This issue is dedicated to consciousness in medieval and early modern philosophy of mind. It aims to shed new light on the continuities and innovations during the transition from medieval to early modern philosophy of mind. The four papers, by Sonja Schierbaum, Daniel Schmal, Oliver Istvan Toth, and Philipp N. Müller, focus on consciousness and, more specifically, on one of its less frequently considered aspects: memory.
“Deus fons veritatis”: the Subject and its Freedom. The Ontic Foundation of Mathematical Truth is the title of Gaspare Polizzi’s long biographical-theoretical interview with Imre Toth. The interview is divided into eight parts. The first part describes the historical and cultural context in which Toth was formed. A Jew by birth, during the Second World War Toth became a communist and a partisan, enduring prison, torture, and internment in a concentration camp from 1940 until 6 June 1944. In the second (...) part Toth presents his mathematical training as a “vocation” that led him to rethink the whole tradition of mathematical thought critically, on the basis of non-Euclidean geometry. In the third part Toth describes his research in the history of mathematics, which begin with his studies on Aristotle and mathematical thought and on Plato and the negative ontology of the irrational recognizable in the theory of the infinite dyad and of the One. In the fourth part Toth criticizes the positions of Frege, who came to deny non-Euclidean geometry, viewing it as an expression of irrationality and mysticism. In the fifth part Toth maintains that mathesis and poiesis have similar ontological structures, and he speaks of his collages métaphysiques. In the sixth part Toth recalls how the birth of the idea of freedom made possible the highest political, social and artistic achievements, as well as the entire movement of human emancipation. And this was thanks to philosophy, which is not a science but a knowledge of the subject on the subject’s part. In the seventh and eighth parts Toth speaks of the value and the role of mathematics in the affirmation of the phenomenology of freedom, and remarks on his relations with French and Italian cultures. (shrink)
My paper is on the republican version of patriotism and its justification, as developed most systematically by Philip Pettit and Maurizio Viroli. The essence of the justification is as follows: patriotism is to be viewed as valuable insofar as it is an indispensable instrument for the upholding of the central republican ideal, namely freedom understood as non-domination. My primary aim is to evaluate the normative force of this justification. In the first section, I introduce minimal descriptive definitions of the concepts (...) of patriotism and the patria. Second, I reconstruct the republican patria-ideal to which patriotism is linked to. In the third section, I reconstruct the republican justification of patriotism. Finally, I ask what we justify when we justify republican patriotism. Two views are prevalent in this regard. According to the first, republican patriotic motivation, similarly to its justification, ought to be instrumental itself too. I argue that this view is untenable, since it is in tension with the minimal definition of patriotism. The conclusion is that the other view – according to which the patriotic motivation ought to be of intrinsic character – possesses greater normative force. (shrink)
We argue that current discussions of criteria for actual causation are ill-posed in several respects. (1) The methodology of current discussions is by induction from intuitions about an infinitesimal fraction of the possible examples and counterexamples; (2) cases with larger numbers of causes generate novel puzzles; (3) "neuron" and causal Bayes net diagrams are, as deployed in discussions of actual causation, almost always ambiguous; (4) actual causation is (intuitively) relative to an initial system state since state changes are relevant, but (...) most current accounts ignore state changes through time; (5) more generally, there is no reason to think that philosophical judgements about these sorts of cases are normative; but (6) there is a dearth of relevant psychological research that bears on whether various philosophical accounts are descriptive. Our skepticism is not directed towards the possibility of a correct account of actual causation; rather, we argue that standard methods will not lead to such an account. A different approach is required. (shrink)
The literature on causal discovery has focused on interventions that involve randomly assigning values to a single variable. But such a randomized intervention is not the only possibility, nor is it always optimal. In some cases it is impossible or it would be unethical to perform such an intervention. We provide an account of ‘hard' and ‘soft' interventions and discuss what they can contribute to causal discovery. We also describe how the choice of the optimal intervention(s) depends heavily on the (...) particular experimental setup and the assumptions that can be made. ‡The first author is funded by the Causal Learning Collaborative Initiative supported by the James S. McDonnell Foundation. Many aspects of this paper were inspired by discussions with members of the collaborative. †To contact the authors, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; e-mail: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
