Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas, two twentieth-century Jewish philosophers and two extremely provocative thinkers whose reputations have grown considerably over the last twenty years, are rarely studied together. This is due to the disparate interests of many of their intellectual heirs. Strauss has influenced political theorists and policy makers on the right while Levinas has been championed in the humanities by different cadres associated with postmodernist thought. In Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation, Leora (...)Batnitzky brings together these two seemingly incongruous contemporaries, demonstrating that they often had the same philosophical sources and their projects had many formal parallels. While such a comparison is valuable in itself for better understanding each figure, it also raises profound questions in the current debate on the definitions of 'religion', suggesting new ways that religion makes claims on both philosophy and politics. (shrink)
As the theory of the atom, quantum mechanics is perhaps the most successful theory in the history of science. It enables physicists, chemists, and technicians to calculate and predict the outcome of a vast number of experiments and to create new and advanced technology based on the insight into the behavior of atomic objects. But it is also a theory that challenges our imagination. It seems to violate some fundamental principles of classical physics, principles that eventually have become a part (...) of western common sense since the rise of the modern worldview in the Renaissance. So the aim of any metaphysical interpretation of quantum mechanics is to account for these violations. (shrink)
Sometimes also called retro causation. A common feature of our world seems to be that in all cases of causation, the cause and the effect are placed in time so that the cause precedes its effect temporally. Our normal understanding of causation assumes this feature to such a degree that we intuitively have great difficulty imagining things differently. The notion of backward causation, however, stands for the idea that the temporal order of cause and effect is a mere contingent feature (...) and that there may be cases where the cause is causally prior to its effect but where the temporal order of the cause and effect is reversed with respect to normal causation, i.e. there may be cases where the effect temporally, but not causally, precedes its cause. (shrink)
Modern cosmology treats space and time, or rather space-time, as concrete particulars. The General Theory of Relativity combines the distribution of matter and energy with the curvature of space-time. Here space-time appears as a concrete entity which affects matter and energy and is affected by the things in it. I question the idea that space-time is a concrete existing entity which both substantivalism and reductive relationism maintain. Instead I propose an alternative view, which may be called non-reductive relationism, by arguing (...) that space and time are abstract entities based on extension and changes. (shrink)
Scientific realism is the view that the aim of science is to produce true or approximately true theories about nature. It is a view which not only is shared by many philosophers but also by scientists themselves. Regarding Kuhn’s rejection of scientific progress, Steven Weinberg once declared: “All this is wormwood to scientists like myself, who think the task of science is to bring us closer and closer to objective truth.” But such a realist view on scientific theories is not (...) without problems. The paper discusses some arguments for and against the ontological commitments that scientific theories may entail. The upshot is that scientific realism according to which the semantic content of theories should be understood literally is not sustainable. Instead, it is argued that only realism with respect to entities can be reasonably and practically maintained. Finally, the paper discusses structural realism which presents itself as a modern alternative to scientific realism which may meet both the optimistic no-miracle argument and the pessimistic meta-induction argument. My conclusion is that such a position is neither attractive nor defendable. (shrink)
Interpretation in science has gained little attention in the past because philosophers of science believed that interpretation belongs to the context of discovery or must be associated with meaning. But scientists often speak about interpretation when they report their findings. Elsewhere I have argue in favour of a pragmatic-rhetorical theory of explanation, and it is in light of this theory that I suggest we can understand interpretation in the natural sciences.
The semantic view on theories has been much in vogue over four decades as the successor of the syntactic view. In the present paper, I take issue with this approach by arguing that theories and models must be separated and that a theory should be considered to be a linguistic systems consisting of a vocabulary and a set of rules for the use of that vocabulary.
The year 2001, the first of our twenty-first century, marks a turning point in the publication of the work of Martin Heidegger. That year, the very first courses he taught during the Third Reich were published. Under the seemingly noble title Being and Truth (Sein und Wahrheit), the double volume 36/37 of the complete works (Gesamtausgabe) grouped the 1933 summer course, The Fundamental Question of Philosophy (Der Grundfrage der Philosophie), and the 1933/34 winter semester course, On the Essence of Truth (...) (Vom Wesen der Wahrheit). Why was this a turning point? For one thing, these are among the most explicitly National Socialist and Hitlerian courses he taught. In them, we discover that Heidegger does not limit .. (shrink)
Here I develop the idea, which I have presented elsewhere, that time instants are abstract entities existing tenselessly and therefore that events and changes likewise may be said to exist tenselessly in virtue of their place at a certain space-time point.
