This book is the one to put into the hands of those who have been over-impressed by Austin 's critics....[Warnock's] brilliant editing puts everybody who is concerned with philosophical problems in his debt.
The senses, or sensory modalities, constitute the different ways we have of perceiving the world, such as seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling. But how many senses are there? How many could there be? What makes the senses different? What interaction takes place between the senses? This book is a guide to thinking about these questions. Together with an extensive introduction to the topic, the book contains the key classic papers on this subject together with nine newly commissioned essays.One reason (...) that these questions are important is that we are receiving a huge influx of new information from the sciences that challenges some traditional philosophical views about the senses. This information needs to be incorporated into our view of the senses and perception. Can we do this whilst retaining our pre-existing concepts of the senses and of perception or do we need to revise our concepts? If they need to be revised, then in what way should that be done? Research in diverse areas, such as the nature of human perception, varieties of non-human animal perception, the interaction between different sensory modalities, perceptual disorders, and possible treatments for them, calls into question the platitude that there are five senses, as well as the pre-supposition that we know what we are counting when we count them as five.This book will serve as an inspiring introduction to the topic and as a basis from which further new research will grow. (shrink)
As yet, there is no enactive account of social cognition. This paper extends the enactive concept of sense-making into the social domain. It takes as its departure point the process of interaction between individuals in a social encounter. It is a well-established finding that individuals can and generally do coordinate their movements and utterances in such situations. We argue that the interaction process can take on a form of autonomy. This allows us to reframe the problem of social cognition (...) as that of how meaning is generated and transformed in the interplay between the unfolding interaction process and the individuals engaged in it. The notion of sense-making in this realm becomes participatory sense-making. The onus of social understanding thus moves away from strictly the individual only. (shrink)
In their theories of know how, proponents of Intellectualism routinely appeal to ‘practical modes of presentation’. But what are practical modes of presentation? And what makes them distinctively practical? In this essay, I develop a Fregean account of practical modes of presentation: I argue that there are such things as practical senses and I give a theory of what they are. One of the challenges facing the proponent of a distinctively Fregean construal of practical modes of presentation is to provide (...) an account of their nature on which they are plausible qua Fregean senses. I take up this challenge, arguing that we find examples of practical senses in the semantic values assigned to programs by operational semantics for programming languages. By looking at a species of practical senses, we will have taken one important step towards legitimizing the genus. In particular, I show that certain features of operational semantic values can be generalized towards a comprehensive theory of practical senses. The upshot is a full-fledged account of what practical senses are, which can be put to use in an explanatory theory of know how. (shrink)
This paper explores some of the differences between the enactive approach in cognitive science and the extended mind thesis. We review the key enactive concepts of autonomy and sense-making . We then focus on the following issues: (1) the debate between internalism and externalism about cognitive processes; (2) the relation between cognition and emotion; (3) the status of the body; and (4) the difference between ‘incorporation’ and mere ‘extension’ in the body-mind-environment relation.
