EPR-type measurements on spatially separated entangled spin qubits allow one, in principle, to detect curvature. Also the entanglement of the vacuum state is affected by curvature. Here, we ask if the curvature of spacetime can be expressed entirely in terms of the spatial entanglement structure of the vacuum. This would open up the prospect that quantum gravity could be simulated on a quantum computer and that quantum information techniques could be fully employed in the study of quantum gravity.
We review connections between the metric of spacetime and the quantum fluctuations of fields. We start with the finding that the spacetime metric can be expressed entirely in terms of the 2-point correlator of the fluctuations of quantum fields. We then discuss the open question whether the knowledge of only the spectra of the quantum fluctuations of fields also suffices to determine the spacetime metric. This question is of interest because spectra are geometric invariants and their quantization would, therefore, have (...) the benefit of not requiring the modding out of diffeomorphisms. Further, we discuss the fact that spacetime at the Planck scale need not necessarily be either discrete or continuous. Instead, results from information theory show that spacetime may be simultaneously discrete and continuous in the same way that information can. Finally, we review the recent finding that a covariant natural ultraviolet cutoff at the Planck scale implies a signature in the cosmic microwave background that may become observable. (shrink)
In the present interview, Jürgen Habermas answers questions about his wide-ranging work in philosophy and social theory, as well as concerning current social and political developments to whose understanding he has made important theoretical contributions. Among the aspects of his work addressed are his conception of communicative rationality as a countervailing force to the colonization of the lifeworld by capitalism and his understanding of philosophy after Hegel as postmetaphysical thinking, for which he has recently provided a comprehensive historical grounding. The (...) scope and relevance of his ideas can be seen from his reflections on current issues, ranging from the prospects of translational democracy at a time of resurgent nationalism and populism, to political developments in Germany since reunification, to the role of religion in the public sphere and the impact of the new social media on democratic discourse. (shrink)
The emerging consensus in the philosophy of cognition is that cognition is situated, i.e., dependent upon or co-constituted by the body, the environment, and/or the embodied interaction with it. But what about emotions? If the brain alone cannot do much thinking, can the brain alone do some emoting? If not, what else is needed? Do (some) emotions (sometimes) cross an individual's boundary? If so, what kinds of supra-individual systems can be bearers of affective states, and why? And does that make (...) emotions ?embedded? or ?extended? in the sense cognition is said to be embedded and extended? Section 2 shows why it is important to understand in which sense body, environment, and our embodied interaction with the world contribute to our affective life. Section 3 introduces some key concepts of the debate about situated cognition. Section 4 draws attention to an important disanalogy between cognition and emotion with regard to the role of the body. Section 5 shows under which conditions a contribution by the environment results in non-trivial cases of ?embedded? emotions. Section 6 is concerned with affective phenomena that seem to cross the organismic boundaries of an individual, in particular with the idea that emotions are ?extended? or ?distributed.? (shrink)
In his book Vernunft und Subjektivität, Charles Larmore investigates what the nature of reason and subjectivity consists in. This book originates from two lectures that Larmore held in Frankfurt, Germany. It is composed in an elegant German and packed throughout with insights that Larmore works out in intense confrontation with prominent views in the history of philosophy and in contemporary philosophy. The overarching thesis of the book is that while our responsiveness to reasons lies at the basis of reason, subjectivity (...) should be understood as a self-relation that is structured by our commitment to what we take as reasons. (shrink)
This paper revisits the often debated question Can machines think? It is argued that the usual identification of machines with the notion of algorithm has been both counter-intuitive and counter-productive. This is based on the fact that the notion of algorithm just requires an algorithm to contain a finite but arbitrary number of rules. It is argued that intuitively people tend to think of an algorithm to have a rather limited number of rules. The paper will further propose a modification (...) of the above mentioned explication of the notion of machines by quantifying the length of an algorithm. Based on that it appears possible to reconcile the opposing views on the topic, which people have been arguing about for more than half a century. (shrink)
