The theory of visual perception that Irvin Rock develops and supports in this book with numerous original experiments, views perception as the outcome of a process of unconscious inference, problem solving, and the building of structural descriptions of the external world.
This powerfully iconoclastic book reconsiders the influential nativist position toward the mind. Nativists assert that some concepts, beliefs, or capacities are innate or inborn: "native" to the mind rather than acquired. Fiona Cowie argues that this view is mistaken, demonstrating that nativism is an unstable amalgam of two quite different--and probably inconsistent--theses about the mind. Unlike empiricists, who postulate domain-neutral learning strategies, nativists insist that some learning tasks require special kinds of skills, and that these skills are hard-wired into (...) our brains at birth. This "faculties hypothesis" finds its modern expression in the views of Noam Chomsky. Cowie, marshaling recent empirical evidence from developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, computer science, and linguistics, provides a crisp and timely critique of Chomsky's nativism and defends in its place a moderately nativist approach to language acquisition. Also in contrast to empiricists, who view the mind as simply another natural phenomenon susceptible of scientific explanation, nativists suspect that the mental is inelectably mysterious. Cowie addresses this second strand in nativist thought, taking on the view articulated by Jerry Fodor and other nativists that learning, particularly concept acquisition, is a fundamentally inexplicable process. Cowie challenges this explanatory pessimism, and argues convincingly that concept acquisition is psychologically explicable. What's Within? is a clear and provocative achievement in the study of the human mind. (shrink)
Fiona Woollard presents an original defence of the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing, according to which doing harm seems much harder to justify than merely allowing harm. She argues that the Doctrine is best understood as a principle that protects us from harmful imposition, and offers a moderate account of our obligations to offer aid to others.
Can the phenomenal character of perceptual experience be altered by the states of one's cognitive system, for example, one's thoughts or beliefs? If one thinks that this can happen then one thinks that there can be cognitive penetration of perceptual experience; otherwise, one thinks that perceptual experience is cognitively impenetrable. I claim that there is one alleged case of cognitive penetration that cannot be explained away by the standard strategies one can typically use to explain away alleged cases. The case (...) is one in which it seems subjects' beliefs about the typical colour of objects affects their colour experience. I propose a two-step mechanism of indirect cognitive penetration that explains how cognitive penetration may occur. I show that there is independent evidence that each step in this process can occur. I suspect that people who are opposed to the idea that perceptual experience is cognitively penetrable will be less opposed to the idea when they come to consider this indirect mechanism and that those who are generally sympathetic to the idea of cognitive penetrability will welcome the elucidation of this plausible mechanism. (shrink)
Introduction -- The ethics of care and global politics -- Rethinking human security -- 'Women's work' : the global care and sex economies -- Humanitarian intervention and global security governance -- Peacebuilding and paternalism : reading care through postcolonialism -- Health and human security : gender, care and HIV/AIDS -- Gender, care, and the ethics of environmental security -- Conclusion. Security through care.
Reflection on skeptical scenarios in the philosophy of perception, made vivid in the arguments from illusion and hallucination, have led to the formulation of theories of the metaphysical and epistemological nature of perceptual experience. In recent times, the locus of the debate concerning the nature of perceptual experience has been the dispute between disjunctivists and common-kind theorists. Disjunctivists have held that there are substantial dissimilarities (either metaphysical or epistemological or both) between veridical perceptual experiences occurring when one perceives and perceptual (...) experiences involved in hallucination. Common-kind theorists have denied this. In this paper, I examine the nature of introspection – a faculty that has often been compared and contrasted to perception. I reflect on cases where introspection goes wrong in ways analogous to that in which our perceptual faculties can go wrong and formulate, what I take to be, an attractive theory of introspection. The cases that I focus on in which things go wrong are the case of zombies and the case of subjects with Anton’s syndrome. (Anton’s syndrome is a condition in which people who are blind claim that they can see.) I suggest that, just as it is possible to be a disjunctivist about perception, it is possible to be a disjunctivist about introspection. I argue that this is a good view of one type of introspection, namely, introspection of states that have phenomenal character, such as perceptual experiences. It has a good account to give of the cases in which such introspection seems to go wrong and it yields a plausible metaphysical and epistemological view of the nature of introspection. However, while I favour a disjunctive view of introspection, I do not favour a disjunctive view of perception. And, I suspect, that many disjunctivists about perception would not wish to condone my disjunctivist theory of introspection. I therefore go on to examine to what extent.. (shrink)
Drawing on resources from both the analytical and continental traditions, this book argues that a comprehension of Immanuel Kant's aesthetics is necessary for grasping the scope and force of his epistemology. It draws on phenomenological and aesthetic resources to bring out the continuing relevance of Kant's project. One of the difficulties faced in reading ‘The Critique of Pure Reason’ is finding a way of reading the text as one continuous discussion. This book offers a reading at each stage of Kant's (...) epistemological argument, showing how various elements of Kant's argument, often thought of as extraneous or indefensible, can be integrated. Arguing for the centrality of aesthetics in philosophy, and within experience in general, it challenges a blind spot in the Anglo-American tradition of philosophy and will contribute to a growing interest in the general significance of aesthetic culture. (shrink)
Although the focus of "Globalizing Democracy and Human Rights" is practical, Gould does not shy away from hard theoretical questions, such as the relentless debate over cultural relativism, and the relationship between terrorism and democracy.
