For centuries, philosophy has been considered as an intellectual activity requiring complex cognitive skills and predispositions related to complex (or critical) thinking. The Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach aims at the development of critical thinking in pupils through philosophical dialogue. Some contest the introduction of P4C in the classroom, suggesting that the discussions it fosters are not philosophical in essence. In this text, we argue that P4C is philosophy.
In our view, the ability to impose moral values which may be, to some extent, either shared or conflictual, influences the strategy adopted when writing argumentative texts. Our hypothesis is that the greater the socio-moral distance between the writers’ representations (the writers in this case being children) and those of the recipients (here the parents), the more likely it is that writing will be successful. Three topics derived from a preliminary experiment and corresponding to significant differences in opinion between children (...) and parents were tested in a population of 11-year-old pupils. The pupils had to write a letter designed to convince their parents about one of these topics. We analyzed the texts in order to identify the different configurations in the frequencies of use of the pronouns (frequencies of Je (I), Tu (You), Il (He), On (One/We)) and adverbs. These frequencies differed depending on the topic that was being written about (the moral context that is mobilized). (shrink)
L'article met en valeur le fait que le système pronominal est un excellent indicateur en termes de valeurs véhiculées au sein des écrits argumentatifs des jeunes élèves. A partir d'une tâche rodée en psychologie cognitive, plusieurs thèmes contrastés et significativement testés pour être différents (pro- ou contre attitudes, ce, en lien avec les représentations croisées des enfants versus des parents) les écrits des élèves sont analysés. Le nombre de pronoms employés ne se distribue pas au hasard selon les thèmes. Chaque (...) pronom, je, tu, il(s), on, nous/vous est situé dans l'espace dialogique au regard de cette distribution. (shrink)
Emmanuel Levinas (1905-1995) is at the center of the renewed debate over the question of the ethical. In the context of the phenomenological tradition, Levinas defines ethics as an originary response to the face of the other. Between 1982 and 1992, Levinas gave numerous interviews, closing a distinguished sixty-year career. Of the twenty interviews collected in this volume, seventeen appear in English for the first time. In the interviews Levinas sets forth the central features of his ethical philosophy. He underlies (...) his dedication to the phenomenological search for the concrete and the nonformal signification of alterity. He also elaborates on issues that do not receive extensive treatment in his formal philosophical works, including the question of pre-philosophical experiences, the ethical signification of money, justice, and the State. The informality of the interviews prompt Levinas to address matters about which he is reticent in his published works. (shrink)
Emmanuel Levinas is one of the most original philosophers in the twentieth century. In this book, continuing his thought on obligation, he investigates the possibility that the word God can be understood now, at the end of the twentieth century, in a meaningful way. The thirteen essays collected in this volume offer an introduction to the wide range of Levinas's thought, addresses philosophical questions concerning politics, language and religion and the philosophies of, amongst others, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, Marx and Derrida. The (...) essays also touch on the Marxist concept of ideology, death, hermeneutics, the concept of evil, the philosophy of dialogue, the relation of language to the Other, and the acts of communication and mutual understanding. Nine of the essays appear in English for the first time. (shrink)
Edith Wyschogrod presents the first full-length study in English of the important contemporary French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. It is a revision of the author’s earlier study and includes discussions of his recent writings as well as current scholarship. Dr. Wyschogrod’s extensive discussion of Levinas's relation to Judaism, especially his use of literature from the Torah and other religious writings, will be of interest to religious scholars. The author compares Levinas’s thought with that of his contemporaries, most notably Jacques Derrida and (...) Husserl. (shrink)
Spirituality connotes praxis informed by religious or faith convictions. This can transform the individual and society at large. Christian spirituality is centered on how a person’s relationship with the God of Jesus Christ informs and directs one’s approach to existence and engagement with the world. The ecosystem concerns humanity and relationship with it is invariably influenced by faith or religious informed praxis. The reality of climate change is convincing many people that humankind’s common homeland needs to be treated with care (...) and respect if created beings are to have a congenial habitat now and in the future. This article avers that Christian spirituality can contribute to eco-friendly behavior through re-formation of the behavior of people and emboldening their goodwill as regards the responsibility of all towards the care of the earth. Finally, this research proffers a three-fold model of eco-spirituality - scriptural, selfcontrol, and sacramental approaches to the earth – as a contribution towards stemming the tide of ecological assaults on creation. Textual analysis is the method used in this research. (shrink)
'The Levinas Reader' collects, often for the first time in English, essays by Levinas encompassing every aspect of his thought: the early phenomenological studies written under the guidance and inspiration of Husserl and Heidegger; the fully developed ethical critique of such totalizing philosophies; the pioneering texts on the moral dimension to aesthetics; the rich and subtle readings of the Talmud which are an exemplary model of an ethical, transcendental philosophy at work; the admirable meditations on current political issues.
