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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

Social expertise : a development of 'Intersubjective Maximal Grip' (IMG)

Capstick, John Martin January 2015 (has links)
The aim of this thesis is to supplement the interactionist alternatives to folk psychology. Briefly stated, whereas the proponents of folk psychology claim that interpersonal understanding centrally involves the attribution of propositional attitudes, such as beliefs and desires, in order to predict and explain behaviour, the interactionists argue that social understanding is a skill that encompasses a number of different aspects, which includes, but is not limited to, the attribution of propositional attitudes. Since the interactionists’ arguments are relatively new in the social understanding debate, many aspects of the arguments are not fully developed and explored. For instance, Hanne De Jaegher claims that the concept of “social skill” needs further development (2009, p. 427). This thesis aims to do just that by integrating two separate debates: social understanding and expertise. Drawing on Hubert Dreyfus’ non-representational/non-propositional account of expertise, I describe, in detail, a form of social interaction (or ‘social expertise’) that does not centrally involve the attribution of propositional attitudes. Central to Dreyfus’ discussion of skillful coping is Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s concept of ‘maximal grip’ (MG), which refers to the way we seek to obtain a better perspective in a situation via our body. Building on this discussion, I develop a new concept called ‘intersubjective maximal grip’ (IMG), which describes a way we interact with others by anticipating their behaviour by recognising and responding to our respective optimal positions. In explaining this phenomenon further, I expand on Dreyfus’ discussion of MG to develop two skills related to understanding others: ‘joint optimal position recognition’ (JOPR) and ‘optimal position recognition’ (OPR). I then apply IMG to the debate about social understanding to demonstrate how IMG supplements the interactionists’ arguments against folk psychology.

Powers, necessitation, and time

Westland, David William January 2015 (has links)
In this thesis I investigate the question of whether or not dispositional properties are able to necessitate their manifestations. I provide three main discussions that reflect three aspects of my question. The first and second discussions concern different aspects of the 'problem of prevention'. This is the premise that causal interactions can be subject to interference/prevention, generally construed. A number of philosophers have argued that the problem of prevention undercuts the necessitation of lawful regularities in the context of dispositional essentialism. We can term this issue the 'necessitation issue'. In the first discussion I examine whether or not antidotes qua preventative entities are metaphysically possible within the context of Alexander Bird's (2007) dispositional monism. I argue that Bird's theory raises a problem of ontological representation re antidotes. The line of thought in this discussion is that it is difficult for Bird to say what antidotes are and how they operate; nevertheless, in this discussion I provide a solution to my problem that stays within the confines of Bird's dispositional monism. In this section of the thesis I remain neutral on the necessitation issue, but I take myself to clarify the question of whether or not dispositional properties are able to necessitate their manifestations by criticising Bird's model of antidotes/prevention and setting out a replacement. In the second discussion I examine Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum's (2011) anti-necessitarian strategies. Mumford and Anjum's 'causal dispositionalism' encompasses a theory of dispositional properties, antidotes, and prevention. Mumford and Anjum's causal dispositionalism is not subject to the problem of ontological representation that Bird's theory raises; nevertheless, I argue that their theory is multiply problematic. The purpose of this discussion, taken as a whole, is to show that a recent strategy for attacking the necessitarian claim of dispositional essentialism is weaker than it has appeared to a number of philosophers. In this section of the thesis I move from a neutral stance on necessitation to a defensive stance. In the first two stages of the thesis, which concern the problem of prevention, I work with the background assumption that dispositional essentialism is a tenable position. In the third section of this thesis, however, I begin by endorsing Stephen Barker's (2013) essay The Emperor's New Metaphysics of Powers, which argues that the main articulations of dispositional essentialism are either internally inconsistent or otherwise disguised versions of brute modalism, where brute modalism focuses upon possible worlds as oppose to properties. In response, I develop a replacement position for dispositional essentialism that I term 'temporal essentialism'. I advance temporal essentialism as a prototype position in the properties and laws debate. It aims to provide a metaphysical explanation for lawful regularities by drawing upon the passage of time. In short, temporal essentialism is the position that it is built into a system of ontology that it dynamically adds new entities to its ontological categories and constructs states of affairs in a rule-following way.

The relationship between affectivity, narrativity, and the self : a phenomenological perspective

