After reviewing the status of the concept of the phenomenon in Husserl’s phenomenology and the aim of successive attempts to reform, de-formalize, and to widen it, we show the difficulties of a method that, following the example of Jean-Luc Marion’s phenomenology, intends to connect the phenomenon directly to the revelation of an exteriority. We argue that, on the contrary, Marc Richir’s phenomenology, which strives to grasp the phenomenon as nothing-but-phenomenon, is more likely to capture the “meaning” of the phenomenological , (...) and hence to help us orient in the field of problems that phenomenology encounters without always knowing how to tackle them. Yet, this extension of the phenomenon’s domain does not thereby encompass everything: there may well be certain issues that require a phenomenology without phenomenon ; but the meaning of this cannot be determined before the complete reenvisioning of transcendental phenomenology. (shrink)
Jean-Marc Narbonne | : Pour parler de la chute ou de la déclinaison de l’Âme (Sophia) dans le cadre des récits cosmogoniques gnostiques, Plotin a recours, en sus du terme νεῦσις, au substantif σφάλμα (ou encore au verbe correspondant σφάλλεσθαι), comme s’il s’agissait d’un synonyme de νεῦσις. L’enquête que nous avons menée montre le bien-fondé de cet usage, puisque le terme σφάλμα est, de fait, utilisé par les hérésiologues pour décrire, dans un langage hérité du néo-pythagorisme et donc rythmé (...) par le nombre, la chute de Sophia, laquelle incarne le douzième éon de la Dodécade en même temps que le trentième et dernier éon de l’ensemble du Plérôme. Rapporté à la métaphysique pythagoricienne dont il relève, le récit gnostique perd toute apparence d’arbitraire et révèle enfin sa véritable structure, commandée de bout en bout par le nombre. Il est raisonnable de penser que l’arithmologie rivale du traité 34 de Plotin est là pour y couper court. | : When speaking of the fall or decline of the Soul (Sophia) within the context of the Gnostic cosmogonic narratives, Plotinus, in addition to the term νεῦσις, resorts to the substantive σφάλμα (or the corresponding verb σφάλλεσθαι), as if it were a synonym of νεῦσις. The following investigation demonstrates the validity of this usage, as the term σφάλμα is, in fact, used by the heresiologists to describe, in a language inherited from Neopythagoreanism, and therefore structured by number, the fall of Sophia, which embodies both the twelfth aeon of the Dodecade as well as the thirtieth and final aeon of the entire Pleroma. Related back to the Pythagorean metaphysics whence it is stems, the Gnostic narrative loses any appearance of arbitrariness and finally reveals its true structure, ordered from start to finish by number. It is reasonable to think that the rival arithmology of Plotinus’ Treatise 34 was created in order to undermine this very narrative. (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)
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.
If anything marks the image, it is a deep ambivalence. Denounced as superficial, illusory, and groundless, images are at the same time attributed with exorbitant power and assigned a privileged relation to truth. Mistrusted by philosophy, forbidden and embraced by religions, manipulated as “spectacle” and proliferated in the media, images never cease to present their multiple aspects, their paradoxes, their flat but receding spaces.What is this power that lies in the depths and recesses of an image—which is always only an (...) impenetrable surface? What secrets are concealed in the ground or in the figures of an image—which never does anything but show just exactly what it is and nothing else? How does the immanence of images open onto their unimaginable others, their imageless origin?In this collection of writings on images and visual art, Jean-Luc Nancy explores such questions through an extraordinary range of references. From Renaissance painting and landscape to photography and video, from the image of Roman death masks to the language of silent film, from Cleopatra to Kant and Heidegger, Nancy pursues a reflection on visuality that goes far beyond the many disciplines with which it intersects. He offers insights into the religious, cultural, political, art historical, and philosophical aspects of the visual relation, treating such vexed problems as the connection between image and violence, the sacred status of images, and, in a profound and important essay, the forbidden representation of the Shoah. In the background of all these investigations lies a preoccupation with finitude, the unsettling forces envisaged by the images that confront us, the limits that bind us to them, the death that stares back at us from their frozen traits and distant intimacies.In these vibrant and complex essays, a central figure in European philosophy continues to work through some of the most important questions of our time. Jean-Luc Nancy is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Université Marc Bloch, Strasbourg. The most recent of his many books to be published in English are A Finite Thinking and Multiple Arts. Jeff Fort has translated works by authors such as Jean Genet, Maurice Blanchot, and Jacques Derrida. He is currently a lecturer in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. (shrink)
