Theories in cognitive science, and especially cognitive neuroscience, often claim that parts of cognitive systems are reused for different cognitive functions. Philosophical analysis of this concept, however, is rare. Here, I first provide a set of criteria for an analysis of reuse, and then I analyze reuse in terms of the functions of subsystems. I also discuss how cognitive systems execute cognitive functions, the relation between learning and reuse, and how to differentiate reuse from related concepts like multi-use, redundancy, and duplication of parts. Finally, I illustrate how my account captures the reuse of dynamical subsystems as unveiled by recent research in cognitive neurobiology. This recent research suggests two different evolutionary justifications for reuse claims.
Jürgen Habermas’ work ranges across critical theory, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, the philosophy of science, citizenship, and democracy, religion, and psychoanalysis, forging new paradigms and engaging with other key thinkers. Habermas: A Guide for the Perplexed is the ideal starting point for anyone studying Habermas. It follows Habermas’s critical and philosophical project through all the stages of its development – the early critical theory, the linguistic turn, communicative action and discourse ethics, the theory of deliberative democracy-building up a complete overview of his work, and offering close and incisive analysis throughout.
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A wide range of issues besieges women globally, including economic exploitation, sexist oppression, racial, ethnic, and caste oppression, and cultural imperialism. This book builds a feminist social justice framework from practices of women’s activism in India to understand and work to overcome these injustices. The feminist social justice framework provides an alternative to mainstream philosophical frameworks that promote global gender justice: for example, universal human rights, economic projects such as microfinance, and cosmopolitanism. McLaren demonstrates that these frameworks are bound by a commitment to individualism and an abstract sense of universalism that belies their root neo-liberalism. Arguing that these frameworks emphasize individualism over interdependence, similarity over diversity, and individual success over collective capacity, McLaren draws on the work of Rabindranath Tagore to develop the concept of relational cosmopolitanism.
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What are our responsibilities in the face of injustice? How far should we go to fight it? Many would argue that as long as a state is nearly just, citizens have a moral duty to obey the law. Proponents of civil disobedience generally hold that, given this moral duty, a person needs a solid justification to break the law. But activists from Henry David Thoreau and Mohandas Gandhi to the Movement for Black Lives have long recognized that there are times when, rather than having a duty to obey the law, we have a duty to disobey it. Taking seriously the history of this activism, A Duty to Resist wrestles with the problem of political obligation in real-world societies that harbor injustice. Candice Delmas argues that the duty of justice, the principle of fairness, the Samaritan duty, and political association impose responsibility to resist under conditions of injustice. We must expand the political obligation to include a duty to resist unjust laws and social conditions even in legitimate states. For Delmas, this duty to resist demands principled disobedience, and such disobedience need not always be civil. At times, covert, violent, evasive, or offensive acts of lawbreaking can be justified, even required. Delmas defends the viability and necessity of illegal assistance to undocumented migrants, leaks of classified information, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, sabotage, armed self-defense, guerrilla art, and other modes of resistance. There are limits: principle alone does not justify lawbreaking. But uncivil disobedience can sometimes be not only permissible but required in the effort to resist injustice.
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The rise of neuroplasticity has led to new fields of study about the relationship between social inequalities and neurobiology, including investigations into the “neuroscience of poverty.” The neural phenotype of poverty proposed in recent neuroscientific research emerges out of classed, gendered, and racialized inequalities that not only affect bodies in material ways but also shape scientific understandings of difference. An intersectional, socio-material approach is needed to grasp the implications of neuroscientific research that aims to both produce and repair neurobiological differences. Following Benjamin’s critique of the “carceral imagination” of technoscience, this article considers how such research may fix in terms of helping, or in contrast, fix by classifying and reifying, vulnerable subjects. I address the potential for biosocial determinism in linking neural phenotypes and social problems. I use an intersectional approach to consider the presence and absence of race in this body of research and explore how some methodological and conceptual framings of the “brain on poverty” mark poor and minority children for intervention in concert with neoliberal approaches to poverty.
Music reward sensitivity relies on fronto-striatal circuits, McGill study finds.
A new study by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University in Canada reveals that it’s possible to increase or decrease someone’s enjoyment of music by enhancing or disrupting certain brain circuits using a non-invasive technique called “transcranial magnetic stimulation” (TMS).