Recent years have seen growing evidence of a fruitful engagement between phenomenology and cognitive science. This paper confronts an in-principle problem that stands in the way of this intellectual coalition, namely the fact that a tension exists between the transcendentalism that characterizes phenomenology and the naturalism that accompanies cognitive science. After articulating the general shape of this tension, I respond as follows. First, I argue that, if we view things through a kind of neo-McDowellian lens, we can open up a (...) conceptual space in which phenomenology and cognitive science may exert productive constraints on each other. Second, I describe some examples of phenomenological cognitive science that illustrate such constraints in action. Third, I use the mutually constraining relationship at work here as the platform from which to bring to light a domesticated version of the transcendental and a minimal form of naturalism that are compatible with each other. (shrink)
In _Reconstructing the Cognitive World_, Michael Wheeler argues that we should turn away from the generically Cartesian philosophical foundations of much contemporary cognitive science research and proposes instead a Heideggerian approach. Wheeler begins with an interpretation of Descartes. He defines Cartesian psychology as a conceptual framework of explanatory principles and shows how each of these principles is part of the deep assumptions of orthodox cognitive science. Wheeler then turns to Heidegger's radically non-Cartesian account of everyday cognition, which, (...) he argues, can be used to articulate the philosophical foundations of a genuinely non-Cartesian cognitive science. Finding that Heidegger's critique of Cartesian thinking falls short, even when supported by Hubert Dreyfus's influential critique of orthodox artificial intelligence, Wheeler suggests a new Heideggerian approach. He points to recent research in "embodied-embedded" cognitive science and proposes a Heideggerian framework to identify, amplify, and clarify the underlying philosophical foundations of this new work. He focuses much of his investigation on recent work in artificial intelligence-oriented robotics, discussing, among other topics, the nature and status of representational explanation, and whether cognition is computation rather than a noncomputational phenomenon best described in the language of dynamical systems theory. Wheeler's argument draws on analytic philosophy, continental philosophy, and empirical work to "reconstruct" the philosophical foundations of cognitive science in a time of a fundamental shift away from a generically Cartesian approach. His analysis demonstrates that Heideggerian continental philosophy and naturalistic cognitive science need not be mutually exclusive and shows further that a Heideggerian framework can act as the "conceptual glue" for new work in cognitive science. (shrink)
According to the extended cognition hypothesis (henceforth ExC), there are conditions under which thinking and thoughts (or more precisely, the material vehicles that realize thinking and thoughts) are spatially distributed over brain, body and world, in such a way that the external (beyond-the-skin) factors concerned are rightly accorded fully-paid-up cognitive status.1 According to functionalism in the philosophy of mind, “what makes something a mental state of a particular type does not depend on its internal constitution, but rather on the way (...) it functions, or the role it plays, in the system of which it is a part” (Levin 2008). The respective fates of these two positions may not be independent of each other. The claim that ExC is in some way a form of, dependent on, entailed by, or at least commonly played out in terms of, functionalism is now pretty much part of the received view of things (see, e.g., Adams and Aizawa 2008; Clark and Chalmers 1998; Clark 2005, 2008, this volume a, b, forthcoming; Menary 2007; Rupert 2004; Sprevak manuscript; Wheeler forthcoming). Thus ExC might be mandated by the existence of functionally specified cognitive systems whose boundaries are located partly outside the skin. This is the position that Andy Clark has recently dubbed extended functionalism (Clark 2008, forthcoming; see also Wheeler forthcoming). (shrink)
Focused correlation compares the degree of association within an evidence set to the degree of association in that evidence set given that some hypothesis is true. A difference between the confirmation lent to a hypothesis by one evidence set and the confirmation lent to that hypothesis by another evidence set is robustly tracked by a difference in focused correlations of those evidence sets on that hypothesis, provided that all the individual pieces of evidence are equally, positively relevant to that hypothesis. (...) However, that result depends on a very strong equal relevance condition on individual pieces of evidence. In this essay, we prove tracking results for focused correlation analogous to Wheeler and Scheines’s results but for cases involving unequal relevance. Our result is robust as well, and we retain conditions for bidirectional tracking between incremental confirmation measures and focused correlation. (shrink)
