Agnes Heller conversó con la Redacción de Areté el 24 de abril de 2003, durante una visita a la Universidad Católica para dictar la Lección Inaugural del Año Académico de la Facultad de Letras y Ciencias Humanas. En la conversación estuvieron presentes los profesores Pepi Patrón, Fidel Tubino y Miguel Giusti.
Aspiration by Agnes Callard locates standing assumptions in the theory of rationality, moral psychology and autonomy that preclude the possibility of working to acquire new values. The book also explains what changes need to be made if we are to make room for this form of agency, which I call aspiration.
This radical analysis of the role and importance of historiography interprets the philosophy and theory of history on the basis of historicity as a human condition. The book examins the norms and methods of historiography from a philosophical point of view, but rejects generalisations tht the philosophy of history can provide all the answers to contemporary problems. Instead it outlines a feasible theory of history which is still radical enough to apply to all social structures.
Freud, Psychoanalysis and Symbolism offers an innovative general theory of symbolism, derived from Freud's psychoanalytic theory and relocated within mainstream scientific psychology. It is the first systematic investigation of the development of Freud's treatment of symbolism throughout his published works, and discovers in those writings a broad theory which is far superior to the widely accepted, narrow, 'official' view. Agnes Petocz argues that the treatment of symbolism must begin with the identification and clarification of a set of logical constraints and (...) psychological requirements which any general theory of symbolism must respect, and that these requirements have been neglected by existing accounts across a number of disciplines. Her newly proposed 'Freudian broad' theory of symbolism, by contrast, does meet these requirements, but only after it has been rehabilitated within a revised psychoanalytic context, encompassing major changes to our understanding of the concepts of unconscious and repression and the role of language. (shrink)
Agnes Heller is one of the leading thinkers to come out of the tradition of critical theory. Her awesome intellectual range and output includes ethics, philosophical anthropology, political philosophy and a theory of modernity and its culture. Hungarian by birth, she was one of the best known dissident Marxists in central Europe in the 1960's and 1970's. Since her forced immigration she has held visiting lectureships all over the world and has been the Hannah Arendt Professor of Philosophy at the (...) New School in New York for the last twenty years. This introduction to her thought is ideal for all students of philosophy, political theory and sociology. Grumley explores Heller's early work, elaborating her relation to Lukacs and the evolution of her own version of Marxism. He examines the subsequent break with Marxism and the initial development of an alternative radical philosophy. Finally, he explains and assesses her mature reflective post-modernism, a perspective that is both sceptical and utopian, that upholds a critical humanist perspective just as it critiques contemporary democratic culture. (shrink)
This "open letter" examines Agnes Heller's seemingly ambivilent position on feminism, as well as her pedegogy, her reading of Plato, her "ethics of personality," and her positions on critique and on "everyday life.".
