In 1980 L. M. de Rijk edited some texts connected with medieval disputation ( Die mittelaterlichen Traktate De modo opponendi et respondendi ), towards which he showed a strikingly contemptuous attitude. The reason for his contempt was that the treatises did not fit the obligationes and sophismata tradition. In this article I focus on the original version, the Thesaurus Philosophorum , to highlight the distinction of this family of treatises with respect to the “modern“ tradition. First, I (...) study the features of the disputation that can be recognised through the collection of fallacious arguments contained in the Thesaurus . Second, I briefly examine the contents of the treatise and their arrangement, showing that they are closely related to the kind of disputation in question. I hope to support the idea that neither the technique of disputation nor the contents and their arrangement deserve a straightforward rejection. (shrink)
In earlier work, I have presented an interpretation of Obligationes as logical games of consistency maintenance; this interpretation has some advantages, in particular that of capturing the multi-agent, goal-oriented, rule-governed nature of the enterprise by means of the game analogy. But it has as its main limitation the fact that it does not provide a satisfactory account of the deontic aspect of the framework—i.e. of what being obliged to a certain statement consists in. In order to remedy this shortcoming, (...) this paper argues for the more encompassing thesis that Obligationes can be viewed as a theory of rational dialogical practices, in particular concerning the management of one's discursive commitments. The main inspiration for this interpretation comes from R. Brandom's inferentialist, normative pragmatism, but more generally, it relies heavily on a dialogical conception of logic. I argue that it offers a more compelling account of several aspects of the obligational framework, in particular the role of doubting responses and the ubiquity of obligational vocabulary in the context of scientific discourse in the medieval tradition. (shrink)
A spirit of disintegration and disunity is conspicuous on the contemporary social, as well as philosophical scene. There is a celebration of fragments and differences. In such a scenario, no less than a person like Amartya Sen, an eminent economist and a Noble Laureate rose to the occasion and traced out the roots and the space for a democratic discourse that has been sustained in the Indian philosophical tradition. It is laudable that he opened up a discussion that will (...) strengthen the democratic spirit which is missing in the present. This paper examines the ‘dialogic tradition’ projected by Amartya Sen in his Argumentative Indian (2005). (shrink)
The existence of a Catholic Intellectual Tradition (CIT) is not a given, as arguments contra are in balance with arguments pro. An intellectual tradition consists of a style of thought and of a worldview, as its formal and material modes. The former defines the way knowledge is appropriated, processed, and passed on whereas the latter amounts to its applications to various regions of reality – God, man, morality, society, the Church, etc. A model of the CIT is proposed (...) that consists of principles differentiated by the degree of centrality they have in a topological structure. The paper asserts the existence of a CIT because a non-stipulative, non-trivial, and non-circular case can be made for it. (shrink)
Alasdair MacIntyre's account of tradition-based rationality has been the subject of much discussion, as well as the object of some recent charges of inconsistency. The author considers arguments by Jennifer Herdt, Peter Mehl, and John Haldane which attempt to show that MacIntyre's account of rationality is, in some way, inconsistent. It is argued that the various charges of inconsistency brought against MacIntyre by these critics can be understood as variations on two general types of criticism: (1) that MacIntyre's account (...) of tradition-based rationality presents a picture of rationality with inconsistent internal elements, and (2) that MacIntyre, in the act of presenting his picture of rationality, makes the sort of claims to which his own account of rationality denies legitimacy, and thus MacIntyre's account is self-referentially incoherent. In response to criticisms of the first sort, it is argued that MacIntyre can further clarify or develop his position to take the current criticisms into account without altering the fundamental aspects of his picture of rationality. In response to the charge of self-referential incoherence, it is argued that the charge rests on a mistaken understanding of MacIntyre's position and of the nature of justification. In dealing with these arguments, the author hopes to not only vindicate MacIntyre's account of rationality against the charges of some of its recent critics, but also to shed some light on the nature of arguments both for and against relativism and historicism. (shrink)
