Bortolotti’s Delusions and Other Irrational Beliefs defends the view that delusions are beliefs on a continuum with other beliefs. A different view is that delusions are more like illusions, that is, they arise from faulty perception. This view, which is not targeted by the book, makes it easier to explain why delusions are so alien and disabling but needs to appeal to forensic aspects of functioning.
In metaphysics, fundamentality is a central theme involving debates on the nature of existents, as wholes. These debates are largely object-oriented in their standpoint and engage with composites or wholes through the mereological notion of compositionality. The ontological significance of the parts overrides that of wholes since the existence and identity of the latter are dependent on that of the former. Broadly, the candidates for fundamental entities are considered to be elementary particles of modern physics (since they appear to play (...) the role of ultimate parts to all phenomena). The paper intends to show the inadequacy of the object-oriented notion of conditionality by pointing out that the parts and wholes possess varying conditions of existence. By alleging that only the parts are ontologically significant is to conflate such conditions and neglect the spectrum of conditions which exist in our world. A proposal for a revised notion of compositionality in terms of structural relatedness is also put forward. (shrink)
Here I reply to the main points raised by the commentators on the arguments put forward in my Delusions and Other Irrational Beliefs (OUP, 2009). My response is aimed at defending a modest doxastic account of clinical delusions, and is articulated in three sections. First, I consider the view that delusions are inbetween perceptual and doxastic states, defended by Jacob Hohwy and VivekRajan, and the view that delusions are failed attempts at believing or not-quitebeliefs, proposed by Eric (...) Schwitzgebel and Maura Tumulty. Then, I address the relationship between the doxastic account of delusions and the role, nature, and prospects of folk psychology, which is discussed by Dominic Murphy, Keith Frankish, and Maura Tumulty in their contributions. In the final remarks, I turn to the continuity thesis and suggest that, although there are important differences between clinical delusions and non-pathological beliefs, these differences cannot be characterised satisfactorily in epistemic terms. (shrink)
The rapid advancement of algorithmic trading has demonstrated the success of AI automation, as well as gaps in our understanding of the implications of this technology proliferation. We explore ethical issues in the context of autonomous trading agents, both to address problems in this domain and as a case study for regulating autonomous agents more generally. We argue that increasingly competent trading agents will be capable of initiative at wider levels, necessitating clarification of ethical and legal boundaries, and corresponding development (...) of norms and enforcement capability. (shrink)
The preoccupation with the nation that marks much postcolonial writing, especially the Anglophone novel in India following the appearance of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, has been widely remarked. In this essay I am interested in tracing how this interest in the nation-thematic has persisted into—or changed in the course of-the first decade of the new century in the fiction that has appeared since the 1980s, in response to both socio-political developments as well as changing literary trends.
Numerical identity is the non-relational sameness of an object to itself. It is concerned with understanding how entities undergo change and maintain their identity. In substance metaphysics, an entity is considered a substance with an essence and such an essence is the source of its power. However, such a framework fails to explain the sense in which an entity is still the entity it was, amidst changes. Those who claim that essence is unaffected by existence are faced with challenge of (...) exploring the epistemic access to such an essence, which is questionable at best. Process metaphysics is a strong candidate for a theory that can ontologically explain regularity and change without appeal to essence. Process and its interactions is the main category. Every process is an emergent organization of constitutive interactions and is individuated on the basis of its interactive powers, that is, the ways in which it interacts with the world around it. Interactions are situated adaptation to changes. In this way, changes are crucial within process metaphysics and are included in the starting point of its investigation. What seems to the naked eyes as one-ness/singularity is a complex process where an organization of interactions is emerging from moment to moment by continually adapting to the changes around and within it. The question of numerical identity over time becomes valid only within substance metaphysics which has no space to accommodate change, due to its allegiance to essence. (shrink)
