We describe some of the signs and symptoms of left visuo-spatial neglect. This common, severe and often long-lasting impairment is the most striking consequence of right hemisphere brain damage. Patients seem to (over-)attend to the right with subsequent inability to respond to stimuli in contralesional space. We draw particular attention to how patients themselves experience neglect. Furthermore, we show that the neglect patient's loss of awareness of left space is crucial to an understanding of the condition. Even after left space (...) has been brought into the patient's consciousness (either by local cueing on the left or by an emphasis on global properties of the scene as a whole), this awareness of left space rapidly declines. We suggest that much of the symptomology of left neglect can be interpreted as a disconnection between brain mechanisms that are relatively specialized for local (detail) visual processing and global (panoramic) processing. This failure of communication between functional (subpersonal) mechanisms then has consequences for how perceptual and representational content enters into awareness. Failure of the local contents of left space to be consciously accessed is, in turn, an important aspect of why left neglect is so difficult to remediate. Patients can ''know'' that they have neglect but are cut off from the perceptual awareness that would enable them to overcome their attentional bias to the right. (shrink)
In J. B. Schneewind's The Invention of Autonomy we are given a monumental history of moral philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a history more comprehensive and richer in detail than one would have thought possible in a single volume. Though the daunting erudition, agreeably unobtrusive, inspires confidence, it is Schneewind's gift of narrative that makes his book such a pleasure and his story so compelling. Schneewind originally conceived the book, he tells us, to "broaden our historical comprehension of (...) Kant's moral philosophy by relating it to the earlier work to which it was a response", but he does much, much more as he charts the fitful transition from morality as obedience to the later and now widely accepted conception of morality as self-governance. In its broad outline, the story is familiar, beginning with Montaigne's skepticism, moving through modern natural law theory, rationalist, perfectionist, and moral sense responses and ending with Bentham and Kant. But Schneewind adds to acute and deeply informed discussions of Hobbes, Locke, Clarke, Hume, and Kant, clear, often arresting summaries, in varying degrees of detail, of Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Machiavelli, Suarez, Charron, Grotius, Cumberland, Pufendorf, Thomasius, DuVair, Justus Lipsius, Herbert of Cherbury, Descartes, Gassendi, Whichcote, John Smith, More, Cudworth, Spinoza, Leibniz, Barbeyrac, Malebranche, Nicole, Bayle, Harrington, Shaftesbury, Mandeville, Butler, Price, Adam Smith, Reid, Paley, Hartley, Helvetius, d'Holbach, Bentham, de Sade, Wolff, Crusius, Voltaire, La Mettrie, Diderot, Rousseau, and others. If, as no doubt they will, some readers will fault some of Schneewind's interpretations, none will fail to admire his achievement in ferreting out and combining in such a fascinating narrative the leading ideas of this host of thinkers. It is safe to predict, moreover, that this study will inspire others to explore some of these less-read authors and to produce more fine-grained monographs, and further to deepen our understanding of the period and of the way we have come to think of ourselves. (shrink)
The often turbulent but nevertheless short history of psychology as a science reveals a strange and often strained relationship with its parent, philosophy. Martin Heidegger played a prominent role in the developing dialogue between philosophy and psychology in this country. As such, he was identified as a principal contributor to the philosophy of existentialism. And Ludwig Binswanger was seen as being the bridge between existential philosophy and psychotherapy. Heidegger's method of inquiry, meticulously thought through and developed, has become an eloquent (...) expression of man's never-ending search for knowledge and the clarification of what "is." This method, along with the scope of his questioning, has generated the development of a phenomenological foundation for medicine and psychology. In this paper, the author attempts to demonstrate Heidegger's work as remarkably poignant for the human condition. He shows how Binswanger, seeing and sensing these new insights, nevertheless remained captive to traditional expressions of thought. And, he shows how Medard Boss, having access to Heidegger himself in dialogue, has expressed the need for a new type of thinking in a frenetic world which tenaciously holds onto and refines one world-relationship to the neglect of others as the only avenue to truth. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Wynn's claims are, in principle, entirely reasonable; although, as always, the devil is in the details. With respect to Wynn's discussion of the cultural evolution of artifactual symmetry, we provide a few more arguments for the utility of mirror symmetry and extend the enquiry into the tacit and explicit processing of natural and artifactual symmetry.
This is a splendid book. A valuable contribution to Mill scholarship in its own right, it should be especially useful to students both for the clarity of its exegesis and commentary and for the introductory chapters on Mill’s life and his critique of a priori ethical theories. In the remaining five chapters, with ample attention to Mill’s critics, West argues as follows: that Mill is correct to claim that on the point of their qualitative differences, some pleasures are superior to (...) others; that Mill is neither an act- nor a rule-utilitarian; that Mill, rejecting Bentham’s strict psychological egoism, offers a much improved account of moral motivation; that, when properly understood, Mill’s proof of utility is quite plausible; that Mill has a good response to the charge that utilitarianism does not take seriously the separateness of persons. (shrink)
We outline some ways in which motor neglect (the underutilization of a limb despite adequate strength) and hysterical paralysis (failure to move a limb despite no relevant structural damage or disease) may throw light on the pathophysiology of catatonia. We also comment on the manifold inadequacies of distinguishing too firmly between symptoms of “neurologic origin” and of “psychiatric origin.”.
Janowski reads Descartess Meditations as theodicy. He claims that underlying Descartess more explicit epistemological and metaphysical aims is a deeper concern to explain how human error and sin can be made compatible with divine goodness and omnipotence. Accordingly, and despite Descartess disclaimer that he is no theologian, Janowski sees Descartes as taking sidesthe Augustinian sidein one of the most contentious theological disputes of the period. The point of his study, he writes, is to show how Descartes philosophy derived from the (...) early seventeenth-century debates over divine and human freedom, and to what extent those debates influenced Descartess epistemological considerations. (shrink)
The principle unifying this valuable collection of essays, all previously published, is that properly to understand Descartes’s philosophical project we must place his work in its historical context. The collection opens, accordingly, with the essay, “Does History Have a Future?”, in which Garber contrasts his context-sensitive approach to the history of philosophy with another that looks to history as a storehouse of possible truth. Though he does not deny the interest of this latter, comparatively ahistorical approach, he argues that a (...) precipitate focus on truth tends not only to distort understanding, but to deprive us of what is perhaps more useful and important, namely, new questions. For, Garber reminds us, it is not so much the truth of a past philosopher’s views, much less their falsity that causes us to reflect on our own beliefs, it is the fact that smart people took seriously views often very different from ours. (shrink)