Introduction : time, film, and the ethical vision of Emmanuel Levinas. American transcendence : Levinas and a short history of an American idea in film -- Frank Capra and James Stewart : time, transcendence, and the other -- The changing face of American redemption : Henry Fonda, Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, and Denzel Washington -- Sex, art, and Oedipus : The unbearable lightness of being -- Fellini and La dolce vita : documentary, decadence, and desire -- Antonioni and L'avventura (...) : transcendence, the body, and the feminine. (shrink)
Philosophy of MotionPictures is a first-of-its-kind, bottom-up introduction to this bourgeoning field of study. Topics include film as art, medium specificity, defining motionpictures, representation, editing, narrative, emotion and evaluation. Clearly written and supported with a wealth of examples Explores characterizations of key elements of motionpictures –the shot, the sequence, the erotetic narrative, and its modes of affective address.
Introduction : cinema, memory, modernity: the return of memory as film -- No escape from time : memory and redemption in the international postwar art film -- The "crisis" of memory : "traumatic identity" in the contemporary memory film -- "Global memory" : cinema as lingua franca and the commodification of the image -- The eye of history : memory, surveillance and ethicality in the contemporary art film -- "Prosthetic memory" and transnational cinema : globalized identity and narrative recursivity (...) in City of God -- Conclusion: remembering to forget: the catachreses of modernity. (shrink)
This book explores Gilles Deleuze's contribution to film theory. According to Deleuze, we have come to live in a universe that could be described as metacinematic. His conception of images implies a new kind of camera consciousness, one that determines our perceptions and sense of selves: aspects of our subjectivities are formed in, for instance, action-images, affection-images and time-images. We live in a matrix of visual culture that is always moving and changing. Each image is always connected to an assemblage (...) of affects and forces. This book presents a model, as well as many concrete examples, of how to work with Deleuze in film theory. It asks questions about the universe as metacinema, subjectivity, violence, feminism, monstrosity, and music. Among the contemporary films it discusses within a Deleuzian framework are Strange Days, Fight Club, and Dancer in the Dark. (shrink)
Introduction -- Trapped by oneself in Jacques Tourneur's Out of the past -- "A deliberate, intentional fool" in Orson Welles's The lady from Shanghai -- Sexual agency in Fritz Lang's Scarlet Street -- "Why didn't you shoot again, baby?": concluding remarks.
Boys, Boyz, Bois concerns questions of ethics, gender and race in popular American images, national discourse and cultural production by and about black men. The book proposes an ethics of masculinity, as ethnics refers to a system of morality and valuation and as ethics refers to a care of the self and ethical subject formation. The texts of analysis include recent films by black/African American filmmakers, gansta rap and hip-hop and black star persona: texts ranging from Blaxploitation and New Black (...) Cinema to contemporary music video to autobiography and the public image of Sidney Poitier. The book is a significant contribution to cultural studies and gender studies and critical race theory. What is distinctive about the book is the question of ethics as a question of race and gender. (shrink)
Nihilism, American style -- The quest for evil -- The negative zone : suburban familial malaise in American beauty, Revolutionary road, and Mad men -- Normal nihilism as comic : Seinfeld, Trainspotting, and Pulp fiction -- Romanticism and nihilism -- Defense against the dark arts : from Se7en to the Dark knight and Harry Potter -- God got involved : sacred quests and overcoming nihilism -- Feels like the movies.
Poor Eliza -- Pax Americana : the case of Show boat -- National brands, national body : Imitation of life -- Uncle Sam needs a wife : citizenship and denegation -- Remembering love, forgetting everything else : Now, voyager -- "It's not the tragedies that kill us, it's the messes" : femininity, formalism, and Dorothy Parker -- The compulsion to repeat femininity : Landscape for a good woman and The life and loves of a she-devil.
Introduction -- Tales of dominion -- The plow and the gun -- Picturing the West, 1883-1893 -- American idol, 1898 -- The end of nature -- African romance -- The dark continent -- When cowboys go to heaven -- Transplanting Africa -- Of ape-men, sex, and cannibal kings -- Adventures in monkeyland -- Nature, the film -- The world scrubbed clean.
