The boundaries of honesty are the focal point of this exploration of the individualistic origins of modernist ethics and the consequent need for a more pragmatic approach to business ethics. The tendency of modernist ethics to see honesty as an individual responsibility is described as a contextually naive approach, one that fails to account for the interactive effects between individual choices and corporate norms. By reviewing the empirical accounts of managerial struggles with ethical dilemmas, the article arrives at the contextual (...) preconditions for encouraging the development of reflective moral agents in modern corporations. (shrink)
Discussion of J. Kevin O’Regan’s “Why Red Doesn’t Sound Like a Bell: Understanding the Feel of Consciousness” Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-20 DOI 10.1007/s13164-012-0090-7 Authors J. Kevin O’Regan, Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, CNRS - Université Paris Descartes, Centre Biomédical des Saints Pères, 45 rue des Sts Pères, 75270 Paris cedex 06, France Ned Block, Departments of Philosophy, Psychology and Center for Neural Science, New York University, 5 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003, USA Journal Review of (...) Philosophy and Psychology Online ISSN 1878-5166 Print ISSN 1878-5158. (shrink)
Many current neurophysiological, psychophysical, and psychological approaches to vision rest on the idea that when we see, the brain produces an internal representation of the world. The activation of this internal representation is assumed to give rise to the experience of seeing. The problem with this kind of approach is that it leaves unexplained how the existence of such a detailed internal representation might produce visual consciousness. An alternative proposal is made here. We propose that seeing is a way of (...) acting. It is a particular way of exploring the environment. Activity in internal representations does not generate the experience of seeing. The out- side world serves as its own, external, representation. The experience of seeing occurs when the organism masters what we call the gov- erning laws of sensorimotor contingency. The advantage of this approach is that it provides a natural and principled way of accounting for visual consciousness, and for the differences in the perceived quality of sensory experience in the different sensory modalities. Sev- eral lines of empirical evidence are brought forward in support of the theory, in particular: evidence from experiments in sensorimotor adaptation, visual “filling in,” visual stability despite eye movements, change blindness, sensory substitution, and color perception. (shrink)
The paper proposes a way of bridging the gapbetween physical processes in the brain and the ''''felt''''aspect of sensory experience. The approach is based onthe idea that experience is not generated by brainprocesses themselves, but rather is constituted by theway these brain processes enable a particular form of''''give-and-take'''' between the perceiver and theenvironment. From this starting-point we are able tocharacterize the phenomenological differences betweenthe different sensory modalities in a more principledway than has been done in the past. We are also (...) ableto approach the issues of visual awareness andconsciousness in a satisfactory way. Finally weconsider a number of testable empirical consequences,one of which is the striking prediction of thephenomenon of ''''change blindness''''. (shrink)
The sensorimotor theory of perceptual consciousness offers a form of enactivism in that it stresses patterns of interaction instead of any alleged internal representations of the environment. But how does it relate to forms of enactivism stressing the continuity between life and mind? We shall distinguish sensorimotor enactivism, which stresses perceptual capacities themselves, from autopoietic enactivism, which claims an essential connection between experience and autopoietic processes or associated background capacities. We show how autopoiesis, autonomous agency, and affective dimensions of experience (...) may fit into sensorimotor enactivism, and we identify differences between this interpretation and autopoietic enactivism. By taking artificial consciousness as a case in point, we further sharpen the distinction between sensorimotor enactivism and autopoietic enactivism. We argue that sensorimotor enactivism forms a strong default position for an enactive account of perceptual consciousness. (shrink)
We address the thesis recently proposed by Andy Clark, that skill-mediated access to modality implies phenomenal feel. We agree that a skill theory of perception does indeed offer the possibility of a satisfactory account of the feel of perception, but we claim that this is not only through explanation of access to modality but also because skill actually provides access to perceptual property in general. We illustrate and substantiate our claims by reference to the recently proposed 'sensorimotor contingency' theory of (...) visual awareness. We discuss why this theory offers a distinctively attractive access-based approach to perceptual consciousness because it 'dereifies' experience and permits otherwise problematic aspects of phenomenal perceptual consciousness to be explained. We suggest our approach thus offers the prospect of 'naturalizing phenomenology'. (shrink)
Observers inspected normal, high quality color displays of everyday visual scenes while their eye movements were recorded. A large display change occurred each time an eye blink occurred. Display changes could either involve "Central Interest" or "Marginal Interest" locations, as determined from descriptions obtained from independent judges in a prior pilot experiment. Visual salience, as determined by luminance, color, and position of the Central and Marginal interest changes were equalized.
