According to the distinguished philosopher Richard Wollheim, an emotion is an extended mental episode that originates when events in the world frustrate or satisfy a pre-existing desire. This leads the subject to form an attitude to the world which colours their future experience, leading them to attend to one aspect of things rather than another, and to view the things they attend to in one light rather than another. The idea that emotions arise from the satisfaction or frustration of desires—the (...) ‘match-mismatch’ view of emotion aetiology—has had several earlier incarnations in the psychology of emotion. Early versions of this proposal were associated with the attempt to replace the typology of emotion found in ordinary language with a simpler theory of drives and to define new emotion types in terms of general properties such as the frustration of a drive. The match-mismatch view survived the demise of that revisionist project and is found today in theories that accept a folk-psychological-style taxonomy of emotion types based on the meaning ascribed by the subject to the stimulus situation. For example, the match-mismatch view forms part of the subtle and complex model of emotion episodes developed over many years by Nico Frijda. According to Frijda, information about the ‘situational antecedents’ of an emotion—the stimulus in its context, including the ongoing goals of the organism—is evaluated for its relevance to the multiple concerns of the organism. Evaluation of match-mismatch—the degree of compatibility between the situation and the subject's goals—forms part of this process. (shrink)
In his recent article 1 Stewart Sutherland rightly and trenchantly criticizes some accounts of hope which ignore, or radically misrepresent, how it is conceived in religious contexts. The most surprising, to me, is Chesterton's, that hope is ‘the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate’. Surprising, not so much for its content as for its source. However, this particular example could be of one who would risk giving scandal for the sake of wit; what he (...) could have had in mind is that ‘the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us’ . Sutherland also makes clear the unhelpfulness of the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ analysts' account of the concept; not least because it is given without reference to the religious concept, and often is irrelevant to the notion of hope ‘in its proper conceptual surroundings’. (shrink)
Wittgenstein always thought that he had not been understood, and indeed that it was very unlikely that many people ever would understand him. Russell not only failed to understand Wittgenstein's later work; according to Wittgenstein himself, Russell profoundly failed to understand even the Tractatus. Professor Anscombe says even she did not understand him, and that to attempt to give an account of what he says is only to express one's own ordinariness or mediocrity or lack of complexity. Certainly, most people (...) acquainted with the Tractatus, when that work was Wittgenstein's only published book, gave it what now seems a quite crass positivistic interpretation. Wittgenstein's own preface to the Tractatus, despite its last sentence, does not help. He does tell us that the whole sense of the work is that what can be said can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must consign to silence: but this does not make it clear that what we cannot talk about is all that is really important. Even when one has realised all this, however, one is aware mostly of one's failure to understand; and that if one did get any distance in understanding the last sixth of the Tractatus, the process would be extremely difficult, and the results quite astonishing. (shrink)
In the past century, nearly all of the biological sciences have been directly affected by discoveries and developments in genetics, a fast-evolving subject with important theoretical dimensions. In this rich and accessible book, Paul Griffiths and Karola Stotz show how the concept of the gene has evolved and diversified across the many fields that make up modern biology. By examining the molecular biology of the 'environment', they situate genetics in the developmental biology of whole organisms, and reveal how the (...) molecular biosciences have undermined the nature/nurture distinction. Their discussion gives full weight to the revolutionary impacts of molecular biology, while rejecting 'genocentrism' and 'reductionism', and brings the topic right up to date with the philosophical implications of the most recent developments in genetics. Their book will be invaluable for those studying the philosophy of biology, genetics and other life sciences. (shrink)
