Across several disciplines there has been renewed interest in philosophical pragmatism in the past few years. What had been a body of thought reduced largely to the influence of George Herbert Mead in sociology, has reemerged with significance for semiotics, philosophy, literary criticism, and other disciplines. The reasons for a renewed interest in the thought of Charles Peirce, William James, John Dewey, and a revised George Herbert Mead can be found in the theory of meaning proposed by the pragmatists: a (...) theory of meaning that can include more phenomena within the realm of significance, and therefore a theory of meaning that can contribute to ongoing attempts to refashion social theory. (shrink)
Confusion abounds in Jonathan Kramer’s attempt, in “Can Modernism Survive George Rochberg?” , to reply to the issues I raised in my essay “Can the Arts Survive Modernism? ” . Besides the endemic disarray of his thought process, he confutes and contradicts himself at every turn—either out of his own mouth or out of the mouths of those he quotes to support his position. He is incapable of following his own line of argument either because he doesn’t remember in (...) one part of his paper what he’s said in another or because he doesn’t grasp the logical implications of his own statements sufficiently follow through. Thus he constantly cuts the ground out from under his own feet.Some specific illustrations are in order. First, let me deal with how he “thinks.” To write prose we perforce must use words; and when we use words, it behooves us to know what they mean. All too often Kramer appears not to know what key words he uses do mean—but he marches blindly on through his own jungle of tangled thoughts. For instance, when he says, “A far better example of reductionism in musical scholarship than Schenker’s multilayered theory is Rochberg’s own article,” he reveals a total lack of understanding his key word, “reductionism” . “Reductionism” is the distilled or diminished content left after removing, stripping away, all alternative ways of understanding a situation or problem. That, of course, is what Schenker did in promulgating his theory of tonal practice, and it is clear Kramer understands that much. “Reductionism,” however, hardly describes the presentation of an overview of the impact of modernism on the life of the twentieth century which is what my article does. George Rochberg is the composer of a large body of musical works and the author of a recently published collection of essays, The Aesthetics of Survival, a Composer’s View of Twentieth-Century Music. He recently completed his fifth symphony, on commission from the Chicago Symphony. In 1983 he retired from the University of Pennsylvania as Emeritus Annenberg Professor of the Humanities. His previous contribution to Critical Inquiry, “Can the Arts Survive Modernism? ,” appeared in the December 1984 issue. (shrink)
In trying to say what modernism is , we must remind ourselves that it cannot and must not—to be properly described and understood—be confined only to the arts of music, literature, painting, sculpture, theater, architecture, those arts with which we normally associate the term “culture.” Modernism can be said to embrace, in the broadest terms, not only the arts of Western culture but also science, technology, the family, marriage, sexuality, economics, the politics of democracy, the politics of authoritarianism, the politics (...) of totalitarianism, and such academic disciplines as philosophy and the social sciences of sociology and anthropology . Its influence and effects have been all-pervasive. No corner of twentieth-century life has escaped its profound alteration of both the individual and society. It has radicalized all levels of human existence.What, then, is modernism?Some have described it as a state of “chronic revolution,” that is, revolution against the past, against tradition, against history itself. Others have pointed to its voracious appetite for innovation, for the search for the “new,” for the hunger to be “original”—to be the first and last with something unique and difference, whatever that something might be or in whatever area of human endeavor it might arise.Still others have characterized modernism as the application to all realms of human life of forms of structural rationalization, that is, finding rationally structured ways of being and doing regardless of consequences and, more especially, rationalizing away the mysteries and questions which have to do with meaning, that is, morality and ethics—those areas that lie outside the purely rational. And still others have viewed modernism as a condition of freedom within which the individual can be himself, unfettered and uninhibited, released from the drag of superego and conscience, a separate entity of being, unanswerable to others whether in the form of individuals or society as a whole.Last but not least, there are those who continue to see modernism as a self-perpetuating form of avant-gardism, always at the point of the interface between the present and the future, always ready to move on to the next stage because living itself is a process of constant change, constant motion, perpetual transformation. George Rochberg is the composer of a large body of musical works and the author of a recently published collection of essays, The Aesthetics of Survival, A Composer’s View of Twentieth-Century Music. He is currently writing his fifth symphony, on a commission from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 1983 he retired from the University of Pennsylvania as Emeritus Annenberg Professor of the Humanities. (shrink)
