The ultramodern condition represents the "third wave" in postmodernist-inspired philosophy and cultural practice. Two of ultramodernism's critical theoretical components are the human/social forces, flows, and assemblages that sustain transgression; and the human/social intensities, fluctuations, and thresholds that make transcendence possible as both will and way. In the ultramodern age, then, transcendence is about overcoming and transforming the conditions (i.e., forces, flows, and assemblages) that co-produce harm-generating (i.e., transgressive) tendencies. This manuscript problematizes transgression by way of ultramodern theory. This critical investigation (...) represents "the phenomenology of the shadow," or the ultramodern philosophy of harm. To contextualize this phenomenology and philosophy, the intellectual history of ultramodern thought is recounted. This includes a review of the shadow construct by way of its prominent socio-cultural, psychoanalytic, and political-economic currents; and a chronicling of the reification process (regarding risk, captivity, and harm) since the modernist era (i.e., the industrial revolution). The article concludes with some very speculative observations concerning "the phenomenology of the stranger," or the ultramodern philosophy of transcendence as both will and way. (shrink)
A decomposition model of Net Final Values (NFV), named Systemic Value Added (SVA), is proposed for decision-making purposes, based on a systemic approach introduced in Magni [Magni, C. A. (2003), Bulletin of Economic Research 55(2), 149–176; Magni, C. A. (2004) Economic Modelling 21, 595–617]. The model translates the notion of excess profit giving formal expression to a counterfactual alternative available to the decision maker. Relations with other decomposition models are studied, among which Stewart’s [Stewart, G.B. (1991), The Quest for Value: (...) The EVA™ Management Guide, Harper Collins, Publishers Inc]. The index here introduced differs from Stewart’s Economic Value Added (EVA) in that it rests on a different interpretation of the notion of excess profit and is formally connected with the EVA model by means of a shadow project. The SVA is formally and conceptually threefold, in that it is economic, financial, accounting-flavoured. Some results are offered, providing sufficient and necessary conditions for decomposing NFV. Relations between a project’s SVA and its shadow project’s EVA are shown, all results of Pressacco and Stucchi [Pressacco, F. and Stucchi, P. (1997), Rivista di Matematica per le Scienze Economiche e Sociali 20, 165–185] are proved by making use of the systemic approach and the shadow counterparts of those results are also shown. (shrink)
It is a common assumption among philosophers of perception that phenomenal colors are exhaustively characterized by the three phenomenal dimensions of the color solid: hue, saturation and lightness. The hue of a color is its redness, blueness or yellowness, etc. The saturation of a color refers to the strength of its hue in relation to gray. The lightness of a color determines its relation to black and white. In this paper, I argue that the phenomenology of shadows forces us to (...) consider illumination as an additional dimension of phenomenal colors. For this purpose, I will first introduce two different interpretations of shadow-experiences, which Chalmers has called the simple and the complex interpretations, and show that they both fail to account for important phenomenal facts about shadow-experiences. I will then introduce my own alternative interpretation based on the idea that illumination is a dimension of phenomenal colors and explain how it can account for these facts. (shrink)
From a certain philosophical perspective, one that is at least as old as Plato but which is addressed also by Aristotle and Kant, business ethics – to the extent that it is marketed as form of enlightened self-interest — constitutes a Thrasymachean compromise: to argue that it is to our advantage to conduct business ethically, perhaps even advantageous to the bottom-line, comes curiously close to endorsing what Plato called the 'shadow of virtue' — i.e., of becoming temperate for the (...) sake of illtemperance. And yet it also seems true that moralistic campaigns to achieve the impossible, e.g., pursuing justice for its own sake or eradicating egoism, often "detract from attaining really important things." This essay explores the need, in business ethics as well as elsewhere, to make — what Dewey and Niebuhr considered to be — painful if not principled philosophical compromises in order to secure is a society in which there would be "enough justice to avoid complete disaster.". (shrink)