Methods. We employed a "flicker" technique, in which an original and a modified image (each of duration 240 ms) continually alternated, with a blank field (duration 80 ms) between each display. Images were all of real-world scenes. One of three kinds of change (appearance/disappearance, color, or translation) was made to an object or region in each scene. Changes were large and easily seen under normal conditions. Subjects viewed the flicker display, and pressed a key when they noticed the change.
Following arguments put forward in my book (Why red doesn’t sound like a bell: understanding the feel of consciousness. Oxford University Press, New York, USA, 2011), this article takes a pragmatic, scientist’s point of view about the concepts of consciousness and “feel”, pinning down what people generally mean when they talk about these concepts, and then investigating to what extent these capacities could be implemented in non-biological machines. Although the question of “feel”, or “phenomenal consciousness” as it is called by (...) some philosophers, is generally considered to be the “hard” problem of consciousness, the article shows that by taking a “sensorimotor” approach, the difficulties can be overcome. What remains to account for are the notions of so-called “access consciousness” and the self. I claim that though they are undoubtedly very difficult, these are not logically impossible to implement in robots. (shrink)
How could neural processes be associated with phenomenal consciousness? We present a way to answer this question by taking the counterintuitive stance that the sensory feel of an experience is not a thing that happens to us, but a thing we do: a skill we exercise. By additionally noting that sensory systems possess two important, objectively measurable properties, corporality and alerting capacity, we are able to explain why sensory experience possesses a sensory feel, but thinking and other mental processes do (...) not. We are additionally able to explain why different sensory feels differ in the way they do. (shrink)
Traditionally, the “Imagery Debate” has opposed two main camps: depictivism and descriptivism. This debate has essentially focused on the nature of the internal representations thought to be involved in imagery, without addressing at all the question of action. More recently, a third, “embodied” view is moving the debate into a new phase. The embodied approach focuses on the interdependence of perception, cognition and action, and in its more radical line this approach promotes the idea that perception is not a process (...) involving internal world-models. The anti-representationalist version of the embodied paradigm covers, among others that we shall not discuss here, two quite different positions, namely the enactive approach and sensorimotor theory. Up to now these two anti-representationalist accounts have generally been confounded. In this paper we will argue that despite some important commonalities, enactive and sensorimotor accounts come with distinctive theoretical traits with regard to their approach to imagery. These become manifest when critically examining the role they assign to sensorimotor engagements with the world. We shall argue that enactive and sensorimotor approaches are different in their understanding of the role of embodied action, and these different notions of embodiment lead to different explanatory accounts of perception and imagery. We propose that, due to existing ambiguities in enactivism, the sensorimotor theory is a better framework for a skill-based approach to imagery. (shrink)
The most important clarification we bring in our reply to commentators concerns the problem of the “explanatory gap”: that is, the gulf that separates physical processes in the brain from the experienced quality of sensations. By adding two concepts (bodiliness and grabbiness) that were not stressed in the target article, we strengthen our claim and clarify why we think we have solved the explanatory gap problem, – not by dismissing qualia, but, on the contrary, by explaining why sensations have a (...) “feel” and why “feels” feel the way they do. We additionally clarify our views on: internal representations (we claim internal representations cannot explain why sensation has a feel), on behaviorism (we are not behaviorists), on perception and action (we believe there can be perception without action), and on the brain (we believe the brain does do something important in perception). (shrink)
