Despite increasing scientific interest in self-generated thought-mental content largely independent of the immediate environment-there has yet to be any comprehensive synthesis of the subjective experience and neural correlates of affect in these forms of thinking. Here, we aim to develop an integrated affective neuroscience encompassing many forms of self-generated thought-normal and pathological, moderate and excessive, in waking and in sleep. In synthesizing existing literature on this topic, we reveal consistent findings pertaining to the prevalence, valence, and variability of emotion in (...) self-generated thought, and highlight how these factors might interact with self-generated thought to influence general well-being. We integrate these psychological findings with recent neuroimaging research, bringing attention to the neural correlates of affect in self-generated thought. We show that affect in self-generated thought is prevalent, positively biased, highly variable (both within and across individuals), and consistently recruits many brain areas implicated in emotional processing, including the orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala, insula, and medial prefrontal cortex. Many factors modulate these typical psychological and neural patterns, however; the emerging affective neuroscience of self-generated thought must endeavor to link brain function and subjective experience in both everyday self-generated thought as well as its dysfunctions in mental illness. (shrink)
Most research on mind-wandering has characterized it as a mental state with contents that are task unrelated or stimulus independent. However, the dynamics of mind-wandering—how mental states change over time—have remained largely neglected. Here, we introduce a dynamic framework for understanding mind-wandering and its relationship to the recruitment of large-scale brain networks. We propose that mind-wandering is best understood as a member of a family of spontaneous-thought phenomena that also includes creative thought and dreaming. This dynamic framework can shed new (...) light on mental disorders that are marked by alterations in spontaneous thought, including depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. (shrink)
An often-overlooked characteristic of the human mind is its propensity to wander. Despite growing interest in the science of mind-wandering, most studies operationalize mind-wandering by its task-unrelated contents. But these contents may be orthogonal to the processes that determine how thoughts unfold over time, remaining stable or wandering from one topic to another. In this chapter, we emphasize the importance of incorporating such processes into current definitions of mind-wandering, and propose that mind-wandering and other forms of spontaneous thought (such as (...) dreaming and creativity) are mental states that arise and transition relatively freely due to an absence of constraints on cognition. We review existing psychological, philosophical and neuroscientific research on spontaneous thought through the lens of this framework, and call for additional research into the dynamic properties of the mind and brain. (shrink)
Summary People with disabilities still show lower participation rates in mainstream sports clubs. Even when they are members of mainstream sports clubs, their participation is often limited to structural integration, while broader social integration including cultural and affective dimensions is only partially achieved. Thus, this study analyses the broader extent of social integration of members with disabilities in sports clubs, applying Esser’s model of social integration, which is comprised of four dimensions: culturation, interaction, identification, and placement. The article describes multiple (...) case studies conducted with this model on a sample of three mainstream clubs, including 14 members with disabilities. Results show overall high scores on the four dimensions, consequently pointing to effective social integration of members with disabilities. Moreover, the studies also reveal indications of factors that are relevant for social integration. This knowledge is helpful for clubs with regard to managing social integration strategies and practices. (shrink)
Would metaphors used in the context of psychotherapy by people who experience various forms of anxiety disorders differ from those used by people who experience stress? We investigated this question with the help of the Motivation & Sedimentation Model (MSM), a theory of meaning-making developed within the synthetic new discipline of cognitive semiotics. The analysis of a sample of ten transcripts of psychotherapy sessions concerning the topic of anxiety, and a comparable sample concerning stress, showed a significantly stronger proportion of (...) conventionalized metaphors in the stress sample, and a marginally significant difference in the number of innovative metaphors in the anxiety sample. These results suggest that lived experience of an anxiety disorder or another form of maladaptive anxiety affects metaphorical meaning-making, and manifests itself in spontaneous metaphor use. Furthermore, as a result of the conceptual and the empirical investigations of the topic, we propose novel theoretical and operational definitions of the notion of metaphoricity. (shrink)
