What is consciousness? Why and when do we have it? Where does it come from, and how does it relate to the lump of squishy grey matter in our heads, or to our material and social worlds? While neuroscientists, philosophers, psychologists, historians, and cultural theorists offer widely different perspectives on these fundamental questions concerning what it is like to be human, most agree that consciousness represents a 'hard problem'. -/- The emergence of consciousness studies as a multidisciplinary discourse addressing these (...) issues has often been associated with rapid advances in neuroscience-perhaps giving the impression that the arts and humanities have arrived late at the debating table. The longer historical view suggests otherwise, but it is probably true that music has been under-represented in accounts of consciousness. Music and Consciousness aims to redress the balance: its twenty essays offer a timely and multi-faceted contribution to consciousness studies, critically examining some of the existing debates and raising new questions. -/- The collection makes it clear that to understand consciousness we need to do much more than just look at brains: studying music demonstrates that consciousness is as much to do with minds, bodies, culture, and history. Incorporating several chapters that move outside Western philosophical traditions, Music and Consciousness corrects any perception that the study of consciousness is a purely occidental preoccupation. And in addition to what it says about consciousness the volume also presents a distinctive and thought-provoking configuration of new writings about music. (shrink)
David Clarke examines the complex relationship between phenomenological and semiological understandings of music and consciousness through the window of time. He also explores the polar tension between Husserl's phenomenology and Derrida's critique of it, considering what the experience of music might have to offer in response to the crucial question of what is most primordial or essential to consciousness: the unceasing, differential movement of meaning, or some pure flow of subjectivity that underpins all our experience.
In so far as philosophers can agree about anything, a majority would agree that the two most influential philosophers of the twentieth century were Ludwig Wittgenstein and Martin Heidegger. Both possessed unmatched philosophical profundity, both challenged and overturned fundamental areas of philosophical discourse and both changed philosophy forever. Both were charismatic teachers who generated and inspired a legion of followers and both spawned trajectories of philosophical research which remain vital to this day. And one of them supported the most evil (...) regime in history. (shrink)
This article explores a German philosophy of metaphor, which proposed a close link between the body and the mind as the basis for metaphor, debunked the view that metaphor is just a decorative rhetorical device and questioned the distinction between the literal and the figurative. This philosophy of metaphor developed at the intersection between a reflection on language and thought and a reflection on the nature of beauty in aesthetics. Thinkers such as Giambattista Vico, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jean Paul (...) and others laid the foundations for this philosophy and it was successively refined by Gustav Gerber, Alfred Biese and Friedrich Nietzsche. It influenced in its turn in various ways the linguistic study of metaphor and the psychology of metaphor as elaborated, for instance, by a lesser-known American scholar, Gertrude Buck. All these thinkers contributed to a philosophy and psychology of the metaphoric according to which metaphors are not only nice, but necessary for the structure and growth of human thought and language. Obvious parallels between this 19th-century philosophy of metaphor and the 20th-century theory of metaphor developed by Lakoff and his followers are examined throughout. (shrink)
Unusual atmospheric phenomena were observed in daylight by multiple observers on board two civil aircraft in widely separated locations. We summarise results of an investigation based on radio communications reporting events in real time to Air Traffic Control, ATC radar and weather radar recordings, Civil Aviation Authority documents, witness interviews and statements, and other sources. We describe attempts to explain the phenomena with the help of expert specialist advisers and professional resources in the fields of meteorology, atmospheric optics, oceanography and (...) geophysics. We are able to show that widespread media stories describing enormous phenomena up to a mile wide and detected by radar were based on speculation and misunderstandings. Many news reports were grossly exaggerated and inaccurate. However, we are unable to conclusively identify the UAPs observed. It proves possible to eliminate a number of theories with a fairly high level of confidence, leaving us with two types of phenomena—a rare atmospheric-optical effect or an earthquake precursor—both of which have the potential to explain at least some, although not all, features of the reports. We highlight certain features that appear to leave open the possibility of unusual physical processes. Keywords: UAP—atmospheric optics—anomaly—mirage—earthquake lights—EQL. (shrink)
