Within much contemporary social ontology there is a particular methodology at work. This methodology takes as a starting point two or more asocial or atomic individuals. These individuals are taken to be perfectly functional agents, though outside of all social relations. Following this, combinations of these individuals are considered, to deduce what constitutes a social group. Here I will argue that theories which rely on this methodology are always circular, so long as they purport to describe the formation of all (...) social groups, as they must always presuppose a pre-existing collectivity. Such methodology also produces various distortions in our theories, such as voluntarism. I focus on the workings of PluralSubject Theory as laid out by Margaret Gilbert in On Social Facts (1989). I show that the formation of a pluralsubject always requires communication, and that communication always requires a pre-existing collectivity. i examine the elements within PluralSubject Theory which protect gilbert from these accusations of circularity, and argue against them. I finalise by suggesting that what PluralSubject Theory, and social ontology in general, requires as a theoretical starting point is not atomic individuals and their combinations, but rather combinations of already socialised or embedded individuals. (shrink)
Margaret Gilbert's pluralsubject theory defines social collectives in terms of common knowledge of expressed willingness to participate in some joint action. The author critically examines Gilbert's application of this theory to linguistic phenomena involving "we," arguing that recent work in linguistics provides the tools to develop a superior account. The author indicates that, apart from its own relevance, one should care about this critique because Gilbert's claims about the first person plural pronoun play a role in (...) the argument in favor of her recent theory of political obligation. Key Words: collective agent • Gilbert • pluralsubject • semantics • we. (shrink)
Andrea Westlund's account of love involves lovers becoming a PluralSubject mirroring Margaret Gilbert's PluralSubject Theory. However, while for Gilbert the creation of a plural will involves individuals jointly committing to pool their wills and the plural will directly normatively constraining those individuals, Westlund, in contrast, sees the creation of a plural will as a continual process thus rejecting the possibility of such direct normative constraint. This rejection appears to be required to (...) explain the flexibility that allows for a central place for reciprocity in loving relationships. However, this paper argues against the existence of such flexibility and presents instead the case that variance in the normative pain of rebelling against the collective will can be accommodated by replacing Gilbert's notion of all-or-nothing pooling of wills with an account that see wills as becoming entangled through levels of identification with the pluralsubject. (shrink)
The issue of knowing what it means for a group to have collective beliefs is being discussed more and more in contemporary philosophy of the social sciences and philosophy of mind. Margaret Gilberts reconsideration of Durkheims viewpoint in the framework of the pluralsubjects account is one of the most famous. This has implications in the history and the sociology of scienceas well asin the history and sociology of philosophyalthough Gilbert only outlined them in the former fields and (...) said nothing about the latter. Symmetrically but independently, a historian of science, Mara Beller, has recently challenged Kuhns conception of the role of consensus in sciences in a brilliant analysis by carefully studying the history of Copenhagen School of Quantum Mechanics. Not only does she show the role of disagreement and controversies (doubting whether there was any collective belief characteristic in this group of physicists), but she even shakes up the very idea of individual beliefs. Each scientist (Heisenberg, Bohr, etc.) could be seen as divided into several selves. This paper contends that these two conceptions open important new horizons in several domains, especially if they are linked together. The paper assesses this claim in the light of empirical examples like the Vienna Circle, Copenhagen School, and, eventually, Cartesian philosophy. Key Words: pluralsubject polyphony collective briefs Cartesian argumentation. (shrink)
Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen’s Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right From Wrong (Oxford University Press, 2009) explores efforts to develop machines that, not only can be employed for good or bad ends, but which themselves can be held morally accountable for what they do— artificial moral agents (AMAs). This essay is a critical response to Wallach and Allen’s conjectures. Although Wallach and Allen do not suggest that we are close to being able to create full-fledged AMAs, they do talk seriously (...) about making incremental progress in the direction of creating them (even if we never fully succeed). However, there are important questions about the moral development of AMAs that Moral Machines does not address. Given the responsibilities entrusted to human moral agents, we take questions about their moral development very seriously. In the case of children, the hope is that eventually they will develop into full-fledged moral agents. How might we expect this to go with less than fully formed AMAs? Will there be a comparable story of moral development and moral education that we can tell? (shrink)