In this collection of essays Samuel Wheeler discusses Derrida and other “deconstructive” thinkers from the perspective of an analytic philosopher willing to treat deconstruction as philosophy, taking it seriously enough to look for and analyze its arguments. The essays focus on the theory of meaning, truth, interpretation, metaphor, and the relationship of language to the world. Wheeler links the thought of Derrida to that of Davidson and argues for close affinities among Derrida, Quine, de Man, and Wittgenstein. He (...) also demonstrates the propinquity of Plato and Derrida and shows that New Criticism shares deconstruction’s conception of language. Of the twelve essays in the collection, four are published here for the first time. The fundamental resemblance between Derrida and such analytic thinkers as Quine, Wittgenstein, and Davidson, the author argues, is that they deny the possibility of meanings as self-interpreting media constituting thoughts and intentions. Derrida argues that some form of magic language has determined the very project of philosophy, and his arguments work out the consequences of denying that there are such self-interpreting mental contents. In addition, Derrida and Davidson agree in denying any “given.” Without a given, questions about realism and idealism cease to have a point. Derrida and Davidson are both committed to the textuality of all significant marks, whether in neurons or on paper. They argue that there is no mode of representation more direct than language. (shrink)
Much contemporary metaphysics, moved by an apparent necessity to take reality to consist of given beings and properties, presents us with what appear to be deep problems requiring radical changes in the common sense conception of persons and the world. Contemporary meta-ethics ignores questions about logical form and formulates questions in ways that make the possibility of correct value judgments mysterious. In this book, Wheeler argues that given a Davidsonian understanding of truth, predication, and interpretation, and given a relativised (...) version of Aristotelian essentialism compatible with Davidson’s basic thinking, many metaphysical problems are not very deep. Likewise, many philosophers' claims that common sense needs to be modified are unfounded. He argues further that a proper consideration of questions of logical form clarifies and illuminates meta-ethical questions. Although the analyses and arguments he gives are often at odds with those at which Davidson arrived, they apply the central Davidsonian insights about semantics, understanding, and interpretation. (shrink)
William Morton Wheeler -- The anti-colony as an organism -- Jean-Henri Fabre -- On instincts -- The termitodoxa, or biology and society -- The organization of research -- The dry-rot of our academic biology -- Emergent evolution and the development of societies -- Carl Akeley's early work and environment -- Present tendencies in biological theory -- Hopes in the biological sciences -- Some attractions of the field study of ants -- Animal societies.
Mark Richard Wheeler - Aristotle on Truth - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44:3 Journal of the History of Philosophy 44.3 469-470 Paolo Crivelli. Aristotle on Truth. Cambridge-New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Pp. xi + 340. Cloth, $85.00. A thorough contemporary study of Aristotle's theory of truth is welcome. Adopting a frankly analytic approach, Professor Crivelli addresses all of the most important Aristotelian texts on truth. He provides close and careful exegesis, attending to philological and interpretive difficulties (...) related to the manuscripts and alternative translations. In the spirit of Hintikka, Łukasiewicz, and Mignucci, the tools of contemporary logical analysis are applied effectively and yield rigorous restatements of Aristotle's.. (shrink)
In this original and penetrating work, the origins of the Gestalt psychotherapy model are traced back to its roots in psychoanalysis and Gestalt cognitive and perceptual psychology. Drawing new implications for both Gestalt and psychotherapy in general from these origins - and with special emphasis on the neglected work of Lewis and Goldstein - Wheeler develops a revised model that is more fully "Gestalt" and at the same time more firmly grounded in the spectrum of tools and approaches available (...) to the contemporary psychotherapist. Along the way, a number of new insights are offered, not just in Gestalt, but in the working of the psychoanalytic and cognitive/behavioral models. The result is an integrated approach giving a fresh perspective on the universal processes of contact and resistance, both in psychotherapy and in social systems in general. The practitioner is given these tools for "addressing problems at the intra- and interpersonal level and wider systematic levels at the same time, and in the same language." Each chapter stands alone, and makes a fresh and significant contribution to its particular subject. Taken together, they constitute a remarkable excursion through the history of psychotherapy in this century, weaving powerfully through social psychology, behaviorism, and Gestalt itself, yielding a masterful new synthesis that will interest the practitioners of Gestalt and other schools alike. (shrink)
