I argue that any account of imagination should satisfy the following three desiderata. First, imaginations induce actions only in conjunction with beliefs about the environment of the imagining subject. Second, there is a continuum between imaginations and beliefs. Recognizing this continuum is crucial to explain the phenomenon of imaginative immersion. Third, the mental states that relate to imaginations in the way that desires relate to beliefs are a special kind of desire, namely desires to make true in fiction. These (...) desires to make true in fiction do not differ from regular desires in kind, but only in content. I argue for these three desiderata in turn by critically discussing several recent accounts of imagination. (shrink)
Short-term international medical outreach experiences are becoming more popular among medical students. As the popularity of these trips grows, participants, scholars, and institutions have become more aware of the potential pitfalls of such experiences. Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine has an approximately 20-year international service immersion program that has sent more than 1,400 participants to more than 30 countries. Recently, ISI programming has been adjusted to provide students more formal sessions exploring the ethics of the ISI trips. (...) Students are required to attend both pre- and post-trip educational sessions covering a wide range of relevant global health topics as well as participating in in-country reflections and post-trip debriefings. This recent adjustment has evolved further to become the foundation for the SSOM’s four-year Global Health Honors program that not only encourages an ethical foundation for the student’s ISI experience but also hopes to provide a foundation for students as they look toward a future career in global health. (shrink)
Children sometimes lose themselves in make-believe games. Actors sometimes lose themselves in their roles. Readers sometimes lose themselves in their books. From people's introspective self-reports and phenomenological experiences, these immersive experiences appear to differ from ordinary experiences of simply playing a game, simply acting out a role, and simply reading a book. What explains the difference? My answer: attention. -/- [Unpublishable 2007-2017. This paper was referenced in Liao and Doggett (2014).].
One goal here is to motivate and illustrate the possibility that we can accept Parfitian arguments about the importance of personal identity, while rejecting fission as an instance of preserving what matters in survival. That is, singular existence over time is required for preserving what matters, even if identity is not. The second goal is to develop and motivate a theory of persons and what matters in their survival that can accommodate and explain this possibility. At least one way we (...) can realize this second goal is to accept an externalist conception of what matters, specifically, that what matters in the survival of persons is the continuation of what is called their “life trajectories,” which involves maintaining some of a person’s extrinsic properties in addition to standard psychological properties. The motivation for this externalist conception of what matters in survival comes from considering the implications of certain kinds of cases of complete virtual immersion – the immersion of a psychological subject in a completely virtual world, a world in which her experiences are de-correlated with events in the objective world. Replacing standard psychological continuity theory with the life trajectory theory not only rules out fission cases as those in which we have what matters equally as well as in single cases on metaphysical grounds, achieving our first goal, it can also explain our reactions to different virtual immersion scenarios. Therefore, simply on explanatory grounds alone, the life trajectory account is to be preferred over pure psychological continuity accounts. (shrink)
This paper elaborates on the link between different types and degrees of experience that can be gone through within a form of life or collectivity—the so-called levels of immersion—and the development of distinct types of tacit knowledge and expertise. The framework is then probed empirically and theoretically. In the first case, its ‘predictions’ are compared with the accounts of novices who have gone through different ‘learning opportunities’ during a pre-operational training programme for running a huge nickel industrial plant in (...) Brazil. These are also analysed vis-à-vis the experience of an expert who has designed and experienced the outcomes of two pre-operational training sessions in the nickel industry before developing and managing the one discussed here. Theoretically, the framework is used to pinpoint exactly what interactional experts who have developed their expertise through linguistic socialisation alone are able to do as well as to analyse the case of technical connoisseurs. The results indicate that the proposed framework is useful. It supports the design and improvement of training programmes for the development of tacit knowledge while at the same time bringing about a refined analysis of claims concerning the abilities of types of experts and expertise. (shrink)
Understanding has often been regarded as a kind of knowledge. This paper argues that this view is very implausible for understanding words. Instead, a proper account will be of the “analytic-genetic” variety: it will describe immersion in the practice of using a word in such a way that even those not previously equipped with the concepts the word expresses can become immersed. Meeting this condition requires attention to findings in developmental psychology. If you understand a declarative utterance, you thereby (...) know what the speaker said in uttering the words she did. The converse is close to true: if you come to know what a speaker of a declarative utterance has said, then normally you understand the utterance. An example of an abnormal situation would be one in which the speaker’s utterance is in a language you do not understand, but you are authoritatively informed, and so know, what the speaker said. The connection between understanding a whole utterance and knowing something can be preserved by alluding to the basis of the knowledge: it should arise from understanding the words in the utterance, and how they are put together. This leads to a fairly uncontroversial conditional equivalence: (1) If an utterer of an utterance, U, thereby says that p then: (X knows this, on the basis of understanding the words in U and how they are put together) iff (X understands U). The relevant knowledge has no mysteries: it is propositional, typically fully explicit, and is invoked in memory and in reports of speech. The question to be addressed in this paper is whether we can apply this kind of connection between understanding and knowledge to explain what is taken for granted in the equivalence 2 above, namely, the understanding of words. I will suggest that we cannot. Under some idealizations, one can formulate necessarily true equivalences between understanding a word and knowing something, but these equivalences are unilluminating. The knowledge is not of the straightforward kind invoked in connection with whole utterances, and it is mysterious how one might come to possess it. An account of understanding words requires an “analytic-genetic” story, an analysis which offers some philosophical illumination while being consistent with what is known about the genesis of participation in linguistic practices. (shrink)
