In this article, the author defends his claim that a subtle form of metaphysical dualism can be found in Alfred North Whitehead's central notion of the "actual occasion." Rosen contends that phenomenological philosophers such as Martin Heidegger go further than Whitehead in challenging traditional dualism.
This paper defends the idea that there might be vagueness or indeterminacy in the world itself--as opposed to merely in our representations of the world--against the charges of incoherence and unintelligibility. First we consider the idea that the world might contain vague properties and relations ; we show that this idea is already implied by certain well-understood views concerning the semantics of vague predicates (most notably the fuzzy view). Next we consider the idea that the world might contain vague objects (...) ; we argue that an object is indeterminate in a certain respect (colour, size, etc.) just in case it is a borderline case of a maximally specific colour (size, etc.) property. Finally we consider the idea that the world as a whole might be indeterminate; we argue that the world is indeterminate just in case it lacks a determinate division into determinate objects. (shrink)
The central thesis of this paper is that contemporary theoretical physics is grounded in philosophical presuppositions that make it difficult to effectively address the problems of subject-object interaction and discontinuity inherent to quantum gravity. The core objectivist assumption implicit in relativity theory and quantum mechanics is uncovered and we see that, in string theory, this assumption leads into contradiction. To address this challenge, a new philosophical foundation is proposed based on the phenomenology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Martin Heidegger. Then, through (...) the application of qualitative topology and hypernumbers, phenomenological ideas about space, time, and dimension are brought into focus so as to provide specific solutions to the problems of force-field generation and unification. The phenomenological string theory that results speaks to the inconclusiveness of conventional string theory and resolves its core contradiction. (shrink)
This paper addresses a central question of contemporary theoretical physics: Can a unified account be provided for the known forces of nature? The issue is brought into focus by considering the recently revived Kaluza-Klein approach to unification, a program entailing dimensional transformation through cosmogony. First it is demonstrated that, in a certain sense, revitalized Kaluza-Klein theory appears to undermine the intuitive foundations of mathematical physics, but that this implicit consequence has been repressed at a substantial cost. A fundamental reformulation of (...) the Kaluza-Klein strategy is then undertaken, one that casts it within a new intuitive context. This is followed by a provisional application of the suggested approach to the specific problem of cosmic evolution. The paper concludes by exploring the far-reaching epistemological implications of the "neo-intuitive" proposal set forth. (shrink)
Recursion or self-reference is a key feature of contemporary research and writing in semiotics. The paper begins by focusing on the role of recursion in poststructuralism. It is suggested that much of what passes for recursion in this field is in fact not recursive all the way down. After the paradoxical meaning of radical recursion is adumbrated, topology is employed to provide some examples. The properties of the Moebius strip prove helpful in bringing out the dialectical nature of radical recursion. (...) The Moebius is employed to explore the recursive interplay of terms that are classically regarded as binary opposites: identity and difference, object and subject, continuity and discontinuity, etc. To realize radical recursion in an even more concrete manner, a higher-dimensional counterpart of the Moebius strip is utilized, namely, the Klein bottle. The presentation concludes by enlisting phenomenological philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s concept of depth to interpret the Klein bottle’s extra dimension. (shrink)
