Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Can superblindsight come true ?!

Completely blind man shows 'blindsight' by navigating obstacle course
by Rich Bowden - Dec 23 2008, 02:23

A completely blind man has amazed researchers by successfully navigating a simple obstacle course without the assistance of a blind aid such as a cane.

Known only as TN, the man was completely blinded after he suffered damage from strokes yet despite lacking any vision -- a fact confirmed by brain scans -- he continues to react to such things as changes in people's facial expressions.

Known as "blindsight", TN is able to detect people and obstacles in his close environment using intuition instead of sight.

To prove the existence of the phenomena, scientists at the Harvard Medical School, US, and the University of Tilberg in the Netherlands, constructed a simple obstacle course which TN was able to navigate "flawlessly" according to the scientists.

The subject was "not aware of doing anything exceptional" according to lead researcher Dr Beatrice de Gelder of Tilburg University and believed he had only walked straight ahead along a long corridor.

"You can experience a total loss of your cortical vision but still retain some capacity to move around inside and out without damage to yourself," she told the BBC.

"It shows us the importance of these evolutionary ancient visual paths. They contribute more than we think they do for us to function in the real world."

Experts believe "blindsight" is the manifestation of a subconscious ability human beings have to recognise things in our environment despite not being able to see them.
神奇盲視力 障礙群自在遊走







Tuesday, December 23, 2008

心智哲學研究所 98學年度碩士班招生資訊


陽明大學 心智哲學研究所
Institute of Philosophy of Mind and Cognition

陽明大學心智哲學研究所 跨領域招生中!
哲學與腦科學領域相輔相成 了解心智問題的核心

日期:12/30 (二) 下午2:00-4:00

考試科目:1. 邏輯 2. 心靈哲學


洪裕宏 教授/所長 美國印第安那大學哲學與認知科學博士
王文方 教授 美國愛荷華大學哲學博士
Thomas Benda 助理教授 德國慕尼黑大學哲學博士

曾志朗 神經科學研究所合聘教授
洪洲伯 神經科學研究所助理教授
謝仁俊 腦科學研究所教授
傅大為 科技與社會研究所教授
王文基 科技與社會研究所助理教授

Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness
Center for Consciousness Studies, University of Arizona
Center for Consciousness Studies, Australia National University

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference on Consciousness 2009

C A L L  F O R  P A P E R  A B S T R A C T S
With Keynote Speakers
Alva Noë and Giulio Tononi
April 24 - 25, 2009

Please note: the deadline for abstracts has been extended to February 1st, 2009!

Boston University is hosting the first interdisciplinary graduate conference on consciousness studies
from April 24-25, 2009. The purpose of the meeting is to promote interdisciplinary dialogue in
the academic study of consciousness among interested graduate students working in 

philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, computer science

and other relevant disciplines. Graduate students are invited to submit anonymized abstracts presenting new empirical findings or novel theoretical approaches of 500 to 1,000 words to by 

February 1st, 2009

All abstracts should be accompanied by a separate cover page in .doc or .pdf format
with the subject "abstract submission." Please indicate the paper's topic from the following list:
methodological investigations, models of consciousness, artificial intelligence, sensory modalities,
attention, memory, awareness, emotion, the self, self-consciousness, evolutionary consciousness,
neuroethical implications, illusions, sleep, animal cognitition, or other (please specify). The full length
version of each paper will be collected following acceptance.

Although hotel accommodation will not be provided for graduate participants by the conference, we will 
do our best to provide suitable housing for the duration of each speaker's stay, as well as providing 
refreshments during the conference, a reception, and a formal dinner. 

As this is an interdisciplinary conference, papers are expected to be relevant and accessible to
researchers of consciousness in any field. On that note, partnerships (or multi-authored papers)
with members in different fields are especially encouraged.

The website should be available soon:
If you have any questions, contact

Workshop on Neuroscience and Ethics

Paul Churchland 的老婆 Patricia Churchland,
另外還有Owen Flanagan(Flanagan耶!)、Neil Levy即將來台。大家要不要組團參加?


台灣基因體醫學國家型計畫 ELSI 研究中心為推動國內有關晚近神經科學
外著名學者 Owen Flanagan、Patricia Churchland 和 Neil Levy 來台同

Professor Flanagan 現為杜克大學哲學與神經生物學講座教授(James B.
Duke Chair, Professor of Philosophy, Duke University, Joint
appointments in the Departments of Neurobiology and Psychology;
Author of The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material World,
MIT Press, 2007)。

Professor Churchland 現為美國總統生命倫理委員會委員、加州大學哲學
系講座教授、美國麥克阿瑟基金會天才獎得主(Member of US President's
Council on Bioethics; UC Presidential Chair in Philosophy; MacArthur
Foundation Research Fellow Genius Award)。

Professor Levy 現為牛津大學神經倫理研究中心主任、澳洲墨爾本大學應
用哲學與公共倫理研究中心資深研究員(Director, Oxford Centre for
Neuroethics; Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Applied Philosophy
and Public Ethics, University of Melbourne; Journal of Neuroethics,
Main Editor; Author of Neuroethics: Challenges for the 21st Century,
Cambridge University Press, 2007)。

本次演講題目為 Neuroscience and Ethics: The Good, the Bad, and the
Brain。時間訂於 2009 年 1 月 6 日(星期二)下午 2:30 在行政院國家




Monday, December 15, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Guidelines to writing a philosophical paper

早上八點半,我剛打完最新的sample paper
開始一連串戲劇性的不幸 一路搞到中午。


"A good philosophy paper is modest and makes a small point; but it makes that point clearly and straightforwardly, and it offers good reasons in support of it

People very often attempt to accomplish too much in a philosophy paper. The usual result of this is a paper that's hard to read, and which is full of inadequately defended and poorly explained claims. So don't be over-ambitious. Don't try to establish any earth-shattering conclusions in your 5-6 page paper. Done properly, philosophy moves at a slow pace."


