Egoism and altruism are unequal contenders in the explanation of human behaviour. While egoism tends to be viewed as natural and unproblematic, altruism has always been treated with suspicion, and it has often been argued that apparent cases of altruistic behaviour might really just be some special form of egoism. The reason for this is that egoism fits into our usual theoretical views of human behaviour in a way that altruism does not. This is true on the biological level, where (...) an evolutionary account seems to favour egoism, as well as on the psychological level, where an account of self-interested motivation is deeply rooted in folk psychology and in the economic model of human behaviour. While altruism has started to receive increasing support in both biological and psychological debates over the last decades, this paper focuses on yet another level, where egoism is still widely taken for granted. Philosophical egoism is the view that, on the ultimate level of intentional explanation, all action is motivated by one of the agent's desires. This view is supported by the standard notion that for a complex of behaviour to be an action, there has to be a way to account for that behaviour in terms of the agent's own pro-attitudes. Psychological altruists, it is claimed, are philosophical egoists in that they are motivated by desires that have the other's benefit rather than the agent's own for its ultimate object. This paper casts doubt on this thesis, arguing that empathetic agents act on other people's pro-attitudes in very much the same way as agents usually act on their own, and that while other-directed desires do play an important role in many cases of psychologically altruistic action, they are not necessary in explanations of some of the most basic and most pervasive types of human altruistic behaviour. The paper concludes with the claim that philosophical egoism is really a cultural value rather than a conceptual feature of action. (shrink)
Schmid divides the book into five main discussions: the historical background of the dialogue; the relation of form and content in a Platonic dialogue and specific structural and aesthetic features of the Laches; the first half of the ...
When Andre Bazin's most important essays on film were collected together in a single volume and titled What is Cinema? they raised a question that Bazin did not answer. Nor did he intend to. Nor has it been answered by any of the other theorists who have written what now seem to be the major works on film theory and who now seem the most influential spokesmen for the art. Rudolf Arnheim, Andre Bazin, Stanley Cavell, S. M. Einstein, Siegfried Kracauer, (...) Christian Metz, Hugo Munsterberg, Erwin Panofsky, and Gene Youngblood have failed to define what cinema essentially is.1 Unlike Ionesco's comically methodical Logician, they have been less than careful about posing the problem correctly. As a result they have been less than successful and less than precise with a deceptively difficult and complicated issue. They have defined some kinds of cinema, they have defined some of the qualities unique to those kinds of cinema, they have defined the characteristics and devices they find most valuable in some of those kinds of cinema, they simply have not defined cinema. · 1. Relevant sections of all these theorists can be found in Gerald Mast and Marshall Cohen, eds., Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings . Gerald Mast, associate professor of humanities at Richmond College of the City University of New York, has written A Short History of the Movies, The Comic Mind: Comedy and the Movies, Filmguide to the Rules of the Game, and Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings . This article is part of a forthcoming book, What Isn't Cinema? He has also contributed "Kracauer's Two Tendencies and the Early History of Film Narrative" to Critical Inquiry. (shrink)
If narrating—the feeling of stories, fictional or otherwise—is an inherent possibility of motion pictures , then Kracauer's distinction between the realist and formative tendencies must be questioned and, in effect, the two must be synthesized. Wasn't the practical problem for the earliest films how to construct a formative sequence of events within an absolutely real-looking visual context? Wasn't the paradox of film narrative the combination of an obviously unreal sequence of events with an obviously real visual and social setting? And (...) isn't that paradox the most intriguing and complex problem of narrative film today, when the visual and social setting have become increasingly real-seeming? And doesn't this paradox have something to do with the fact that narrative film today seems richer and more important than it did a decade ago, at a time when various admirers of both cinéma vérité and cinéma pur had announced the death of fictional filmed narrative? Kracauer's realist aesthetic, concentrating exclusively on the photographic surfaces of things in the material world , overlooks this paradox altogether. It overlooks the fact—extremely relevant to the cinema—that the term "realist" means one thing in its common application to a painting or photograph and quite another thing in its equally common application to a novel or play. A realistic visual image is one that is said to "look like," "resemble," "reproduce," "iconically represent" the surfaces of the visual world. We see—or think we see—in a painting what we see—or think we see—in the real world.1 But a realistic story is one that is said to chronicle "credibly," "probably," and "believably" the way we think people feel, think, or act, the way things happen, and the reasons they happen, all of which are consistent with the reader-audience-society's beliefs about psychology, motivation, and probability. The standard of one sense of realism is primarily visual while the standard of the other is primarily psychological. One might see the early films groping, then, toward a synthesis of the visual realism of late-nineteenth-century painting/photography with the psychological realism of late-nineteenth-century novel/drama. · 1. This equivocation deliberately avoids the question of whether there is anything actually real about what one sees in a painting or photograph. The fact is that a very large number of viewers operate in this assumption because they think there is something real about what they see, despite the theoretical imprecision of their holding such a belief. Gerald Mast is the author of, among other works, A Short History of the Movies, The Comic Mind: Comedy and the Movies, and Film/Cinema/Movie: A Theory of Experience. His previous contribution to Critical Inquiry, "What Isn't Cinema?," appeared in the Winter 1974 issue. (shrink)
