Ayahuasca is a psychoactive beverage that is mostly used in ritualized settings (Santo Daime rituals, neo-shamanic rituals, and even do-it-yourself-rituals). It is a common practice in the investigated socio-cultural field to call these settings “healing rituals.” For this study, 15 people who underwent ayahuasca (self-)therapy for a particular disease like chronic pain, cancer, asthma, depression, alcohol abuse, or Hepatitis C were interviewed twice about their subjective concepts and beliefs on ayahuasca and healing. Qualitative data analysis revealed a variety of motivational (...) patterns, subjective effects, and user types. Most participants were convinced that ayahuasca had influenced their illness positively or improved their coping with their illness. More importantly, it had enhanced their well being in general. As a result, we concluded that the effects of ayahuasca should not be reduced to a pharmacological model. The substance should be conceptualized as a psychological catalyst that unfolds within different fields of sociocultural ideas. (shrink)
Egoism and altruism are unequal contenders in the explanation of human behaviour. While egoism tends to be viewed as natural and unproblematic, altruism has always been treated with suspicion, and it has often been argued that apparent cases of altruistic behaviour might really just be some special form of egoism. The reason for this is that egoism fits into our usual theoretical views of human behaviour in a way that altruism does not. This is true on the biological level, where (...) an evolutionary account seems to favour egoism, as well as on the psychological level, where an account of self-interested motivation is deeply rooted in folk psychology and in the economic model of human behaviour. While altruism has started to receive increasing support in both biological and psychological debates over the last decades, this paper focuses on yet another level, where egoism is still widely taken for granted. Philosophical egoism is the view that, on the ultimate level of intentional explanation, all action is motivated by one of the agent's desires. This view is supported by the standard notion that for a complex of behaviour to be an action, there has to be a way to account for that behaviour in terms of the agent's own pro-attitudes. Psychological altruists, it is claimed, are philosophical egoists in that they are motivated by desires that have the other's benefit rather than the agent's own for its ultimate object. This paper casts doubt on this thesis, arguing that empathetic agents act on other people's pro-attitudes in very much the same way as agents usually act on their own, and that while other-directed desires do play an important role in many cases of psychologically altruistic action, they are not necessary in explanations of some of the most basic and most pervasive types of human altruistic behaviour. The paper concludes with the claim that philosophical egoism is really a cultural value rather than a conceptual feature of action. (shrink)
Schmid divides the book into five main discussions: the historical background of the dialogue; the relation of form and content in a Platonic dialogue and specific structural and aesthetic features of the Laches; the first half of the ...
La sensatez o moderación es un tema central que atraviesa diversos diálogos de Platón, en los cuales esta virtud se presenta en relación con el amor, el conocimiento de sí y la política. Esta virtud es abordada por Walter T. Schmid en su artículo “Socratic Moderation and Self-Knowledge”, publicado en el volumen 21 del Journal of The History of Philosophy, como resultado del seminario The Philosophy of Sócrates, organizado en 1981 por Gregory Vlastos, explorando la exposición del término sophrosyne (...) no solo en el Cármides, sino a través de distintos diálogos. (shrink)
We give a detailed account of the Algebraically Closed and Existentially Closed members of the second Lee class B 2 of distributive p-algebras, culminating in an explicit construction of the countable homogeneous universal model of B 2. The axioms of Schmid ,  for the AC and EC members of B 2 are reduced to what we prove to be an irredundant set of axioms. The central tools used in this study are the strong duality of Clark and Davey (...)  for B 2 and the method of Clark  for constructing AC and EC algebras using a strong duality. Applied to B 2, this method transfers the entire discussion into an equivalent dual category X 2 of Boolean spaces which carry a pair of tightly interacting orderings. The doubly ordered spaces of X 2 prove to be much more readily constructed and analyzed than the corresponding algebras in B 2. (shrink)
