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)
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)
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)
Taking its cue from François Bernier’s Voyages and focusing on the assumptions that stand in the background of Immanuel Kant’s view of the encounter between Christianity and Hinduism, this text endeavors to bring to light the theoretical framework that shaped the dialogue between the West and the East since the 18th century. The author’s contention is that the way that Western philosophy has tended to conceive of universal values has been one of the fundamental obstacles that has hindered a genuine (...) cross-cultural conversation in this sense. (shrink)
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.
Philosophers and Buddhist scholars have noted the affinities between David Hume’s empiricism and the Buddhist philosophical tradition. I show that it was possible for Hume to have had contact with Buddhist philosophical views. The link to Buddhism comes through the Jesuit scholars at the Royal College of La Flèche. Charles François Dolu was a Jesuit missionary who lived at the Royal College from 1723–1740, overlapping with Hume’s stay. He had extensive knowledge both of other religions and cultures and of scientific (...) ideas. Dolu had had first-hand experience with Theravada Buddhism as part of the second French embassy to Siam in 1687–1688. In 1727, Dolu also had talked with Ippolito Desideri, a Jesuit missionary who visited Tibet and made an extensive study of Tibetan Buddhism from 1716–1721. It is at least possible that Hume heard about Buddhist ideas through Dolu. (shrink)
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)
Philipp Frank"s book Relativity â€“ a richer truth1 shows something we do not find very often after World War 2: a philosopher of science acting as a public intellectual. Taking part in the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion, Philipp Frank intervened in the public debate about the causes of Nazism and how to defend democracy and liberalism against totalitarian ideas and politics. Could philosophy of science contribute to such a struggle? Philipp Frank thought it could, (...) he even thought that Philosophy of Science should play a crucial role in it. It"s obvious that this position should be of some interest for philosophers in Austria and Europe today. Of course, any serious analysis of Frank"s position would have to take the whole historical constellation into account. Between the beginning of the conference in 1940 and the publication of the book in 1951 the historical situation had dramatically changed. And therefore one has to distinguish several political dimensions in Frank"s arguments. Let me just make a short remark on the plurality of political perspectives Frank"s discourse opened up. Philipp Frank defined the role science should play in democracy not only in contrast to the role of science as it was conceived by totalitarian governments. Of course he criticised the Nazis" and Soviets" â€?philosophies of scienceâ€? several times (see for instance p. 73, 98, 103p.). But he also made very clear that in the 40ies and 50ies not even the majority of scholars and university teachers in the US supported the specific view of science which Frank thought was so important to the advancement of democracy (for instance 59pp.). His rather critical comments on the teaching of science in the post war / cold war period show what he thought the really important political impact of science was. As far as I can see, these comments did not loose their significance. (shrink)
It is well known that Tarski proved a result which can be stated roughly as: no sufficiently rich, consistent, classical language can contain its own truth definition. Tarski's way around this problem is to deal with two languages at a time, an object language for which we are defining truth and a metalanguage in which the definition occurs. An obvious question then is: under what conditions can we construct a definition of truth for a given object language. Tarski claims that (...) it is necessary and sufficient that the metalanguage be "essentially richer". Our contention, put bluntly, is that this claim deserves more scrutiny from philosophers than it usually gets and in fact is false unless "essentially richer" means nothing else than "sufficient to contain a truth definition for the object language.". (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)
In this paper, I investigate the possibility of a rich account of ecological restoration. Starting from the apparent one-sided focus on science and technology within the nature conservation community in Flanders, Belgium, I first present an intuitive case against a restorative practice solely based on science and technology. I then argue that what constitutes good restorative practice must be informed by the historical Arcadian tradition in which nature appreciation and subsequent conservation in the West have taken shape. However, the way (...) in which nature is perceived through that tradition seems highly external and stylized, and thus the question can be raised whether restorative practices based on this tradition can do nature itself any justice. Following the lead of Dutch sociologist Kris van Koppen, I argue that it can when the tradition is made flexible through a “conversation process” with nature. Such a conversation process can beachieved by engaging people in a sensual and bodily way in the restoration process. The result is that the richer account of the restorative practice contributes to the constitution of meaningful places that resist easy manipulation through science and technology. (shrink)
The existence of a genetic program of development was proposed by molecular biologists in the nineteen-sixties. Historians and philosophers of science have since thoroughly criticized this notion. To fully appreciate its significance, it is interesting to consider the research which was pursued during this period by molecular biologists who proposed this notion. This study focuses on François Jacob's work and on the model of development supported by his lab in the early seventies, the T-complex model. This episode of Jacob's scientific (...) activity has since been forgotten. Characterization of this model shows that the notion of program was used in a metaphoric way and that it did not put any constraint on the work pursued in the lab at that time. Some attention is devoted to the origin of this metaphor in the context of the nineteen-seventies. (shrink)
