The Phenomenology of Painting examines the practice of painting - how a painter works with materials, the elements of space, form and color - and viewer response to a work of art. NigelWentworth seeks to answer some of the central questions of the philosophy of art, such as: To what extent can a painting and its meaning be understood to result from the artist's intentions? In what way can the painting be understood as an expressive object? What (...) does it mean for a painting to be a representation of something? And what is the nature of aesthetic quality in painting? In offering responses to these questions, Wentworth offers a new theory on aesthetic quality. (shrink)
Cognitive science has always included multiple methodologies and theoretical commitments. The philosophy of cognitive science should embrace, or at least acknowledge, this diversity. Bechtel’s (2009a) proposed philosophy of cognitive science, however, applies only to representationalist and mechanist cognitive science, ignoring the substantial minority of dynamically oriented cognitive scientists. As an example of nonrepresentational, dynamical cognitive science, we describe strong anticipation as a model for circadian systems (Stepp & Turvey, 2009). We then propose a philosophy of science appropriate to nonrepresentational, dynamical (...) cognitive science. (shrink)
The word 'athletics' is derived from the Greek verb 'to struggle for a prize'. After reading this book, no one will see the Olympics as a graceful display of Greek beauty again, but as war by other means. Nigel Spivey paints a portrait of the Greek Olympics as they really were - fierce contests between bitter rivals, in which victors won kudos and rewards, and losers faced scorn and even assault. Victory was almost worth dying for, and a number (...) of athletes did just that. Many more resorted to cheating and bribery. Contested always bitterly and often bloodily, the ancient Olympics were not an idealistic celebration of unity, but a clash of military powers in an arena not far removed from the battlefield. (shrink)
This book argues that the institutions of law, and the structures of legal thought, are to be understood by reference to a moral ideal of freedom or independence from the power of others. The moral value and justificatory force of law are not contingent upon circumstance, but intrinsic to its character. Doctrinal legal arguments are shaped by rival conceptions of the conditions for realization of the idea of law. In making these claims, the author rejects the viewpoint of much contemporary (...) legal theory, and seeks to move jurisprudence closer to an older tradition of philosophical reflection upon law, exemplified by Hobbes and Kant. Modern analytical jurisprudence has tended to view these older philosophies as confused precisely in so far as they equate an understanding of law's nature with a revelation of its moral basis. According to most contemporary legal theorists, the understanding and analysis of existing institutions is quite distinct from any enterprise of moral reflection, but the relationship between ideals and practices is much more intimate than this approach would suggest. Some institutions can be properly understood only when they are viewed as imperfect attempts to realize moral or political ideals; and some ideals can be conceived only by reference to their expression in institutions. (shrink)
Mental imagery (varieties of which are sometimes colloquially refered to as “visualizing,” “seeing in the mind's eye,” “hearing in the head,” “imagining the feel of,” etc.) is quasi-perceptual experience; it resembles perceptual experience, but occurs in the absence of the appropriate external stimuli. It is also generally understood to bear intentionality (i.e., mental images are always images of something or other), and thereby to function as a form of mental representation. Traditionally, visual mental imagery, the most discussed variety, was thought (...) to be caused by the presence of picturelike representations (mental images) in the mind, soul, or brain, but this is no longer universally accepted. (shrink)
Introduction -- Self and other : life and death -- Education in Hegel in the history of philosophy -- Fossil fuel culture -- Education in Hegel in Derrida -- Education in Hegel in Levinas -- I philosophy.
