional and structural plasticity in the brain, especially if a comprehensive neurophysiological theory of consciousness is followed. In this review we will focus on the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in UWS and on the plastic changes operating on the recovery of consciousness. (shrink)
Throughout the French tradition of philosophy of science, the tool of norm has become a basis for interpretation of the concept of health. From a historical study of different forms of the norm, lighting the different health’s models, we try to analyse health problematics in their actuality. Our aim is to understand stakes of contemporary health as new norm of care.RésuméL’outil de la norme s’est imposé à travers la tradition française de philosophie des sciences comme une grille de lecture de (...) la notion de santé. A partir d’un historique des différents aspects de la santé que mettent à jour les différentes formes de la norme, nous tenterons d’analyser l’actualité des problématiques de santé. Il s’agira de comprendre les enjeux de la santé contemporaine comme nouvelle norme du soin. (shrink)
It is easy to show that in many natural axiomatic formulations of physical and even mathematical theories, there are many superfluous concepts usually assumed as primitive. This happens mainly when these theories are formulated in the language of standard set theories, such as Zermelo–Fraenkel’s. In 1925, John von Neumann created a set theory where sets are definable by means of functions. We provide a reformulation of von Neumann’s set theory and show that it can be used to formulate physical and (...) mathematical theories with a lower number of primitive concepts very naturally. Our basic proposal is to offer a new kind of set-theoretic language that offers advantages with respect to the standard approaches, since it doesn’t introduce dispensable primitive concepts. We show how the proposal works by considering significant physical theories, such as non-relativistic classical particle mechanics and classical field theories, as well as a well-known mathematical theory, namely, group theory. This is a first step of a research program we intend to pursue. (shrink)
Quasi-set theory provides us a mathematical background for dealing with collections of indistinguishable elementary particles. In this paper, we show how to obtain the usual statistics (Maxwell–Boltzmann, Bose–Einstein, and Fermi–Dirac) into the scope of quasi-set theory. We also show that, in order to derive Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics, it is not necessary to assume that the particles are distinguishable or individuals. In other words, Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics is possible even in an ensamble of indistinguishable particles, at least from the theoretical point of view. (...) The main goal of this paper is to provide the mathematical grounds of a quasi-set theoretical framework for statistical mechanics. (shrink)
Cet article propose une réflexion sur l’approche biographique en sociologie, centrée sur le concept de « bifurcation » étudié ici dans le registre des interdépendances et des interactions entre parcours professionnels et histoires de santé. Après avoir brièvement rappelé les principales caractéristiques du matériau biographique et, simultanément, les principaux problèmes qu’il pose à l’analyse, le texte souligne certaines spécificités de l’articulation sociale et biographique entre santé et travail. Il propose ensuite une définition opératoire de la notion de « bifurcation » (...) et la met à l’épreuve de quelques exemples issus d’un corpus d’entretiens. Cette analyse permet de montrer en quoi l’approche sous l’angle des bifurcations se révèle fructueuse pour mieux comprendre certaines formes de changements à l’échelle des parcours de vie et leurs mises en intrigue par les acteurs concernés.This paper proposes a contribution to the reflexion about biographical approach in sociology. It is focused on the concept of « turning point » , applied to the interdependences and interactions between work and health in the biographical course. The paper describes the main characteristics of the biographical material and, at the same time, the difficulties of its analysis. Then it underlines the specificities of the social and biographical interweaving between work and health, and proposes to confront the concept of « bifurcation » with several cases drawn from a corpus of interviews. This analysis shows that the concept of « bifurcation » can be useful to describe some kinds of changes in the biographical courses, and to understand their meanings for the actors. (shrink)
We recently showed that it is possible to deal withcollections of indistinguishable elementary particles (in thecontext of quantum mechanics) in a set-theoretical framework, byusing hidden variables. We propose in the presentpaper another axiomatics for collections of indiscernibleswithout hidden variables, where hidden predicates are implicitlyassumed. We also discuss the possibility of a quasi-settheoretical picture for quantum theory. Quasi-set theory, basedon Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory, was developed for dealing withcollections of indistinguishable, but, not identical objects.
The relation between scepticism and health is not considered in the same light by the sceptics and by their enemies. According to its enemies, scepticism is a disease of the soul that has no access to truth ; whereas for the sceptics, it is the only means to mental health. But in fact, things are more complex. Modern sceptics like Montaigne or Hume, see doubt as something that has to be overcome. They view scepticism as a critical moment leading to (...) health.RésuméEn ce qui concerne la santé et la maladie, le scepticisme est diversement apprécié par ses détracteurs ou ses adeptes. Pour les premiers, il est la figure même de la maladie de l’âme privée de vérité, pour les seconds il est le seul moyen d’atteindre la santé mentale. Mais les choses sont plus compliquées, car certains sceptiques modernes, comme Hume ou Montaigne, voient dans le doute un moment critique qu’il faut traverser. (shrink)
We recently showed that it is possible to deal with collections of indistinguishable elementary particles in a set-theoretical framework, by using hidden variables. We propose in the present paper another axiomatics for collections of indiscernibles without hidden variables, where hidden predicates are implicitly assumed. We also discuss the possibility of a quasi-set theoretical picture for quantum theory. Quasi-set theory, based on Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory, was developed for dealing with collections of indistinguishable, but, not identical objects.
