lf addiction is the disease of the epoch, women are its greatest victims. Not only are they the population most affected by this “disease,” the campaigns and treatments designed to treat women’s addictions are both ineffective and (worse) demonstrably sexist, racist, and misogynist (Greaves, 1996). This paper situates the hermeneutics of (the disease of) addiction and the analysis of appropriate treatments for this “disease” within the broader social and historical contexts that shape gendered paradigms of health and the “healthy free (...) will” (Sedgwick). Following contemporary work in the Humanities, the Social Sciences and the Arts (Greaves, Sedgwick, Hutcheon, Klein, et al.), I shall investigate the ways in which cultural and philosophical systems of representation and social, political and economic systems ofinequality contribute to interlacing often contradictory paradigms of dependency and independency. I shall close with some solutions that utilize a number of faculties to be found in art, literature, and culture.Si la dépendance est le mal du siècle, les femmes en sont les plus grandes victimes. Non seulement forment elles la population la plus touchée par cette “maladie”, mais les traitements destinés à les libérer de leurs dépendances sont à la fois inefficaces et (pis encore) sexistes, racistes et misogyne (Greaves, 1996). Cet article établira une herméneutique de la (maladie de la) dépendance et analysera destraitements appropriés dans les contextes plus larges de société et d’histoire qui forment des paradigmes sexuels de santé et d’une “saine volonté libre” (Sedgwick). À la suite de travaux contemporains dans les domaines des humanités, des sciences sociales et des arts (Greaves, Sedgwick, Htcheon, Klein, et al), il examinera les façons desquelles les systèmes culturels et philosophiques de représentation, de même que les systèmes social, politique et économique des inégalités, contribuent au lacis des paradigmes de dépendance et d’indépendance, souvent contradictoires. Il terminera avec quelques solutions qui utilisent les possibilités qu’on peut trouver dans les arts, la littérature et la culture. (shrink)
This study presents a substantial and often radical reinterpretation of some of the central themes of Locke's thought. Professor Alexander concentrates on the Essay Concerning Human Understanding and aims to restore that to its proper historical context. In Part I he gives a clear exposition of some of the scientific theories of Robert Boyle, which, he argues, heavily influenced Locke in employing similar concepts and terminology. Against this background, he goes on in Part II to provide an account of (...) Locke's views on the external world and our knowledge of it. He shows those views to be more consistent and plausible than is generally allowed, demonstrating how they make sense and enable scientific explanations of nature. In examining the views of Locke and Boyle together, the book throws new light both on the development of philosophy and the beginnings of modern science, and in particular it makes a considerable and original contribution to our understanding of Locke's philosophy. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Alexander of Aphrodisias’ commentaries on Aristotle’s Organon are valuable sources for both Stoic and early Peripatetic logic, and have often been used as such – in particular for early Peripatetic hypothetical syllogistic and Stoic propositional logic. By contrast, this paper explores the role Alexander himself played in the development and transmission of those theories. There are three areas in particular where he seems to have made a difference: First, he drew a connection between certain passages from Aristotle’s (...) Topics and Prior Analytics and the Stoic indemonstrable arguments, and, based on this connection, appropriated at least four kinds of Stoic indemonstrables as Aristotelian. Second, he developed and made use of a specifically Peripatetic terminology in which to describe and discuss those arguments – which facilitated the integration of the indemonstrables into Peripatetic logic. Third, he made some progress towards a solution to the problem of what place and interpretation the Stoic third indemonstrables should be given in a Peripatetic and Platonist setting. Overall, the picture emerges that Alexander persistently (if not always consistently) presented passages from Aristotle’s logical œuvre in a light that makes it appear as if Aristotle was in the possession of a Peripatetic correlate to the Stoic theory of indemonstrables. (shrink)
John Campbell proposed a so-called simple view of colours according to which colours are categorical properties of the surfaces of objects just as they normally appear to be. I raised an invertion problem for Campbell's view according to which the senses of colour terms fail to match their references, thus rendering those terms meaningless—or so I claimed. Gabriele de Anna defended Campbell's view against my example by contesting two points in particular. Firstly, de Anna claimed that there is (...) no special problem here for the simple view of colours, a similar invertion story could apply to primary qualities terms for shapes. Secondly, de Anna purported to give an account of the senses and references of colour terms in my invertion story which renders the senses and references of those terms mutually consistent. In this paper I contested both of de Anna's claims. Regarding the first, I argue that his imagined invertion of apparent shapes is not epistemically stable, in contrast to the invertion of apparent shapes is not epistemically stable, in contrast to the invertion of apparent colours. Hence the victims of apparently inverted shapes would be able to discover the mismatch of senses and refences of their shape terms, in contrast to the victims of apparent invertions of colours. Regarding the second, I argue that de Anna's account of the victim's colour terms itself uses and not merely mentions so-called colours terms. Hence de Anna' account of them is itself meaningless due to a mismatch of sense and reference. So I conclude that my objection to Campbell's simple view of colours stands. (shrink)
