Anyone who has pondered the limitlessness of space and time, or the endlessness of numbers, or the perfection of God will recognize the special fascination of this question. Adrian Moore's historical study of the infinite covers all its aspects, from the mathematical to the mystical.
A. W. Moore argues in this bold, unusual, and ambitious book that it is possible to think about the world from no point of view. His argument involves discussion of a very wide range of fundamental philosophical issues, including the nature of persons, the subject-matter of mathematics, realism and anti-realism, value, the inexpressible, and God. The result is a powerful critique of our own finitude.
In this essay I consider the argument that Bernard Williams advances in ‘The Makropolus Case’ for the meaninglessness of immortality. I also consider various counter-arguments. I suggest that the more clearly these counter-arguments are targeted at the spirit of Williams's argument, rather than at its letter, the less clearly they pose a threat to it. I then turn to Nietzsche, whose views about the eternal recurrence might appear to make him an opponent of Williams. I argue that, properly interpreted, these (...) views in fact make him an ally. (shrink)
[A. W. Moore] There are criteria of ineffability whereby, even if the concept of ineffability can never serve to modify truth, it can sometimes serve to modify other things, specifically understanding. This allows for a reappraisal of the dispute between those who adopt a traditional reading of Wittgenstein's Tractatus and those who adopt the new reading recently championed by Diamond, Conant, and others. By maintaining that what the nonsense in the Tractatus is supposed to convey is ineffable understanding, rather than (...) ineffable truth, we can do considerable justice to each of these readings. We can also do considerable justice to the Tractatus. /// [Peter Sullivan] Moore proposes to cut between 'traditional' and 'new' approaches to the Tractatus, suggesting that Wittgenstein's intention is to convey, through the knowing use of nonsense, ineffable understanding. I argue, first, that there is indeed room for a proposal of Moore's general kind. Secondly, though, I question whether Moore's actual proposal is not more in tune with Wittgenstein's later thought than with the attitude of the Tractatus. (shrink)
We identify a species of experiment—Kon-Tiki experiments—used to demonstrate the competence of a cause to produce a certain effect, and we examine their role in the historical sciences. We argue that Kon-Tiki experiments are used to test middle-range theory, to test assumptions within historical narratives, and to open new avenues of inquiry. We show how the results of Kon-Tiki experiments are involved in projective inferences, and we argue that reliance on projective inferences does not provide historical scientists with any special (...) protection against the problem of unconceived alternatives. (shrink)
Seeing with Ears, Hearing with Eyes. How Technology Molds Synesthesia Within Us -/- The subject of consideration within this lecture is the contribution of existing scientific discoveries on the visual and musical connection within the perceptual plane. Points of reference are the studies of Amir Amedi, Jacob Jolij and Maaieke Meurs, Harry McGurk, as well as, the works of Iwona Sowińska, Roger Scruton, Oliver Sacks, and a cultural analysis of Joshua Bell’s performance. I will also consider how the senses effect (...) each other, pursuing the diversified reception of vision, which consists of the sense of hearing [sic!], on which I would like to focus attention. -/- Paper structure: Introduction to key concepts in the fields of research and development, The visual outlook on hearing, The aural perspective on vision, Relationships to related sciences, Summary of multimedia examples, An attempt to extend the “techno-view” to the auditory senses within synesthesia. (shrink)
This article is an installment in an ongoing debate between me and Hägglund. Both here and throughout our exchanges, I argue on behalf of Freud and Lacan against Hägglund's Derrida-inspired critique of psychoanalysis. Prior to the appearance of Hägglund's 2012 book Dying for Time, the back-and-forth between us centered primarily around the issue of just how atheistic Freudian-Lacanian analysis really is in light of the Derridean-Hägglundian ‘radical atheism’ delineated by Hägglund's 2008 book of that title. In this piece, which focuses (...) on the final chapter of Dying for Time, I carry out two interrelated tasks. First, I highlight what I allege to be certain limitations to Hägglund's Derridean ‘chronolibidinalism’ preventing it from doing full justice to the multiple dimensions of psychoanalysis both theoretical and clinical. Second, I offer interpretations of Freud and Lacan sharply contrasting with the readings of these two figures presented by Hägglund in Dying for Time as well as his other texts engaging with analysis. Moreover, in the process, I defend my version of Freudian-Lacanian drive theory as per my 2005 book Time Driven: Metapsychology and the Splitting of the Drive in the face of Hägglund's explicit criticisms of it. (shrink)
