Substantivalists believe that spacetime and its parts are fundamental constituents of reality. Relationalists deny this, claiming that spacetime enjoys only a derivative existence. I begin by describing how the Galilean symmetries of Newtonian physics tell against both Newton's brand of substantivalism and the most obvious relationalist alternative. I then review the (now) obvious substantivalist response to the problem, which is to ditch substantival space for substantival spacetime. The resulting position has many affinities with what are arguably the most natural interpretations (...) of special and general relativity. I move on to consider and reject two recent antisubstantivalist lines of thought. The interim conclusion is that the best argument for relationalism is an appeal to Ockham's razor. However, for this to be successful there must be genuine relationalist theories that share the theoretical virtues of their substantivalist rivals but without the additional ontological commitment. The bulk of the paper is therefore an investigation of various concrete relationalist proposals. I distinguish three options for the relationalist in the face of the success of Galilean invariant physics and trace how these generalise to relativistic physics. One of the options (Barbour's Machian approach to dynamics) is particularly promising but, since its basic objects end up being spacetime points, this does not help the prospects of relationalism as traditionally conceived. I end with some reflections on the fate of substantivalism in the aftermath of the Hole Argument, concluding that we have as yet to be given good reasons to abandon the natural, substantivalist interpretation of current physics. (shrink)
In this work, the author tries to give an ontological foundation and framework for relationalism, by interpreting the meaning of being in terms of particular (individual) in its relationality. This work provides many an insight into how we can look at not only metaphysics but epistemology and ethics as well from a relationalist point of view.
This paper will provide support for relationalism; the claim that the identity of objects is constituted by the totality of their relations to other things in the world. I will consider how Kit Fine’s criticisms of essentialism within modal logic not only highlight the inability of modal logic to account for essential properties but also arouse suspicion surrounding the possibility of nonrelational properties. I will claim that Fine’s criticisms, together with concerns surrounding Hempel’s paradox, show that it is not (...) possible to provide a satisfactory account of certain properties in abstraction from their place within a wider context. Next, we will shift attention to natural kinds and consider the notion that relevance plays in metaphysical accounts of identity, by examining Peter Geach’s notion of relative identity. I will argue that the intensional relation between subject and object must be included in a satisfactory account of metaphysical identity. (shrink)
In addressing the metaphysical question of what colours are, a consideration that is commonly appealed to is how colours are represented—typically in perceptual experiences, but also in beliefs and linguistic utterances. Although representations need not accurately reflect the nature of what they represent—indeed, they need not represent anything that actually exists at all—the way colours are represented is often taken to provide at least a defeasible guide to the metaphysics: all else being equal, it seems we should prefer a theory (...) of what colours that is consistent with the way that they appear; otherwise, our theory of the nature of colour entails a potentially unattractive error theory about ordinary colour ascriptions. (shrink)
The implications for the substantivalist–relationalist controversy of Barbour and Bertotti's successful implementation of a Machian approach to dynamics are investigated. It is argued that in the context of Newtonian mechanics, the Machian framework provides a genuinely relational interpretation of dynamics and that it is more explanatory than the conventional, substantival interpretation. In a companion paper (Pooley [2002a]), the viability of the Machian framework as an interpretation of relativistic physics is explored. 1 Introduction 2 Newton versus Leibniz 3 Absolute space versus (...) an affine connection 4 Anti-relationalist arguments 5 Rehabilitating relationalism 6 Dynamics on the relative configuration space 7 Intrinsic particle dynamics 8 Conclusion. (shrink)
