It seems intuitive that in situations of perceptual recognition additional properties are represented. While much has been written about the significance of such properties for perceptual phenomenology, it is still unclear (a) what is the relation between recognition-based properties and lower-level perceptual properties, and (b) whether it is justified to classify them as kind-properties. Relying on results in cognitive psychology, I argue that recognition-based properties (I) are irreducible, high-level properties, (II) are kind properties by virtue of being sortal properties, but (...) (III) they supervene on lower-level properties and so are unlikely to be natural kind properties. (shrink)
In the contemporary analytic discussions concerning human olfactory perception, it is commonly claimed that (1) olfactory experiences are representations having content and (2) olfactory experiences represent odours, like coffee odour or vanilla odour. However, despite these common assumptions, there seems to be an ontological controversy between two views: the first states that odours are perceptually represented as features and the second states that they are represented as objects. In this paper, I aim to systematically address the Bfeature or object^ status (...) of represented odours by concerning whether odours are represented (a) as subjects of properties, (b) as mereological wholes, and (c) entities persisting in a way characteristic for objects. I argue that olfactorily represented odours constitute a sui generis category and cannot be easily classified as objects or features. Such investigations constitute a step in establishing whether various human modalities are unified by organising the environment according to the same categories. (shrink)
I shall attempt something rash in this paper. I shall draw your attention to some past and current work on perception by psychologists and others. I shall concentrate on work in vision and hearing. This outline will occupy the first part of my lecture. I shall then go on, in the second part, to suggest that this scientific work has certain philosophical implications. This whole attempt is a bit rash for obvious reasons. It is not easy to outline fairly and (...) accurately past and current work in any branch of science. I am very liable, therefore, to do an injustice to the efforts of psychologists and others in this field. What makes matters more difficult for me is that I also have to show that this work is of philosophical interest. What has led me to embark on this perilous enterprise is a hunch I have developed in recent years. I have the hunch that philosophers who are interested in perception would do well to pay rather more attention than they have been wont to do in the past to the work and discourse coming out of the scientific laboratory and similar places. (shrink)
One of the most recent controversies to arise in the field of bioethics concerns the ethics for the Groningen Protocol: the guidelines proposed by the Groningen Academic Hospital in The Netherlands, which would permit doctors to actively euthanise terminally ill infants who are suffering. The Groningen Protocol has been met with an intense amount of criticism, some even calling it a relapse into a Hitleresque style of eugenics, where people with disabilities are killed solely because of their handicaps. The purpose (...) of this paper is threefold. First, the paper will attempt to disabuse readers of this erroneous understanding of the Groningen Protocol by showing how such a policy does not aim at making quality-of-life judgements, given that it restricts euthanasia to suffering and terminally ill infants. Second, the paper illustrates that what the Groningen Protocol proposes to do is both ethical and also the most humane alternative for these suffering and dying infants. Lastly, responses are given to some of the worries expressed by ethicists on the practice of any type of non-voluntary active euthanasia. (shrink)
This paper distinguishes four major types of futility (physiological, imminent demise, lethal condition, and qualitative) that have been advocated in the literature either in a patient dependent or a patient independent fashion. It proposes five criteria (precision, prospective, social acceptability, significant number, and non-agreement) that any definition of futility must satisfy if it is to serve as the basis for unilaterally limiting futile care. It then argues that none of the definitions that have been advocated meet the criteria, primarily because (...) their proponents have not paid sufficient attention to the problematic nature of the data supporting the use of their definitions. (shrink)
(I) Aristotle of Stagira (384-322 BC) 0) A closed geocentric spherical cosmology. (Adopted from the great mathematician, Eudoxus, c. 400 to 347 BC; via Calippus; but Aristotle unifies their separate schemes for different heavenly bodies). (Aristotle cites mathematicians as estimating radius of earth: in fact 200% of correct figure. Eratosthenes ca. 250 BC estimates radius of earth as 120% of correct).
Psychoactive drugs are being prescribed to millions of Americans at an increasing rate. In many cases these drugs are necessary in order to overcome debilitating emotional problems. Yet in other instances, these drugs are used to supplant, not supplement, interpersonal therapy. The process of overcoming emotional obstacles by introspection and the attainment of self knowledge is gradually being eroded via the gratuitous use of psychoactive medication in order to rapidly attain a release from the common problems that life inevitably presents (...) us with. In this paper, I argue that Kant’s formula of humanity, which maintains that persons ought never to treat others or themselves soley as a means to an end, proscribes this. Moreover, Kant argues that we have an imperfect duty of self development, and I argue that we fail to adhere to such a duty whenever we seek to evade the process of introspection and self knowledge in favour of the expedient results that drugs may provide us with as we attempt to overcome the emotional hurdles in our lives. (shrink)
In this target article the following hypotheses are discussed: (1) Colour is autonomous: a perceptuolinguistic and behavioural universal. (2) It is completely described by three independent attributes: hue, brightness, and saturation: (3) Phenomenologically and psychophysically there are four unique hues: red, green, blue, and yellow; (4) The unique hues are underpinned by two opponent psychophysical and/or neuronal channels: red/green, blue/yellow. The relevant literature is reviewed. We conclude: (i) Psychophysics and neurophysiology fail to set nontrivial constraints on colour categorization. (ii) Linguistic (...) evidence provides no grounds for the universality of basic colour categories. (iii) Neither the opponent hues red/green, blue/yellow nor hue, brightness, and saturation are intrinsic to a universal concept of colour. (iv) Colour is not autonomous. (shrink)
Sections R1 to R3 attempt to take the sting out of hostile commentaries. Sections R4 to R5 engage Berlin and Kay and the World Color Survey to correct the record. Section R6 begins the formulation of a new theory of colour as an engineering project with a technological developmental trajectory. It is recommended that the colour space be abandoned.
This paper examines the challenge that psychoanalytic theory cannot be refuted. It does so by considering the theory in its orthodox Freudian form, and in the main branches into which it can be divided ? the theory of Instincts, of Development, of Psychic Structure, of Mental Economics or Defence, and of Symptom Formation. The essential character of the generalizations and concepts of these branches will just be indicated; and we shall ask of each branch whether it is possible to refute (...) it. A considerable amount of scientific enquiry has been done into the concepts and generalizations of psychoanalysis. Relevant examples of these enquiries will be noted; and the question asked whether these scientific studies have in fact done anything to refute or support the various branches of psychoanalytic theory. The general upshot will be that the challenge is both important and a mistake. (shrink)