This paper investigates a certain puzzling argument concerning number expressions and their meanings, the Easy Argument for Numbers. After finding faults with previous views, I offer a new take on what’s ultimately wrong with the Argument: it equivocates. I develop a semantics for number expressions which relates various of their uses, including those relevant to the Easy Argument, via type-shifting. By marrying Romero ’s :687–737, 2005) analysis of specificational clauses with Scontras ’ semantics for Degree Nouns, I show how to (...) extend Landman ’s Adjectival Theory to numerical specificational clauses. The resulting semantics can explain various contrasts observed by Moltmann, but only if Scontras’ contention that degrees and numbers are sortally distinct is correct. At the same time, the Easy Argument can establish its intended conclusion only if numbers and degrees are mistakenly assumed to be identical. (shrink)
abstractWe address a puzzle about the meanings of fraction words, due to Nathan Salmon. Counting 212 oranges seemingly requires enumerating a collection of objects with a non-whole cardinal number, which is incoherent by the lights of traditional analyses of cardinality expressions. Thus, some argue that counting 212 oranges really amounts to measuring quantities of orange-stuff. However, we claim that ‘212 oranges’ is ambiguous between counting- and measuring-interpretations; and recognizing this affords a novel solution to Salmon’s puzzle that is consistent with (...) traditional analyses. (shrink)
I argue for two major claims in this paper. First, I argue that the linguistic evidence best supports a certain form of contextualism about predicates of personal taste (PPTs) like ?fun? and ?tasty?. In particular, I argue that these adjectives are both individual-level predicates (ILPs) and anaphoric implicit argument taking predicates (IATPs). As ILPs, these naturally form generics. As anaphoric IATPs, PPTs show the same dependencies on context and distributional behavior as more familiar anaphoric IATPs, for example, ?local? and ?apply?. (...) Moreover, they are subject to important binding-related phenomena, for example, various kinds of anaphora, binding arguments, and strict-sloppy ambiguities. The latter are particularly problematic for relativism, contextualism's major competitor. I argue that relativism cannot account for these binding facts in a non-ad hoc manner. Second, I argue that disagreement is a predictable feature of dialogues involving PPTs in conjunction with the contextualist semantics defended. Appealing to ?off the shelf? analyses of genericity, I show how disagreement arises in just the cases we would expect, licensing just the kinds of responses we would expect. They also suggest promising explanations, unavailable to relativists, of various otherwise puzzling features of disagreements involving PPTs. (shrink)
A core commitment of Bob Hale and Crispin Wright’s neologicism is their invocation of Frege’s Constraint—roughly, the requirement that the core empirical applications for a class of numbers be “built directly into” their formal characterization. According to these neologicists, if legitimate, Frege’s Constraint adjudicates in favor of their preferred foundation—Hume’s Principle—and against alternatives, such as the Dedekind–Peano axioms. In this paper, we consider a recent argument for legitimating Frege’s Constraint due to Hale, according to which the primary empirical application of (...) the naturals is transitive counting, or answering ‘how many’-questions using numerals. We make two claims regarding Hale’s argument. First, it fails to legitimate Frege’s Constraint in virtue of resting on unsupported and highly contentious assumptions. Secondly, even if sound, Hale’s argument would vindicate a version of Frege’s Constraint which fails to adjudicate in favor of Hume’s Principle over alternative characterizations of the naturals. (shrink)