At Columbia University in 1906, William James gave a highly confrontational speech to the American Philosophical Association (APA). He ignored the technical philosophical questions the audience had gathered to discuss and instead addressed the topic of human energy. Tramping on the rules of academic decorum, James invoked the work of amateurs, read testimonials on the benefits of yoga and alcohol, and concluded by urging his listeners to take up this psychological and physiological problem. What was the goal of this unusual (...) speech? Rather than an oddity, Francesca Bordogna asserts that the APA address was emblematic—it was just one of many gestures that James employed as he plowed through the barriers between academic, popular, and pseudoscience, as well as the newly emergent borders between the study of philosophy, psychology, and the “science of man.” Bordogna reveals that James’s trespassing of boundaries was an essential element of a broader intellectual and social project. By crisscrossing divides, she argues, James imagined a new social configuration of knowledge, a better society, and a new vision of the human self. As the academy moves toward an increasingly interdisciplinary future, William James at the Boundaries reintroduces readers to a seminal influence on the way knowledge is pursued. (shrink)
Modernism has been a celebration of the present. Why does it need a legacy ? Why should that which was born in the spirit of rebellion perpetuate itself as tomorrow’s past? Modernism has been profoundly reflective of late nineteenth- and twentieth-century cultural values. Is that not enough? It is not that modernism has forgotten the past—an art that rebels against its past must understand its adversary—but rather that it asks us not to forget the present. The revolt of modernism was (...) made possible, if not inevitable, by the rediscovery of the past. In earlier, eras, when the past was less readily accessible, artists worked for their present with little thought about their heritage. Renaissance composers, for example, generally knew little of music even two generations old; much medieval music theory and composition were based on misconceptions of Greek models. Yet by the nineteenth century, works from the past were available and understood. Virtually all composers agreed with Johannes Brahms, who reputedly said of Ludwig van Beethoven, “You have no idea how the likes of us feel when we hear the tramp of a giant like him behind us.” Historical consciousness had entered the arts, and artists were both threatened by competition with the past and seduced by the powerful idea that their works might outlive them. The Romantic artist became a genius speaking to posterity. Gustav Mahler was not the only Romanticist to pin his hopes on the future: “My time will yet come.” Small wonder that, once the future came to be, its artists rebelled against pronouncements from their past—the time rightfully belonged to them and no longer to Mahler’s generation. While many twentieth-century artists continued to create for their future, the most extreme modernists rejected not only their past but also the quest for immortality. They have written of their day and for their day. The real legacy of modernism is that it has no legacy. Jonathan D. Kramer is professor of music theory and composition at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and also program annotator and new music advisor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He is currently working on Time and the Meanings of Music . His previous contribution to Critical Inquiry, “New Temporalities in Music,” appeared in Spring 1981. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to provide a definition of the the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding through the concepts of derivability and complexity. It will be shown that this definition yields a subtle and precise analysis of the concept of grounding in several paradigmatic cases.
In Poggiolesi we have introduced a rigorous definition of the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding; in the present paper our aim is to construct a logic for the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding based on that definition. Our logic will have the form of a calculus of natural deduction, will be proved to be sound and complete and will allow us to have fine-grained grounding principles.
ABSTRACT Neofregeanism and structuralism are among the most promising recent approaches to the philosophy of mathematics. Yet both have serious costs. We develop a view, structuralist neologicism, which retains the central advantages of each while avoiding their more serious costs. The key to our approach is using arbitrary reference to explicate how mathematical terms, introduced by abstraction principles, refer. Focusing on numerical terms, this allows us to treat abstraction principles as implicit definitions determining all properties of the numbers, achieving a (...) key neofregean advantage, while preserving the key structuralist advantage, which objects play the number role does not matter. (shrink)
In this paper, I will argue in favor of a direct perception account of social cognition, focusing on the idea that we can directly grasp at least some mental states of others through their bodily expressions. I will investigate the way we should consider expressions and their relations to mental phenomena in order to defend DP. In order to do so, I will present Krueger and Overgaard’s idea of expressions as constitutive proper parts of the mental phenomena expressed and I (...) will show how this position can support DP. Then, I will present the way in which the authors seem to construe the relation of parthood between expressions and mental states – that is in terms of components of integral wholes, and I will introduce the possible issues that derive from this strategy. I will propose a different way to understand this parthood relation, referring to Husserl’s notion of moments as distinct from that of pieces. I will narrow my analysis to expressions of feelings, and I will try to argue that they can be described more aptly as moments of the feelings expressed. Finally, I will show how this account can support DP. (shrink)
