Elisabeth Lloyd is an American philosopher of science whose work is centered in the field of philosophy of biology. The material in this archive documents her work in philosophy of biology. The materials extend over the whole of her career and include manuscript materials, working notes on articles and books in progress, professional correspondence, teaching materials, documents relating to work with professional organizations, talks given to professional audiences, as well as annotated books, manuscripts and preprints. Elisabeth Lloyd's publications (...) include both books and professional articles. (shrink)
Desde o ano de 1643, Descartes (1596-1650) e a princesa Elizabeth (1618-1680) já trocavam cartas a respeito da geometria, da metafísica e até da física cartesiana. Todavia, no ano de 1645, por conta de um grave estado melancólico da princesa, houve uma intensa correspondência entre ambos. À princípio, o debate se mantinha em torno das condições especificas da princesa. O tema central girava em torno de questões fisiológicas e morais (ou psicofisiológicas). À medida, porém, em que a troca de correspondência (...) se intensificava, o debate ia tornando-se cada vez mais teórico, passando pela discussão da Vida Beata, de Sêneca, até forçar Descartes a apresentar os primeiros esboços de sua própria concepção moral. Dessa troca de correspondência, escolhemos duas cartas de setembro de 1645: uma do filósofo a Elizabeth (carta CDIII) e outra da princesa a Descartes carta (CDVI). (shrink)
Elisabeth was the first of Descartes' interlocutors to press concerns about mind-body union and interaction, and the only one to receive a detailed reply, unsatisfactory though she found it. Descartes took her tentative proposal `to concede matter and extension to the soul' for a confused version of his own view: `that is nothing but to conceive it united to the body. Contemporary commentators take Elisabeth for a materialist or at least a critic of dualism. I read her instead (...) as a dualist of a different variety from Descartes: a forerunner of twenty-first century naturalistic dualism which calls for empirical investigation of the psychological and its posits to be taken just as seriously as physics and its posits. -/- I argue that Elisabeth, a keen scholar of mechanistic physics, objected not to substance dualism per se but to the residual Scholasticism of Descartes' account of mind-body causality and his dogmatism about principal attributes. She queried Descartes' categorisation of the `action' of thought as mind's principal attribute, and his identification of it with the merely negative property of immateriality, holding instead that further philosophical and empirical investigation into the nature of the mind is necessary. I problematise the materialist interpretation of Elisabeth with reference to later letters where she dismissed the materialist Objections of Hobbes and Gassendi and continued to urge further clarifications to Cartesian dualism. I explore Elisabeth's contrasting of statements of mechanistic physics with statements about thought, and her call for further investigation into the properties of the mind, and argue they mark her out as a forerunner of contemporary naturalistic dualism which proposes substance dualism as a best interpretation of recent psychology and of the difference in logical form between current physics and current psychology. (shrink)
Elisabeth Porter's guide to the development of feminist thought on ethics & moral agency surveys feminist debates on the nature of feminist ethics, intimate relationships, professional ethics, politics, sexual politics, abortion and reproductive choices.
Ten years ago, one of us proposed a dynamic hierarchical model of intentions that brought together philosophical work on intentions and empirical work on motor representations and motor control (Pacherie, 2008). The model distinguished among Distal intentions, Proximal intentions, and Motor intentions operating at different levels of action control (hence the name DPM model). This model specified the representational and functional profiles of each type of intention, as well their local and global dynamics, and the ways in which they interact. (...) A core insight of the model was that action control is the result of integrated, coordinated activity across these levels of intention. Since the proposal of the model, empirical and theoretical works in philosophy and cognitive science have emerged that would seem to support and expand on this central insight. In particular, an updated understanding of the nature of sensorimotor processing and motor representations, as well as of how the different levels of intention and control interface and interact, allows for the further specification and precisification of the original DPM model. (shrink)
