We introduce a new notion of tame geometry for structures admitting an abstract notion of balls. The notion is named b-minimality and is based on definable families of points and balls. We develop a dimension theory and prove a cell decomposition theorem for b-minimal structures. We show that b-minimality applies to the theory of Henselian valued fields of characteristic zero, generalizing work by Denef–Pas [25, 26]. Structures which are o-minimal, v-minimal, or p-minimal and which satisfy some slight extra conditions are (...) also b-minimal, but b-minimality leaves more room for nontrivial expansions. The b-minimal setting is intended to be a natural framework for the construction of Euler characteristics and motivic or p-adic integrals. The b-minimal cell decomposition is a generalization of concepts of Cohen , Denef , and the link between cell decomposition and integration was first made by Denef . (shrink)
According to the dominant position among philosophers of language today, we can legitimately ascribe determinate contents to natural language sentences, independently of what the speaker actually means. This view contrasts with that held by ordinary language philosophers fifty years ago: according to them, speech acts, not sentences, are the primary bearers of content. François Recanati argues for the relevance of this controversy to the current debate about semantics and pragmatics. Is 'what is said' determined by linguistic conventions, or is (...) it an aspect of 'speaker's meaning'? Do we need pragmatics to fix truth-conditions? What is 'literal meaning'? To what extent is semantic composition a creative process? How pervasive is context-sensitivity? Recanati provides an original and insightful defence of 'contextualism', and offers an informed survey of the spectrum of positions held by linguists and philosophers working at the semantics/pragmatics interface. (shrink)
Our thought and talk are situated. They do not take place in a vacuum but always in a context, and they always concern an external situation relative to which they are to be evaluated. Since that is so, François Recanati argues, our linguistic and mental representations alike must be assigned two layers of content: the explicit content, or lekton, is relative and perspectival, while the complete content, which is absolute, involves contextual factors in addition to what is explicitly represented. (...) Far from reducing to the context-independent meaning of the sentence-type or, in the psychological realm, to the 'narrow' content of mental representations, the lekton is a level intermediate between context-invariant meaning and full propositional content. Recognition of that intermediate level is the key to a proper understanding of context-dependence in language and thought. Going beyond the usual discussions of indexicality and unarticulated constituents in the philosophy of language, Recanati turns to the philosophy of mind for decisive arguments in favour of his approach. He shows, first, that the lekton is the notion of content we need if we are to properly understand the relations between perception, memory, and the imagination, and second, that the psychological 'mode' is what determines the situation the lekton is relative to. In this framework he provides a detailed account of de se thought and the first person point of view. In the last part of the book, Recanati discusses the special freedom we have, in discourse and thought, to shift the situation of evaluation. He traces that freedom to a special mode - the anaphoric mode - which enables us to go beyond the egocentric stage of pre-human thought. (shrink)
Among the entities that can be mentally or linguistically represented are mental and linguistic representations themselves. That is, we can think and talk about speech and thought. This phenomenon is known as metarepresentation. An example is "Authors believe that people read books." -/- In this book François Recanati discusses the structure of metarepresentation from a variety of perspectives. According to him, metarepresentations have a dual structure: their content includes the content of the object-representation (people reading books) as well as (...) the "meta" part (the authors' belief). Rejecting the view that the object representation is mentioned rather than used, Recanati claims that since metarepresentations carry the content of the object representation, they must be about whatever the object representation is about. Metarepresentations are fundamentally transparent because they work by simulating the representation they are about. -/- Topics covered in this wide-ranging work include the analysis of belief reports and talk about fiction, world shifting, opacity and substitutivity, quotation, the relation between direct and indirect discourse, context shifting, semantic pretense, and deference in language and thought. (shrink)
Jean-François Lyotard (1924-1998) was one of the most important French philosophers of the Twentieth Century. His impact has been felt across many disciplines: sociology; cultural studies; art theory and politics. This volume presents a diverse selection of interviews, conversations and debates which relate to the five decades of his working life, both as a political militant, experimental philosopher and teacher. Including hard-to-find interviews and previously untranslated material, this is the first time that interviews with Lyotard have been presented as (...) a collection. Key concepts from Lyotard's thought – the differend, the postmodern, the immaterial – are debated and discussed across different time periods, prompted by specific contexts and provocations. In addition there are debates with other thinkers, including Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida, which may be less familiar to an Anglophone audience. These debates and interviews help to contextualise Lyotard, highlighting the importance of Marx, Freud, Kant and Wittgenstein, in addition to the Jewish thought which accompanies the questions of silence, justice and presence that pervades Lyotard's thinking. (shrink)
Thérèse d'Avila a marqué de sa doctrine et de son ardeur l'Église des trois derniers siècles, au point qu'elle est devenue le modèle par excellence de la religieuse cloîtrée tout à la fois contemplative et fondatrice, écrivaine de premier rang, épistolière infatigable et maîtresse spirituelle. Suivant de près le livre de Marcelle Auclair, qui fit date dans le domaine des études thérèsiennes (La Vie de sainte Thérèse d'Avila, la dame errante de Dieu, Le Club du meilleur livre, 19..
