Although rhetoric is not a category of ancient Indian philosophy, this paper argues that Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla, 2 eighth-century Indian Buddhist philosophers, can nonetheless be seen to embrace a rhetorical conception of rationality. That is, while these thinkers are strong proponents of rational analysis and philosophical argumentation as tools for attaining certainty, they also uphold the contingent nature of all such processes. Drawing on the categories of the New Rhetoric, this paper argues that these Buddhist thinkers understand philosophical argumentation to (...) be directed at a universal audience of rational beings, where this universal audience is not an actual audience but a rhetorical one constructed through the author’s particular and historically contingent conception of what counts as rational. A receptiontheory of rationality is one that holds that the rationality of an argument depends upon its acceptance by a rational audience. When philosophers recognize the historically contingent nature of what counts as rational, they can embrace a receptiontheory of rationality that neither reduces the rational to mere opinion nor restricts it to a single, absolute, and timeless standard. (shrink)
When Charles Darwin (1859, 482) wrote in the Origin of Species that he looked to the “young and rising naturalists” to heed the message of his book, he likely had in mind individuals like Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), who responded warmly to the invitation (Haeckel, 1862, 1: 231-32n). Haeckel became part of the vanguard of young scientists who plowed through the yielding turf to plant the seed of Darwinism deep into the intellectual soil of Germany. As Haeckel would later observe, the (...) seed flourished in extremely favorable ground. The German mind, he would write (1868), was predisposed to adopt the new theory. The great philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724- 1804), for instance, was on the verge of accepting a transmutational view in his Third Critique (1790; 1957, 538-39), though he stepped gingerly back from the temptation. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), about the same time, dallied with transmutational ideas, at least Haeckel would convince Darwin that the Englishman had an illustrious predecessor. Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck’s (1744-1829) conceptions had taken hold among several major German thinkers in the first few decades of the nineteenth century in a way they had not in England and France. Among those ready to declare themselves for the new dispensation was Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902), Haeckel’s teacher at Würzburg—though, this very political scientist would prove Haeckel’s nemesis later in the century. So Haeckel’s estimate of the ripeness of German thought was not off the mark. Darwinism took hold in the newly unified land, though not without some struggle; but at last it became the dominant view in the biological sciences. But with its success did it foster the malign racist ideology that transfixed Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)? (shrink)
“René Girard’s thoughts on the connection between religion and violence are just now becoming known in Germany,” wrote the philosopher Eckhard Nordhofen at the beginning of 1995 in the influential German weekly Die Zeit.1 Was Nordhofen correct with this assessment back then, or was he rather mistaken? Had not a first phase of reception of Girard’s works in the German-speaking world already begun in the late 1970s, or at the latest by the mid 1980s? One must note, though, that (...) Girard was never in fashion during the 1970s or 1980s and that these first attempts to incorporate his works into academic discussion came from individual scholars such as the Swiss Jesuit Raymund Schwager; Konrad Thomas, a sociologist based .. (shrink)
This is a peer reviewed chapter in the book The Persistence of Taste: Art, Museums and Everyday Life After Bourdieu, an interdisciplinary analysis of taste in the wake of Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology. The chapter, ‘The configurational encounter and the problematic of beholding’, is in Part I of the book, entitled ‘Taste and Art’. Engaging the aesthetics of reception as its field of inquiry, the chapter draws upon the literary theorist Wolfgang Iser’s notion of the ‘blank’ as a staged (...) suspension of connectivity, arguing for a reassignment of the aesthetic in terms of a ‘configurational encounter’ that problematizes the work/beholder relation. This constitutes a rare attempt to apply reception aesthetics to contemporary art, a ‘gap’ first highlighted by the art historian Michael Ann Holly in her 2002 article ‘Reciprocity and ReceptionTheory’, published in A Companion to Art Theory. Utilising concrete examples of practice, the chapter asks whether the shift towards inter- or transmedia art practices, characterising postconceptual art, renders Bourdieu’s characterisation of the ‘autonomous’ artwork superfluous to the contemporary situation, and whether the kinds of judgments of taste associated with the acquisition of cultural capital are no longer relevant. The chapter argues that in revealing material processes, rules, instructions or appropriations – and/or its situated reception and apparatus of display – the configurational encounter problematizes the beholder’s bodily and ideological orientation toward an artwork, revealing our embodied dispositions or ‘habitus’. This counters philosopher Peter Osborne’s suggestion that a change in art’s ‘ontology’ post 1960s renders questions of aesthetics obsolete and reconceives the aesthetic as emerging from the oscillation of spatial and ideational perspective switches resulting from a calculated problematizing of the beholder’s position-taking. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe purpose of this article is an attempt to understand the concept of ‘confession’ as a literary genre in the works of Spanish philosopher María Zambrano. Firstly, we will try to understand confession within Zambrano's most relevant philosophical concepts, in particular her study La confesión: género literario y método [Confession. Literary Genre and Method]. Secondly, we will offer reinterpretation to confession in dialogue with theories of Reception by Wolfgang Iser and Hans Robert Jauss, and other authors like St. (...) Agustin, Rosa Chacel, Mikhail Bakhtin, Miguel de Unamuno and Michel Foucault. Finally we will highlight the performative aspect of confession as something that is truly relevant to Zambrano’s theory. Zambrano understands confession as a method that can bring people's experiences closer to knowledge, and therefore a method that can change life. In this context, we propose that the reader of confession plays a fundamental role in understanding Zambrano’s conception. (shrink)
Resumen La literatura universal, se encuentra poblada de arquetípicos que comparten una condición de desamparo y marginalidad, siendo la literatura realista de la segunda mitad del siglo XIX la que constata y da cuenta de su condición. En un mismo sentido, también la Biblia presenta un sinnúmero de personajes similares, marcando un punto de inflexión al llamarlo bienaventurados. Así pues, el presente estudio bíblico-literario, se centra en el arquetipo de la “viuda pobre”, sosteniendo dicha ficción literaria es una clave interpretativa (...) de la realidad, a la luz de la teoría literaria de la Estética de la Recepción. El articulo estudia la “viuda pobre” como un imaginario cultural y estableciendo la recepción de dicho imaginario en los cuentos “El Chiflón del diablo” y “El pago” del escritor chileno Baldomero Lillo, demostrando cómo el dialogo entre cultura y Biblia representa un aporte a la comprensión de determinadas ficciones literarias como categorías antropológicas.Universal literature is crowded by archetypical characters who share abandonment and marginalization conditions, being second half 19,h century realistic literature that confirms and exposes those conditions. In that sense, The Holy Bible presents a number of those characters. Resides, it highlights a turning point, hence, The Beatitudes point out: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Thus, the following biblical-literary study, centered in the “Poor widow” archetype, aims to the establishment of literary fiction as interpretative key of reality, under Wolfgang Iser Aesthetics Reception's theory as its methodology. The objective aims to postulate “Poor Widow” as a Cultural imaginary, and finally to establish the reception of that imaginary within the stories “El Chiflón del Diablo” and “El Pago” by the chilean writer Baldomero Lillo, demonstrating that the dialog between culture and The Holy Bible represents a contribution to some literary fiction s as anthropological categories. (shrink)
This succinct introduction to modern theories of literature and the arts demonstrates how each theory is built and what it can accomplish. Represents a wide variety of theories, including phenomenological theory, hermeneutical theory, gestalt theory, receptiontheory, semiotic theory, Marxist theory, deconstruction, anthropological theory, and feminist theory. Uses classic literary texts, such as Keats’s Ode on a Grecian Urn, Spenser’s The Shephearde’s Calender and T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land to (...) illustrate his explanations. Includes key statements by the major proponents of each theory. Presents the different theories objectively, allowing students to decide which if any, they subscribe to. Gives students a sense of the potential of theory. Includes a glossary of technical terms. (shrink)
The paper examines the very different insights of theorists into the interpretation of historical meaning of literary reception and Anglo-American theorists of the "new" history of political thought . Among the former, readers create meaning; among the latter, authorial intended meanings are fundamental. Both perspectives are valuable, but one-sided. The differences between them arise from different perspectives on the character of a text. But those perspectives are not as incompatible as has been supposed, especially by reception theorists. By (...) examining the incoherences of literary receptiontheory when viewed from the perspective of the intentionalists, and by examining the one-sidedness of intentionalist theory in the light of a modified version of the reception perspective, it is shown that an understanding of historical meaning requires both insights. The argument is illustrated by reference to the history of political thought, a history which might more usefully be conceived as the history of political literature. (shrink)
The task of mapping the reception of mimetic theory in Latin America presents two challenges. On the one hand, rather than looking at just one country, this study has to take into account a mosaic of nations making up a continent, each with their own local diversities and particular complexities. Such circumstances impose specific rhythms onto the assimilation of Girardian thought, and being aware of these rhythms is vital to understanding the precise impact of mimetic theory. On (...) the other hand, such a study also has to cover two languages, Spanish and Portuguese, which means identifying the translations of his work and the impact of Girard’s ideas in both of the languages.And that is not all: such a mapping .. (shrink)
The problem of non-being and intentionality has been among the topic subjects of Western philosophers from Parmenides to Quine. In medieval and post-medieval scholastics the issue was articulated mainly as ens rationis . The paper deals with the character and division of beings of reason in Francisco Suarez . An immanent critique of Suarez’s theory is given as well. The paper offers also a brief outline of the history of its later reception by Baroque authors.
