The Sokal Affair created a huge debate in France in past years, about the social sciences, scientificity, and postmodernism. It was initiated with a "hoax article," a false postmodern article published by Allan Sokal in the U.S. review Social Text , and a book copublished with Jean Bricmont, where the authors denounce the abusive borrowings of words and concepts from physics or biology by famous intellectuals such as Derrida, Kristeva, Virilio, Debray, and Latour. The debate presented a wide span (...) of positions, from methodological disagreement to approval. Finally, it poses important questions about the structure and the behavior of the scientific field. Key Words: Sokal Bricmont postmodernism reception social text. (shrink)
“No one can serve two masters.” This Bible quotation highlights an irreducible contradiction, which echoes numerous organizational settings. This article considers the under-explored ethical implications of paradoxical injunctions created by such a contradiction at the managerial level. Contradictory organizational constraints turn into paradoxant systems , where the organization structurally settles paradoxical injunctions which challenge managerial ethics in practice. We then ask what managerial responsibility means in such contexts and find that managers have then to reshape their practice as a situated (...) construction through constant mediation between different “masters” and bricolage (i.e., tinkering with concepts). An ethnographic case study of an anti-money laundering service in an investment bank illuminates this phenomenon from a practice perspective. The possibility to enact an actual ethical practice within the contradictory organization relies on a new role of the manager. This implies drawing on an approach of responsible management as an enactment of ethics in practice which is situated within the framework of a new conception of both the organization, as a structurally “paradoxant system,” and the manager as a mediator in charge of enacting coherence. (shrink)
Institutions in France are not yet well prepared to respond to allegations of scientific misconduct. Following a serious allegation in late 1997. INSERM,* the primary organization for medical and health-related research in France, began to reflect on this subject, aided by scientists and jurists. The conclusions have resulted in establishing a procedure to be followed in cases of alleged misconduct, and also in reinforcing the application of good laboratory practices within each laboratory. Guidelines for authorship practices and scientific assessment must (...) also be considered. Even though each institution must remain responsible for responding to allegations of scientific misconduct within its doors, INSERM would like to see national, European, and international co-ordination about the methods of such response. (shrink)
Jean-Philippe Deranty, Beyond Communication: A Critical Study of Axel Honneth's Social Philosophy Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 497-500 Authors Jørgen Pedersen, The Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, Bergen, Norway Journal Critical Horizons: A Journal of Philosophy & Social Theory Online ISSN 1568-5160 Print ISSN 1440-9917 Journal Volume Volume 11 Journal Issue Volume 11, Number 3 / 2010.
This essay works to set up a debate between the German philosopher Manfred Frank and the French philosophers Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy. At stake in the debate is the concept of freedom. The essay begins by explaining Frank's subject-based concept of freedom and then it presents the perfectly opposed non-subjective ontological concept of freedom that Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy forward. In the end, in the interest of threading a way through this impasse, and following the cue of these three philosophers, (...) we turn to the early German Romantics Novalis and Friedrich Schlegel to help us reconceptualise freedom. Following their cue, I draw on the strengths of Frank and Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy while avoiding their dangerous extremes. (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.
Retreating the Political presents many of the key issues at the heart of Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy's work. Published here for the first time in English, we see some of the key motifs that have characterized their work: their debt to a Heideggerian pre-understanding of philosophy; the centrality of the "figure" in western philosophy and the totalitarianism of both politics and the political. Through contemporary readings of the political in Freud, Heidegger and Marx they reveal how philosophy relies on (...) the political for its representation and reinvention and how it has done so ever since Socrates' meditation on the polis. (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.
The Catholic Monarchy is the short-lived dynastic union (1580-1640) between the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal. By returning on the legal, political and pragmatic foundations of this empire which cannot be called Empire (because this name belongs to the Holy Roman Empire of the cousins of Vienna), the article tries to seize better the internal functioning of this heterogeneous political set, by adopting two points of view: that of America (how the notion of Catholic Monarchy is understood in the reynos, (...) far from Madrid and Lisbon) and that of Rome (how Holy See reaches - or not - to exist in the heart of this space). It emerges from it that the pope and the Catholic King are natural allies (around the Roman Christianity) but not objectives (their purposes do not match), and that Rome and Mexico as well picture themselves not as margins of the Catholic Monarchy, but as real centers. (shrink)
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.
