This article stresses the main lines of Thomas Aquinas’s philosophy on the nature of the body-soul union. Following Aristotle, Aquinas sees the soul as a ‘principle of life’ which is intimately bound to a body. Together they form a noncontingent composition. In addition, the distinctive feature of the human soul is rationality, which implies that a human needs a mind to be what it is. However, this is not to say, as Descartes proposes, that the reason that I am a (...) human is that I am fully self-conscious. On the contrary, I will show that selfconsciousness is not necessarily a key to defining a human being. To that aim, and based on Aquinas’s views, I draw a distinction between what I will call ‘egos’ and ‘selves’. (shrink)
In recent decades, several theories have claimed to explain the teleological causality of organisms as a function of self-organising and self-producing processes. The most widely cited theories of this sort are variations of autopoiesis, originally introduced by Maturana and Varela. More recent modifications of autopoietic theory have focused on system organisation, closure of constraints and autonomy to account for organism teleology. This article argues that the treatment of teleology in autopoiesis and other organisation theories is inconclusive for three reasons: First, (...) non-living self-organising processes like autocatalysis meet the defining features of autopoiesis without being teleological; second, organisational approaches, whether defined in terms of the closure of constraints, self-determination or autonomy, are unable to specify teleological normativity, that is, the individuation of an ultimate beneficiary; third, all self-organised systems produce local order by maximising the throughput of energy and/or material (obeying the maximum entropy production (MEP) principle) and thereby are specifically organised to undermine their own critical boundary conditions. Despite these inadequacies, an alternative approach called teleodynamics accounts for teleology. This theory shows how multiple self-organising processes can be collectively linked so that they counter each other’s MEP principle tendencies to become codependent. Teleodynamics embraces – not ignoring – the difficulties of self-organisation, but reinstates teleology as a radical phase transition distinguishing systems embodying an orientation towards their own beneficial ends from those that lack normative character. (shrink)
In the middle of the twentieth century, Wittgenstein warned that “the method of reducing the explanation of natural phenomena to the smallest possible number of primitive natural laws…leads…into complete darkness” (1958, p. 18). At the time, few philosophers and even fewer scientists were prepared to heed his warning. A half-century later, however, the reductive method of science—the method famously defined by Descartes, brilliantly exemplified by Newtonian physics, and long upheld as the gold standard of scientific explanation—seems to have finally lost (...) its luster. While reduction is still widely defended, in the last decades alternative views have gained credibility, to the extent that a “non-reductive science” is no longer dismissed as an oxymoron. (shrink)
El término “conocimiento” y la disciplina filosófica que lo estudia —la teoría del conocimiento— han experimentado notables cambios hasta el presente. La teoría clásica concibe el conocimiento en íntima unión con la verdad, como una captación intelectual de realidades necesarias e inmutables. Con la llegada de la modernidad, la difusión de un clima escéptico puso en duda esta pretensión, cuestionando la aptitud misma del conocimiento para la verdad. Esta duda ha presidido toda la modernidad hasta el presente. Para responder al (...) desafío escéptico, las principales corrientes de la llamada epistemología analítica contemporánea han intentado, sin éxito, explorar el carácter justificante del conocimiento. En este intento, han destacado teorías encaminadas a mostrar que el conocimiento recibe su justificación desde un fundamento, como el fundacionismo y el coherentismo; teorías encaminadas a mostrar que el conocimiento recibe su justificación desde sus fuentes, como el externismo y el internismo; y teorías encaminadas a mostrar que la recibe por las facultades cognitivas mismas como instrumentos de conocimiento fiables, como la epistemología de la virtud. Todas ellas generan, a su vez, nuevas paradojas e imponen la necesidad de volver a los fundamentos de esta disciplina, presentes en la teoría clásica, para descubrir la conexión entre conocimiento y verdad, e intentar detener el desafío escéptico. (shrink)
If it is possible to think that human life is temporal as a whole, and we can make sense of Wittgenstein’s claim that the psychological phenomena called ‘dispositions’ do not have genuine temporal duration on the basis of a distinction between dispositions and other mental processes, we need a compelling account of how time applies to these dispositions. I undertake this here by examining the concept of expectation, a disposition with a clear nexus to time by the temporal point at (...) which the expectation is satisfied. However, it seems that we cannot always identify the beginning of an expectation, and in a few cases, its end. If so, the reduction of expectations to neural events or accompanying feelings which spread over time in the usual way seems a hard enterprise, because these processes, much as other physical processes, have a definite and largely measurable time span. Only at a higher level, that is, as part of human life, expectation can be said to be temporal. (shrink)