This unique volume collects some of the best recent work on the philosophical challenge that religious diversity poses for religious belief. Featuring contributors from philosophy, religious studies, and theology, it is unified by the way in which many of the authors engage in sustained critical examination of one another's positions. John Hick's pluralism provides one focal point of the collection. Hick argues that all the major religious traditions make contact with the same ultimate reality, each encountering it through a variety (...) of culturally shaped forms of thought and experience but all offering equally effective paths to salvation or liberation. Another central position is William P. Alston's defense of the Christian practice of forming beliefs about manifestations of God in response to experiences of divine presence or activity. Articles by Hick and Alston develop their arguments and other selections respond, criticizing or defending various aspects of one or both positions. Religious skepticism, religious exclusivism, religious inclusivism, and other perspectives are also represented. In the introduction, the editors suggest connections among the articles and report on additional exchanges between the contributors. The only anthology that provides comprehensive coverage of the current philosophical debate about religious diversity, The Philosophical Challenge of Religious Diversity is ideal for courses and seminars on the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and world religions. (shrink)
Although higher education understands the need to develop critical thinkers, it has not lived up to the task consistently. Students are graduating deficient in these skills, unprepared to think critically once in the workforce. Limited development of cognitive processing skills leads to less effective leaders. Various definitions of critical thinking are examined to develop a general construct to guide the discussion as critical thinking is linked to constructivism, leadership, and education. Most pedagogy is content-based built on deep knowledge. Successful critical (...) thinking pedagogy is moving away from this paradigm, teaching students to think complexly. Some of the challenges faced by higher education moving to a critical thinking curricula are discussed, and recommendations are offered for improving outcomes. (shrink)
The target article appeals to recent empirical data to support the idea that there is more to phenomenality than is available to access consciousness. However, this claim is based on an unwarranted assumption, namely, that some kind of cortical processing must be phenomenal. The article also considerably weakens Block's original distinction between a truly nonfunctional phenomenal consciousness and a functional access consciousness. The new form of phenomenal consciousness seems to be a poor-man's cognitive access.
Word recognition performance varies systematically as a function of where the eyes fixate in the word. Performance is maximal with the eye slightly left of the center of the word, and decreases drastically to both sides of this 'Optimal Viewing Position'. While manipulations of lexical factors have only marginal effects on this phenomenon, previous studies have pointed to a relation between the viewing position effect and letter legibility: When letter legibility drops, the viewing position effect becomes more exaggerated. To further (...) investigate this phenomenon, we improved letter legibility by magnifying letter size in a way that was proportional to the.. (shrink)
This volume contains ten essays that treat the relationship between Kant’s philosophy and those of his predecessors in the early modern canon. The essays divide into five pairs devoted respectively to Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. In each case, the work of a prominent Kant scholar precedes a reply by an early modernist. This format provides the opportunity to reevaluate both Kant’s philosophy and those of his predecessors, the contention being that the latter “in our historical conscience” too often (...) are read “in light of Kant’s reconstruction of their thought”.In this review, I discuss a selection of the articles in order to evaluate the extent to which they contribute to the stated historiographic aim of the volume. Each of the ten contributions provides a worthwhile read in isolation from the others, but the success they achieve in reassessing the relationship of Kantian to pre-Kantian philosophy varies significantly from essay to essay. Cumulatively, they offer an inspiring retort to the central arguments of that chapter of modern philosophy entitled “On the division of all philosophies into vorkantische and nachkantische. (shrink)
There is growing interest in understanding and eliciting division of labor within groups of scientists. This paper illustrates the need for this division of labor through a historical example, and a formal model is presented to better analyze situations of this type. Analysis of this model reveals that a division of labor can be maintained in two different ways: by limiting information or by endowing the scientists with extreme beliefs. If both features are present however, cognitive diversity is maintained indefinitely, (...) and as a result agents fail to converge to the truth. Beyond the mechanisms for creating diversity suggested here, this shows that the real epistemic goal is not diversity but transient diversity. (shrink)
