Is our mind explainable in terms of neural mechanisms? How we concieve of ourselves seems strongly to depend on how we respond to this question. In the present work an attempt at an affirmative answer is made. Currently, there are good reasons to believe that we can give a neural-mechanical explanation of how our mind works. In order to show this, first, a concept of mechanistic explanation is developed that is applicable to biological cognitive systems. This accomodates the fact that biological systems are usually complex, integrated systems that cannot be decomposed into a relatively small number of working parts like a clockwork. Complex biological mechanisms exhibit emergent behavior. The complexity of biological systems can be tackled with the aid of a number of methods of analysis. Models of a whole human brain are, for instance, well in reach that can be used to find integrated mechanistic explanations of cognitive capacities. Mind would thus be qualitatively reducible to neural mechanisms.
The essays in this volume introduce John Perry’s distinguished work on subject as diverse as indexicality, semantics, personal identity, self-knowledge, and consciousness. Perry’s great body of work centers around the question: What is constitutive for having and expressing a thought about oneself and how can self-conscious beliefs be part of a world that is basically physical in nature? Identity, Language, and Mind is not only an introduction to the work of John Perry, but also to questions at the core of analytic philosophy for almost half a century, and that still dominates the debate at the forefront of the philosophical enterprise
Deichsel attempts to justify a normative role for methodology by sketching a pragmatic way out of the dichotomy between two major strands in economic methodology: empiricism and postmodernism. It is important to understand that this book is about methodology and this means that it does not add another recipe with prescriptions as to how economics needs to change in order to become a 'better' or 'proper' science. Instead, several methodological approaches are discussed and assessed concerning their aptness for theory appraisal in economics. The book starts with presenting the most common views on methodology (i.e. empiricism and postmodernism) and provides reasons why they are each ill-suited for giving methodological prescriptions to economics. Finally, a pragmatic approach that can do this is sketched out.
As Time Goes By offers an overview of different versions of tense realism, or A-theories of time, critically assesses those that have found supporters in the extant literature, and finally explicates and defends a hitherto neglected A-theory of time that combines many of the virtues that the B-theory claims for itself, while avoiding many of the vices that afflict more standard A-theories. Proceeding from certain general assumptions about time and its structure, the authors first provide an exhaustive classification of mutually exclusive realist views of tense in terms of precise criteria. They then critically review the more familiar of these views, such as presentism and relativism, in the light of desiderata any A-theory should satisfy, before showing how their favourite A-theory can satisfy all of these desiderata and how it escapes the McTaggartian trilemma recently expounded by Kit Fine. In the last part, the authors devise a systematic metaphysics for that view, give a reduction of times, and of the temporal order, in its terms, and provide a full semantics, statable exclusively in tensed terms, for both tensed and untensed language. The book closes by addressing and defusing the challenge that the authors’ favourite A-theory is a B-theory in disguise.
Immanuel Kant’s influence on modern philosophy can hardly be overestimated. A significant part of modern philosophy may be categorized either as neo-Kantian in a narrow or broad sense, or as developed in dialogue or contrast with Kant’s ideas. In this anthology we find examples that fit into all of these different categories. The first of the anthology’s two parts deals with Kant’s theoretical philosophy, focusing on topics such as language, space and time, subjectivity and agency. The second part contains different articles within practical philosophy: on the relation between Kantian ethics and virtue ethics, between Kantian ethics and medical ethics, aesthetics and ethics, and on moral aspects of war resistance. The anthology is put together in honour of the Norwegian philosopher Truls Wyller, who celebrates his 60th birthday this year, and who has made extensive efforts towards rethinking Kantian ideas and making them relevant to contemporary philosophy. The authors: Geert Keil, Solveig Bøe, Ronny S. Myhre, Thomas Krogh, Dagfinn Dybvig, Erling Skjei, Bengt Molander, Jonathan Knowles, Audun Øfsti, Olav Asheim, Anton Koch, Karen M. Nielsen, Lars Johan Materstvedt, Lars Ursin, Brit Strandhagen, and Olaf Müller
Der Band bietet eine Zusammenstellung von aktuellen Diskussionen zur Fruchtbarkeit des Konzepts der Repräsentation zum Verstehen des menschlichen Geistes im Allgemeinen und für das Verstehen von Wissen im Besonderen. Dabei werden mit einem interdisziplinären Zugang die Perspektiven von Philosophie, Psychologie und Neurowissenschaften systematisch miteinander verknüpft. Beim Wissen steht die Frage im Vordergrund, wie das Phänomen des "Wissen-Wie" angemessen analysiert und beschrieben werden kann. Hier wird deutlich, dass man die Frage nach der richtigen "semantischen Analyse" klar von der Frage nach der repräsentationalen Beschreibung dieses Wissens trennen muss. Im zweiten Teil des Buches werden verschiedene Konzepte der Repräsentation vorgestellt, kritisch diskutiert und in wichtigen Anwendungsfeldern präsentiert.
