The article explains why Soviet dissidents and the reformers of the Gorbachev era chose to characterize the Soviet system as totalitarian. The dissidents and the reformers strongly disagreed among themselves about the origins of Soviet totalitarianism. But both groups stressed the effects of totalitarianism on the individual personality; in doing so, they revealed themselves to be the heirs of the tsarist intelligentsia. Although the concept of totalitarianism probably obscures more than it clarifies when it is applied to regimes like the (...) Nazi and the Soviet, the decision of the dissidents and the reformers to use the term enabled them to clarify their own values and the reasons they felt compelled to criticize the Soviet Union and to call for its radical reform. (shrink)
This article examines the disciplinary status and experiential underpinnings of C. S. Peirce's philosophical rhetoric. The first part explores the relationship between grammar and rhetoric in the context of Peirce's theory of signs. Next, a possible tension in Peirce's conception of the scope and function of rhetoric is identified, and a resolution is proposed. The field of rhetorical research is then provisionally characterised as spanning philosophical studies of communication, learning, and methods of inquiry. Rather than being a secondary application that (...) the grammarian can ignore, the complex rhetorical field can be meaningfully construed as both the pre-theoretical starting point and the principal theoretical end of philosophical semeiotic. In the final part of the article, it is argued that the aim of Peirce's pursuit of rhetoric ought to be the improvement of semiotic habits, and this goal is construed as the third and highest conception of learning furnished by his philosophy. Further, it is contended that Peircean rhetoric can provide means for reflexive investigations into our processes and methods of inquiry, communication, and learning—that is, higher-order conceptual tools with which to imaginatively describe, control, and transform educational habits in view of personal and social ideals. (shrink)
: T. L. Short's Peirce's Theory of Signs offers a strong interpretation of semeiotic, advocating a developmental and naturalistic position. This commentary examines some of the main features of Short's approach, raising a number of critical questions concerning the growth of Peirce's thought and the problem of anthropomorphism. First, two possible weaknesses in Short's account of the development of semeiotic, connected to the treatment of the "New List of Categories" and the role of the index, are noted. Next, the menace (...) of anthropomorphism is placed in the context of Peirce's startling affirmation of this point of view. Finally, the article draws attention to Short's bold claim that Peirce's theory of signs needs to be modified in order to accommodate a plurality of final interpretants in view of varying purposes. (shrink)
What's the world made of? Donuts! and Beer! -- Protagoras, Gorgias, Captain Kirk, and Denny Crane -- Socrates : The Sergeant Schultz of Ancient Greece -- Plato is the new American Idol -- Aristotle loves Lucy -- Charlie Harper's Non-Epicurean lifestyle -- St. Augustine's Highway to Heaven -- Scully shaves Mulder with Ockham's Razor -- Larry Hagman dreams of Descartes -- Locke versus Hobbes, or The Brady Bunch takes on Survivor -- Can or can't Kant like vampires? -- Reading Hegel (...) in Outer Space -- John Stuart Mill and the Utilitarian Heroism of Dexter Morgan -- Karl Marx and Adam Smith, meet Alex P. Keaton -- Dr. Gregory House and the Nietzschean Superman -- Don Draper, George Costanza and the non-meaning of life -- Jersey Shore's 'The Situation': The Randian Ideal man with a tan? -- Earl Hickey meets Karma in My name is Earl -- Lost but not least. (shrink)
: This article examines Peirce's semiotic philosophy and its development in the light of his characterisations of "representationism" and "presentationism". In his definitions of these positions, Peirce overtly pits the representationists, who treat percepts as representatives, against the presentationists, according to whom percepts do not stand for hidden realities. The article shows that Peirce's early writings—in particular the essay "On the Doctrine of Immediate Perception" and certain key texts from the period 1868–9—advocate an inferentialist approach clearly associated with representationism. However, (...) although Peirce continues to deny the cognitive import of first impressions throughout his philosophical career, the new view of perception that emerges in the early 1900s indicates a significant move in the direction of a presentationist point of view, a development partly corresponding to changes in his theory of categories. The strongest evidence for this reading is found in Peirce's contention that the percept is not a sign. The discussion concludes with considerations of possible objections and alternatives to the proposed interpretation in addition to some reflections on the consequences and relevance of Peirce's turn toward presentationism. (shrink)
T. L. Short's Peirce's Theory of Signs offers a strong interpretation of semeiotic, advocating a developmental and naturalistic position. This commentary examines some of the main features of Short's approach, raising a number of critical questions concerning the growth of Peirce's thought and the problem of anthropomorphism. First, two possible weaknesses in Short's account of the development of semeiotic, connected to the treatment of the "New List of Categories" and the role of the index, are noted. Next, the menace of (...) anthropomorphism is placed in the context of Peirce's startling affirmation of this point of view. Finally, the article draws attention to Short's bold claim that Peirce's theory of signs needs to be modified in order to accommodate a plurality of final interpretants in view of varying purposes. (shrink)