Shadow of the Other is a discussion of how the individual has two sorts of relationships with an "other"--other individuals. The first regards the other as a s work apart is her brilliant utilization of a systematic dialectical approach to her subject, always maintaining the delicate balance between opposing tensions: masculinity and femininity, subjectivity and objectivity, passivity and activity, love and aggression, fantasy and reality, modernism and postmodernism, the intrapsychic and the intersubjective. Benjamin s work apart is her brilliant (...) utilization of a systematic dialectical approach to her subject, always maintaining the delicate balance between opposing other as a mental repository fo unwanted characteristics cast from the self. Jessica benjamin shows the implications of this dual relationship for male/female hierarchy and offers a possibility for balancing the two. This book continues the author's well-known explorations of the themes of intersubjectivity and gender, taking up issues at the forefront of contemporary debates in feminist theory and psychoanalysis. (shrink)
This paper explores the place of Hegel in Gadamer's hermeneutics through an analysis of the idea of "infinite dialogue." It is argued that infinite dialogue cannot be understood as a limited Hegelianism, i.e., as the life of spirit in language that does not reach its end. Rather, infinite dialogue can be understood only by taking the Heideggerian idea of radical finitude seriously. Thus, while infinite dialogue has a speculative element, it remains a dialogue conditioned by the occlusion in temporal becoming. (...) This idea is developed further by contrasting Gadamer's position with that of Blanchot, who also stands under the shadow of Hegel. (shrink)
Astrobiologists are aware that extraterrestrial life might differ from known life, and considerable thought has been given to possible signatures associated with weird forms of life on other planets. So far, however, very little attention has been paid to the possibility that our own planet might also host communities of weird life. If life arises readily in Earth-like conditions, as many astrobiologists contend, then it may well have formed many times on Earth itself, which raises the question whether one or (...) more shadow biospheres have existed in the past or still exist today. In this paper, we discuss possible signatures of weird life and outline some simple strategies for seeking evidence of a shadow biosphere. Key Words: Weird life—Multiple origins of life—Biogenesis—Biomarkers—Extremophiles—Alternative biochemistry. Astrobiology 9, 241–249. (shrink)
From the resurrection of body to eternal recurrence -- The shadow of God -- The guiding thread -- The logic of the body -- The system of identical cases -- From eternal recurrence to the resurrection of body.
By illuminating the striking affinity between the most innovative aspects of postmodern thought and religious mystical discourse, Shadow of Spirit challenges the long established assumption that western thought is committed to nihilism. This collection of essays by internationally recognized scholars explores the implications of the fascination with the "sacred," "divine" or "infinite" which characterizes much contemporary thought. It shows how these concerns have surfaced in the work of Derrida, Baudrillard, Lyotard, Kristeva, Irigaray and others. Examining the connection between this (...) postmodern "turn" and the current search for a new discourse of ethics and politics, it also stresses the contribution made by feminist thought to this unexpected intellectual direction. (shrink)
This essay review of Margaret Atwood's Payback shows how the book's accomplishment is to provide a Jungian analysis of the “shadow” of wealth: the primitive meanings attached to debt deriving from ancient cultural configurations of a proper balance in the order of things. Debt is conceived in terms of social obligations, of guilt and sin, of revenge, and as a plot that structures the narrative of human life. Instead of simply looking to the archaic meanings of debt for its (...)shadow side, this review attempts to take stock of what the recent credit crisis can teach us about the place of debt in our lives. It is a question of seeking out shadows that belong specifically to our global financial system, rather than belonging to ways of accounting order, honor, and revenge from a repressed past. If financial institutions, governments, businesses, and individuals were all exposed to high levels of debt, to whom was all this wealth owed? How does the shadow of debt affect economic behavior? Since debt forms the basis of further lending, debt increases through a multiplier effect without corresponding assets, which leads to an unstable system of virtuous or vicious cycles, and debt takes over some of the social, practical, and theoretical functions formerly held by God. (shrink)
This essay discusses Susan Smiley’s documentary film, Out of the Shadow (2004), and Tina Kotulski’s memoir, Saving Millie: A Daughter’s Story of Surviving Her Mother’s Schizophrenia, as filmic and narrative treatments of their mother’s schizophrenia. Mildred Smiley, and her diagnosis of and treatment for schizophrenia, is at the center of both her daughters’ treatments of mental illness, and in these texts, all three become witnesses to the multiple experiences of mental illness and the multiple events of psychiatric power. As (...) I will argue, these two texts are treatments of schizophrenia that both see and don’t see Mildred Smiley’s experience of mental illness. Through these texts, we—viewer and reader—are asked to look again, or to look for the first time, at mental illness, and we are positioned as having the agency to look or look away. As we look and try to make sense of what we see (and don’t see), we too participate in the production of mental illness as a category of analysis. (shrink)
