Semi-compatibilists intend to reconcile moral responsibility with causal determinism, even if determinism is incompatible with freedom to do otherwise. For them, moral responsibility does not require free will, which is not a necessary condition for moral responsibility. They agree with the view that causal determinism is incompatible with free will. Free will is incompatible with determinism as well as moral responsibility. Both compatibilists and semi-compatibilists argue for the compatibility between determinism and moral responsibility. However, the latter fails to prove sufficiently (...) the reason why determinism is compatible with moral responsibility. (shrink)
If we want to assess whether or not a naturalized phenomenology is a desideratum or a category mistake, we need to be clear on precisely what notion of phenomenology and what notion of naturalization we have in mind. In the article I distinguish various notions, and after criticizing one type of naturalized phenomenology, I sketch two alternative takes on what a naturalized phenomenology might amount to and propose that our appraisal of the desirability of such naturalization should be more positive, (...) if we opt for one or both of the latter alternatives. (shrink)
It is widely recognized that prioritizing health care resources by their relative cost-effectiveness can result in lower priority for the treatment of disabled persons than otherwise similar non-disabled persons. I distinguish six different ways in which this discrimination against the disabled can occur. I then spell out and evaluate the following moral objections to this discrimination, most of which capture an aspect of its unethical character: it implies that disabled persons' lives are of lesser value than those of non-disabled persons; (...) it constitutes “double jeopardy” or violates Frances Kamm's non-linkage principle; it conflicts with equality of opportunity; it conflicts with fairness, which requires ignoring differential impacts of treatment; it wrongly gives lower priority to disabled persons for equally effective treatment; it conflicts with giving all persons an equal chance to reach their full potential; and, it is in conflict with giving priority to the worse off. (shrink)
This paper presents a simple argument against life being the product of design. The argument rests on three points. We can conceive of the debate in terms of likelihoods, in the technical sense – how probable the design hypothesis renders our evidence, versus how probable the competing Darwinian hypothesis renders that evidence. God, as traditionally conceived, had many more options by which to bring about life as we observe it than were available to natural selection. That is, the relevant parameters (...) were, in many cases, far more constrained under natural selection. Utterly mundane features of the world, like that the earth is very old, are actually powerful evidence that the world was not designed, since that outcome was optional on the design hypothesis but nearly inevitable on natural selection. (shrink)
Dan Zahavi engages with classical phenomenology, philosophy of mind, and a range of empirical disciplines to explore the nature of selfhood. He argues that the most fundamental level of selfhood is not socially constructed or dependent upon others, but accepts that certain dimensions of the self and types of self-experience are other-mediated.
Short abstract (98 words). Reasoning is generally seen as a means to improve knowledge and make better decisions. However, much evidence shows that reasoning often leads to epistemic distortions and poor decisions. This suggests that the function of reasoning should be rethought. Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade. Reasoning so conceived is adaptive given humans’ exceptional dependence on communication and vulnerability to misinformation. A wide range of (...) evidence in the psychology of reasoning and decision making can be reinterpreted and better explained in the light of this hypothesis. (shrink)
Humans massively depend on communication with others, but this leaves them open to the risk of being accidentally or intentionally misinformed. To ensure that, despite this risk, communication remains advantageous, humans have, we claim, a suite of cognitive mechanisms for epistemic vigilance. Here we outline this claim and consider some of the ways in which epistemic vigilance works in mental and social life by surveying issues, research and theories in different domains of philosophy, linguistics, cognitive psychology and the social sciences.
