Philosophers' reflections on history have been dominated for decades by two themes: representation and memory. On both of these accounts, historical inquiry is divided by a certain gap from what it seeks to find or wants to know, and its activity is seen by philosophers as that of bridging this gap. Against this background, the concept of experience, in spite of its apparent rootedness in the present, can be revived as a means of thinking about our connection to (...) the past. After examining variants on the concept of experience, with special attention to its temporality, I argue in this essay that experience can be said to furnish a connection to the past that underlies both memory and representation. (shrink)
Two themes run through Wollheim’s work: the importance of history to the practice and appreciation of the arts, and the centrality of experience in appreciation. Prima facie, these are in tension. Reconciling them requires two steps. First, adopt a notion of experience on which features can be experienced even if we must have experience-independent access to the fact that the work exhibits them. Second, state what makes a particular experience appropriate to the work. What does (...) so? Although Wollheim toyed with a more ambitious line, I suggest that he should have given the obvious answer, that the appropriate experience reflects the work’s nature. (shrink)
This book survives superficial but fails deeper scrutiny. A facile, undiscerning criticism of Lectures in the History of Political Thought (LHPT) is that on Oakeshott’s own account these are lectures on a non-subject: ‘I cannot detect anything which could properly correspond to the expression “the history of political thought”’ (p. 32). This is an entirely typical Oakeshottian swipe – elegant and oblique – at the title of the lecture course he inherited from Harold Laski. If title and quotation (...) sit awkwardly we should remember that Oakeshott never prepared the text for publication – a fortiori he did not prepare it for publication under this title. Moreover, for Oakeshott the compound notion of ‘political thought’ does not denote much either (pp. 33–4). A positive characterization can, however, be made for the notion of ‘political experience’ or ‘intellectual organization’ (p. 42), a particular context-bound agglomeration ‘of sentiments, beliefs, habits of thought, aspirations and ideas’ (pp. 43, 45, 391, 393). This notion, with its enumeration and specification into Greek, Roman, medieval and modern political experience, structures the 32 lectures that comprise the book. Oakeshott’s notion of political experience has deep affinities (at least) with the style of political analysis followed by the Cambridge classicist, F.E. Adcock, in Roman Political Ideas and Practice (1964), a text surely not fortuitously included in the course reading-list for the original lectures. (shrink)
The aim of this study is to analyse the fundamentals of Eliade’s view of the History of Religions, with a focus on the origins of this view, in the context of the criticism against the field of study corresponding to religious studies as they have developed over the last two centuries. The first part of the study briefly evaluates religious studies as to where it falls on a spectrum ranging from scientific objectivity to ideology, while the second part aims (...) at developing the hypothesis according to which the principles of the study of religions are found in the notion of “experience,” under the determinative influence of Nae Ionescu’s lectures. (shrink)
In discussing the cultural history of the 19th century, Walter Benjamin diagnosed the emergence of the modern novel and its form of narration as the sign of a fracturing experience. The split in experience is related to the scattering of a homogeneous idea of space and time, constituted especially during the Enlightenment and in the German historicism. Benjamin's claim reflected the fracturing temporality of modern communities as well as the transformations in the understanding of the meaning of (...) tradition. Here, I begin by discussing Benjamin's conceptions of experience and memory in detail. Secondly, I consider his ideas on history in the framework of challenging the new forms of narration. In the end, I consider the loss of a unified community, especially by indicating ways in which the after-modern community reflects the relationship between aesthetics and politics in Jean-François Lyotard's thought. Key Words: Benjamin community experience history Lyotard memory narrative remembrance time. (shrink)
In the early decades of the twentieth century the experience of time as crisis became the catalyst for a fundamental reorientation in the relationship between historical materialism and idealism, leading to the rejection of simplistic mechanical concepts of historical time. This reorientation represents a turning point in the history of European ideas, clearly evident in the work of two major thinkers of this period, usually associated with opposing political ideologies: the Marxist theorist Walter Benjamin and the liberal philosopher (...) Benedetto Croce. Based on a conceptual framework borrowed partly from Reinhart Koselleck, this article explains how the experience of acute crisis led both thinkers to develop a new understanding of historical time, which shows surprising parallels. Both authors used the reorientation in the relationship between idealism and materialism to criticize positivist approaches to the analysis of historical change and to reject deterministic accounts of the future. (shrink)
(2001). Whose History? Whose Future? Expanding the Exploration of Lived Experience in Ethics Consultation to Include Empirical Patient and Family and Community-Based Research. The American Journal of Bioethics: Vol. 1, No. 4, pp. 1-3.
