Individual-as-maximizing agent analogies result in a simple understanding of the functioning of the biological world. Identifying the conditions under which individuals can be regarded as fitness maximizing agents is thus of considerable interest to biologists. Here, we compare different concepts of fitness maximization, and discuss within a single framework the relationship between Hamilton’s (J Theor Biol 7:1–16, 1964) model of social interactions, Grafen’s (J Evol Biol 20:1243–1254, 2007a) formal Darwinism project, and the idea of evolutionary stable strategies. We distinguish cases (...) where phenotypic effects are additive separable or not, the latter not being covered by Grafen’s analysis. In both cases it is possible to define a maximand, in the form of an objective function ϕ(z), whose argument is the phenotype of an individual and whose derivative is proportional to Hamilton’s inclusive fitness effect. However, this maximand can be identified with the expression for fecundity or fitness only in the case of additive separable phenotypic effects, making individual-as-maximizing agent analogies unattractive (although formally correct) under general situations of social interactions. We also feel that there is an inconsistency in Grafen’s characterization of the solution of his maximization program by use of inclusive fitness arguments. His results are in conflict with those on evolutionary stable strategies obtained by applying inclusive fitness theory, and can be repaired only by changing the definition of the problem. (shrink)
Taking its cue from François Bernier’s Voyages and focusing on the assumptions that stand in the background of Immanuel Kant’s view of the encounter between Christianity and Hinduism, this text endeavors to bring to light the theoretical framework that shaped the dialogue between the West and the East since the 18th century. The author’s contention is that the way that Western philosophy has tended to conceive of universal values has been one of the fundamental obstacles that has hindered a (...) genuine cross-cultural conversation in this sense. (shrink)
Nous remercions Dolorès Lyotard et Herman Parret de nous autoriser aimablement à publier ici cette conférence inédite qui prend place dans l’itinéraire de Jean-François Lyotard une année après qu’il ait soutenu sa thèse de doctorat d’État Discours, Figure sous la direction de Mikel Dufrenne. Plusieurs interrogations sont..
Jean-Francois Lyotard is often considered to be the father of postmodernism. Here leading experts in the field of cultural and philosophical studies, including Barry Smart, John O' Neill and Victor J. Seidler, tackle many of the questions still being asked about this controversial figure.
_Criticism and Conviction_ offers a rare opportunity to share personally in the intellectual life and journey of the eminent philosopher Paul Ricoeur. Internationally known for his influential works in hermeneutics, theology, psychoanalysis, and aesthetics, until now, Ricoeur has been conspicuously silent on the subject of himself. In this book--a conversation about his life and work with François Azouvi and Marc de Launay--Ricoeur reflects on a variety of philosophical, social, religious, and cultural topics, from the paradoxes of political power to (...) the relationship between life and art, and life and death. In the first of eight conversations, Ricoeur traces the trajectory of his life, recounting the origins of his convictions and the development of his intellect against the tragic events of the twentieth century. Declaring himself the "son of a victim of the First World War," Ricoeur, an orphan, sketches his early years in the house of stern but loving grandparents, and the molding of his intellect under the tutelage of Roland Dalbiez, Gabriel Marcel, and André Philip. Ricoeur tells the intriguing story of his capture and five-year imprisonment by the Germans during World War II, where he and his compatriots fashioned an intellectual life complete with a library and lectures, and where he, amazingly, was able to continue his dissertation research. Elegantly interweaving anecdotal with philosophical meditations, Ricoeur recounts his relationships with some of the twentieth century's greatest figures, such as Heidegger, Jaspers, and Eliade. He also shares his views on French philosophers and explains his tumultuous relationship with Jacques Lacan. And while expressing his deepest respect for the works of Claude Lévi-Strauss and Michel Foucault, Ricoeur reserves his greatest admiration for the narratologist Algirdas Julien Greimas. Ricoeur also explores the relationship between the philosophical and religious domains, attempting to reconcile the two poles in his thought. And readers who have struggled with Ricoeur's work will be grateful for these illuminating discussions that provide an invaluable key to his writings on language and narrative, especially those on metaphor and time. Spontaneous and lively, _Criticism and Conviction_ is a passionate confirmation of Ricoeur's eloquence, lucidity, and intellectual rigor, and affirms his position as one of this century's greatest thinkers. It is an essential book for anyone interested in philosophy and literary criticism. (shrink)