Philippe Charru | Résumé : Christoph Theobald travaille depuis de longues années en tant que théologien sur l’oeuvre de Jean-Sébastien Bach, en collaboration avec un musicien. On tente de faire entendre ici comment sa « manière de faire de la théologie », soucieuse de respecter l’autonomie des arts, le rend attentif à la réalité sensible des oeuvres musicales et à une conception génétique de leur forme où se profile « l’opération même du style », selon le mot de Merleau-Ponty. On (...) montre comment l’émergence de cette notion du style dans le champ esthétique, l’a conduit à « penser le mystère chrétien comme “style en relation avec d’autres styles” impliquant un rapport absolument spécifique au beau ». |: Christoph Theobald has spent many years studying the oeuvre of Johann Sebastian Bach from the perspective of a theologian, in collaboration with a musician. This article attempts to demonstrate how his “way of doing theology,” remaining ever respectful of the autonomy of the arts, makes him attentive to the sensible reality of musical works and to a genetic conception of their form from which it is possible to discern their “operation of style” as this idea is outlined by Merleau-Ponty. The author shows how the emergence of the notion of style in the field of aesthetics led him to “conceive the Christian mystery as ‘a style in relation with other styles’ that engenders a relation to beauty altogether specific and unique.”. (shrink)
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)
cal basis of consciousness. We continue by discussing the relation between spatiotem- One of the outstanding problems in the cog- poral patterns of brain activity and con- nitive sciences is to understand how ongo- sciousness, with particular attention to pro- ing conscious experience is related to the cesses in the gamma frequency band. We workings of the brain and nervous system. then adopt a critical perspective and high-.
This article briefly presents some of the main features of the notion of “centrality of work” within the framework of the “psychodynamic” approach to work developed by Christophe Dejours. The paper argues that we should distinguish between at least four separate but related ways in which work can be said to be central: psychologically, in terms of gender relations, social-politically and epistemically.
The origins of Axel Honneth's theory of recognition lie in his earlier project to correct the conceptual confusions and empirical shortcomings of historical materialism for the purpose of an adequate post-Habermasian critical social theory. Honneth proposed to accomplish this project, most strikingly, by reconnecting critical social theory with one of its repressed philosophical sources, namely anthropological materialism. In its mature shape, however, recognition theory operates on a narrow concept of interaction, which seems to lose sight of the material mediations with (...) which intersubjective relations are imbricated. The paper argues that a circumspect return to this twofold materialist heritage could substantively correct and enrich contemporary critical theory. The paper provides an illustration of this with the paradigmatic example of work. (shrink)
It seems reasonable to say that the basic problem of Husserl’s phenomenology is the possibility for the mind to get related to the world. In Brentano’s view, intentionality was a universal characterization of the mental. In Husserl’s, it becomes as well the framework of the possible contact of the mind with the world. As Hilary Putnam observes: “‘Brentano’s thesis’ was meant by him to serve as a way of showing the autonomy of mentalistic psychology (‘act-psychology’) by showing that the mental (...) was separate from the real (external) world. Brentano himself, to my knowledge, never used the word ‘intentionality’, nor did he use the terms ‘intentional inexistence’ and ‘intentional existence’ to refer to the relation between mind and the real world, as philosophers have come to use the word ‘intentionality’ after Husserl.”1 * I owe my understanding of what Wittgenstein says on ‘intentionality’ to Bouveresse 1987, p.279-302. My further criticism of ‘intentional objects’, and my present conception of intentionality, was also deeply influenced by Vincent Descombes’s realist strand of intentionalism. See Descombes 1995 and 1996. John McDowell (see “Intentionality and interiority in Wittgenstein”, reprinted in McDowell 1998a, 297-321, among other papers) gave me the decisive clue as to the problem of the basic ‘harmony’ between thought and reality in Wittgenstein, and illuminating discussions with Jean-Philippe Narboux, in particular on the occasion of a lecture in which he presented a sharp criticism of Husserl’s conception of indexicality, helped me to measure up all the difficulty of a comparison with Husserl. See Narboux 2008. As to my awareness of the trouble one may have ‘meaning’ and sticking to a use, I owe it to Stanley Cavell’s radical reading of Wittgenstein that shows that realism makes room for scepticism, far from extinguishing it, and Sandra Laugier’s sensitive research in the field of moral philosophy, following in the footsteps of Cora Diamond, drew my attention to the role some experiences play in overcoming such difficulty (as the lack of such experiences can make it a dead-end).. (shrink)
Honneth's fundamental claim that the normativity of social orders can be found nowhere but in the very experience of those who suffer injustice leads, I argue, to a radical theory and critique of society, with the potential to provide an innovative theory of social movements and a valid alternative to political liberalism.
