Sensationalistic Phenomenalism and Economy of Thought. On Ernst Mach's Concept of Science. Ernst Mach, natural scientist and major precursor of the Vienna Circle, never wants to be a philosopher. Nevertheless his writings are full of valuable hints for a modern theory of human knowledge – with respect to economical, historical and evolutionary aspects. His kind of phenomenalism is sensationalistic, monistic and instrumentalistic. This article deals with some contributions of his approach to actual debates in the general philosophy of science.
Report on the symposium “The Conflict of Forms of Life in Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Language”, November 22–25, 1995, Passau, Germany. The main issues were the conflicts between different forms of human life and how Wittgenstein's later philosophy contributes to the problem of understanding of other cultures.
We present a semantic study of a family of modal intuitionistic linear systems, providing various logics with both an algebraic semantics and a relational semantics, to obtain completeness results. We call modality a unary operator on formulas which satisfies only one rale (regularity), and we consider any subsetW of a list of axioms which defines the exponential of course of linear logic. We define an algebraic semantics by interpreting the modality as a unary operation on an IL-algebra. Then we (...) introduce a relational semantics based on pretopologies with an additional binary relationr between information states. The interpretation of is defined in a suitable way, which differs from the traditional one in classical modal logic. We prove that such models provide a complete semantics for our minimal modal system, as well as, by requiring the suitable conditions onr (in the spirit of correspondence theory), for any of its extensions axiomatized by any subsetW as above. We also prove an embedding theorem for modal IL-algebras into complete ones and, after introducing the notion of general frame, we apply it to obtain a duality between general frames and modal IL-algebras. (shrink)
Scholarship on the late fifth-century BC New Music Revolution has mostly relied on the evidence provided by Athenaeus, the pseudo-Plutarch De musica and a few other late sources. To this date, however, very little has been done to understand Athenaeus' own rale in shaping our understanding of the musical culture of that period. This article argues that the historical context provided by Athenaeus in the section of the Deipnosophistae that cites passages of Melanippides, Telestes and Pratinas on the mythology (...) of the aulos (14.616e-617f) is not a credible reflection of the contemporary aestheties and strategies of the authors and their works. Athenaeus is both following the structure of Aristotle's discussion of the topic of the aulos in Politics 8. 1341a-1342b and accepting the elite ideological position given there. Athenaeus' text thus does not provide evidence for the historical context in which late fifth-century authors were composing, but rather constitutes an attempt to illustrate Aristotle's argument with poetic examples from late fifth-century poets. (shrink)
Goering argues that children, at any age, have the potential to utilize logic and generate philosophical thinking through role-playing yet challenging games. This activity fosters a philosophical imagination for children.
In modern, Western societies the purpose of schooling is to ensure that school-goers acquire knowledge of pre-existing practices, events, entities and so on. The knowledge that is learned is then tested to see if the learner has acquired a correct or adequate understanding of it. For this reason, it can be argued that schooling is organised around a representational epistemology: one which holds that knowledge is an accurate representation of something that is separate from knowledge itself. Since the object of (...) knowledge is assumed to exist separately from the knowledge itself, this epistemology can also be considered ‘spatial.’ In this paper we show how ideas from complexity have challenged the spatial epistemology’ of representation and we explore possibilities for an alternative ‘temporal’ understanding of knowledge in its relationship to reality. In addition to complexity, our alternative takes its inspiration from Deweyan ‘transactional realism’ and deconstruction. We suggest that ‘knowledge’ and ‘reality’ should not be understood as separate systems which somehow have to be brought into alignment with each other, but that they are part of the same emerging complex system which is never fully ‘present’ in any (discrete) moment in time. This not only introduces the notion of time into our understanding of the relationship between knowledge and reality, but also points to the importance of acknowledging the role of the ‘unrepresentable’ or ‘incalculable’. With this understanding knowledge reaches us not as something we receive but as a response, which brings forth new worlds because it necessarily adds something (which was not present anywhere before it appeared) to what came before. This understanding of knowledge suggests that the acquisition of curricular content should not be considered an end in itself. Rather, curricular content should be used to bring forth that which is incalculable from the perspective of the present. The epistemology of emergence therefore calls for a switch in focus for curricular thinking, away from questions about presentation and representation and towards questions about engagement and response. (shrink)
As a philosopher interested in biomedical ethics, I find recent advances in genetic technologies both fascinating and frightening. Future technologies for genetic therapies and elimination of clearly deleterious genes offer us the ability to get rid of the cause of much human suffering, seemingly at its physiological root. But memories of past eugenics programs gone horribly awry (whether we speak of Hitler's program, California sterilization laws and practices of the 1920s, or even contemporary practices, such as attempts to work out (...) deals that exchange sterilization for early prison release) must make cautious our initial optimism for these generally well-intentioned programs. Most often the scientist proceeds in research with the best of intentions, but that does not make all scientific investigation worth pursuing. (shrink)
