As organizations place greater emphasis on environmental objectives, business educators must produce the next set of leaders who can champion corporate environmental sustainability initiatives. However, environmental sustainability represents a polarizing topic with some students dismissing its importance and legitimacy. Limited research exists to understand student behavioral influences on sustainability education, especially as it translates to environmental sustainability behavior in the workplace. This gap challenges our ability as educators to understand how to best teach environmental sustainability in order to reach diverse (...) student mindsets. We apply the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to address this gap, investigating the influence of student attitudes, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control on environmental sustainability intention and behavior. A structural model tested with student survey data finds that student attitude represents the strongest influence on environmental sustainability intention. The model also validates that subjective norm affects sustainability intention with students considering professors along with business leaders and politicians as valid references for sustainability knowledge. To tie the results to effective educational interventions, we use the TPB to organize an extensive review of the sustainability pedagogy literature and identify specific teaching recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of environmental sustainability education. (shrink)
Context: Seventeen years ago Francisco Varela introduced neurophenomenology. He proposed the integration of phenomenological approaches to first-person experience – in the tradition of Husserl, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty – with a neuro-dynamical, scientific approach to the study of the situated brain and body. Problem: It is time for a re-appraisal of this field. Has neurophenomenology already contributed to the sciences of the mind? If so, how? How should it best do so in future? Additionally, can neurophenomenology really help to resolve or (...) dissolve the “hard problem” of the relation between mind and body, as Varela claimed? Method: The papers in this special issue arose out of a conference organised by the Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society in Bristol, UK, in September 2012. We have invited a representative sample of the speakers at that conference to present their work here. Results: Various papers argue that the first-person methods of phenomenology are distinct from, and more robust than, the failed “introspectionist” methods of early modern psychology. The “elicitation interview” emerges as a successful and widely adopted method to have emerged from this field. Phenomenological techniques are already being successfully applied to neuroscientific problems. Various specific proposals for new techniques and applications are made. Implications: It is time to take neurophenomenology seriously. It has proven its worth, and it is ripe with the potential for further immediate, successful applications. Constructivist content: Varela’s key aim was to develop a non-dualising approach to the science of consciousness. The papers in this special issue look at the philosophical and practical details of successfully putting such an approach into practice. (shrink)
It is argued that, based on Kant's descriptive metaphysics, one can prescribe the necessary metaphysical underpinnings for the possibility of conscious experience in an artificial system. This project is developed by giving an account of the a priori concepts of the understanding in such a system. A specification and implementation of the nomological conditions for a conscious system allows one to know a priori that any system possessing this structure will be conscious; thus enabling us to avoid possible false-indicators of (...) consciousness like that offered in a behaviouristic analysis. This is an alternative approach to the bottom-up or top-down approaches adopted by, for example CYC (Lenat and Feigenbaum 1992) and COG (Brooks 1994; Brooks and Stein 1993), neither of which, alone, or in some hybrid form, have proved productive. (shrink)
Computational systems biologists create and manipulate computational models of biological systems, but they do not always have straightforward epistemic access to the content and behavioural profile of such models because of their length, coding idiosyncrasies, and formal complexity. This creates difficulties both for modellers in their research groups and for their bioscience collaborators who rely on these models. In this paper we introduce a new kind of visualization that was developed to address just this sort of epistemic opacity. The visualization (...) is unusual in that it depicts the dynamics and structure of a computer model instead of that model’s target system, and because it is generated algorithmically. Using considerations from epistemology and aesthetics, we explore how this new kind of visualization increases scientific understanding of the content and function of computer models in systems biology to reduce epistemic opacity. (shrink)
Sometimes we learn through the use of imagination. The epistemology of imagination asks how this is possible. One barrier to progress on this question has been a lack of agreement on how to characterize imagination; for example, is imagination a mental state, ability, character trait, or cognitive process? This paper argues that we should characterize imagination as a cognitive ability, exercises of which are cognitive processes. Following dual process theories of cognition developed in cognitive science, the set of imaginative processes (...) is then divided into two kinds: one that is unconscious, uncontrolled, and effortless, and another that is conscious, controlled, and effortful. This paper outlines the different epistemological strengths and weaknesses of the two kinds of imaginative process, and argues that a dual process model of imagination helpfully resolves or clarifies issues in the epistemology of imagination and the closely related epistemology of thought experiments. (shrink)
What role does the imagination play in scientific progress? After examining several studies in cognitive science, I argue that one thing the imagination does is help to increase scientific understanding, which is itself indispensable for scientific progress. Then, I sketch a transcendental justification of the role of imagination in this process.
