Two philosophical traditions with much in common, (classical) pragmatism and (Heidegger's) hermeneutic philosophy, are here\ncompared with respect to their approach to the philosophy of science. Both emphasize action as a mode of interpreting experience.\nBoth have developed important categories – inquiry, meaning, theory, praxis, coping, historicity, life-world – and each has\noffered an alternative to the more traditional philosophies of science stemming from Descartes, Hume, and Comte. Pragmatism's\nabduction works with the dual perspectives of theory (as explanation) and praxis (as culture). The hermeneutical (...) circle depends\nin addition on the lifeworld as background source of ontological meaning and resource for strategies of inquiry. Thus a hermeneutical\nphilosophy of research involves three components: lifeworld (as ontological and strategic), theory (as explanatory), and praxis\n(as constitutive of culture). (shrink)
Naturalism and_Pragmatism offers reflections on the pragmatic tradition from a fresh perspective: that of a working neuroscientist. Though naturalism and evolution are not the only topics of discussions, they are important themes of the book. Both pragmatism and modern behavioural science grew up in the wake of Darwin's theory of evolution. Indeed it is impossible to imagine either without evolutionary theory and the more general nineteenth-century trend of naturalism from which modern evolutionary theory emerged. And yet, for a variety of (...) reasons, these common origins have not ensured a close affinity between pragmatic philosophy and the behavioural sciences. Among the wide diversity of scientific theories of human cognition and its evolutionary origins, only a few are congenial to pragmatism in its original or 'classical' form, which embraces the full range of human experience. Thus this book presents not only a scientist's take on the pragmatic tradition, but also a pragmatist's take on the evolution of the human problem solving. (shrink)
Although we usually identify our abilities to reason, to adapt to situations, and to solve problems with the mind, recent research has shown that we should not, in fact, detach these abilities from the body. This work provides an integrative framework for understanding how these abilities are affected by visceral reactions. Schulkin presents provocative neuroscientific research demonstrating that thought is not on one side and bodily sensibility on the other; from a biological point of view, they are integrated. Schulkin further (...) argues that this integration has important implications for judgements about art and music, moral sensibilities, attraction and revulsion, and our perpetual inclination to explain ourselves and our surroundings. (shrink)
Fairness is a normative ideal that runs through sports. After all, what defines our cultural evolution in general is a conception of morality, whether thought of in the context of the state, tribe, team, or individual. Human dignity is also one of the important features of sport. Sport is reality for the better part of our nature. We find inspiration for the meaning of life in sport; dignity, social contact, rising to show the “better angel” overcoming adversity, managing defeat, the (...) wondrous sense of well-earned and arduous victory, graciousness toward others in their defeat. While human dignity and solidarity are particularly expressed in the context of the Special Olympics, adaptation, well-being, and the role of sport are important elements in the context of all sporting events. Sport remains timeless while being a lifelong activity for many. (shrink)
Empathy represents one of the basic forms of human expression. Empathy evolved to facilitate social behavior. The perception action model, extended to empathy, is an exciting paradigm in which to undertake contemporary cognitive and comparative neuroscience. It renders the perception of events as an active affair, both when watching others, and when performing actions.
Body representations traverse the whole of the brain. They provide vital sources of information for every facet of an animal’s behavior, and such direct neural connectivity of visceral input throughout the nervous system demonstrates just how strongly cognitive systems are linked to bodily representations. At each level of the neural axis there are visceral appraisal systems that are integral in the organization of action. Cognition is not one side of a divide and viscera the other, with action merely a reflexive (...) outcome. There is no divide between cognition and bodily functions once the brain is involved. Cognitive mechanisms that permeate neural function are a cardinal piece of biological function and adaptation. (shrink)
In this paper we attempt to reconcile two important, current intellectual traditions: Darwinism and social constructionism. We believe that these two schools have important points of contact that have been obscured because each school has feared that the other wanted to put it out of business. We try to show that both traditions have much to of offer psychology, a discipline that has often been too individualistic, too concerned with the private and the subjective. The spirit of American pragmatism can (...) be found in both camps; like the social constructivists, pragmatists focused on social transaction rather than internal happening, and like the Darwinian they were rooted in functionalism and the biological. (shrink)
Earlier views associated cognition with the cortex, and the will with sub-cortical non-cognitive structures. But an emerging perspective is that cognition runs throughout the central nervous sys- tem, including areas typically linked to motor control. It is an important realization that perceptual/effector systems are pregnant with cognitive resources. Staying the course to achieve one 's goals amidst diverse pulls is the primary function of the will. One adaptation is to pre-commit oneself to future recursive actions consistent with one's plans. Diverse (...) brain regions are tied to the conflicts of competing interests that require willpower to persevere towards our longer-term goals. While it is debatable to what extent we are conscious of our willpower and its causal efficacy, the concept of the will is a fundamental category in understanding our mental architecture and a piece of our evolutionary history. (shrink)
The moral sentiments adumbrated by Adam Smith and Charles Darwin reflect some of our basic social appraisals of each other. One set of moral appraisals reflects disgust and withdrawal, a form of contempt. Another set of moral appraisals reflects active concern responses, an appreciation of the experiences (sympathy for some- one)of other individuals and approach related behaviors. While no one set of neural structures is designed for only moral appraisals, a diverse set of neural regions that include the gustatory/visceral neural (...) axis, basal ganglia and iverse neocortical sites underlie moral judgment. (shrink)
The human adventure in education is one of imperfect expression, punctuated by moments of insight. Education cultivates these epiphanies and nurtures their possible continuation. But even without major or minor insights, education cultivates the appreciation of the good, the beautiful, and the true. An experimentalist's sensibility lies amid the humanist's grasp of the myriad ways of trying to understand our existence. To bridge discourse is to appreciate the languages of other cultures, which reveal the nuances of life and experience.
Classical pragmatism construed mind as an adaptive organ rooted in biology; biology was not one side and culture on the other. The cognitive systems underlie adaptation in response to the precarious and in the search for the stable and more secure that result in diverse forms of inquiry. Cognitive systems are rooted in action, and classical pragmatism knotted our sense of ourselves in response to nature and our cultural evolution. Cognitive systems should be demythologized away from Cartesian detachment, and towards (...) transactions with others and with nature. (shrink)
The decision for women to go on hormone therapy remains controversial. An historical oscillation of beliefs exists related in part to expectations of the medicinal value of HT over longer-term use beyond the initial peri-menonpausal period. Studies thought to resolve issues surrounding the efficacy of HT were perhaps overstated as confusion still permeates the decision making with regard to HT. Overzealous advertising and exaggerated understanding of the results undermine patient and physician decision making. There remains no magic bullet with regard (...) to HT. What remains is still the possibility of HT longer-term efficacy on diverse end organ systems with pockets of clinical and scientific ambiguity while working to engender reasonable expectations. (shrink)
Humans come prepared to recognize two fundamental features of our surroundings: animate objects and agents. This recognition begins early in ontogeny and pervades our ecological and social space. This cognitive capacity reveals an important adaptation and sets the conditions for pervasive shared experiences. One feature of our species and our evolved cephalic substrates is that we are prepared to recognize self-propelled action in others. Our cultural evolution is knotted to an expanding sense of shared experiences.
Shulkin interweaves his dual backgrounds in neurobiological sciences and American pragmatic philosophy to argue that reason is inquiry, an engagement of reality, and can be described in the same terms a scientist uses when conducting and ...