The rosy dawn of my title refers to that optimistic time when the logical concept of a natural kind originated in Victorian England. The scholastic twilight refers to the present state of affairs. I devote more space to dawn than twilight, because one basic problem was there from the start, and by now those origins have been forgotten. Philosophers have learned many things about classification from the tradition of natural kinds. But now it is in disarray and is unlikely to (...) be put back together again. My argument is less founded on objections to the numerous theories now in circulation, than on the sheer proliferation of incompatible views. There no longer exists what Bertrand Russell called ‘the doctrine of natural kinds’—one doctrine. Instead we have a slew of distinct analyses directed at unrelated projects. (shrink)
How is a person's freedom related to his or her preferences? Liberal theorists of negative freedom have generally taken the view that the desire of a person to do or not do something is irrelevant to the question of whether he is free to do it. Supporters of the “pure negative” conception of freedom have advocated this view in its starkest form: they maintain that a person is unfree to Φ if and only if he is prevented from Φ-ing by (...) the conduct or dispositions of some other person. This definition of freedom is value-neutral in the sense that no reference is made to preferences over options or indeed to any other indicators of the values of options, either in the characterization of “Φ-ing” itself or in the characterization of the way in which Φ-ing can be constrained. (shrink)
The _Mozi_ is a key philosophical work written by a major social and political thinker of the fifth century B.C.E. It is one of the few texts to survive the Warring States period and is crucial to understanding the origins of Chinese philosophy and two other foundational works, the _Mengzi_ and the _Xunzi_. Ian Johnston provides an English translation of the entire _Mozi_, as well as the first bilingual edition in any European language to be published in the West. His (...) careful translation reasserts the significance of the text's central doctrines, and his annotations and contextual explanations add vivid historical and interpretive dimensions. Part 1 of the _Mozi_ is called the "Epitomes" and contains seven short essays on the elements of Mohist doctrine. Part 2, the "Core Doctrines," establishes the ten central tenets of Mo Zi's ethical, social, and political philosophy, while articulating his opposition to Confucianism. Part 3, the "Canons and Explanations," comprises observations on logic, language, disputation, ethics, science, and other matters, written particularly in defense of Mohism. Part 4, the "Dialogues," presents lively conversations between Master Mo and various disciples, philosophical opponents, and potential patrons. Part 5, the "Defense Chapters," details the principles and practices of defensive warfare, a subject on which Master Mo was an acknowledged authority. Now available to English-speaking readers of all backgrounds, the Mozi is a rich and varied text, and this bilingual edition provides an excellent tool for learning classical Chinese. (shrink)
I reject both (a) inevitabilism about the historical development of the sciences and (b) what Ian Hacking calls the "put up or shut up" argument against those who make contingentist claims. Each position is guilty of a lack of humility about our epistemic capacities.
Many critics view Irigaray's work as an extension or deconstruction of a Lacanian paradigm. Few actually analyse it as a direct challenge to Lacanian concepts of symbolic subjectivity, and the consequent, alternative framework this would envisage. This article discusses a poss ible beyond the phallus, in relation to mediating concepts of the female imaginary and symbolic within her work, and an understanding of the female imaginary and symbolic within different feminist interpretations of the maternal imaginary and symbolic, arguing that the (...) imaginary is crucial in delineating a non-separatist cultural sublimation of female desire. Feminist revisions of the Oedipal by Jessica Benjamin and Kaja Silverman are examined in relation to the question of a maternal imagin ary and symbolic. Irigaray objects to Silverman's privileging of a Lacan ian concept of symbolic castration because it cannot negotiate between the literal relation to the body, and the metaphors and language of our cultural symbolic. Her female imaginary and symbolic provide this mediating link in direct challenge to the overly literal penis of Freud's castration complex and the essentially metaphorical nature of Lacan's phallus. Her mediation is related to the work of diverse psychoanalytic thinkers such as Andrew Samuels, Cornelius Castoriadis and Anthony Elliott. Returning to a feminist reading by Margaret Whitford, this article finally negates a Lacanian understanding of these structures and goes on to explore Irigaray's creative bodily imaginary, within two of her papers on analytic practice. Elaboration of a bodily and creative imaginary within the clinical setting can represent necessary mediation between real and symbolic and between the psyche and culture: this HISTORY OF THE HUMAN SCIENCES Vol. 10 No. 2 @ 1997 SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks and New Delhi) pp. 41-60 [0952-6951(199705)10:2] mediation is personified through the hysteric, not through the Oedipal Law of the Father, which is finally the key question in culturally locat ing female desire, thereby connecting the theory of psychoanalysis with practice and with history. (shrink)