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)
The context of a linguisticexpression is defined as everything outside theexpression itself that is necessary forunambiguous interpretation of the expression.As meaning can be conveyed either by theimplicit, shared context or by the explicitform of the expression, the degree ofcontext-dependence or ``contextuality'' ofcommunication will vary, depending on thesituation and preferences of the languageproducer. An empirical measure of thisvariation is proposed, the ``formality'' or``F-score'', based on the frequencies ofdifferent word classes. Nouns, adjectives,articles and prepositions are more frequent inlow-context or ``formal'' types of (...) expression;pronouns, adverbs, verbs and interjections aremore frequent in high-context styles. Thismeasure adequately distinguishes differentgenres of language production using data forDutch, French, Italian, and English. Factoranalyses applied to data in 7 differentlanguages produce a similar factor as the mostimportant one. Both the data and thetheoretical model suggest that contextualitydecreases when unambiguous understandingbecomes more important or more difficult toachieve, when the separation in space, time orbackground between the interlocutors increases,and when the speaker is male, introvertedand/or academically educated. (shrink)
New concepts may prove necessary to profit from the avalanche of sequence data on the genome, transcriptome, proteome and interactome and to relate this information to cell physiology. Here, we focus on the concept of large activity-based structures, or hyperstructures, in which a variety of types of molecules are brought together to perform a function. We review the evidence for the existence of hyperstructures responsible for the initiation of DNA replication, the sequestration of newly replicated origins of replication, cell division (...) and for metabolism. The processes responsible for hyperstructure formation include changes in enzyme affinities due to metabolite-induction, lipid-protein affinities, elevated local concentrations of proteins and their binding sites on DNA and RNA, and transertion. Experimental techniques exist that can be used to study hyperstructures and we review some of the ones less familiar to biologists. Finally, we speculate on how a variety of in silico approaches involving cellular automata and multi-agent systems could be combined to develop new concepts in the form of an Integrated cell (I-cell) which would undergo selection for growth and survival in a world of artificial microbiology. (shrink)
Iamblichus has long lived under the shadow of Plotinus. One can easily recognize this from the historiography of the Neoplatonic school starting, for example, with J.J. Brucker's Historia critica philosophiae (1742) and continuing with Hegel and 19th century historians like Simon and Vacherot in France, Kroll and Zeller in Germany. But from Praechter on Iamblichus was acknowledged more and more as an original thinker and the real systematizer of the late Neoplatonic School. We can see more clearly now that the (...) inclusion of theurgy into Neoplatonism does not mean a simple abandonment of philosophy or rational discourse, and that the discipline of textual exegesis does not negate the originality of the commentator. In Proclus, for one, these complementary strains are strongly present. In rebuilding the whole Platonic system, Iamblichus - the Chrysippus of Neoplatonism - skillfully incorporated elements like the Chaldean triads which were unknown to Plotinus, and presented a completely new account of the nature of theology. This feat shows a genius no less impressive, albeit of another type, than the one disclosed by Plotinus himself. (shrink)
