Empathy remains poorly understood, under-theorized, and subject to conflicting and opportunistic uses. Its systematic role in human experience has not been analyzed and interpreted from top to bottom. In this book, the author attempts to provide such an analysis in the philosophical traditions of hermeneutics, phenomenology, analytic philosophy of language, and psychoanalysis. applying his interpretation of empathy to the philosophical issues of intentionality, the emotions, and the checkered transformations of empathy itself. In doing so the author aims to rescue empathy (...) from the margins of intelligibility and reveal its central role in our understanding of the emotions, the integrity of our relations with others, and human community (“intersubjectivity”). -/- The work draws on both the Anglo-American (“analytic”) tradition of ordinary language philosophy and the continental ones of phenomenology and hermeneutics. This work follows the movement of empathy from the periphery of ethics, aesthetics, and theory of mind to a key place in establishing and maintaining the integrity and emotional equilibrium of dynamic interrelations with other individuals. Beginning with the philosophical infrastructure of the hermeneutics of empathy, this work thoroughly explains the complex architecture of empathy, tracing it downward through the levels of authentic human interrelations, empathy with unexpressed emotions, the empathic penetrability of cognitively impenetrable affect, the first-ever intentional analysis of both the empathizer and the “empathasand” in interrelation, and the hermeneutic infrastructure. The consequences of empathy are exposed in the context of the emotions, cognitive impenetrability, empathy and altruism, and the intentionality of empathy as accessed through language and story telling. Drawing on the multi-method approach of hermeneutics, phenomenology, and story telling, this work demonstrates that empathy forms the foundation for community in ways not clearly appreciated in the on-going debate. In a bootstrap operation that is guided by Heidegger’s call for a “special hermeneutic of empathy,” this work achieves a delicate balancing act of unpacking the rich intellectual traditions from which empathy - the phenomenon itself, not the concept - emerged historically. The result is an exposure of the deep structure of empathy as a fundamentally human capability for creating possibilities of community and human relations. (shrink)
The autobiographical Implicit Association Test (aIAT; Sartori, Agosta, Zogmaister, Ferrara, & Castiello, 2008) is a variant of the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998) that is used to establish whether an autobiographical memory is encoded in the respondent’s mind/brain. More specifically, with the aIAT, it is possible to evaluate which one of two autobiographical events is true. The method consists of a computerised categorisation task. The aIAT includes stimuli belonging to four categories, two of them are (...) logical categories and are represented by sentences that are always true (e.g., I am in front of a computer) or always false (e.g., I am climbing a mountain) for the respondent; two other categories are represented by alternative versions of an autobiographical event (e.g., I went to Paris for Christmas, or I went to New York for Christmas), only one of which is true. The true autobiographical event is identified because, in a combined block, it gives rise to faster reaction times when it shares the same motor response with true sentences. Here, we reviewed all the validation experiments and found more than 90% accuracy in detecting the true memory. We show that agreement in identifying the true autobiographical memory of the same aIAT repeated twice is, on average, more than 90%, and we report a technique for estimating accuracy associated with a single classification based on the D-IAT value, which may be used in single subject’s investigations. We show that the aIAT might be used to identify also true intentions and reasons and conclude with a series of guidelines for building an effective aIAT. (shrink)
The philosophy of pattern cladism has been variously explained by reference to the work of Louis Agassiz. The present study analyzes Agassiz's attempt to combine an empirical approach to the study of nature with an idealistic philosophy. From this emerges the problem of empiricism and of the isomorphy between the order of nature and human thinking. The analysis of the writings of Louis Agassiz serves as the basis for discussion of the reality of natural groups as postulated by (...) pattern cladists. (shrink)
