The multiple environmental crises our planet is experiencing forces us to change the ways we engage with it, especially the ones developed by scientific disciplines such as toxicology. In particular, widespread degradation should lead us to develop scientific practices that take environmental ruination as a framework condition, not only as an object of analysis. In doing so, we should take into account the practice of science at laboratories located in the peripheries of global science, institutions that have coexisted with extensive (...) environmental and material decay from their very onset. Contributing to this task, this paper analyzes the case of Centro Nacional del Medio Ambiente, an environmental chemistry laboratory located in Santiago, Chile. Established in mid-1990s, decades of continual budget cuts left it in a state of almost terminal ruin. In its struggle to remain relevant, CENMA developed an alternative kind of scientific practice, ruination science. Although always precarious, ruination science also tends to be well adapted to engage with impurity, resilient but fragile, and ethically entangled, prioritizing attachment and compromises over the application of certain standard recipes or procedures. Beyond its particularities, CENMA’s ruination science provides us with several valuable keys to better deal with worlds facing multiple kinds of anthropogenic degradation. (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)
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)
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)
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)
Higher-order thought theories of consciousness attempt to explain what it takes for a mental state to be conscious, rather than unconscious, by means of a HOT that represents oneself as being in the state in question. Rosenthal Consciousness and the self: new essays, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2011) stresses that the way we are aware of our own conscious states requires essentially indexical self-reference. The challenge for defenders of HOT theories is to show that there is a way to explain (...) the required reference-fixing mechanisms that is compatible with the theory. According to Rosenthal, the reference to oneself as such is grounded in the disposition to identify the individual the HOT refers to as the individual who has that HOT. I argue that this leads to a vicious infinite regress on the more than plausible assumption that our cognitive capacities are limited. This leaves such theories without a foundation, since self-reference is thought essential to consciousness. (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)
El siguiente artículo se propone llevar a cabo una introducción crítica a una de las obras más difíciles del filósofo español Jorge Santayana. En primer lugar señalaré la importancia de la perspectiva teórica materialista de Santayana, aclararé a continuación el significado de los términos psique, Voluntad y espíritu, tres conceptos fundamentales para entender el escrito, así como el de las nociones de Dominación y de Potestad, analizando en último lugar la estructura tripartita de la obra. Confío en que el presente (...) artículo conforme un cuerpo interpretativo útil como guía de lectura para quien aborde Dominaciones y Potestades. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIsaiah Berlin’s idea of value pluralism has been extensively discussed in recent decades. However, there is still much controversy about the actual meaning and implication of the terms “incompatibility” and “incommensurability” when applied to values. This article analyses the Berlinian concept of value pluralism from a theoretical point of view and argues that, following Berlin’s work, incompatibility should be defined as the impossibility of two ends being combined at a maximum level―though it is possible to find compromises between them when (...) not pursued to their maximum―whereas incommensurability refers to the existence of more than one valid, rational solution to a conflict of ends. After commenting on the arguments advanced by other scholars, the presence of a certain idea of rationality in Berlin’s notion of value pluralism is advanced. Finally, it is demonstrated that incompatibility and incommensurability provide Berlin’s pluralism with its characteristic tragic feature which differentiates it from monism. (shrink)
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)
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)
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)
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)
While the meta‐ethical error theory has been of philosophical interest for some time now, only recently a debate has emerged about the question what is to be done if the error theory turns out to be true. This paper argues for a novel answer to this question, namely revolutionary expressivism: if the error theory is true, we should become expressivists. Additionally, the paper explores certain important but largely ignored methodological issues that arise for reforming definitions generally and with a vengeance (...) in the context of a radical error theory about all practical normative judgements, and suggests how these issues can be resolved. (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)
I show that extant attempts to capture and generalize empirical adequacy in terms of partial structures fail. Indeed, the motivations for the generalizations in the partial structures approach are better met by the generalizations via approximation sets developed in “Generalizing Empirical Adequacy I”. Approximation sets also generalize partial structures.
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.