According to Alexander of Aphrodisias, our potential intellect is a purely receptive capacity. Alexander also claims that, in order for us to actualise our intellectual potentiality, the intellect needs to abstract what is intelligible from enmattered perceptible objects. Now a problem emerges: How is it possible for a purely receptive capacity to perform such an abstraction? It will be argued that even though Alexander's reaction to this question causes some tension in his theory, the philosophical motivation for (...) it is a sound one. Rather than a calculation of actualities and potentialities, the doctrine of receptivity is supposed to explain how human beings come to grasp universal aspects of reality in an accurate manner. (shrink)
Group selection is increasingly being viewed as an important force in human evolution. This paper examines the views of R.D. Alexander, one of the most influential thinkers about human behavior from an evolutionary perspective, on the subject of group selection. Alexander's general conception of evolution is based on the gene-centered approach of G.C. Williams, but he has also emphasized a potential role for group selection in the evolution of individual genomes and in human evolution. Alexander's views are (...) internally inconsistent and underestimate the importance of group selection. Specific themes that Alexander has developed in his account of human evolution are important but are best understood within the framework of multilevel selection theory. From this perspective, Alexander's views on moral systems are not the radical departure from conventional views that he claims, but remain radical in another way more compatible with conventional views. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: English translation of the 2nd/3rd century Peripatetic Philosopher's Alexander of Aphrodisias commentary on Aristotle's non-modal syllogistic, i.e. on one of the most influential logical texts of all times. -/- Volume includes introduction on Alexander of Aphrodisias and the early commentators, translation with notes and comments, appendices with a new translation of Aristotle's text, a summary of Aristotle's non-modal syllogistic and textual notes.
Why an emergentist account of subjectivity? On the one hand, emergentism provides a new paradigm to rethink subjectivity beyond any dualism. At the same time, the issue of subjectivity puts a strain on emergentism itself, and pushes it beyond its limits. To show it, in the present paper I address a fundamental question: How can we describe subjectivity from an emergentist perspective? To answer, I will tackle Samuel Alexander’s and Alfred North Whitehead’s emergentist accounts of subjectivity. Alexander locates (...) subjectivity into a consistent emergentist framework, but his model of subjectivity remains grounded in the classical interpretation of subjectivity as mind. Whitehead gives a more innovative model of subjectivity, which implies a radical revision of its temporality and connection to the world, but this leads him beyond emergentism as a whole. (shrink)
Experimental radiobiology represented a long-standing priority for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), but organizational issues initially impeded the laboratory progress of this government-funded work: who would direct such interdisciplinary investigations and how? And should the AEC support basic research or only mission-oriented projects? Alexander Hollaender's vision for biology in the post-war world guided AEC initiatives at Oak Ridge, where he created and presided over the Division of Biology for nearly two decades (1947-1966). Hollaender's scheme, at once entrepreneurial and (...) system-oriented, made good use of the unique resources provided by the AEC and by Oak Ridge's national laboratory setting, while at the same time it restructured wartime research practices to better reflect biologists' own priorities. Because Hollaender offered many academic experimental biologists a way of envisioning military-related patronage as integral - rather than antithetical - to their professional identities, his work provides an important lens through which to examine the early post-war intellectual and institutional development of radiobiology. (shrink)
This volume contains the Arabic translations of a lost treatise by Alexander of Aphrodisias (c. AD 200) "On the Principles of the Universe" with English translation, introduction and commentary. It also includes an Arabic and Syriac glossary. The introduction and commentary deal in detail with the manuscripts, the translators and the exegetical tendencies of the text, as well as with its reception in Arabic philosophy. The main theme of the work is the motion of the heavenly bodies and their (...) influence on the physical world. (shrink)
The Anna Karenina Theory says: all conscious states are alike; each unconscious state is unconscious in its own way. This note argues that many components have to function properly to produce consciousness, but failure in any one of many different ones can yield an unconscious state in different ways. In that sense the Anna Karenina theory is true. But in another respect it is false: kinds of unconsciousness depend on kinds of consciousness.