Plato was the first philosopher to discover the metaphysical phenomenon of plural-subjects and plural-predication; e.g. you and I are two, but neither you, nor I are two. I argue that Plato devised an ontology for plural-predication through his Theory of Forms, namely, plural-partaking in a Form. Furthermore, I argue that Plato used plural-partaking to offer an ontology of related individuals without reifying relations. My contention is that Plato’s theory of plural-relatives has evaded detection in (...) the exegetical literature because his account of plural-subjects through the Theory of Forms had not been recognised for what it is. I further submit that Plato’s handling of related individuals through plural-predication is not only a “first” in philosophy, but also an “only”, having remained a unique account in the metaphysics of relations. I hope that Plato’s account will introduce a fresh approach to contemporary debates on the subject. (shrink)
It has been claimed in the literature that collective intentionality and group attitudes presuppose some “sense of ‘us’” among the participants (other labels sometimes used are “sense of community,” “communal awareness,” “shared point of view,” or “we-perspective”). While this seems plausible enough on an intuitive level, little attention has been paid so far to the question of what the nature and role of this mysterious “sense of ‘us’” might be. This paper states (and argues for) the following five claims: (1) (...) it is neither the case that the sense in question has the community (or “us”) in its content or as its object nor does the attitude in question presuppose a preexistent community (or “us”) as its subject. (2) The “sense of ‘us’” is plural pre-reflective self-awareness. (3) Plural pre-reflective self-awareness plays the same role in the constitution of a common mind that singular pre-reflective self-awareness plays in the individual mind. (4) The most important conceptions of plural subjects, collective persons, or group agents in the current literature fail to recognize the nature and role of plural self-awareness, and therefore fall short in important respects. (5) In spite of the striking similarities between the plural and the singular mind, there are important differences to consider. The authority of the singular first person point of view has no equivalent in the plural case. (shrink)
The constitutional subject : singular, plural or universal? -- The constitutional subject and the clash of self and other : on the uses of negation, metaphor, and metonymy -- Reinventing tradition through constitutional interpretation : the case of unenumerated rights in the United States -- Recasting and reorienting identity through constitution-making : the pivotal case of Spain's 1978 Constitution -- Constitutional models : shaping, nurturing, and guiding the constitutional subject -- Models of constitution making -- The (...) constitutional subject and clashing visions of citizenship : can we be beyond what we are not? -- Can the constitutional subject go global? imagining a convergence of the universal, the particular, and the singular. (shrink)
Roman Jakobson, who had left Russia in 1920 and in 1941 took refuge in the USA from the Nazis, was one of the main figures in post war linguistics and structuralism. Two aspects of his work are examined in this article. Firstly, Jakobson purifies his linguistic theory of pragmatic references. Secondly, he develops his own diplomatic mission of mediating between East and West. In this article, I argue that these two aspects did not develop independently from one another. Instead I (...) claim that his theory is designed to slip through the Iron Curtain, while at the same time providing the means to analyse ways of acting politically by using language. This argument is unfolded in two steps, each consisting of two parts. First, I compare the theory of pronominal expressions as developed by Emil Benveniste to Jakobson’s theory of shifters. While Benveniste focuses on the relation of language and its subject using language, Jakobson introduces a model of communication to allow maximal formalisation of language. According to this even the category of person can be freed from its reference to a subject which would be understood as having a place in space and time. Then, Jakobson’s theory of shifters is studied in relation to his analyses of poetry. For this, two examples are chosen: Jakobson’s text on two poems by Russian poet Alexandr Blok, and his text on a poem by Bertold Brecht. In both texts, the theory of shifters—and the alleged purification from pragmatic aspects of language use ensuing from this theory—is challenged by the simple fact that they focus on the pronoun of the first person plural. According to Jakobson, the category of number does not belong to the shifters. Rather, number quantifies participants of the related event. The pronoun ‘we’ is at the same time a shifter and a non-shifter, as it refers to the speech event and the related event. Thus the pronoun ‘we’ opens up the possibility to include or exclude the participants of a communicative situation, and thereby enables the speaker to act socially or even politically by using language. The article concludes by coming back to the historical situation in which Jakobson developed his analyses of poetry. Analysing poetry seems to have been a passe-partout for him, a seemingly harmless subject that allowed him to get a foot in the door of remote and secluded lecture halls. (shrink)
German noun plurals not ending in -s are not as irregular as Clahsen suggests. Feminine nouns get the -n plural, unless they umlaut and are subject to a constraint that requires a reduced final syllable in the plural. Another regular class is masculine nouns ending in schwa, which are weakly inflected. It is suggested that more differentiated psycholinguistic experiments can identify these regularities.
