A major contribution to Descartes studies, this book provides a panorama of cutting-edge scholarship ranging widely over Descartes's own primary concerns: metaphysics, physics, and its applications. It is at once a tool for scholars and--steering clear of technical Cartesian science--an accessible resource that will delight nonspecialists. The contributors include Edwin Curley, Willis Doney, Alan Gabbey, Daniel Garber, Marjorie Grene, Gary Hatfield, Marleen Rozemond, John Schuster, Dennis Sepper, Stephen Voss, Stephen Wagner, Margaret Welson, Jean Marie Beyssade, Michelle Beyssade, Michel Henry, (...) Evert van Leeuwen, Jean-Luc Marion, Genevieve Rodis-Lewis, and Jean-Pierre Seris. Combining new textual sensitivity with attentiveness to history, they represent the best established scholars and most exciting new voices, including both English speaking and newly-translated writers. Part I examines the foundations of Descartes's philosophy: Cartesian certainty; the phenomenology of the cogito and its modulations in the passions; and the defensibility and comprehensibility of the Cartesian God. The second part examines Descartes's groundbreaking metaphysics: mind's distinctness from and interaction with body; imagination; perception; and language. Part III examines Cartesian science: the revolutionary rhetoric of the Rules and the Discourse; the metaphysical foundations of physics; the interplay of rationalism and empiricism; the mechanics and human biology that flow from Descartes's physics. (shrink)
Formal principals are isolated to reveal a structure embedded in a wide range of studies, each of which partitions a domain of individuals into types and categories. It is thought that any reasonable theory of types should include these principles.
On the basis of observations J. J. C. Smart once made concerning the absurdity of sentences like 'The seat of the bed is hard', a plausible case can be made that there is little point to developing a theory of types, particularly one of the sort envisaged by Fred Sommers. The authors defend such theories against this objection by a partial elucidation of the distinctions between the concepts of spanning and predicability and between category mistakenness and absurdity in general. The (...) argument suggests that further clarification of the concepts of spanning and category mistakenness should be sought in reflection upon the more familiar concepts of a sort of thing and a predicate category. (shrink)
Habitat dioramas depicting ecological relations between organisms and their natural environments have become the preferred mode of museum display in most natural history museums in North America and Europe. Dioramas emerged in the late nineteenth century as an alternative mode of museum installation from taxonomically arranged cases. We suggest that this change was closely connected to the emergence of a biogeographical framework rooted in evolutionary theory and positing the existence of distinct biogeographical zones. We tie the history of dioramas to (...) earlier visual resources such as the thematic images that Wallace introduced to illustrate his 1876 Geographical Distribution of Animals. These images were unique in their time because each of them simultaneously depicted animals from several different taxa, rather than only one, as well as the ecological relations between animals and their habitats. Both, visually and with respect to their function within biogeography, these images presaged the habitat dioramas that came shortly afterwards. Not coincidentally, Wallace explicitly advocated the use of dioramas for museum display in ongoing debates on museum reform. Wallace's suggestions were put into practice by committed evolutionists such as Gottlieb von Koch who pioneered the diorama installation in the Grand Ducal Museum in Darmstadt (Germany) in 1906. As in Wallace's illustrations, Koch's dioramas were designed to respresent biogeographical zones. This paper explores the function of these visual displays of biogeographical relations. It argues that, in both the scientific and public realms, biogeogaphical zones were defined and constructed by visual means; recourse to visual representation was more than a method of communication. (shrink)
The paper argues that two apparently attractive conceptions of an eternal sentence are defective. An alternative conception is presented which the authors think allows greater insight into the nature of semantic concepts.