Sense and Sensitivity explores the semantics and pragmatics of focus in natural language discourse, advancing a new account of focus sensitivity which posits a three-way distinction between different effects of focus. Makes a valuable contribution to the ongoing research in the field of focus sensitivity Discusses the features of QFC, an original theory of focus implying a new typology of focus-sensitive expressions Presents novel cross-linguistic data on focus and focus sensitivity Concludes with a case study of exclusives (like “only”), (...) arguing that the entire existing literature (reviewed in detail) has missed crucial generalizations, and that the focus sensitivity of these expressions must be understood in terms of their meaning and discourse function. (shrink)
Nelkin presents a simple and natural account of freedom and moral responsibility which responds to the great variety of challenges to the idea that we are free and responsible, before ultimately reaffirming our conception of ourselves as agents. Making Sense of Freedom and Responsibility begins with a defense of the rational abilities view, according to which one is responsible for an action if and only if one acts with the ability to recognize and act for good reasons. The view (...) is compatibilist -- that is, on the view defended, responsibility is compatible with determinism -- and one of its striking features is a certain asymmetry: it requires the ability to do otherwise for responsibility when actions are praiseworthy, but not when they are blameworthy. In defending and elaborating the view, Nelkin questions long-held assumptions such as those concerning the relation between fairness and blame and the nature of so-called reactive attitudes such as resentment and forgiveness. Her argument not only fits with a metaphysical picture of causation -- agent-causation -- often assumed to be available only to incompatibilist accounts, but receives positive support from the intuitively appealing Ought Implies Can Principle, and establishes a new interpretation of freedom and moral responsibility that dovetails with a compelling account of our inescapable commitments as rational agents. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to make sense of relativism about truth. There are two key ideas. (1) To be a relativist about truth is to allow that a sentence or proposition might be assessment-sensitive: that is, its truth value might vary with the context of assessment as well as the context of use. (2) Making sense of relativism is a matter of understanding what it would be to commit oneself to the truth of an assessment-sensitive sentence (...) or proposition. (shrink)
Making Sense of Evolution explores contemporary evolutionary biology, focusing on the elements of theories—selection, adaptation, and species—that are complex and open to multiple possible interpretations, many of which are incompatible with one another and with other accepted practices in the discipline. Particular experimental methods, for example, may demand one understanding of “selection,” while the application of the same concept to another area of evolutionary biology could necessitate a very different definition.
Much work on the sense of agency has focused either on abnormal cases, such as delusions of control, or on simple action tasks in the laboratory. Few studies address the nature of the sense of agency in complex natural settings, or the effect of skill on the sense of agency. Working from 2 case studies of mountain bike riding, we argue that the sense of agency in high-skill individuals incorporates awareness of multiple causal influences on action (...) outcomes. This allows fine-grained differentiation of the contributions of self and external factors to action outcomes. We further argue that the sense of agency incorporates prospective awareness of actions that are possible in a situation and awareness of the limits of control. These forms of sense of agency enable highly flexible, context-sensitive strategic control, and are likely to contribute to high interindividual variability in responses to complex tasks. (shrink)
Sense of agency is a compelling but fragile experience that is augmented or attenuated by internal signals and by external cues. A disruption in SoA may characterise individual symptoms of mental illness such as delusions of control. Indeed, it has been argued that generic SoA disturbances may lie at the heart of delusions and hallucinations that characterise schizophrenia. A clearer understanding of how sensorimotor, perceptual and environmental cues complement, or compete with, each other in engendering SoA may prove valuable (...) in deepening our understanding the agency disruptions that characterise certain focal neurological disorders and mental illnesses. Here we examine the integration of SoA cues in health and illness, describing a simple framework of this integration based on Bayesian principles. We extend this to consider how alterations in cue integration may lead to aberrant experiences of agency. (shrink)
The now growing literature on the content and sources of the phenomenology of first-person agency highlights the multi-faceted character of the phenomenology of agency and makes it clear that the experience of agency includes many other experiences as components. This paper examines the possible relations between these components of our experience of acting and the processes involved in action specification and action control. After a brief discussion of our awareness of our goals and means of action, it will focus on (...) the sense of agency for a given action, understood as the sense the agent has that he or she is the author of that action. I argue that the sense of agency can be analyzed as a compound of more basic experiences, including the experience of intentional causation, the sense of initiation and the sense of control. I further argue that the sense of control may itself be analysed into a number of more specific, partially dissociable experiences. (shrink)