Is theistic evolution (TE) a philosophically tenable position? Leidenhag argues in his article “The Blurred Line between Theistic Evolution and Intelligent Design” that it is not, since it, Leidenhag claims, espouses a view of divine action that he labels “natural divine causation” (NDC), which makes God explanatory redundant. That is, in so far as TE does not invoke God as an additional cause alongside natural causes, it is untenable. Theistic evolutionists should therefore “reject NDC and affirm a more robust notion (...) of divine agency.” However, this will, Leidenhag claims, have the effect that theistic evolutionists “will move their position significantly closer to Intelligent Design,” and so the line between TE and intelligent design is (or ought to be?) blurred. If successful, the criticism by Leidenhag would be bad news for theists who want to take science seriously and good news for those scientistic atheists according to whom there simply is no scientifically respectable way of combining theism and modern natural science in an overarching worldview. So, is TE stuck between a rock (of redundancy) and a hard place (of pseudo‐science)? No, at least not due to the criticism offered by Leidenhag—but maybe religious naturalism is? (shrink)
Marshall McLuhan and Vilém Flusser were primarily media communication theorists and new media philosophers. Both thinkers were deeply concerned with electronic and digital technologies and the impact of technology on human society. Likewise, both thinkers were critical and probably cynical about these developments, however, they believed in the notion that one has to fully understand technology to be able to use and discuss positive models of these new technologies for a better future. Independently, McLuhan and Flusser became interested in the (...) role of the artist in this new digital society, and Flusser in particular elaborated on the means of artistic production. Both theorists delved into collaborative projects with artists; and they produced films and other artistic output over their lifetimes. In our essay we highlight this particular interest and focus on the artist and modes of artistic perception. McLuhan’s understanding of the artist as society’s safety antenna was, indeed, personified by both men. (shrink)
There is increased recognition of the importance of well-designed scholarship on how immigration status and policies impact migrants in the United States, including those who are unauthorized. Some researchers have looked to community-based and participatory methods to develop trust, place migrants’ voices at the forefront, and engage collaboratively in using research as a tool for social change. This article reviews three ethical ambiguities that emerged in the process of a series of participatory action research projects with migrants in the United (...) States, many of whom were unauthorized. Specifically, three themes are discussed: the tension between the human desire to respond to injustices, and the challenges of doing so in ways that recognize one’s privilege and power as an outsider and supports the migrants’ agency and autonomy; the complex definition, explanation, and dimensions of “risk”; and the complexity of using a methodology that prioritizes participants’ collective identity and community in the context of regulations that are designed primarily to protect individuals. (shrink)
In August of 1971, President Nixon announced that the United States was “closing the gold window,” bringing an end to the postwar system of international exchange rate stability and precipitating a period of significant uncertainty and transformation in global institutions. Although this critical historical episode is important for an understanding of historical “neoliberalism” and institutional change, modern sociological perspectives have scarcely been applied to it. The present analysis uses archival data to show that closing the gold window was never the (...) goal or preferred strategy of the Nixon administration, which had spent years preparing much more modest reforms. Nevertheless, US policymakers took this unilateral action as a contingency plan to achieve a short-term goal, knowing that it would dramatically change the functioning of the international economy. Surprisingly, the autonomous structure of the IMF did not channel US initiatives toward gradual evolution but rather helped determine a radical change in strategy. (shrink)
Tematem artykułu jest manifest jako gatunek dominujący w awangardzie historycznej, jak i w neoawangardzie austriackiej. Ten ostatni, radykalny ruch sztuki austriackiej lat sześćdziesiątych, dotychczas postrzegany w kategoriach jego osiągnięć w zakresie sztuki performance i body art, analizowany jest przeze mnie w kategoriach literackich na przykładzie manifestu jako środka autoprezentacji, obecnego na skalę masową po raz pierwszy w awangardzie lat dwudziestych. Istotą poruszanego przeze mnie problemu jest kontynuacja tradycji samookreślenia się awangardy w formie manifestu, jak również przemiany, jakie dokonały się w (...) strukturze tekstów tego typu w okresie swoistego renesansu awangardy w latach sześćdziesiątych. Ograniczam się przy tym do zakreślenia jednego z głównych rysów manifestu - jego kontestacyjnej krytyki skierowanej zarówno przeciwko skostniałym formom sztuki, jak i przeciwko państwu i społeczeństwu, narzucającym sztuce granice i sposoby jej oddziaływania. Manifesty dadaistyczne stanowią tutaj tło dla analizy manifestów akcjonistycznych, które, według postawionej przeze mnie tezy, mogą być rozumiane jako radykalna modyfikacja tego gatunku w neoawangardzie, która w swej ostatecznej formie prowadzi do zaniechania manifestu jako przekazu literackiego i do odwołania się do demonstracji celów artystycznych w sposób pozawerbalny - poprzez akcjonizm. W analizie manifestów obu awangard podkreślam krytyczne podejście ich autorów do gatunku jako takiego, jak i do jego korzeni wywodzących się z dziedzin pozaartystycznych. (shrink)
