First published in 1949 expressly to introduce logical positivism to English speakers. Reichenbach, with Rudolph Carnap, founded logical positivism, a form of epistemofogy that privileged scientific over metaphysical truths.
Despite the recent ferocious public debate about belief, the concept most central to the discussion—God—frequently remains vaguely and obscurely described. Are those engaged in these arguments even talking about the same thing? In a wide-ranging response to this confusion, esteemed scholar David Bentley Hart pursues a clarification of how the word “God” functions in the world’s great theistic faiths. Ranging broadly across Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Vedantic and Bhaktic Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, Hart explores how these great intellectual traditions treat humanity’s (...) knowledge of the divine mysteries. Constructing his argument around three principal metaphysical “moments”—being, consciousness, and bliss—the author demonstrates an essential continuity between our fundamental experience of reality and the ultimate reality to which that experience inevitably points. Thoroughly dismissing such blatant misconceptions as the deists' concept of God, as well as the fundamentalist view of the Bible as an objective historical record, Hart provides a welcome antidote to simplistic manifestoes. In doing so, he plumbs the depths of humanity’s experience of the world as powerful evidence for the reality of God and captures the beauty and poetry of traditional reflection upon the divine. (shrink)
Sorensen presents a general theory of thought experiments: what they are, how they work, what are their virtues and vices. On Sorensen's view, philosophy differs from science in degree, but not in kind. For this reason, he claims, it is possible to understand philosophical thought experiments by concentrating on their resemblance to scientific relatives. Lessons learned about scientific experimentation carry over to thought experiment, and vice versa. Sorensen also assesses the hazards and pseudo-hazards of thought experiments. Although he grants that (...) there are interesting ways in which the method leads us astray, he attacks most scepticism about thought experiments as arbitrary. They should be used, he says, as they generally are used--as part of a diversified portfolio of techniques. All of these devices are individually susceptible to abuse, fallacy, and error. Collectively, however, they provide a network of cross-checks that make for impressive reliability. (shrink)
_From one of the most revered scholars of religion, an incisive explanation of how the word “God” functions in the world’s great faiths_ Despite the recent ferocious public debate about belief, the concept most central to the discussion—God—frequently remains vaguely and obscurely described. Are those engaged in these arguments even talking about the same thing? In a wide-ranging response to this confusion, esteemed scholar David Bentley Hart pursues a clarification of how the word “God” functions in the world’s great theistic (...) faiths. Ranging broadly across Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Vedantic and Bhaktic Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, Hart explores how these great intellectual traditions treat humanity’s knowledge of the divine mysteries. Constructing his argument around three principal metaphysical “moments”—being, consciousness, and bliss—the author demonstrates an essential continuity between our fundamental experience of reality and the ultimate reality to which that experience inevitably points. Thoroughly dismissing such blatant misconceptions as the deists' concept of God, as well as the fundamentalist view of the Bible as an objective historical record, Hart provides a welcome antidote to simplistic manifestoes. In doing so, he plumbs the depths of humanity’s experience of the world as powerful evidence for the reality of God and captures the beauty and poetry of traditional reflection upon the divine. (shrink)
What do people consciously experience when they read? There has been almost no rigorous research on this question, and opinions diverge radically among both philosophers and psychologists. We describe three studies of the phenomenology of reading and its relationship to memory of textual detail and general cognitive abilities. We find three main results. First, there is substantial variability in reports about reading experience, both within and between participants. Second, reported reading experience varies with passage type: passages with (...) dialogue prompted increased reports of inner speech, while passages with vivid visual detail prompted increased reports of visual imagery. Third, reports of visual imagery experiences, inner speech experiences, and experiences of conscious visual perception of the words on the page were at best weakly related to general cognitive abilities and memory of visual and auditory details. (shrink)