Bioethical debates on the use of human embryos and oocytes for stem cell research have often been criticized for the lack of empirical insights into the perceptions and experiences of the women and couples who are asked to donate these tissues in the IVF clinic. Empirical studies that have investigated the attitudes of IVF patients and citizens on the donation of their embryos and oocytes have been scarce and have focused predominantly on the situation in Europe and Australia. This article (...) examines the viewpoints on the donation of embryos for stem cell research among IVF patients and students in China. Research into the perceptions of patients is based on in-depth interviews with IVF patients and IVF clinicians. Research into the attitudes of students is based on a quantitative survey study. The empirical findings in this paper indicate that perceptions of the donation of human embryos for stem cell research in China are far more diverse and complex than has commonly been suggested. Claims that ethical concerns regarding the donation and use of embryos and oocytes for stem cell research are typical for Western societies but absent in China cannot be upheld. The article shows that research into the situated perceptions and cultural specificities of human tissue donation can play a crucial role in the deconstruction of politicized bioethical argumentation and the assumptions about “others” that underlie socio-ethical debates on the moral dilemmas of technology developments in the life sciences. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to examine moods, mostly in comparison to emotions. Nearly all of the features that allegedly distinguish moods from emotions are disputed though. In a first section I comment on duration, intentionality, and cause in more detail, and develop intentionality as the most promising distinguishing characteristic. In a second section I will consider the huge variety of moods, ranging from shallow environmentally triggered transient moods to deep existential moods that last much longer. I will explore (...) what their sources are, and how they impact one another, other affective processes, and our being in the world. I follow several eminent emotion researchers and try to carve out their insights, many seemingly mutually excluding each other. As it will turn out, most of them are, in fact, not excluding each other, but contribute to a layered picture of moods that fits well in between emotions and personality traits. Eventually, I will shortly discuss what we can do with our moods. (shrink)
According to Kant, the moral worth of an action depends on its maxim. As he explains, particularly in the Groundwork, moral worth accrues to an action when the action rests on a maxim selected for its accordance with the moral law. With respect to Religion, however, Kant modifies his understanding of the moral worth of actions. He now expresses the view that an agent acts morally worthy only if he possesses a moral Gesinnung as a character trait. According to this (...) opinion, only such persons can act in a manner that has moral worth who own a good Gesinnung and seek to express it in their actions. But to be in possession of a good Gesinnung depends, according to Kant, on strict conditions that ordinary actors will not realistically be able to fulfil. This accords with Kant's verdict that moral progress has not yet taken place because the conversion in Gesinnung that it would require is still outstanding. (shrink)
In the present study, we combined first-, second-, and third-person levels of analysis to explore the feeling of being and acting together in the context of collaborative artistic performance. Following participation in an international competition held in Czech Republic in 2018, a team of ten artistic swimmers took part in the study. First, a self-assessment instrument was administered to rate the different aspects of togetherness emerging from their collective activity; second, interviews based on video recordings of their performance were conducted (...) individually with all team members; and third, the performance was evaluated by external artistic swimming experts. By combining these levels of analysis in different ways, we explore how changes in togetherness and lived experience in individual behavior may shape, disrupt, and stabilize joint performance. Our findings suggest that the experience of being and acting together is transient and changing, often alternating phases of decrease and increase in felt togetherness that can be consistently recognized by swimmers and external raters. (shrink)
This volume addresses the question of what it is like to be depressed. Despite the vast amount of research that has been conducted into the causes and treatment of depression, the experience of depression remains poorly understood. Indeed, many depression memoirs state that the experience is impossible for others to understand. However, it is at least clear that changes in emotion, mood, and bodily feeling are central to all forms of depression, and these are the book's principal focus. In recent (...) years, there has been a great deal of valuable philosophical and interdisciplinary research on the emotions, complemented by new developments in philosophy of psychiatry and scientifically-informed phenomenology. The book draws on all these areas, in order to offer a range of novel insights into the nature of depression experiences. To do so, it brings together a distinguished group of philosophers, psychiatrists, anthropologists, clinical psychologists and neuroscientists, all of whom have made important contributions to current research on emotion and/or psychiatric illness. (shrink)
Dieser Band fasst nach einem ersten Jahrzehnt neuer historisch-kritischer Editionsarbeiten an der Weimarer Arnim-Ausgabe die dabei erreichten philologischen, literarischen, philosophischen und komparatistischen Konstellationen zusammen. Es entsteht ein neues Bild von einem der 'originellsten Köpfe der romantischen Schule' und seines viel nachhaltigeren Einflusses auf Zeitgenossen wie Nachgeborene als bisher gedacht. Sowohl werkgeschichtliche neue Untersuchungen zu Arnim, als auch neue Einsichten in Verbindungen Arnims mit dem frühromantischen Denkkreis und wirkungsgeschichtliche Facetten frühromantischen Dichten und Denkensergeben ein überraschend neues Tableau romantischer Mentalität.
