In December 1924 when Simone de Beauvoir almost certainly wrote her essay analyzing Claude Bernard's "Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine," a classic text in the philosophy of science, she was a 16 yr old student in a senior-level philosophy class at a private Catholic girls' school. Given the popular conception of existentialism as anti science, Beauvoir's early interest in science, reflected in her baccalaureate successes as well as her paper on Bernard, may be surprising. But her enthusiasm (...) for Bernard is unmistakable. We have identified three themes in Beauvoir's essay that reappear in her later work, including the valuing of philosophical doubt. (shrink)
Research in modern biology has largely been developed according to two main ways of inquiry, as they were outlined by Charles Darwin and Claude Bernard. Each stands for a specific approach to the living corresponding to two different methodological rules: the principle of natural selection and the principle of causation.
El súbito consenso que se ha producido en nuestros días alrededor de la importancia de la noción democracia no se ha acompañado de una reflexión filosófica sobre su sentido moderno. La obra filosófica de Claude Lefort ha contribuido a llenar este vacío teórico. Para Lefort, el sentido de la democracia moderna no puede revelarse, como ha supuesto la ciencia política, a través de la descripción del funcionamiento de sus instituciones, sino puede estudiarse mediante la exploración de su dimensión simbólica. (...) En efecto, la fundación y el destino de la democracia son inseparables de la indeterminación de sus fundamentos y de la infigurabilidad del poder, de la ley y del saber. Origen y destino que bien pueden ser rastreados a la luz del contraste entre la sociedad democrática y la sociedad totalitaria. El presente ensayo se ocupa de contrastar la dimensión simbólica de ambas formas de sociedad. Palabras clave: Democracia; totalitarismo; dimensión simbólica; político; Claude Lefort Democracy and totalitarianism: The Symbolic Dimension of the Political according to Claude LefortThe sudden consensus prevailing nowadays on the importance of the concept of democracy has not been accompanied by a philosophical reflection on its modern sense. Claude Lefort’s philosophical work has helped to fill this theoretical vacuum. According to Lefort, the sense of modern democracy cannot be disclosed, as political science has assumed, just by describing the operation of its institutions. Rather, it may be studied by exploring its symbolic dimension. In fact, democracy’s origin and fate are inseparable from the indeterminacy of its foundation and the non-figurable nature of power, law and knowledge. Such an origin and fate may indeed be tracked in light of the contrast between the democratic society and the totalitarian one. This essay aims to contrast the symbolic dimension of both forms of society. Keywords : Democracy; totalitarianism; symbolic dimension; political; Claude Lefort. (shrink)
Each time patients and their families are asked to make a decision about resuscitation, they are also asked to engage the political, social, and cultural concerns that have shaped its history. That history is exemplified in the career of Claude S. Beck, arguably the most influential researcher and teacher of resuscitation in the twentieth century. Careful review of Beck’s work discloses that the development and popularization of the techniques of resuscitation proceeded through a multiplication of definitions of death. CPR (...) consequently remains unique among medical treatments, because it is indicated precisely when a person dies, depending always on how each event of death becomes defined practically by patients, families, and medical professionals present at the time. It is therefore as an occasion to manage a surplus of definitions of death, and not as an occasion to determine the physiological efficacy of resuscitation, that one should approach analysis of contemporary challenges in decision-making about resuscitation. (shrink)
I will begin by considering some themes from Proust's wonderful essay on Chardin, Chardin and Rembrandt. Proust speaks of the young man ‘of modest means and artistic taste’, his imagination filled with the splendour of museums, of cathedrals, of mountains, of the sea, sitting at table at the end of lunch, nauseated at the ‘traditional mundanity’ of the unaesthetic spectacle before him: the last knife left lying on the half turned-back table cloth, next to the remains of an underdone and (...) tasteless cutlet. He cannot wait to get up and leave, and if he cannot take a train to Holland or Italy, he will at least go to the Louvre to have sight of the palaces of Veronese, the princes of van Dyck and the harbours of Claude. Doing this will, of course, make his return to his home and its familiar surroundings seem yet more drab and exasperating. (shrink)