What is the role of affective experience in explaining how our desires provide us with reasons for action? When we desire that p, we are thereby disposed to feel attracted to the prospect that p, or to feel averse to the prospect that not-p. In this paper, we argue that affective experiences – including feelings of attraction and aversion – provide us with reasons for action in virtue of their phenomenal character. Moreover, we argue that desires provide us with (...) reasons for action only insofar as they are dispositions to have affective experiences. On this account, affective experience has a central role to play in explaining how desires provide reasons for action. (shrink)
In this powerful and wonderfully accessible meditation on psychoanalysis, hermeneutics, and social constructivism, Donnel Stern explores the relationship between two fundamental kinds of experience: explicit verbal reflection and "unformulated experience," or experience we have not yet reflected on and put into words. Stern is especially concerned with the process by which we come to formulate the unformulated. It is not an instrumental task, he holds, but one that requires openness and curiosity; the result of the process is (...) not accuracy alone, but experience that is deeply felt and fully imagined. Stern's sense of explicit verbal experience as continuously constructed and emergent leads to a central dialectic at the heart of his work: that between curiosity and imagination, on one hand, and dissociation and unthinking acceptance of the familiar on the other. The goal of psychoanalytic work, he holds, is the freedom to be curious, whereas defense signifies the denial of this freedom. We defend against our fear of what we would think, that is, if we allowed ourselves the freedom to think it. Stern also shows how the unconscious itself can be reconceptualized hermeneutically, and he goes on to explore the implications of this viewpoint on interpretation and countertransference. He is especially persuasive in showing how the interpersonal field, which is continuously in flux, limits the experience that it is possible for participants to reflect on. Thus it is that analyst and patient are together "caught in the grip of the field," often unable to see the kind of relatedness in which they are mutually involved. A brilliant demonstration of the clinical consequentiality of hermeneutic thinking, _Unformulated Experience_ bears out Stern's belief that psychoanalysis is as much about the revelation of the new in experience as it is about the discovery of the old. (shrink)
Ineffability—that which cannot be explained in words—lies at the heart of the Christian mystical tradition. It has also been part of every discussion of religious experience since the early twentieth century. Despite this centrality, ineffability is a concept that has largely been ignored by philosophers of religion. In this book, Bennett-Hunter builds on the recent work of David E. Cooper, who argues that the meaning of life can only be understood in terms of an ineffable source on which life (...) depends, and engages with the work of continental philosophers, such as Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Karl Jaspers. This is the first book to explore the concept of ineffability within contemporary philosophy of religion and provides a starting point for further scholarly debate. It will be of interest to scholars of philosophy of religion, theology, existentialism and phenomenology. -/- 'Bennett Hunter’s book is a timely contribution to the growing theological and philosophical literature on mystery and ineffability. Written in a lucid and elegant style, the book makes a convincing case for the ineffability of religious experience and explores its relationship to a sense that our lives are answerable to such experience.' — David E. Cooper. -/- 'Philosophers have long concentrated on linguistic forms in a way that has isolated language from the rest of life, and this isolation has increasingly obscured for them the vast range of things that cannot be spoken. Bennett-Hunter is not the first philosopher to try and map this distracted field, but he is remarkable in the width and sympathy of his approach to the highly various thinkers whom he invokes to illuminate it.' — Mary Midgley. (shrink)
How should we characterize the functional role of conscious visual experience? In particular, how do the conscious contents of visual experience guide, bear upon, or otherwise inform our ongoing motor activities? According to an intuitive and philosophically influential conception, the links are often quite direct. The contents of conscious visual experience, according to this conception, are typically active in the control and guidance of our fine-tuned, real-time engagements with the surrounding three-dimensional world. But this idea is hostage (...) to empirical fortune. It is a hostage, moreover, whose safety is in serious doubt. Thus Milner and Goodale argue for a deep and abiding dissociation between the contents of conscious seeing, on the one hand, and the resources used for the on-line guidance of visuo-motor action, on the other. This ‘dual visual systems’ hypothesis, which finds many echoes in various other bodies of cognitive scientific research, poses a prima facie challenge to the Assumption of Experience-Based Control. More importantly, it provides fuel for an alternative and philosophically suggestive account of the functional role of conscious visual experience. (shrink)
