This paper gives a philosophical outline of the initial foundations of politics as presented in the work of Plato and argues why this traditional philosophical approach can no longer serve as the foundation of politics. The argumentation is mainly based on the work of Latour (1993, 1997, 1999a, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008) and consists of five parts. In the first section I elaborate on the initial categorization of politics and science as represented by Plato in his Republic. In the second (...) section I discuss the gap between humans and non-humans and how they are tied together in actual real life political topics. In the third section I elaborate on the concepts of political and scientific discourse and how they are thought of as separated fields based on the ancient constitution of human society. In the fourth section I link the concepts of matter of fact and matter of concern. In a final section I present a redefinition of the nature of politics as represented in the work of Bruno Latour as an alternative foundation for the study of political systems. (shrink)
It is a rather safe statement to claim that the social dimensions of the scientific process are accepted in a fair share of studies in the philosophy of science. It is a somewhat safe statement to claim that the social dimensions are now seen as an essential element in the understanding of what human cognition is and how it functions. But it would be a rather unsafe statement to claim that the social is fully accepted in the philosophy of mathematics. (...) And we are not quite sure what kind of statement it is to claim that the social dimensions in theories of mathematics education are becoming more prominent, compared to the psychological dimensions. In our contribution we will focus, after a brief presentation of the above claims, on this particular domain to understand the successes and failures of the development of theories of mathematics education that focus on the social and not primarily on the psychological. (shrink)
Transplantation continues to push the frontiers of medicine into domains that summon forth troublesome ethical questions. Looming on the frontier today is human facial transplantation. We develop criteria that, we maintain, must be satisfied in order to ethically undertake this as-yet-untried transplant procedure. We draw on the criteria advanced by Dr. Francis Moore in the late 1980s for introducing innovative procedures in transplant surgery. In addition to these we also insist that human face transplantation must meet all the ethical requirements (...) usually applied to health care research. We summarize the achievements of transplant surgery to date, focusing in particular on the safety and efficacy of immunosuppressive medications. We also emphasize the importance of risk/benefit assessments that take into account the physical, aesthetic, psychological, and social dimensions of facial disfiguration, reconstruction, and transplantation. Finally, we maintain that the time has come to move facial transplantation research into the clinical phase. (shrink)
In this comment I want to clarify five topics. The first topic concerns the importance of looking back at the very principles of the foundations of Western society. The second comment argues for the original position of Latour within the field of (social) constructivism. In the third comment, I argue that Haraway adds to the science-politics discussion by elaborating her philosophy beyond dichotomy. In the fourth comment, I argue that the terms ‘objective’ and ‘rational’ are central philosophical concepts which should (...) be retained. Finally I will make the connection between ‘what’ is represented and ‘how’ to represent it. (shrink)
A new model of bioturbation has been developed to describe short term sediment reworking induced by macrobenthic communities. The design of the model had to consider the mixing processes, firstly, at the organism level, and secondly, at community level. This paper describes the mixing mode of the four types of bioturbators defined by the authors: the biodiffusors, the upward-conveyors, the downward-conveyors and the regenerators. The mathematical formulation of these sub-models consists of ordinary differential equations. They take into account the size (...) of the bioturbated zone, the output fluxes to the water column, tracer decay, physical mixing due to local currents and the type and intensity of the bioturbation processes. These sub-models make it possible to describe correctly the mixing events that have occurred in cores with each type of bioturbator. They also provide the basis for general bioturbation model, that will take into account the respective degrees of involvement of (i) the different bioturbation processes and their characteristics, (ii) the interference between the different processes, and (iii) make possible to predict the particle reworking in order to include it in studies of organic matter in early diagenesis. (shrink)
L'acüon educative repose sur un double fondement: d'une part, la nature et la vocation de l'etre humain, et d'autre part, la societe humaine ä bätir. L'homme a des traits specifiques qui exigent et en meme temps permettent son education: il est imparfait, inacheve (il ne sait pas tout, il ne se comporte pas for cement bien), il faut done l'amener ä s'ameliorer; il est perfectible e'est-a-dire qu'il peut devenir meilleur; il a la volonte de se depasser, de tendre vers l'ideal, (...) ideal qu'il n'atteint, bien sür, jamais; il est capable materiellement, intellectuellement (grace ä sa formation, ä son experience) d'agir sur autrui, de le mener vers cet ideal; enfln, il est conscient de devoir le faire, car l'homme ne peut et ne doit etre eduque que par l'homme. Et, second justificatif de Taction educative: la societe des hommes et les rapports devant exister entre eux. L'homme, par essence, Vit et est fait pour vivre en collectivite. Celle-ci doit etre harmonieuse, bien organisee, de preference sous forme d'Etat, pour le bonheur de tous les membres, lesquels doivent etre ä meme de concourir ä l'edification d'une societe egalitaire, toutes choses qui necessitent Taction educative. (shrink)
Cet article s’interroge la temporalité de la santé : il s’efforce de démontrer que les phénomènes de santé et de maladie peuvent être dits temporels non pas accidentellement, mais essentiellement. Il met au jour quatre aspects temporels de la santé : son épaisseur de durée, sa relation avec l’avenir, la nature partiellement rétrospective des jugements dans lesquels elle entre, et son irréversibilité.
