Humans massively depend on communication with others, but this leaves them open to the risk of being accidentally or intentionally misinformed. To ensure that, despite this risk, communication remains advantageous, humans have, we claim, a suite of cognitive mechanisms for epistemic vigilance. Here we outline this claim and consider some of the ways in which epistemic vigilance works in mental and social life by surveying issues, research and theories in different domains of philosophy, linguistics, cognitive psychology and the social sciences.
In their recent paper, “Epistemology for Beginners: Two to Five-Year-Old Children’s Representation of Falsity,” OlivierMascaro and Olivier Morin study the ontogeny of a naïve understanding of truth in humans. Their paper is fascinating for several reasons, but most striking is their claim (given a rather optimistic reading of epistemology) that toddlers as young as two can, at times, recognize false from true assertions. Their Optimistic Epistemology Hypothesis holds that children seem to have an innate capacity to (...) represent a state of affairs truthfully. In the following paper, I investigate the problems this research poses for deflationist theories of truth. Richard Rorty and Huw Price hold that the best way to understand truth or “the truth” is to understand the necessary conditions required for assertoric practice. Both philosophers present unique and very different deflationary theories when it comes to construing truth. I argue that neither philosopher’s approach is successful because they focus on truth and fail to recognize truthfulness as a norm of assertoric practice. I show that truthfulness is the elusive third norm of claim-based discourse and is consistent with Mascaro and Morin’s findings. (shrink)
Olivier Bloch travaille sur l'histoire de la philosophie, et plus particulièrement sur l'histoire des doctrines, courants et traditions matérialistes, dans le domaine de la philosophie antique et dans celui de la philosophie de l'âge classique , en particulier en France , et en Grande-Bretagne . Depuis le début des années 80, ses recherches portent principalement sur les traditions libertines et clandestines de l'âge classique et leur prolongement dans le matérialisme des Lumières, et, dans cette perspective, sur les rapports entre (...) matérialisme et littérature, avec un intérêt tout particulier pour Cyrano de Bergerac, puis Molière. Ses collègues ont voulu lui rendre hommage par ce recueil d'études sur ses domaines de prédilection. (shrink)
Evaluative theories of emotions purport to shed light on the nature of emotions by appealing to values. Three kinds of evaluative theories of emotions dominate the recent literature: the judgment theory equates emotions with value judgments; the perceptual theory equates emotions with perceptions of values, and the attitudinal theory equates emotions with evaluative attitudes. This paper defends a fourth kind of evaluative theory of emotions, mostly neglected so far: the reactive theory. Reactive theories claim that emotions are attitudes which arise (...) in reaction to perceptions of value. (shrink)
This book is a long-term history of optics, from early Greek theories of vision to the nineteenth-century victory of the wave theory of light. It is a clear and richly illustrated synthesis of a large amount of literature, and a reliable and efficient guide for anyone who wishes to enter this domain.
This book recounts a few ingenious attempts to derive physical theories by reason only, beginning with Descartes' geometric construction of the world, and finishing with recent derivations of quantum mechanics from natural axioms.
