Films and Dreams considers the essential link between films and the world of dreams. Thorsten Botz-Bornstein reveals a common structure of "dreamtense" in the works of major filmmakers like Tarkovsky, Sokurov, Bergman, and Wong Kar-wai.
In vision research metacontrast masking is a widely used technique to reduce the visibility of a stimulus. Typically, studies attempt to reveal general principles that apply to a large majority of participants and tend to omit possible individual differences. The neural plasticity of the visual system, however, entails the potential capability for individual differences in the way observers perform perceptual tasks. We report a case of perceptual learning in a metacontrast masking task that leads to the enhancement of two types (...) of adult human observers despite identical learning conditions. In a priming task both types of observers exhibited the same priming effects, which were insensitive to learning. Findings suggest that visual processing of target stimuli in the metacontrast masking task is based on neural levels with sufficient plasticity to enable the development of two types of observers, which do not contribute to processing of target stimuli in the priming task. (shrink)
Max Weber examined Chinese society and European Puritanism at the beginning of the Twentieth Century in order to find out why capitalism did not develop in China. He found that Confucianism and Puritanism are mutually exclusive, which enabled him to oppose both in the form of two different kinds of rationalism. I attempt neither to refute nor to confirm the Weberian thought model. Instead I show that a similar model applies to Jean Baudrillard’s vision of American culture, a culture that (...) he determined in terms of hyperreality. Instead of rejecting Weber’s thoughts right away, I give Weber’s model a further push and show that through a further twist that “Western culture” has received within particular American constellations, Weber’s understanding of Confucianism and Baudrillard’s understanding of American civilization manifest amazing similarities. (shrink)
Current theories assume that perception and affect are separate realms of the mind. In contrast, we argue that affect is a genuine online-component of perception instantaneously mirroring the success of different perceptual stages. Consequently, we predicted that the success (failure) of even very early and cognitively encapsulated basic visual Processing steps would trigger immediate positive (negative) affective responses. To test this assumption, simple visual stimuli that either allowed or obstructed early visual processing stages without participants being aware of this were (...) presented briefly. Across 5 experiments, we found more positive affective responses to stimuli that allowed rather than obstructed Gestalt completion at certain early visual stages (Experiments 1–3; briefest presentation 100 ms with post-mask), and visual disambiguation in possible vs. impossible Necker cubes (Experiments 4 and 5; briefest presentation 100 ms with post-mask). This effect was observed both on verbal preference ratings (Experiments 1, 2, and 4) and as facial muscle responses occurring within 2–4 s after stimulus onset (zygomaticus activity; Experiments 3 and 7). For instance, in participants unaware of spatial possibility we found affective discrimination between possible and impossible Necker cubes (the famous Freemish Crate) for 100 ms presentation timings, although a conscious discrimination took more than 2000 ms (Experiment 4). (shrink)
A long lasting debate in the field of implicit learning is whether participants can learn without acquiring conscious knowledge. One crucial problem is that no clear criterion exists allowing to identify participants who possess explicit knowledge. Here, we propose a method to diagnose during a serial reaction time task those participants who acquire conscious knowledge. We first validated this method by using Stroop-like material during training. Then we assessed participants’ knowledge with the Inclusion/Exclusion task and the wagering task . Both (...) experiments confirmed that for participants diagnosed as having acquired conscious knowledge about the underlying sequence the Stroop congruency effect disappeared, whereas for participants not diagnosed as possessing conscious knowledge it only slightly decreased. In addition, both experiments revealed that only participants diagnosed as conscious were able to strategically use their acquired knowledge. Thus, our method allows to reliably distinguish between participants with and without conscious knowledge. (shrink)
In metacontrast masking target visibility is modulated by the time until a masking stimulus appears. The effect of this temporal delay differs across participants in such a way that individual human observers’ performance shows distinguishable types of masking functions which remain largely unchanged for months. Here we examined whether individual differences in masking functions depend on different response criteria in addition to differences in discrimination sensitivity. To this end we reanalyzed previously published data and conducted a new experiment for further (...) data analyses. Our analyses demonstrate that a distinction of masking functions based on the type of masking stimulus is superior to a distinction based on the target–mask congruency. Individually different masking functions are based on individual differences in discrimination sensitivities and in response criteria. Results suggest that individual differences in metacontrast masking result from individually different criterion contents. (shrink)
