We present a meta-analytic review on the processing of negations in conditional reasoning about affirmation problems (Modus Ponens: "MP", Affirmation of the Consequent "AC") and denial problems (Denial of the Antecedent "DA", and Modus Tollens "MT"). Findings correct previous generalisations about the phenomena. First, the effects of negation in the part of the conditional about which an inference is made, are not constrained to denial problems. These inferential-negation effects are also observed on AC. Second, there generally are reliable effects of (...) a negation in the clause referred to by the categorical premise, and these referred-negation effects are constrained to the logically fallacious AC and DA inferences. All findings are presented and discussed in relation to contemporary mental model (MM) and mental logic (ML) theories. It is argued that a double-negation elimination hypothesis provides a sufficient explanation of inferential-negation effects within both MM theory and ML theory, if the latter is extended by a validating search for counter examples. Both MM and ML theories adhere to a processing scheme that allows them to incorporate an account of referred-negation effects based on the thesis that counter-example frequency is modulated by the scope of a contrast class delineated by a false affirmative. We conclude that MM and ML theories provide adequate processing schemes to accommodate for the explanatory hypotheses, at least in principle. In practice, both approaches remain equivocal as regards the connectivity and interactivity with long-term memory knowledge invoked in generating, manipulating, and testing the mental representations of negative state of affairs. (shrink)
[opening paragraph]: Walter Freeman discusses with Jean Burns some of the issues relating to consciousness in his recent book. Burns: To understand consciousness we need know its relationship to the brain, and to do that we need to know how the brain processes information. A lot of people think of brain processing in terms of individual neurons, and you're saying that brain processing should be understood in terms of dynamical states of populations?
Terry Lectures. A religious philosopher's exploration of the nature and history of the word argues that the word is initially and always sound, that it cannot be reduced to any other category, and that sound is essentially an event manifesting power and personal presence. His analysis of the development of verbal expression, from oral sources through the transfer to the visual world and to contemporary means of electronic communication, shows that the predicament of the human word is the predicament of (...) man himself. (shrink)
According to behavioural theories deriving from pragmatism, gestalt psychology, existentialism, and ecopsychology, knowledge about the world is gained by intentional action followed by learning. In terms of the neurodynamics described here, if the intending of an act comes to awareness through reafference, it is perceived as a cause. If the consequences of an act come to awareness through proprioception and exteroception, they are perceived as an effect. A sequence of such states of awareness comprises consciousness, which can grow in complexity (...) to include self-awareness. Intentional acts do not require awareness, whereas voluntary acts require self-awareness. Awareness of the action/perception cycle provides the cognitive metaphor of linear causality as an agency. Humans apply this metaphor to objects and events in the world to predict and control them, and to assign social responsibility. Thus, linear causality is the bedrock of technology and social contracts. Complex material systems with distributed non-linear feedback, such as brains and their neural and behavioural activities, cannot be explained by linear causality. They can be said to operate by circular causality without agency. The nature of self-control is described by breaking the circle into a forward limb, the intentional self, and a feedback limb, awareness of the self and its actions. The two limbs are realized through hierarchically stratified kinds of neural activity. Intentional acts are produced by the self-organized microscopic neural activity of cortical and subcortical components in the brain. Awareness supervenes as a macroscopic ordering state, that defers action until the self-organizing microscopic process has reached closure in reflective prediction. Agency, which is removed from the causal hierarchy by the appeal to circularity, re-appears as a metaphor by which events in the world are anthropomorphized, making them appear subject to human control. (shrink)
