This paper criticizes an empirical reading of On Perpetual Peace. It is also equally critical of the approach taken by philosophically minded scholars to give preference to Kant's philosophical outlook. Instead, it focuses on the peculiar oscillation between the philosophical and political aspects of the essay. Contrary to current concerns to update the conceptual framework of On Perpetual Peace—to rescue it from becoming obsolete—its salient irony, which mediates between both aspects, is singled out as a clue to an interpretation which (...) seeks to account for both of them. Thus, the essay can still be a source of inspiration for peace research. (shrink)
The authors contend that most contemporary logic textbooks fail the average student because they emphasize the evaluation of arguments over their clarification, assuming that the student already understands what motivations underlie logic.
The mystical experiences of the ṛṣis , the spiritual giants of the early Vedic times, led to the creation of the Vedic hymns and eventually to the formation of the whole elaborate structure of the Vedic religion, as upheld by the Indian priesthood. But there were obviously others who pursued mystical experiences without themselves engaging, like the ancient ṛṣis , in attempts to transmit their experiences through mythological poetry and religious leadership. They adopted mystical ecstasy as their way of life. (...) Mysticism as a conscious way of life is, in India, called Yoga. Being outside the trend of Vedic mythological creativity and the Brāhmanic religious orthodoxy, the Yogis of Vedic times left little evidence of their existence, practices and achievements. And such evidence as has survived in the Vedas is scanty and indirect. (shrink)
Molecular Revolution in BrazilFélix Guattari and Suely Rolniktranslated by Karel Clapshow and Brian HolmesYes, I believe that there is a multiple people, a people of mutants, a people of potentialities that appears and disappears, that is embodied in social, literary, and musical events.... I think that we're in a period of productivity, proliferation, creation, utterly fabulous revolutions from the viewpoint of this emergence of a people. That's molecular revolution: it isn't a slogan or a program, it's something that I (...) feel, that I live....--from Molecular Revolution in BrazilFollowing Brazil's first democratic election after two decades of military dictatorship, French philosopher Félix Guattari traveled through Brazil in 1982 with Brazilian psychoanalyst Suely Rolnik and discovered an exciting, new political vitality. In the infancy of its new republic, Brazil was moving against traditional hierarchies of control and totalitarian regimes and founding a revolution of ideas and politics. Molecular Revolution in Brazil documents the conversations, discussions, and debates that arose during the trip, including a dialogue between Guattari and Brazil's future President Luis Ignacia Lula da Silva, then a young gubernatorial candidate. Through these exchanges, Guattari cuts through to the shadowy practices of globalization gone awry and boldly charts a revolution in practice.Assembled and edited by Rolnik, Molecular Revolution in Brazil is organized thematically; aphoristic at times, it presents a lesser-known, more overtly political aspect of Guattari's work. Originally published in Brazil in 1986 as Micropolitica: Cartografias do desejo, the book became a crucial reference for political movements in Brazil in the 1980s and 1990s. It now provides English-speaking readers with an invaluable picture of the radical thought and optimism that lies at the root of Lula's Brazil. Félix Guattari, post-'68 French psychoanalyst and philosopher, is the author of Anti-Oedipus, The Anti-Oedipus Papers, 2006), and other books. Semiotext has published the first two volumes of his complete essays, Chaosophy and Soft Subversions, and will publish the final volume, Chaos and Complexity, in 2008. Suely Rolnik is a psychoanalyst, cultural critic, and curator who lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil. She was a close collaborator of Guattari during her exile in Paris from the military dictatorship in Brazil. (shrink)
The basic theory of scientific understanding presented in Sections 1–2 exploits three main ideas.First, that to understand a phenomenonP (for a given agent) is to be able to fitP into the cognitive background corpusC (of the agent).Second, that to fitP intoC is to connectP with parts ofC (via arguments in a very broad sense) such that the unification ofC increases.Third, that the cognitive changes involved in unification can be treated as sequences of shifts of phenomena inC. How the theory fits (...) typical examples of understanding and how it excludes spurious unifications is explained in detail. Section 3 gives a formal description of the structure of cognitive corpuses which contain descriptive as well as inferential components. The theory of unification is then refined in the light of so called puzzling phenomena, to enable important distinctions, such as that between consonant and dissonant understanding. In Section 4, the refined theory is applied to several examples, among them a case study of the development of the atomic model. The final part contains a classification of kinds of understanding and a discussion of the relation between understanding and explanation. (shrink)
In Liberalism’s religion, Laborde defends a liberal egalitarian position and tackles, from a new perspective, some issues dealt with in his republican writings. This article examines some of these issues, paying attention to the place that the recognition of identities occupies both in her republican and in her liberal theories, as well as the type of justification advanced in both cases. The article shows that the recognition of identities has gone from having a peripheral and instrumental role in her republican (...) writings to having a central role in her liberal theory. (shrink)
On 5 July 1996 a sheep named Dolly was born in Scotland, the result of the transfer of the nucleus of an adult mammary tissue cell to the enucleated egg cell of an unrelated sheep, and gestation in a third, surrogate mother sheep. Although for the past ten years scientists have routinely cloned sheep and cows from embryo cells, this was the first cloning experiment that apparently succeeded using the nucleus of an adult cell.
