In Elephant , director Gus Van Sant dramatises a massacre at a suburban American high school in order to examine narrative cinema's ethical capacity to respond to that which resists being framed as a meaningful event. In the film, this stubborn stuff is experience shot through with contingency. Van Sant depicts acts of violence that are indiscriminate and, at best, ambiguously motivated, as well as school-day activities that appear coincidental and insignificant. This essay argues that the director aims (...) to screen contingency to mount a critique of conventional narrative film's terror of contingency, its anxious drive to convert all cinematic time to good, signifying use. It also argues that Van Sant complicates or crosses up this aim by constructing a self-reflexive text attuned to the inherent irresponsibility in assuming that radical contingency's dead time could be fully and faithfully animated on screen. While the film camera and a still camera used by a student photographer in the film shoot people with the ostensible aim of capturing contingency in all its otherness, both projects are, at the same time, linked, in complex ways, to the student killers who shoot people with the aim of eliminating all otherness. The film's recognition of its own drive to plot in a deadly fashion thus illustrates Van Sant's profound sensitivity to the challenges of responding responsibly to a time of terror and, more broadly, to the terrors of time. (shrink)
For decades, the audiovisual nature of the film medium has limited film scholarship to the strict consideration of sound and sight as the senses at play. Aware of the limitations of this sense-to-sense correspondence, Laura U. Marks has been the first to consistently give expression to a new and emergent line of enquiry that seeks to understand the multisensory nature of film.Adding to the emergent awareness of the cinema of the senses, neuroscience, specifically multisensory studies, has identified autonomous sensory systems (...) beyond the classic five senses: the vestibular , proprioception , pain, and temperature perception. This essay investigates the principles of the multisensory film experience when applied to our sense of orientation and balance in film – the vestibular in film. Here I seek to outline the neural and physiological evidence supporting the idea that we can have access to the multisensory exclusively through sound and image, based on the nature of our perception and cognition.I then apply this frame of reference to a new understanding of Gus Van Sant’s cinema of walking composed by the so-called death trilogy of Gerry , Elephant and Last Days plus Paranoid Park . With this analysis I show how the vestibular sense can be a powerful aesthetic and cinematic mode of filmmaking, as well revealing of the sensuous nature of film. (shrink)
This article deals with the aesthetics of the art documentary of the 1940s and 1950s, which can be considered as the Golden Age of the genre. Prior to the breakthrough of television in Europe, which would usurp and standardize the art documentary, cinematic reproductions of artworks resulted in experimental shorts that were highly self-reflexive. These films became visual laboratories to investigate the tensions between movement and stasis, the two- and three-dimensional, and the real and the artificial—a film on art was (...) self-consciously presented as an art film. Focusing on La Leggenda di Sant’Orsola by Luciano Emmer and Le Monde de Paul Delvaux by Henri Storck, this article also investigates how the animation of the static image by the film medium relates to Surrealist practices. (shrink)
We use Padoa's principle of independence of primitive symbols in axiomatic systems in order to show that time is dispensable in continuum thermodynamics, according to the axiomatic formulation of Gurtin and Williams. We also show how to define time by means of the remaining primitive concepts of Gurtin and Williams system. Finally, we introduce thermodynamics without time as a primitive concept.
