In this paper Bloom analyzes the popular magazine, Men's Health, from a feminist perspective, locating ways that the magazine participates in an insidious form of anti-feminist backlash. She specifically analyzes the magazine to make sense of how its writers discursively position women in their relationships to heterosexual men and how they use the voices of women who call themselves feminists to promote an anti-feminist, pro-patriarchy agenda. She demonstrates that the health of men being promoted in this magazine is a (...) mental health grounded in the maintenance of male privilege and power. (shrink)
Logical pluralism is the view that there is more than one correct logic. In this article, I explore what logical pluralism is, and what it entails, by: (i) distinguishing clearly between relativism about a particular domain and pluralism about that domain; (ii) distinguishing between a number of forms logical pluralism might take; (iii) attempting to distinguish between those versions of pluralism that are clearly true and those that are might be controversial; and (iv) surveying three prominent attempts to argue for (...) logical pluralism and evaluating them along the criteria provided by (ii) and (iii). (shrink)
Two suggestions are at the back of the present talk. First, toleration is obligatory, not criticism. So do not try to make people critically-minded: do not force them in any way to try to offer or accept criticism, to learn to participate effectively in the game of critical discussion. If they refuse, then they are within their right. Also, they will easily ad vance excuses for their refusal; admittedly some of these are unreasonable, but not all. Instead of trying to (...) make people critically-minded, try to help them become criticallyminded if and when they request help on this matter, but not otherwise. My second suggestion is that a simple, inconclusive, criterion should be used to distinguish with ease between proper and improper criticism — not by reference to validity, since proper criticism may turn out to be invalid, and some of the worst diatribes may inadvertently include valid criticism. This should hardly be expected of diatribes, and these are recognizable by their display of poor appreciation their target. (This was noted in a recent review by Stefano Gattei of the Italian edition of the Lakatos -Feyerabend correspondence: it largely concerns Popper, yet it displays boorish disrespect to him.) So much for my messages here. I also wish to present here the following ideas. (shrink)
Two studies demonstrate that a dispositional proneness to disgust (“disgust sensitivity”) is associated with intuitive disapproval of gay people. Study 1 was based on previous research showing that people are more likely to describe a behavior as intentional when they see it as morally wrong (see Knobe, 2006, for a review). As predicted, the more disgust sensitive participants were, the more likely they were to describe an agent whose behavior had the side effect of causing gay men to kiss in (...) public as having intentionally encouraged gay men to kiss publicly— even though most participants did not explicitly think it wrong to encourage gay men to kiss in public. No such effect occurred when subjects were asked about heterosexual kissing. Study 2 used the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Nosek, Banaji, & Greenwald, 2006) as a dependent measure. The more disgust sensitive participants were, the more they showed.. (shrink)
The false belief task has often been used as a test of theory of mind. We present two reasons to abandon this practice. First, passing the false belief task requires abilities other than theory of mind. Second, theory of mind need not entail the ability to reason about false beliefs. We conclude with an alternative conception of the role of the false belief task. q 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
This essay examines Joseph Carens' open borders argument in the light of a case study of recent Somali migrants to the UK. It argues that, although arguments for significantly more open borders are compelling, they must take into account existing domestic injustice in receiving states as well as existing global injustice.
Over the past few decades, there has been increasing attention focused on the ethics of health research, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Despite the increasing focus on the literature addressing human protection, community engagement, appropriate consent procedures and ways to mitigate concerns around exploitation, there has been little discussion about how the duration of the research engagement may affect the ethical design and implementation of studies. In other words, what are the unique ethical challenges when researchers engage with host (...) communities for longer periods (10 years or more), and what special considerations does this time commitment generate when applying ethical principles to these kinds of studies? This article begins to outline key areas of ethical concern that arise during long-term, sustained research activities with communities in low-resource settings. Through a review of the literature and consultations with experts in health systems, we identified the following key themes: fair benefits and long-term beneficence; community autonomy, consultation and consent; impacts on local health systems; economic impacts of research participation; ethical review processes; and institutional processes and oversight within research organizations. We hope that this preliminary exploration will stimulate further dialogue and help inform ethical guidance around long-term research engagements in the developing world. (shrink)
A signed -equation is an expression of the form t t or t t, where t and t are -terms (for some ranked set ). We characterize those classes of -algebras which are models of a set of signed -equations. Further we consider the problem of finding a complete deductive system analogous to equational logic for the logical consequence operation restricted to signed equations.
