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This paper presents a novel argument against one theoretically attractive form of panpsychism. I argue that ‘idealist panpsychism’ is false because it cannot account for spacetime's structure. Idealist panpsychists posit that fundamental reality is purely experiential. Moreover, they posit that consciousness at the fundamental level metaphysically grounds and explains both the facts of physics and the facts of human consciousness. I argue that if idealist panpsychism is true, human consciousness and consciousness at the fundamental level will have the same metrical structure. However, as I demonstrate, human consciousness does not exhibit the same metrical structure as spacetime. Consequently, the idealist panpsychist faces an explanatory gap between the fundamental consciousness she posits and spacetime. Idealist panpsychism is incompatible with the existence of such an explanatory gap. Thus, idealist panpsychists must either close this explanatory gap (which I argue they lack the resources to do), or idealist panpsychism is false.
Semantics and pragmatics – the study of meaning, and meaning in context, respectively – are two fundamental areas of linguistics, and as such are crucial to our understanding of how meaning is created. However, their theoretical ideas are often introduced without making clear connections between views, theories, and problems. This pioneering volume is both a textbook and a research guide, taking the reader on a journey through language and ultimately enabling them to think about meaning as linguists and philosophers would. Assuming no prior knowledge of linguistics, it introduces semantics, pragmatics, and the philosophy of language, showing how all three fields can address the 'big questions' that run through the study of meaning. It covers key theories and approaches, while also enabling increasingly more sophisticated questions about the interconnected aspects of meaning, with the end goal of preparing the reader to make their own, original contributions to ideas about meaning.
In the interpretive literature from the 1950's through the 1970's the term 'criterion' was thought to be a central key to the understanding of Wittgenstein's later philosophy. Later on, it was relegated from this place of honour to being one of a variety of expressions used by Wittgenstein in dealing with philosophical questions. This Element tries to account for the shifting fate of this concept. It discusses the various occurrences of the word “criteria” in the Philosophical Investigations, argues that the post-Wittgensteinian debate about criteria was put on the wrong track by a problematic passage in Wittgenstein's early Blue Book, and finally gives an overview of the main contributions to this debate, trying to achieve a reconciliation between the rival conceptions.
The introduciton opens my exploration of Cicero’s notion of will. I argue that the will is an original Latin contribution to the Western mind. Cicero’s letters, speeches, and treatises show how his skill for language gave him a subtler take on events and a richer repertoire of persuasion. Practical uses of will are foremost: mapping alliances, winning elections, and navigating the “economy of goodwill.” From his earliest writings, however, voluntas emerges in normative claims about law and politics: that Rome’s mass of precedents could be rationalized through Greek ideas. Chief among these is Plato’s precept that reason must rule, and thus an alliance of philosophy and tradition can save the dying Republic. Transmuting political failure into philosophical innovation, Cicero lays the foundation for an idea – the will and its freedom – with tremendous consequences for Western thought. For Cicero, voluntas populi becomes the binding force of a nominally popular but functionally aristocratic constitution. If this state of affairs looks familiar in today’s “democratic” republics, we have Cicero in part to thank. Insistence on the singularity of popular will and mistrust of the common citizen lie at the heart of today’s political crisis and will require Ciceronian creativity to fix.
This chapter draws on Cicero’s letters to propose the existence of an “economy of goodwill” in the late Roman Republic. Through voluntas mutua, the mature statesman handles sensitive transactions and vouchsafes his allies’ support. I examine potential antecedents to Cicero’s goodwill in Aristotle’s theories of friendship (eunoia and philia), as well as in the system of “friendly loans” (mutuom argentum) in the comedies of Plautus. Cicero’s economics of friendship, though informed by these others, aim at problems particular to Rome’s fast-growing empire. Unlike normal currency, “spending” voluntas only increases one’s supply of it, allowing for mutual reinforcement of political support over time. Additionally, voluntas may be exchanged regardless of facultas, facilitating long-distance governance by low-cost trades of support across the empire when concrete beneficia are unfeasible. In his philosophical works, finally, Cicero shows an intriguing ambivalence about the economy of goodwill that served him so well in practice. Are reciprocal favors a defensible part of friendship? Though he excludes the possibility in De amicitia, in De officiis, voluntas mutua is redeemed in decorum, the ideal by which proportion and mutuality yield virtue.
This chapter is dedicated to the theory of selfhood Cicero presents in the De officiis: each person being a player of four personae. The allegory of four dramatic roles or masks (from the Greek prosopon) is borrowed from the Stoic Panaetius, whose ethical theory adapts the stringent demands of the sage to a morally imperfect and multifarious public. He who wishes to progress, Cicero explains, must play the roles of reason, of nature, of fortune, and, finally, the role “we ourselves may choose sets forth from our will” (quam personam velimus, a nostra voluntate proficiscitur). In this final treatise, the will comes most clearly into view as a mental capacity and rational force. I argue that when read in conjunction with related uses of voluntas and persona in other texts, Cicero’s will serves a recursive purpose within each of the other personae. Whether in actualizing reason, refining our inborn qualities, or navigating the forces of necessity and civic duty, voluntas creates a dialectic of actor and mask from which emerges a conscious moral self. Though the will develops richly as a moral faculty and principium individuationis in the hands of later thinkers, its terrestrial purposes disappear as divine ones take hold.