It is easy to show that in many natural axiomatic formulations of physical and even mathematical theories, there are many superfluous concepts usually assumed as primitive. This happens mainly when these theories are formulated in the language of standard set theories, such as Zermelo–Fraenkel’s. In 1925, John von Neumann created a set theory where sets are definable by means of functions. We provide a reformulation of von Neumann’s set theory and show that it can be used to formulate physical and (...) mathematical theories with a lower number of primitive concepts very naturally. Our basic proposal is to offer a new kind of set-theoretic language that offers advantages with respect to the standard approaches, since it doesn’t introduce dispensable primitive concepts. We show how the proposal works by considering significant physical theories, such as non-relativistic classical particle mechanics and classical field theories, as well as a well-known mathematical theory, namely, group theory. This is a first step of a research program we intend to pursue. (shrink)
Quasi-set theory $\cal Q$ allows us to cope with certain collections of objects where the usual notion of identity is not applicable, in the sense that $x = x$ is not a formula, if $x$ is an arbitrary term. $\cal Q$ was partially motivated by the problem of non-individuality in quantum mechanics. In this paper I discuss the range of explanatory power of $\cal Q$ for quantum phenomena which demand some notion of indistinguishability among quantum objects. My main focus is (...) on the double-slit experiment, a major physical phenomenon which was never modeled from a quasi-set-theoretic point of view. The double-slit experiment strongly motivates the concept of degrees of indistinguishability within a field-theoretic approach, and that notion is simply missing in $\cal Q$. Nevertheless, other physical situations may eventually demand a revision on quasi-set theory axioms, if someone intends to use it in the quantum realm for the purpose of a clear discussion about non-individuality. I use this opportunity to suggest another way to cope with identity in quantum theories. (shrink)
Quasi-set theory provides us a mathematical background for dealing with collections of indistinguishable elementary particles. In this paper, we show how to obtain the usual statistics (Maxwell–Boltzmann, Bose–Einstein, and Fermi–Dirac) into the scope of quasi-set theory. We also show that, in order to derive Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics, it is not necessary to assume that the particles are distinguishable or individuals. In other words, Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics is possible even in an ensamble of indistinguishable particles, at least from the theoretical point of view. (...) The main goal of this paper is to provide the mathematical grounds of a quasi-set theoretical framework for statistical mechanics. (shrink)
We recently showed that it is possible to deal withcollections of indistinguishable elementary particles (in thecontext of quantum mechanics) in a set-theoretical framework, byusing hidden variables. We propose in the presentpaper another axiomatics for collections of indiscernibleswithout hidden variables, where hidden predicates are implicitlyassumed. We also discuss the possibility of a quasi-settheoretical picture for quantum theory. Quasi-set theory, basedon Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory, was developed for dealing withcollections of indistinguishable, but, not identical objects.
Bhakti marga is one of the three important paths of attaining spiritual advancement. The concept is as old as Vedas, developed and elaborated periodically and gradually. In the medieval India ‘Bhakti’ was spread all over the country through Sant Kabir. This paper aims at describing the concept of Bhakti according to Sant Kabir. The essence of Bhakti is love; the best and appropriate method to unite man with God. It is very subtle in nature. Inculcating love in one’s (...) own heart is a challenging task. Bhakti marga is not a velvet path, though it sounds so sweet. It’s a heroic path. One needs to be desperate enough to follow this path. A passive, timid and lazy person can never attain the great gift of love. In the great adventure of uniting the soul with God, mind plays the role of villain, creating obstacles at every step. Man must be skillful enough in removing those obstacles. Keeping the constant company of true people helps man to strengthen his vision and aim. The need of the Guru (spiritual adept) is insisted in this great endeavour. But, one must be careful enough in choosing a real Guru. Love towards God cultivates love towards fellow beings, which is very much needed in this unfriendly, in secured and ruthless world. It is in the hands of man to choose either to follow the path of love or the world of war. (shrink)
