Basic Emotion Theory, or BET, has dominated the affective sciences for decades (Ekman, 1972, 1992, 1999; Ekman and Davidson, 1994; Griffiths, 2013; Scarantino and Griffiths, 2011). It has been highly influential, driving a number of empirical lines of research (e.g., in the context of facial expression detection, neuroimaging studies and evolutionary psychology). Nevertheless, BET has been criticized by philosophers, leading to calls for it to be jettisoned entirely (Colombetti, 2014; Hufendiek, 2016). This paper defuses those criticisms. In addition, it shows (...) that we have good reason to retain BET. Finally, it reviews and puts to rest worries that BET’s commitment to affect programs renders it outmoded. We propose that, with minor adjustments, BET can avoid such criticisms when conceived under a radically enactive account of emotions. Thus, rather than leaving BET behind, we show how its basic ideas can be revised, refashioned and preserved. Hence, we conclude, our new BET is still a good bet. (shrink)
Context: Neurophenomenology, as formulated by Varela, offers an approach to the science of consciousness that seeks to get beyond the hard problem of consciousness. There is much to admire in the practical approach to the science of consciousness that neurophenomenology advocates. Problem: Even so, this article argues, the metaphysical commitments of the enterprise require a firmer foundation. The root problem is that neurophenomenology, as classically formulated by Varela, endorses a form of non-reductionism that, despite its ambitions, assumes rather than dissolves (...) the hard problem of consciousness. We expose that neurophenomenology is not a natural solution to that problem. We defend the view that whatever else neurophenomenology might achieve, it cannot close the gap between the phenomenal and the physical if there is no such gap to close. Method: Building on radical enactive and embodied approaches to cognitive science that deny that the phenomenal and the physical are metaphysically distinct, this article shows that the only way to deal properly with the hard problem is by denying the metaphysical distinction between the physical and the phenomenal that gives the hard problem life. Results: This article concludes by discussing how neurophenomenology might be reformulated under the auspices of a radically enactive and embodied account of cognition. That is, only by denying that there are two distinct phenomena - the physical and the phenomenal - can the neurophenomenological project get on with addressing its pragmatic problems of showing how neuroscientists may be guided by first-person data in their analysis of third-person experimental data, and vice versa. Implications: The topic addressed in this article is of direct value to consciousness studies in general and specifically for the project of neurophenomenology. If the neurophenomenological project is to deal with the hard problem, it must denude itself of its non-reductionist background assumption and embrace a strict identity thesis. Constructivist content: Radical enactive and embodied approaches to mind and consciousness adopt a view of consciousness as a dynamic activity - something an organism enacts in ongoing engagement with its environment. These approaches therefore share with constructivist approaches an action-based view of mind. (shrink)
New and radically reformative thinking about the enactive and embodied basis of cognition holds out the promise of moving forward age-old debates about whether we learn and how we learn. The radical enactive, embodied view of cognition (REC) poses a direct, and unmitigated, challenge to the trademark assumptions of traditional cognitivist theories of mind—those that characterize cognition as always and everywhere grounded in the manipulation of contentful representations of some kind. REC has had some success in understanding how sports skills (...) and expertise are acquired. But, REC approaches appear to encounter a natural obstacle when it comes to understanding skill acquisition in knowledge-rich, conceptually based domains like the hard sciences and mathematics. This paper offers a proof of concept that REC’s reach can be usefully extended into the domain of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning, especially when it comes to understanding the deep roots of such learning. In making this case, this paper has five main parts. The section “Ancient Intellectualism and the REC Challenge” briefly introduces REC and situates it with respect to rival views about the cognitive basis of learning. The “Learning REConceived: from Sports to STEM?” section outlines the substantive contribution REC makes to understanding skill acquisition in the domain of sports and identifies reasons for doubting that it will be possible to apply the same approach to knowledge-rich STEM domains. The “Mathematics as Embodied Practice” section gives the general layout for how to understand mathematics as an embodied practice. The section “The Importance of Attentional Anchors” introduces the concept “attentional anchor” and establishes why attentional anchors are important to educational design in STEM domains like mathematics. Finally, drawing on some exciting new empirical studies, the section “Seeing Attentional Anchors” demonstrates how REC can contribute to understanding the roots of STEM learning and inform its learning design, focusing on the case of mathematics. (shrink)