Während es im moralisch-politischen Diskurs geradezu unkontrovers ist, dass Toleranz eine eminent wichtige Rolle für ein friedliches Zusammenleben von Menschen in pluralistischen Gesellschaften spielt, ist es alles andere als klar, was Toleranz überhaupt ist. Insbesondere die häufig anzutreffende Auffassung, dass es ‚Paradoxien‘ der Toleranz gäbe, sowie die in der Literatur immer von Neuem auftauchende Vexierfrage, ob Toleranz auch den Feinden der Toleranz gelten kann oder muss, sind deutliche Anzeichen dafür, dass es kein stabiles Verständnis der Natur dieser Einstellung gibt. Das (...) Problem ist nicht zuletzt ein methodologisches. Ich stelle zunächst einige Adäquatheitsbedingungen für eine Theorie der Toleranz auf, und argumentiere dann, dass eine Theorie der Toleranz als eine moralpsychologische Theorie vom normativen Begriff der Tolerierbarkeit frei zu halten ist. Nach der hier vorgeschlagenen Theorie besteht das Herzstück der Toleranz in einer verhaltenswirksamen Kontrolle moralischer Aversionen. Diese Theorie erfüllt die Adäquatheitsbedingungen für Theorien der Toleranz und wird von ihnen sogar erzwungen. Auf der Grundlage der erzielten Ergebnisse, erläutere ich dann Sinn und Rechtfertigung der Toleranzforderung und skizziere ihren Ort innerhalb der Ethik. (shrink)
Several theories of emergence will be distinguished. In particular, these are synchronic, diachronic, and weak versions of emergence. While the weaker theories are compatible with property reductionism, synchronic emergentism and strong versions of diachronic emergentism are not. Synchronice mergentism is of particular interest for the discussion of downward causation. For such a theory, a system's property is taken to be emergent if it is irreducible, i.e., if it is not reductively explainable. Furthermore, we have to distinguish two different types of (...) irreducibility with quite different consequences: If, on the one hand, a system's property is irreducible because of the irreducibility of the system's parts' behavior on which the property supervenes, we seem to have a case of "downward causation". This kind of downward causation does not violate the principle of the causal closure of the physical domain. If, on the other hand, a systemic property is irreducible because it is not exhaustively analyzable in terms of its causal role, downward causation is not implied. Rather, it is dubitable how unanalyzable properties might play any causal role at all. Thus, epiphenomenalism seems to be implied. The failure to keep apart the two kinds of irreducibility has muddled recent debate about the emergence of properties considerably. (shrink)
This article examines for the first time the jihadist global hegemonic masculinity of Osama bin Laden. Based on Bin Laden’s public statements translated into English, the authors examine how in the process of constructing a rationale for violent attacks primarily against the United States, he simultaneously and discursively formulates a jihadist global hegemonic masculinity. The research adds to the growing interest in discursive global hegemonic masculinities, as well as jihadist masculinities in the Middle East, by scrutinizing how Bin Laden’s jihadist (...) global hegemonic masculinity is produced in and through his public statements. The authors close their discussion by demonstrating how Bin Laden’s discursive practices are embedded in a clash of competing global hegemonic masculinities on the world stage. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue that the concept of environmental scaffolding can contribute to a better understanding of our affective life and the complex manners in which it is shaped by environmental entities. In particular, the concept of environmental scaffolding offers a more comprehensive and less controversial framework than the notions of embeddedness and extendedness. We contribute to the literature on situated affectivity by embracing and systematizing the diversity of affective scaffolding. In doing so, we introduce several distinctions that provide (...) classifications of different types of environmentally scaffolded affectivity. Furthermore, we differentiate eight dimensions that allow us to evaluate the quality and effectivity of scaffolds in particular applications. On that basis, we develop a taxonomy using paradigmatic examples of affective scaffolding. This taxonomy enriches the current debate by emphasizing distinctions that are often conflated and by identifying fields of application that are commonly overlooked. (shrink)
