The field of cognitive imaging is explodingboth in terms of the amount of our scientificresources dedicated to it and the associatedpublication rate. However, all of this effortis based on a critical question – Do cognitivemodules exist? Both of the reviewers of my book(Uttal, 2001) and I agree that this questionhas not yet been satisfactorily answered and,depending on the ultimate answer, the cognitiveimaging approach as well as some other parts ofthe quest for mechanistic models of mind mightnot be successful. Our views (...) of how our scienceshould respond to this serious problem,however, are quite different. Both ProfessorBechtel and Lloyd argue for an optimisticattack on the problem of the localization ofcognitive processes in the brain based on thehistory of other sciences. I argue that arealistic appreciation of the limits of thisapproach should temper the enthusiasm for whatultimately will go the way of other attempts tounravel the mind-brain problem. (shrink)
Automated reasoning about uncertain knowledge has many applications. One difficulty when developing such systems is the lack of a completely satisfactory integration of logic and probability. We address this problem directly. Expressive languages like higher-order logic are ideally suited for representing and reasoning about structured knowledge. Uncertain knowledge can be modeled by using graded probabilities rather than binary truth-values. The main technical problem studied in this paper is the following: Given a set of sentences, each having some probability of being (...) true, what probability should be ascribed to other (query) sentences? A natural wish-list, among others, is that the probability distribution (i) is consistent with the knowledge base, (ii) allows for a consistent inference procedure and in particular (iii) reduces to deductive logic in the limit of probabilities being 0 and 1, (iv) allows (Bayesian) inductive reasoning and (v) learning in the limit and in particular (vi) allows confirmation of universally quantified hypotheses/sentences. We translate this wish-list into technical requirements for a prior probability and show that probabilities satisfying all our criteria exist. We also give explicit constructions and several general characterizations of probabilities that satisfy some or all of the criteria and various (counter) examples. We also derive necessary and sufficient conditions for extending beliefs about finitely many sentences to suitable probabilities over all sentences, and in particular least dogmatic or least biased ones. We conclude with a brief outlook on how the developed theory might be used and approximated in autonomous reasoning agents. Our theory is a step towards a globally consistent and empirically satisfactory unification of probability and logic. (shrink)
In this international and interdisciplinary collection of critical essays, distinguished contributors examine a crucial premise of traditional readings of Plato's dialogues: that Plato's own doctrines and arguments can be read off the statements made in the dialogues by Socrates and other leading characters. The authors argue in general and with reference to specific dialogues, that no character should be taken to be Plato's mouthpiece. This is essential reading for students and scholars of Plato.
The conflation of two fundamentally distinct issues has generated serious confusion in the philosophical and biological literature concerning the units of selection. The question of how a unit of selection of defined, theoretically, is rarely distinguished from the question of how to determine the empirical accuracy of claims--either specific or general--concerning which unit(s) is undergoing selection processes. In this paper, I begin by refining a definition of the unit of selection, first presented in the philosophical literature by William Wimsatt, (...) which is grounded in the structure of natural selection models. I then explore the implications of this structural definition for empirical evaluation of claims about units of selection. I consider criticisms of this view presented by Elliott Sober--criticisms taken by some (for example, Mayo and Gilinsky 1987) to provide definitive damage to the structuralist account. I shall show that Sober has misinterpreted the structuralist views; he knocks down a straw man in order to motivate his own causal account. Furthermore, I shall argue, Sober's causal account is dependent on the structuralist account that he rejects. I conclude by indicating how the refined structural definition can clarify which sorts of empirical evidence could be brought to bear on a controversial case involving units of selection. (shrink)
Our awareness of time and temporal properties is a constant feature of conscious life. Subjective temporality structures and guides every aspect of behavior and cognition, distinguishing memory, perception, and anticipation. This milestone volume brings together research on temporality from leading scholars in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience, defining a new field of interdisciplinary research. The book's thirty chapters include selections from classic texts by William James and Edmund Husserl and new essays setting them in historical context; contemporary philosophical accounts of (...) lived time; and current empirical studies of psychological time. These last chapters, the larger part of the book, cover such topics as the basic psychophysics of psychological time, its neural foundations, its interaction with the body, and its distortion in illness and altered states of consciousness. _Contributors_Melissa J. Allman, Holly Andersen, Valtteri Arstila, Yan Bao, Dean V. Buonomano, Niko A. Busch, Barry Dainton, Sylvie Droit-Volet, Christine M. Falter, Thomas Fraps, Shaun Gallagher, Alex O. Holcombe, Edmund Husserl, William James, Piotr Jaskowski, Jeremie Jozefowiez, Ryota Kanai, Allison N. Kurti, Dan Lloyd, Armando Machado, Matthew S. Matell, Warren H. Meck, James Mensch, Bruno Mölder, Catharine Montgomery, Konstantinos Moutoussis, Peter Naish, Valdas Noreika, Sukhvinder S. Obhi, Ruth Ogden, Alan o'Donoghue, Georgios Papadelis, Ian B. Phillips, Ernst Pöppel, John E. R. Staddon, Dale N. Swanton, Rufin VanRullen, Argiro Vatakis, Till M. Wagner, John Wearden, Marc Wittmann, Agnieszka Wykowska, Kielan Yarrow, Bin Yin, Dan Zahavi. (shrink)
A critique of the view of "cognitive liberalism," as articulated in recent papers by Dan Lloyd , is presented. The main arguments are directed at Lloyd's claim that representational capacities may be found in organisms as simple as marine mollusks and at his formal analysis of cognitive representation as a type of information-bearing conditional dependency. An alternative interpretation-based view of cognitive representation is then briefly sketched.
