Can one be fooled into believing that one intended an action that one in fact did not intend? Past experimental paradigms have demonstrated that participants, when provided with false perceptual feedback about their actions, can be fooled into misperceiving the nature of their intended motor act. However, because veridical proprioceptive/perceptual feedback limits the extent to which participants can be fooled, few studies have been able to answer our question and induce the illusion to intend. In a novel paradigm addressing this (...) question, participants were instructed to move a line on the computer screen by use of a phony brain–computer interface. Line movements were actually controlled by computer program. Demonstrating the illusion to intend, participants reported more intentions to move the line when it moved frequently than when it moved infrequently. Consistent with ideomotor theory, the finding illuminates the intimate liaisons among ideomotor processing, the sense of agency, and action production. (shrink)
Perhaps the time has come to re-examine the basic notions of cognitive science. Together with previous challenges against associationism, the target article should be viewed as a call to arms to re-evaluate the empirical basis for contemporary conceptualizations of human learning and the notion of a concept that has become too imprecise for describing the elements of cognition.
Thought's Footing is an enquiry into the relationship between the ways things are and the way we think and talk about them. It is also a study of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations: Charles Travis develops his account of certain key themes into a unified view of the work as a whole. The central question is: how does thought get its footing? How can the thought that things are a certain way be connected to things being that way?
This article provides current Schwartz Values Survey (SVS) data from samples of business managers and professionals across 50 societies that are culturally and socioeconomically diverse. We report the society scores for SVS values dimensions for both individual- and societal-level analyses. At the individual-level, we report on the ten circumplex values sub-dimensions and two sets of values dimensions (collectivism and individualism; openness to change, conservation, self-enhancement, and self-transcendence). At the societal-level, we report on the values dimensions of embeddedness, hierarchy, mastery, affective (...) autonomy, intellectual autonomy, egalitarianism, and harmony. For each society, we report the Cronbach’s α statistics for each values dimension scale to assess their internal consistency (reliability) as well as report interrater agreement (IRA) analyses to assess the acceptability of using aggregated individual level values scores to represent country values. We also examined whether societal development level is related to systematic variation in the measurement and importance of values. Thus, the contributions of our evaluation of the SVS values dimensions are two-fold. First, we identify the SVS dimensions that have cross-culturally internally reliable structures and within-society agreement for business professionals. Second, we report the society cultural values scores developed from the twenty-first century data that can be used as macro-level predictors in multilevel and single-level international business research. (shrink)
The practice of sending parolees back to prison for violations of their parole conditions, which has grown seven-fold over the past 25 years and now contributes significantly to rising prison populations, has escaped rigorous empirical or theoretical analysis. This article suggests that this practice be understood as a form of sentencing , as a deprivation of liberty for violation of state-imposed rules. Seen through this lens, the practice of parole revocations is particularly vulnerable to critique as failing to meet the (...) standards of sentencing jurisprudence. The article calls for a reexamination of parole revocation policy using a sentencing framework. (shrink)
A continuous Oxford tradition on knowledge runs from John Cook Wilson to John McDowell. A central idea is that knowledge is not a species of belief, or that, in McDowell's terms, it is not a hybrid state; that, moreover, it is a kind of taking in of what is there that precludes one's being, for all one can see, wrong. Cook Wilson and McDowell differ on what this means as to the scope of knowledge. J.L. Austin set out the requisite (...) foundations for McDowell to be right. McDowell has shown why the tradition, and his version of it, need to be right. But he does not accept Austin's innovation. That is a shame. For, despite McDowell's very great insightfulness, precisely that much separates him from a very powerful, and correct, view of what knowledge is. (shrink)
This study compared professional and amateur classical musicians matched for age, gender, and education on reaction times during the Stroop color-word test, brainwaves during an auditory ERP task and during paired reaction-time tasks, responses on the Gibbs Sociomoral Reflection questionnaire, and self-reported frequencies of peak experiences. Professional musicians were characterized by: lower color-word interference effects , faster categorization of rare expected stimuli , and a trend for faster processing of rare unexpected stimuli , higher scores on the Sociomoral Reflection questionnaire, (...) and more frequent peak experiences during rest, tasks, and sleep. Both groups had high values on the Brain Integration Scale. These findings are interpreted in light of a Unified Theory of Performance, which posits that effectiveness in any area is influenced by one’s level of mind-brain development—emotional, cognitive, moral, ego and cortical development—with higher mind-brain development supporting greater effectiveness in any domain. (shrink)