Aristotle’s epistemology has sometimes been associated with foundationalism, the theory according to which a small set of premise-beliefs that are deductively valid or inductively strong provide justification for many other truths. In contemporary terms, Aristotle’s foundationalism could be compared with what is sometimes called “classical foundationalism”. However, as I will show, the equivalent to basic beliefs in Aristotle’s epistemology are the so-called first principles or “axiómata”. These principles are self-evident, but not self-justificatory. They are not justified by their act of (...) understanding, but by the arguments that satisfactorily prove them. In addition, these principles are intellectual, rather than perceptual, so that no basic belief that is about our immediate experience or sensory data is apt to provide the required foundation of knowledge. In spite of this, I argue that Aristotle’s foundationalism has no givens, and that his epistemology resists the objections usually leveled against givens. (shrink)
The claim that knowledge is grounded on a basic, non-inferentially grasped set of principles, which seems to be Aristotle’s view, in contemporary epistemology can be seen as part of a wider foundationalist account. Foundationalists assume that there must be some premise-beliefs at the basis of every felicitous reasoning which cannot be themselves in need of justification and may not be challenged. They provide justification for truths based on these premises, which Aristotle unusually call principles (archái). Can Aristotle be considered a (...) foundationalist? Are his first principles necessary premises to right inferences? We will look at the issue here. (shrink)
A. Kenny’s Metaphysics of Mind: 25 years later: To mark the 25th anniversary of A. Kenny’s The Metaphysics of Mind, this article discusses some of the central arguments of this book, in particular, it discusses Descartes’ dualism, the notion of soul or Aristotle’s psychê, human and animal language, voluntary action, the self, the mind-brain relation, thinking and intentionality, and determinism and free will. The author holds that, although Kenny’s book offers valid and substantial arguments inspired in Wittgenstein’s thought and the (...) Aristotelian tradition, he occasionally fails to appreciate the depth of basic concepts in the Aristotelian tradition such as that of psychê and the immateriality of the human intellect. Despite this, the book constitutes one of the best efforts to break off with Descartes’ and the empiricists’ ideas, and to incorporate the Aristotelian tradition to the contemporary philosophy of mind. (shrink)
This paper deals with three main issues of Wittgenstein’s philosophy of language: the theory of logical forms, the theory of objects in the Tractatus and his criticisms of the sense-data theory. Wittgenstein’s theses are here compared with those of Leo-nardo Polo’s philosophy, and especially, with some Polo’s remarks on the making of a transcendental language, nominalism and the concept of knowledge in Wittgen-stein’s thought.
Wittgenstein’s concept of intentionality is strongly connected with his views on language and thinking. Although his views progressively developed over time, Wittgenstein came to realise that intentionality is a property of thought that can only be accounted for in the context of ordinary language. On this basis, the view of intentionality that regards it as a natural property, or as a scientifically examinable property that can be found in the natural world is hostage to a number of paradoxes, some of (...) which are discussed here. His atomistic view of language and reality heavily weighed on his earlier conviction that the analysis of the processes of thinking would inevitably provide a central key to intentionality. This analysis regarded thinking as a mental process with undefined and elusive features. Wittgenstein soon realised that this view was the result of unchecked prejudices, and that unless language is regarded as a capacity of thinking, and thinking as an inherently representative capacity of humans that use language in the context of language-games, intentionality will remain unknown. This article provides evidence to understand why Wittgenstein thinks this way. (shrink)
We support the development of non-reductive cognitive science and the naturalization of phenomenology for this purpose, and we agree that the ‘relational turn’ defended by Gallagher is a necessary step in this direction. However, we believe that certain aspects of his relational concept of nature need clarification. In particular, Gallagher does not say whether or how teleology, affect, and other value-related properties of life and mind can be naturalized within this framework. In this paper, we argue that given the phenomenological (...) standards recognized by Gallagher, his commitment to a naturalized phenomenology should entail a commitment to a naturalized concept of value; and the kind of ‘relational nature’ described by Gallagher in his paper is insufficient for this purpose. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to study Leonardo Polo's conception of the principle of identity. This identity is also called Origin; however, an adequate understanding of that expression requires a careful study of the way man comes to be aware of it.