. This paper explores the relationship between gift giving, guanxi and corruption through a study of the relationships between UK manufacturing companies in China and their local component suppliers. The analysis is based on interviews in the China-based operations of 49 UK companies. Interviews were carried out both with senior (often expatriate) staff and with local line managers who were responsible for everyday purchasing decisions and for managing relationships with suppliers. The results suggest that gift giving is perceived to be (...) a significant problem in UK-owned companies in China. However the relationship between these payments and established understanding of gift giving within guanxi-networks appears to be weak. Gift giving appears to be associated with illicit payments, corruption and the pursuit of self-interest. Firms seek to reduce the incidence of illicit transactions by changing staff roles, instituting joint responsibilities, which include the separation of different aspects of sourcing/purchasing, ineasing the involvement of senior staff in the process and through the education of employee and suppliers. (shrink)
An interventionist account of causation characterizes causal relations in terms of changes resulting from particular interventions. I provide a new example of a causal relation for which there does not exist an intervention satisfying the common interventionist standard. I consider adaptations that would save this standard and describe their implications for an interventionist account of causation. No adaptation preserves all the aspects that make the interventionist account appealing. Part of the fallout is a clearer account of the difficulties in characterizing (...) so-called “soft” interventions. (shrink)
Bayesian models of human learning are becoming increasingly popular in cognitive science. We argue that their purported confirmation largely relies on a methodology that depends on premises that are inconsistent with the claim that people are Bayesian about learning and inference. Bayesian models in cognitive science derive their appeal from their normative claim that the modeled inference is in some sense rational. Standard accounts of the rationality of Bayesian inference imply predictions that an agent selects the option that maximizes the (...) posterior expected utility. Experimental confirmation of the models, however, has been claimed because of groups of agents that probability match the posterior. Probability matching only constitutes support for the Bayesian claim if additional unobvious and untested (but testable) assumptions are invoked. The alternative strategy of weakening the underlying notion of rationality no longer distinguishes the Bayesian model uniquely. A new account of rationality—either for inference or for decision-making—is required to successfully confirm Bayesian models in cognitive science. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine the role of Buddhist meditation and other ascetic practices in the lives of village elders in a rural Shan community in Mae Hong Son province, Thailand. My focus is not on the techniques used but rather on the larger social and cultural context in which the practice occurs. Traditionally, the taking on of ascetic practices by village elders has been associated with moral development and enhanced psychological and emotional well-being. I describe recent changes in these (...) practices, including their differential significance for middle-aged women, and consider the implications of these changes for local understandings of the ‘normal’ course of human development. (shrink)
Hans Reichenbach is well known for his limiting frequency view of probability, with his most thorough account given in The Theory of Probability in 1935/1949. Perhaps less known are Reichenbach's early views on probability and its epistemology. In his doctoral thesis from 1915, Reichenbach espouses a Kantian view of probability, where the convergence limit of an empirical frequency distribution is guaranteed to exist thanks to the synthetic a priori principle of lawful distribution. Reichenbach claims to have given a purely objective (...) account of probability, while integrating the concept into a more general philosophical and epistemological framework. A brief synopsis of Reichenbach's thesis and a critical analysis of the problematic steps of his argument will show that the roots of many of his most influential insights on probability and causality can be found in this early work. (shrink)
The causal Bayes net framework specifies a set of axioms for causal discovery. This article explores the set of causal variables that function as relata in these axioms. Spirtes showed how a causal system can be equivalently described by two different sets of variables that stand in a non-trivial translation-relation to each other, suggesting that there is no “correct” set of causal variables. I extend Spirtes’ result to the general framework of linear structural equation models and then explore to what (...) extent the possibility to intervene or a preference for simpler causal systems may help in selecting among sets of causal variables. (shrink)
This essay explores the nexus between Buddhist discourse, moral reasoning, and aspects of indigenous ethnopsychology in a Shan community in northern Thailand. I suggest that these three strands of thought are routinely braided together in intricate ways and, furthermore, that some version of this conceptual arrangement is necessary in order for any moral thinking to take place. That is, all moral thought entails some conception of the way the world is structured (a conception that may or may not be based (...) on religion) and some ethnotheory of human nature, both of which are culturally mediated. Finally, I discuss the implications of this view for our understanding of human agency and autonomy. (shrink)
