This article reports four subliminal perception experiments using the relationship between confidence and accuracy to assess awareness. Subjects discriminated among stimuli and indicated their confidence in each discrimination response. Subjects were classified as being aware of the stimuli if their confidence judgments predicted accuracy and as being unaware if they did not. In the first experiment, confidence predicted accuracy even at stimulus durations so brief that subjects claimed to be performing at chance. This finding indicates that subjects's claims that they (...) are ''just guessing'' should not be accepted as sufficient evidence that they are completely unaware of the stimuli. Experiments 2-4 tested directly for subliminal perception by comparing the minimum exposure duration needed for better than chance discrimination performance against the minimum needed for confidence to predict accuracy. The latter durations were slightly but significantly longer, suggesting that under certain circumstances people can make perceptual discriminations even though the information that was used to make those discriminations is not consciously available. (shrink)
Examination of the target article for its relevance to the analysis of private behavior leads to three concerns: the absence of a new methodology for studying private behavior, the undisclosed possibility of interactions, and insufficient attention to the social context of idea generation. Regardless of these concerns, a larger issue remains: Can a science of n = 1 be credible?
Respect for victims requires that we have social systems for punishing and condemning (reproving) serious crimes. But, the conditions of social marginalization and political subordination of the communities from which an overwhelming number of prisoners in the United States come place serious barriers in the face of effective reprobation. Mass incarceration makes this problem worse by disrupting and disrespecting entire communities. While humanities education in the prisons is far from a total solution, it is one way to make reprobation meaningful, (...) so long as the prison classroom is a place where the educators’ values are also put at risk. (shrink)
Harold Noonan has recently argued (2003) that one of Lewis’s (1983: 76– 77) arguments for the view that objects persist by perduring is flawed. Lewis’s argument can be divided into two main sections, the first of which attempts to show that it is possible that there exists a world of temporal parts or stages, and the second, which attempts to show that our world is such a world. Noonan claims that there is a flaw in each of these two (...) stages.We argue to the contrary. (shrink)
In 2011 an American Christian radio broadcaster named Harold Camping attracted massive media attention, and some actual following, for his prediction that on May 21 of that year Christ would return to earth and rapture away the faithful, carrying them heavenward, while the rest went through terrible earthly tribulations that would culminate five months later with the end of the world. It was not Camping's first exercise in date-setting; he had earlier published predictions of the end in 1988 and (...) 1994. When May 22, 2011, dawned with the faithful still very much earthbound, Camping revised his date forward to October 21, 2011.Harold Camping is hardly the first to set dates for the various events in the .. (shrink)
_Deconstruction: Theory and Practice_ has been acclaimed as by far the most readable, concise and authoritative guide to this topic. Without oversimplifying or glossing over the challenges, Norris makes deconstruction more accessible to the reader. The volume focuses on the works of Jacques Derrida which caused this seismic shift in critical thought, as well as the work of North American critics Paul de Man, Geoffrey Hartman, J. Hillis Miller and Harold Bloom. In this third, revised edition, Norris builds (...) on his 1991 Afterword with an entirely new Postscript, reflecting upon recent critical debate. The Postscript includes an extensive list of recommended reading, complementing what was already one of the most useful bibliographies available. (shrink)
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)
Earlier in the pages of this journal (p 481), Wendler and Miller offered the "net risks test" as an alternative approach to the ethical analysis of benefits and harms in research. They have been vocal critics of the dominant view of benefit-harm analysis in research ethics, which encompasses core concepts of duty of care, clinical equipoise and component analysis. They had been challenged to come up with a viable alternative to component analysis which meets five criteria. The alternative must (...) (1) protect research subjects; (2) allow clinical research to proceed; (3) explain how physicians may offer trial enrolment to their patients; (4) address the challenges posed by research containing a mixture of interventions and (5) define ethical standards according to which the risks and potential benefits of research may be consistently evaluated. This response argues that the net risks test meets none of these criteria and concludes that it is not a viable alternative to component analysis. (shrink)
