I address the commentators' calls for clarification of theoretical terms, discussion of similarities to other proposals, and extension of the ideas. In doing so, I keep the focus on the purpose of memory: enabling the organism to make sense of its environment so that it can take action appropriate to constraints resulting from the physical, personal, social, and cultural situations.
Philosophy Between the Lines is the first comprehensive, book-length study of the history and theoretical basis of philosophical esotericism, and it provides a crucial guide to how many major writings—philosophical, but also theological, ...
Two main goals of the emerging field of neurocognitive poetics are the use of more natural and ecologically valid stimuli, tasks and contexts and providing methods and models allowing to quantify distinctive features of verbal materials used in such tasks and contexts and their effects on readers responses. A natural key element of poetic language, metaphor, still is understudied insofar as relatively little empirical research looked at literary or poetic metaphors. An exception is Katz et al.’s corpus of 204 literary (...) metaphors by authors such as Shakespeare or Dylan Thomas, for which various rating data are available. We reanalyzed their corpus using a combination of quantitative narrative analysis, latent semantic analysis, and machine learning in order to identify relevant features of the metaphors that influenced the ratings. The combined application of computational tools sheds light on surface and affective-semantic features that co-determine the reception of poetic metaphors and successfully predicted the period of origin, authorship and goodness ratings of the metaphors. The present results can be used for generating quantitative hypotheses or selecting and matching verbal stimuli in empirical studies of literature and neurocognitive poetics. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIn this article we investigate structural differences between “literary” metaphors created by renowned poets and “nonliterary” ones imagined by non-professional authors from Katz et al.’s 1988 corpus. We provide data from quantitative narrative analyses of the altogether 464 metaphors on over 70 variables, including surface features like metaphor length, phonological features like sonority score, or syntactic-semantic features like sentence similarity. In a first computational study using machine learning tools we show that Katz et al.’s literary metaphors can be successfully discriminated (...) from their nonliterary ones on the basis of response measures, in particular the ratings for familiarity, ease of interpretation, semantic relatedness, and comprehensibility. A second computational study then shows that the classifier can reliably detect and predict between-group differences on the basis of five QNA features generalizing from a... (shrink)
The true key to all the perplexities of the human condition, Rousseau boldly claims, is the “natural goodness of man.” It is also the key to his own notoriously contradictory writings, which, he insists, are actually the disassembled parts of a rigorous philosophical system rooted in that fundamental principle. What if this problematic claim—so often repeated, but as often dismissed—were resolutely followed and explored? Arthur M. Melzer adopts this approach in The Natural Goodness of Man. The first two parts (...) of the book restore the original, revolutionary significance of this now time-worn principle and examine the arguments Rousseau offers in proof of it. The final section unfolds and explains Rousseau’s programmatic thought, especially the Social Contract, as a precise solution to the human problem as redefined by the principle of natural goodness. The result is a systematic reconstruction of Rousseau’s philosophy that discloses with unparalleled clarity both the complex weave of his argument and the majestic unity of his vision. Melzer persuasively resolves one after another of the famous Rousseauian paradoxes–enlarging, in the process, our understanding of modern philosophy and politics. Engagingly and lucidly written, The Natural Goodness of Man will be of interest to general as well as scholarly readers. (shrink)
Language comprehension requires a simulation that uses neural systems involved in perception, action, and emotion. A review of recent literature as well as new experiments support five predictions derived from this framework. 1. Being in an emotional state congruent with sentence content facilitates sentence comprehension. 2. Because women are more reactive to sad events and men are more reactive to angry events, women understand sentences about sad events with greater facility than men, and men understand sentences about angry events with (...) greater facility than women. 3. Because it takes time to shift from one emotion to another, reading a sad sentence slows the reading of a happy sentence more for women than men, whereas reading an angry sentence slows the reading of a happy sentence more for men than for women. 4. Because sad states motivate affiliative actions and angry states motivate aggressive action, gender and emotional content of sentences interact with the response mode. 5. Because emotion simulation requires particular action systems, adapting those action systems will affect comprehension of sentences with emotional content congruent with the adapted action system. These results have implications for the study of language, emotion, and gender differences. (shrink)
Modern socio?cultural studies of medicine demonstrate the symbolic character of much of medical reality. This symbolic reality can be appreciated as mediating the traditional division of medicine into biophysical and human sciences. Comparative studies of medical systems offer a general model for medicine as a human science. These studies document that medicine, from an historical and cross?cultural perspective, is constituted as a cultural system in which symbolic meanings take an active part in disease formation, the classification and cognitive management of (...) illness, and in therapy. Medicine's symbolic reality also forms a bridge between cultural and psychophysiological phenomena; the basis for psychosomatic and socioso?matic pathology and therapy. This in turn becomes a central problem for medical theory and for a philosophical reinvestigation of medicine. (shrink)
