What is the primary function of consciousness in the nervous system? The answer to this question remains enigmatic, not so much because of a lack of relevant data, but because of the lack of a conceptual framework with which to interpret the data. To this end, we have developed Passive Frame Theory, an internally coherent framework that, from an action-based perspective, synthesizes empirically supported hypotheses from diverse fields of investigation. The theory proposes that the primary function of consciousness is well-circumscribed, (...) serving the 'somatic nervous system[. For this system, consciousness serves as a frame that constrains and directs skeletal muscle output, thereby yielding adaptive behavior. The mechanism by which consciousness achieves this is more counterintuitive, passive, and “low level” than the kinds of functions that theorists have previously attributed to consciousness. Passive frame theory begins to illuminate (a) what consciousness contributes to nervous function, (b) how consciousness achieves this function, and (c) the neuroanatomical substrates of conscious processes. Our untraditional, action-based perspective focuses on olfaction instead of on vision and is 'descriptive' (describing the products of nature as they evolved to be) rather than 'normative' (construing processes in terms of how they should function). Passive frame theory begins to isolate the neuroanatomical, cognitive-mechanistic, and representational (e.g., conscious contents) processes associated with consciousness. (shrink)
This volume gathers essays by fourteen scholars, written to honor Fred Dallmayr and the contributions of his political theory. Stephen F. Schneck's introduction to Dallmayr's thinking provides a survey of the development of his work. Dallmayr's “letting be,” claims Schneck, is much akin to his reading of Martin Heidegger's “letting Being be,” and should be construed neither as a conservative acceptance of self-identity nor as a nonengaged indifference to difference. Instead, he explains, endeavoring to privilege neither identity nor difference, (...) the hermeneutic circle for Dallmayr must also be one of thoroughgoing critique and praxis. And, indeed, what joins together Dallmayr's many essays and explorations, what inheres within his “cosmopolitan” understanding of the contemporary world, and what lends his analyses their imperative, is this same “letting be.” "How many of us, over the last forty years, have opened up this or that book by Fred Dallmayr to acquaint ourselves with a new thinker or intellectual movement? It has happened to me several times. Each time, something else happens too. I become alert again to the distinctive and noble temper expressed in Dallmayr's work. _Letting Be_ consists of a series of essays by leading scholars who articulate and appreciate this temper, particularly as it has found expression in his thought about global politics work over the last two decades. This is a fine study, devoted to a thinker whose temper of critical responsiveness deserves wide emulation." —_William E. Connolly, Krieger-Eisenhower Professor, Johns Hopkins University_ _ _ "These essays constitute a marvelous, extended conversation on how political theory should delineate its future tasks. The reader is treated to a lively debate about a crucial set of questions: what strands of traditional Western political thought offer the best resources today; how do we think more comparatively about the foundations of political life; how do we engage more fruitfully Islamic, Indian, and_ mestizo_ contributions; and how do we best envision cross-cultural dialogue and imagine the shape of a "cosmopolis" in ways that will do greater justice to human dignity and diversity? All in all a rich feast honoring a remarkable man and scholar, Fred Dallmayr." —_Stephen K. White, James Hart Professor, University of Virginia_ “This is not the first Festschrift for Dallmayr, and it may not be the last, but it is the first that begins to be in a position to assess his long career with all its twists and turns. I have never fully understood Dallmayr as a creative thinker in his own right until now, and even when I sensed he was, I couldn't precisely say how. Now I can.” —_C. Fred Alford, University of Maryland_. (shrink)
This essay explores the methodological and historiographical legacy of Leonard Krieger , one of the most sophisticated and influential intellectual historians of his generation. The author argues that Krieger's mode of historicization exemplifies essential methodological practices neglected by contemporary historians and provides a model for scholarly political engagement. The essay is divided into four sections. The first provides an overview of Krieger's last two works: Time's Reasons, a methodological and historiographical study, and Ideas and Events, a posthumously (...) published collection of essays written throughout Krieger's life. The second section, focusing on the essays on Sartre, Kant, and Pufendorf in Ideas and Events, defines Krieger's mode of historicization as the pursuit of theoretical tensions in conceptual structures and their explanation through the dilemmas of thinkers. Krieger's historicization of tensions and dilemmas was constrained, however, by his privileging of