The paper provides a systematic overview of recent debates in epistemology and philosophy of science on the nature of understanding. We explain why philosophers have turned their attention to understanding and discuss conditions for “explanatory” understanding of why something is the case and for “objectual” understanding of a whole subject matter. The most debated conditions for these types of understanding roughly resemble the three traditional conditions for knowledge: truth, justification and belief. We discuss prominent views about how to construe these (...) conditions for understanding, whether understanding indeed requires conditions of all three types and whether additional conditions are needed. (shrink)
Suppose you ask yourself whether your father's record collection includes a certain recording of The Trout and venture to find out. At that time, you embark on an inquiry into whether your father owns the relevant recording. Your inquiry is a project with a specific goal: finding out whether your father owns the recording. This fact about your inquiry generalizes: inquiry is a goal-directed enterprise. A specific inquiry can be individuated by the question it aims to answer and by who (...) aims to answer the question. Your inquiry into whether your father owns the recording differs from your inquiry into how many records your father owns because different questions are being asked. Your inquiry into whether your father owns the recording differs from my inquiry into whether he does because different people are inquiring. The goal of inquiry into a given question by an agent, α, can be characterized, neutrally, as α's having the answer to that question. I will here focus only on inquiries into whether questions and characterize the goal of inquiry into whether φ by α as α's having the answer to the question whether φ. (shrink)
The question of whether cognition can influence perception has a long history in neuroscience and philosophy. Here, we outline a novel approach to this issue, arguing that it should be viewed within the framework of top-down information-processing. This approach leads to a reversal of the standard explanatory order of the cognitive penetration debate: we suggest studying top-down processing at various levels without preconceptions of perception or cognition. Once a clear picture has emerged about which processes have influences on those at (...) lower levels, we can re-address the extent to which they should be considered perceptual or cognitive. Using top-down processing within the visual system as a model for higher-level influences, we argue that the current evidence indicates clear constraints on top-down influences at all stages of information processing; it does, however, not support the notion of a boundary between specific types of information-processing as proposed by the cognitive impenetrability hypothesis. (shrink)
I examine some recent claims put forward by L. A. Paul, Barry Dainton and Simon Prosser, to the effect that perceptual experiences of movement and change involve an (apparent) experience of ‘passage’, in the sense at issue in debates about the metaphysics of time. Paul, Dainton and Prosser all argue that this supposed feature of perceptual experience – call it a phenomenology of passage – is illusory, thereby defending the view that there is no such a thing as passage, conceived (...) of as a feature of mind-independent reality. I suggest that in fact there is no such phenomenology of passage in the first place. There is, however, a specific structural aspect of the phenomenology of perceptual experiences of movement and change that can explain how one might mistakenly come to the belief that such experiences do involve a phenomenology of passage. (shrink)
Time and Memory throws new light on fundamental aspects of human cognition and consciousness by bringing together, for the first time, psychological and philosophical approaches dealing with the connection between the capacity to represent and think about time, and the capacity to recollect the past. Fifteen specially written essays offer insights into current theories of memory processes and of the mechanisms and cognitive abilities underlying temporal judgements, and draw out key issues concerning the phenomenology and epistemology of memory and its (...) role in our understanding of time. (shrink)
Das spezifische Ziel von Argumentationen ist nicht einfach, den Adressaten etwas glauben zu machen - dies wäre bloße Rhetorik , sondern: den Adressaten beim Erkennen der Akzeptabilität (insbesondere der Wahrheit) der These anzuleiten und ihn so zu begründetem Glauben, zu Erkenntnis zu führen. Argumentationen leiten das Erkennen an, indem sie in ihren Argumenten hinreichende Akzeptabilitätsbedingungen der These als erfüllt beurteilen und so den Adressaten implizit auffordern, diese Bedingungen zu überprüfen. Argumentationen sind gültig, wenn sie prinzipiell das Erkennen anleiten können; d. (...) h. wenn die genannten Akzeptabilitätsbedingungen hinreichend sind, wenn sie tatsächlich erfüllt (die Argumente also wahr) sind und wenn es irgendjemanden gibt, der zwar die Akzeptabilität der Argumente, nicht aber die der These erkannt hat. Eine gültige Argumentation ist adäquat, um einen bestimmten Adressaten rational zu überzeugen, wenn dieser u. a. die Akzeptabilität der Argumente, nicht aber die der These erkannt hat. Die in gültigen Argumentationen als erfüllt beurteilten Akzeptabilitätsbedingungen