This is a slightly more polished version of a presentation I wrote for the Author-Meets-Critics session on Colin's book at the Eastern APA session on Jan 4, 2017, in Baltimore. I’ve decided to post this commentary online pretty much as is -- I am afraid I won’t have time to prepare a version suitable for publication. I hope the reader will find it helpful. At any rate, please treat this piece as a rough, and somewhat incomplete, draft originally intended to (...) be delivered to a live audience. Although my commentary is mostly critical, I admire Colin's book for its originality, breadth, and depth. It stimulated my thought like no other books in recent years. (shrink)
The third sex, which for a long period of history meant the androgyne and the homosexual, took on a new sense around 1900, when it was applied to emancipated women, who were featured by novelists and analysed by psychiatrists. Assimilated with lesbians, 'desexualized' by their modern way of life, they were labelled 'neuter', worker bees in a hive-state where 'female–male' markers were tending to disappear. Neither men in sex, nor women in gender (at least according to traditional assumptions), they constituted (...) a new 'battalion' which highlighted all the anxieties of the time: the involution of dimorphism, the threat of lack of differentiation and the 'extinction of the race'. But for those who accepted the label, neuterdom evolved from a pejorative concept into an instrument of a kind of liberation and the strategic means to set up creative space cleared of sexual stigma, until political cooption, aware of the resurgence of a 'superior species', changed its meaning and tipped over into the worst sort of excess. (shrink)
Ce compte rendu a déjà paru dans E-rea [En ligne], n° 6.1, 2008. F. Gaillet-de-Chezelles, Wordsworth et la marche : parcours poétique et esthétique, Grenoble, Ellug, 2007, 423 p. Spécialiste de la période romantique, et de William Wordsworth en particulier, Florence Gaillet-de-Chazelles a développé dans Wordsworth et la marche : parcours poétique et esthétique une approche critique qui s'inscrit très bien dans celle de la collection « Esthétique et représentation : monde anglophone », - Recensions.
Our preoccupation with pain can seem an eccentricity of philosophers. But just a little reflection leads one into the thickets. When I see a pencil on my desk, I’m aware of a physical thing and its objective properties; but what am I aware of when I feel a pain in my toe? A pain, perhaps? Or my toe’s hurting? But what is the nature of such things? Are they physical? Are they objective? To avoid unexperienced pains, we might say they (...) are subjective, or are themselves experiences. But do those with hurting toes therefore have experiences in their feet? The issues rapidly proliferate. Many of them are addressed in this interesting collection of original essays by philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists, edited by Murat Aydede. (shrink)
Murat Aydede’s edited volume Pain comes as close as one can get to a comprehensive treatment of the philosophical issues surrounding pain and still remain one volume. Aydede has done a masterful job in pulling together many disparate perspectives and has created a book that includes everything from an introductory piece on the history of the philosophy of pain to philosophical commentary on some of the articles to science articles with a philosophical bent. This is a book with something (...) for everyone in it, and the question immediately arises whether this book might be an instance of by trying to please everyone, Aydede has pleased no one. My own conclusion is that while Aydede skates close to that position, ultimately this book pleases more than it disappoints. (shrink)
Since its inception some fifty years ago, cognitive science has seen a number of sea changes. Perhaps the best known is the development of connectionist models of cognition as an alternative to classical, symbol-based approaches. A more recent - and increasingly influential - trend is that of dynamical-systems-based, ecologically oriented models of the mind. Researchers suggest that a full understanding of the mind will require systematic study of the dynamics of interaction between mind, body, and world. Some argue that this (...) new orientation calls for a revolutionary new metaphysics of mind, according to which mental states and processes, and even persons, literally extend into the environment. This book is a guide to this movement in cognitive science. Each chapter tackles either a specific area of empirical research or specific sector of the conceptual foundation underlying this research. (shrink)
Although there are many questions to be asked about philosophy of mathematics, the fundamental questions to be asked will be questions about what the mathematical object is in view of being and what the mathematical reasoning is in view of knowledge. It is clear that other problems will develop in parallel within the framework of the answers to these questions. For this rea son, when we approach Aristotle's philosophy of mathematics over these two basic problems, we come up with the (...) concept of abstraction. In our work, I will try to explain the mathematical abstraction that Aristotle has developed to understand mathematical philosophy. (shrink)