Rooted in real world observations, this book questions the concept of tradition In his introduction, Nezar AlSayyad discusses the meanings of the word 'tradition' and the current debates about the 'end of tradition'. Thereafter the book is divided into three parts. The three chapters in Part I explore the inextricable link between 'tradition' and 'modern', revealing the geopolitical implications of this link. Part II looks at tradition as a process of invention and here the (...) three chapters are all concerned with the making of landscapes and landscape myths, showing how the spectacle of history can be aestheticized and naturalized. Finally, Part III shows how tradition is a regime, programmed and policed and how it has been deployed, resisted, and reworked through hegemonic struggles that seek to create both built environments and citizen-subjects. (shrink)
Recent research on the role of ethics in the organizational culture literature found practically the whole literature reduced to a debate between ethical rationalism and ethical relativism. The role of the past in the form of tradition to maintain and improve moral reflection is completely missing. To address this gap in the literature on the level of practice, the concepts of moral memory and moral tradition are applied to data on 22 companies that have long-standing moral practices. In (...) this way, the practice of moral traditions can be explored with recent conceptual advances and a list of best practices delineated. Moral memory is the recollection of and attachment to the succession of past events and experiences that maintains moral tradition. Moral tradition is the continuing transmission and reception of related moral themes through multiple generations of employees. It is found that companies that maintain moral traditions tend to develop “family” cultures with considerable compassion for workers as persons who have non-economic needs and rights. These companies also temper the role of leadership, insisting that leaders are responsible for and are evaluated by the company’s moral traditions. Finally, moral traditions are essential mechanisms through which companies paradoxically both stimulate and limit competitive behavior. (shrink)
The issue of corporate responsibility has long been discussed in relationship to universities, but generally only in an ad hoc fashion. While the role of universities in teaching business ethics is one theme that has received significant and rather constant attention, other issues tend to be raised only sporadically. Moreover, when issues of corporate responsibility are raised, it is often done on the presumption of some understanding of a liberal arts mandate of the university, a position that has come under (...) much attack in recent years. The purpose of this article is to investigate more systematically the nature of the obligations that the university has to promote more responsible corporate behaviour. It does so on the basis of a reinterpretation of the liberal arts tradition from a critical theory perspective. This entails: (1) an initial conceptualization of the roles and functions of the university; (2) an examination of these functions at two formative periods of the liberal arts tradition, the medieval university and the rise of the modern university in Germany in the early 19th century; (3) an investigation of ruptures in the understanding and practices of the liberal arts tradition, resulting in large part from the rise of the bureaucratic state and the industrial capitalist economy; (4) a reinterpretation of the liberal arts tradition from a critical theory perspective; and (5) a systematic elaboration of the obligations of the university vis-à-vis corporations based upon the university's key functions of teaching, research, formation and professional development. (shrink)
This paper is a rejoinder to papers by Sabina Lovibond, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Sumner B. Twiss, G. Scott Davis, M. Cathleen Kaveny, and John Kelsay on the author's recent book "Democracy and Tradition". The argument covers a host of topics, ranging from epistemology and methodology to human rights, the common law, and Islamic ethics.
