We are glad to present the nineteenth volume of this journal. Its unitary thematic focus concerns a fruitful discussion of a variety of approaches in Ancient Epistemology. This volume of Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy presents in total eleven articles on the theme of Ancient Epistemology, ranging from the presocratic philosopher Xenophanes to Plotinus and Sextus Empiricus, both by established colleagues and by younger scholars at the beginning of their career. Many interpretations are new or feature new ideas or new applications of ideas. We are confident that they will stimulate the readers to develop their understanding of ancient epistemology in response to them. The Authors: Matthew Duncombe, Alexander P. D. Mourelatos, Patricia Curd, Lucas Angioni, Ada Bronowski, Lee Franklin, Audrey Anton, David Bronstein, Anna Tigani, Andrew Payne, Eleni Perdikouri, Petter Sandstad, Jared Smith and Ádám Tamás Tuboly.
Edited by Katerina Ierodiakonou and Pieter Sjoerd Hasper
Reductive Explanation for Limited Beings
Is our mind explainable in terms of neural mechanisms? How we concieve of ourselves seems strongly to depend on how we respond to this question. In the present work an attempt at an affirmative answer is made. Currently, there are good reasons to believe that we can give a neural-mechanical explanation of how our mind works. In order to show this, first, a concept of mechanistic explanation is developed that is applicable to biological cognitive systems. This accomodates the fact that biological systems are usually complex, integrated systems that cannot be decomposed into a relatively small number of working parts like a clockwork. Complex biological mechanisms exhibit emergent behavior. The complexity of biological systems can be tackled with the aid of a number of methods of analysis. Models of a whole human brain are, for instance, well in reach that can be used to find integrated mechanistic explanations of cognitive capacities. Mind would thus be qualitatively reducible to neural mechanisms.
Foundations and Challenges
Edited by Jakov Gather, Tanja Henking, Alexa Nossek and Jochen Vollmann
Coercion in the treatment of persons suffering from mental disorders is one of the major ethical controversies in psychiatry. Despite great efforts to reduce the use of coercive interventions, they are still widespread and differ among European countries with regard to the specific type of intervention and the number of affected patients. It is common to justify measures against the present will of patients under the assumption that they promote their well-being, that is, by reference to the ethical principal of beneficence. However, it is indisputable that such measures can also cause severe harm to the patients concerned and that they are often experienced as degrading. So in which situations can coercive interventions justifiably be labeled as »beneficial« at all? How can they be reduced to a minimum? This volume addresses these issues from an interdisciplinary and international perspective, combining contributions of amongst others medical ethicists, philosophers, legal scholars, psychologists, psychiatrists from different European countries. Theoretical and conceptual essays are complemented by contributions with a strong relation to clinical practice.
An Enquiriy Concerning Economic Modelling
Deichsel attempts to justify a normative role for methodology by sketching a pragmatic way out of the dichotomy between two major strands in economic methodology: empiricism and postmodernism. It is important to understand that this book is about methodology and this means that it does not add another recipe with prescriptions as to how economics needs to change in order to become a 'better' or 'proper' science. Instead, several methodological approaches are discussed and assessed concerning their aptness for theory appraisal in economics. The book starts with presenting the most common views on methodology (i.e. empiricism and postmodernism) and provides reasons why they are each ill-suited for giving methodological prescriptions to economics. Finally, a pragmatic approach that can do this is sketched out.
From Basic Self-Representation to Self-Related Cognition
One oft the most fascinating abilities of humans is the ability to become conscious of the own physical and mental states. In this systematic investigation of self-consciousness, a representational theory is developed that is able to distinguish between different levels of self-consciousness. The most basic levels are already present in such simple animals as ants. From these basic forms, which are also relevant for adult human self-consciousness, high-level self-consciousness including self-knowledge can arise. Thereby, the theory is not only able to integrate developmental considerations but also to sharply distinguish different aspects of the complex phenomenon self-consciousness. Pathological breakdowns of these different aspects, as they can be found in schizophrenia, are explained by specific impairments on different levels of self-representation. In this way, the work shows that a naturalistic theory of self-consciousness is possible, if the analysis starts with very simple and basic mechanisms instead of starting on the 'top of the iceberg'.
The Liar paradox arises when we consider a sentence that says of itself that it is not true. If such self-referential sentences exist – and examples like »This sentence is not true« certainly suggest this –, then our logic and standard notion of truth allow to infer a contradiction: The Liar sentence is true and not true. What has gone wrong? Must we revise our notion of truth and our logic? Or can we dispel the common conviction that there are such self-referential sentences? The present study explores the second path. After comparing the Liar reasoning in formal and informal logic and showing that there are no Gödelian Liar sentences, the study moves on from the semantics of self-reference to the metaphysics of expressions and proposes a novel solution to the Liar paradox: Meaningful expressions are distinct from their syntactic bases and exist only relative to contexts. Detailed semantico-metaphysical arguments show that in this dynamic setting, an object can be referred to only after it has started to exist. Hence the circular reference needed in the Liar paradox cannot occur, after all. As this solution is contextualist, it evades the expressibility problems of other proposals.