This essay is a sustained attempt to bring new light to some of the perennial problems in philosophy of mind surrounding phenomenal consciousness and introspection through developing an account of sensory and phenomenal concepts. Building on the information-theoretic framework of Dretske (1981), we present an informational psychosemantics as it applies to what we call sensory concepts, concepts that apply, roughly, to so-called secondary qualities of objects. We show that these concepts have a special informational character and semantic structure that closely (...) tie them to the brain states realizing conscious qualitative experiences. We then develop an account of introspection which exploits this special nature of sensory concepts. The result is a new class of concepts, which, following recent terminology, we call phenomenal concepts: these concepts refer to phenomenal experience itself and are the vehicles used in introspection. On our account, the connection between sensory and phenomenal concepts is very tight: it consists in different semantic uses of the same cognitive structures underlying the sensory concepts, such as the concept of red. Contrary to widespread opinion, we show that information theory contains all the resources to satisfy internalist intuitions about phenomenal consciousness, while not offending externalist ones. A consequence of this account is that it explains and predicts the so-called conceivability arguments against physicalism on the basis of the special nature of sensory and phenomenal concepts. Thus we not only show why physicalism is not threatened by such arguments, but also demonstrate its strength in virtue of its ability to predict and explain away such arguments in a principled way. However, we take the main contribution of this work to be what it provides in addition to a response to those conceivability arguments, namely, a substantive account of the interface between sensory and conceptual systems and the mechanisms of introspection as based on the special nature of the information flow between them. (shrink)
A lot of qualitatively very different sensations can be pleasant or unpleasant. The Felt-Quality Views that conceive of sensory affect as having an introspectively available common phenomenology or qualitative character face the “heterogeneity problem” of specifying what that qualitative common phenomenology is. In contrast, according to the Attitudinal Views, what is common to all pleasant or unpleasant sensations is that they are all “wanted” or “unwanted” in a certain sort of way. The commonality is explained not on the basis of (...) phenomenology but by a common mental, usually some sort of conative, attitude toward the sensation. Here I criticize both views and offer an alternative framework that combines what is right in both while avoiding their unintuitive commitments. The result is the reductive (psychofunctionalist) adverbial sensory modification view of pleasure and displeasure. (shrink)
According to the increasingly popular perceptual/representational accounts of pain (and other bodily sensations such as itches, tickles, orgasms, etc.), feeling pain in a body region is perceiving a non-mental property or some objective condition of that region, typically equated with some sort of (actual or potential) tissue damage. In what follows I argue that given a natural understanding of what sensory perception requires and how it is integrated with (dedicated) conceptual systems, these accounts are mistaken. I will also examine the (...) relationship between perceptual views and two (weak and strong) forms of representationalism about experience. I will argue that pains pose very serious problems for strong representationalism as well. (shrink)
There is an increasing amount of research focusing on the origin of the human fear of animals. However, other dimensions of human views of frightening animals have been largely neglected. This study investigated attitudes toward snakes. The Snake Attitude Questionnaire , which consisted of 58 Likert-type items , was administered in a sample of students from two countries . Students showed negative attitudes toward snakes, especially within the Negativistic and Naturalistic dimensions. Turkish students showed more positive Scientistic and Naturalistic attitudes (...) than Slovakian students, and females showed more negative attitudes toward snakes than males. Although biology majors had more positive attitudes, compared with nonbiology majors, knowledge of snakes and beliefs about untrue myths were similar between these two subgroups. Our research indicates that fear of snakes negatively influences other attitudinal dimensions although no students had been injured by a snake. Keeping various pets at home was associated with less fear of snakes. Nature protection actions should combine direct contact with these controversial animals with interventions against belief in untrue myths about snakes. (shrink)
