In this paper, we argue that several recent ‘wide’ perspectives on cognition (embodied, embedded, extended, enactive, and distributed) are only partially relevant to the study of cognition. While these wide accounts override traditional methodological individualism, the study of cognition has already progressed beyond these proposed perspectives towards building integrated explanations of the mechanisms involved, including not only internal submechanisms but also interactions with others, groups, cognitive artifacts, and their environment. The claim is substantiated with reference to recent developments in the (...) study of “mindreading” and debates on emotions. We claim that the current practice in cognitive (neuro)science has undergone, in effect, a silent mechanistic revolution, and has turned from initial binary oppositions and abstract proposals towards the integration of wide perspectives with the rest of the cognitive (neuro)sciences. (shrink)
This is a reply to de Sousa's 'Emotional Truth', in which he argues that emotions can be objective, as propositional truths are. I say that it is better to distinguish between truth and accuracy, and agree with de Sousa to the extent of arguing that emotions can be more or less accurate, that is, based on the facts as they are.
Adam Świeżyński | : The experience of loneliness is usually seen as a negative aspect of human existence and something to overcome. However, it is worth trying to break free, if only on a trial basis, from the established traditional perception of loneliness, and strive to reduce it immediately from being one of the main sources of human affliction and to rethink its importance in human life. In order to do this, we must first consider the question of the (...) essence of loneliness, and then examine the question of its axiological status, i.e. its value. The ontological dimension and the axiological dimension of the issue should include the opportunity to construct the concept of human loneliness, by taking into account its internal and external aspect. The purpose of this paper is to propose an outline concept of loneliness, which, on the basis of findings on its essence, seeks to determine its axiological nature. The designated point of departure is the biblical image of human loneliness presented in Genesis. | : L’expérience de la solitude est souvent perçue comme un aspect négatif de l’existence humaine, nécessitant d’être surmonté. Il convient cependant d’essayer de se libérer de cette perception figée de la solitude, selon laquelle celle-ci est réduite immédiatement à l’une des sources fondamentales du malheur humain, et d’essayer de revisiter le sens qu’elle a l’égard de la vie humaine. Pour ceci, il est nécessaire dans un premier lieu de considérer l’être de la solitude pour ensuite analyser son statut axiologique. La dimension axiologique et ontologique de la question évoquée devraient ensemble permettre de construire une conception de la solitude considérant sont aspect extérieur et intérieur. L’objet de cet écrit est de proposer une esquisse de la conception de la solitude qui en partant des précisions sur son être a pour objectif de définir son caractère axiologique. L’image de la solitude humaine telle que présentée dans la Genèse sera prise comme point de départ. (shrink)
‘The Principles of the Pure Type Theory’ is a translation of Leon Chwistek's 1922 paper ‘Zasady czystej teorii typów’. It summarizes Chwistek's results from a series of studies of the logic of Whitehead and Russell's Principia Mathematica which were published between 1912 and 1924. Chwistek's main argument involves a criticism of the axiom of reducibility. Moreover, ‘The Principles of the Pure Type Theory’ is a source for Chwistek's views on an issue in Whitehead and Russell's ‘no-class theory of classes’ involving (...) the notion of ‘scope’. (shrink)
Alston's perceptual account of mystical experience fails to show how it is that the sort of predicates that are used to describe God in these experiences could be derived from perception, even though the ascription of matched predicates in the natural order are not derived in the manner Alston has in mind. In contrast, if one looks to research on shared attention between individuals as mediated by mirror neurons, then one can give a perceptual account of mystical experience which draws (...) a tighter connection between what is reported in mystical reports and the most similar reports in the natural order. (shrink)
This thoughtful new abridgment is enriched by the brilliant commentary which accompanies it. In it, Laurence Dickey argues that the _Wealth of Nations_ contains--and conceals--a great deal of how Smith actually thought a commercial society works. Guided by his conviction that the so-called Adam Smith Problem--the relationship between ethics and economics in Smith's thinking--is a core element in the argument of the work itself, Dickey's commentary focuses on the devices Smith uses to ground his economics in broadly ethical and (...) social categories. An unparalleled guide to an often difficult and perplexing work. (shrink)
The foundation for a system of morals, this 1749 work is a landmark of moral and political thought. Its highly original theories of conscience, moral judgment, and virtue offer a reconstruction of the Enlightenment concept of social science, embracing both political economy and theories of law and government.
The Human Rights Act 1998 is one of the most important constitutional reforms to have been implemented by the New Labour administration in Britain. In addition to incorporating the European Convention on Human Rights into domestic law, its main ambition is the creation of a human rights culture. However, while citizens appear to have very little understanding of what the legislation entails, there is a strong tide of negative media publicity which depicts the Human Rights Act as a ‘villains’ charter’. (...) It has been suggested that the government should do more to promote human rights. This paper reflects on how this may be achieved. An important strategy for creating a positive public awareness of human rights involves eradicating myths which have been allowed to flourish in sections of the British press. However, drawing on the work of Roland Barthes, this paper argues that this may be an unattainable goal. Human rights are empty signifiers which invite mythical appropriation. Both proponents and detractors of human rights legislation mobilise this capacity for mythmaking in their rhetoric. (shrink)
Ending the influence which politicalparties exercised over judicial appointmentswas a prominent aim of the project of reformingthe Belgian criminal justice system in the1990s. However, focusing on various highprofile scandals affecting public confidence inthe judiciary, this paper questions whether thepolitical nature of the judiciary is capable ofbeing eradicated. Drawing on the work ofChantal Mouffe, this analysis starts with aconsideration of the discursive element inpolitical identity, which is furthercorroborated by the semiotics of Saussure andGreimas. Applying this perspective to theBelgian situation in the (...) 1990s, it is arguedthat a redefinition of politics in terms of an``us/them'' divide between citizens andinstitutions took place. In this process,judges were targeted as part of theestablishment and cast as the constitutiveoutside buttressing the collectiveidentification between the media, victims ofcrime and the general public. In explaining theinstitutional gap, individual traits of judgesconstituted a significant focus, as can beshown through the extraordinary visibility ofone judge who courted media attention when hewas tried for sadomasochistic activities in1997. (shrink)
In this appeal the House of Lords held that a school’s refusal to change its school uniform rules to accommodate the religious beliefs of one of its pupils did not constitute an interference with freedom of religion and the right to an education. This note asks whether the House of Lords by framing the issue as a matter of individual choice and informed consent may have underestimated the potential for social harm inflicted by a school’s unwillingness to accommodate certain types (...) of religious beliefs where it has already adapted its school uniform rules for others. (shrink)
This study analyses the influence that Adam Smith's philosophy had on his Wealth of Nations, and reveals the unity in Smith's extensive system of morals, politics, and economics. It concludes that Smith was motivated by a political ideal, which was moral liberalism.
