Learning in educational settings most often emphasizes declarative and procedural knowledge. Studies of expertise, however, point to other, equally important components of learning, especially improvements produced by experience in the extraction of information: Perceptual learning. Here we describe research that combines principles of perceptual learning with computer technology to address persistent difficulties in mathematics learning. We report three experiments in which we developed and tested perceptual learning modules to address issues of structure extraction and fluency in relation to algebra and (...) fractions. PLMs focus students’ learning on recognizing and discriminating, or mapping key structures across different representations or transformations. Results showed significant and persisting learning gains for students using PLMs. PLM technology offers promise for addressing neglected components of learning: Pattern recognition, structural intuition, and fluency. Using PLMs as a complement to other modes of instruction may allow students to overcome chronic problems in learning. (shrink)
To claim that Hayden White has yet to be read seriously as a philosopher of history might seem false on the face of it. But do tropes and the rest provide any epistemic rationale for differing representations of historical events found in histories? As an explanation of White’s influence on philosophy of history, such a proffered emphasis only generates a puzzle with regard to taking White seriously, and not an answer to the question of why his efforts should be worthy (...) of any philosophical attention at all. For what makes his emphasis on narrative structure and its associated tropes of philosophical relevance? What, it may well be asked, did any theory that draws its categories from a stock provided by literary criticism contribute to explicating problems with regard to the warranting of claims about knowledge, explanation, or causation that represent those concerns that philosophy typically brings to this field? Robert Doran’s anthologizing of previously uncollected pieces, ranging as they do over a literal half-century of White’s published work, offers an opportunity to identify explicitly those philosophical themes and arguments that regularly and prominently feature there. Moreover, White’s essays in this volume demonstrate a credible knowledge of and interest in mainstream analytic philosophers of his era and also reveal White as deeply influenced by or well acquainted with other important philosophers of history. White thus invites a reading of his work as philosophy, and this volume presents the opportunity for accepting it as such. (shrink)
Revolutionizing received opinion of Taoism's origins in light of historic new discoveries, Harold D. Roth has uncovered China's oldest mystical text--the original expression of Taoist philosophy--and presents it here with a complete translation and commentary. Over the past twenty-five years, documents recovered from the tombs of China's ancient elite have sparked a revolution in scholarship about early Chinese thought, in particular the origins of Taoist philosophy and religion. In _Original Tao,_ Harold D. Roth exhumes the seminal text of (...) Taoism--_Inward Training _--not from a tomb but from the pages of the _Kuan Tzu,_ a voluminous text on politics and economics in which this mystical tract had been "buried" for centuries. _Inward Training_ is composed of short poetic verses devoted to the practice of breath meditation, and to the insights about the nature of human beings and the form of the cosmos derived from this practice. In its poetic form and tone, the work closely resembles the _Tao-te Ching_; moreover, it clearly evokes Taoism's affinities to other mystical traditions, notably aspects of Hinduism and Buddhism. Roth argues that _Inward Training_ is the foundational text of early Taoism and traces the book to the mid-fourth century B.C.. These verses contain the oldest surviving expressions of a method for mystical "inner cultivation," which Roth identifies as the basis for all early Taoist texts, including the _Chuang Tzu_ and the world-renowned _Tao-te Ching._ With these historic discoveries, he reveals the possibility of a much deeper continuity between early "philosophical" Taoism and the later Taoist religion than scholars had previously suspected. _Original Tao_ contains an elegant and luminous complete translation of the original text. Roth's comprehensive analysis explains what _Inward Training_ meant to the people who wrote it, how this work came to be "entombed" within the _Kuan Tzu,_ and why the text was largely overlooked after the early Han period. (shrink)
