'Original and provocative . . . engagingly written. (C Fred Alford) counters Levinas's notorious obscurity with a goodly dose of transparency' - John Lechte, Macquarrie University Abstract and evocative, writing in what can only be ...
How best to avoid the Levinas Effect, as it has been called, the tendency to make Emmanuel Levinas everything to everyone? One way is to demonstrate that Levinas's thinking does not fit into any of the categories by which we ordinarily approach political theory. If one were forced to categorize Levinas's political theory, the term "inverted liberalism " would come closest to the mark. As long, that is, as one emphasizes the term "inverted" over "liberalism." Levinas's defense of liberalism is (...) likely the strangest defense the reader has encountered. We should, argues Levinas, foster and protect the individual because only the individual can see the tears of the other, the tears that even the just regime cannot see. The individual is to be fostered and protected for the sake of the other individual. Whether this has anything to do with "real" liberalism, and whether it should, is the topic of this essay. (shrink)
Stephen Yates's objections to Feyerabend's political theory (Inquiry 27 , 137?42) are presented in a way that makes them unnecessarily vulnerable to a rhetorical strategy often employed by Feyerabend. Like many other critics, Yates seems to assume that it is the implausibility of Feyerabend's claims that opens them to refutation, whereas it is really this that makes them such slippery targets of criticism. Rather than claim that Feyerabend's ideal would be virtually impossible to realize, I argue that Feyerabend does not (...) demonstrate why ?democratic relativism? is at all desirable. (shrink)
Against the view that trauma cripples the survivor’s ability to account for his or her own experience, Jean Améry, a survivor of Auschwitz, argued that trauma speaks a language of its own. In this language, what may be taken as a clinical symptom, the inability to let go of a traumatic past, is actually an ethical stance on behalf of history’s victims. Améry wrote about aging in similar terms. Aging and death are an assault on the values of life, an (...) assault that Améry rejected with equal vigor, and in much the same terms, as he rejected the history that does not stop with the Holocaust. In the second case, Améry is mistaken. Aging and death, allowed to proceed at a natural pace, serve life, the succession of generations. This argument is pursued by comparing Améry’s position with that of a large group of Holocaust survivors. It may appear as if Améry’s argument about the Holocaust has little to do with his argument about aging. In fact, they are related, to the detriment of both arguments. (shrink)
Introduction -- Saint Thomas : putting nature into natural law -- Maritain and the love for the natural law -- The new natural law and evolutionary natural law -- International human rights, natural law, and Locke -- Conclusion : evil and the limits of the natural law.
The data on the cellular mechanism of LTD that is presented in four target articles is synthesized into a new model of Purkinje cell plasticity. This model attempts to address credit assignment problems that are crucial in learning systems. Intracellular signal transduction mechanisms may provide the mechanism for a 3-factor learning rule and a trace mechanism. The latter may permit delayed information about motor error to modify the prior synaptic events that caused the error. This model may help to focus (...) future cellular studies on issues that are particularly critical for a computationally viable concept of cerebellar plasticity, [CRÉPEL et al.; HOUK et al.; KANO; LINDEN; VINCENT]. (shrink)
Three questions arising from Aggleton & Brown's target article are addressed. (1) Is there any benefit to considering the effects of partial lesions of the anterior thalamic nuclei (AT)? (2) Do the AT have a separate role in the proposed extended hippocampal system? (3) Should perirhinal cortex function be restricted to familiarity judgements?
