Hierocles of Alexandria was a Neoplatonic philosopher of the fifth century AD. Hermann S. Schibli surveys his life, writings, and pagan and Christian surroundings, and succintly examines the major points of his philosophy, both contemplative and practical. He includes the first modern English translations, with helpful notes, of Hierocles' Commentary on the Golden Verses of the Pythagoreans and of the remnants of his treatise On Providence.
In the sixth century BC, Pherekydes of Syros, the reputed teacher of Pythagoras and contemporary of Thales and Anaximander, wrote a book about the birth of the gods and the origin of the cosmos. Considered one of the first prose works of Greek literature, Pherekydes' book survives only in fragments. On the basis of these as well as the ancient testimonies, the author attempts to reconstruct the theo-cosmological schema of Pherekydes. An introductory chapter on the life of Pherekydes is followed (...) by four chapters on the contents of his book. From Pherekydes' mythopoeic creation account, his colourful narratives of a divine marriage and a battle of the gods, and finally from his remarks on the soul, Professor Schibli is careful to unfold the philosophical implications. Pherekydes emerges as a figure who moved in that fascinating frontier between myth and philosophy. The theogonies of Hesiod and the Orphics, the cosmological speculations of certain Presocratics, and the Pythagorean tenets on the soul are all profitably compared with the remnants of Pherekydes' book. Pherekydes is thus shown to be an important witness to early Greek thought in its various manifestations. -/- This is the first book-length study in English dedicated to Pherekydes. It includes a comprehensive appendix of the fragments and ancient testimonies, along with limited critical apparatus and English translations. (shrink)
Intended for general readers, The Illustrated To Think Like God explores how philosophy became a speculative science, tracing its origins to the Greek colonies of southern Italy, from the late sixth century to the mid-fifth century BCE. In this lavishly illustrated full-color work, Arnold Hermann tells the story of the sage Pythagoras, the poet Xenophanes, and the lawmaker Parmenides, describing how each in his own way believed that true insight belonged only to the gods. With a sympathetic and critical (...) eye, Hermann investigates how the Pythagoreans tried to discover otherworldly knowledge by studying numerical relationships, believing that these govern the universe. He shows that the difficulties of their quest were further aggravated by cultism, political conspiracies, and bloody uprisings. Numbers were not the key to the divine that everyone had hoped for. The real challenge, Hermann argues, came from Xenophanes, who argued that divine or absolute truth was beyond the reach of mortals. Even if a human being should happen to state exactly what was the case, he had no reliable way of knowing that he did. Hermann convinces readers that this dilemma certainly would have concerned a legislative mind like that of Parmenides, and he examines how Parmenides introduced techniques for testing the truth of statements. Parmenides�2 unparalleled approach was not based on physical evidence of the experience of our five senses. Instead, they relied on the faculty we humans share with the gods--our ability to reason. Handsome illustrations, created by the same designers responsible for Stephen Hawking�2s Universe in a Nutshell, accompany Hermann�2s text, illuminating and expanding its complex ideas. Incisive, thought-provoking, and certain to engage the intellectually curious, The Illustrated To Think Like God reveals Parmenides to be the true father of theoretical science. As the philosopher who taught us that truth is not about claims but about proof, Parmenides ironically gave birth to the discipline in the process of trying to plumb the depths of the mind of god. "Figures from Anaximander to Zeno, the ruins where they lived and thought, and the paradoxes and thought-experiments they proposed are depicted among the [many] well-chosen color illustrations. �5lovingly written, lavishly laid-out�5making it engaging enough to draw in readers to whom it has not been assigned." - Publisher's Weekly "To Think Like God is a highly ambitious book . . . Hermann's approach deserves to be taken seriously as an alternative to standard interpretations." - Richard D. McKirahan, Jr., Edwin Clarence Norton Professor of Classics and Professor of Philosophy, Pomona College "Arnold Hermann brings fresh life into the specialists' debates . . . a blow of wind that dissipates much fog." - Walter Burkert, Professor Emeritus of Classical Philology, University of Zurich. (shrink)
Sound can be listened to in various ways and with different intentions. Multiple factors influence how and what we perceive when listening to sound. Sonification, the acoustic representation of data, is in essence just sound. It functions as sonification only if we make sure to listen attentively in order to access the abstract information it contains. This is difficult to accomplish since sound always calls the listener’s attention to concrete—whether natural or musical—points of references. Important aspects determining how we listen (...) to sonification are discussed in this paper: elicited sounds, repeated sounds, conceptual sounds, technologically mediated sounds, melodic sounds, familiar sounds, multimodal sounds and vocal sounds. We discuss how these aspects help the listener engage with the sound, but also how they can become points of reference in and of themselves. The various sonic qualities employed in sonification can potentially open but also risk closing doors to the accessibility and perceptibility of the sonified data. (shrink)
Facial expressions of pain may be best conceptualized as an example of an evolved propensity to communicate distress, rather than as a distinct category of facial expression. The operant model goes beyond the evolutionary account, as it can explain how the (facial) expression of pain can become maladaptive as a result of its capability to elicit attention and caring behavior in the observer.
