Russian philosophy of the 19th century was developing in close contact with European philosophy. The strongest influence on Russian thought was exerted by classical German philosophy. One significant example is the teaching of Vladimir Solovyov, an outstanding 19th century thinker. Solovyov owes several principles of his teaching to Friedrich Schelling, from whom he assimilated his cardinal concept of all-embracing being; also to Schelling we can trace Solovyov’s conviction that the will constitutes the determining principle of being as well as (...) his conception of the suffering and developing God. Finally, it was largely through Schelling’s influence that Solovyov shaped his cosmogonic theory associated with his sophiology, based on the thesis of the falling away from God of His ‘Alter Ego’, His ‘Prototype’. According to Solovyov, ‘the Second God’, or Sophia-Wisdom, is God-Made-Man, the Absolute coming into being, whose life underlies the substance of historical process. (shrink)
This article states that the concept of time we generally hold is a spatial version of time. However, a spatial time concept creates a series of problems, with unfortunate consequences for education. The problems become particularly obvious when the spatial time concept is used as a basis for the education function that is connected to the individuality of the pupils. In order to examine this problem more closely, the article turns to literature in order to get a new and different (...) insight into education. In part four of the novel Ada or Ardor: A family chronicle (1969) the Russian-American author Vladimir Nabokov claims, by way of the protagonist Van Veen, that a spatial notion of time will lead to a determinate and reduced view of the future. Not only does one in this way sweep the very notion of time under the carpet, but one will moreover hinder the possibility of appearing as a unique and individualised person. Van is preoccupied with a pedagogic question: viz., the question of how one can become individualised through time. This is also the reason he attempts to re-create a time concept that can give him the status of a free and independent individual. With a background in Van's analysis of time, the article attempts to derive two forms for education. First, formal education, which bases itself on a spatial time concept. Secondly, non-formal education, which bases itself on a time concept that has freed itself in the greatest possible manner from space. Neither of these two solutions is appropriate in regard to education's individualising function. Therefore, the article draws on Nabokov's best-known novel, Lolita (1955), so as to broaden Van's understanding of time. In the end, then, the article articulates a time concept that introduces a notion of education where time occurs through acts of responsibility. Not until education has such a time concept as a basis, can one, so the article argues, attain the education function that has as its goal to individualise and make responsible children and young people. (shrink)
From the 1890s on, the atheist philosopher F. Nietzsche exerted a profound and enduring impact on Russian religious, cultural, and social reality. The religious philosopher V.S. Solov'ëv perceived Nietzsche's thought as an actual threat to Russian religious consciousness and his own anthropological ideal of Divine Humanity. He was especially preoccupied with the idea of the Übermensch since sometwo decades before the Nietzschean Übermensch was popularized in Russia, Solov'ëv had already developed his own interpretation of the sverkhchelovek.
In this article, I examine the issue of forgiveness of oneself by looking at the writings of two postwar French philosophers: Georges Gusdorf and Vladimir Jankélévitch. Gusdorf believes that forgiving oneself is necessary for being able to forgive others. On the other hand, Jankélévitch sees no possibility of forgiveness for oneself and for similar reasons is very suspicious of traditional views of the role accorded to repenting and penitence. In short, the main view that separates the thinkers is, quite (...) literally, whether work on oneself—such as repentance and penitence—comes first before forgiveness, or whether repentance and penitence are the result of some prior gracious act, such as forgiveness. Somewhat ironically, their views, when all is said and done, may not really be all that far apart from each other, especially in light of how each views the nature of the self. In the end, the main factor dividing the two thinkers is metaphysical allegiances. Reflecting a tendency that is shown in most—if not all—of his early works, Gusdorf views the self more from the perspective of anthropology. Jankélévitch, like his mentor Henri Bergson, has faith in science and does not have a supernatural view of the human soul. (shrink)
I attempt to clarify the connection between two late texts by V.S. Solov''ëv: Justification of the Good and Theoretical Philosophy. Solov''ëv drew attention to the intrinsic connection between moral and intellectual virtues. Theoretical Philosophy is the initial -- unfinished -- sketch of the dynamism of mind seeking truth as a good. I sketch several parallels and analogies between the doctrine of moral experience set out in Justification and the account of the intellect''s dynamism based on immediate certitude set out in (...) Theoretical Philosophy. Solov''ëv can thus be considered as a virtue epistemologist in the current meaning given to this description. I conclude by suggesting that Solov''ëv''s position on these questions does not easily cohere with the impersonalism he appears to defend in Theoretical Philosophy. (shrink)
I recall that Solov''ëv wasRussia''s first professional philosopher andpresent the most important currents andconcepts of his many-sided theoretical edifice.Solov''ëv conceived philosophy in a verybroad sense of the term, for which reason histhinking comprises metaphysics no less thantheology, ecclesiology, history, and sociology.I show how Solov''ëv sought constantly to bringthese diverse elements into agreement with oneanother for the sake of a consistent systematicproject, how he attempted to synthesizenumerous oppositions (including patriotism anduniversalism, humanism and theocentrism).
In this narrative analysis oftwo Soviet dissertations in philosophy Idiscuss the role of Solov'ëv as one of themajor characters in the Soviet academicnarration of Russian philosophy: I show how theauthors (Turenko and Spirov) cope with thenecessity of criticizing Solov'ëv from theMarxist position and protect him from Westernscholars as the latter attempted to reviseRussian philosophy. I also discuss the way inwhich this requirement both to criticize andprotect is represented in the dissertations inwhich the strong Marxist posture and loyalty tocommunist doctrine corresponded (...) to the authors'belief that Solov'ëv was a greatphilosopher who made mistakes, although hisphilosophy remains a part of Russia's culturalheritage. The main conclusion is that in spiteof their vision of the world as split into thecommunist and bourgeois camps, both authors tryto avoid straightforward Manichean assessmentsand, in 60s and 70s, were keen to find as manypositive elements in Solov'ëv's philosophyas possible. (shrink)
In the article I presentSolov'ëv's views on the national question(including the so-called Polish question)presented in his writings of the 1880s. Thequestion involved uniting the Churches as wellas Russia's specific mission in building thefuture Kingdom of God. Solov'ëv's position,according to which individual nations acquire aconcrete place in the course of mankind'sexistence, was subjected to criticism by thePolish historian Stanisaw Tarnowski. Thiscontributed to an interesting discussion andpolemic between the two thinkers that tookplace on the pages of the journal PrzegldPolski (The Polish Review).
