Every time we look around we can see a rich and detailed world surrounding us. Nevertheless, the majority of visual information seems to slip out of our thoughts instantly. Can we still say that this fleeting percept of the entire world was a conscious percept in the first place, as Block proposes?
In O'Regan & Noë's (O&N's) account for the phenomenal experience of seeing, awareness is equated to what is within the current focus of attention. They find no place for a distinction between phenomenal and access awareness. In doing so, they essentially present a dualistic solution to the mind-brain problem, and ignore that we do have phenomenal experience of what is outside the focus of attention.
The main claim of this book is that the very same distinction between semantic singularity and plurality that is fundamental to the semantics of nouns in the nominal domain is operative and fundamental in the verbal domain as well, applying ...
We discuss a recent approach to investigating cognitive control, which has the potential to deal with some of the challenges inherent in this endeavour. In a model-based approach, the researcher deﬁnes a formal, computational model that performs the task at hand and whose performance matches that of a research participant. The internal variables in such a model might then be taken as proxies for latent variables computed in the brain. We discuss the potential advantages of such an approach for the (...) study of the neural underpinnings of cognitive control and its pitfalls, and we make explicit the assumptions underlying the interpretation of data obtained using this approach. (shrink)
In a situation of peer disagreement, peers are usually assumed to share the same evidence. However they might not share the same evidence for the epistemic system used to process the evidence. This synchronic complication of the peer disagreement debate suggested by Goldman (In Feldman R, Warfield T (eds) (2010) Disagreement. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 187–215) is elaborated diachronically by use of a simulation. The Hegselmann–Krause model is extended to multiple epistemic systems and used to investigate the role of (...) consensus and difference splitting in peer disagreement. I find that the very possibility of multiple epistemic systems downgrades the epistemic value of consensus and makes difference splitting a suboptimal strategy. (shrink)
This book attempts to understand regret, an emotion that bridges the actual and the possible, the past and present. Through a wealth of sources it takes up questions of the meaning of regret and how it differs from similar experiences such as remorse and guilt; what sorts of things people most often regret; and the roots of regret in circumstances and in who we are. It takes issue with the view common both in this culture and in leading theories of (...) decision that regret is irrational and dysfunctional - specifying the surprising benefits of regret, its great and good sense. (shrink)
Current theories of the division of cognitive labor are confined to the “context of justification,” assuming exogenous theories. But new theories are made from the same labor that is used for developing existing theories, and if none of this labor is ever allocated to create new alternatives, then scientific progress is impossible. A unified model is proposed in which theories are no longer given but a function of the division of labor in the model itself. The interactions of individuals balancing (...) the exploitation of existing theories and the exploration of new theories results in a robust cyclical pattern. (shrink)
In this paper I propose and formalize a theory of the mass-count distinction in which the denotations of count nouns are built from non-overlapping generators, while the denotations of mass nouns are built from overlapping generators. Counting is counting of generators, and it will follow that counting is only correct on count denotations.I will show that the theory allows two kinds of mass nouns: mess mass nouns with denotations built from overlapping minimal generators, and neat mass nouns with denotations built (...) from overlapping generators, where the overlap is not located in the minimal generators. Prototypical mass nouns like meat and mud are of the first kind. I will argue that mass nouns like furniture and kitchenware are of the second type.I will discuss several phenomena—all involving one way or the other explicitly or implicitly individual classifiers like stuks in Dutch—that show that both distinctions mass/count and mess/neat are linguistically robust. I will show in particular that nouns like kitchenware pattern in various ways like count nouns, and not like mess mass nouns, and that these ways naturally involve the neat structure of their denotation. I will also show that they are real mass nouns: they can involve measures in the way mess mass nouns can and count nouns cannot.I will discuss grinding interpretations of count nouns, here rebaptized fission interpretations, and argue that these interpretations differ in crucial ways from the interpretations of lexical mass nouns. The paper will end with a foundational problem raised by fission interpretations, and in the course of this, atomless interpretation domains will re-enter the scene through the back door. (shrink)