Time travelers and battles between people and machines provoke old philosophical questions: Can the past really be changed? How do we differentiate ourselves from machines? Can machines have an inner life? Brown (philosophy & critical thinking, LaGuardia Community Coll.) and Decker (philosophy, Eastern Washington Univ.; coeditor, Star Wars and Philosophy ) collect 19 essays by primarily young academics who pursue these questions with entertaining verve and philosophical skill. The Terminator story is about something well intentioned—a defense project—going wrong, but none (...) of the essays here presses this issue to a clear conclusion (readers whose interest is aroused would do well to read Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen's Moral Machines , concerned with actual machines and ones that might soon exist). Among the book's bright spots are contributions from Harry Chotiner and Jennifer Culver that show us something about how the movies work and explore the feminist issues posed by placing Sarah Connor at the center of the story. One essayist, Phillip Seng, addresses the philosophical trouble at the heart of the tale: telling good from evil in politics is hard. This book will earn a place in libraries by presenting serious issues in a way that attracts readers.—Leslie Armour, Dominican Univ. Coll., Ottawa, Ont. (shrink)
The increasingly popular idea that cinematic fictions can "do" philosophy raises some difficult questions. Who is actually doing the philosophizing? Is it the philosophical commentator who reads general arguments or theories into the stories conveyed by a film? Could it be the film-maker, or a group of collaborating film-makers, who raise and try to answer philosophical questions with a film? Is there something about the experience of films that is especially suited to the stimulation of worthwhile philosophical reflections? In the (...) first part of this book, Paisley Livingston surveys positions and arguments surrounding the cinema's philosophical value. He raises criticisms of bold theses in this area and defends a moderate view of film's possible contributions to philosophy. In the second part of the book he defends an intentionalist approach that focuses on the film-makers' philosophical background assumptions, sources, and aims. Livingston outlines intentionalist interpretative principles as well as an account of authorship in cinema. The third part of the book exemplifies this intentionalist approach with reference to the work of Ingmar Bergman. Livingston explores the connection between Bergman's work and the Swedish director's primary philosophical source-a treatise in philosophical psychology authored by the Finnish philosopher, Eino Kaila. Bergman proclaimed that reading this book was a tremendous philosophical experience for him and that he "built on this ground." With reference to materials in the newly created Ingmar Bergman archive, Livingston shows how Bergman took up Kaila's topics in his cinematic explorations of motivated irrationality, inauthenticity, and the problem of self-knowledge. (shrink)
At the Intersection of High and Mass Culture analyses the contradictions and interaction between high and low art, with particular reference to Hollywood and European cinema. Written in the essayist, speculative tradition of Walter Benjamin and Theodore Adorno, this study also includes analyses of several key films of the 1980s. Tracing the boundaries of such genres as film noir, science fiction and melodrama, it demonstrates how these genres were radically expanded by such filmmakers as Neil Jordan, Chris Merker and Georges (...) Franju. This work also reflects on kitsch, the star system, racial and gender stereotypes, and the nature of audience participation. While defining the conditions under which the symbiotic relationship between high and mass culture can be cross-fertilising, this study stresses their inevitably contradictory characteristics. (shrink)
There was a time in screen culture when the facial close-up was a spectacular and mysterious image… The constant bombardment of the super-enlarged, computer-enhanced faces of advertising, the endless 'talking heads' of television and the ever-changing array of film stars' faces have reduced the face to a banal image, while the dream of early film theorists that the 'giant severed heads' of the screen could reveal 'the soul of man' to the masses is long since dead. And yet the end (...) of this dream opens up the possibility for a different view of the face on the screen. The aim of the book is to seize this opportunity to rethink the facial close-up in terms other than subjectivity and identity by shifting the focus to questions of death and recognition. In doing so, the book proposes a dialectical reversal or about-face. It suggests that we focus our attention on the places in contemporary media where the face becomes unrecognisable, for it is here that the facial close-up expresses the powers of death. Using Walter Benjamin's theory of the dialectical image as a critical tool, the book provides detailed studies of a wide range of media spectacles of faces becoming unrecognisable. It shows how the mode of recognition enabled by these faces is a shock experience that can open our eyes to the underside of the mask of self - the unrecognisable mortal face of self we spend our lives trying not to see. Turning on itself, so to speak, the face exposes the fragile relationship between social recognition and facial recognizability in the images-cultures of contemporary media. (shrink)
Introduction -- Time and matter: temporality, embodied subjectivity and film phenomenology -- Knowing and nothing: Chris Marker, subjective temporalities and vocalic bodies in the future tense -- Agnès Varda's Trinket box: subjective relationality, affect and temporalised space -- Burlesque gestures and bodily attention: phenomenologies of the ephemeral in Chantal Akerman -- Threatened corporealities: thinking with the films of Philippe Grandrieux -- Conclusion: rethinking cinematic subjectivity and beyond.
This book looks at the ways in which The Matrix Trilogy adapts Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation, and in doing so creates its own distinctive philosophical position. Where previous work in the field has presented the trilogy as a simple ‘beginner’s guide’ to philosophy, this study offers a new methodology for inter-relating philosophy and film texts, focusing on the conceptual role played by imagery in both types of text. This focus on the figurative enables a new-found appreciation of the liveliness (...) of philosophical writing and the multiple philosophical dimensions of Hollywood films. The book opens with a critical overview of existing philosophical writing on The Matrix Trilogy and goes on to draw on adaptation theory and feminist philosophy in order to create a new methodology for interlinking philosophical and filmic texts. Three chapters are devoted to detailed textual analysis of the films, tracing the ways in which the imagery that dominates Baudrillard’s writing is adapted and transformed by the trilogy’s complex visuals and soundtrack. The conclusion situates the methodology developed throughout the book in relation to other approaches currently emerging in the new field of Film-Philosophy. The book’s multi-disciplinary approach encompasses Philosophy, Film Studies and Adaptation Theory and will be of interest to undergraduates and postgraduates studying these subjects. It also forms part of the developing interdisciplinary field of Film-Philosophy. The detailed textual analysis of The Matrix Trilogy will also be of interest to anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of the multi-faceted nature of this seminal work. (shrink)
Introduction : heroes like us -- Hegel, the western and classical modernity -- The myth and the frontier -- The hero in the epochs of mythical and the bourgeois -- The end of the individual -- The end of the subject -- Romanticism, crime and agonal modernity -- The return of tragedy in modernity -- Heroes of coolness and the ironist -- Nietzsche, science fiction and hybrid modernity -- Heroic individualismus and metaphysics -- Superhumans, supermen, cyborgs -- Heroes of the (...) future. (shrink)
Hegel, the western and classical modernity. The myth and the frontier ; The hero in the epochs of mythical and the bourgeois ; The end of the individual ; The end of the subject -- Romanticism, crime and agonal modernity. The return of tragedy in modernity ; Heroes of coolness and the ironist -- Nietzsche, science fiction and hybrid modernity. Heroic individualismus and metaphysics ; Superhumans, supermen, cyborgs ; Heroes of the future.