The dominant assumption about the causal architecture of the mind is, that it is composed of a stable set of components that contribute independently to relevant observables that are employed to measure cognitive activity. This view has been called component-dominant dynamics. An alternative has been proposed, according to which the different components are not independent, but fundamentally interdependent, and are not stable basic properties of the mind, but rather an emergent feature of the mind given a particular task context. This (...) view has been called interaction-dominant dynamics. In this paper, we review evidence for interaction-dominant dynamics as the causal architecture of the mind. We point out, that such an architecture is consistent with problems of convergence in research on the level of results and theorizing. Moreover, we point out that if interaction-dominant dynamics as the causal architecture of the mind were to be true, this would naturally lead to problems with generalization and replicability in sciences of the mind and brain, and would probably warrant changes in the scientific practice with regard to study-design and data analysis. (shrink)
Observations of ultrafast cognition in human performance challenge intuitive information processing and computation metaphors of cognitive processing. Instances of ultrafast cognition are marked by ultrafast response times of reliable, accurate responses to a relatively complex stimulus. Ultrafast means response times that are as fast as a single feedforward burst of activity across the nervous system connecting eye to hand. Thus the information processing and computation metaphors in question are those in which some amount of time is required to decide and (...) initiate a response, over and above the minimum time required, physiologically, for the eye-hand chain of action potentials—these are metaphors in which the brain does work that has a measurable duration in time. Ultrafast cognition can be explained by synergies spanning the mind and body. Synergies are temporary dynamical structures that anticipate context-appropriate behaviour. An anticipatory state poises the mind and body in symmetry among equivalent options for behaviour, and only a minimal change in context, favouring one option over any other, is sufficient to break symmetry and enact an ultrafast cognitive response. (shrink)
Moral responsibility seems to presuppose personal identity. However, there are problems with this view, raised by Derek Parfit’s arguments for the view that personal identity isn’t what matters for our practical concerns. While Parfit discusses moral responsibility only in passing, the problems that arise for the connection between moral responsibility and personal identity have recently been sharpened by David Shoemaker. This paper defends the claim that moral responsibility presupposes personal identity against these problems. It argues, first, that only reductionist views (...) about personal identity have problems with the connection between responsibility and identity, which suggests that personal identity is a non-reductionist concept. Second, it argues that while non-reductionism is problematic, there is a novel view—non-representationalism about personal identity, according to which we account for personal identity in terms of a distinctive non-representational function—that is equally well-positioned to rescue the connection as non-reductionism, without suffering from non-reductionism’s problems. (shrink)
Recent developments around the sharing economy bring to the fore questions of governability and broader societal benefit—and subsequently the need to explore effective means of public governance, from nurturing, on the one hand, to restriction, on the other. As sharing is a predominately urban phenomenon in modern societies, cities around the globe have become both locus of action and central actor in the debates over the nature and organization of the sharing economy. However, cities vary substantially in the interpretation of (...) potential opportunities and challenges, as well as in their governance responses. Building on a qualitative comparative analysis of 16 leading global cities, our findings reveal four framings of the sharing economy: ‘societal endangerment,’ ‘societal enhancement,’ ‘market disruption,’ and ‘ecological transition.’ Such framings go hand in hand with patterned governance responses: although there is considerable heterogeneity in the combination of public governance strategies, we find specific configurations of framings and public governance strategies. Our work reflects the political and ethical debates on various economic, social, and moral issues related to the sharing economy, and contributes to a better understanding of the field-level institutional arrangements—a prerequisite for examining moral behavior of sharing economy organizations. (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.
