This volume brings together the advanced research results obtained by the European COST Action 2102: “Cross Modal Analysis of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication”. The research published in this book was discussed at the 3rd joint EUCOGII-COST 2102 International Training School entitled “Toward Autonomous, Adaptive, and Context-Aware Multimodal Interfaces: Theoretical and Practical Issues ” and held in Caserta, Italy, on March 15-19, 2010.
Creativity is one of the central dimensions of human achievement and social development and has always fascinated scientists and non-scientists alike. But what is the essential nature of creativity? And what is the role of consciousness in the emergence of creativity? If it is true that it has been explored in many aspects in the cognitive and neurobiological field, it is also true that the lore chest—from which the conscious mind through unconscious mechanisms extracts the rough material that is then (...) brought to the surface—has been less investigated. The purpose of this article is to give an account of how the multiplicity of levels of awareness is made possible by a spontaneous order that has nothing to do with a monolithic view of creativity. (shrink)
Musical improvisation is a sophisticated activity in which a performer realizes, real-time, melodic, and rhythmic sequences in harmony with those from other musicians. The study of musical improvisation helps one to understand not only the cognition of creativity, but also the complex neuronal basis of executive functions, the relation between conscious and unconscious action, and even more. So far, the prevailing models, founded on the brain imaging method, have focused on the connection between the cortical areas and their cognitive processes. (...) Little attention, on the other hand, has been given to the huge variety of subcortical activities, especially in the basal ganglia. This fundamental subcortical component, through its implicit procedures and the role it plays in memory, is responsible to produce new information all the time, allowing the prefrontal cortex to transform a huge and disordered amount of data in explicit creative acts. The basal ganglia are strongly related to the activation of chemical signals generated by dissonance or lack of symmetry between perception and expectation, participating even in the responses to environmental demands according to the circumstances. Thus, they interact with the frontal cortex and with the limbic system, playing a key role in planning and selecting appropriate actions and in decision making. In this text, we try to explain in which sense improvisation is connected to the processes of executive functions, to creativity and to the integrated activity of cortical–subcortical areas controlling the free flow of ideas and to expressive spontaneity. Eventually, we purpose a model according to which structure and process take part at the centrencephalic space of functional integration, which, through both competing and cooperating dynamics, gives way to spontaneous composition. (shrink)
In his first interview to appear in English, Esposito answers a number of questions as they relate to his elaboration of an affirmative biopolitics. He suggests where his own understanding of biopolitics converges and diverges with other contemporary Italian thinkers working on biopolitics, namely Giorgio Agamben and Antonio Negri, and then offers a concise summary of his own work on immunity, especially as it emerges in his Bios: Biopolitics and Philosophy. He concludes the interview with a series of reflections (...) on the meaning of death and birth for Nazism in light of its perverted concept of biopolitics. (shrink)
The current study aims at examining the relationship between the perfectionism two-factor model and burnout dimensions measured by using the BAT through a longitudinal study. A two-wave cross-lagged study was conducted using path analysis in SEM of 191 workers. Results confirmed the predictive role of perfectionistic concerns on the burnout dimensions, whereas perfectionistic strivings were not significantly related, suggesting that perfectionism should be monitored by employers and clinicians to prevent employee burnout. Limitations and future research directions are envisaged.