Claude Welch, the distinguished historian of nineteenth‐century religious thought, once declared that Samuel Taylor Coleridge ‘may be seen as the real turning point into the theology of the nineteenth century’ and that he ‘was as important for British and American thought as were Schleiermacher and Hegel’.2 Still, Coleridge remains largely marginalized in the annals of church history and theology despite his unwavering prominence throughout much of the nineteenth century. Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that Coleridge's posthumously (...) published Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit , with its rejection of the verbal infallibility of Scripture and elevation of the importance of the individual in rightly discerning the truths of the Christian faith, has often been misread as an attestation of the primacy of the individual subject over the biblical text. It has been treated alternately as a document that signals the emergence of German higher criticism in England,3 a Romantic appeal to the fundamental importance of the subjective in religion,4 and an early form of reader‐oriented literary criticism.5 In this article I suggest that the attention devoted to Coleridge's denial of the verbal inspiration of Scripture, epitomized by the phrase that biblical inspiration is constituted by ‘whatever finds me’, has overshadowed his equally significant attention to the authority of church tradition in that same document. More specifically, rather than arguing for subjectivism in biblical interpretation, Coleridge equally emphasizes the objective sources of revelation expressed in Scripture and the church traditions handed over from the apostles. Rather than proposing a model of biblical inspiration that is wholly individualistic, Coleridge maintains a vision of Christianity that affirms the vitality of both the authority of the church and that of the believer. Thus, Coleridge's theological contribution to religious history is not that of an aberrant, absent‐minded poet, but rather that of a central participant engaged in an ongoing and pivotal debate in the history of England: the relationship between Scripture and church traditions.In order to draw out this important, though neglected, strand of thought in those ‘Letters on the Scriptures’, the name by which the Confessions is sometimes identified,6 I begin by briefly clarifying the nature of the idea of tradition both in relation to Coleridge and English theology in the nineteenth century. I then summarize the argument of the Confessions as a whole and turn more particularly to those sections of the Confessions that suggest the role Coleridge assigns to church tradition in relation to Scripture. Finally, after assessing the authority of the church in relationship to the divine Word, I turn to Coleridge's earlier works and his notes on the Works of William Chillingworth in order to demonstrate that his views on the respective authority of both the individual and the church were consistently held since near the time of his conversion to Trinitarian Christianity. I conclude that Coleridge's conception of the relationship between Scripture and church traditions calls for a reevaluation of his place in the history of religious thought in England. (shrink)
I will begin by considering some themes from Proust's wonderful essay on Chardin, Chardin and Rembrandt . Proust speaks of the young man ‘of modest means and artistic taste’, his imagination filled with the splendour of museums, of cathedrals, of mountains, of the sea, sitting at table at the end of lunch, nauseated at the ‘traditional mundanity’ of the unaesthetic spectacle before him: the last knife left lying on the half turned-back table cloth, next to the remains of an underdone (...) and tasteless cutlet. He cannot wait to get up and leave, and if he cannot take a train to Holland or Italy, he will at least go to the Louvre to have sight of the palaces of Veronese, the princes of van Dyck and the harbours of Claude. Doing this will, of course, make his return to his home and its familiar surroundings seem yet more drab and exasperating. (shrink)
Taking as a starting point for his quest the teaching received from the Hebrew prophets and transmitted by the people of Israel, Claude Tresmontant identifies in it the specific moment where an entirely new and creative thought is introduced in the history of mankind. Trained in philosophy of science and conscious of the discipline involved in a rigorous experimental method as a key to valid and true knowledge, Claude Tresmontant boldly recreated bridges, long destroyed, between science and philosophy (...) of nature, as well as metaphysics and theology. Following an immense effort, he has found back, stringently and often on his own, a unifying concept capable of integrating the experience and the questions of today's man: "...the central question is that of integrating the teaching of creation and that of revelation in the unity of an intelligible vision of the world, desirable, and verifiable..." as he said himself in the preface to L'histoire de l'univers et le sens de la Création. This immense, powerful and thought-provoking work is here presented by a young philosopher, long time correspondent of Claude Tresmontant, who benefited from decisive moments of encounter with him. (shrink)
