There are several types of behavioural evidence in favour of the notion that many animal species experience at least some simple levels of consciousness. Other than behavioural evidence, there are a number of anatomical and physiological criteria that help resolve the problem of animal consciousness, particularly when addressing the problem in lower vertebrates and invertebrates. In this paper, I review a number of such behavioural and brain- based evidence in the case of mammals, birds, and some invertebrate species. Cumulative evidence (...) strongly suggests that consciousness, of one form or another, is present in mammals and birds. Although supportive evidence is less strong in the case of invertebrates, it is more likely than not that they also experience some simple levels of consciousness. (shrink)
According to widespread opinion, the meaning of body part terms is determined by salient discontinuities in the visual image; such that hands, feet, arms, and legs, are natural parts. If so, one would expect these parts to have distinct names which correspond in meaning across languages. To test this proposal, we compared three unrelated languages—Dutch, Japanese, and Indonesian—and found both naming systems and boundaries of even basic body part terms display variation across languages. Bottom-up cues alone cannot explain natural language (...) semantic systems; there simply is not a one-to-one mapping of the body semantic system to the body structural description. Although body parts are flexibly construed across languages, body parts semantics are, nevertheless, constrained by non-linguistic representations in the body structural description, suggesting these are necessary, although not sufficient, in accounting for aspects of the body lexicon. (shrink)
Ineffability, the degree to which percepts or concepts resist linguistic coding, is a fairly unexplored nook of cognitive science. Although philosophical preoccupations with qualia or nonconceptual content certainly touch upon the area, there has been little systematic thought and hardly any empirical work in recent years on the subject. We argue that ineffability is an important domain for the cognitive sciences. For examining differential ineffability across the senses may be able to tell us important things about how the mind works, (...) how different modalities talk to one another, and how language does, or does not, interact with other mental faculties. (shrink)
The linguistic and cognitive sciences have severely underestimated the degree of linguistic diversity in the world. Part of the reason for this is that we have projected assumptions based on English and familiar languages onto the rest. We focus on some distortions this has introduced, especially in the study of semantics.
Technological advances in the field of medicine and health sciences not only manipulate the normal human body and sex but also provide for surgical and hormonal management of hermaphroditism. Consequently, sex assignment surgery has not only become a standard care for babies born with genital abnormalities in the West but even in some Muslim states. On the positive side, it goes a long way in saving children born with abnormal genitalia from numerous legal interdictions of the pre-sex corrective surgery. Nevertheless, (...) the larger ethical and legal questions that medical management of genital abnormality raises to some extent have not been adequately appreciated by contemporary Muslim responses. This article, therefore, in principle argues against surgical management of intersexuality during early infancy from the Islamic legal perspective. (shrink)
When researchers think about the interaction between language and emotion, they typically focus on descriptive emotion words. This review demonstrates that emotion can interact with language at many levels of structure, from the sound patterns of a language to its lexicon and grammar, and beyond to how it appears in conversation and discourse. Findings are considered from diverse subfields across the language sciences, including cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and conversation analysis. Taken together, it is clear that emotional expression is (...) finely tuned to language-specific structures. Future emotion research can better exploit cross-linguistic variation to unravel possible universal principles operating between language and emotion. (shrink)
Recurrent lexicalization patterns across widely different cultural contexts can provide a window onto common conceptualizations. The cross-linguistic data support the idea that sweet, salt, sour, and bitter are basic tastes. In addition, umami and fatty are likely basic tastes, as well.
We report an experiment examining the effect of three factors on professional Hong Kong liquidators' decisions to bring legal action in negligence against auditors. Factors were (a) the strength (merit) of the supporting evidence (arguable vs. overwhelming), (b) the type of alleged audit failure (failure to report financial statement errors vs. management fraud) and (c) audit firm type (Big 6 vs. non-Big 6). We find evidence that liquidators' litigation decisions are influenced by case merit. We also find that liquidators were (...) marginally more likely to institute legal action against a Big 6 than against a non-Big 6 auditor. However, we find no evidence that the type of alleged audit failure influences litigation decisions. (shrink)
Emotion scientists often take an ambivalent stance concerning the role of language in a science of emotion. However, it is important for emotion researchers to contemplate some of the consequences of current practices for their theory building. There is a danger of an overreliance on the English language as a transparent window into emotion categories. More consideration has to be given to cross-linguistic comparison in the future so that models of language acquisition and of the language–cognition interface fit better the (...) extant variation found in today’s peoples. (shrink)
Coherent covariation appears to be a powerful explanatory factor accounting for a range of phenomena in semantic cognition. But its role in accounting for the crosslinguistic facts is less clear. Variation in naming, within the same semantic domain, raises vexing questions about the necessary parameters needed to account for the basic facts underlying categorization.