This is a rewarding book. In terms of area, it has one foot firmly planted in metaphysics and the other just as firmly set in the philosophy of science. Nature's Metaphysics is distinctive for its thorough and detailed defense of fundamental, natural properties as essentially dispositional and for its description of how these dispositional properties are thus suited to sustain the laws of nature as (metaphysically) necessary truths.
“Ex nihilo nihil fit,” goes the classic adage: nothing comes from nothing. Parmenides used the Principle of Sufficient Reason to argue that there was no such thing as change: If there was change, why did it happen when it happened rather than earlier or later? “Nothing happens in vain, but everything for a reason and under necessitation,” claimed Leucippus. Saint Thomas insisted in the..
Alexander James Dallas' An Exposition of the Causes and Character of the War was written as part of an effort by the then US government to explain and justify its declaration of war in 1812. However publication coincided with the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War. The Exposition is especially interesting for the insight it provides into the self-constraint of American foreign policy and of the conduct of a war. The focus is on the foreign (...) policy of the early republic and the related philosophy of law and war. A central idea is that international law should chiefly benefit those remaining at peace. -/- Dallas was a Philadelphian who settled there in 1783, the year of the Peace of Paris which ended the War of Independence, arriving from Jamaica after a British education. He wrote much on law, becoming the first recorder of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He later served as Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and federal district attorney for Eastern Pennsylvania, appointed by President Jefferson. He was appointed Secretary of Treasury by President Madison. -/- In this edition the original text is presented with annotations to help identify persons and events of interest. The editor has also added an Introduction, a Bibliography, a short Chronology of Dallas' life and the events of the War, and an analytical Index. As such this annotated edition presents a key primary source in a manner helpful to research for students of the early Republic. (shrink)
When Alexander Nehamas’s path-breaking, elegantly conceived and executed book, Nietzsche: Life as Literature, first appeared in 1985, the reception of Nietzsche in the Anglo-American philosophical community was still in its initial, hesitant stages, even after the relative success of Walter Kauffmann’s much earlier, 1950 book, Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Anti-Christ, and its postwar “decontamination” of Nietzsche after his appropriation by the Nazis.1 Arthur Danto’s 1964 book, Nietzsche as Philosopher, was also an important if somewhat isolated event, and there finally began (...) to appear in the seventies less well known but high quality secondary literature, like John Wilcox’s 1974 book, Truth and Value in Nietzsche, and Tracy Strong’s 1975 book on Nietzsche and politics, Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration. And when the Routledge “Arguments of the Philosophers” series brought out Richard Schacht’s lengthy 1983 book Nietzsche, the idea that Nietzsche, whatever else he was doing in his books, was making philosophical claims and devising ways to defend them, was becoming more firmly established. Many of the most successful aspects of Nehamas’s interpretation (essentially Part One of the book) spoke to what was still the early resistance to any philosophical attention to Nietzsche: the facile insistence that his “persepectivism” was a self-refuting relativism, that his attack on truth and the value of.. (shrink)
Samuel Alexander was one of the foremost philosophical figures of his day and has been argued by John Passmore to be one of ‘fathers’ of Australian philosophy as well as a novel kind of physicalist. Yet Alexander is now relatively neglected, his role in the genesis of Australian philosophy if far from widely accepted and the standard interpretation takes him to be an anti-physicalist. In this paper, I carefully examine these issues and show that Alexander has been (...) badly, although understandably, misjudged by most of his contemporary critics and interpreters. Most importantly, I show that Alexander offers an ingenious, and highly original, version of physicalism at the heart of which is a strikingly different view of the nature of the microphysical properties and associated view of emergent properties. My final conclusion will be that Passmore is correct in his claims both that Alexander is significant as one of the grandfather’s of Australian philosophy and that he provides a novel physicalist position. I will also suggest that Alexander’s emergentism is important for addressing the so-called ‘problem of mental causation’ presently dogging contemporary non-reductive physicalists. (shrink)
