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)
This essay was written for a special issue of Philosophical Topics on the links between Kant and analytic philosophy. It explores these links through consideration of: Wittgenstein’s Tractatus; the logical positivism endorsed by Ayer; and the (very different) variation on that theme endorsed by Quine. It is argued that in all three cases we see analytic philosophers trying to attain and express a general philosophical understanding of why the bounds of sense should be drawn where they should—but thereby confronting the (...) aporia, which Kant too confronted, that it is impossible to do this without transgressing those very bounds. It is suggested in conclusion that the problem is in trying to attain and express such an understanding; in other words, that such an understanding is attainable, but not expressible. (shrink)
Responding to growing interest in the Kantian tradition and in issues concerning space and time, this volume offers an insightful and original contribution to the literature by bringing together analytical and phenomenological approaches in a productive exchange on topical issues such as action, perception, the body, and cognition and its limits.
Disruptions in chromatin regulator genes are frequently the cause of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Chromatin regulators are widely expressed in the brain, yet symptoms suggest that specific circuits can be preferentially altered when they are mutated. Using Drosophila allows targeted manipulation of chromatin regulators in defined neuronal classes, lineages, or circuits, revealing their roles in neuronal precursor self‐renewal, dendrite and axon targeting, neuron diversification, and the tuning of developmental signaling pathways. Phenotypes arising from chromatin regulator disruption are context dependent – (...) defined by interaction networks between the regulators, transcription factors, and chromatin remodeling complex partners. Future challenges are to determine the complexity of partner interactions, and to ascertain the degree to which cognitive deficits are due to loss of chromatin regulator activity in building a circuit or in maintaining homeostasis and activity within it. (shrink)