O estudo das Cartas de Descartes a Elisabeth ocupou a literatura, ao passo que a fortuna da contribuição de Elisabeth foi soterrada pela historiografia. Essa negligência intelectual merece registro, visto que as cartas de Elisabeth foram descobertas no Século XIX e publicadas pela primeira vez em 1876 (Ebbersmeyer 2020, p. 4). O fato de que Elisabeth tenha sido ignorada pela historiografia explicita a precariedade a que o viés pode condenar uma narrativa, e torna o estudo sobre (...)Elisabeth da Bohemia difícil. Como se sabe, de 1876 para cá a história do racionalismo moderno levou muito a sério as Respostas de Descartes a Elisabeth, sobretudo quando foram estudados os problemas da interação entre mente e corpo, da união substancial e as concepções de movimento. Assim, uma relevante literatura resultou do estudo de respostas a questões ignoradas. -/- Somente a partir da década de noventa do Século XX, historiadoras da filosofia começaram a levar a sério que Descartes não estava em um solilóquio diante de Elisabeth. Em um período de intensa troca epistolar, no qual as cartas veicularam larga medida a nova filosofia (tanto do racionalismo como do empirismo), não era comum, estranhamente, a mudança de posições. Este não foi o caso do impacto que as questões de Elisabeth causaram em Descartes e, por isso, a literatura sobre as Respostas de Descartes à filósofa configura um caso paradigmático do viés misógino que contaminou a história da filosofia, desafiando a sua seriedade e rigor. Isto ficará demonstrado a seguir. (shrink)
Most of us create and use a panoply of non-sentential representations throughout our ordinary lives: we regularly use maps to navigate, charts to keep track of complex patterns of data, and diagrams to visualize logical and causal relations among states of affairs. But philosophers typically pay little attention to such representations, focusing almost exclusively on language instead. In particular, when theorizing about the mind, many philosophers assume that there is a very tight mapping between language and thought. Some analyze utterances (...) as the outer vocalizations of inner thoughts (e.g. Grice 1957, Devitt 2005), while others treat thought as a form of inner speech (e.g. Sellars 1956/1997, Carruthers 2002). But even philosophers who take no stand on the relative priority of language and thought still tend to individuate mental states in terms of the sentences we use to ascribe them. Indeed, Dummett (1993) claims that it is constitutive of analytic philosophy that it approaches the mind by way of language. In many ways, this linguistic model is salutary. Our thoughts are often intimately intertwined with their linguistic expression, and public language does provide a comparatively tractable proxy for, and a window into, the messier realm of thought. However, an exclusive focus on thought as it is expressed in language threatens to leave other sorts of thought unexplained, or even to blind us to their possibility. In particular, many cognitive ethologists and psychologists find it useful to talk about humans, chimpanzees, birds, rats, and even bees as employing cognitive maps. We need to make sense of this way of talking about minds as well as more familiar sentential descriptions. In what follows, I investigate the theoretical and practical possibility of non-sentential thought. Ultimately, I am most interested in the contours of distinctively human thought: what forms does human thought take, and how do those different forms interact? How does human thought compare with that of other animals? In this essay, however, I focus on a narrower and more basic theoretical question: could thought occur in maps? Many philosophers are convinced that in some important sense, thought per se must be language-like.. (shrink)
I take up three puzzles about our emotional and evaluative responses to fiction. First, how can we even have emotional responses to characters and events that we know not to exist, if emotions are as intimately connected to belief and action as they seem to be? One solution to this puzzle claims that we merely imagine having such emotional responses. But this raises the puzzle of why we would ever refuse to follow an author’s instructions to imagine such responses, since (...) we happily imagine many other implausible things. A natural response to this second puzzle is that our responses to fiction are real, and so can’t just be conjured up in response to an author’s demands. However, this simple response is inadequate, because we often respond differently to people and events in fiction than we would if we encountered them in real life. Solving these three puzzles in a consistent way requires the notion of a “perspective” on a fictional world. I sketch an account of this intuitive but frustratingly amorphous notion: perspectives are tools for organizing our thinking, which can in turn alter our emotional and evaluative responses. Cultivating a perspective can be illuminating, entertaining, or corrupting — or all three at once. (shrink)
Traditional theories of sarcasm treat it as a case of a speaker's meaning the opposite of what she says. Recently, 'expressivists' have argued that sarcasm is not a type of speaker meaning at all, but merely the expression of a dissociative attitude toward an evoked thought or perspective. I argue that we should analyze sarcasm in terms of meaning inversion, as the traditional theory does; but that we need to construe 'meaning' more broadly, to include illocutionary force and evaluative attitudes (...) as well as propositional content. I distinguish four subclasses of sarcasm, individuated in terms of the target of inversion. Three of these classes raise serious challenges for a standard implicature analysis. (shrink)
O que esta resenha busca é a apresentação e análise do artigo Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia as a Cartesian – publicado como o décimo sétimo capítulo do livro The Oxford Handbook of Descartes and Cartesianism –, da comentadora Lisa Shapiro, também tradutora das correspondências entre Descartes e Elisabeth para a língua inglesa e grande pesquisadora do tema.
