When are psychologists entitled to call a certain theoretical construct "consciousness?" Over the past few decades cognitive psychologists have reintroduced almost the entire conceptual vocabulary of common sense psychology, but now in a way that is tied explicitly to reliable empirical observations, and to compelling and increasingly adequate theoretical models. Nevertheless, until the past few years most cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists avoided dealing with consciousness. Today there is an increasing willingness to do so. But is "consciousness" different from other theoretical (...) entities like "working memory" or "mental imagery"? Some argue that under no circumstances can empirical science speak of consciousness as such, while others claim that the scientific goal is "knowing what it is like to be a bat" --- to share an organism's conscious experience . The Bat Criterion is ominously reminiscent of the protracted debate on the consciousness of ants and amoebas that caused so much uneasiness in psychology around 1900. It seems to demand that we first solve the mind-body problem as a condition of doing sensible science, and thereby creates the risk of endless, fruitless controversy. The endless philosophical debate about consciousness helped trigger the Behaviorist revolution about 1913, which threw out the baby of consciousness with the bathwater of perennial, circular debate. We've been that way; let's not go back to it. This paper maintains that the position of behavioristic denial is far too restrictive, but that the Bat Criterion is far too demanding --- that in fact, we only need to specify comparable pairs of psychological phenomena that differ only in the fact that one member of any pair is conscious, while the other is not. This "method of contrastive analysis" is a generalization of the experimental method, with consciousness as a variable whose interaction with other psychological and biological phenomena can be assessed in standard ways. As usual in science, this strategy is pragmatic: If it appears to yield sensible results, it can be a stepping-stone toward further understanding . This paper describes five sets of well-established pairs of phenomena that meet these criteria. Others are presented elsewhere, with more of a theoretical interpretation . Here I simply want to show that any adequate theory of conscious experience must satisfy these demanding but achievable empirical constraints. (shrink)
"No, your honor. I didn't know who or what he was when I first came across the book -- they don't exactly love him in the synagogue, if you've read the story of his life. I found it in a junkyard in a nearby town, paid a kopek, and left cursing myself for wasting money hard to come by. Later I read through a few pages and kept on going as though there were a whirlwind at my back. As I (...) say, I didn't understand every word but when you're dealing with such ideas you feel as though you were taking a witch's ride. After that I wasn't the same man. That's in a manner of speaking, of course, because I've changed little since my youth.". (shrink)
his book develops an account of legal reasoning based on underlying narrative patterns, and compares other such approaches in legal philosophy, psychology and history. Download full ToC and Preface from http://www.legaltheory.demon.co.uk/books_lfnc.html.
Time is analyzed as being those processes by which a system notes the processes which comprise its own existence. The directionality of time is given by the concepts, past, present, and future. To understand the meaning of these concepts, a set of experiments was carried out with four male subjects in which areas of time were expanded or ablated by means of post-hypnotic suggestions. These operations were carried out singly or in combination. The data suggest that the present is primarily (...) associated with stimulus input, the past with the criteria for defining that input as well as the development of response inhibitions and the future with the directionality of that input. Marked personality changes which range from the occurence of catatonic-like states to obsessive types of reaction and manic-like reactions are associated with different combinations of time alterations. Some of the changes are in accord with the serialist position on time of J. W. Dunne. The concept of death is very important both with regard to one’s view of time and how one lives. While it is important to live in the present, the present has no meaning without at least a past or a future. Implications of these findings for psychopathology in general and schizophrenia in particular are considered. (shrink)
Later reprinted by Deborah Charles Publications (and not available from Amazon), this book expounds and comments on the application of Greimasian semiotics to a legal text, as found in the article by Greimas and Landowski in Greimas, Sémiotique et Sciences Sociales (1976), compares this with the semiotic presuppositions of Hart, Dworkin, MacCormick and Kelsen, and offers my own analysis of the implications of such semiotic analysis for legal theory, including some more recent radical non-positivist accounts.
This book reviews the classical schools of jurisprudence with particular reference to their linguistic presuppositions, and summarises an alternative account based on Paris school semiotics. Detailed ToC available from linked web page. NOT available from Amazon.