Imagination is necessary for scientific practice, yet there are no in vivo sociological studies on the ways that imagination is taught, thought of, or evaluated by scientists. This article begins to remedy this by presenting the results of a qualitative study performed on two systems biology laboratories. I found that the more advanced a participant was in their scientific career, the more they valued imagination. Further, positive attitudes toward imagination were primarily due to the perceived role of imagination in problem-solving. (...) But not all problem-solving episodes involved clear appeals to imagination, only maximally specific problems did. This pattern is explained by the presence of an implicit norm governing imagination use in the two labs: only use imagination on maximally specific problems, and only when all other available methods have failed. This norm was confirmed by the participants, and I argue that it has epistemological reasons in its favour. I also found that its strength varies inversely with career stage, such that more advanced scientists do (and should) occasionally bring their imaginations to bear on more general problems. A story about scientific pedagogy explains the trend away from (and back to) imagination over the course of a scientific career. Finally, some positive recommendations are given for a more imagination-friendly scientific pedagogy. (shrink)
This collection of 28 original essays examines the diverse scope of John Locke’s contributions as a celebrated philosopher, empiricist, and father of modern political theory. Explores the impact of Locke’s thought and writing across a range of fields including epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of science, political theory, education, religion, and economics Delves into the most important Lockean topics, such as innate ideas, perception, natural kinds, free will, natural rights, religious toleration, and political liberalism Identifies the political, philosophical, and religious contexts in (...) which Locke’s views developed, with perspectives from today’s leading philosophers and scholars Offers an unprecedented reference of Locke’s contributions and his continued influence. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to establish the logically necessary preconditions for the existence of self-awareness in an artificial or a natural agent. We examine the terms, agent, situated, embodied, embedded, and representation, as employed ubiquitously in cognitive science, attempting to clarify their meaning and the limits of their use. We discuss the minimal conditions for an agent’s environment constituting a ‘world’ and reject most, though not all, types of virtual world. We argue that to qualify as genuinely situated (...) an agent should function in real time within the dynamic world we inhabit, or some close simulacrum of it. We show that embodied agents will possess or evolve local co-ordinate systems, or points of view, locating, identifying and interacting with objects relative to their current position in space-time, and we discuss various types of embodiment, arguing that most current situated and embodied systems are too limited to be candidates for even the most minimal claim to self-identity. We argue that a truly autonomous agent has to be active in its participation with the world, able to synthesise and order its internal representations from its own point of view, and to do this effectively the agent will have to be embedded. To this end we propose a six point definition of embeddedness. Ultimately we argue for a philosophical-cum-cognitive science model of the self that satisfies essential elements of both sets of definitions of the term. (shrink)
This paper examines structural barriers to the adoption of climate change mitigation practices and the evolution of a climate change ethic among American farmers. It examines how seed corn contracts in Michigan constrain the choices of farmers and allow farmers to rationalize the over-application of fertilizer and associated water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Seed corn contracts use a competitive “tournament” system where farmers are rewarded for maximizing yields. Interviews and a focus group were used to understand fertilizer over-application and (...) barriers to participating in a climate change mitigation program. Results indicate that farmers agree that they over-apply fertilizer but would be unlikely to participate in a mitigation program due to their contracts and lack of support from seed corn companies. Because only a few companies control access to the seed corn market, farmers feel they have few choices. Farmers rationalized their practices as their only option given the competitive nature of their contracts and blamed other sources of pollution. Despite increasing efforts to educate farmers about climate change, structural barriers will continue to constrain participation in mitigation efforts and the development of a climate change ethic. (shrink)
The paper reviews the current situation regarding a new theory of brain dynamics put forward by the authors in an earlier publication. Motivation for the theory is discussed in terms of two issues: the long-standing problem of accounting for the stability and nonlocal properties of memory, and the experimental and theoretical evidence against the classical theory of brain action. It is shown that the new theory provides an explanation and a conceptually unifying framework for phenomena of brain action that resist (...) classical explanation. Further independent experiments provide strong additional support for the theory. The fact that this theory incorporates quantum mechanisms in an essential way is considered to be of wide scientific interest in view of the unique status of the brain in relation to the physical, biological, and mental orders in nature. (shrink)
This article aims to discuss the history of medical history in the British medical undergraduate curriculum and it reviews the main characters and organisations that have attempted to earn it a place in the curriculum. It also reviews the arguments for and against the study of the subject that have been used over the last 160 years.
