This essay is about the Wolfgang Köhler’s philosophical ideas expressed in his The Place of Value in a World of Facts of 1938. Köhler, who strongly supports a scientific world view, considers the question as to whether science is able to cope with human values, besides natural facts. Relying upon phenomenological analyses, and on his previous researches in natural philosophy, Köhler introduces his doctrine of “epistemological dualism”. From a historical point of view, this theory exhibits some similarity with the philosophical (...) ideas expressed by Köhler’s Berlin mentor Carl Stumpf. It is argued that Köhler’s epistemological dualism actually supports ontological monism and aims at offering a unified view of natural facts and human values. (shrink)
In Heidegger’s Being and Time certain concepts are discussed which are central to the ontological constitution of Dasein. This paper demonstrates the interesting manner in which some of these concepts can be used in a reading of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. A comparative analysis is performed, explicating the relevant Heideggerian terms and then relating them to Eliot’s poem. In this way strong parallels are revealed between the two men’s respective thoughts and distinct modernist sensibilities. (...) Prufrock, the protagonist of the poem, and the world he inhabits illustrate poetically concepts such as authenticity, inauthenticity, the ‘they’, idle talk and angst, which Heidegger develops in Being and Time. (shrink)
Continuing Franz Boas' work to establish anthropology as an academic discipline in the US at the turn of the twentieth century, Alfred L. Kroeber re-defined culture as a phenomenon sui generis. To achieve this he asked geneticists to enter into a coalition against hereditarian thoughts prevalent at that time in the US. The goal was to create space for anthropology as a separate discipline within academia, distinct from other disciplines. To this end he crossed the boundary separating anthropology from (...) biology in order to secure the boundary. His notion of culture, closely bound to the concept of heredity, saw it as independent of biological heredity (culture as superorganic) but at the same time as a heredity of another sort. The paper intends to summarise the shifting boundaries of anthropology at the beginning of the twentieth century, and to present Kroeber?s ideas on culture, with a focus on how the changing landscape of concepts of heredity influenced his views. The historical case serves to illustrate two general conclusions: that the concept of culture played and plays different roles in explaining human existence; that genetics and the concept of Weismannian hard inheritance did not have an unambiguous unidirectional historical effect on the vogue for hereditarianism at that time; on the contrary, it helped to establish culture in Kroeber's sense, culture as independent of heredity. (shrink)
Much of the early history of developmental and physiological genetics in Germany remains to be written. Together with Carl Correns and Richard Goldschmidt, Alfred Kühn occupies a special place in this history. Trained as a zoologist in Freiburg im Breisgau, he set out to integrate physiology, development and genetics in a particular experimental system based on the flour moth Ephestia kühniella Zeller. This paper is meant to reconstruct the crucial steps in the experimental pathway that led Kühn and his (...) collaborators at the University of Göttingen, and later at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes of Biology and Biochemistry in Berlin, to formulate, in their specific way, what later became known as the "one gene-one enzyme hypothesis." Special attention will be given to the interaction of the different parts of Kühn's Ephestia-based project, which were rooted in different research traditions. The paper retraces how, roughly between 1925 and 1945, these elements came to form a mixed experimental setup composed of genetic, embryological, physiological and, finally, biochemical constituents. Accordingly, emphasis is laid on the development of the terminology in which the results were cast, and how it reflected the hybrid state of an experimental system successively acquiring new epistemic layers. (shrink)
George H. Mead and Alfred Schutz proposed foundations for an interpretative sociology from opposite standpoints. Mead accepted the objective meaning structure a priori. His problem became therefore the explanation of the individuality and creativity of human actors in his social behavioristic approach. In contrast, Schutz started from the subjective consciousness of an isolated actor as a result of a phenomenological reduction. He was concerned with the problem of explaining the possibility of this isolated actor’s perceiving other actors in their (...) existence, their concreteness, and the motives for their behavior. I treat these two approaches and their associated problems as equally relevant. My evaluation is based on their success in solving their specific problems. The aim is to decide which of the two approaches provides the more adequate foundation for an interpretative sociology. (shrink)
This article is a translation of the paper in Polish (Alfred Tarski - człowiek, który zdefiniował prawdę) published in Ruch Filozoficzny 4 (4) (2007). It is a personal Alfred Tarski memories based on my stay in Berkeley and visit the Alfred Tarski house for the invitation of Janusz Tarski.
