The moral psychology of sympathy is the linchpin of the sentimentalist moral theories of both David Hume and Adam Smith. In this paper, I attempt to diagnose the critical differences between Hume's and Smith's respective accounts of sympathy in order to argue that Smithian sympathy is more properly suited to serve as a basis for impartial moral evaluations and judgments than is Humean sympathy. By way of arguing this claim, I take up the problem of overcoming sympathetic partiality in the (...) construction of a moral point of view, acknowledged by both writers, as my primary platform. My contention is that Humean sympathy is too mechanistic to actually deliver an impartial adjudicatory perspective, and that Smithian sympathy, with its evaluative, imaginative components, succeeds where Hume's account falls short. The paper is comprised of six sections: (i) introductory remarks, (ii) a discussion of Humean sympathy, (iii) a discussion of Smithian sympathy and its distinctness, (iv) a critical analysis of Hume's attempt to correct for sympathetic partiality in the construction of the judicial spectator's general point of view, (v) a critical discussion of sympathetic partiality in Smithian sympathy & (vi) a critical analysis of Smith's construction of the impartial spectator perspective as a moral point of view. (shrink)
Learn the tips and tricks used by a top photographer in the digital photography industry in Rick Sammon's Top Digital Photography Secrets. Filled with beautiful photographs and the techniques Rick Sammon used to capture them, this book offers you motivation to capture stunning photographs and the tools and tricks you need to capture them. With more than 100 techniques for use behind the camera, this book will improve the camera skills of both amateur and experienced photographers. Additionally, this (...) book includes a chapter on post-production secrets, and a Rick Sammon DVD Guide lighting, camera, and digital photography basics. In this 1-hour DVD, Rick shows you how to get great photos using a variety of lighting sources, camera-specific techniques, and basic rules of photography. (shrink)
This provocative new textbook takes up and develops the themes of rationality and irrationality in Jon Elster's earlier work. Its purposes are threefold. First, Elster shows how belief and preference formation in the realm of politics are shaped by social and political institutions. Second, he argues for an important distinction in the social sciences between mechanisms and theories. Third, he illustrates those general principles of political psychology through readings of three outstanding political psychologists: the French classical historian, Paul Veyne; the (...) Soviet dissident writer, Alexander Zinoviev; the great French political theorist, Alexis de Tocqueville. (shrink)
In arguments in support of capitalism, the following propositions are sometimes advanced or presupposed: the best life for the individual is one of consumption, understood in a broad sense that includes aesthetic pleasures and entertainment as well as consumption of goods in the ordinary sense; consumption is to be valued because it promotes happiness or welfare, which is the ultimate good; since there are not enough opportunities for consumption to provide satiation for everybody, some principles of distributive justice must be (...) chosen to decide who gets what; the total to be distributed has first to be produced. What is produced depends, among other things, on the motivation and information of the producers. The theory of justice must take account of the fact that different principles of distribution have different effects on motivation and information; economic theory tells us that the motivational and informational consequences of private ownership of the means of production are superior to those of the various forms of collective ownerships. In the traditional controversy over the relative merits of capitalism and economic systems, the focus has been on proposition. In this paper, I consider instead propositions and. Before one can even begin to discuss how values are to be allocated, one must consider what they are – what it is that ought to be valued. I shall argue that at the center of Marxism is a specific conception of the good life as one of active self-realization, rather than passive consumption. (shrink)
Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993) and Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013) are fantasy films that use the device of practical immortality in order to raise important philosophical questions about what constitutes a good life and to explore the nature of romantic love. Groundhog Day provides fairly conventional answers about how to live a good life by focusing on issues of spiritual redemption, selflessness, and developing one’s human potential. In contrast, Lovers provides a dark portrayal of a civilization on (...) the brink of extinction but offers a glimmer of hope for the future. The lifestyle and values of married vampires Adam and Eve represent an alternative vision of the core values needed to sustain a better world: greater reliance on human imagination, maintaining a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world, creating and appreciating works of art and living in harmony with the natural world. Both films also offer a perspective on the importance of romantic love in living a good life. Although these perspectives often diverge from one another, they do overlap in some interesting ways. The style of film criticism used in this paper is inspired by the film philosophy of Stanley Cavell. (shrink)
In entertaining stories of teachers, children, parents and principals Ackerly shows leadership in action and defines the elements of educational cultures, how culture is the delivery system for education, and how individuals can be leaders and create the culture of whatever group they are in.
