Meditation can be conceptualized as a family of complex tial to be speciﬁc about the type of meditation practice emotional and attentional regulatory training regimes under investigation. Failure to make such distinctions developed for various ends, including the cultivation of..
This article introduces and defines the Health in All Policies concept and examines existing state legislation, with a focus on California. The article starts with an overview of HiAP and then analyzes the status of HiAP legislation, specifically addressing variations across states. Finally, the article describes California's HiAP approach and discusses how communities can apply a HiAP framework not only to improve health outcomes and advance health equity, but also to counteract existing laws and policies that contribute to health inequities.
The paper presents a research programme for the neuroscience of consciousness called 'neurophenomenology' and illustrates it with a recent pilot study . At a theoretical level, neurophenomenology pursues an embodied and large-scale dynamical approach to the neurophysiology of consciousness . At a methodological level, the neurophenomenological strategy is to make rigorous and extensive use of first-person data about subjective experience as a heuristic to describe and quantify the large-scale neurodynamics of consciousness . The paper focuses on neurophenomenology in relation to (...) three challenging methodological issues about incorporating first-person data into cognitive neuroscience: first-person reports can be biased or inaccurate; the process of generating first-person reports about an experience can modify that experience; and there is an 'explanatory gap' in our understanding of how to relate first-person, phenomenological data to third-person, biobehavioural data. (shrink)
This paper analyzes an explicit instantiation of the program of neurophenomenology in a neuroscientific protocol. Neurophenomenology takes seriously the importance of linking the scientific study of consciousness to the careful examination of experience with a specific first-person methodology. My first claim is that such strategy is a fruitful heuristic because it produces new data and illuminates their relation to subjective experience. My second claim is that the approach could open the door to a natural account of the structure of human (...) experience as it is mobilized in itself in such methodology. In this view, generative passages define the type of circulation which explicitly roots the active and disciplined insight the subject has about his/her experience in a biological emergent process. (shrink)
Recent brain imaging studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have implicated insula and anterior cingulate cortices in the empathic response to another’s pain. However, virtually nothing is known about the impact of the voluntary generation of compassion on this network. To investigate these questions we assessed brain activity using fMRI while novice and expert meditation practitioners generated a loving-kindness-compassion meditation state. To probe affective reactivity, we presented emotional and neutral sounds during the meditation and comparison periods. Our main hypothesis (...) was that the concern for others cultivated during this form of meditation enhances affective processing, in particular in response to sounds of distress, and that this response to emotional sounds is modulated by the degree of meditation training. The presentation of the emotional sounds was associated with increased pupil diameter and activation of limbic regions (insula and cingulate cortices) during meditation (versus rest). During meditation, activation in insula was greater during presentation of negative sounds than positive or neutral sounds in expert than it was in novice meditators. The strength of activation in insula was also associated with self-reported intensity of the meditation for both groups. These results support the role of the limbic circuitry in emotion sharing. The comparison between meditation vs. rest states between experts and novices also showed increased activation in amygdala, right temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), and right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) in response to all sounds, suggesting, greater detection of the emotional sounds, and enhanced mentation in response to emotional human vocalizations for experts than novices during meditation. Together these data indicate that the mental expertise to cultivate positive emotion alters the activation of circuitries previously linked to empathy and theory of mind in response to emotional stimuli.. (shrink)
_sciousness called ‘neurophenomenology’ (Varela 1996) and illustrates it with a_ _recent pilot study (Lutz et al., 2002). At a theoretical level, neurophenomenology_ _pursues an embodied and large-scale dynamical approach to the_ _neurophysiology of consciousness (Varela 1995; Thompson and Varela 2001;_ _Varela and Thompson 2003). At a methodological level, the neurophenomeno-_ _logical strategy is to make rigorous and extensive use of first-person data about_ _subjective experience as a heuristic to describe and quantify the large-scale_ _neurodynamics of consciousness (Lutz 2002). The paper (...) foocuses on_ _neurophenomenology in relation to three challenging methodological issues_ _about incorporating first-person data into cognitive neuroscience: (i) first-person_ _reports can be biased or inaccurate; (ii) the process of generating first-person_ _reports about an experience can modify that experience; and (iii) there is an ‘ex-_ _planatory gap’ in our understanding of how to relate first-person, phenomeno-_ _logical data to third-person, biobehavioural data._. (shrink)
