Visualizings, the simplest imaginings which employ visual imagery, have certain characteristic features; they are perspectival, for instance. Also, it seems that some but not all of our visualizings are imaginings of seeings. But it has been forcefully argued, for example by M.G.F. Martin and Christopher Peacocke, that all visualizings are imaginings of visual sensations. I block these arguments by providing an account of visualizings which allows for their perspectival nature and other features they typically have, but which also explains how (...) we can visualize things without thereby imagining visual sensations. (shrink)
We often ascribe possibility to the scenes that are displayed by mental or nonmental sensory images. The paper presents a novel argument for thinking that we are prima facie justified in ascribing metaphysical possibility to what is displayed by suitable visual images, and it argues that many of our imagery‐based ascriptions of metaphysical possibility are therefore prima facie justified. Some potential objections to the arguments are discussed, and some potential extensions of them, to cover nonvisual forms of imagery and nonmetaphysical (...) forms of possibility, are endorsed. (shrink)
Kripkean examples of necessary a posteriori truths clearly provide a challenge to attempts to connect facts about possibility to facts about what people can conceive. The paper argues for a general principle connecting imaginability under certain special circumstances to possibility; it also discusses some of the issues raised by the resulting position.
Certain representations are bound in special ways to our sensory capacities. What do these representations have in common, and what makes them different from representations of other kinds? Dominic Gregory employs novel ideas on perceptual states and sensory perspectives to explain the special nature of distinctively sensory representations.
A theory which has had significant influence seeks to explain auditory verbal hallucinations as utterances in inner speech which are not properly monitored and are consequently misattributed to some external source. This paper argues for a distinction between inner speech and imagined speech, on the basis that inner speech is a type of actual speech. The paper argues that AVHs are more likely instances of imagined speech, rather that inner speech, which are not properly monitored : 86–107, 2012), Cho and (...) Wu and Cho and Wu, although they prefer a quite different explanation of AVHs). (shrink)
The addition of "actually" operators to modal languages allows us to capture important inferential behaviours which cannot be adequately captured in logics formulated in simpler languages. Previous work on modal logics containing "actually" operators has concentrated entirely upon extensions of KT5 and has employed a particular modeltheoretic treatment of them. This paper proves completeness and decidability results for a range of normal and nonnormal but quasi-normal propositional modal logics containing "actually" operators, the weakest of which are conservative extensions of K, (...) using a novel generalisation of the standard semantics. (shrink)
This book critically interrogates the work of David Harvey, one of the world’s most influential geographers, and one of its best known Marxists. Considers the entire range of Harvey’s oeuvre, from the nature of urbanism to environmental issues. Written by contributors from across the human sciences, operating with a range of critical theories. Focuses on key themes in Harvey’s work. Contains a consolidated bibliography of Harvey’s writings.
Williamson has argued against scepticism concerning our metaphysically modal knowledge, by arguing that standard patterns of suppositional reasoning to counterfactual conclusions provide reliable sources of correct ascriptions of possibility and necessity. The paper argues that, while Williamson’s claims relating to necessity may well be right, he has not provided adequate reasons for thinking that the familiar modes of counterfactual reasoning to which he points generalise to provide a decent route to ascriptions of possibility. The paper also explores another path to (...) ascriptions of possibility that may be extracted from Williamson’s ideas, before briefly considering the general status of counterfactual reasoning in relation to our knowledge of possibilities. (shrink)
Recent work on the philosophy of modality has tended to pass over questions about iterated modalities in favour of constructing ambitious metaphysical theories of possibility and necessity, despite the central importance of iterated modalities to modal logic. Yet there are numerous unresolved but fundamental issues involving iterated modalities: Chandler and Salmon have provided forceful arguments against the widespread assumption that all necessary truths are necessarily necessary, for example. The current paper examines a range of ways in which one might seek (...) to identify limited regions within which some of the most well-known principles featuring iterated modalities may safely be assumed. (shrink)
Some philosophers—for example, Husserl, Alva Noë and Susanna Siegel—have claimed that the contents of visual sensations standardly include references to the later visual episodes that one would have under certain conditions. The current paper claims that there are no good reasons for accepting that view. Instead, it is argued that the conscious phenomena which have been cited as manifesting the presence within visual contents of references to ways that things would look in the course of later visual sensations are better (...) explained in another manner: in terms of references within the contents of ordinary visual sensations to ways that things actually then look from various perspectives. (shrink)
The paper replies to an earlier paper by Yannis Stephanou, who presented an argument purportedly showing the falsity of certain instances of the characteristic axiom of the modal logic B. The paper argues that the B axiom was not to blame for the unsoundness of Stephanou's argument.
This paper argues that the imaginability of propositions of a certain kind under certain special circumstances implies their possibility. It then attempts to use that conclusion in doing some modal epistemology. In particular, the paper argues that the conclusion justifies some ascriptions of possibility and that it promises to justify some ascriptions of impossibility.