According to Novalis the "encyclopedization" of a field occurs when it is not just fitted into a larger architectonic of knowledge, but also reconfigures this whole. This paper begins with Hegel's encyclopedic ambitions and Schellin's parallel—if less systematic—project in his 1803/4 lectures on the method of academic study. It takes up Schelling's First Outline of a System of the Philosophy of Nature, so as to look at the encyclopedic effects of the life sciences on a philosophy that has inevitably become (...) interdisciplinary by trying to organize or at least interrelate all knowledge that matters in an “encyclopedia of the philosophical sciences”: an interdisciplinarity that makes Idealism a first version of "Theory." More specifically, it focuses on the concept of "evolution" in Schelling's First Outline: a word that did not have its current, Darwinian meaning, and that therefore allows us to think about more than one model of development, and more than one developmental paradigm for knowledge. In this text Schelling experiments with a model in which Nature evolves from the lower to the higher through a series of graduated stages, but he also explores a number of resistances to it. Given that the Stufenfolge provides the prototype for the evolutionary histories that both Schelling and Hegel project in other domains, I conclude by taking up the consequences of these resistances for one such area: namely aesthetics as discussed by Hegel. (shrink)
This is a (very) introductory paper to a forthcoming existentalist account of moral absolutism and violence. It was written for and presented at ICPR Seminar 2018. In feminist ethics, the freedom to choose one's way of living is primary to the struggle against patriarchy. Such a choice to live a certain way is a manifestation of one's individuality. This assertion of individuality is accompanied by responsibility towards consequences of the way of living. To explore the relation between individuality and responsibility, (...) I develop and build the hypothetical situation of a mother and daughter with different ways of living. The notion of a good life for each of them is mentioned and we ask: To what extent is the daughter responsible for the anguish that the mother undergoes in her assertion of individuality (through her choice of way of living)? My primary aim in this paper is to question the nature of individuality and to probe the claim that individuality is a source of violence. This will involve discussing the scope of responsibility for one's choices and the difficulty in forming a criterion to delineate such a scope. (shrink)
Drawing upon an exemplary case surrounding a patent on the anti-cancer drug Gleevec, I trace how intellectual property regimes drive the re-institutionalization of pharmaceutical development in India today in unsettled and contested ways. I am interested in how this case resolves, in an apparent purification, into technical and constitutional components; how the technical components are entirely unsettled; and how the constitutional components open up questions regarding the relationship between biocapital and issues of constitutionalism, rights, and corporate social responsibility.
Consciousness has been the bone of contention for philosophers throughout centuries. Indian philosophy largely adopted lived experience as the starting point for its explorations of consciousness. For this reason, from the very beginning, experience was an integral way of grasping consciousness, whose validity as a tool was considered self-evident. Thus, in Indian philosophy, the question was not to move from the brain to mind but to understand experience of an individual and how such an experience is determined through mental structures (...) (and secondarily, the preoccupation with the brain and its relation to the mind). In contrast, cognitive science (the study of mind and cognition through 1 interdisciplinary methods, with emphasis on computational methods) found its debates soaked in discussion which primarily involved the brain and mind. Experience was not considered a primary source of information and its validity had to be established to consider it a source of information of mind. With the rise of physicalism and realization that mental states are correlative to brain states, the body was virtually neglected from involvement in understanding the mind and the attempts to reduce mind to the brain were rampant. The inability to explain subjective experience of an individual through neuroscientific findings alone has urged philosophers to explore other ways of understanding the ontology of mind. Over the last few years, embodied cognition and enactive approach have brought back the body as a central participant in this debate, providing fertile grounds to explain the relation of brain, body and mind. This paper proposes that we understand the brain as a complex system from which the mind emerges. This emergence is marked by the development of novel property of self-consciousness in human beings. The mind is a process which is embedded throughout the body and thus, the body acts as an actualizing medium for the individual. Thus, the brain is a necessary condition for the mind to be while the mind is embedded throughout the body. The brain and mind are in reciprocal causal relationship with one another, as is the body and environment with one another. In this paper, embodied cognition is understood through principles of Merleau Ponty's idea of embodiment, than through Andy Clark and Francis Varela's alone. (shrink)
ABSTRACTPeriurban bypasses are enclaves that appear to be left behind of conventional spatial and technological processes. With the focus on cities and their development, the hinterland serves as a resource that barely makes its appearance in mainstream policy debates. Hidden even further in the periurban are areas whose inhabitants are marginalised in many ways. Developing an ethical framework for assessing periurban bypasses is rendered difficult by the complexity of attribution of harm to particular agents. Nevertheless, by using multiple modes of (...) interpretation and assessment of periurban bypasses, it is possible to create ethical profiles that identify social agents and elite networks for generating these harms. (shrink)
This is a study of the relationship between postmodernism and post-enlightenment German thought reading the contemporary theoretical scene through its nineteenth-century counterpart and examining the intersections.
