Symposium on Martin & Le Corre, “Sensory Substitution Is Substitution”

TVSSS-PHONE-300x225If you haven’t gone over to The Brains Blog to view the Mind & Language symposium on Jean-Rémy Martin and François Le Corre’s “Sensory Substitution Is Substitution,” part of the journal’s April 2015 issue, you should. It’s an interesting perspective on what we normally think of as our other senses compensating for the lack of vision. Highly technical, this article and the subsequent symposium present the argument that the type of information processed by a SSD is metamodal and that the phenomenology is best described in terms of spatial phenomenology, only.

In addition, it also has been shown that they [the Vertical-Horizontal Illusion and the Ponzo Illusion] are equally and identically present in early blind people and that they usually depend on the same modulating factors as in vision (Gentaz and Hatwell, 2004).

If you’re interested in the entire article, you can view it on the Wiley Online Library, free through June 15th. Check out the symposium to get join the conversation on the topic.

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Secrets of the Mind: with Roger Penrose, Iain McGilchrist, and Nicholas Humphrey

We have no explanation of consciousness. Yet from the origins of life to the workings of the atom, science has provided answers when none were thought possible.  Might we be about to crack consciousness as well?  An impossible fantasy or an exciting adventure for mankind? Watch Secrets of the Mind.

The Panel: Joanna Kavenna asks eminent physicist Roger Penrose, Master and His Emissary author Iain McGilchrist, and evolutionary psychologist Nicholas Humphrey to explain the all-seeing ‘I’.

secrets

Dialectica presents a FREE virtual issue!

dialectica cover, June 2011Founded in 1947, dialectica is the official journal of the European Society for Analytic Philosophy (ESAP), publishing first-rate articles predominantly in theoretical and systematic philosophy. Although edited in Switzerland with a focus on analytical philosophy undertaken on the continent, dialectica publishes articles from all over the world and has a truly global relevance. It is ranked A on the European Research Index for the Humanities of the European Science Foundation. Click here to view recent submission statistics and here to read some highlights from the journal over the years.

Continuing the work of its founding members, dialectica seeks a better understanding of the mutual support between science and philosophy and promotes that both disciplines need and enjoy in their common search for understanding. In this exciting virtual issue, the editorial team has selected some recent articles to showcase content from dialectica that particularly reflects the journal’s relevance to a US audience. These articles are representative of the many domains in which dialectica publishes, from ontology to epistemology and philosophy of mind or the theory of rationality. dialectica has recently published special issues on vectors, concepts, emotions, colours, and the philosophy of Kit Fine. We are confident that you will find this virtual issue interesting and informative.

Two Defenses of Common-Sense Ontology
Uriah Kriegel

Paderewski Variations
R. Mark Sainsbury

The Model-Theoretic Argument against Quantifying over Everything
Iris Einheuser

Relation-Based Thought, Objectivity and Disagreement
Christopher Peacocke

A Tale of Two Vectors
Marc Lange

On Some Recent Criticisms of the ‘Linguistic’ Approach to Ontology
Matti Eklund

Against Universal Mereological Composition
Crawford Elder

Rationality, Reasoning and Group Agency
Philip Pettit

Towards a Neo-Aristotelian Mereology
Kathrin Koslicki

Response to Kathrin Koslicki
Kit Fine

If you enjoyed these articles, why not activate a free 30-day trial to dialectica?

dialectica, official journal of ESAP

What Is It Like To Have Whiskers?

20th century Philosophy saw a burgeoning interest in modalities of sensory perception un-enjoyed by humans. And the interest is well-deserved; for it is by looking to the physiognomy of bats and dogfish that we can best test our intuitions on whether or not adequate knowledge of an organism’s physical structure can ever tell us everything that we can know about what it is like to be that organism. However, philosophers tend to gravitate towards sonar and perceptual sensitivity to magnetic fields without paying attention to whether any lessons might be learned in less weird perceptual modes. Are non-human sensory modes like sonar always wholly unimaginable, or are some such modes more imaginable than others? If we can’t imagine what it is like to perceive through sonar, for instance, can we imagine what it is like to tell an object’s shape by our whiskers?

