This paper develops the notion of a situated part structure and applies it to the semantics of the modifiers 'whole' and 'individual'. It argues that the ambiguity of 'whole' should be traced to two different conceptions of part structures of objects being at play: one according to which the parts of an objects are just the material parts and another, Aristotelian conception according to which the parts of an object include properties of form.
It is often held that according to Aristotle the city is a natural organism. One major reason for this organic interpretation is no doubt that Aristotle describes the relationship between the individual and the city as a part-whole relationship, seemingly the same relationship that holds between the parts of a natural organism and the organism itself. Moreover, some scholars (most notably Jonathan Barnes) believe this view of the city led Aristotle to accept an implicit totalitarianism. I argue, however, that (...) an investigation of the various ways Aristotle describes parts and wholes reveals that for Aristotle the city has a unity (and thus a nature) quite different from that of a natural organism. (shrink)
The centrality of the whole/part relation in mathematics is demonstrated through the presentation and analysis of examples from algebra, geometry, functional analysis,logic, topology and category theory.
This paper explores the meaning of dreamless sleep. First, I consider four reasons why we commonly pass over sleep's ontological significance. Second, I compare and contrast death and sleep to show how each is oriented to questions regarding the possibilities of "being-a-whole." In the third and final part, I explore the meaning and implications of "being-toward-sleep," arguing that human existence emerges atop naturally anonymous corporeality (i.e. living being). In sum, I try to show that we can recover an authentic (...) — if somewhat ambiguous — sense of "being-a-whole" only by recognizing the ontological significance of dreamless sleep. (shrink)
Rapid advances in high throughput genomic technologies and next generation sequencing are making medical genomic research more readily accessible and affordable, including the sequencing of patient and control whole genomes and exomes in order to elucidate genetic factors underlying disease. Over the next five years, the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Initiative, funded by the Wellcome Trust (United Kingdom) and the National Institutes of Health (United States of America), will contribute greatly towards sequencing of numerous African samples (...) for biomedical research. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to investigate Plato’s conception of the whole in the Phaedrus and the theory of medical dialectic underlying this conception. Through this analysis Plato’s conception of kairos will also be adressed. It will be argued that the epistemological holism developed in the dialogue and the patient-typology emerging from it provides us with a way of perceiving individual situations of medical discourse and decision-making that makes it possible to bridge the gap between observations of a (...) professional nature, i.e. of diagnostics and therapy—of whom to treat and in what magnitude—and individual patients’ perceptions of their situation. Besides, it will be argued that such a patient-typology represents a conceptual framework to assess and deal normatively with patients’ ailments and needs that is more robust than the current standards in use, i.e. the Subjective Standard, the Reasonable Person Standard and the Professional Practice Standard. Finally, it will be argued that the possession of kairos, which according to Plato is the hallmark of a true physician, represents a normative conception of time that today’s medicine is in need of revisiting. (shrink)
There has been widespread academic and popular debate about the transformative potential of consumption choices, particularly food shopping. While popular food media is optimistic about “shopping for change,” food scholars are more critical, drawing attention to fetishist approaches to “local” or “organic,” and suggesting the need for reflexive engagement with food politics. We argue that reflexivity is central to understanding the potential and limitations of consumer-focused food politics, but argue that this concept is often relatively unspecified. The first objective of (...) this paper is to operationalize reflexivity and advance understanding of reflexivity as an important tool for understanding the lived experience of food shopping. Our second objective is to explore the range of reflexivity observed in a mainstream “shopping for change” market sector. To do this, we draw from in-depth interviews with shoppers at Whole Foods Market (WFM)—a retail venue with the stated goal of making consumers “feel good about where [they] shop.” This group is chosen because of our interest in investigating the reflexivity of consumer engagement with the corporatized arm of ethical consumption—a realm of concern to food scholars as alternative agricultural initiatives are absorbed (both materially and symbolically) into corporate institutions. Our analysis suggests that shopping at venues like WFM is primarily motivated by traditional consumer pleasures, even for politicized consumers, a finding that poses serious limitations for a consumer-regulated food system. (shrink)
Section 1. Prologue -- section 2. The whole being -- section 3. Engaging with wholeness -- section 4. Wholeness in Kashmiri Shaivism -- section 5. The Buddhist perspective -- section 6. Wholeness in the modern world -- section 7. The workings of wholeness in our world -- section 8. Epilogue.
