Heuristic is a central concept of Lakatos' philosophy both in his early works and in his later work, the methodology of scientific research programs (MSRP). The term itself, however, went through significant change of meaning. In this paper I study this change and the ‘metaphysical' commitments behind it. In order to do so, I turn to his mathematical heuristic elaborated in Proofs and Refutations. I aim to show the dialogical character of mathematical knowledge in his account, which can open a (...) door to hermeneutic studies of mathematical practice. (shrink)
Nietzsche's fundamental vision of modern democracy includes an essential aspect which many tend to neglect given the indelible historical experience with totalitarian systems of the twentieth century. "Irresistible" democracy, precisely on account of its triumphant progress, also sets the course for, or, to use another contemporary expression, instrumentalizes the activities of its very enemies. It is, to say the least, quite striking to read such a claim made by a philosopher whose work Alfred Baeumler and Georg Lukäcs have labelled as (...) extreme political archaism, while for a long time no serious objection was raised against this absurd verdict. We can see that Nietzsche's universalistic approach assigns a definite place to democratic systems and also specifies why these systems are of special relevance for the universal-emancipatory development of humankind. By stating the prophylactic character of the democratic system in such a decisive fashion, Nietzsche reaches the very core of his philosophy. By doing so he differs markedly and positively from several other political philosophers. The difference lies in the fact that for Nietzsche a given political system is not an ultimate value or objective, but, as already mentioned, an opportunity to realize universal human ambitions. This is why his political philosophy establishes a principled distinction between various political systems while also evaluating them according to their prophylactic potential to be utilized for the purposes of universal-emancipatory development. (shrink)
The actual originality and radicalism of Canetti's mass psychology provides a comprehensive picture of humanity and society which could also accommodate a naturalized political domain. Proceeding according to a deliberate plan, Canetti discusses four ?purely? political complexes on the basis of his mass?psychological conception. These four complexes are completed, architecturally as it were, by the Schreber Case, the keystone, which legitimately unites and synthesizes the political and psychological domains in terms of power. His strategy does not involve the projection of (...) already available psychological explanatory patterns onto the political subject?matter. He chooses rather a political subject?matter in the analysis of which the already elaborated mass?psychological insights can resurface. The way leads, therefore, not from mass psychology to politics, but from politics to politics seen in a different way?via innovative mass?psychological insights. The four case?studies selected by Canetti display remarkable coherence in their conceptual structure. At the same time, they are also astonishingly diverse and variable. The Versaille Case describes a unique act involving the suppression of collective identity, while the Inflation Case captures the possibility of the shocking devaluation of individual and collective identity, a possibility which can in principle always become reality. The approach is yet again different in the Parliamentarianism Case: politics is shown to be wise enough to restrain political struggle by means of a taboo. Finally, for the case of socialism Canetti provides an original concretization and interpretation of a widely shared view, which is nevertheless seldom articulated with the required precision, namely that socialism and human nature run, at least latently, counter to one another, making their incompatibility predetermined. (shrink)
Sustainable development will shortly become the core issue of our everyday life. This article argues that only a nature-driven economy and society could give a final answer to sustainability questions.
By 1989, the neo-liberal logics of identity and difference took over the Socialist, as well as the Christian basic notions of identity and difference. This means, neither Socialist solidarity nor Christian love for brethren eases the power of difference. In such cases, difference is not a simple difference, value, or ideology any more, but ontology, moreover, it acquires logical character. While in the divided world difference was based on hidden identity, now neo-liberal - human-rights identity is being filled with concrete (...) contents by an unreconcileable difference. The power of difference is the final state of being different. In the relations of the present, the logic of identity doesn't simply dominate, but it seems to be a higher, maybe straight unexceedably final variant of identity - we are not simplyidentical with one another, but as a result of the grounding on human rights we are identical in our most dignified nature. But in actual fact, political and social spaces show a row of mutations differing from this. This doesn't mean the ideology of identity would have got unveiled, but that identity - logic has become selective in a new way. While the identity - logic is working in the foreground, in the background, a difference - logic stronger than ever before, is operating ruthlessly. (shrink)
What philosophers say about reality is often as disappointing as a sign you see in a shop window which reads: Pressing Done Here. If you brought your clothes to be pressed, you would be fooled; for only the sign is for sale. Soren Kierkegaard, Either/Or.
The basis for the analysis is the approach of Christian ethics toward the issue of the human body and sexuality. Based on the views of some present-day Christian, especially Protestant, ethicists, the author points out the effort to establish this area in contemporary Christian theology and ethics, which is, for instance, represented by the theology of sexuality and Christian sexual ethics. Consequently, the author pays attention to the opinions of the significant Slovak Lutheran theologian and ethicist Igor Kišš and his (...) theory of humanized deontology. Within this framework, he studies his opinions on the issue of the human body, sexuality, artificial insemination, genetic engineering, and embryonic stem cell research. The author comes to the conclusion that Kišš has created a highly modern and liberal theory of Protestant ethics based on the principle of humanity (love to one’s neighbor) as a central principle. The principle of humanity, together with the emphasis on the examination of consequences and a potential need for the lesser evil, aims at giving reasons for a possible diversion from rigorous extreme deontology. This creates space for accepting liberal views within Christianity or Protestantism, which, however, must be in accordance with the value of humanity. The author claims that Kišš’s theory of humanized deontology is a theological version of ethics of social consequences (a kind of nonutilitarian consequentialism). (shrink)
Right from the start of the Spanish Civil War, thousands of prisoners were executed by shooting. Today, many of them remain anonymous, but others, thanks to their writing, have passed into history. In the final hours before their execution, these men and women had the chance to write a few farewell letters to their nearest and dearest. These letters, known by historians as ?chapel letters,? passed either through official channels exercising prior censorship or else were sent clandestinely. In their farewell (...) letters, the condemned to death informed their families of their tragic fate and dedicated their last words to them. Genuine family relics, material and spiritual testaments, instruments of denunciation and propaganda, these chapel letters are regarded as the most sincere documents of any historical period. Since prisoners expressed in them their most intimate feelings and thoughts, they constitute the most exceptional testimony of all epistolary forms practised behind bars. By using an interdisciplinary approach this essay seeks to define the material and functional characteristics of this genre and to contextualise it in the framework of ordinary writings and scribal culture. (shrink)