A human being is a complex entity consisting of the Self (also known as Consciousness), mind, senses and the body. The Vedānta tradition holds that the mind, the senses and the body are essentially different from the Self or Consciousness. It is through consciousness that we are able to know the things of the world, making use of the medium of the mind and the senses. Furthermore, the mind, though material, is able to reveal things, borrowing the light from (...) consciousness. From the phenomenological point of view, we have to answer the following questions: how does one know the mind/the mental operations/the cogitations of the mind? Does the mind know itself? Is it possible? There is, again, the problem of the intentionality of consciousness. Is consciousness intentional? According to Vedānta, consciousness by its very nature is not intentional, but it becomes intentional through the mind. The mind or the ego is not part of the consciousness; on the contrary, it is transcendent to consciousness. It is difficult to spell out the relation between consciousness and the mind. How does consciousness, which is totally different from the mind, get related to the mind in such a way that it makes the latter capable of comprehending the things of the world? The Vedānta tradition provides the answer to this question in terms of the knower-known relation. Consciousness is pure light, self-luminous by its very nature, that is, although it reveals other objects, it is not revealed by anything else. When Sartre describes it as nothingness, bereft of even ego, it is to show that it is pure light revealing objects outside it. (shrink)
The paper offers a survey of the debate on the introduction, in the Preamble of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, of references to God and Europe’s Christian tradition. It examines the question of European identity and values which motivates these proposals in relation to (1) the nature of the EU as an essentially political construction; (2) the issue of human rights in the EU; (3) the protection of cultural and religious diversity within the EU. The study shows (...) that the confessionalization of Europe promoted by strong churches on the Continent, which are legitimate actors of civil society, betray a failure to understand the logic of the European construction. To the extent to which they represent an attempt to secure a privileged position with respect to other religious or non-religious actors, they run against the functional principles and values of the Union. (shrink)
In this study I focus on the importance of the concept of the apocryphal to understand the work of Antonio Machado in its entirety. The concept of the apocryphal implies a critical position before tradition: the negation-forgetting of the real past, the affirmation reinvention of a possible past. The apocryphal comes to solve, according to Machado, the great crises that modern poetry faced: the loss of the ties that bound humankind and the universe, the relationship between high culture and (...) mass culture, the relationship between the ethical and the aesthetic in the work of art. (shrink)
The Appeal to Tradition, often considered to be unsound, frequently reflects sophisticated adaptations to the environment. Once developed, these adaptations are often transmitted culturally rather than as reasoned argument, so that people mayor may not be aware of why their traditions are wise. Tradition is more likely to be valid in a stable environment in which a wide range of variations have been available for past testing; however, traditions tend to become obsolete in a rapidly changing environment.
My article – as a first step in a comprehen- sive research program – attempts to verify the hypothesis according to which M. Eliade’s morphologi-cal and historical investigations of archaic religious- ness reveal the outlines of an archaic ontology. For this purpose, the article focuses upon Eliade’s conception of religious tradition as the carrier of the indivisible unity of sacred existence and religious experience. The ontological difference found in religious existence and revealed by religious experience is rooted in the (...) essentially hermeneutic nature of religious tradition. Therefore the perspective of philosophical hermeneutics proves very productive in the investigation of this problem. (shrink)
Community research by anthropologists and sociologists details the effects that centralization of decision making has on local communities. As governance and regulation move toward global scales, conservation policy has devolved to the local levels, creating tensions in resource management and protection. Centralization without local participation can place communities at risk by eroding the environmental knowledge and decision making capacity of local people. Environmental problems such as water quality impairments require perception, interpretation, and ability to act locally. Through a presentation of (...) findings from farm communities in the Sugar Creek Watershed (Northeast Ohio, USA), this paper examines tradition, social scale, and land use among Anabaptist and other farm households, and refocuses on-farm conversation away from conventional individual metric-based studies and toward a systems approach. This new approach frames conservation behavior in a socio-cultural system that is influenced by tradition in on-farm decision making. Data from four subwatersheds are used to probe the effects of these variables on conservation adoption, explore the optimal farm size concept, and discus the roles of tradition and local and non-local knowledge in sustainability. (shrink)
