This volume is about searching for fundamental theory in physics which has become somewhat elusive in recent decades. Like a group of blind men investigating an elephant, one physicist postulates the trunk as a hose, another a leg as a tree, the body a wall or barrier, the tail a rope and the ears as a fan. The organizers of the Vigier series symposia strongly believe cross polination by exploring many avenues of seemingly disparate research is key to breakthrough discovery (...) and solicited papers on all areas of physics deemed pertinent in Astrophysics, Cosmology, nuclear physics, quantum theory, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, vacuum field theory and topology. (shrink)
A Study of the History and Philosophy of Category Theory Jean-Pierre Marquis. to say that objects are dispensable in geometry. What is claimed is that the specific nature of the objects used is irrelevant. To use the terminology already ...
Dans la Notice bibliographique sur Pierre BersuireI, j'ai signalé2 que le frère mineur Jean Thenaud avait consacré à cet auteur un passage de sa Margarite de France, mais le temps m'avait manqué pour le retracer. Puis, Thenaud s'étant lui aussi occupé de mythologie, la question se posait tout naturellement de savoir dans quelle mesure il a été tributaire de l'Ovidius moralizatus de Bersuire. Je livre ici le résultat de recherches assez complexes, car la bibliographie de Thenaud s'est révélée (...) des plus embrouillées. (shrink)
Van Heijenoort’s main contribution to history and philosophy of modern logic was his distinction between two basic views of logic, first, the absolutist, or universalist, view of the founding fathers, Frege, Peano, and Russell, which dominated the first, classical period of history of modern logic, and, second, the relativist, or model-theoretic, view, inherited from Boole, Schröder, and Löwenheim, which has dominated the second, contemporary period of that history. In my paper, I present the man Jean van Heijenoort (Sect. 1); (...) then I describe his way of arguing for the second view (Sect. 2); and finally I come down in favor of the first view (Sect. 3). There, I specify the version of universalism for which I am prepared to argue (Sect. 3, introduction). Choosing ZFC to play the part of universal, logical (in a nowadays forgotten sense) system, I show, through an example, how the usual model theory can be naturally given its proper place, from the universalist point of view, in the logical framework of ZFC; I outline another, not rival but complementary, semantics for admissible extensions of ZFC in the very same logical framework; I propose a way to get universalism out of the predicaments in which universalists themselves believed it to be (Sect. 3.1). Thus, if universalists of the classical period did not, in fact, construct these semantics, it was not that their universalism forbade them, in principle, to do so. The historical defeat of universalism was not technical in character. Neither was it philosophical. Indeed, it was hardly more than the victory of technicism over the very possibility of a philosophical dispute (Sect. 3.2). (shrink)
Jean Hamburger (1909--1992) is considered the founder of the concept of medical intensive care (reanimation medicale) and the first to propose the name Nephrology for the branch of medicine dealing with kidney diseases. One of the first kidney grafts in the world (with short-term success), in 1953, and the first dialysis session in France, in 1955, were performed under his guidance. His achievements as a writer were at least comparable: Hamburger was awarded several important literary prizes, including prix Femina, (...) prix Balzac and the Cino del Duca prize (1979), awarded, among others, to Jorge Luis Borges and Konrad Lorenz.Here we would like to offer a selected reading of a "golden" book, "Conseils aux etudiants en medicine de mon service" ("Advice to the Medical Students in my Service"), the first book dedicated to patient-physician relationship in Nephrology, written when dialysis and transplantation were becoming clinical options (1963). The themes include: the central role of the patient, who should be known by name, profession, life style, and not by disease; the importance of the setting of the care; the need for truth-telling and for leaving hope; the role of research not only in the progression of science, but also in the daily clinical practice. (shrink)
Turing's programme, the idea that intelligence can be modelled computationally, is set in the context of a parallel between certain elements from metamathematics and Popper's schema for the evolution of knowledge. The parallel is developed at both the formal level, where it hinges on the recursive structuring of Popper's schema, and at the contentual level, where a few key issues common to both epistemology and metamathematics are briefly discussed. In light of this connection Popper's principle of transference, akin to Turing's (...) belief in the relevance of the theory of computation for modelling psychological functions, is widened into the extended principle of transference. Thus Turing's programme gains a solid epistemological footing. *I am grateful to Claude Lamontagne and Jean-Pierre Delage for their comments on this paper. (shrink)
Jean-Paul Sartre is one of the most famous philosophers of the twentieth century. The principal founder of existentialism, a political thinker and famous novelist and dramatist, his work has exerted enormous influence in philosophy, literature, politics and cultural studies. Jean-Paul Sartre: Basic Writings is the first collection of Sartre's key philosophical writings and provides an indispensable resource for readers of his work. Stephen Priest's clear and helpful introductions make the volume an ideal companion to those coming to Sartre's (...) writing for the first time. (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.
