This paper aims to show that the thought of Aristotle can shed much light on the irksome problems that lurk around the philosophical foundations of neuroscience. First, we will explore the ramifications of Aristotle’s mereological principle, namely, that it is not the eye that sees, but the human person that sees by the eye. Next, we shall draw upon the riches of Maxwell Bennett’s and Peter Hacker’s Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience in order to elucidate how Aristotle’s mereological principle can (...) be of service to contemporary neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers. In the third and fourth parts we aim to complement the project of PFN by showing how Aristotle’s philosophical anthropology and doctrine of pros hen equivocation can strengthen PFN’s response to eliminativists, reductionists, and other critics of “folk psychology.” Finally, our last section will investigate the kinds of correlations involved in brain scanning techniques, such as fMRI, so as to determine whether the most recent empirical discoveries do in fact support various critics’ rejection of “folk psychology.” We will show that the empirical evidence does not in fact favor eliminativist or reductionist views, and that we would do well to turn to the more Aristotelian approaches to neuroscience adopted by PFN and ourselves. (shrink)
Chronic pain is one of the most disabling conditions globally, yet we are still missing a satisfying theoretical framework to guide research and clinical practice. This is highly relevant as research and practice are not taking place in a vacuum but are always shaped by a particular philosophy of pain, that is, a set of implicitly or explicitly prevailing assumptions about what chronic pain is and how it is to be addressed. In looking at recent history, we identify a promising (...) trend from neuro-centrism to the application of the biopsychosocial model. Unfortunately, due to its limited theoretical foundation, the biopsychosocial model is too often implemented in a reductionist, fragmented, and linear manner. In particular, it remains too vague concerning the relationship between involved biological, psychological, and social processes. Sanneke de Haan prominently labeled this the integration problem. In this paper, we introduce five different facets of the integration problem that every philosophy of pain needs to address: (i) ontological, (ii) conceptual, (iii) explanatory, (iv) methodologicalMethodological, and (v) therapeutic. We develop an enactive theory of chronic pain and outline how far it provides solutions to these different integration challenges. (shrink)
In this chapter we give an overview of current and historical conceptions of the nature of obsessions and compulsions. We discuss some open questions pertaining to the primacy of the affective, volitional or affective nature of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Furthermore, we add some phenomenological suggestions of our own. In particular, we point to the patients’ need for absolute certainty and the lack of trust underlying this need. Building on insights from Wittgenstein, we argue that the kind of certainty the patients (...) strive for is unattainable in principle via the acquisition of factual knowledge. Moreover, we suggest that the patients’ attempts to attain certainty are counter-productive as their excessive conscious control in fact undermines the trust they need. (shrink)
According to the traditional Western concept of freedom, the ability to exercise free will depends on the availability of options and the possibility to consciously decide which one to choose. Since neuroscientific research increasingly shows the limits of what we in fact consciously control, it seems that our belief in free will and hence in personal autonomy is in trouble. -/- A closer look at the phenomenology of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) gives us reason to doubt the traditional concept of freedom (...) in terms of conscious control. Patients suffering from OCD experience themselves as unfree. The question is whether their lack of freedom is due to a lack of will power. Do they have too little conscious control over their thoughts and actions? Or could it be the opposite: are they exerting too much conscious control over their thoughts and actions? -/- In this chapter, we will argue that OCD patients testify to the general condition that exercising an increased conscious control over actions can in fact diminish the sense of agency rather than increase the experience of freedom. The experiences of these patients show that the traditional conception of freedom in terms of ‘free will’ has major shortcomings. There is an alternative, however, to be found in the work of Hannah Arendt. She advocates a conception of freedom as freedom in action. Combined with phenomenological insights on action, Arendt’s account of freedom helps us to get a more adequate understanding of the role of deliberation in the experience of freedom. We argue that the experience of freedom depends on the right balance between deliberate control and unreflective actions. (shrink)
Vlak vóór zijn terechtstelling gaf Sokrates aan zijn leerling Krito de opdracht 'nog een haan te offeren aan Asklepios', de god van de gezondheid. Niet omdat hij door zijn dood van het leven genezen zou zijn, maar omdat een leven in onwaarheid erger zou zijn dan de dood. Maar wat betekent leven in waarheid concreet? Op basis van zijn eigen ervaringen en een intense lectuur van de filosofische klassieken tracht Ludo Abicht die vraag te beantwoorden. Het atheïsme in dit (...) boek is de kinderziekte van het antiklerikalisme ontgroeid; het rationalisme houdt rekening met de realiteit van gevoelens en passies. (shrink)
De Haan has provided a novel and distinctly enactivist solution to the problem of integrating the physiological, experiential, social and existential. We admire her articulation of her fourth "existential" dimension. Not only does it represent a real attempt to bridge, as she says, enactivism's explanatory gap, it is also a potentially useful construct for conceptualizing the way that self-reflexivity seems to go astray in much psychopathology. We think that pinpointing this phenomenon is something that phenomenological accounts excel at. We (...) have, however, two key reservations about her account, which we outline.To begin with, we are unsure that there is any particular scientific research program that derives from... (shrink)
I argue that culpable ignorance can be irreducibly collective. In some cases, it is not fair to expect any individual to have avoided her ignorance of some fact, but it is fair to expect the agents together to have avoided their ignorance of that fact. Hence, no agent is individually culpable for her ignorance, but they are culpable for their ignorance together. This provides us with good reason to think that any group that is culpably ignorant in this irreducibly collective (...) sense is non-distributively collectively responsible for subsequent unwitting acts and consequences. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the cognitive/computational and evolutionary levels. It describes three proposals to make cognition computationally tractable, namely: Resource Rationality, the Adaptive Toolbox and Massive Modularity. While each of these proposals appeals to evolutionary considerations to dissolve the intractability of cognition, Rich, Blokpoel, de Haan, and van Rooij argue that, in each case, the intractability challenge is not resolved, but just relocated to the level of evolution.
