This study examines the spontaneous use of embodied egocentric transformation in understanding false beliefs in the minds of others. EET involves the participants mentally transforming or rotating themselves into the orientation of an agent when trying to adopt his or her visuospatial perspective. We argue that psychological perspective taking such as false belief reasoning may also involve EET because of what has been widely reported in the embodied cognition literature, showing that our processing of abstract, propositional information is often grounded (...) in concrete bodily sensations which are not apparently linked to higher cognition. In Experiment 1, an agent placed a ball into one of two boxes and left. The ball then rolled out and moved either into the other box or back into the original one. The participants were to decide from which box they themselves or the agent would try to recover the ball. Results showed that false belief performance was affected by increased orientation disparity between the participants and the agent, suggesting involvement of embodied transformation. In Experiment 2, false belief was similarly induced and the participants were to decide if the agent would try to recover the ball in one specific box. Orientation disparity was again found to affect false belief performance. The present results extend previous findings on EET in visuospatial perspective taking and suggest that false belief reasoning, which is a kind of psychological perspective taking, can also involve embodied rotation, consistent with the embodied cognition view. (shrink)
In analyzing oppressive systems like racism, social theorists have articulated accounts of the dynamic interaction and mutual dependence between psychological components, such as individuals’ patterns of thought and action, and social components, such as formal institutions and informal interactions. We argue for the further inclusion of physical components, such as material artifacts and spatial environments. Drawing on socially situated and ecologically embedded approaches in the cognitive sciences, we argue that physical components of racism are not only shaped by, but also (...) shape psychological and social components of racism. Indeed, while our initial focus is on racism and racist things, we contend that our framework is also applicable to other oppressive systems, including sexism, classism, and ableism. This is because racist things are part of a broader class of oppressive things, which are material artifacts and spatial environments that are in congruence with an oppressive system. (shrink)
Our goal in this paper is to articulate a novel account of the ordinary concept ART. At the core of our account is the idea that a puzzle surrounding our thought and talk about art is best understood as just one instance of a far broader phenomenon. In particular, we claim that one can make progress on this puzzle by drawing on research from cognitive science on dual character concepts. Thus, we suggest that the very same sort of phenomenon that (...) is associated with ART can also be found in a broad class of other dual character concepts, including SCIENTIST, CHRISTIAN, GANGSTER, and many others. Instead of focusing narrowly on the case of ART, we try to offer a more general account of these concepts and the puzzles to which they give rise. Then, drawing on the general theory, we introduce a series of hypotheses about art concepts, and put those hypotheses to the test in three experimental studies. (shrink)
Ji Xia Shen Dao is the earliest, Mr., as his social life and political life of the "public" considerations, made him by the Taoist ontology, cosmology and cultivation theory, turn out the Legalist political philosophy and legal philosophy. He was transferred by the Huang-Lao Taoism Taoist truth home, Legalism transferred by the Taoist key figure. Basically, Shen Dao importance of social and political life of the "public" level and its objective of building, on the one hand retain the (...) Taoist understanding of the objective laws of nature, but on the other hand is also man-made construction and attention to the law changes. For the "public" considerations, through the Shen Dao for the "potential", "Law," "surgery" view. It is noteworthy that Shen Dao is not a harsh legalism. Shen Dao, although noting that France, but that the law should not be rigid; although he stressed that potential, that is, the use of power, but do not like the arrogance of power; although he discussed "doing nothing" to the relationship between the monarch and his art, but he does not like secrets trickery, no later Legalism is so Machiavellian; These are mainly due to his political and social areas to achieve public nature. Shen Dao was among the earliest Jixia scholars, who, because of his concern of the "publicity" in social and political realms, moved from Daoist ontology, cosmology and spirituality to Legalist political philosophy. He should be seen as the crucial figure in the transition from the development of the Daosim of Laozi and Zhuangzi to the Huanglao Daoism and from Daoism to Legalism. Basically, Shen Dao put emphasis on the public aspect of social and political lives and its objective construction, in keeping the idea of regularity of natural law in Daoism and the artificial construction of law and its process of becoming. The idea of publicity penetrated all his philosophy of Law, Power and statecraft. He was not a severe legalist, not allowing law to be stringent, power to be arrogant and statecraft to be machiavellian, all because of his concern with publicity, objectivity and justice. (shrink)
Compared to other forms of memory, episodic memory is commonly viewed as special for being distinctively metarepresentational and, relatedly, uniquely human. There is an inherent ambiguity in these conceptions, however, because “episodic memory” has two closely connected yet subtly distinct uses, one designating the recollective experience and the other designating the underlying neurocognitive system. Since experience and system sit at different levels of theorizing, their disentanglement is not only necessary but also fruitful for generating novel theoretical hypotheses. To show this, (...) I first argue that accepting the phenomenally conscious contents of episodic remembering as metarepresentational does not necessitate a metarepresentational conception of the episodic memory system. In its stead, I sketch an alternative account on which the metarepresentational character of episodic remembering is generated through the interaction of first-order outputs of the episodic memory system with other neurocognitive components of the brain. Complemented with a first-order account of the memory system, the system-experience distinction further supplies a novel understanding of the human uniqueness of episodic recollection, one that is compatible with there being an evolutionarily conserved episodic memory system. Overall, by distinguishing the two equivocal senses of “episodic memory” in our theorizing, we unearth an opportunity to understand how the distinctive phenomenology of our episodic recollection is related to and implemented in the cognitive architecture. (shrink)
This is a philosophical study dedicated to the late professor Vincent Shen, the Philosophy Department, University of Toronto, Canada. Papers in this collection are written by a group of philosophers and scholars from various countries and with different cultural and philosophical backgrounds. The issue includes the meaningfulness of life, self-awareness of life, intercultural dialogue, mutual recognition, otherness, sinology, Confucianism, justice, generosity, wisdom, etc.
