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The Metaphysics of Mind presents and discusses the major contemporary theories of the nature of mind, including Dualism, Physicalism, Role-Functionalism, Russellian Monism, Panpsychism, and Eliminativism. Its primary goal is to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the theories in question, including their prospects for explaining the special qualitative character of sensations and perceptual experiences, the special outer-directedness of beliefs, desires, and other intentional states, and—more generally—the place of mind in the world of nature, and the relation between mental states and the behaviors that they (seem to) cause. It also discusses, briefly, some further questions about the metaphysics of mind, namely, whether groups of individuals, or entire communities, can possess mental states that cannot be reduced to the mental states of the individuals in those communities, and whether the boundaries between mind and world are as sharp as they may seem.
In his essay “The Golden Age: Time Past,” Ralph Ellison does not disguise his distaste either for bebop music or for “the sharp, ugly…rebellion” bop’s pioneers were waging against the formal conventions of folk jazz and the Blues. Rather than conclude, as Robert O’Meally does, that Ellison was “deaf to virtually all jazz beyond Basie and Ellington,” this chapter re-contextualizes Ellison’s criticism of bebop an extension of his philosophy of temporality. Ellison believed that one’s experience of time determined one’s understanding of history, and bebop, which formalizes a discontinuous sense of time, clashed with his durational view of the past and its bearing on the present.
The key aim of this chapter is to develop teachers’ appreciation that there is a considerable body of research into historical knowledge, historical thinking and historical skills. This body of research underpins history in the Australian Curriculum. The practical application of this research happens in the classroom, where teachers work with students to apply historical concepts and skills to the content and thus facilitate students’ learning. Building on Chapter 1, this chapter explains how historical knowledge is constructed and what it means to ‘think historically’. This chapter is far more theoretical than chapters that follow because it examines the research behind seven historical concepts and the five skills involved in historical inquiry mandated by the Australian Curriculum. It gives theory behind the practice. The use of historical concepts and skills applies to all years of schooling, from Foundation to Year 10 and in Senior secondary curriculum, although their application becomes more complex in the senior years. This chapter aims to equip teachers to be able to empower students to think historically themselves, rather than disseminating beliefs through instructive memory lessons. The end game for teachers is to foster in their students a historical reflective self, who will be able to reflect upon their personal historical identity.
Harms brought about through negligence are typically morally blameworthy despite being unintended and often unforeseen. How is this best understood? A natural approach parallels a common approach to blameworthiness for unwitting wrongdoing, i.e., acts performed in ignorance of their wrongness: blameworthiness for the act or harm in question is taken to be derivative from more straightforward blameworthiness for relevant earlier failures. I have argued elsewhere for a derivative blameworthiness approach to unwitting wrongdoing that appeals to reasonable expectations about available steps the agent could have taken to avoid or remedy the ignorance in question; and contra Gideon Rosen and Neil Levy, such claims about reasonable expectations do not depend on there being episodes of clear-eyed akrasia in the agent’s past management of her beliefs, so that the account allows for blame in a much wider range of cases. My aim here is to extend this approach to a variety of forms of negligence, defending a similarly broad reasonable expectations version of a derivative blameworthiness view. In particular, I will distinguish and explore cases involving (i) self-conscious negligence, (ii) negligence involving false beliefs about relevant norms of due care, (iii) thoughtless negligence, and (iv) harms due to pure forgetting – though I will argue that the latter often turn out not to be cases of negligence at all, at least for purposes of moral blame.
When contemporary philosophers discuss the nature of knowledge, or conduct debates that the nature of knowledge is relevant to, they typically treat all knowledge as propositional. However, recent introductory epistemology texts and encyclopedia entries often mention three kinds of knowledge: (i) propositional knowledge, (ii) abilities knowledge, and (iii) knowledge of things/by acquaintance. This incongruity is striking for a number of reasons, one of which is that what kinds of knowledge there are is relevant to various debates in philosophy. In this paper I focus on this point as it relates to the third kind of knowledge mentioned above – knowledge of things. I start by supposing that we have knowledge of things, and then I show how this supposition reshapes various debates in philosophy.
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.
A system model of self-regulation of students’ psychological states has been developed. As the main elements, the model includes the relationship between states and characteristics of consciousness, external factors and regulatory actions in a certain time range.
To study conscious and unconscious methods of regulation of states in the relevant sections of the educational activities of students.
98 students took part in this research, used different techniques of self-regulation and psychological states diagnosis.
The regulation of psychological states occurs unconsciously. The success of the applied methods is relative and depends on both educational and personal factors. The regulators of states are various personal qualities. These are reflection, metacognitive abilities, intelligence, as well as the general ability to self-regulate. We discovered the influence of the meaningfulness of life on the psychological states. In the structure of students’ states with a high level of meaningfulness of life an indicator of the general ability to self-regulation plays a central role.Indicators of emotional intelligence and locus of control characterize states of students with a low level of meaningfulness of life.
