Feminist and trans theory challenges "the" binary sex/gender system, but can create a new binary opposition of subversive transgender versus conservative transsexual. This paper aims to shift debate concerning bodies as authentic/real versus constructed/mutable, arguing that such debate establishes a false dichotomy that may be overcome by reappraising scientific understandings of sex/gender. Much recent biology and neurology stresses nonlinearity, contingency, self-organization, and open-endedness. Engaging with this research offers ways around apparently interminable theoretical impasses.
This book offers a new interpretation of the metaphysics of Charles Peirce, the founder of pragmatism and one of America's greatest philosophers. Robert Lane begins by examining Peirce's basic realism, his belief in a world that is independent of how anyone believes it to be. Lane argues that this realism is the basis for Peirce's account of truth, according to which a true belief is one that would be settled by investigation and that also represents the real world. (...) He then explores Peirce's application of his Pragmatic Maxim to clarify the idea of reality, his two forms of idealism, and his realism about generality and vagueness. This rich study will provide readers with a clear understanding of Peirce's thoughts on reality and truth and how they intersect, and of his views on the relation between the mind and the external world. (shrink)
Philosophical and scientific investigations of the proprietary aspects of self—mineness or mental ownership—often presuppose that searching for unique constituents is a productive strategy. But there seem not to be any unique constituents. Here, it is argued that the “self-specificity” paradigm, which emphasizes subjective perspective, fails. Previously, it was argued that mode of access also fails to explain mineness. Fortunately, these failures, when leavened by other findings (those that exhibit varieties and vagaries of mineness), intimate an approach better suited to searching (...) for an explanation. Having an alternative in hand, one that shows promise of achieving explanatory adequacy, provides an additional reason to suspend the search for unique constituents. In short, a negative and a positive thesis are developed: we should cease looking for unique constituents and should seek to explain mineness in accord with the model developed here. This model rejects attempts to explain the phenomenon in terms of either a narrative or a minimal sense of self; it seeks to explain at a “molecular” level, one that appeals to multiple, interacting dimensions. The molecular-level model allows for the possibility that subjective perspective is distinct from a stark perspective (one that does not imply mineness). It proposes that the confounding of tacit expectations plays an important role in explaining mental ownership and its complement, disownership. But the confounding of tacit expectations is not sufficient. Because we are able to be aware of the existence of mental states that do not belong to self, we require a mechanism for determining degree of self-relatedness. One such mechanism is proposed here, and it is shown how this mechanism can be integrated into a general model of mental ownership. In the spirit of suggesting how this model might be able to help resolve outstanding problems, the question as to whether inserted thoughts belong to the patient who reports them is also considered. (shrink)
Among Plato's works, the Statesman is usually seen as transitional between the Republic and the Laws. This book argues that the dialogue deserves a special place of its own. Whereas Plato is usually thought of as defending unchanging knowledge, Dr Lane demonstrates how, by placing change at the heart of political affairs, Plato reconceives the link between knowledge and authority. The statesman is shown to master the timing of affairs of state, and to use this expertise in managing the (...) conflict of opposed civic factions. To this political argument corresponds a methodological approach which is seen to rely not only on the familiar method of 'division', but equally on the unfamiliar centrality of the use of 'example'. The demonstration that method and politics are interrelated transforms our understanding of the Statesman and its fellow dialogues. (shrink)
Since Freud, clinicians have understood that disturbing memories contribute to psychopathology and that new emotional experiences contribute to therapeutic change. Yet, controversy remains about what is truly essential to bring about psychotherapeutic change. Mounting evidence from empirical studies suggests that emotional arousal is a key ingredient in therapeutic change in many modalities. In addition, memory seems to play an important role but there is a lack of consensus on the role of understanding what happened in the past in bringing about (...) therapeutic change. The core idea of this paper is that therapeutic change in a variety of modalities, including behavioral therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, emotion-focused therapy, and psychodynamic psychotherapy, results from the updating of prior emotional memories through a process of reconsolidation that incorporates new emotional experiences. We present an integrated memory model with three interactive components – autobiographical memories, semantic structures, and emotional responses – supported by emerging evidence from cognitive neuroscience on implicit and explicit emotion, implicit and explicit memory, emotion-memory interactions, memory reconsolidation, and the relationship between autobiographical and semantic memory. We propose that the essential ingredients of therapeutic change include: reactivating old memories; engaging in new emotional experiences that are incorporated into these reactivated memories via the process of reconsolidation; and reinforcing the integrated memory structure by practicing a new way of behaving and experiencing the world in a variety of contexts. The implications of this new, neurobiologically grounded synthesis for research, clinical practice, and teaching are discussed. (shrink)