I present an original model in judgment aggregation theory that demonstrates the general impossibility of consistently describing decision-making purely at the group level. Only a type of unanimity rule can guarantee a group decision is consistent with supporting reasons, and even this possibility is limited to a small class of reasoning methods. The key innovation is that this result holds when individuals can reason in different ways, an allowance not previously considered in the literature. This generalizes judgment aggregation to subjective (...) decision situations, implying that the discursive dilemma persists without individual agreement on the logical constraints. Notably, the model mirrors the typical method of choosing political representatives, and thus suggests that no voting procedure other than unanimity rule can guarantee representation that reflects electorate opinion. Finally, I apply the results to a normative argument for unanimity rule in contract theory and juries, as well as to problems posed for deliberative democratic theory and the concept of representation. (shrink)
Christopher Norris DERRIDA AT YALE: THE "DECONSTRUCTIVE MOMENT" IN MODERNIST POETICS IN seven types of ambiguity, William Empson breezily remarked of his critical method that it was "either all nonsense or all very startling and new." The reactions went very much as Empson predicted, with a whole new school of criticism eagerly latching on to the idea of multiple meanings in poetry, while the sober-sided scholars indignantly attacked his wayward "misreadings" and flagrant anachronisms. At present, there is a similar controversy (...) raging around the figure of Jacques Derrida, whose influence on literary critics—mainly the Yale school of Geoffrey Hartman, Harold Bloom and J. Hillis Miller— occupies the forefront of debate in current theoretical exchange. Apart from all the sideshow of polemics, this parallel with Empson is a useful jumping-off point for an approach to Derrida and the implications of his writing. Empson opened up the literary text to a practice of reading which released as many ambiguities, overtones, and hints of recondite meaning as the analyst could reasonably claim to find in it. Reason, or commonsense judgment, still played an arbitrating role, since Empson wanted his readings at least to match something in the credible intention—at whatever "unconscious" level—of the author concerned. Subsequently, Empson has taken issue with the American New Critics on precisely this ground of authorial intention. Where they have dismissed all such considerations as outside the critic's proper interest or competence—treating the text as a "verbal icon," detached from any speculative background of motive or intent—Empson has come out in sturdy defense of "intentionalist" readings, based on available evidence of what the poet was trying to express. In other words, Empson, for all his dazzling inventiveness, held to a notion of the author as (implicitly) a self-possessed creator of meanings, one whose intentions demand critical respect, however broadly that requirement is to be interpreted in practice. Anglo-American criticism 242 Christopher Norris243 has lately been much preoccupied with the question of whether—or exactly how far—an author's original "meaning" can be recovered by close attention to his text. E. D. Hirsch's Validity in Interpretation is a classic if long-winded statement of the conservative view: that the critic's obligation is to come as close as possible to establishing what an author most probably meant in using language as. he did.3 The discipline involved is partly a matter of historical semantics (drawing a limit or "horizon" of possible meanings in context), and partly a matter of interpretative tact and sympathy. Hirsch grounds his argument on the Kantian premise that a text is in some sense the surrogate voice of its author, and that texts must therefore be treated, like people, as ends in themselves, and not means toward the critic's display of self-advertising brilliance. All the same, Hirsch has to acknowledge that authorial intention, as such, is beyond the grasp of this reconstructive program, which offers at best a kind of inferential yardstick for narrowing down the range of semantic potential. The problem which Hirsch never quite gets to grips with, despite his elaborate argumentation, is the fact that texts come across to us always from a distance of time, of experience or culture, which makes their meaning more or less opaque and problematic. The author is not simply there in the text, a self-authenticating "voice" of intent, as Hirsch (in his more sanguine moments) would have us believe. One might expect some such assurance from the homely narrative address of a novelist like Fielding, or the intimate soul-baring style of Wordsworth's poetry. Yet Fielding is as cunning a narrative tactician as any, his "voice" a shifting multitude of ironies and ploys; while Wordsworth manages a complex and selective rhetoric of memory which (as recent critics have shown) by no means communicates the "unmediated vision" of purely personal address. Hirsch yields a hostage to the relativist case by proposing a distinction between "meaning" (that which inheres in the text, and which the critic is duty-bound to preserve), and "significance" (the purely associative values which change with the passage of time and make room for rival or updated interpretations... (shrink)