This essay is written at the crossroads of intuitive holism, as typified in Eastern thought, and the discursive reflectiveness more characteristic of the West. The point of departure is the age-old human need to overcome fragmentation and realize wholeness. Three basic tasks are set forth: to provide some new insight into the underlying obstacle to wholeness, to show what would be necessary for surmounting this blockage, and to take a concrete step in that direction. At the outset, the question of (...) paradox is addressed, examined in relation to Zen meditation, the problem of language, and the thinking of Heidegger. Wholeness is to be realized through paradox, and it is shown that a complete realization requires that paradox be embodied. Drawing from the fields of visual geometry and qualitative mathematics, three concrete models of paradox are offered: the Necker cube, the Moebius surface, and the Klein bottle. In attempting to model wholeness, an important limitation is recognized: a model is a symbolic representation that maintains the division between the reality represented and the act of symbolizing that reality. It is demonstrated that while the first two models are subject to this limitation, the Klein bottle, possessing higher dimensionality, can express wholeness more completely, provided that it is approached in a radically nonclassical way. The final question of this essay concerns its own capability as an essay. It is asked whether the present text is restricted to affording a mere abstract reflection on wholeness, or whether wholeness can tangibly be delivered. (shrink)
This essay offers a broad historical exploration of the apeiron, the ancient principle of boundlessness and indeterminacy first brought to light by Anaximander in the 6th century BCE. Early Greek philosophy’s struggle with the apeiron and apeiron’s subsequent repression during the Renaissance and Enlightenment are noted. In the nineteenth century, apeiron is resurgent in science, art, and other fields—only to be repressed again with the early twentieth century rise of modernism. But with modernism's collapse into postmodernism, once again the apeiron (...) comes to the fore. The conclusion reached is that the apeiron can be effectively contained only by consciously acknowledging and accepting it as part of the process of individuation. (shrink)
This article explores the evolution of human attention, focusing particularly on the phylogenetic and ontogenetic implications of the work of the American social psychiatrist Trigant Burrow. Attentional development is linked to the emergence of visual perspective, and this, in turn, is related to Burrow's notion of `ditention' (divided or partitive attention). Burrow's distinction between `ditention' and `cotention' (total organismic awareness) is examined, and, expanding on this, a threefold pattern of perceptual change is identified: prototention-->ditention-->cotention. Next, ditentive visual perspective is related (...) to binocular convergence, and the author makes use of the perspectivally ambiguous, `non-convergent' Gestalt figure known as the Necker Cube to illustrate cotention. The paper concludes by proposing that the shift from the currently pervasive ditentive pattern of awareness to a cotentive mode could have a salutary effect on human society. (shrink)
This paper explores the meaning of time from three points of view: (1) David Bohm’s concepts of ‘vertical implicate order’ and ‘holomovement’; (2) Alfred North Whitehead’s idea of the ‘actual occasion’; and (3) the author’s notion of ‘nondual duality.’ The author argues that Bohm and Whitehead alike implicitly divide time into dual and nondual aspects and that, in failing to adequately reconcile these, time, in effect, is denied. The alternative offered seeks to thoroughly integrate dual and nondual (holistic) modalities in (...) the understanding that time as becoming entails a dynamic interpenetration of its opposing aspects. Visual geometry and topology are employed to flesh out the "nondual duality" of temporal structure. (shrink)
What motivates a polemic like Felicia Ackerman's Philosophy of Hospice? Ackerman announces that in addition to analyzing and criticizing hospice principles as embodied in the National Hospice Organization's her article will also present ” She presents, in fact, two examples of hospice practice: one is a dubious anecdote, the meaning of which she apparently misunderstands, and the second is a description of a twenty-year-old policy of St. Christopher's Hospice in England, which, I believe, is no longer strictly adhered to.
A dialectical, double-aspect model of general interaction is proposed as a means of visualizing existence. It is constructed from observation of the transformational properties of the Moebius surface, with hyperdimensional extrapolation to the Klein bottle. The interaction of systems is viewed as a process of circumversion (i.e. turning inside-out) whereby systems exchange relations, become mutually negated, then exchange identities. Interaction is discussed in the context of the PCT problem, symmetry, creation-annihilation, and uncertainty.
The violation of parity in weak interactions demonstrated in 1956 was an event that shook the foundations of physics. Since that time, the status of physical symmetry has been very much in doubt. The problem is presently addressed by first examining the essential relation between symmetry and asymmetry. Then, through the medium of qualitative mathematics, an attempt is made to show how these opposites may be fused in a topological structure expressing a new principle, that of "synsymmetry".