Color relationalism is the view that colors are constituted in terms of relations between subjects and objects. The most historically important form of color relationalism is the classic dispositionalist view according to which, for example red is the disposition to look red to standard observers in standard conditions (mutatis mutandis for other colors).1 However, it has become increasingly apparent in recent years that a commitment to the relationality of colors bears interest that goes beyond dispositionalism (Cohen, 2004; Matthen, (...) 1999, 2001, 2005; Thompson, 1995). Accordingly, it is an important project for those interested in the metaphysics of color to sort through and assess different forms of color relationalism. There is, however, a powerful and general cluster of objections that has been thought by many to amount to a decisive refutation of any and all forms of color relationalism. Although this idea has been developed in a number of ways, the basic thought is that relationalism — qua theory of color — is at odds with the manifest evidence of color phenomenology, and that this clash between theory and data should be resolved by giving up the theory. (shrink)
But Hardin hasn’t contented himself with reframing traditional philosoph- ical issues about color in a way that is sensitive to relevant empirical con- straints. In addition, he has been a staunch defender of color eliminativism — the view that there are no colors, qua properties of tables, chairs, and other mind-external objects, and a vociferous critic of several varieties of re- alism about color that have been defended by others (e.g., [Hardin, 2003], [Hardin, 2005]). These other views include the so-called (...) color physical- ism of [Hilbert, 1987], [Byrne and Hilbert, 1997a], [Byrne and Hilbert, 2003], and [Tye, 2000],1 and, inconveniently, even the relationalist view defended in [Cohen, 2003a], [Cohen, 2004a], [Cohen, 2003b], [McLaughlin, 2003], and [Jakab and McLaughlin, 2003]. (shrink)
Are colors relational or non-relational properties of their bearers? Is red a property that is instantiated by all and only the objects with a certain intrinsic (/non-relational) nature? Or does an object with a particular intrinsic (/non-relational) nature count as red only in virtue of standing in certain relations - for example, only when it looks a certain way to a certain perceiver, or only in certain circumstances of observation? In this paper I shall argue for the view that color (...) properties are relational (henceforth, relationalism), and against the view that colors are not relational (henceforth, anti- or non-relationalism). (shrink)
An important motivation for relational theories of color is that they resolve apparent conflicts about color: x can, without contradiction, be red relative to S1 and not red relative to S2. Alas, many philosophers claim that the view is incompatible with naive, phenomenally grounded introspection. However, when we presented normal adults with apparent conflicts about color (among other properties), we found that many were open to the relationalist's claim that apparently competing variants can simultaneously be correct. This suggests that, philosophers' (...) claims to the contrary notwithstanding, introspection does not supply authoritative and unambiguous reason to reject color relationalism. (shrink)
Color relationalism is the view that colors are constituted in terms of relations to perceiving subjects. Among its explanatory virtues, relation- alism provides a satisfying treatment of cases of perceptual variation. But it can seem that relationalists lack resources for saying that a representa- tion of x’s color is erroneous. Surely, though, a theory of color that makes errors of color perception impossible cannot be correct. In this paper I’ll argue that, initial appearances notwithstanding, relationalism contains the resources (...) to account for errors of color perception. I’ll conclude that worries about making room for error are worries the relationalist can meet. (shrink)
I argue that the conviction, widespread among philosophers, that substantivalism enjoys a clear superiority over relationalism in both Newtonian and relativistic physics is ill-founded. There are viable relationalist approaches to understanding these theories, and the substantival-relational debate should be of interest to philosophers and physicists alike, because of its connection with questions about the correct space of states for various physical theories.