Agnes Arber's international reputation is due in part to her exceptional ability to interpret the German tradition of scholarship for the English-speaking world. The Mind and the Eye is an erudite book, revealing its author's familiarity with philosophy from Plato and Aristotle through Aquinas to Kant and Hegel; but it is not dull, because the quiet enthusiasm of the author shines through. In this book she turns from the work of a specialist in one science to those wider questions which (...) any scientist must ask at intervals. What, in short, is the relationship between the eye that sees and the mind that weighs and pronounces? An important feature of this Cambridge Science Classics reissue is the introduction provided by Professor P. R. Bell, who as a Cambridge botany student at the time that Agnes Arber was writing The Natural Philosopby of Plant Form, is uniquely able to set The Mind and the Eye in the context of contemporary biological research. (shrink)
BackgroundInformed consent as stipulated in regulatory human research guidelines requires that a volunteer is well-informed about what will happen to them in a trial. However researchers are faced with a challenge of how to ensure that a volunteer agreeing to take part in a clinical trial is truly informed. We conducted a qualitative study among volunteers taking part in two HIV clinical trials in Uganda to find out how they defined informed consent and their perceptions of the trial procedures, study (...) information and interactions with the research team.MethodsBetween January and December 2012, 23 volunteers who had been in the two trials for over 6 months, consented to be interviewed about their experience in the trial three times over a period of nine months. They also took part in focus group discussions. Themes informed by study research questions and emerging findings were used for content analysis.ResultsVolunteers defined the informed consent process in terms of their individual welfare. Only two of the volunteers reported having referred during the trial to the participant information sheets given at the start of the trial. Volunteers remembered the information they had been given at the start of the trial on procedures that involved drawing blood and urine samples but not information about study design and randomisation. Volunteers said that they had understood the purpose of the trial. They said that signing a consent form showed that they had consented to take part in the trial but they also described it as being done to protect the researcher in case a volunteer later experienced side effects.ConclusionVolunteers pay more attention during the consent process to procedures requiring biological tests than to study design issues. Trust built between volunteers and the research team could enhance the successful conduct of clinical trials by allowing for informal discussions to identify and review volunteers’ perceptions. These results point to the need for researchers to view informed consent as a process rather than an event. (shrink)
The ecological approach to object pretend play, developed from the ecological perspective, suggests an action- and affordance based perspective to account for pretend object play. Theoretical, as well as empirical reasons, support the view that children in pretense incorporate objects into their play in a resourceful and functionally appropriate way based on the perception of affordances. Therefore, in pretense children are not distorting reality but rather, they are perceiving and acting upon action possibilities. In this paper, we argue for the (...) viability of an ecological theoretical framework to pretend object play which has been traditionally understood as a representational and metarepresentational ability. We discuss the origins and basic assumptions of the ecological approach to pretense. We layout details by presenting a qualitative analysis of a pretend play episode and discuss the results of an experimental study inspired by the ecological assumptions. We discuss pretend object play in the context of ecological work on tool use. We address the relationship between the enactive and the ecological approaches to pretend play, pointing out similarities as well as differences. We conclude that ecological and enactive approaches have shown that it is possible to challenge accepted interpretations and seek explanatory frameworks that could move the field in new directions. (shrink)
The association of celebrity worship with mental health concerns has been extensively studied in the past two decades. However, there is a lack of research on basic demographic characteristics that can potentially alter the link between celebrity admiration and different aspects of mental health. The present study investigates the possible moderating role of gender, age, and opposite/same-gender celebrity selection on the association of celebrity worship with general well-being, self-esteem and perceived daytime sleepiness. A total of 1763 Hungarian adults completed an (...) online survey focusing on attitudes and behaviors relating to celebrities and mental well-being. The moderation analysis showed that the negative association between celebrity worship and self-esteem was slightly stronger for women than for men, and the association between celebrity worship and perceived daytime sleepiness was slightly stronger for younger individuals than for older ones. Although both gender and age were particularly weak moderators, these results draw the attention to some potential individual differences when interpreting links between celebrity worship and different aspects of mental health. (shrink)