It is commonly believed that Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), well known as the founder of phenomenology and as the teacher of Heidegger, was unable to free himself from the framework of a classical metaphysics of subjectivity. Supposedly, he never abandoned the view that the world and the Other are constituted by a pure transcendental subject, and his thinking in consequence remains Cartesian, idealistic, and solipsistic. The continuing publication of Husserl’s manuscripts has made it necessary to revise such an interpretation. Drawing upon (...) both Husserl’s published works and posthumous material, Husserl’s Phenomenology incorporates the results of the most recent Husserl research. It is divided into three parts, roughly following the chronological development of Husserl’s thought, from his early analyses of logic and intentionality, through his mature transcendental-philosophical analyses of reduction and constitution, to his late analyses of intersubjectivity and lifeworld. It can consequently serve as a concise and updated introduction to his thinking. (shrink)
Esta entrevista tiene como objetivo mostrar los aportes de la fenomenología de Dan Zahavi a algunas temáticas fundamentales de filosofía de la mente. El filósofo danés expresa su interés en vincular la fenomenología con otras disciplinas y comenta su último proyecto, dedicado al vínculo intersubjetivo. Además, explica su posición con respecto a la naturalización de la fenomenología, la importancia de desarrollar una filosofía de la mente desde la perspectiva de primera persona, y la cuestión del idealismo husserliano y su vínculo (...) con Putnam. Por otro lado, se refiere a cómo el estudio de los trastornos psiquiátricos aporta a la filosofía, presenta la propuesta de la tradición fenomenológica para evitar los problemas del debate internalismo-externalismo y explica la manera en que su concepto del yo ilumina la clásica discusión sobre la mente y el cerebro. Finalmente, Zahavi comenta sobre la posibilidad de vincular filosofía, ciencia y religión. (shrink)
__Husserl and Transcendental Intersubjectivity __analyzes the transcendental relevance of intersubjectivity and argues that an intersubjective transformation of transcendental philosophy can already be found in phenomenology, especially in Husserl. Husserl eventually came to believe that an analysis of transcendental intersubjectivity was a _conditio sine qua non_ for a phenomenological philosophy. Drawing on both published and unpublished manuscripts, Dan Zahavi examines Husserl's reasons for this conviction and delivers a detailed analysis of his radical and complex concept of intersubjectivity, showing that precisely his (...) reflections on transcendental intersubjectivity are capable of clarifying the core-concepts of phenomenology, thus making possible a new understanding of Husserl’s philosophy. Against this background the book compares his view with the approaches to intersubjectivity found in Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty, and it then attempts to establish to what extent the phenomenological approach can contribute to the current discussion of intersubjectivity. This is achieved through a systematic confrontation with the language-pragmatical positions of Apel and Habermas. (shrink)
The alleged for-me-ness or mineness of conscious experience has been the topic of considerable debate in recent phenomenology and philosophy of mind. By considering a series of objections to the notion of for-me-ness, or to a properly robust construal of it, this paper attempts to clarify to what the notion is committed and to what it is not committed. This exercise results in the emergence of a relatively determinate and textured portrayal of for-me-ness as the authors conceive of it.
Quite a number of the philosophical arguments and objections currently being launched against simulation (ST) based and theory-theory (TT) based approaches to mindreading have a phenomenological heritage in that they draw on ideas found in the work of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Stein, Gurwitsch, Scheler and Schutz. Within the last couple of years, a number of ST and TT proponents have started to react and respond to what one for the sake of simplicity might call the phenomenological proposal (PP). This (...) paper addresses some of these critical responses, and distinguishes—in the process—substantive disagreements from terminological issues and other issues that are symptomatic of different research agendas. It does so by focusing specifically upon some objections made by Pierre Jacob. These epitomize the kinds of concerns that are being raised about PP at the moment, and thus facilitate a reply on behalf of PP that also applies more generally. (shrink)
The central problem for pragmatics is that sentence meaning vastly underdetermines speaker’s meaning. The goal of pragmatics is to explain how the gap between sentence meaning and speaker’s meaning is bridged. This paper defends the broadly Gricean view that pragmatic interpretation is ultimately an exercise in mind-reading, involving the inferential attribution of intentions. We argue, however, that the interpretation process does not simply consist in applying general mind-reading abilities to a particular (communicative) domain. Rather, it involves a dedicated comprehension module, (...) with its own special principles and mechanisms. We show how such a metacommunicative module might have evolved, and what principles and mechanisms it might contain. (shrink)
The question of whether a proper phenomenological investigation and analysis requires one to perform the epoché and the reduction has not only been discussed within phenomenological philosophy. It is also very much a question that has been hotly debated within qualitative research. Amedeo Giorgi, in particular, has insisted that no scientific research can claim phenomenological status unless it is supported by some use of the epoché and reduction. Giorgi partially bases this claim on ideas found in Husserl’s writings on phenomenological (...) psychology. In the present paper, I discuss Husserl’s ideas and argue that while the epoché and the reduction are crucial for transcendental phenomenology, it is much more questionable whether they are also relevant for a non-philosophical application of phenomenology. (shrink)
