What is the primary function of consciousness in the nervous system? The answer to this question remains enigmatic, not so much because of a lack of relevant data, but because of the lack of a conceptual framework with which to interpret the data. To this end, we have developed Passive Frame Theory, an internally coherent framework that, from an action-based perspective, synthesizes empirically supported hypotheses from diverse fields of investigation. The theory proposes that the primary function of consciousness is well-circumscribed, (...) serving the 'somatic nervous system[. For this system, consciousness serves as a frame that constrains and directs skeletal muscle output, thereby yielding adaptive behavior. The mechanism by which consciousness achieves this is more counterintuitive, passive, and “low level” than the kinds of functions that theorists have previously attributed to consciousness. Passive frame theory begins to illuminate (a) what consciousness contributes to nervous function, (b) how consciousness achieves this function, and (c) the neuroanatomical substrates of conscious processes. Our untraditional, action-based perspective focuses on olfaction instead of on vision and is 'descriptive' (describing the products of nature as they evolved to be) rather than 'normative' (construing processes in terms of how they should function). Passive frame theory begins to isolate the neuroanatomical, cognitive-mechanistic, and representational (e.g., conscious contents) processes associated with consciousness. (shrink)
Passive frame theory attempts to illuminate what consciousness is, in mechanistic and functional terms; it does not address the “implementation” level of analysis (how neurons instantiate conscious states), an enigma for various disciplines. However, in response to the commentaries, we discuss how our framework provides clues regarding this enigma. In the framework, consciousness is passive albeit essential. Without consciousness, there would not be adaptive skeletomotor action.
L'étude de Christine Hivet concerne deux romancières, la mère et la fille, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) et Mary Godwin Shelley (1797-1851), situées à la jonction des XVIII et XIXe siècles. Hivet examine la première dans le contexte du modèle féminin esquissé par quelques romancières de seconde zone, émules ou adversaires de notre aïeule féministe. En parallèle et en contrepoint, elle étudie la seconde, Mary Shelley. Celle-ci s'exprime dans des œuvres de science-fiction (Frankenstein..
Ethical concepts are, or purport to be, normative. They make claims on us: they command, oblige, recommend, or guide. Or at least when we invoke them, we make claims on one another; but where does their authority over us - or ours over one another - come from? Christine Korsgaard identifies four accounts of the source of normativity that have been advocated by modern moral philosophers: voluntarism, realism, reflective endorsement, and the appeal to autonomy. She traces their history, showing (...) how each developed in response to the prior one and comparing their early versions with those on the contemporary philosophical scene. Kant's theory that normativity springs from our own autonomy emerges as a synthesis of the other three, and Korsgaard concludes with her own version of the Kantian account. Her discussion is followed by commentary from G. A. Cohen, Raymond Geuss, Thomas Nagel, and Bernard Williams, and a reply by Korsgaard. (shrink)
To understand the human capacity for psychological altruism, one requires a proper understanding of how people actually think and feel. This paper addresses the possible relevance of recent findings in experimental economics and neuroeconomics to the philosophical controversy over altruism and egoism. After briefly sketching and contextualizing the controversy, we survey and discuss the results of various studies on behaviourally altruistic helping and punishing behaviour, which provide stimulating clues for the debate over psychological altruism. On closer analysis, these studies prove (...) less relevant than originally expected because the data obtained admit competing interpretations – such as people seeking fairness versus people seeking revenge. However, this mitigated conclusion does not preclude the possibility of more fruitful research in the area in the future. Throughout our analysis, we provide hints for the direction of future research on the question. (shrink)
Many forms of virtue ethics, like certain forms of utilitarianism, suffer from the problem of indirection. In those forms, the criterion for status of a trait as a virtue is not the same as the criterion for the status of an act as right. Furthermore, if the virtues for example are meant to promote the nourishing of the agent, the virtuous agent is not standardly supposed to be motivated by concern for her own flourishing in her activity. In this paper, (...) I propose a virtue ethics which does not suffer from the problem. Traits are not virtues because their cultivation and manifestation promote a value such as agent flourishing. They are virtues in so far as they are habits of appropriate response to various relevant values. This means that there is a direct connection between the rationale of a virtue and what makes an action virtuous or right. (shrink)
Godwin's Political Justice is the founding work of philosophical anarchism. Drawing on the principles of liberty and utility Godwin criticizes government and all forms of secular and religious authority, advocating the free exercise of individual judgement. He raises enduring questions about the nature of our duty to others.
