Purely parallel neural networks can model object recognition in brief displays – the same conditions under which illusory conjunctions have been demonstrated empirically. Correcting errors of illusory conjunction is the “tag-assignment” problem for a purely parallel processor: the problem of assigning a spatial tag to nonspatial features, feature combinations, and objects. This problem must be solved to model human object recognition over a longer time scale. Our model simulates both the parallel processes that may underlie illusory conjunctions and the serial (...) processes that may solve the tag-assignment problem in normal perception. One component of the model extracts pooled features and another provides attentional tags that correct illusory conjunctions. Our approach addresses two questions: How can objects be identified from simultaneously attended features in a parallel, distributed representation? How can the spatial selectional requirements of such an attentional process be met by a separation of pathways for spatial and nonspatial processing? Our analysis of these questions yields a neurally plausible simulation of tag assignment based on synchronizing feature processing activity in a spatial focus of attention. (shrink)
Whitehead's magnum opus is as important as it is difficult. It is the only work in which his metaphysical ideas are stated systematically and completely, and his metaphysics are the heart of his philosophical system as a whole. Sherburne has rearranged the text in a way designed to lead the student logically and coherently through the intricacies of the system without losing the vigor of Whitehead's often brilliant prose. "The Key renders Process and Reality pedagogically accessible for the (...) first time."-- Journal of Religion. (shrink)
In this narrative, we explore the story of Ananias and Sapphira from the book of Acts in the Christian scriptures. We examine the story in the light of a recent book by Dominic Johnson, God Is Watching You, and other related research. The idea of a punitive God and/or the belief in a punitive God may have significant effects on group functioning. The troubling story of Ananias and Sapphira may be seen as a central cog in the cooperative coming together (...) of what became the Christian Church. In our modern world, a punitive God is an idea we seek to avoid but it may be the one that is essential for a peaceful cooperative world. (shrink)
It is well established that retrieval of names is harder than the retrieval of other identity specific information. This paper offers a review of the more influential accounts put forward as explanations of why names are so difficult to retrieve. A series of five experiments tests a number of these accounts.Experiments One to Three examine the claims that names are hard to recall because they are typically meaningless, or unique. Participants are shown photographs of unfamiliar people or familiar people and (...) given three pieces of information about each: a name, a unique piece of information, and a shared piece of information. Learning follows an incidental procedure, and participants are given a surprise recall test. In each experiment shared information is recalled most often, followed by unique information, followed by name. Experiment Four tests both the `uniqueness' account and an account based on the specificity of the naming response. Participants are presented with famous faces and asked to categorise them by semantic group. Results indicate that less time is needed to perform this task when the group is a subset of a larger semantic category. A final experiment examines the claim that names might take longer to access because they are less often retrieved than other classes of information. Latencies show that participants remain more efficient when categorising faces by their occupation than by their name even when they have received extra practice of naming the faces.We conclude that the explanation best able to account for the data is that names are stored separately from other semantic information and can only be accessed after other identity specific information has been retrieved. However, we also argue that the demands we make of these explanations make it likely that no single theory will be able to account for all existing data. (shrink)
This paper opens with a presentation of the philosophical underpinning and rationale of the concept of physical literacy. This is followed by an articulation of the concept of physical literacy. Three subsequent sections then consider aspects of the concept in a little more detail. The first investigates the relationship of the physical literacy to the development of a sense of self and to establishing interaction with others. Here the philosophical approach is informed by writings on cognitive development and recent neurological (...) insights. The second considers the universality of the concept and looks briefly at the views of existentialists and of contemporary sociologists. The third section addresses the place of propositional knowledge in being physically literate. The implications of objectifying the body in descriptive language are weighed against the fact that verbally expressed understanding and knowledge are an integral part of Western culture. The debate presented is one of a series that has, over the last five years, mapped the author's work on developing the concept of physical literacy. The aspects chosen to be discussed here are three that have generated considerable interest and debate. In conclusion, there is a short reflection on the implications of the views discussed for education and physical education. (shrink)
