Some concepts, such as colour concepts or value concepts, seem to bear traces of the mind's own make-up. For instance, the character of perceptually-determined colour concepts seems in some sense derivative from the character of the visual system. Thus, it has seemed plausible to claim that the corresponding colour properties are dispositions to elicit certain visual experiences in normal observers under suitable conditions. Much the same has been suggested for value concepts. An extreme position would be that colours and values (...) therefore are not in the world at all, they instead are mere projections that tell us more about the users of response-dependent concepts than about the world they inhabit. But even setting aside such extreme views, a number of important philosophical and psychological questions remain open. What exactly is response-dependence, and does any concept have this feature? What is the appropriate metaphysics for properties represented by response-dependent concepts, and for these concepts themselves? What determines the extension of such properties? How are we to account for knowledge expressed in terms of response-dependent concepts? What mechanisms correctly explain the origins of response-dependent concepts, and their role in representation? This volume brings together a wide range of views on these questions. (shrink)
Pour contrer le scepticisme au sujet de la connaissance des valeurs, la plupart soutiennent avec John Rawls qu’une croyance comme celle qu’une action est bonne est justifiée dans la mesure où elle appartient à un ensemble de croyances cohérent, ayant atteint un équilibre réfléchi. -/- Christine Tappolet s’inspire des travaux de Max Scheler et d’Alexius von Meinong pour défendre une conception opposée au cohérentisme. La connaissance des valeurs est affirmée dépendre de nos émotions, ces dernières étant conçues comme des (...) perceptions des valeurs. (shrink)
After discussing de Sousa's view of emotion in akrasia, I suggest that emotions be viewed as nonconceptual perceptions of value (see Tappolet 2000). It follows that they can render intelligible actions which are contrary to one's better judgment. An emotion can make one's action intelligible even when that action is opposed by one's all-things-considered judgment. Moreover, an akratic action prompted by an emotion may be more rational than following one's better judgement, for it may be the judgement and not (...) the perception which is in error. By contrast, "cool" akrasia is genuinely puzzling; it is not clear whether it exists. (shrink)
Emotions often misfire. We sometimes fear innocuous things, such as spiders or mice, and we do so even if we firmly believe that they are innocuous. This is true of all of us, and not only of phobics, who can be considered to suffer from extreme manifestations of a common tendency. We also feel too little or even sometimes no fear at all with respect to very fearsome things, and we do so even if we believe that they are fearsome. (...) Indeed, instead of shunning fearsome things, we might be attracted to them. Emotions that seem more thought-involving, such as shame, guilt or jealousy, can also misfire. You can be ashamed of your big ears even though we can agree that there is nothing shameful in having big ears, and even though you judge that having big ears does not warrant shame. And of course, it is also possible to experience too little or even no shame at all with respect to something that is really shameful. Many of these cases involve a conflict between one’s emotion and one’s evaluative judgement. Emotions that are thus conflicting with judgement can be called ‘recalcitrant emotions’. The question I am interested in is whether or not recalcitrant emotions amount to emotional illusions, that is, whether or not these cases are sufficiently similar to perceptual illusions to justify the claim that they fall under the same general heading. The answer to this depends on what emotions are. For instance, the view that emotions are evaluative judgments makes it difficult to make room for the claim that emotional errors are perceptual illusions. Fearing an innocuous spider would simply amount to making the error of judging that the spider is fearsome while it is in fact innocuous. This might involve an illusion of some sort, but it certainly does not amount to anything like a perceptual illusion. In this chapter, I argue that recalcitrant emotions are a kind of perceptual illusion.. (shrink)
In reply to Geach's objection against expressivism, some have claimed that there is a plurality of truth predicates. I raise a difficulty for this claim: valid inferences can involve sentences assessable by any truth predicate, corresponding to 'lightweight' truth as well as to 'heavyweight' truth. To account for this, some unique truth predicate must apply to all sentences that can appear in inferences. Mixed inferences remind us of a central platitude about truth: truth is what is preserved in valid inferences. (...) The question is why we should postulate truth predicates that do not satisfy this platitude. (shrink)
Mixed inferences are a problem for those who want to combine truth-assessability and antirealism with respect to allegedly nondescriptive sentences: the classical account of validity has apparently to be given up. J.C. Beall's response is that validity can be defined as the conservation of designated valued (Beall 2000). I argue that since it presupposes a truth predicate that can be applied to all sentences, this suggestion is not helpful. I also consider problems arising from mixed conjunctions and discuss the deeper (...) worry that the distinction between truth which does and truth which does not entail realism is inferentially irrelevant. (shrink)
Philosophers have not been very preoccupied by the link between emotions and attention. The few that did (de Sousa, 1987) never really specified the relation between the two phenomena. Using empirical data from the study of the emotion of fear, we provide a description (and an explanation) of the links between emotion and attention. We also discuss the nature (empirical or conceptual) of these links.
