The KK principle states that knowing entails knowing that one knows. This historically popular principle has fallen out of favour among many contemporary philosophers in light of putative counterexamples. Recently, some have defended more palatable versions of KK by weakening the principle. These revisions remain faithful to their predecessor in spirit while escaping crucial objections. This paper examines the prospects of such a strategy. It is argued that revisions of the original principle can be captured by a generalized knowledge iteration (...) principle, Weak-KK, which states that knowing entails the possibility of knowing that one knows. But Weak-KK is vulnerable to an unknowability result and therefore must be rejected. The arguments here suggest that retreating to weaker iteration principles is not an option for the KK enthusiast. (shrink)
What is attention? How does attention shape consciousness? In an approach that engages with foundational topics in the philosophy of mind, the theory of action, psychology, and the neurosciences this book provides a unified and comprehensive answer to both questions. Sebastian Watzl shows that attention is a central structural feature of the mind. The first half of the book provides an account of the nature of attention. Attention is prioritizing, it consists in regulating priority structures. Attention is not another (...) element of the mind, but constituted by structures that organize, integrate, and coordinate the parts of our mind. Attention thus integrates the perceptual and intellectual, the cognitive and motivational, and the epistemic and practical. The second half of the book concerns the relationship between attention and consciousness. Watzl argues that attentional structure shapes consciousness into what is central and what is peripheral. The center-periphery structure of consciousness cannot be reduced to the structure of how the world appears to the subject. What it is like for us thus goes beyond the way the world appears to us. On this basis, a new view of consciousness is offered. In each conscious experience we actively take a stance on the world we appear to encounter. It is in this sense that our conscious experience is our subjective perspective. (shrink)
In a reconstruction of the theories of Freud and Klein, Sebastian Gardner asks: what causes irrationality, what must the mind be like for it to be irrational, to what extent does irrationality involve self-awareness, and what is the point of irrationality? Arguing that psychoanalytic theory provides the most penetrating answers to these questions, he rejects the widespread view of the unconscious as a 'second mind', in favour of a view of it as a source of inherently irrational desires seeking (...) expression through wish-fulfilment and phantasy. He meets scepticism about psychoanalytic explanation by exhibiting its continuity with everyday psychology. (shrink)
This paper defends and develops the structuring account of conscious attention: attention is the conscious mental process of structuring one’s stream of consciousness so that some parts of it are more central than others. In the first part of the paper, I motivate the structuring account. Drawing on a variety of resources I argue that the phenomenology of attention cannot be fully captured in terms of how the world appears to the subject, as well as against an atomistic conception of (...) attention. In the second part of the paper, I show how the structuring account can be made precise: attention causes and causally sustains phenomenal relations to hold between the parts of the stream of consciousness; most importantly the relation of one part being peripheral to another. I end by pointing out consequences for both the scientific study of attention as well as for several areas of central philosophical interest. (shrink)
In _Sino-Theology and the Philosophy of History_ Leopold Leeb presents the ideas of an influential Chinese intellectual, Liu Xiaofeng, whose approach to the question of a Christian theology for China is both controversial and inspiring.
Part 1. Husserl: the outlines of the transcendental-phenomenological system -- 1. Husserl's phenomenological discovery of the natural attitude -- 2. Husserl's theory of the phenomenological reduction: between lifeworld and Cartesianism -- 3. Some methodological problems arising in Husserl's late reflections on the phenomenological reduction -- 4. Facticity and historicity as constituents of the lifeworld in Husserl's late philosophy -- 5. Husserl's concept of the "transcendental person": another look at the Husserl-Heidegger relationship -- 6. Dialectics of the absolute: the systematics of (...) the phenomenological system in Husserl's last period -- Part 2. Husserl, Kant, and neo-Kantianism: from subjectivity to lifeworld as a world of culture -- 7. From being to givenness and back: some remarks on the meaning of transcendental idealism in Kant and Husserl -- 8. Reconstruction and reduction: Natorp and Husserl on method and the question of subjectivity -- 9. A hermeneutic phenomenology of subjective and objective spirit: Husserl, Natorp, and Cassirer -- 10. Cassirer's philosophy of symbolic forms: between reason and relativism: a critical appraisal -- Part 3. Toward a Husserlian hermeneutics -- 11. The subjectivity of effective history and the suppressed husserlian elements in Gadamer's hermeneutics -- 12. Husserl's "hermeneutical phenomenology" as a philosophy of culture. (shrink)
The surface grammar of reports such as ‘I have a pain in my leg’ suggests that pains are objects which are spatially located in parts of the body. We show that the parallel construction is not available in Mandarin. Further, four philosophically important grammatical features of such reports cannot be reproduced. This suggests that arguments and puzzles surrounding such reports may be tracking artefacts of English, rather than philosophically significant features of the world.
