Three experiments examined the role of response criteria in a masked semantic priming paradigm using an exclusion task. Experiment 1 used on-line prime-report and exclusion instructions in which participants were told to avoid completing a word stem with a word related to a prime flashed for 0, 38 or 212 ms. Semantic priming was significant in the items analysis, but was moderated by peoples’ ability to report the prime in the participant analysis. Prime-report thresholds in Experiment 2 were made more (...) liberal by instructing participants to guess on every trial. Prime-report increased from Experiment 1 as exclusion failures were eliminated. Experiment 3 clarified the relationship between awareness and prime identification using an on-line measure of confidence and different liberal prime report instructions. The current findings suggest that the ability to act upon and report information in a masked prime is determined by a variable response criterion, which can be manipulated as an independent variable. (shrink)
In Furnishing the mind, I argued that concepts are couched in representational formats that are indigenous to sensory systems. I called this thesis "concept empiricism," because I think it is was a central tenet of the philosophical program defended by classical British empiricists, such as Locke and Hume. I still think that concept empiricism is true, and more empirical evidence has accrued since the book went to press. That's the good news. The bad news is that able critics have marshaled (...) a variety of powerful arguments against empiricism. Sarnecki and Markman and Stilwell have devised a battery of challenging objections. Their commentaries are charitable and incisive. They represent my proposals accurately, and they raise serious worries. I cannot do justice to everything they say in this response, but I will try to indicate where I would make concessions and where I would dig in my heels. I will begin with a few introductory remarks to motivate empiricism, and then address objections. (shrink)
The Emotional Construction of Morals is a book about moral judgements – the kinds of mental states we might express by sentences such as, ‘It's bad to flash your neighbors’, or ‘You ought not eat your pets’. There are three basic questions that get addressed: what are the psychological states that constitute such judgements? What kinds of properties do such judgements refer to? And, where do these judgements come from? The first question concerns moral psychology, the second metaethics and the (...) third is best construed as belonging to a domain that has been neglected in analytic value theory: the genealogy of morals. These are all separate branches of ethics, but they are interconnected. The thesis of the book is that moral judgements are emotional attitudes that refer to response-dependent properties, and that these responses have been shaped by cultural history. I call the view Constructive Sentimentalism. The first half of the book deals with sentiments, and the second half with construction. The second half also deals with relativism, because I argue that moral values are constructed differently across cultures and across individuals.Thus described, The Emotional Construction of Morals is a conventional contribution to analytic moral philosophy, taking on some of the core questions in that field and defending positions that have a long philosophical pedigree. Indeed, the theory I defend has roots in Hume and Nietzsche, though it departs from both in various ways. What makes the book somewhat unusual is that it seeks to defend traditional theories by appeal to recent work in psychology, neuroscience, anthropology and related fields. It is an exercise in methodological naturalism and committed to the view that we can answer traditional philosophical questions while treating ethics as a social science. Ethics and naturalism are hard to reconcile because ethics is a normative domain, …. (shrink)
Gut Reactions is an interdisciplinary defense of the claim that emotions are perceptions in a double sense. First of all, they are perceptions of changes in the body, but, through the body, they also allow us to literally perceive danger, loss, and other matters of concern. This proposal, which Prinz calls the embodied appraisal theory, reconciles the long standing debate between those who say emotions are cognitive and those who say they are noncognitive. The basic idea behind embodied appraisals is (...) captured in the familiar notion of a "gut reaction," which has been overlooked by much emotion research. Prinz also addresses emotional valence, emotional consciousness, and the debate between evolutionary psychologists and social constructionists. (shrink)
The study of anarchism as a philosophical, political, and social movement has burgeoned both in the academy and in the global activist community in recent years. Taking advantage of this boom in anarchist scholarship, Nathan J. Jun and Shane Wahl have compiled twenty-six cutting-edge essays on this timely topic in New Perspectives on Anarchism.