Volume 25, Number 2, Spring
A currently popular form of psychological externalism takes the causal–evolutionary history of a person to be determinant of that person’s intentional content. Two challenges bearing on the feasibility of this doctrine are outlined and discussed: the problems of functional indeterminacy and the psychological non-status of Davidson’s (1998) Swampman. Using Schank and Abelson’s (1977) script construct, a division of intentionality into an aboutness component (conceived causally–evolutionarily) and a directedness component (defined with the help of the mathematical notion of an equivalence class) is introduced.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Mazen M. Guirguis, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, Kwantlen University College, 12666-72nd Avenue, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada V3W 2M8. Email: Mazen.Guirguis@kwantlen.ca
This article is in large part an exposition and interpretation of the Woodruff Smith intrinsic-theoretical account of inner awareness. And, it is propaedeutic to considering, subsequently in the present series, the first of six theses regarding inner awareness that Kriegel defended in a recently published issue of this journal. Included here, as well, is some of the relevant background about intrinsic theory and other theories of inner awareness. Kriegel defended his first thesis with special critical reference to phenomenologist Woodruff Smith’s theory, and maintained that, on the contrary, a conscious mental-occurrence instance presents itself, too: albeit secondarily, in the sense of its receiving less attention than does its primary object (e.g., the sun). Woodruff Smith conceived of inner awareness — the apprehension that one immediately has, as they take place, of many of one’s mental-occurrence instances — to be part of the modality of presentation of a mental-occurrence instance’s primary object. That is, the inner awareness intrinsic to a conscious mental-occurrence instance “modifies” (or “qualifies”) the (sole) presentation in that mental-occurrence instance. I would like to put it for Woodruff Smith that inner awareness is the reflexive way in which a conscious mental-occurrence instance is an awareness of its primary object — as the latter’s being, inter alia, an object of this conscious mental-occurrence instance. However, his conception includes that every conscious mental-occurrence instance possesses a “phenomenal quality” — which amounts to the instance’s appearing in the mind — and inner awareness is awareness of this appearance. This seems to mean a conscious mental-occurrence instance, too, is presented therein, contrary to both (a) that the presentation in any mental-occurrence instance is just of its primary object and (b) that the inner-awareness feature “modifies” the only presentation there is within a conscious mental-occurrence instance.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Thomas Natsoulas, Ph.D., 635 SW Sandalwood Street, Corvallis, Oregon 97333. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This essay posits that psychology’s general lack of respect as a science stems from two related problems: the continued focus on conceptually vague mentalistic constructs and the adherence to a methodology that emphasizes statistical inference over experimental analysis. The lack of a thoroughgoing experimental analysis has so far prevented psychologists from discovering a set of foundational principles thus inhibiting them from being able to predict and control individual behavior. Psychologists can remake their conceptual and methodological foundations by focusing on the relationship between observed behavior and its context and by adopting methods of experimentation that would aid in the discovery of orderly functional relationships. This knowledge could be used to more parsimoniously explain complex behavior, including cognitive phenomena, and to more effectively solve practical problems.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Henry D. Schlinger, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, California State University, Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, California 91330–8255. Email: hschling@ csun.edu
This paper suggests the utility of studying unconscious cognition from a selectionist perspective, specifically as outlined by theory and research in the field of behavior analysis. Currently, issues surrounding the complexity of the unconscious cognitive behaviors, the number of variables involved, and the multidirectional influences of these variables, are of utmost concern to theories of mind and behavior. Unanswered questions about these factors leave us without the ability to predict outcomes in an individual case or adequately manipulate variables in order to alter outcomes. Multiple examples of current work by behavior analysts are suggested as potentially fruitful ways of addressing some of these concerns.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Philip N. Chase, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 6040, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506–6040. Email: email@example.com
Since the publication of a critical review on ADHD neuroimaging in a past issue of this journal (Leo and Cohen, 2003), several relevant studies have appeared, including one study that had a subgroup of unmedicated ADHD children (Sowell, Thompson, Welcome, Henkenius, Toga, and Peterson, 2003). In this update to our earlier review we comment on this last study’s failure to report on the crucial comparison between unmedicated and medicated ADHD subjects. The issue of prior medication exposure in ADHD subjects constitutes a serious confound in this body of research, and still continues to be dismissed and willfully obscured by researchers in this field.
Request for reprints should be sent to Jonathan Leo, Ph.D., Department of Anatomy, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Bradenton, 5000 Lakewood Ranch Blvd, Bradenton, Florida 34211. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; David Cohen may be reached at David.Cohen@fiu.edu