Available from UMI in association with The British Library. Requires signed TDF. ;This thesis examines the influence and reception of John Locke in France and French-speaking communities in the period 1688 to 1734. We begin with the circumstances of the translation of Locke's works into French, a study of Locke's personal relationships and correspondence with French Protestants chiefly in the Low Countries, and a survey of early references to Locke in literary journals; these establish the initial patterns of dissemination of (...) Locke's ideas. ;Four areas are then examined in detail: the use made of Locke by those writing on natural law, especially Jean Barbeyrac in his influential translations of Grotius and Pufendorf; Locke's contribution to debates on natural order of words in natural languages and on methods of Latin-teaching, chiefly in the work of Du Marsais; the Jesuit educator Claude Buffier and his use of, and reservations about, Locke in the context of educational theory and empirical philosophy; and Locke's place in the debate, set by Cartesian and scholastic traditions, about metaphysical and epistemological questions such as animal souls and thinking matter. ;Voltaire forms the focus of the conclusion: his own study of Locke and his presentation of Locke's ideas are examined by means of his own correspondence and of a detailed study of the Lettres philosophiques and immediate responses to them in literary circles. We conclude that, although Voltaire was not the first French-speaking writer to discover and use Locke, he did importantly popularise Locke by presenting him coherently and comprehensibly. (shrink)
"Margaret L. King has put together a highly representative selection of readings from most of the more significant—but by no means the most obvious—texts by the authors who made up the movement we have come to call the 'Enlightenment.' They range across much of Europe and the Americas, and from the early seventeenth century until the end of the eighteenth. In the originality of the choice of texts, in its range and depth, this collection offers both wide coverage and striking (...) insights into the intellectual transformation which has done more than any other to shape the world in which we live today. It is _simply the best introduction to the subject now available_."_ —Anthony Pagden, UCLA, and author of _The Enlightenment and Why It Still Matters_ Contents:_ Chronology, Introduction _Chapter One - Casting Out Idols: 1620–1697_ _Idols, or false notions: _Francis Bacon, _The New Instrument_ _I think, therefore I am: _René Descartes, Discourse on Method _God, or Nature: _Baruch Spinoza, _Ethics_ _The system of the world: _Isaac Newton, _Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy_ _He searched for truth throughout his life: _Pierre Bayle, _Historical and Critical Dictionary_ _Chapter Two - _The Learned Maid: 1638–1740 _A face raised toward heaven:_ Anna Maria van Schurman, _Whether the Study of Letters Befits a Christian Woman_ _The worlds I have made:_ Margaret Cavendish, _The Blazing World_ _A finer sort of cattle:_ Bathsua Makin, _An Essay to Revive the Ancient Education of Gentlewomen_ _I warn you of the world:_ Madame de Maintenon, _Letter: On the Education of the Demoiselles of Saint-Cyr_, and _Instruction: On the World_ _The daybreak of your reason:_ Émilie Du Châtelet, _Fundamentals of Physics_ _Chapter Three - _A State of Perfect Freedom: 1689–1695 _The chief criterion of the True Church:_ John Locke, _Letter on Toleration_ _Freedom from any superior power on earth:_ John Locke, _Second Treatise on Civil Government_ _A white paper, with nothing written on it:_ John Locke, _Essay Concerning Human Understanding_ _Let your rules be as few as possible:_ John Locke, _Some Thoughts Concerning Education_ _From death, Jesus Christ restores all to life:_ John Locke, _The Reasonableness of Christianity, as Delivered in the Scriptures_ _Chapter Four - All Things Made New: 1725–1784_ _In the wilderness, they are reborn:_ Giambattista Vico, _The New Science_ _Without these Names, nothing can be known,_ Carl Linnaeus, _System of Nature_ _All the clouds at last are lifted:_ Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, _The Successive Advancement of the Human Mind_ _A genealogical or encyclopedic tree of knowledge:_ Jean le Rond d’Alembert, _Preliminary Discourse_ _Dare to know! :_ Immanuel Kant, _What Is Enlightenment?_ _Chapter Five - Mind, Soul, and God: 1740–1779_ _The narrow limits of human understanding:_ David Hume, _Anof a Book Lately Published_ _The soul is but an empty word:_ Julien Offray de La Mettrie, _Man a Machine_ _All is reduced to sensation:_ Claude Adrien Helvétius, _On the Mind_ _An endless web of fantasies and falsehoods:_ Paul-Henri Thiry, baron d’Holbach, _Common Sense_ _Let each believe that his own ring is real:_ Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, _Nathan the Wise_ _Chapter Six - Crush That Infamous Thing: 1733–1764_ _This is the country of sects:_ Voltaire, _Philosophical Letters_ _Disfigured by myth, until enlightenment comes:_ Voltaire, _The Culture and Spirit of Nations_ _The best of all possible worlds:_ Voltaire, _Candide_ _Are we not all children of the same God?:_ Voltaire, _Treatise on Tolerance_ _If a book displeases you, refute it! :_ Voltaire, _Philosophical Dictionary_ _Chapter Seven - Toward the Greater Good: 1748–1776_ _Things must be so ordered that power checks power,_ Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu, _The Spirit of the Laws_ _Complete freedom of trade must be ensured:_ François Quesnay, _General Maxims for the Economic Management of an Agricultural Kingdom_ _The nation's war against the citizen: Cesare_ Beccaria, _On Crimes and Punishments_ _There is no peace in the absence of justice:_ Adam Ferguson, _An Essay on the History of Civil Society_ _Led by an invisible hand:_ Adam Smith, _An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations_ _Chapter Eight - Encountering Others: 1688–1785_ _Thus died this great man:_ Aphra Behn, _Oroonoko: or The Royal Slave_ _Not one sins the less for not being Christian: _Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, _Embassy Letters_ _Do you not restore to them their liberty?:_ Guillaume-Thomas Raynal, _Philosophical and Political History of European Colonies and Commerce in the Two Indies_ _Some things which are rather interesting:_ Captain James Cook, _Voyage towards the South Pole, and Round the World_ _The inner genius of my being:_ Johann Gottfried von Herder, _Ideas for a Philosophy of the History of Humankind_ _Chapter - Nine Citizen of Geneva: 1755–1782_ _The most cunning project ever to enter the human mind: _Jean-Jacques Rousseau, _Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Human Inequality_ _The supreme direction of the General Will:_ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract _Two lovers from a small town at the foot of the Alps,_ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, _Julie, or the New Heloise_ _Build a fence around your child’s soul:_ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, _Emile, or On Education_ _This man will be myself:_ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, _Confessions_ _Chapter Ten - Vindications of Women: 1685–1792_ _No higher design than to get her a husband:_ Mary Astell, _Reflections on Marriage_ _The days of my bondage begin:_ Anna Stanisławska, _Orphan Girl_ _A dying victim dragged to the altar:_ Denis Diderot, _The Nun_ _Created to be the toy of man:_ Mary Wollstonecraft, _Vindication of the Rights of Woman_ _Man, are you capable of being just?:_ Olympe de Gouges, _Declaration of the Rights of Woman as Citizen_ _Chapter Eleven - American Reverberations: 1771–1792_ _I took upon me to assert my freedom:_ Benjamin Franklin, _Autobiography_ _Freedom has been hunted round the globe:_ Thomas Paine, _Common Sense_ _Endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights:_ Thomas Jefferson and Others, _Declaration of Independence_ _A safeguard against faction and insurrection:_ James Madison, _Federalist No. 10_ _An end to government by force and fraud:_ Thomas Paine, _The Rights of Man_ _Chapter Twelve - Enlightenment's End: 1790–1794_ _A partnership of the living, the dead, and those unborn:_ Edmund Burke, _Reflections on the Revolution in France_ _The future destiny of the human species:_ Nicolas de Condorcet, _A Sketch of a Historical Portrait of the Progress of the Human Mind_ Texts and Studies, Index. 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This is the first English language volume to offer such a wide-ranging scholarly and intellectual perspective on Claude Lefort. It constitutes the most comprehensive attempt to reconstruct Lefort's engagement with his theoretical interlocutors as well as his influence on today's democratic thought and contemporary continental political philosophy.
This paper will put forward to new audiences the core of Claude Sumner's thesis regarding philosophy in the "broad" and "narrow" senses, the former referring to wisdom and the sapiential tradition. It will look at Sumner's role in popularizing early Ethiopian texts in a project meant to debunk preconceptions that Africa has no written history of philosophy. Nevertheless Sumner does not limit himself to written texts in the Ethiopian tradition, but has branched out into collecting and analyzing the oral (...) traditions as well. He has argued that the written texts of Zera Yacob are examples of "religious rationality" in some ways similar to Descartes' scientific rationality. He argues that proverbs possess "figurative logic," which while different than conceptual logic is still indeed logic. Both written and oral sources of Ethiopian philosophy stretch well beyond the last fifty years, Sumner asserts, and thus African philosophy becomes known as being older than Hountondji, Okolo and others have thought. The paper argues that Sumner's contributions to the growth of the field of African philosophy should not be overlooked. (shrink)
A common and enduring early modern intuition is that materialists reduce organisms in general and human beings in particular to automata. Wasn’t a famous book of the time entitled L’Homme-Machine? In fact, the machine is employed as an analogy, and there was a specifically materialist form of embodiment, in which the body is not reduced to an inanimate machine, but is conceived as an affective, flesh-and-blood entity. We discuss how mechanist and vitalist models of organism exist in a more complementary (...) relation than hitherto imagined, with conceptions of embodiment resulting from experimental physiology. From La Mettrie to Bernard, mechanism, body and embodiment are constantly overlapping, modifying and overdetermining one another; embodiment came to be scientifically addressed under the successive figures of vie organique and then milieu intérieur, thereby overcoming the often lamented divide between scientific image and living experience. (shrink)
What is the event? How the phenomenology of event is possible if the "event" is not the phenomenon in the classical meaning of this word? French philosopher Claude Romano discusses these questions with his Russian colleague Ruslan Loshakov. The interlocutors consider the concept of event in different contexts, paying special attention to the relationships which connect the phenomenology of event with Husserl, Bergson, Heidegger and Levinas' ideas.