Future technological developmentsconcerning food, agriculture, and theenvironment face a gulf of social legitimationfrom a skeptical public and media, in the wakeof the crises of BSE, GM food, and foot andmouth disease in the UK (House of Lords, 2000). Keyethical issues were ignored by the bioindustry,regulators, and the Government, leaving alegacy of distrust. The paper examinesagricultural biotechnology in terms of a socialcontract, whose conditions would have to be fulfilled togain acceptance of novel applications. Variouscurrent and future GM applications areevaluated against these (...) conditions. Successwould depend critically on how far a sharedvision can be found with the public. Tore-establish trust, significant changes areidentified in the planning and pursuit ofbiotechnology. (shrink)
The meaningful consideration of cultural practices, values and beliefs is a necessary component in the effective translation of advancements in neuroscience to clinical practice and public discourse. Society’s immense investment in biomedical science and technology, in conjunction with an increasingly diverse socio-cultural landscape, necessitates the study of how potential discoveries in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease are perceived and utilized across cultures. Building on the work of neuroscientists, ethicists and philosophers, we argue that the growing field of neuroethics provides (...) a pragmatic and constructive pathway to guide advancements in neuroscience in a manner that is culturally nuanced and relevant. Here we review a case study of one issue in culturally oriented neuroscience research where it is evident that traditional research ethics must be broadened and the values and needs of diverse populations considered for meaningful and relevant research practices. A global approach to neuroethics has the potential to furnish critical engagement with cultural considerations of advancements in neuroscience. (shrink)
The language $L_A(\Finv)$ is formed by adding the quantifier $\Finv x$ , "few x", to the infinitary logic L A on an admissible set A. A complete axiomatization is obtained for models whose universe is the set of ordinals of A and where $\Finv x$ is interpreted as there exist A-finitely many x. For well-behaved A, every consistent sentence has a model with an A-recursive diagram. A principal tool is forcing for $L_A(\Finv)$.
Three interpretations of theprecautionary principle are identified, namely``soft,'' ``hard,'' and outright rejection. The ECCommunication of February 2000 is largely aresponse to the latter, to provide alegitimation in trade-related WTO disputes.This context leads to an over stress onscientific closure. This is critiqued asidealistic in respect of resolving long termuncertainties inherent in the GM food issue.While offering some useful guidelines in riskmanagement, the EC report seriously fails totake into account the ethical and societaldimension of risk. These are crucial both indetermining when precautionary (...) principle isinvoked and the action to be taken. The EC viewleans too much to a scientific rationalist riskperspective. However, the ``Green''interpretation of the precautionary principleas a reversal of the burden of proof is alsocriticized as inconsistent both with the natureof technology and with the nature of reality asseen in a Christian perspective. Biblicalinsights on risk reveal a balance ofintervention and conservation in a world whererisk is inherent. The notion of risk as asocial contract reveals that ethical andsocietal issues have a crucial role to play inapplying the precautionary principle. (shrink)
In this paper, we describe our recent approaches to introducing students in a beginning computer science class to the study of ethical issues related to computer science and technology. This consists of three components: lectures on ethics and technology, in-class discussion of ethical scenarios, and a reflective paper on a topic related to ethics or the impact of technology on society. We give both student reactions to these aspects, and instructor perspective on the difficulties and benefits in exposing students to (...) these ideas. (shrink)
John Dewey's writings make a compelling case for the importance of linking school and society and for conceiving education as the development and articulation of lived experience. In recent years, however, a focus on discrete topical learning, along with narrow definitions of achievement, have left us with few good examples of that conception of education. The best examples often represent one-time experiences, or more limited linking of school and society.This article explores an example of what we call community inquiry1, as (...) it has developed within a school and community life. The community's inquiry builds on student experiences and exemplifies integrated curriculum, community-based learning, projects .. (shrink)