Harris and Brokmeyer met in 1858 at the St. Louis Mercantile Library, where Harris was offering a public lecture. Brokmeyer convinced Harris of the significance of Hegel’s system, and its relevance to the historical trends of American society. They immediately joined forces, attracting a number of other youthful followers with intellectual ambitions, many of whom were, like Harris, teachers in the public schools. The nascent Hegelian movement was temporarily stalled when Brokmeyer went off to serve as a Colonel in (...) the Union Army during the Civil War, but it rebounded in full force upon his return with the formation of the St. Louis Philosophical Society in 1866, and the launching of the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, the official organ of the Society, in 1867. (shrink)
The reputations of scientists among their contemporaries depend not only on accomplishment, but also on interactions affected by influence and personality. The historical lore of most fields of scientific endeavor preserve these reputations, often through the identification of founders, innovators, and prolific workers whose contributions are considered fundamental to progress in the field. Historians frequently rely on the historical lore of scientists to guide their studies of the development of ideas, exhibiting justifiable caution in reassessing reputations in the light of (...) current knowledge. However, the transmission of historical lore can obscure the relative importance of accomplishment, influence and personality in shaping contemporary reputations, leaving the historian to either accept reputations at face value or attempt to reconstruct the context in which they were created. The science of taxonomy, because of its rules of priority, leaves a relatively accurate record of historical accomplishment through the persistence of taxa in catalogues and faunal guides. These records allow the modern historian an unbiased means to assess the relative accomplishments of historical figures and therefore a means to critically reassess reputations independent of personality and influence. In the historical lore of North American ichthyology, Louis Agassiz at Harvard and Spencer Baird at the Smithsonian emerge as central figures in the early development of the field during the mid-1800s, contributing not only through the quality and quantity of their science, but also through their roles as institutional leaders and mentors to workers who followed. Charles Girard, originally a student of Agassiz's and later a coworker with Baird, receives little notice in the history of ichthyology, and his reputation is that of a minor player in the initial description of the North American fish fauna, and one whose work appears to have been flawed or even careless when compared to his contemporaries. However, a review of both contemporary and modern taxonomic works reveals that Girard's productivity far exceeded that of either Agassiz or Baird. Furthermore, an examination of the tendency of Girard and his contemporaries to introduce synonymous names into the literature, which might reflect careless or uncritical work, suggests that Girard was among the more accomplished workers of his era, including Agassiz and Baird. Girard's low ranking in the folklore of North American ichthyology, therefore, can not be attributed to discernible shortcomings in his scientific work, but rather to a public and private campaign of criticism waged by Agassiz after Girard's departure from Harvard. While Agassiz's dispute with Girard stemmed from their personal interactions, he expressed them as criticisms of Girard's work, and thus helped shape Girard's scientific reputation as it has been transmitted through the lore of ichthyology. This case study reveals how scientific reputation may not always rest on accomplishment, but can be influenced by personal interactions obscured by time but nonetheless important to history. (shrink)
As an accompaniment to the translation into English of Louis Althusser's 'Letter to the Central Committee of the PCF, March 18th, 1966', this note provides the historical and theoretical context necessary to understand Althusser's 'anti-humanist' interventions into French Communist Party policy decisions during the mid-1960s. Because nowhere else in Althusser's published writings do we see as clearly the political stakes involved in his philosophical project, nor the way in which this project evolved from a 'theoreticist' pursuit into a more (...) practical one, the note also argues that the letter is of importance to Althusser scholars, to historians of Marxist thought, and to those interested in the relevance of Althusser's work to contemporary Marxist philosophy. (shrink)
Best known for his theories of ideology and its impact on politics and culture Louis Althusser revolutionized Marxist theory. His writing changed the face of literary and cultural studies and continues to influence political modes of criticism such as feminism, postcolonialism and queer theory. Beginning with an introduction to the crucial context of Marxist theory, this book goes on to explain: - How Althusser interpreted and developed Marx's work - The political implications of reading - Ideology and its significance (...) for culture and criticism - Althusser's aesthetic criticism of literature, theatre and art Placing Althusser's key ideas in the context of earlier Marxist thought, as well as tracing their development and impact, Luke Ferretter provides a wide-ranging yet accessible guide, ideal for those new to the work of this influential critical thinker. (shrink)