This paper investigates agents’ blameworthiness when they are part of a group that does harm. We analyse three factors that affect the scope of an agent’s blameworthiness in these cases: shared intentionality, interpersonal influence, and common knowledge. Each factor involves circumstantial luck. The more each factor is present, the greater is the scope of each agent’s vicarious blameworthiness for the other agents’ contributions to the harm. We then consider an agent’s degree of blameworthiness, as distinct from her scope of blameworthiness. (...) We suggest that an agent mostly controls her degree of blameworthiness—but even here, luck constrains what possible degrees of blameworthiness are open to her. (shrink)
In this paper, we focus on the moral responsibility of organized groups in light of historicism. Historicism is the view that any morally responsible agent must satisfy certain historical conditions, such as not having been manipulated. We set out four examples involving morally responsible organized groups that pose problems for existing accounts of historicism. We then pose a trilemma: one can reject group responsibility, reject historicism, or revise historicism. We pursue the third option. We formulate a Manipulation Condition and a (...) Guarding Condition as addendums to historicism that are necessary to accommodate our cases of group responsibility. (shrink)
People suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) do things they do not want to do, and/or they think things they do not want to think. In about 10 percent of OCD patients, none of the available treatment options is effective. A small group of these patients is currently being treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS). Deep brain stimulation involves the implantation of electrodes in the brain. These electrodes give a continuous electrical pulse to the brain area in which they are implanted. (...) It turns out that patients may experience profound changes as a result of DBS treatment. It is not just the symptoms that change; patients rather seem to experience a different way of being in the world. These global effects are insufficiently captured by traditional psychiatric scales, which mainly consist of behavioural measures of the severity of the symptoms. In this article we aim to capture the changes in the patients’ phenomenology and make sense of the broad range of changes they report. For that we introduce an enactive, affordance-based model that fleshes out the dynamic interactions between person and world in four aspects. The first aspect is the patients’ experience of the world. We propose to specify the patients’ world in terms of a field of affordances, with the three dimensions of broadness of scope (‘width’ of the field), temporal horizon (‘depth’), and relevance of the perceived affordances (‘height’). The second aspect is the person-side of the interaction, that is, the patients’ self-experience, notably their moods and feelings. Thirdly, we point to the different characteristics of the way in which patients relate to the world. And lastly, the existential stance refers to the stance that patients take towards the changes they experience: the second-order evaluative relation to their interactions and themselves. With our model we intend to specify the notion of being in the world in order to do justice to the phenomenological effects of DBS treatment. (shrink)
We propose to understand social affordances in the broader context of responsiveness to a field of relevant affordances in general. This perspective clarifies our everyday ability to unreflectively switch between social and other affordances. Moreover, based on our experience with Deep Brain Stimulation for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients, we suggest that psychiatric disorders may affect skilled intentionality, including responsiveness to social affordances.