: The formal justice model proposed by Anita Silvers in Disability, Discrimination, and Difference emphasizes the social model of disability and the need for full equality of opportunity, and it suggests that a distributive model of justice that gives special benefits to individuals with disabilities is self-defeating. Yet in that work, Silvers allows an exception for the "profoundly impaired." In this paper, I show how the formal justice theory falls short when it comes to defining and dealing with "profoundly impaired" (...) individuals and explore the ways in which making the exception raises serious theoretical concerns for the grounding of the formal justice model. (shrink)
“A sentimental layman would feel, and ought to feel, horrified, on being admitted into [an expert art] critic's mind, to see how cold, how thin, how void of human significance, are the motives for favour or disfavour that there prevail.” Thus writes William James (1884: 202). The art-world is dominated by critics who sneer and sentimentality, resist evocation, and issue stale, dispassionate appraisals. Memorized standards are coolly deployed to scan works for the features that are currently in fashion, before (...) an icy verdict is delivered. Untutored art enthusiasts make aesthetic judgments in an entirely differently way. For them, appraisal is read off “the sounding board of the body.” They use their emotions. Thus, according to James, there are two ways to assess art: cold and hot. So who is right, the rhapsodical museum-goer or the effete professional critic? As a first pass, I side with the rhapsodies. I think dispassionate appraisal is parasitic on passionate appraisal. Cool reason can never be sufficient on its own to assess artistic merit. This is a corollary of “aesthetic sentimentalism”—a view was championed by Hume and other British moralists. Of course, aesthetic sentimentalism does not entail that critics are wrong when they depart from the bubbling masses. It entails merely that good critics must be slaves to their own passions. Hacks may deliver aesthetic judgments dispassionately, but more sensitive critics have been known to muster an occasional gasp or thrill. Perhaps the refined emotions of professional critics have more validity than the crude gushings of James’s “sentimental layman.” True beauty may be restricted to those works that elicit goosebumps in skilled viewers. Hume flirts with this idea. He thinks John Milton is objectively better than John Ogilby. Why? Because John Dryden said so, and he should know. John D. can arbitrate between the merits of John M.. (shrink)
Perhaps some of the movie-goers among you have had the experience of sitting through a film with no discernable plot and no significant action, only to be accused by your companions of having missed the point. 'It's not supposed to be dramatic', they tell you, 'it's a Character Study! ' The conventions of this genre seem to require that it centre on an otherwise inconspicuous person who undergoes some familiar life passage or other with terribly subtle, if any, reactions or (...) results. Well, if a thesis is to a philosophy talk what a plot is to a movie, I'm afraid I'm about to inflict the counterpart to a Character Study: I' ll introduce a distinctive inquirer and record her progress through a particularly venerable philosophical neighbourhood. My apologies in advance for what will be more a saunter than a journey. (shrink)
New parents suddenly come face to face with myriad issues that demand careful attention but appear in a context unlikely to provide opportunities for extended or clear-headed critical reflection, whether at home with a new baby or in the neonatal intensive care unit. As such, their capacity for autonomy may be compromised. Attending to new parental autonomy as an extension of reproductive autonomy, and as a complicated phenomenon in its own right rather than simply as a matter to be balanced (...) against other autonomy rights, can help us to see how new parents might be aided in their quest for competency and good decision making. In this paper I show how a relational view of autonomy – attentive to the coercive effects of oppressive social norms and to the importance of developing autonomy competency, especially as related to self-trust – can improve our understanding of the situation of new parents and signal ways to cultivate and to better respect their autonomy. (shrink)
In this paper, I look at several examples that demonstrate what I see as a troubling tendency in much of mainstream bioethics to discount the views of disabled people. Following feminist political theorists who argue in favour of a stance of humility and sensitive inclusion for people who have been marginalized, I recommend that bioethicists adopt a presumption in favour of believing rather than discounting the claims of disabled people. By taking their claims at face value and engaging with disabled (...) people in open dialogue over impairment and disadvantage, bioethicists may take to heart an important lesson about human fragility and resilience. (shrink)
This paper evaluates Sara Goering’s recent attempt to use the Rawlsian notion of the veil of ignorance as a tool for distinguishing permissible from impermissible forms of genetic engineering. I argue that her article fails due to a failure to include vital contextual information in the right way.
This article highlights Gareth Matthews's contributions to the field of philosophy for young children, noting especially the inventiveness of his style of engagement with children and his confidence in children's ability to analyze perplexing issues, from cosmology to death and dying. I relate here my experiences in introducing philosophical topics to adolescents, to show how Matthews's work can be successfully extended to older students, and I recommend taking philosophy outside the university as a way to foster critical thinking in young (...) students and to improve the public status of the profession. (shrink)
: Genetics researchers often work with distinct communities. To take moral account of how their research affects these communities, they need a richer conception of justice and they need to make those communities equal participants in decision-making about how the research is conducted and what is produced and published out of it.