This ar ti cle ex tends, from a philo soph i cal and an thro po log i cal point of view, the re cent dis - cus sions as to what is met a phoric. Lan guage phi - los o phers have con trib uted to the un der stand ing of the na ture and func tion of met a phors, but their com ments have been tra ..
In this paper I criticize Claude Romano’s recent characterization of Husserl’s phenomenology as a form of Cartesianism. Contra Romano, Husserl is not committed to the view that since individual things in the world are dubitable, then the world as a whole is dubitable. On the contrary, for Husserl doubt is a merely transitional phenomenon which can only characterize a temporary span of experience. Similarly, illusion is not a mode of experience in its own right but a retrospective way of (...) characterizing a span of experience. Therefore, Husserl cannot be plausibly characterized as either a disjunctivist or a conjunctivist. The common premise of both theories – namely, that perception and illusion are two classes of conscious acts standing on equal footing – is phenomenologically unsound. I propose to call Husserl’s theory a hermeneutical theory of perception, i.e., one that interprets perception as a temporal and self-correcting process. In the last part of the paper I argue that Husserl’s positive appraisal of Cartesian doubt is only pedagogical in nature. Husserl does not take Cartesian doubt to be practicable, but the attempt to doubt universally has the positive effect of revealing transcendental subjectivity as the subject matter of phenomenology. (shrink)
Many have tackled the question ‘What (if anything) is analytic philosophy?’ I will not attempt to answer this vexed question. Rather, I address a smaller, more manageable set of interrelated questions: first, when and how did people begin using the label ‘analytic philosophy’? Second, how did those who used this label understand it? Third, why did many philosophers we today classify as analytic initially resist being grouped together under the single category of ‘analytic philosophy’? Finally, for the first generation who (...) described themselves as analytic philosophers, what was their intended contrast class? Relatedly, when did ‘continental philosophy’ become the standard opposition? Some evidence I present justifies received answers to these questions; other evidence supports surprising and unorthodox answers to these questions. (shrink)
When Did I Begin? investigates the theoretical, moral, and biological issues surrounding the debate over the beginning of human life. With the continuing controversy over the use of in vitro fertilization techniques and experimentation with human embryos, these issues have been forced into the arena of public debate. Following a detailed analysis of the history of the question, Reverend Ford argues that a human individual could not begin before definitive individuation occurs with the appearance of the primitive streak about two (...) weeks after fertilization. This, he argues, is when it becomes finally known whether one or more human individuals are to form from a single egg. Thus, he questions the idea that the fertilized egg itself could be regarded as the beginning of the development of the human individual. The author also differs sharply, however, from those who would delay the beginning of the human person until the brain is formed, or until birth or the onset of conscious states. (shrink)
Eugene Mills has recently argued that human organisms cannot begin to exist at fertilization because the evidence suggests that egg cells persist through fertilization and simply turn into zygotes. He offers two main arguments for this conclusion: that ‘fertilized egg’ commits no conceptual fallacy, and that on the face of it, it looks as though egg cells survive fertilization when the process is watched through a microscope. We refute these arguments and offer several reasons of our own to think that (...) egg cells do not survive fertilization, appealing to various forms of essentialism regarding persons, fission cases, and a detailed discussion of the biological facts relevant to fertilization and genetics. We conclude that it is plausible, therefore, that human organisms begin to exist at fertilization – or, at the very least, that there are grounds for thinking that they existed as zygotes which do not apply to the prior egg cells. While this does not entail that human persons begin to exist at this point, it nevertheless has considerable significance for this latter question. (shrink)