RESUMEN Esta entrevista tiene como objetivo mostrar los aportes de la fenomenología de Dan Zahavi a algunas temáticas fundamentales de filosofía de la mente. El filósofo danés expresa su interés en vincular la fenomenología con otras disciplinas y comenta su último proyecto, dedicado al vínculo intersubjetivo. Además, explica su posición con respecto a la naturalización de la fenomenología, la importancia de desarrollar una filosofía de la mente desde la perspectiva de primera persona, y la cuestión del idealismo husserliano y su (...) vínculo con Putnam. Por otro lado, se refiere a cómo el estudio de los trastornos psiquiátricos aporta a la filosofía, presenta la propuesta de la tradición fenomenológica para evitar los problemas del debate internalismo-externalismo y explica la manera en que su concepto del yo ilumina la clásica discusión sobre la mente y el cerebro. Finalmente, Zahavi comenta sobre la posibilidad de vincular filosofía, ciencia y religión. ABSTRACT The aim of this interview is to show the contributions of Dan Zahavi's phenomenology to some fundamental issues in philosophy of mind. The Danish philosopher expresses his interest to link phenomenology to other disciplines and talks about his latest project, dedicated to the intersubjective relation. He also explains his position with respect to the naturalization of phenomenology, the importance of developing a philosophy of mind from a first-person perspective, and the question of Husserlian idealism and his link with Putnam. On the other hand, he refers to how the study of psychiatric disorders contributes to philosophy, presents the proposal of the pheno-menological tradition to sidestep the problems of internalism-externalism debate, and explains how his concept of self illuminates the classic discussion on mind and brain. Finally, Zahavi comments on the possibility oflinking philosophy, science and religion. (shrink)
One of the central questions within contemporary debates about collective intentionality concerns the notion and status of the we. The question, however, is by no means new. At the beginning of the last century, it was already intensively discussed in phenomenology. Whereas Heidegger argued that a focus on empathy is detrimental to a proper understanding of the we, and that the latter is more fundamental than any dyadic interaction, other phenomenologists, such as Stein, Walther and Husserl, insisted on the importance (...) of empathy for proper we-experiences. In this paper, I will present some of the key moves in this debate and then discuss and assess Husserl’s specific proposal, according to which reciprocal empathy, second-person engagement and self-alienation are all important presuppositions for group-identification and we-identity. (shrink)
We have some of our properties purely in virtue of the way we are. (Our mass is an example.) We have other properties in virtue of the way we interact with the world. (Our weight is an example.) The former are the intrinsic properties, the latter are the extrinsic properties. This seems to be an intuitive enough distinction to grasp, and hence the intuitive distinction has made its way into many discussions in philosophy, including discussions in ethics, philosophy of mind, (...) metaphysics, epistemology and philosophy of physics. Unfortunately, when we look more closely at the intuitive distinction, we find reason to suspect that it conflates a few related distinctions, and that each of these distinctions is somewhat resistant to analysis. (shrink)
Drawing on the work of Scheler, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Husserl and Sartre, this article presents an overview of some of the diverse approaches to intersubjectivity that can be found in the phenomenological tradition. Starting with a brief description of Scheler's criticism of the argument from analogy, the article continues by showing that the phenomenological analyses of intersubjectivity involve much more than a 'solution' to the 'traditional' problem of other minds. Intersubjectivity doesn't merely concern concrete face-to-face encounters between individuals. It is also (...) something that is at play in simple perception, in tool-use, in emotions, drives and different types of self-awareness. Ultimately, the phenomenologists would argue that a treatment of intersubjectivity requires a simultaneous analysis of the relationship between subjectivity and world. It is not possible simply to insert intersubjectivity somewhere within an already established ontology; rather, the three regions 'self', 'others', and 'world' belong together; they reciprocally illuminate one another, and can only be understood in their interconnection. (shrink)
Simulationists have recently started to employ the term "empathy" when characterizing our most basic understanding of other minds. I agree that empathy is crucial, but I think it is being misconstrued by the simulationists. Using some ideas to be found in Scheler's classical discussion of empathy, I will argue for a different understanding of the notion. More specifically, I will argue that there are basic levels of interpersonal understanding - in particular the understanding of emotional expressions - that are not (...) explicable in terms of simulation-plus-projection routines. (shrink)
This the tenth volume in the Vancouver Studies in Cogntive Science series. It concerns metarepresentation: the construction and use of representations that represent other representations. Metarepresentations are ubiquitous among human beings, whenever we think or talk about mental states or linguistic acts, or theorize about the mind or language. It is crucial to the unconscious process we use to divine the mental states of others, and ultimately to any workable theory of the mind. This volume collects previously unpublished studies on (...) the subject by an interdisciplinary group of contributors, including: Daniel Dennett, Alvin Goldman, Keith Lehrer, Leda Cosmides and John Tooby. (shrink)
Humans have two kinds of beliefs, intuitive beliefs and reflective beliefs. Intuitive beliefs are a most fundamental category of cognition, defined in the architecture of the mind. They are formulated in an intuitive mental lexicon. Humans are also capable of entertaining an indefinite variety of higher-order or "reflective" propositional attitudes, many of which are of a credal sort. Reasons to hold "reflective beliefs" are provided by other beliefs that describe the source of the reflective belief as reliable, or that provide (...) explicit arguments in favour of the reflective belief. The mental lexicon of reflective beliefs includes not only intuitive, but also reflective concepts. (shrink)
Humans are expert users of metarepresentations. How has this human metarepresentational capacity evolved? In order to contribute to the ongoing debate on this question, the chapter focuses on three more specific issues: i. How do humans metarepresent representations? ii. What came first: language, or metarepresentations? iii. Do humans have more than one metarepresentational ability?