Couples therapy has long been regarded as one of the most demanding forms of psychotherapy because of the way it challenges therapists to combine the insights of dynamic psychology with the power and clarity of systems dynamics. In this exciting new volume, Gordon Wheeler and Stephanie Backman, couples therapists with broad training and long years of experience, present dramatic new approaches that at last integrate the dynamic/self-organizational and the systemic/behavioral schools of thought. Building on the insights of Gestalt psychology (...) and psychotherapy, the authors show us how a truly phenomenological approach, based on the clients' own experience and goals, holds the key to a dramatic increase in therapeutic power and flexibility. The fifteen engaging chapters demonstrate the application of this approach to issues of intimacy, self-construction, power and abuse, "resistance," growth, and shame - and to such diverse and challenging populations as abuse survivors and their partners, remarried couples, gay and lesbian couples, and couples with "personality" or "character" disorders. In the process, the authors offer a fresh perspective that will serve to re-energize the couples therapist's work in this challenging area. _On Intimate Ground_ contributes new insights to many of the most timely and provocative questions in the field today. (shrink)
Elizabeth Fricker’s writings on testimonial justification include some contrary ideas. In this paper, we propose Fricker’s theory of justification coherently and explain why she speaks of different ideas and which idea is more compatible with her general theory of knowledge. Fricker proposes three conditions for justification of testimonial beliefs for adults by appealing to commonsense world-picture and defining a paradigm case of testimony: justified belief of using speech act of telling, justified belief of the sincere of testifier and the (...) competence of testifier. The speech act of telling itself requires that for example, testifier at least apparently speaks from his knowledge and thinks that hearer is ignorant of the testimony. We argue that various parts of Fricker’s theory face problems. For example, double standard about children and adults in testimonial justification is against unity of conception of knowledge. چون تعداد کلمات کمتر از 150 کلمه بود این عبارت در اینجا قرار گرفت تا اجازه عبور از این مرحله داده شود. (shrink)
How might the psycho-social effects of chronic skin disease, its treatments (and discontents) be figuratively expressed in writing and painting? Does the art reveal common denominators in experience and representation? If so, how do we understand the cryptic language of these expressions? By examining the works of artists with chronic skin diseases—John Updike, Elizabeth Bishop, and Zelda Fitzgerald—some common features can be noted. Chronically broken skin can fracture the ego or self-perception, resulting in a disturbed body image, which leads (...) to personality disorders and co-morbid affective disorders such as anxiety and depression. The vertiginous feeling that results can be noted in the paradoxical characters, figures, and psyches portrayed in the works of these artists. This essay will examine the more specific ways in which artists disclose and/or conceal their experiences and the particular ways in which these manifest in their works. While certain nuances exist, the common denominators give us a starting point for developing an eczema aesthetic, a code for interpreting the ways in which artists’ experiences with skin disease manifest in their works. (shrink)
As James Chapman has famously put it in National Identity and the British Historical Film, historical films are “as much about the present in which they are made as they are about [the] past in which they are set.” This article discusses Shekhar Kapur’s aesthetically ground-breaking Elizabeth and its sequel Elizabeth: The Golden Age focusing on two main aspects, namely national identity issues and the representation of the enemy. Kapur’s Elizabeth films will first be placed within the (...) larger context of Elizabeth’s film and television appearances. Informed by Giroux’s critical methodology guidelines, in an attempt to “historize” the films under scrutiny and so foster “sane historical sense,” a semiotic analysis will then be offered. Largely inspired by the tenets of Fairclough’s critical discourse analysis and Kress and Leeuwen’s visual grammar, this will draw a parallel between the verbal and visual discourses in both films. Data will finally be discussed and the contention will be made that England’s religious heritage has left indelible traces which remain latent in the English imagination, for which historical evidence will be presented. The article’s ultimate aim will be to provide evidence suggesting that, in the English case, religious and national discourses merged from the late 16th century onwards, clearly influencing not only the perception that the English had of themselves but also and crucially the image they may still have of “Other” nations. (shrink)
Victorian poets Elizabeth Barrett (1806-1861) and Robert Browning (1812-1889) first fell in love through letters, which they began to write to each other in 1845 (Figures 1 and 2). Their growing relationship, slowly progressing from letter to first encounter and eventual secret marriage in 1846, is documented in two volumes of letters, with a plot that unfolds as warmly and compellingly as the best page-turner invented by a novelist. Both were master wordsmiths, so the beauty of their letters is (...) no surprise. But one reason Barrett Browning was such a prolific correspondent is that she spent much of her life housebound, due to an illness whose nature was never truly explained when she was alive and that has been .. (shrink)
