Traditions

Unraveling the evolutionary role of affordances

Unraveling the evolutionary role of affordancesby Manuel Heras-Escribano (June 2020) ¶ Affordances, or the possibilities for acting in our environments, are pervasive in everyday life. We are constantly surrounded by them: we perceive the floor as a walkable surface, a coffee mug is perceived as a graspable object, and doors are perceived as pass-through-able apertures, etc. For some authors, these objects of perception are, by far, the ones we interact with most throughout the day. If this is so, how is it that they are not deployed as commonly as other perceptual objects in the philosophical and scientific literature to make sense of our perceptual experience (compared to, say, colours)? Why are they scientifically understudied compared to other perceptual phenomena? ¶ The answer is that, despite being so common, affordances have not been a widespread object of study in philosophy and behavioral sciences because they were not conceptualized as such until the second half of the 20th Century. Affordances were named by James Gibson, a pioneer in the establishment of ecological psychology. This discipline advanced, during the 1960s and 1970s, the main theses of situatedness, embodiment, and non-representationalism that are present in the post-cognitivist or embodied cognitive sciences born in the 1990s1. Decades before the establishment of the embodied and situated cognitive sciences, the ecological approach challenged key ideas of both behaviorism and cognitivism: for example, the understanding of perception as the passive reception of sensory stimuli, the thesis of the poverty of the stimulus, and the claim that psychological... -

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The Psychic Life (and Death) of Statues

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, activists have called for the demolition and removal of statues and monuments that are linked in some way to slavery, racism, and colonialism. At first glance, these iconoclastic acts appear both pragmatic and revolutionary, since such memorials have come to occupy a naturalized, quotidian place within a city’s landscape. Yet, these acts have also upset all the right people, insofar as they negate the nation’s inherited myths. Symbolic disavowal carries with it a monetary consequence as well, given that, materially, statues are expensive (both in construction and upkeep). While our focus here is not on economics, we hope to show how the symbolic nature of statues and monuments allows us to think beyond mere destruction. ¶ What’s... -

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The Legacy of Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics

The general attitude towards Arthur Schopenhauer’s metaphysics is rather fiercely critical and at times even tendentious. It seems that the figure of Schopenhauer as an irredeemably flawed, stubborn, and contradictory philosopher serves as a leitmotiv among scholars. Julian Young describes Schopenhauer as “a stubborn personality unwilling to admit that... -

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Preparing for the end of the world as we know it

From the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Collective ¶ Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures (GTDF) is a collective of researchers, artists, educators, activists and Indigenous knowledge keepers from the Global North and South. Our collective focuses on how artistic and educational practices can gesture towards the possibility of decolonial futures. We work at... -

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Preparing for the end of the world as we know it From the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Collective Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures (GTDF) is a collective of researchers, artists, educators, activists and Indigenous knowledge keepers from the Global North and South. Our collective focuses on how artistic and educational practices can gesture towards the possibility of decolonial futures. We work at the interface of questions related to historical, systemic and on-going violence and questions related to the unsustainability of “modernity-coloniality”. We use the term modernity-coloniality to mark the... Synthetic Zero -


Unraveling the evolutionary role of affordances Unraveling the evolutionary role of affordancesby Manuel Heras-Escribano (June 2020) Affordances, or the possibilities for acting in our environments, are pervasive in everyday life. We are constantly surrounded by them: we perceive the floor as a walkable surface, a coffee mug is perceived as a graspable object, and doors are perceived as pass-through-able apertures, etc. For some authors, these objects of perception are, by far, the ones we interact with most throughout the day. If... Synthetic Zero -


Speech Acts [Revised entry by Mitchell Green on September 24, 2020. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] We are attuned in everyday conversation not primarily to the sentences we utter to one another, but to the speech acts that those utterances are used to perform: requests, warnings, invitations, promises, apologies, predictions, and the like. Such acts are staples of communicative life, but only became a topic of sustained investigation, at least in the English-speaking world, in the... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


The Legacy of Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics The general attitude towards Arthur Schopenhauer’s metaphysics is rather fiercely critical and at times even tendentious. It seems that the figure of Schopenhauer as an irredeemably flawed, stubborn, and contradictory philosopher serves as a leitmotiv among scholars. Julian Young describes Schopenhauer as “a stubborn personality unwilling to admit that the central claim of his philosophy–that […] The post The Legacy of Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics first appeared on Blog of the APA. Blog of the APA -


Theophrastus [Revised entry by Katerina Ierodiakonou on September 24, 2020. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Theophrastus (c. 371 - 287 BCE) was a Peripatetic philosopher who was Aristotle's close colleague and successor at the Lyceum. He wrote many treatises in all areas of philosophy, in order to support, improve, expand, and develop the Aristotelian system.... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


The Ethics and Epistemology of Trust The Ethics and Epistemology of Trust Trust is a topic of long-standing philosophical interest because it is indispensable to the success of almost every kind of coordinated human activity, from politics and business to sport and scientific research. Even more, trust is necessary for the successful dissemination of knowledge, and, by extension, for nearly any … Continue reading The Ethics and Epistemology of Trust → Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


Philosophical Work Supported by Berggruen Fellowship Program The Berggruen Institute has a fellowship program to support academics and others across a range of disciplines, and among its most recent class of fellows are some philosophy professors and others working on philosophical subjects. The fellowship program supports work on topics related to several themes concerning “great transformations”: the Future of Capitalism, Globalization and Geopolitics, Transformations of the Human, and the Future of Democracy. [M.C. Escher, “Metamorphosis II” (detail)]The following are fellows from departments of philosophy, along with... Daily Nous -