It has been claimed in the literature that collective intentionality and group attitudes presuppose some “sense of ‘us’” among the participants (other labels sometimes used are “sense of community,” “communal awareness,” “shared point of view,” or “we-perspective”). While this seems plausible enough on an intuitive level, little attention has been paid so far to the question of what the nature and role of this mysterious “sense of ‘us’” might be. This paper states (and argues for) the following five claims: (1) (...) it is neither the case that the sense in question has the community (or “us”) in its content or as its object nor does the attitude in question presuppose a preexistent community (or “us”) as its subject. (2) The “sense of ‘us’” is plural pre-reflective self-awareness. (3) Plural pre-reflective self-awareness plays the same role in the constitution of a common mind that singular pre-reflective self-awareness plays in the individual mind. (4) The most important conceptions of plural subjects, collective persons, or group agents in the current literature fail to recognize the nature and role of plural self-awareness, and therefore fall short in important respects. (5) In spite of the striking similarities between the plural and the singular mind, there are important differences to consider. The authority of the singular first person point of view has no equivalent in the plural case. (shrink)
This paper examines and compares the ways in which intentions of the singular kind and the plural kind are subjective. Are intentions of the plural kind ours in the same way intentions of the singular kind are mine? Starting with the singular case, it is argued that “I intend” is subjective in virtue of self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is special in that it is self-identifying, self-validating, self-committing, and self-authorizing. Moving to the plural form, it is argued that in spite of apparent differences, (...) attitudes of the form “we intend” are subjective in the same way. The self-knowledge at work here is plural rather than singular. This supports a plural subject account of collective intentionality. It is argued that the worries sometimes raised in the literature against the metaphysical “spookiness” of plural subjects are due to a fundamental misconception of the way in which attitudes of either kind –singular and plural – are subjective. (shrink)
This paper presents the NeoCrawler – a tailor-made webcrawler, which identifies and retrieves neologisms from the Internet and systematically monitors the use of detected neologisms on the web by means of weekly searches. It enables researchers to use the web as a corpus in order to investigate the dynamics of lexical innovation on a large-scale and systematic basis. The NeoCrawler represents an innovative web-mining tool which opens up new opportunities for linguists to tackle a number of unresolved and under-researched issues (...) in the field of lexical innovation. This paper presents the design as well as the most important characteristics of two modules, the Discoverer and the Observer, with regard to the usage-based study of lexical innovation and diffusion. (shrink)
Under normal circumstances, saying that you have a thought, a belief, a desire, or an intention differs from saying that somebody (who happens to be you) has that attitude. The former statement comes with some form of first person authority and constitutes commitments that are not involved in the latter case. Speaking with first person authority, and thereby publicly committing oneself, is a practice that plays an important role in our communication and in our understanding of what it means to (...) be a person. In their Group Agency, Christian List and Philip Pettit argue that some corporations are agents with attitudes of their own, and they claim that they are persons. The question on which this paper is focused is: Can corporations (groups with attitudes and the capacity for linguistic communication) participate in this practice, that is, can they express their attitudes with first person authority, and thereby enter first person commitments? The first section of the paper gives a rough (and, I hope, ecumenical) account of some features of first person authority and commitment. The second section examines if and how this account of first person authority carries over to corporations. It is argued that the possibility for groups to express their attitudes with straightforward first person authority, and thus to enter first person commitments, are extremely limited. The third part of the paper argues that while under normal circumstances, a member’s expression of her group’s attitudes in first person plural terms does not constitute straightforward first person authority, it does come with something resembling some aspects of the first-personal commitments encountered in the singular case. (shrink)
The rapid expansion of research on Brain-Computer Interfaces is not only due to the promising solutions offered for persons with physical impairments. There is also a heightened need for understanding BCIs due to the challenges regarding ethics presented by new technology, especially in its impact on the relationship between man and machine. Here we endeavor to present a scoping review of current studies in the field to gain insight into the complexity of BCI use. By examining studies related to BCIs (...) that employ social research methods, we seek to demonstrate the multitude of approaches and concerns from various angles in considering the social and human impact of BCI technology. For this scoping review of research on BCIs’ social and ethical implications, we systematically analyzed six databases, encompassing the fields of medicine, psychology, and the social