Renaissance logician, philosopher, humanist, and teacher, Peter Ramus (1515-72) is best known for his attack on Aristotelian logic, his radical pedagogical theories, and his new interpretation for the canon of rhetoric. His work, published in Latin and translated into many languages, has influenced the study of Renaissance literature, rhetoric, education, logic, and--more recently--media studies. Considered the most important work of Walter Ong's career, Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue is an elegant review of the history of Ramist scholarship (...) and Ramus's quarrels with Aristotle. A key influence on Marshall McLuhan, with whom Ong enjoys the status of honorary guru among technophiles, this challenging study remains the most detailed account of Ramus's method ever published. Out of print for more than a decade, this book--with a new foreword by Adrian Johns--is a canonical text for enthusiasts of media, Renaissance literature, and intellectual history. (shrink)
In the late eighteenth century, Adam Smith significantly shaped the modern world by claiming that when people individually pursue their own interests, they are together led towards achieving the common good. But can a population of selfish people achieve the economic common good in the absence of moral constraints on their behavior? If not, then what are the moral conditions of market interaction which lead to economically efficient outcomes of trade? Answers to these questions profoundly affect basic concepts and principles (...) of economic theory, legal theory, moral philosophy, political theory, and even judicial decisions at the appellate level. Walter Schultz illustrates the deficiencies of theories which purport to show that markets alone can provide the basis for efficiency. He demonstrates that efficient outcomes of market interaction cannot be achieved without moral normative constraints and then goes on to specify a set of normative conditions which make these positive outcomes possible. (shrink)
Even though theistic philosophers and scientists agree that God created, sustains, and providentially governs the physical universe and even though much has been published in general regarding divine action, what is needed is a fine-grained, conceptually coherent account of divine action, causation, dispositions, and laws of nature consistent with divine aseity, satisfying the widely recognized adequacy conditions for any account of dispositions.1 Such an account would be a basic part of a more comprehensive theory of divine action in relation to (...) the fundamental concepts of science and of mathematics. Our aim in this article is simply to present such a theory. (shrink)
Study of electroencephalographic brain activity in behaving animals has guided development of a model for the self-organization of goal-directed behavior. Synthesis of a dynamical representation of brain function is based in the concept of intentionality as the organizing principle of animal and human behavior. The constructions of patterns of brain activity constitute meaning and not information or representations. The three accepted meanings of intention: "aboutness," goal-seeking, and wound healing, can be incorporated into the dynamics of meaningful behavior, centered in the (...) limbic system interacting with the sensory and motor systems. Evidence is noted for the maintenance in cortical neuropil of a felt work of synaptic connections, that have incorporated past experience by changes in learning, and that act as a unified whole in shaping each intentional action at each moment. This constitutes the intentional structure of the brain. Meaning is a focus having a place without edges in this structure. The focus continually moves through it along a chaotic trajectory; the meaning occupies the whole structure. In this view, consciousness is the active state of an intentional structure, and awareness is the subjective aspect of the shifting focus. (shrink)
Ernst Mayr''s scientific career continues strongly 70 years after he published his first scientific paper in 1923. He is primarily a naturalist and ornithologist which has influenced his basic approach in science and later in philosophy and history of science. Mayr studied at the Natural History Museum in Berlin with Professor E. Stresemann, a leader in the most progressive school of avian systematics of the time. The contracts gained through Stresemann were central to Mayr''s participation in a three year expedition (...) to New Guinea and The Solomons, and the offer of a position in the Department of Ornithology, American Museum of Natural History, beginning in 1931. At the AMNH, Mayr was able to blend the best of the academic traditions of Europe with those of North America in developing a unified research program in biodiversity embracing systematics, biogeography and nomenclature. His tasks at the AMNH were to curate and study the huge collections amassed by the Whitney South Sea Expedition plus the just purchased Rothschild collection of birds. These studies provided Mayr with the empirical foundation essential for his 1942Systematics and the Origin of Species and his subsequent theoretical work in evolutionary biology as well as all his later work in the philosophy and history of science. Without a detailed understanding of Mayr''s empirical systematic and biogeographic work, one cannot possibly comprehend fully his immense contributions to evolutionary biology and his later analyses in the philosophy and history of science. (shrink)