Normal children learn tens of thousands of words, and do so quickly and efficiently, often in highly impoverished environments. In How Children Learn the Meanings of Words, I argue that word learning is the product of certain cognitive and linguistic abilities that include the ability to acquire concepts, an appreciation of syntactic cues to meaning, and a rich understanding of the mental states of other people. These capacities are powerful, early emerging, and to some extent uniquely human, but they are (...) not special to word learning. This proposal is an alternative to the view that word learning is the result of simple associative learning mechanisms, and it rejects as well the notion that children possess constraints, either innate or learned, that are specifically earmarked for word learning. This theory is extended to account for how children learn names for objects, substances, and abstract entities, pronouns and proper names, verbs, determiners, prepositions, and number words. Several related topics are also discussed, including naïve essentialism, children's understanding of representational art, the nature of numerical and spatial reasoning, and the role of words in the shaping of mental life. Key Words: cognitive development; concepts; meaning; semantics; social cognition; syntax; theory of mind; word learning. (shrink)
Introduction: the Badiouian-Žižekian politburo--political interventions in the shadow of Lacan -- Alain Badiou: from event to act -- The quick and the dead: Badiou and the split speeds of transformation -- One must have confidence that the other does not exist: select preconditions for events and acts in contemporary circumstances -- Slavoj Žižek: from act to event -- The cynic's fetish: Žižek and the dynamics of belief -- From the spectacular act to the vanishing act: the politics of Lacanian theory (...) -- Appendix A: "Let a thousandflowersbloom!": some brief remarks on and responses to Zizek's "Badiou: notes from an ongoing debate" -- Appendix B: Slavoj Žižek, "An answer to two questions". (shrink)
What would it be like to have never learned English, but instead only to know Hopi, Mandarin Chinese, or American Sign Language? Would that change the way you think? Imagine entirely losing your language, as the result of stroke or trauma. You are aphasic, unable to speak or listen, read or write. What would your thoughts now be like? As the most extreme case, imagine having been raised without any language at all, as a wild child. What—if anything—would it be (...) like to be such a person? Could you be smart; could you reminisce about the past, plan the future? (shrink)
What determines our intuitions as to which objects are members of specific artifact kinds? Prior research suggests that factors such as physical appearance, current use, and intended function are not at the core of concepts such as chair, clock and pawn. The theory presented here, based on Levinson`s (1993) intentional-historical theory of our concept of art, is that we determine that something is a member of a given artifact kind by inferring that it was successfully created with the intention to (...) belong to that kind. This theory can explain why some properties (such as shape) are more important than others (such as color) when we determine kind membership and can account for why certain objects are judged to be members of artifact kinds even though they are highly dissimilar from other members of the kinds. It can also provide a framework for explaining the conditions under which broken objects cease to be members of their kinds and new artifacts can come into existence. This account of our understanding of artifact concepts is argued to be consistent with more general "essentialist" theories of our understanding of concepts corresponding to proper.. (shrink)
Young children reliably distinguish reality from fantasy; they know that their friends are real and that Batman is not. But it is an open question whether they appreciate, as adults do, that there are multiple fantasy worlds. We test this by asking children and adults about fictional characters’ beliefs about other characters who exist either within the same world (e.g., Batman and Robin) or in different worlds (e.g., Batman and SpongeBob). Study 1 found that although both adults and young children (...) distinguish between within-world and across-world types of character relationships, the children make an unexpected mistake: they often claim that Batman thinks that Robin is make believe. Study 2 used a less explicit task, exploring intuitions about the actions of characters—whom they could see, touch, and talk to—and found that children show a mature appreciation of the ontology of fictional worlds. q 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Are current theories of moral responsibility missing a factor in the attribution of blame and praise? Four studies demonstrated that even when cause, intention, and outcome (factors generally assumed to be sufficient for the ascription of moral responsibility) are all present, blame and praise are discounted when the factors are not linked together in the usual manner (i.e., cases of ‘‘causal deviance’’). Experiment 4 further demonstrates that this effect of causal deviance is driven by intuitive gut feelings of right and (...) wrong, not logical deliberation. Ó 2003 Published by Elsevier Science (USA). (shrink)