To analyze the role of automatic processes in the fulfilment of delayed intentions, we extended a typical prospective memory setting with a context signal to indicate whether the intended action is to be carried out or not. Building on dual-process models of cognition, we hypothesized that automatic and controlled processes are in opposition when the action is to be suppressed, because automatic processes trigger the associated response whereas controlled processes exert inhibition. Experiment 1 demonstrates the occurrence of false prospective memory (...) responses to cues with the “suppress” signal. Experiment 2 shows that the rate of false prospective memory responses is sensitive to a manipulation that strengthens the role of automatic processes in prospective memory. The findings support the use of false prospective memory responses for the study of automatic processes in the execution of delayed intentions. (shrink)
According to the “paradox of knowability”, the moderate thesis that all truths are knowable – ‘∀p ’ – implies the seemingly preposterous claim that all truths are actually known – ‘∀p ’ –, i.e. that we are omniscient. If Fitch’s argument were successful, it would amount to a knockdown rebuttal of anti-realism by reductio. In the paper I defend the nowadays rather neglected strategy of intuitionistic revisionism. Employing only intuitionistically acceptable rules of inference, the conclusion of the argument is, firstly, (...) not ‘∀p ’, but ‘∀p ’. Secondly, even if there were an intuitionistically acceptable proof of ‘∀p ’, i.e. an argument based on a different set of premises, the conclusion would have to be interpreted in accordance with Heyting semantics, and read in this way, the apparently preposterous conclusion would be true on conceptual grounds and acceptable even from a realist point of view. Fitch’s argument, understood as an immanent critique of verificationism, fails because in a debate dealing with the justification of deduction there can be no interpreted formal language on which realists and anti-realists could agree. Thus, the underlying problem is that a satisfactory solution to the “problem of shared content” is not available. I conclude with some remarks on the proposals by J. Salerno and N. Tennant to reconstruct certain arguments in the debate on anti-realism by establishing aporias. (shrink)
Frege's mature writings apparently contain two different criteria of sense identity. While in "Über Sinn und Bedeutung" (1892) and in "Kurze Übersicht meiner logischen Lehren" (1906?) he seems to advocate a psychological criterion, his letter to Husserl of December 12, 1906 offers a thoroughly logical criterion of sense identity. It is argued that the latter proposal is not a "momentary aberration", but rather Frege's official criterion; his psychological criteria only serve as a way of illustrating questions of sense identity by (...) appealing to the thoughts of completely rational thinkers. (shrink)
In this issue of Consciousness and Cognition, Bachmann comments on our study , which revealed two groups of observers with qualitative individual differences in metacontrast masking that are enhanced by perceptual learning. We are pleased that our study receives this attention and even more about Bachmann’s extremely positive comments. In this invited reply we argue that observers seem to be similar only at the beginning of the experiment but they have no choice as to which group to join. Findings strongly (...) recommend to look at the data of individual subjects. (shrink)
I introduce and compare Russian and Japanese notions of community and space. Some characteristic strains of thought that exist in both countries had similar points of departure, overcame similar problems and arrived at similar results. In general, in Japan and Russia, the nostalgia for the community has been strong because one felt that in society through modernization something of the particularity of one's culture had been lost. As a consequence, both in Japan and in Russia allusions to the German sociologist (...) Ferdinand Tönnies' book Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft are frequent. In the end I associate the Japanese as well as the Russian ideas with neo-Darwinian versions of the theme of evolution as it has been developed by Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze, and Felix Guattari. (shrink)
The present study investigates how individuals distribute their attentional resources between a prospective memory task and an ongoing task. Therefore, metacognitive expectations about the attentional demands of the prospective-memory task were manipulated while the factual demands were held constant. In Experiments 1a and 1b, we found attentional costs from a prospective-memory task with low factual demands to be significantly reduced when information about the low to-be-expected demands were provided, while prospective-memory performance remained largely unaffected. In Experiment 2, attentional monitoring in (...) a more demanding prospective-memory task also varied with information about the to-be-expected demands and again there were no equivalent changes in prospective-memory performance. These findings suggest that attention–allocation strategies of prospective memory rely on metacognitive expectations about prospective-memory task demands. Furthermore, the results suggest that attentional monitoring is only functional for prospective memory to the extent to which anticipated task demands reflect objective task demands. (shrink)
The problem of finding sufficient doxastic conditions for backward induction in games of perfect information is analyzed in a syntactic framework with subjunctive conditionals. This allows to describe the structure of the game by a logical formula and consequently to treat beliefs about this structure in the same way as beliefs about rationality. A backward induction and a non-Nash equilibrium result based on higher level belief in rationality and the structure of the game are derived.
