High temporal resolution event-related brain potential and electroencephalographic coherence studies of the neural substrate of short-term storage in working memory indicate that the sustained coactivation of both prefrontal cortex and the posterior cortical systems that participate in the initial perception and comprehension of the retained information are involved in its storage. These studies further show that short-term storage mechanisms involve an increase in neural synchrony between prefrontal cortex and posterior cortex and the enhanced activation of long-term memory representations of material (...) held in short-term memory. This activation begins during the encoding/comprehension phase and evidently is prolonged into the retention phase by attentional drive from prefrontal cortex control systems. A parsimonious interpretation of these findings is that the long-term memory systems associated with the posterior cortical processors provide the necessary representational basis for working memory, with the property of short-term memory decay being primarily due to the posterior system. In this view, there is no reason to posit specialized neural systems whose functions are limited to those of short-term storage buffers. Prefrontal cortex provides the attentional pointer system for maintaining activation in the appropriate posterior processing systems. Short-term memory capacity and phenomena such as displacement of information in short-term memory are determined by limitations on the number of pointers that can be sustained by the prefrontal control systems. Key Words: coherence; event-related potentials; imaging; long-term memory; memory; short-term memory; working memory. (shrink)
The goal of our target article is to establish that electrophysiological data constrain models of short-term memory retention operations to schemes in which activated long-term memory is its representational basis. The temporary stores correspond to neural circuits involved in the perception and subsequent processing of the relevant information, and do not involve specialized neural circuits dedicated to the temporary holding of information outside of those embedded in long-term memory. The commentaries ranged from general agreement with the view that short-term memory (...) stores correspond to activated long-term memory (e.g., Abry, Sato, Schwartz, Loevenbruck & Cathiard [Abry etal.], Cowan, Fuster, Grote, Hickok & Buchsbaum, Keenan, Hyönä & Kaakinen [Keenan et al.], Martin, Morra), to taking a definite exception to this view (e.g., Baddeley, Düzel, Logie & Della Sala, Kroger, Majerus, Van der Linden, Colette & Salmon [Majerus et al.], Vallar). (shrink)
Paul Sheehy has argued that the modal realist cannot satisfactorily allow for the necessity of God's existence. In this short paper I show that she can, and that Sheehy only sees a problem because he has failed to appreciate all the resources available to the modal realist. God may be an abstract existent outside spacetime or He may not be: but either way, there is no problem for the modal realist to admit that He exists at every concrete possible world.
This interview with N. Katherine Hayles, one of the foremost theorists of the posthuman, explores the concerns that led to her seminal book How We Became Posthuman, the key arguments expounded in that book, and the changes in technology and culture in the ten years since its publication. The discussion ranges across the relationships between literature and science; the trans-disciplinary project of developing a methodology appropriate to their intersection; the history of cybernetics in its cultural and political context ; (...) the changed role for psychoanalysis in the technoscientific age; and the altering forms of mediated ‘embodiment’ in the posthuman context. (shrink)
Oxford Studies in Metaphysics is dedicated to the timely publication of new work in metaphysics, broadly construed. These volumes provide a forum for the best new work in this flourishing field. They offer a broad view of the subject, featuring not only the traditionally central topics such as existence, identity, modality, time, and causation, but also the rich clusters of metaphysical questions in neighbouring fields, such as philosophy of mind and philosophy of science. This book is the eighth volume in (...) the series. It contains essays by Cian Dorr and John Hawthorne, Maya Eddon, Shamik Dasgupta, Bill Dunaway, Cody Gilmore, Ted Sider, Aaron Cotnoir, Katherine Hawley, Frabrice Correia and Sven Rosencrantz, David Braddon-Mitchell, and Ross Cameron. (shrink)
Ross P. Cameron argues that the flow of time is a genuine feature of reality. He suggests that the best version of the A-Theory is a version of the Moving Spotlight view, according to which past and future beings are real, but there is nonetheless an objectively privileged present. Cameron argues that the Moving Spotlight theory should be viewed as having more in common with Presentism than with the B-Theory. Furthermore, it provides the best account of truthmakers for (...) claims about what was or will be the case. Cameron goes on to defend an account of the open future, and argues that this is a better account than that available to the Growing Block theory. (shrink)
Katherine Hawley explores and compares three theories of persistence -- endurance, perdurance, and stage theories - investigating the ways in which they attempt to account for the world around us. Having provided valuable clarification of its two main rivals, she concludes by advocating stage theory.
