Mikhail L. Gasparov. Intertextual analysis today. The paper provides a discussion about recent results and perspectives of intertextual analysis — the method that has been a contemporary with Tartu-Moscow school. The connections between the classical philological methods and intertextual analysis are described, together with specifying the concept of intertext and emphasizing the need for the correctness of a researcher, because such an analysis always carries a danger of overinterpretation. Several examples are used to illustrate how the imagination of a (...) researcher can create arbitrary allusions that are not based on the original text and are usually misleading. As a result, the text under study will not become more clear, vice versa, it turns to be less understandable. (shrink)
Is the science of moral cognition usefully modelled on aspects of Universal Grammar? Are human beings born with an innate 'moral grammar' that causes them to analyse human action in terms of its moral structure, with just as little awareness as they analyse human speech in terms of its grammatical structure? Questions like these have been at the forefront of moral psychology ever since John Mikhail revived them in his influential work on the linguistic analogy and its implications for (...) jurisprudence and moral theory. In this seminal book, Mikhail offers a careful and sustained analysis of the moral grammar hypothesis, showing how some of John Rawls' original ideas about the linguistic analogy, together with famous thought experiments like the trolley problem, can be used to improve our understanding of moral and legal judgement. (shrink)
This book is not only a major twentieth-century contribution to Dostoevsky’s studies, but also one of the most important theories of the novel produced in our century. As a modern reinterpretation of poetics, it bears comparison with Aristotle.“Bakhtin’s statement on the dialogical nature of artistic creation, and his differentiation of this from a history of monological commentary, is profoundly original and illuminating. This is a classic work on Dostoevsky and a statement of importance to critical theory.” Edward Wasiolek“Concentrating on the (...) particular features of ‘Dostoevskian discourse,’ how Dostoevsky structures a hero and a plot, and what it means to write dialogically, Bakhtin concludes with a major theoretical statement on dialogue as a category of language. One of the most important theories of the novel in this century.” The Bloomsbury Review. (shrink)
Scientists from various disciplines have begun to focus attention on the psychology and biology of human morality. One research program that has recently gained attention is universal moral grammar (UMG). UMG seeks to describe the nature and origin of moral knowledge by using concepts and models similar to those used in Chomsky's program in linguistics. This approach is thought to provide a fruitful perspective from which to investigate moral competence from computational, ontogenetic, behavioral, physiological and phylogenetic perspectives. In this article, (...) I outline a framework for UMG and describe some of the evidence that supports it. I also propose a novel computational analysis of moral intuitions and argue that future research on this topic should draw more directly on legal theory. (shrink)
My primary aims in this paper are to explain what exploitation is, when it’s wrong, and what makes it wrong. I argue that exploitation is not always wrong, but that it can be, and that its wrongness cannot be fully explained with familiar moral constraints such as those against harming people, coercing them, or using them as a means, or with familiar moral obligations such as an obligation to rescue those in distress or not to take advantage of people’s vulnerabilities. (...) Its deepest wrongness, I argue, lies in our moral obligation not to extract excessive benefits from people who cannot, or cannot reasonably, refuse our offers. (shrink)
The aim of the dissertation is to formulate a research program in moral cognition modeled on aspects of Universal Grammar and organized around three classic problems in moral epistemology: What constitutes moral knowledge? How is moral knowledge acquired? How is moral knowledge put to use? Drawing on the work of Rawls and Chomsky, a framework for investigating -- is proposed. The framework is defended against a range of philosophical objections and contrasted with the approach of developmentalists like Piaget and Kohlberg. (...) ;One chapter consists of an interpretation of the analogy Rawls draws in A Theory of Justice between moral theory and generative linguistics. A second chapter clarifies the empirical significance of Rawls' linguistic analogy by formulating a solution to the problem of descriptive adequacy with respect to a class of commonsense moral intuitions, including those discussed in the trolley problem literature originating in the work of Foot and Thomson. Three remaining chapters defend Rawls' linguistic analogy against some of its critics. In response to Hare's objection that Rawls' conception of moral theory is too empirical and insufficiently normative, it is argued that Hare fails to acknowledge both the centrality of the problem of empirical adequacy in the history of moral philosophy and the complexity of Rawls' approach to the problem of normative adequacy. In response to Nagel's claim that the analogy between moral theory and linguistics is false because whatever native speakers agree on is English, but whatever ordinary men agree in condemning is not necessarily wrong, it is argued that the criticism ignores both Rawls' use of the competence-performance distinction and the theory-dependence of the corresponding distinction in linguistics. In response to Dworkin's claim that Rawls' conception of moral theory is incompatible with naturalism and presupposes constructivism, it is argued that Dworkin's distinction between naturalism and constructivism represents a false antithesis; neither is an accurate interpretation of the model of moral theory Rawls describes in A Theory of Justice. The thesis concludes by situating Rawls' linguistic analogy within the context of broader debates in metaethics, democratic theory, natural law theory, and the theory of moral development. (shrink)
