Considerations of personal identity bear on John Searle's Chinese Room argument, and on the opposed position that a computer itself could really understand a natural language. In this paper I develop the notion of a virtual person, modelled on the concept of virtual machines familiar in computer science. I show how Searle's argument, and J. Maloney's attempt to defend it, fail. I conclude that Searle is correct in holding that no digital machine could understand language, but wrong in holding that (...) artificial minds are impossible: minds and persons are not the same as the machines, biological or electronic, that realize them. (shrink)
Thought experiments have been used by philosophers for centuries, especially in the study of personal identity where they appear to have been used extensively and indiscriminately. Despite their prevalence, the use of thought experiments in this area of philosophy has been criticized in recent times. Bernard Williams criticizes the conclusions that are drawn from some experiments, and retells one of these experiments from a different perspective, a retelling which leads to a seemingly opposing result. Wilkes criticizes the method of thought (...) experimentation itself, suggesting that the results drawn from the experiments are tainted by a faulty method. This paper examines both these types of objection, and concludes that neither can be sustained. (shrink)
Functionalism, a philosophical theory, has empirical consequences. Functionalism predicts that where systematic transformations of sensory input occur and are followed by behavioral accommodation in which normal function of the organism is restored such that the causes and effects of the subject's psychological states return to those of the period prior to the transformation, there will be a return of qualia or subjective experiences to those present prior to the transform. A transformation of this type that has long been of philosophical (...) interest is the possibility of an inverted spectrum. Hilary Putnam argues that the physical possibility of acquired spectrum inversion refutes functionalism. I argue, however, that in the absence of empirical results no a priori arguments against functionalism, such as Putnam's, can be cogent. I sketch an experimental situation which would produce acquired spectrum inversion. The mere existence of qualia inversion would constitute no refutation of functionalism; only its persistence after behavioral accommodation to the inversion would properly count against functionalism. The cumulative empirical evidence from experiments on image inversion suggests that the results of actual spectrum inversion would confirm rather than refute functionalism. (shrink)
This book puts forward a radical, unorthodox thesis with respect to the Anthropocene, the philosophy of Deleuze/Guattari and education. This book analyses the Anthropocene for its unconscious drives and develops a parallel mode of education and social change.
The actions of affect are prominent in the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and can be broken down for the purposes of education into two roles. The first alludes to the history of philosophy and the ways in which affect has been used by Spinoza (Deleuze, 1992) Nietzsche (Deleuze, 1983) or Bergson (Deleuze, 1991). In this role, Deleuze reinvigorates and challenges definitions of affect that would place them into systems of understanding that could take paths to metaphysics or to becoming paradigms (...) for capture in any further theorisation of affect. For example, scholars might attest to the use of affect as defined by Spinoza in the Ethics. Deleuze (1983, 1991, 1992) attends to the ways in which scholarly understanding of affect has been broached in order to free the idea up for empirical studies and also to show that the power of didactic language may be subsumed and subverted. The second role of affect in the work of Deleuze comes about in his first two co-authored books that he produced with Félix Guattari (Deleuze & Guattari, 1984, 1988). These publications have a distinct purpose from the scholarly work, which this article shall examine in terms of educational activism, group identities and the sociology of education. This level imbues the use of language in pedagogic acts with an intense affective resonance and the multiple traces of becoming that might be present in any teaching and learning context. (shrink)
This philosophy of education paper describes a schizophrenic situation. A new airport is being planned in the locale of a university which is a Centre of Excellence of Education for Sustainable Development, and the university is a major partner. The airport involves an investment in jobs, resources, and will encourage further economic development. The planners have named the inter-connected developments around the airport as the ‘Aerotropolis’, including new university facilities. One could argue that the airport is a classic example of (...) the ‘Capitalocene’, where capital rushes into a new project, and environmental costs are ignored. This paper will execute a schizoanalytic critique of the process, from the perspective of a university education researcher caught up in the rushing flows of capital. Schizoanalysis has been chosen as the educational methodology to analyse this situation, because the researcher is part of what is happening, and is turned inside out by the designation in their region of the new airport. This paper is positioned in education between capital and the environment – it will describe from an insider’s perspective what it is like to be possessed, evacuated, sold out, and exploited by capital. (shrink)