sind Konkretisierungen allgemeiner Erkenntnisprinzipien für die spezifische These, z. B. des deduktiven Erkenntnisprinzips: 'Eine Proposition ist wahr, wenn sie von wahren Propositionen logisch impliziert wird.' oder des erkenntnisgenetischen Erkenntnisprinzips: 'Eine Proposition ist wahr, wenn sie korrekt verifiziert worden ist.' Eine Konkretisierung des deduktiven Prinzips für eine These p wäre z. B.: 'p ist wahr, 1. wenn q und r wahr sind und 2. wenn q und r zusammen p logisch implizieren.' Sind beide Bedingungen erfüllt, so könnte 'q; r; also p.' eine gültige deduktive Argumentation sein. Die verschiedenen Argumentationstypen unterscheiden sich danach, auf welchem Erkenntnisprinzip sie basieren. Das argumentativ angeleitete Erkennen der Akzeptabilität der These funktioniert so: Der Adressat benutzt das von ihm (zumindest implizit) gewußte allgemeine Erkenntnisprinzip als Checkliste, auf der er nach dem Vorbringen der Argumente abhakt, welche Akzeptabilitätsbedingung des Erkenntnisprinzips durch das Zutreffen des Arguments jeweils erfüllt wird. Auf der Basis dieser Funktionsbestimmung werden in der "Praktischen Argumentationstheorie" (erstmalig) präzise Gültigkeitskriterien für Argumentationen allgemein und für mehrere spezielle Argumentationstypen entwickelt, erkenntnistheoretisch begründet und auf komplexe Argumentationsbeispiele aus Philosophie, Wissenschaft, Technik und Kultur angewendet. Die Analyse der erkenntnistheoretischen Grundlagen - der zugrundeliegenden Erkenntnisprinzipien - vor allem der interpretierenden und praktischen Argumentationen ist zudem von erheblicher Bedeutung weit über die Argumentationstheorie hinaus: für die Interpretationstheorie, die Handlungstheorie und die praktische Philosophie. (shrink)
Variants of the slogan that a succession of experiences does not amount to an experience of succession are commonplace in the philosophical literature on temporal experience. I distinguish three quite different arguments that might be captured using this slogan: the individuation argument, the unity argument, and the causal argument. Versions of the unity and the causal argument are often invoked in support of a particular view of the nature of temporal experience sometimes called intentionalism, and against a rival view sometimes (...) called extensionalism. I examine these arguments in light of the individuation argument. In particular, I show that the individuation argument is, at least prima facie, neutral between those two views of temporal experience; and once the individuation argument is in place, the unity and causal argument also lose their force against extensionalism. (shrink)
The origin of colour categories and their relationship to colour perception have been the prime example for testing the influence of language on perception and thought and more generally for investigating the biological, ecological and cultural determination of human cognition. These themes are central to a broad range of disciplines, including vision research, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, developmental science, cultural anthropology, linguistics, computer science, and philosophy. Unfortunately, though, it has been tacitly taken for granted that the conceptual assumptions and methodological practices (...) from the dawn of empirical research on colour categorisation are the gold standard for current colour category research. Here, we show that these assumptions and practices are obsolete and flawed and have led to four fundamental and widespread misconceptions about colour categorisation: 1.) that colour perception is inherently categorical; 2.) that English Basic Colour Terms correspond to universal categories that are the end point of a fixed evolutionary sequence; 3.) that the prototypes of English basic colour terms are perceptually salient and qualify as focal colours; and 4.) that colour category research essentially revolves around the universalism-realism debate. State-of-the-art research on colour categorisation provides new, more sophisticated approaches and allows for rectifying those four statements. At the same time, some of the questions underlying those statements are not convincingly answered yet and constitute major challenges to future research. The critical considerations on colour categorisation may be transferred to research on other kinds of perceptual categorisation to inspire new, more general research questions. (shrink)
The paper argues that an account of understanding should take the form of a Carnapian explication and acknowledge that understanding comes in degrees. An explication of objectual understanding is defended, which helps to make sense of the cognitive achievements and goals of science. The explication combines a necessary condition with three evaluative dimensions: an epistemic agent understands a subject matter by means of a theory only if the agent commits herself sufficiently to the theory of the subject matter, and to (...) the degree that the agent grasps the theory, the theory answers to the facts and the agent’s commitment to the theory is justified. The threshold for outright attributions of understanding is determined contextually. The explication has descriptive as well as normative facets and allows for the possibility of understanding by means of non-explanatory theories. (shrink)