This book presents the remarkable correspondence between Alfred Schutz and Aron Gurwitsch, emigre philosophers influenced by Edmund Husserl, who fled Europe on the eve of World War II and ultimately became seminal figures in the establishment of phenomenology in the United States. Their deep and lasting friendship grew out of their mutual concern with the question of the connections between science and the life-world. Interwoven with philosophical exchange is the two scholars' encounter with the unfamiliar problems of American academic (...) life—what Gurwitsch called the "passology" of exile. Apart from its brilliant and moving portrait of two distinguished men, the correspondence holds rich significance for current issues in philosophy and the social sciences. (shrink)
Este artículo aborda, desde la relectura del trabajo de Alfred Schütz “La ejecución musical conjunta” (“Makingmusictogether”), la idea de intersubjetividad como sintonía en las relaciones sociales explorando en los elementos señalados por el autor, como la dimensión temporal, el cara a cara y la sincronización con el Otro. Se abre así una posibilidad de comprensión de los procesos intersubjetivos, en la perspectiva del reconocimiento de la alteridad (Levinas) como constitutiva de intersubjetividad, y se plantea la pregunta de si es (...) posible, en contextos de exclusión, avanzar hacia la constitución de sintonía entre sociedad y Estado. (shrink)
On the basis of a comparative analysis of the biosemiotic work of Jakob von Uexküll and of various theories on biological holism, this article takes a look at the question: what is the status of a semiotic approach in respect to a holistic one? The period from 1920 to 1940 was the peak-time of holistic theories, despite the fact that agreement on a unified and accepted set of holistic ideas was never reached. A variety of holisms, dependent on the cultural (...) and disciplinary contexts, is sketched here from the works of Jan Smuts, Adolf Meyer-Abich, John Scott Haldane, Kurt Goldstein, Alfred North Whitehead and Wolfgang Köhler. In contrast with his contemporary holists, who used the model of an organism as a unifying explanatory tool for all levels of reality, Jakob von Uexküll confined himself to disciplinary organicism by extending the borders of the definition of “organism” without any intention to surpass the borders of biology itself. The comparison reveals also a significant difference in the perspectives of Uexküll and his contemporary holists, a difference between a view from a subjective centre in contrast with an all-encompassing structural view. Uexküll’s theories are fairly near to J. S. Haldane’s interpretation of an organism as a coordinative centre, but even here their models do not coincide. Although biosemiotics and holistic biology have different theoretical starting points and research-goals, it is possible nonetheless to place them under one and the same doctrinal roof. (shrink)
To establish a starting point for a phenomenological theory of the science of primate ethology, this essay first reviews how the phenomenological philosophers Aron Gurwitsch and Maurice Merleau-Ponty made use of the Gestalt psychologist Wolfgang Köhler’s description of chimpanzee consciousness and its objects and then considers primate ethology in light of the theory of the cultural sciences in the work of Gurwitsch in addition to that of Alfred Schutz.