internal theoretical explanations over external contextual ones. The author argues that opening theories to broader historical contexts may provide more satisfactory historical explanations. Seeking to explain Krieger's apprehension about radical historicization, the third section traces Krieger's problem with coherence--the construction of historical patterns--from Ideas and Events to Time's Reasons. Krieger's conflicting commitments to the historicist conception of history and to universal values resulted in fear that historicization would lead to a complete dissolution of historical coherence and meaning. The fear, suggests the fourth section, was rooted in Krieger's political experience. Like many in his generation, Krieger believed that German Historismus was implicated in National Socialism. He sought to liberalize Historismus through a synthesis with natural law. This impossible project failed, but Krieger's engagement of the past to address contemporary problems remains exemplary. By constructing histories of current problems and historicizing his own position and concerns, he rendered history useful to the present. Such political engagement can provide a model for those seeking to re-engage history for radical political reform. (shrink)
Relatively new and now ubiquitous, smartphones and tablet computers are changing our lives by asking us to rethink the ways that we conduct business, form and maintain relationships, and read books and magazines. In the same capacity, mobile devices are redefining how health care is administered, monitored, and delivered through specialized technologies called medical apps (applications). In general, apps are pieces of software that can be installed and run on a variety of hardware platforms, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop (...) computers. Medical apps, in particular, refer to a wide variety of software that focuses on health care (loosely defined). Whether these apps target the health-care .. (shrink)
In this article, Ms. Krieger explores the controversy concerning pregnancy disability leave presented by the case of California Federal Savings v. Guerra in light of Thomas Kuhn's model of scientific paradigm change and Carol Gilligan's theory regarding sex differences in moral reasoning. She argues that the controversy reflects a period of paradigm crisis in equality jurisprudence, brought about in part by the recent inclusion of greater numbers of women into the jurisprudential community.
To understand H.L.A. Hart's general theory of law, it is helpful to distinguish between substantive and methodological legal positivism. Substantive legal positivism is the view that there is no necessary connection between morality and the content of law. Methodological legal positivism is the view that legal theory can and should offer a normatively neutral description of a particular social phenomenon, namely law. Methodological positivism holds, we might say, not that there is no necessary connection between morality and law, but rather (...) that there is no connection, necessary or otherwise, between morality and legal theory. The respective claims of substantive and methodological positivism are, at least on the surface, logically independent. Hobbes and Bentham employed normative methodologies to defend versions of substantive positivism, and in modern times Michael Moore has developed what can be regarded as a variant of methodological positivism to defend a theory of natural law. (shrink)
[Stephen Makin] Aristotle draws two sets of distinctions in Metaphysics 9.2, first between non-rational and rational capacities, and second between one way and two way capacities. He then argues for three claims: [A] if a capacity is rational, then it is a two way capacity [B] if a capacity is non-rational, then it is a one way capacity [C] a two way capacity is not indifferently related to the opposed outcomes to which it can give rise I provide explanations (...) of Aristotle's terminology, and of how [A]-[C] should be understood. I then offer a set of arguments which are intended to show that the Aristotelian claims are plausible. \\\ [Nicholas Denyer] In De Caelo 1: 11-12 Aristotle argued that whatever is and always will be true is necessarily true. His argument works, once we grant him the highly plausible principle that if something is true, then it can be false if and only if it can come to be false. For example, assume it true that the sun is and always will be hot. No proposition of this form can ever come to be false. Hence this proposition cannot be false. Hence it is necessarily true, and so too is anything that follows from it. In particular, it is necessarily true that the sun is hot. Moreover, if the sun not only is and always will be hot, but also always has been, then it follows by similar reasoning that the sun not only cannot now fail to be hot, but also never could have failed. Anything everlastingly true is therefore, in the strictest sense of the term, necessarily true. (shrink)