As the Economist reports, tremendous advances have recently been made in understanding how seals detect and perceive prey whilst swimming in murky water. When an object moves about under water, it creates a signature wake that carries information about the object. This information is lost on humans; a wake is a wake so far as our sensory systems are concerned. But a series of tests on a trained seal have shown that seals are able to discriminate objects whose width vary by as little as 2.8 cm, and can also distinguish objects of a similar width yet different shape.

This ability probably falls under the realm of good old-fashioned tactile perception, yet try as I might, I cannot imagine being able to distinguish the wake of a round object from that of a square one. At the same time, however, I feel inclined to contend that we can more easily imagine what it is like to have seal whiskers than what it is to perceive via sonar or disturbances in the magnetic field. Can seals help us to better understand the conceptual barriers that seem to arise in the more extreme cases of experience? Or might we even find that spending an afternoon in the pool after not shaving for a few months uncovers unknown sensory powers in our sideburns?

>Related Articles

Naturalisms in Philosophy of Mind

Olfactory Experience

Free Nietzsche Virtual Issue

The European Journal of Philosophy is delighted to bring you this Virtual Issue on the theme of Nietzsche. Please click on the articles below to read for free, along with the introduction by Robert Pippin from the University of Chicago.

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.Introduction, Robert Pippin

Section One: Nietzsche and First Philosophy
Nietzsche’s Positivism, Nadeem J.Z. Hussein
Nietzsche’s Post-Positivism, Maudmarie Clark and David Dudrick
Nietzsche on Truth Illusion and Redemption, R. Lanier Anderson
Nietzsche’s Theory of Mind, Paul Katsafanas
Nietzsche and Amor Fati, Beatrice Han-Pile
Nietzsche’s Metaethics, Brian Leiter

Section Two: Nietzsche and the Philosophical Tradition
Nietzsche’s Critiques: The Kantian Foundations of His Thought, R. Kevin Hill
Nietzsche and the Transcendental Tradition, Tsarina Doyle
Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Death and Salvation, Julian Young
Nietzsche’s Illustration of the Art of Exegesis, Christopher Janaway

Section Three: Genealogy and Morality
Nietzsche, Revaluation and the Turn to Genealogy, David Owen
Nietzsche and Genealogy, Raymond Geuss
Nietzsche and Morality, Raymond Geuss
Nietzsche’s Minimalist Moral Psychology, Bernard Williams
The Second Treatise in the Genealogy of Morals: Nietzsche on the Origin of Bad Conscience, Mathias Risse
Nietzsche on Freedom, Robert Guay

Section Four: Nietzsche and Art
Nietzsche’s Metaphysics in The Birth of Tragedy, Beatrice Han-Pile
Nietzsche on Art and Freedom, Aaron Ridley
The Genealogy of Aesthetics, Dabney Townsend

New issue of Philosophy Compass out now! Vol. 6, Iss. 4

The latest issue of Philosophy Compass is available on Wiley Online Library

Ethics

Recent Work on the Ethics of Self-Defense (pages 220–233)
Tyler Doggett

History of Philosophy

Ancient Skepticism: Overview (pages 234–245)
Diego E. Machuca
Ancient Skepticism: Pyrrhonism (pages 246–258)
Diego E. Machuca
Ancient Skepticism: The Skeptical Academy (pages 259–266)
Diego Machuca

Mind & Cognitive Science

Phenomenal Concepts (pages 267–281)
Pär Sundström

Philosophy of Religion

Logic and Divine Simplicity (pages 282–294)
Anders Kraal

Teaching & Learning Guide

Teaching & Learning Guide for: Essentialism (pages 295–299)
Sonia Roca-Royes

Worried a Computer might steal your job?

When the wheel was invented the man whose job it was to carry things must have been devastated. When the dishwasher reared its watery head, the trade union for human dishwashers mush have been appalled.  Now with the invention of a new super computer called “Watson”, made by IBM, able to beat the two most prolific players of the TV show Jeopardy, are we on the way to a world run by machines? It seems a silly question; that is, on the strength of a computer being able to mimic human linguistic decision making. However, if we are getting this far, how much further can we go?

The Financial Times claims that: “Watson has provoked mostly anxiety – over the practical question of what jobs it will destroy and the metaphysical question of whether talking machines will erode our sense of what it means to be human”. Can a man made machine really erode our sense of what it to be human? Continue reading “Worried a Computer might steal your job?”