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Philosophies, Volume 7, Issue 2 (April 2022) – 23 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Bruno Latour is an essential figure in social network theory and systems thinking. His work is relational yet underexplored in feminist care ethics. Latour’s recent publications have centered on the Anthropocene. Care theorists are just beginning to address posthuman approaches to care. Latourian analysis is useful for such explorations, given its novel relational approach to human and natural processes of engendering and meaning making. The article introduces Latour’s scholarship and lexicon then addresses care theorist Puig de la Bellacasa’s application of Latour. Furthermore, recent work on care and the environment is explored in light of Latourian analysis. The conclusion suggests that the perilous Anthropocene necessitates a caring relationality across human and non-human matter. View this paper
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Article
Habit: A Rylean Conception
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020045 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1649
Abstract
Tennis champion Maria Sharapova has a habit of grunting when she plays on the court. Assume that she also has a habit of hitting the ball in a certain way in a certain situation. The habit of on-court grunting might be bad, but [...] Read more.
Tennis champion Maria Sharapova has a habit of grunting when she plays on the court. Assume that she also has a habit of hitting the ball in a certain way in a certain situation. The habit of on-court grunting might be bad, but can the habit of hitting the ball in a certain way in a certain situation be classified as intelligent? The fundamental questions here are as follows: What is habit? What is the relation between habit and skill? Is there such a thing as intelligent habit? In this paper I expound the nature of habit by developing and defending a Rylean conception of habit, according to which an acquired disposition is a habit if and only if the manifestation of the disposition is repeated, automatic, and uniform. One implication of this conception is that there is no such thing as intelligent habit. A practical application in athletic expertise is that sport coaches can help athletes go beyond repeated, automatic, and uniform dispositions in sport. Full article
Article
Natural Philosophy, Abstraction, and Mathematics among Materialists: Thomas Hobbes and Margaret Cavendish on Light
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020044 - 10 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1526
Abstract
The nature of light is a focus of Thomas Hobbes’s natural philosophical project. Hobbes’s explanation of the light (lux) of lucid bodies differs across his works, from dilation and contraction in Elements of Law to simple circular motions in De corpore [...] Read more.
The nature of light is a focus of Thomas Hobbes’s natural philosophical project. Hobbes’s explanation of the light (lux) of lucid bodies differs across his works, from dilation and contraction in Elements of Law to simple circular motions in De corpore. However, Hobbes consistently explains perceived light (lumen) by positing that bodily resistance (endeavor) generates the phantasm of light. In Letters I.XIX–XX of Philosophical Letters, fellow materialist Margaret Cavendish attacks the Hobbesian understanding of both lux and lumen by claiming that Hobbes has illicitly made abstractions from matter. In this paper, I argue that Cavendish’s criticisms rely on an incorrect understanding of the nature of Hobbesian geometry and the role it plays in Hobbes’s natural philosophy. Rather than understanding geometry as wholly abstract, Hobbes attempts to ground geometry in different ways of considering bodies and their motions. Furthermore, Hobbes’s own criticisms of abstraction suggest that he would share many of the worries she raises but deny that he falls prey to them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hobbes’s Philosophy of Science)
Article
Back to the Present: How Not to Use Counterfactuals to Explain Causal Asymmetry
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020043 - 09 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1344
Abstract
A plausible thought is that we should evaluate counterfactuals in the actual world by holding the present ‘fixed’; the state of the counterfactual world at the time of the antecedent, outside the area of the antecedent, is required to match that of the [...] Read more.
A plausible thought is that we should evaluate counterfactuals in the actual world by holding the present ‘fixed’; the state of the counterfactual world at the time of the antecedent, outside the area of the antecedent, is required to match that of the actual world. When used to evaluate counterfactuals in the actual world, this requirement may produce reasonable results. However, the requirement is deeply problematic when used in the context of explaining causal asymmetry (why causes come before their effects). The requirement plays a crucial role in certain statistical mechanical explanations of the temporal asymmetry of causation. I will use a case of backwards time travel to show how the requirement enforces certain features of counterfactual structure a priori. For this reason, the requirement cannot be part of a completely general method of evaluating counterfactuals. More importantly, the way the requirement enforces features of counterfactual structure prevents counterfactual structure being derived from more fundamental physical structure—as explanations of causal asymmetry demand. Therefore, the requirement cannot be used when explaining causal asymmetry. To explain causal asymmetry, we need more temporally neutral methods for evaluating counterfactuals—those that produce the right results in cases involving backwards time travel, as well as in the actual world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Time Travel)
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Article
Wellbeing Competence
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020042 - 09 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1388
Abstract
This article presents and analyzes the basic features of wellbeing competence. Following a procedural approach to wellbeing, I propose wellbeing competence as a significant object of focus in the philosophical debate on wellbeing. Instead of being concerned one-sidedly with abstract ideals and explicit, [...] Read more.