State Violence, Coalitions, Subjects After a consideration of the reception of her work in France , Judith Butler assesses the political contribution of queer movements and minority struggles. She addresses the need for the left to reappropriate the forthright critique of the State and its violence and to examine the way minorities are produced. To do so, her analysis starts from the question of immigrant persons. She highlights the issues and the difficulties which are involved, if there is to be (...) a productive critique of the State, the aim of which is to contest it. As part of a dynamic political perspective, she proposes the creation of coalitions. She outlines the main lines of such a coalition, its dynamics and singularities, its articulation with the subject, but also its limits. In conclusion, she examines the issue of revolution and her relation to Marxist thought, indicating the outlines of her current thinking. (shrink)
To be optimistic, it is standardly assumed, is to have positive expectations. I here argue that this definition is correct but captures only one variety of optimism – here called factual optimism. It leaves out two other important varieties of optimism. The first – focal optimism – corresponds to the idea of seeing the glass half full. The second – axiological optimism – consists in the view that good is stronger than bad. Those three varieties of optimism are irreducible to (...) each other and do not belong to a common kind. I define each of these, characterize their respective correctness conditions, and contrast hope with optimism. (shrink)
Despite countless anecdotes and the historical significance of insight as a problem solving mechanism, its nature has long remained elusive. The conscious experience of insight is notoriously difficult to trace in non-verbal animals. Although studying insight has presented a significant challenge even to neurobiology and psychology, human neuroimaging studies have cleared the theoretical landscape, as they have begun to reveal the underlying mechanisms. The study of insight in non-human animals has, in contrast, remained limited to innovative adjustments to experimental designs (...) within the classical approach of judging cognitive processes in animals, based on task performance. This leaves no apparent possibility of ending debates from different interpretations emerging from conflicting schools of thought. We believe that comparative cognition has thus much to gain by embracing advances from neuroscience and human cognitive psychology. We will review literature on insight and discuss the consequences of these findings to comparative cognition. (shrink)
The thesis defended, the “guise of the ought”, is that the formal objects of desires are norms (oughts to be or oughts to do) rather than values (as the “guise of the good” thesis has it). It is impossible, in virtue of the nature of desire, to desire something without it being presented as something that ought to be or that one ought to do. This view is defended by pointing to a key distinction between values and norms: positive and (...) negative norms (obligation and interdiction) are interdefinable through negation; positive and negative values aren’t. This contrast between the norms and values, it is argued, is mirrored, within the psychological realm, by the contrast between the desires and emotions. Positive and negative desires are interdefinable through negation, but positive and negative emotions aren’t. The overall, Meinongian picture suggested is that norms are to desires what values are to emotions. (shrink)
In this paper we don’t intend to show, against the sceptic, that most of our everyday beliefs about the external world are cases of knowledge. What we do try to show is that it is more rational to hold that most of such beliefs are actually cases of knowledge than to deny them this status, as the external world sceptic does. In some sense, our point of view is the opposite of Hume’s, who held that reason clearly favours scepticism about (...) the independent existence of an external world rather than common sense belief in such an independent existence. In arguing for the superior rationality of this common sense, Moorean view, we also take a fallibilist conception of knowledge to be rationally preferable to an infallibilist view of it. (shrink)
Of all the things we do and say, most will never be repeated or reproduced. Once in a while, however, an idea or a practice generates a chain of transmission that covers more distance through space and time than any individual person ever could. What makes such transmission chains possible? For two centuries, the dominant view was that humans owe their cultural prosperity to their powers of imitation. In this view, modern cultures exist because the people who carry them are (...) gifted at remembering, storing and reproducing information. How Traditions Live and Die proposes an alternative to this standard view. What makes traditions live is not a general-purpose imitation capacity. Cultural transmission is partial, selective, often unfaithful. Some traditions live on in spite of this, because they tap into widespread and basic cognitive preferences. These attractive traditions spread, not by being better retained or more accurately transferred, but because they are transmitted over and over. This theory is used to shed light on various puzzles of cultural change and to explain the special relation that links the human species to its cultures. Morin combines recent work in cognitive anthropology with new advances in quantitative cultural history, to map and predict the diffusion of traditions. This book is both an introduction and an accessible alternative to contemporary theories of cultural evolution. (shrink)