The seminal contribution of Sen led to a new way to conceptualize and measure absolute poverty, by arguing for the need to ‘take note of the inequality among the poor’. Since then, the ‘Inequality’ of poverty has become the third ‘I’ of poverty, which together with the ‘Incidence’ and the ‘Intensity’ of it constitute the dimensions deemed relevant for poverty evaluation. In this paper, we first argue that the interest in the third ‘I’ of poverty actually originates from a prioritarian (...) rather than an egalitarian attitude. Further, we illustrate the inability of the three ‘I's to fully comprise the criteria for the assessment of poverty which are de facto adopted by existing poverty indices. Some of them resolve distributional conflicts by following leximin, hence assigning a pivotal role to the worst off. We question the desirability of leximin, and conclude that giving absolute priority to the worst off is plausible only in cases where the latter has been identified by an exogenous threshold demarcating a significant difference in human suffering. Finally, we explore to what extent prioritarianism and the sufficiency argument of Frankfurt, Crisp and Casal can help conceptualize giving absolute priority to individuals or groups indentified by exogenous thresholds. (shrink)
Now in a new edition, this exceptionally successful survey text introduces the faith, belief, and practice of Islam from its earliest origins up to its contemporary resurgence. John L. Esposito, an internationally renowned expert on Islam, traces the development of this dynamic faith and its impact on world history and politics. The fourth edition features updated and expanded coverage of Islam and politics; more extensive treatment of early Islam; an enhanced art program; a new appendix; and a free 6-month (...) subscription to Oxford Islamic Studies Online edited by John L. Esposito. (shrink)
An invaluable introduction to the breadth and rigor of Esposito's thought, the book will also welcome readers already familiar with Esposito's characteristic skill in overturning and breaking open the language of politics.
Roberto Esposito is one of leading figures in a new generation of Italian philosophers. This book criticizes the notion of the person and develops an original account of the concept of the impersonal - what he calls the third person.
Do the new sciences of well-being provide knowledge that respects the nature of well-being? This book written from the perspective of philosophy of science articulates how this field can speak to well-being proper and can do so in a way that respects the demands of objectivity and measurement.
Conceptual primitives and semantic universals are the cornerstones of a semantic theory which Anna Wierzbicka has been developing for many years. Semantics: Primes and Universals is a major synthesis of her work, presenting a full and systematic exposition of that theory in a non-technical and readable way. It delineates a full set of universal concepts, as they have emerged from large-scale investigations across a wide range of languages undertaken by the author and her colleagues. On the basis of empirical (...) cross-linguistic studies it vindicates the old notion of the "psychic unity of mankind", while at the same time offering a framework for the rigorous description of different languages and cultures. (shrink)
This article underlines and draws attention to critical insights Esposito makes regarding the prospects of rethinking community in a globalized world. Alongside Agamben and Nancy, Esposito challenges the property prejudice found in mainstream models of community. In identity politics, collective identity is converted into a form of communal property. Borders, sovereign territories, and exclusive rights are fiercely defended in the name of communal property. Esposito responds to this problem by developing what I call a “deontological communal contract” (...) where being and ethics are prioritized over having and economics. I examine this new perspective on community in relation to mainstream models found in contemporary and classical social theory. (shrink)
In this article, Roberto Esposito lays out the genealogical pathways linking the three major concepts around which his most recent work has wound its way: community, immunity, and biopolitics. Although immunity is necessary to the preservation of our life, when driven beyond a certain threshold it forces life into a sort of cage where not only our freedom gets lost but also the very meaning of our existence – that opening of existence outside itself that takes the name of (...) communitas. A hermeneutics informed by immunity can allow the category of community to regain a new political significance, without ending up in a substantialist metaphysics. This task is dictated by the urgent need for an affirmative biopolitics – a horizon of meaning – in which life would no longer be the object but somehow the subject of politics. But what sort of shape would this take? Where would we trace its symptoms? And with what objectives? A preliminary answer focuses on breaking the vise grip between public and private that threatens to crush the common, by seeking instead to expand the space of the common, in the fight, for example, against the planned privatization of water and the battle over energy sources. (shrink)