We argue that current discussions of criteria for actual causation are ill-posed in several respects. (1) The methodology of current discussions is by induction from intuitions about an infinitesimal fraction of the possible examples and counterexamples; (2) cases with larger numbers of causes generate novel puzzles; (3) “neuron” and causal Bayes net diagrams are, as deployed in discussions of actual causation, almost always ambiguous; (4) actual causation is (intuitively) relative to an initial system state since state changes are relevant, but (...) most current accounts ignore state changes through time; (5) more generally, there is no reason to think that philosophical judgements about these sorts of cases are normative; but (6) there is a dearth of relevant psychological research that bears on whether various philosophical accounts are descriptive. Our skepticism is not directed towards the possibility of a correct account of actual causation; rather, we argue that standard methods will not lead to such an account. A different approach is required. Once upon a time a hungry wanderer came into a village. He filled an iron cauldron with water, built a fire under it, and dropped a stone into the water. “I do like a tasty stone soup” he announced. Soon a villager added a cabbage to the pot, another added some salt and others added potatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and so on, until there was a meal for all. (shrink)
Using a variety of different results from the literature, I show how causal discovery with experiments is limited unless substantive assumptions about the underlying causal structure are made. These results undermine the view that experiments, such as randomized controlled trials, can independently provide a gold standard for causal discovery. Moreover, I present a concrete example in which causal underdetermination persists despite exhaustive experimentation and argue that such cases undermine the appeal of an interventionist account of causation as its dependence on (...) other assumptions is not spelled out. (shrink)
This survey presents some of the main principles involved in discovering causal relations. They belong to a large array of possible assumptions and conditions about causal relations, whose various combinations limit the possibilities of acquiring causal knowledge in different ways. How much and in what detail the causal structure can be discovered from what kinds of data depends on the particular set of assumptions one is able to make. The assumptions considered here provide a starting point to explore further the (...) foundations of causal discovery procedures, and how they can be improved. (shrink)
Although the existence of implicit motor learning is now widely accepted, the findings concerning perceptual implicit learning are ambiguous. Some researchers have observed perceptual learning whereas other authors have not. The review of the literature provides different reasons to explain this ambiguous picture, such as differences in the underlying learning processes, selective attention, or differences in the difficulty to express this knowledge. In three experiments, we investigated implicit visual learning within the original serial reaction time task. We used different response (...) devices in order to manipulate selective attention towards response dimensions. Results showed that visual and motor sequence learning differed in terms of RT-benefits, but not in terms of the amount of knowledge assessed after training. Furthermore, visual sequence learning was modulated by selective attention. However, the findings of all three experiments suggest that selective attention did not alter implicit but rather explicit learning processes. (shrink)
We present an algorithm to infer causal relations between a set of measured variables on the basis of experiments on these variables. The algorithm assumes that the causal relations are linear, but is otherwise completely general: It provides consistent estimates when the true causal structure contains feedback loops and latent variables, while the experiments can involve surgical or `soft' interventions on one or multiple variables at a time. The algorithm is `online' in the sense that it combines the results from (...) any set of available experiments, can incorporate background knowledge and resolves conflicts that arise from combining results from different experiments. In addition we provide a necessary and sufficient condition that determines when the algorithm can uniquely return the true graph, and can be used to select the next best experiment until this condition is satisfied. We demonstrate the method by applying it to simulated data and the flow cytometry data of Sachs et al. (shrink)
By combining experimental interventions with search procedures for graphical causal models we show that under familiar assumptions, with perfect data, N - 1 experiments suffice to determine the causal relations among N > 2 variables when each experiment randomizes at most one variable. We show the same bound holds for adaptive learners, but does not hold for N > 4 when each experiment can simultaneously randomize more than one variable. This bound provides a type of ideal for the measure of (...) success of heuristic approached in active learning methods of casual discovery, which currently use less informative measures. (shrink)
While theological discourse on love traditionally bifurcates between love as a body‐bound passion and its superior and disembodied spiritual counterpart, a growing number of accounts have recently challenged the traditional division arguing for the fundamental unity of the phenomenon of love. Could such a dichotomy be overcome if one reversed the conventional hierarchy between bodily erotic and intellectual agapeic love and made erotic love between man and woman the fundamental paradigm of all kinds of loves? Could the reversal recuperate the (...) affective aspect that has traditionally been downplayed? An answer to these questions is explored through an imaginary dialogue between Jean‐Luc Marion's phenomenology of one‐way erotic love and John Paul II's theology of embodied love. (shrink)
Oaksford & Chater (O&C) aim to provide teleological explanations of behavior by giving an appropriate normative standard: Bayesian inference. We argue that there is no uncontroversial independent justification for the normativity of Bayesian inference, and that O&C fail to satisfy a necessary condition for teleological explanations: demonstration that the normative prescription played a causal role in the behavior's existence.
