The use of brain scanning now dominates the cognitive sciences, but important questions remain to be answered about what, exactly, scanning can tell us. One corner of cognitive science that has been transformed by the use of neuroimaging, and that a scanning enthusiast might point to as proof of scanning's importance, is the study of face perception. Against this view, we argue that the use of scanning has, in fact, told us rather little about the information processing underlying face perception (...) and that it is not likely to tell us much more. (shrink)
Despite its prominent role in cognitive psychology, its relevance for the research of consciousness, and some helpful clarification (e.g., Revonsuo 1999), the binding problem is still surrounded by considerable confusion. In this paper, I first give an informal but systematic overview on the diversity of forms the binding problem can assume, and then attempt to extract, on the basis of "working definitions" of various much-discussed types of binding, a common denominator. I propose that at the heart of the binding problem (...) lies the notion of representing an entity as having a certain property, and discuss several objections that could be raised against the proposed analysis, as well its usefulness and implications. (shrink)
Walter Benjamin, Religion, and Aesthetics is an innovative attempt to reconceive the key concepts of religious studies through a reading with, and against, Walter Benjamin. Brent Plate deftly sifts through Benjamin's voluminous writings showing how his concepts of art, allegory, and experience undo traditional religious concepts such as myth, symbol, memory, narrative, creation, and redemption. Recasting religion as religious practice, as process and movement, Plate locates a Benjaminian materialist aesthetics, what the author calls an "allegorical aesthetics," in order (...) to uncover sources and establish a new locus for the study of religion. Placing the concept of an allegorical aesthetics into practice, Plate offers examinations of aesthetic productions such as Daniel Libeskind's architecture and Marcel Duchamp's ready-mades alongside religious developments such as the Hindu Bhakti movement and Jewish Kabbalistic thought. Walter Benjamin, Religion, and Aesthetics will be necessary reading for those interested in religion and the arts, aesthetics, and material culture. (shrink)
This paper describes the work of the Polish logician Jan Kalicki (1922?1953). After a biographical introduction, his work on logical matrices and equational logic is appraised. A bibliography of his papers and reviews is also included.
Susan Okin read Robert Nozick as taking it to be fundamental to his Libertarianism that people own themselves, and that they can acquire entitlement to other things by making them. But she thinks that, since mothers make people, all people must then be owned by their mothers, a consequence Okin finds absurd. She sees no way for Nozick to make a principled exception to the idea that people own what they make when what they make is people, concluding that Nozick’s (...) theory of entitlement must be false, and that entitlement must instead be rooted in people’s needs. I say Okin misreads Nozick’s Libertarianism. In fact, its fundamental principle is that, simply by being persons, people are entitled to the maximum negative liberty compatible with a like liberty for all persons. Further, Nozick, and Jan Narveson, who has taken on the advocacy of Libertarian ideas, analyze liberty as freedom to interact with things, and analyze being entitled to or having property in something, as freedom to interact with it, to determine what may be done with it. People therefore have such freedom to do what they want with themselves, and such freedom to do what they want with other things, as is compatible with all persons having similar freedom. The former is what self-ownership amounts to, the latter, ownership of other things. Libertarianism’s fundamental principle therefore both grounds and delimits entitlements in ways entailing that mothers don’t own persons by dint of making them. Otherwise, since it would then be the prerogative of mothers to determine what shall be done with the persons they made, the persons made would lack equal liberty, this violating the fundamental principle. (shrink)
By his critical reflections on the crisis of modern civilization, Jan Patočka, phenomenologist of the Other Europe, incarnates the critical consciousness of the phenomenological movement. He was in fact one of the first European philosophers to have emphasized the necessity of abandoning the hitherto Eurocentric propositions of solution to the crisis when he explicitly raised the problems of a “Post-European humanity”. In advocating an understanding of the history of European humanity different from those of Husserl and Heidegger, Patočka directs his (...) philosophical reflections back to sketch a more profound phenomenology of the natural world insufficiently thematized in Husserl and absent in Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit. By virtue of its emphasis on the structural characteristics of movement, of praxis, and of the disclosure of the abyssal nature of human existence and of the original nothingness as the (non-)foundation of the phenomenal world, Patočka’s phenomenology of the natural world constitutes an opening towards the reception of Others and other cultures, in particular that of Chinese Taoist philosophy. (shrink)
Organized around the central concept of struggle, this paper is an introduction to the later thought of the Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka (1907–1977), with attention to the circumstances of his life. The first section of the paper presents Patočka’s description of the “three movements” of human existence, with emphasis upon the second, the movement of defense, work, and survival. The second section examines his later conception of philosophy, where he reprised elements of classical Greek thought (the Heraclitean notion of polemos (...) and the Socratic notion of “care of the soul”) for their relevance in the modern world. (shrink)
As regular readers of The Pluralist are aware, there appeared in 2008 an issue devoted to Jan Olof Bengtsson's The Worldview of Personalism.1 The issue included five articles, each concerned with a different aspect of the book; and after each article, there was a "Reply" by Bengtsson. In what follows, I shall say something about Bengtsson's reply to my own contribution, "Absolute and Personal Idealism." However, first let me briefly describe that article's argument.In "Absolute and Personal Idealism," I examined the (...) personalist attack on absolutism as formulated by Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison in two works: Hegelianism and Personality and The Idea of God in the Light of Recent Philosophy. In the first section of .. (shrink)
