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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.
Advisory Editor: Susana Monsó
Translator: Mark Kanak
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.
From a Barren Rocky Earth to Artists, Philosophers, Meditators and Psychotherapists
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.
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.
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.
Explorations of Consciousness in Contemporary Fiction is a collection of essays examining the potential of the contemporary English-language novel to represent and inquire into various aspects of the human mind. Grounded in contemporary literary theory as well as consciousness studies, the essays consider both narrative techniques by means of which writers attempt to render various states of consciousness (such as multimodality in digital fiction or experimental typography in post-traumatic narratives), and novelistic interpretations of issues currently being investigated by neurobiologists, cognitive scientists and philosophers of the mind (such as the adaptive value of consciousness or the process of self-integration by means of self-narration). The volume thus offers critical reflection upon the novel’s cognitive accomplishment in this challenging area.

Contributors are: Nathan D. Frank, Judit Friedrich, Justyna Galant, Marta Komsta, Péter Kristóf Makai, Ajitpaul Mangat, Grzegorz Maziarczyk, James McAdams, Daniel Panka, Barbara Puschmann-Nalenz, Joanna Klara Teske, Lloyd Issac Vayo, Dóra Vecsernyés, Sylwia Wilczewska
Author: Carmelo Cali
Phenomenology of Perception: Theories and Experimental Evidence reconstructs and reviews the phenomenological research of the Brentano School, Edgar Rubin, David Katz, Albert Michotte and Gestalt psychology. Phenomenology is commonly considered a philosophy of subjective experience, but this book presents it instead as a set of commitments for philosophy and science to discover the immanent grammar underlying the objective meaning of perception. Pioneering experimental results on the qualitative and quantitative structures of the perceptual world are collected to show that, contrary to the received assumption, phenomenology can be embedded in standard science. This book will therefore be of interest not only to phenomenologists but also to anyone concerned with epistemological and empirical issues in contemporary psychology and the cognitive sciences.
Evolution and Human Culture argues that values, beliefs, and practices are expressions of individual and shared moral sentiments. Much of our cultural production stems from what in early hominins was a caring tendency, both the care to share and a self-care to challenge others. Topics cover prehistory, mind, biology, morality, comparative primatology, art, and aesthetics. The book is valuable to students and scholars in the arts, including moral philosophers, who would benefit from reading about scientific developments that impact their fields. For biologists and social scientists the book provides a window into how scientific research contributes to understanding the arts and humanities. The take-home point is that culture does not transcend nature; rather, culture is an evolved moral behavior.
Author: 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.
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.