The 2nd International Congress for the Unity of Science was held in Copenhagen from the 21st June to the 26th June 1936. Among the Danish participants was Jørgen Jørgensen, professor of philosophy at the University of Copenhagen and the leading figure of logical positivism in Denmark, and Niels Bohr, the famous physicist, the father of the atomic theory, and the originator of the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics. In fact, the event took place in Bohr’s honorary mansion at Carlsberg. Jørgensen (...) was the main organizer of the event in close collaboration with Otto Neurath. The latter had already been in Copenhagen twice, and the second time he had had a chance to meet and discuss with Bohr on epistemological issues. Again in 1936 he and Jørgensen had discussions with Bohr at a time which presented a very important period in Bohr’s thinking because the year before he had been confronted with the EPR-paradox. This final confrontation with Einstein gave Bohr a reason to change parts of his arguments. During this period of time Jørgensen seems to have supported Bohr’s Copenhagen Interpretation whole-heartedly. The purpose of the present talk is to present both Bohr’s and Jørgensen’s philosophy in an attempt of showing to what extent Bohr’s view, as it sometimes has been claimed, is an example of positivistic philosophy within physics. (shrink)
The pragmatic theory of explanation is an attempt to see explanation as a linguistic response to a cognitive problem where the content of the response depends on the context of the scientific inquiry. The present paper draws on the rhetorical situation, as it is defined by Loyld Bitzer, in order to understand how the context may influence the content as well as the acceptability of the response.
It is not so long ago that philosophers and scientists thought of science as an objective and value-free enterprise. But since the heyday of positivism, it has become obvious that values, norms, and standards have an indispensable role to play in science. You may even say that these values are the real issues of the philosophy of science. Whatever they are, these values constrain science at an ontological, a cognitive, a methodological, and a semantic level for the purpose of making (...) science a rational pursuit of knowledge. I think, however, that a good place to look for them is in the rise of quantum mechanics and in the debate between Bohr and Einstein on its interpretation, not because similar cognitive values are not shaping scientific rationality elsewhere, but because they surface in the debate whenever a new revolutionary paradigm is about to take over the scene. (shrink)
This article is a reconsideration of Tesch's (1977) ethical, educational, and methodological functions for debriefing through a literature review and an Internet survey of authors of articles published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Journal of Traumatic Stress . We advocate for a larger ethical role for debriefing in nondeception research. The educational function of debriefing is examined in light of the continued popularity of undergraduate participant pools. A case is made for the methodological function of debriefing (...) to clarify aspects of research participation. Recommendations are made to improve the conducting and reporting of debriefings. (shrink)
How should we understand religion, and what place should it hold, in an age in which metaphysics has come into disrepute? The metaphysical assumptions which supported traditional theologies are no longer widely accepted, but it is not clear how this 'end of metaphysics' should be understood, nor what implications it ought to have for our understanding of religion. At the same time there is renewed interest in the sacred and the divine in disciplines as varied as philosophy, psychology, literature, history, (...) anthropology, and cultural studies. In this volume, leading philosophers in the United States and Europe address the decline of metaphysics and the space which this decline has opened for non-theological understandings of religion. The contributors include Richard Rorty, Charles Taylor, Jean-Luc Marion, Gianni Vattimo, Hubert Dreyfus, Robert Pippin, John Caputo, Adriaan Peperzak, LeoraBatnitzky, and Mark Wrathall. (shrink)
All three of the books under review Science and Social Science by Malcolm Williams, Rethinking Science by Jan Faye, and Open the Social Sciences by the members of the Gulbenkian Commission on the Restructuring of the Social Sciences (Immanuel Wallerstein, chair)argue for a broadly naturalist approach in which the social sciences are seen as of a piece with the natural sciences. Fortunately, all three do so in a discriminating way that avoids simple options and that appreciates the important ways (...) the social-scientific disciplines require their own approach. Open the Social Sciences in particular also contains detailed and wise advice as to how the contemporary social sciences should proceed if they want to fulfill their ambition to explain human social behavior in a scientific way. Key Words: science social science scientific method unity of the sciences reductionism explanation interpretation complexity theory. (shrink)
