The point of this paper is to reveal a dogma in the ordinary conception of sensory imagination, and to suggest another way forward. The dogma springs from two main sources: a too close comparison of mental imagery to perceptual experience, and a too strong division between mental imagery and the traditional propositional attitudes (such as belief and desire). The result is an unworkable conception of the correctness conditions of sensory imaginings—one lacking any link between the conditions under which an imagining (...) aids human action and inference and the conditions under which it is veridical. The proposed solution is, first, to posit a variety of imaginative attitudes—akin to the traditional propositional attitudes—which have different associated correctness (or satisfaction) conditions. The second part of the solution is to allow for imaginings with “hybrid” contents, in the sense that both mental images and representations with language-like constituent structure contribute to the content of imaginings. (shrink)
In the last 10 years, inner speech – the little voice in the head – has started to become established as a topic in the philosophy of psychology. The two philosophers who have contributed most to this development are Agustín Vicente1 1 and Peter Langland-Hassan. Together, they have now edited the first largely philosophical anthology on the topic, Inner Speech: New Voices.2 2.
A popular view has it that the mental representations underlying human pretense are not beliefs, but are “belief-like” in important ways. This view typically posits a distinctive cognitive attitude (a “DCA”) called “imagination” that is taken toward the propositions entertained during pretense, along with correspondingly distinct elements of cognitive architecture. This paper argues that the characteristics of pretense motivating such views of imagination can be explained without positing a DCA, or other cognitive architectural features beyond those regulating normal belief and (...) desire. On the present “Single Attitude” account of imagination, propositional imagining just is a form of believing. The Single Attitude account is also distinguished from “metarepresentational” accounts of pretense, which hold that both pretending and recognizing pretense in others require one to have concepts of mental states. It is argued, to the contrary, that pretending and recognizing pretense require neither a DCA nor possession of mental state concepts. (shrink)
This introduction is part of the special issue ‘ Self-knowledge in perspective’ guest edited by Fleur Jongepier and Derek Strijbos. // Papers included in the special issue: Transparency, expression, and self-knowledge Dorit Bar-On -/- Self-knowledge and communication Johannes Roessler -/- First-person privilege, judgment, and avowal Kateryna Samoilova -/- Self-knowledge about attitudes: rationalism meets interpretation Franz Knappik -/- How do you know that you settled a question? Tillmann Vierkant -/- On knowing one’s own resistant beliefs Cristina Borgoni -/- Self-knowledge and imagination (...)Peter Langland-Hassan -/- Transparent emotions? A critical analysis of Moran’s transparency claim Naomi Kloosterboer -/- Mind-making practices: the social infrastructure of self-knowing agency and responsibility Victoria McGeer -/- Pluralistic folk psychology and varieties of self-knowledge : an exploration Kristin Andrews -/-. (shrink)
Three thoughts strongly influence recent work on sensory imagination, often without explicit articulation. The image thought says that all mental states involving a mental image are imaginative. The attitude thought says that, if there is a distinctive imaginative attitude, it is a single, monolithic attitude. The function thought says that the functions of sensory imagination are identical or akin to functions of other mental states such as judgment or belief. Taken together, these thoughts create a theoretical context within which eliminativism (...) appears attractive. Eliminativism is the idea that we needn’t refer to a distinctive attitude in order to characterize sensory imagination: the attitudes involved in other states provide all the resources we need. Peter Langland-Hassan’s account of sensory imagination provides an example of such eliminativism. Via close examination of this account, I make manifest the three thoughts and their collective tendency to support eliminativism. I argue that all three are dubious, and that we should reject eliminativism; we need a distinctive imaginative attitude if we are to adequately explicate sensory imagination. (shrink)
This is the introductory chapter to the anthology: Inner Speech: New Voices, to be published in fall 2018 by OUP. It gives an overview of current debates in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience concerning inner speech, and situates the chapters of the volume with respect to those debates.