Recent attempts to show that functional processing entails the presence of phenomenal consciousness have failed to deliver the kind of answers to the “problems of consciousness” that anti-materialists insist the functionalist must provide. I will illustrate this by focusing on the claims that there is a special “Hard Problem” of consciousness and an “explanatory gap” between functional and phenomenal facts. I then argue that if we supplement the functionalist stories with a relationalist conception of phenomenal properties, we can begin to (...) see the shape of a naturalistic theory of phenomenal consciousness that will provide intuitively compelling responses to these problems. (shrink)
Peter Kivy has maintained that the Wittgensteinian account of ‘art’ ‘is not a going concern’ and that ‘the traditional task of defining the work of art is back in fashion, with a vengeance’. This is true, in large part, because of the turn towards relational definitions of ‘art’ taken by philosophers in the 1960s; a move that is widely believed to have countered the Wittgensteinian charge that ‘art’ is an open concept and which gave rise to a ‘New Wave’ in (...) aesthetic theorizing. So successful has this New Wave been that today the philosophy of art is awash with relational definitions, which are increasingly characterized by their technical sophistication and logical complexity. The aim of this essay is to oppose this trend; to demonstrate that relationalist definitions cannot avoid the problems which provided the impetus for the Wittgensteinian view and to show that the New Wavers cannot explain why anyone would want the definitions which they are offering, irrespective of their success or failure. I will also explore, in detail, the uses, as well as the limitations, of the Wittgensteinian approach to the concept of art. (shrink)
From recent writings of Brent Mundy and Michael Friedman we reconstruct two different representation-theoretic or embedding accounts of space-time relationalism, involving two different conditions on embeddings: respectively, uniqueness up to symmetry and uniqueness up to indistinguishability. We discuss the properties of these two accounts, and, with respect specifically to Friedman's projects, assess their merits and demerits.
University of Turku, Finland In this article, relationalist approaches to social sciences are analyzed in terms of a conceptual distinction between "philosophizing sociology" and "sociologizing philosophy." These mark two different attitudes toward philosophical metaphysics and ontological commitments. The authors own pragmatist methodological relationalism of Deweyan origin is compared with ontologically committed realist approaches, as well as with Bourdieuan methodological relationalism. It is argued that pragmatist philosophy of social sciences is an appropriate tool for assisting social scientists in their (...) methodological work, especially as regards problem-driven case studies. Key Words: metaphysics pragmatism realism relationalism. (shrink)
In this paper I reply to two sets of criticisms—a first from Joshua Gert, and a second from Keith Allen—of the relationalist view of color developed and defended in my book, The Red and the Real: An Essay on Color Ontology.
Social robotics is a rapidly developing industry-oriented area of research, intent on making robots in social roles commonplace in the near future. This has led to rising interest in the dynamics as well as ethics of human-robot relationships, described here as a nascent relational turn. A contrast is drawn with the 1990s’ paradigm shift associated with relational-self themes in social psychology. Constructions of the human-robot relationship reproduce the “I-You-Me” dominant model of theorising about the self with biases that (as in (...) social constructionism) consistently accentuate externalist or “interactionist” standpoints as opposed to internalist or “individualistic”. Perspectives classifiable as “ecological relationalism” may compensate for limitations of interactionist-individualistic dimension. Implications for theorising subjectivity are considered. (shrink)
Jonathan Cohen has produced a powerful argument for Colour Relationalism: the metaphysical thesis that colours are relational properties of a certain sort—relational with respect to perceivers and circumstances. Cohen makes two important assumptions: one is that Colour Relationalism and Colour Irrealism (which include Colour Eliminativism, Fictionalism and other “error theories”) are rivals; the second is that “error theories” are theories of last resort. In this paper, I challenge both assumptions. In particular, I argue that there is good reason (...) to think that Colour Relationalism needs to be supplemented by some version ofan Error theory. In so doing, I examine, in detail, the issues raised in a paper by Janet Levin in which she engages in an instructive debate with Colin McGinn. Levin’s paper is important since Cohen places heavy reliance on her arguments, both in defending his relationalist theory against crucial objections, and in his dismissal of error theories. (shrink)