Folk psychological practices are arguably the basis for our articulate ability to understand why people act as they do. This paper considers how social neuroscience could contribute to an explanation of the neural basis of folk psychology by understanding its relevant neural firing and wiring as a product of enculturation. Such a view is motivated by the hypothesis that folk psychological competence is established through engagement with narrative practices that form a familiar part of the human niche. Our major aim (...) is to establish that conceiving of social neuroscience in this wider context is a tenable and promising alternative to characterizing its job as understanding mentalizing as a wholly brain-based form of ‘theory of mind’ activity. To promote this change of view, it is shown that understanding folk psychology as a narrative practice can accommodate the known evidence from social neuroscience, developmental and cross-cultural psychology, and cognitive archaeology at least as adequately, if not better than its main rivals, modularist accounts of theory of mind. (shrink)
There is more to skillful performance in sport than technical proficiency. How an athlete feels – whether he or she is confident, elated, nervous or fearful – also matters to how they perform in certain situations. Taking stock of this, some sports psychologists have begun to develop techniques for ensuring more robust, reliable performances by focusing on how athletes respond emotionally to situations while, at the same time, training their action-oriented skills. This chapter adds theoretical insight to those efforts, offering (...) reasons to endorse a radically enactivist framework when it comes to thinking about: the basic characteristics of emotions; how emotions are involved in skilled performance; and how they integrate with the sort of intelligence that informs the skilled execution of action exhibited in embodied expertise. (shrink)
Philosophers of language have drawn on metamathematical results in varied ways. Extensionalist philosophers have been particularly impressed with two, not unrelated, facts: the existence, due to Frege/Tarski, of a certain sort of semantics, and the seeming absence of intensional contexts from mathematical discourse. The philosophical import of these facts is at best murky. Extensionalists will emphasize the success and clarity of the model theoretic semantics; others will emphasize the relative poverty of the mathematical idiom; still others will question the aptness (...) of the standard extensional semantics for mathematics. In this paper I investigate some implications of the Gödel Second Incompleteness Theorem for these positions. I argue that the realm of mathematics, proof theory in particular, has been a breeding ground for intensionality and that satisfactory intensional semantic theories are implicit in certain rigorous technical accounts. (shrink)
“ is collection is a much-needed remedy to the confusion about which varieties of enactivism are robust yet viable rejections of traditional representationalism approaches to cognitivism – and which are not. Hutto’s paper is the pivot around which the expert commentators, enactivists and non-enactivists alike, sketch out the implications of enactivism for a wide variety of issues: perception, emotion, the theory of content, cognition, development, social interaction, and more. e inclusion of thoughtful replies from Hutto gives the volume (...) a further degree of depth and integration o en lacking in collections of essays. Anyone interested in assessing the current cutting-edge developments in the. (shrink)
As the latest tool for disseminated information and editorial comment shaping public opinion, blogging is quickly gaining popularity, prominence, and power. One major controversy for the new medium of circulating news and commentary is to what extent or even whether blogs should have codes of ethics. We examined 30 politically-oriented weblogs. Of these, only a few had a code of ethics, stated or implied. Little cohesion existed between the codes of ethics, but a few themes emerged. Qualitative analysis of the (...) codes of ethics shows that what bloggers valued most included accuracy, credibility, and etiquette. We further provide evidence to support the prevailing thought that, while appearing to be “ethical” seems important to bloggers, blogging ethics and credibility are difficult to operationalize. (shrink)
In this book, Daniel Hutto and Erik Myin promote the cause of a radically enactive, embodied approach to cognition that holds that some kinds of minds -- basic minds -- are neither best explained by processes involving the manipulation of ...