One of the common and commonsensical ways to distinguish cinema from every other art and semiotic system, and to define the property of its uniqueness, is to claim that cinema is the only art/”language” that links images. This “linking” can imply three different yet complementary operations. First, cinema links individual still photographs into an apparently continuous sequence of movement by pushing the individual frames or photographs through a camera or projector at sixteen or twenty-four or however many frames per second. (...) Second, cinema links images by editing , by splicing together individual shots, which are continuous chains of linked frames. Finally, cinema links images with sounds, synchronously or otherwise. The only problem with such an apparently unrestrictive and unprescriptive definition of cinema and the “cinematic” is that it obscures an essentially cinematic operation that precedes the linking of cinema images: the image must first be framed before it can be linked with another.But is framing unique to cinema? Don’t paintings have frames? Aren’t photographs frames? Isn’t the theater’s proscenium arch a frame? A consequence of such perfectly sensible questions is a consistent undervaluing of the cinema frame as an essentially and uniquely cinematic tool, unlike that of any other art, producing serious errors in the writing of film theory and serious misunderstandings of the processes of film history. The goal of this article is to diagnose some of these errors so they might someday be cured. Gerald Mast is professor of English and general in the humanities at the University of Chicago. Among his many books are A Short History of the Movies, The Comic Mind: Comedy and the Movies, Film/Cinema/Movie, The Movies in Our Midst, and Howard Hawks, Storyteller. His previous contributions to Critical Inquiry are “What Isn’t Cinema?” and “Kracauer’s Two Tendencies and the Early History of Film Narrative”. (shrink)
We give a detailed account of the Algebraically Closed and Existentially Closed members of the second Lee class B 2 of distributive p-algebras, culminating in an explicit construction of the countable homogeneous universal model of B 2. The axioms of Schmid ,  for the AC and EC members of B 2 are reduced to what we prove to be an irredundant set of axioms. The central tools used in this study are the strong duality of Clark and Davey (...)  for B 2 and the method of Clark  for constructing AC and EC algebras using a strong duality. Applied to B 2, this method transfers the entire discussion into an equivalent dual category X 2 of Boolean spaces which carry a pair of tightly interacting orderings. The doubly ordered spaces of X 2 prove to be much more readily constructed and analyzed than the corresponding algebras in B 2. (shrink)
La sensatez o moderación es un tema central que atraviesa diversos diálogos de Platón, en los cuales esta virtud se presenta en relación con el amor, el conocimiento de sí y la política. Esta virtud es abordada por Walter T. Schmid en su artículo “Socratic Moderation and Self-Knowledge”, publicado en el volumen 21 del Journal of The History of Philosophy, como resultado del seminario The Philosophy of Sócrates, organizado en 1981 por Gregory Vlastos, explorando la exposición del término sophrosyne (...) no solo en el Cármides, sino a través de distintos diálogos. (shrink)
It has been claimed in the literature that collective intentionality and group attitudes presuppose some “sense of ‘us’” among the participants (other labels sometimes used are “sense of community,” “communal awareness,” “shared point of view,” or “we-perspective”). While this seems plausible enough on an intuitive level, little attention has been paid so far to the question of what the nature and role of this mysterious “sense of ‘us’” might be. This paper states (and argues for) the following five claims: (1) (...) it is neither the case that the sense in question has the community (or “us”) in its content or as its object nor does the attitude in question presuppose a preexistent community (or “us”) as its subject. (2) The “sense of ‘us’” is plural pre-reflective self-awareness. (3) Plural pre-reflective self-awareness plays the same role in the constitution of a common mind that singular pre-reflective self-awareness plays in the individual mind. (4) The most important conceptions of plural subjects, collective persons, or group agents in the current literature fail to recognize the nature and role of plural self-awareness, and therefore fall short in important respects. (5) In spite of the striking similarities between the plural and the singular mind, there are important differences to consider. The authority of the singular first person point of view has no equivalent in the plural case. (shrink)