The critical problems of the Third Decade of Livy have long been familiar to students. In Books XXI.–XXV. we have only the mutilated Codex Puteanus of the fifth century and later manuscripts derived from it, directly or indirectly, at one or more points in its history. R, C, and most probably M, are copies of P, after it was corrected by P2 and probably P3. Here the problem in the parts in which P is preserved is to correct its numerous (...) corruptions by conjecture as far as possible; and, where it is now defective, by comparing the later MSS. to arrive at their inter-relation and at P's original text, and then subject this text to the same process of criticism. Also a study of the corrections in the earlier of these MSS. may reveal the previous existence of other traditions and of other MSS. now lost—such corrections, e.g., as are made by P4, R2, and M2. (shrink)
I hope to persuade Charles Fried to think again about his developing views on distributive justice. Since I live at a certain remove from Cambridge, the best I can offer is a hypothetical dialogue with an imaginary person whose views seem, to me at least, of a Friedian inspiration. My central question deals with the way Fried establishes his rights to things he candidly concedes he does not deserve. To present my problems, I shall begin with a simpler case than (...) those – involving kidneys and talents – that Fried makes central to his discussion. Rather than starting with these rather special goods, I find it clarifying to focus first on more garden variety commodities – which, to emphasize their character, I shall call apples. (shrink)
Although Whitehead’s particular style of philosophizing--looking at traditional philosophical problems in light of recent scientific advances--was part of a trend that began with the scientific revolutions in the early 20th century and continues today, he was marginalized in 20th century philosophy because of his outspoken defense of what he was doing as “metaphysics.” Metaphysics, for Whitehead, is a cross-disciplinary hermeneutic responsible for coherently integrating the perspectives of the special sciences with one another and with everyday experience. The program (...) of such a meta-discipline is challenging to philosophical orthodoxy because it enlarges, rather than narrows, the range of empirical evidence that philosophy must acknowledge. This places Whitehead’s philosophy in a perennial tradition that seeks to resolve fundamental antinomies through synthesis and reconciliation rather than reduction or elimination. (shrink)
Whitehead's magnum opus is as important as it is difficult. It is the only work in which his metaphysical ideas are stated systematically and completely, and his metaphysics are the heart of his philosophical system as a whole.
In his magnum opus, Process and Reality, Alfred North Whitehead claims a special affinity to Oxford philosopher Francis Herbert Bradley. McHenry clarifies exactly how much of Whitehead's metaphysics is influenced by and accords with the main principles of Bradley's "absolute idealism." He argues that many of Whitehead's doctrines cannot be understood without an adequate understanding of Bradley, in terms of both affinities and contrasts. He evaluates the arguments between them and explores several important connections with William James, (...) Josiah Royce, George Santayana, Bertrand Russell, and Charles Hartshorne. (shrink)
Deleuze’s “transcendental empiricism” and the “empirical side” of Whitehead’s metaphysics are paradoxical unless placed in the context of their unorthodox readings of empiricism. I explore this context focusing on their engagements with Hume. Both subvert presumptions of a categorical gap between external nature and internal human experience and open possibilities for a speculative empiricism that is non-reductive while still affirming experience as source for philosophical thinking. Deleuze and Whitehead follow Hume in beginning with events of sensation as primary (...) but do not presume the logic of (human) subjects and objects (of nature) as necessary structuring polarities for their interpretation. This challenges a basic distinction (between inner and outer or between self and world) that seems inherent in the ordinary concept of experience, thus earning the moniker speculative. The speculative empiricist studies how these abstractions arise from events of experience prior to their consolidation in representation. This includes a critical component: to what extent do unexamined assumptions about conceptual abstraction hinder, block, or prefigure experiential attention? This critical component has existential implications for how we attend to the affective, intuitive, and preconceptual. (shrink)
Why an emergentist account of subjectivity? On the one hand, emergentism provides a new paradigm to rethink subjectivity beyond any dualism. At the same time, the issue of subjectivity puts a strain on emergentism itself, and pushes it beyond its limits. To show it, in the present paper I address a fundamental question: How can we describe subjectivity from an emergentist perspective? To answer, I will tackle Samuel Alexander’s and Alfred North Whitehead’s emergentist accounts of subjectivity. Alexander locates subjectivity (...) into a consistent emergentist framework, but his model of subjectivity remains grounded in the classical interpretation of subjectivity as mind. Whitehead gives a more innovative model of subjectivity, which implies a radical revision of its temporality and connection to the world, but this leads him beyond emergentism as a whole. (shrink)