It is argued that, based on Kant's descriptive metaphysics, one can prescribe the necessary metaphysical underpinnings for the possibility of conscious experience in an artificial system. This project is developed by giving an account of the a priori concepts of the understanding in such a system. A specification and implementation of the nomological conditions for a conscious system allows one to know a priori that any system possessing this structure will be conscious; thus enabling us to avoid possible false-indicators of (...) consciousness like that offered in a behaviouristic analysis. This is an alternative approach to the bottom-up or top-down approaches adopted by, for example CYC and COG, neither of which, alone, or in some hybrid form, have proved productive. (shrink)
Paul Thagard has recently argued that thought experiments are dangerous and misleading when we try to use them as evidence for claims. This paper refutes his skepticism. Building on Thagard’s own work in cognitive science, I suggest that Thagard has much that is positive to say about how thought experiments work. My last section presents some new directions for research on the intersection between thought experiments and cognitive science.
‘Der Text der Tragodien des Seneca ist in zwei Rezensionen iiberliefert.Die bessere ist vertreten durch die Haupths. Laur. 37, 13 s. xi/xii.… Zu der schlechteren, stark verfalschten Rezension gehoren die iibrigen Hss., von denen keine iiber die Mitte des 14. Jahrhunderts zuriickgeht.’.
In this short paper I will introduce an idea which, I will argue, presents a fundamental additional challenge to the machine consciousness community. The idea takes the questions surrounding phenomenology, qualia and phenomenality one step further into the realm of intersubjectivity but with a twist, and the twist is this: that an agent’s intersubjective experience is deeply felt and necessarily co-affective; it is enkinaesthetic, and only through enkinaesthetic awareness can we establish the affective enfolding which enables first the perturbation, and (...) then the balance and counter-balance, the attunement and co-ordination of whole-body interaction through reciprocal adaptation. (shrink)
Matthew Stuart offers a fresh interpretation of John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, arguing for the work's profound contribution to metaphysics. He presents new readings of Locke's accounts of personal identity and the primary/secondary quality distinction, and explores Locke's case against materialism and his philosophy of action.
