This paper is a commentary to a paper by Erik Paredis (2011). It is firstly argued that the theories of technology, as distinguished by Feenberg, cannot adequately explain the different interpretations of the role of technology in the transition towards sustainability, as Paredis argues. Secondly, the basic argument of Paredis is countered that transition research is fundamentally handicapped by its constructivists roots to discriminate between options. Finally it is argued that a third strand of transition research exists that is explicitly (...) interventionist, and that nurtures specific technology in context. (shrink)
In animal husbandry in The Netherlands, as in a wide variety of other societal areas, we see an increased awareness of the fact that progress cannot be attained anymore by simply repeating the way we modernized this sector in the decades before, due to the multiplicity of the problems to be dealt with. The theory of reflexive modernization articulates this macro-social phenomenon, and at the same time serves as a prescriptive master-narrative. In this paper, I analyse the relationship between Feenberg's (...) instrumentalization theory and reflexive design; that is, the approach of doing reflexive modernization. Feenberg's analytical distinction between primary and secondary instrumentalization is useful in highlighting the way social and political values are inscribed into technological arrangements, but is not meant as a method. Reflexive design, on the other hand, is meant to be a reflective and deliberative method that aims to articulate, assess and reintegrate hitherto unquestioned values and presuppositions into new designs of production systems. Reflexive design thus may be seen as a conscious strategy of making explicit the separate stages of instrumentalization in advance, instead of criticizing the implicit embedding of dominant values in technological artefacts once they have been realized. The approach is illustrated with a case from animal husbandry. (shrink)
Why do all animals possess sense perception while plants don’t? And should the difference in quality of life between human beings and wolves be explained by supposing that wolves have degenerated souls? This paper argues that for Aristotle differences in quality of life among living beings are based on differences in the quality of their soul-principle together with the body that receives the soul. The paper proposes a new interpretation of On the Soul 2.4.415b18: “For all the natural bodies are (...) instruments of the soul,” against all current interpretations. Aristotle there means that each of the four sublunary elements can be a part of the instrumental body of a soul. The paper continues with discussing the way in which Aristotle connects the several sublunar elements with different levels of life activity, and the troublesome passage in Generation of Animals 3.11.761b22, where Aristotle speaks about a fourth category of living creatures related to the fourth sublunary element, Fire, and the region of the Moon. (shrink)
From ancient times Aristotle, On the Soul II 11, 422b34ff. on the perception of touch has remained incomprehensible. We can only start to understand the text when we see that Aristotle, in talking about “the ensouled body” (423a13), means “the soul's instrumental body” and views this as the actual instrument for the perception of touch. The visible body is only an intermediary between the soul-body and the object of touch.
Hippolytus of Rome on Aristotle’s definition of the soul. His work Concerning the Soul is obscure. For in the entire three books [where he treats of his subject] it is not possible to say clearly what is Aristotle’s opinion concerning the soul. For, as regards the definition which he furnishes of soul, it is easy [enough] to declare this; but what it is that is signified by the definition is difficult to discover. For soul, he says, is an entelecheia of (...) a sôma physikon organikon; [but to explain] what this is at all, would require a very great number of arguments, and a lengthened investigation. (shrink)
The work _De spiritu_ is an important but neglected work by Aristotle. It clearly shows for the first time that Aristotle assumed a special body as the ‘instrument’ of the soul. By means of this soul/body the soul forms the visible body of plants, animals and human beings.
This paper contains a Dutch translation of the important text of Hippolytus of Rome on the Gnostic theology of Basilides of Alexandria. A summary of this theology is added together with some introductory remarks about whether or not Basilides received his doctrine from Matthias the Apostle, about the Aristotelean line of thought of Basilides, and about the relevance of modern study of Gnosticism.