There are moments when things suddenly seem strange - objects in the world lose their meaning, we feel like strangers to ourselves, or human existence itself strikes us as bizarre and unintelligible. Through a detailed philosophical investigation of Heidegger's concept of uncanniness (Unheimlichkeit), Katherine Withy explores what such experiences reveal about us. She argues that while others (such as Freud, in his seminal psychoanalytic essay, 'The Uncanny') take uncanniness to be an affective quality of strangeness or eeriness, Heidegger uses (...) the concept to go beyond feeling uncanny to reach the ground of this feeling in our being uncanny. -/- "Heidegger on Being Uncanny" answers those who wonder whether human existence is fundamentally strange to itself by showing that we can be what we are only if we do not fully understand what it is to be us. This fundamental finitude in our self-understanding is our uncanniness. In this first dedicated interpretation of Heidegger's uncanniness, Withy tracks this concept from his early analyses of angst through his later interpretations of the choral ode from Sophocles's Antigone. Her interpretation uncovers a novel and robust continuity in Heidegger's thought and in his vision of the human being as uncanny, and it points the way toward what it is to live well as an uncanny human being. (shrink)
I argue that the truthmaker theorist should be a priority monist if she wants to avoid commitment to mysterious necessary connections. In section 1 I briefly discuss the ontological options available to the truthmaker theorist. In section 2 I develop the argument against truthmaker theory from the Humean denial of necessary connections. In section 3 I offer an account of when necessary connections are objectionable. In section 4 I use this criterion to narrow down the options from section 1. In (...) section 5 I argue that the account leads us to priority monism. (shrink)
We articulate a view of natural kinds as complex universals. We do not attempt to argue for the existence of universals. Instead, we argue that, given the existence of universals, and of natural kinds, the latter can be understood in terms of the former, and that this provides a rich, flexible framework within which to discuss issues of indeterminacy, essentialism, induction, and reduction. Along the way, we develop a 'problem of the many' for universals.
I address an intuition commonly endorsed by metaphysicians, that there must be a fundamental layer of reality, i.e., that chains of ontological dependence must terminate: there cannot be turtles all the way down. I discuss applications of this intuition with reference to Bradley’s regress, composition, realism about the mental and the cosmological argument. I discuss some arguments for the intui- tion, but argue that they are unconvincing. I conclude by making some suggestions for how the intuition should be argued for, (...) and discussing the ramiﬁcations of giving the justiﬁcation I think best. (shrink)
What are the ontological commitments of a sentence? In this paper I offer an answer from the perspective of the truthmaker theorist that contrasts with the familiar Quinean criterion. I detail some of the benefits of thinking of things this way: they include making the composition debate tractable without appealing to a neo-Carnapian metaontology, making sense of neo-Fregeanism, and dispensing with some otherwise recalcitrant necessary connections.