The aim of this study was to investigate unconscious priming by the use of a spatial mirror-masking paradigm. Words and nonwords with no under-length letters are mirrored at their horizontal axis. The results are figures of geometric-like forms that contain letters in their upper part. In the three experiments reported in this study, a priming procedure used such mirrored words and nonwords as primes. Participants were ignorant of the nature of the construction of the stimuli. Perceptual reports of the participants (...) revealed that they did not realize that words were hidden in the primes. Nevertheless, they showed priming in all three experiments. Priming effects were replicated with prime–target SOAs of between 1 and 3 s. Functional dissociations were found between ignorant and informed participants. Informed groups showed perceptual and semantic priming, while ignorant groups showed only perceptual priming. (shrink)
Introduction to Special Issue on ‘Reclaiming Cognition: The Primacy of Action, Intention and Emotion’. Making sense of the mind is the human odyssey. Today, the cognitive sciences provide the vehicles and equipage. As do all culturally shaped activities, they manifest crystallized generalizations and ideological legacies, many of which go unquestioned for centuries. From time to time, these ideologies are successfully challenged, generating revisions and new forms of understanding. We believe that the cognitive sciences have reached a situation in which they (...) have been frozen into one narrow form by the machine metaphor. There is a need to thaw that form and move from a reductionist, atemporal, disembodied, static, rationalist, emotion- and culture-free view, to fundamentally richer understandings that include the primacy of action, intention, emotion, culture, real-time constraints, real-world opportunities, and the peculiarities of living bodies. These essays constitute an array of moves in that direction. (shrink)
John Rawls claims that “benevolent absolutisms” honor human rights without honoring political participation rights. Critics argue that he is mistaken. One objection appeals to the instrumental value of political participation rights. This objection holds that without political participation rights, individuals cannot secure the content of their rights against encroachment. Given this, individuals without political participation rights cannot be said to have rights at all. Here, I evaluate this instrumental objection. I identify three ways of relating political participation rights to human (...) rights and show that one makes sense of Rawls’s claim. I then defend this view from instrumental objections. This has implications beyond the realm of Rawls scholarship. Many societies are not democratic and are not democratizing. We must determine whether any of these societies can secure at least the content of human rights and, if so, what shape their social and political institutions must take to do so. (shrink)
A unifing theory of spatiotemporal brain dynamics should incorporate multiple spatial and temporal scales. Between the microscopic (local) and macroscopic (global) components proposed by Nunez, mesoscopic (intermediate-range) elements should be integral parts of models. The corresponding mathematical formalism requires tools of nonlinear dynamics and the use of aperiodic (chaotic) attractors. Some relations between local-mesoscopic and mesoscopic-global components are outlined.
Thelen et al. have a strong case for linking behavior with mind through nonrepresentational dynamics. Their case linking mind with brain is less compelling. Modified avenues are proposed for further exploration: greater emphasis on the dynamics of perception; use of chaotic instead of deterministic dynamics with noise; and use of intentionality instead of motivation, taking advantage of its creative dynamics to model genesis of goal-directed behaviors.
Variational evolutionary theory as advocated by Darwin is not a single theory, but a bundle of related but independent theories, namely: (a) variational evolution; (b) gradualism rather than large leaps; (c) processes of phyletic evolution and of speciation; (d) causes for the formation of varying individuals in populations and for the action of selective agents; and (e) all organisms evolved from a common ancestor. The first four are nomological-deductive explanations and the fifth is historical-narrative. Therefore evolutionary theory must be divided (...) into nomological and historical theories which are both testable against objective empirical observations. To be scientific, historical evolutionary theories must be based on well corroborated nomological theories, both evolutionary and functional. Nomological and general historical evolutionary theories are well tested and must be considered as strongly corroborated scientific theories. Opponents of evolutionary theory are concerned only with historical evolutionary theories, having little interest in nomological theory. Yet given a well corroborated nomological evolutionary theory, historical evolutionary theories follow automatically. If understood correctly, both forms of evolutionary theories stand on their own as corroborated scientific theories and should not be labeled as facts. (shrink)