In this paper we investigate composition models of incarnation, according to which Christ is a compound of qualitatively and numerically different constituents. We focus on three-part models, according to which Christ is composed of a divine mind, a human mind, and a human body. We consider four possible relational structures that the three components could form. We argue that a ‘hierarchy of natures’ model, in which the human mind and body are united to each other in the normal way, and (...) in which they are jointly related to the divine mind by the relation of co-action, is the most metaphysically plausible model. Finally, we consider the problem of how Christ can be a single person even when his components may be considered persons. We argue that an Aristotelian metaphysics, according to which identity is a matter of function, offers a plausible solution: Christ's components may acquire a radically new identity through being parts of the whole, which enables them to be reidentified as parts, not persons. (shrink)
It is commonly held that our intuitive judgements about imaginary problem cases are justified a priori, if and when they are justified at all. In this paper I defend this view — ‘rationalism’ — against a recent objection by Timothy Williamson. I argue that his objection fails on multiple grounds, but the reasons why it fails are instructive. Williamson argues from a claim about the semantics of intuitive judgements, to a claim about their psychological underpinnings, to the denial of rationalism. (...) I argue that the psychological claim — that a capacity for mental simulation explains our intuitive judgements — does not, even if true, provide reasons to reject rationalism. (More generally, a simulation hypothesis, about any category of judgements, is very limited in its epistemological implications: it is pitched at a level of explanation that is insensitive to central epistemic distinctions.) I also argue that Williamson’s semantic claim — that intuitive judgements are judgements of counterfactuals — is mistaken; rather, I propose, they are a certain kind of metaphysical possibility judgement. Several other competing proposals are also examined and criticized. (shrink)
This volume is a collection of papers that advance our understanding of the metaphysics of powers — properties such as fragility and electric charge. The metaphysics of powers is a fast developing research field with fundamental questions at the forefront of current research, such as Can there be a world of only powers? What is the manifestation of a power? Are powers and their manifestations related by necessity? What are the prospects for dispositional accounts of causation? The papers focus on (...) questions concerning the metaphysics of powers that cut across any particular subject-specific ontological domain -- whether philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, ethics, epistemology – investigating the metaphysical structure of powers, the nature of the manifestation of powers, the necessity or contingency of a power’s relation to its manifestations, and powers and causation. A number of authors also engage in discussion with Humean and neo-Humean treatments of causation, thereby making contributions to a larger metaphysical debate beyond powers. Additionally, the authors engage critically with the latest contributions to the debate on powers in the literature, thereby bringing together in a wholesome and analytical way the most recent and noteworthy theoretical developments in this research field. (shrink)
This book surveys research in quantification starting with the foundational work in the 1970s. It paints a vivid picture of generalized quantifiers and Boolean semantics. It explains how the discovery of diverse scope behavior in the 1990s transformed the view of quantification, and how the study of the internal composition of quantifiers has become central in recent years. It presents different approaches to the same problems, and links modern logic and formal semantics to advances in generative syntax. A unique feature (...) of the book is that it systematically brings cross-linguistic data to bear on the theoretical issues, discussing French, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Russian, Japanese, Telugu (Dravidian), and Shupamem (Grassfield Bantu), and pointing to formal semantic literature involving quantification in around thirty languages. -- -/- 1. What this book is about and how to use it; 2. Generalized quantifiers and their elements: operators and their scopes; 3. Generalized quantifiers in non-nominal domains; 4. Some empirically significant properties of quantifiers and determiners; 5. Potential challenges for generalized quantifiers; 6. Scope is not uniform and not a primitive; 7. Existential scope versus distributive scope; 8. Distributivity and scope; 9. Bare numeral indefinites; 10. Modified numerals; 11. Clause-internal scopal diversity; 12. Towards a compositional semantics of quantifier words. (shrink)
Enjoying great popularity in decision theory, epistemology, and philosophy of science, Bayesianism as understood here is fundamentally concerned with epistemically ideal rationality. It assumes a tight connection between evidential probability and ideally rational credence, and usually interprets evidential probability in terms of such credence. Timothy Williamson challenges Bayesianism by arguing that evidential probabilities cannot be adequately interpreted as the credences of an ideal agent. From this and his assumption that evidential probabilities cannot be interpreted as the actual credences of human (...) agents either, he concludes that no interpretation of evidential probabilities in terms of credence is adequate. I argue to the contrary. My overarching aim is to show on behalf of Bayesians how one can still interpret evidential probabilities in terms of ideally rational credence and how one can maintain a tight connection between evidential probabilities and ideally rational credence even if the former cannot be interpreted in terms of the latter. By achieving this aim I illuminate the limits and prospects of Bayesianism. (shrink)