In artificial intelligence, recent research has demonstrated the remarkable potential of Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (DCNNs), which seem to exceed state-of-the-art performance in new domains weekly, especially on the sorts of very difficult perceptual discrimination tasks that skeptics thought would remain beyond the reach of artificial intelligence. However, it has proven difficult to explain why DCNNs perform so well. In philosophy of mind, empiricists have long suggested that complex cognition is based on information derived from sensory experience, often appealing to (...) a faculty of abstraction. Rationalists have frequently complained, however, that empiricists never adequately explained how this faculty of abstraction actually works. In this paper, I tie these two questions together, to the mutual benefit of both disciplines. I argue that the architectural features that distinguish DCNNs from earlier neural networks allow them to implement a form of hierarchical processing that I call “transformational abstraction”. Transformational abstraction iteratively converts sensory-based representations of category exemplars into new formats that are increasingly tolerant to “nuisance variation” in input. Reflecting upon the way that DCNNs leverage a combination of linear and non-linear processing to efficiently accomplish this feat allows us to understand how the brain is capable of bi-directional travel between exemplars and abstractions, addressing longstanding problems in empiricist philosophy of mind. I end by considering the prospects for future research on DCNNs, arguing that rather than simply implementing 80s connectionism with more brute-force computation, transformational abstraction counts as a qualitatively distinct form of processing ripe with philosophical and psychological significance, because it is significantly better suited to depict the generic mechanism responsible for this important kind of psychological processing in the brain. (shrink)
In this paper I further elucidate and defend a metaontological position that allows you to have a minimal ontology without embracing an error-theory of ordinary talk. On this view 'there are Fs' can be strictly and literally true without bringing an ontological commitment to Fs. Instead of a sentence S committing you to the things that must be amongst the values of the variables if it is true, I argue that S commits you to the things that must exist as (...) truthmakers for S if it is true. I rebut some recent objections that have been levelled against this metaontological view. (shrink)
The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities has created a quality attestation process for clinical ethics consultants; the pilot phase of reviewing portfolios has begun. One aspect of the QA process which is particularly challenging is assessing the interpersonal skills of individual clinical ethics consultants. We propose that using case simulation to evaluate clinical ethics consultants is an approach that can meet this need provided clear standards for assessment are identified. To this end, we developed the Assessing Clinical Ethics Skills (...) tool, which identifies and specifies specific behaviors that a clinical ethics consultant should demonstrate in an ethics case simulation. The aim is for the clinical ethics consultant or student to use a videotaped case simulation, along with the ACES tool scored by a trained rater, to demonstrate their competence as part of their QA portfolio. The development and piloting of the tool is described. (shrink)
The connection between whole and part is intimate: not only can we share the same space, but I’m incapable of leaving my parts behind; settle the nonmereological facts and you thereby settle what is a part of what; wholes don’t seem to be an additional ontological commitment over their parts. Composition as identity promises to explain this intimacy. But it threatens to make the connection too intimate, for surely the parts could have made a different whole and the whole have (...) had different parts. In this paper I attempt to offer an account of parthood that is intimate enough but not too intimate: the parts generate the whole, but they are not themselves the whole. (shrink)
: As Heidegger acknowledges, our understanding is essentially situated and so limited by the context and tradition into which it is thrown. But this ‘situatedness’ does not exhaust Heidegger's concept of ‘thrownness’. By examining this concept and its grammar, I develop a more complete interpretation. I identify several different kinds of finitude or limitation in our understanding, and touch on ways in which we confront and carry different dimensions of our past.
There is widespread disagreement as to what the facts are concerning just when a collection of objects composes some further object; but there is widespread agreement that, whatever those facts are, they are necessary. I am unhappy to simply assume this, and in this paper I ask whether there is reason to think that the facts concerning composition hold necessarily. I consider various reasons to think so, but find fault with each of them. I examine the theory of composition as (...) identity, but argue that the version of this doctrine that entails universalism is implausible. I consider the claim that the a priority of such facts leads to their necessity, but give a defence of substantial contingent a priori truths. I ask whether the contingency of such facts would lead to unwelcome possibilities, but argue that the worrying looking possibilities can be blocked if it is desired. Next, I argue against the thought that the Lewis-Sider argument against restricted composition might give us reason to accept the necessity of universalism. Lastly, I respond to two objections from the 2006 BSPC. I conclude in favour of the contingency of the facts concerning when some things compose some thing. (shrink)