Reality and its shadow -- Freedom and command -- The ego and the totality -- Philosophy and the idea of infinity -- Phenomenon and enigma -- Meaning and sense -- Language and proximity -- Humanism and an-archy -- No identity -- God and philosophy -- Transcendence and evil.
One of the most influential philosophers of our day has selected 16 previously uncollected pieces that are unified by Levinas's project of revising the phenomenological description of the world in light of our experience of other persons.
From the relative obscurity in which Levinas's work languished until very recently, Emmanuel Levinas must now be judged as one of the most influential figures in contemporary Continental philosophy. There is no better guide than John Lewelyn to lead one through the thickets of Levinas's prose. Bursting with questions, multiple references, cascading citations and multilingual puns and nuances, this book is the compelling record of intellectual obsession. Taking as its guiding thre the theme of genealogy, the book gives a broadly (...) chronological and impressively manageable presentation of the whole sweep of the Levinas's work. Balanced and finely grained, Llewelyn confronts questions of method, Heidegger, phenomenology, the theme of sensibility, religion, enjoyment, feminity, eros, justice and the political. The book reaches a stunning climax in a series of chapters that give a hestitant but tolerant discussion of the question of God in Levinas, the relation to Levinasian ethics to Nietzschean genealogy, and an extraordinary discussion of metaphor that leads into a wholly original analysis of Levinas's poetics and metaphorics. The book concludes with a sensitive reading of the autobiographical epigraphs to Levinas's Otherwise than Being... and a consideration of the Holocaust. (shrink)
Classical (Bayesian) probability (CP) theory has led to an influential research tradition for modeling cognitive processes. Cognitive scientists have been trained to work with CP principles for so long that it is hard even to imagine alternative ways to formalize probabilities. However, in physics, quantum probability (QP) theory has been the dominant probabilistic approach for nearly 100 years. Could QP theory provide us with any advantages in cognitive modeling as well? Note first that both CP and QP theory share the (...) fundamental assumption that it is possible to model cognition on the basis of formal, probabilistic principles. But why consider a QP approach? The answers are that (1) there are many well-established empirical findings (e.g., from the influential Tversky, Kahneman research tradition) that are hard to reconcile with CP principles; and (2) these same findings have natural and straightforward explanations with quantum principles. In QP theory, probabilistic assessment is often strongly context- and order-dependent, individual states can be superposition states (that are impossible to associate with specific values), and composite systems can be entangled (they cannot be decomposed into their subsystems). All these characteristics appear perplexing from a classical perspective. However, our thesis is that they provide a more accurate and powerful account of certain cognitive processes. We first introduce QP theory and illustrate its application with psychological examples. We then review empirical findings that motivate the use of quantum theory in cognitive theory, but also discuss ways in which QP and CP theories converge. Finally, we consider the implications of a QP theory approach to cognition for human rationality. (shrink)
Cette étude d’Emmanuel Levinas, parue en 1930, un an avant la traduction des Méditations cartésiennes, fut l’une des premières à faire connaître en France les notions fondamentales de la philosophie de Husserl. Elle expose la théorie phénoménologique de l’intuition, prise comme théorie de la vérité. La vérité est l’apparaître des choses mêmes par delà les images et les mots. En ce sens, la phénoménologie se veut le retour de la philosophie aux choses mêmes.Les analyses d’Emmanuel Levinas qu’on trouvera dans le (...) présent volume, et qui sont devenues aujourd’hui classiques, portent sur les ouvrages publiés du vivant du Husserl. Mais elles jetent une lumière vive sur les oeuvres posthumes du philosophe et elles sont un indispensable outil à la compréhension de la pensée contemporaine, encore marquée par l’héritage phénoménologique. (shrink)
