The eclipse riddle -- Seeing surfaces -- The disappearing act -- Spinning shadows -- Berkeley's shadow -- Para-reflections -- Para-refractions : shadowgrams and the black drop -- Goethe's colored shadows -- Filtows -- Holes in the light -- Black and blue -- Seeing in black and white -- We see in the dark -- Hearing silence.
I examine the kindred phenomena of shadows and night in order to reveal their significance for better understanding our lifeworld and the elemental environment. I first describe how light is primary to ecological perception and how it conditions our conceptions of space, truth, and beauty. Light and darkness are involved in a dialectical relationship rather than conceived as polar opposites. Borne of the interplay of both realms, shadows have been disparaged historically and deserve to be reconsidered for their (...) aesthetic appearance and their relevance to an ecology and anthropology of perception. Night, in turn, is often marked by a negative ontology that points toward the possibility of a kind of elemental a priori, but it is important to characterize darkness in terms of its subtle shades and filtering by way of the creative matrix of the human imagination. Seeing the night in novel and unexpected ways, especially via the insights and descriptions of phenomenologists, poets, and artists, enables us to grasp the depth and atmosphere of the surrounding world and to light up our geographical perspectives, our philosophical visions, and our environmental awareness. (shrink)
Mainstream metaphysics has been preoccupied by inquiring into the nature of major kinds of entities, like objects, properties and events, while avoiding minor entities, like shadows or holes. However, one might want to hope that dealing with such minor entities could be profitable for even solving puzzles about major entities. I propose a new ontological puzzle, the Shadow of Constitution Puzzle, incorporating the old puzzle of material constitution, with shadows in the role of the minor entity to guide (...) our approach to the issues involved. I then analyze the standard answers to the original puzzle of constitution, in their role as potential solutions to the new puzzle. Finally, I discuss three views that can solve the proposed puzzle. (shrink)
I discuss a solution to the Yale shadow puzzle, due to Roy Sorensen, based on the actual process theory of causation, and argue that it does not work in the case of a new version of the puzzle, which I call "the Bilkent shadow puzzle". I offer a picture of the ontology of shadows that constitute the basis for a new solution that uniformly applies to both puzzles.
Sorensen’s celebrated problem about the eclipse of Near and Far is given a solution in which what is seen is Far, silhouetted. Near cannot be seen, as it is in the shadow of Far. A silhouette is a shadow. The so–called Yale Puzzle is a linguistic confusion.
Modern Western thought and culture have envisaged their task in terms of a metaphorics, a metaphysics and a technics of 'enlightenment'. However, the ethical and environmental implications of this determination to dispel all shadows have become increasingly pernicious as modernity both extends and alters the conceptualization and employment of (a now artificial) light as a tool of discovery and control. Drawing on the work of Foucault and Benjamin amongst others, this paper seeks to illustrate, through a critical ethopoietics, the (...) 'speculative aporia' of contemporary society from the perspective of radical ecology. The world does not just reflect our own instrumental interests: it has an elusive, shadowy existence of its own that can impinge upon our ethical perceptions. (shrink)
According to the species of neo-logicism advanced by Hale and Wright, mathematical knowledge is essentially logical knowledge. Their view is found to be best understood as a set of related though independent theses: (1) neo-fregeanism-a general conception of the relation between language and reality; (2) the method of abstraction-a particular method for introducing concepts into language; (3) the scope of logic-second-order logic is logic. The criticisms of Boolos, Dummett, Field and Quine (amongst others) of these theses are explicated and assessed. (...) The issues discussed include reductionism, rejectionism, the Julius Caesar problem, the Bad Company objections, and the charge that second-order logic is set theory in disguise. The irresistible metaphor is that pure abstract objects [...] are no more than shadows cast by the syntax of our discourse. And the aptness of the metaphor is enhanced by the reflection that shadows are, after their own fashion, real. (Crispin Wright , p. 181-2) But I feel conscious that many a reader will scarcely recognise in the shadowy forms which I bring before him his numbers which all his life long have accompanied him as faithful and familiar friends; (Richard Dedekind , p. 33). (shrink)
Roy Sorensen’s adventure in Shadowland started with his prize-winning article, "Seeing Intersecting Eclipses" (published in The Journal of Philosophy, and chosen by the board of the Philosopher’s Annual as one of the ten best philosophy articles of 1999), which is the basis for the first two chapters in this book. The recipe adopted in that article is followed in most of the following thirteen chapters, five of them being based on Sorensen’s previous articles on the topic: start with an open (...) mind regarding the existence and causal efficacy of absences, shadows, i.e. absences of light, in our case, devise a riddle involving perception of such absences, and draw the consequences for the philosophy of perception and/or ontology. (shrink)
Conceptualists have it that the representational content of perceptual experience is determined by the concepts a subject applies in having such an experience. Conceptualists like Bill Brewer  and John McDowell  have laid particular emphasis on demonstrative concepts in trying to account for the fact that subjects can perceive and discriminate very many specific shades of colour in experience. Against this, it has been objected that such demonstrative concepts have incoherent conditions of extension and/or of individuation, due to (...) the fact that chromatic indiscriminability is non-transitive. In this paper, I consider three different versions of this objection and show why each fails. (shrink)