If imagination is subject to the will, in the sense that people choose the content of their own imaginings, how is it that one nevertheless can learn from what one imagines? This chapter argues for a way forward in addressing this perennial puzzle, both with respect to propositional imagination and sensory imagination. Making progress requires looking carefully at the interplay between one’s intentions and various kinds of constraints that may be operative in the generation of imaginings. Lessons are drawn from (...) the existing literature on propositional imagination and from the control theory literature concerning the prediction and comparison mechanisms (or “forward models”) involved in ordinary perception. A more general conclusion is reached that, once we have the tools to understand how some imaginings are both under willful control and helpfully guide action and inference, we will have what we need to understand the cognitive basis of imagination in general. (shrink)
Abstract: How it is that one's own thoughts can seem to be someone else's? After noting some common missteps of other approaches to this puzzle, I develop a novel cognitive solution, drawing on and critiquing theories that understand inserted thoughts and auditory verbal hallucinations in schizophrenia as stemming from mismatches between predicted and actual sensory feedback. Considerable attention is paid to forging links between the first-person phenomenology of thought insertion and the posits (e.g. efference copy, corollary discharge) of current cognitive (...) theories. I show how deficits in the subconscious mechanisms regulating inner speech may lead to a 'fractured phenomenology' responsible for schizophrenic patients' reports of inserted thoughts and auditory verbal hallucinations. Supporting work on virtual environments is discussed, and lessons concerning the fixity of delusional belief are drawn. (shrink)
Many theorists claim that inner speech is importantly linked to human metacognition (thinking about one's own thinking). However, their proposals all rely upon unworkable conceptions of the content and structure of inner speech episodes. The core problem is that they require inner speech episodes to have both auditory-phonological contents and propositional/semantic content. Difficulties for the views emerge when we look closely at how such contents might be integrated into one or more states or processes. The result is that, if inner (...) speech is especially valuable to metacognition, we do not currently understand why it is. The article concludes with two positive proposals for understanding the content and structure of inner speech episodes, which should serve as constraints on future accounts of the metacognitive value of inner speech. (shrink)
Much of what we say is never said aloud. It occurs only silently, as inner speech. We chastise, congratulate, joke and cajole, all without making a sound. This distinctively human ability to create public language in the privacy of our own minds is no less remarkable for its familiarity. And yet, until recently, inner speech remained at the periphery of philosophical and psychological theorizing. This essay collection, from an interdisciplinary group of leading philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists, displays the rapidly growing (...) interest among researchers in the puzzles surrounding the nature and cognitive role of the inner voice. Questions explored include: the aids and obstacles inner speech presents to self-knowledge; the complex relation it bears to overt speech production and perception; the means by which inner speech can be identified and empirically assessed; its role in generating auditory verbal hallucinations; and its relationship to conceptual thought itself. (shrink)
Musical collaboration emerges from the complex interaction of environmental and informational constraints, including those of the instruments and the performance context. Music improvisation in particular is more like everyday interaction in that dynamics emerge spontaneously without a rehearsed score or script. We examined how the structure of the musical context affords and shapes interactions between improvising musicians. Six pairs of professional piano players improvised with two different backing tracks while we recorded both the music produced and the movements of their (...) heads, left arms, and right arms. The backing tracks varied in rhythmic and harmonic information, from a chord progression to a continuous drone. Differences in movement coordination and playing behavior were evaluated using the mathematical tools of complex dynamical systems, with the aim of uncovering the multiscale dynamics that characterize musical collaboration. Collectively, the findings indicated that each backing track afforded the emergence of different patterns of coordination with respect to how the musicians played together, how they moved together, as well as their experience collaborating with each other. Additionally, listeners’ experiences of the music when rating audio recordings of the improvised performances were related to the way the musicians coordinated both their playing behavior and their bodily movements. Accordingly, the study revealed how complex dynamical systems methods can capture the turn-taking dynamics that characterized both the social exchange of the music improvisation and the sounds of collaboration more generally. The study also demonstrated how musical improvisation provides a way of understanding how social interaction emerges from the structure of the behavioral task context. (shrink)
