When comparing diverse philosophical traditions, it becomes necessary to establish a common point of departure. This paper offers a comparative analysis of Advaita Vedānta Hinduism and esoteric Christianity, as represented by the two highly celebrated figures of Śaṅkara and Nicholas Cusanus, respectively. The common point of departure on which I base this comparison is the concept of “non-duality”—a concept that is fitting for at least two reasons. First, it is general enough to encompass both traditions, pervading the work of each (...) figure, and thus allowing for a kind of “shared language.” Second, it is specific enough to identify a set of core and well-defined principles amenable to systematic study, chief among which are the notions of the “Absolute” as an infinite unity that transcends all determinations and exceeds all oppositions, and the world as an ontologically ambiguous “reflection” that simultaneously hides and manifests its meta-ontological Principle. In drawing these connections, I hope to show how the concept of non-duality provides the possibility for a mutual understanding among diverse traditions at the philosophical level. (shrink)
This collection of articles pays homage to the creativity and scientific rigor Jerome Singer has brought to the study of consciousness and play. It will interest personality, social, clinical and developmental psychologists alike.
Surely since the Enlightenment, if not before, the study of mind has centered principally on how man achieves a “true” knowledge of the world. Emphasis in this pursuit has varied, of course: empiricists have concentrated on the mind’s interplay with an external world of nature, hoping to find the key in the association of sensations and ideas, while rationalists have looked inward to the powers of mind itself for the principles of right reason. The objective, in either case, has been (...) to discover how we achieve “reality,” that is to say, how we get a reliable fix on the world, a world that is, as it were, assumed to be immutable and, as it were, “there to be observed.”This quest has, of course, had a profound effect on the development of psychology, and the empiricist and rationalist traditions have dominated our conceptions of how the mind grows and how it gets its grasp on the “real world.” Indeed, at midcentury Gestalt theory represented the rationalist wing of this enterprise and American learning theory the empiricist. Both gave accounts of mental development as proceeding in some more or less linear and uniform fashion from an initial incompetence in grasping reality to a final competence, in one case attributing it to the work out of internal processes or mental organization, and in the other to some unspecified principle of reflection by which—whether through reinforcement, association, or conditioning—we came to respond to the world “as it is.” There have always been dissidents who challenged these views, but conjectures about human mental development have been influenced far more by majoritarian rationalism and empiricism than by these dissident voices. Jerome Bruner is research professor of psychology at New York University, where he is also serving as Meyer Visiting Professor of Law. His most recent book, Acts of Meaning, appeared in 1990. In 1987 he received the Balzan Prize for “a lifetime contribution to the study of human psychology.”. (shrink)
In what follows I wish to make a contribution to the clarification of the logic of the name ‘God’. I will do so in two stages. In the first stage I will be investigating the meaning of names in general, and how names refer. In the second stage I will attempt to apply the findings of the first stage to the name ‘God’, in light of the way that name functions in religious discourse.
When are sentences A and B the same belief? Following Quine, observation sentences A and B are the same belief when they share the same stimulus–meaning, similar patterns of assent and dissent by subjects when the sentences are queried in the presence of the same non–linguistic stimuli. As for non–observation sentences we note a suggestion of Karl Schick: apply linguistic stimuli in the form of utterances of the language, and map the connections between sentences in the language in terms of (...) linguistic conditioned–responses to utterances. The mapping will yield a network of relations between non–observation sentences themselves, and between the latter and observation sentences at the ‘periphery’. Thus, each sentence receives its place in the overall criss–crossing of relations in the network of the language. Out of a commitment to the ‘autonomy of meaning’, we can say that when A and B are non–observational, they are the same belief when they occupy similar places in the network of sentences in a given language, or corresponding places in corresponding networks of two languages. (shrink)
Christopher Boorse’s biostatistical theory of medical disorder claims that biological part-dysfunction (i.e., failure of an internal mechanism to perform its biological function), a factual criterion, is both necessary and sufficient for disorder. Jerome Wakefield’s harmful dysfunction analysis of medical disorder agrees that part-dysfunction is necessary but rejects the sufficiency claim, maintaining that disorder also requires that the part-dysfunction causes harm to the individual, a value criterion. In this paper, I present two considerations against the sufficiency claim. First, I analyze (...) Boorse’s central argument for the sufficiency claim, the “pathologist argument,” which takes pathologists’ intuitions about pathology as determinative of medical disorder and conclude that it begs the question and fails to support the sufficiency claim. Second, I present four counterexamples from the medical literature in which salient part-dysfunctions are considered nondisorders, including healthy disease carriers, HIV-positive status, benign mutations, and situs inversus totalis, thus falsifying the sufficiency claim and supporting the harm criterion. (shrink)
