Viacheslav Ivanov, the central intellectual force in Russian modernism, achieved through his work an original synthesis of Christianity, Platonism, and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. His powerful intellect exerted an immeasurable influence in modernist Russia and the early Soviet Union, and after emigrating to Italy in 1924 he played an important role in intellectual debates in Western Europe between the wars. In recent years, Ivanov's manifold contributions have been recognized in all major aspects of Russian culture, including poetry, literary theory, (...) philosophy, and theology. In _The Russian Prospero_, Robert Bird uncovers the foundations of Ivanov's poetic and theoretical universe, traces its evolution, and explores its connections to cultural and intellectual currents in international modernism. Blending a close reading of Ivanov's work with a thoughtful analysis of his place within twentieth-century thought, Bird finds that Ivanov's ecstatic creative psychology leads directly to a consideration of history as a continuum of human interpretive activity, and to a conception of art as a historical force. He emphasizes and dramatizes Ivanov's quest to harness the power of art and apply it to concrete life-situations. It is the dilemma of Prospero, who must liberate his attendant spirit Ariel in order to restore full sovereignty over his own creative self and to regain ethical agency. The productive tension that resulted from Ivanov's struggle was a remarkable force in Russian modernism and remains a powerful spur for our own reflections on modernity. Outstanding Academic Title, _Choice_ Magazine “[Bird’s] clear explanations of Ivanov’s ideas and his informed, insightful, astute readings of the poetic works make this book required reading for anyone interested in modern poetry, intellectual history, cultural studies, and philosophy of early 20th century Russian and European thought.... Essential.”—_Choice_ “[Bird] makes a welcome contribution to our understanding of Russian modernism in its broader European context.... In this undertaking he has not only succeeded admirably, but will undoubtedly inspire others to follow him.”—Pamela Davidson, _The Russian Review_ “The most comprehensive overall treatment of Ivanov’s work to date.”—David N. Wells, _The Slavic and East European Journal_. (shrink)
Trust is a critical component of research: trust in the work of co-workers and colleagues within the scientific community; trust in the work of research scientists by the non-research community. A wide range of factors, including internally and externally generated pressures and practical and personal limitations, affect the research process. The extent to which these factors are understood and appreciated influence the development of trust in scientific research findings.
[Michael Friedman] This paper considers the extent to which Kant's vision of a distinctively 'transcendental' task for philosophy is essentially tied to his views on the foundations of the mathematical and physical sciences. Contemporary philosophers with broadly Kantian sympathies have attempted to reinterpret his project so as to isolate a more general philosophical core not so closely tied to the details of now outmoded mathematical-physical theories (Euclidean geometry and Newtonian physics). I consider two such attempts, those of Strawson and McDowell, (...) and argue that they fundamentally distort the original Kantian impulse. I then consider Buchdahl's attempt to preserve the link between Kantian philosophy and the sciences while simultaneously generalizing Kant's doctrines in light of later scientific developments. I argue that Buchdahl's view, while not adequate as in interpretation of Kant in his own eighteenth century context, is nonetheless suggestive of an historicized and relativized revision of Kantianism that can do justice to both Kant's original philosophical impulse and the radical changes in the sciences that have occurred since Kant's day. /// [Graham Bird] Michael Friedman criticises some recent accounts of Kant which 'detach' his transcendental principles from the sciences, and do so in order to evade naturalism. I argue that Friedman's rejection of that 'detachment' is ambiguous. In its strong form, which I claim Kant rejects, the principles of Euclidean geometry and Newtonian physics are represented as transcendental principles. In its weak form, which I believe Kant accepts, it treats those latter principles as higher order conditions of the possibility of both science and ordinary experience. I argue also that the appeal to naturalism is unhelpful because that doctrine is seriously unclear, and because the accounts Friedman criticises are open to objections independent of any appeal to naturalism. (shrink)
In this paper I outline my conception of the epistemology of science, by reference to my published papers, showing how the ideas presented there fit together. In particular I discuss the aim of science, scientific progress, the nature of scientific evidence, the failings of empiricism, inference to the best (or only) explanation, and Kuhnian psychology of discovery. Throughout, I emphasize the significance of the concept of scientific knowledge.
This is a rewarding book. In terms of area, it has one foot firmly planted in metaphysics and the other just as firmly set in the philosophy of science. Nature's Metaphysics is distinctive for its thorough and detailed defense of fundamental, natural properties as essentially dispositional and for its description of how these dispositional properties are thus suited to sustain the laws of nature as (metaphysically) necessary truths.