Mikhail Lifshits’ interpretation of the scholarly work of the Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico is analysed against the background of other Soviet interpretations. M. Lifshits authored the introductory article for the first complete translation of Vico’s Scienza Nuova in 1940. In the second half of the 1930s, interest in Vico’s ‘historical theory of knowledge’ was important for the struggle against so-called ‘vulgar sociology’ in the field of aesthetics and literary criticism. Besides this, Vico’s theory of the ‘historical cycle’ was close (...) to the interests M. Lifshits and G. Lukács and their circle in Stalin-era Moscow. This interest was connected with discussions about the preservation of the revolutionary impulse under the conditions of state socialism. However, such an interpretation of Vico restricted a wide spectrum of his scholarly work. In particular, Lifshits, as an opponent of social-constructivism tradition, ignored Vico’s well-known doctrine of verum factum. (shrink)
Adequality, or παρισóτης (parisotēs) in the original Greek of Diophantus 1 , is a crucial step in Fermat’s method of finding maxima, minima, tangents, and solving other problems that a modern mathematician would solve using infinitesimal calculus. The method is presented in a series of short articles in Fermat’s collected works (1891, pp. 133–172). The first article, Methodus ad Disquirendam Maximam et Minimam 2 , opens with a summary of an algorithm for finding the maximum or minimum value of an (...) algebraic expression in a variable A. For convenience, we will write such an expression in modern functional notation as f (a). 3 The algorithm can be broken up into six steps in the following way:Introduce an auxiliary .. (shrink)
Many historians of the calculus deny significant continuity between infinitesimal calculus of the seventeenth century and twentieth century developments such as Robinson’s theory. Robinson’s hyperreals, while providing a consistent theory of infinitesimals, require the resources of modern logic; thus many commentators are comfortable denying a historical continuity. A notable exception is Robinson himself, whose identification with the Leibnizian tradition inspired Lakatos, Laugwitz, and others to consider the history of the infinitesimal in a more favorable light. Inspite of his Leibnizian sympathies, (...) Robinson regards Berkeley’s criticisms of the infinitesimal calculus as aptly demonstrating the inconsistency of reasoning with historical infinitesimal magnitudes. We argue that Robinson, among others, overestimates the force of Berkeley’s criticisms, by underestimating the mathematical and philosophical resources available to Leibniz. Leibniz’s infinitesimals are fictions, not logical fictions, as Ishiguro proposed, but rather pure fictions, like imaginaries, which are not eliminable by some syncategorematic paraphrase. We argue that Leibniz’s defense of infinitesimals is more firmly grounded than Berkeley’s criticism thereof. We show, moreover, that Leibniz’s system for differential calculus was free of logical fallacies. Our argument strengthens the conception of modern infinitesimals as a development of Leibniz’s strategy of relating inassignable to assignable quantities by means of his transcendental law of homogeneity. (shrink)
When is it immoral to take advantage of another person for one's own benefit? For some, such as Ruth Sample, John Roemer, and Will Kymlicka, the answer at least partly depends on whether what one takes advantage of is the fact that this person is, or has been, the victim of injustice. I argue, however, that whether person A wrongly exploits person B is wholly unrelated to whether A takes advantage of the fact that B is, or was, the victim (...) of injustice. I also develop a positive account regarding which personal attributes one should not exploit for personal gain. (shrink)
Could a computer be programmed to make moral judgments about cases of intentional harm and unreasonable risk that match those judgments people already make intuitively? If the human moral sense is an unconscious computational mechanism of some sort, as many cognitive scientists have suggested, then the answer should be yes. So too if the search for reflective equilibrium is a sound enterprise, since achieving this state of affairs requires demarcating a set of considered judgments, stating them as explanandum sentences, and (...) formulating a set of algorithms from which they can be derived. The same is true for theories that emphasize the role of emotions or heuristics in moral cognition, since they ultimately depend on intuitive appraisals of the stimulus that accomplish essentially the same tasks. Drawing on deontic logic, action theory, moral philosophy, and the common law of tort, particularly Terry's five-variable calculus of risk, I outline a formal model of moral grammar and intuitive jurisprudence along the foregoing lines, which defines the abstract properties of the relevant mapping and demonstrates their descriptive adequacy with respect to a range of common moral intuitions, which experimental studies have suggested may be universal or nearly so. Framing effects, protected values, and implications for the neuroscience of moral intuition are also discussed. (shrink)