This book presents the framework for a new, comprehensive approach to cognitive science. The proposed paradigm, enaction, offers an alternative to cognitive science's classical, first-generation Computational Theory of Mind. _Enaction_, first articulated by Varela, Thompson, and Rosch in _The Embodied Mind_, breaks from CTM's formalisms of information processing and symbolic representations to view cognition as grounded in the sensorimotor dynamics of the interactions between a living organism and its environment. A living organism enacts the world it lives in; its embodied (...) action in the world constitutes its perception and thereby grounds its cognition. _Enaction_ offers a range of perspectives on this exciting new approach to embodied cognitive science. Some chapters offer manifestos for the enaction paradigm; others address specific areas of research, including artificial intelligence, developmental psychology, neuroscience, language, phenomenology, and culture and cognition. Three themes emerge as testimony to the originality and specificity of enaction as a paradigm: the relation between first-person lived experience and third-person natural science; the ambition to provide an encompassing framework applicable at levels from the cell to society; and the difficulties of reflexivity. Taken together, the chapters offer nothing less than the framework for a far-reaching renewal of cognitive science. Contributors: Renaud Barbaras, Didier Bottineau, Giovanna Colombetti, Diego Cosmelli, Hanne De Jaegher, Ezequiel A. Di Paolo. Andreas K. Engel, Olivier Gapenne, Véronique Havelange, Edwin Hutchins, Michel Le Van Quyen, Rafael E. Núñez, Marieke Rohde, Benny Shanon, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Adam Sheya, Linda B. Smith, John Stewart, Evan Thompson. (shrink)
Some generic generalizations have both a descriptive and a normative reading. The generic sentence “Philosophers care about the truth”, for instance, can be read as describing what philosophers in fact care about, but can also be read as prescribing philosophers to care about the truth. On Leslie’s account, this generic sentence has two readings due to the polysemy of the kind term “philosopher”. In this paper, I first argue against this polysemy account of descriptive/normative generics. In response, a contextualist semantic (...) theory for generic sentences is introduced. Based on this theory, I argue that descriptive/normative generics are contextually underspecified. (shrink)
El Principio de Posibilidades Alternativas supone un problema para las posiciones compatibilistas respecto de la responsabilidad moral. Desde que Harry Frankfurt diseñara uno, los contraejemplos al PPA se conocen como casos Frankfurt. Una de las mejores líneas de defensa de este principio frente a los nuevos casos Frankfurt es la que se ofrece en Moya. En este artículo me propongo mostrar que su estrategia no es satisfactoria y, al mismo tiempo, argumentar que para la atribución de responsabilidad moral por una (...) acción es suficiente con que existan alternativas epistémicas. (shrink)
In their target article, Mikhalevich & Powell (M&P) argue that we should extend moral protection to arthropods. In this commentary, we show that there are some unforeseen obstacles to applying the sort of individualistic welfare-based ethics that M&P have in mind to certain arthropods, namely, insects. These obstacles have to do with the fact that there are often many more individuals involved in our dealings with insects than our ethical theories anticipate, and also with the fact that, in some sense, (...) some insects count as more than an individual and, in another sense, they sometimes count as less than an individual. (shrink)
The objective of this longitudinal study is to analyze the intrinsic drivers and values underlying managers’ organizational citizenship behaviors for the environment from a developmental psychology perspective based on measuring the stages of consciousness that shape the meaning-making systems of individuals. At time 1, the stages of consciousness of 138 managers were qualitatively assessed using the Leader Development Profile test. At time 2, a quantitative survey measured the environmental beliefs and OCBEs of these managers. The links between stages of consciousness, (...) environmental beliefs, and OCBEs were analyzed using hierarchical regressions. The main findings show that managers’ stages of consciousness positively influence two types of OCBEs, namely eco-initiatives and eco-helping, while environmental beliefs influence eco-helping and eco-civic engagement but do not appear to be connected with the stage of consciousness development. This paper first contributes to the literature on corporate greening by shedding more light on the aspects of behavioral and developmental psychology that underlie environmental leadership. Second, it bridges the gap between theories that have developed separately by showing the interconnectedness between the managers’ stage of consciousness and the more concrete environmental behaviors in the workplace that could have emulative effects throughout the organization. (shrink)
