Reason, we are told, is what makes us human, the source of our knowledge and wisdom. If reason is so useful, why didn't it also evolve in other animals? If reason is that reliable, why do we produce so much thoroughly reasoned nonsense? In their groundbreaking account of the evolution and workings of reason, Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber set out to solve this double enigma. Reason, they argue with a compelling mix of real-life and experimental evidence, is not geared (...) to solitary use, to arriving at better beliefs and decisions on our own. What reason does, rather, is help us justify our beliefs and actions to others, convince them through argumentation, and evaluate the justifications and arguments that others address to us. In other words, reason helps humans better exploit their uniquely rich social environment. This interactionist interpretation explains why reason may have evolved and how it fits with other cognitive mechanisms. It makes sense of strengths and weaknesses that have long puzzled philosophers and psychologists--why reason is biased in favor of what we already believe, why it may lead to terrible ideas and yet is indispensable to spreading good ones.--. (shrink)
Dan Zahavi presents a rich new study of the philosophy of Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology. What kind of philosophical project was Husserl engaged in? What is ultimately at stake in so-called phenomenological analyses? In this volume Zahavi makes it clear why Husserl had such a decisive influence on 20th-century philosophy.
It is commonly believed that Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), well known as the founder of phenomenology and as the teacher of Heidegger, was unable to free himself from the framework of a classical metaphysics of subjectivity. Supposedly, he never abandoned the view that the world and the Other are constituted by a pure transcendental subject, and his thinking in consequence remains Cartesian, idealistic, and solipsistic. The continuing publication of Husserl’s manuscripts has made it necessary to revise such an interpretation. Drawing upon (...) both Husserl’s published works and posthumous material, Husserl’s Phenomenology incorporates the results of the most recent Husserl research. It is divided into three parts, roughly following the chronological development of Husserl’s thought, from his early analyses of logic and intentionality, through his mature transcendental-philosophical analyses of reduction and constitution, to his late analyses of intersubjectivity and lifeworld. It can consequently serve as a concise and updated introduction to his thinking. (shrink)
Phenomenology: The Basics is a concise and engaging introduction to one of the dominant philosophical movements of the 20th century. This lively and lucid book provides an introduction to the essential phenomenological concepts that are crucial for understanding great thinkers such as Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty. Written by a leading expert in the field, Dan Zahavi examines and explains key questions such as: - What is a phenomenological analysis? - What are the methodological foundations of phenomenology? - What does phenomenology (...) have to say about embodiment and intersubjectivity? - How is phenomenology distinguished from, and related to, other fields in philosophy? - How do ideas from classic phenomenology relate to ongoing debates in psychology and qualitative research? With a glossary of key terms and suggestions for further reading, the book considers key philosophical arguments around phenomenology, making this an ideal starting point for anyone seeking a concise and accessible introduction to the rich and complex study of phenomenology. (shrink)
__Husserl and Transcendental Intersubjectivity __analyzes the transcendental relevance of intersubjectivity and argues that an intersubjective transformation of transcendental philosophy can already be found in phenomenology, especially in Husserl. Husserl eventually came to believe that an analysis of transcendental intersubjectivity was a _conditio sine qua non_ for a phenomenological philosophy. Drawing on both published and unpublished manuscripts, Dan Zahavi examines Husserl's reasons for this conviction and delivers a detailed analysis of his radical and complex concept of intersubjectivity, showing that precisely his (...) reflections on transcendental intersubjectivity are capable of clarifying the core-concepts of phenomenology, thus making possible a new understanding of Husserl’s philosophy. Against this background the book compares his view with the approaches to intersubjectivity found in Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty, and it then attempts to establish to what extent the phenomenological approach can contribute to the current discussion of intersubjectivity. This is achieved through a systematic confrontation with the language-pragmatical positions of Apel and Habermas. (shrink)
In recent years, the social dimensions of selfhood have been discussed widely. Can you be a self on your own or only together with others? Is selfhood a built-in feature of experience or rather socially constructed? Does a strong emphasis on the first-personal character of consciousness prohibit a satisfactory account of intersubjectivity or is the former rather a necessary requirement for the latter? These questions are explored in the following contribution.
