This essay argues that despite of the feminist critique of Merleau-Ponty his phenomenology can be positively appropriated to the theory of sexual difference. It focuses on three issues: the first one is closely linked to the Phenomenology of Perception and introduces a concept of "difference as differentiation". The second one is concerned with the intersubjective dimension of sexuality and will be called a "sexual syncretism". Finally, I’m referring to Merleau-Ponty's notion of "chiasm" in his late work The Visible and the (...) Invisible in order to apply it to the theory of sexual difference. At this point, the difference between sexual beings will be conceptualized as "chiasmatic intertwining". In doing so, I hope to show that Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology is a helpful resource for philosophical research that is mainly concerned with the questions of sexuality and sexual difference. (shrink)
This article presents the first, systematic analysis of the ethical challenges posed by recommender systems through a literature review. The article identifies six areas of concern, and maps them onto a proposed taxonomy of different kinds of ethical impact. The analysis uncovers a gap in the literature: currently user-centred approaches do not consider the interests of a variety of other stakeholders—as opposed to just the receivers of a recommendation—in assessing the ethical impacts of a recommender system.
Organization in a tangled world -- Process views of organization -- Alfred North Whitehead on process -- Bruno Latour on relativizing the social, and the becoming of networks -- Niklas Luhmann on autopoiesis and recursiveness in social systems -- James March on decision processes and organization : a logic of streams -- Karl Weick on organizing and sensemaking -- A scheme for process based organizational analysis -- Some implications for organizational analysis.
This paper analyzes the main features of rational choice theory and evaluates it with respect to the conceptions of Lakatos' research program and Laudan's research tradition. The analysis reveals that the thin rationality assumption, the axiomatic method and the reduction to the micro level are the only features shared by all rational choice models. On these grounds, it is argued that rational choice theory cannot be characterized as a research program. This is due to the fact that the thin rationality (...) assumption cannot be understood as a hard core in Lakatos' terms. It is argued that Laudan's conception of a research tradition better characterizes rational choice theory. On the basis of this conclusion, certain important criticisms of rational choice theory are answered. First, the criticisms concerning the core assumptions of rational choice theory are countered. It is argued that this critique is based on a misunderstanding of rational choice theory as a unified set of models, such as Lakatos' research program. Second, Green and Shapiro's rational choice 'pathologies' - inconsistent predictions, post hoc theory development and arbitrary domain restrictions - are evaluated. Contrary to Green and Shapiro, it is argued that post hoc theory development is a more preferable strategy for developing RCT than domain restrictions based on ex ante rules. (shrink)
Theories of deliberative democracy maintain that outcomes of democratic deliberation are fairer than outcomes of mere aggregation of preferences. Theorists of impartial justice, especially Rawls and Sen, emphasize the role of deliberative processes for making just decisions. Democratic deliberation seems therefore to provide a model of impartial decision-making applicable in the real world. However, various types of cognitive and affective biases limit individual capacity to see things from others’ perspectives. In this paper, two strategies of enhancing impartiality in real world (...) decision-making are discussed. The first involves decision-making processes which detach decision-makers from their particular interests, whereas the second aims to enhance the quality of democratic deliberation and empathetic reasoning. We conclude that new forms of democratic deliberation may be necessary if we hold on to the aspiration of making decisions which are both democratic and impartial. (shrink)
I argue that recent attempts to deflect Access Problems for realism about a priori domains such as mathematics, logic, morality, and modality using arguments from evolution result in two kinds of explanatory overkill: the Access Problem is eliminated for contentious domains, and realist belief becomes viciously immune to arguments from dispensability, and to non-rebutting counter-arguments more generally.
Cultural difference has been largely ignored within bioethics, particularly within the end-of-life discourses and practices that have developed over the past two decades in the U.S. healthcare system. Yet how should culturebe taken into account?