Social network research is widely considered atheoretical. In contrast, in this article I argue that network analysis often mixes two distinct theoretical frameworks, creating a logically inconsistent foundation. Relationalism rejects essentialism and a priori categories and insists upon the intersubjectivity of experience and meaning as well as the importance of the content of interactions and their historical setting. Formalism is based on a structuralist interpretation of the theoretical works of Georg Simmel. Simmel laid out a neo-Kantian program of identifying (...) a priori categories of relational types and patterns that operate independently of cultural content or historical setting. Formalism and relationalism are internally consistent theoretical perspectives, but there are tensions between them. To pave the way for stronger middle-range theoretical development, I disaggregate the two approaches and highlight the contradictions that must be addressed or resolved for the construction of any general and inclusive theory. (shrink)
Recently, the thesis that experience is fundamentally a matter of representing the world as being a certain way has been questioned by austere relationalists. I defend this thesis by developing a view of perceptual content that avoids their objections. I will argue that on a relational understanding of perceptual content, the fundamental insights of austere relationalism do not compete with perceptual experience being representational. As it will show that most objections to the thesis that experience has content apply only (...) to accounts of perceptual content on which perceptual relations to the world play no explanatory role. With austere relationalists, I will argue that perceptual experience is fundamentally relational. But against austere relationalists, I will argue that it is fundamentally both relational and representational. (shrink)
I argue that any account of perceptual experience should satisfy the following two desiderata. First, it should account for the particularity of perceptual experience, that is, it should account for the mind-independent object of an experience making a difference to individuating the experience. Second, it should explain the possibility that perceptual relations to distinct environments could yield subjectively indistinguishable experiences. Relational views of perceptual experience can easily satisfy the first but not the second desideratum. Representational views can easily satisfy the (...) second but not the first desideratum. I argue that to satisfy both desiderata perceptual experience is best conceived of as fundamentally both relational and representational. I develop a view of perceptual experience that synthesizes the virtues of relationalism and representationalism, by arguing that perceptual content is constituted by potentially gappy de re modes of presentation. (shrink)
There are two very different ways of thinking about perception. According to representationalism, perceptual states are representations: they represent the world as being a certain way. They have content, which may or may not be different from the content of beliefs. They represent objects as having properties, sometimes veridically, sometimes not. According to relationalism, perception is a relation between the agent and the perceived object. Perceived objects are literally constituents of our perceptual states and not of the contents thereof. (...) Perceptual states are not representations. My aim is to argue that if we frame this debate as a debate about the individuation of perceptual states, rather than the nature of perception, then there are ways of reconciling these two seemingly conflicting ways of thinking about perception. (shrink)
The present paper aims to contribute to the substantivalism versus relationalism debate and to defend general relativity (GR) against pseudoscientific attacks in a novel, especially inclusive way. This work was initially motivated by the desire to establish the incompatibility of any ether theories with accelerated cosmic expansion and inflation (motto: where would a hypothetical medium supposedly come from so fast?). The failure of this program is of interest for emergent GR concepts in high energy particle physics. However, it becomes (...) increasingly important to guard scientific results against their misrepresentation by fundamentally anti-scientific agendas. We therefore argue that although it is not known whether the perceived space-time is fundamental (rather than a condensed state or a particular membrane), in a fundamental theory, space-time must be abstract relational: fundamental space-time is the consistent spatial-temporal arrangement of events. To pursue its own goals, this work should be accessible to a wide audience: physicists, philosophers of science, those being tempted by anti-relativity theories, but also those who vigorously defend some orthodox relativity that is not actually supported by GR. It must thus be extensive in order to satisfy the different parties’ desire to have included and understood their respective positions. (shrink)