This collection of essays by one of the preeminent Kant scholars of our time transforms our understanding of both Kant's aesthetics and his ethics. Guyer shows that at the very core of Kant's aesthetic theory, disinterestedness of taste becomes an experience of freedom and thus an essential accompaniment to morality itself. At the same time he reveals how Kant's moral theory includes a distinctive place for the cultivation of both general moral sentiments and particular attachments on the basis of (...) the most rigorous principle of duty. Kant's thought is placed in a rich historical context including such figures as Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume, Burke, Kames, as well as Baumgarten, Mendelssohn, Schiller, and Hegel. Other topics treated are the sublime, natural versus artistic beauty, genius and art history, and duty and inclination. These essays extend and enrich the account of Kant's aesthetics in the author's earlier book, Kant and the Claims of Taste. (shrink)
What is given to us in conscious experience? The Given is an attempt to answer this question and in this way contribute to a general theory of mental content. The content of conscious experience is understood to be absolutely everything that is given to one, experientially, in the having of an experience. Michelle Montague focuses on the analysis of conscious perception, conscious emotion, and conscious thought, and deploys three fundamental notions in addition to the fundamental notion of (...) content: the notions of intentionality, phenomenology, and consciousness. She argues that all experience essentially involves all four things, and that the key to an adequate general theory of what is given in experience lies in giving a correct specification of the nature of these four things and the relations between them. (shrink)
This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. This work is in the public domain (...) in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant. (shrink)
This paper outlines several of the challenges that are inherent in any attempt to communicate subjective experience to others, particularly in the context of a clinical interview. It presents the phenomenological interview as a way of effectively responding to these challenges, which may be especially important when attempting to understand the profound experiential transformations that take place in schizophrenia. Features of language experience in schizophrenia—including changes in interpersonal orientation, a sense of the arbitrariness of language, and a desire (...) for faithful communication of experience —are described, together with discussion of their relevance for the interview context. Furthermore, the interview presents a unique context in which both intersubjective and interpersonal aspects of experience will be described as well as evoked. It is proposed that phenomenological interviewers should not only be familiar with these and other experiences that can occur in schizophrenia, but also capable of applying the techniques of phenomenological and hermeneutic methods in order to understand the descriptions of interviewees with sensitivity and accuracy. (shrink)
The Gifford Lectures were established in 1885 at the universities of St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh to promote the discussion of 'Natural Theology in the widest sense of the term - in other words, the knowledge of God', and some of the world's most influential thinkers have delivered them. The 1901–2 lectures given in Edinburgh by American philosopher William James are considered by many to be the greatest in the series. The lectures were published in book form in 1902 (...) and have been reprinted many times. James, who was educated in the United States and Europe, and spent much of his career teaching philosophy at Harvard, was very influential in the development of modern psychology, and in these twenty lectures he explores the personal experience of religion. Some of the topics include religion and neurology, 'the sick soul', saintliness, and mysticism. (shrink)
Experiences of Depression is a philosophical exploration of what it is like to be depressed. In this important new book, Matthew Ratcliffe develops a detailed account of depression experiences by drawing on work in phenomenology, philosophy of mind and psychology, and several other disciplines.
