We propose a mentalistic and nativist view of human early mental and social life and of the ontogeny of mindreading. We define the mental state of sharedness as the primitive, one-sided capability to take one's own mental states as mutually known to an i nteractant. We argue that this capability is an innate feature of the human mind, which the child uses to make a subjective sense of the world and of her actions. We argue that the child takes all (...) of her mental states as shared with her caregivers. This a llows her to interact with her caregivers in a mentalistic way from the very beginning and provides the grounds on which the later maturation of mindreading will build. As the latter process occurs, the child begins to understand the mental world in terms of differences between the mental states of different agents; subjectively, this also corresponds to the birth of privateness. ? (shrink)
A large body of literature agrees that persons with schizophrenia suffer from a Theory of Mind deficit. However, most empirical studies have focused on third-person, egocentric ToM, underestimating other facets of this complex cognitive skill. Aim of this research is to examine the ToM of schizophrenic persons considering its various aspects, to determine whether some components are more impaired than others. We developed a Theory of Mind Assessment Scale and administered it to 22 persons with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia (...) and a matching control group. Th.o.m.a.s. is a semi-structured interview which allows a multi-component measurement of ToM. Both groups were also administered a few existing ToM tasks and the schizophrenic subjects were administered the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the WAIS-R. The schizophrenic persons performed worse than control at all the ToM measurements; however, these deficits appeared to be differently distributed among different components of ToM. Our conclusion is that ToM deficits are not unitary in schizophrenia, which also testifies to the importance of a complete and articulated investigation of ToM. (shrink)
This research is concerned with the innate predispositions underlying human intentional communication. Human communication is currently defined as a circular and overt attempt to modify a partner's mental states. This requires each party involved to posse ss the ability to represent and understand the other's mental states, a capability which is commonly referred to as mindreading, or theory of mind (ToM). The relevant experimental literature agrees that no such capability is to be found in the human speci es at least (...) during the first year of life, and possibly later. This paper aims at advancing a solution to this theoretical problem. We propose to consider sharedness as the basis for intentional communication in the infant and to view it as a primitive, i nnate component of her cognitive architecture. Communication can then build upon the mental grounds that the infant takes as shared with her caregivers. We view this capability as a theory of mind in a weak sense.›. (shrink)
We outline a theory of human agency and communication and discuss the role that the capability to share (that is, intersubjectivity) plays in it. All the notions discussed are cast in a mentalistic and radically constructivist framework. We also introduce and discuss the relevant literature.
A large body of literature agrees that persons with schizophrenia suffer from a Theory of Mind deficit. However, most empirical studies have focused on third-person, egocentric ToM, underestimating other facets of this complex cognitive skill. Aim of this research is to examine the ToM of schizophrenic persons considering its various aspects, to determine whether some components are more impaired than others.We developed a Theory of Mind Assessment Scale and administered it to 22 persons with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia and (...) a matching control group. Th.o.m.a.s. is a semi-structured interview which allows a multi-component measurement of ToM. Both groups were also administered a few existing ToM tasks and the schizophrenic subjects were administered the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the WAIS-R.The schizophrenic persons performed worse than control at all the ToM measurements; however, these deficits appeared to be differently distributed among different components of ToM.Our conclusion is that ToM deficits are not unitary in schizophrenia, which also testifies to the importance of a complete and articulated investigation of ToM. (shrink)
From a cognitive perspective, intentional communication may be viewed as an agent's activity overtly aimed at modifying a partner's mental states. According to standard Gricean definitions, this requires each party to be able to ascribe mental states to the other, i.e., to entertain a so-called theory of mind. According to the relevant experimental literature, however, such capability does not appear before the third or fourth birthday; it would follow that children under that age should not be viewed as communicating agents. (...) In order to solve the resulting dilemma, we propose that certain specific components of an agent's cognitive architecture (namely, a peculiar version of sharedness and communicative intention), are necessary and sufficient to explain infant communication in a mentalist framework. We also argue that these components are innate in the human species. (shrink)
The paper aims to assess the theory of mind of sexual offenders. We administered to 21 sexual offenders and to 21 nonoffenders two classical first- and second-order ToM tasks, a selection of six Strange Stories, and a semi-structured interview, the Theory of Mind Assessment Scale , which provides a multi-dimensional evaluation of ToM, investigating first- vs. third-person and egocentric vs. allocentric perspectives. Results show that sexual offenders performed worse than controls on second-order ToM tasks, on Strange Stories and on each (...) of the Th.o.m.a.s dimensions, whereas they did as well as the control group on first-order ToM tasks. A detailed analysis of participants’ performance on Th.o.m.a.s. showed that sex offenders performed worse on the third-person than on the first-person ToM scale, and worse on the allocentric than on the egocentric perspective; these findings did not apply to the controls. Implications for future research and treatment are discussed. (shrink)
This study investigates the effectiveness of pedagogical practices used to teach business ethics. The business community has greatly increased its demands for better ethics education in business programs. Educators have generally agreed that the ethical principles of business people have declined. It is important, then, to examine how common methods of instruction used in business ethics could contribute to the development of higher levels of moral judgment competence for students. To determine the effectiveness of these methods, moral judgment competence levels (...) for undergraduate and graduate students from three institutions were measured and compared based upon the pedagogical method used in a business class. Significant differences were found for moral reasoning and moral competence scores depending on the method used for ethics instruction. Students in classes with more highly integrated ethics coverage scored higher in moral reasoning and moral competence. (shrink)
In Poggiolesi we have introduced a rigorous definition of the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding; in the present paper our aim is to construct a logic for the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding based on that definition. Our logic will have the form of a calculus of natural deduction, will be proved to be sound and complete and will allow us to have fine-grained grounding principles.