Twentieth-century developments in quantum physics, together with an emerging science of consciousness, have created the need for a new cosmology, or model of the universe. The theory of process contained in THE REFLEXIVE UNIVERSE places consciousness within the context of contemporary science. One of the central themes of this extraordinary work is that each successive organization of matter, from fundamental particles in physics to living organisms, expresses a particular stage in the evolution of mind. Starting with the photon, the basic (...) unit of light, and moving through atomic physics, molecular chemistry, the morphology of plants and animals and finally to levels of human evolution, Young develops his theory in vivid step-by-step detail. Consciousness, in his point of view, is not isolated from the material universe. It exists in a continuum, one in which physical and nonphysical realms can be linked and the teachings of mythology and religion can be integrated. To order: FAX: 415-883-9280; e-mail: [email protected]; or write: Anodos Foundation, c/o Publishers Services, P.O. Box 2510, Novato, CA 94948. Visa and MasterCard only. Trade STOP orders 40% plus postage. (shrink)
A strong case can be made that the cognitive system is designed for guiding action, not, for example, symbol manipulation. I review empirical work demonstrating the link between action and cognition with special attention to the processes of language comprehension. Next, I sketch an embodied cognition framework for integrating work on language understanding with a more general approach to cognition and action. This general approach considers contributions to action of bodily states, emotions, social and cultural processes, and learning within a (...) framework that generates a dynamic system. This framework is used to consider the notion of distributed cognition and the prospects that technology might induce substantial changes in cognition. My assessment is that such changes are unlikely. (shrink)
The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is 90 percent effective in protecting against COVID-19. It would not have been possible without the tireless effort of Professor Katalin Karikó, a scientific innovator fitting the mold of dynamic inventor Arthur Diamond presents in his book, Openness to Creative Destruction Sustaining Innovative Dynamism. Not only did Professor Karikó persist in her beliefs in the therapeutic potential of synthetic messenger RNA over the course of four decades, but she did so despite the criticisms of other (...) scientists and despite lack of financial backing for large parts of her career. Professor Karikó is a good example of the unconventional picture that Diamond paints of entrepreneurs in a specific version of market capitalism he terms, innovative dynamism. Specifically, she is an example of someone who does not hold prevailing academic theories in too high a regard and instead privileges her tacit knowledge (knowledge gained from years of working with mRNA in the lab) to persist believing in the potential of a therapy that now could quite literally save the world. Most surprisingly, she, like most of the entrepreneurs surveyed in the book, seem not primarily motivated by profit, though the money their projects eventually attract is integral to disseminating their creative ideas to the masses. -/- Are the many examples offered by Diamond that are similar to Professor Karikó’s story evidence against the long-standing suspicion that there is something morally damning in the self-interested motivations of innovative entrepreneurship? Is it the case that others would have inevitably pursued the cure that Karikó pursued, regardless of economic system? In light of COVID-19 and other high-pressure situations, ought we to care how we constrain the innovators who develop solutions? Diamond’s case for the economic system, innovative dynamism, seeks to answer these and other important questions concerning our political and cultural treatment of innovators and entrepreneurs. This review critically assesses his efforts. I make my case by first reviewing the major argumentative structure of the book, then I summarize and evaluate the three major themes Diamond presents in the book: (1) what is innovative dynamism and who are its competitors, (2) what are the major benefits of innovative dynamism, (3) who is the innovative entrepreneur and how do we support him or her? (shrink)
In his review, Walter (2012) links conceptual perspectives on empathy with crucial results of neurocognitive and genetic studies and presents a descriptive neurocognitive model that identifies neuronal key structures and links them with both cognitive and affective empathy via a high and a low road. After discussion of this model, the remainder of this comment deals more generally with the possibilities and limitations of current neurocognitive models, considering ways to develop process models allowing specific quantitative predictions.
An embodied movement-planning field cannot account for behavior and cognition more abstract than that of reaching. Instead, we propose an affordance field, and we sketch how it could enhance the analysis of the A-not-B error, underlie cognition, and serve as a base for language. Admittedly, a dynamic systems account of an affordance field awaits significant further development.
Cognitive scientists have a variety of approaches to studying cognition: experimental psychology, computer science, robotics, neuroscience, educational psychology, philosophy of mind, and psycholinguistics, to name but a few. In addition, they also differ in their approaches to cognition - some of them consider that the mind works basically like a computer, involving programs composed of abstract, amodal, and arbitrary symbols. Others claim that cognition is embodied - that is, symbols must be grounded on perceptual, motoric, and emotional experience. The existence (...) of such different approaches has consequences when dealing with practical issues such as understanding brain disorders, designing artificial intelligence programs and robots, improving psychotherapy, or designing instructional programs. The symbolist and embodiment camps seldom engage in any kind of debate to clarify their differences. This book is the first attempt to do so. It brings together a team of outstanding scientists, adopting symbolist and embodied viewpoints, in an attempt to understand how the mind works and the nature of linguistic meaning. As well as being interdisciplinary, all authors have made an attempt to find solutions to substantial issues beyond specific vocabularies and techniques. (shrink)
For much the greater part of Western history, moral and political thinking took fundamental guidance from "natural law," a standard of justice and human flourishing resting ambiguously on the dual foundation of the rational knowledge of human nature and the revelation of divine will. Modern politics and philosophy, by contrast, may be said to have emerged through the rise of a doctrine of "natural rights," which rested ambiguously on the rejection and the transformation of natural law. In the present "postmodern (...) age", as we struggle to comprehend just what modernity was and how it got started, we urgently need to re-examine the complex fate of natural law, especially in the work of such thinkers as Hobbes, Spinoza, and above all John Locke, the father of the modern, liberal, "rights-based" theory of the state. (shrink)