Many philosophers and psychologists have sought to explain experiences of auditory verbal hallucinations and “inserted thoughts” in schizophrenia in terms of a failure on the part of patients to appropriately monitor their own inner speech. These self-monitoring accounts have recently been challenged by some who argue that AVHs are better explained in terms of the spontaneous activation of auditory-verbal representations. This paper defends two kinds of self-monitoring approach against the spontaneous activation account. The defense requires first making some important clarifications (...) concerning what is at issue in the dispute between the two forms of theory. A popular but problematic self-monitoring theory is then contrasted with two more plausible conceptions of what the relevant self-monitoring deficits involve. The first appeals to deficits in the neural mechanisms that normally filter or attenuate sensory signals that are the result of one’s own actions. The second, less familiar, form of self-monitoring approach draws an important analogy between Wernicke’s aphasia and AVHs in schizophrenia. This style of self-monitoring theory pursues possible connections among AVHs, inserted thoughts, and the disorganized speech characteristic formal thought disorder. (shrink)
Pretense is a topic of keen interest to philosophers and psychologists. But what is it, really, to pretend? What features qualify an act as pretense? Surprisingly little has been said on this foundational question. Here I defend an account of what it is to pretend, distinguishing pretense from a variety of related but distinct phenomena, such as (mere) copying and practicing. I show how we can distinguish pretense from sincerity by sole appeal to a person's beliefs, desires, and intentions – (...) and without circular recourse to an ‘intention to pretend’ or to a sui generis mental state of ‘imagining.’. (shrink)
It is widely held that introspection-based self-ascriptions of mental states are immune to error through misidentification , relative to the first person pronoun. Many have taken such errors to be logically impossible, arguing that the immunity holds as an “absolute” necessity. Here I discuss an actual case of craniopagus twins—twins conjoined at the head and brain—as a means to arguing that such errors are logically possible and, for all we know, nomologically possible. An important feature of the example is that (...) it is one where a person may be said to be introspectively aware of a mental state that occurs outside of her own mind. Implications are discussed for views of the relation between introspection and mental state ownership, and between introspection and epistemic criteria for the “mark of the mental.”. (shrink)
Despite the ubiquity of inner speech in our mental lives, methods for objectively assessing inner speech capacities remain underdeveloped. The most common means of assessing inner speech is to present participants with tasks requiring them to silently judge whether two words rhyme. We developed a version of this task to assess the inner speech of a population of patients with aphasia and corresponding language production deficits. As expected, patients’ performance on the silent rhyming task was severely impaired relative to controls. (...) More surprisingly, however, patients’ performance on this task did not correlate with their performance on a variety of other standard tests of overt language abilities. In particular, patients who were generally unimpaired in their abilities to overtly name objects during confrontation naming tasks, and who could reliably judge when two words spoken to them rhymed, were still severely impaired (relative to controls) at completing the silent rhyme task. This seems to suggest that inner speech was more severely impaired in these patients than outer speech. However, these results should also cause us to critically reflect on the relation between inner speech and silent rhyme judgments more generally. (shrink)
It is often held that in imagining experiences we exploit a special imagistic way of representing mentality—one that enables us to think about mental states in terms of what it is like to have them. According to some, when this way of thinking about the mind is paired with more objective means, an explanatory gap between the phenomenal and physical features of mental states arises. This paper advances a view along those lines, but with a twist. What many take for (...) a special imagistic way of thinking about experiences is instead a special way of misconstruing them. It is this tendency to misrepresent experiences through the use of imagery that gives rise to the appearance of an explanatory gap. The pervasiveness and tenacity of this misrepresentational reflex can be traced to its roots in a particular heuristic for monitoring and remembering the mental states of others. The arguments together amount to a new path for defending the transparency of perceptual experience. (shrink)