Can merely thinking about an imaginary situation provide evidence for how the world actually is--or how it ought to be? In this lively book, Roy A. Sorensen addresses this question with an analysis of a wide variety of thought experiments ranging from aesthetics to zoology. Presenting the first general theory of thought experiment, he sets it within an evolutionary framework and integrates recent advances in experimental psychology and the history of science, with special emphasis on Ernst Mach and Thomas Kuhn. (...) Sorensen explores what thought experiments are, how they work, and what their virtues and vices are. In his view, philosophy differs from science in degree, but not in kind. For this reason, he claims, it is possible to understand philosophical thought experiments by concentrating on their resemblance to scientific relatives. Sorensen assesses the hazards of thought experiments and grants that there are interesting ways in which the method leads us astray, but attacks most scepticism about thought experiments as arbitrary. He maintains that they should be used--as they generally are--as part of a diversified portfolio of techniques, creating a network of cross-checks that make for impressive reliability. (shrink)
How should we characterize the functional role of conscious visual experience? In particular, how do the conscious contents of visual experience guide, bear upon, or otherwise inform our ongoing motor activities? According to an intuitive and (I shall argue) philosophically influential conception, the links are often quite direct. The contents of conscious visual experience, according to this conception, are typically active in the control and guidance of our fine-tuned, real-time engagements with the surrounding three-dimensional world. But this (...) idea (which I shall call the Assumption of Experience-Based Control) is hostage to empirical fortune. It is a hostage, moreover, whose safety is in serious doubt. Thus Milner and Goodale (1995) argue for a deep and abiding dissociation between the contents of conscious seeing, on the one hand, and the resources used for the on-line guidance of visuo-motor action, on the other. This ‘dual visual systems’ hypothesis, which finds many echoes in various other bodies of cognitive scientific research, poses a prima facie challenge to the Assumption of Experience-Based Control. More importantly, it provides (I shall argue) fuel for an alternative and philosophically suggestive account of the functional role of conscious visual experience. (shrink)
Three experiments investigated the relationship between subjective experience and attentional lapses during sustained attention. These experiments employed two measures of subjective experience to examine how differences in awareness correspond to variations in both task performance and psycho-physiological measures . This series of experiments examine these phenomena during the Sustained Attention to Response Task . The results suggest we can dissociate between two components of subjective experience during sustained attention: task unrelated thought which corresponds to an absent minded (...) disengagement from the task and a pre-occupation with one's task performance that seems to be best conceptualised as a strategic attempt to deploy attentional resources in response to a perception of environmental demands which exceed ones ability to perform the task. The implications of these findings for our understanding of how awareness is maintained on task relevant material during periods of sustained attention are discussed. (shrink)
« La liberté : ce singulier ne désigne pas ici une essence à laquelle rapporter toutes nos “libertés”. Il suspend au contraire toute détermination de ces “libertés”, qu’on sait bien “formelles”, sans pourtant vouloir le savoir… Il le fait au nom de l’expérience singulière de ce qui est sans essence : l’existence même. Cette expérience est un fait, lui aussi singulier, car il n’obéit pas à une logique du “fait” opposé à la “loi”. Ni fait, ni loi, mais l’être même (...) en tant que partage de l’existence. La pensée en provient, elle ne s’en empare pas. Quant elle s’ouvre à cette expérience, elle pense son possible hors d’elle-même, comme chose, force ou regard. La liberté est l’in-fini de la pensée. ». (shrink)
Experiments are commonly thought to have epistemic privilege over simulations. Two ideas underpin this belief: first, experiments generate greater inferential power than simulations, and second, simulations cannot surprise us the way experiments can. In this article I argue that neither of these claims is true of experiments versus simulations in general. We should give up the common practice of resting in-principle judgments about the epistemic value of cases of scientific inquiry on whether we classify those cases as experiments or simulations, (...) per se. To the extent that either methodology puts researchers in a privileged epistemic position, this is context sensitive. (shrink)
Many people have recently argued that we need to distinguish between experiences and seemings and that this has consequences for views about how perception provides evidence. In this article I spell out my take on these issues by doing three things. First, I distinguish between mere sensations like seeing pitch black all around you and perceptual experiences like seeing a red apple. Both have sensory phenomenology in presenting us with sensory qualities like colors, being analog in Dretske's sense, and being (...) fine-grained. However, only the latter have furthermore a perceptual phenomenology characterized by objectification and related dualities of perspectivality/completion and variation/constancy. Second, I elaborate on the reasons for thinking that both mere sensations and perceptual experiences need to be distinguished from accompanying seemings that passively assign things into conceptual categories and thereby tell you something about them. For example, when you look at a red apple and have the relevant recognitional abilities it will also normally seem to you that this is an apple. Finally, I argue that the best version of the popular dogmatist view about evidence is one which claims that it's neither experiences nor seemings by themselves, but rather the right sorts of composites of experiences and seemings that provide evidence. (shrink)
