Determining how we use our body to support cognition represents an important part of understanding the embodied and embedded nature of cognition. In the present investigation, we pursue this question in the context of a common perceptual task. Specifically, we report a series of experiments investigating head tilt (i.e., external normalization) as a strategy in letter naming and reading stimuli that are upright or rotated. We demonstrate that the frequency of this natural behavior is modulated by the cost of stimulus (...) rotation on performance. In addition, we demonstrate that external normalization can benefit performance. All of the results are consistent with the notion that external normalization represents a form of cognitive offloading and that effort is an important factor in the decision to adopt an internal or external strategy. (shrink)
Studies of change detection suggest that people tend to overestimate their ability to detect visual changes. In a recent laboratory study of change detection and human intention, Beck et al., found that individuals have an inadequate understanding that intention can improve change detection performance and that its importance increases with scene complexity. We note that these findings may be specific to unfamiliar situations such as those generated routinely in studies of change detection. In two questionnaire studies, we demonstrate that when (...) participants consider real world scenarios such as driving, people are well aware that the intention to detect changes improves detection performance, especially in complex scenes. We suggest several reasons why change detection findings like Beck et al.’s do not generalize to real world situations. More broadly, we suggest a possible way to bridge the gap between lab and life. (shrink)
Studies of change blindness indicate that more intentional monitoring of changes is necessary to successfully detect changes as scene complexity increases. However, there have been conflicting reports as to whether people are aware of this relation between intention and successful change detection as scene complexity increases. Here we continue our dialogue with [Beck, M. R., Levin, D. T., & Angelone, B. . Change blindness blindness: Beliefs about the roles of intention and scene complexity in change detection. Consciousness and Cognition, 16, (...) 31–51; Beck, M. R., Levin, D. T., & Angelone, B. . Metacognitive errors in change detection: Lab and life converge. Consciousness and Cognition, 16, 58–62] by reporting two experiments that show participants do in fact intuit that more intentional monitoring is needed to detect changes as scene complexity increases. We also discuss how this dialogue illustrates the need for psychological studies to be grounded in measurements taken from real world situations rather than laboratory experiments or questionnaires. (shrink)
Hemisphere differences in word reading were examined using explicit and implicit processing measures. In an inclusion task, which indexes both conscious and unconscious word reading processes, participants were briefly presented with a word in either the right or the left visual field and were asked to use this word to complete a three-letter word stem. In an exclusion task, which estimates unconscious word reading, participants completed the word stem with any word other than the prime word. Experiment 1 showed that (...) words presented to either visual field were processed in very similar ways in both tasks, with the exception that words in the right visual field were more readily accessible for conscious report. Experiment 2 indicated that unconsciously processed words are shared between the hemispheres, as similar results were obtained when either the same or the opposite visual field received the word stem. Experiment 3 demonstrated that this sharing between hemispheres is cortically mediated by testing a split-brain patient. These results suggest that the left hemisphere advantage for word reading holds only for explicit measures; unconscious word reading is much more balanced between the hemispheres. (shrink)
Human behavior unfolds primarily in built environments, where the arrangement of objects is a result of ongoing human decisions and actions, yet these organizational decisions have received limited experimental study. In two experiments, we introduce a novel paradigm designed to explore how individuals organize task-relevant objects in space. Participants completed goals by locating and accessing sequences of objects in a computer-based task, and they were free to rearrange the positions of objects at any time. We measure a variety of organization (...) changes and evaluate how these measures relate to individual differences in performance. In Experiment 1, we show that with weak structure in task demands, changes in object positions that arise through performance of the task lead to improved order, characterized predominantly by a centralization of frequently used items and a peripheralization of infrequently used objects. In Experiment 2, with increased task structure, we observe more refined organizational tendencies, with selective contraction and clustering of interrelated task-relevant objects. We further demonstrate that these more selective organization behaviors are reliably associated with individual differences in task performance. Collectively, these two studies reveal properties of space and of task demands that support and facilitate effective organization of the environment in support of ongoing behavior. (shrink)
Alan Turing’s pioneering work on computability, and his ideas on morphological computing support Andrew Hodges’ view of Turing as a natural philosopher. Turing’s natural philosophy differs importantly from Galileo’s view that the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics (The Assayer, 1623). Computing is more than a language used to describe nature as computation produces real time physical behaviors. This article presents the framework of Natural info-computationalism as a contemporary natural philosophy that builds on the legacy (...) of Turing’s computationalism. The use of info-computational conceptualizations, models and tools makes possible for the first time in history modeling of complex self-organizing adaptive systems, including basic characteristics and functions of living systems, intelligence, and cognition. (shrink)
Alan Turing is known for both his mathematical creativity and genius and role in cryptography war efforts, and for his homosexuality, for which he was persecuted. Yet there is little work that brings these two parts of his life together. This paper deconstructs and moves beyond the extant stereotypes around perceived associations between gay men and creativity, to consider how Turing’s lived experience as a queer mathematician provides a rich seam of insight into the ways in which his life, (...) relationships, and working environment shaped his work. (shrink)
In this in ter view, the pres ti gious an thro - pol o gist, his to rian and T.V. anaouncer, Alan Macfarlane com ments on some of the is sues that have been ad dressed in his writ ings. His main the o ret i cal con cern has been to study the pe cu - liar con di tions that gave rise to the mod e..
