In having an experience one is aware of having it. Having an experience requires some form of access to one's own state, which distinguishes phenomenally conscious mental states from other kinds of mental states. Until very recently, Higher-Order theories were the only game in town aiming at offering a full-fledged account of this form of awareness within the analytical tradition. Independently of any objections that HO theories face, First/Same-Order theorists need to offer an account of such access to become a (...) plausible alternative. My aim in this paper is twofold. In the first place, I wish to widen the logical space of the discussion among theories of consciousness by offering a distinction, orthogonal to that between F/SO and HO theories, between what I will call 'Self-Involving' and 'Mental-State-Involving' theories and argue in favor of the former one. In the second place, I will present the basics of a characterization of such a Self-Involving theory in Same-Order terms. (shrink)
Cognitive theories claim, whereas non-cognitive theories deny, that cognitive access is constitutive of phenomenology. Evidence in favor of non-cognitive theories has recently been collected by Block and is based on the high capacity of participants in partial-report experiments compared to the capacity of the working memory. In reply, defenders of cognitive theories have searched for alternative interpretations of such results that make visual awareness compatible with the capacity of the working memory; and so the conclusions of such experiments remain controversial. (...) Instead of entering the debate between alternative interpretations of partial-report experiments, this paper offers an alternative line of research that could settle the discussion between cognitive and non-cognitive theories of consciousness. Here I relate the neural correlates of cognitive access to empirical research into the neurophysiology of dreams; cognitive access seems to depend on the activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. However, that area is strongly deactivated during sleep; a period when we entertain conscious experiences: dreams. This approach also avoids the classic objection that consciousness should be inextricably tied to reportability or it would fall outside the realm of science. (shrink)
Higher-Order Thought (HOT) theories of consciousness maintain that the kind of awareness necessary for phenomenal consciousness depends on the cognitive accessibility that underlies reporting. -/- There is empirical evidence strongly suggesting that the cognitive accessibility that underlies the ability to report visual experiences depends on the activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). This area, however, is highly deactivated during the conscious experiences we have during sleep: dreams. HOT theories are jeopardized, as I will argue. I will briefly present HOT (...) theories in the first section. Section 2 offers empirical evidence to the effect that the cognitive accessibility that underlies the ability to report depends on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: dlPFC is the neural correlate of HOTs. Section 3 shows the evidence we have of the deactivation of this brain area during dreams and, in section 4, I present my argument. Finally, I consider and rejoin two possible replies that my opponent can offer: the possibility of an alternative neural correlate of HOTs during dreams and the denial that we have phenomenally conscious experiences during sleep. (shrink)
In this essay we discuss recent attempts to analyse the notion of representation, as it is employed in cognitive science, in purely informational terms. In particular, we argue that recent informational theories cannot accommodate the existence of metarepresentations. Since metarepresentations play a central role in the explanation of many cognitive abilities, this is a serious shortcoming of these proposals.