This article presents and analyzes the basic features of wellbeing competence. Following a procedural approach to wellbeing, I propose wellbeing competence as a significant object of focus in the philosophical debate on wellbeing. Instead of being concerned one-sidedly with abstract ideals and explicit, theoretical knowledge about what constitutes wellbeing, wellbeing competence is the ability to handle the concrete process of living well and helping others live well in a generally qualified way. This article presents a theory that considers wellbeing competence a complex form of knowing how. Further, it outlines central aspects and components of wellbeing competence. I suggest four components to play central functional roles in wellbeing competence when supplementing each other: empathy, emotional awareness, flexible perspective, and metacognition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophy of Human Well-being)
Article
Finding Oneself Well Together with Others: A Phenomenological Study of the Ontology of Human Well-Being
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020041 - 06 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1273
Abstract
Based on critical readings of Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, the paper offers a phenomenological study of the ontology of well-being that transcends the opposition between subjective and objective being. By interpreting the Heideggerian notion of Befindlichkeit as [...] Read more.
Based on critical readings of Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, the paper offers a phenomenological study of the ontology of well-being that transcends the opposition between subjective and objective being. By interpreting the Heideggerian notion of Befindlichkeit as the fundamental way in which humans find themselves in the world, being affected by and faced with their own existence, the paper opens a way to understanding well-being that locates the possibility of elevating one’s own being not inside or outside the I but in the affective bond to others called friendship. Aristotle’s reflections on philia play a crucial role in developing this understanding of well-being, according to which humans find themselves well by sharing joy with each other and making a vital contribution to the realization of their own possibilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophy of Human Well-being)
Article
On Falsifiable Statistical Hypotheses
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020040 - 02 Apr 2022
Viewed by 2281
Abstract
Popper argued that a statistical falsification required a prior methodological decision to regard sufficiently improbable events as ruled out. That suggestion has generated a number of fruitful approaches, but also a number of apparent paradoxes and ultimately, no clear consensus. It is still [...] Read more.
Popper argued that a statistical falsification required a prior methodological decision to regard sufficiently improbable events as ruled out. That suggestion has generated a number of fruitful approaches, but also a number of apparent paradoxes and ultimately, no clear consensus. It is still commonly claimed that, since random samples are logically consistent with all the statistical hypotheses on the table, falsification simply does not apply in realistic statistical settings. We claim that the situation is considerably improved if we ask a conceptually prior question: when should a statistical hypothesis be regarded as falsifiable. To that end we propose several different notions of statistical falsifiability and prove that, whichever definition we prefer, the same hypotheses turn out to be falsifiable. That shows that statistical falsifiability enjoys a kind of conceptual robustness. These notions of statistical falsifiability are arrived at by proposing statistical analogues to intuitive properties enjoyed by exemplary falsifiable hypotheses familiar from classical philosophy of science. That demonstrates that, to a large extent, this philosophical tradition was on the right conceptual track. Finally, we demonstrate that, under weak assumptions, the statistically falsifiable hypotheses correspond precisely to the closed sets in a standard topology on probability measures. That means that standard techniques from statistics and measure theory can be used to determine exactly which hypotheses are statistically falsifiable. In other words: the proposed notion of statistical falsifiability both answers to our conceptual demands and submits to standard mathematical techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Problem of Induction throughout the Philosophy of Science)
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Article
Naturalizing Morality to Unveil the Status of Violence: Coalition Enforcement, Cognitive Moral Niches, and Moral Bubbles in an Evolutionary Perspective
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020039 - 02 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1360
Abstract
I propose that the relationship between moral and violent behavior is overlooked in current philosophical, epistemological, and cognitive studies. To the aim of clarifying the complex dynamics of this interplay, I will describe, adopting an evolutionary perspective, the concepts of coalition enforcement, [...] Read more.
