Can consideration of the emotions help to solve the problem of other minds? Intuitively, it should. We often think of emotions as public: as observable in the body, face, and voice of others. Perhaps you can simply see another's disgust or anger, say, in her demeanour and expression; or hear the sadness clearly in his voice. Publicity of mind, meanwhile, is just what is demanded by some solutions to the problem. But what does this demand amount to, and do emotions (...) actually meet it? This paper has three parts. First, I consider the nature of the problem of other minds. Second, I consider the publicity of emotions. And third, I bring these together to show how emotions can help to solve the problem. (shrink)
Robert Hanna presents a fresh view of the Kantian and analytic traditions that have dominated continental European and Anglo-American philosophy over the last two centuries, and of the connections between them. But this is not just a study in the history of philosophy, for out of this emerges Hanna's original approach to two much-contested theories that remain at the heart of contemporary philosophy. Hanna puts forward a new 'cognitive-semantic' interpretation of transcendental idealism, and a vigorous defense of (...) Kant's theory of analytic and synthetic necessary truth, making this compelling reading for all who are interested in these fundamental philosophical issues. (shrink)
Robert Hanna argues for the importance of Kant's theories of the epistemological, metaphysical, and practical foundations of the "exact sciences"--relegated to the dustbin of the history of philosophy for most of the 20th century. In doing so he makes a valuable contribution to one of the most active and fruitful areas in contemporary scholarship on Kant.
Hanna Pitkin argues that Wittgenstein's later philosophy offers a revolutionary new conception of language, and hence a new and deeper understanding of ourselves and the world of human institutions and action.
The Counterfactual Comparative Account of Harm says that an event is overall harmful for someone if and only if it makes her worse off than she otherwise would have been. I defend this account from two common objections.
Necessarily and trivially, ‘I’ means its occurrent utterer or thinker. But how is self-reference possible? Providing an adequate answer to this very hard question is the task undertaken by John Campbell in Past, Space, and Self. His answer, in a nutshell, is that the fundamental ground of self-reference is self-consciousness; and the bulk of the book is devoted to sketching the architecture of this cognitive capacity. Campbell wants to say that the essence of self-consciousness is given in the set of (...) cognitive abilities making it possible to think of oneself as presented and individuated by means of a causal-spatiotemporal self-narrative. Not only is self-consciousness the ground of self-reference, however, but also “possession of this core set of abilities defines possession of concepts”. While Campbell thinks of his account as making up a seamless whole, I would like to distinguish for the purposes of exposition between the thesis that self-consciousness in his sense explains self-reference and the thesis that Campbellian self-consciousness explains concept-possession. It may be that the case made for one of the theses is stronger and more convincing than the case made for the other; I shall address that issue briefly later. (shrink)
In Rationality and Logic, Robert Hanna argues that logic is intrinsically psychological and that human psychology is intrinsically logical. He claims that logic is cognitively constructed by rational animals and that rational animals are essentially logical animals. In order to do so, he defends the broadly Kantian thesis that all rational animals possess an innate cognitive "logic faculty." Hanna 's claims challenge the conventional philosophical wisdom that sees logic as a fully formal or "topic-neutral" science irreconcilably separate from (...) the species- or individual-specific focus of empirical psychology.Logic and psychology went their separate ways after attacks by Frege and Husserl on logical psychologism--the explanatory reduction of logic to empirical psychology. Hanna argues, however, that--despite the fact that logical psychologism is false--there is an essential link between logic and psychology. Rational human animals constitute the basic class of cognizers or thinkers studied by cognitive psychology; given the connection between rationality and logic that Hanna claims, it follows that the nature of logic is significantly revealed to us by cognitive psychology. Hanna 's proposed "logical cognitivism" has two important consequences: the recognition by logically oriented philosophers that psychologists are their colleagues in the metadiscipline of cognitive science; and radical changes in cognitive science itself. Cognitive science, Hanna argues, is not at bottom a natural science; it is both an objective or truth-oriented science and a normative human science, as is logic itself. (shrink)
There are perceptual states whose representational content cannot even in principle be conceptual. If that claim is true, then at least some perceptual states have content whose semantic structure and psychological function are essentially distinct from the structure and function of conceptual content. Furthermore the intrinsically “orientable” spatial character of essentially non-conceptual content entails not only that all perceptual states contain non-conceptual content in this essentially distinct sense, but also that consciousness goes all the way down into so-called unconscious or (...) subpersonal mental states. Both my argument for the existence of essentially non-conceptual content and my theory of its structure and function have a Kantian provenance. (shrink)
