I consider how we might begin to redress a cognitive model for thought experimental and other imagery-based scientific reasoning from an embodied cognition viewpoint. The paper gravitates on clarifying tour issues: (i) the danger of understanding the genuine novelty of thought-experimental reasoning and other imagery-based reasoning as a product of ‘quasi-perceiving’ new phenomenology with the ‘mind’s eye’ (as asserted by quasi-pictorialist theories of imagery); (ii) the erroneous choice of units of analysis that assume equivalence of external reports of visual imagery (...) with those internal structures that govern imagery-based reasoning, which are, as I will argue, largely linked to motor processes; (iii) the establishment of thought experimentation as imagery-based reasoning by providing evidence for the psychological necessity of imagistic simulation in thought experiments; (iv) a cognitive model for how learning via thought experimentation and other imagery-based reasoning takes place. The study was underpinned by constructivist assumptions. Case methodology was adopted, the case being a pair of final year A-level physics students. Data was collected through non-participant observation over two sessions of collaborative problem-solving. The tasks drew upon Newtonian mechanics. (shrink)
This issue of Mélusine pursues the research initiated in 1982 on the surrealist book, without giving the last word on such a complex subject. Demonstrating erudition worthy of La Revue d'histoire littéraire de la France, the contributors propose new ideas and points of view. By the sheer abundance of technical terms, the articles would have astonished the avant-garde poets and artists in question, who were so very fond of entertainment. Some contributors examine the illustrated book, the artist's book and the (...) book-object in general as surrealist publications, while others focus on a single book or even on the non-book imagined by André Breton.In her introduction, editor Andrea Oberhuber describes the evolution of .. (shrink)
El kitsch no es solo una categoría que ha definido una de las posibles gramáticas estéticas de la modernidad, sino también una dimensión antropológica que ha tenido diferentes configuraciones en el curso de los procesos históricos. El ensayo ofrece una mirada histórico-crítica sobre las transformaciones que condujeron desde el kitsch de principios del siglo XX hasta el neokitsch contemporáneo: desde la génesis del kitsch hasta su afirmación como una de las manifestaciones más tangibles de la cultura de masas. Integrándose con (...) la estética posmoderna, el kitsch se transforma en neokitsch, una estética que utiliza el kitsch como su propia sintaxis en el complejo escenario de la estética contemporánea. /// -/- Kitsch is not just a category that has defined one of the possible aesthetic grammars of modernity, but also an anthropological dimension that has had different configurations in the course of historical processes. The essay offers a historical-critical look at the transformations that led from the early twentieth century kitsch to the contemporary neokitsch: from the genesis of kitsch to its affirmation as one of the most tangible manifestations of mass culture. Integrating with postmodern aesthetics, kitsch turns into neokitsch, an aesthetic that deliberately uses kitsch as its own syntax in the complex scenario of contemporary aesthetics. (shrink)
The generality problem is commonly considered to be a critical difficulty for reliabilism. In this paper, we present a dynamical perspective on the problem in the spirit of naturalized epistemology. According to this outlook, it is worth investigating how token belief-forming processes instantiate specific types in the biological agent’s cognitive architecture and background experience, consisting in the process of attractor-guided neural activation. While our discussion of the generality problem assigns “scientific types” to token processes, it represents a unified account in (...) the sense that it incorporates contextual and common sense features emphasized by other authors. (shrink)
Innovations in technology and science form novel fields that, although beneficial, introduce new bio-ethical issues. In their short history, lasers have greatly influenced our everyday lives, especially in medicine. This paper focuses particularly on medical and para-medical laser ethics and their origins, and presents the complex relationships within laser ethics through a three-dimensional matrix model. The term ‘laser’ and the myth of the ‘magic light’ can be identified as landmarks for laser related ethical issues. These ethical issues are divided into (...) five major groups: media, marketing, and advertising; economic outcomes; user training; the user-patient/client relationship; and other issues. In addition, issues arising from two of the most common applications of lasers, laser eye surgery and laser tattoo removal, are discussed. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that the use of medical and para-medical lasers has so greatly influenced our lives that the scientific community must initiate an earnest discussion of medical laser ethics. (shrink)
