In this article, I consider the rising interest in mindfulness meditation in the West and submit it to an analysis from a Sartrean phenomenological and ontological perspective. I focus on a common form of Buddhist meditation known as ānāpānasati, which focuses on the breath, in order to draw connections between common obstacles and experiences among meditation practitioners and Sartre’s understanding of consciousness. I argue that first-person reports generally support a Sartrean view of consciousness as spontaneous, free, and intentional, but I (...) also highlight areas where Sartre’s phenomenology and ontology oversimplify the complex relationship between the pre-reflective and reflective modes of consciousness. I contend too that Sartre does not always take seriously enough the distracted, unfocused, and obsessively thought-oriented nature of consciousness. (shrink)
In this article, I reconsider the question of how best to understand Sartre's concept of bad faith by investigating it through the Derridean lens of deconstruction. I argue that Sartre's discussion of bad faith in _Being and Nothingness_ mirrors Derrida's criticisms of structuralism in 'Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences'. Examining their distinctive discussions of 'play', I claim that Derrida's unique deconstructive interpretation of this notion operates within Sartre's criticisms of the 'spirit of seriousness'. I (...) reinterpret bad faith as the attempt to solidify a permanent structure of one's personality, in order to avoid or escape from the 'play' or 'freedom' built into structures and our existential condition, and conclude that embracing 'play' is an essential characteristic of authenticity. (shrink)
Can we understand important social issues by studying individual personalities and decisions? Or are societies somehow more than the people in them? Sociologists have long believed that psychology can't explain what happens when people work together in complex modern societies. In contrast, most psychologists and economists believe that if we have an accurate theory of how individuals make choices and act on them, we can explain pretty much everything about social life. Social Emergence takes a new approach to these longstanding (...) questions. Sawyer argues that societies are complex dynamical systems, and that the best way to resolve these debates is by developing the concept of emergence, focusing on multiple levels of analysis - individuals, interactions, and groups - and with a dynamic focus on how social group phenomena emerge from communication processes among individual members. This book makes a unique contribution not only to complex systems research but also to social theory. (shrink)
A collection of papers to illustrate new waves in Philosophy of Language: -/- "Linguistic Puzzles and Semantic Pretence" by B. Armour-Garb & J. Woodbridge; "Minimal Semantics and the Nature of Psychological Evidence" by E. Borg; "A Naturalistic Approach to the Philosophy of Language" by J. Collins; "In Praise of our Linguistic Intuitions" by A. Everett; "Phenomenal Continua and Secondary Properties" by P. Greenough; "Semantic Oughts in Context" by A. Hattiangadi; "Content Force and Semantic Norms" by M. Kolbel; "Linguistic Competence and (...) Propositional Knowledge" by G. Longworth; "Expressives and Beyond" by S. Predelli; "Analyticity in Externalist Languages" by G. Russell ; "Names as Predicates" by S. Sawyer; "The Epistemic Reading of Counterfactual Conditionals" by K. Schulz; "Introduction, Transmission, and the Foundations of Meaning" by J. Speaks. (shrink)
Three years before his death, Michel Foucault delivered a series of lectures at the Catholic University of Louvain that until recently remained almost unknown. These lectures—which focus on the role of avowal, or confession, in the determination of truth and justice—provide the missing link between Foucault’s early work on madness, delinquency, and sexuality and his later explorations of subjectivity in Greek and Roman antiquity. Ranging broadly from Homer to the twentieth century, Foucault traces the early use of truth-telling in ancient (...) Greece and follows it through to practices of self-examination in monastic times. By the nineteenth century, the avowal of wrongdoing was no longer sufficient to satisfy the call for justice; there remained the question of who the “criminal” was and what formative factors contributed to his wrong-doing. The call for psychiatric expertise marked the birth of the discipline of psychiatry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as its widespread recognition as the foundation of criminology and modern criminal justice. Published here for the first time, the 1981 lectures have been superbly translated by Stephen W. Sawyer and expertly edited and extensively annotated by Fabienne Brion and Bernard E. Harcourt. They are accompanied by two contemporaneous interviews with Foucault in which he elaborates on a number of the key themes. An essential companion to _Discipline and Punish_, _Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling_ will take its place as one of the most significant works of Foucault to appear in decades, and will be necessary reading for all those interested in his thought. (shrink)