Drawing on Deleuze's early works of the 1960s, this article investigates the ways in which Deleuze challenges our traditional linguistic notion of sense and notion of truth. Using Frege's account of sense and truth, this article presents our common understanding of sense and truth as two separate dimensions of the proposition where sense subsists only in a formal relation to the other. It then goes on to examine the Kantian account, which makes sense the superior transcendental condition of possibility of (...) truth. Although both accounts define sense as merely the form of possibility of truth, a huge divide cuts across a simple formal logic of sense and a transcendental logic: transcendental logic discovered a certain genetic productivity of sense, such that a proposition always has the kind of truth that it merits according to its sense. In pursuit of this genetic productivity of sense, Deleuze applies different models of explanation: a Nietzschean genealogical model of the genetic power of sense, and in The Logic of Sense a structural model combined with elements of Stoic philosophy. This article follows Deleuze in setting up a new and very complex notion of sense, which he radically distinguishes from what he terms ‘signification’, that is, an extrinsic, linguistic or logical, condition of possibility. Rather, sense has to be conceived as both the effect and the intrinsic genetic element of an extra-propositional sense-producing machine. (shrink)
Usually, humor is not theorized specifically, but identified with the comic and laughter. This paper deals with the internal logic of humorous operations in the context of Freud's writings on humor, in order to make them productive for medial anthropology. Unlike conventional anthropologies, medial anthropology is interested in the ontologizing effects of operations that can be understood in a technical way. Correspondingly, humoresque operations are to be studied anew as techniques of the Dionysian connection of pleasure and reality principle. German (...) Humor wird gemeinhin nicht eigens theoretisiert, sondern umstandslos mit dem Komischen und dem Lachen identifiziert. In diesem Aufsatz geht es darum, die Eigenlogik von humoresken Operationen vor dem Hintergrund von Freuds Auslassungen zum Humor herauszuarbeiten und für eine mediale Anthropologie produktiv zu machen. Im Unterschied zu herkömmlichen Anthropologien interessiert sich eine mediale Anthropologie für die ontologisierenden und wirklichkeitskonstituierenden Effekte technisch zu fassender Operationen. Humoreske Operationen sind entsprechend als Techniken der dionysischen Verschaltung von Lust- und Realitätsprinzip neu zu beleuchten. (shrink)
I propose the hypothesis that our knowledge of our own mental states derives from our knowledge of our intentions, and that our knowledge of our intentions is part of having those intentions. I enumerate various aspects of the question to be answered and various aspects of my answer. The hypothesis begins to explain various aspects of self-knowledge, such as its fallibility and its variability from one kind of mental state to another. Self-knowledge is also grounded in our common antecedent knowledge (...) of the functionalist nature of mental states and the integrity of our mental life and above all mind’s link with action in the world. The hypothesis helps pluck philosophy from the fairy-land of Lockean and Kantian inner sense. (shrink)
Deleuze's theory of time set out in Difference and Repetition is a complex structure of three different syntheses of time – the passive synthesis of the living present, the passive synthesis of the pure past and the static synthesis of the future. This article focuses on Deleuze's third synthesis of time, which seems to be the most obscure part of his tripartite theory, as Deleuze mixes different theoretical concepts drawn from philosophy, Greek drama theory and mathematics. Of central importance is (...) the notion of the cut, which is constitutive of the third synthesis of time defined as an a priori ordered temporal series separated unequally into a before and an after. This article argues that Deleuze develops his ordinal definition of time with recourse to Kant's definition of time as pure and empty form, Hölderlin's notion of ‘caesura’ drawn from his ‘Remarks on Oedipus’ (1803) and Dedekind's method of cuts as developed in his pioneering essay ‘Continuity and Irrational Numbers’ (1872). Deleuze then ties together the conceptions of the Kantian empty form of time and the Nietzschean eternal return, both of which are essentially related to a fractured I or dissolved self. This article aims to assemble the different heterogeneous elements that Deleuze picks up on and to show how the third synthesis of time emerges from this differential multiplicity. (shrink)
: 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)
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 review essay summarizes major themes in Ursula Goodenough’s The Sacred Depths of Nature and in several of her recent shorter publications. I describe her religious naturalism and her effort to craft a global ethic grounded in her penetrating account of nature. I suggest several parallels between Goodenough’s “deep” account of nature and Michael Polanyi’s ideas.