The importance of John Locke's discussion of persons is undeniable. Locke never explicitly tells us whether he thinks persons are substances or modes, however. We are thus left in the dark about a fundamental aspect of Locke's view. Many commentators have recently claimed that Lockean persons are modes. In this paper I swim against the current tide in the secondary literature and argue that Lockean persons are substances. Specifically I argue that what Locke says about substance, power, and agency commits (...) him to the claim that persons are substances. I consider the passages mode interpreters cite and show why these passages do not imply that Lockean persons are modes. I also respond to two objections anyone who thinks Lockean persons are substances must address. I show that a substance reading of Locke on persons can be sympathetic and viable. I contend that with a clearer understanding of the ontological status of Lockean persons we can gain a firmer grasp of what Locke's picture of persons looks like. Finally, once we are armed with a better understanding of Locke on substance, mode, and personhood, we can pave the way toward a more nuanced description of the early modern debate over personal identity. (shrink)
My concern here is to motivate some theses in the philosophy of mind concerning the interpersonal character of intentions. I will do so by investigating aspects of shared agency. The main point will be that when acting together with others one must be able to act directly on the intention of another or others in a way that is relevantly similar to the manner in which an agent acts on his or her own intentions. What exactly this means will become (...) clearer once we understand what it is to act directly on one’s own intentions. But I take it to be a fundamental assumption of the prevailing individualism of the theory of action— one at the core of its conception of the separateness of individuals— that one person cannot act directly on another’s intention. I agree that there is an important way in which we are or can be separate and autonomous thinkers and agents. But the way the individualist tries to capture this separateness is misguided. (shrink)
One of the most basic questions an ontology can address is: How many things, or substances, are there? A monist will say, ‘just one’. But there are different stripes of monism, and where the borders between these different views lie rests on the question, ‘To what does this “oneness” apply?’ Some monists apply ‘oneness’ to existence. Others apply ‘oneness’ to types. Determining whether a philosopher is a monist and deciphering what this is supposed to mean is no easy task, especially (...) when it comes to those writing in the early modern period because many philosophers of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries include God in their ontologies. InThe Principles,Anne Finch Conway offers an ontology that is often described as being both ‘vitalist’ and ‘monist’. I take this to mean that, for Conway, all that exists is in some way alive and that if asked ‘How many things, or substances, are there?’ Conway would say, ‘Just one’. But to what does this ‘oneness’ apply? And where does the point of disagreement between Conway and her interlocutors, Hobbes, Spinoza, More, and Descartes lie? In this paper, I argue that determining the answer to this first question turns out to be quite difficult. Nevertheless, we can still make sense of the second. (shrink)
My concern here is to motivate some theses in the philosophy of mind concerning the interpersonal character of intentions. I will do so by investigating aspects of shared agency. The main point will be that when acting together with others one must be able to act directly on the intention of another or others in a way that is relevantly similar to the manner in which an agent acts on his or her own intentions. What exactly this means will become (...) clearer once we understand what it is to act directly on one’s own intentions. But I take it to be a fundamental assumption of the prevailing individualism of the theory of action—one at the core of its conception of the separateness of individuals—that one person cannot act directly on another’s intention. I agree that there is an important way in which we are or can be separate and autonomous thinkers and agents. But the way the individualist tries to capture this separateness is misguided. (shrink)
This collection of essays, originally published in 1970 by Random House, gathers together some of the best initial responses to the problems raised by Edmund Gettier's celebrated critique of the traditional analysis of knowledge. Designed for upper-level courses and seminars in undergraduate philosophy programs and is intended as an introduction to epistemology from the analytic point of view.