On a familiar and prima facie plausible view of metaphor, speakers who speak metaphorically say one thing in order to mean another. A variety of theorists have recently challenged this view; they offer criteria for distinguishing what is said from what is merely meant, and argue that these support classifying metaphor within 'what is said'. I consider four such criteria, and argue that when properly understood, they support the traditional classification instead. I conclude by sketching how we might extract a (...) workable notion of 'what is said' from ordinary intuitions about saying. (shrink)
Does thought precede language, or the other way around? How does having a language affect our thoughts? Who has a language, and who can think? These questions have traditionally been addressed by philosophers, especially by rationalists concerned to identify the essential difference between humans and other animals. More recently, theorists in cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and developmental psychology have been asking these questions in more empirically grounded ways. At its best, this confluence of philosophy and science promises to blend the (...) respective strengths of each discipline, bringing abstract theory to bear on reality in a principled and focused way. At its worst, it risks degenerating into a war of words, with each side employing key expressions in its own idiosyncratic way – or worse, contaminating empirical research with a priori dogmas inherited from outmoded philosophical worldviews. In Baboon Metaphysics (2007), Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth offer an analysis of baboon cognition that promises to exemplify the very best interaction of philosophical theory and empirical research. They argue that baboons have a language of thought: a language-like representational medium, which supports the sophisticated cognitive abilities required to negotiate their complex social environment. This claim is intended to be surprising in its own right, and also to shed light on the evolution of spoken language. Because our own ancestors likely lived in a similarly complex social environment, Cheney and Seyfarth propose that the earliest humans also developed language first as a cognitive medium, and that spoken language evolved as a means to express those thoughts. There are two potential difficulties here. First, ‘Language of Thought’ (LOT) is a term of art, with much associated theoretical baggage and often comparatively little careful exposition. Thus, evaluating the claim requires getting clearer about just what LOT implies in this context.. (shrink)
In _Short-Term Psychodynamic Therapy with Children in Crisis, _Elisabeth Cleve presents the therapeutic stories of four children who have experienced trauma or are displaying dramatic clinical symptoms such as low self-esteem and anxiety. Exploring the situation between the individual child and the therapist, the therapeutic space and their experiences, each chapter follows the sessions and the progress made, concluding with a follow-up after the end of therapy. Cleve explores each case as it progresses, emphasising the inner strength of the children (...) and including the interactions between the therapist and the children’s parents. The focus of the psychotherapeutic encounter is in each case to help the child face the trauma, mourn what had been suffered and then move on in life with renewed strength. The final chapters explore the ethics of sharing case material and present Cleve’s reflections on working with traumatised children, and the book also includes forewords by Lars H. Gustafsson, paediatrician and associate professor of social medicine, and Björn Salomonsson, child psychoanalyst and researcher at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. This warm and readable work will be insightful reading for child psychologists and psychotherapists and other clinicians working with children who have experienced trauma. It will also be of interest to readers wishing to learn more about the processes of psychotherapy with children. (shrink)
I argue that we can reconcile two seemingly incompatible traditions for thinking about concepts. On the one hand, many cognitive scientists assume that the systematic redeployment of representational abilities suffices for having concepts. On the other hand, a long philosophical tradition maintains that language is necessary for genuinely conceptual thought. I argue that on a theoretically useful and empirically plausible concept of 'concept', it is necessary and sufficient for conceptual thought that a thinker be able to entertain many of the (...) potential thoughts produced by recombining her representational abilities apart from a direct confrontation with the states of affairs being represented. Such representational abilities support a cognitive engagement with the world that is flexible, abstract, and active. (shrink)
Metaphors are powerful communicative tools because they produce ”framing effects’. These effects are especially palpable when the metaphor is an insult that denigrates the hearer or someone he cares about. In such cases, just comprehending the metaphor produces a kind of ”complicity’ that cannot easily be undone by denying the speaker’s claim. Several theorists have taken this to show that metaphors are engaged in a different line of work from ordinary communication. Against this, I argue that metaphorical insults are rhetorically (...) powerful because they combine perspectives, presupposition, and pragmatics in the service of speech acts with assertoric force. (shrink)