Robert Hanna works out a unified contemporary Kantian theory of rational human cognition and knowledge. Along the way, he provides accounts of intentionality and its contents, sense perception and perceptual knowledge, the analytic-synthetic distinction, the nature of logic, and a priori truth and knowledge in mathematics, logic, and philosophy. This book is specifically intended to reach out to two very different audiences: contemporary analytic philosophers of mind and knowledge, and contemporary Kantian philosophers or Kant-scholars. At the same time, it (...) rides the crest of a wave of exciting and revolutionary emerging new trends and new work in the philosophy of mind and epistemology, with a special concentration on the philosophy of perception. What is revolutionary in this new wave are its strong emphases on action, on cognitive phenomenology, on disjunctivist direct realism, on embodiment, and on sense perception as a primitive and proto-rational capacity for cognizing the world. Hanna makes a fundamental contribution to this philosophical revolution by giving it a specifically contemporary Kantian twist, and by pushing these new lines of investigation radically further. (shrink)
In Our Best Interest argues that it is permissible to intervene in a person's affairs whenever doing so serves her best interest without wronging others. Jason Hanna makes the case for paternalism, responding to common objections that paternalism is disrespectful or that it violates rights, and arguing that popular anti-paternalist views confront serious problems.
When philosophers want an example of a person who lacks the ability to do otherwise, they turn to psychopathology. Addicts, agoraphobics, kleptomaniacs, neurotics, obsessives, and even psychopathic serial murderers, are all purportedly subject to irresistible desires that compel the person to act: no alternative possibility is supposed to exist. I argue that this conception of psychopathology is false and offer an empirically and clinically informed understanding of disorders of agency which preserves the ability to do otherwise. First, I appeal to (...) standard clinical treatment for disorders of agency and argue that it undermines this conception of psychopathology. Second, I offer a detailed discussion of addiction, where our knowledge of the neurobiological mechanisms underpinning the disorder is relatively advanced. I argue that neurobiology notwithstanding, addiction is not a form of compulsion and I explain how addiction can impair behavioural control without extinguishing it. Third, I step back from addiction, and briefly sketch what the philosophical landscape more generally looks like without psychopathological compulsion: we lose our standard purported real-world example of psychologically determined action. I conclude by reflecting on the centrality of choice and free will to our concept of action, and their potency within clinical treatment for disorders of agency. (shrink)
I argue that addiction is not a chronic, relapsing, neurobiological disease characterized by compulsive use of drugs or alcohol. Large-scale national survey data demonstrate that rates of substance dependence peak in adolescence and early adulthood and then decline steeply; addicts tend to “mature out” in their late twenties or early thirties. The exceptions are addicts who suffer from additional psychiatric disorders. I hypothesize that this difference in patterns of use and relapse between the general and psychiatric populations can be explained (...) by the purpose served by drugs and alcohol for patients. Drugs and alcohol alleviate the severe psychological distress typically experienced by patients with comorbid psychiatric disorders and associated problems. On this hypothesis, consumption is a chosen means to ends that are rational to desire: Use is not compulsive. The upshot of this explanation is that the orthodox view of addiction as a chronic, relapsing neurobiological disease is misguided. I delineate five folk psychological factors that together explain addiction as purposive action: strong and habitual desire; willpower; motivation; functional role; and decision and resolve. I conclude by drawing lessons for research and effective treatment. (shrink)
One of the most brilliant political theorists of our time, Hannah Arendt intended her work to liberate, to convince us that the power to improve our flawed arrangements is in our hands. At the same time, Arendt developed a metaphor of "the social" as an alien, appearing as if from outer space to gobble up human freedom; she blamed it—not us—for our public paralysis. In _The Attack of the Blob_, Hanna Pitkin seeks to resolve this seeming paradox by tracing (...) Arendt's notion of "the social" throughout her writings. Doing this, Pitkin developes a resolution that considers everything from language to the nature of political theory itself. (shrink)
Against Hanna on Phenomenal Conservatism Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-10 DOI 10.1007/s12136-012-0148-2 Authors Kevin McCain, Department of Philosophy, University of Rochester, Box 270078, Rochester, NY 14627-0078, USA Journal Acta Analytica Online ISSN 1874-6349 Print ISSN 0353-5150.