It is well-known that racism is encoded into the social practices and institutions of medicine. Less well-known is that racism is encoded into the material artifacts of medicine. We argue that many medical devices are not merely biased, but materialize oppression. An oppressive device exhibits a harmful bias that reflects and perpetuates unjust power relations. Using pulse oximeters and spirometers as case studies, we show how medical devices can materialize oppression along various axes of social difference, including race, gender, class, (...) and ability. Our account uses political philosophy and cognitive science to give a theoretical basis for understanding materialized oppression, explaining how artifacts encode and carry oppressive ideas from the past to the present and future. Oppressive medical devices present a moral aggregation problem. To remedy this problem, we suggest redundantly layered solutions that are coordinated to disrupt reciprocal causal connections between the attitudes, practices, and artifacts of oppressive systems. (shrink)
One aim of this essay is to contribute to understanding aesthetic communication—the process by which agents aim to convey thoughts and transmit knowledge about aesthetic matters to others. Our focus will be on the use of aesthetic adjectives in aesthetic communication. Although theorists working on the semantics of adjectives have developed sophisticated theories about gradable adjectives, they have tended to avoid studying aesthetic adjectives—the class of adjectives that play a central role in expressing aesthetic evaluations. And despite the wealth of (...) attention paid to aesthetic adjectives by philosophical aestheticians, they have paid little attention to contemporary linguistic theories of adjectives. We take our work to be a first step in remedying these lacunae. In this paper, we present four experiments that examine one aspect of how aesthetic adjectives ordinarily function: the context-sensitivity of their application standards. Our results present a prima facie empirical challenge to a common distinction between relative and absolute gradable adjectives because aesthetic adjectives are found to behave differently from both. Our results thus also constitute a prima facie vindication of some philosophical aestheticians’ contention that aesthetic adjectives constitute a particularly interesting segment of natural language, even if the boundaries of this segment might turn out to be different from what they had in mind. (shrink)
Imaginative resistance refers to a phenomenon in which people resist engaging in particular prompted imaginative activities. Philosophers have primarily theorized about this phenomenon from the armchair. In this paper, we demonstrate the utility of empirical methods for investigating imaginative resistance. We present two studies that help to establish the psychological reality of imaginative resistance, and to uncover one factor that is significant for explaining this phenomenon but low in psychological salience: genre. Furthermore, our studies have the methodological upshot of showing (...) how empirical tools can complement the predominant armchair approach to philosophical aesthetics. (shrink)
The goal of this short paper is to show that esthetic adjectives—exemplified by “beautiful” and “elegant”—do not pattern stably on a range of linguistic diagnostics that have been used to taxonomize the gradability properties of adjectives. We argue that a plausible explanation for this puzzling data involves distinguishing two properties of gradable adjectives that have been frequently conflated: whether an adjective’s applicability is sensitive to a comparison class, and whether an adjective’s applicability is context-dependent.
Imaginative immersion refers to a phenomenon in which one loses oneself in make-believe. Susanna Schellenberg says that the best explanation of imaginative immersion involves a radical revision to cognitive architecture. Instead of there being an attitude of belief and a distinct attitude of imagination, there should only be one attitude that represents a continuum between belief and imagination. -/- We argue otherwise. Although imaginative immersion is a crucial data point for theorizing about the imagination, positing a continuum between belief and (...) imagination is neither necessary nor sufficient for explaining the phenomenon. In addition, arguing against Schellenberg’s account reveals important but underappreciated lessons for theorizing about the imagination and for interpreting boxological representations of the mind. (shrink)
Imaginative resistance refers to a phenomenon in which people resist engaging in particular prompted imaginative activities. On one influential diagnosis of imaginative resistance, the systematic difficulties are due to these particular propositions’ discordance with real-world norms. This essay argues that this influential diagnosis is too simple. While imagination is indeed by default constrained by real-world norms during narrative engagement, it can be freed with the power of genre conventions and expectations.
