The article explores E.M. Forster’s story The Machine Stops as an example of dystopian literature and its possible associations with the use of technology and with today’s cyber culture. Dystopian societies are often characterized by dehumanization and Forster’s novel raises questions about how we live in time and space; and how we establish relationships with the Other and with the world through technology. We suggest that the fear of technology depicted in dystopian literature indicates a fear that machines are mimicking (...) the roles that humans already play in relational encounters. Our relationship with machines frequently suggests a classical “I-it” situation. However, a genuine dialogue is where there is no master and where communication and understanding are achieved through the encounter and through openness to difference and to change. The article examines the ways machines and automata are imagined and become part of lived human existence, in the light of Martin Buber’s philosophy of dialogue and Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of perception and otherness. The problem seems to be how everyday technological interfaces can change the way we first perceive the world and the possibility that with certain types of mediation there is a loss of connection with the Other. It is argued that understanding dialogical conditions could help turn the relationship with technology into something more humane. Literature such as Forster’s is considered as an example of such a dialogical condition, suggesting ways of dealing with human dilemmas by exploring the field of possibilities. (shrink)
Is God's foreknowledge compatible with human freedom? One of the most attractive attempts to reconcile the two is the Ockhamistic view, which subscribes not only to human freedom and divine omniscience, but retains our most fundamental intuitions concerning God and time: that the past is immutable, that God exists and acts in time, and that there is no backward causation. In order to achieve all that, Ockhamists distinguish ‘hard facts’ about the past which cannot possibly be altered from ‘soft facts’ (...) about the past which are alterable, and argue that God's prior beliefs about human actions are soft facts about the past. (shrink)
One of the ways of dividing all philosophers into two kinds is by saying of each whether he is an ordinary man's philosopher or a philosophers' philosopher. Thus Plato is a philosophers' philosopher and Aristotle an ordinary man's philosopher. This does not depend on being easy to understand: a lot of Aristotle's Metaphysics is immensely difficult. Nor does being a philosophers' philosopher imply that an ordinary man cannot enjoy the writings, or many of them. Plato invented and exhausted a form: (...) no one else has written such dialogues. So someone with no philosophical bent, or who has left his philosophical curiosity far behind may still enjoy reading some of them. (shrink)
The usual way for new cells to come into being is by division of old cells. So the zygote, which is a—new—single cell formed from two, the sperm and ovum, is an exception. Textbooks of human genetics usually say that this new cell is beginning of a new human individual. What this indicates is that they suddenly forget about identical twins.
Ludwig Wittgenstein was born in 1889, son of parents of Jewish extraction but not Jewish religion. Asked how his family came by the name ‘Wittgenstein’ Ludwig said they had been court Jews to the princely family and so had taken the name when Jews were required by law to have European-style names. The father, Karl, was a Protestant, the mother a Catholic. The Jewish blood was sufficient to bring the family later on into danger under Hitler's Nuremberg Laws. They did (...) not think of themselves as Jews or belong to the Jewish community in Vienna. The children were brought up sort-of Catholic though so far as I know only the eldest, Hermine, towards the end of her life, took this seriously and made a profession of faith before friends and household. At 9 years of age Ludwig and Paul, a year or two older than Ludwig, talked together and decided that their religion was all nonsense. Paul became a pianist of some fame, but soon after his debut in Vienna he became a wounded prisoner on the Russian front and his arm was lopped off by a surgeon who did not know he was a pianist. (shrink)
Purely by questioning Socrates has elicited from an uninstructed slave the conclusion that the square on the diagonal of a square is twice the original square in area. Then comes a part of the dialogue which I translate: Socrates . This knowledge, then, that he has now, he either got some time, or always had? Meno . Yes.
RESUMEN Se aborda el pensamiento de E.M. Cioran desde la perspectiva de un sinsabor vital denominado sentimiento de muerte. El término, aunque aparece solo en su primer escrito, es transversal a toda su obra, puesto que para el autor los seres humanos nos intuimos como posesos de la muerte en cada momento de nuestra existencia. Esto cambia el tono normal de la vida, al poner frente a la persona una realidad carente de sentido y dominada por circunstancias radicales y limitantes (...) como el dolor y la agonía, que culmina en una atmósfera gobernada por la intuición trágica de la vida. ABSTRACT The article addresses the thought of E.M. Cioran from the perspective of that vital uneasiness known as the sentiment of death. Although the term appears only in his first book, the idea cuts across his entire work given that, for Cioran, human beings intuit themselves as possessed by death at every moment of their lives. When persons are faced with a meaningless reality, dominated by radical and limiting circumstances such as pain and agony, the whole tenor of life changes until it becomes a tragic intuition of life. (shrink)
This paper aims to present a critique of naturalistic theories of violence. The context of this critique concerns the naturalization of violence, which induces the assimilation power as a form of violence. Therefore, we resumed the theses of Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault on power and violence. The goal is not to list the differences between these authors on the subject, which are explicit in the development of the test, but show their concordance regarding the critique of power as something (...) synonymous with violence. (shrink)
Theophrasti Characteres recensuit Hermannus Diels. Oxford Classical Texts. 1909. 3s. 6d. net. Pp. xxviii + .Θεοφρστου Xαρακτxs22EFρες. The Characters of Theophrastus. An English Translation from a Revised Text. With Introduction and Notes by R. C. Jebb, M.A. A new edition. Edited by J. E. Sandys, Litt.D. Macmillan. 1909. 7s. 6d. net. c. 23×14½. Pp. xvi+229.
