We report an experiment investigating the “special-process” theory of insight problem solving, which claims that insight arises from non-conscious, non-reportable processes that enable problem re-structuring. We predicted that reducing opportunities for speech-based processing during insight problem solving should permit special processes to function more effectively and gain conscious awareness, thereby facilitating insight. We distracted speech-based processing by using either articulatory suppression or irrelevant speech, with findings for these conditions supporting the predicted insight facilitation effect relative to silent working or thinking (...) aloud. The latter condition was included to investigate the currently contested effect of “verbal overshadowing” on insight, whereby thinking aloud is claimed to hinder the operation of special, non-reportable processes. Whilst verbal overshadowing was not evident in final solution rates, there was nevertheless support for verbal overshadowing up to and beyond.. (shrink)
People consistently act in ways that harm the environment, even when believing their actions are environmentally friendly. A case in point is a biased judgment termed the negative footprint illusion, which arises when people believe that the addition of “eco-friendly” items to conventional items, reduces the total carbon footprint of the whole item-set, whereas the carbon footprint is, in fact, increased because eco-friendly items still contribute to the overall carbon footprint. Previous research suggests this illusion is the manifestation of an (...) “averaging-bias.” We present two studies that explore whether people’s susceptibility to the negative footprint illusion is associated with individual differences in: environment-specific reasoning dispositions measured in terms of compensatory green beliefs and environmental concerns; or general analytic reasoning dispositions measured in terms of actively open-minded thinking, avoidance of impulsivity and reflective reasoning. A negative footprint illusion was demonstrated when participants rated the carbon footprint of conventional buildings combined with eco-friendly buildings and conventional cars combined with eco-friendly cars. However, the illusion was not identified in participants’ ratings of the carbon footprint of apples. In Studies 1 and 2, environment-specific dispositions were found to be unrelated to the negative footprint illusion. Regarding reflective thinking dispositions, reduced susceptibility to the negative footprint illusion was only associated with actively open-minded thinking measured on a 7-item scale and 17-item scale. Our findings provide partial support for the existence of a negative footprint illusion and reveal a role of individual variation in reflective reasoning dispositions in accounting for a limited element of differential susceptibility to this illusion. (shrink)
This review of Martin Jay’s recent published collection of essays examines his ongoing rethinking, supplementation, and revision of central themes—the negative and positive dialectics of historical totalization, the varieties and uses of conceptions of experience, the nature of visual cultures and scopic regimes, and the ambiguities of truth-construction in the public realm—that have been the focus of his major works since the 1970s. It argues that his more recent work indicates a gradual shift toward an affirmation of the kinds of (...) paratactic and deconstructive thinking of Adorno and Derrida as models for producing appropriate forms of historical consciousness and historical critique in the present, and it raises the question of how the issues of historical truth-telling, consensual collective identity, ethical action, and the cultural role of the critical intellectual are reformulated in this process. (shrink)
The popular belief that religion is the same everywhere or that all religions are ‘at bottom’ identical in essentials is a widespread falsehood that is saved from being completely worthless by the fact that religion does exhibit a universal or common structure wherever it appears. This structure is intimately related to the structure of human life in the world. The enduring pattern that enables us to understand religions widely separated in both time and space depends largely on the fact that (...) man and the process of human life in the world have their own structures which remain, despite the undeniable variety introduced by vast differences of culture, ethnic features, geographical location, climate etc. Structure means pattern or form; it is reality significantly organised. It can be grasped as that which endures above and beyond changing historical details. Because human life has a structure, we are able to understand the wrath of Achilles or sympathise with the love of Abélard for Héloïse although we are separated from both by centuries of time. (shrink)
Despite the title, I do not intend to launch another expedition into the domain of epistemology. I wish instead to call attention to some problems which have arisen for philosophical theologians and philosophers of religion, as a result of two facts about the development of modern philosophy and its bearing on the analysis and interpretation of religious insight. Following these considerations, I shall propose in brief compass a programme for the future which I believe will prove fruitful for the philosophical (...) treatment of religious concerns. (shrink)
Let it be clear at the outset that in reappraising Dewey's thought we have to do with no minute philosopher. In breadth of interest and range of thought he belongs with the great comprehensive thinkers of the past. And in contrast to many thinkers both in his own time and since, he had a constructive program. Philosophy for him meant more than analysis, even though analysis is an important part of the philosophic enterprise. Dewey's constructive philosophy has too often been (...) lost in polemic discussion. I subscribe to the confession made some years ago by Ernest Hocking in which he said that he began to understand Dewey when he started reading him for enjoyment and not for the purpose of showing that he was all wrong! As Dewey's work shapes up in historical perspective, it assumes a great substantiality. One may disagree and one may correct, but in comparison with philosophy of a wholly technical and professional sort, Dewey's large-minded approach to genuinely philosophic questions places him among philosophers of stature. (shrink)
In the first comprehensive biography of Ferdinand de Saussure, John E. Joseph restores the full character and history of a man who is considered the founder of modern linguistics and whose ideas have influenced literary theory, philosophy, cultural studies, and virtually every other branch of humanities and the social sciences.
