This paper resolves a paradox concerning colour constancy. On the one hand, our intuitive, pre-theoretical concept holds that colour constancy involves invariance in the perceived colours of surfaces under changes in illumination. On the other, there is a robust scientific consensus that colour constancy can persist in cerebral achromatopsia, a profound impairment in the ability to perceive colours. The first stage of the solution advocates pluralism about our colour constancy capacities. The second details the close relationship between colour constancy and (...) contrast. The third argues that achromatopsics retain a basic type of colour constancy associated with invariants in contrast processing. The fourth suggests that one person-level, conscious upshot of such processing is the visual awareness of chromatic contrasts ‘at’ the edges of surfaces, implicating the ‘colour for form’ perceptual function. This primitive type of constancy sheds new light on our most basic perceptual capacities, which mark the lower borders of representational mind. (shrink)
Psychiatry widely assumes an internalist biomedical model of mental illness. I argue that many of psychiatry’s diagnostic categories involve an implicit commitment to constitutive externalism about mental illness. Some of these categories are socially externalist in nature.
The orthodox monadic determination thesis holds that we represent colour relations by virtue of representing colours. Against this orthodoxy, I argue that it is possible to represent colour relations without representing any colours. I present a model of iconic perceptual content that allows for such primitive relational colour representation, and provide four empirical arguments in its support. I close by surveying alternative views of the relationship between monadic and relational colour representation.
Colour constancy is a foundational and yet puzzling phenomenon. Standard appearance invariantism is threatened by the psychophysical matching argument, which is taken to favour variantism. This argument, however, is inconclusive. The data at best support a pluralist view: colour constancy is sometimes variantist, sometimes invariantist. I add another potential explanation of these data, complex invariantism, which adopts an atypical six-dimensional model of colour appearance. Finally I prospect for a unifying conception of constancy among two neglected notions: discriminatory colour constancy and (...) relational colour constancy. The former arguably marks a common core capacity that is present across widely differing viewing contexts. (shrink)
This paper presents a new response to the colour similarity argument, an argument that many people take to pose the greatest threat to colour physicalism. The colour similarity argument assumes that if colour physicalism is true, then colour similarities should be scrutable under standard physical descriptions of surface reflectance properties such as their spectral reflectance curves. Given this assumption, our evident failure to find such similarities at the reducing level seemingly proves fatal to colour physicalism. I argue that we should (...) dispense with this assumption, and thus endorse the inscrutability of colour similarity. This strategy is inspired by parallels between the colour similarity argument and the explanatory gap between mind and body made vivid by Jackson’s (1986) knowledge argument, and in particular by type-B physicalist responses to that argument. This inscrutability response is further motivated by cases in chemistry and biochemistry in which analogous scrutability theses fail to hold. Along the way, I present a challenge to standard formulations of the colour similarity argument based on the extreme context sensitivity of the similarity relation. Most presentations of the argument fail to control for such contextual variation, which raises the distinct possibility that the argument equivocates on the similarity relation across its premises. Although ultimately inconclusive, this context challenge forces a significant reformulation of the colour similarity argument, and highlights the need for much greater care in handling claims about colour similarity. (shrink)
Colour vision plays a foundational explanatory role in the philosophy of colour, and serves as perennial quarry in the wider philosophy of perception. I present two contributions to our understanding of this notion. The first is to develop a constitutive approach to characterizing colour vision. This approach seeks to comprehend the nature of colour vision qua psychological kind, as contrasted with traditional experiential approaches, which prioritize descriptions of our ordinary visual experience of colour. The second contribution is to argue that (...) colour vision does not constitutively involve the ability to see colours, in a natural and categorically committed sense. I argue that two subjects exactly alike in respect of their constitutive colour vision abilities could differ in respect of whether or not they have categorical perception of colour. The argument is supported by thought experiment and dissociations observed in cognitive neuropsychology. The argument also bears connections to recent neo-Whorfian accounts of colour categorization. _1._ Introduction _2._ Colour Vision, Experience, and Natures _3._ The Central Argument _3.1._ Colour constancy and discrimination _3.2._ Dissociating colour vision and categorical perception for colour _4._ Whorf and the View from Cognitive Neuropsychology _5._ Conclusion. (shrink)
In recent years, there has been a surge in critical and historical work, dedicated to uncovering the roots of neoliberal thinking. In the process, the concept of ‘neoliberalism’ has become used in a far more nuanced way, contrary to the frequent allegation that it is merely a pejorative slogan used against capitalism generally. This bibliographic review identifies the texts that have mapped out this more sophisticated account of neoliberalism, and which distinguish between its different varieties and trajectories. In particular, the (...) recognition that neoliberalism is not simply about laissez-faire economics becomes a basis on which to interrogate neoliberalism more sociologically, learning especially from Foucault’s lectures on the topic. The review concludes by identifying those texts which point towards possible futures for neoliberalism. (shrink)
Psychiatry uncomfortably spans biological and psychosocial perspectives on mental illness, an idea central to Engel's biopsychosocial paradigm. This paradigm was extremely ambitious, proposing new foundations for clinical practice as well as a non-reductive metaphysics for mental illness. Perhaps given this scope, the approach has failed to engender a clearly identifiable research programme. And yet the view remains influential. We reassess the relevance of the biopsychosocial paradigm for psychiatry, distinguishing a number of ways in which it could be (re)conceived.
