The eclipse riddle -- Seeing surfaces -- The disappearing act -- Spinning shadows -- Berkeley's shadow -- Para-reflections -- Para-refractions : shadowgrams and the black drop -- Goethe's colored shadows -- Filtows -- Holes in the light -- Black and blue -- Seeing in black and white -- We see in the dark -- Hearing silence.
Mainstream metaphysics has been preoccupied by inquiring into the nature of major kinds of entities, like objects, properties and events, while avoiding minor entities, like shadows or holes. However, one might want to hope that dealing with such minor entities could be profitable for even solving puzzles about major entities. I propose a new ontological puzzle, the Shadow of Constitution Puzzle, incorporating the old puzzle of material constitution, with shadows in the role of the minor entity to guide (...) our approach to the issues involved. I then analyze the standard answers to the original puzzle of constitution, in their role as potential solutions to the new puzzle. Finally, I discuss three views that can solve the proposed puzzle. (shrink)
I discuss a solution to the Yale shadow puzzle, due to Roy Sorensen, based on the actual process theory of causation, and argue that it does not work in the case of a new version of the puzzle, which I call "the Bilkent shadow puzzle". I offer a picture of the ontology of shadows that constitute the basis for a new solution that uniformly applies to both puzzles.
According to the species of neo-logicism advanced by Hale and Wright, mathematical knowledge is essentially logical knowledge. Their view is found to be best understood as a set of related though independent theses: (1) neo-fregeanism-a general conception of the relation between language and reality; (2) the method of abstraction-a particular method for introducing concepts into language; (3) the scope of logic-second-order logic is logic. The criticisms of Boolos, Dummett, Field and Quine (amongst others) of these theses are explicated and assessed. (...) The issues discussed include reductionism, rejectionism, the Julius Caesar problem, the Bad Company objections, and the charge that second-order logic is set theory in disguise. The irresistible metaphor is that pure abstract objects [...] are no more than shadows cast by the syntax of our discourse. And the aptness of the metaphor is enhanced by the reflection that shadows are, after their own fashion, real. (Crispin Wright , p. 181-2) But I feel conscious that many a reader will scarcely recognise in the shadowy forms which I bring before him his numbers which all his life long have accompanied him as faithful and familiar friends; (Richard Dedekind , p. 33). (shrink)
Roy Sorensen’s adventure in Shadowland started with his prize-winning article, "Seeing Intersecting Eclipses" (published in The Journal of Philosophy, and chosen by the board of the Philosopher’s Annual as one of the ten best philosophy articles of 1999), which is the basis for the first two chapters in this book. The recipe adopted in that article is followed in most of the following thirteen chapters, five of them being based on Sorensen’s previous articles on the topic: start with an open (...) mind regarding the existence and causal efficacy of absences, shadows, i.e. absences of light, in our case, devise a riddle involving perception of such absences, and draw the consequences for the philosophy of perception and/or ontology. (shrink)
We introduce two notions–the shadows and the shallows of explanation–in opening up explanation to broader, interdisciplinary investigation. The shadows of explanation refer to past philosophical efforts to provide either a conceptual analysis of explanation or in some other way to pinpoint the essence of explanation. The shallows of explanation refer to the phenomenon of having surprisingly limited everyday, individual cognitive abilities when it comes to explanation. Explanations are ubiquitous, but they typically are not accompanied by the depth that (...) we might, prima facie, expect. We explain the existence of the shadows and shallows of explanation in terms of there being a theoretical abyss between explanation and richer, theoretical structures that are often attributed to people. We offer an account of the shallows, in particular, both in terms of shorn-down, internal, mental machinery, and in terms of an enriched, public symbolic environment, relative to the currently dominant ways of thinking about cognition and the world. (shrink)
Summarizing a surrounding 200 pages, pages 179 to 190 of Shadows of the Mind contain a future dialog between a human identified as "Albert Imperator" and an advanced robot, the "Mathematically Justified Cybersystem", allegedly Albert's creation. The two have been discussing a Gödel sentence for an algorithm by which a robot society named SMIRC certifies mathematical proofs. The sentence, referred to in mathematical notation as Omega(Q*), is to be precisely constructed from on a definition of SMIRC's algorithm. It can (...) be interpreted as stating "SMIRC's algorithm cannot certify this statement." The robot has asserted that SMIRC never makes mistakes. If so, SMIRC's algorithm cannot certify the Goedel sentence, for that would make the statement false. But, if they can't certify it, what is says is true! Humans can understand it is true, but mighty SMIRC cannot certify it. The dialog ends melodramatically as the robot, apparently unhinged by this revelation, claims to be a messenger of god, and the human shuts it down with a secret control. (shrink)
