Since at least the mid-1980s claims have been made for rationality in rats. For example, that rats are capable of inferential reasoning (Blaisdell, Sawa, Leising, & Waldmann, 2006; Bunsey & Eichenbaum, 1996), or that they can make adaptive decisions about future behavior (Foote & Crystal, 2007), or that they are capable of knowledge in propositional-like form (Dickinson, 1985). The stakes are rather high, because these capacities imply concept possession and on some views (e.g., Rödl, 2007; Savanah, 2012) rationality indicates self-consciousness. (...) I evaluate the case for rat rationality by analyzing 5 key research paradigms: spatial navigation, metacognition, transitive inference, causal reasoning, and goal orientation. I conclude that the observed behaviors need not imply rationality by the subjects. Rather, the behavior can be accounted for by noncognitive processes such as hard-wired species typical predispositions or associative learning or (nonconceptual) affordance detection. These mechanisms do not necessarily require or implicate the capacity for rationality. As such there is as yet insufficient evidence that rats can reason. I end by proposing the ‘Staircase Test,’ an experiment designed to provide convincing evidence of rationality in rats. (shrink)
Stephane Savanah provides a critique of theories of self-recognition that largely mirrors my own critique that I began publishing two decades ago. In addition, he both misconstrues my kinesthetic-visual matching model of mirror self-recognition in multiple ways , and misconstrues the evidence in the scientific literature on MSR. I describe points of agreement in our thinking about self-recognition, and criticize and rectify inaccuracies.
The advent of quantum mechanics in the early 20 th Century had profound consequences for science and mathematics, for philosophy (Schrödinger), and for logic (von Neumann). In 1968, Putnam wrote that quantum mechanics required a revolution in our understanding of logic per se. However, applications of quantum logics have been little explored outside the quantum domain. Dummett saw some implications of quantum logic for truth, but few philosophers applied similar intuitions to epistemology or ontology. Logic remained a truth-functional ’science’ of (...) correct propositional reasoning. Starting in 1935, the Franco-Romanian thinker Stéphane Lupasco described a logical system based on the inherent dialectics of energy and accordingly expressed in and applicable to complex real processes at higher levels of reality. Unfortunately, Lupasco’s fifteen major publications in French went unrecognized by mainstream logic and philosophy, and unnoticed outside a Francophone intellectual community, albeit with some translations into other Romance languages. In English, summaries of Lupasco’s logic appeared ca. 2000, but the first major treatment and extension of his system was published in 2008 (see Brenner 2008). This paper is a further attempt to establish Lupasco’s concepts as significant contributions to the history and philosophy of logic, in line with the work of Gödel, general relativity, and the ontological turn in philosophy. (shrink)
Stéphane Michaud, après une longue et minutieuse enquête dans des fonds enfin délivrées de la censure des descendants et dans les archives freudiennes récemment disponibles, nous invite à découvrir ou à re découvrir Lou Andreas-Salomé (1861-1937). Celle que, trop souvent, on ne connaît qu'à travers les hommes célèbres dont elle a croisé le chemin Nietzsche, Rilke, Freud est ici « objet » d'histoire à part entière. Sans bouder l'érudition pure on découvre avec étonnement les très ..
Modern poetics takes one crucial turn through Ezra Pound’s notion of the “ideogram,” a concept that had a lasting impact through the Imagists andtheir influence. The ideogram borrows from Pound’s ideas about Chinese characters, their ability to condense complex representation into a figuredform in an economic but resonant image. By contrast, the compositional technique embodied in French poet Stéphane Mallarmé’s unique work, UnCoup de Dés, can be characterized as “diagrammatic,” driven by semantic relations expressed spatially in a distributed field. (...) This essay explores thatdiagrammatic work and it implications as a compositional technique. (shrink)
Saudi Arabia in Transition is a collection of works by scholars from various backgrounds who have carried out in-depth research on one of the most obscure countries in terms of its cultural identity and political system. Since the Arab Uprising which started in 2011, countries in the Middle East have had to look into the mirror and reformulate their claim to legitimacy. While Saudi Arabia did not have the same revolutionist fervour as did its neighbours to the east and west, (...) it cannot escape pockets of rising dissent in its own community. While this book was published in 2015, it may provide important insights into how Saudi Arabia is changing, and more importantly, provide a background to help understand the direction and pace of reform that is undertaken by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman who has been the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia since 2017. (shrink)