What does feeling a sharp pain in one's hand have in common with seeing a red apple on the table? Some say not much, apart from the fact that they are both conscious experiences. To see an object is to perceive an extramental reality -- in this case, a red apple. To feel a pain, by contrast, is to undergo a conscious experience that doesn't necessarily relate the subject to an objective reality. Perceptualists, however, dispute this. They say that both (...) experiences are forms of perception of an objective reality. Feeling a pain in one's hand, according to this view, is perceiving an objective condition of one's hand. Who is closer to truth? Because of such metaphysical issues, the subjectivity of pains combined with their clinical urgency raises methodological problems for pain scientists. How can a subjective phenomenon be studied objectively? What is the role of the first-person method in science? Some suggest that the subjectivity of pains is due to their metaphysical irreducibility to purely physical processes in the nervous system. Can this be true? The study of pain and its puzzles offers opportunities for understanding such larger issues as the place of consciousness in the natural order and the methodology of psychological research. In this book, leading philosophers and scientists offer a wide range of views on how to conceptualize and study pain. The essays include discussions of perceptual and representationalist accounts of pain; the affective-motivational dimension of pain; whether animals feel pain, and how this question can be investigated; how social pain relates to physical pain; whether first-person methods of gathering data can be integrated with standard third-person methods; and other methodological and theoretical issues in the science and philosophy of pain. (shrink)
Representationalism is the view that the phenomenal character of experiences is identical to their representational content of a certain sort. This view requires a strong transparency condition on phenomenally conscious experiences. We argue that affective qualities such as experienced pleasantness or unpleasantness are counter-examples to the transparency thesis and thus to the sort of representationalism that implies it.
There are a lot of studies on Ahmed Cevdet Paşa who has been considered as statesman, politician, jurist, historian, sociologist and educationalist. At the same time Ahmet Cevdet Paşa’s studies on logic are critically important when we deal with the last period of the Ottoman Empire. His book which is called Miyar-ı Sedad had both influenced the development of instruction of logic education in madrasahs and created a turning point in the studies on modern logic. For this reason we have (...) discussed his opinions about logic and science in this study and we have also tried to show that how his opinions on these issues affecected the instruction and the other fields. (shrink)
This piece criticizes Fodor's argument (in The Elm and the Expert, 1994) for the claim that Frege cases should be treated as exceptions to (broad) psychological generalizations rather than as counterexamples.
This is the text of an invited talk exploring the connections between two apparently distinct notions of affect, sensory versus core affect. It is basically a progress report. It is exploratory and tentative. It starts from a mild puzzle about the apparent mismatch between the notion of affect that affective neuroscientists generally deploy and the notion of affect that emotion psychologists deploy. The notion favored by psychologists is the notion of core affect. The phenomenon studied by affective neuroscientists is usually (...) the notion of sensory affect. It's not clear how these two notions are related to each other. I'll present the main outlines of both notions, make some critical observations, and raise a few questions at the end. (shrink)
The official definition of ‘pain’ by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) hasn’t seen much revision since its publication in 1979. There have been various criticisms of the definition in the literature from different quarters: that the definition implies a dubious metaphysical dualism, that it requires a strong form of consciousness as well as linguistic abilities, that it excludes many vulnerable groups that are otherwise perfectly capable of experiencing pain, that it has therefore unacceptable practical as well (...) as ethical consequences, that it is unhelpful to the health-care professional as an operational definition, that it is too narrow, and many others. In my view, most of these criticisms depend on misunderstandings or on uncharitable interpretations. My aim is to go over the definition, clarify some potential ambiguities, and argue that these criticisms don’t cut much ice. At the end, I will present a few slightly reworded versions of the definition that I claim are more felicitous and capture the original intended meaning by the members of the taxonomic committee in a much better and transparent way that avoids all the major extant criticisms in the literature. (Written for interdisciplinary audiences.). (shrink)
