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  Subjects -> PHILOSOPHY (Total: 762 journals)
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Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.374
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  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1572-8749 - ISSN (Online) 0167-7411
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2469 journals]
  • Wittgenstein and the Duty to Believe

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      Abstract: It is generally assumed that hinge-commitments are deprived of an epistemically normative structure, and yet, that although groundless, the acceptance of Wittgensteinian certainties is still rational. The problem comes from the intellectualist view of hinge-approvals which many recent proposals advance—one that falls short of the necessities and impossibilities pertaining to what would be the right description of how it is like to approve of hinges. I will raise the Newman-inspired worry as how to cash the abstract acceptance of principles of enquiry into real assent, as well as the question about how to extend normativity all the way back to foundations. It is my aim here to argue that ethical normativity is the only kind of normativity capable to ground the rationality of hinges. In defence of this, I will draw some consequences from Ernest Sosa’s claim that hinges about the external world are logically related to the cogito.
      PubDate: 2022-09-13
       
  • Introduction: What’s so Special About Faces' Visages at the
           Crossroad Between Philosophy, Semiotics and Cognition

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      PubDate: 2022-09-08
       
  • Artifacting Identity. How Grillz, Ball Gags and Gas Masks Expand
           the Face

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      Abstract: By questioning the attribution of a primary role to the eyes as bearers of identity within traditional Western culture, this paper will problematize the agentivity performed by the lower mereology of the face, identified with the mouth-nose assemblage. In particular, the study will focus on the manipulation of such facial spatiality through the intervention of three “lower face” artifacts: the grill, the ball gag and the gas mask. This piece of work will examine their plastic and figurative dimensions in the technological interaction with the facial organs. Furthermore, we will take into consideration the sociocultural context of wearability performed by the different bearers with the aim of grasping the identity shift that the artifacts trigger. The study, therefore, will organize the corpus as a sequence that starts inside the oral cavity where the grill is worn; then moves to a progressive exteriority with the ball gag that emerges from the mouth through the straps fastened around the head; eventually dealing with the exterior projection operated by the gas mask which by means of its filters portends beyond the anatomical face. Ultimately the three artifacts are presented as a threefold articulation of a liminal agency towards an expanded form of humanity including animality embedded within and without the space of meaning represented by the face.
      PubDate: 2022-09-07
       
  • Looking into Death: Trauma, Memory and Human Face

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      Abstract: This article analyses the relationship of human faces with trauma and death, in particular focalizing on the use of snap shot and ID kinds of photos in site of memory, memorials an public art.
      PubDate: 2022-09-05
       
  • Faces and situational Agency

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      Abstract: Though there are many challenges to Ekman’s thesis that there are basic emotions with universal corresponding facial expressions, our main criticism revolves around the extent to which grounding situations alter how people read faces. To that end, we recruit testifying experimental studies that show identical faces expressing varying emotions when contextualized differently. Rather than dismissing these as illusions, we start with the position—generally favored by embodied thinkers—that situations are primary: they are where specifiable and hence knowable properties first show up. We further argue that situationally inflected emotional expressions are informationally meaningful. We reject the idea that reading expressions is primarily about ascertaining internal mental states, arguing instead that people are registering overall situations when looking at faces. However, if mind is understood as a situated phenomenon that extends into active ecological frames, then one can still argue that mindreading is going on. Although we do not claim isolated things like cliffs or cars have agency, we speculate networked systems with cliffs, people, cars, bears, etc., collectively function with intentionality, more so if advancing a robust situated mind thesis, contra figures like Dennett who argue that people over-impute mind to things. Our position has practical implications insofar as it casts doubts on recent attempts to develop AI systems that extract emotional intent out of facial expressions since many of these systems are grounded on Ekman’s basic view.
      PubDate: 2022-09-05
       
  • A Pragmatics-First Approach to Faces

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      Abstract: This article aims to make a philosophical contribution to the understanding of the communicative dimensions and functions of faces and facial expressions (FEs). First, I will refer to the expressivist and socio-communicative theories of FEs, and to a proposal to unify them under a pragmatic approach based on the theory of speech acts. Subsequently, I will examine the characterization of faces and FEs as social and behavioral affordances, and I will identify their characteristics and communicative functions, especially in “conversational displays”, to justify why they are functionally special. I will then insert facial signals into the framework of a pragmatic perspective on human communication, both verbal and non-verbal, which is broader than speech act theory: a Pragmatics-First Approach to Human Communication. I will argue that it provides an adequate understanding of the pragmatic-interactive foundations of human communication, where Facereading is a central component. Finally, I will refer to the relationship between Facereading and the Second-person Perspective of social cognition.
      PubDate: 2022-09-03
       