In 1934 Heidegger offered an account of what a Volk is in terms of the existential analytic of Dasein set out in Being and Time , but soon after he abandoned this framework as he began the task of overcoming metaphysics. Integral to this new task was a confrontation with the racial policies not just of the Nazis but also of the Allies because he believed that the Western philosophical tradition was deeply implicated in these policies. Against this background, this (...) paper explores Heidegger's attempts—hitherto unrecognized—in the late 1930s to sketch another way of thinking what his contemporaries called "race" using the conceptual resources he had introduced in "The Origin of the Work of Art." The paper also includes some criticisms of Emmanuel Faye's recent study, Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction Seyla Benhabib; Part I. Freedom, Equality, and Responsibility: 2. Arendt on the foundations of equality Jeremy Waldron; 3. Arendt's Augustine Roy T. Tsao; 4. The rule of the people: Arendt, archê, and democracy Patchen Markell; 5. Genealogies of catastrophe: Arendt on the logic and legacy of imperialism Karuna Mantena; 6. On race and culture: Hannah Arendt and her contemporaries Richard H. King; Part II. Sovereignty, the Nation-State and the Rule of Law: 7. Banishing the (...) sovereign? Internal and external sovereignty in Arendt Andrew Arato and Jean Cohen; 8. The decline of order: Hannah Arendt and the paradoxes of the nation-state Christian Volk; 9. The Eichmann trial and the legacy of jurisdiction Leora Bilsky; 10. International law and human plurality in the shadow of totalitarianism: Hannah Arendt and Raphael Lemkin Seyla Benhabib; Part III. Politics in Dark Times: 11. In search of a miracle: Hannah Arendt and the atomic bomb Jonathan Schell; 12. Hannah Arendt between Europe and America: optimism in dark times Benjamin R. Barber; 13. Keeping the republic: reading Arendt's On Revolution after the fall of the Berlin Wall Dick Howard; Part IV. Judging Evil: 14. Are Arendt's reflections on evil still relevant? Richard Bernstein; 15. Banality reconsidered Susan Neiman; 16. The elusiveness of Arendtian judgment Bryan Garsten; 17. Existential values in Arendt's treatment of evil and morality George Kateb. (shrink)
Jan Faye's recent work, Athenes Kammer: En filosofisk indføring i videnskabernes enhed, is a clear and engaging book, written in Danish and intended to be a philosophical introduction to the unity of the sciences -- as its subtitle indicates. In addition to the arguments for unity of science, the book contains an interesting exposition of Faye's views on classical themes in philosophy of science, such as the nature of theory, models, laws, explanation, realism and antirealism. Only a few (...) of the themes will be addressed in this note, which will focus on the unity of science question mainly from the perspective of philosophy of biology. (shrink)
Since its founding in the nineteenth century, social anthropology has been seen as the study of exotic peoples in faraway places. But today more and more anthropologists are dedicating themselves not just to observing but to understanding and helping solve social problems wherever they occur--in international aid organizations, British TV studios, American hospitals, or racist enclaves in Eastern Europe, for example. In Exotic No More , an initiative of the Royal Anthropological Institute, some of today's most respected anthropologists demonstrate, in (...) clear, unpretentious prose, the tremendous contributions that anthropology can make to contemporary society. They cover issues ranging from fundamentalism to forced migration, child labor to crack dealing, human rights to hunger, ethnicity to environmentalism, intellectual property rights to international capitalisms. But Exotic No More is more than a litany of gloom and doom the essays also explore topics usually associated with leisure or "high" culture, including the media, visual arts, tourism, and music. Each author uses specific examples from their fieldwork to illustrate their discussions, and 62 photographs enliven the text. Throughout the book, the contributors highlight anthropology's commitment to taking people seriously on their own terms, paying close attention to what they are saying and doing, and trying to understand how they see the world and why. Sometimes this bottom-up perspective makes the strange familiar, but it can also make the familiar strange, exposing the cultural basis of seemingly "natural" behaviors and challenging us to rethink some of our most cherished ideas--about gender, "free" markets, "race," and "refugees," among many others. Contributors: William O. Beeman Philippe Bourgois John Chernoff E. Valentine Daniel Alex de Waal Judith Ennew James Fairhead Sarah Franklin Michael Gilsenan Faye Ginsburg Alma Gottlieb Christopher Hann Faye V. Harrison Richard Jenkins Melissa Leach Margaret Lock Jeremy MacClancy Jonathan Mazower Ellen Messer A. David Napier Nancy Scheper-Hughes Jane Schneider Parker Shipton Christopher B. Steiner. (shrink)
There is confusion among scholars of Bohr as to whether he should be categorized as an instrumentalist (see Faye 1991 ) or a realist (see Folse 1985 ). I argue that Bohr is a realist, and that the confusion is due to the fact that he holds a very special view of realism, which did not coincide with the philosophers’ views. His approach was sometimes labelled instrumentalist and other times realist, because he was an instrumentalist on the theoretical level, (...) but a realist on the level of models. Such a realist position is what I call phenomenological realism. In this paper, and by taking Bohr’s debate with Einstein as a paradigm, I try to prove that Bohr was such a realist. (shrink)