Recent research suggests that the subjective feeling of conscious recollection is uniquely characterized by joint memory for several context features while merely familiar memories lack this property . In the present research we took the novel approach of extending the dual task paradigm to the simultaneous study of subjective retrieval experience and joint memory for two orthogonal context features. While dual task load during encoding lead to reductions in the frequency of the subjective experience of conscious recollection and reductions in (...) overall context memory, joint context memory was not affected. Furthermore, the relation of higher overall context memory for consciously recollected items than for familiar items was preserved even under dual task load. These results have import implications for theories of long-term feature binding and the processes involved in producing the experience of conscious recollection. (shrink)
The Chinese concept of wen is examined here in the context of contemporary gene theory and the "cultural branch" of gene theory called "memetics." The Chinese notion of wen is an untranslatable term meaning "pattern," "structure," "writing," and "literature." Wen hua—generally translated as "culture"—signifies the process through which one adopts wen. However, this process is not simply one of civilizational mimesis or imitation but the "creation" of a new pattern. Within a gene-wen debate we are able to read genes neither (...) in terms of nature or culture but, in a Chinese way, in terms of "nature-culture." "Posthuman" or "transhuman" models that celebrate the creation of techno-biobodies (cyborgs) as the continuation of the human by nonhuman means are still dependent on a clear distinction between nature and technology (culture) that is rooted in the Greek and Christian traditions. bioengineering does not do more than gradually replacing the "given" by the "made" until the body is seen as a commodity malleable in the hands of modern technology. A wen-based genetics offers a new perspective on nature-culture continuity because it is not trapped in nature but involved in a concept of wen that a Western mind tends to identify too quickly with natural necessity. (shrink)
“Prizeworthy Research?” Wilhelm Roux and His Program of Developmental Mechanics. The Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine is awarded annually to a maximum of three laureates. Not surprisingly, the number of nominees is much larger. Drawing on Nobel Prize nominations in the Nobel archives in Sweden, the core of this paper deals with the nomination letters for the physiologist Wilhelm Roux to discuss competition and some controversies among German physiologists around 1900 in this particular context. The paper elucidates the arguments (...) brought forward to portray Roux as a scientist who had conferred “the greatest benefit to mankind” in the field of physiology or medicine ; examines some other runners-up, and reconstructs why Roux as well as some of his peers were not awarded the Nobel Prize. On a more general level, we argue that an analysis of Nobel Prize nominations contributes to a broader history of excellence in science and medicine in the twentieth century. (shrink)
According to judgment internalism, there is a conceptual connection between moral judgment and motivation. This paper offers an argument against that kind of internalism that does not involve counterexamples of the amoralist sort. Instead, it is argued that these forms of judgment internalism fall prey to a Frege-Geach type argument.