Metaphysical theories are often counter-intuitive. But they also often are strongly supported and motivated by intuitions. One way or another, the link between intuitions and metaphysics is a strong and important one, and there is hardly any metaphysical discussion where intuitions do not play a crucial role. In this article, I will be interested in a particular kind of such intuitions, namely those that come, at least partly, from experience. There seems to be a route from experience to (...) metaphysics, and this is the core of my interest here. In order to better understand such ‘arguments from experience’ and the kind of relationship there is between this type of intuitions and metaphysical theories, I shall examine four particular cases where a kind of experience-based intuition seems to motivate or support a metaphysical theory. At the end of the day, I shall argue that this route is a treacherous one, and that in all of the four cases I shall concentrate on, phenomenological considerations are in fact orthogonal to the allegedly ‘corresponding’ metaphysical claims. An anti-realist view of metaphysics will emerge. (shrink)
Ian Hacking’s Representing and Intervening is often credited as being one of the first works to focus on the role of experimentation in philosophy of science, catalyzing a movement which is sometimes called the “philosophy of experiment” or “new experimentalism”. In the 1980s, a number of other movements and scholars also began focusing on the role of experimentation and instruments in science. Philosophical study of experimentation has thus seemed to be an invention of the 1980s whose central figure is Hacking. (...) This article aims to assess this historical claim, made by Hacking himself as well as others. It does so first by highlighting how a broader perspective on the history of philosophy reveals this invention narrative to be incorrect, since experimentation was a topic of interest for earlier philosophers. Secondly, the article evaluates a revision of this historical claim also made by some philosophers of experiment: the rediscovery narrative, which frames Hacking and others as having rediscovered the work of these earlier authors. This second narratives faces problems as well. Therefore we develop a third narrative which we call the contextualist narrative. Rather than considering experimentation in an essentialist manner as a fixed research object that is either present or not in the work of specific authors, experimentation should be addressed through a narrative that asks in what way it becomes a philosophical problem for certain authors and for what purpose. Such contextualization enables a repositioning of Hacking’s philosophy of experiment in relation to the specific debates in which he intervened, such as the realism-antirealism debate, the Science Wars and the debate on incommensurability. (shrink)
I don't know of any other book like it."--Wayne Proudfoot, Columbia University "This is a terrific book. -/- The essence of religion was once widely thought to be a unique form of experience that could not be explained in neurological, psychological, or sociological terms. In recent decades scholars have questioned the privileging of the idea of religious experience in the study of religion, an approach that effectively isolated the study of religion from the social and natural sciences. Religious (...)Experience Reconsidered lays out a framework for research into religious phenomena that reclaims experience as a central concept while bridging the divide between religious studies and the sciences.Ann Taves shifts the focus from "religious experience," conceived as a fixed and stable thing, to an examination of the processes by which people attribute meaning to their experiences. She proposes a new approach that unites the study of religion with fields as diverse as neuroscience, anthropology, sociology, and psychology to better understand how these processes are incorporated into the broader cultural formations we think of as religious or spiritual. Taves addresses a series of key questions: how can we set up studies without obscuring contestations over meaning and value? What is the relationship between experience and consciousness? How can research into consciousness help us access and interpret the experiences of others? Why do people individually or collectively explain their experiences in religious terms? How can we set up studies that allow us to compare experiences across times and cultures?Religious Experience Reconsidered demonstrates how methods from the sciences can be combined with those from the humanities to advance a naturalistic understanding of the experiences that people deem religious. (shrink)
What sorts of things are the intuitions generated via thought experiment? Timothy Williamson has responded to naturalistic skeptics by arguing that thought-experiment intuitions are judgments of ordinary counterfactuals. On this view, the intuition is naturalistically innocuous, but it has a contingent content and could be known at best a posteriori. We suggest an alternative to Williamson's account, according to which we apprehend thought-experiment intuitions through our grasp on truth in fiction. On our view, intuitions like the Gettier intuition are necessarily (...) true and knowable a priori. Our view, like Williamson's, avoids naturalistic skepticism. (shrink)
The 'content view', in slogan form, is 'Perceptual experiences have representational content'. I explain why the content view should be reformulated to remove any reference to 'experiences'. I then argue, against Bill Brewer, Charles Travis and others, that the content view is true. One corollary of the discussion is that the content of perception is relatively thin (confined, in the visual case, to roughly the output of 'mid-level' vision). Finally, I argue (briefly) that the opponents of the content view are (...) partially vindicated, because perceptual error is due to false belief. (shrink)
Some philosophers believe that the passage of time is a real phenomenon. And some of them find a reason to believe this when they attend to features of their conscious experience. In fact this “argument from experience” is supposed to be one of the main arguments for passage. What exactly does this argument look like? Is it any good?