With the Tusculan Disputations, willpower enters Western thought. This chapter departs from a peculiar decision Cicero makes in his account of the human soul. In previous centuries, Platonists and Stoics had bitterly disagreed on whether the soul was unified or divided into rational and nonrational parts. In the Tusculan Disputations, Cicero announces that he will combine Stoic moral stricture – predicated on the soul’s unity – with Plato’s divided, self-moving soul. The result is a new narrative of inner struggle in which voluntas gains a formal definition at last: “that which desires with reason” (quae quid cum ratione desiderat) (Tusc. 4.12). While drawing importantly on the Hellenistic schools of philosophy, the Latin “force” of volition is foremost. Here, Cicero links together lines of debate that in Greek had run in parallel, rendering hekon, boulesis, and prohairesis by voluntarius and voluntas. His “struggle for reason” thus moves originally beyond Greek accounts of askesis, moral training that emphasized education and cognitive clarity over present effort. An orator zealous to persuade, Cicero paints his account of reason in Roman colors of honor, endurance, and painstaking progress.
In this chapter, I examine how voluntas helps the young lawyer Cicero craft arguments and structure relationships with Roman clients, witnesses, and juries. In the De inventione and forensic speeches, we see his struggle to reconcile tradition with new intellectual tools. As he seeks to bring ratio more fully into Roman legal culture, voluntas plays a plural and ambiguous role. It is an instrument of rational inquiry, as in the competing schemata of criminal responsibility he examines in the De inventione. As it has always been in Roman law, voluntas is the desire of a legally relevant individual, emanating from and attributable to him alone – the marker of his agency and responsibility. So, too, however, is it used to signify the collective goodwill of an audience, which Cicero makes clear is the expert orator’s plaything. The “goodwill” sense of voluntas adds greatly to its durability in moral philosophy. While a sententia or iudicium pertain to a specific question, voluntas marks an ongoing choice or disposition, such as the will of a legislator, to be conserved. Cicero’s objectives for the law go largely unachieved in his time, but they expand Rome’s intellectual field of vision.
This book tells an overlooked story in the history of ideas, a drama of cut-throat politics and philosophy of mind. For it is Cicero, statesman and philosopher, who gives shape to the notion of will in Western thought, from criminal will to moral willpower and 'the will of the people'. In a single word – voluntas – he brings Roman law in contact with Greek ideas, chief among them Plato's claim that a rational elite must rule. When the republic falls to Caesarism, Cicero turns his political argument inward: Will is a force in the soul to win the virtue lost on the battlefield, the mark of inner freedom in an unfree age. Though this constitutional vision failed in his own time, Cicero's ideals of popular sovereignty and rational elitism have shaped and fractured the modern world – and Ciceronian creativity may yet save it.
Philosophers and scientists generally assume that consciousness is characterized by a ‘first-person perspective.’ On one interpretation of this claim, experiences are defined, at least in part, by representations that encode a subject-centred ‘point of view.’ But claims about the defining features of consciousness must be sensitive to the possibility of dissociation: if a neurobiological structure or psychological function is neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness, it cannot be a defining feature in any robust sense. I appeal to research on unconscious emotion, visually guided action, perceptual constancy, and psychiatric disorder to argue that first-personal representations dissociate from conscious experience.
Chapter 5 presents the subject matter of artificial intelligence, focusing on machine learning, where these machines are artificial agents. It presents simple examples of unsupervised learning, supervised learning, and reinforcement learning, and introduces notions of dynamic programming, Q-learning, and stochastic control. After that, it explores some links that can be established between artificial intelligence and the philosophy of mind, presenting and discussing the Turing test, the philosophical approaches of eliminativism and functionalism, and the problem of tacit knowledge.
This paper is about whether consciousness flows. Evan Thompson (2014) has recently claimed that the study of binocular rivalry shows that there are some moments where consciousness does not flow, contra William James (1890). Moreover, he has claimed that Abhidharma philosophers reject James's claim that consciousness flows. I argue that binocular rivalry poses no special challenge to James. Second, I argue that because Thompson did not take up the question of how James and Abhidharma philosophers analyze or define flow, he underdescribed their disagreement in a way that obscures an important conceptual contribution that Abhidharma philosophers make to the study of flow. They reject James's claim that there are only two conceivable ways for consciousness to fail to flow and suggest that there is a third way for consciousness to fail to flow—a way that James's imagination did not reveal to be possible.
In this chapter, Guido Kreis discusses the key concepts and arguments of Cassirer’s philosophy of mind. Kreis argues that for Cassirer, the mind is non-atomistic in the sense that mental occurrences are always already “symbolically pregnant” with significance. This leads to a functionalist model of the mind, which understands the mind as neither a physical body nor a metaphysical substance but rather the system of our representational contents. On the one hand, Cassirer criticizes the attempts at a physicalistic naturalization of the mental. Kreis considers this critique in view of the normative dimension of judging and the representational content of recollection and memory (when directed against Bertrand Russell). On the other hand, when rejecting the Cartesian mentalistic framework, Cassirer argues that thoughts are always bound to their expression in language, and as such have a natural place in the social sphere. According to Kreis, this leads to a notion of nature that leaves room for normativity and representational content, or to Cassirer’s understanding of “objective spirit.”