Offender populations experience their incarceration through different lenses and often as a spiritual journey of suffering. During 2017 and 2018 a study was conducted by the authors with 30 men serving long-term sentences in Correctional Centre A, Zonderwater Management Area in the Gauteng province of South Africa. Following interviews and focus group sessions, the authors report on participants’ representations on how their constructed views of God assist them to find meaning in suffering while incarcerated. Narrative inquiry as a philosophical framework (...) was applied, which presupposes equality between the researcher and the participant, the unmediated representation of words as data, the researcher as auto-ethnographer and respectful submission to subjectivity. Participants’ views of God are thematised according to sets of God-images, firstly, as identified by Van der Ven in his book God Reinvented?, adapted by the authors to suit the contents of the participants’ God talk. Secondly, the ‘God-images in Africa’ were applied. The participants’ constructed God-images are divided into two categories: images that feed on the binary between divine and human and images that function in the dialogical spaces between divine and human where the incarcerated have internalised an external God. Binary images of God are presented by the apathetic God, retributive God, controlling God and the purifying God. However, a significant number of participants expressed their belief in God through the dialogical image of the compassionate God, and the suffering God as co-sufferer. The role of Africanness in constructing these God-images constitutes a special point of inquiry in this article, as reflected in the images of God defined by God the Great Ancestor and Divine Spirit, and God with whom a mystical union is formed. (shrink)
In the first part of this article, Africanity as a concept within research methodology is explored in the dialogical spaces between the binaries of racial identity and group identity, indigenous and traditional values, post-colonialism and post-racialism, blackness and African, as well as eliminativist and conservationalist. In the second part, the research carried out in two townships in the eMakhazeni Local Municipality in Mpumalanga, South Africa's most eastern province, is described in terms of parameters and process. The townships involved are Sakhelwe (...) in Dullstroom-Emnotweni and Emthonjeni in Machadodorp-eNktokozweni. The research focuses on interviews with young people between the ages of 18 and 24 on the potential of faith-based organisations to assist them in moving from the 'margins' of society to positions of social cohesion. The third and main part of the article, is dedicated to lessons learnt and experience acquired when research is carried out in a rural area from an Africanity perspective. This entails, inter alia to be sensitive towards power relations in research; respecting indigenous values within group identities; not predefining the youth, using indigenous definitions of 'agency' and 'marginalisation'; to engage in observation rather than interpretation; and to decolonise the research process when regarding interpretation as an act of colonisation. (shrink)
Economics is a typical resource for social epistemology and the division of labour is a common theme for economics. As such it should come as no surprise that the present paper turns to economics to formulate a view on the dynamics of scientific communities, with precursors such as Kitcher (1990), Goldman and Shaked (1991) and Hull (1988). But although the approach is similar to theirs, the view defended is different. Mäki (2005) points out that the lessons philosophers draw from economics (...) can go either way depending on the model chosen. Thus, the aims of this paper are (1) to illustrate this flexibility by proposing an alternative model which assumes increasing returns to adoption in science rather than the decreasing returns present in the aforementioned contributions; and (2) to outline the implications of this view for scientific pluralism and institutional design. (shrink)
The principles of equality and equity, respectively in the Bill of Rights and the white paper on health, provide the moral and legal foundations for future health care for children in South Africa. However, given extreme health care need and scarce resources, the government faces formidable obstacles if it hopes to achieve a just allocation of public health care resources, especially among children in need of highly specialised health care. In this regard, there is a dearth of moral analysis which (...) is practically useful in the South African situation. We offer a set of moral considerations to guide the macro-allocation of highly specialised public health care services among South Africa's children. We also mention moral considerations which should inform micro-allocation. (shrink)
Kuhn wanted to install a new research agenda in philosophy of science. I argue that the tools are now available to better articulate his paradigm and let it guide philosophical research instead of itself remaining the object of philosophical debate.
