Recent studies have revealed that the temporal lobe, a cortical region thought to be in charge of episodic and semantic memory, is involved in creative insight. This work examines the contributions of discrete temporal regions to insight. Activity in the medial temporal regions is indicative of novelty recognition and detection, which is necessary for the formation of novel associations and the “Aha!” experience. The fusiform gyrus mainly affects the formation of gestalt-like representation and perspective taking. The anterior and posterior middle (...) temporal gyri are individually associated with extensive semantic processing and inhibiting salient or routine word associations, which are necessary to form non-salient, novel and remote associations. The anterior and posterior superior temporal gyri are individually responsible for integrating/binding and accessing various types of available conceptual representations. Based on the current knowledge, an integrated model of the temporal lobe's role in insight and some future directions are proposed. (shrink)
This is a philosophical study dedicated to the late professor Vincent Shen (1949-2018), the Philosophy Department, University of Toronto, Canada. Papers in this collection are written by a group of philosophers and scholars from various countries and with different cultural and philosophical backgrounds. The issue includes the meaningfulness of life, self-awareness of life, intercultural dialogue, mutual recognition, otherness, sinology, Confucianism, justice, generosity, wisdom, etc.
Ji Xia Shen Dao is the earliest, Mr., as his social life and political life of the "public" considerations, made him by the Taoist ontology, cosmology and cultivation theory, turn out the Legalist political philosophy and legal philosophy. He was transferred by the Huang-Lao Taoism Taoist truth home, Legalism transferred by the Taoist key figure. Basically, Shen Dao importance of social and political life of the "public" level and its objective of building, on the one hand retain the (...) Taoist understanding of the objective laws of nature, but on the other hand is also man-made construction and attention to the law changes. For the "public" considerations, through the Shen Dao for the "potential", "Law," "surgery" view. It is noteworthy that Shen Dao is not a harsh legalism. Shen Dao, although noting that France, but that the law should not be rigid; although he stressed that potential, that is, the use of power, but do not like the arrogance of power; although he discussed "doing nothing" to the relationship between the monarch and his art, but he does not like secrets trickery, no later Legalism is so Machiavellian; These are mainly due to his political and social areas to achieve public nature. Shen Dao was among the earliest Jixia scholars, who, because of his concern of the "publicity" in social and political realms, moved from Daoist ontology, cosmology and spirituality to Legalist political philosophy. He should be seen as the crucial figure in the transition from the development of the Daosim of Laozi and Zhuangzi to the Huanglao Daoism and from Daoism to Legalism. Basically, Shen Dao put emphasis on the public aspect of social and political lives and its objective construction, in keeping the idea of regularity of natural law in Daoism and the artificial construction of law and its process of becoming. The idea of publicity penetrated all his philosophy of Law, Power and statecraft. He was not a severe legalist, not allowing law to be stringent, power to be arrogant and statecraft to be machiavellian, all because of his concern with publicity, objectivity and justice. (shrink)
In analyzing oppressive systems like racism, social theorists have articulated accounts of the dynamic interaction and mutual dependence between psychological components, such as individuals’ patterns of thought and action, and social components, such as formal institutions and informal interactions. We argue for the further inclusion of physical components, such as material artifacts and spatial environments. Drawing on socially situated and ecologically embedded approaches in the cognitive sciences, we argue that physical components of racism are not only shaped by, but also (...) shape psychological and social components of racism. Indeed, while our initial focus is on racism and racist things, we contend that our framework is also applicable to other oppressive systems, including sexism, classism, and ableism. This is because racist things are part of a broader class of oppressive things, which are material artifacts and spatial environments that are in congruence with an oppressive system. (shrink)
Compared to other forms of memory, episodic memory is commonly viewed as special for being distinctively metarepresentational and, relatedly, uniquely human. There is an inherent ambiguity in these conceptions, however, because “episodic memory” has two closely connected yet subtly distinct uses, one designating the recollective experience and the other designating the underlying neurocognitive system. Since experience and system sit at different levels of theorizing, their disentanglement is not only necessary but also fruitful for generating novel theoretical hypotheses. To show this, (...) I first argue that accepting the phenomenally conscious contents of episodic remembering as metarepresentational does not necessitate a metarepresentational conception of the episodic memory system. In its stead, I sketch an alternative account on which the metarepresentational character of episodic remembering is generated through the interaction of first-order outputs of the episodic memory system with other neurocognitive components of the brain. Complemented with a first-order account of the memory system, the system-experience distinction further supplies a novel understanding of the human uniqueness of episodic recollection, one that is compatible with there being an evolutionarily conserved episodic memory system. Overall, by distinguishing the two equivocal senses of “episodic memory” in our theorizing, we unearth an opportunity to understand how the distinctive phenomenology of our episodic recollection is related to and implemented in the cognitive architecture. (shrink)
Gender in Chinese Philosophy The concept of gender is foundational to the general approach of Chinese thinkers. Yin and yang, core elements of Chinese cosmogony, involve correlative aspects of “dark and light,” “female and male,” and “soft and hard.” These notions, with their deeply-rooted gender connotations, recognize the necessity of interplay between these different forces … Continue reading Gender in Chinese Philosophy →.