This book describes the application of Artificial Life simulation to evolutionary scenarios of wide ethical interest, including the evolution of altruism, rape and abortion, providing a new meaning to “experimental philosophy”. The authors also apply evolutionary ALife techniques to explore contentious issues within evolutionary theory itself, such as the evolution of aging. They justify these uses of simulation in science and philosophy, both in general and in their specific applications here.Evolving Ethics will be of interest to researchers, enthusiasts, students and (...) interested lay readers in the fields of Artificial Life, philosophy of science, ethics, agent- and individual-based modeling in ecology and the social sciences, computer simulation, evolutionary biology, evolutionary psychology and the social sciences.Dr Steven Mascaro is a researcher in computer simulation and Artificial Life.Dr Kevin Korb is a Reader in the Clayton School of Information Technology, Monash University.Dr Ann Nicholson is an Associate Professor in the Clayton School of Information Technology, Monash University.Owen Woodberry is a researcher in the Clayton School of Information Technology, Monash University. (shrink)
This collection of essays offers different ways of seeing twentieth-century art via the medium of aesthetics. Each essay explores a different vision: Pablo Picasso's Mercure , Paul Klee's work from the thirties, Yves Klein's concept of the Void, Ed Ruscha's gunpowder drawings, and Cy Twombly's Bacchus paintings. Having curated exhibitions on the majority of these artists, Olivier Berggruen's acquaintance with their work is profound, and his approach both scholarly and highly intimate. Olivier Berggruen lives in New York and (...) has curated museum exhibitions devoted to Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Yves Klein, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Ed Ruscha. (shrink)
The Universe is One places the ancient synthesis of Stoicism, Platonism, Judaism, and Christianity in active dialogue with modern process science in order to conjoin science, philosophy, and theology into the human quest for meaning. Paul A. Olivier proposes a comprehensive theory of knowledge, which he expands into a theory of life, correlating modern process science and the western-Judeo-Christian heritage into a grand theory of the Universe. He brings together the ideas of influential thinkers from the world of science (...) with those from the world of New Testament studies. Olivier clearly explains concepts from diverse fields to construct a satisfying theory of knowledge and life. He accomplishes this through an examination of the dominance of polarity in all aspects of the universe, such as chaos and order, predictability and unpredictability. Through this complex blend of opposites Olivier develops his theory as an interaction of Word and Spirit that provides the Universe with everything necessary to account for its creation and ongoing evolution. The Universe continually creates and sustains itself out of its own internal necessity coupled paradoxically with the fluidity of its own inherent unpredictability. (shrink)
The objective of this paper is to explore, through a qualitative study of small regional airports, how sustainability issues are taken into account in remote small- and medium-sized enterprises. Based on 42 semi-structured interviews conducted with managers of small regional Canadian airports and experts in this area, this study shows the quasi-absence of specific measures for sustainability, despite the seriousness of environmental issues, which tend to be subordinated to economic priorities and operational activities. The paper contributes to the literature on (...) sustainability in SMEs by focusing on passive organizations located in remote areas and the complex reasons underlying their lack or absence of environmental commitment. The paper sheds more light on the essential role of stakeholders in providing the resources and skills necessary for the development of sustainability initiatives in passive SMEs. The study’s managerial contributions and implications for stakeholders are also discussed. (shrink)