Consider a circle and a pair of its semicircles. Which is prior, the whole or its parts? Are the semicircles dependent abstractions from their whole, or is the circle a derivative construction from its parts? Now in place of the circle consider the entire cosmos (the ultimate concrete whole), and in place of the pair of semicircles consider the myriad particles (the ultimate concrete parts). Which if either is ultimately prior, the one ultimate whole or its (...) many ultimate parts? (shrink)
The connection between whole and part is intimate: not only can we share the same space, but I’m incapable of leaving my parts behind; settle the nonmereological facts and you thereby settle what is a part of what; wholes don’t seem to be an additional ontological commitment over their parts. Composition as identity promises to explain this intimacy. But it threatens to make the connection too intimate, for surely the parts could have made a different whole and the (...)whole have had different parts. In this paper I attempt to offer an account of parthood that is intimate enough but not too intimate: the parts generate the whole, but they are not themselves the whole. (shrink)
The most popular concepts of happiness among psychologists and philosophers nowadays are concepts of happiness according to which happiness is defined as "satisfaction with life as a whole". Such concepts are "Whole Life Satisfaction" (WLS) concepts of happiness. I show that there are hundreds of non-equivalent ways in which a WLS conception of happiness can be developed. However, every precise conception either requires actual satisfaction with life as a whole or requires hypothetical satisfaction with life as a (...)whole. I show that a person can be "happy" (in any familiar sense that might be relevant to eudaimonism) at a time even though he is not actually satisfied with his life as a whole at that time. I also show that a person can be "happy" at a time even though it is not correct to say that if he were to think about his life at that time, he would be satisfied with it as a whole. My thesis is that if you think that happiness is the Good, you should avoid defining happiness as whole life satisfaction. (shrink)
Recent work has defended “Euclidean” theories of set size, in which Cantor’s Principle (two sets have equally many elements if and only if there is a one-to-one correspondence between them) is abandoned in favor of the Part-Whole Principle (if A is a proper subset of B then A is smaller than B). It has also been suggested that Gödel’s argument for the unique correctness of Cantor’s Principle is inadequate. Here we see from simple examples, not that Euclidean theories of (...) set size are wrong, but that they must be either very weak and narrow or largely arbitrary and misleading. (shrink)
In this paper, I set out and defend a new theory of value, whole-life welfarism. According to this theory, something is good only if it makes somebody better off in some way in his life considered as a whole. By focusing on lifetime, rather than momentary, well-being, a welfarist can solve two of the most vexing puzzles in value theory, The Badness of Death and The Problem of Additive Aggregation.
Many biologists and philosophers have worried that importing models of reasoning from the physical sciences obscures our understanding of reasoning in the life sciences. In this paper we discuss one example that partially validates this concern: part-whole reductive explanations. Biology and physics tend to incorporate different models of temporality in part-whole reductive explanations. This results from differential emphases on compositional and causal facets of reductive explanations, which have not been distinguished reliably in prior philosophical analyses. Keeping these two (...) facets distinct facilitates the identifi cation of two further aspects of reductive explanation: intrinsicality and fundamentality. Our account provides resources for discriminating between different types of reductive explanation and suggests a new approach to comprehending similarities and differences in the explanatory reasoning found in biology and physics. (shrink)
A scientific explanatory project, part-whole explanation, and a kind of science, part-whole science are premised on identifying, investigating, and using parts and wholes. In the biological sciences, mechanistic, structuralist, and historical explanations are part-whole explanations. Each expresses different norms, explananda, and aims. Each is associated with a distinct partitioning frame for abstracting kinds of parts. These three explanatory projects can be complemented in order to provide an integrative vision of the whole system, as is shown for (...) a detailed case study: the tetrapod limb. My diagnosis of part-whole explanation in the biological sciences as well as in other domains exploring evolved, complex, and integrated systems (e.g., psychology and cognitive science) cross-cuts standard philosophical categories of explanation: causal explanation and explanation as unification. Part-whole explanation is itself one essential aspect of part-whole science. (shrink)
In this essay, I use a general argument about the evidential role of data in ongoing inquiry to show that it is fruitful for economic historians and historians of economics to collaborate more frequently. The shared aim of this collaboration should be to learn from past economic experience in order to improve the cutting edge of economic theory. Along the way, I attack a too rigorous distinction between the history of economics and economic history. By drawing on the history of (...) physics, I argue that the history of a discipline can be a source of important evidence in ongoing inquiry. My argument relies on the claim that it is a constitutive element of science that evidence is never discarded forever and is thus historical in nature. In the final section, I offer a case study by explaining a research proposal that turns on a long-running data-set Babylonian whole-sale prices of six commodities noted in pre-Hellenistic and Hellenistic times. To motivate my reading of this data-set, I critically discuss Aristotle's successful attempt to distinguish between astrology and political economy. (shrink)
What is the relation between a whole and its parts? The metaphysics of structure and composition is much discussed in modern philosophy; now Verity Harte provides the first sustained examination of Plato's rich but neglected discussion of the topic, and shows how it can illuminate current debates. This book is an invaluable resource both for scholars of Plato and for modern metaphysicians.
