We describe a strategy for integration of data that is based on the idea of semantic enhancement. The strategy promises a number of benefits: it can be applied incrementally; it creates minimal barriers to the incorporation of new data into the semantically enhanced system; it preserves the existing data (including any existing data-semantics) in their original form (thus all provenance information is retained, and no heavy preprocessing is required); and it embraces the full spectrum of data sources, types, models, and (...) modalities (including text, images, audio, and signals). The result of applying this strategy to a given body of data is an evolving Dataspace that allows the application of a variety of integration and analytic processes to diverse data contents. We conceive semantic enhancement (SE) as a lightweight and flexible process that leverages the richness of the structured contents of the Dataspace without adding storage and processing burdens to what, in the intelligence domain, will be an already storage- and processing-heavy starting point. SE works not by changing the data to which it is applied, but rather by adding an extra semantic layer to this data. We sketch how the semantic enhancement approach can be applied consistently and in cumulative fashion to new data and data-models that enter the Dataspace. (shrink)
How the Body Shapes the Mind is an interdisciplinary work that addresses philosophical questions by appealing to evidence found in experimental psychology, neuroscience, studies of pathologies, and developmental psychology. There is a growing consensus across these disciplines that the contribution of embodiment to cognition is inescapable. Because this insight has been developed across a variety of disciplines, however, there is still a need to develop a common vocabulary that is capable of integrating discussions of brain mechanisms in neuroscience, behavioural expressions (...) in psychology, design concerns in artificial intelligence and robotics, and debates about embodied experience in the phenomenology and philosophy of mind. Shaun Gallagher's book aims to contribute to the formulation of that common vocabulary and to develop a conceptual framework that will avoid both the overly reductionistic approaches that explain everything in terms of bottom-up neuronal mechanisms, and inflationistic approaches that explain everything in terms of Cartesian, top-down cognitive states. Gallagher pursues two basic sets of questions. The first set consists of questions about the phenomenal aspects of the structure of experience, and specifically the relatively regular and constant features that we find in the content of our experience. If throughout conscious experience there is a constant reference to one's own body, even if this is a recessive or marginal awareness, then that reference constitutes a structural feature of the phenomenal field of consciousness, part of a framework that is likely to determine or influence all other aspects of experience. The second set of questions concerns aspects of the structure of experience that are more hidden, those that may be more difficult to get at because they happen before we know it. They do not normally enter into the content of experience in an explicit way, and are often inaccessible to reflective consciousness. To what extent, and in what ways, are consciousness and cognitive processes, which include experiences related to perception, memory, imagination, belief, judgement, and so forth, shaped or structured by the fact that they are embodied in this way? (shrink)
The everyday capacity to understand the mind, or 'mindreading', plays an enormous role in our ordinary lives. Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich provide a detailed and integrated account of the intricate web of mental components underlying this fascinating and multifarious skill. The imagination, they argue, is essential to understanding others, and there are special cognitive mechanisms for understanding oneself. The account that emerges has broad implications for longstanding philosophical debates over the status of folk psychology. Mindreading is another trailblazing (...) volume in the prestigious interdisciplinary Oxford Cognitive Science series. (shrink)
Sentimental Rules is an ambitious and highly interdisciplinary work, which proposes and defends a new theory about the nature and evolution of moral judgment. In it, philosopher Shaun Nichols develops the theory that emotions play a critical role in both the psychological and the cultural underpinnings of basic moral judgment. Nichols argues that our norms prohibiting the harming of others are fundamentally associated with our emotional responses to those harms, and that such 'sentimental rules' enjoy an advantage in cultural (...) evolution, which partly explains the success of certain moral norms. This has sweeping and exciting implications for philosophical ethics. Nichols builds on an explosion of recent intriguing experimental work in psychology on our capacity for moral judgment and shows how this empirical work has broad import for enduring philosophical problems. The result is an account that illuminates fundamental questions about the character of moral emotions and the role of sentiment and reason in how we make our moral judgments. This work should appeal widely across philosophy and the other disciplines that comprise cognitive science. (shrink)
Shaun Nichols offers a naturalistic, psychological account of the origins of the problem of free will. He argues that our belief in indeterminist choice is grounded in faulty inference and therefore unjustified, goes on to suggest that there is no single answer to whether free will exists, and promotes a pragmatic approach to prescriptive issues.
