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Eric LaRock [19]Eric F. Larock [2]
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Eric LaRock
Oakland University
  1. Working Memory and Consciousness: The Current State of Play.Marjan Persuh, Eric LaRock & Jacob Berger - 2018 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 12.
    Working memory, an important posit in cognitive science, allows one to temporarily store and manipulate information in the service of ongoing tasks. Working memory has been traditionally classified as an explicit memory system – that is, as operating on and maintaining only consciously perceived information. Recently, however, several studies have questioned this assumption, purporting to provide evidence for unconscious working memory. In this paper, we focus on visual working memory and critically examine these studies as well as studies of unconscious (...)
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  2.  41
    From Biological Naturalism to Emergent Subject Dualism.Eric LaRock - 2013 - Philosophia Christi 15 (1):97-118.
    I argue (1) that Searle's reductive stance about mental causation is unwarranted on evolutionary, logical, and neuroscientific grounds; and (2) that his theory of weak emergence, called biological naturalism, fails to provide a satisfactory account of objectual unity and subject unity. Finally I propose a stronger variety of emergence called emergent subject dualism (ESD) to fill the gaps in Searle's account, and support ESD on grounds of recent evidence in neuroscience. Hence I show how it is possible, if not also (...)
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  3. Inverse Zombies, Anesthesia Awareness, and the Hard Problem of Unconsciousness.George A. Mashour & Eric LaRock - 2008 - Consciousness and Cognition 17 (4):1163-1168.
    Philosophical (p-) zombies are constructs that possess all of the behavioral features and responses of a sentient human being, yet are not conscious. P-zombies are intimately linked to the hard problem of consciousness and have been invoked as arguments against physicalist approaches. But what if we were to invert the characteristics of p-zombies? Such an inverse (i-) zombie would possess all of the behavioral features and responses of an insensate being yet would nonetheless be conscious. While p-zombies are logically possible (...)
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  4.  82
    Disambiguation, Binding, and the Unity of Visual Consciousness.Eric LaRock - 2007 - Theory and Psychology 17 (6):747-77.
    Recent findings in neuroscience strongly suggest that an object’s features (e.g., its color, texture, shape, etc.) are represented in separate areas of the visual cortex. Although represented in separate neuronal areas, somehow the feature representations are brought together as a single, unified object of visual consciousness. This raises a question of binding: how do neural activities in separate areas of the visual cortex function to produce a feature-unified object of visual consciousness? Several prominent neuroscientists have adopted neural synchrony and attention-based (...)
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  5.  82
    Aristotle and Agent-Directed Neuroplasticity.Eric LaRock - 2013 - International Philosophical Quarterly 53 (4):385-408.
    I propose an Aristotelian approach to agent causation that is consistent with the hypothesis of strong emergence. This approach motivates a wider ontology than materialism by maintaining (1) that the agent is generated by the brain without being reducible to it on grounds of the unity of experience and (2) that the agent possesses (formal) causal power to affect (i.e., mold, sculpt, or organize) the brain on grounds of agent-directed neuroplasticity. After providing recent empirical evidence for the strong emergence of (...)
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  6.  75
    Why Neural Synchrony Fails to Explain the Unity of Visual Consciousness.Eric LaRock - 2006 - Behavior and Philosophy 34:39-58.
    A central issue in philosophy and neuroscience is the problem of unified visual consciousness. This problem has arisen because we now know that an object's stimulus features (e.g., its color, texture, shape, etc.) generate activity in separate areas of the visual cortex (Felleman & Van Essen, 1991). For example, recent evidence indicates that there are very few, if any, neural connections between specific visual areas, such as those that correlate with color and motion (Bartels & Zeki, 2006; Zeki, 2003). So (...)
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  7.  30
    Dualistic Interaction, Neural Dependence, and Aquinas’s Composite View.Eric F. Larock - 2001 - Philosophia Christi 3 (2):459-472.
    I explicate the Churchland's dualistic interaction and neural dependence objections to Cartesian dualism and argue that Aquinas’s conception of Aristotelian hylomorphism provides a way out of those objections. -/- .