In two experiments, we investigated whether 13-month-old infants expect agents to behave in a way consistent with information to which they have been exposed. Infants watched animations in which an animal was either provided information or prevented from gathering information about the actual location of an object. The animal then searched successfully or failed to retrieve it. Infants’ looking times suggest that they expected searches to be effective when—and only when—the agent had had access to the relevant information. This result (...) supports the view that infants’ possess an incipient metarepresentational ability that permits them to attribute beliefs to agents. We discuss the viability of more conservative explanations and the relationship between this early ability and later forms of ‘theory of mind’ that appear only after children have become experienced verbal communicators. (shrink)
Robert Nozick's experience machine thought experiment (Nozick's scenario) is widely used as the basis for a ?knockdown? argument against all internalist mental state theories of well-being. Recently, however, it has been convincingly argued that Nozick's scenario should not be used in this way because it elicits judgments marred by status quo bias and other irrelevant factors. These arguments all include alternate experience machine thought experiments, but these scenarios also elicit judgments marred by status quo bias and other irrelevant factors. In (...) this paper, several experiments are conducted in order to create and test a relatively bias-free experience machine scenario. It is argued that if an experience machine thought experiment is used to evaluate internalist mental state theories of well-being, then this relatively bias-free scenario should be used over any of the existing scenarios. Unlike the existing experience machine scenarios, when this new scenario is used to assess internalist mental state theories of well-being, it does not provide strong evidence to refute or endorse them. (shrink)
On the relevance-theoretic approach outlined in this paper, linguistic metaphors are not a natural kind, and ―metaphor‖ is not a theoretically important notion in the study of verbal communication. Metaphorical interpretations are arrived at in exactly the same way as literal, loose and hyperbolic interpretations: there is no mechanism specific to metaphors, and no interesting generalisation that applies only to them. In this paper, we defend this approach in detail by showing how the same inferential procedure applies to utterances at (...) both ends of the literal-loose-metaphorical continuum, and how both literal and metaphorical utterances may create poetic effects. (shrink)
How should modern medicine's dramatic new powers to sustain life be employed? How should limited resources be used to extend and improve the quality of life? In this collection, Dan Brock, a distinguished philosopher and bioethicist and co-author of Deciding for Others (Cambridge, 1989), explores the moral issues raised by new ideals of shared decision making between physicians and patients. The book develops an ethical framework for decisions about life-sustaining treatment and euthanasia, and examines how these life and death decisions (...) are transformed in health policy when the focus shifts from what is best for a patient to what is just for all patients. Professor Brock combines acute philosophical analysis with a deep understanding of the realities of clinical health policy. This is a volume for philosophers concerned with medical ethics, health policy professionals, physicians interested in bioethics, and undergraduate courses in biomedical ethics. (shrink)
When it comes to understanding the nature of social cognition, we have—according to the standard view—a choice between the simulation theory, the theory-theory or some hybrid between the two. The aim of this paper is to argue that there are, in fact, other options available, and that one such option has been articulated by various thinkers belonging to the phenomenological tradition. More specifically, the paper will contrast Lipps' account of empathy—an account that has recently undergone something of a revival in (...) the hands of contemporary simulationists—with various accounts of empathy found in the phenomenological tradition. I discuss the way Lipps was criticized by Scheler, Stein and Husserl, and outline some of the core features of their, at times divergent, alternatives. I then proceed by considering how their basic take on empathy and social cognition was taken up and modified by Schutz—a thinker whose contribution to the analysis of interpersonal understanding has been unjustly neglected in recent years. (shrink)