Introduction. Going digital: cinema's new age -- The reality of the index, or where does the truth lie? -- Physical presences: reality, materiality, corporeality -- Spatial coordinates: in between celluloid strips and codified pixels -- Rediscovering cinematic time -- Tracing an ethics of the movie image -- Conclusion. change: a point of constant departure.
Introduction -- Physical cinema. The end of the other -- The immaterial difference : Werner Herzog revisited -- The reality of the medium. Conceptual realism in Land in trance and I am Cuba -- The work of art in progress : an analysis of delicate crime -- The ethics of desire. The realm of the senses, the ethical imperative and the politics of pleasure -- Hara and Kobayashi's "private documentaries" -- The self-performing auteur : ethics in João César Monteiro.
An exploration of the relationship between cinema and existentialism, in terms of their mutual ability to describe the human condition, this book combines analyses of topics in the philosophy of film with an exploration of specific existentialist themes expressed in the films of Fellini, Bergman and Woody Allen, among others.
The Philosopher at the End of the Universe demonstrates how anyone can grasp the basic concepts of philosophy while still holding a bucket of popcorn. Mark Rowlands makes philosophy utterly relevant to our everyday lives and reveals its most potent messages using nothing more than a little humor and the plotlines of some of the most spectacular, expensive, high-octane films on the planet. Learn about: The Nature of Reality from The Matrix , Good and Evil from Star Wars , Morality (...) from Aliens , Personal Identity from Total Recall , The Mind-Body dilemma from Terminator , Free Will from Minority Report , Death and the Meaning of Life from Blade Runner , and much more. A search for knowledge about ourselves and the world around us with a star-studded cast that includes: Tom Cruise, Plato, Harrison Ford, Immanuel Kant, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigourney Weaver, Rene? Descartes, and Keanu Reeves. Rowlands anchors his discussions in easily understood everyday terms and relates them in a manner easy to identify with. Interspersed with a ready joke or two, he wonderfully explains why those SciFi movies we love so much are much deeper than they appear to be on the surface. Mark Rowlands's entertaining and stimulating guide is perfect for anyone searching for knowledge of the world around us. If Keanu can understand Descartes surely everyone can. (shrink)
The relationship between cinema and technology is a complex and fascinating one. Andrew Utterson brings together key theoretical texts spanning more than a century of writing. He begins by investigating cinema as technology or as an interconnected series of technologies, then goes on to examine the technological history of cinema within a much broader context: as one element in a sustained period of technological expansion, cinematic or otherwise, and its impact on the wider world. Rather than seeing technologies in traditional (...) mechanical terms, this reader explores by way of the moving image the various cultural, social, political, economic and ideological dimensions that are essential to an understanding of technology. Students taking courses on cinema and media technologies will find this an ideal introduction to the wealth of writing and research in the field. (shrink)
Philosophy Goes to the Movies is a new kind of introduction to philosophy that makes use of the movies to explore philosophical ideas and positions. From art-house movies like Cinema Paradiso to Hollywood blockbusters like The Matrix, the movies we have grown up with provide us with a world of memorable images, events and situations that can be used to illustrate, illuminate and provoke philosophical thought.