Most contemporary metaphysicians are sceptical about the reality of familiar objects such as dogs and trees, people and desks, cells and stars. They prefer an ontology of the spatially tiny or temporally tiny. Tiny microparticles 'dog-wise arranged' explain the appearance, they say, that there are dogs; microparticles obeying microphysics collectively cause anything that a baseball appears to cause; temporal stages collectively sustain the illusion of enduring objects that persist across changes. Crawford L. Elder argues that all such attempts to 'explain (...) away' familiar objects project downwards, onto the tiny entities, structures and features of familiar objects themselves. He contends that sceptical metaphysicians are thus employing shadows of familiar objects, while denying that the entities which cast those shadows really exist. He argues that the shadows are indeed really there, because their sources - familiar objects - are mind-independently real. (shrink)
We show that cast shadows can have a significant influence on the speed of visual search. In particular, we find that search based on the shape of a region is affected when the region is darker than the background and corresponds to a shadow formed by lighting from above. Results support the proposal that an early-level system rapidly identifies regions as shadows and then discounts them, making their shapes more difficult to access. Several constraints used by this system (...) are mapped out, including constraints on the luminance and texture of the shadow region, and on the nature of the item casting the shadow. Among other things, this system is found to distinguish between line elements (items containing only edges) and surface elements (items containing visible surfaces), with only the latter deemed capable of casting a shadow. (shrink)
If a spinning sphere casts a shadow, does the shadow also spin? This riddle is the point of departure for an investigation into the nature of shadow movement. A general theory of motion will encompass all moving things, not just physical objects. Ultimately, I argue that round shadows do indeed spin. Shadows are followers of the objects that cast them. Parts of the shadow correspond to parts of the leader, so motion of the caster's parts accounts for motions (...) of the shadow's parts. I conclude with a discussion of how the dynamic aspects of shadows impose subtle constraints on other puzzles about shadows. (shrink)
The old puzzle of material constitution has benefited from a lot of thorough discussion from the part of metaphysicians in the last thirty-odd years. The available solution options and their problems are by now familiar. They involve particular views on mainstream entities and relations of metaphysical inquiry, like objects, properties, events, causation, identity, supervenience, and so on. However, one might want to hope, together with some contemporary ontologists, most notably Roberto Casati and Achille Varzi (1994), that dealing with more peripheral (...) entities is not without interest even when it comes to solving mainstream questions of metaphysics. This I am going to do here, with the puzzle of material constitution in the role of the mainstream ontological issue and shadows in the role of the minor, superficial, or peripheral entity. (shrink)
The goal of three-dimensional visualization is to present information in such a way that the viewer suspends disbelief and uses the screen imagery the same way as he or she would use an identical, real 3D scene. To do this effectively, programmers employ a variety of 3D depth cues. Our own anecdotal experience says that shadows and stereopsis are two of the best for visualization. The nice thing is that both of these are possible to do in interactive programs. (...) They sacrifice a certain amount of interactive speed, but they are possible. (shrink)
Recent studies have shown that several scene-based properties can be determined rapidly and in parallel at preattentive levels, including surface convexity and concavity (Ramachandran, 1988), direction of illumination (Enns & Rensink, 1990), and three-dimensional orientation (Enns & Rensink, 1991). We show that in addition to these properties, preattentive vision is also sensitive to scene structure defined by shadows.
light at the street level,1 bringing the streets out from the shadows. The effects of social progress are often even more significant than the effects of vertical progress, since social progress can be tradition-changing at various levels, bringing ...