There are numerous well-documented problems with the DSM’s polythetic-categorical approach to the delineation of mental disorders. However, the DSM-5 introduces an empirically based dimensional model of personality traits. These traits form a hierarchical structure that represents the organization of dispositions to common mental disorders. We connect emotions to this joint hierarchical structure using a modified set point model, which accommodates major theories linking personality and psychopathology—continuum, risk, scar, and pathoplasty—as well as more dynamic multivariate models. We argue that these traits (...) represent typical causal pathways that can be extracted from a complex web of equifinality and multifinality. Ultimately, research on mood disorders provides a stronger account of their underling traits than the variably endorsed symptoms of their polythetic criteria. (shrink)
As the latest tool for disseminated information and editorial comment shaping public opinion, blogging is quickly gaining popularity, prominence, and power. One major controversy for the new medium of circulating news and commentary is to what extent or even whether blogs should have codes of ethics. We examined 30 politically-oriented weblogs. Of these, only a few had a code of ethics, stated or implied. Little cohesion existed between the codes of ethics, but a few themes emerged. Qualitative analysis of the (...) codes of ethics shows that what bloggers valued most included accuracy, credibility, and etiquette. We further provide evidence to support the prevailing thought that, while appearing to be "ethical" seems important to bloggers, blogging ethics and credibility are difficult to operationalize. (shrink)
An extended argument that cognitive phenomena—perceiving, imagining, remembering—can be best explained in terms of an interface between contentless and content-involving forms of cognition. -/- Evolving Enactivism argues that cognitive phenomena—perceiving, imagining, remembering—can be best explained in terms of an interface between contentless and content-involving forms of cognition. Building on their earlier book Radicalizing Enactivism, which proposes that there can be forms of cognition without content, Daniel Hutto and Erik Myin demonstrate the unique explanatory advantages of recognizing that only some (...) forms of cognition have content while others—the most elementary ones—do not. They offer an account of the mind in duplex terms, proposing a complex vision of mentality in which these basic contentless forms of cognition interact with content-involving ones. -/- Hutto and Myin argue that the most basic forms of cognition do not, contrary to a currently popular account of cognition, involve picking up and processing information that is then used, reused, stored, and represented in the brain. Rather, basic cognition is contentless—fundamentally interactive, dynamic, and relational. In advancing the case for a radically enactive account of cognition, Hutto and Myin propose crucial adjustments to our concept of cognition and offer theoretical support for their revolutionary rethinking, emphasizing its capacity to explain basic minds in naturalistic terms. They demonstrate the explanatory power of the duplex vision of cognition, showing how it offers powerful means for understanding quintessential cognitive phenomena without introducing scientifically intractable mysteries into the mix. (shrink)
This article presents a comprehensive study of the offence of trauma ek pronoias (intentional wounding) in Athenian law. Part I catalogues every occurrence of the words traËma and titr¿skv in the Attic orators and concludes that the requisite physical element of trauma ek pronoias was the use of a weapon. Part II analyses all attested trauma lawsuits and concludes that the requisite mental element of the offence was a bare intent to wound. Part III addresses the procedural evidence for trauma (...) ek pronoias and concludes that the action for trauma was a graphê, not a dikê. Two appendices discuss the use of the terms trauma and pronoia in Plato¿s Laws and Aristotle¿s Rhetoric and a reference to trauma ek pronoias in Lucian¿s Timon. (shrink)
Upshot: Hutto & Myin’s latest “radical enactive cognition” manifesto is a truly exciting book and – despite its short length – quite thick with argumentation. The word “manifesto” here does not only describe the rousing writing style (filled with witty and resounding expressions), but also the general awed feeling one gets, while reading, of the importance of “RECtifying” the current state of research in enactive cognition. Interestingly for the constructivist community, the hallmark thesis of their book is that there (...) can be intentionally directed cognition and perceptual experience without content. (shrink)
When considering submissions ethics committees should be consistent in all aspects of their review. A wide variation in performance is likely to result in the unfair dismissal of good research on the one hand with inadequate ethical review on the other, neither of which is acceptable. The recent annual reports for UK MRECs suggest that the level of unfavourable opinion ranges from 6.9% to 24.2% Although a certain level of inconsistency is inherent in the system of ethical review there is (...) little research to determine how much of that inconsistency in inevitable and how much of it is the result of poor process. The time has come for high quality research to be done to assess the consistency and hence the validity of ethical review. (shrink)
An alternative approach to emotion is presented here, which differs from that of Kagan and others. It orders emotion along a continuum of the embodiment of emotion, starting with a clear but rare case of pure emotion and at the other extreme discusses Damasio’s intelligent prefrontal patients who could not feel emotions critical to social life.
