_sciousness called ‘neurophenomenology’ (Varela 1996) and illustrates it with a_ _recent pilot study (Lutz et al., 2002). At a theoretical level, neurophenomenology_ _pursues an embodied and large-scale dynamical approach to the_ _neurophysiology of consciousness (Varela 1995; Thompson and Varela 2001;_ _Varela and Thompson 2003). At a methodological level, the neurophenomeno-_ _logical strategy is to make rigorous and extensive use of first-person data about_ _subjective experience as a heuristic to describe and quantify the large-scale_ _neurodynamics of consciousness (Lutz 2002). (...) The paper foocuses on_ _neurophenomenology in relation to three challenging methodological issues_ _about incorporating first-person data into cognitive neuroscience: (i) first-person_ _reports can be biased or inaccurate; (ii) the process of generating first-person_ _reports about an experience can modify that experience; and (iii) there is an ‘ex-_ _planatory gap’ in our understanding of how to relate first-person, phenomeno-_ _logical data to third-person, biobehavioural data._. (shrink)
Tradition in the Ethics of Alasdair MacIntyre presents a stimulating intellectual history and expertly reasoned defense of this towering figure in contemporary American philosophy. Drawing on interviews and published works, Christopher Lutz traces MacIntyre’s philosophical development and refutes the criticisms of the major thinkers—including Martha Nussbaum and Thomas Nagel—who have most vocally attacked him. Permanently shifting the debate on MacIntyre’s oeuvre, Lutz convincingly demonstrates how MacIntyre’s neo-Aristotelian ethical thought provides an essential corrective to the contemporary discussions of relativism (...) and ideology, while successfully drawing on the objectivity of Thomistic natural law. (shrink)
This 1993 book discusses the rise of the marginalist conception of the firm in the context of economic thought over the past two centuries, and explains why economists continue to defend a theory with demonstrable shortcomings. Professor Schrader argues that the marginalist view of the firm retains its support not through any comparative advantage in empirical or predictive power, but by virtue of its being a part of the predominant marginalist economic programme. The clear problems that beset the marginalist (...) approach to the firm signal a general dilemma for economic theory as a whole. (shrink)
Tradition in the Ethics of Alasdair MacIntyre presents a stimulating intellectual history and expertly reasoned defense of this towering figure in contemporary American philosophy. Drawing on interviews and published works, Christopher Lutz traces MacIntyre's philosophical development and refutes the criticisms of the major thinkers—including Martha Nussbaum and Thomas Nagel—who have most vocally attacked him. Permanently shifting the debate on MacIntyre's oeuvre, Lutz convincingly demonstrates how MacIntyre's neo-Aristotelian ethical thought provides an essential corrective to the contemporary discussions of relativism (...) and ideology, while successfully drawing on the objectivity of Thomistic natural law. (shrink)
Attending to the rich entanglements of scientific and critical theory, contributors to this issue scrutinize phenomena in nature to explore new territory in feminist science studies. With a special focus on relating theory to method, these scholars generate new feminist approaches to scientific practice. Contributors probe this relationship by way of topics from poetics of human-jellyfish interactions to a feminist reconsideration of a well-known thought experiment in thermodynamics. Two contributors analyze plant-insect encounter research to spin their own symbiotically inflected account (...) of “affective ecologies.” Technologies of human memory storage and retrieval lead one writer to interrogate how our understandings of memory and amnesia are currently under revision. Another contributor tracks the lively evolutionary and morphological theories that textile artisans manifest in material models of sea creatures. What emerges from these diverse essays is an approach to critical thinking that inhabits, elaborates, and feeds upon scientific theory, holding feminist theory accountable to science and vice versa. _Sophia Roosth_ is Assistant Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University. _Astrid Schrader_ is Visiting Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Sarah Lawrence College. _Contributors_: Karen Barad, Lina Dib, Eva Hayward, Carla Hustak, Vicki Kirby, Natasha Myers, Sophia Roosth, Astrid Schrader. (shrink)
There are three slogans in the history of Socialism that are very close in wording, viz. the famous Cabet-Blanc-Marx slogan: "From each according to his ability; To each according to his needs"; the earlier Saint-Simon-Pecqueur slogan: "To each according to his ability; To each according to his works"; and the later slogan in Stalin’s Soviet Constitution: "From each according to his ability; To each according to his work." We will consider the following questions regarding these slogans: a) What are the (...) earliest occurrences of each of these slogans? b) Where does the inspiration for each half of each slogan come from? c) What do the Saint-Simonians mean by “To each according to his ability”? d) What do they mean by “To each according to his works”? e) What motivates the shift from “To each according to his ability” to “From each according to his ability”? f) How should we envisage the progression toward “To each according to his needs”? g) What is the distinction between from “To each according to his works” and “To each according to his work”? (shrink)
Meditation can be conceptualized as a family of complex tial to be specific about the type of meditation practice emotional and attentional regulatory training regimes under investigation. Failure to make such distinctions developed for various ends, including the cultivation of..