Newman and Soloviev -- The influences of Tolstoy and Tchadaiev -- Early influences -- Soloviev as professor -- Soloviev as writer -- Soloviev as logician -- Soloviev as moralist -- The beginning of Soloviev's work as a theologian -- Soloviev's development as a theologian-questions put to the Russian hierarchy-his relations with Mgr. Strossmayer -- The conclusions of Soloviev the theologian -- Soloviev's asceticism.
One of the most powerful tendencies of the World scientific thought development of XIX – the first half of XX century was analysing all sorts of knowledge, accumulated by mankind in the form of universal synthetic system combining science, religion and philosophy into the Universal Sphere of Knowledge that gives the humanity the possibility to achieve a new deeper level of understanding the reality. By the founder of the Classical Russian Systematic School of Philosophy (according to me – A.Sh.) V.S.Soloviev (...) - for the first time in history - the Idea of the Universal Sphere of Knowledge which is depicted by the Greek term Θεω-Σοφιαwas descriptively defined. The followers of V.S. Soloviev’s school in the middle of XIX – the beginning of XX century worked out many aspects of the Concept of Ontological Synthesis of dispersed Spheres of knowledge, among which the Philosophy is an important and homogeneous part of synthesis of Science and Theology. This Spheres of Knowledge look different and it was aggravated in the course of historically developed separation of their methods, spheres ofexperience and types of thinking. Nevertheless to find the new ways to reach the new level of knowledge for the mankind they must be concentrated on the investigation of the Absolute Elements of the World : TrulyExisting [Λογος] (suprasystematic Element) in its real manifestation. The main (or the basic) method of knowledge is the inner experience of mystic origin. The findings of Russian Philosophers are confirmed by the studies of scientific methods which made it possible to achieve great staggering discoveries and inventions which will for a long time remain mysterious for the majority of human beings. (shrink)
I attempt to clarify the connection between two late texts by V.S. Solov'Ã«v: Justification of the Good and Theoretical Philosophy. Solov'Ã«v drew attention to the intrinsic connection between moral and intellectual virtues. Theoretical Philosophy is the initial -- unfinished -- sketch of the dynamism of mind seeking truth as a good. I sketch several parallels and analogies between the doctrine of moral experience set out in Justification and the account of the intellect's dynamism based on immediate certitude set out in (...) Theoretical Philosophy. Solov'Ã«v can thus be considered as a âvirtue epistemologistâ in the current meaning given to this description. I conclude by suggesting that Solov'Ã«v's position on these questions does not easily cohere with the âimpersonalismâ he appears to defend in Theoretical Philosophy. (shrink)
This book is an introduction to philosophy of sex. The history of philosophy of sex is depicted (from Plato to Herman Schmitz) to set up the background against which the philosophy of sex by Herman Schmitz is analyzed. This leads to the discussion of topics like masturbation, the ontology of the sexed human body, and same-sex marriage.
Russian Orthodoxy during the twentieth century presented a rich and varied body of thought about the nature of humanity and the human condition. This article surveys the major thinkers within this tradition, beginning with its background in the Slavophile movement and culminating in the work of more recent Orthodox thinkers such as Sergei Bulgakov, Georges Florovsky, Vladimir Lossky, and Alexander Schmemann.
Up until fairly recently it was philosophical orthodoxy – at least within analytic aesthetics broadly construed – to hold that the appreciation and evaluation of works as art and moral considerations pertaining to them are conceptually distinct. However, following on from the idea that artistic value is broader than aesthetic value, the last 15 years has seen an explosion of interest in exploring possible inter-relations between the appreciative and ethical character of works as art. Consideration of these issues has a (...) distinguished philosophical history but as the Compass survey article suggests ('Art, Morality and Ethics: On the (Im)Moral Character of Art Works and Inter-Relations to Artistic Value.' Philosophy Compass 1.2 (2006): 129–43), it is only very recently that figures in the field have returned to it to develop more precisely what they take the relationships to be and why. Consensus is, unsurprisingly, lacking. The reinvigoration of the issues has led sophisticated formalists or autonomists to mount a more considered defence of the idea that aesthetic and literary values are indeed conceptually distinct from the justification or otherwise of the moral perspective or views endorsed in a work (Topic I). The challenges presented by such a defence are many but amongst them are appeals to critical practice (Lamarque and Olsen), scepticism about whether or not art really can give us bona fide knowledge (Stolnitz) and the recognition that truth often seems to be far removed from what it is we value in our appreciation of works (Lamarque). One way to motivate consideration of the relevance of a work's moral character to its artistic value concerns the phenomena of imaginative resistance. At least sometimes it would seem that, as Hume originally suggested, we either cannot or will not enter imaginatively into the perspective solicited by a work due to its morally problematic character (Topic II). In some cases, it would seem that as a matter of psychological fact, we cannot do so since it is impossible for us to imagine how it could be that a certain attitude or action is morally permissible or good (Walton). The question then is whether or not this is a function of morality in particular or constraints on imaginative possibility more generally and what else is involved. At other times, the phenomena seem to be driven by a moral reluctance to allow ourselves to enter into the dramatic perspective involved (Moran) or evaluation of the attitude expressed (Stokes). Nonetheless, it is far from obvious that this is so of all the attitudes or responses we judge to be morally problematic. After all, it looks like we can and indeed often do suspend or background particular cognitive and moral commitments in engaging with all sorts of works (Nichols and Weinberg). If the moral character of a work interacts with how we appreciate and evaluate them, then the pressing question is this: is there any systematic account of the relationship available to us? One way is to consider the relationship