This volume puts forward a distinct new theory of direct reference, blending insights from both the Fregean and the Russellian traditions, and fitting the general theory of language understanding used by those working on the pragmatics of natural language.
Illusionism about phenomenal consciousness is the thesis that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, even though it seems to exist. This thesis is widely judged to be uniquely counterintuitive: the idea that consciousness is an illusion strikes most people as absurd, and seems almost impossible to contemplate in earnest. Defenders of illusionism should be able to explain the apparent absurdity of their own thesis, within their own framework. However, this is no trivial task: arguably, none of the illusionist theories currently on (...) the market is able to do this. I present a new theory of phenomenal introspection and argue that it might deal with the task at hand. (shrink)
Illusionism about consciousness is the thesis that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, but merely seems to exist. Embracing illusionism presents the theoretical advantage that one does not need to explain how consciousness arises from purely physical brains anymore, but only to explain why consciousness seems to exist while it does not. As Keith Frankish puts it, illusionism replaces the “hard problem of consciousness” with the “illusion problem.” However, a satisfying version of illusionism has to explain not only why the illusion (...) of consciousness arises, but also why it arises with its particular strength: Notably, why we are so deeply reluctant to recognize the illusory nature of consciousness. Explaining our strong intuitive resistance to illusionism means solving what I call the “illusion meta-problem,” which I think is a part of the illusion problem. In this paper, I argue that current versions of illusionism are unable to solve the illusion meta-problem. I focus on two of the most promising recent illusionist theories of consciousness, and I show why they fail to explain the peculiar reluctance we encounter whenever we try to accept that consciousness is an illusion. (shrink)
This paper is about the Descriptivism/Singularism debate, which has loomed large in 20-century philosophy of language and mind. My aim is to defend Singularism by showing, first, that it is a better and more promising view than even the most sophisticated versions of Descriptivism, and second, that the recent objections to Singularism (based on a dismissal of the acquaintance constraint on singular thought) miss their target.
Jean-Francois Lyotard is often considered to be the father of postmodernism. Here leading experts in the field of cultural and philosophical studies, including Barry Smart, John O' Neill and Victor J. Seidler, tackle many of the questions still being asked about this controversial figure.
I present and I implement what I take to be the best approach to solve the meta-problem: the evidential approach. The main tenet of this approach is to explain our problematic phenomenal intuitions by putting our representations of phenomenal states in perspective within the larger frame of the cognitive processes we use to conceive of evidence.
