Freud's criticism of the localization project as carried out by Theodor Meynert and Carl Wernicke has usually been seen as marking his break with contemporaneous brain science. In this article, however, I show that Freud criticized localization not by turning his back on brain science, but rather by radicalizing some of its principles. In particular, he argued that the physiological pretensions of the localization project remained at odds with its uncritical importation of psychological categories. Further, by avoiding a confusion of (...) categories and adopting a parallelist reading, Freud was able to develop a fully “physiologized” account of nervous processes. This opened up the possibility for forms of mental pathology that were not reliant on the anatomical lesion. Instead, Freud suggested that lived experience might be able to create a pathological organization within the nervous system. This critique—a passage through, rather than a turn away from, brain science—opened the possibility for Freud's theory of the unconscious and his developing psychoanalysis. On a methodological level, this article aims to show how the intellectual history of modern Europe can gain from taking seriously the impact of the brain sciences, and by applying to scientific texts the methods and reading practices traditionally reserved for philosophical or literary works. (shrink)
Recent research on moral decision-making has suggested that many common moral judgments are based on immediate intuitions. However, some individuals arrive at highly counterintuitive utilitarian conclusions about when it is permissible to harm other individuals. Such utilitarian judgments have been attributed to effortful reasoning that has overcome our natural emotional aversion to harming others. Recent studies, however, suggest that such utilitarian judgments might also result from a decreased aversion to harming others, due to a deficit in empathic concern and social (...) emotion. The present study investigated the neural basis of such indifference to harming using functional neuroimaging during engagement in moral dilemmas. A tendency to counterintuitive utilitarian judgment was associated both with ‘psychoticism’, a trait associated with a lack of empathic concern and antisocial tendencies, and with ‘need for cognition’, a trait reflecting preference for effortful cognition. Importantly, only psychoticism was also negatively correlated with activation in the subgenual cingulate cortex (SCC), a brain area implicated in empathic concern and social emotions such as guilt, during counterintuitive utilitarian judgments. Our findings suggest that when individuals reach highly counterintuitive utilitarian conclusions, this need not reflect greater engagement in explicit moral deliberation. It may rather reflect a lack of empathic concern, and diminished aversion to harming others. (shrink)
Based on three empirical studies, this research sets out to conceptualise and subsequently operationalise the construct of consumer perceived ethicality (CPE) of a company or brand. Study 1 investigates consumer meanings of the term ethical and reveals that, contrary to philosophical scholars' exclusively consequentialist or nonconsequentialist positions, consumers' ethical judgments are a function of both these evaluation principles, illustrating that not any one scholarly definition of ethics alone is capable of capturing the content domain. The resulting conceptualisation identifies six key (...) themes explicating the construct. Building upon these findings, studies 2 and 3 were conducted to operationalise CPE. Such operationalisation is an essential prerequisite for future explorations and theory development given the absence of a suitable tool to capture and quantify the strength and direction of CPE. The key focus was on developing a valid and reliable multi-item measurement tool that is practical, parsimonious and easy to administer. The scale's general applicability allows deployment in academic and business contexts as well as different research areas and doing thus facilitates the much-needed theory building in this new research area. (shrink)
Belief and Truth: A Skeptic Reading of Plato explores a Socratic intuition about belief, doxa -- belief is "shameful." In aiming for knowledge, one must aim to get rid of beliefs. Vogt shows how deeply this proposal differs from contemporary views, but that it nevertheless speaks to intuitions we are likely to share with Plato, ancient skeptics, and Stoic epistemologists.
This book argues that political philosophy is central to early Stoic philosophy, and is deeply tied to the Stoics' conceptions of reason and wisdom. Broad in scope, it explores the Stoics' idea of the cosmic city, their notion of citizen-gods, as well as their account of the law.