During the early twentieth century, the Swiss Zoologist Adolf Naef (1883–1949) established himself as a leader in German comparative anatomy and higher level systematics. He is generally labeled an ‘idealistic morphologist’, although he himself called his research program ‘systematic morphology’. The idealistic morphology that flourished in German biology during the first half of the twentieth century was a rather heterogeneous movement, within which Adolf Naef worked out a special theoretical system of his own. Following a biographical sketch, we present an (...) English translation of a previously unpublished typescript from Naef’s estate, which Naef intended as the introduction to a textbook on Comparative Anatomy for which he was unable to find a publisher before his sudden death in 1949. The typescript contains Naef’s mature thoughts with unprecedented conciseness, focus, and clarity. The density of Naef’s text warrants a historical and contextual explication of its content. (shrink)
The main contention of this article is that current approaches to ontological emergence are not comprehensive, in that they share a common bias that make them blind to some conceptual space available to emergence. In this article, I devise an alternative perspective on ontological emergence called ‘flat emergence’, which is free of such a bias. The motivation is twofold: not only does flat emergence constitute another viable way to fulfill the initial emergentist promise, but it also allows for making sense (...) of some emergence ascriptions that traditional accounts are unable to accommodate. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 22 - 45 This essay discusses the views of Peter Olivi on the foundations of political power and agency. The central argument is that there is a strong connection between Olivi’s voluntarist psychology and his views concerning political power. According to Olivi, political power is ultimately based on the will of God, but in such a way that both the rulers and their subjects have, through their individual freedom, the liberty to use their (...) share of power as they will. In fact, Olivi conceptualises political power as an extension of the dominion that human beings have over their wills, which is essential for being a political agent in the full sense. By providing a philosophical analysis of the role of the freedom of the will within Olivi’s political philosophy, this essay sheds light on his conception of the relation between the human and the divine will, as well as on his understanding of political power. (shrink)
On a pris l'habitude de voir en l'analyse un instrument logique de décomposition et de clarification des concepts, confirmant du même coup l'évaluation critique qu'en a donnée Kant : l'analyse est un procédé stérile qui ne contribue en rien à l'expansion et au renouvellement des connaissances. Soulignant la cohérence de ses emplois historiques, le présent ouvrage cherche au contraire à rétablir l'analyse en sa fonction inventive : de l'Antiquité au XVII siècle, la méthode analytique constitue, en effet, une solution aux (...) insuffisances de la déduction logique ; s'appuyant sur la construction et le déchiffrement des figures, elle offre une voie à la fois détournée et probante pour la résolution des problèmes. Descartes est l'héritier de cette tradition, mais il est aussi, à maints égards, l'artisan de la conception moderne de l'analyse dont il a fait la voie privilégiée de la connaissance de soi dans les Méditations métaphysiques. Accomplissement heuristique de "l'ordre des raisons" mais aussi aventure temporelle inscrite dans la durée féconde de la méditation, l'analyse se révèle alors l'instrument d'une raison radicalement inventive. (shrink)
À l’origine de la philosophie comme des sciences, il y a, selon Aristote, « l’étonnement de ce que les choses sont ce qu’elles sont ». Nul doute qu’Aristote aurait trouvé en Suisse maints sujets d’étonnement. Qu’est-ce qu’une vache ? Qu’est-ce qu’une montagne ? Qu’est-ce que le Röstigraben ? Qu’est-ce qu’une fondue ? Qu’est-ce qu’un trou dans l’emmental ? Qu’est-ce que l’argent ? Qu’est-ce qu’une banque ? Qu’est-ce qu’une confédération ? Qu’est-ce qu’une horloge ? Qui est Roger Federer ? Qu’est-ce qu’est (...) Anton Marty ? Qu’est-ce que le plaisir de manger du chocolat ? -/- Chaque chapitre de cet ouvrage a été écrit par un spécialiste de renommée internationale et défend une solution claire à l’une de ces questions. Le tout constitue une introduction à la fois accessible et plaisante à un domaine de recherche philosophique aujourd’hui en effervescence : la métaphysique. (shrink)
The relationship between divine and created causality was widely discussed in medieval and early modern philosophy. Contemporary scholars of these discussions typically stake out three possible positions: occasionalism, concurrentism, and mere-conservationism. It is regularly claimed that virtually no medieval thinker adopted the final view which denies that God is an immediate active cause of creaturely actions. The main aim of this paper is to further understanding of the medieval causality debate, and particularly the mere-conservationist position, by analysing Peter John Olivi's (...) neglected defence of it. The paper also includes discussion of Thomas Aquinas's arguments for concurrentism and an analysis of whether Olivi's objections refute his position. (shrink)