A number of recent accounts for vague terms postulate a kind of context-sensitivity, one that kicks in after the usual ‘external’ contextual factors like comparison class are established and held fixed. In a recent paper, ‘Vagueness without Context Change’: 275–92), Rosanna Keefe criticizes all such accounts. The arguments are variations on considerations that have been brought against context-sensitive accounts of knowledge, predicates of personal taste, epistemic modals, and the like. The issues are well known and there are variety of options (...) available in reply. More important, the arguments rely on an overly narrow conception of context-sensitivity, suggesting that one size fits all. If Keefe’s arguments were cogent, they would tell against the context-sensitivity of just about any expression, beyond the typical indexicals, including the variation of vague terms with comparison class. However, the criticisms raised by Keefe do highlight certain questions that must be answered by an advo... (shrink)
Erwin Panofsky explicitly states that the first half of the opening chapter of Studies in Iconology—his landmark American publication of 1939—contains ‘the revised content of a methodological article published by the writer in 1932’, which is now translated for the first time in this issue of Critical Inquiry.1 That article, published in the philosophical journal Logos, is among his most important works. First, it marks the apogee of his series of philosophically reflective essays on how to do art history,2 that (...) reach back, via a couple of major pieces on Alois Riegl, to the 1915 essay on Heinrich Wölfflin.3 Under the influence of his colleague at Hamburg Ernst Cassirer, the principal interpreter of Kant in the 1920s, Panofsky from 1915 on exhibits in his work ever more Kantian thinking and language.4 But Logos was not an art-historical review or one dedicated to aesthetics but a principal mainstream journal of the philosophy of culture. So ‘On the Problem of Describing and Interpreting Works of the Visual Arts’ has a good claim to be the culmination of Panofsky's philosophical thinking in his German period under the Weimar Republic. · 1. Erwin Panofsky, Studies in Iconology: Humanistic Themes in the Art of the Renaissance , p. xv; hereafter abbreviated SI. See Panofsky, ‘Zum Problem der Beschreibung und Inhaltsdeutung von Werken der bildenden Kunst’, Logos 21 : 103–19; trans. Jaś Elsner and Katharina Lorenz under the title ‘On the Problem of Describing and Interpreting Works of the Visual Arts’, Critical Inquiry 38 : 467–82; hereafter abbreviated ‘P’.· 2. See the discussion in Carlo Ginzburg, ‘From Aby Warburg to E. H. Gombrich: A Problem of Method’, Myths, Emblems, Clues, trans. John and Anne C. Tedeschi , pp. 17–59, esp. pp. 36–41.· 3. See Panofsky, ‘Das Problem des Stils in der bildenden Kunst’, Deutschsprachige Aufsätze, ed. Karen Michels and Martin Warnke, 2 vols. , 2:1009–18; ‘Der Begriff des Kunstwollens’,Deutschsprachige Aufsätze, 2:1019–34, trans. Kenneth J. Northcott and Joel Snyder under the title ‘The Concept of Artistic Volition’, Critical Inquiry 8 : 17–33; and ‘Über das Verhältnis der Kunstgeschichte zur Kunsttheorie: Ein Beitrag zu der Erörterung über die Möglichkeit kunstwissenschaftlicher Grundbegriffe’, Deutschsprachige Aufsätze, 2: 1035–63, trans. Lorenz and Elsner under the title ‘On the Relationship of Art History and Art Theory: Towards the Possibility of a Fundamental System of Concepts for a Science of Art’, Critical Inquiry 35 : 43–71.· 4. On neo-Kantianism in pre-Nazi Germany, see Michael Friedman, A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger , pp. 25–37; Éric Dufour and T. Z. R. Créteil, ‘Le Statue du singulier: Kant et le néokantisme de l’École de Marbourg', Kantstudien 93 : 324–50; Edward Skidelsky, Ernst Cassirer: The Last Philosopher of Culture , pp. 22–51; and Peter E. Gordon, Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos , pp. 52–86. Specifically on the Cassirerian Kantianism of Panofsky, see Michael Podro, The Critical Historians of Art , pp. 181–82; Michael Ann Holly, Panofsky and the Foundations of Art History , pp. 91–92, 147–52; Silvia Ferretti, Cassirer, Panofsky, and Warburg: Symbol, Art, and History, trans. Richard Pierce , pp. 174–77, 182–84; David Summers, ‘Meaning in the Visual Arts as a Humanistic Discipline’, in Meaning in the Visual Arts: Views from the Outside, ed. Irving Lavin , pp. 9–24; Mark A. Cheetham, Kant, Art, and Art History: Moments of Discipline , pp. 68–77; Paul Crowther, The Transhistorical Image: Philosophizing Art and Its History , pp. 70–73; Allister Neher, ‘“The Concept of Kunstwollen”, Neo-Kantianism, and Erwin Panofsky's Early Art Theoretical Essays', Word and Image 20 : 41–51; Georges Didi-Huberman,Confronting Images: Questioning the Ends of a Certain History of Art, trans. John Goodman , pp. 4–6, 90–138; and Lorenz and Elsner, ‘Translators’ Introduction', Critical Inquiry35 : 33–42, esp. pp. 38, 40–42. (shrink)