We present a novel approach to N-person bargaining, based on the idea that the agreement reached in a negotiation is determined by how the direct conflict resulting from disagreement would be resolved. Our basic building block is the disagreement function, which maps each set of feasible outcomes into a disagreement point. Adding this function to the description of a bargaining problem, a weak axiom based on individual rationality leads to a unique solution: the agreement in the shadow of conflict, (...) ASC. This agreement may be construed as the limit of a sequence of partial agreements, each of which is reached as a function of the parties’ relative power in the disagreement scenario. As a result, we identify a link between the circumstances of bargaining and the bargaining powers within it. The rich get the law passed by means of force and arms or get it accepted by fear to their might, aren’t things this way? Plato, Republic. (shrink)
My topic is the parallels between attacks on free speech by the U.S. war party, and attacks on free speech by what Charles Alan Kors and Harvey Silverglate have called “the shadow university”; and the blindness to these parallels of that part of the left and right that is not libertarian on free speech and due process.
This paper is a sequel to our . In that paper we constructed a Π1 0 tree of avoidable points. Here we construct a Π1 0 tree of shadow points. This tree is a tree of sharp filters, where a sharp filter is a nested sequence of basic open sets converging to a point. In the construction we assign to each basic open set on the tree an address in 2<ω. One interesting fact is that while our Π1 0 (...) tree of sharp filters (a subtree of Δ<ω) is isomorphic to the tree of addresses (a subtree of 2<ω), the tree of addresses is recursively enumerable but not recursive. To achieve this end we use a finite injury priority argument. (shrink)
“Research assistant” is a term used to describe student researchers across a variety of contexts and encompasses a wide array of duties, rewards, and costs. As critical/qualitative scholars situated in a discipline that rarely offers funded research assistantships to graduate students, we explore how we have engaged in faculty-student research in one particularly understudied context: the independent study. Using narrative writing and reflection within a framework of collaborative autoethnography, the first three authors reflect as three “generations” of protégés who were (...) each mentored through independent studies during their MA programs by the fourth author. We explore the environmental context, mentor facets, and protégé facets that highlight the light and shadow, or successes and struggles, of our mentoring relationships. Reflecting on our own experiences of collaborative research through independent studies, we suggest a model of feminist research mentorship that may be enacted across disciplines. (shrink)
In late August 2012, artist Paul Thomas and philosopher Timothy Morton took a stroll up and down King Street in Newtown, Sydney. They took photographs. If you walk too slowly down the street, you find yourself caught in the honey of aesthetic zones emitted by thousands and thousands of beings. If you want to get from A to B, you had better hurry up. Is there any space between anything? Do we not, when we look for such a space, encounter (...) a plenitude of other things —a slice of plaster, an old vinyl record, a flattened piece of aluminum, painted metal surfaces, nameless interstitial powder, the reflection of sky, some letters of the alphabet, roughened concrete. Between what we take to be things there exist other things, as if the universe were jammed with entities like clowns in a crowded Expressionist painting. An abyss of things that emanates from them, not a yawning void that threatens to engulf them, but a sunlit nothingness filled with dust that seems to spray out of them like dry mist sparkling with firefly swarms. In these so-called spaces, we encounter the work of causality. Look: someone painted over this crack, some sunlight rippled in a mirage, a hole appeared. When we look for causes and effects, we don't encounter a basement of efficiently whirring machinery. Rather, we encounter these in-between spaces, where we had not thought to look. What we see are stage hands moving the scenery about—they are doing it in plain sight, the best place to hide, right in front of you, in the place we call the aesthetic dimension . In Tibetan Buddhism these spaces are called bardo , which just means the between. There is no such thing as a moment of your life that is not a between, according to this view. There is the between of living. There is the between of dying. There is the between of the transition between lives. There is the between of dreaming. There is the between of meditation. There is the between of two humans holding cameras walking down a street in Sydney. The between of two buildings, a space bursting with objects as if a billion jack in the boxes had exploded at once. Some of the lids are stuck, sometimes a nose bursts out and the hinge won't open any further; at other