Some philosophers, like David Chalmers, have either shown their sympathy for, or explicitly endorsed, the following two principles: Panpsychism—roughly the thesis that the mind is ubiquitous throughout the universe—and Organizational Invariantism—the principle that holds that two systems with the same fine-grained functional organization will have qualitatively identical experiences. The purpose of this paper is to show the tension between the arguments that back up both principles. This tension should lead, or so I will argue, defenders of one of the principles (...) to give up on the other. (shrink)
In having an experience one is aware of having it. Having an experience requires some form of access to one's own state, which distinguishes phenomenally conscious mental states from other kinds of mental states. Until very recently, Higher-Order (HO) theories were the only game in town aiming at offering a full-fledged account of this form of awareness within the analytical tradition. Independently of any objections that HO theories face, First/Same-Order (F/SO) theorists need to offer an account of such access to (...) become a plausible alternative. My aim in this paper is twofold. In the first place, I wish to widen the logical space of the discussion among theories of consciousness by offering a distinction, orthogonal to that between F/SO and HO theories, between what I will call 'Self-Involving' (SI) and 'Mental-State-Involving' (MSI) theories and argue in favor of the former one. In the second place, I will present the basics of a characterization of such a Self-Involving theory in Same-Order terms. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that there are indispensable and irreducible metaphors in religious language and that this does not threaten a realist interpretation of religion. I first sketch a realist theory of religious language and argue that we cannot avoid addressing the problems metaphor poses to semantics. I then give a brief account of what it means for a metaphorical sentence to be true and how metaphors can refer to something even if what they mean is not expressible in (...) literal terms. Finally, I discuss how this realist theory of metaphor influences our understanding of negative theology and gives a new perspective on religious pluralism. (shrink)
Saying that x is ineffable seems to be paradoxical – either I cannot say anything about x, not even that it is ineffable – or I can say that it is ineffable, but then I can say something and it is not ineffable. In this article, I discuss Alston’s version of the paradox and a solution proposed by Hick which employs the concept of formal and substantial predicates. I reject Hick’s proposal and develop a different account based on some passages (...) from Pseudo-Dionysius’ Mystica Theologia. ‘God is ineffable’ is a metalinguistic statement concerning propositions about God: not all propositions about God are expressible in a human language. (shrink)
Representations are not only used in our folk-psychological explanations of behaviour, but are also fruitfully postulated, for example, in cognitive science. The mainstream view in cognitive science maintains that our mind is a representational system. This popular view requires an understanding of the nature of the entities they are postulating. Teleosemantic theories face this challenge, unpacking the normativity in the relation of representation by appealing to the teleological function of the representing state. It has been argued that, if intentionality is (...) to be explained in teleological terms, then the function of a state cannot depend on its phylogenetical history, given the metaphysical possibility of a duplicate of an intentional being that lacks an evolutionary history. In this paper, I present a method to produce, according to our current knowledge in genetic engineering, human-like individuals who are not the product of natural selection in the required sense. This variation will be used to shed light on the main replies that have been offered in the literature to the Swampman thought experiment. I argue that these replies are not satisfactory: representations should better not depend on natural selection. I conclude that a non-etiological notion of function is to be preferred for characterizing the relation of representation. (shrink)
Kevin Smith's utilitarian argument against homeopathy1 is flawed because he did not review and refute the relevant basic science literature on ultra-high dilutions. He also failed to appreciate that allopathic medicine is based on a deductive-nomothetic method and that homeopathic medicine is based on an inductive-idiographic method, and thus that the implications for clinical research are very different. His misunderstanding of provings and of the holism of homeopathic medicine also demonstrated his failure to understand the history, philosophy and method of (...) homeopathy. Finally, I questioned the value of introducing ethical judgment into an ongoing scientific debate. (shrink)
The well-known distinction between access consciousness and phenomenal consciousness has moved away from the conceptual domain into the empirical one, and the debate now is focused on whether the neural mechanisms of cognitive access are constitutive of the neural correlate of phenomenal consciousness. In this paper, I want to analyze the consequences that a negative reply to this question has for the cognitive phenomenology thesis – roughly the claim that there is a “proprietary” phenomenology of thoughts. If the mechanisms responsible (...) for cognitive access can be disentangled from the mechanisms that give rise to phenomenology in the case of perception and emotion, then the same disentanglement is to be expected in the case of thoughts. This, in turn, presents, as I argue, a challenge to the cognitive phenomenology thesis: either there are thoughts with cognitive phenomenology we lack cognitive access to or there are good reasons to doubt that there is such a thing as cognitive phenomenology. I discuss a... (shrink)
Alleged self-evidence aside, conceivability arguments are one of the main reasons in favor of the claim that there is a Hard Problem. These arguments depend on the appealing Kripkean intuition that there is no difference between appearances and reality in the case of consciousness. I will argue that this intuition rests on overlooking a distinction between cognitive access and consciousness, which has received recently important empirical support. I will show that there are good reasons to believe that the intuition is (...) misguided—at least on the reading that the conceivability arguments require—and hence that the arguments are unsupported. This, in turn, alleviates the Hard Problem but leaves us with what I think is a not easy problem. (shrink)
Cruelty is evident in the play and interactions of quite small children. This is almost certainly normal, though it is more evident in children who have themselves been harshly treated (Amato & Fowler 2002; Luk et al. 1999).