The treatise attempts to approach and deal with some of the most fundamental problems facing anyone who wishes to uphold some version of the so-called theory of tropes. Three assumptions serve as a basis for the investigation: tropes exist, only tropes exist, and a one-category trope-theory along these lines should be developed so that the tropes it postulates are able to serve as truth-makers for all kinds of atomic propositions. Provided that these assumptions are accepted, it is found that the (...) trope-theorist will have to deal with two important problems. First, some atomic propositions seem to require universal truth-makers. Second, some atomic propositions seem to require concrete truth-makers. As tropes are abstract particulars, it follows that the trope-theorist, in order to fulfil assumption, must provide an account of exactly how he or she could construct universality and concreteness from his or her basic stock of tropes. In the treatise such constructions are attempted and some basic problems with such constructions are revealed. Although these problems are serious enough it is argued that it is nevertheless possible to deal with these basic issues while staying squarely within the boundaries of a one-category trope-ontology. (shrink)
How can we explain the structure of perceptual experience? What is it that we perceive? How is it that we perceive objects and not disjoint arrays of properties? By which sense or senses do we perceive objects? This book investigates Aristotle's views on these and related questions.
This conversation between two scholars of international law focuses on the contemporary realities of feminist analysis of international law and on current and future spaces of resistance. It notes that feminism has moved from the margin towards the centre, but that this has also come at a cost. As the language of women’s rights and gender equality has travelled into the international policy worlds of crisis management and peace and security, feminist scholars need to become more careful in their analysis (...) and find new ways of resistance. While noting that we live in dangerous times, this is also a hopeful discussion. (shrink)
Phenomenal beliefs are beliefs about the phenomenal properties of one's concurrent conscious states. It is an article of common sense that such beliefs tend to be justified. Philosophers have been less convinced. It is sometimes claimed that phenomenal beliefs are not on the whole justified, on the grounds that they are typically based on introspection and introspection is often unreliable. Here we argue that such reasoning must guard against a potential conflation between two distinct introspective phenomena, which we call fact-introspection (...) and thing -introspection; arguments for the unreliability of introspection typically target only the former, leaving the reliability of the latter untouched. In addition, we propose a theoretical framework for understanding thing -introspection that may have a surprising consequence: thing -introspection is not only reliable, but outright infallible. This points at a potential line of defense of phenomenal-belief justification, which here we only sketch very roughly. (shrink)
This article develops the affirmative biopolitics that Roberto Esposito intimates in his trilogy – Communitas, Immunitas and Bı´os. The key to this affirmative biopolitics lies in the relationship between the munus, a form of gift that is the root of communitas and immunitas, and the gift discourse that developed throughout the 20th century. The article expands upon Esposito’s interpretation of four theoretical sources that are crucial to his biopolitical perspective: Mauss and the gift-exchange tradition; Hobbes’s social contract theory, (...) which Esposito presents as the anti-gift that founded modernity’s thanatopolitical ‘immunization paradigm’; Bataille’s dangerous concept of sacrifice, which gestures toward an affirmative biopolitical community; and, finally, Jean-Luc Nancy’s essay, L’Intrus, which reflects on the near-decade Nancy lived as the recipient of the gift of a transplanted heart. This discussion of Mauss, Hobbes and Bataille is used to further develop Esposito’s interpretation of L’Intrus in a manner that supports his conception of an affirmative biopolitics ‘of, not over, life’. (shrink)
In this paper I present a new way of understanding Dutch Book Arguments: the idea is that an agent is shown to be incoherent iff he would accept as fair a set of bets that would result in a loss under any interpretation of the claims involved. This draws on a standard definition of logical inconsistency. On this new understanding, the Dutch Book Arguments for the probability axioms go through, but the Dutch Book Argument for Reflection fails. The question of (...) whether we have a Dutch Book Argument for Conditionalization is left open. (shrink)
One of David Rosenthal’s many important contributions to the philosophy of mind was his clear and unshirking account of introspection. Here we argue that while there is a kind of introspection (we call it “reflective introspection”) that Rosenthal’s account may be structurally fit to accommodate, there is also a second kind (“primitive introspection”) that his account cannot recover. We introduce Rosenthal’s account of introspection in §1, present the case for the psychological reality of primitive introspection in §2, and argue that (...) Rosenthal’s account lacks the resources to accommodate it in §3. (shrink)
Many have argued that a rational agent's attitude towards a proposition may be better represented by a probability range than by a single number. I show that in such cases an agent will have unstable betting behaviour, and so will behave in an unpredictable way. I use this point to argue against a range of responses to the ‘two bets’ argument for sharp probabilities.