A proposta deste estudo é abordar de forma teórica o pensamento do filósofo e cientista político, germano-americano, Eric Voegelin, buscando compreender a relação que promove entre o gnosticismo e a modernidade, tendo como foco sua afirmação de que o gnosticismo é o fundamento da modernidade. Para esta pesquisa, são utilizados como base teórica fundamental dois conceitos de sua teoria: religiões políticas e gnosticismo. Divide-se o trabalho em uma introdução ao tema e três capítulos, seguidos da conclusão. Na introdução, se (...) aborda o contexto histórico-político que fornece o estofo para o surgimento da modernidade e movimentos totalitários; com a biografia do autor, buscam-se elementos essenciais para a compreensão de sua posição de combate irrestrito às ideologias, principalmente ao nacional-socialismo alemão e socialismo stalinista. A partir da crítica ao movimento positivista, que considera a ciência natural e seus métodos o modo por excelência de apreensão da realidade, Voegelin demonstra que a dimensão simbólica, espiritual e transcendente do ser fica relegada a uma posição inferior, inexistente ou banalizada, causando uma deformação da verdade, que pode se manifestar em dogmas ou doutrinas ideológicas. No segundo capítulo, introduz-se sua noção de que o gnosticismo é o fundamento da sociedade moderna, na medida em que a insatisfação com a ordem corrente, a crença e desejo de mudança do indivíduo por meio do conhecimento, se firmam como contrários ao desenvolvimento do ser, apontando uma tendência nos movimentos ideológicos modernos à imanentização da escatologia cristã. No terceiro capítulo, apresentam-se as principais discussões a respeito dos limites e alcances de sua teoria, sua aproximação com uma filosofia da consciência e as possibilidades de utilizá-la para a compreensão dos fenômenos totalitários na atualidade, vistos como uma doença pneumopatológica. Concluiu-se que Voegelin, categórico ao apontar para a necessidade de uma nova abordagem para a ciência social e política, evidenciou uma estrutura religiosa nos movimentos modernos, ditos seculares; o conceito de gnosticismo como fundamento da modernidade, apesar de revisto pelo próprio autor e ainda fomentar controvérsias, pode ser um ponto de partida para estudos complementares, uma vez que enfatiza a necessidade de ampliação da consciência para a restauração da ordem social e política, e de incluir o aspecto transcendente do ser, que se expressa em seus símbolos e em suas experiências religiosas ao longo da história, para a compreensão da modernidade. (shrink)
Two meanings of "subjective consequentialism" are distinguished: conscious deliberation with the aim of producing maximally-good consequences, versus acting in ways that, given one's evidence set and reasoning capabilities, is subjectively most likely to maximize expected consequences. The latter is opposed to "objective consequentialism," which demands that we act in ways that actually produce the best total consequences. Peter Railton's arguments for a version of objective consequentialism confuse the two subjective forms, and are only effective against the first. After reviewing the (...) arguments of Eric Wiland and Frances Howard-Snyder against objective consequentialism, two of Railton's arguments which might seem to count against the second form of subjective consequentialism are shown to be ineffective. This leaves subjective consequentialism as a viable theory to replace objective consequentialism with. (shrink)
Este artigo quer mostrar que Kant descobriu, segundo Eric Weil, o problema do sentido. Entretanto, Eric Weil observa que Kant não encontrou uma linguagem apropriada para falar do sentido. A linguagem de Kant era ainda uma linguagem ontológica. Malgrado isso, Kant conseguiu fechar, na terceira Crítica, o abismo que separava natureza e liberdade.