One of the most important philosophers of recent times, Elizabeth Anscombe wrote books and articles on a wide range of topics, including the ground-breaking monograph Intention. Her work is original, challenging, often difficult, always insightful; but it has frequently been misunderstood, and its overall significance is still not fully appreciated. This book is the first major study of Anscombe's philosophical oeuvre. In it, Roger Teichmann presents Anscombe's main ideas, bringing out their interconnections, elaborating and discussing their implications, pointing out (...) objections and difficulties, and aiming to give a unified overview of her philosophy. Many of Anscombe's arguments are relevant to contemporary debates, as Teichmann shows, and on a number of topics what Anscombe has to say constitutes a powerful alternative to dominant or popular views. Among the writings discussed are Intention, "Practical Inference," "Modern Moral Philosophy," "Rules, Rights and Promises," "On Brute Facts," "The First Person," "The Intentionality of Sensation," "Causality and Determination," An Introduction to Wittgenstein's Tractatus, "The Question of Linguistic Idealism," and a number of other pieces, including some that are little known or hard to obtain. A complete bibliography of Anscombe's writings is also included. Ranging from the philosophy of action, through ethics, to philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and the philosophy of logic and language, this book is a study of one of the most significant bodies of work in modern philosophy, spanning more than fifty years, and as pertinent today as ever. (shrink)
Many problems of inequality in developing countries resist treatment by formal egalitarian policies. To deal with these problems, we must shift from a distributive to a relational conception of equality, founded on opposition to social hierarchy. Yet the production of many goods requires the coordination of wills by means of commands. In these cases, egalitarians must seek to tame rather than abolish hierarchy. I argue that bureaucracy offers important constraints on command hierarchies that help promote the equality of workers in (...) bureaucratic organizations. Bureaucracy thus constitutes a vital if limited egalitarian tool applicable to developing and developed countries alike. (shrink)
Extracts This article introduces an issue of Christian bioethics which examines the significance of Elizabeth Anscombe's classic article, “Modern Moral Philosophy”, on the 50th anniversary of its publication. The manifold influences of this article are explored in some detail and the current status of the three famous theses put forward by Anscombe in the article is assessed. This article also briefly introduces the other articles in this issue and loactes them within the general framework of contemporary discussions of Anscombe's (...) work. (shrink)
Cornell realists claim, among other things, that moral knowledge can be acquired in the same basic way that scientific knowledge is acquired. Recently in this journal Elizabeth Tropman has presented two arguments against this claim. In the present article, I attempt to show that the first argument attacks a straw man and the second mischaracterizes the Cornell realists' epistemology and ends up begging the question. I close by suggesting that, given Tropman's own apparent views, her objections are also probably (...) misplaced. (shrink)
(1999). Princess Elizabeth and Descartes: The union of soul and body and the practice of philosophy. British Journal for the History of Philosophy: Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 503-520. doi: 10.1080/09608789908571042.
What is the proper role of politics in higher education? Many policies and reforms in the academy, from affirmative action and a multicultural curriculum to racial and sexual harassment codes and movements to change pedagogical styles, seek justice for oppressed groups in society. They understand justice to require a comprehensive equality of membership: individuals belonging to different groups should have equal access to educational opportunities; their interests and cultures should be taken equally seriously as worthy subjects of study, their persons (...) treated with equal respect and concern in communicative interaction. Conservative critics of these egalitarian movements represent them as dangerous political meddling into the disinterested pursuit of knowledge. They cast the pursuit of equality as a threat to freedom of speech and academic standards. In response, some radical advocates of such programs agree that the quest for equality clashes with free speech, but view this as an argument for sacrificing freedom of speech. (shrink)
This article compares early nineteenth-century English and Scottish theories of the mind and the way that it develops to findings in today's developmental psychology and neuroscience through a close observation of the work of Elizabeth Hamilton. Hamilton was a Scottish writer and philosopher who produced three pedagogical works in her lifetime, consisting of her carefully formulated philosophy of mind and practical suggestions to caretakers and educators. Although Hamilton has received relatively little attention in modern philosophical literature, her understanding of (...) the mind and the way it develops—based on her nuanced understanding of associationism and Scottish faculty psychology—is overwhelmingly supported by empirical findings today. In addition to utilizing Hamilton's work for the sake of understanding early nineteenth-century philosophy of mind, I argue that a large portion of Hamilton's work should be used to inform future research programs, early caregiving guides, and educational methods. (shrink)