The senses, or sensory modalities, constitute the different ways we have of perceiving the world, such as seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling. But how many senses are there? How many could there be? What makes the senses different? What interaction takes place between the senses? This book is a guide to thinking about these questions. Together with an extensive introduction to the topic, the book contains the key classic papers on this subject together with nine newly commissioned essays.One reason (...) that these questions are important is that we are receiving a huge influx of new information from the sciences that challenges some traditional philosophical views about the senses. This information needs to be incorporated into our view of the senses and perception. Can we do this whilst retaining our pre-existing concepts of the senses and of perception or do we need to revise our concepts? If they need to be revised, then in what way should that be done? Research in diverse areas, such as the nature of human perception, varieties of non-human animal perception, the interaction between different sensory modalities, perceptual disorders, and possible treatments for them, calls into question the platitude that there are five senses, as well as the pre-supposition that we know what we are counting when we count them as five.This book will serve as an inspiring introduction to the topic and as a basis from which further new research will grow. (shrink)
I defend the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing: the claim that doing harm is harder to justify than merely allowing harm. A thing does not genuinely belong to a person unless he has special authority over it. The Doctrine of Doing and Allowing protects us against harmful imposition – against the actions or needs of another intruding on what is ours. This protection is necessary for something to genuinely belong to a person. The opponent of the Doctrine must claim that (...) nothing genuinely belongs to a person, even his own body. (shrink)
This paper provides a categorization of cross-modal experiences. There are myriad forms. Doing so allows us to think clearly about the nature of different cross-modal experiences and allows us to clearly formulate competing hypotheses about the kind of experiences involved in different cross-modal phenomena.
Representationalism is the position that the phenomenal character of an experience is either identical with, or supervenes on, the content of that experience. Many representationalists hold that the relevant content of experience is nonconceptual. I propose a counterexample to this form of representationalism that arises from the phenomenon of Gestalt switching, which occurs when viewing ambiguous figures. First, I argue that one does not need to appeal to the conceptual content of experience or to judgements to account for Gestalt switching. (...) I then argue that experiences of certain ambiguous figures are problematic because they have different phenomenal characters but that no difference in the nonconceptual content of these experiences can be identified. I consider three solutions to this problem that have been proposed by both philosophers and psychologists and conclude that none can account for all the ambiguous figures that pose the problem. I conclude that the onus is on representationalists to specify the relevant difference in content or to abandon their position. (shrink)
Many philosophers display relaxed scepticism about the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing and the Doctrine of Double Effect, suspecting, without great alarm, that one or both of these Doctrines is indefensible. This relaxed scepticism is misplaced. Anyone who aims to endorse a theory of right action with Nonconsequentialist implications should accept both the DDA and the DDE. First, even to state a Nonconsequentialist theory requires drawing a distinction between respecting and promoting values. This cannot be done without accepting some deontological (...) distinction. Second, if someone is going to accept any deontological distinction she should accept either the DDE or the DDA or some replacement. Finally, anyone who accepts either the DDE or the DDA should accept both doctrines or a replacement of each. Unless both Doctrines can be defended or given a defensible replacement, any Nonconsequentialist is in trouble. (shrink)