Ethical thought is articulated around normative concepts. Standard examples of normative concepts are good, reason, right, ought, and obligatory. Theorists often treat the normative as an undifferentiated domain. Even so, it is common to distinguish between two kinds of normative concepts: evaluative or axiological concepts, such as good, and deontic concepts, such as ought. This encyclopedia entry discusses the many differences between the two kinds of concepts.
Christine Korsgaard has become one of the leading interpreters of Kant's moral philosophy. She is identified with a small group of philosophers who are intent on producing a version of Kant's moral philosophy that is at once sensitive to its historical roots while revealing its particular relevance to contemporary problems. She rejects the traditional picture of Kant's ethics as a cold vision of the moral life which emphasises duty at the expense of love and value. Rather, Kant's work is (...) seen as providing a resource for addressing not only the metaphysics of morals, but also for tackling practical questions about personal relations, politics, and everyday human interaction. This collection contains some of the finest current work on Kant's ethics and will command the attention of all those involved in teaching and studying moral theory. (shrink)
Agency and identity -- Necessitation -- Acts and actions -- Aristotle and Kant -- Agency and practical identity -- The metaphysics of normativity -- Constitutive standards -- The constitution of life -- In defense of teleology -- The paradox of self-constitution -- Formal and substantive principles of reason -- Formal versus substantive -- Testing versus weighing -- Maximizing and prudence -- Practical reason and the unity of the will -- The empiricist account of normativity -- The rationalist account of normativity (...) -- Kant on the hypothetical imperative -- Against particularistic willing -- Deciding and predicting -- Autonomy and efficacy -- The function of action -- The possibility of agency -- Non-rational action -- Action -- Attribution -- The psychology of action -- Expulsion from the garden : the transition to humanity -- Instinct, emotion, intelligence, and reason -- The parts of the soul -- Inside or outside -- Pull yourself together -- The constitutional model -- Models of the soul -- The city and the soul -- Platonic virtues -- Justice : substantive, procedural, and platonic -- Kant and the constitutional model -- Defective action -- The problem of bad action -- Being governed by the wrong law -- Or five bad constitutions -- Conceptions of evil -- Degrees of action -- Integrity and interaction -- Deciding to be bad -- The ordinary cases -- Dealing with the disunified -- Kant's theory of interaction -- My reasons -- Deciding to treat someone as an end in himself -- Interacting with yourself -- How to be a person -- What's left of me? (shrink)
We develop and use an integrated individual-level model to explain the driving forces behind digital piracy practice in two nations. The proposed model combines the Norm Activation model and Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology models. This study also explores the effect of culture on intention to practice DP in two nations: US and India. A survey instrument was used to collect data from 231 US and 331 Indian participants. Use of the integrated model proves to be a (...) powerful and a viable approach to understanding DP across cultures. In each nation, all 10 path coefficients on the research model are statistically significant thereby establishing the fact that personal norm, together with other factors, influences INT to engage in DP, which in turn, may influence the actual practice. The results reveal a support for cross-cultural generalizability and applicability of the proposed model. Culture clearly plays a strong moderating role in two out of the three paths tested. The implications of the findings are discussed. (shrink)
Christine Swanton offers a new, comprehensive theory of virtue ethics which addresses the major concerns of modern ethical theory from a character-based perspective. The book departs in significant ways from classical virtue ethics and neo-Aristotelianism, employing insights from Nietzsche and other sources, resulting in a highly distinctive and original brand of virtue ethics.
An important question about eye-movement behavior is when the decision is made to terminate a fixation and program the following saccade. Different approaches have found converging evidence in favor of a mixed-control account, in which there is some overlap between processing information at fixation and planning the following saccade. We examined one interesting instance of mixed control in visual search: lag-2 revisits, during which observers fixate a stimulus, move to a different stimulus, and then revisit the first stimulus on the (...) next fixation. Results show that the probability of lag-2 revisits occurring increased with the number of target-similar stimuli, and revisits were preceded by a brief fixation on the intervening distractor stimulus. We developed the Efficient Visual Sampling computational model to simulate our findings and to provide insight into mixed control of fixations and the perceptual, cognitive, and motor processes that produce lag-2 revisits. (shrink)
Impartialism in ethics has been said to be the common ground shared by both Kantian and utilitarian approaches to ethics. Lawrence Blum describes this common ground as follows: Both views identify morality with a perspective of impartiality, impersonality, objectivity and universality. Both views imply the ‘ubiquity of impartiality” – that our commitments and projects derive their legitimacy only by reference to this impartial perspective.