Paradigm cases of conceptual engineering involve topic preservation through semantic change. The challenge (known as Strawson's challenge) is to explain how this is possible. In previous work, I have responded to the challenge by advocating an externalist metasemantic framework that distinguishes the linguistic meaning of a term from the concept the term expresses. In this paper I argue that the topics of interest to conceptual engineers are underpinned by objective properties and that in conceptual engineering we aim for truth. I (...) then go on to argue against the proposals by Herman Cappelen and by Derek Ball. (shrink)
Words change meaning over time. Some meaning shift is accompanied by a corresponding change in subject matter; some meaning shift is not. In this paper I argue that an account of linguistic meaning can accommodate the first kind of case, but that a theory of concepts is required to accommodate the second. Where there is stability of subject matter through linguistic change, it is concepts that provide the stability. The stability provided by concepts allows for genuine disagreement and ameliorative change (...) in the context of conceptual engineering. (shrink)
Juhani Yli-Vakkuri has argued that the Twin Earth thought experiments offered in favour of semantic externalism can be replaced by a straightforward deductive argument from premisses widely accepted by both internalists and externalists alike. The deductive argument depends, however, on premisses that, on standard formulations of internalism, cannot be satisfied by a single belief simultaneously. It does not therefore, constitute a proof of externalism. The aim of this article is to explain why.
This is a contribution to the symposium on Herman Cappelen’s Fixing Language. Cappelen proposes a metasemantic framework—the ‘Austerity Framework’—within which to understand the general phenomenon of conceptual engineering. The proposed framework is austere in the sense that it makes no reference to concepts. Conceptual engineering is then given a ‘worldly’ construal according to which conceptual engineering is a process that operates on the world. I argue, contra Cappelen, that an adequate theory of conceptual engineering must make reference to concepts. This (...) is because concepts are required to account for topic continuity, a phenomenon which lies at the heart of projects in conceptual engineering. I argue that Cappelen’s own account of topic continuity is inadequate as a result of the austerity of his metasemantic framework, and that his worldly construal of conceptual engineering is untenable. (shrink)
This paper provides an externalist account of talk and thought that clearly distinguishes the two. It is argued that linguistic meanings and concepts track different phenomena and have different explanatory roles. The distinction, understood along the lines proposed, brings theoretical gains in a cluster of related areas. It provides an account of meaning change which accommodates the phenomenon of contested meanings and the possibility of substantive disagreement across theoretical divides, and it explains the nature and value of conceptual engineering in (...) a way that addresses recent prominent concerns. (shrink)
In a series of recent articles, Robin Jeshion has developed a theory of singular thought which she calls ‘cognitivism’. According to Jeshion, cognitivism offers a middle path between acquaintance theories—which she takes to impose too strong a requirement on singular thought, and semantic instrumentalism—which she takes to impose too weak a requirement. In this article, I raise a series of concerns about Jeshion's theory, and suggest that the relevant data can be accommodated by a version of acquaintance theory that distinguishes (...) unsuccessful thoughts of singular form from successful singular thoughts, and in addition allows for ‘trace-based’ acquaintance. (shrink)
In Part I, the author argued for nonreductive individualism (NRI), an account of the individual-collective relation that is ontologically individualist yet rejects methodological individualism. However, because NRI is ontologically individualist, social entities and properties would seem to be only analytic constructs, and if so, they would seem to be epiphenomenal, since only real things can have causal power. In general, a nonreductionist account is a relatively weak defense of sociological explanation if it cannot provide an account of how social properties (...) can participate in causal relations. In this article, the author extends NRI to address this weakness and provides an account of social causation that he refers to as supervenient causation. Key Words: individualism collectivism social realism social causation. (shrink)
Over the last 25 years, there has been an increasing fascination with the “dark” side of leadership. The term “destructive leadership” has been used as an overarching expression to describe various “bad” leader behaviors believed to be associated with harmful consequences for followers and organizations. Yet, there is a general consensus and appreciation in the broader leadership literature that leadership represents much more than the behaviors of those in positions of influence. It is a dynamic, cocreational process between leaders, followers, (...) and environments, the product of which contributes to group and organizational outcomes. In this paper, we argue that, despite this more holistic recognition of leadership processes within the broader leadership literature, current conceptualizations and analyses of destructive leadership continue to focus too heavily on behaviors and characteristics of “bad” leaders. In our view, to achieve a more balanced understanding of destructive leadership, it is important to adopt more integrative approaches that are based in the contemporary leadership discourse and that recognize flawed or toxic leaders, susceptible followers, and conducive environments as interdependent elements of a broader destructive leadership process. To this end, we offer a critique of the destructive leadership literature, propose a broader definition of destructive leadership, and highlight gaps in our understanding of leaders, followers, and environments in contributing to destructive leadership processes. Finally, we conclude by discussing strategies for examining destructive leadership in a broader, more holistic fashion. (shrink)