The theory of mind (ToM) framework has been criticised by emerging alternative accounts. Each alternative begins with the accusation that ToM's validity as a research paradigm rests on the assumption of the ‘unobservability’ of other minds. We argue that the critics' discussion of the unobservability assumption (UA) targets a straw man. We discuss metaphysical, phenomenological, epistemological, and psychological readings of UA and demonstrate that it is not the case that ToM assumes the metaphysical, phenomenological, or epistemological claims. However, ToM supports (...) the psychological UA as a claim about cognitive processes responsible for mindreading. The latter can be interpreted as a claim that (a) neither the other's ‘mindedness’ in general nor the other's particular mental states are observable (i.e. apprehended perceptually); (b) particular mental states are unobservable, whereas some aspects indicative of ‘mindedness’ are observable; (c) some mental states are unobservable but some are also observable. Whereas the critics tend to attribute (a) to ToM, most ToM accounts actually take positions (b) or (c). We conclude that the allegations against ToM for positing UA are seriously misdirected. We further bring out an important stipulation of any account of observability of mental states: mental states are not observable in the same way as the sensory properties of physical objects. (shrink)
Most philosophers consider olfactory experiences to be very poor in comparison to other sense modalities. And because olfactory experiences seem to lack the spatial content necessary to object perception, philosophers tend to maintain that smell is purely sensational or abstract. I argue in this paper that the apparent poverty and spatial indeterminateness of odor experiences does not reflect the “subjective” or “abstract” nature of smell, but only that smell is not directed to particular things. According to the view defended in (...) this paper, odors are properties of stuffs. This view, motivated by several arguments grounded in the phenomenology of olfactory experience, explains in particular why odors appear to be located both in the air around our nose and in the objects from which they emanate. It also explains the power of smell in the task of discriminating chemical compounds. (shrink)
Traditional theory of mind (ToM) accounts for social cognition have been at the basis of most studies in the social cognitive neurosciences. However, in recent years, the need to go beyond traditional ToM accounts for understanding real life social interactions has become all the more pressing. At the same time it remains unclear whether alternative accounts, such as interactionism, can yield a sufficient description and explanation of social interactions. We argue that instead of considering ToM and interactionism as mutually exclusive (...) opponents, they should be integrated into a more comprehensive account of social cognition. We draw on dual process models of social cognition that contrast two different types of social cognitive processing. The first type (labeled Type 1) refers to process es that are fast, efficient, stimulus-driven, and relatively inflexible. The second type (labeled Type 2) refers to processes that are relatively slow, cognitively laborious, flexible, and may involve conscious control. We argue that while interactionism captures aspects of social cognition mostly related to Type 1 processes, ToM is more focused on those based on Type 2 processes. We suggest that real life social interactions are rarely based on either Type 1 or Type 2 processes alone. On the contrary, we propose that in most cases both types of processes are simultaneously involved and that social behavior may be sustained by the interplay between these two types of processes. Finally, we discuss how the new integrative framework can guide experimental research on social interaction. (shrink)
Mindreading is often considered to be the most important human social cognitive skill, and over the past three decades, several theories of the cognitive mechanisms for mindreading have been proposed. But why do we read minds? According to the standard view, we attribute mental states to individuals to predict and explain their behavior. I argue that the standard view is too general to capture the distinctive function of mindreading, and that it does not explain what motivates people to read minds. (...) In order to understand why mindreading is evolutionarily adaptive, individually beneficial, and motivationally compelling, we need to include another level of explanation: the level of social relationships. I introduce a theory of the cognitive underpinnings of social relationships—the relational models theory of Alan Fiske. I outline the hypothesis that the function of mindreading is to shape social relations. I further hypothesize that mindreading is often motivated by social emotions. If mindreading serves r.. (shrink)
The etiological approach to ‘proper functions’ in biology can be strengthened by relating it to Robert Cummins' general treatment of function ascription. The proper functions of a biological trait are the functions it is assigned in a Cummins-style functional explanation of the fitness of ancestors. These functions figure in selective explanations of the trait. It is also argued that some recent etiological theories include inaccurate accounts of selective explanation in biology. Finally, a generalization of the notion of selective explanation allows (...) an analysis of the proper functions of human artifacts. (shrink)
As Kenneth Pimple points out, scientists’ responsibilities to the larger society have received less attention than ethical issues internal to the practice of science. Yet scientists and specialists who study science have begun to provide analyses of the foundations and scope of scientsts’ responsibilities to society. An account of contributions from Kristen Shrader-Frechette, Melanie Leitner, Ullica Segerstråle, John Ahearne, Helen Longino, and Carl Cranor offers work on scientists’ social responsibilities upon which to build.
