In the wake of the Scientific Revolution, the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the complete demolition of traditional structures of authority, scientific thought, and belief by the new philosophy and the philosophes, including Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau. The Radical Enlightenment played a part in this revolutionary process, which effectively overthrew all justification for monarchy, aristocracy, and ecclesiastical power, as well as man's dominance over woman, theological dominance of education, and slavery. Despite the present day interest in the revolutions of (...) the eighteenth century, the origins and rise of the Radical Enlightenment have received limited scholarly attention. The greatest obstacle to the movement finding its proper place in modern historical writing is its international scope: the Racial Enlightenment was not French, British, German, Italian, Jewish or Dutch, but all of these at the same time. In this wide-ranging volume, Jonathan Israel offers a novel interpretation of the Radical Enlightenment down to La Mettie and Diderot, two of its key exponents. Particular emphasis is placed on the pivotal role of Spinoza and the widespread underground international philosophical movement known before 1750 as Spinozism. (shrink)
Beyond impressionistic observations, little is known about the role and influence of scientific societies on research conduct. Acknowledging that the influence of scientific societies is not easily disentangled from other factors that shape norms and practices, this article addresses how best to study the promotion of research integrity generally as well as the role and impact of scientific societies as part of that process. In setting forth the parameters of a research agenda, the article addresses four issues: (1) how to (...) conceptualize research on scientific societies and research integrity; (2) challenges and complexities in undertaking basic research; (3) strategies for undertaking basic research that is attentive to individual, situational, organizational, and environmental levels of analysis; and (4) the need for evaluation research as integral to programmatic change and to assessment of the impact of activities by scientific societies. (shrink)
Prodi's semiotics theory comes into being to answer a radical question: if a sign is a cross-reference, what guarantees the relation between the sign and the object to which it is referring? Prodi rebukes all traditional solutions: a subject's voluntary intention, a convention, the iconic relation between sign and object. He refutes the fIrst answer because the notion of intention, upon which it is based, is, indeed, a fully mysterious entity. The conventionalist answer is just as unsatisfactory for it does (...) nothing but extends to a whole group that which cannot be explained for a single component; the iconic one, finally, is rejected toosince in this case the notion of "likeliness", as the basis of the concept of "iconicity", is not explained. Prodi's answer is to locate the model of semiotic relations in the figure of the circle. The circle is life, which is nothing else but an infinite chain of translation and recognition relations amidst ever more complex systems. The circle has neither a beginning nor an end. It has no foundation, no established rule. It holds no cause that cannot become, in turn, effect. Semiosis, then, is based upon life for life, itself, is intrinsically semiotic. We can put the world in signs, that is we can come to know it, because we, ourselves, are a part of that very worldthat through us is made known. Finally, what this implies is that being inside the circle of semiosis-life, an issue arises what is beyond that circle: that is both an aesthetic and a religious problem. (shrink)
The first major reassessment of the Western Enlightenment for a generation. Continuing the story he began in Radical Enlightenment, Jonathan Israel now focuses on the first half of the eighteenth century. He traces to their roots the core principles of Western modernity: the primacy of reason, democracy, racial equality, feminism, religious toleration, sexual emancipation, and freedom of expression.
Ambiguity, vagueness and metaphor are pervasive features of language, deserving of systematic study in their own right. Yet they have frequently been considered mere deviations from ideal language or obstacles to be avoided in the construction of scientific systems. First published in 1979, Beyond the Letter offers a consecutive study of these features from a philosphical point of view, providing analyses of each and treating their relations to one another. Addressed to the fundamental task of logical and semantic explanation, the (...) book employs an inscriptional methodology in the attempt to avoid prevalent forms of question-begging, and, further, in the conviction that sparseness of assumption often reveals points of theoretical interest irrespective of methodolgical preference. The author distinguishes and analyses several varieties of ambiguity, developing new semantic notions in the process; recasts the philosophical treatment of vagueness in the light of recent criticisms of analyticity; discusses the bearing of vagueness on logic; and provides a systematic critique of major recent interpretations of metaphor, developing a revised version of contextualism. (shrink)
The concept of potential plays a prominent role in the thinking of parents, educators and planners the world over. Although this concept accurately reflects central features of human nature, its current use perpetuates traditional myths of fixity, harmony and value, calculated to cause untold mischief in social and educational practice. First published in 1985, Israel Scheffler's book aims to demythologise the concept of potential. He shows its roots in genuine aspects of human nature, but at the same time frees (...) it from outworn philosophical myths by means of analytical reconstruction - thereby improving both its theoretical and its practical applicability. The book concludes with an interpretation of policy-making in education, and reflections on the ideal education of a policy-maker. It emphasises human symbolism, choice, temporal continuity, and self-determination as indispensible elements of any adequate philosophy of education. _Of Human Potential _will be of interest to a broad range of philosophers, educators and social scientists. (shrink)