To william james, conscious life was a stream; to Edmund Husserl, a flow. These metaphors point to the marvelous continuity of experience as it weaves through the world of thought and things. We might similarly talk about the flow of the body, as I reach for my cup of coffee. A physiologist could decompose the action, isolating the contribution of each muscle and joint to the whole. This functional analysis would constitute one form of explanation of the movement. As (...) we replace "I grab the cup" with the physiologist's account, there is a shift in level of description and a turn toward underlying processes, but the physiologist has added nothing to nature. Explanation of this sort, functional reduction, is simply a .. (shrink)
I address the controversy in evolutionary biology concerning which levels of biological entity (units) can and do undergo natural selection. I refine a definition of the unit of selection, first presented by William Wimsatt, that is grounded in the structure of natural selection models. I examine Elliott Sober's objection to this structural definition, the "homogeneous populations" problem; I find that neither the proposed definition nor Sober's own causal account can solve the problem. Sober, in his solution using his causal (...) view, imports precisely the information needed to make the structural definition effective. Finally, I indicate how the proposed definition can clarify which sorts of evidence could be brought to bear on the controversial case of the Myxoma virus. (shrink)
Good research requires, among other virtues,(i) methods that yield stable experimentalobservations without arbitrary (post hoc)assumptions, (ii) logical interpretations ofthe sources of observations, and (iii) soundinferences to general causal mechanismsexplaining experimental results by placing themin larger explanatory contexts. In TheNew Phrenology , William Uttal examines theresearch tradition of localization, and findsit deficient in all three virtues, whetherbased on lesion studies or on new technologiesfor functional brain imaging. In this paper Iconsider just the arguments concerning brainimaging, especially functional MagneticResonance Imaging. I (...) think that Uttal is tooharsh in his methodological critique, butcorrect in his assessment of the conceptuallimitations of localist evidence. I proposeinstead a data-driven test for assessingrelative modularity in brain images, and showits use in a secondary analysis of fMRI datafrom the National fMRI Data Center(www.fmridc.org). Although the analysis is alimited pilot study, it offers additionalempirical challenge to localism. (shrink)
A review of William Lane Craig, Erik J. Wielenberg, and Adam Lloyd Johnson's "A Debate on God and Morality: What is the Best Account of Objective Moral Values and Duties?" Forthcoming. Religious Studies.
Black Natural Law offers a new way of understanding the African American political tradition, and it argues that this tradition has collapsed into incoherence. Vincent WilliamLloyd revives Black politics by telling stories of its central figures in a way that exhibits the connections between their religious, philosophical, and political ideas.