I outline some of my work and results on my matter-gravity entanglement hypothesis, according to which the entropy of a closed quantum gravitational system is equal to the system’s matter-gravity entanglement entropy. The main arguments presented are: that this hypothesis is capable of resolving what I call the second-law puzzle, i.e. the puzzle as to how the entropy increase of a closed system can be reconciled with the asssumption of unitary time-evolution; that the black hole information loss puzzle may be (...) regarded as a special case of this second law puzzle and that therefore the same resolution applies to it; that the black hole thermal atmosphere puzzle can be resolved by adopting a radically different-from-usual description of quantum black hole equilibrium states, according to which they are total pure states, entangled between matter and gravity in such a way that the partial states of matter and gravity are each approximately thermal equilibrium states ; that the Susskind–Horowitz–Polchinski string-theoretic understanding of black hole entropy as the logarithm of the degeneracy of a long string cannot be quite correct but should be replaced by a modified understanding according to which it is the entanglement entropy between a long string and its stringy atmosphere, when in a total pure equilibrium state in a suitable box, which ) goes over, at strong-coupling, to a black hole in equilibrium with its thermal atmosphere. The modified understanding in is based on a general result, which I also describe, which concerns the likely state of a quantum system when it is weakly coupled to an energy-bath and the total state is a random pure state with a given energy. This result generalizes Goldstein et al.’s ‘canonical typicality’ result to systems which are not necessarily small. (shrink)
We provide a suitable theoretical foundation for the notion of the quantum coherent state which describes the electrostatic field due to a static external macroscopic charge distribution introduced by the author in 1998 and use it to rederive the formulae obtained in 1998 for the inner product of a pair of such states. Contrary to what one might expect, this inner product is usually non-zero whenever the total charges of the two charge distributions are equal, even if the charge distributions (...) themselves are different. We actually display two different frameworks that lead to the same inner-product formulae, in the second of which Gauss’s law only holds in expectation value. We propose an experiment capable of ruling out the latter framework. We then address the problem of finding a product picture for QED—i.e. a reformulation in which it has a total Hamiltonian, arising as a sum of a free electromagnetic Hamiltonian, a free charged-matter Hamiltonian and an interaction term, acting on a Hilbert space which is a subspace of the full tensor product of a charged-matter Hilbert space and an electromagnetic-field Hilbert space. Motivated by the first framework for our coherent-state construction, we find such a product picture and exhibit its equivalence with Coulomb gauge QED both for a charged Dirac field and also for a system of non-relativistic charged balls. For each of these systems, in all states in the physical subspace the charged matter is entangled with longitudinal photons and Gauss’s law holds as an operator equation; albeit the electric field operator while self-adjoint on the physical subspace, fails to be self-adjoint on the full tensor-product Hilbert space. The inner products of our electrostatic coherent states and the product picture for QED are relevant as analogues to quantities that play a rôle in the author’s matter-gravity entanglement hypothesis. Also, the product picture provides a temporal gauge quantization of QED which appears to be free from the difficulties which plagued previous approaches to temporal-gauge quantization. (shrink)
Originally written in 1990, this reviews largely late 20th century debates on the study of law as Logic, Discourse, or Experience; the Unity of the Legal System and the Problem of Reference; Semiotic Presuppositions of Traditional Jurisprudence (Austin, Hart, Kelsen, Dworkin, Legal Realisms); then turns to legal philosophies explicitly Employing Forms of Semiotics (Kalinowski, the Italian Analytical School, Rhetorical and Pragmatic Approaches, Sociological and Socio-Linguistic Approaches, Peircian Legal Semiotics, Greimasian Legal Semiotics and Aesthetic/Symbolic Approaches). A major section then offers (from (...) a largely Greimasian point of view) some hypotheses for legal semiotics on the Problem of Reference, Semantic and Pragmatic Levels, Semiotic Groups and “The Legal Culture”, Normativity and Justification, and finally considers the implications for particular legal phenomena: the “Legal System”, Legal Institutions, Legal Codes, Legal Rules, Rights, Courtroom Behaviour: Witness and Counsel, The Judge: Justification of Decisions on Law, and the Criminal Justice Process. A conclusion addresses the status of legal semiotics. (shrink)
This account of civil liability for animals in a range of ancient, mediaeval and modern legal systems (based on a series of studies conducted early in my career: (s.1)) uses semiotic analysis to supplement the insights of conventional legal history, thus balancing diachronic and synchronic approaches. It reinforces the conventional historical sensitivity to anachronism in two respects: (1) (logical) inference of underlying values from concrete rules (rather than attending to literary features of the text) manifests cognitive anachronism, an issue manifest (...) in biblical scholarship’s discussion of the stoning of the homicidal ox in Exod. 21:28 (s.2); (2) the application of modern notions of literal (rather than narrative) meaning not only manifests a semiotic anachronism but here also obscures the institutional origins of many of the rules in a system heavily reliant on self-help and informal settlement. (shrink)
In this essay, I want to begin a dialogue with the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler’s book Technics and Time. Stiegler is internationally known as the inheritor of another French philosopher whose work is currently being rediscovered worldwide: Gilbert Simondon. In Stiegler’s work, this Simondonian heritage plays itself out in the domain of continental philosophy. The thesis maintained here will be the following: there is another relation to Simondon that is possible, one that also takes up the major problems we’ve (...) inherited from the continental philosophical tradition. The double fundamental philosophical problem raised in Stiegler’s debate with Simondon is the following: A) On the one hand .. (shrink)
Introduction.Bernard S. Jackson - 2014 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 27 (3):421-423.details
This Special Issue reflects a very special occasion. On 13 January 2012, the Tilburg Law School marked the retirement of Associate Professor Dr. Hanneke van Schooten and the recent publication of her latest book, Jurisprudence and Communication (Liverpool: Deborah Charles Publications, 2011) with a special colloquium, at which Dr. Van Schooten summarised the findings of her book, and four colleagues offered responses to it, three (by Jackson, van Roermund and Witteveen, here developed further). -/- .