This article examines a particular debate between Eamonn Callan and William Galston concerning the need for a civic education which counters the divisive pull of pluralism by uniting the citizenry in patriotic allegiance to a single national identity. The article offers a preliminary understanding of nationalism and patriotism before setting out the terms of the debate. It then critically evaluates the central idea of Callan that one might be under an obligation morally to improve one''s own patriotic inheritance, pointing to (...) the ineliminable tension between the valuation of one''s own patria by its own terms and a detached critical reason. It concludes by suggesting that we are, in advance of our education, members of a particular patria and that any education must be particularistic. Finally, the danger is noted of presuming that, in each case, there is a single, determinate national tradition. (shrink)
The whole of our human experience is determined by certain material conditions which cannot themselves be a part of that experience. In particular there exist objects, inaccessible to our senses, which nevertheless interact with ourselves to produce that experience. But the selves which are so affected by these objects outside our experience, and the internal mechanisms which somehow construct that experience, are also just such material conditions of, and not parts of, that experience. We might describe this appeal to material (...) conditions of experience in Kant's technical terms as the ‘intelligible’ or even ‘transcendental’ background to our empirical experience. In its attempt to provide some explanation, in terms of things in themselves, of empirical objects it forms a central part of what Adickes called Kant's ‘double affection’ theory. (shrink)
McDowell's Mind and World is a commentary on a traditional, dualist, epistemology which puzzles over, and offers accounts of, a fundamental division between mental, subjective items, and nonmental, objective items in experience. The principal responses to that tradition which McDowell considers are those of Davidson's coherentism, Evans's form of realism, and Kant; but it is Kant's famous B75 text which occupies centre stage: ‘Gedanken ohne Inhalt sind leer; Anschauungen ohne Begriffe sind blind’.
Most see having their individuality stifled as equivalent to the terrible forced conformity found within speculative fiction like George Orwell's 1984. However, the oppression of others by those in power has often been justified through ideologies of individualism. If we look to animistic traditions, could we bridge the gap between these extremes? What effect would such a reevaluation of identity have on the modern understanding of selfhood? The term ' in-dividual' suggests an irreducible unit of identity carried underneath all of (...) our titles and experiences—the real self. By linking Marilyn Strathern's elaboration of dividualism and Nurit Bird-David's relational epistemology , a clear contrast forms between the animistic sense of self and that of the West. This system of selfhood more readily encourages a life lived in Henri Bergson's sense of duration and sets up a state of dialogical discourse , as seen in Mikhail Bakhtin's work. These concepts challenge the traditional praise for individuality and exposes how individualism can be used as a tool of marginalization as seen in Michel Foucault's critique of authorship. I argue that pursuing a sense of self rooted in these concepts instead of individualism mitigates this marginalization via a more socially aware cultural environment that the traditional Western sense of self fails to create. (shrink)
David Lack of Oxford University and V. C. Wynne- Edwards of Aberdeen University were renowned ornithologists with contrasting views of the modern synthesis which deeply influenced their interpretation and explanation of bird behavior. In the 1950's and 60's Lack became the chief advocate of neo-Darwinism with respect to avian ecology, while Wynne- Edwards developed his theory of group selection. Lack 's position was consistent with the developing focus on individual level adaptation, which was a core concept of the (...) modern synthesis. Alternatively, Wynne- Edwards viewed the emphasis on populations as the most important development provided by the modern synthesis. In this paper, I present the development of these two positions and trace their roots in the literature of the synthesis. Through an analysis of Lack 's 1966 critique of Wynne- Edwards I conclude that Wynne- Edwards was, in many ways, justified in his pursuit of group level explanations. (shrink)
This book advocates dispositional essentialism, the view that natural properties have dispositional essences.1 So, for example, the essence of the property of being negatively charged is to be disposed to attract positively charged objects. From this fact it follows that it is a law that all negatively charged objects will attract positively 10 charged objects; and indeed that this law is metaphysically necessary. Since the identity of the property of being negatively charged is determined by its being related in a (...) certain way to the property of being positively charged, in any world in which these properties exist they must be related so that all negatively charged objects attract positively charged objects. 15 Bird opposes his dispositional essentialism to the view that properties are categorical in nature, with their identities grounded in quiddities that are not exhausted by their relations to other properties. The main exponents of this view are D.M. Armstrong and David Lewis. They take the laws of nature to be contingent though they entertain very different views about their nature: Armstrong is a necessitarian 20 about laws, taking them to be relations of nomic necessitation between universals, while Lewis is a Humean about laws who takes them to be a special kind of regularity. The book is a sustained defence of the dispositional essentialist conception of properties and laws against the competing conceptions espoused by Armstrong and Lewis. One rough way to characterize the difference between these conceptions is to say that 25 the categoricalist sees properties as passive and inert with the laws of nature being fixed independently of the nature of properties whereas, in contrast, the dispositional essentialist sees properties as active potencies from which the laws of nature automatically spring. A slightly more tendentious way to express the difference is to say, as Bird does, that the categoricalist views embrace the Humean doctrine that there are no 30 necessary connexions in nature, while the dispositional essentialist view, on the other hand, repudiates this doctrine.. (shrink)