I propose that the relationship between moral and violent behavior is overlooked in current philosophical, epistemological, and cognitive studies. To the aim of clarifying the complex dynamics of this interplay, I will describe, adopting an evolutionary perspective, the concepts of coalition enforcement, cognitive moral niche, and of what I call moral bubbles. Showing the interesting relationships between these three basic concepts, I will explain the role of morality in causing and justifying violence. The main theoretical merit of the concept of coalition enforcement is that it permits the naturalization of morality that is the only conceptual means to unveil, in a naturalized way, the status of violence beyond the constraints generated by the so-called moral bubbles that prevent agents from seeing the potential violence generated by their own moral acts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 3)
Article
Against Music? Heuristics and Sense-Making in Listening to Contemporary Popular Music
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020038 - 01 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1193
Abstract
Is the ubiquity of contemporary popular music akin to a deliberate aggression to the hearing, making the listening experience devoid of any sense? If so, is there any strategy to morph this supposed confusion into meaningful stimuli? Relying on epistemology, we attempt at [...] Read more.
Is the ubiquity of contemporary popular music akin to a deliberate aggression to the hearing, making the listening experience devoid of any sense? If so, is there any strategy to morph this supposed confusion into meaningful stimuli? Relying on epistemology, we attempt at promoting the act of listening as a proper way of world-making and refer to Mark Reybrouck, Bruno Nettl, Steven Brown and Joseph Jordania—among others—to gather appropriate heuristic tools. In the last part of the essay, we advance the concept of timbral quotation as an additional means to grasp meaningful cues in the timbrical richness of contemporary popular compositions. We shall sustain the particular fitness of this tool especially with regard to nowadays’ Western popular music, more and more timbre-centered rather than harmony-centered. Full article
Essay
Scientific Observation Is Socio-Materially Augmented Perception: Toward a Participatory Realism
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020037 - 30 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2529
Abstract
There is an overlooked similarity between three classic accounts of the conditions of object experience from three distinct disciplines. (1) Sociology: the “inversion” that accompanies discovery in the natural sciences, as local causes of effects are reattributed to an observed object. (2) Psychology: [...] Read more.
There is an overlooked similarity between three classic accounts of the conditions of object experience from three distinct disciplines. (1) Sociology: the “inversion” that accompanies discovery in the natural sciences, as local causes of effects are reattributed to an observed object. (2) Psychology: the “externalization” that accompanies mastery of a visual–tactile sensory substitution interface, as tactile sensations of the proximal interface are transformed into vision-like experience of a distal object. (3) Biology: the “projection” that brings forth an animal’s Umwelt, as impressions on its body’s sensory surfaces are reconfigured into perception of an external object. This similarity between the effects of scientific practice and interface-use on the one hand, and of sensorimotor interaction on the other, becomes intelligible once we accept that skillful engagement with instruments and interfaces constitutes a socio-material augmentation of our basic perceptual capacity. This enactive interpretation stands in contrast to anti-realism about science associated with constructivist interpretations of these three phenomena, which are motivated by viewing them as the internal mental construction of the experienced object. Instead, it favors a participatory realism: the sensorimotor basis of perceptual experience loops not only through our body, but also through the external world. This allows us to conceive of object experience in relational terms, i.e., as one or more subjects directly engaging with the world. Consequently, we can appreciate scientific observation in its full complexity: it is a socio-materially augmented process of becoming acquainted with the observed object that—like tool-use and perceiving more generally—is irreducibly self, other-, and world-involving. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 3)
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Article
Backpropagation of Spirit: Hegelian Recollection and Human-A.I. Abductive Communities
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020036 - 26 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1258
Abstract
This article examines types of abductive inference in Hegelian philosophy and machine learning from a formal comparative perspective and argues that Robert Brandom’s recent reconstruction of the logic of recollection in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit may be fruitful for anticipating modes of collaborative [...] Read more.
