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This paper compares Pierre Hadot’s work on the history of philosophy as a way of life to the work of Albert Camus. I will argue that in the early work of Camus, up to and including the publication of The Myth of Sisyphus , there is evidence to support the notions that, firstly, Camus also identified these historical moments as obstacles to the practice of ascesis, and secondly, that he proceeded by orienting his own work toward overcoming these obstacles, and (...) thus toward a modern rehabilitation of ascesis. Moreover, in contrast to Hadot’s Platonism, Camus located the source of this practice in the pre-philosophical stage of Athenian tragedy. This points to a further contrast between these two figures, which has historical and cultural precedents, in the distinction between this pre-Platonic form of ascesis - favoured by Camus - and the latter Christian form of asceticism - favoured by Hadot, with the status of Platonic ascesis rendered in terms of prefiguring this Christian form of asceticism. (shrink)
The relation between “presence” and “representation” is an age-old topic in the arts, but it is further complicated in our time of advanced media conditions. Pierre Huyghe is one artist who has consistently addressed questions of presence and representation throughout his artistic oeuvre, including the role of the witness within it. Considering the sophistication of Huyghe’s work with regard to the riddle of presence in the realm of contemporary means of representation, the artist’s work is taken as a case study (...) for a broad range of artists exploring related topics within the arts and the media. This paper argues that art that interrogates the question of presence within the context of contemporary media culture—from Marina Abramović to Stelarc, Jeffrey Shaw to Julia Scher—asks for being interpreted through presence theories developed within the field of media studies in addition to methods of art theory and criticism. Accordingly, Huyghe’s work is productively related to one such theory, namely the YUTPA model by Caroline Nevejan, which theorizes the interrelated concepts of natural, mediated, and witnessed presence. (shrink)
This work is an attempt to outline basic political aspects of the ethics and the ontology developed by the philosopher Alain Badiou. It seeks to present the concepts of being, event, subject and truth, in addition to other similar, drawing parallels with central authors of contemporary philosophical debate. Initially exposing Badiou’s original theoretical reasons, we try to build a conceptual reconstruction that culminates in confrontation with currently hegemonic political-philosophical perspectives. At last, it`s discussed in what practical senses Badiou maintains the (...) need for a renewed understanding of universalistic politics. (shrink)
La notion de « commerce d’amour-propre » telle qu’elle a été élaborée par Pierre Nicole constitue-t-elle une sorte de préfiguration de l’utilitarisme moderne ? Il est commun de le penser. Mais c’est peut-être là faire trop peu de cas du soubassement théologique augustinien de la doctrine de Nicole. Pour analyser le problème, il convient de confronter la pensée de Nicole à celles de Pascal, de Hobbes et de saint Augustin lui-même.
"To think with Nietzsche against Nietzsche." Thus the editors describe the strategy adopted in this volume to soften the destructive effects of Nietzsche's "philosophy with a hammer" on French philosophy since the 1960s. Frustrated by the infinite inclusiveness of deconstructionism, the contributors to this volume seek to renew the Enlightenment quest for rationality. Though linked by no common dogma, these essays all argue that the "French Nietzsche" transmitted through the deconstructionists must be reexamined in light of the original context in (...) which Nietzsche worked. Each essay questions the viability of Nietzsche's thought in the modern world, variously critiquing his philosophy of history as obsessed with hierarchy, his views on religion and art as myopic and irrational, and his stance on science as hopelessly reactionary. Contending that we must abandon the Nietzsche propped up as patron saint by French deconstructionists in order to return to reason, these essays will stimulate debate not just among Nietzscheans but among all with a stake in modern French philosophy. Contributors are Alain Boyer, André Compte-Sponville, Vincent Descombes, Luc Ferry, Robert Legros, Philippe Raynaud, Alain Renault, and Pierre-André Taguieff. (shrink)