David Lewis argues that centered worlds give us a way to capture de se, or self-locating, contents in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. In recent years, centered worlds have also gained other uses in areas ranging widely from metaphysics to ethics. In this paper, I raise a problem for centered worlds and discuss the costs and benefits of different solutions. My investigation into the nature of centered worlds brings out potentially problematic implicit commitments of the theories that employ (...) them. In addition, my investigation shows that the conception of centered worlds widely attributed to David Lewis is not only problematic, but in fact not his. (shrink)
Narrative representations can change our moral actions and thoughts, for better or for worse. In this article, I develop a theory of fictions' capacity for moral education and moral corruption that is fully sensitive to the diversity of fictions. Specifically, I argue that the way a fiction influences our moral actions and thoughts importantly depends on its genre. This theory promises new insights into practical ethical debates over pornography and media violence.
To imagine is to form a mental representation that does not aim at things as they actually, presently, and subjectively are. One can use imagination to represent possibilities other than the actual, to represent times other than the present, and to represent perspectives other than one’s own. Unlike perceiving and believing, imagining something does not require one to consider that something to be the case. Unlike desiring or anticipating, imagining something does not require one to wish or expect that something (...) to be the case. // -/- Imagination is involved in a wide variety of human activities, and has been explored from a wide range of philosophical perspectives. Philosophers of mind have examined imagination’s role in mindreading and in pretense. Philosophical aestheticians have examined imagination’s role in creating and in engaging with different types of artworks. Epistemologists have examined imagination’s role in theoretical thought experiments and in practical decision-making. Philosophers of language have examined imagination’s role in irony and metaphor. // -/- Because of the breadth of the topic, this entry focuses exclusively on contemporary discussions of imagination in the Anglo-American philosophical tradition. (shrink)
Nostalgia and food are intertwined universals in human experience. All of us have experienced nostalgia centered on food, and all of us have experienced food infused with nostalgia. To explore the links between nostalgia and food, I start with a rough taxonomy of nostalgic foods, and illustrate it with examples. Despite their diversity, I argue that there is a psychological commonality to experiencing nostalgic foods of all kinds: imagination. On my account, imagination is the key to understanding the cognitive, conative, (...) affective, and perceptual aspects of experiencing nostalgic foods. In turn, the recognition of imagination’s centrality in experiencing nostalgic foods reveals how food can produce aesthetic experiences comparable to those produced by literature and painting. (shrink)
Critics across the political spectrum have worried that ordinary uses of words like 'racist', 'sexist', and 'homophobic' are becoming conceptually inflated, meaning that these expressions are getting used so widely that they lose their nuance and, thereby, their moral force. However, the charge of conceptual inflation, as well as responses to it, are standardly made without any systematic investigation of how 'racist' and other expressions condemning oppression are actually used in ordinary language. Once we examine large linguistic corpora to see (...) how these expressions are actually used, we find that English speakers have a rich linguistic repertoire for qualifying the degree to which and dimensions along which something is racist, sexist, homophobic, and so on. These facts about ordinary usage undermine the charge of conceptual inflation. Without awareness of facts about ordinary usage, theorists risk making linguistic prescriptions that are unnecessary or counterproductive. (shrink)
The purpose of cultural competence education for medical professionals is to ensure respectful care and reduce health disparities. Yet as Berger and Miller (2021) show, the cultural competence framework is dated, confused, and self-defeating. They argue that the framework ignores the primary driver of health disparities—systemic racism—and is apt to exacerbate rather than mitigate bias and ethnocentrism. They propose replacing cultural competence with a framework that attends to two social aspects of structural inequality: health and social policy, and institutional-system activity; (...) and two psychological aspects of structural inequality: the clinical encounter, and the epistemic. -/- We agree with the structural approach. To that end, we think it would be fruitful to include attention to physical contributors to structural inequality, namely the material artifacts used in medicine. Devices, tools, and technologies can materialize biases, perpetuate oppression, and contribute to health disparities. Granted, not everything that interests philosophers can be squeezed into medical education. Nevertheless, there are compelling reasons for including the study of material artifacts in education designed to reduce health disparities. First, devices and tools often carry forward biases from the past, and keep biases hidden from plain sight. Second, by studying these artifacts, future clinicians can begin to see themselves as part of a larger sociotechnical system. Finally, as medicine becomes increasingly tech-laden, it’s important for clinicians to see how material artifacts (including algorithms) connect individuals to structures. This will help to undermine oversimplified narratives according to which objective tools and technologies can correct for the bias and subjectivity of flawed human beings. (shrink)
Hoerl & McCormack claim that animals don't represent time. Because this makes a mystery of established findings in comparative psychology, there had better be some important payoff. The main one they mention is that it explains a clash of intuition about the reality of time's passage. But any theory that recognizes the representational requirements of agency can do likewise.