Au cours de cet entretien, Emmanuel Renault nous offre un aperçu de la manière dont la thématique de la reconnaissance est traitée en France aujourd’hui, notamment à travers le renouveau des études sur Hegel et Marx. Il explique la façon dont la reconnaissance a pu s’ériger en paradigme (en dépit de ses usages multiples et variés en France comme ailleurs), au cours de la dernière décennie et le rôle joué par Axel Honneth dans ce procès. Finalement, il explicite sa manière (...) d’envisager la pratique de la philosophie politique et son projet d’une critique du capitalisme. Emmanuel Renault nous livre également un commentaire critique mais constructif sur la manière dont Paul Ricœur envisage la reconnaissance et suggère quelques pistes concernant les possibles développements futurs des usages de la reconnaissance. (shrink)
Some theories assume that sentences like (i) with a presupposition trigger in the scope of a quantifier carry an existential presupposition, as in (ii); others assume that they carry a universal presupposition, as in (iii). No student knows that he is lucky. Existential presupposition: At least one student is lucky.Universal presupposition: Every student is lucky. This work is an experimental investigation of this issue in French. Native speakers were recruited to evaluate the robustness of the inference from (i) to (iii). (...) The main result is that presuppositions triggered from the scope of the quantifier aucun‘no’ are in fact universal. But the present results also suggest that the presuppositions triggered from the scope of other quantifiers depend on the quantifier. This calls for important changes in the main theories of presupposition projection. (shrink)
Given that Enlightenment rationality developed in Europe as European nations aggressively claimed other parts of the world for their own enrichment, scholars have made rationality the subject of postcolonial critique, questioning its universality and objectivity. In _On Reason_, the late philosopher Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze demonstrates that rationality, and by extension philosophy, need not be renounced as manifestations or tools of Western imperialism. Examining reason in connection to the politics of difference—the cluster of issues known variously as cultural diversity, political correctness, (...) the culture wars, and identity politics—Eze expounds a rigorous argument that reason is produced through and because of difference. In so doing, he preserves reason as a human property while at the same time showing that it cannot be thought outside the realities of cultural diversity. Advocating rationality in a multicultural world, he proposes new ways of affirming both identity and difference. Eze draws on an extraordinary command of Western philosophical thought and a deep knowledge of African philosophy and cultural traditions. He explores models of rationality in the thought of philosophers from Aristotle, René Descartes, Francis Bacon, and Thomas Hobbes to Noam Chomsky, Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam, and Jacques Derrida, and he considers portrayals of reason in the work of the African thinkers and novelists Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and Wole Soyinka. Eze reflects on contemporary thought about genetics, race, and postcolonial historiography as well as on the interplay between reason and unreason in the hearings of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He contends that while rationality may have a foundational formality, any understanding of its foundation and form is dynamic, always based in historical and cultural circumstances. (shrink)
First published in 1935, On Escape represents Emmanuel Levinas’s first attempt to break with the ontological obsession of the Western tradition. In it, Levinas not only affirms the necessity of an escape from being, but also gives a meaning and a direction to it. Beginning with an analysis of need not as lack or some external limit to a self-sufficient being, but as a positive relation to our being, Levinas moves through a series of brilliant phenomenological analyses of such phenomena (...) as pleasure, shame, and nausea in order to show a fundamental insufficiency in the human condition. In his critical introduction and annotation, Jacques Rolland places On Escape in its historical and intellectual context, and also within the context of Levinas’s entire oeuvre, explaining Levinas’s complicated relation to Heidegger, and underscoring the way Levinas’s analysis of “being riveted,” of the need for escape, is a meditation on the body. (shrink)