Although religious belief is often claimed to help with physical ailments including pain, it is unclear what psychological and neural mechanisms underlie the influence of religious belief on pain. By analogy to other top-down processes of pain modulation we hypothesized that religious belief helps believers reinterpret the emotional significance of pain, leading to emotional detachment from it. Recent findings on emotion regulation support a role for the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, a region also important for driving top-down pain inhibitory circuits. (...) Using functional magnetic resonance imaging in practicing Catholics and avowed atheists and agnostics during painful stimulation, here we show the existence of a context-dependent form of analgesia that was triggered by the presentation of an image with a religious content but not by the presentation of a non-religious image. As confirmed by behavioral data, contemplation of the religious image eneabled the religious group to detach themselves from the experience of pain. Critically, this context-dependent modulation of pain specifically engaged the right VLPFC, whereas group-specific preferential liking of one of the pictures was associated with activation in the ventral midbrain. We suggest that religious belief might provide a framework that allows individuals to engage known pain-regulatory brain processes. (shrink)
The article explores the relation between personal identity and life-changing decisions such as the decision for a certain career or the decision to become a parent. According to L.A. Paul, decisions of this kind involve “transformative experiences”, to the effect that - at the time we make a choice - we simply don’t know what it is like for us to experience the future situation. Importantly, she claims that some new experiences may be “personally transformative” by which she means that (...) one may become a “new kind of person” having a different subjective perspective and “identity”. The article discusses this understanding of a transformed future self. It will be argued that different notions of identity can be distinguished with respect to Paul’s claim: the notion of identity in the sense of a personality as well as the notion of numerical identity in the sense of sameness. By distinguishing these two notions it will become more clear how a future experience may indeed qualify as “personally transformative”. Moreover, it will be shown that the notion of a self-understanding of persons helps to further clarify the kind of change at issue. (shrink)
The threat simulation theory of dreaming states that dream consciousness is essentially an ancient biological defence mechanism, evolutionarily selected for its capacity to repeatedly simulate threatening events. Threat simulation during dreaming rehearses the cognitive mechanisms required for efficient threat perception and threat avoidance, leading to increased probability of reproductive success during human evolution. One hypothesis drawn from TST is that real threatening events encountered by the individual during wakefulness should lead to an increased activation of the system, a threat simulation (...) response, and therefore, to an increased frequency and severity of threatening events in dreams. Consequently, children who live in an environment in which their physical and psychological well-being is constantly threatened should have a highly activated dream production and threat simulation system, whereas children living in a safe environment that is relatively free of such threat cues should have a weakly activated system. We tested this hypothesis by analysing the content of dream reports from severely traumatized and less traumatized Kurdish children and ordinary, non-traumatized Finnish children. Our results give support for most of the predictions drawn from TST. The severely traumatized children reported a significantly greater number of dreams and their dreams included a higher number of threatening dream events. The dream threats of traumatized children were also more severe in nature than the threats of less traumatized or non-traumatized children. (shrink)
In this paper, it is argued the Stoics develop an account of corporeals that allows their theory of bodies to be, at the same time, a theory of causation, agency, and reason. The paper aims to shed new light on the Stoics' engagement with Plato's Sophist . It is argued that the Stoics are Sons of the Earth insofar as, for them, the study of corporeals - rather than the study of being - is the most fundamental study of reality. (...) However, they are sophisticated Sons of the Earth by developing a complex notion of corporeals. A crucial component of this account is that ordinary bodies are individuated by the way in which the corporeal god pervades them. The corporeal god is the one cause of all movements and actions in the universe. (shrink)
Background Decisions on limiting life-sustaining treatment for patients in the vegetative state (VS) are emotionally and morally challenging. In Germany, doctors have to discuss, together with the legal surrogate (often a family member), whether the proposed treatment is in accordance with the patient's will. However, it is unknown whether family members of the patient in the VS actually base their decisions on the patient's wishes. Objective To examine the role of advance directives, orally expressed wishes, or the presumed will of (...) patients in a VS for family caregivers' decisions on life-sustaining treatment. Methods and sample A qualitative interview study with 14 next of kin of patients in a VS in a long-term care setting was conducted; 13 participants were the patient's legal surrogates. Interviews were analysed according to qualitative content analysis. Results The majority of family caregivers said that they were aware of aforementioned wishes of the patient that could be applied to the VS condition, but did not base their decisions primarily on these wishes. They gave three reasons for this: (a) the expectation of clinical improvement, (b) the caregivers' definition of life-sustaining treatments and (c) the moral obligation not to harm the patient. If the patient's wishes were not known or not revealed, the caregivers interpreted a will to live into the patient's survival and non-verbal behaviour. Conclusions Whether or not prior treatment wishes of patients in a VS are respected depends on their applicability, and also on the medical assumptions and moral attitudes of the surrogates. We recommend repeated communication, support for the caregivers and advance care planning. (shrink)
This research investigates how consumers’ ethical brand perceptions are affected by differentially valenced information. Drawing on literature from person-perception formation and using a sequential, mixed method design comprising qualitative interviews and two experiments with a national representative population sample, our findings show that only when consumers perceive their judgment of a brand’s ethicality to be pertinent, do they process information holistically and in line with the configural model of impression formation. In this case, negative information functions as a diagnostic cue (...) to form an unethical brand perception, irrespective of other positive information at hand. However, in the case where processing relevance of the un/ethical information provided is low, brand perception formation is algebraic, in which case positive information can counterbalance and neutralize the detrimental impact of brand misbehavior. Our findings extend existing research on consumer perceived ethicality as well as consumer reactions to corporate social responsibility and sustainability initiatives, which has so far assumed the asymmetric impact of negative information on ethical perceptions and consumer attitudes to be prevalent. We derive a range of academic and managerial implications and present a number of important avenues for future research. (shrink)