Many authors have argued that all studies of socially specific modalities of human action and experience depend on some form of “philosophical anthropology”, i.e. on a set of general assumptions about what human beings are like, assumptions without which the very diagnoses of the cultural and historical variability of concrete agents' practices would become impossible. Bourdieu was sensitive to that argument and, especially in the later phase of his career, attempted to make explicit how his historical-sociological investigations presupposed and, at (...) the same time, contributed to the elaboration of an “idea of the human being”. The article reconstructs Bourdieu's philosophical anthropology, starting with his genetic sociology of symbolic power, conceived as a form of critical theory (latu sensu), and concluding with an account of the conditio humana in which recognition (“symbolic capital”) appears as both the fundamental existential goal through which human agents strive to confer meaning on their lives and the source of the endless symbolic competition that keeps society moving. The agonistic vision of the social universe that grounds his sociological studies returns in his philosophical anthropology under the guise of a singular synthesis between Durkheim's thesis that “Society is God” and Sartre's idea that “hell is other people”. (shrink)
Duhem is commonly held to have founded his view of history of science as continuous on the ‘metaphsical assertion’ of natural classification. With the help of a strict distinction between formal and material characterization of natural classification I try to show that this imputation is problematic, if not simply incorrect. My analysis opens alternative perspectives on Duhem's talk of continuity, the ideal form of theories, and the rôle of ‘bon sens’; moreover it emphasizes some aspects of Duhem's realism that play (...) an important part in his philosophy of science. (shrink)
El filósofo francés Alain Guy (La Rochelle, 1918 - Narbonne, 1998) dedicó por entero su vida al estudio de la filosofía española e hispanoamericana, dándola a conocer no sólo en el extranjero sino también en nuestro país.
Homo academicus proposed an epistemological reflection that is of interest to both further research on the object itself as well as the practice of sociology in general. Second, he proposed a map of the university world in France, the various forms of capital that organise it and the most customary types of career paths. Despite the national basis of his analysis, Bourdieu insisted that it could be extended beyond France. Third, he offered an explanation of a historical event that spilled (...) over from the university campus, yet one in which the university played a major role; the uprising of May ‘68 showed how a historic event that partially destabilized the social order occurred. Epistemological, structural and historical orders – these are the angles from which Homo academicus shall be read. (shrink)
In his magnum opus Being and Event, Alain Badiou identifies ontology with mathematics and uses a mathematical formalization of ontological discourse to generate an account of extra-ontological 'truth-events'. Informed by deconstructive critiques of the metaphysical ontologies of presence, Badiou establishes an anti-phenomenological conception of ontological presentation. Presentation's internal structure is that of an anti-phenomenon: presence's necessarily empty and insubstantial contrary. But the result is that Being and Event is riven by a fundamental methodological idealism. Badiou cannot secure the connection he (...) wishes to establish between the formal discursive structure of mathematical ontology and extra-discursive reality. The decisive link between being and event, i.e. between Badiou's purely formal conception of ontological presentation and the extra-ontological reality of the event, is precluded by the very structure of the concept of presentation which is central to Badiou's argument. (shrink)
New perspectives on Pierre Duhem’s The aim and structure of physical theory Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9467-3 Authors Anastasios Brenner, Department of Philosophy, Paul Valéry University-Montpellier III, Route De Mende, 34199 Montpellier cedex 5, France Paul Needham, Department of Philosophy, University of Stockholm, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden David J. Stump, Department of Philosophy, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA Robert Deltete, Department of Philosophy, Seattle University, 901 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122-1090, USA Journal Metascience (...) Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796 Journal Volume Volume 20 Journal Issue Volume 20, Number 1. (shrink)