Our goal in this paper is to articulate a novel account of the ordinary concept ART. At the core of our account is the idea that a puzzle surrounding our thought and talk about art is best understood as just one instance of a far broader phenomenon. In particular, we claim that one can make progress on this puzzle by drawing on research from cognitive science on dual character concepts. Thus, we suggest that the very same sort of phenomenon that (...) is associated with ART can also be found in a broad class of other dual character concepts, including SCIENTIST, CHRISTIAN, GANGSTER, and many others. Instead of focusing narrowly on the case of ART, we try to offer a more general account of these concepts and the puzzles to which they give rise. Then, drawing on the general theory, we introduce a series of hypotheses about art concepts, and put those hypotheses to the test in three experimental studies. (shrink)
It is well-known that racism is encoded into the social practices and institutions of medicine. Less well-known is that racism is encoded into the material artifacts of medicine. We argue that many medical devices are not merely biased, but materialize oppression. An oppressive device exhibits a harmful bias that reflects and perpetuates unjust power relations. Using pulse oximeters and spirometers as case studies, we show how medical devices can materialize oppression along various axes of social difference, including race, gender, class, (...) and ability. Our account uses political philosophy and cognitive science to give a theoretical basis for understanding materialized oppression, explaining how artifacts encode and carry oppressive ideas from the past to the present and future. Oppressive medical devices present a moral aggregation problem. To remedy this problem, we suggest redundantly layered solutions that are coordinated to disrupt reciprocal causal connections between the attitudes, practices, and artifacts of oppressive systems. (shrink)
One aim of this essay is to contribute to understanding aesthetic communication—the process by which agents aim to convey thoughts and transmit knowledge about aesthetic matters to others. Our focus will be on the use of aesthetic adjectives in aesthetic communication. Although theorists working on the semantics of adjectives have developed sophisticated theories about gradable adjectives, they have tended to avoid studying aesthetic adjectives—the class of adjectives that play a central role in expressing aesthetic evaluations. And despite the wealth of (...) attention paid to aesthetic adjectives by philosophical aestheticians, they have paid little attention to contemporary linguistic theories of adjectives. We take our work to be a first step in remedying these lacunae. In this paper, we present four experiments that examine one aspect of how aesthetic adjectives ordinarily function: the context-sensitivity of their application standards. Our results present a prima facie empirical challenge to a common distinction between relative and absolute gradable adjectives because aesthetic adjectives are found to behave differently from both. Our results thus also constitute a prima facie vindication of some philosophical aestheticians’ contention that aesthetic adjectives constitute a particularly interesting segment of natural language, even if the boundaries of this segment might turn out to be different from what they had in mind. (shrink)
Imaginative resistance refers to a phenomenon in which people resist engaging in particular prompted imaginative activities. Philosophers have primarily theorized about this phenomenon from the armchair. In this paper, we demonstrate the utility of empirical methods for investigating imaginative resistance. We present two studies that help to establish the psychological reality of imaginative resistance, and to uncover one factor that is significant for explaining this phenomenon but low in psychological salience: genre. Furthermore, our studies have the methodological upshot of showing (...) how empirical tools can complement the predominant armchair approach to philosophical aesthetics. (shrink)
The goal of this short paper is to show that esthetic adjectives—exemplified by “beautiful” and “elegant”—do not pattern stably on a range of linguistic diagnostics that have been used to taxonomize the gradability properties of adjectives. We argue that a plausible explanation for this puzzling data involves distinguishing two properties of gradable adjectives that have been frequently conflated: whether an adjective’s applicability is sensitive to a comparison class, and whether an adjective’s applicability is context-dependent.