This small book packs a considerable theoretical and practical punch. Alan Ware challenges much received wisdom about the dynamics of two party politics. In the process, he adds considerably to contemporary discussion of the intersection of structure and agency in the development and adaptation of political systems. Ware picks out two party systems for concentrated attention because of their relative tractability in his words: these systems are ideal for analysing the capacity of parties to pursue their interests in (...) the face of both other actors within the political system and also of elements within the party itself. (shrink)
A major voice in late twentieth-century philosophy, Alan Donagan is distinguished for his theories on the history of philosophy and the nature of morality. The Philosophical Papers of Alan Donagan, volumes 1 and 2, collect 28 of Donagan's most important and best-known essays on historical understanding and ethics from 1957 to 1991. Volume 2 addresses issues in the philosophy of action and moral theory. With papers on Kant, von Wright, Sellars, and Chisholm, this volume also covers a range (...) of questions in applied ethics--from the morality of Truman's decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to ethical questions in medicine and law. (shrink)
Dissertação de mestrado de: BARROS, Brasil Fernandes de. Religião e Espiritismo: o conceito de religião da Doutrina Espírita segundo a concepção de Alan Kardec. 2018. Dissertação – Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências da Religião, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG.
This paper concerns Alan Turing’s ideas about machines, mathematical methods of proof, and intelligence. By the late 1930s, Kurt Gödel and other logicians, including Turing himself, had shown that no finite set of rules could be used to generate all true mathematical statements. Yet according to Turing, there was no upper bound to the number of mathematical truths provable by intelligent human beings, for they could invent new rules and methods of proof. So, the output of a human mathematician, (...) for Turing, was not a computable sequence (i.e., one that could be generated by a Turing machine). Since computers only contained a finite number of instructions (or programs), one might argue, they could not reproduce human intelligence. Turing called this the “mathematical objection” to his view that machines can think. Logico-mathematical reasons, stemming from his own work, helped to convince Turing that it should be possible to reproduce human intelligence, and eventually compete with it, by developing the appropriate kind of digital computer. He felt it should be possible to program a computer so that it could learn or discover new rules, overcoming the limitations imposed by the incompleteness and undecidability results in the same way that human mathematicians presumably do. (shrink)
Alan Gewirth's Reason and Morality , in which he set forth the Principle of Generic Consistency, is a major work of modern ethical theory that, though much debated and highly respected, has yet to gain full acceptance. Deryck Beyleveld contends that this resistance stems from misunderstanding of the method and logical operations of Gewirth's central argument. In this book Beyleveld seeks to remedy this deficiency. His rigorous reconstruction of Gewirth's argument gives its various parts their most compelling formulation and (...) clarifies its essential logical structure. Beyleveld then classifies all the criticisms that Gewirth's argument has received and measures them against his reconstruction of the argument. The overall result is an immensely rich picture of the argument, in which all of its complex issues and key moves are clearly displayed and its validity can finally be discerned. The comprehensiveness of Beyleveld's treatment provides ready access to the entire debate surrounding the foundational argument of Reason and Morality . It will be required reading for all who are interested in Gewirth's theory and deontological ethics and will be of central importance to moral and legal theorists. (shrink)
D. Alan Shewmon has advanced a well-documented challenge to the widely accepted total brain death criterion for death of the human being. We show that Shewmon's argument against this criterion is unsound, though he does refute the standard argument for that criterion. We advance a distinct argument for the total brain death criterion and answer likely objections. Since human beings are rational animals – sentient organisms of a specific type – the loss of the radical capacity for sentience involves (...) a substantial change, the passing away of the human organism. In human beings total brain death involves the complete loss of the radical capacity for sentience, and so in human beings total brain death is death. (shrink)