Love, Subjectivity, and Truth engages in a lively manner with the overlapping areas of philosophy and literature, philosophy of emotions, and existential thought. "Subjective truth," a phrase used in Proust's novel In Search of Lost Time, is rich with existential connotations. It invokes Kierkegaard above all, but significantly Nietzsche as well, and other philosophers who thematize love, subjectivity, and truth. In Search of Lost Time is especially concerned about what we can know about others through love. Insofar as it conveys (...) and analyzes experience, the novel is capable not only of exploring existential issues but also of doing something like phenomenology. What we know is shaped by our way of knowing, just as the properties of visible, colored objects are determined by the wavelengths of light our eyes can see. Nowhere does the subjective basis of our awareness appear so evident as it does when we view things through loving eyes. In Proust's novel we find skeptical views about love expressed again and again. However, we also note countercurrents, in which love is shown to provide a unique sort of insight. At those times, love seems to be a prerequisite of veridical apprehension. Love, Subjectivity, and Truth investigates this tension as it is played out in Proust's fiction. (shrink)
The emulation theory of representation is developed and explored as a framework that can revealingly synthesize a wide variety of representational functions of the brain. The framework is based on constructs from control theory (forward models) and signal processing (Kalman filters). The idea is that in addition to simply engaging with the body and environment, the brain constructs neural circuits that act as models of the body and environment. During overt sensorimotor engagement, these models are driven by efference copies in (...) parallel with the body and environment, in order to provide expectations of the sensory feedback, and to enhance and process sensory information. These models can also be run off-line in order to produce imagery, estimate outcomes of different actions, and evaluate and develop motor plans. The framework is initially developed within the context of motor control, where it has been shown that inner models running in parallel with the body can reduce the effects of feedback delay problems. The same mechanisms can account for motor imagery as the off-line driving of the emulator via efference copies. The framework is extended to account for visual imagery as the off-line driving of an emulator of the motor-visual loop. I also show how such systems can provide for amodal spatial imagery. Perception, including visual perception, results from such models being used to form expectations of, and to interpret, sensory input. I close by briefly outlining other cognitive functions that might also be synthesized within this framework, including reasoning, theory of mind phenomena, and language. Key Words: efference copies; emulation theory of representation; forward models; Kalman filters; motor control; motor imagery; perception; visual imagery. (shrink)
This brief commentary has three goals. The first is to argue that ‘‘framework debate’’ in cognitive science is unresolvable. The idea that one theory or framework can singly account for the vast complexity and variety of cognitive processes seems unlikely if not impossible. The second goal is a consequence of this: We should consider how the various theories on offer work together in diverse contexts of investigation. A final goal is to supply a brief review for readers who are compelled (...) by these points to explore existing literature on the topic. Despite this literature, pluralism has garnered very little attention from broader cognitive science. We end by briefly considering what it might mean for theoretical cognitive science. (shrink)
... there are cases in which on the basis of a temporally extended content of consciousness a unitary apprehension takes place which is spread out over a temporal interval (the so-called specious present). ... That several successive tones yield a melody is possible only in this way, that the succession of psychical processes are united "forthwith" in a common structure.
Using the Godel incompleteness result for leverage, Roger Penrose has argued that the mechanism for consciousness involves quantum gravitational phenomena, acting through microtubules in neurons. We show that this hypothesis is implausible. First the Godel result does not imply that human thought is in fact non-algorithmic. Second, whether or not non-algorithmic quantum gravitational phenomena actually exist, and if they did how that could conceivably implicate microtubules, and if microtubules were involved, how that could conceivably implicate consciousness, is entirely speculative. Third, (...) cytoplasmic ions such as calcium and sodium are almost certainly present in the microtubule pore, barring the quantum-mechanical effects Penrose envisages. Finally, physiological evidence indicates that consciousness does not directly depend on microtubule properties in any case, rendering doubtful any theory according to which consciousness is generated in the microtubules. (shrink)
The Early Dialectics Within Husserl's Transcendental Phenomenology Rick Sprague. with me the very categories of thought I wish to understand critically. Thus coming to awareness must be coming to know the knowing with which I began.
This study investigates the relations between narrative experiences and film enjoyment, and explores the possibility that transportability and perceived realism facilitate narrative experience and indirectly influence enjoyment. The study measured narrative experience and realism in three films from different genres. Results demonstrate that transportability, and both external realism and narrative realism positively influence at least one aspect of narrative experience, and that narrative experience in turn is a significant predictor for enjoyment.