The financial crisis, and associated scandals, created a sense of a juridical deficit with regard to the financial sector. Forms of independent judgement within the sector appeared compromised, while judgement over the sector seemed unattainable. Elites, in the classical Millsian sense of those taking tacitly coordinated ‘big decisions’ over the rest of the public, seemed absent. This article argues that the eradication of jurisdictional elites is an effect of neoliberalism, as articulated most coherently by Hayek. It characterizes the neoliberal project (...) as an effort to elevate ‘unconscious’ processes over ‘conscious’ ones, which in practice means elevating cybernetic, non-human systems and processes over discursive spheres of politics and judgement. Yet such a system still produces its own types of elite power, which come to consist in acts of translation, rather than judgement. Firstly, there are ‘cyborg intermediaries’: elites which operate largely within the system of codes, data, screens and prices. Secondly, there are ‘diplomatic intermediaries’: elites who come to narrate and justify what markets are ‘saying’. The paper draws on Lazzarato’s work on signifying vs asignifying semiotics in order to articulate this, and concludes by considering the types of elite crisis which these forms of power tend to produce. (shrink)
With contributions from psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy, this book provides the most comprehensive account to date of the interplay between biological, psychological, and social factors in mental health and their ethical dimensions.
Liberal government, as analysed by Foucault, is a project of measured, utilitarian political activity, that takes ‘population’ as its object, dating back to the late 17th century. The rise of nationalism, authoritarianism and populism directly challenges this project, by seeking to re-introduce excessive, gratuitous and performative modes of power back into liberal societies. This article examines the relationship and tensions between government and sovereignty, so as to make sense of this apparent ‘revenge of sovereignty on government’. It argues that neoliberalism (...) has been a crucial factor in the return of sovereignty as a ‘problem’ of contemporary societies. Neoliberalism tacitly generates new centres of sovereign power, which have become publicly visible since 2008, leading to a dramatic resurgence of discourses and claims to ‘sovereignty’. (shrink)
This article has already been published, under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License in Ephemera – Theory & Politics in Organization, 2019 volume 19 : p. 513-536. We thank William Davies for the permission to republish it here. abstract : In the context of ubiquitous data capture and the politics of control, there is growing individual and managerial interest in ‘pulse', both in the literal sense of arterial pulse - Rythmes des corps – Nouvel article.
In recent years, there has been a panoply of new forms of ‘social’ government, as manifest in ‘social enterprise’ and ‘social media’. This follows an era of neoliberalism in which social logics were apparently being eliminated, through the expansion of economic rationalities. To understand this, the article explores the critique of the very notion of the ‘social’, as manifest in neoliberal contributions to the socialist calculation debate from the 1920s onwards. Understood as a zone lying between market and state, the (...) social was accused by Mises and Hayek of being both unaccountable (lacking any units of measurement) and formless (lacking instruments of explication). The article then asks to what extent these critiques still retain their purchase, following recent developments in hedonic measurement and data analytics. The argument is made that new post-neoliberal forms of ‘social government’ may now be entirely plausible, though focusing on the corporation rather than the state. (shrink)
This commentary responds to Nicholas Gane’s article on the early history of neoliberalism. Gane contends that many histories, Foucault’s in particular, do not account for the very earliest period of neoliberal thought, during the 1920s, which was dominated by Ludwig von Mises. Gane also argues that by ignoring this period, critical scholars have misidentified the critical distantiation from John Stuart Mill that was definitive for early neoliberalism. In response to Gane, this piece argues, partly in defence of Foucault, that the (...) key moments in the history of neoliberalism concern the penetration of economic rationalities into the state. Hence, while the history of economics has intrinsic merits, figures such as Mill may be less significant for the shaping of political rationalities. (shrink)
I argue that it is possible to perceptually represent colour relations between two objects, without perceptually representing their colours. Such primitive relational colour representation goes against the orthodox view that we represent colour relations by virtue of representing colours. I first argue that under certain assumptions, PRCR is conceptually and even nomically possible. I then compare two possible models of PRCR: the linguaform model and chromatic edge model, the latter involving iconic rather than discursive representation. I argue that the chromatic (...) edge model gives a better account of putative cases of PRCR in cerebral achromatopsia, a rare disorder of colour consciousness. (shrink)
The series builds an extensive collection of high quality descriptions of languages around the world. Each volume offers a comprehensive grammatical description of a single language together with fully analyzed sample texts and, if appropriate, a word list and other relevant information which is available on the language in question. There are no restrictions as to language family or area, and although special attention is paid to hitherto undescribed languages, new and valuable treatments of better known languages are also included. (...) No theoretical model is imposed on the authors; the only criterion is a high standard of scientific quality. (shrink)