The Anna Karenina Theory says: all conscious states are alike; each unconscious state is unconscious in its own way. This note argues that many components have to function properly to produce consciousness, but failure in any one of many different ones can yield an unconscious state in different ways. In that sense the Anna Karenina theory is true. But in another respect it is false: kinds of unconsciousness depend on kinds of consciousness.
Why Women are Oppressed offers a much-needed radical feminist perspective on the "political conditions of sexual love." Recognizing that "sexual life always exists in definite socioeconomic contexts," Anna G. Jónasdóttir develops a theory that elucidates the question: Why does men's social and political power persist even in Western societies where women have socioeconomic equality? Throughout, Jónasdóttir gives empirical relevance to her theorizing. She cites situations in various spheres of society where men and women compete and where men come out (...) as "winners" for no obvious reason other than their malehood. Her account of women as loving caretakers "for" men, rather than desiring, interested subjects in reciprocally erotic relations stirs debate about women's needs and interests. Author note: Anna G. Jónasdóttir is Research Fellow in Gender Studies and Political Science at the Swedish Council for Research in the Humanities and the Social Sciences, University of Örebro, Sweden. (shrink)
In everyday life and in science we acquire evidence of evidence and based on this new evidence we often change our epistemic states. An assumption underlying such practice is that the following EEE Slogan is correct: 'evidence of evidence is evidence' (Feldman 2007, p. 208). We suggest that evidence of evidence is best understood as higher-order evidence about the epistemic state of agents. In order to model evidence of evidence we introduce a new powerful framework for modelling epistemic states, Dyadic (...) Bayesianism. Based on this framework, we then discuss characterizations of evidence of evidence and argue for one of them. Finally, we show that whether the EEE Slogan holds, depends on the specific kind of evidence of evidence. (shrink)
_Levinas, Subjectivity, Education_ explores how the philosophical writings of Emmanuel Levinas lead us to reassess education and reveals the possibilities of a radical new understanding of ethical and political responsibility. Presents an original theoretical interpretation of Emmanuel Levinas that outlines the political significance of his work for contemporary debates on education Offers a clear analysis of Levinas’s central philosophical concepts, including the place of religion in his work, demonstrating their relevance for educational theorists Examines Alain Badiou’s critique of Levinas’s work (...) Considers the practical implications of Levinas’ theories for concrete educational practices and frameworks. (shrink)
The concept of ‘pareto superiority’ plays a central role in ethics, economics, and law. Pareto superiority is sometimes taken as a relation between outcomes, and sometimes as a relation between actions—even where the outcomes of the actions are uncertain. Whether one action is classed as pareto superior to another depends on the prospects under the actions for each person concerned. I argue that a person’s prospects can depend on how that person is designated. Without any constraints on acceptable designators, then, (...) the concept of pareto superiority is ill defined and gives inconsistent results. I consider various ways of completing the definition and draw out some surprising implications. (shrink)
Roberto Esposito has extended the deconstructive theory of the gift into political philosophy, theorizing the gift as the transcendental form of political obligation. In Esposito's philosophy of communitas, the munus consists of the single obligation to give, a logic of donors without receivers, yet it simultaneously establishes relations of reciprocity, mutuality, debt and gratitude. I argue that that indebtedness and reciprocity are not logically possible in a gift system where donors are bound by the single obligation to give, (...) as the donor has no other and the gift no recipient. These inconsistencies may be addressed by distinguishing two forms of gift in communitas: the impersonal gift characterized solely by the obligation to give to the gods/communitas and the reciprocal gift characterized by the obligations to