Health and Life. - Speaking of health, or of sickness, can only be metaphorical as far as it concerns inanimate objects. Only living beings can be healthy, as well as they can be sick. Morever, to be healthy understates the possibility of being sick ; death being unavoidable, there is no such thing as absolute health. What are the more explicit relations between health and life?RésuméLa santé et la vie. - Les mots « santé » et « maladie » ne (...) s’emploient que par métaphore dans le cas des objets inanimés. Seuls les êtres vivants peuvent être en bonne santé, comme seuls ils peuvent être malades. En outre, la santé sous-entend la possibilité de la maladie, et l’inéluctabilité de la mort exclut même tout absolu de santé. Quelles sont, plus explicitement, les relations qu’entretiennent la santé et la vie? (shrink)
According to Georges Canguilhem, no measurement of deviation from a statistical norm could form the basis of a definition of disease. Being healthy means being able to adapt to and this process of adaptation is active. What characterizes health is “normativity”, the possibility of tolerating infractions and of instituting new norms in response. Any normality limited to maintaining itself, hostile to any variation, and incapable of adapting to new situations does not represent health but sickness. Thus, even a sick organism (...) exhibits biological norms. We’ll try to show in what extend this theory can be exported to teratology, psychology and evolution’s theories.RésuméSelon Georges Canguilhem, les fondements d’une définition de la maladie ne peuvent reposer sur la mesure d’une déviation par rapport à une norme statistique. Être sain, c’est être capable de s’adapter de manière active. La santé se caractérise par la normativité, la possibilité de tolérer les infractions du milieu et d’instituer de nouvelles normes. Une normalité se contentant de se maintenir elle-même, hostile à la variation et incapable de s’adapter à de nouvelles situations ne correspond pas à la santé mais à la maladie. De ce fait, même un organisme malade répond à des normes biologiques. Nous tenterons de montrer dans quelle mesure cette théorie peut être appliquée à la tératologie, à la psychologie et aux théories de l’évolution. (shrink)
Charles Rosen commence son livre, Aux confins du sens. Propos sur la musique, en posant la question suivante :« Qu’est-ce que comprendre la musique ? Il est relativement facile de répondre à cette question, si on la pose à un niveau très modeste. Comprendre la musique, c’est tout simplement ne se sentir..
Cet article analyse quelques extraits de messages de santé traduits du français vers le mooré, l'une des principales langues du Burkina Faso. Partant du fait que langue et culture sont étroitement liées, et que la langue exprime une vision du monde qui lui est propre, nous nous interrogeons sur les valeurs que véhicule la traduction en tant qu'acte de communication. L'analyse montre qu'au-delà de leur fonction informative, les messages traduits véhiculent des valeurs qui appartiennent soit à la culture des textes (...) sources soit à celle des textes cibles. Il est cependant clair qu'au lieu d'une approche basée sur l'équivalence, la traduction des messages de santé dans les langues africaines doit viser plutôt la fonctionnalité, approche qui met le public cible et sa culture au centre de ses préoccupations.This article analyzes some excerpts health messages translated from French to Moore, one of the main languages of Burkina Faso. Given the fact that language and culture are closely related, and that the language expresses a worldview of its own, we wonder about the values that the vehicle translation as an act of communication. The analysis shows that beyond their informative function, the translated messages convey values that belong to either culture or source texts in the target texts. It is clear, however, that instead of an approach based on equivalence, translation of health messages in African languages should aim rather functionality, an approach that puts the target audience and its culture at the center of its concerns. (shrink)
By the mid-19th century, an increasing number of Japan's political leaders and scholars realized that Japan had to adapt and incorporate some elements of Western-style industrialization into their own political and economic order as the necessary means to remain independent of Western imperialism. The Opium War in China, and later the Euro-American bombardments of the domain capitals in Choshu and Satsuma demonstrated that trying to defend the realm with only an increased emphasis on coastal defense would ultimately fail to keep (...) out the barbarians from the West. Sakuma Shozan, a samurai scholar from Matsushiro, proposed a dichotomous philosophy of 'Eastern ethics, Western science' as the means to strengthen Japan both internally and externally, and allow Japan to maintain its independence. In this paper, I argue that Sakuma's dichotomous approach can be interpreted within a Hegelian dialectical paradigm. After the traditional order of Japan (Eastern ethics as Idea/Thesis) came into contact with the industrializing order of the West (Western science as Nature/Anti-Thesis), Sakuma believed a new order would be created in Japan (Synthesis) that combined an increased knowledge on the Eastern ethics of Neo-Confucianism with the 'new' scientific knowledge of the West. (shrink)
The major aim of this paper is to present some reflections about the political domain and the common good that may be helpful in answering the following issue: How can religions contribute to the common good? The problematic background of this paper can be summarized by the so-called Dilemma of Böckenförde, which presents the difficulties secular states have in creating social capital, and by the Habermasian notion of a “post-secular society,” an expression used by the German philosopher to summarize the (...) curious situations of Western secularized states, where religions continue to play important public roles. I will first discuss the notion of “neutralization” with the support of Carl Schmitt. Then I will present Chantal Mouffe’s doctrine of “agonistic pluralism” and her partial legitimization of the presence of religions in the political domain. Finally, I will criticize Mouffe’s approach with the help of Alasdair MacIntyre’s phenomenology of social practices in order to stress the importance of public religions in contemporary liberal societies. (shrink)