This article describes how a unique high school programme, not formally designed to teach moral principles or character lessons, contributed substantially to the character education of its students. Graduates over 20 years old were interviewed ( n =106) and completed a questionnaire ( n =204). Findings suggest the programme teachers helped students develop character attributes by providing a desirable character education environment. A majority of students reported that the programme was personalised, practical and, in many cases, life changing. A majority (...) of the students also indicated that the programme helped them develop an appreciation and respect for others and the environment, while helping them prepare for higher education. We present this programme as a model for character education at the high school level. Details are presented so that the programme can be replicated in other settings. We conclude that the success of this programme can be understood in terms of teachers' willingness to encourage students to take responsibility for their lives, and their learning through modeling of high character values, use of an integrated and experiential curriculum, and employment of a dialogical perspective on active education. (shrink)
Summary: What makes Hutto's account special is his commitment to the rejection of content, a point where he becomes a real radical. The book is not just another book about enactivism but it is an enactive book for everyone written by an enactivist.
The history of the book is everywhere, so widely diffused that it merits comparison with the famously elusive Scarlet Pimpernel, whose pursuers sought him without success. Like that figure, book history passes among us in disguise, reluctant to reveal its presence even as it gains ever-greater recognition. In some quarters, it lurks within the domain of bibliography, a field of scholarship dedicated to describing the histories of printed texts and, in the service of this enterprise, concerned with the details of (...) book-making. Elsewhere, book history installs itself within descriptions of libraries and education, sharing, with the first of these, a concern for how old books were accumulated and classified and, with the second, for the many ramifications of literacy and the fashioning of schoolbooks. Together with the history of journalism it studies how news was disseminated and ponders the significance of periodicals, be these newspapers or magazines. Political history has been another convenient site of disguise in the wake of efforts to connect the public sphere and concepts of nation with the emergence of print culture. And, of course, book history has enjoyed a long and fruitful kinship with literary history, a relationship freshly energized in recent decades as literary historians turned to describing the rise and remaking of a canon and to emphasizing the mediations that all texts undergosociology of texts,” to borrow a phrase made famous by D. F. McKenzie. To this list we can add the version of intellectual history that reconstructs the reading of a person or group and employs this data to generalize about the coming of the Enlightenment and similar formations. (shrink)
Established wisdom in cognitive science holds that the everyday folk psychological abilities of humans -- our capacity to understand intentional actions performed for reasons -- are inherited from our evolutionary forebears. In _Folk Psychological Narratives_, Daniel Hutto challenges this view and argues for the sociocultural basis of this familiar ability. He makes a detailed case for the idea that the way we make sense of intentional actions essentially involves the construction of narratives about particular persons. Moreover he argues that (...) children acquire this practical skill only by being exposed to and engaging in a distinctive kind of narrative practice. Hutto calls this developmental proposal the narrative practice hypothesis. Its core claim is that direct encounters with stories about persons who act for reasons supply children with both the basic structure of folk psychology and the norm-governed possibilities for wielding it in practice. In making a strong case for the as yet underexamined idea that our understanding of reasons may be socioculturally grounded, Hutto not only advances and explicates the claims of the NPH, but he also challenges certain widely held assumptions. In this way, _Folk Psychological Narratives_ both clears conceptual space around the dominant approaches for an alternative and offers a groundbreaking proposal. (shrink)