I outline features of the emerging consensus that philosophy has now liberated itself from the horizon of onto-theology with respect to the history of metaphysics. I draw on Jean-Marc Narbonne, Hénologie, Ontologie et Ereignis (Plotin-Proclus-Heidegger), conferences presented at La métaphysique: son histoire, sa critique, ses enjeux held at Laval University in 1998, and other recent work, showingwhy Heidegger’s horizon does not encompass ancient or medieval Platonic or Aristotelian philosophy. Noting that both French Neoplatonic studies after Bréhier and Heidegger in (...) Identität und Diff erenz were opposing Hegelian accounts of the history of philosophy, I suggest that: (1) both were reacting to the same problem, (2) French Neoplatonism was motivated by Heidegger’s questions, (3) Heidegger’s account of Being beyond the diff erence of Being and beings resembles the Neoplatonic account of the One. (shrink)
Abstract Previous research has shown that children and adolescents can progress in the stages of moral judgment. However, in the case of adults, Kohlberg (1973) suggested there might be crystallization after the age of 25. The purpose of this study was to establish whether the structure of moral judgment of adults could be systematically encouraged toward change. Thirty?six adults (three groups) enrolled in an adult sexology course were assessed to determine stage level at the beginning of the course, and post?tested (...) at the completion of the course. Four dilemmas were used: two for general moral judgment, and two for sexual moral judgment. During the 45?hour course, subjects were systematically introduced to arguments of a higher stage, and discussions focused on the axiological aspects of the adults? sexual life. Results show that there was a significant increase in the scores at the post?test, both in general and in sexual moral judgments; subjects over 25 also increased their scores, thus indicating that the structure of moral judgment is not crystallized after that age. The existence of a differential between general and sexual moral judgments was also corroborated. Implications with regard to the use of the ?+1 stage? technique for adult education, and more particularly for adult sexual education, are discussed. 1Based upon an experimental study conducted by Louise Marchand?Jodoin and Michel Rainville. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to study the monotonicity properties with respect to the probability distribution of the state processes, of optimal decisions in bandit decision problems. Orderings of dynamic discrete projects are provided by extending the notion of stochastic dominance to stochastic processes.
Let me begin with a strong affirmation on the part of Levinas, almost a condemnation of all philosophical discourse itself, such as we find in “The Trace of the Other”: Western philosophy coincides with the unveiling of the Other in which the Other, in manifesting itself as being, loses its otherness. Philosophy has been stricken since its infancy with a horror for the Other that remains Other — an insurmountable allergy. That is why it is essentially a philosophy of being, (...) the understanding of being its last word and the fundamental structure of man. That is also why it becomes a philosophy of immanence and autonomy, or atheism. The God of the philosophers, from Aristotle to Leibniz, including the God of the scholastics, is a god adequate to reason. (shrink)
Perspectives on emotion -- Epistemological and methodological perspectives -- method, research question and hypotheses -- The independent variables -- Results: self-perceived competence in oral and written language -- Results: communicating feelings (in general) -- Results: communicating anger and swearing -- Results: attitudes towards languages and perception of emotionality of swearwords -- Results: foreign language anxiety -- Results: code-switching and emotion. -- Concluding remarks.
Découvert par l’intermédiaire d’Alfred Métraux , l’enseignement de Marcel Mauss a profondément et durablement impressionné Georges Bataille, qui désigne explicitement l’ Essai sur le don comme l’« origine » de ses deux essais sociologiques , l’article sur La Notion de dépense publié en 1933 , et le texte intitulé La Part maudite , publié en 1949. Le degré et la nature de l’influence exercée par les écrits de Marcel Mauss sur la pensée de Georges Bataille ont fait l’objet de nombreuses (...) études.Il ne s’agit ici ni de prendre la mesure de la dette théorique de Bataille à l’égard de son inspirateur , ni d’évaluer les convergences ou les divergences de son interprétation sociologique du don d’avec la pensée de Marcel Mauss . Mais d’interroger l’usage qu’il fait du discours anthropologique produit par l’école française de sociologie pour fonder ses investissements politiques et artistiques personnels. (shrink)
The point of view put forth in the following pages differs greatly from the common perspective according to which the treatises 30 to 33 constitute a single work, a Großschrift, and this single work, Plotinus essential response to the ...