It is difficult to overestimate the impact, beginning in the 1960s, which Gombrich’s discussion of visual representation made on a good number of theorists in an entire generation of thinking about art and—even more—about literary art. For literary theory and criticism were at least as affected by his work as were theory and criticism in the plastic arts. Art and Illusion radically undermined the terms which had controlled discussion of how art represented “reality”—or, rather, how viewers or members of the (...) audience perceived that representation and related it to their versions of “reality.” And, for those who accompanied or followed him—from Rosalie Colie to Wolfgang Iser—Gombrich helped transform for good the meaning of a long revered term like “imitation” as it could be applied to both the visual and verbal arts. I believe he must, then, be seen as responsible for some of the most provocative turns that art theory, literary theory, and aesthetics have taken in the last two decades.In much of his work since the 1960s, however, Gombrich has appeared more and more anxious to dissociate himself from those who have treated his earlier books and essays as leading to the theoretical innovations which have claimed support from them. In The Image and the Eye, the statements which put distance between himself and such followers seem utterly unambiguous. And against the charge that his work has become more conservative with the passing years, I suspect Gombrich would argue that any claim of difference between, say, Art and Illusion and The Image and the Eye is a result of an original misreading, that the recent work is only more explicitly defending a traditional position which was quietly there all along, though supposedly friendly theorists wrongly saw him as subverting it in the earlier work. Thus Gombrich is now self-consciously committed to undoing what he sees as our errors of reading rather than his own errors of writing. Murray Krieger is University Professor of English at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of, among other works, The Tragic Vision, The Classic Vision, Theory of Criticism: A Tradition and Its System, Poetic Presence and Illusion: Essays in Critical History and Theory, and, most recently, Arts on the Level. He is presently working on Ekphrasis: Space, Time, and Illusion in Literary Theory . His latest contribution to Critical Inquiry, “Poetic Presence and Illusion: Renaissance Theory and the Duplicity of Metaphor,” appeared in the Summer 1979 issue. (shrink)
This essay deals with property rights in body parts that can be exchanged in a market. The inquiry arises in the following context. With some exceptions, the laws of many countries permit only the donation, not the sale, of body parts. Yet for some years there has existed a shortage of body parts for transplantation and other medical uses. It might then appear that if more sales were legally permitted, the supply of body parts would increase, because people would have (...) more incentive to sell than they currently have to donate. To allow sales is to recognize property rights in body parts. To allow sales, however, makes body parts into “commodities”—that is, things that can be bought and sold in a market. And some view it as morally objectionable to treat body parts as commodities. (shrink)
Perhaps the most salient feature of Rawls's theory of justice which at once attracts supporters and repels critics is its apparent egalitarian conclusion as to how economic goods are to be distributed. Indeed, many of Rawls's sympathizers may find this result intuitively appealing, and regard it as Rawls's enduring contribution to the topic of economic justice, despite technical deficiencies in Rawls's contractarian, decision-theoretic argument for it which occupy the bulk of the critical literature. Rawls himself, having proposed a “coherence” theory (...) of justification in metaethics, must regard the claim that his distributive criterion “is a strongly egalitarian conception” as independently a part of the overarching moral argument. The alleged egalitarian impact of Rawls's theory is crucial again in normative ethics where Rawls is thought to have developed a major counter-theory to utilitarianism, one of the most popular criticisms of which has been its alleged inadequacy in handling questions of distributive justice. Utilitarians can argue, however, as Brandt recently has, that the diminishing marginal utility of money, along with ignorance of income-welfare curves, would require a utility-maximizing distribution to be substantially egalitarian. The challenge is therefore for Rawls to show that his theory yields an ethically preferable degree of equality. (shrink)
This original work caps years of thought by Leonard Krieger about the crisis of the discipline of history. His mission is to restore history's autonomy while attacking the sources of its erosion in various "new histories," which borrow their principles and methods from disciplines outside of history. Krieger justifies the discipline through an analysis of the foundations on which various generations of historians have tried to establish the coherence of their subject matter and of the convergence of historical (...) patterns. The heart of Krieger's narrative is an insightful analysis of theories of history from the classical period to the present, with a principal focus on the modern period. Krieger's exposition covers such figures as Ranke, Hegel, Comte, Marx, Acton, Troeltsch, Spengler, Braudel, and Foucault, among others, and his discussion involves him in subtle distinctions among terms such as historism, historicism, and historicity. He points to the impact on history of academic political radicalism and its results: the new social history. Krieger argues for the autonomy of historical principles and methods while tracing the importation in the modern period of external principles for historical coherence. Time's Reasons is a profound attempt to rejuvenate and restore integrity to the discipline of history by one of the leading masters of nineteenth- and twentieth-century historiography. As such, it will be required reading for all historiographers and intellectual historians of the modern period. (shrink)
