Browse by:

Adam Smith on Sensory Perception: A Sympathetic Account

The aim of this chapter is to propose an account of sensory perception from the known writings of Adam Smith, chiefly his juvenile work, “On the External Senses.” This account asserts that when we perceive an object we simulate its painful or pleasurable effects on our body—we imaginatively place ourselves in proximity to the object and…

Indulgent Sympathy and the Impartial Spectator

Cognitive neuroscience is in the midst of what has been called an “affective revolution,” which places empathy at the center of a core set of moral competencies. While empathy has not been without its critics (Bloom, 2013; Prinz, 2011), both the radicals and the reactionaries routinely cite Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS)…

Why I Am Not a Buddhist

Due in January of 2020. For more on Evan’s work see his website. There are conferences, courses, and celebrities promoting the notion that Buddhism is spirituality for the rational; compatible with cutting-edge science; indeed, “a science of the mind.” In this provocative book, Evan Thompson argues that this representation of Buddhism is false. BuddhismconsciousnessEmbodied cognitive…

The ant colony as a test for scientific theories of consciousness

This in Synthese freely available here. We introduce the Ant Colony Test (ACT) as a rigorous reverse test for consciousness. We show that social insect colonies, though disaggregated collectives, fulfill many of the prerequisites for conscious awareness met by humans and honey bee workers. However only a small fraction of neurons in the brain might be…