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Rationality and Decision Making

From Normative Rules to Heuristics

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Edited by Marek Hetmański

Rationality and Decision Making: From Normative Rules to Heuristics offers a broad overview of both classic and very recent discussions concerning rationality and strategies of individual and group decision making. They are considered from a methodological, ethical, sociological, historical, cultural as well as an evolutionary perspective. Decision making, both rational and irrational, is treated in its complexity as an algorithmic, heuristic and intuitive process. The volume analyzes the theoretical and practical aspects of decision making in individual intentional endeavors and group or institutionalized undertakings. The analyses are mostly theoretical but they also appeal to empirical studies, proposed by philosophers and cognitive scientists who have studied logical, cognitive, biological, social and evolutionary aspects of human rationality.

Contributors include María José Frápolli, Marek Hetmański, Jan F. Jacko, Artur Koterski, Agnieszka Lekka-Kowalik, Sofia Miguens, Ángeles J. Perona, Manueal de Pinedo, João Alberto Pinto, Krzysztof Polit, Marcin Rządeczka, Rui Sampaio da Silva, Joanna Sokołowska, Barbara Trybulec, Marcin Trybulec, Neftalí Villanueva, Monika Walczak, Jan Winkowski, Anna Wójtowicz, Jesús Zamora-Bonilla, and António Zilhão.

A Question of Time

Freud in the Light of Heidegger’s Temporality

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Joel Pearl

In A Question of Time, Joel Pearl offers a new reading of the foundations of psychoanalytic thought, indicating the presence of an essential lacuna that has been integral to psychoanalysis since its inception. Pearl returns to the moment in which psychoanalysis was born, demonstrating how Freud had overlooked one of the most principal issues pertinent to his method: the question of time. The book shows that it is no coincidence that Freud had never methodically and thoroughly discussed time and that the metaphysical assumption of linear time lies at the very heart of Freudian psychoanalysis. Pearl’s critical reading of Freud develops through an original dialogue that he creates with the philosophy of Martin Heidegger and, specifically, with the German philosopher’s notion of temporality. Pearl traces the encounter between Freud and Heidegger by observing the common inspiration shaping their thinking: philosopher Franz Brentano, who taught both Freud and Edmund Husserl, Heidegger’s mentor. The book travels down an alternate path, one overlooked by Freudian thought – a path leading from Brentano, through Husserl and onto Heidegger’s notion of time, which is founded on the ecstatic’ interrelation of past, present and future.

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Edited by Katja Crone, Kristina Musholt and Anna Strasser

This special issue of Grazer Philosophische Studien brings together a number of carefully selected and timely articles that explore the discussion of different facets of self-consciousness from multiple perspectives. The selected articles mainly focus on three topics of the current debate: (1) the relationship between conceptual and nonconceptual ways of self-representation; (2) the role of intersubjectivity for the development of self-consciousness; (3) the temporal structure of self-consciousness. A number of previously underexposed, yet important connections between different approaches are explored. The articles not only represent the state of the art in their respective areas of research and make new insights available, but also provide an overview of different methodologies: ranging from philosophy of language and mind to phenomenology and cognitive science. The volume is of interest for philosophers, cognitive scientists and researchers in related disciplines who are concerned with investigating the nature and origin of self-consciousness.

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Luigi Longhin

Society and contemporary culture unquestionably assign much importance to the search for quality. So can this kind of research include the mind? In his analysis, Luigi Longhin examines the causes of mental illness and psychic-mental suffering, the notions of individuality, social violence, and utopia; and he suggests a collaboration between the neurosciences and psychoanalysis, within a correct epistemological approach. The relationship between epistemology and psychoanalysis is examined. The objectivistic and relativistic shift in contemporary epistemology, and the problem of the responsibility of the techno-scientific system are emphasized. Why such a privileged connection with philosophy? The contribution of philosophy is primarily epistemological. However, both epistemology and psychoanalysis run a risk; whilst epistemology runs the risk of being a knowledge which does not know, psychoanalysts run the risk of pursuing scientific knowledge without knowing its foundations. Hence there is a need for collaboration between the two forms of knowledge: the philosophical-epistemological and the scientific-psychoanalytic. Psychoanalysis works in two directions: on the one hand, it tries to eliminate the negative components of the mind, on the other hand, it tries to develop the trusting and creative parts of the self.

Karl Jaspers

From Selfhood to Being

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Ronny Miron

This book traces the work of German philosopher Karl Jaspers (1883-1969) from his origins as a young psychiatrist up to his maturity as an existentialist philosopher. The critique of Jaspers’s thought follows his attempts to grant meaning to the human search for self-understanding. It reveals the difficulties and frustrations entailed in this search. The book reveals to the reader Jaspers’s handling of these difficulties through constituting a philosophical relation toward the Being existing beyond the individual: other people, the world, and transcendence. In this book, the author conducts an ongoing dialog with existing research into Jaspers’s work, and proposes her own new reading. As well as critiquing the existing interpretations, the author uncovers the challenges Jaspers’s character has presented the readers. Unlike most scholars, who generally ignored Jaspers’s early writings, dealing with psychiatry and psychology, this book suggests a philosophical reading of these writings. This exposes the unity of the world from which Jaspers created, first as a psychiatrist and later as a philosopher. This reading shows Jaspers’s work as an ambitious attempt to formulate an original perception of the two basic themes that have interested philosophy and human thought throughout the ages: Selfhood and Being.