I examine the kindred phenomena of shadows and night in order to reveal their significance for better understanding our lifeworld and the elemental environment. I first describe how light is primary to ecological perception and how it conditions our conceptions of space, truth, and beauty. Light and darkness are involved in a dialectical relationship rather than conceived as polar opposites. Borne of the interplay of both realms, shadows have been disparaged historically and deserve to be reconsidered for their (...) aesthetic appearance and their relevance to an ecology and anthropology of perception. Night, in turn, is often marked by a negative ontology that points toward the possibility of a kind of elemental a priori, but it is important to characterize darkness in terms of its subtle shades and filtering by way of the creative matrix of the human imagination. Seeing the night in novel and unexpected ways, especially via the insights and descriptions of phenomenologists, poets, and artists, enables us to grasp the depth and atmosphere of the surrounding world and to light up our geographical perspectives, our philosophical visions, and our environmental awareness. (shrink)
Sorensen’s celebrated problem about the eclipse of Near and Far is given a solution in which what is seen is Far, silhouetted. Near cannot be seen, as it is in the shadow of Far. A silhouette is a shadow. The so–called Yale Puzzle is a linguistic confusion.
Levinas’s comments on art appear contradictory. On the one hand, he criticizes art as being disengaged from ethical concerns and constituting a possibility of moral evasion; on the other hand, he engages quite closely and in a supportive fashion with some art, such as Paul Celan’s poetry. Interpreters commonly argue that only one of Levinas’s conceptions of art, either the affirmative or the negative, represents his true attitude towards art. In this article the author seeks to make both statements compatible (...) with each other and thus relevant to Levinas’s conception of art. She focuses on his essay ‘Reality and Its Shadow’, where art is diagnosed as an ambiguous phenomenon. She argues that full understanding of the ambiguity of art demands that Levinas’s different statements about art are considered together; only thus can the complete picture of the ambiguity emerge. Furthermore, it turns out that the very same feature which makes art open to misunderstanding – namely, its precarious materiality – also allows an artwork to sustain itself and to be revived. Art reveals a shadow, withdrawal, or resistance that belongs to reality itself. (shrink)
In his latest book, Roy Sorensen offers a solution to a puzzle he put forward in an earlier article -The Disappearing Act. The puzzle involves various question about how the causal theory perception is to be applied to the case of seeing shadows. Sorensen argues that the puzzle should be taken as bringing out a new way of seeing shadows. I point out a problem for Sorensenâs solution, and offer and defend an alternative view, according to which the (...) puzzle is to be interpreted as showing a new way of seeing objects, in virtue of their contrast with light. (shrink)
1 There have been several editions of Fridugisus’ letter. I have consulted those in Jaques-Paul Migne, Patrologiae cursus completus … series latina, 221 vols., (Paris: J.-P. Migne, 1844–1864), vol. 105, cols. 751–756; Francesco Corvino, “Il ‘De nihilo et tenebris’ di Fredegiso di Tours,” Rivista critica di storia della filosofia (1956), pp. 273–286; and the most recent and authoritative edition, in Concettina Gennaro, Fridugiso di Tours e il “De substantia nihili et tenebrarum”: Edizione critica e studio introduttivo, (“Pubblicazioni dell’istituto universitario di (...) magistero di Catania,” serie filosofica — saggi e monografie, no. 46; Padua: Casa editrice Dott. Antonio Milani, 1963). Fridugisus’ letter survives in four manuscripts. Nevertheless the text is corrupt in places, and all editors have had to suggest emendations here and there. For my translation I have followed Gennaro’s edition, but not always her interpretation. There is another translation, by Hermigild Dressler, in John F. Wippel and Allan Wolter, eds., Medieval Philosophy from St. Augustine to Nicholas of Cusa, (New York: The Free Press, 1969), pp. 104–108. Note that references to the Psalms in this translation are given according to the numbering in the Revised Standard Edition. (shrink)
One of the earliest examples of articulating the “discordance of time”—a theme that serves as a guiding thread woven throughout much of the re-engagement with time that is characteristic of continental philosophy—can be found in a series of essays written by Levinas in the aftermath of World War II. I show how these essays derive from a set of key texts by Bergson and how Bergson already anticipated the distinctive ways of conceptualizing the movement of time that are advanced by (...) Levinas in his early essays. Nevertheless, as I will show, Levinas chooses not to acknowledge this Bergsonian anticipation of his theory of time, despite his recognition, repeated throughout many texts and interviews, of the influence of Bergson on the formation of his own thought. I conclude by reflecting on the complexity of the Bergsonian inheritance in Levinas's philosophy of time. (shrink)