Before the Enlightenment, and before the imperialism of the later eighteenth century, how did European readers find out about the varied cultures of Asia? Orientalism in Louis XIV's France presents a history of Oriental studies in seventeenth-century France, mapping the place within the intellectual culture of the period that was given to studies of Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Chinese texts, as well as writings on Mughal India. The Orientalist writers studied here produced books that would become sources used throughout (...) the eighteenth century. Nicholas Dew places these scholars in their own context as members of the "republic of letters" in the age of the scientific revolution and the early Enlightenment. (shrink)
This paper is devoted to an analysis of the intellectual itinerary of Louis de Broglie, from the discovery of wave mechanics, until today. Essential attention is paid to the fact that this itinerary is far from being linear, since after a first attempt to develop his own views on wave mechanics through the theory of singular waves, Louis de Broglie abandoned it for twenty five years, under the influence of the Copenhagen School (even embracing the conceptions of the (...) latter), until the beginning of the fifties, when he definitively came back to his primary theory. This evolution of the Louis de Broglie's views on wave mechanics is told here and explained through an analysis of the evolution of all of quantum mechanics and, more generally, the dominating conceptions of theoretical physics in our century.This paper is written in a quite personal form, which is not exactly one to which the readers of scientific journals are accustomed, because it reproduces, in fact, the preface of a book (to be published) of Louis de Broglie, which is precisely devoted to the fundamental problems of quantum mechanics and closely linked to the second turnabout of the author. (shrink)
In 1994, Joyce Trebilcot retired from teaching at Washington University in St. Louis, where she had founded the Women's Studies Program and had been a member of the Philosophy Department since 1970. In the Fall of 1994 I participated on a SWIP conference panel on her book Dyke Ideas (Trebilcot 1994) conference; I used that occasion also to reminisce and place her work in the context of her life as a SWIP activist. What follows is adapted from that (...) presentation. (shrink)
On August 19, 1297, a young man of royal heritage died in the household of the Count of Provence and King of Naples at Brignoles, a short distance from Marseille. The young man was Louis of Anjou, a Franciscan friar and Bishop of Toulouse, who had renounced his inheritance and claim to the Kingdom of Naples to pursue a religious vocation. Only twenty-three years old when he died, Louis nevertheless had long been inspired by Franciscan spirituality, and less (...) than eight months before had realized his dream of professing vows within the Order of Friars Minor at the same time that he submitted to consecration as Bishop of Toulouse. In March of the following year, Peter of John Olivi, a native son of .. (shrink)
This article addresses a peculiar form of marginalization in that the marginalized text it discusses originates not in the margin but at the very center of political power. Generally ignored, sometimes quoted as an illustration, Louis XIV's Mémoires for the Instruction of the Dauphin is today rarely read and even more rarely submitted to close reading. The article discusses the reasons for this marginalization and why the text deserves more scholarly attention, including the thorny question what exactly it would (...) mean to take it seriously. I suggest that the oscillating focus of the Mémoires?shifting between the labor of state-craft and the enchantment of royal mastery, between expert analysis and god-given intuition, between (modern) instrumentalism and a (pre-modern) logic of royal glory?makes it a unique historical source for exploring constitutive tensions at the heart of absolutism. (shrink)
Why We Talk is a complex, ambitious, original, thought-provoking, and sometimes frustrating book. In it, Jean-Louis Dessalles argues that the critical spur to the development of human language—language’s true biological function—was political. It wasn’t political in any of the senses hitherto floated in the literature, though: language didn’t evolve because it fostered group cohesion or cooperation, or facilitated mind-reading or manipulation. Instead, language originally served more or less the same function as ritualized displays of aggression and submission in many (...) social animals: among early Homo (maybe erectus, maybe only sapiens—p. 333), one’s gifts in the area of gab conferred status (recall Socrates’ gripes about the Sophists) and with higher status came, basically, more and better kids, both for the loquacious themselves and for anyone smart enough to ally himself with them. (shrink)