Recently, philosophers have discovered that they have a lot to learn from, or at least to ponder about, fiction. Many metaphysicians are attracted to fiction as a model for our talk about purported objects and properties, such as numbers, morality, and possible worlds, without embracing a robust Platonist ontology. In addition, a growing group of philosophers of mind are interested in the implications of our engagement with fiction for our understanding of the mind and emotions: If I don’t believe that (...) Anna Karenina exists, can I really pity her, or hope or desire that she extricate herself from her tragic situation? And why is there no “morality fiction,” analogous to science fiction? I suspect that philosophers have been especially comfortable thinking about fiction because it seems, at least prima facie, to employ the imagination in a way that conforms to a standard model of the mind. Specifically, contemporary philosophers tend to think of imagination as a form of mental pretense. Mental pretense can take two main forms: a cognitive attitude of supposing a set of propositions to be true (make-believe) or else an experiential state of imaging a scenario as if it were before one (imaging). Much of our pretense intertwines the cognitive and experiential modalities, of course. But both share a crucial common feature: all of one’s imaginative effort is invested in pretending that certain contents obtain. In this sense, we can understand imagination as the “offline” simulation of actual beliefs and perceptions (and perhaps other attitudes as well), where we analyze these in the normal way, as states individuated by their attitude and representational content. While I share the burgeoning interest in fiction, I want to suggest that we also have a lot to learn from poetry, and in particular from poetic metaphor. I will argue.. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to highlight an aspect of Elisabeth’s intellectual life that has received little scholarly attention so far, namely Elisabeth’s involvement with the sciences of her day. Firstly, this paper provides a survey of Elisabeth’s interest in and engagement with various scientific disciplines, such as mathematics, medicine, natural philosophy, and microscopy, drawing on her letter exchange with Descartes and several other intellectuals as well as additional documents, such as dedications of scientific works to (...)Elisabeth. Secondly, this paper investigates Elisabeth’s involvement with one particular scientific discipline, namely astronomy. Analyzing Elisabeth’s letter exchange with Andreas Colvius and Constantijn Huygens and additional letters and testimonies, I show that Elisabeth played an active part in at least three current debates in astronomy, namely concerning the discoveries of the satellites of Jupiter, the emerging maps of the moon, and the invention of the new telescopes. Based on the evidence provided in this paper, it is argued that Elisabeth’s intellectual biography should be broadened. It is not sufficient to perceive her only as a critic of Descartes’ philosophy, as this characterization does not accommodate her scientific commitments, but rather as a multitalented intellectual. (shrink)
Philosophers have traditionally inclined toward one of two opposite extremes when it comes to metaphor. On the one hand, partisans of metaphor have tended to believe that metaphors do something different in kind from literal utterances; it is a ‘heresy’, they think, either to deny that what metaphors do is genuinely cognitive, or to assume that it can be translated into literal terms. On the other hand, analytic philosophers have typically denied just this: they tend to assume that if metaphors (...) express any genuine content at all, then that content can in principle be paraphrased into literal terms. They often conclude on this basis that metaphor is theoretically dispensable, and so that it poses no special challenges and affords no distinctive insights for the philosophy of language and mind. (shrink)
True,Kant takes the conclusions of his ethical work for granted in his political theorizing; he treats corollaries of the categorical imperative as conclusive principles of political right.However,in his political theory his concern is not simply to lay ...
Social contract thought has always contained multiple and mutually conflicting lines of argument; the minimalist contractarianism so influential today represents the weaker of two main constellations of claims. I make the case for a Kantian contract theory that emphasizes the bedrock principle of consent of the governed instead of the mere heuristic device of the exit from the state of nature. Such a shift in emphasis resolves two classic difficulties: tradi- tional contract theory’s ahistorical presumption of a pre-political settlement, and (...) its impossibly high demands on citizens seeking to practice self-rule. Kant’s solutions to these problems of property rights and citizenship are found in his political works, rather than the ethical works through which Kant’s political theory is usually interpreted. (shrink)
We should not admit categorial restrictions on the significance of syntactically well formed strings. Syntactically well formed but semantically absurd strings, such as ‘Life’s but a walking shadow’ and ‘Caesar is a prime number’, can express thoughts; and competent thinkers both are able to grasp these and ought to be able to. Gareth Evans’ generality constraint, though Evans himself restricted it, should be viewed as a fully general constraint on concept possession and propositional thought. For (a) even well formed but (...) semantically cross-categorial strings often do possess substantive inferential roles; (b) hearers exploit these inferential roles in interpreting such strings metaphorically; (c) there is no good reason to deny truth-conditions to strings with inferential roles. (shrink)
This paper argues for a ‘contextualist’ approach to teaching antisemitism in philosophy class. The traditional ‘systematic’ approach emphasizes recognizing and dismantling antisemitic aspects in canonical philosophical texts. The introduced contextualist approach broadens the perspective, treating philosophy as a continuous debate embedded in cultural realities. It focuses on historical controversies rather than isolated arguments, includes the voice and the perspectives of the oppressed, and so has the potential to broaden traditional philosophical canons. In the second half of the paper, we provide (...) a case study of the contextualist approach, applying it to the ‘Berlin antisemitism controversy’ of 1879/80. We argue that the contextualist approach is particularly valuable when dealing with antisemitism as it teaches students to analyze arguments within the socio-political landscape and to identify antisemitic elements. The students thereby acquire the skills to discern antisemitic argumentation in other contexts as well. We suggest that this approach could be used to teach other debates in the history of philosophy, especially those tackling race, sex, and gender issues. (shrink)