Drug use and drug addiction are severely stigmatised around the world. Marc Lewis does not frame his learning model of addiction as a choice model out of concern that to do so further encourages stigma and blame. Yet the evidence in support of a choice model is increasingly strong as well as consonant with core elements of his learning model. I offer a responsibility without blame framework that derives from reflection on forms of clinical practice that support change and recovery (...) in patients who cause harm to themselves and others. This framework can be used to interrogate our own attitudes and responses, so that we can better see how to acknowledge the truth about choice and agency in addiction, while avoiding stigma and blame, and instead maintaining care and compassion alongside a commitment to working for social justice and good. (shrink)
This paper is about the nature of the relationship between (1) the doctrine of Non-Conceptualism about mental content, (2) Kant's Transcendental Idealism, and (3) the Transcendental Deduction of the Pure Concepts of the Understanding, or Categories, in the B (1787) edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, i.e., the B Deduction. Correspondingly, the main thesis of the paper is this: (1) and (2) yield serious problems for (3), yet, in exploring these two serious problems for the B Deduction, we also (...) discover some deeply important and perhaps surprising philosophical facts about Kant's theory of cognition and his metaphysics. (shrink)
An observation of Hume’s has received a lot of attention over the last decade and a half: Although we can standardly imagine the most implausible scenarios, we encounter resistance when imagining propositions at odds with established moral (or perhaps more generally evaluative) convictions. The literature is ripe with ‘solutions’ to this so-called ‘Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance’. Few, however, question the plausibility of the empirical assumption at the heart of the puzzle. In this paper, we explore empirically whether the difficulty we (...) witness in imagining certain propositions is indeed due to claim type (evaluative v. non-evaluative) or whether it is much rather driven by mundane features of content. Our findings suggest that claim type plays but a marginal role, and that there might hence not be much of a ‘puzzle’ to be solved. (shrink)
In this essay I argue that a broadly Kantian strategy for demonstrating and explaining the existence, semantic structure, and psychological function of essentially non-conceptual content can also provide an intelligible and defensible bottom-up theory of the foundations of rationality in minded animals. Otherwise put, if I am correct, then essentially non-conceptual content constitutes the semantic and psychological substructure, or matrix, out of which the categorically normative a priori superstructure of epistemic rationality and practical rationality - Sellars's "logical space of reasons" (...) - grows. (shrink)
Despite the prevalence of the terms utilitarianism and utilitarian in the health care and health policy literature, anecdotal evidence suggests that authors are often not fully aware of the diversity of utilitarian theories, their principles, and implications. Further, it seems that authors often categorically reject utilitarianism under the assumption that it violates individual rights. The tendency of act utilitarianism to neglect individual rights is attenuated, however, by the diminishing marginal utility of wealth and the disutility of a protest by those (...) who are disadvantaged. In practice, act utilitarians tend to introduce moral rules and preserve traditional rules. At the same time, the tenability of rule utilitarianism is limited because it ultimately collapses into act utilitarianism or a deontological theory. Negative utilitarianism is a viable utilitarian variant only if we accept complete aversion to suffering, ie, if we disregard any forgone opportunities to increase pleasure. Finally, the adoption of preference utilitarianism requires us to accept the subjectivity of individual claims which may be perceived as unfair. (shrink)