Machine generated contents note: IntroductionUNIT ONE: THE HUMAN CONDITION 1.0 Introduction 1.1 Authenticity 1.2 Personal Identity 1.3 Autonomy and Liberty 1.4 Courage and Inner Strength UNIT TWO: ETHICAL THEORY 2.0 Introduction 2.1 Ethical Egoism 2.2 Cultural Relativism 2.3 Utilitarianism 2.4 Kantian Ethics 2.5 Rawls' Justice Theory 2.6 Aristotle's Virtue Ethics 2.7 Feminist EthicsUNIT THREE: ETHICAL DILEMMAS 3.0 Introduction 3.1 Confronting the Dilemma 3.2 Encountering Evil 3.3 The Impact of Perspective 3.4 Reflecting on Ethical Decisions 4.0 Conclusion to the Text 4.1 (...) APPS: General References 4.2 APPS: Contemporary Moral Problems ApplicationsOfficial Websites and Other Resources (On Seeing the Light website). (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Part One. The Spectacular Life of Spider-Man? 1. Does Peter Parker Have a Good Life? Neil Mussett 2. What Price Atonement? Peter Parker and the Infinite Debt Taneli Kukkonen "My Name is Peter Parker": Unmasking the Right and the Good Mark D. White Part Two. Responsibility-Man 4. "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility": Spider-Man, Christian Ethics, and the Problem of Evil Adam Barkman 5. Does Great Power Bring Great Responsibility? Spider-Man and the Good Samaritan J. (...) Keeping 6. With Great Power Comes Great Culpability: How Blameworthy is Spider-Man for Uncle Ben's Death? Philip Tallon Part Three. Spider-Sense and the Self 7. Why is My Spider-Sense Tingling? Andrew Terjesen 8. Red or Black: Perception, Identity and Self Meaghan P. Godwin 9. With Great Power: Heroism, Villainy, and Bodily Transformation Mark K. Spencer Part Four. Arachnids "R" Us: Technology and the Human, All Too Human 10. Transhumanism: Or, Is It Right to Make a Spider-Man? Ron Novy 11. Maximum Clonage: What the Clone Saga Can Teach Us About Human Cloning Jason Southworth and John Timm Part Five. Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man 12. Justice versus Romantic Love: Can Spider-Man Champion Justice and Be with Mary Jane at the Same Time? Charles Taliaferro and Tricia Little 13. Friendship, and Being Spider-Man Tony Spanakos 14. Spidey's Tangled Web of Obligations: Fighting Friends and Dependents Gone Bad Christopher Robichaud Part Six. The Amazing Speaking Spider: Jokes, Stories, and the Choices We Make 15. The Quipslinger: The Morality of Spider-Man's Jokes Daniel P. Malloy 16. The Sound and Fury Behind "One More Day" Marks D. White 17. Spider-Man and the Importance of Getting Your Story Straight Jonathan J. Sanford Contributors Index . (shrink)
Appropriate for both academic readers and informed general enthusiasts of the cinema it addresses, the book demonstrates both philosophy's particular usefulness for the analysis of modernist cinema and film form's inherent potential for ...
1. Cine y vanguardias : el cine como promesa estético-política desde Dziga Vertov y Jean Epstein -- 2. Deleuze y las potencias del cine : el acontecimiento de lo inorgánico -- 3. De la vida inorgánica a la vida histórica : recuperación del carácter narrativo del cine a partir de Jacques Ranciere.
Y lo que es más decisivo, con El Cine y la Metáfora aprendemos a ver las películas de una manera más compleja, porque nos enseña a desmenuzar inteligentemente algunos de los elementos y objetos cotidianos que constituyen el alfabeto de ...
Preface : The film-envy of philosophy -- Introduction : nobody knows anything! -- Illustrating manuscripts -- Bordwell and other cogitators -- Žižek and the cinema of perversion -- Deleuze's kinematic philosophy -- Cavell, Badiou and other ontologists -- Extended cognitions and the speeds of cinema -- Fabulation, process and event -- Refractions of reality, or, What is thinking anyway? -- Conclusion : code unknown - a bastard theory for a bastard act.
In the texts of the middle years (roughly, the 1680s and 90s), Leibniz appears to endorse two incompatible approaches to motion, one a realist approach, the other a phenomenalist approach. I argue that once we attend to certain nuances in his account we can see that in fact he has only one, coherent approach to motion during this period. I conclude by considering whether the view of motion I want to impute to Leibniz during his middle years (...) ranks as a kind of realism or rather as some kind of phenomenalism or idealism. (shrink)
Introduction -- An improbable alliance : Peter Wollen's "The auteur theory" -- Visual stylometry : Barry Salt's "Statistical style analysis of motionpictures" -- Between Shakespeare and Sirk : Thomas Elsaesser's "Tales of sound and fury: observations on the family melodrama" -- From iconicity to semiotic articulation : Christian Metz's "cinema: language or language system?" and language and cinema -- Film as a specific signifying practice : Stephen Heath's "On screen, in frame: film and ideology" -- Against theories (...) of reflection : Laura Mulvey's "Visual pleasure and narrative cinema" -- Early cinema spectatorship : Tom Gunning's "The cinema of attraction(s): early film, its spectator, and the avant-garde" -- Another Lacan : "the universal: suture revisited" -- The death of the camera : Edward Branigan's "What is a camera?" -- Conclusion: teaching theory. (shrink)
Rethinking “philosophy” to-day, it is necessary to think first of all about ontological foundations of the modern scientific universe description and rethink them on the ground of modern scientific knowledge, because until now there is no any precise scientific conception of the structure of the universe, of reasons and movingforces of its permanent evolution. All of it create basis to propose various unscientific ideas of creationism. Until now most of philosophers associate the motion of Matter on the whole only (...) with its motion in space and in time, mixing philosophical and physical aspects of these two principle categories. Generally speaking, the present-day ontological model of understanding the World, the Universe is constructed purely on the basis of only these two fundamental categories. However, a more deep reflection of the essence of Being, if to realize it on the basis of only these two global categories, brings us to the disappointing conclusion, that in this case we have nothing more except a mechanical motion, i.e. spatial displacement of a material point (or a system of points) relatively some point of counting off. To make it normal and logic we should add to the ontological model one more essential part – the motion in quality. So, in order to create the full and complete picture of the formation and evolution of the material World it is necessary to observe the motion of material forming in the three equivalentphilosophical categories: in space time quality. The ideas of the new conception of ontological model become actual supplementation of really scientific philosophical knowledge on the way of a more objective ontological comprehension of our Being, of the law of development of the human civilization and the Universe as a whole. This knowledge can be successfully used for the description of the realistic paradigm of Being, in explanations of the meaning of Life. (shrink)