Using Deleuzian theory for educational research and practice has become an increasingly popular activity. However, there are many theoretical complexities to the straightforward application of Deleuze to the educational context. For example, the ‘new materialism’ that Deleuze refers to in the 1960s takes its inspiration from Spinoza, and is an emancipatory project. Contrariwise, the ‘new materialism’ of the present moment is frequently applied to educational research and practice specifically as a way out of anthropocentric limits and enclosure. This paper explores (...) the combined forces of humanism and naturalism which are at work in Deleuze’s ‘new materialism’, as type of ‘more-than-human’ emancipation method derived from Bergson and Nietzsche; it is a mode of overcoming human limits, which fully takes into account the connections to and with the non-human world and the ecological consequences of human action. This paper will draw out the specific consequences for educational research and practice in schools of the ‘vitalist-nihilism’ we may derive from Bergson and Nietzsche to analyse matter flows as they enter, mingle with, and exit schools. (shrink)
What is nowhere? Is it a non-place that has been created by the disappearance of distinct identities in the spread of standardised, global capitalism? Or has it come about as a result of colonialisation and the separation of indigenous cultures from their lands, and their replacement with vacuous, colonised, globalised non-places? This article suggests that ‘nowhere’, which was satirically entitled, ‘Erewhon’ by Samuel Butler due to the inverted action of machines, is still being created today, but by the combined forces (...) of financial capitalism, digital colonialisation and the present-day global curriculum, and its concomitant teaching and learning methods. Even though the present day curriculum refers to place, for example, in geographical studies, this referencing in no way establishes a connection with or to this place for the cohort. Rather, the present day curriculum precisely and systematically evacuates any possibility of connective-affective-synthesis (i.e. a cur... (shrink)
The final lines of Deleuze and Guattari’s What is Philosophy? call for a non-philosophy to balance and act as a counterweight to the task of philosophy that had been described by them in terms of concept creation. In a footnote, Deleuze and Guattari mention François Laruelle’s project of non-philosophy, but dispute its efficacy in terms of the designated relationship between non-philosophy and science, as had been realised by Laruelle at the time. However, the mature non-philosophy of Laruelle could indicate a (...) resolution to the problematic relationship between science and educational philosophy that we have inherited due to the poststructural theories of Foucault, Derrida and Deleuze. Non-philosophy suggests a framework for thought that includes science in a non-positivist style and provides the means to view education as a performative practice. This article explores the non-philosophy of Laruelle in education as a means to view education under the conditions of strict immanence and in line with an anti-phenomenological metaphysics of non-representation. Laruelle is perhaps one of the most important critics of Deleuze in France, and as such, his insights into the Deleuzian oeuvre reveal a way forward for education as a practice that analyses science, philosophy and politics through non-philosophy. (shrink)
This paper critically examines the materialism that Gilles Deleuze espouses in his oeuvre to the benefit of educational theory. In Difference and Repetition, he presented transcendental empiricism by underwriting Kant with realism (Deleuze, 1994). Later, in Capitalism & Schizophrenia I & II that were co-written with Félix Guattari (1984, 1988) and that they named Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze's philosophical approach is realigned into what I term here as transcendental materialism, and latterly as immanent materialism; that I claim effectively (...) eliminate phenomenology as perceptual input. This essay takes this transformation seriously as a way of understanding educational data, research and practices. The proposition that is central to this paper is that transcendental and immanent materialism give us a means of dealing with educational phenomena without the interference of perception or a stable category of experience, by connecting data with theory and circumventing subjectification. It is argued that this proposition has important consequences for educational research, and the construction of educational arguments that will be illustrated in this essay. Deleuze's debt to French Marxism and in particular to the work of Louis Althusser are also recognised through this writing. (shrink)
"Mantras were not viewed as the only means of expressing truth, however. Thought, which was defined as internalized speech, offered yet another aspect of truth. And if words and thoughts designated different aspects of truth, or reality, then there had to be an underlying unity behind all phenomena" (S. A. Nigosian 1994: World Faiths, p. 84).
Stephen Pinker sets out over a dozen arguments in The language instinct (Morrow, New York, 1994) for his widely shared view that natural language is inadequate as a medium for thought. Thus he argues we must suppose that the primary medium of thought and inference is an innate propositional representation system, mentalese. I reply to the various arguments and so defend the view that some thought essentially involves natural language. I argue mentalese doesn't solve any of the problems Pinker cites (...) for the view that we think in natural language. So I don't think I think the way he thinks I think. (shrink)
Michael Tye, Consciousness Revisited: Materialism Without Phenomenal Concepts Content Type Journal Article Pages 103-106 DOI 10.1007/s11023-011-9225-3 Authors David Cole, Department of Philosophy, University of Minnesota-Duluth, 369 A.B. Anderson Hall, Duluth, MN 55812, USA Journal Minds and Machines Online ISSN 1572-8641 Print ISSN 0924-6495 Journal Volume Volume 21 Journal Issue Volume 21, Number 1.
