Phyllis Illari and Jon Williamson propose a formulation for a general mechanistic account, the purpose of which is to capture the similarities across mechanistic accounts in the sciences. Illari and Williamson extract insight from mechanisms in astrophysics—which are notably different from the typical biological mechanisms discussed in the literature on mechanisms—to show how their general mechanistic account accommodates mechanisms across various sciences. We present argumentation that demonstrates why an amendment is necessary to the ontology referred to by the general mechanistic (...) account provided by Illari and Williamson. The amendment is required due to the variability of some components in computing mechanisms: the very same component serves as either entity or activity, both between levels and within the same level of the explanatory hierarchy. We argue that the proper ontological account of these mechanistic components involves disambiguation via explicitly indexing them as entities or activities. (shrink)
Presenting a comprehensive portrayal of the reading of Chinese and Buddhist philosophy in early 20th-century German thought, Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy in early Twentieth-Century German Thought examines the implications of these readings for contemporary issues in comparative and intercultural philosophy. Through a series of case studies from the late 19th-century and early 20th-century, EricNelson focuses on the reception and uses of Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism in German philosophy, covering figures as diverse as Buber, Heidegger, and Misch. He (...) argues that the growing intertextuality between traditions cannot be appropriately interpreted through notions of exclusive identities, closed horizons, or unitary traditions. Providing an account of the context, motivations, and hermeneutical strategies of early twentieth-century European thinkers' interpretation of Asian philosophy, Nelson also throws new light on the question of the relation between Heidegger and Asian philosophy. Reflecting the growing interest in the possibility of intercultural and global philosophy, Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy in early Twentieth-Century German Thought opens up the possibility of a more inclusive intercultural conception of philosophy. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/chinese-and-buddhist-philosophy-in-early-twentieth-century-german-thoug ht-9781350002562/#sthash.1lY6OTYj.dpuf. (shrink)
EricNelson presents the first critical edition of the translations of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey composed by the great seventeenth-century philosopher and political theorist Thomas Hobbes. Nelson shows that these translations are not only of great literary interest but offer special insights into Hobbes's own thought.
Wilhelm Dilthey: Selected Works, Volume II: Understanding the Human World. Edited with Introduction by Rudolf A. Makkreel and Frithjof Rodi Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 471-474 DOI 10.1007/s10746-011-9197-6 Authors Eric S. Nelson, Department of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA, USA Journal Human Studies Online ISSN 1572-851X Print ISSN 0163-8548 Journal Volume Volume 34 Journal Issue Volume 34, Number 4.
In paradigmatic Confucian (Ruist) discourses, emotion (qing) has been depicted as co-arising with human nature (xing) and an irreducible constitutive source of human practices and their interpretation. The affects are concurrently naturally arising and alterable through how individuals react and respond to them and how they are or are not cultivated. That is, emotions are relationally mediated realities given in and transformed through how they are felt, understood, interpreted, and acted upon. Confucian discourses have elucidated the ethical character of the (...) emotions and sought to understand and cultivate emotional life as a hermeneutical and ethical task in establishing expectable patterns of human flourishing that orient virtues, roles, and relations. In this chapter, I explore the extent to which classical Ruist and Neo-Confucian discourses offer hermeneutical models for interpreting the complex interconnections between moral psychology and their mediations in the ethical life world. By examining a range of Confucian sources, the author argues that Confucian “moral psychologies” clarify affective dimensions of human existence within the interpersonal nexus of ethical life and indicate ways of cultivating affective awareness for relationally understanding and interpreting others, one’s world, and oneself. (shrink)
The capability approach to distributive justice, as defended by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, represents perhaps the most influential recent attempt to reconcile the competing demands of liberty and equality. Specifically, capability theorists have claimed that their insistence on the universal cultivation of a set of capabilities for basic human "functionings" is fully consistent with a liberal neutrality commitment. Their reason is that these capabilities are, like Rawls's primary goods, rational to want "whatever else one wants." This article suggests, in (...) contrast, that the capability approach fails to satisfy the neutrality requirement endorsed by both Sen and Nussbaum. It further suggests that the non-neutral character of the approach reflects its Rawlsian lineage, and raises serious doubts about the coherence of Rawls's account of primary goods. (shrink)