This article analyses the ethical aspects of multistakeholder recommendation systems (RSs). Following the most common approach in the literature, we assume a consequentialist framework to introduce the main concepts of multistakeholder recommendation. We then consider three research questions: who are the stakeholders in a RS? How are their interests taken into account when formulating a recommendation? And, what is the scientific paradigm underlying RSs? Our main finding is that multistakeholder RSs (MRSs) are designed and theorised, methodologically, according to neoclassical welfare (...) economics. We consider and reply to some methodological objections to MRSs on this basis, concluding that the multistakeholder approach offers the resources to understand the normative social dimension of RSs. (shrink)
: Shannon Sullivan's critique of Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception is based on the argument that, due to his concept of the "anonymous body," his theory of intersubjectivity omits the particularities of bodies, such as gender. I argue that Merleau-Ponty's "anonymous body" (le corps phénoménal) is not in fact "neutral" as Sullivan suggests, and moreover that he does not ignore differences but rather provides us with the idea of difference as a process of differentiation. Additionally, I argue that Sullivan's concept of (...) "hypothetical construction," which is introduced as an alternative to Merleau-Ponty, turns out to be a conscious construction, not reflecting upon its very conditions. Thus, Sullivan's account fails by presupposing what in fact needs to be explained: the particularities. (shrink)
Can art, religion, or philosophy afford ineffable insights? If so, what are they? The idea of ineffability has puzzled philosophers from Laozi to Wittgenstein. In Ineffability and its Metaphysics: The Unspeakable in Art, Religion and Philosophy, Silvia Jonas examines different ways of thinking about what ineffable insights might involve metaphysically, and shows which of these are in fact incoherent. Jonas discusses the concepts of ineffable properties and objects, ineffable propositions, ineffable content, and ineffable knowledge, examining the metaphysical pitfalls involved (...) in these concepts. Ultimately, she defends the idea that ineffable insights as found in aesthetic, religious, and philosophical contexts are best understood in terms of self-acquaintance, a particular kind of non-propositional knowledge. Ineffability as a philosophical topic is as old as the history of philosophy itself, but contributions to the exploration of ineffability have been sparse. The theory developed by Jonas makes the concept tangible and usable in many different philosophical contexts. (shrink)
The existence of fundamental moral disagreements is a central problem for moral realism and has often been contrasted with an alleged absence of disagreement in mathematics. However, mathematicians do in fact disagree on fundamental questions, for example on which set-theoretic axioms are true, and some philosophers have argued that this increases the plausibility of moral vis-à-vis mathematical realism. I argue that the analogy between mathematical and moral disagreement is not as straightforward as those arguments present it. In particular, I argue (...) that pluralist accounts of mathematics render fundamental mathematical disagreements compatible with mathematical realism in a way in which moral disagreements and moral realism are not. 11. (shrink)
Shannon Sullivan's critique of Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception is based on the argument that, due to his concept of the “anonymous body,” his theory of intersubjectivity omits the particularities of bodies, such as gender. I argue that Merleau-Ponty's “anonymous body” is not in fact “neutral” as Sullivan suggests, and moreover that he does not ignore differences but rather provides us with the idea of difference as a process of differentiation. Additionally, I argue that Sullivan's concept of “hypothetical construction,” which is (...) introduced as an alternative to Merleau-Ponty, turns out to be a conscious construction, not reflecting upon its very conditions. Thus, Sullivan's account fails by presupposing what in fact needs to be explained: the particularities. (shrink)
To what extent did the debate on the orangutan contribute to the global Enlightenment? This article focuses on the first 150 years of the introduction, dissection, and public exposition of the so-called ‘orangutan’ in Europe, between the 1630s, when the first specimens arrived in the Netherlands, and the 1770s, when the British debate about slavery and abolitionism reframed the boundaries between the human and animal kingdoms. Physicians, natural historians, antiquarians, philosophers, geographers, lawyers, and merchants all contributed to the knowledge of (...) the orangutan, while also reshaping the boundaries of humanity: when the human/animal divide narrowed, the divide between ‘savage’ and ‘civilized’ peoples crystallized, becoming wider than in any previous period. (shrink)
