When William James spoke about belief to the philosophy clubs of Yale and Brown in 1896, he forewarned his audience of the nature of his comments by describing them as a “sermon on justification by faith” (James 13), titling the talk “The Will to Believe.” Although there is disagreement about the substance of James’s remarks, it is fairly innocuous to assert that James thought they were appropriate because of the prevalence of the “logical spirit” of many (...) of those who practiced academic philosophy that led them to the conclusion that religious faith was untenable. Aware of his audience, James presents his view on the permissibility of religious faith on the terms and grounds familiar to professional philosophers. .. (shrink)
The authors demonstrate that ethical judgments can be biased when previous judgments serve as a point of reference against which a current situation is judged. Scenarios describing ethical or unethical sales practices were used in an experiment to prime subjects who subsequently rated the ethics of an ethically ambiguous target scenario. The target tended to be rated as more ethical by subjects primed with unethical scenarios, and less ethical by subjects primed with ethical scenarios. This "contrast effect," however, is contingent (...) upon individual differences. Specifically, subjects with high (versus low) needs for cognition are more likely to process and use the information presented in the priming scenarios as a point of reference against which to judge the target situation, and hence more prone to the contrastive bias. Implications for avoiding unintentional moral relativism in business decision-making are discussed. (shrink)
Gibson distinguishes among the properties of environmental things their affordances, which he identifies in terms of that which a thing offers an animal for good or ill. In large part, this article considers his conception of environmental affordances and visually perceiving them, with special attention to the concept of affordance that he exercises in the presentation of his conception. Particular emphasis is placed here on the distinction between the affordance properties of things themselves, and what it is that these things (...) afford an animal, what they enable owing to those properties, and the proposal that the affordances of environmental things are not experiential; they are not properties of the perceptual experiences produced in the process of perceiving them. This does not deny that experiences themselves too possess affordance properties — for example, they are such as to enable specific behaviors — but these affordances are not that which is perceived, according to Gibson, when engaged in the activity of straightforward perceiving. The stream of perceptual experience that is part and product of the latter activity is at all points outwardly directed, not directed upon itself. (shrink)
Discusses reflective seeing in the context of the works of J. J. Gibson (published 1963–79) and E. Husserl (published 1960–83). Topics discussed include (1) naive-realistic seeing, (2) the nature of visual experiences, (3) the relation of reflective seeing to naive-realistic seeing, and (4) levels of consciousness with reference to reflective seeing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
J. J. OʼDonnell is one those scholars whose learning is assumed rather than displayed. As a result, his brief approach to the long-terms effects of the computer revolution onreading and higher education feels like a bracing, sophisticated exchange of ideas. Like conversation, O'Donnellʼs thesis is not terribly unified or orderly. He often makessidetracks from his focus on high technology and literacy into explaining such interestingthings as how we choose our cultural ancestry instead of merely evolving out of it, the errors (...) of current education, and perhaps more than you ever wanted to know aboutother avatars of the word such as St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and Cassiodorus. Greatcover too. (shrink)
William J. Gavin is a leading authority on the philosophy of William James. For over forty-five years, his work embodies Jamesian virtues of openness, interdisciplinarity, and novelty. His latest book is Jamesian in the best sense.Gavin investigates the “indissoluble marriage” between “radical empiricism” and “the will to believe”—perennial themes in the Jamesian corpus. Starting with an important heuristic distinction between “manifest” and “latent” meanings, Gavin guides the reader through a landscape where objectivity and subjectivity often collide, resulting in powerful (...) experiential implications. Questions concerning belief, will, mortality, and God reflexively fold upon themselves in ways leading to the .. (shrink)