Shaun Nichols (this issue) correctly points out that current theories of the development of mindreading say nothing about children's intuitions concerning indeterminist choice. That is, there are numerous theories of how children make sense of belief, desire, and action, but none that appeal to any notion of free will. Nichols suggests two alternatives for why this is the case. It could either be (a) an --outrageous oversight-- on the part of developmental psychologists or (b) a principled omission, reﬂecting a consensus (...) that the notion of indeterminist choice is absent from children's mindreading processes. Nichols charitably favors the sec- ond alternative. (shrink)
How Children Learn the Meanings of Words (HCLMW) defends the theory that words are learned through sophisticated and early-emerging cognitive abilities that have evolved for other purposes; there is no dedicated mental mechanism that is special to word learning. The commentators raise a number of challenges to this theory: Does it correctly characterize the nature and development of early abilities? Does it attribute too much to children, or too little? Does it only apply to nouns, or can it also explain (...) the acquisition of words such as verbs and determiners? More general issues are discussed as well, including the role of the input, the relationship between words and concepts, and debates over nativism, adaptationism, and modularity. (shrink)
There are two facts about word learning that everyone accepts. The ﬁrst is that words really do have to be learned. There is controversy over how much conceptual structure and linguistic knowledge is innate, but nobody thinks that this is the case for the speciﬁc mappings between sounds (or signs) and meanings. This is because these mappings vary arbitrarily from culture to culture. No matter how intelligent a British baby is, for instance, she still has to learn, by attending to (...) the language of the people around her, that rabbits are called ‘rabbits’, that sleeping is called ‘sleeping’, and so on. (shrink)
Generic sentences (such as ‘‘Birds lay eggs’’) are important in that they refer to kinds (e.g., birds as a group) rather than individuals (e.g., the birds in the henhouse). The present set of studies examined aspects of how generic nouns are understood by English speakers. Adults and children (4- and 5-year-olds) were presented with scenarios about novel animals and questioned about their properties, using generic and non-generic questions. Three primary findings emerged. First, both children and adults distinguished generic from non-generic (...) reference, interpreting generics as referring to kinds. Thus, under certain contexts children and adults accepted that ‘‘Dobles have claws’’ even when all the dobles in the available context were clawless. Second, adults further distinguished properties that are inborn from those that are acquired. Inborn properties were judged to be predicated of a generic kind, even when all available instances have lost the property, but this was not the case for acquired properties. Third, children did not distinguish inborn from acquired properties. These data suggest the existence of developmental changes in conceptual or semantic understanding, and are interpreted in light of recent theories of psychological essentialism. Ó 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
It is well known that today jails and prisons house many seriously mentally ill citizens who in prior decades have been treated in mental hospitals and community mental health programs. This paper begins with a brief review of the history of support for mental health programs at the federal level and then, using the State of Oregon as an example, describes the new state era of mental health services which is characterized by the increasing use of the criminal justice system (...) as a cornerstone of the treatment of many seriously and chronically mentally ill individuals. Are there any solutions to our current dilemma? The paper ends with this question, and the reader must determine if any of the suggestions posed in this discussion are realistic and/or feasible given the current fiscal and political climate. (shrink)
A few months ago, a young man in jeans and a baseball cap took a violin into a subway station in Washington DC during morning rush hour. He opened the case in front of him, put some coins inside to encourage donations and played for 45 minutes. The young man was Joshua Bell, one of the world's greatest violinists, and he was playing his multimillion-dollar Stradivarius. He was incognito, as an experiment devised by The Washington Post to see whether people (...) appreciate great art in an unlikely place. (shrink)
What does The Simpsons have to say about this issue? Most likely, absolutely nothing. The Simpsons is a fine television show, but it’s not where to look for innovative ideas in cognitive neuroscience or the philosophy of mind. We think, however, that it can help give us insight into a related, and extremely important, issue. We might learn through this show something about common-sense metaphysics, about how people naturally think about consciousness, the brain and the soul.
I am very grateful to Aaron Cicourel, Penelope Brown, Max Louwerse, and Matthew Ventrura for their constructive comments. Aaron Cicourel provides a helpful summary of my book and his commentary offers a good place to enter the discussion for readers who have not yet read How Children Learn the Meanings of Words. Brown and Louwerse and Ventura raise some critical questions with regard to the text to which I will speak in turn.