Combining elements from Heidegger’s philosophy of “being-in-the-world” and the tradition of Jewish theology, Levinas has evolved a new type of ethics based on a concept of “the Other” in two different but complementary aspects. He describes his encounters with those philosophers and literary authors (most of them his contemporaries) whose writings have most significantly contributed to the construction of his own philosophy of “Otherness”: Agnon, Buber, Celan, Delhomme, Derrida, Jabès, Kierkegaard, Lacroix, Laporte, Picard, Proust, Van Breda, Wahl, and, most notably, (...) Blanchot. At the same time, Levinas’s own texts are inscriptions and documents of those encounters with “Others” around which his philosophy is turning. Thus the texts simultaneously convey an immediate experience of how his intellectual position emerged and how it is put into practice. A third potential function of the book is that it unfolds the network of references and persons in philosophical debates since Kierkegaard. (shrink)
Although some people argue Emmanuel Levinas is a Jewish thinker because he introduces in his philosophical work ideas which come from the Jewish tradition, I want to present him as a philosopher. A philosopher who tries to widen the philosophical horizon which is traditionally a Greek one but, at the same time, a philosopher who does not want to abandon it. In one of his main books Totality and Infinity, he describes western civilization as an hypocritical one because it is (...) attached both to the True and to the Good, but he adds:It is perhaps time to see in hypocrisy not only a base contingent defect of man, but the underlying rending of a world attached to both the philosophers and the prophets, When reading Levinas we may realize that such an ‘hypocrisy’ might well be a blessing from a philosophical point of view. One of Levinas's philosophical aims is to refer to the Greek language of philosophy—a language he asserts to be of universal significance—in order to elucidate ideas that come from the Hebrew world view, from the prophets and from the sages. He wants to give a new insight into Greek categories and concepts but he refuses to abnegate the philosophical requirements for accuracy. That is why when he refers to biblical verses or to Talmudic apologues, he does not want to prove anything. His philosophical writings are indeed philosophical because he does not yield to the temptation of substituting the authority of a certain verse or of a certain name to the philosophical requirement of argumentation. (shrink)
Though Kierkegaard never explicitly formulated a theory of religious doctrine, he did have a clear position on the role that Christian doctrine ought to play in the lives of believers. Briefly stated, he maintained that Christianity, as a human activity, involves more than merely believing certain propositions about matters of fact. The doctrines of Christianity take on a true religious significance only when they are given the power to transform the lives of those who accept them; only when they are (...) given expression in the existence of the believer. This was, however, far from evident to Kierkegaard's theological contemporaries who, in the collective absentmindedness of the age, sought to replace the Christian virtue of faith with the philosophical ideal of objective knowledge. (shrink)
The 'nations' of the title are the 'seventy nations': in the Talmudic idiom, the whole of humanity surrounding Israel. In this major collection of essays, Levinas considers Judaism's uncertain relationship to European culture since the Enlightenment, problems of distance and integration. It also includes five Talmudic readings from between 1981 and 1986, essays on Franz Rosenzweig and Moses Mendelssohn, and a discussion with Francoise Armengaud which raises questions of central importance to Jewish philosophy in the context of general philosophy. This (...) work brings to the fore the vital encounter between philosophy and Judaism, a hallmark of Levinas's thought.". (shrink)
Emmanuel Levinas has exerted a profound influence on 20th-century continental philosophy. This anthology, including Levinas's key philosophical texts over a period of more than forty years, provides an ideal introduction to his thought and offers insights into his most innovative ideas. Five of the ten essays presented here appear in English for the first time. An introduction by Adriaan Peperzak outlines Levinas's philosophical development and the basic themes of his writings. Each essay is accompanied by a brief introduction and notes. (...) This collection is an ideal text for students of philosophy concerned with understanding and assessing the work of this major philosopher. (shrink)
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