This remarkable book is the most comprehensive study ever written of the history of moral philosophy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Its aim is to set Kant's still influential ethics in its historical context by showing in detail what the central questions in moral philosophy were for him and how he arrived at his own distinctive ethical views. The book is organised into four main sections, each exploring moral philosophy by discussing the work of many influential philosophers of the (...) seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In an epilogue the author discusses Kant's view of his own historicity, and of the aims of moral philosophy. In its range, in its analyses of many philosophers not discussed elsewhere, and in revealing the subtle interweaving of religious and political thought with moral philosophy, this is an unprecedented account of the evolution of Kant's ethics. (shrink)
This paper presents a general computational treatment of how mammals are able to deal with visual objects and environments. The model tries to cover the entire range from behavior and phenomenological experience to detailed neural encodings in crude but computationally plausible reductive steps. The problems addressed include perceptual constancies, eye movements and the stable visual world, object descriptions, perceptual generalizations, and the representation of extrapersonal space.The entire development is based on an action-oriented notion of perception. The observer is assumed to (...) be continuously sampling the ambient light for information of current value. The central problem of vision is taken to be categorizing and locating objects in the environment. The critical step in this process is the linking of visual information to symbolic object descriptions; this is calledindexing, from the analogy of identifying a book from index terms. The system must also identifysituationsand use this knowledge to guide movement and other actions in the environment. The treatment focuses on the different representations of information used in the visual system.The four representational frames capture information in the following forms: retinotopic, head-based, symbolic, and allocentric. The functional roles of the four frames, the communication among them, and their suggested neurophysiological realization constitute the core of the paper. The model is perforce crude, but appears to be consistent with all relevant findings. (shrink)
In examining the puzzle of experience, and its possible solutions, Valberg discusses relevant views of Hume, Kant, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, and Strawson, as well as ideas from the recent philosophy of perception. Finally, he describes and analyzes a manifestation of the puzzle outside philosophy, in everyday experience.
A popular idea at present is that emotions are perceptions of values. Most defenders of this idea have interpreted it as the perceptual thesis that emotions present (rather than merely represent) evaluative states of affairs in the way sensory experiences present us with sensible aspects of the world. We argue against the perceptual thesis. We show that the phenomenology of emotions is compatible with the fact that the evaluative aspect of apparent emotional contents has been incorporated from outside. We then (...) deal with the only two views that can make sense of the perceptual thesis. On the response–dependence view, emotional experiences present evaluative responsedependent properties (being fearsome, being disgusting, etc.) in the way visual experiences present response-dependent properties such as colors. On the response–independence view, emotional experiences present evaluative response-independent properties (being dangerous, being indigestible, etc.), conceived as ‘Gestalten’ independent of emotional feelings themselves. We show that neither view can make plausible the idea that emotions present values as such, i.e., in an open and transparent way. If emotions have apparent evaluative contents, this is in fact due to evaluative enrichments of the non-evaluative presentational contents of emotions. (shrink)
We all know that doctors accept gifts from drug companies, ranging from pens and coffee mugs to free vacations at luxurious resorts. But as the former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Journal of Medicine reveals in this shocking expose, these innocuous-seeming gifts are just the tip of an iceberg that is distorting the practice of medicine and jeopardizing the health of millions of Americans today. In On the Take, Dr. Jerome Kassirer offers an unsettling look at the pervasive payoffs (...) that physicians take from big drug companies and other medical suppliers, arguing that the billion-dollar onslaught of industry money has deflected many physicians' moral compasses and directly impacted the everyday care we receive from the doctors and institutions we trust most. Underscored by countless chilling untold stories, the book illuminates the financial connections between the wealthy companies that make drugs and the doctors who prescribe them. Kassirer details the shocking extent of these financial enticements and explains how they encourage bias, promote dangerously misleading medical information, raise the cost of medical care, and breed distrust. Among the questionable practices he describes are: the disturbing number of senior academic physicians who have financial arrangements with drug companies; the unregulated "front" organizations that advocate certain drugs; the creation of biased medical education materials by the drug companies themselves; and the use of financially conflicted physicians to write clinical practice guidelines or to testify before the FDA in support of a particular drug. A brilliant diagnosis of an epidemic of greed, On the Take offers insight into how we can cure the medical profession and restore our trust in doctors and hospitals. (shrink)