Sydney Shoemaker, developing an idea of Wittgenstein’s, argues that we are immune to error through misidentification relative to the first-person pronoun. Although we might be liable to error when “I” (or its cognates) is used as an object, we are immune to error when “I” is used as a subject (as when one says, “I have a toothache”). Shoemaker claims that the relationship between “I” as-subject and the mental states of which it is introspectively aware is tautological: when, say, we (...) judge that “I feel pain,” we are tautologically aware that feels pain is instantiated and that it is instantiated in oneself. Moreover, he contends that this relationship holds not just for bodily sensations, but also for the sense of agency and for visual perception. But we deny that this relationship is tautological; instead, we treat Shoemaker’s principle (IEM) as a hypothesis. We then proceed to show that certain pathological states and experimentally-induced illusions can be adduced to show that IEM describes not a necessary relationship but a contingent relationship, one that sometimes fails to obtain. That we are not immune to error in the way Shoemaker describes has grave consequences for many aspects of his ideas concerning the first-person perspective. In the course of arguing that these empirical phenomena count against IEM, we also show that not only can the content of conscious experience be misrepresented, so too can the subject: that is, not only can the what of conscious experience be misrepresented, so too can the who. (shrink)
Subjectivity theories of consciousness take self-reference, somehow construed, as essential to having conscious experience. These theories differ with respect to how many levels they posit and to whether self-reference is conscious or not. But all treat self-referencing as a process that transpires at the personal level, rather than at the subpersonal level, the level of mechanism. -/- Working with conceptual resources afforded by pre-existing theories of consciousness that take self-reference to be essential, several attempts have been made to explain seemingly (...) anomalous cases, especially instances of alien experience. These experiences are distinctive precisely because self-referencing is explicitly denied by the only person able to report them: those who experience them deny that certain actions, mental states, or body parts belong to self. The relevant actions, mental states, or body parts are sometimes attributed to someone or something other than self, and sometimes they are just described as not belonging to self. But all are referred away from self. -/- The cases under discussion here include somatoparaphrenia, schizophrenia, depersonalization, anarchic hand syndrome, and utilization behavior; the theories employed, Higher-Order Thought, Wide Intrinsicality, and Self-Representational. Below I argue that each of these attempts at explaining or explaining away the anomalies fails. Along the way, since each of these theories seeks at least compatibility with science, I sketch experimental approaches that could be used to adduce support for my position, or indeed for the positions of theorists with whom I disagree. -/- In a concluding section I first identify two presuppositions shared by all of the theorists considered here, and argue that both are either erroneous or misleading. Second, I call attention to divergent paths adopted when attempting to explain alienation experiences: some theorists choose to add a mental ingredient, while others prefer to subtract one. I argue that alienation from experience, action, or body parts could result from either addition or subtraction, and that the two can be incorporated within a comprehensive explanatory framework. Finally, I suggest that this comprehensive framework would require self-referencing of a sort, but self-referencing that occurs solely on the level of mechanism, or the subpersonal level. In adumbrating some features of this “subpersonal self,” I suggest that there might be one respect in which it is prior to conscious experience. (shrink)
Don Marquis has argued that abortion is immoral because it deprives the fetus of a "future like ours." But Marquis's argument fails by incorrectly assuming that a zygote and the late-term fetus with which it is physically continuous are numerically identical. In fact, the identity of a prebirth human (PBH) across gestation is indeterminate, such that it is determinately morally permissible to destroy an early-term PBH and determinately immoral to destroy a late-term PBH. Beginning at some indeterminate point during gestation (...) and ending at some indeterminate point later in gestation, destroying a PBH is neither determinately morally permissible nor determinately immoral. (shrink)
Can ordinary citizens in a democracy evaluate the claims of scientific experts? While a definitive answer must be case by case, some scholars have offered sharply opposed general answers: a skeptical versus an optimistic. The article addresses this basic conflict, arguing that a satisfactory answer requires a first-order engagement in judging the claims of experts which both skeptics and optimists rule out in taking the issue to be one of second-order assessments only. Having argued that such first-order judgments are necessary, (...) it then considers how they are possible, outlining a range of practices and virtues that can inform their success and likelihood, and drawing throughout on ancient Greek insights as well as contemporary social psychology and sociology of knowledge. In conclusion the ethics of democratic judgment so developed is applied to the dramatic conviction of the members of an Italian scientific risk commission in L'Aquila. (shrink)