Responding to critiques of Dilthey's interpretive psychology, I revisit its relation with epistemology and the human sciences. Rather than reducing knowledge to psychology and psychology to subjective understanding, Dilthey articulated the epistemic worth of a psychology involving (1) an impure phenomenology of embodied, historically-situated, and worldly consciousness as individually lived yet complicit with its naturally and socially constituted contexts, (2) experience- and communication-oriented processes of interpreting others, (3) the use of third-person structural-functional analysis and causal explanation, and (4) a recognition (...) of the ungroundability, facticity, and conflict inherent in knowledge and life. (shrink)
Early Daoism, as articulated in the Daodejing and the Zhuangzi, indirectly addresses environmental issues by intimating a non-reductive naturalistic ethics calling on humans to be open and responsive to the specificities and interconnections of the world and environment to which they belong. "Dao" is not a substantial immanent or transcendent entity but the lived enactment of the intrinsic worth of the "myriad things" and the natural world occurring through how humans address and are addressed by them. Early Daoism potentially corrects (...) both anthropocentrism and biocentrism in environmental ethics by disclosing the things themselves in the context of the selfcultivation of life. Given increasing environmental devastation and the dominance of views, practices, and institutions reducing nature to a background and/or raw material for human activity, this "ethics of encounter" discloses the life of things as inexhaustibly more than human projects and constructs, extending ethical recognition and responsibility beyond social relations and the social self. (shrink)
In this wide-ranging and authoritative volume, leading scholars engage with the philosophy and writings of Wilhelm Dilthey, a key figure in nineteenth-century thought. Their chapters cover his innovative philosophical strategies and explore how they can be understood in relation to their historical situation, as well as presenting incisive interpretations of Dilthey's arguments, including their development, their content, and their influence on later thought. A key focus is on how Dilthey's work remains relevant to current debates around art and literature, the (...) biographical and autobiographical self, knowledge, language, science, culture, history, society, and psychology and the embodied mind. The volume will be important for researchers in hermeneutics, aesthetics, practical philosophy, and the history of German philosophy, providing a valuable introduction to Dilthey's work as well as detailed critical analysis of its ongoing significance. (shrink)
In diesem Aufsatz, werde ich die Frage des Naturalismus in Plessners Philosophie des organischen Lebens und seiner amerikanischen Rezeption, in besonders die philosophischen-biologischen Schriften von Marjorie Grene, untersuchen. Die amerikanische Philosophin Grene war die Hauptvertreterin Plessners im Englischen Sprachraum in 20sten Jahrhundert, die Plessners anthropologischen Argumentation in ihren Schriften zur Philosophie der Biologie aufgenommen und verwendet hat. Grene kritisierte in ihren frühen Schriften Heidegger, Sartre, und die Existenzphilosophie, die das menschliche Dasein von der Natur radikal absondert und die negative Affekte (...) wie Angst hervorhebt, in Vergleich mit Plessners weiterem Blick der Leibhaften, Sinnlichen, Tierischen Entwicklung des menschlichen Lebens. Die menschliche Existenz kann nicht dualistisch, wo „keine Brücke über den Abgrund zwischen Mensch und Tier führt,“ sondern nur biologisch-lebensphilosophisch oder ökologisch verstanden werden. Plessner und Grene setzen sich mit dem Reduktionismus des modernen Naturalismus auseinander und zeigen, wie das Natürliche weiter und ergänzt gedacht werden muss, weil der Naturalismus keine ausreichenden Begriffe für die Auslegung der Erscheinungen und Ausdrucksformen des organischen Lebens besitzt. Die Unterscheidung zwischen der "zentrischen Positionalität" des Tiers und der "exzentrischen Positionalität" des menschlichen Tiers ermöglicht eine holistisch aber differenzierte Beschreibung der Natur und Kultur, insbesondere die natürlichen Künstlichkeit, die der Kultur und das des gesellschaftlichen Lebens. Diese sind Grundlage für die geschichtliche und soziale Bildung, Aufbau, und Strukturierung der natürlichen Spontaneität, Produktivität, und Expressivität des Lebens und ermöglichen die dezentrierte, utopische, und persönliche Individuation der einzelnen Menschen im Lebenszusammenhang, was wichtige soziologische und auch ethische und politische Konsequenzen für Plessner und Grene hat: Der Mensch ist ein natürliches biologisches Individuum, das durchaus fähig ist, eine verantwortliche Person zu werden , und zwar durch die umfassende Beteiligung an (oder als ein einzigartiger Ausdruck) einer Kultur. (shrink)