From the beginning the French philosopher Claude Lefort has set himself the task of interpreting the political life of modern society-and over time he has succeeded in elaborating a distinctive conception of modern democracy that is linked to both historical analysis and a novel form of philosophical reflection. This book, the first full-scale study of Lefort to appear in English, offers a clear and compelling account of Lefort's accomplishment-its unique merits, its relation to political philosophy within the Continental tradition, (...) and its great relevance today. Much of what passes for political philosophy in our day is merely politicized philosophical concepts, a distinction author Bernard Flynn underscores as he describes the development of Lefort's truly political philosophy-its ideas formed in response to his own political experience and to the work of certain major figures within the tradition of political thought. Beginning with Lefort's most important single work, his book on Machiavelli, Flynn presents the philosopher's conceptions of politics, modernity, and interpretation in the context within which they took shape. He then draws on a wide variety of Lefort's works to explicate his notions of premodern and modern democracy in which totalitarianism, in Lefort's singular and highly influential theory, is identified as a permanent problem of modernity. A valuable exposition of one of the most important Continental philosophers of the post-World War II period, Flynn's book is itself a noteworthy work of interpretive philosophy, pursuing the ideas and issues addressed by Lefort to a point of unparalleled clarity and depth. (shrink)
In this article I confront Jürgen Habermas' deliberative model of democracy with Claude Lefort's analysis of democracy as a regime in which the locus of power remains an empty place. This confrontation reveals several structural similarities between the two authors and explains how the proceduralization of popular sovereignty provides a discourse-theoretical interpretation of the empty place of power. At the same time, Lefort's insistence on the open-ended nature of the democratic struggle also points towards an unresolved tension at the (...) core of Habermas' model between the cognitive nature of deliberation on the one hand and the freedom of moral and political agents on the other. A proper solution of this tension requires a full appreciation of the ineliminable gap between actual and ideal deliberation. Because actual deliberation can never result in an ideal consensus, the actual exercise of democratic power should be understood as an unavoidable interruption of deliberation. Key Words: consensus deliberation democracy empty place of power Jürgen Habermas Claude Lefort. (shrink)
During the 19th century atomism was a controversial issue in chemistry. It is an oversimplification to dismiss the critics' arguments as all falling under the general positivist view that what can't be seen can't be. The more interesting lines of argument either questioned whether any coherent notion of an atom had ever been formulated or questioned whether atoms were ever really given any explanatory role. At what point, and for what reasons, did atomistic hypotheses begin to explain anything in chemistry? (...) It is argued that 19th-century atomic accounts of constant proportions and isomerism had little to offer, whereas a non-atomic explanation of chemical combination was developed. Not until the turn of the century did atomism begin to do serious explanatory work in chemistry. (shrink)
Claude Bernard, the father of scientific physiology, believed that if medicine was to become truly scientiifc, it would have to be based on rigorous and controlled animal experiments. Bernard instituted a paradigm which has shaped physiological practice for most of the twentieth century. ln this paper we examine how Bernards commitment to hypothetico-deductivism and determinism led to (a) his rejection of the theory of evolution; (b) his minima/ization of the role of clinical medicine and epidemiological studies; and (c) his (...) conclusion that experiments on nonhuman animals were, "entirely conclusive for the toxicology and hygiene of man". We examine some negative consequences of Bernardianism for twentieth century medicine, and argue that physio/ogy's continued adherence to Bernardianism has caused it to diverge from the other biological sciences which have become increasingly infused with evolutionary theory. (shrink)
We discuss in this paper the question of the scope of the principle of tolerance about languages promoted in Carnap's The Logical Syntax of Language and the nature of the analogy between it and the rudimentary conventionalism purportedly exhibited in the work of Poincaré and Hilbert. We take it more or less for granted that Poincaré and Hilbert do argue for conventionalism. We begin by sketching Coffa's historical account, which suggests that tolerance be interpreted as a conventionalism that allows us (...) complete freedom to select whatever language we wish—an interpretation that generalizes the conventionalism promoted by Poincaré and Hilbert which allows us complete freedom to select whatever axiom system we wish for geometry. We argue that such an interpretation saddles Carnap with a theory of meaning that has unhappy consequences, a theory we believe he did not hold. We suggest that the principle of linguistic tolerance in fact has a more limited scope; but within that scope the analogy between tolerance and geometric conventionalism is quite tight. (shrink)