Paternalism in the medical care of children is appropriate and ethically justifiable. However, dilemmatic disagreement by paternalistic agents as to which clinical choice is in the child's best interest may occur because of the underlying conflict between two rival standards for the moral value of life: longevity versus quality. Neither standard is unreasonable. Either could be the basis for choice of medical care by the parents or by the pediatrician. Having the child choose between options disputed by his parents and (...) the pediatrician is unlikely to resolve their conflict. Exercise of informed consent by the adolescent requires agreement by his parents to relinquish their paternalistic veto. The probable best-interest choice by the child when he has matured could be reasonably made from either standard. Therefore, the longevity/quality of life question ought not ordinarily to be foreclosed by paternalistic authority which opts for one standard to the exclusion of the other. Medical interventions, paternalistically determined, are justified in the face of deteriorating quality, but only as long as the interventions themselves do not cause deterioration. Application of this limitation of paternalism to the zone of agreement between the rival life standards is made to clinical case examples. Multiple extrinsic criteria may measure the quality of life. Three quality factors, sensation of pain, capacity to communicate and physical functioning are considered. The extent of the zone of agreement between the two life standards varies because quality of life is a relative good, contingent both upon which extrinsic criteria are selected to assess it and upon the priorities which are set among these criteria. (shrink)
This article examines the contention that the central concepts of C. S. Peirce’s semeiotic are inherently communicational. It is argued that the Peircean approach avoids the pitfalls of objectivism and constructivism, rendering the sign-user neither a passive recipient nor an omnipotent creator of meaning. Consequently, semeiotic may serve as a useful general framework for studies of learning processes.
Despite the affirmation below from a chapter entitled “The Moral Self” in his Ethics (1932), Deweyseems not to have used the term “moralself” outside that context. Perhaps he didn’t think it that crucial in his overall philosophy. I argue, on the contrary, that the concept ofthe moralself is fundamental to Deweyan moral psychology and that it provides an illuminating lens through which to view his philosophy of education. This paper explicates Dewey’s perspective on moral education as education of the moral (...) self. (shrink)
Wetting of micron-sized Pb droplets on thin polycrystalline films of decagonal Al13Co4 and cubic crystalline AlCo phases is reported. The sample preparation is crucial to having Pb droplets lying on a clean surface. Decagonal and cubic films were prepared under high vacuum conditions, by sequential deposition and annealing of specific stackings of Al and Co layers of nanometre thicknesses. A 300?nm thick Pb slab was then deposited on the top of the films. Dewetting experiments were performed in situ in a (...) scanning Auger microprobe where the surface chemistry can be monitored: the Pb slab dewets into droplets. The wetting of Pb on both substrates was found to be similar with contact angles around 45°. (shrink)
We have performed broadband dielectric spectroscopy to study the merging of the α- and ?-relaxations in Sorbitol. To investigate this merging in detail the data were analyzed both directly in the frequency domain and after transforming the data to the time domain. At the liquid-glass transition temperature, Tg , the standard analysis give a clear kink in the temperature dependence of the relaxation time of the ?-relaxation. However, using a more sophisticated analysis we show that the data can be equally (...) well described by extrapolating the low temperature Arrhenius behaviour of the ?-relaxation to the merging region of the α- and ?-relaxations. The Sorbitol data is thus compatible with a scenario with no anomalous temperature behaviour in the merging region. (shrink)
Approximationism — science approximates the truth as an ideal — is the view of science implicit in all of Einstein's major works, heralded by Hugo Bergman in Hebrew in 1940 and expressed by Karl Popper in 1954 and 1956. Yet Bergman was not sufficiently clear about it, and even Popper is not - as shown by their not giving up certain remnants of the older views which approximationism replaces, even when these remnants are inconsistent with approximationism. Norare the (...) approximationist theories of these authors satisfactory solutions to all the problems which traditional epistemologies purported to solve. Approxiamtionism still is a program rather than a fully blown theory. (shrink)
The paper attempts to give an outline of the main doctrines of the Brentano-School and to mark the place of Bergman's contributions to descriptive Psychology. The idea of an immanent object is rejected by Marty and Bergman and was critized by Bergman in the framework of the 'concept-intuition'-distinction. It is shown that Bergman's critic leads to an interesting defense of the thesis of the privacy of mental contents.