David Lewis argues that centered worlds give us a way to capture de se, or self‐locating, contents in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. In recent years, centered worlds have also gained other uses in areas ranging widely from metaphysics to ethics. This paper raises a problem for centered worlds and discusses the costs and benefits of different solutions. The present investigation into the nature of centered worlds helps to explicate potentially problematic implicit commitments of the theories that employ (...) them. In addition, this investigation reveals that the conception of centered worlds widely attributed to David Lewis is not only problematic, but in fact not his. (shrink)
Methodologically, philosophical aesthetics is undergoing an evolution that takes it closer to the sciences. Taking this methodological convergence as the starting point, I argue for a pragmatist and pluralist view of aesthetic explanations. To bring concreteness to discussion, I focus on vindicating genre explanations, which are explanations of aesthetic phenomena that centrally cite a work's genre classification. I show that theoretical resources that philosophers of science have developed with attention to actual scientific practice and the special sciences can be used (...) to make room for genre explanations in aesthetics. In turn, making room for genre explanations also demonstrates the plausibility of the pragmatist and pluralist view of aesthetic explanations. (shrink)
Where is imagination in imaginative resistance? We seek to answer this question by connecting two ongoing lines of inquiry in different subfields of philosophy. In philosophy of mind, philosophers have been trying to understand imaginative attitudes’ place in cognitive architecture. In aesthetics, philosophers have been trying to understand the phenomenon of imaginative resistance. By connecting these two lines of inquiry, we hope to find mutual illumination of an attitude (or cluster of attitudes) and a phenomenon that have vexed philosophers. Our (...) strategy is to reorient the imaginative resistance literature from the perspective of cognitive architecture. Whereas existing taxonomies of positions in the imaginative resistance literature have focused on disagreements over the source and scope of the phenomenon, our taxonomy focuses on the psychological components necessary for explaining imaginative resistance. (shrink)
Gender in Chinese Philosophy The concept of gender is foundational to the general approach of Chinese thinkers. Yin and yang, core elements of Chinese cosmogony, involve correlative aspects of “dark and light,” “female and male,” and “soft and hard.” These notions, with their deeply-rooted gender connotations, recognize the necessity of interplay between these different forces … Continue reading Gender in Chinese Philosophy →.
Many studies have revealed the top-down modulation on unconscious processing. However, there is little research about how category-selective attention could modulate the unconscious processing. In the present study, using functional magnetic resonance imaging , the results showed that category-selective attention modulated unconscious face/tool processing in the middle occipital gyrus . Interestingly, MOG effects were of opposed direction for face and tool processes. During unconscious face processing, activation in MOG decreased under the face-selective attention compared with tool-selective attention. This result was (...) in line with the predictive coding theory. During unconscious tool processing, however, activation in MOG increased under the tool-selective attention compared with face-selective attention. The different effects might be ascribed to an interaction between top-down category-selective processes and bottom-up processes in the partial awareness level as proposed by Kouider, De Gardelle, Sackur, and Dupoux . Specifically, we suppose an “excessive activation” hypothesis. (shrink)
This chapter explores the interaction between the moral value and aesthetic value of food, in part by connecting it to existing discussions of the interaction between moral and aesthetic values of art. Along the way, this chapter considers food as art, the aesthetic value of food, and the role of expertise in uncovering aesthetic value. Ultimately this chapter argues against both food autonomism (the view that food's moral value is unconnected to its aesthetic value) and Carolyn Korsmeyer's food moralism (the (...) view that moral flaws can only make food aesthetically worse). Instead, it argues for the position of food immoralism: sometimes a moral flaw can make an item of food aesthetically better. This chapter concludes by drawing out broader implications of this position for discussions on the ethics of food and discussions on the interaction between the moral and aesthetic values of art. (shrink)
Issues of pretense and imagination are of central interest to philosophers, psychologists, and researchers in allied fields. In this entry, we provide a roadmap of some of the central themes around which discussion has been focused. We begin with an overview of pretense, imagination, and the relationship between them. We then shift our attention to the four specific topics where the disciplines' research programs have intersected or where additional interactions could prove mutually beneficial: the psychological underpinnings of performing pretense and (...) of recognizing pretense, the cognitive capacities involved in imaginative engagement with fictions, and the real-world impact of make-believe. In the final section, we discuss more briefly a number of other mental activities that arguably involve imagining, including counterfactual reasoning, delusions, and dreaming. (shrink)