These remarkable essays include Cornelius Castoriadis's latest contributions to philosophy, political and social theory, classical studies, development theory, cultural criticism, science, and ecology. Examining the "co-birth" in ancient Greece of philosophy and politics, Castoriadis shows how the Greeks' radical questioning of established ideas and institutions gave rise to the "project of autonomy". The "end of philosophy" proclaimed by Postmodernism would mean the end of this project. That end is now hastened by the lethal expansion of technoscience, the waning of (...) political and social conflict, and the resignation of intellectuals who blindly defend Western culture as it is or who merely denounce or "deconstruct" it as it has been. Discussing and criticizing Plato, Aristotle, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Weber, Heidegger, and Habermas, the author of The Imaginary Institution of Society and Crossroads in the Labyrinth poses a radical challenge to our inherited philosophy. (shrink)
Cornelius Castoriadis is a fascinating figure, not only because of his personal and intellectual background, but because of the extraordinary breadth of his interests and his ability to play the brilliant intellectual jester - all characteristics in abundant evidence in this collection of essays. In them, Castoriadis goes to the heart of deep philosophical issues raised but not answered by modern thought.The book presents his concerns with the development of analytical theories of psychology, language, and politics, all commonly rooted (...) in the social and historical aspects of human creativity. It examines figures as diverse as Aristotle, Heidegger, Lacan, Marx, and Merleau-Ponty.Cornelius Castoriadis was for a long time a professional economist and is now a practicing psychoanalyst in Paris. He founded and became the main theoretician for the independent journal of the left, Socialisme ou Barbarie. (shrink)
This collection presents a broad and compelling overview of the most recent work by a world-renowned figure in contemporary thought. The book is in four parts: Koinonia, Polis, Psyche, Logos. The opening section begins with a general introduction to the author's views on being, time, creation, and the imaginary institution of society and continues with reflections on the role of the individual psyche in racist thinking and acting. The second part is a critique of those who now belittle and distort (...) the meaning of May 1968 and other movements of the sixties as well as the French Revolution. In part three, Castoriadis shows how psychoanalysis, like politics, can contribute to the project of individual and collective autonomy and challenges Lacan, Foucault, and Derrida, and others in his report on 'The State and Subject Today'. Finally he examines how Aristotle's original aporetic discovery and cover-up of the imagination were repeated by Kant, Freud, Heidegger, and even Merleau-Ponty. (shrink)
In this posthumous collection of writings, Cornelius Castoriadis (1922-1997) pursues his incisive analysis of modern society, the philosophical basis of our ability to change it, and the points of intersection between his many approaches to this theme. His main philosophical postulate, that the human subject and society are not predetermined, asserts the primacy of creation and the possibility of creative, autonomous activity in every domain. This argument is combined with penetrating political and social criticism, opening numerous avenues of critical (...) thought and action. The book’s wide-ranging topics include the core worldview of ancient Athens, where the idea of self-creation and self-limitation made democracy possible; the wealth of poetic resources; a deconstruction of the so-called rationality of capitalism and of the current conception of democracy, along with a discussion of what a radical, revolutionary project means today; the role of what he calls the radical imagination in the creation of both societal institutions and history; the roots of hate; a psychoanalytic view of human development torn between heteronomy and autonomy; the role of education in forming autonomous individuals; and notions of chaos, space, and number. (shrink)
In this important new study Ian Hacking continues the enquiry into the origins and development of certain characteristic modes of contemporary thought undertaken in such previous works as his best selling Emergence of Probability. Professor Hacking shows how by the late nineteenth century it became possible to think of statistical patterns as explanatory in themselves, and to regard the world as not necessarily deterministic in character. Combining detailed scientific historical research with characteristic philosophic breath and verve, The Taming of Chance (...) brings out the relations among philosophy, the physical sciences, mathematics and the development of social institutions, and provides a unique and authoritative analysis of the "probabilization" of the Western world. (shrink)
As a work of social theory, I would argue that it belongs in a class with the writings of Habermas and Arendt". -- Jay Bernstein, University of Essex This is one of the most original and important works of contemporary European thought.