My aim in this paper is to go some way towards showing that the maintenance of hard and fast dichotomies, like those between mind and body, and the real and the virtual, is untenable, and that technological advance cannot occur with being cognisant of its reciprocal ethical implications. In their place I will present a softer enactivist ontology through which I examine the nature of our engagement with technology in general and with virtual realities in particular. This softer ontology is (...) one to which I will commit Kant, and from which, I will show, certain critical moral and emotional consequences arise. It is my contention that Kant’s logical subject is necessarily embedded in the world and that Kant, himself, would be content with this view as an expression of his inspired response to the ‘‘scandal to philosophy... that the existence of things outside us... must be accepted merely on faith’’ [Bxl]. In keeping with his arguments for the a priori framing of intuition, the a priori structuring of experience through the spontaneous application of the categories, the synthesis of the experiential manifold, and the necessity of a unity of apperception, I will present an enactivist account of agency in the world, and argue that it is our embodied and embedded kinaesthetic engagement in our world which makes possible the syntheses of apprehension, reproduction and recognition, and which, in turn, make possible the activity of the reproductive or creative imagination. (shrink)
We contest two claims: that language, understood as the processing of abstract symbolic forms, is an instrument of cognition and rational thought, and that conventional notions of turn-taking, exchange structure, and move analysis, are satisfactory as a basis for theorizing communication between living, feeling agents. We offer an enkinaesthetic theory describing the reciprocal affective neuro-muscular dynamical flows and tensions of co- agential dialogical sense-making relations. This “enkinaesthetic dialogue” is characterised by a preconceptual experientially recursive temporal dynamics forming the deep extended (...) melodies of relationships in time. An understanding of how those relationships work, when we understand and are ourselves understood, when communication falters and conflict arises, will depend on a grasp of our enkinaesthetic intersubjectivity. (shrink)
In this paper we consider the concept of a self-aware agent. In cognitive science agents are seen as embodied and interactively situated in worlds. We analyse the meanings attached to these terms in cognitive science and robotics, proposing a set of conditions for situatedness and embodiment, and examine the claim that internal representational schemas are largely unnecessary for intelligent behaviour in animats. We maintain that current situated and embodied animats cannot be ascribed even minimal self-awareness, and offer a six point (...) definition of embeddedness, constituting minimal conditions for the evolution of a sense of self. This leads to further analysis of the nature of embodiment and situatedness, and a consideration of whether virtual animats in virtual worlds could count as situated and embodied. We propose that self-aware agents must possess complex structures of self-directed goals; multi-modal sensory systems and a rich repertoire of interactions with their worlds. Finally, we argue that embedded agents will possess or evolve local co-ordinate systems, or points of view, relative to their current positions in space and time, and have a capacity to develop an egocentric space. None of these capabilities are possible without powerful internal representational capacities. (shrink)
Phantom limb experiences demonstrate an unexpected degree of fragility inherent in our self-perceptions. This is perhaps most extreme when congenitally absent limbs are experienced as phantoms. Aplasic phantoms highlight fundamental questions about the physiological bases of self-experience and the ontogeny of a physical, embodied sense of the self. Some of the most intriguing of these questions concern the role of mirror neurons in supporting the development of self–other mappings and hence the emergence of phantom experiences of congenitally absent limbs. In (...) this paper, we will examine the hypothesis that aplasic phantom limb experience is the result of an ontogenetic interplay between body schemas and mirror neuron activity and that this interplay is founded on embedding in a social context. Phantom limb experience has been associated with the persistence of subjective experience of a part of the body after deafferentation through surgical or traumatic removal. We maintain that limited association is inconsistent with the extent to which phantom limb experience is reported by aplasic individuals. (shrink)