Thinking the future of Justice implies not only answering the question, considered its object: what is it due?, but another more original: To whom is it due? Theories of Social contract, specially the rawlsian, have a great influence on contemporary models of justice. Some of the most powerful critics are the ones held by Walzer, who integrates the plurality in the very structure of the justice, and by Nussbaum, who emphasizes the importance of grasping the subject of justice as (...)plural. A new step is needed: recognizing the plurality in the social links, if we wish a reliable theory of justice. (shrink)
This paper defends 'plural reference', the view that definite plurals refer to several individuals at once, and it explores how the view can account for a range of phenomena that have been discussed in the linguistic literature.
This version of this paper has been superseded by a substantially revised version in G. Strawson, Real Materialism and Other Essays (OUP 2008) I take 'content' in a natural internalist way to refer to occurrent mental content. I introduce a 'thin' or ‘live’ notion of the subject according to which a subject of experience cannot exist unless there is an experience for it to be the subject of. I then argue, first, that in the case of a (...) particular experience E, its content C, and its (thin) subject S, [C ↔ E ↔ S]; and, second, that the metaphysical fact that underlies this (strong modal) equivalence is in fact identity: [E = S = C]. I suggest that the effort of thought required to grasp this is deeply revealing of the nature of reality. On the way I raise a doubt about the viability of the traditional object/property distinction. -/- . (shrink)
Ordinary English contains different forms of quantification over objects. In addition to the usual singular quantification, as in 'There is an apple on the table', there is plural quantification, as in 'There are some apples on the table'. Ever since Frege, formal logic has favored the two singular quantifiers ∀x and ∃x over their plural counterparts ∀xx and ∃xx (to be read as for any things xx and there are some things xx). But in recent decades it has (...) been argued that we have good reason to admit among our primitive logical notions also the plural quantifiers ∀xx and ∃xx. More controversially, it has been argued that the resulting formal system with plural as well as singular quantification qualifies as ‘pure logic’; in particular, that it is universally applicable, ontologically innocent, and perfectly well understood. In addition to being interesting in its own right, this thesis will, if correct, make plural quantification available as an innocent but extremely powerful tool in metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophical logic. For instance, George Boolos has used plural quantification to interpret monadic second-order logic and has argued on this basis that monadic second-order logic qualifies as “pure logic.” Plural quantification has also been used in attempts to defend logicist ideas, to account for set theory, and to eliminate ontological commitments to mathematical objects and complex objects. (shrink)
In this paper I attempt to show, by considering a number of sources, including Wittgenstein, Sartre, Thomas Nagel and Spinoza, but also adding something crucial of my own, that it is impossible to construe the subject of experience as an object among other objects in the world. My own added argument is the following. The subject of experience cannot move in time along with material events and processes or it could not be aware of the passage of time, (...) hence neither of change nor of motion. The subject cannot therefore be identified with any neural process, function, or location since whatever goes on in the CNS is necessarily objective and part of the temporal flux. However this does not imply any form of dualism for experiences exist only for the subject whose experiences they are and hence they have no objective reality. (shrink)
The goal of this article is twofold. First, it revises the historiographic partition proposed by John Deely in Four Ages of Understanding (2001) by arguing that the moment marking the beginning of philosophical Modernity has been vividly recorded in Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy with the experiment with the wax. Second, an upshot of this historical study is that it helps make sense of Deely’s somewhat iconoclastic use of the words “subject” and “subjectivity” to designate mind-independent worldly things. The (...) hope is that successfully accomplishing these twin tasks will give semiotic inquiry a better appreciation of its own history, as well as resources genial to furthering its ongoing development. (shrink)