A theory of the structure and cognitive function of the human imagination that attempts to do justice to traditional intuitions about its psychological centrality is developed, largely through a detailed critique of the theory propounded by Colin McGinn. Like McGinn, I eschew the highly deflationary views of imagination, common amongst analytical philosophers, that treat it either as a conceptually incoherent notion, or as psychologically trivial. However, McGinn fails to develop his alternative account satisfactorily because (following Reid, Wittgenstein and Sartre) he (...) draws an excessively sharp, qualitative distinction between imagination and perception, and because of his flawed, empirically ungrounded conception of hallucination. His arguments in defense of these views are rebutted in detail, and the traditional, passive, Cartesian view of visual perception, upon which several of them implicitly rely, is criticized in the light of findings from recent cognitive science and neuroscience. It is also argued that the apparent intuitiveness of the passive view of visual perception is a result of mere historical contingency. An understanding of perception (informed by modern visual science) as an inherently active process enables us to unify our accounts of perception, mental imagery, dreaming, hallucination, creativity, and other aspects of imagination within a single coherent theoretical framework. (shrink)
I Am Dynamite ignites an alternative theory of the self and will, wrapped up in a combustible assault upon scholarly convention. Asking why the real effort of constructing and living within an identity is so often overlooked, it examines the subjective experience of existing in the world, with the power to define and transform oneself. Considering the trials and triumphs of five very different modern subjects--Primo Levi, Ben Glaser, Stanley Spencer, Rachel Silberstein and Friedrich Nietzsche--Nigel Rapport asks: can consciousness (...) of being a self in the world enable control over one's life within it? Calling for a renewed appreciation of the extraordinary within us all, this richly inventive work seeks to restore knowledge to its essential practical and moral aims--aiding and informing the lives we actually live. (shrink)
This article is an attempt to understand the increasing profile of complexity theory as a geography of dissemination. In the first part I suggest that complexity theory, itself a rhetorical hybrid, takes on new meanings as it circulates in and through a number of actor-networks and, specifically, global science, global business and global New Age. As complexity theory circulates in these networks, so it encounters new conditions, which generate new hybrid theoretical forms. In the second part of the article, I (...) consider how complexity theory might be interpreted as the emergence of a new structure of feeling in Euro-American societies, which frames the future as open and full of productivity. The conclusion offers some words of warning. (shrink)
Defining Imagery: Experience or Representation? Historical Development of Ideas about Imagery Subjective Individual Differences in Imagery Experience Theories of Imagery, and their Implications for Consciousness Picture theory Description theory Enactive theory.
During the past four decades, the Netherlands played a leading role in the debate about euthanasia and assisted suicide. Despite the claim that other countries would soon follow the Dutch legalization of euthanasia, only Belgium and the American state of Oregon did. In many countries, intense discussions took place. This article discusses some major contributions to the discussion about euthanasia and assisted suicide as written by Nigel Biggar, Arthur J. Dyck, Neil M. Gorsuch, and John Keown. They share a (...) concern that legalization will undermine a society's respect for the inviolability and sanctity of life. Moreover, the Report of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill is analyzed. All studies use ethical, theological, philosophical, and legal sources. All these documents include references to experiences from the Netherlands. In addition, two recent Dutch documents are analyzed which advocate further liberalization of the Dutch euthanasia practice, so as to include infants and elderly people "suffering from life". (shrink)
In the recent and not-too-distant past many of our parents, grandparents and forbears believed that a person’s skin colour and physiognomy, gender, or sexuality licensed them being regarded and treated in ways that are now widely recognised as blatantly unjust, disrespectful, cruel and brutal. But the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries have hosted a series of radical changes in attitudes, beliefs, behaviour and institutionalised practices with regard to the fundamental moral equality of what were once seen as different “kinds of (...) people.” This paper explores the social structure of such “moral revolutions,” via the Wittgensteinian- and Kuhnian- inspired concepts moral perception, moral certainty, normal morality, and moral paradigm. (shrink)
Against the domination of moral deliberation by rights-talk In Defence of War asserts that belligerency can be morally justified, even while it is tragic and morally flawed. Recovering the early Christian tradition of just war thinking, Nigel Biggar argues in favour of aggressive war in punishment of grave injustice.