Alfred Schutz in his phenomenological studies on the social world, has systematically analyzed the nature of social relationships between individuals, and has arrived at an originating point involving intersubjectivity. This point is described by what he calls the Pure We-relationship. Comparison of Schutz's analysis of the Pure We relationship with Buber's description of his personal experience of intersubjectivity, i.e., the l-Thou relationship, reveals a remarkable convergence. For instance, fundamental to both Schutz and Buber are the notions that intersubjectivity is (...) tied to the lived presence of the self with the other (i.e., sharing of time in the stream of duration), and that the 'content' of this 'experience' is related to the being of the other. These interesting features in the works of Schutz and Buber are described by showing the similarity between the Pure We and I-Thou relationships. (shrink)
This article is a characteristic of Alfred Tarski's profile, seen from a personal perspective after a long visit to Berkeley, at the invitation of Jan Tarski, in the house where Alfred Tarski lived. It takes into account the scientific achievements and research results of Tarski, as well as certain impressions of the author of these memories concerning the exotic life of this great Polish logician and mathematician of the 20th century.
Alfred Schütz is often credited with providing sociology with a firm ground derived from phenomenology of science and justifying it as a science operating within natural attitude. Although his project of social science draws extensively on Edmund Husserl’s theory of attitudes, it would be incorrect to assume that Schütz shares with the founder of phenomenology his conception of science. This paper compares Husserl’s and Schütz’s views on the structure and meaning of science and traces the roots of their radical (...) divergence. Whereas Husserl increasingly emphasises the importance of phenomenological reduction for the genuine human science, Schütz eventually rejects reduction and restricts the social science to a specific system of relevancies within the reality of the lifeworld. This paper presents the argument that Schütz’s conception eliminates the possibility of a phenomenological justification of social science, as it implies that there are no rationally justifiable grounds to pursue science. In this way, Schütz’s views substantially differ from the phenomenological theory of science and become open to the phenomenological critique of naivety. (shrink)
What is initially striking about Alfred Schutz’s phenomenological account of the musical experience, which encompasses both the performance and reception of music, is his apparent dismissal of the corporeal and spatial aspects of that experience. The paper argues that this is largely a product of his wider understanding of temporality wherein the mind and time are privileged over the body and space, respectively. While acknowledging that Schutz’s explicit or stated view is that the body and space are relatively insignificant (...) to his account, the paper reveals how they actually feature significantly in the latter, but in ways that remain largely implicit. First, the analysis demonstrates that the mental and temporal aspects of Schutz’s phenomenology of the musical experience cannot be considered independently of their interrelations with the equally important, albeit under-examined, corporeal, and spatial aspects. Concepts from Nietzsche’s early aesthetics are recruited to fulfil this task. Second, the analysis challenges Schutz’s dismissal of space in his theory of music perception. Lastly, it reveals the crucial, yet implicit, role of the body and space in his key examination of the intersubjective phenomenon he terms “making music together”. By presenting the above arguments, the paper aims to draw out the implicit dimensions of Schutz’s phenomenology of music and thereby enrich his influential account. (shrink)
In the eighties of the nineteenth century Ubu comes into the world. Thanks to Alfred Jarry, in around ten years this imaginary tyrant with unrestrained longings will rise to an outstanding position in the Parisian theatrical arena. Ubu, anyway, is not a mere culture phenomenon: he is also – better, he is first of all – the outcome of an unprecedented and primitive reflection on power. So Ubu, from the beginning, is the embodiment of the excess, the expression of (...) tyranny as the childish power par excellence, driven by a bulimic imagination and dragged by overwhelming yearnings, always associated with the denial of any decorum and mediation. Ubu is, to a certain extent, one of the most prophetic and accurate anticipations of that imbalance between the autocrat’s longings and the endurance degree of the environment around him: a political pathology which will be the eminent and dramatic feature of the terrible catastrophes of the 20th century. Jarry’s work is even more significant when, in the last of its plays, describes an institutional system protected by a brittle glass bell, unbreakable only by those who hesitate to strike it, and an administrative apparatus so much subject to arbitrary power that it seems built «by the tyrant himself». (shrink)