Social identity is a factor that is associated with well-being and community participation. Some studies have shown that ethnic identity goes along with empowerment, and that interaction between the two leads to greater indices of well-being and community participation. However, other works suggest a contextual circumstance may condition the nature of these relations. By means of a cross-sectional study, we analyzed the relations of social identification and collective psychological empowerment with personal well-being, social well-being and community participation in a sample (...) of Basques. A total of 748 Basques participated. Individuals who were highly identified or fused with Basque speakers and who were highly empowered showed higher indices of well-being and of community participation than non-fused individuals with low empowerment. The results also suggest that social identification offsets the negative effects of perceiving the group as a linguistic minority. Collective psychological empowerment proved to be an especially relevant factor that needs to continue to be explored. (shrink)
In evolutionary medicine, researchers characterize some outcomes as evolutionary mismatch. Mismatch problems arise as the result of organisms living in environments to which they are poorly adapted, typically as the result of some rapid environmental change. Depression, anxiety, obesity, myopia, insomnia, breast cancer, dental problems, and numerous other negative health outcomes have all been characterized as mismatch problems. The exact nature of evolutionary mismatch itself is unclear, however. This leads to a lack of clarity about the sorts of problems that (...) evolutionary mismatch can actually explain. Resolving this challenge is important not only for the evolutionary health literature, but also because the notion of evolutionary mismatch involves central concepts in evolutionary biology: fitness, evolution in changing environments, and so forth. In this paper, I examine two characterizations of mismatch currently in the literature. I propose that we conceptualize mismatch as a relation between an optimal environment and an actual environment. Given an organism and its particular physiology, the optimal environment is the environment in which the organism’s fitness is maximized: in other words, the optimal environment is that in which the organism’s fitness is as high as it can possibly be. The actual environment is the environment in which the organism actually finds itself. To the extent that there is a discordance between the organism’s actual and optimal environments, there is an evolutionary mismatch. In the paper, I show that this account of mismatch gives us the right result when other accounts fail, and provides useful targets for investigation. (shrink)
This article outlines the main tenets of affect theory and links these to Sloterdijk’s spherology. Where affect foregrounds prepersonal energies and posthuman impulses, spherology provides a lens for considering how humans congregate in constantly reconfiguring socialities in their pursuit of legitimacy and immunity. The article then explores the relevance of “affective spheres” for contemporary social science research. The article’s main argument here is that research of contemporary organisational and professional practices must increasingly be spherogenic, or seeking to build “affective spheres.” (...) The basis of this argument are the in situ complexity and fast-changing nature of practices, and the increasing challenges involved in objectifying or ‘freezing’, and analysing or dissecting such practices. The article draws for its case study on a video-reflexive project conducted in a U.S. health service. The article concludes that the notion of research as spherogenics counterbalances the conventional methodological emphasis on a predetermined stance —whether neutral or political—in our construction and enactment of social science research. (shrink)
In Knowing Emotions, Furtak argues that it is only through the emotions that we can perceive meaning in life, and only by feeling emotions that we are able to recognize the value or significance of anything whatsoever. Our affective responses and dispositions therefore play a critical role in human existence, and their felt quality is intimately related to the awareness they provide.
b>: In this article I outline, apply, and defend a theory of natural representation. The main consequences of this theory are: i) representational status is a matter of how physical entities are used, and specifically is not a matter of causation, nomic relations with the intentional object, or information; ii) there are genuine (brain-)internal representations; iii) such representations are really representations, and not just farcical pseudo-representations, such as attractors, principal components, state-space partitions, or what-have-you;and iv) the theory allows us to (...) sharply distinguish those complex behaviors which are genuinely cognitive from those which are merely complex and adaptive. (shrink)
Language maps signals onto meanings through the use of two distinct types of structure. First, the space of meanings is discretized into categories that are shared by all users of the language. Second, the signals employed by the language are compositional: The meaning of the whole is a function of its parts and the way in which those parts are combined. In three iterated learning experiments using a vast, continuous, open-ended meaning space, we explore the conditions under which both structured (...) categories and structured signals emerge ex nihilo. While previous experiments have been limited to either categorical structure in meanings or compositional structure in signals, these experiments demonstrate that when the meaning space lacks clear preexisting boundaries, more subtle morphological structure that lacks straightforward compositionality—as found in natural languages—may evolve as a solution to joint pressures from learning and communication. (shrink)
Within natural language semantics, pronouns are often thought to correspond to variables whose values are contributed by contextual assignment functions. This paper concerns the application of this idea to cases where the antecedent of a pronoun is a plural quantifiers. The paper discusses the modelling of accessibility patterns of quantifier antecedents in a dynamic theory of interpretation. The goal is to reach a semantics of quantificational dependency which yields a fully semantic notion of pronominal accessibility. I argue that certain dependency (...) phenomena that arise in quantificationally created contexts require a representation of context wherein the labelling of antecedents is not rigid but rather dynamic itself. I propose a stack-based alternative to classic assignment functions, along the lines of Vermeulen (1993) and van Eijck (2001), and give a dynamic semantics of quantification which correctly accommodates the problematic anaphoric phenomena. (shrink)