Criteria of acceptability for mathematical proofs are field-dependent. In topology, though not in most other domains, it is sometimes acceptable to appeal to visual intuition to support inferential steps. In previous work :829–842, 2014; Lolli, Panza, Venturi From logic to practice, Springer, Berlin, 2015; Larvor Mathematical cultures, Springer, Berlin, 2016) my co-author and I aimed at spelling out how topological proofs work on their own terms, without appealing to formal proofs which might be associated with them. In this article, I (...) address two criticisms that have been raised in Tatton-Brown against our approach: that it leads to a form of relativism according to which validity is equated with social agreement and that it implies an antiformalizability thesis according to which it is not the case that all rigorous mathematical proofs can be formalized. I reject both criticisms and suggest that our previous case studies provide insight into the plausibility of two related but quite different theses. (shrink)
In the last few decades, the historiographical categories rationalism and empiricism have been criticized for their limitations to explain the complex positions and the links held by the philosophers tradiotnally attached to them. This narrative was firstly conceived by Kantian German historians and began to become standard at the turn of the twentieh century. Nonetheless, nineteenth-century French historiography developed other narratives by which early modern philosophers were classified according to alternative criteria. In the first edition of Histoire comparée des systémes (...) de philosophie (1804), Joseph-Marie Degérando distinguishes three first-order early modern schools founded by Bacon, Descartes and Leibniz, respectively. Degérando introduces the empiricism and rationalism distinction as one among others, and not as the fundamental one. In addition, he separates empiricism from experimental philosophy. The last one, along with speculative philosophy, is said to conciliate senses and reason. As a result, this account offers philosophical groupings different from those constructed by the standard narrative. Furthermore, it draws on labels and classification criteria which were part of the early modern philosophical discourse. (shrink)
The first part of this paper will provide a reconstruction of Francis Bacon’s interpretation of Academic scepticism, Pyrrhonism, and Dogmatism, and its sources throughout his large corpus. It shall also analyze Bacon’s approach against the background of his intellectual milieu, looking particularly at Renaissance readings of scepticism as developed by Guillaume Salluste du Bartas, Pierre de la Primaudaye, Fulke Greville, and John Davies. It shall show that although Bacon made more references to Academic than to Pyrrhonian Scepticism, like most of (...) his contemporaries, he often misrepresented and mixed the doctrinal components of both currents. The second part of the paper shall offer a complete chronological survey of Bacon’s assessment of scepticism throughout his writings. Following the lead of previous studies by other scholars, I shall support the view that, while he approved of the state of doubt and the suspension of judgment as a provisional necessary stage in the pursuit of knowledge, he rejected the notion of acatalepsia. To this received reading, I shall add the suggestion that Bacon’s criticism of acatalepsia ultimately depends on his view of the historical conditions that surround human nature. I deal with this last point in the third part of the paper, where I shall argue that Bacon’s evaluation of scepticism relied on his adoption of a Protestant and Augustinian view of human nature that informed his overall interpretation of the history of humanity and nature, including the sceptical schools. (shrink)
What kind of thing do you believe when you believe that you are in a certain place, that it is a certain time, and that you are a certain individual? What happens if you get lost, or lose track of the time? Can you ever be unsure of your own identity? These are the kind of questions considered in my thesis. Beliefs about where, when and who you are are what are called in the literature de se, or self-locating beliefs. (...) This thesis examines how we can represent de se beliefs, and how we can reason about de se uncertainty. In the first part of the thesis, I present and motivate a specific account of the content of de se belief, based on the one given by David Lewis. On this account, the content of de se beliefs are centred propositions. I defend this view against a rival account, put forward by Robert Stalnaker, according to whom the content of de se beliefs are ordinary propositions. In the second part of the thesis, I explore how we can reason probabilistically about de se uncertainty. I start by defining probabilities over centred propositions, and investigate what probabilities mean in this context. As it turns out, all the main interpretations of probability can be extended to centred propositions. The only trouble seems to arise for the Bayesian principle of updating via conditionalization. After giving a diagnosis of the problem, I offer a solution by formulating a natural extension of conditionalization, which I argue preserves the essential features of Bayesian reasoning. In the final chapter, I apply my view and show that it leads to a natural resolution of a puzzle that is generally taken to be a test case for any account of centred updating. (shrink)
Exposición realizada por Silvia Hernández, Doctora en Ciencias Sociales, en la segunda ronda del ciclo de conversaciones “Crítica a la Epidemiología Política. Prácticas y racionalidad neoliberales en tiempos de pandemia”, organizado por el equipo editorial de la Revista de Filosofía Otrosiglo, enero 2021. Disponible en Youtube, canal Revista Otrosiglo. _Palabras Clave: _Pandemia – Ideología – Neoliberalismo – Covid19.