How do young children extend names for human-made artifacts, such as knife, toy, and painting? We addressed this issue by showing 3-year-olds, 5-year-olds, and adults a series of simple objects and asking them for each, `What is this?' In one condition, the objects were described as purposefully created; in another, the objects were described as being created by accident. This manipulation had a signi®cant effect on the participants' responses: even 3- year-olds were more likely to provide artifact names (e.g. `a (...) knife') when they believed the objects were intentionally created and material-based descriptions (e.g. `plastic') when they believed the objects were accidentally created. This result supports a theory of artifact naming in which intuitions about intention play an important role. q 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Adults value certain unique individuals—such as artwork, sentimental possessions, and memorabilia—more than perfect duplicates. Here we explore the origins of this bias in young children, by using a conjurer’s illusion where we appear to produce identical copies of realworld objects. In Study 1, young children were less likely to accept an identical replacement for an attachment object than for a favorite toy. In Study 2, children often valued a personal possession of Queen Elizabeth II more than an identical copy, but (...) showed no such bias for another sort of valuable object. These findings suggest that young children develop attachments to individuals that are independent of any perceptible properties that the individuals possess. Ó 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Ren-xing can be aptly translated as "human nature," representing as it does the Mencian conviction of and sympathy for a common humanity. The enterprise of comparative philosophy is furthered by drawing attention to the large and important conceptual sphere within which Mencius was working, to his concern for the most fundamental realities of human life, and to his translatability across time and cultures.
A wealth of human knowledge is acquired by attending to information provided by other people – but some people are more credible sources than others. In two experiments, we explored whether young children spontaneously keep track of an individual’s history of being accurate or inaccurate and use this information to facilitate subsequent learning. We found that 3- and 4-year-olds favor a previously accurate individual when learning new words and learning new object functions and applied the principle of mutual exclusivity to (...) the newly learned words but not the newly learned functions. These findings expand upon previous research in a number of ways, most importantly by showing that (a) children spontaneously keep track of an individual’s history and use it to guide subsequent learning without any prompting, and (b) children’s sensitivity to others’ prior accuracy is not specific to the domain of language. Ó 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
We argue that the dance metaphor does not appropriately characterize language. Indeed, language may be a red herring, distracting us from the intriguing question of the nature of apes' social interactions.
Unobservable properties that are specific to individuals, such as their proper names, can only be known by people who are familiar with those individuals. Do young children utilize this “familiarity principle” when learning language? Experiment 1 tested whether forty-eight 2- to 4-year-old children were able to determine the referent of a proper name such as “Jessie” based on the knowledge that the speaker was familiar with one individual but unfamiliar with the other. Even 2-year-olds successfully identified Jessie as the individual (...) with whom the speaker was familiar. Experiment 2 examined whether children appreciate this principle at a general level, as do adults, or whether this knowledge may be specific to certain word-learning situations. To test this, forty-eight 3- to 5-year-old children were given the converse of the task in Experiment 1—they were asked to determine the individual with whom the speaker was familiar based on the speaker’s knowledge of an individual’s proper name. Only 5-year-olds reliably succeeded at this task, suggesting that a general understanding of the familiarity principle is a relatively late developmental accomplishment. (shrink)
Recent findings suggest that infants are capable of distinguishing between different numbers of objects, and of performing simple arithmetical operations. But there is debate over whether these abilities result from capacities dedicated to numerical cognition, or whether infants succeed in such experiments through more general, non-numerical capacities, such as sensitivity to perceptual features or mechanisms of object tracking. We report here a study showing that 5-month-olds can determine the number of collective entities – moving groups of items – when non-numerical (...) perceptual factors such as contour length, area, density, and others are strictly controlled. This suggests both that infants can represent number per se, and that their grasp of number is not limited to the domain of objects. q 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Children tend to extend object names on the basis of sameness of shape, rather than size, color, or materialFa tendency that has been dubbed the ‘‘shape bias.’’ Is the shape bias the result of well-learned associations between words and objects? Or does it exist because of a general belief that shape is a good indicator of object category membership? The present three studies addressed this debate by exploring whether the shape bias is specific to naming. In Study 1, 3-year-olds showed (...) the shape bias both when asked to extend a novel name and when asked to select an object of the same kind as a target object. Study 2 found the same shape bias when children were asked to generalize properties relevant to category membership. Study 3 replicated the findings from Study 1 with 2-year-olds. These findings suggest that the shape bias derives from children’s beliefs about object kinds and is not the product of associative learning. (shrink)
An abstract logic A, C consists of a finitary algebraA and a closure systemC onA. C induces two other closure systems onA, C P andC I, by projective and inductive generation respectively. The various relations amongC, C P andC I are determined. The special case thatC is the standard equational closure system on monadic terms is studied in detail. The behavior of Boolean logics with respect to projective and inductive generation is determined.