"Philosophical problems and philosophical writing require careful and extended reflection. Don't wait until two or three nights before the paper is due to begin. That is very stupid. Writing a good philosophy paper takes a great deal of preparation."

Some brainless but useful stuff:


  • because, since, given this argument
  • thus, therefore, hence, it follows that, consequently
  • nevertheless, however, but
  • in the first case, on the other hand

Links for Budding Philosophers

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tips on writing philosophy papers

Tips on writing philosophy papers

Experimental Philosophy

Experimental Philosophy Friendly Departments for Undergraduate Consideration

PhD Programs
1. Rutgers University, New Brunswick
2. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
3. Princeton University
4. University of Pittsburgh (History and Philosophy of Science Department; not the Philosophy Department)
5. Harvard University
6. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
7. University of Arizona
8. University of California, San Diego
9. Indiana University, Bloomington
10. University of Pennsylvania
11. University of California, Riverside
12. Carnegie Melon University
13. Washington University, St. Louis
14. Florida State University
15. University of Utah

M.A. Programs
1. Georgia State University

Ranking is based on Brian Leiter’s philosophical gourmet report found here:

For details go here:
And here:

At Philosophy of Brains:

Recent Advice (9/17/07):

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

12/10 晚上播電影"Michael Collins"!

我借了一部電影"Michael Collins (豪情本色)"

The New York Times的電影介紹& review:

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008


今天Terry提到了當年Amartya Sen (1998經濟諾貝爾獎得主)反對utilitarianism的社會主張:
每個人要有可以(這邊的可以是指"capable of")達到最高自由度的權利, 可以決定自己和社會該怎麼發展的自由. 這是他Freedom as development的核心理論: 社會的發展目標應該是讓所有人都具有可以追求最高自由度的可能性. 拼經濟原始的目的也在提高自由度(金錢越多可以做的事情越多), 但是只注重經濟的發展而不注重其他重要環節的發展(如環保, 教育, 醫療等), 就本末倒置了, 反而可能讓每個人的自由度下降.

Terry以Sen的理論回覆Milk+的utilitarianism主張: 要追求豬的快樂也可以, 但是至少是我在選擇過後決定要做豬的快樂的! (說實在話那個在駭客任務中最後選擇要回到母體裡面去的技術人員他也是在有了自由度後才選擇回到母體的, 只要能夠在回到母體後消除他原本知道母體外世界這件事的記憶和知識, 他就滿意了. 這是他在有知的情況下選擇做無知, 並非他原本無知就很好, 不然他當初幹麻要跳出母體, 還不是在有一天有知時憤恨自己曾經無知?)

我相信Milk+應該非常能夠接受以下的結果: 雖然我"有知"並且有"選擇權"後, 仍然"可以選擇做快樂的無知者(也就是選擇後做記憶和知識的消除) " 那麼就不反對讓無知的人變得有知並且有選擇權.

我設想你是可以接受這種情況的, 你知所以反對強在快樂的無知者身上灌有知, 只是因為他之後沒有辦法再度選擇無知這個選項罷了.

這樣你應該可以不持utilitarian的主張, 也贊成Terry的主張了吧?

那既然每個人都該有知的權利, only if他的選項也包含了回到無知, 你可能會問要怎麼回到無知?
如果這個問題沒有辦法解決, 那麼"知的權利"似乎就有點shaky了.

我個人認為, 這樣的話如果開發出一種藥物可以讓人失憶, 或者自殺, 都應該要核准個體可以自由使用, 因為最高的自由度應該包含結束自己的生命或者選擇無知的選項.

至於在開發出這種藥物之前, 雖然"讓人有知"並不能夠提高自由度到"可以選擇無知" 但是至少可以高到"有alternative選項." 不過, 如果你身在連其他alternative都決定不可行, 連走出去抗議或者發聲的自由都沒有(一但要出門抗議就會自動被電擊之類的)的超級極權世界, 有知確實不能提高自由度, 只是徒增痛苦.

不過只要世界不是這樣, 只要可以有自由度在, 那麼就算不能夠選擇無知, 我也覺得還是要能夠盡量有知, 才能夠有選擇的能力, 才能夠選擇自己可以更快樂的. 也就是說就因為無法選擇無知而消滅掉所有的選擇權, 那真是throwing the baby out with the bath water.

不過我想想, Milk+可能還是認為...
例如說駭客任務的技術人員他想要回到母體, 結果發現母體竟然他X的被Neo給毀掉了, 那麼...
這是一件非常幹的事情, 幹到寧願不要有任何的選擇權.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Great Global Warming Swindle

  影片共有九個部分,下面是第一部分。看到政治的那一段,讓我想起之前洪老大批fMRI……XD 我個人相信,願意挺身而出,反對「沒有證據的暖化」的科學家與非科學學者將會越來越多。因此我把影片貼在這裡,另外,也推薦《暖化,別鬧了!》這本書(雖然個人覺得讀起來有點硬……XD)。

Monday, December 01, 2008

2008 歐洲魅影 @ 陽明

陽明藝文中心 歐洲魅影頁面