Luminance and color are strong and self-sufficient cues to pictorial depth in visual scenes and images. The present study investigates the conditions Under which luminance or color either strengthens or overrides geometric depth cues. We investigated how luminance contrasts associated with color contrast interact with relative height in the visual field, partial occlusion, and interposition in determining the probability that a given figure is perceived as ‘‘nearer’’ than another. Latencies of ‘‘near’’ responses were analyzed to test for effects of attentional (...) selection. Figures in a pair were supported by luminance contrast or isoluminant color contrast and combined with one of the three geometric cues. The results of Experiment 1 show that luminance contrasts associated with hue, when it does not interact with other hues, produces the same effects as achromatic luminance contrasts: The probability of‘‘near’’ increases with luminance contrast while the latencies for ‘‘near’’ responses decrease. Partial occlusion is found to be a strong enough pictorial cue to support a weaker red luminance contrast. Interposition cues lose out against cues of spatial position and partial occlusion. The results of Experiment 2, with isoluminant displays of varying color contrast, reveal that red color contrast on a light background supported by any of the three geometric cues wins over green or white supported by any of the three geometric cues. On a dark background, red color contrast supported by the interposition cue loses out against green or white color contrast supported by partial occlusion. These findings reveal that color is not an independent depth cue, but is strongly influenced by luminance contrast and stimulus geometry. Systematically shorter response latencies for stronger ‘‘near’’ percepts demonstrate that selective visual attention reliably detects the most likely depth cue combination in a given configuration. (shrink)
Plongé au cœur des nanos, Christophe Vieu souligne la diversité des secteurs touchés par l’approche nano. À l’idée d’une convergence des secteurs scientifiques, il oppose l’image d’une espèce invasive. Il se sent de ce fait investi d’une responsabilité de l’ensemble des technosciences.
Pour relever le défi de l’irruption dans notre modernité d’une violence radicale, il faut, selon Éric Weil, inscrire la cohérence des discours dans l’espace premier du langage et de sa négativité créatrice. S’il est possible, alors, de procéder à une mise en ordre logique des divers types d’intelligibilité élaborés dans l’histoire, c’est en subordonnant l’ensemble de ces catégories concrètes aux deux catégories formelles du sens et de la sagesse, de la compréhension et de la vie selon la compréhension. La philosophie (...) se comprend ainsi dans le tout de la réalité qui se révèle en elle : sa systématicité dialogique a pour corollaire une ouverture sans réserve à l’extériorité du monde et de l’histoire. Cette transcendance dans l’immanence, à l’épreuve de la relativité de la condition, est-elle susceptible de rencontrer et d’accueillir l’attestation religieuse d’une transcendance absolue? C’est la question que l’on se risque à poser pour finir. In order to face the challenge of the irruption in our modernity of a radical violence, one must, according to Eric Weil, inscribe the coherence of discourses into the primary space of language and of its creative negativity. If it is possible, then, to proceed to put in logical order diverse types of intelligibility elaborated through history, it has to be by subordinating the whole of those concrete categories under the two formal categories of meaning and wisdom, of comprehension and of life in accordance with comprehension. Philosophy is thus understood within the whole of reality that reveals itself in it ; its systematic dialogical character has as a corollary an unreserved opening to the external character of the world and of history. Is this transcendence in immanence, while being proof resistant to the relativity of the condition, able to meet and receive the religious testimony of an absolute transcendence? Such is the question that is risked at the end. (shrink)
With a meta-analysis of 85 studies and 190 experiments, the authors test the relationship between socially responsible investing and financial performance to determine whether including corporate social responsibility and ethical concerns in portfolio management is more profitable than conventional investment policies. The study also analyses the influence of researcher methodologies with respect to several dimensions of SRI on the effects identified. The results indicate that the consideration of corporate social responsibility in stock market portfolios is neither a weakness nor a (...) strength compared with conventional investments; the heterogeneous results in prior studies largely reflect the SRI dimensions under study. (shrink)
