John Campbell investigates how consciousness of the world explains our ability to think about the world; how our ability to think about objects we can see depends on our capacity for conscious visual attention to those things. He illuminates classical problems about thought, reference, and experience by looking at the underlying psychological mechanisms on which conscious attention depends.
In evolutionary biology, niche construction is sometimes described as a genuine evolutionary process whereby organisms, through their activities and regulatory mechanisms, modify their environment such as to steer their own evolutionary trajectory, and that of other species. There is ongoing debate, however, on the extent to which niche construction ought to be considered a bona fide evolutionary force, on a par with natural selection. Recent formulations of the variational free-energy principle as applied to the life sciences describe the properties of (...) living systems, and their selection in evolution, in terms of variational inference. We argue that niche construction can be described using a variational approach. We propose new arguments to support the niche construction perspective, and to extend the variational approach to niche construction to current perspectives in various scientific fields. (shrink)
Physics tells us what is objectively there. It has no place for the colours of things. So colours are not objectively there. Hence, if there is such a thing at all, colour is mind-dependent. This argument forms the background to disputes over whether common sense makes a mistake about colours. It is assumed that..
I introduce the notion of a ‘control variable’ which gives us a way of seeing how mental causation could be an unproblematic case of causation in general, rather than being some sui generis form of causation. Psychological variables may be the control variables for a system for which there are no physical control variables, even in a deterministic physical world. That explains how there can be psychological causation without physical causation, even in a deterministic physical world.
But say you,surely there is nothing easier than to imagine trees,for instance,in a park, or books existing in a closet, and nobody by to perceive them. I answer, you may so, there is no dif?culty in it:but what is all this,I beseech you,more than framing in your mind certain ideas which you call books and trees, and at the same time omitting to frame the idea of anyone that may perceive them? But do you not yourself perceive or think of (...) them all the while? This therefore is nothing to the purpose: it only shows you have the power of imagining or forming ideas in your mind;but it doth not shew that you can conceive it possible, the objects of your thought may exist without the mind: to make out this, it is necessary that you conceive them existing unconceived or unthought of, which is a manifest repugnancy. (shrink)
What is free will? Why is it important? Can the same act be both free and determined? Is free will necessary for moral responsibility? Does anyone have free will, and if not, how is creativity possible and how can anyone be praised or blamed for anything? These are just some of the questions considered by Joseph Keim Campbell in this lively and accessible introduction to the concept of free will. Using a range of engaging examples the book introduces the problems, (...) arguments, and theories surrounding free will. Beginning with a discussion of fatalism and causal determinism, the book goes on to focus on the metaphysics of moral responsibility, free will skepticism, and skepticism about moral responsibility. Campbell shows that no matter how we look at it, free will is problematic. Thankfully there are a plethora of solutions on offer and the best of these are considered in full in the final chapter on contemporary theories of free will. This includes a rigorous account of libertarianism, compatabilism, and naturalism. _Free Will_ is the ideal introduction to the topic and will be a valuable resource for scholars and students seeking to understand the importance and relevance of the concept for contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
Although theory refers to organizational culture as an important variable in corrupt organizations, only little empirical research has addressed the characteristics of a corrupt organizational culture. Besides some characteristics that go hand in hand with unethical behavior and other features of corrupt organizations, we are still not able to describe a corrupt organizational culture in terms of its underlying assumptions, values, and norms. With a qualitative approach, we studied similarities of organizational culture across different corrupt organizations. In this study, we (...) performed content analysis on interviews of 14 independent experts about their experience with corrupt organizations. With this approach, we gained insights about different corrupt organizations spanning different branches (e.g., government, foreign trade, pharmacy, sports, building industry). We found that corrupt organizations perceive themselves to fight in a war, which leads to their taken-for-granted assumption that “the end justifies the means”. This assumption inspires many values and norms of the organizational culture. An important value in a corrupt organization is “security”, and an important norm is punishment of deviant (i.e., non-corrupt) behavior. Furthermore, managers and employees differ in their perception of organizational culture. While the management endorses values, such as success, results, and performance, and implements these values in their norms of goal setting, employees make use of rationalization strategies and endorse values of security and team spirit. (shrink)
It’s often said that relational view of experience can’t provide an explanation of mode of presentation phenomena: the idea is that if experience is characterized merely as a relation to an object, then we can’t make sense of the idea that one and the same object can be given in perception in many different ways. I show that we can address this problem by looking at the causal structure in relational experience. Experience of an object is caused by experience of (...) particular properties it has, such as its color and location, and experience of the object is in turn a cause of experience of its properties as characteristics of that object. We can explain mode of presentation phenomena as a matter of there being different sets of properties that can cause perception of one and the same object. I discuss how experiments in vision science and computational models of vision can underwrite this way of finding the causal structure in experience, relationally conceived. I look at an alternative, internalist approach to mode of presentation phenomena, in terms of ‘mental paint’, and suggest that the internalist approach is simply incoherent. Finally, I point out that we have mode of presentation phenomena for the spatial aspects of vision, such as perception of spatial relations and spatial location, but that these phenomena resist analysis in any of the terms proposed so far.On a relational view, visual experience is a relation between the perceiver and the scene observed. It’s often said, quite wrongly, that relational views of experience cannot reckon with mode-of-presentation phenomena. I begin by explaining how a relational view of experience can make sense of the idea of the ‘way’ in which an object is given to the perceiver, in terms of the properties used to single out the object. I explain why relational views are to be preferred to approaches in terms of ‘mental paint’. I then sketch the problem posed by spatial perception. Spatial perception is peculiarly difficult to characterize on a relational view, because it’s difficult to characterize the way in which spatial locations and layouts are given to the subject. (shrink)
Sensory experience seems to be the basis of our knowledge of mind-independent things. The puzzle is to understand how that can be: how does our sensory experience enable us to conceive of them as mind-independent? This book is a debate between two rival approaches to understanding the relationship between concepts and sensory experience.