This article aims to interpret an annual initiation ritual celebrated in Hellenistic Phaistos , at a festival known as the Ekdusia, in which young men had to put on women's clothes and swear an oath of citizenship before they could graduate from the civic youth corps and enter the society of adult male citizens. It begins by reconstructing the ritual and situating it within its historical and social context. It then reviews the two major theories which have been used to (...) explain transvestism in Greek initiation-structuralist and psychological-and attempts to expose their shortcomings. The author remedies the difficulty with the structuralist approach-its focus on abstract symbols divorced from their social context-by understanding the ritual change of clothes at the Ekdusia in terms of the radical gender segregation in Cretan society and the gradual transition Cretan boys made from feminine spaces to masculine spaces in both city and home. The author remedies the main problem with the psychological approach-its focus on the psychological dynamic between mother and son rather than the motivations of the rite's adult male sponsors-by looking at how adult men, particularly in modern non-Greek societies which hold initiation rites, understand male adolescent development and create rituals in accordance therewith. This comparative model shows how men in gender-segregated societies think of boys as feminine themselves and believe that their masculine development is at risk if they are not rescued from the dangerous feminine realm, and forced to undergo a combination of defeminization and masculinization rituals. Although there is no direct evidence to suggest that Greek men thought of boys' transition rites in this way, the myths told about three different figures named Leukippos, related directly and indirectly to the Ekdusia, reveal this pattern of thought in its full form. (shrink)
his volume investigates Proclus' own thought and his wide-ranging influence within late Neoplatonic, Alexandrine and Byzantinian philosophy and theology. It further explores how Procline metaphysics and doctrines of causality influence and transition into Arabic and Islamic thought, up until Richard Hooker in England, Spinoza in Holland and Pico in Italy. John Dillon provides a helpful overview of Proclus' thought, Harold Tarrant discusses Proclus' influence within Alexandrian philosophy and Tzvi Langermann presents ground breaking work on the Jewish reception of Proclus, focusing (...) on the work of Joseph Solomon Delmedigo (1591-1655), while Stephen Gersh presents a comprehensive synopsis of Proclus' reception throughout Christendom. The volume also presents works from notable scholars like Helen Lang, Sarah Wear and Crystal Addey and has a considerable strength in its presentation of Pseudo-Dionysius, Proclus' transmission and development in Arabic philosophy and the problem of the eternity of the world. It will be important for anyone interested in the development and transition of ideas from the late ancient world onwards. (shrink)
Much has been written on the relative merits of different readings of Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. The recent renewal of the debate has almost exclusively been concerned with variants of the ineffabilist (metaphysical) reading of TL-P - notable such readings have been advanced by Elizabeth Anscombe, P. M. S. Hacker and H. O. Mounce - and the recently advanced variants of therapeutic (resolute) readings - notable advocates of which are James Conant, Cora Diamond, Juliet Floyd and Michael Kremer. During this debate, (...) there have been a number of writers who have tried to develop a third way, incorporating what they see as insights and avoiding what they see as flaws in both the ineffabilist and resolute readings. The most prominent advocates of these elucidatory readings of TL-P are Dan Hutto (2003) and Marie McGinn (1999). In this paper we subject Hutto's and McGinn's readings of TL-P to critical scrutiny. We find that in seeking to occupy the middle ground they ultimately find themselves committed to (and in the process commit Wittgenstein to) the very ineffabilism they (and Wittgenstein) are seeking to overcome. (shrink)
Upshot: We respond to three main challenges that the commentaries have raised. First, we argue that to deal successfully with the hard problem of consciousness, it is not enough to posit a remedy by which to move beyond the hard problem. Second, we argue that it makes no sense to explain identity. Yet this does not commit us to definitions by fiat. The strategy we pursue here, and in the target article, is not to explain identity but to explain away (...) the appearance of non-identity. Finally, while we are sympathetic to Varela’s call for a paradigm shift in consciousness studies, we argue here, and in the target article, that this call can only be properly successful if the hard problem is dismantled. (shrink)