Pierre Bourdieu has developed a philosophy of social science, grounded in the phenomenological tradition, which treats knowledge as a practical ability embodied in skilful behaviour, rather than an intellectual capacity for the representation and manipulation of propositional knowledge. He invokes Wittgenstein’s remarks on rule-following as one way of explicating the idea that knowledge is a skill. Bourdieu’s conception of tacit knowledge is a dispositional one, adopted to avoid a perceived dilemma for methodological individualism. That dilemma requires either the explanation of (...) regularities in social behaviour as the result of the tacit representation of procedural rules (‘legalism’) or the self-conscious representation of behavioural goals (‘voluntarism’) by individuals. After explaining the apparent dilemma, I then argue that Wittgenstein’s remarks on rule following actually undermine, rather than support, a dispositional solution. Nonetheless, the philosophy of social science can survive without a dispositional account of knowledge. Such a social science needs, firstly, to embrace one horn of the dilemma, voluntarism, provided that the relevant regularities can be explained as unintended consequences of agents’ self-represented intentions. Secondly, such a social science should treat theorists’ interpretations as unifying generalizations, not hypotheses about the acquisition of tacit knowledge. Finally, where appeal to cognitive psychology can distinguish otherwise equivalent theories in social science, social science should incorporate the data of cognitive psychology concerning tacit mental processes. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant is one of Alain Badiou’s principle philosophical enemies. Kant’s critical philosophy is anathema to Badiou not only because of the latter’s openly aired hatred of the motif of finitude so omnipresent in post-Kantian European intellectual traditions—Badiou blames Kant for inventing this motif—but also because of its idealism. For Badiou-the-materialist, as for any serious philosophical materialist writing in Kant’s wake, transcendental idealism must be dismantled and overcome. In his most recent works (especially 2006’s Logiques des mondes), Badiou attempts to (...) invent a non-Kantian notion of the transcendental, a notion compatible with the basic tenets of materialism. However, from 1988’s Being and Event up through the present, Badiou’s oeuvre contains indications that he hasn’t managed fully to purge the traces of Kantian transcendental idealism that arguably continue to haunt his system—with these traces clustering around a concept Badiou christens “counting-for-one” (compter-pour-un). The result is that, in the end, Kant’s shadow still falls over Badiouian philosophy—this is despite Badiou’s admirable, sophisticated, and instructive attempts to step out from under it—thus calling into question this philosophy’s self-proclaimed status as materialist through and through. (shrink)
The essay "Physique de croyant" is an important statement of Pierre Duhem's position on the relation between his science and his religion. Duhem trod a difficult path, some might say an impossible one, in Republican France because he was both a physicist and a devout Catholic. In this essay, using "Physique de croyant" as a touchstone, I explore the way in which he tried to reconcile his conflicting allegiances. There are several strands in Duhem's strategy that need to be teased (...) out. First, Duhem sought to defend his science against the charge that it was materialist and atheist. He did this with his claim, usually called the autonomy thesis, that physics and metaphysics are fundamentally different enterprises—that physics, properly conducted, has no metaphysical implications and requires no metaphysical support. This did not deny metaphysics its rightful territory. Second, Duhem used his segregationist position to defend the Roman Catholic Church against the assaults of the positivist scientism then in favor with the Republicans. Third, he also sought to protect his science against fellow Catholics who wanted to use it for polemical purposes. I develop and evaluate these lines of defense. (shrink)
In “What Puzzling Pierre Does not Believe”, Lewis (, 412‐4) argues that the sentences (1) Pierre believes that London is pretty and (2) Pierre believes that London is not pretty both truly describe Kripke’s well‐known situation involving puzzling Pierre (). Lewis also argues that this situation is not one according to which Pierre believes either the proposition (actually) expressed by (3) London is pretty or the proposition (actually) expressed by (4) London is not pretty. These claims, Lewis suggests, provide a (...) starting point from which a correct resolution of Kripke’s puzzles about belief () can be developed. At the end of his paper (, p. 414‐7), Lewis considers and replies to a number of potential objections to his position. According to one of these, Lewis’s contentions regarding (1)‐(4) cannot all be true because ‘believes that’ and ‘believes the proposition that’ are synonymous. Although the objection Lewis considers is unsound and his response to it correct, a minor variant of that objection provides significant reason to be skeptical of his contentions. This variant, moreover, is not persuasively addressed by anything either Lewis or any other well‐known defender of this sort of view (such as Stalnaker ) has had to say on the matter. All of this is relevant, moreover, not 2 only when it comes to assessing Lewis’s contentions regarding (1)‐ (4), but also when it comes to drawing lessons from certain standard objections to the view that the propositional objects of belief and assertion are sets of metaphysically possible worlds. (shrink)