Enactivist Interventions is an interdisciplinary work that explores how theories of embodied cognition illuminate many aspects of the mind, including perception, affect, and action. Gallagher argues that the brain is not secluded from the world or isolated in its own processes, but rather is dynamically connected with body and environment.
_The Phenomenological Mind_ is the first book to properly introduce fundamental questions about the mind from the perspective of phenomenology. Key questions and topics covered include: • what is phenomenology? • naturalizing phenomenology and the cognitive sciences • phenomenology and consciousness • consciousness and self-consciousness • time and consciousness • intentionality • the embodied mind • action • knowledge of other minds • situated and extended minds • phenomenology and personal identity. This second edition includes a new preface, and revised (...) and improved chapters. Also included are helpful features such as chapter summaries, guides to further reading, and a glossary, making _The Phenomenological Mind_ an ideal introduction to key concepts in phenomenology, cognitive science and philosophy of mind. (shrink)
The Phenomenological Mind is the first book to properly introduce fundamental questions about the mind from the perspective of phenomenology. Key questions and topics covered include: What is phenomenology? naturalizing phenomenology and the empirical cognitive sciences phenomenology and consciousness consciousness and self-consciousness, including perception and action time and consciousness, including William James intentionality the embodied mind action knowledge of other minds situated and extended minds phenomenology and personal identity Interesting and important examples are used throughout, including phantom limb syndrome, blindsight (...) and self-disorders in schizophrenia, making The Phenomenological Mind an ideal introduction to key concepts in phenomenology, cognitive science and philosophy of mind. (shrink)
This new introduction by Shaun Gallagher gives students and philosophers not only an excellent concise overview of the state of the field and contemporary debates, but a novel way of addressing the subject by looking at the ways in which phenomenology is useful to the disciplines it applies to. Gallagher retrieves the central insights made by the classic phenomenological philosophers (Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, and others), updates some of these insights in innovative ways, and shows how they directly relate (...) to ongoing debates in philosophy and psychology. Accounts of phenomenological methods, and the concepts of intentionality, temporality, embodiment, action, self, and our ability to understand other people are integrated into a coherent contemporary statement that shows why phenomenology is still an active and vital philosophical approach. Each chapter begins with a discussion of the classic analyses and then goes on to show their relevance to contemporary debates in philosophy about embodied, enactive and extended approaches to our understanding of human experience. Along the way Gallagher introduces some novel interpretations that suggest how phenomenology can both inform and be informed by the terms of these debates. (shrink)
An empirical study of people's intuitions about freedom of the will. We show that people tend to have compatiblist intuitions when they think about the problem in a more concrete, emotional way but that they tend to have incompatiblist intuitions when they think about the problem in a more abstract, cognitive way.