:The microbiome is proving to be increasingly important for human brain functioning. A series of recent studies have shown that the microbiome influences the central nervous system in various ways, and consequently acts on the psychological well-being of the individual by mediating, among others, the reactions of stress and anxiety. From a specifically neuroethical point of view, according to some scholars, the particular composition of the microbiome—qua microbial community—can have consequences on the traditional idea of human individuality. Another neuroethical aspect (...) concerns the reception of this new knowledge in relation to clinical applications. In fact, attention to the balance of the microbiome—which includes eating behavior, the use of psychobiotics and, in the treatment of certain diseases, the use of fecal microbiota transplantation—may be limited or even prevented by a biased negative attitude. This attitude derives from a prejudice related to everything that has to do with the organic processing of food and, in general, with the human stomach and intestine: the latter have traditionally been regarded as low, dirty, contaminated and opposed to what belongs to the mind and the brain. This biased attitude can lead one to fail to adequately consider the new anthropological conceptions related to the microbiome, resulting in a state of health, both physical and psychological, inferior to what one might have by paying the right attention to the knowledge available today. Shifting from the ubiquitous high-low metaphor to an inside-outside metaphor can thus be a neuroethical strategy to achieve a new and unbiased reception of the discoveries related to the microbiome. (shrink)
In this provocative book, Nye argues that feminist attempts to spin coherent theories from the threads of the various philosophies of man fail as the patriarchal assumptions of each theory resist and undermine every effort. Nevertheless, she claims, although the threads cannot be woven into a coherent tapestry, as dedicated feminist Arachnes meticulously separate strand from strand, "the mechanisms of oppression are finally understood" and the patriarchal tapestries begin to unravel.
What are the metaphysical commitments which best 'make sense' of our scientific practice? In this book, Andreas Hüttemann provides a minimal metaphysics for scientific practice, i.e. a metaphysics that refrains from postulating any structure that is explanatorily irrelevant. Hüttemann closely analyses paradigmatic aspects of scientific practice, such as prediction, explanation and manipulation, to consider the questions whether and what metaphysical presuppositions best account for these practices. He looks at the role which scientific generalisation play in predicting, testing, and explaining the (...) behaviour of systems. He also develops a theory of causation in terms of quasi-inertial processes and interfering factors, and he proposes an account of reductive practices that makes minimal metaphysical assumptions. His book will be valuable for scholars and advanced students working in both philosophy of science and metaphysics. (shrink)
This book aims to lay bare the logical foundations of tractable reasoning. It draws on Marvin Minsky's seminal work on frames, which has been highly influential in computer science and, to a lesser extent, in cognitive science. Only very few people have explored ideas about frames in logic, which is why the investigation in this book breaks new ground. The apparent intractability of dynamic, inferential reasoning is an unsolved problem in both cognitive science and logic-oriented artificial intelligence. By means of (...) a logical investigation of frames and frame concepts, Andreas devises a novel logic of tractable reasoning, called frame logic. Moreover, he devises a novel belief revision scheme, which is tractable for frame logic. These tractability results shed new light on our logical and cognitive means to carry out dynamic, inferential reasoning. Modularity remains central for tractability, and so the author sets forth a logical variant of the massive modularity hypothesis in cognitive science. (shrink)
For addressing the problem of negotiating social orders in a way that protects one’s humanity, I have considered Deleuze and Guattari’s intriguing claim in Anti-Oedipus that “a schizophrenic out for a walk is a better model than a neurotic lying on the analyst’s couch‘. I outlined the associated principles of schizoid living developed in Anti-Oedipus via a critique that reverses the value of two Freudian concepts, namely, ”neurosis’ and ”psychosis’. I then cited some of the book’s eulogising ”praise poetry’, which (...) describes the ”schizo’ and connected it to a contemporaneous text, J.M. Coetzee’s Life and Times of Michael K, that addresses the same ethical problem of negotiating social orders. Through the activities and reflections of the novel’s protagonist, Michael K, who might be thought of as “a schizophrenic out for a walk‘, I showed that Coetzee explores various forms of resistance. He investigates the