In ‘Rethinking Disease’, Powell and Scarffe1 propose what in effect is a modification of Jerome Wakefield’s2 3 harmful dysfunction analysis of medical disorder. The HDA maintains that ‘disorder’ is a hybrid factual and value concept requiring that a biological dysfunction, understood as a failure of some feature to perform a naturally selected function, causes harm to the individual as evaluated by social values. Powell and Scarffe accept both the HDA’s evolutionary biological function component and its incorporation of a value (...) component. Their proposed ‘new twist’ is to revise the value component: ‘Our proposed definition of disease is as follows: a biomedical state is a disease only if it implicates a biological dysfunction that is, or would be, properly disvalued’. So, they propose that a disorder is a ‘properly disvalued dysfunction’ rather than a ‘harmful dysfunction’, an approach they term ‘thickly normative’ in contrast to the thin normative approach of the HDA. There has been a surge of interest recently in better understanding the ‘harm’ component of the HDA. Powell and Scarffe’s analysis is a helpful contribution to this discussion. We focus here exclusively on their proposal regarding the analysis of the concept of disorder and ignore many important related issues that the authors address, ranging from prioritising resource allocation between disorders and non-disorders to whether the concept of disorder should be replaced by a generic welfarist concept. The resolution of these additional issues depends on first understanding ‘disorder’. The authors’ proposed changes to the HDA also deserve evaluation because the HDA, which has been endorsed by leading nosologists,4 plays an influential role in nosological debate across categories of disorder ranging, for example, from sexual paraphilias5 to psychopathy.6 A basic problem is that Powell and Scarffe misinterpret …. (shrink)
Living in the Borderland addresses the evolution of Western consciousness and describes the emergence of the 'Borderland,' a spectrum of reality that is beyond the rational yet is palpable to an increasing number of individuals. Building on Jungian theory, Jerome Bernstein argues that a greater openness to transrational reality experienced by Borderland personalities allows new possibilities for understanding and healing confounding clinical and developmental enigmas. In three sections, this book charts the evolution of Western consciousness, examines the psychological and (...) clinical implications and looks at how the new Borderland consciousness bridges the mind-body divide. It challenges the standard clinical model, which views normality as an absence of pathology and equates normality with the rational, and abnormality with the transrational. Jerome Bernstein describes how psychotherapy itself often contributes to the alienation of many Borderland personalities by misdiagnosing the difference between the pathological and the sacred and uses case studies to illustrate the potential such misdiagnoses have for causing serious psychic and emotional damage to the patient. This challenge to the orthodoxies and complacencies of Western medicine's concept of pathology will interest Jungian Analysts, Psychoanalysts, Psychotherapists and Psychiatrists. (shrink)
This book is a study of Hume and Spinoza and the relationship of philosophical theories of the emotions to psychological theories of therapy. Arguing that Spinoza's cognitivist theory of emotions is closer to the truth, it is shown that that provides the beginning of an understanding of how Freudian or, more generally, analytic therapies make philosophic sense. That is, we can begin to understand how people's emotional lives might be transformed by consideration and interpretation of their memories, beliefs, fantasies; in (...) other words, how knowledge might help to make one free. (shrink)
Wakefield’s harmful dysfunction analysis asserts that the concept of medical disorder includes a naturalistic component of dysfunction and a value component, both of which are required for disorder attributions. Muckler and Taylor, defending a purely naturalist, value-free understanding of disorder, argue that harm is not necessary for disorder. They provide three examples of dysfunctions that, they claim, are considered disorders but are entirely harmless: mild mononucleosis, cowpox that prevents smallpox, and minor perceptual deficits. They also reject the proposal that dysfunctions (...) need only be typically harmful to qualify as disorders. We argue that the proposed counterexamples are, in fact, considered harmful; thus, they fail to disconfirm the harm requirement: incapacity for exertion is inherently harmful, whether or not exertion occurs, cowpox is directly harmful irrespective of indirect benefits, and colorblindness and anosmia are considered harmful by those who consider them disorders. We also defend the typicality qualifier as viably addressing some apparently harmless disorders and argue that a dysfunction’s harmfulness is best understood in dispositional terms. (shrink)