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  8.  40
    The Philosophical Implications of Awareness During General Anesthesia, In Consciousness, Awareness, and Anesthesia (Edited by George Mashour).Eric LaRock - 2010 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Consciousness, Awareness, and Anesthesia is a multidisciplinary approach to both the scientific problem of consciousness and the clinical problem of awareness during general anesthesia.
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  9. Is Consciousness Really a Brain Process?Eric LaRock - 2008 - International Philosophical Quarterly 48 (2):201-229.
    I argue on the basis of recent findings in neuroscience that consciousness is not a brain process, and then explore some alternative, non-reductive options concerning the metaphysical relationship between consciousness and the brain, such as weak and strong accounts of the emergence of consciousness and the constitution view of consciousness. I propose an Aristotelian account of the strong emergence of consciousness. This account motivates a wider ontology than reductive physicalism and makes reference to formal causation as a way explaining the (...)
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  10.  63
    Cognition and Emotion: Aristotelian Affinities with Contemporary Emotion Research.Konstantinos Kafetsios & Eric LaRock - 2005 - Theory and Psychology 15 (5):639-657.
    We provide a critique of the usual functionalist, cognition-first reading of Aristotle’s theory of emotion and then offer an alternative understanding of Aristotle's theory of cognition and emotion that brings to bear certain biological considerations evidenced in his arguments on the integration of form and matter (hylomorphism) and the hierarchical organization of the biological world. This, of course, does not suggest that we are critical of all varieties of functionalism, but only those which fail to utilize and incorporate findings in (...)
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  11. Augustine on Time, Mind, and Personal Identity.Eric Larock - 2001 - Augustinus: Revista Trimestral Publicada Por Los Padres Agustinos Recoletos 46 (182-83):251-270.
    I argue that Augustine's concept of time implies that the continuity of temporal experience is not adequately explainable in physical terms and that persons (or at least a core component of persons) are enduring substances rather than perduring wholes composed of suitably related physical parts. In the latter part of the essay, I suggest that an enduring account of persons is in some important respects explanatorily better than some contemporary varieties of the perduring account of persons.
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  12.  48
    E. J. Lowe's Metaphysics and Analytic Theology. Special Issue Edited by Mihretu P. Guta and Eric LaRock.Mihretu P. Guta & Eric LaRock - forthcoming - TheoLogica: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology.
    The essays in this special issue focus on connecting the relevant aspects of Lowe’s work to any issue in philosophical theology or philosophy of religion, especially incarnation, trinity, divine attributes, human agency and divine sovereignty, unified experience and the existence of God, divine causation, divine temporality or atemporality et cetera.
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  13.  36
    An Empirical Case Against Central State Materialism.Eric LaRock - 2012 - Philosophia Christi 14 (2):409-428.
    I argue that recent empirical investigations reveal new problems and new evidence that should compel advocates of causal functionalism (of the sort defended by David Armstrong and David Lewis) to reconsider the feasibility of their account of mind.
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  14.  51
    A Strong Emergence Hypothesis of Conscious Integration and Neural Rewiring.Eric LaRock, Jeffrey Schwartz, Iliyan Ivanov & David Carreon - 2020 - International Philosophical Quarterly 60 (1):97-115.
    In this paper we discuss the two-system framework, examine its strengths, point out a fundamental weakness concerning the unity of conscious experience, and then propose a new hypothesis that avoids that weakness and other related concerns. According to our strong emergence hypothesis, what emerges are not merely mental properties in specialized, distributed neural areas, but also a new, irreducibly singular entity that functions in a recurrent manner to integrate its mental properties and to rewire its brain. We argue that the (...)
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  15.  59
    Against the Functionalist Reading of Aristotle’s Philosophy of Perception and Emotion.Eric F. LaRock - 2002 - International Philosophical Quarterly 42 (2):231-258.