Bortolan, Anna January 2015 (has links)
In this thesis I explore from a phenomenological perspective the relationship between affectivity and narrativity and its relevance for the understanding of the structure of selfhood. In contemporary phenomenology it is often argued that there are two complementary but distinct forms of selfhood: the “minimal” and “narrative” self. In this context, affectivity is usually associated with pre-reflective forms of bodily and self-experience, thus conceiving of it as a constitutive dimension of minimal selfhood. Some phenomenological accounts, however, also draw attention to the existence of a connection between affectivity and some features of the narrative self. In this work, I extend and refine in various ways the conceptions of affective experience and selfhood defended by these accounts. In the first place, I show how affectivity exerts a cardinal role in the emergence and development of narrativity, thus identifying various dynamics through which minimal self-experience impacts on the structure of narrative understanding. Secondly, I illustrate different ways in which narrativity in turn shapes the structure of affectivity. In so doing I challenge one of the ideas which are central to the distinction between minimal and narrative self, namely that minimal self-experience is impervious to the dynamics which characterise narrative self-understanding. My account indeed shows that emotions are complex phenomena in which minimal and narrative forms of self-awareness are phenomenologically entwined. Finally, I apply these insights to the analysis of depression and borderline personality disorder. I claim that characteristic of depression is the weakening or abandonment of the life stories with which the person identified prior to the illness and the emergence of new narratives which possess specific features and are shaped by feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and a particular temporal and spatial experience. As far as borderline personality disorder is concerned, I argue that the disturbances of narrative selfhood typical of the illness depend on the frequent alternation of existential feelings of shame and anger and I claim that these disturbances in turn shape the bodily experience associated with affectivity and exacerbate emotional dysregulation.

Representation and strategy in reasoning : an individual differences approach

Monaghan, Padraic January 2000 (has links)
Individual differences in reasoning have been observed in a wide variety of tasks. Descriptions of the variation in response have been framed in terms of use of different strategies that invoke different representations. This thesis argues that in order to convert descriptions into <i>explanations </i>of performance it is necessary to compare and combine psychometric accounts with computational accounts of the processes underlying representation selection and use. Descriptions of strategies, representations and algorithms and their inter-relationships are necessary for a full account of reasoning behaviour. Two large-scale studies of deductive reasoning are presented to illustrate this approach in action, and the inadequacy of accounts that do not provide accounts at all these levels. The first compares two theoretically motivated methods for solving categorical syllogisms, the second study assesses learning from and learning within a multimodal logic course called Hyperproof. These studies are compared to measures of spatial ability, field-independence/dependence, and serial/holist learning style. The interaction of students' styles of learning with different presentations of information generalises across the domains. This generality is best expressed when psychometric and computational accounts of reasoning are consolidated.

The transformation of the medical ethos and the birth of bioethics in Colombia : a Foucauldian approach

Diaz-Amado, Eduardo January 2013 (has links)
In the late 1960s and early 1970s bioethics was born in the USA and rapidly spread across the world. Bioethicists have traditionally argued that their discipline was the answer to the ethical challenges posed by the scientific and technological progress in biomedicine, although others have emphasised the abuses committed in biomedical human research and the dehumanisation of medicine. Notwithstanding the great excitement produced by the rise of the new field, its foundations, scope, and official historical accounts have been criticised. Calls to give bioethics better philosophical foundations –beyond the American principlism- and to broaden the field, particularly to include problems typical of the developing world such as poverty, exploitation and inequality have grown in the last twenty years. In Colombia, the idea that bioethics is an advocate of life, a discipline to protect life on earth from the dangers of an irresponsible scientific and technological advance as well as from a wrong model of development has been promoted by the Colombian bioethical establishment. Drawing on the Foucauldian view on power and knowledge, this thesis analyses the connections between the flourishing of bioethics in Colombia and the implementation of a neoliberal healthcare system in the 1990s. The historiographies and hagiographies that have dominated the official history of bioethics in Colombia are criticised and, instead, a historical approach is offered. The central argument is that bioethics, and other discourses of surveillance of medical practice such as medical liability are part of the governmentalization of the Colombian medical ethos, and that bioethics has become a totalising, all-embracing field, constituting a form of power exercise over the biomedical scenario. Complementing the analysis, information from 27 semi-structured interviews is provided. Chapter one, the introductory chapter, discusses medicine as a contemporary cultural phenomenon and the birth of bioethics in the USA, while chapter two describes the elements of the Foucauldian toolkit that I use in the analysis. Chapters three and four critically approach the arrival and development of bioethics in Latin America and Colombia. Chapter five discusses the transformation of the Colombian medical ethos, describing the political transformation of the country in the 1990s and the healthcare reform. Chapters six and seven examine the discourses and practices around medical ethics in Colombia as well as how bioethics, medical practice, medical liability and biopolitically relevant legal decisions in the context of the new constitutional reality of the country became intertwined discourses.

Truth and goodness : a minimalist study

Edwards, Douglas O. January 2008 (has links)
Philosophers are often thought to be in the business of analysing concepts, in particular, concepts taken to be fundamental in human thought and practice: truth, goodness, beauty, knowledge, meaning, rightness, causation, to name just a few. But what can we expect from such analyses? Can we expect a comprehensive account of one concept in terms of one or more others? Can we expect to reduce these kinds of concepts to concepts which are taken to be more fundamental? This study is concerned with a particular approach to conceptual analysis, minimalism, which, in general, offers very modest answers to these questions. Minimalist theories, by and large, hold that the strategy for analysing concepts ought not to go much further than the collection of some rather ordinary, ‘platitudinous’ thoughts about those concepts. Accordingly, minimalist theories do not often encourage ambitious pro jects of giving a comprehensive analysis of one concept in terms of another, where this process encourages the construction of such biconditional claims as ‘X falls under concept F iff X falls under concept G’. Just how far we are to extend our analysis beyond the point of a collection of platitudinous principles is a point of contention between different types of minimalist theories. This study has three main aims. Firstly, it aims to give a taxonomy of minimalist theories. Secondly, it aims to examine in detail the types of minimalist theories pertinent to the study of truth, and propose the best view available. Thirdly, it aims to examine how the minimalist methodology may be extended to other normative concepts, taking the concept of goodness as a case study.