This paper considers the relevance of the Duhem-Quine thesis in economics. In the introductory discussion which follows, the meaning of the thesis and a brief history of its development are detailed. The purpose of the paper is to discuss the effects of the thesis in four specific and diverse theories in economics, and to illustrate the dependence of testing the theories on a set of auxiliary hypotheses. A general taxonomy of auxiliary hypotheses is provided to demonstrate the confounding of auxiliary (...) hypotheses with the testing of economic theory. (shrink)
This article focuses on emergence in social systems. The author begins by proposing a new tool to explore the mechanisms of social emergence: multi agentbased computer simulation. He then draws on philosophy of mind to develop an account of social emergence that raises potential problems for the methodological individualism of both social mechanism and of multi agent simulation. He then draws on various complexity concepts to propose a set of criteria whereby one can determine whether a given social mechanism generates (...) emergent properties, in the sense that their explanation cannot be reduced to a mechanistic account of individuals and their interactions. This combined account helps to resolve the competing claims of methodological individualists and social realists. The authors conclusion is that the scope of mechanistic explanation may be limited due to the extreme complexity of many social systems. Key Words: emergence mechanism computer simulation methodological individualism social realism. (shrink)
Content externalism implies first, that there is a distinction between concepts and conceptions, and second, that there is a distinction between thoughts and states of mind. In this paper, I argue for a novel theory of self-knowledge: the partial-representation theory of self-knowledge, according to which the self-ascription of a thought is authoritative when it is based on a con-scious, occurrent thought in virtue of which it partially represents an underlying state of mind.
This is an attack on the very notion of narrow content. In particular, I argue against two-factor theories of mental content, Chalmers's epistemic two-dimensional account of narrow content and Segal's truth-conditional account of narrow content.
The concept of emergence is a central thread uniting Durkheim's theoretical and empirical work, yet this aspect of Durkheim's work has been neglected. I reinterpret Durkheim in light of theories of emergence developed by contemporary philosophers of mind, and I show that Durkheim's writings prefigure many elements of these contemporary theories. Reading Durkheim as an emergentist helps to clarify several difficult and confusing aspects of his work, and reveals a range of unresolved issues. I identify five such issues, and I (...) show how Durkheim's writings on emergence suggest potential responses. (shrink)
In this paper, I draw on a recent account of perceptual knowledge according to which knowledge is contrastive. I extend the contrastive account of perceptual knowledge to yield a contrastive account of self-knowledge. Along the way, I develop a contrastive account of the propositional attitudes (beliefs, desires, regrets and so on) and suggest that a contrastive account of the propositional attitudes implies an anti-individualist account of propositional attitude concepts (the concepts of belief, desire, regret, and so on).
The aim of this paper is to show that the truth of content externalism can be grounded in purely epistemological considerations in which no appeal is made to Twin‐Earth style cases. Content externalism is required to provide an adequate account of perceptual warrant.
This paper looks at the debates between internalism and externalism in mind and epistemology. In each realm, internalists face what we call 'The Connection Problem', while externalists face what we call 'The Problem of Opacity'. We offer an integrated account of thought content and epistemic warrant that overcomes the problems. We then apply the framework to debates between internalists and externalists in metaethics.
In this paper I argue first, that a contrastive account of self-knowledge and the propositional attitudes entails an anti-individualist account of propositional attitude concepts, second, that the final account provides a solution to the McKinsey paradox, and third, that the account has the resources to explain why certain anti-skeptical arguments fail.
In this paper, I argue that content externalism and privileged access are compatible, but that one can, in a sense, have privileged access to the world. The supposedly absurd conclusion should be embraced.