There are many reasons to include texts written by women in early modern philosophy courses. The most obvious one is accuracy: women helped to shape the philosophical landscape of the time. Thus, to craft a syllabus that wholly excludes women is to give students an inaccurate picture of the early modern period. Since it seems safe to assume that we all aim for accuracy, this should be reason enough to include women writers in our courses. This article nonetheless offers an (...) additional reason: when students are exposed to philosophical texts written by women, they learn that women have been, are, and can be philosophers. Given how underrepresented women are in philosophy, this finding is significant. If we aim to change the face of philosophy—so that it includes more women—we must include texts written by women in our syllabi. The article considers various obstacles faced by those who work to respond to this call to action. (shrink)
Catharine Trotter Cockburn is best known for her Defence of Mr. Locke’s Essay of Human Understanding (1702). However very little has been said about Trotter’s treatment of Locke’s metaphysical commitments therein. In this paper I give a brief description of the history of Trotter’s Defence. Thereafter I focus on two (of the many) objections to which Trotter responds on Locke’s behalf: 1) the objection that Locke has not proved the soul immortal, and 2) the objection that Locke’s view leads to (...) the absurd consequence that our souls are in constant flux. I argue that Trotter offers a compelling response to both of these charges. This is not only because of what Trotter explicitly claims in the Defence, but also because the Defence invites and encourages the reader to return to Locke’s text. I then argue that in Trotter we find additional insights and clarifications once we move past the two objections I just mentioned, and on to the related topic of personal identity. In this short paper I am not be able to offer a full explication or evaluation of Trotter’s treatment of Locke’s metaphysical commitments. I am, however, able to show that this aspect of Trotter’s Defence warrants careful consideration and further study. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant’s moral philosophy, political philosophy, and philosophy of judgement have been and continue to be widely discussed among many scholars. The impact of his thinking is beyond doubt and his ideas continue to inspire and encourage an on-going dialogue among many people in our world today. Given the historical and philosophical significance of Kant’s moral, political, and aesthetic theory, and the connection he draws between these theories and the appropriate function and methodology of education, it is surprising that relatively (...) little has been written on Kant’s contribution to education theory. Recently, however, internationally recognized Kant scholars such as Paul Guyer, Manfred Kuehn, Richard Velkley, Robert Louden, Susan Shell, and others have begun to turn their attention to Kant’s writings on education and the role of education in cultivating moral character. _Kant and Education: Interpretations and Commentary_ has gathered these scholars together with the aim of filling this perceived void in Kant scholarship. All of the essays contained within this volume will examine either Kant’s ideas on education through an historical analysis of his texts; or the importance and relevance of his moral philosophy, political philosophy, and/or aesthetics in contemporary education theory. (shrink)
Basic issues in the recent ‘death-of-God’ movement can be illuminated by comparison and contrast with the relevant ideas of two American philosophers, John Dewey and William James. Dewey is an earlier spokesman for ideas that are central to the ‘radical theology’ of Thomas J. J. Altizer, William Hamilton, and Paul Van Buren. His reasons for rejecting theism closely resemble propositions maintained by these ‘death-of-God’ theologians. James, on the other hand, points toward a theological alternative. He takes cognizance of ideas similar (...) to those in the ‘radical theology’, but he does not opt for either a metaphorical or real elimination of God. Thus, the contentions of this paper are that there has been a version of the ‘death-of-God’ perspective in American thought before, and that there are resources in the American tradition that suggest a viable option to this perspective. (shrink)
ZusammenfassungIn diesem Aufsatz wird eine kommunikations- und medientheoretische Untersuchung ausgewählter Divinationspraktiken unternommen. Im Zentrum stehen hierbei das Giftorakel der zentralafrikanischen Zande sowie die arabisch-islamische Geomantie. Dieses Unternehmen hat den Zweck, drei Thesen bezüglich Medien religiöser Kommunikation zu erproben, die sich dem Autor aus der Auseinandersetzung mit Ritualen und speziell Divinationsformen aus unterschiedlichen soziokulturellen Kontexten ergeben haben:1) Divinationsmedien unterscheiden sich in frappierender Weise von Medien der Alltagskommunikation; 2) diese besonderen Medien ermöglichen eine Kommunikation zwischen Wirklichkeitsbereichen und verkörpern damit ein fundamentales „Dazwischen“; (...) 3) von einer Innenperspektive betrachtet, werden Divinationsmedien oft als aktive Kommunikationspartner konzipiert und wahrgenommen – selbst wenn diese aus einer Beobachterperspektive unbelebte Paraphernalia sind.Um eine Grundlage für die Plausibilisierung dieser Thesen zu schaffen, ist anfänglich von Kommunikation und Medien sowie den Besonderheiten religiöser Kommunikation und Medien religiöser Kommunikation die Rede. Auf die detaillierte Beschreibung der Divinationspraktiken folgen ihre kommunikationstheoretische Analyse sowie eine zeichen- und medientheoretische Deutung dieser Ergebnisse.Das Ziel dieses Aufsatzes liegt neben der Plausibilisierung seiner Thesen auch darin, Impulse für die religionswissenschaftliche Debatte um Medien, Materialität und Performanz zu liefern. Gerade in den Ergebnissen der Divinationsforschung sieht David Morgan, wie er jüngst in Material religion schrieb, ein ertragreiches Feld. (shrink)