Meditation can be conceptualized as a family of complex tial to be speciﬁc about the type of meditation practice emotional and attentional regulatory training regimes under investigation. Failure to make such distinctions developed for various ends, including the cultivation of..
I show that extant attempts to capture and generalize empirical adequacy in terms of partial structures fail. Indeed, the motivations for the generalizations in the partial structures approach are better met by the generalizations via approximation sets developed in “Generalizing Empirical Adequacy I”. Approximation sets also generalize partial structures.
Recent brain imaging studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have implicated insula and anterior cingulate cortices in the empathic response to another’s pain. However, virtually nothing is known about the impact of the voluntary generation of compassion on this network. To investigate these questions we assessed brain activity using fMRI while novice and expert meditation practitioners generated a loving-kindness-compassion meditation state. To probe affective reactivity, we presented emotional and neutral sounds during the meditation and comparison periods. Our main hypothesis (...) was that the concern for others cultivated during this form of meditation enhances affective processing, in particular in response to sounds of distress, and that this response to emotional sounds is modulated by the degree of meditation training. The presentation of the emotional sounds was associated with increased pupil diameter and activation of limbic regions (insula and cingulate cortices) during meditation (versus rest). During meditation, activation in insula was greater during presentation of negative sounds than positive or neutral sounds in expert than it was in novice meditators. The strength of activation in insula was also associated with self-reported intensity of the meditation for both groups. These results support the role of the limbic circuitry in emotion sharing. The comparison between meditation vs. rest states between experts and novices also showed increased activation in amygdala, right temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), and right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) in response to all sounds, suggesting, greater detection of the emotional sounds, and enhanced mentation in response to emotional human vocalizations for experts than novices during meditation. Together these data indicate that the mental expertise to cultivate positive emotion alters the activation of circuitries previously linked to empathy and theory of mind in response to emotional stimuli.. (shrink)
This paper analyzes an explicit instantiation of the program of neurophenomenology in a neuroscientific protocol. Neurophenomenology takes seriously the importance of linking the scientific study of consciousness to the careful examination of experience with a specific first-person methodology. My first claim is that such strategy is a fruitful heuristic because it produces new data and illuminates their relation to subjective experience. My second claim is that the approach could open the door to a natural account of the structure of human (...) experience as it is mobilized in itself in such methodology. In this view, generative passages define the type of circulation which explicitly roots the active and disciplined insight the subject has about his/her experience in a biological emergent process. (shrink)
The debate between critics of syntactic and semantic approaches to the formalization of scientific theories has been going on for over 50 years. I structure the debate in light of a recent exchange between Hans Halvorson, Clark Glymour, and Bas van Fraassen and argue that the only remaining disagreement concerns the alleged difference in the dependence of syntactic and semantic approaches on languages of predicate logic. This difference turns out to be illusory.