The structure of the l-degrees included in an m-degree with a maximal set together with the l-reducibility relation is characterized. For this a special sublattice of the lattice of recursively enumerable sets under the set-inclusion is used.
By studying several cases of expert systems' use, a variety of difficulties were identified as directly depending on specific characteristics of experts and their tasks. This concerns more than the questions: “May experts be replaced by machines?” or “Is experts' knowledge explicable?”. The organisational structure of their work as well as the cyclic, non-plannable way of their task performing have further relevance. The paper introduces the concept of experts' systems to deal with diversities of their expertise and complexities of their (...) work. It draws a distinction between non-monotonic problem solving, exploration, medium and modification, and argues that these modes are not reducible to yet another improved input/output strategy or dialogue style but introduce additional functions supporting the human-computer interaction according to experts' needs. In the first few sections, the paper covers the theoretical and empirical results of our research, whereas Section 4 introduces our design suggestions for experts' systems. (shrink)
John Dewey es una de las figuras más representativas de la filosofía pragmatista, enfoque este que aplicó sistemáticamente al estudio de la estructura social y cultural. En este artículo el foco de análisis se concentrará en los aspectos principales del enfoque de Dewey al estudio de los aspectos que constituyen la “naturaleza humana” y en cómo ellos interactúan con las características del contexto cultural. Se ilustrará cómo los conceptos elaborados por Dewey pueden contribuir al análisis heterodoxo de una serie de (...) asuntos económicos y sociales. Dewey subraya el papel crucial de las políticas públicas para facilitar el desarrollo de asociaciones voluntarias en todas las áreas de la estructura social. En el análisis de estos aspectos la contribución central de Dewey radica en cambiar los conceptos de democracia y participación del limbo de la abstracción en la que tienden a ser confinados por los enfoques anteriores, y en conectarlos con la evolución de las formas sociales económicas y sociales. (shrink)
This paper examines Hermann Cohen's idiosyncratic construction of a medieval Jewish philosophical tradition, focusing primarily, though not exclusively, on his Charakteristik der Ethik Maimunis . This construction, not unlike modern accounts, is filtered through the central place of Maimonides. For Cohen, however, Maimonides' centrality is defined not by his systematization of Aristotelianism, but by his elevation of ethics over metaphysics. The ethical and pantheistic concerns of Maimonides' precursors, according to this reading, anticipate his uniqueness. Whereas Shlomo ibn Gabirol's pantheistic (...) doctrine of emanation, for example, assigned little weight to ethics, Abraham ibn Daud rebelled against such a doctrine. Ibn Daud—much like Bahya ibn Paquda and Abraham ibn Ezra—becomes part of a Jewish philosophical tradition that culminates in Maimonides' rejection of Aristotelian metaphysics. In particular, this paper examines the way in which Cohen envisaged the pre-Maimonidean philosophical tradition, putting his highly critical reading of Shlomo ibn Gabirol and his pantheistic obsession with prime matter in counterpoint with his more favorable readings of Abraham ibn Daud and Bahya ibn Paquda. (shrink)
The article includes a short biography of Hermann of Dalmatia and gives an account of his translations and philosophical and scientific work. In order to have a better understanding of Hermann’s philosophy, a reminder of Greek and Arabic philosophy of nature, on which he relies in his interpretation of the world picture, needs to be presented. Cosmological models by Plato, Aristotle, Eudoxus, Heraclides of Pont, Apollonius of Perga, Hipparchus, Ptolemy, and the Arab scientist Abu Ma’shar, are presented. The (...) main focus of interest is on Hermann’s translations. The immense importance of his translations from Greek and Arabic into Latin is due to the fact that some of the seminal Greek and Arabic works became known in Western Europe in the middle of the twelfth century. Hermann is also important as the author of the original work De essentiis, which presented a blend of Platonian and Aristotelian as well as Western European and Arab traditions. (shrink)
This paper explores Hermann Cohen's engagement with, and appropriation of, Maimonides to refute the common assumption that Cohen's endeavor was to harmonize Judaism with Western culture. Exploring the changes of Cohen's conception of humility from Ethik des reinen Willens to the Ethics of Maimonides and Religion of Reason out of the Sources of Judaism , this paper highlights the centrality of the collective Jewish mission to bear witness against the dominant order of Western civilization and philosophy in Cohen's Jewish (...) thought. (shrink)
