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)
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)
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)
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 ..
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 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)
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)
Review Essay: `No, We Have Not Finished Reflecting On Communism':1 Beyond Post-Socialism: Sebastian Budgen, Stathis Kouvelakis and Slavoj Zižek , Lenin Reloaded: Toward a Politics of Truth ; Cornelius Castoriadis, The Rising Tide of Insignificancy ; Cornelius Castoriadis, Figures of the Thinkable ; Filip Kovacevic, Liberating Oedipus? Psychoanalysis as Critical Theory ; Claude Lefort, Complications: Communism and the Dilemmas of Democracy.
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)
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)
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)
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)
Au carrefour de la phénoménologie française contemporaine Depuis la fin des années ’90, la réflexion sur l’événement a permis de compter Claude Romano parmi les protagonistes de la phénoménologie française contemporaine. Sa proposition phénoménologique s’est ensuite nouée (grâce à l’endurante lecture des romans de Faulkner) à l’inouï débordement de l’événement de la vie que le récit est censé redonner, pour ainsi dire, "en elle-même" et à l’abri de toute sorte de réduction. L’enjeu de ces pages – consacrées à l’ouvrage (...) de Claude Romano paru en 2010, Au cœur de la raison, la phénoménologie – sera la même répétition de la phénoménologie que Romano nous a livrée dans cet ouvrage. En effet, notre avis est que Romano, en 2010, a pratiqué une Wiederholung de la phénoménologie et qu’il l’a fait situant celle-ci au centre d’un carrefour où confluent les questions historiques (Husserl, Heidegger), les libres variations de la phénoménologie en France (Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Levinas), la philosophie analytique. Or par cette répétition il s’est installé au carrefour de la phénoménologie française contemporaine , et cela pour deux raisons : premièrement, parce qu’il a donné une contribution décisive à l’alternative "réduction vs intentionnalité" qui ne cesse de représenter l’alternative de la réception française de la phénoménologie. Deuxièmement, parce que par sa répétition il a ouvert aussi un chemin nouveau et original qui maintenant demande à être phénoménologiquement questionné. (shrink)
Convinced that logic has a history and that its history always manages to surprise the philosophers, Claude Imbert has devoted much of her work to the study of the Stoic school and of the late-nineteenth-century German logician Gottlob Frege. In the fifth chapter of her book Pour une histoire de la logique, she examines the trajectory of Frege's awareness of what his new logic entails, in particular the way it subverts the project of Kant.
Guillaume St-Laurent | : Dans ses récentes méditations philosophiques, Claude Romano soutient non seulement que la phénoménologie ne devrait plus être cartésienne, mais qu’elle ne peut plus l’être, car un doute universel serait lui-même foncièrement absurde du point de vue phénoménologique. L’objectif du présent essai est de contester qu’une telle réfutation phénoménologique du cartésianisme soit possible. En ce sens, nous soutiendrons que les arguments anti-sceptiques de Romano s’avèrent insuffisants parce que le doute hyperbolique est une possibilité de pensée qui, (...) bien que spéculative, demeure à la fois intelligible et plus radicale que toute description d’essence ou « réduction eidétique ». | : In his recent philosophical contributions, French phenomenologist Claude Romano maintained not only that phenomenology should not be Cartesian, but that it cannot be Cartesian because the very idea of a universal doubt would be utterly absurd from a phenomenological perspective. Our objective is to show that such a phenomenological refutation of Cartesianism is impossible. After reviewing the two main anti-skeptical arguments propounded by Romano, we will support a simple critical thesis : the hyperbolical doubt is an irreducible possibility of thought which, although “speculative,” remains nevertheless actual and more radical than any phenomenological description. (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)
This study is devoted to the problem of the place and significance of the scientific quest and worldview, and to their articulation with metaphysics as they serve to bring the mind to the consideration of the problem and mystery of the existence of God in the thought of the contemporary French philosopher and theologian Claude Tresmontant (1925-97).