This is a draft of a paper that explores the nature of belief in structure of human consciousness. Are beliefs necessarily embedded in a position? It also aims at exploring the relation between positions and authentic mode of being.
The paper firstly uses the case study of the Bhopal gas disaster to understand why many scholars and activists seek alternatives to 'big' development. Secondly, it critically examines the claims that have been made in this regard in the literature in political ecology, science and technology studies and environmental governance, and in doing so, articulates a framework of questions for the next generation of research and advocacy.
Automobility, or the myriad institutions that foster car culture, has rarely if ever been put under the lens of liberal political theory, even though driving is one of the most common and widely accepted features of daily life in modern societies. When its implied promise of guaranteeing both freedom and equality is examined more closely, however, it appears that the ethical implications of driving may be darker than initially supposed. Automobility may indeed be in violation of both the Kantian categorical (...) imperative and Gewirth’s principle of generic consistency, even though there has thus far been remarkably little ethical analysis to reveal these possibilities. It is conceivable that liberal political theory has turned a blind eye to automobility precisely because the latter has naturalized us into accepting what Roberto Unger has called a routine of “false necessity,” so that driving is now virtually imperceptible as a social fact worthy of critical analysis. (shrink)
SummaryThis study examined the post-sterilization autonomy of women in south India in the context of early sterilization and low fertility. Quantitative data were taken from the third round of the National Family Health Survey carried out in 2005–06, and qualitative data from one village each in Kerala and Tamil Nadu during 2010–11. The incident rate ratios and thematic analysis showed that among currently married women under the age of 30 years, those who had been sterilized had significantly higher autonomy in (...) household decision-making and freedom of mobility compared with women who had never used any modern family planning method. Early age at sterilization and low fertility enables women to achieve the social status that is generally attained at later stages in the life-cycle. Policies to capitalize on women's autonomy and free time resulting from early sterilization and low fertility should be adopted in south India. (shrink)
The relationship between brain and mind has been extensively explored through the developments within neuroscience over the last decade. However, the ontological status of mind has remained fairly problematic due to the inability to explain all features of the mind through the brain. This inability has been considered largely due to partial knowledge of the brain. It is claimed that once we gain complete knowledge of the brain, all features of the mind would be explained adequately. However, a challenge to (...) such a position is downward causation: How do we explain the causal power that mental states exert over brain activities? If we agree that downward causation occurs, then to what extent could a sole explanation of brain activities account for our behaviour? (For they would in themselves be conditioned by the mental states which are left unexplained). This dissertation is an attempt to understand relation between brain and mind through the concept of emergence, placed in the context of complex systems approach. This will create a space to account for the causal power of mental states. The complex systems approach says that as the complexity of a system increases, we witness the emergence of novel qualities and after a certain threshold (of complexity), the emergence of a novel structure. When the body (and correspondingly, brain) reaches a certain level of complexity, the mind emerges. The brain is a complex system from which the mind emerges. The brain, consisting of billions of neurons interacting with each other, regulates the body placed in the environment. The interaction of neurons (local interactions involving self-organization) result in dynamical brain signatures (global synergy). Such signatures are correlative to mental states. Mind is the process of a living organism embodying an intentional stance. This object could be the subject itself or another distinct from the subject. With the emergence of mind, the causal powers of brain are conditioned by the mind. Such a conditioning is evident through the causal efficacy of mental states. While the brain is minimal condition for the mind to emerge, the mind in itself is embedded (showcased/explicated/manifested) throughout the body. The mind is a process that belongs to body-as-a-whole with the novel quality of intentionality. A preliminary to understanding this relation is its metaphysical inclination. A large portion of the history of philosophy of mind has advocated a metaphysics of entities where the mind and body have been seen as two entities with distinct essences. However, such attribution of entity-ship does not take into account the processual nature of these existents (that they are essentially dependent on their environment for their existence and sustenance). Thus, the category of processual unity has been introduced which sought to account for existent as emergent wholes that move towards a stable equilibrium through