The sensorimotor approach to perception addresses various aspects of perceptual experience, but not the subjectivity of intentional action. Conversely, the problem that current accounts of the sense of agency deal with is primarily one of subjectivity. But the proposed models, based on internal signal comparisons, arguably fail to make the transition from subpersonal computations to personal experience. In this paper we suggest an alternative direction towards explaining the sense of agency by braiding three theoretical strands: a world-involving, dynamical (...) interpretation of the sensorimotor approach, an enactive description of sensorimotor agency as contrasted with organic agency in general, and a dynamical theory of equilibration within and between sensorimotor schemes. On this new account, the sense of oneself as the author of one’s own actions corresponds to what we experience during the ongoing adventure of establishing, losing, and re-establishing meaningful interactions with the world. The meaningful relation between agent and world is given by the precarious constitution of sensorimotor agency as a self-asserting network of schemes and dispositions. Acts are owned as they adaptively assert the constitution of the agent. Thus, awareness for different aspects of agency experience, such as the initiation of action, the effort exerted in controlling it, or the achievement of the desired effect, can be accounted for by processes involved in maintaining the sensorimotor organization that enables these interactions with the world. We discuss these processes in detail from a non-representational, dynamical perspective and show how they cohere with the personal experience of agency. (shrink)
How do I know that I am the person who is moving? According to Wittgenstein, the sense of agency involves a primitive notion of the self used as subject, which does not rely on any prior perceptual identification and which is immune to error through misidentification. However, the neuroscience of action and the neuropsychology of schizophrenia show the existence of specific cognitive processes underlying the sense of agency—the “Who” system —which is disrupted in delusions of control. Yet, we (...) have to be careful in the interpretation of such clinical symptoms, which cannot be so easily reduced to deficit of action monitoring or to lack of action awareness. Moreover, we should refine the definition of the sense of agency by distinguishing the sense of initiation and the sense of one’s own movements. A conceptual analysis of the empirical data will lead us to establish the taxonomy of the different levels of action representations. (shrink)
Philosophers and scientists have studied sensory perception and, in particular, vision for many years. Increasingly, however, they have become interested in the nonvisual senses in greater detail and the problem of individuating the senses in a more general way. The Aristotelian view is that there are only five external senses—smell, taste, hearing, touch, and vision. This has, by many counts, been extended to include internal senses, such as balance, proprioception, and kinesthesis; pain; and potentially other human and nonhuman senses. This (...) “multisensory turn” has been driven partly by developments in contemporary psychology and neuroscience, which have revealed a host of complex interrelations and interactions between sensory modalities previously thought to be distinct. Contrasts between modalities and other crossmodal phenomena, including multisensory integration, synesthesia, and sensory substitution, have also begun to receive more attention in a burgeoning scientific and philosophical literature on multisensory perception and other crossmodal effects. This article focuses on recent empirically informed contributions to the philosophy of perception, as well as key scientific works that provide important background information and insights into the nature of the senses and sensory perception. Indeed, one of the lessons of the multisensory turn, and of contemporary philosophy of mind more generally, is that philosophers ignore this body of empirical research at their peril because many human and animal senses turn out to be richer and more complex than philosophers and scientists had previously imagined, making this a fruitful area for interdisciplinary interaction and research. (shrink)
The paper addresses the phenomenology of inference. It proposes that the conscious character of conscious inferences is partly constituted by a sense of meaning; specifically, a sense of what Grice called ‘natural meaning’. In consciously drawing the (outright, categorical) conclusion that Q from a presumed fact that P, one senses the presumed fact that P as meaning that Q, where ‘meaning that’ expresses natural meaning. This sense of natural meaning is phenomenologically analogous, I suggest, to our (...) class='Hi'>sense of what is said in fluently comprehending everyday utterances in our first language. The proposal that conscious inference involves a sense of natural meaning is compared with views according to which conscious inference involves taking the premises (i) to be good reasons for the conclusion (as defended by Thomson and Grice), (ii) to support it (as argued by Audi and, recently, Boghossian), or (iii) to imply it (as lately contended by Broome). I argue our proposal can explain certain phenomena handled by alternatives (i) and (ii), but that some further phenomena is handled by our account but not these alternatives. In relation to alternative (iii), I argue that, in so far as implicational and natural-meaning relations come apart, the latter are a better fit for what we sense or take to be so in conscious inference. (shrink)
