The paper describes a system for dealing with nestings of belief in terms of the mechanism of computational environment. A method is offered for computing the beliefs of A about B (and so on) in terms of the systems existing knowledge structures about A and B separately. A proposal for belief percolation is put forward: percolation being a side effect of the process of the computation of nested beliefs, but one which could explain the acquisition of unsupported beliefs. It is (...) argued that the mechanism proposed is compatible with a general least effort hypothesis concerning human mental functioning. (shrink)
It is with real interest that one sees a new book appear by one of Europe's leading philosophers, especially a volume that deals strictly with political theory and politics. While it is true that this often engaged philosopher has continually published both professional and newspaper pieces dealing with a variety of social questions and topics, it is especially with this volume that one has the pleasure of examining the mature richness of his political reflections and is able to more fully (...) understand the origins of his thinking. Here, then, is his statement from writings primarily of the 1980s and early 1990s. (shrink)
This is the second of a three volume collection dealing with Ricoeur's views on a variety of authors and subjects. In volume one he dealt with political philosophy. Volume two includes essays dating in the extremes from 1948 through 1992. Under the general headings of Existential Thinkers and Poetics, Semiotics, and Rhetoric, he speaks to concerns he has found and admired in a number of French and foreign philosophers. While the number of thinkers is wide, the subjects are carefully grouped.
Bien, Victor This article is in sympathy with our CAHS AGM resolutions appealing to the Federal government to uphold Australia's United Nations human rights obligation, but is not addressing that aspect of the asylum seekers issue. Rather it looks at some practical ideas on how we, as a nation, might better handle the political and practical issues which have been given as reasons why our governments feel compelled to refuse to meet our UN human rights obligation. This argues for a (...) more imaginative, less punitive approach to dealing with asylum seekers. It attempts to offer a circuit breaker to the forces preventing our complying with our international obligations. (shrink)
"We need a philosophy of both history and spirit to deal with the problems we touch upon here. Yet we would be unduly rigorous if we were to wait for perfectly elaborated principles before speaking philosophically of politics." Thus Merleau-Ponty introduces _Adventures of the Dialectic,_ his study of Marxist philosophy and thought. In this study, containing chapters on Weber, Lukacs, Lenin, Sartre, and Marx himself, Merleau-Ponty investigates and attempts to go beyond the dialectic.
Bien, Victor As a technically orientated person and educated in a scientific field, namely physical chemistry for a higher degree, I have never found history interesting until recent times. This followed from getting to know, with increasing detail, what happened in the Age of Enlightenment. Now I have acquired a strong taste for history!
In this paper I wish to examine the position of Camus regarding social change, namely his concepts of rebellion and revolution. I in no way question his well-deserved status as a major twentieth-century French writer, nor do I wish to suggest that he may have been someone caught in a Sartrean notion of 'bad faith.' I am concerned with what one might call his theory of social action. I do wish to assert that Camus was a good man who seriously (...) wrestled with the events of his time. Yet his claims on behalf of suffering humanity, while honest, are not sufficient when faced with complex social issues. That his move toward the right that today might well be taken for a supposed liberalism was undoubtedly bound up with his continued misunderstanding of the dialectic of history. (shrink)
This is a paperback second edition of one of the more highly esteemed English language works on Wilhelm Dilthey's philosophy as a whole. The work was originally published in 1975. What is new here is the "Afterword to the 2nd Edition." It was a pleasure to reread the entire work, noting the very careful scholarship, the excellent citations from both the original German and the English translations, the extremely helpful footnotes, the first-rate index and the extensive bibliography. This edition would (...) have been still better had the bibliography been brought up through 1992 publications. Simply in reading through this work it is easy to see how Makkreel on Dilthey became the measure for English language works nearly twenty years ago. (shrink)
It is amazing to see how many webpages are devoted to the art of finding the date of Easter Sunday. Just for illustration, the reader may search for terms such as Gregorian calendar, date of Easter, or Easter algorithm. Sophisticated essays as well as less enlightening contributions are presented, and many a doubt is expressed about the reliability of some results obtained with some Easter algorithms. In short, there is still a great interest in those problems. Gregorian Easter algorithms exist (...) for two centuries, but most of their history is rather obscure. Some reasons may be that some important sources are written in Latin or in the German of Goethe’s time, or they are difficult to discover. Without being complete, the following paper is intended to shed light on how those techniques emerged and evolved.1 Like a microcosm, the history of Easter algorithms resembles the history of any science: it is a story of trials, errors, and successes, and, last but not least, a story of offended pride. (shrink)
Another book on Marcuse... is it really necessary? Few things in life are necessary, but this particular work is certainly very helpful. It is written by one of France's more important, younger, social philosophers who is more than sufficiently acquainted with the cultural, literary, and historical background to produce a high quality, scholarly work of this sort. For some years Raulet has been a codirector of the annual Praxis gathering in Dubrovnik and the director of the Weimar Cultural Study Group (...) at the Maison des sciences de l'homme in Paris. His previous writings in a variety of languages show both a wide breath of interest and a serious understanding of the European intellectual movements from the eighteenth century to the present. (shrink)
It is always fun to observe the wheel being reinvented. More often than not in philosophy this happens when young philosophers ignore the history of their field and attempt to come to terms with something not included in the latest journal articles. In this case, the end result is of some interest. The author, in stressing the relationship between fiction and reality, realizes that reality cannot be true without a moral aspect. In wrestling with this moral aspect the author quite (...) rightly turns to ethics, culture and education in an attempt to allow for an account of our moral stance and to introduce it into practice. A very tricky, but a very worthwhile, project. (shrink)
Bien, Victor At the 2013 Council of Australian Humanist Societies AGM, held in Sydney on 4 May, it was resolved to adopt 'the defence and promotion of the values of the Enlightenment as an ongoing process for organising our aim, objects and programs.'.