In Embodied Minds in Action, Robert Hanna and Michelle Maiese work out a unified treatment of three fundamental philosophical problems: the mind-body problem, the problem of mental causation, and the problem of action. This unified treatment rests on two basic claims. The first is that conscious, intentional minds like ours are essentially embodied. This entails that our minds are necessarily spread throughout our living, organismic bodies and belong to their complete neurobiological constitution. So minds like ours are necessarily alive. (...) The second claim is that essentially embodied minds are self-organizing thermodynamic systems. This entails that our mental lives consist in the possibility and actuality of moving our own living organismic bodies through space and time, by means of our conscious desires. The upshot is that we are essentially minded animals who help to create the natural world through our own agency. This doctrine--the Essential Embodiment Theory--is a truly radical idea which subverts the traditionally opposed and seemingly exhaustive categories of Dualism and Materialism, and offers a new paradigm for contemporary mainstream research in the philosophy of mind and cognitive neuroscience. (shrink)
My first experience as a clinician was in a Therapeutic Community for service users with personality disorder. As well as having personality disorder, many of the Community members also suffered from related conditions, such as addiction and eating disorders. Broadly speaking, these conditions are what we might call ‘disorders of agency’. Core diagnostic symptoms or maintaining factors of disorders of agency are actions and omissions: patterns of behaviour central to the nature or maintenance of the condition. For instance, borderline personality (...) disorder is diagnosed in part via deliberate self-harm and attempted suicide, reckless and impulsive behaviour, substance use, violence, and outbursts of anger; addiction is diagnosed via maladaptive patterns of drug consumption; eating disorders involve eating too much or too little. If a service user is to improve let alone recover from these disorders, they must change the diagnostic or maintaining pattern of behaviour (cf. Pearce and Pickard, 2010). For instance, service users with borderline personality disorder must stop self-harming; addicts need to quit using drugs or alcohol; anorexics must eat. (shrink)
I argue that denial plays a central but insufficiently recognized role in addiction. The puzzle inherent in addiction is why drug use persists despite negative consequences. The orthodox conception of addiction resolves this puzzle by appeal to compulsion; but there is increasing evidence that addicts are not compelled to use but retain choice and control over their consumption in many circumstances. Denial offers an alternative explanation: there is no puzzle as to why drug use persists despite negative consequences if these (...) consequences are not straightforwardly known. I describe the nature of the causal knowledge that one's drug use is causing negative consequences; map the conceptual landscape of denial and explain how it can block such knowledge; and explore some of the processes and mechanisms that have been studied by philosophy and the cognitive sciences and which may underpin denial in addiction, including well-established information-processing biases, motivational influences on belief formation and self-deception, and cognitive deficits with respect to insight and self-awareness. I conclude by suggesting that addiction is as much a disorder of cognition as a disorder of conation. (shrink)
Some philosophers think that the challenge of justifying punishment can be met by a theory that emphasizes the expressive character of punishment. A particular type of theories of this sort - call it Expressive Retributivism [ER] - combines retributivist and expressivist considerations. These theories are retributivist since they justify punishment as an intrinsically appropriate response to wrongdoing, as something wrongdoers deserve, but the expressivist element in these theories seeks to correct for the traditional obscurity of retributivism. Retributivists often rely on (...) appeals to controversial intuitions involving obscure concepts. While retributive intuitions can be compelling, some worry that the justificatory challenge cannot be met merely by appealing to them. ER tries to enhance the clarity and justificatory power of these intuitions and the concepts they invoke by appealing to an expressive conception of punishment. I argue that these theories fail to justify punishment and that there is reason to think that they cannot, in principle, justify punishment. (shrink)
? We gratefully acknowledge the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, Tucson, which provided a grant for the support of this work. E.T. is also supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the McDonnell Project in Philosophy and the Neurosciences. 1 See David Woodruff Smith.
Can consideration of the emotions help to solve the problem of other minds? Intuitively, it should. We often think of emotions as public: as observable in the body, face, and voice of others. Perhaps you can simply see another's disgust or anger, say, in her demeanour and expression; or hear the sadness clearly in his voice. Publicity of..