Stimulation of airway myocytes by contractile agents such as acetylcholine (ACh) activates a Ca2+-activated Cl– current (IClCa) which may play a key role in calcium homeostasis of airway myocytes and hence in airway reactivity. The aim of the present study was to model IClCa in airway smooth muscle cells using a computerised model previously designed for simulation of cardiac myocyte functioning. Modelling was based on a simple resistor-battery permeation model combined with multiple binding site activation by calcium. In order to (...) validate the model, a combination of equations, used to mimic [Ca2+]i response to ACh stimulation, were incorporated into the model. The results indicate that the model developed in this article accounts for experimental recordings and electrophysiological characteristics of this current in airway smooth muscle cells, with parameter values consistent with those calculated from experimental data. Such a model may thus be used to predict IClCa functioning, though additional experimental data from airway myocytes would be useful to more accurately determine some parameter values of the model. (shrink)
Taking his critique of totalitarianizing conceptions of community as a starting point, this text examines Jean-Luc Nancy's work of an "ontology of plural singular being" for its political implications. It argues that while at first this ontology seems to advocate a negative or an anti-politics only, it can also be read as a "theory of communicative praxis" that suggests a certain ethos - in the form of a certain use of symbols (which is expressed only inaptly by the word "style") (...) that would render the ontological plurality of singulars perceptible and practically effective. Finally, some recent texts by Nancy even sidestep the ontology of being-with and face the question of what politics, faced with demands of justice, could be and what a democratic politics could provide. Both of these aspects in Nancy's work, however, still remain to be spelled out more politically. (shrink)
Abstract Modern reflection on the ideal of personal autonomy has its Western origin in the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, where autonomy, or self-legislation, involves citizens joining together to make laws for themselves that reflect their collective understanding of the common good. Four features of this conception of autonomy continue to be relevant today. First, autonomy, a type of freedom, is introduced into modern philosophy in order to make up for a perceived deficiency, or incompleteness, in merely ?negative? freedom (the right (...) to do as one pleases, unimpeded by others). Second, autonomy is taken to be not merely a complement of negative freedom but a higher, more valuable species of freedom. Third, at its origin personal autonomy is not conceived individualistically; rather, on Rousseau's account, autonomy is achievable only if citizens surrender part of their status as individuals and think of their social membership as essential, not merely accidental, to who they are. Finally, Rousseau's conception of autonomy is distinct from the contemporary ideal of autonomy defined as judging or deciding for oneself (according to one's own reason). Nevertheless, there is an important sense in which autonomy as Rousseau conceives it also requires the developed capacity for independent, self-determined judgment. (shrink)
Philosophy and Tragedy is a compelling contribution to that oversight and the first book to address the topic in a major way. Eleven new essays by internationally renowned philosophers clearly show how time and again, major thinkers have returned to tragedy in many of their key works. Philosophy and Tragedy asks why it is that thinkers as far apart as Hegel and Benjamin should make tragedy such and important strand of philosophy should present itself tragically. From Heidegger's reading of Sophocles' (...) Antigone to Nietzsche and Benjamin's book length studies of tragedy, Philosophy and Tragedy presents and outstanding and original study of this preoccupation. The five sections are organised clearly around five major philosophers: Hegel, Holderlin, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Benjamin. Contributors include: Walter Borgan, Jean-Francois Courtine, Francoise Dastur, Gunter Figal, Rodolphe Gasche, David Farrell Krell, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, William McNeill, Marc Froment-Meurice. (shrink)
The preceding article by Marc Bekoff reveals much about our current understanding of animal self-consciousness and its implications. It also reveals how much more there is to be said and considered. This response briefly examines animal self-consciousness from scientific, moral, and theological perspectives. As Bekoff emphasizes, self-consciousness is not one thing but many. Consequently, our moral relationship to animals is not simply one based on a graded hierarchy of abilities. Furthermore, the complexity of animal self-awareness can serve as stimulus for (...) thinking about issues of theodicy and soteriology in a broader sense. (shrink)