Caleb Williams is a psychological thriller and suspenseful tale of detection and pursuit. It is also a powerful political novel, inspired by the events following the French Revolution. This new edition reprints the original novel of 1794, the grittier, topical text that reflects Godwin's political philosophy.
Pour contrer le scepticisme au sujet de la connaissance des valeurs, la plupart soutiennent avec John Rawls qu’une croyance comme celle qu’une action est bonne est justifiée dans la mesure où elle appartient à un ensemble de croyances cohérent, ayant atteint un équilibre réfléchi. -/- Christine Tappolet s’inspire des travaux de Max Scheler et d’Alexius von Meinong pour défendre une conception opposée au cohérentisme. La connaissance des valeurs est affirmée dépendre de nos émotions, ces dernières étant conçues comme des (...) perceptions des valeurs. (shrink)
Drawing on social identity theory and organizational identification theory, we develop a model of the impact of perceived corporate social responsibility on employees’ organizational identification. We argue that employees’ perceptions of their company’s social responsibility behaviors are more important than organizational reality in determining organizational identification. After defining perceived corporate social responsibility (PCSR), we postulate how PCSR affects organizational identification when perception and reality are aligned or misaligned. Implications for organizational practice and further research are discussed.
One difficulty in understanding recent debates is that not only have many terms been used to refer to weakness of will – “akrasia” and “incontinence” have often been used as synonyms of “weakness of will” – but quite different phenomena have been discussed in the literature. This is why the present entry starts with taxonomic considerations. The second section turns to the question of whether it is possible to freely and intentionally act against one’s better judgment.
Christine M. Korsgaard is Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. She was educated at the University of Illinois and received a Ph.D. from Harvard. She has held positions at Yale, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Chicago, and visiting positions at Berkeley and UCLA. She is a member of the American Philosophical Association and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has published extensively on Kant, and about (...) moral philosophy and its history, the theory of practical reason, the philosophy of action, and personal identity. Her two published books are The Sources of Normativity (1992) and Creating the King- dom of Ends (1996). (shrink)
Content skepticism about practical reason is doubt about the bearing of rational considerations on the activities of deliberation and choice. Motivational skepticism is doubt about the scope of reason as a motive. Some people think that motivational considerations alone provide grounds for skepticism about the project of founding ethics on practical reason. I will argue, against this view, that motivational skepticism must always be based on content skepticism. I will not address the question of whether or not content skepticism is (...) justified. I want only to establish the fact that motivational skepticism has no independent force. (shrink)
Christine Battersby rethinks questions of embodiment, essence, sameness and difference, self and "other", patriarchy and power. Using analyses of Kant, Adorno, Irigaray, Butler, Kierkegaard and Deleuze, she challenges those who argue that a feminist metaphysics is a a contradiction in terms. This book explores place for a metaphysics of fluidity in the current debates concerning postmodernism, feminism and identity politics.
This paper criticizes two accounts of the normativity of practical principles: the empiricist account and the rationalist or realist account. It argues against the empiricist view, focusing on the Humean texts that are usually taken to be its locus classicus. It then argues both against the dogmatic rationalist view, and for the Kantian view, through a discussion of Kant's own remarks about instrumental rationality in the second section of the Groundwork. It further argues that the instrumental principle cannot stand alone. (...) Unless there are normative principles directing us to the adoption of certain ends, there can be no requirement to take the means to our ends. The familiar view that the instrumental principle is the only requirement of practical reason is incoherent. (shrink)
Socrates expresses at least some interest in the knowledge of knowledge as an ability “to divide things and say that one is knowledge and the other is not knowledge”. If Hugh Benson’s characteristically lucid and careful book succeeds in its portrayal of Socrates as epistemologist, then the Charmides text is perhaps more optimistic than is often conceded. For unlike Gregory Vlastos’s Socrates, who was “no epistemologist, ” Benson’s promises “a philosophically complex, fundamentally coherent, and remarkably influential model of knowledge, ” (...) a model Socrates arrives at, at least in part, by means of a reflective epistemological perspective. (shrink)