A popular approach to defining fictive utterance says that, necessarily, it is intended to produce imagining. I shall argue that this is not falsified by the fact that some fictive utterances are intended to be believed, or are non-accidentally true. That this is so becomes apparent given a proper understanding of the relation of what one imagines to one's belief set. In light of this understanding, I shall then argue that being intended to produce imagining is sufficient for fictive utterance (...) as well. (shrink)
As philosophers of mind we seem to hold in common no very clear view about the relevance that work in psychology or the neurosciences may or may not have to our own favourite questions—even if we call the subject ‘philosophical psychology’. For example, in the literature we find articles on pain some of which do, some of which don't, rely more or less heavily on, for example, the work of Melzack and Wall; the puzzle cases used so extensively in discussions (...) of personal identity are drawn sometimes from the pleasant exercise of scientific fantasy, at times from surprising reports of scientific fact; and there are those who deny, as well as those who affirm, the importance of the discovery of rapid-eye-movement sleep to the philosophical treatment of dreaming. A general account of the relation between scientific, and philosophical, psychology is long overdue and of the first importance. Here I shall limit myself to just one area where the two seem to connect, discussing one type of neuropsychological research and its relevance to questions in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of psychology. (shrink)
The answer to the title question which I want to defend in this paper is ‘none’. That is: I doubt strongly that the notion of ‘a self’ has any use whatsoever as part of an explanans for the explanandum ‘person’.Put another way: I shall argue that the question itself is misguided, pointing the inquirer in quite the wrong direction by suggesting that the term ‘self’ points to something which can sustain a philosophically interesting or important degree of reification.
I am extremely grateful to all commentators for such patient, generous, and stimulating contributions. What follows are some thoughts to enrich the conversation, but these are by no means intended to be definitive answers to the worries they have raised.
In this work, Kathleen V. Wider discusses Jean-Paul Sartre's analysis of consciousness in Being and Nothingness in light of recent work by analytic philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists. She brings together phenomenological and scientific understandings of the nature of consciousness and argues that the two approaches can strengthen and suppport each other. Work on consciousness from two very different philosophical traditions—the continental and analytic—contributes to her explanation of the deep-seated intuition that all consciousness is self-consciousness.
Commissurotomy surgery has lately attracted considerable philosophical attention. It has seemed to some that the surgical scalpel that bisects the brain bisects consciousness and the mind as well; and that the ordinary concept of a person is thereby most seriously threatened. I shall assess the extent of the threat, arguing that it is overestimated. The argument begins with section III; section II, which describes the operation and its effects, should be omitted by those already familiar with these facts.
The vast changes in family life-the rise of single, same-sex, and two-paycheck parents-have often been blamed for declining morality and unhappy children. Drawing upon pioneering research with the children of the gender revolution, Kathleen Gerson reveals that it is not a lack of family values, but rigid social and economic forces that make it difficult to live out those values. The Unfinished Revolution makes clear recommendations for a new flexibility at work and at home that benefits families, encourages a (...) thriving economy, and helps women and men integrate love and work. (shrink)
In the first half of this book, I offer a theory of fictional content or, as it is sometimes known, ‘fictional truth’.The theory of fictional content I argue for is ‘extreme intentionalism’. The basic idea – very roughly, in ways which are made precise in the book - is that the fictional content of a particular text is equivalent to exactly what the author of the text intended the reader to imagine. The second half of the book is concerned with (...) showing how extreme intentionalism and the lessons learnt from it can illuminate cognate questions in the philosophy of fiction and imagination. For instance, I argue, my position helps us to explain how fiction can provide us with reliable testimony ; it helps explain the phenomenon of imaginative resistance ; and it fits with, and so supports, a persuasive theory of the nature of fiction itself. In my final chapter, I show how attending to intentionalist practices of interpreting fictional content can illuminate the nature of propositional imagining itself. (shrink)
I trace a brief history of philosophical discussion of the concept WOMAN and identify two key points at which, I argue, things went badly wrong. The first was where when it was agreed that the concept WOMAN must identify a social not biological kind. The second was where it was decided that the concept WOMAN faced a legitimate challenge of being insufficiently “inclusive”, understood in a certain way. I’ll argue that both of these moves are only intelligible, if at all, (...) in the context of an anti-naturalist picture drawn from either post-structuralism or radical feminism. They become incoherent when adopted by methodological naturalists, who – especially when concerned to track oppression and discrimination – have no good reason to deny that WOMAN refers to a pre-given, biological kind. (shrink)
La autora presenta una critica a la concepcion clasica de los sentidos asumida por la mayoria de autores naturalistas que pretenden explicar el contenido mental. Esta crítica se basa en datos neurobiologicos sobre los sentidos que apuntan a que estos no parecen describir caracteristicas objetivas del mundo, sino que actuan de forma ŉarcisita', es decir, representan informacion en funcion de los intereses concretos del organismo.El articulo se encuentra también en: Bechtel, et al., Philosophy and the Neuroscience.