By the mid-19th century, an increasing number of Japan's political leaders and scholars realized that Japan had to adapt and incorporate some elements of Western-style industrialization into their own political and economic order as the necessary means to remain independent of Western imperialism. The Opium War in China, and later the Euro-American bombardments of the domain capitals in Choshu and Satsuma demonstrated that trying to defend the realm with only an increased emphasis on coastal defense would ultimately fail to keep (...) out the barbarians from the West. Sakuma Shozan, a samurai scholar from Matsushiro, proposed a dichotomous philosophy of 'Eastern ethics, Western science' as the means to strengthen Japan both internally and externally, and allow Japan to maintain its independence. In this paper, I argue that Sakuma's dichotomous approach can be interpreted within a Hegelian dialectical paradigm. After the traditional order of Japan (Eastern ethics as Idea/Thesis) came into contact with the industrializing order of the West (Western science as Nature/Anti-Thesis), Sakuma believed a new order would be created in Japan (Synthesis) that combined an increased knowledge on the Eastern ethics of Neo-Confucianism with the 'new' scientific knowledge of the West. (shrink)
Enligt ett realistiskt synsätt kan ett påstående vara sant trots att det inte ens i princip är möjligt att veta att det är sant. En sanningsteoretisk antirealist kan inte godta denna möjlighet utan accepterar en eller annan version av Dummetts vetbarhetsprincip: (K) Om ett påstående är sant, så måste det i princip vara möjligt att veta att det är sant. Det kan dock förefalla rimligt, även för en antirealist, att gå̊ med på̊ att det kan finnas (...) sanningar som ingen faktiskt vet (har vetat, eller kommer att veta) är sanna. Man kan därför tänka sig att en antirealist skulle acceptera principen (K) utan att därför gå med på den till synes starkare principen: (SK) Om ett påstående är sant, så måste det faktiskt finnas någon som vet att det är sant. Ett mycket omdiskuterat argument – som ytterst går tillbaka till Alonzo Church, men som först publicerades i en uppsats av Frederic Fitch i Journal of Symbolic Logic 1963 – tycks emellertid visa att principen (K) implicerar principen (SK). Anta nämligen att (K) är sann, medan (SK) inte är det. Men om (SK) är falsk, så finns det ett påstående som är sant men som ingen faktiskt vet är sant. Anta nu att p är ett sådant påstående. Låt Kp betyda att någon vet att p är sant. Det galler alltså̊ att p är sant samtidigt som Kp inte är det. Betrakta nu påståendet (p ∧ −Kp). Enligt antagandet är detta påstående sant. Enligt (K) måste det då vara möjligt att någon vet att (p ∧ −Kp). D.v.s., det måste vara möjligt att påståendet K(p ∧ −Kp) är sant. Men i så fall är det också̊ möjligt att påståendet Kp ∧ K−Kp är sant, vilket i sin tur implicerar att det är möjligt att Kp ∧ −Kp är sant, vilket ju är absurt. Således kan inte (K) vara sann samtidigt som (SK) är falsk. Vi tycks således kunna sluta oss till att (K) implicerar (SK). I uppsatsen diskuterar jag några olika sätt att undgå̊ Church-Fitch paradoxala slutsats. Ett tillvägagångssätt är att ersätta kunskapsoperatorn med en hierarki av kunskapspredikat. Ett annat är baserat på distinktionen mellan faktisk och potentiell kunskap och ett förkastande av den vanliga modallogiska formaliseringen av principen (K). Den senare typen av lösning betraktas både från ett realistiskt och ett icke-realistiskt perspektiv. Utifrån denna analys kommer jag fram till slutsatsen att vi, vare sig vi är realister eller antirealister rörande sanning, kan sluta oroa oss för vetbarhetsparadoxen och ändå uppskatta Church-Fitchs argument. (shrink)
The present paper aims at reviewing the complex of “Santa Agnese fuori le mura”, the most important architectural ensemble along the Via Nomentana, and one of the most renowned sanctuaries of the suburban landscape of Rome. This paper focuses, in particular, on today’s church, built right over the martyr’s burial by Pope Onorius between 628 and 635 A.D., and attempts to reconstruct its original appearance, taking into account both the status quaestionis and literary sources. Finally, research findings have been translated (...) into a 3-D reconstruction of the church, in order to highlight the ancient close relationship between the building and the adjacent land, which was compromised following the renovation works carried out at the beginning of the 17th century. (shrink)