Visual imagination (or visualization) is peculiar in being both free, in that what we imagine is up to us, and useful to a wide variety of practical reasoning tasks. How can we rely upon our visualizations in practical reasoning if what we imagine is subject to our whims? The key to answering this puzzle, I argue, is to provide an account of what constrains the sequence in which the representations featured in visualization unfold—an account that is consistent with its freedom. (...) Three different proposals are outlined, building on theories that link visualization to sensorimotor predictive mechanisms (e.g., efference copies, forward models ). Each sees visualization as a kind of reasoning, where its freedom consists in our ability to choose the topic of the reasoning. Of the three options, I argue that the approach many will find most attractive—that visualization is a kind of off-line perception, and is therefore in some sense misrepresentational—should be rejected. The two remaining proposals both conceive of visualization as a form of sensorimotor reasoning that is constitutive of one’s commitments concerning the way certain kinds of visuomotor scenarios unfold. According to the first, these commitments impinge on one’s web of belief from without, in the manner of normal perceptual experience; according to the second, these commitments just are one’s (occurrent) beliefs about such generalizations. I conclude that, despite being initially counterintuitive, the view of visualization as a kind of occurrent belief is the most promising. (shrink)
This study examines the relation of language use to a person’s ability to perform categorization tasks and to assess their own abilities in those categorization tasks. A silent rhyming task was used to confirm that a group of people with post-stroke aphasia (PWA) had corresponding covert language production (or “inner speech”) impairments. The performance of the PWA was then compared to that of age- and education-matched healthy controls on three kinds of categorization tasks and on metacognitive self-assessments of their performance (...) on those tasks. The PWA showed no deficits in their ability to categorize objects for any of the three trial types (visual, thematic, and categorial). However, on the categorial trials, their metacognitive assessments of whether they had categorized correctly were less reliable than those of the control group. The categorial trials were distinguished from the others by the fact that the categorization could not be based on some immediately perceptible feature or on the objects’ being found together in a type of scenario or setting. This result offers preliminary evidence for a link between covert language use and a specific form of metacognition. (shrink)
To some it is a shallow platitude that inner speech always has an auditory-phonological component. To others, it is an empirical hypothesis with accumulating support. To yet others it is a false dogma. In this chapter, I defend the claim that inner speech always has an auditory-phonological component, confining the claim to adults with ordinary speech and hearing. It is one thing, I emphasize, to assert that inner speech often, or even typically, has an auditory-phonological component—quite another to propose that (...) it always does. When forced to argue for the stronger point, we stand to make a number of interesting discoveries about inner speech itself, and about our means for discriminating it from other psycholinguistic phenomena. Establishing the stronger conclusion also provides new leverage on debates concerning how we should conceive of, diagnose, and explain auditory verbal hallucinations and “inserted thoughts” in schizophrenia. (shrink)
How do we know when we have imagined something? How do we distinguish our imaginings from other kinds of mental states we might have? These questions present serious, if often overlooked, challenges for theories of introspection and self-knowledge. This paper looks specifically at the difficulties imagination creates for Neo-Expressivist, outward-looking, and inner sense theories of self-knowledge. A path forward is then charted, by considering the connection between the kinds of situations in which we can reliably say that another person is (...) imagining, and those in which we can say the same about ourselves. This view is a variation on the outward-looking approach, and preserves much of the spirit of Neo-Expressivism. (shrink)
This is a contribution to a book symposium on Joelle Proust’s The Philosophy of Metacognition: Mental Agency and Self-Awareness (OUP). While there is much to admire in Proust’s book, the legitimacy of her distinction between “procedural” and “analytic” metacognition can be questioned. Doing so may help us better understand the relevance of animal metacognition studies to human self-knowledge.
This chapter (from Routledge's forthcoming handbook on the philosophy of pain) considers the question of whether people are always correct when they judge themselves to be in pain, or not in pain. While I don't show sympathy for traditional routes to the conclusion that people are "incorrigible" in their pain judgments, I explore--and perhaps even advocate--a different route to such incorrigibility. On this low road to incorrigibility, a sensory state's being judged unpleasant is what makes it a pain (or not).