The concept of the imaginary is pervasive within contemporary thought, yet can be a baffling and often controversial term. In Imagination and the Imaginary , Kathleen Lennon explores the links between imagination - regarded as the faculty of creating images or forms - and the imaginary, which links such imagery with affect or emotion and captures the significance which the world carries for us. Beginning with an examination of contrasting theories of imagination proposed by Hume and Kant, Lennon argues (...) that the imaginary is not something in opposition to the real, but the very faculty through which the world is made real to us. She then turns to the vexed relationship between perception and imagination and, drawing on Kant, Merleau-Ponty and Sartre, explores some fundamental questions, such as whether there is a distinction between the perceived and the imagined; the relationship between imagination and creativity; and the role of the body in perception and imagination. Invoking also Spinoza and Coleridge, Lennon argues that, far from being a realm of illusion, the imaginary world is our most direct mode of perception. She then explores the role the imaginary plays in the formation of the self and the social world. A unique feature of the volume is that it compares and contrasts a philosophical tradition of thinking about the imagination - running from Kant and Hume to Strawson and John McDowell - with the work of phenomenological, psychoanalytic, poststructuralist and feminist thinkers such as Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Lacan, Castoriadis, Irigaray, Gatens and Lloyd. This makes I magination and the Imaginary essential reading for students and scholars working in phenomenology, philosophy of perception, social theory, cultural studies and aesthetics. Cover Image: Bronze Bowl with Lace , Ursula Von Rydingsvard, 2014. Courtesy the artist, Galerie Lelong and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Photo Jonty Wilde. (shrink)
Anonymity is a form of nonidentifiability which I define as noncoordinatability of traits in a given respect. This definition broadens the concept, freeing it from its primary association with naming. I analyze different ways anonymity can be realized. I also discuss some ethical issues, such as privacy, accountability and other values which anonymity may serve or undermine. My theory can also conceptualize anonymity in information systems where, for example, privacy and accountability are at issue.
It is easy to give a list of cognitive processes. They are things like learning, memory, concept formation, reasoning, maybe emotion, and so on. It is not easy to say, of these things that are called cognitive, what makes them so? Knowing the answer is one very important reason to be interested in the mark of the cognitive. In this paper, consider some answers that we think do not work and then offer one of our own which ties cognition to (...) actions explained via the having of reasons. (shrink)
The vast changes in family life have often been blamed for declining morality and unhappy children. Drawing upon pioneering research with the children of the gender revolution, Kathleen Gerson reveals that it is not a lack of family values, but rigid social and economic forces that make it difficult to live out those values. The Unfinished Revolution makes clear recommendations for a new flexibility at work and at home that benefits families, encourages a thriving economy, and helps women and (...) men integrate love and work. (shrink)
Bringing together cutting-edge research from psychology and neuroscience, Kathleen Taylor puts the brain back into brainwashing and shows why understanding this mysterious phenomenon is vitally relevant in the twenty-first century.