Studies on the 1616 and 1633 actions brought against Galilei by the Index and the Inquisition generally presumed that part of the documentation was still to be unveiled. This assumption was frequently accompanied by the hypothesis that some available documents were forgeries, merely composed to justify the 1633 condemnation. New documents from the Archive of the Roman Inquisition, including a censure of Saggiatore, official acts concerning the public dissemination of the verdict, and applications for permission to read Galilei¹s works, show (...) that the 1984 edition of his trial was not exhaustive. It is argued, however, that these documents were not concealed intentionally by the Holy Office and their not being found so far has been mainly due to the poor organisation of the Archive. Gianfranco Catelli, Gouhier e la cosiddetta dottrina della terza nozione primitiva In questo studio non si condivide l’opinione, dominante per molti decenni, che il cosiddetto dualismo cartesiano sia dovuto ad un “malinteso”, che può chiamarsi originario, dato che a rimanerne coinvolti furono alcuni tra i primi seguaci della filosofia di Cartesio. Una presa di posizione, questa, che, già sviluppata in altri precedenti lavori, viene qui riproposta relativamente a H. Gouhier, lo studioso che più di ogni altro, con ricchezza di documenti e sottigliezza di analisi interpretative, ha sostenuto la tesi del “malinteso” e ha individuato nella dottrina della terza nozione primitiva la spiegazione autenticamente cartesiana del rapporto sussistente tra anima e corpo. Una interpretazione di cui nel presentge studio si mostra tutta la debolezza, soprattutto se la si considera alla luce dell’altra dottrina, anch’essa cartesiana, ma di gran lunga più articolata, che fa del rapporto tra anima e corpo un nesso da spiegarsi in analogia al rapporto che nel linguaggio intercorre tra il segno e il suo significato. (shrink)
Lejos de la interpretación de Leon Battista Alberti como prototipo del "hombre universal", GARIN ha reconocido el carácter contradictorio del pensamiento albertiano. En efecto, en la extensa y polifacética obra del humanista genovés coexisten dos visiones antagónicas del hombre y el mundo. A una le corresponde la confianza en la razón, a la otra la constatación del carácter absurdo de la existencia. Este Alberti "sombrío" se expresa en las páginas de Momus y las Intercenales. En ellas, la apelación a una (...) existencia simulada es abordada a través de una risa desacralizadora del ideal humano que alumbró el temprano Renacimiento italiano. Far from the interpretation of Leon Battista Alberti as a prototype of the "universal man", GARIN has analyzed the contradictory nature of Alberti's thought. In fact, in the extensive and versatile work of the Genoese humanist two opposite visions of man and the world coexist: one believes in the power of reason, the other acknowledges the absurdity of life. It is in Momus and the Intercenales that this "somber Alberti" is present. In these texts the appeal to a simulated life is addressed through a form of laughter that demystifies the human ideal of the early Italian Renaissance. (shrink)
The vision of la Storta, usually interpreted as a decisive confirmation of the apostolic charism of the Society of Jesus, poses a delicate historical-critical problem. The greater part of recent essays base themselves on the study by H. Rahner, written during the 1930's. Yet an attentive analysis of the primary source - Ignatius of Loyola's own declarations - demonstrates that, contrary to what is suggested by other sources, particularly the testimony of Laynez taken up in large part by Nadal, the (...) apparition of 1537 did not concern the future mission to be carried out as much as its interior Trinitarian form and the attitude of filial obedience it requires. (shrink)
Fitch’s Paradox shows that if every truth is knowable, then every truth is known. Standard diagnoses identify the factivity/negative infallibility of the knowledge operator and Moorean contradictions as the root source of the result. This paper generalises Fitch’s result to show that such diagnoses are mistaken. In place of factivity/negative infallibility, the weaker assumption of any ‘level-bridging principle’ suffices. A consequence is that the result holds for some logics in which the “Moorean contradiction” commonly thought to underlie the result is (...) in fact consistent. This generalised result improves on the current understanding of Fitch’s result and widens the range of modalities of philosophical interest to which the result might be fruitfully applied. Along the way, we also consider a semantic explanation for Fitch’s result which answers a challenge raised by Kvanvig (2006). (shrink)
Many think that Pascal’s Wager is a hopeless failure. A primary reason for this is because a number of challenging objections have been raised to the wager, including the “many gods” objection and the “mixed strategy” objection. We argue that both objections are formal, but not substantive, problems for the wager, and that they both fail for the same reason. We then respond to additional objections to the wager. We show how a version of Pascalian reasoning succeeds, giving us a (...) reason to pay special attention to the infinite consequences of our actions. (shrink)
