Here, we argue that any neurobiological theory based on an experience/function division cannot be empirically confirmed or falsified and is thus outside the scope of science. A ‘perfect experiment’ illustrates this point, highlighting the unbreachable boundaries of the scientific study of consciousness. We describe a more nuanced notion of cognitive access that captures personal experience without positing the existence of inaccessible conscious states. Finally, we discuss the criteria necessary for forming and testing a falsifiable theory of consciousness.
Although our subjective impression is of a richly detailed visual world, numerous empirical results suggest that the amount of visual information observers can perceive and remember at any given moment is limited. How can our subjective impressions be reconciled with these objective observations? Here, we answer this question by arguing that, although we see more than the handful of objects, claimed by prominent models of visual attention and working memory, we still see far less than we think we do. Taken (...) together, we argue that these considerations resolve the apparent conflict between our subjective impressions and empirical data on visual capacity, while also illuminating the nature of the representations underlying perceptual experience. (shrink)
Jonah N. Schupbach and Jan Sprenger and Vincenzo Crupi and Katya Tentori have recently proposed measures of explanatory power and have shown that they are characterized by certain arguably desirable conditions or axioms. I further examine the properties of these two measures, and a third measure considered by I. J. Good and Timothy McGrew . This third measure also has an axiomatic representation. I consider a simple coin-tossing example in which only the Crupi–Tentori measure does not perform well. The Schupbach–Sprenger (...) and Good–McGrew measures are based on different notions of explanatory power, but both are tenable. 1 Introduction2 Measures of Explanatory Power3 The Schupbach–Sprenger Measure4 The Crupi–Tentori Measure5 The Good–McGrew Measure6 Affirmative versus Comprehensive Explanatory Power7 Coin-Flipping Examples8 Decomposition9 Conclusion. (shrink)
Deep brain stimulation to different sites allows interfering with dysfunctional network function implicated in major depression. Because a prominent clinical feature of depression is anhedonia--the inability to experience pleasure from previously pleasurable activities--and because there is clear evidence of dysfunctions of the reward system in depression, DBS to the nucleus accumbens might offer a new possibility to target depressive symptomatology in otherwise treatment-resistant depression. Three patients suffering from extremely resistant forms of depression, who did not respond to pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, and (...) electroconvulsive therapy, were implanted with bilateral DBS electrodes in the nucleus accumbens. Stimulation parameters were modified in a double-blind manner, and clinical ratings were assessed at each modification. Additionally, brain metabolism was assessed 1 week before and 1 week after stimulation onset. Clinical ratings improved in all three patients when the stimulator was on, and worsened in all three patients when the stimulator was turned off. Effects were observable immediately, and no side effects occurred in any of the patients. Using FDG-PET, significant changes in brain metabolism as a function of the stimulation in fronto-striatal networks were observed. No unwanted effects of DBS other than those directly related to the surgical procedure were observed. Dysfunctions of the reward system--in which the nucleus accumbens is a key structure--are implicated in the neurobiology of major depression and might be responsible for impaired reward processing, as evidenced by the symptom of anhedonia. These preliminary findings suggest that DBS to the nucleus accumbens might be a hypothesis-guided approach for refractory major depression. (shrink)
Originally conceptualized by Bandura as the process of cognitive restructuring that allows individuals to disassociate with their internal moral standards and behave unethically without feeling distress, moral disengagement has attracted the attention of management researchers in recent years. An increasing body of research has examined the factors which lead people to morally disengage and its related outcomes in the workplace. However, the conceptualization of moral disengagement, how it should be measured, the manner in which it develops, and its influence on (...) work outcomes are areas of continued debate among researchers. In this article, we undertake a systematic review of research on moral disengagement in the workplace and develop a comprehensive research agenda that highlights opportunities for theoretical and empirical advancement of the literature. (shrink)
Jonah N. Schupbach and Jan Sprenger have proposed conditions of adequacy for measures of explanatory power. They derive and defend a measure of explanatory power satisfying their conditions of adequacy. This article furthers the development of their measure. The requirement that the measure be multidimensional analytic is avoided. Several proofs are simplified, and gaps in proofs are filled.
Laurence Goldstein has ‘re-created’ Wittgenstein's doctoral viva, arguing that had Wittgenstein's dissertation, his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, ‘been judged by normal standards of originality and philosophical argumentation, it would have failed’. Goldstein claims that Wittgenstein ‘lifted’ central doctrines from Russell and from Bernard Bolzano. I point out that passages allegedly plagiarized from Russell are actually criticisms of his doctrines, and that there is no evidence that Wittgenstein even knew Bolzano's work, directly or indirectly. I argue that alleged similarities, substantial and stylistic, between (...) his work and Bolzano's give no support even to a weaker claim of influence. (shrink)
Recent years have witnessed an effort to explicate the concept of explanatory power in a Bayesian framework by constructing explanatory measures. It has been argued that those measures should not violate the principle of explanatory justice, which states that explanatory power cannot be extended “for free.” I argue, by formal means, that one recent measure claiming to be immune from explanatory injustice fails to be so. I end by concluding that the explanatory justice criticism can be dissolved, given a natural (...) interpretation of the concept of negative explanatory power. (shrink)
V. Alan White and Gertrud Walton have published responses to my note on Einstein's simultaneity Gedankenexperiment , in which I present a version of the argument free of the flaws to be found in that given by Einstein. White thinks I go too far, that no reformulation is necessary; Walton, that I don't go far enough, and that i the inconsistencies in Einstein's exposition are ‘irreconcilable’. I r shall try to explain why I think both are mistaken.