People often make use of a spatial “mental time line” to represent events in time. We investigated whether the eyes follow such a mental time line during online language comprehension of sentences that refer to the past, present, and future. Participants' eye movements were measured on a blank screen while they listened to these sentences. Saccade direction revealed that the future is mapped higher up in space than the past. Moreover, fewer saccades were made when two events are simultaneously taking (...) place at the present moment compared to two events that are happening in different points in time. This is the first evidence that oculomotor correlates reflect mental looking along an abstract invisible time line during online language comprehension about time. Our results support the idea that observing eye movements is likely to “detect” invisible spatial scaffoldings which are involved in cognitively processing abstract meaning, even when the abstract meaning lacks an explicit spatial correlate. Theoretical implications of these findings are discussed. (shrink)
Under normal circumstances, saying that you have a thought, a belief, a desire, or an intention differs from saying that somebody (who happens to be you) has that attitude. The former statement comes with some form of first person authority and constitutes commitments that are not involved in the latter case. Speaking with first person authority, and thereby publicly committing oneself, is a practice that plays an important role in our communication and in our understanding of what it means to (...) be a person. In their Group Agency, Christian List and Philip Pettit argue that some corporations are agents with attitudes of their own, and they claim that they are persons. The question on which this paper is focused is: Can corporations (groups with attitudes and the capacity for linguistic communication) participate in this practice, that is, can they express their attitudes with first person authority, and thereby enter first person commitments? The first section of the paper gives a rough (and, I hope, ecumenical) account of some features of first person authority and commitment. The second section examines if and how this account of first person authority carries over to corporations. It is argued that the possibility for groups to express their attitudes with straightforward first person authority, and thus to enter first person commitments, are extremely limited. The third part of the paper argues that while under normal circumstances, a member’s expression of her group’s attitudes in first person plural terms does not constitute straightforward first person authority, it does come with something resembling some aspects of the first-personal commitments encountered in the singular case. (shrink)
concepts like numbers or time are thought to be represented in the more concrete domain of space and the sensorimotor system. For example, thinking of past or future events has a physical manifestation in backward or forward body sway, respectively. In the present study, we investigated the reverse effect: can passive whole-body motion influence the processing of temporal information? Participants were asked to categorize verbal stimuli to the concepts future or past while they were displaced forward and backward , or (...) upward and downward . The results showed that future related verbal stimuli were categorized faster during forward as compared to backward motion. This finding supports the view that temporal events are represented along a mental time line and that the sensorimotor system is linked to that representation. We showed that body motion is not just an epiphenomenon of temporal thoughts. Passive whole-body motion can influence higher-order temporal cognition. (shrink)
This paper examines and compares the ways in which intentions of the singular kind and the plural kind are subjective. Are intentions of the plural kind ours in the same way intentions of the singular kind are mine? Starting with the singular case, it is argued that “I intend” is subjective in virtue of self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is special in that it is self-identifying, self-validating, self-committing, and self-authorizing. Moving to the plural form, it is argued that in spite of apparent differences, (...) attitudes of the form “we intend” are subjective in the same way. The self-knowledge at work here is plural rather than singular. This supports a plural subject account of collective intentionality. It is argued that the worries sometimes raised in the literature against the metaphysical “spookiness” of plural subjects are due to a fundamental misconception of the way in which attitudes of either kind –singular and plural – are subjective. (shrink)
In the Philosophy of Sport literature, play has been widely conceived, in whole or part, as an autotelic activity; that is, an activity pursued for intrinsic factors. I examine several versions of the conception of play as an autotelic activity. Given these different accounts, I raise the question whether the concept of autotelic play is tenable. I examine three possibilities: (i) accept the concept of autotelic play and reject the possibility of satisfying the conditions for play activities; (ii) accept the (...) concept and acknowledge that play refers to a range of activities ranging from the purely autotelic to something less; and, (iii) reject the definition of play as an autotelic activity and redefine play. I argue that the third option is the best avenue for constructing a viable account of play. In defending this third option, I argue that play activities are value laden, that the value of play is an empirical matter, and that the effect of motivating reasons on behavior is the basis for determining which motivating reasons count as intrinsic or extrinsic. I conclude that the weight of the arguments suggest we would be well-served to redefine and move beyond the notion of autotelic play. (shrink)