One central tenet of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis , and the consensus view among biologists until now, is that all genetic mutations occur by “chance” or at “random” with respect to adaptation. However, the discovery of some molecular mechanisms enhancing mutation rate in response to environmental conditions has given rise to discussions among biologists, historians and philosophers of biology about the “chance” vs “directed” character of mutations . In fact, some argue that mutations due to a particular kind of mutator (...) mechanisms challenge the Modern Synthesis because they are produced when and where needed by the organisms concerned. This paper provides a defense of the Modern Synthesis’ consensus view about the chance nature of all genetic mutations by reacting to Jablonka and Lamb’s analysis of genetic mutations and the explicit Lamarckian flavor of their arguments. I argue that biologists can continue to talk about chance mutations according to what I call and define as the notion of “evolutionary chance,” which I claim is the Modern Synthesis’ consensus view and a reformulation of Darwin’s most influential idea of “chance” variation. Advances in molecular genetics are therefore significant but not revolutionary with respect to the Modern Synthesis’ paradigm. (shrink)
This paper is a critical response to Andreas Bartels’ sophisticated defense of a structural account of scientific representation. We show that, contrary to Bartels’ claim, homomorphism fails to account for the phenomenon of misrepresentation. Bartels claims that homomorphism is adequate in two respects. First, it is conceptually adequate, in the sense that it shows how representation differs from misrepresentation and non-representation. Second, if properly weakened, homomorphism is formally adequate to accommodate misrepresentation. We question both claims. First, we show that homomorphism (...) is not the right condition to distinguish representation from misrepresentation and non-representation: a “representational mechanism” actually does all the work, and it is independent of homomorphism – as of any structural condition. Second, we test the claim of formal adequacy against three typical kinds of inaccurate representation in science which, by reference to a discussion of the notorious billiard ball model, we define as abstraction, pretence, and simulation. We first point out that Bartels equivocates between homomorphism and the stronger condition of epimorphism, and that the weakened form of homomorphism that Bartels puts forward is not a morphism at all. After providing a formal setting for abstraction, pretence and simulation, we show that for each morphism there is at least one form of inaccurate representation which is not accommodated. We conclude that Bartels’ theory – while logically laying down the weakest structural requirements – is nonetheless formally inadequate in its own terms. This should shed serious doubts on the plausibility of any structural account of representation more generally. (shrink)
Hermann von Helmholtz’s geometrical papers have been typically deemed to provide an implicitly group-theoretical analysis of space, as articulated later by Felix Klein, Sophus Lie, and Henri Poincaré. However, there is less agreement as to what properties exactly in such a view would pertain to space, as opposed to abstract mathematical structures, on the one hand, and empirical contents, on the other. According to Moritz Schlick, the puzzle can be resolved only by clearly distinguishing the empirical qualities of spatial perception (...) from those describable in terms of axiomatic geometry. This paper offers a partial defense of the group-theoretical reading of Helmholtz along the lines of Ernst Cassirer in the fourth volume of The Problem of Knowledge of 1940. In order to avoid the problem raised by Schlick, Cassirer relied on a Kantian view of space not so much as an object of geometry, but as a precondition for the possibility of measurement. Although the concept of group does not provide a description of space, the modern way to articulate the concept of space in terms of transformation groups reveals something about the structure and the transformation of spatial concepts in mathematical and natural sciences. (shrink)
The goal of this article is to introduce a philosophical analysis of a widely neglected condition which affects between 3% and 18% of the population. People affected by this condition experience a lower level of wellbeing than the average population and are discriminated against in both their professional and their personal life. I will argue that this form of discrimination should be taken more seriously in philosophical debate and that social, legal and medical measures ought to be taken in order (...) to improve the quality of life of people affected by this condition. (shrink)
In this paper, we present a simple sequent calculus for the modal propositional logic S5. We prove that this sequent calculus is theoremwise equivalent to the Hilbert-style system S5, that it is contraction-free and cut-free, and finally that it is decidable. All results are proved in a purely syntactic way.