This book offers a novel analysis of the widely-used but ill-understood technique of thought experiment. The author argues that the powers and limits of this methodology can be traced to the fact that when the contemplation of an imaginary scenario brings us to new knowledge, it does so by forcing us to make sense of exceptional cases.
According to the experience requirement on well-being, differences in subjects’ levels of welfare or well-being require differences in the phenomenology of their experiences. I explain why the two existing arguments for this requirement are not successful. Then, I introduce a more promising argument for it: that unless we accept the requirement, we cannot plausibly explain why only sentient beings are welfare subjects. I argue, however, that because the right kind of theory of well-being can plausibly account for that apparent (...) fact about welfare subjects even if the requirement is false, this argument does not succeed. I tentatively conclude that no compelling case can be made for the requirement. (shrink)
I assess a number of connected ideas about temporal experience that are introspectively plausible, but which I believe can be argued to be incorrect. These include the idea that temporal experiences are extended experiential processes, that they have an internal structure that in some way mirrors the structure of the apparent events they present, and the idea that time in experience is in some way represented by time itself. I explain how these ideas can be developed into more (...) sharply defined views, and then argue that these views are inconsistent with certain empirical facts about how time is represented in the brain. These facts instead support a kind of atomic view, on which temporal experiences are temporally unstructured atoms. (shrink)
According to so-called “thin” views about the content of experience, we can only visually experience low-level features such as colour, shape, texture or motion. According to so-called “rich” views, we can also visually experience some high-level properties, such as being a pine tree or being threatening. One of the standard objections against rich views is that high-level properties can only be represented at the level of judgment. In this paper, I first challenge this objection by relying on (...) some recent studies in social vision. Secondly, I tackle a different but related issue, namely, the idea that, if the content of experience is rich, then perception is cognitively penetrable. Against this thesis, I argue that the very same criteria that help us vindicate the truly sensory nature of our rich experiences speak against their being cognitively penetrable. (shrink)
In Experiment, Right or Wrong, Allan Franklin continues his investigation of the history and philosophy of experiment presented in his previous book, The Neglect of Experiment. Using a combination of case studies and philosophical readings of those studies, Franklin again addresses two important questions: What role does and should experiment play in the choice between competing theories and in the confirmation or refutation of theories and hypotheses? How do we come to believe reasonably in experimental results? Experiment, Right or Wrong (...) makes a significant contribution to an important area in contemporary history and philosophy of science. Philosophers and historians of science, physicists, and advanced students in these areas will find much of interest in this engaging study. (shrink)
This paper considers the claim that perceptual experience is “transparent”, in the sense that nothing other than the apparent public objects of perception are available to introspection by the subject of such experience. I revive and strengthen the objection that blurred vision constitutes an insuperable objection to the claim, and counter recent responses to the general objection. Finally the bearing of this issue on representationalist accounts of the mind is considered.
: While thought experiments play an important role in contemporary analytic philosophy, much remains unclear about thought experiments. In particular, it is still unclear whether the judgments elicited by thought experiments can provide evidence for the premises of philosophical arguments. This article argues that, if an influential and promising view about the nature of the judgments elicited by thought experiments is correct, then many thought experiments in philosophy fail to provide any evidence for the premises of philosophical arguments.
