Recently fiction has been given a central role in the engagement in philosophical thinking, especially within an educational setting. We find many configurations of this intersection of the narrative and the philosophical and the variances among them need noting if we are to critically examine how each form works. But there remains a troubling question: can fiction really offer up philosophical ideas without failing as literature and missing the mark as philosophy? While allegories and analogies have a long and fruitful (...) history of elucidating complex philosophical ideas, philosophers have taken pains to differentiate themselves from the crafter of tales. Philosophers have tended to prefer clear and sustained thinking through rational arguments over imaginative suggestion. Fiction is not philosophy. This paper will explore the different forms that narrative-as-philosophy can take and offer an assessment of the relative merits of these stories as invitations to philosophical thinking. (shrink)
A group encompassed of three eighth grade respond to the etiquette of a classroom setting, the “fuzzy area” between adulthood and childhood, and basic accountability between the two categories through unbiased opinions in a philosophical environment.
Andréanne Turgeon | : La littérature normative, lorsqu’il est question d’étudier les pratiques religieuses passées, est souvent perçue comme limitative pour le chercheur ; en effet, les prescriptions morales contenues dans ce type d’écrits témoignent davantage des attentes du clergé en matière de moeurs et de piété que des pratiques effectives qui avaient cours parmi les fidèles. Au cours des dernières décennies, cette littérature a généralement été exclue du corpus documentaire de nombreux chercheurs qui s’intéressaient à la religion « (...) vécue », afin d’éviter de transposer sur celle-ci une image biaisée, véhiculée par des productions ecclésiastiques. Au Québec, la notion de « réveil religieux », et le débat historiographique qu’elle a suscité au cours des années 1990, fournit un excellent exemple de catégorie, puisque cette notion s’est construite et fortifiée en l’absence d’une riche documentation qui, pourtant, encadrait la pratique que l’on comptabilisait et dont on cherchait à interpréter le sens. Cet article vise à montrer que la littérature normative peut donc s’avérer indispensable pour expliquer les transformations socioreligieuses d’une époque, et que c’est la prise en compte de cette documentation, dans les études historiques récentes, qui a mené à l’éclatement de la catégorie de « réveil religieux ». | : Historians often perceive normative literature as restricting the scholarly study of past religious practices : the moral precepts contained in those writings inform readers about the clergy’s expectations related to piety and morality, but do not tell much about effective practices that prevailed among the faithful. In the last decades, many scholars interested in the religion as experienced by people have excluded normative literature from their documentary corpus, in an attempt to avoid transposing the biased image conveyed by ecclesiastical productions into their research. The concept of “religious revival” and the ensuing historiographical debate in Québec during the 1990s provides a good example of such a problem, this category being created and reinforced without taking into consideration the normative documentation underlying the religious practices historians were trying to explain. This article intends to demonstrate that normative literature may be crucial in explaining past socioreli- gious transformations, and that its use in recent historical studies has even contributed to invalidate the concept of “religious revival.”. (shrink)
An attempt to re-think, within and for the tradition of Husserl and Heidegger, certain central contributions of Greek thought. Interpretations of the Philebus and of other Platonic and Aristotelian texts concerned with problems arising therefrom are carried out; they culminate in an analysis of the fruitful union of intellectual power and impotence in philosophy. The existentialist framework often provides suggestions for the interpretation of difficult transitions in the classical works; conversely, the adherence to the arguments of the Greek texts strengthens (...) the existentialist position with respect to such concepts as world and rationality.--C. B. (shrink)
The role of psychology in science studies Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9666-1 Authors Paul Thagard, Philosophy Department, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
CATEGORY: Philosophy play; historical fiction; comedy; social criticism. -/- STORYLINE: Katherine, a neurotic American lawyer, meets Christianus for a philosophy session at The Late Victorian coffee shop in London, where they also meet Wendy the waitress and Baldy the player. Will Katherine be able to overcome her deep depression by adopting some of Christianus’s satisfactionist ideas? Or will she stay unsatisfied and unhappy by stubbornly sticking to her own neti-neti nothingness philosophy? And what roles do Baldy, Wendy, and (...) the Okefenokee Man-Monster have in this connexion? -/- TOPICS: In the course of this philosophy play, Katherine and Christianus discuss many things: friendship, a Renoir painting, global warming, elephant conservation, freemasons, Prince of Wales and his tiger-hunting experience in Nepal, Victorian Chartism and a Kennington Common daguerreotype, a Mortality Proof, and, last but not least, Baldy, Wendy, and the gory plot of the Okefenokee Man-Monster. -/- NOTES: This work features elaborate footnotes and comments (including full bibliographical references) by the author, to enhance the reader's experience of the play and its philosophizing characters. (shrink)