Alison Stone offers a feminist defence of the idea that sexual difference is natural, providing a new interpretation of the later philosophy of Luce Irigaray. She defends Irigaray's unique form of essentialism and her rethinking of the relationship between nature and culture, showing how Irigaray's ideas can be reconciled with Judith Butler's performative conception of gender, through rethinking sexual difference in relation to German Romantic philosophies of nature. This is the first sustained attempt to connect feminist conceptions of embodiment (...) to German idealist and Romantic accounts of nature. Not merely an interpretation of Irigaray, this book also presents an original feminist perspective on nature and the body. It will encourage debate on the relations between sexual difference, essentialism, and embodiment. (shrink)
The seal of the a priori is imprinted on the reception of Kant's philosophy. Piaget's epistemological argumentation seems to ascribe knowledge a more fruitful constructiveness than Kant, seeing the a priori as rooted in unvarying reason. Yet, it seems, he failed to recognize the complexity of Kant's theory, which does not always follow a quid iuris line. Moments of experience, analysis and self-observation played more than a marginal role in his discovery of the a priori. Indeed, Kant himself raises the (...) question of ontogenetic category assimilation in a review which pre-empts Piaget, borrowing the category of `original acquisition' from the doctrine of the laws of natural right. And although Kant should not be elevated to the harbinger of the knowledge on development issues delivered thus far by the history of science and experiments, he did recognize the temporal reference of their categories in principle without resolving their validity in psychogenetic terms. Key Words: a priori categories genetic epistemology Geneva School neo-Kantianism original acquisition Jean Piaget psychogenesis self-observation. (shrink)
For scientific essentialists, the only logical possibilities of existence are the real (or metaphysical) ones, and such possibilities, they say, are relative to worlds. They are not a priori, and they cannot just be invented. Rather, they are discoverable only by the a posteriori methods of science. There are, however, many philosophers who think that real possibilities are knowable a priori, or that they can just be invented. Marc Lange [Lange 2004] thinks that they can be invented, and tries to (...) use his inventions to argue that the essentialist theory of counterfactual conditionals developed in Scientific Essentialism [Ellis 2001, hereafter SE] is flawed. (shrink)
Marc Lange’s new book on laws offers a restatement and development of the account he proposed in Natural Laws and Scientific Practice (Oxford University Press, 2000), henceforth NLSP, and the new material is helpfully summarized in the preface. Laws and Lawmakers presents the key idea from NLSP in a rather more reader-friendly manner – this idea being roughly that the difference between laws and accidents is that laws, unlike accidents, form a ‘stable’ set, i.e. a logically closed set of truths (...) such that they would all still hold under any counterfactual supposition consistent with the set. So, for example, the natural laws all still hold under counterfactual suppositions such as ‘had this match been struck …’, ‘had Bill Gates wanted to build a gold cube one mile across’ and so on; thus this set is stable. But the set of laws plus the accidental claim ‘there is no gold cube one mile across’ fails to hold under such counterfactual suppositions because had Bill Gates wanted to build a gold cube one mile across, such a cube might well have come into existence; thus this set is not stable. While the basic outline and defence of this idea is provided in Chapter 1, those wishing to delve into the intricate …. (shrink)
The kind of phenomenology that can be useful to theology will be a hermeneutical phenomenology, one that takes us beyond the Cartesian/Husserlian ideal of presuppositionless intuition. It will also be a phenomenology of inverse intentionality, one in which the constituting subject is constituted by the look and the voice of another. In light of these suggestions, the phenomenology of Jean-Luc Marion is defended against three critiques, namely that it compromises the boundary between phenomenology and theology, that the theology it serves (...) is a bad one to boot, and that it has an inadequate account of the subject. At the heart of this defense is Marion's clear distinction between phenomenology as a description of possible experience, and theology as the claim that a certain kind of experience, namely revelation or epiphany, is not merely actual but veridical. Phenomenology says, If revelation occurs it will be in the form of a saturated phenomenon. Theology says, for example, the burning bush was an epiphany, or Jesus Christ is a revelation. The attentive reader should have no trouble distinguishing Marion's phenomenological analyses, which should be persuasive to believer and unbeliever alike, from his theological claims. Marion's account of the subject falls under the heading of inverse intentionality, and there are hints that vision is aufgehoben in the voice. The seer is first of all the one seen, but above all the one addressed, called forth into response-able being. (shrink)
