Traditional explanations of multistable visual phenomena (e.g. ambiguous figures, perceptual rivalry) suggest that the basis for spontaneous reversals in perception lies in antagonistic connectivity within the visual system. In this review, we suggest an alternative, albeit speculative. explanation for visual multistability - that spontaneous alternations reflect responses to active, programmed events initiated by brain areas that integrate sensory and non-sensory information to coordinate a diversity of behaviors. Much evidence suggests that perceptual reversals are themselves more closely related to the expression (...) of a behavior than to passive sensory responses: (1) they are initiated spontaneously, often voluntarily, and are influenced by subjective variables such as attention and mood; (2) the alternation process is greatly facilitated with practice and compromised by lesions in non- visual cortical areas; (3) the alternation process has temporal dynamics similar to those of spontaneously initiated behaviors; (4) functional imaging reveals that brain areas associated with a variety of cognitive behaviors are specifically activated when vision becomes unstable. In this scheme, reorganizations of activity throughout the visual cortex, concurrent with perceptual reversals, are initiated by higher, largely non- sensory brain centers. Such direct intervention In the processing of the sensory input by brain structures associated with planning and motor programming might serve an important role in perceptual organization, particularly in aspects related to selective attention. (shrink)
The relationship between brain activity and conscious visual experience is central to our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying perception. Binocular rivalry, where monocular stimuli compete for perceptual dominance, has been previously used to dissociate the constant stimulus from the varying percept. We report here fMRI results from humans experiencing binocular rivalry under a dichoptic stimulation paradigm that consisted of two drifting random dot patterns with different motion coherence. Each pattern had also a different color, which both enhanced rivalry and (...) was used for reporting which of the two patterns was visible at each time. As the perception of the subjects alternated between coherent motion and motion noise, we examined the effect that these alternations had on the strength of the MR signal throughout the brain. Our results demonstrate that motion perception is able to modulate the activity of several of the visual areas which are known to be involved in motion processing. More specifically, in addition to area V5 which showed the strongest modulation, a higher activity during the perception of motion than during the perception of noise was also clearly observed in areas V3A and LOC, and less so in area V3. In previous studies, these areas had been selectively activated by motion stimuli but whether their activity reflects motion perception or not remained unclear; here we show that they are involved in motion perception as well. The present findings therefore suggest a lack of a clear distinction between ?processing? versus ?perceptual? areas in the brain, but rather that the areas involved in the processing of a specific visual attribute are also part of the neuronal network that is collectively responsible for its perceptual representation. (shrink)
Computer simulation and thought experiments seem to produce knowledge about the world without intervening in the world. This has called for a comparison between the two methods. However, Chandrasekharan et al. argue that the nature of contemporary science is too complex for using TEs. They suggest CS as the tool for contemporary sciences and conclude that it will replace TEs. In this paper, by discussing a few TEs from the history of science, I show that the replacement thesis about TE (...) is a failure. The paper is divided into three sections. The first section discusses the arguments of Chandrasekharan et al. and demonstrates the three distinct aspects of the replacement thesis. The second section examines the argument against TE and shows that they are inadequate to prove the withering of TE from science. The third section discusses Albert Einstein’s Magnet and Conductor TE and demonstrates that replacing such TE with CS yield no advantage. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the centrality of aspect seeing in Wittgenstein's philosophy, with some analogies between religious beliefs and aspect seeing, and with the implications of these analogies for the question of the justification of religious beliefs. If belief in God is neither a hypothesis nor a regular perceptual belief but rather a type of aspect seeing, then the kinds of proofs and justifications that are applicable to it would have to engage the non-believer in a manner that would (...) help her experience the dawning of a new aspect. This is why the standard philosophical proofs for theism, even when accepted as valid, are likely to be unsuccessful in bringing about faith. (shrink)
The establishment of the Campanian nation.Carthaginian expedition to Sicily.. Insigni magnis rebus anno additur nihil turn ad rem Romanam pertinere visum, quod Carthaginienses, tanti hostes futuri, turn primum per seditiones Siculorum ad partis alterius auxilium in Sicilian! exercitum traiecere.