Adam Smith is respected as the father of contemporary economics for his work on systemizing classical economics as an independent field of study in The Wealth of Nations. But he was also a significant moral philosopher of the Scottish Enlightenment, with its characteristic concern for integrating sentiments and rationality. This article considers Adam Smith as a key moral philosopher of commercial society whose critical reflection upon the particular ethical challenges posed by the new pressures and possibilities of commercial (...) society remains relevant today. The discussion has three parts. First I address the artificial separation between self-interest and morality often attributed to Smith, in which his work on economics is stripped of its ethical context. Second I outline Smith’s ethical approach to economics, focusing on his vigorous but qualified defence of commercial society for its contributions to prosperity, justice, and freedom. Third I outline Smith’s moral philosophy proper as combining a naturalistic account of moral psychology with a virtue ethics based on propriety in commercial society. (shrink)
Adam Smith wrote two books, one about economics and the other about morality. How do these books go together? How do markets and morality mix? James Otteson provides a comprehensive examination and interpretation of Smith's moral theory and demonstrates how his conception of morality applies to his understanding of markets, language and other social institutions. Considering Smith's notions of natural sympathy, the impartial spectator, human nature and human conscience, the author addresses whether Smith thinks that moral judgments enjoy a (...) transcendent sanction. (shrink)
Whether or not capitalism is compatible with ethics is a long standing dispute. We take up an approach to virtue ethics inspired by Adam Smith and consider how market competition influences the virtues most associated with modern commercial society. Up to a point, competition nurtures and supports such virtues as prudence, temperance, civility, industriousness and honesty. But there are also various mechanisms by which competition can have deleterious effects on the institutions and incentives necessary for sustaining even these most (...) commercially friendly of virtues. It is often supposed that if competitive markets are good, more competition must always be better. However, in the long run competition enhancing policies that neglect the nurturing and support of the bourgeois virtues may undermine the continued flourishing of modern commercial society. (shrink)
Adam Smith was a philosopher before he ever wrote about economics, yet until now there has never been a philosophical commentary on the Wealth of Nations . Samuel Fleischacker suggests that Smith's vastly influential treatise on economics can be better understood if placed in the light of his epistemology, philosophy of science, and moral theory. He lays out the relevance of these aspects of Smith's thought to specific themes in the Wealth of Nations , arguing, among other things, that (...) Smith regards social science as an extension of common sense rather than as a discipline to be approached mathematically, that he has moral as well as pragmatic reasons for approving of capitalism, and that he has an unusually strong belief in human equality that leads him to anticipate, if not quite endorse, the modern doctrine of distributive justice. Fleischacker also places Smith's views in relation to the work of his contemporaries, especially his teacher Francis Hutcheson and friend David Hume, and draws out consequences of Smith's thought for present-day political and philosophical debates. The Companion is divided into five general sections, which can be read independently of one another. It contains an index that points to commentary on specific passages in Wealth of Nations . Written in an approachable style befitting Smith's own clear yet finely honed rhetoric, it is intended for professional philosophers and political economists as well as those coming to Smith for the first time. (shrink)
For most of the two hundred years or so that have passed since the publication of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith's writings on political and economic questions have been viewed within a liberal capitalist perspective of nineteenth- and twentieth- century provenance. This essay in interpretation seeks to provide a more historical reading of certain political themes which recur in Smith's writings by bringing eighteenth-century perspectives to bear on the problem. Contrary to the view that sees Smith's work as (...) marking the point at which 'politics' was being eclipsed by 'economics', it claims that Smith has a 'politics' which goes beyond certain political attitudes connected with the role of the state in economic affairs. It argues that he employs a consistent mode of political analysis which cannot be encompassed within the standard liberal capitalist categories, but can be understood by reference to the language and qualities of contemporary political debate, and of the eighteenth-century science of politics cultivated by Montesquieu and, above all, Hume, particularly as revealed by recent scholarship. A concluding chapter draws the various strands of the interpretation together to form a portrait of what Smith might legitimately be said to have been doing when he wrote on these matters. (shrink)
In this paper I propose an account of representation for scientific models based on Kendall Walton’s ‘make-believe’ theory of representation in art. I first set out the problem of scientific representation and respond to a recent argument due to Craig Callender and Jonathan Cohen, which aims to show that the problem may be easily dismissed. I then introduce my account of models as props in games of make-believe and show how it offers a solution to the problem. Finally, I demonstrate (...) an important advantage my account has over other theories of scientific representation. All existing theories analyse scientific representation in terms of relations, such as similarity or denotation. By contrast, my account does not take representation in modelling to be essentially relational. For this reason, it can accommodate a group of models often ignored in discussions of scientific representation, namely models which are representational but which represent no actual object. (shrink)