Los sociobiólogos han defendido una posición "calvinista" que se resume en la siguiente fórmula: si la selección natural explica las actitudes morales, no hay altruismo genuino en la moral; si la moral es altruista, entonces la selección natural no puede explicarla. En este ensayo desenmascaro los presupuestos erróneos de esta posición y defiendo que el altruismo como equidad no es incompatible con la selección natural. Rechazo una concepción hobbesiana de la moral, pero sugiero su empleo en la interpretación de la (...) psicología de los primates no humanos y en un modelo de progresión evolutiva que habría llevado a la moralidad como adaptación pasando por la razón instrumental. /// Sociobiologists have endorsed a "Calvinist" position captured in the following formula: if natural selection explains moral attitudes, morality is not genuinely altruistic; if morality is altruistic, then natural selection cannot explain it. I expose the false presuppositions behind this claim and argüe that altruism as fairness is not incompatible with natural selection. I reject a Hobbesian view of morality as an instrumental endorsement of fairness norms, but suggest its use to interpret primate psychology and to model an evolutionary progression ending in moral capacities as adaptations. (shrink)
The soul is an elusive thing, and anyone who wants to describe it must do so with metaphors, painting it in a picture of words. The metaphors one chooses for this task will reflect the aspects one is most eager to promote of what it is to be a person, a living, breathing, thinking presence in the world. Popularly, the soul is often pictured as a little fellow inside one's head, a homunculus with whom one is in constant communication. Such (...) a picture lends color to the idea that to be a sentient being is to be in a condition of inner dialogue with oneself, reasoning things out, talking things over, and perhaps also being guided by one's conscience, an inner voice heard only by oneself. Notice that the soul so .. (shrink)
The Löwenheim-Skolem theorem was published in Skolem's long paper of 1920, with the first section dedicated to the theorem. The second section of the paper contains a proof-theoretical analysis of derivations in lattice theory. The main result, otherwise believed to have been established in the late 1980s, was a polynomial-time decision algorithm for these derivations. Skolem did not develop any notation for the representation of derivations, which makes the proofs of his results hard to follow. Such a formal notation is (...) given here by which these proofs become transparent. A third section of Skolem's paper gives an analysis for derivations in plane projective geometry. To clear a gap in Skolem's result, a new conservativity property is shown for projective geometry, to the effect that a proper use of the axiom that gives the uniqueness of connecting lines and intersection points requires a conclusion with proper cases (logically, a disjunction in a positive part) to be proved. The forgotten parts of Skolem's first paper on the Löwenheim-Skolem theorem are the perhaps earliest combinatorial analyses of formal mathematical proofs, and at least the earliest analyses with profound results. (shrink)
Organizational corruption has recently attracted considerable scholarly attention, especially since its devastating effects following recent major corporate scandals, the worldwide economic crisis of 2009, and the current European Union monetary crisis. This paper is based on the analysis of three distinct, yet contextually related, case studies in a European Union member state: (a) an incident of corruption by a minister in an adjudicative role, (b) widespread financial misreporting and perjury within an organization, and (c) abuse of due process and obstruction (...) of justice by civil servants within a ministry. These cases serve to illustrate, for the first time, Aguilera and Vadera’s (in J Bus Ethics 77:431–449, 2008 ) framework of organizational corruption, which relates distinct types of a corrupter’s opportunity, motivation, and justification with the type of corruption present in the organization. Furthermore, the data suggest how the framework may be extended and reveal conceptual issues that require reconciliation. This study attempts such reconciliations and offers some suggestions on how the findings may be utilized by policy reformers or corruption controllers. (shrink)
