This article considers the affinities in the socio-political thought of Emmanuel Levinas and Richard Rorty. The writings of both display considerable concern for the suffering of others. Both authors note the importance of a self-critical subject becoming more aware of its own injustice as very important for recognizing our responsibilities to others. Furthermore, both stress the importance of recognizing the other outside of the usual, objectifying categories, since it is the uniqueness of the other that reminds us of our responsibility (...) for the other. Both writers view the liberal state as the best political forum in which to realize a fuller recognition of and responsibility towards the other, a form of state in which the ethical constantly interrupts the political. Rorty and Levinas disagree, however, on the legitimacy of not responding to the other. Key Words: Critchley irony justice Levinas liberal state other responsibility Rorty sentimental education. (shrink)
Having been struck by the Levinasian aspects of J.M. Coetzee's Age of Iron, this article tries to ‘reveal' Coetzee's novel as a Levinasian narration of how the other ruptures a specific subject's self-regarding egoism, leading the subject to take up its responsibility for the other. Throughout, the concreteness and realism of the novel is considered supplementary to the abstraction of Levinas's philosophical thought. It is demonstrated how the main character in Age of Iron, Elizabeth Curren, is confronted by the other (...) as a face, has her right to be put into question by the other, experiences guilt for her usurpation of the place of the other, which becomes positive in her assuming responsibility for the other. In awakening to the other, Curren moves from a Heideggerean concern with her own death (she is dying of cancer) towards a Levinasian prioritising of the other's life over her own. Her coming into contact with the political violence and oppression of late 1980s South Africa adds to and focuses her expiation for the other. S. Afr. J. Philos. Vol.24(1) 2005: 22-32. (shrink)
In 1968, Jürgen Habermas claimed that, in an advanced technological society, the emancipatory force of knowledge can only be regained by actively recovering the ‘forgotten experience of reflection’. In this article, we argue that, in the contemporary situation, critical reflection requires a deliberative ambiance, a process of mutual learning, a consciously organised process of deliberative and distributed reflection. And this especially applies, we argue, to critical reflection concerning a specific subset of technologies which are actually oriented towards optimising human cognition. (...) In order to create a deliberative ambiance, fostering critical upstream reflection on emerging technologies, we developed the concept of a mutual learning exercise. Building on a number of case studies, we analyse what an MLE involves, both practically and conceptually, focussing on key aspects such as ambiance and expertise, the role of ‘genres of the imagination’ and the profiles of various ‘subcultures of debate’. Ideally, an MLE becomes a contemporary version of the Socratic agora, providing a stage where multiple and sometimes unexpected voices and perspectives mutually challenge each other, in order to strength-en the societal robustness and responsiveness of emerg-ing technologies. (shrink)
Neuroenhancement involves the use of neurotechnologies to improve cognitive, affective or behavioural functioning, where these are not judged to be clinically impaired. Questions about enhancement have become one of the key topics of neuroethics over the past decade. The current study draws on in-depth public engagement activities in ten European countries giving a bottom-up perspective on the ethics and desirability of enhancement. This informed the design of an online contrastive vignette experiment that was administered to representative samples of 1000 respondents (...) in the ten countries and the United States. The experiment investigated how the gender of the protagonist, his or her level of performance, the efficacy of the enhancer and the mode of enhancement affected support for neuroenhancement in both educational and employment contexts. Of these, higher efficacy and lower performance were found to increase willingness to support enhancement. A series of commonly articulated claims about the individual and societal dimensions of neuroenhancement were derived from the public engagement activities. Underlying these claims, multivariate analysis identified two social values. The Societal/Protective highlights counter normative consequences and opposes the use enhancers. The Individual/Proactionary highlights opportunities and supports use. For most respondents these values are not mutually exclusive. This suggests that for many neuroenhancement is viewed simultaneously as a source of both promise and concern. (shrink)