What can computers do in principle? What are their inherent theoretical limitations? These are questions to which computer scientists must address themselves. The theoretical framework which enables such questions to be answered has been developed over the last fifty years from the idea of a computable function: intuitively a function whose values can be calculated in an effective or automatic way. This book is an introduction to computability theory (or recursion theory as it is traditionally known to mathematicians). Dr Cutland (...) begins with a mathematical characterisation of computable functions using a simple idealised computer (a register machine); after some comparison with other characterisations, he develops the mathematical theory, including a full discussion of non-computability and undecidability, and the theory of recursive and recursively enumerable sets. The later chapters provide an introduction to more advanced topics such as Gildel's incompleteness theorem, degrees of unsolvability, the Recursion theorems and the theory of complexity of computation. Computability is thus a branch of mathematics which is of relevance also to computer scientists and philosophers. Mathematics students with no prior knowledge of the subject and computer science students who wish to supplement their practical expertise with some theoretical background will find this book of use and interest. (shrink)
This ambitious work apparently has two main aims. The first is to provide a survey of the currently burgeoning field of "Consciousness Studies", presented via the extended metaphor of a horse race whose winning post is a full scientific explanation of consciousness. The second, which receives much more space, is to present Taylor's own cognitive/neuroscientific theory, dubbed "relational consciousness", and to persuade us that it should be the odds-on favourite to win. Neither aim is very well realized.
Differences in undergraduate students' perceptions of unequal status dating relationships in academia were investigated. Two hundred sixty college undergraduates from a private northeastern university evaluated three types of dating relationships: (a) professor-undergraduate student, (b) professor-graduate assistant, and (c) graduate assistant-undergraduate student. Fictional scenarios were used to assess participants' perceptions of the three types of dating relationships. Responses were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Quantitative results indicated the professor-undergraduate student dating relationship was labeled unethical whereas the qualitative results revealed a possible (...) gender effect. (shrink)
We report a Monte Carlo study examining the effects of two strategies for handling measurement non-invariance – modeling and ignoring non-invariant items – on structural regression coefficients between latent variables measured with item response theory models for categorical indicators. These strategies were examined across four levels and three types of non-invariance – non-invariant loadings, non-invariant thresholds, and combined non-invariance on loadings and thresholds – in simple, partial, mediated and moderated regression models where the non-invariant latent variable occupied predictor, mediator, and (...) criterion positions in the structural regression models. When non-invariance is ignored in the latent predictor, the focal group regression parameters are biased in the opposite direction to the difference in loadings and thresholds relative to the referent group (i.e., lower loadings and thresholds for the focal group lead to overestimated regression parameters). With criterion non-invariance, the focal group regression parameters are biased in the same direction as the difference in loadings and thresholds relative to the referent group. While unacceptable levels of parameter bias were confined to the focal group, bias occurred at considerably lower levels of ignored non-invariance than was previously recognized in referent and focal groups. (shrink)
This article was written as a commentary on a target article by Peter W. Ross entitled "The Location Problem for Color Subjectivism" [Consciousness and Cognition 10(1), 42-58 (2001)], and is published together with it, and with other commentaries and Ross's reply. If you or your library have the necessary subscription you can get PDF versions of the target article, all the commentaries, and Ross's reply to the commentaries here. However, I do not think that it is by any means essential (...) for you to have read Ross's piece in order to understand this one. Ross defends a view called "color physicalism" or color realism that holds (simplifying somewhat) that colors are real physical properties (in typical cases, spectral reflectances of object surfaces). This is in opposition to what is probably a more widely held "subjectivist" view of color, holding that color qualities really exist only in the mind. In my commentary I suggest that a realist view of qualitative properties, such as Ross's, together with a direct, active view of perception, and a concept of "extended mind" (Clark & Chalmers, 1998) may provide the materials for a real solution to the notorious hard problem of consciousness. I sketch this solution in outline. - N.J.T.T. (shrink)