We make the case that the Prisoner’s Dilemma, notwithstanding its fame and the quantity of intellectual resources devoted to it, has largely failed to explain any phenomena of social scientific or biological interest. In the heart of the paper we examine in detail a famous purported example of Prisoner’s Dilemma empirical success, namely Axelrod’s analysis of WWI trench warfare, and argue that this success is greatly overstated. Further, we explain why this negative verdict is likely true generally and not just (...) in our case study. We also address some possible defenses of the Prisoner’s Dilemma. (shrink)
I examine and resolve an exegetical dichotomy between two main interpretations of Peirce’s theory of abduction, namely, the Generative Interpretation and the Pursuitworthiness Interpretation. According to the former, abduction is the instinctive process of generating explanatory hypotheses through a mental faculty called insight. According to the latter, abduction is a rule-governed procedure for determining the relative pursuitworthiness of available hypotheses and adopting the worthiest one for further investigation—such as empirical tests—based on economic considerations. It is shown that the Generative Interpretation (...) is inconsistent with a fundamental fact of logic for Peirce—i.e., abduction is a kind of inference—and the Pursuitworthiness Interpretation is flawed and inconsistent with Peirce’s naturalistic explanation for the possibility of science and his view about the limitations of classical scientific method. Changing the exegetical locus classicus from the logical form of abduction to insight and economy of research, I argue for the Unified Interpretation according to which abduction includes both instinctive hypotheses-generation and rule-governed hypotheses-ranking. I show that the Unified Interpretation is immune to the objections raised successfully against the Generative and the Pursuitworthiness interpretations. (shrink)
Some commentators have condemned Kant’s moral project from a feminist perspective based on Kant’s apparently dim view of women as being innately morally deﬁcient. Here I will argue that although his remarks concerning women are unsettling at ﬁrst glance, a more detailed and closer examination shows that Kant’s view of women is actually far more complex and less unsettling than that attributed to him by various feminist critics. My argument, then, undercuts the justiﬁcation for the severe feminist critique of Kant’s (...) moral project. (shrink)
In recent years there has been a revitalised interest in non-classical solutions to the semantic paradoxes. In this paper I show that a number of logics are susceptible to a strengthened version of Curry's paradox. This can be adapted to provide a proof theoretic analysis of the omega-inconsistency in Lukasiewicz's continuum valued logic, allowing us to better evaluate which logics are suitable for a naïve truth theory. On this basis I identify two natural subsystems of Lukasiewicz logic which individually, but (...) not jointly, lack the problematic feature. (shrink)
How does Aristotle view the production of females? The prevailing view is that Aristotle thinks female births are teleological failures of a process aiming to produce males. However, as I argue, that is not a view Aristotle ever expresses, and it blatantly contradicts what he does explicitly say about female births: Aristotle believes that females are and come to be for the sake of something, namely, reproduction. I argue that an alternative to that prevailing view, according to which the embryo’s (...) sex is determined solely by “non-teleological necessity,” also misrepresents Aristotle’s view. As I show, the explanation Aristotle gives is more sophisticated and less egalitarian than the alternative account allows: There is some sense in which males are, for Aristotle, the “default” result. I offer instead an interpretation that can accommodate the asymmetry between Aristotle’s biological account of the production of males and females, but which does not imply that females are thereby teleological failures. There is no doubt that Aristotle thinks females are inferior to males in many respects. However, if he thinks that inferiority is grounded in biological facts, it is not the fact that females are the results of a failure of form to be realized. (shrink)
This chapter argues for an interpretation of Kant's psychology of moral evil that accommodates the so-called excluded middle cases and allows for variations in the magnitude of evil. The strategy involves distinguishing Kant's transcendental psychology from his empirical psychology and arguing that Kant's character rigorism is restricted to the transcendental level. The chapter also explains how Kant's theory of moral evil accommodates 'the badass'; someone who does evil for evil's sake.