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a relatively new, experimental treatment for patients suffering from treatment-refractory Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The effects of treatment are typically assessed with psychopathological scales that measure the amount of symptoms. However, clinical experience indicates that the effects of DBS are not limited to symptoms only: patients for instance report changes in perception, feeling stronger and more confident, and doing things unreflectively. Our aim is to get a better overview of the whole variety of changes that (...) OCD patients experience during DBS treatment. For that purpose we conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 18 OCD patients. In this paper, we present the results from this qualitative study.We list the changes grouped in four domains: with regard to (a) person, (b) (social) world, (c)characteristics of person-world interactions, and (d) existential stance. We subsequently provide an interpretation of these results. In particular, we suggest that many of these changes can be seen as different expressions of the same process; namely that the experience of anxiety and tension gives way to an increased basic trust and increased reliance on one’s abilities. We then discuss the clinical implications of our findings, especially with regard to properly informing patients of what they can expect from treatment, the usefulness of including CBT in treatment, and the limitations of current measures of treatment success. We end by making several concrete suggestions for further research. (shrink)
The need for a model -- Currently available models in psychiatry -- Introduction to enactivism -- Body and mind - and world -- The existential dimension and its role in psychiatry -- Enriched enactivism : existential sense-making, values, and socio-cultural worlds -- Enactive psychiatry : psychiatric disorders are disorders of sense-making -- An enactive approach to causes, diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders.
Psychiatry is enormously complex. One of its main difficulties is how to connect the wide diversity of factors that may cause or contribute to the problems at hand, factors ranging from traumatic experiences, dysfunctional neurotransmitters, existential worries, economic deprivation, and social exclusion, to genetic bad luck. Interventions are also diverse, with options including chemical or electrical treatment, therapies aimed at behavior change and those promoting insight. Much is still unknown: what are the causal pathways, which interventions work best for which (...) patients and why?In practice, many mental health care professionals work holistically in a pragmatic and eclectic way. Without using any explicit... (shrink)
Si l’on devait choisir un seul ouvrage pour mettre en valeur des sources, des méthodes de recherche et l’apport historiographique d’historiennes, ce serait ce travail sur Rosa Manus, juive néerlandaise féministe et pacifiste. Comme directrices du volume, Myriam Eberhard et Francisca de Haan ont produit un travail exemplaire. Les trois parties rassemblent huit contributions d’auteures de diverses nationalités, vingt-et-une photographies resituées dans leur contexte et treize documents historiq...
'This book is an excellent, theoretically sound and politically relevant reader', Professor Wolfschaefer, Universitat des Bundeswehr, Hamburg 'Up to date complete overview of European monetary and fiscal policy issues. Highly readable, good mix of theory and data' 'I think the book contains a wealth of useful, precise information, presented in a straightforward, readable way in a quintessentially comparative perspective', Dr M Mclean, Royal Holloway University 'Excellent treatment - quite comprehensive, full references, accessible for non-economists', Charlotte Bretherton, Liverpool John Moores Univesity (...) 'A useful addition to student literature', MJ Macmillan, Exeter University 'This is a top class book and does not limit itself to assessing the adequacy of the European political economy to the precepts of advanced monetary economics...This book is an excellent tool for teaching EMU economics, and raising the level of EMU economics in the reaserch-field of international political economy. Students and scholars will appreciate the explicit assessment the authors make of complex economic issues, and their unbiased stance in the study of EMU economic and political interplay.' Miriam L.Campamella, Jean Monnet Professor, Faculty of Political Science, University of Turin. ECSA Review, Winter 2001This textbook offers a fresh and comprehensive examination of European monetary and fiscal policy in the third stage of Economic and Monetary Union. Professors Eijffinger and de Haan give a brief history of European economic integration before the transition to EMU, and continue with a comprehensive analysis of institutions, legislation, and policies. Their analysis includes the functions and goals of the European Central Bank, the Treaty on European Union, the Stability and Growth Pact, and the harmonization of taxes. Other topics discussed include the targets and instruments of European monetary policy, the integration of European financial markets, and the competition between financial institutions in Europe. (shrink)
Does DBS change a patient’s personality? This is one of the central questions in the debate on the ethics of treatment with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). At the moment, however, this important debate is hampered by the fact that there is relatively little data available concerning what patients actually experience following DBS treatment. There are a few qualitative studies with patients with Parkinson’s disease and Primary Dystonia and some case reports, but there has been no qualitative study yet with patients (...) suffering from psychiatric disorders. In this paper, we present the experiences of 18 patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) who are undergoing treatment with DBS. We will also discuss the inherent difficulties of how to define and assess changes in personality, in particular for patients with psychiatric disorders. We end with a discussion of the data and how these shed new light on the conceptual debate about how to define personality. (shrink)