The article explores the basic conceptual relationship between social cognition, intersubjectivity and self-consciousness. A much-debated recent approach to social cognition, the so-called interaction theory, is the view that the ability to perceive, understand and interpret the behavior of others relies on interaction in the sense of mutual coordination of the embodied agents involved. It will be shown that this notion of reciprocity is too weak in order to fully account for social understanding. It will be argued that the idea of (...) reciprocity should at least in some cases be conceived of as a stance persons adopt towards each other, which in turn presupposes that they acknowledge each other as self-conscious agents. This view is inspired by an argument originally introduced by Johann Gottlieb Fichte. (shrink)
Some narrative approaches assume a tight relation between narrative and selfhood. They hold that the self-understanding of persons as individuals possessing a set of particular character traits is above all narratively structured for it is constituted by stories persons tell or can tell about their lives. Against this view, it is argued that self-understanding is also characterized by certain non-narrative and invariant mental features. In order to show this, a non-narrative awareness of self-identity over time will be analyzed. It will (...) be argued that this basic form of awareness plays a fundamental role for the possibility of a richer form of self-understanding. (shrink)
Despite the variety of theories suggesting how human language might have evolved, very few consider the potential role of emotions in such scenarios. The few existing theories jointly highlight that gaining control over the production of emotional communication was crucial for establishing and maintaining larger social groups. This in turn resulted in the development of more complex social emotions and the corresponding sophisticated socio-cognitive skills to understand others’ communicative behavior, providing the grounds for language to emerge. Importantly, these theories propose (...) that the ability of controlling emotional communication is a uniquely human trait, an assumption that we will challenge. By taking a comparative approach, we discuss recent findings from behavioral and neurobiological studies from our closest relatives, the non-human primates, on the extent of control over their gestural, facial and vocal signals. This demonstrates that research foci differ drastically across these modalities, which further enhances the traditional dichotomy between emotional, involuntary facial and vocal expressions in contrast to intentionally, voluntarily produced gestures. Based on this brief overview, we point to gaps of knowledge in primate communication research and suggest how investigating emotional expressions in our closest relatives might enrich the road map towards the evolution of human language. (shrink)
ABSTRACTEmotion understanding, which can broadly be defined as expertise in the meaning of emotion, is a core component of emotional intelligence and facilitates better intra- and interpersonal outcomes. However, to date only very few standard tests to measure emotion understanding in healthy adults exist. Here, we present two new performance-based tests that were developed and are scored based on componential emotion theory and large-scale cross-cultural empirical findings. These instruments intend to measure facets of emotion understanding that are not included in (...) existing tests. The first test measures the ability to understand and label emotional experiences of a target person from a description of emotion features covering five emotion components embedded in a written vignette. The second test measures semantic knowledge about which features from each component a... (shrink)
Neuroimaging studies on moral decision-making have thus far largely focused on differences between moral judgments with opposing utilitarian (well-being maximizing) and deontological (duty-based) content. However, these studies have investigated moral dilemmas involving extreme situations, and did not control for two distinct dimensions of moral judgment: whether or not it is intuitive (immediately compelling to most people) and whether it is utilitarian or deontological in content. By contrasting dilemmas where utilitarian judgments are counterintuitive with dilemmas in which they are intuitive, we (...) were able to use functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify the neural correlates of intuitive and counterintuitive judgments across a range of moral situations. Irrespective of content (utilitarian/deontological), counterintuitive moral judgments were associated with greater difficulty and with activation in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex, suggesting that such judgments may involve emotional conflict; intuitive judgments were linked to activation in the visual and premotor cortex. In addition, we obtained evidence that neural differences in moral judgment in such dilemmas are largely due to whether they are intuitive and not, as previously assumed, to differences between utilitarian and deontological judgments. Our findings therefore do not support theories that have generally associated utilitarian and deontological judgments with distinct neural systems. (shrink)
A previous observational study suggested that when faced with a partner with its back turned, chimpanzees tend to move around to the front of a non-attending partner and then gesture — rather than gesturing once to attract attention and then again to convey a specific intent. We investigated this preference experimentally by presenting six orangutans, five gorillas, nine chimpanzees, and four bonobos with a food begging situation in which we varied the body orientation of an experimenter with respect to the (...) subject and the location of the food. These manipulations allowed us to measure whether subjects preferred to move around to face E or to use signals to attract her attention before they begged for food. Results showed that all species moved around to face E and then produced visual gestures, instead of using tactile/ auditory gestures behind E to call her attention. Species differences were apparent particularly when the food and E were in different locations. Unlike gorillas and orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos produced their gestures in front of E in all conditions, including that in which subjects had to leave the food behind to communicate with her. Implications of these results are discussed in the context of the evolution of social cognition in great apes. (shrink)
Contrary to their predecessors, the Stoics put forward a unified notion of cause: a cause is a bodily because-of-which. Against the backdrop of Plato’s and Aristotle’s influential views, this is an original proposal. It involves the rejection of an earlier trend, according to which causes and explanations are closely associated. It also involves a pulling apart of causes and principles. And it comes with a charge against Plato and Aristotle, namely that they introduce a swarm of causes, a turba causarum.