John Rawls famously claims that ‘justice is the first virtue of social institutions’. On one of its readings, this remark seems to suggest that social institutions are essential for obligations of justice to arise. The spirit of this interpretation has recently sparked a new debate about the grounds of justice. What are the conditions that generate principles of distributive justice? I am interested in a specific version of this question. What conditions generate egalitarian principles of distributive justice and give rise (...) to equality as a demand of justice? My paper focuses on relationalist answers to this question. Advocates of relationalism assume that ‘principles of distributive justice have a relational basis’, in the sense that ‘practice mediated relations in which individuals stand condition the content, scope and justification of those principles’. To say that principles of justice are ‘based’ on and ‘conditioned’ by practice mediated relations is ambiguous. I will here be concerned with advocates of what I call the relationalist requirement , viz. positions which assume that ‘practice mediated relations’ constitute a necessary existence condition for principles of egalitarian distributive justice. Relationalists who endorse this view come in different varieties. My focus is on relationalists that view social and political institutions as the relevant ‘practice mediated relation’. The question at stake, then, is this: Are institutionally mediated relations a necessary condition for equality to arise as a demand of justice? Strong relationalists of the institutionalist cast, call them advocates of the institutionalist requirement , differ in important respects. They argue about what set of institutions is foundationally significant, and they disagree on why only that institutional relation gives rise to egalitarian obligations of justice. My paper engages two ways of arguing for the institutionalist requirement : Julius’s framing argument and Andrea Sangiovanni’s reciprocity argument . The issue at stake are the grounds of egalitarian justice and I will argue that the institutionalist requirement is mistaken. It is not the case that egalitarian obligations of distributive justice arise only between and solely in virtue of individuals sharing a common institution. (shrink)
In philosophical discussions of the secondary qualities, color has taken center stage. Smells, tastes, sounds, and feels have been treated, by and large, as mere accessories to colors. We are, as it is said, visual creatures. This, at least, has been the working assumption in the philosophy of perception and in those metaphysical discussions about the nature of the secondary qualities. The result has been a scarcity of work on the “other” secondary qualities. In this paper, I take smells and (...) place them front and center. I ask: What are smells? For many philosophers, the view that colors can be explained in purely physicalistic terms has seemed very appealing. In the case of smells, this kind of nonrelational view has seemed much less appealing. Philosophers have been drawn to versions of relationalism—the view that the nature of smells must be explained (at least in part) in terms of the effects they have on perceivers. In this paper, I consider a contemporary argument for this view. I argue that nonrelationalist views of smell have little to fear from this argument. (shrink)
In this work, the author elaborates on his position on philosophy and ontology. Not only does he defend critical ontology and metaphysics but he also dismisses any kind of speculative ontology and metaphysics as epistemologically untenable. Furthermore, in this work, the author puts together for the first time his relationalist theory of being, called “ontic relationalism" .
The space of options -- The argument from perceptual variation -- Variation revisited : objections and responses -- Relationism defended : linguistic and mental representation of color -- Relationism defended : ontology -- Relationism defended : phenomenology -- A role functionalist theory of color -- Role functionalism and its relationalist rivals.
There are realist philosophers and social scientists who believe in the indispensability of social ontology. However, we argue that certain pragmatist outlines for inquiry open more fruitful roads to empirical research than such ontologizing perspectives. The pragmatist conceptual tools in a Darwinian vein—concepts like action, habit, coping and community—are in a particularly stark contrast with, for instance, the Searlean and Chomskian metaphysics of human being. In particular, we bring Searle’s realist philosophy of society and mind under critical survey in this (...) paper and contrast it with a pragmatist, sociologizing approach. Drawing from Dewey, James, and recent antirepresentationalism, we propose for research work a methodological relationalism of its own kind, altogether detached from the ontologies of society and mind. (shrink)
