We present select examples of how visual phenomena can serve as tools to uncoverbrain mechanisms. Specifically, receptive field organization is proposed as a Gestalt-like neural mechanism of perceptual organization. Appropriate phenomena, such as brightness and orientation contrast, subjective contours, filling-in, and aperture-viewed motion, allow for a quantitative comparison between receptive fields and their psychophysical counterparts, perceptive fields. Phenomenology might thus be extended from the study of perceptual qualities to their transphenomenal substrates, including memory functions. In conclusion, classic issues of Gestalt (...) psychology can now be related to modern. (shrink)
In past and modern psychophysics there are several unresolved methodological and philosophical problems of human and animal perception, including the outstanding question of the relational basis of whole psychophysics. Here the main issue is discussed: if, and to what extent, there are viable bridges between the traditional “gestalt” oriented approaches and the modern perceptual-cognitive perspectives in psychophysics. Thereby the key concept of psychological “frame of reference” is presented by pointing to Hermann Ebbinghaus' geometric-optical illusions, on the one hand, and Max (...) Wertheimer's treatment of the traditional transposition phenomenon, on the other hand. A much-needed theoretical reorientation of future research may help to overcome the philosophical narrowness of present-day human and comparative psychophysics. (shrink)
This article provides a summary overview of the ideas on medical anthropology and anthropological medicine of the German philosopher-psychiatrist Viktor Emil von Gebsattel (1883–1974), and discusses in more detail his views on the doctor-patient relationship. It is argued that Von Gebsattel''s warning against a dehumanization of medicine when the person of both patient and physician are not explicitly present in their relationship remains valid notwithstanding the modern emphasis on respect for patient (and provider) autonomy.
German dialect geography developed, inter alia, as a means to compensate the shortcomings of the Young Grammarians' approach to language. In contrast to the latter, it was conceived of to be a sociolinguistic project, constituting thereby one link between the development of Soviet and German linguistics. The article tries to answer such questions as who initially participated in transferring ideas of German dialectology to the Soviet Union and what kind of motivations underlay those transfers. Combining biographical facts with systematic aspects, (...) the article surveys the filiations of some productive ideas with the help of archival sources, i.e. letters of the Soviet scholars Dinges (1891-1932) and Viktor Žirmunskij (1891-1971). Finally, I try to single out the elements in Žirmunskij dialect geography, which are specifically sociolinguistic. (shrink)
Viktor Hamburger was a developmental biologist interested in the ontogenesis of the vertebrate nervous system. A student of Hans Spemann at Freiburg in the 1920s, Hamburger picked up a holistic view of the embryo that precluded him from treating it in a reductionist way; at the same time, he was committed to a materialist and analytical approach that eschewed any form of vitalism or metaphysics. This paper explores how Hamburger walked this thin line between mechanistic reductionism and metaphysical vitalism (...) in light of his work on the factors influencing growth of neurons into limb buds, and the discovery of nerve growth factor, work carried out with Rita Levi-Montalcini and Stanley Cohen. (shrink)
A careful reading of Harvey C. Mansfield's Manlines s (2006) and the recent translation (2007) of Daniel Tanguay's Leo Strauss; une biographie intellectuelle (2003) reveals that neither text supports the view that Leo Strauss was a harmless if qualified friend of liberal democracy. Key Words: Leo Strauss • Straussians • Nietzsche • Carl Schmitt • Heidegger • National Socialism • Liberalism • Redlichkeit • Hobbes • Hegel • Viktor Trivas.