The naïve view of temporal experience (Phillips, in: Lloyd D, Arstila V (eds) Subjective time: the philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience of temporality, forthcoming-a) comprises two claims. First, that we are perceptually aware of temporal properties, such as succession and change. Second, that for any temporal property apparently presented in experience, our experience itself possesses that temporal property. In his paper ‘Silencing the experience of change’ (forthcoming), Watzl argues that this second naïve inheritance thesis faces a novel counter-example in the form (...) of the striking motion silencing effects recently demonstrated by Suchow and Alvarez (Curr Biol 21(2):140–143, 2011). Here I clarify the form which any counter-example to naïve inheritance must take. I then explain how, on a plausible, rival ‘crowding’ interpretation of Suchow and Alvarez’s data, motion silencing poses no more of a threat to naïve inheritance than standard cases of change blindness. (shrink)
This paper starts by considering an argument for thinking that predictive processing (PP) is representational. This argument suggests that the Kullback–Leibler (KL)-divergence provides an accessible measure of misrepresentation, and therefore, a measure of representational content in hierarchical Bayesian inference. The paper then argues that while the KL-divergence is a measure of information, it does not establish a sufficient measure of representational content. We argue that this follows from the fact that the KL-divergence is a measure of relative entropy, which can (...) be shown to be the same as covariance (through a set of additional steps). It is well known that facts about covariance do not entail facts about representational content. So there is no reason to think that the KL-divergence is a measure of (mis-)representational content. This paper thus provides an enactive, non-representational account of Bayesian belief optimisation in hierarchical PP. (shrink)
Classical logic has been attacked by adherents of rival, anti-realist logical systems: Ian Rumfitt comes to its defence. He considers the nature of logic, and how to arbitrate between different logics. He argues that classical logic may dispense with the principle of bivalence, and may thus be liberated from the dead hand of classical semantics.
In this article, we contend that due to their size and emphasis upon addressing external social concerns, the corporate relationship between social enterprises, social awareness and action is more complex than whether or not these organisations engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR). This includes organisations that place less emphasis on CSR as well as other organisations that may be very proficient in CSR initiatives, but are less successful in recording practices. In this context, we identify a number of internal CSR (...) markers that may be applied to measuring the extent to which internal CSR practices are being observed. These considerations may be contrasted with the evidence that community based CSR activities is often well developed in private sector small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) (Observatory of European SMEs, 2002), a situation which may be replicated in social enterprises especially those that have grown from micro-enterprises embedded in local communities. We place particular emphasis upon the implications for employee management. Underpinning our position is the Aristotelian-informed capabilities approach, a theory of human development and quality of life, developed by Sen (1992; 1999) and Nussbaum (1999) which has been developed further, in an organisational context, (e.g., Cornelius, 2002); Cornelius and Gagnon, 2004; Gagnon and Cornelius, 1999; Vogt, 2005. We contend that the capabilities approach offers additional insights into CSR in social enterprises in general and internal CSR activity in particular. Our article concludes with proposals for future research initiatives and reflections upon social enterprise development from a capabilities perspective. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that ill persons are particularly vulnerable to epistemic injustice in the sense articulated by Fricker. Ill persons are vulnerable to testimonial injustice through the presumptive attribution of characteristics like cognitive unreliability and emotional instability that downgrade the credibility of their testimonies. Ill persons are also vulnerable to hermeneutical injustice because many aspects of the experience of illness are difficult to understand and communicate and this often owes to gaps in collective hermeneutical resources. We then argue (...) that epistemic injustice arises in part owing to the epistemic privilege enjoyed by the practitioners and institutions of contemporary healthcare services—the former owing to their training, expertise, and third-person psychology, and the latter owing to their implicit privileging of certain styles of articulating and evidencing testimonies in ways that marginalise ill persons. We suggest that a phenomenological toolkit may be part of an effort to ameliorate epistemic injustice. (shrink)
Shankman holds that Derek Freeman “trashed” Margaret Mead’s reputation as a public intellectual by portraying her as a naïve and gullible anthropologist who perpetrated a serious error about adolescence in American Samoa. Shankman concedes that Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa was factually in error but argues that her reputation in anthropology did not rest on it but rather on her extensive works on other societies. Ostensibly about Samoa, her book was rather a critique of American society and should be (...) judged as such. It is unjust that its factual errors undermine her status as a public intellectual. Fieldwork method and the lingering influence of inductivism are shown to underlie the controversy. (shrink)
Containing over 750 in-depth entries, this is the most wide-ranging and up-to-date dictionary of critical theory available. It covers the whole range of critical theory, including the Frankfurt school, cultural materialism, cultural studies, gender studies, film studies, literary theory, hermeneutics, historical materialism, internet studies, and sociopolitical critical theory. Entries clearly explain even the most complex of theoretical discourses, such as Marxism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, deconstruction, and postmodernism. There are biographies of important figures in the field, with feature entries for those who (...) have heavily influenced areas of the discipline, e.g. Deleuze. -/- Entries are fully cross-referenced and contain further reading where appropriate. To provide extra information this edition features an appendix of recommended web links, which are accessible via the Dictionary of Critical Theory companion website, where they are also checked regularly and kept up to date. -/- Covering all aspects of the subject from globalization and race studies, to queer theory and feminism, this multidisciplinary A-Z is essential for students of literary and cultural studies and is useful for anyone studying a humanity subject requiring a knowledge of theory. (shrink)
