Recent books by Paul Johnston, D. Z. Phillips, Philip Shields, and B. R. Tilghman all depict Wittgenstein as centrally concerned with ethics, but they range from representing his main works as expressing and advocating a particular religious-ethical outlook to arguing that his work has no ethical content but aims primarily to clarify such logical distinctions as that between ethical and empirical judgments. All four books raise the question about the moral philosopher's proper role, and each suggests a rather different (...) answer. Via the discussion of these books, I argue that Wittgenstein's stress on diversity in the ways of human life, his notion of conceptual grammar, the idea of a perspicuous representation, his lifelong involvement with art and his suggestions about its connection with morality, and his preoccupation with aspect-seeing-all suggest new possibilities of rehabilitating the historically recurrent idea that the philosopher may be a moral sage. (shrink)
Orthodox interpretations of Sperling‘s partial report paradigm support the idea that there is substantially more in our streams of consciousness than we can attend to or recall. I propose an alternative, postdictive interpretation which fails to support any such conclusion. This account is defended at greater length in my ‗Perception and iconic memory‘. Here I focus on the role ascribed to attention by the rival interpretations. I argue that orthodox accounts fail to assign a plausible role to attention. In contrast, (...) I suggest a novel way in which heterodox, postdictive account can assign attention a plausible role. We should therefore prefer such accounts over their orthodox rivals. Consequently, Sperling‘s paradigm fails to probe the true extent of conscious awareness unfettered by limitations on attention or memory. (shrink)
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM - whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part I of this article took up the first two questions. Part II will take up the second two questions. Question 3 deals with the question as to whether DSM-V should assume a conservative or assertive posture in making changes from DSM-IV. That question in turn breaks down into discussion of diagnoses that depend on, and aim toward, empirical, scientific validation, and diagnoses that are more value-laden and less amenable to scientific validation. Question 4 takes up the role of pragmatic consideration in a psychiatric nosology, whether the purely empirical considerations need to be tempered by considerations of practical consequence. As in Part 1 of this article, the general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM - whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part I of this article will take up the first two questions. With the first question, invited commentators express a range of opinion regarding the nature of psychiatric disorders, loosely divided into a realist position that the diagnostic categories represent real diseases that we can accurately name and know with our perceptual abilities, a middle, nominalist position that psychiatric disorders do exist in the real world but that our diagnostic categories are constructs that may or may not accurately represent the disorders out there, and finally a purely constructivist position that the diagnostic categories are simply constructs with no evidence of psychiatric disorders in the real world. The second question again offers a range of opinion as to how we should define a mental or psychiatric disorder, including the possibility that we should not try to formulate a definition. The general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
Philosophers have lately seized upon Sperling's partial report technique and subsequent work on iconic memory in support of controversial claims about perceptual experience, in particular that phenomenology overflows cognitive access. Drawing on mounting evidence concerning postdictive perception, I offer an interpretation of Sperling's data in terms of cue-sensitive experience which fails to support any such claims. Arguments for overflow based on change-detection paradigms (e.g. Landman et al., 2003; Sligte et al., 2008) cannot be blocked in this way. However, such paradigms (...) are fundamentally different from Sperling's and, for rather different reasons, equally fail to establish controversial claims about perceptual experience. (shrink)
Philosophers have lately seized upon Sperling’s partial report technique and subsequent work on iconic memory in support of controversial claims about perceptual experience, in particular that phenomenology overflows cognitive access. Drawing on mounting evidence concerning postdictive perception, I offer an interpretation of Sperling’s data in terms of cue-sensitive experience which fails to support any such claims. Arguments for overflow based on change-detection paradigms (e.g., Landman et al., 2003; Sligte et al., 2008) cannot be blocked in this way. However, such paradigms (...) are fundamentally different from Sperling’s and, for rather different reasons, equally fail to establish controversial claims about perceptual experience. (shrink)
In the conclusion to this multi-part article I first review the discussions carried out around the six essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis – the position taken by Allen Frances on each question, the commentaries on the respective question along with Frances’ responses to the commentaries, and my own view of the multiple discussions. In this review I emphasize that the core question is the first – what is the nature of psychiatric illness – and that in some manner all further (...) questions follow from the first. Following this review I attempt to move the discussion forward, addressing the first question from the perspectives of natural kind analysis and complexity analysis. This reflection leads toward a view of psychiatric disorders – and future nosologies – as far more complex and uncertain than we have imagined. (shrink)
In this article, I explore the work of the artist Robert Pope (b.1957- d.1992) who published a series of paintings and drawings which documented his decade-long experience with Hodgkin's lymphoma. More widely, Pope was interested in ‘the culture’ of cancer within hospitals and the relationships embedded in experiences of illness and care. Pope published a book that contains much of this work— Illness and Healing: Images of Cancer (1991). Many of the original artworks have been toured throughout Canada and the (...) United Kingdom at cancer centres and medical schools. Using a visual methodology, I present three of Pope’s images to examine and understand the experiences of patients within acute care settings. I conclude that Pope’s work can be efficacious in exploring relationships in acute care settings. (shrink)