This empirical study examines corporate responses to activist shareholder groups filing social-policy shareholder resolutions. Using resource dependency theory as our conceptual framing, we identify some of the drivers of corporate responses to shareholder activists. This study departs from previous studies by including a fourth possible corporate response, engaging in dialogue. Dialogue, an alternative to shareholder resolutions filed by activists, is a process in which corporations and activist shareholder groups mutually agree to engage in ongoing negotiations to deal with social issues. (...) Based on a unique dataset of resolutions filed by member organizations of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility from 2002 to 2005 and the outcomes of these resolutions, our analysis finds that corporate managers are more likely to engage in dialogue with shareholder activists when the firm is larger, is more responsive to stakeholders, the CEO is the board chair, and the firm has a relatively lower percentage of institutional investors. (shrink)
This article delineates two dimensions along which computational models of face processing may vary, and briefly review three such models, the Dailey and Cottrell model; the O'Reilly and Munakata model; and the Riesenhuber and Poggio. It focuses primarily on one of the models and shows how this model is used to reveal potential mechanisms underlying the neural processing of faces and objects—the development of a specialized face processor, how it could be recruited for other domains, hemispheric lateralization of face processing, (...) facial expression processing, and the development of face discrimination. It turns to the Riesenhuber and Poggio model to describe the elegant way it has been used to predict functional magnetic resonance imaging data on face processing. The overall strategy of these modeling efforts is to sample problems that are constrained by neurophysiological and behavioral data, and to stress the ways in which models can generate novel hypotheses about the way humans process faces. (shrink)
In this paper I examine the model of asymmetrical 'relationship' that is imported from prostitution-client sex work to human-robot sex. Specifically, I address the arguments proposed by David Levy who identifies prostitution/sex work as a model that can be imported into human-robot sex relations. I draw on literature in anthropology that deals with the anthropomorphism of nonhuman things and the way that things reflect back to us gendered notions of sexuality. In the final part of the paper I propose that (...) prostitution is no ordinary activity and relies on the ability to use a person as a thing and this is why parallels between sex robots and prostitution are so frequently found by their advocates. (shrink)
If connectionism is to be an adequate theory of mind, we must have a theory of representation for neural networks that allows for individual differences in weighting and architecture while preserving sameness, or at least similarity, of content. In this paper we propose a procedure for measuring sameness of content of neural representations. We argue that the correct way to compare neural representations is through analysis of the distances between neural activations, and we present a method for doing so. We (...) then use the technique to demonstrate empirically that different artificial neural networks trained by backpropagation on the same categorization task, even with different representational encodings of the input patterns and different numbers of hidden units, reach states in which representations at the hidden units are similar. We discuss how this work provides a rebuttal to Fodor and Lepore's critique of Paul Churchland's state space semantics. (shrink)
Against the background of the Deweyan tradition of Democracy and Education, we discuss problems of complexity and reductionism in education and educational philosophy. First, we investigate some of Dewey’s own criticisms of reductionist tendencies in the educational traditions, theories, and practices of his time. Secondly, we explore some important cases of reductionism in the educational debates of our own day and argue that a similar criticism in behalf of democracy and education is appropriate and can easily be based on Deweyan (...) terms. Thirdly, we draw some more general conclusions about complexity and reductionism as challenges for democracy and education. Among other things, we argue that powerful social tendencies of capitalist competition and social Darwinism support reductionisms in education and put the democratic project at risk. The tensional relation between democracy and capitalism constitutes a major challenge for educational philosophy in our own time as much as in Dewey’s. (shrink)