This study examined auditors'' perceptions of the relative level of risk of fraud and material irregularities associated with the presence of six red flag factors and also evaluated the quality of auditors'' judgements. The study was conducted in two stages. In the first stage, subjects were asked to rank the importance of 15 factors that proxy the existence of material misstatements. Based on the responses to this questionnaire, 6 of the most important factors were identified and included in the second (...) stage, a lens model experiment. In the lens model experiment, 30 experienced auditors from a cross-section of Big 6 firms were used as subjects in a repeated-measures ANOVA design. Results showed that misstatements in prior audits and indicators of going-concern problems were perceived to be the most significant factors in alerting auditors to the risk of fraud and material irregularities. In making these judgements, auditors demonstrated a relatively high level of consensus and consistency. However, the two most important factors in the lens model experiment are not the same as the results of the first survey suggesting that the first group of respondents, faced with a simple questionnaire, used heuristics in their decision making. The results have implications for audit practice. (shrink)
To what extent does perceptual language reflect universals of experience and cognition, and to what extent is it shaped by particular cultural preoccupations? This paper investigates the universality~relativity of perceptual language by examining the use of basic perception terms in spontaneous conversation across 13 diverse languages and cultures. We analyze the frequency of perception words to test two universalist hypotheses: that sight is always a dominant sense, and that the relative ranking of the senses will be the same across different (...) cultures. We find that references to sight outstrip references to the other senses, suggesting a pan-human preoccupation with visual phenomena. However, the relative frequency of the other senses was found to vary cross-linguistically. Cultural relativity was conspicuous as exemplified by the high ranking of smell in Semai, an Aslian language. Together these results suggest a place for both universal constraints and cultural shaping of the language of perception. (shrink)
Can the abstract entities be designated? While the empiricists usually took the positive answer to this question as the first step toward Platonism, in his ``Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology’’ [Carnap 1950], Carnap tried to make a reconciliation between the language referring to abstract entities on the one hand, and empiricism on the other. In this paper, firstly, I show that the ingenuity of Carnap’s approach notwithstanding, it is prone to criticism from different aspects. But I also show how, even without (...) leaving the empiricist research program, the shortcomings could be amended. Following Carnap’s 1950 outset, and adding some apparently untasteful (Meinongian) ingredients, I will sketch a refined way for dealing with the problem of existence of abstract entities within the framework of the philosophy of empiricism. (shrink)
Research has paid scant attention to reparative behavior to compensate for unintended wrongdoing or to the role of emotions in doing the right thing. We propose a new approach to investigating reparative behavior by looking at moral emotions and psychological proximity. In this study, we compare the effects of moral emotions (guilt and shame) on the level of compensation for financial harm. We also investigate the role of transgressors’ perceived psychological proximity to the victims of wrongdoing. Our hypotheses were tested (...) through a scenario based questionnaire on a sample of 261 participants. Analyses indicate that (1) guilt has a stronger effect on the level of compensation than shame; (2) psychological proximity influences the level of guilt, shame, and compensation; and (3) shame interacts with psychological proximity to predict compensation, whereas guilt mediates the relationship between psychological proximity and compensation. (shrink)
In this paper, inspired by the late twentieth century developments in philosophy of science, I propose an ontological scheme to accommodate the scientifically-informed anti-substantivalist views of the self. I call the position structural realist theory of the self. More specifically, I argue that SRS provides a middle ground for bringing a metaphysical reconciliation between the two recurring, and apparently competing forms of such anti-substantivalist views, i.e., eliminativism and pluralism. The notion of the structural self, as the underpinning pattern that is (...) the subject of the ontological commitments in SRS, is not as cumbersome as the orthodox substantivalist notion, and yet accounts for the relation of the different aspects and elements of the self by integrating them structurally into a central unifying pattern of selfhood. I use the experimental studies of Northoff et al. about the processing of the self-related stimuli in the cortical midline structure of the brain, to argue that the underlying pattern of the selfhood could be sought at the level of information processing. I also add a programmatic suggestion about how the different situated, experiential and extended aspects of the selfhood could be structurally incorporated into this underlying pattern. (shrink)
The paper surveys Floridi’s attempt for laying down informational structural realism. After considering a number of reactions to the pars destruens of Floridi’s attack on the digital ontology, I show that Floridi’s enterprise for enriching the ISR by borrowing elements from the ontic form of structural realism is blighted by a haunting inconsistency. ISR has been originally developed by Floridi as a restricted and level dependent form of structural realism which remains mainly bonded within the borders of a Kantian perspective. (...) I argue that this perspective doesn’t mesh nicely with the ontic interpretation that Floridi attached to the ISR. I substantiate this claim through the assessment of Floridi’s strategy for reconciling the epistemic and ontic forms of the SR, as well as by close examination of his use of method of levels of abstraction and his notion of semantic information. My proposal is that the ISR could be defended best against the mentioned and similar objections by being interpreted as an extension of the epistemic SR. (shrink)
The paper aims to provide a detailed assessment of Tim Crane’s recent invocation of the notion of scientific models in the way of dealing with the issue of the brain’s representational states. In this paper, I assess Crane’s proposal under a charitable and a less charitable reading. I argue that Crane’s use of scientific models is at best compatible with his expression of psychological realism. However, Crane’s use of model-based strategy by no means underlay, support, or strengthen his psychological realism. (...) Rather, traditional reasons from the metaphysics of mind, acting quite separately from empirical scientific reasons, must be used to support this realism, and Crane has merely removed the threat posed to these metaphysical arguments by the existence of the so-called mereological fallacy in empirical neuroscience. Therefore, while he has saved the neuroscientific language from philosophical attack, he has perhaps even strengthened the divide between neuroscience and philosophy. I conclude the paper by outlining the sketch of a broadbrush scientifically informed strategy for defending psychological realism. (shrink)
The question of judgment has become one of the central problems in recent social, political and ethical thought. This paper explores Hannah Arendt's decisive contribution to this debate by attempting to reconstruct analytically two distinctive perspectives on judgment from the corpus of her writings. By exploring her relation to Aristotelian and Kantian sources, and by uncovering debts and parallels to key thinkers such as Benjamin and Heidegger, it is argued that Arendt's work pinpoints the key antinomy within political judgment itself, (...) that between the viewpoints of the political actor and the political spectator. The paper concludes by highlighting some lacunae and difficulties in the development of Arendt's account, difficulties that set challenges for those theorists (such as Seyla Benhabib and Alessandro Ferrara) who wish to appropriate and extend Arendt's contribution into the field of contemporary critical theory. Key Words: action aesthetics community freedom history judgment reflection. (shrink)