From time to time our tiny intellectual worlds are simultaneously shaken by big ideas – ideas that, however big they are, have their expiration-date. Such is the case with the idea of the impossibility to find life outside language. In this essay, I picture what I think is the current state of the philosophy of history after the so-called linguistic turn and what I think the direction is where the philosophy of history might be headed by taking into (...) account the important job done by linguistic theories. I regard the abandonment of epistemology and the arrival to the realm of aesthetics as a point of no return, and conclude that a new philosophy of history has to have an aesthetic character. However, due to the omnipotence of language I also detect a narrow constructive potential in linguistic theories and argue that a new philosophy of history has to have the dual task of searching for life outside language while remaining in the realm of aesthetics. As a next step, I identify Frank Ankersmit’s notion of an individual historical experience as a move towards the fulfillment of this dual task. Finally, because Ankersmit’s experience remains mute, in the second half of the essay I attempt to present an outline of the possibility of a fruitful cooperation between the philosophy of history and phenomenology. More precisely, I am trying to synchronize Ankersmit’s notion of an individual historical experience with László Tengelyi’s phenomenological experiments with experience and let Tengelyi speak where Ankersmit “stops talking”. As a result, with the help of Tengelyi, an aperture can be found in language through which experience might worm its way. Due to this fissure, experience might be regarded as an invisible driving force behind linguistic expressions, and thus behind historical writing. (shrink)
That consciousness is composed of simple or basic elements that combine to form complex experiences is an idea with a long history. This idea is approached through an examination of our “picture” or conception of consciousness (CC). It is argued that CC commits us to a certain abstract notion of simple experiential events, or simples, and that traditional critiques of simple elements of experience do not threaten simples. To the extent that CC is taken to conform to how (...) consciousness really is, therefore, the concept of simples must be treated in kind. (shrink)
Today’s philosophical thinking mostly deals with the problem of sin from a religious, phenomenological or ethical point of view. This paper is an attempt to find hermeneutical points of view for the possibility of an interpretation of sin which can be opened by philosophical hermeneutics with reference to our historical being, the linguistic form of experience and the experience of finitude. The train of thoughts takes us from the analysis of the concept “original sin” to the disclosure of (...) the speculative structure and existential meaning of the original sin. Throughout this examination, the essence of original sin is revealed as the medium and the universal experience-horizon of the history of human being and of meaning. (shrink)
In this major reinterpretation, Howard Caygill argues that all of Benjamin's work is characterized by its focus on a concept of experience derived from Kant but applied by Benjamin to objects as diverse as urban experience, visual art, literature and philosophy. The book analyzes the development of Benjamin's concept of experience in his early writings showing that it emerges from an engagement with visual experience, and in particular the experience of colour. By representing Benjamin (...) as primarily a thinker of the visual field, Caygill is able to bring forward previously neglected texts on inscription and the visual field and to cast many of his more familiar texts, for instance the Work of Art in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction in a new light. (shrink)
In this book Pierre <span class='Hi'>Keller</span> examines the distinctive contributions, and the respective limitations, of Husserl's and Heidegger's approach to fundamental elements of human experience. He shows how their accounts of time, meaning, and personal identity are embedded in important alternative conceptions of how experience may be significant for us, and discusses both how these conceptions are related to each other and how they fit into a wider philosophical context. His sophisticated and accessible account of the phenomenological philosophy (...) of Husserl and the existential phenomenology of Heidegger will be of wide interest to students and specialists in these areas, while analytic philosophers of mind will be interested by the detailed parallels which he draws with a number of concerns of the analytic philosophical tradition. (shrink)
A central understanding in experimental economics is that subjects’ decisions in the lab are independent of history. We test whether this assumption of between-experiment independence is indeed justified. We analyze experiments with an allocation decision (like a dictator or ultimatum game) and find that participation in previous experiments tends to increase the amount subjects allocate to themselves. Hence, independence between experiments cannot be presumed if subjects participate repeatedly. The finding has implications for the interpretation of previous allocation decision results (...) and deserves attention when running future experiments. (shrink)
In the last 20 years postmodernism has had a powerful effect on the discipline of history and is now forcing empiricist historians to articulate their methods, and to defend them as both possible and virtuous. In this concise introduction, Stephen Davies explains what historians mean by empiricism, examines the origins, growth and persistence of empirical methods, and shows how students can apply these methods to their own work.