We introduce two notions–the shadows and the shallows of explanation–in opening up explanation to broader, interdisciplinary investigation. The shadows of explanation refer to past philosophical efforts to provide either a conceptual analysis of explanation or in some other way to pinpoint the essence of explanation. The shallows of explanation refer to the phenomenon of having surprisingly limited everyday, individual cognitive abilities when it comes to explanation. Explanations are ubiquitous, but they typically are not accompanied by the depth that (...) we might, prima facie, expect. We explain the existence of the shadows and shallows of explanation in terms of there being a theoretical abyss between explanation and richer, theoretical structures that are often attributed to people. We offer an account of the shallows, in particular, both in terms of shorn-down, internal, mental machinery, and in terms of an enriched, public symbolic environment, relative to the currently dominant ways of thinking about cognition and the world. (shrink)
Summarizing a surrounding 200 pages, pages 179 to 190 of Shadows of the Mind contain a future dialog between a human identified as "Albert Imperator" and an advanced robot, the "Mathematically Justified Cybersystem", allegedly Albert's creation. The two have been discussing a Gödel sentence for an algorithm by which a robot society named SMIRC certifies mathematical proofs. The sentence, referred to in mathematical notation as Omega(Q*), is to be precisely constructed from on a definition of SMIRC's algorithm. It can (...) be interpreted as stating "SMIRC's algorithm cannot certify this statement." The robot has asserted that SMIRC never makes mistakes. If so, SMIRC's algorithm cannot certify the Goedel sentence, for that would make the statement false. But, if they can't certify it, what is says is true! Humans can understand it is true, but mighty SMIRC cannot certify it. The dialog ends melodramatically as the robot, apparently unhinged by this revelation, claims to be a messenger of god, and the human shuts it down with a secret control. (shrink)
The goal of three-dimensional visualization is to present information in such a way that the viewer suspends disbelief and uses the screen imagery the same way as he or she would use an identical, real 3D scene. To do this effectively, programmers employ a variety of 3D depth cues. Our own anecdotal experience says that shadows and stereopsis are two of the best for visualization. The nice thing is that both of these are possible to do in interactive programs. (...) They sacrifice a certain amount of interactive speed, but they are possible. (shrink)
Most contemporary metaphysicians are sceptical about the reality of familiar objects such as dogs and trees, people and desks, cells and stars. They prefer an ontology of the spatially tiny or temporally tiny. Tiny microparticles 'dog-wise arranged' explain the appearance, they say, that there are dogs; microparticles obeying microphysics collectively cause anything that a baseball appears to cause; temporal stages collectively sustain the illusion of enduring objects that persist across changes. Crawford L. Elder argues that all such attempts to 'explain (...) away' familiar objects project downwards, onto the tiny entities, structures and features of familiar objects themselves. He contends that sceptical metaphysicians are thus employing shadows of familiar objects, while denying that the entities which cast those shadows really exist. He argues that the shadows are indeed really there, because their sources - familiar objects - are mind-independently real. (shrink)
We show that cast shadows can have a significant influence on the speed of visual search. In particular, we find that search based on the shape of a region is affected when the region is darker than the background and corresponds to a shadow formed by lighting from above. Results support the proposal that an early-level system rapidly identifies regions as shadows and then discounts them, making their shapes more difficult to access. Several constraints used by this system (...) are mapped out, including constraints on the luminance and texture of the shadow region, and on the nature of the item casting the shadow. Among other things, this system is found to distinguish between line elements (items containing only edges) and surface elements (items containing visible surfaces), with only the latter deemed capable of casting a shadow. (shrink)
The old puzzle of material constitution has benefited from a lot of thorough discussion from the part of metaphysicians in the last thirty-odd years. The available solution options and their problems are by now familiar. They involve particular views on mainstream entities and relations of metaphysical inquiry, like objects, properties, events, causation, identity, supervenience, and so on. However, one might want to hope, together with some contemporary ontologists, most notably Roberto Casati and Achille Varzi (1994), that dealing with more peripheral (...) entities is not without interest even when it comes to solving mainstream questions of metaphysics. This I am going to do here, with the puzzle of material constitution in the role of the mainstream ontological issue and shadows in the role of the minor, superficial, or peripheral entity. (shrink)
If a spinning sphere casts a shadow, does the shadow also spin? This riddle is the point of departure for an investigation into the nature of shadow movement. A general theory of motion will encompass all moving things, not just physical objects. Ultimately, I argue that round shadows do indeed spin. Shadows are followers of the objects that cast them. Parts of the shadow correspond to parts of the leader, so motion of the caster's parts accounts for motions (...) of the shadow's parts. I conclude with a discussion of how the dynamic aspects of shadows impose subtle constraints on other puzzles about shadows. (shrink)
Recent studies have shown that several scene-based properties can be determined rapidly and in parallel at preattentive levels, including surface convexity and concavity (Ramachandran, 1988), direction of illumination (Enns & Rensink, 1990), and three-dimensional orientation (Enns & Rensink, 1991). We show that in addition to these properties, preattentive vision is also sensitive to scene structure defined by shadows.