A philosophically comprehended account is given of the genesis and evolution of the concept of protein. Characteristic of this development were not shifts in theory in response to new experimental data, but shifts in the range of questions that the available experimental resources were fit to cope with effectively. Apart from explanatory success with regard to its own range of questions, various other selecting factors acted on a conceptual variant, some stemming from a competing set of research questions, others from (...) an altogether different field of inquiry, and still others from the external environment. These results are best explained on, hence support, an evolutionary model of the progress of experimental investigation, whose outlines are briefly discussed. (shrink)
The events in the introduction to 2 Maccabees undoubtedly centre round the Jerusalem Temple. It is depicted as world-renowned, holy and just. Many scholars have therefore highlighted the theme of the Temple in 2 Maccabees, introduced by 2 Maccabees 3. Yet, the reason for the Temple’s centrality is not traditionally seen as more than a mere link to the rest of the narrative. This article, however, asks the question: Why is the author incorporating the Temple in such a specific manner? (...) What is the impact on the implicit reader of this specific depiction of the Temple? In other words, how is the implicit reader’s experience throughout the rest of the narrative influenced by the events in this introduction? To answer these questions, the article identifies six scenes in 2 Maccabees 3 and applies a rhetorical analysis in order to establish the communicative strategy and its possible impact on the implicit reader. (shrink)
This article addresses the highly disputed distribution of roles in the story of Susanna. Susanna consists of a number of actors of whom only a few such as Susanna, the two elders, the Jewish people and Daniel are directly related to the central action of the story. With regard to the roles of these actors in the story however, a question arises: Who is the subject of the story of Susanna? Most scholars question the attribution of the role of subject (...) to Susanna. Their contention however, has not yet been sustained by convincing evidence stemming from the use of a suitable method. This study attempts to fill this gap by using the Greimassian approach to narratives, as refined by Everaert-Desmedt. The approach comprises three levels of analysis: the figurative, the narrative and the thematic. The contribution focuses only on the narrative level of analysis, particularly on the actantial model because the main role of this structure is to reveal different functions of actors called here actants. It is the contention here that following the actantial model of the Greimassian approach of analysis, Susanna emerges as the subject of the main concern of the story. (shrink)
Criminal law exists in order to punish people for their culpable misconducts, whenever there is a culpable wrong one should criminalize and punish. A distinctive moral voice: the criminal wrong that we don’t find beyond is revealed and any normative ethical enquiry should point out, as a specific axiological and moral category related to such evil conducts. Why not suppose an unconscious genesis of it in the sensitive faculties, because there is a constitution of what man is, learned through history? (...)Eduard von Hartmann thinks that the normative role of self-control functions in different moral principles. This is valid also in criminal ethics. Thinking the process what begins to be morally relevant, as morally criminal is presented as “ruse of the conscious will”: pre ethically, by specific psychological drives, and metaphysically by character formation. (shrink)
Ever since they began to take an interest in lens grinding, the brothers Christiaan and Constantijn Huygens searched for high-quality glass to turn in to lenses. Historical research in combination with optical measurements on preserved lenses has allowed the verificationof the lenses ground by the brothers, and also provided information on who helped them with the necessary knowledge and material.