I take up the issue of whether pleasure is a kind of sensation or not. This issue was much discussed by philosophers of the 1950’s and 1960’s, and apparently no resolution was reached. There were mainly two camps in the discussion: those who argued for a dispositional account, and those who favored an episodic feeling view of pleasure. Here, relying on some recent scientific research I offer an account of pleasure which neither dispositionalizes nor sensationalizes pleasure. As is usual in (...) the tradition, I compare pleasure with pain, and try to see its similarities and differences. I argue that pain and pleasure experiences have typically a complex phenomenology normally not so obvious in introspection. After distinguishing between affective and sensory components of these experiences, I argue that although pain experiences normally consist of both components proper to them, pleasure, in contradistinction to pain, is only the affective component of a total experience that may involve many sensations proper and cognitions. Moreover, I hold that although the so-called “physical” pleasure is itself not a sensation proper, it is nevertheless an episodic affective reaction to sensations proper. (shrink)
[Penultimate draft] I present the perceptualist/representationalist theories of pain in broad outline and critically examine them in light of a competing view according to which awareness of pain is essentially introspective. I end the essay with a positive sketch of a naturalistic proposal according to which pain experiences are intentional but not fully representational. This proposal makes sense of locating pains in body parts as well as taking pains as subjective experiences.
ABSTRACT. Fodor characterizes concepts as consisting of two dimensions: one is content, which is purely denotational/broad, the other the Mentalese vehicle bearing that content, which Fodor calls the Mode of Presentation (MOP), understood "syntactically." I argue that, so understood, concepts are not interpersonally sharable; so Fodor's own account violates what he calls the Publicity Constraint in his (1998) book. Furthermore, I argue that Fodor's non-semantic, or "syntactic," solution to Frege cases succumbs to the problem of providing interpersonally applicable functional roles (...) for MOPs. This is a serious problem because Fodor himself has argued extensively that if Fregean senses or meanings are understood as functional/conceptual roles, then they can't be public, since, according to Fodor, there are no interpersonally applicable functional roles in the relevant senses. I elaborate on these relevant senses in the paper. (shrink)
A comprehensive introduction to the Language of Though Hypothesis (LOTH) accessible to general audiences. LOTH is an empirical thesis about thought and thinking. For their explication, it postulates a physically realized system of representations that have a combinatorial syntax (and semantics) such that operations on representations are causally sensitive only to the syntactic properties of representations. According to LOTH, thought is, roughly, the tokening of a representation that has a syntactic (constituent) structure with an appropriate semantics. Thinking thus consists in (...) syntactic operations defined over representations. Most of the arguments for LOTH derive their strength from their ability to explain certain empirical phenomena like productivity, systematicity of thought and thinking. (shrink)
I distinguish between two claims of transparency of experiences. One claim is weaker and supported by phenomenological evidence. This I call the Transparency Datum. Introspection of standard perceptual experiences as well as bodily sensations is consistent with, indeed supported by, the Transparency Datum. I formulate a stronger transparency thesis that is entailed by (strong) representationalism about experiential phenomenology. I point out some empirical consequences of strong transparency in the context of representationalism. I argue that pain experiences, as well as some (...) other similar experiences like itches, tickles, orgasms, hedonic valence, etc., are not transparent in this strong sense. Hence they constitute empirical counterexamples to representationalism. Given that representationalism is a general metaphysical doctrine about all experiential phenomenology for good reasons, I conclude that representationalism about phenomenal consciousness is false. Then, I outline a general framework about how the introspection of phenomenal qualities works in light of the Transparency Datum, but consistent with the rejection of strong transparency. The result is a form of qualia realism that is naturalist and intentionalist (weak representationalist), and has close affinities to the adverbialist views developed in the latter part of the last century. I then apply this framework to pain experiences and their bodily locations. (shrink)
