Growing concern with the panpsychist's ostensive inability to solve the ‘combination problem’ has led some authors to adopt a view titled ‘Cosmopsychism’. This position turns panpsychism on its head: rather than many tiny atomic minds, there is instead one cosmos-sized mind. It is supposed that this view voids the combination problem, however I argue that it does not. I argue that there is a ‘de-combination problem’ facing the cosmopsychist, which is equivalent to the combination problem as they are both concerned (...) with subjects being proper parts of other subjects. I then propose two methods for both theorists to avoid the problem of subject-subject proper parthood relations: a distinction between absolute and relative phenomenal unity, and a modification of the essential nature of subjects. Of these two options, I find the latter option wanting and propose that the first should be adopted. (shrink)
Psychologists and neuroscientists often struggle to integrate findings in their respective domains, a problem due partly to implicitly and explicitly held philosophical positions on issues of reduction and autonomy across these domains. The present article reviews how reduction and autonomy have been used in philosophical arguments regarding how macro-scale findings relate to micro-scale findings across various scientific disciplines. The present article demonstrates how macro findings are indispensable to explanations of phenomena of interest by (a) providing information regarding higher levels of (...) organization in mechanisms, (b) including information not contained within certain micro explanations that (c) provides more general and stable causal explanations relative to micro explanations in certain situations. The purpose of presenting these analyses and recommendations is to disabuse psychologists and neuroscientists of pervasive assumptions that psychology is reducible to biology and that lower level phenomena (molecular) should be prioritized as somehow more explanatory than higher level phenomena (behavioral). The article concludes with 3 hypothetical scenarios from clinical psychology and psychiatry illustrating this critique and providing a pragmatic approach to clarify the relative roles, and importance, of biological and psychological data in service of general and stable explanations that are tailored to the kind of intervention desired. (shrink)
Philip Goff has recently argued that due to the ‘subject-summing problem’, panpsychism cannot explain consciousness. The subject-summing problem is a problem which is analogous to the physicalist's explanatory gap; it is a gap between the micro-experiential facts and the macro-experiential facts. Goff also suggests that there could be a solution by way of a ‘phenomenal bonding relation’, but believes that this solution is not up to scratch because we cannot form a positive not-merely-role-playing concept of this relation. In this paper, (...) I argue that the phenomenal bonding solution is up to scratch. I argue that the panpsychist, by carefully inspecting their phenomenology and scrutinising their concepts, can form a positive concept of the phenomenal bonding relation. By doing this they can start to get around their explanatory gap. (shrink)
Francesco Casetti _Theories of Cinema: 1945-1995_ Translated by Francesca Chiostri and Elizabeth Gard Bartolini-Salimbeni, with Thomas Kelso Austin: University of Texas Press, 1999 ISBN 0-292-71207-3 368 pp.
Responding to volatile criticisms frequently leveled at Leo Strauss and those he influenced, the prominent contributors to this volume demonstrate the profound influence that Strauss and his students have exerted on American liberal democracy and contemporary political thought. By stressing the enduring vitality of classic books and by articulating the theoretical and practical flaws of relativism and historicism, the contributors argue that Strauss and the Straussians have identified fundamental crises of modernity and liberal democracy.
This volume is a direct result of a conference held at Princeton University to honor George A. Miller, an extraordinary psychologist. A distinguished panel of speakers from various disciplines -- psychology, philosophy, neuroscience and artificial intelligence -- were challenged to respond to Dr. Miller's query: "What has happened to cognition? In other words, what has the past 30 years contributed to our understanding of the mind? Do we really know anything that wasn't already clear to William James?" Each (...) participant tried to stand back a little from his or her most recent work, but to address the general question from his or her particular standpoint. The chapters in the present volume derive from that occasion. (shrink)
Earlier in the pages of this journal (p 481), Wendler and Miller offered the "net risks test" as an alternative approach to the ethical analysis of benefits and harms in research. They have been vocal critics of the dominant view of benefit-harm analysis in research ethics, which encompasses core concepts of duty of care, clinical equipoise and component analysis. They had been challenged to come up with a viable alternative to component analysis which meets five criteria. The alternative must (...) (1) protect research subjects; (2) allow clinical research to proceed; (3) explain how physicians may offer trial enrolment to their patients; (4) address the challenges posed by research containing a mixture of interventions and (5) define ethical standards according to which the risks and potential benefits of research may be consistently evaluated. This response argues that the net risks test meets none of these criteria and concludes that it is not a viable alternative to component analysis. (shrink)
We are often warned against stepping onto ‘slippery slopes’ — dangerously slick slides leading down to where the really bad stuff lies. But, as Arthur Miller here explains, these warnings often exaggerate the risk of a slip.