While Carruthers denies that humans have introspective access to cognitive attitudes such as belief, he allows introspective access to perceptual and quasi-perceptual mental states. Yet, despite his own reservations, the basic architecture he describes for third-person mindreading can accommodate first-person mindreading without need to posit a distinct mode of access to any of one's own mental states.
The standard cognitive theory of art claims that art can be insightful while maintaining that imagining is motivationally inert [Walton 1990] even when some epistemic advantage is claimed for it [Currie 1995]. However, if we assume art as art can be insightful, we also assume that the imagining it occasions has a lasting impact on belief. In this chapter, I argue that imagining of the kind occasioned by art can be held non-occurrently [Schellenberg 2013] without delusion and can motivate behaviour (...) [Gendler 2000, 2003, 2006a/b; Langland-Hassan 2016]. As such, certain features of imagination can be appreciated in a new light. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to discuss the theory of exemplary causality of Peter Auriol (1280-1322). Until at least the late 13th century, medieval authors claim that the world is orderly and intelligible because God created it according to the models existing eternally in his mind (i.e. divine ideas). Auriol challenges the view of his predecessors and contemporaries. He argues that assuming divine ideas amounts to assuming multiplicity in God and therefore questioning the principle of his absolute simplicity. (...) To avoid this problem, he develops a system that enables him to account for God’s knowledge of creatures (both as individuals and as species) and hence to preserve the theological principle of providence, but at the same time allows him to reject divine ideas as intermediaries for creation. In Auriol’s theory of exemplary causality, divine essence is the only object of God’s knowledge and thus the only exemplar for creation. God’s cognitive act is directed exclusively towards his own essence. However, he knows creatures through multiple connotations, i.e. the multiple ways divine essence is connotated when God knows himself. But these connotations play no role in creation, because imitability is only proper to divine essence. To explain how an object can be the only exemplar for the creation of many different creatures, Auriol has to rethink the concept of imitability and develop a new model of exemplary causality enabling him to account for the relationship between God and his creatures. The traditional model was that of analogy: a cause produces an effect which is partly similar and partly different from it. Auriol relies on the concept of equivocity. He argues that it is unnecessary to assume a particular similarity between a cause and its effect. Quite the contrary: for an object to be the exemplar of multiple different things, it is necessary that it should not be similar to any of them. The concept of aequivocatio allows Auriol to reject the traditional model of creation. Aequivocatio does not entail a resemblance between idea and ideatum. There is no contradiction, then, in claiming that a single object (divine essence) is in an equivocal way (aequivoce) the exemplary cause of multiple different objects. This is Auriol’s new theory of divine exemplarism: the theory of similitudo aequivoca. (shrink)
The article analyzes and criticizes the assumptions of Peter Van Inwagen’s argument for the alleged contradiction of the foreknowledge of God and human freedom. The argument is based on the sine qua non condition of human freedom defined as access to possible worlds containing such a continuation of the present in which the agent implements a different action than will be realized de facto in the future. The condition also contains that in every possible continuation of the present state (...) of affairs, the same propositions about the ‘present past’ (the past before the present moment) are true as are true in the present state of affairs. The paper argues that Van Inwagen’s reasoning is inconclusive, it contains the type of mistake of confusing conditional impossibility with unconditional and presents a methodologically wrong method of solving a philosophical problem. It is because in the very construction of the problem determining the available solution. The article points to the possibility that the human freedom of some action is not excluded by the fact that specific past facts logically entail that this event will occur. (shrink)
Peter Singer’s famous and influential article is criticised in three main ways that can be considered libertarian, although many non-libertarians could also accept them: 1) the relevant moral principle is more plausibly about upholding an implicit contract rather than globalising a moral intuition that had local evolutionary origins; 2) its principle of the immorality of not stopping bad things is paradoxical, as it overlooks the converse aspect that would be the positive morality of not starting bad things and also (...) thereby conceptually eliminates innocence; and 3) free markets—especially international free trade—have been cogently explained to be the real solution to the global “major evils” of “poverty” and “pollution”, while “overpopulation” does not exist in free-market frameworks; hence charity is a relatively minor alleviant to the problem of insufficiently free markets. There are also various subsidiary arguments throughout. (shrink)
Book review of Peter Boghossian, A Manual for Creating Atheists, Pitchstone Publishing, 2013, 280pp., $14.95, ISBN 978-1939578099 (paperback). Foreword by Michael Shermer. Science, Religion & Culture 1:2 (August 2014), 93-96 .