This paper examines pain states (and other intransitive bodily sensations) from the perspective of the problems they pose for pure informational/representational approaches to naturalizing qualia. I start with a comprehensive critical and quasi-historical discussion of so-called Perceptual Theories of Pain (e.g., Armstrong, Pitcher), as these were the natural predecessors of the more modern direct realist views. I describe the theoretical backdrop (indirect realism, sense-data theories) against which the perceptual theories were developed. The conclusion drawn is that pure representationalism about pain (...) in the tradition of direct realist perceptual theories (e.g., Dretske, Tye) leaves out something crucial about the phenomenology of pain experiences, namely, their affective character. I touch upon the role that introspection plays in such representationalist views, and indicate how it contributes to the source of their trouble vis-à-vis bodily sensations. The paper ends by briefly commenting on the relation between the affective/evaluative component of pain and the hedonic valence of emotions. (shrink)
The current debate that surrounds the issue of patient rights and the transformation of health care, social insurance, and reimbursement systems has put the topic of patient responsibility on both the public and health care sectors' agenda. This climate of debate and transition provides an ideal time to rethink patient responsibilities, together with their underlying rationale, and to determine if they are properly represented when being called `patient' responsibilities. In this article we analyze the various types of patient responsibilities, identify (...) the underlying motivations behind their creation, and conclude upon their sensibleness and merit. The range of patient responsibilities that have been proposed and implemented can be reclassified and placed into one of four groups, which are more accurate descriptors of the nature of these responsibilities. We suggest that, within the framework of a free-market system, where health care services are provided based on the ability to pay for them, none of these can properly be justified as a patient responsibility. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding about the internal fraud and corruption problem in the Turkish construction industry. The reasons behind the internal fraud and corruption problem as well as the types of prevention methods were investigated; and as a result various recommendations were made. To this end, a risk awareness questionnaire was used to understand the behavioral patterns of the construction industry, and to clarify possible proactive and reactive measures against internal fraud and corruption. The (...) type of fraud experienced by Turkish construction companies was also surveyed in the questionnaire. The questionnaire was sent to 89 firms; and depending on the collected data, certain recommendations for construction industry professionals were provided. (shrink)
Understanding the nature of pain depends, at least partly, on recognizing its subjectivity (thus, its first-person epistemology). This in turn requires using a first-person experiential method in addition to third-person experimental approaches to study it. This paper is an attempt to spell out what the former approach is and how it can be integrated with the latter. We start our discussion by examining some foundational issues raised by the use of introspection. We argue that such a first-person method in the (...) scientific study of pain (as in the study of any experience) is in fact indispensable by demonstrating that it has in fact been consistently used in conjunction with conventional third-person methodologies, and this for good reasons. We show that, contrary to what appears to be a widespread opinion, there is absolutely no reason to think that the use of such a first-person approach is scientifically and methodologically suspect. We distinguish between two uses of introspective methods in scientific experiments: one draws on the subjects’ introspective reports where any investigator has equal and objective access. The other is where the investigator becomes a subject of his own study and draws on the introspection of his own experiences. We give examples using and/or approximating both strategies that include studies of second pain summation and its relationship to neural activities, and brain imaging- psychophysical studies wherein sensory and affective qualities of pain are correlated with cerebral cortical activity. We explain what we call the experiential or phenomenological approach that has its origins in the work of Price and Barrell (1980). This approach capitalizes on the scientific prospects and benefits of using the introspection of the investigator. We distinguish between its vertical and horizontal applications. Finally, we conclude that integrating such an approach to standard third-person methodologies can only help us in having a fuller understanding of pain and of conscious experience in general. (shrink)