Theories of superior collicular and hippocampal function have remarkable similarities. Both structures have been repeatedly implicated in spatial and attentional behaviour and in inhibitory control of locomotion. Moreover, they share certain electrophysiological properties in their single unit responses and in the synchronous appearance and disappearance of slow wave activity. Both are phylogenetically old and the colliculus projects strongly to brainstem nuclei instrumental in the generation of theta rhythm in the hippocampal EECOn the other hand, close inspection of behavioural and electrophysiological (...) data reveals disparities. In particular, hippocampal processing mainly concerns stimulus ambiguity, contextual significance, and spatial relations or other subtle, higher order characteristics. This requires the use of largely preprocessed sensory information and mediation of poststimulus investigation. Although collicular activity must also be integrated with that of “higher” centres, its primary role in attention is more “peripheral” and specific in controlling orienting/localisation via eye and body movements toward egocentrically labelled spatial positions. In addition, the colliculus may exert a nonspecific influence in alerting higher centres to the imminence of information potentially worthy of focal attention. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that collicular and hippocampal lesions produce deficits on similar tasks, although the type of deficit is usually different in each case. Functional overlap between hippocampus and colliculus is virtually certain vis-à-vis stimulus sampling, for example in the acquisition of information via vibrissal movements and visual scanning. In addition, insofar as stimulus significance is a factor in collicular orienting mechanisms, the hippocampus — cingulate – cortex — colliculus pathway may play a significant role, modulating collicular responsiveness and thus ensuring an attentional strategy appropriate to current requirements. A tentative “reciprocal loop” model is proposed which bridges physiological and behavioural levels of analysis and which would account for the observed degree and nature of functional overlap between the superior colliculus and hippocampus. (shrink)
Alice Crary claims that “the standard view of the bearing of Wittgenstein's philosophy on ethics” is dominated by “inviolability interpretations”, which often underlie conservative readings of Wittgenstein. Crary says that such interpretations are “especially marked in connection with On Certainty”, where Wittgenstein is represented as holding that “our linguistic practices are immune to rational criticism, or inviolable”. Crary's own conception of the bearing of Wittgenstein's philosophy on ethics, which I call the “intrinsically-ethical reading”, derives from the influential New Wittgenstein school (...) of exegesis, and is also espoused by James Edwards, Cora Diamond, and Stephen Mulhall. To my eyes, intrinsically-ethical readings present a peculiar picture of ethics, which I endeavour to expose in Part I of the paper. In Part II I present a reading of On Certainty that Crary would call an “inviolability interpretation”, defend it against New Wittgensteinian critiques, and show that this kind of reading has nothing to do with ethical or political conservatism. I go on to show how Wittgenstein's observations on the manner in which we can neither question nor affirm certain states of affairs that are fundamental to our epistemic practices can be fruitfully extended to ethics. Doing so sheds light on the phenomenon that I call “basic moral certainty”, which constitutes the foundation of our ethical practices, and the scaffolding or framework of moral perception, inquiry, and judgement. The nature and significance of basic moral certainty will be illustrated through consideration of the strangeness of philosophers' attempts at explaining the wrongness of killing. (shrink)
In recent years there has been growing attention paid to a kind of human action or activity which does not issue from a process of reflection and deliberation and which is described as, e.g., ‘engaged coping’, ‘unreflective action’, and ‘flow’. Hubert Dreyfus, one of its key proponents, has developed a phenomenology of expertise which he has applied to ethics in order to account for ‘everyday ongoing ethical coping’ or ‘ethical expertise’. This article addresses the shortcomings of this approach by examining (...) the pre-reflective ethical know-how individuals first develop and on which all later forms of ethical expertise are dependent. In the first section an account is given of the ‘ethical second nature’ which every individual develops from childhood onwards and which forms the basis of pre-reflective ethical know-how. The acquisition of an ethical second nature early on opens up the very domain of ‘the ethical’ for us in the first place and is constitutive of our sensitivity to it. The second section turns to pre-reflective ethical know-how and whether it is conceptual in nature. Just as sensorimotor understanding forms the basis of our reflective perceptual concepts, pre-reflective ethical know-how is similarly proto-conceptual and is the source of our reflective ethical and moral concepts. Finally, the third section examines the process whereby ethical second nature and pre-reflective ethical know-how are actually acquired, namely, through immersion in an ‘ethical world’. This world consists of both the web of ethical meanings and significances which has evolved in a particular society or community as well as its members whose actions and interactions continually reproduce that web. (shrink)