Modal sentences of the form "every F might be G" and "some F must be G" have a threefold ambiguity. in addition to the familiar readings "de dicto" and "de re", there is a third reading on which they are examples of the "plural de re": they attribute a modal property to the F's plurally in a way that cannot in general be reduced to an attribution of modal properties to the individual F's. The plural "de re" readings (...) of modal sentences cannot be captured within standard quantified modal logic. I consider various strategies for extending standard quantified modal logic so as to provide analyses of the readings in question. I argue that the ambiguity in question is associated with the scope of the general term 'F'; and that plural quantifiers can be introduced for purposes of representing the scope of a general term. Moreover, plural quantifiers provide the only fully adequate solution that keeps within the framework of quantified modal logic. (shrink)
The problem of the legal person is a central issue in legal philosophy and the theory of law. In this article I examine the semantic meaning of the concept of the person in Russian philosophy at the turn of the twentieth century, considered to be the "Golden Age" of Russian legal thought. This provides an overview of the conception of the personality in the context of different legal approaches (theory of natural law, legal positivism, the psychological legal doctrine, and the (...) sociological school of law). I indicate a polemic among the theories of the person and attempts to create an integral concept of the legal subject. In addition I present an analysis of the relation between the concepts of the legal subject and the moral person, which personify fundamental features of law and morality. In order to demarcate the notions of individual and the legal subject, I focus on doctrines of the artificial person or the juridical person. (shrink)
In “Mathematics is megethology,” Lewis reconstructs set theory using mereology and plural quantification (MPQ). In his recontruction he assumes from the beginning that there is an infinite plurality of atoms, whose size is equivalent to that of the set theoretical universe. Since this assumption is far beyond the basic axioms of mereology, it might seem that MPQ do not play any role in order to guarantee the existence of a large infinity of objects. However, we intend to demonstrate that (...) mereology and plural quantification are, in some ways, particularly relevant to a certain conception of the infinite. More precisely, though the principles of mereology and plural quantification do not guarantee the existence of an infinite number of objects, nevertheless, once the existence of any infinite object is admitted, they are able to assure the existence of an uncountable infinity of objects. So, if—as Lewis maintains—MPQ were parts of logic, the implausible consequence would follow that, given a countable infinity of individuals, logic would be able to guarantee an uncountable infinity of objects. (shrink)
PG ( Plural Grundgesetze ) is a predicative monadic second-order system which exploits the notion of plural quantification and a few Fregean devices, among which a formulation of the infamous Basic Law V. It is shown that second-order Peano arithmetic can be derived in PG. I also investigate the philosophical issue of predicativism connected to PG. In particular, as predicativism about concepts seems rather un-Fregean, I analyse whether there is a way to make predicativism compatible with Frege’s logicism.
In this article I develop tools for analyzing the identities that emerge in qualitative material. I approach identities as historically, socially and culturally produced subject positions, as processes that are in a constant state of becoming and that receive their temporary stability and meaning in concrete contexts and circumstances. I suggest that the identities and subject positions that materialize in qualitative material can be analyzed from four different perspectives. They can be approached by focusing on (1) classifications that (...) define the boundary lines between ‘us’ and ‘them’, as (2) participant roles that refer to the temporal aspect of subject positions and outline their meaning for action, as (3) structures of viewpoint and focalization that frame meaning and order to opinions and experiences of the world, and as (4) interactive positions that articulate the roles and identities taken by the participants of communication. (shrink)
This paper rejects Hume's famous claim that we never perceive our selves, by arguing that, under conditions specified, our perception of our bodies is perception of our selves. It takes as its point of departure Quassim Cassam's defence of a position to a similar effect but puts a different interpretation on the distinction between perceiving the body as an object, having spatial attributes, and perceiving it as a self or subject of experiences.
I show that the contemporary dominant analysis of natural language quantifiers that are one-place determiners by means of binary generalized quantifiers has failed to explain why they are, according to it, conservative. I then present an alternative, Geachean analysis, according to which common nouns in the grammatical subject position are plural logical subject-terms, and show how it does explain that fact and other features of natural language quantification.