Kant and Education brings together sixteen essays by an international group of scholars. The range of topics covered in the anthology is impressive. Kant's contribution to contemporary theories of education is central, as well as Kant's intellectual debt to Rousseau, the role of education in Kant's normative theories, and the impact of Kant's ideas on subsequent generations. Add to this the relative shortness of each essay (ten to fifteen pages), and one is left with an accessible introduction to a fascinating, (...) but often neglected, topic of Kant's ethical theory. The editors, Klas Roth and Chris W. Surprenant, have done an admirable job. (shrink)
In an important new book on shared agency, Michael Bratman develops an account of the normative demand for the coordination of intentions amongst participants in shared agency. Bratman seeks to understand this form of normative guidance in terms of that associated with individual planning intentions. I give reasons to resist his form of reductionism. In addition, I note how Bratman’s discussion raises the interesting issue of the function or purpose of shared intention and of shared agency more generally. According to (...) Bratman, the function of shared intention is to promote interpersonal coordination of intention and action. I suggest that power sharing amongst participants must also be included as a function of shared intention. (shrink)
This essay aims to describe and analyse the important contributions of the Chinese philosopher and diplomat P.C. Chang concerning the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. After a brief biographical sketch, Chang’s main contributions will be presented and discussed. A study of Chang’s contributions in this context may also highlight the ethical potential of the UDHR and its great relevance to global ethics and world politics today.
This book offers a combined historical and aesthetic analysis of five novels from Philip Roth’s later career. It reads these works in the context of political, cultural, and literary developments in America from the New Deal to the present.
I assess the ethical content of Philip Roth's account of his father's final years with, and death from, a tumor. I apply this to criticisms of the nature and content of case reports in medicine. I also draw some implications about modernism, postmodernism and narrative understandings.
I argue that Stephen Darwall's account of second-personal respect should be of special interest to feminists because it opens up space for the development of certain feminist resources. Specifically, Darwall's account leaves room for an experiential aspect of respect, and I suggest that abilities related to this aspect may vary along with social position. I then point out a potential parallel between the feminist critique of epistemology and a budding feminist critique of moral philosophy (specifically relating to respect).
Typically developing 3-day-old newborns take significantly more forward steps on a moving treadmill belt than on a static belt. The current experiment examined whether projecting optic flows that specified forward motion onto the moving treadmill surface would further enhance forward stepping. Twenty newborns were supported on a moving treadmill without optic flow, with optic flow matching the treadmill’s direction and speed, with optic flow in the same direction but at a faster speed, and in a control condition with an incoherent (...) optic flow moving at the same speed as in the Congruent condition but in random directions. The results revealed no significant differences in the number or coordination of forward treadmill steps taken in each condition. However, the Faster condition generated significantly fewer leg pumping movements than the Random control condition. When highly aroused, newborns made significantly fewer single steps and significantly more parallel steps and pumping movements. We speculate the null findings may be a function of the high friction material that covered the treadmill surface. (shrink)
Maybe God doesn’t have to do anything in order to bring it about that there be light. Most of us, however, have to perform some sort of act like flicking a switch to do so. But some of the things we bring about do not require such mediating acts. For example, it appears that I don’t have to do anything in order to bring about or cause the arm movements I perform in flicking the switch. I just move my arm. (...) Of course, a number of things will happen when I move my arm: neurons fire, muscles flex. But these are not acts in and of themselves. The only act we have here is the moving of the arm. So my arm movement in this instance is basic in a sense in which my illumination of the room is not. (shrink)
The United States Supreme Court, in its decision Ferguson v. City of Charleston,ruled that to conduct drug tests on pregnant women in public hospitals and to share that information with the police without obtaining a search warrant amounted to a violation of the women's constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment. Set within the political context of public policy designed to monitor the activities of pregnant women and the ongoing incidence of prosecutions for ‘foetal abuse’,this note shows how the Supreme Court’s (...) decision, while on the one hand vindicating the rights of pregnant women to be free from unlawful searches upon their person, does not definitively determine the important question of the extent to which the state may regulate women’s behaviour during pregnancy. (shrink)