When there is truth, there must be some thing (or things) to account for that truth: some thing(s) that couldn’t exist and the true proposition fail to be true. That is the truthmaker principle. True propositions are made true by entities in the mind-independently existing external world. The truthmaker principle seems attractive to many metaphysicians, but many have wanted to weaken it and accept not that every true proposition has a truthmaker but only that some important class of propositions require (...) truthmakers.1 Let us, following Armstrong, call the claim that all true propositions, without exception, have a truthmaker, Truthmaker Maximalism. Why might one be tempted to the spirit of truthmaker theory but reject Truthmaker Maximalism? Well, you might deny that necessary truths need truthmakers, for one, and insist that only contingent truths have truthmakers. But I think it’s fair to say that the most common motivation for rejecting maximalism concerns negative truths. The thought that negative truths are exempt from the demand for truthmakers could be justified in one of two ways: there is the claim that we don’t need truthmakers for negative truths, and there is the claim that we can’t have.. (shrink)
How should we determine the distribution of psychological traits—such as Theory of Mind, episodic memory, and metacognition—throughout the Animal kingdom? Researchers have long worried about the distorting effects of anthropomorphic bias on this comparative project. A purported corrective against this bias was offered as a cornerstone of comparative psychology by C. Lloyd Morgan in his famous “Canon”. Also dangerous, however, is a distinct bias that loads the deck against animal mentality: our tendency to tie the competence criteria for cognitive capacities (...) to an exaggerated sense of typical human performance. I dub this error “anthropofabulation”, since it combines anthropocentrism with confabulation about our own prowess. Anthropofabulation has long distorted the debate about animal minds, but it is a bias that has been little discussed and against which the Canon provides no protection. Luckily, there is a venerable corrective against anthropofabulation: a principle offered long ago by David Hume, which I call “Hume’s Dictum”. In this paper, I argue that Hume’s Dictum deserves a privileged place next to Morgan’s Canon in the methodology of comparative psychology, illustrating my point through a discussion of the debate over Theory of Mind in nonhuman animals. (shrink)
Is there a distinctively epistemic kind of blame? It has become commonplace for epistemologists to talk about epistemic blame, and to rely on this notion for theoretical purposes. But not everyone is convinced. Some of the most compelling reasons for skepticism about epistemic blame focus on disanologies, or asymmetries, between the moral and epistemic domains. In this paper, I defend the idea that there is a distinctively epistemic kind of blame. I do so primarily by developing an account of the (...) nature of epistemic blame. My account draws on a prominent line of theorizing in moral philosophy that ties blame to our relationships with one another. I argue that with my account of epistemic blame on hand, the most compelling worries about epistemic blame can be deflated. There is a distinctively epistemic kind of blame. (shrink)
Many philosophers have attempted to provide a solution to the paradox of fiction, a triad of sentences that lead to the conclusion that genuine emotional responses to fiction are irrational. We suggest that disagreement over the best response to this paradox stems directly from the formulation of the paradox itself. Our main goal is to show that there is an ambiguity regarding the word ‘exist’ throughout the premises of the paradox. To reveal this ambiguity, we display the diverse existential commitments (...) of several leading theories of emotion, and argue that none of the theories we consider are committed to notions of ‘exist’ employed by the paradox. We conclude that it is unclear whether or not there remains a paradox of fiction to be solved—rather than to be argued for—once this ambiguity is addressed. (shrink)
Our prominent definitions of cognition are too vague and lack empirical grounding. They have not kept up with recent developments, and cannot bear the weight placed on them across many different debates. I here articulate and defend a more adequate theory. On this theory, behaviors under the control of cognition tend to display a cluster of characteristic properties, a cluster which tends to be absent from behaviors produced by non-cognitive processes. This cluster is reverse-engineered from the empirical tests that comparative (...) psychologists use to determine whether a behavior was generated by a cognitive or a non-cognitive process. Cognition should be understood as the natural kind of psychological process that non-accidentally exhibits the properties assessed by these tests (as well as others we have not yet discovered). Finally, I review two plausible neural accounts of cognition's underlying mechanisms?one based in localization of function to particular brain regions and another based in the more recent distributed networks approach to neuroscience?which would explain why these properties non-accidentally cluster. While this notion of cognition may be useful for a number of debates, I here focus on its application to a recent crisis over the distinction between cognition and association in comparative psychology. (shrink)