Codes of professional ethics and cases designed to teach ethical decision making are written for individual professionals and ignore the systems level of analysis. They typically employ a lineal view of causality and overvalue placement of blame as a component of ethical problem solving. This article takes a systems approach to ethical problems and identifies aspects of systems that promote or impede ethical decision making. Psychological abuse of children is used as an example of a problem requiring a coordinated, systemic (...) response to ethical issues such as autonomy, privacy, and confidentiality. (shrink)
In their daily practices, many ethical vegans choose what to eat, wear, and buy among a range that is limited to the exclusion of animal products. Rather than considering and then rejecting the idea of using such products, doing so often does not occur to them as a possibility at all. In other cases, when confronted with the possibility of consuming animal products, vegans have claimed to reject it by saying that it would be impossible for them to do so. (...) I refer to this phenomenon as ‘moral impossibility’. An analysis of moral impossibility in animal ethics shows that it arises when one’s conception of ‘what animals are’ shifts—say through encounter with other animals. It also arises when individuals learn more about animals and what happens to them in production facilities. This establishes a link between increased knowledge, understanding, and imaginative exploration on the one hand, and the exclusion of the possibility of using animals as resources on the other. Taking moral impossibility in veganism seriously has two important consequences: one is that the debate around veganism needs to shift from choice and decision, to a prior analysis of concepts and moral framing; the other is that moral psychology is no longer seen as empirical psychology plus ethical analysis, but the contents of psychological findings are understood as being influenced and framed by moral reflection. (shrink)
This paper confronts Zagzebski’s exemplarism with the intertwined debates over the conditions of exemplarity and the unity-disunity of the virtues, to show the advantages of a pluralistic exemplar-based approach to moral education (PEBAME). PEBAME is based on a prima facie disunitarist perspective in moral theory, which amounts to admitting both exemplarity in all respects and single-virtue exemplarity. First, we account for the advantages of PEBAME, and we show how two figures in recent Italian history (Giorgio Perlasca and Gino Bartali) satisfy (...) Blum’s definitions of ‘moral hero’ and ‘moral saint’ (1988). Then, we offer a comparative analysis of the effectiveness of heroes and saints with respect to character education, according to four criteria derived from PEBAME: admirability, virtuousness, transparency, and imitability. Finally, we conclude that both unitarist and disunitarist exemplars are fundamental to character education; this is because of the hero's superiority to the saint with respect to imitability, a fundamental feature of the exemplar for character education. (shrink)
One of the most fundamental premises of feminist philosophy is the assumption of an invidious asymmetry between the genders that has to be overcome. Parallel to this negative account of asymmetry we also find a positive account, developed in particular within the context of so-called feminist philosophies of difference. I explore both notions of gender asymmetry. The goal is a clarification of the notion of asymmetry as it can presently be found in feminist philosophy. Drawing upon phenomenology as well as (...) feminist difference theory , I argue that a gender asymmetry does exist that cannot-as in the first assumption-be transformed into symmetry. (shrink)
euroscience of Rule-Guided Behavior brings together, for the first time, the experiments and theories that have created the new science of rules. Rules are central to human behavior, but until now the field of neuroscience lacked a synthetic approach to understanding them. How are rules learned, retrieved from memory, maintained in consciousness and implemented? How are they used to solve problems and select among actions and activities? How are the various levels of rules represented in the brain, ranging from simple (...) conditional ones if a traffic light turns red, then stop to rules and strategies of such sophistication that they defy description? And how do brain regions interact to produce rule-guided behavior? These are among the most fundamental questions facing neuroscience, but until recently there was relatively little progress in answering them. It was difficult to probe brain mechanisms in humans, and expert opinion held that animals lacked the capacity for such high-level behavior. However, rapid progress in neuroimaging technology has allowed investigators to explore brain mechanisms in humans, while increasingly sophisticated behavioral methods have revealed that animals can and do use high-level