Bergman's account of Cusanus's view of the relationship between God and the world leaves room for reservations. Bergman maintains that Cusanus is either a pantheist or a panentheist. This view, at variance with Cusanus's explicit theism, is hardly tenable in the light of a suitable interpretation of his apparently pantheistic or panentheistic formulations. Bergman's treatment of enfolding and unfolding, and especially of the arithmetical illustration of those relations, is deficient. His ascription of manifest Platonism to Cusanus's theory (...) of enfolding is objectionable, since, for Cusanus, the enfolding entities are not universals and need not even be existents. The way in which Bergman compares Cusanus with Goethe and with Rudolf Otto is misleading. So is his account of Cusanus's principle of the coincidence of opposites. (shrink)
The relations between philosophy, science and religion preoccupied S.H. Bergman for many years. He wanted to corroborate, by belief, a personal God to whom, and not only about whom, one can speak. This should follow from authentic religious experience, making it independent from philosophy. Furthermore, according to Bergman, religion can do what philosophical reasoning is incapable of doing since he considers belief to be stronger than knowledge. A criticalscrutiny of these assumptions involves some interesting implications concerning toleration, freedom-of-thought (...) and dogmatism. The final conclusion consists in that belief cannot refute philosophical knowledge but can reject it while philosophy can refute belief but cannot reject it. (shrink)
Bergman's view on the History of philosophy can be characterised as a heuristic doctrine which helps the philosophical pedagogue. Some problems arising from Bergman's religious way of thinking are revealed as underpinning the objections to it, as there are: the multiplicity of systems, the possibility of acquiring final truth, etc. In spite of these objections Bergman's ideas can be maintianed as a very efficient means for a teacher of academic philosophy.