Sherbourne Le Souef, a director of Sydney's Taronga Zoological Park during the first part of the twentieth century, utilized his observations of nonhuman animals living in captivity to write on the "actions, reactions and traits common to [humans] and animals" . Le Souef's writings reflect his search beyond the human will for "the genesis of man's actions and reactions" and his appreciation of evolutionary theory where the idea of hierarchy was maintained. Similar to William T. Hornaday, a director of (...) the zoological gardens in New York, Le Souef sought the moral improvement of zoo audiences through encouraging observation of nonhuman animals. More broadly, he argued for the relevance of his own observations to the general progress of the peoples of the new world. This paper identifies how notions of animal behavior were understood to indicate social, cultural, spiritual, and species hierarchies. (shrink)
What political problem can autobiography solve? This article examines the politics of Frederick Douglass’s antebellum personal narratives: his 1845 slave narrative, the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, and his 1855 autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom, written at the opposite ends of Douglass’s transition from the abolitionist politics of WilliamLloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips to Douglass’s defense of political action and the Constitution as anti-slavery. Placing the two texts alongside Douglass’s distinction “to (...) narrate wrongs” and “denouncing them,” I argue that Douglass writes My Bondage and My Freedom as a mode of denunciation: an autobiographical critique of injustice that balances analysis of collective oppression with advocacy for communal emancipation. Whereas to narrate wrongs encouraged readers to judge Douglass’s story alongside popular criteria of justice, to denounce wrongs is to implicate readers within the structures that create antebellum subjects on and off the plantation, by revealing the coercions and conditionings of society that make not simply slaves but slaveowners, sympathizers, and abolitionists. This article claims that autobiography is a distinct genre of political theory, one that challenges present relations between the individual and the collective by representing not simply its author but an expanded view of “the people.”. (shrink)
Lucretia Mott is widely recognized as a moral and spiritual leader in the abolitionist and early women’s rights movements. She has been characterized as a disciple of WilliamLloyd Garrison, a proliferator of Mary Wollstonecraft’s ideas, and a religious promoter of human rights whose efforts were surpassed by the theoretically sophisticated and politically astute Elizabeth Cady Stanton. These portrayals paradoxically elevate Mott’s status while understating the originality of her views. This analysis examines Mott’s speeches and writings in detail (...) and finds that her unique theoretical contributions are shaped by a combination of elements: a radically anti-dogmatic worldview rooted in her progressive religious faith, an unwavering commitment to autonomy for all people, and an egalitarian conception of power. Careful study of Mott’s work reveals a compelling alternative viewpoint in the early women’s rights and abolitionist movements and provides important insight into the philosophical roots of contemporary feminism and pacifism. (shrink)
In common usage, quietism is often conflated with passivity, and pacifism is often equated with quietism. As a result, pacifism has often been confused with passivity. In the antebellum United States, John Brown and other militant abolitionists who endorsed the use of violent antislavery tactics criticized nonviolent reformers like WilliamLloyd Garrison as men of words instead of men of action. Garrison and his allies rejected the equation of their pacifism with quietism, but the charge that Garrisonian abolitionists (...) were more passive than Brown still survives. In fact, the most recent scholarship on John Brown has tended to reinforce Brown's own division of the movement into active reformers like himself and less radical pacifists like Garrison. In this article, McDaniel challenges this polarized view of the abolitionist movement, which is partly the product of the common polarization of quietism and activism. He shows that both Garrison and Brown were complex icons, neither of whom can be easily categorized as a quietist or activist. A careful look at the antislavery movement suggests, therefore, that pacifism and quietism are not synonymous. Moreover, a careful look at Brown suggests that quietism and activism are not antonyms. On some definitions of quietism, McDaniel argues, even a violent activist like Brown can exhibit quietistic aspects. This article therefore challenges, as well, the common connotation of quietism as inaction. (shrink)
Philosophers of science traditionally have ignored the details of scientific research, and the result has often been theories that lack relevance either to science or to philosophy in general. In this volume, leading philosophers of biology discuss the limitations of this tradition and the advantages of the "naturalistic turn"—the idea that the study of science is itself a scientific enterprise and should be conducted accordingly. This innovative book presents candid, informal debates among scholars who examine the benefits and problems of (...) studying science in the same way that scientists study the natural world. Callebaut achieves the effect of face-to-face engagement through separate interviews with participants. Contributors include William Bechtel, Robert Brandon, Richard M. Burian, Donald T. Campbell, Patricia Churchland, Jon Elster, Ronald N. Giere, David L. Hull, Philip Kitcher, Karin Knorr Cetina, Bruno Latour, Richard Levins, Richard C. Lewontin, Elisabeth Lloyd, Helen Longino, Thomas Nickles, Henry C. Plotkin, Robert J. Richards, Alexander Rosenberg, Michael Ruse, Dudley Shapere, Elliott Sober, Ryan Tweney, and William Wimsatt. "Why can't we have both theoretical ecology and natural histories, lovingly done?"—Philip Kitcher "Don't underestimate the arrogance of philosophers!"—Elisabeth Lloyd. (shrink)