Introduction: Ancient & modern : the braid of Cassiodorus -- Tradition, literacy and change -- Church versus scripture : the idea of biblical tradition -- Revolution and tradition -- Re-envisioning the past : metaphors and symbols of tradition -- Inventing Christian culture : Volney, Chateaubriand and the French Revolution -- Herder, Schleiermacher, Novalis and Schlegel : the idea of a Christian Europe -- Translating Herder : the idea of Protestant Reformation -- Keble and the Anglican (...) class='Hi'>tradition -- Newman and the development of tradition -- Arnold : taking religion out of religion -- Radical tradition : theologizing Eliot -- Epilogue: Re-energizing the past -- Appendix: Velázquez and the royal boar hunt. (shrink)
Noting the prevalence of a misguided suspicion towards tradition, as well as an overt misunderstanding of the very notion of tradition in certain academic circles, this essay seeks to outline some of the basic tenets of an alternative understanding of tradition, based on a ‘sociological’ reading of several major philosophical works. It does so by revisiting and synthesizing some well-known, highly influential conceptual arguments that, taken together, offer a compelling, comprehensive interpretation and understanding of tradition, which (...) manages to avoid and overcome the false dichotomies that have dominated social-scientific thought. The article offers three corresponding analogies that capture the complex nature of tradition: tradition as language, tradition as narrative, and tradition as horizon. It then goes on to discuss the main implications these analogies carry to our understanding of tradition. (shrink)
In the past Boethius was primarily considered to be the author of the Consolatio, or a theologician or logician. But as a philosopher he was the first to reflect on the concept of person, while Augustinus and others only made use of this concept. It is the purpose of this article to show that it was exactly Boethius’ situation in the late antiquity with its many differing traditions that urged and enabled him to ask himself what person essentially is. His (...) new concept of person (: naturae rationabilis individua substantia) puts person first and strengthens - problematically - the position of substance. (shrink)
The foraging niche is characterized by the exploitation of nutrient-rich resources using complex extraction techniques that take a long time to acquire. This costly period of development is supported by intensive parental investment. Although human life history theory tends to characterize this investment in terms of food and care, ethnographic research on foraging skill transmission suggests that the flow of resources from old to young also includes knowledge. Given the adaptive value of information, parents may have been under selection pressure (...) to invest knowledge—e.g., warnings, advice--in children: proactive provisioning of reliable information would have increased offspring survival rates and, hence, parental fitness. One way that foragers acquire subsistence knowledge is through symbolic communication, including narrative. Tellingly, oral traditions are characterized by an old-to-young transmission pattern, which suggests that, in forager groups, storytelling might be an important means by which adults transfer knowledge to juveniles. In particular, by providing juveniles with vicarious experience, storytelling may expand episodic memory, which is believed to be integral to the generation of possible future scenarios (i.e., planning). In support of this hypothesis, this essay reviews evidence that: mastery of foraging knowledge and skill sets takes a long time to acquire; foraging knowledge is transmitted from parent to child; the human mind contains adaptations specific to social learning; full assembly of learning mechanisms is not complete in early childhood; and forager oral traditions contain a wide range of information integral to occupation of the foraging niche. It concludes with suggestions for tests of the proposed hypothesis. (shrink)
The concept of "practices"--whether of representation, of political or scientific traditions, or of organizational culture--is central to social theory. In this book, Stephen Turner presents the first analysis and critique of the idea of practice as it has developed in the various theoretical traditions of the social sciences and the humanities. Understood broadly as a tacit understanding "shared" by a group, the concept of a practice has a fatal difficulty, Turner argues: there is no plausible mechanism by which a "practice" (...) is transmitted or reproduced. The historical uses of the concept, from Durkheim to Kripke's version of Wittgenstein, provide examples of the contortions that thinkers have been forced into by this problem, and show the ultimate implausibility of the idea. Turner's conclusion sketches a picture of what happens when we do without the notion of a shared practice, and how this bears on social theory and philosophy. It explains why social theory cannot get beyond the stage of constructing fuzzy analogies, and why the standard constructions of the contemporary philosophical problem of relativism depend upon this defective notion. This first book-length critique of practice theory is sure to stir discussion and controversy in a wide range of fields, from philosophy and science studies to sociology, anthropology, literary studies, and political and legal theory. (shrink)