What is attention? Attention is often seen as a subject matter for the hard sciences of cognitive and brain processes, and is understood in terms of sub-personal mechanisms and processes. Correspondingly, there still is a stark contrast between the central role attention plays for the empirical investigation of the mind in psychology and the neurosciences, and its relative neglect in philosophy. Yet, over the past years, several philosophers have challenged the standard conception. A number of interesting philosophical questions concerning the (...) nature of attention arise. This article provides an introduction to contemporary debates concerning these questions. In particular, it discusses the question of how the pre-theoretic conception of attention might be reconciled with a scientific conception, arguments that provide support for an anti-reductivist theory of attention, and sketches several recent anti-reductivist theories and their inter-relations. (shrink)
The debate between critics of syntactic and semantic approaches to the formalization of scientific theories has been going on for over 50 years. I structure the debate in light of a recent exchange between Hans Halvorson, Clark Glymour, and Bas van Fraassen and argue that the only remaining disagreement concerns the alleged difference in the dependence of syntactic and semantic approaches on languages of predicate logic. This difference turns out to be illusory.
Perceptual illusions have often served as an important tool in the study of perceptual experience. In this paper I argue that a recently discovered set of visual illusions sheds new light on the nature of time consciousness. I suggest the study of these silencing illusions as a tool kit for any philosopher interested in the experience of time and show how to better understand time consciousness by combining detailed empirical investigations with a detailed philosophical analysis. In addition, and more speciﬁcally, (...) I argue against an initially plausible range of views that assume a close match between the temporal content of visual experience and the temporal layout of experience itself. Against such a widely held structural matching thesis I argue that which temporal changes we are experiencing bears no close relation to how our experience itself is changing over time. Explanations of the silencing illusions that are compatible with the structural matching thesis fail. (shrink)
The paradox of pain refers to the idea that the folk concept of pain is paradoxical, treating pains as simultaneously mental states and bodily states (e.g. Hill 2005, 2017; Borg et al. 2020). By taking a close look at our pain terms, this paper argues that there is no paradox of pain. The air of paradox dissolves once we recognise that pain terms are polysemous and that there are two separate but related concepts of pain rather than one.
There is a long-standing disagreement in the philosophy of probability and Bayesian decision theory about whether an agent can hold a meaningful credence about an upcoming action, while she deliberates about what to do. Can she believe that it is, say, 70% probable that she will do A, while she chooses whether to do A? No, say some philosophers, for Deliberation Crowds Out Prediction (DCOP), but others disagree. In this paper, we propose a valid core for DCOP, and identify terminological (...) causes for some of the apparent disputes. (shrink)
What is the philosophical significance of attention? The present article provides an overview of recent debates surrounding the connections between attention and other topics of philosophical interest. In particular, it discusses the interplay between attention and consciousness, attention and agency, and attention and reference. The article outlines the questions and contemporary positions concerning how attention shapes the phenomenal character of experience, whether it is necessary or sufficient for consciousness, and whether it plays a special role in the best philosophical theories (...) of action or conceptual reference. Various interdependencies between the answers to these questions are indicated, as well as how these answers might depend on the metaphysics of attention. Together with its companion piece this article serves as an introduction to the philosophy of attention. (shrink)
This dissertation investigates the nature, the phenomenal character and the philosophical significance of attention. According to its central thesis, attention is the ongoing mental activity of structuring the stream of consciousness or phenomenal field. The dissertation connects the scientific study of attention in psychology and the neurosciences with central discussions in the philosophy of mind. Once we get clear on the nature and the phenomenal character of attention, we can make progress toward understanding foundational issues concerning the nature and the (...) structure of conscious mentality itself. We understand better how consciousness is connected to self-awareness and to agency, and we get a better grip on the nature of perceptual experience, the unity of consciousness, and its subjective character. The dissertation also aims at showing that the current empirical investigation of attention should be complemented with work at the level of generality that a philosophical analysis can provide; it shows how such an analysis is relevant for the scientific study of attention by providing a new conceptual framework and suggesting several new areas of research. (shrink)
Slurs are derogatory words and they are used to derogate certain groups. Theories of slurs must explain why they are derogatory words, as well as other features like independence and descriptive ineffability. This paper proposes an illocutionary force indicator theory of slurs: they are derogatory terms because their use is to perform the illocutionary act of derogation, which is a declarative illocutionary act to enforce norms against the target. For instance, calling a Chinese person “chink” is an act of derogation (...) to enforce racist norms that license exclusion of the Chinese, deny their rights to dignity, etc. The contribution of this paper is twofold. First, it offers a more comprehensive explanation of the features of slurs than earlier speech act approaches. Second, it provides a theory that is immune to the problems faced by existing theories, such as wrong predictions of truth-conditions, explaining unacceptability to non-bigots, and explaining slurs against the dominant groups. (shrink)
This edition contains the last radio essay of the church-historian Kurt Nowak. It has the title: “Is it able, to write the history of the GDR yet?” The introduction takes up this question in the context of his reflections about the former GDR in other texts.
