Restrictivists hold that visual experience only represents low-level properties such as shape, spatial location, motion, color, etc. Expansionists contend that visual experience also represents high-level properties such as being a pine tree. I outline a new approach to support expansionism called the conflict cross-modal argument. What I call the conflict cross-modal effects occur when at least two perceptual systems disagree about some property belonging to a common stimulus, and this disagreement causes a change in the representational and phenomenal content of (...) the perceptual experience associated with one, or both, modalities. The conflict cross-modal argument works by accepting that if a property figures in a conflict cross-modal effect, then prima facie that property is a strong common sensible between the two modalities, and vision and another modality disagree about a property that is high-level for vision. After outlining this argument, and showing how it overcomes two obstacles that face traditional methods employed to defend expansionism, I turn to the well known Mcgurk effect as a case where vision and audition disagree about phoneme properties in order to employ my argument for the conclusion that phoneme properties are represented in visual experience. The upshot is that since phoneme properties are high-level for vision, we have an argument supporting expansionism. (shrink)
Mid-twentieth century American intellectual history is in the midst of a boom; a younger generation of historians, now half a century distant from the era, and less inclined than their immediate forerunners to be committed to a vision of the 1960s as a critical turning point in modern culture, is reshaping what has been an underdeveloped field. Recent studies of thinkers such as C. Wright Mills, Ayn Rand, Lionel Trilling, and Whitaker Chambers, and subjects such as postcapitalist social thought and (...) pollsters in mass society, to name a few, have regenerated interest in an arena that had once been dominated by studies of the New York Intellectuals and Richard Pells's useful summaries and evaluations of prominent intellectuals of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. The newer intellectual history of this period appears to be premised on several ideas: that the so-called “liberal consensus” of the era was an ideological product of liberalism itself, rather than an adequate description of the contours of thought; that thinking in terms of clear and sharp distinctions between right and left doesn't help us understand the ways in which ideas, sensibilities, and intellectual commitments were configured at mid-century; that there is a great deal more continuity in social, political, and cultural thought than an image of the 1960s as cultural watershed would allow; and that the mid-century decades are, in the most profound sense, the first years of our own time, with all the characteristic epistemic, moral, and critical problems that have characterized thought and culture in the world in which contemporary Americans live. What the Progressive Era was for mid-century historians and intellectuals such as Richard Hofstadter and Henry May, the mid-century, and particularly the early Cold War era of the late 1940s and 1950s, is, for the historian of today, the root of the destabilizing conundrums of modernity, particularly the puzzle of the role of critical intellect in a mass-mediated environment of socialized knowledge, feeling, and being. (shrink)
This exceptional anthology immerses students in such powerful ideas that they will find themselves not just reading about, but actually participating in, the kind of philosophical thinking that can change the way they look at their lives and the world around them. Now in a new edition, The Experience of Philosophy features eighty-five readings that challenge students' thinking about God, freedom, reality, nothingness, death, and their own identities. Provocative and accessible, these selections have been carefully chosen for their ability to (...) draw students out of an ordinary frame of reference into exciting new territory. Although the editors include many classic sources from philosophers such as Plato, Descartes, Locke, and Kant, the emphasis is on contemporary writings. Articles by Derek Parfit, Bertrand Russell, and others help students see philosophy's links to literature, the natural sciences, and the physical and social sciences. The sixth edition features twelve new essays--by Augustine, Alvin Plantinga and Daniel Kolak, Georges Rey, Fred Dretske, David Reisman, Paul Teller, Clea F. Rees, Padmasiri de Silva, Daniel Kolak, Karl Marx, Anand Chandavarkar, and Vincent Hendricks--as well as more text boxes offering excerpts from other relevant works. The Experience of Philosophy, Sixth Edition, integrates helpful pedagogical aids including section introductions, a brief introduction to each selection, biographical information on each author, and questions before and after each reading to reinforce main ideas and promote thinking. Further readings after each selection direct students to additional material on related issues. Ideal for introductory philosophy courses, The Experience of Philosophy, Sixth Edition, encourages students to "do" philosophy, rather than just read about its history. (shrink)
Many libertarians believe that self-ownership is a separate matter from ownership of extra-personal property. “No-proviso” libertarians hold that property ownership should be free of any “fair share” constraints, on the grounds that the inability of the very poor to control property leaves their self-ownership intact. By contrast, left-libertarians hold that while no one need compensate others for owning himself, still property owners must compensate others for owning extra-personal property. What would a “self” have to be for these claims to be (...) true? I argue that both of these camps must conceive of the boundaries of the self as including one's body but no part of the extra-personal world. However, other libertarians draw those boundaries differently, so that self-ownership cannot be separated from the right to control extra-personal property after all. In that case, property ownership must be subject to a fair share constraint, but that constraint does not require appropriators to pay compensation. This view, which I call “right libertarianism,” differs importantly from the other types primarily in its conception of the self, which I argue is independently more plausible. (shrink)
In this interview, Cornelius Castoriadis explains and develops many of the central themes in his later writings on politics and social criticism. In particular, he poignantly articulates his critique of contemporary pseudo-democracy, while advocating a form of democracy founded on collective education and self-government. He also explores how the “insignificance” in the current political arena relates to insignificance in other areas, such as the arts and philosophy, to form the core feature of our Zeitgeist. Finally, he seeks to break through (...) the ideological fog of liberalism and privatization in order to voice a radical appeal for an autonomous, self-limiting society. (shrink)
Distinguished contributors take up eminent scholar Daniel R. Schwarz’s reading of modern fiction and poetry as mediating between human desire and human action. The essayists follow Schwarz’s advice, “always the text, always historicize,” thus making this book relevant to current debates about the relationships between literature, ethics, aesthetics, and historical contexts.