A genealogical excavation of the pre transpersonal movement uncovers a hitherto unrecognized process of hybridity and syncretism occurring in the 1960s U.S. counter culture. The presence of hybridity in the movement's prehistory has serious repercussions for current maps in transpersonalism (and religious enactments in general). It is argued here that current transpersonal theories have built themselves on an unexamined foundation of magic, sorcery, and cosmological hybridization. Ken Wilber's neoperennialist cosmos will be construed as an assimilationist strain of hybridity. Jorge Ferrer's (...) more culture-friendly postulate of an "Ocean with Many Shores" suggests a kind of cosmological multiculturalism. However, what appear to be fixities in his cosmology lend themselves to critical reevaluation of this aspect of his revision of transpersonal psychology. (shrink)
Liberal theories of justice have been rightly criticized for two things by care theorists. First, they have failed to deal with private care relations’ inherent (inter)dependency, asymmetry and particularity. Second, they have been shown unable properly to address the asymmetry and dependency constitutive of care workers’ and care-receivers’ systemic conditions. I apply Kant’s theory of right to show that current care theories unfortunately reproduce similar problems because also they argue on the assumption that good care requires only virtuous private individuals. (...) Giving up this assumption enables us to solve the problems regarding both private care relations and systemic injustice. (shrink)
In this paper I will examine the relation between the theory of obligations and its use in sophismatic contexts through the lens of certain pragmatic concerns. In order to do this, I will take a sophism discussed by Peter of Mantua in his treatise on obligations as a case-study. I will first provide a brief outline of the structure of the treatise and then examine a concrete case that shows how the relationship between background assumptions (casus and context of utterance) (...) and criteria of response seems to suggest a way to qualify the application of general rules (especially for irrelevant sentences) in certain limit-cases. By discussing Peter's presentation of the sophism, I will also argue for a connection between Peter of Mantua's text and Mesino de Codronchi's Questiones on the De Interpretatione. (shrink)
How are we to understand advanced information technologies at a time where their use is becoming more and more widespread? To address this question, the author analyses the discourse of cooperative design. In doing this she draws on recent feminist thinking and her own experiences from a research project. She discusses the meaning of concepts such as experience, users, computers and politics in this discourse. She particularly stresses alternative ways of understanding the political nature of design and that multiple perspectives, (...) including descriptive and historical ones, are relevant to both developing the technology and to deepening our understanding of the politics of intervention in design. (shrink)
Why should inhabitants of a postmodern world commit to a contingent tradition? This essay reviews Alasdair MacIntyre’s proposals for tradition constituted-enquiry and compares his account with Polanyi’s ideas focusing on tacit knowing.
Michael Polanyi and Karl Popper offer contrasting accounts of social tradition. Popper is steeped in the heritage of the Enlightenment, while Polanyi interweaves religious and diverse secular strands of thought. Explaining the liberal tradition, Polanyi features tacit knowledge of rules, standards, applications and interpretations being transmitted by “craftsmen” to “apprentices.” Each generation adopts the liberal tradition on “faith,” commits to creatively developing its art of knowledge-in-practice, and is drawn to the spiritual reality of ideal ends. Of particular (...) interest to Popper is the rationality of social traditions. Likened by him to scientific theories, Popper’s traditions are criticizable and improvable, assisting agents to understand, and act in, the world as stable and predictable. Polanyi’s is the more informative rendering of tradition. Polanyi delves deeply into important areas where Popper only scratches their surface: the tacit dimension, transmission by way of apprenticeship, the meaning of tradition for those who participate in it, and the extent of its authority over them. (shrink)
Michael Polanyi made an original contribution in his reflections on tradition within the scientific community. Starting with his Riddell Lectures (Science, Faith and Society), he considered the role of authority and the transmission of tacit knowledge within the scientific community, an analysis that can be extended to other, often contrasting, realms of intellectual life.