Block [Block, N. . Two neural correlates of consciousness. Trends in Cognitive Science, 9, 46–52] and Snodgrass claim that a signal detection theory analysis of qualitative difference paradigms, in particular the exclusion failure paradigm, reveals cases of phenomenal consciousness without access consciousness. This claim is unwarranted on several grounds. First, partial cognitive access rather than a total lack of cognitive access can account for exclusion failure results. Second, Snodgrass’s Objective Threshold/Strategic model of perception relies on a problematic ‘enable’ approach to (...) perception that denies the possibility of intentional control of unconscious perception and any effect of following different task instructions on the presence/absence of phenomenal consciousness. Many of Block’s purported examples of phenomenal consciousness without cognitive access also rely on this problematic approach. Third, qualitative difference paradigms may index only a subset of access consciousness. Thus, qualitative difference paradigms like exclusion failure cannot be used to isolate phenomenal consciousness, any attempt to do so still faces serious methodological problems. (shrink)
What does it mean to understand the world religiously? How is such understanding to be distinguished from scientific understanding? What does it have to do with religious practice, transfiguring love, and spiritual well-being? New Models of Religious Understanding investigates these questions to set a new and exciting agenda for philosophy of religion. Featuring contributions from leading scholars in the field, the volume cuts across the supposed divide between analytic and continental approaches to the subject and engages the interest of a (...) broad range of philosophical and theological readers. (shrink)
This article develops an approach to ethical globalization based on a feminist, political ethic of care; this is achieved, in part, through a comparison with, and critique of, Thomas Pogge's World Poverty and Human Rights. In his book, Pogge makes the valid and important argument that the global economic order is currently organized such that developed countries have a huge advantage in terms of power and expertise, and that decisions are reached purely and exclusively through self-interest. Pogge uses an institutional (...) rights framework to argue that direct responsibility for global poverty and inequality lies with the citizens of developed countries, since suffering and death are caused by global economic arrangements designed and imposed by our governments. While this argument is certainly compelling, I have argued that it tells us little about the actual effects of globalization on the real people of the South - including women, children and the elderly. As a result, it can offer little in the way of real alternatives or policy prescriptions. As a moral orientation, a care ethic relies on a relational moral ontology, and leads us to consider different values in terms of human flourishing. Moreover, it pushes us to consider the normative implications of aspects of the global political economy which are usually not 'seen' at all, including the global distribution of care work and the corresponding patterns of gender and racial inequality, the underprovision of care and resources for caring work in both the developed and developing world, and the ways in which unpaid or low-paid caring work helps to sustain a cycle of exploitation and inequality on a global scale. (shrink)
This volume presents ten new essays on the nature of perceptual imagination and perceptual memory. The central questions are: How do perceptual imagination and memory resemble and differ from each other and from other kinds of sensory experience? And what role does each play in perception and in the acquisition of knowledge?