Abstract. The aim of this paper is to reconstruct the debate on Begriffstheorie between Ernst Cassirer, the Swe¬dish philosopher Konrad Marc-Wogau, and, virtually, Moritz Schlick. It took place during in the late thirties when Cassirer had immigrated to Sweden. While Cassirer argued for a rich “constitutive” theory of concepts, Marc-Wogau, and, in a different way, Schlick favored “austere” non-con¬sti¬¬tutive theories of concepts. Ironically, however, Cassirer used Schlick’s account as a weapon to counter Marc-Wogau’s criticism of his rich con¬¬sti¬tu¬¬tive theory of (...) concepts. With the help of modern Formal Concept Theory (FCT) it can be shown, however, that Marc-Wogau’s argument is flawed. (shrink)
Marc A. Hight has given us a well-researched, well-written, analytically rigorous and thoughtprovoking book about the development of idea ontology in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The book covers a great deal of material, some in significant depth, some not. The figures discussed include Descartes, Malebranche, Arnauld, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, and Hume. Some might think it a tall order for anyone to grapple with the central works of these figures on a subject as fundamental as the nature of ideas. (...) And while reading the book, I must admit to having had this thought a few times. Seventeen pages on Descartes’ theory of ideas, covering the development of his ontology of ideas, the distinction between formal reality and objective reality, the nature of mental representation, the contagion theory of causation, the doctrine of innate ideas as ungrounded dispositions, and the interactionism/occasionalism controversy? Wow. And yet Hight has done his homework. He knows the figures and the relevant interpretive controversies well, he focuses on many of the passages that are relevant to the book’s central thesis, and in the end offers us a compelling narrative as an alternative to what he identifies as “the traditional view of what transpired in the early modern period” (2). (shrink)
: Henri Bergson's philosophy has attracted increasing feminist attention in recent years as a fruitful locus for re-theorizing temporality. Drawing on Luce Irigaray's well-known critical description of metaphysics as phallocentrism, Hill argues that Bergson's deduction of duration is predicated upon the disavowal of a sexed hierarchy. She concludes the article by proposing a way to move beyond Bergson's phallocentrism to articulate duration as a sensible and transcendental difference that articulates a nonhierarchical qualitative relation between the sexes.
Rousseau's general will is mostly interpreted as promoting social unity at the expense of plurality. Conversely, this article argues that the general will depends on, and preserves, plurality for its formation and legitimacy. The general and the particular are not fixed opposites, for Rousseau, but are interdependent and contextually defined. The Rousseauian universal anticipates Laclau's notion of universality. The absence of any natural foundations for society deprives the universal of any pre-given identity. Likewise, the Laclauian universal names the lack of (...) ultimate ground for society. To prevent either sectarianism or despotism, the universal has to be constructed politically. Rousseau's contingent general will supplements the lack of universality, as diverse groups and individuals construct common values and political objectives that unify them across divisions without suppressing their difference. Due to its originary lack, the general will remains for ever incomplete. That incompleteness conditions the questioning, ambiguity and openness to change characterizing democracy. Key Words: democracy • equality • freedom • general will • Ernesto Laclau • particular • plurality • Jean-Jacques Rousseau • sovereignty • universal. (shrink)
The “fathers’ rights” movement represents policies that undermine women’s reproductive autonomy as furthering the cause of gender equality. Khader argues that this movement exploits two general weaknesses of equality claims identified by Luce Irigaray. She shows that Irigaray criticizes equality claims for their appeal to a genderneutral universal subject and for their acceptance of our existing symbolic repertoire. This article examines how the plaintiffs’ rhetoric in two contemporary “fathers’ rights” court cases takes advantage of these weaknesses.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau remains an important figure in the history of philosophy, both because of his contributions to political philosophy and moral psychology and because of his influence on later thinkers. Rousseau's own view of philosophy and philosophers was firmly negative, seeing philosophers as the post-hoc rationalizers of self-interest, as apologists for various forms of tyranny, and as playing a role in the alienation of the modern individual from humanity's natural impulse to compassion. The concern that dominates Rousseau's work is to (...) find a way of preserving human freedom in a world where human beings are increasingly dependent on one another for the satisfaction of their needs. This concern has two dimensions: material and psychological, of which the latter has greater importance. In the modern world, human beings come to derive their very sense of self from the opinion of others, a fact which Rousseau sees as corrosive of freedom and destructive of individual authenticity. In his mature work, he principally explores two routes to achieving and protecting freedom: the first is a political one aimed at constructing political institutions that allow for the co-existence of free and equal citizens in a community where they themselves are sovereign; the second is a project for child development and education that fosters autonomy and avoids the development of the most destructive forms of self-interest. However, though Rousseau believes the co-existence of human beings in relations of equality and freedom is possible, he is consistently and overwhelmingly pessimistic that humanity will escape from a dystopia of alienation, oppression, and unfreedom. In addition to his contributions to philosophy, Rousseau was active as a composer and a music theorist, as the pioneer of modern.. (shrink)