There is a long-standing view that Malebranche and his fellow occasionalists accepted occasionalism to solve the problem of interaction between immaterial souls and extended bodies. Recently, however, scholars have shown this story to be a myth. Malebranche, Geulincx, La Forge, and Cordemoy adopted occasionalism for a variety of reasons, but none did so because of a need to provide a solution to a perceived mind-body problem. Yet there is one Cartesian for whom the “traditional” reading is largely on the mark. (...)François Lamy argues in the second volume of his De la Connoissance de Soi-Meme much as the standard story has it. In this article I discuss and analyze Lamy’s argument, showing how he deals with some of the many concerns that made occasionalism attractive, and how he brings out some of the thorny questions that an occasionalist must face. (shrink)
The existence of a genetic program of development was proposed by molecular biologists in the nineteen-sixties. Historians and philosophers of science have since thoroughly criticized this notion. To fully appreciate its significance, it is interesting to consider the research which was pursued during this period by molecular biologists who proposed this notion. This study focuses on François Jacob's work and on the model of development supported by his lab in the early seventies, the T-complex model. This episode of Jacob's (...) scientific activity has since been forgotten. Characterization of this model shows that the notion of program was used in a metaphoric way and that it did not put any constraint on the work pursued in the lab at that time. Some attention is devoted to the origin of this metaphor in the context of the nineteen-seventies. (shrink)
The following interview of Mark William Westmoreland with Anthony Paul Smith – well-known scholar and translator of François Laruelle – considers both implications and extensions of Laruelle's non-philosophy for contemporary thought. Smith has helped bring about a surge of interest in Laruelle due to his many translations of his texts as well as being the author or co-editor of several books on Laruelle. Discussed are in particular the difficulties and joys of translating and the usefulness of Laruelle's thought for (...) Smith's own work, especially in environmental and animal studies. Also considered are some themes of non-philosophy, the adaptability of Laruelle's thought for various disciplines, as well as new paths for Laruelle studies – new, unforeseen landscapes and uses of non-philosophy – that explore social phenomena such as race, racism, sexism, victim a.o. (shrink)
Jesuits in China adopted key Confucian terms to express Christian notions; for example, Tian 天 or Shangdi 上帝 was considered an equivalent for God, and guishen 鬼神 for angels. A Terms controversy started among the Jesuits and other missionaries and developed into the famous Rites Controversy. However, all the missionaries agreed in rejecting the Neo-Confucian concept of Taiji 太極, which was believed to be materialistic, pantheistic, or atheistic. The Flemish Jesuit François Noël, after a careful study of Neo-Confucian texts, (...) interpreted Taiji with the Western concept of nature, and even claimed that it held theistic meaning. We shall analyze and evaluate here this early Western attempt in giving a positive meaning to Taiji. (shrink)
According to François Laruelle, French thought has been unduly influenced by corpuscular or atomist thinking, yet Laruelle has himself employed key atomist terms—in particular, that of the clinamen or swerve—in framing his own style of thought. This essay looks at this tension between atomism and anti-atomism in Laruelle’s thought, taking the measure of his contribution to a larger stream of postwar French thinking about the relevance and stakes of ancient atomism. Its contention is that Laruelle subtly but really outlines (...) a quantum theoretical resumption of ancient atomist philosophy—one that deserves closer attention and comparative study in the larger context of French philosophical interest in the atomists. A first section of the paper briefly describes Laruelle’s general project, along with his claim that he differs from his contemporaries because he uniquely escapes the dangers of what he calls corpuscular thought. A second section addresses the apparent tension between Laruelle’s claim to produce a non-corpuscular thinking and his consistent recent use of the atomist image of the clinamen, ultimately arguing that Laruelle sides with the clinamen against two forms of corpuscularity supposedly avoided by the clinamen itself but nonetheless usefully embodied in atomist thought. The final section of the paper draws up in preliminary terms a comparison between Laruelle’s understanding of his relationship to atomism and that of his contemporaries, focusing in particular on Alain Badiou. (shrink)
Etienne-François Geoffroy, l’un des chimistes français les plus importants du début du XVIIIe siècle, entretenait des relations régulières avec l’Angleterre. Il était chargé de développer les échanges entre l’Académie royale des sciences et la Royal Society de Londres. Quand il publia sa « Table des rapports entre les substances chimiques » en 1718, Fontenelle et quelques autres lui reprochèrent d’avoir introduit en chimie le système des attractions newtoniennes. Mais en fait, Geoffroy s’est toujours tenu à l’écart aussi bien du (...) mécanisme cartésien que du newtonianisme, le recours aux expériences et à la littérature alchimique constituant ses seules sources d’inspiration. Geoffroy apparaît ainsi comme le représentant d’une chimie empirique, soucieuse de conserver l’autonomie de sa discipline. (shrink)