The study of how languages differ in their portrayal of motion events has received much attention since Talmy provided the first detailed account of the phenomenon. Interest has extended from real, or factive motion, to imagined or fictive motion, and from there to metaphorical motion, in which experience in one sensory domain is understood in terms of motion. Studies of metaphorical motion have, however, concentrated so far on a limited number of sensory domains, principally vision, and drawn data from a (...) limited number of textual genres. The aim of this study is to identify the extent to which motion expressions are employed to express organoleptic sensory experiences, that is experiences of taste and smell. Drawing on analytical categories put forward by Talmy in his treatment of Satellite- and Verb-framed languages and on treatments based on Cognitive Metaphor Theory, and particularly the concept of ‘embodiment’, we investigate the variety and complexity of organoleptic Paths evidenced in two self-built corpora of craft beer reviews, one in Spanish, the other in English. We also compare the level of complexity evident in these sensory Path types with those of another, closely related, sensory domain: vision. The study finds, in line with related studies, that English has greater variety and complexity of sensory Paths than Spanish. A more unexpected result is the finding that organoleptic Paths are more varied and complex than visual Paths. This finding, then, may encourage us to reconsider Path complexity differences in sensory domains as a multifactorial issue and not simply as a cognitive-linguistic phenomenon. It is proposed here that external factors such as genre, or specifically, its communicative functions and linguistic constraints, coupled with the unique ‘perceptual landscapes’ created by each sensory modality, may transcend perceived physical boundaries of a Figure’s trajectory. (shrink)
This paper considers Baudrillard’s thought in relation to cinema. It begins with a discussion of the way in which Baudrillard’s work typically invokes film and of the consequent paucity of Baudrillardian studies of cinema, making reference to the literature on Blade Runner and The Matrix . It proceeds to excavate a fuller account of Baudrillard’s conception of cinema, drawing, initially, on Baudrillard’s use of the 1926 German silent film, The Student of Prague , in his conclusion to The Consumer Society (...) . At first blush, this leads to a somewhat dismissive assessment of film qua simulation. Having reached the point where the importance of seduction to Baudrillard’s conception of cinema makes itself evident, however, the paper continues to evoke the other side of Baudrillard’s thought, where additional reference to his remarks on photography allows greater purchase on his understanding of cinema. (shrink)
Most works about the philosophy of Martin Heidegger either disregard Heidegger’s attachment to National Socialism or assume the ‘minimalist’ view that his attachment was a brief political aberration of no consequence for his philosophy. This paper contends that the minimalist view is not only factually wrong but also that its assumption promotes methodological errors and poor philosophy. To assess this contention we examine two important texts from one of the more fertile fields in current philosophy: Jeff Malpas’s Heidegger’s Topology: Being, (...) Place, World (2006) and Heidegger and the Thinking of Place (2012). Malpas claims that Heidegger’s rejection of National Socialism spurred, or was concomitant with, new directions in his philosophy. These claims are wrong. The paper concludes that any work about Heidegger’s philosophy must first acknowledge and understand his enduring attachment to National Socialism. (shrink)
Personal in its perspective, this extended photo essay invites you to join a fabricated journey through the real space of Hong Kong, looking awry at scenes too often photographed before, and looking anew at scenes too often overlooked.
There is ongoing debate about whether it is ethically acceptable to allow the creation of cloned embryos in order to produce human stem cells. A cloned embryo is created through a process called somatic-cell nuclear transfer, often known as ‘therapeutic’ cloning. The value of stem cells lies in their capacity to become any sort of cell in the human body. This capacity is particularly useful for treating medical conditions where stem cells can be used to repair or replace damaged tissue. (...) The value of a cloned embryo is that the DNA from a person who needs stem cell treatment can be used to create the clone and thereby minimise the likelihood that any inserted stem cells will be rejected. Research on the use of cloned stem cells is in its earliest stage. (shrink)
Tippett is often cast as a composer with a strong visionary streak, but what does that mean for a twentieth-century artist? In this multi-faceted study, David Clarke explores Tippett's complex creative imagination - its dialogue between a romantic's aspirations to the ideal and absolute, and a modernist's sceptical realism. He shows how the musical formations of works such as The Midsummer Marriage, King Priam, and The Vision of Saint Augustine resonate with the aesthetic and theoretical ideas of key figures in (...) modern Western culture - some known to have been influential to the composer, others not usually associated with him. Analyses of late works such as the Triple Concerto and Byzantium also speculate on Tippett's sexuality as a critical element in his creative and political consciousness. (shrink)
This article summarizes the principal arguments for panpsychism given by Charles Hartshorne by separating it from Whitehead's event metaphysics and Hartshorne's natural theology. It sorts out the plausible reasons for panpsychism given by Hartshorne from those less plausible. Among the plausible reasons are those based on analogical reasoning and the impossibility of explaining how mentality originated. Among the implausible ones are those that postulate a type of psychic causation between wholes and parts. The conclusion is that the plausible reasons tip (...) the balance in favor of the doctrine. (shrink)