This special issue on Forms of Life was conceived on the top floor of a café overlooking one of Rome's wonderful Piazzas, after a conference, hosted by PiergiorgioDonatelli, on Forms of Life and Ways of Living. Piergiorgio, Sandra Laugier and I thought the subject cried out for a small collection of essays in which several voices would elucidate the genesis, use and potential of Wittgenstein's concept of form of life -- and we committed to producing it. (...) This is the fruit of our Roman resolution. Danièle Moyal-Sharrock. (shrink)
The article explores aspects of the notion of forms of life in the Wittgensteinian tradition especially following Iris Murdoch’s lead. On the one hand, the notion signals the hardness and inexhaustible character of reality, as the background needed in order to make sense of our lives in various ways. On the other, the hardness of reality is the object of a moral work of apprehension and deepening to the point at which its distinctive character dissolves into the family of connections (...) we have gained for ourselves. The two movements of thought are connected and necessary. (shrink)
Je vais évoquer ici la pertinence des concepts d’éthique au moyen de quelques réflexions sur le concept d’être humain. C’est là une notion cruciale parce que nous comprenons ce que signifie s’engager dans certaines activités dans la mesure où elles sont perçues comme humaines. La pensée morale est l’une de ces activités ; et par « moralité »..
J. S. Mill lays great emphasis on the importance of the notion of the individual as a progressive being. The idea that we need to conceive the self as an object of cultivation and perfection runs through Mill’s writings on various topics, and has played a certain role in recent interpretations. In this paper I propose a specific interpretation of Mill’s understanding of the self, along the lines of what Stanley Cavell identifies as a “perfectionist” concern for the self. Various (...) texts by Mill, ranging from the Logic to On Liberty, show an understanding of the self in which both the theoretical and the practical domain are presented as being internally connected to the transformation of the self. Mill elaborates a criticism of a notion of truth articulated by doctrines having a life independent of the self, as well as a notion of choice which is not the expression of one’s inner self. This internal relation of truth and choice to the self generates a special dialectic within the self, which Mill explores in On Liberty’s second and third chapters by means of several contrasts, such as passive vs. active knowledge, living vs. dead beliefs, or being oneself vs. liking and choosing in crowds. (shrink)
This article suggests a reading of the significance of Wittgensteinâ€™s Tractatus for ethics, in the light of Cora Diamondâ€™s resolute reading. The contrasts between sense and nonsense and between ethics and science are commented on and are connected to a further contrast between a specialized response to language and the world and an unspecialized response characteristic of the humanistic disciplines. The Tractatus is seen as a work which diagnoses the loss of such a fully human unspecialized sense of things and (...) which wishes to recover this possibility for its reader. On the basis of such reading, the article also suggests how to connect the significance of the later Wittgenstein for ethics with the Tractatus. A connection can be established by following Iris Murdochâ€™s notion of conceptual clarification. (shrink)
Volume II of Classical Recursion Theory describes the universe from a local (bottom-up or synthetical) point of view, and covers the whole spectrum, from the recursive to the arithmetical sets. The first half of the book provides a detailed picture of the computable sets from the perspective of Theoretical Computer Science. Besides giving a detailed description of the theories of abstract Complexity Theory and of Inductive Inference, it contributes a uniform picture of the most basic complexity classes, ranging from small (...) time and space bounds to the elementary functions, with a particular attention to polynomial time and space computability. It also deals with primitive recursive functions and larger classes, which are of interest to the proof theorist. The second half of the book starts with the classical theory of recursively enumerable sets and degrees, which constitutes the core of Recursion or Computability Theory. Unlike other texts, usually confined to the Turing degrees, the book covers a variety of other strong reducibilities, studying both their individual structures and their mutual relationships. The last chapters extend the theory to limit sets and arithmetical sets. The volume ends with the first textbook treatment of the enumeration degrees, which admit a number of applications from algebra to the Lambda Calculus. The book is a valuable source of information for anyone interested in Complexity and Computability Theory. The student will appreciate the detailed but informal account of a wide variety of basic topics, while the specialist will find a wealth of material sketched in exercises and asides. A massive bibliography of more than a thousand titles completes the treatment on the historical side. (shrink)
With Piergiorgio Paterlini, a noted Italian writer and journalist, Gianni Vattimo, a leading philosopher of the continental school, reflects on a lifetime of politics, sexual radicalism, and philosophical exuberance in postwar Italy.