It has been found that the level of reflection of students plays a mediating role in the interaction of psychological states and adaptation processes. Emotional comfort, internal control, and self-acceptance have the greatest impact on states. The research confirmed the hypothesis of reflexive regulation of psychological states depending on various types of reflection during the performance of creative tasks. The research was carried out with the financial support of the RFBR; project No.19-013-00325.
The proposal advanced in this chapter assumes that linguistic variation is meaningful, and that a non-trivial number of a linguistic variant’s social meanings derive from embodied practice. And crucially, meaning – some of it embodied – can initiate or influence the trajectory of change.
Although it adopts and adapts both realism and naturalism, Richard Wright’s Native Son (1940) becomes, by Book Three (“Fate”), a modernist drama of consciousness. Native Son thus calls for a broad definition of the modern novel, one that reaches from Dostoevsky to Faulkner, includes Dreiser as well as Proust, and extends to Wright himself. Wright’s protagonist Bigger Thomas embodies the realist vision of the individual immersed in society and history as well as the modernist idea of alienation, for Bigger is both the doomed victim of forces beyond his control and the shaper of his own inner world of consciousness. By means of the tension between these perspectives, and by immersing the reader in Bigger’s internal quest for meaning at great length, Wright succeeds in crafting a novel that is modernist in its rejection of outmoded epistemologies yet eloquent on behalf of the voiceless.
Edward Andrew discusses Pierre Bayle, who held that conscience was the “voice of God,” but that humans can still err. Enlightenment thinkers increasingly insisted that social approval, not God’s voice, guided conscience. Thus, conscience became not about certainty concerning the right course of action, but rather about alignment with social forces that might create stability. Bayle maintained that conscience was a faculty of the person, although subject to error. This distinguished him from Locke, who referenced conscience in his political writings. However, in his Essay concerning Human Understanding, Locke asserted that conscience was only one’s abiding beliefs. Bayle, however, proposed that conscience was the development of applications of natural law and Scripture. Harold Schulweis and Harold Berman are conversation partners for Bayle. Schulweis sees conscience as a force of judgment outside law. Morality is not fixed; rather, the person with an active conscience constantly recalibrates her actions and judges the right thing to do. Berman, however, thought conscience as a force beside law, like a jury that renders its judgment about the right decision under the circumstances.
Wendell Willis excavates from within the New Testament the meanings of what is termed “conscience” in the English language today. Upon surveying all the books of the NT, Willis concludes that suneidesis (the word most-often translated in the NT as conscience) does not have a fixed meaning for NT writers. Willis’s key contribution is to cleave the reader’s understanding of suneidesis into two main categories, while also identifying additional shades of meaning across NT texts. For example, in the Pauline corpus, especially in 1 and 2 Corinthians, suneidesis seems most often to refer to a person’s self-knowledge or internal understandings about himself and his past actions. Here, suneidesis should be understood as “consciousness” rather than “conscience”. In this sense, suneidesis in Corinthians is fundamentally retrospective in nature, while in Romans, suneidesis is more often a guide for the believers’ future moral choices. Other usages of suneidesis in the NT are a variation on the theme first established by Paul: consciousness of past actions or an inner model for one’s future actions.
Embodiment is typically given insufficient weight in debates concerning the moral status of Novel Synthetic Beings (NSBs) such as sentient or sapient Artificial Intelligences (AIs). Discussion usually turns on whether AIs are conscious or self-aware, but this does not exhaust what is morally relevant. Since moral agency encompasses what a being wants to do, the means by which it enacts choices in the world is a feature of such agency. In determining the moral status of NSBs and our obligations to them, therefore, we must consider how their corporeality shapes their options, preferences, values, and is constitutive of their moral universe. Analysing AI embodiment and the coupling between cognition and world, the paper shows why determination of moral status is only sensible in terms of the whole being, rather than mental sophistication alone, and why failure to do this leads to an impoverished account of our obligations to such NSBs.
Chapter 6 proposes that, through its various investments, Alphabet is contributing to developments that could significantly extend our lifespan via biological and digital means. In doing so, the chapter first provides a very brief overview of Ray Kurzweil’s desire to live ‘forever’. Whilst acknowledging that at least some people are likely to always remain ready to die – given their desire to ascend (to heaven), egalitarian concerns, bioconservative tendencies or fear of boredom – it is posited that most people would, along with Ray Kurzweil, choose to (radically) extend their personal future if given the choice. In light of such, two approaches to managing such extended personal futures – termed the singular and sequential approach respectively – are detailed. Finally, the chapter concludes with a brief summary, and by noting that the life extension business could prove even more profitable than Alphabet’s current money-printing machine: Google advertising.