In this paper, I will analyze certain aspects of imaginative content, namely the content of the representational mental state called “imagining.” I will show that fully accounting for imaginative content requires acknowledging that, in addition to imagining, an imaginative project—the overall mental activity we engage in when we imagine—includes another infrastructural component in terms of which content should be explained. I will then show that the phenomenon of imaginative immersion can partly be explained in terms of the proposed infrastructure (...) of imaginative projects. (shrink)
In May 2011, the clinical ethics group of the Center for Ethics at Washington Hospital Center launched a 40-hour, three and one-half day Clinical Ethics Immersion Course. Created to address gaps in training in the practice of clinical ethics, the course is for those who now practice clinical ethics and for those who teach bioethics but who do not, or who rarely, have the opportunity to be in a clinical setting. “Immersion” refers to a high-intensity clinical ethics experience (...) in a busy, urban, acute care hospital. During the Immersion Course, participants join clinical ethicists on working rounds in intensive care units and trauma service. Participants engage in a videotaped role-play conversation with an actor. Each simulated session reflects a practical, realistic clinical ethics case consultation scenario. Participants also review patients’ charts, and have small group discussions on selected clinical ethics topics. As ethics consultation requests come into the center, Immersion Course participants accompany clinical ethicists on consultations. Specific to this pilot, because participants’ evaluations and course faculty impressions were positive, the Center for Ethics will conduct the course twice each year. We look forward to improving the pilot and establishing the Immersion Course as one step towards addressing the gap in training opportunities in clinical ethics. (shrink)
Opportunities for practical, hospital-based training in those skills demanded by clinical ethics consultation have been limited. Given the number of individuals who provide part-time CEC, greater access to condensed, practical training such as the clinical ethics immersion course offered by the Washington Hospital Center, is necessary. Two participants in the initial cohort evaluate their CE training at a busy, urban referral center, exploring prior expectations, perceptions of its utility and suggestions for improvement. Such training will prove valuable not only (...) for bioethicists who lack practical CEC experience “at the bedside” but also for ethics consultants whose ethics services have a low consult volume who wish to sharpen their skills. (shrink)
In his extremely suggestive essay entitled 'Towards an Immersive Intelligence', artist and theorist Joseph Nechvatal defines immersive virtual reality art as 'an art that has a continuous, coherent quality and strives to ambiently include everything of perceptual worth within its domain in an overall, enveloping totality that is concerted and without an evident frame or border'1. Television, on the face of it, is not a medium capable of providing any form of sensory immersion: compared to the Imax or to (...) a trip through virtual reality goggles, its screen (even in its 'giant' sizes) remains ridiculously small. More importantly, whereas immersion requires the intense capture of our full attention in the enveloping totality it artificially creates, our viewing of television is generally distracted and superficial. (shrink)
Worldwide, more parents are opting for immersion pre-schooling for their children in order to benefit from its linguistic, educational, and cultural benefits. This immersion can be either bilingual or monolingual, aimed at early second language learning, or at language maintenance – offering minority language children mother-tongue support and enrichment. This book examines some of the key issues and policy concerns relating to immersion education in the early years. The term itself can be difficult in some political contexts, (...) as can the differing outcomes noted by studies comparing monolingual programmes, and bilingual programmes for minority language children. The importance of training in immersion methodology for educators is discussed, as is the need to adapt preschool pedagogical practices to the immersion context, in order to provide optimal input for young language learners. One of the most pressing discussions surrounds differentiated provision – ensuring that the varying needs of children with language impairment, typical second language learners, and mother-tongue speakers with significant socioeconomic or linguistic disadvantages are all met. Overall, the book explores the challenges currently facing the sector, particularly with regard to training and professional development for practitioners, and the provision of appropriate materials in less widely used languages. Given the documented benefit of high quality immersion pre-schooling, this book fulfils an urgent need to increase the recognition of the sector. This book was published as a special issue of _International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. _. (shrink)
This essay focuses on the cognitive tension between science and religion, in particular on the contradictions between some of the claims of current science and some of the claims in religious texts. My aim is to suggest how some work in the philosophy of science may help to manage this tension. Thus I will attempt to apply some work in the philosophy of science to the philosophy of religion, following the traditional gambit of trying to stretch the little one does (...) understand to cover what one does not understand. My own views on science and religion are hardly views from nowhere. My scientific perspective is that of a hopeful realist. Scientific realism is the view that science, though fallible through and through, is in the truth business, attempting to find out about a world independent of ourselves, and it is the view that business is, on the whole, going pretty well. My religious perspective is that of a progressive Jew. The problem I am worrying in this essay is my own problem. I take my other philosophical problems seriously too, but for the me the question of the relationship between science and religion has a personal edge I do not feel in my other philosophical obsessions with the likes of the problems of induction or the content of ceteris paribus laws. My reply to a charge of self-indulgence would be that my cognitive predicament is, I believe, widely shared. (shrink)
What can it mean to criticize when you are inside the work itself? In a immersive electronic or digital environment critic is not distanced on a platform based on firm principles. Yet criticism self-awareness and commentary remain possible. This essay examines various techniques for dealing with immersive environments critically.