In this paper I examine important texts by Jacques Derrida in which, either implicitly or explicitly, the Shoah, the catastrophe of the Holocaust is signified, interrupting, disrupting, even disfiguring the texture of the text. The question is how appropriately to remember and mourn the dead within philosophical discourse, how to remember what happened and how to understand it as a question not only of ethical and political responsibility but also as an evil deeply and pervasively reflected in the ontology and (...) epistemology of the philosophical tradition—an evil circulating within the very substance of philosophical thought, and in such a way that Derrida will make this philosophical complicity in the violence and evil of the Holocaust register its painfully oppressive guilt in textual configurations haunted by the presence of the victims, remembered in traces of their absence. Thus we see how Derrida lets the question of an appropriate form of historical memory, a fitting way to remember the Shoah, invade his texts—how he lets the texts of his thought be exposed to its radical evil and exposed to the pain of an impossible mourning. We also see how the deconstruction of the metaphysics of presence implies a contestation of historicism, a writing of history that betrays the past in the very process of making it present. (shrink)
David Michael Levin's ongoing exploration of the moral character and enlightenment-potential of vision takes a new direction in The Philosopher's Gaze . Levin examines texts by Descartes, Husserl, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Benjamin, Merleau-Ponty, and Levinas, using our culturally dominant mode of perception and the philosophical discourse it has generated as the site for his critical reflections on the moral culture in which we are living. In Levin's view, all these philosophers attempted to understand, one way or another, the distinctive pathologies (...) of the modern age. But every one also attempted to envision--if only through the faintest of traces, traces of mutual recognition, traces of another way of looking and seeing--the prospects for a radically different lifeworld. The world, after all, inevitably reflects back to us the character, the reach and range, of our vision. In these provocative essays, the author draws on the language of hermeneutical phenomenology and at the same time refines phenomenology itself as a method of working with our experience and thinking critically about the culture in which we live. (shrink)
This paper discusses the uses of technology in teaching philosophy courses. Where technology is currently utilized, it can be intrinsicallyappropriate or instrumentally inappropriate as a methodology for producing greater student interest, engagement, and positive outcomes. The paper introduces an easily implemented assignment where students produce videos on DVDs in partial fulfillment of requirements for philosophy courses. I argue that, used in philosophy courses, this assignment allows students to be creative, fosters peer dialogue about philosophy, creates excitement in these courses, and (...) decreases the intergenerational distance between paper-bound and lecture courses with the burgeoning world of media-driven technologies. After experimenting with this assignment strategy for several years, I have concluded that the DVD project assignment is an innovative, effective, and simple technological tool for teaching philosophy. (shrink)
This collection showcases the work of 18 analytical feminists from a variety of traditional areas of philosophy. It highlights successful uses of concepts and approaches from traditional philosophy, and illustrates the contributions that feminist approaches have made and could make to the analysis of issues in key areas of traditional philosophy, while also demonstrating that traditional philosophy ignores feminist insights and feminist critiques of traditional philosophy at its own peril.
It is a common assumption among philosophers of perception that phenomenal colors are exhaustively characterized by the three phenomenal dimensions of the color solid: hue, saturation and lightness. The hue of a color is its redness, blueness or yellowness, etc. The saturation of a color refers to the strength of its hue in relation to gray. The lightness of a color determines its relation to black and white. In this paper, I argue that the phenomenology of shadows forces us (...) to consider illumination as an additional dimension of phenomenal colors. For this purpose, I will first introduce two different interpretations of shadow-experiences, which Chalmers has called the simple and the complex interpretations, and show that they both fail to account for important phenomenal facts about shadow-experiences. I will then introduce my own alternative interpretation based on the idea that illumination is a dimension of phenomenal colors and explain how it can account for these facts. (shrink)
Berkeley thinks that we only see the size, shape, location, and orientation of objects in virtue of the correlation between sight and touch. Shadows have all of these spatial properties and yet are intangible. In Seeing Dark Things (2008), Roy Sorensen argues that shadows provide a counterexample to Berkeley's theory of vision and, consequently, to his idealism. This paper shows that Berkeley can accept both that shadows are intangible and that they have spatial properties.