The increasing willingness of people to agree that societies currently spend too much on health care is noted. It is argued that this is more an expression of financial pressures on the state than a reflection of new technological possibilities. The meaning of such statements is questioned in the context of demonstrated social underutilization of skilled personnel and wasteful expenditure. The discussion then focusses on approaches to defining medical need in clinical situations. It is pointed out that this issue has (...) risen to prominence with the establishment of a right to care and the subsequent attempt to define limits to this right. Two basic approaches, the scientific and the subjective, are presented and both are shown to be incapable of providing absolute criteria for decision-making. It is concluded that the issue of establishing needs is a complex technical and political one, where medical ethics can contribute by clarifying the issues and illuminating the alternatives. (shrink)
Many strands are woven into the ideas and work of Jeffrey Gray. From a background of classical languages and a spell in military intelligence spent honing skills in languages and typing, he took two BA degrees (in modern languages and psychology) at Oxford University. He then trained as a clinical psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry (IOP), London, capping this with a PhD on the sources of emotional behaviour.
This essay suggests an approach to the reading of Deleuze and Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus, grasped as a philosophical event that is as directly pragmatic as it is abstract and speculative. A series of key Deleuzo-Guattarian concepts (in particular, multiplicity, minority and double becoming) are staged from the angle of philosophy's relation to its disciplinary outside. These concepts are then transferred to the relation between the authors' philosophical lineage and the new cultural outside into which the Chinese translation will (...) propel their thought. Emphasis is placed on the writing – and reading – of philosophy as a creative act of collective import and ethical force. (shrink)
Antidepressants, in particular newer agents, are among the most widely prescribed medications worldwide with annual sales of billions of dollars. The introduction of these agents in the market has passed through seemingly strict regulatory control. Over a thousand randomized trials have been conducted with antidepressants. Statistically significant benefits have been repeatedly demonstrated and the medical literature is flooded with several hundreds of "positive" trials (both pre-approval and post-approval). However, two recent meta-analyses question this picture. The first meta-analysis used data (...) that were submitted to FDA for the approval of 12 antidepressant drugs. While only half of these trials had formally significant effectiveness, published reports almost ubiquitously claimed significant results. "Negative" trials were either left unpublished or were distorted to present "positive" results. The average benefit of these drugs based on the FDA data was of small magnitude, while the published literature suggested larger benefits. A second meta-analysis using also FDA-submitted data examined the relationship between treatment effect and baseline severity of depression. Drug-placebo differences increased with increasing baseline severity and the difference became large enough to be clinically important only in the very small minority of patient populations with severe major depression. In severe major depression, antidepressants did not become more effective, simply placebo lost effectiveness. These data suggest that antidepressants may be less effective than their wide marketing suggests. Short-term benefits are small and long-term balance of benefits and harms is understudied. I discuss how the use of many small randomized trials with clinically non-relevant outcomes, improper interpretation of statistical significance, manipulated study design, biased selection of study populations, short follow-up, and selective and distorted reporting of results has built and nourished a seemingly evidence-based myth on antidepressant effectiveness and how higher evidence standards, with very large long-term trials and careful prospective meta-analyses of individual-level data may reach closer to the truth and clinically useful evidence. (shrink)
Abstract In an important text, A Thousand Teachings, sometimes overlooked by scholars, Sankara expounds non?dualist religion. This article analyses Sankara's thought for its theoretical and practical perspectives. First, the discussion views non?duality from the viewpoint of ignorance. This pluralistic/dualistic perspective obscures the unenlightened seeker's vision of the Ultimate Truth. Secondly, the study examines Sankara's introduction of a transitional idea, Unevolved Name?and?Form (avy?krte n?mar?pe). Such an idea assists the seeker's intellectual progress from the state of ignorance to a rational understanding (...) leading toward nonduality (Advaita Ved?nta). Finally, the exposition clarifies Sankara's expression of the ?knowledge of Brahman?. This fulfilling wisdom affects a transformation of the life experience of the unenlightened. Subsequently disciplined in meditation (parisamkhy?na), the persistent seeker develops into an experiencer of the non?duality (advaitav?da). (shrink)
The paper discusses where philosophy is going at the moment. Various current trends are singled out for comment. It then moves to the question of where it ought to be going. After a brief discussion of what this question means, it concludes that no guidance can be given except that each philosopher should pursue what they think to be important.