What is philosophy of science? Numerous manuals, anthologies or essays provide carefully reconstructed vantage points on the discipline that have been gained through expert and piecemeal historical analyses. In this paper, we address the question from a complementary perspective: we target the content of one major journal of the field—Philosophy of Science—and apply unsupervised text-mining methods to its complete corpus, from its start in 1934 until 2015. By running topic-modeling algorithms over the full-text corpus, we identified 126 key research topics (...) that span across 82 years. We also tracked their evolution and fluctuating significance over time in the journal articles. Our results concur with and document known and lesser-known episodes of the philosophy of science, including the rise and fall of logic and language-related topics, the relative stability of a metaphysical and ontological questioning (space and time, causation, natural kinds, realism), the significance of epistemological issues about the nature of scientific knowledge as well as the rise of a recent philosophy of biology and other trends. These analyses exemplify how computational text-mining methods can be used to provide an empirical large-scale and data-driven perspective on the history of philosophy of science that is complementary to other current historical approaches. (shrink)
Developmental dyscalculia (DD) is a pervasive difficulty affecting number processing and arithmetic. It is encountered in around 6% of school-aged children. While previous studies have mainly focused on general cognitive functions, the present paper aims to further investigate the hypothesis of a specific numerical deficit in dyscalculia. The performance of 10- and 11-year-old children with DD characterised by a weakness in arithmetic facts retrieval and age-matched control children was compared on various number comparison tasks. Participants were asked to compare a (...) quantity presented in either a symbolic (Arabic numerals, number words, canonical dots patterns) or a nonsymbolic format (noncanonical dots patterns, and random sticks patterns) to the reference quantity 5. DD children showed a greater numerical distance effect than control children, irrespective of the number format. This favours a deficit in the specialised cognitive system underlying the processing of number magnitude in children with DD. Results are discussed in terms of access and representation deficit hypotheses. (shrink)
All known chimpanzee populations have been observed to hunt small mammals for meat. Detailed observations have shown, however, that hunting strategies differ considerably between populations, with some merely collecting prey that happens to pass by while others hunt in coordinated groups to chase fast-moving prey. Of all known populations, Taï chimpanzees exhibit the highest level of cooperation when hunting. Some of the group hunting roles require elaborate coordination with other hunters as well as precise anticipation of the movements of the (...) prey. The meat-sharing rules observed in this community guarantee the largest share of the meat to hunters who perform the most important roles leading to a capture. The learning time of such hunting roles is sometimes especially long. Taï chimpanzee males begin hunting monkeys at about age 10. The hunters’ progress in learning the more sophisticated hunting roles is clearly correlated with age; only after 20 years of practice are they able to perform them reliably. This lengthy learning period has also been shown in some hunter-gatherer societies and confirms the special challenge that hunting represents. (shrink)
Many researchers consider cancer to have molecular causes, namely mutated genes that result in abnormal cell proliferation (e.g. Weinberg 1998). For others, the causes of cancer are to be found not at the molecular level but at the tissue level where carcinogenesis consists of disrupted tissue organization with downward causation effects on cells and cellular components (e.g. Sonnenschein and Soto 2008). In this contribution, I ponder how to make sense of such downward causation claims. Adopting a manipulationist account of causation (...) (Woodward 2003), I propose a formal definition of downward causation and discuss further requirements (in light of Baumgartner 2009). I then show that such an account cannot be mobilized in support of non-reductive physicalism (contrary to Raatikainen 2010). However, I also argue that such downward causation claims might point at particularly interesting dynamic properties of causal relationships that might prove salient in characterizing causal relationships (following Woodward 2010). (shrink)
Ignoring most published evidence on wild chimpanzees, Tomasello et al.'s claim that shared goals and intentions are uniquely human amounts to a faith statement. A brief survey of chimpanzee hunting tactics shows that group hunts are compatible with a shared goals and intentions hypothesis. The disdain of observational data in experimental psychology leads some to ignore the reality of animal cognitive achievements.