Os estudos acerca da estética musical de Eduard Hanslick geralmente enfatizam sua tese negativa, causadora de inúmeras controvérsias e discussões. A investigações de sua tese positiva é geralmente deixada de lado pelos musicólogos. Neste artigo são discutidos não apenas os fundamentos da tese negativa, mas também os da tese positiva, bem como as noções de forma, conteúdo e Conteúdo espiritual. Ao mesmo tempo, examinamos em que medida os pontos de vista de Hanslick são tributários das concepções de alguns autores (...) franceses do século XVIII, bem como de autores roânticos como Wackenroder, Tieck e Hoffmann. (shrink)
Entre les premiers développements de la mécanique galiléenne et la publication des Principia de Newton, s’est jouée une transformation radicale de la philosophie naturelle des modernes. Mathématiques, sciences de la nature et techniques de précision ont façonné d’une part une nouvelle manière, active et opératoire, d’interroger la nature, et d’autre part une image du monde fondée sur l’idée d’une rationalité intégrale des phénomènes.Interlocuteur infatigable de Mersenne, Galilée, Descartes, Leibniz ou Newton, Christiaan Huygens a assuré un lien nécessaire pour son (...) époque entre l’assimilation critique des Principes de la philosophie de Descartes, dont il retient l’exigence d’intelligibilité dans la conduite de la science, et la réception – critique elle aussi – des Principes mathématiques newtoniens. La méthode de Huygens se structure dans les apports cartésien et galiléen : choc des corps, oscillations du pendule, étude de la force et du mouvement en tant qu’expression de rapports géométriques, caractérisation de la nature de la lumière sont autant de champs dans lesquels il est impossible de ne pas voir l’imprégnation d’un questionnement philosophique permanent. C’est donc en philosophe tout autant qu’en physicien qu’il s’oppose aux définitions newtoniennes de la lumière et de la pesanteur. (shrink)
A letter written by Christiaan Huygens to David Gregory is published here for the first time. After an introduction about the contacts between the two correspondents, an annotated English translation of the letter is given. The letter forms part of the wider correspondence about the ‘new calculus’, in which L'Hospital and Leibniz also participated, and gives some new evidence about Huygens's ambivalent attitude towards the new developments. Therefore, two mathematical passages in the letter are discussed separately. An appendix contains (...) the original Latin text. (shrink)
In 1665, in a response to a question posed by Robert Boyle, Spinoza gave a definition of the coherence between bodies in the universe that seems to be inconsistent both with what he had written in a previous letter to Boyle (1661) and with what he would later write in his main work, the Ethics (1677). Specifically, Spinoza’s 1665 letter to Boyle asserts that bodies can adapt themselves to another body in a non-mechanistic way and absent the agency of an (...) external cause. This letter – Letter 32 – seems, therefore, to be in clear contradiction with the metaphysical determinism that is an important and characteristic element of his philosophy. This article suggests that the viewpoint expressed by Spinoza in Letter 32 may have been inspired by a spectacular discovery made by Christiaan Huygens a few months prior, namely, the self-synchronization of pendulum clocks. As I argue in this article, this new, hypothesized link to Huygens’ pendulum experiments may account for Spinoza’s otherwise paradoxical answer to Boyle in Letter 32. (shrink)
In 1672, inspired by the wave theory of Ignace Gaston Pardies, Christiaan Huygens made his first attempt to explain the sine law of refraction, but in 1673 he abandoned his plans owing to difficulties concerning double refraction. Huygens was able to explain double refraction on 6 August 1677 after his discoveries of the axis of symmetry of the crystal and of ‘Huygens's principle’. On 6 August 1679, he wrote: ‘I have found the confirmation of my theory of light and (...) of refraction’, and then described an ‘experimentum crucis’ to decide between his theory and a rival hypothesis. A study of caustics may have led Huygens to the discovery of ‘Huygens's principle’. (shrink)
Eduard Hanslick Eduard Hanslick was a Prague-born Austrian aesthetic theorist, music critic, and the first professor of aesthetics and history of music at the University of Vienna, who is commonly considered the founder of musical formalism in aesthetics. His seminal treatise Vom Musikalisch-Schönen of 1854 is one of the most … Continue reading Hanslick, Eduard →.