Zusammenfassung Eine Karriere im Hochleistungssport ist mit hohen zeitlichen Belastungen verbunden. Da die Spitzensport- Karriere lebenszeitlich beschränkt ist und in der Regel in der vierten Lebensdekade beendet wird, stellt sich die Frage nach den Auswirkungen eines Engagements im Hochleistungssport auf die Berufskarriere. Hierzu wurden im Rahmen einer quantitativ orientierten Kohortenanalyse ehemalige Spitzensportler zu ihrem beruflichen Werdegang und möglichen Einflussfaktoren des Hochleistungssports retrospektiv befragt. Die Befunde der beiden Teiluntersuchungen zeigen, dass die hohen zeitlichen Anforderungen des Spitzensports den beruflichen Werdegang nur zum (...) Teil beeinträchtigen. Dies gilt nicht nur für sehr erfolgreiche Sportler, sondern auch für Hochleistungssportler, die weniger erfolgreich sind, sowie für Profisportler, die besonders intensiv in das System Hochleistungssport eingebunden sind. Dabei wirken sich Faktoren, wie institutionelle Unterstützungsmaßnahmen, Bekanntheit und soziale Kontakte sowie die Chance im Berufsfeld Spitzensport zu arbeiten, positiv auf die Berufskarriere aus. Allerdings haben sich aufgrund der Professionalisierung des Hochleistungssports die Risiken im kohortenspezifischen Vergleich vergrößert. (shrink)
We elaborate and defend the claim that human affective states are, among other things, self-disclosing. We will show why affective intentionality has to be considered in order to understand human self-consciousness. One specific class of affective states, so-called existential feelings, although often neglected in philosophical treatments of emotions, will prove central. These feelings importantly pre-structure affective and other intentional relations to the world. Our main thesis is that existential feelings are an important manifestation of self-consciousness and figure prominently in human (...) self-understanding. We offer an ordering of four levels of existential feelings and also give considerations in favour of the essential bodily nature of these feelings. (shrink)
The concept of emergence is widely used in both the philosophy of mind and in cognitive science. In the philosophy of mind it serves to refer to seemingly irreducible phenomena, in cognitive science it is often used to refer to phenomena not explicitly programmed. There is no unique concept of emergence available that serves both purposes.
This article focuses on existential feelings. To begin with, it depicts how they differ from other affective phenomena and what type of intentionality they manifest. Furthermore, a detailed analysis shows that existential feelings can be subdivided, first, into elementary and nonelementary varieties, and second, into three foci of primary relatedness: oneself, the social environment, and the world as such. Eventually, five strategies of emotion regulation are examined with respect to their applicability to existential feelings. In the case of harmful existential (...) feelings, it turns out that none seems fitting except one, attentional deployment. (shrink)
This essay explores how indigenous knowledge about plant and animal remedies was gathered, classified, tested, and circulated across wide networks of exchange for natural knowledge between Europe and the Americas. There has been much recent interest in the “bioprospecting” of local natural resources—medical and otherwise—by Europeans in the early modern world and the strategies employed by European travellers, missionaries, or naturalists have been well documented. By contrast, less is known about the role played by indigenous and Creole intermediaries in this (...) process. And yet, the transmission of knowledge between indigenous communities and the European cabinet was neither transparent nor natural, and often involved epistemological, linguistic, and religious obstacles. Drawing on printed and manuscript collections of indigenous remedies, written in colonial Mexico between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries, I focus on how local intermediaries, like creoles scholars, sought to overcome such obstacles by observing indigenous uses of remedies, by studying indigenous languages and by producing natural histories and pharmacopoeias in indigenous languages. Ultimately, behind the Creole participation in the transmission of indigenous remedies, one can point to political and cultural interests and to inclusive definitions of knowledge, which cut across oppositions between science and superstition, cabinet and field, centre and periphery. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis paper criticizes Axel Honneth’s Idea of Socialism from a post-Marxist but nevertheless Marxian perspective. It focuses on the importance of particular political subjectivities for bringing about emancipatory transformations. Honneth’s decoupling of his revived conception of socialism from any kind of partisan subjectivity is not only overhasty. It also loses sight of the emergence of socialism as an idea in a proper Hegelian sense. Whilst Honneth contradictorily assumes that contemporary ethical life is already infused with a comprehensive normativity of social (...) freedom that points towards its further realization, such a tendency of normative and social universality has been largely eliminated by the regressions of neoliberal hegemony. In this historical situation, the becoming-hegemonic of social freedom depends on the polemical initiative of those kinds of political subjectivities which are theoretically excluded from Honneth’s conception of socialism. (shrink)