COVID-19 is a highly contagious infection with no proven treatment. Approximately 2.5% of patients need mechanical ventilation while their body fights the infection.1 Once COVID-19 patients reach the point of critical illness where ventilation is necessary, they tend to deteriorate quickly. During the pandemic, patients with other conditions may also present at the hospital needing emergency ventilation. But ventilation of a COVID-19 patient can last for 2–3 weeks. Accordingly, if all ventilators are in use, there will not be time for (...) patients to ‘queue up’ to wait for those who arrived earlier to recover. Those who need a ventilator will die if they do not receive access to one quickly. Many nations now face the prospect that they failed to prepare appropriately for this foreseen risk of pandemic and that their populations will need far more ventilators than the health service can supply. For many weeks, the UK has been anticipating a surge of COVID-19 infections that could leave patients queuing in hospitals for ICU care. Luckily, social distancing has ‘flattened the curve’ and this problem might not arise. There is still a degree of risk, however, and other countries will not be so lucky. At some point, during this pandemic or the next, all countries will need to answer hard questions about whether and when scarce ICU resources should be either withheld or withdrawn from certain groups of patients solely for the purpose of providing them to others. Attempts to answer these questions can be found in a wide range of ICU triage protocols and ethical guidance documents, many of which embrace the foundational principle of ‘save the most lives’. Unfortunately, this worthwhile goal has generated many suggestions that could violate the law. This article identifies …. (shrink)
In the Metaphysics, Aristotle pointed out that some activities are engaged in for their own sake, while others are directed at some end. The test for distinguishing between them is to ask, ‘At any time during a period in which someone is Xing, is it also true that they have Xed?’ If both are true, the activity is being done for its own sake. If not, it is being done for the sake of some end other than itself. For example, (...) if I am thinking, it is true that I have thought. But if I’m making a blouse, it is not true that I have made a blouse, at least not this particular blouse. That’s not true until I have completed the project.There have been a number of attempts to deepen our understanding of this distinction. Anthony Kenny devoted a chapter of Action, Emotion, and Will to this issue, exploring the effect tense has on implication relations, and using that as a basis for dividing verbs of action into state-verbs, activity-verbs and performance-verbs. In more recent years the trend has been to generalize these categories so as to include occurrences other than actions, i.e., occurrences which do not involve intentions. While interest in this area tends to focus primarily on linguistic issues, such as the categorization of verbs, or on the logical analysis of sentences, there has been some interest in related metaphysical issues. In 1978 Alexander Mourelatos published ‘Events, Processes, and States,’ a paper which has turned out to be quite influential, in which he proposes an ontological trichotomy of occurrences. In his view, processes and events form distinct categories within the general category of occurrences. In this paper I will examine the reasoning underlying Mourelatos’s claim, arguing that the differences between processes and events cannot provide the basis for an ontological subcategorization of occurrences. (shrink)
A common view in both philosophy and the vision sciences is that, in human vision, wavelength information is primarily ‘for’ colouring: for seeing surfaces and various media as having colours. In this article we examine this assumption of ‘colour-for-colouring’. To motivate the need for an alternative theory, we begin with three major puzzles from neurophysiology, puzzles that are not explained by the standard theory. We then ask about the role of wavelength information in vision writ large. How might wavelength information (...) be used by any monochromat or dichromat and, finally, by a trichromatic primate with object vision? We suggest that there is no single ‘advantage’ to trichromaticity but a multiplicity, only one of which is the ability to see surfaces and so on as having categorical colours. Instead, the human trichromatic retina exemplifies a scheme for a general encoding of wavelength information given the constraints imposed by high spatial resolution object vision. Chromatic vision, like its partner, luminance vision, is primarily for seeing. Viewed this way, the ‘puzzles’ presented at the outset make perfect sense. 1 Reframing the Problem1.1 Introduction1.2 Three puzzles1.2.1 Why is trichromatic vision an anomaly in diurnal mammals?1.2.2 Why does the colour system occupy such a large and central part in human vision?1.2.3 Why are the blue cones so rare?1.3 Recasting the question2 The Costs and Benefits of Spectral Vision2.1 Spectral information and object vision2.2 Encoding the spectral dimension of light2.2.1 ‘General’ versus ‘specific’ encoding2.2.2 Spectral encoding and the monochromat2.2.3 Spectral encoding and the dichromat2.2.4 Spectral encoding and the human trichromat2.3 Three puzzles revisited2.3.1 Why is trichromatic vision an anomaly in diurnal mammals?2.3.2 Why does the colour system occupy such a large and central part in human vision?2.3.3 Why are the blue cones so rare3 Conclusion. (shrink)
In this paper, I survey in some depth three issues arising from the connection between imagination and fiction: (i) whether fiction can be defined as such in terms of its prescribing imagining; (ii) whether imagining in response to fiction is de se, or de re, or both; (iii) the phenomenon of ‘imaginative resistance’ and various explanations for it. Along the way I survey, more briefly, several other prominent issues in this area too.