rules to control their behavior. The resulting explosion of information has led to a new science of rules, but it has also produced a plethora of overlapping ideas and terminology and a field sorely in need of synthesis. In this book, Silvia Bunge and Jonathan Wallis bring together the worlds leading cognitive and systems neuroscientists to explain the most recent research on rule-guided behavior. Their work covers a wide range of disciplines and methods, including neuropsychology, functional magnetic resonance imaging, neurophysiology, electroencephalography, neuropharmacology, near-infrared spectroscopy, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. This unprecedented synthesis is a must-read for anyone interested in how complex behavior is controlled and organized by the brain. (shrink)
This paper explores contract cheating from the perspectives of researchers at three post-secondary institutions in Alberta, Canada, describing their efforts to develop and advance awareness of, interventions against, and responses to contract cheating at their respective institutions. Contract cheating is when a third party produces or completes academic work for a student, and the student then presents the work as their own. The student might have personal connections to the third party, or the student might pay a fee and outsource (...) the academic work to the third party. All three institutions are experiencing an increase in the incidence of contract cheating, which is consistent with trends at colleges and universities across Canada and the world. Contract cheating is not a new phenomenon, but it is a growing one, due in part to students having access to thousands of online companies offering to help them with their academic work. This paper examines personal narratives from four researchers and identifies five key themes: types of contract cheating, students, awareness, evidence and policy implications, and educational development. (shrink)
Until now post-structuralism and phenomenology are widely regarded as opposites. Contrary to this opinion, I am arguing that they have a lot in common. In order to make my argument, I concentrate on Judith Butler’s poststructuralist concept of performativity to confront it with Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological concept of expressivity. While Butler claims that phenomenological theories of expression are in danger of essentialism and thus must be replaced by non-essentialist theories of performativity, I hold that Merleau-Ponty’s concept of expressivity must strictly (...) be understood in anti-essentialist terms. Following this line of interpretation, “expressivity” and “performativity”—as well as phenomenology and post-structuralism—are not opposites but partners in the search for an anti-essentialist gender concept. Consequently, feminist phenomenology turns out to be a non-essentialist approach that combines phenomenological and post-structural insights. (shrink)
Francis Bacon and René Descartes have traditionally been presented as leaders of opposed philosophical currents. However, more and more studies show important continuities between their philosophies. This article explores one of them: their perspectives on medicine. The dominion over nature and the instinct for self-preservation are the central elements of the theoretical framework within which they inserted their assessment of medicine. Medicine is valued as the most outstanding discipline for its benefits for the care of the human being. Departing from (...) this start-point, one finds further coincidences about the status, practice, and reform of medicine. (shrink)
The situation caused by the 2019 coronavirus disease has been representing a great source of concern and a challenge to the psychological well-being of many individuals around the world. For couples in particular, this extraordinary rise in concern, combined with the stress posed by the virus containment measures, such as prolonged cohabitation and lack of support networks, may have increased the likelihood of couple problems. At the same time, however, COVID-19 concerns may have been a stimulus to activate couples’ stress (...) management processes. A couple’s resource, which may have an important role in dealing with COVID-19 concerns and stress, is dyadic coping, i.e., the process through which partners face stress together. Drawing on a sample of 1,823 Italian individuals involved in a couple relationship, the current study tested a serial mediation model in which concerns about COVID-19 predicted psychological well-being, through both explicit stress communication and perceived partner dyadic coping responses. In addition, the study explored whether this dyadic coping process functioned the same way in satisfied and dissatisfied couples. Results showed that concerns about the situation related to COVID-19 significantly threatened individuals’ psychological well-being. However, these concerns positively predicted explicit stress communication, which in turn positively predicted perceived partner’s dyadic coping responses, which finally positively predicted psychological well-being. In addition, in the group of dissatisfied individuals, the association between explicit stress communication and perceived partners’ dyadic coping responses was not significant. The present study adds to the research on couples’ coping by testing for the first time the whole theoretical model of dyadic coping and does so during a global emergency situation. The study also suggests key components of preventive interventions for individuals in couples. (shrink)