What is the relation between time and change? Does time depend on the mind? Is the present always the same or is it always different? Aristotle tackles these questions in the Physics. In the first book in English exclusively devoted to this discussion, Ursula Coope argues that Aristotle sees time as a universal order within which all changes are related to each other. This interpretation enables her to explain two striking Aristotelian claims: that the now is like a moving (...) thing, and that time depends for its existence on the mind. (shrink)
For many of us, the great scientific discoveries of the modern age--the Big Bang, evolution, quantum physics, relativity--point to an existence that is bleak, devoid of meaning, pointless. But in The Sacred Depths of Nature, eminent biologist Ursula Goodenough shows us that the scientific world view need not be a source of despair. Indeed, it can be a wellspring of solace and hope. This eloquent volume reconciles the modern scientific understanding of reality with our timeless spiritual yearnings for reverence (...) and continuity. Looking at topics such as evolution, emotions, sexuality, and death, Goodenough writes with rich, uncluttered detail about the workings of nature in general and of living creatures in particular. Her luminous clarity makes it possible for even non-scientists to appreciate that the origins of life and the universe are no less meaningful because of our increasingly scientific understanding of them. At the end of each chapter, Goodenough's spiritual reflections respond to the complexity of nature with vibrant emotional intensity and a sense of reverent wonder. A beautifully written celebration of molecular biology with meditations on the spiritual and religious meaning that can be found at the heart of science, this volume makes an important contribution to the ongoing dialog between science and religion. This book will engage anyone who was ever mesmerized--or terrified--by the mysteries of existence. (shrink)
For many of us, the great scientific discoveries of the modern age--the Big Bang, evolution, quantum physics, relativity-- point to an existence that is bleak, devoid of meaning, pointless. But in The Sacred Depths of Nature, eminent biologist Ursula Goodenough shows us that the scientific world view need not be a source of despair. Indeed, it can be a wellspring of solace and hope. This eloquent volume reconciles the modern scientific understanding of reality with our timeless spiritual yearnings for (...) reverence and continuity. Looking at topics such as evolution, emotions, sexuality, and death, Goodenough writes with rich, uncluttered detail about the workings of nature in general and of living creatures in particular. Her luminous clarity makes it possible for even non-scientists to appreciate that the origins of life and the universe are no less meaningful because of our increasingly scientific understanding of them. At the end of each chapter, Goodenough's spiritual reflections respond to the complexity of nature with vibrant emotional intensity and a sense of reverent wonder. A beautifully written celebration of molecular biology with meditations on the spiritual and religious meaning that can be found at the heart of science, this volume makes an important contribution to the ongoing dialog between science and religion. This book will engage anyone who was ever mesmerized--or terrified--by the mysteries of existence. (shrink)
Abstract In this paper, I ask why Aristotle thinks that ethical virtue (rather than mere self-control) is required for practical wisdom. I argue that a satisfactory answer will need to explain why being prone to bad appetites implies a failing of the rational part of the soul. I go on to claim that the self-controlled person does suffer from such a rational failing: a failure to take a specifically rational kind of pleasure in fine action. However, this still leaves a (...) problem: could there not be someone who (unlike the self-controlled person) took the right kind of pleasure in fine action, but who failed to be virtuous on account of bad appetites? If so, would such a person be practically wise but not virtuous? I end with some suggestions about how Aristotle might answer this. (shrink)