Imaginative immersion refers to a phenomenon in which one loses oneself in make-believe. Susanna Schellenberg says that the best explanation of imaginative immersion involves a radical revision to cognitive architecture. Instead of there being an attitude of belief and a distinct attitude of imagination, there should only be one attitude that represents a continuum between belief and imagination. -/- We argue otherwise. Although imaginative immersion is a crucial data point for theorizing about the imagination, positing a continuum between belief and (...) imagination is neither necessary nor sufficient for explaining the phenomenon. In addition, arguing against Schellenberg’s account reveals important but underappreciated lessons for theorizing about the imagination and for interpreting boxological representations of the mind. (shrink)
To imagine is to form a mental representation that does not aim at things as they actually, presently, and subjectively are. One can use imagination to represent possibilities other than the actual, to represent times other than the present, and to represent perspectives other than one’s own. Unlike perceiving and believing, imagining something does not require one to consider that something to be the case. Unlike desiring or anticipating, imagining something does not require one to wish or expect that something (...) to be the case. // -/- Imagination is involved in a wide variety of human activities, and has been explored from a wide range of philosophical perspectives. Philosophers of mind have examined imagination’s role in mindreading and in pretense. Philosophical aestheticians have examined imagination’s role in creating and in engaging with different types of artworks. Epistemologists have examined imagination’s role in theoretical thought experiments and in practical decision-making. Philosophers of language have examined imagination’s role in irony and metaphor. // -/- Because of the breadth of the topic, this entry focuses exclusively on contemporary discussions of imagination in the Anglo-American philosophical tradition. (shrink)
David Lewis argues that centered worlds give us a way to capture de se, or self-locating, contents in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. In recent years, centered worlds have also gained other uses in areas ranging widely from metaphysics to ethics. In this paper, I raise a problem for centered worlds and discuss the costs and benefits of different solutions. My investigation into the nature of centered worlds brings out potentially problematic implicit commitments of the theories that employ (...) them. In addition, my investigation shows that the conception of centered worlds widely attributed to David Lewis is not only problematic, but in fact not his. (shrink)
Imaginative resistance refers to a phenomenon in which people resist engaging in particular prompted imaginative activities. On one influential diagnosis of imaginative resistance, the systematic difficulties are due to these particular propositions’ discordance with real-world norms. This essay argues that this influential diagnosis is too simple. While imagination is indeed by default constrained by real-world norms during narrative engagement, it can be freed with the power of genre conventions and expectations.
Narrative representations can change our moral actions and thoughts, for better or for worse. In this article, I develop a theory of fictions' capacity for moral education and moral corruption that is fully sensitive to the diversity of fictions. Specifically, I argue that the way a fiction influences our moral actions and thoughts importantly depends on its genre. This theory promises new insights into practical ethical debates over pornography and media violence.