A central theme of law and society is that people's ideas about law and the decisions they make to mobilize law are shaped by community norms and cultural context. But this was not always an established concept. Among the first empirical pieces to articulate this theory was David Engel's 1984 article, 'The Oven Bird's Song: Insiders, Outsiders, and Personal Injuries in an American Community'. Over thirty years later, this article is now widely considered to be part of the (...) law and society canon. This book argues that Engel's article succeeds so brilliantly because it integrates a wide variety of issues, such as cultural transformation, attitudes about law, dispute processing, legal consciousness, rights mobilization, inclusion and exclusion, and inequality. Contributors to this volume explore the influence of Engel's important work, engaging with the possibilities in its challenging hypotheses and provocative omissions related to the legal system and legal process, class conflict and difference, and law in other cultures. (shrink)
Alexander Bird argues that David Armstrong’s necessitarian conception of physical modality and laws of nature generates a vicious regress with respect to necessitation. We show that precisely the same regress afflicts Bird’s dispositional-monist theory, and indeed, related views, such as that of Mumford and Anjum. We argue that dispositional monism is basically Armstrongian necessitarianism modified to allow for a thesis about property identity.
David McNeill, a pioneer in the ongoing study of the relationship between gesture and language, here argues that gestures are active participants in both speaking and thinking. He posits that gestures are key ingredients in an “imagery-language dialectic” that fuels speech and thought. The smallest unit of this dialectic is the growth point, a snapshot of an utterance at its beginning psychological stage. In _Gesture and Thought,_ the central growth point comes from a Tweety Bird cartoon. Over the (...) course of twenty-five years, the McNeill Lab showed this cartoon to numerous subjects who spoke a variety of languages, and a fascinating pattern emerged. The shape and timing of gestures depends not only on what speakers see but on what they take to be distinctive; this, in turn, depends on the context. Those who remembered the same context saw the same distinctions and used similar gestures; those who forgot the context understood something different and changed gestures or used none at all. Thus, the gesture becomes part of the growth point—the building block of language and thought. _Gesture and Thought _is an ambitious project in the ongoing study of how we communicate and how language is connected to thought. (shrink)
In 1901 Russell had envisaged the new analytic philosophy as uniquely systematic, borrowing the methods of science and mathematics. A century later, have Russell’s hopes become reality? David Lewis is often celebrated as a great systematic metaphysician, his influence proof that we live in a heyday of systematic philosophy. But, we argue, this common belief is misguided: Lewis was not a systematic philosopher, and he didn’t want to be. Although some aspects of his philosophy are systematic, mainly his pluriverse (...) of possible worlds and its many applications, that systematicity was due to the influence of his teacher Quine, who really was an heir to Russell. Drawing upon Lewis’s posthumous papers and his correspondence as well as the published record, we show that Lewis’s non- Quinean influences, including G.E. Moore and D.M. Armstrong, led Lewis to an anti- systematic methodology which leaves each philosopher’s views and starting points to his or her own personal conscience. (shrink)
According to Richard Gelwick, one of the fundamental implications of Polanyi’s epistemology is that all intellectual disciplines are inherently heuristic. This article draws out the implications of a heuristic vision of theology latent in Polanyi’s thought by placing contemporary theologian David Brown’s dynamic understanding of tradition, imagination, and revelation in the context of a Polanyian-inspired vision of reality. Consequently, such a theology will follow the example of science, reimagining its task as one of discovery rather than mere reflection on (...) a timeless body of divine revelation. The ongoing development of a theological tradition thus involves the attempt to bring one’s understanding of the question of God to bear on the whole of the human experience. The pursuit of theology as a heuristic endeavor is a bold attempt to construct an integrated vision of nothing less than the entirety of all that is, without absolutizing one’s vision, and without giving up on the question of truth. (shrink)
This chapter presents David Foster Wallace's opinion about the three positions regarding the good life—ironism, hedonism, and narrative theories. Ironism involves distancing oneself from everything one says or does, and putting on Wallace's so-called “mask of ennui.” Wallace said that the notion appeals to ironists because it insulates them from criticism. However, he reiterated that ironists can be criticized for failing to value anything. Hedonism states that a good life consists in pleasure. Wallace rejected such a notion, doubting that (...) pleasure could play a fundamental role in the good life. Lastly, narrative theories characterize the good life by fidelity to a unified narrative-a systematic story about one's life, composed of a set of ends or principles according to which one lives. Wallace believed that these theories turn people into spectators, rather than the participants in their own lives. (shrink)
This paper provides an overview on David Lewis's writings about persistence. I focus on two issues. First, what is the relationship between the doctrine of Humean Supervenience and the rejection of endurantism? Second, why did Lewis not adopt a stage theory of persistence, given that he advocated a counterpart theory of modality?