A syntactic formalism for the modeling of belief revision in perfect information games is presented that allows to define the rationality of a player's choice of moves relative to the beliefs he holds as his respective decision nodes have been reached. In this setting, true common belief in the structure of the game and rationality held before the start of the game does not imply that backward induction will be played. To derive backward induction, a “forward belief” condition is formulated (...) in terms of revised rather than initial beliefs. Alternative notions of rationality as well as the use of knowledge instead of belief are also studied within this framework. Footnotes1 I would like to thank Wlodek Rabinowicz and three anonymous referees for very helpful comments. (shrink)
This conceptual article discusses strategies of corporations in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector and their role in the conflict over access to knowledge in the digital environment. Its main hypothesis is that ICT corporations are very capable actors when it comes to bridging digital divides in both developed and developing countries—maybe even the most capable actors. Therefore, it is argued that ICT corporations could use their capabilities to help citizens gain sustainable access to knowledge in order to enable (...) them to lead self-sufficient lives. In a nutshell, capabilities are presented as both the input (capabilities of ICT corporations) as well as the output (capability building for empowering citizens) of corporate strategy-making focusing on fair ICT. Corporate citizenship is put forth as the theoretical concept bridging corporate strategies and access to knowledge: If ICT corporations act in accordance with their self-understanding of being ‘good corporate citizens’, they could be crucial partners in lessening digital divides and helping citizens gain access to knowledge. From the perspective of ‘integrative economic ethics’ (Ulrich 2008), it is argued that ICT corporations have good reason to actively empower citizens in both developed and developing countries by pursuing ‘inclusive’ strategies in many fields, such as open-source software development. That way, ICT corporations could enable, support and provide citizens with capabilities enabling them to help themselves. In order to make inclusive business models work, the rules and regulations companies find themselves in today must enable them to act responsibly without getting penalized by more ruthless competitors. This article explores several cases from the ICT field to illustrate the interplay between a responsible business model and the rules and regulations of the industry. From a capabilities perspective, the most desirable mix of corporate strategies and industry regulation is one that results in the highest level of generativity (Zittrain 2008). Thus, ICT should not be closed systems only driven by the company behind them. Instead, they need to be open for the highest possible level of third-party innovation. (shrink)
This is a book about space. On a first level, it reflects traditional Japanese ideas of space against various “items” of Western culture. Among these items are Bakhtin's “dialogicity”, Wittgenstein’s Lebensform, and “virtual space” or “globalized” space as representatives of the latest development of an “alienated”, modern spatial experience. Some of the Western concepts of space appear as negative counter examples to“basho-like”, Japanese places; others turn out to be compatible with the Japanese idea of space.On a second level, the book (...) attempts to synthesize, by constantly transgressing the limits of a purely comparative activity, a quantity which the author believes to be existent in Japanese culture that is called “the virtual”. Be it Kuki Shûzô's hermeneutics of non-foundation or his ontology of dream, Nishida Kitarô’s virtual definition of the body of state, or Kimura Bin's notion of “in-between” that is so closely associated with the “virtual space” of Noh plays: what all these conceptions have in common is that they aim to transcend a flat notion of “reality” by developing “the virtual” as a complex ontological unity. (shrink)
The verb κενόω means ‘to empty’ and St. Paul uses the word ἐκένωσεν writing that ‘Jesus made himself nothing’ and ‘emptied himself’. Śūnyatā is a Buddhist concept most commonly translated as emptiness, nothingness, or nonsubstantiality. An important kenosis–śūnyatā discussion was sparked by Abe Masao’s paper ‘Kenotic God and Dynamic Śūnyatā’. I confront the kenosis–śūnyatā theme with Vattimo’s kenosis-based philosophy of religion. For Vattimo, kenosis refers to ‘secularization’: when strong structures such as the essence and the fulfilment of the Christian message (...) are weakened. Parallels between Abe’s and Vattimo’s thought will be demonstrated with regard to themes current in East–West comparative philosophy: reality and emptiness, the overcoming of metaphysics, the position of the Self, the human and the divine, and the relationship between science and religion. The latter point is particularly timely because since the 1990s religious fundamentalism has pushed forward a curio.. (shrink)