There is a new myth of the heterogeneous that is reducing the concept of humanity to a sinful enlightenment. In this article I investigate the contribution that a renewed understanding of liberal arts education might offer for the idea of a humanist education and for the concept of humanity; and this at a time when not only the concept of humanity per se, and of a humanist education in particular are suspected of Western imperialism and rational logocentrism, but also, in (...) England at least, when the tuition fees of humanities students have trebled. I argue that within a concept of modern metaphysics first principles are re-formed to have their universality in instability and struggle. This instability and struggle is the modern culture of rational education, and speaks of a non-abstract comprehension of two of modernity’s most contested terms: freedom and humanity. (shrink)
Global ethics is an emerging discipline which has not yet reached maturity. The main tasks before it to gain maturity are: first, to achieve a greater integration of various domains of enquiry all of which are concerned with global normative issues. At a general level this includes integrating global ethics with cosmopolitanism, global justice and human right discourse. At the level of areas of concern, there needs to be greater integration of various areas such as development, trade, environment and climate (...) change. And it must grapple with the question of diversity within universality: how far can diversity of practices be accommodated within a culturally sensitive universal framework? Second, there is the question of finding a shared normative framework with respect to the diverse worldviews that may lie behind this: what degree and kind of convergence/consensus are worth working for? Third, there is the task of creating the conditions for its own wider acceptance, which should include taking the idea of global citizenship seriously. (shrink)
The so-called “problem” of structure and agency is clearly related to the philosophical problem of free will and determinism, yet the central philosophical issues are not well understood by theorists of structure and agency in the social sciences. In this article I draw a map of the available stances on the metaphysics of free will and determinism. With the aid of this map the problem of structure and agency will be seen to dissolve. The problem of structure and agency is (...) sustained by a failure to distinguish between metaphysical and empirical senses of the relation between social structure and individual agency. The ramifications of this distinction are illustrated via a case study of competing explanations of perpetrator behavior in Christopher Browning’s and Daniel Goldhagen’s studies of the German Order Police in the Holocaust. (shrink)
In a climate of increasing interest and activity within the field of business ethics, as yet there exists no coherent conceptual framework for organizational theory and research. From a review of current thinking and previous writings a framework of concepts is suggested to help set an agenda for empirical research. The elements of this are, first, a taxonomy of ethical domains: the foci of organizations'' and their agents'' ethical concerns and conduct. Second, it is considered how ethical functioning might be (...) analysed in terms of causal relationships between expressive forms, voluntary action and instituted forms. Third is discussed ethical process, the means by which ethical awareness is aroused. Fourth and last, the paper examines how normative evaluations might apply to the ethical condition of organizations and their agents, meaning change or stability in reputation and integrity. At each stage of the argument possible objectives for research are developed. (shrink)
This is a pugnacious book, born of ancient controversy and attempting to return the debate to a time before the central jurisprudential questions were set by Hart and other legal positivists. Simmonds addresses those familiar with current analytical philosophy of law: those of us who know our Hart, Fuller, Dworkin, Raz, MacCormick and Kramer, and who perhaps need to have our attention drawn to Plato, Aristotle, Grotius, Hobbes and Kant. Presuming an informed readership, there is no bibliography, and it incorporates (...) ‘substantial extracts from four recent essays’, but does not say what they are. Overall, his position is that law should be understood as an attempt to realize an archetype of law, an archetype which is a moral ideal. Those suspicious of moral ideals are not likely to find moral archetypes more philosophically acceptable. Yet, if Simmonds is right, we need them in jurisprudence.Simmonds is against the positivist split between …. (shrink)
This article attempts to understand the reconstitution of the `present' in modern societies. I argue that this reconstitution is the result of work done on `bare life', which I associate with that little space of time between action and performance. The article goes on to consider the ways in which this reconstitution of the present is taking place, using examples from the economic sphere. Throughout the article, I argue that operations on bare life are not only instrumental but also open (...) up new spaces of biopolitical practice based on a greater recognition of the value of slowness in a world commonly figured as fast. (shrink)
But, as Professor DeWitt makes clear both in this volume and in its predecessor, Epicurus and His Philosophy, the pleasures which the ancient Greek espoused as constituting the chief good of life were not the pleasures of the flesh.