Developing earlier studies of the system of numbers in Mundurucu, this paper argues that the Mundurucu numeral system is far more complex than usually assumed. The Mundurucu numeral system provides indirect but insightful arguments for a modular approach to numbers and numerals. It is argued that distinct components must be distinguished, such as a system of representation of numbers in the format of internal magnitudes, a system of representation for individuals and sets, and one-to-one correspondences between the numerosity expressed by (...) the number and its metrics. It is shown that while many-number systems involve a compositionality of units, sets and sets composed of units, few-number languages, such as Mundurucu, do not have access to sets composed of units in the usual way. The nonconfigurational character of the Mundurucu language, which is related to a property for which we coin the term 'low compositionality power', accounts for this and explains the curious fact that Mundurucus make use of marked one-to-one correspondence strategies in order to overcome the limitations of the core system at the perceptual/motor interface of the language faculty. We develop an analysis of a particular construction, parallel numbers, which has not been studied before, elucidating the whole system. This analysis, we argue, sheds new light on classical philosophical, psychological and linguistic debates about numbers and numerals and their relation to language, and more particularly, sheds light on few-number languages. (shrink)
If it is reasonable to hope that the current moment in philosophy may ultimately represent one of transition, from the divided remnants of the still enduring "split" between "analytic" and "continental" philosophy to some form (or forms) of twenty-first century philosophy that is no longer recognizably either (or is both), it seems likely as well that the thought and work of Alain Badiou can play a key role in articulating this much needed transition. One of the central innovations of Badiou's (...) work is that it uses the kind of rigorous formalism characteristic of much good analytic philosophy in its attempt to think through some of the main problems of ontology, metaphysics and political theory that have troubled continental philosophers over the course of the twentieth century. Both in Badiou's 1988 magnum opus, Being and Event and its new sequel, Logics of Worlds , the result is a kind of paradoxical formalism of the limits of formalism itself, striking a sometimes uneasy balance between the inveterate tendency of analytic thought to seek formal solutions for theoretical problems of epistemology and metaphysics, and that of continental thought to seek the solution to what are seen as more-than-theoretical problems of social and political praxis in the kinds of liberation that may occur outside the "closed" regime of all that is calculable or tractable by formal systems. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Notes on Contributors. -- Foreword (Michael A. Peters). -- Introduction: Alain Badiou: 'Becoming subject' to education (Kent den Heyer). -- 1. Badiou, Pedagogy and the Arts (Thomas E. Peterson). -- 2. Badiou's Challenge to Art and its Education: Or, 'art cannot be taught--it can however educate!' (Jan Jagodzinski). -- 3. Alain Badiou, Jacques Lacan and the Ethics of Teaching (Peter M. Taubman). -- 4. Reconceptualizing Professional Development for Curriculum Leadership: Inspired by John Dewey and informed by (...) Alain Badiou (Kathleen R. Kesson and James G. Henderson). -- 5. The Obliteration of Truth by Management: Badiou, St. Paul and the question of economic managerialism in education (Anna Strhan). -- 6. Militants of Truth, Communities of Equality: Badiou and the ignorant schoolmaster (Charles Andrew Barbour). -- Index. (shrink)
Plato famously banishes the poets from his ideal city in book X of his Republic. Yet in this banishment Plato establishes the boundaries of reason, art and poetry — boundaries that have haunted western thinkers since antiquity. In this article I will explore those Platonic boundaries, specifically the intellectual limits of poetic writing as reflected upon by self-identified Platonist Alain Badiou. That being said, I am not attempting, strictly speaking, to look at Badiou’s interpretation of Plato’s banishment of poetry. Instead, (...) I am using the banishment as a springboard for discussion of Badiou’s notion of poetry as the ‘birth of truth’ in his Handbook of Inaesthetics. I will examine the way this text interacts with Plato’s conceptual banishment. I assert that this interaction should illuminate the status of writing — especially artistic writing — in the state. (shrink)