La reconstruction est encore incomplète et lacunaire, mais l’on devine déjà l’allure complète du projet. Le trait les plus importants en sont les suivants. -/- i) Le premier niveau empirique correspond à ce que Piaget a appelé les tableaux perceptifs, et à leurs copies dans la mémoire, mais sans ordre temporel, sans structure spatiale et ne contenant pas encore des objets. ii) La première construction théorique permet d’obtenir le temps. iii) A partir de l’ordre temporel, une première structure spatiale (bidimensionnelle) (...) est possible, sans introduction de nouveaux niveaux théoriques. Ces niveaux théoriques semblent en revanche être nécessaires pour la construction d’une structure spatiale tri- dimensionnelle. Ce pas n’a pas encore été franchi. Il sera cer- tainement relié à la construction de la notion d’objet. iv) Ici la construction présente un premier grand vide. Un saut est effectué jusqu’à une théorie générale de la substance, appelée système physique. Il s’agit en réalité d’une théorie de la mesure, c’est-à-dire du procédé qui permet à la fois de connaître les propriétés des systèmes physiques, propriétés qui exigent un niveau théorique propre, et de définir un premier critère d’acceptation de l’identification des substances. Il s’agit d’une théorie holiste relative à l’introduction de termes théoriques. v) Cette description générale permet les premiers pas vers une théorie de la mécanique quantique. vi) Il est aussi possible dans le même cadre de recomprendre les notions élémentaires de la mécanique classique, sans présupposer les notions de masse et de force. vii) Dans d’autres travaux, qui ont servi de préparation à celui-ci, les notions de sujet, d’intersubjectivité et de conscience ont également été approchées d’une façon constructiviste. L’esquisse de la construction a même été prolongée jusqu’au domaine de la morale. Ces dernières notions ne font pas l’objet de cette recherche. -/- Ces éléments ont été évoqués ici pour donner une vision d’ensemble du projet, qui peut être visualisé dans le schéma suivant. (shrink)
In the mid-1980s, Dario Donatelli participated in a laboratory study of the effects of around 800 h of practice on digit-span and increased his digit-span from 8 to 104 digits. This study assessed changes in the structure of his memory skill after around 30 years of essentially no practice on the digit-span task. On the first day of testing, his estimated span was only 10 digits, but over the following 3 days of testing it increased to 19 digits. Further (...) analyses of his recall performance and verbal reports identified which mechanisms of the original memory skill he could retrieve or reacquire over the 3 days of practice. We discuss theoretical implications for the retention of skilled memory performance, the effects of age-related changes in memory on it, and for the future study of the effects of disuse on exceptional performance and complex skill. (shrink)
This paper reports the framework, method and main findings of an analysis of cultural milieus in 4 European countries. The analysis is based on a questionnaire applied to a sample built through a two-step procedure of post-hoc random selection from a broader dataset based on an online survey. Responses to the questionnaire were subjected to multidimensional analysis-a combination of Multiple Correspondence Analysis and Cluster Analysis. We identified 5 symbolic universes, that correspond to basic, embodied, affect-laden, generalized worldviews. People in this (...) study see the world as either a) an ordered universe;b) a matter of interpersonal bond;c) a caring society;d) consisting of a niche of belongingness;e) a hostile place. These symbolic universes were also interpreted as semiotic capital: they reflect the capacity of a place to foster social and civic development. Moreover, the distribution of the symbolic universes, and therefore social and civic engagement, is demonstrated to be variable across the 4 countries in the analysis. Finally, we develop a retrospective reconstruction of the distribution of symbolic universes as well as the interplay between their current state and past, present and future socio-institutional scenarios. (shrink)
The effective reasoning capability of an agent can be defined as its capability to infer, within a given space and time bound, facts that are logical consequences of its knowledge base. In this paper we show how to determine the effective reasoning capability of an agent with limited memory by encoding the agent as a transition system and automatically verifying whether a state where the agent believes a certain conclusion is reachable from the start state. We present experimental results using (...) the Model Based Planner (MBP) which illustrates how the length of the deduction varies for different memory sizes. (shrink)
A lesion to the brain is not necessary for a successful neural transplantation. Embryonic Purkinje cells placed on the surface of an uninjured adult cerebellum can develop and migrate into the host molecular layer. Both the Purkinje cells that migrated into the host cerebellum and those that remained in the graft were innervated by collateral sprouting of adult intact climbing fibers.