Logical structure may explain the necessity and a priori knowability of such truths as that if A is red then A is either red or green. But this explanation cannot be extended to sentences that, while necessary and knowable a priori, do not wear the appropriate logical structure on their sleeves – sentences like ''''if A is a point and A is red, then A is not green,'''' or ''''if A is a sphere, then A is not a cube.'''' The (...) real origin of these sentences'' necessity and a priori knowability is a relationship between the meanings of their component atomic sentences – a relationship which cannot be systematically reduced to logical structure by translating those atomic sentences into any kind of ''''ideal'''' language. Moreover, this kind of relationship is one to which any atomic sentences are susceptible if they have a classifying, or comparison-implying, content. Arguably, then, all atomic sentences are capable of being related to others in ways that are necessary and knowable a priori. (shrink)
We present an axiomatization of a problem in commonsense reasoning, characterizing the proper procedure for cracking an egg and transferring its contents to a bowl. The axiomatization is mid-sized, larger than toy problems such as the Yale Shooting Problem or the Suitcase Problem, but much smaller than the comprehensive axiomatizations associated with CYC and HPKB. This size of axiomatization permits the development of non-trivial, reusable core theories of commonsense reasoning, acts as a testbed for existing theories of commonsense reasoning, and (...) encourages the discovery of new problems in commonsense reasoning.We present portions of core theories of containment, falling, and pouring, integrated into Shanahan's circumscriptive event calculus, and show how these can serve as the basis of an axiomatization that partly characterizes egg cracking. We discuss several commonsense reasoning problems encountered during this research, such as the Initial Specification Problem (a relative of the frame problem that occurs in theories in which fluents can trigger actions), and the Unobtainable State Problem (the problem of determining whether or not a theorem stating that one cannot get from one state to another is meaningful). (shrink)
This study examines the role of acculturation in shaping consumers’ views of ethics. Specifically, it examines the relationships between the desire to keep one’s original culture, the desire to adopt the host culture, and the four dimensions of the Muncy and Vitell (Journal of Business Research Ethics 24(4), 297, 1992) consumer ethics scale. Using two separate immigrant populations – one of former Middle-Eastern residents now living in the U.S. and the other of Asian immigrants in the U.S. – results indicate (...) that those who want to keep their original culture are less tolerant of unethical consumer activities, while those who are more willing to adopt the host culture are more tolerant of these same consumer activities. Furthermore, the immigrants in both studies who are more tolerant of unethical consumer activities are those who are generally somewhat younger and with less formal education. The relationship between gender and consumer ethics was not significant. (shrink)
Among anti-skeptical arguments based on premises about meaning, Davidson’s is distinctive because of the holistic element in both his semantic starting point and his epistemological conclusion. Davidson takes the primary bearers of meaning to be belief systems, and it is actually-held belief systems whose overall correctness he concludes to be knowable. Critical attention has gravitated toward a part of the argument that claims that any meaningful discourse must be radically interpretable by one who is omniscient except for the meanings of (...) the speaker’s words and thoughts. I argue that there is a reading of this claim on which skeptics have good reason to accept it. But on this reading the argument goes through only if another crucial premise---the necessity for radical interpretation to be done charitably---is construed in a way that leaves skeptics free to reject it. (shrink)
My aim is to show that dissatisfaction with the term ‘tactile pictures’ and the proposal for ‘a multisensory pictorial aesthetic’ introduced by Dominic Lopes is due to an ambiguity of ‘picture’ between visual and spatial representation in-volving more than one sense. In order to avoid this ambiguity, I propose another term in its place and I investigate some of the directions that a richer multimedia and multimodal aesthetic can take.
This article presents a phenomenological perspective on the “virtual organisation” where people are obliged to work at a distance and where contact with others is limited to that of an electronic network. Drawing on Husserl, we see that when the “as-if ” presence is contrived in such a way, the organisation obstructs the life of consciousness. Furthermore, relying on Michel Henry’s writings, we explain how removing the parameter of “flesh” as a factor structuring encounters, this organizational form profoundly restricts the (...) dynamism of the acting, subjective life. (shrink)