Several species concepts are generally discussed and evaluated. Then the new definition, the pheno-genetic species concept, is developed; it reads: a species is the largest possible, regional evolutionary unit of pheno-genetically equal (in the typical, specific characters), identically reproducing demes. It is separated from sympatric species by a reproductive isolation that guarantees a unique evolution, an evolution different from that of other species and sufficiently uninfluenced, and that is accompanied by another distinctive pheno-genetic gap. It is separated from allopatric species (...) by a distinctive pheno-genetic gap that - in the case of missing reproductive isolation in bisexual forms — allows the conclusion that such an isolation would have developed, if the species had been sympatric with the allopatric species. This definition is applied to several situations of evolution. The effects of the concepts on the classification of lizards are demonstrated by examples. (shrink)
A sequence of theoretical models is constructed as an extension to Leszek Nowak's theory of socialist society to explain important characteristics of the violent party purges in Soviet Stalinism. According to these models, purges are a regular and systemic feature of a socialist system during a certain phase of development (modelled as the phase of social enslavement). Contrary to traditional conceptions which interpret the purges essentially as resulting from the actions of an almost omnipotent, and partly irrational, despot, the models (...) presented here provide an explanation which does not need to conceive Stalin as the architect of terror (Robert Conquest), i.e. as the long-term planner of the terror. However, the concepts presented here preserve the vital arguments of the traditional approach, thereby contradicting the revisionist pattern of interpretation. In particular the models seek to provide a theoretical base for an explanation of the moderation of inner-party terror from 1938. This moderation is interpreted as resulting from a modification of the then existing ideology (and corresponding habits of the party's leadership); a modification which in itself had been stimulated by the disastrous effects of the great purge in 1937/38. This modification can be theoretically conceived as a process of ideological learning. The historical fact that the post-war purges (i.e. the Leningrad affair in 1949 and the Mingrelian affair 1951/52) did not reach such an enormous extent as the purges of the late 1930s may thus be attributed to a process of ideological learning. (shrink)
We first present a reconstruction of James’s theory of emotion and then argue for four theses: Despite constructivist elements, James’s views are overall in line with basic emotions theory. JATE does not exclude an influence of emotion on intentional action even in its original formulation; nevertheless, this influence is quite limited. It seems possible, however, to repair this problem of the theory. Cannon’s theory of emotion is a centralized version of JATE that inherits from the latter theory a potentially fatal (...) flaw, the insufficient physiological differentiation of emotions. The core claim of JATE, that emotions are bodily feelings, is very likely false. (shrink)
Kaum ein Arbeitsgebiet der frühchristlichen und der byzantinischen Kunstgeschichte hat in moderner Zeit an einer so großen Differenz zwischen Erkenntnispotential und tatsächlicher Erkundung gekrankt wie die Denkmälerlandschaft im Nordsyrischen Kalksteinmassiv: Die dort erhaltenen spätantiken Siedlungen und Sakralbauten sind in ihrer instruktiven Präsenz einzigartig und müßten demnach von ganzen Heerscharen engagierter Feldforscher studiert werden, doch sind es in Wirklichkeit unsäglich wenige, die sich jenen Denkmälern zuwenden. Wer das sehr überschaubare Schrifttum, beginnend mit Melchior DE VOGÜÉ über die amerikanischen Expeditionsergebnisse des angebrochenen (...) 20. Jh.s bis hin zur Gegenwart studiert und auch selbst jene Stätten aufsucht, dem wird obendrein rasch klar, wie erbarmungslos die Zerstörung der für die ganze Menschheit unersetzlichen Monumente fortgeschritten ist und fortschreitet. Um ein Vielfaches müßten die Schutzmaßnahmen und die wissenschaftlichen Aktivitäten an diesem einzigartigen Erbe gesteigert werden. Vorbildlich sind da die Bemühungen von Christine Strube , deren neuestes einschlägiges Buch hier zu kommentieren ist. (shrink)
Two of Heidegger’s most fundamental distinctions, authenticity and inauthenticity, the existential and the existentiell, are motivated by Aristotle’s δύναμισ/ένέργεια distinction. Even the basic concept of truth must be understood in terms of δύναμισj and ένέργεια. Moreover, Heidegger’s existential imperative only becomes fully comprehensible within the Aristotelian context, revealing the intrinsic interrelation of Heidegger’s two distinctions with one another.