Jean-Francois Lyotard is often considered to be the father of postmodernism. Here leading experts in the field of cultural and philosophical studies, including Barry Smart, John O' Neill and Victor J. Seidler, tackle many of the questions still being asked about this controversial figure.
There is a long-standing view that Malebranche and his fellow occasionalists accepted occasionalism to solve the problem of interaction between immaterial souls and extended bodies. Recently, however, scholars have shown this story to be a myth. Malebranche, Geulincx, La Forge, and Cordemoy adopted occasionalism for a variety of reasons, but none did so because of a need to provide a solution to a perceived mind-body problem. Yet there is one Cartesian for whom the “traditional” reading is largely on the mark. (...)François Lamy argues in the second volume of his De la Connoissance de Soi-Meme much as the standard story has it. In this article I discuss and analyze Lamy’s argument, showing how he deals with some of the many concerns that made occasionalism attractive, and how he brings out some of the thorny questions that an occasionalist must face. (shrink)
This is an essay about language, thought, and culture in general, and about Ancient Greek and Classical Chinese in particular. It is about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which says that language influences the mind, and applies this hypothesis to Greek and Chinese. It is also an essay in comparative philosophy as well as a contribution to the history of ideas. From the language side, I rely on the nineteenth-century German linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt, and from the culture side on the contemporary (...) French sinologist François Jullien. Combining their ideas, I give substance to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and explain some of Jullien's claims about the historical and political developments of Chinese culture. The central .. (shrink)
Discourse, Figure signifies an event. I mean this in a variety of ways. There has been a recent event: the publication of an English translation of Jean-François Lyotard’s first major book. Its translation is an event forty years delayed and signifies the closing of a major gap in the translation of Lyotard’s work. Of course, both “signify” and “event” are important words for Lyotard. Discourse, Figure’s goal is to “signify the other of signification” (2011, 13, emphasis his). The question (...) of the representability of events that concerns Lyotard throughout his career originates in Discourse, Figure. I use these two words to guide my review. First I outline the events of the book: its context and its argument. .. (shrink)
Jean-François Lyotard. First acquaintance with Lyotard -- Kant's notion of the sublime and its appropriation by Lyotard -- Transposing Kant to the key of the postmodern -- The role of feelings in Lyotard's political judgment -- Universality revisited -- Jacques Derrida. The Nietzschean influence -- Derrida and phenomenology -- Derrida's exploration of exteriority and anteriority -- Derrida's political ethics : foundations -- Derrida's political ethics : further elaborations : the international scene.
The distinguished philosopher of language, Francois Recanati, has proposed a wide-ranging truth-conditional model of pragmatics. In this collection, various aspects of his theories are addressed by distinguished contributors, and are then commented on or answered by Recanati himself. This allows the reader to be drawn into the central debate within philosophy of language and cognitive science as to what kind of pragmatics system is needed.
This three-volume set is a collection of key critical responses by leading scholars to the philosophical and theoretical writings of this late postmodern philosopher. Organized thematically, the collection includes commentaries on Lyotard's life and early philosophical writings, as well as on ethics, aesthetics, and politics. With a new introduction by the editor providing a comprehensive overview of Jean-François Lyotards life and works, this impressive collection provides students and scholars with a valuable resource for studying this important philosophical figure.