A lively debate in the literature on moral progress concerns the role of practical reasoning: Does it enable or subvert moral progress? Rationalists believe that moral reasoning enables moral progress, because it helps enhance objectivity in thinking, overcome unruly sentiments, and open our minds to new possibilities. By contrast, skeptics argue that moral reasoning subverts moral progress. Citing growing empirical research on bias, they show that objectivity is an illusion and that moral reasoning merely rationalizes pre-existing biased moral norms. In (...) this article, I argue that both the rationalists and the skeptics fail to understand fully the role of practical reasoning by focusing exclusively on moral reasoning to the neglect of social reasoning. In the first half of the article, I argue against the skeptics by vindicating moral reasoning. I identify a Democratic Model of moral reasoning which is reliable and effective in overcoming bias. In the second part of the article, I argue against the rationalists. Drawing on a paradigmatic case of moral progress, i.e., the British abolition of the slave trade, I illustrate that moral reasoning, even when sound, is insufficient to motivate progressive action. The explanation for this puzzling phenomenon is not that the moral norm against cruelty is inert, as skeptics might suggest. Rather, it is that the moral norm against cruelty was overridden by the social norm of slavery which was tied to the British joint commitments to freedom and national honour. The debate between rationalists and skeptics centers around the moral rationality of human action, failing to recognize that human action is in fact primarily about social rationality. I defend a joint commitment account of social rationality, and offer a novel Communitarian Model of social reasoning which follows the logic of social rationality to revise social norms. I defend the reliability and efficacy of the Communitarian Model of social reasoning by applying it to the abolitionist social movement to show how Britons gave fellow Britons social reasons grounded in their joint commitments to freedom and national honour to end slavery. (shrink)
Agnès Bastit | : La présente contribution s’intéresse au micro-récit évangélique transmis par les Synoptiques et l’Évangile selon Thomas, qui met en scène un conflit pour la soustraction de « biens » à un « Fort » qui les détient. L’étude s’adonne dans un premier temps à une analyse des diverses formes textuelles sous lesquelles cet apologue a initialement circulé, puis à une enquête sur les diverses lectures et utilisations théologiques du thème dans l’oeuvre d’Irénée à la fin du iie (...) siècle et, au-delà, de quelques-uns de ses contemporains ou continuateurs. Du point de vue du panorama de la présence du verset et de l’histoire de son interprétation dans l’Église ancienne, la recherche a tendu à être exhaustive en ce qui concerne les trois premiers siècles, mais reste indicative pour les quatrième et cinquième siècles. La diffusion du récit dans l’Église ancienne est liée à sa fonction kérygmatique : l’économie de la rédemption de l’homme, injustement détenu par le diable, s’y trouve représentée par une action simple et efficace, reliant la vivification ultime de l’homme à sa formation puis captivité initiales, à travers le moment décisif de la libération de l’homme. | : This presentation deals with a microstory — passed down by the Synoptic gospels and the Gospel of Thomas — about a conflict due to the plundering of the “goods” possessed by a “strong one”. Our study begins with an analysis of the different textual forms in which this story circulated initially ; there follows an investigation into the various theological readings and uses of that theme in Irenaeus’s work at the end of the 2nd century, and also in the works of some of his contemporaries or later upholders of his theses. As for the general presence of that verse and the history of its interpretation in the ancient Church, research has been fairly exhaustive with regard to the first three centuries, but it remains only indicative for the 4th and 5th centuries. The propagation of that story in the ancient Church is closely related to its kerygmatic function : a simple, efficacious act sums up the economy of redemption, the rescue of man unjustly kept prisoner by the devil ; thus the story connects the ultimate revitalisation of man to his initial formation and subsequent captivity by recalling the decisive moment of man’s liberation. (shrink)