The language theory of Mikhail Bakhtin does not fall neatly under any single rubric - 'dialogism,' 'marxism,' 'prosaics,' 'authorship' - because the philosophic foundation of his writing rests ambivalently between phenomenology and Marxism. The theoretical tension of these positions creates philosophical impasses in Bakhtin's work, which have been neglected or ignored partly because these impasses are themselves mirrored by the problems of antifoundationalist and materialist tendencies in literary scholarship. In Mikhail Bakhtin: Between Phenomenology and Marxism Michael Bernard-Donals examines (...) various incarnations of phenomenological and materialist theory - including the work of Jauss, Fish, Rorty, Althusser, and Pecheux - and places them beside Bakhtin's work, providing a contextualised study of Bakhtin, a critique of the problems of contemporary critics, and an original contribution to literary theory. (shrink)
We propose and investigate a uniform modal logic framework for reasoning about topology and relative distance in metric and more general distance spaces, thus enabling the comparison and combination of logics from distinct research traditions such as Tarski’s for topological closure and interior, conditional logics, and logics of comparative similarity. This framework is obtained by decomposing the underlying modal-like operators into first-order quantifier patterns. We then show that quite a powerful and natural fragment of the resulting first-order logic can be (...) captured by one binary operator comparing distances between sets and one unary operator distinguishing between realised and limit distances . Due to its greater expressive power, this logic turns out to behave quite differently from both and conditional logics. We provide finite axiomatisations and ExpTime-completeness proofs for the logics of various classes of distance spaces, in particular metric spaces. But we also show that the logic of the real line is not recursively enumerable. This result is proved by an encoding of Diophantine equations. (shrink)
In this comment on Joshua Greene's essay, The Secret Joke of Kant's Soul, I argue that a notable weakness of Greene's approach to moral psychology is its neglect of computational theory. A central problem moral cognition must solve is to recognize (i.e., compute representations of) the deontic status of human acts and omissions. How do people actually do this? What is the theory which explains their practice?
A popular view among autonomy theorists is that facts about the history of a person's desires, and specifically facts about how they were formed or acquired, matter crucially to her autonomy. I argue that while there is an important relationship between a person's autonomy and the history of her desires, a person's autonomy does not depend on how her desires were formed or acquired. I argue that a desire's autonomy lies not in its origins but in whether its bearer has (...) a history of having engaged with it in the right sort of way. I argue that this view has important advantages, and no obvious disadvantages, over its historical and its non-historical rivals. (shrink)
One of the most influential arguments in contemporary philosophy and cognitive science is Chomsky's argument from the poverty of the stimulus. In this response to an essay by Chandra Sripada, I defend an analogous argument from the poverty of the moral stimulus. I argue that Sripada's criticism of moral nativism appears to rest on the mistaken assumption that the learning target in moral cognition consists of a series of simple imperatives, such as "share your toys" or "don't hit other children." (...) In fact, the available evidence suggests that the moral competence of adults and even young children is considerably more complex and exhibits many characteristics of a well-developed legal code, including abstract theories of crime, tort, contract, and agency. Since the emergence of this knowledge cannot be explained by appeals to explicit instruction, or to any known processes of imitation, internalization, socialization and the like, there are grounds for concluding it may be innate. Simply put, to explain the development of intuitive jurisprudence in each individual, we must attribute unconscious knowledge and complex mental operations to her that go well beyond anything she has been taught. (shrink)
This article argues that the key elements of the prima facie case of harmful battery may form critical building blocks of moral cognition in both humans and nonhuman animals. By contrast, at least some of the rules and representations presupposed by familiar justifications to battery appear to be uniquely human. The article also argues that many famous thought experiments in ethics and many influential experiments in moral psychology rely on harmful battery scenarios without acknowledging this fact or considering its theoretical (...) or empirical implications. The unifying factor in all these studies is goal-directed harmful contact, inflicted without consent or justification. (shrink)