between our emotional responses to works and their moral character (Topic III). After all, art works often solicit various emotional responses from us to follow the work and make use of moral concepts in so doing (Carroll). Indeed, whether or not a work merits the sought for emotional responses often seems to be internally related to ethical considerations (Gaut). Yet, it is not obvious that we should apply our moral concepts or respond emotionally in our imaginative engagement with works as art as we should in real life (Kieran, Jacobson). A different route is via the thought that art can convey knowledge (Topic IV). There might be particular kinds of moral knowledge art distinctively suited to conveying (Nussbaum) or it may just be that art does so particularly effectively (Carroll, Gaut, Kieran). Either way where this can be tied to the artistic means and appreciation of a work it would seem that to cultivate moral understanding contributes to the value of a work and to betray misunderstanding is a defect. Without denying the relevance of the moral character of a work some authors have wanted to claim that sometimes the immoral aspect of a work can contribute to rather than lessen its artistic value (Topic V). One route is to claim that there is no systematic theoretical account of the relationship available and what the right thing to say is depends on the particular case involved (Jacobson). Another involves the claim that this is so when the defect connects up in an appropriate way to one of the values of art. Thus, it has been claimed, only where a work reveals something which adds to intelligibility, knowledge or understanding in virtue of its morally problematic aspect can this be so (Kieran). The latter position looks like it could in principle be held whilst nonetheless maintaining that the typical or standard relationship is as the moralists would have it. Yet perhaps allowing valence change for such reasons is less a mark of principled explanation and more a function of downright inconsistency or incoherence (Harold). The topics themselves and suggested readings given below follow the structure articulated above as further amplified in the Compass survey article. The design and structure given below can be easily compressed or expanded further. Author Recommends 1. Carroll, Noël. 'Art, Narrative and Moral Understanding.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 126–60. This article develops the idea that engaging with narrative art calls on moral concepts and emotions and can thereby clarify our moral understanding. 2. Carroll, Noël. Beyond Aesthetics: Philosophical Essays . Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. Part IV consists of six distinct essays on questions concerning the inter-relations between art and morality including the essay cited above and the author's articulation and defence of moderate moralism. 3. Gaut, Berys. 'The Ethical Criticism of Art.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 182–203. 4. Gaut, Berys. Art, Emotion and Ethics . Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. This monograph provides the most exhaustive treatment of the issues and defends the claim that, where relevant, whenever a work is morally flawed it is of lesser value as art and wherever it is morally virtuous the work's value as art is enhanced. Chapters 7 and 8 defend concern ethical knowledge and chapter 10 is a development of the article cited above concerning emotional responses. Chapter 3 also gives a useful conceptual map of the issues and options in the debate. 5. Jacobson, Daniel. 'In Praise of Immoral Art.' Philosophical Topics 25 (1997): 155–99. A wide ranging and extended treatment of relevant issues which objects to generalising moral treatments of our responses to art works and defends the idea that particular works can be better because of rather than despite their moral defects. 6. Kieran, Matthew. 'Forbidden Knowledge: The Challenge of Cognitive Immoralism.' Art and Morality . Ed. Sebastian Gardner and José Luis Bermúdez. London: Routledge, 2003. 56–73. A general argument for immoralism is elaborated by outlining when, where and why a work's morally problematic character can contribute to its artistic value for principled reasons (through enhancing moral understanding). 7. Kieran, Matthew. Revealing Art . London: Routledge, 2005. Chapter 4. This chapter argues against both aestheticism and straightforward moralism about art, elaborating a defence of immoralism in relation to visual art whilst ranging over issues from pornographic art to the nature and demands of different genres in art. 8. Lamarque, Peter. 'Cognitive Values in the Arts: Marking the Boundaries.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art. Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006, 127–39. This article concisely outlines and defends a sophisticated aestheticism that denies the importance of truth to artistic value. 9. Stolnitz, Jerome. 'On the Cognitive Triviality of Art.' British Journal of Aesthetics 32.3 (1992): 191–200. This article articulates and defends the claim that no knowledge of any interesting or significant kind can be afforded by works appreciated and evaluated as art. 10. Walton, Kendall. 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality, I.' Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. 68 (1994): 27–51. This article builds on some comments from Hume to develop the idea that when engaging with fictions it seems impossible imaginatively to enter into radically deviant moral attitudes. Online Materials 'Aesthetics and Ethics: The State of the Art.' American Society of Aesthetics online (Jeffrey Dean): http://www.aesthetics-online.org/articles/index.php?articles_id=15 >. 'Art, Censorship and Morality' downloadable podcast of Nigel Warburton interviewing Matthew Kieran at Tate Britain (BBC/OU Open2.net as part of the Ethics Bites series): http://www.open2.net/ethicsbites/art-censorship-morality.html >. 'Art, Morality and Ethics: On the (Im)Moral Character of Art Works and Inter-Relations to Artistic Value.' Philosophy Compass 1.2 (2006): 129–43 (Matthew Kieran): http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118557779/abstract >. 'Ethical Criticism of Art.' Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Ella Peek): http://www.iep.utm.edu/a/art-eth.htm >. 'Fascinating Fascism.' New York Review of Books Piece Discussing Leni Riefenstahl (Susan Sontag): http://www.nybooks.com/articles/9280 >. 'The Beheading of St. John the Baptist (1450s), Giovanni de Paolo' (Tom Lubbock): http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/great-works/great-works-the-beheading-of-st-john-the-baptist-1450s-giovanni-di-paolo-1684900.html >. Vladimir Nabokov and Lionel Trilling discuss Lolita (CBS): http://www.listal.com/video/3848698 >. Sample Syllabus Topic I Autonomism/Aestheticism • Anderson, James C. and Jeffrey T. Dean. 