The article analyses the idea that according to the averroist Jean de Jandun, Master of Arts in Paris at the beginning of the 14th century, human beings are composed of a «double form» the separated intellect on the one hand, the cogitative soul on the other hand. After recalling several major accounts of the time, we explore Jean's reading of Averroes' major conceptions concerning the problem. Finally, we challenge the idea according to which we observe in his writings (...) the radical thesis of a sometimes cogitating sometimes thinking «double human being» that makes of the homo intelligens a punctual and exclusive new being, which is accidentally produced while the thinking takes place. (shrink)
Van Heijenoort’s account of the historical development of modern logic was composed in 1974 and first published in 1992 with an introduction by his former student. What follows is a new edition with a revised and expanded introduction and additional notes.
This collection of articles illustrates the intimacy between science and literature, pleasure and sense, excess and moderation that Jean Ceard sought to understand and that he instilled in those who collaborated or studied with him.
Jean Starobinski, one of Europe's foremost literary critics, examines the life that led Rousseau, who so passionately sought open, transparent communication with others, to accept and even foster obstacles that permitted him to withdraw into himself. First published in France in 1958, Jean-Jacques Rousseau remains Starobinski's most important achievement and, arguably, the most comprehensive book ever written on Rousseau. The text has been extensively revised for this edition and is published here along with seven essays on Rousseau that (...) appeared between 1962 and 1970. (shrink)
Amidst the many brain events evoked by a visual stimulus, which are specifically associated with conscious perception, and which merely reflect non-conscious processing? Several recent neuroimaging studies have contrasted conscious and non-conscious visual processing, but their results appear inconsistent. Some support a correlation of conscious perception with early occipital events, others with late parieto-frontal activity. Here we attempt to make sense of those dissenting results. On the basis of a minimal neuro-computational model, the global neuronal workspace hypothesis, we propose a (...) taxonomy which distinguishes between vigilance and access to conscious report, as well as between subliminal, preconscious and conscious processing. We suggest that these distinctions map onto different neural mechanisms, and that conscious perception is systematically associated with a sudden surge of parieto-frontal activity causing top-down amplification. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to clarify the role of category theory in the foundations of mathematics. There is a good deal of confusion surrounding this issue. A standard philosophical strategy in the face of a situation of this kind is to draw various distinctions and in this way show that the confusion rests on divergent conceptions of what the foundations of mathematics ought to be. This is the strategy adopted in the present paper. It is divided into 5 (...) sections. We first show that already in the set theoretical framework, there are different dimensions to the expression foundations of. We then explore these dimensions more thoroughly. After a very short discussion of the links between these dimensions, we move to some of the arguments presented for and against category theory in the foundational landscape. We end up on a more speculative note by examining the relationships between category theory and set theory. (shrink)
Mereology is the logic of part—whole concepts as they are used in many different contexts. The old chemical metaphysics of atoms and molecules seems to fit classical mereology very well. However, when functional attributes are added to part specifications and quantum mechanical considerations are also added, the rules of classical mereology are breached in chemical discourses. A set theoretical alternative mereology is also found wanting. Molecular orbital theory requires a metaphysics of affordances that also stands outside classical mereology.