This chapter examines: (1) the Black Notebooks in the context of Heidegger's political engagement on behalf of the National Socialist regime and his ambivalence toward some but not all of its political beliefs and tactics; (2) his limited "critique" of vulgar National Socialism and its biologically based racism for the sake of his own ethnocentric vision of the historical uniqueness of the German people and Germany's central role in Europe as a contested site situated between West and East, technological modernity (...) and the Asiatic. Heidegger did not break with radical right-wing Germanist thought, as some scholars have argued. He at most placed National Socialism within his narrative of the history of being, metaphysics, and technology, and thereby relativized it without addressing either its uniqueness or its totalitarian structures and practices. Heidegger formulated his own metaphysical and ontological version of Antisemitism during the National Socialist period. This vision was deeply connected with his understanding of the "history of being" and was intensified during and immediately after the Second World War. Heidegger could perceive no difference between the Shoah and the Allied bombing, defeat, and occupation of Germany. Heidegger's post-war philosophy (of home, history and technology) is deeply shaped by, and remained complicit with, his thinking during this period. (shrink)
Western philosophy has been deﬁned through the exclusion of non-Western forms of thought as non-philo-sophical. In this paper, I place the notion of what is “properly” philosophy into question by contrasting the essence/appearance paradigm governing Western metaphysics and its deconstructive critics with the more ﬂuid, dynamic, and participatory forms of encountering and performatively enacting the world that are articulated in Chinese thinking and made apparent in Chinese painting. In this hermeneutical contrast, Western and Chinese thinking themselves are interpeted as co-relational (...) rather than as discrete, mutually indifferent or ethnocentrically nativist traditions. (shrink)
Adorno and Levinas argue from distinct yet intersecting perspectives that there are pathological forms of freedom, formed by systems of power and economic exchange, which legitimate the neglect, exploitation and domination of others. In this paper, I examine how the works of Adorno and Levinas assist in diagnosing the aporias of liberty in contemporary capitalist societies by providing critical models and strategies for confronting present discourses and systems of freedom that perpetuate unfreedom such as those ideologically expressed in possessive individualist (...) and libertarian conceptions of freedom. (shrink)
Isaiah Berlin's distinction between "negative" and "positive" concepts of liberty has recently been defended on new and interesting grounds. Proponents of this dichotomy used to equate positive liberty with "self-mastery "-the rule of our rational nature over ourpassions and impulses. However, Berlin's critics have made the case that this account does not employ a separate "concept" of liberty: although the constraints it envisions are internal, rather than external, forces, the freedom in question remains "negative" (freedom is still seen as the (...) absence of such impediments). Responding to this development, Berlin's defenders have increasingly tended to identify positive liberty with "self-realization." The argument is that such an account of freedom is genuinely "nonnegative," in that it does not refer to the absence of constraints on action. This essay argues that the claims made on behalf of "freedom as self-realization" cannot withstand scrutiny, and that they fail to isolate a coherent view of liberty that is distinguishable from the absence of constraint. (shrink)
The mechanistic approach in philosophy of science contributes to our understanding of experimental design. Applying the mechanistic approach to experimentation in computing is beneficial for two reasons. It connects the methodology of experimentation in computing with the methodology of experimentation in established sciences, thereby strengthening the scientific reputability of computing and the quality of experimental design therein. Furthermore, it pinpoints the idiosyncrasies of experimentation in computing: computing deals closely with both natural and engineered mechanisms. Better understanding of the idiosyncrasies, which (...) manifest in terms of a nonstandard role for experimentation, are interesting both for computer scientists and for philosophers of science. Computer scientists can think more clearly about their experimental choices. The role of experimentation elucidated by computer science merits further study from philosophers of science generally, as it highlights a role for experimentation hitherto unrecognized by philosophers: demonstration that activities exist. (shrink)
Rita Widmaier and Malte-Ludolf Babin have done a valuable scholarly service for studies of the early modern European reception of China in collecting letters from Leibniz's extensive correspondence concerning China and translating them from the original Latin and French into German. This multi-lingual and chronologically organized edition gathers letters to and from Leibniz as well as supplementary texts composed between the years 1694 and 1716. It incorporates helpful clarificatory notes as well as an informative and lucid introduction.This edition focuses on (...) the exchanges between Leibniz and the Jesuit theologian and philosopher Barthélemy Des Bosses S.J. and other Jesuits in Europe who were in... (shrink)