'Moderate Autonomism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 38.2 (1998): 150–66. • Beardsley, Monroe. Aesthetics: Problems in the Philosophy of Criticism . New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1958. Chapter 12. • Kant, Immanuel. The Critique of Judgement.Trans. James Creed Meredith . Oxford: Oxford UP, 1952 . • Lamarque, Peter. 'Cognitive Values in the Arts: Marking the Boundaries.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006, 127–39. • ——. 'Tragedy and Moral Value.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73.2 (1995): 239–49. • Lamarque, Peter and Stein Olsen. Truth, Fiction and Literature . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994. Chapter 10. • Stolnitz, Jerome. 'On the Cognitive Triviality of Art.' British Journal of Aesthetics 32.3 (1992): 191–200. Topic II Imaginative Capacities, Intelligibility and Resistance • Moran, Richard. 'The Expression of Feeling in Imagination.' Philosophical Review 103.1 (1994): 75–106. • Nichols, Shaun. 'Just the Imagination: Why Imagining Doesn't Behave Like Believing'. Mind & Language 21.4 (2006): 459–74. • Stokes, Dustin. 'The Evaluative Character of Imaginative Resistance'. British Journal of Aesthetics 46.4 (2006): 387–405. • Tanner, Michael. 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality, II'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 68 (1994): 51–66. • Walton, Kendall (1994). 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality, I'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 68 (1994): 27–51. • Weinberg, Jonathan. 'Configuring the Cognitive Imagination.' New Waves in Aesthetics . Eds. K. Stock and K. Thomson-Jones. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. 203–23. Topic III Moralism and Emotions • Carroll, Noël. 'Moderate Moralism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 36.3 (1996): 223–37. • Carroll, Noël. 'Art, Narrative and Moral Understanding.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998.126–60. • Gaut, Berys. Art, Emotion and Ethics . Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Chapter 10. • ——. 'The Ethical Criticism of Art.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 182–203. • Hume, David. 'Of the Standard of Taste.' Selected Essays . Oxford: Oxford UP, 1993 . 133–53. • Kieran, Matthew. 'Emotions, Art and Immorality.' Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Emotions . Ed. Peter Goldie. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. 681–703. • Tolstoy, Leo. What is Art? . London: Penguin, 2004. Chapters 5 and 15. Topic IV Moralism and Knowledge • Aristotle. Poetics . Trans. M. Heath. London: Penguin, 1996 [367–322 BC]. • Carroll, Noël. 'The Wheel of Virtue: Art, Literature and Moral Knowledge.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60.1 (2002): 3–26. • Gaut, Berys. Art, Emotion and Ethics . Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Chapters 7 and 8. • Gaut, Berys. 'Art and Cognition.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. 115–26. • Kieran, Matthew. 'Art, Imagination and the Cultivation of Morals.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 54.4 (1996): 337–51. • Nussbaum, Martha. 'Finely Aware and Richly Responsible: Literature and the Moral Imagination.' Love's Knowledge . New York: Oxford UP, 1990. 148–68. • Plato. The Republic . Trans. D. Lee. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974. Book 10. Topic V Immoralist Contextualism • Harold, James. 'Immoralism and the Valence Constraint.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48.1 (2008): 45–64. • Jacobson, Daniel. 'In Praise of Immoral Art.' Philosophical Topics 25 (1997): 155–99. • ——. 'Ethical Criticism and the Vices of Moderation.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. 342–55. • John, Eileen. 'Artistic Value and Moral Opportunism.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. 331–41. • Kieran, Matthew. 'Forbidden Knowledge:The Challenge of Cognitive Immoralism.' Art and Morality . Ed. Sebastian Gardner and José Luis Bermúdez. London: Routledge, 2003. 56–73. • Kieran, Matthew. Revealing Art . London: Routledge, 2005. Chapter 4. • Patridge, Stephanie. 'Moral Vices as Artistic Virtues: Eugene Onegin and Alice.' Philosophia 36.2 (2008): 181–93. Focus Questions 1. What is the strongest argument for the claim that the moral character of a work is not relevant to its artistic value? Does artistic or literary criticism tend to concern itself with the truth or morality of works? If so, in what ways? If not, why do you think this is? 2. What different explanations might there be for difficulty with or resistance to imaginatively entering into attitudes you take to be immoral? How might this relate to the way our imaginings work as contrasted with belief? How might different literary or artistic treatments of the same subject matter make a difference? 3. How do narrative works draw on our moral concepts and responses? Can we suspend our normal moral commitments or application of moral concepts in responding emotionally to art works? Should we respond emotionally to art works as we ought to respond to real world events we witness? Why? Why not? 4. How, if at all, do art works convey moral understanding? How, if at all, is this related to the kinds of moral knowledge art works can teach or reveal to us? When, where and why might this be tied to the artistic value of a work? How can we tell where a work enhances our moral understanding as opposed to misleading or distorting it? 5. What art works do you value overall as art which commend or endorse moral values and attitudes that you do not? Is appreciation of them always marred or lessened by the morally dubious aspect? If not, what explains the differences in evaluation? What, if anything, might you learn by engaging with works which endorse moral attitudes or apply moral concepts different from those you take to be justified? How, if at all, might this connect up with what makes them valuable as art? (shrink)
The Lazy Argument, as it is preserved in historical testimonies, is not logically conclusive. In this form, it appears to have been proposed in favor of part-time fatalism (including past time fatalism). The argument assumes that free will assumption is unacceptable from the standpoint of the logical fatalist but plausible for some of the nonuniversal or part-time fatalists. There are indications that the layout of argument is not genuine, but taken over from a Megarian source and later transformed. The genuine (...) form of the argument seems to be given in different form and far closer to Megarian logical fatalism and its purpose is not to defend laziness. If the historical argument has to lead to a logically satisfactory solution, some additional assumptions and additional tuning is needed. (shrink)
Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century by Scott Soames reminds me of nothing so much as Lectures on Literature by Vladimir Nabokov. Both are works that arose immediately out of the needs of undergraduate teaching, yet each manages to say much of significance to knowledgeable professionals. Each indirectly provides an outline of the history of its field, through a presentation of selected major works, taken in chronological order and including items that are generally recognized as marking decisive turning points. (...) Yet neither Soames’s work nor Nabokov’s is a history in any conventional sense, both being immediately disqualified from that category by the general absence of coverage of minor and middling works and writers. The emphasis is pedagogical rather than historiographical: the emphasis is on introducing the student to the field through very close examination of the limited number of key texts selected for inclusion. (shrink)
Though, at first sight, logical formalization of natural language sentences and arguments might look like an unproblematic enterprise, the criteria of its success are far from clear and, surprisingly, there have only been a few attempts at making them explicit. This paper provides a picture of the enterprise of logical formalization that does not conceive of it as a kind of translation from one language (a natural one) into another language (a logical one), but rather as a construction of a (...) 'map' of (a piece of) the 'inferential landscape' of the natural language. The criteria that appear to govern the enterprise are labeled as those of reliability, ambitiousness, transparency and parsimony. These criteria, it is argued, do not provide for an excavation of a ready-made logical structure, but rather help us achieve a "reflective equilibrium" between the normative authority of logic and the answerability of logic to a natural language. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: List of contributors; Acknowledgments; Introduction: the humanist tradition in Russian philosophy G. M. Hamburg and Randall A. Poole; Part I. The Nineteenth Century: 1. Slavophiles, Westernizers, and the birth of Russian philosophical humanism Sergey Horujy; 2. Alexander Herzen Derek Offord; 3. Materialism and the radical intelligentsia: the 1860s Victoria S. Frede; 4. Russian ethical humanism: from populism to neo-idealism Thomas Nemeth; Part II. Russian Metaphysical Idealism in Defense of Human Dignity: 5. Boris Chicherin and human dignity (...) in history G. M. Hamburg; 6. Vladimir Solov'iev's philosophical anthropology: autonomy, dignity, perfectibility Randall A. Poole; 7. Russian panpsychism: Kozlov, Lopatin, Losskii James P. Scanlan; Part III. Humanity and Divinity in Russian Religious Philosophy after Solov'iev: 8. A Russian cosmodicy: Sergei Bulgakov's religious philosophy Paul Valliere; 9. Pavel Florenskii's trinitarian humanism Steven Cassedy; 10. Semën Frank's expressivist humanism Philip J. Swoboda; Part IV. Freedom and Human Perfectibility in the Silver Age: 11. Religious humanism in the Russian silver age Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal; 12. Russian liberalism and the philosophy of law Frances Nethercott; 13. Imagination and ideology in the new religious consciousness Robert Bird; 14. Eschatology and hope in silver age thought Judith Deutsch Kornblatt; Part V. Russian Philosophy in Revolution and Exile: 15. Russian Marxism Andrzej Walicki; 16. Adventures in dialectic and intuition: Shpet, Il'in, Losev Philip T. Grier; 17. Nikolai Berdiaev and the philosophical tasks of the emigration Stuart Finkel; 18. Eurasianism: affirming the person in an 'Era of Faith' Martin Beisswenger; Afterword: on persons as open-ended ends-in-themselves (the view from two novelists and two critics) Caryl Emerson; Bibliography. (shrink)
Lucretius wrote: “Look back at the eternity that passed before we were born, and mark how utterly it counts to us as nothing. This is a mirror that Nature holds up to us, in which we may see the time that shall be after we are dead. Is there anything terrifying in the sight – anything depressing – anything that is not more restful than the soundest sleep?”1 The argument is repeated, a couple of millennia later, by Vladimir Nabokov, (...) who opens his memoir with the observation that “our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness. Although the two are identical twins, man, as a rule, views the prenatal abyss with more calm than the one he is heading for (at some forty-five hundred heartbeats an hour).”. (shrink)
People are remarkably smart: They use language, possess complex motor skills, make nontrivial inferences, develop and use scientific theories, make laws, and adapt to complex dynamic environments. Much of this knowledge requires concepts and this study focuses on how people acquire concepts. It is argued that conceptual development progresses from simple perceptual grouping to highly abstract scientific concepts. This proposal of conceptual development has four parts. First, it is argued that categories in the world have different structure. Second, there might (...) be different learning systems (subserved by different brain mechanisms) that evolved to learn categories of differing structures. Third, these systems exhibit differential maturational course, which affects how categories of different structures are learned in the course of development. And finally, an interaction of these components may result in the developmental transition from perceptual groupings to more abstract concepts. This study reviews a large body of empirical evidence supporting this proposal. (shrink)