_If you were free in doing something and morally responsible for it, you could have done otherwise. That_ _has seemed a pretty firm proposition among the old, new, clear, unclear and other propositions in the_ _philosophical discussion of freedom and determinism. If you were free in what you did, there was an_ _alternative. It is also at least natural to think that if determinism is true, you can never do otherwise than_ _you do. G. E. Moore, that Cambridge reasoner in (...) whose shadow Wittgenstein ought to be standing,_ _considered the matter. He pointed out that even if determinism is true, there remains a sense in which you_ _can still do otherwise than you do: you will do otherwise if you so choose. That, on reflection, is consistent_ _with determinism. The doctrine of the compatibility of freedom and determinism is saved. Joseph Keim_ _Campbell, strong philosopher at Washington State University, provides the latest thinking on this seemingly_ _unavoidable dispute. You do not have to agree that either compatibilism or incompatibilism must be true in_ _order to appreciate the carefulness of his reasoning in this piece of ongoing American philosophy. It_ _requires and repays attention._. (shrink)
What knowledge of the colors does perception of the colors provide? My first aim in this essay is to characterize the way in which color experience seems to provide knowledge of colors. This in turn tells us something about what it takes for there to be colors. Color experience provides knowledge of the aspect of the world that is being acted on when we, or some external force, act on the color of an object and thus make a difference to (...) the experiences of people looking at it. It is in this sense that the nature of the colors is transparent to us. For there to be colors is for there to be the qualitative categorical properties that we encounter in perception, action on which affects the color experiences of observers. This line of thought contrasts with the idea that color experience reveals the colors to us, in the sense that it provides knowledge of a number of necessary truths about the colors. In a recent paper, Alex Byrne and David Hilbert provide a careful exposition and critique of this way of developing the idea of color experience as revelatory of the colors. In this paper my main aim is simply to contrast the idea that experience makes the colors transparent to us, with the idea that color experience provides us with knowledge of truths relating to the essences of the colors. (shrink)
It seems a compelling idea that experience of colour plays some role in our having concepts of the various colours, but in trying to explain the role experience plays the first thing we have to describe is what sort of colour experience matters here. I will argue that the kind of experience that matters is conscious attention to the colours of objects as an aspect of them on which direct intervention is selectively possible. As I will explain this idea, it (...) is a matter of being able to use experience to inform linguistic or conceptual thought about what would happen were there to be various interventions on an object. Against this background, I will review Locke’s fundamental argument that since we can change the colour of an almond by pounding it, there must be an error embodied in our ordinary concepts of colour: there is no such thing as intervening directly on the colour of an object. The analysis I present brings out the force of Locke’s argument. But I will propose a vindication of our commonsense conception of colour as an aspect of objects on which direct intervention is selectively possible. (shrink)
Much of ordinary memory is autobiographical; memory of what one saw and did, where and when. It may derive from your own past experiences, or from what other people told you about your past life. It may be phenomenologically rich, redolent of that autumn afternoon so long ago, or a few austere reports of what happened. But all autobiographical memory is first-person memory, stateable using ‘I’. It is a memory you would express by saying, ‘I remember I . . .’.
Direct source incompatibilism (DSI) is the conjunction of two claims: SI-F: there are genuine Frankfurt-style counterexamples (FSCs); SI-D: there is a sound version of the direct argument (DA). Eric Yang ( 2012 ) responds to a recent criticism of DSI (Campbell 2006 ). We show that Yang misses the mark. One can accept Yang’s criticisms and get the same result: there is a deep tension between FSCs and DA, between SI-F and SI-D. Thus, DSI is untenable. In this essay, we (...) use an important yet overlooked distinction between truthmakers and determiners to help drive this point home. (shrink)
_ Source: _Page Count 27 This is an explication and defense of P. F. Strawson’s naturalist theory of free will and moral responsibility. I respond to a set of criticisms of the view by free will skeptics, compatibilists, and libertarians who adopt the _core assumption_: Strawson thinks that our reactive attitudes provide the basis for a rational justification of our blaming and praising practices. My primary aim is to explain and defend Strawson’s naturalism in light of criticisms based on the (...) core assumption. Strawson’s critiques of incompatibilism and free will skepticism are not intended to provide rational justifications for either compatibilism or the claim that some persons have free will. Hence, the charge that Strawson’s “arguments” are faulty is misplaced. The core assumption resting behind such critiques is mistaken. (shrink)
Ordinary common sense suggests that we have just one set of shape concepts that we apply indifferently on the bases of sight and touch. Yet we understand the shape concepts, we know what shape properties are, only because we have experience of shapes. And phenomenal experience of shape in vision and phenomenal experience of shape in touch seem to be quite different. So how can the shape concepts we grasp and use on the basis of vision be the same as (...) the shape concepts we grasp and use on the basis of touch? I think this is the intuitive puzzle that underlies the question sent by the Dublin lawyer Molyneux to John Locke. This concerns a man born blind, who learns by the use of his touch to discriminate cubes from spheres. Suppose him now to gain the use of his sight. And suppose him to be presented with a cube and a sphere, of nighly the same bigness. Quaere, will he be able to tell, by the use of his vision alone, which is the sphere, and which the cube? (Locke 1975, II/ix/8.). (shrink)