sciences, in order to identify empirical studies on BCIs. The search yielded 73 publications that employ quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods. Of the 73 publications, 71 studies address the user perspective. Some studies extend to consideration of other BCI stakeholders such as medical technology experts, caregivers, or health care professionals. The majority of the studies employ quantitative methods. Recurring themes across the studies examined were general user opinion towards BCI, central technical or social issues reported, requests/demands made by users of the technology, the potential/future of BCIs, and ethical aspects of BCIs. Our findings indicate that while technical aspects of BCIs such as usability or feasibility are being studied extensively, comparatively little in-depth research has been done on the self-image and self-experience of the BCI user. In general there is also a lack of focus or examination of the caregiver’s perspective. (shrink)
In the Philosophy of Sport literature, play has been widely conceived, in whole or part, as an autotelic activity; that is, an activity pursued for intrinsic factors. I examine several versions of the conception of play as an autotelic activity. Given these different accounts, I raise the question whether the concept of autotelic play is tenable. I examine three possibilities: (i) accept the concept of autotelic play and reject the possibility of satisfying the conditions for play activities; (ii) accept the (...) concept and acknowledge that play refers to a range of activities ranging from the purely autotelic to something less; and, (iii) reject the definition of play as an autotelic activity and redefine play. I argue that the third option is the best avenue for constructing a viable account of play. In defending this third option, I argue that play activities are value laden, that the value of play is an empirical matter, and that the effect of motivating reasons on behavior is the basis for determining which motivating reasons count as intrinsic or extrinsic. I conclude that the weight of the arguments suggest we would be well-served to redefine and move beyond the notion of autotelic play. (shrink)
This article focuses on a part of the “nuclear condition” that is often overlooked in philosophical discussions: that of materiality. Connecting the spheres of nuclear weapons, and of nuclear power generation, are the materials that bombs and electricity can be made of, and the machines that produce either enriched uranium or plutonium. We now have evidence of just how fragile the machines and devices were that sustained the nuclear age, but also how tenuous and artificial the boundary is that we (...) assume between “peaceful” and “military” purposes. And yet, each new “nuclear deal” affirms this boundary, and the possibility of its existence. While the community of scholars and policymakers who prioritize nuclear security strive to label as many steps of the process as “special,” and therefore subject to inspection, accounting, and international control, multinational power companies and national nuclear industries promote “technical fixes” for lingering safety concerns, and advance the opposite strategy: to “normalize” many processes to the point of including severe accident response into the industry’s business-as-usual. The article argues that different kinds of “nuclearities” have increasingly become accepted as “normal”: on one hand, international diplomacy that foregrounds legal and regulatory strategies to nip potential nuclear weapons programs in the bud, and on the other, national nuclear power programs growing their fleets and attempting to expand their market reach. By accepting the divide between the “security community” and the “safety community” as the new “nuclear normalcy,” the shared nuclear materiality threatens to slip out of view, or at the very least, out of focus. (shrink)
Abstract The specter of the ?group mind? or ?collective subject? plays a crucial and fateful role in the current debate on collective intentionality. Fear of the group mind is one important reason why philosophers of collective intentionality resort to individualism. It is argued here that this measure taken against the group mind is as unnecessary as it is detrimental to our understanding of what it means to share an intention. A non-individualistic concept of shared intentionality does not necessarily have to (...) get stuck with some collectivist super-agent. Rather, the specter of the group mind arises from a deep-seated ?Cartesian? preconception concerning intentionality, which we should try to overcome. *I am greatly indebted to Raimo Tuomela for his comments. Also, I wish to thank Michael Bratman, Fabienne Peter, Richard Raatzsch and Katrin Meyer. (shrink)