This article is a defence of the Fact-Value distinction against considerations brought up by Ruth Anna Putnam in three articles in Philosophy, especially her ‘Perceiving Facts and Values’ January 1998. I defend metaphysical realism about facts and anti-realism about values against Putnam' intermediate position about both and I relate the matter to the logic of imperatives. The motivations of scientists or historians to select fields of investigation are irrelevant to the objectivity of their hypotheses, and so is the goodness (...) or badness of the social consequences of their work though these may affect their motivations. (shrink)
A recombinationist like the earlier Armstrong (1989) claims that logically possible worlds are recombinations of items found in the actual world, with some items reduplicated if need be and others deleted. An immediate consequence of this is that if an..
Alexander Nehamas calls beauty a ‘promise of happiness’ and claims that it is an object of love. While this approach appealingly places beauty at the center of both artistic passion and everyday life, it also renders it riskily personal. This discussion raises two main questions to Nehamas. The first question regards the role of happiness in the concept of beauty, for many beautiful artworks seem to acknowledge the inevitability of sorrow rather than its opposite. The second question concerns how (...) beauty may be both personal and grounded in factors sufficiently outside the self to safeguard it against the instability of individual preferences. To explore the latter issue, Nehamas's ideas are compared to those of another Platonist, Iris Murdoch. (shrink)
It is widely accepted that divine creation of human beings is compatible with evolutionary theory, except perhaps in regard of the human soul, and that neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory provides an explanation of speciation and of complex features of organisms that undercuts Paley-style teleological arguments, whether or not the evolutionary mechanisms are truly random or deterministic. I will argue that a plausible understanding of the doctrine of creation of human beings is either logically or rationally incompatible with full evolutionary theory, even (...) if one does not take souls into account. Consequently, a theist needs to move to a weaker version either of the creation doctrine or of evolutionary theory, or both. (shrink)
Since the beginning of the ?eighties of the present century, a circle of relatively young American sociologists who are followers of Jeffrey Alexander are making energetic and spectacular efforts to supply sociology with a uniform and comprehensive theoretical framework by continuing Talcott Parsons' lifework. The present article is an appreciation of Alexander's achievements in the justification of a general sociological theory (especially a theory of action and social order) while pointing to objections that can be raised against the (...) character of his theory. A scrutiny of Alexander's metatheoretical deliberations and of his interpretations of sociological classics such as Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and Parsons reveals that Alexander's metatheoretical frame is not flexible enough to actually reconstruct the problem situation of the classics. Pointers are given toward a theory of action that is not subject to the antinomy of utilitarianism and normativism, so that it is more adequate and appropriate to the heritage of the sociological classics, both from a theoretical and an interpretative angle. (shrink)
Context: Neurophenomenology is a relatively new field, with scope for novel and informative approaches to empirical questions about what structural parallels there are between neural activity and phenomenal experience. Problem: The overall aim is to present a method for examining possible correlations of neurodynamic and phenodynamic structures within the structurally-coupled work of Alexander Technique practitioners with their pupils. Method: This paper includes the development of an enkinaesthetic explanatory framework, an overview of the salient aspects of the Alexander Technique, (...) and the presentation of an elicitation interview technique as part of a neurophenomenological method. It will propose a way of testing the hypothesis that if, in the effective practice of Alexander Technique, there is a union between the nervous systems of teacher and pupil, it