I offer here a new hypothesis about the nature of implicit attitudes. Psy- chologists and philosophers alike often distinguish implicit from explicit attitudes by maintaining that we are aware of the latter, but not aware of the former. Recent experimental evidence, however, seems to challenge this account. It would seem, for example, that participants are frequently quite adept at predicting their own perfor- mances on measures of implicit attitudes. I propose here that most theorists in this area have nonetheless overlooked (...) a commonsense distinction regarding how we can be aware of attitudes, a difference that fundamentally distinguishes implicit and explicit attitudes. Along the way, I discuss the implications that this distinction may hold for future debates about and experimental investigations into the nature of implicit attitudes. (shrink)
According to Rosenthal's higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness, one is in a conscious mental state if and only if one is aware of oneself as being in that state via a suitable HOT. Several critics have argued that the possibility of so-called targetless HOTs?that is, HOTs that represent one as being in a state that does not exist?undermines the theory. Recently, Wilberg (2010) has argued that HOT theory can offer a straightforward account of such cases: since consciousness is a (...) property of mental state tokens, and since there are no states to exhibit consciousness, one is not in conscious states in virtue of targetless HOTs. In this paper, I argue that Wilberg's account is problematic and that Rosenthal's version of HOT theory, according to which a suitable HOT is both necessary and sufficient for consciousness, is to be preferred to Wilberg's account. I then argue that Rosenthal's account can comfortably accommodate targetless HOTs because consciousness is best understood as a property of individuals, not a property of states. (shrink)
While there seems to be much evidence that perceptual states can occur without being conscious, some theorists recently express scepticism about unconscious perception. We explore here two kinds of such scepticism: Megan Peters and Hakwan Lau's experimental work regarding the well-known problem of the criterion -- which seems to show that many purported instances of unconscious perception go unreported but are weakly conscious -- and Ian Phillips' theoretical consideration, which he calls the 'problem of attribution' -- the worry that many (...) purported examples of unconscious perception are not perceptual, but rather merely informational and subpersonal. We argue that these concerns do not undermine the evidence for unconscious perception and that this sceptical approach results in a dilemma for the sceptic, who must either deny that there is unconscious mentality generally or explain why perceptual states are unique in the mind such that they cannot occur unconsciously. Both options, we argue, are problematic. (shrink)
Relationalism holds that perceptual experiences are relations between subjects and perceived objects. But much evidence suggests that perceptual states can be unconscious. We argue here that unconscious perception raises difficulties for relationalism. Relationalists would seem to have three options. First, they may deny that there is unconscious perception or question whether we have sufficient evidence to posit it. Second, they may allow for unconscious perception but deny that the relationalist analysis applies to it. Third, they may offer a relationalist explanation (...) of unconscious perception. We argue that each of these strategies is questionable. (shrink)
Incapacitated adult patients are commonly divided into two groups for purposes of decision making; those with a surrogate and those without. Respectively, these groups are often referred to as represented and unrepresented, and the relative ethics of decision making between them raises two particular issues. The first issue involves the differential application of the best interests standard between groups. Second is the prevailing notion that representedness and unrepresentedness are categorical phenomena, though it is more aptly understood as a multidimensional and (...) continuous variable based on relational moral authority. This paper examines the nature of representedness as it relates to ethical norms of surrogate decision making. (shrink)
David Rosenthal explains conscious mentality in terms of two independent, though complementary, theories—the higher-order thought (“HOT”) theory of consciousness and quality-space theory (“QST”) about mental qualities. It is natural to understand this combination of views as constituting a kind of representationalism about experience—that is, a version of the view that an experience’s conscious character is identical with certain of its representational properties. At times, however, Rosenthal seems to resist this characterization of his view. We explore here whether and to what (...) extent it makes sense to construe Rosenthal’s views as representationalist. Our goal is not merely terminological—discerning how best to use the expression ‘representationalism’. Rather, we argue that understanding Rosenthal’s account as a kind of representationalism permits us not only to make sense of broader debates within the philosophy of mind, but also to extend and clarify aspects of the view itself. (shrink)
