Attention is necessary for the conscious perception of any object. Objects not attended to are not seen. What is it that captures attention when we are engaged in some attention-absorbing task? Earlier research has shown that there are only a very few stimuli which have this power and therefore are reliably detected under these conditions . The two most reliable are the observer’s own name and a happy face icon which seem to capture attention by virtue of their meaning. Three (...) experiments are described which explore whether these stimuli are detected under conditions, heretofore unexamined, which either cause inattentional blindness or are associated with a perceptual failure associated with the limits of attention. The evidence obtained indicates that these stimuli have a unique capacity to capture and extend the limits of attention under conditions in which this has been deemed highly unlikely. (shrink)
_Between Past Orthodoxies and the Future of Globalization_ provides essays in English by leading thinkers in Russia in philosophy, political theory, and related fields. Their essays articulate Russian perspectives on the key global issues being faced internationally and in Russia.
Hannah Arendt says that "violence is nothing more than the most flagrant manifestation of power." Given this definition, one might expect that violence takes many forms. Numerous writers have, in fact, applied violence to more than direct bodily harm. Within philosophy, Newton Garver, for example, has developed a typology of violence that includes overt and covert forms, as well as personal..
arguments concerning whether such changes are creative.  Less frequently addressed are questions about how to assess the perceptual implications of these linguistic innovations.  Using insights of Ricoeur and, to a lesser extent, M. Merleau Ponty and V. N. Volosinov, I will provide a model for evaluating a certain class of linguistic innovations, namely, new uses of language which rely upon distortion of typical perceptual associations. (Excluded from such new linguistic uses are, for example, analogical innovations, as presented by (...) Saussure.) As my title suggests, I will relate two superficially dissimilar products of language, i.e., metaphor and ideology. I will argue that metaphor and ideology need to be considered jointly (comparatively) to understand linguistic creativity, because -despite their differences -they mutually rely (at their inception) on atypical, even excessive, distortion of the way words shape perception of and reflection on ‘reality.’ My basic thesis is that, in language, the processes of creativity and distortion are interrelated. However, the conclusion I will reach is one which proposes a distinction between and criterion for ‘positive’ changes (which I term ‘creative distortions’) and ‘negative’ changes (which I term ‘distortive creations’). Nevertheless, I do not associate ‘creative distortions’ exclusively with metaphors and ‘distortive creations’ exclusively with ideologies. For metaphor and ideology, I relate ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ to how practical activity is facilitated, using a criterion of expansion or enrichment versus contraction or impoverishment of the semiotic perceptual field. Hence, throughout, even when I make distinctions, I will stress how metaphor and ideology are similar, not how they are different. Textually, the model I will present results from my effort to relate Ricoeur’s views on.. (shrink)
Summary Many people were involved in producing the seven volumes that make up the fourth series of the Royal Society catalogue of scientific papers. Included were about two hundred volunteers and about one hundred people working either on short-term contracts or carrying out piece work. At the Royal Society there was a small, largely female, secretariat working full-time. It included both clerical and bibliographic staff. Coordinating all the work was the chemist Herbert McLeod, appointed director of the catalogue in 1901. (...) As is discussed, the position of director was created especially for him after his forced retirement from the Royal Indian Engineering College. The paper shows the complexity of the work involved in producing the catalogue, as well as something of the office culture at the Royal Society in the early twentieth century. The working conditions of the women employees, and prevailing attitudes toward the largely female clerical and bibliographic staff, are briefly discussed. (shrink)
I stumbled into my interpretation of Wittgenstein as an advocate of what is now termed applied philosophy. In doing research for an essay on linguistic violence,  I decided to read more by and about Ferrucio Rossi Landi because I had already made use of his work on linguistic alienation.  One source, in particular, caught my attention because of its clever, though sexist, subtitle. In 1991, Ranjit Chatterjee published an essay titled "Rossi Landi's Wittgenstein: 'A philosopher's meaning is his (...) use in the.. (shrink)
Raphael Meldola FRS was professor of chemistry at the City and Guilds Technical College in Finsbury. He was a colleague and close friend of Silvanus Phillips Thompson FRS , the college principal and professor of physics. This paper follows an earlier one on Thompson and the making of his career. It is intended to illustrate further the ways in which scientists of Meldola and Thompson's generation gained advancement within the scientific community. Meldola had interests beyond chemistry, including a serious interest (...) in field entomology. In this he had several well-known mentors including Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin. The paper, which includes much new information derived from archival work, is presented as six thematic narratives related, among other things, to chemical and technical education, dye chemistry, the Royal Society solar eclipse expedition of 1875, natural history and Darwinism, field clubs, learned societies, and the honouring of scientists. Together these narratives illustrate a generalist/voluntarist career pattern that came to an end with the First World War. (shrink)
In each decade of the nuclear age, philosophers have provided critical reflections on the nature, use, and consequences of nuclear weapons. Frequently, these reflections have addressed the morality of producing, testing, deploying, and using nuclear weapons. Already, these philosophical reflections have passed through four phases and are now entering a fifth phase. The first phase stretches from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima to the above ground nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll. From the initial use of atomic weapons in 1945 to (...) the testing of the hydrogen bomb in 1952, the United States held a virtual monopoly. (The Soviet Union tested its first atomic weapon in 1949, and the United States progressed not only to the development of the hydrogen bomb, but also to a miniaturization of nuclear weapons that spawned even more tactical nuclear weapons than the eventual strategic arsenals of the superpowers.) During the 1950s and 1960s, the second phase shifts to a focus on the above ground testing of the hydrogen bomb, as well as the post war tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. The third phase addresses increasing shifts during the 1970s and 1980s to counterforce weapons and nuclear war fighting strategies. The fourth phase responds to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and to the problems of nuclear proliferation and nuclear deterrence in the post Cold War world, culminating with a critique of the renewal of Star Wars in 2001 under the guise of ballistic missile defense. The first decade of the twenty first century ushers in not only the purported “war against terrorism” by the United States, but also a broader and deeper philosophical response to the interconnections among violence, terrorism, and war. (shrink)
linguistic alienation: the situation in which individuals cannot understand a discourse in their own language because of the use of highly technical vocabularies. linguistic violence: the situation in which individuals are hurt or harmed by words. negative peace: the temporary absence of active war or the lull between wars. positive peace: the negation of war and the presence of justice. warist discourse: language which takes for granted that wars are inevitable, justifiable, and winnable.