This article revisits, analyzes and critiques Bruce Chatwin’s 1987 bestseller, The Songlines,1 more than three decades after its publication. In Songlines, the book primarily responsible for his posthumous celebrity, Chatwin set out to explore the essence of Central and Western Desert Aboriginal Australians’ philosophical beliefs. For many readers globally, Songlines is regarded as a—if not the—definitive entry into the epistemological basis, religion, cosmology and lifeways of classical Western and Central Desert Aboriginal people. It is argued that Chatwin’s fuzzy, ill-defined (...) use of the word-concept “songlines”2 has had the effect of generating more heat than light. Chatwin’s failure to recognize the economic imperative underpinning Australian desert people’s walking praxis is problematic: his own treks through foreign lands were underpropped by socioeconomic privilege. Chatwin’s ethnocentric idée fixe regarding the primacy of “walking” and “nomadism,” central to his Songlines thématique, well and truly preceded his visits to Central Australia. Walking, proclaimed Chatwin, is an elemental part of “Man’s” innate nature. It is argued that this unwavering, preconceived, essentialist belief was a self-serving construal justifying Chatwin’s own “nomadic” adventures of identity. Is it thus reasonable to regard Chatwin as a “rogue author,” an unreliable narrator? And if so, does this matter? Of greatest concern is the book’s continuing majority acceptance as a measured, accurate account of Aboriginal belief systems. With respect to Aboriginal desert people and the barely disguised individuals depicted in Songlines, is Chatwin’s book a “rogue text,” constituting an act of epistemic violence, consistent with Spivak’s usage of that term? (shrink)
This paper looks at the history of the problem of individuation from Plato to Whitehead. Part I takes as its point of departure Reiner Wiehl’s interpretation of the different meanings of “abstract” in the metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead and arrives at a corresponding taxonomy of different ways things can be called concrete. Part II compares the way philosophers in different periods understand the relation between thought and intuition. The view mostly associated with ancient philosophy is that thought (...) and sense-perception target different kinds of objects. The view mostly associated with modern philosophy (although it was introduced by the Stoics) is that thought and sense-perception are different ways of targeting the same objects. These differences have specific consequences for theories of individuation, which are assessed historically in Part III and then applied to Whitehead’s difficult texts in part IV. (shrink)
Constructions of the animal and animality are often pivotal to religious discourses. Such constructions create the possibility of identifying and valuing what is "human" as opposed to the "animal" and also of distinguishing human beliefs and behaviors that can be characterized as being animal from those that are "truly human." Some discourses also employ the concept of savagery as a bridge between the human and the animal, where the form of humanity but not its ideal beliefs and practices can be (...) displayed. This paper explores the work of the influential scientist, philosopher, and theologian A. N. Whitehead in this context. His ideas of what constitutes "the animal," the "primitive" and the "civilized" are laid out explicitly in his now little-used history of religions text, Religion in the Making. This paper explores these ideas in this history and then considers how the same ideas permeate his currently more popular philosophical and theological writing Process and Reality. Drawing on some work in post-colonial theory, the paper offers a critique of this understanding of animality, savagery, and civilization and suggests that using Whitehead to underpin modern theological work requires considerable caution. (shrink)
Despite its lack of influence in analytical philosophy, and independently of its content as a process philosophy, Whitehead's system in Process and Reality affords a valuable lesson on how to pursue revisionary systematic metaphysics. This paper argues the case generally for metaphysical revision and system, describes the structure of Whitehead's categorial scheme, endorses his idea of an ultimate which is not an entity, and outlines an alternative, “digital” ultimate or basis composed of several analytical factors. [I]n the absence (...) of a well-defined categoreal scheme of entities, issuing in a satisfactory metaphysical system, every premise in a philosophical argument is under suspicion. (shrink)
In this expensive but invaluable book, students and scholars of Whitehead's philosophy and those more generally interested in the intersections of philosophy and science will find a treasure trove for gleaning the development, breadth, and depth of Whitehead's thought. This work, which consists of three independent sets of course notes from the previously unpublished lectures that Whitehead gave in his first year at Harvard in 1924–1925, is the first volume in a new and richly important series by (...) Edinburgh University Press: The Edinburgh Critical Edition of the Complete Works of Alfred North Whitehead, overseen by series editors George R. Lucas Jr. and Brian G. Henning. This initial volume, which was skillfully... (shrink)