With narrow exception, physicians’ treatment of incapacitated patients requires the consent of health surrogates. Although the decision-making authority of surrogates is appropriately broad, their moral authority is not without limits. Discerning these bounds is particularly germane to ethically complex treatments and has important implications for the welfare of patients, for the professional integrity of clinicians, and, in fact, for the welfare of surrogates. Palliative sedation is one such complex treatment; as such, it provides a valuable model for analyzing the scope (...) of surrogates’ moral authority. Guidelines for palliative sedation that present it as a “last-resort” treatment for severe and intractable suffering yet require surrogate consent in order to offer it are ethically untenable, precisely because the moral limits of surrogate authority have not been considered. (shrink)
Representationalism holds that a perceptual experience's qualitative character is identical with certain of its representational properties. To date, most representationalists endorse atomistic theories of perceptual content, according to which an experience's content, and thus character, does not depend on its relations to other experiences. David Rosenthal, by contrast, proposes a view that is naturally construed as a version of representationalism on which experiences’ relations to one another determine their contents and characters. I offer here a new defense of this holistic (...) representationalism, arguing that some objections to atomistic views are best interpreted as supporting it. (shrink)
Working memory, an important posit in cognitive science, allows one to temporarily store and manipulate information in the service of ongoing tasks. Working memory has been traditionally classified as an explicit memory system – that is, as operating on and maintaining only consciously perceived information. Recently, however, several studies have questioned this assumption, purporting to provide evidence for unconscious working memory. In this paper, we focus on visual working memory and critically examine these studies as well as studies of unconscious (...) perception that seem to provide indirect evidence for unconscious working memory. Our analysis indicates that current evidence does not support an unconscious working memory store, though we offer independent reasons to think that working memory may operate on unconsciously perceived information. (shrink)
Perceptual experiences justify beliefs. A perceptual experience of a dog justifies the belief that there is a dog present. But there is much evidence that perceptual states can occur without being conscious, as in experiments involving masked priming. Do unconscious perceptual states provide justification as well? The answer depends on one’s theory of justification. While most varieties of externalism seem compatible with unconscious perceptual justification, several theories have recently afforded to consciousness a special role in perceptual justification. We argue that (...) such views face a dilemma: either consciousness should be understood in functionalist terms, in which case our best current theories of consciousness do not seem to imbue consciousness with any special epistemic features, or it should not, in which case it is mysterious why only conscious states are justificatory. We conclude that unconscious perceptual justification is quite plausible. (shrink)
According to a traditional view, perceptual experiences are composites of distinct sensory and cognitive components. This dual-component theory has many benefits; in particular, it purports to offer a way forward in the debate over what kinds of properties perceptual experiences represent. On this kind of view, the issue reduces to the questions of what the sensory and cognitive components respectively represent. Here, I focus on the former topic. I propose a theory of the contents of the sensory aspects of perceptual (...) experience that provides clear criteria for identifying what kinds of properties they represent. (shrink)
It is often assumed that perceptual experience provides evidence about the external world. But much perception can occur unconsciously, as in cases of masked priming or blindsight. Does unconscious perception provide evidence as well? Many theorists maintain that it cannot, holding that perceptual experience provides evidence in virtue of its conscious character. Against such views, I challenge here both the necessity and, perhaps more controversially, the sufficiency of consciousness for perception to provide evidence about the external world. In addition to (...) motivating and defending the idea that unconscious perception can and does often provide evidence, I observe that whether or not perceptual phenomenology is relevant to the evidentiary status of perception depends on the nature of consciousness. And I argue that a well-supported theory of consciousness—higher-order thought theory—invites a striking conclusion: that perceptual phenomenology is not on its own sufficient to provide for evidence of the external world. (shrink)