It is not necessarily the case that we ever have experiences of self, but human beings do regularly report instances for which self is experienced as absent. That is there are times when body parts, mental states, or actions are felt to be alien. Here I sketch an explanatory framework for explaining these alienation experiences, a framework that also attempts to explain the “mental glue” whereby self is bound to body, mind, or action. The framework is a multi-dimensional model that (...) integrates personal and sub-personal components, psychological and neural processes. I then proceed to show how this model can be applied to explain the action-related passivity experiences of persons suffering from schizophrenia. I argue that a distinctive phenomenological mark of these experiences is that they are vividly felt, unlike ordinary actions (those taken to belong to self), and I seek to explain these heightened sensory experiences from within the proposed framework. I also propose hypotheses concerning such phenomena as thought insertion and anarchic hand syndrome that are motivated by this framework. Finally, I argue that the proposed model and view of self-experiences is consistent with several aspects of and theories of consciousness, especially theories which indicate that consciousness is more likely to be engaged when we are dealing with novelty or error—e.g. when self seems to have gone missing. I conclude by recommending that if we wish to learn about self, we would be well advised to attend closely to those times when it seems absent. (shrink)
This study reports the results of a survey designed to assess the impact of business education on the ethical beliefs of business students. The study examines the beliefs of graduate and undergraduate students about ethical behavior in educational settings. The investigation indicates that the behavior which students learn or perceive is required to succeed in business schools may run counter to the ethical sanctions of society and the business community.
Currently, one of the most influential theories of consciousness is Rosenthal's version of higher-order-thought (HOT). We argue that the HOT theory allows for two distinct interpretations: a one-component and a two-component view. We further argue that the two-component view is more consistent with his effort to promote HOT as an explanatory theory suitable for application to the empirical sciences. Unfortunately, the two-component view seems incapable of handling a group of counterexamples that we refer to as cases of radical confabulation. We (...) begin by introducing the HOT theory and by indicating why we believe it is open to distinct interpretations. We then proceed to show that it is incapable of handling cases of radical confabulation. Finally, in the course of considering various possible responses to our position, we show that adoption of a disjunctive strategy, one that would countenance both one-component and two-component versions, would fail to provide any empirical or explanatory advantage. (shrink)
During the last several years, philosophers of religion have witnessed a long-drawn debate between Nelson Pike and John Fischer on the problems of theological fatalism, Fischer claiming in his most recent contribution to have proved that even if God's past beliefs are ‘nice soft facts’, still theological fatalism cannot be averted. Unfortunately, this debate has not – at least it seems to this observer – served substantially either to clarify the issues involved or to move toward a resolution of the (...) question, but has instead confused matters by its use of misleading terminology and diverted the discussion into unpromising side roads. (shrink)
Children and adults from theus and China heard about people who died in two types of narrative contexts – medical and religious – and judged whether their psychological and biological capacities cease or persist after death. Most 5- to 6-year-olds reported that all capacities would cease. In theus, but not China, there was an increase in persistence judgments at 7–8 years, which decreased thereafter.uschildren’s persistence judgments were influenced by narrative context – occurring more often for religious narratives – and such (...) judgments were made especially for psychological capacities. When participants were simply asked what happens to people following death, in both countries there were age-graded increases in references to burial, religious ritual, and the supernatural. (shrink)
For many years, Charles Peirce maintained that all senses of the modal terms "possible" and "necessary" can be defined in terms of "states of information." But in 1896, he was motivated by his work in set theory to criticize that account of modality, and in 1905 he characterized that criticism as a return "to the Aristotelian doctrine of a real possibility ... the great step that was needed to render pragmaticism an intelligible doctrine." But since Peirce was a realist about (...) modality before 1896, and since he continued defining "possibility" in terms of "states of information" after that date, it is not clear exactly what he changed his mind about. In this essay I explain what it was that Peirce changed his mind about and why, in retrospect, he viewed that change as a decisive step in the development of pragmaticism. (shrink)
This study explores the reactions of 412 business students to a range of ethical marketing dilemmas. Reviewing some of the comparable Australian and U.S. research in the field, the study examines the ethical judgements for potential demographic differences. The findings suggest that a majority of students are prepared to act unethically in order to gain some competitive or personal advantage. Yielding the highest ethical response are situations of potential and significant social impact. The results support some previous research that shows (...) the existence of gender and age differences in ethical response and likely behaviour. This (gender) difference was most divergent on the issue of portrayal of women in advertising. In particular, females and older students respond more ethically in a majority of situations. The research concludes a number of opportunities for new directions in education, public policy making and further research. (shrink)
This study reports the results of a survey designed to assess the impact of education on the perceptions of ethical beliefs of students. The study examines the beliefs of students from selected colleges in an eastern university. The results indicate that beliefs which students perceive are required to succeed in the university differ among colleges. Business and economics students consistently perceive a greater need for unethical beliefs than students from other colleges.