This paper analyses the model of interaction at the heart of Axel Honneth's social philosophy. It argues that interaction in his mature ethics of recognition has been reduced to intercourse between human persons and that the role of nature is now missing from it. The ethics of recognition takes into account neither the material dimensions of individual and social action, nor the normative meaning of non-human persons and natural environments. The loss of nature in the mature ethics of recognition is (...) made visible through a comparison with Honneth's initial formulation of his project. As an anthropology of intersubjectivity combining the teaching of the German philosophical anthropologists and G.H. Mead, his first model sought to ground social theory in the natural preconditions of human action. The last part of the article argues that a return to Mead's theory of practical intersubjectivity informed by Merleau-Ponty's germane theory of intercorporeity provides essential conceptual tools to enable the integration of the natural and the material within the theory of recognition. (shrink)
This essay discusses four books recently published by Christophe Dejours with the aim of extracting their most significant social-theoretical and philosophical implications. The first two books are two contributions by Dejours in current debates and public policy initiatives in France through the application of his psychodynamic approach to work related issues (work and violence; work and suicide). Even though these texts are shaped by the specific contexts in which they were written, they also contain broader social-theoretical insights that are quite (...) significant. In the other two books, the two volumes of his sum Travail vivant, Dejours makes explicit the fundamental theoretical foundation upon which his psychodynamic approach is based. I will attempt to demonstrate that these books have significant implications for contemporary social theory and philosophy, notably as they establish the indissoluble continuity between the corporeal and cognitive capacities of the human subject, and the importance of this insight for moral and political reflection. (shrink)
In this article we examine the idea of a politics of misrecognition of working activity. We begin by introducing a distinction between the kind of recognition and misrecognition that attaches to one’s identity, and the kind of recognition and misrecognition that attaches to one’s activity. We then consider the political significance of the latter kind of recognition and misrecognition in the context of work. Drawing first on empirical research undertaken by sociologists at the Institut für Sozialforschung in Frankfurt, we argue (...) for a differentiated concept of recognition that shows the politics of misrecognition at work to be as much a matter of conflict between modes of recognition as it is a struggle for recognition as opposed to non -recognition. The differentiated concept of recognition which allows for this empirical insight owes much to Axel Honneth’s theory. But as we argue in the section that follows, this theory is ambiguous about the normative content of the expectations of recognition that are bound up with the activity of working. This in turn makes it unclear how we should understand the normative basis of the politics of the misrecognition of what one does at work. In the final sections of the article, we suggest that the psychodynamic model of work elaborated by Christophe Dejours and others at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris can shed light on this matter; that is to say, it can help to clarify the normative significance and political stakes of the misrecognition of working activity. (shrink)
As Jean-Philippe suggests in his sketch of my account of Hegel’s concept of recognition, Hegel doesn’t think of self-reflection as basically achieved by “stepping back” and viewing one’s ideas from a type of metaperspective. Rather, self-consciousness comes primarily via engagement with another, differently located subject. (If I had a badge slogan for this, it might read “Other, not Meta”.) While at a theoretical level I’ve held to a dialogical model of philosophizing for a considerable time, it is in contexts (...) such as these that one gets a deeper sense of just how dependent on dialogical engagement any thinking actually is. There is too much in what my four interlocutors have said to respond adequately here to all points, but I’ll try to pick up on what strike me as important issues. I’ll reply to each in turn, but each reply will address issues that overflow the boundaries between separating them. (shrink)
The Declaration of Helsinki and the Council of the International Organization of Medical Sciences provide guidance on standards of care and prevention in clinical trials. In the current and increasingly challenging research environment, the ethical status of a trial design depends not only on protection of participants, but also on social value, feasibility, and scientific validity. Using the example of a study assessing efficacy of a vaccine to prevent human papilloma virus in HIV-1 infected adolescent girls in low resource countries (...) without access to the vaccine, we compare several trial designs which rank lower on some criteria and higher on others, giving rise to difficult trade-offs. This case demonstrates the need for developing more nuanced guidance documents to help researchers balance these often conflicting criteria. (shrink)