_ Source: _Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 236 - 255 In this article I compare some elements of Eric Gans’s thought with a few aspects of the philosophy of Hermann Cohen—first and foremost, Gans’s concept of the origin and Cohen’s concept of Ursprung—while revealing the deep affinity between these two lines of thinking.
Eric Voegelin believed that a morally acceptable and in the long run successful political order (which meant for the emigrant Voegelin primarily an order that is resistant to totalitarianism) can only be built on the foundation of a healthy religiosity of the citizens and the political leaders. The question of what a healthy religiosity is was examined by Voegelin by recurring to intellectual history and to the philosophy of consciousness. In my book I offer a detailed criticism Voegelin's philosophy (...) of consciousness and of his concept of political order. (shrink)
Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin were political theorists of the first rank whose impact on the study of political science in North America has been profound. A study of their writings is one of the most expeditious ways to explore the core of political science; comparing and contrasting the positions both theorists have taken in assessing that core provides a comprehensive appreciation of the main options of the Western tradition. In fifty-three recently discovered letters, Strauss and Voegelin explore the (...) nature of their similarities and differences, offering trenchant observations about one another's work, about the state of the discipline, and about the influences working on them. The correspondence fleshes out many assumptions made in their published writings, often with a frankness and directness that removes all vestiges of ambiguity. Included with the correspondence are four pivotal re-published essays—"Jerusalem and Athens: Some Preliminary Reflections", "The Gospel and Culture", "Immortality: Experience and Symbol", and "The Mutual Influence of Theology and Philosophy" —and commentaries by James L. Wiser, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Stanley Rosen, Thomas J. J. Altizer, Timothy Fuller, Ellis Sandoz, Thomas L. Pangle, and David Walsh. (shrink)
Consciousness is at once the most obvious and mysterious feature of the human mind. Kenneth Keulman seeks a better understanding of its many dimensions through interpretations of the ideas of the twentieth-century philosopher Eric Voegelin, who viewed the complexity of modern consciousness as the result of a distinctive form of evolution combining genetic change with cultural history. Voegelin's unique contribution to political theory, Keulman shows, comes from his development of an approach to history rooted in a study of the (...) symbolisms of the history of order. It is because the problems of order in society arise from the order of consciousness that the theory of consciousness can be placed at the center of political theory. Keulman's interpretation encompasses not only Voegelin's published writings but also a substantial body of unpublished material to which Voegelin gave him access before his death in 1985, including portions of what was to become Volume V of _Order and History_. (shrink)
फेसबुक आणि ब्लॉगच्या जमान्यात तत्त्वज्ञानाची चर्चा केवळ पुस्तकांपुरती किंवा विद्यापीठीय चर्चासत्रांपुरती मर्यादित राहू नये, असे मानणारा एक चळवळय़ा प्राध्यापक, पुस्तकांच्या मानीव वर्चस्वामुळे तत्त्वज्ञान क्षेत्राचे काय नुकसान झाले, याबद्दलही बोलतो आहे आणि ही चर्चा पुस्तकांच्या बाहेरही झाली पाहिजे.. ती लोकाभिमुख झाली पाहिजे, असे सांगतो आहे..
My purpose is to analyze the peculiar thinking of Weil, according to the categories of reasoning, as a choice to avoid violence. In his definition of man, Weil recovers the notion of realization, with which man is redefined in terms of what he must be and not merely for what he is. There-to, man is ..