Philosophers and cognitive scientists have worried that research on animal mind-reading faces a ‘logical problem’: the difficulty of experimentally determining whether animals represent mental states (e.g. seeing) or merely the observable evidence (e.g. line-of-gaze) for those mental states. The most impressive attempt to confront this problem has been mounted recently by Robert Lurz. However, Lurz' approach faces its own logical problem, revealing this challenge to be a special case of the more general problem of distal content. Moreover, participants in this (...) debate do not agree on criteria for representation. As such, future debate should either abandon the representational idiom or confront underlying semantic disagreements. (shrink)
In footnote 56 of his Naming and Necessity, Kripke offers a ‘proof’ of the essentiality of origin. On its most literal reading the argument is clearly ﬂawed, as was made clear by Nathan Salmon. Salmon attempts to save the literal reading of the argument, but I argue that the new argument is ﬂawed as well, and that it can’t be what Kripke intended. I offer an alternative reconstruction of Kripke’s argument, but I show that this suffers from a more subtle (...) fault. (shrink)
The ethics of autonomous vehicles has received a great amount of attention in recent years, specifically in regard to their decisional policies in accident situations in which human harm is a likely consequence. Starting from the assumption that human harm is unavoidable, many authors have developed differing accounts of what morality requires in these situations. In this article, a strategy for AV decision-making is proposed, the Ethical Valence Theory, which paints AV decision-making as a type of claim mitigation: different road (...) users hold different moral claims on the vehicle’s behavior, and the vehicle must mitigate these claims as it makes decisions about its environment. Using the context of autonomous vehicles, the harm produced by an action and the uncertainties connected to it are quantified and accounted for through deliberation, resulting in an ethical implementation coherent with reality. The goal of this approach is not to define how moral theory requires vehicles to behave, but rather to provide a computational approach that is flexible enough to accommodate a number of ‘moral positions’ concerning what morality demands and what road users may expect, offering an evaluation tool for the social acceptability of an autonomous vehicle’s ethical decision making. (shrink)
Many have been tempted to invoke a primitive notion of grounding to describe the way in which some features of reality give rise to others. Jessica Wilson argues that such a notion is unnecessary to describe the structure of the world: that we can make do with specific dependence relations such as the part–whole relation or the determinate–determinable relation, together with a notion of absolute fundamentality. In this paper I argue that such resources are inadequate to describe the particular ways (...) in which some parts of reality give rise to others, and thus that we do in fact need grounding. (shrink)
The poetry and journalistic essays of Katherine Tillman often appeared in publications sponsored by the American Methodist church. Collected together for the first time, her works speak to the struggles and triumphs of African-American women.
Orthodoxy says that the thesis that composition is identity entails universalism: the claim that any collection of entities has a sum. If this is true it counts in favour of CAI, since a thesis about the nature of composition that settles the otherwise intractable special composition question is desirable. But I argue that it is false: CAI is compatible with the many forms of restricted composition, and SCQ is no easier to answer given CAI than otherwise. Furthermore, in seeing why (...) this is the case we reveal an objection to CAI: that it allows for the facts concerning what there is to be settled whilst leaving open the question about what is identical to what. (shrink)
Katherine Clarke explores three authors who wrote about the rise of the Roman Empire - Polybius, Posidonius, and Strabo. She examines the overlap between geography and history in their work, and considers how pre-existing traditions were used but transformed in order to describe the new world of Rome.
I outline a number of parallels between trust and distrust, emphasising the significance of situations in which both trust and distrust would be an imposition upon the (dis)trustee. I develop an account of both trust and distrust in terms of commitment, and argue that this enables us to understand the nature of trustworthiness. Note that this article is available open access on the journal website.