In contemporary philosophy, the will is often regarded as a sheer philosophical fiction. In Will as Commitment and Resolve , Davenport argues not only that the will is the central power of human agency that makes decisions and forms intentions but also that it includes the capacity to generate new motivation different in structure from prepurposive desires. The concept of "projective motivation" is the central innovation in Davenport's existential account of the everyday notion of striving will. Beginning with the contrast (...) between "eastern" and "western" attitudes toward assertive willing, Davenport traces the lineage of the idea of projective motivation from NeoPlatonic and Christian conceptions of divine motivation to Scotus, Kant, Marx, Arendt, and Levinas. Rich with historical detail, this book includes an extended examination of Platonic and Aristotelian eudaimonist theories of human motivation. Drawing on contemporary critiques of egoism, Davenport argues that happiness is primarily a byproduct of activities and pursuits aimed at other agent-transcending goods for their own sake. In particular, the motives involved in virtue and in its practice as understood by Alasdair MacIntyre are projective rather than eudaimonist. This theory is supported by analyses of radical evil, accounts of intrinsic motivation in existential psychology, and contemporary theories of identity-forming commitment in analytic moral psychology. Following Viktor Frankl, Joseph Raz, and others, Davenport argues that Harry Frankfurt's conception of caring requires objective values worth caring about, which serve as rational grounds for projecting new final ends. The argument concludes with a taxonomy of values or goods, devotion to which can make life meaningful for us. (shrink)
I take the APA publication A Spiritual Strategy for Counseling and Psychotherapy (Richards and Bergin 2005), along with a devoted issue of Journal of Psychology and Theology (Nelson and Slife 2006), as a paradigmatic example of a trend. Other instances include the uncritical use of "Eastern" philosophy in Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology, almost normative appeal to the "Sacred" within the psychology of spirituality, talk of "God in the brain" within neurological research, the neologism entheogen referring to psychedelic drugs, and calls (...) for new specializations such as neurotheology and theobiology. In response to the legitimate ethical requirements of respect and openness regarding clients' religious worldviews, the trend is to make God an essential component in psychological theory. The argument is that God is active in the universe and especially in human affairs to such an extent that any accurate account of strictly psychological matters, not just a comprehensive, interdisciplinary purview that could include a distinct theological dimension, must include God as an explanatory factor. Less nuanced than standard theological thought about divine intervention—including a range of opinions from supernaturalism, to occasionalism, to providential and deistic naturalism—this trend would blur the epistemological differences between religion and science by appeal to claimed knowledge sources such as inspiration and revelation and thus undermine the achievements of evidence-based science and establish particularistic religious beliefs as standard explanatory accounts. The concern to include a spiritual, in contrast to a religious or theist, dimension in psychological theory is welcome; but elaborated approaches, such as my own and those of Roberto Assagioli, Viktor Frankl, and Ken Wilber, open to varied theological applications, already exist. (shrink)
In this paper I investigate how philosophy can speak for children and how children can have a voice in philosophy and speak for philosophy. I argue that we should understand children as responsible rational individuals who are involved in their own philosophical inquiries and who can be involved in our own philosophical investigations—not because of their rational abilities, but because we acknowledge them as conversational partners, acknowledge their reasons as reasons, and speak for them as well as let them speak (...) for us and our rational community. In order to argue this I turn, first, to Gareth Matthews' philosophy of childhood and suggest a reconstruction of some of his concepts in line with the philosophy of Stanley Cavell. Second, in order to examine more closely our conceptions of rationality and our pictures of children, I consider the children's books, The Lorax and Where is My Sister? and Henrik Ibsen's play, The Wild Duck. (shrink)
What is the meaning of perestrojka? There is no doubt that it led to the end of the Cold War and had a huge impact on the international situation. Nevertheless, there is no consensus as to the outcomes of perestrojka. Perestrojka brought about the collapse of the Soviet Union. This fact might be interpreted positively: it opened the possibility to restore historical truth and to create independent democratic states. From another perspective, it can be conceived negatively as a destruction of (...) the integrity of the Soviet Union and the loss of a part of the territory as well as the economy of Russia (according to the President of the Gorbačev Foundation, Viktor Kuvaldin, during the conference “Revisiting Perestroika—Processes and Alternatives”). Perestrojka has no one definite general meaning, but it has a very specific one for Lithuania. In this paper I ask: What is the meaning of perestrojka for contemporary Lithuania and for post-Soviet life? Was perestrojka a failure or a success? I approach perestrojka from a moral point of view, suggesting that the perestrojka made possible a fundamental choice between several alternatives. Once the choice was made the specificity of future goals and evaluation of the past opened up. I concentrate on the moral value of the act of accommodation (and resistance) to the Soviet regime, on the conflict of values represented by the “nation’s own” and the goodness of the political order, and on the role of freedom and determinism in history. Immanuel Kant’s conception of duty and the categorical imperative is used as a model for the analysis of the situation of choice. (shrink)
This paper shows the relevance of hermeneutic philosophy to understand how infocommunication technologies frame our contemporary lifeworld. It demonstrates that the programming languages are the result of collective interpretations of the general lifeworld of programmers, management and political decision-makers. By having been inscribed into the processes of language use, this general interpretation permeates the particular practices of understanding that are possible within the language framework.