En vue de tester la viabilité de la théorie de la réception pour l’étude du manichéisme, cette étude examine comment l’effort manichéen d’établir des liens culturels et linguistiques dans les milieux où s’exerça la mission manichéenne n’a pas suffi à assurer le maintien de la Religion de Lumière. Le fait que Mani considérait sa révélation comme supérieure aux autres a au contraire empêché sa réception par les cultures chez lesquelles elle voulait être accueillie. In order to test the utility of (...) the theory of reception for the study of Manichaeism, this paper examines how Manichaean efforts to establish cultural and linguistic continuities in their various missionary environments were not enough to sustain the Religion of Light. Instead, the fact that Mani considered his revelation as superior to others ultimately seems to have hindered its reception by a variety of host cultures. (shrink)
This is a canvass to the critical reaction to Joseph Raz’s service conception of authority, as well as actual or possible replies by Raz. Familiarity is assumed with the theory itself, covered in a previous article. The article focuses primarily on direct criticisms of Raz’s theory, rather than replies developed in the context of a theorist’s wider project.
Drawing on his investigation of over one hundred mid-Victorian British newspapers and periodicals, Alvar Ellegård describes and analyzes the impact of Darwin's theory of evolution during the first dozen years after the publication of the Origin of Species . Although Darwin's book caused an immediate stir in literary and scientific periodicals, the popular press largely ignored it. Only after the work's implications for theology and the nature of man became evident did general publications feel compelled to react; each social (...) group responded according to his own political and religious prejudices. Ellegård charts the impact of this revolution in science, maintaining that although the idea of evolution was generally accepted, Darwin's primary contribution, the theory of natural selection, was either ignored or rejected among the public. (shrink)
De Vries' mutation theory has not stood the test of time. The supposed mutations of Oenothera were in reality complex recombination phenomena, ultimately explicable in Mendelian terms, while instances of large-scale mutations were found wanting in other species. By 1915 the mutation theory had begun to lose its grip on the biological community; by de Vries' death in 1935 it was almost completely abandoned. Yet, as we have seen, during the first decade of the present century it achieved (...) an enormous popularity. As this paper has tried to suggest, one of the principal reasons for this was that de Vries' theory served as a banner around which a whole crowd of disaffected Darwinians or anti-Darwinians could rally. However, not all of those who favored de Vries did so for quite the same reasons. Underlying the multitude of views ran several common threads: a dissatisfaction with current Darwinian theory born out of misunderstanding natural selection, a general misunderstanding of the nature of species, and a prejudice against speculative, nontestable theories in biology.Supporters of de Vries were not the only opponents of Darwinism, nor was the mutation theory the only alternative to natural selection. In the early twentieth century a number of theories had been proposed to explain away the problems which Darwin had left unsolved. There was the idea of orthogenesis, championed by the American paleontologists Cope, Osborn and others; organic selection (or orthoplasy) was championed by M. M. Baldwin and C. Lloyd Morgan; there were the concepts of convergent evolution proposed by Hermann Friedmann, the theory of physiological selection by John George Romanes, and the concepts of reproductive divergence by H. M. Vernon. Virtually none of these men either accepted or were strong supporters of the de Vriesian theory, for each had his own particular ‘ism” to advocate as the major factor in evolution. The existence of a large number of such theories, each purporting to be the explanation, was characteristic of evolutionary theory at the turn of the century. It is to a large extent the emphasis on such fragmentary concepts that retarded development of the comprehensive theory of evolution which emerged in the 1920's and 1930's. For the historian, however, a study of these alternative theories is instructive in trying to understand the inherent difficulties which Dawwinian theory posed to biologists at the time. De Vries' mutation theory serves historically as a mirror to reflect the critical mood of a generation hostile to the theory of natural selection.It has often been claimed that it was impossible to understand the mechanism of natural selection until it could be placed in genetic and mathematical terms. It is certainly true that great strides have been made in population genetics and the treatment of evolutionary concepts with mathematical tools in the last forty years. But the very people who developed the genetical and mathematical approach to evolution were