Despite widespread support for the idea of measuring EI as an ability based on Mayer and Salovey’s model, only a few performance-based EI tests have been developed. I argue that both the original and updated ability EI model provide little guidance for a theory-driven generation of items and their scoring, as the functions and processes associated with high and low EI are not specified in enough detail. One solution is to draw on theories from other fields when creating a measurement (...) rationale for a new EI test. I illustrate this approach by describing two new tests measuring emotional understanding and emotion management. (shrink)
The tendency towards an increasing integration of the informational web into our daily physical world (in particular in so-called Ambient Intelligent technologies which combine ideas derived from the field of Ubiquitous Computing, Intelligent User Interfaces and Ubiquitous Communication) is likely to make the development of successful profiling and personalization algorithms, like the ones currently used by internet companies such as Amazon, even more important than it is today. I argue that the way in which we experience ourselves necessarily goes through (...) a moment of technical mediation. Because of this algorithmic profiling that thrives on continuous reconfiguration of identification should not be understood as a supplementary process which maps a pre-established identity that exists independently from the profiling practice. In order to clarify how the experience of one’s identity can become affected by such machine-profiling a theoretical exploration of identity is made (including Agamben’s understanding of an apparatus, Ricoeur’s distinction between idem- and ipse-identity, and Stiegler’s notion of a conjunctive–disjunctive relationship towards retentional apparatuses). Although it is clear that no specific predictions about the impact of Ambient Intelligent technologies can be made without taking more particulars into account, the theoretical concepts are used to describe three general scenarios about the way wherein the experience of identity might become affected. To conclude, I argue that the experience of one’s identity may affect whether the cases of unwarranted discrimination resulting from ubiquitous differentiations and identifications within an Ambient Intelligent environment, will become a matter of societal concern. (shrink)
Whistleblowing is a controversial yet socially significant topic of interest due to its impact on employees, organizations, and society at large. The purpose of this paper is to integrate knowledge of whistleblowing with theoretical advancements in the broader domain of business ethics to propose a novel approach to research and practice engaged in this complex phenomenon. The paper offers a conceptual framework, i.e., the wheel of whistleblowing, that is developed to portray the different features of whistleblowing by applying the whistleblower’s (...) perspective. The framework is based on five “W” questions: Who, What, hoW, Why, and to Whom? The answers to the proposed questions clarify the main aspects of whistleblowing, provide insights into existing studies of the subject, and identify relevant gaps in the literature which, in turn, offer opportunities for future research. (shrink)
Biological realism (Revonsuo, 2001, 2006) states that dreaming is a biological phenomenon and therefore explainable in naturalistic terms, similar to the explanation of other biological phenomena. In the biological sciences, the structure of explanations can be described with the help of a framework called 'multilevel explanation'. The multilevel model provides a context that assists to clarify what needs to be explained and how, and how to place different theories into the same model. Here, I will argue that the multilevel framework (...) would be useful when we try to construct scientific explanations of dreaming. (shrink)
This special issue of Grazer Philosophische Studien brings together a number of carefully selected and timely articles that explore the discussion of different facets of self-consciousness from multiple perspectives. The selected articles mainly focus on three topics of the current debate: the relationship between conceptual and nonconceptual ways of self-representation; the role of intersubjectivity for the development of self-consciousness; the temporal structure of self-consciousness. A number of previously underexposed, yet important connections between different approaches are explored. The articles not only (...) represent the state of the art in their respective areas of research and make new insights available, but also provide an overview of different methodologies: ranging from philosophy of language and mind to phenomenology and cognitive science. The volume is of interest for philosophers, cognitive scientists and researchers in related disciplines who are concerned with investigating the nature and origin of self-consciousness. (shrink)
The paper investigates the ethical decisions of Millennials, who are not only part of an expanding cohort of the workforce, but also represent potential future managers with a growing influence on work practices and employment relationships. In the conceptual model, we propose that three ethical frames of reference, represented by perceived organisational ethics, perceived employee ethics and reflective moral attentiveness, antecede ethical judgements, which further influence the ethical intentions of Millennials. Using structural equation modelling, we test the model for three (...) different business ethics scenarios: paying a consulting fee, dumping hazardous waste, and running an offensive advertising campaign. The findings confirm the link between ethical judgements and intentions across the board, while the influence of the ethical frames of reference varies among the scenarios. We propose that the differences in the predictive ability of the ethical frames of reference depend on the nature of the ethical issue, which holds important implications for today's managers in their attempts to encourage ethical behaviour of Millennial employees. (shrink)