Legally defining “death” in terms of brain death unacceptably obscures a value judgment that not all reasonable people would accept. This is disingenuous, and it results in serious moral flaws in the medical practices surrounding organ donation. Public policy that relies on the whole-brain concept of death is therefore morally flawed and in need of revision.
In its October 2001 issue, this journal published a series of articles questioning the Whole-Brain-based definition of death. Much of the concern focused on whether somatic integration - a commonly understood basis for the whole-brain death view - can survive the brain's death. The present article accepts that there are insurmountable problems with whole-brain death views, but challenges the assumption that loss of somatic integration is the proper basis for pronouncing death. It examines three major themes. First, (...) it accepts the claim of the "disaggregators" that some behaviors traditionally associated with death can be unbundled, but argues that other behaviors (including organ procurement) must continue to be associated. Second, it rejects the claims of the "somaticists," that the integration of the body is critical, arguing instead for equating death with the irreversible loss of "embodied consciousness," that is, the loss of integration of bodily and mental function. Third, it defends higher-brain views against the charge that they are necessarily "mentalist," that is, that they equate death with losing some mental function such as consciousness or personhood. It argues, instead, for the integration of bodily and mental function as the critical feature of human life and that its irreversible loss constitutes death. (shrink)
A well-known ``overdetermination''argument aims to show that the possibility of mental causes of physical events in a causally closed physical world and the possibility of causally relevant mental properties are both problematic. In the first part of this paper, I extend an identity reply that has been given to the first problem to a property-instance account of causal relata. In the second, I argue that mental types are composed of physical types and, as a consequence, both mental and physical types (...) may be causally relevant with respect to the same physical effect, contrary to the overdetermination argument. In further sections, I argue that mental types have causal powers, consider some objections and reject an alternative version of part-whole physicalism. Throughout I assume that causal relata are tropes and property types are classes of tropes. (shrink)
Bernard Williams famously argued that eternal life is undesirable for a human because it would inevitably grow intolerably boring. I will argue against Williams and those who share his view. To make my case, I will provide an account of what staves off boredom in our current, earthly-mortal lives, and then I will draw on this account while advancing reasons for thinking that eternal life is desirable, given certain conditions. Though my response to Williams will partly overlap with some prior (...) responses to Williams, especially the one offered by J. M. Fischer, my response will also be distinctive in some important ways. For instance, it will be distinctive in that it will discuss the role that one’s part-whole-reality conception plays in fending off boredom, where by ‘one’s part-whole-reality conception’ I mean ‘one’s conception of his or her place (or purpose) in the whole of reality’. (shrink)
Alan Shewmons article, The brain and somatic integration: Insights into the standard biological rationale for equating brain death with death (2001), strikes at the heart of the standard justification for whole brain death criteria. The standard justification, which I call the standard paradigm, holds that the permanent loss of the functions of the entire brain marks the end of the integrative unity of the body. In my response to Shewmons article, I first offer a brief summary of the standard (...) paradigm and cite recent work by advocates of whole brain criteria who tenaciously cling to the standard paradigm despite increasing evidence showing that it has significant weaknesses. Second, I address Shewmons case against the standard paradigm, arguing that he is successful in showing that whole brain dead patients have integrated organic unity. Finally, I discuss some minor problems with Shewmons article, along with suggestions for further elaboration. (shrink)
This book present a unified semantic theory of expressions involving the notions of "part" and "whole " in which principles of the individuation of part structures play a central role. The book presents a range of new empirical generalizations with data from English and a variety of other languages involving plurals, mass nouns, adnominal and adverbial modifiers such as 'whole', 'together', and 'alone', nominal and adverbial quanitfiers ranging over parts, and expressions of completion such as 'completely' and 'partly'. (...) She develops a new theory of part structures which differs from traditional mereological theories in that the notion of an integrated whole plays a central role and in that the part structure of an entity is allowed to vary across different situations, perspectives, and dimensions. (shrink)
The coherence of the whole truth is a presupposition of any holistic coherence theory of justification that postulates a positive connection between justification and truth, for unless the whole truth is itself systemically coherent there is no reason to look for systemic coherence when deciding whether one is justified in accepting a given body of beliefs as true. This paper develops a formal model of holistic evidential coherence and uses this model to formalize and defend the claim that (...) the whole truth must be coherent in an evidential sense. (shrink)