This article examines types of abductive inference in Hegelian philosophy and machine learning from a formal comparative perspective and argues that Robert Brandom’s recent reconstruction of the logic of recollection in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit may be fruitful for anticipating modes of collaborative abductive inference in human/A.I. interactions. Firstly, the argument consists of showing how Brandom’s reading of Hegelian recollection may be understood as a specific type of abductive inference, one in which the past interpretive failures and errors of a community are explained hypothetically by way of the construction of a narrative that rehabilitates those very errors as means for the ongoing successful development of the community, as in Brandom’s privileged jurisprudential example of Anglo-American case law. Next, this Hegelian abductive dynamic is contrasted with the error-reducing backpropagation algorithms characterizing many current versions of machine learning, which can be understood to perform abductions in a certain sense for various problems but not (yet) in the full self-constituting communitarian mode of creative recollection canvassed by Brandom. Finally, it is shown how the two modes of “error correction” may possibly coordinate successfully on certain types of abductive inference problems that are neither fully recollective in the Hegelian sense nor algorithmically optimizable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abductive Cognition and Machine Learning: Philosophical Implications)
Article
On Explainable AI and Abductive Inference
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020035 - 23 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1634
Abstract
Modern explainable AI (XAI) methods remain far from providing human-like answers to ‘why’ questions, let alone those that satisfactorily agree with human-level understanding. Instead, the results that such methods provide boil down to sets of causal attributions. Currently, the choice of accepted attributions [...] Read more.
Modern explainable AI (XAI) methods remain far from providing human-like answers to ‘why’ questions, let alone those that satisfactorily agree with human-level understanding. Instead, the results that such methods provide boil down to sets of causal attributions. Currently, the choice of accepted attributions rests largely, if not solely, on the explainee’s understanding of the quality of explanations. The paper argues that such decisions may be transferred from a human to an XAI agent, provided that its machine-learning (ML) algorithms perform genuinely abductive inferences. The paper outlines the key predicament in the current inductive paradigm of ML and the associated XAI techniques, and sketches the desiderata for a truly participatory, second-generation XAI, which is endowed with abduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abductive Cognition and Machine Learning: Philosophical Implications)
Article
Biopolitics and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Foucauldian Interpretation of the Danish Government’s Response to the Pandemic
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020034 - 19 Mar 2022
Viewed by 2245
Abstract
With the coronavirus pandemic and the Omicron variant once again forcing countries into lockdown (as of late 2021), this essay seeks to outline a Foucauldian critique of various legal measures taken by the Danish government to cope with COVID-19 during the first year [...] Read more.
With the coronavirus pandemic and the Omicron variant once again forcing countries into lockdown (as of late 2021), this essay seeks to outline a Foucauldian critique of various legal measures taken by the Danish government to cope with COVID-19 during the first year and a half of the pandemic. The essay takes a critical look at the extra-legal measures employed by the Danish government, as the Danish politicians attempted to halt the spread of the, now almost forgotten, Cluster 5 COVID-19 variant. This situation will serve as a critical point from where to start using Foucault’s writings on life and biopolitics in order to expose various legally problematic governmental decisions that became visible during the handling of COVID-19 in general and the Cluster 5 mutation in particular. Reframing the pandemic within Foucault’s concept of biopolitics, this essay concludes that the state of exception has led to an increase in biopolitical logic, where some lives have come to matter more than others. As a critical counterpoint to this logic, the conclusion suggests that the notion of biocommunism could provide a suitable reconfiguration of communism. A reconfiguration that could mitigate some of the issues related to biopolitics is uncovered earlier in the essay. Full article
Article
Intuition and Ingenuity: Gödel on Turing’s “Philosophical Error”
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020033 - 18 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1654
Abstract
Despite his unreserved appreciation of Turing’s analysis for being a “precise and unquestionably adequate definition” of formal system or mechanical computability, Gödel nevertheless published a short note in 1972 claiming to have found a “philosophical error” in Turing’s argument with regard to the [...] Read more.