In apparent motion experiments, participants are presented with what is in fact a succession of two brief stationary stimuli at two different locations, but they report an impression of movement. Philosophers have recently debated whether apparent motion provides evidence in favour of a particular account of the nature of temporal experience. I argue that the existing discussion in this area is premised on a mistaken view of the phenomenology of apparent motion and, as a result, the space of possible philosophical (...) positions has not yet been fully explored. In particular, I argue that the existence of apparent motion is compatible with an account of the nature of temporal experience that involves a version of direct realism. In doing so, I also argue against two other claims often made about apparent motion, viz. that apparent motion is the psychological phenomenon that underlies motion experience in the cinema, and that apparent motion is subjectively indistinguishable from real motion. (shrink)
Art is not only autonomous, following its own law, different from nonaesthetic reason, but sovereign: it subverts the rule of reason.In this book Christoph Menke attempts to explain art's sovereign power to subvert reason without falling ...
We can not just see, hear or feel how things are at a time, but we also have perceptual experiences as of things moving or changing. I argue that such temporal experiences have a content that is tenseless, i.e. best characterized in terms of notions such as 'before' and 'after' (rather than, say, 'past', 'present' and 'future'), and that such experiences are essentially of the nature of a process that takes up time, viz., the same time as the process that (...) is being experienced. Both claims have been made before, though usually separately from each other, and I don't believe the connection between them has been sufficiently recognized. (shrink)
This paper explores the phenomenon of meta-emotions. Meta-emotions are emotions people have about their own emotions. We analyze the intentional structure of meta-emotions and show how psychological findings support our account. Acknowledgement of meta-emotions can elucidate a number of important issues in the philosophy of mind and, more specifically, the philosophy and psychology of emotions. Among them are (allegedly) ambivalent or paradoxical emotions, emotional communication, emotional self-regulation, privileged access failure for repressed emotions, and survivor guilt.
The aim of the paper is to develop general criteria of argumentative validity and adequacy for probabilistic arguments on the basis of the epistemological approach to argumentation. In this approach, as in most other approaches to argumentation, proabilistic arguments have been neglected somewhat. Nonetheless, criteria for several special types of probabilistic arguments have been developed, in particular by Richard Feldman and Christoph Lumer. In the first part (sects. 2-5) the epistemological basis of probabilistic arguments is discussed. With regard to (...) the philosophical interpretation of probabilities a new subjectivist, epistemic interpretation is proposed, which identifies probabilities with tendencies of evidence (sect. 2). After drawing the conclusions of this interpretation with respect to the syntactic features of the probability concept, e.g. one variable referring to the data base (sect. 3), the justification of basic probabilities (priors) by judgements of relative frequency (sect. 4) and the justification of derivative probabilities by means of the probability calculus are explained (sect. 5). The core of the paper is the definition of '(argumentatively) valid derivative probabilistic arguments', which provides exact conditions for epistemically good probabilistic arguments, together with conditions for the adequate use of such arguments for the aim of rationally convincing an addressee (sect. 6). Finally, some measures for improving the applicability of probabilistic reasoning are proposed (sect. 7). (shrink)
According to recent social interactionist accounts in developmental psychology, a child's learning to talk about the past with others plays a key role in memory development. Most accounts of this kind are centered on the theoretical notion of autobiographical memory and assume that socio-communicative interaction with others is important, in particular, in explaining the emergence of memories that have a particular type of connection to the self. Most of these accounts also construe autobiographical memory as a species of episodic memory, (...) but its episodic character, as such, is not typically seen as falling within the remit of an explanation in social interactionist terms. I explore the idea that socio-communicative interaction centered on talk about the past might also have an important role to play, quite independently of considerations about the involvement of the self in memory, in accounting for the emergence of memories that are episodic in character, i.e., memories that involve the recollection of particular past events. In doing so, I also try to shed light on a distinctive role that talk about the past plays in socio-communicative interaction. (shrink)
We introduce combinatorial principles that characterize strong compactness and supercompactness for inaccessible cardinals but also make sense for successor cardinals. Their consistency is established from what is supposedly optimal. Utilizing the failure of a weak version of a square, we show that the best currently known lower bounds for the consistency strength of these principles can be applied.