In this single-blind within-subject study, autonomic and EEG variables were compared during 10-min, order-balanced eyes-closed rest and Transcendental Meditation (TM) sessions. TM sessions were distinguished by (1) lower breath rates, (2) lower skin conductance levels, (3) higher respiratory sinus arrhythmia levels, and (4) higher alpha anterior-posterior and frontal EEG coherence. Alpha power was not significantly different between conditions. These results were seen in the first minute and were maintained throughout the 10-min sessions. TM practice appears to (1) lead to a (...) state fundamentally different than eyes-closed rest; (2) result in a cascade of events in the central and autonomic nervous systems, leading to a rapid change in state (within a minute) that was maintained throughout the TM session; and (3) be best distinguished from other conditions through autonomic and EEG alpha coherence patterns rather than alpha power. Two neural networks that may mediate these effects are suggested. The rapid shift in physiological functioning within the first minute might be mediated by a ''neural switch'' in prefrontal areas inhibiting activity in specific and nonspecific thalamocortical circuits. The resulting ''restfully alert'' state might be sustained by a basal ganglia-corticothalamic threshold regulation mechanism automatically maintaining lower levels of cortical excitability. (shrink)
This research extends and confirms recent brainwave findings that distinguished an individual’s sense-of-self along an Object-referral/Self-referral Continuum of self-awareness. Subjects were interviewed and were given tests measuring inner/outer orientation, moral reasoning, anxiety, and personality. Scores on the psychological tests were factor analyzed. The first unrotated PCA component of the test scores yielded a “Consciousness Factor,” analogous to the intelligence “g” factor, which accounted for over half of the variance among groups. Analysis of unstructured interviews of these subjects revealed fundamentally different (...) descriptions of self-awareness. Individuals who described themselves in terms of concrete cognitive and behavioral processes exhibited lower Consciousness Factor scores, lower frontal EEG coherence, lower alpha and higher gamma power during tasks, and less efficient cortical preparatory responses . In contrast, individuals who described themselves in terms of an abstract, independent sense-of-self underlying thought, feeling and action exhibited higher Consciousness Factor scores, higher frontal coherence, higher alpha and lower gamma power during tasks, and more efficient cortical responses. These data suggest that definable states of brain activity and subjective experiences exist, in addition to waking, sleeping and dreaming, that may be operationally defined by psychological and physiological measures along a continuum of Object-referral/Self-referral Continuum of self-awareness. (shrink)
I criticize the particular argument for evolutionary progressivism which is based on the concept of a series of "dominant life forms." My procedure is to show that there is no rigorous definition for the concept of "dominant life form." I examine several attempts to define this concept by Julian Huxley and a new formulation of the concept by G. G. Simpson and show that none of the criteria either of these men develop for determining which groups of organisms can be (...) classified as dominant are adequate to exclude any groups of organisms from the classification. The concept proves so broad as to be meaningless. Since it is a key concept in the particular argument for progressivism that I discuss, the criticism of the concept demonstrates the argument to be invalid. (shrink)
This is the third and final section of a paper, "Oxford Realism", co-written with Charles Travis. -/- A concern for realism motivates a fundamental strand of Oxford reflection on perception. Begin with the realist conception of knowledge. The question then will be: What must perception be like if we can know something about an object without the mind by seeing it? What must perception be if it can, on occasion, afford us with proof concerning a subject matter independent of (...) the mind? (shrink)
Charles Travis presents a series of essays in which he has developed his distinctive view of the relation of thought to language. The key idea is "occasion-sensitivity": what it is for words to express a given concept is for them to be apt for contributing to any of many different conditions of correctness (notably truth conditions). Since words mean what they do by expressing a given concept, it follows that meaning does not determine truth conditions. This view ties thoughts (...) less tightly to the linguistic forms which express them than traditional views of the matter, and in two directions: a given linguistic form, meaning fixed, may express an indefinite variety of thoughts; one thought can be expressed in an indefinite number of syntactically and semantically distinct ways. Travis highlights the importance of this view for linguistic theory, and shows how it gives new form to a variety of traditional philosophical problems. (shrink)
Charles Travis presents a series of essays on philosophy of perception, inspired by the insights of Gottlob Frege. He engages with a range of contemporary thinkers, and explores key issues including how perception can make the world bear on what we do or think, and what sorts of capacities we draw on in representing something as (being) something.
