Argues that the key distinction between human and nonhuman social cognition consists in our complex, diverse and flexible capacities to shape each other's minds in ways that make them easier to interpret.
We propose a new schema for the deduction theorem and prove that the deductive system S of a prepositional logic L fulfills the proposed schema if and only if there exists a finite set A(p, q) of propositional formulae involving only prepositional letters p and q such that A(p, p) L and p, A(p, q) s q.
The article analyses systematically and historically the specific idea of transcendentalism developed in the Marburg School of Neo-Kantianism. The unique line of the Marburg’s School interpretation of Kant’s critical philosophy consists in contrasting critical and dogmatic understandings of basic philosophical concepts. This line is characteristic of the Marburg School idealism, and it perfectly grasps Ernst Cassirer’s peculiar understanding of philosophy—as “the critique of knowledge.” The main thesis of this paper is the following one: the critical method understood as the method (...) of searching for fundamental principles and conditions of possibility of objectiveness is a basic tool of analysis and investigations carried out by Cassirer. (shrink)
The problem of ‘divine hiddenness’ arises from the lack of an explanation for why an all-loving God would choose not to make his existence evident. I argue that Kant provides a compelling solution to this problem in an often overlooked passage located near the end of the second Critique. Kant’s suggestion is that God’s revealing himself would preclude the development of virtue because we would lose the experience of conflict between self-interest and the law. I provide a reconstruction and defence (...) of Kant’s argument, and I explain why it is consistent with his overall position in the second Critique. (shrink)
A generalized Wittgensteinian semantics for propositional languages is presented, based on a lattice of elementary situations. Of these, maximal ones are possible worlds, constituting a logical space; minimal ones are logical atoms, partitioned into its dimensions. A verifier of a proposition is an elementary situation such that if real it makes true. The reference (or objective) of a proposition is a situation, which is the set of all its minimal verifiers. (Maximal ones constitute its locus.) Situations are shown to form (...) a Boolean algebra, and the Boolean set algebra of loci is its representation. Wittgenstein's is a special case, admitting binary dimensions only. (shrink)
W.E.B. Du Bois’s elegy for his infant son, “Of the Passing of the First-Born,” in The Souls of Black Folk, has received relatively scant attention from political theorists. Yet it illuminates crucial developments in Du Bois’s political thought. It memorializes a tragedy central to his turn from scientific facts to rhetorical appeals to emotion. Its rhetoric also exemplifies a broader tension in his writings, between masculinist and elitist commitments and more insurrectionary impulses. In its normalizing rhetorical mode, which dominates, the (...) elegy depicts an idealized patriarchal bourgeois household—potentially eliciting white readers’ sympathetic identification, but failing to displace the gendered and classed logic of racial exclusion. Its moments of transgressive rhetoric complicate or refuse such identification, celebrating Burghardt’s racial impurity and invoking a lineage of black maternal ambivalence. Though each is vexed and ephemeral, these moments of transgressive rhetoric reveal countervailing impulses that Du Bois would articulate in later writings. (shrink)
According to the evaluativist theory of bodily pain, the overall phenomenology of a painful experience is explained by attributing to it two types of representational content—an indicative content that represents bodily damage or disturbance, and an evaluative content that represents that condition as bad for the subject. This paper considers whether evaluativism can offer a suitable explanation of aversive auditory phenomenology—the experience of awful noises—and argues that it can only do so by conceding that auditory evaluative content would be guilty (...) of widespread error. Defending such an error-theory, moreover, comes with several explanatory costs. (shrink)
The paper applies the theory presented in A Formal Ontology of Situations (this journal, vol. 41 (1982), no. 4) to obtain a typology of metaphysical systems by interpreting them as different ontologies of situations. Four are treated in some detail: Hume's diachronic atomism, Laplacean determinism, Hume's synchronic atomism, and Wittgenstein's logical atomism. Moreover, the relation of that theory to the situation semantics of Perry and Barwise is discussed.