The important impact of the French Franciscan Peter Auriol (ca. 1280-1322) upon contemporary philosophical theology at Oxford is well known and has been well documented and analyzed, at least for a narrow range of issues, particularly in epistemology. This article attempts a more systematic treatment of his effects upon Oxford debates across a broader range of subjects and over a more expansive duration of time than has been done previously. Topics discussed include grace and merit, future contingents and divine (...) foreknowledge, and the logic of the Trinity. (shrink)
In his recent book on the problem of evil, Peter van Inwagen argues that both the global and local arguments from evil are failures. In this paper, we engagevan Inwagen’s book at two main points. First, we consider his understanding of what it takes for a philosophical argument to succeed. We argue that while his criterion for success is interesting and helpful, there is good reason to think it is too stringent. Second, we consider his responses to the global (...) and local arguments from evil. We argue that although van Inwagen may have adequately responded to each of these arguments, his discussion points us toa third argument from evil to which he has yet to provide a response. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Preface; Introduction; Part I. Global Health, Definitions and Descriptions: 1. What is global health? Solly Benatar and Ross Upshur; 2. The state of global health in a radically unequal world: patterns and prospects Ron Labonte and Ted Schrecker; 3. Addressing the societal determinants of health: the key global health ethics imperative of our times Anne-Emmanuelle Birn; 4. Gender and global health: inequality and differences Lesley Doyal and Sarah Payne; 5. Heath systems and health Martin McKee; Part (...) II. Global Health Ethics, Responsibilities and Justice: Some Central Issues: 6. Is there a need for global health ethics? For and against David Hunter and Angus Dawson; 7. Justice, infectious disease and globalisation Michael Selgelid; 8. International health inequalities and global justice: toward a middle ground Norman Daniels; 9. The human right to health Jonathan Wolff; 10. Responsibility for global health? Allen Buchanan and Matt DeCamp; 11. Global health ethics: the rationale for mutual caring Solly Benatar, Abdallah Daar and Peter Singer; Part III. Analyzing Some Reasons for Poor Health: 12. Trade and health: the ethics of global rights, regulation and redistribution Meri Koivusalo; 13. Debt, structural adjustment and health Jeff Rudin and David Sanders; 14. The international arms trade and global health Salahaddin Mahmudi-Azer; 15. Allocating resources in humanitarian medicine Samia Hurst, Nathalie Mezger and Alex Mauron; 16. International aid and global health Anthony Zwi; 17. Climate change and health: risks and inequities Sharon Friel, Colin Butler and Anthony McMichael; 18. Animals, the environment and global health David Benatar; 19. The global crisis and global health Stephen Gill and Isabella Bakker; Part IV. Shaping the Future: 20. Health impact fund: how to make new medicines accessible to all Thomas Pogge; 21. Biotechnology and global health Hassan Masun, Justin Chakma and Abdallah Daar; 22. Food security and global health Lynn McIntyre and Krista Rondeau; 23. International taxation Gillian Brock; 24. Global health research: changing the agenda Tikki Pang; 25. Justice and research in developing countries Alex John London; 26. Values in global health governance Kearsley Stewart, Gerald T. Keusch and Arthur Kleinman; 27. Poverty, distance and two dimensions of ethics Jonathan Glover; 28. Teaching global health ethics James Dwyer; 29. Towards a new common sense: the need for new paradigms of global health Isabella Bakker and Stephen Gill; Index. (shrink)
This article discusses the theories of perception of Robert Kilwardby and Peter of John Olivi. Our aim is to show how in challenging certain assumptions of medieval Aristotelian theories of perception they drew on Augustine and argued for the active nature of the soul in sense perception. For both Kilwardby and Olivi, the soul is not passive with respect to perceived objects; rather, it causes its own cognitive acts with respect to external objects and thus allows the subject to (...) perceive them. We also show that Kilwardby and Olivi differ substantially regarding where the activity of the soul is directed to and the role of the sensible species in the process, and we demonstrate that there are similarities between their ideas of intentionality and the attention of the soul towards the corporeal world. (shrink)