Nationalism is often dismissed today as an irrational political creed with disastrous consequences. Yet most people regard their national identity as a significant aspect of themselves, see themselves as having special obligations to their compatriots, and value their nation's political independence. This book defends these beliefs, and shows that nationality, defined in these terms, serves valuable goals, including social justice, democracy, and the protection of culture. National identities need not be illiberal, and they do not exclude other sources of personal (...) identity, such as ethnicity or religion. An ethics that gives weight to special relationships is more effective in motivating people to pursue justice and other values because it connects peoples’ duties to their identity; but this is consistent with recognizing some universal values, such as human rights. There are strong reasons for making the boundaries of states and nations coincide wherever possible, but in other cases, nations can achieve forms of self‐determination that fall short of full sovereignty. Multicultural arguments in favour of identity politics and special rights for minority groups ignore the benefits that such groups derive from participating in a shared national identity and the kind of democratic politics that such an identity makes possible. Although national identities are often said to be in decline in an increasingly globalized world, they serve such important purposes that our aim should be to rebuild them in a form that makes them more accessible to excluded cultural minorities. (shrink)
This chapter outlines the main ideas of my book National responsibility and global justice. It begins with two widely held but conflicting intuitions about what global justice might mean on the one hand, and what it means to be a member of a national community on the other. The first intuition tells us that global inequalities of the magnitude that currently exist are radically unjust, while the second intuition tells us that inequalities are both unavoidable and fair once national responsibility (...) is allowed to operate. This conflict might be resolved either by adopting a cosmopolitan theory of justice (which leaves no room for national responsibility) or by adopting a ?political? theory of justice (which denies that questions of distributive justice can arise beyond the walls of the sovereign state). Since neither resolution is satisfactory, the chapter defends the idea of national responsibility and proposes a new theory of global justice, whose main elements are the protection of basic human rights worldwide, and fair terms of interaction between independent political communities. (shrink)
The traditional view of divine conservation holds that it is simply a continuation of the initial act of creation. In this essay, I defend the continuous-creation tradition against William Lane Craig's criticism that continuous creation fundamentally misconstrues the intuitive distinction between creation and conservation. According to Craig, creation is the unique causal activity of bringing new patient entities into existence, while conservation involves acting upon already existing patient entities to cause their continued existence. I defend continuous creation by challenging Craig's (...) intuitive distinction and by showing that the alternative account of creation and conservation he bases upon it is fraught with serious internal difficulties. (shrink)
Mill's discussion of ‘the internal sanction’ in chapter III of Utilitarianism does not do justice to his understanding of internal sanctions; it omits some important points and obscures others. I offer an account of this portion of his moral psychology of motivation which brings out its subtleties and complexities. I show that he recognizes the importance of internal sanctions as sources of motives to develop and perfect our characters, as well as of motives to do our duty, and I examine (...) in some detail the various ways in which these sanctions give rise to motivating desires and aversions. (shrink)
In this book, Harold Langsam argues that consciousness is intelligible -- that there are substantive facts about consciousness that can be known a priori -- and that it is the intelligibility of consciousness that is the source of its ...
One standard criticism of the doctrine of continuous creation is that it entails the occasionalist position that God alone is a true cause and that the events we commonly identify as causes are merely the occasions upon which God brings about effects. I begin by clearly stating Malebranche's argument from continuous creation to occasionalism. Next, I examine two strategies for resisting Malebranche's argument ??? strong and weak concurrentism ??? and argue that weak concurrentism is the more promising strategy. Finally, I (...) argue that weak concurrentism requires a necessitarian approach to secondary causation. (shrink)