ABSTRACTIn a recent paper published in this journal, Eric Funkhouser argues that some of our beliefs have the primary function of signaling to others, rather than allowing us to navigate the world. Funkhouser’s case is persuasive. However, his account of beliefs as signals is underinclusive, omitting both beliefs that are signals to the self and less than full-fledged beliefs as signals. The latter set of beliefs, moreover, has a better claim to being considered as constituting a psychological kind in (...) its own right than the set of beliefs Funkhouser identifies. (shrink)
This new essay collection edited by Eric Watkins features distinguished and established scholars, and it will be an attractive volume for those who work in the field. The essays are divided under three headings: Part I contains essays on agency, Part II features essays on freedom, and Part III is dedicated to essays on persons. An essay by Karl Ameriks on Kant’s work “The End of All Things” concludes the collection. Most of the essays in the collection were originally (...) presented in early form at the conference “Agency, Persons, and Kant” in 2016, which was held in honor of Karl Ameriks. Although there are mentions of Ameriks’s work in the essays, the contributions largely do not discuss his work in detail. Rather... (shrink)
I am grateful to Eric Schliesser for his gracious response, and to Philosophy East and West and Roger Ames for hosting this discussion. The challenges currently facing the profession regarding exclusionary practices are many, and Schliesser's work at both NewAPPS and his newer blog, Digressions&Impressions, is sensitive both to how many and how complex these challenges are. Schliesser is correct that my discussion of the profession's conversational patterns is both a bit ungenerous and more than a little ambitious, asking (...) for "revolution" in how the discipline not only talks, but operates. Likewise, Schliesser is right to point out that there are now many, and more than ever before, seeking to probe critically the... (shrink)
En este trabajo presento un estudio sobre el estado del arte de la llamada ‘epistemología de las simulaciones computacionales’. En particular, me centro en los varios trabajos de Eric Winsberg quién es uno de los filósofos más fructíferos y sistemáticos en este tema. Además de analizar la obra de Winsberg, y basándome en sus trabajos y en el de otros filósofos, mostraré que hay buenas razones para pensar que la epistemología tradicional de la ciencia no es suficiente para el (...) análisis de las simulaciones computacionales. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIn this paper, we reply to Eric Moore’s argument that Lance Armstrong did not cheat, at least according to one, standard account of cheating. If that is the case, we argue, so much the worse for the standard account of cheating, since Armstrong was a cheat. We argue that the standard account of cheating fails on several counts: it specifies conditions that are not necessary for cheating: that cheating involves trying to secure an unfair advantage and that cheating depends (...) on fair application of the rules. We dispute Moore’s claim that doping in the peloton was a convention that had normative force, and reject his anti-formalist analogy between doping in the peloton and bodily contact in basketball. (shrink)
In this essay I propose to explicate and defend a new and improved version of a Lockean proviso—the self-ownership proviso . I shall presume here that individuals possess robust rights of self-ownership. I shall take it that each individual has strong moral claims over the elements which constitute her person, e.g., her body parts, her talents, and her energies. However, in the course of the essay, I shall be challenging what I take to be the standard conception of self-ownership and (...) proposing an enrichment of that conception. The SOP is presented and in part justified as an implication of the right of self-ownership as it is more richly conceived—hence its designation as the self-ownership proviso. As an implication of the right of self-ownership which is also compatible, in theory and practice, with extensive and robust private property rights, the SOP is offered as an integral element of classical-liberal political theory. (shrink)
In an earlier paper, I objected to certain elements of L. Jonathan Cohen's account of corroborating testimony (Olsson ). In their response to my article, Bovens, Fitelson, Hartmann and Snyder () suggest some significant improvements of the probabilistic model which I used in assessing Cohen's theses and answer some additional questions which my study raised. More problematically, they also seek to defend Cohen against my criticism. I argue, in this reply, that their attempts in this direction are unsuccessful.