This contribution discusses some problems of Pragma-Dialectics and explains them by its consensualistic view of the function of argumentation and by its philosophical underpinnings. It is suggested that these problems can be overcome by relying on a better epistemology and on an epistemological theory of argumentation. On the one hand Pragma-Dialectics takes unqualified consensus as the aim of argumentation, which is problematic, (Sect. 2) on the other it includes strong epistemological and rationalistic elements (Sect. 3). The problematic philosophical underpinnings of (...) Pragma-Dialectics, specifically Critical Rationalism as well as Logical Constructivism and Dialogic Logic of the Erlangen School, are among the sources of this incoherence (Sect. 4). A detailed critique of the Pragma-Dialectical discussion rules shows the negative consequences of this foundation and indicates how they could be avoided (Sects. 5, 6). (shrink)
This paper presents a cross-cultural study on peoples’ negative attitude toward robots. 467 participants from seven different countries filled in the negative attitude towards robots scale survey which consists of 14 questions in three clusters: attitude towards the interaction with robots, attitude towards social influence of robots and attitude towards emotions in interaction with robots. Around one half of them were recruited at local universities and the other half was approached through Aibo online communities. The participants’ cultural background had a (...) significant influence on their attitude and the Japanese were not as positive as stereotypically assumed. The US participants had the most positive attitude, while participants from Mexico had the most negative attitude. The participants from the online community were more positive towards robots than those not involved. Previous experience in interacting with Aibo also had a positive effect, but owning an Aibo did not improve their attitude. (shrink)
This article analyzes how aesthetic experience arises. Referring to Pina Bauschs Kontakthof, I examine the following issues: performance and performativity, Kontakthof as play, comic: disappointed expectations, missing gestures, clothes and objects as actants, music and resonance, gender battle still in old age, repetition and ritualization, rhythm, aesthetic experience through mimetic processes.
_Nietzsche: Naturalism and Interpretation_ offers a resolution of one of the most vexing problems in Nietzsche scholarship. As perhaps the most significant predecessor of more recent attempts to formulate a postmetaphysical epistemology and ontology, Nietzsche is considered by many critics to share this problem with his successors: How can an antifoundationalist philosophy avoid vicious relativism and legitimate its claim to provide a platform for the critique of arguments, practices, and institutions? Christoph Cox argues that Nietzsche successfully navigates between relativism (...) and dogmatism, accepting the naturalistic critique of metaphysics and theology provided by modern science, yet maintaining that a thoroughgoing naturalism must move beyond scientific reductionism. It must accept a central feature of aesthetic understanding: acknowledgment of the primacy and irreducibility of interpretation. This view of Nietzsche's doctrines of perspectivism, becoming, and will to power as products of an overall naturalism balanced by a reciprocal commitment to interpretationism will spur new discussions of epistemology and ontology in contemporary thought. (shrink)
This book examines the theoretical foundations of order ethics and discusses business ethics problems from an order ethics perspective. Order ethics focuses on the social order and the institutional environment in which individuals interact. It is a well-established paradigm in European business ethics. The book contains articles written by leading experts in the field and provides both a concise introduction to order ethics and short summary articles homing in on specific aspects of the order-ethical paradigm. It presents contributions describing fundamental (...) concepts, historical roots, and the economic, social, and philosophical background of the theory. The second part of the handbook focuses on the theory's application in business, society, and politics, casting new light on an array of topics that loom large in contemporary ethical discourse.. (shrink)
The article outlines a general epistemological theory of argument: a theory that regards providingjustified belief as the principal aim of argumentation, and defends it instrumentalistically. After introducing some central terms of such a theory (2), answers to its central questions are proposed: the primary object and structure of the theory (3), the function of arguments, which is to lead to justified belief (4), the way such arguments function, which is to guide the addressee's cognizing (5), objective versus subjective aspects of (...) argumentation (6), designing different types of argument (7). Then the notion of '(argumentatively) valid argument' is defined and criteria for the adequate use of such arguments are introduced (8). Finally, this conception is justified as, among others, leading to more true beliefs than competing conceptions (9). (shrink)