Many types of part-whole relations have been proposed in the literature to aid the conceptual modeller to choose the most appropriate type, but many of those relations lack a formal specification to give clear and unambiguous semantics to them. To remedy this, a formal taxonomy of types of mereological and meronymic part-whole relations is presented that distinguishes between transitive and intransitive relations and the kind of entity types that are related. The demand to use it effectively brings afore (...) new requirements for automated reasoning over a hierarchy of relations. To ensure logically and ontologically correct inferencing over both the class and role hierarchy, the new reasoning service RBox compatibility for Description Logics reasoners is introduced. The proposed combination of formal semantics and the new reasoning service will improve the representation of the application domain when using part-whole relations in conceptual models and ontologies. (shrink)
Science progresses if we succeed in rendering the objects of scientific inquiry more comprehensively or more precisely. Popper tries to formalize this venerable idea. According to him the most comprehensive and most precise description of the world is given by the set T of all true statements. A hypothesis comes the closer to T, or has the more verisimilitude, the more true consequences and the fewer false consequences it implies. Popper proposes to order hypotheses by the inclusion relations between the (...) sets of their true and of their false consequences ("truth contents" and "falsity contents"). A partial ordering would permit one to decide whether the substitution of theory t 1 by t 2 represents scientific progress. But because of the logical relations between the elements of the sets of logical consequences, or contents, false hypotheses cannot be compared. As our theories usually turn out to be false sooner or later, they can seldom be compared as to their verisimilitude and when they can, the result depends only on which theory implies the other and on their truth-values. Popper even tries to define a measure of verisimilitude on the partial ordering. It has to fail for the same reason. In addition he tries to relativize the concept of a content and fails. What is more, any attempt at defining a measure of better or worse correspondence to the whole truth must fail, as there is no justification for saying that any true primitive sentence asserts as much about reality as some other primitive sentence, or more. (shrink)
Note: The author holds the copyright, and there was no agreement, express or implied, not to use a facsimile PDF. -/- Using erotetic logic, the paper defines the "the whole truth" in a manner consistent with U.S. Supreme Court precedent. It cannot mean "the whole story," as witnesses in an adversary system are permitted /only/ to answer the questions put to them, nor are they permitted to speculate, add irrelevant material, etc. Nor can it mean not to add (...) an admixture of falsity, as that is already included in "nothing but the truth," and, strictly speaking, in "the truth," as any such as admixture renders the whole thing false (given bivalence is presupposed) by &-introduction. (shrink)
Some environmental ethicists believe that nature as whole has intrinsic value. One reason they do is because they are struck by the extent to which nature and natural processes give rise to so much that has intrinsic value. The underlying thought is that the value-producing work that nature performs, its instrumentality, imbues nature with a value that is more than merely instrumental. This inference, from instrumental value to a noninstrumental value (such as intrinsic value or systemic value), has been (...) criticized. After all, it seems to rely on the bizarre idea that a thing’s instrumental value could be a basis for it’s intrinsic value. This idea, however, is not as easy to dismiss as many might think. Review of the obvious arguments that might be deployed to defeat it shows that they have to be rejected, suggesting that a thing’s instrumental value could be, and arguably is, a basis for it’s intrinsic value. Defending this apparently bizarre idea provides a way of justifying the claim that nature as a whole has intrinsic value. (shrink)
This book departs from the premise that context represents a complex relational configuration which can no longer be conceived as an analytic prime but rather requires a parts-whole perspective to capture its inherent dynamism. The edited volume presents a collection of papers which examine the connectedness between context, contextualization and entextualization. They address the questions how meaning and speech acts are situated in context, how both are influenced by context, how context influences speech acts and meaning, how context is (...) imported into the discourse, and how context is entextualized in discourse. The papers cover institutional and non-institutional contexts, the language of Greek laws, political discourse, confrontational media discourse and task-oriented face-to-face and back-to-back interactions. They reflect current moves in pragmatics and discourse analysis to cross disciplinary and methodological boundaries by integrating relevant premises and insights, in particular cognition, adaptive action, negotiation of meaning, sequentiality, recipient design and genre. (shrink)