impotence of resistance as the active construction of an alternative story from the alienated position of the ”other’. I pointed out that this strategy fails because it remains within the neurotic desire to construct a coherent narrative. Similarly, I indicated that resistance fails as a gesture of pure refusal akin to schizophrenic antiproduction, because the neurotic response re-appropriates this extremity through self-serving gestures of externalisation. Finally, I pointed out how Coetzee alludes to a kind of resistance that might be called schizoid and that changes the rules of the game. In the novel, K experiments with the first and second options, but cannot make life possible, either as a servant to a social order, on his own terms, or on the absolute outside. Echoing the question posed by Deleuze and Guattari of whether the schizoid ”men of desire’ they praise exist yet, K only dreams of the third option in the novel’s final lines, which detail the thoughts of a man dying of starvation. (shrink)
Embora a extensão da dependência entre teorias da estética e modelos da mente seja urna questão de aceso debate, é justo afirmar que as abordagens actuáis da consciência sugerem novas perspectivas sobre a natureza da experiência estética. As recentes descobertas da neurociência têm afetado a nossa forma de ver a estética e a arte. Todavia, enquanto é frequentemente sugerido que a neurociência vai, em breve, obter urna descrição completa da natureza da mente e, portanto, da experiência estética, aqui consideram-se as (...) consequências da recente bifurcação teórica a respeito da localizacão da mente (ou seja, as posições externalistas versus internalistas). A partir deste ponto de vista, as questões da unidade e do significado são usadas para investigar a natureza da experiência estética e da arte. A discussão baseia-se na distinção de William James entre núcleo e periferia, levando a uma perspectiva de convergência entre a psicologia, a fenomenologia e a neurociência. Por fim, a arte é explorada como urna janela para olhar para dentro de aspectos fundamentais da vida mental, quer por meio dos recentes resultados de imagens do cérebro, quer através dos modelos mais abrangentes da mente. While the extent of the dependence between theories of aesthetics and models of the mind is a matter of lively debate, it is fair to claim that current approaches to consciousness suggest new perspectives about the nature of aesthetic experience. Recent findings of neuroscience have affected how we see aesthetics and art. Nevertheless, while it is often suggested that neuroscience will soon offer a comprehensive account of the nature of mind and thus of aesthetic experience, here we consider the consequences on the recent theoretical bifurcation as to where mind is located (namely the externalist vs. the internalist stance). From such a view, the issues of unity and meaning are used to probe into the nature of aesthetic experience and art. The discussion draws upon William James' distinction between nucleus and fringe and puts forward a converging perspective between psychology, phenomenology and neuroscience. Eventually, art is exploited as a window to peer inside fundamental aspects of mental life by means both of recent brain imaging results and more extended models of the mind. (shrink)
A Modern Coleridge shows the interrelatedness of the discourses of cultivation, addiction and habit in Coleridge's poetry and prose, and argues that these all revolve around the problematic nexus of a post-Kantian idea of free will, essential to Coleridge's eminently modern idea of the 'human'.
A poetics of the real -- The ideology of death -- Bioeconomics: the hidden megascience -- Biopoetics: desiring to be -- Natural anticapitalism -- Commons: inviting the other -- Poetic objectivity -- Culture: imagining the other.
Pollution, higher traffic noise, or a poisoned river are all examples of externalities---costs which are imposed by an action but which are not built in to the price of that action. One of the problems of economic theory is whether, when analysing the desirability of a new road, for example, the costs that occur as externalities can be fully incorporated into the price of that road. Dr Andreas Papandreou has provided a book which fully explains and analyses the ideas lying (...) behind the theory of externalities. Papandreou has made a survey of the various methodological approaches taken by economists to the issue of eternalities, and the failure of some markets to reconcile individual and social costs and benefits. He tackles the difficult issue of defining or characterizing externalities, surveys the current literature, and investigates the effect that externality theory has had on major economic issues. His major theme is an exploration of institutional inefficiency and the implications of incorporating organizational costs into economic models. Written in a non-technical style, this book is suitable not only for those economists who make a study of externalities, but for those who need to understand the theory for their own fields of research, and for postgraduate students. (shrink)