A large body of literature agrees that persons with schizophrenia suffer from a Theory of Mind deficit. However, most empirical studies have focused on third-person, egocentric ToM, underestimating other facets of this complex cognitive skill. Aim of this research is to examine the ToM of schizophrenic persons considering its various aspects, to determine whether some components are more impaired than others. We developed a Theory of Mind Assessment Scale and administered it to 22 persons with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia (...) and a matching control group. Th.o.m.a.s. is a semi-structured interview which allows a multi-component measurement of ToM. Both groups were also administered a few existing ToM tasks and the schizophrenic subjects were administered the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the WAIS-R. The schizophrenic persons performed worse than control at all the ToM measurements; however, these deficits appeared to be differently distributed among different components of ToM. Our conclusion is that ToM deficits are not unitary in schizophrenia, which also testifies to the importance of a complete and articulated investigation of ToM. (shrink)
In the context of climate change, the adoption of pro-environment behaviour is favoured by the understanding of causal passages within climate science. The understanding of the causes of climate change is necessary in order to be able to take mitigation actions (the subject needs to be aware of its role as a causalagent). Conversely, the understanding of the consequences of climate change is essential for rationally managing the risks, especially in cases where adaptation is needed rather than simple mitigation. The (...) case of ozone depletion confirms this view: the understanding of its causal dynamics played a major role in people’sbehavioural response.Para afrontar el cambio climático, la adopción de un comportamiento en favor del medio ambiente se verá favorecida por la comprensión de los argumentos causales de la climatología. La comprensión de las causas del cambio climático es necesario para que seamos capaces de mitigarlo (cada individuo debe ser consciente de su papel como agente causal). La comprensión de las consecuencias del cambio climático es esencial para gestionar racionalmente los riesgos, especialmente en casos en los que más que mitigarlo, debemos intentar adaptarnos. El caso del agujero de la capa de ozono confirma este punto de vista: la comprensión de la dinámica causal desempeñó un papel principal en el cambio de conductas de la gente. (shrink)
In his paper ‘The truth behind conscientious objection’ Nir Ben-Moshe develops a new approach aimed at justifying conscientious objection without relying on respect of moral integrity of the conscientious objector or tolerance towards her moral views.1 According to Ben-Moshe, the problem with justifications of CO based on moral integrity and tolerance is that ‘truth of conscience’s claims is irrelevant to their justification’. He argues, to the contrary, that whether the claims of the conscientious objector are true or false makes a (...) difference in assessing whether their objection is justifiable or not. He goes on explaining that someone’s CO can be justified if it can be proved that ‘conscience can express true moral claims’. Ben-Moshe then proceeds to explain how one can determine true moral claims. He develops an account of conscience that is modelled on that of Adam Smith. In particular, he uses the idea of the ‘impartial spectator’ to show how a true claim of conscience can emerge after careful thinking from the point of view of an impartial perspective. So, if the healthcare practitioner wants to object to a certain medical procedure after considering the issue at hand from the moral standpoint of such impartial spectator, then her claims of conscience are true (or …. (shrink)
Unethical and dishonest behavior has increasingly attracted the attention of scholars from various disciplines. Recent work has begun to focus on a previous overlooked factor predicting dishonest behavior: the beneficiary or victim of dishonest acts. In two laboratory experiments, we manipulate the level of resources allocated to our participants (their "wealth") and investigate whether perceived inequity from wealth that is randomly or subjectively assigned leads individuals to cross ethical boundaries through helping or hurting others. The results show that dishonest behavior (...) is influenced by positive and negative inequity that motivates helping and hurting acts. Furthermore, a third experiment shows that people tend to discount the wrongness of crossing ethical boundaries to hurt or help others when the action restores equity. (shrink)
Our perception of where touch occurs on our skin shapes our interactions with the world. Most accounts of cutaneous localisation emphasise spatial transformations from a skin-based reference frame into body-centred and external egocentric coordinates. We investigated another possible method of tactile localisation based on an intrinsic perception of ‘skin space’. The arrangement of cutaneous receptive fields (RFs) could allow one to track a stimulus as it moves across the skin, similarly to the way animals navigate using path integration. We applied (...) curved tactile motions to the hands of human volunteers. Participants identified the location midway between the start and end points of each motion path. Their bisection judgements were systematically biased towards the integrated motion path, consistent with the characteristic inward error that occurs in navigation by path integration. We thus showed that integration of continuous sensory inputs across several tactile RFs provides an intrinsic mechanism for spatial perception. (shrink)
PG (Plural Grundgesetze) is a consistent second-order system which is aimed to derive second-order Peano arithmetic. It employs the notion of plural quantification and a few Fregean devices, among which the infamous Basic Law V. George Boolos’ plural semantics is replaced with Enrico Martino’s Acts of Choice Semantics (ACS), which is developed from the notion of arbitrary reference in mathematical reasoning. Also, substitutional quantification is exploited to interpret quantification into predicate position. ACS provides a form of logicism which is radically (...) alternative to Frege’s and which is grounded on the existence of individuals rather than on the existence of concepts. (shrink)