The capacity to stabilize the content of attention over time varies among individuals, and its impairment is a hallmark of several mental illnesses. Impairments in sustained attention in patients with attention disorders have been associated with increased trial-to-trial variability in reaction time and event-related potential deficits during attention tasks. At present, it is unclear whether the ability to sustain attention and its underlying brain circuitry are transformable through training. Here, we show, with dichotic listening task performance and electroencephalography, that training (...) attention, as cultivated by meditation, can improve the ability to sustain atten- tion. Three months of intensive meditation training reduced variability in attentional processing of target tones, as indicated by both enhanced theta-band phase consistency of oscillatory neural responses over anterior brain areas and reduced reaction time variability. Furthermore, those individuals who showed the greatest increase in neural response consistency showed the largest decrease in behav- ioral response variability. Notably, we also observed reduced variability in neural processing, in particular in low-frequency bands, regardless of whether the deviant tone was attended or unattended. Focused attention meditation may thus affect both distracter and target processing, perhaps by enhancing entrainment of neuronal oscillations to sensory input rhythms, a mechanism important for controlling the content of attention. These novel findings highlight the mechanisms underlying focused attention meditation and support the notion that mental training can significantly affect attention and brain function. (shrink)
Nietzsche once proclaimed himself the 'Buddha of Europe', and throughout his life Buddhism held enormous interest for him. While he followed Buddhist thinking in demolishing what he regarded as the two-headed delusion of Being and Self, he saw himself as advocating a response to the ensuing nihilist crisis that was diametrically opposed to that of his Indian counterpart. In this book Antoine Panaïoti explores the deep and complex relations between Nietzsche's views and Buddhist philosophy. He discusses the psychological models (...) and theories which underlie their supposedly opposing ethics of 'great health' and explodes the apparent dichotomy between Nietzsche's Dionysian life-affirmation and Buddhist life-negation, arguing for a novel, hybrid response to the challenge of formulating a tenable post-nihilist ethics. His book will interest students and scholars of Nietzsche's philosophy, Buddhist thought and the metaphysical, existential and ethical issues that emerge with the demise of theism. (shrink)
Publié en 1683 comme un « préambule » à la réfutation du Traité de la nature et de la grâce de Nicolas Malebranche, l’ouvrage Vraies et fausses idées d’Antoine Arnauld a connu un étonnant destin. Cette défense très argumentée de la conception cartésienne des idées est peu à peu devenue un texte incontournable dans les débats de philosophie de la connaissance, cité et commenté aussi bien par les auteurs classiques que dans les débats anglosaxons contemporains.Ce volume en propose la (...) première édition critique annotée en français. Des annexes apportent en outre quelques outils pour se repérer dans l’important corpus de textes de philosophie de la connaissance rédigés par Arnauld. (shrink)
Attention to internal body sensations is practiced in most meditation traditions. Many traditions state that this practice results in increased awareness of internal body sensations, but scientific studies evaluating this claim are lacking. We predicted that experienced meditators would display performance superior to that of nonmeditators on heartbeat detection, a standard noninvasive measure of resting interoceptive awareness. We compared two groups of meditators (Tibetan Buddhist and Kundalini) to an age- and body mass index-matched group of nonmeditators. Contrary to our prediction, (...) we found no evidence that meditators were superior to nonmeditators in the heartbeat detection task, across several sessions and respiratory modulation conditions. Compared to nonmeditators, however, meditators consistently rated their interoceptive performance as superior and the difficulty of the task as easier. These results provide evidence against the notion that practicing attention to internal body sensations, a core feature of meditation, enhances the ability to sense the heartbeat at rest. (shrink)
Understanding the emergence of a tangible 4-dimensional space-time from a quantum theory of gravity promises to be a tremendously difficult task. This article makes the case that this task may not have to be carried. Space-time as we know it may be fundamental to begin with. I recall the common arguments against this possibility and review a class of recently discovered models bypassing the most serious objection. The generic solution of the measurement problem that is tied to semiclassical gravity as (...) well as the difficulty of the alternative make it a reasonable default option in the absence of decisive experimental evidence. (shrink)