Alfred North Whitehead’s interpreters usually pay less attention to his later monographs and essays. Process and Reality is taken to be the definitive center of the Whiteheadian universe and the later works, thereby, appear to many only as applications or elaborations of themes already introduced earlier. Yet, is it also possible that the dominance of this perspective has obscured or even distorted further creative developments of Whitehead’s thought? This volume offers a sort of Copernican revolution in Whitehead interpretation, methodologically (...) and conceptually inviting its contributors to observe Whitehead’s work from the perspective of his later works. The aim of this preferencing is meant not to invalidate earlier approaches to Whitehead’s thought nor is the inference that the later works are more authoritative. Yet, just as the first space-based images of our planet forever changed humanity’s understanding of its place in the universe, shifting the alleged center of, or even decentering of the view on, Whitehead’s “philosophy of organism” to the later works, we might discover previously obscured ideas or new vistas of thought relevant not only to our current philosophical landscape, but also to the pressing issues of our fragile and endangered world. This volume invites its contributors and readers to consider whether one thereby also moves beyond metaphysics? (shrink)
La pensée du philosophe et mathématicien britannique Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) connaît un regain d'intérêt autant chez les philosophes anglo-saxons que chez les philosophes continentaux. Les contributions isolées sur les recherches logiques et mathématiques, sur les recherches épistémologiques et la philosophie de la nature, ou encore sur la métaphysique et le rôle des idées théologiques de cet auteur se multiplient. Il a semblé aux coordinateurs des « Chromatiques whiteheadiennes » — Michel Weber (Université catholique de Louvain) et Pierre Rodrigo (...) (Université de Bourgogne) — que le temps est mûr pour un développement en série de réunions internationales francophones dévolues à l'ensemble de ses positions philosophiques et à leur évolution. Le réseau « Chromatiques whiteheadiennes » a en conséquence pour objectif premier de fédérer les recherches sur les différents aspects, nuances et implications de la pensée de A. N. Whitehead. Si ses activités sont de facto ancrées dans l'horizon culturel francophone, elles n'en demeurent pas moins ouvertes, d’une part, au dialogue international (comme en témoigne la place qui est réservée aux communications en langue anglaise lors de nos réunions scientifiques) ; et d’autre part à des contributions, d’origine philosophique diverse, portant sur le concept de processus. À l'heure actuelle, deux types de réunions internationales sont programmées : des journées d'étude bilingues (Liège 2001, Louvain-la-Neuve 2003, Saint-Jodard 2005, Nantes 2005, Nice 2006, Huy 2007) et des séminaires de recherches en français qui assurent la continuité des contacts scientifiques entre chercheurs plus régulièrement que ne peuvent le faire les colloques. Ces séminaires sont le fruit d’une collaboration avec l'équipe « Philosophies de l'expérience » du Département de philosophie de l'Université de Nantes. Accueillis depuis 2002 par le Centre d'Études sur le Pragmatisme et la Philosophie Analytique (CEPPA), Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne-École Doctorale, ils ont pour but premier de mettre en contact les doctorands whiteheadiens et d'offrir un lieu de dialogue entre ceux-ci et chercheurs expérimentés. La collection « Chromatiques whiteheadiennes » est, à titre principal, l’organe des différentes activités promues par le réseau : elle accueille les Actes des journées d’étude et l’Annuaire (« Chromatikon ») qui publie, entre autre, le compte-rendu des séminaires les plus marquants. À titre secondaire, elle publie les monographies et ouvrages collectifs qui se veulent être le vecteur de la pensée du processus en francophonie, et ce tout spécialement lorsqu’elles promeuvent un dialogue interdisciplinaire. (shrink)
The purpose of the present article is to disentangle both Parfit’s and Whitehead’s views on personal identity. Issues regarding what it means to be a singular individual, how a person can remain the same over time, and what makes an individual an original being with specific characteristics will be examined.
