In this paper, we argue that several recent ‘wide’ perspectives on cognition (embodied, embedded, extended, enactive, and distributed) are only partially relevant to the study of cognition. While these wide accounts override traditional methodological individualism, the study of cognition has already progressed beyond these proposed perspectives towards building integrated explanations of the mechanisms involved, including not only internal submechanisms but also interactions with others, groups, cognitive artifacts, and their environment. The claim is substantiated with reference to recent developments in the (...) study of “mindreading” and debates on emotions. We claim that the current practice in cognitive (neuro)science has undergone, in effect, a silent mechanistic revolution, and has turned from initial binary oppositions and abstract proposals towards the integration of wide perspectives with the rest of the cognitive (neuro)sciences. (shrink)
In this paper, we consider a few actual cases of mnemonic strategies among older subjects (older than 65). The cases are taken from an ethnographic study, examining how elderly adults cope with cognitive decline. We believe that these cases illustrate that the process of remembering in many cases involve a complex distributed web of processes involving both internal or intracranial and external sources. Our cases illustrate that the nature of distributed remembering is shaped by and subordinated to the dynamic characteristics (...) of the on-going activity and to our minds suggest that research on memory and distributed cognition should focus on the process of remembering through detailed descriptions and analysis of naturally occurring situations. (shrink)
In discussions of Fitch’s paradox, it is usually assumed without further argument that knowledge is factive, that if a subject knows that p, then p is true. It is argued that this common assumption is not as well-founded as it should be, and that there in fact are certain reasons to be suspicious of the unrestricted version of the factiveness claim. There are two kinds of reason for this suspicion. One is that unrestricted factiveness leads to paradoxes and unexpected results, (...) the other is that the usual arguments for factiveness are not as compelling as is commonly thought. There may in fact be some kinds of contexts, where factiveness doesn’t hold for knowledge—the usual arguments for factiveness don’t suffice to support the claim that knowledge is unrestrictedly factive. Perhaps all that can be shown is that knowledge is at times factive, or that it is default factive, as it were: this doesn’t show that there can’t be counterexamples, however. Certain aspects of knowledge without unrestricted factiveness are examined briefly. (shrink)
Frank Jackson's knowledge argument against physicalism has caused an extensive debate. In this paper, I sketch and examine a new argument against Jackson's view, an argument which appears to retain more of physicalism than other replies to Jackson. this argument draws strength from a causal theory of knowledge, and hold that there is no knowledge of epiphenomenal qualia, hence that Jackson's main conclusions from the thought experiment are incorrect. There are still problems with this argument, however, so the question remains (...) how much of the mental that can be accounted for in physicalist terms. (shrink)
This note presents an argument to show that trope theory, as usually conceived, gets into difficulties in handling certain ways in which two objects can resemble one another. Ways out of the difficulties are discussed briefly.
This paper examines some aspects of Strawson’s conception of descriptive metaphysics, as it is developed in Individuals. Descriptive metaphysics sets out to describe ”the actual structure of our thought about the world”. Three specific problems for this project are discussed. First, isn’t the description of our actual thought about the world mainly an empirical task? Second, how determinate and consistent is the stuff we find, how determinate and consistent is our conceptual scheme? Third, who are “we” here? Answers to these (...) sets of questions are mainly negative in spirit. But all this will probably not mean that there will be no place for metaphysics, descriptive or revisionary, as a subject. The whole enterprise is perhaps more fraught with difficulties than Strawson thought, however. (shrink)
I am the world’s leading expert on the current contents of my left pocket. I can also lay claim to being the world’s leading expert on the contents of my mind – if I say that I think it is too warm in here, I can be assumed to be right about this. But the two cases are perhaps only superficially alike. No one else knows much about the current contents of my pockets, because no one else has checked my (...) pockets. If someone else were to go through the steps needed to check my pockets, she would know as much as I do about their contents. The persons checking my pockets could find out that I had made a mistake – perhaps I had overlooked a subway ticket. The steps required for finding out such things are essentially the same as the steps I have to take. This does not hold for the contents of my mind. My claim to know what I am thinking right now seems to be of a different kind, when compared with my knowledge of the contents of my pockets. My thoughts are mine, and I have a special relation to them. This relation seems to be special in many ways. Perhaps even the idea of being an expert on the contents of one’s own mind is misguided; perhaps the analogy with ordinary experts is misleading – there seems to be nothing like getting better and better at judging something that is there for the experts to judge. Perhaps the whole idea of there being something there to be an expert about is wrong. When trying to come to grips with questions concerning the first person, we quickly get entangled in a whole bunch of tricky issues, issues that have occupied philosophers at least since Descartes. Descartes’ particular views on what there is to know about the contents of my own mind, and how I could come to be so good at this, have to a great extent set the agenda for virtually all later discussions of the first person, even though there is a widespread agreement that Descartes got most things wrong. (shrink)
Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity examines the various ways in which Christian intellectuals engaged with Platonism both as a pagan competitor and as a source of philosophical material useful to the Christian faith. The chapters are united in their goal to explore transformations that took place in the reception and interaction process between Platonism and Christianity in this period. -/- The contributions in this volume explore the reception of Platonic material in Christian thought, showing that the transmission of (...) cultural content is always mediated, and ought to be studied as a transformative process by way of selection and interpretation. Some chapters also deal with various aspects of the wider discussion on how Platonic, and Hellenic, philosophy and early Christian thought related to each other, examining the differences and common ground between these traditions. -/- Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity offers an insightful and broad ranging study on the subject, which will be of interest to students of both philosophy and theology in the Late Antique period, as well as anyone working on the reception and history of Platonic thought, and the development of Christian thought. (shrink)
Frank Jackson endorses epiphenomenalism because he thinks that his knowledge argument undermines physicalism. One of the most interesting criticisms of Jackson's position is what I call the 'inconsistency objection'. The inconsistency objection says that Jackson's position is untenable because epiphenomenalism undermines the knowledge argument. The inconsistency objection has been defended by various philosophers independently, including Michael Watkins, FredrikStjernberg, and Neil Campbell. Surprisingly enough, while Jackson himself admits explicitly that the inconsistency objection is 'the most powerful reply to (...) the knowledge argument' he knows of, it has never been discussed critically. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the objection and to identify and consider its implications. The objection is alleged to be based on a causal theory of knowledte. I argue that the objection fails by showing that any causal theory of knowledge is such that it is either false or does not support the inconsistency objection. In order to defend my argument, I offer a hypothesis concerning phenomenal knowledge. (shrink)
Contributing Authors: Lilli Alanen & Frans Svensson, David Alm, Gustaf Arrhenius, Gunnar Björnsson, Luc Bovens, Richard Bradley, Geoffrey Brennan & Nicholas Southwood, John Broome, Linus Broström & Mats Johansson, Johan Brännmark, Krister Bykvist, John Cantwell, Erik Carlson, David Copp, Roger Crisp, Sven Danielsson, Dan Egonsson, Fred Feldman, Roger Fjellström, Marc Fleurbaey, Margaret Gilbert, Olav Gjelsvik, Kathrin Glüer & Peter Pagin, Ebba Gullberg & Sten Lindström, Peter Gärdenfors, Sven Ove Hansson, Jana Holsanova, Nils Holtug, Victoria Höög, Magnus Jiborn, Karsten Klint Jensen, (...) Sigurður Kristinsson, Isaac Levi, Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen, David Makinson, Anna-Sofia Maurin, Philippe Mongin, Kevin Mulligan, Lennart Nordenfelt, Jonas Olson, Erik J. Olsson, Ingmar Persson, Johannes Persson, Björn Petersson, Philip Pettit, Hans Rott, Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen, Krister Segerberg, John Skorupski, Howard Sobel, FredrikStjernberg, Fred Stoutland, Caj Strandberg, Pär Sundström, Folke Tersman, Torbjörn Tännsjö, Peter Vallentyne, Bruno Verbeek, Stella Villarmea, and Michael J. Zimmerman. (shrink)
In this paper I present and compare the ideas behind naturalistic theories of health on the one hand and phenomenological theories of health on the other. The basic difference between the two sets of theories is no doubt that whereas naturalistic theories claim to rest on value neutral concepts, such as normal biological function, the phenomenological suggestions for theories of health take their starting point in what is often named intentionality: meaningful stances taken by the embodied person in experiencing and (...) understanding her situation and taking action in the world. Although naturalism and phenomenology are fundamentally different in their approach to health, they are not necessarily opposed when it comes to understanding the predicament of ill persons. The starting point of medical investigations is what the patient feels and says about her illness and the phenomenological investigation should include the way diagnoses of different diseases are interpreted by the person experiencing the diseases as an embodied being. Furthermore, the two theories display similarities in their emphasis of embodiment as the central element of health theory and in their stress on the alien nature of the body displayed in illness. Theories of biology and phenomenology are, indeed, compatible and in many cases also mutually supportive in the realm of health and illness. (shrink)
The Body as Gift, Resource, and Commodity, edited by Martin Gunnarson and Fredrik Svenaeus, is a volume containing 11 research pieces about organ transplants and organ trade in current times, and is the outcome of a research project at the Centre for Studies in Practical Knowledge, Södertörns University in Stockholm. The main contributors include a philosopher, a historian, and three ethnologists, assisted by medical researchers and physicians and other scholars from the Baltic region. As such, the range of focus (...) is generally limited to the prevailing practices in that region, although their connections with practices in other parts of the world are discussed where directly relevant.The authors’ aim, as mentioned in the introduction of the book, is to add to the growth of knowledge and reflection in the field of reference and thus help to build sound political judgment and policies on organ, tissue, and cell donation, both in view of the need to save lives and their impac .. (shrink)
Title: Medicine, Morals, and the LawPublisher: Gower Pub CoISBN: 0566005336Author: Sheila McLean and Gerry MaherTitle: Reproductive EthicsPublisher: Prentice HallISBN: 0137739044Author: Michael BaylesTitle: Ethics of Withdrawal of Life-Support SystemsPublisher: Praeger PaperbackISBN: 0275927105Author: Douglas N. Walton.
In America in the 1960s, ethics was out of fashion. Scientists tended to think it was as wooly and "ideological" as religion, and many philosophers agreed. But advances in the biosciences and biotechnologies made the need for ethical reflection hard to ignore. Ethics needed what today we would call rebranding.The new field devoted to questions arising with advances in the biosciences and biotechnologies would be called "bioethics." As theologian Warren Reich put it when reflecting back on the birth of bioethics (...) in the late 1960s, The field of bioethics started with the word bioethics because the word is so suggestive and so powerful; it suggests a new focus, a new bringing together of disciplines in a new way with... (shrink)