times, the jack in the box flies right out and pulps against the wall on the opposite side of the room. Time opens up. Each surface is a poem about the past. A myriad stories begin to proliferate, as if a thing were a crisscrossing of books, a whole library of them, each page whispering parts of paragraphs and broken pieces of word. The stories tell us things—they are quite literal, look, this guy painted part of this wall, then they came and stripped off the panel and touched up the holes. Form is the past. When you look at appearance, you are looking at the past. Where is the present? And essence is the future. The hints of unknown, unseen things, the absolute impossibility of grasping everything about this plastic pipe, the way photons entering the camera lens obey a speed limit and splash onto receptors, going into and out of coherence. At the electronic level, it's quite clear that causality is aesthetic. I can't see an electron without deflecting it. Everything is a refrigerator with a light on—or off—inside. For me, for you, for this arrangement of tiles sandwiched between a door and a slab of marble. To a photon, an electron is a refrigerator with a closed door, and a light that might be on—or off—inside. How can you know whether the light is on inside? Why, you open the door of course. But then you are looking at the past. You never see the light in the refrigerator before you open the door. This future is not a predictable future that is a specific number of now-points away. You will never reach it. You will never be able to sneak up from the side and see through the refrigerator. Nor can a photon see through the refrigerator of an electron. Nor can paint see through the refrigerator of this plastic pipe. You take a photo—click—the past appears, another open refrigerator. But the thing you have just made, the photograph, the graphing of the photons—it is another thing, another story. You can read the words, but the meaning always eludes you. It always lurks just off the edge of the sentence, just at the very edge of this ragged slice of paint, just at the edge of this building, between this one and that one. Thousands of secrets, everywhere. Masks that lie and tell the truth at the same time: this pink paint is not blue paint, that's true. But the thing, the thing in itself, that paint sliding off a brush onto that pipe—it is nowhere to be seen, like a light behind a closed door. When you walk too slowly down the street, you start walking into millions of levels of pastness, levels emitted not just by the humans or the dogs and cats, but also by this garbage can, this mottled pink surface pockmarked with nail holes. You walk surrounded by as many futures as there are things. You walk, or rather you occupy a peculiar shifting ground of nowness, created by the relative motion of the past sliding against the future, not touching. You begin to realize that the present does not exist. A thing is a train station where one train is always arriving and one train is always leaving. Hundreds of train stations everywhere, hundreds of relative motions. The idea of a universal, regular, atomic sequence of instants that contains everything is absolutely ludicrous, the philosophers have known this for thousands of years, and to hide the absurdity, to get from A to B, Houston to Sydney, crossing the International Date Line without too much laughter, you have embedded piezoelectric devices in as many pieces of hardware as possible, devices in which quartz talks to electrons, making train stations where the trains seem to run on time. When you walk too slowly down the street, you begin to realize that Zeno had a point. You can seemingly divide each moment, each step, infinitesimally. So perhaps there are no moments, no steps. Or perhaps time is not a box that everything goes in. Perhaps time is, as Einstein argued after all, a way that things send out ripples. Where one house touches another house, there arise hundreds of things, hundreds of meeting places (Old English thing , meeting place). Hundreds of times. I have a thing for you. Come over here, let's do a thing. Stay in the sunlight and shadow between worlds, in the sunlit canyon between this building and that building. See how paint touches this pipe, caressing then leaving, no one will notice if a surface is left exposed, not quite filled in. See how shadows are reflected in pale cream glass—see the luminous abyss of causality spreading out before your very eyes, right in front of security. All kinds of beautiful crimes are committed right here, and as American cars keep telling you, and you never notice, OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR. They are here, or rather, here is them, and now is them. Kissing in the shadow. Tim Morton Rice University. (shrink)
Berkeley thinks that we only see the size, shape, location, and orientation of objects in virtue of the correlation between sight and touch. Shadows have all of these spatial properties and yet are intangible. In Seeing Dark Things (2008), Roy Sorensen argues that shadows provide a counterexample to Berkeley's theory of vision and, consequently, to his idealism. This paper shows that Berkeley can accept both that shadows are intangible and that they have spatial properties.