Abstract Under the realm of neurocultures the concept of the cerebral subject emerges as the central category to define the self, socio-cultural interaction and behaviour. The brain is the reference for explaining cognitive processes and behaviour but at the same time the plastic brain is situated in current paradigms of (self)optimization on the market of meritocracy by means of neurotechnologies. This paper explores whether neurotechnological apparatuses may—due to their hybridity and malleability—bear potentials for a change in gender based attributions (...) that have been historically legitimized by apparently natural differences between women and men. Or, in contrast, which gendered ascriptions are (again) produced in theories and applications according to the normative demands for the bio-techno-social cerebral subject situated in neoliberal power relations. An exploration of three main fields of current developments, the neurotechnological apparatus of brain-computer-interfaces, the technologies for brain tuning and the discourses in neuroeconomics, reveals first insights on these gender aspects in reliance with the ethical/political debate. Moreover, this paper concretizes questions for further research on gender and ethical aspects in the field of neurotechnologies. Content Type Journal Article Category Original Paper Pages 1-14 DOI 10.1007/s12152-011-9129-1 Authors Sigrid Schmitz, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Cultural and Social Anthropology, University of Vienna, Alserstraße 23/22, 1080 Vienna, Austria Journal Neuroethics Online ISSN 1874-5504 Print ISSN 1874-5490. (shrink)
Sengzhao (374?−414 CE), a leading Chinese Mādhyamika philosopher, holds that the myriad things are empty, and that they are, at bottom, the same as emptiness qua the way things truly are. In this paper, I distinguish the level of the myriad things from that of the way things truly are and call them, respectively, the ontic and the ontological levels. For Sengzhao, the myriad things at the ontic level are indeterminate and empty, and he equates the way things truly are (...) at the ontological level with emptiness. This paper explicates the ontic status of the myriad things and the ontological notion of emptiness and elucidates the relationship between them. I read Sengzhao as dismissing the idea that reality has a mind-independent structure that comprises discrete entities waiting to be captured by concepts. I show that his notion of emptiness points to a subject-object unity wherein both the subject and the myriad objects are conceptually undifferentiated. It will be seen that Sengzhao’s overall theory of emptiness is philosophically interesting in terms of its relevance for ontology and the relationship between language and reality. It provides a refreshing and challenging perspective on how we may perceive the world and understand our relationship to it. (shrink)
Bildung, a German pedagogical term with the sense of ‘educating oneself’, refers to some of the most complex human activities. It is constitutive for human existence, because it is related to the characteristic of meaning. Because of the great relevance of Bildung for people, education is essential for furthering it. The two purposes of this contribution are: i. to examine the structure of one main process component of Bildung, namely the process of designing an image (Bild) of the changes to (...) be furthered in the educand, and ii. to explain this process component of Bildung. This process is theoretically structured as a subject-object transformation, and the attempt is made to explain this from an idealistic perspective. Building upon this foundation, the article shows how the process of designing an image for Bildung can be furthered educationally. (shrink)
The first thesis of this article is that the concept of responsibility takes on an unprecedented meaning in the twentieth century resulting from the emergence of a new dimension of the other: to be responsible comes to mean not just to account for oneself in relation to the other, but also to take the other into account, to take care of the other—what I call responsibility towards (the other). The main reason for this change consists in the emergence of global (...) risks and the necessity, as underlined by Hans Jonas, to be responsible for the destiny of the world and future generations. The problem, as explored in the article’s second thesis, is that this implies the existence of a subject who is capable of responsibility. Jonas’s insights on this point are insufficient, since he only recognizes duty as the fundament for his ethics of responsibility and thus neglects the problem of motivation. This is a particularly crucial problem today as we are witnessing the presence of a pathological subject, characterized by a split in his faculties (between doing and imagining, knowing and feeling). To underline this fact, this article makes use of Günther Anders’s reflections, which provide a psycho-anthropological analysis of the subject, showing his pathologies and the necessity, from a moral perspective, to overcome his scission. Finally, this author suggests, as the article’s third thesis, that this overcoming is the necessary fundament for the perception of risk, which in turn reinstates the subject’s perception of his own vulnerability. Responsibility thus finds a motivation, which is neither altruistic nor duty-centred, in the awareness of our own vulnerability and the bond with the destiny of humankind as a whole. (shrink)
The notion of a constitutive lack, which formed the ambivalent initial framework of Western metaphysics, marks the contemporary attempt to think anew the social and the subject. While metaphysics had difficulties to justify ontologically the event of sociality and was tempted to construct a closed subjectivity, post-metaphysical thought by contrast justifies often the sociality of a non-identity. The presuppositions of Orthodox-Christian theology allow us to think of subjectivity and sociality in terms of a different ontology, elaborating a new synthesis (...) between anthropology and eschatology, within which the subject can emerge as radical sociality and natal receptivity, as free and true in its very relationality. The most profound and acute intellectual demands of our present time could then meet central notions of the Orthodox-Christian heritage and point at the perspective of a new historical encounter, which enriches both traditions by mutually engaging to each others fundamental experiences. (shrink)
With no precise boundaries, always on the move and too complex to be defined by space and time, is it possible to map the human subject? This book attempts to do just this, exploring the places of the subject in contemporary culture. The editors approach this subject from four main aspects--its construction, sexuality, limits and politics--using a wide ranging review of literature on subjectivity across the social and human sciences. The first part of the book establishes the (...) idea that the subject is constructed through detailed histories of the subject. The second part shows that sexuality cannot be assumed to be natural through the contributors' research on the place of sexuality in subjectivity and subjectivity in sexuality. The essays in the third part take issue with the idea of a singular, self-contained identity. Power relations and the effects of power are consistent themes throughout the book and the final section deals explicitly with relations of power, whether organized around gender, race, class or other kinds of difference. Contributors: Steve Pile, Nigel Thrift, Miles Ogborn, Carolyn Steedman, David Matless, David Sibley, David Bell, Julia Cream, Vic Seidler, Hester Parr, Chris Philo, Marcus Doel, Paul Rodaway, Nigel Rapport, Stephen Frosh, Valerie Walkerdine, Gillian Rose and Michael Keith. (shrink)
The basic tendencies in the conceptual history of the 'subject' within Russian intellectual history are presented. This backgrounds a closer analysis of S. Trubetskoj's concept of 'conciliar consciousness', including the problems and aporiae connected with it. It will be shown that and how this conception depends on assumptions from prekantian metaphysics and therefore ignores the Kantian account of subjectivity.
