In the seventeenth century, “consciousness” began to take on a uniquely modern sense. This transition was sparked by new theories of mind and ideas, and it connected with other important issues of debate during the seventeenth century, including debates over the transparency of the mental, animal consciousness, and innate ideas. Additionally, consciousness was tied closely to moral identity, with both French and Latin lacking even a linguistic distinction between consciousness and conscience (i.e., a moral sensibility). This semantic shift marked a philosophical division between the psychological or phenomenal aspects of thought and a moral sensibility as well. The discussions on all of these topics were rich and varied in the seventeenth century—the article below provides a view from forty thousand feet.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Cephalove: Do octopuses play?
Thursday, July 22, 2010
first-order representationalism, a theory of CONSCIOUSNESS that explains state consciousness (see CONSCIOUSNESS, STATE) in terms of having a certain kind of MENTAL REPRESENTATION (crucially, a representation that need not be represented by any other representation, thus “first-order”) and explains QUALIA or the “WHAT IT IS LIKE” aspects of consciousness (see CONSCIOUSNESS, PHENOMENAL) in terms of the CONTENT of the relevant mental representation. The main distinctive feature of first-order representationalism is that unlike higher-order representationalisms, such as the HIGHER-ORDER THOUGHT THEORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS or the higher-order PERCEPTION theory of consciousness, it does not make it a requirement on a state’s being conscious that it be represented by itself or any other state. One consideration that first-order representationalists raise in support of this part of their view is that it appears, or so it is claimed, that we cannot become aware of the features of an EXPERIENCE itself as opposed to features of what the experience is an experience of. For example, when I attend to my experience of a blue rectangle, it seems that I am only aware of the blueness and the rectangularity—properties presumably instantiated not by my experience but by some physical object in the external world: a blue rectangle. See TRANSPARENCY (OF EXPERIENCE).
Carrie Figdor, University of Iowa: "Is Mechanistic Explanation of Mind Possible?"
2:00 pm, Room 7102, CUNY Graduate Center
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Paul Thagard - The Brain and the Meaning of Life - Reviewed by Adina Roskies, Dartmouth College - Philosophical Reviews - University of Notre Dame
Miguel Ángel Sebastián University of Barcelona "The Subjective Character of the Experience: Against HOR and SOR Theories"
2:00 pm, Room 7102, CUNY Graduate Center
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Originally uploaded by catmachine
The Slow-switching Slowdown Showdown
The point of this paper is to raise a puzzle for cognitive content externalism. Central to the kind of externalism I wish to raise a puzzle for is a commitment to a thesis of slow switching: were Oscar stealthily transplanted on Twin Earth, replacing Twin Oscar, the thought contents expressed by Oscar’s “water” utterances would switch slowly from being thoughts of H2O to being thoughts of XYZ. The puzzle I want to raise centers on the question of how the externalist can account for the rate of slow switching. What’s especially puzzling about this question of rate is best brought out by considering certain natural extensions of externalism to contents concerning time and a modification of the Twin Earth thought experiment involving Slow Earth—a version of XYZ-covered Twin Earth where (just about) everything takes hundred times longer to occur on Slow Earth. It is a natural extension of externalism to time concepts to hold that Oscar and his counterpart on Slow Earth, Slow Oscar, express different thoughts by utterances employing temporal vocabulary such as “day,” “hour,” and “minute.” A further natural extension of externalism is to hold that if Oscar were stealthily transplanted to Slow Earth, not just his “water”-related concepts would slowly switch their contents, so would, e.g., his “hour”-related concepts. The question at the heart of my puzzle for the externalist is this: How long would slow switching take on Slow Earth? If everything is a hundred times slower on Slow Earth compared to non-slowed Twin Earth, then if slow switching takes a year on Twin Earth, it takes 100 years on Slow Earth (which is, of course, just one Slow Earth year). However, as I shall argue, it raises certain problems for externalists to hold that even slow switching is slowed down on Slow Earth. The core problem raised, I will argue, is that the externalist, in holding that slow switching slows on Slow Earth, is led to embrace a contradictory account of what the supervenience base is for wide-content temporal thoughts.
Here's the schedule for workshop:
The 2010 UTA Summer Seminar in Mind, Cognition, and Neuroethics
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Following up on a previous post on this topic: The journal Synthese has added a submission option on 'neuroscience and its philosophy' to its online submission system. If you select that option, the system should to put me (qua editor of the yearly issue on neuroscience and its philosophy) in charge of the paper.