Although philosophical approaches to the self are diverse, several of them are relevant to cognitive science. First, the notion of a 'minimal self', a self devoid of temporal extension, is clarified by distinguishing between a sense of agency and a sense of ownership for action. To the extent that these senses are subject to failure in pathologies like schizophrenia, a neuropsychological model of schizophrenia may help to clarify the nature of the minimal self and its neurological underpinnings. Second, there is (...) good evidence to suggest that although certain aspects of the minimal self are primitive and embodied, other aspects may be accessed only in reflective consciousness. Employing a modified concept of the minimal self, it may be possible to construct a robotic form of non-conscious self-reference that depends on an interaction between the robotic body and its environment. In contrast to the minimal self, the narrative self involves continuity over time and is directly relevant to discussions of memory and personal identity. There is growing consensus among philosophers and cognitive scientists about the importance of narrative and its relation to episodic memory and left-hemisphere functions. There are, however, at least two different views of how the narrative self is structured. On one model it is nothing more than an abstract point. On a more extended view, proposed here, the self is a rich amalgam of narratives that allows for the equivocations, contradictions, and self-deceptions of personal life. Even in this case, however, neurocognitive models contribute to our understanding of how narrative identity is structured. (shrink)
We argue that theory-of-mind (ToM) approaches, such as “theory theory” and “simulation theory”, are both problematic and not needed. They account for neither our primary and pervasive way of engaging with others nor the true basis of our folk psychological understanding, even when narrowly construed. Developmental evidence shows that young infants are capable of grasping the purposeful intentions of others through the perception of bodily movements, gestures, facial expressions etc. Trevarthen’s notion of primary intersubjectivity can provide a theoretical framework for (...) understanding these capabilities and his notion of secondary intersubjectivity shows the importance of pragmatic contexts for infants starting around one year of age. The recent neuroscience of resonance systems (i.e., mirror neurons, shared representations) also supports this view. These ideas are worked out in the context of an embodied “Interaction Theory” of social cognition. Still, for more sophisticated intersubjective interactions in older children and adults, one might argue that some form of ToM is required. This thought is defused by appeal to narrative competency and the Narrative Practice Hypothesis (or NPH). We propose that repeated encounters with narratives of a distinctive kind is the normal route through which children acquire an understanding of the forms and norms that enable them to make sense of actions in terms of reasons. A potential objection to this hypothesis is that it presupposes ToM abilities. Interaction Theory is deployed once again to answer this by providing an alternative approach to understanding basic narrative competency and its development. (shrink)
This paper, in opposition to the standard theories of social cognition found in psychology and cognitive science, defends the idea that direct perception plays an important role in social cognition. The two dominant theories, theory theory and simulation theory , both posit something more than a perceptual element as necessary for our ability to understand others, i.e., to “mindread” or “mentalize.” In contrast, certain phenomenological approaches depend heavily on the concept of perception and the idea that we have a direct (...) perceptual grasp of the other person’s intentions, feelings, etc. This paper explains precisely what the notion of direct perception means, offers evidence from developmental studies, and proposes a non-simulationist interpretation of the neuroscience of mirror systems. (shrink)
Theory of mind explanations of how we know other minds are limited in several ways. First, they construe intersubjective relations too narrowly in terms of the specialized cognitive abilities of explaining and predicting another person's mental states and behaviors. Second, they sometimes draw conclusions about secondperson interaction from experiments designed to test third-person observation of another's behavior. As a result, the larger claims that are sometimes made for theory of mind, namely, that theory of mind is our primary and pervasive (...) means for understanding other persons, go beyond both the phenomenological and the scientific evidence. I argue that the interpretation of "primary intersubjectivity" as merely precursory to theory of mind is inadequate. Rather, primary intersubjectivity, understood as a set of embodied practices and capabilities, is not only primary in a developmental sense, but is the primary way we continue to understand others in second-person interactions. (shrink)
We distinguish between three philosophical views on the neuroscience of predictive models: predictive coding, predictive processing and predictive engagement. We examine the concept of active inference under each model and then ask how this concept informs discussions of social cognition. In this context we consider Frith and Friston’s proposal for a neural hermeneutics, and we explore the alternative model of enactivist hermeneutics.