Many have argued that the difference between phenomenally conscious states and other kind of states lies in the implicit self-awareness that conscious states have. Higher-Order-Representationalist theories attempt to explain such self-awareness by means of higher-order representation. Consciousness depends on our capacity to represent our own mental states: our Theory of Mind. It is generally agreed that such an ability can be decomposed into another two: mindreading and metacognition.I will argue that consciousness cannot depend on mindreading. The tenability of HOR theories (...) depends, therefore, on the relation between mindreading and metacognition. I analyze several views on such a relation and argue that none of them seem to be a plausible option for HOR theories.Muchos han argumentado que la diferencia entre estados fenoménicamente conscientes y otros tipos de estados reside en la auto-conciencia implícita que muchos estados conscientes poseen. Las Teorías de la Representación de Orden Superior pretenden explicar esa auto-conciencia mediante representaciones de orden superior. La conciencia depende de nuestra capacidad de representar nuestros propios estados mentales: nuestra Teoría de la Mente. Se acepta en general que esta capacidad puede descomponerse en otras dos: la lectura de mentes y la meta-cognición.Argumentaré que la conciencia no puede depender de la lectura de mentes. La sostenibilidad de las teorías HOR depende, por tanto, de la relación entre la lectura de mentes y la meta-cognicián. Analizo algunas concepciones de esa relación y argumento que ninguna de ellas parece ser una opción plausible para las teorías HOR. (shrink)
ABSTRACTTask-irrelevant emotional expressions are known to capture attention, with the extent of “emotional capture” varying with psychopathic traits in antisocial samples. We investigated whether this variation extends throughout the continuum of psychopathic traits in a community sample. Participants searched for a target face among facial distractors. As predicted, angry and fearful faces interfered with search, indicated by slower reaction times relative to neutral faces. When fear appeared as either target or distractor, diminished emotional capture was seen with increasing affective-interpersonal psychopathic (...) traits. However, moderation analyses revealed that this was only when lifestyle-antisocial psychopathic traits were low, consistent with evidence suggesting that these two facets of psychopathic traits display opposing relationships with emotional reactivity. Anxiety did not show the predicted relationships with emotional capture effects. Findings show... (shrink)
Before and in the Groundwork , Kant argues as follows for the validity of the moral law: we want to be free. Following the moral law is the only way to be free. So we should follow the moral law.1 The first premise of this syllogism is treated differently before and in the Groundwork . First Kant thought it an empirical fact that men want to be free and want it more than anything else.2 Later he sought an a priori (...) argument showing that we ought to want to be free and are right in thinking it good.3 The former justification of the moral law is superior. When we look to “salvage the normative core of Kantian moral philosophy” (Guyer 445), we should turn to it. - So far Paul Guyer. It is evident that Guyer fails to describe Kant's thought in the Groundwork . It is equally clear that Kant never held the position Guyer claims he held before the Groundwork . (The quotations Guyer gives in support of his claim show this.) Therefore I shall not discuss Guyer's interpretation of Kant. Instead I shall consider the philosophical merits of the position he ascribes to the pre-critical Kant, and which he recommends as superior. We shall see that that position makes no sense. This indirectly addresses the interpretive question, as it is a reason against ascribing it to Kant. (shrink)
Objections to child labour range from its creating unfair trade advantage to its infringing children’s human rights. Analysis of the responsibilities of various parties implicated in the use of child labour can lead to identifying stages in a cumulative ethical approach which is not self‐defeating. The author is an economist who has recently completed his MBA at London Business School.