This paper presents a short biography of Jan Patočka, as well as biographical data of the author in connection to the life and work of Jan Patočka. The paper describes Patočka’s academic activity at Charles University between 1968 and 1972, how he continued by giving private underground seminars in the dark years of 1972 to 1976, and how his engagement culminated in the dissident movement Charter 77. The author explains how the unofficial underground Patočka Archive was established on the very (...) day of Patočka’s death, even before the terrible events around his funeral. Before the official Patočka Archive was founded on the 1st of January, 1990, many volumes of his works were edited secretly during the period of 1977 to 1989. This made it possible to continue successfully publishing the series of the Complete Works of Jan Patočka after 1990. (shrink)
The aim of the present study is (1) to show, on the basis of a number of unpublished documents, how Heinrich Scholz supported his Warsaw colleague Jan ?ukasiewicz, the Polish logician, during World War II, and (2) to discuss the efforts he made in order to enable Jan ?ukasiewicz and his wife Regina to move from Warsaw to Münster under life-threatening circumstances. In the first section, we explain how Scholz provided financial help to ?ukasiewicz, and we also adduce evidence of (...) the risks incurred by German scholars who offered assistance to their Polish colleagues. In the second section, we discuss the dramatic circumstances surrounding the ?ukasiewiczes' move to Münster in the summer of 1944. (shrink)
Common Sense and Logic in Jan Smedslund's 'Psycho-logic'. This paper is about the efforts the norwegian psychologist Jan Smedslund made in analyzing and checking philosophically his theory called 'Psycho-logic'. I am going to reconstruct and discuss the debates between Smedslund and several critics, which have been going on since about 1978, mainly in the "Scandinavian Journal of Psychology". A result will be that the kind of modal logics Smedslund uses - a type with realistic semantics and epistemology - is not (...) the proper one for the analysis of 'Psycho-logic'. (shrink)
In this article the author attempts to establish whether we can find a “theory of appearance” in the philosophy of Jan Patočka. The “appearance” for Patočka is basically composed of two elements. First there is a “primeval movement” which accounts for an infinite possibility of phenomena. The second element is the relation of this movement with an “addressee”, the subjectivity. If we begin to analyse the unity of these two elements we fundamentally come across three problems: what is it that (...) appears, when appearance presupposes a certain totality of appearance; how does this total appearance come forth; and, finally, is this whole “structure of appearance” taken as a free movement, kept once and for all within the boundaries of phenomenology, which is founded on a precise and positive term of “appearance” — or do we have to stipulate a special “experience” as the starting point of a phenomenology, which accepts the abyssal impossibility to control its frame? (shrink)
Factory farming is big business. Since the "products" of factoryfarming are living, breathing, sentient creatures, particular ethical issues are raised in a market system based on efficiency, productivity, costs of production, and profit. This paper focuses on the question of weather food animals in the American market system are subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering before they make it to our dinner plates. The single most important consideration, then, is an exploration of the extent to which economic considerations render factory (...) farming not only lucrative but also necessary under present market conditions. The concern for "unnecessary suffering" moves the paper into an exploration of the extent to which the practices and effects of factory farming raise spiritual concerns which believers ought to address. (shrink)
Existuje překvapivě málo knih, které by se pokoušely o syntetizující pohled na analytickou filosofii. Je ovšem pravda, že ve druhé polovině našeho století se soubor filosofů, kteří se k analytické filosofii hlásí nebo kteří k ní bývají řazeni, stává natolik různorodý, že se jakákoli syntéza stává problematickou; překvapivě málo syntetizujících prací existuje ale i o ‘klasické’ analytické filosofii, to jest o analytické filosofii období zhruba od konce devatenáctého století do poloviny století dvacátého. Dejnožkova kniha je jednou z těch mála, které (...) se o něco takového pokouší, a to je třeba přivítat. Dejnožka se ovšem nesnaží podat všestranný rozbor názorů klasiků analytické filosofie; soustředí se pouze jeden aspekt jejich učení, totiž na jejich ontologii. Hned v úvodu své knihy k tomu vysvětluje, jaké opodstatnění může mít hovořit o ontologii u takového druhu filosofie, která se programově distancuje od metafyziky. Podle něj je tomu tak, že i když se někteří analytičtí filosofové někdy více či méně úspěšně vyhýbali otázkám metafyzickým (to jest otázkám po nejzákladnějších kategoriích bytí), ontologickým otázkám (to jest otázkám po povaze bytí jako takového) se v podstatě vyhnout nelze. A Dejnožka se snaží ukázat, že klasikové analytické filosofie se těmito otázkami zabývali mnohdy velice do hloubky. To je patrné zejména u Frega a Russella, kterým autor věnuje největší pozornost; avšak k těm, kteří podle Dejnožky berou ústřední otázku ontologie za svou, řadí Dejnožka i Wittgensteina i Quina (jimž se však věnuje na pouze velice omezeném prostoru - každému asi na dvanácti stránkách). (shrink)
In this paper, we contrast English and Greek resultative secondary predication, showing that Greek lacks the productive syntactic strategy which English employs. We propose that the difference in productivity should be attributed to properties of the morphology in the two languages (namely, to the differing productivity of certain verbal affixes). Finally, we give a compositional semantics for the complex event formation in the morphology/syntax that accounts for the contrasts between resultatives in English and Greek.
Jan Österberg (Self and Others, 1988) argues that the most defensible form of egoism should not only tell each of us what to do but also tell us what we ought to do. He also claims that collective norms should take precedence over individual ones. An individual ought to do one's part in an action pattern that is prescribed for the group - provided that other members of the group do their part. question This paper questions Österberg's claim that Collective (...) Egoism, unlike other forms of egoism, avoids violations of the principles which he takes to be analytical adequacy criteria for ethical theories: the principles of "deontic consequence" and "joint satisfiability". Furthermore, it questions his argument that Collective Egoism yields the "right" prescriptions in its main test-case: Prisoners' Dilemma. The improved version of Collective Egoism is able to deal with the two-person Prisoners' Dilemma, but it still misbehaves when we move to the many-persons cases. A certain type of "free rider"-problems proves to be especially troublesome. (shrink)