The first half of the paper consists of a philosophical reflection upon a historical exchange. I discuss Buber’s famous letter, and another letter by J. L. Magnes, to Mahatma Gandhi, both challenging the universality of the principle of ahiṃsā. I also touch on Buber’s interest and acquaintance with Indian philosophy, as an instance of dialogue de-facto across cultures. Gandhi never answered these letters, but his grandson and philosopher extraordinaire Ramchandra Gandhi ›answers‹ Buber, not on the letter but about the ideal (...) of dialogue at large, and the interconnection of dialogue and ahiṃsā. The second half of the paper focuses on the work of Daya Krishna, another ›philosopher of dialogue.‹ from within Daya Krishna’s vast philosophical corpus, I underscore one of his last projects, in which he sketches the outlines of what he refers to as »knowledge without certainty,« contrary to common and traditional ways of perceiving the concept of knowledge. I argue that the pramāṇa, means and measure of knowledge, in the intriguing case of »knowledge without certainty,« depicted by Daya Krishna as open-ended, dynamic, constantly evolving, is inevitably dialogue, and I aim to disclose the meaning and salience of dialogue in Daya Krishna’s oeuvre. However, not just the content, but also the form, or the ›how,‹ matters in my paper. I use different materials across genres and disciplines to rethink, in dialogue with Buber and Daya Krishna, the possibilities and impossibilities of dialogue. These ›materials‹ include Milan Kundera and Richard Rorty, Krishna and Arjuna, Vrinda Dalmiya who works with the notion of care as bridging between epistemology and ethics, Wes Anderson on seeing through the eyes of the other, and Ben Okri on hospitality in the realm of ideas. As author of the present paper I am moderating an imagined a multi-vocal dialogue between these ›participants‹ on dialogue as concept, as craft and especially, as a great necessity in the world in which we live. (shrink)
The psychological condition of happiness is normally considered a paradigm subjective good, and is closely associated with subjectivist accounts of well-being. This article argues that the value of happiness is best accounted for by a non-subjectivist approach to welfare: a eudaimonistic account that grounds well-being in the fulfillment of our natures, specifically in self-fulfillment. And self-fulfillment consists partly in authentic happiness. A major reason for this is that happiness, conceived in terms of emotional state, bears a special relationship to the (...) self. These arguments also point to a more sentimentalist approach to well-being than one finds in most contemporary accounts, particularly among Aristotelian forms of eudaimonism. (shrink)
Questioning America's obsession with open-ended medical progress that neglects other necessities of health and life, the author examines the relation between proper medical goals and reasonable health care.
In ordinary circumstances, human actions have a myriad of unintended and often unforeseen consequences for the lives of other people. Problems of pollution are serious examples, but spillovers and side effects are the rule, not the exception. Who knows what consequences this essay may have? This essay is concerned with the problems of justice created by spillovers. After characterizing such spillovers more precisely and relating the concept to the economist's notion of an externality, I shall then consider the moral conclusions (...) concerning spillovers that issue from a natural rights perspective and from the perspective of welfare economics supplemented with theories of distributive justice. I shall argue that these perspectives go badly awry in taking spillovers to be the exception rather than the rule in human interactions. I. Externalities Economists have discussed spillovers under the heading of “externalities.” To say this is not very helpful, since there is so much disagreement concerning both the definition and significance of externalities. (shrink)
Most theisms and atheisms share an assumption about what divine action would look like; if God is real and acts in the world, then God acts through intervention, invading the mechanistic world as an alien agent. Whitehead's Religious Thought takes dead aim at this contention, arguing that such conceptions of divine intervention emerge from and reinforce a problematic dualism that permeates western theological discourse. Throughout his text Daniel A. Dombrowski links dualistic conceptions of human experience with metaphysical dualism, but (...) also argues that materialistic or mechanistic conceptions of the universe all presume the same basic constituents: machines and ghosts. Materialism rids the world of ghosts and... (shrink)
There’s a certain pleasure in fantasizing about possessing knowledge, especially possessing secret knowledge to which outsiders don’t have access. Such fantasies are typically a source of innocent entertainment. However, under the right conditions, fantasies of knowledge can become epistemically dangerous, because they can generate illusions of genuine knowledge. I argue that this phenomenon helps to explain why some people join and eventually adopt the beliefs of epistemic communities who endorse seemingly bizarre, outlandish claims, such as extreme cults and online conspiracy (...) theory groups. It can be difficult to grasp how members of such groups come to believe the theories they endorse. I argue that one route to such beliefs is via deep absorption in fantasies of knowledge, which can lead entire groups to become collectively detached from reality. (shrink)