The most important Jewish source for Hermann Cohen's rational theology of Judaism is Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed . Indeed, the Guide is of such importance that Cohen bases his entire idealistic interpretation of the Jewish religion on it. In particular, Cohen derives his discussion of the continued authority of Mosaic law from the Guide . What follows focuses on Cohen's discussion of the “Law” in his Religion of Reason out of the Sources of Judaism , and attempts to (...) fill a gap in recent Cohen research by dealing with questions of halakhah and the interpretation of rabbinical sources. Cohen's original reading of, inter alia, Guide III.31-32 led him to formulate a theory wherein Mosaic law—and by extension Judaism—guarantees the highest end of human morality. In identifying God with this end, Cohen eventually finds the ultimate criterion for the decision of how much of traditional Jewish law must still be observed in the need for the preservation of the purest monotheism—another central point in Maimonides' philosophy. (shrink)
Abstract At the beginning of his best seller Meaning in History , Karl Löwith launches a violent attack against Jewish prophetism, using the philosophy of history of Hermann Cohen as his first and foremost example. This article purports to show that Löwith misinterpreted the thought of Hermann Cohen. It also reclaims Cohen's own position on history and on the philosophy of history by identifying the questions Cohen himself had asked in his time. At the end of the article, (...) some paths of research are indicated that might prove themselves fruitful today, in a further study of Cohen's thought. (shrink)
While Maimonides reread his sources to reconcile biblical and rabbinic texts with the demands of reason, Hermann Cohen, in his construction of a “religion of reason,” rereads Maimonides' rereadings of those very same texts. Maimonides' Judaism often bridges the sources toward Cohen's religion of reason by providing a philological anchor that nudges a term or verse now viewed through a more modern historical and evolutionary lens toward its ultimate reason-infused meaning. This paper will explore a hitherto neglected feature of (...) their oeuvres that unites Maimonides and Cohen as much as it distinguishes them: the “Jewishness” shared by both, as evident in the most Jewish of all exercises that suffuses both their works, biblical and midrashic exegesis. Their exegetical nets are systematically cast widely throughout the breadth of the Hebrew Bible, but more often than not they offer highly discrepant readings of the same passage or prooftext. Cohen's referencing of many of the same sources appeals to their Maimonidean rationalist refurbishment, but at the same time often places them in combative discourse in order to subvert and reorient Maimonides' exegesis. The notions of divine names, the “image” ( tselem ) of God, “nearness” to God, and divine “glory” ( kavod ) are closely examined to demonstrate this intertextual relationship between these two seminal Jewish thinkers. While Cohen may be misreading Maimonides' rereading of scripture, he remains a true hermeneutical disciple in his exegetical restructuring and realignment of scripture. Cohen's programmatic exegetical idealization of Maimonidean prooftexts to reconstruct a new Kantianized God forms a common ground of discourse with Maimonides that traverses seven centuries of a quintessential Jewish enterprise. (shrink)
This paper considers Hermann Hesse’s novel, The Glass Bead Game, in the light of Paulo Freire’s educational philosophy. The Glass Bead Game is set in Castalia, a “pedagogical province” of the 23rd century. It is argued that the central character in the book, Joseph Knecht, undergoes a complex process of conscientisation. Knecht develops an increasingly critical understanding of Castalian society, questioning some of its most cherished assumptions while nonetheless deepening his appreciation of the beauty of the Glass Bead Game. (...) He becomes less certain of his certainties as he grows older, and eventually decides to give away his prestigious post as Magister Ludi (Master of the Glass Bead Game) to pursue a quiet life as a tutor. Dialogue plays a key role in the development of Knecht’s critical consciousness. Freirean theory is seen to provide a robust framework for the analysis of key themes in Hesse’s text. At the same time, The Glass Bead Game is helpful in demonstrating the meaning and significance of conscientisation and dialogue for educational lives. (shrink)