That the Enlightenment shaped modernity is uncontested. Yet remarkably few historians or philosophers have attempted to trace the process of ideas from the political and social turmoil of the late eighteenth century to the present day. This is precisely what Jonathan Israel now does. In Democratic Enlightenment , Israel demonstrates that the Enlightenment was an essentially revolutionary process, driven by philosophical debate. The American Revolution and its concerns certainly acted as a major factor in the intellectual ferment that (...) shaped the wider upheaval that followed, but the radical philosophes were no less critical than enthusiastic about the American model. From 1789, the General Revolution's impetus came from a small group of philosophe-revolutionnaires , men such as Mirabeau, Sieyes, Condorcet, Volney, Roederer, and Brissot. Not aligned to any of the social groups represented in the French National assembly, they nonetheless forged " la philosophie moderne "--in effect Radical Enlightenment ideas--into a world-transforming ideology that had a lasting impact in Latin America, Canada and eastern Europe as well as France, Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries. In addition, Israel argues that while all French revolutionary journals powerfully affirmed that la philosophie moderne was the main cause of the French Revolution, the main stream of historical thought has failed to grasp what this implies. Israel sets the record straight, demonstrating the true nature of the engine that drove the Revolution, and the intimate links between the radical wing of the Enlightenment and the anti-Robespierriste "Revolution of reason." Acclaim for earlier volumes in the trilogy: "His vast--and vastly impressive--book sets out to redefine the intellectual landscape of early modern Europe. Magnificent and magisterialwill undoubtedly be one of the truly great historical works of the decade." -- Sunday Telegraph "The scholarship is breathtaking. Israel has read everything, absorbed every nuance, followed up every byway." -- New Statesman "An enormously impressive piece of scholarship. The breadth and depth of the author's reading are breathtaking and Enlightenment Contested is set to become the definitive work for philosophers as well as historians on this extraordinary period." -- Tribune. (shrink)
First published in 1963, this title considers the philosophical problems encountered when attempting to provide a clear and general explanation of scientific principles, and the basic confrontation between such principles and experience. Beginning with a detailed introduction that considers various approaches to the philosophy and theory of science, Israel Scheffler then divides his study into three key sections – Explanation, Significance and Confirmation – that explore how these complex issues involved have been dealt with in contemporary research. This title, (...) by one of America’s leading philosophers, will provide a valuable analysis of the theory and problems surrounding the Philosophy of Science. (shrink)
In this paper, we propose analogies between medical discourse and Edward Said's “Orientalism.” Medical discourse, like Orientalism, tends to favor institutional interests and can be similarly dehumanizing in its reductionism, textual representations, and construction of its subjects. To resist Orientalism, Said recommends that critics—“intellectuals”—adopt the perspective of exile. We apply Said's paradigm of intellectual-as-exile to better understand the work of key physician-authors who cross personal and professional boundaries, who engage with patients in mutually therapeutic relationships, and who take on the (...) public responsibility of representation and advocacy. We call these physician-authors “medical intellectuals” and encourage others to follow in their path. (shrink)
In recent years there has been a powerful resurgence of settler colonialism as an interpretive framework through which to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Attached to the burgeoning field of settler colonial studies, this so-called ‘turn’ to settler colonialism has seen Israel-Palestine increasingly compared alongside New World white settler societies like Australia, Canada and the United States. In seeking to undercut the lens of exceptionalism through which the conflict has conventionally been viewed, the settler colonial paradigm has some important counter-hegemonic (...) implications for reframing Israel-Palestine, not least of which is its prescription for decolonization. However, it is paradoxically in the context of decolonization that the limits of the settler colonial paradigm become most apparent. I argue that these limitations are connected to the dominance of Patrick Wolfe’s structural account of settler colonialism, which leaves very little room for transformation, and to the particular connotations settler colonial studies has acquired from the New World contexts in which it is most often articulated. This is particularly the case in Israel-Palestine, where these connotations preclude engagement with the national aspects of the conflict and leave under-examined the unique resonances of the settler/native distinction, which need reckoning with in any serious account of decolonization. (shrink)
First published in 1974, this book is a critical introduction to the work of four quintessential pragmatist philosophers: Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, George Herbert Mead and John Dewey. Alongside providing a general historical and biographical account of the pragmatist movement, the work offers an in depth critical response to the philosophical doctrines of the four main thinkers of the pragmatist movement, with reference to the theories of meaning, knowledge and conduct which have come to define pragmatism.
This paper, which is mainly based on unpublished material, focuses on the scientific influence that Felice Casorati exerted on Salvatore Pincherle. This influence can be traced, in particular, in Casorati’s work on the finite-difference calculus as conceived and published between 1879 and 1880 when Pincherle was living in Pavia. Casorati’s work has an interesting back story related to his entry to the 1880 Grand Prix of the French Académie des Sciences that helps us in understanding Casorati’s personality. Moreover, the (...) correspondence that Casorati exchanged with other mathematicians on his work reveals that some of the results contained in Casorati :10–45, 1880b) had been obtained—though in a narrower context—in an early paper by Christoffel. Finally, the letters between Casorati and Pincherle contain a short unpublished note by Pincherle on a paper by Jules Tannery :113–182, 1875). This note offers the first evidence of the influence of Casorati :10–45, 1880b) on Pincherle’s work on the finite-difference calculus. (shrink)
Unlike most Western nations, Israel does not recognize full separation of church and state but seeks instead a gentle fusion of Jewish and democratic values. Inasmuch as important religious norms such as sanctity of life may clash with dignity, privacy, and self-determination, conflicts frequently arise as Israeli lawmakers, ethicists, and healthcare professionals attempt to give substance to the idea of a Jewish-democratic state. Emerging issues in Israeli bioethics—end-of-life treatment, fertility, genetic research, and medical ethics during armed conflict—highlight this conflict (...) vividly. (shrink)