Recent research has demonstrated an asymmetry between the origins and endpoints of motion events, with preferential attention given to endpoints rather than beginnings of motion in both language and memory. Two experiments explore this asymmetry further and test its implications for language production and comprehension. Experiment 1 shows that both adults and 4-year-old children detect fewer within-category changes in source than goal objects when tested for memory of motion events; furthermore, these groups produce fewer references to source (...) than goal objects when describing the same motion events. Experiment 2 asks whether the specificity of encoding source/goal relations differs in both spatial memory and the comprehension of novel spatial vocabulary. Results show that endpoint configuration changes are detected more accurately than source configuration changes by both adults and young children. Furthermore, when interpreting novel motion verbs, both age groups expect more fine-grained lexical distinctions in the domain of endpoint configurations compared to that of source configurations. These studies demonstrate that a cognitive-attentional bias in spatial representation and memory affects both the detail of linguistic encoding during the use of spatial language and the specificity of hypotheses about spatial referents that learners build during the acquisition of the spatial lexicon. (shrink)
This paper and its predecessor () are about the question: 'Are the events in the entire universe encoded in and predictable from any of its parts?' To approach a positive answer in classical physics, the following result is proved and commented on: in Newton's theory of gravitation, the entire trajectory of a particle can be predicted given any segment of it, regardless of how the other particles are moving-provided that there is only a finite number of particles and that their (...) speeds remain bounded. (It is this condition, together with a set of parameters characterising the motion of the other particles, which enables us to estimate the effect of the other particles on the trajectory of the given particle.) The extension of this result to other theories, in particular to special relativity, is discussed. (shrink)
The relationship between brain activity and conscious visual experience is central to our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying perception. Binocular rivalry, where monocular stimuli compete for perceptual dominance, has been previously used to dissociate the constant stimulus from the varying percept. We report here fMRI results from humans experiencing binocular rivalry under a dichoptic stimulation paradigm that consisted of two drifting random dot patterns with different motion coherence. Each pattern had also a different color, which both enhanced rivalry (...) and was used for reporting which of the two patterns was visible at each time. As the perception of the subjects alternated between coherent motion and motion noise, we examined the effect that these alternations had on the strength of the MR signal throughout the brain. Our results demonstrate that motion perception is able to modulate the activity of several of the visual areas which are known to be involved in motion processing. More specifically, in addition to area V5 which showed the strongest modulation, a higher activity during the perception of motion than during the perception of noise was also clearly observed in areas V3A and LOC, and less so in area V3. In previous studies, these areas had been selectively activated by motion stimuli but whether their activity reflects motion perception or not remained unclear; here we show that they are involved in motion perception as well. The present findings therefore suggest a lack of a clear distinction between ?processing? versus ?perceptual? areas in the brain, but rather that the areas involved in the processing of a specific visual attribute are also part of the neuronal network that is collectively responsible for its perceptual representation. (shrink)
If Augustine's view of human sexuality is to be understood properly, it must be represented across the history of creation, fall and redemption. His notion of sexuality prior to the fall, although defective in its understanding of personal bodily presence, does integrate sexuality into the essentially human. His account of fallen sexuality expresses not a body-soul dualism but a disordering of the self which finds a partial and redemptive remedy in the "goods of marriage." His treatment of sexuality in (...) relation to redemption-in-course has a distinctively historical dimension that must be respected if sexuality is not to be left merely to the endless rhythms of nature, but drawn into the human story in its Christian telling. (shrink)
Pictures are sometimes said to be ironic. In many cases this is an error—the error of confusing an ironic picture with a picture of an ironic situation. Nevertheless some pictures are ironic, and there are two interestingly different ways for that to be the case. A picture may be ironic in style, in which case its irony is independent of the context in which it is presented; or a picture may be ironic by virtue of its context of (...) presentation. Having sorted this out, we can solve two problems: why do we often make mistakes about the irony in pictures? The answer has something to do with the nature of pictures themselves. Is the irony which is sometimes represented in a picture ever the product of the picture itself? The answer, yes, shows that there is a closer connection than we might otherwise have thought between the irony of representations and the irony represented in representations. (shrink)
People have always wondered how thinking takes place and what thoughts are constructed from. We typically experience our thoughts as involving pictorial (or sensory) contents or as being in words. Although this idea has been enshrined in psychology as the “dual code” theory of reasoning and memory, serious questions have been raised concerning this view. It appears that whatever the form of our thoughts it is unlikely that it is anything like our experience of them. But if thought is not (...) in pictures or words, what form does it take? If we do not sometimes think in words, then what actually goes on when we think by engaging in an “inner dialogue”? And if we do not sometimes think in pictures, what goes on when we reason by creating and examining “mental images”? (shrink)
This paper weaves together a number of separate strands each relating to an aspect of Wittgenstein’s PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS. The first strand introduces his radical and incoherent idea of a private object. Wittgenstein in § 258 and related passages is not investigating a perfectly ordinary notion of first person privacy; but his critics have treated his question, whether a private language is possible, solely in terms of their quite separate question of how our ordinary sensation terms can be understood, in a (...) philosophical context, to acquire meaning. Yet it is no part of his intention to demonstrate logically that ordinary sensations are not intrinsically meaningful. This is a tempting yet misleading picture, the picture also expressed through the idea of Augustine’s child who is conceptually articulate prior to learning how to talk. This picture lies behind the born Crusoe, an idea at the centre of the dichotomy between language as essentially shared and essentially shareable, a dichotomy considered here to result from a misconception of two quite separate but related aspects of Wittgenstein’s treatment of following a rule. The notion of a misleading picture, in both its pre-theoretical and philosophical aspects, also plays a crucial role in a treatment of Saul Kripke’s well-known “Postscript: Wittgenstein and Other Minds.”. (shrink)