An interventionist account of causation characterizes causal relations in terms of changes resulting from particular interventions. We provide an example of a causal relation for which there does not exist an intervention satisfying the common interventionist standard. We consider adaptations that would save this standard and describe their implications for an interventionist account of causation. No adaptation preserves all the aspects that make the interventionist account appealing.
Philosophy has never been and never will be a science. Nevertheless it is a body of knowledge, a field of autonomous being and the subject’s ontic foundation as knowledge of itself. This paper provides an analysis of the nature of philosophy as an autonomous form of Western spirit during its historical development. The dialectic between reason, knowledge and freedom is studied through multiple historical examples from the Antiquity to modern times.
Buddhist novice ordinations have long been an important focus of ritual activity in rural Shan communities. In recent years, large numbers of Shan have been moving into urban areas of northern Thailand, notably the city of Chiang Mai. Many of these are cross-border migrants fleeing unstable conditions in Burma. Others are long-term residents of Thailand's rural border provinces pursuing educational and economic opportunities. With the new concentrations of Shan in Chiang Mai, novice ordinations are becoming an important annual event in (...) the city, but their structure and format deviate from the older rural form in critical ways. This article describes some of the key differences in these ordination rituals as well as the larger context of shifting ethnic relationships that make these changes significant. (shrink)
The process-dissociation procedure was used to estimate the influence of spatial and form-based processing in the Simon task. Subjects made manual responses to the direction of arrows . The results provide evidence that the form and spatial location of a single stimulus can have functionally independent effects on performance. They also indicate the existence of two kinds of automaticity—an associative component that reflects prior S-R mappings and a nonassociative component that reflects the correspondence between stimulus and response codes.
Using the flexibility of recently developed methods for causal discovery based on Boolean satisfiability solvers, we encode a variety of assumptions that weaken the Faithfulness assumption. The encoding results in a number of SAT-based algorithms whose asymptotic correctness relies on weaker conditions than are standardly assumed. This implementation of a whole set of assumptions in the same platform enables us to systematically explore the effect of weakening the Faithfulness assumption on causal discovery. An important effect, suggested by simulation results, is (...) that adopting weaker assumptions greatly alleviates the problem of conflicting constraints and substantially shortens solving time. As a result, SAT-based causal discovery is potentially more scalable under weaker assumptions. (shrink)
Historical outlines of fin-de-siècle European criminology have typically focused on the debate between supporters of Lombrosian anatomical determinism on the one hand, and the more environmentalist (i.e. French) explanations of crime on the other. What has gone largely unnoticed, however, is how the basic tenets of the 'French school' were shaped by an implicit moral concern with mass consumption and indi vidualism, particularly in regard to juvenile crime. This paper examines the psychosocial conception of the juvenile criminal - within the (...) par ticular context of fin-de-siècle culture, social theory and political ideol ogy - to delineate how French criminologists encountered economic modernity and reconceptualized their understanding of the relationship between the child, the family and the state. (shrink)