Herméneutique en contexte, le droit initie des techniques d’interprétation. Plus encore, il pense la justice au risque de l’interprétation. Parmi les grandes disciplines exégétiques, à côté de la littérature, de l'exégèse biblique et de l'historiographie, le droit occupe ainsi une place singulière. Discipline exégétique, il sait la nécessité de l’interprétation et le danger de la mésinterprétation en raison du caractère équivoque d’un énoncé ou d’un contexte engageant faux-sens ou contre-sens. Ici le travail d’interprétation s’arrêterait une fois l’énoncé ou la situation (...) clarifiés. In claris cessat interpretatio. Mais, le droit travaille à interpréter les signes (preuve ou témoignage) de la conflictualité inhérente au corps social sur un fond tragique. L’interprétation juridique se déploie, sur le fond de la violence sociale du mal commis, lestée d’un lourd coefficient existentiel. Une hantise habite le droit à laquelle il réplique : l’obligation, au nom de la possible exécution de la justice, de rajouter de la peine à la peine ; la violence de l’erreur judiciaire. En droit, le tragique de l’interprétation est sous-tendu par une « pathétique de la souffrance » : le différend, le litige, le délit, la sanction, la peine. Ici l’interprétation, en plus d’être une technique, s’impose également comme une pratique : l’arbitrage par un tiers. Arbitre, pour se prémunir de l’arbitraire, le droit ne doit-il pas expliciter le statut des signes sur lesquels s’appuyer pour juger et dire le droit ? N’est-ce pas là que s’ouvre la carrière de l’interprétation ? (shrink)
This volume addresses the long-standing neglect of the category of labour in critical social theory and it presents a powerful case for a new paradigm based on the anthropological significance of work and its role in shaping social bonds.
Clinical ethics committees (CECs) have been developing in many countries since the 1980s, more recently in the transitional countries in Eastern Europe. With their increasing profile they are now faced with a range of questions and challenges regarding their position within the health care organizations in which they are situated: Should CECs be independent bodies with a critical role towards institutional management, or should they be an integral part of the hospital organization? In this paper, we discuss the organizational context (...) in which CECs function in Europe focusing on five aspects. We conclude that in Europe clinical ethics committees need to maintain a critical independence while generating acceptance of the CEC and its potential benefit to both individuals and the organization. CECs, perhaps particularly in transitional countries, must counter the charge of “alibi ethics”. CECs must define their contribution to in-house quality management in their respective health care organization, clarifying how ethical reflection on various levels serves the hospital and patient care in general. This last challenge is made more difficult by lack of consensus about appropriate quality outcomes for CECs internationally. These are daunting challenges, but the fact that CECs continue to develop suggests that we should make the effort to overcome them. We believe there is a need for further research that specifically addresses some of the institutional challenges facing CECs. (shrink)
Modernity has always blamed the authority of tradition for hindering emancipation while at the same time affirming, for fear of abstraction, the creative energies of traditions. Can the Enlightenment’s abstract universal character be overcome without succumbing to the dogmatism of the appeal to Tradition? Paul Ricoeur’s philosophical project aims at surpassing this opposition by forging the concept of living tradition in which history and universal find a new articulation. This paper brings to light the originality of the dynamic relationship between (...) present and past elaborated in Ricoeur’s philosophical hermeneutics. (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)
For Hannah Arendt, spontaneous, initiatory human action and interaction are suppressed by the normalizing pressures of society once life - that is, sheer life - becomes the primary concern of politics, as it does, she finds, in the modern age. Arendts concept of the social is indebted to Martin Heideggers analysis of everyday Dasein in Being and Time , and contemporary political philosophers inspired by Heidegger, such as Jean-Luc Nancy, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, and Giorgio Agamben, tend to reproduce her account of (...) the withdrawal of the political in modernity. In this article, I complicate Arendts theory by turning to Michel Foucaults parallel but diverging understanding of the nature of power in modern society to show, surprisingly, that Foucaults narrative of the emergence of modern power pictures a society that is more, not less, politicized. Key Words: Hannah Arendt bio-power Michel Foucault Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe modernity Jean-Luc Nancy pastoral power the social rulership. (shrink)