The idea of an inevitable conflict between science and religion leading to relentless hostility between the two emerged in the nineteenth century and has become a powerful narrative of modernity. Most historians of science trace the origins of the so-called ‘conflict thesis’ to the English-speaking world, more precisely to scientist-historian John William Draper and literary scholar Andrew Dickson White. Their books on the history of scientific-religious conflict turned into bestsellers. Yet, if we look beyond the Anglo-American world, the conflict thesis (...) appears in new historical settings. This paper argues that the science vs. religion narrative flourished already in Germany before Draper and White announced the warfare between science and religion in England and the USA. Focusing on Germany, we aim to show that the conflict thesis emerged in a polycentric process shaped by various political, cultural, and social struggles. It became a rhetorical weapon for liberal scientists in Germany to oppose Ultramontanism and, at the same time, to discredit their rivals as unscientific, fanatic, or even as ‘henchmen’ of the Pope. Our paper makes a case for a decentred approach to the history of the conflict thesis, which brings to the fore specific political and cultural tensions shaping this narrative in the nineteenth century. (shrink)
In this essay, I study the contested role of magnification as an observational strategy in the generation theories of William Harvey and René Descartes. During the seventeenth century, the grounds under the discipline of anatomy were shifting as knowledge was increasingly based on autopsia and observation. Likewise, new theories of generation were established through observations of living beings in their smallest state. But the question formed: was it possible to extend vision all the way down to the first points of (...) life? Arguing that the potential of magnification hinged on the metaphysics of living matter, I show that Harvey did not consider observational focus on the material composition of blood and embryos to be conducive to knowledge of living bodies. To Harvey, generation was caused by immaterial, and thus in principle invisible, forces that could not be magnified. Descartes, on the other hand, believed that access to the subvisible scale of natural bodies was crucial to knowledge about their nature. This access could be granted through rational introspection, but possibly also through powerful microscopes. The essay thus ends with a reflection on the importance of Cartesian corpuscularianism for the emergence of microscopical anatomy in seventeenth-century England. (shrink)
The Religious War of Science. Historical Argumentation in the Academic Speeches of Emil DuBois‐Reymond (1818–1896). Among the protagonists of the “laboratory revolution” (Cunningham/Williams) in 19th‐century physiology were the self‐proclaimed ‘organic physicists’ (“organische Physiker”), who shared a mechanistic conception of life processes. One of their key figures was the physiologist Emil DuBois‐Reymond (1818–1896) who not only excelled in the field of neuroscience but also became known, over the decades of his active career, as an orator at the Berlin Academy of Sciences (...) and Humanities. In his academic speeches, DuBois‐Reymond regularly commemorated heroes of the history of science. On closer inspection, these references went far beyond paying the usual homage to precursors: This paper argues that DuBois‐Reymond made use of episodes from the history of science as a means to legitimate his own reductionist research programme and, at the same time, decry idealistic natural philosophy and vitalistic positions. Drawing upon biblical rhetorics, DuBois‐Reymond systematically construed experimental physiology as the culmination of a teleological development, and, hence, organic physicists as the incarnation of scientific ‘redeemers’. According to him, the success of ‘organic physics’ displayed the peak of an inevitable development. (shrink)
An historical analysis of main topics of Wittgenstein's work. Part 1 deals with the "game" of mathematics. Part 2 discusses Wittgenstein's development up to 1930 and Part 3 looks at philosophical and psychological problems arising from the possiblity of artificial intelligence.
Arguing that philosophy can be characterized as a form of conceptual investigation, Gefwert demonstrates that a theoretical view does not correspond to Wittgenstein's conception of philosophy. Proposing that a philosophical conceptual investigation is analogous to a psychotherapeutical session of Freud, with the common aim to dissolve the conceptual problems in language that haunts us in our everyday life, Gefwert's examination of the later writings of Wittgenstein concludes that 'philosophical investigation' is a very different activity than that assumed by the Logical (...) Positives and others. (shrink)
Though traditional accounts of moral development focus on the development of rational and deliberate thinking, recent work in developmental affective neuroscience suggests that moral cognition is tightly related to affective and emotional processing. Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies show age-related changes in response to empathy-eliciting stimuli, with a gradual shift from the monitoring of somatovisceral responses in young children mediated by the amygdala, insula and medial aspect of the orbitofrontal cortex, to the executive control and evaluation of emotion processing implemented (...) by the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in older participants. These data indicate that the development of moral reasoning involves the increasing integration of empathic emotion-related somatovisceral responses with more complex social-reasoning abilities. (shrink)