Le XI.ème Congrès International de Philosophie Médiévale de la Société Internationale pour l’Étude de la Philosophie Médiévale (S.I.E.P.M..) s’est déroulé à Porto (Portugal), du 26 au 30 août 2002, sous le thème général: Intellect et Imagination dans la Philosophie Médiévale. A partir des héritages platonicien, aristotélicien, stoïcien, ou néo-platonicien (dans leurs variantes grecques, latines, arabes, juives), la conceptualisation et la problématisation de l’imagination et de l’intellect, ou même des facultés de l’âme en général, apparaissaient comme une ouverture possible pour aborder (...) les principaux points de la pensée médiévale. Les Actes du congrès montrent que « imagination » et « intellect » sont porteurs d’une richesse philosophique extraordinaire dans l’économie de la philosophie médiévale et de la constitution de ses spécificités historiques. Dans sa signification la plus large, la théorisation de ces deux facultés de l’âme permet de dédoubler le débat en au moins six grands domaines: — la relation avec le sensible, où la fantaisie/l’imagination joue le rôle de médiation dans la perception du monde et dans la constitution de la connaissance ; — la réflexion sur l’acte de connaître et la découverte de soi en tant que sujet de pensée ; — la position dans la nature, dans le cosmos, et dans le temps de celui qui pense et qui connaît par les sens externes, internes et par l’intellect ; — la recherche d’un fondement pour la connaissance et l’action, par la possibilité du dépassement de la distante proximité du transcendant, de l’absolu, de la vérité et du bien ; — la réalisation de la félicité en tant qu’objectif ultime, de même que la découverte d’une tendance au dépassement actif ou mystique de toutes les limites naturelles et des facultés de l’âme ; — la constitution de théories de l’image, sensible ou intellectuelle, et de ses fonctions. Les 3 volumes d’Actes incluent les 16 leçons plénières et 112 communications, ainsi que les index correspondants (manuscrits ; noms anciens et médiévaux ; noms modernes ; auteurs). Le volume IV des Actes, contenant 39 communications et des index, est publié par la revue " Mediaevalia. Textos e Estudos ", du Gabinete de Filosofia Medieval de l’Universidade do Porto (volume 23, de 2004). Ouvrage publié avec l’appui de l’Universidade do Porto, de la Faculdade de Letras da U.P., du Departamento de Filosofia - F.L.U.P. et de la Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal). (shrink)
The historical development of the famous Einstein formula \ is briefly discussed. In this paper, on the basis of the Einstein viewpoint a new general approach is proposed for demonstrating the correctness of the formula \ . It is can be seen that the generalized approach leads to Einstein’s famous formula, too. During recent years, various papers have been published concerning the incompleteness of this famous formula. It is demonstrated that the presented claims in these articles are not mathematically legitimate. (...) It is clear that there are still some important misunderstandings concerning the interpretation of Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence formula. (shrink)
Philosophers of action and perception have reached a consensus: the term ‘intentionality’ has significantly different senses in their respective fields. But Anscombe argues that these distinct senses are analogically united in such a way that one cannot understand the concept if one focuses exclusively on its use in one’s preferred philosophical sub-discipline. She highlights three salient points of analogy: (i) intentional objects are given by expressions that employ a “description under which;” (ii) intentional descriptions are typically vague and indeterminate; and (...) (iii) intentional descriptions may be false. I explore these three features as they apply to both perception and action and defend Anscombe’s view that the analogical concept of intentionality is a grammatical concept. That is, there are two distinctive linguistic/social practices that involve, respectively, a special sense of the question ‘Why?’ and a special sense of the question ‘What?’ To competently ask and answer the questions that constitute these practices not only reflects, but also conveys a grammatical understanding of intentionality’s basic, formal structure. (shrink)
The most popular work of Francisco Sánchez, Quo nihil scitur (1581), transmits an absolutely sceptic thought. However, other writings like Carmen de Cometa anni M.D.LXXVII (1578), offer us different ideas about how Sánchez considers possible the scientific knowledge like, for example, his idea about the casual relations between natural objects.