This article discusses the question whether or not Cassirer’s philosophical critique of technological use of myth in The Myth of the State implies a revision of his earlier conception and theory of myth as provided by The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms . In the first part, Cassirer’s early theory of myth is compared with other approaches of his time. It is claimed that Cassirer’s early approach to myth has to be understood in terms of a transcendental philosophical approach. In consequence, (...) myth is conceived as a form of cultural consciousness which is constituted by specific symbolic processes. In the second part, the theoretical assumptions underlying Cassirer’s criticism of myth are discussed and compared with his earlier theory. It is argued that there is a strong conceptual and theoretical continuity between Cassirer’s early views on myth as a symbolic form and his later critique of technological use of myth. (shrink)
This paper explores the impact of the concepts of identity and difference on demented persons (especially on persons with Alzheimer's disease). The diagnosis of dementia is often synonymous with the assertion that demented individuals are no longer capable of making reasonable decisions. But rationality is an important aspect of characterizing a person's identity. Hence, this prevailing image of dementia as a loss of self and a change of identity leads to the situation that demented persons represent difference and otherness. Here, (...) the brain and the mind act as the source for difference. The paper discusses several identity concepts with regard to demented persons and the relationship between identity and difference in dementia. This analysis is accompanied by an examination of the current biopolitics of dementia and ageing as biopolitics constitutes the socio-political-medical understanding of dementia. Challenges and possibilities for dementia care will be explored in the context of this complex relationship between theoretical concepts and political, medical, and health-care practices. (shrink)
Social animals are provisioned with pro-social orientations that transcend self-interest. Morality, as used here, describes human versions of such orientations. We explore the evolutionary antecedents of morality in the context of emergentism, giving considerable attention to the biological traits that undergird emergent human forms of mind. We suggest that our moral frames of mind emerge from our primate pro-social capacities, transfigured and valenced by our symbolic languages, cultures, and religions.
In a recent essay review of William R. Newman, Atoms and Alchemy (2006), Ursula Klein defends her position that philosophically informed corpuscularian theories of matter contributed little to the growing knowledge of "reversible reactions" and robust chemical species in the early modern period. Newman responds here by providing further evidence that an experimental, scholastic tradition of alchemy extending well into the Middle Ages had already argued extensively for the persistence of ingredients during processes of "mixture" (e.g. chemical reactions), and (...) that this corpuscular alchemical tradition bore important fruit in the work of early modern chymists such as Daniel Sennert and Robert Boyle. (shrink)
We have several intuitive paradigms of defeating evidence. For example, let E be the fact that Ernie tells me that the notorious pet Precious is a bird. This supports the premise F, that Precious can fly. However, Orna gives me *opposing* evidence. She says that Precious (the same Precious) is a dog. Alternatively, defeating evidence might not oppose Ernie's testimony in that direct way. There might be other ways for it to weaken the support that Ernie's testimony gives me for (...) believing F, without the new evidence itself intuitively constituting reasons to believe one way or the other about Precious's flight ability. An example: Ursula tells me that Ernie has no idea what Precious's species is; he's just guessing. She may not herself want to or be in a position to weigh in about Precious's real species or flight ability. I call defeating evidence of this sort *undermining evidence. (shrink)
This collection presents some of the most vital and original recent writings on Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz, the three greatest rationalists of the early modern period. Their work offered brilliant and distinct integrations of science, morals, metaphysics, and religion, which today remain at the center of philosophical discussion. The essays written especially for this volume explore how these three philosophical systems treated matter, substance, human freedom, natural necessity, knowledge, mind, and consciousness. The contributors include some of the most prominent writers (...) in the field, including Jonathan Bennett, Michael Della Rocca, Jan A. Cover, Catherine Wilson, Stephen Voss, Edwin Curley, Don Garrett, and Margaret D. Wilson. (shrink)