Anne Devarieux | : En allant de Maine de Biran à Louis Lavelle, nous allons d’une métaphysique de l’expérience intérieure qui définit l’être du moi comme un volo donné dans le sentiment actuel de sa puissance propre, à une ontologie déclinant les puissances plurielles du moi, à l’intérieur d’une dialectique de la puissance et de l’acte (théorie de la participation). Mais tous deux ont pensé l’intériorité comme un mouvement absolu, secret et irréductible à toute représentation. Attentif à l’évolution de (...) la pensée de Maine de Biran, Louis Lavelle semble avoir développé toutes les potentialités cachées du moi biranien. Un tel mouvement permet d’éclairer la place de Maine de Biran dans l’histoire du spiritualisme français, et de ses héritiers, qu’il s’agisse d’Henri Bergson ou de Michel Henry. | : Going from Maine de Biran to Louis Lavelle, we can feel the distance between a metaphysics of inner experience which defines the being of the ego as a volo, given in the present sense of its own power, and an ontology asserting the plural virtual powers of the ego, within a dialectic of the power and the act (theory of participation). However, both have thought interiority as an absolute and secret motion, irreducible to any representation. Attentive to the evolution of Maine de Biran’s thought, Louis Lavelle seems to have developed all the hidden potential of the Biranian theory of the self. Such a movement can illuminate the place of Biran in the history of French spiritualism, and of his heirs, whether it be Henri Bergson or Michel Henry. (shrink)
Summary Mining companies after the Gold Rush depended heavily on foreign expertise, and yet historians of mining have glorified ?German engineering? in America. The application of German technology in America was fraught with difficulties, and most advances were micro- rather than macro-innovations, such as Philip Deidesheimer's famous square-set timbering on the Comstock Lode. The problem began at German mining schools, such as the Freiberg Mining Academy, where Americans like Louis and Henry Janin, while they acquired advanced training and adopted (...) an engineering ethos, struggled to learn about Mexican and American mining. Having complemented their course of study to remedy this deficiency, the brothers returned to the US intending to modernize mining on the frontier. Louis attempted the ?Freiberg Process? of amalgamation on the Comstock Lode, but locally developed methods proved more feasible, and the experiment failed. He came to apply his training rather toward the micro-level problem of how to reprocess amalgamation waste heaps. (shrink)
In these pages a significant effort is undertaken to bridge the perennial gap between Marxist-Leninist theory and practice. Maria Antonietta Macciocchi is particularly suited to this task. She has been a member of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) for over twenty years. She participated in the underground during World War II and has served as a foreign correspondent for L'Unità. In 1968, eager to re-establish contact with the Italian working class, Macciocchi accepted the Party's proposal that she become a candidate (...) from parliament from Naples. Before departing from Paris where she had been serving as L'Unità's correspondent she suggested to her friend Louis Althusser that they conduct a political correspondence. (shrink)
In 1803 Louis Poinsot published a textbook on statics, in which he made clear that the subject dealt not only with forces but also with 'couples' (his word), pairs of coplanar non-collinear forces equal in magnitude and direction but opposite in sense. His innovation was not understood or even welcomed by some contemporary mathematicians. Later he adapted his theory to put forward a new relationship between rectilinear and rotational motion in dynamics; its reception was more positive, although not always (...) appreciative of the generality. After summarising the creation of these two theories and noting their respective receptions, this paper considers his advocacy of spatial and geometrical thinking in mechanics and the fact that, despite its importance, historians of statics who cover his period usually ignore his theory of couples. (shrink)
This review studies the representation of director Louis Malle's experiences as a child in the Holocaust in the film Au Revoir les enfants. The film blurs the lines between the controversial categories of Holocaust participants as victims, bystanders, and perpetrators. This ambiguity and overlapping of roles in the film presents the question of treatment of Holocaust memory.
Principal aspects of Louis de Broglie's conception of science are here considered: requirement of clear representations in space and time, allowing a real “world-picture,” a search for causal laws behind statistical rules and the, final submission to experiment, which can only be questionned by theoretical imagination.