The capacity to stabilize the content of attention over time varies among individuals, and its impairment is a hallmark of several mental illnesses. Impairments in sustained attention in patients with attention disorders have been associated with increased trial-to-trial variability in reaction time and event-related potential deficits during attention tasks. At present, it is unclear whether the ability to sustain attention and its underlying brain circuitry are transformable through training. Here, we show, with dichotic listening task performance and electroencephalography, that training (...) attention, as cultivated by meditation, can improve the ability to sustain atten- tion. Three months of intensive meditation training reduced variability in attentional processing of target tones, as indicated by both enhanced theta-band phase consistency of oscillatory neural responses over anterior brain areas and reduced reaction time variability. Furthermore, those individuals who showed the greatest increase in neural response consistency showed the largest decrease in behav- ioral response variability. Notably, we also observed reduced variability in neural processing, in particular in low-frequency bands, regardless of whether the deviant tone was attended or unattended. Focused attention meditation may thus affect both distracter and target processing, perhaps by enhancing entrainment of neuronal oscillations to sensory input rhythms, a mechanism important for controlling the content of attention. These novel findings highlight the mechanisms underlying focused attention meditation and support the notion that mental training can significantly affect attention and brain function. (shrink)
The paper presents a research programme for the neuroscience of consciousness called 'neurophenomenology' and illustrates it with a recent pilot study . At a theoretical level, neurophenomenology pursues an embodied and large-scale dynamical approach to the neurophysiology of consciousness . At a methodological level, the neurophenomenological strategy is to make rigorous and extensive use of first-person data about subjective experience as a heuristic to describe and quantify the large-scale neurodynamics of consciousness . The paper focuses on neurophenomenology in relation to (...) three challenging methodological issues about incorporating first-person data into cognitive neuroscience: first-person reports can be biased or inaccurate; the process of generating first-person reports about an experience can modify that experience; and there is an 'explanatory gap' in our understanding of how to relate first-person, phenomenological data to third-person, biobehavioural data. (shrink)
Evolutionary Debunking Arguments purport to show that our moral beliefs do not amount to knowledge because these beliefs are “debunked” by the fact that our moral beliefs are, in some way, the product of evolutionary forces. But there is a substantial gap in this argument between its main evolutionary premise and the skeptical conclusion. What is it, exactly, about the evolutionary origins of moral beliefs that would create problems for realist views in metaethics? I argue that evolutionary debunking arguments are (...) best understood as offering up defeaters for our moral beliefs. Moreover, the defeater in question is a paradigmatic instance of undercutting defeat. If anything is an undercutting defeater, then learning about the evolutionary origins of our moral beliefs is a defeater for those beliefs. (shrink)
I defend the Received View on scientific theories as developed by Carnap, Hempel, and Feigl against a number of criticisms based on misconceptions. First, I dispute the claim that the Received View demands axiomatizations in first order logic, and the further claim that these axiomatizations must include axioms for the mathematics used in the scientific theories. Next, I contend that models are important according to the Received View. Finally, I argue against the claim that the Received View is intended to (...) make the concept of a theory more precise. Rather, it is meant as a generalizable framework for explicating specific theories. (shrink)
This dissertation consists of three parts. Part I is a defense of an artificial language methodology in philosophy and a historical and systematic defense of the logical empiricists' application of an artificial language methodology to scientific theories. These defenses provide a justification for the presumptions of a host of criteria of empirical significance, which I analyze, compare, and develop in part II. On the basis of this analysis, in part III I use a variety of criteria to evaluate the scientific (...) status of intelligent design, and further discuss confirmation, reduction, and concept formation. (shrink)
Error theorists hold that, although our first-order moral thought and discourse commits us to the existence of moral truths, there are no such truths. Holding this position in metaethics puts the error theorist in an uncomfortable position regarding first-order morality. When it comes to our pre-theoretic moral commitments, what should the error theorist think? What should she say? What should she do? I call this the ‘Now What’ Problem for error theory. This paper suggests a framework for evaluating different approaches (...) to the ‘Now What’ Problem, and goes on to evaluate the three most common responses to this problem. All three are found to have noteworthy problems. Finally, I present my own solution, and argue that it presents the most appealing solution to the ‘Now What’ Problem. (shrink)