In this guest column, Epstein offers “a new sign” that, he argues, resolves difficulties that have arisen in many theories and practices, including linguistics, semiotics, literary theory, poetics, aesthetics, ecology, ecophilology, eco-ethics, metaphysics, theology, psychology, and phenomenology. The new sign, a pair of quotation marks around a blank space, signfies the absence of any sign. Most generally, “ ” relates to the blank space that surrounds and underlies a text; by locating “ ” within the text, the margins are brought (...) inside and can become the focus of attention. Not only the margins but also the material background of a text (the page or screen) can be brought forward and focused on through the transparency of the sign “ ”, in which case “ ” becomes a sign of itself. Consubstantial with its medium, therefore, this sign is both relative and universal: “ ” is the same everywhere, on every surface, in every language, and also in the arts. Epstein analyzes works by Rauschenberg, Malevich, Ilya Kabakov, and Vasilisk Gdenov in the visual arts, as well as music by John Cage, to demonstrate the usefulness of his new sign for aesthetics and art criticism. Each discipline, he argues, has its own nonspeakable conditions and assumptions that it needs to bring inside disciplinary frontiers. At the frontier of language, “ ” is both inside and outside, and therefore can express the nonspeakable condition of speakability. In concluding, Epstein suggests that the task of the avant-garde in theory today is to develop a “negative semiotics”: a semiotics of nonsigns, modeled on negative (apophatic) theology. (shrink)
In opposition to a common assumption, this paper defends the idea that the auxiliary verb will has no other semantic contribution in contemporary English than a temporal shift towards the future with respect to the utterance time. Strong reasons for rejecting the idea that will quantifies over possible worlds are presented. Given the adoption of Lewis’s and Kratzer’s views on modality, the alleged ‘modal’ uses of will are accounted for by a pragmatic mechanism which restricts the domain of the covert (...) epistemic necessity operator scoping over the sentence. (shrink)
Both context relativists and circumstance-of-evaluation relativists agree that the traditional semantic interpretation of some sentence-types fails to deliver the adequate truth-conditions for the corresponding tokens. But while the context relativists argue that the truth-conditions of each token depend on its context of utterance—each token being thus associated with a distinct intension—circumstance-of-evaluation relativists preserve a unique intension for all the tokens by placing circumstances of evaluations under the influence of a certain ‘point of view’. The main difference between the two approaches (...) is that only the former can operate locally. It is shown that, for this reason, circumstance-of-evaluation relativism makes erroneous semantic predictions about (relative) gradable adjectives. (shrink)
In 2001, UNESCO proclaimed the Ifugao epic hudhud as one of the 19 masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. This study is focused on the traditional marriage rite of the wealthy Ifugao people in the ancient times as a reflection of the socio-political culture and tradition. This study aims to answer: What are the socio-political symbols reflected in the narrative structure and characterization of the epic? How does the traditional marriage define the socio-political stratification of the Ifugao (...) people? The analysis is anchored on E. Arsenio Manuel’s theory of the Philippine ethno-epic. A descriptive-qualitative method was used in this study. Immersion, observation and random informal interviews in Kiangan, Ifugao were employed in gathering and validating data. The hudhud variant of study is proven as a historical record of the traditional and unique customary laws of the ancient Ifugao people that have survived and surpassed the modern age. The characters bring us the perspective that defines their traditional culture despite the Christianization and modernization. The traditional marriage rite depicted in the epic does not only recounts the socio- political stratification but also unfolds the beauty and unique tradition of the highlands that needs to be protected and preserved. Keywords - Philippine Literature, Ifugao socio-political culture, Uyauy, descriptive qualitative method, Philippines Philippine Literature, Ifugao socio-political culture, Uyauy, descriptivequalitative method, Philippines. (shrink)
Cauchy’s contribution to the foundations of analysis is often viewed through the lens of developments that occurred some decades later, namely the formalisation of analysis on the basis of the epsilon-delta doctrine in the context of an Archimedean continuum. What does one see if one refrains from viewing Cauchy as if he had read Weierstrass already? One sees, with Felix Klein, a parallel thread for the development of analysis, in the context of an infinitesimal-enriched continuum. One sees, with Emile Borel, (...) the seeds of the theory of rates of growth of functions as developed by Paul du Bois-Reymond. One sees, with E. G. Björling, an infinitesimal definition of the criterion of uniform convergence. Cauchy’s foundational stance is hereby reconsidered. (shrink)
In the paper we consider complexity of intuitionistic propositional logic and its natural fragments such as implicative fragment, finite-variable fragments, and some others. Most facts we mention here are known and obtained by logicians from different countries and in different time since 1920s; we present these results together to see the whole picture.