The increasingly popular idea that cinematic fictions can "do" philosophy raises some difficult questions. Who is actually doing the philosophizing? Is it the philosophical commentator who reads general arguments or theories into the stories conveyed by a film? Could it be the film-maker, or a group of collaborating film-makers, who raise and try to answer philosophical questions with a film? Is there something about the experience of films that is especially suited to the stimulation of worthwhile philosophical reflections? In the (...) first part of this book, Paisley Livingston surveys positions and arguments surrounding the cinema's philosophical value. He raises criticisms of bold theses in this area and defends a moderate view of film's possible contributions to philosophy. In the second part of the book he defends an intentionalist approach that focuses on the film-makers' philosophical background assumptions, sources, and aims. Livingston outlines intentionalist interpretative principles as well as an account of authorship in cinema. The third part of the book exemplifies this intentionalist approach with reference to the work of Ingmar Bergman. Livingston explores the connection between Bergman's work and the Swedish director's primary philosophical source-a treatise in philosophical psychology authored by the Finnish philosopher, Eino Kaila. Bergman proclaimed that reading this book was a tremendous philosophical experience for him and that he "built on this ground." With reference to materials in the newly created Ingmar Bergman archive, Livingston shows how Bergman took up Kaila's topics in his cinematic explorations of motivated irrationality, inauthenticity, and the problem of self-knowledge. (shrink)
"An ontology may be described as consisting of three kinds of statements: those that set the problems; those that list the kinds of entities that exist; those that show how the existents solve the problems. Ontologies may thus diﬀer in diﬀerent ways. The most decisive way concerns the kinds of entities deemed to exist. With respect to this way, there are but two types of ontology. One is lavish, cluttered; the other, frugal, sparse. The ontologies of Plato, Meinong, and Frege (...) are lavish; those of Hume, Brentano, and Wittgenstein are frugal. Gustav Bergmann has propounded both types of ontology in the course of his thirty years of philosophizing. The Bergmann of The Metaphysics of Logical Positivism (1954) and Meaning and Existence (1959) propounds a frugal ontology. The Bergmann of Logic and Reality (1964) and Realism: A Critique of Brentano and Meinong (1967) propounds a lavish ontology. In a way of speaking that Bergmann himself has used, the world of the early Bergmann is a desert, the world of the later Bergmann a jungle. In a way of speaking that is suggestive, speculative, had the early Bergmann written Realism, he would have dedicated it to Brentano rather than to Meinong, as did the.. (shrink)
Gustav Gustavovich Shpet (1879--1937) is undoubtedly best known for introducing Husserlian phenomenology to Russia. He applied to aesthetics and the philosophy of language the principles he had discovered in Husserl's Logical Investigations and Ideas I. But, perhaps without knowing it, he modified the phenomenology he had found in Husserl. His modifications show a thinker who is thoroughly grounded in Russian religious thought of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The result is a philosophy that combines Husserl's analysis of (...) the structure of consciousness with the fundamental Platonism of Orthodoxy, the doctrine of incarnation, and the related notion that matter is to be venerated. (shrink)
Nous proposons une présentation sommaire² des travaux du philosophe russe Gustav Gustavovitch Chpet (1879-1937), à travers quelques-uns de ses ouvrages publiés en Russie³. G. Chpet, après avoir rejeté l'idéalisme néo-kantien, s'interroge sur les fondements de la philosophie comme science de l'être et du connaître. Cette double exigence d'epistemologie et d'ontologie, Chpet la rencontre, dans les années 10, dans la phénoménologie de Husserl qu'il introduit aussitôt en Russie par ses écrits et son enseignement à l'université de Moscou. Simultanément à cette (...) rencontre, Chpet voit dans la thèse de l'unité du sujet transcendental une impasse idéaliste et affirme le principe de l'« être social » . Ses recherches sur l'unité de la conscience comme « conscience sociale » le conduisent à la fondation d'une philosophie du langage, de l'art et de la culture selon le principe méthodologique de ce qu'il nomme une « dialectique herméneutique » . Nous faisons suivre cet article de notre traduction d'un texte bref que G. Chpet a écrit en 1929, sur son propre parcours philosophique. This article offers a brief introduction to the work of the Russian philosopher Gustav Shpet (1879-1937), with particular emphasis on several of his works published in Russia. Having rejected neo-Kantian idealism, G. Shpet called into question the basic principles of philosophy as a science of knowledge and being. Shpet recognized this epistemological and ontological viewpoint into Husserl's phenomenology, which he discovered in the 1910 and immediately introduced into Russia through his writings and his teaching at the University of Moscow. Shpet considered that the thesis of the single transcendental subject could only lead to an idealistic blind alley, and propounded the principle of the « social being » . His research on the unity of conscience as a « social conscience » led him to develop a philosophy of language, art and culture, according to the methodological principle of what he termed « hermeneutical dialectics » . This paper is followed by a brief philosophical autobiography written by Shpet himself in 1929 (translated by the author of the article). (shrink)
Following two introductory sections which deal with the search for meaning and the model of film as a form of probing, I argue that Bergman deals with a number of important philosophical issues within his film corpus. A summary account of the vision which emerges from this corpus is sketched, followed by an analysis of the central role of the artist in society as Bergman conceives it.