If we want to assess whether or not a naturalized phenomenology is a desideratum or a category mistake, we need to be clear on precisely what notion of phenomenology and what notion of naturalization we have in mind. In the article I distinguish various notions, and after criticizing one type of naturalized phenomenology, I sketch two alternative takes on what a naturalized phenomenology might amount to and propose that our appraisal of the desirability of such naturalization should be more positive, (...) if we opt for one or both of the latter alternatives. (shrink)
An understanding of cause--effect relationships is fundamental to the study of cognition. In this book, outstanding specialists from comparative psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, anthropology, and philosophy present the newest developments in the study of causal cognition and discuss their different perspectives. They reflect on the role and forms of causal knowledge, both in animal and human cognition, on the development of human causal cognition from infancy, and on the relationship between individual and cultural aspects of causal understanding. The result (...) is a state-of-the-art, informative, insightful, and interdisciplinary debate aimed at the non-specialist. (shrink)
It is widely recognized that prioritizing health care resources by their relative cost-effectiveness can result in lower priority for the treatment of disabled persons than otherwise similar non-disabled persons. I distinguish six different ways in which this discrimination against the disabled can occur. I then spell out and evaluate the following moral objections to this discrimination, most of which capture an aspect of its unethical character: it implies that disabled persons' lives are of lesser value than those of non-disabled persons; (...) it constitutes “double jeopardy” or violates Frances Kamm's non-linkage principle; it conflicts with equality of opportunity; it conflicts with fairness, which requires ignoring differential impacts of treatment; it wrongly gives lower priority to disabled persons for equally effective treatment; it conflicts with giving all persons an equal chance to reach their full potential; and, it is in conflict with giving priority to the worse off. (shrink)
Esta entrevista tiene como objetivo mostrar los aportes de la fenomenología de Dan Zahavi a algunas temáticas fundamentales de filosofía de la mente. El filósofo danés expresa su interés en vincular la fenomenología con otras disciplinas y comenta su último proyecto, dedicado al vínculo intersubjetivo. Además, explica su posición con respecto a la naturalización de la fenomenología, la importancia de desarrollar una filosofía de la mente desde la perspectiva de primera persona, y la cuestión del idealismo husserliano y su vínculo (...) con Putnam. Por otro lado, se refiere a cómo el estudio de los trastornos psiquiátricos aporta a la filosofía, presenta la propuesta de la tradición fenomenológica para evitar los problemas del debate internalismo-externalismo y explica la manera en que su concepto del yo ilumina la clásica discusión sobre la mente y el cerebro. Finalmente, Zahavi comenta sobre la posibilidad de vincular filosofía, ciencia y religión. (shrink)
This text provides a lively introduction to the developments in philosophy of language in this century, and to the way these have impinged upon religious language. Included is the relevance of analytical philosophy of language, but the text also covers important historical debates about religious language that have had increasing impact upon biblical studies and theology.
This paper presents a simple argument against life being the product of design. The argument rests on three points. We can conceive of the debate in terms of likelihoods, in the technical sense – how probable the design hypothesis renders our evidence, versus how probable the competing Darwinian hypothesis renders that evidence. God, as traditionally conceived, had many more options by which to bring about life as we observe it than were available to natural selection. That is, the relevant parameters (...) were, in many cases, far more constrained under natural selection. Utterly mundane features of the world, like that the earth is very old, are actually powerful evidence that the world was not designed, since that outcome was optional on the design hypothesis but nearly inevitable on natural selection. (shrink)
Dan Zahavi engages with classical phenomenology, philosophy of mind, and a range of empirical disciplines to explore the nature of selfhood. He argues that the most fundamental level of selfhood is not socially constructed or dependent upon others, but accepts that certain dimensions of the self and types of self-experience are other-mediated.
RESUMEN Esta entrevista tiene como objetivo mostrar los aportes de la fenomenología de Dan Zahavi a algunas temáticas fundamentales de filosofía de la mente. El filósofo danés expresa su interés en vincular la fenomenología con otras disciplinas y comenta su último proyecto, dedicado al vínculo intersubjetivo. Además, explica su posición con respecto a la naturalización de la fenomenología, la importancia de desarrollar una filosofía de la mente desde la perspectiva de primera persona, y la cuestión del idealismo husserliano y su (...) vínculo con Putnam. Por otro lado, se refiere a cómo el estudio de los trastornos psiquiátricos aporta a la filosofía, presenta la propuesta de la tradición fenomenológica para evitar los problemas del debate internalismo-externalismo y explica la manera en que su concepto del yo ilumina la clásica discusión sobre la mente y el cerebro. Finalmente, Zahavi comenta sobre la posibilidad de vincular filosofía, ciencia y religión. ABSTRACT The aim of this interview is to show the contributions of Dan Zahavi's phenomenology to some fundamental issues in philosophy of mind. The Danish philosopher expresses his interest to link phenomenology to other disciplines and talks about his latest project, dedicated to the intersubjective relation. He also explains his position with respect to the naturalization of phenomenology, the importance of developing a philosophy of mind from a first-person perspective, and the question of Husserlian idealism and his link with Putnam. On the other hand, he refers to how the study of psychiatric disorders contributes to philosophy, presents the proposal of the pheno-menological tradition to sidestep the problems of internalism-externalism debate, and explains how his concept of self illuminates the classic discussion on mind and brain. Finally, Zahavi comments on the possibility oflinking philosophy, science and religion. (shrink)