This is the introduction to a special issue of 'Science in Context' on vitalism that I edited. The contents are: 1. Guido Giglioni — “What Ever Happened to Francis Glisson? Albrecht Haller and the Fate of Eighteenth-Century Irritability” 2. Dominique Boury— “Irritability and Sensibility: Two Key Concepts in Assessing the Medical Doctrines of Haller and Bordeu” 3. Tobias Cheung — “Regulating Agents, Functional Interactions, and Stimulus-Reaction-Schemes: The Concept of “Organism” in the Organic System Theories of Stahl, Bordeu and Barthez” 4. (...) Charles T. Wolfe & Motoichi Terada — “The Animal Economy as Object and Program in Montpellier Vitalism” 5. Timo Kaitaro — “Can Matter Mark the Hours? – Eighteenth-Century Vitalist Materialism and Functional Properties” 6. Elizabeth Williams —“Of Two Lives One? Jean-Charles-Marguerite-Guillaume Grimaud and the Question of Holism in Vitalist Medicine” 7. Philippe Huneman — “Montpellier Vitalism and the Emergence of Alienism in France (1750-1800): The Case of the Passions” 8. Elke Witt —“Form – A Matter of Generation. The Relation of Generation, Form and Function in the Epigenetic Theory of C.F. Wolff” . (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 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)
Emotion is traditionally described as a phenomenon that dominates the subject because one does not choose to be angry, sad, or happy. However, would it be totally absurd to conceive emotion as behaviour and a manifestation of the spontaneity and liberty of consciousness? In his short text, Esquisse d''une theorie des émotions, Sartre proposes a phenomenological description of this psychological phenomenon. He distinguishes between constituted affectivity, which gives rise to emotions, and an original affectivity lacking intentionality, and tied closely to (...) bodily processes. It appears that emotion is first and foremost a magical attitude toward the world, an attitude freely adopted by the subject. Against what is often written, this thesis doesn''t mean that emotion would be a pure comedy but only that, in spite of appearances, this behaviour isn''t a matter of what Descartes calls soul''s passions. (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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
The Immanent Word establishes that the philosophical study of language inaugurated in the 1759 works of Hamann and Lessing marks a paradigm shift in modern philosophy; it analyzes the transformation of that shift in works of Herder, Kant, Fichte, Novalis and Schlegel. It contends that recent studies of early linguistic philosophy obscure the most relevant commission of its thinkers, arguing against the theological appropriation of Hamann by John Milbank; against the "expressive" appropriation of Hamann and Herder by Christina Lafont and (...) Charles Taylor; and against Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy’s uncritical championing of Schlegel’s ideological position. (shrink)
The following is a reflection on the possibility of teaching by example, and especially as the idea of teaching by example is developed in the work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. My thesis is that Rousseau created a literary version of himself in his writings as an embodiment of his philosophy, rather in the same way and with the same purpose that Plato created a version of Socrates. This figure of Rousseau—a sort of philosophical portrait of the man of nature—is represented as (...) an example for us to follow. This would appear to have been dangerous and destabilizing work, given the mental distress that it caused Rousseau in striving to live up to his fictional self. Rousseau's own ideas on the nature of teaching by example are presented in a discussion of the section in ‘Emile’ which Rousseau takes from an incident in his own life—the story of his meeting with a young Savoyard priest who befriended him and influenced him through the power of his example. (shrink)
`The first and only book to explore, at once, the field of my work and its limits, with both the intimacy and distance required: doubling and shadowing. It gives me great pleasure to find something that, beyond commentary, sees what I see and at the same time what I am unable to see' - Jean Baudrillard Baudrillard is a controversial figure. His work tends to fascinate and infuriate readers in equal numbers. Yet there is no doubting his importance to the (...) key debates in culture and theory of the last ten years. A prolific author, readers sometimes find it difficult to tease out the consistencies in Baudrillard's arguments. This book seeks to redress the balance. It aims to go beyond his writings on consumer objects, the Gulf War and America, to identify the fundamental logic that underpins his writings. It does this through a series of close readings of his main texts, paying particular attention to the form and internal coherence of his arguments. The book contends that, just as Baudrillard himself grapples with the problems of how to criticize self-defining systems, so we cannot simply hold Baudrillard up against external standards but must seek to judge him on his own terms. Jean Baudrillard: A Defence of the Real will be an indispensable text for all those interested in social theory who want a general introduction to Baudrillard's work. (shrink)