Both philosophers and Buddhist scholars have long noted the affinities between David Hume's empiricism and the Buddhist philosophical tradition.1 The conventional wisdom, however, has been that these affinities must either be the result of an independent convergence or of a general "oriental" influence on eighteenth-century philosophy and letters. This is because very little was known about Buddhism in the Europe of the 1730s, when Hume was writing A Treatise of Human Nature. Buddhism had died out in India, Japan was closed (...) to the West, and European scholars in the Chinese court focused on the elite Confucian and Taoist traditions.2I will show that, in spite of this, it was possible for Hume to have had contact .. (shrink)
One of the dominant themes structuring the trajectory of Jean-François Lyotard's philosophical work is his concern to think the event in a way that renders it intelligible, but that also respects the alterity and the uncanniness that are essential to it. In this paper I defend Lyotard's earlier understanding of the event, articulated most thoroughly in Discours, figure, from the criticisms of the later Lyotard, articulated most thoroughly in The Differend. More specifically, I attempt to demonstrate that the event, (...) as disruption of the stable system of signification, is given immediately with the signification that it disrupts. (shrink)
This is an essential guide to an thinker. Frederic Jameson sees Lyotard as responding to a contemporary "crisis of representation" in the sciences -- a crisis which calls into question "an essentially realistic epistemology, which conceives of representation as the reproduction, for subjectivity, of an objectivity that lies outside it -- projects a mirror theory of knowledge and art, whose fundamental evaluative categories are those of adequacy, accuracy, and Truth itself.".
Le sous-titre de l'ouvrage est explicite : Essai sur le ménage à domicile et le retour de la domesticité et l'introduction annonce la couleur : « le ménage est un jeu de pouvoir qui renvoie aux rapports de genre, à la définition et à la division du travail, bref à une véritable économie politique » (p. 7). Plus précisément, l'analyse des tâches ménagères pose, selon les auteurs, plusieurs questions : celle de l'inégalité entre les hommes et les femmes certes, mais (...) aussi celles de l'articulat.. (shrink)
Dans le silence qui entoure la question du temps et des temporalités dans l’espace oriental, l’ouvrage Les Ottomans et le temps constitue une contribution novatrice et précieuse. On ne peut que regretter qu’il ait fallu attendre près de dix ans pour prendre connaissance des résultats de travaux commencés dès 2003-2004 dans le cadre d’un séminaire de l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales, inscrit dans la continuité du travail fondateur de Louis Bazin sur Les systèmes chronologiques d..
Everything you wanted to know about direct reference and always dared to ask is contained in Recanati's new book, which is not only a comprehensive survey on the received doctrine but also an original attempt to find a new way out of the many puzzles which surround the "new theory of reference" (in H. Wettstein's words) since its origins. Principles and conceptions are indeed acutely specified and Recanati's own theses are argued for in a very subtle and rigorous way. One (...) cannot leave the volume without the impression that his understanding of the subject has been radically deepened and enlightened. A thorough analysis of such a detailed work would probably need a paper as long as the volume itself. Thus, I will limit myself to reconstruct three general aims of the book and to discuss some of the issues they raise. These aims are: i) to find a new criterion for the referentiality of directly referential terms (from now on, DR terms); ii) to develop a multi-layered pragmatics which allows one to deal pragmatically with what has been hitherto considered as belonging to a semantic layer only; iii) to put forward a truth-conditional pragmatic analysis of belief reports which accounts for the semantic import of the non truth-conditional thought underlying a linguistic utterance. Let me deal with i) first. Recanati puts forward a criterion of referentiality which in his mind allows one to tell de jure rigid designators (names, indexicals: what we have above labeled DR terms) from de facto ones (definite descriptions such as "the cube root of 27"). The former, not the latter, directly designate their referent since they are type-referential. He defines type-referentiality as follows: A term is (type)-referential if and only if its linguistic meaning includes a feature, call it 'REF', by virtue of which it indicates that the truth-condition ... of the utterance where it occurs is singular. (p.17) Suppose we take the following two utterances, "3 is odd" and "The cube root of 27 is odd", where the former contains a de jure, the latter a de facto, rigid designator. Although both utterances have singular truth-conditions, let us say are associated with a singular proposition to the effect that the number 3 is odd, the former, but not the latter, presents itself as true iff 3 is odd, i.e.. (shrink)