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kathleen vaughan wilkes (1946–2003)
1. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
Dunja Jutronić Introduction
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2. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
Nada Bruer Ljubišić Kathy Wilkes at the Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik: Philosophy, Courage, and Much More
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The text presents the activities of Dr. Kathleen Vaughan Wilkes, a philosopher from the University of Oxford in the Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik (IUC) from the beginning of the 1980s to the end of the millennium. Dr. Wilkes was co-directing the longest standing IUC course Philosophy of Science, but she also initiated other IUC academic programmes. As a member of the IUC governing bodies, she was highly engaged in securing scholarships for participants from Central and East Europe in IUC programmes, mostly through Open Society Foundation. Dr. Wilkes played a crucial role in spreading information from the city of Dubrovnik during the attacks of the Yugoslav People's Army in 1991 and during Croatian’s struggle for independence, for which she was awarded honorary citizenship and posthumously one of the squares was named after her.
3. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
Paul Flather Memories of Dubrovnik’s Global Citizen—Kathy Wilkes
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This is a personal memoir about the life, work and courage of Professor Kathleen Wilkes, a Fellow in Philosophy for 30 years at St Hilda’s College, Oxford University. The article traces—and sets out to explain—particularly her links to Dubrovnik and Croatia and the Inter–University Centre since 1981, and supported strongly through the 1980s and even during the 1990s, remaining on site during the cruel siege of the city when the IUC suffered a devastating fire. Three key aspects of her life are explored—her work as a significant philosopher of science; her outstanding courage and work in defending academic freedom widely over the East Central European region, and her warm personality and generous friendship. This is why she can be regarded as Dubrovnik’s Global Citizen, the IUC was only too ready and willing to host this conference in her honour.
4. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
Denis Noble Kathy Wilkes, Teleology, and the Explanation of Behaviour
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Kathy Wilkes contributed to two books on Goal-directed Behaviour and Modelling the Mind based on interdisciplinary graduate classes at Oxford during the 1980s. In this article, I assess her contributions to those discussions. She championed the school of philosophers who prefer problem dissolution to problem-solution. She also addressed the problem of realism in psychology. But the contribution that has turned out to be most relevant to subsequent work was her idea that in modelling the mind, we might need to “use as structural elements synthetic cells, or things that behaved very like neurones.” I show how this idea has been developed in my own recent work with zoologist and neuroscientist, Raymond Noble, to become a possible physiological basis for the ability of organisms to choose between alternative actions, and so become active agents. I consider that this insight became her seminal contribution in this field.
5. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
Dunja Jutronić Intentions and Their Role in (the Explanation of) Language Change
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The primary aim of this article is to find out what different linguists say about the role of intentions in the study and explanations of language change. I try to investigate if in the explanation of language change, “having an intention” does any explanatory work. If intentions play a role, how do they do it, at which point it is salutary to invoke them, and what do they contribute to the explanation of language change? My main claim is that speakers’ intentions have a role to play only on higher linguistic levels, i.e., in speakers’ communicative strategies. Since this is a celebration for Kathy Wilkes and her contribution to goal-directed behaviour, in the Concluding remarks I go back to her remarks on language and intentions and see how they fit my discussion in this paper.
6. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
Patrick Butlin Machine Learning, Functions and Goals
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Machine learning researchers distinguish between reinforcement learning and supervised learning and refer to reinforcement learning systems as “agents”. This paper vindicates the claim that systems trained by reinforcement learning are agents while those trained by supervised learning are not. Systems of both kinds satisfy Dretske’s criteria for agency, because they both learn to produce outputs selectively in response to inputs. However, reinforcement learning is sensitive to the instrumental value of outputs, giving rise to systems which exploit the effects of outputs on subsequent inputs to achieve good performance over episodes of interaction with their environments. Supervised learning systems, in contrast, merely learn to produce better outputs in response to individual inputs.
7. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
Chiara Brozzo Ascribing Proto-Intentions: Action Understanding as Minimal Mindreading
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How do we understand other individuals’ actions? Answers to this question cluster around two extremes: either by ascribing to the observed individual mental states such as intentions, or without ascribing any mental states. Thus, action understanding is either full-blown mindreading, or not mindreading. An intermediate option is lacking, but would be desirable for interpreting some experimental findings. I provide this intermediate option: actions may be understood by ascribing to the observed individual proto-intentions. Unlike intentions, proto-intentions are subject to context-bound normative constraints, therefore being more widely available across development. Action understanding, when it consists in proto-intention ascription, can be a minimal form of mindreading.
8. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
Nenad Miščević Imagining the Ring of Gyges: The Dual Rationality of Thought-Experimenting
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In her already classical criticism of thought-experimenting, Kathy Wilkes points to superficialities in the most famous moral-political thought-experiments, taking the Ring of Gyges as her central example. Her critics defend the Ring by discussing possible variations in the scenario(s) imagined. I propose here that the debate points to a significant dual structure of thought experiments. Their initial presentation(s) mobilize the immediate, cognitively not very impressive imaginative and reflective efforts both of the proponent and the listener of the proposal. The further debate, like the one exemplified by Wilkes’s criticisms and some of the answers, appeals to a deeper, more rational variety of imagination and reasoning. I suggest that this duality is typical for moral and political thought experimenting in general, conjecture that it might be extended to the whole area of thought experimenting.
9. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
Cristiano Castelfranchi Purposiveness of Human Behavior: Integrating Behaviorist and Cognitivist Processes/Models
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We try not just to reconcile but to “integrate” Cognitivism and Behaviorism by a theory of different forms of purposiveness in behavior and mind. This also implies a criticism of the Dual System theory and a claim on the strong interaction and integration of Sist1 (automatic) and Sist2 (deliberative), based on reasons, preferences, and decisions. We present a theory of different kinds of teleology. Mere “functions” of the behavior: finalism not represented in the mind of the agent, not “regulating” the behavior. Two kinds of teleological mental representations: true “Goals” in control-theory, cybernetic view, with “goal-driven” behavior (intentional action); vs. Expectations in Anticipatory Classifiers: a reactive but anticipatory device, explaining the “instrumental” (finalistic) nature of Skinner’s reinforcement learning. We present different kinds of Goals and goal processing and on this ground the theory of what “intentions” are. On such basis, we can discuss Kathy Wilkes’s hint about the necessarily linguistic formulation of “intentions”; with the hypothesis that her intuition is not correct for any kind on “intention” which may be represented in sensory-motor format, but correct for “volition” and our will-strength for socially influencing ourselves.
book review
10. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
Ante Debeljuh Jessica Brown, Fallibilism: Evidence and Knowledge
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11. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
Table of Contents of Vol. XXI
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fact, fiction and narration
12. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Iris Vidmar Jovanović Introduction
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13. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Derek Matravers Non-Fictions and Narrative Truths
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This paper starts from the fact that the study of narrative in contemporary Anglo-American philosophy is almost exclusively the study of fictional narrative. It returns to an earlier debate in which Hayden White argued that “historiography is a form of fiction-making”. Although White’s claims are hyperbolical, the paper argues that he was correct to stress the importance of the claim that fiction and non-fiction use “the same techniques and strategies”. A distinction is drawn between properties of narratives that are simply properties of narratives and properties of narratives that play a role in forming readers’ beliefs about the world. Using this distinction, it is shown that it is an important feature of nonfictions that they are narratives; it is salutary to recognise non-fictions as being more like fictions than they are like the events they represent.
14. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Wolfgang Huemer Fictional Narrative and the Other’s Perspective
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Anti-cognitivism is best understood as a challenge to explain how works of fictional narrative can add to our worldly knowledge. One way to respond to this challenge is to argue that works of fictional narrative add to our knowledge by inviting us to explore, in the imagination, the perspectives or points of view of others. In the present paper, I distinguish two readings of this thesis that reflect two very different conceptions of “perspective”: a first understanding focuses on what the world looks like from a subjective point of view. Within this framework, we can distinguish approaches that focus on the subjective character of experience from others that explore the nature of subjectivity. I will argue that both strands can be successful only if they acknowledge the de se character of imagining. The second conception understands perspective as a method of representing. To illustrate it, I will look back to the invention of linear perspective in Renaissance painting. I will argue that the definition of perspective as a rule-guided method or technique can shed new light on the thesis that works of narrative fiction are particularly suited to display other perspectives.
15. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Małgorzata Hołda Space, Dwelling, and (Be)longingness: Virginia Woolf’s Art of Narration
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The supple and ever-present search for the possibilities offered by the narrative form in fictional writing corresponds to the use of the narrative as a mode of understanding and explaining our being-in-the-world in philosophy. The intimate liaison between the realm of fictional imagination and that of human everydayness inspires writers to seek ways to tackle issues of temporality, the conflicting character of human drives, and the ultimately unresolvable tension between finitude and infinitude. As a literary and philosophical category, the narrative remains an inexhaustible space for the exploration of the way we understand our lives. I propose a hermeneutic investigation of the interactions between the art of narration and the categories of space, presence/absence, and (be)longingness as evoked in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. This article engages Martin Heidegger’s hermeneutics of facticity, and, more specifically, his notions of homelessness and homecoming, to shed light on the inimitable character of Woolf’s artistic representations of the spatial dimension of human existence, reality viewed as both tremulous and solid, as well as of human embodiment and the disparity/closeness between the corporeal and the spiritual.
16. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Enrico Terrone Observers and Narrators in Fiction Film
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In the debate on our engagement with and appreciation of fiction films, the thesis that the viewer of a fiction film imagines observing fictional events, and the thesis that these events are imagined to be presented by a narrator, are usually taken as two components of one theoretical package, which philosophers such as George Wilson and Jerrold Levison defend, while philosophers such as Gregory Currie and Berys Gaut reject. This paper argues that the two theses can be disentangled and investigates their logical connection. The investigation shows that the second thesis entails the first but there is no entailment the other way around. Endorsing the first thesis is thus compatible with two options, namely endorsing the second thesis or abandoning it. However, the paper argues that if we endorse the first thesis, endorsing the second provides us with a more compelling explanation of our engagement with and appreciation of fiction films.
17. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Caterina Piccione Fiction and the Real World: The Aesthetic Experience of Theatre
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In what sense can aesthetic experience be considered an opportunity for the development of personal identity, cognitive abilities, and emotions? Theatre proves to be an important field of investigation to approach this question. During a theatrical experience, the connection between fiction and reality can take the form of active cooperation between author, actor, and spectator. A better understanding of this point can be drawn by pointing out three kinds of spectator: we can distinguish a critical spectator, an emotional spectator, and an instinctual spectator, who respectively represent: the imaginative and hermeneutic attitude; empathy and fictional emotions; the unconscious satisfaction of drives. So far, a parallel can be established between literature and theatre. However, these two aesthetic experiences are profoundly different: the type of immersion provided by the theatrical experience differs from reading, because the presence of the characters is physical and actual. The pragmatic theatrical framework is the same as that which underlies childhood games. This means that the public too is to some extent called to play, i.e. to act. To appreciate the implications of this thesis, a preliminary analysis of the performance Reality (Deflorian and Tagliarini 2012) is offered, examining how its experience contributes to the development of the spectating subject.
18. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Daniele Molinari Thought Experiments as Social Practice and the Clash of Imaginers
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In the last few years, several philosophers have highlighted the social dimension of imagination. In this paper I argue that thought experiments prompt social uses of imaginings if we understand them as props in games of make-believe. In prescribing to imagine stories that develop through fictional narratives, authors of thought experiments prompt their readers to engage in the same imaginative project—at least in its salient aspects—and to endorse their conclusions. Contributions on this topic focus on cases where coordination across imaginers is immediately successful. However, this is not the end of the story. I draw attention to situations where this is not the case, as the practice of thought experimentation often proceeds through criticism, rejections, and amendments. I focus on cases where imaginers do not endorse the conclusion proposed by the author of a thought experiment and either (i) fully reject the principles of generation, (ii) draw different fictional truths from the same principles, or (iii) amend the principles. Although cases of imaginative disharmony are usually dismissed as failures, I acknowledge them as fruitful steps in the cognitive advancement achievable by thought experiments. Cooperative imaginers challenge the rules of the game in meaningful ways, which leads to enhancing fictional scenarios and framing them through different perspectives.
19. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Washington Morales Maciel Undecidable Literary Interpretations and Aesthetic Literary Value
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Literature has been philosophically understood as a practice in the last thirty years, which involves “modes of utterance” and stances, not intrinsic textual properties. Thus, the place for semantics in philosophical inquiry has clearly diminished. Literary aesthetic appreciation has shifted its focus from aesthetic realism, based on the study of textual features, to ways of reading. Peter Lamarque’s concept of narrative opacity is a clear example of this shift. According to the philosophy of literature, literature, like any other art form, does not compel us to engage realistically with it. Against this trend, this paper argues for the distinction between two kinds of opacity, defending textual opacity as a necessary condition for literary opacity. In this sense, examples in literary criticism properly illustrate not a peripheral role of meaning in literary appreciation, but arbitrariness in interpretation, which involves semantic concerns. So the assumed interest in the specific ways in which literature embeds meaning in fictional narrative works.
20. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Carola Barbero Notes On Reading
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Reading starts with the act of perception and rapidly moves into an area concerning the recognition of written words. Word recognition consists of two aspects (functioning simultaneously and working in parallel): the phonological—converting groups of letters into sounds—and the lexical—giving access to a mental dictionary of the meaning of words. But what does the act of reading consist of? According to Peter Kivy, there is a parallel between reading texts and reading scores. And what about the reasons for reading? When we read, we are not just interested in understanding what the signs stand for, but we also activate memory, perception, problem-solving, and reasoning, and our attention is also devoted to identifying those characteristics of texts which help categorize them as works of a specific genre. Readers play a central role: without them and their activity, there would be nothing but a page of black spots. As they read and understand, readers propositionally imagine what is written and, at a further level, they may also imagine objectually and simulatively. These objects come into being thanks to the words that we imagine are similar to what Roman Ingarden sees as a skeleton, needing the experience of reading to be appropriately concretized.