Contemporary developed western economies are commonly referred to as ?knowledge-based? economies, which compete through drawing on the innovative and creative capacities of their local populations. Economic policy-makers must invest in and conserve the social, cultural and public resources that underpin dynamic and disruptive competitive activities, namely technological innovation and entrepreneurship, which bring new ideas and products to market. But these resources defy orthodox forms of economic knowledge and quantification. Their trajectories and outcomes are intrinsically uncertain. The paper draws on interviews (...) with experts who advise governments on innovation and competitiveness, to understand what expert strategies are used to deal with this epistemological problem. Such experts must project and retain epistemological authority, but without lapsing too far into quantitative, economistic and bureaucratic forms of reason. The paper identifies three ways in which knowledge of the future can be validated, but without disguising uncertainty: it can be presented as practically useful; as aesthetically appealing; and as hinting at some ?ultimate? form of ontological knowledge. (shrink)
The reach of markets and market-based forms of valuation is never unlimited in any society, which invites empirical and political questions regarding how limits to markets are instituted, justified and enforced. Under neoliberalism, the state performs a key role in expanding the reach of markets and associated principles and techniques of valuation, using law and governmental techniques. But this then poses a question of the relationship between the neoliberal state and the market that it endorses and enforces: is the state (...) internal or external to the market order that it helps to construct? European Union state aid rules provide an empirical entry point to consider such questions, providing a combination of normative, technical and sovereign principles, via which the division between state and market can be justified, tested and enacted. The article identifies three separate though overlapping logics within state aid documents, each of which offers the state a justification for suspending the competitive market order: exemptions, in which non-market values are upheld, externalities, in which markets are shown to be technically inefficient, and exceptions – such as the 2008 financial crisis – in which the state abandons the market to save the market. (shrink)
The rise of 'populism', often conflated with authoritarianism, is frequently viewed as being antagonistic to environmental values, where the latter are associated with 'liberal elites'. However, with a less pejorative understanding of populism, we might be able to identify elements within that can be usefully channelled and mobilised towards the urgent rescue of human and non-human life. This paper seeks to illuminate a 'green populism' using Hannah Arendt's analysis of the tension between science and politics. In Arendt's account, Western philosophy (...) and science is predicated on a rejection of the mortal realm of politics, in search of eternal laws of nature. However, the pressing mortality of nature has pushed it back into the political realm, shrinking the distance between science and politics. Where nature itself is defined by its mortality, environmentalism and political action acquire a common logic, which could fuel a participatory, green populism. (shrink)
News media helps shape the discourse around natural resource issues, especially rapidly emerging developments such as those taking place in the Arctic. Whilst the relationship between media and audience is complex, news media contributes towards setting the tone and expectations for the burgeoning number of stakeholders engaging with the Arctic, especially in the case of Greenland. This study undertakes a thematic analysis of English-language news media coverage surrounding natural resource development in Greenland to explore how the issue is framed. Five (...) media frames are identified: an emerging resource frontier; the warming Arctic; high-risk activity; geopolitical Greenland; and vulnerable traditional societies. An overarching frame is present within the coverage, one which depicts Greenland as 'a climate change frontier', facing 'uncertainties in the face of rapid change'. Media portrayals of a close-knit relationship between a warming climate and a rush for natural resources in Greenland could be problematic for several reasons, namely the disparity between actual resource development taking place and an overemphasis on increased economic development following increased warming. (shrink)
Crespi & Badcock (C&B) provide a novel hypothesis outlining a role for imprinted genes in mediating brain functions underlying social behaviours. The basic premise is that maternally expressed genes are predicted to promote hypermentalistic behaviours, and paternally expressed genes hypomentalistic behaviours. The authors provide a detailed overview of data supporting their ideas, but as we discuss, caution should be applied in interpreting these data.
In the early twenty-first century, liberal democracies have witnessed their foundational norms of critique and deliberation being disrupted by a combination of populist and technological forces. A distinctive style of dispute has appeared, in which a speaker denounces the unfairness of all liberal and institutional systems of equivalence, including the measures of law, economics and the various other ‘tests’ which convention scholars have deemed core to organisations. The article reviews how sociologists of critique have tended to treat critical capacities as (...) oriented towards consensus but then considers how technologies of real-time ‘control’ circumvent liberal critique altogether. In response, a different type of dispute emerges in the digital public sphere, which abandons equivalences in general, instead adopting a non-representational template of warfare. This style of post-liberal dispute is manifest in the rhetoric of populists but does not originate there. (shrink)
Matthew Watson’s The Market provides a fascinating and rigorous history of how economists have conceived of markets, gradually eliminating historical, social, political and ethical context from their analysis over more than two centuries. This review notes that the book provides a nuanced genealogy, which stresses many of the contingencies and mutations through which the vocabulary of economics has been formed. But it also notes some unanswered questions raised by the book, concerning the contribution that economic reductionism has made to the (...) rise of the market as an ideological trope of contemporary politics. (shrink)