This being the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, as well as the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, there is a frenzy of events and publications devoted to the founder of the field of evolutionary biology and, by extension, to the his- tory, current status, and possible future of the entire discipline.
Doctor, just one more thing.” I marvel every time I hear this, nearly always as I reach for the door. It is as though all patients receive copies of the same instructions, perhaps posted somewhere in the waiting room: Wait until your appointment has run over time. Watch until your doctor stands to leave. Ask a question of grave importance that cannot possibly be answered quickly. I released the doorknob. “Yes, sir?” “I was wondering if you had any advice for (...) me on preparing to die. You see, I got a copy of the pathology report and even though my oncologist didn’t tell me the prognosis was bad, I did a little of my own research. I learned that ‘high grade’ and ‘poorly .. (shrink)
This new edition brings together the English translation of the renowned Plato scholar and translator, Seth Benardete, with two illuminating commentaries on it: Benardete's "On Plato's Symposium" and Allan Bloom's provocative essay, "The ...
The late Berkeley philosopher Paul Feyerabend took perhaps the most permissive attitude possible towards “fringe” or “marginal” science. This flowed from a more general view about how science works best in promoting both knowledge and happiness. He argued that in order to maximize the empirical testability of our theories – a goal even a falsificationist like Karl Popper should love – we must compare them not just to observations, but to other incompatible, even apparently falsified, theories. Methodologically, this is clearly (...) sound, since which observations we make and how we construe them are affected by the ideas we use and the concepts we consider. We often have to consider contrasting ideas in order to find the observations that show the weaknesses of those ideas we already have. Further, Feyerabend saw that if testability alone is the goal of science, then there is no principled way to limit the ideas and theories that ought at any time to be given an audience. The oldest, the kookiest, the most disreputable ideas have a necessary role to play. Like John Stuart Mill he thought that one of the benefits of a truly free marketplace of ideas was that it would allow advocacy of unpopular views as well as respected ones, so that the ugly ducklings could keep the respected ideas honest, and stay alive for the day when they might show the insight they can bring. One could think of the pursuit of truth along these lines as an investigation of an elephant by several people with blindfolds on, each of whom has access only to his own portion of the animal. One would think it was a tree trunk, another a fire hose, a third maybe a whip, another an outsized yoga ball. None of these claims would be right, but if one of these people were too eager and insistent in drawing conclusions and didn’t listen to the very different and seemingly crazy ideas of the others, he might never think of observing beyond his region of the elephant. He would also, Feyerabend thought, lead a cramped and unfulfilled life. An obvious objection to this outlook is that we don’t have the resources to water a thousandflowers.. (shrink)
The question of the imagination is rather like the question Augustine raised with regard to the nature of time. We all seem to know what it involves, yet find it difficult to define. For Descartes, the imagination was simply our faculty for producing a mental image. He distinguished it from the understanding by noting that while the notion of a thousand sided figure was comprehensible—that is, was sufficiently clear and distinct to be differentiated from a thousand and one (...) sided figure—the figure could not be clearly pictured in our mind. The representation of its sides exceeded our powers of imagination.[i] This view of the imagination as our ability to produce a mental image fails, however, to distinguish it from remembering. Let us say that I see an object and then I close my eyes, maintaining the image of the object. Is this imagining or short term memory? What about the case when I recall this image an hour later? Am I imagining or remembering it? Such examples make it clear that imagination, as distinct from memory, implies something more than the ability to produce a mental image. It involves, as Sartre pointed out, a certain attitude towards this image. Engaging in it, we deny its reality. In Sartre’s words, imagination “carries within it a double negation; first, it is the nihilation of the world (since the world is not offering the imagined object as an actual object of perception), secondly, the nihilation of the object of the image (it is posited as not actual) ...” (BN, p. 62). Imagination, then, represents the imagined as nonactual. (shrink)