This text begins by considering the phrase ‘digital haptology’ as suggested by the closing pages of Derrida's Le Toucher. It suggests that this moment in telecommunications presents a model of ‘tele-haptology’. The text goes on to consider Jean-Luc Nancy's ‘Noli me tangere’ as a response to Le Toucher. In particular it is concerned with Nancy's hypothesis on Modern literature and art as having an essential link to the gospel parables. Through a reading of Nancy's text and the gospels, this hypothesis (...) is placed in doubt. Notably, the argument is made that once again Nancy's discourse on touching leads him to make a too hasty fore-closure of otherness within his intended deconstruction of reading and his account of Mary Magdalene. In response to Nancy's formulation of literature as parable, an alternative consideration of literature as tele-haptology is proposed. (shrink)
It is commonly recognized that Jean-Luc Nancy’s efforts to elaborate a conception of ‘the political’ are based upon Heidegger’s thinking of die Tecknik , even as they seek to overcome the difficulties that beset Heidegger’s own politics. But few have noted that Nancy also seeks to critically engage Carl Schmitt’s conception of das Politische , according to which there is a metaphysical and practical need for a sovereign decision on friends and enemies if effective political community and law are to (...) be possible. This article argues that recognizing that Nancy seeks to overcome Schmitt’s conception of the political throws into high relief his failure to address the actual subject matter of politics. In the end, Nancy remains too metaphysical to engage with the political. (shrink)
Jean-Guillaume-César-Alexandre-Hippolyte de Colins (1783-1859), a Belgian baron who lived mainly in Paris, sought to develop a position—rational socialism—intermediate between the extremes of full capitalism (with only private property) and full communism (with only collective property). All persons fully own themselves and the artifactual wealth that they produce, and they are entitled to an equal share of the natural resources and of the assets inherited from previous generations. Gifts and bequests are to be subject to heavy taxation (although at less than (...) 100% of their value, for efficiency reasons). Natural resources are subject to a rent-tax. A warning about the following reading: Colins writes in many places as if he held that an unrestricted right to make gifts and bequests is both necessary for efficient social functioning and required by justice. His ultimate view, however, is that efficient social functioning requires only some kind of weak (partially restricted) right to make gifts and bequest, and that justice does not require any such right. More specifically, he holds that justice requires that gifts and bequests be taxed as much as compatible with efficient social functioning. (shrink)
This paper examines Jean-Luc Nancy's interpretation of Hegel, focusing in particular on The Restlessness of the Negative. It is argued that Nancy's reading represents a significant break with other post-structuralist readings of Hegel by taking his thought to be non-metaphysical. The paper focuses in particular on the role Nancy gives to the negative in Hegel's thought. Ultimately Nancy's reading is limited as an interpretation of Hegel, since he gives no sustained explanation of the self-correcting function of reason.
This article explores how Jean-Luc Nancy attempts to gain critical traction on Christianity by proscribing thinking of completion. First, it describes Nancy's deconstruction of Christianity as stemming from his aesthetic redirection of Heidegger's thinking of finitude. Second, it further details Nancy's noetic declension of Heidegger via Kant and Lyotard, where the imagination and aesthetic communication are deemed impossible. Third, it examines Nancy's treatment of paintings of the Virgin Mary who, for Nancy, exemplifies his brand of incompletion. Nancy's work on Mary (...) reveals both the oversights and the insights of his deconstruction of Christianity, which Catholic theology should seriously engage. (shrink)
Is Jean-Paul Sartre to be credited for Richard Wright's existentialist leanings? This essay argues that while there have been noteworthy philosophical exchanges between Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Richard Wright, we can find evidence of Wright's philosophical and existential leanings before his interactions with Sartre and Beauvoir. In particular, Wright's short story "The Man Who Lived Underground" is analyzed as an existential, or Black existential, project that is published before Wright met Sartre and/or read his scholarship. Existentialist themes that (...) emerge from Wright's short story include flight, guilt, life, death, dread, and freedom. Additionally, it is argued that "The Man Who Lived Underground" offers a reversal of the prototypical allegory of the cave that we find in the Western (ancient Greek) philosophical tradition. The essay takes seriously the significance of the intellectual exchanges between Sartre, Beauvoir, and Wright while also highlighting Wright's own philosophical legacy. (shrink)
On the subject of football, Serge Mésonès, former French international turned journalist, wrote that ?the true miracle remains the birth of a great team; everything which could contribute to this deserves consideration. Whatever happens, the coach and his group will always form that tandem which Bella Guttman used to compare to a symphony orchestra and their conductor: there is a significant difference between the performance when Toscanini is conducting, and that when the conductor is mediocre? (Mésonès 1992, 12). With the (...) aim of better understanding the issues of such an assertion, in this article we will develop the theoretical elements that we began to tackle in the book Teaching Collective Sport in Schools (1999).1 This will involve clarifying, and going into detail on, some conceptions relating to the long journey that is the formation of a sporting group, exploring one scenario at a time. (shrink)