The Nikolais/Louis Dance Technique provides the definite resource for understanding and practicing the influential dance technique developed by two pioneers of modern dance, Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis. The Nikolais/Louis technique is presented in a week-to-week classroom manual, providing an indispensable tool for teachers and students of this widely studied movement practice. Theoretical background for further reading is set off from the manual for those interested in deeper study. Their philosophy and methodology span a broad readership and (...) offer an important addition to dance literature and American cultural history. (shrink)
An account of the contributions of Louis de Broglie to the quantum theory of measurement processes is presented. It being impracticable to cover all research work done by de Broglie and his School about this matter, stress is put on the refutation of von Neumann's theorem, on the alternative description arising from the double solution theory, and on some critical analysis of the usually accepted formalism.
In this guest column, the author argues, first, that being at the place of an event does not guarantee that one understands what is going on and, second, that something's happening with or to me does not guarantee that I understand what has occurred. He shows that it is generally assumed that the best descriptions of oneself are those given by oneself and, further, generally felt that allowing for the possibility that better descriptions than one's own have been produced by (...) others is comparable to surrendering a civil right. He concludes instead that allowing for that possibility is commendable and shows its application to an aspect of the life of Louis XVI that historians and ideologists of revolution have widely ridiculed. (shrink)
Historians of science have only just begun to sample the wealth of different approaches to the study of animal behavior undertaken in the twentieth century. To date, more attention has been given to Lorenzian ethology and American behaviorism than to other work and traditions, but different approaches are equally worthy of the historian's attention, reflecting not only the broader range of questions that could be asked about animal behavior and the "animal mind" but also the different contexts in which these (...) questions were important. One such approach is that represented by the work of the French zoologist Louis Boutan (1859-1934). This paper explores the intellectual and cultural history of Boutan's work on animal language and the animal mind, and contextualizes the place of animal behavior studies within late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century French biology. I explore the ways in which Boutan addressed the philosophical issue of whether language was necessary for abstract thought and show how he shifted from the idea that animals were endowed with a purely affective language to the notion that of they were capable of "rudimentary" reasoning. I argue that the scientific and broader socio-cultural contexts in which Boutan operated played a role in this transition. Then I show how Boutan's linguistic and psychological experiments with a gibbon and children provide insights into his conception of "naturalness." Although Boutan reared his gibbon at home and studied it in the controlled environment of his laboratory, he continued to identify its behavior as "natural." I specifically demonstrate the importance of the milieu of the French Third Republic in shaping Boutan's understanding not only of animal intelligence and child education, but also his definition of nature. Finally, I argue that Boutan's studies on the primate mind provide us with a lens through which we can examine the co-invention of animal and child psychology in early-twentieth-century France. (shrink)
Montesquieu was one of the great political philosophers of the Enlightenment. Insatiably curious and mordantly funny, he constructed a naturalistic account of the various forms of government, and of the causes that made them what they were and that advanced or constrained their development. He used this account to explain how governments might be preserved from corruption. He saw despotism, in particular, as a standing danger for any government not already despotic, and argued that it could best be prevented by (...) a system in which different bodies exercised legislative, executive, and judicial power, and in which all those bodies were bound by the rule of law. This theory of the separation of powers had an enormous impact on liberal political theory, and on the framers of the constitution of the United States of America. (shrink)
The acidity function is a thermodynamic quantitative measure of acid strength for non-aqueous and concentrated aqueous Brønsted acids, with acid strength being defined as the extent to which the acid protonates a base of known basicity. The acidity function, which was developed, both theoretically and experimentally, by Louis P. Hammett of Columbia University during the 1930s, has proven useful in the area of physical organic chemistry where it has been used to correlate rates of acid-catalyzed reactions and to quantitate (...) the acidity of superacids, acids with protonating abilities greater than pure sulfuric acid. All Brønsted acids can now be compared using a common measure. Karl Popper’s seminal idea of theory falsification does not apply here because of the many successful applications of the acidity function. Likewise, Thomas Kuhn’s idea of a paradigm shift does not apply here, even though the acidity function concept was revolutionary, because the acidity function is commensurate with classical concepts of acidity. (shrink)
In “Reliabilism Leveled” Jonathan Vogel (2000) provides a strong case against epistemic theories that stress the importance of tracking/sensitivity conditions. A tracking/sensitivity condition is to be understood as some version of the following counterfactual.