The Content Skeptic argues that a subject could not have introspective knowledge of a thought whose content is individuated widely. This claim is incorrect, relying on the tacit assumption that introspective knowledge differs significantly from other species of knowledge. The paper proposes a reliabilist model for understanding introspective knowledge according to which introspective knowledge is simply another species of knowledge, and according to which claims to introspective knowledge are not, as suggested by the Content Skeptic, defeated by the mere possibility (...) of error. This way of understanding introspective knowledge affords a robust theory of privileged access consistent with semantic externalism. (shrink)
This is a contribution to the symposium on Yli-Vakkuri and Hawthorne's book, Narrow Content. I argue that the unified treatment of thought content advocated by Yli-Vakkuri and Hawthorne fails to capture the distinctively mental aspects of indexical thought and that the kinds of indexical examples to which Yli-Vakkuri and Hawthorne appeal can tell us nothing very interesting about mental states as such.
Burge's thesis is the thesis that certain second-order self-ascriptions are self-verifying in virtue of their self-referential form. The thesis has recently come under attack on the grounds that it does not yield a theory of self-knowledge consistent with semantic externalism, and also on the grounds that it is false. In this paper I defend Burge's thesis against both charges, in particular against the arguments of Bernecker, Gallois and Goldberg. The alleged counterexamples they provide are merely apparent counterexamples, and the thesis (...) is adequate to its proper task. To think otherwise is simply to misunderstand the thesis. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that an externalist theory of thought content provides the means to resolve two debates in moral philosophy. The first—that between judgement internalism and judgement externalism—concerns the question of whether there is a conceptual connection between moral judgement and motivation. The second—that between reasons internalism and reasons externalism—concerns the relationship between moral reasons and an agent's subjective motivational set. The resolutions essentially stem from the externalist claim that concepts can be grasped partially, and a new moral (...) theory, which I call ‘moral externalism’, emerges. (shrink)
Åsa Maria Wikforss has proposed a response to Burge's thought-experiments in favour of social externalism, one which allows the individualist to maintain that narrow content is truth-conditional without being idiosyncratic. The narrow aim of this paper is to show that Wikforss' argument against social externalism fails, and hence that the individualist position she endorses is inadequate. The more general aim is to attain clarity on the social externalist thesis. Social externalism need not rest, as is typically thought, on the possibility (...) of incomplete linguistic understanding or conceptual error. I identify the unifying principle that underlies the various externalist thought-experiments. (shrink)
Jens Greve has accurately summarized nonreductive individualism (NRI) and has made an important contribution to an ongoing discussion concerning individualism, reductionism, and emergentism. Greve’s primary criticism is of my account of downward causation, and he cites Kim’s critique of Fodor by analogy. I argue that my original paper already addressed Kim’s critique, by drawing on other philosophers of mind that Greve does not engage with, to make an argument for downward causation based on wild disjunction. Further, I argue that Greve (...) does not successfully make the case that the issue of the autonomy of the mental level is distinct from the autonomy of the social level. As empirical examples of irreducible emergent group properties, I cite studies of improvisational theater dialogues, and studies of social networks. (shrink)
This study investigates children's understanding of school bullying and victimization as represented through drawings, narratives and open?ended qualitative questions. Eighty?two children (8?9?year?olds, n = 30, M = 8;7; 10?11?year?olds, n = 18, M = 10;7; and 11?12?year?olds, n = 34, M = 11;9) from a mainly Euro?Canadian, mid?socioeconomic city in Ontario, Canada, participated in individual interviews that required them to draw and narrate stories of ?someone being bullied?. Comments on bullies' motives reflected proactive/instrumental and reactive/emotional aggression, but also suggested sadistic (...) aspects of bullying that are not fully captured in existing subtypes of aggression. Participants' narratives also indicated that it may be crucial to create comprehensive anti?bullying interventions that include a component on moral values related to bullying and victimization. (shrink)
The problem of 'no fault' compensation for patients who suffer adverse effects as a result of their participation in clinical trials is discussed in the light of the guidelines issued by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and our recent experiences in reviewing protocols submitted to the local ethics of surgical research sub-committee. We have found a variety of qualifications being applied by pharmaceutical firms which are not in the spirit of the guidelines, let alone the interests of (...) the patient, and we suggest a means whereby the patients can be assured of fair treatment in the event of 'no fault' injury. (shrink)