In the years following the end of the Second World War Carol Reed directed three films, Odd Man Out, The Third Man, and The Man Between, that all dealt with individuals somehow cast alone into post-war urban environments that shared certain characteristics of division and violence. This article argues that they can be usefully analysed through the lens of Walter Benjamin's notion of the creaturely, especially through Eric Santner's explication of the concept. It considers the films from three aspects (...) of Santner's creaturely life: natural history, the state of exception, and undeadness. These qualities of the creaturely as an analysis of the human condition help to encompass some of the strangeness of Reed's apparently conventional film narratives. The films' characters can be seen as overtly modelling a kind of Benjaminian natural history, the history of the brutal twentieth century, in which the vulnerable, mortal, dying human beings at the centre of these tales stumble around in rea... (shrink)
I respond to Daniel and Frances Howard-Snyder’s criticisms of my arguments in another place for the conclusion that human supplicants would have little responsibility (if any) for the result of answered petitionary prayer, and criticize their defense of the claim that God would have good reasons for creating an institution of petitionary prayer.
Following its determination of a finding of scientific misconduct the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) will seek redress for any injury sustained. Several remedies both administrative and statutory may be available depending on the strength of the evidentiary findings of the misconduct investigation. Pursuant to federal regulations administrative remedies are primarily remedial in nature and designed to protect the integrity of the affected research program, whereas statutory remedies including civil fines and criminal penalties are designed to deter and punish wrongdoers. (...) This commentary discusses the available administrative and statutory remedies in the context of a specific case, that of former University of Vermont nutrition researcher Eric Poehlman, and supplies a possible rationale for the legal result. (shrink)
In 1952, Waldemar Gurian, founding editor of The Review of Politics, commissioned Eric Voegelin, then a professor of political science at Louisiana State University, to review Hannah Arendt’s recently published The Origins of Totalitarianism . She was given the right to reply; Voegelin would furnish a concluding note. Preceding this dialogue, Voegelin wrote a letter to Arendt anticipating aspects of his review; she responded in kind. Arendt’s letter to Voegelin on totalitarianism, written in German, has never appeared in print (...) before. She wrote two drafts of it, the first and longest being the more interesting. It contained an early reference to her thinking about the relationship among plurality, politics, and philosophy. It also invoked her notion of the compelling “logic” of totalitarian ideology. But this was not the letter Voegelin received. Because of this, he misunderstood significant parts of her argument. Below, the two versions of Arendt’s letter are translated. They are prefaced by a translation of Voegelin’s initial message to Arendt. An introduction compares Arendt’s letters, offers context, and provides a snapshot of Arendt’s and Voegelin’s perceptions of each other. Their views of political religion and human nature are also highlighted. Keyed to Arendt and Voegelin’s letters are pertinent aspects of the debate in The Review of Politics that followed their epistolary exchange. (shrink)
In the Second Meditation, Descartes famously asks at one point, ‘But what then am I?’ – to which his immediate answer is ‘A thing that thinks.’ It is this question, or rather the plural version of it, that Eric Olson examines in this excellent book. He thinks that it is – today, at least – a rather neglected question. He points out that it is wrong to confuse the question with the much more frequently examined question of what personal (...) identity consists in. In fact, he thinks that possible answers to the two questions, even if not entirely independent of one other, constrain each other only to a rather limited extent. It is important to appreciate that Olson is not inquiring into what persons in general are, but only into what we human persons are. Olson explores all the major, and some of the less well-known, answers that have been offered to this question. He begins with the answer that he himself has defended in an earlier book, The Human Animal – the answer that we are human animals, that is, biological organisms of a certain kind. Indeed, Olson is, along with Peter van Inwagen, one of the best known ‘animalists’ – although he admits to being a little more tentative in his endorsement of this position now, for reasons that we shall come to later. The other views that he considers are these: that we are entities that are ‘constituted’ by, but not identical with, human animals (the view of Lynne Rudder …. (shrink)