Do Russellian propositions have their constituents as parts? One reason for thinking not is that if they did, they would generate apparent counterexamples to plausible mereological principles. As Frege noted, they would be in tension with the transitivity of parthood. A certain small rock is a part of Etna but not of the proposition that Etna is higher than Vesuvius. So, if Etna were a part of the given proposition, parthood would fail to be transitive. As William Bynoe has noted (...) (speaking of facts rather than propositions), they would seem to violate certain supplementation principles. Consider the singular proposition, concerning identity, that it is identical with itself. Given the relevant form of Russellianism, this proposition would have identity as a proper part, but it would not have any parts disjoint from identity, and indeed it would not have even a single pair of disjoint parts, in violation of various supplementation principles. This chapter offers a unified solution to the problems about transitivity and supplementation. One key ingredient in the solution is the view that parthood is a four-place relation expressed by ‘x at y is a part of z at w’. Another key ingredient is the view that the semantic contents of predicates and sentential connectives have ‘slots’ or ‘argument positions’ in them. (Both ingredients are independently motivated elsewhere.) Four-place analogues of the transitivity and supplementation principles are set out, and it is argued that these are not threatened by the examples from Frege and Bynoe. (shrink)
Artykuł zawiera prezentację teorii konstruktywizmu metaetycznego Sharon Street i stanowi próbę ustalenia, czy koncepcja ta posiada status adekwatnej teorii metaetycznej pociągającej wiarygodne konsekwencje normatywne. W toku analizy okazuje się, że konstruktywizm Street jest stanowiskiem niedookreślonym w szczegółach, a jego relacja do ekspresywizmu pozostaje niejasna. Normatywne konsekwencje konstruktywizmu głębokiego są nieintuicyjne i kontrowersyjne – przede wszystkim dlatego, że teoria ta uzależnia sferę powinności od dokonywanych przez jednostkę wartościowań, o ile tylko wartościowania te są ze sobą wzajemnie spójne i są instrumentalnie racjonalne (...) w świetle prozaicznych faktów. Konstruktywizm pada ofiarą problemu autoreferencji, który to problem może być sformułowany w postaci następującego pytania: czy konstruktywistyczne ujęcie warunków prawdziwości twierdzeń normatywnych wynika z każdego praktycznego punktu widzenia, czy też jego trafność jest niezależna od praktycznego punktu widzenia w ogóle? Problem jest poważny, ponieważ stawia pod znakiem zapytania wewnętrzną spójność dyskutowanego stanowiska. Ponadto jest rzeczą wątpliwą, czy konstruktywizm jest najmocniejszym poglądem antyrealistycznym w metaetyce – wydaje się, że teorie odwołujące się do reakcji podmiotów znajdujących się w idealnych okolicznościach posiadają przewagę. Te ostatnie są zasadnie bardziej restrykcyjne w dziedzinie etyki normatywnej, nie wchodzą w konflikt z wnioskami wyciąganymi przez Street z tzw. dylematu darwinowskiego oraz w mniejszym stopniu niż konstruktywizm dopuszczają wpływ nieistotnych procesów przyczynowych. (shrink)
A case study of growers conception of irrigation strategies indicates that pot plant growers in Scandinavia base their management approaches on experientially based art. The study also indicates that there is a gap between experientially based art and available greenhouse technology. In order to standardize production and produce quality, both the growerâs experience and available technology should be taken into account. In order to achieve this, the present study proposes to arrange reflection on reflection in action with a group of (...) growers by means of the dialogue seminar method. The concept of reflection on reflection in action is novel to horticultural practice. Therefore, we suggest future inter- and multidisciplinary research within this domain. (shrink)
The article is a critical commentary on explication of the notion of law of nature based on the concept of counterfactual proposition. The view in question was originally proposed in the 40’s of past century by Roderick M. Chisholm and Nelson Goodman (further referred to as ‘CG criterion’) and has been popular among philosophers ever since.