Pascal’s Wager does not exist in a Platonic world of possible gods, abstract probabilities and arbitrary payoffs. Real decision-makers, such as Pascal’s “man of the world” of 1660, face a range of religious options they take to be serious, with fixed probabilities grounded in their evidence, and with utilities that are fixed quantities in actual minds. The many ingenious objections to the Wager dreamed up by philosophers do not apply in such a real decision matrix. In the situation Pascal addresses, (...) the Wager is a good bet. In the situation of a modern Western intellectual, the reasoning of the Wager is still powerful, though the range of options and the actions indicated are not the same as in Pascal’s day. (shrink)
In 2009, Scott S. Reuben was convicted of fabricating data, which lead to 25 of his publications being retracted. Although it is clear that the perpetuation of retracted articles negatively effects the appraisal of evidence, the extent to which retracted literature is cited had not previously been investigated. In this study, to better understand the perpetuation of discredited research, we examine the number of citations of Reuben’s articles within 5 years of their retraction. Citations of Reuben’s retracted articles were assessed (...) using the Web of Science Core Collection. All citing articles were screened to discriminate between articles in which Reuben’s work was quoted as retracted, and articles in which his data was wrongly cited without any note of the retraction status. Twenty of Reuben’s publications had been cited 274 times between 2009 and 1024. In 2014, 45 % of the retracted articles had been cited at least once. In only 25.8 % of citing articles was it clearly stated that Reuben’s work had been retracted. Annual citations decreased from 108 in 2009 to 18 in 2014; however, the percentage of publications correctly indicating the retraction status also declined. The percentage of citations in top-25 %-journals, as well as the percentage of citations in journals from Reuben’s research area, declined sharply after 2009. Our data show that even 5 years after their retraction, nearly half of Reuben’s articles are still being quoted and the retraction status is correctly mentioned in only one quarter of the citations. (shrink)
There are three questions associated with Simpson’s Paradox (SP): (i) Why is SP paradoxical? (ii) What conditions generate SP?, and (iii) What should be done about SP? By developing a logic-based account of SP, it is argued that (i) and (ii) must be divorced from (iii). This account shows that (i) and (ii) have nothing to do with causality, which plays a role only in addressing (iii). A counterexample is also presented against the causal account. Finally, the causal and logic-based (...) approaches are compared by means of an experiment to show that SP is not basically causal. (shrink)
The existence of singularities alerts that one of the highest priorities of a centennial perspective on general relativity should be a careful re-thinking of the validity domain of Einstein’s field equations. We address the problem of constructing distinguishable extensions of the smooth spacetime manifold model, which can incorporate singularities, while retaining the form of the field equations. The sheaf-theoretic formulation of this problem is tantamount to extending the algebra sheaf of smooth functions to a distribution-like algebra sheaf in which the (...) former may be embedded, satisfying the pertinent cohomological conditions required for the coordinatization of all of the tensorial physical quantities, such that the form of the field equations is preserved. We present in detail the construction of these distribution-like algebra sheaves in terms of residue classes of sequences of smooth functions modulo the information of singular loci encoded in suitable ideals. Finally, we consider the application of these distribution-like solution sheaves in geometrodynamics by modeling topologically-circular boundaries of singular loci in three-dimensional space in terms of topological links. It turns out that the Borromean link represents higher order wormhole solutions. (shrink)
To vindicate morality against skeptical doubts, Kant must show that agents can be moved to act independently of their sensible desires. Kant must therefore answer a motivational question: how does an agent get from the cognition that she ought to act morally to acting morally? Affectivist interpretations of Kant hold that agents are moved to act by feelings, while intellectualists appeal to cognition alone. To overcome the significant shortcomings of each view, I develop a hybrid theory of motivation. My central (...) interpretive claim is that Kant is a special kind of motivational internalist: on his view, agents are moved to act by a feeling of intellectual pleasure at the prospect of accomplishing a task they have set for themselves, a feeling that originates in free choice. The resulting theory is immune to the challenges facing intellectualism and affectivism, thus strengthening the prospects of Kant’s justification of morality. (shrink)
It is sometimes claimed that the Bayesian framework automatically implements Ockham’s razor—that conditionalizing on data consistent with both a simple theory and a complex theory more or less inevitably favours the simpler theory. It is shown here that the automatic razor doesn’t in fact cut it for certain mundane curve-fitting problems.