By considering the nature of the relationship between patient and healer, The Healing Bond explores the responsibilities of both, with a special emphasis on the therapeutic responsibility. The editors and contributors examine both orthodox and unorthodox forms of healing practice and apply a variety of professional and analytic perspectives to the medical profession as a whole. They look at specific areas of health such as midwifery, psychoanalysis, naturopathy, the relations between medicine and state, and the appeal of "quacks." Particular issues (...) of current concern are also discussed, including medical litigation, codes of ethics among complementary practitioners and cooperation between orthodox and complementary medicine practitioners. Contributors: Mary Douglas, Calliope Farsides, David Peters, Roy Porter, Richenda Power, Margaret Stacey, Robert Sumerling, and Gillian Vanhegan. (shrink)
: I argue and demonstrate in this essay that interconnected systems of science and technology, or technoscience, existed long before the late nineteenth century, and that eighteenth-century chemistry was such an early form of technoscience. Based on recent historical research on the early development of carbon chemistry from the late 1820s until the 1840s—which revealed that early carbon chemistry was an experimental expert culture that was largely detached from the mundane industrial world—I further examine the question of the internal preconditions (...) within the expert culture of carbon chemistry that contributed to its convergence with the synthetic-dye industry in the late 1850s. I argue that the introduction of new types and techniques of organic-chemical reactions and organic substances in this experimental expert culture, along with the application of chemical formulae as paper tools for modeling reactions as well as the chemical constitution and structure of substances, enabled academic chemists to make specific, novel contributions to chemical technology and industry in the second half of the nineteenth century. (shrink)
The Promise of Religious Naturalism has binocular vision: (1) it offers readers a searching comparative study of several of the leading contemporary exponents of religious naturalism, and (2) it tests the very notion of religious naturalism for its ability to support religious inclinations and moral imperatives in a time of social and ecological disarray. The four religious naturalists Hogue especially focuses upon are Loyal Rue, Jerome Stone, Ursula Goodenough, and Donald Crosby. Hogue ably shows how each of these thinkers (...) employs a religious variation on the common theme of naturalism. He describes his approach as being “appreciatively critical,” but his appreciation seems more evident than his criticism. His .. (shrink)
I argue in the paper that classical chemistry is a science predominantly concerned with material substances, both useful materials and pure chemical substances restricted to scientific laboratory studies. The central epistemological and methodological status of material substances corresponds with the material productivity of classical chemistry and its way of producing experimental traces. I further argue that chemist’s ‘pure substances’ have a history, conceptually and materially, and I follow their conceptual history from the Paracelsian concept of purity to the modern concept (...) of pure stoichiometric compounds. The history of the concept of ‘pure substances’ shows that modern chemists’ concept of purity abstracted from usefulness rather than being opposed to it. Thus modern chemists’ interest in pure chemical substances does not presuppose a concept of pure science. (shrink)
This paper intends to show the connection between the theological, logical and epistemological ideas in Leibniz’s thinking. The paper will focus on the reasons for Leibniz’s fundamental decision to defend the Christian mysteries and his three different strategies for doing so. Each of these strategies is an answer to a particular challenge: to the Socinian who claims that the mysteries are contradictory; to the mechanical philosophy which denies the possibility of the mysteries, and to Spinoza’s parrot argument which demands that (...) we be silent when we have no comprehension. Although he had already worked out his reconciliation of the Christian mysteries with the mechanical philosophy in Mainz around 1670, Leibniz first published it only in 1710 in his Théodicée. (shrink)
Abstract The views of eleven writers who develop a naturalized spirituality, from Baruch Spinoza and George Santayana to Sam Harris, André Comte-Sponville, Ursula Goodenough, and Sharon Welch and others are presented. Then the writer's own theory is developed. This is a pluralistic notion of sacredness, an adjective referring to unmanipulable events of overriding importance. The difficulties in using traditional religious words, such as God and spiritual are addressed.