In this book, Sorensen presents the first general theory of the thought experiment. He analyses a wide variety of thought experiments, ranging from aesthetics to zoology, and explores what thought experiments are, how they work, and what their positive and negative aspects are. Sorensen also sets his theory within an evolutionary framework and integrates recent advances in experimental psychology and the history of science.
Edgar Wind was one of the most distinguished art historians and philosophers of the twentieth century. He made crucial contributions to debates on aesthetics and on the interdisciplinary nature of cultural history involving such other leading figures as Ernst Cassirer and Erwin Panofsky. It is not always realised, however, that his early thinking was moulded by a concern with the German philosophical tradition, culminating in the analysis of the meaning and function of scientific experimentation and proof. This first edition in (...) English of Edgar Wind's important work Das Experiment und die Metaphysik: Zur Aufloesung der kosmologischen Antinomien has been translated by Cyril Edwards, and is prefaced by a new introduction by Matthew Rampley placing Wind's philosophical thinking in context. It is being published to coincide with the opening in 2000 of the Sackler Library in Oxford, which will include a Wind Reading room. (shrink)
I argue that perceptual experience provides us with both phenomenal and factive evidence. To a first approximation, we can understand phenomenal evidence as determined by how our environment sensorily seems to us when we are experiencing. To a first approximation, we can understand factive evidence as necessarily determined by the environment to which we are perceptually related such that the evidence is guaranteed to be an accurate guide to the environment. I argue that the rational source of both phenomenal (...) and factive evidence lies in employing perceptual capacities that we have in virtue of being perceivers. In showing that both kinds of evidence have the same rational source, I provide a unified account of perceptual evidence and its rational source in perceptual experience. (shrink)
Recent evidence suggests that participants without extensive training in philosophy (so-called lay people) have difficulties responding consistently when confronted with Robert Nozick’s Experience Machine thought experiment. For example, some of the participants who reject the experience machine for themselves would still advise a stranger to enter the machine permanently. This and similar findings have been interpreted as evidence for implicit biases that prevent lay people from making rational decisions about whether the experience machine is preferable to real (...) life, which might have consequences for one of the strongest objections to philosophical hedonism (the view that pleasure is the only intrinsic value). Against this consequence, it has been argued that expert philosophers are immune to such biases (the so-called expertise defense). In this paper, I report empirical evidence against this expertise defense. (shrink)
“Experience” is a thoroughly political category, a social and historical product not authored by any individual. At the same time, “the personal is political,” and one's own lived experience is an important epistemic resource. In _Anaesthetics of Existence_ Cressida J. Heyes reconciles these two positions, drawing on examples of things that happen to us but are nonetheless excluded from experience. If for Foucault an “aesthetics of existence” was a project of making one's life a work of art, (...) Heyes's “anaesthetics of existence” describes antiprojects that are tacitly excluded from life—but should be brought back in. Drawing on critical phenomenology, genealogy, and feminist theory, Heyes shows how and why experience has edges, and she analyzes phenomena that press against those edges. Essays on sexual violence against unconscious victims, the temporality of drug use, and childbirth as a limit-experience build a politics of experience while showcasing Heyes's much-needed new philosophical method. (shrink)
Most philosophers believe that we have experiences as of temporally extended phenomena like change, motion, and succession. Almost all theories of time consciousness explain these temporal experiences by subscribing to the doctrine of the specious present, the idea that the contents of our experiences embrace temporally extended intervals of time and are presented as temporally structured. Against these theories, I argue that the doctrine is false and present a theory that does not require the notion of a specious present. Furthermore, (...) I argue that the different aspects of temporal experiences arise from different mechanisms operating separately. If the theory is true, then temporal experiences do not tell us anything special about the nature of consciousness and its temporal properties per se. (shrink)
In this paper, I reconstruct Robert Nozick's experience machine objection to hedonism about well-being. I then explain and briefly discuss the most important recent criticisms that have been made of it. Finally, I question the conventional wisdom that the experience machine, while it neatly disposes of hedonism, poses no problem for desire-based theories of well-being.