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)
Structural realism as developed by John Worrall and others can claim philosophical roots as far back as the late 19th century, though the discussion at that time does not unambiguously favor the contemporary form, or even its realism. After a critical examination of some aspects of the historical background some severe critical challenges to both Worrall's and Ladyman's versions are highlighted, and an alternative empiricist structuralism proposed. Support for this empiricist version is provided in part by the different way in (...) which we can do justice to Worrall's original demands and in part by the viewpoint it provides (in contrast to e.g. Michael Friedman's) on the stability maintained through scientific theory change. Planck against the heretics 1.1 Poincaré on the meaning of Maxwell's equations 1.2 Two responses: reification and structuralism On the road to structuralism 2.1 The microscope 2.2 Mathematization of the world picture 2.3 The 18th–20th century The new structural realism 3.1 From scientific realism to structuralism 3.2 The Ladyman variant: objectivity and invariance 3.3 How is structural realism supported? An empiricist structuralism 4.1 Royal succession in science 4.2 Defence of the empiricist version 4.3 Structure: an empiricist view. (shrink)
In 2007, 275 million tons of meat1 were produced worldwide, enough for 92 pounds for every person (Halweil 2008, 1). On one level, this fourfold increase in meat production since 1960 might be seen as a great success story about the spread of prosperity and wealth. President Herbert Hoover's memorable 1928 campaign pledge to put "a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage" has, at least for many in the developed world, largely been realized. This juxtaposition of (...) chickens and cars is appropriate in a way that Hoover did not intend: in an important sense, the same industrial processes that have put a "car in every garage" now make it possible to "put a chicken in every pot" or a burger on every plate. What .. (shrink)
Marc Lange offers a stale anthology that reflects the sad state of affairs in the camp of analytic philosophy. It is representative in a few respects, even in its maltreatment of Russell, Wittgenstein, and Popper. Despite its neglect of Wittgenstein, it shows again that Wittgenstein is the patron saint of the analytic school despite the fact that it does not abide by his theory of metaphysics as inherently meaningless.
This essay looks at the impact that technology is having upon friendship. For as we all know, it is nothing at all to see friends at a restaurant table all engaged in texting rather than talking to one another.
A conscious being is characterized by its ability to cope with the environment--to perceive it, sometimes change it, and perhaps reflect on it. Surprisingly, most studies of the mind's place in nature show little interest in such interaction. It is often implicitly assumed that the main questions about consciousness just concern the status of various entities, levels, etc., within the individual. The intertwined notions of "(conscious) experience" and "(phenomenal) consciousness" are considered. The predominant use of these notions in cognitive science (...) can be traced back to Cartesianism. What is important is the survival of the central methodological commitments despite seemingly profound changes of metaphysical outlook. The author argues (1) that cognitive scientists typically assimilate perception to sensation, thereby ignoring ways in which descriptions of perception and descriptions of the environment are logically intertwined; (2) that this involves methodological solipsism and an unacknowledged sceptical position that was originally part of Descartes' Dream argument; and (3) that it is impossible to identify the object supposedly to be studied by a science of the phenomenal consciousness. A somewhat parallel argument is identified in Kant's critique of rationalist psychology. (shrink)
: In this essay, Cornell first invokes the concept of 'imaginary domain' to challenge the legal legitimacy of heterosexism in any form. She then claims that the imposition of heterosexism on the imaginary is a trauma whose severity can be grasped only with the help of psychoanalysis. Second, she argues that we cannot understand or undermine the power of heterosexist ideas without an alternative ethic of love. In beginning to think about a love that would necessarily pit itself against heterosexism, (...) Cornell draws on Jacques Derrida's metaphor of the lovance. (shrink)