The notion of the absolute time-constituting flow plays a central role in Edmund Husserl’s analysis of our consciousness of time. I offer a novel reading of Husserl’s remarks on the absolute flow, on which Husserl can be seen to be grappling with two key intuitions that are still at the centre of current debates about temporal experience. One of them is encapsulated by what is sometimes referred to as an intentionalist (as opposed to an extensionalist) approach to temporal experience. The (...) other centres on the thought that temporal experience itself necessarily unfolds over time. I show how some of Husserl’s more enigmatic-sounding remarks about the absolute flow become intelligible if they are read as attempts to accommodate both these intuitions at the same time. However, I also question whether Husserl ultimately provides good reasons for preferring his intentionalist approach to a rival extensionalist one. (shrink)
This paper critically assesses Sosa’s normative framework for performances as well as its application to epistemology. We first develop a problem for one of Sosa’s central theses in the general theory of performance normativity according to which performances attain fully desirable status if and only if they are fully apt. More specifically, we argue that given Sosa’s account of full aptness according to which a performance is fully apt only if safe from failure, this thesis can’t be true. We then (...) embark on a rescue mission on behalf of Sosa and work towards a weakened account of full aptness. The key idea is to countenance a distinction between negligible and non-negligible types of risk and to develop an account of full aptness according to which even performances that are endangered by risk can be fully apt, so long as the risk is of a negligible type. While this alternative account of full aptness solves the problem we developed for Sosa earlier on, there is also bad news for Sosa. When applied to epistemology, the envisaged treatment of barn façade cases as cases in which the agent falls short of fully apt belief will no longer work. We show that, as a result, Sosa faces a new version of a familiar dilemma for virtue epistemology. Either he construes full aptness as strong enough to get barn façade cases right in which case his view will run right into the problem we develop. Or else he construes full aptness as weak enough to avoid this problem but then he will not be able to deal with barn façade cases in the way envisaged. (shrink)
Paradigms of anthropology -- Evolution-hominization-anthropology -- Philosophical anthropology -- Anthropology in the historical sciences: historical anthropology -- Cultural anthropology -- Historical cultural anthropology -- Core issues of anthropology -- The body as a challenge -- The mimetic basis of cultural learning -- Theories and practices of the performative -- The rediscovery of rituals -- Language-the antinomy between the universal and the particular -- Images and imagination -- Death and recollection of birth -- Future prospects.
In this paper, I investigate in detail one theoretical approach to the symptom of thought insertion. This approach suggests that patients are lead to disown certain thoughts they are subjected to because they lack a sense of active participation in the occurrence of those thoughts. I examine one reading of this claim, according to which the patients’ anomalous experiences arise from a breakdown of cognitive mechanisms tracking the production of occurrent thoughts, before sketching an alternative reading, according to which their (...) experiences have to be explained in terms of a withdrawal, on the part of the patients themselves, from certain forms of active engagement in reasoning. I conclude with a discussion of the relationship between this view and the idea that patients’ reports of thought insertion reflect a situation in which the boundaries between the self and the world have become uncertain. (shrink)
Self-deception is a special kind of motivational dominance in belief-formation. We develop criteria which set paradigmatic self-deception apart from related phenomena of automanipulation such as pretense and motivational bias. In self-deception rational subjects defend or develop beliefs of high subjective importance in response to strong counterevidence. Self-deceivers make or keep these beliefs tenable by putting prima-facie rational defense-strategies to work against their established standards of rational evaluation. In paradigmatic self-deception, target-beliefs are made tenable via reorganizations of those belief-sets that relate (...) relevant data to target-beliefs. This manipulation of the evidential value of relevant data goes beyond phenomena of motivated perception of data. In self-deception belief-defense is pseudo-rational. Self-deceivers will typically apply a dual standard of evaluation that remains intransparent to the subject. The developed model of self-deception as pseudo-rational belief-defense is empirically anchored. (shrink)
This book questions the often implicit assumption of many contemporary political philosophers that a society needs its citizens to adopt some shared basic qualities, views, or capabilities. Christoph Luetge provides an alternative view, which relies on mutual advantages as the fundamental basis of society.