There are two very different ways of thinking about perception. According to the first one, perception is representational: it represents the world as being a certain way. According to the second, perception is a genuine relation between the perceiver and a token object. These two views are thought to be incompatible. My aim is to work out the least problematic version of the representational view of perception that preserves the most important considerations in favor of the relational view. According to (...) this version of representationalism, the properties represented in perception are tropes—abstract particulars that are logically incapable of being present in two distinct individuals at the same time. I call this view ‘trope representationalism’. (shrink)
Carlo Rovelli's relational interpretation of quantum mechanics holds that a system's states or the values of its physical quantities as normally conceived only exist relative to a cut between a system and an observer or measuring instrument. Furthermore, on Rovelli's account, the appearance of determinate observations from pure quantum superpositions happens only relative to the interaction of the system and observer. Jeffrey Barrett () has pointed out that certain relational interpretations suffer from what we might call the ‘determinacy problem', but (...) Barrett misclassifies Rovelli's interpretation by lumping it in with Mermin's view, as Rovelli's view is quite different and has resources to escape the particular criticisms that Barrett makes of Mermin's view. Rovelli's interpretation still leaves us with a paradox having to do with the determinacy of measurement outcomes, which can be accepted only if we are willing to give up on certain elements of the ‘absolute’ view of the world. (shrink)
Most objectivist and dispositionalist theories of color have tried to resolve the challenge raised by color variations by drawing a distinction between real and apparent colors. This paper considers such a strategy to be fundamentally erroneous. The high degree of variability of colors constitutes a crucial feature of colors and color perception; it cannot be avoided without leaving aside the real nature of color. The objectivist theory of color defended in this paper holds that objects have locally many different objective (...) colors. Most color variations are then real and result from the extreme richness of color properties. (shrink)
This monograph contains the author’s initial reflections on "critical ontology." Conceived primarily as a method of doing philosophy in general and ontology in particular, critical ontology approves the Kantian critique of knowledge, without, however, endorsing its agnosticism of metaphysics.
It is hypothesized that de Broglie’s ‘matter waves’ provide a dynamical basis for Minkowski spacetime in an antisubstantivalist or relational account. The relativity of simultaneity is seen as an effect of the de Broglie oscillation together with a basic relativity postulate, while the dispersion relation from finite rest mass gives rise to the differentiation of spatial and temporal axes. Thus spacetime is seen as not fundamental, but rather as emergent from the quantum level. A result by Solov’ev which demonstrates that (...) time is not an applicable concept at the quantum level is adduced in support of this claim. Finally, it is noted that de Broglie waves can be seen as the “bridge of becoming” discussed by ( 2005 ). (shrink)
This paper reexamines the historical debate between Leibniz and Newton on the nature of space. According to the traditional reading, Leibniz (in his correspondence with Clarke) produced metaphysical arguments (relying on the Principle of Sufficient Reason and the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles) in favor of a relational account of space. Newton, according to the traditional account, refuted the metaphysical arguments with the help of an empirical argument based on the bucket experiment. The paper claims that Leibniz’s and Newton’s arguments (...) cannot be understood apart from the distinct dialectics of their respective positions vis-à-vis Descartes’ theory of space and physics. Against the traditional reading, the paper argues that Leibniz and Newton are operating within a different metaphysics and different conceptions of “place,” and that their respective arguments can largely remain intact without undermining the other philosopher’s conception of space. The paper also takes up the task of clarifying the distinction between true and absolute motion, and of explaining the relativity of motion implied by Leibniz’s account. The paper finally argues that the two philosophers have different conceptions of the relation between metaphysics and science, and that Leibniz’s attempt to base physical theory on an underlying metaphysical account of forces renders his account of physics unstable. (shrink)
This book is an attempt to understand the human being, using the method of critical ontology. The human person, as an embodied conscious being, stands in triple relationality with the world around them, maintains the author. I-exist, I-know and I-act are respectively the ontic, epistemic and ethic relationality of our being.