Consciousness concerns awareness and how we experience the world. How does awareness, a feature of the mental world, arise from the physical brain? Is a dog conscious, or a jellyfish, and what explains the difference? How is consciousness related to psychological processes such as perception and cognition? The Science of Consciousness covers the psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience of consciousness. Written for introductory courses in psychology and philosophy, this text examines consciousness with a special emphasis on current neuroscience research as well as comparisons of normal and damaged brains. The full range of normal and altered states of consciousness, including sleep and dreams, hypnotic and meditative states, anesthesia, and drug-induced states, as well as parapsychological phenomena and their importance for the science of consciousness is covered, as well as the 'higher' states and how we can attain them. Throughout the text attempts to relate consciousness to the brain.
This chapter focuses on the philosophical analysis of consciousness, on the mind--body problem: how does the physical material of the brain give rise to mind and consciousness? It examines different ways in which mind and body might be related, such as dualism and monism. It discusses problems with both approaches: how do mind and matter interact in dualist theories, and how does hard atomic matter give rise to mental experience in monism? The chapter introduces the concept of the philosophical thought experiment, and gives several important examples, including philosophical zombies, the inverted colour spectrum, and the knowledge argument. The chapter discusses Chalmers’ distinction between the easy and hard problems of consciousness, the ‘hard problem’ being the central one for mind--body research: how do we get consciousness from matter? The chapter discusses different types of physicalism, such as materialism, eliminative materialism and functionalism, concentrating on the idea that mental processing is computation. We conclude with the examination of mysterianism: the idea that humans might not be cognitively equipped to understand our own consciousness.
Questions of consciousness pervade the social sciences. Yet, despite persistent tendencies to anthropomorphize states, most International Relations scholarship implicitly adopts the position that humans are conscious and states are not. Recognizing that scholarly disagreement over fundamental issues prevents answering definitively whether states are truly conscious, I instead demonstrate how scholars of multiple dispositions can incorporate a pragmatic notion of state consciousness into their theorizing. Drawing on recent work from Eric Schwitzgebel and original supplementary arguments, I demonstrate that states are not only complex informationally integrated systems with emergent properties, but they also exhibit seemingly genuine responses to qualia that are irreducible to individuals within them. Though knowing whether states possess an emergent ‘stream’ of consciousness indiscernible to their inhabitants may not yet be possible, I argue that a pragmatic notion of state consciousness can contribute to a more complete understanding of state personhood, as well as a revised model of the international system useful to multiple important theoretical debates. In the article's final section, I apply this model to debate over the levels of analysis at which scholarship applies ontological security theory. I suggest the possibility of emergent state-level ontological insecurity that need not be understood via problematic reduction to individuals.
When we are invited to imagine an unacceptable moral proposition to be true in fiction, we feel resistance when we try to imagine it. Despite this, it is nonetheless possible to suppose that the proposition is true. In this paper, I argue that existing accounts of imaginative resistance are unable to explain why only attempts to imagine (rather than to suppose) the truth of moral propositions cause resistance. My suggestion is that imagination, unlike supposition, involves mental imagery and imaginative resistance arises when imagery that one has formed does not match unacceptable propositions.
Is Anscombean practical knowledge independent of what the agent actually does on an occasion? Failure to understand Anscombe’s answer to this question is a major obstacle to appreciating the subtlety and plausibility of her view. I argue that Anscombe’s answer is negative, and turns on the nature of mistakes in performance, and reveals a distinctive implicit metaphysics of mind and knowledge, structured by related capacities and exercises of capacities. If my interpretation is correct, then practical knowledge shares features with knowledge-how and knowledge-that, but deserves its own epistemic category.
The resulting picture of mental causation, which is summarized in this chapter, has repercussions for debates about the nature of mind. If virtually all theories about the nature of mind can solve the problems of mental causation, then arguments from mental causation against certain theories become irrelevant in debates between reductive physicalists, non-reductive physicalists, and dualists. Questions about the nature of mind will have to be decided independently of the problems of mental causation.
Is the human mind uniquely nonphysical or even spiritual, such that divine intentions can meet physical realities? As scholars in science and religion have spent decades attempting to identify a 'causal joint' between God and the natural world, human consciousness has been often privileged as just such a locus of divine-human interaction. However, this intuitively dualistic move is both out of step with contemporary science and theologically insufficient. By discarding the God-nature model implied by contemporary noninterventionist divine action theories, one is freed up to explore theological and metaphysical alternatives for understanding divine action in the mind. Sarah Lane Ritchie suggests that a theologically robust theistic naturalism offers a more compelling vision of divine action in the mind. By affirming that to be fully natural is to be involved with God's active presence, one may affirm divine action not only in the human mind, but throughout the natural world.