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John G. McGraw

This book is the second volume of an interdisciplinary study, chiefly one of philosophy and psychology, which concerns personality, especially the abnormal in terms of states of aloneness, primarily that of the negative emotional isolation customarily known as loneliness. Other states of aloneness investigated include solitude, reclusiveness, seclusion, desolation, isolation, and what the author terms “aloneliness,” “alonism,” “lonism,” and “lonerism.”
Insofar as this study most explicitly focuses on abnormal personalities, it employs the general and specific definitions of personality aberrations as formulated by the American Psychiatric Association in its latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). The author views personality as preeminently comprised of the individual's interpersonal relationships. Unlike the DSM-IV, he proposes that people with personality disorders not only possibly but necessarily manifest deviancy regarding interpersonal functioning via serious shortcomings in shared inwardness, paramountly reciprocated intimacy.
This work also engages in an analysis of five social factors that are conducive to predisposing, precipitating, and maintaining negative kinds of personality and aloneness. The author has formed these factors into an acronym titled SCRAM since when they are present, intimacy scurries away and in its absence, loneliness and other sorts of unwanted aloneness scamper in and fill the person with unhappiness via, for instance, sadness and self-worthlessness. The constituents of SCRAM are the following social illnesses: Successitis (for example, the fixation on fame and fortune), Capitalitis (greed-driven, unfettered capitalism), Rivalitis (competitivitis), Atomitis (hyper-individualism), and Materialitis (for example, the anti-spirituality of consumeritis).
In sum, this book provides a different perspective on personality via the lenses of various types of aloneness and their lack of public and private intimacy, especially love.

Of Philosophers and Madmen

A disclosure of Martin Heidegger, Medard Boss, and Sigmund Freud

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Richard Askay and M.J. Farquhar

This text is an innovative exploration of philosophy and madness in the context of the critical engagement of Heidegger’s phenomenological ontology with Freudian psychoanalysis. Included is a play in which, after a mental breakdown, Martin Heidegger undergoes psychoanalytic treatment from Dr. Medard Boss. Boss is essentially caught between two intellectual giants: his patient, Heidegger, who challenges him to evolve beyond traditional Freudian psychoanalysis, and his mentor, Freud, who acts as a “ghostly” consultant in facilitating Heidegger’s return to health. The dialogue of the play consists of actual quotes taken from the major thinkers themselves, which enhances the authenticity of this fictitious production. In addition, the theoretical perspectives of Freud, Heidegger, Boss, and Ludwig Binswanger are included to enhance the readers’ background knowledge. In the process of disclosing these brilliant theorists, this book uncovers what each orientation has to offer the others.

Reconstructing Subjects

A Philosophical Critique of Psychotherapy

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Hakam H. Al-Shawi

This work is about the deceptive nature of psychotherapy. In particular, it is about those therapies that claim to provide the client with insight and self-knowledge when in practice they are a means of social control absorbing clients into socially acceptable norms. Through a philosophical analysis of key concepts such as knowledge, insight, and subjectivity, and through an examination of mechanisms intrinsic to psychotherapeutic practice, such as power, interpretation, and suggestion, this monograph unveils how psychotherapy deludes clients into believing they have discovered their true self. Rather than gaining self-knowledge and insight into their true or core self, clients are subtly reconstructed and reconfigured along prevailing social values. Furthermore, the very epistemological and metaphysical world-view clients are deceived into believing is highly suspect and founded upon a fascistic understanding of knowledge.
As an alternative to such domination, psychotherapy needs to reconstruct itself along Nietzschean-Deleuzian lines where the focus is on multiple identities, difference, and creativity. Rather than focusing on an analysis of past memories to alleviate symptoms such as anxiety or depression, therapeutic intervention should aim for a non-repressive conception of self-knowledge and insight based upon a creative future and not a regretful past. This entails a different understanding of knowledge and reality that is not based on subjugating the world to what we know about it, but on immersing ourselves within reality in all of its concrete richness. And such an approach is preferable not because it is “true” but because it is more liberating.

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John G. McGraw

This interdisciplinary book concerns personality, especially intimacy, principally love, and its absence in states of aloneness, primarily loneliness. The author argues that normal and preeminently supranormal personalities are chiefly constituted by intimate connections. Correspondingly, he proposes that the serious shortage of such shared inwardness is the nucleus of every type of personality abnormality.