give, receive and return the gift. Esposito's philosophy of communitas would additionally be strengthened by conceptualizing symbolic practices, specifically collective representations, as intrinsic to the munus. As impersonal gift, the munus is a symbolic practice through which the members of communitas represent to themselves their being-in-common. The munus operates as a vertical relation of expenditure made possible by the collective representation of the political we. The reciprocal gift, in contrast, constitutes differentiated social ties and networks: the being-in-difference of communal life. The distinction between the impersonal and the reciprocal gift gives rise to a minimal division between the political and the communal within the transcendental structure of communitas. (shrink)
The present article delineates how the Roman and Christian dispositif of the person has increasingly brought about a neat division between persons and things. This has had devastating effects for both. On the one hand, things are reduced not only to servile objects but also to disposable commodities. On the other, the process of derealization of things is paralleled by that of depersonalization of persons; different typologies of persons emerge, historically reproduced by the distinction between real persons and those that (...) are declared non-persons, almost-persons, temporary persons or anti-persons. It is, however, possible to develop a new anti-hierarchical conception of things and persons by focusing on the human body and by taking into account the findings of anthropology as well as the works of philosophers such as Spinoza, Simondon and Latour. (shrink)
This exceptionally successful survey text introduces the teachings and practice of Islam from its earliest origins up to its contemporary practice. John L. Esposito, an internationally renowned expert on Islam, traces the development of Islam and its impact on world history and politics.Lucidly written and expansive in scope, Islam: The Straight Path, Updated Fifth Edition, provides keen insight into one of the world's least understood religions. It is ideally suited for use in courses on Islam, world religions, comparative religions, (...) and Middle East history and culture.A FREE 6-month subscription to Oxford Islamic Studies Online, edited by John L. Esposito, is included with the purchase of every new copy of this text. (shrink)
Ways of Scope Taking is concerned with syntactic, semantic and computational aspects of scope. Its starting point is the well-known but often neglected fact that different types of quantifiers interact differently with each other and other operators. The theoretical examination of significant bodies of data, both old and novel, leads to two central claims. (1) Scope is a by-product of a set of distinct Logical Form processes; each quantifier participates in those that suit its particular features. (2) Scope interaction is (...) further constrained by the semantics of the interacting operators. The arguments are developed using Minimalist syntax, Generalized Quantify theory, Discourse Representation Theory, and algebraic semantics. The contributors (Beghelli, Ben-Shalom, Doetjes, Farkas, Gutiérrez Rexach, Honcoop, Stabler, Stowell, Szabolcsi and Zwarts) make tightly related theoretical assumptions and focus on related empirical phenomena, which include the direct and inverse scope of quantifiers, distributivity, negation, modal and intensional contexts, weak islands, event-related readings, interrogatives, wh/quantifier interactions, and Hungarian syntax. An introduction to the formal semantics background is provided. Audience: Linguists, philosophers, computational and psycholinguists; advanced undergraduates, graduate students and researchers in these fields. (shrink)
In the following excerpt from Bios, Esposito sketches the template of immunity as a response to what he calls a "hermeneutic block" in Foucault's notion of biopolitics. After singling out those moments of greatest tension in Foucault's reading of biopolitics especially as it relates to Nazi thanatopolitics, Esposito sets out in detail the most important features of what he calls the immunization paradigm. Consisting of three dispositifs, namely sovereignty, property, and liberty, the immunitary paradigm has for Esposito (...) a decisively modern inflection. Indeed modern biopolitics cannot be thought apart from the mode by which communities immunize or protect themselves. (shrink)