Systematic and Historical Perspectives
Edited by David Hommen, Christoph Kann and Tanja Oswald
The study of concepts lies at the intersection of various disciplines, both analytic and empiric. The rising cognitive sciences, for instance, are interested in concepts insofar as they are used in an explanation of such diverse epistemic phenomena like categorization, inference, memory, learning, and decision-making. In philosophy, the challenge imposed by conceptualization consists, among other things, in accommodating reverse intuitions about concepts like shareability, mind-dependency, mediation between reference, knowledge and reality, etc. While researchers have collaborated more and more to contribute to a unified understanding of concepts and categorization, the joint venture unfortunately suffers (so far) from the fact that it is generally left unclear how exactly the different approaches undertaken in the participating sciences relate to each other. What do psychologists and philosophers mean by the notion of a concept? Is there a core-theory of concepts and categorization underlying analytical and empirical studies? The present collection of essays addresses these and related questions and tries to answer them from both a systematic and a historical perspective.
Self-Consciousness and the Functional Role of Emotion
While classical philosophy of mind regards cognitive faculties, such as consciousness, attention and emotions, as autonomous modalities, modern neuroscience teaches us that these should be considered with respect to the experiencing self. Fear, anger, joy or sadness should not be considered as distinct phenomena but in relation to the self which experiences them on the one hand and expresses them on the other. This book endeavours to draw a framework of self-referential emotions as a plane in which the self is active. Using notions from classical and modern analytical philosophy of mind as well as findings from cognitive psychology and neuroscience, the main idea presented here is that emotions, and self-referential emotions in particular, are essential for the constitution of the self. Emotions provide the self with evaluative information about the self’s faring in the world. Moreover, by facilitating communication with other 'selves', emotions further promote understanding of other’s evaluations of the self, enhancing the development of a self-concept and conscious self-experience. It is proposed that highly salient emotional self-reference and evaluative self-experience are at the core of various levels of self-consciousness. Self-referential emotions therefore might have implications for understanding one’s behavior as well as its breakdown in various pathologies such as in Autism spectrum disorder and affective disorders.
Edited by Sebastian Schleidgen, Michael Jungert, Robert Bauer and Verena Sandow
"What is human nature?" is considered to be one of the key questions of anthropology. Throughout history, anthropologists have interpreted this question in different ways and often inferred moral conclusions from their answers. Such discussions about anthropological statements and their moral dimension gain new importance when we think about possibilities of self design brought to us by modern biotechniques. Human traits, so far conceived as unchangeable, are now subject to individual design. For that reason, the traditional questions about human nature and its moral significance have to be reconsidered in new ways. This anthology attempts to clarify some of the problems emerging in this context by reconsidering modern concepts of human nature as broadly as possible. It includes a wide spectrum of aspects concerning human nature and its implications for self design, starting with the discussion of anthropological aspects and extending to embedding present and future biotechniques into ethical analysis. Mit Beiträgen von Josep Call & Michael Tomasello, Margo DeMello, Boris Fehse, Logi Gunnarson, Nikolaus Knoepffler, Peter Kramer, Hans-Peter Krüger, Gerald Loeb, Neil Roughley, Gregor Schiemann, Thomas Schramme.
Eternal facts in an Ageing Universe
Fabrice Correira and Sven Rosenkranz
As Time Goes By offers an overview of different versions of tense realism, or A-theories of time, critically assesses those that have found supporters in the extant literature, and finally explicates and defends a hitherto neglected A-theory of time that combines many of the virtues that the B-theory claims for itself, while avoiding many of the vices that afflict more standard A-theories. Proceeding from certain general assumptions about time and its structure, the authors first provide an exhaustive classification of mutually exclusive realist views of tense in terms of precise criteria. They then critically review the more familiar of these views, such as presentism and relativism, in the light of desiderata any A-theory should satisfy, before showing how their favourite A-theory can satisfy all of these desiderata and how it escapes the McTaggartian trilemma recently expounded by Kit Fine. In the last part, the authors devise a systematic metaphysics for that view, give a reduction of times, and of the temporal order, in its terms, and provide a full semantics, statable exclusively in tensed terms, for both tensed and untensed language. The book closes by addressing and defusing the challenge that the authors’ favourite A-theory is a B-theory in disguise.