Offered here is the first comprehensive treatment in English of the philosophical system of the seventeenth century philosopher Pierre Gassendi. Gassendi's importance is widely recognized and is essential for understanding early modern philosophers and scientists such as Locke, Leibniz and Newton. Offering a systematic overview of his contributions, LoLordo situates Gassendi's views within the context of sixteenth and early seventeenth century natural philosophy as represented by a variety of intellectual traditions, including scholastic Aristotelianism, Renaissance Neo-Platonism, and the emerging mechanical philosophy. (...) LoLordo's work will be essential reading for historians of early modern philosophy and science. (shrink)
As a means to challenge and diminish the hold of mainstream curriculum's claim of being a colorblind, politically neutral text, we will address two particular features that partially, though significantly, constitute the hidden curriculum in the United States—race and class—historically studied as separate social issues. Race and class have been embedded within the institutional curriculum from the beginning in the US; though rarely acknowledged as intertwined issues. We illustrate how the theoretical and interpretive structure of French philosopher and sociologist Pierre (...) Bourdieu can productively subsume the insights of critical race theory into its framework in a way that provides a more robust understanding of how race and class continue to be socially reproduced in schools. To perform this task we examine, through Bourdieu's constructs of habitus, field, capital, symbolic violence and misrecognition, the ways in which race, in general, and whiteness, specifically, influences pedagogical and curricular existence within the institutional superstructure of school. (shrink)
The Heideggerian rupture in the history of philosophy in the name of a phenomenological and poetic ontology has provided an opening which many of the key figures in twentieth century continental thought have exploited. However, this opening was marked by Heidegger himself as an ambiguous one, insofar as metaphysics was perhaps integrally ‘onto-theology,’ that is, ultimately continuous with the world-historical capture of the thought of being. This piece argues that the philosophy of Alain Badiou, which departs from the recognition that (...) Heidegger is the ‘last universally recognised philosopher’, provides the means for a radical reconsideration of the philosophy-theology relationship in its specifically Heideggerian form, involving as it does further questions of science and technology, the status of the poem, and the nature of ontological thought as such. We argue that, through the deployment of mathematics as ontology, the Gordian knot of onto-theology and its legion of consequences can be cut, and a new assemblage of many of the key Heideggerian motifs can be put into play: the poem, history, and philosophy itself. (shrink)
Interpretational monists and pluralists most often accept contextualism. At the same time, most of them resist constructivism, which takes all interpretations of artworks to be separate artworks. However, one of the central arguments to establish contextualism, based on Borges’ story of Pierre Menard, is so formulated that using it can force all contextualists into accepting constructivism. This paper points out the under-specification present in the philosophical use of the Pierre Menard example to then combine it with arguments presented by contextualists (...) themselves and show that without a more careful look at the example discussed, accepting all those arguments entails constructivism. (shrink)
Bringing Pierre Bourdieu to Science and Technology Studies Content Type Journal Article Pages 263-273 DOI 10.1007/s11024-011-9174-2 Authors Mathieu Albert, Wilson Centre and Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 200 Elizabeth Street , Eaton-South 1-581, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4, Canada Daniel Lee Kleinman, Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 348 Agricultural Hall 1450 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA Journal Minerva Online ISSN 1573-1871 Print ISSN 0026-4695 Journal Volume Volume 49 Journal Issue Volume 49, Number (...) 3. (shrink)
This paper addresses a central interpretive problem in understanding Pierre Duhem's philosophy of science. The problem arises because there is textual support for both realist and antirealist readings of his work. I argue that his realist and antirealist claims are different. For Duhem, scientific reasoning leads straight to antirealism. But intuition (reasons of the heart) motivates, without justifying, a kind of realism. I develop this idea to suggest a motivational realist interpretation of Duhem's philosophy.
