This article treats the political thought of Simón Bolívar, a leading figure in South America's struggle for independence. It describes Bolívar's ideas by reference to both their broadly Atlantic origins and their specifically American concerns, arguing that they comprise a theory of `republican imperialism', paradoxically proposing an essentially imperial project as a means of winning and consolidating independence from European rule. This basic tension is traced through Bolívar's discussions of revolution, constitutions, and territorial unification, and then used to frame a (...) comparison with the founders of the United States. It suggests, in closing, that contextual similarities amongst the American revolutions make them particularly apt subjects for comparative study of the history of political thought. (shrink)
Acquaintance with the Absolute is the first collected volume of essays devoted to the thought of Yves r. Simon, a thinker widely regarded as one of the great teachers and philosophers of our time. Each piece in this collection of essays thoughtfully complements the others to offer a qualifiedly panoramic look at the work and thought of philosopher Yves R. Simon. The six essays presented not only treat some major areas of Simon’s thought, pointing out their lucidity (...) and originality, but also his underpinning metaphysics, so central to his thought. Rather than attempt to present all aspects of this patient, careful, and penetrating thinker, these essays select enough to situate Simon’s philosophical excavations – especially his moral, political and action theory – among contemporary Thomistic philosophy. In defending philosophy as a valid way of knowing, Simon gives us an approach we can use to avoid contemporary dilemmas in the philosophy of science. Simon holds that philosophical truths both justify scientific method as a way of knowing the real and provide a basis for distinguishing what is ontologically significant in a scientific theory from what is not. This view allows us to avoid the apparently irrational conclusions of quantum mechanics without reducing scientific theories to being mere projections of our conceptual systems. Though aspects of some of the essays are suited for students of Simon’s thought, the essays as a whole introduce the less familiar reader to this great thinking and, further, invite him or her to pursue Simon’s own texts. The volume is enhanced by the inclusion of a definitive Yves R. Simon bibliography 1923-1996. The annotated bibliography is cross-reference in detail, revealing the astonishing variety of topics Simon treated. (shrink)
After more than 15 years of study, the 1/f noise or complex-systems approach to cognitive science has delivered promises of progress, colorful verbiage, and statistical analyses of phenomena whose relevance for cognition remains unclear. What the complex-systems approach has arguably failed to deliver are concrete insights about how people perceive, think, decide, and act. Without formal models that implement the proposed abstract concepts, the complex-systems approach to cognitive science runs the danger of becoming a philosophical exercise in futility. The complex-systems (...) approach can be informative and innovative, but only if it is implemented as a formal model that allows concrete prediction, falsification, and comparison against more traditional approaches. (shrink)
We focus on two components of Page's argument in favour of localist representations in connectionist networks: First, we take issue with the claim that localist representations can give rise to generalisation and show that whenever generalisation occurs, distributed representations are involved. Second, we counter the alleged shortcomings of distributed representations and show that their properties are preferable to those of localist approaches.
The tradition of natural law is one of the foundations of Western civilization. At its heart is the conviction that there is an objective and universal justice which transcends humanity’s particular expressions of justice. It asserts that there are certain ways of behaving which are appropriate to humanity simply by virtue of the fact that we are all human beings. Recent political debates indicate that it is not a tradition that has gone unchallenged: in fact, the opposition is as old (...) as the tradition itself. By distinguishing between philosophy and ideology, by recalling the historical adventures of natural law, and by reviewing the theoretical problems involved in the doctrine, Simon clarifies much of the confusion surrounding this perennial debate. He tackles the questions raised by the application of natural law with skill and honesty as he faces the difficulties of the subject. Simon warns against undue optimism in a revival of interest in natural law and insists that the study of natural law beings with the analysis of “the law of the land.” He writes not as a polemicist but as a philosopher, and he writes of natural law with the same force, conciseness, lucidity and simplicity which have distinguished all his other works. (shrink)
Precautionary Criminalisation in an Age of Vulnerable Autonomy Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11572-012-9142-4 Authors Jonathan Simon, Adrian A Kragen Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA Journal Criminal Law and Philosophy Online ISSN 1871-9805 Print ISSN 1871-9791.