This article is partly an exercise in academic autobiography, seeking to make sense of the different ways in which I have applied semiotics to secular law on the one hand, Jewish law on the other. The very fact that it can be applied to both shows that its claims are methodological. But it also indicates a possible reformulation of the semiotic issues in philosophical terms: we may view the relationship between the semantic and pragmatic levels in terms of the relationship/balance (...) between certainty/truth (the semantic level) on the one hand and trust (the pragmatic level) on the other. What may distinguish the secular and religious systems is the manner in the issue of trust is be ideologically concealed. (shrink)
This response to the articles of Luzzati and Broekman (in this issue) addresses principally the character of early rabbinic legal interpretation, as viewed by the Rabbis themselves. It considers, with examples, their concept of "simple meaning'' (peshat), its place within their overall hermeneutic system and its theological presuppositions. The second section responds more briefly to thetheoretical critiques of Luzzati and Broekman, stressing that (my version of) semiotics is descriptive rather than normative; resists the reduction of textual meaning to interpretation; and (...) refuses to equate decision-making with justification. (shrink)
The modern conception of the "Rule of Law'' takes law to consist in rules known in advance. This latter characteristic assumes that, for the most part, the meaning of such rules is unproblematic (Hart's "core of settled meaning''), this usually being understood as a function of "literal meaning''. A quite different model exists in the Bible: the early rules display "oral residue'', and their meaning, I argue, is constructed in "narrative'' rather than "semantic'' terms: instead of asking: "what situations do (...) the words of this rule cover?'', we should inquire: "what typical situations do the words of this rule evoke?''. (shrink)
In this paper, I ask whether mishpat ivri (Jewish Law) is appropriately conceived as a “legal system”. I review Menachem Elon’s use of a “Sources” Theory of Law (based on Salmond) in his account of Mishpat Ivri; the status of religious law from the viewpoint of jurisprudence itself (Bentham, Austin and Kelsen); then the use of sources (and the approach to “dogmatic error”) by halakhic authorities in discussing the problems of the agunah (“chained wife”), which I suggest points to a (...) theory more radical than the “sources” theory of law, one more akin to the ultimate phase of the thought of Kelsen (the “non-logical” Kelsen) or indeed to some form of Legal Realism (with which that phase of Kelsen’s thought has indeed been compared)? I finally juxtapose an account based on internal theological resources (a “Jurisprudence of Revelation”). Downloadable at at http://www.biu.ac.il/JS/JSIJ/jsij1.html. (shrink)
This article examines a summing up by a judge to a jury in the Liverpool Crown Court, with particular reference to the distinction between communication and signification, and the fact that such summing ups are normally delivered entirely orally.
This is a response to Lindgren’s article in the same issue (“The Consequences of a Pragmatic Turn for Semiotics”, at 293-301), on the nature of Greimas’ claims to the autonomy of semantics (with comparison to Searle on literal meaning) and to the “universality” of narrativity as underlying all meaning.
After a section of Methodological Preliminaries, I consider Truth and Argumentation in the Jewish Legal Tradition, under the following subheadings: Truth in Judaism, Truth and Norms, Truth and Language, Truth and Logic, Truth and Argumentation. I thus use an external framework in order to pose questions to the Jewish legal tradition, and identify internal resources which may provide partial answers to these questions. But are these partial answers so peculiar, theological, culturally contingent as to lack any value in terms of (...) a potential contribution to these same issues as posed within Western jurisprudence? This may be doubted, given the West’s adoption or construction of the divine right of kings on the one hand and of holistic theories of interpretation on the other, derived from the Bible and later Jewish tradition, mediated and fortified through a Christianised Rome. (shrink)
The technology of undersea communications, from stranded-wire telegraph cables in the 1850s to fiber-optic cables at the end of the twentieth century, and its social, political, and economic impact. By the end of the twentieth century, fiber-optic technology had made possible a worldwide communications system of breathtaking speed and capacity. This amazing network is the latest evolution of communications technologies that began with undersea telegraph cables in the 1850s and continued with coaxial telephone cables a hundred years later. Communications under (...) the Seas traces the development of these technologies and assesses their social, economic, and political effects. If we cannot predict the ultimate consequences of today's wired world--its impact on economic markets, free expression, and war and peace--or the outcome of the conflict between wired and wireless technology, we can examine how similar issues have been dealt with in the past. The expert contributors to this volume do just that, discussing technical developments in undersea cables, management of the cables by private and public interests, and the impact on military and political activities. Chapters cover such topics as the daring group of nineteenth-century entrepreneurs who wove a network of copper wires around the world ; the opening of the telegraphic network to general public use; the government- and industry-forced merger of wireless and cable companies in Britain; and the impact of the cable network on diplomacy during the two world wars. (shrink)
“Brother Daniel” (Oswald Rufeisen) was a Jew with an extraordinary record of resistance to the Nazis in the 2WW, who ultimately took refuge in a monastery and became a Catholic priest, After the war he sought to emigrate to Israel and to claim citizenship as a Jew under Israel’s Law of Return. This article examines the judgments in the case, in part from a semiotic analysis of the opposition between Jew and Christian in the judgments, as well as their construction (...) of time in the context of the religious identity of the “Jewish state”. (shrink)