  • Emotional Environments: Selective Permeability, Political Affordances and
           Normative Settings

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      Abstract: I begin this article with an increasingly accepted claim: that emotions lend differential weight to states of affairs, helping us conceptually carve the world and make rational decisions. I then develop a more controversial assertion: that environments have non-subjective emotional qualities, which organize behavior and help us make sense of the world. I defend this from ecological and related embodied standpoints that take properties to be interrelational outcomes. I also build on conceptions of experience as a cultural phenomenon, one that coheres around shared environmental contours and public emotional concerns, introducing normative constraints (or what might be called “world grammars”). Endorsing this outlook suggests an argument for the view that cultural spaces have affectively charged, non-subjective, normative openings and closures. These openings and closures engender selectively permeable barriers which cordon space without physically preventing entry, as seen with decorative half walls and elevation changes. An area with such barriers may look emotionally hostile to, say, the dispirited homeless who are in fact less welcome there. Outcomes like these might be thought of as “political affordances.” These affordances can be regarded as normative openings and closures that implicitly filter, and hence segregate, according to various social divisions. Although registering political affordances requires more than the detection of ambient arrays, the notion retains core Gibsonian ideas: that affordances are values, that these values are linked with how a space can be used, and that the existence and nature of such affordances is not a subjective matter.
      PubDate: 2022-09-02
       
  • What is So Special About Contemporary CG Faces' Semiotics of
           MetaHumans

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      Abstract: This paper analyses the features of the 2021 software for the creation of ultrarealistic digital characters “MetaHuman Creator” and reflects on the causes of such perceived effect of realism to understand if the faces produced with such software represent an actual novelty from an academic standpoint. Such realism is first of all defined as the result of semio-cognitive processes which trigger interpretative habits specifically related to faces. These habits are then related to the main properties of any realistic face: being face-looking, face-meaning and face-acting. These properties, in turn, are put in relation with our interactions with faces in terms of face detection, face recognition, face reading and face agency. Within this theoretical framework, we relate the characteristics of these artificial faces with such interpretative habits. To do so, we first of all make an examination of the technological features behind both the software and the digital faces it produces. This analysis highlights four main points of interest: the mathematical accuracy, the scanned database, the high level of details and the transformative capacities of these artificial faces. We then relate these characteristics with the cultural and cognitive aspects involved in recognizing and granting meaning to faces. This reveals how metahuman faces differs from previous artificial faces in terms of indexicality, intersubjectivity, informativity and irreducibility. But it also reveals some limits of such effect of reality in terms of intentionality and historical context. This examination consequently brings us to conclude that metahuman faces are qualitatively different from previous artificial faces and, in the light of their potentials and limits, to highlight four main lines of future research based on our findings.
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
       
  • Embodying the Face: The Intersubjectivity of Portraits and Self-portraits

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      Abstract: The topic of the human face is addressed from a biocultural perspective, focusing on the empirical investigation of how the face is represented, perceived, and evaluated in artistic portraits and self-portraits from the XVth to the XVIIth century. To do so, the crucial role played by the human face in social cognition is introduced, starting from development, showing that neonatal facial imitation and face-to-face dyadic interactions provide the grounding elements for the construction of intersubjective bonds. The neuroscience of face perception is concisely presented and discussed, together with the psychophysics of face perception and gaze exploration, introducing the notions of the left visual field advantage (LVFA) and the left gaze bias (LGB). The results of experiments on the perception and the emotional and aesthetic rating of artistic portraits and self-portraits are reported, showing that despite participants’ inability to tell self-portraits and portraits apart, greater emotional, communicative-social, and aesthetic ratings were attributed to self-portraits. It is concluded that neuroscience and experimental aesthetics can contribute to better understand the human face, hence to better understand ourselves.
      PubDate: 2022-07-16
       
  • Correction: Introduction: Language and Worldviews

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      PubDate: 2022-07-15
       
  • Can There be Thought Without Words'—Donald Davidson on Language
           and Animal Minds

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      Abstract: In a couple of short papers, Donald Davidson holds that a creature cannot think unless it is the interpreter of the speech of another. At first blush, speaking a language is, therefore, a necessary condition for thought. His controversial claims has led many to regard him as a follower of the Cartesian tradition wherein languageless creatures are nothing but mindless machines. Against this widely shared interpretation, in this paper we put forward a more charitable interpretation of Davidson’s claims. According to our reading, Davidson never meant to argue that languageless creatures do not think. Instead, the only thing his arguments purport to show is that one will never be in a position to confirm that they do. This paper consists of a defense of the idea that Davidson is better seen as endorsing radical skepticism as to whether languageless creatures think.
      PubDate: 2022-07-01
       