In his latest book, The Elm and the Expert (1994), Fodor notoriously rejects the notion of narrow content as superfluous. He envisions a scientific intentional psychology that adverts only to broad content properties in its explanations. I argue that Fodor's change in view is only apparent and that his previous position (1985-1991) is extensionally equivalent to his "new" position (1994). I show that, despite what he says narrow content is for in his (1994), Fodor himself has previously never appealed to (...) the notion of narrow content in explaining Frege cases and cases involving the so-called deferential concepts. And for good reason: his notion of narrow content (1985-91) couldn't explain them. The only apparent change concerns his treatment of Twin Earth cases. However, I argue that the notion of broad content that his purely informational semantics delivers is, in some interesting sense, equivalent to the mapping notion of narrow content he officially gave up. For his pure informational semantics fails to avoid assigning disjunctive content to twins, since nomic covariations take care not only actual but also counterfactual contexts into account. I show that none of the attempts made by Fodor to block this consequence of his theory works. The present notion of broad content he now operates with is therefore in a position to take over all the important jobs that his previous notion of narrow content could do. (shrink)
We present a cognitive-physicalist account of phenomenal consciousness. We argue that phenomenal concepts do not differ from other types of concepts. When explaining the peculiarities of conscious experience, the right place to look at is sensory/ perceptual representations and their interaction with general conceptual structures. We utilize Jerry Fodor’s psycho- semantic theory to formulate our view. We compare and contrast our view with that of Murat Aydede and Güven Güzeldere, who, using Dretskean psychosemantic theory, arrived at a solution different (...) from ours in some ways. We have suggested that the representational atomism of certain sensory experiences plays a central role in reconstructing the epistemic gap associated with conscious experience, still, atomism is not the whole story. It needs to be supple- mented by some additional principles. We also add an account of introspection, and suggest some cognitive features that might distinguish representational atoms with phenomenal character from those without it. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to spell out what makes the scientific study of pain so distinctive from a philosophical perspective. Using the IASP definition of ‘pain’ as our guide, we raise a number of questions about the philosophical assumptions underlying the scientific study of pain. We argue that unlike the study of ordinary perception, the study of pain focuses from the very start on the experience itself and its qualities, without making deep assumptions about whether pain experiences are perceptual. (...) This in turn puts scientific explanation in a curious position due to pain’s inherently subjective epistemic nature. The reason for this focus on the experience itself and its qualities, we argue, has to do with pain’s complex phenomenology involving an affective/motivational dimension. We argue for the scientific legitimacy of first‐person phenomenological studies and attempts to correlate phenomenology with neural events. We argue that this methodological procedure is inevitable and has no anti‐physicalist ontological implications when properly understood. We end the paper by commenting on a discussion between two prominent pain scientists in the field, Don Price and Howard Fields, about the need to distinguish more dimensions in the phenomenology of pain and how to classify them vis‐à‐vis the recent scientific findings. Our interest in this discussion is not only to introduce some clarifications but also to show how “neurophenomenology” has already been shaping the scientific research and to back our claim about why this methodology is inevitable with an example. (shrink)
Fodor and Pylyshyn's critique of connectionism has posed a challenge to connectionists: Adequately explain such nomological regularities as systematicity and productivity without postulating a "language of thought" (LOT). Some connectionists like Smolensky took the challenge very seriously, and attempted to meet it by developing models that were supposed to be non-classical. At the core of these attempts lies the claim that connectionist models can provide a representational system with a combinatorial syntax and processes sensitive to syntactic structure. They are not (...) implementation models because, it is claimed, the way they obtain syntax and structure sensitivity is not "concatenative," hence "radically different" from the way classicists handle them. In this paper, I offer an analysis of what it is to physically satisfy/realize a formal system. In this context, I examine the minimal truth-conditions of LOT Hypothesis. From my analysis it will follow that concatenative realization of formal systems is irrelevant to LOTH since the very notion of LOT is indifferent to such an implementation level issue as concatenation. I will conclude that to the extent to which they can explain the law-like cognitive regularities, a certain class of connectionist models proposed as radical alternatives to the classical LOT paradigm will in fact turn out to be LOT models, even though new and potentially very exciting ones. (shrink)