To date, the study of business ethics has been largely the study of the ethics of large companies. This paper is concerned with owner/managers of small firms and the link between the personal ethics of the owner/manager and his or her attitude to ethical problems in business. By using active membership of an organisation with an overt ethical dimension as a surrogate for personal ethics the research provides some, though not unequivocal, support for the models of Trevino and others that (...) suggest a link between personal ethics and business ethics. (shrink)
Philip Quinn, John A. O’Brien Professor at the University of Notre Dame from 1985 until his death in 2004, was well known for his work in the philosophy of religion, political philosophy, and core areas of analytic philosophy. Although the breadth of his interests was so great that it would be virtually impossible to identify any subset of them as representative, the contributors to this volume provide an excellent introduction to, and advance the discussion of, some of the questions (...) of central importance to Quinn in the last years of his working life. Paul J. Weithman argues in his introduction that Quinn’s interest and analyses in many areas grew out of a distinctive and underlying sensibility that we might call “liberal faith.” It included belief in the value of a liberal education and in rigorous intellectual inquiry, the acceptance of enduring religious, cultural, and political pluralism, along with a keen awareness of problems posed by pluralism, and a deeply held but non-utopian faith in liberal democratic politics. These provocative essays, at the cutting edge of epistemology, the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and political philosophy, explore the tenets of liberal faith and invite continuing engagement with the philosophical issues. “Philip Quinn was admired enormously throughout the world of professional philosophy.... His reputation for rigor, his tireless service to the profession, and his essentially ‘non-dogmatic,’ but philosophically sophisticated faith is widely admired... The essays in this volume are first-rate contemporary philosophy along with an excellent introduction to Quinn’s work.” —_Charles Taliaferro, St. Olaf College_ "The papers that form _Liberal Faith_ give insightful treatments of three types of questions: first, how can we conscientiously believe something when there are many people we admire who do not believe it, and what is the underlying relation here between justification and rationality; second, what does it mean to desire union with God, and can Christians properly believe in the possibility of eternal self-annihilation; third, how should liberal democracy accommodate the religious convictions of its members, whether some comprehensive doctrine such as a religion is required to justify a commitment to human equality, and whether there is an absolute moral prohibition on the state use of torture. The volume has an unusually good introduction putting the papers into dialog with each other and with the work of Philip Quinn. The papers are cohesive because the central themes of Philip Quinn's work hold together into a picture of how Christianity and Liberal Democracy fit together." —_John Hare, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale Divinity School _ “This is a collection of high quality essays dealing with various topics related to Philip Quinn’s work. The book makes an original contribution by virtue of its individual papers, each of which is new. These essays will be of interest to scholars and students who followed Quinn’s work, especially in philosophy of religion and political philosophy.“ —_John Greco, The Leonard and Elizabeth Eslick Chair in Philosophy, Saint Louis University _. (shrink)
Abstract Recent writers in the libertarian tradition have suggested a natural affinity between hermeneutics and libertarian politics. This case is not persuasive. We look at two different ways the link has been attempted. In one, markets themselves are seen as constituting a hermeneutic conversation of sorts. A second approach uses hermeneutics to underpin the traditional liberal confinement of the state to setting the rules of the game?to matters of the right as opposed to the good. But the conception of the (...) self that emerges from hermeneutic thought leads to a communitarian rather than a liberal politics. (shrink)
Theories of scientific rationality typically pertain to belief. In this paper, the author argues that we should expand our focus to include motivations as well as belief. An economic model is used to evaluate whether science is best served by scientists motivated only by truth, only by credit, or by both truth and credit. In many, but not all, situations, scientists motivated by both truth and credit should be judged as the most rational scientists.