  • Language and Its Limits: Meaning, Reference and the Ineffable in Buddhist
           Philosophy

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      Abstract: Buddhist schools of thought share two fundamental assumptions about language. On the one hand, language (śabda) is identified with conceptual thinking (kalpanā), which according to the Buddhist doctrine (dharma) separates us from the momentary and fleeting nature of reality (satya, “truth”). Language is comprised of generally applicable forms, which fuel the reificatory proclivity for clinging to the distorted – and ultimately fictious – belief in substantial existence. On the other hand, the distrust of language is mitigated by the doctrine of ineffability (anirdeśya), which although asserts that reality is beyond the scope of linguistic description, submits that philosophical analyses of key Buddhist concepts is a means of overcoming the limitations that language imposes on our experience and facilitating insight into the nature of reality (bodhi). This paper provides an overview of Buddhist philosophy of language, with an emphasis on the dialectical view of language as indispensable but ultimately insufficient for contemplation. The Buddhist discussions of ineffability are explicated and compared with its treatment in modern Occidental thought, specifically the similarities and differences with Wittgenstein’s philosophy of language.
      PubDate: 2022-07-01
       
  • Language: The “Ultimate Artifact” to Build, Develop, and
           Update Worldviews

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      Abstract: What role does language play in the process of building worldviews' To address this question, in the first section of this paper we will clarify what we mean by worldviews and how they differ, in our perspective, from cosmovisions. In a nutshell, we define worldviews as the biological interpretations agents create of the world around them and cosmovision the more general cultural-based reflections on it (which, of course, include also agents’ worldviews). After presenting our definition for worldview, we will also present the multi-shaped viewpoint that frames our analysis, adopting three concepts that can help us explain how agents construct and develop their worldviews: saliences, pregnances, and abduction. While the notions of saliences and pregnances will explain how agents recognize anomalies in their worldview, the concept of abduction will help us discuss how they can learn to approach, explain, and use these anomalies to get new skills and abilities. This other point will lead us to discuss the role of language in this process, which will be describe as an artifact that permits the agent to use abduction to “normalize” and exploit anomalies, being now the ultimate artifact (for human agents) to build, develop, and update their worldviews.
      PubDate: 2022-07-01
       
  • Animal Brains and the Work of Words: Daniel Dennett on Natural Language
           and the Human Mind

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      Abstract: In this article I discuss Daniel Dennett’s view of the role of natural language in the evolution of the human mind. In contrast with defenders of the Language of Thought Hypothesis, Dennett claims that natural language is an evolved tool for communication, originating in behavioural habits of which users were initially not aware. Once in place, such habits changed access to information in human brains and were crucial for the evolution of human consciousness. I assess Dennett’s approach from the viewpoint of philosophy of mind and language and consider its ontological implications. I contrast Dennett’s views with the universalist and internalist claims of Jerry Fodor and Noam Chomsky and show how, by appealing to memes and cultural evolution, Dennett resists such claims. I then analyse how this picture goes together with a deflationary view of consciousness. I end by pointing out that although Dennett’s global picture seems to point towards a pluralistic ontology, he himself refrains from taking such a step.
      PubDate: 2022-07-01
       
  • Compound Figures: A Multi-Channel View of Communication and Psychological
           Plausibility

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      Abstract: Philosophical views of language have traditionally been focused on notions of truth. This is a reconstructive view in that we try to extract from an utterance in context what the sentence and speaker meaning are. This focus on meaning extraction from word sequences alone, however, is challenged by utterances which combine different types of figures. This paper argues that what appears to be a special case of ironic utterances—ironic metaphorical compounds—sheds light on the requirements for psychological plausibility of a theory of communication and thus presents a different view of communication and language to that dominant in philosophy of language. In the view presented here, the hearer does not extract the speaker’s communicative intention from the sequence of words in the utterance, but from other channels (gesture, intonation, facial expression), so as to constrain the inferential space for the sentence and speaker meaning. Specifically, we examine an example of ironic metaphor discussed by Stern (2000). He argues that ironic content is logically dependent on metaphorical content, but makes no claims about how psychologically plausible this is in terms of the processing order. We argue that a straightforward translation of logical order into temporal order makes little sense. The primary sticking point is that without a prior understanding of the speaker’s communicative intentions, it is computationally more challenging to process the sub-component meanings. An alternative solution based on communicative channels leads us to a more psychologically plausible account of the structure of communicative acts and intentions. This provides support for the psychological realism of a richer theory of communicative intent.
      PubDate: 2022-07-01
       