At the age of 15 I began calling myself an atheist. It was bad timing because the next year, in English class, I read Waiting for Godot and plunged into a philosophical depression. This was not a clinical depression with thoughts of personal worthlessness and a yearning for death. It was, rather, the kind of funk that Woody Allen’s characters were so prone to in his early movies. For example, in Annie Hall, a flashback shows us a nine-year-old Allen-esque boy (...) being asked by a doctor why he is depressed. The boy’s response is that he had recently learned that the universe will expand forever and someday break apart. He saw no further point in doing homework, despite his mother’s protestations that Brooklyn was not expanding. After reading Godot, I felt the same way. If there was no God then my life, and all life, suddenly seemed to be as pointless as the lives of Vladimir and Estragon. Here, for example, is the quote I chose later that year to place under my picture in my high school yearbook: “Whosoever shall not fall by the sword or by famine, shall fall by pestilence, so why bother shaving?” The quote is from Woody Allen. The next year I went to college. I was committed to figuring out the meaning of life and I thought that studying philosophy would help. I was disappointed. Philosophy addressed many fundamental questions of being and knowing, but the question “What is the meaning of life?” never came up. I assumed it was a badly formed question, and I moved on. I went to graduate school in psychology. If only I had been able to read Susan Wolf back then! She clarifies the question so elegantly, and she points to the means by which each of us can answer it for ourselves: go find something to love, something worthy of love, that you can link to and engage with in the right sort of way. It took me a while to do that, but I eventually did, as so many of us have, both by committing to people and by committing to my work. My remaining comments flow from that work, which ended up bringing me, by a roundabout route, back to the question of the meaning of life.. (shrink)
We propose that black holes may serve as a physical substratum for intelligent beings, based on(1) The descriptions of brain and psyche are complementary to each other, as internal and external observers of a black hole in the Susskind-t'Hooft's schema.(2) There is an aspect of the inner structure of a black hole that is isomorphic to the structure of the human subjective domain in the psychological model of reflexion.(3) Both black holes and the brain-psyche system have a facet that can (...) be represented using thermodynamic concepts.(4) Both lend themselves to a holographic description. (shrink)
In this paper we consider, and reject, Harold Langsams defenceof the Theory of Appearing, in this journal (1997), in the faceof three standard arguments against it. These arguments are:the argument from hallucination; the argument from the samecause-same effect principle; and the argument from perceptualtime-gap.
Mass death resulting from war, starvation, and disease as well as the vicissitudes of extreme poverty and enforced sexual servitude are recognizably pandemic ills of the contemporary world. In light of their magnitude, are repentance, regret for the harms inflicted upon others or oneself, and forgiveness, proferring the erasure of the guilt of those who have inflicted these harms, rendered nugatory? Jacques Derrida claims that forgiveness is intrinsically rather than circumstantially or historically impossible. Forgiveness, trapped in a paradox, is possible (...) only if there is such a thing as the unforgivable. "Thus, forgiveness, if there is such a thing," can only exist as exempt from the law of the possible. Does this claim not open the way for hopelessness and despair? More troubling for Derrida is his concession that forgiveness may be necessary in the realm of the political and juridical. If so, is not the purity of the impossibility of forgiveness so crucial for him, contaminated? In pointing to some of the difficulties in Derrida's position, I shall appeal to Vladimir Jankelevitch's distinction between the unforgivable and the inexcusable. I shall also consider the significance of repentance in the theological ethics of Emmanuel Levinas and Max Scheler. Forgiveness, I conclude, is vacuous without expiation, a position that can be helpfully understood in the context of Judaism's analysis of purification and acquittal in the Day of Atonement liturgy. I argue that what disappears is Derrida's assurance of the impossibility of forgiveness, a disappearance that allows for hope. (shrink)
The aim of this book is to present the fundamental theoretical results concerning inference rules in deductive formal systems. Primary attention is focused on: admissible or permissible inference rules the derivability of the admissible inference rules the structural completeness of logics the bases for admissible and valid inference rules. There is particular emphasis on propositional non-standard logics (primary, superintuitionistic and modal logics) but general logical consequence relations and classical first-order theories are also considered. The book is basically self-contained and special (...) attention has been made to present the material in a convenient manner for the reader. Proofs of results, many of which are not readily available elsewhere, are also included. The book is written at a level appropriate for first-year graduate students in mathematics or computer science. Although some knowledge of elementary logic and universal algebra are necessary, the first chapter includes all the results from universal algebra and logic that the reader needs. For graduate students in mathematics and computer science the book is an excellent textbook. (shrink)
For some, Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita is the definitive example of the aesthete's outlook with its combination of the narrator's sordid actions and his iridescent wordplay—not to mention Nabokov's own endorsement of the novel as a locus for "aesthetic bliss."1 In recent years, criticism of Lolita has challenged the aesthete's amoral perspective by suggesting that the work's aesthetic qualities are inextricably coupled with moral questions.2 Leona Toker, Colin McGinn, and Richard Rorty are three notable critics who suggest, in different ways, (...) that Lolita is a normative text that can educate its readers; that it can teach virtue.In many ways, this is a boldly contrarian position, defying satirical elements in the text .. (shrink)
Alexey Losev's concept of 'personality' was developed in his writings from the 1920s, "The Dialectics of Myth" and "The Philosophy of Name". In his later works (e.g. on the aesthetics of the Renaissance and in his book about Vladimir Soloviev) Losev also understood the 'personality' outside of the boundaries of philosophy and theology. For him, the mystical dimension of personality in the end dominates logical and cultural structures of the subject. Losev's concept of 'personality' as a myth, a symbol, (...) rather than an abstract theory was an attack on the European individualism seen as a principle of the self-affirmation of the isolated subject. (shrink)
Categorical-theoretic semantics for the relevance logic is proposed which is based on the construction of the topos of functors from a relevant algebra (considered as a preorder category endowed with the special endofunctors) in the category of sets Set. The completeness of the relevant system R of entailment is proved in respect to the semantic considered.