Probably no intellectual has suffered more distortion and abuse than Spencer. He is continually condemned for things he never said – indeed, he is taken to task for things he explicitly denied. The target of academic criticism is usually the mythical Spencer rather than the real Spencer; and although some critics may derive immense satisfaction from their devastating refutations of a Spencer who never existed, these treatments hinder rather than advance the cause of knowledge.
Many contemporary epistemologists take rational inference to be a conscious action performed by the thinker (Boghossian 2014; 2018; Valaris 2014; Malmgren 2018). It is tempting to think that rational evaluability requires responsibility, which in turn requires conscious action. In that case, unconscious cognition involves merely associative or otherwise arational processing. This paper argues instead for deep rationalism: unconscious inference often exhibits the same rational status and richly structured logical character as conscious inference. The central case study is rationalization, in which (...) people shift their attitudes in logically structured, reason-responsive ways in response to evidence of their own incompetence or immorality. These attitude shifts are irrational in a way that reflects on the thinker. Thus rationally evaluable inference extends downward into the unconscious. Many take the sole aim of belief to be truth (Velleman 2000) or knowledge (Williamson 2000), but the prevalence of rationalization suggests that belief updating often aims instead at preserving our positive conceptions of ourselves—that is, belief updating is part of a psychological immune system (Gilbert 2006; Mandelbaum 2019). This paper argues that the psychological immune system comprises a suite of distinct cognitive mechanisms, some (ir)rational and some arational, which are united by a common function of avoiding the maladaptive predomination of negative affect and maintaining stable motivation. Other aspects of the psychological immune system include (i) a domain-general positive bias in evaluative attitudes and (ii) “terror management,” i.e., the systematic strengthening of meaning-conferring beliefs to avoid death anxiety. The multiplicity of processes underlying the psychological immune system point toward an irrational but adaptive function of cognition to keep us motivated in a world rife with negativity and death. (shrink)
The essey The concept of Reality is a part of the first systematic work of Ernst Cassirer, the alumnus of the Marburg school, titled Substanzbegriff und Funktionsbegriff. Untersuchungen über Grundfragen der Erkenntniskritik. It developed certain position concerning the problem of reality, which is representative for this school. This conception, and especially the shift of cognitive perspective, from substantial to functional, contained in it, is crucial as far as the whole later Cassirer’s work is concerned and it comes as the foundation (...) for the subsequent theory of symbolic forms. (shrink)
This paper deals with Boolean algebras supplied with an additional binary operation, calledB-algebras for short.The aim of the paper is to generalize some theorems concerning topological Boolean algebras to more comprehensive classes ofB-algebras, to formulate fundamental properties ofB-algebras, and to find more important relationships of these algebras to other known algebras.
Using randomly generated sequences of binary events we asked participants to make predictions about the next event. It turned out that while predicting uncertain events, people do not behave unsystematically. Our research identifies four types of relatively consistent strategies for predicting uncertain binary events: a strategy immune to short-run sequential dependencies consisting of the persistent prediction of long-run majority events, hereafter called the long-run momentum strategy ; a strategy immune to short-run sequential dependencies consisting of the persistent prediction of long-run (...) minority events, called the long-run contrarian strategy ; a strategy sensitive to short-run sequential dependencies consisting of the prediction of short-run majority events, called the short-run momentum strategy ; and a strategy sensitive to short-run sequential dependencies consisting of the prediction of short-run minority events, called the short-run contrarian strategy . When the character of events remains unknown, the most common strategy is the short-run momentum strategy. With the increase of a perceived randomness of the situation, people tend more often to use the short-run contrarian strategy. People differ in their general beliefs about the continuation or reversal of a trend in various natural and social processes. Trend believers, when facing sequences of binary events commonly perceived as random, tend to use momentum strategies, whereas those who believe in the trend's reversal tend to use contrarian strategies. (shrink)