Mathematical theorems are cultural artifacts and may be interpreted much as works of art, literature, and tool-and-craft are interpreted. The Fundamental Theorem of the Calculus, the Central Limit Theorem of Statistics, and the Statistical Continuum Limit of field theories, all show how the world may be put together through the arithmetic addition of suitably prescribed parts (velocities, variances, and renormalizations and scaled blocks, respectively). In the limit — of smoothness, statistical independence, and large N — higher-order parts, such as accelerations, (...) are, for the most, part irrelevant, affirming that, in the end, most of the world's particulars may be averaged over (a very un-Scriptural point of view). (We work out all of this in technical detail, including a nice geometric picture of stochastic integration, and a method of calculating the variance of the sum of dependent random variables using renormalization group ideas.) These fundamental theorems affirm a culture that is additive, ahistorical, Cartesian, and continuist, sharing in what might be called a species of modern culture. We understand mathematical results as useful because, like many other such artifacts, they have been adapted to fit the world, and the world has been adapted to fit their capacities. Such cultural interpretation is in effect motivation for the mathematics, and might well be offered to students as a way of helping them understand what is going on at the blackboard. Philosophy of mathematics might want to pay more attention to the history and detailed technical features of sophisticated mathematics, as a balance to the usual concerns that arise in formalist or even Platonist positions. (shrink)
Intrinsic religiosity drives ethical consumer behavior; however, previous studies regarding this connection are limited solely to a Christian cultural context. This comparative study instead includes Christian Consumers from Germany and Moslem Consumers from Turkey to determine if a specific religious community moderates the connection between intrinsic religiosity and consumer ethics. The results show that Consumers in the Turkish, Moslem subsample, exhibit an even stronger connection between religiosity and ethical consumer behavior than Consumers from the German, Christian subsample.
The social and environmental problems that we face at this tail end of twentieth-century progress require us to identify some cause, some spirit that transcends the petty limits of our time and place. It is easy to believe that there is no crisis. We have been told too often that the oceans will soon die, the air be poisonous, our energy reserves run dry; that the world will grow warmer, coastlands be flooded and the climate change; that plague, famine and (...) war will be the necessary checks on population growth. But here we are: sufficiently healthy and well-fed, connoisseurs of far-off catastrophe and horror movies, confident that something will turn up or that the prophecies of doom were only dreams. We are the descendants, after all, of creatures who did not despair, who hoped against hope that there would still be life tomorrow. We no more believe in the world's end than we believe that soldiers could break down the door and drag us off to torture and to death: we don't believe that they could even when we know that, somewhere altogether elsewhere, they did. Even if we can force ourselves to remember other ages, other lands or other classes, we are content enough. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the target article “From Objects to Processes: A Proposal to Rewrite Radical Constructivism” by Siegfried J. Schmidt. Upshot: The critique of Western metaphysics, the definition of the sign as an inseparable unity of signified and signifier, the insight that language is a form of life, the deconstruction of the subject, the banning of human beings from the social system, and the appearance of non-human actors have made the traditional distinctions between real/unreal, subject /object, society/nature, and thought/action (...) obsolete. The global map of meaning has to be redrawn. Siegfried J. Schmidt takes on this task in the name of a rewriting of radical constructivism. But is rewriting enough? Do the new differences introduced in place of the old ones “really” make a difference? (shrink)
Between the later views of Wittgenstein and those of connectionism 1 on the subject of the mastery of language there is an impressively large number of similarities. The task of establishing this claim is carried out in the second section of this paper.