_God and Morality_ evaluates the ethical theories of four principle philosophers, Aristotle, Duns Scotus, Kant, and R.M. Hare. Uses their thinking as the basis for telling the story of the history and development of ethical thought more broadly Focuses specifically on their writings on virtue, will, duty, and consequence Concentrates on the theistic beliefs to highlight continuity of philosophical thought.
This book, first published in 1990, takes a critical look at the major assumptions which support critical thinking programs and discovers many unresolved questions which threaten their viability. John McPeck argues that some of these assumptions are incoherent or run counter to common sense, while others are unsupported by the available empirical evidence. This title will be of interest to students of the philosophy of education.
Is morality too difficult for human beings? Kant said that it was, except with God's assistance. Contemporary moral philosophers have usually discussed the question without reference to Christian doctrine, and have either diminished the moral demand, exaggerated human moral capacity, or tried to find a substitute in nature for God's assistance. This book looks at these philosophers--from Kant and Kierkegaard to Swinburne, Russell, and R.M. Hare--and the alternative in Christianity.
John E. Smith has contributed to contemporary philosophy in primarily four distinct capacities; first, as a philosopher of religion and God; second, as an indefatigable defender of philosophical reflection in its classical sense ( a sense inclusive of, but not limited to, metaphysics); third, as a participant in the reconstruction of experience and reason so boldly inaugurated by Hegel then redically transformed by the classical American pragmatists, and significantly augmented by such thinkers as Josiah Royce, william Earnest Hocking, and (...) Alfred North Whitehead; fourth, as an interpreter of philosophical texts and traditions (Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche no less than Charles Peirce, WIlliam James and John Dewey; German idealism as well as American; the Augustinian tradition no less than the pragmatic). Reason, Experience, and God provides an important and comprehensive look at the work of John E. Smith by collected essays which each address aspects of his life-long work. A response by John E. Smith himself draws a line of continuity between the pieces. (shrink)
In dialogue with key theorists of catastrophe and trauma--including Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, George Lamming, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Derek Walcott, as well as key figures in Holocaust studies--Glissant and the Middle Passage hones a sharp sense of the specifically Caribbean varieties of loss, developing them into a transformative philosophical idea. Using the Plantation as a critical concept, John E. Drabinski creolizes notions of rhizome and nomad, examining what kinds of aesthetics grow from these roots and offering reconsiderations of (...) what constitutes intellectual work and cultural production.Glissant and the Middle Passage establishes Glissant's proper place as a key theorist of ruin, catastrophe, abyss, and memory. Identifying his insistence on memories and histories tied to place as the crucial geography at the heart of his work, this book imparts an innovative new response to the specific historical experiences of the Middle Passage. - from the publisher. (shrink)
_A new theory of how and why we cooperate, drawing from economics, political theory, and philosophy to challenge the conventional wisdom of game theory_ Game theory explains competitive behavior by working from the premise that people are self-interested. People don’t just compete, however; they also cooperate. John Roemer argues that attempts by orthodox game theorists to account for cooperation leave much to be desired. Unlike competing players, cooperating players take those actions that they would like others to take—which Roemer (...) calls “Kantian optimization.” Through rigorous reasoning and modeling, Roemer demonstrates a simpler theory of cooperative behavior than the standard model provides. (shrink)
In these previously uncollected essays, Smith argues that American philosophers like Peirce, James, Royce, and Dewey have forged a unique philosophical tradition—one that is rich and complex enough to represent a genuine alternative to the analytic, phenomenological, and hermeneutical traditions which have originated in Britain or Europe. "In my judgment, John Smith has no equal today in combining two scholarly qualities: the analysis of philosophical texts with penetration and rigor, and the discernment of what it is in these texts (...) that matters. These qualities are in evidence throughout the essays in _America's Philosophical Vision._ Whether he is evaluating Rorty's view of Dewey; the pragmatic theory of experience and truth; theories of freedom, creativity, and the self; Royce's conception of community; or synoptic philosophic visions, Smith always succeeds in uniting a comprehensive understanding of philosophic writings with a sure grasp of their import for human culture and aspiration. It is a great benefit to students of American thought that these papers have now been collected into one volume."—James Gouinlock, Emory University. (shrink)