Verbs like begin may take either a VP or an NP complement, but their meaning is pretty similar in both cases, e.g. for begin, the start of an eventuality is at stake. Pustejovsky's approach captures this similarity in terms of an invariant meaning of the verb, which entails a process of reinterpretation for the transitive variant of the verb. I will show that while the intuitions of this proposal are on the right track, its actual implementation suffers from a number (...) of shortcomings. I will offer an analysis that preserves Pustejovsky's intuition but avoids these shortcomings. My analysis is based on an appropriate underspecification formalism. (shrink)
El objetivo de este artículo es indagar cómo la interpretación que Claude Lefort hace en el período 1950-1972 de la obra de Maquiavelo influye en sus escritos posteriores a través de un objetivo doble. Por un lado, da cuenta de cómo se da la articulación entre su teoría de la democracia moderna –y la indeterminación que le es consustancial– y la noción maquiaveliana de república; y, por otro lado,da cuenta de cómo se ocluye, en algún punto, la importancia que (...) tienen los liderazgos personales para Maquiavelo para pensar los regímenes políticos. Este objetivo doble está atravesado por la siguiente hipótesis de lectura: Maquiavelo es un insumo fundamental para reflexionar sobre la teoría lefortiana de democracia, tanto por aquello que Lefort recupera de Maquiavelo como por aquello que descarta. (shrink)
Professeur Finkelstein avait posée la question, pourquoi, bien que leurs réalisations scientifiques et leur scientifique approche soient similaires, Bernard était beaucoup plus connu dans son pays, France, et à son époque, que Bois-Reymond en Allemagne? Une question similaire a été posée au sujet du pourquoi Darwin est connu pour la théorie de l'évolution, tandis que Wallace a été remis en arrière-fond dans leur temps et dans l'histoire. Selon Finkelstein, la cause de la differences entre Bois-Reymond et Bernard, peut être trouvée (...) dans la culture et la place de la science dans l'œil public en France contre les memes choses en Allemagne. C'est-à-dire, la rhétorique de la science a été plus respectée en France qu'en Allemagne, ce que Finkelstein a soutenu avec persuasion et éloquence. (shrink)
When Descartes made his scientific work public, he ushered in a worldview based almost entirely on mechanical motion, which brought along a complete rejection of “occult” forces. Thus, the foundation of astrology was equally rejected by many prominent Cartesians. However, the popularity of Descartes’ system lead to its rapid adoption by many subjects, astrology included. Here, I will take a look at the curious case of Claude Gadroys, whose primary work, Discours sur les influences des astres, defends a mechanical (...) account of astrology that accords with Descartes’ principles. Gadroys’ Discours employs a sophisticated strategy to rehabilitate astrology of the 17th century against Pico della Mirandola, among other critics. Gadroys’ theory even incorporates Descartes’ discovery, contra the scholastics, that the sublunary and celestial spheres do not differ in kind. Surprisingly, Gadroys uses Descartes’ discovery to substantiate the stars influencing the Earth, whereas earlier astrologers required such a distinction. Gadroys’ adoption of Cartesian philosophy highlights two major theses. First, the advent of mechanical philosophy in no way necessitated the downfall of astrology; instead, it merely changed the direction of astrological explanation for those that followed current science. Second, it shows the selective nature of Cartesian explanation and hypotheses. (shrink)
The article deals with the question of persuasion by comparing two passages taken from a text written by Victor Hugo entitled Claude Gueux The first passage is taken from the first part of the text in which Hugo tells the story of the murder of the director of the Clairvaux prison workshop perpetrated by a prisoner, Claude Gueux, followed by the latter’s trial and execution. The second passage studied is taken from the second part of the text in (...) which Hugo argues against the death penalty. This article begins with an intuitive sense that the styles of these passages are “different”: the second one clearly shows Hugo’s persuasive intention, which is to say his effort to make his position be accepted. That said, does this extract have semantic properties that the descriptive passage does not have? The hypothesis advanced is that the organization of contents is of a similar nature in both passages of Claude Gueux and that it is only in an enunciative way that the passages are distinguishable. This enunciative difference allows the militant passage’s locutor to portray himself in a favorable light and, herewith, to convince the reader to his point of view. It is, hence, but in an indirect manner that Hugo’s persuasive intention appears; as it is without a semantic mark. (shrink)