The theory of mind that medieval philosophers inherit from Augustine is predicated on the thesis that the human mind is essentially self-reflexive. This paper examines Peter John Olivi's (1248-1298) distinctive development of this traditional Augustinian thesis. The aim of the paper is three-fold. The first is to establish that Olivi's theory of reflexive awareness amounts to a theory of phenomenal consciousness. The second is to show that, despite appearances, Olivi rejects a higher-order analysis of consciousness in favor of a same-order (...) theory. The third and final is to show that, on his view, consciousness is both self-intimating and infallible. (shrink)
This discussion paper responds to two recent articles in Biology and Philosophy that raise similar objections to cultural attraction theory, a research trend in cultural evolution putting special emphasis on the fact that human minds create and transform their culture. Both papers are sympathetic to this idea, yet both also regret a lack of consilience with Boyd, Richerson and Henrich’s models of cultural evolution. I explain why cultural attraction theorists propose a different view on three points of concern for our (...) critics. I start by detailing the claim that cultural transmission relies not chiefly on imitation or teaching, but on cognitive mechanisms like argumentation, ostensive communication, or selective trust, whose evolved or habitual function may not be the faithful reproduction of ideas or behaviours. Second, I explain why the distinction between context biases and content biases might not always be the best way to capture the interactions between culture and cognition. Lastly, I show that cultural attraction models cannot be reduced to a model of guided variation, which posits a clear separation between individual and social learning processes. With cultural attraction, the same cognitive mechanisms underlie both innovation and the preservation of traditions. (shrink)
Recueil de contributions sur la connaissance du monde par Dieu et sur le statut des vérités objectives de la science montrant la diversité des approches proposées par des philosophes tels que Thomas d'Aquin, Duns Scot, Guillaume d'Ockham, François de Meyronnes, Nicolas Malebranche, Pierre Bayle...
Sixteen years after Kim’s seminal paper offering a welcomed analysis of the emergence concept, I propose in this paper a needed extension of Kim’s work that does more justice to the actual diversity of emergentism. Rather than defining emergence as a monolithic third way between reductive physicalism and substance pluralism, and this through a conjunction of supervenience and irreducibility, I develop a comprehensive taxonomy of the possible varieties of emergence in which each taxon—theoretical, explanatory and causal emergence—is properly identified and (...) defined. This taxonomy has two advantages. First, it is unificatory in the sense that the taxa it contains derive from a common unity principle, which consequently constitutes the very hallmark of emergentism. Second, it can be shown that the emergence taxa it contains are able to meet the challenges that are commonly considered as being the hot topics on the emergentists’ agenda, namely the positivity, the consistency and the triviality/liberality challenges. (shrink)
Urban agriculture is an important source of food and income throughout Africa. The majority of cultivators on the continent are women who use urban agriculture to provide for their family. Much research on urban agriculture in Africa focuses on the material benefits of urban agriculture for women, but a smaller body of literature considers its social and psychological empowering effects. The present study seeks to contribute to this debate by looking at the ways in which urban agriculture empowers women on (...) the Cape Flats, a region of Cape Town where urban agriculture is supported by nongovernmental organisations. Based on interviews with cultivators, the findings show that NGO-run urban agriculture projects not only aid food security, but also help women to develop supportive networks that unlock benefits across the personal, social and economic spectrum. (shrink)
Since Aristotle, touch has been found especially hard to define. One of the few unchallenged intuition about touch, however, is that tactile awareness entertains some especially close relationship with bodily awareness. This article considers the relation between touch and bodily awareness from two different perspectives: the body template theory and the body map theory. According to the former, touch is defined by the fact that tactile content matches proprioceptive content. We raise some objections against such a bodily definition of touch (...) and suggest, as an alternative, to revive the proposal according to which touch is essentially a sense of pressure. According to the body map theory, tactile sensations are localized within the frame of reference provided by the mental representation of the space of the body. We argue that this approach of the location of bodily sensations fares better that the Local Sign theory that denies intrinsic spatiality to touch. (shrink)
Featuring more than one hundred of his photographs in every genre, this book celebrates Hervé's work as an artist, creating images that serve not simply as records but stand as works of a singular imagination.