Illusionists claim that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, but merely seems to exist. Most debates concerning illusionism focus on whether or not it is true – whether phenomenal consciousness really is an illusion. Here I want to tackle a different question: assuming illusionism is true, what kind of illusion is the illusion of phenomenality? Is it a “rich” illusion – the cognitively impenetrable activation of an incorrect representation – or a “sparse” illusion – the cognitively impenetrable activation of an incomplete (...) representation, which leads to drawing incorrect judgments? I present this distinction and I classify the most influential illusionist theories along this line of divide. I then offer an argument against the accounts of the illusion of phenomenality in terms of sparse illusion. (shrink)
Over the past two decades, the study of moral reasoning has been heavily influenced by Joshua Greene’s dual-process model of moral judgment, according to which deontological judgments are typically supported by intuitive, automatic processes while utilitarian judgments are typically supported by reflective, conscious processes. However, most of the evidence gathered in support of this model comes from the study of people’s judgments about sacrificial dilemmas, such as Trolley Problems. To which extent does this model generalize to other debates in which (...) deontological and utilitarian judgments conflict, such as the existence of harmless moral violations, the difference between actions and omissions, the extent of our duties of assistance, and the appropriate justification for punishment? To find out, we conducted a series of five studies on the role of reflection in these kinds of moral conundrums. In Study 1, participants were asked to answer under cognitive load. In Study 2, participants had to answer under a strict time constraint. In Studies 3 to 5, we sought to promote reflection through exposure to counter-intuitive reasoning problems or direct instruction. Overall, our results offer strong support to the extension of Greene’s dual-process model to moral debates on the existence of harmless violations and partial support to its extension to moral debates on the extent of our duties of assistance. (shrink)
In what way do we benefit from speaking of things indirectly? How does such a distancing allow us better to discover -- and describe -- people and objects? How does distancing produce an effect? What can we gain from approaching the world obliquely? In other words, how does detour grant access?Thus begins Francois Jullien's investigation into the strategy, subtlety, and production of meaning in ancient and modern Chinese aesthetic and political texts and events. Moving between the rhetorical traditions of ancient (...) Greece and China, Jullien does not attempt a simple comparison of the two civilizations. Instead, he uses the perspective provided by each to gain access into a culture considered by many Westerners to be strange -- "It's all Chinese to me" -- and whose strangeness has been eclipsed through the assumption of its familiarity. He also uses the comparison to shed light on the role of Greek thinking in Western civilization.Jullien rereads the major texts of Chinese thought -- The Book of Songs, Confucius's Analects, and the work of Mencius and Lao-Tse. He addresses the question of oblique, indirect, and allusive meaning in order to explore how the techniques of detour provide access to subtler meanings than are attainable through direct approaches. Indirect speech, Jullien concludes, yields a complex mode of indication, open to multiple perspectives and variations, infinitely adaptable to particular situations and contexts. Concentrating on that which is not said, or which is spoken only through other means, Jullien traces the benefits and costs of this rhetorical strategy in which absolute truth is absent. (shrink)
In 'Illusionism as a Theory of Consciousness', Frankish argues for illusionism: the thesis that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, but merely seems to exist. Illusionism, he says, 'replaces the hard problem with the illusion problem -- the problem of explaining how the illusion of phenomenality arises and why it is so powerful'. The illusion of phenomenality is indeed quite powerful. In fact, it is much more powerful than any other illusion, in the sense that we face a very special and (...) unique intuitive resistance when trying to accept that phenomenality is an illusion. This is bad news for illusionists, because this means that they cannot entirely model their explanation of the illusion of consciousness on the explanation of other illusions. Explaining this unique intuitive resistance to illusionism may therefore constitute the hardest aspect of the illusion problem. However, I think that this aspect of the problem is solvable. I will outline a possible solution, which is based on the hypothesis that our (illusory) introspective representations of phenomenal states characterize them as having unique epistemological properties and as playing a special epistemological role. (shrink)
Many people believe that human interests matter much more than the like interests of non-human animals, and this “speciesist belief” plays a crucial role in the philosophical debate over the moral status of animals. In this paper, I develop a debunking argument against it. My contention is that this belief is unjustified because it is largely due to an off-track process: our attempt to reduce the cognitive dissonance generated by the “meat paradox”. Most meat-eaters believe that it is wrong to (...) harm animals unnecessarily, yet they routinely and deliberately behave in ways that cause great unnecessary suffering to animals. As recent research suggests, this practical inconsistency puts them in an unpleasant state of dissonance, which they try to escape by resolving the paradox. And they do so in part by adopting the speciesist belief—if animal suffering matters much less than human suffering, then harming animals cannot be so wrong after all. Since this belief-forming process does not track moral truth, I conclude that we are not justified in believing that human interests matter more than the similar interests of non-humans. (shrink)
This article introduces an integrative framework of corporate social responsibility (CSR) design and implementation. A review of CSR literature -in particular with regard to design and implementation models -provides the background to develop a multiple case study. The resulting integrative framework, based on this multiple case study and Lewin's change model, highlights four stages that span nine steps of the CSR design and implementation process. Finally, the study identifies critical success factors for the CSR process.