The following is an essay review of Paul Needham's translation of Pierre Duhem's Lemixte et la combinaison chimique and a numberof other essays. In this review we describe theintent and general features of Le mixte and try to place it in the larger context of Duhem'sprogram for energetics. The long essay (Essay3) opposing Marcellin Berthelot'sthermochemistry is singled out for detailedcommentary, since it gives Duhem's reasons forendorsing Josiah Willard Gibbs's chemicalstatics. We argue that a chemical mechanics ofa Gibbsian sort, defended in (...) Le mixte and otheressays in this volume, was the inspiration for,and basis of, Duhem's energetics. Needham'swelcome translations help an English-languageaudience to better understand the basiccontours of Duhem's important, if ultimatelymisguided, project. We conclude with somecomments on the difficulties in translatingDuhem and on the quality of the translationsNeedham has provided. (shrink)
This paper challenges the commonly made claim that the work of Pierre Bourdieu is fundamentally anti-Hegelian in orientation. In contrast, it argues that the development of Bourdieu's work from its earliest structuralist through its later 'post-structuralist' phase is better described in terms of a shift from a late nineteenth century neo-Kantian to a distinctly Hegelian post-Kantian outlook. In his break with structuralism, Bourdieu appealed to a bodily based 'logic of practice' to explain the binaristic logic of Lévi-Strauss' structuralist analyses of (...) myth. Effectively working within the tradition of the Durkheimian approach to symbolic classification, Lévi-Strauss had inherited Durkheim's distinctly neo-Kantian understanding of the role of categories in experience and action—an account that conflated two forms of representation—'intuitions' and 'concepts—that Kant himself had held distinct. Bourdieu's appeal to the role of the body's dispositional habitus can be considered as a retrieval of Hegel's earlier quite different reworking of Kant's intuition-concept distinction in terms of distinct 'logics' with different forms of 'negation'. Bourdieu commonly acknowledged the parallels of his analyses of social life to those of Hegel, but opposed Hegelianism because he believed that Hegel had remained entrapped within the dynamics of mythopoeic thought. In contrast, Durkheim and Lévi-Strauss, he claimed, by instituting a science of myth, had broken with it. This criticism of Hegel, however, relies on an understanding of his philosophy that has been rejected by many contemporary Hegel scholars, and without it, the gap separating Hegel and Bourdieu narrows dramatically. (shrink)
Pierre Bourdieu is now recognized as one of the key contemporary critics of culture and the visual arts. Art Rules analyses Bourdieu's work on the visual arts to provide the first overview of his theory of culture and aesthetics. Bourdieu's engagement with both postmodernism and the problem of aesthetics provides a new way of analyzing the visual arts. His interest is in how artistic fields function and the implications their processes have for art and artistic practice. Art Rules applies Bourdieu's (...) theory of practice to the three fields of museums, photography and painting. These practical examples are used as a springboard to address visual arts in the 21st Century and to establish Bourdieu's rules of art. (shrink)
This paper investigates the implications of Pierre Bourdieus recent reformulation of his social theory as a critique of scholarly reason. This reformulation is said to point towards a definition of social theory as a sociologically informed version of the Kantian concept of critique. It is argued that, by this means, Bourdieu is able to extend and develop the critique of intellectualism in the philosophies of Wittgenstein and Merleau-Ponty and, furthermore, to ground this critique by showing how the intellectualist error arises (...) from a failure to reflect on the social conditions of possibility of reason. The three forms of the critique of scholarly reason (pertaining to the theoretical, the moral-practical and the aesthetic forms of reason) are then briefly presented. In the final section, the critique of scholarly reason is shown to provide the basis for a convincing response to critiques of Bourdieus work from critical theorists drawing on Habermass conception of discursive rationality. In particular, it is argued that critical theorists influenced by Habermas typically confuse practical reflexivity with intellectual reflection - the standpoint of scholarly reason. Finally, it is shown that Bourdieus own account of the unity of theory and practice is nonetheless deficient, and must be supplanted with an account centred on the idea of existential clarification. Key Words: Bourdieu critical theory Habermas intellectualism reflexivity. (shrink)
Following the publication of his magnum opus L’être et l’événement (Being and Event) in 1988, Alain Badiou has been acclaimed as one of France’s greatest living philosophers. Since then, he has released a dozen books, including Manifesto for Philosophy, Conditions, Metapolitics and Logiques des mondes (Logics of Worlds), many of which are now available in English translation. Badiou writes on an extraordinary array of topics, and his work has already had an impact upon studies in the history of philosophy, the (...) history and philosophy of science, political philosophy, aesthetics, psychoanalysis, and ontology. This volume takes up the challenge of explicating, extending and, in many places, criticising Badiou’s stunningly original theses. Above all, the essays collected here put Badiou’s concepts to the test in a confrontation with the four great headings that he himself has identified as essential to our humanity: science, love, art and politics. Many of the contributors have already been recognised as outstanding translators of and commentators on Badiou’s work; they appear here with fresh voices also destined to make a mark. (shrink)