The basic thesis is that the problem of infinity underlies the current dilemma in modern theoretical physics. The traditional and set-theoretic conceptions of infinity are considered. It is demonstrated that standard mathematical analysis is dependent on the complete relativity of the infinite. In examining the domains of modern physics, infinity is found to lose its entirely relative character and, therefore, to be less amenable to classical analysis. Complementary aspects of microworld infinity are identified and are associated with the equivalent features (...) (inertial and gravitational mass) of Einstein's macroworld theory. The persisting effort to treat essentially non-classical phenomena in classical terms is critically discussed. A new attitude toward the infinite is recommended, one that might lead to establishing a second principle of the relativity of the infinite. The prospect for implementing the suggested approach through a "trans-analytic" meta-theory of dimensional generation is briefly entertained. (shrink)
Most recent discussions of John Stuart Mill’s System of Logic (1843) neglect the fifth book concerned with logical fallacies. Mill not only follows the revival of interest in the traditional Aristotelian doctrine of fallacies in Richard Whately and Augustus De Morgan, but he also develops new categories and an original analysis which enhance the study of fallacies within the context of what he calls ‘the philosophy of error’. After an exploration of this approach, the essay relates the philosophy of error (...) to the discussion of truth and error in chapter two of On Liberty (1859) concerned with freedom of thought and discussion. Drawing on Socratic and Baconian perspectives, Mill defends both the traditional study of logic against Jevons, Boole, De Morgan, and others, as well as the study of fallacies as the key to maintaining truth and its dissemination in numerous fields, such as science, morality, politics, and religion. In Mill’s view the study of fallacies also liberates ordinary people to explore the truth and falsity of ideas and, as such, to participate in society and politics and develop themselves as progressive beings. (shrink)
A paradoxical feature of Weber's law is considered. The law presumably states a principle of psychophysical relativity, yet a pre-relativistic physical measurement model has been traditionally employed. Classical physics, Einsteinian relativity, and a newer interpretation of the relativity concept are discussed. Their relation to psychophysics is examined. The domain wherein Weber's law breaks down is noted as suggestively similar to that in which physicists report relativistic effects. A tentative hypothesis is offered to stimulate further thought about a more meaningful integration (...) of psychophysics with modern physical science. (shrink)
This paper examines the interplay of changelessness and change, being and becoming, from an historical and dialectical standpoint. Topological paradox is employed to elucidate the dynamic interweaving of these ontological opposites. The essay concludes by exploring the relevance of the dialectic to question of human freedom.
The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) paradox and the correlated states it introduced comprise one of the central interpretive problems of quantum mechanics. Because of the apparent nonlocal character of this paradox, it should be given a relativistic treatment. The purpose of this paper is to provide such a treatment.
Descartes' place in history, by L. J. Lafleur.--A central ambiguity in Descartes, by S. Rosen.--Doubt, common sense and affirmation in Descartes and Hume, by H. J. Allen.--Some remarks on logic and the cogito, by R. N. Beck.--The cogito, an ambiguous performance, by J. B. Wilbur.--The modalities of Descartes' proofs for the existence of God, by B. Magnus.--Descartes and the phenomenological problem of the embodiment of consciousness, by J. M. Edie.--The person and his body: critique of existentialist responses to Descartes, (...) by P. A. Bertocci. (shrink)
This, the twenty-seventh volume in the annual series of publications by the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy, features a number of distinguised contributors addressing the topic of criminal justice. Part I considers "The Moral and Metaphysical Sources of the Criminal Law," with contributions by Michael S. Moore, Lawrence Rosen, and Martin Shapiro. The four chapters in Part II all relate, more or less directly, to the issue of retribution, with papers by Hugo Adam Bedau, Michael Davis, Jeffrie (...) G. Murphy, and R. B. Brandt. In the following part, Dennis F. Thompson, Christopher D. Stone, and Susan Wolf deal with the special problem of criminal responsibility in government-one of great importance in modern society. The fourth and final part, echoing the topic of NOMOS XXIV, Ethics, Economics, and the Law , addresses the economic theory of crime. The section includes contributions by Alvin K. Klevorick, Richard A. Posner, Jules L. Coleman, and Stephen J. Schulhofer. A valuable bibiography on criminal justice by Andrew C. Blanar concludes this volume of NOMOS. (shrink)
David Bohm, Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics at Birkbeck College of the University of London and Fellow of the Royal Society, died of a heart attack on October 29, 1992 at the age of 74. Professor Bohm had been one of the world’s leading authorities on quantum theory and its interpretation for more than four decades. His contributions have been critical to all aspects of the ﬁeld. He also made seminal contributions to plasma physics. His name appears prominently in the (...) modern physics literature, through the Aharonov- Bohm eﬀect , the Bohm-EPR experiment , the Bohm-Pines collective description of particle interactions (random phase approximation), Bohm diﬀusion and the Bohm causal interpretation of quantum mechanics, also sometimes called the de Broglie-Bohm pilot wave theory. David Bohm was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on December 20, 1917. A student of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Bohm received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1943. In 1950 he completed the ﬁrst of his six books, Quantum Theory, which became the deﬁnitive exposition of the orthodox (Copenhagen) interpretation of quantum mechanics. Here Bohm presented his reformulation of the paradox of Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen. It is this Bohm version of EPR which has provided the basis for the enormous expansion of research on the foundations of quantum theory, focusing on nonlocality and the possible incompleteness of the quantum description (the question of “hidden variables”), which has occurred during the past several decades. (shrink)