should be visible neurologically and affective phenomenologically, and thus it should be possible to investigate both its neural and phenomenal signatures. Results: The proposed means of testing the hypothesis is to use the elicitation interview technique alongside neural monitoring during the teaching of the Alexander Technique in four paired sets of subjects. Constructivist content: At the heart of this paper is the claim that all activity is co-activity. I make no assumption of an ontological primacy of mental or physical, or explanatory primacy of any methodology. Implications: This has important ramifications for somatic education and therapies, for establishing frameworks of co-engagement and care in health-care situations, and for understanding empathy. (shrink)
I respond to the comments by Larry Hickman and Thomas Alexander about my book, A Search for Unity in Diversity: The “Permanent Hegelian Deposit” in the Philosophy of John Dewey . I focus on four issues: 1) Precisely how do I prefer to characterize Dewey’s debt to Hegel? 2) How do I justify my admittedly controversial reading of Dewey’s World War I criticisms of Hegel? 3) Where do I believe Dewey found ideas in Hegel that led him to articulate (...) the historical fallacy? 4) How do I respond to Alexander’s concern that I have underestimated the influence of William James’s Principles of Psychology (1890) on Dewey? (shrink)
This essay sets out from a reading of two photomontage projects by South African artist Jane Alexander, ?Adventure Centre? (2000) and ?Survey: Cape of Good Hope? (2005?09), one of Alexander's ongoing ?survey? projects, and remarks on the overwhelming impulse on the part of critics and interpreters to anthropomorphize the figures appearing in the photomontage images. It goes on to explore the hypothesis that Alexander's work in fact resists or refuses these attempts at anthropomorphization, and that this resistance (...) is connected with the more openly political aspects of her work, as well as with a more general refusal of anthropomorphism by photography. The second part of the essay frames a possible engagement with Alexander's photomontages through terms offered by Walter Benjamin's ?Little History of Photography,? and looks at Benjamin's peculiar concern with a kind of anti-portraiture: a photographic genre that would feature the human face in an anonymous way, without being concerned with identity. The essay closes with a consideration of the genre of the photographic survey historically, and traces an impulse, evident in the survey, to treat the human as only one of many figural elements composing the crypto-industrial landscape. (shrink)
In this response to the review of Moore, Causation and Responsibility, by Larry Alexander and Kimberly Ferzan, previously published in this journal, two issues are discussed. The first is whether causation, counterfactual dependence, moral blame, and culpability, are all scalar properties or relations, that is, matters of more-or-less rather than either-or. The second issue discussed is whether deontological moral obligation is best described as a prohibition against using another as a means, or rather, as a prohibition on an agent (...) strongly causing a prohibited result that was not about to happen anyway while intending to do so. (shrink)
Two texts that raise problems for Alexander of Aphrodisias' theory of universals are examined. "De anima" 90.2-8 appears to suggest that universals are dependent on thought for their existence; this raises questions about the status both of universals and of forms. It is suggested that the passage is best interpreted as indicating that universals are dependent on thought only for their being recognised as universals. The last sentence of "Quaestio" 1.11 seems to assert that if the universal did not (...) exist no individual would exist, thereby contradicting Alexander's position elsewhere. This seems to be a slip resulting from the fact that species with only one member are the exception rather than the rule. (shrink)
This study surveys the career and political philosophy of Alexander Raven Thomson, one of Sir Oswald Mosley's lieutenants in the British Union of Fascists (BUF), the largest party on the extreme right in Britain in the interwar era. It explores key issues relating to the BUF, such as: What type of society did Thomson and the Blackshirts wish to establish in Britain? Who were some of the major domestic and international intellectual influences on him and the BUF? Was the (...) BUF essentially a homegrown movement or was it, as critics argued, an imitation of Italian and German fascism? What does Thomson's career reveal about the inner politics of the movement? The aim of this article is to provide a better understanding of Thomson, one of the lesser-studied BUF officials, and of the movement to which he devoted his life. (shrink)