McKinsey reasoning & cognitive predicate assumptions

Ford, R. January 2012 (has links)
I defend the view that McKinsey reasoning is concerned with the following three claims: (i) If a subject's mental state is individuated by a given property, then she can know a priori that she a thought that has that property. (ii) Many de dicto structured cognitive predicates express properties that logically imply the existence of contingently existing physical objects external to the subject. (iii) Every de dicto structured cognitive predicate expresses a property which individuates the cognitive state described. Specifically, claims (i)-(iii) and a non-inferential principle governing the extent of our a priori knowledge capacities imply that a subject can know a priori that contingent objects external to her exist. Cartesian reflections, semantic evidence adduced by Kripke and the Fregean view that cognitive verbs express mental relations between persons and propositions support claims (i)-(iii) respectively. McKinsey reasoning is, thus, seemingly paradoxical. The dominant response is to evade or reformulate McKinsey reasoning (Brueckner, Boghossian, Davies, Wright, Brown). I argue that such responses tacitly assume claim (iii), which encourages the replacing of claims (i)-(ii) with alternative claims involving inferential knowledge principles and subjects’ having a priori knowledge of thought content which is externally determined; this package, on my view, is defective. I rebut suggestions that McKinsey reasoning is undermined by arguments for the claim it is not absurd to possess the capacity to know a priori that contingent external objects exist (Sawyer, Brewer), since they are directed at the reformulated reasoning only. I defend the view that there is sufficient evidence to both reject claim (iii) and replace it with an alternative claim concerning linguistic, not propositional, meaning. My view dissolves the issue of whether a priori access to one’s thought contents is achievable, if such contents are externally determined (Burge, Flavey & Owens). It also provides a novel response to a recent problem about our capacity to know our thought contents (Kallestrup & Pritchard).

Examining experience

Lakeman, G. J. T. January 2012 (has links)
I think visual experiences are intentional. And I think that different philosophical views about visual experience may be understood in terms of what they say about the intentionality of visual experience. In this thesis, I evaluate different views of experience and experiential intentionality by examining connections between experiential intentionality and further phenomenological, doxastic, epistemic and content-fixing features present in cases of perception and hallucination. I argue from consideration of such connections that visual experiences are intentionally directed on material objects with sensory qualities in their subject’s environments. And I argue that there are some intentional features which are not constituted by experiential relations between the subject and such material objects with sensory qualities actually present in the subject’s environment. For such features, we should accept a representational view of experiential intentionality.

Experience and time

Phillips, I. B. January 2009 (has links)
We are no less directly acquainted with the temporal structure of the world than with its spatial structure. We hear one word succeeding another; feel two taps as simultaneous; or see the glow of a firework persisting, before it finally fizzles and fades. However, time is special, for we not only experience temporal properties; experience itself is structured in time. Part One articulates a natural framework for thinking about experience in time. I claim (i) that experience in its experiential aspect has a realistically conceived temporal structure; (ii) that our judgements about that structure always go via judgements about the temporal structure of the apparent objects of perception; and (iii) that a subject undergoing perceptual experience of a given experiential kind is always in a position to know that they are undergoing experience of that kind simply in virtue of so undergoing. On this basis, I argue that the temporal structure of experience cannot systematically come apart from the temporal structure of its objects. Part Two treats four puzzles relating to our experience of time. The first is Dennett’s notorious discussion of masking and apparent motion phenomena. The second is the traditional debate regarding the very possibility of perceiving temporal properties. The third is Fara’s recent contention that standard explanations of our experience of slow changes preclude us from perceiving constant motion. A common reaction to these three puzzles is to reject some element of the naïve picture of temporal experience developed in Part One. I resolve them instead by showing how each arises from mistakenly thinking that experience is homoeomerous down to very short durations or instants. That is, thinking that we can analyse experience into a series of independent short slices, and explain the nature of the stream of consciousness in terms of those slices. The final chapter discusses a fourth puzzle about visual motion perception which I diagnose as driven by a rather different, but equally misguided way of thinking about vision.

Non-classical modal logic for belief

McPartlin, Michael P. January 1991 (has links)
The standard model of knowledge and belief attributes to agents the ability to reason perfectly in classical logic. This is known as the problem of logical omniscience and, in accordance with the requirements of their contexts of use, has led to the development of a number of alternative epistemic logics. Some of these alternatives can, like the standard model, be regarded as presenting for discussion and analysis in a base language a system of reasoning, or consequence relation: the relation under which beliefs are closed. Adopting this perspective with regard to a useful four-valued logic, the resulting extension of the standard model is described and many technical points of comparison with the original model are given.

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