This paper builds upon ethnomethodological and social constructivist studies of representation in the natural sciences to examine sociological theory, a field that is much closer to home. An analysis of diagrams and related illustrations in theory texts shows that labels, geometric boundaries, vectors, and symmetries often are used to convey a sense of orderly flows of causal influences in a homogeneous field. These graphic elements make up what I call a "rhetorical mathematics" that conveys an impression of rationality. Although theory (...)pictures rarely show much beyond what a text already says in its writing, they simulate a hermeneutic passage from written ideas to an independent representational or mathematical space. The paper discusses two modes of textual disruption of the rhetorical mathematics of theory pictures: parody and deconstruction. Parody makes ironic use of graphic devices in order to expose the rationalistic associations that come with the territory. Deconstruction displaces (and, if taken far enough, dissolves entirely) the Flatland of pictorial rationality. These negative maneuvers raise the possibility of using figural space for alternative modes of sociological inquiry. (shrink)
The word “picture” occurs pervasively in Wittgenstein's later philosophy. Not only does Wittgenstein often use literal pictures or the notion of mental pictures in his investigations, but he also frequently uses “picture” to speak about a way of conceiving of a matter (e.g. “A picture held us captive” at Philosophical Investigations§115). I argue that “picture” used in this conceptual sense is not a shorthand for an assumption or a set of propositions but is rather an expression of conceptual (...) bedrock on the model of an organising myth. This reading builds primarily on work by Gordon Baker and Stanley Cavell. (shrink)
These days it is widely agreed that there is no such thing as absolute motion and rest; the motion of an object can only be characterized with respect to some chosen frame of reference.1 This is a fact of which many of us are well-aware, and yet a cursory consideration of the ways we ascribe motion to objects gives the impression that it is a fact we persistently ignore. We insist to the police officer that we came (...) to a full and complete stop at the stop sign, we fret that traffic is moving too slowly, we observe that the sun has dropped below the hills on the horizon, all without ever saying which frames of reference we have in mind. (shrink)
Abstract This paper illustrates how Aristotle's topological theses about change in Physics 5-6 can help address metaphysical issues. Two distinctions from Physics 5. 1 are discussed: changing per se versus changing per aliud ; motion versus change. Change from white to black is motion and alteration, whereas change from white to not white is neither. But is not every change from white to black identical with a change from white to not white? Theses from Physics 6 refute the (...) identity. Is change from white to black at least accompanied by change from white to not white? Perhaps, but given further theses from Physics 6, this supposition yields unwelcome consequences. Most likely, when something changes from white to black it changes merely per aliud , not per se , from white to not white. Genuine change between white and not white is found elsewhere; its admission has bearing on Aristotle's theory of perception. (shrink)
Abstract Jürgen Habermas has proposed a tripartite classification of analytic philosophy of language into formal semantics, intentionalistic semantics, and use?theories of meaning. Here, I focus on the relationship between formal semantics and Habermas? own account of meaning and truth. I argue against his early ?consensus theory of truth?, according to which truth is defined as idealized warranted assertibility and explained by the ?discursive redemption? of validity claims. A claim is discursively redeemed if it commands rationally motivated consensus of all (...) discursive partners. I argue that this is not so much a theory of truth as of justification. As an account of truth, it is unsatisfactory because warrants can be lost in light of new arguments, and because consensus is seen as criterial for truth only if it is in principle defeasible ? hence there remains a gap between truth and even idealized warranted assertibility. In The Theory of Communicative Action, Habermas? views undergo a shift. Following Dummett, he cashes out meaning in terms of assertibility conditions. While Habermas continues to insist on an epistemically conditioned notion of truth, he no longer explicitly defines truth as idealized warranted assertibility; nor does his meaning?theoretic framework require him to do so. I argue that truth is an irreducible and ineliminable regulative idea. In particular, it can be explicated in terms of justification only indirectly. Contrary to some commentators, I do not believe that the regulative function of truth is merely negative. Fallibilism does not exhaust the meaning of truth. For we do not make truth claims provisionally, that is, with the understanding that they may turn out to be wrong. Rather, we gamble that we will not turn out to be wrong. Therefore, the concept of truth has not only a critical, but also a positive function in our discourse. (shrink)
The mathematical nature of modern science is an outcome of a contingent historical process, whose most critical stages occurred in the seventeenth century. ‘The mathematization of nature’ (Koyré 1957 , From the closed world to the infinite universe , 5) is commonly hailed as the great achievement of the ‘scientific revolution’, but for the agents affecting this development it was not a clear insight into the structure of the universe or into the proper way of studying it. Rather, it was (...) a deliberate project of great intellectual promise, but fraught with excruciating technical challenges and unsettling epistemological conundrums. These required a radical change in the relations between mathematics, order and physical phenomena and the development of new practices of tracing and analyzing motion. This essay presents a series of discrete moments in this process. For mediaeval and Renaissance philosophers, mathematicians and painters, physical motion was the paradigm of change, hence of disorder, and ipso facto available to mathematical analysis only as idealized abstraction. Kepler and Galileo boldly reverted the traditional presumptions: for them, mathematical harmonies were embedded in creation; motion was the carrier of order; and the objects of mathematics were mathematical curves drawn by nature itself. Mathematics could thus be assigned an explanatory role in natural philosophy, capturing a new metaphysical entity: pure motion. Successive generations of natural philosophers from Descartes to Huygens and Hooke gradually relegated the need to legitimize the application of mathematics to natural phenomena and the blurring of natural and artificial this application relied on. Newton finally erased the distinction between nature’s and artificial mathematics altogether, equating all of geometry with mechanical practice. (shrink)