Teaching and research are organised differently between subject domains: attempts to construct typologies of higher education institutions, however, often do not include quantitative indicators concerning subject mix which would allow systematic comparisons of large numbers of higher education institutions among different countries, as the availability of data for such indicators is limited. In this paper, we present an exploratory approach for the construction of such indicators. The database constructed in the AQUAMETH project, which includes also data disaggregated at (...) the disciplinary level, is explored with the aim of understanding patterns of subject mix. For six European countries, an exploratory and descriptive analysis of staff composition divided in four large domains (medical sciences, engineering and technology, natural sciences and social sciences and humanities) is performed, which leads to a classification distinguishing between specialist and generalist institutions. Among the latter, a further distinction is made based on the presence or absence of a medical department. Preliminary exploration of this classification and its comparison with other indicators show the influence of long term dynamics on the subject mix of individual higher education institutions, but also underline disciplinary differences, for example regarding student to staff ratios, as well as national patterns, for example regarding the number of PhD degrees per 100 undergraduate students. Despite its many limitations, this exploratory approach allows defining a classification of higher education institutions that accounts for a large share of differences between the analysed higher education institutions. (shrink)
The state of affairs of some things falling under a predicate is supposedly a single entity that collects these things as its constituents. But whether we think of a state of affairs as a fact, a proposition or a possibility, problems will arise if we adopt a plural logic. For plural logic says that any plurality include themselves, so whenever there are some things, the state of affairs of their plural self-inclusion should be a single thing that (...) collects them all. This leads to paradoxes analogous to those that afflict naïve set theory. Here I suggest that they are the very same paradoxes, because sets can be reduced to states of affairs. However, to obtain a consistent theoretical reduction we must restrict the usual axiom scheme of Comprehension for plural logic to ‘stratified’ formulas, to avoid viciously circular definitions. I prove that with this modification to the background plural logic, the theory of states of affairs is consistent; moreover, it yields the axioms of the familiar set theory NFU. (shrink)
PG (Plural Grundgesetze) is a predicative monadic second-order system which is aimed to derive second-order Peano arithmetic. It exploits the notion of plural quantification and a few Fregean devices, among which the infamous Basic Law V. In this paper, a model-theoretical consistency proof for the system PG is provided.
