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Investigating The Psychological World

Author: Brian D. Haig
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262027364
Size: 38.49 MB
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A broad theory of research methodology for psychology and the behavioral sciences that offers a coherent treatment of a range of behavioral research methods.

A Mark Of The Mental

Author: Karen Neander
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262036142
Size: 77.27 MB
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In A Mark of the Mental, Karen Neander considers the representational power of mental states -- described by the cognitive scientist Zenon Pylyshyn as the "second hardest puzzle" of philosophy of mind (the first being consciousness). The puzzle at the heart of the book is sometimes called "the problem of mental content," "Brentano's problem," or "the problem of intentionality." Its motivating mystery is how neurobiological states can have semantic properties such as meaning or reference. Neander proposes a naturalistic account for sensory-perceptual (nonconceptual) representations. Neander draws on insights from state-space semantics (which appeals to relations of second-order similarity between representing and represented domains), causal theories of reference (which claim the reference relation is a causal one), and teleosemantic theories (which claim that semantic norms, at their simplest, depend on functional norms). She proposes and defends an intuitive, theoretically well-motivated but highly controversial thesis: sensory-perceptual systems have the function to produce inner state changes that are the analogs of as well as caused by their referents. Neander shows that the three main elements -- functions, causal-information relations, and relations of second-order similarity -- complement rather than conflict with each other. After developing an argument for teleosemantics by examining the nature of explanation in the mind and brain sciences, she develops a theory of mental content and defends it against six main content-determinacy challenges to a naturalized semantics.

Rock Bone And Ruin

Author: Adrian Currie
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262037262
Size: 71.26 MB
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"The Earth's deep past is a fascinating place to visit, both disturbingly alien and hauntingly familiar. In its life, the Earth has frozen solid, supported enormous animals (themselves sporting enormous fleas!), accommodated a diversity of cultures, and a diversity of ways-of-living. Rock, Bone & Ruin asks how much we can know about the deep past. To answer this, we need to understand the resources at our disposal: how do historical scientists like paleontologists, archaeologists and geologists learn about prehistory? Most people think of simple relationships--such as that between a fossilized bone and its long-dead owner--when they consider historical evidence. However, I argue that such scientists are best understood as 'methodological omnivores': they are creative, opportunistic and use a variety of different strategies and techniques. The reasoning used by historical scientists is much more diverse and complex than we have previously realized. And this supports optimism about our capacity to discover the deep past: our knowledge of it shall continue to grow. Along the way, we critically examine philosophical and scientific reflection on the relationship between the past and the present, the nature of evidence, contingency, scientific progress and scientific. Further, I provide suggestions about the value of knowledge about the past--including how it can inform us in the present and into the future--and how such sciences are best supported. The argument draws on fascinating examples from across paleontology, geology and archaeology"--

What S Left Of Human Nature

Author: Maria Kronfeldner
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262038412
Size: 29.42 MB
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A philosophical account of human nature that defends the concept against dehumanization, Darwinian, and developmentalist challenges. Human nature has always been a foundational issue for philosophy. What does it mean to have a human nature? Is the concept the relic of a bygone age? What is the use of such a concept? What are the epistemic and ontological commitments people make when they use the concept? In What's Left of Human Nature? Maria Kronfeldner offers a philosophical account of human nature that defends the concept against contemporary criticism. In particular, she takes on challenges related to social misuse of the concept that dehumanizes those regarded as lacking human nature (the dehumanization challenge); the conflict between Darwinian thinking and essentialist concepts of human nature (the Darwinian challenge); and the consensus that evolution, heredity, and ontogenetic development result from nurture and nature. After answering each of these challenges, Kronfeldner presents a revisionist account of human nature that minimizes dehumanization and does not fall back on outdated biological ideas. Her account is post-essentialist because it eliminates the concept of an essence of being human; pluralist in that it argues that there are different things in the world that correspond to three different post-essentialist concepts of human nature; and interactive because it understands nature and nurture as interacting at the developmental, epigenetic, and evolutionary levels. On the basis of this, she introduces a dialectical concept of an ever-changing and “looping” human nature. Finally, noting the essentially contested character of the concept and the ambiguity and redundancy of the terminology, she wonders if we should simply eliminate the term “human nature” altogether.

Beyond Versus

Author: James Tabery
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262027372
Size: 12.41 MB
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Why the "nature versus nurture" debate persists despite widespread recognition that human traits arise from the interaction of nature and nurture.

Mind In The Balance

Author: B. Alan Wallace
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231519702
Size: 61.32 MB
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By establishing a dialogue in which the meditative practices of Buddhism and Christianity speak to the theories of modern philosophy and science, B. Alan Wallace reveals the theoretical similarities underlying these disparate disciplines and their unified approach to making sense of the objective world. Wallace begins by exploring the relationship between Christian and Buddhist meditative practices. He outlines a sequence of meditations the reader can undertake, showing that, though Buddhism and Christianity differ in their belief systems, their methods of cognitive inquiry provide similar insight into the nature and origins of consciousness. From this convergence Wallace then connects the approaches of contemporary cognitive science, quantum mechanics, and the philosophy of the mind. He links Buddhist and Christian views to the provocative philosophical theories of Hilary Putnam, Charles Taylor, and Bas van Fraassen, and he seamlessly incorporates the work of such physicists as Anton Zeilinger, John Wheeler, and Stephen Hawking. Combining a concrete analysis of conceptions of consciousness with a guide to cultivating mindfulness and profound contemplative practice, Wallace takes the scientific and intellectual mapping of the mind in exciting new directions.

Humanistic Psychology

Author: Joseph Royce
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1468410717
Size: 80.38 MB
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THE FORMATIVE TENDENCY I have often pointed out that in my work with individuals in therapy, and in my experience in encounter groups, I have been led to the con viction that human nature is essentially constructive. When, in a ther apeutic climate (which can be objectively defined) a person becomes sharply aware of more of his or her internal experiencing and of the stimuli and demands from the external world, thus acquiring a full range of options, the person tends to move in the direction of becoming a socially constructive organism. But many are critical of this point of view. Why should such a positive direction be observed only in humans? Isn't this just pure op- · . ? timi sm. So quite hesitantly, because I have to draw on the work and thinking of others rather than on my own experience, I should like to try to set this directional tendency in a much broader context. I shall draw on my general reading in the field of science, but I should like to mention a special indebtedness to the work of Lancelot Whyte in The Universe of Experience (Harper and Row, 1974), the last book he wrote before his death. Though the book has flaws, in my judgment this historian has some thought-provoking themes to advance. I have learned from many others as well.

Existential Phenomenological Perspectives In Psychology

Author: Ronald S. Valle
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461569893
Size: 73.34 MB
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When I began to study psychology a half century ago, it was defined as "the study of behavior and experience." By the time I completed my doctorate, shortly after the end of World War II, the last two words were fading rapidly. In one of my first graduate classes, a course in statistics, the professor announced on the first day, "Whatever exists, exists in some number." We dutifully wrote that into our notes and did not pause to recognize that thereby all that makes life meaningful was being consigned to oblivion. This bland restructuring-perhaps more accurately, destruction-of the world was typical of its time, 1940. The influence of a narrow scientistic attitude was already spreading throughout the learned disciplines. In the next two decades it would invade and tyrannize the "social sciences," education, and even philosophy. To be sure, quantification is a powerful tool, selectively employed, but too often it has been made into an executioner's axe to deny actuality to all that does not yield to its procrustean demands.