Syntactic approaches in the philosophy of science, which are based on formalizations in predicate logic, are often considered in principle inferior to semantic approaches, which are based on formalizations with the help of structures. To compare the two kinds of approach, I identify some ambiguities in common semantic accounts and explicate the concept of a structure in a way that avoids hidden references to a specific vocabulary. From there, I argue that contrary to common opinion (i) unintended models do not (...) pose a significant problem for syntactic approaches to scientific theories, (ii) syntactic approaches can be at least as language-independent as semantic ones, and (iii) in syntactic approaches, scientific theories can be as well connected to the world as in semantic ones. Based on these results, I argue that syntactic and semantic approaches fare equally well when it comes to (iv) ease of application, (v) accommodating the use of models in the sciences, and (vi) capturing the theory-observation relation. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to defend Simple Modest Invariantism (SMI) about knowledge from the threat presented by pragmatic encroachment. Pragmatic encroachment is the view that practical circumstances are relevant in some way to the truth of knowledge ascriptions—and if this is true, it would entail the falsity of SMI. Drawing on Ross and Schroeder’s recent Reasoning Disposition account of belief, I argue that the Reasoning Disposition account, together with Grice’s Maxims, gives us an attractive pragmatic account of the (...) connection between knowledge ascriptions and practical circumstances. This gives us the ability to explain away the data that is supposed to support pragmatic encroachment. Finally, I address three important objections to the view offered by giving a pragmatic account of when it is conversationally appropriate to cancel a conversational implicature, and discussing when sentences with true content can end up sounding false as well as cases where sentences with false content can end up sounding true. (shrink)
In our age of globalization, we need a theory of global management consistent with our common human nature. The place to begin in developing such a theory is the philosophy of traditional cultures. The article focuses on African philosophy and its fruitfulness for contributing to a theory of management consistent with African traditional cultures. It also looks briefly at the Confucian and Platonic-Aristotelian traditions and notes points of agreement with African traditions. It concludes that the needed theory of global management (...) should regard the firm as a community, not a collection of individuals, and should understand the purpose of management as promoting the common good. (shrink)
I provide an explicit formulation of empirical adequacy, the central concept of constructive empiricism, and point out a number of problems. Based on one of the inspirations for empirical adequacy, I generalize the notion of a theory to avoid implausible presumptions about the relation of theoretical concepts and observations, and generalize empirical adequacy with the help of approximation sets to allow for lack of knowledge, approximations, and successive gain of knowledge and precision. As a test case, I provide an application (...) of these generalizations to a simple interference phenomenon. (shrink)
How far does a researcher’s responsibility extend when an incidental finding is identified? Balancing pertinent ethical principles such as beneficence, respect for persons, and duty to rescue is not always straightforward, particularly in neuroimaging research where empirical data that might help guide decision making are lacking. We conducted a systematic survey of perceptions and preferences of 396 investigators, research participants, and Institutional Review Board members at our institution. Using the partial entrustment model as described by Richardson, we argue that our (...) data supports universal reading by a neuroradiologist of all research MRI scans for incidental findings and providing full disclosure to all participants. (shrink)
Considering a growing nurse shortage and the need for qualified nurses to handle increasingly complex patient care situations, how ethical beliefs are influenced and the consequences that can occur when moral conflicts of right and wrong arise need to be explored. The aim of this study was to explore influencers identified by nurses as having the most impact on the development of their ethical beliefs and whether these influencers might impact levels of moral distress and the potential for conscientious objection. (...) Nurses whose ethical beliefs were most influenced by their religious beliefs scored higher in levels of moral distress and demonstrated greater differences in areas of conscientious objection than did nurses who developed their ethical beliefs from influencers such as family values, life and work experience, political views or the professional code of ethics. (shrink)
• An adequate conceptual framework is still needed to account for phenomena that (i) have a first-person, subjective-experiential or phenomenal character; (ii) are (usually) reportable and describable (in humans); and (iii) are neurobiologically realized.2 • The conscious subject plays an unavoidable epistemological role in characterizing the explanadum of consciousness through first-person descriptive reports. The experimentalist is then able to link first-person data and third-person data. Yet the generation of first-person data raises difficult epistemological issues about the relation of second-order awareness (...) or meta-awareness to first-order experience (e.g. (shrink)
I show that the central notion of Constructive Empiricism, empirical adequacy, can be expressed syntactically and specifically in the Received View of the logical empiricists. The formalization shows that the Received View is superior to Constructive Empiricism in the treatment of theories involving constants or functions from observable to unobservable objects. It also suggests a formalization of ‘full empirical informativeness’ in Constructive Empiricism.