Despite his unreserved appreciation of Turing’s analysis for being a “precise and unquestionably adequate definition” of formal system or mechanical computability, Gödel nevertheless published a short note in 1972 claiming to have found a “philosophical error” in Turing’s argument with regard to the finite nature of mental states and memory. A natural question arises: how could Gödel enjoy the generality conferred on his results by Turing’s work, despite the error of its ways? Previous interpretative strategies by Feferman, Shagrir and others have mainly tried to resolve the disparity by distinguishing different types of arguments in Turing and taking Gödel to approve only some of them. By a more integral examination of their ideas, especially Turing’s response to the “mathematical objection” based on Gödel’s incompleteness theorem and Gödel’s own conception of finite yet non-mechanical procedures, and taking some of the main ideas of current developments in machine learning into consideration, I will try to present a new explanation for the apparent disparity, arguing that there is no “error” on Turing’s side and the seemingly conflicting views held by Turing and Gödel should best be seen as complementary, keeping intuition and ingenuity together. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Turing the Philosopher: Established Debates and New Developments)
Article
From Prolepsis to Hyperraising
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020032 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1813
Abstract
Case, agreement, and A-movement dependencies across finite clause boundaries, such as Hyperraising (to subject or object) or Long-Distance Case or Agreement [LDA], are available in many typologically diverse languages. The research on such dependencies typically distinguishes between cross-linguistically restricted true A-dependencies across finite [...] Read more.
Case, agreement, and A-movement dependencies across finite clause boundaries, such as Hyperraising (to subject or object) or Long-Distance Case or Agreement [LDA], are available in many typologically diverse languages. The research on such dependencies typically distinguishes between cross-linguistically restricted true A-dependencies across finite clauses, and generally available binding-like A-dependencies as found in Prolepsis. In this paper, we investigate both types of configurations in parallel and refer to this as the A-domain. Since the diagnostics to distinguish A-configurations vary across languages and often cannot be compared directly, we define four characteristic properties: (A) whether the construction is restricted by matrix predicate selection, (B) whether movement in the embedded clause is involved, (C) whether the dependency shows locality restrictions (in particular, A-Minimality), and (D) whether there are semantic restrictions on the relevant DP. By combining different values of the characteristic properties, we show, differently from previous approaches, that the A-domain does not simply consist of two types of configurations, but that the empirical landscape represents a continuum of five A-constructions. We suggest a theoretical implementation of our empirical findings, which is built on a predicational relator phrase above the embedded CP and propose that, in some of the constructions, these two projections fuse into one. We employ a minimalist probing approach which relies on differences in the base-generated position of the relevant DP (matrix clause, high in the embedded clause, argument position in the embedded clause), differences in the feature composition of the embedded C (a plain A-head, or a bundled predicational C head involving composite A/A probes), a composite probe hierarchy yielding three types of feature-dependencies of composite probes, and, resulting from that, different probing mechanisms (conjunctive satisfaction, dependent satisfaction, and independent satisfaction). Lastly, this paper also contributes methodological tools for disentangling constructions of the A-domain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives of Generative Grammar and Minimalism)
Article
Care Ethics, Bruno Latour, and the Anthropocene
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020031 - 14 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2497
Abstract
Bruno Latour is one of the founding figures in social network theory and a broadly influential systems thinker. Although his work has always been relational, little scholarship has engaged the relational morality, ontology, and epistemology of feminist care ethics with Latour’s actor–network theory. [...] Read more.
Bruno Latour is one of the founding figures in social network theory and a broadly influential systems thinker. Although his work has always been relational, little scholarship has engaged the relational morality, ontology, and epistemology of feminist care ethics with Latour’s actor–network theory. This article is intended as a translation and a prompt to spur further interactions. Latour’s recent publications, in particular, have focused on the new climate regime of the Anthropocene. Care theorists are just beginning to address posthuman approaches to care. The argument here is that Latourian analysis is helpful for such explorations, given that caring for the earth and its inhabitants is the dire moral challenge of our time. The aim here is not to characterize Latour as a care theorist but rather as a provocative scholar who has much to say that is significant to care thinking. We begin with a brief introduction to Latour’s scholarship and lexicon, followed by a discussion of care theorist Puig de la Bellacasa’s work on Latour. We then explore recent work on care and the environment consistent with a Latourian approach. The conclusion reinforces the notion that valuing relationality across humans and non-human matter is essential to confronting the Anthropocene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feminist Care Ethics Confronts Mainstream Philosophy)
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Article
Causal Emergence: When Distortions in a Map Obscure the Territory
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020030 - 09 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1438
Abstract
We provide a critical assessment of the account of causal emergence presented in Erik Hoel’s 2017 article “When the map is better than the territory”. The account integrates causal and information theoretic concepts to explain under what circumstances there can be causal descriptions [...] Read more.