La télévision est un fantasme. Au sens étymologique du mot phantasma : une apparition, une vision, une image, un ectoplasme, un fantôme. Par la magie des ondes et des flux électriques, des choses et des gens (qui ne sont vraiment ni des choses ni des gens) apparaissent chez moi, dans mon espace privé. Lars von Trier, Thom Yorke, Cate Blanchett, le Président, Daniel Cohn-Bendit viennent dans mon salon pour discuter de leur dernier film, de leur prochain album, de leur carrière, (...) ou de l'avenir du pays. Chez moi, sans que j'aie besoin ni de me déplacer, ni de faire la queue, ni d'acheter un billet. Dorénavant, ils viennent même à l'heure qui me convient (et sans publicité). Et bientôt, ils pourront se promener avec moi, à la campagne, dans la rue, dans le métro. La télévision est un énorme fantasme, multiforme et en voie d'ubiquité. (shrink)
I ask whether figure-ground structure can be realized in touch, and, if so, how. Drawing on the taxonomy of touch sketched in Katz's 1925 The World of Touch, I argue that the form of touch that is relevant to such consideration is a species of immersed touch. I consider whether we can feel the space we are immersed in and, more specifically, the empty space against which the surfaces of objects, as I shall urge, “stand out.” Harnessing M. G. F. (...) Martin's account of bodily awareness and touch, I defend a positive thesis, pace Graham Nerlich on whose The Shape of Space I otherwise rely, both to defend the supposition that empty space can in principle be felt and to argue that touching empty space is not a mere species of absence perception. Along the way, I defuse a causal worry that might be thought to arise in the case of touching empty space. (shrink)
Schemas contribute to adaptation, filtering novelty though knowledge-expectancy structures, the residue of past contingencies and their consequences. Adaptation requires a balance between flexible, dynamic context-sensitivity and the cognitive efficiency that schemas afford in promoting persistent goal pursuit despite distraction. Affects can form and disrupt schemas. Transient affective experiences systematically alter selectivity of attentiveness to the directly experienced present environment, the internal environment, and to the stored experiences of memory. Enduring personal stylistic predispositions, like implicit motives and affective schemas, influence how (...) experience is perceived, responded to, and integrated; they shape memory and influence present experiential patterns, individually and intersubjectively. Such systematic influences are potential sources of error in the study of memory if not mapped; so far, individual personality differences have just been a source of complication in the literature on emotion-congruent perception and memory. I synthesize what findings there are about how personality differences, emotions, and affects contribute to the structuring and integration of perceptions and memories both directly and by way of hot, affectively-anchored schemas. Case studies from experimental and personality psychology highlight a conception of personality and affective experience relevant to memory research and cognitive science. (shrink)
Over the course of the twentieth century, hydraulic engineering has come to rely primarily on the use of computational models. Disco and van den Ende hint towards the reasons for widespread adoption of computational models by pointing out that such models fulfill a crucial role as management tools in Dutch water management, and meet a more general desire to quantify water-related phenomena. The successful application of computational models implies blackboxing : “[w]hen a machine runs efficiently … one need focus only (...) on its inputs and outputs and not on its internal complexity. Thus, paradoxically, the more science and technology succeed, the more opaque and obscure they become”.. (shrink)
Second-person neuroscience offers a framework for the study of social emotions, such as embarrassment and pride. However, we propose that an enduring mental representation of oneself in relation to others without a continuous direct social interaction is possible. We call this state and will explain its impact on the neuroscience of social emotions.
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)