(Open Access article, freely available to download from publisher's site.) Our visual experiences of objects as located in external space, and as having definite three-dimensional shapes, are closely linked to our implicit expectations about what things will look like from alternative viewpoints. What sorts of contents do these expectations involve? One standard answer is that they relate to what things will look like to us upon changing our positions. And what sorts of mental representations do the expectations call upon? A (...) standard answer is that they involve our powers of visual imagery; this answer requires us to allow for the possibility of unconscious visual imagery, however. The current paper presents an alternative model of the contents of our implicit visual expectations, one that regards them as wholly nonreflexive. It also argues that, once we ascribe the relevant contents to the expectations, there is no longer any reason for holding that they involve our powers of visual imagery. (shrink)
Certain simple thoughts about pictures suggest that the contents of pictures are closely bound to vision. But how far can the striking features of depiction be accounted for merely in terms of the especially visual contents which belong to pictures, without considering, for example, any issues concerning the nature of the visual experiences with which pictures provide us? This article addresses that question by providing an account of the distinctively visual contents belonging to pictures, and by using that account to (...) explain many notable general facts about depiction. Some implications of the resulting framework for the main stream of current theorizing about pictorial representation are also discussed. (shrink)
It is clear that visual imagery is somehow significantly visual. Some theorists, like Kosslyn, claim that the visual nature of visualisations derives from features of the neural processes which underlie those episodes. Pylyshyn claims, however, that it may merely reflect special features of the contents which we grasp when we visualise things. This paper discusses and rejects Pylyshyn's own attempts to identify the respects in which the contents of visualisations are notably visual. It then offers a novel and very different (...) account of what is distinctively sensory about the contents of sensory images. The paper's alternative account is used in explaining various pieces of phenomenological and behavioural data concerning visualisation. Finally, it is tentatively suggested that the proposed account of the contents of sensory images may also shed light upon some of the neurological data involving visualisation and sensory imagery more generally. (shrink)
Various writers have proposed that the notion of a possible world is a functional concept, yet very little has been done to develop that proposal. This paper explores a particular functionalist account of possible worlds, according to which pluralities of possible worlds are the bases for structures which provide occupants for the roles which analyse our ordinary modal concepts. It argues that the resulting position meets some of the stringent constraints which philosophers have placed upon accounts of possible worlds, while (...) also trivializing the question what possible worlds are. The paper then discusses a range of problems facing the functionalist position. (shrink)
There are numerous contexts in which philosophers and others use model-theoretic methods in assessing the validity of ordinary arguments; consider, for example, the use of models built upon 'possible worlds' in examinations of modal arguments. But the relevant uses of model-theoretic techniques may seem to assume controversial semantic or metaphysical accounts of ordinary concepts. So, numerous philosophers have suggested that standard uses of model-theoretic methods in assessing the validity of modal arguments commit one to accepting that modal claims are to (...) be analysed in terms of possible worlds. The paper provides a very general account of how uses of model-theoretic methods in demonstrating facts about validity and invalidity may in fact often be uncoupled from controversial semantic or metaphysical theses, applying the resulting techniques to some modal cases in particular. (shrink)
A physician recently asked how to respond in the case of an 87-year-old patient with advanced Alzheimer's disease, who was unable to swallow or tolerate a nasogastric tube, when the family insisted a gastrostomy tube be inserted but the physician believed the intervention futile. That question encompasses some of the crucial issues in the concept of futility of the treatment goals of physician, patient, and family; the rights of patients and families to demand care; physician judgment; family values; and, to (...) the degree that it represents many similar dilemmas, justice. What are professionals saying when they pronounce treatment futile? What are patients' rights if they or their surrogates disagree?The word “futile” implies a precision about outcome probability that we do not have, and it ignores the wide range of treatments for a given diagnosis. Is futile the same as useless or the opposite of hope? Futile for what? Cure? Restora tion of function? Prolongation of life? Relief from pain? Relief from anxiety? Com fort? Reassurance? To satisfy or placate the patient or the family? The word “futile” is so imprecise that, rather than clarifying, it confuses and clutters the discussion. (shrink)
As noted In Part II of this series, perhaps the most critical elements to define in deciding when treatment Is futile are the goals of therapy from, both the physician's and the patient's point of view. A patient's personal goals are based upon value system., life goals, and personal definition of “quality of life.” These personal goals must then be interpreted and applied in a reasonable and realistic fashion against what the physician has previously described as the legitimate, objective, and (...) attainable therapeutic goals. As far as possible, both, parties must work together to eliminate the uncertainties in their discussion. The ideal situation includes a competent, alert patient and a prudent, caring physician who have had a long-term ongoing relationship. The key to collaboration is communication: a sincere interest in and professional concern for the patient; a willingness to be honest and open; a commitment to talk and to listen; an attempt to make one another feel comfortable in the collaboration; and an effort to recognize and to overcome barriers to communication, whether barriers are personal to either the patient or the physician or are professional, institutional, or societal. (shrink)
The patient was a woman in her 30s who, until the rapid progression of an ultimately fatal neurologic disease, had been a very successful professional, enjoying athletics and an active social life. In the 6 months of swift deterioration, she had gone from being extremely vibrant and energetic to being totally unable to care for her personal needs. There had been no loss of intellectual capacity. Her sister later recounted to Dr. J., the emergency department physician, that she had found (...) the patient unconscious and unresponsive at home and had immediately called the patient's neurologist in a neighboring city. He directed her to call the paramedics. (shrink)
Recent contributions to the literature on the topic of futility have focused primarily on two areas: 1) definitions of the term and 2) the suggestion that cardiopulmonary resuscitation may be futile in certain patients. This suggestion is based on “scientific” measures and analyses of outcomes, describing the low probability of success of CPR in patients over age 70, those with cancer, those with multiorgan failure, etc. The research reported suggests that with such patients the physician need not get the patient's (...) consent to withhold resuscitation; the physician need only inform either the patient or the surrogate that CPR will not be Instituted in the event of an arrest. (shrink)