Our pollution of the environment seems set to lead to widespread problems in the future, including disease, scarcity of resources, and bloody conflicts. It is natural to think that we are required to stop polluting because polluting harms the future individuals who will be faced with these problems. This natural thought faces Derek Parfit’s famous Non-Identity Problem ( 1984 , pp. 361–364). The people who live on the polluted earth would not have existed if we had not polluted. Our polluting (...) behaviour does not make these individuals worse off. It may therefore seem that we do not harm them by polluting. Parfit argues that we should replace person-affecting principles with an impersonal principle of beneficence, Principle Q ( 1984 , p. 360.). I argue that Principle Q cannot give an adequate account of our duties to refrain from polluting. I consider attempts to solve the Non-Identity Problem by denying that to harm someone an agent must make them worse off. I argue that such responses provide a partial solution to the Non-Identity Problem. They do show that we harm future individuals in a morally relevant sense by polluting. Nonetheless, this is only a partial solution. The Non-Identity Problem still suggests that our harm-based reasons not to pollute are less strong than we intuitively believe. Thus on its own an appeal to the claim that we harm future individuals is not able to give a fully satisfactory account of why we are required not to pollute. (shrink)
I argue that we should reject the sparse view that there are or could be only a small number of rather distinct senses. When one appreciates this then one can see that there is no need to choose between the standard criteria that have been proposed as ways of individuating the senses—representation, phenomenal character, proximal stimulus and sense organ—or any other criteria that one may deem important. Rather, one can use these criteria in conjunction to form a fine-grained taxonomy of (...) the senses. We can think of these criteria as defining a multidimensional space within which we can locate each of the senses that we are familiar with and which also defines the space of possible senses there could be. (shrink)
ABSTRACT This paper reveals David Hilbert’s position in the philosophy of mathematics, circa 1900, to be a form of non-eliminative structuralism, predating his formalism. I argue that Hilbert withstands the pressing objections put to him by Frege in the course of the Frege-Hilbert controversy in virtue of this early structuralist approach. To demonstrate that this historical position deserves contemporary attention I show that Hilbertian structuralism avoids a recent wave of objections against non-eliminative structuralists to the effect that they cannot distinguish (...) between structurally identical but importantly distinct mathematical objects, such as the complex roots of $-1$. (shrink)
The Demandingness Objection is the objection that a moral theory or principle is unacceptable because it asks more than we can reasonably expect. David Sobel, Shelley Kagan and Liam Murphy have each argued that the Demandingness Objection implicitly – and without justification – appeals to moral distinctions between different types of cost. I discuss three sets of cases each of which suggest that we implicitly assume some distinction between costs when applying the Demandingness Objection. We can explain each set of (...) cases, but each set requires appeal to a separate dimension of the Demandingness Objection. (shrink)
Unlike those with type 1 blindsight, people who have type 2 blindsight have some sort of consciousness of the stimuli in their blind field. What is the nature of that consciousness? Is it visual experience? I address these questions by considering whether we can establish the existence of any structural—necessary—features of visual experience. I argue that it is very difficult to establish the existence of any such features. In particular, I investigate whether it is possible to visually, or more generally (...) perceptually, experience form or movement at a distance from our body, without experiencing colour. The traditional answer, advocated by Aristotle, and some other philosophers, up to and including the present day, is that it is not and hence colour is a structural feature of visual experience. I argue that there is no good reason to think that this is impossible, and provide evidence from four cases—sensory substitution, achomatopsia, phantom contours and amodal completion—in favour of the idea that it is possible. If it is possible then one important reason for rejecting the idea that people with type 2 blindsight do not have visual experiences is undermined. I suggest further experiments that could be done to help settle the matter. (shrink)
This paper explores the potential for an international political theory of care as an alternative to liberalism in the context of contemporary global politics. It argues that relationality and interdependence, and the responsibilities for and practices of care that arise therewith, are fundamental aspects of moral life and sites of political contestation that have been systematically denied and obfuscated under liberalism. A political theory of care brings into view the responsibilities and practices of care that sustain not just ?bare life? (...) but all social life, from nuclear and extended families to local, national and transnational communities. It disrupts and challenges the individualism of liberalism, and the associated valorization of ?freedom?, ?autonomy?, and ?toleration?. Instead, it emphasizes an ontology of relationality and interdependence that accepts the existence of vulnerability without reifying particular individuals, groups or states as ?victims? or ?guardians?. Furthermore, by demonstrating the gendered and raced nature of caring in the contemporary world?from the household to the transnational level?an international political theory of care challenges our received assumptions about ?dependence? in world politics, and opens up space to interrogate politically not only gender but race and other aspects of inequality in the global political economy. (shrink)