Taking up Kimberlé Crenshaw's conclusion that black feminist theorists seem to continue to find themselves in many ways “speaking into the void” (Crenshaw 2011, 228), even as their works are widely celebrated, I examine intersectionality critiques as one site where power asymmetries and dominant imaginaries converge in the act of interpretation (or cooptation) of intersectionality. That is, despite its current “status,” intersectionality also faces epistemic intransigence in the ways in which it is read and applied. My aim is not to (...) suggest that intersectionality cannot (or should not) be critiqued, nor do I maintain that celebratory applications/interpretations are immune from epistemic distortion when it comes to interpreting intersectionality. Rather, my goal is to demonstrate that critiques of intersectionality are one important site to examine hermeneutic marginalization and interpretive violence; the politics of citation; and the impact of dominant expectations or established social imaginaries on meaning-making. In so doing, I aim to consider more fully how entrenched ways of thinking are frequently relied upon to interpret and critique intersectionality, even as these are often the very frameworks that intersectionality theorists have identified as highly problematic tools of misrepresentation, erasure, and violation. This slippage away from intersectionality's outlooks, whether in critical or laudatory contexts, is a pivotal site of epistemic negotiation we must examine more closely. (shrink)
In behavioral ecology some authors regard the innateness concept as irretrievably confused whilst others take it to refer to adaptations. In cognitive psychology, however, whether traits are 'innate' is regarded as a significant question and is often the subject of heated debate. Several philosophers have tried to define innateness with the intention of making sense of its use in cognitive psychology. In contrast, I argue that the concept is irretrievably confused. The vernacular innateness concept represents a key aspect of 'folkbiology', (...) namely, the explanatory strategy that psychologists and cognitive anthropologists have labeled 'folk essentialism'. Folk essentialism is inimical to Darwinism, and both Darwin and the founders of the modern synthesis struggled to overcome this way of thinking about living systems. Because the vernacular concept of innateness is part of folkbiology, attempts to define it more adequately are unlikely to succeed, making it preferable to introduce new, neutral terms for the various, related notions that are needed to understand cognitive development. (shrink)
John Maynard Smith has defended against philosophical criticism the view that developmental biology is the study of the expression of information encoded in the genes by natural selection. However, like other naturalistic concepts of information, this ‘teleosemantic’ information applies to many non-genetic factors in development. Maynard Smith also fails to show that developmental biology is concerned with teleosemantic information. Some other ways to support Maynard Smith’s conclusion are considered. It is argued that on any definition of information the view that (...) development is the expression of genetic information is misleading. Some reasons for the popularity of that view are suggested. (shrink)
Several authors have argued that causes differ in the degree to which they are ‘specific’ to their effects. Woodward has used this idea to enrich his influential interventionist theory of causal explanation. Here we propose a way to measure causal specificity using tools from information theory. We show that the specificity of a causal variable is not well-defined without a probability distribution over the states of that variable. We demonstrate the tractability and interest of our proposed measure by measuring the (...) specificity of coding DNA and other factors in a simple model of the production of mRNA. (shrink)
Most objectivist and dispositionalist theories of color have tried to resolve the challenge raised by color variations by drawing a distinction between real and apparent colors. This paper considers such a strategy to be fundamentally erroneous. The high degree of variability of colors constitutes a crucial feature of colors and color perception; it cannot be avoided without leaving aside the real nature of color. The objectivist theory of color defended in this paper holds that objects have locally many different objective (...) colors. Most color variations are then real and result from the extreme richness of color properties. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to investigate the problem how and to what extent human rights affect the relationships between private parties and what consequences this effect has for the development of private law in Lithuania and other European countries. Because Lithuanian legal doctrine lacks relevant research on this subject-matter, the author seeks to start and invoke the beginning of conceptual academic discourse on the matter. It is argued that despite the fact that in many countries the impact (whether (...) direct or indirect) of human rights on private law has recently become a powerful means of developing the law, the application of human rights in private law has not only its positive side but it also invokes very serious problems to be solved and raises conceptual questions that should be answered. Thus, in order to ensure stable, reliable and respectable development of influence of human rights on private law as a beneficial tool to protect human rights in certain cases, there is a need for continuous, complex and multi-level academic conceptual comparative studies of the issue in order to answer how to reconcile the constitutionalisation of private law with the principles of legal certainty and proportionality and what are the criteria for the limits of the effect of human rights on private law in order to ensure a fair balance, protect stability and predictability in law. (shrink)