Este trabajo es el ganador de la III Olimpiada de Filosofía que organiza FICUM en la modalidad de segundo de bachillerato. A los alumnos se le hizo la siguiente pregunta: ¿cuál es la filosofía del siglo XXI? Lucía, ha afrontado la cuestión comentado el escaso interés que los políticos están mostrando actualmente hacia esta asignatura en los institutos de secundaria, para defender que existe un vínculo inseparable –una necesidad mutua- entre filosofía y política.
This article begins with Feuerbach’s critique of religion in order to recover the humanist sense of such critique, which is more than an affirmation of atheism or a denial of God’s existence, it is a defense of dignity and freedom Human. Throughout this study Feuerbach’s thinking is placed beyond the discussion between atheism and theism, establishing a dialogue that set aside the limitations of this dichotomy. In the history of philosophy, the importance of Feuerbach’s thought for the later philosophy of (...) suspicion has been emphasized, but in this case a less explored path is followed: his relation to dialogical thinking and the religion of love. (shrink)
En el planteamiento del problema filosófico de Dios se ponen en juego todas las cuestiones decisivas de la filosofía: la metafísica, la epistemología, la antropología, la ética, etc. La situación histórica del saber filosófico influye además de manera directa en la posibilidad y el modo mismo de ese planteamiento. M. García-Baró, con la circunspección de quien conoce las enormes dificultades entrañadas en el problema, con la competencia de quien conoce de cerca la situación histórica actual de la filosofía, nos (...) introduce en las claves teóricas implicadas en el estado actual de esta espinosa y decisiva cuestión. (shrink)
Los antiguos poetas de Grecia, hombres inspirados, describían nuestra existencia con una serie de rasgos entre los que no solían olvidar, como si éste los resumiera todos por fin, el de el ser que aguanta. No nos atribuían inteligencia, ni práctica ni teórica; tampoco nos concedías potencia para llevar a cabo nuestros planes; menos aún, vida sin fin. Pensaban, más bien, de nosotros que somos soberbios y que la soberbia nos ofusca, y que somos supersticiosos, crueles, avariciosos.
Michel Henry, uno de los representantes del nuevo pensamiento, que comienza convirtiendo a todo el hombre en pura pregunta que atraviesa las capas endurecidas de la verdad tradicional, esta convencido de que la riqueza de la tradición occidental es tan grande que cree que lo esencial de lo que él descubre como lo impensado en Europa se le ha destacado gracias, en buena parte, a la labor magisterial de las figuras mas celebres de la propia filosofía europea. Y esto sucede, (...) sobre todo, con Maine de Biran y Descartes. Lo que pretende defender Henry es que la luz del mundo mismo es el verdadero soporte del videre (ver) cuando el hombre se entrega enteramente en sus manos y piensa como si nada mas hubiera que su relación al mundo. (shrink)
The empirical relationship between a firm’s social performance and its financial performance is still not well established in the literature. Despite more than 30 years of research and more than 100 empirical studies on the issue, the results are still mixed. We argue that the heterogeneous results found in previous studies are not due exclusively to problems related with the measurement instruments or the samples used. Instead, we posit that a more fundamental problem related with the endogeneity of social strategic (...) decisions could be driving most of the empirical findings. We show that, using a panel data of 658 firms from 1991 to 2005, how some of the results found in previous research change, and some are even reversed when endogeneity is properly taken into account. (shrink)