As the field of clinical ethics consultation sets standards and moves forward with the Quality Attestation process, questions should be raised about what ethical issues really do arise in practice. There is limited data on the type and number of ethics consultations conducted across different settings. At Loyola University Medical Center, we conducted a retrospective review of our ethics consultations from 2008 through 2013. One hundred fifty-six cases met the eligibility criteria. We analyzed demographic data on these patients and conducted (...) a content analysis of the ethics consultation write-ups coding both the frequency of ethical issues and most significant, or key, ethical issue per case. Patients for whom ethics consultation was requested were typically male, white, between 50 and 69 years old, of non-Hispanic origin, and of Roman Catholic faith. Nearly half were in the intensive care unit and 44.2 % died in the hospital. The most frequent broad ethical categories were decision-making, goals of care/treatment, and end-of-life. More specifically, capacity, patient’s wishes/autonomy, and surrogate decision maker were the most frequent particular ethical issues. The most common key ethical issues were withdrawing/withholding treatment, patient wishes/autonomy, and capacity. Our findings provide additional data to inform the training of clinical ethics consultants regarding the ethical issues that arise in practice. A wider research agenda should be formed to collect and compare data across institutions to improve education and training in our field. (shrink)
Research on value congruence rests on the assumption that values denote desirable behaviors and ideals that employees and organizations strive to approach. In the present study, we develop and test the argument that a more complete understanding of value congruence can be achieved by considering a second type of congruence based on employees’ and organizations’ counter-ideal values. We examined this proposition in a time-lagged study of 672 employees from various occupational and organizational backgrounds. We used difference scores as well as (...) polynomial regression and response surface analyses to test our hypotheses. Consistent with our hypotheses, results reveal that counter-ideal value congruence has unique relations to employees’ trust in the organization that go beyond the effects of ideal value congruence. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of this expanded perspective on value congruence. (shrink)
Perceptual grouping has traditionally been thought to be governed by innate, universal principles. However, recent work has found differences in Japanese and English speakers' non-linguistic perceptual grouping, implicating language in non-linguistic perceptual processes (Iversen, Patel, & Ohgushi, 2008). Two experiments test Japanese- and English-learning infants of 5-6 and 7-8 months of age to explore the development of grouping preferences. At 5-6 months, neither the Japanese nor the English infants revealed any systematic perceptual biases. However, by 7-8 months, the same age (...) as when linguistic phrasal grouping develops, infants developed non-linguistic grouping preferences consistent with their language's structure (and the grouping biases found in adulthood). These results reveal an early difference in non-linguistic perception between infants growing up in different language environments. The possibility that infants' linguistic phrasal grouping is bootstrapped by abstract perceptual principles is discussed. (shrink)
The rapidly expanding aging population presents an urgent global challenge cutting through just about every dimension of worldly life, including the social, political, cultural, and economic. Developing innovations in health and assistive technology are poised to support effective and sustainable health care in the face of this challenge, yet there is scant discussion of the ethical issues surrounding AT for older persons with dementia. Demands for ethical frameworks that can respond to frontline dilemmas regarding AT development and provision, and how (...) the needs of aging persons themselves are defined throughout this development process, are increasing. This article suggests that fulfilling the promises of AT to provide effective and ethically informed solutions may demand shifting away from standard bioethical analyses that centralize the principle of respect for autonomy. An autonomy-centric paradigm is dubiously equipped to theorize the foundational ethical issues in dementia care and to effectively guide AT development and implementation. An agency-centered approach to dementia care, which could engage more adaptively with the perspectives and choices of older persons themselves while offering strong support to AT research and stakeholders, may offer an attractive alternative. (shrink)
This paper attempts to locate, within an actualist ontology, truthmakers for modal truths: truths of the form or . In Sect. 1 I motivate the demand for substantial truthmakers for modal truths. In Sect. 21 criticise Armstrong's account of truthmakers for modal truths. In Sect. 31 examine essentialism and defend an account of what makes essentialist attributions true, but I argue that this does not solve the problem of modal truth in general. In Sect. 41 discuss, and dismiss, a theistic (...) account of the source of modal truth proposed by Alexander Pruss. In Sect. 5 I offer a means of (dis)solving the problem. (shrink)
This paper argues for an interpretation of what Heidegger means by 'angst' in Being and Time that begins from the methodological role angst is supposed to play in Division I as that which disrupts falling. It argues that angst is a distinctive kind of ontological insight.
Ontology is the philosophical discipline which aims to understand how things in the world are divided into categories and how these categories are related together. This is exactly what information scientists aim for in creating structured, automated representations, called 'ontologies,' for managing information in fields such as science, government, industry, and healthcare. Currently, these systems are designed in a variety of different ways, so they cannot share data with one another. They are often idiosyncratically structured, accessible only to those who (...) created them, and unable to serve as inputs for automated reasoning. This volume shows, in a nontechnical way and using examples from medicine and biology, how the rigorous application of theories and insights from philosophical ontology can improve the ontologies upon which information management depends. (shrink)