Portion sizes of meals have been becoming progressively larger which contributes to the onset of obesity. So far, little research has been done on the influence of body weight on portion size preferences. Therefore, we assessed whether Body Mass Index, as well as other selected factors, contribute to the estimation of food portions weight and the subjective perception of portion sizes. Through online questionnaires, the participants were asked to estimate the weight of pictured foods in the first study. In the (...) second study, the participants indicated how the depicted varying portion sizes of different meals relate to their actual consumed real-life portion sizes. A total of 725 and 436 individuals were included in the statistical analysis in the first and second study, respectively. BMI and gender had a small effect on the capacity to estimate the weight of foods. The main predictor for portion size choices was the factor gender with men estimating ideal portion sizes as larger than women. Further, age and hunger together with external and restrictive eating behaviors were among the deciding factors for portion size choices. As expected, externally motivated eaters chose bigger portions while restrictive individual smaller ones. Gender- and age-related differences in portion size preferences likely reflect distinct energy requirements. The individuals with a higher BMI do not differ strongly from other BMI groups in their portion-related preferences. Therefore, other factors such as meal frequency, snacking, or a lifestyle, may contribute more to the onset, development, and maintenance of overweight. (shrink)
This article examines the early modern household's importance for producing experimental knowledge through an examination of the Halifax household of Margery and Henry Power. While Henry Power has been studied as a natural philosopher within the male-dominated intellectual circles of Cambridge and London, the epistemic labour of his wife, Margery Power, has hitherto been overlooked. From the 1650s, this couple worked in tandem to enhance their understanding of the vegetable world through various paper technologies, from books, paper slips and recipe (...) notebooks to Margery's drawing album and Henry's published Experimental Philosophy. Focusing on Margery's practice of hand-colouring flower books, her copied and original drawings of flowers and her experimental production of ink, we argue that Margery's sensibility towards colour was crucial to Henry's microscopic observations of plants. Even if Margery's sophisticated knowledge of plants never left the household, we argue that her contribution was nevertheless crucial to the observation and representation of plants within the community of experimental philosophy. In this way, our article highlights the importance of female artists within the history of scientific observation, the use of books and paperwork in the botanical disciplines, and the relationship between household science and experimental philosophy. (shrink)
Everything as One: A Linguistic View of the Egyptian Creator in the Pyramid Texts. By Joanna Popielska-Grzybowska. Travaux de l’Institut des Cultures Méditerranéennes et Orientales de l’Académie Polonaise des Sciences, vol. 5. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2020. Pp. 400. €71 (paper).
Die Zeit selbst lag nun tot darnieder: Die Stadt Assiut und ihre Nekropolen nach westlichen Reiseberich- ten des 17. bis 19. Jahrhunderts. Konstruktion, Destruktion und Rekonstruktion. By Jochem Kahl. The Asyut Project, vol. 5. Wiesbaden: Harrasso-witz Verlag, 2013. Pp. x + 438 + *162, illus. €68.
Der ägyptische Tempel als ritueller Raum: Akten der internationalen Tagung, Haus der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, 9.–12. Juni 2015. Edited by Stefan Baumann and Holger Kockelmann. Studien zur spätägyptischen Religion, vol. 17. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2017. Pp. xi + 584, 8 pls. €144.
Von Meroe bis Indien: Fremdvölkerlisten und nubische Gabenträger in den griechisch-römischen Tempeln. By Holger Kockelmann and Alexa Rickert. Studien zur spätägyptischen Religion, vol. 12. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2015. Pp. x + 357, 6 pls. €128.
We take a logical approach to threshold models, used to study the diffusion of opinions, new technologies, infections, or behaviors in social networks. Threshold models consist of a network graph of agents connected by a social relationship and a threshold value which regulates the diffusion process. Agents adopt a new behavior/product/opinion when the proportion of their neighbors who have already adopted it meets the threshold. Under this diffusion policy, threshold models develop dynamically towards a guaranteed fixed point. We construct a (...) minimal dynamic propositional logic to describe the threshold dynamics and show that the logic is sound and complete. We then extend this framework with an epistemic dimension and investigate how information about more distant neighbors’ behavior allows agents to anticipate changes in behavior of their closer neighbors. Overall, our logical formalism captures the interplay between the epistemic and social dimensions in social networks. (shrink)
The author, an ordained Lutheran pastor, reflects upon his experiences as chaplain at a small hospital in southwestern Germany (Tropenklinik – Paul Lecher Krankenhaus, Tübingen). Besides its expertise in the treatment of tropical diseases this 100 + bed hospital serves as the referral hospital for terminally ill and dying patients from the local University hospitals and the surrounding area. The experiences at the bedside of such patients with various denominational and religious backgrounds challenged the chaplain to go beyond the confines (...) of any fixed theological system or counseling technique. They made him to discover three essentials as the very basis of such ministry, which he shares in this article. He identifies these as (1) the necessity to realize the situation sober mindedly, (2) the desire to become a companion, and (3) the venture of confident faith, where holding on to any genuine perspective of life is deemed ridiculous. (shrink)