Twenty scholars from around the world assembled at the Werner Reimer Stiftung in Bad Homburg from June 29 to July 1, 1995, to discuss the life and work of Eduard Gans. There has been a surge of interest in Gans in the past few years, and the authors of all recent work on Gans attended. Books circulated at the conference included Gans’ Chroniques françaises: Un hégélien juif à Paris, trans. by Myriam Bienenstock, ed. by Norbert Waszek ; Eduard (...) Gans : Hegelianer, Jude, Europäer: Text und Dokumente, ed. by Norbert Waszek ; Gans’ Rückblicke auf Personen und Zuständ: Berlin 1836, ed. by Norbert Waszek, and my own Eduard Gans and the Hegelian Philosophy of Law. An important recent article is Reinhard Blänkner, “‘Der Absolutismus war ein Glück der doch nicht zu den Absolutisten gehört’: Eduard Gans und die hegelianischen Ursprünge der Absolutismusforschung in Deutschland,” Historische Zeitschrift, 256 : 31–66. (shrink)
On the basis of recently discovered documents, the paper discusses the family tree of the Jewish Lasker dynasty, originating from Lask in Poland, formerly Prussia. The common forefather of all Laskers was Rabbi Meier Hindels, who lived around 1700. In Germany, the most successful of his descendants was Dr. Eduard Lasker. He was a lawyer, co-founder of the National Liberal party, and in his lifetime the most conspicuous parliamentary opponent to Reich Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. Germany owes him a (...) considerable part of its present day legal structures in criminal, civil and public law. His younger brother Moritz/Morris settled in Texas and became a prominent figure both in business and society. The Lasker family branch that he established in the United States is still flourishing today and has produced a number of personalities of public renown. While visiting his brother, Eduard Lasker died in New York in January 1884. Edward Lasker, a prominent US-based chess champion, descended from another family branch. One of his nieces, Anita Wallfisch-Lasker, wrote an autobiography that describes her ordeal as a member of the camp orchestra at Auschwitz. (shrink)
Between Leopold Ranke and Eduard Gans - Certain circumstances and stylistic considerations lead us to believe that the manuscript MS. 114 in the Mendelssohn Archive at the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin is evidence of a course in "Contemporary History" held by Leopold Ranke at the city’s university in the summer term of 1827. The course was on the chronological history of the French Revolution. Ranke had already dealt with the same subject the year before, though in a less detailed manner. (...) And it was not until 1875 that he published a work on the period of the Revolution, but focussing solely on the war between the European powers in 1791-1792. Hence the importance of the new manuscript - in Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s own hand - which, previously, had been mistakenly connected with the teaching of the Hegelian jurist Eduard Gans. Mendelssohn attended his course on the French Revolution in the summer of 1828. (shrink)
This article is supposed to be an approximation to Eduard Gans´ conception of Europe, an author considered to be the most prominent disciple of Hegel by a growing number of scholars. In those times, the idea of Europe was a highly topical subject, due to both to the influence of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, but as well to the development of German idealism. Gans is closely related to these instances and formulates an idea of Europe that goes (...) beyond the conception of his teacher Hegel. He takes into account the new instances that arise from 1830 on in Europe, while he is also receptive to the views coming from America. (shrink)
In the histories of science, technology and aviation Christiaan Huygens has been unjustly neglected. Documents in the corpus of his works show a life-long interest in the problem of human flight together with some considerable anticipations of, and contributions to, its solution. He was among the first, if not the first, in perceiving the potential of the heavier-than-air approach. He clearly recognized the need for a powerful, mechanical motive source. He stated the first laws of aerodynamics and conceived the (...) modern propeller for propulsion. He was the first to conceive of the aeroplane. His approach to the problem of flying was both global and scientific. (shrink)
This collection presents the English-language reader for the first time with essays that are representative of Bernstein's much-neglected revisionist period, 1901-1921. Bernstein himself suggested that this later work included significant new elements, indicating further progress in his liberal-socialist theory. Bernstein's later work acquires additional significance in light of the events of 1989, which have discredited not only Marxism-Leninism, but revolutionary Marxist theory in general, thus making the reevaluation of Bernstein's revisionism a worthwhile experience.
Most scholars dealing with neo-Kantianism emphasize the existence of an explicit origin that characterizes neo-Kantianism as a clearly defined ‘movement’ with certain objects. In spite of the fact that differences between various neo-Kantian authors are mentioned in the current discourse scholars claim a singular unity of all neo-Kantian debates represented in the problem of ‘Geltung’. This is used to construct a certain relevance of neo-Kantianism in today’s philosophy. My contribution will pursue a historical approach following Klaus Christian Köhnke’s and Ulrich (...) Sieg’s demands. Instead of sketching systematic topics I pay further attention to the context in which an essence of neo-Kantianism was claimed or rejected. In doing so I will examine the discussions on the doctrine of postulates in Kant’s philosophy mainly led by Hans Vaihinger’s ‘Philosophy of As If’ and the impact of Eduard von Hartmann on the genesis of neo-Kantianism. I conclude that the definition of a consistent neo-Kantian ‘movement’ was an effect of rejecting spiritualist interpretations of the doctrine of postulates and in the following a rejection of the whole doctrine as ‘mysticism’ in canonical Kant interpretations. (shrink)