I discuss here the nature of nonconscious mental states and the ways in which they may differ from their conscious counterparts. I first survey reasons to think that mental states can and often do occur without being conscious. Then, insofar as the nature of nonconscious mentality depends on how we understand the nature of consciousness, I review some of the major theories of consciousness and explore what restrictions they may place on the kinds of states that can occur nonconsciously. I (...) close with a discussion of what makes a state mental, if consciousness is not the mark of the mental. (shrink)
The ‘best interests’ decision making standard is used in clinical care to make necessary health decisions for non-capacitated individuals for whom neither explicit nor inferred wishes are known. It has been also widely acknowledged as a basis for enrolling some non-capacitated adults into clinical research such as emergency, critical care, and dementia research. However, the best interests standard requires that choices provide the highest net benefit of available options, and clinical research rarely meets this criterion. In the context of modern (...) norms of bioethics, the best interests standard rarely supports surrogate consent for research and should not be accepted as a routine provision. (shrink)
Two recent films by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, David Mamet, can provide opportunities for observing student reactions to ethically troublesome situations and for discussing business-communication ethics in the classroom. The key question addressed in this article is whether business-communication courses, for example, those in public relations, can encourage students to make the "metaphoric leap" and apply Mamet's messages to class readings and discussions on ethical problems or challenges. Through showing two films in their entirety and conducting focus groups among upper-level undergraduates, (...) the authors find that there is instructional value in using Mamet's films to discuss ethics in business-related settings. (shrink)
I motivate and defend a previously underdeveloped functionalist account of the metaphysics of color, a view that I call ‘quality-space functionalism’ about color. Although other theorists have proposed varieties of color functionalism, this view differs from such accounts insofar as it identifies and individuates colors by their relative locations within a particular kind of so-called ‘quality space’ that reflects creatures’ capacities to discriminate visually among stimuli. My arguments for this view of color are abductive: I propose that quality-space functionalism best (...) captures our commonsense conception of color, fits with many experimental findings, coheres with the phenomenology of color experience, and avoids many issues for standard theories of color such as color physicalism and color relationalism. (shrink)
In his paper “There It Is” and his précis “There It Was,” Benj Hellie develops a sophisticated semantics for perceptual justification according to which perceptions in good cases can be explained by intentional psychology and can justify beliefs, whereas bad cases of perception are defective and so cannot justify beliefs. Importantly, Hellie also affords consciousness a central role in rationality insofar as only those good cases of perception within consciousness can play a justificatory function. In this commentary, I reserve judgment (...) regarding Hellie’s treatment of the rational difference between good and bad cases, but I argue there can be what he views as good cases of perceptual justification outside of consciousness. (shrink)
Many existence propositions in constructive analysis are implied by the lesser limited principle of omniscience LLPO; sometimes one can even show equivalence. It was discovered recently that some existence propositions are equivalent to Bouwer's fan theorem FAN if one additionally assumes that there exists at most one object with the desired property. We are providing a list of conditions being equivalent to FAN, such as a unique version of weak König's lemma. This illuminates the relation between FAN and LLPO. Furthermore, (...) we give a short and elementary proof of the fact that FAN is equivalent to each positive valued function with compact domain having positive infimum. (shrink)
Mandik (2012)understands color-consciousness conceptualism to be the view that one deploys in a conscious qualitative state concepts for every color consciously discriminated by that state. Some argue that the experimental evidence that we can consciously discriminate barely distinct hues that are presented together but cannot do so when those hues are presented in short succession suggests that we can consciously discriminate colors that we do not conceptualize. Mandik maintains, however, that this evidence is consistent with our deploying a variety of (...) nondemonstrative concepts for those colors and so does not pose a threat to conceptualism. But even if Mandik has shown that we deploy such concepts in these experimental conditions, there are cases of conscious states that discriminate colors but do not involve concepts of those colors. Mandik’s arguments sustain only a theory in the vicinity of conceptualism: The view that we possess concepts for every color we can discriminate consciously, but need not deploy those concepts in every conscious act of color discrimination. (shrink)