Dan Zahavi, the editor of this collection, heads the Center for Subjectivity Research, at the University of Copenhagen. The essays reflect the interests of the Center and seek to address the following issue: To what extent can the current discussion of consciousness in mainstream cognitive science and analytical philosophy of mind profit from insights drawn from the investigations of subjectivity found in the Kantian and post-Kantian tradition as well as in the phenomenological and hermeneutical tradition. The contributions include some that (...) are philosophical, while others relate to issues in empirical science, such as psychopathology, cognitive neuroscience, and developmental psychology.Contributors include Andrew Brook, John Drummond, Shaun Gallagher, Arne Groen, Josef Parnas, Peter Poellner, Sonja Rinofner-Kreidl, Louis Sass, Dieter Teichert and Dan Zahavi. (shrink)
This paper identifies a challenge for liberal relational egalitarians—namely, how to respond to the prospect of emergent inequalities of power, status, and influence arising unintentionally through the free exercise of fundamental individual liberties over time. I argue that these emergent social inequalities can be produced through patterns of nonmalicious choices, that they can in fact impede the full realization of relational equality, and that it is possible they cannot be eliminated entirely without abandoning fundamental liberal commitments to leave individuals substantial (...) discretion in their personal lives. In such cases, I argue that liberal egalitarians should accept fair relational equality—a demanding but nevertheless imperfect form of relational equality. (shrink)
Despite the importance of ethical leadership, the impacts of its different facets on firm-level performance are unclear. Drawing on the resource-based view of the firm and the group engagement model, we propose that ethical leadership consisting of leader humane orientation, leader responsibility and sustainability orientation and leader moderation orientation are beneficial to firm performance, and leader justice orientation plays moderating roles. We empirically tested this theoretical framework employing multi-source survey data collected from 264 Chinese firms. The findings reveal that both (...) leader humane orientation and leader responsibility and sustainability orientation have positive influences on both firm financial and social performance, while leader moderation orientation only has positive influence on firm financial performance. In addition, leader justice orientation positively moderates the relationship between leader humane orientation and leader responsibility and sustainability orientation and financial performance as well as the relationship between leader moderation orientation and social performance. These findings provide theoretical and practical implications for understanding how different facets of ethical leadership jointly function to influence firm performance. (shrink)
Hannah Arendt first argued the continuities between the age of European imperialism and the age of fascism in Europe in 'The Origins of Totalitarianism'. This text uses Arwndt's insights as a starting point for further investigations into the ways in which race, imperialism, slavery and genocide are linked.
Augustine tells us in the Confessions that his reading of Cicero's Hortensius at the age of nineteen aroused in him a burning ‘passion for the wisdom of eternal truth’. He was inspired ‘to love wisdom itself, whatever it might be, and to search for it, pursue it, hold it, and embrace it firmly’. And thus he embarked on his arduous journey to the truth, which was at the same time a conversion to Catholic Christianity, and which culminated twelve years later (...) in his experience in the garden in Milan. (shrink)
The question of the relation between the collective and the individual has had a long but patchy history within both philosophy and psychology. In this chapter we consider some arguments that could be adopted for the primacy of the we, and examine their conceptual and empirical implications. We argue that the we needs to be seen as a developing and dynamic identity, not as something that exists fully fledged from the start. The concept of we thus needs more nuanced and (...) differentiated treatment than currently exists, distinguishing it from the idea of a ‘common ground’ and discerning multiple senses of ‘we-ness’. At an empirical level, beginning from the shared history of human evolution and prenatal existence, a simple sense of pre-reflective we-ness, we argue, emerges from second-person I-you engagement in earliest infancy. Developmentally, experientially and conceptually, engagement remains fundamental to the we throughout its many forms, characterized by reciprocal interaction and conditioned by the normative aspects of mutual addressing. (shrink)
While the rate of Internet use among the older population in China is rapidly increasing, the outcomes associated with Internet use remain largely unexplored. Currently, there are contradictory findings indicating that Internet use is sometimes positively and sometimes negatively associated with older adults’ subjective well-being. Therefore, we examined the associations between different types of Internet use, social networks, and loneliness among Chinese older adults using data from the Chinese Longitudinal Ageing Society Survey. Internet use was classified as interpersonal communication and (...) information acquisition, and social networks were divided into family and friendship ties. The results showed that both interpersonal communication and information acquisition were associated with lower loneliness. Interpersonal communication can increase social networks, and family ties have a mediating effect on the association between Internet use for interpersonal communication and loneliness. Although information acquisition can directly decrease loneliness in older adults, it can also damage existing social networks and further increase loneliness. Family ties act as a suppressor in the association between Internet use for information acquisition and loneliness. Our study further discusses important implications for improving the subjective well-being of older adults in the digital era, based on the empirical findings. (shrink)
This the tenth volume in the Vancouver Studies in Cogntive Science series. It concerns metarepresentation: the construction and use of representations that represent other representations. Metarepresentations are ubiquitous among human beings, whenever we think or talk about mental states or linguistic acts, or theorize about the mind or language. It is crucial to the unconscious process we use to divine the mental states of others, and ultimately to any workable theory of the mind. This volume collects previously unpublished studies on (...) the subject by an interdisciplinary group of contributors, including: Daniel Dennett, Alvin Goldman, Keith Lehrer, Leda Cosmides and John Tooby. (shrink)
This short paper follows up on the exchange between Ray Buchanan and Wayne Davis concerning the theory of speaker meaning put forward by Davis in previous work. I briefly present Davis' main tenets, Buchanan's objections, Davis' replies, and then offer a new case that enforces the problem raised by Buchanan to Davis' theory for speaker meaning.