Summary The young Hermann Helmholtz, in an 1838 letter home, declared that he always appreciated music much more when he played it for himself. Though a frequent concert-goer, and celebrated for his highly influential 1863 work on the physiological basis of music theory, Die Lehre von den Tonempfindungen, it is likely that Helmholtz's enduring engagement with music began with his initial, personal experience of playing music for himself. I develop this idea, shifting the discussion of Helmholtz's work on sound sensation (...) back to its origins, and examine the role of his material interaction with musical instruments and music itself. In his sound sensation studies, Helmholtz understood sound as an external, physical object. But Helmholtz also conceived of sound in musical terms. Further, Helmholtz's particular musical tastes as well as his deeply personal interaction with musical instruments allowed him to reconcile his conception of sound as physical object with his conception of sound as music. Helmholtz's physiological theory of sound sensation was both the product of and constitutive of how he heard and created sound. I argue that Helmholtz himself was the embodied reconciliation of his physiological theory of sound sensation and his belief that musical aesthetics were historically and culturally contingent. (shrink)
Normal 0 21 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Resumo O texto trata da Folia de Reis na Comunidade de Cruzeiro dos Peixotos - Uberlândia - MG, que foi alvo de um projeto de pesquisa, financiado pelo Programa Institucional de Bolsas de Extensão (PIBEX/UFU) e pelo Programa de Extensão e Integração UFU/Comunidade (PEIC/UFU). Os autores partem da premissa de que foliões, festeiros e devotos são, na feliz expressão de Carlos Rodrigues Brandão, "especialistas" do saber da devoção, por sentirem-se incumbidos de representar a (...) Igreja em cada uma da partes que compõem a Folia, desde a saída do Terno até chegar o dia da festa de Santos Reis. O texto procura mesclar reflexão teórica conceitual sobre a festa com os métodos de pesquisa da História Oral, a partir da observação in loco . Conclui com a constatação de que esta importante tradição popular mantem-se ainda muito viva e forte, não apenas na comunidade em foco, mas ainda na região do Triângulo Mineiro. Reconhece que seu sentido se modificou ao longo do tempo e procura afirmar que esta festa não sofre da 'ameça da extinção', como quer a doxa corrente, representada pela voz da mídia, pelos agentes das secretarias de cultura, pesquisadores acadêmicos ou ainda pelos próprios devotos. Palavras-chave : devoção; Folia de Reis; festa.This paper covers the 'Folia de Reis' (a traditional folk celebration of the visit from the Three Kings, during Epiphany) in the community of Cruzeiro dos Peixotos - Uberlândia - MG, which was the target of a research project, funded by the Institutional Program of Extension Fellowships (PIBEX / UFU) and the Extension and Integration Program UFU/Comunidade (PEIC/UFU). The authors begin with the premise that revelers, "party goers" ( festeiros ) and devotees are, in the fortunate expression of Carlos Rodrigues Brandão, "experts" in the knowledge of devotion, for they feel responsible to represent the Church in each of the component parts of the Folia, from the departure of the Terno (group of musicians) up to the celebration of the Three Kings. The text seeks to merge a theoretical conception about the party with the research methods of oral history, based on direct observation. In conclusion, it observes that this important folk tradition has been kept very much alive and strong, not only in the community that was the focus of this study, but also in the Triangulo Mineiro region. It acknowledges that the meaning of the party has changed over time and intends to assert that this party does not suffer from the 'threat of extinction', as wants to believe the current doxa , represented by the voices of the media, by the officials from the departments of culture, by academic researchers or even by their own devotees. Key words : devotion; Folia de Reis (a traditional folk celebration of the visit from the Three Kings, during Epiphany); party. (shrink)
Part of a series of highly entertaining books on the history of sinning. Eating too much is one of the Western world's greatest problems, but relatively few people would consider it a crime against God. Yet even as gluttony has ceased to be an evil, food and dieting have become a cultural obsessions, with millions of pounds expended on mortifying the flesh with punishing diet and exercise regimes. This brief history of gluttony traces the changing cultural attitudes towards food and (...) pleasure, scarcity and abundance. It reveals how notions of saintliness and purity have helped form modern views of enjoyment, self-mortification, and ultimately nutrition. Restaurant-goers and readers of gourmet magazines rationalize their pursuit of too much food in many ways, but does a slight tinge of guilt makes your meal taste that much better? This book provides the answer, thoroughly exploring humankind's attempts to quell its chief survival strategy - eating. (shrink)