Recent work by Joshua Knobe indicates that people’s intuition about whether an action was intentional depends on whether the outcome is good or bad. This paper argues that part of the explanation for this effect is that there are stable individual differences in how ‘intentional’ is interpreted. That is, in Knobe’s cases, different people interpret the term in different ways. This interpretive diversity of ‘intentional’ opens up a new avenue to help explain Knobe’s results. Furthermore, the paper argues that the (...) use of intuitions in philosophy is complicated by fact that there are robust individual differences in intuitions about matters of philosophical concern. (shrink)
Resistance to the idea that phenomenology can be relevant to cognitive scientific explanation has faced two objections advanced, respectively, from both sides of the issue: from the scientific perspective it has been suggested that phenomenology, understood as an account of first-person experience, is ultimately reducible to cognitive neuroscientific explanation; and from a phenomenological perspective it has been argued that phenomenology cannot be naturalized. In this context it makes sense to consider that the notion of scientific reduction is linked to a (...) classic scientific conception of nature. I argue that if properly understood, the proposal to rethink the concept of nature itself, in enactivist phenomenological approaches, undermines the reductionist program and redefines what it means for phenomenology to be naturalized. (shrink)
A BSTRACT: I argue that theory theory approaches to autism offer a wholly inadequate explanation of autistic symptoms because they offer a wholly inadequate account of the non-autistic understanding of others. As an alternative I outline interaction theory, which incorporates evidence from both developmental and phenomenological studies to show that humans are endowed with important capacities for intersubjective understanding from birth or early infancy. As part of a neurophenomenological analysis of autism, interaction theory offers an account of interpersonal problems that (...) is fully consistent with the variety of social and nonsocial symptoms found in autism. (shrink)
In this paper I defend interaction theory (IT) as an alternative to both theory theory (TT) and simulation theory (ST). IT opposes the basic suppositions that both TT and ST depend upon. I argue that the various capacities for primary and secondary intersubjectivity found in infancy and early childhood should not be thought of as precursors to later developing capacities for using folk psychology or simulation routines. They are not replaced or displaced by such capacities in adulthood, but rather continue (...) to operate as our ordinary and everyday basis for social cognition. I also argue that enactive perception rather than implicit simulation is the best model for explaining these capacities. (shrink)
I present arguments against both explicit and implicit versions of the simulation theory for intersubjective understanding. Logical, developmental, and phenomenological evidence counts against the concept of explicit simulation if this is to be understood as the pervasive or default way that we understand others. The concept of implicit (subpersonal) simulation, identified with neural resonance systems (mirror systems or shared representations), fails to be the kind of simulation required by simulation theory, because it fails to explain how neuronal processes meet constraints (...) that involve instrumentality and pretense. Implicit simulation theory also fails to explain how I can attribute a mental or emotion state that is different from my own to another person. I also provide a brief indication of an alternative interpretation of neural resonance systems. (shrink)
Because the visual system cannot process all of the objects, colors, and features present in a visual scene, visual attention allows some visual stimuli to be selected and processed over others. Most research on visual attention has focused on spatial or location-based attention, in which the locations occupied by stimuli are selected for further processing. Recent research, however, has demonstrated the importance of objects in organizing (or segregating) visual scenes and guiding attentional selection. Because of the long history of spatial (...) attention research, theories of spatial attention are more mature than theories of other visual processes, such as object segregation and object attention. In the present paper, I outline a biased competition account of object segregation and attention, following similar accounts that have been developed for spatial attention (Desimone and Duncan, 1995). In my biased competition account, I seek to understand how some objects can be segregated and selected over other objects in a complex visual scene. Under this account, there are two sources of visual information that allow an object to be processed over other objects: bottom-up information carried by the physical stimulus and top-down information based on an observer's goals. I use the biased competition account to combine many diverse findings from the object segregation and attention literatures into a common framework. (shrink)
