I argue that the dual-process account of human learning rejected by Mitchell et al. in the target article is informative and predictive with respect to human behaviour in a way that the authors' purely propositional account is not. Experiments that reveal different patterns of results under conditions that favour either associative or rule-based performance are the way forward.
We argue for an example of based on Diamond and Carey's (1986) work on expertise and recognition, which is not made use of in The Origin of Concepts. This mechanism for perceptual learning seems to have all the necessary characteristics in that it is innate, domain-specific (requires stimulus sets possessing a certain structure), and demonstrably affects categorisation in a way that strongly suggests it will influence concept formation as well.
The repercussions of unconscious priming on the neural correlates subsequent cognition have been explored previously. However, the neural dynamics during the unconscious processing remains largely uncharted. To assess both the complexity and temporal dynamics of unconscious cognition the present study contrasts the evoked response from classes of masked stimuli with three different levels of complexity; words, consonant strings, and blanks. The evoked response to masked word stimuli differed from both consonant strings and blanks, which did not differ from each other. (...) This response was qualitatively different to any evoked potential observed when stimuli were consciously visible and peaked at 140 ms, earlier than is usually associated with differences between words and strings and 100 ms earlier than word-consonant string differences in the visible condition. The evoked response demonstrates a qualitatively distinct signature of unconscious cognition and directly demonstrates the extraction of abstract information under subliminal conditions. (shrink)
Prior to the initiation of spontaneous movement, evoked potentials can be seen to precede awareness of the impending movement by several hundreds of milliseconds, meaning that this recorded neural activity is the result of unconscious processing. This study investigates the neural representations of impending movement with and without awareness. Specifically, the relationship between awareness and ‘idling’ cortical oscillations in the beta range was assessed. It was found that, in situations where there was awareness of the impending movement, pre-movement evoked potentials (...) were associated with a decrease in beta range oscillations. In contrast, when awareness of the impending movement was not present, the onset of the pre-movement potential was associated with tonic levels of beta range oscillations. A model is considered where by distributed neural activity remains outside of conscious awareness through the persistence of tonic slow wave cortical oscillations. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the article “Negotiating Between Learner and Mathematics: A Conceptual Framework to Analyze Teacher Sensitivity Toward Constructivism in a Mathematics Classroom” by Philip Borg, Dave Hewitt & Ian Jones. Upshot: My commentary has two general goals. First, I investigate how basic principles of radical constructivism might be used in constructing models of mathematics teaching. Toward that end, I found that I was not in complete intersubjective agreement with Borg et al.’s use of some basic terms. Second, I (...) explore what mathematics teaching might look like in what is construed as constructivist mathematics teaching. Toward that end, I comment on Borg et al.’s use of “negotiation” and explain how a constructivist teacher can establish experiential models of students’ mathematics. (shrink)
Following the financial crisis of 2008, the Treasury Committee of the UK House of Commons undertook an inquiry into the lessons that might be learned from the banking crisis. Paul Moore, head of group regulatory risk at Halifax Bank of Scotland during 2002–2005, provided evidence of his experience of questioning HBOS policies which resulted in his dismissal from HBOS. The problems that surfaced at HBOS during the financial crisis were so serious that it was forced to merge with Lloyds TSB, (...) another UK bank, to form the Lloyds Banking Group in which the government took a significant stake. Moore’s evidence to the Treasury Committee revealed that long before the financial crisis, he had raised major concerns with the management of HBOS and with the Financial Services Authority, the UK financial services regulator. Moore’s evidence led to the submission of further disclosures, replies and rejoinders as evidence to the Treasury Committee. Moore’s case is therefore of considerable interest to researchers of whistleblowing because it is a rare instance of high-level whistleblowing, the details of which subsequently entered the public domain. The information revealed in evidence to the Treasury Committee sheds light on the process of whistleblowing in the context of the governance and regulation of a major UK bank that subsequently had to be rescued by government intervention during the financial crisis. The paper makes a contribution to the wider literature on whistleblowing, and to a greater understanding of aspects of the financial crisis. (shrink)
I should like to begin by removing a misconception to which the title of this lecture may possibly give rise. My concern is not with general propositions regarding certain fairly well-attested human characteristics of the kind to which historians may, from time to time, advert in the course of their work or to which they may appeal in support of the account provided of some particular event or occurrence. I am not myself an historian, and for me to make ex (...) cathedra pronouncements on such topics as these might well seem to constitute an unjustifiable intrusion upon a field about which I am not qualified professionally to speak. My subject lies within the sphere of philosophy of history rather than of history proper; it belongs, in other words, to a branch of philosophical inquiry, and as such relates, not to empirical facts and events of the sort to which the practising historian addresses himself, but to those assumptions, categories and modes of procedure that are, or are believed to be, intrinsic to historical thought and discourse. In this general context I wish to discuss two approaches to the problem of elucidating the character of historical knowledge and explanation. Both of the approaches I have in mind have achieved a considerable measure of support at the present time; they have also been widely understood as offering profoundly divergent — indeed, diametrically opposed — views of what is central to the structure of historical thinking and to the type of activity upon which the historian is essentially engaged. It has on occasions been suggested that what — amongst other things — divides adherents to the views in question is the fact that they are committed to radically different conceptions of the subject-matter of the historical studies; that is to say, of human beings and their activities. In the light of this fundamental disagreement, it is argued, many of the more intractable controversies that have arisen concerning the concepts and interpretative schemes in terms of which it is possible or legitimate to treat the human past become readily intelligible. In what follows I want to examine this claim. First, however, let me give a brief, and necessarily somewhat crude, outline of the two positions I have referred to, starting with one that is often described as ‘positivist’. (shrink)