Languages vary strikingly in how they encode motion events. In some languages (e.g. English), manner of motion is typically encoded within the verb, while direction of motion information appears in modifiers. In other languages (e.g. Greek), the verb usually encodes the direction of motion, while the manner information is often omitted, or encoded in modifiers. We designed two studies to investigate whether these language-specific patterns affect speakers’ reasoning about motion. We compared the performance of English (...) and Greek children and adults (a) in nonlinguistic (memory and categorization) tasks involving motion events, and (b) in their linguistic descriptions of these same motion events. Even though the two linguistic groups differed significantly in terms of their linguistic preferences, their performance in the nonlinguistic tasks was identical. More surprisingly, the linguistic descriptions given by subjects within language also failed to correlate consistently with their memory and categorization performance in the relevant regards. For the domain studied, these results are consistent with the view that conceptual development and organization are largely independent of language-specific labeling practices. The discussion emphasizes that the necessarily sketchy nature of language use assures that it will be at best a crude index of thought. q 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Data from neuropsychology do not support the idea that the primary visual cortex necessarily displays internal visual images. However, the choice of formats used in human cognition is not restricted to depictive or descriptive representations. Nestled between pictures and propositions, primitive spatial schemas with simple analog features extracted from pictorial scenes may play a subtle but wide role in cognition.
It is well known that languages differ in how they encode motion. Languages such as English use verbs that communicate the manner of motion (e.g., climb, float), while languages such as Greek often encode the path of motion in verbs (e.g., advance, exit). In two studies with English- and Greek-speaking adults and 5-year-olds, we ask how such lexical constraints are used in combination with structural cues in hypothesizing meanings for novel motion verbs cross-linguistically. We show that (...) lexicalization biases affect the interpretations of motion verbs in both young children and adults across different languages; furthermore, their scope of application is larger than previously thought, since they also extend to the domain of caused motion events. Crucially, we find that the language-specific effects of such biases interact with universal mappings between syntactic structure and semantic content. Finally, we demonstrate that the combined effects of lexical and structural cues shift non-linguistic biases observed during event categorization: even though speakers of English and Greek share non-linguistic preferences in categorizing spontaneous and caused motion, they focus on different components of motion events when building hypotheses about the meaning of novel motion verbs. (shrink)
In 1914, Wittgenstein recorded an incident in his Notebooks that he later mentioned to several friends as occasioning a major insight for his views in the Tractatus that propositions represent by being pictures. The entry reads: "In the proposition a world is as it were put together experimentally. (As when in the law-court in Paris a motor-car accident is represented by means of dolls, etc.)" This incident, he said, was pivotal in coming to the view in the Tractatus that (...) propositions represent by being pictures. In his later writings as well, investigations of what it is to understand a proposition remain tied to investigations of what it is to understand a picture. Numerous scholars have looked to Hertz' Priniciples of Mechanics as the element of Wittgenstein's milieu from which he drew the notions of model and picture used in the Tractatus; that they have done so may be due to a brief parenthetical remark in a much later section of the Tractatus. However, I think that a far more relevant source of a notion of model in Wittgenstein's milieu was the engineering scale model. The methodology of scale modelling is strikingly different from analytical methods, in just those ways that are important to the notion of picturing found in the Tractatus: the primary notion is that of translatability between two physical situations, rather than between a physical situation and a mathematical or linguistic representation, or, even, between two physically similar situations whose similarity is established by showing that they are both instantiations of the same more general equation or general description. The notion fits well with the remark: "The essential nature of the propositional sign becomes very clear when we think of it as made up of spatial objects (such as tables, chairs, books) instead of written signs (220.127.116.11.1)." It's also significant that the methodology of scale modelling can be used when one has no theory by which the behavior of the model can be predicted, or, even, a theory of the phenomenon being investigated. Since wind tunnels were already in use when Wittgenstein did his engineering studies, the concept of scale model would actually have been in his milieu much earlier than the pivotal 1914 notebook entry. However, the methodology of scale modelling was then more a matter of engineering practice than it was a formal methodology. At the time Wittgenstein recorded the insight about a world being "put together experimentally", the field was at a threshold. Formal foundations for the practice were just then being developed; it was in 1914 that Buckingham's proof about the minimum number of dimensionless groups needed to identify physically similar situations was presented in London. I also speculate on why the use of a scale model in the context of a courtroom, rather than a laboratory, lent significance to the incident. (shrink)
The objective in the present paper is to analyze the aspect of subjectivity having to do with construing motion and change where no motion and change exists outside the representation, that is, in cases where the conceptualizer does not intend to convey the idea that these properties exist in the state of affairs described. In the process of doing so, I will elaborate on a critique of the notion of fictivity as it is currently being used in cognitive (...) linguistics. (shrink)
This article examines the relation between the biblical Word and visuality in one of the surviving early thirteenth century manuscripts of the Bible moraliseé, the codex Vindobonensis 2554 today housed in Vienna. The analysis focuses specifically on the relations between word and visuality. The goal is to investigate the vitality that may set the Word into motion. It is argued that the matrix of textual visuality in the Vienna codex 2554 is used as an effective tool that adds vitality (...) to the biblical passages while simultaneously creating a firm hierarchy of representation and resemblances that enforces not only certain norms but also a particular world order in 13th century French society. (shrink)
While some film theorists and philosophers have seen motion as a necessary element of cinema, this view is challenged by a body of avant-garde films which offer little or no movement. These experiments—by film-makers such as Andy Warhol, Larry Gottheim, and Michael Snow—challenge essentialist definitions of film, while simultaneously foregrounding the crucial role played by duration in cinema’s ontology.