Throughout the 20th century, an enormous amount of intellectual fuel was spent debating the merits of a class of skeptical arguments which purport to show that knowledge of the external world is not possible. These arguments, whose origins can be traced back to Descartes, played an important role in the work of some of the leading philosophers of the 20th century, including Russell, Moore and Wittgenstein, and they continue to engage the interest of contemporary philosophers. (e.g., Cohen 1999, DeRose 1995, (...) Hill 1996, Klein 1981, Lewis 1996, McGinn 1993, Nozick 1981, Schiffer 1996, Unger 1975, Williams 1996) Typically, these arguments make use of one or more premises which the philosophers proposing them take to be intuitively obvious. Beyond an appeal to intuition, little or no defense is offered, and in many cases it is hard to see what else could be said in support of these premises. A number of authors have suggested that the intuitions undergirding these skeptical arguments are universal – shared by everyone (or almost everyone) who thinks reflectively about knowledge. In this paper we will offer some evidence indicating that they are far from universal. Rather, the evidence suggests that many of the intuitions epistemologists invoke vary with the cultural background, socioeconomic status and educational background of the person offering the intuition. And this, we will argue, is bad news for the skeptical arguments that rely on those intuitions. The evidence may also be bad news for skepticism itself – not because it shows that skepticism is false, but rather because, if we accept one prominent account of the link between epistemic intuitions and epistemic concepts, it indicates that skepticism may be much less interesting and much less worrisome than philosophers have taken it to be. (shrink)
This volume presents new essays on the propositional imagination by leading researchers. The propositional imagination---the mental capacity we exploit when we imagine that everyone is colour-blind or that Hamlet is a procrastinator---plays an essential role in philosophical theorizing, engaging with fiction, and indeed in everyday life. Yet only recently has there been a systematic attempt to give a cognitive account of the propositional imagination. These thirteen essays, specially written for the volume, capitalize on this recent work, extending the theoretical picture (...) of the imagination and exploring the philosophical implications of cognitive accounts of the imagination. The book also investigates broader philosophical issues surrounding the propositional imagination. The first section addresses the nature of the imagination, its role in emotion production, and its sophistication manifestation in childhood. The essays in the second section focus on the nature of pretence and how pretence is implicated in adult communication. The third section addresses the problem of 'imaginative resistance', the striking fact that when we encounter morally repugnant assertions in fiction, we seem to resist imagining them and accepting them as fictionally true. In the final section, contributors explore the relation between imagining, conceiving, and judgements of possibility and impossibility. The Architecture of the Imagination will be an essential resource for the growing number of philosophers and psychologists studying the nature of the imagination and on its role in philosophy, aesthetics, and everyday life. (shrink)
There is a large tradition of work in moral psychology that explores the capacity for moral judgment by focusing on the basic capacity to distinguish moral violations (e.g. hitting another person) from conventional violations (e.g. playing with your food). However, only recently have there been attempts to characterize the cognitive mechanisms underlying moral judgment (e.g. Cognition 57 (1995) 1; Ethics 103 (1993) 337). Recent evidence indicates that affect plays a crucial role in mediating the capacity to draw the moral/conventional distinction. (...) However, the prevailing account of the role of affect in moral judgment is problematic. This paper argues that the capacity to draw the moral/conventional distinction depends on both a body of information about which actions are prohibited (a Normative Theory) and an affective mechanism. This account leads to the prediction that other normative prohibitions that are connected to an affective mechanism might be treated as non-conventional. An experiment is presented that indicates that “disgust” violations (e.g. spitting at the table), are distinguished from conventional violations along the same dimensions as moral violations. (shrink)
Philosophical hermeneutics, understood as the theory of nterpretation, investigates some questions that are also asked in the cognitive sciences. The nature of human understanding, the way that we gain and organize knowledge, the role played by language and memory in these considerations, the relations between conscious and unconscious knowledge, and how we understand other persons, are all good examples of issues that form the intersection of hermeneutics and the cognitive sciences. Although hermeneutics is most often contrasted with the natural sciences, (...) there are some clear ways in which hermeneutics can contribute to the cognitive sciences and vice versa. (shrink)
In this essay, two different forms of debunking arguments are distinguished. On the type of debunking argument that I will promote, one attempts to undercut the justificatory status of a belief by showing that the belief was formed by an epistemically defective psychological process. I argue that there is a promising application of such a process debunking argument in metaethics. In normative ethics, however, process debunking arguments face greater obstacles.