In this expository article one of the contributions of Jean Cavailles to the philosophy of mathematics is presented: the analysis of ‘mathematical experience’. The place of Cavailles on the logico-philosophical scene of the 30s and 40s is sketched. I propose a partial interpretation of Cavailles's epistemological program of so-called ‘conceptual dialectics’: mathematical holism, duality principles, the notion of formal contents, and the specific temporal structure of conceptual dynamics. The structure of mathematical abstraction is analysed in terms of its complementary dimensions: (...) paradigmatic generalization (domain extension, descriptive definitions, creative role of the symbolism...) and thematic reflexivity of concepts (promotion of operations to objects of a higher type). (shrink)
Jean Baudrillard is one of the most famous and controversial of writers on postmodernism. But what are his key ideas? Where did they come from and why are they important? This book offers a beginner's guide to Baudrillard's thought, including his views on technology, primitivism, reworking Marxism, simulation and the hyperreal, and America and postmodernism. Richard Lane places Baudrillard's ideas in the contexts of the French and postmodern thought and examines the ongoing impact of his work. Concluding with an extensively (...) annotated bibliography of the thinker's own texts, this is the perfect companion for any student approaching the work of Jean Baudrillard. (shrink)
Book Information A Politics of Impossible Difference: The Later Work of Luce Irigaray. A Politics of Impossible Difference: The Later Work of Luce Irigaray Penelope Deutscher , Ithaca : Cornell University Press , 2002 , 228 , US $17.95 By Penelope Deutscher. Cornell University Press. Ithaca. Pp. 228. US $17.95.
The systematic philosophical foundation for Jean-François Lyotard's postmodern and post-Marxist politics is described. The central principle of the right to create different "phrases" is uncovered and examined. The political consequences of this philosophical system are explored, leading to the conclusion that Lyotard's commitment to difference leads to political indifference. The philosophical roots of this indifference are detailed in Lyotard's Cartesian starting point and his analysis of Holocaust revisionism. This analysis reveals an idealist basis to Lyotard's philosophy of difference. Lyotard's concept (...) of difference is compared to that of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. (shrink)
This essay considers the tensions informing Nietzsche's reflection on intertwined issues of nature, art, sexuality, and the feminine. Through the figure of Dionysus, Nietzsche articulates a suggestive understanding of generation as the upsurge of nature in its transformative movement. The juxtaposition of Luce Irigaray's elaboration of the Dionysian calls for an interrogation of Nietzsche's work regarding (1) the sublimation of nature into art and of sexuality or sensuality into artistic drives, (2) the oblivion of sexual difference in the coupling (...) of Apollo and Dionysus, and (3) the disappearance of love from the scene of creativity and procreation and, concomitantly, the emphasis on suffering and dismemberment. (shrink)
Using the philosophy of Jean-Luc Nancy as an anchoring point, Jacques Derrida in this book conducts a profound review of the philosophy of the sense of touch, from Plato and Aristotle to Jean-Luc Nancy, whose ground-breaking book Corpus he discusses in detail. Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Edmund Husserl, Didier Franck, Martin Heidegger, Francoise Dastur, and Jean-Louis Chre;tien are discussed, as are Rene; Descartes, Diderot, Maine de Biran, Fe;lix Ravaisson, Immanuel Kant, Sigmund Freud, and others. The scope of Derrida’s deliberations makes (...) this book a virtual encyclopedia of the philosophy of touch (and the body). Derrida gives special consideration to the thinking of touch in Christianity and, in discussing Jean-Luc Nancy’s essay “Deconstruction of Christianity,” devotes a section of the book to the sense of touch in the Gospels. Another section concentrates on “the flesh,” as treated by Merleau-Ponty and others in his wake. Derrida’s critique of intuitionism, notably in the phenomenological tradition, is one of the guiding threads of the book. On Touching includes a wealth of notes that provide an extremely useful bibliographical resource. Personal and detached all at once, this book, one of the first published in English translation after Jacques Derrida’s death, serves as a useful and poignant retrospective on the work of the philosopher. A tribute by Jean-Luc Nancy, written a day after Jacques Derrida’s death, is an added feature. (shrink)