In his post-critical philosophy, Polanyi challenges the intellectual trend in modern western philosophy which exalted critical reason and denigrated the uncritical elements of knowing, such as belief, tradion and authority. In this paper, the author focuses on Polanyi’s thoughts on tradition, authority and originality in a post-critical perspective. On the one hand, Polanyi, against modern critical philosophy, fulluy acknowledges the important role played by tradition and authority in science, on the other hand, he also tries to show the (...) tension and the deep unity between tradition, authority and originality. (shrink)
The virtue of qian, one of the traditional Chinese virtues, usually refers to humbleness, humility and modesty. Ancient thinkers in China not only expounded on the meaning and basis of qian, but also argued for its value. It was usually thought that the value of qian rested in its ability to cultivate virtue, promote scholarship, get along with people, and maintain enterprises. Ancient thinkers in China placed so much emphasis on the virtue of qian that there was a tendency to (...) overemphasize qian. There is also a tradition of qian in the West, which is less likely to become excessive compared to that in the East. Presently, Chinese society is transitioning into a modern society, but the virtue of qian still has value. While continuing to embrace its traditional essence, we should adopt useful aspects from the Western concept of qian to reshape the virtue of qian so that it conforms to modern Chinese society. (shrink)
In this paper I shall discuss the relationship between the two known Arabic translations of Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics and Avicenna’s Kitāb al-Burhān. I shall argue that Avicenna relies on both (1) Abū Bishr Mattā’s translation and (2) the anonymous translation used by Averroes in the Long Commentary as well as in the Middle Commentary (and also indirectly preserved by Gerard of Cremona’s Latin translation of Aristotle’s work). Although, generally speaking, the problem is relevant to the history of the transmission of (...) the Posterior Analytics from Greek through Syriac into Arabic, I do not intend to give a systematic presentation of the historical setting in which Aristotle’s work became readily available to the Arabo-Islamic culture. My aim here is rather to isolate and discuss some pieces of evidence concerning the texts that seem to have been available to Avicenna. In addition to that, I shall also provide evidence concerning the relationship with the Greek commentary tradition (in particular Philoponus and Themistius) that is likely to have influenced Avicenna in his discussion of Aristotle’s theory of demonstration and scientific knowledge. (shrink)
Valuing -- Morality and reasonable partiality -- Doing and allowing -- The division of moral labour : egalitarian liberalism as moral pluralism -- Is the basic structure basic? -- Cosmopolitanism, justice, and institutions -- What is egalitarianism? -- Choice, circumstance, and the value of equality -- Is terrorism morally distinctive? -- Immigration and the significance of culture -- The normativity of tradition -- The good of toleration.
Medieval philosophy is often presented as the outcome of a large scale encounter between the Christian tradition and the Greek philosophical one. This picture, however, inappropriately tends to leave out the active role played by the medieval authors themselves and their institutional contexts. The theme of the mental language provides us with an interesting case study in such matters. The paper first introduces a few technical notions—'theme', 'tradition', 'textual chain' and 'textual borrowing'—, and then focuses on precise passages (...) about mental language from Anselm of Canterbury, Albert the Great and William of Ockham. All three authors in effect identify some relevant Augustinian idea (that of 'mental word', most saliently) with some traditional philosophical one (such as that of 'concept' or that of 'logos endiathetos'). But the gist of the operation widely varies along the line and the tradition encounter is staged in each case with specific goals and interests in view. The use of ancient authoritative texts with respect to mental language is thus shown to be radically transformed from the eleventh to the fourteenth century. (shrink)
The tradition of natural law is one of the foundations of Western civilization. At its heart is the conviction that there is an objective and universal justice which transcends humanity’s particular expressions of justice. It asserts that there are certain ways of behaving which are appropriate to humanity simply by virtue of the fact that we are all human beings. Recent political debates indicate that it is not a tradition that has gone unchallenged: in fact, the opposition is (...) as old as the tradition itself. By distinguishing between philosophy and ideology, by recalling the historical adventures of natural law, and by reviewing the theoretical problems involved in the doctrine, Simon clarifies much of the confusion surrounding this perennial debate. He tackles the questions raised by the application of natural law with skill and honesty as he faces the difficulties of the subject. Simon warns against undue optimism in a revival of interest in natural law and insists that the study of natural law beings with the analysis of “the law of the land.” He writes not as a polemicist but as a philosopher, and he writes of natural law with the same force, conciseness, lucidity and simplicity which have distinguished all his other works. (shrink)