Some philosophers have criticized experimental philosophy for being superfluous. Jackson implies that experimental philosophy studies are unnecessary. More recently, Dunaway, Edmunds, and Manley empirically demonstrate that experimental studies do not deliver surprising results, which is a pro tanto reason for foregoing conducting such studies. This paper gives theoretical and empirical considerations against the superfluity criticism. The questions concerning the surprisingness of experimental philosophy studies have not been properly disambiguated, and their metaphilosophical significance have not been properly assessed. Once the most (...) relevant question is identified, a re-analysis of Dunaway and colleagues’ data actually undermines the superfluity criticism. (shrink)
It has been widely reported that women are underrepresented in academic philosophy as faculty and students. This article investigates whether this representation may also occur in the domain of journal article publishing. Our study looked at whether women authors were underrepresented as authors in elite ethics journals — Ethics, Philosophy & Public Affairs, the Journal of Political Philosophy, and the Journal of Moral Philosophy — between 2004-2014, relative to the proportion of women employed in academic ethics (broadly construed). We found (...) that women are indeed underrepresented overall in prestigious ethics journal publishing. Though this is not our focus, we discuss possible causes for this finding, such as top ethics journals’ tendency not to publish much feminist philosophy; the impact of women’s lesser professional status or rank within philosophy on their prospects for, and success in, journal publishing; and the review process itself, which may disadvantage or discourage women authors — perhaps especially when their gender, rank, and affiliation are known to the editor or reviewer, or if their work is explicitly feminist. We discuss possible avenues for future research on the "woman problem" in philosophy, noting how our study relates to existing research on this issue. (shrink)
Beliefs about the importance of ethical behavior to competent practice have prompted major shifts in psychology ethics over time. Yet few studies examine ethical beliefs and behavior after training, and most comprehensive research is now 30 years old. As such, it is unclear whether shifts in the field have resulted in general improvements in ethical practice: Are we psychologists “ships in the rising sea,” lifted by changes in ethical codes and training over time? Participants completed a survey of ethical beliefs (...) and behaviors. Analyses examined group differences, consistency of frequency and ethicality ratings, and comparisons with past data. More than half of behaviors were rated as less ethical and occurring less frequently than in 1987, with early career psychologists generally reporting less ethically questionable behavior. Recommendations for enhancing ethics education are discussed. (shrink)
We apply a familiar distinction from philosophy of language to a class of material artifacts that are sometimes said to “speak”: statues. By distinguishing how statues speak at the locutionary level versus at the illocutionary level, or what they say versus what they do, we obtain the resource for addressing two topics. First, we can explain what makes statues distinct from street art. Second, we can explain why it is mistaken to criticize—or to defend—the continuing presence of statues based only (...) on what they represent. Both explanations are driven by the same core idea: the significance of statues arises primarily from what they do, and not what they say. (shrink)
We refine a line of feminist criticism of pornography that focuses on pornographic works' pernicious effects. A.W. Eaton argues that inegalitarian pornography should be criticized because it is responsible for its consumers’ adoption of inegalitarian attitudes toward sex in the same way that other fictions are responsible for changes in their consumers’ attitudes. We argue that her argument can be improved with the recognition that different fictions can have different modes of persuasion. This is true of film and television: a (...) satirical movie such as Dr. Strangelove does not morally educate in the same way as a realistic series such as The Wire. We argue that this is also true of pornography: inegalitarian depictions of sex are not invariably responsible for consumers' adoption of inegalitarian attitudes toward sex in reality. Given that pornographic works of different genres may harm in different ways, different feminist criticisms are appropriate for different genres of pornography. (shrink)
Whenever philosophers try to include a “diverse” — in the sense of not currently recognised as canon — philosophy x into their teaching and their research, they inevitably get asked: “What is x philosophy?” and “Is x philosophy really philosophy?”. -/- These metaphilosophical questions do not only arise with attempts to include “diverse” intellectual traditions, but also with attempts to include “diverse” thinkers, works, topics, and methods. First, they are asked to prove that x exists. Second, they are asked to (...) prove that x is really philosophy. To refer to the pattern of debates that these questions engender, call it conversational dynamics of diversity. (shrink)