If there is a moral reason for A to do X, and if A cannot do X without doing Y, and if doing Y will enable A to do X, then there is a moral reason for A to do Y. This principle is plausible but mysterious, so it needs to be explained. It can be explained by necessary enabler consequentialism, but not by other consequentialisms or any deontological moral theory. Or so I argue. Frances Howard-Snyder objects that this (...) argument fails to establish consequentialism as understood by, because it fails to establish agent-neutrality. I respond by distinguishing consequentialism, which need not be agent-neutral, from utilitarianism, which claims agent-neutrality. Howard-Snyder also presents a schema for a non-consequentialist theory that is supposed to explain moral substitutability. I respond that her explanation cannot be completed without introducing incoherence into deontological moral theories. (shrink)
Eric Davidson had a deep and abiding interest in the role developmental mechanisms played in generating evolutionary patterns documented in deep time, from the origin of the euechinoids to the processes responsible for the morphological architectures of major animal clades. Although not an evolutionary biologist, Davidson’s interests long preceded the current excitement over comparative evolutionary developmental biology. Here I discuss three aspects at the intersection between his research and evolutionary patterns in deep time: First, understanding the mechanisms of body (...) plan formation, particularly those associated with the early diversification of major metazoan clades. Second, a critique of early claims about ancestral metazoans based on the discoveries of highly conserved genes across bilaterian animals. Third, Davidson’s own involvement in paleontology through a collaborative study of the fossil embryos from the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation in south China. (shrink)
Eric Nelson's Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy in Early Twentieth-Century German Thought opens with the following: "The work before you is an interpretive journey through the historical reception of Chinese and Buddhist philosophy in modern German thought, focusing in particular--albeit not exclusively--on the early twentieth century. Its intent is to describe and analyze the intertextual nexus of intersecting sources for the sake of elucidating implications and critical models for intercultural hermeneutics and intercultural philosophy. The possibility of such a philosophy is (...) confronted by the persistent myth and prejudice that philosophy is and can only be a unique and exclusive Western spiritual achievement" (p.... (shrink)
This article is partly an exercise in academic autobiography, seeking to make sense of the different ways in which I have applied semiotics to secular law on the one hand, Jewish law on the other. The very fact that it can be applied to both shows that its claims are methodological. But it also indicates a possible reformulation of the semiotic issues in philosophical terms: we may view the relationship between the semantic and pragmatic levels in terms of the relationship/balance (...) between certainty/truth (the semantic level) on the one hand and trust (the pragmatic level) on the other. What may distinguish the secular and religious systems is the manner in the issue of trust is be ideologically concealed. (shrink)
The Britten–Davidson model of genetic regulation was well received by American molecular biologists and embryologists, but not by the members of the French School of molecular biology. In particular, François Jacob considered it too abstract and too removed from experiments. I re-examine the contrast between the Britten–Davidson model and the operon model by Jacob and Monod, the different scientific contexts in which they were produced and the different roles they played. I also describe my recent encounters with Eric Davidson, (...) and how I discovered the extraordinary continuity of his work on the development of the sea urchin, as well as his rich personality. (shrink)
Eric Davidson, a passionate molecular developmental biologist and intellectual, believed that conceptual advances in the sciences should be based on knowledge of conceptual history. Convinced of the superiority of a causal-analytical approach over other methods, he succeeded in successfully applying this approach to the complex feature of organismal development by introducing the far-reaching concept of developmental Gene Regulatory Networks. This essay reviews Davidson’s philosophy, his support for the history of science, and some aspects of his scientific personality.