Recent studies in developmental psychology have found evidence to suggest that there exists an innate system that accounts for the possibilities of early infant imitation and the existence of phantom limbs in cases of congenital absence of limbs. These results challenge traditional assumptions about the status and development of the body schema and body image, and about the nature of the translation process between perceptual experience and motor ability.
A review of several theories and brain-imaging experiments shows that there is no consensus about how to define the sense of agency. In some cases the sense of agency is construed in terms of bodily movement or motor control, in others it is linked to the intentional aspect of action. For some theorists it is the product of higher-order cognitive processes, for others it is a feature of first-order phenomenal experience. In this article I propose a multiple aspects account of (...) the sense of agency. (shrink)
In this paper, we first review recent arguments about the direct perception of the intentions and emotions of others, emphasizing the role of embodied interaction. We then consider a possible objection to the direct perception hypothesis from social psychology, related to phenomena like ‘dehumanization’ and ‘implicit racial bias’, which manifest themselves on a basic bodily level. On the background of such data, one might object that social perception cannot be direct since it depends on and can in fact be interrupted (...) by a set of cultural beliefs. We argue, however, that far from threatening the idea of direct perception, these findings clearly contradict the idea of hardwired theory of mind modules. More generally, we suggest that in order to further the understanding of social cognition we must take seriously insights about in-group and out-group distinctions and related phenomena, all of which are currently neglected in the mainstream social cognition literature. (shrink)
We propose to extend Clark and Chalmer’s concept of the extended mind to consider the possibility that social institutions (e.g., legal systems, museums) may operate in ways similar to the hand-held conveniences (notebooks, calculators) that are often used as examples of extended mind. The inspiration for this suggestion can be found in the writings of Hegel on “objective spirit” which involves the mind in a constant process of externalizing and internalizing. For Hegel, social institutions are pieces of the mind, externalized (...) in their specific time and place. These institutions are the products of shared mental processes. We then use these institutions instrumentally to do further cognitive work, for example, to solve problems or to control behavior. (shrink)
Recent work shows an important asymmetry in lay intuitions about moral dilemmas. Most people think it is permissible to divert a train so that it will kill one innocent person instead of ﬁve, but most people think that it is not permissible to push a stranger in front of a train to save ﬁve innocents. We argue that recent emotion-based explanations of this asymmetry have neglected the contribution that rules make to reasoning about moral dilemmas. In two experiments, we ﬁnd (...) that participants show a parallel asymmetry about versions of the dilemmas that have minimized emotional force. In a third experiment, we ﬁnd that people distinguish between whether an action violates a moral rule and whether it is, all things considered, wrong. We propose that judgments of whether an action is wrong, all things considered, implicate a complex set of psychological processes, including representations of rules, emotional responses, and assessments of costs and beneﬁts. q 2005 Published by Elsevier B.V. (shrink)
On the phenomenological view, a minimal form of self-consciousness is a constant structural feature of conscious experience. Experience happens for the experiencing subject in an immediate way and as part of this immediacy, it is implicitly marked as my experience. For the phenomenologists, this immediate and first-personal givenness of experiential phenomena must be accounted for in terms of a pre-reflective self-consciousness. In the most basic sense of the term, selfconsciousness is not something that comes about the moment one attentively inspects (...) or reflectively introspects one's experiences, or in the instant of self-recognition of one's image in the mirror, or in the proper use of the first-person pronoun, or in the construction of a self-narrative. Rather, these different kinds of self-consciousness are to be distinguished from the pre-reflective self-consciousness which is present whenever I am living through or undergoing an experience, i.e., whenever I am consciously perceiving the world, whenever I am thinking an occurrent thought, whenever I am feeling sad or happy, thirsty or in pain, and so forth. (shrink)