C. Fred Alford contends that the manner in which I objected to Feyerabend's democratic relativism is vulnerable to Feyerabend's rhetorical strategy, and that a better strategy would be to show that Feyerabend fails to demonstrate that democratic relativism is desirable. I reply in defense of the ?plausibility? issue on the grounds that Feyerabend's theory lends itself to uses (and abuses) beyond Utopian critique (in Alford's sense). I argue that it is the fact that critics ? myself included ? have assumed (...) the burden of demonstrating the impossibility of Feyerabend's political theory that has led to the stalemate Alford describes, and that we may retain the ?plausibility? question while avoiding the stalemate by placing the burden of argument on Feyerabend to show that his theory is plausible. (shrink)
The publication of Timothy J. Lukes's The Flight into Inwardness and C. Fred Alford's Science and the Revenge of Nature marks a new stage in the development of Marcuse studies. In the early eighties, four books attempted to explicate Marcuse's entire life's work. To the extent that this formidable task was placed in a larger intellectual context, Marcuse's work was understood as part of the attempt to establish philosophical foundations for contemporary critical Marxism, particularly the critical Marxism of the Frankfurt (...) School. Lukes and Alford adopt a new approach. Each author examines the genesis and implications of a single theme from Marcuse's work: Lukes looks at art and Alford at science. (shrink)
Arguing that he wants to achieve a better understanding of the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, C. Fred Alford in his article “Emmanuel Levinas and Iris Murdoch: Ethics as Exit?” compares Levinas’s ideas with those of Iris Murdoch and concludes that the major difference between the two philosophers consists in their attitude toward everyday reality. Alford claims that although both philosophers are concerned with one’s relation with the other person, Levinas is “never interested in the concrete reality of the other person, (...) whose fleshy reality can only get in the way of transcendence,” 1 whereas for Murdoch, he asserts, the goal is to escape the illusions of the self and see the world as it is, “filled with .. (shrink)
We present a new method for characterizing the interpretive possibilities generated by elliptical constructions in natural language. Unlike previous analyses, which postulate ambiguity of interpretation or derivation in the full clause source of the ellipsis, our analysis requires no such hidden ambiguity. Further, the analysis follows relatively directly from an abstract statement of the ellipsis interpretation problem. It predicts correctly a wide range of interactions between ellipsis and other semantic phenomena such as quantifier scope and bound anaphora. Finally, although the (...) analysis itself is stated nonprocedurally, it admits of a direct computational method for generating interpretations. (shrink)
Systematic semantic ambiguities result from the interaction of the two operations that are involved in resolving ellipsis in the presence of scoping elements such as quantifiers and intensional operators: scope determination for the scoping elements and resolution of the elided relation. A variety of problematic examples previously noted - by Sag, Hirschbüihler, Gawron and Peters, Harper, and others - all have to do with such interactions. In previous work, we showed how ellipsis resolution can be stated and solved in equational (...) terms. Furthermore, this equational analysis of ellipsis provides a uniform framework in which interactions between ellipsis resolution and scope determination can be captured. As a consequence, an account of the problematic examples follows directly from the equational method. The goal of this paper is merely to point out this pleasant aspect of the equational analysis, through its application to these cases. No new analytical methods or associated formalism are presented, with the exception of a straightforward extension of the equational method to intensional logic. (shrink)
This paper shows that a VP in English is only a VP at the outset of a derivation, and that VP- preposing in English is in fact preposing of the internal arguments of the verb, followed by remnant movement of the original VP. Therefore, English looks much more like German (Muller (1998)), than it appears at first glance The evidence for the non-constituency of the verb and its original arguments in preposed position comes from its solution to what has been (...) termed Pesetsky’s Paradox, in that an object of a preposed VP can bind into an adverbial at the end of a sentence. The paradox results from the incompatibility of the phenomenon with the conjunction of two assumptions: (i) binding requires c-command; (ii) only constituents move.. Assumption (i) requires the object to be higher than the adverbial, but the preposing of the verb and object to the exclusion of the adverbial would then require that a non-constituent (the verb and object) prepose. The paradoxical nature of the phenomenon rests on the two assumptions, and the paper presents additional evidence that binding requires c-command, showing the contrasts between topicalized VPs and topicalized PPs. The full set of binding phenomena can be accounted for with a ccommand requirement on binding, but cannot be accounted for with a rival account of command that makes reference to grammatical functions, known as o-command within HPSG (Pollard and Sag (1992, 1994) or ranking (Bresnan (2002)) or f-command (Dalrymple (1999)). (shrink)
The relationship between Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG) functional structures (f-structures) for sentences and their semanticinterpretations can be formalized in linear logic in a way thatcorrectly explains the observed interactions between quantifier scopeambiguity, bound anaphora and intensionality.Our linear-logic formalization of the compositional properties ofquantifying expressions in natural language obviates the need forspecial mechanisms, such as Cooper storage, in representing thescoping possibilities of quantifying expressions. Instead, thesemantic contribution of a quantifier is recorded as a linear-logicformula whose use in a proof will establish the (...) scope of thequantifier. Different proofs can lead to different scopes. In eachcomplete proof, the properties of linear logic ensure thatquantifiers are properly scoped. (shrink)