The situation calculus is one of the most established formalisms for reasoning about action and change. In this paper we will review the basics of Reiter’s version of the situation calculus, show how knowledge and time have been addressed in this framework, and point to some of the weaknesses of the situation calculus with respect to time. We then present a modal version of the situation calculus where these problems can be overcome with relative ease and without sacrificing the advantages (...) of the original. (shrink)
Ob “nicht etwa eine vernünftigere Anordnung von Kreisen zu finden sei, von welchen alle erscheinende Ungleichmäßigkeit abhinge”, ist die Frage, die Copernicus umtreibt. Eine einheitliche, eine systematische Berechnung aller Planetenbewegungen – auch der der sogenannten irrenden Sterne – sucht Copernicus durch die Einführung einer Hypothese, die über eine bloß mathematische Annahme hinausgeht, zu begründen. Die Erkenntnis der einheitlichen Weltgestalt und des festen Ebenmaßes ihrer Teile hat die Annahme eines die systematische Einheit konstituierenden Prinzips zur Voraussetzung. Als dieses Prinzip versteht Copernicus (...) die Erdbewegung. So schließt Copernicus, daß entweder die Erde nicht ruhe oder eine vernünftige Ordnung der Planeten nicht zu begründen sei. Für Bruno und Schelling ist das Prinzip zur Ordnung des Universums keine mathematische Hypothese, sondern ein naturphilosophisches Prinzip. Schelling schließt sich Bruno in der Behauptung an, daß eine Ordnung nur unter der Voraussetzung möglich sei, daß das Subjekt wie das Objekt der Ordnung sich auf ein Prinzip zurückführen ließen. Damit droht die Kopernikanische Wende auf den Kopf gestellt zu werden. (shrink)
There have been books written since 1997 both on Hume’s ethics and on metaethics generally which make no mention of Gerhard Schurz’s The Is-Ought Problem. I don’t say that they are ipso facto bad books since they may have merits which make up for this glaring defect. But Schurz’s magnificent The Is-Ought Problem is a major contribution to both logic and metaethics and ethicists who disregard it do so at their intellectual peril.
This introduction provides an overview of the life, career, and social thought of Gerhard Lenski. Following a preliminary description of Lenski's contributions, this essay is divided into two sections. The first section examines the origins, education, and biographical influences on Lenski as a major social theorist as well as the intellectual foundation of his sociological theories. The second section presents Lenski's work, impact, and legacy and sets the stage for the original essays that are grouped around four of six (...) key areas of Lenski's work, which has had enormous impact on both American and international sociology: (1) teaching sociology; (2) "status crystallization" and "status inconsistency"; (3) sociology of religion and "the religious factor"; (4) social stratification, "power and privilege"; (5) gender stratification in comparative-historical perspective; and (6) ecological-evolutionary theory. While these six areas do not correspond neatly to the progressive phases of Lenski's theory development and sociological career, they are interconnected and reflect Lenski's central concerns in asking the big questions about human societies and in providing explanations for understanding the processes of social change, differentiation, and inequality among and within human societies, across time and space, from hunting and gathering to postindus trial societies. (shrink)
Authors have contrasted social change and history many times, especially in terms of the significance of the event in accounting for the broadest contours of human societies' evolution. After recasting Gerhard Lenski's ecological-evolutionary theory in a critical fashion, by emphasizing its engagement with alternativity and by introducing a different approach to structure, I reconsider the salience of the event in the developmentalist project and suggest that ecological-evolutionary theory can be quite helpful in posing new questions about an eventful sociology. (...) By rethinking communism's collapse in 1989 and terrorism's explosion in 2001 within Lenski's theoretical frame, one can suggest critical transformations of theory and research on the evolution of human societies. (shrink)
Gerhard von Rad's concept of preaching is based on a biblical and homiletical hermeneutic that draws on some key insights of Karl Barth's dialectical theology. Von Rad's sermons were deeply informed by the older, liberal tradition and its concern for a distinctly “modern” way of preaching. This essay sketches the development of his concept of preaching as it relates to his work as an Old Testament scholar and university preacher.
From 1933 until 1945, the Hebrew Bible and the connection between Christianity and Judaism came under attack in Nazi Germany. Gerhard von Rad defended the importance of the Old Testament in a courageous struggle that profoundly influenced his interpretation of the book of Deuteronomy.
Gerhard von Rad was both a professor and a preacher. He understood and taught the Old Testament as a text to be preached and closely connected with the New Testament to form a theological basis for Christian faith.
From the perspective of Heilsgeschichte, Gerhard von Rad saw clearly that Genesis 22 deals with the possible annihilation of the covenant promise. A fresh approach to Genesis corroborates this view and demonstrates that innerbiblical exegesis has shaped the message of Genesis 22.
In his seminal Theology of the Old Testament, Gerhard von Rad argues that the testimonial character of the Old Testament provides it with a coherent framework of theological interpretation. Von Rad defines “testimony” as the dynamic interplay between Israel's memory and the expectation of a God who is revealed in the history of the chosen people.
Written over the course of two months in early 2008, Art as "Night" is a series of essays in part inspired by a January 2007 visit to the Velázquez exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, London, with subsequent forays into related themes and art-historical judgments for and against theories of meta-painting. Art as "Night" proposes a type of a-historical dark knowledge (a-theology and theology, at once) crossing painting since Velázquez, but reaching back to the Renaissance, especially Titian and Caravaggio. (...) As a form of formalism, this "night" is also closely allied with forms of intellection that come to reside in art as pure visual agency or material knowledge while invoking moral agency, a function of art more or less bracketed in modern art for ethical and/or political agency. Not a theory of meta-painting, Art as "Night" restores coordinates arguably lost in painting since the separation of natural and moral philosophy in the Baroque era. It is with Velázquez that we see a turning point, an emphasis on the specific resources of painting as a form of speculative intellect, while it is with contemporary works by Gerhard Richter and Anselm Kiefer that we see the return of the same after the collapse of modernism, and after subsequent postmodern maneuvers to make art discursive yet without the austerities of the formal means present in Art as Art. Art as "Night" argues for a nondiscursive form of intellection fully embodied in the work of art – and, foremost, painting. A synoptic and intentionally elusive and allusive survey of painting, through the collapse of the art market in late 2007, Art as "Night" suggests by way of this critique of an elective "night" crossing painting that the art world is an endlessly deferred version of pleroma (Hegel’s Absolute Knowledge), a fully synthetic world given to an exploration and appropriation of the given through classical mimesis and epistemology and its complete incorporation and transfiguration in a theory of knowledge and art as pure speculative agency. In effect, Art as "Night" is an incarnational theory of art as absolute knowledge. (shrink)