Jerry Fodor, LOT 2: The Language of Thought Revisited , New York: Oxford University Press, 2008, x+228, $37.95, ISBN 978-0-119-954877-4 Content Type Journal Article Pages 439-443 DOI 10.1007/s11023-009-9164-4 Authors David Cole, University of Minnesota-Duluth Department of Philosophy 369 A B Anderson Hall Duluth MN 55812 USA Journal Minds and Machines Online ISSN 1572-8641 Print ISSN 0924-6495 Journal Volume Volume 19 Journal Issue Volume 19, Number 3.
thought and problem solving in persons lacking natural language altogether would be a decisive challenge, but there is no clear evidence of any abstract thinking capabilities similar to those evinced by the scientists. Pinker cites languageless persons rebuilding broken locks - this is evidence of perhaps visual imagery, but not mentalese (at least not without quite a bit more detail and argument than we are given). Spiders, e.g., build marvelous things, but no inference to spiderese appears to be warranted. There (...) simply is much we don. (shrink)
Dretske’s Naturalizing the Mind sets out the case for holding that mental states in general are natural representers of reality. Mental states have functions; for many states the function is to indicate what is going on in the world. Among such indicator states are beliefs. The content of these states is given by what they are supposed to represent. So if a state is supposed to indicate that it’s dark, then “it’s dark” is the content of the state. Thus we (...) can characterize how the organism takes things to be, its subjectivity, by noting first what physical (neural) state it is in, and second what the biological indicator function of that state is. Thus the mind and meaning are naturalized. (shrink)
Intentionality is a property of an important class of things: things that represent, or are about something. Thus a belief or sentence or story is about something, a painting or photo is of something, a sign is a sign of something, and a desire is a desire for something. These disparate things all display intentionality. They have content; they represent some state of affairs beyond themselves. The represented state of affairs need not be actual, and is not in the cases (...) of false belief, unfulfilled desire, or Salvadore Dali painting. (shrink)
In Book II of the _Essay_, at the beginning of his discussion of language in Chapter II ("Of the Signification of Words"), John Locke writes that we humans have a variety of thoughts which might profit others, but that unfortunately these thoughts lie invisible and hidden from others. And so we use language to communicate these thoughts. As a result, "words, in their primary or immediate signification,stand for nothing but _the ideas in the mind of him that uses them_.
This volume has been brought together to generate new ideas and provoke discussion about what constitutes arts education in the twenty-first century, both within the institution and beyond. Art, Artists and Pedagogy is intended for educators who teach the arts from early childhood to tertiary level, artists working in the community, or those studying arts in education from undergraduate to Masters or PhD level.
The global pandemic has pushed many of us to online streaming services. A particular genre in these services is the ‘end of the world’ science fiction film, in and through which the speculated results of processes such as climate change are depicted. CGI technology is frequently deployed to create images of the end of the world, which is a backdrop to the narrative of, ‘saving ourselves amidst the ruins’. This philosophy of education essay will critically examine ten films in order (...) to:Explain how ‘the end of the world’ images connected to processes such as climate change, obscures and displaces attention from the real, scientifically proven processes that are not so entertaining, but are still deadly. The images are created by capital and its machines for audience attention and have little to do with real social change. Science sits in an ambiguous position in this paper in that the real processes of climate change proven by science may be funded by capitalist mechanisms that can also be their cause.Introduce a reformulated notion of ecosophy from the work of Félix Guattari, Murray Bookchin, Arne Næss and Andre Gorz. This essay will suggest that ecosophy has the potential to teach the underlying split between depictions of the end of the world through the capitalist machine and the real social change necessary under climate change. Ecosophy is in the context of this essay a specific conceptual construction designed for teaching about climate change through cinema. (shrink)
In the South Korean film, The Parasite, the underling family, in an act of desperation, uses deceptive means to infiltrate the rich family. The term parasite refers nominally to the underling family, and their efforts to befriend and inhabit the class territory and social hierarchy of the rich family. How can this be of use for education? To answer this, we ask: what can we learn from Parasite to inform contemporary philosophy of education? Primarily, this experimental piece written from different (...) philosophical viewpoints, suggests that the images, narrative, and social context of the film cannot be read stereotypically. Using a blend of Deleuze and Stiegler ‘cinema-theory’, we present a heuristic perspective on the Parasite from three viewpoints: (1) South Korean society, and how a pedagogy of the parasite helps to understand the dynamics of contemporary philosophy of education in a global context. South Korea is uniquely placed at the cusp and threshold