There are two ways to do the unexpected. The banal way—let's call it the expectedly unexpected—is simply to chart the waters of what is and is not done, and then set out to do something different. For a philosopher, this can be done by embracing a method of non sequitor or by perhaps inverting some strongly held assumption of the field. The more interesting way— the unexpectedly unexpected—is to transform the expectations themselves; to do something new and contextualize it in (...) such a way that it not only makes perfect sense, but has the audience scratching their heads and saying, “Of course!” To do the unexpectedly unexpected on a regular basis is the true mark of genius. It recalls Kant's characterization of the genius as the one who not merely follows or breaks the rules of art but that, “Genius is the natural endowment that gives the rule to art.” We would not like to make the bold claim that Paul M. Churchland (PMC) is a philosophical genius of Kantian standards, but he sometimes achieves the unexpectedly unexpected and his position on the issue of scientific realism is a fine example of this. Given other views he holds and the philosophical forebears he holds dear, one might expect him to embrace an antirealism with respect to the posits of scientific theories. But, quite to the contrary, Churchland is one of the strongest contemporary philosophical voices on behalf of scientific realism. And, as we will discuss in this chapter, a closer look at this reasoning reveals that his realism is not perverse, it is exactly the sort of position he should be expected to hold, if only we understand the philosophical issues correctly. (shrink)
I consider reasons for questioning ‘the laws of logic’, and suggest that these laws do not accord with everyday reality. Either they are rhetorical tools rather than absolute truths, or else Plato and his successors were right to think that they identify a reality distinct from the ordinary world of experience, and also from the ultimate source of reality.
In recent years there has been a great deal of discussion about the prospects of developing a ‘naturalized epistemology’, though different authors tend to interpret this label in quite different ways. One goal of this paper is to sketch three projects that might lay claim to the ‘naturalized epistemology’ label, and to argue that they are not all equally attractive. Indeed, I'll maintain that the first of the three—the one I'll attribute to Quine—is simply incoherent. There is no way we (...) could get what we want from an epistemological theory by pursuing the project Quine proposes. The second project on my list is a naturalized version of reliabilism. This project is not fatally flawed in the way that Quine's is. However, it's my contention that the sort of theory this project would yield is much less interesting than might at first be thought. (shrink)
When we speak of philosophy and therapy, or of philosophy as therapy, the usual intent is to suggest that ‘philosophizing’ is or should be a way to clarify the mind or purify the soul. While there may be little point in arguing with psychoses or deeply-embedded neuroses our more ordinary misjudgements, biases and obsessions may be alleviated, at least, by trying to ‘see things clearly and to see them whole’, by carefully identifying premises and seeing what they – rationally – (...) support, and by seeking to eliminate the residual influence of premises that we have long since, rationally, dismissed. I don't intend to argue with this account – though of course it may be as well to remember that ‘philosophizing’ may have more dangerous effects. It is not obvious that philosophical argument will always help us ‘see things straight’, and the Athenian democracy was not altogether wrong to think that some of Socrates' followers or pupils learnt quite the wrong things from him. (shrink)
Although liberals too often forget it, the health of the liberal publicorder depends on our ability to constitute not only political institutions and limits on power, but appropriate patterns of social lifeand citizen character. Liberal character traits and political virtuesdo not, after all, come about “naturally” or by the deliverance of an “invisible hand.” Even Adam Smith did not think that, as we will see below. Harry Eckstein gets closer to themark by suggesting that “stable governments…are the productof 'accidental' conjunctions (...) of conditions which do sometimes, but rarely, occur in actual societies.”. (shrink)
The tension between individualism and universalism in historicism goes back to Leopold Ranke's version of the movement's early stage. Ranke's experience of the Revolution of 1830 helped to effect the first of the many resolutions which this tension would receive, but it helped also to endow this resolution with the one-sided individualistic distortion which has burdened the movement ever since. The initial emphasis on the individual as particularizing comes from Ranke's conservative reaction to revolution as a universalizing aspect of history. (...) But despite this overt emphasis, Ranke actually moved toward universal truths in his history, harmonizing them with his historical individualities. (shrink)
My aim in what follows is to sketch with a broad brush fundamental changes involving the concept of obligation in British ethics of the early modern period, as it developed in the direction of the view that obligatory force is a species of motivational force – an idea that deeply informs present thought. I shall also suggest, although I can hardly demonstrate it conclusively here, that one important source for this view was a doctrine which we associate with Kant, and (...) which it may seem surprising to find in British ethics, especially of the early modern period, viz., that rational agents are obligated by motives available through a form of practical thinking necessary for rational autonomy. (shrink)