This book provides a novel interpretation of the ideas about language in Ludwig Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. Travis places the "private language argument" in the context of wider themes in the Investigations, and thereby develops a picture of what it is for words to bear the meaning they do. He elaborates two versions of a private language argument, and shows the consequences of these for current trends in the philosophical theory of meaning.
This article explores gun control and the ethics of hunting and suggests that hunting ought not to be permitted, and not because of its impact on those animals that are hunted, but because of the risk other humans are subjected to as a result of some being permitted to own guns for mere preference satisfaction. This article examines the nature of freedom, its value, and how responsibility for the exercising of that freedom ought to be regarded when it involves subjecting (...) others to a risk of grave bodily harm. A distinction between two kinds of freedom is put forth and it is argued that it would be wrong to sacrifice freedoms of intrinsic worth for freedoms of instrumental worth. (shrink)
Introductory Remarks Reading these excellent commentaries we already wish we had written another book – a more comprehensive, clearer, and better defended one than what we have. We are, however, quite fond of the book we ended up with, and so we've decided that, rather than to yield, we'll clarify. These contributions have helped us do that, and for that we are grateful to our critics. We're lucky in that many (so far about twenty1) extremely able philosophers have read and (...) commented on our work in print. A slightly discouraging fact is that all these commentators seem to think we are completely, utterly mistaken. On the positive side: Our critics seem to disagree about what we're completely wrong about. On the one hand, radical contextualists (e.g. Travis) find our objections against them off the mark, but our objections to moderate contextualism dead-on. On the other hand, the moderate contextualists (e.g. Szabo) think that our objections against them fail, but our objections to radical contextualism are strong (Szabo, concludes that we ‘present strong arguments against radical contextualism, but only a weak case against moderate contextualism’). This means we've got our work cut out for us – defending the middle ground from every which way – something we are more than pleased to do. We start with general points of clarification, points it will be useful to reference from time to time when discussing each commentary. (General Comment #4 is the most important, and we reference it repeatedly in what follows.) General Comment #1: Our View isn't Radical.. (shrink)
This article explores at least two dominant critiques of assisted dying from a disability rights perspective. In spite of these critiques, I conclude that assisted dying ought to be permissible. I arrive at the conclusion that if we respect and value people with disabilities, we ought to permit assisted dying. I do so in the following manner. First, I examine recent changes in legislation that have occurred since the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on End-of-Life Decision-Making report, published in (...) this journal. I suggest that these changes are likely to only strengthen opposition to assisted dying from disability rights activists and people with disabilities. Second, I focus on respect for people with disabilities and in particular, respect for their autonomy and decision-making abilities. Third, I explore the opposition to assisted dying that focuses on risk and the vulnerability of people with disabilities. Here I suggest that this risk ought not to be of special concern. Ultimately, I conclude that upholding respect for the disabled requires the legalization of assisted dying, rather than the denial of access in a misguided effort to protect people with disabilities. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that health plays a special role in the promotion of well-being within the capabilities approach framework. I do this by first presenting a scenario involving two individuals, both of whom lack access to only one capability. The first cannot secure the capability of bodily health due to an unhealthy lifestyle, whilst the second lacks access to bodily integrity due to a life of celibacy. Second, I explore these scenarios by assessing the nature of disadvantage suffered (...) in both instances. I suggest that corrosive disadvantage (or the type of disadvantage that adversely impacts one’s ability to secure other valuable things) is what leads us to conclude that health is of special moral importance in the promotion of justice and the endorsing of well-being. (shrink)