This is an essay about language, thought, and culture in general, and about Ancient Greek and Classical Chinese in particular. It is about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which says that language influences the mind, and applies this hypothesis to Greek and Chinese. It is also an essay in comparative philosophy as well as a contribution to the history of ideas. From the language side, I rely on the nineteenth-century German linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt, and from the culture side on the contemporary (...) French sinologist François Jullien. Combining their ideas, I give substance to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and explain some of Jullien's claims about the historical and political developments of Chinese culture. The central .. (shrink)
The origins of philosophy of education as a discipline are relatively late, and can be traced in the Anglo-American academic world from the 1960s and a specific emphasis on conceptual problems deriving from the analytical tradition of philosophy. In more recent years, however, there has been a notable ‘Continentalist’ turn in the discipline, leading to a re-evaluation of key texts and philosophers from the French and German traditions and their relation to the discourse of education. One paradigmatic example here is (...) the work of the French postmodernist thinker Jean-Francois Lyotard. In this essay, I explore how Lyotard’s powerful critique of education in his early work, especially with regard to his influence on the May ‘68 events at Nanterre University, can be seen as crucially important, now again, to a current crisis in educational philosophy in the Western world. Moreover, Lyotard’s post-’68 work, with his paradigmatic The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge as especially important, can be seen as providing a very challenging riposte to both ‘managerialist’ and instrumentalist philosophies on the one side but also to overly simplistic ‘liberatory’ educational critiques on the other side. (shrink)
O presente artigo aborda a dimensão ética no pensamento de Jean-François Lyotard. Como conceito decisivo para essa relação, é aqui proposto o conceito de receptividade. Partindo dele, deseja-se mostrar que é possível reconstruir uma concepção de responsabilidade ética no pensamento do filósofo francês, a qual se coloca em sentido diametralmente oposto à concepção de autonomia: a obrigação ética se torna por conta disso afetiva, fundada e repousando na capacidade de se deixar falar. Com vistas a uma determinação mais acurada (...) dessa posição, serão consultadas as reflexões de Lyotard acerca da filosofia da linguagem em Le Differénd: a concepção do “acontecimento da fase” se deixa mostrar na ética do diálogo, que deixa espaço para a assimetria, alteridade e transformação. O pensamento do conflito insolúvel mostra-se como plenamente implicado com essa ética. This contribution examines the ethical dimension in the thinking of Jean-François Lyotard. It is shown that receptivity is crucial to its understanding. On these grounds, ethical responsibility can be conceived as fundamentally different from the standard conceptions of autonomy: ethical obligation has its sources in affection and is founded by a capacity of responsivity. This position is further developed by drawing on Lyotard ’s thoughts on language in Le Différend: the idea of a “sentence event” can be conceptualized within the framework of an ethics of dialogue, which leaves room for asymmetry, alterity, and transformation. The philosophy of the irreconcilable conflict turns out to be a form of ethics in this sense. (shrink)
Despite its title, Jean-François Courtine’s Archéo-Logique. Husserl, Heidegger,Patočka (henceforth AL), is mostly—if not exclusively—a book devoted to Heidegger. This is readily apparent in the table of contents: seven (chapters II-VIII) of the nine studies gathered in this volume deal entirely with Heidegger; one (chapter I) works through Heidegger’s notion of “Destruktion” with reference to Natorp’s “Rekonstruktion”; and only the concluding essay (chapter IX) focuses on Patočka’s a-subjective phenomenology and its criticism of Husserl. As for the “Introduction”, the only name (...) mentioned is, again, Heidegger’s. And when it comes to the historical context covered in the book, the author summarizes: “From the Natorp–Bericht to the Gespräch von der Sprache, these are the two extreme boundaries within which the following studies are included” (p. 9).Yet such an explicit restriction to Heidegger does not do full justice to the actual scope of this book. In fact, one of the most important co. (shrink)
By comparing the insights of Jean-Francois Lyotard on various manifestations of the science question with feminists such as Luce Irigaray and Donna Haraway certain compromising contradictions in Lyotard's overall discourse are revealed.
