Michael Winkelman, who is a senior lecturer in the department of anthropology, Arizona State University, and director of its ethnographic field school, has provided a rich overview of the neurophenomenology of shamanism in his book, Shamanism: The Neural Ecology of Consciousness. Written in the tradition of Laughlin, McManus, and d'Aquili's 1992 classic, Brain, Symbol, and Experience: Toward a Neurophenomenology of Consciousness, Winkelman considers shamanism in many of its facets. He explores shamanism's social and symbolic content, and the implications of (...) its neurological underpinnings both for shamanic practitioners and for their clients. (shrink)
The main examples of pragmatic encroachment presented by Jason Stanley involve the idea that knowledge ascription occurs more readily in cases where stakes are low rather than high. This is the stakes hypothesis. In this paper an example is presented showing that in some cases knowledge ascription is more readily appropriate where stakes are high rather than low.
Fish's writings on philosophy, politics and law comprise numerous books and articles produced over many decades. This book connects those dots in order to reveal the overall structure of his argument and to demonstrate how his work in politics and law flows logically from his philosophical stands on the nature of the self, epistemology and the role of theory. Michael Robertson considers Fish's political critiques of liberalism, critical theory, postmodernism and pragmatism before turning to his observations on political substance (...) and political practice. The detailed analysis of Fish's jurisprudence explores his relationships to legal positivism, legal formalism, legal realism and critical legal studies, as well as his debate with Ronald Dworkin. Gaps and inconsistencies in Fish's arguments are fully explored, and the author provides a description of Fish's own positive account of law and deals with the charge that Fish is an indeterminacy theorist who undermines the rule of law. (shrink)
Stanley Cavell's work is distinctive not only in its importance to philosophy but also for its remarkable interdisciplinary range. Cavell is read avidly by students of film, photography, painting, and music, but especially by students of literature, for whom Cavell offers major readings of Thoreau, Emerson, Shakespeare, and others. In this first book-length study of Cavell's writings, Michael Fischer examines Cavell's relevance to the controversies surrounding poststructuralist literary theory, particularly works by Jacques Derrida, J. Hillis Miller, Paul de (...) Man, and Stanley Fish. Throughout his study, Fischer focuses on skepticism, a central concern of Cavell's multifaceted work. Cavell, following J. L. Austin and Wittgenstein, does not refute the radical epistemological questioning of Descartes, Hume, and others, but rather characterizes skepticism as a significant human possibility or temptation. As presented by Fischer, Cavell's accounts of both external-world and other-minds skepticism share significant affinities with deconstruction, a connection overlooked by contemporary literary theorists. Fischer follows Cavell's lead in examining how different genres address the problems raised by skepticism and goes on to show how Cavell draws on American and English romanticism in fashioning a response to it. He concludes by analyzing Cavell's remarks about current critical theory, focusing on Cavell's uneasiness with some of the conclusions reached by its practitioners. Fischer shows that Cavell's insights, grounded in powerful analyses of Descartes, Hume, and Wittgenstein, permit a fresh view of Derrida, Miller, de Man, and Fish. The result is not only a revealing characterization of deconstruction but a much-needed and insightful introduction to Cavell's rich but difficult oeuvre. (shrink)
Bourdieu suggested that the habitus contains the ‘genetic information’ which both allows and disposes successive generations to reproduce the world they inherit from their parents’ generation. While his writings on habitus are concerned with embodied dispositions, biological processes are not a feature of the practical reason of habitus. Recent critiques of the separate worlds of biology and culture, and the rise in epigenetics, provide new opportunities for expanding theoretical concepts like habitus. Using obesity science as a case study we attempt (...) to conceptualise the enfolding of biological and social processes (via a Deleuzian metaphor) to develop a concept of biohabitus – reconfiguring how social and biological environments interact across the life course, and may be transmitted and transformed intergenerationally. In conclusion we suggest that the enfolding and reproduction of social life that Bourdieu articulated as habitus is a useful theoretical frame that can be enhanced to critically develop epigenetic understandings of obesity, and vice versa. (shrink)
Among the scientific disciplines to be impacted by postmodernity will be the study of consciousness, not only in theory but in research and practice. Narratives, key aspects of postmodern approaches, are already replacing abstract generalizations in theoretical formulations about such aspects of consciousness as memory and imagination. Research studies, both quantitative and qualitative, can be looked upon as attempts to tell stories that yield new information. The use of narrative in psychotherapy can be seen as the co-construction of life stories (...) by the therapist and the client. Post-modernity requests that scientists question their own assumptions, and learn from non-Western perspectives, alternative conscious states, and narratives of exceptional human experiences. Twenty propositions are offered for a postmodern project in the study of consciousness that would entail utilizing narratives that are embedded in a time and a place - and the constant evaluation and questioning of the usefulness of these narratives. (shrink)
Stanley Hauerwas's claim that Bonhoeffer had a “commitment to nonviolence” runs aground on Bonhoeffer's own statements about peace, war, violence, and nonviolence. The fact that Hauerwas and others have asserted Bonhoeffer's commitment to nonviolence despite abundant evidence to the contrary reveals a blind spot that develops from reading Bonhoeffer's thinking in general and his statements about peace in particular as if they were part of an Anabaptist theological framework rather than his own Lutheran one. This essay shows that Bonhoeffer's (...) understanding of peace as “concrete commandment” and “order of preservation” relies on Lutheran concepts and is articulated with explicit contrast to an Anabaptist account of peace. The interpretation developed here can account for the range of statements Bonhoeffer makes about peace, war, violence, and nonviolence, many of which must be misconstrued or ignored to claim his “commitment to nonviolence.”. (shrink)
Older adults prefer positive over negative information in a lab setting, compared to young adults. The extent to which OA avoid negative events or information relevant for their health and safety is not clear. We first investigated age differences in preferences for fear-enhancing vs. fear-reducing news articles during the Ebola Outbreak of 2014. We were able to collect data from 15 YA and 13 OA during this acute health event. Compared to YA, OA were more likely to read the fear-enhancing (...) article, select hand-sanitizer over lip balm, and reported greater fear of Ebola. We further investigated our research question during the COVID-19 pandemic with 164 YA and 171 OA. Participants responded to an online survey about the COVID-19 pandemic across 13 days during the initial peak of the pandemic in the United States. Both YA and OA preferred to read positive over negative news about the coronavirus, but OA were even more likely than YA to prefer the positive news article. No age differences in the fear of contraction were found, but OA engaged in more health-protective behaviors compared to YA. Although OA may not always report greater fear than YA or seek out negative information related to a health concern, they still engage in protective health behaviors. Thus, although positivity effects were observed in attention and emotional reports, OA still modified their behaviors more than YA, suggesting that positivity effects did not hamper OA ability to respond to a health crisis. (shrink)