Mental ownership concerns who experiences a mental state. According to David Rosenthal (2005: 342), the proper way to characterize mental ownership is: ‘being conscious of a state as present is being conscious of it as belonging to somebody. And being conscious of a state as belonging to somebody other than oneself would plainly not make it a conscious state’. In other words, if a mental state is consciously present to a subject in virtue of a higher-order thought (HOT), then the (...) HOT necessarily representsthe subject as the owner of the state. But, we contend, one of the lessons to be learned from pathological states like somatoparaphrenia is that conscious awareness of a mental state does not guarantee first-person ownership. That is to say, conscious presence does not imply mental ownership. (shrink)
This paper transposes for evaluation in relation to the concerns of Plato’s Politicus a claim developed by Verity Harte in the context of his Philebus, that ‘external imposition of a practical aim would in some way corrupt paideutic [philosophical] knowledge’. I argue that the Politicus provides a case for which the Philebus distinction may not allow: ruling, or statecraft, as embodying a form of knowledge that can be answerable to practical norms in a way that does not necessarily subordinate or (...) corrupt its epistemic norms. I argue further that while Harte shows that the Philebus develops a view of the ethical value for a knower in being a knower, the Politicus for its part does not develop any view of the ethical value for a knower in being a ruler. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis paper explores and reevaluates the place of Plato in the history of liberty. In the first half, reevaluating the view that he invents a concept of ‘positive liberty’ in the Republic, I argue for two claims: that he does not do so, insofar as this is not the way that virtuous psychological self-mastery in the Republic is understood, and that the Republic works primarily with the inverse concept of slavery, relying on entrenched Greek ideas about the badness of the (...) status of being a slave and the actions and dispositions associated with it. Turning in the second half to seek Platonic innovation not in the domain of ‘positive liberty’ but in reflection on liberty as a political value, understood as the liberty of action of citizens within the laws, I argue for two further claims: that as such a political value, liberty is limited and reshaped in both the Republic and the Laws to be compatible with obedience to rule / willingness to be ruled, ideally willing obedience; and that for this limited and reshaped value to be secured, such obedience must be manifested not only in regard to a constitution’s laws, but also to the magistrates who hold office within it. (shrink)
In what follows, I suggest that it makes good sense to think of the truth of the probabilistic generalizations made in the life sciences as metaphysically grounded in stochastic mechanisms in the world. To further understand these stochastic mechanisms, I take the general characterization of mechanism offered by MDC :1–25, 2000) and explore how it fits with several of the going philosophical accounts of chance: subjectivism, frequentism, Lewisian best-systems, and propensity. I argue that neither subjectivism, frequentism, nor a best-system-style interpretation (...) of chance will give us what we need from an account of stochastic mechanism, but some version of propensity theory can. I then draw a few important lessons from recent propensity interpretations of fitness in order to present a novel propensity interpretation of stochastic mechanism according to which stochastic mechanisms are thought to have probabilistic propensities to produce certain outcomes over others. This understanding of stochastic mechanism, once fully fleshed-out, provides the benefits of allowing the stochasticity of a particular mechanism to be an objective property in the world, a property investigable by science, a way of quantifying the stochasticity of a particular mechanism, and a way to avoid a problematic commitment to the causal efficacy of propensities. (shrink)
Bourdieu's academic work and his political interventions have always proved controversial, with reactions varying from passionate advocacy to savage critique. In the last decade of his career, the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu became involved in a series of high-profile political interventions, defending the cause of striking students and workers, speaking out in the name of illegal immigrants, the homeless, and the unemployed, challenging the incursion of the market into the field of artistic and intellectual production. This new study presents the (...) first sustained critical analysis of the political implications of Bourdieu's sociology. Through a close reading of the political speeches and pronouncements of his later years, Jeremy F. Lane provides a detailed exposition both of Bourdieu's critique of neo-liberalism and of his own political position. Bourdieu's theory of politics is also brought into critical dialogue with the work of a range of other commentators of a broadly Marxist or post-Marxist orientation who have also intervened in such debates - theorists such as Stuart Hall, Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Judith Butler, Slavoj Zizek and Jacques Rancière. The first sustained analysis of Bourdieu's politics - this study will seek to assess the validity of his claims as to the distinctiveness and superiority of his own field theory as a tool of political analysis. It will be of great use to students, and researchers in sociology, social theory; cultural studies, French studies and political science. (shrink)