  • The Work of Words: Poetry, Language and the Dawn of Community

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      Abstract: This essay explores the ontological movement of poetry, its language and words, by establishing a dialogue with the thought of three Japanese thinkers, Ki no Tsurayuki, Motoori Norinaga and Fujitani Mitsue, and the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. The overall purpose, as we progress from one to the other, is to present, explore and disclose a horizon where poetry gradually becomes the locus of a philosophy of language that places it at the genesis of mutual understanding, ethics and, thus, of community.
      PubDate: 2022-07-01
       
  • Not a Negation' A Logico-Philosophical Perspective on the Ugaritic
           Particles lā/ ’al

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      Abstract: The negative particles lā/ ’al in Ugaritic change from positive to negative in modal contexts, conditional, questions, disjunctions, etc. They have usually been studied from a Semitic and linguistic points of view. On the basis of their occurrence in Ugaritic texts, we pretend to explain their uncommon behaviour from a philosophical and logico-semantic perspective. Is it possible to translate this linguistic structure in our Modern languages' Starting from a general view of their use in Ugaritic language, we claim that this phenomenon can be more clearly understood in relation to modality. We interpret these negation as a negative evidential paradigm and we explain how they change in different contexts. Methodologically, we make use of formal tools of Dynamic Epistemic Logic in order to provide a more fine-grained understanding of these negations, and their dynamics.
      PubDate: 2022-07-01
       
  • “Good Savage” vs. “Bad Savage”. Discourse and Counter-Discourse on
           Primitive Language as a Reflex of English Colonialism

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      Abstract: In the ideological construction of colonialism and, more widely, of any hierarchy of human communities, a crucial role is played by discourse on language. English nationalism and imperialism, in particular, developed extensive argumentations on language as an interpretation of the encounter with the other, on the basis of internal cultural developments that assigned to language the role of social discriminator. The paper investigates a strand of such argumentations during the period from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century: the concept of “primitive” languages, described in a positive or, more often, in a negative light. The former arguments employ tones related to the idea of the “good savage” and stand in connection with narratives on the “language of Adam” and of the “Welsh Indians”, the latter uses a rhetoric extolling “progress” and “civilization” against the “immaturity” and “backwardness” of primitive languages, a perspective that was later to influence Darwinism.
      PubDate: 2022-07-01
       
  • A Late Antique Rabbinic Discourse on the Linguistic (In-)determinacy of
           the Law

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      Abstract: The late antique rabbis of Roman Palestine were seasoned jurists, experts on exegesis and legal interpretation. Yet rabbinic literature does not theorize. A positive account of rabbinic conceptions of language therefore remains a desideratum. I choose an alternative approach. Legal reasoning relies on language to ground the determinacy of the law. Jurists must thus confront language when it threatens to undermine the latter. Conversely, they may hold language to safeguard legal determinacy. Drawing on insights from legal theory, I turn to an unusual rabbinic rule of inference. Its earliest attested version suggests a universal possibility of inference “from the category of yes that of no, from the category of no that of yes.” I show that the ever-evolving uses of this rule allow us to observe a shift in linguistic attitude, increasingly acknowledging linguistic uncertainty. My findings tie in with recent advances in the study of rabbinic exegesis.
      PubDate: 2022-07-01
       
  • Defining Communication and Language from Within a Pluralistic Evolutionary
           Worldview

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      Abstract: New definitions are proposed for communication and language. Communication is defined as the evolution of physical, biochemical, cellular, community, and technological information exchange. Language is defined as community communication whereby the information exchanged comprises evolving individual and group-constructed knowledge and beliefs, that are enacted, narrated, or otherwise conveyed by evolving rule-governed and meaningful symbol systems, that are grounded, interpreted, and used from within evolving embodied, cognitive, ecological, sociocultural, and technological niches. These definitions place emphasis on the evolutionary aspects of communication and language, and they are here differentiated from four older paradigms that instead focus either on the referential or social aspects of language, or the informational or semantic aspects of communication. In contrast with these paradigms, the definitions proposed here for communication and language are in line with a pluralistic evolutionary worldview, one that necessitates the recognition that a multitude of units, levels, mechanisms and processes are involved in bringing forth communication and language.
      PubDate: 2022-06-30
      DOI: 10.1007/s11245-022-09811-3
       
 
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