This book arose from the author’s recent dissertation written under the Gerhard Schonrich at Munich. It focuses on Peirce’s theory of categories and his epistemology. According to Baltzer, what is distinctive in Peirce’s theory of knowledge is that he reconstrues objects as “knots in networks of relations.” The phrase may ring a bell. It suggests a structuralist interpretation of Peirce, influenced by the Munich environs. The study aims to shows how Peirce’s theory of categories supports his theory of knowledge and (...) how “question concerning a priori structures of knowledge” are transformed within this relational framework. A chief critical target is David Savan’s semiotics, specifically the idea that “the multiplicity of development of the categories” is “conditioned by nothing but the indefiniteness of the categories.”1 But in contrast with this, if there is any indefiniteness in the categories, they cannot fully direct their own application, and this is to say regarding them “that our knowledge is never absolute but always swims, as it were, in a continuum...”2 If the doctrine of continuity applies to the categories, they also have a continuum to swim in. (shrink)
This work runs counter to the traditional interpretations of Peirce's philosophy by eliciting an inherent strand of pragmatic pluralism that is embedded in the very core of his thought and that weaves his various doctrines into a systematic ...
This is a proposal for rethinking the main lines of Plato’s philosophy, including some of the conceptual tools he uses for building and maintaining it. Drawing on a new interpretive paradigm for Plato’s overall vision, the central focus is on the so-called Forms. Regarding the guiding paradigm, we propose replacing the dualism of a world of Forms separated from a world of particulars, with the monistic model of a hierarchically structured universe comprising interdependent levels of reality. Regarding the tools of (...) the trade, we distinguish between three constructs that have come, one and all, and largely indiscriminately, to be regarded as Forms: Ideal Forms, Conceptual Forms, and Relational Forms. This recalibration of what we know of Plato’s outlook, tools, and methods, together with a realignment of these with his general aims, will also help restore the philosopher’s emphasis on that which is good, a perspective often blurred in the structure of two worlds. (shrink)
A surprising fact in the historiography of the Hispanic philosophy of this century is its almost total opacity towards the American philosophy, in spite of the real affinity between the central questions of American pragmatism and the topics addressed by the most relevant Hispanic thinkers of the century: Unamuno, Ortega y Gasset, d'Ors, Vaz Ferreira. In this paper that situation is studied, paying special attention to Charles S. Peirce, his personal connections with the Hispanic world, the reception of his texts (...) in Spanish, and some of the connections that lie almost hidden under the mutual ignorance which divides the two traditions. -/- . (shrink)
Any great new theoretical framework has an epistemological and an ontological aspect to its philosophy as well as an axiological one, and one needs to understand all three aspects in order to grasp the deep aspiration and idea of the theoretical framework. Presently, there is a widespread effort to understand C. S. Peirce's (1837–1914) pragmaticistic semeiotics, and to develop it by integrating the results of modern science and evolutionary thinking; first, producing a biosemiotics and, second, by integrating it with the (...) progress in cybernetics, information science, and system theory to create a cybersemiotics. In this paper, we focus on the understanding of the evolution of the universe that Peirce produced as an alternative to the mechanistic view underlying classical physics and try to place man in an evolving universe as a creative, aesthetical agent. It is true that modern non-equilibrium physics has made a modern foundation for a profound physical understanding of the basic evolutionary processes in the universe. But science still has not produced a theory that can explain how the creativity of the universe could produce signification, interpretation, and first-person consciousness. To this end, Peirce's thoughts on agapastic evolution coupled with the aesthetically influence of the growth of ideas and reasonableness on man could make a contribution. (shrink)
