ABSTRACT The financial crisis was in large part caused, prolonged, and worsened by a series of government actions and interventions. The housing boom and bust that precipitated the crisis were enabled by extraordinarily loose monetary policy. After the housing boom came to an end, the Federal Reserve misdiagnosed financial markets' uncertainty about the location and value of risky subprime mortgage?backed securities as being, instead, a liquidity problem, and it took inappropriate compensatory actions that had side effects that included raising the (...) price of oil. Finally, in mid?September 2008, the government's ad?hoc bailouts, and the unpredictable terms of the proposed tarp legislation, appear to have caused a sharp spike in uncertainty in the financial markets. (shrink)
This paper explores a remarkable convergence of ideas and evidence, previously presented in separate places by its authors. That convergence has now become so persuasive that we believe we are working within substantially the same broad framework. Taylor's mathematical papers on neuronal systems involved in consciousness dovetail well with work by Newman and Baars on the thalamocortical system, suggesting a brain mechanism much like the global workspace architecture developed by Baars (see references below). This architecture is relational, in the sense (...) that it continuously mediates the interaction of input with memory. While our approaches overlap in a number of ways, each of us tends to focus on different areas of detail. What is most striking, and we believe significant, is the extent of consensus, which we believe to be consistent with other contemporary approaches by Weiskrantz, Gray, Crick and Koch, Edelman, Gazzaniga, Newell and colleagues, Posner, Baddeley, and a number of others. We suggest that cognitive neuroscience is moving toward a shared understanding of consciousness in the brain. (shrink)
The relation between mind and matter is considered in terms of recent ideas from both phenomenology and brain science. Phenomenology is used to give clues to help bridge the brain-mind gap by providing constraints on any underlying neural architecture suggested from brain science. A tentative reduction of mind to matter is suggested and used to explain various features of phenomenological experience and of ownership of conscious experience. The crucial mechanism is the extended duration of the corollary discharge of attention movement, (...) with its gating of activity for related content. Aspects of experience considered in terms of the model are the discontinuous nature of consciousness, immunity to error through misidentification, and the state of 'pure' consciousness as experienced through meditation. Corollary discharge of attention movement is proposed as the key idea bringing together basic features of meditation, consciousness and neuroscience, and helping to bridge the gap between mind and matter. (shrink)
The ontology of ‘powerful qualities’ is gaining an increasing amount of attention in the literature on properties. This is the view that the so-called categorical or qualitative properties are identical with ‘dispositional’ properties. The position is associated with C.B. Martin, John Heil, Galen Strawson and Jonathan Jacobs. Robert Schroer ( 2012 ) has recently mounted a number of criticisms against the powerful qualities view as conceived by these main adherents, and has also advanced his own (radically different) version of the (...) view. In this paper I have three main aims: firstly, I shall defend the ontology from his critique, arguing that his criticisms do not damage the position. Secondly, I shall argue that Schroer’s own version of the view is untenable. Thirdly, the paper shall serve to clear up some conceptual confusions that often bedevil the powerful qualities view. (shrink)
In the Aharonov- Bohm effect, electromagnetic potentials alter the two-slit interference pattern formed by an electron beam. We discuss here a curious feature of this effect, namely that, even though the interference pattern changes, none of its moments are shifted.
There are now various approaches to understand where and how in the brain consciousness arises from neural activity, none of which is universally accepted. Difficulties among these approaches are reviewed, and a missing ingredient is proposed here to help adjudicate between them, that of ''perspectivalness.'' In addition to a suitable temporal duration and information content of the relevant bound brain activity, this extra component is posited as being a further important ingredient for the creation of consciousness from neural activity. It (...) guides the development of what is termed the ''Central Representation,'' which is supposed to be present in all mammals and extended in humans to support self-consciousness as well as phenomenal consciousness. Experimental evidence and a theoretical framework for the existence of the central representation are presented, which relates the extra component to specific buffer working memory sites in the inferior parietal lobes, acting as attentional coordinators on the spatial maps making up the central representation. The article closes with a discussion of various open questions. (shrink)
This paper will analyse some aspects of Papineau's critique of current consciousness research. I focus on his claims about the status of verbal reports in consciousness research and on his 'methodological meltdown' argument. Papineau hopes to use these arguments to show that consciousness research will never be able to identify the neural correlates of consciousness. As such Papineau hopes to stymie the most prominent research project in current consciousness science. I hope to defend consciousness science from his critique. §1 will (...) outline his position and the general reasons he gives for his critique. §2 will motivate concern with this critique and situate it within a wider literature. §3 will point out some errors Papineau makes in assessing the methodology of consciousness research. §4 will give the argument that Papineau takes to be most radical in his critique. Here I will dismiss the reason Papineau presents to explain why some people may think his argument is wrong. In §5 I will point out one problem with Papineau's argument, in that I think it rests upon an equivocation. §6 will point out another problem, which is that Papineau helps himself to an unjustified inference. §7 will summarize what I take myself to have shown. (shrink)
Cognitive Grammar offers a radical alternative to mainstream linguistic theories. This book introduces the theory in clear, non-technical language, relates it to current debates about the nature of linguistic knowledge, and applies it to in-depth analyses of a range of topics in semantics, syntax, morphology, and phonology. Study questions and suggestions for further reading accompany each of the main chapters.