This speech analyzes the constitutive relationship between liberty and domination. In it freedom is intended as opposition to power through the concept of liberation. But many forms of power, in spite of fighting liberty, try to present themselves as liberators or as a guarantor of liberty itself. In this way the concept of freedom becomes first with Christianity and then with modernity an instrument for a sophisticated technology of power that has the opposite function. This individualistic notion of liberty is (...) criticized also from an epistemological point of view (complexity theory, chaos theory), and from a multicultural point of view by a brief comparison with holistic Sino-Japanese concept of spontaneity. Complexity theory shows that the subject is always connected to a system in his decision making process. Chaos theory shows that what seems spontaneous is an unpredictable interaction of causes. Finally Sino-Japanese culture has not a traditional concept of freedom, because it focuses the spontaneity of Dao or nature that is conceived as whole necessary for the comprehension of the individuals’ life. The aim of this text is to give just some hints for a “mise en question” of the concept of liberty related to recent problems such as globalization, environmental problems and crisis of modern political systems. (shrink)
Refusing to pursue recent and possible future developments in medical research is itself a morally momentous decision—and that inaction has consequences Cohen and other right-wing thinkers refuse to acknowledge. -/- .
In his political classic The Public and Its Problems, John Dewey offers up an observation that would surely resonate with contemporary readers.The social situation has been so changed by the factors of an industrial age that traditional general principles have little practical meaning. They persist as emotional cries rather than as reasoned ideas…. The developments of industry and commerce have so complicated affairs that a clear-cut, generally applicable, standard of judgment becomes practically impossible. The forest cannot be seen for the (...) trees nor the trees for the forest.1To clarify his point, Dewey continues with four examples in which the concepts employed by situated social actors to grasp the increasing .. (shrink)
One of the more salient concerns about nanotechnology is the fear that it will harm privacy by collecting personal information and distributing it. This sentiment is complicated by the fact that the specific nanotechnologies that might affect privacy are located more in the near future than in the present, so our knowledge of them is more speculative than empirical. To come to terms with these issues, we will need both knowledge of the science – what is realistic and what is (...) not – and a sense of the on-going discourses on privacy and technology that are likely to frame feelings about nanotech. (shrink)
In Less Than Nothing, the pinnacle publication of a distinguished career, Slavoj i ek argues that it is imperative that we not simply return to Hegel but that we repeat and exceed his triumphs, overcoming his limitations by being even more ...
In this essay I argue that despite Arendt's dislike of psychology, she, like all political theorists, relies on a particular understanding of human nature. Her account, which can be discovered with a careful reading of her work, including Eichmann in Jerusalem , The Human Condition and The Origins of Totalitarianism , resonates with the explicitly psychoanalytic one of Jessica Benjamin. When the two accounts are considered together one can find the outline of a very interesting conception of the self which (...) is neither the deconstructed, discontinuous self of postmodernism nor the strongly unified, rational subject of liberalism. This account also points to a way of under18 standing both the allure of evil and the political remedies that can stymie its realization. (shrink)
Structural realism as developed by John Worrall and others can claim philosophical roots as far back as the late 19th century, though the discussion at that time does not unambiguously favor the contemporary form, or even its realism. After a critical examination of some aspects of the historical background some severe critical challenges to both Worrall's and Ladyman's versions are highlighted, and an alternative empiricist structuralism proposed. Support for this empiricist version is provided in part by the different way in (...) which we can do justice to Worrall's original demands and in part by the viewpoint it provides (in contrast to e.g. Michael Friedman's) on the stability maintained through scientific theory change. (shrink)
A sequel to Shapin’s earlier work, The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation again solves the problem of induction by observing that researchers are decent. Shapin dismisses most of the literature on both the philosophy of science and (more so) on the sociology of science as ideologically biased and as irrelevant. Approaches to the book as light reading and as serious scholarly reading are considered before a critical summary is offered as a conclusion.