Darwin’s (1871/1981) observation that evolution has produced in us certain emotions responding to right and wrong conduct that lack any obvious basis in individual utility is a useful springboard from which to clarify the role of emotion in moral judgment. The problem is whether a certain class of moral judgment is “constituted” or “driven by” emotion (Greene, 2008, p. 108) or merely correlated with emotion while being generated by unconscious computations (e.g., Huebner, Dwyer, & Hauser, 2008). With one exception, all (...) of the “personal” vignettes devised by Greene and colleagues (2001, 2004) and subsequently used by other researchers (e.g., Koenigs et al., 2007), in their fMRI and behavioral studies of emotional engagement in moral judgment, involve violent crimes or torts. These studies thus do much more than highlight the role of emotion in moral judgment; they also support the classical rationalist thesis that moral rules are engraved in the mind. (shrink)
The Dirac δ function has solid roots in nineteenth century work in Fourier analysis and singular integrals by Cauchy and others, anticipating Dirac’s discovery by over a century, and illuminating the nature of Cauchy’s infinitesimals and his infinitesimal definition of δ.
One of the most influential scientific treatises in Cauchy's era was J.-L. Lagrange's Mécanique Analytique, the second edition of which came out in 1811, when Cauchy was barely out of his teens. Lagrange opens his treatise with an unequivocal endorsement of infinitesimals. Referring to the system of infinitesimal calculus, Lagrange writes:Lorsqu'on a bien conçu l'esprit de ce système, et qu'on s'est convaincu de l'exactitude de ses résultats par la méthode géométrique des premières et dernières raisons, ou par la méthode analytique (...) des fonctions dérivées, on peut employer les infiniment petits comme un instrument sûr et commode pour abréger et simplifier les demonstrations.Lagrange's renewed enthusiasm for .. (shrink)
We seek to elucidate the philosophical context in which one of the most important conceptual transformations of modern mathematics took place, namely the so-called revolution in rigor in infinitesimal calculus and mathematical analysis. Some of the protagonists of the said revolution were Cauchy, Cantor, Dedekind,and Weierstrass. The dominant current of philosophy in Germany at the time was neo-Kantianism. Among its various currents, the Marburg school (Cohen, Natorp, Cassirer, and others) was the one most interested in matters scientific and mathematical. Our (...) main thesis is that Marburg neo-Kantian philosophy formulated a sophisticated position towards the problems raised by the concepts of limits and infinitesimals. The Marburg school neither clung to the traditional approach of logically and metaphysically dubious infinitesimals, nor whiggishly subscribed to the new orthodoxy of the “great triumvirate” of Cantor, Dedekind, and Weierstrass that declared infinitesimals conceptus nongrati in mathematical discourse. Rather, following Cohen’s lead, the Marburg philosophers sought to clarify Leibniz’s principle of continuity, and to exploit it in making sense of infinitesimals and related concepts. (shrink)
By focusing on mistaken judgments, Sunstein provides a theory of performance errors without a theory of moral competence. Additionally, Sunstein's objections to thought experiments like the footbridge and trolley problems are unsound. Exotic and unfamiliar stimuli are used in theory construction throughout the cognitive sciences, and these problems enable us to uncover the implicit structure of our moral intuitions.
This paper attempts to identify general, cross-cultural cognitive factors that trigger the default commissive interpretation of assertions about one's future action. It is argued that the solution cannot be found at the level of the semantics of the English will, or any other future tense marker, but should be sought in the structure of rational intentions, as combined with the pragmatics of felicitous predictions and with parameters linked to the evolutionary advantage of cooperative behaviour. Some supporting evidence from language development (...) studies is briefly presented. (shrink)