This article examines the little-known sculptures of pathology created by Doctor Paul Richer (1849–1933) in the 1890s for the so-called Musée Charcot at the Hôpital de la Salpêtrière in Paris. Under the direction of Doctor Jean-Martin Charcot (1825–1893), one of the founders of modern neurology, Richer was the head of the hospital's museum of pathological anatomy, as well as the Salpêtrière's resident artist. His ‘series of figural representations of the principal types of nervous pathology’ included busts of patients (...) suffering from labio-glosso-laryngeal paralysis and myopathy, as well as sculptures depicting patients with Parkinson's disease and juvenile hypothyroidism. These patient portraits were seen as objective, while also paradoxically providing an alternative to mechanical media, such as the photograph and the cast, by permitting the doctor's intervention in not only controlling and animating the sitter, but also emphasising the patient's symptoms. This was a new kind of medical specimen: the ‘scientific artwork’, as they were called by a contemporary. This phrase, far from being an oxymoron, indicates the purposive collapse of the objective (‘scientific’) and subjective (‘artistic’) binary in Richer's sculptures of pathology. Through a detailed examination of three of Richer's works, this article problematises the categories traditionally used to describe, analyse and understand medical imagery and complicates our understanding of the relationship between science and art at the end of the nineteenth century. (shrink)
Fragments presents a set of brilliantly intriguing interviews with Jean Baudrillard whose work today occupies center stage in the analysis of consumerism, terrorism, and contemporary culture. In these frank discussions with François L'Yvonnet, Baudrillard reveals for the first time in detail the thinkers who have been the dominant influences on his work during his career. Instead of examining his work as a project of intellectual accumulation, he challenges all the major interpretations of his work by suggesting he has always adopted (...) an anti-system, anti-totality strategy. Even globalization is accompanied in his view by a Western culture which itself is no longer a well-founded confident universalism. Perhaps most interestingly, Baudrillard discusses his life's work in relationship to his contemporaries -- Bataille , Barthes, Lyotard and Deleuze - and explores his position as an outsider in the field of French philosophy. Baudrillard in these interviews is in sparkling form, and in his ownwords he presents not only a lively introduction to this great thinker but also gives readers a window into a brilliant mind. (shrink)
This paper examines the analysis of property regimes in the thought of the French philosopher, Francois Huet, as presented especially in his one major work on that subject, Le Regne Social du Christianisme (1853). There, Huet developed his concern with social issues which began in the mid-1840s, when he was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Ghent. From 1846, he formed a study group of students now known as the �Huet Society�, which discussed social questions such as property (...) rights and inheritance, and considered various reform proposals in the works of Fourier, Proudhon, Saint-Simon and others. In the aftermath of the 1848 Revolutions, Huet resigned his Chair following an official campaign against his allegedly subversive views. From 1850 until his death in 1869, Huet lived in Paris where he concentrated on his studies, producing a large number of published works. Apart from Le Regne, those works were concerned principally with Catholic theology, at least until 1864 when Huet renounced his faith and sought to develop a version of pantheism. However, in La Science de l'esprit (1864), which immediately preceded that renunciation, Huet restated at length and in virtually identical form the core argument of Le Regne. Even in one of his last works, La Revolution Religieuse (1868), moreover, Huet expressed his continuing endorsement of its �fundamental idea� of �a guarantee of property to all�, and argued that after fifteen years it was still in advance of current liberal critiques of property regimes. (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.
Etienne-François Geoffroy, l’un des chimistes français les plus importants du début du XVIIIe siècle, entretenait des relations régulières avec l’Angleterre. Il était chargé de développer les échanges entre l’Académie royale des sciences et la Royal Society de Londres. Quand il publia sa « Table des rapports entre les substances chimiques » en 1718, Fontenelle et quelques autres lui reprochèrent d’avoir introduit en chimie le système des attractions newtoniennes. Mais en fait, Geoffroy s’est toujours tenu à l’écart aussi bien du mécanisme (...) cartésien que du newtonianisme, le recours aux expériences et à la littérature alchimique constituant ses seules sources d’inspiration. Geoffroy apparaît ainsi comme le représentant d’une chimie empirique, soucieuse de conserver l’autonomie de sa discipline. (shrink)
Décisif ouvrage que ce dernier opus de François Rastier. Après Sémantique interprétative (1987), et dans le fil conducteur de Arts et sciences du texte (2001), qui furent des références pour une génération de chercheurs, l’auteur nous propose une réflexion réinventée sur un objet renouvelé. L’ambition du propos, telle qu’elle s’énonce dans le sous-titre de l’ouvrage, est de théoriser tout autant que pratiquer, une sémantique de corpus encore aujourd’hui dans les limbes. Ce projet, que Rastier..
This essay focuses on the persistence of conciliarist constitutionalism down into the seventeenth century, and on the particular way in which the Gallican author, Edmond Richer (1559-1631), framed it in his sweeping and influential critiques of the papalist ecclesiology. In the tradition established by his fifteenth- and sixteenth-century predecessors in the Parisian theology faculty, Richer's formulation of conciliar theory was essentially political in nature. As a result, it lent itself readily to use in the cause of constitutionalist aspiration (...) by such eighteenth-century critics of French monarchical policy as Nicolas Le Gros and Gabriel-Nicolas Maultrot. (shrink)
The focus of this paper is the intertextual relationship between the work of François Truffaut and that of Honoré de Balzac. It explores Balzac's influence on the shaping of Truffaut's voice and argues that Balzac's Human Comedy served Truffaut as a model for some of his cinematic innovations. This applies to Truffaut's total oeuvre, but particularly to his series of autobiographical films, ?The Adventures of Antoine Doinel?: The 400 Blows (Les Quatre Cents Coups, 1959), Antoine and Colette, Love at Twenty (...) (Antoine et Colette, L'Amour à Vingt Ans, 1962), Stolen Kisses (Baisers Volés, 1968), Bed and Board (Domicile Conjugal, 1970), Love on the Run (L'Amour en Fuite, 1979). In examining Truffaut's ?rewriting? of Balzac, I adopt?and adapt?the intertextual approach of Harold Bloom's theory of the ?anxiety of influence.? My paper applies Bloom's concept of misreading to an examination of the relationship between Truffaut's autobiographical films, and Balzac's Human Comedy, both thematically and structurally. (shrink)
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.