Kant's _Critique of Pure Reason_ is arguably the single most important work in western philosophy. The book introduces and assesses: * Kant's life and background of the _Critique of Pure Reason_ * the ideas and text of the _Critique of Pure Reason_ * the continuing relevance of Kant's work to contemporary philosophy. Ideal for anyone coming to Kant's thought for the first time. This guide will be vital reading for all students of Kant in philosophy.
Since the early nineteenth century a membrane or wall has been central to the cell’s identity as the elementary unit of life. Yet the literally and metaphorically marginal status of the cell membrane made it the site of clashes over the definition of life and the proper way to study it. In this article I show how the modern cell membrane was conceived of by analogy to the first “artificial cell,” invented in 1864 by the chemist Moritz Traube (1826–1894), and (...) reimagined by the plant physiologist Wilhelm Pfeffer (1845–1920) as a precision osmometer. Pfeffer’s artificial cell osmometer became the conceptual and empirical basis for the law of dilute solutions in physical chemistry, but his use of an artificial analogue to theorize the existence of the plasma membrane as distinct from the cell wall prompted debate over whether biology ought to be more closely unified with the physical sciences, or whether it must remain independent as the science of life. By examining how the histories of plant physiology and physical chemistry intertwined through the artificial cell, I argue that modern biology relocated vitality from protoplasmic living matter to nonliving chemical substances—or, in broader cultural terms, that the disenchantment of life was accompanied by the (re)enchantment of ordinary matter. (shrink)
The latter half of the nineteenth and the early part of the twentieth century witnessed a remarkable resurgence of interest in Kant’s philosophy in Continental Europe, the effects of which are still being felt today. _The Neo-Kantian Reader_ is the first anthology to collect the most important primary sources in Neo-Kantian philosophy, with many being published here in English for the first time. It includes extracts on a rich and diverse number of subjects, including logic, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of science, (...) and transcendental idealism. Sebastian Luft, together with other scholars, provides clear introductions to each of the following sections, placing them in historical and philosophical context: the beginnings of Neo-Kantianism: including the work of Hermann von Helmholtz, Otto Liebman, Friedrich Lange, and Hermann Lotze the Marburg School: including Hermann Cohen, Paul Natorp, and Ernst Cassirer the Southwest School: including Wilhelm Windelband, Heinrich Rickert, Emil Lask, and Hans Vaihinger responses and critiques: including Moritz Schlick, Edmund Husserl; Rudolf Carnap, and the 'Davos dispute' between Martin Heidegger and Ernst Cassirer. The Neo-Kantian Reader is essential reading for all students of Kant, nineteenth and twentieth century philosophy, history and philosophy of science, and phenomenology, as well as to those studying important philosophical movements such as logical positivism and analytic philosophy and its history. (shrink)
Sebastian Luft explores the philosophy of culture championed by the Marburg School of Neo-Kantianism. Following a historical trajectory from Hermann Cohen to Paul Natorp and through to Ernst Cassirer, he defends the attractiveness of a philosophical culture in the transcendental vein.
This article describes a process of developing, implementing and evaluating a clinical ethics support service intervention with the goal of building up a context-sensitive structure of minimal clinical-ethics in an oncology department without prior clinical ethics structure. Scholars from different disciplines have called for an improvement in the evaluation of clinical ethics support services for different reasons over several decades. However, while a lot has been said about the concepts and methodological challenges of evaluating CESS up to the present time, (...) relatively few empirical studies have been carried out. The aim of this article is twofold. On the one hand, it describes a process of development, modifying and evaluating a CESS intervention as part of the ETHICO research project, using the approach of qualitative-formative evaluation. On the other hand, it provides a methodological analysis which specifies the contribution of qualitative empirical methods to the evaluation of CESS. We conclude with a consideration of the strengths and limitations of qualitative evaluation research with regards to the evaluation and development of context sensitive CESS. We further discuss our own approach in contrast to rather traditional consult or committee models. (shrink)
The publication of Frege’s Begriffsschrift in 1879 forever altered the landscape for many Western philosophers. Here, Sebastian Rödl traces how the Fregean influence, written all over the development and present state of analytic philosophy, led into an unholy alliance of an empiricist conception of sensibility with an inferentialist conception of thought. -/- According to Rödl, Wittgenstein responded to the implosion of Frege’s principle that the nature of thought consists in its inferential order, but his Philosophical Investigations shied away from (...) offering an alternative. Rödl takes up the challenge by turning to Kant and Aristotle as ancestors of this tradition, and in doing so identifies its unacknowledged question: the relation of judgment and truth to time. Rödl finds in the thought of these two men the answer he urges us to consider: the temporal and the sensible, and the atemporal and the intelligible, are aspects of one reality and cannot be understood independently of one another. In demonstrating that an investigation into the categories of the temporal can be undertaken as a contribution to logic, Rödl seeks to transform simultaneously our philosophical understanding of both logic and time. (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)
Could the organization of consciousness be the key to understanding its unity? This paper considers how the attentional organization of consciousness into centre and periphery bears on the phenomenal unity of consciousness. Two ideas are discussed: according to the first, the attentional organization of consciousness shows that phenomenal holism is true. I argue that the argument from attentional organization to phenomenal holism remains inconclusive. According to the second idea, attentional organization provides a principle of unity for conscious experience, i.e. it (...) is a relationship between the phenomenal parts that occurs in the real definition or essence of consciousness. Conscious experience provides subjects with a subjective perspective, or point of view, because its various parts are structured by attention into what is more central and what is more peripheral. (shrink)
This study focuses on the ancient commentaries on Plato’s Phaedo by Olympiodorus and Damascius and aims to present the relevance of their challenging and valuable readings of the dialogue to Neoplatonic ethics.