It is the contention of this paper that the majority of scholars deal with a simplified notion of Schutz’s understanding of social science. Specifically they tend to view Schutz’s understanding of social science as containing only three postulates: logical consistency, subjective interpretation, and adequacy. However, such considerations tend to focus primarily upon “Common-Sense and Scientific Interpretation of Human Action” and only engage with Schutz’s other essays in a tertiary manner. This paper argues that only by giving due attention to Schutz’s (...) other work does it become clear what his full understanding social science is. A full picture must necessarily take into account the postulate of relevance or disinterestedness, postulate of clarity, and postulate of compatibility or tested observation. This paper will clarify the relationship of all these postulates which will necessarily require a number of amendments in order to achieve the greatest clarity possible. (shrink)
Provides an ideology-critique of Whitehead's and Hartshorne's metaphysics and demonstrates how their metaphysical principles reflect their personal commitments to the values and norms of the modern liberal political ideology.
This volume's aim is to clarify, criticize and theoretically develop some of Whitehead's major philosophic ideas and insights. Eighteen distinguished contributors follow Whitehead in his unique attempt to integrate the often disparate concerns of science , art, religion, social life and common sense. They manage to avoid the twin pitfalls of uncritical acceptance and impatient rejection of Whitehead's thought. They delineate Whitehead's indebtedness to and divergence from the philosophic traditions of Plato, Leibniz, Hume, Hegel, Bergson and others. Some of the (...) distinguished philosophers contributing to this volume are: Charles Hartshorne, William Ernest Hocking, Richard M. Rorty, Gregory Vlastos, William A. Christian, Sr., Nathaniel Lawrence, Ivor Leclerc, Victor Lowe, Robert M. Palter, and Donald W. Sherburne. Originally published in 1963 by Prentice-Hall, this edition contains a new preface by the editor. (shrink)
What is the nature and the place of religion in an ever changing human condition, and in an ever changing world? As Kenneth Masong shows, such a reflection requires a broader perspective: the perspective of metaphysics, and actually the perspective of a metaphysics of becoming. Becoming-religion in a becoming universe. Indeed, religion is not an exception, but a phenomenon among others, although a peculiar one. But what applies to the rest of the universe, also applies to religion. And vice versa. (...) Now, one central law for all that exists, is that it is subject to change. The book is written with the distance, requisite for philosophical reflection, but with a warm heart for the topic, coming from a deep religious life. Again and again the book testifies to the author’s conviction of the intrinsic value of “the event of the religious” now and in the future – for what is called “ethnopoiesis”: the constitution of a unity of wills, by the persuasive power of the divine vision, on humanity’s journey towards civilization. -/- –Professor André Cloots Catholic University of Leuven. (shrink)
In this biographical essay, I trace the development of A. N. Whitehead's philosophy from his early work in mathematical logic, philosophy of physics and finally to metaphysics. The entry includes a bibliography and secondary sources.
My topic lies on conceptual terrain that is quite familiar to philosophers. For others, a bit of background may be in order. In light of what has filtered down from quantum mechanics, few philosophers today believe that the universe is causally deterministic. That is, to use Peter van Inwagen's succinct definition of “determinism,” few philosophers believe that “there is at any instant exactly one physically possible future.” Even so, partly for obvious historical reasons, philosophers continue to argue about whether free (...) will and moral responsibility are compatible with determinism. Compatibilists argue for compatibility, and incompatibilists argue against it. Some incompatibilists maintain that free will and moral responsibility are illusions. But most are libertarians, libertarianism being the conjunction of incompatibilism and the thesis that at least some human beings are possessed of free will and moral responsibility. (shrink)
Review of Manipulated Agents: A Window into Moral Responsibility. By Alfred R. Mele NOTE: I will self-archive the review after the embargo period ends in October 2021. If you want a copy, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This paper features Derk Pereboom’s replies to commentaries by Victor Tadros and Saul Smilansky on his non-retributive, incapacitation-focused proposal for treatment of dangerous criminals; by Michael McKenna on his manipulation argument against compatibilism about basic desert and causal determination; and by Alfred R. Mele on his disappearing agent argument against event-causal libertarianism.