John M. Doris and Shaun Nichols
The article gives an overview on the concept of individualism in cognitive science. Individualism maintains that optimal human reasoning is substantially asocial, and therefore implies that sociality does not facilitate, and may impede, reasoning. The cognitive science of morality very frequently proceeds with individualist assumptions. The individualist may allow that normal development requires sociality, but deny that optimal reasoning in mature individuals requires it. The optimal cognitive functioning is both developed and sustained through sociality. The optimal exercise of rationality is a socially embedded process. It means that sociality is not just a precondition of rationality, but that even among those with normal cognitive functioning, the optimal exercise of rationality typically occurs as part of a social process. The sociality has a significant role in substantial cognitive achievement, such as scientific and technological discovery. A large body of research indicates that motivation plays a crucial role in reasoning. The optimal human reasoning is substantially asocial, and sociality is necessary for the development of optimal reasoning. The sociality is necessary for the sustenance of optimal reasoning, and for the transmission of information. One important feature of group interactions is that they are likely to induce emotional responses. Many familiar emotions such as anger, guilt, and sympathy are characteristically triggered by cues in social interaction.
Kenneth Sufka, Morgan Weldon, and Colin Allen
This article focuses on the modeling of neuropsychiatric disorders in the case of animal emotions. It examines critically the evidence that philosophers have used to justify the claim that some nonhuman animals experience emotions similar to those of humans, such as pain and suffering. It provides an alternative strategy to making similar claims in a manner that avoids the possible confusion present in the existing pain literature. It also discusses evidence of animal emotions from human pain and suffering and describes the chick anxiety-depression continuum model.
Daniel M. T. Fessler and Edouard Machery
The article provides an overview on the approaches used to study the relation between culture and cognition. Psychological universals can be defined as those traits, processes, dispositions, or functions that recur across cultures, with at least a subset of each population exhibiting the trait. The strongest test of the universality of a given psychological trait is to search for it across maximally disparate cultures because traits may recur across cultures due to cultural influences alone. One methodological concern, however, is that whether or not a trait is identified in different cultures will depend in part on how the trait is defined. Some traits may be psychological universals because they are homologies. A trait is generatively entrenched if its development is a necessary condition for the development of other traits. Most modifications of a generatively entrenched trait are selected against because they prevent the development of these other traits. The approximate number sense, evident in cultures as diverse as small-scale hunter-horticulturalist societies and modern, technologically complex societies, is also present in numerous animal species. A number of uniquely human psychological traits are also universal because their development has been canalized during the evolution of human cognition. Natural selection selects against development pathways that rely on specific environmental inputs when these environmental inputs vary, when variation in these environmental inputs cause the development of variable traits, and when there is a single optimally adaptive variant.
This chapter analyses the problem of free will and moral responsibility, to which the history of philosophy records three standard reactions. Compatibilists maintain that it is possible for us to have the free will required for moral responsibility if determinism is true. Others contend that determinism is not compossible with our having the free will required for moral responsibility – they are incompatibilists – but they resist the reasons for determinism and claim that we do possess free will of this kind. They advocate the libertarian position. Hard determinists are also incompatibilists, but they accept that determinism is true and that we lack the sort of free will required for moral responsibility. Source and leeway theories, and the notions of incompatibilism and libertarianism, are discussed.
This chapter is a philosophical discussion of the relationship between love and economics. Because problems like the gender wage gap are analyzed through economic reasoning but also involve relations like love, and because economic methods are increasingly used to address a wide range of domains including family life, this relationship is important to understand. On the face of it, there is a tension between love, which is often thought to essentially involve caring and other-regarding preferences and attitudes, and the self-interestedness characteristic of neoclassical models of human behavior. The article analyzes various attempts to finesse the difficulty, such as Gary Becker’s characterization of altruism in terms of interdependent utility functions and Ann Cudd’s distinction between self-interestedness and selfishness, then draws on philosophical literature to examine implications of various approaches.
Eric Racine and Veljko Dubljević
This article reviews different points of interest in neuroethics. These are exemplified by the three broad areas of neuroscience research—neuroimaging, neuropharmacology, and neurostimulation—and the major ethical questions with which they are associated. It considers primary research in neuroscience, ethics, and philosophy and identifies some important questions meriting further attention, primarily in the context of healthcare but also beyond, in the broad areas of education, business, and the military. A heavily debated trend, that of the enhancement use of neuropharmaceuticals and neurostimulation devices, is also discussed, especially in relationship to cognitive enhancement and neuroethics. In addition, emerging forms of neurostimulation are considered with respect to effectiveness and ethics.
Gareth B. Matthews
This article questions the contributions of developmental psychology to the philosophical understanding of the various cognitive dimensions of education. It discusses Jean Piaget's theory about childhood and evaluates how philosophical thinking might fit into the Piagetian picture of cognitive development. It suggests that we should not allow developmental psychology to structure completely our conception of our children or our relationship with them. It stresses the need to get beyond a deficit conception of childhood by learning to hear what our children have to say and engaging with them in genuinely philosophical discussions.
Freud’s reflections on death and the death drive form a proper part of political philosophy. If the idea of a self-governing polis requires that citizens maintain a set of social bonds, then the threat to social bonds also threatens the possibility of self-rule. Freud identifies a destructive impulse or drive as part of the human psyche, clarifying that it has the specific capacity to destroy social bonds. This chapter considers the importance of ambivalence as a permanent feature of love relations and those social relations that form the basis of political life. It argues that a political effort to counter destruction must call upon the resources of melancholia, including the manic refusal of tyranny and a normalizing reality principle. Defending the idea of militant pacifism, the argument here suggests that aggression can be—and must be—part of the strategy against violence and the sustainable future of political life.
Michael Lacewing and Richard G.T. Gipps
This introduction provides an overview of the four chapters in this section, which explores the link between psychoanalysis and social and political theory. Each chapter examines or advocates radical change; the first appeals to psychoanalytic ideas to support radicalism concerning the basis of war and pacifism; the second deals with the organization of education; the third argues for change in psychoanalytic theory and practice by emphasizing socially radical ideas on gender; and the fourth traces the origins of radical thinking in psychoanalysis to ‘Jewish modernity’. Also discussed are Sigmund Freud’s Civilization, which addresses the nature of social oppression and its internalization in the superego; how society imposes normative social categories in the formation of human individuals; the role of anxiety and of defences against anxiety; contemporary populism in relation to the role of a leader and changing social expressions of inegalitarianism; and how best to contain human destructiveness.
This chapter is concerned with the contribution that psychoanalysis has made to progressive political thought. It argues that despite, alongside, or in tension with the more conservative, psychologically ‘reductive’ side of psychoanalytic politics, there is a very challenging radical strand. On the whole, once the Berlin Institute of Psychoanalysis was destroyed by Nazism, it found its strongholds outside the main psychoanalytic movement, for example in the works of philosophers and social theorists from Herbert Marcuse to Judith Butler; and this is one of the issues that needs to be addressed as part of the question of whether this radicalism is truly ‘psychoanalytic’. Starting with Freud, and taking seriously the contribution of social theorists influenced by Klein and Lacan, the chapter suggests that psychoanalysis offers a vocabulary for, and orientation towards, subjectivity that is not otherwise highly developed in political thought.
In a series of recent papers, Hubert Dreyfus offers an elegant elucidation and defence of Merleau-Ponty’s view of agency, bringing it to the attention of theorists working in a number of different fields. However, there is a central problem with Dreyfus’s account: he places too little importance on the role of thought in human action. This paper raises some difficulties for Dreyfus, before offering a suggestion for understanding the role of thought in action within a Merleau-Pontyian framework.