Collective moral agents can cause their own moral incapacity. If an agent is morally incapacitated, then the agent is exempted from responsibility. Due to self-induced moral incapacity, corporate responsibility gaps resurface. To solve this problem, I first set out and defend a minimalist account of moral competence for group agents. After setting out how a collective agent can cause its own moral incapacity, I argue that self-induced temporary exempting conditions do not free an agent from diachronic responsibility once the agent (...) regains its moral faculties. For collective agents, any exempting condition is potentially temporary due to the ‘malleability’ of their constitution. Therefore, in cases of self-induced moral incapacity and subsequent wrongdoing, unlike individuals, every collective agent can be (made) morally responsible for its actions even though it did not qualify as a moral agent at the time of wrongdoing. Hence, this is no reason for skepticism concerning corporate responsibility. (shrink)
There is good reason to think that moral responsibility as accountability is tied to the violation of moral demands. This lends intuitive support to Type-Symmetry in the collective realm: A type of responsibility entails the violation or unfulfillment of the same type of all-things-considered duty. For example, collective responsibility necessarily entails the violation of a collective duty. But Type-Symmetry is false. In this paper I argue that a non-agential group can be collectively responsible without thereby violating a collective duty. To (...) show this I distinguish between four types of responsibility and duty in collective contexts: corporate, distributed, collective, shared. I set out two cases: one involves a non-reductive collective action that constitutes irreducible wrongdoing, the other involves a non-divisible consequence. I show that the violation of individual or shared duties both can lead to irreducible wrongdoing for which only the group is responsible. Finally, I explain why this conclusion does not upset any work on individual responsibility. (shrink)
Gilbert et al. argue that the concerns about the influence of Deep Brain Stimulation on – as they lump together – personality, identity, agency, autonomy, authenticity and the self are due to an ethics hype. They argue that there is only a small empirical base for an extended ethics debate. We will critically examine their claims and argue that Gilbert and colleagues do not show that the identity debate in DBS is a bubble, they in fact give very little evidence (...) for that. Rather they show the challenges of doing research in a field that is stretched out over multiple disciplines. In that sense their paper is an important starting point for a discussion on methodology and offers valuable lessons for a future research agenda. (shrink)
The functions of the somatosensory system are multiple. We use tactile input to localize and experience the various qualities of touch, and proprioceptive information to determine the position of different parts of the body with respect to each other, which provides fundamental information for action. Further, tactile exploration of the characteristics of external objects can result in conscious perceptual experience and stimulus or object recognition. Neuroanatomical studies suggest parallel processing as well as serial processing within the cerebral somatosensory system that (...) reflect these separate functions, with one processing stream terminating in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), and the other terminating in the insula. We suggest that, analogously to the organisation of the visual system, somatosensory processing for the guidance of action can be dissociated from the processing that leads to perception and memory. In addition, we find a second division between tactile information processing about external targets in service of object recognition and tactile information processing related to the body itself. We suggest the posterior parietal cortex subserves both perception and action, whereas the insula principally subserves perceptual recognition and learning. (shrink)
Psychiatric disorders involve changes in how you feel, think, perceive, and/or act—and the same goes for psychotropic medication. How then do you know whether certain thoughts or feelings are genuine expressions of yourself, or whether they are colored by your psychiatric illness, or by the medication you take? Or, as Karp nicely sums up the problem: “if I experience X, is it because of the illness, the medication, or is it “just me’?” Such “self-illness ambiguity” seems to be quite an (...) ubiquitous problem in psychiatry. It is a very unsettling problem, moreover, and not easy to resolve.In their... (shrink)
Infinite Hope, rich with inspirational true stories and breathtaking artwork, will bless you with the kind of hope that never fades and always brightens the darkest paths of life. This is no ordinary hope, but instead a life-transforming hope. It is a hope that will fill you with confidence and inspire you to find peace with yourself and your circumstances. Stories and insights about suffering and the goodness of God, along with illustrations from Joni Eareckson Tada and Jill DeHaan, will (...) give you a richer, deeper love for Christ, the Blessed Hope."--Provided by publisher. (shrink)
The notion of embodiment is central to the phenomenological approach to schizophrenia. This paper argues that fundamental concepts for the understanding of schizophrenia have a bodily dimension. We present two single cases of first-onset schizophrenic patients and analyze the reports of their experiences. Problems such as loss of self, loss of common sense, and intentionality disorders reveal a disconnectedness that can be traced back to a detachment from the lived body. Hyperreflectivity and hyperautomaticity are used as coping mechanisms, but reflect (...) the same problem of the split between body and mind. It is argued that the sole focus on cognitive impairments leads to a distorted image of schizophrenia, and that the acknowledgment of its fundamental bodily roots enables one to see the coherence between the diverse symptoms. As for the practical implications of the phenomenological approach, further research is needed to investigate if and how body- and movement-oriented therapies might strengthen the embodiment of schizophrenic patients. (shrink)