The paper aims at investigating external factors influencing organizational corporate social responsibility -related decision making. Two theoretical perspectives—stakeholder theory and institutional theory—have been applied to compile a list of external factors that might affect a company's CSR choices. As a result, a framework built on the government-related, society-related, and business-related groups of external factors is being suggested. This framework is used in the paper to answer to what extent do different external factors influence CSR-related decisions in large Danish companies and (...) how has that influence changed over the years. The research takes a qualitative approach and is designed as a multiple-case study. Empirically, the paper relies on data collected from semi-structured interviews with CSR specialists and managers and presents a dynamic perspective on the pressure exercised by the external factors on CSR decisions and choices. (shrink)
Marina McCoy explores Plato's treatment of the rhetoric of philosophers and sophists through a thematic treatment of six different Platonic dialogues, including Apology, Protagoras, Gorgias, Republic, Sophist, and Phaedras. She argues that Plato presents the philosopher and the sophist as difficult to distinguish, insofar as both use rhetoric as part of their arguments. Plato does not present philosophy as rhetoric-free, but rather shows that rhetoric is an integral part of philosophy. However, the philosopher and the sophist are distinguished by (...) the philosopher's love of the forms as the ultimate objects of desire. It is this love of the forms that informs the philosopher's rhetoric, which he uses to lead his partner to better understand his deepest desires. McCoy's work is of interest to philosophers, classicists, and communications specialists alike in its careful yet comprehensive treatment of philosophy, sophistry, and rhetoric as portrayed through the drama of the dialogues. (shrink)
Neofregeanism and structuralism are among the most promising recent approaches to the philosophy of mathematics. Yet both have serious costs. We develop a view, structuralist neologicism, which retains the central advantages of each while avoiding their more serious costs. The key to our approach is using arbitrary reference to explicate how mathematical terms, introduced by abstraction principles, refer. Focusing on numerical terms, this allows us to treat abstraction principles as implicit definitions determining all properties of the numbers, achieving a key (...) neofregean advantage, while preserving the key structuralist advantage, which objects play the number role does not matter. (shrink)
At Columbia University in 1906, William James gave a highly confrontational speech to the American Philosophical Association (APA). He ignored the technical philosophical questions the audience had gathered to discuss and instead addressed the topic of human energy. Tramping on the rules of academic decorum, James invoked the work of amateurs, read testimonials on the benefits of yoga and alcohol, and concluded by urging his listeners to take up this psychological and physiological problem. What was the goal of this unusual (...) speech? Rather than an oddity, Francesca Bordogna asserts that the APA address was emblematic—it was just one of many gestures that James employed as he plowed through the barriers between academic, popular, and pseudoscience, as well as the newly emergent borders between the study of philosophy, psychology, and the “science of man.” Bordogna reveals that James’s trespassing of boundaries was an essential element of a broader intellectual and social project. By crisscrossing divides, she argues, James imagined a new social configuration of knowledge, a better society, and a new vision of the human self. As the academy moves toward an increasingly interdisciplinary future, William James at the Boundaries reintroduces readers to a seminal influence on the way knowledge is pursued. (shrink)
We present here for the first time an italian translation of Rang’s Vom Weg messianischer Deutung : the introductory essay on the work on Shakespeare’s sonnets. This work remained unfinished and was only partially published posthumously by Rang’s son, Bernhard, in 1954, with the title Shakespeare der Christ. Eine Deutung der Sonette. The translation is accompanied by a comment essay on Rang’s text. This comment essay firstly aims to contextualize both the work on Shakespeare and the very complex and still (...) little researched figure of Florens Christian Rang; secondly, it addresses the most important conceptual issues that the essay presents. With a strongly programmatic nature and, at the same time, with an expressionistic style, which is as obscure as it is visionary, Vom Weg messianischer Deutung presents the method of messianic interpretation in contrast with the classical-romantic one of the pneumatic interpretation. What is at stake is a perspective that challenges the autonomy of art in order to place the Kunstwerk in the series of all the works of divine creation to transform it in faith work. It is the point of view of the Last Judgment that leads the way. The messianic critique of art reveals to be only a particular case of messianic world critique, literally a critique of the world, which redirects itself to the world. It is the movement of conversion which breaks with the false dualism of Romanticism, according to which the spirit is divided in two: on the one hand, there are the experience, the world, the science, on the other hand, there is the art as pure mirroring of forms. Through the messianic interpretation, the spirit returns to be body, flesh. It follows the permanent movement of creation, namely the continuous conversion from God to the world and from the world to God. In this sense, according to Rang, Shakespeare’s sonnets exemplify the faith work: their poetic word names the messianic unity of body and spirit. They are crystals within which all creatural life, the great stages of the divine creation, are concentrated. (shrink)