Prologue: the hooded friar -- A most solemn act of justice -- The Nolan philosopher -- "Napoli e tutto il mondo" -- "The world is fine as it is" -- "I have, in effect, harbored doubts" -- "I came into this world to light a fire" -- Footprints in the forest -- A thousand worlds -- Art and astronomy -- Trouble again -- Holy asininity -- The signs of the times -- A lonely sparrow -- Thirty -- The gifts (...) of the Magi -- The song of Circe -- "Go up to Oxford" -- Down risky streets -- The art of magic -- Canticles -- Squaring the circle -- Consolation and valediction -- Infinities -- Return to Italy -- The witness -- The adversary -- Gethsemane -- Hell's purgatory -- The sentence -- The field of flowers -- Epilogue: the four rivers. (shrink)
eaders of Kant’s Critique of Judgment (1790) have understandably been stumped trying to decipher Kant’s views on the relation between beauty and art.1 At §43 Kant ends his discussion of “free natural” beauties such as flowers and birds of paradise and begins to formulate a theory of fine art, according to which fine art has as its purpose the expression of “aesthetic ideas.” This theory of fine art, perhaps because it is saddled with examples of second-rate art (including a (...) poem by “the great king” Frederick) and is sketchier than the theory of beauty, has not been given the attention accorded the four “moments”. However, Kant’s theory of fine art is not as “unsophisticated” and “unenlightening” as one commentator thinks.2 It is rough and unfinished, but even so, it lays claim to being, along with Aristotle’s account of the “philosophical” implications of literature, one of the great pre-Hegelian statements on the capacity of art to express ideas. At least, the fact that the Critique of Judgment contains such a theory should stand as a warning to those who blame Kant for “neutering” the capacity of art to have any practical effect by reducing art to a contrivance for producing an enemic “disinterested” pleasure.3 On the contrary: Kant himself may in fact have thought his theory of fine art the capstone of his aesthetics. For at §51 he writes, “We may in general call beauty (whether natural or artistic) the expression of aesthetic ideas.” And here is where the puzzle begins, for it is not at all clear how or why beauty should even apply to the expression of aesthetic ideas — let alone apply in a way such that “we may in general call beauty … the expression of aesthetic ideas.”. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction 9 -- Postmodernism and the End of 'Humanism'? 19 -- Postmodern Ambiguities: -- Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire 34 -- In Postmodern Disorder: -- The Confused and Confusing World of The Hand that Signed the Paper 40 -- Ethics, the Literary Imagination, and the 'Other': The Hand that Ought, or was Imagined, to have Signed the Paper 47 -- Jew and Anti-Jew in Australian Fiction 58 -- Helen Garner's The First Stone: Ethical Confusions (...) and Contretemps 72 -- Antisemitism and Literature: Robert Manne's The Culture of Forgetting and Anthony Julius' T.S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism and Literary Form 83 -- Abraham Biderman, Daniel Goldhagen,and Telling It as It Was 96 -- Literary Studies as Ethics or Anarchy? 110 -- An Imbrication of Heteroglossic Discourses? Or Plain Speaking? 118 -- The Flowers that Bloom in the Spring, tra-la: Postcolonialism and Other Messiahs 127 -- Postcolonialism and the Exotic 135 -- Perpetually Moralists: Truth, Ethics and The Empire Writes Back 146 -- Towards a New Ethics 159 -- Conclusion 167 -- Index -- 176. (shrink)
Starting with the interest and effort of the children, the whole community has become tremendously interested in starting gardens, using every bit of available ground. The district is a poor one and, besides transforming the yards, the gardens have been a real economic help to the people.I do not wait for permission to become a gardener but dig wherever I see horticultural potential. I do not just tend existing gardens but create them from neglected space. I, and thousands of people (...) like me, step out from home to garden land we do not own. We see opportunities all around us. Vacant lots flourish as urban oases, roadside verges dazzle with flowers and crops are harvested from land that we assumed to be fruitless. .. (shrink)
For those familiar with the work of Deleuze, and Deleuze and Guattari, it might at first seem unwise to pursue a Deleuze and Guattarian philosophy of history. After all, is it not Deleuze who, in an interview with Antonio Negri, argues that ‘What history grasps in an event is the way it’s actualized in particular circumstances; the event's becoming is beyond the scope of history'? (Deleuze 1995: 170). And more damningly, Deleuze adds, ‘History isn’t experimental, it's just the set of (...) more or less negative preconditions that make it possible to experiment with something beyond history' (Deleuze 1995: 170). History, in short, is a starting point for experimental work, but it is precisely history ‘that one leaves behind in order to “become,” that is, to create something new’ (1995: 171). Similarly in A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari argue that ‘History is made by those who oppose history (not by those who insert themselves into it, or even reshape it)’ (Deleuze and Guattari 1987: 295). In the very first line of his book, Lampert recognizes the possible conclusion these citations might lead one to, namely, ‘Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy of becoming seems at times opposed to the very idea of historical succession' (1); and yet, as Lampert adeptly demonstrates, it would be a mistake to conclude that opposing history to ‘create something new’, ‘something beyond history’, necessarily entails being hostile to history, to the ‘idea of historical succession’, and thus to a philosophy of history. (shrink)