Science is now studying biodiversity on a massive scale. These studies are occurring not just at the scale of larger plants and animals, but also at the scale of minute entities such as bacteria and viruses. This expansion has led to the development of a specific sub-field of “microbial diversity”. In this paper, I investigate how microbial diversity faces two of the classical issues encountered by the concept of “ biodiversity ”: the issues of defining the units of biodiversity and (...) of choosing a mathematical measure of diversity. I also show that the extension of the scope of biodiversity to microbial entities such as viruses and many other not-clearly-alive entities raises yet another foundational issue: that of defining a “lower-limit” of biodiversity. (shrink)
This essay is intended to explore relations between work and subjectivity (that is, what concerns the individual subject: his or her suffering, pleasure, personal development, and so on). To this end, we shall draw on a body of theory and clinical practice that has been developing in France for some twenty years under the name of the `psychodynamics of work' and ask the three following questions. What is work? This question might seem trivial, but the clinical analysis of the relationship (...) between work and subjectivity shows that work is inseparable from suffering. Working inevitably means experiencing failure—in terms of one's know-how, technique and control of the work process. Is suffering simply an unfortunate consequence of work? We shall attempt to show that in fact it is also at the origin of intelligence and ingeniousness. Which subjectivity? Assuming that we recognise what work owes to subjectivity, we must also reverse the question and ask ourselves what subjectivity (individual development) owes to work. We shall attempt to show that work constitutes a decisive challenge for subjectivity, one that can enhance that subjectivity (self-fulfilment) or, conversely, destroy it (mental pathology). Here, we shall evoke the questions raised by mental pathologies generated by the new forms of work organisation. Subjectivity between work and action? Work is not simply an individual experience. We always work for someone. Working always means encountering others in social relations, or in other words, relations of domination and servitude. Under what conditions do men and women who work agree to cooperate with each other? What conditions allow us to ward off the violence threatening to emerge from the social relations of work? Work offers what is perhaps the most ordinary opportunity to learn about living together (in Aristotle's sense) and democracy. But it can also give rise to the worst—the instrumentalisation of human beings and barbarity. (shrink)
Do trees of life have roots? What do these roots look like? In this contribution, I argue that research on the origins of life might offer glimpses on the topology of these very roots. More specifically, I argue (1) that the roots of the tree of life go well below the level of the commonly mentioned ‘ancestral organisms’ down into the level of much simpler, minimally living entities that might be referred to as ‘protoliving systems’, and (2) that further below, (...) a system of roots gradually dissolves into non-living matter along several functional dimensions. In between non-living and living matter, one finds physico-chemical systems that I propose to characterize by a ‘lifeness signature’. In turn, this ‘lifeness signature’ might also account for a diverse range of biochemical entities that are found to be ‘less-than-living’ yet ‘more-than-non-living’. (shrink)
The article reevaluates the reception of Mendelism in France, and more generally considers the complex relationship between Mendelism and plant breeding in the first half on the 20th century. It shows on the one side that agricultural research and higher education institutions have played a key role in the development and institutionalization of genetics in France, whereas university biologists remained reluctant to accept this approach on heredity. But on the other side, plant breeders, and agricultural researchers, despite an interest in (...) Mendelism, never came to see it as the breeders' panacea, and regarded it instead as of only limited value for plant breeding. I account for this judgment in showing that the plant breeders and Mendelism designed two contrasting kinds of experimental systems and inhabited distinct experimental cultures. While Mendelian geneticists designed experimental systems that allowed the production of definite ratios of different forms that varied in relation to a few characters, plant breeders' experimental systems produced a wide range of variation, featuring combinations between hundreds of traits. Rather than breaking this multiple variation down into simple elements, breeders designed and monitored a genetic lottery. The gene was a unit in a Mendelian experimental culture, an "epistemic thing" as Rheinberger put it, that could be grasped by means of statistical regularities, but it remained of secondary importance for French plant breeders, for whom the strain or the variety -- not the gene -- was the fundamental unit of analysis and manipulation. (shrink)
In recent cancer research, strong and apparently conflicting epistemological stances have been advocated by different research teams in a mist of an ever-growing body of knowledge ignited by ever-more perplexing and non-conclusive experimental facts: in the past few years, an 'organicist' approach investigating cancer development at the tissue level has challenged the established and so-called 'reductionist' approach focusing on disentangling the genetic and molecular circuitry of carcinogenesis. This article reviews the ways in which 'organicism' and 'reductionism' are used and opposed (...) in this context, with an aim at clarifying the debate. Methodological, epistemological and ontological implications of both approaches are discussed. We argue that the 'organicist/reductionist' opposition in the present case of carcinogenesis is more a matter of diverging heuristics than a claim about theoretical or ontological (ir)reducibility. As a matter of fact, except for the downward causation claim, which we question, we argue that the organicist arguments are compatible with the reductionist approach. Moreover, we speculate that both approaches, which currently focus on specific entities i.e., genes versus tissues, will need to shift their conceptual frameworks to studying complex arrays of relationships potentially ranging over several levels of entities, as is the case with 'systems biology'. (shrink)
■ Evidence from functional neuroimaging studies on resting state suggests that there are two distinct anticorrelated cortical systems that mediate conscious awareness: an “extrinsic” system that encompasses lateral fronto-parietal areas and has been linked with processes of external input (external awareness), and an “intrinsic” system which encompasses mainly medial brain areas and..