The aim of this paper is to put into context the historical, foundational and philosophical significance of category theory. We use our historical investigation to inform the various category-theoretic foundational debates and to point to some common elements found among those who advocate adopting a foundational stance. We then use these elements to argue for the philosophical position that category theory provides a framework for an algebraic in re interpretation of mathematical structuralism. In each context, what we aim to show (...) is that, whatever the significance of category theory, it need not rely upon any set-theoretic underpinning. (shrink)
In recent years there has been some hard-won but still limited agreement that phenomenology may be of central importance to the cognitive sciences. This realization comes in the wake of dismissive gestures made by philosophers of mind like Dennett (1991), who mistakenly associates phenomenological method with the worst forms of introspection. For very different reasons, resistance can also be found on the phenomenological side of this issue. There are many thinkers well versed in the Husserlian tradition who do not even (...) want to consider the usefulness of phenomenology for enlightening the sciences of the mind. For them cognitive science is simply too computational or too reductionistic to be seriously considered as capable of explaining experience or consciousness.  This is surprising in light of the fact that a highly respected phenomenologist like Merleau-Ponty was integrating phenomenological analyses with considerations drawn from the empirical sciences of psychology and neurology long before cognitive science was constructed as a framework to include just those aspects of psychology and neurology that focus on cognitive experience. Merleau-Ponty aside, philosophers on both sides of this issue have only gradually come to acknowledge the possibility that phenomenology may be directly relevant for a scientific understanding of cognition. Sometimes the empirical scientists themselves have arrived at this conclusion even before, and in spite of the philosophers. Francisco Varela's work on neurophenomenology provides an important example (Varela, 1996). Even the hardest of hard scientists have made peace offerings to phenomenology. Recently, for example, the neuroscientist Jean-Pierre Changeux declares that his purpose "is not to go to war against phenomenology; to the contrary, [he wants] to see what constructive contribution it can make to our knowledge of the psyche, acting in concert with the neurosciences" (Changeux and Ricoeur, 2000, p. 85). (shrink)
Research into the so-called “philosophical” Hermetica has long been dominated by the foundational scholarship of André-Jean Festugière, who strongly emphasized their Greek and philosophical elements. Since the late 1970s, this perspective has given way to a new and more complex one, due to the work of another French scholar, Jean-Pierre Mahé, who could profit from the discovery of new textual sources, and called much more attention to the Egyptian and religious dimensions of the hermetic writings. This article (...) addresses the question of how, on these foundations, we should evaluate and understand the frequent hermetic references to profound but wholly ineffable revelatory and salvational insights received during “ecstatic” states. Festugière dismissed them as “literary fictions”, whereas Mahé took them much more seriously as possibly reflecting ritual practices that took place in hermetic communities. Based upon close reading of three central texts (CH I, CH XIII, NH VI6), and challenging existing translations and interpretations, this article argues that the authors of the hermetic corpus assumed a sequential hierarchy of “levels of knowledge”, in which the highest and most profound knowledge (gnōsis) is attained only during ecstatic or “altered” states of consciousness that transcend rationality. While the hermetic teachings have often been described as unsystematic, inconsistent, incoherent or confused, in fact they are grounded in a precise and carefully formulated doctrine of how the hermetic initiate may move from the domain of mere rational discourse to the attainment of several “trans-rational” stages of direct experiential knowledge, and thereby from the limited and temporal domain of material reality to the unlimited and eternal one of Mind. (shrink)
The five narratives identified by the DEEPEN-project are interpreted in terms of the ancient story of desire, evil, and the sacred, and the modern narratives of alienation and exploitation. The first three narratives of lay ethics do not take stock of what has radically changed in the modern world under the triple and joint evolution of science, religion, and philosophy. The modern narratives, in turn, are in serious need of a post-modern deconstruction. Both critiques express the limits of humanism. They (...) do not imply, however, that these narratives should not be taken seriously. In particular, the enduring presence of three ancient narratives in laypeople’s symbolic thought is highly significant in terms of the role that the logic of the sacred keeps playing in the workings of modern societies. Lay people’s implicit understanding of how modern technology tends towards catastrophe and apocalypse provides the strongest argument for taking these narratives seriously. (shrink)
Mulliken proposed an Aufbauprinzip for the molecules on the basis of molecular spectroscopy while establishing, point by point, his concept of molecular orbit. It is the concept of electronic state which becomes the lever for his attribution of electronic configurations to a molecule. In 1932, the concept of orbit was transmuted into that of the molecular orbital to integrate the probabilistic approach of Born and to achieve quantitative accuracy. On the basis of the quantum works of Hund, Wigner, Lennard-Jones and (...) group theory, he suggested the fragment method to establish the characteristics of molecular orbital for polyatomic molecules. These developments make it possible to bring elements of thought on the relation between a molecular whole and its parts . An operational realism combined with the second law of thermodynamics can pave the way for interesting tracks in the mereological study of chemical systems. (shrink)
In this paper, I introduce and examine the notion of “mathematical engineering” and its impact on mathematical change. Mathematical engineering is an important part of contemporary mathematics and it roughly consists of the “construction” and development of various machines, probes and instruments used in numerous mathematical fields. As an example of such constructions, I briefly present the basic steps and properties of homology theory. I then try to show that this aspect of contemporary mathematics has important consequences on our conception (...) of mathematical knowledge, in particular mathematical growth. (shrink)
Evaluative Semantics proposes a strongly postmodernist theory of cognition, ideology and discourse in which the structure and internal consistency of ideology resemble those of evaluative knowledge of the mind. The strength of this book is that it goes beyond purely theoretical claims to propose an original connectionist model of evaluative interpretation. Malrieu's new semantics makes a unique contribution to the literature of cognitive science, linguistics, and discourse analysis.