of deterritorializing Western capitalism, given its position next to the only in-tact communist state system; (2) The film shows how theorizing an exceptional notion of time contributes to the overall pedagogy of the parasite. Here, being a parasite is about waiting to attach oneself to a host, yet this waiting is an anxious, perceptive, adherent time, a reciprocal time, and one internally interconnected to that of the host; (3) The ethics of the parasite. The parasite chooses a host from a certain viewpoint before attaching itself and trying to be absorbed into the host. The pedagogy of the parasite suggests a unique ethical treatment of these assimilative processes and allows us to consider cinema as a parasitic means to shake the passive audience out of its stupor when bearing witness to the violence in the film and its own collusion in the trauma and reality of contemporary capitalism. (shrink)
The Way of Ideas died an ignoble death, committed to the flames by behaviorist empiricists. Ideas, pictures in the head, perished with the Way. By the time those empiricists were supplanted at the helm by functionalists and causal theorists, a revolution had taken place in linguistics and the last thing anyone wanted to do was revive images as the medium of thought. Currently, some but not all cognitive scientists think that there probably are mental images - experiments in cognitive psychology (...) (e.g. Shepard and Metzler 1971) have shown it to be plausible to posit mental images. Even so, the phenomenon of mental imagery has been largely regarded as peripheral in cognition, perhaps even epiphenomenal. Images cannot fix the content of thought (intentions, rules), the Wittgenstein story went. The central processes of thought, so the post-Wittgenstein story goes, require a propositional representation system, a language of thought, universal and modeled on the machine languages of computers. The language of thought is compositional, productive, and, leading advocates argue, has a causal semantics. Images lack all of these essential qualities and so are hopeless as key players in thinking. (shrink)
One of the ways our legal system has avoided confronting this ugly reality is through a commitment to legal formalism. Legal formalism allows us to ignore the social determinants that my AUSA friend saw every day as he prosecuted federal drug cases. As my colleague Professor Michael Seidman has suggested, legal formalism, which has been effectively critiqued and displaced by legal realism in many other areas of law, continues to exercise considerable influence over the way we think about criminal law. (...) This formalist approach, in my view, has strongly affected the way we approach the drug problem. One consequence is that we continue to pursue an increasingly futile war on drugs and refuse to see the issue in its broader, realist dimension. A little realism on the subject of drugs, I suggest, would go a long way. There is much to be said for formalism in the criminal law. Formalism, with its commitment to fair procedures, clear rules, and restricted discretion, is a necessary part of any fair system of criminal law. The sanctions involved in the criminal system are too severe to permit them to be allocated in an open ended discretionary or regulatory manner. The criminal law's commitment to formalism is thus not a fault, but a strength. Discretionary regulatory schemes too often invite subjective judgments susceptible to abuse, prejudice, and favoritism. Formalist rules, by contrast, are built on the promise of treating likes alike. Precisely for this reason, however, we ought to reconsider whether the criminal approach makes sense when there is substantial evidence that the commitment to equality has been seriously compromised. Our dual commitments to equality and to the reduction of the human damage that drug abuse inflicts suggest that we should reduce our reliance on the criminal justice system. Alternative approaches, such as treatment and rehabilitation, promise to be both more effective and more fair. (shrink)
Descartes refuted skepticism in 1641. George Berkeley refuted skepticism in 1710. O.K. Bouwsma refuted skepticism in 1949. Hilary Putnam refuted skepticism in 1981. The locus classicus for the form of skepticism refuted is Descartes' Meditations -- which also goes on to set out a famous realist refutation of skepticism. Indeed, Descartes is the principal inventor of the philosophic enterprise of skepticism refutation so central to Modern philosophy and its epistemic preoccupations. What the cited successors of Descartes and many others have (...) in common is a rejection of both skepticism and Descartes' refutation of it. Berkeley, Bouwsma and Putnam offer a sophisticated, undercutting, refutation which undermines the very coherence of skepticism. And for all, issues of language and meaning rise to the fore, determining the coherence of any skeptical doubts and constraining the possibilities of systematic error and deception (for Berkeley, these appear as issues about the objects of thought, which in turn are the foundation of the meaning of language). (shrink)
This article reassesses the concept of a house from a non-human perspective. The two worlds that collide in this article are philosophical analyses that are “beyond the human” and sustainable engineering house design. By analyzing the houses of ten animal species for shelter/skin properties, life pedagogy, materials and resources, thermal dynamics, and structural elements, we speculate on the future of housing. The premise of this article is that “beyond the human” philosophy opens a new visage to comprehend and conceptualize what (...) a house could be. Beyond the human theorizing is defined by philosophy that has gone beyond framing an exploration internally to the benefit of themselves, as human subject. This article speculates that considering animal house construction is a way forward for thought in a changing climate. (shrink)