This article carries out a systematic exposition of the concept of the body in Jean-Luc Nancy, with all the risks of reduction that such an exposition entails. First it is necessary to return to Western philosophy’s founding text on living corporality, that is, Aristotle’s treatise on the soul. The oppositions that can be established between the Greek thinker’s psyche (soul) and Nancy’s dead Psyche are not so radical as may at first be thought: In both it is a question of (...) thinking the soul as the difference, the retreat or departure in which the exposition of bodies consists. The article continues with an analysis of touch and the self and concludes with an elaboration of the idea of the body within the general program of the deconstruction of Christianity. (shrink)
In this essay Megan J. Laverty argues that Jean-Jacques Rousseau's conception of humane communication and his proposal for teaching it have implications for our understanding of the role of listening in education. She develops this argument through a close reading of Rousseau's most substantial work on education, Emile: Or, On Education. Laverty elucidates Rousseau's philosophy of communication, beginning with his taxonomy of the three voices—articulate, melodic, and accentuated—illustrating the ways in which they both enhance and obfuscate understanding. Next, Laverty provides (...) an account of Rousseau's philosophical psychology, with specific reference to amour-propre and amour de soi. Listening plays a central role in Rousseau's philosophy of communication, Laverty maintains, because it is in the act of listening that humans fulfill, or fail to fulfill, the imperative that we seek to understand others. (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)
In his recent article, ‘A Gift to Theology? Jean-Luc Marion's ‘Saturated Phenomena’ in Christological Perspective’, Brian Robinette has critiqued Marion's phenomenology for confining theology to a one-sided approach to Christology, one that stresses only the passive, mystical reception of Christ. To correct this imbalance, Robinette brings Marion into dialogue with those more active Christologies or ‘prophetical-ethical’ liberation theologies of Gustavo Gutierrez, Johann Baptist Metz and others that stress a life-praxis focused on confronting evil and suffering. In this essay I am (...) arguing that Robinette has not fully developed the ‘logic’ of Marion's phenomenology of the ‘call and the gifted’, in which both a passive and an active element are operative. I explore more fully that very dynamic phenomenological process of the call-and-the-gifted as developed in Marion's work Being Given: Toward a Phenomenology of Givenness. Once viewed in Christological perspective, and especially in light of Christ's death and resurrection, Marion's phenomenology entails an ethical trope consistent with the mission of Christ as rendered in Scriptural revelation, and thus the gap between Marion's work and the prophetical-ethical theologies of Gutierrez and Baptist Metz becomes narrowed. (shrink)
French theorist Jean Baudrillard is one of the foremost contemporary critics of society and culture who is often seen as the guru of French postmodern theory. A prolific author who has written over twenty books, reflections on art and aesthetics are an important, if not central, aspect of his work. Although his writings exhibit many twists, turns, and surprising developments as he moved from synthesizing Marxism and semiotics to a prototypical postmodern theory, interest in art remains a constant of his (...) theoretical investigations and literary experiments. (shrink)
This article contrasts the notion of a Deleuzian imaginary with that articulated by various film theorists during the 1970s and 1980s. Deleuze offers us, I argue, a way to conceive of the imaginary in the cinema in a positive way; that is, as something which opens up new expressions of the real. By contrast, for film theorists of the 1970s and 1980s, the imaginary was primarily conceived as a negative concept, as something which offered merely escapes or fraudulent distortions of (...) the real. A Deleuzian imaginary for the cinema can be articulated, I argue, by way of the films of Jean Renoir. (shrink)
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)
As many struggle to find meaning at the end of philosophy, Jean-Luc Nancy's writing has enlightened many philosophical debates around the questions of community, the political, and freedom. Situatuing his work in an explicitly contemporary context--the collapse of communism, the Gulf War, the former Yugoslavia--Nancy has forced us to rethink nothing less than what "doing" philosophy entails. On Jean-Juc Nancy provides fascinating insights into one of the most contemporary philosophers writing today. The full range of Nancy's work as a philosopher (...) of the contemporary is considered, allowing us to see his engagement with Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Bataille and Derrida. Issues of violence and power, finitude, east and west, the meaning of "Europe", and the crisis of the global community are all approached through Nancy's work. (shrink)