The focus on animal welfare in society has increased during the last 50 years. Animal welfare legislation and private standards have developed, and today many farmers within animal production have both governmental legislation and private standards to comply with. In this paper intentions and values are described that were expressed in 14 animal welfare legislation and standards in four European countries; Sweden, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. It is also discussed if the legislation and standards actually accomplish what they, in (...) their overall description and ethics, claimed to do, i.e. if this is followed up by relevant paragraphs in the actual body of the text in the legislation and standards respectively. The method used was an on-line questionnaire from the EconWelfare research project and text analyses. This study shows that the ethical values within a set of legislation or private standards are not always consistently implemented, and it is not always possible to follow a thread between the intentions mentioned initially and the actual details of the legislation or standard. Since values will differ so will also the animal welfare levels and the implications of similar concepts in the regulations. In general, the regulations described were not based on animal welfare considerations only, but also other aspects, such as food safety, meat quality, environmental aspects and socio-economic aspects were taken into account. This is understandable, but creates a gap between explicit and implicit values, which we argue, can be overcome if such considerations are made more transparent to the citizens/consumers. (shrink)
Abstract The specter of the ?group mind? or ?collective subject? plays a crucial and fateful role in the current debate on collective intentionality. Fear of the group mind is one important reason why philosophers of collective intentionality resort to individualism. It is argued here that this measure taken against the group mind is as unnecessary as it is detrimental to our understanding of what it means to share an intention. A non-individualistic concept of shared intentionality does not necessarily have to (...) get stuck with some collectivist super-agent. Rather, the specter of the group mind arises from a deep-seated ?Cartesian? preconception concerning intentionality, which we should try to overcome. *I am greatly indebted to Raimo Tuomela for his comments. Also, I wish to thank Michael Bratman, Fabienne Peter, Richard Raatzsch and Katrin Meyer. (shrink)
Creating focal lesions in primary visual cortex (V1) provides an opportunity to study the role of extra-geniculo-striate pathways for activating extrastriate visual cortex. Previous studies have shown that more than 95% of neurons in macaque area V2 and V3 stop firing after reversibly cooling V1 [1,2,3]. However, no studies on long term recovery in areas V2, V3 following permanent V1 lesions have been reported in the macaque. Here we use macaque fMRI to study area V2, V3 activity patterns from 1 (...) to 22 months after lesioning area V1. We find that visually driven BOLD responses persist inside the V1-lesion projection zones (LPZ) of areas V2 and V3, but are reduced in strength by ,70%, on average, compared to prelesion levels. Monitoring the LPZ activity over time starting one month following the V1 lesion did not reveal systematic changes in BOLD signal amplitude. Surprisingly, the retinotopic organization inside the LPZ of areas V2, V3 remained similar to that of the non-lesioned hemisphere, suggesting that LPZ activation in V2, V3 is not the result of input arising from nearby (non-lesioned) V1 cortex. Electrophysiology recordings of multi-unit activity corroborated the BOLD observations: visually driven multi-unit responses could be elicited inside the V2 LPZ, even when the visual stimulus was entirely contained within the scotoma induced by the V1 lesion. Restricting the stimulus to the intact visual hemi-field produced no significant BOLD modulation inside the V2, V3 LPZs. We conclude that the observed activity patterns are largely mediated by parallel, V1-bypassing, subcortical pathways that can activate areas V2 and V3 in the absence of V1 input. Such pathways may contribute to the behavioral phenomenon of blindsight. (shrink)
This chapter briefly summarises work by four key figures in the phenomenological philosophy of science: Edmund Husserl; Martin Heidegger; Patrick Heelan; and Joseph J. Kockelmans. In addition, some comparison is made with well-known figures in mainstream philosophy of science, and suggestions are given for further readings in the phenomenological philosophy of science.
In the current debate on economic rationality, Amartya Sen's analysis of the structure of commitment plays a uniquely important role . However, Sen is not alone in pitting committed action against the standard model of rational behavior. Before turning to Sen's analysis in section 2 of this paper, I shall start with an observation concerning some of the other relevant accounts.
This essay develops a Kantian theory of sport which addresses: (1) Kant?s categories of aesthetic judgment (2) a comparable analysis applied to athletic volition; (3) aesthetic cognition and experience and athletic volition and experience; (4) ?free? and ?attached? beauty; (5) Kant?s theory of teleological judgment; (6) the moral concept of a ?kingdom of ends? and sportsmanship; (7) the beautiful and the sublime in sport-experience; (8) respect and religious emotion in sport-experience; (9) the Kantian system and philosophical anthropology; and (10) sport (...) and self-knowledge. (shrink)
This chapter investigates the idea of collective epistemic commonality suggested by Charles Taylor's example, and contrasts it with a distributive notion of epistemic commonality. It describes a number of accounts of collective epistemic commonality, and then argues that, contrary to what Taylor suggests, conversation is not constitutive of collective epistemic commonality as such, but rather presupposes basic forms of collective epistemic commonality. Taylor's remarks indicate that understanding the consensus is insufficient as whatever proposition people rationally and openly accept in conversation. (...) It is suggested that joint attitudes are irreducible, relational, and pre-reflective, and that such attitudes are joint, in the respect that the participants are aware of themselves as a ‘we’. Highly inferential beliefs need some form of communication, and are probably really some form of joint commitment. (shrink)