For millennia, war was viewed as a supreme test. In the period 1750-1850 war became much more than a test: it became a secular revelation. This new understanding of war as revelation completely transformed Western war culture, revolutionizing politics, the personal experience of war, the status of common soldiers, and the tenets of military theory.
It is often claimed that epistemological thought divides around the issue of the place of experience in knowledge: While empiricists argue that experience is the only legitimate source of knowledge, rationalists find other such sources. The trouble with such accounts is not that they are wrong, but that they are incomplete. On occasion, epistemological differences run deeper, raising the very notion of experience as an issue for epistemology. This paper looks at two epistemological debates which concerned not (...) simply the place of experience in knowledge but also the appropriate account of experience itself. The first episode is the rise of Marburg Neo-Kantianism in the 1870s – in particular the seminal work of Hermann Cohen in his Kants Theorie der Erfahrung (1871). Cohen's principal point was that Kant's significance as an epistemologist was in providing a new theory of experience, one that tied experience to exact science and led to a new stress on the formal conditions of exact knowledge. The second episode is Carnap's rejection of epistemology in the 1930s in favour of a program of the logic of science. My focus in each case will be the interplay between an epistemology focused on exact science as the locus of knowledge and a concomitant call for logical methods in epistemology. (shrink)
The eight short explorations in the first part of this paper attempt to identify some crucial developments in the history of Western learning which eclipsed pluralist educational practices in their (Socratic) infancy and thereafter, and which contributed to the widespread employment of education as a force for cultural uniformity, or assumed superiority. Drawing together the lessons of the first part with contemporary insights from hermeneutic philosophy, the second part sets forth briefly the promising educational possibilities for human self-understanding and (...) co-existence which are furnished by a newly-inspired reclamation of the long-eclipsed heritage. (shrink)
The role of personal background knowledge--in particular knowledge about the context of production of an artwork--has been only marginally taken into account in cognitive approaches to art. Addressing this issue is crucial to enhancing these approaches' explanatory power and framing their collaboration with the humanities (Bullot and Reber, in press). This paper sketches a model of the experience of artworks based on the mechanisms of intention attribution, and shows how this model makes it possible to address the issue of (...) personal background knowledge empirically. I claim that the role of intention attribution in art experience has been incorrectly accounted in the literature because of an overly narrow definition of 'intention.' I suggest that the observer can recover not only the artist's abstract projects, but any kind of mental states that have played a causal role during the production of the work. In addition, I suggest that this recovery occurs in large part unconsciously and/or implicitly. I provide support for these claims by distinguishing three families of psychological mechanisms of intention attribution that are activated by artworks: one involved in the cognition of artifacts, one devoted to communication, and one involved in action perception. (shrink)
The paper describes a highly specific Italian action research experience, connected with the trade unions, going through different phases from the 1970s to the present day. The journey is not only a journey through time but also through different approaches. It ranges from the initial experience focusing on health and safety problems at the workplace involving the workers as co-designers of new working environments to today’s search conference experience. For each phase there is a full description and (...) comment on the methods utilised by the research group. The main methodological shift described in the paper is the one from discussion groups, based on Bion’s thinking, to the search conferences, based on Emery’s line of thinking. Both are oriented to the subjectivity of the people involved, although in the discussion group experience the research groups considered the subjectivity of the people involved as the subject of the observation. The researchers’ aim of was to acquire a reliable knowledge of what was at stake and to pass it on to the union that organised the research in order to promote actions. Hence, the action-research circuit is based upon different actors and the process is integrated only from the point of view of the union. In the search conference experience the researchers are involved in a co-design process and so the action-research circuit is really integrated from the researchers’ perspective; there are, of course, multiple perspectives in this case and this opens up epistemological problems that are not discussed in the paper. (shrink)
