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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.

Empiriomonism

Essays in Philosophy, Books 1–3

Alexander Aleksandrovich Bogdanov

Edited by David Rowley

Empiriomonism is Alexander Bogdanov’s monistic philosophy of being and cognition, which he believed is consistent with both modern science and Marxism. In Books One and Two of Empiriomonism, Bogdanov begins with Ernst Mach’s and Richard Avenarius’s neutral monism – the idea that the ‘physical’ and the ‘psychical’ are two sides of one reality – and explains how human psyches are causally interconnected with the rest of nature. In Book Three, he shows how empiriomonism substantiates the principles of historical materialism more adequately than G. V. Plekhanov’s out-dated materialism. Bogdanov concludes that empiriomonism, although not technically materialist, is nevertheless of the same order as materialist systems and, since it is the ideology of the productive forces of society, it is a Marxist philosophy.

Medieval Perceptual Puzzles

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

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Edited by Elena Băltuță

Medieval Perceptual Puzzles: Theories of Sense-Perception in the 13th and 14th Centuries is an anthology of texts offering an in-depth analysis of Latin medieval theories of sense-perception. The volume offers historical and systematic treatments of themes and questions that have shaped the medieval accounts of sense-perception. How do we perceive? What do we perceive? Who perceives? The contributors address such questions to medieval thinkers, including Albert the Great, Roger Bacon, William of Auvergne, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, John Peckham, Richard Rufus, Peter Olivi, Robert Kilwardby, John Buridan, and Jean of Jandun.
Contributors are Elena Băltuță, Daniel DeHaan, 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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Jeffrey M. Zacks

The representation of events is a central topic for cognitive science. In this series of lectures, Jeffrey M. Zacks situates event representations and their role in language within a theory of perception and memory. Event representations have a distinctive structure and format that result from computational and neural mechanisms operating during perception and language comprehension. A crucial aspect of the mechanisms is that event representations are updated to optimize their predictive utility. This updating has consequences for action control and for long-term memory. Event cognition changes across the adult lifespan and can be impaired by conditions including Alzheimer’s disease. These mechanisms have broad impact on everyday activity, and have shaped the development of media such as cinema and narrative fiction.

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.

Selfhood and Appearing

The Intertwining

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James Mensch

What is the relation between our selfhood and appearing? Our embodiment positions us in the world, situating us as an object among its visible objects. Yet, by opening and shutting our eyes, we can make the visible world appear and disappear—a fact that convinces us that the world is in us. Thus, we have to assert with Merleau-Ponty that we are in the world that is in us: the two are intertwined. Author James Mensch employs the insights of Jan Patočka’s asubjective phenomenology to understand this double relationship of being-in. In this volume, he shows how this relation constitutes the reality of our selfhood, shaping our social and political interactions as well as the violence that constantly threatens to undermine them.

Animal Rationality

Later Medieval Theories 1250-1350

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Anselm Oelze

In Animal Rationality: Later Medieval Theories 1250-1350, Anselm Oelze offers the first comprehensive and systematic exploration of theories of animal rationality in the later Middle Ages. Traditionally, it was held that medieval thinkers ascribed rationality to humans while denying it to nonhuman animals. As Oelze shows, this narrative fails to capture the depth and diversity of the medieval debate. Although many thinkers, from Albert the Great to John Buridan, did indeed hold that nonhuman animals lack rational faculties, some granted them the ability to engage in certain rational processes such as judging, reasoning, or employing prudence. There is thus a whole spectrum of positions to be discovered, many of which show interesting parallels with contemporary theories of animal rationality.

Autonome Praxis und intelligible Welt

Die transzendental-praktische Freiheit in Kants Lehre vom höchsten Gut

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Walid Faizzada

In Autonome Praxis und intelligible Welt: Die transzendental-praktische Freiheit in Kants Lehre vom höchsten Gut Walid Faizzada reconstructs Kant’s theory of freedom in light of modern debates about determinism and free will. Faizzada argues that the Kantian position is neither a kind of compatibilism nor incompatibilism. The theory of freedom includes the specific concept of intellectual causality as the power to act by principles and for practical reasons. The most innovative feature constitutes the self-determination of rational agents regarding the idea of the noumenal world. Kant’s philosophical approach to freedom culminates in the concept of so-called transcendental-practical freedom which prepares the ground for morality.

Apparaître

Essai de philosophie phénoménologique

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Denis Seron

L’intentionnalité — cette singulière propriété qu’a l’esprit d’être dirigé vers le monde — est aujourd’hui un des problèmes les plus débattus dans le domaine de la philosophie de l’esprit. Dans Apparaître : Essai de philosophie phénoménologique, Denis Seron entend montrer que l’approche phénoménologique peut contribuer positivement à ce débat. Il propose de voir dans l’intentionnalité une notion fondamentalement phénoménologique et, en conséquence, de la définir en termes d’apparence. Il esquisse ensuite, sur cette base, une théorie de l’apparence, dont il suggère enfin qu’elle fournit un cadre approprié pour d’autres problèmes comme ceux de l’unité de la conscience, de l’inconscient, etc.

Intentionality — the mind’s directedness towards the world — is currently one of the most debated issues in the area of the philosophy of mind. In Apparaître: Essai de philosophie phénoménologique, Denis Seron aims to show that the phenomenological approach can contribute positively to this debate. He proposes to understand the notion of intentionality as a basic phenomenological notion and thus to define it in terms of appearances. On the basis of this, he then sketches a theory of appearance which he suggests is best suited to address a range of other issues such as the unity of consciousness, the unconscious, etc.

Anthropologische Differenz und animalische Konvenienz

Tierphilosophie bei Thomas von Aquin

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Tobias Davids

This study examines Thomas Aquinas’s contribution to the systematic field of animal philosophy. It applies various models from the current philosophical debate (especially from that concerning the mind of animals) as interpretative aids to tap the potential of the Thomistic approach.
Thomas draws a clear line of demarcation between animals and human beings (= anthropological difference). However, he also considers it important to work out the similarities between humans and animals, insofar as they are both so-called animalia, i.e., living beings possessing senses (= animal conformance).
His philosophical deliberations concerning animals have a methodological function as well, namely to highlight the distinct capacities of human beings. Thus, for Thomas, the reflection on animals is a key instrument in dealing with anthropological questions.