An explanation is given of why it is in the nature of inquiry into whether or not p that its aim is fully achieved only if one comes to know that p or to know that not-p and, further, comes to know how one knows, either way. In the absence of the latter one is in no position to take the inquiry to be successfully completed or to vouch for the truth of the matter in hand. An upshot is that (...) although knowledge matters because truth matters this should not be understood to mean that knowledge matters because true belief matters. (shrink)
In a recent article in this journal, Alan Thomas presents a novel defence of what I call ‘Rawlsian Institutionalism about Justice’ against G. A. Cohen’s well-known critique. In this response I aim to defend Cohen’s rejection of Institutionalism against Thomas’s arguments. In part this defence requires clarifying precisely what is at issue between Institutionalists and their opponents. My primary focus, however, is on Thomas’s critical discussion of Cohen’s endorsement of an ethical prerogative, as well as his appeal to the (...) institutional framework of a ‘property-owning democracy’ in his elaboration of the precise institutional requirements of Rawlsian Institutionalist justice, and his related claim that Cohen’s rejection of Institutionalism involves an objectionable ‘double counting’ of the demands of justice. I argue that once we are clear about both the kind of justification that can be given for a prerogative within a plausible ethical theory, and about the key points of departure between Institutionalist views and their rivals, Cohen’s rejection of Institutionalism appears well-motivated, and Thomas’s claim that his view is guilty of double counting the demands of justice can be seen to be mistaken. (shrink)
In his article, ‘Gratuitous evil and divine providence’, Alan Rhoda claims to have produced an uncontroversial theological premise for the evidential argument from evil. I argue that his premise is by no means uncontroversial among theists, and I doubt that any premise can be found that is both uncontroversial and useful for the argument from evil.
In his article, 'Gratuitous evil and divine providence', Alan Rhoda claims to have produced an uncontroversial theological premise for the evidential argument from evil. I argue that his premise is by no means uncontroversial among theists, and I doubt that any premise can be found that is both uncontroversial and useful for the argument from evil.
Alan Carter's recent review in Mind of my Ethics of the Global Environment combines praise of biocentric consequentialism with criticisms that it could advocate both minimal satisfaction of human needs and the extinction of ‘inessential species’ for the sake of generating extra people; Carter also maintains that as a monistic theory it is predictably inadequate to cover the full range of ethical issues, since only a pluralistic theory has this capacity. In this reply, I explain how the counter-intuitive implications (...) of biocentric consequentialism suggested by Carter are not implications, and argue that since pluralistic theories either generate contradictions or collapse into monistic theories, the superiority of pluralistic theories is far from predictable. Thus Carter's criticisms fail to undermine biocentric consequentialism as a normative theory applicable to the generality of ethical issues. (shrink)
Alan Weir’s new book is, like Darwin’s Origin of Species, ‘one long argument’. The author has devised a new kind of have-it-both-ways philosophy of mathematics, supposed to allow him to say out of one side of his mouth that the integer 1,000,000 exists and even that the cardinal ℵω exists, while saying out of the other side of his mouth that no numbers exist at all, and the whole book is devoted to an exposition and defense of this new (...) view. The view is presented in the book in a way that can make it difficult for the reader to trace the main line of argument: with a great deal of apparatus, and with a great many digressions into subordinate issues. In what follows I will try to stick to what I take to be the essentials, even at the risk of oversimplifying some central but complicated issues, and at the cost of neglecting some interesting but peripheral ones.In chapter 1, the author introduces a distinction between what he calls ‘two aspects of meaning’ and dubs informational content and metaphysical content. Informational content is the aspect of meaning of primary interest to linguists, and the one of which speakers themselves are generally aware, at least upon reflection. Metaphysical content is supposed to be another aspect of meaning primarily of interest to philosophers. The basic idea is that if there are standards of correctness for assertions of a certain kind, then such an assertion may be called ‘true’ when those standards are met, even though the kind of correctness involved is not correctness in representing how the world is. What the world must be like in order for the utterance to be true is the metaphysical content of the assertion, but it need not be part of its …. (shrink)