The things themselves, which only the limited brains of men and animals believe fixed and stationary, have no real existence at all. They are the flashing and sparks of drawn swords, the glow of victory in the conflict of opposing qualities. SummaryThe conflicts between the eristentialism of Jean‐Paul Sartre and the structuralism of Claude Lévi‐Strauss present a privileged site for illuminating larger conflicts in the human studies as a whole. The present paper argues that a method for addressing and (...) perhaps resolving thes conflicts can be drawn from the respective logics of existentialism and structuralism. The essay begins by discussing the dialectical social theory of lean‐Paul Sartre and then, after treating Lévi‐Strauss's theory of structure, goes on to argue that dialectical thought generates structures, and that structuralism invites a dialectical method of construction. While an integration of methods along these lines does not constitute an integrated social theory, it can remove an important obstacle to the development of such theory. (shrink)
This article examines Claude Lefort's writings in order to think about the ‘social’, understood as separate from the political, and in its separation, as a strictly modern ‘phenomenon’. Prior to the modern democratic revolution, the collective order was presented through the representation of power, itself identified with both law and knowledge, and referred to a transcendent source. At a first moment, the modern democratic revolution, under the sign of the general will, renders power immanent. At a second moment, it (...) separates power from law and, above all, knowledge, such that three domains emerge, each with its own logic, its own notion of representation, its own divisions. The ‘social’, in a sense, arises between these two moments. At one level, it appears as an event in, and in consequence an object of, knowledge, once knowledge need no longer be, primarily, a knowledge of power or law, that is the enunciation of the principles by which the latter establish the order, coherence and sense of the world. At another level the ‘social’ emerges as a response to the difficulties presented by a strictly political representation of societal order–difficulties in no small part due to the revolutionaries’ inability to countenance the separation between the three domains. In this regard the ‘social’ appears as a presupposition that serves to stabilize an inherently conflictual political order. It is, however, an ‘empty’ presupposition, without determinate content, and therefore also a source of uncertainty. While this emptiness proves a stimulus for the construction of new savoirs, it also accounts for the fragility of all discourses that would speak in its name (social science, social theory, sociology). The article concludes with a few words about the ‘death of the social’. (shrink)
Ces deux ouvrages tentent de présenter l'évolution du concept de l'utopie. L'ouvrage de Claude Cohen-Safir voudrait recenser les noms des penseurs européens et américains qu'elle considère comme importants dans la trajectoire des idées utopiques outre Atlantique. On trouve mention, dans ce livre, d'utopistes présents dans l'ouvrage dirigé par Michèle Riot-Sarcey qui s'intéresse davantage aux questions de définition et de méthodologie. Le but de chaque auteur dans ce collectif est aussi..
Claude Buffier was a French Jesuit whose philosophy earned Voltaire's praise. Thomas Reid was the one Scottish philosopher whose response to David Hume is still taken seriously. In this comparative study Professor Marcil-Lacoste not only refutes common assumptions, but also shows that, despite their similar concerns and the unfounded charge that Reid plagiarized from Buffier, a comparison of Reid and Buffier illuminates a range of significant epistemological issues. Further, she demonstrates that common-sense philosophies can be varied, subtle, and original. (...) This book also includes an edited and annotated version of Reid's hitherto unpublished curâ primâ on common sense prepared by David Fate Norton. (shrink)
« Le temps n’est pas un canevas sur lequel on brode ». C’est dans ces termes lancés comme un avertissement par William Grossin dans les années 90 que pouvait se définir la ligne éditoriale du bulletin des _Temporalistes_. L’argument ne devait pas déplaire à Claude Dubar qui allait transformer ce bulletin de liaison en une véritable revue scientifique et lui donner de nouvelles ambitions. Mais la contribution de Claude Dubar à la recherche sur les temporalités ne s’est pas (...) arrêtée à une offre nouvelle de publication, avec la création de la revue du même nom. Que ce soit dans _Temporalités_ ou ailleurs, on peut constater, dans ses textes et communications sur le sujet, une exigence pour les questions formelles qui l’a conduit au dépassement de la sociographie, sans toutefois y renoncer. Ainsi perçoit-on dans le mouvement même de sa pensée, un élan vers la conceptualisation dont témoignent plus particulièrement ses dernières productions. Cette évolution épistémologique qui s’est nourrie de... (shrink)