We provide a critical assessment of the account of causal emergence presented in Erik Hoel’s 2017 article “When the map is better than the territory”. The account integrates causal and information theoretic concepts to explain under what circumstances there can be causal descriptions of a system at multiple scales of analysis. We show that the causal macro variables implied by this account result in interventions with significant ambiguity, and that the operations of marginalization and abstraction do not commute. Both of these are desiderata that, we argue, any account of multi-scale causal analysis should be sensitive to. The problems we highlight in Hoel’s definition of causal emergence derive from the use of various averaging steps and the introduction of a maximum entropy distribution that is extraneous to the system under investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Problem of Induction throughout the Philosophy of Science)
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Article
Virtual Reality and Aesthetic Experience
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020029 - 08 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1449
Abstract
The problem of aesthetic experience in a virtual environment could be reformulated as: what can we learn about aesthetics from the perspective of ‘aesthetic experience in virtual environments’, given the specific nature of such an environment? The discourse goes in circles, because it [...] Read more.
The problem of aesthetic experience in a virtual environment could be reformulated as: what can we learn about aesthetics from the perspective of ‘aesthetic experience in virtual environments’, given the specific nature of such an environment? The discourse goes in circles, because it is always from theories elaborated in the field of the so-called ‘real’ that we develop the difference, but it is a process typically philosophical, that, on the other hand, can make sense only if it can be shown that the virtual is an existent being that has an ontological structure of its own. The ontology of this strange object–event, and of its relationship to space–time, must therefore be addressed: what are the conditions of identity for a virtual body? What are its limits? In what sense does it have borders? Also, its specific temporality and its connection to human and computer memories are arguable dimensions that deserve analysis, as they directly affect an ontology of the virtual body, the difference between the virtual and the possible, and the relationship between the human body and the virtual body. However, the specific character of the virtual is to be an intermediate entity between object and event, between thing and image, so that virtual bodies represent a hybrid, interactive world which can be visualized as synthetic image, an immersive hybrid engaging the corporeality of the user and merging with the virtual body’s image; this hybridization, between the body of the spectator–actor and the virtual space in which it is immersed, is difficult to define with singularity. Full article
Article
Information in Explaining Cognition: How to Evaluate It?
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020028 - 08 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1444
Abstract
The claims that “The brain processes information” or “Cognition is information processing” are accepted as truisms in cognitive science. However, it is unclear how to evaluate such claims absent a specification of “information” as it is used by neurocognitive theories. The aim of [...] Read more.
The claims that “The brain processes information” or “Cognition is information processing” are accepted as truisms in cognitive science. However, it is unclear how to evaluate such claims absent a specification of “information” as it is used by neurocognitive theories. The aim of this article is, thus, to identify the key features of information that information-based neurocognitive theories posit. A systematic identification of these features can reveal the explanatory role that information plays in specific neurocognitive theories, and can, therefore, be both theoretically and practically important. These features can be used, in turn, as desiderata against which candidate theories of information may be evaluated. After discussing some characteristics of explanation in cognitive science and their implications for “information”, three notions are briefly introduced: natural, sensory, and endogenous information. Subsequently, six desiderata are identified and defended based on cognitive scientific practices. The global workspace theory of consciousness is then used as a specific case study that arguably posits either five or six corresponding features of information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 3)
Article
Inconsistent, Vague, and…Just? An Analysis of the National Football League’s 2021 COVID-19 Policy
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020027 - 08 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1288
Abstract
The National Football League, the premier professional organization for American football, developed a policy concerning the protocol in cases where players contract COVID-19. This policy includes elements such as collective punishment that appear, at first glance, to be morally problematic. To the contrary, [...] Read more.
The National Football League, the premier professional organization for American football, developed a policy concerning the protocol in cases where players contract COVID-19. This policy includes elements such as collective punishment that appear, at first glance, to be morally problematic. To the contrary, the policy is indeed morally acceptable as we should not think of organizations such as the NFL in the same way we think of governments in stable nations, but rather in the same way that we think of hybrid justice systems in countries where because of histories of colonialism, the identity of citizens is divided, with tribal identities being more important than national citizenship. Full article
Article
Multidisciplinarity, Interdisciplinarity, and Transdisciplinarity: The Tower of Babel in the Age of Two Cultures
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020026 - 07 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1834
Abstract
Despite the continuous emphasis on globalization, we witness increasing divisions and divisiveness in all domains of human activities. One of the reasons, if not the main one, is the intellectual fragmentation of humanity, compared in the title to the failed attempt at building [...] Read more.