In 1926, John Dewey called Alfred North Whitehead's book Science and the Modern World "the most significant restatement for the general reader of the present relations of science, philosophy and the issues of life which has yet appeared." While within Pragmatism, such praise by Dewey was praise indeed, Whitehead's influence on the philosophical debate waned quickly after his death in 1947, owed mainly to the fact that we had a better text of Plato's Republic than of his magnum (...) opus, Process and Reality, as was often quipped.In 1978, Donald Sherburne and David Griffin published the Corrected Edition of Process and Reality, a major achievement of scholarship. And indeed—the Corrected Edition has become a cornerstone... (shrink)
This article introduces the work of A.N. Whitehead and analyses his relevance to contemporary social theory. It demonstrates how a range of authors have recently utilized the work of Whitehead across a range of topics and holds that there is a need for a general introduction to his work that will open up his ideas and possible impact to a wider readership. White-head’s work is introduced through a discussion of his critique of the philosophical and scientific conceptions of (...) substance and materiality, which led to the establishment of nature as passive, external and distinct from the human or social realm. The article further analyses some of the consequences of this position, such as viewing all data or information about the world as inert. This leads to Whitehead’s argument that the retention of these ‘outdated’ conceptions has contributed to contemporary misconceptions of the status of objects within science, for example – genes. I suggest that Whitehead offers much to social theory especially in terms of re-thinking the natural/social distinction and moving beyond linguistic and discursive production to a theory of genuine construction that can incorporate both materiality and subjectivity. (shrink)
Most theisms and atheisms share an assumption about what divine action would look like; if God is real and acts in the world, then God acts through intervention, invading the mechanistic world as an alien agent. Whitehead's Religious Thought takes dead aim at this contention, arguing that such conceptions of divine intervention emerge from and reinforce a problematic dualism that permeates western theological discourse. Throughout his text Daniel A. Dombrowski links dualistic conceptions of human experience with metaphysical dualism, but (...) also argues that materialistic or mechanistic conceptions of the universe all presume the same basic constituents: machines and ghosts. Materialism rids the world of ghosts and... (shrink)
In Process and Reality (1929) and subsequent writings, A.N. Whitehead builds on the success of the Frege-Russell generalization of the mathematical function and develops his philosophy on that basis. He holds that the proper generalization of the meaning of the function shows that it is primarily to be defined in terms of many-to-one mapping activity, which he terms 'creativity'. This allows him to generalize the range of the function, so that it constitutes a universal ontology of construction or 'process'. (...) He analyzes the concept of God in terms of functional mapping to structure, and he defines finite entities as iterative 'occasions' of mapping activity. He thus challenges the widespread logical-analytical view that the connectives and variables of a function in its different instantiations are merely numerically different, and he develops a fallibilist theory of activity as essentially serial in nature. (shrink)
A culture of thought : the bifurcation of nature -- Introducing Whitehead's philosophy: the lure of Whitehead -- "A thorough-going realism": Whitehead on cause and conformation -- The value of existence -- Societies, the social, and subjectivity -- Language and the body: from signification to symbolism -- This nature which is not one -- Capitalism, process, and abstraction.
The Metaphysics of Experience styles itself as "a Sherpa guide to Process and Reality, whose function is to assist the serious reader in grasping the meaning of the text and to prevent falls into misinterpretation." Although originally published in 1925, Process and Reality has perhaps even more relevance to the contemporary scene in physics, biology, psychology, and the social sciences than it had in the mid-twenties. Hence its internal difficulty, its quasi-inaccessibility, is all the more tragic, since, unlike most metaphysical (...) endeavors, it is capable of interpretating and unifying theories in the above sciences in terms of an organic world view, instead of selecting one theory as the paradigm and reducing all others to it. Because Alfred North Whitehead is so crucial to modern philosophy, The Metaphysics of Experience plays an important role in making Process and Reality accessible to a wider readership. (shrink)
Al considerar el tratamiento que realiza Juan David García Bacca de Process and Reality de Alfred North Whitehead, el articulo busca apreciar la afinidad entre ambos autores en su caracterización de las deficiencias de la ontología clásica y en su invención de conceptos para un nuevo enfoque de la ontología; a saber, una metafísica de la creación y la novedad.