Where in cognitive architecture do experiences of agency lie? This chapter defends the claim that such states qualify as a species of perception. Reference to ‘the sense of agency’ should not be taken as a mere façon de parler but picks out a genuinely perceptual system. The chapter begins by outlining the perceptual model of agentive experience before turning to its two main rivals: the doxastic model, according to which agentive experience is really a species of belief, and the (...) telic model, according to which agentive experience is really a species of agency. I conclude by defending the perceptual model against a number of objections to it, and by briefly exploring its implications for the question of how to approach the study of perception. (shrink)
This paper seeks to describe and analyze the traumatic experience through an examination of the sense of agency—the sense of controlling one’s body, and sense of ownership—the sense that it is my body that undergoes experiences. It appears that there exist two levels of traumatic experience: on the first level one loses the sense of agency but retains the sense of ownership, whilst on the second one loses both of these, with symptoms becoming progressively (...) more severe. A comparison of the traumatic experience with various modulations of the senses of agency and ownership, from cases involving prostheses to tools requiring greater or lesser extents of control, suggests that the harsher the traumatic event, the greater the damage is to the sense of ownership, resulting in the increasing sense of the body as a tool rather than an original organism. Likewise, the long-term ramifications become more severe according to the significance of the damage to the sense of ownership. (shrink)
Patients suffering from the Cotard syndrome can deny being alive, having guts, thinking or even existing. They can also complain that the world or time have ceased to exist. In this article, I argue that even though the leading neurocognitive accounts have difficulties meeting that task, we should, and we can, make sense of these bizarre delusions. To that effect, I draw on the close connection between the Cotard syndrome and a more common condition known as depersonalisation. Even though (...) they are not delusional, depersonalised patients seem to have experiences that are quite similar to those of Cotard patients. I argue that these experiences are essentially characterised by a lack of subjective character and of two other structural features of experience, which I call ‘the present character’ and ‘the actual character’. Cotard's nihilistic delusions simply consist in taking these anomalous experiences at face value. (shrink)
The sense of agency is a central aspect of human self-consciousness and refers to the experience of oneself as the agent of one’s own actions. Several different cognitive theories on the sense of agency have been proposed implying divergent empirical approaches and results, especially with respect to neural correlates. A multifactorial and multilevel model of the sense of agency may provide the most constructive framework for integrating divergent theories and findings, meeting the complex nature of this intriguing (...) phenomenon. (shrink)
Hallucinations occur in a wide range of organic and psychological disorders, as well as in a small percentage of the normal population According to usual definitions in psychology and psychiatry, hallucinations are sensory experiences which present things that are not there, but are nonetheless accompanied by a powerful sense of reality. As Richard Bentall puts it, “the illusion of reality ... is the sine qua non of all hallucinatory experiences” (Bentall 1990: 82). The aim of this paper is to (...) find out what lends an experience ‘a sense of reality’: what features are required for an experience to feel ‘real’, in the relevant sense? I will investigate the claim that phenomenological features are largely responsible for a sense of reality, and will find this claim wanting. My suggestion is that a sense of reality is created and sustained by the larger nexus of the subject's beliefs. (shrink)
In this 2004 book, Noah Lemos presents a strong defense of the common sense tradition, the view that we may take as data for philosophical inquiry many of the things we ordinarily think we know. He discusses the main features of that tradition as expounded by Thomas Reid, G. E. Moore and Roderick Chisholm. For a long time common sense philosophers have been subject to two main objections: that they fail to give any non-circular argument for the reliability (...) of memory and perception; and that they pick out instances of knowledge without knowing a criterion for knowledge. Lemos defends the appeal to what we ordinarily think we know in both epistemology and ethics and thus rejects the charge that common sense is dogmatic, unphilosophical or question-begging. Written in a clear and engaging style, this book will appeal to students and philosophers in epistemology and ethics. (shrink)
According to the reading offered here, Descartes' use of the meditative mode of writing was not a mere rhetorical device to win an audience accustomed to the spiritual retreat. His choice of the literary form of the spiritual exercise was consonant with, if not determined by, his theory of the mind and of the basis of human knowledge. Since Descartes' conception of knowledge implied the priority of the intellect over the senses, and indeed the priority of an intellect operating independently (...) of the senses, and since, in Descartes' view, the untutored individual was likely to be nearly wholly immersed in the senses, a procedure was needed for freeing the intellect from sensory domination so that the truth might be seen. Hence, the cognitive exercises of the Meditations, modeled not on the sense- and imagination-based exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, but on the Augustinian procedure of turning away from the senses and imagination to perceive the unpicturable with the fleshless eye of the mind. In accordance with this reading, the function of Descartes' skeptical arguments is not to introduce skepticism so that it can be defeated but to aid the meditator in withdrawing the mind from the senses in order to attend to truths of the pure intellect. These truths then offer the basis for a new natural philosophy, including a new theory of the senses. (shrink)