Though the rationality postulate is generally considered the paradigmatic core of economics, there is little agreement about its specific content and methodological status. This paper seeks to clarify some of the ambiguity surrounding the postulate by drawing a distinction between the non?refutable, purely heuristic rationality principle and refutable rationality hypotheses. An alternative, evolutionary outlook at purposeful human behavior is outlined that captures much of what makes the rationality postulate attractive to economists but avoids the ambiguities that have made it the (...) subject of enduring controversy. (shrink)
This essay proposes going beyond the difference between literary writing and new communication technologies. This appears to be possible by using a genealogical perspective that can recognize the underlying relationships between communication strategies that on the surface seem different. For this, it is necessary to identify the remote and unexpected ascendancies of diverse languages at a moment when the various media express themselves in an increasingly similar style. Even literary language should be considered a medium that shapes and models reality, (...) using codes that are anthropological before they are aesthetic. As Viktor Shklovsky, Italo Calvino, and Paolo Fabbri have shown, literary language explores reality by revealing its incompleteness. On the contrary, ordinary language is confined to that incompleteness with its standard lexicon that would claim to enclose reality within a net of pre-established recurrences. Il saggio invita ad andare oltre il divario esistente tra scrittura letteraria e nuove tecnologie della comunicazione . Questo appare possibile attraverso una prospettiva genealogica che sappia riconoscere le relazioni sotterranee che si stabiliscono tra strategie comunicative che in superficie appaiono diverse. Per questo occorre riconoscere le ascendenze remote e inaspettate dei diversi linguaggi in un momento in cui i vari media si esprimono in maniera sempre più intrecciata. Anche il linguaggio letterario va considerato come un medium che foggia e plasma la realtà utilizzando codici che sono antropologici prima ancora che essere estetici. Come hanno mostrato sia pure in maniera diversa Viktor Šklovskij, Italo Calvino e Paolo Fabbri, il linguaggio letterario esplora la realtà, rivelandone l’incompiutezza alla quale è inchiodato il linguaggio ordinario: quel lessico usuale che pretenderebbe di racchiudere la realtà entro una griglia di ricorrenze prestabilite. (shrink)
Dieser Artikel beruht auf meinem Vortrag Ã¼ber âOrigin and Development of the Phenomenological Kinetics as an Important Part of Physical Chemistry: 19thâ20th Centuries auf dem XIXth International Congress of History of Science (Zaragoza, Spain), 1993. In dieser Abhandlung wurden die Entstehung und Entwicklung der phÃ¤nomenologischen chemischen Kinetik vom 19. bis zum Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts aufgrund der von mir frÃ¼her entwickelten Methode der Erforschung des geschichtlichen Prozesses der Chemie analysiert. Die historische Analyse wurde mit den verschiedenen Reaktionsmodellen verknÃ¼pft, die den (...) wichtigsten kinetischen Theorien als Grundlage gedient hatten. Es wurde auch eine neue Definition der phÃ¤nomenologischen chemischen Kinetik vorgeschlagen. Sie wird als Lehre von der Reaktionsgeschwindigkeit betrachtet und durch die Verwendung physikalischer Modelle der kinetischen Gastheorie interpretiert. (shrink)
In spite of the analogies between Q p and F p ((t)) which became evident through the work of Ax and Kochen, an adaptation of the complete recursive axiom system given by them for Q p to the case of F p ((t)) does not render a complete axiom system. We show the independence of elementary properties which express the action of additive polynomials as maps on F p ((t)). We formulate an elementary property expressing this action and show that (...) it holds for all maximal valued fields. We also derive an example of a rather simple immediate valued function field over a henselian defectless ground field which is not a henselian rational function field. This example is of special interest in connection with the open problem of local uniformization in positive characteristic. (shrink)
Among others we will prove that the equational theory of ω dimensional representable polyadic equality algebras (RPEA ω 's) is not schema axiomatizable. This result is in interesting contrast with the Daigneault-Monk representation theorem, which states that the class of representable polyadic algebras is finite schema-axiomatizable (and hence the equational theory of this class is finite schema-axiomatizable, as well). We will also show that the complexity of the equational theory of RPEA ω is also extremely high in the recursion theoretic (...) sense. Finally, comparing the present negative results with the positive results of Ildiko Sain and Viktor Gyuris , the following methodological conclusions will be drawn: The negative properties of polyadic (equality) algebras can be removed by switching from what we call the "polyadic algebraic paradigm" to the "cylindric algebraic paradigm". (shrink)
Existentialism, 2/e, offers an exceptional and accessible introduction to the richness and diversity of existentialist thought. Retaining the focus of the highly successful first edition, the second edition provides extensive material on the "big four" existentialists--Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre--while also including selections from twenty-four other authors. Giving readers a sense of the variety of existentialist thought around the world, this edition also adds new readings by such figures as Luis Borges, Viktor Frankl, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Keiji Nishitani, and (...) Rainer Maria Rilke. Existentialism, 2/e, also features: New translations of Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Buber More extensive selections from Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre New selections by Hazel E. Barnes, Miguel de Unamuno, Joseph Heller, Philip Roth, and Colin Wilson The Grand Inquisitor (from Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov) Ideal for undergraduate courses in existentialism and Continental philosophy, Existentialism, 2/e, is fascinating reading for anyone interested in the subject. (shrink)
An argument to love is a verbal construction, containing appeal to human emotions and feelings. According to philosophical and rhetoric traditions, the argument is a very important means of convincing and (or) persuasion and value’scommunication. The argument to love bases on optimum internal unity of authority (and an argument to authority), good, friendship, beauty and desire of human. The argument to love demands, at least, a minimal positive value audience’s reaction to itself. An audience response to an argument to love (...) is in direct proportion to its verbal expression. The argument to love depends on common world-view, national mentality as well as on an intellectual tradition where we are. (shrink)