The central thrust of Platonic poetics - for Plato had no aesthetics - is not the outright abolition of poetry, nor merely a relocation of it in view of recent acquisitions in the scientific knowledge of the day. Rather it is the quest for an authentic poetry and for ways of differentiating true from false poetry. The experience of transcendence through poetic symbols - of insight into ultimate reality - cannot be explained on the basis of the mimetic theory. The (...) world as a totality, its origin, the gods in the heavens, the shades and shadows of Hades, the tragic Destiny of the dramatist, and their interplay: these are crucial to the Greek experience of reality as voiced by the poet, but for none of them is there any possible model in the visible world, natural or craft-produced.23 Consequently these can never be imitated, and thus too the traditional vocation of the poet as the namer of the holy is precisely what gets eliminated in the last book of the Republic, and in Aristotle's refurbishment of mimēsis.Plato takes poetry seriously both for the polis and in the polis because it poses a serious danger. Poetry threatens “the safety of the city which is within us” (Rep. 608). Yet with Hölderlin he could agree that “Where there is danger there also lies salvation,” and so recognize the veridicousness of poetry, its truth-bearing power. At the basis of every life-form, every political order, there lies a poetic projection. The work of philosophical criticism and dissent can therefore not but enter into the quarrel with poetry. For Aristotle on the other hand, poetry, its meaning transvaluated, has been removed from the precinct of conflict. To put the point dramatically: one could never imagine Aristotle expelling the poets from any state, real or ideal. That would be a category-mistake since the worst that poetry can do is to turn into a catharsis interruptus.Although we have no unmediated experience of Being, the theory of inspiration points in such a direction. Yet even for the poet, it must be stressed, poetic inspiration must not be torn from the process of its self-realizing production or technē. Nor is the Heraclean metaphor fully adequate to critical interpretation, for it emphasizes sensitive conformance to the word at the expense of the distance required for proper engagement. The missing dimension is hinted at in the interrogative approach of Socrates, in his concern for the discovery and preservation of truth. Poetic inspiration, but also poetic interpretation, will not be poetic unless it is, as Heidegger says, a coming-to-work, whether that means a work of art or work of thought. Poetic inspiration must be an eventuation of truth in the work; as distinguished from mystical inspiration, it seeks embodiment and mediation. In other terms, for there to be an artwork both the vertical dimension and the horizontal dimension of craft must intersect. The eventuation of truth in the work must be fitting, due and opportune; the intersection must have its proper measure (summetria, Phil. 643). This alone constitutes the genuine necessity of the work, and only when this character prevails can the eventuation of truth take place. (shrink)
The relationships between art and cognition constitute a very wide set of largely unexplored and at times undefined or much too speculative problems. The field is narrowed down by imposing some constraints. It is proposed that the depiction of cast shadows, in its early history, could provide an ideal case study which conforms to the constraints. This paper addresses some methodological problems of the study of this case. A sample of relevant Renaissance images is discussed. A typology of depicted (...) cast shadows is proposed upon which further empirical research could be built. (shrink)
light at the street level,1 bringing the streets out from the shadows. The effects of social progress are often even more significant than the effects of vertical progress, since social progress can be tradition-changing at various levels, bringing ...