Lithuania had a different experience in legal regulation of private property. There were periods when right to private ownership was denied and on the other hand – the periods when right to private ownership was respected and protected. Authors wanted to review today’s status of rights to private property in retrospective. The main purpose of the article is to reveal functions of private property in Lithuania. The article analyzes peculiarities of legal regulation of private property in Lithuania during different stages (...) of the state’s development. The authors have analyzed the social significance of the right to private property, how it changed and how it has been reflected in Lithuanian legislation and the case law of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, paying a particular attention to entrenchment of the right to private property in the Constitution of Lithuania. The authors evaluate the compliance of the national legal regulation and Article 1 of the First Protocol with the European Convention on Human Rights, and the case law of the European Court of Justice. (shrink)
I am concerned with a very problematic concept of identity which one encounters in studies of practical problems concerning the adoption of children. The notion is problematic in the extreme, as I shall try to show. It seems to crop up not only in the work of researchers on this topic, but in the spontaneous and untutored accounts of themselves given by adoptees. The question is whether there is a concept here at all: by which I mean not, instead, a (...) family of concepts linked by family resemblances, but rather some disparate ideas linked only by verbal similarities, and run together for mistaken theoretical purposes. The notion arises crucially in attempts to deal with practical questions arising in determining policies with regard to adoption: with regard to the placement of children for adoption, and the advice to be given to adoptive parents and to adopted children, whether young or adult, who encounter, or perhaps do not even encounter, difficulties. (shrink)
Professor Sutherland has argued that ‘God wills the good’ should be regarded as an analytic truth, with the consequence that any account of what is God's will in which it does not appear to be good is either a mistake about God's will or a mistake about what is good.
Some ‘naturalist’ accounts of disease employ a biostatistical account of dysfunction, whilst others use a ‘selected effect’ account. Several recent authors have argued that the biostatistical account offers the best hope for a naturalist account of disease. We show that the selected effect account survives the criticisms levelled by these authors relatively unscathed, and has significant advantages over the BST. Moreover, unlike the BST, it has a strong theoretical rationale and can provide substantive reasons to decide difficult cases. This is (...) illustrated by showing how life-history theory clarifies the status of so-called diseases of old age. The selected effect account of function deserves a more prominent place in the philosophy of medicine than it currently occupies. _1_ Introduction _2_ Biostatistical and Selected Effect Accounts of Function _3_ Objections to the Selected Effect Account _3.1_ Boorse _3.2_ Kingma _3.3_ Hausman _3.4_ Murphy and Woolfolk _4_ Problems for the Biostatistical Account _4.1_ Schwartz _5_ Analysis versus Explication _6_ Explicating Dysfunction: Life History Theory and Senescence _7_ Conclusion. (shrink)
Marr's levels of analysis—computational, algorithmic, and implementation—have served cognitive science well over the last 30 years. But the recent increase in the popularity of the computational level raises a new challenge: How do we begin to relate models at different levels of analysis? We propose that it is possible to define levels of analysis that lie between the computational and the algorithmic, providing a way to build a bridge between computational- and algorithmic-level models. The key idea is to push the (...) notion of rationality, often used in defining computational-level models, deeper toward the algorithmic level. We offer a simple recipe for reverse-engineering the mind's cognitive strategies by deriving optimal algorithms for a series of increasingly more realistic abstract computational architectures, which we call “resource-rational analysis.”. (shrink)
We outline three very different concepts of the gene—instrumental, nominal, and postgenomic. The instrumental gene has a critical role in the construction and interpretation of experiments in which the relationship between genotype and phenotype is explored via hybridization between organisms or directly between nucleic acid molecules. It also plays an important theoretical role in the foundations of disciplines such as quantitative genetics and population genetics. The nominal gene is a critical practical tool, allowing stable communication between bioscientists in a wide (...) range of fields grounded in well-defined sequences of nucleotides, but this concept does not embody major theoretical insights into genome structure or function. The post-genomic gene embodies the continuing project of understanding how genome structure supports genome function, but with a deflationary picture of the gene as a structural unit. This final concept of the gene poses a significant challenge to conventional assumptions about the relationship between genome structure and function, and between genotype and phenotype. (shrink)