At the core of Dostoevskij's philosophy and theology lies a concept according to which the Truth (Istina) is antinomical: it contains both a thesis and its antithesis without expectation of synthesis. This concept can be traced to Eastern Patristics. After Dostoevskij, the theory of antinomies was elaborated by 20th century Russian religious thinkers such as Pavel Florenskij, Sergej Bulgakov, Nikolaj Berdjaev, Semën Frank, and Vladimir Losskij. Their ideas help us to understand that Dostoevskij's dialogism, made famous in its secular (...) guise by Bakhtin, has a theological underpinning. Dostoevskij's exposition of conflicting truths should therefore be seen not as a case of irresolvable contradiction or paradox but as an organic wholeness. (shrink)
We compare Karl Popper’s ideas concerning the falsifiability of a theory with similar notions from the part of statistical learning theory known as VC-theory . Popper’s notion of the dimension of a theory is contrasted with the apparently very similar VC-dimension. Having located some divergences, we discuss how best to view Popper’s work from the perspective of statistical learning theory, either as a precursor or as aiming to capture a different learning activity.
We examine some of Connes’ criticisms of Robinson’s infinitesimals starting in 1995. Connes sought to exploit the Solovay model S as ammunition against non-standard analysis, but the model tends to boomerang, undercutting Connes’ own earlier work in functional analysis. Connes described the hyperreals as both a “virtual theory” and a “chimera”, yet acknowledged that his argument relies on the transfer principle. We analyze Connes’ “dart-throwing” thought experiment, but reach an opposite conclusion. In S , all definable sets of reals are (...) Lebesgue measurable, suggesting that Connes views a theory as being “virtual” if it is not definable in a suitable model of ZFC. If so, Connes’ claim that a theory of the hyperreals is “virtual” is refuted by the existence of a definable model of the hyperreal field due to Kanovei and Shelah. Free ultrafilters aren’t definable, yet Connes exploited such ultrafilters both in his own earlier work on the classification of factors in the 1970s and 80s, and in Noncommutative Geometry, raising the question whether the latter may not be vulnerable to Connes’ criticism of virtuality. We analyze the philosophical underpinnings of Connes’ argument based on Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, and detect an apparent circularity in Connes’ logic. We document the reliance on non-constructive foundational material, and specifically on the Dixmier trace −∫ (featured on the front cover of Connes’ magnum opus) and the Hahn–Banach theorem, in Connes’ own framework. We also note an inaccuracy in Machover’s critique of infinitesimal-based pedagogy. (shrink)
In this comment, I describe how the processes of free giving can be simulated with the help of the Reflexive Intentional Model of the Subject (RIMS). This simulation demonstrates that there are two essential factors affecting the size of a share given to others: limits accepted by the society as “normal,” and the individual's subjective estimation of a mean share donated by other members of the society.
The paper raises doubts concerning tenability of the platonistic conception of linguistic meaning. It gives examples of some problems that philosophers who employ entities from the realm of platonic objects as a kind of unexplained explainer tend to neglect.
Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century by Scott Soames reminds me of nothing so much as Lectures on Literature by Vladimir Nabokov. Both are works that arose immediately out of the needs of undergraduate teaching, yet each manages to say much of significance to knowledgeable professionals. Each indirectly provides an outline of the history of its field, through a presentation of selected major works, taken in chronological order and including items that are generally recognized as marking decisive turning points. (...) Yet neither Soames’s work nor Nabokov’s is a history in any conventional sense, both being immediately disqualified from that category by the general absence of coverage of minor and middling works and writers. The emphasis is pedagogical rather than historiographical: the emphasis is on introducing the student to the field through very close examination of the limited number of key texts selected for inclusion. The author’s distinctive personality is also apparent in both works. Each writer has a favorite theme he repeatedly sounds: for Soames, the danger of conflating the analytic, the a priori, and the necessary; for Nabokov, the philistinism of expecting an uplifting “message” from works of literary art. Each also includes some quirky, individual selections: The Right and the Good, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Few others would have taken R. L. Stevenson to be up there with Dickens, Flaubert, and Proust, or W. D. Ross with Russell, Wittgenstein, and Quine. Each also sets aside for separate treatment elsewhere a major body of work one might have expected to be covered. Nabokov reserves Russian literature for a companion volume, while Soames gives only slight coverage to what he describes as “work in logic, the foundations of logic, and the application of logical techniques to the study of language” — a category that in practice turns out to include the bulk of the relevant material (by such writers as Frege, Carnap, and Tarski) that published originally in German without simultaneous English translation.. (shrink)
The paper analyses A.F. Losev''s argument forthe identity of dialectical and mythicalthinking which forms the key part of his theoryof absolute mythology. Losev claims thatdialectical thinking is limited byphenomenological intuition. He fails torecognise, however, that this intuition itselfis a product of thinking. The same is true ofLosev''s concept of `life'' that is designed tolimit intellectual reflection. The mystery ofthe Absolute is, contrary to Losev''s claim, nota threshold that dialectical thinking cannotcross, but it is, in fact, realised only bysuch thinking. This (...) has a bearing on theChristian Neoplatonist doctrine of energisticsymbolism, which also plays a crucial part inLosev''s philosophy of myth. Under the pressureof the Neoplatonist tradition Losev violatesthe demands of dialectical thinking in favourof myth''s essential mysticism. And yet, becauseof the dialectical relation between rationalismand mysticism, Losev''s attempt was not afailure, but a valuable contribution to thetask of illuminating this relation. (shrink)