Through a close analysis of various moments within two hours of video-taped interaction, we investigate properties of the setting that the participants cannot ignore even as they transform them in various ways. These properties are not under local control. What is under control is revealed in the participants' “play” with the properties, including dangerous, “deep” play. In this process, some properties of the participants are rarely mentioned (e.g., that the laboring woman is an MD), others are repeatedly emphasized (e.g. the (...) strength of contractions). And others appear in ways that have not been dealt with adequately in current theoretical frameworks. To deal with life-threatening lies, and jokes about lies, we must move away from theories of hegemonic particularity that rely on a habitus. Rather we must acknowledge the practical understandings revealed in the collective submergence of that which may be actively noted as potentially relevant and then set aside so that other tasks can be foregrounded and achieved. (shrink)
This paper provides a finer analysis of the well-known form of the Local Deduction Theorem in contraction-free logics . An infinite hierarchy of its natural strengthenings is introduced and studied. The main results are the separation of its initial four members and the subsequent collapse of the hierarchy.
Free logic, an alternative to traditional logic, has been seen as a useful avenue of approach to a number of philosophical issues of contemporary interest. In this collection, Karel Lambert, one of the pioneers in, and the most prominent exponent of, free logic, brings together a variety of published essays bearing on the application of free logic to philosophical topics ranging from set theory and logic to metaphysics and the philosophy of religion. The work of such distinguished philosophers as (...) Bas van Fraassen, Dana Scott, Tyler Burge, and Jaakko Hintikka is represented. Lambert provides an introductory essay placing free logic in the logical tradition beginning with Aristotle, developing it as the natural culmination of a trend begun in the Port Royal logic of the 1600s, and continuing through current predicate logic--the trend to rid logic of existence assumptions. His Introduction also provides a useful systematic overview of free logic, including both a standard syntax and some semantical options. (shrink)
Free logic is an important field of philosophical logic that first appeared in the 1950s. J. Karel Lambert was one of its founders and coined the term itself. The essays in this collection explore the philosophical foundations of free logic and its application to areas as diverse as the philosophy of religion and computer science. Amongst the applications on offer are those to the analysis of existence statements, to definite descriptions and to partial functions. The volume contains a proof (...) that free logics of any kind are non-extensional and then uses that proof to show that Quine's theory of predication and referential transparency must fail. The purpose of this collection is to bring an important body of work to the attention of a new generation of professional philosophers, computer scientists and mathematicians. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Research suggests that young children possess a relatively complex understanding of adult authority that varies by social cognitive domain. However, little is known about how children react to adult authority that strays from expected guidelines. The current study exposed 4- and 5-year-old children to vignettes in which parents issue commands that reinforce social-conventional and moral norms, commands that violate said norms, and personal domain commands. Children were asked to judge the authority’s legitimacy, as well as the child’s obligation to (...) obey. Results showed that children give the most support to typical commands and the least to atypical commands, with personal commands falling in the middle. Age effects also emerged, with older children giving less support to parental commands in the personal domain, and to atypical commands in both conventional and moral domains. Implications for future research and for parent-child relationships are discussed. (shrink)
Supporters of neutrality as benign neglect argue that a neutral state should not grant any type of recognition to cultural or religious groups. Liberal multiculturalists argue instead that due to the non-neutral nature of public institutions, democratic states must adopt policies that recognize and accommodate the distinctive needs of ethnocultural groups. This article examines a different way of conceiving the principle of neutrality. In this conception, developed by Alan Patten in the framework of liberal multiculturalism, a state can only be (...) neutral when it extends equivalent levels of assistance/hindrance to rival conceptions of the good. Neutrality is thus reinterpreted to become a principle justifying the religious exemptions. The article highlights some aspects of this theory that should be reconsidered.// -/- Les défenseurs de la neutralité bienveillante soutiennent qu’un État neutre ne doit accorder aucun type de reconnaissance aux groupes culturels ou religieux. Les multiculturalistes libéraux avancent pour leur part que, en raison de la nature non neutre des institutions publiques, les États démocratiques doivent adopter des politiques vi-sant la reconnaissance et l’accommodement des besoins distinctifs des groupes ethnoculturels. Cet article examine une manière diffé-rente de concevoir le principe de neutralité. Dans cette conception, développée par Alan Patten dans le cadre du multiculturalisme libé-ral, un État ne peut être neutre que s’il assiste ou entrave de manière équivalente les différentes conceptions du bien. La neutralité est ainsi réinterprétée pour devenir un principe permettant de justifier les exemptions religieuses. L’article souligne certains aspects de cette théorie qui méritent d’être repensés. (shrink)