Some theorists have recently raised doubts about much of the experimental evidence purporting to demonstrate the existence of unconscious perception. In our (2019) in this journal, we argued some of these considerations are not decisive. Phillips (forthcoming a) replies thoughtfully to our paper, concluding that he is unconvinced by our arguments. Phillips maintains that the view that perception is invariably conscious remains, as he puts it, the “default” hypothesis both within the folk understanding and experimental study of perception. There is (...) much to agree with in Phillips’ piece, but there remain some substantive points of disagreement, which we outline here. (shrink)
Consciousness is central to our lived experience. It is unsurprising, then, that the topic has captivated many students, neuroscientists, philosophers, and other theorists working in cognitive science. But consciousness may seem especially difficult to explain. This is in part because the term “consciousness” has been used in many different ways. The goal of this chapter is to explore several kinds of consciousness: what theorists have called “creature,” “phenomenal,” “access,” “state,” “transitive,” “introspective,” and “self” consciousness. The basic distinctions among these kinds (...) of consciousness are described in Section 1. Section 2 raises potential challenges for explaining these varieties of consciousness and describes a few current theories of them. Section 3 closes the chapter by exploring directions for future work in the cognitive science of consciousness. Along the way, some of the possible interrelationships among these kinds of consciousness are discussed. (shrink)
One of the most promising theories of consciousness currently available is higher-order thought (“HOT”) theory, according to which consciousness consists in having suitable HOTs regarding one’s mental life. But critiques of HOT theory abound. We explore here three recent objections to the theory, which we argue at bottom founder for the same reason. While many theorists today assume that consciousness is a feature of the actually existing mental states in virtue of which one has experiences, this assumption is in tension (...) with the underlying motivations for HOT theory and arguably false. We urge that these objections, though sophisticated, trade on this questionable conception of consciousness, thereby begging the question against HOT theory. We then explain how HOT theory might instead understand consciousness. (shrink)
According to David Rosenthal’s higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness, a mental state is conscious just in case one is aware of being in that state via a suitable HOT. Jesse Mulder (2016) recently objects: though HOT theory holds that conscious states are states that it seems to one that one is in, the view seems unable to explain how HOTs engender such seemings. I clarify here how HOT theory can adequately explain the relevant mental appearances, illustrating the explanatory power (...) of HOT theory. (shrink)
Working within Bishop’s constructive framework, we examine the connection between a weak version of the Heine–Borel property, a property antithetical to that in Specker’s theorem in recursive analysis, and the uniform continuity theorem for integer-valued functions. The paper is a contribution to the ongoing programme of constructive reverse mathematics.
We show constructively that every quasi-convex, uniformly continuous function \ with at most one minimum point has a minimum point, where C is a convex compact subset of a finite dimensional normed space. Applications include a result on strictly quasi-convex functions, a supporting hyperplane theorem, and a short proof of the constructive fundamental theorem of approximation theory.
Beliefs about diverse status characteristics have a common core content of performance capacities and qualities made up of two features: hierarchy (superior/inferior capacities) and role-differentiation (instrumental/expressive qualities). Whatever the status characteristic, its more-valued state tends to be defined as superior and instrumental, and the less-valued state tends to be defined as inferior but expressive. We account for this in terms of the typification of differences in behavioral inequalities and profiles that emerge in task oriented social interaction. Status construction theory argues (...) that new configurations of the states of a nonvalued discriminating characteristic, status values, and status typifications of actors possessing these states arise from a similar process. The theory we present here makes new predictions on the construction and institutionalization of status characteristics and generalized beliefs about the relation of status characteristics to social rewards, called referential structures. This theory, we argue, integrates micro and macro elements in a way that may be applicable to explaining the social construction of cultural objects more generally. (shrink)
The existence and uniqueness of a maximum point for a continuous real—valued function on a metric space are investigated constructively. In particular, it is shown, in the spirit of reverse mathematics, that a natural unique existence theorem is equivalent to the fan theorem.