Illusionists about phenomenal consciousness claim that phenomenal consciousness does not exist but merely seems to exist. At the same time, it is quite intuitive for there to be some kind of link between phenomenality and value. For example, some situations seem good or bad in virtue of the conscious experiences they feature. Illusionist views of phenomenal consciousness then face what I call the normative challenge. They have to say where they stand regarding the idea that there is a link between (...) phenomenality and value. If they accept that there is such a link, they might be committed to revisionary normative consequences (and some of them may prove to be uncomfortable). If they deny that there is such link, they might avoid revisionary normative consequences (without being guaranteed against them) but then they have to give reasons to deny that such link obtains, which is not a trivial task. The existence of the normative challenge does not show that illusionism is false, but it shows that illusionism might have important consequences in the normative domain, which have to be clarified. (shrink)
Oscar Horta has argued that speciesism is wrong by definition. In his view, there can be no more substantive debate about the justification of speciesism than there can be about the legality of murder, for it stems from the definition of “speciesism” that speciesism is unjustified just as it stems from the definition of “murder” that murder is illegal. The present paper is a case against this conception. I distinguish two issues: one is descriptive and the other normative. Relying on (...) philosophers’ use of the term, I first answer the descriptive question negatively: speciesism is a purely descriptive concept. Then, based on both its main functions in the philosophical and public debates and an analogy with racism, I answer the normative question negatively: speciesism should remain a purely descriptive concept. If I am correct, then speciesism neither is nor should be wrong by definition. (shrink)
On the basis of two thought experiments, I argue that self-building technologies are possible given our current level of technological progress. We could already use technology to make us instantiate selfhood in a more perfect, complete manner. I then examine possible extensions of this thesis, regarding more radical self-building technologies which might become available in a distant future. I also discuss objections and reservations one might have about this view.
Numerous philosophers have recently tried to defend physicalism regarding phenomenal consciousness against dualist intuitions, by explaining the existence of dualist intuitions within a purely physicalist framework. David Papineau, for example, suggested that certain peculiar features of some of our concepts of phenomenal experiences led us to commit what he called the “Antipathetic Fallacy”: they gave us the erroneous impression that phenomenal experiences must be distinct from purely physical states, even though they are not. Papineau’s hypothesis has been accepted, though under (...) other names and in different forms, by many physicalist philosophers. Pär Sundström has tried to argue against Papineau’s account of the intuition of distinctness by showing that it was subjected to counterexamples. However, Papineau managed to show that Sundström’s counterexamples were not compelling, and that they could be answered within his framework. In this paper, I want to draw inspiration from Sundström, and to put forth some refined counterexamples to Papineau’s account, which cannot be answered in the same way as Sundström’s. My conclusion is that we cannot explain the intuition of distinctness as the result of a kind of “Antipathetic Fallacy”. (shrink)
Cumulative technological culture refers to the increase in the efficiency and complexity of tools and techniques in human populations over generations. A fascinating question is to understand the cognitive origins of this phenomenon. Because CTC is definitely a social phenomenon, most accounts have suggested a series of cognitive mechanisms oriented toward the social dimension, thereby minimizing the technical dimension and the potential influence of non-social, cognitive skills. What if we have failed to see the elephant in the room? What if (...) social cognitive mechanisms were only catalyzing factors and not the sufficient and necessary conditions for the emergence of CTC? In this article, we offer an alternative, unified cognitive approach to this phenomenon by assuming that CTC originates in non-social cognitive skills, namely technical-reasoning skills which enable humans to develop the technical potential necessary to constantly acquire and improve technical information. This leads us to discuss how theory of mind and metacognition, in concert with technical reasoning, can help boost CTC. The cognitive approach developed here opens up promising new avenues for reinterpreting classical issues in a field that has so far been largely dominated by other disciplines, such as evolutionary biology, mathematics, anthropology, archeology, economics, and philosophy. (shrink)