Gaze plays a fundamental role in the processing of facial expressions from birth. Gaze direction is a crucial part of the social signal encoded in and decoded from faces. The ability to discriminate gaze direction, already evident early in life, is essential for the development of more complex socially relevant tasks, such as joint and shared attention. At the same time, facial expressions play a fundamental role in the encoding of gaze direction and, when combined, expression and gaze communicate behavioural (...) motivation to approach or avoid. However, the investigation of how gaze direction and emotional expression interact during the processing of a face has been relatively neglected, and is the key question of this review. (shrink)
The objective of this article is twofold. First, a methodological issue is addressed. It is pointed out that even if philosophers of mathematics have been recently more and more concerned with the practice of mathematics, there is still a need for a sharp deﬁnition of what the targets of a philosophy of mathematical practice should be. Three possible objects of inquiry are put forward: (1) the collective dimension of the practice of mathematics; (2) the cognitives capacities requested to the practitioners; (...) and (3) the speciﬁc forms of representation and notation shared and selected by the practitioners. Moreover, it is claimed that a broadening of the notion of ‘permissible action’ as introduced by Larvor (2012) with respect to mathematical arguments, allows for a consideration of all these three elements simultaneously. Second, a case from topology – the proof of Alexander’s theorem – is presented to illustrate a concrete analysis of a mathematical practice and to exemplify the proposed method. It is discussed that the attention to the three elements of the practice identiﬁed above brings to the emergence of philosophically relevant features in the practice of topology: the need for a revision in the deﬁnition of criteria of validity, the interest in tracking the operations that are performed on the notation, and the constant and fruitful back-and-forth from one representation to another in dealing with mathematical content. Finally, some suggestions for further research are given in the conclusions. (shrink)
What are the relevant values to the appraisal of research programs? This question remains hotly debated, as philosophers have recently proposed many lists of values potentially relevant to scientific appraisal. Surprisingly, despite being mentioned in many lists, little attention has been paid to fruitfulness. It is unclear how fruitfulness should be explicated, and whether it has any substantial role in scientific appraisal. In this paper, I argue we should explicate fruitfulness as the capacity to develop of research programs. Moreover, I (...) provide a novel strategy to assess and compare the fruitfulness of programs focused on their research questions and heuristics. To illustrate how this strategy would work, I will discuss a case study, namely the adaptationist program in evolutionary psychology. (shrink)
In this paper I consider Simone Weil’s notion of attention as the fundamental and necessary condition for mystical experience, and investigate Iris Murdoch’s secular adaptation of attention as a moral attitude. After exploring the concept of attention in Weil and its relation to the mystical, I turn to Murdoch to address the following question: how does Murdoch manage to maintain Weil’s idea of attention, even keeping the importance of mysticism, without Weil’s religious metaphysical background? Simone Weil returns to the importance (...) of attention throughout her writing. To attend, for Weil, means to empty oneself of all that is personal, primarily one’s will, which Weil sees as the essence of the human individual. This act imitates God’s act of creation, considered as a withdrawal in order to let something other than himself exist. Since such withdrawal represents God’s supreme act of love, salvation for human beings lies in the attempt to do likewise. By giving up one’s will, while desiring God with all of one’s soul, one creates the conditions for God to descend into the soul. This ‘passive activity’ is attention. Weil’s writings had a deep impact on Iris Murdoch’s moral philosophy. In particular, Weil’s concept of attention is carried into Murdoch’s thought almost unchanged, with one striking exception: the