Advances in machine learning and natural language processing are revolutionizing the way we live, work, and think. As for any science, they are based on assumptions about what the world is, and how humans interact with it. In this paper, I discuss what is potentially one of these assumptions: structuralism, which states that all cultures share a hidden structure. I illustrate this assumption with political footprints: a machine-learning technique using pre-trained word vectors for political discourse analysis. I introduce some of (...) the benefits and limitations of structuralism when applied to machine learning, and the risks of exploiting a technology before establishing the validity of all its hypotheses. I consider how machine-learning techniques could evolve towards hybrid structuralism or post-structuralism, and how deeply these developments would impact cultural studies. (shrink)
Probably the most distinctive feature of synthetic biology is its being “synthetic” in some sense or another. For some, synthesis plays a unique role in the production of knowledge that is most distinct from that played by analysis: it is claimed to deliver knowledge that would otherwise not be attained. In this contribution, my aim is to explore how synthetic biology delivers knowledge via synthesis, and to assess the extent to which this knowledge is distinctly synthetic. On the basis of (...) distinctions between knowledge-how and knowledge-why, and between syntheses that succeed and syntheses that fail, I argue that the contribution of synthesis to knowledge is best understood when syntheses are construed as experimental interventions that aim at probing causal relationships between properties of the entities that are combined through these syntheses and properties of their target products. The distinctiveness of synthetic biology in its quest for knowledge through synthesis stems from its ability to sample at will a space of empirical possibilities that is not only huge but also that has been so scarcely sampled by nature. (shrink)
Le présent livre propose l’étude de la constitution, durant le haut Moyen Âge latin, d’une position philosophique : le réalisme de l’immanence à propos des universaux. Cette position est fondée sur la conviction qu’il existe, dans le monde qui nous entoure, certes des individus particuliers – ce tilleul, cette tortue –, mais aussi des entités universelles. Ces entités n’existent pas séparées des individus, mais intégralement réalisées en eux, sans variation ni degré. Cet engagement philosophique résulte d’une exégèse des Catégories d’Aristote, (...) réinterprétées selon des philosophèmes issus de la pensée de Porphyre. La généalogie de cette position est ici retracée en abordant successivement ses sources tant grecques que latines et ses ancêtres patristiques , puis son élaboration conceptuelle durant les premiers siècles du Moyen Âge latin jusqu’à la critique qu’en donnera Pierre Abélard, et ce, par l’analyse de l’ontologie des quatre philosophes qui l’ont soutenue : Jean Scot Érigène, Anselme de Canterbury, Odon de Cambrai et Guillaume de Champeaux. Ce parcours permet de dessiner les contours d’un projet philosophique : comprendre, analyser et décrire le monde sensible au moyen des concepts issus de la logique aristotélicienne. (shrink)
Artificial stimulation of the peripheral vestibular system has been shown to improve ownership of body parts in neurological patients, suggesting vestibular contributions to bodily self-consciousness. Here, we investigated whether galvanic vestibular stimulation interferes with the mechanisms underlying ownership, touch, and the localization of one’s own hand in healthy participants by using the “rubber hand illusion” paradigm. Our results show that left anodal GVS increases illusory ownership of the fake hand and illusory location of touch. We propose that these changes are (...) due to vestibular interference with spatial and/or temporal mechanisms of visual-tactile integration leading to an enhancement of visual capture. As only left anodal GVS lead to such changes, and based on neurological data on body part ownership, we suggest that this vestibular interference is mediated by the right temporo-parietal junction and the posterior insula. (shrink)
Showing a very early interest in Descartes, after having first considered him as a Christian thinker in the perspective of a deconstruction of religious life, Heidegger soon regards him as the major obstacle to the phenomenological analyses he wants to develop, as part of the first ontological search he gave himself: that of a hermeneutics of facticity. Therefore, the latter immediately takes in his work the shape of a hermeneutics of the I think, therefore I am, its author being blamed (...) for having entirely ignored the sense of being in the I am, focused as he is on the thinking ego, the ins and outs of which he develops. But the criticism also applying to Husserl, it is by laying the blame on his master, that Heidegger intends to radicalize the project of his own master, hence the necessity to throw light on the origin and the foundations of what we can call the Cartesian question in Heidegger. (shrink)
The plurality of definitions of life is often perceived as an unsatisfying situation stemming from still incomplete knowledge about ‘what it is to live’ as well as from the existence of a variety of methods for reaching a definition. For many, such plurality is to be remedied and the search for a unique and fully satisfactory definition of life pursued. In this contribution on the contrary, it is argued that the existence of such a variety of definitions of life undermines (...) the very feasibility of ever reaching a unique unambiguous definition. It is argued that focusing on the definitions of specific types of ‘living systems’ – somehow in the same way that one can define specific types of ‘flying systems’ – could be more fruitful from a heuristic point of view than looking for ‘the’ right definition of life, and probably more accurate in terms of carving Nature at its joints. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss ethical implications of the use of mobile phone apps in the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact tracing is a well-established feature of public health practice during infectious disease outbreaks and epidemics. However, the high proportion of pre-symptomatic transmission in COVID-19 means that standard contact tracing methods are too slow to stop the progression of infection through the population. To address this problem, many countries around the world have deployed or are developing mobile phone apps (...) capable of supporting instantaneous contact tracing. Informed by the on-going mapping of ‘proximity events’ these apps are intended both to inform public health policy and to provide alerts to individuals who have been in contact with a person with the infection. The proposed use of mobile phone data for ‘intelligent physical distancing’ in such contexts raises a number of important ethical questions. In our paper, we outline some ethical considerations that need to be addressed in any deployment of this kind of approach as part of a multidimensional public health response. We also, briefly, explore the implications for its use in future infectious disease outbreaks. (shrink)
A socioeconomic and demographic analysis of U.S. Google Trends for queries about Business Ethics and Greed is proposed in the context of the 2008 financial crisis. The framework is grounded in the ethical decision-making literature. Two models using micro and macro-type variables are tested using GLM and GEE regression techniques. The frequency of these Google queries varies positively with the ratio of females, educational attainment, younger adult age, some measures of economic hardship or inequalities, and the lesser the weight of (...) the finance industry represented in each State. The frequency of queries intensifies for these same socioeconomic and demographic categories, in the aftermath of the financial crisis. This article is the first to study the salience of business ethics as an issue in the empirical literature using a nationwide database. It also provides a first empirical study in the specialized literature on “ethics in a time of crisis”. This study lays a preliminary groundwork to identify pro-ethical reform segments of the population, with practical use for financial regulatory agencies. (shrink)
I analyse the impact of search engines on our cognitive and epistemic practices. For that purpose, I describe the processes of assessment of documents on the Web as relying on distributed cognition. Search engines together with Web users, are distributed assessment systems whose task is to enable efficient allocation of cognitive resources of those who use search engines. Specifying the cognitive function of search engines within these distributed assessment systems allows interpreting anew the changes that have been caused by search (...) engine technologies. I describe search engines as implementing reputation systems and point out the similarities with other reputation systems. I thus call attention to the continuity in the distributed cognitive processes that determine the allocation of cognitive resources for information gathering from others. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to examine the medieval posterity of the Aristotelian and Pyrrhonian treatments of the infinite regress argument. We show that there are some possible Pyrrhonian elements in Autrecourt's epistemology when he argues that the truth of our principles is merely hypothetical. By contrast, Buridan's criticisms of Autrecourt rely heavily on Aristotelian material. Both exemplify a use of scepticism.
ABSTRACTIn Sinicized Asia, justice, conceptualized and institutionalized in its current form on a Western mold is part of a singular and ancient Confucian legal tradition.In this paper, it will be argued that Confucians initially articulated the concept of justice in relation to their own explanation of the world and their ideal, which distinguishes and rewards men’s actions according to their merits and social condition.It will be shown that Confucius’s thinking is primarily political and suggests ways of harmoniously organizing and reforming (...) society in which justice is conceived both as a principle of government, a principle of social conduct and one of the essential virtues, or a ‘moral sense’ that everyone must possess, while, in practice, Confucian justice will put forward the imperatives of retributive justice. This, despite its philosophical aversion for sanctions and for what upsets harmony. (shrink)
Many researchers consider cancer to have molecular causes, namely mutated genes that result in abnormal cell proliferation (e.g. Weinberg 1998); yet for others, the causes of cancer are to be found not at the molecular level but at the tissue level and carcinogenesis would consist in a disrupted tissue organization with downward causation effects on cells and cellular components (e.g. Sonnenschein & Soto 2008). In this contribution, I ponder how to make sense of such downward causation claims. Adopting a manipulationist (...) account of causation (Woodward 2003), I propose a formal definition of downward causation, and discuss further requirements (in light of Baumgartner 2009). I then show that such an account cannot be mobilized in support of non-reductive physicalism (contrary to Raatikainen 2010). However, I also argue that such downward causation claims might point at particularly interesting dynamic properties of causal relationships that might prove salient in characterizing causal relationships (following Woodward 2010). (shrink)
Editorial: Folk Epistemology. The Cognitive Bases of Epistemic Evaluation Content Type Journal Article Pages 477-482 DOI 10.1007/s13164-010-0046-8 Authors Christophe Heintz, Department of Cognitive Science, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary Dario Taraborelli, Centre for Research in Social Simulation, Department of Sociology, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK Journal Review of Philosophy and Psychology Online ISSN 1878-5166 Print ISSN 1878-5158 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 4.