In The Sacred Monstrous author Wendy Hamblet traces the historical and social fact of violence through the work of Girard, Bloch, Lorenz and Burket. She takes up the charge advanced by social theorists, anthropologists and others that violence is steeped in our being; it pervades our generations and is imbedded in the ethos of our modern institutions. Hamblet's discussion of human history re-frames our understanding of how violence works in history and society. The Sacred Monstrous is a salient work (...) of continentally informed philosophy that contributes significantly to any discussion of violence and conflict in the social sciences. (shrink)
Recent calls for retraction of a large body of Chinese transplant research and of Dr Jiankui He’s gene editing research has led to renewed interest in the question of publication, retraction and use of unethical biomedical research. In Part 1 of this paper, we briefly review the now well-established consequentialist and deontological arguments for and against the use of unethical research. We argue that, while there are potentially compelling justifications for use under some circumstances, these justifications fail when unethical practices (...) are ongoing—as in the case of research involving transplantations in which organs have been procured unethically from executed prisoners. Use of such research displays a lack of respect and concern for the victims and undermines efforts to deter unethical practices. Such use also creates moral taint and renders those who use the research complicit in continuing harm. In Part 2, we distinguish three dimensions of ‘non-use’ of unethical research: non-use of published unethical research, non-publication, and retraction and argue that all three types of non-use should be upheld in the case of Chinese transplant research. Publishers have responsibilities to not publish contemporary unethical biomedical research, and where this has occurred, to retract publications. Failure to retract the papers implicitly condones the research, while uptake of the research through citations rewards researchers and ongoing circulation of the data in the literature facilitates subsequent use by researchers, policymakers and clinicians. (shrink)
Order is a value highly treasured and deeply embedded in the Westernworldview. Since the archaic Greeks gazed up at the night sky andnoted the reliable, stable movements of the heavens, order hasremained a cherished commodity in the lives of gods and humans. This paper traces the history of that beloved value and then places in question the worth of its rigorous, changeless solidity in the lives of living beings.
Mortal being is not being pure and simple, not posit-ive being alone, as the lived experience suggests it to be. Living being is always a living of mortal flesh, a living taunted by death as “the nothingness that wearies it.” This taunting doggedly pursues the living being and turns it inward in what Levinas terms “inter-esse.” In living its mortality, essence is always inter-esse — inside of itself — in the for-itself of self-interest. This paper attempts to track the opening (...) of essence from its “innocent” lived mortality, through the “thinking” awakening that brings it to an awareness of the violences entailed in its living, to its opening as an ethical being where self is abandoned, ruptured, sacrificed for the sake of the suffering other. This paper also addresses the larger question of what, if anything, is missing in Levinas’ account of living being. In his fidelity to a monadic view of isolated existence with its meaning-appropriations, is Levinas bound to maintain the “innocence” of all living beings, even in their most vile acts against others? Can Levinas account for the ability of the existent to leap outside his enclosed world to effect the destructive works that we witness every day in the human world? Can Levinas, committed to the “innocence” of living being, do justice to the injustices of the holocaust that motivate his work, or to the endless parade of holocausts that mark the history of the human species even to the present day? Finally, this paper entertains whether Levinas’ weddedness to this view of living being as isolated self-enclosure compels him to overlook the degree to which our meanings are preordained by the socio-politico-economic realities of our cultural contexts, whether the phenomenologist, as much as the existent, must remain blind to the powers of histories and institutions and systems to dictate the meanings that we find as the borders that give us the stable lifeworld. (shrink)
This paper considers the use of myth in the Platonic dialogues. It seeks to demonstrate that Plato takesup the task of rewriting the old myths, not in order to clarify the real truth about ancient tales, but to make thosetales serve higher—ethical—ends. Thus Plato makes a valiant effort to replace the old "truths" in order to displaceand overcome ethically dangerous assumptions in the old tales. But I shall demonstrate that, despite the changesin mythical content, the old tropes endure in the (...) new form and the dangerous elements of myth persist. Theelements of myth that I consider to be most dangerous are the motifs of "fallenness" and the irredeemably tragic dimension of earthly existence . These mythologems endure despite the new imagery that seeks to overcome them and they continue to breed a "nostalgia" of loss and tragic origins. This is the archaic infection that I see as the spawning ground of ritualistic patterns of human behaviour that are essentially violent. The infection is sublimated but carried alongin new contextual forms in Platonic myth, concealed but dynamically present. The persistence of these dangerous elements, in my reading, signal the failure of the Platonic project of purification—a failure most clearly evidenced in the tragic character of Eros and in the impotence of the philosopher in the city—indeed in Socrates' being ever atopos with regard to the city and missing even from the lofty perches reserved for the philosopher and the lover . There is no place forSocrates—for the truly just and good man—in the real cities down under the heavens. No place for him in theupper world of lofty contemplations. Without him, wealth and power and honour will ever rule the human scene and justice will be the ideal of simple fools.1That is the essential tragedy of the human condition as it re-emerges in the Platonic corpus. (shrink)