Academic and corporate research departments alike face a crucial dilemma: to exploit known frameworks or to explore new ones; to specialize or to innovate? Here I show that these two conflicting epistemic desiderata are sufficient to explain pluralistic ignorance and its boom-and-bust-like dynamics, exemplified in the collapse of the efficient markets hypothesis as a modern risk management paradigm in 2007. The internalist nature of this result, together with its robustness, suggests that pluralistic ignorance is an inherent feature rather than a (...) threat to the rationality of epistemic communities. (shrink)
The new South African constitution commits the government to guarantee "basic health services" for every child under 18. Primary health care for pregnant women and children under six and elements of essential primary health care have received priority. At present, there is little analysis of the moral considerations involved in making choices about more advanced or costly health care which may, arguably, also be "basic". This paper illustrates some of the tensions in setting priorities for a just macro-allocation of children's (...) health care, given the realities of need and scarce resources, and the commitment to equality of basic opportunities. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue that there are more kinds of relative clause constructions between the linguistic heaven and earth than are dreamed of in the classical lore, which distinguishes just restrictive relative clauses and appositives. We start with degree relatives. Degree, or amount, relatives show restrictions in the relativizers they allow, in the determiners that can combine with them, and in their stacking possibilities. To account for these facts, we propose an analysis with two central, and novel, features: First, (...) we argue that the standard notion of degree (a number on a measuring scale) needs to be replaced by a notion of structured degree, which keeps track of the object measured. Second, we argue that at the CP-level of degree relatives an operation of (degree) maximalization takes place. We show that the observed facts concerning degree relatives follow from these assumptions. We then broaden the discussion to other relative clause constructions. We propose that the operation of maximalization takes place in relative clauses when the head noun is semantically interpreted CP-internally, while syntactically the CP is part of a DP that also contains CP-external material. Based on this, we argue that degree relatives form part of a linguistically coherent class of relative clause constructions -- we call them maximalizing relatives -- which all show restrictions similar to those observed for degree relatives, and which differ semantically (and often also syntactically) both from restrictive relative clauses and from appositives. We discuss free relatives, internally-headed relatives, and correlatives. (shrink)
This article addresses the question how philosophy should be evaluated in a research-grant funding environment. It offers a new conception of philosophy that is inclusive and builds on familiar elements of professional, philosophical practice. Philosophy systematically questions the questions we ask, the concepts we use, and the values we hold. Its product is therefore rarely conclusive but can be embodied in everything we do. This is typical of explorative research and differentiates it from exploitative research, which constitutes the bulk of (...) funded research activity. This article argues that exploratory research is crucial for long-term progress and requires a distinct evaluative regime. (shrink)
This paper gives an analysis of the Chinese distributivity marker dou 'all', which can occur not only with definite plural NPs but also with NPs whose determiner is a quantifier word such as mei 'every' or dabufen-de 'most'. Besides normal distributive predicates, it can also occur with certain types of collective predicates. The difficulties of giving a compositional interpretation to constructions of these kinds are discussed in detail. I show that we can solve those difficulties if we treat dou as (...) a generalized distributivity marker in the sense of Schwarzschild (1991, 1996), which distributes over the members of a plurality cover. Apart from the above topic, which is more narrowly a semantics topic, this paper also discusses some syntax-semantics interface issues related to the distribution of dou's associates. (shrink)
Building on the strengths of the second edition, this highly regarded textbook continues to provide the best introduction to the strategies of comparative research in political science. Divided into three parts, the book begins by examining different methods, applying these methods to dominant issues in comparative politics using a wealth of topical examples from around the world, and then discusses the new challenges in the area. New to this edition: features explanation of regression analysis with accompanied briefing boxes new discussion (...) of the assumptions, research design, and the use of statistics characteristic of many-country comparisons single and multi-country studies - how to compare countries and address problems of comparison, especially the principles for selecting countries new chapter on the intersection between international relations and comparative politics all chapters have been updated with new publications and research output relevant to the discussion. Balancing reader friendly features with high quality analysis makes this popular academic text essential reading for everyone interested comparative politics and research methods. (shrink)
Does science progress toward some goal or merely away from primitive beginnings? Two agent-based models are built to explain how possibly both kinds of progressive scientific change can result from the interactions of individuals exploring an epistemic landscape. These models are shown to result in qualitatively different predictions about what the resulting system of science should be like.
Can the straight line be analysed mathematically such that it does not fall apart into a set of discrete points, as is usually done but through which its fundamental continuity is lost? And are there objects of pure mathematics that can change through time? Mathematician and philosopher L.E.J. Brouwer argued that the two questions are closely related and that the answer to both is "yes''. To this end he introduced a new kind of object into mathematics, the choice sequence. But (...) other mathematicians and philosophers have been voicing objections to choice sequences from the start. This book aims to provide a sound philosophical basis for Brouwer's choice sequences by subjecting them to a phenomenological critique in the style of the later Husserl. (shrink)