David Bohm is one of the foremost scientific thinkers of today and one of the most distinguished scientists of his generation. His challenge to the conventional understanding of quantum theory has led scientists to reexamine what it is they are going and his ideas have been an inspiration across a wide range of disciplines. _Quantum Implications_ is a collection of original contributions by many of the world' s leading scholars and is dedicated to David Bohm, his work and (...) the issues raised by his ideas. The contributors range across physics, philosophy, biology, art, psychology, and include some of the most distinguished scientists of the day. There is an excellent introduction by the editors, putting Bohm's work in context and setting right some of the misconceptions that have persisted about the work of David Bohm. (shrink)
In David Hume’s A Treatise of Human Nature, reason and passion are in constant interaction forming belief. Moral events are distinguished on three levels: moral sentiment, moral action and moral judgment, in which reason and passion interact, although with different functions at each level.
This article engages Richard Rorty’s controversial concept of ethnocentrism with the help of Randolf (Randy) S. David’s writings. The first section defines Rorty’s concept of ethnocentrism and responds to the general criticisms of relativism and divisiveness that have been made against it. The second section suggests a conceptual replacement for Rorty’s notion of a vicious ethnocentrism: egotism. Egotism is a kind of cultural ethnocentrism that is resistant to openness, creativity, and social transformation. Inspired by David’s work, the third (...) and final section suggests how the concepts of ethnocentrism and egotism might be of some use as conceptual tools for articulating contemporary social issues in the Philippines. (shrink)
Metaphysical graphical structuralism is the view that at some fundamental level the world is a mathematical graph of nodes and edges. Randall Dipert has advanced a graphical structuralist theory of fundamental particulars and Alexander Bird has advanced a graphical structuralist theory of fundamental properties. David Oderberg has posed a powerful challenge to graphical structuralism: that it entails the absurd inexistence of the world or the absurd cessation of all change. In this paper I defend graphical structuralism. A sharper (...) formulation, some theorems about such structures, and careful attention to the interaction of metaphysical and mathematical features, shows that the absurdities depend on assumptions that are not essential to the view and brings to light a surprising fact about the necessary structure of fundamental properties. (shrink)
In ‘Finkish Dispositions’, David Lewis proposed a revised conditional analysis of dispositions, designed to rule out counterexamples based on finkish dispositions and finkish lacks of dispositions. Bird and Choi have argued that Lewis’s amended analysis is vulnerable to two further types of counterexamples trading on mimicked and masked dispositions. This paper provides a diagnosis of why Lewis’s analysis inherits these problems, and investigates whether the means can be found—in Lewis’s paper or elsewhere—to defend his analysis against the counterexamples. (...) A range of strategies for defending conditional analyses against masking and mimicking counterexamples are assessed. The conclusion is that none of them will save Lewis’s analysis; some strategies fail, while the rest threaten to make Lewis’s amendments redundant. The discussion offers a number of general lessons about how to defend conditional analyses of dispositions. (shrink)
In this article Johann David Michaelis’s views of language and translation are juxtaposed with his own experience as a translated and translating author, especially with regard to the translations of his prize essay on the reciprocal influence of language and opinions (1759). Its French version originated in a close collaboration with the translators, while the pirated English edition was anonymously translated at second hand. The article reconstructs Michaelis’s relationship with the French translators and his renouncement of the English version, (...) publicly condemned in London by Robert Lowth at the author’s request. These two processes represent different contemporary modes of translation and shed new light on emerging theories of linguistic and cultural transfer. (shrink)
The basic principles of dispositional essentialism do not require that the fundamental spatiotemporal relations are dispositional in nature. Nevertheless, Bird (who defends dispositional monism) argues that they possess dispositional essences in virtue of the fact that the obtaining of these relations can be characterised by the satisfaction of a certain counterfactual. In this paper I argue that his suggestion fails, and so, despite his attempt, the case of the spatiotemporal relations remains the ‘big bad bug’ for the thesis of (...) dispositional monism. (shrink)