absence of God in Murdoch’s system. Just as surprisingly, Murdoch at the same time maintains that mysticism and spirituality are crucial for morality, nor does she wish to sever the connection between attention and mysticism. Is Murdoch being inconsistent? I believe not. But the idea of attention as a mystical concept, within a metaphysics which has no room for God, requires further examination. For Murdoch, attention is the central capacity of the morally good person. Attention is, like in Weil, connected with an emptying of the self (for Murdoch the Ego) and a renunciation of will, in order to let something external make an impression in the subject. However, in Murdoch’s philosophy such external impression is not given by God, but by reality itself. Thus far, it appears, the notion of mysticism would be unnecessary. Yet for Murdoch reality is not something that we passively perceive, but something that requires a moral faculty – attention – made up of selflessness and desire for the good, in order to be apprehended. Two elements of mysticism then begin to surface: firstly, apprehension of reality requires a faculty that is not purely intellectual, but that involves the whole of the individual, including intuitions that one may be unable to explain (which Murdoch is happy to call ‘the soul’); secondly, the reality thus apprehended is considered as transcendent, insofar as its truth, infinitely distant, transcends the individual’s complete grasp. Thus the mystic, in Murdoch’s system, is regarded as an ideal moral person, not because s/he is guided by God, but because of his/her selfless ability to attend to the world beyond oneself and intuit its moral and metaphysical truth. (shrink)
TheConceptual Feature framework predicts that word meaning is represented within a high-dimensional semantic space bounded by weighted contributions of perceptual, affective, and encyclopedic information. The ACF, like latent semantic analysis, is amenable to distance metrics between any two words. We applied predictions of the ACF framework to abstract words using eyetracking via an adaptation of the classical “visual word paradigm”. Healthy adults selected the lexical item most related to a probe word in a 4-item written word array comprising the target (...) and three distractors. The relation between the probe and each of the four words was determined using the semantic distance metrics derived from ACF ratings. Eye movement data indicated that the word that was most semantically related to the probe received more and longer fixations relative to distractors. Importantly, in sets where participants did not provide an overt behavioral response, the fixation rates were nonetheless significantly higher for targets than distractors, closely resembling trials where an expected response was given. Furthermore, ACF ratings which are based on individual words predicted eye fixation metrics of probe-target similarity at least as well as latent semantic analysis ratings which are based on word co-occurrence. The results provide further validation of Euclidean distance metrics derived from ACF ratings as a measure of one facet of the semantic relatedness of abstract words and suggest that they represent a reasonable approximation of the organization of abstract conceptual space. The data are also compatible with the broad notion that multiple sources of information shape the organization of abstract concepts. While the adapted “VWP” is potentially a more metacognitive task than the classical visual world paradigm, we argue that it offers potential utility for studying abstract word comprehension. (shrink)
Curriculum guidelines in many democratic countries argue for the need to practice tolerance as a means to creating peaceful relations. Through moral education, young people are believed to be able to develop a way of being that respects plurality and decreases interpersonal violence in society. But where do students? personal involvements or the issue of unpredictability accompanying inter-personal relations fit into the discussion? This article draws on four young people?s narratives as starting points to discuss the gap between progressive educational (...) ideals and embodied ideals when it comes to stimulating peaceful relationships. The study indicates that these youths see themselves as persons who do not want to expose others to strong emotions (similar to the educational ideals of being tolerant), while at the same time struggling with strong emotions that tend to hurt themselves and/or others and paralyse their ability to actively interfere when people are being hurt. In order to understand these findings, Julia Kristeva?s notion of ego ideal and the abject are used as analytical tools. Her reasoning contributes to understanding inconsistencies in (young) people?s responses to others as significant to acknowledge when it comes to opposing oppression?inconsistencies which otherwise tend to be treated as temporal setbacks in the progression toward human perfection. (shrink)