The philosophy of Epictetus, a freed slave in the Roman Empire, has been profoundly influential on Western thought: it offers not only stimulating ideas but practical guidance in living one's life. A. A. Long, a leading scholar of later ancient philosophy, gives the definitive presentation of the thought of Epictetus for a broad readership. Long's fresh and vivid translations of a selection of the best of Epictetus' discourses show that his ideas are as valuable and striking today as they were (...) amost two thousand years ago. This is a book for anyone interested in what we can learn from ancient philosophy about how to live our lives. (shrink)
In Sāṃkhya similes are an important means to communicate basic philosophical teachings. In the texts similes are frequently used, especially in the Sāṃkhya passages in the Mahābhārata, in the Sāṃkhyakārikā and in the Sāṃkhyasūtra. This paper compares the similes in these three texts and analyses changes in the philosophy as revealed in the similes. A comparison of the similes of Sāṃkhya texts produced over more than one thousand years reveals changes in the emphasis in this philosophical system. The purpose (...) of the similes in the Sāṃkhya passages of the Mahābhārata is to produce an intuitive understanding of the separateness of puruṣa and prakṛti. The similes are designed to lead the listener to understand this basic dualism. In the Sāṃkhyakārikā the most difficult issues are the relationship between prakṛti and puruṣa and the idea of prakṛti working for the salvation of puruṣa. One whole chapter of the Sāṃkhyasūtra is devoted to similes. (shrink)
The Sulwan al-Muta' is an 800 year-old handbook for statesmen written by a Sicilian Arab who addressed this advice for a "just prince" based on Islamic morality, European realism and a broad-ranging knowledge of different cultures. The work is explicated using straight philosophical discourse as well as the narrative whirl of fables-within-fables so beloved of ancient and mediaeval Oriental literature. This is a work of practical political philosophy that combines penetrating contemporary analysis, the entertainment value of The Thousand and (...) One Nights , and the deep insight of Sun Tzu. (shrink)
First, my thanks to Richard Swinburne for his probing and thoughtful review of my book Warranted Christian Belief (WCB). His account of the book's mainline of argument is accurate as far as it goes; it does contain an important lacuna, however. The focus of the book is twofold; it is aimed in two directions. First, just as Swinburne says, I argue that there are no plausible de iure objections to Christian belief that are independent of de facto objections; any plausible (...) objection to the rationality of Christian belief, or to its warrant (the property that distinguishes knowledge from mere true belief), or its justification, will either be obviously mistaken or will (as with Freud, and Marx and a thousand others) presuppose one or more de facto objections. This is intended as a contribution to apologetics; it is important, because many or most objections to Christian belief are of just the sort I attempt to discredit. (‘I don't know whether Christian belief is true or not – who could know a thing like that? – but I do know that it is irrational, or unwarranted, or not rationally justified, or…’.) Second (and this is the focus Swinburne fails to mention), I proposed the extended A/C (Aquinas/Calvin) model as, from the perspective of Christian belief, a plausible account of the way in which Christian belief is, in fact, justified, rational and warranted. So the book is aimed in two directions: first towards readers generally, whether Christian believers or not, and second towards Christian believers. (shrink)
John Muir, who had seen enough natural beauty for ten life times, simply fumbles his words when it comes to describing Prince William Sound: one of the richest, most glorious mountain landscapes I ever beheld— peak over peak lying deep in the sky, a thousand of them, icy and shining…. and great breadth of sun-spangled, ice-dotted waters in front…. grandeur and beauty in a thousand forms awaiting us at every turn in this bright and spacious wonderland. Prince William (...) Sound, which sits at the northernmost part of the Gulf of Alaska, defines the water border of the Chugach National Forest. Established by Teddy Roosevelt in 1907, it is next in size only to the Tongass National Forest—the largest in the .. (shrink)
"Sometimes I call this reality Science, sometimes I call it Truth. But it is something we draw by pain and effort out of the heart of life, that we disentangle and make clear. Other men serve it, I know, in art, in literature, in social invention, and see it in a thousand different figures, under a hundred names... I do not know what it is, this something, except that it is supreme.".