The expectation of a "new heaven and new earth" has by and large suppressed the attention of Christian thought to the fate of this heaven and this earth. Our world, perishable, sinful, and a vale of unrelievable sorrow and illusory pleasures, cannot attract one who is wholly absorbed in Eternity. Such is the unflagging belief of Christian consciousness with which the countless zealots of the spiritual life went off to monasteries and into the desert to pray.
Thought experiments are one among the oldest and effectively employed tools of scientific reasoning. Hacking (Philos Sci 2:302–308, 1992) argues that thought experiments in contrast to real experiments do not have a life of their own. In this paper, I attempt to show that contrary to Hacking’s contentions, thought experiments do have a life of their own. The paper is divided into three main sections. In the first section, I review the reasons that Hacking sets out for believing in the (...) life of experiments. Second section discusses Hacking’s characterization of thought experiments. The section also reviews his arguments for denying a life to thought experiments. In the third section, I argue for a life of thought experiments. In this section, I discuss the historical evolution of the EPR thought experiment and Galileo’s Free Falling Bodies in detail to show the untenability of Hacking’s arguments. The third section is followed by a conclusion that thought experiments do have a life of their own. (shrink)
The author raises the old problem--how can the individual fulfill himself within the restrictive structure of the political state? The purpose of this work is to demonstrate that the philosophy of individualism does not lead to a solution, because it considers man as an asocial being. The only logical alternatives for a society based on such a philosophy are anarchy, in which each man serves his own end, or totalitarian rule, in which all individual desires are subjected to the power (...) of the state. The author calls for a society in which man is regarded as naturally social, and in which reason is the corner-stone of order.--K. O'N. (shrink)
The Russian poet and anthroposophist Andrei Belyi has four poems from 1918 with the same title, Anthroposophy [Antroposofiia]. These are love poems and anthroposophy is represented in them as a living spiritual being of female gender. The principal attribute of this being is a "clear gaze," "flashing eyes," which regard the poet from the precincts of light, of blueness, from waves of aromas and musical harmonies. These verses are clearly oriented to the poem "Three Encounters" [Tri vstrechi] by Vladimir Solov'ev, (...) the theme of which is the thrice-repeated vision of what Solov'ev recognized as the Sophia of the ancient Gnostics and of Jakob Böhme. How are we to understand Belyi's enigmatic poetic intent? How does anthroposophy—a "science of the spirit," an occult system created by Rudolf Steiner—become in Belyi's imagination now a "sister," now a beloved—"tender, gentle, and kind"—linked to the poet by a mysterious and fateful meeting in eternity? Most importantly, what does this anthropomorphism of anthroposophy mean? The suggestion that these verses may have had real prototypes poems does not eliminate the question. But the question is resolved if we turn to a very well-known and in certain respects key lecture by Steiner entitled "The Essence of Anthroposophy," which he gave in Berlin in February 1913, and which Andrei Belyi attended. This lecture not only provides the key to those of Belyi's poems of interest to us here; it also brings us directly to the theme of our present study, inasmuch as its content creates a bridge between Russian religious culture of the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries, developing under the aegis of Sophia, and the latest German gnosis. It is therefore worth dwelling on it especially. (shrink)
In this book an attempt is made to represent the Theravada in its faithful form. This work is purely altruistic. It is for the reader and for the scholar to justify how far this position is desensible in the course of the lecturer in this book. In India, Pali Abhidhamma is as yet a scaled book and hence we have done a splendid work in the cause of knowledge and philosophy.
In this paper, I argue for a new conception of religious justifications which takes the performance of miracles as the paradigm of reasoning in religion. The paper has two parts: In the first part, I argue against Swinburne’s parity argument for the existence of God by showing that religious perceptions fit more comfortably among aspect perceptions, e.g., the perceptions of beauty and courage, than among our perceptions of objects and colors. In the second part of the paper I employ the (...) analogy between seeing God and seeing beauty and the moral features of an act to propose a performative and transformative conception of religious reasoning. I argue that an argument in religion is a performance which brings various facts or events into life in a particular manner, so that God may be seen in or through them. Any such performance through which God is seen may be properly called a "miracle". Thus, the performance of miracles, i.e., of acts that are directed at becoming the vehicles throu. (shrink)