self-organization. By considering existents to be processual unities, we can account for their identity as a whole-in-itself (what has been called organizational closure) and also for their processual nature. The brain is a component of the body which is a complex system and is representative of the body’s stance in the world. The brain, consisting of billions of neurons interacting with each other, regulates the body placed in the environment. The interaction of neurons (local interactions involving self-organization) result in dynamical brain signatures (global synergy). Such signatures are correlative to mental states. These mental states in turn condition the brain patterns, that allows the embodying of mental states. Thus, the three-way process of the representation of body in the world by the brain, the emergence of mental state through dynamic brain patterns and the reciprocal causal power on the brain patterns by the mental states marks embodiment. The relation between brain, body and mind can be outlined as follows: A. There are complex interactions in the brain. These interactions are representative of the body’s stance in the world and are present in form of dynamical brain signatures. B. The dynamical brain signatures lead to emergence of mind as a process. The mental state has causal power which conditions the brain. C. The brain conditioned by causal power of the mind carries out embodiment of the mind throughout the body. In the dissertation, an exposition on relation between brain and mind through complex system approach is followed by a brief on relation between body and mind. The radical embodiment approach adopts the nonlinear dynamic systems theory to understand relation of brain, body and mind. It states a shift from mapping of cognitive states onto Neural Correlates of Consciousness to their mapping through dynamic brain signatures. Every mental state is embedded throughout the body. The dissertation explores the three features of consciousness, intentionality and qualia. These have previously formed a challenge within a dualistic framework and the dissertation intends to show a direction in which they can be accounted for, within the complex systems approach and radical embodiment viewpoint. After a certain threshold of the rate of production of cell assemblies is bypassed, we become conscious of the representation itself. This leads to emergence of phenomenal states. Qualia is the qualitative character of such states, which belong to the body-as-a-whole and for this reason, cannot be reduced to properties of any of the components from which it emerges (the dynamic brain signatures) or in which it is embodied (the body and its individual parts) alone. Intentionality is the novel property of mind of moving towards a certain set of attractors where attractors refer to the states that the system prefers (which would positively contribute to its fitness). The scope of this dissertation is to delineate the relation of brain to the mind and unravel some persistent troubles of philosophy of mind within such delineation. The types of components and their relation within the mind preceded by a thorough study of how the mind is embodied is an area yet to be extensively explored in the coming works. (shrink)
This book disentangles two terms that were conflated in the initial Anglo-American appropriation of French theory: deconstruction and poststructuralism. Focusing on Sartre, Derrida, Foucault, and Baudrillard (but also considering Levinas, Blanchot, de Man, and others), it traces the turn from a deconstruction inflected by phenomenology to a poststructuralism formed by the rejection of models based on consciousness in favor of ones based on language and structure. The book provides a wide-ranging and complex genealogy of French theory from the 1940s onward, (...) placing particular emphasis on the largely neglected early work of the theorists involved and on deconstruction’s continuing relevance. The author argues that deconstruction is a form of radical, antiscientific modernity: an interdisciplinary reconfiguration of philosophy as it confronted the positivism of the human sciences in the 1960s. By contrast, poststructuralism is a type of postmodern theory inflected by changes in technology and the mode of information. Inasmuch as poststructuralism is founded upon its “constitutive loss” of phenomenology (in Judith Butler’s phrase), the author is also concerned with the ways phenomenology (particularly Sartre’s forgotten but seminal Being and Nothingness) is remembered, repeated in different ways, and never quite worked through in its theoretical successors. Thus the book also exemplifies a way of reading intellectual history that is not only concerned with the transmission of concepts, but also with the processes of transference, mourning, and disavowal that inform the relationships between bodies of thought. (shrink)
Rajan Gurukkal is a leading social scientist and is currently the Sundararajan Visiting Professor at Centre for Contemporary Studies, Indian Institute of Science. He has been the former Vice Chancellor, M. G. University, Kottayam, Kerala. An avid reader, critical theorist and a prolific writer, he has authored several monographs, research articles and has been actively engaged with several projects in association with UGC, the Ford Foundation to name a few. His research interests explore the historiographic dimensions and dialectical processes (...) involving the state and society. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)