This is the first comprehensive volume in English on Cassirer's philosophy for over seventy years. Eleven leading Cassirer scholars address all of the key aspects of Cassirer's multi-faceted thought and situate them in the wider context of his philosophy of culture. Their essays demonstrate the depth and richness of a philosophical enterprise that still awaits recognition as one of the most original contributions to twentieth-century philosophy. Interpreting Cassirer will prove invaluable not only for Cassirer scholars and researchers of early twentieth-century philosophy, but also for scholars of the philosophy of culture, language, science, art, history, and mind.
Close attention to Kant’s comments on animal minds has resulted in radically different readings of key passages in Kant. A major disputed text for understanding Kant on animals is his criticism of G. F. Meier’s view in the 1762 ‘False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures’. In this article, I argue that Kant’s criticism of Meier should be read as an intervention into an ongoing debate between Meier and H. S. Reimarus on animal minds. Specifically, while broadly aligning himself with Reimarus, Kant distinguishes himself from both Meier and Reimarus on the role of judgement in human consciousness.
The human body is a central entity and analytic within African life and Africanist scholarship. The source of perception and the seat of animation, of life, it grounds experience of the world while also providing a rich set of symbols from which humans draw in political, social, and religious life to create and communicate meaning. Livingston reviews approaches to the body as a key concept in Africanist scholarship, tracing regimes of bodily representation ranging from the deployment of bodily symbolism in ancient smelting furnaces to the hypervisibility of the black female body in the European colonial imagination. She discusses a welter of bodily experience, from the pain of childbirth and the vulnerabilities of illness and accident to the sensorium or the kinesthetic power of movement and dance. In the process, Livingston considers developments within the field of African Studies via the body.
From the late 1930s until at least the mid-1950s, the novel in France provided a crucial form of expression for the eclectic philosophy of atheistic existentialism. The existentialist novel, whose principal proponents were Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, acted as a bridge between philosophy and literature to throw the individual into the world to face a metaphysical crisis which ‘reveals’ mortal existence. A quest for freedom and authenticity ensues to stave off bad faith (or the delusion of a fixed and necessary existence), the stakes often heightened by the wartime existential situation of many of these novels. With no recourse to any universal moral precepts, their characters find no neat resolutions to the problems of existence or to their responsibility to others, since the purpose of existentialist literature is not to offer metaphysical consolation but rather to engage its readers actively in the world as it appears in all its ambiguity. Similarly, the existentially committed writer must write for the current era in which they find themselves, not for some projected and idealised posterity. Despite its resolutely humanistic assumptions, the existentialist novel in its various guises sought to face the moral complexities and failures of the mid-twentieth century, resituating the human in an ever-ambiguous life-world.
This chapter examines the process of introspection and examining our own minds. It looks at different types of introspection. it examines the philosophical process and discipline of phenomenology, particularly the work of Husserl. We look at psychological methods of examining the contents of our thoughts, particularly using experience sampling. We then look at the reliability of our own beliefs, and how we can be misled by illusions and delusions. The chapter looks at examples such as schizophrenia, mass hysteria, confabulation and the neurological disorder denial, all of which make us question the reliability of our beliefs. We ask to what extent we could be wrong about the nature of our experience. The chapter moves on to consider what is outside consciousness, and the Freudian concept of the unconscious, and the Jungian concept of the collective unconscious and its contents. The chapter concludes by examining subliminal processing.
This chapter looks at meditation and mindfulness and other forms of heightened awareness. It first looks at the evidence that meditation leads to both temporary and permanent changes in the brain, and has both short- and long-term benefits for physical and mental health. It asks: what then is the relation between mind and brain, and what is the direction of flow of causality? The chapter then looks at transcendental consciousness, and ‘better than normal states’. We focus in particular on religious experiences, and the involvement of the temporal lobes and other structures, as well as evaluating the evidence for the efficacy of Persinger’s ‘god helmet’. It mentions again entheogens, drugs that give religious-like experiences. The chapter concludes with a discussion of Buddhism, particularly Zen.
This chapter looks at the state of sleep and its biology. it begins by looking at what comprises the state of sleep, and examines comparatively which, and how, other animals sleep. It looks at circadian rhythms, and how the sleep--wake cycle is controlled, with melatonin manufactured by the pineal gland. There is emphasis on the electrophysiology of sleep (sleep EEG), and a description of the stages of sleep and how they are characterised by different EEG profiles, particularly the distinction between REM and non-REM sleep. The neurology of sleep looks at the role of structures such as the brainstem and reticular activating system, and the effect of damage at different levels of the brain on sleeping behaviour. The psychopharmacology of sleep looks at the changing role of neurotransmitters throughout the day and night, and in dreaming and dreamless sleep. The chapter then examines the range of sleep disorders, including problems getting to sleep, as well as sleep walking and sleep talking. It then looks at the effects of sleep deprivation. The chapter concludes with a discussion of why we sleep, covering the possible evolutionary functions of sleep, with focus on the role of sleep in learning and memory consolidation.