This article is interdisciplinary in its claims. Evolving around the ecological concept of affordance, it brings together pragmatics and ecological psychology. Starting from the theoretical writings of Peirce, Dewey and James, the biosemiotic claims of von Uexküll, Gibson’s ecological approach to perception and some empirical evidence from recent neurobiological research, it elaborates on the concepts of experiential and enactive cognition as applied to music. In order to provide an operational description of this approach, it introduces some conceptual tools from the (...) domain of cybernetics with a major focus on the concept of circularity, which links perception to action in a continuous process of sense-making and interaction with the environment. As such, it is closely related to some pragmatic, biosemiotic and ecosemiotic claims which can be subsumed under the general notion of functional significance. An attempt is made to apply this conceptual framework to the process of musical sense-making which involves the realisation of systemic cognition in the context of epistemic interactions that are grounded in our biology and possibilities for adaptive control. Central in this approach is the concept of coping with the environment, or, in musical terms, to perceive the sounding music in terms of what it affords for the consummation of musical behaviour. (shrink)
Many philosophers nowadays believe Frege was right about belief, but wrong about language: The contents of beliefs need to be individuated more finely than in terms of Russellian propositions, but the contents of utterances do not. I argue that this 'hybrid view' cannot offer no reasonable account of how communication transfers knowledge from one speaker to another and that, to do so, we must insist that understanding depends upon more than just getting the references of terms right.
According to the doctrine of divine simplicity, God is an absolutely simple being lacking any distinct metaphysical parts, properties, or constituents. Although this doctrine was once an essential part of traditional philosophical theology, it is now widely rejected as incoherent. In this paper, I develop an interpretation of the doctrine designed to resolve contemporary concerns about its coherence, as well as to show precisely what is required to make sense of divine simplicity.
Can there be a theory-free experience? And what would be the object of such an experience. Drawing on ideas set out by Husserl in the “Crisis” and in the second book of his “Ideas”, the paper presents answers to these questions in such a way as to provide a systematic survey of the content and ontology of common sense. In the second part of the paper Husserl’s ideas on the relationship between the common-sense world (what he called the (...) ‘life-world’) and the world of physical theory are subjected to a critical evaluation. The relation of Husserl’s ideas to current work in folk psychology and naive physics and to the direct realism of J. J. Gibson are also treated. (shrink)
A central goal of philosophy of perception is to uncover the nature of sensory capacities. Ideally, we would like an account that specifies what conditions need to be met in order for an organism to count as having the capacity to sense or perceive its environment. And on the assumption that sensory states are the kinds of things that can be accurate or inaccurate, a further goal of philosophy of perception is to identify the accuracy conditions for sensory states. (...) In this paper I recommend a novel approach to these core issues, one that draws heavily on game-theoretic treatments of signaling in nature. A benefit of the approach is that it helps us to understand why biologists attribute sensory powers to such a diverse range of organisms, including plants, fungi, and algae. (shrink)
How ought we differentiate the senses? What, say, distinguishes vision from audition? The question comes in two versions. First, there is the traditional problem of individuating the senses in humans. Second, there is also an important question about what sensory modalities we ought to attribute to non-human animals, a version of the question that has been virtually ignored by philosophers. Modality ought to be construed as an “avenue into” an organism for information external to the central nervous system. Six proposed (...) criteria found in the philosophical literature concerning the senses are reviewed. Initially, four criteria—physics, neurobiology, behavior, and evolutionary or developmental dedication—are shown to be individually necessary and jointly sufficient. Next, two criteria—Aristotle's proper objects of sensation criterion and Grice's sensation or qualia criterion—are considered and rejected. One overarching goal here is to show that there is interesting contemporary work left to be done on this ancient philosophical question. (shrink)
Making Sense of Education provides a contemporary introduction to the key issues in educational philosophy and theory. Exploring recent developments as well as important ideas from the twentieth century, this book aims to make philosophy of education relevant to everyday practice for teachers and student teachers, as well as those studying education as an academic subject.