The problem of other minds is a collection of problems centering upon the extent to which our belief in other minds or other's minds can be justified. Swedish psychologist, Gunnar Borg has developed a principle called "the range principle" which helps fill out our "knowledge" of other minds. Borg developed this principle partly in response to the skeptical challenge of Harvard psychophysicist S S Stevens. Stevens claimed that the intersubjective comparison of experience was scientifically impossible. Borg postulates that the range (...) of individual experience is roughly identical for all individuals. We can test Borg's principle or theory is we include the similarity of physical range for individuals. We have an interesting case of experimental work casting light on a traditional philosophical problem. (shrink)
This paper argues that perception of one's body ‘from the inside’ provides one with an awareness of acting, and that this awareness explains a previously overlooked feature of one's knowledge of one's own actions. Actions are events: they occur during periods of time. Knowledge of such events must be sensitive to their course through time. Perception of one's body ‘from the inside’ allows one to monitor one's actions as they unfold, thereby sustaining one's knowledge of what one is doing over (...) the period of time in which one is doing it. (shrink)
Recently, Michael Huemer has defended the Principle of Phenomenal Conservatism: If it seems to S that p, then, in the absence of defeaters, S thereby has at least some degree of justification for believing that p. This principle has potentially far-reaching implications. Huemer uses it to argue against skepticism and to defend a version of ethical intuitionism. I employ a reductio to show that PC is false. If PC is true, beliefs can yield justification for believing their contents in cases (...) where, intuitively, they should not be able to do so. I argue that there are cases where a belief that p can behave like an appearance that p and thereby make it seem to one that p. (shrink)
I clarify some ambiguities in blame-talk and argue that blame's potential for irrationality and propensity to sting vitiates accounts of blame that identify it with consciously accessible, personal-level judgements or beliefs. Drawing on the cognitive psychology of emotion and appraisal theory, I develop an account of blame that accommodates these features. I suggest that blame consists in a range of hostile, negative first-order emotions, towards which the blamer has a specific, accompanying second-order attitude, namely, a feeling of entitlement—a feeling that (...) these hostile, negative first-order emotions are what the blamed object deserves. (shrink)
This chapter offers a novel defence of Szasz’s claim that mental illness is a myth by bringing to bear a standard type of thought experiment used in philosophical discussions of the meaning of natural kind concepts. This makes it possible to accept Szasz’s conclusion that mental illness involves problems of living, some of which may be moral in nature, while bypassing the debate about the meaning of the concept of illness. The chapter then considers the nature of schizophrenia and the (...) personality disorders (PDs) within this framework. It argues that neither is likely to constitute a scientifically valid category, but that nonetheless their symptoms can be scientifically explained. It concludes with a discussion of the way in which Cluster B or ‘bad’ PDs involve failures of virtue or character, and argues that this does not preclude them from being appropriately treated within contemporary, multidisciplinary, mental health services. (shrink)
Most anti-paternalists claim that informed and competent self-regarding choices are protected by autonomy, while ill-informed or impaired self-regarding choices are not. Joel Feinberg, among many others, argues that we can in this way distinguish impermissible “hard” paternalism from permissible “soft” paternalism. I argue that this view confronts two related problems in its treatment of ill-informed decision-makers. First, it faces a dilemma when applied to decision-makers who are responsible for their ignorance: it either permits too much, or else too little, intervention (...) to satisfy its proponents. Second, the most promising rationales in favor of the view ignore the distinction between an agent’s voluntarily bringing about some state of affairs, on the one hand, and an agent’s voluntarily assuming a risk, on the other. I conclude that a decision-maker’s ignorance is irrelevant to the permissibility of intervention on her behalf. If it is permissible to intervene in a given ill-informed choice, it would be permissible to intervene in an otherwise similar but informed choice, at least provided that intervention would produce similar benefits in both cases. This shows that we should sometimes accept straightforwardly paternalistic rationales. (shrink)