We discuss three varieties of affective dynamics. In each case, we suggest how these affective dynamics should be operationalized and measured in daily life using time-intensive methods, like ecological momentary assessment or ambulatory assessment, and recommend time-sensitive analyses that take into account not only the variability but also the temporal dependency of reports. Studies that explore how these affective dynamics are associated with psychological disorders and symptoms are reviewed, and we emphasize that these affective processes are within a nexus of (...) other components of emotion regulation. (shrink)
This is the ﬁrst of two papers that examine Charles Peirce’s denial that human beings have a faculty of intuition. The semiotic and epistemo-logical aspects of that denial are well-known. My focus is on its neglected metaphysical aspect, which I argue amounts to the doctrine that there is no determinate boundary between the internal world of the cognizing subject and the external world that the subject cognizes. In the second paper, I will argue that the “objective idealism” of Peirce’s 1890s (...) cosmological series is a more general iteration of the metaphysical aspect of his earlier denial of intuition. (shrink)
There is a distinctive form of existential anxiety, neuroexistential anxiety, which derives from the way in which contemporary neuroscience provides copious amounts of evidence to underscore the Darwinian message—we are animals, nothing more. One response to this 21st century existentialism is to promote Eudaimonics, a version of ethical naturalism that is committed to promoting fruitful interaction between ethical inquiry and science, most notably psychology and neuroscience. We argue that philosophical reflection on human nature and social life reveals that while working (...) to be and remain biologically fit, humans also seek meaning in a way that conforms to a pattern recognized by Plato. We argue that human beings should seek “the good,” “the true,” and “the beautiful”; moreover, the proper measure of human flourishing is the degree to which humans achieve these three, in a maximally harmonious way. One potential problem with this view, however, is that it might privilege the role of truth, such that if there is a conflict among these three, what is good or beautiful should yield to what is true. But this seems to conflict with evidence from neuroscience and psychology (e.g. the study of positive illusions) which suggests that people with a tendency to form and harbor certain false beliefs tend to more easily achieve eudaimonia than do those for whom truth takes precedence in all domains. We argue that this conflict is only apparent: the false beliefs in question are not literally beliefs; instead, they are an amalgam of belief and desire, an amalgam that we dub, tertullian beliefs (or, t-beliefs). Among other things, what is distinctive about t-beliefs is that they are able to change the world, in certain specific ways, such that, strictly speaking, it would be erroneous to say of them that they aim away from the truth. Paradoxically, it is because they seem to aim away from the truth, that they are sometimes able to succeed in changing the world so that it matches what we desire, or, what we t-believe. (shrink)
In this book and the companion volume The Tenseless Theory of Time: A Critical Examination, Craig undertakes the first thorough appraisal of the arguments for and against the tensed and tenseless theories of time.
This article addresses the question of whether we should conceive of mechanisms as productive of change in a regular way. I argue that, if mechanisms are characterized as fully regular, on the one hand, then not enough processes will count as mechanisms for them to be interesting or useful. If no appeal to regularity is made at all in their characterization, on the other hand, then mechanisms can no longer be useful for grounding prediction and supporting intervention strategies. I conclude (...) that, if the New Mechanistic Philosophy is to be successful, a stochastic characterization of mechanisms must be adopted. (shrink)
"Correlation is not causation" is one of the mantras of the sciences—a cautionary warning especially to fields like epidemiology and pharmacology where the seduction of compelling correlations naturally leads to causal hypotheses. The standard view from the epistemology of causation is that to tell whether one correlated variable is causing the other, one needs to intervene on the system—the best sort of intervention being a trial that is both randomized and controlled. In this paper, we argue that some purely correlational (...) data contains information that allows us to draw causal inferences: statistical noise. Methods for extracting causal knowledge from noise provide us with an alternative to randomized controlled trials that allows us to reach causal conclusions from purely correlational data. (shrink)
The article considers structuralism as a philosophy of mathematics, as based on the commonly accepted explicit mathematical concept of a structure. Such a structure consists of a set with specified functions and relations satisfying specified axioms, which describe the type of the structure. Examples of such structures such as groups and spaces, are described. The viewpoint is now dominant in organizing much of mathematics, but does not cover all mathematics, in particular most applications. It does not explain why certain structures (...) are dominant, not why the same mathematical structure can have so many different and protean realizations. ‘structure’ is just one part of the full situation, which must somehow connect the ideal structures with their varied examples. (shrink)