Because philosophical reflections on touch usually start from our ability to perceive properties of objects, they tend to overlook features of touch that are crucial to correct understanding of tactual perception. This paper brings out these features and uses them to develop a general reconception of the sense of touch. I start by taking a fresh look at our ability to feel, in order to reveal its vital role. This sheds a different light on the skin's perceptual potential. While (...) it is commonly observed that tactile experiences have two intentional objects, an external object and one's own body, I will advance a more accurate alternative: in tactile experiences, one becomes aware of what one's body undergoes. This alternative not only fits better with tactility's vital role; it is also key to explaining how active touching provides for a unique contribution to our perceptual relation to material objects. By thus connecting tactility's vital role to the way we rely on touch while manipulating objects, this essay offers a cross-sectional survey of our tactile powers that reveals the interplay between sensing and touching. (shrink)
If two subjects have phenomenally identical experiences, there is an important sense in which the way the world appears to them is precisely the same. But how are we to understand this notion of 'ways of appearing'? Most philosophers who have acknowledged the existence of phenomenal content have held that the way something appears is simply a matter of the properties something appears to have. On this view, the way something appears is simply the way something appears to be (...) . This identification supports a Russellian theory of phenomenal content, according to which phenomenal content is exhausted by facts about what specific properties are represented by an experience. The present paper motivates and develops an alternative Fregean theory of phenomenal colour content. According to Fregean theories, the phenomenal content that is shared by any two phenomenally identical experiences is a matter of how the world is represented, and need not involve sameness in what is represented. It is argued that ways of appearing are modes of presentations of external properties and objects, and a detailed theory is presented about the nature of the modes of presentation involved in colour experience. (shrink)
The phenomenology of agency and perception is probably underpinned by a common cognitive system based on generative models and predictive coding. I defend the hypothesis that this cognitive system explains core aspects of the sense of having a self in agency and perception. In particular, this cognitive model explains the phenomenological notion of a minimal self as well as a notion of the narrative self. The proposal is related to some influential studies of overall brain function, and to psychopathology. (...) These elusive notions of the self are shown to be the natural upshots of general cognitive mechanisms whose fundamental purpose is to enable agents to represent the world and act in it. (shrink)
In the case of ventriloquism, seeing the movement of the ventriloquist dummy’s mouth changes your experience of the auditory location of the vocals. Some have argued that cases like ventriloquism provide evidence for the view that at least some of the content of perception is fundamentally multimodal. In the ventriloquism case, this would mean your experience has constitutively audio-visual content (not just a conjunction of an audio content and visual content). In this paper, I argue that cases like ventriloquism do (...) not in fact warrant that conclusion. I then try to make sense of crossmodal cases without appealing to fundamentally multimodal content. (shrink)
The theory of autopoiesis is central to the enactive approach. Recent works emphasize that the theory of autopoiesis is a theory of sense-making in living systems, i.e. of how living systems produce and consume meaning. In this chapter I first illustrate (some aspects of) these recent works, and interpret their notion of sense-making as a bodily cognitive- emotional form of understanding. Then I turn to modern emotion science, and I illustrate its tendency to over-intellectualize our capacity to evaluate (...) and understand. I show that this overintellectualization goes hand in hand with the rejection of the idea that the body is a vehicle of meaning. I explain why I think that this over-intellectualization is problematic, and try to reconceptualize the notion of evaluation in emotion theory in a way that is consistent and continuous with the autopoietic notion of sense-making. (shrink)
Making sense of modeling: beyond representation Content Type Journal Article Category Original paper in Philosophy of Science Pages 335-352 DOI 10.1007/s13194-011-0032-8 Authors Isabelle Peschard, Philosophy Department, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 3.
