In their recent paper on “Challenges in mathematical cognition”, Alcock and colleagues (Alcock et al. . Challenges in mathematical cognition: A collaboratively-derived research agenda. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 2, 20-41) defined a research agenda through 26 specific research questions. An important dimension of mathematical cognition almost completely absent from their discussion is the cultural constitution of mathematical cognition. Spanning work from a broad range of disciplines – including anthropology, archaeology, cognitive science, history of science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology – we (...) argue that for any research agenda on mathematical cognition the cultural dimension is indispensable, and we propose a set of exemplary research questions related to it. (shrink)
A review of Geoffrey B. Saxe, Cultural Development of Mathematical Ideas. Saxe offers a comprehensive treatment of social and linguistic change in the number systems used for economic exchange in the Oksapmin community of Papua New Guinea. By taking the cognition-is-social approach, Saxe positions himself within emerging perspectives that view cognition as enacted, situated, and extended. The approach is somewhat risky in that sociality surely does not exhaust cognition. Brains, bodies, and materiality also contribute to cognition—causally (...) at least, and possibly constitutively as well (as argued by Clark & Chalmers; Renfrew & Malafouris). This omission necessarily excludes the material dimension of numeracy. (shrink)
Nach dem ersten Band dieser Sammlung , von S. N. C. Lieu und M. H. Dodgeon zusammengestellt, hat der vorliegende Band Informationen zu den Beziehungen zwischen Rom/ Byzanz und den persischen Sasaniden bis unmittelbar vor der arabischen Eroberung Irans zum Gegenstand. Zusammen mit der etwas anders konzipierten Arbeit von E. Winter und B. Dignas verfügen wir nun über drei griffige Hilfsmittel für den Anfängerunterricht, die es uns ermöglichen, die Studenten schnell in die persisch-römisch/byzantinischen Beziehungen zwischen dem 3. und dem frühen (...) 7. Jh. auf der Grundlage einer breiten Quellenübersicht einzuführen. Dafür gebührt den Autoren Anerkennung. Ihre Arbeit wird sicher dazu beitragen, auch nicht direkt mit dem Thema Beschäftigte ein etwas qualifiziertes Verständnis der „Weltpolitik“ zwischen dem 3.und dem 7. Jh. zu ermöglichen. Alle drei Werke sind Lehrbücher, textbooks, jedoch keine wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten im eigentlichen Sinne. (shrink)
This article contains a discussion and edition of two questions on the eternity of the world in Galfridus de Aspall’s Questiones super De celo et mundo (book I), viz. his question of whether the world is generable and perishable speaking about proper generation (i.e., generation from pre-existent matter) (q. 99) and his question of whether it was Aristotle’s intention to argue that the world began in some way (q. 100). These questions are preserved in the mss. Cambridge, Peterhouse 157, ff. (...) 17va-b (on which the edition is based) and Todi, Biblioteca Comunale 23, ff. 210ravb. Aspall holds, on the one hand, that the world is generable and perishable in this sense that it has from itself a potentiality to non-being. On the other hand, the elements in their totality are ungenerable, because their inclination to non-being is stopped by the power of the celestial orb. Aspall interprets Aristotle’s statement that the world is ungenerable and imperishable in this sense that Aristotle meant that the world is not generated from pre-existent matter, but that he did not hold that the world did not begin by creation. The main source of Aspall’s questions is Averroes’ Commentarium magnum on De celo. In q. 99 Aspall holds that he agrees with Averroes, but he misunderstands Averroes’ position. In q. 100 he states that he disagrees with Averroes’ interpretation of Aristotle. (shrink)
The assumption underlying this collection of essays is that recent developments in philosophy and fiction have brought them closer than they have been. Novelists' insights into the ambiguity of experience, and, at the same time, philosophy's trend towards concreteness in such areas as phenomenology, point to areas of rapprochement. What the novel can do, philosophically speaking, is to formulate "the initial stages of... metaphysical thinking," and "carry out an imaginative or emotional exploration of a system of thought." In his introduction, (...) Cruickshank suggests that the French novel has developed along these lines, in the generation which begins with Bernanos and continues through Robbe-Grillet. Most of these essays explore philosophical ideas in the novels without showing how radical developments in technique actually affect them. Martin Esslin takes this further step where he notes that because of Queneau's belief in the meaninglessness of the world, the artist has creative freedom. Queneau's linguistic innovations derive in large part from this principle. Only Geoffrey Hartman, in his discussion of Blanchot, takes this vexed question of the relation between philosophy and literature down its labyrinthine paths to the point where one becomes legitimately the embodiment of the other. While many of these essays are conventional literary criticism, the best of them interpret the title in its boldest sense, and show how philosophical intent can alter the very fabric of the novel, while, alternatively, the novelist can offer genuine insight into philosophical issues.—C. L. B. (shrink)
There has been increased interest in developing what I call environmental virtue ethics (EVE). This paper presents some of the centralfeatures of this project. The first part is a general description of EVE, showing why there is a need for it. The second part spells out the central features of EVE including an account of the good life as flourishing in an expanded or mixed biotic community, and provides a tentative list of important environmental virtues. The third part examines one (...) virtue: friendship, showing how an understanding of it provides insight into current issues in environmental ethics. The final section addresses a challenge to the project of EVE. (shrink)
In this essay, I first extend the insights of virtue ethics into environmental ethics and examine the possible dangers of this approach. Second, I analyze some qualities of character that an environmentally virtuous person must possess. Third, I evaluate “humility” as an environmental virtue, specifically, the position of Thomas E. Hill, Jr. I conclude that Hill’s conception of “proper” humility can be more adequatelyexplicated by associating it with another virtue, environmental “openness.”.