The focus of this paper is the intertextual relationship between the work of François Truffaut and that of Honoré de Balzac. It explores Balzac's influence on the shaping of Truffaut's voice and argues that Balzac's Human Comedy served Truffaut as a model for some of his cinematic innovations. This applies to Truffaut's total oeuvre, but particularly to his series of autobiographical films, ?The Adventures of Antoine Doinel?: The 400 Blows (Les Quatre Cents Coups, 1959), Antoine and Colette, Love at (...) Twenty (Antoine et Colette, L'Amour à Vingt Ans, 1962), Stolen Kisses (Baisers Volés, 1968), Bed and Board (Domicile Conjugal, 1970), Love on the Run (L'Amour en Fuite, 1979). In examining Truffaut's ?rewriting? of Balzac, I adopt?and adapt?the intertextual approach of Harold Bloom's theory of the ?anxiety of influence.? My paper applies Bloom's concept of misreading to an examination of the relationship between Truffaut's autobiographical films, and Balzac's Human Comedy, both thematically and structurally. (shrink)
We are entering an era in which “cultural construction of the body” refers to a literal technological enterprise. This era was anticipated in the 1920s by geneticist J. B. S. Haldane in a lecture which inspired Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. In that lecture, Haldane reinterpreted the Greek myth of Daedalus and the Minotaur as heroic fable. Seventy years later another geneticist, François Jacob, used the same myth as cautionary tale. Here I explain the Minotaur's “genetic” monstrosity in terms (...) of disability and hybridity, using the movie Gattaca to argue that ancient fears of monstrously disabled bodies are being recycled as bioethics. (shrink)
This paper examines the analysis of property regimes in the thought of the French philosopher, Francois Huet, as presented especially in his one major work on that subject, Le Regne Social du Christianisme . There, Huet developed his concern with social issues which began in the mid-1840s, when he was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Ghent. From 1846, he formed a study group of students now known as the ‘Huet Society’, which discussed social questions such as property rights (...) and inheritance, and considered various reform proposals in the works of Fourier, Proudhon, Saint-Simon and others. In the aftermath of the 1848 Revolutions, Huet resigned his Chair following an official campaign against his allegedly subversive views. From 1850 until his death in 1869, Huet lived in Paris where he concentrated on his studies, producing a large number of published works. Apart from Le Regne, those works were concerned principally with Catholic theology, at least until 1864 when Huet renounced his faith and sought to develop a version of pantheism. However, in La Science de l'esprit , which immediately preceded that renunciation, Huet restated at length and in virtually identical form the core argument of Le Regne. Even in one of his last works, La Revolution Religieuse , moreover, Huet expressed his continuing endorsement of its ‘fundamental idea’ of ‘a guarantee of property to all’, and argued that after fifteen years it was still in advance of current liberal critiques of property regimes. (shrink)
Discourse, Figure signifies an event. I mean this in a variety of ways. There has been a recent event: the publication of an English translation of Jean-François Lyotard’s first major book. Its translation is an event forty years delayed and signifies the closing of a major gap in the translation of Lyotard’s work. Of course, both “signify” and “event” are important words for Lyotard. Discourse, Figure’s goal is to “signify the other of signification” (2011, 13, emphasis his). The question (...) of the representability of events that concerns Lyotard throughout his career originates in Discourse, Figure. I use these two words to guide my review. First I outline the events of the book: its context and its argument. .. (shrink)
Summary The paper follows the lives of Mateu Orfila and François Magendie in early nineteenth-century Paris, focusing on their common interest in poisons. The first part deals with the striking similarities of their early careers: their medical training, their popular private lectures, and their first publications. The next section explores their experimental work on poisons by analyzing their views on physical and vital forces in living organisms and their ideas about the significance of animal experiments in medicine. The last (...) part describes their contrasting research on the absorption of poisons and the divergences in their approaches, methods, aims, standards of proof, and intended audiences. The analysis highlights the connections between nineteenth-century courtrooms and experimental laboratories, and shows how forensic practice not only prompted animal experimentation but also provided a substantial body of information and new research methods for dealing with major theoretical issues like the absorption of poisons. (shrink)
Neither art criticism nor a scholar’s monograph on an artist, Jean-François Lyotard’s Sam Francis: Lesson of Darkness: ‘like the paintings of a blind man’ is a reflection that engages both the painter and 43 of his works into a conversation alternating painting and aphoristic writing. Their order follows neither the chronology of the works nor a linear argument in the prose. And yet, the work generates the strongest feeling of there being a continuity in this peculiar dialogue of pictures (...) and poeticism, a continuity not clearly presented by logic, but one concerning what remains unpresented in presentation. The conversation is revelatory of their shared concerns with the energetic force of absence and is fascinating. (shrink)