In a recent paper, Appley and Stoutenburg present two new objections to Explanationist Evidentialism : the Regress Objection and the Threshold Objection. In this paper, I develop a version of EE that is independently plausible and empirically grounded, and show that it can meet Appley and Stoutenburg’s objections.
In this paper, I provide a novel explanationist framework for thinking about peer disagreement that solves many of the puzzles regarding disagreement that have troubled epistemologists over the last two decades. Explanationism is the view that a subject is justified in believing a proposition just in case that proposition is part of the best explanation of that subject’s total evidence. Applying explanationism to the problem of peer disagreement yields the following principle: in cases of peer disagreement, the thing that the (...) subjects ought to believe is the thing that is the best explanation of their total evidence, where part of their evidence is the fact that they happen to find themselves in disagreement with an epistemic peer. In what follows, I show how to understand and apply this core idea. (shrink)
Marian Przełęcki’s semantics for the Received View is a good explication of Carnap’s position on the subject, anticipates many discussions and results from both proponents and opponents of the Received View, and can be the basis for a thriving research program.
Carnap suggests that philosophy can be construed as being engaged solely in conceptual engineering. I argue that since many results of the sciences can be construed as stemming from conceptual engineering as well, Carnap’s account of philosophy can be methodologically naturalistic. This is also how he conceived of his account. That the sciences can be construed as relying heavily on conceptual engineering is supported by empirical investigations into scientific methodology, but also by a number of conceptual considerations. I present a (...) new conceptual consideration that generalizes Carnap’s conditions of adequacy for analytic–synthetic distinctions and thus widens the realm in which conceptual engineering can be used to choose analytic sentences. I apply these generalized conditions of adequacy to a recent analysis of scientific theories and defend the relevance of the analytic–synthetic distinction against criticisms by Quine, Demopoulos, and Papineau. (shrink)
Proponents of linguistic philosophy hold that all non-empirical philosophical problems can be solved by either analyzing ordinary language or developing an ideal one. I review the debates on linguistic philosophy and between ordinary and ideal language philosophy. Using arguments from these debates, I argue that the results of experimental philosophy on intuitions support linguistic philosophy. Within linguistic philosophy, these experimental results support and complement ideal language philosophy. I argue further that some of the critiques of experimental philosophy are in fact (...) defenses of ideal language philosophy. Finally, I show how much of the current debate about experimental philosophy is anticipated in the debates about and within linguistic philosophy. Specifically, arguments by ideal language philosophers support experimental philosophy. (shrink)
Laudan’s argument against the possibility of a demarcation criterion for scientiﬁc theories rests on establishing that any criterion must be a necessary and sufﬁcient condition. But Laudan’s argument at most establishes that any criterion must provide a necessary condition and a possibly different sufﬁcient condition. His own claims suggest that such a criterion is possible.
In this paper I examine whether different suggestions made in the philosophy of perception can help us to explain and understand the phenomenal character of emotional experience. After having introduced the range of possible positions, I consider qualia-theory, reductive pure intentionalism and reductive impure intentionalism. I argue that qualia-theory can easily explain why emotions are phenomenal states at all but that it cannot account for the “inextricable link thesis” which is quite prominent in the philosophy of emotion. Reductive pure and (...) impure intentionalism, in turn, seem to fit better with this thesis but they have difficulties to explain what makes emotions phenomenal states at all. Therefore, I finally discuss whether non-reductive intentionalism might be an option for explaining the phenomenal character of emotional experience. (shrink)