I checked I called the Chatham County Board of Elections and I think I am okay.  The nice young lady at the other end of the phone told me that my vote has already been scanned into the system and will be reported on election day along with the votes cast that day. Now if only the rest of the country had the same system we would be in pretty good shape, but it doesn't, and we... The Philosopher’s Stone -


Gödel Without Tears, not quite the end I was intending to post Chapter 17 today — the final chapter, dealing with Löb’s Theorem and related results. But looking again at my draft version yesterday, I thought it was/is rather a mess, and that some of the material is even in the wrong chapter. So some not-quite-trivial rewriting is needed. It will be a day or two before I can get down to doing that. Meanwhile, many thanks to all those (some here,... Logic Matters -


The Music of Dan Fogelberg Peoria Riverfront Park Dan Fogelberg Memorial Site “To every man the mystery Sings a different song He fills his page of history Dreams his dreams and is gone.” A few weeks ago I wrote a post about an especially moving song about death by the American musician Dan Fogelberg whose lyrical rhymes often touch on existential themes. I have listened to his entire musical opus and virtually every song he wrote says something profound about... Reason and Meaning -


Make Arrangements with Yourself Reading Samuel Johnson’s poem reminded me of the enigmatic lines of Neil Young which may refer in an oblique way to hire purchase agreements/arrangements whereby when you have paid half the price of a vehicle you can sell it back, being young enough to sell or keep on paying until you own it as a metaphor for contemplating dropping out.loosened from the minor’s tether,free to mortgage or to sell,Wild as wind, and light as feather,Bid the... Ombhurbhuva -


Not "New Wave," not "Dark Wave," not even "Cold Wave." No, it's... "Tragic Wave." Here's the band, Drab Majesty with "Too Soon," from the "Demonstration" LP. First some Wikipedia though. Link's below the embedded video. From Wikipedia:Drab Majesty is an American, Los Angeles-based musical project, founded by musician Deb Demure (Andrew Clinco) while working as the drummer for the band Marriages, in 2011. The project's first record was the 2012 EP Unarian Dances, After Nature -


From doxastic obligations to obligations to imagine – An initial case study Chris is a PhD student at the Ruhr University Bochum in Germany. He is interested in semantics for expressions involving “imagination” and its variations, the imagery model, and the relation between imagination and belief. Photo Credit: Christian Schultz (Chris’s uncle) A post by Christopher BaduraAccording to Aaron Smuts prescriptions to imagine are rare:we might ask if we are ever morally required to imagine something or another. Some might think that we are occasionally morally required... The Junkyard -


What’s Utopian When The Status Quo is Unrealistic? (guest post by David Estlund) “In these moments, we should appreciate that unrealistic political thought, including political philosophy, is of profound practical importance, and that it is overly discouraged—both in the culture, and even in the halls of academia…. We, at least some of us, must always be thinking beyond what seems realistic or feasible, about what would be better. That’s how to be ready when the chance comes.” The following is a guest post* by David Estlund, Lombardo Family Professor of... Daily Nous -


THE FATE OF ANALYSIS, #24–Wittgenstein on The Meaning of Life. TABLE OF CONTENTS I. Introduction                                                                                                 II. Classical Analytic Philosophy                                                                II.1 What Classical Analytic Philosophy Is: Two Basic Theses                                           II.2 What Classical Analytic Philosophy Officially Isn’t: Its Conflicted Anti-Kantianism              II.3 Classical Analytic Philosophy Characterized in Simple, Subtler, and Subtlest Ways II.4 Three Kinds of Analysis: Decompositional, Transformative, and Conceptual                 II.5 Frege, The First … [continue reading] Against Professional Philosophy -


Gödel Without Tears, slowly, 16 Today’s chapter is optimistically entitled ‘Proving the Second Incompleteness Theorem’. Of course we don’t actually do that! But we do say something more about what it takes to prove it (stating the so-called derivability conditions, and saying what it takes to prove them). As an extra, we say how it can be that there are consistent theories which ‘prove’ their own inconsistency. The post Gödel Without Tears, slowly, 16 appeared first on Logic Matters. Logic Matters -


Desert [Revised entry by Fred Feldman and Brad Skow on September 22, 2020. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Claims about desert are familiar and frequent in ordinary non-philosophical conversation. We say that a hard-working student who produces work of high quality deserves a high grade; that a vicious criminal deserves a harsh penalty; that someone who has suffered a series of misfortunes deserves some good luck for a change. Philosophers have made use of the... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


Mohism [Revised entry by Chris Fraser on September 22, 2020. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, texts.html, triads.html] Mohism was an influential philosophical, social, and religious movement that flourished during the Warring States era (479 - 221 BCE) in ancient China. Mohism originates in the teachings of Mo Di, or "Mozi" ("Master Mo," fl. ca. 430 BCE), from whom it takes its name. Mozi and his followers initiated philosophical argumentation and debate in China. They were the... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


THESE ARE HARD TIMES Joe Biden was not my first choice for the nominee of the Democratic Party. Indeed, I don’t think he was my tenth choice.  But he is whom we have and I have already voted for him. By one of those twists of fate that can never be predicted, he is in the present circumstances probably our best bet to beat Trump. Absent the pandemic, I am convinced Bernie could have won and perhaps even won... The Philosopher’s Stone -


Philip Goff on Panpsychism and the Moral Order  Philip Goff swimming against a strong current of subjectivism in moral judgment has written on Panpsychism’s  inherentist position in the online magazine <i>Nautilus</i>knowing universeI driving in my new tomato coloured Datsun begin to notice how many of them are around.Goff writes:<blockquote>This is where panpsychism can help. On a non-panpsychist form of the container view, Reality is a general form of being, which can manifest as either mental or non-mental entities. On a panpsychist version of the... Ombhurbhuva -