Humans seem to readily track their conspecifics’ mental states, such as their goals and beliefs from early infancy. However, the underlying cognitive architecture that enables such powerful abilities remains unclear. Here I will propose that a basic representational structure, the belief file, could provide the foundation for efficiently encoding, and updating information about, others’ beliefs in online social interactions. I will discuss the representational possibilities offered by the belief file and the ways in which the repertoire of mental state reasoning (...) is shaped by the characteristics of its constituents. A series of questions will be outlined concerning the representational skeleton of the belief file, sketching a possible structure that supports the rapid encoding and re-identification of belief related information. After analyzing the possible limitations of the belief attribution system, I will examine some of its characteristics that might enable a flexibility that is often neglected. I will suggest that operations involving belief files are not impeded by the absence of precise first-person information regarding their contents. In fact, the system permits manipulations with “empty” belief files, allowing humans to ascribe beliefs to conspecifics based on little or no direct information regarding the content of the mental state. Such an analysis aims to advance our understanding of how spontaneous belief attribution may be performed, and to provide an insight into the possible mechanisms that allow humans to successfully navigate the social world. (shrink)
Objections to the use of historical case studies for philosophical ends fall into two categories. Methodological objections claim that historical accounts and their uses by philosophers are subject to various biases. We argue that these challenges are not special; they also apply to other epistemic practices. Metaphysical objections, on the other hand, claim that historical case studies are intrinsically unsuited to serve as evidence for philosophical claims, even when carefully constructed and used, and so constitute a distinct class of challenge. (...) We show that attention to what makes for a canonical case can address these problems. A case study is canonical with respect to a particular philosophical aim when the features relevant to that aim provide a reasonably complete causal account of the results of the historical process under investigation. We show how to establish canonicity by evaluating relevant contingencies using two prominent examples from the history of science: Eddington’s confirmation of Einstein’s theory of general relativity using his data from the 1919 eclipse and Watson and Crick’s determination of the structure of DNA. (shrink)
Sometimes we engage in a pursuit before we can fully access its value. When we embark upon, for example, the project of coming to appreciate classical music, we make a foray into a new domain of value. The chapter introduces a new kind of reason—a proleptic reason—to rationalize such large-scale transformative pursuits. The proleptic reasoner is aware of the defect in her appreciation of some value, and feels the need to improve. It is explained that the work done by proleptic (...) reasons cannot be done by more familiar kinds of reasons. The implications of proleptic rationality for reasons-internalism are considered. Internalists hold that what I have reason to do can be arrived at by a procedurally rational extrapolation from my current desires. However, because the act of learning some new form of valuation cannot be analyzed as satisfying the values one already has, proleptic reasons are not internal. (shrink)
In this paper, I take scientific models to be epistemic representations of their target systems. I define an epistemic representation to be a tool for gaining information about its target system and argue that a vehicle’s capacity to provide specific information about its target system—its informativeness—is an essential feature of this kind of representation. I draw an analogy to our ordinary notion of interpretation to show that a user’s aim of faithfully representing the target system is necessary for securing this (...) feature. (shrink)
Agnes Heller continued her commitment to socialist theory, seeking a democratic alternative to the actually existing socialist system in Soviet-type societies in the early 1980s. Heller conceptualized socialism as a long-term social experiment based on social imagination and the radicalization of democracy, which contrasted with the Soviet socialist project on the one hand, and went beyond Western parliamentary systems on the other hand. My aim in this paper is to examine the 1982 pamphlet, Why We Should Maintain the Socialist Objective, (...) and present it as a crucial step that Heller takes to depart from Marxism and explore her post-Marxist socialist theory. This paper will examine the social imagination, radicalization of democracy, and other key ideas elaborated in the pamphlet, linking these ideas to her subsequent book, Dictatorship Over Needs, and her essay ‘The Great Republic’. (shrink)
In this paper, I characterize visual epistemic representations as concrete two- or three-dimensional tools for conveying information about aspects of their target systems or phenomena of interest. I outline two features of successful visual epistemic representation: that the vehicle of representation contain sufficiently accurate information about the phenomenon of interest for the user’s purpose, and that it convey this information to the user in a manner that makes it readily available to her. I argue that actual epistemic representation may involve (...) tradeoffs between these and is successful to the extent that they are present. (shrink)