Next SectionIn this paper the authors discuss the benefits of history and literature in the teaching of medical humanities. They suggest that human sciences produce a common effect, which they call distancing. Distancing is the awareness that one natural way to describe a given situation does not exist and that any point of view—scientific or not—is context dependant and culturally shaped. Distancing is important to medical students, by allowing them to become aware of the specificity of their own professional (...) point of view. The authors offer a reflection on the specificities of both historical and literary approaches and on the tools they provide for medical students. This paper assumes there is a close link between the theoretical debate on the benefits provided by human sciences and the concrete framework of a given programme. The authors describe team teaching, which has been the solution adopted in the School of Medicine at the University of Geneva to obtain the most from history and literature. (shrink)
The safeguarding of credit represents one of the most important economic and juridical challenges for every complex society. Just by reading the news we can realize how current this topic is for us. By thinking back over the history of ideas and the social, economic, and political reasons that got Law makers to legislate on this subject, we can better understand what’s happening today and in which direction our societies are going. An analysis of the Italian juridical system’s development (...) on bankruptcy proceedings, starting from the attitude of ancient Roman law on over-indebtedness, can effectively shine light on the current regulation, reformed in 2006. This new bankruptcy law transforms the previous public nature of bankruptcy proceedings into a prevailingly private management of enterprises’ financial problems, completely changing the course of credit policy. The “Italian way” is just one result of an international trend, the guiding lines of which can be seen throughout the whole EU and also in the regulation of the USA. This historical-comparative perspective, in all its positive and negative potentiality, is an important paradigm. The final hope is that historians can perhaps give their contribution to more conscious reflections on important topics like this one, offering to other scholars the possibility to have a wider view on this juridical phenomenon. (shrink)
With increasing development in the field of early childhood education and care, and new interest in alternative approaches to early years provision internationally, there is an urgent need for a book which explores and explains historical roots of practices and philosophical ideas which have underpinned the development of those practices in the field. This book traces historical ideas and their pioneers. It provides brief biographies and critical insights into their work as individuals and compares their principles and practices to those (...) of others past and present. Traditionally, historical reflections and philosophical critiques can be dense and difficult for readers to access and so many students and practitioners remain unaware of the roots of their current practice. This book takes an innovative and accessible approach to the history and philosophy of early childhood education. It gives sufficient, meaningful detail about individual educators and contributors to the field in order to help readers understand how contributions and developments in the past have created routes to present thinking and practice. So, the book offers five things: " An historical overview of the development of key ideas and practices in ECE from JJ Rousseau to the present time; " A series of biographical accounts of some 20 key contributors to the field, with summaries of their major achievements and key texts; " An exploration of ways in which their ideas compare through lively, imagined conversations based on their writings; " An analysis of ways in which certain common themes can be seen in both early writings and current practices; and " An illustration of how teachers can use these ideas in professional development activities in LEA and HE contexts. (shrink)
The problem of explaining consciousness today depends on the meaning of language: the ordinary language of consciousness in which we define and express our sensations, thoughts, dreams and memories. Paul Livingston argues that this contemporary problem arises from a quest that developed over the twentieth century, and that historical analysis provides new resources for understanding and resolving it. Accordingly, Livingston traces the application of characteristic practices of analytic philosophy to problems about the relationship of experience to linguistic meaning.