Isaiah Berlin’s distinction between “negative” and “positive” concepts of liberty has recently been defended on newand interesting grounds. Proponents of this dichotomy used to equate positive liberty with “self-mastery”—the rule of our rational nature over our passions and impulses. However, Berlin’s critics have made the case that this account does not employ a separate “ concept” of liberty: although the constraints it envisions are internal, rather than external, forces, the freedom in question remains “negative” . Responding to this development, Berlin’s (...) defenders have increasingly tended to identify positive liberty with “self-realization.” The argument is that such an account of freedom is genuinely “nonnegative,” in that it does not refer to the absence of constraints on action. This essay argues that the claims made on behalf of “freedom as self-realization” cannot withstand scrutiny, and that they fail to isolate a coherent viewof liberty that is distinguishable fromthe absence of constraint. (shrink)
As a contribution to a critical yet responsive materialist ethics of environments and animals, I reexamine the significance of nature and animals in the critical social theory of Theodor Adorno. In response to the anthropocentric primacy of intersubjective discourse and recognition in recent figures associated with the Frankfurt School, such as Habermas and Honneth, I argue for the ecological import of the aporetic dialectic of nature and society diagnosed in Adorno and Horkheimer’s Dialectic of Enlightenment and Adorno’s later works. Adorno’s (...) continuing confrontation with the “domination of nature” traces the tensions between the ideological construction and resistance of “nature” as well as the instrumentalization and implicit disruptive promise of sensuous life. It indicates the material and bodily bonds between human and animal happiness and suffering, the ambiguous role of mimesis in domination and emancipation, and the critical prospect of an unforced and non-coercive freedom toward the object and answerability toward socially and historically mediated yet non-identical natural life. (shrink)
Despite Heidegger’s critique of ethics, his use of ethically-inflected language intimates an interpretive ethics of encounter involving self-interpreting agents in their hermeneutical context and the formal indication of factical life as a situated dwelling open to possibilities enacted through practices of care, interpretation, and individuation. Existence is constituted practically in Dasein’s addressing, encountering, and responding to itself, others, and its world. Unlike rule-based or virtue ethics, this ethos of responsive encounter and individuating confrontation challenges any grounding in a determinate or (...) exemplary model of reason, human nature, the virtues, or tradition. (shrink)
The Greek Tradition in Republic Thought completely rewrites the standard history of republican political theory. It excavates an identifiably Greek strain of republican thought which attaches little importance to freedom as non-dependence and sees no intrinsic value in political participation. This tradition's central preoccupations are not honour and glory, but happiness and justice - defined, in Plato's terms, as the rule of the best men. This set of commitments yields as startling readiness to advocate the corrective redistribution of wealth, and (...) even the outright abolition of private property. The Greek tradition was revived in England during the early sixteenth century and was broadly influential throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Its exponents included Sir Thomas More, James Harrington, Montesquieu and Thomas Jefferson, and it contributed significantly to the ideological underpinnings of the American Founding as well as the English Civil Wars. (shrink)
This book, the fruition of twenty years of research and writing about phenomenology, carefully and insightfully traces the complex historical relations between phenomenology and non-Western thought over the last century. It also offers a critical diagnosis of the contemporary impediments to, and possibilities for, intercultural philosophy...
Carine Defoort, Mario Wenning, and Kai Marchal offer three ways of engaging with Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy in Early Twentieth-Century German Thought and the philosophical, hermeneutical, and historical issues it attempted to articulate and address.1 This work is historical with a contemporary philosophical intent: to reexamine a tumultuous contested epoch of philosophy’s past in order to reconsider its existing limitations and alternative possibilities. One dimension of this book is the investigation of constellations and entanglements of historical forces and concepts for (...) the sake of articulating critical models and alternatives for the present.2 In the book, I contested the modern self-image of philosophy... (shrink)