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Medieval Perceptual Puzzles

Theories of Sense Perception in the 13th and 14th Centuries

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Edited by Elena Băltuță

In our daily lives, we are surrounded by all sorts of things – such as trees, cars, persons, or madeleines – and perception allows us access to them. But what does ‘to perceive’ actually mean? What is it that we perceive? How do we perceive? Do we perceive the same way animals do? Does reason play a role in perception? Such questions occur naturally today. But was it the same in the past, centuries ago? The collected volume tackles this issue by turning to the Latin philosophy of the 13th and 14th centuries. Did medieval thinkers raise the same, or similar, questions as we do with respect to perception? What answers did they provide? What arguments did they make for raising the questions they did, and for the answers they gave to them? The philosophers taken into consideration are, among others, Albert the Great, Roger Bacon, William of Auvergne, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, John Pecham, Richard Rufus, Peter Olivi, Robert Kilwardby, John Buridan, and Jean of Jandun.

Contributors are Elena Băltuță, Daniel De Haan, Martin Klein, Andrew LaZella, Lukáš Lička, Mattia Mantovani, André Martin, Dominik Perler, Paolo Rubini, José Filipe Silva, Juhana Toivanen, and Rega Wood.

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Edited by Bernard Feltz, Marcus Missal and Andrew Cameron Sims

Neuroscientists often consider free will to be an illusion. Contrary to this hypothesis, the contributions to this volume show that recent developments in neuroscience can also support the existence of free will. Firstly, the possibility of intentional consciousness is studied. Secondly, Libet’s experiments are discussed from this new perspective. Thirdly, the relationship between free will, causality and language is analyzed. This approach suggests that language grants the human brain a possibility to articulate a meaningful personal life. Therefore, human beings can escape strict biological determinism.

Stefan Lang

Was ist Selbstbewusstsein? Entgegen der weit verbreiteten Ansicht, dass Selbstbewusstsein ein Fall von intentionalem und repräsentationalem Bewusstsein ist, entwickelt dieses Buch ein alternatives Modell: Selbstbewusstsein ist ein Phänomen sui generis und besteht in einem performativen Akt.
Lässt sich Selbstbewusstsein mit den begrifflichen Mitteln intentionaler und repräsentationaler Theorien des Selbstbewusstseins vollständig erklären? Die provokante These dieser Untersuchung lautet: Intentionales Selbstbewusstsein setzt präreflexives Selbstbewusstsein voraus, das im Rahmen repräsentationaler Theorien nicht erklärt werden kann. Als neuer Leitbegriff der Theorie der Subjektivität wird der Begriff der Performativität vorgeschlagen.

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Judith Benz-Schwarzburg

In Cognitive Kin, Moral Strangers?, Judith Benz-Schwarzburg reveals the scope and relevance of cognitive kinship between humans and non-human animals. She presents a wide range of empirical studies on culture, language and theory of mind in animals and then leads us to ask why such complex socio-cognitive abilities in animals matter. Her focus is on ethical theory as well as on the practical ways in which we use animals. Are great apes maybe better described as non-human persons? Should we really use dolphins as entertainers or therapists? Benz-Schwarzburg demonstrates how much we know already about animals’ capabilities and needs and how this knowledge should inform the ways in which we treat animals in captivity and in the wild.

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Jerry H. Gill

Words, Deeds, Bodies by Jerry H. Gill concentrates on the interrelationships between speech, accomplishing tasks, and human embodiment. Ludwig Wittgenstein, J. L. Austin, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Michael Polanyi have all highlighted these relationships. This book examines the, as yet, unexplored connections between these authors’ philosophies of language. It focuses on the relationships between their respective key ideas: Wittgenstein’s notion of “language game,” Austin’s concept of “performative utterances,” Merleau-Ponty’s idea of “slackening the threads,” and Polanyi's understanding of “tacit knowing,” noting the similarities and differences between and amongst them.