This paper argues for a largely unnoted distinction between relational and modal components in the lexical semantics of verbs. Wehypothesize that many verbs encode two kinds of semantic information:a relationship among participants in a situation and a subset ofcircumstances or time indices at which this relationship isevaluated. The latter we term sublexical modality.We show that linking regularities between semantic arguments andsyntactic functions provide corroborating evidence in favor of thissemantic distinction, noting cases in which the semantic groundingof linking through participant-role properties (...) apparently fails. Thissemantic grounding can be preserved, however, once we abstractaway from sublexical modality in lexical semantic representations.Semantically-based linking constraints are insensitive to the sublexicalmodality component of lexical entries and depend only on informationin a predicator's situational core. (shrink)
In this paper, we try to establish that some mathematical theories, like K-theory, homology, cohomology, homotopy theories, spectral sequences, modern Galois theory (in its various applications), representation theory and character theory, etc., should be thought of as (abstract) machines in the same way that there are (concrete) machines in the natural sciences. If this is correct, then many epistemological and ontological issues in the philosophy of mathematics are seen in a different light. We concentrate on one problem which immediately follows (...) the recognition of the particular status of these theories: the demarcation problem between ‘natural kinds’ and ‘artefacts’. (shrink)
JeanPierre Boulé's Sartre, Self Formation and Masculinities argues that we cannot adequately understand Sartre without taking account of the unique ways in which he negotiated the gender mandates of patriarchy. Taking Boulé's cue, I call on Lacan, Cixous and Beauvoir to interrogate Sartre's relationship to women, to his body and to writing. I argue for Boulé's approach but against several of his conclusions. Further, I credit Boulé with providing ammunition for challenging Lacan's universal account of the mirror (...) stage, and for pushing me to read Beauvoir's "Must we Burn Sade?" as a critique of Sartre's betrayal of the erotic's ethical demands. (shrink)
Approximations form an essential part of scientific activity and they come in different forms: conceptual approximations (simplifications in models), mathematical approximations of various types (e.g. linear equations instead of non-linear ones, computational approximations), experimental approximations due to limitations of the instruments and so on and so forth. In this paper, we will consider one type of approximation, namely numerical approximations involved in the comparison of two results, be they experimental or theoretical. Our goal is to lay down the conceptual and (...) formal foundations of a local theory of partial truth. This is done by introducing and exploring the concept of truth space. (shrink)
Taking on the Tradition focuses on how the work of Jacques Derrida has helped us rethink and rework the themes of tradition, legacy, and inheritance in the Western philosophical tradition. It concentrates not only on such themes in the work of Derrida but also on his own gestures with regard to these themes—that is, on the performativity of Derrida’s texts. The book thus uses Derrida’s understanding of speech act theory to reread his own work. The book consists in a series (...) of close readings of Derrida’s texts to demonstrate that the claims he makes in his work cannot be fully understood without considering the way he makes those claims. The book considers Derrida’s relation to the Greek philosophical tradition and to his immediate predecessors in the French philosophical tradition, as well as his own legacy within the contemporary scene. Part I examines Derrida’s analyses of Plato and Aristotle on the themes of writing and metaphor. Part II looks at themes of donation, inheritance, pedagogy, and influence in relation to Derrida’s readings of the works of Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, and Jean-Pierre Vernant. Part III considers the promises and legacies of Derrida’s work on autobiography, friendship, and hospitality, themes Derrida has recently taken up in his readings of Martin Heidegger, Maurice Blanchot, and Emmanuel Levinas. In the Conclusion, the author analyzes what Derrida has recently called a “messianicity without messianism” and shows how Derrida develops two different notions of the future and of legacy: one that always determines a horizon for the donation and reception of any legacy or tradition, and one that leaves open a radically unknown and unknowable future for that legacy and tradition. (shrink)