My goal in this essay is to say something helpful about the philosophical foundations of deontic restraints, i.e., moral restraints on actions that are, roughly speaking, grounded in the wrongful character of the actions themselves and not merely in the disvalue of their results. An account of deontic restraints will be formulated and offered against the backdrop of three related, but broader, contrasts or puzzles within moral theory. The plausibility of this account of deontic restraints rests in part on how (...) well this account resolves the puzzles or illuminates the contrasts which make up this theoretical backdrop. (shrink)
On November 15th, one week after the results of the 2016 US presidential election were known to all, Timothy Snyder, a distinguished historian of Modern Europe, took to his Facebook page where he formulated a series of steps he urged readers to take in response to what he clearly deemed an emerging threat to the future of American democracy. Snyder's message, which captured the sense of urgency and foreboding that was palpable across large swaths of the land, instantly (...) went viral. In a preface to comments informed by deep knowledge of the totalitarian regimes that held Europe in their grip in the decades following World War I, Snyder wrote: Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to... (shrink)
“Eric Voegelin's Philosophy of Myth” is an introduction to the eminent political philosopher's theory of the nature and function of myth in pre-modern cultures, particularly in ancient Greece and Mesopotamia. For Voegelin archaic myths and symbols provide grounds or foundations for a broad range of phenomena, from individual objects and events to the entire cosmos. They convey a sense of wholeness and interconnectedness through a type of analogical thinking. The concepts of ‘compactness’ and ‘differentiation’ are essential components in his (...) overall theory. The former designates the unity of the symbol and the symbolized, the latter their separation into immanent and transcendent poles in the reflections of Greek philosophers and of Jewish and Christian thinkers. Both compact and differentiated accounts employ the symbols of the Beginning and Beyond, viz. the originating source of all things and their transcendent goal. Voegelin's treatment of the mythical and philosophical styles of truth is not limited to the distant past. Throughout history individual myths or symbols lose their transformative power, but, he asserts, they are regenerated or replaced by new ones discovered by great souls who have experiential access to the underlying realities. (shrink)
In this paper I offer three main challenges to James (2011). All three turn on the nature of philosophy and secure knowledge in Spinoza. First, I criticize James's account of the epistemic role that experience plays in securing adequate ideas for Spinoza. In doing so I criticize her treatment of what is known as the ‘conatus doctrine’ in Spinoza in order to challenge her picture of the relationship between true religion and philosophy. Second, this leads me into a criticism of (...) her account of the nature of philosophy in Spinoza. I argue it is less piecemeal and less akin to what we would recognize as ‘science’ than she suggests. Third, I argue against James's core commitment that Spinoza's three kinds of knowledge differ in degree; I claim they differ in kind. My argument will offer a new interpretation of Spinoza's conception of ‘common notions’. Moreover, I argue that Spinozistic adequate knowledge involves something akin to angelic disembodiment. (shrink)
Between November 30th and December 2nd, 2015, the Jacques Loeb Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva held its Eighth International Workshop under the title “From Genome to Gene: Causality, Synthesis and Evolution”. Eric Davidson, the founder of the concept of developmental Gene Regulatory Networks, had regularly attended the previous meetings, and his participation in this one was expected, but he suddenly passed away 3 months before. In (...) this paper, we provide an introduction and overview on five papers that were presented at the workshop and examine the importance of genomes and gene regulatory networks in extant biology, developmental biology, evolutionary biology and medicine, as well as a collection of remembrances of Eric Davidson, of his personality as well as of his scientific contributions. Historical perspectives are provided, and the ethical issues raised by the new tools developed to modify the genome are also discussed. (shrink)
ABSTRACTJason Wirth's Mountains, Rivers, and the Great Earth: Reading Gary Snyder and Dōgen in an Age of Ecological Crisis challenges complacency in two significant ways. First, it performs a commitment to philosophy as creative and capacious practice in contrast to orthodoxies or technical provincialisms. Second, it disrupts unreflective usages of “wealth” and “development” as inherently economic in developing a compelling argument about the way that spiritual poverty informs contemporary ecological pathology. In this review, I present six key claims in (...) Wirth's text and offer unfolding thoughts in response. (shrink)
Leo Strauss»s Natural Right and History and Eric Voegelin»s New Science of Politics represented both a continuation of the Weimar conversation and a projection into the American context of the issues that defined that conversation. They each chose Max Weber as the pivotal figure in their animadversions regarding historicism, relativism, and the condition of social science, but, as in the case of Weber himself, the underlying issue, which animated the emigres across the ideological spectrum, was the relationship between theory (...) and practice or philosophy and politics. (shrink)