Evidence for the contribution of the neocortex to memory is overwhelming. However, the theory proposed by Ruchkin et al. does not only ignore subcortical contributions, but also introduces an unnecessary and empirically unsupported division between the posterior cortex, assumed to represent information, and the prefrontal cortex, assumed to control activation. We argue instead that the representational power of the neocortex is not restricted to its posterior part.
The identity of working-memory and long-term memory representations follows from many lines of evidence. However, the data provided by Ruchkin et al. are hardly compelling, as they make unproved assumptions about hypothetical generators. We cite studies from our lab in which congruent slow-wave topographies were found for short-term and long-term memory tasks, strongly suggesting that both activate identical cell assemblies.
Listening to someone from some distance in a crowded room you may experience the following phenomenon: when looking at them speak, you may both hear and see where the source of the sounds is; but when your eyes are turned elsewhere, you may no longer be able to detect exactly where the voice must be coming from. With your eyes again fixed on the speaker, and the movement of her lips a clear sense of the source of the sound will (...) return. This ‘ventriloquist’ effect reflects the ways in which visual cognition can dominate auditory perception. And this phenomenological observation is one what you can verify or disconfirm in your own case just by the slightest reflection on what it is like for you to listen to someone with or without visual contact with them. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to set out some of the ontologies amongst which some forms of anti-realism must select. This provides the appropriate setting for presenting an alternative realist ontology. The argument is that the choice between the varieties of anti-realism and realism is inevitably a choice between ontologies.
‘Marital faithfulness’ refers to faithful love for a spouse or lover to whom one is committed, rather than the narrower idea of sexual fidelity. The distinction is clearly marked in traditional wedding vows. A commitment to love faithfully is central: ‘to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part… and thereto I plight [pledge] thee my troth [faithfulness]’. (...) Sexual fidelity is promised in a subordinate clause, symbolizing its supportive role in promoting love's constancy: ‘and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her/him.’. (shrink)
Does anyone ever survive his or her bodily death ? Could anyone? No speculative questions are older than these, or have been answered more frequently or more variously. None have been laid to rest more often, or — in our times — with more claimed decisiveness. Jay Rosenberg, for instance, no doubt speaks for many contemporary philosophers when he claims, in his recent book, to have ‘ demonstrated ’ that ‘ we cannot [even] make coherent sense of the supposed possibility (...) that a person's history might continue beyond that person's [bodily] death’. (shrink)
In ‘ The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy ’ Laurence Sterne writes: That of all the several ways of beginning a book which are now in practice throughout the known world, I am confident my own way of doing it is the best—I'm sure it is the most religious—for I begin with writing the first sentence—and trusting to Almighty God for the second.
Q: If necessity is the mother of invention, whence necessity? A. : The matrix of necessity in God-talk is religious experience, philosophically interpreted. The interpreters, theists and non-thesists, have indeed been inventive.
In Chapters 6 and 7 of Language, Truth and Poetry I attempted to solve the ancient problem of fictional reference by claiming that a fictional construct ‘points’ or refers to certain features of reality in rather the same way as an abstraction like ‘gravitation’ or ‘cruelty’ does. I now believe that this theory of mine is unsatisfactory; and I should like to propose a new solution to the problem.
The standard foil for recent theories of hope is the belief-desire analysis advocated by Hobbes, Day, Downie, and others. According to this analysis, to hope for S is no more and no less than to desire S while believing S is possible but not certain. Opponents of the belief-desire analysis argue that it fails to capture one or another distinctive feature or function of hope: that hope helps one resist the temptation to despair;2 that hope engages the sophisticated capacities of (...) human agency, such as planning;3 or that hope involves the imagination in ways desire need not.4 Here, I focus on the role of imagination in hope, and discuss its implications for hope’s relation to practical commitment or end-setting. (shrink)
John Heil’s new book is remarkable in many ways. In a concise, lucid and accessible manner, it develops a complete system of ontology with many strikingly original features and then applies that ontology to fundamental issues in the philosophy of mind, with illuminating results. Although Heil acknowledges his intellectual debts to C. B. Martin, he is unduly modest about his own contribution to the development and application of this novel metaphysical system. A full examination of the position (...) that Heil defends would require a book in itself, so I shall limit myself to discussing some of its central themes and to explaining a few doubts that I have concerning some aspects of it. (shrink)
Heidegger was rector of Freiburg University from April 21, 1933, until sometime in March 1934. Soon after becoming rector, he joined the Nazi Party and devoted much energy and personal initiative to the implementation of Nazi programs in his university. A documentary record of this year is collected in Guido Schneeberger's Nachlese zu Heidegger. Of Schneeberger's 217 documents, 41 contain actual texts by Heidegger or reports of things he said. Thus there is room for useful editing. In the present "translation," (...) Runes unsuccessfully undertakes this task. He retains just 17 of the Schneeberger documents; eight of these contain words by Heidegger. Or perhaps one should say words by Runes, for the mutilated translation does even less credit to Heidegger than the brown clichés that pervade the original. No page is free from such mistranslations as "outdated" for "vollendet," "the State" for "die Stätte," "adherence to tradition" for "Wille zum Wesen," "kiss good-bye" for "einbüßen," "old people's home" for "Elternhaus." In eight different places the word "Hitler" has been inserted. On page 22, e.g., Runes has added his own "Heil Hitler" to Heidegger's signature. Thus, though many of the general facts can be gleaned from this book, it is not reliable as far as detail is concerned. And of course it shares with the original Schneeberger documentation the limitation of giving no hint as to Heidegger's Nazi activities, if any, after early 1934.—J. B. B. (shrink)
The rule-following paradox of Kripke's Wittgenstein posits that there is no fact of the matter about an individual that can determine whether he means one thing or another by a term, such as "+". The paradox thus renders the existence of meaning illusory. The objective of this thesis is to examine the paradox and try to offer a version of a dispositional account that can counteract Kripke's skeptics. ;Gaining insights from previous dispositionalist accounts of meaning and rule-following, including those of (...) Dretske, Fodor, Millikan, Martin & Heil, Shogenji, and Yallowitz, my project is to put all those insights together to formulate a functional view of human dispositions to rule-following which will resolve the error, finitude, and first-person epistemic problems that Kripke raises against the dispositionalist approach. Specifically, I argue that rule-following or meaning consists in one's possessing a disposition, realistically construed. A rule-following disposition is real in the sense that it is responsible for, and hence not to be equated with, its manifestations under various conditions. A person acquires a real disposition to rule-following through a learning history which is constrained by biologically innate human endowments of learning and cognition. The error problem then becomes the problem of how to identify the disposition without vacuity or circularity. My claim is that identifying a rule-following disposition is a task of scientific hypothesizing, which is epistemically and methodologically sound. The finitude problem is in my view a form of Humean inductive skepticism. My response to it is to adopt a reliabilist theory of justification and its treatment of the induction problem. A distinctive contribution of mine is to offer a functionalist account of dispositions and introspection in the resolution of the first-person epistemic problem. My aim is to do full justice to the phenomenology and epistemology of meaning and rule-following from the first-person point of view. ;My conclusion is that a satisfactory dispositional account such as the one I offer not only vindicates the reality of rule-following and meaning but also increases our understanding of the nature of meaning and human rule-following phenomenon. (shrink)