Drawing on Jewish dimensions in the works of Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin, Gershom Scholem, Hannah Arendt, and Paul Celan, Vivian Liska reflects on the dialogues between these contemporaries and traces the changing role that Jewish tradition has played in the development of modern thought. She notes how these intellectuals and philosophers transmitted their particular visions of modernity but also viewed them in the light of the Jewish tradition’s legacies and challenges. Liska argues that these visions derive from a paradoxical (...) dynamic, namely that the attempt to break with convention also calls for using deep-seated figures of thought. (shrink)
To counter confusion about the term ‘mentor’, and address concerns about the scarcity of mentoring, I argue for an “honorific” definition, according to which a mentor is virtuous like a saint or hero. Given the unbounded commitment of mentors, mentoring relationships must be voluntary. In contrast, the role of advisor can be specified, mandated, and monitored. I argue that departments and research groups have a moral responsibility to devise a system of roles and structures to meet graduate students’ and postdoctoral (...) fellows’ needs for information and advice. (shrink)
The proposal that the concept of innateness expresses a 'folk biological' theory of the 'inner natures' of organisms was tested by examining the response of biologically naive participants to a series of realistic scenarios concerning the development of birdsong. Our results explain the intuitive appeal of existing philosophical analyses of the innateness concept. They simultaneously explain why these analyses are subject to compelling counterexamples. We argue that this explanation undermines the appeal of these analyses, whether understood as analyses of the (...) vernacular concept or as explications of that concept for the purposes of science. (shrink)
Most philosophical or scientific theories suppose that colour composition judgments refer to the way colours appear to us. The dominant view is therefore phenomenalist in the sense that colour composition is phenomenally given to perceivers. This paper argues that there is no evidence for a phenomenalist view of colour composition and that a conventionalist approach should be favoured.
Griffiths and Russell D. Gray (1994, 1997, 2001) have argued that the fundamental unit of analysis in developmental systems theory should be a process – the life cycle – and not a set of developmental resources and interactions between those resources. The key concepts of developmental systems theory, epigenesis and developmental dynamics, both also suggest a process view of the units of development. This chapter explores in more depth the features of developmental systems theory that favour treating processes as (...) fundamental in biology and examines the continuity between developmental systems theory and ideas about process in the work of several major figures in early 20th century biology, most notable C.H Waddington. (shrink)
I defend the view that many biological categories are defined by homology against a series of arguments designed to show that all biological categories are defined, at least in part, by selected function. I show that categories of homology are `abnormality inclusive'—something often alleged to be unique to selected function categories. I show that classifications by selected function are logically dependent on classifications by homology, but not vice-versa. Finally, I reject the view that biologists must use considerations of selected function (...) to abstract away from variation and pathology to form a canonical description of a class of biological systems. (shrink)
It is unreasonable to assume that our pre-scientific emotion vocabulary embodies all and only those distinctions required for a scientific psychology of emotion. The psychoevolutionary approach to emotion yields an alternative classification of certain emotion phenomena. The new categories are based on a set of evolved adaptive responses, or affect-programs, which are found in all cultures. The triggering of these responses involves a modular system of stimulus appraisal, whose evoluations may conflict with those of higher-level cognitive processes. Whilst the structure (...) of the adaptive responses is innate, the contents of the system which triggers them are largely learnt. The circuits subserving the adaptive responses are probably located in the limbic system. This theory of emotion is directly applicable only to a small sub-domain of the traditional realm of emotion. It can be used, however, to explain the grouping of various other phenomena under the heading of emotion, and to explain various characteristic failings of the pre-scientific conception of emotion. (shrink)
In earlier work I have claimed that emotion and some emotions are not `natural kinds'. Here I clarify what I mean by `natural kind', suggest a new and more accurate term, and discuss the objection that emotion and emotions are not descriptive categories at all, but fundamentally normative categories.