We propose a solution to the problem of time for systems with a single global Hamiltonian constraint. Our solution stems from the observation that, for these theories, conventional gauge theory methods fail to capture the full classical dynamics of the system and must therefore be deemed inappropriate. We propose a new strategy for consistently quantizing systems with a relational notion of time that does capture the full classical dynamics of the system and allows for evolution parametrized by an equitable internal (...) clock. This proposal contains the minimal temporal structure necessary to retain the ordering of events required to describe classical evolution. In the context of shape dynamics (an equivalent formulation of general relativity that is locally scale invariant and free of the local problem of time) our proposal can be shown to constitute a natural methodology for describing dynamical evolution in quantum gravity and to lead to a quantum theory analogous to the Dirac quantization of unimodular gravity. (shrink)
Navigating the ontology of color used to be a simple affair. There was the naive view that colors really are in objects the way they appear, and the view that they are secondary qualities to cause certain experiences in us. Today, there are myriad well-developed views but no satisfactory taxonomy of philosophical theories on color. In this article, I first examine the two newest taxonomies on offer and argue that they are inadequate. In particular, I look at Brogaard’s taxonomy and (...) then Cohen’s. One of the reasons I am displeased with Brogaard and Cohen’s taxonomies is that I find it implausible that dispositions are relational properties. I provide an argument against this way of classifying dispositions. Having learned from the vices and virtues of Brogaard and Cohens’ taxonomies, I provide what I believe is a much-enhanced way of taxonomizing philosophical views on color. My taxonomy rules out certain views, clarifies others, and shows that there is an unnoticed view worthy of consideration. (shrink)
It is conventional to think of modernity as being characterised by the irremediable separation of philosophy and theology, of reason and faith. Failing to reconsider the idea of such a divorce, post-modernity has pushed this postulate to its very limits by attempting to abolish all types of normativity whether on the grounds of reason or any other basis. Against these prevailing conceptions, we argue that there exist, within philosophy and theology, processes of differentiation as well as original combinations. To illustrate (...) the possibility of mutually enriching exchanges between the philosophical and the theological ethical traditions we will call upon the historical example of solidarism. This will enable us to show that the two traditions are not so heterogeneous as may be first thought by those who underestimate the importance of identifying the conditions, both pragmatic and ideological, that govern practical in situation ethical judgements. (shrink)
Postcolonial theory has enjoyed wide influence in the humanities but it has left sociology comparatively unscathed. Does this mean that postcolonial theory is not relevant to sociology? Focusing upon social theory and historical sociology in particular, this article considers if and how postcolonial theory in the humanities might be imported into North American sociology. It argues that postcolonial theory offers a substantial critique of sociology because it alerts us to sociology’s tendency to analytically bifurcate social relations. The article also suggests (...) that a postcolonial sociology can overcome these problems by incorporating relational social theories to give new accounts of modernity. Rather than simply studying non-Western postcolonial societies or only examining colonialism, this approach insists upon the interactional constitution of social units, processes, and practices across space. To illustrate, the article draws upon relational theories (actor-network theory and field theory) to offer postcolonial accounts of two conventional research areas in historical sociology: the industrial revolution in England and the French Revolution. (shrink)
Bewusstsein ist nicht ohne Grund eines der grundlegenden Themen philosophischer Forschung: Es bildet den Kristallisationspunkt, in dem sich die intime Sphäre unserer Persönlichkeit im Schnittfeld mit radikal Anderem artikuliert. Dabei kommt dem subjektiven Bezug auf eine objektive Wirklichkeit, sprich auf uns selbst wie auf unsere natürliche und soziale Umgebung, eine zentrale Funktion zu. Aufgrund seiner Selbstverständlichkeit wird dieser Ausgriff auf die Wirklichkeit jedoch in repräsentationalistischen Ansätzen, die einen Großteil aktueller Bewusstseinstheorie ausmachen, häufig unhinterfragt vorausgesetzt. Dieses Buch entwickelt demgegenüber einen relationalen (...) Erklärungsansatz, der diese Selbstverständlichkeit unserer Selbst- und Weltbezüge in den Mittelpunkt der Betrachtung stellt. In kritischer Auseinandersetzung mit Th. Metzingers Selbstmodelltheorie und im Rekurs auf J.G. Fichtes späte Wissenschaftslehre entsteht so die Konzeption eines projektiven Bewusstseins. Der damit einhergehende Fokus auf die Entstehung objektiver Wirklichkeit im Bewusstsein erlaubt es, den subjektiven Charakter unseres Bewusstseins besser verständlich zu machen. (shrink)