According to agent-causal accounts of free will, agents have the capacity to cause actions, and for a given action, an agent could have done otherwise. This paper uses existing results and presents experimental evidence to argue that young children deploy a notion of agent-causation. If young children do have such a notion, however, it remains quite unclear how they acquire it. Several possible acquisition stories are canvassed, including the possibility that the notion of agent-causation develops from a prior notion of (...) obligation. Finally, the paper sets out how this work might illuminate the philosophical problem of free will. (shrink)
In the past dozen years a number of theoretical models of schizophrenic symptoms have been proposed, often inspired by advances in the cognitive sciences, and especially cognitive neuroscience. Perhaps the most widely cited and influential of these is the neurocognitive model proposed by Christopher Frith (1992). Frith's influence reaches into psychiatry, neuroscience, and even philosophy. The philosopher John Campbell (1999a), for example, has called Frith's model the most parsimonious explanation of how self-ascriptions of thoughts are subject to errors of identification. (...) "On reflection, it also seems that this is not just one possible theory; it is the simplest theory which has any prospect of explaining the sense of agency, and we ought to work from it, introducing complications only as necessary" (1999a, p. 612). Not everyone agrees. In their recent analysis of alien voices and inserted thoughts in schizophrenia, Stephens and Graham (2000) offer a critique of Frith. Their criticism, however, although serious, is neither deep nor extensive. They outline three points. First, Frith fails to provide an adequate account of why a subject who experiences thought insertion would misattribute that thought to some other agent. Second, Frith does not clarify the distinction between thought insertion and thought influence. And third, Frith fails to explain how a subject can claim both that he is thinking the thought and that the thought is someone else's thought (Stephens and Graham.. (shrink)
I clarify recently developed phenomenological approaches to social cognition. These are approaches that, drawing on developmental science, social neuroscience, and dynamic systems theory, emphasize the involvement of embodied and enactive processes together with communicative and narrative practices in contexts of intersubjective understanding. I review some of the evidence that supports these approaches. I consider a variety of criticisms leveled against them, and defend the role of phenomenology in the explanation of social cognition. Finally, I show how these phenomenological approaches can (...) solve the “starting problem” of social cognition. (shrink)
One promising way to investigate the genealogy of norms is by considering not the origin of norms, but rather, what makes certain norms more likely to prevail. Emotional responses, I maintain, constitute one important set of mechanisms that affects the cultural viability of norms. To corroborate this, I exploit historical evidence indicating that 16th century etiquette norms prohibiting disgusting actions were much more likely to survive than other 16th century etiquette norms. This case suggests more broadly that work on cultural (...) evolution should pay greater attention to the role of emotion systems in cultural transmission. (shrink)
Over the last 20 years, a number of central figures in moral philosophy have defended some version of moral rationalism, the idea that morality is based on reason or rationality (e.g., Gewirth 1978, Darwall 1983, Nagel 1970, 1986, Korsgaard 1986, Singer 1995; Smith 1994, 1997). According to rationalism, morality is based on reason or rationality rather than the emotions or cultural idiosyncrasies, and this has seemed to many to be the best way of securing a kind of objectivism about moral (...) claims. Consider the following representative statements. (shrink)
Recent cognitive accounts of the imagination propose that imagining and believing are in the same “code”. According to the single code hypothesis, cognitive mechanisms that can take input from both imagining and from believing will process imagination-based inputs (“pretense representations”) and isomorphic beliefs in much the same way. In this paper, I argue that the single code hypothesis provides a unified and independently motivated explanation for a wide range of puzzles surrounding fiction.
We review the use of introspective and phenomenological methods in experimental settings. We distinguish different senses of introspection, and further distinguish phenomenological method from introspectionist approaches. Two ways of using phenomenology in experimental procedures are identified: first, the neurophenomenological method, proposed by Varela, involves the training of experimental subjects. This approach has been directly and productively incorporated into the protocol of experiments on perception. A second approach may have wider application and does not involve training experimental subjects in phenomenological method. (...) It requires front-loading phenomenological insights into experimental design. A number of experiments employing this approach are reviewed. We conclude with a discussion of the implications for both the cognitive sciences and phenomenology. (shrink)