An oft-defended claim of a close relationship between Gentzen inference rules and the meaning of the connectives they introduce and eliminate has given rise to a whole domain called proof-theoretic semantics, see Schroeder- Heister ; Prawitz. A branch of proof-theoretic semantics, mainly developed by Dosen ; Dosen and Petric, isolates in a precise mathematical manner formulas that have the same meaning. These isomorphic formulas are defined to be those that behave identically in inferences. The aim of this paper is to (...) investigate another type of recently discussed rules in the literature, namely grounding rules, and their link to the meaning of the connectives they provide the grounds for. In particular, by using grounding rules, we will refine the notion of isomorphic formulas through the notion of hyper-isomorphic formulas. We will argue that it is actually the notion of hyper-isomorphic formulas that identify those formulas that have the same meaning. (shrink)
Memory is not a unitary phenomenon. Even among the group of long-term individual memory representations (known in the literature as declarative memory) there seems to be a distinction between two kinds of memory: memory of personally experienced events (episodic memory) and memory of facts or knowledge about the world (semantic memory). Although this distinction seems very intuitive, it is not so clear in which characteristic or set of interrelated characteristics lies the difference. In this article, I present the different criteria (...) proposed in the philosophical and scientific literature in order to account for this distinction: (1) the vehicle of representation; (2) the grammar of the verb “to remember”; (3) the cause of the memory; (4) the memory content; and (5) the phenomenology of memory representations. Whereas some criteria seem more plausible than others, I show that all of them are problematic and none of them really fulfill their aim. I then briefly outline a different criterion, the affective criterion, which seems a promising line of research to try to understand the grounds of this distinction. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to provide a definition of the the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding through the concepts of derivability and complexity. It will be shown that this definition yields a subtle and precise analysis of the concept of grounding in several paradigmatic cases.
What, if anything, do the âsquare’ protests and âoccupy’ movements of 2011 bring to contemporary democratic theory? And how can we, as political theorists, analyse their discourse and do justice to it? We address these questions through an analysis of the Greek and Spanish protest movements of the spring and summer of 2011, the so-called aganaktismenoi and indignados. We trace the centrality of the critique of representation and politics as usual as well as the ideas about horizontality and autonomy in (...) the protesters’ discourse. These ideas are not only important to their critique of the contemporary liberal democratic regimes in the two countries, but also important to the way in which the protesters organise themselves. Nonetheless, as we shall argue, the protesters are caught within a tension between horizontality and verticality, between autonomy and hegemony, or between moving beyond representation and accepting representational structures. Given this tension, we examine how the protesters negotiate it in three key areas: politics, representation and organisation. Drawing on Jacques Rancière, we further argue that the protesters can be seen as making a claim to equal voice. This is what Rancière refers to as politics proper, and the question is then whether such a politics is possible without falling back into traditional forms of politics. (shrink)
Against those who dismiss Kant's project in the "Religion" because it provides a Pelagian understanding of salvation, this paper offers an analysis of the deep structure of Kant's views on divine justice and grace showing them not to conflict with an authentically Christian understanding of these concepts. The first part of the paper argues that Kant's analysis of these concepts helps us to understand the necessary conditions of the Christian understanding of grace: unfolding them uncovers intrinsic relations holding between God's (...) justice and grace. Parts two and three provide an analysis of two concepts of grace used by Kant. Getting clear on their differences is the key to understanding why Kant's account is not Pelagian. (shrink)
This paper explores Kant's concept of the highest good and the postulate of the existence of God arising from it. Kant has two concepts of the highest good standing in tension with one another, an immanent and a transcendent one. I provide a systematic exposition of the constituents of both variants and show how Kant’s arguments are prone to confusion through a conflation of both concepts. I argue that once these confusions are sorted out Kant’s claim regarding the need to (...) postulate God’s existence from a moral point of view makes much more sense. (shrink)