In this paper we show that focus structure determines the interpretation of bare plurals in English: topic bare plurals are interpreted generically, focused bare plurals are interpreted existentially. When bare plurals are topics they must be specific, i.e. they refer to kinds. After type-shifting they introduce variables which can be bound by the generic quantifier, yielding characterizing generics. Existentially interpreted bare plurals are not variables, but denote properties that are incorporated into the predicate.The type of predicate determines the interpretation of (...) its bare pluralsubject. The individual/stage-level distinction, though important, is not sufficient: since only arguments can be topics, only those stage-level predicates which have locative arguments can have existential bare plural subjects.Certain verbs (e.g., hate) fail to incorporate their bare plural objects; therefore no existential reading of the object is available. We provide a novel solution to this puzzle based on the following two claims: (i) incorporated bare plurals do not introduce discourse referents; (ii) nonincorporating verbs are presuppositional. (shrink)
This essay takes up the question of a “new” social paradigm by first examining the recent emergence of the U.S. Occupied Movement (OM) as a provocative and inspiring moment of political re-composition, but one that also narrates a more complex unraveling of what W.E.B Du Bois called “democratic despotism.” The most recent political tensions and economic “crisis” of the global north point to the disruption of a white “middle class” hegemony alongside inspiring moments of reconstructed conviviality. I suggest that the (...) tension within spaces of occupation and convergence are animated by conviviality that should be read “politically” by noting the emergence of tools in service of community regeneration. Towards that end, I introduce Universidad de la Tierra Califas, a local project somewhere in-between network and collective pedagogies that is also a project of strategic conviviality and a Zapatismo beyond Chiapas. I argue that UT Califas engages a collective subject as part of an epistemological struggle inspired by Indigenous autonomy currently underway throughout Latin America. (shrink)
In the semantic debate about plurals, pluralism is the view that a plural term denotes some things in the domain of quantification and a plural predicate denotes a plural property, i.e a property that can be instantiated by many things jointly. According to a particular version of this view, untyped pluralism, there is no type distinction between objects and properties. In this article, I argue against untyped pluralism by showing that it is subject to a variant (...) of a Russell-style argument put forth by Timothy Williamson and that it clashes with a plural version of Cantor’s theorem. I conclude that pluralists should postulate a type distinction between objects and properties. (shrink)
Textual evidence normally quoted to justify the claim that F. H. Bradley rejects subject - predicate judgements has other functions: namely to reject concrete interpretations of subject - predicate judgements. Bradley has his own view of subject - predicate judgement: in a judgement subject and predicate forma an adjetive which is predicated of the whole reality.
One of the standard views on plural quantification is that its use commits one to the existence of abstract objects–sets. On this view claims like ‘some logicians admire only each other’ involve ineliminable quantification over subsets of a salient domain. The main motivation for this view is that plural quantification has to be given some sort of semantics, and among the two main candidates—substitutional and set-theoretic—only the latter can provide the language of plurals with the desired expressive power (...) (given that the nominalist seems committed to the assumption that there can be at most countably many names). To counter this approach I develop a modal-substitutional semantics of plural quantification (on which plural variables, roughly speaking, range over ways names could be) and argue for its nominalistic acceptability. (shrink)
Aos 50 anos do início do Concílio Vaticano II, o artigo pretende articular a chave eclesiológica de sua compreensão da Igreja como povo de Deus (cap II da Lumen Gentium), com o processo de sua recepção no pós-concílio. O Sínodo Extraordinário de 1985 - aos 20 anos do término do Concílio - privilegiou a categoria “comunhão” como chave da eclesiologia conciliar. O Sínodo de 1987 sobre a Vocação e Missão do Leigo na Igreja e no Mundo expressou o desejo de (...) uma aproximação entre povo de Deus e a categoria comunhão. Numa síntese mais abrangente, o autor quer valorizar tanto o Concílio quanto os esforços de sua recepção. Expressa a dupla virada eclesiológica do Concílio: de uma Igreja voltada sobre si para uma voltada para o mundo; da hierarquia para o povo de Deus, sujeito da comunhão eclesial. Reafirma, assim, a chave eclesiológica do Concílio no contexto de sua recepção. Palavras-chaves : Igreja. Povo de Deus. Sujeito Teológico. Comunhão. Concílio Vaticano II.In celebration of 50 years of Vatican II, this article aims to articulate the key of its comprehension of the Catholic Church as God´s People (ch. II Lumen Gentuim) with the process of reception of Vatican II in the post-council. The extraordinary Synod of 1985 – 20 years after the end of the Council was able to focus on the category of ´communion´ as the main key to conciliar ecclesiology. The 1987 Synod on the Vocation and Mission of the Laity in church and in the world as a whole expressed a strong desire for a rapprochement between God´s People and the category of communion´´. In a broader synthesis, the author wants to enhance both the council as well as the efforts of its receipt. Finally, this article seeks to express the double ecclesiologic turn or the Council. Firstly, the turn of a self-centered church to a world-centered church. Secondly, the turn of a church centered in its hierarchy to a church centered in God´s People which is now taken as the subject of ecclesial communion. In this way the ecclesiological key of the Council is reaffirmed within the context of its reception. Keywords : Church. God´s people. Subject. Communion. Vatican II. (shrink)
