Nothing survives deconstruction unless we accept that survival in some sense attaches to the ghostly or etiolated figures (the marks and traces) of things, by which deconstruction proceeds. If the ghostly figure survives then it may be because it is undeconstructible. Yet the spectral figure would no doubt remain insignificant if it was not for the force it brings to bear on more central and familiar categories of philosophical and literary discourse. These categories, like style, friendship, justice and hospitality, tend (...) to occupy those spectral spaces that mark the structural difference between philosophy (conceptual, abstract, universal) and literature (figurative, concrete, singular). Yet nothing defines such spaces so well as the trace and its paradoxical structure. And nothing describes the structure of the trace so well as that of the signature. This paper identifies the movement of the trace as occupying and to a great extent defining the difference between philosophy and literature. The example, in this case, is the appearance of asphodels in Homer's Odyssey, according to which the fields where ghosts live are thick with the so-called grave-flower. But the asphodel on closer examination breaks down into mere traces of itself in a series of insoluble philological problems. The larger implications have to do with death, the signature of the writer, the relation between philosophy and literature and their respective modes of survival. There is no philosophy (no truth, no good, no chance) without its attachment to the etiolated figure, the trace of itself. The paper proposes readings of Blanchot, Derrida, Hegel and Plato, in addition to a focus on the main philological problem in Homer and its implications for a tradition of literary allusion, as a way of establishing the consistency of the paradoxical structure of the signature. (shrink)
Were it not for the Marquis de Sade's explicit use of language and complete disregard for the artificially constructed taboos of a religious morality he despised, the novelty and profundity of his thought, and above all, its fundamental modernity, would have long since secured him a place alongside the greatest authors and thinkers of the European Enlightenment. -/- This Very Short Introduction aims to disentangle the 'real' Marquis de Sade from his mythical and demonic reputation of the past two hundred (...) years. Phillips examines Sade's life and work: his libertine novels, his championing of atheism, and his uniqueness in bringing the body and sex back into philosophy. (shrink)
The 1962 publication of J. H. Waszink's edition of Calcidius' commentary on Plato's "Timaeus" focussed attention on the question of Calcidius' source for a group of chapters where he presents an interpretation of Plato's account of the creation of soul. I discuss three attempts to answer this question: that of Waszink himself, who argues that the source is Porphyry who was here influenced by the Neopythagorean/Platonist Numenius, that of J. M. Van Winden, who claims Numenius as the direct source, and (...) that of Werner Deuse, who offers reasons for excluding Numenius as either directly or indirectly responsible. I show the weakness of Deuse's critique, but then argue that neither Waszink nor Van Winden has given sufficient consideration to the possibility that Plotinus, either alone or through Porphyry as intermediary, is behind Calcidius' interpretation, where the doctrines of the unity of the soul and of a higher soul that does not descend, both characteristic of Plotinus' psychology, are prominent. However, there is an important but uniformly overlooked feature of this exegesis that rules out both Plotinus and Porphyry as possible sources. This leaves Numenius as the only serious candidate. If, then, the origin of the doctrines of the unity of the soul and of the undescended higher soul can be traced to the work of Numenius, there is the strong possibility that in his formulation of these same doctrines Plotinus was indebted to Numenius. (shrink)
This article challenges the generally accepted dogma that reliance is an essential ingredient in contractual formation. We argue that this view has resulted from an erroneous interpretation of the relevant case law, failure to cite contrary authority, and the elevation of often oblique judicial references to the need for reliance to the status of fundamental contractual principle. Contractual theory and clear policy reasons support our position that in English law a contractual obligation subsists when a person, knowing of a promise, (...) performs the stipulated act (or gives the promise) requested by the promisor, even though that person has not relied on the promise. (shrink)
We consider the problem of axiomatizing various natural "successor" logics for 2-dimensional integral spacetime. We provide axiomatizations in monomodal and multimodal languages, and prove completeness theorems. We also establish that the irreflexive successor logic in the "standard" modal language (i.e. the language containing □ and ◊) is not finitely axiomatizable.
This accessible and wide-ranging introduction to critical theory provides a comprehensive overview of the practice, role, and importance of theory across the humanities and social sciences. It not only maps a notoriously complex area, but it also enables the reader to take the arguments and apply them in practice. Starting with an explanation of how theory relies on implicit assumptions that inform interpretations, the book moves on to depict the long-term philosophical problems that have fed into much 20th century thinking (...) and also more recent debates. The philosophical grounds of contemporary thought are traced from Plato through Descartes to the work of Heidegger and Freud and on to recent developments in structuralism and deconstruction that critically revise many of the previous terms of debate. (shrink)
We generalize an observation made by Goldblatt in "Diodorean modality in Minkowski spacetime" by proving that each -dimensional integral spacetime frame equipped with Robb's irreflexive `after' relation determines a unique temporal logic. Our main result is that, unlike -dimensional spacetime where, as Goldblatt has shown, the Diodorean modal logic is the same for each frame , in the case of -dimensional integral spacetime, the frame determines a unique Diodorean modal logic.
Some modifications are suggested to recent (1985) generalised phrase-structure grammar which make the formalism more suitable to computational use, and at the same time provide a clear and elegant redefinition for parts of the formalism which are standardly complex and ill-defined. It is shown how the feature-instantiation principles can be represented as explicit rules in a format similar to metarules, and how a grammar of four parts, immediate-dominance rules, linear-precedence rules, metarules, and these new propagation rules, can be used to (...) produce the ordinary GPSG analyses of English. Methods of computational implementation are discussed, in particular it is suggested that the parts of the grammar are most conveniently interpreted as instructions as to how to produce a set of context-free phrase-structure rules which can be used with a simple left-corner parser. (shrink)
What has been learned about logic by means of "uninterpreted" logistic systems can be supplemented by comparing the latter with systems which are more uninterpreted, as well as with others which are less uninterpreted than the well-known logistic systems. By somewhat extending the meaning of 'uninterpreted', I hope to establish certain claims about the nature of logistic systems and also to cast some light on the nature of "logic itself." My procedure involves looking at three major "degrees" of interpretation: first, (...) systems uninterpreted both semantically and syntactically, second, systems uninterpreted semantically but not syntactically, and third, systems uninterpreted neither semantically nor syntactically. We shall be forced to limit ourselves to the truth-functional part of logic in this brief study. What are usually called uninterpreted systems can be seen on a continuum of "degrees" of interpretation, from ordinary reasoning at one extreme to a "thoroughly uninterpreted system" at the other. "Logic itself" apparently lies nearer to the interpreted, deformalized end of the spectrum than to the uninterpreted, formalized end. Logic is not identical with any particular logistic system, but is that which the particular logistic systems aim to formalize or model or capture. I propose that it is that minimum set of logical, rather than syntactical, primitive terms, definitions, and rules which is needed to generate logically, rather than syntactically, the principles of ordinary reasoning as it is used by logicians in their metalinguistic discussions and informal proofs of metatheorems. This minimum set is somewhat larger than the primitive bases of most logistic systems; its truth-functional part is presented in the "Deformalized Logic" at degree twelve. (shrink)