We argue that ecology in general and biodiversity and ecosystem function research in particular need an understanding of functions which is both ahistorical and evolutionarily grounded. A natural candidate in this context is Bigelow and Pargetter’s evolutionary forward-looking account which, like the causal role account, assigns functions to parts of integrated systems regardless of their past history, but supplements this with an evolutionary dimension that relates functions to their bearers’ ability to thrive and perpetuate themselves. While Bigelow and Pargetter’s account (...) focused on functional organization at the level of organisms, we argue that such an account can be extended to functional organization at the community and ecosystem levels in a way that broadens the scope of the reconciliation between ecosystem ecology and evolutionary biology envisioned by many BEF researchers. By linking an evolutionary forward-looking account of functions to the persistence-based understanding of evolution defended by Bouchard and others, and to the theoretical research on complex adaptive systems, we argue that ecosystems, by forming more or less resilient assemblages, can evolve even while they do not reproduce and form lineages. We thus propose a Persistence Enhancing Propensity account of role functions in ecology to account for this overlap of evolutionary and ecological processes. (shrink)
En De Interpretatione 16a 4-6, Aristote écrit que « ce qui est dans la voix est symbole des affections qui sont dans l'âme. » Ce terme de « symbole » n'est pas aussi clair qu'il le paraît d'abord, ainsi que le montre une analyse de l'usage qu'Aristote en fait dans ce passage et dans d'autres textes . En confrontant ces textes et en tenant compte de l'histoire du mot « σύμβoλoν » dans le grec antérieur et contemporain d'Aristote, il est (...) possible de reconstituer les éléments d'une doctrine aristotélicienne du langage et de lier cette doctrine d'Aristote à ses préoccupations de biologiste et à sa compréhension de la structure du temps.In De Interpretatione 16 a 4-6, Aristotle writes that "what is in the voice is a symbol of the affections that are in the soul." This term "symbol" is not as clear as it seems at first glance, as can be shown in an analysis of the way Aristotle uses it in this passage and elsewhere . Comparing these texts and taking into account the history of the word "σύμβoλoν" in Greek before Aristotle and in his own time, it is possible to reconstruct the elements of an aristotelian doctrine of language and to relate this doctrine to his studies in biology and to his theory concerning the structure of time. (shrink)
Spiritualism designates a philosophy that lays claim to the separation of mind and body and the ontological and epistemological primacy of the former. In France, it is associated with the names of Victor Cousin and René Descartes, or more precisely with what Cousin made of Descartes as the founding father of a brittle rational psychology, closed off from the positive sciences, and as a critic in respect to the empiricist legacy of the idéologues. Moreover, by considering merely the end result, (...) severed from its polemical genesis, we are prevented from understanding how the category of experience constituted a crucial question for spiritualism itself. Through returning to the origin of these discussions in the 1826 preface to Cousin’s Fragments philosophiques, this essay pursues a threefold path: to show that the public birth of Cousinian spiritualism coincides with the affirmation of applying the experimental method, issuing from Bacon, to the study of facts of consciousness; that Cousin’s later evolution follows a process of radicalization—that is, in this context, of ontologization and of reduction; and that by recovering this genesis, we can distinguish many forms of spiritualisms committed to the experimental method, both in alliance with the early Cousin and against the later Cousin. In this way, we can rediscover the interwoven philosophical links, lost in the process of institutionalization, between metaphysical demands and empiricist concerns, or between “French” philosophy and the legacy of Condillac. (shrink)
This paper reinforces the current consensus against the applicability of the selected effect theory of function in ecology. It does so by presenting an argument which, in contrast with the usual argument invoked in support of this consensus, is not based on claims about whether ecosystems are customary units of natural selection. Instead, the argument developed here is based on observations about the use of the function concept in functional ecology, and more specifically, research into the relationship between biodiversity and (...) ecosystem functioning. It is argued that a selected effect account of ecological functions is made implausible by the fact that it would conflict with important aspects of the understanding of function and ecosystem functional organization which underpins functional ecology’s research program. Specifically, it would conflict with (1) Functional ecology’s adoption of a context-based understanding of function and its aim to study the functional equivalence between phylogenetically-divergent organisms; (2) Functional ecology’s attribution to ecosystems of a lower degree of part-whole integration than the one found in paradigm individual organisms; and (3) Functional ecology’s adoption of a physiological or metabolic perspective on ecosystems rather than an evolutionary one. (shrink)