Many appraisal theories claim that appraisal causes emotion. Critics have rejected this claim because they believe (a) it is incompatible with the claim that appraisal is a part of emotion, (b) it is not empirically supported, (c) it is circular and hence nonempirical, and (d) there are alternative causes. I reply that (a) the causal claim is incompatible with the part claim on some but not all interpretations of the causal claim and the part claim, (b) the lack of empirical (...) support can be remedied, (c) there may even be ways to cope with the circularity problem, and (d) it is unclear to what extent the alternative causes differ from appraisal. (shrink)
Standard dual-process models in the action domain postulate that stimulus-driven processes are responsible for suboptimal behavior because they take them to be rigid and automatic and therefore the default. We propose an alternative dual-process model in which goal-directed processes are the default instead. We then transfer the dual- process logic from the action domain to the emotion domain. This reveals that emotional behavior is often attributed to stimulus-driven processes. Our alternative model submits that goal-directed processes could be the primary determinant (...) of emotional behavior instead. We evaluate the type of empirical evidence required for validating our model and we consider implications of our model for behavior change, encouraging strategies focused on the expectancies and values of action outcomes. (shrink)
Ayahuasca has become a subject of great interest in recent years. Academics, spiritual seekers, communities, and curious individuals have all been intrigued by this topic through either writing about it or direct participation in the contemporary spiritual phenomenon that is ayahuasca, which holds promises of bestowing upon its users profound wisdom or healing. However, what anthropological (but also popular) writings barely comment on are the deviant perceptions that arise out of experiences seeking amelioration or transcendence, and the subjective ways in (...) which those experiences are interpreted. Consequently, I wish to supplement this scope of representation. In this text, I present fieldwork conducted in the Peruvian Amazon amid the Shipibo, focusing on the experiences of the spiritual seekers who came to them in search of healing or self-discovery. I discovered a unique contradiction—participation in Shipibo ayahuasca practices while simultaneously having or developing a negative perception or attitude towards it. These aberrances are held, as I argue herein, (incognizantly) in the expressed attitudes of the Westerners (especially North American and European) as a result of the positivist notions that emerged from the Age of Enlightenment (but are not limited to it). My priority in this article is to present and expound on these atypical associations and place them against a historical (Western) background to elucidate the origin of the thus found and experienced perceptions. (shrink)
The issues touched on in my work range between individual creation and social consciousness. We have entered an age of alienation brought on by specialization, a by-product of the Information Age. This is an age of complexity, when knowledge and ideas are coming in faster than can be assimilated, while disciplines become progressively alienated from each other through specialization. The hard-won knowledge that accumulates undigested, blocking meaningful communication. Clearly defined direction for mankind is lacking. The turn of the century and (...) the next millennium will usher in a troubled environment and a troubled psyche.Making art today is synonymous with assuming responsibility for our fellow man. I am concerned with the fact that we have taken evolution into our own hands. We are the first species that has the ability to consciously alter its evolution, modify itself at will, even put an end to its existence. We have gotten hold of our destiny and our impact on earth is astounding. Because of our tremendous success we are overrunning the planet, squandering its resources. We are young as a species, even younger as a civilization, and like reckless children initiate processes we cannot control. We tend to overproduce, overuse, and quickly tire of things. We also overreact, panic, and self-correct in hindsight. The pluralistic nature of things creates too many variables, confusing the goals to be achieved. Sustained interest and effective action are diminished with the alienation of the individual who feels little potential to interact or identify effectively with society as a whole. Overview for mankind is lacking and as the momentum increases human values tend to decline. Agnes Denes has had over 250 solo and group exhibitions on four continents since 1965. She has participated in such major international exhibitions as Project ’74, Cologne; the 1976 Biennale of Sydney, Australia; Documenta 6 in Kassel, Germany; and the Venice Biennales of 1978 and 1980. In 1989, she received her fourth National Endowment Individual Artist Fellowship. She has published four books, including The Book of Dust—The Beginning and the End of Time and Thereafter. (shrink)