Philosophers of earlier ages have usually spent time in considering thenature of marital, and in general familial, duty. Paley devotes an entire book to those ‘relative duties which result from the constitution of the sexes’,1 a book notable on the one hand for its humanity and on the other for Paley‘s strange refusal to acknowledge that the evils for which he condemns any breach of pure monogamy are in large part the result of the fact that such breaches are generally (...) condemned. In a society where an unmarried mother is ruined no decent male should put a woman in such danger: but why precisely should social feeling be so severe? Marriage, the monogamist would say, must be defended at all costs, for it is a centrally important institution of our society. Political community was, in the past, understood as emerging from or imposed upon families, or similar associations. The struggle to establish the state was a struggle against families, clans and clubs; the state, once established, rested upon the social institutions to which it gave legal backing. (shrink)
Philosophers talk routinely of ‘Hume's problem of induction’. But the usual accompanying exegesis is mistaken in a way that has led epistemologists to conceive of ‘Hume's problem’ in needlessly narrow terms. They have overlooked a way of articulating the conceptual problem, along with a potential way of solving it. Indeed, they have overlooked Hume's own way. In explaining this, I will supplement Hume's insights by adapting Ryle's thinking on knowledge-how and knowledge-that. We will also see why Hume's ‘sceptical solution’ was (...) a perfectly appropriate response to his ‘sceptical argument’ — rather than a merely descriptive response patently missing the normative sceptical point so strikingly formulated by Hume. (shrink)
A central theme throughout the impressive series of philosophical books and articles Stephen Toulmin has published since 1948 is the way in which assertions and opinions concerning all sorts of topics, brought up in everyday life or in academic research, can be rationally justified. Is there one universal system of norms, by which all sorts of arguments in all sorts of fields must be judged, or must each sort of argument be judged according to its own norms? In The (...) Uses of Argument Toulmin sets out his views on these questions for the first time. In spite of initial criticisms from logicians and fellow philosophers, The Uses of Argument has been an enduring source of inspiration and discussion to students of argumentation from all kinds of disciplinary background for more than forty years. (shrink)
The fundamental question of political reparation is: why should a state provide redress for an injustice? The predominant answer justifies redress in terms of debts—the perpetration of an injustice creates a debt, and a state is required to make redress for the same reasons that it is required to repay its debts . Other approaches justify redress on the grounds that it will facilitate the achievement of some broader political goal, like the fair distribution of social resources or political reconciliation.In (...) Transitional Justice in Established Democracies, Stephen Winter provides a novel answer to this fundamental question in terms of political legitimacy. On Winter’s “legitimating account,” the state’s perpetuation of certain injustices compromises its political legitimacy. Redress is a required for a (liberal, democratic) state to bolster its legitimacy and to live up to its political commitments.Winter’s book makes a number of contributions to thinking about redress and transitional .. (shrink)
Tom Phillips' painting for the dustjacket of the hardback edition of Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals depicts a faintly translucent, darkly-coloured, multi-layered lattice of letters, in which each character abuts directly upon others above, below and beside it, each overwrites or is overwritten by others of varying dimensions, but none is immediately decipherable as part of a word; and at the centre of this array is a geometrically precise, illuminated circle—perhaps emanating from a light located behind or under the (...) layers of letters, perhaps from one directed at them from above. This image is open to many interpretations. It could represent the sun from Plato's myth of the cave shining through the dialogue in which he presents it ; it could also represent the light of Miss Murdoch's attention playing over the palimpsest of texts that make up the Western tradition of metaphysical thought. But for anyone encountering it upon closing the book after a first reading, it may also seem very precisely to crystallize one's initial impression of that text. (shrink)
Cartesian accounts of the mental make it axiomatic that consciousness is transparent: what I feel, I know I feel, however many errors I may make about its cause. ‘I’ names a simple, unextended, irreducible substance, created ex nihilo or eternally existent, and only associated with the complete, extended, dissoluble substance or pretend-substance that is ‘my’ body by divine fiat. Good moderns take it for granted that ‘we’ now realize how shifting, foggy and deconstructible are the boundaries of the self; ‘we’ (...) know that our own motives, feelings and intentions constantly escape us; ‘I’ names only the current speaker, or the momentarily dominant self among many fluid identities. (shrink)