Contemporary accounts of the self-ascription of experiences are wedded to two basic dogmas. The first is that self-ascription is immune to error through misidentification relative to the first person (IEM). The second dogma is that there is distinction between awareness of oneself qua subject and awareness of oneself qua object (the SCS/SCO distinction). In this paper, I urge that these dogmas are groundless. First, I illustrate that claims about immunity to error through misidentification are usually based upon claims about (...) awareness of oneself qua subject. Self-ascriptions are IEM, because self-ascriptions involve awareness of oneself qua subject. Following Sydney Shoemaker, philosophers appeal to Wittgenstein’s discussion of the I-as-subject to bolster this claim. I argue that this interpretation of Wittgenstein is actually a crossbreed of the views of Shoemaker and Wittgenstein, which I will call ‘Shoegenstein.’ I argue that Shoegenstein is not Wittgenstein. Apart from these historical considerations, I argue that if IEM is based on the SCS/SCO distinction, and there is no non-circular account of that distinction, then IEM is not based on anything. I suggest that we should understand self-consciousness as awareness of a subject as an object, which would mean that SCS and SCO are not exclusive. One consequence of disposing of these two dogmas is to allow for a positive naturalistic account of self-ascription. Another consequence is to present an approach to self-ascription that stresses the lived position of the subject, which I urge is friendly to Wittgenstein’s later account of the subject of self-ascription. (shrink)
Since the early 1970s, European thinkers have departed notably from their predecessors in order to pursue analytical programs more thoroughly their own. Rethinking the Subject brings together in one volume some of the most influential writings of Foucault, Habermas, Bourdieu, Pizzorno, Macfarlane, and other authors whose ideas have had a worldwide influence in recent social history.The anthology is testament to the central importance of three contemporary themes, each familiar to earlier thinkers but never definitively formulated or resolved. The first (...) two concern the nature and modalities of power and legitimacy in society. The third, and most fundamental, deals with the nature and modalities of the ”self” or ”subject.”These themes owe their special contemporary relevance to an array of events—from the collapse of colonialism to the birth of test-tube babies. James Faubion’s introduction traces the historical context of these influential events and themes. It also traces the lineaments of a still inchoate intellectual movement, of which the writers included in this anthology are the vanguard. (shrink)
I argue (1) that Searle's reductive stance about mental causation is unwarranted on evolutionary, logical, and neuroscientific grounds; and (2) that his theory of weak emergence, called biological naturalism, fails to provide a satisfactory account of objectual unity and subject unity. Finally I propose a stronger variety of emergence called emergent subject dualism (ESD) to fill the gaps in Searle's account, and support ESD on grounds of recent evidence in neuroscience. Hence I show how it is possible, if (...) not also theoretically preferable, to go from Searle's biological naturalism to emergent subject dualism. (shrink)
In this paper I provide a decompositional analysis of three kinds of plural indefinites in two related languages, European Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. The three indefinites studied are bare plurals, the unos (Spanish)/uns (Portuguese) type, and the algunos (Spanish)/alguns (Portuguese) type. The paper concentrates on four properties: semantic plurality, positive polarity, partitivity, and event distribution. The logic underlying the analysis is that of compositionality, applied at the subword level: as items become bigger in form (with the addition of morphemes), (...) they also acquire more semantic properties. The paper proposes the “indefinite hierarchy", which establishes a set of components for languages to build their indefinites with, in a particular order. (shrink)
"A consistently clear, comprehensive and accessible introduction which carefully sifts Foucault's work for both its strengths and weaknesses. McHoul and Grace show an intimate familiarity with Foucault's writings and a lively, but critical engagement with the relevance of his work. A model primer." -Tony Bennett, author of Outside Literature In such seminal works as Madness and Civilization, Discipline and Punish , and The History of Sexuality , the late philosopher Michel Foucault explored what our politics, our sexuality, our societal conventions, (...) and our changing notions of truth told us about ourselves. In the process, Foucault garnered a reputation as one of the pre-eminent philosophers of the latter half of the twentieth century and has served as a primary influence on successive generations of philosophers and cultural critics. With A Foucault Primer , Alec McHoul and Wendy Grace bring Foucault's work into focus for the uninitiated. Written in crisp and concise prose, A Foucault Primer explicates three central concepts of Foucauldian theory-discourse, power, and the subject-and suggests that Foucault's work has much yet to contribute to contemporary debate. (shrink)
Section one : Situations. Death and dialogue -- The impossibility of settled rule -- The singular subject -- Terror, politics, and the subject -- What is resistance? -- A rebel's vision -- Section two : positions. The labour of memory -- Towards a theory of the constituent power -- Possibilities of our trans-national citizenship -- Empire, globalisation, and the subject.