Adapting Wittgenstein's concept of the human species as 'a ceremonial animal', Wendy James discusses in a readable and lively style the conceptual ordering of space, time, and rhythm; the mutualities of language, consciousness, ritual and religious practice; the dialectics of gender and generation; power, war, and peace; and large-scale modern social formations such as the city and the nation. The Foreword is by Michael J. Lambek, Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto.
This paper reports on a case study which aims to recreate the hearing voices symptom in schizophrenia. The case study was submitted for a co-curricular module at King’s College London by a first-year undergraduate Music student, Bethany James, and was created using the web application, Mahara. The core of the case study consists of a soundscape of both everyday and unusual sounds, in conjunction with an original musical composition. The paper describes the case study and discusses it using chaos (...) narrative as an analytical lens. The paper argues that the case study effectively evokes the hearing voices symptom, conveying a lucid sense of the experience to non-sufferers and thus potentially creating use value for clinicians and care workers. (shrink)
Adapting Wittgenstein's concept of the human species as 'a ceremonial animal', Wendy James writes vividly and readably. Her new overview advocates a clear line of argument: that the concept of social form is a primary key to anthropology and the human sciences as a whole. Weaving memorable ethnographic examples into her text, James brings together carefully selected historical sources as well as references to current ideas in neighbouring disciplines such as archaeology, paleoanthropology, genetics, art and material culture, ethnomusicology, (...) urban and development studies, politics, economics, psychology, and religious studies. She shows the relevance of anthropology to pressing world issues such as migration, humanitarian politics, the new reproductive technologies, and religious fundamentalism. Wendy James's engaging style will appeal to specialist and non-specialist alike. The Foreword is written by Michael J. Lambek, Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto. (shrink)
Bernard Stielger has recently emerged as one of the most significant and original thinkers in the new generation of French philosophers following Derrida and Deleuze.Drawing on art, anthropology, economics, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, politics and sociology, the essays in this collection, by a range of world-class specialists, are united around Stiegler's key concept of technics, which, he argues, constitutes what it is to be human.Stiegler is revealed as a thinker at the forefront of our contemporary concerns with consumerism, technology, inter-generational division, (...) political apathy and economic crisis. His ambitious project goes beyond these sources of social distress to uncover and examine precisely 'what makes life worth living'. (shrink)
This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary (...) American society. -/- A Pluralistic Universe was the last major book James published during his life time. It is a substantial philosophical work, devoted to a thorough-going criticism of Hegelian monism and Absolutism—and the exploration of philosophical and social-theological alternatives. Our world of some one hundred years on is much the better for James’s contributions; and understanding James’s pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding. At present, we are more certain that American is, and is best, a pluralistic society, than we are of what particular forms our pluralism should take. Keeping an eye out for social interpretations of Jamesian pluralism, this new philosophical reading casts light on our twenty-first century alternatives by reference to prior American experience and developments. -/- . (shrink)
William James had the courage to experience the collision of European and American ways of thinking head on, and to emerge from it with a new philosophy - one displaying a remarkable vitality for dealing with the transformative issues at the core of the human condition. This easy to read introduction to his life and work explains why James' work is overwhelmingly valuable to us today in getting to grips with the spiritual dimension of human experience.
While theorists of cultural pluralism have generally supported tribal sovereignty to protect threatened Native cultures, they fail to address adequately cultural conflicts between Native and non-Native communities, especially when tribal sovereignty facilitates illiberal or undemocratic practices. In response, I draw on Jürgen Habermas' conceptions of dis-course and the public sphere to develop a universalist approach to cultural pluralism, called the 'intercultural public sphere', which analyzes how cultures can engage in mutual learning and mutual criticism under fair conditions. This framework accommodates (...) cultural diversity within formally universalistic parameters while avoiding four common criticisms of universalist approaches to cultural pluralism. But this framework differs from that of Habermas in two ways. First, it includes 'subaltern' publics, open only to members of cultural subgroups, in order to counter relations of 'cultural power'. Second, it admits 'strong' publics, democratic institutions with decision-making powers. Finally, I show how the subaltern, strong institutions of tribal sovereignty contribute to the fair discursive conditions required for mutual learning and mutual critique in an intercultural public sphere. Key Words: Habermas Kymlicka Native peoples sovereignty tribal. (shrink)
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better if we were immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Life, Death, and Meaning brings together key readings, primarily by English-speaking philosophers, on such 'big questions.'.
Jackendoff's Foundations of Language: Brain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution attempts to reconnect generative linguistics to the rest of cognitive science. However, by minimally acknowledging decades of work in cognitive linguistics, treating dynamical systems approaches somewhat dismissively, and clinging to certain fundamental dogma while revising others, he clearly risks satisfying no one by almost pleasing everyone.
A consensus has emerged among many normative theorists of cultural pluralism that dialogue is the key to securing just relations among ethnic or cultural groups. However, few normative theorists have explored the conditions or incentives that enable inter-group dialogue versus those that encourage inter-group conflict. To address this problem, I use Habermas’s distinction between communicative and strategic action, since many models of inter-group dialogue implicitly rely upon communicative action, while many accounts of inter-group conflict rest upon strategic action. Drawing on (...) explanatory accounts of inter-group conflict, I outline five strategic logics of group conflict, what I call the resource, political, information, positional, and security logics. I then argue that these strategic logics cannot be overcome by three motivations commonly thought to support communicative action: moral-cognitive consistency, the normative characteristics of modernity, and publicity constraints. At this point, I turn to an empirical case, the reception of African-American concerns within the Jewish public sphere prior to the Second World War, in order to suggest that, although strategic incentives might hinder inter-group dialogue, they may also encourage it. In conclusion, I provide three recommendations for how theorists might utilize strategic incentives in order to recognize which actors, policies, or institutions can encourage inter-group dialogue. (shrink)
Real-time cognition is continuous in time and contiguous in mental state space. This temporal continuity implies that the majority of mental life is spent in states that are partially consistent with multiple representations. The state-space contiguity implies that different cognitive processes interact in ways that make them quite non-modular. As the evidence for such information-permeability expands to include not just neural subsystems but also the entire brain and even the entire organism, this radical interactionism leads one to hypothesize that mental (...) activity, and perhaps consciousness itself, is something that emerges amid the interface between one's body and one's environment. We portray mental activity as a continuous trajectory through a brain-body-environment state space, where close visitations with labelled attractors may constitute reportable self- consciousness and traversals through unlabeled regions may constitute unutterable immediate conscious awareness. (shrink)
Pulvermüller restricts himself to an unnecessarily narrow range of evidence to support his claims. Evidence from neural modeling and behavioral experiments provides further support for an account of words encoded as transcortical cell assemblies. A cognitive neuroscience of language must include a range of methodologies (e.g., neural, computational, and behavioral) and will need to focus on the on-line processes of real-time language processing in more natural contexts.
We argue that the strengths of the Theory of Event Coding (TEC) can usefully be applied to a wider scope of cognitive tasks, and tested by more diverse methodologies. When allied with a theory of conceptual representation such as Barsalou's (1999a) perceptual symbol systems, and extended to data from eye-movement studies, the TEC has the potential to address the larger goals of an embodied view of cognition.