This review article discusses the emergence of the subsequent proceedings before the US Military Tribunals from the shadows of the trial of ‘Major War Criminals’ at the International Military Tribunal as explored in Kevin Jon Heller's The Nuremberg Military Tribunals and the Origins of International Criminal Law. The article applauds Heller's efforts in producing a detailed examination of an understudied aspect of the origins of international criminal law. The essay suggests that given the specific focus of the author on (...) the genealogy of international criminal law, important legal historical questions are left unexamined. It suggests a research agenda that would focus more specifically on the centrality of the Shoah to National Socialism and argues that the current trend in historical scholarship focusing on war crimes trials as a distinct subject of inquiry could provide a fruitful basis for future socio-legal research into the Nazi state and its legal apparatus. (shrink)
In this article I consider the future of the field of emotion. My conclusion—borrowing the title of a little-remembered song from the 1980s—is that “the future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.” I begin this article by considering some of the many daunting conceptual and empirical challenges here; this is clearly not a field for the faint of heart. I then turn to some of the incredible conceptual and empirical opportunities here; there are so many it’s easy to feel (...) dizzy. In the final section, I predict that the field of emotion will broaden and become more problem focused, and hazard a “top 10” list of hot topics. (shrink)
Levinas’s comments on art appear contradictory. On the one hand, he criticizes art as being disengaged from ethical concerns and constituting a possibility of moral evasion; on the other hand, he engages quite closely and in a supportive fashion with some art, such as Paul Celan’s poetry. Interpreters commonly argue that only one of Levinas’s conceptions of art, either the affirmative or the negative, represents his true attitude towards art. In this article the author seeks to make both statements compatible (...) with each other and thus relevant to Levinas’s conception of art. She focuses on his essay ‘Reality and Its Shadow’, where art is diagnosed as an ambiguous phenomenon. She argues that full understanding of the ambiguity of art demands that Levinas’s different statements about art are considered together; only thus can the complete picture of the ambiguity emerge. Furthermore, it turns out that the very same feature which makes art open to misunderstanding – namely, its precarious materiality – also allows an artwork to sustain itself and to be revived. Art reveals a shadow, withdrawal, or resistance that belongs to reality itself. (shrink)
The world, unfortunately, rarely matches our hopes and consistently refuses to behave in a reasonable manner. The psalmist did not distinguish himself as an acute observer when he wrote: "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." The tyranny of what seems reasonable often impedes science. Who before Einstein would have believed that the mass and aging of an object could be affected by its velocity near the (...) speed of light? (shrink)
This paper sets forth a new theory of quantifiers and term connectives, called shadow theory , which should help simplify various semantic theories of natural language by greatly reducing the need of Montagovian proper names, type-shifting, and λ-conversion. According to shadow theory, conjunctive, disjunctive, and negative noun phrases such as John and Mary , John or Mary , and not both John and Mary , as well as determiner phrases such as every man , some woman , and the boys (...) , are all of semantic type e and denote individual-like objects, called shadows — conjunctive , disjunctive , or negative shadows, such as John-and-Mary, John-or-Mary, and not-(John-and-Mary). There is no essential difference between quantification and denotation: quantification is nothing but denotation of shadows. Individuals and shadows constitute a Boolean structure. Formal language LSD (Language for Shadows with Distributivity), which takes compound terms to denote shadows, is investigated. Expansions and enrichments of LSD are also considered toward the end of the paper. (shrink)
In his latest book, Roy Sorensen offers a solution to a puzzle he put forward in an earlier article -The Disappearing Act. The puzzle involves various question about how the causal theory perception is to be applied to the case of seeing shadows. Sorensen argues that the puzzle should be taken as bringing out a new way of seeing shadows. I point out a problem for Sorensenâs solution, and offer and defend an alternative view, according to which the (...) puzzle is to be interpreted as showing a new way of seeing objects, in virtue of their contrast with light. (shrink)