Animal welfare scientific literature has accumulated rapidly in recent years, but bias may exist which influences understanding of progress in the field. We conducted a survey of articles related to animal welfare or well being from an electronic database. From 8,541 articles on this topic, we randomly selected 115 articles for detailed review in four funding categories: government; charity and/or scientific association; industry; and educational organization. Ninety articles were evaluated after unsuitable articles were rejected. The welfare states of animals in (...) new treatments, conventional treatments or control groups with no treatment were classified as high, medium or low according to one or more. More articles were published in which the welfare of animals in new treatments was better than that of animals in the conventional or no treatment groups, demonstrating a positive result bias. Failure to publish studies with negative or inconclusive results may lead to other scientists unnecessarily repeating the research. The authors’ assessments of the welfare state of the groups were similarly rated high, medium or low, and it was found that new treatments were rated lower if the research was funded by industry, and higher when funded by charities, with government funding agencies intermediate. These differences were not evident in the Five Freedoms assessment, demonstrating an authors’ assessment bias that appeared to support the funding agencies’ interests. North American funded publications rated the welfare of animals in New treatments higher and those in a Conventional or No Treatment lower, compared with European-funded publications. It is concluded that preliminary evidence was provided of several forms of publication bias in animal welfare science. (shrink)
Face à la démarche théologique qui commence à partir de concepts dogmatiques existants, E. Schillebeeckx, en renversant cette démarche du déductif à l'inductif, élabore une théologie basée sur l'herméneutique de l'expérience et de la praxis. Ainsi aborde-t-il la question de l'actualisation de la foi, en montrant la relation dialectique entre la tradition de la foi et le contexte où vivent les croyants. Se situant dans le champ culturel asiatique, Agnès Kim rappelle qu'il y a là un champ d'interprétation façonné tout (...) autrement que celui que le christianisme a connu jadis. Mais ce champ asiatique est également en train d'être modifié par les expériences nouvelles qui critiquent aussi l'ensemble de l'expérience acquise. S'imposent ainsi à elle de doubles contextes existentiels qui la conduisent à poser la question des énoncés dogmatiques en situant cette question au sein de ces contextes, qui sont quelque peu en discontinuité par rapport à l'ancien, et qu'elle considère comme paradigmes du contexte interculturel. In face of the theological approach that begins with existing dogmatic concepts, E. Schillebeeckx, in reversing the approach from the deductive to the inductive, develops a theology based on a hermeneutics of experience and praxis. Thus he approaches the question of the actualization of the faith by showing the dialectical relationship between the tradition of faith and the context in which believers live. Putting herself in the Asian cultural context, Agnès Kim reminds us it is a sphere of interpretation that has been fashioned quite differently from the one experienced by Christianity in the past. But this Asian context is also being modified by new experiences that criticize acquired experience as a whole. Twofold existential contexts thus dominate her approach, leading her to raise the question of dogmatic statements while situating the question in these contexts, which are somewhat discontinuous in relation to the former one and which she considers to be paradigms of the intercultural context. (shrink)
Appraisal theories of emotion have two fundamental assumptions: that there are regularities to be discovered between situations and components of emotional episodes, and that the influence of these situations on these components is causally mediated by a mental process called appraisal. Appraisal theories come in different flavors, proposing different to-be-explained phenomena and different underlying mechanisms for the influence of appraisal on the other components.
Il est incontestable que la politique est l'horizon absolu de la pensée de Machiavel. La question, pourtant, est de savoir si, à l'origine de la politique machiavélienne, n'existerait pas une interrogation fondatrice, quoique implicite le plus souvent, sur l'Être. D'une « géométrie du politique », Machiavel tire les figures schématiques de ce que l'on pourrait appeler un formalisme politique. Or, la distinction matière-forme ne peut se concevoir que fondée dans celle de l'Être et du paraître. Dès lors, vouloir comprendre la (...) place accordée par lui à la morale en politique implique d'admettre que Machiavel opère un profond bouleversement métaphysique : celui de la puissance et de l'acte, à travers une pensée nouvelle de l'apparence comme réalité propre du politique. La politique n'est pas un problème moral, mais ontologique. It is unquestionable that politics is the foundation of Machiaveli's thought. The question is however to see if there is not another more fundamental idea, often implicit, at the heart of Machiaveli's political theory : That of 'Being'. Using a « political geometry », Machiaveli shapes schematic figures into what may be called a political formalism. However, the distinction between substance and form can only be understood iffounded on the one between 'Being' and 'appearing'. Therefore, in order to understand the place given by him to morality in politics, one must admit that Machiaveli performs hère a profound metaphysical upheaval : that of power and action, operating through a new concept of 'appearances' as true reality of politics. Politics is not a moral problem, but an ontological one. (shrink)