Consider a typical fear episode. You are strolling down a lonely mountain lane when suddenly a huge wolf leaps towards you. A number of different interconnected elements are involved in the fear you experience. First, there is the visual and auditory perception of the wild animal and its movements. In addition, it is likely that given what you see, you may implicitly and inarticulately appraise the situation as acutely threatening. Then, there are a number of physiological changes, involving a variety (...) of systems controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Your heart races, your breathing becomes strained and your start trembling. These changes are accompanied by an expression of fear on your face: your mouth opens and your eyes widen while you stare at the wolf. There is also a kind of experience that you undergo. You are likely to feel a sort of pang, something that might consist in the perception of the physiological changes you are going through. Moreover, a number of thoughts are likely to cross your mind. You might think that the wild beast is about to tear you into pieces and that you’ll never escape from this. In addition to this, your attention focuses on the wolf and its movement, as well as, possibly, ways of escaping or defending yourself. Last, but not least, your fear is likely to come with a motivation, such as an urge to run away or to strike back. Whatever the details of the story, it is clear that a typical emotion episode involves a number of different components. Roughly, these components are a) a sensory perception or more generally an informational component, b) a kind of appraisal, d) physiological changes, c) conscious feelings, d) cognitive and attentional processes, and e) an actiontendency or more generally a motivational component. One central question in the theory of emotion is which, if any, of these components, constitute the emotion.. (shrink)
Le Laboratoire d’ANalyse Cognitive de l’Information (LANCI) effectue des recherches sur le traitement cognitif de l’information. La recherche fondamentale porte sur les multiples conceptions de l’information. Elle s’intéresse plus particulièrement aux modèles cognitifs de la classification et de la catégorisation, tant dans une perspective symbolique que connexionniste. La recherche appliquée explore les technologies informatiques qui manipulent l’information. Le territoire privilégié est celui du texte. La recherche est de nature interdisciplinaire. Elle en appelle à la philosophie, à l’informatique, à la linguistique (...) et à la psychologie. Volume 6, Numéro 2007-02 – Août 2007 Publication du Laboratoire d’ANalyse Cognitive de l’Information Directeurs : Luc Faucher, Jean-Guy Meunier, Serge Robert et Pierre Poirier Université du Québec à Montréal Document disponible en ligne à l’adresse suivante : www.lanci.uqam.ca Tirage : 5 exemplaires Aucune partie de cette publication ne peut être conservée dans un système de recherche documentaire, traduite ou reproduite sous quelque forme que ce soit - imprimé, procédé photomécanique, microfilm, microfiche ou tout autre moyen - sans la permission écrite de l’éditeur. Tous droits réservés pour tous pays. / All rights reserved. No part of this publication covered by the copyrights hereon may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means - graphic, electronic or mechanical - without the prior written permission of the publisher. Dépôt légal – Bibliothèque Nationale du Canada Dépôt légal – Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec.. (shrink)
This paper consists in a critical review of Peter Goldie's book, The Emotion. A Philosophical Exploration (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). Goldie is right to distinguish between long-term emotions and emotional experiences. And he is also right to reject the view that emotions are reducible to 'feelingless' states plus some extra feelings. However, Goldie's own account in terms of "feeling towards" is problematic. Goldie would have been better advised to claim that emotional experiences are necessarily emotional representations of something as (...) being F (disgusting, attractive, admirable, etc.), that is, that emotional experiences are apprehensions or representations of evaluative features. (shrink)
The special concern we have for our future selves is often seen as making for a problem for psychological continuity theories, such as Derek Parfit's. On the basis of an account of the various kinds of procrastination, and of the ways imprudent procrastination involves harm to future selves, the paper argues that procrastinators often impose an uncompensated burden on their future selves, something that is best explained by a lack of concern for their future selves. Given this, the objections to (...) psychological continuity theories based on the idea of a special concern for our future selves are in serious trouble. (shrink)
Can emotions be rational or are they necessarily irrational? Are emotions universally shared states? Or are they socio-cultural constructions? Are emotions perceptions of some kind? Since the publication of Jerry Fodor’s The Modularity of Mind (1983), a new question about the philosophy of emotions has emerged: are emotions modular? A positive answer to this question would mean, minimally, that emotions are cognitive capacities that can be explained in terms of mental components that are functionally dissociable from other parts of the (...) mind. But depending on the kind of modules that are considered, be they Chomskyan, Fodorian, Darwinian, or some other kind, the answer to this question might well be different. The twelve new essays in this volume address the question of whether emotions, or at least some of them, are, in some sense of the word, modules, and explore how this could potentially influence our understanding of emotional phenomena. (shrink)
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)
The paper surveys the lifetime achievements of Claude Sumner, S.J., a Canadian Jesuit who lived for 45 years in Ethiopia and devoted his life's work to collecting, documenting and evaluating Ethiopian philosophical texts and oral literature.
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.
The following study departs from the lecture, entitled “Creative thinking”, delivered by Claude Shannon in 1952 at the Bell Laboratories. This paper includes an interpretive and critical account of the necessary conditions, as well as the desirable procedures, which must be satisfied in the scientific and technological invention, within the frame of the so-called scientist’s spontaneous philosophy.
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)
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)
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)
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 issue of the definition and position of archaeology as a discipline is examined in relation to the dispute which took place from 1980 to 2009 between the archaeologist Jean-Claude Gardin and the sociologist Jean-Claude Passeron. This case study enables us to explore the actual conceptual relationships between archaeology and the other sciences (as opposed to those wished for or prescribed). The contrasts between the positions declared by the two researchers and the rooting of their arguments in their (...) disciplines are examined: where the sociologist makes use of his philosophical training, the archaeologist relies mainly on his work on semiology and informatics. Archaeology ultimately plays a minor role in the arguments proposed. This dispute therefore cannot be considered as evidence for the movement of concepts between archaeology and the social sciences. A blind spot in the debate, relating to the ontological specificities of archaeological objects, nevertheless presents itself as a possible way of implementing this movement. (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)
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)
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)