An exploration is given of neural network features now being uncovered in cortical processing which begins to go a little way to help bridge the ''Explanatory Gap'' between phenomenal consciousness and correlated brain activity. A survey of properties suggested as being possessed by phenomenal consciousness leads to a set of criteria to be required of the correlated neural activity. Various neural styles of processing are reviewed and those fitting the criteria are selected for further analysis. One particular processing style, in (...) which semiautonomous and long-lasting cortical activity ''bubbles'' are created by input, is selected as being the most appropriate. Further experimental criteria are used to help narrow the possible neural styles involved. This leads to a class of neural models underpinning phenomenal consciousness and to a related set of testable predictions. (shrink)
Though physicalism remains the most popular position in the metaphysics of mind today, there is still considerable debate over how to retain a plausible account of mental concepts consistently with a physicalistic world view. Philip Goff (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89(2), 191–209, 2011) has recently argued that physicalism cannot give a plausible account of our phenomenal concepts, and that as such, physicalism should be rejected. In this paper I hope to do three things, firstly I shall use some considerations from (...) ontology to rebut Goff’s argument and consider some objections and replies. Secondly, I shall outline a version of a posteriori physicalism about phenomenal consciousness which draws on this particular ontology. Thirdly, I shall give support to this version of physicalism by arguing that it marries well with prominent theories in cognitive science, and has important advantages over other versions of a posteriori physicalism. (shrink)
This paper contains a critique of the 'Kalam' Cosmological Argument for a first cause of the universe as a whole. I argue that one of its major premises (that the universe began to exist) cannot be justified a priori from the paradoxes of the actual infinite, nor by appeal to current cosmological theories. But those who wish to infer from cosmology to the non-existence of a first cause also fail to make their case. I conclude with some morals for the (...) project of natural theology. (shrink)
The "relational mind" approach to the inner content of consciousness is developed in terms of various control structures and processing strategies and their possible neurobiological identifications in brain sites. This leads naturally to a division of consciousness into a passive and an active part. A global control structure for the "single strand" aspect of consciousness is proposed as the thalamo-nucleus reticularis thalami-cortex coupled system, which is related to experimental data on the electrical stimulation of awareness. Local control, in terms of (...) excitatory transfer from pre-processing sites to posterior working memory regions, is supported by data on subliminal perception timing and disambiguation of poorly defined percepts. The inner content of consciousness is understood as arising from the resulting relational features between inputs and stored pre-processing and episodic memories. Strong analogies are drawn between emergent properties of the model and suggested properties of "raw feels", supporting the thesis that working memories are the initial sites for the emergence of phenomenal awareness, and the frontal lobes for its further adumbration in terms of higher cognitive processing, including the creation of self. (shrink)
La educación cristiana se encuentra en un mundo posmoderno, que presenta oportunidades y desafíos. En este nuevo entorno, educadores cristianos tienen que pensar profundamente sobre sus creencias y convicciones. En este ensayo se examinan los fundamentos desmoronantes del modernismo: la autonomía hu..
This chapter relates a broadly chronological story of the developments over the last 50 years that have sought to reshape the science curriculum in English schools by introducing aspects of the history of science and nature of science. The chapter highlights key curriculum projects by outlining the contexts in which they developed and summarising their rationales as set out in their publications. It also provides signposts to some of the reports of research and scholarship that have evaluated these initiatives. The (...) chapter shows how the first national curriculum in 1989 was influenced by earlier initiatives as it made teaching about the nature of science mandatory for all. This requirement faded into the background after a few years and then re-emerged with a new rationale as ‘how science works’ in 2004. The chapter ends by looking to the future with a discussion of a new course which contrasts with earlier traditions by focussing the teaching and learning on the history and philosophy of science rather than using ideas from these disciplines to teach about science. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the ambiguities and confusions that arise when studies of the ‘surveillance state’ are contrasted with studies of the ‘service state’. Surveillance studies take a largely negative view of the information capture and handling of personal data by Government agencies. Studies that examine Government service providing take a largely positive view of such data capture as Government is seen to be attempting to enhance service provision to individual citizens. This paper examines these opposing perspectives through a (...) series of case studies and concludes that a new understanding and methodology should be brought forward so as to create a reconciliation of these two points of departure for research. The call is for an holistic appreciation of data capture activities by Government so that researchers and public policy makers alike can appreciate and reconcile these competing perspectives. (shrink)
Abstract Cognitive?developmental theory claims that moral reasoning can be developed through discussion with others, especially those at a higher stage. This study examined two social/contextual factors that may mediate such cognitive processes in moral development: socio?metric status and moral climate. Socio?metric status was studied because participants were 101 institutionalised young offenders with established differences in peer status. Moral climate was studied because participants came from residential units that varied markedly in programme activities. Participants were assessed for moral reasoning, perceptions of (...) moral and institutional climate and also through behavioural ratings. Moral climate was found to represent a valid measure of the factors which predict behaviour within institutional settings. To study peer status, 40 young offenders participated in moral dilemma discussions with another subject who systematically differed in level of moral reasoning and peer status. It was found that exposure to both higher?stage reasoning and higher peer status were essential elements within the developmental process. Implications for cognitive??developmental theory and moral education within correctional and school programmes are discussed. (shrink)
The approach of Revonsuo is criticised as being based on a misplaced emphasis on coupled oscillatory dynamics, as well as on too limited an approach to recent advances in brain imaging. This results in the nature of attention as a basic component in consciousness being ignored, and prevents any attempt to attack the crucial problem for consciousness of inner experience: of ‘what it is like to be’.