Released 3 years after the death of political philosopher Claude Lefort and contributing to the rectification of a “notoriously slow”Martín Plot, “Introduction”, Claude Lefort: Thinker of the Political (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 1. release of English translations and secondary material regarding Lefort’s work, Claude Lefort: Thinker of the Political aims to both outline Lefort’s oeuvre, as well as to explore potential impacts of this thought on contemporary and future debates. Comprising essays written by Lefort’s closest contemporaries, (...) it is difficult to imagine a book that is more relevantly assembled; the contributors are not only some of the foremost experts on Lefort’s work, but many also knew him personally. This combination of social and theoretical familiarity contributes a type of intimacy to the book that goes beyond admiration for Lefort (although this is present), and is but one way in which the collection embodies a position of multiplicity. Even setting aside. (shrink)
L’un des traits saillants du caractère philosophique de Claude Romano est sans doute d’aimer penser là où on ne l’attend pas. Depuis la publication, à la fin des années 1990, de ses deux livres majeurs consacrés à l’événement, l’on croyait légitime de le tenir pour ce phénoménologue de l’événementialité destiné à en exploiter le filon jusqu’à la dernière pépite. En 2010 pourtant, Au cœur de la raison, la phénoménologie , exprime clairement le besoin de parler d’autre chose et, en (...) nouant notamment avec la philosophie d’inspiration analytique un dialogue inattendu, d’en parler autrement. Aussi ce livre, créant paradoxalement l’événement du fait de ne plus en parler, sembla témoigner d’un changement de cap — malgré, il est vrai, la publication concomitante de L’Aventure temporelle , qu’il était néanmoins possible de lire comme l’ultime mise au point sur une période désormais révolue. Les indices, du reste, ne manquaient pas, et les quelques autocritiques qui s’y trouvaient formulées, nous y reviendrons, renforcèrent l’idée d’un certain « tournant réaliste » dans l’œuvre. (shrink)
PIERRE REY. — Connaître personnellement un auteur, c’est un peu superposer une voix à une parole... Après son décès, les médias ont commenté votre relation avec Claude Nougaro. Pourriez-vous nous en dire un mot ?DOMINIQUE BAUDIS. — Le lien entre Claude et moi, c’est évidemment Toulouse. Pour l’anecdote, je l’ai connu au moment..
For centuries the common and scholarly visions of the interior of the human body were dominated by humoral and anatomical representations. At the end of the nineteenth century two innovations modified these representations: Röntgen's X-rays (1895) and Claude Bernard's theory of the internal environment (milieu intérieur, 1867). This latter model became a central paradigm for thinking about the living body at the beginning of the twentieth century. This paper shows how Bernard's theory provided a new scientific, microscopic, physiological, aquatic (...) and homeostatic vision of the interior of the body. The paper then discusses the well known film Fantastic Voyage (1966) by Richard Fleisher, arguing that it marks a similar watershed in popular representations of the human body. Combining scientific transposition and various effects of mise-en-scène that mobilize classic forms of the imaginary, Fleisher's film (and the books and TV series that followed), contributed to changing the vision of the interior of the body. This image was no longer that of the cadaver cut into pieces on the dissection table. The vision was of living processes, embodied in warm functioning flesh, permitting a physiological vision of the integral body to emerge alongside the classic anatomical one. (shrink)
The studies on the history of logic in the Polish schools of the Commission for National Education in the period of the Enlightenment that have been published up to date evaluate the educational practice with respect to its accordance to Condillac’s work. His textbook was indeed order by the Commission for its schools, and it was also evaluated highly, but it was not published in the Polish language. From the rules of the Commission and its didactic practice, which made use (...) of a series of the most eminent eclectic textbooks on logic then functioning in the European school, we can deduce that the Commission must have evaluated Condillac’s book as too one-sided. Aside to his approach, there functioned in then Polish school a number of other studies. The Commission exposed a textbook written by the French Jesuit, Claude Buffier, in the first place. Despite the fact that he was close to modern solutions, e.g. Descartes’ and Locke’s, nevertheless he showed respect for scholastic tradition. Accordingly, he presented a group of solutions well-known from the traditional approaches. He only emphasised, in the modern spirit, how important is the veracity of the premises of syllogism as the fundamental condition for the veracity of the conclusion. It follows that the role of the theory of reasoning was limited and at the same time the value of epistemological problems was stressed. (shrink)
Este artigo procura avaliar a contribuição de Claude Bernard para o desenvolvimento da psicologia experimental. Em oposição aos filósofos mentalistas tradicionais, Bernard concebeu a psicologia como um capítulo especial da fisiologia, que trata das funções do cérebro. A doutrina de Bernard sobre a natureza da psicologia é aqui considerada em relação com a obra de I. P. Pavlov, que exerceu grande influência no campo da psicologia experimental, e com o tipo de psicologia empírica desenvolvida por Théodule Ribot, na França, (...) imediatamente após a época de Bernard. (shrink)