Recent discussions surrounding the conceptualising of disability has resulted in a stalemate between British sociologists and philosophers. The stagnation of theorizing that has occurred threatens not only academic pursuits and the advancement of theoretical interpretations within the Disability Studies community, but also how we educate and advocate politically, legally, and socially. More pointedly, many activists and theorists in the UK appear to believe the British social model is the only effective means of understanding and advocating on behalf of people with (...) disabilities. This model, largely reliant upon materialist research traditions, contends that disability is a form of social oppression and hence, is a phenomenon that should be conceptualised in social terms. Individual properties such as impairments are disregarded as they are viewed to be unimportant in the analysis of the social causes of disability. Concurrently, many bioethicists and philosophers have embraced what Tom Shakespeare has classified as an ‘Interactional Approach’ to disability—that “the experience of a disabled person results from the relationship between factors intrinsic to the individual, and the extrinsic factors arising from the wider context in which she finds herself”. I intend to demonstrate that the benefits of the British social model are now outweighed by its burdens. I suggest, as Jerome Bickenbach has, that while it may be somewhat churlish to critique the social model in light of its political success, taken literally, it implies that people with disabilities require no additional health resources by virtue of their impairments. Despite the eloquent arguments that have preceded me by interactional theorists, none have been accepted as evidence of fallacious reasoning by British social model theorists. This article is an attempt to clarify why it is that the types of arguments British social model theorists have been offering are misguided. I suggest that the British social model, unlike an interactional approach, is unable to provide a realistic account of the experience of disability, and subsequently, unable to be properly utilized to ensure justice for people with disabilities. (shrink)
Comment garantir l’objectivité de notre rapport au monde? Le rationalisme et l’empirisme renvoient, chacun à leur manière, à une capacité générale de l’esprit humain – capacité désengagée du monde, décontextualisée. La nouveauté radicale qu’introduit Wittgenstein dans sa seconde philosophie est une vision contextualiste et proprement humaine de l’objectivité.Dans cet ouvrage, issu de leçons données au Collège de France en 2002, Charles Travis prend appui sur Frege, Wittgenstein et J.L. Austin pour montrer que l’opération de désangagement du monde propre aux (...) différentes théories de la connaissance contemporaines ne permet plus à la pensée d’être objective et a fortiori d’être vraie. Elle ne permet pas de véritable rapport au monde. C’est plutôt au sein de nos pratiques les plus ordinaires que se fondent l’objectivité qui est la nôtre, la vérité, ainsi que les différents accords du monde avec le langage et la pensée. La vérité n’est pas abstraite, nos représentations sont situées. Toute signification, comme toute pensée, est sensible à l’occasion. Charles Travis propose ici une lecture originale de Wittgenstein, conjuguée à une approche particulière des grands problèmes de la philosophie analytique. (shrink)
The Uses of Sense provides a novel account of Wittgenstein's view of language as expressed in the Philosophical Investigations. Charles Travis argues that Wittgenstein's view is a radical break with a still-dominant Fregean tradition. On this basis, Travis gives an original treatment of the significance of private language and of other major themes in the Investigations, such as family resemblance and language games.
Disability & Justice: The Capabilities Approach in Practice is an interdisciplinary examination of the practical application of the capabilities approach viewed through the lens of the experience of disability. Careful and critical examination of vital foundational concepts is undertaken prior to contextualizing the experience of disability and how we might begin to promote an inclusive society through an application of the capabilities approach.