In this paper I examine parallels between C.S. Peirce's most mature account of signs and contemporary philosophy of language. I do this by first introducing a summary of Peirce's final account of Signs. I then use that account of signs to reconstruct Peircian answers to two puzzles of reference: The Problem of Cognitive Significance, or Frege's Puzzle; and The Same-Saying Phenomenon for Indexicals. Finally, a comparison of these Peircian answers with both Fregean and Direct Referentialist approaches to the puzzles highlights (...) interesting parallels and important differences between Peirce's final account of signs, and the concepts used in analytic philosophy of language. (shrink)
Fifty years after the publication of Bell's theorem, there remains some controversy regarding what the theorem is telling us about quantum mechanics, and what the experimental violations of Bell inequalities are telling us about the world. This chapter represents my best attempt to be clear about what I think the lessons are. In brief: there is some sort of nonlocality inherent in any quantum theory, and, moreover, in any theory that reproduces, even approximately, the quantum probabilities for the outcomes of (...) experiments. But not all forms of nonlocality are the same; there is a distinction to be made between action at a distance and other forms of nonlocality, and I will argue that the nonlocality required to violate the Bell inequalities need not involve action at a distance. Furthermore, the distinction between forms of nonlocality makes a difference when it comes to compatibility with relativistic causal structure. (shrink)
The article uses Zeno’s metrical paradox of extension, or Zeno’s fundamental paradox, as a thought-model for the mind-body problem. With the help of this model, the distinction contained between mental and physical phenomena can be formulated as sharply as possible. I formulate Zeno’s fundamental paradox and give a sketch of four different solutions to it. Then I construct a mind-body paradox corresponding to the fundamental paradox. Through that, it becomes possible to copy the solutions to the fundamental paradox on the (...) mind-body paradox. Three of them fail. But one of them – the Aristotelian one – gives us an interesting hint. Finally, this hint is pursued somewhat further and through comparison with Zeno’s fundamental paradox, the impossibility of a solution to the mind-body problem is shown again. The main new point of this article is the comparison of the mind-body problem with Zeno’s fundamental paradox. The article is a revised english version of an article published in: Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie, 23, 1998, p. 61-75. (shrink)
Some contemporary intepreters of Kant maintain that on Kant's view fulfilling duties of virtue require doing so from the motive of duty. I argue that there are interpretive and doctinal reasons for rejecting this interpretation. However, I argue that for Kant motives can be deontically relevant; one's motives can affect the deontic status of actions.
Wittgenstein’s interpreters are undivided that the method plays a central role in his philosophy. This would be no surprise if we have in mind the Tractarian dictum: “philosophy is not a body of doctrine but an activity” (4.112). After 1929, Wittgenstein’s method evolved further. In its final form, articulated in Philosophical Investigations, it was formulated as different kinds of therapies of specific philosophical problems that torment our life (§§ 133, 255, 593). In this paper we follow the changes in Wittgenstein’s (...) thinking in four subsequent phases and in three dimensions: (i) in logic and ontology; (ii) in method proper; (iii) in style. (shrink)