What, if any, is the problem with treating bodies as objects or property? Is there a defensible basis for seeing bodies as different from "other" material resources? Or is thinking the body special a kind of sentimentalism that blocks clear thinking about matters such as prostitution, surrogate motherhood, and the sale of spare kidneys? I argue that the language we use does matter, and that thinking of the body as property encourages a self/body dualism that obscures the power relations involved (...) in all contracts that cedes authority over the body. Recognising the self as embodied, however, also makes it harder to insist on sharp distinctions between activities that involve the body and those that "just" involve the mind, hence harder to justify refusing payment for explicitly body services while condoning it for those to which the body is more incidental. I therefore provide a modest defence of monetary compensation for those who "donate" bodily products or services. Compensation does not, however, mean markets for there is at least one sense in which the body is special. This is that more so, and more intrinsically than other markets, markets in body parts or bodily services depend on inequality. I use this to make a case against such markets. (shrink)
In a series of lectures on minds and persons, I am going to take advantage of the occasion to ask what kind of person should one be if one has a philosophical mind. I ask the question because it is itself a philosophically contentious issue. Indeed, I shall be offering answers in a climate which is generally hostile to them. I want to aise the issue in three contexts: first, in relation to questions which have been treated epistemologically, but which (...) I think belong to logic; second in relation to miracles; and third in relation to moral convictions. I shall spend most of my time on the first context. (shrink)
In approaching the topic, ‘Objectivity and Cultural Divergence’, there is little doubt that certain styles of philosophizing will conceive of the task confronting them as that of devising or at least calling attention to standards of rationality by which distinctions between objectivity and divergence are to be drawn. This mode of philosophizing is marked by the confidence it has in its own methods. It seldom occurs to it to question its own operations; to ask whether the heterogeneity of our culture (...) does not itself create difficulties for the practice of philosophy. It is to such questionings as these, however, that I want to direct attention in this lecture. (shrink)
In his 1950 Marett Lecture, Professor Evans-Pritchard gave an account of important methodological developments which had taken place in social anthropology. I should like to use the occasion to concentrate on some of the deep contemporary divisions in another subject which interested R. R. Marett, namely, the philosophy of religion. I shall do so, however, by reference to some of the methodological issues which concerned Evans-Pritchard.
Stephen Tracy's neat demonstration that IG I3 35—authorizing the building of a temple and appointment of a priestess for Athena Nike—was cut by the man responsible for the Promachos accounts at first seemed decisive for the traditional c. 448 B.C. against my radical down-dating. Ira Mark then argued that this decree provided for the naiskos and altar of his Stage III in the 440s: the marble temple belonged to Stage IV over twenty years later. Despite these two powerful interventions the (...) matter is not closed. David Gill has, I fancy, convincingly refuted Mark on archaeological and architectural grounds. And there is still more to be said from the epigraphic angle. IG I 36, cut on the back of the stele, looks like a delayed rider to 35. But just how delayed was it? It arranged for the regular payment of the priestess's salary by the kolakretai in office in the month Thargelion. On the traditional view the gap would be close to a quarter of a century, since 36 is firmly dated 424/3 B.C. This is quite extraordinary, though reasons have been found for it. More serious perhaps is some neglected epigraphic evidence. We have eighteen other examples in fifth-century Attic epigraphy where decrees are followed on the same stone by other texts; but virtually all the gaps are short, never more than a few years. The relevant texts are IG I 4, 11/12, 41, 42/43, 52 A–B, 59, 61, 66, 68, 71, 72, 73, 89, 93, 101, 127/II1, 156, 1454. It is true that 42/43 are dated c. 445–442 and c. 435–427 B.C. in IG I, but this is quite arbitrary. (shrink)
Reseña de NIETZSCHE, Friedrich: Obras completas . Volumen I. Escritos de juventud . Edición a cargo de Diego Sánchez Meca. Traducciones de Joan B. Llinares Chover, Diego Sánchez Meca y Luis E. de Santiago Guervós. Madrid: Tecnos, 2011.
At the outset of the article I set forth a general characterization of Robert B. Brandom’s philosophy, as belonging to the post-empiricist tradition with inferential-ism as its main idea. In section 2 I discuss four dichotomies important to the method-ology which allows Brandom to construct his philosophical system. My point is to indicate the arbitrariness of the absolutist account of these dichotomies, which gives rise to misuse of relative categories. In effect, Brandom’s dichotomic way of theo-retical exposition does not respect (...) Davidson’s principle of relationism, which Bran-dom himself declares to accept. In the next section, I go on to consider two basic mo-tives for the resolute Brandomian attack on empiricism: strong inferentialist and an-tirepresentationalist theses. Pertaining to this view is also the claim of irreducible linguistic normativity. In section 4, these questions are treated in the context of the ap-parently novel theory of semantic pragmatism. Section 5 is crucial to my purposes. There I criticize the excessively narrow Brandomian conception of empiricism in the theory of meaning. I argue that Brandom’s attack on empiricism depends on a false analysis of the distinction between circumstances and consequences of application holding for sentences. In addition, the problem of conceptual content’s fine grainess is treated, as well as the Kantian dichotomy of reasons versus causes, interpreted by Brandom in terms of the social/natural distinction. Finally, section 6 deals with the relation holding between the concept of reason on the one hand, and the objectivism and representationalism theses, on the other. Despite appearances, in Brandom’s philosophical system there is no place for objective standards of procedural reason. (shrink)