Where is imagination in imaginative resistance? We seek to answer this question by connecting two ongoing lines of inquiry in different subfields of philosophy. In philosophy of mind, philosophers have been trying to understand imaginative attitudes’ place in cognitive architecture. In aesthetics, philosophers have been trying to understand the phenomenon of imaginative resistance. By connecting these two lines of inquiry, we hope to find mutual illumination of an attitude (or cluster of attitudes) and a phenomenon that have vexed philosophers. Our (...) strategy is to reorient the imaginative resistance literature from the perspective of cognitive architecture. Whereas existing taxonomies of positions in the imaginative resistance literature have focused on disagreements over the source and scope of the phenomenon, our taxonomy focuses on the psychological components necessary for explaining imaginative resistance. (shrink)
Nostalgia and food are intertwined universals in human experience. All of us have experienced nostalgia centered on food, and all of us have experienced food infused with nostalgia. To explore the links between nostalgia and food, I start with a rough taxonomy of nostalgic foods, and illustrate it with examples. Despite their diversity, I argue that there is a psychological commonality to experiencing nostalgic foods of all kinds: imagination. On my account, imagination is the key to understanding the cognitive, conative, (...) affective, and perceptual aspects of experiencing nostalgic foods. In turn, the recognition of imagination’s centrality in experiencing nostalgic foods reveals how food can produce aesthetic experiences comparable to those produced by literature and painting. (shrink)
Hoerl & McCormack claim that animals don't represent time. Because this makes a mystery of established findings in comparative psychology, there had better be some important payoff. The main one they mention is that it explains a clash of intuition about the reality of time's passage. But any theory that recognizes the representational requirements of agency can do likewise.
Critics across the political spectrum have worried that ordinary uses of words like 'racist', 'sexist', and 'homophobic' are becoming conceptually inflated, meaning that these expressions are getting used so widely that they lose their nuance and, thereby, their moral force. However, the charge of conceptual inflation, as well as responses to it, are standardly made without any systematic investigation of how 'racist' and other expressions condemning oppression are actually used in ordinary language. Once we examine large linguistic corpora to see (...) how these expressions are actually used, we find that English speakers have a rich linguistic repertoire for qualifying the degree to which and dimensions along which something is racist, sexist, homophobic, and so on. These facts about ordinary usage undermine the charge of conceptual inflation. Without awareness of facts about ordinary usage, theorists risk making linguistic prescriptions that are unnecessary or counterproductive. (shrink)
Even among those who work in the field of early Chinese philosophy,the name Shen Dao (慎到, ca. 360–285 BCe) rarely calls to mind much of interest, and what it does call up are often simply depictions of him in several of the more famous texts of the time: in the Han Feizi as an advocate of positional power; in the Xunzi as being blinded by a focus on laws; or in the Zhuangzi as one who wished to discard knowledge. (...) Few through the centuries have attempted to examine his philosophical thought in detail, in part because no complete edition of his work has existed since at least the tenth century. Fragments of the work attributed to Shen Dao do, however, still exist, and by examining them we can begin to piece together an understanding of his political philosophy. In doing so, we come to the realization that Shen Dao's ideas are important not only historically but also merit attention from those engaged in constructive political philosophy. In his historical context, Shen Dao was one of the first political thinkers openly to question the tight connection between ethics and politics that was assumed by a range of thinkers in the Confucian and Mohist traditions. In particular, he provides a range of arguments against the state relying on the moral cultivation of even some of its members, focusing not on changing or developing the innate tendencies of human beings but rather on working with the natures humans initially have. (shrink)
This chapter explores the interaction between the moral value and aesthetic value of food, in part by connecting it to existing discussions of the interaction between moral and aesthetic values of art. Along the way, this chapter considers food as art, the aesthetic value of food, and the role of expertise in uncovering aesthetic value. Ultimately this chapter argues against both food autonomism (the view that food's moral value is unconnected to its aesthetic value) and Carolyn Korsmeyer's food moralism (the (...) view that moral flaws can only make food aesthetically worse). Instead, it argues for the position of food immoralism: sometimes a moral flaw can make an item of food aesthetically better. This chapter concludes by drawing out broader implications of this position for discussions on the ethics of food and discussions on the interaction between the moral and aesthetic values of art. (shrink)
Issues of pretense and imagination are of central interest to philosophers, psychologists, and researchers in allied fields. In this entry, we provide a roadmap of some of the central themes around which discussion has been focused. We begin with an overview of pretense, imagination, and the relationship between them. We then shift our attention to the four specific topics where the disciplines' research programs have intersected or where additional interactions could prove mutually beneficial: the psychological underpinnings of performing pretense and (...) of recognizing pretense, the cognitive capacities involved in imaginative engagement with fictions, and the real-world impact of make-believe. In the final section, we discuss more briefly a number of other mental activities that arguably involve imagining, including counterfactual reasoning, delusions, and dreaming. (shrink)