: The purpose of this paper and its sister paper (Farrell and Hooker, b) is to present, evaluate and elaborate a proposed new model for the process of scientific development: self-directed anticipative learning (SDAL). The vehicle for its evaluation is a new analysis of a well-known historical episode: the development of ape-language research. In this first paper we outline five prominent features of SDAL that will need to be realized in applying SDAL to science: 1) interactive exploration of possibility (...) space; 2) self-directedness; 3) localization of success and error; 4) Synergistic increase in learning capacity; and 5) continuity of SDAL process across scientific change. In this paper we examine the first three features of SDAL in relation to the early history of ape-language research. We show that this history is readily explicated as a self-directed, ever-finer, delineation of possibility space that enables the localization of both success and error. Paper II examines the last two features against this history. (shrink)
: The purpose of this paper and its sister paper I (Farrell and Hooker, a) is to present, evaluate and elaborate a proposed new model for the process of scientific development: self-directed anticipative learning. The vehicle for its evaluation is a new analysis of a well-known historical episode: the development of ape language research. Paper I examined the basic features of SDAL in relation to the early history of ape-language research. In this second paper we examine the reconceptualization of (...) ape-language research following what many conceived to be Terrace's refutation of ape-language. We show that the apparent 'revolution' in our understanding of ape linguistic capacities was not based upon 'revolutionary' research different in kind from 'normal' research. The same processes of self-directed interactive exploration of possibility space, that enables a homing-in upon both error and success, is present in all phases of productive science. Moreover, conceiving science as an SDAL process explains how scientists learn how to learn about their research domain. (shrink)
Ursula Klein and E. C. Spary (eds): Materials and expertise in early modern Europe: Between market and laboratory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010, 408pp, $50 HB Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9462-8 Authors Jonathan Simon, LEPS-LIRDHIST (EA 4148), Université Lyon 1, Université de Lyon, 69622 Villeurbanne cedex, France Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
This long-awaited book is the first English-language edition of.Simon’s first book, Critique de la connaissance morale (1934). Not only does this work clarify the first stages of Simon’s intellectual career, it is also a major contribution to moral philosophy. A Critique of Moral Knowledge addresses fundamental issues. How does moral knowledge differ from other practical knowledge? What is the relationship between the moral sense, moral philosophy, and cognition in action? Is politics moral philosophy or simply a neutral technique? (...) This elegant translation will be an important contribution to the conversation on philosophy, politics, religion, and ethics. (shrink)
For Yves R. Simon, philosophy has an affinity to science, not in the sense that philosophy is a mere metascience, a commentary on the sciences, but rather because it shares the same aim as science: the search for explanation. The philosophy Simon espouses is philosophical realism which, following Jacques Maritain, he prefers to call critical realism. Against the prejudice that only some version of philosophical idealism, be it critical or absolute, is capable of understanding positive science. Simon, (...) in Foresight and Knowledge, develops a philosophy of science form a realistic perspective. Philosophy of science or the critique of science, as it was known in France, is according to Simon, metahphysics in the exercise of its critical function. Simon selects as the central focus of the treatise the problem of determinism, causality, and chance. Simon shows that the concept “determinism” must be understood in different conceptual systems, such as a philosophy of nature and physics; in the latter, determinism is conceived as a possibility of certain and exact prediction. (shrink)
Yves R. Simon (1903-1961) was one of this century’s greatest students of the virtue of practical wisdom. Simon’s interest in this virtue ranged from ultimate theoretical and foundational concerns, such as the relationship between practical knowledge and science, to the most concrete and immediate questions regarding the role of practical wisdom in personal and social decision-making. These concerns occupied Simon from his earliest published writing to the final notes and correspondence he was working on at the moment (...) of his untimely death. Throughout his life, practical wisdom and its related philosophical ramifications emerge time and again at critical junctures, throwing into bold relief some of the deeper dimensions of questions as diverse as the nature of democracy, the concept of law, and the theory of work. Practical knowledge constitutes a unifying motif of Simon’s entire encyclopedic effort. This volume reconstructs what would have been Simon’s final sustained writing on practical knowledge. It includes reworking of some previously published material, especially the landmark 1961 essay, "Introduction to the Study of Practical Wisdom," possibly the best treatment of the concept of "command" in recent philosophical writing. But it also reproduces, in a form closely corresponding to Simon’s intention, material drawn from notes and schemata, concerning issues such as the relationship between moral science and wisdom, the nature of practical judgment, and the relationship between practical knowledge and Christian moral philosophy. Also included are previously unpublished letters to Jacques Maritain on the controversy surrounding the theoretical-practical and practico-practical syllogisms, as well as Maritain’s responses. The volume concludes with applications of Simon’s general theory to a critique of the concept of a social science and to the notion of Christian humanism. This volume will appeal to moral philosophers interested in a range of normative issues, as well as social scientists and readers concerned with the philosophical foundations of modern culture. Virtue moralist, in particular, will find in Simon one of the profoundest commentators on this tradition in normative ethics. (shrink)
Based on ten years of research, The Touch of the Past considers how historically traumatic events uniquely summon forgetting and remembrance. Within a specific focus on events of systemic mass violence, Roger Simon examines how testimonies of historic events influence learning as communities struggle with "difficult histories." The Touch of the Past is a serious and compelling contribution to research in education, historical consciousness, and memory/trauma studies.
: Ursula Le Guin's "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" (1973), a staple of short fiction anthologies, was inspired by James's "The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life." In Le Guin's moral tale, a devastating bargain causes some citizens of Omelas to reject their apparently utopian community. Although critics have seen this rejection as a Jamesian act of pragmatism and free will, this essay examines the story in the context of "The Moral Philosopher" and other writings by James on (...) pragmatism, its moral consequences, free will, and faith to refute that conclusion. I argue, instead, that James's work suggests responses that reflect his thinking about the limits and meaning of possibility and about sustaining belief in a transcendent force. (shrink)
John Preston has claimed that we must understand Paul Feyerabend's later, post-1970, philosophy in terms of a disappointed Popperianism: that Feyerabend became a sceptical, relativistic, literal anarchist because of his perception of the failure of Popper's philosophy. I argue that this claim cannot be supported and trace the development of Feyerabend's philosophy in terms of a commitment to the central Popperian themes of criticism and critical explanatory progress. This commitment led Feyerabend to reject Popper's specific methodology in favour of a (...) pluralistic methodology, but the commitment to the central values of criticism and critical explanatory progress remained . Moreover, methodological pluralism does not imply scepticism, relativism, or literal anarchism. Feyerabend was not a disappointed Popperian, but, in many respects, a die-hard pluralistic Popperian. (shrink)