Dini's theorem says that compactness of the domain, a metric space, ensures the uniform convergence of every simply convergent monotone sequence of real-valued continuous functions whose limit is continuous. By showing that Dini's theorem is equivalent to Brouwer's fan theorem for detachable bars, we provide Dini's theorem with a classification in the recently established constructive reverse mathematics propagated by Ishihara. As a complement, Dini's theorem is proved to be equivalent to the analogue of the fan theorem, weak König's lemma, in (...) the original classical setting of reverse mathematics started by Friedman and Simpson. (shrink)
Options are often presented incidentally in a sequence, but does serial position impact choice after delay, and if so, how? We address this question in a consequential real-world choice domain. Using 25 years of citation data, and a unique identification strategy, we examine the relationship between article order and citation count. Results indicate that mere serial position affects the prominence that research achieves: Earlier-listed articles receive more citations. Furthermore, our identification strategy allows us to cast doubt on alternative explanations and (...) instead indicate that the effect is driven by psychological processes of attention and memory. These findings deepen the understanding of how presentation order impacts choice, suggest that subtle presentation factors can bias an important scientific metric, and shed light on how psychological processes shape collective outcomes. (shrink)
The problem of diachronic personal identity is this: what explains why a person P1 at time T1 is numerically identical with a person P2 at a later time T2, even if they are not at those times qualitatively identical? One traditional explanation is the soul theory, according to which persons persist in virtue of their nonphysical souls. I argue here that this view faces a new and arguably insuperable dilemma: either souls, like physical bodies, change over time, in which case (...) the soul theory faces an analogue problem of diachronic soul identity, or souls, unlike physical bodies, do not change over time, in which case the soul theory cannot explain why souls relate to particular bodies over time and so at best only partially explains personal identity. I conclude that the soul theory fares no better than physicalist-friendly accounts of personal identity such as bodily- or psychological-continuity-based views. (shrink)
Virtue-based moral cognitivism holds that at least some of the value of some art consists in conveying knowledge about the nature of virtue and vice. We explore here a challenge to this view, which extends the so-called situationist challenge to virtue ethics. Evidence from social psychology indicates that individuals’ behavior is often susceptible to trivial and normatively irrelevant situational influences. This evidence not only challenges approaches to ethics that emphasize the role of virtue but also undermines versions of moral cognitivism, (...) because the value of art cannot consist in teaching us about traits that do not exist. We thus recommend a new account of the cognitive value of art: art teaches how context and character interact to produce action. (shrink)
Members of the Clinical Ethics Consultation Affairs Standing Committee of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities present a collection of insights and recommendations developed from their collective experience, intended for those engaged in the work of healthcare ethics consultation.
In this paper we analyse in the framework of constructive mathematics (BISH) the validity of Farkas' lemma and related propositions, namely the Fredholm alternative for solvability of systems of linear equations, optimality criteria in linear programming, Stiemke's lemma and the Superhedging Duality from mathematical finance, and von Neumann's minimax theorem with application to constructive game theory.
Summary The first systematic studies on the velocity of chemical reactions (now called reaction rates) were published in the 1850s and 1860s. Inquiring about the course of chemical change, their authors established empirical equations on the basis of their measurement results. But these laws, which represented reaction velocities as proportional to the actual concentration of the reagents, could not be given a physical foundation. The chemists themselves regarded their propositions as mere ad hoc hypotheses. In 1867 Leopold Pfaundler formulated a (...) qualitative theory of chemical processes based on Clausius's version of the kinetic gas theory (and more specifically on his theory of evaporation), and on Saint-Claire Deville's investigations of dissociation processes. Pfaundler's theory was based on farreaching analogies: between evaporation and dissociation; between the gaseous state and the activated state; and between evaporation- and chemical-equilibrium. Four points of Pfaundler's theory must be regarded as essential: (1) the reduction of chemical change to randomly occurring molecular collisions, only showing regularities in great numbers according to the laws of probability; (2) the idea that molecules are in different states of internal and external motion, which determines whether a collision results in a reaction; (3) the view of the reaction step as a transition from internal to external motion and vice versa; and (4) the introduction of a new molecular-kinetic definition of chemical affinity as the maximum of internal motion. With these assumptions, Pfaundler provided the empirical rate equations with a new statistical interpretation and a physical Justification. (shrink)