Although much evidence indicates that young infants perceive unitary objects by analyzing patterns of motion, infantsÕ abilities to perceive object unity by analyzing Gestalt properties and by integrating distinct views of an object over time are in dispute. To address these controversies, four experiments investigated adultsÕ and infantsÕ perception of the unity of a center-occluded, moving rod with misaligned visible edges. Both alignment information and depth information aﬀected adultsÕ and infantsÕ perception of object unity in similar ways, and infants (...) perceived object unity by integrating information about object features over time. However, infants perceived a moving, misaligned, three-dimensional object as indeterminate in its connectedness, whereas adults perceived it as connected behind the occluder. These ﬁndings indicate that the eﬀectiveness of common motion in specifying uniﬁed surfaces across an occluder is reduced by misalignment of edges. Alignment information enhances perception of object unity either by serving directly as information for unity or by optimizing the detectability of motion-carried information for unity. In addition, young infants are able to retain information about edge orientation over short intervals in determining connectedness via a process of spatiotemporal integration. Ó 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. (shrink)
I begin with an inconsistent set of three propositions, each of which has the following characteristic: We can find prima facie support for it in the Bible. I then classify theologians according to which proposition they reject, and I identify three different pictures of God: the Augustinian picture, the Arminian picture, and the universalist picture. Finally, I explore some hermeneutical problems and suggest a way in which those who hold the universalist picture might interpret some of the texts upon (...) which the doctrine of eternal punishment has traditionally rested. (shrink)
This paper aims to give a substantive account of how Feynman used diagrams in the first lectures in which he explained his new approach to quantum electrodynamics. By critically examining unpublished lecture notes, Feynman’s use and interpretation of both "Feynman diagrams" and other visual representations will be illuminated. This paper discusses how the morphology of Feynman’s early diagrams were determined by both highly contextual issues, which molded his images to local needs and particular physical characterizations, and an overarching common diagrammatic (...) style, which facilitated Feynman’s movement between different diagrams despite their divergent forms and significance. (shrink)
The canonical history of mathematics suggests that the late 19th-century “arithmetization” of calculus marked a shift away from spatial-dynamic intuitions, grounding concepts in static, rigorous definitions. Instead, we argue that mathematicians, both historically and currently, rely on dynamic conceptualizations of mathematical concepts like continuity, limits, and functions. In this article, we present two studies of the role of dynamic conceptual systems in expert proof. The first is an analysis of co-speech gesture produced by mathematics graduate students while proving a theorem, (...) which reveals a reliance on dynamic conceptual resources. The second is a cognitive-historical case study of an incident in 19th-century mathematics that suggests a functional role for such dynamism in the reasoning of the renowned mathematician Augustin Cauchy. Taken together, these two studies indicate that essential concepts in calculus that have been defined entirely in abstract, static terms are nevertheless conceptualized dynamically, in both contemporary and historical practice. (shrink)
Christians have long understood grace both as a declaration of acceptance and as a power that transforms. This article illumines two theses while investigating the relationship between these understandings of grace in Luther, Calvin, and Barth's development of the law/gospel dialectic and the doctrines of justification and sanctification. First, though each theologian makes use of both understandings of grace, each also tends to emphasize one over the other. The unity and tension within and between these perspectives help to show that (...) while both pictures are of the greatest importance for each other and cannot be separated, they also exist in tension, as long as they are worked out in the lives of sinners. Second, the author claims that the positions of Luther and Barth are more alike than is generally recognized. (shrink)
This paper examines the relationship between participation and motion with respect to the natural philosophy of the Phaedo. Aristotle’s criticism of participation and its failure to account for motion shows the relevance of the dialogue to this problem. Challenging Aristotle’s critique, I interpret the Phaedo as offering a possible solution to the question of how forms cause motion in material beings. The verb ὀρέγεσθαι at 65c8, 75a2, and 75b1, together with the active ὀρέγειν at 117b2, ground an (...) account of ontological striving as a solution to the difficulties inherent in participation within the literary context of the dialogue. (shrink)