The focus on animal welfare in society has increased during the last 50 years. Animal welfare legislation and private standards have developed, and today many farmers within animal production have both governmental legislation and private standards to comply with. In this paper intentions and values are described that were expressed in 14 animal welfare legislation and standards in four European countries; Sweden, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. It is also discussed if the legislation and standards actually accomplish what they, in (...) their overall description and ethics, claimed to do, i.e. if this is followed up by relevant paragraphs in the actual body of the text in the legislation and standards respectively. The method used was an on-line questionnaire from the EconWelfare research project and text analyses. This study shows that the ethical values within a set of legislation or private standards are not always consistently implemented, and it is not always possible to follow a thread between the intentions mentioned initially and the actual details of the legislation or standard. Since values will differ so will also the animal welfare levels and the implications of similar concepts in the regulations. In general, the regulations described were not based on animal welfare considerations only, but also other aspects, such as food safety, meat quality, environmental aspects and socio-economic aspects were taken into account. This is understandable, but creates a gap between explicit and implicit values, which we argue, can be overcome if such considerations are made more transparent to the citizens/consumers. (shrink)
Creating focal lesions in primary visual cortex (V1) provides an opportunity to study the role of extra-geniculo-striate pathways for activating extrastriate visual cortex. Previous studies have shown that more than 95% of neurons in macaque area V2 and V3 stop firing after reversibly cooling V1 [1,2,3]. However, no studies on long term recovery in areas V2, V3 following permanent V1 lesions have been reported in the macaque. Here we use macaque fMRI to study area V2, V3 activity patterns from 1 (...) to 22 months after lesioning area V1. We find that visually driven BOLD responses persist inside the V1-lesion projection zones (LPZ) of areas V2 and V3, but are reduced in strength by ,70%, on average, compared to prelesion levels. Monitoring the LPZ activity over time starting one month following the V1 lesion did not reveal systematic changes in BOLD signal amplitude. Surprisingly, the retinotopic organization inside the LPZ of areas V2, V3 remained similar to that of the non-lesioned hemisphere, suggesting that LPZ activation in V2, V3 is not the result of input arising from nearby (non-lesioned) V1 cortex. Electrophysiology recordings of multi-unit activity corroborated the BOLD observations: visually driven multi-unit responses could be elicited inside the V2 LPZ, even when the visual stimulus was entirely contained within the scotoma induced by the V1 lesion. Restricting the stimulus to the intact visual hemi-field produced no significant BOLD modulation inside the V2, V3 LPZs. We conclude that the observed activity patterns are largely mediated by parallel, V1-bypassing, subcortical pathways that can activate areas V2 and V3 in the absence of V1 input. Such pathways may contribute to the behavioral phenomenon of blindsight. (shrink)
This chapter briefly summarises work by four key figures in the phenomenological philosophy of science: Edmund Husserl; Martin Heidegger; Patrick Heelan; and Joseph J. Kockelmans. In addition, some comparison is made with well-known figures in mainstream philosophy of science, and suggestions are given for further readings in the phenomenological philosophy of science.
This chapter investigates the idea of collective epistemic commonality suggested by Charles Taylor's example, and contrasts it with a distributive notion of epistemic commonality. It describes a number of accounts of collective epistemic commonality, and then argues that, contrary to what Taylor suggests, conversation is not constitutive of collective epistemic commonality as such, but rather presupposes basic forms of collective epistemic commonality. Taylor's remarks indicate that understanding the consensus is insufficient as whatever proposition people rationally and openly accept in conversation. (...) It is suggested that joint attitudes are irreducible, relational, and pre-reflective, and that such attitudes are joint, in the respect that the participants are aware of themselves as a ‘we’. Highly inferential beliefs need some form of communication, and are probably really some form of joint commitment. (shrink)
In the current debate on economic rationality, Amartya Sen's analysis of the structure of commitment plays a uniquely important role . However, Sen is not alone in pitting committed action against the standard model of rational behavior. Before turning to Sen's analysis in section 2 of this paper, I shall start with an observation concerning some of the other relevant accounts.
This essay develops a Kantian theory of sport which addresses: (1) Kant?s categories of aesthetic judgment (2) a comparable analysis applied to athletic volition; (3) aesthetic cognition and experience and athletic volition and experience; (4) ?free? and ?attached? beauty; (5) Kant?s theory of teleological judgment; (6) the moral concept of a ?kingdom of ends? and sportsmanship; (7) the beautiful and the sublime in sport-experience; (8) respect and religious emotion in sport-experience; (9) the Kantian system and philosophical anthropology; and (10) sport (...) and self-knowledge. (shrink)