Modern Western thought and culture have envisaged their task in terms of a metaphorics, a metaphysics and a technics of 'enlightenment'. However, the ethical and environmental implications of this determination to dispel all shadows have become increasingly pernicious as modernity both extends and alters the conceptualization and employment of (a now artificial) light as a tool of discovery and control. Drawing on the work of Foucault and Benjamin amongst others, this paper seeks to illustrate, through a critical ethopoietics, the (...) 'speculative aporia' of contemporary society from the perspective of radical ecology. The world does not just reflect our own instrumental interests: it has an elusive, shadowy existence of its own that can impinge upon our ethical perceptions. (shrink)
From a certain philosophical perspective, one that is at least as old as Plato but which is addressed also by Aristotle and Kant, business ethics – to the extent that it is marketed as form of enlightened self-interest — constitutes a Thrasymachean compromise: to argue that it is to our advantage to conduct business ethically, perhaps even advantageous to the bottom-line, comes curiously close to endorsing what Plato called the 'shadow of virtue' — i.e., of becoming temperate for the sake (...) of illtemperance. And yet it also seems true that moralistic campaigns to achieve the impossible, e.g., pursuing justice for its own sake or eradicating egoism, often "detract from attaining really important things." This essay explores the need, in business ethics as well as elsewhere, to make — what Dewey and Niebuhr considered to be — painful if not principled philosophical compromises in order to secure is a society in which there would be "enough justice to avoid complete disaster.". (shrink)
Shadow of the Other is a discussion of how the individual has two sorts of relationships with an "other"--other individuals. The first regards the other as a s work apart is her brilliant utilization of a systematic dialectical approach to her subject, always maintaining the delicate balance between opposing tensions: masculinity and femininity, subjectivity and objectivity, passivity and activity, love and aggression, fantasy and reality, modernism and postmodernism, the intrapsychic and the intersubjective. Benjamin s work apart is her brilliant utilization (...) of a systematic dialectical approach to her subject, always maintaining the delicate balance between opposing other as a mental repository fo unwanted characteristics cast from the self. Jessica benjamin shows the implications of this dual relationship for male/female hierarchy and offers a possibility for balancing the two. This book continues the author's well-known explorations of the themes of intersubjectivity and gender, taking up issues at the forefront of contemporary debates in feminist theory and psychoanalysis. (shrink)
This paper explores the place of Hegel in Gadamer's hermeneutics through an analysis of the idea of "infinite dialogue." It is argued that infinite dialogue cannot be understood as a limited Hegelianism, i.e., as the life of spirit in language that does not reach its end. Rather, infinite dialogue can be understood only by taking the Heideggerian idea of radical finitude seriously. Thus, while infinite dialogue has a speculative element, it remains a dialogue conditioned by the occlusion in temporal becoming. (...) This idea is developed further by contrasting Gadamer's position with that of Blanchot, who also stands under the shadow of Hegel. (shrink)
From the resurrection of body to eternal recurrence -- The shadow of God -- The guiding thread -- The logic of the body -- The system of identical cases -- From eternal recurrence to the resurrection of body.
By illuminating the striking affinity between the most innovative aspects of postmodern thought and religious mystical discourse, Shadow of Spirit challenges the long established assumption that western thought is committed to nihilism. This collection of essays by internationally recognized scholars explores the implications of the fascination with the "sacred," "divine" or "infinite" which characterizes much contemporary thought. It shows how these concerns have surfaced in the work of Derrida, Baudrillard, Lyotard, Kristeva, Irigaray and others. Examining the connection between this postmodern (...) "turn" and the current search for a new discourse of ethics and politics, it also stresses the contribution made by feminist thought to this unexpected intellectual direction. (shrink)
Astrobiologists are aware that extraterrestrial life might differ from known life, and considerable thought has been given to possible signatures associated with weird forms of life on other planets. So far, however, very little attention has been paid to the possibility that our own planet might also host communities of weird life. If life arises readily in Earth-like conditions, as many astrobiologists contend, then it may well have formed many times on Earth itself, which raises the question whether one or (...) more shadow biospheres have existed in the past or still exist today. In this paper, we discuss possible signatures of weird life and outline some simple strategies for seeking evidence of a shadow biosphere. Key Words: Weird life—Multiple origins of life—Biogenesis—Biomarkers—Extremophiles—Alternative biochemistry. Astrobiology 9, 241–249. (shrink)
My topic is the parallels between attacks on free speech by the U.S. war party, and attacks on free speech by what Charles Alan Kors and Harvey Silverglate have called “the shadow university”; and the blindness to these parallels of that part of the left and right that is not libertarian on free speech and due process.