Adrian Miaskowski należy do wybitniejszych jezuitów polskich na przełomie XVII i XVIII w. Był pedagogiem, autorem Dialektyki, płodnym pisarzem w dziedzinie teologii, rektorem kilku kolegiów i prowincjałem jezuitów. W dotychczasowej literaturze istnieje na jego temat sporo dłuższych lub krótszych tekstów i wzmianek, a jego nazwisko figuruje w wielu encyklopediach i słownikach, na czele z Polskim Słownikiem Biograficznym. Jednakże jego poglądy filozoficzne nie były dotąd przedmiotem zainteresowania. Niniejsze krótkie opracowanie ma za cel wypełnić tę lukę. Zawiera biografię Miaskowskiego, przegląd treści (...) Dialektyki i zawartych w niej poglądów, oceny Dialektyki oraz omówienie elementów filozofii człowieka i filozofii Boga, zawartych w traktatach teologicznych Miaskowskiego. (shrink)
PYRRHONIAN BUDDHISM: AN IMAGINATIVE RECONSTRUCTION -/- Author: -/- Adrian Kuzminski 279 Donlon Road Fly Creek, NY 13337 USA -/- Description of Pyrrhonian Buddhism: -/- The ancient Greek sceptic philosopher, Pyrrho of Elis, accompanied Alexander the Great to India, where he had contacts with Indian sages, so-called naked philosophers (gymnosophists), among whom were very probably Buddhist mendicants, or sramanas. My work, entitled Pyrrhonian Buddhism, takes seriously the hypothesis that Pyrrho’s contact with early Buddhists was the occasion of his rethinking, in (...) a Greek philosophical idiom, of what he experienced in those encounters. This has major implications for our understanding of both Buddhism and Pyrrhonism. -/- Pyrrho’s rethinking of Buddhism, I argue, enabled him to introduce into Greek philosophy and culture several key Buddhist notions. These include the primacy and interdependence of immediate phenomenal experience (which the Buddhists called dependent origination), the suspension of judgment about beliefs lacking phenomenal verification (reflecting the scepticism of the Buddha about ‘unanswered’ or ‘metaphysical’ questions), and the promise of personal enlightenment said to follow such suspension, which Pyrrho called ataraxia, and the Buddhists called bodhi. -/- Pyrrho, like Socrates, wrote nothing, but the movement he founded—Pyrrhonism--became an important tradition in Western philosophy. When the texts of later Pyrrhonian philosophers, particularly Sextus Empiricus, were redicovered during the Renaissance, they sparked a reexamination of the foundations of knowledge, thereby helping to prompt the modern scientific revolution. -/- The notion that early Buddhism played a pivotal role in the birth of ancient Greek Pyrrhonian philosophy remains provocative, but has found increasing support in recent years. An earlier work of mine, Pyrrhonism: How the Ancient Greeks Reinvented Buddhism (Lexington Books, 2008), was, as far as I know, the first book-length comparison of the common features of the two traditions. My current work, Pyrrhonian Buddhism, seeks to broaden and deepen this comparison. It argues that ancient Greek Pyrrhonism is best understood as a fully developed but hitherto largely unrecognized Western version of Buddhism. -/- The Introduction reviews our current understanding of Pyrrhonism in light of recent scholarship on ancient Greek-Indian cultural exchanges, and outlines the methodology I employ. -/- Part I of the book offers re-readings of the classic Pyrrhonian texts, with parallels to Buddhism in mind, including Diogenes Laertius (Chapter One), Sextus Empiricus (Chapter Two) and Timon and Aulus Gellius (Chapter Three). -/- Part II enlists the rubric of the Three Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma to illuminate the fundamental points of comparison between early Buddhism and ancient Pyrrhonism. -/- The First Turning (Chapter Four) centers on the Buddhist insistence on the dependent origination of the objects of immediate consciousness, which can also be found in the understanding of immediate experience expressed in the phenomenalistic atomism of the Pyrrhonists. The Second Turning (Chapter Five), as posed by the ‘unanswered questions’ of the Buddha and the ‘emptiness’ of the Madhyamaka, finds its Pyrrhonian correlation in the suspension of judgment over ‘indeterminate’ beliefs. And the Third Turning (Chapter Six), reported as bodhi in Buddhism and ataraxia in Pyrrhonism, is shown in both traditions to follow liberation from suffering and existential angst, caused by what the Buddhists call our attachments and the Pyrrhonists call our beliefs. -/- Other Writers/Commentators: -/- Aspects of the Pyrrhonian/Buddhism question have been addressed by Edward Conze, Everard Flintoff, Thomas McEvilley, Jay Garfield, Mathew Neale, Ethan Mills, Christopher Beckwith, and Robin Brons, among other recent writers. The book-length studies on the issue (since my earlier work) are by Beckwith (Greek Buddha) and Neal (Madhyamaka and Pyrrhonism). Other writers/scholars with relevant expertise include C. W. Huntington, Jr., Charles Goodman, Stephen Batchelor, Dan Lusthaus, Rupert Gethin, and Mark Siderits. -/- . (shrink)