Few political ideals galvanize as much liberal support as integration, yet few have yielded such disappointing results. During the last half-century many barriers have been broken down and workplaces, schools, neighbourhoods and families are more mixed (on many levels) than ever, yet segregation indices in American society – like most societies – remain rather significantly high. Determined to demonstrate why integration still matters, Elizabeth Anderson has written The Imperative of Integration (2010), which attempts to combine insights from the social (...) science literature with robust philosophical argument. (shrink)
This is a review of What is a Mathematical Concept? edited by Elizabeth de Freitas, Nathalie Sinclair, and Alf Coles. In this collection of sixteen chapters, philosophers, educationalists, historians of mathematics, a cognitive scientist, and a mathematician consider, problematise, historicise, contextualise, and destabilise the terms ‘mathematical’ and ‘concept’. The contributors come from many disciplines, but the editors are all in mathematics education, which gives the whole volume a disciplinary centre of gravity. The editors set out to explore and reclaim (...) the canonical question ‘what is a mathematical concept?’ from the philosophy of mathematics. This review comments on each paper in the collection. (shrink)
In this article on Elizabeth Grosz's philosophy and its implications for discussions about feminist theory, I first suggest that Charles Darwin plays a particular role in Grosz's recent ontological thought. This role is to provide help in joining together two incompatible sources in her work: Gilles Deleuze's monistic ontology of a constant flow of new differentiations, on the one hand, and Luce Irigaray's thought of sexual difference as the primary ontological difference, on the other. I argue that Grosz's intellectual (...) project has developed into a grand general theory of change in which both Darwin and Irigaray are turned into ontologists in a Deleuzian vein. I then point out that Grosz's ontology also includes a political aspect, which manifests in the fact that Grosz redescribes Darwin through interpreting him primarily as a theorist of “event” and the unexpected. However, through an analysis of the discussion on Grosz between Luciana Parisi and Jami Weinstein, I speculate whether Grosz's ambition to provide a total and complete explanation of change encourages the tone of feminist discussion toward one of explanation rather than intervention. (shrink)
In his article ‘Saints and Heroes’, Urmson argues that traditional moral theories allow at most for a threefold classification of actions in terms of their worth, and that they are therefore unsatisfactory. Since the conclusion of his argument has led to the widespread use of the term ‘acts of supererogation’, and since I do not believe that such acts exist, I propose to argue that the actions with which he is concerned not only can, but should, be contained within the (...) traditional classification. (shrink)
Anna Doyle Wheeler was a nineteenth‐century, Irish‐born socialist and feminist. She and another Irish‐born socialist and feminist, William Thompson, produced a book‐length critique in 1825, Appeal of One Half the Human Race, Women: Against the Pretensions of the Other Half, Men, to Retain Them in Political, and Thence in Civil and Domestic, Slavery: In Reply to a Paragraph of Mr. Mill's Celebrated “Article on Government,” to refute the claims of liberal philosopher James Mill in 1820 that women did not (...) need to be enfranchised. In so doing the Appeal undermined the philosophical credibility of Mill's liberal utilitarianism. The Appeal exposed the hypocrisy of the language of contract by showing that men's freedom and claims to rights presupposed the unfreedom and sexual subjugation of women. The article argues that the Appeal was an original formulation of feminist political theory that still retains its relevance in the twenty‐first century.Export citation Request permission. (shrink)
: Elizabeth Spelman has famously argued against gender realism. By and large, feminist philosophers have embraced Spelman's arguments and deemed gender realist positions counterproductive. To the contrary, Mikkola shows that Spelman's arguments do not in actual fact give good reason to reject gender realism in general. She then suggests a way to understand gender realism that does not have the adverse consequences feminist philosophers commonly think gender realist positions have.
I discuss the meaning of probability in the Everett-Wheeler interpretation of quantum mechanics, together with the problem of defining histories. To resolve these, I propose an understanding of probability arising from a form of temporal logic: the probability of a future-tense proposition is identified with its truth value in a many-valued and context-dependent logic. In short, probability is degree of truth. These ideas appear to be new, but they are natural and intuitive, and relate to traditional naive ideas of (...) time and chance. Indeed, I argue that Everettian quantum mechanics is the only form of scientific theory that truly incorporates the perception that the future is open. (shrink)
This note responds to some criticisms of my recent book In Defence of Objective Bayesianism that were provided by Gregory Wheeler in his ‘Objective Bayesian Calibration and the Problem of Non-convex Evidence’.