This volume is a direct result of a conference held at Princeton University to honor George A. Miller, an extraordinary psychologist. A distinguished panel of speakers from various disciplines -- psychology, philosophy, neuroscience and artificial intelligence -- were challenged to respond to Dr. Miller's query: "What has happened to cognition? In other words, what has the past 30 years contributed to our understanding of the mind? Do we really know anything that wasn't already clear to William James?" (...) Each participant tried to stand back a little from his or her most recent work, but to address the general question from his or her particular standpoint. The chapters in the present volume derive from that occasion. (shrink)
Saint Thomas More’s _Utopia_ is one of the most important works of European humanism and serves as a key text in survey courses on Western intellectual history, the Renaissance, political theory, and many other subjects. Preeminent More scholar Clarence H. Miller does justice to the full range of More’s rhetoric in this masterful translation. In a new afterword to this edition, Jerry Harp contextualizes More’s life and _Utopia_ within the wider frames of European humanism and the Renaissance. “Clarence H. (...)Miller’s fine translation tracks the supple variations of More’s Latin with unmatched precision, and his Introduction and notes are masterly. Jerry Harp’s new Afterword adroitly places More’s wonderful little book into its broader contexts in intellectual history.”—George M. Logan, author of _The Meaning of More’s “Utopia”_ “Sir Thomas More's _Utopia_ is not merely one of the foundational texts of western culture, but also a book whose most fundamental concerns are as urgent now as they were in 1516 when it was written. Clarence H. Miller's wonderful translation of More's classic is now happily once again available to readers. This is the English edition that best captures the tone and texture of More's original Latin, and its notes and introduction, along with the lively afterward by Jerry Harp, graciously supply exactly the kinds of help a modern reader might desire.”—David Scott Kastan, Yale University. (shrink)
This essay argues for internalism in maintaining that there is a sense of “determination” – namely “a selection of one” – according to which phenomenological content determines the object of an experience. The subject may not be able to describe the object in a way which distinguishes it from all other objects, but the object is nevertheless determined by the unity of sense, or noema, which presents it.
While deductive validity provides the limiting upper bound for evaluating the strength and quality of inferences, by itself it is an inadequate tool for evaluating arguments, arguing, and argumentation. Similar remarks can be made about rhetorical success and dialectical closure. Then what would count as ideal argumentation? In this paper we introduce the concept of cognitive compathy to point in the direction of one way to answer that question. It is a feature of our argumentation rather than my argument or (...) your argument. In that respect, compathy is like the harmonies achieved by an accomplished choir, the spontaneous coordination of athletic teamwork, or the experience of improvising jazz musicians when they are all in the flow together. It is a characteristic of arguments, not a virtue that can be attributed to individual arguers. It makes argumentation more than just the sum of its individual parts. The concept of cognitive compathy is brought into focus by locating it at the confluence of two lines of thought. First, we work up to the concept of compathy by contrasting it with empathy and sympathy in the context of emotions, which is then transplanted into epistemic, cognitive, and argumentative soil. Second, the concept is analytically linked to ideal argumentation by way of authenticity in communication. In the final section, we explore the extent to which argumentative virtues are conducive to producing compathetic argumentation, but reach the unhappy conclusion that the extra value of compathetic argumentation also transcends the evaluative reach of virtue argumentation theory. (shrink)
In this essay I argue that there is a sense in which phenomenological content determines the object of a conscious experience. "Phenomenological content" consists of the senses and sense-structures which become apparent when a subject engages in phenomenological reflection. An introduction to phenomenology is provided for those who are unfamiliar with its practice and literature. ;Various philosophers have argued that the sense of a verbal expression does not determine its reference. Ronald McIntyre has maintained that the arguments against the determination (...) of reference by sense can also be used to show that phenomenological content does not determine the object of a conscious experience. I argue that there is a sense of "determination" for which McIntyre is correct, but that there is another sense of "determination" according to which it would be correct to say that phenomenological content determines the object. ;If "determination" is used in a functional sense, in which A determines B if there is some function which yields B as output given A as input, then McIntyre is correct. The twin earth examples of Putnam and Burge clearly show that two subjects can have experiences with the same phenomenological content but different objects, so phenomenological content does not determine the object in this "functional" sense. But if "determination" means just "selection of one", then there is a determination of the object by phenomenological content from the perspective of, or with respect to, the experience itself. ;The object of a conscious experience is determined through being presented in that experience via a unity of sense . Such determination would not occur if a unity of sense could present anything other than a single, distinct, object. But every unity of sense in the phenomenological content of an experience presents something single and distinct. So there is a sense in which the object of a conscious experience is determined by phenomenological content through presentation. (shrink)
Recent magnetic resonance imaging and pathological studies have indicated that axonal loss is a major contributor to disease progression in multiple sclerosis. 1 H magnetic resonance spectroscopy, through measurement of N -acetyl aspartate, a neuronal marker, provides a unique tool to investigate this. Patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis have few lesions on conventional MRI, suggesting that changes in normal appearing white matter, such as axonal loss, may be particularly relevant to disease progression in this group. To test this hypothesis (...) NAWM was studied with MRS, measuring the concentration of N -acetyl derived groups. Single-voxel MRS using a water-suppressed PRESS sequence was carried out in 24 patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis and in 16 age-matched controls. Ratios of metabolite to creatine concentration were calculated in all subjects, and absolute concentrations were measured in 18 patients and all controls. NA/Cr was significantly lower in NAWM in patients than in controls, as was the absolute concentration of NA. There was no significant difference in the absolute concentration of creatine between the groups. This study supports the hypothesis that axonal loss occurs in NAWM in primary progressive multiple sclerosis and may well be a mechanism for disease progression in this group. (shrink)
First published in Paris in 1511, _The Praise of Folly _has__enjoyed enormous and highly controversial success from the author’s lifetime down to our own day.__It has__no rival, except perhaps Thomas More’s _Utopia, _as the most intense and lively presentation of the literary, social, and theological aims and methods of Northern Humanism. Clarence H. Miller’s highly praised translation of _The Praise of Folly, _based on the definitive Latin text, echoes Erasmus’ own lively style while retaining the nuances of the original (...) text. In his introduction, Miller places the work in the context of Erasmus as humanist and theologian. In a new afterword, William H. Gass playfully considers the meaning, or meanings, of folly and offers fresh insights into one of the great books of Western literature. _Praise for the earlier edition:_ “An eminently reliable and fully annotated edition based on the Latin text.”—_Library Journal_ “Exciting and brilliant, this is likely to be the definitive translation of _The Praise of Folly _into__English.”—Richard J. Schoeck. (shrink)
Contrary to Michael Miller, I maintain that Descartes’s language test adequately distinguishes humans from non-human animals, and that the bonobosKanzi and Panbanisha have not passed it. Miller accepts Descartes’s language test as a good test for true language usage, but denies that it is an adequate test for the presence or absence of reason. I argue that it is a good test for reason, for normal rational beings eventually recognize the desirableness of knowledge of the world for its (...) own sake as well as the fact that such knowledge can be increased by conversing with others. I also argue that the tests administered to the bonobos in question are inadequate for determining true language usage, as they could be passed by animals merely capable of associative learning. (shrink)