Divine Command defends the thesis that what makes something morally obligatory is that God commands it, and what makes something morally forbidden is that God forbids it. John E. Hare successfully defends a version of divine command theory, but also shows that there is considerable overlap with some versions of natural law theory. Hare engages with a number of Christian theologians, most especially Karl Barth, and extends into a discussion of divine command within Judaism and Islam. The work concludes (...) by examining recent work in evolutionary psychology, and argues that thinking of our moral obligations as produced by divine command offers us some help in seeing how a moral conscience could develop in a way that is evolutionarily stable. (shrink)
This book presents a detailed fieldwork-based study of the ancient Indian religion of Jainism. Drawing on field research in northern Gujarat and on the study of both ancient Sanskrit and Prakrit and modern vernacular Jain religious literature, John Cort provides a rounded portrait of the religion as it is practiced today.
_In _Challenging the One Best System_, a team of leading education scholars offers a rich comparative analysis of the set of urban education governance reforms collectively known as the “portfolio management model.”_ They investigate the degree to which this model—a system of schools operating under different types of governance and with different degrees of autonomy—challenges the standard structure of district governance famously characterized by David Tyack as “the one best system.” The authors examine the design and enactment of the portfolio (...) management model in three major cities: New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Denver. They identify the five interlocking mechanisms at the core of the model—planning and oversight, choice, autonomy, human capital, and school supports—and show how these are implemented differently in each city. Using rich qualitative data from extensive interviews, the authors trace the internal tensions and tradeoffs that characterize these systems and highlight the influence of historical and contextual factors as well. Most importantly, they question whether the portfolio management model represents a fundamental restructuring of education governance or more incremental change, and whether it points in the direction of meaningful improvement in school practices. Drawing on a rigorous, multimethod study, _Challenging the One Best System_ represents a significant contribution to our understanding of system-level change in education. (shrink)
In this paper, I discuss several temporal aspects of paleontology from a philosophical perspective. I begin by presenting the general problem of “taming” deep time to make it comprehensible at a human scale, starting with the traditional geologic time scale: an event-based, relative time scale consisting of a hierarchy of chronological units. Not only does the relative timescale provide a basis for reconstructing many of the general features of the history of life, but it is also consonant with the cognitive (...) processes humans use to think about time. Absolute dating of rocks, fossils, and evolutionary events (such as branching events on the tree of life) can be accomplished through the use of radiometric dating, chronological signals extractable from fossil growth patterns, and the “molecular clock.” Sometimes these different methods of absolute dating, which start from largely independent assumptions and evidentiary bases, converge in their temporal estimates, resulting in a consilience of inductions. At other times they fail to agree, either because fossils and molecules are giving temporal information about different aspects of nature and should not be expected to agree, or because of flawed assumptions that give rise to an inaccurate estimate. I argue that in general, despite the fact that it can be difficult to integrate disparate kinds of evidence, the principle of total evidence should be applied to the dating of evolutionary events. As a historical science, paleontology studies past events we cannot observe directly. This raises questions of epistemic access, meaning that due to the fragmentary nature of the fossil record we may find ourselves without access to the relevant traces to adjudicate between rival hypotheses about the past. The problems and prospects of epistemic access are explored through a case study of the reconstruction of the colors of dinosaurs. The paper closes with a reflection on the Darwin- Lyell metaphor of the fossil record as a highly fragmentary history book, and a call for a reconsideration of the book metaphor in favor of a systems view of the geologic and fossil records. (shrink)