Den thematischen Schwerpunkt dieses Bandes bilden finale Ursachen und teleologische Erklärungen. Die Artikel verbinden systematische Fragen und historische Perspektiven in einer sehr fruchtbaren Weise. Die systematischen Kernfragen lauten u.a.: Was ist die Relation von teleologischen und kausalen Erklärungen? Wie können wir unserer gemeinsamen Praxis Rechnung tragen, der gemäß wir teleologische Erklärungen sowohl für menschliche als auch für nichtmenschliche Verhaltensweisen verwenden? Ist Teleologie eine biologische Struktur oder ist sie lediglich ein Produkt unserer Art und Weise, die Ereignisse in der Welt begrifflich zu organisieren? Diese aktuellen Fragen werden in historischen Zusammenhängen präsentiert, wobei die Diskussion in diesem Band mit Thomas von Aquin beginnt und dann einen Schwerpunkt in der neuzeitlichen Philosophie hat, vor allem bei Spinoza und Kant. The authors: Marcos G. Breuer, Jasper Doomen, Boris Hennig, Paul Hoffman (†), Dominik Perler, Pauline Phemister, Marianne Schark, Stephan Schmid, Justin Steinberg, Georg Toepfer, Liesbet Vanhaute, Arthur Ward, Markus Wild
"What is human nature?" is considered to be one of the key questions of anthropology. Throughout history, anthropologists have interpreted this question in different ways and often inferred moral conclusions from their answers. Such discussions about anthropological statements and their moral dimension gain new importance when we think about possibilities of self design brought to us by modern biotechniques. Human traits, so far conceived as unchangeable, are now subject to individual design. For that reason, the traditional questions about human nature and its moral significance have to be reconsidered in new ways. This anthology attempts to clarify some of the problems emerging in this context by reconsidering modern concepts of human nature as broadly as possible. It includes a wide spectrum of aspects concerning human nature and its implications for self design, starting with the discussion of anthropological aspects and extending to embedding present and future biotechniques into ethical analysis. Mit Beiträgen von Josep Call & Michael Tomasello, Margo DeMello, Boris Fehse, Logi Gunnarson, Nikolaus Knoepffler, Peter Kramer, Hans-Peter Krüger, Gerald Loeb, Neil Roughley, Gregor Schiemann, Thomas Schramme.
The intrinsic relation between rationality or thought on the one hand and sensory information processing or perception on the other hand is a classical topic in the philosophy of mind. This work contributes to this traditional debate by introducing an interdisciplinary framework, in which the relation between perception and cognition can be explored from a philosophical point of view and, at the same time, on the basis of the latest findings from empirical perception research. Discussing the case of visual object recognition, the proposed model allows us to differentiate between a variety of perceptual phenomena and to clarify our understanding of the role of concepts within perception. As such, it takes a stand in the debate about the conceptuality of perceptual content, exemplifying at which stage of perception and by virtue of which mechanisms perceptual experience becomes enriched or even influenced by prior knowledge or cognition in general. The final chapter is dedicated to the discussion of face perception, its disorders and underlying mechanisms.
This wholeheartedly interdisciplinary book explores the possibility of domain specific cooperation between philosophy and psychology concerning questions on spatial representation. Its leitmotif is the importance of movement in concord with the workings of the body schema. Against the background of embodiment, situatedness, and Susan Hurley's notion of a ninety-degree shift it is spelled out how true, domain specific cooperation between the disciplines can be accomplished. By enriching Grush's naturalistic account of representation (emulation theory) with insights stemming from teleosemantics, the notion of the body schema is clarified and connected to the notion of a nonconceptual point of view. Translating this latter notion into three key capacities allows to draw on insights from neuroscience concerning place cells, head-direction cells, and grid cells. These cell types can be mapped on our key capacities, which shows that the nonconceptual point of view already is apparent on a very low level of analysis. Elaborating on Evans's notion of a travel-based space allows to sketch an account of spatial representation underwritten by the importance of movement and emulation and helps us to grasp spatial content's special framework role. Moreover, it provides a satisfying answer to the question of how a representation of space might be built up that enables higher-level cognition, yet, stands in continuity to sensorimotor research.