The current debate around better measures of progress and going ‘beyond-Gross Domestic Product ’ raises the question of implications for businesses and their sustainability efforts. Bhutan, with its Gross National Happiness development approach provides an interesting case to investigate businesses in an economy focused on improving the conditions for wellbeing and happiness in society, alongside the goal of growing GDP. This study explores if and how GNH influences business conduct and sustainability efforts in Bhutan. It also investigates Bhutanese business and (...) government leaders perceptions of the concept of GNH in relation to concepts such as Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Sustainability. Some preliminary findings include that the Bhutanese value-system forms the foundation of business leaders’ world-views and influences their business conduct and decision-making more than the recent formulation of the GNH framework. A comparison of the CSR, CS and GNH frameworks shows however that the GNH model has the potential to offer a sustainability framework that goes beyond-CSR. (shrink)
This paper analyses the relationship between religion and the field of medicine and health care in light of other recent studies. Generally, religion and spirituality have a positive impact on disease. For patients diagnosed with malignancies and chronic diseases, religion is an important dimension of healing. From ancient times, God has been considered an inspiration for the physician's knowledge and healing resources. Some authors have proposed a brief history of spiritual and religious states that the doctor can apply to his (...) patient. Religiosity and spirituality allow patients to receive better social support and to benefit greatly from resources provided by religious organizations (cultural activities, jobs, and health care counseling). The two terms "religion" and "spirituality" have different meanings but are always in connection. Many studies emphasize that people with greater religiosity and spirituality have a lower prevalence of depression and suicide, better quality of life, and greater survival. Additionally the article discusses the complementary health care benefits of religious fasting. Caloric and protein restrictions promoted by religious fasting were associated with improvement in control or prophylaxis of many diseases and with longevity. (shrink)
Este artículo es una breve introducción al opúsculo De veritate propositionis de Roberto Grosseteste , acompañada por una traducción inédita de dicho opúsculo, la primera que por primera vez puede ser leído en español. En él Grosseteste comenta el problema de los futuros contingentes tal y como fue expuesto por Aristóteles en Sobre la interpretación, capítulo IX. Las soluciones de Aristóteles y Grosseteste son similares, aunque la idea de necesidad en Grosseteste está más vinculada a la eternidad que a la (...) temporalidad. (shrink)
KRK ediciones publica la traducción al español del ya clásico texto de Andy Clark y David Chalmers 'La Mente Extendida' en su versión aparecida en la antología de textos Philosophy of Mind: classical and contemporary readings, editada por D. Chalmers en 2002 para Oxford University Press. La traducción va precedida de una interesante introducción al debate que surge a partir de la publicación original del texto en Analysis en 1998, a cargo de Ángel García Rodríguez y Francisco Calvo Garzón, quienes (...) son responsables también de la traducción del texto. -/- En La Mente Extendida Clark y Chalmers defienden la tesis de que los procesos cognitivos y mentales van más allá de los límites del cráneo y de la piel: hay elementos constitutivos de los procesos mentales y cognitivos más allá de los límites de nuestro propio cuerpo. Una tesis semejante había sido ya defendida por Putnam (1975) y Burge (1979); sin embargo, Clark y Chalmers distinguen ese tipo de externismo pasivo del externismo activo que ellos propugnan de acuerdo con el cual “las características externas relevantes son activas, desempeñado un papel crucial aquí y ahora. Como se hayan acopladas con el organismo humano, tienen un impacto directo sobre el organismo y su conducta” (La Mente Extendida p.67). -/- Carecería de sentido hablar en esta reseña de la relevancia de la tesis de la mente extendida y del debate que tanto en filosofía como en ciencia cognitiva ha suscitado―baste mencionar la multitud de artículos que se han escrito sobre La Mente Extendida, al punto que, de acuerdo con Google Scholars, es uno de los cien artículos filosóficos más citados.Por esta razón me centraré en la introducción al texto de García Rodríguez y Calvo Garzón. (shrink)
This article has two main aims. First, it provides a brief account of the terms modernidad (modernity) and modernismo (modernism) in the Spanish context from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century. Second, it seeks to illustrate the way in which conceptual history is being approached in a Spanish context. It draws upon the collaborative efforts of a group of over 30 scholars who have sought to explore the political lexicon of 19th-century Spain. The (...) article deploys the analytical categories and methodological tools associated with the followers of Begriffsgeschichte and of the Cambridge school. Our conclusion is that an examination of these two terms reveals that the emphasis upon Spanish singularity has been exaggerated and that, despite the historical backwardness of the country, Spain played an outstanding role in the creation of the language of modernity and postmodernity. (shrink)