already convinced of the essential correctness of Darwinian theory before they started. Advances in an understanding of Mendelian heredity aided greatly in solving one important issue for evolutionists: the origin of variations. And the rigor with which selection acted could best be studied by observing changes in gene frequencies (calculated mathematically) over a number of generations. But as this paper has shown, two of the basic problems which biologists faced in evaluating Darwinian theory at the turn of the century-the nature of species, and the criteria of what constituted an acceptable explanation in biological science-could not be answered directly by mathematics. What mathematical and genetical theory did do was to help convince the skeptics of the validity of the Darwinian proposition.The change in explanatory criteria which many hailed as de Vries' most important contribution to evolutionary theory seems to have been part of a general emergence of twentieth-century biology from the domination of theorizers in the nineteenth. It also marked the emergence of America from the domination of biological, and particularly evolutionary, influence of Europeans. The change occurred in three areas: in the kinds of questions asked: testable versus non-testable; in the kind of data sought: quantitative versus qualitative; and in the kinds of theories proposed: analytical and reductive—the attempt to see complex processes in terms of simpler components-as opposed to synthetic and speculative. Although ultimately wrong in his idea, de Vries and his theories rode high on the wave of “experimentalism” which was the harbinger of a new era in evolutionary theory. (shrink)
: This paper first discusses the current historical and philosophical framework forged during the last century to account for both the history and the epistemic status of Newton's theory of general gravitation. It then examines the conflict surrounding this theory at the close of the seventeenth century and the first steps towards the revolutionary shift in rational mechanics in the eighteenth century. From a historical point of view, it shows the crucial contribution of the Cartesian mechanistic philosophy and (...) Leibnizian analytic methods to the emergence of so-called Newtonian mechanics which can also be fairly characterized as a synthetic theory of attraction. From a philosophical standpoint, the paper suggests that the reworking of Newton's theory in the 18th century is better understood in a theoretical framework that reconciles Kuhn's notion of "invisible revolution" rather than his notion of "normal science" with Whewell's ascription of the completion of dynamical studies to the post Newtonian period. (shrink)
Aristotle earns the distinction of having put forward the first comprehensive philosophical theory of justice. After the end of the antique world, St. Thomas Aquinas was the first philosopher and theologian to return to Aristotles theory of justice. This will be followed by a summary of the core aspects of Aquinass treatise on law and political theory, and explicated accordingly.
This article examines the excitement that Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments generated in France during the French Revolution, focusing particularly on the writings of political theorists, participants and commentators such as the abbé Sieyès, Pierre-Louis Rœderer, the Marquis de Condorcet and Sophie de Grouchy Condorcet, who were dismayed at their political opponents’ use of Rousseau, and looked to Smith for an understanding of the passions that was compatible with democratic sovereignty and representative government. In the political context of (...) the early 1790s, clarifying the concept of natural sociability, which Rousseau had rejected, but Smith and Helvétius, in different ways, each regarded as indispensible to a society dependent on advanced division of labour, became a central concern in the public lectures delivered by Pierre-Louis Rœderer as the Terror took hold. (shrink)
At the beginning of the 1950s most students of animal behavior in Britain saw the instinct concept developed by Konrad Lorenz in the 1930s as the central theoretical construct of the new ethology. In the mid 1950s J.B.S. Haldane made substantial efforts to undermine Lorenz''s status as the founder of the new discipline, challenging his priority on key ethological concepts. Haldane was also critical of Lorenz''s sharp distinction between instinctive and learnt behavior. This was inconsistent with Haldane''s account of the (...) evolution of language, and, according to Haldane, inconsistent with elementary genetics. British attitudes to the instinct concept changed dramatically in the wake of Daniel S. Lehraman''s 1953 critique of Lorenz, and by the 1960s Lorenz drew a clear distinction between his own views and those of the English-speaking ethologists. The inconsistencies between Lorenz''s ideas and the trends in contemporary evolutionary genetics that are reflected in Haldane''s critiques may help to explain why the Lorenzian instinct concept was unable to maintain itself in Britian. (shrink)