Surely one of the most interesting problems in the study of mind concerns the nature of sentience. How is it that there are sensations, rather than merely sensings? What is it like to be a bat -- or why is it like anything at all? Why aren't we automata or responding but unfeeling Zombies? How does neural activity give rise to subjective experience? As Leibniz put the problem : _It must be confessed, however, that Perception_ [consciousness?]_, and that which depends (...) upon it, are_ _inexplicable by mechanical means, that is to say, by figures and motions. Supposing that there were a_ _machine whose structure produced thought, sensation, and perceptions, we could conceive of it as increased_ _in its interior size with the same proportions until one was able to enter into its interior, as he would into a_ _mill. Now, on going into it he would find only pieces working upon one another, but never would he find_ _anything to explain Perception._ [Montgomery trans.]. (shrink)
If not a paradox, consciousness is at least an enigma. Many believe consciousness is hard to have, whereas others are panpsychists. Many hold that consciousness is hard to understand, perhaps impossibly so, whereas others believe we already have available an adequate general understanding of consciousness. Rocco Gennaro belongs to the second camp, and in this important work he explains why.In The Paradox of Consciousness, Gennaro develops and defends a higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness. A HOT theory is an alternative (...) to theories that consciousness depends on a “global workplace” that integrates and processes data from multiple sense modalities, or that what makes a conscious first-order mental state is what the state represents (“representationalism”). Any of these causal/computational theories has the great advantage over, say, quantum approaches, of providing a large-scale blueprint for actually designing a system that, if the theory is correct, would be conscious. T .. (shrink)
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States and many other countries have adopted a “paradigm of prevention,” employing a range of measures in an attempt to prevent future terrorist attacks. This includes the use of pretextual charges for preventive detention, the expansion of criminal liability to prohibit conduct that precedes terrorism, and expansion of surveillance at home and abroad. Politicians and government officials often speak of prevention as if it is an unqualified good. Everyone wants to (...) prevent the next terrorist attack, after all. And many preventive initiatives, especially where they are not coercive and do not intrude on liberty, are welcome. But the move to a “preventive justice” model also creates potential for significant abuse. These risks suggest that we should be cautious about adopting preventive approaches, especially where they involve coercion. In part I of this essay, I articulate why preventive coercion is a problem. I respond, in particular, to a recent essay by Fred Schauer, "The Ubiquity of Prevention," which argued that “it is a mistake to assume that preventive justice is a problem in itself [because] preventive justice is all around us, and it is hard to imagine a functioning society that could avoid it.” In part II, I outline the formal constitutional and other constraints that are implicated by preventive measures in the United States, and I demonstrate that these constraints play a relatively small role in the actual operation of preventive measures. In part III, I maintain that informal constraints may actually play a more significant operational role in checking the abuses of prevention. (shrink)
This paper articulates a feminist poststructural philosophy of education by combining the work of Luce Irigaray and Michel Foucault. This acts as an underpinning for a philosophy of desire (McWilliam, 1999) in education, or as a minor philosophy of education where multiple movements of bodies are enacted through theoretical methodologies and research. These methods include qualitative analysis and critical discourse analysis; where the conjunction Irigaray-Foucault is a paradigm for dealing with educational phenomena. It is also a rigorous materialism (Braidotti, 2005) (...) that opens up the way in which we think about philosophical bodies in education with language. This simultaneously creates gaps in our thinking about the problems associated with philosophical bodies in education, where the imagination may intercede and Eros can do his work, ‘For if Eros possessed all that he desires, he would desire no more’ (Irigaray, 1993, p. 22). (shrink)
Those who have a brief against the analytic-synthetic distinction raise problems for what seem to supporters of the distinction to be some of the clearest cases. That bachelors are unmarried seems to many to be analytically true. But to hold this seems to imply that there is a definition of "bachelor" that includes being unmarried. But critics of the analytic-synthetic distinction, such as Jerry Fodor, deny that there are true definitions (reportive, not stipulative). So there can be no definition of (...) "bachelor". And many have noted that defining "bachelor" is not as easy as appears at first blush. (shrink)