Despite the continuous emphasis on globalization, we witness increasing divisions and divisiveness in all domains of human activities. One of the reasons, if not the main one, is the intellectual fragmentation of humanity, compared in the title to the failed attempt at building the Biblical Tower of Babel. The attempts to reintegrate worldview, fragmented by the specialization of education (C.P. Snow’s The Two Cultures) and expected to be achieved through reforms in curricula at all levels of education, were based on the assumption that the design of a curriculum should focus on the wide distribution of subjects of study, as if the distribution was the goal. The key point is not the distribution of themes, but the development of skills in the integration of knowledge. The quantitative assessment of the width of knowledge by the number of disciplines is of secondary importance. We cannot expect the miracle that students without any intellectual tools developed for this purpose would perform the job of integration, which their teachers do not promote or demonstrate, and which they cannot achieve for themselves. There are many other reasons for the increasing interest in making inquiries interdisciplinary, but there is little progress in the methodology of the integration of knowledge. This paper is a study of the transition from multidisciplinarity to interdisciplinarity, and further, to transdisciplinarity, with some suggestions regarding the use of methodological tools of structuralism and the choice of a conceptual framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 3)
Article
How Much Punishment Is Deserved? Two Alternatives to Proportionality
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020025 - 03 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1653
Abstract
When it comes to the question of how much the state ought to punish a given offender, the standard understanding of the desert theory for centuries has been that it should give him a penalty proportionate to his offense, that is, an amount [...] Read more.
When it comes to the question of how much the state ought to punish a given offender, the standard understanding of the desert theory for centuries has been that it should give him a penalty proportionate to his offense, that is, an amount of punishment that fits the severity of his crime. In this article, we maintain that a desert theorist is not conceptually or otherwise required to hold a proportionality requirement. We show that there is logical space for at least two other, non-proportionate ways of meting out deserved penalties, and we also argue that they have important advantages relative to the dominant, proportionality approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Desert: Ground, Object, and Geometry)
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Article
Aesthetics as a Habit: Between Constraints and Freedom, Nudges and Creativity
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020024 - 02 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1519
Abstract
This paper is a preliminary attempt to bring to the fore some questions and issues regarding the role of habits in aesthetics. Indeed, much attention has recently been given to habits across a wide range of fields of inquiry: philosophers turn to the [...] Read more.
This paper is a preliminary attempt to bring to the fore some questions and issues regarding the role of habits in aesthetics. Indeed, much attention has recently been given to habits across a wide range of fields of inquiry: philosophers turn to the concept to investigate its significance to the historical development of Western thought; neuroscientists look into the role that habits play in the functioning of the human mind and identify the neural and psychological underpinnings of habitual behavior; anthropologists, political scientists and sociologists tap into habits as a key notion to explain social dynamics and collective behavior. For all of these waves that the notion has made in other parts of the humanities and social sciences, there have been so far, however, only a few sustained discussions of habits in conjunction with aesthetics. What is the role of habits in aesthetic experience? How do habits influence and regulate artistic creative processes? Full article
Article
SHE (Sustainability, Health, Ethics)—A Grid for an Embodied Ethic
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020023 - 25 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1517
Abstract
Our current planetary emergency is one in which we are facing significant global warming as a result of human-driven climate change. This is having and will continue to have catastrophic results for the earth’s ecosystems and for life as we know it. The [...] Read more.
Our current planetary emergency is one in which we are facing significant global warming as a result of human-driven climate change. This is having and will continue to have catastrophic results for the earth’s ecosystems and for life as we know it. The Christian tradition often works actively against the seriousness of these challenges due to its eschatological outlook. Process theology, as one stream within the Christian tradition, embraces a different vision of the future that fosters engagement in current concerns rather than an escapist approach. A process theological proposal is therefore offered that calls for an embodied ethic that embraces the acronym SHE. SHE stands for Sustainability, Health, and Ethics. It provides a dietary grid as a way to embody ethics to bring about societal change in light of environmental challenges. SHE is proposed against a background that argues for Christian engagement in our current global crisis. The idea of “small turnings” as a conceptual idea is adopted to help frame how the SHE grid might be understood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophy and Environmental Crisis)
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