I argue that altruistic behavior and its variation across cultures may be caused by mental cognitive mechanisms that induce cooperative behavior in contract-like situations and adapt that behavior to the kinds of contracts that exist in one's socio-cultural environment. I thus present a cognitive alternative to Henrich et al.'s motivation-based account. Rather than behaving in ways that reveal preferences, subjects interpret the experiment in ways that cue their social heuristics. In order to distinguish the respective roles of preferences and cognitive (...) processes that determine economic behavior, we need more ethnography of strategies “in the wild.”. (shrink)
A subject’s relationship with work is by no means “neutral” as regards selfdevelopment. What becomes of the psychical relationship with work does not depend solely on the individual’s particular characteristics as a person, in particular their gender; it depends also on the nature and organization of work. In order to analyse the importance of work in the development of the psychic erotic economics, I refer to the psychotherapy of a young woman that took place towards the end of her adolescence. (...) This will enable me to show how work can have a positive impact on mental development. Then, in order to illustrate how work may destroy mental functioning, I briefly analyse examples taken from investigations I undertook in France in companies where several workplace suicides had taken place. (shrink)
Le présent article examine la façon dont John Dewey a entrepris de poser le problème de la valuation et de ses conséquences au sein de sa théorie de l’éducation. Plus spécifiquement, nous voudrions montrer que son effort pour repenser l’articulation des moyens et des fins du processus de valuation contribue à repenser l’enquête morale. Celle-ci, si elle fait alors l’objet d’une pédagogie qui met au centre l’expérience vécue du sujet, nous oblige à concevoir à nouveaux frais les valeurs que nous (...) accordons aux connaissances apprises. Notre analyse entend démontrer que : 1) de même que dans le domaine éthique, rien n’a de valeur en soi pour le sujet agissant. Mais que 2) la valuation de tout acte est déterminée en situation, alors, 3) dans le domaine de la pédagogie, aucune connaissance n’a de valeur en soi pour l’élève. 4) Ainsi la première tâche de l’enseignant.e est de former l’élève à des processus de valuation efficaces. Cela dans le but que celui-ci puisse à son tour, clairement, déterminer pour lui-même les connaissances qui auront de la valeur. Si notre hypothèse est juste alors cette tâche devient à la fois un point de départ important de la pédagogie pragmatiste et un impératif incontournable de l’éthique enseignante. -/- The present article examines how Dewey addressed the problem of value, as well as the consequences that this solution had for his educational theory. More specifically, I aim to show that Dewey’s effort to rethink means and ends within the process of valuation contributes to a recasting of moral inquiry. If moral inquiry becomes part of a pedagogy that focuses upon the lived experience of the subject, this compels us to rethink the value we attribute to acquired knowledge. My analysis will demonstrate 1) that even within the ethical domain, nothing has value in itself for the acting subject, but that 2) the value of all acts must be determined within specific situations, and therefore 3) within the domain of pedagogy, no knowledge has value in and of itself for the student. 4) Thus the first task of the teacher is to teach students how to evaluate questions of value, which will push them to determine for themselves what knowledge has value. If my hypothesis is correct, this task becomes simultaneously an important starting place for pragmatist pedagogy and a cornerstone of a new ethic of teaching. (shrink)
This article examines the link between oligarchy and the notion of representative democracy, which for Castoriadis also implies the bureaucratisation of society. However, in an argument with and against Castoriadis, one has to decipher modern oligarchies before launching into a radical critique of the principle of representation. There is a diversity of representative democracies, and the complexity of modernity comes from a mixture of oligarchy, representation and democracy. Even though the idea of democracy has evolved, we do not live under (...) representative democracies but under liberal oligarchies. Direct democratic procedures and representative elements can sometimes be gathered in order to create new forms of political commitment. The main problem is avoiding a concentration of powers, which cannot create the conditions for the emergence of democratic institutions. (shrink)
This article briefly presents some of the main features of the notion of “centrality of work” within the framework of the “psychodynamic” approach to work developed by Christophe Dejours. The paper argues that we should distinguish between at least four separate but related ways in which work can be said to be central: psychologically, in terms of gender relations, social-politically and epistemically.