Context: Neurophenomenology is a relatively new field, with scope for novel and informative approaches to empirical questions about what structural parallels there are between neural activity and phenomenal experience. Problem: The overall aim is to present a method for examining possible correlations of neurodynamic and phenodynamic structures within the structurally-coupled work of Alexander Technique practitioners with their pupils. Method: This paper includes the development of an enkinaesthetic explanatory framework, an overview of the salient aspects of the Alexander Technique, and the (...) presentation of an elicitation interview technique as part of a neurophenomenological method. It will propose a way of testing the hypothesis that if, in the effective practice of Alexander Technique, there is a union between the nervous systems of teacher and pupil, it should be visible neurologically and affective phenomenologically, and thus it should be possible to investigate both its neural and phenomenal signatures. Results: The proposed means of testing the hypothesis is to use the elicitation interview technique alongside neural monitoring during the teaching of the Alexander Technique in four paired sets of subjects. Constructivist content: At the heart of this paper is the claim that all activity is co-activity. I make no assumption of an ontological primacy of mental or physical, or explanatory primacy of any methodology. Implications: This has important ramifications for somatic education and therapies, for establishing frameworks of co-engagement and care in health-care situations, and for understanding empathy. (shrink)
Machine consciousness exists already in organic systems and it is only a matter of time -- and some agreement -- before it will be realised in reverse-engineered organic systems and forward- engineered inorganic systems. The agreement must be over the preconditions that must first be met if the enterprise is to be successful, and it is these preconditions, for instance, being a socially-embedded, structurally-coupled and dynamic, goal-directed entity that organises its perceptual input and enacts its world through the application of (...) both a cognitive and kinaesthetic imagination, that I shall concentrate on presenting in this paper. It will become clear that these preconditions will present engineers with a tall order, but not, I will argue, an impossible one. After all, we might agree with Freeman and Núñez's claim that the machine metaphor has restricted the expectations of the cognitive sciences (Freeman & Núñez, 1999); but it is a double-edged sword, since our limited expectations about machines also narrow the potential of our cognitive science. (shrink)
The primary aim of this essay is to present a case for a heavily revised notion of heterophenomenology. l will refer to the revised notion as ‘enkinaesthesia’ because of its dependence on the experiential entanglement of our own and the other’s felt action as the sensory background within which all other experience is possible. Enkinaesthesia2 emphasizes two things: (i) the neuromuscular dynamics of the agent, including the givenness and ownership of its experience, and (ii) the entwined, blended and situated co-affective (...) feeling of the presence of the other(s), agential (for example, human, horse, cat, beetle) and non-agential (for example, cup, bed, apple, paper) and, where appropriate, the anticipated arc of the other’s action or movement, including, again where appropriate, the other’s intentionality. When the ‘other’ is also a sensing and experiencing agent it is their - in this case, the pair’s - affective intentional reciprocity, their folding, enfolding, and unfolding, which co-constitutes the conscious relation and the experientially recursive temporal dynamics that lead to the formation and maintenance of the deep integral enkinaesthetic structures and melodies which bind us together, even when they pull us apart. Such deeply felt enkinaesthetic melodies emphasise the dialogical nature of the backgrounded feeling of being. (shrink)
A great deal of effort has been, and continues to be, devoted to developing consciousness artificially (A small selection of the many authors writing in this area includes: Cotterill (J Conscious Stud 2:290–311, 1995 , 1998 ), Haikonen ( 2003 ), Aleksander and Dunmall (J Conscious Stud 10:7–18, 2003 ), Sloman ( 2004 , 2005 ), Aleksander ( 2005 ), Holland and Knight ( 2006 ), and Chella and Manzotti ( 2007 )), and yet a similar amount of effort has (...) gone in to demonstrating the infeasibility of the whole enterprise (Most notably: Dreyfus ( 1972/1979 , 1992 , 1998 ), Searle ( 1980 ), Harnad (J Conscious Stud 10:67–75, 2003 ), and Sternberg ( 2007 ), but there are a great many others). My concern in this paper is to steer some navigable channel between the two positions, laying out the necessary pre-conditions for consciousness in an artificial system, and concentrating on what needs to hold for the system to perform as a human being or other phenomenally conscious agent in an intersubjectively-demanding social and moral environment. By adopting a thick notion of embodiment—one that is bound up with the concepts of the lived body and autopoiesis (Maturana and Varela 1980 ; Varela et al. 2003 ; and Ziemke 2003 , 2007a , J Conscious Stud 14(7):167–179, 2007b )—I will argue that machine phenomenology is only possible within an embodied distributed system that possesses a richly affective musculature and a nervous system such that it can, through action and repetition, develop its tactile-kinaesthetic memory, individual kinaesthetic melodies pertaining to habitual practices, and an anticipatory enactive kinaesthetic imagination. Without these capacities the system would remain unconscious, unaware of itself embodied within a world. Finally, and following on from Damasio’s ( 1991 , 1994 , 1999 , 2003 ) claims for the necessity of pre-reflective conscious, emotional, bodily responses for the development of an organism’s core and extended consciousness, I will argue that without these capacities any agent would be incapable of developing the sorts of somatic markers or saliency tags that enable affective reactions, and which are indispensable for effective decision-making and subsequent survival. My position, as presented here, remains agnostic about whether or not the creation of artificial consciousness is an attainable goal. (shrink)