Les théories normatives qui justifient les politiques multiculturelles sont souvent dénoncées comme étant relativistes, conservatrices et anti-libérales. De telles politiques menaceraient en effet la cohésion sociale et promouvraient la fragmentation sociale et l’inégalité juridique en plaçant les cultures au-dessus de la politique et les groupes au-dessus des individus. Elles se fonderaient sur un respect inconditionnel du droit à la différence, en mettant l’accent sur les droits des minorités ethniques au détriment de la majorité et en s’attaquant à l’égalité de tous (...) les citoyens devant la loi. Dans ce cadre, le multiculturalisme est souvent présenté comme incompatible aussi bien avec le libéralisme qu’avec le républicanisme. Se voulant une introduction à six théories politiques de la diversité, cet ouvrage présente la relation entre le libéralisme, le républicanisme et le multiculturalisme sous un éclairage différent. Au moyen d’une reconstruction et d’une clarification des théories politiques retenues il montre, d’une part, que le libéralisme et le républicanisme sont tous deux compatibles avec la prise en compte gouvernementale de la diversité culturelle et religieuse, notamment en raison de l’adaptation de leurs principes fondamentaux à la réalité pluriculturelle contemporaine. D’autre part, il montre que les théories politiques examinées sont difficilement concevables à la lumière de certaines critiques formulées par les détracteurs des politiques multiculturelles. (shrink)
It is impolite to discuss matters of religion or politics in mixed company. So goes the popular adage which all of us were supposed to have learned as children from our mothers. Let's call it Mom's Maxim. We tend to accept Mom's Maxim. But is it philosophically sound? In this short essay, we raise some objections to Mom's Maxim and make a case for an alternative which we call Mill's Principle.
In biosemiotics, living beings are not conceived of as the passive result of anonymous selection pressures acted upon through the course of evolution. Rather, organisms are considered active participants that influence, shape and re-shape other organisms, the surrounding environment, and eventually also their own constitutional and functional integrity. The traditional Darwinian division between natural and sexual selection seems insufficient to encompass the richness of these processes, particularly in light of recent knowledge on communicational processes in the realm of life. Here, (...) we introduce the concepts of semiotic selection and semiotic co-option which in part represent a reinterpretation of classical biological terms and, at the same time, keep explanations sensitive to semiosic processes taking place in living nature. We introduce the term ‘semiotic selection’ to emphasize the fact that actions of different semiotic subjects (selectors) will produce qualitatively different selection pressures. Thereafter, ‘semiotic co-option’ explains how semiotic selection may shape appearance in animals through remodelling existing forms and relations. Considering the event of co-option followed by the process of semiotic selection enables us to describe the evolution of semantic organs. (shrink)
In the late 1970s, when Karel Vasak offered his concept of the three generations of rights, it was inclusive enough to embrace the whole spectrum of existing human rights. Forty years later, this paper explores the nature of contemporary human rights discourse and questions to what extent Vasak’s categorization is still relevant. Our work discusses the evolution of the concept of human rights, the changing dichotomies of national and international, individual and collective, and positive and negative rights. This paper (...) uses qualitative methods of content analysis and quantitative frequency analysis method to explore the nature of scholarly discourse presented in human rights journals. Our research findings highlight the dynamic evolution of contemporary human rights discourse. The paper specifically illustrates the increasing emphasis on collective and internationalist rights and the enhancement of human rights matters that are difficult to categorize using Vasak’s approach. In doing so, the paper calls for the clarification of the language of contemporary human rights. (shrink)
This article considers the uncommon situation surrounding the acceptance of Darwinism in nineteenth-century Bohemia, when the diffusion and interpretation of Darwin’s teachings were first undertaken, above all by two professors of aesthetics at Prague – Josef Durdík and Otakar Hostinský. Although they somewhat simplified the theory of natural selection, they understood Darwin’s theory to be the arrival of a new paradigm in contrast to contemporary biologists working in the Bohemian Lands. This article presents and compares both aestheticians’ interpretations of Darwinism, (...) mainly their stance on the theory of natural selection, the possibilities of applying this theory to aesthetics and art, as well as their relationship to Darwin’s interpretation of aesthetic phenomena in nature. (shrink)