When Professor Georges Gurvitch, the highly esteemed occupant of the chair of philosophy at the University of Strausbourg before World War ll and the author of a series of brilliant studies in the pluralist philosophy of law, referred to Pierre—Joseph Proudhon as the central figure in the development of modern social and judicial philosophy, the basis of his highly flattering judgment was the philosophy of law that serves as the basis of Proudhon’s mutualism, a socio-legal conceptualization that had not only (...) greatly infiuenced Gurvitch’s own thinking but which had exerted tremendous infiuence as well over the thought of such outstanding social theorists as Herzen, Tolstoi, and Kropotkinl To state, therefore, that Proudhon was not only the first to call himself an anarchist but also “the most important" anarchist thinker of the modern period} is to establish his right to be heard. We are not entitled to skip lightly over his conception of law and justice as past generations have done. After outlining Proudhon’s legal theory and his conception of natural right, this paper will attempt to demonstrate that Proudhon’s thinking on law is an outstanding contribution to modern political theory. It is not too much to say, in fact, that his philosophy of law and natural right stands as a highly suggestive antidote to the hopeless confusion in contemporary political theory, a confusion that stems not only from the cloudy conception of justice posited by the social contract theorists but from the defective conception of justice advanced by the advocates of state socialism as well. (shrink)
This paper argues that though Derrida is correct to bring to the fore the undecidability that is contained in his political notion of the democracy to come, his account does not extend the aporia of undecidable politics far enough. Derrida himself makes evident this gap. Though politics may be structured with undecidability, there are times when direct, decisive and definitive political interventions are required. In his campaign against capital punishment, the blitzing campaigns in Bosnia and Iraq, and in his call (...) for les villes-refuges, Derrida makes decisive appeals which somehow seem to contradict the undecidability he sees as arch-structuring. Alain Badiou’s thinking about time as a subjective, decisive intervention executed within his ontological framework of undecidability and multiplicity can serve to extend the aporia of undecidability inherent in politics, ultimately giving an account for both the undecidability that structures politics and the decisive timely interventions that would seem to contradict Derridean undecidability. (shrink)
The two books reviewed here are different efforts to embrace the vast subject called "social thought." The second edition of The Blackwell Dictionary of Modern Social Thought, edited by William Outhwaite with Alain Touraine, contains numerous updates; yet it also has some disadvantages compared to the first edition. Social Thought: From the Enlightenment to the Present, edited by Alan Sica, is a bold but controversial attempt at gathering in one anthology as many social thinkers as possible. Key Words: "social" • (...) social thought/theory • William Outhwaite • Alan Sica • explanation. (shrink)
The present paper outlines some basic concepts of Alain Badiou’s philosophy of the subject, tracking down its inherent and complex philosophical implications. These implications are made explicit in the criticism directed against the philosophical sophistry which denies the pertinence of the concept of truth. Badiou’s philosophical innovation is based on three nodal concepts, namely truth, event and subject, and it must be revealed how the afore-mentioned concepts areorganized and interrelated, eventually leading to reformulating the concept of the subject. In its (...) exercise, philosophy is intimately affiliated to the four adjacent procedures of mathematics, art, love and politics that could be understood as overall conditions on the margins of which philosophical thinking takes place. Separating philosophy from ontology and charging philosophy with what exceeds being, Badiou transforms it to the general theory of the event. Consequently the concept of the subject is disconnected from that of the object, the subject being not an instance of knowledge, but always a part of generic procedures and thus definable simply as a finite fragment or an operative configuration of the traces of the event. Therefore, it could be stated that Badiou’s theory of the subject is formal and refuses all essentialist connotations. (shrink)
This review essay explores Alain Badiou’s paradoxical attempt to give a philosophical account of the 20th century (in his text The Century ) which is not understood along the lines of history. As an example of Badiou’s project of ‘subtractive formalization’, The Century amounts to an essentially ahistorical treatment of a historical period.