The spiritual geography of Russian cosmism. General characteristics ; Recent definitions of cosmism -- Forerunners of Russian cosmism. Vasily Nazarovich Karazin (1773-1842) ; Alexander Nikolaevich Radishchev (1749-1802) ; Poets: Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov, (1711-1765) and Gavriila Romanovich Derzhavin (1743-1816) ; Prince Vladimir Fedorovich Odoevsky (1803-1869) ; Aleksander Vasilyevich Sukhovo-Kobylin (1817-1903) -- The Russian philosophical context. Philosophy as a passion ; The destiny of Russia ; Thought as a call for action ; The totalitarian cast of mind -- The religious and (...) spiritual context. The kingdom of god on earth ; Hesychasm: two great Russian saints ; The Third Rome ; Pre-Christian antecedents -- The Russian esoteric context. Early searches for "deep wisdom" ; Popular magic ; Higher magic in the time of Peter the Great ; Esotericism after Peter the Great ; Theosophy and anthroposophy -- Nikolai Fedorovich Fedorov (1829-1903), the philosopher of the common task ; The one idea ; The unacknowledged prince ; The village teacher ; First disciple: Dostoevsky and Tolstoy ; The Moscow librarian ; Last years: Askhabad: the only portrait -- The "common task" ; Esoteric dimensions of the "common task" ; Fedorov's legacy: projectivism, delo, regulation -- The religious cosmists. Vladimir Sergeevich Solovyov (1853-1900) ; Sergei Nikolaevich Bulgakov (1871-1944) ; Pavel Aleksandrovich Florensky (1882-1937) ; Nikolai Aleksandrovich Berdyaev (1874-1948) -- The scientific cosmists. Konstantin Edouardovich Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935) ; Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky (1863-1945) ; Alexander Leonidovich Chizhevsky (1897-1964) ; Vasily Feofilovich Kuprevich (1897-1969) -- Promethean theurgy. Life-creation ; Cultural immortalism ; God-building ; Re-aiming the arrows of Eros ; Technological utopianism ; Occultism -- Fedorov's twentieth century followers. Nikolai Pavlovich Peterson (1844-1919) and Vladimir Aleksandrovich Kozhevnikov (1852-1917) ; Svyatogor and the biocosmists ; New wine and the universal task ; Alexander Konstantinovich Gorsky (1886-1943) and Nikolai Alexandrovich Setnitsky (1888-1937) ; Valerian Nikolaevich Muravyov (1885-1932) ; Vasily Nikolaevich Chekrygin (1897-1922) -- Cosmism and its offshoots today. The N.F. Fedorov museum-library ; The Tsiolkovsky museum and Chizhevsky center ; ISRICA - Institute for Scientific Research in Cosmic Anthropoecology ; Lev Nikolaevich Gumilev (1912-1992) and neo-eurasianism ; The hyperboreans ; Scientific immortalism: Igor Vishev, Danila Medvedev ; Conclusions about the Russian cosmists. (shrink)
The keynote idea of the theses is contained in the author’s assumption that modern philosophy doesn’t meet its claiming pretensions: to be universal form of knowledge. First of all philosophy is connected not with knowledge but with ideas and secondly being authentic it “exists only in everyday life”.1 In orderthat philosophy could realize its innate essence corresponding conditions of social being should exist but they are still absent and therefore philosophy is absent as well. Its place is occupied by metaphysics (...) which is free movement of thinking that has no definiteness as the condition of being of any form of thought. That iswhy we watch crisis state of “philosophy” which becomes apparent in vagueness of its subject: “philosophy is not only one, there are many of them”. The author supposes that philosophy as the highest relation of mankind to objective reality is the only one. Philosophy lowered down from the heaven (Platon, Ciceron) in the field of human being must raise people not only to purity of thought, but mainly to purity of their activity both with each other and with nature. Then real interaction of men and nature will take place. This will be the beginning of spiritualization of the Universe. It may exist only under the conditions of social uniformity as historical form of Weltanschauung (world outlook) that removes religious form. Realization of its being supposes fundamental change of social life. It is necessary that private property should be replaced with social property in the sphere of social production. Only under these conditions philosophy may appear and exist as historical form of Weltanschauung. (shrink)
Summing up the ideas expressed in the most influential articles on the semantic halo of the Russian trochaic pentameter, scholars tend to avoid one particularly tricky question: how many units – and what kind of units – are needed to detect extra layers of meaning in a particular text? While the article of Kiril Taranovsky “О взаимоотношении стихотворного ритма и тематики” had implied that the source of these meanings (e.g. the dynamic theme of the journey) should be sought in a (...) line starting from the 3- to 4-syllable structure, incorporating a verb of motion and an anapestic anacrusis (Выхожу [verb of motion, last syllable stressed] один я на дорогу), later research objected to this principle as an oversimplification. At the same time two later contributions on the subject (Kirill Vishnevsky’s “Экспрессивный ореол пятистопного хорея” and Mikhail Gasparov’s “The semantic halo of the Russian trochaic pentameter: Thirty years of the problem”) proposed the idea of operating with whole texts as potential sources of meanings, thus calling into question a micro-level approach to the origin of the phenomenon. In my article I propose an empirical model that makes it possible to evaluate some limitations of both practices: I concentrate on some quasi-trochaic pentameters culled from the prose text of Подвиг (Glory) by Vladimir Nabokov (Sirin), and examine these quasi-verse incidents in the framework of both approaches. (shrink)
The main problem discussed in this paper is: Why and how did animal cognition abilities arise? It is argued that investigations of the evolution of animal cognition abilities are very important from an epistemological point of view. A new direction for interdisciplinary researches – the creation and development of the theory of human logic origin – is proposed. The approaches to the origination of such a theory (mathematical models of ``intelligent invention'' of biological evolution, the cybernetic schemes of evolutionary progress (...) and purposeful adaptive behavior) as well as potential interdisciplinary links of the theory are described and analyzed. (shrink)
Scientific knowledge systems function as effective and specialized apparatus for formulating, analyzing and solving scientific problems. In science, problems become internal parts of the knowledge systems; thus they acquire new forms and properties in comparison with common-sense problems. Definite theoretical structures connected with problems and questions appear in the theory. Among them are erotetic expressions and languages, calculi and algebras of problems. On the basis of the structure-nominative reconstruction of a theory, the unified treatment of these structures is given. Methods (...) of the theory of named sets are used in the logical analysis of problems and their systems. As a consequence a new formalized model of the problem part of theory is constructed. (shrink)