This paper is an extended exploration of Mead's phrase the emergence of the novel. I describe and characterize emergent systems-complex dynamical systems that display behavior that cannot be predicted from a full and complete description of the component units of the system. Emergence has become an influential concept in contemporary cognitive science [A. Clark Being there, Cambridge: MIT Press], complexity theory [W. Bechtel & R.C. Richardson Discovering complexity, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press], artificial life [R.A. Brooks & P. Maes Artificial (...) life IV, Cambridge: MIT Press; C.G. Langton Artificial life III, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley; C.G. Langton et al. Artificial life II, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley), and robotics [S. Forrest Emergent computation, Cambridge: MIT Press]. I propose that novelty is a necessary property of emergent systems, and I'll explore a specific kind of emergent system: an improvisational theater ensemble. This is an example of emergence in a small social group, which I call collaborative emergence to emphasize several important contrasts with other complex systems that manifest emergence, such as connectionist networks and Alife simulations. (shrink)
Research on destructive leadership has largely focused on leader characteristics thought to be responsible for harmful organizational outcomes. Recent findings, however, demonstrate the need to examine important contextual factors underlying such processes. Thus, the present study sought to determine the effects of an organization's climate and financial performance, as well as the leader's gender, on subordinate perceptions of and reactions (i.e., whistle-blowing intentions) to aversive leadership, a form of destructive leadership based on coercive power. 302 undergraduate participants read through a (...) series of vignettes describing a fictional organization, its employees, and an aversive leader in charge of the company's sales department. They were then asked to envision themselves as subordinates of the leader and respond to several quantitative measures and open-ended questions. Consistent with Padilla and colleagues' (2007) toxic triangle theory, results suggest that both perceptions and reactions to aversive leadership depend on the three aforementioned factors. Specifically, aversive leaders were perceived more aversively and elicited greater whistle-blowing intentions in financially unstable organizations possessing climates intolerant of negative leader behavior. Moreover, female aversive leaders were perceived more aversively than their male counterparts under such conditions. Theoretical and practical implications as well as future research directions are also discussed. (shrink)
De Dreu and Gross's distinction between attack and defense is complicated in real-world conflicts because competing leaders construe their position as one of defense, and power imbalances place status quo challengers in a defensive position. Their account of defense as vigilant avoidance is incomplete because it avoids a reference to anger which transforms anxious avoidance into collective and unified action.
I explore a type of computational social simulation known as artificial societies. Artificial society simulations are dynamic models of real-world social phenomena. I explore the role that these simulations play in social explanation, by situating these simulations within contemporary philosophical work on explanation and on models. Many contemporary philosophers have argued that models provide causal explanations in science, and that models are necessary mediators between theory and data. I argue that artificial society simulations provide causal mechanistic explanations. I conclude that (...) in their current form, these simulations are based on methodologically individualist assumptions that could limit their potential scope of social explanation. (shrink)
Déjà vu is the striking sense that the present situation feels familiar, alongside the realization that it has to be new. According to the Gestalt familiarity hypothesis, déjà vu results when the configuration of elements within a scene maps onto a configuration previously seen, but the previous scene fails to come to mind. We examined this using virtual reality technology. When a new immersive VR scene resembled a previously-viewed scene in its configuration but people failed to recall the previously-viewed scene, (...) familiarity ratings and reports of déjà vu were indeed higher than for completely novel scenes. People also exhibited the contrasting sense of newness and of familiarity that is characteristic of déjà vu. Familiarity ratings and déjà vu reports among scenes recognized as new increased with increasing feature-match of a scene to one stored in memory, suggesting that feature-matching can produce familiarity and déjà vu when recall fails. (shrink)
In this article I argue for a novel theory of representational content, which I call ‘subjective externalism’. The view combines an internal, subjective constraint on the attribution of thought content which traditionally underpins internalist theories of thought, and an external, objective constraint on the attribution of thought content which traditionally underpins externalist theories of thought. While internalism and externalism are mutually inconsistent, the constraints to which each theory is committed are not. It is this realization that opens up the conceptual (...) space for subjective externalism, according to which the correct attribution of thought content to an individual is essentially constrained by her nonrepresentational relations to objective manifest properties in her wider reality. (shrink)
This paper is a defence of Putnam's claim that the proposition expressed by the sentence 'I am a brain-in-a-vat' is necessarily false. In particular, the paper defends the anti-sceptical conclusion against an attack by Noonan.