Proponents of an intentionalist theory of perceptual experience have taken for granted that perceptual experience is an informing form of intentionality. Hence they often speak of the way an experience represents the environment to be, or what there is. In this respect perceptual experience is thus assumed to resemble a speech act like assertion or a mental state like belief. There is another important form of intentionality though that concerns not what there is, but what to do. I call this (...) a guiding form of intentionality. In speech, there are – for example – imperatives and among intentional mental states there are desires and intentions. In this paper I argue that perceptual experience is at least sometimes characterized by such a guiding form of intentionality. Perception does not just inform, it is sometimes intrinsically action-guiding. I call this the perceptual guidance claim. I distinguish the perceptual guidance claim from related, but importantly distinct claims , and argue that perceptual action guidance occurs not just in an unconscious vision-for-action system, but also within conscious perceptual experience. (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)
Recent psychological research shows that attention affects appearances. An “attended item looks bigger, faster, earlier, more saturated, stripier.” (Block 2010, p. 41). What is the significance of these findings? Ned Block has argued that they undermine representationism, roughly the view that the phenomenal character of perception is determined by its representational content. My first goal in this paper is to show that Block’s argument has the structure of a Problem of Arbitrary Phenomenal Variation and that it improves on other instances (...) of arguments of the same form along several dimensions (most prominently, these are arguments based on the possibility of spectral inversion). My second goal is to consider responses to Block’s version of the arbitrariness problem. I will show that most of them have serious drawbacks. Overall, the best view is to accept that attention may distort perception, sacrificing veridicality for usability. I end my discussion by showing how to develop that view. (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.
The non-transitivity of the relation looks the same as has been used to argue that the relation has the same phenomenal character as is non-transitive—a result that jeopardizes certain theories of consciousness. In this paper, I argue against this conclusion while granting the premise by dissociating lookings and phenomenology; an idea that some might find counter-intuitive. However, such an intuition is left unsupported once phenomenology and cognitive access are distinguished from each other; a distinction that is conceptually and empirically grounded.
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)
In contrast to apes’ seemingly sophisticated skill at producing pointing gestures referentially, the comprehension of other individual’s pointing gestures as a source of indexical information seems to be less pronounced.One reason for apes’ difficulty at comprehending pointing gestures might be that in former studies they were mainly confronted with human declarative pointing gestures, whereas apes have largely been shown to point imperatively and towards humans. In the present study bonobos, chimpanzees and orangutans were confronted with a conspecific’s imperative pointing gesture (...) in a competitive context, therefore mirroring former studies that have investigated apes’ skills at producing these gestures.However, apes in the present study did not use their conspecific’s pointing gestures. Apes have been shown to use indexical information when provided noncommunicatively and to interpret other individuals’ actions in terms of motives. Thus, it is discussed whether apes treat a pointing gesture as intentional act of indexical reference. (shrink)
Social networks play a significant role in learning and thus in farmers’ adoption of new agricultural technologies. This study examined the effects of social network factors on information acquisition and adoption of new seed varieties among groundnut farmers in Uganda and Kenya. The data were generated through face-to-face interviews from a random sample of 461 farmers, 232 in Uganda and 229 in Kenya. To assess these effects two alternative econometric models were used: a seemingly unrelated bivariate probit model and a (...) recursive bivariate probit model. The statistical evaluation of the SUBP shows that information acquisition and adoption decisions are interrelated while tests for the RBP do not support this latter model. Therefore, the analysis is based on the results obtained from the SUBP. These results reveal that social network factors, particularly weak ties with external support, partially influence information acquisition, but do not influence adoption. In Uganda, external support, gender, farm size, and geographic location have an impact on information acquisition. In Kenya, external support and geographic location also have an impact on information acquisition. With regard to adoption, gender, household size, and geographic location play the most important roles for Ugandan farmers, while in Kenya information from external sources, education, and farm size affect adoption choice. The study provides insight on the importance of external weak ties in groundnut farming, and a need to understand regional differences along gender lines while developing agricultural strategies. This study further illustrates the importance of farmer participation in applied technology research and the impact of social interactions among farmers and external agents. (shrink)
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 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)
In contrast to apes' seemingly sophisticated skill at producing pointing gestures referentially, the comprehension of other individual's pointing gestures as a source of indexical information seems to be less pronounced.One reason for apes' difficulty at comprehending pointing gestures might be that in former studies they were mainly confronted with human declarative pointing gestures, whereas apes have largely been shown to point imperatively and towards humans. In the present study bonobos, chimpanzees and orangutans were confronted with a conspecific's imperative pointing gesture (...) in a competitive context, therefore mirroring former studies that have investigated apes' skills at producing these gestures.However, apes in the present study did not use their conspecific's pointing gestures. Apes have been shown to use indexical information when provided noncommunicatively and to interpret other individuals' actions in terms of motives. Thus, it is discussed whether apes treat a pointing gesture as intentional act of indexical reference. (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)