Does language do violence, and, if so, can linguistic violence be overcome? Language can do violence if violence does not require the exercise of physical force, and linguistic violence can be overcome if its use can be avoided. Some forms of violence do not use physical force, and various means are available for avoiding linguistic violence. Hence, although linguistic violence can and does occur, it also can be overcome. Much of my recent work has focused on how language, which does (...) not rely on physical force, nonetheless often does violence. Linguistic violence occurs when we are hurt psychologically by words and when we are harmed socially by words. While most people are conscious of the pain that words can cause, many social groups are often unconscious of injustices that language helps to create and sustain. Exposing both of these forms of linguistic violence is the first step. (shrink)
Throughout the Cold War, we heard public cries that nuclear war would destroy us. Many citizens rejected the governmentally crafted myth of protection. They did not believe in the 1960s that a fallout shelter boom or in the 1980s that a star wars boom would protect them from the big boom. Instead, they thought the Big Boom would bring on global doom. Currently, we are hearing our initial post-Cold War version of the myth of protection. This time the star wars (...) fallacy is being repackaged as a missile defense system. Then, following the events of 11 September 2001, a further shift occurred. Now, we hear that the Office of Homeland Security will protect us from terrorists and from weapons of mass destruction, whether nuclear, chemical, or biological. (shrink)
Todd May seeks to provide a philosophical introduction to nonviolence, particularly to campaigns of nonviolent resistance. He claims his book is the first with such a focus. Regardless, if one looks beyond the mainstream literature, a lot of work, including on this topic, has been done over the last several decades by philosophers who are seeking to advance nonviolence and social justice. Nevertheless, as a contribution to more traditional philosophical discussions, May’s book is noteworthy in its themes and arguments. This (...) book could work well in a class on nonviolence or social justice. The text is accessible, is well reasoned logically, and is informed both historically and philosophically. (shrink)
Plato said that as long as wisdom and power, or philosophy and politics, are separated, “there can be no rest from troubles.”1 In The Republic, he sought to forge such a union. For over two millennia, from Plato through John Rawls, philosophers have put forward models for the just state.2 Despite these ongoing efforts, W. B. Gallie contends, “No political philosopher has ever dreamed of looking for the criteria of a good state viz-à-viz [sic] other states.”3 I will argue that (...) as long as wisdom and power are separated in international relations, we will continue to have problems. We need to forge a normative framework capable of addressing global issues. I further maintain that, in order to advance a global normative framework, achieving peace, or at least the “outlawry of war” championed by John Dewey, may well be the precondition for success in addressing the myriad global problems facing humanity.4 I agree with Ronald Glossop that among all the global issues we need to address, war is “humanity’s most pressing problem.”5 How can we adequately protect everyone’s human rights, secure economic well-being for all persons, preserve this planet’s rich biological diversity, and attend to other serious global concerns if we fail to end war? The structure of my argument is as follows: I will begin by reviewing the parochial and warist implications of the focus on national sovereignty within Enlightenment political philosophy from Thomas Hobbes through Immanuel Kant. Then, after indicating how Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Karl Marx point beyond the modern state in a way that would allow for the global application of normative principles, I will note that the Hegelian and Marxian traditions have not made this normative prospect focal. Finally, in order to develop a global normative framework, I will connect the efforts within twentieth-century philosophy to develop arenas of applied ethics to recent efforts in political science to develop a model of a humane world community.. (shrink)
“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” So begins Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. While he was writing about London and Paris during the turbulent times associated with the rise of the British Industrial Revolution and the French Political Revolution, these lines express the current sentiments of many Americans. Before 11 September 2001, many people thought we were living in the best of times. Baby boomers were relishing in the prospects that through inheritance (...) they would be the beneficiaries of the greatest transfer of wealth in United States history. After 11 September, even more citizens were psychologically shattered when they realized that the terrorist strikes showed that the United States, the most powerful nation on Earth, is still quite vulnerable. (shrink)