We challenge Gallagher’s distinction between the sense of ownership and the sense of agency as two separable modalities of experience of the minimal self and argue that a careful investigation of the examples provided to promote this distinction in fact reveals that SO and SA are intimately related and modulate each other. We propose a way to differentiate between the various notions of SO and SA that are currently used interchangeably in the debate, and suggest a more gradual reading of (...) the two that allows for various blends of SO and SA. Such an approach not only provides us with a richer phenomenology but also with a more parsimonious view of the minimal self. (shrink)
According to some collectivists, purposive groups that lack decision-making procedures such as riot mobs, friends walking together, or the pro-life lobby can be morally responsible and have moral duties. I focus on plural subject- and we-mode-collectivism. I argue that purposive groups do not qualify as duty-bearers even if they qualify as agents on either view. To qualify as a duty-bearer, an agent must be morally competent. I develop the Update Argument. An agent is morally competent only if the agent has (...) sufficient positive and negative control over updating their goal-seeking states. Positive control involves the general ability to update one’s goal-seeking states, whereas negative control involves the absence of other agents with the capacity to arbitrarily interfere with updating one’s goal-seeking states. I argue that even if purposive groups qualify as plural subjects or we-mode group agents, these groups necessarily lack negative control over updating their goal-seeking states. This creates a cut-off point for groups as duty-bearers: Organized groups may qualify as duty-bearers, whereas purposive groups cannot qualify as duty-bearers. (shrink)
Many philosophers accept the idea that there are duties to promote or create just institutions. But are the addressees of such duties supposed to be individuals – the members of the citizenry? What does it mean for an individual to promote or create just institutions? According to the ‘Simple View’, the citizenry has a collective duty to create or promote just institutions, and each individual citizen has an individual duty to do their part in this collective project. The simple view (...) appears to work well with regard to – you guessed it – ‘simple’ scenarios but it is riddled with further questions and problems. In this chapter, we raise five problems for the Simple View: (a) We suggest that one cannot develop a view concerning the citizenry’s duty to promote just institutions in isolation from a conception of the ontological relationship between the state and its citizens; (b) We argue that it is not obvious that the citizenry is the right entity to be attributed duties in the first place; (c) We show that a plausible account of collective duties to promote just institutions must not remain silent on the complexities and difficulties amorphous, unorganized group face in vis-à-vis collective action; (d) We contend that without allocation principles for contributory duties amongst the citizenry, or – alternatively – a method for practical deliberation that is action-guiding in collective action contexts, the claim that the citizens have a collective duty to promote just institutions remains moot; and, finally, (e) We demonstrate that the problem of reasonable disagreement is a serious threat to a collective duty to promote or create just institutions – it potentially undermines such a duty altogether and allows for conflicting contributory duties amongst the citizenry. We hope that our discussion will ultimately help improve existing theories and conceptual frameworks with a view to better understanding citizens’ obligations to promote justice under non-ideal conditions. (shrink)
This study examines a number of different answers to the question: wheredoes Avicenna demonstrate the existence of God within the Metaphysics of the Healing? Many interpreters have contended that there is an argument for God’s existence in Metaphysics of the Healing I.6–7. In this study I show that such views are incorrect and that the only argument for God’s existence in the Metaphysics of the Healing is found in VIII.1–3. My own interpretation relies upon a careful consideration of the scientific (...) order and first principles of the Metaphysics of the Healing, paying attention to Avicenna’s own explicit statements concerning the goals andintentions of different books and chapters, and a close analysis of the structure ofthe different arguments found in the relevant texts of the Metaphysics of the Healing. I conclude that Avicenna’s explicit goal in I.6–7 is to establish the properties that belong to necessary existence and possible existence, which consists, not in ademonstration of God’s existence, but in a dialectical treatment of the first principlesof metaphysics. (shrink)
We whole-heartedly agree with Mecacci and Haselager(2014) on the need to investigate the psychosocial effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS), and particularly to find out how to prevent adverse psychosocial effects. We also agree with the authors on the value of an embodied, embedded, enactive approach (EEC) to the self and the mind–brain problem. However, we do not think this value primarily lies in dissolving a so-called “maladaptation” of patients to their DBS device. In this comment, we challenge three central (...) claims of the authors on the basis of our direct experience with psychosocial effects of DBS in 45 obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD) patients treated at the AMC in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and our indepth qualitative interviews with 18 of them (de Haan et al. 2013). We end our comment by sketching out our perspective on the practical merits of an EEC approach to DBS. (shrink)