Though scholarship has explored Karin Costelloe-Stephen’s contributions to the history of psychoanalysis, as well as her relations to the Bloomsbury Group, her philosophical work has been almost completely ignored. This paper will examine her debate with Bertrand Russell over his criticism of Bergson. Costelloe-Stephen had employed the terminology of early analytic philosophy in presenting a number of arguments in defence of Bergson’s views. Costelloe-Stephen would object, among other things, to Russell’s use of an experiment which, as she points out, was (...) first conducted by Carl Stumpf. Russell appeals to Stumpf's experiment in his attempt to prove that sense data are terms in logical relations, a thesis presupposed by the project of logical analysis outlined in Our Knowledge of the External World. A reformulated version of Costelloe-Stephen's argument put forth by this paper shows that Russell's argument fails to provide adequate proof for his thesis. Further modifications of the argument can also address a reconstruction (based on contemporary reports) of Russell's reply to Costelloe-Stephen. In his reply, Russell would use, already in 1914, the term ‘analytic philosophy’ in contrasting his and Moore’s approach to a continental one, exemplified by Bergson and Costelloe-Stephen. (shrink)
Large changes in a scene often become difficult to notice if made during an eye movement, image flicker, movie cut, or other such disturbance. It is argued here that this _change blindness_ can serve as a useful tool to explore various aspects of vision. This argument centers around the proposal that focused attention is needed for the explicit perception of change. Given this, the study of change perception can provide a useful way to determine the nature of visual attention, and (...) to cast new light on the way that it is?and is not?involved in visual perception. To illustrate the power of this approach, this paper surveys its use in exploring three different aspects of vision. The first concerns the general nature of _seeing_. To explain why change blindness can be easily induced in experiments but apparently not in everyday life, it is proposed that perception involves a _virtual representation_, where object representations do not accumulate, but are formed as needed. An architecture containing both attentional and nonattentional streams is proposed as a way to implement this scheme. The second aspect concerns the ability of observers to detect change even when they have no visual experience of it. This _sensing_ is found to take on at least two forms: detection without visual experience (but still with conscious awareness), and detection without any awareness at all. It is proposed that these are both due to the operation of a nonattentional visual stream. The final aspect considered is the nature of visual attention itself?the mechanisms involved when _scrutinizing_ items. Experiments using controlled stimuli show the existence of various limits on visual search for change. It is shown that these limits provide a powerful means to map out the attentional mechanisms involved. (shrink)
According to the powerful qualities view, properties are both powerful and qualitative. Indeed, on this view the powerfulness of a property is identical to its qualitativity. Proponents claim that this view provides an attractive alternative to both the view that properties are pure powers and the view that they are pure qualities. It remains unclear, however, whether the claimed identity between powerfulness and qualitativity can be made coherent in a way that allows the powerful qualities view to constitute this sort (...) of alternative. I argue here that this can be done, given a particular conception of both the qualitativity and powerfulness of properties. On this conception, a property is qualitative just in the sense that its essence is fixed independently of any distinct properties, and it is powerful just if its essence grounds its dispositional role. (shrink)
This dissertation aims to construct a non-dogmatic defence of common sense. It tries to show why the absence of justification for the judgements of common sense, which the sceptic reveals, does not invalidate them.
"On Sense and Reflexivity" offers the answer to a crucial question that was posed, and left without a satisfactory answer, by Gottlob Frege in "On Sense and Reference" (1892): What is the sense of a proper name? The century-long failure to answer this question has been the main motivation and support for recent nondescriptional accounts of lexical singular terms.
We show that, contrary to conventional wisdom, Frege’s distinction between sense and reference does not reconcile a classical logic of identity with apparent counterexamples to it involving proper names embedded under propositional attitude verbs.