    Examining the literature on Aristotelian psychology can leave one with the impression that his theory of perception and emotion is credible primarily because it accords with contemporary functionalism, a physicalist theory that has achieved orthodoxy in contemporary philosophy of mind. In my view, squeezing Aristotle into a functionalist mold is a mistake, for functionalism entaiIs at least two theses that Aristotle would reject: (1) that material types make no essential difference to perception and emotion (and to mental states in general), (...)
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  16.  75
    Cognition and Consciousness: Kantian Affinities with Contemporary Vision Research.Eric LaRock - 2010 - Kant-Studien 101 (4):445-464.
    After providing a critique of Andreas Engel's neural mechanistic approach to object feature binding (OFB), I develop a Kantian approach to OFB that bears affinity with recent findings in cognitive psychology. I also address the diachronic object unity (DOU) problem and discuss the shortcomings of a purely neural mechanistic approach to this problem. Finally, I motivate a Kantian approach to DOU which suggests that DOU requires the persisting character of the cognizing subject. If plausible, the cognizing subject could make an (...)
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  17. Hard Problems of Unified Experience From the Perspective of Neuroscience.Eric LaRock - 2019 - In Mihretu P. Guta (ed.), Consciousness and the Ontology of Properties. New York: Routledge. pp. 223-240.
    I examine several leading neuronal accounts of binding and conclude that, while those neuronal accounts might be necessary in some important senses (e.g., when it comes to error minimization), they fail to provide satisfying solutions to the hard problems of unified experience. I then present a new, testable hypothesis called emergent subject dualism to account for the unity of experience across modalities of the brain.
     
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  18.  76
    How Subjects Can Emerge From Neurons.Eric LaRock & Mostyn Jones - 2019 - Process Studies 48 (1):40-58.
    We pose a foundational problem for those who claim that subjects are ontologically irreducible, but causally reducible (weak emergence). This problem is neuroscience’s notorious binding problem, which concerns how distributed neural areas produce unified mental objects (such as perceptions) and the unified subject that experiences them. Synchrony, synapses and other mechanisms cannot explain this. We argue that this problem seriously threatens popular claims that mental causality is reducible to neural causality. Weak emergence additionally raises evolutionary worries about how we’ve survived (...)
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  19.  74
    Intrinsic Perspectives, Object Feature Binding, and Visual Consciousness.Eric LaRock - 2007 - Theory and Psychology 17 (6):799-09.
    I argue that Van der Velde and I agree on two fundamental issues surrounding the vision-related binding problem and recent solutions that have been offered: (1) that tagging theories fail to account for object feature binding in visual consciousness and (2) that feedforward-feedback processes in the visual cortical hierarchy play a role in generating a feature-unified object of visual consciousness. Van der Velde develops and discusses an important objection to tagging theories that could help to strengthen my critique of neuronal (...)
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  20. Saving Our Souls From Materialism.Eric LaRock & Robin Collins - 2016 - In Thomas M. Crisp (ed.), Neuroscience and the Soul. Grand Rapids, MI, USA: pp. 137-146.
    We refute three key claims against dualism: (1) the claim that dualism implies that we would not expect to observe such a radical causal dependence of our conscious lives on the physical world, which is what we do observe; (2) the claim that dualism implies mysteries beyond necessity, and hence that dualism is, theoretically speaking, less simple than physicalism; and (3) that dualism implies a metaphysical simple (e.g., a human soul) is incapable of undergoing a process of development. We conclude (...)
     
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  21.  13
    Eliminative Materialism and Ordinary Language.Daniel Lorca & Eric LaRock - 2019 - Philosophia Christi 21 (2):419-426.
    Advocates of eliminative materialism (EM) assure us that our current, ordinary approach to describing the mind will eventually be eliminated, instead of reduced, by a matured neuroscience. However, once we take into account the flexibility, explanatory power, and overall sophistication of ordinary language, then the promissory note offered by eliminative materialism loses all credibility. To bolster the preceding claim, we present three original problems for EM: the accountability problem, the substitution problem, and the discourse dependence problem.
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