This paper offers an analysis of a hitherto neglected text on insoluble propositions dating from the late XiVth century and puts it into perspective within the context of the contemporary debate concerning semantic paradoxes. The author of the text is the italian logician Peter of Mantua (d. 1399/1400). The treatise is relevant both from a theoretical and from a historical standpoint. By appealing to a distinction between two senses in which propositions are said to be true, it offers an (...) unusual solution to the paradox, but in a traditional spirit that contrasts a number of trends prevailing in the XiVth century. It also counts as a remarkable piece of evidence for the reconstruction of the reception of English logic in italy, as it is inspired by the views of John Wyclif. Three approaches addressing the Liar paradox (Albert of Saxony, William Heytesbury and a version of strong restrictionism) are first criticised by Peter of Mantua, before he presents his own alternative solution. The latter seems to have a prima facie intuitive justification, but is in fact acceptable only on a very restricted understanding, since its generalisation is subject to the so-called revenge problem. (shrink)
This article discusses the theory of perception of Peter Auriol. Arguing for the active nature of the senses in perception, Auriol applies the Scotistic doctrine of objective being to the theory of perception. Nevertheless, he still accepts some parts of the theory of species. The paper introduces Auriol's view on the mechanism of perception and his account of illusions. I argue for a direct realist reading of Auriol's theory of perception and propose that his position becomes clearer if we (...) use the distinction between the first- and third-person perspectives which he seems to presuppose. (shrink)
Peter Stemmer has developed an elegant and impressive theory of normativity and morality. In this article, I try to show that he does not achieve two goals he set for himself. First, his theory does not capture the categorical bindingness of moral demands, even in Stemmer’s own interpretation of categorical bindingness: it does not show that we must follow moral demands no matter what our personal goals and desires are. Second, just because it would be rational to establish positive (...) moralities in a hypothetical pre-moral scenario, it does not follow – and Stemmer does not establish – that only positive moralities that are in the interest of all members are legitimate. For that reason, his contractarian theory collapses into relativism. (shrink)
This paper looks at the critical reception of two central claims of Peter Auriol’s theory of cognition: the claim that the objects of cognition have an apparent or objective being that resists reduction to the real being of objects, and the claim that there may be natural intuitive cognitions of nonexistent objects. These claims earned Auriol the criticism of his fellow Franciscans, Walter Chatton and Adam Wodeham. According to them, the theory of apparent being was what had led Auriol (...) to allow for intuitive cognitions of nonexistents, but the intuitive cognition of nonexistents, at its turn, led to scepticism. Modern commentators have offered similar readings of Auriol, but this paper argues, first, that the apparent being provides no special reason to think there could be intuitions of nonexistent objects, and second, that despite his idiosyncratic account of intuition, Auriol was no more vulnerable to scepticism than his critics. (shrink)
Peter Harrison's The Territories of Science and Religion throws down a serious challenge to advocates of dialogue as the primary means of engagement between science and religion. This article accepts the validity of this challenge and looks at four possible responses to it. The first—a return to the past—is rejected. The remaining three—exploring new epistemic frameworks for the encounter of science and religion, broadening out the engagement beyond the context of the physical sciences and Western culture, and looking at (...) ways in which scientific and theological practitioners may collaborate on practical problems—are all offered as potential ways in which science and religion may engage with one another, in ways which move beyond Harrison's critique. (shrink)