My initial hope when I first saw Miller’s book was that here at least would be a work which satisfies the long standing need for a comprehensive introduction to contemporary metaethics which is accessible enough to be employed in advanced undergraduate courses and introductory graduate seminars. This hope was only partially realized, however, as Miller ends up oscillating between clear presentations of extant debates in the recent literature and his own extended attempts to determine where the truth of (...) the matter lies. The result is an interesting book that likely will appeal both to those looking for a classroom text in metaethics as well as to experts on the relevant issues. (shrink)
Sayre finds deep connections between collection and division, the two kinds of measure distinguished in the Statesman, the conceptions of Limit and Unlimited in the Philebus, and the Dyad that Aristotle reports was a key principle in the "unwritten teachings." The Stranger's dialectical account of statesmanship practices due measure; by "cutting down the middle," the Stranger shows how Forms — understood as Limits as, in turn, "numbers in the sense of measures" — "mark off a middle ground between [the] extremes (...) [implied by] the Unlimited" and, thus, preserve the mean. I suggest a number of critical reconfigurations of these seminal insights. (shrink)
Paul Boghossian has argued, on grounds concerning the holistic nature of belief fixation, that there are principled reasons for thinking that 'optimal conditions' versions of reductive dispositionalism about content cannot hope to satisfy a condition of extensional accuracy. I discern three separable strands of argument in Boghossian's work—the circularity objection, the open-endedness objection, and the certification objection—and argue that each of these objections fails. My conclusion is that for all that Boghossian has shown, 'optimal conditions' versions of reductive dispositionalism have (...) to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. (shrink)
The present paper tries to trace the particular contours that the problem of theodicy assumes in the Chinese Buddhist text the Awakening of Faith in the Great Vehicle. It analyses the beginning section of the main body of text – the section, that is, that outlines the major theoretical structure of the work – in terms of a problem that has been of particular concern in western theology. I believe that taking such a tack is especially valuable for highlighting the (...) central Problematik around which the text is organized. The paper will thus use the problem of theodicy as a means of exploring some of the philosophical implications of the Awakening of Faith. (shrink)
I present an original model in judgment aggregation theory that demonstrates the general impossibility of consistently describing decision-making purely at the group level. Only a type of unanimity rule can guarantee a group decision is consistent with supporting reasons, and even this possibility is limited to a small class of reasoning methods. The key innovation is that this result holds when individuals can reason in different ways, an allowance not previously considered in the literature. This generalizes judgment aggregation to subjective (...) decision situations, implying that the discursive dilemma persists without individual agreement on the logical constraints. Notably, the model mirrors the typical method of choosing political representatives, and thus suggests that no voting procedure other than unanimity rule can guarantee representation that reflects electorate opinion. Finally, I apply the results to a normative argument for unanimity rule in contract theory and juries, as well as to problems posed for deliberative democratic theory and the concept of representation. (shrink)
In his “Theology and Falsification” Professor Antony Flew challenges the sophisticated religious believer to state under what conceivable occurrences he would concede that there really is no God Who loves mankind: ‘Just what would have to happen not merely to tempt but also, logically and rightly, to entitle us to say “God does not love us” or even “God does not exist”? I therefore put…the simple central questions, “What would have to occur or to have occurred to constitute for you (...) a disproof of the love of, or of the existence of, God”?’. (shrink)
There is, I gloomily suspect, little which is significantly new that remain to be said about psycho-analysis by philosophers. The almost profligate theorising that goes on within the psycho-analytic journals will, no doubt, continue unabated. It simply strikes me as unlikely that such theorising will generate further issues of the kind that excite the philosophical mind. Though in making such an observation, I recognise that I lay claim upon the future in a manner that many might believe to be unwise. (...) The place of psycho-analysis upon the intellectual map, the implications that psycho-analytic theory and practice have for the various kinds of judgements that we make about human behaviour, have been exhaustively discussed in recent times. Rather more specifically, whether psycho-analysis should be accorded the dignity of being labelled a ‘science’, what the significance is of psycho-analysis for those complex problems bounded by the notions of Reason, Freedom, Motivation, have occasioned much fruitful philosophical debate. It is not any wish of mine to add to the literature on these problems in the forlorn hope that even slightly different answers might be forthcoming. (shrink)