_An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy_ unlocks the mystery of ancient Chinese philosophy and unravels the complexity of Chinese Buddhism by placing them in the contemporary context of discourse. Elucidates the central issues and debates in Chinese philosophy, its different schools of thought, and its major philosophers. Covers eight major philosophers in the ancient period, among them Confucius, Laozi, and Zhuangzi. Illuminates the links between different schools of philosophy. Opens the door to further study of the relationship between Chinese and Western (...) philosophy. (shrink)
Summary Until recently it was believed that Christian Huygens? earliest publication of his pendulum invention was Horologium of 1658. He published the more famous general treatise, Horologium Oscillatorium, fifteen years later in 1673. Two years ago, an article1 suggesting an unknown collaboration in developing the clock pendulum between Huygens and the Paris clockmaker Isaac Thuret, presented the evidence of Benjamin Martin, an 18th century educationalist and retailer of scientific material. Martin described a Huygens publication of 1657 and reproduced the illustration (...) it contained. This illustration shows a different clock from the one drawn in Horologium and different also from those previously considered as Huygens? earliest surviving examples. However, the illustration is similar to part of a plate in Horologium Oscillatorium and this similarity caused one historian to cast doubt on the existence of the 1657 publication.2 This article, with information presented for the first time, seeks to prove the existence of that work and thereby establish it in the canon of Huygens? writings while re-examining the invention in the light that it casts. 1Whitestone, Sebastian, ?The Identification and Attribution of Christiaan Huygens? First Pendulum Clock', Antiquarian Horology, December (2008), 201?222. 2Plomp, R., ?Letter', Antiquarian Horology, December (2009), 714?17. See also author's reply, ibid, 717?19. (shrink)
(Recipient of the 2020 Everett Mendelsohn Prize.) This article revisits the development of the protoplasm concept as it originally arose from critiques of the cell theory, and examines how the term “protoplasm” transformed from a botanical term of art in the 1840s to the so-called “living substance” and “the physical basis of life” two decades later. I show that there were two major shifts in biological materialism that needed to occur before protoplasm theory could be elevated to have equal status (...) with cell theory in the nineteenth century. First, I argue that biologists had to accept that life could inhere in matter alone, regardless of form. Second, I argue that in the 1840s, ideas of what formless, biological matter was capable of dramatically changed: going from a “coagulation paradigm” that had existed since Theophrastus, to a more robust conception of matter that was itself capable of movement and self-maintenance. In addition to revisiting Schleiden and Schwann’s original writings on cell theory, this article looks especially closely at Hugo von Mohl’s definition of the protoplasm concept in 1846, how it differed from his primordial utricle theory of cell structure two years earlier. This article draws on Lakoff and Johnson’s theory of “ontological metaphors” to show that the cell, primordial utricle, and protoplasm can be understood as material container, object, and substance, and that these overlapping distinctions help explain the chaotic and confusing early history of cell theory. (shrink)
Empirical studies, which analyze the performance of socially responsible investment (SRI) funds relative to conventional funds, find contradictory results. The aim of this paper is to investigate, with the help of a meta-analysis, how selected primary study characteristics influence the probability of a significant under- or outperformance of SRI funds compared with conventional funds. 25 studies with more than 500 observations are included in the meta-analysis. The results of this paper suggest that the consideration of the survivorship bias in a (...) study increases (decreases) the probability of a significant outperformance (underperformance) of SRI funds relative to conventional funds. The focus on United States (US) SRI funds increases (decreases) the probability of a significant outperformance (underperformance) too. The time period influences the probability of a significant under- and outperformance of SRI funds as well, but based on the results of this paper, it is not possible to draw general conclusions on this variable. (shrink)