Zusammenfassung Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede in den Interpretationen von Ludwig und Popper werden aufgezeigt. DaÃ Ã¼berhaupt Unterschiede festzustellen sind, erscheint zunÃ¤chst verwunderlich, da zum einen von verschiedenen Autoren eine enge Korrelation zwischen Interpretationen der Quantenmechanik und Wahrscheinlichkeitsinterpretationen behauptet wird, zum anderen aber Ludwigs Chancengewichtungen als propensities im Sinne Poppers interpretiert werden kÃ¶nnen. Es zeigt sich, daÃ die Unterschiede in den Interpretationen der Quantenmechanik auf Unterschieden in dem jeweils verwendeten wahrscheinlichkeitstheoretischen Formalismus beruhen, die jedoch fÃ¼r die MÃ¶glichkeit, Chancengewichtungen als propensities zu interpretieren, (...) ohne Bedeutung sind. (shrink)
Ursula Klein has argued that Geoffroy’s table of chemical affinities, published in 1718, marked the emergence of the concepts of chemical compound and chemical combination central to chemistry. In this paper her position is summarised and then modified to render it immune to criticism that has been levelled against it. The essentials of Geoffroy’s chemistry are clarified and adapted to Klein’s picture by way of a detailed comparison of it with Boyle’s corpuscular chemistry that proceeded Geoffroy’s by over half (...) a century. The idea that Geoffroy’s notion of chemical combination marked a significant turning point in the emergence of modern chemistry is defended against the charge that it is Whiggish. (shrink)
Zusammenfassung Der nichtdistributive, orthokomplementÃ¤re Verband der Projektionsoperatoren in der Quantenmechanik hat AnlaÃ zu mancherlei Interpretationen gegeben, so z. B. als eine von der klassischen Logik abweichende Quantenlogik, oder man deutete die Projektionsoperatoren als Eigenschaften von Mikroobjekten. Wir glauben, mit dieser Arbeit ein wesentliches Argument fÃ¼r die letztere Interpretation liefern zu kÃ¶nnen.
Zusammenfassung Es wird zu zeigen versucht, daÃ die Unterscheidung logischer und faktischer Wahrheiten nicht gelingen kann, solange nicht zwei Arten von Existenz unterschieden werden, nÃ¤mlich logische Existenz als Widerspruchsfreiheit und faktische als an Ort und Zeit gebundene Existenz. Die VernachlÃ¤ssigung der Bedingungen von Ort und Zeit fÃ¼hrt dazu, daÃ z. B. Leibniz, Frege und Russell die faktische Wahrheit auf die logische zurÃ¼ckfÃ¼hren, was wiederum dadurch begÃ¼nstigt wird, daÃ die genannten Autoren Individuum und Einermenge nicht konsequent unterscheiden.
In light of the growing interest in the relation between Leibniz and Spinoza in recent years, I would like to draw attention to earlier discussions of this topic in Germany and France during the 19th century. Stein and Erdmann argued that Spinoza had an impact on Leibniz. According to their critics Guhrauer, Trendelenburg and Gerhardt in Germany, as well as Foucher de Careil in France, Leibniz studied Spinoza only after the main points of his system were already developed. I will (...) show that the well known thesis about the amazing continuity in Leibniz’ thinking is due to this claim of a general chronological impossibility of any impact of Spinoza on Leibniz. This thesis was then canonized in Mahnke’s book about the young Leibniz and has determined the view of Leibniz since the end of the 19th century. It has only in recent years come to be increasingly challenged. (shrink)
This paper studies the semiotic,epistemological and historical aspects of Berzelianformulas in early nineteenth-century organicchemistry. I argue that Berzelian formulas wereenormously productive `paper tools' for representingchemical reactions of organic substances, and forcreating different pathways of reactions. Moreover, myanalysis of Jean Dumas's application of Berzelianformulas to model the creation of chloral from alcoholand chlorine exemplifies the role played by chemicalformulas in conceptual development (the concept ofsubstitution). Studying the dialectic of chemists'collectively shared goals and tools, I argue thatpaper tools, like laboratory instruments, areresources (...) whose possibilities are not exhausted byscientists' attempts to achieve existing goals, butrather whose applications generate new goals. The term`paper tools' is introduced to emphasize that thepragmatic and syntactic aspects of symbol systems arefully comparable to physical laboratory tools. (shrink)