Exploring what theologians at the University of Paris in the thirteenth century understood about the boundary between humans and animals, this book demonstrates the great variety of ways in which they held similarity and difference in productive tension. Analysing key theological works, Ian P. Wei presents extended close readings of William of Auvergne, the Summa Halensis, Bonaventure, Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas. These scholars found it useful to consider animals and humans together, especially with regard to animal knowledge and (...) behaviour, when discussing issues including creation, the fall, divine providence, the heavens, angels and demons, virtues and passions. While they frequently stressed that animals had been created for use by humans, and sometimes treated them as tools employed by God to shape human behaviour, animals were also analytical tools for the theologians themselves. This study thus reveals how animals became a crucial resource for generating knowledge of God and the whole of creation. (shrink)
In the thirteenth century, the University of Paris emerged as a complex community with a distinctive role in society. This book explores the relationship between contexts of learning and the ways of knowing developed within them, focusing on twelfth-century schools and monasteries, as well as the university. By investigating their views on money, marriage and sex, Ian Wei reveals the complexity of what theologians had to say about the world around them. He analyses the theologians' sense of responsibility to the (...) rest of society and the means by which they tried to communicate and assert their authority. In the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, however, their claims to authority were challenged by learned and intellectually sophisticated women and men who were active outside as well as inside the university and who used the vernacular - an important phenomenon in the development of the intellectual culture of medieval Europe. (shrink)
Learned men of the twelfth century, especially the first half, frequently wrote about themselves and each other. Well-known examples of autobiographical writing include Guibert of Nogent's De vita sua or Monodiae, Rupert of Deutz's defense of his theological career in his Apologia attached to his commentary on the Benedictine rule, Peter Abelard's Historia calamitatum, and Gerald of Wales's De rebus a se gestis. Examples of biographical narrative are easily found: the life of St. Goswin included an account of Goswin defeating (...) Abelard in disputation; Baudri of Bourgueil wrote a poem about famous schools and scholars; the anonymous Metamorphosis Goliae provided characterizations of many masters; John of Salisbury's Metalogicon described the teaching methods of Bernard of Chartres and, in an autobiographical account of his own education, offered sketches of many of the leading masters in northern France, while Otto of Freising's Gesta Friderici I Imperatoris recounted parts of the academic careers of Abelard and Gilbert of Poitiers. It is therefore possible to read about twelfth-century scholars in their own words: the way they taught, their personalities, their ambitions, their disappointments; in short, their lives, or representations of their lives. Moving toward the end of the twelfth century and into the thirteenth century, however, there is very little comparable material, perhaps even none. In the thirteenth century, scholars wrote a great deal about being a scholar, but they preferred always to stress their collective identity, so that narrative accounts of particular scholarly lives did not find a place within the emerging universities. Why was there a change in the way in which scholars chose to represent themselves and each other, a change that involved obscuring their lives, both from themselves and from us? Answering that question will reveal the long-term significance of conflict between Schoolmen and monks and the impact of monastic ideals upon universities. It will show how the need for support from parties outside the university and internal debates about the true nature and purpose of learning came together, how ideas developed within the world of learning mattered when conflict led to the grant of privileges, and how specific ways of thinking became politically significant when particular events generated a certain kind of document in which those ways of thinking were embedded. (shrink)
The standard definition of labour value assumes that capitalists abstain from consumption during the period of replacement. The nonstandard definition of labour value assumes that capitalists consume. Both the transformation problem and the problem of an invariable measure of value are necessary consequences of standard labour values. In contrast, nonstandard labour values resolve both classical contradictions.
In this paper I give conditions under which a matrix characterisation of validity is correct for first order logics where quantifications are restricted by statements from a theory. Unfortunately the usual definition of path closure in a matrix is unsuitable and a less pleasant definition must be used. I derive the matrix theorem from syntactic analysis of a suitable tableau system, but by choosing a tableau system for restricted quantification I generalise Wallen's earlier work on modal logics. The tableau system (...) is only correct if a new condition I call alphabetical monotonicity holds. I sketch how the result can be applied to a wide range of logics such as first order variants of many standard modal logics, including non-serial modal logics. (shrink)
The processes underwriting the acquisition of culture remain unclear. How are shared habits, norms, and expectations learned and maintained with precision and reliability across large-scale sociocultural ensembles? Is there a unifying account of the mechanisms involved in the acquisition of culture? Notions such as “shared expectations,” the “selective patterning of attention and behaviour,” “cultural evolution,” “cultural inheritance,” and “implicit learning” are the main candidates to underpin a unifying account of cognition and the acquisition of culture; however, their interactions require greater (...) specification and clarification. In this article, we integrate these candidates using the variational approach to human cognition and culture in theoretical neuroscience. We describe the construction by humans of social niches that afford epistemic resources called cultural affordances. We argue that human agents learn the shared habits, norms, and expectations of their culture through immersive participation in patterned cultural practices that selectively pattern attention and behaviour. We call this process “thinking through other minds” – in effect, the process of inferring other agents’ expectations about the world and how to behave in social context. We argue that for humans, information from and about other people's expectations constitutes the primary domain of statistical regularities that humans leverage to predict and organize behaviour. The integrative model we offer has implications that can advance theories of cognition, enculturation, adaptation, and psychopathology. Crucially, this formal treatment seeks to resolve key debates in current cognitive science, such as the distinction between internalist and externalist accounts of theory of mind abilities and the more fundamental distinction between dynamical and representational accounts of enactivism. (shrink)