Los sociobiólogos han defendido una posición "calvinista" que se resume en la siguiente fórmula: si la selección natural explica las actitudes morales, no hay altruismo genuino en la moral; si la moral es altruista, entonces la selección natural no puede explicarla. En este ensayo desenmascaro los presupuestos erróneos de esta posición y defiendo que el altruismo como equidad no es incompatible con la selección natural. Rechazo una concepción hobbesiana de la moral, pero sugiero su empleo en la interpretación de la (...) psicología de los primates no humanos y en un modelo de progresión evolutiva que habría llevado a la moralidad como adaptación pasando por la razón instrumental. /// Sociobiologists have endorsed a "Calvinist" position captured in the following formula: if natural selection explains moral attitudes, morality is not genuinely altruistic; if morality is altruistic, then natural selection cannot explain it. I expose the false presuppositions behind this claim and argüe that altruism as fairness is not incompatible with natural selection. I reject a Hobbesian view of morality as an instrumental endorsement of fairness norms, but suggest its use to interpret primate psychology and to model an evolutionary progression ending in moral capacities as adaptations. (shrink)
1 There have been several editions of Fridugisus’ letter. I have consulted those in Jaques-Paul Migne, Patrologiae cursus completus … series latina, 221 vols., (Paris: J.-P. Migne, 1844–1864), vol. 105, cols. 751–756; Francesco Corvino, “Il ‘De nihilo et tenebris’ di Fredegiso di Tours,” Rivista critica di storia della filosofia (1956), pp. 273–286; and the most recent and authoritative edition, in Concettina Gennaro, Fridugiso di Tours e il “De substantia nihili et tenebrarum”: Edizione critica e studio introduttivo, (“Pubblicazioni dell’istituto universitario di (...) magistero di Catania,” serie filosofica — saggi e monografie, no. 46; Padua: Casa editrice Dott. Antonio Milani, 1963). Fridugisus’ letter survives in four manuscripts. Nevertheless the text is corrupt in places, and all editors have had to suggest emendations here and there. For my translation I have followed Gennaro’s edition, but not always her interpretation. There is another translation, by Hermigild Dressler, in John F. Wippel and Allan Wolter, eds., Medieval Philosophy from St. Augustine to Nicholas of Cusa, (New York: The Free Press, 1969), pp. 104–108. Note that references to the Psalms in this translation are given according to the numbering in the Revised Standard Edition. (shrink)
One of the earliest examples of articulating the “discordance of time”—a theme that serves as a guiding thread woven throughout much of the re-engagement with time that is characteristic of continental philosophy—can be found in a series of essays written by Levinas in the aftermath of World War II. I show how these essays derive from a set of key texts by Bergson and how Bergson already anticipated the distinctive ways of conceptualizing the movement of time that are advanced by (...) Levinas in his early essays. Nevertheless, as I will show, Levinas chooses not to acknowledge this Bergsonian anticipation of his theory of time, despite his recognition, repeated throughout many texts and interviews, of the influence of Bergson on the formation of his own thought. I conclude by reflecting on the complexity of the Bergsonian inheritance in Levinas's philosophy of time. (shrink)
The Löwenheim-Skolem theorem was published in Skolem's long paper of 1920, with the first section dedicated to the theorem. The second section of the paper contains a proof-theoretical analysis of derivations in lattice theory. The main result, otherwise believed to have been established in the late 1980s, was a polynomial-time decision algorithm for these derivations. Skolem did not develop any notation for the representation of derivations, which makes the proofs of his results hard to follow. Such a formal notation is (...) given here by which these proofs become transparent. A third section of Skolem's paper gives an analysis for derivations in plane projective geometry. To clear a gap in Skolem's result, a new conservativity property is shown for projective geometry, to the effect that a proper use of the axiom that gives the uniqueness of connecting lines and intersection points requires a conclusion with proper cases (logically, a disjunction in a positive part) to be proved. The forgotten parts of Skolem's first paper on the Löwenheim-Skolem theorem are the perhaps earliest combinatorial analyses of formal mathematical proofs, and at least the earliest analyses with profound results. (shrink)
It has been argued that consciousness might be what differentiates human from machine mentality. What then is consciousness? We discuss consciousness, particularly perception accounts of consciousness. It is argued that perception and consciousness are distinct. Armstrong's (1980) account of consciousness is rejected. It is proposed that perception is a necessary but not sufficient condition for consciousness, and that there is a distinction to be drawn between consciousness and self-consciousness. Consciousness is tightly linked to attention and to certain sorts of knowledge. (...) Implications for machine consciousness and machine attention are discussed. (shrink)
A notable feature of post-Fordist economies is the increase in service jobs, which includes care occupations such as child care and elder care (Folbre 2001, 182). The commodification of caring activities raises issues surrounding the reception and dispensation of these services, and this is particularly salient to the focus of this paper, elder care. Because the demand for this type of care has greatly increased in recent decades (Glendinning, Schunk, and McLaughlin 1997; Kaye et al. 2006) and also in recognition (...) of the impact of caring activities on families, many countries have sought to initiate policies to provide state-funded services or to compensate family caregivers for their care work.1If help with the .. (shrink)