The Arabic tradition knew Alexander’s treatises On Fate and On Providence. Alexander criticizes the Stoic determinism with some peripatetic arguments. In those treatises we can find, at least, two positions: the peripatetic and “libertarian” position represented by Alexander, and Stoic determinism. A very similar discussion can be found in Islamic tradition. As S. Van den Bergh has insisted, Islamic theological schools had some Stoic influences. One of the issues in which we can find some common views is, (...) precisely, the problem of determinism and free will. The aim of this paper is to show that the kasb (acquisition)doctrine of the Islamic theologians Asharites is very similar to Stoic determinism in its compatibilist version: both, Stoics and Asharites, conceive a causal network established by the fate or the providence. From this point of view we have to discuss which is the true agent of the natural and human acts that happen in this world. If the providence guides every act, the natural causality and the free will should be denied. On the one hand, I will present some arguments from the most representative Asharite theologian, al-Ghazali, to support a kind of compatibilist determinism; from the other hand, I will evaluate Averroes peripatetic arguments against determinism. Is Averroes more consistent than Alexander or do we have to conclude that al-Ghazali and the Asharites have stronger arguments in order to support the kasb doctrine? (shrink)
How do the heavenly bodies physically affect the sublunary world? On this topic, the few fragmentary statements by Aristotle were refined and expanded by his Greek commentator Alexander of Aphrodisias. In the Kind-circle adaptations of Alexander and al-Kind-circle's Alexander was closely followed by al-Kind himself exerted a reciprocal influence on the Arabic Alexander, who was largely the product of his own group of translators. The appendix contains English translations from Arabic of two adapted Alexander's treatises.
Super-substantivalism is the thesis that space is identical to matter; it is currently under discussion ? see Sklar (1977, 221?4), Earman (1989, 115?6) and Schaffer (2009) ? in contemporary philosophy of physics and metaphysics. Given this current interest, it is worth investigating the thesis in the history of philosophy. This paper examines the super-substantivalism of Samuel Alexander, an early twentieth century metaphysician primarily associated with (the movement now known as) British Emergentism. Alexander argues that spacetime is ontologically fundamental (...) and it gives rise to an ontological hierarchy of emergence, involving novel properties such as matter, life and mind. Alexander's super-substantivalism is interesting not just because of its historical importance but also because Alexander unusually attempts to explain why spacetime is identical to matter. This paper carefully unpacks that explanation and shows how Alexander is best read as conceiving of spacetime as a Spinozistic substance, worked upon by evolution. (shrink)
The production of a number of vaccines involves the use of cell-lines originally derived from fetuses directly aborted in the 1960s and 1970s. Such cell-lines, indeed sometimes the very same ones, are important to on-going research, including at Catholic institutions. The cells currently used are removed by a number of decades and by a significant number of cellular generations from the original cells. Moreover, the original cells extracted from the bodies of the aborted fetuses were transformed to produce the cell (...) lines, since otherwise they would be incapable of the kind of culturing that is required. (shrink)
This article compares Alexander von Humboldt's and John Ruskin's writings on landscape art and natural landscape. In particular, Humboldt's conception of a habitat's essence as predominantly composed of vegetation as well as judgment of tropical American nature as the realm of nature of the highest aesthetic enjoyment is examined in the context of Ruskin's aesthetic theory. The magnitude of Humboldt's contribution to the natural sciences seems to have clouded our appreciation of his prominent status in the field of art (...) history. In addition to his position as scientist, Humboldt's role as aesthetician is demonstrated in this paper. Unlike Ruskin, who comfortably resides in the canon of art history relative to his minor significance in the field of geology, Humboldt has not been recognized for his impact on the world of art; his tremendous scientific importance seems to have overshadowed an appreciation of it. (shrink)