It is widely held that in Plato's Sophist, Forms rest or change or both. The received opinion is, however, false—or so I will argue. There is no direct support for it in the text and several passages tell against it. I will further argue that, contrary to the view of some scholars, Plato did not in this dialogue advocate a kind of change recognizable as 'Cambridge change', as applicable to his Forms. The reason that Forms neither change nor rest is (...) that they are purely intelligible entities, not susceptible to changing or being at rest. Since Plato continues in the Sophist to treat Forms as causes, it follows that Forms are changeless causes. I ask what conception of cause might allow for this view, and reject the suggestion that Plato was some kind of proto-dispositionalist about causation. Instead I suggest that he understood causation to incorporate a notion of structuring, such that Forms can be seen to structure their participants and so cause them to possess the attributes they possess. (shrink)
In this paper I offer a reading of one of Plato's later works, the Sophist, that reveals it to be informed by principles comparable on the face of it with those that have emerged recently in the field of critical thinking. As a development of the famous Socratic method of his teacher, I argue, Plato deployed his own pedagogical method, a ‘mid‐wifely’ or ‘maieutic’ method, in the Sophist. In contrast to the Socratic method, the sole aim of this method is (...) not to disabuse the reader or learner of her false opinions. Rather, its purpose is to supply her with the skills and dispositions as well as the claims and counter‐claims she needs to critically evaluate a view, and so facilitate knowledge acquisition, for herself. But the text does not merely teach critical thinking in this indirect manner. One of the strategies its author employed was to encourage the reader/learner to consider under what conditions a claim or idea would be false. To the extent that it achieves this, the Sophist provides both a model and an application of that particular kind of critical thinking in the learning environment that Jonathan Baron has described as ‘active open‐mindedness’. (shrink)
L.A. Paul argues that interesting issues for rational choice theory are raised by epistemically transformative experiences: experiences which provide access to knowledge that could not be known without the experience. Consideration of the epistemic effects of pregnancy has important implications for our understanding of epistemically transformative experiences and for debate about the ethics of abortion and applied ethics more generally. Pregnancy is epistemically transformative both in Paul’s narrow sense and in a wider sense: those who have not been pregnant face (...) significant barriers to acquiring the knowledge made accessible through pregnancy. This knowledge is crucial for engaging with the ethics of abortion. The epistemically transformativeWIDE nature of pregnancy may require us to use new methods to try to partially grasp what pregnancy is like such as for example, significant engagement with narrative literature. Because pregnancy is also epistemically transformative in a narrow sense, we need to work out how to engage in ethical reasoning when relevant knowledge is not fully accessible to all. This argument has implications beyond the debate about abortion. Philosophers in many areas of applied ethics will need to work out how to respond appropriately to epistemically transformative experiences. (shrink)
Merleau-Ponty’s understanding of ‘passivity’ is a key to his account of perception. For Merleau-Ponty, perception is the way in which we are involved in the world, and it is on perception that the functions of understanding, reason, and reflection ultimately rest. While in his Phenomenology of Perception it is already clear that passive and active are intertwined, from a series of lectures he gave in 1954–5 we learn that inauguration or ‘institution’ arises out of a passivity that is not merely (...) an absence of activity. I show how the thoroughly temporal status of the subject as ‘instituting’ distinguishes it from a certain model of the ‘constituting’ subject. Next, I argue that, to grasp the sense in which Merleau-Ponty intends ‘passivity’, we must recognize its mediating or transitional status. Specifically, I examine terms that arise repeatedly in his analysis of the Freudian account of the unconscious — namely, ‘pivot’ and ‘enjambment’ — to show how they reveal the peculiar status of a passivity that operates through a dialectic focused on its transitional terms rather than on opposing poles. Finally, I suggest the exchange between passivity and institution that Merleau-Ponty has in mind can be illuminated through consideration of late Palaeolithic cave paintings, where the rock itself seems to begin an expression that the artist completes. (shrink)
Abstract I argue for a new interpretation of the argument for the non-identity of Being and Difference at Sophist 255c-e, which turns on a distinction between modes of being a property. Though indebted to Frede (1967), the distinction differs from his in an important respect: What distinguishes the modes is not the subject's relation to itself or to something numerically distinct, but whether it constitutes or conforms to the specification of some property. Thus my view, but not his, allows self-participation (...) for Forms. Against Frede and the more traditional interpretation, I maintain that the distinction is not introduced by way of the pros alla / kath' hauta distinction, or by way of uses or senses of the verb `to be', but is established prior to the argument and is deployed in its frame. Moreover, since I read the argument's scope as restricted to properties in what I shall call the attribute mode, my interpretation can explain, as its rivals cannot, why the criterion of difference at 255d6-7 does not apply to the Form, Difference, itself. (shrink)