Philosophy begins with questions about the nature of reality and how we should live. These were the concerns of Socrates, who spent his days in the ancient Athenian marketplace asking awkward questions, disconcerting the people he met by showing them how little they genuinely understood. This engaging book introduces the great thinkers in Western philosophy and explores their most compelling ideas about the world and how best to live in it. In forty brief chapters, Nigel Warburton guides us on (...) a chronological tour of the major ideas in the history of philosophy. He provides interesting and often quirky stories of the lives and deaths of thought-provoking philosophers from Socrates, who chose to die by hemlock poisoning rather than live on without the freedom to think for himself, to Peter Singer, who asks the disquieting philosophical and ethical questions that haunt our own times. Warburton not only makes philosophy accessible, he offers inspiration to think, argue, reason, and ask in the tradition of Socrates. _A Little History of Philosophy_ presents the grand sweep of humanity's search for philosophical understanding and invites all to join in the discussion. (shrink)
If an artist sends a live peacock to an exhibition, is it art? 'What is art?' is a question many of us want answered but are too afraid to ask. It is the very question that Nigel Warburton demystifies in this brilliant and accessible little book. With the help of varied illustrations and photographs, from Cézanne and Francis Bacon to Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst, best-selling author Warburton brings a philosopher's eye to art in a refreshing jargon-free style. With (...) customary clarity, he explains art theories, that are much discussed but little understood, by thinkers such as Clive Bell, R.G Collingwood and Wittgenstein. He illuminates other perplexing problems in art, such as the artist's intention, representation and emotion. Drawing on photographs of Cindy Sherman and Tiananmen Square, Warburton shows that, if we are ever to answer the art question, we must consider each work of art on its own terms. A stimulating and handy guide through the art maze, _The Art Question_ is essential reading for anyone interested in art, philosophy or those who simply like looking at and thinking about pictures. (shrink)
Traditionally ‘imagination’ primarily denotes the faculty of mental imagery, other usages being derivative. However, contemporary philosophers commonly hold it to be a polysemous term, with several unrelated senses. This effectively eliminates this culturally important concept as an appropriate explanandum for science, and paves the way for a thoroughgoing eliminative materialism. White challenges both these views of imagination, arguing that ‘imagine’ never means ‘suppose,’ ‘believe,’ ‘pretend’ or ‘visualize,’ that imagery may occur without imagination, and that the true sense of ‘imagine’ is (...) ‘think of as possibly being so.’ I defend a version of the traditional view. The disseverance of imagination from imagery is motivated by an implicit version of the theory of mental images as pictures. Other contemporary scientific theories of imagery do not entail it. I defend a view of imagery as arising from the interpretative aspect of perception and connect this, and our contemporary concept of imagination, to the root Aristotelian concept of φαντασία.This captures the association between imagination and creativity, and reveals the coherence of the concept, more plausibly than White’s theory. (shrink)
This article surveys the recently established field of enquiry called 'development ethics' - that is, ethical enquiry into the normative basis of socio-economic development. This covers two levels of enquiry. First, it involves enquiry into the nature of human well-being and the social norms within which the conditions of well-being should be promoted, and includes consideration of both the means and the ends of development. Second, it involves the ethical basis of the wider global framework within which the development of (...) countries takes place. This covers both the normative basis of international relations and the global relations between individuals in different parts of the world as expressed in the idea of global responsibility. (shrink)