In this two-part analysis, I analyze Marc Lewis’s arguments against the brain-disease view of substance addiction and for a developmental-learning approach that demedicalizes addiction. I focus especially on the question of whether addiction is a medical disorder. In Part 1, I argued that, even if one accepts Lewis’s critique of the brain evidence presented for the brain-disease view, his arguments fail to establish that addiction is not a disorder. Relying on my harmful dysfunction analysis of disorder, I defended the view (...) that addiction is a medical disorder and a brain disorder. In Part 2, I consider some broader philosophical issues raised by Lewis’s arguments: I consider a larger puzzle, at the heart of the neo-Kraepelinian program in contemporary psychiatry, that is raised by Lewis’s argument that addiction is not a disorder because the brain displays no damage but only normal learning: must all mental disorders be brain disorders, or can mental disorders occur in normal brains? I argue that mental disorders can occur in normal brains. I critique Lewis’s response to the evolutionary “novel environment” approach to explaining why addiction is a disorder. Lewis agrees with brain-disease proponents that interpreting addiction as brain disorder relieves addicts of moral censure, but I argue that moral defect and brain disease are not exclusive. Finally, I consider Lewis’s “developmental-learning” account of addiction that encourages positive and empowering narrativizing of addiction, but I argue that the developmental-learning view is vacuous due to use of an overly broad notion of “development.”. (shrink)
This, the third edition of Fundamentals of Experimental Design, has five added chapters - those on regression (Chapters 12, 14, and 15), multivariate analysis (Chapter 18), and the matrix algebra appropriate to the level of presentation of this material (Chapter 13). I have noted in the preface other additions in this third edition. The added material should enhance the value of the book as a textbook and a reference. Given these additions, however, alternative approaches in using the current edition as (...) a textbook may merit consideration. It may help to note that Chapters 16 and 17 (analysis of covariance, trend analysis) do not depend on the material in Chapters 12 through 15, although the student should know something about simple linear regression to be able to understand fully the material in Chapters 16 and 17. In any event, the instructor who wants to teach only the material in the first two editions can do so by dropping the added chapters - 12 through 15, and 18 - from the syllabus. (shrink)
Is jealousy eliminable? At what cost? Must it be pathological? Distinctions between jealousy and envy (and between malicious and admiring envy) are explored, as are the psychological and social roots of both. Jealousy need not be mere possessiveness, it may have more to do with self-identity, and envy should not be confused with legitimate resentment of injustice. The relations of jealousy to claims of right, to certain underlying fears, and to certain forms of love are considered.
This article aims to demonstrate that a careful examination of Peirce's original manuscripts shows that there are five main periods in Peirce's evolution in his mathematical and philosophical conceptualizations of continuity. The aim of this article is also to establish the relevance of Peirce's reflections on continuity for philosophers and mathematicians.
Part I: The birth of religious naturalism -- Philosophical religious naturalism -- Theological religious naturalism -- Analyzing the issues -- Interlude religious naturalism in literature -- Part II: The rebirth of religious naturalism -- Sources of religious insight -- Current issues in religious naturalism -- Other current religious naturalists -- Conclusion: Living religiously as a naturalist.
The aim of this paper is to study anomalies of self- and world-experience in schizophrenia from a phenomenological perspective, through the use of the EASE and the EAWE interviews. Four patients with diagnoses of schizophrenia were interviewed with both EASE and EAWE. A qualitative analysis of these interviews was carried out on all the data; quantitative scores were also assigned based on the frequency and intensity of items endorsed by the subjects. For the EASE, subjects endorsed an average frequency of (...) 45% of all items. For the EAWE, subjects endorsed an average frequency of 26% of all items. Furthermore, EAWE data indicated more heterogeneous profiles of experience than the EASE. This heterogeneity is not surprising, given that the EAWE was designed to be a more broad-based or less targeted exploration of various changes likely to be associated with schizophrenia spectrum. Our data suggest that, although disturbances of world experience may always be present in schizophrenia, they may take numerous and varied forms. Because the experience of the world occurs across many different modalities, disturbances of this experience would be fundamentally less unitary, whereas the experience of the self present a more coherent and unitary gestalt. These results show certain overlapping between the scales while also indicating the potential value of combined use of the two instruments. Finally, we discussed the relationship between experiential description and behavioral observation, and their potentially complementary value in exploring the first-person perspective, particular in the case of experiences that occur at a more pre-reflective level. (shrink)