The paper discusses some recent suggestions offered by the so-called sensorimotor (or enactivist) theorists as to the problem of the explanatory gap, that is, the alleged impossibility of accounting for phenomenal consciousness in any scientific theory. We argue in the paper that, although some enactivist theorists’ suggestions appear fresh and eye-opening, the claim that the explanatory gap is (dis)solved is much overstated.
This article is about the terms used in the works traditionally ascribed to Alexander of Aphrodisias to mean the process of abstraction through which intellect separates form and matter. The passages are studied in order to identify what nouns and verbs are used. Since in two works of dubious authorship aphaireô and aphairesis are found, the usage of these terms in the works that can be ascribed with certainty to Alexander is studied. The results obtained are examined in the light (...) of the hypotheses about the authorship and chronology of the cited works formulated by scholars so far. (shrink)
In this article we question the utility of the distinction between conceptual and nonconceptual content in cognitive science, and in particular, in the empirical study of visual perception. First, we individuate some difficulties in characterizing the notion of “concept” itself both in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Then we stress the heterogeneous nature of the notion of nonconceptual content and outline the complex and ambiguous relations that exist between the conceptual/nonconceptual duality and other pairs of notions, such as (...) top–down/bottom-up and modular/nonmodular. Finally we look in greater detail at the proposal developed by Jacob and Jeannerod (Ways of seeing. The scopes and limits of visual cognition. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2003 ), who apply the notion of nonconceptual content to empirical research on visual perception. After reconstructing their point of view on concepts, we try to reject their major arguments in support of the conceptual/nonconceptual distinction, i.e. the compositionality of thought and the fineness of grain of percepts. (shrink)
Lo studio si pone due domande sulla dottrina dell'essenzialismo, desunta dalla posizione di Avicenna sull'essenza : 1) come fu possibile per gli autori del Due e Trecento interpretare la dottrina aristotelica dell'essenza come dottrina dell'indifferenza dell'essenza all'individualità e all'universalità; 2) come poterono autori che sostenevano dottrine diverse fra loro appellarsi tutti alla risposta di Avicenna. In questo studio è presa in esame la posizione di Tommaso, soprattutto in quanto nell'evoluzione del suo pensiero non dette alla dottrina dell'indifferenza dell'essenza la medesima (...) interpretazione. La prima parte dello studio è centrata sulla dottrina dell'essenza in Avicenna, elaborata sulla scia della distinzione di Alessandro di Afrodisia tra universale e ciò cui l'universale pertiene. Nella seconda si considera la posizione di Tommaso, prima nel De ente et essentia, poi nel Quodlibet VIII, q. 1 delle Quaestiones de quodlibet, infine nei commenti al De anima e alla Metafisica, e nella Summa contra Gentiles. (shrink)
An images is build up of elements placed in a fix reciprocal positions. In this way an image is able to organize a block of space-time extracted from becoming and offered as a crystallized present, this notion imply Chronos notion of time. How would spatial co-ordinates work on the time line of Aîon , where present can’t exist? We are going to answer this question by analyzing Robert Smithson’s Monuments of Passaic.
[Does the gymnosophist’s reply to Alexander’s question on the origin of time indeed reflect an Indian doctrine?] The episode of Alexander’s interview with the gymnosophists has come down to us in several versions, among which the one in Plutarch’s Vita Alexandri is the most renowned. In this connection, the question arises whether the solutions given by the naked philosophers to the puzzles propounded by Alexander can be shown to reflect genuine Indian doctrines. Challenging Dumézil’s reply in the affirmative, the author (...) contends that they cannot. While most questions and answers are scarcely relevant to the investigation, as being of little (if any) philosophical import, the analysis concentrates on the more significant ones, and especially on the solution offered to the question as to which of the two — day or night — came first. According to Dumézil, the gymnosophist’s answer reported by Plutarch, i. e. that the day came first, by one day, reflects the vedic doctrine of the primeval cosmogonic role of Dawn and Light. Against this may be argued in the first place that such doctrine does not enjoy any prominent status in the Vedas themselves — quite to the contrary, it stands up disadvantegeously to many all-important texts, such as the Nāsadīyasūkta, which assign the primeval status to Darkness — and cannot therefore be regarded as being specifically Indian any more than its opposite. Secondly, it is shown that the Greek tradition is at great variance on this very point, to the extent that all logically conceivable solutions (i. e., precedence of day by one day / day by one night / night by one day / night by one night) are represented in some version or other. This inconsistency appears to stem from the fact that no particular doctrine (Indian or whatever) was envisaged; according to the present author, we have reason to believe that the gymnosophist’s reply was rather meant to set off by means of a paradox the sheer impossibility of a solution (all four alternatives being equivalent to that effect). This interpretation is reinforced by the gymnosophist’s own remark confessing the aporetical nature of his reply, and finally by a further recourse to paradox — this time a variant of the well-known “paradox of the liar” — which the author lays bare in the otherwise inexplicable dénouement of the anecdote. (shrink)
Based on Scotus’s metaphysics of transcendental concepts, this essay analyses the Scotist concept of the infinite as a disjunctive transcendental and as the most proper philosophical concept for the reality of God. Decisive presupposition to a positive function of the concept of infinite being in Scotus’s philosophical theology is, furthermore, the theory of the univocity of being.
The present article offers a description and an analysis of the Liber Graecus, a manuscript register from Venice State Archive containing copies and translations of the documents sent from the Ottoman sultans to Venice between 1479 and 1504. Almost all the documents are in Greek, which until Bayazid II’s reign was the language used by the Ottomans in diplomatic communications with Western powers. Thanks to Liber Graecus not only we have a detailed account of Venetian-Ottoman relationships at the turn of (...) the 16th century, but also we learn more about the activity of the Venetian chancery and the role played by Greek scribes working there. (shrink)
The topic of this article is the «discourse of the philanthropist» in the thought of Michel Foucault. The discourse of the philanthropist has played a vital role in the formation of the psychiatric and psychological sciences; was crucial in the birth and development of modern penalty; has deeply influenced the history of the prison institution and was instrumental in the formation of the working class. Finally, the discourse of the philanthropist has animated the human and social sciences from the first (...) half of the nineteenth century. The discourse of the philanthropist, for Foucault, is the discourse that addresses the meaning of reality as a norm and rule that the behaviors, actions and representations of individuals must be uniform in all areas in which it carries out their existence. (shrink)