Princess Elisabeth and Anne Conway were contemporaries whose lives present many striking parallels. From their early interest in Descartes’ philosophy to their encounter with Van Helmont and the Quakers in their maturity, both were brought into contact with the same sets of ideas and forms of spirituality at similar points in their lives. Despite their common interest in philosophy, and their many mutual acquaintances, it is difficult to ascertain what either knew about the other, and whether either knew anything (...) about the other’s philosophy. This paper reviews the evidence for connections between them and their knowledge of one another. After outlining the parallels in their personal circumstances and the sources for their knowledge of each other, I discuss key intermediaries: Henry More, the Hartlib Circle, Francis Mercury van Helmont and the Quaker leaders Robert Barclay and George Keith. Although they were certainly aware of one another, the answer to the question of whether there was any philosophical inter-change between them remains especially elusive. (shrink)
This chapter aims at investigating the phenomenology of joint action and at gaining a better understanding of (1) how the sense of agency one experiences when engaged in a joint action differs from the sense of agency one has for individual actions and (2) how the sense of agency one experiences when engaged in a joint action differs according to the type of joint action and to the role one plays in it.
Abstract If tacit ethical ideals shape policy and practice, even when practitioners are not fully aware of underlying philosophical assumptions, then philosophical frameworks that support diagnostic, evaluative, and adaptive capacity in the sphere of action are critical to sustainability. Thompson’s agrarian-influenced sustainability framework substantially advances beyond the prevailing triple bottom line approach, as experimental evaluation of biofuels sustainability illustrates. By suggesting that governance of complex social-natural systems lies at the core of contemporary sustainability challenges, Thompson illuminates the critical importance of (...) social capacity for deliberation and choice—a powerful and somewhat unexpected theme requiring more development by philosophers and practitioners alike going forward. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-26 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9338-y Authors Elisabeth Graffy, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Madison Wisconsin, 101 Observatory Hill Office Bldg, 1225 Observatory Dr, Madison, WI 53706, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
In this paper, I shall offer a sketch of a dynamic theory of intentions. I shall argue that several categories or forms of intentions should be distinguished based on their different (and complementary) functional roles and on the different contents or types of contents they involve. I shall further argue that an adequate account of the distinctive nature of actions and of their various grades of intentionality depends on a large part on a proper understanding of the dynamic transitions among (...) these different forms of intentions. I also hope to show that one further benefit of this approach is to open the way for a more perspicuous account of the phenomenology of action and of the role of conscious thought in the production of action. (shrink)
Since the 1970s, historical sociology in the United States has been constituted by a configuration of substantive questions, a theoretical vocabulary anchored in concepts of economic interest and rationalization, and a methodological commitment to comparison. More recently, this configuration has been destabilized along each dimension: the increasing autonomy of comparative-historical methods from specific historical puzzles, the shift from the analysis of covariation to theories of historical process, and new substantive questions through which new kinds of arguments have been elaborated. Although (...) the dominant responses have centered on methodological elaboration and epistemological debate, greater attention to historical process also informs new strategies for defining cases and framing puzzles, thereby highlighting different categories of empirical questions: social caging, group formation, and multiple orders. The most striking shift is from the imagery of systems-and-crises, which highlighted revolution and state-building, to multidimensional understandings of emergence and destabilization. (shrink)
In _Ugly Freedoms_ Elisabeth R. Anker reckons with the complex legacy of freedom offered by liberal American democracy, outlining how the emphasis of individual liberty has always been entangled with white supremacy, settler colonialism, climate destruction, economic exploitation, and patriarchy. These “ugly freedoms” legitimate the right to exploit and subjugate others. At the same time, Anker locates an unexpected second type of ugly freedom in practices and situations often dismissed as demeaning, offensive, gross, and ineffectual but that provide sources (...) of emancipatory potential. She analyzes both types of ugly freedom at work in a number of texts and locations, from political theory, art, and film to food, toxic dumps, and multispecies interactions. Whether examining how Kara Walker’s sugar sculpture _A Subtlety, Or the Marvelous Sugar Baby_ reveals the importance of sugar plantations to liberal thought or how the impoverished neighborhoods in _The Wire_ blunt neoliberalism’s violence, Anker shifts our perspective of freedom by contesting its idealized expressions and expanding the visions for what freedom can look like, who can exercise it, and how to build a world free from domination. (shrink)