Evolution and Consciousness

From a Barren Rocky Earth to Artists, Philosophers, Meditators and Psychotherapists

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Michael M. DelMonte and Maeve Halpin

This volume provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the emerging concept of the evolution of consciousness. The simple, but dynamic, theory of evolving consciousness blends the powerful insights of modern science with the deep wisdom of age-old cultures, synthesising the traditions of East and West, of the head and heart, of the feminine and the masculine and of science and spirituality. By integrating diverse multi-disciplinary approaches, it provides an overarching and transcending model that moves us to a new level of meaning and understanding of our place in the world. An appreciation of the evolution of consciousness can deepen our connection to ourselves, to others and to the natural world, while bringing a new dimension to the work of psychotherapy.

Philosophie des Geistes im Spätmittelalter

Intellekt, Materie und Intentionalität bei Johannes Buridan

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Martin Klein

Is the human intellect material? Or can we show by appeal to its intentional operations, such as universal cognition and self-knowledge, that it is immaterial? Is there therefore a connection between intentionality and immateriality?
In Philosophie des Geistes im Spätmittelalter, Martin Klein offers a comprehensive account of John Buridan’s philosophy of mind considered in relation to his epistemology, metaphysics and natural philosophy. In light of material that has only recently been edited, Buridan is presented in the context of the late medieval debate about the nature of the human intellect and how this influences its cognitive functioning.

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Alice Richir

Qui se cache derrière le « Je » et ses mensonges ? Écriture du fantasme plonge au cœur de la littérature contemporaine de langue française pour désigner comme fantasmes, au sens psychanalytique, les projections imaginaires qui peuplent les romans de Jean-Philippe Toussaint et Tanguy Viel. Prenant appui sur la définition du fantasme de Sigmund Freud et sur l’identification de sa logique par Jacques Lacan, la fiction fantasmatique est envisagée comme un moyen pour un narrateur à l’identité diffractée de faire récit. Cette nouvelle logique narrative est étudiée à la lumière des dispositifs modernes de l’image – photographie et cinéma, essentiellement –, dont Toussaint et Viel s’inspirent pour déconstruire les cadres représentatifs traditionnels et interroger le rapport entre identification et récit aujourd’hui.

Who lies behind the "I" and its deceitful nature? Écriture du fantasme delves into the heart of contemporary French-language literature to psychoanalytically designate as fantasies the imaginary projections which populate the novels of Jean-Philippe Toussaint and Tanguy Viel. Fantasized fiction is regarded as a means for a narrator with a diffracted identity to exist through the narration, based on how Sigmund Freud defined fantasy and on how Jacques Lacan deciphers its logic. This new sense of narration is studied through modern imagery devices – essentially photography and cinema. Toussaint and Viel use these as inspiration to deconstruct the traditional representative frameworks and question the current correlation between identification and narrative.

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Edited by Maciej Witek and Iwona Witczak-Plisiecka

Normativity and Variety of Speech Actions embraces papers focused on the performative dimension of language. While all texts in the volume recognize speech primarily as a type of action, the collection is indicative of the multifaceted nature of J.L. Austin’s original reflection, which invited many varied research programmes. The problems addressed in the volume are discussed with reference to data culled from natural conversation, mediated political discourse, law, and literary language, and include normativity, e.g. types of norms operative in speech acts, speaker’s intentions and commitments, speaker-addressee coordination, but also speech actions in discursive practice, in literal and non-literal language, performance of irony, presupposition, and meaningful significant silence.

Contributors are: Brian Ball, Cristina Corredor, Anita Fetzer, Milada Hirschová, Dennis Kurzon, Marcin Matczak, Marina Sbisà, Iwona Witczak-Plisiecka, Maciej Witek, and Mateusz Włodarczyk.

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Edited by Andrew Kuzmicki and Ilona Błocian

The book is a volume of the collected works of sixteen different authors. They reflect the contemporary meaning of C. G. Jung’s theory on many fields of scientific activity and in a different cultural context: Japanese, South American and North American, as well as European: English, Italian and Polish. The authors consider a specific milieu of Jung’s theory and his influence or possible dialogue with contemporary ideas and scientific activity. A major task of the book will be to outline the contemporary—direct or indirect—usefulness and applicability of Jung's ideas at the beginning of the twenty-first century while simultaneously making a critical review of this theory.