In days past, epistemologists expended a good deal of effort trying to analyze the basing relation—the relation between a belief and its basis. No satisfying account was offered, and the project was largely abandoned. Younger epistemologists, however, have begun to yearn for an adequate theory of basing. I aim to deliver one. After establishing some data and arguing that traditional accounts of basing are unsatisfying, I introduce a novel theory of the basing relation: the dispositional theory. It begins with the (...) pedestrian observation that beliefs stand or fall with their bases. The theory I offer is an elucidation and refinement of this thought. (shrink)
Although Cottingham and Holland make a persuasive case for the claim that it is difficult to situate a meaningful life within a Darwinian naturalistic cosmology, this paper argues that their case should be modified in response to the apparent fact that certain persons seem genuinely not to experience the ‘bleakness’ that they describe. Although certain of these cases will reflect an incomplete appreciation of the existential implications of Darwinian naturalism, at least some of those cases may be genuine. The resulting (...) possibility that certain persons can embrace Darwinian naturalism and live meaningful lives in apparent immunity to the ‘bleakness charge’ therefore poses new puzzles for Cottingham and Holland, and for wider questions about the meaningfulness of human life. I consider that possibility in light of the work of David E. Cooper and Paul Feyerabend and offer a set of three suggestions for further developing these debates. (shrink)
The analytical notion of ‘scientific style of reasoning’, introduced by Ian Hacking in the middle of the 1980s, has become widespread in the literature of the history and philosophy of science. However, scholars have rarely made explicit the philosophical assumptions and the research objectives underlying the notion of style: what are its philosophical roots? How does the notion of style fit into the area of research of historical epistemology? What does a comparison between Hacking’s project on styles of thinking and (...) other similar projects suggest? My aim in this paper is to answer these questions. Hacking has denied that his project of styles of thinking falls into the field of historical epistemology. I shall challenge his remark by tracing out the connections of the notion of style with historical epistemology and, more in general, with a tradition of thought born in France in the beginning of twentieth-century. (shrink)
The success of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) worldwide has led to an accumulation of frozen embryos that are surplus to the reproductive needs of those for whom they were created. In these situations, couples must decide whether to discard them or donate them for scientific research or for use by other infertile couples. While legislation and regulation may limit the decisions that couples make, their decisions are often shaped by their religious beliefs. Unfortunately, health professionals, scientists and policy-makers are often (...) unaware of the way in which faith traditions view ART and decisions concerning the ‘fate’ of surplus embryos. In this paper scholars representing six major religious traditions provide a commentary on a hypothetical case concerning the donation or destruction of excess ART embryos. These commentaries provide a rich account of religious perspectives on the status of the human embryo and an insight into the relevance of faith to health and policy decisions, particularly in reproductive medicine, ART and embryo research. (shrink)
I will argue here that for many of us the act of dressing our bodies is evidence of intentional expression before different audiences. It is important to appreciate that intentionality enables us to understand how and why we act the way we do. The novel contribution this paper makes to this examination is employing clothing as a means of revealing the characteristics of intentionality. In that, it is rare to identify one exemplar that successfully captures the relationships between the cognitive (...) and physical characteristics of its application. Nevertheless, this paper will not attempt to fully encompass the traditional approaches associated with this concept but instead employ both the early and later writings of French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau‑Ponty and his claim that our lived bodies are an expressive space from which we act intentionally. In other words, that the manner by which we dress our bodies is likely to offer a significant means of revealing the character of intentionality in everyday life and by this, claim that clothing can communicate. Accordingly, this first‑person account closely examines both the cognitive and physical experience of a simple clothing example: ‘what to wear?’ and the experience of an everyday clothing purchase in a store and its subsequent impact when the item of clothing is worn for different audiences. The ensuing discussion systematically examines the significance of marrying Merleau‑Ponty’s writings with this everyday example through private and public audiences and in abstract and public spaces. (shrink)
From the time of its clearest origins with Pascal, the theory of probabilities seemed to offer means by which the study of human affairs might be reduced to the same kind of mathematical discipline that was already being achieved in the study of nature. Condorcet is to a great extent merely representative of the philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries who were led on by the prospect of developing moral and political sciences on the pattern of the natural sciences, (...) specifically physics. The development of economics and the social sciences, from the eighteenth century onwards, may be said in part to have fulfilled and in a manner to have perpetuated these ambitions. In so far as the new sciences have been susceptible of mathematical treatment, this has not been confined to the calculus of probabilities. But there is a temptation at every stage to ascribe fundamental significance and universal applicability to each latest mathematical device that is strikingly useful or illuminating on its first introduction. It is the theory of games that enjoys this position at present, and shapes the common contemporary conception of the very same problems that preoccupied Condorcet. (shrink)
Many people report that reading first-person narratives of the experience of illness can be morally instructive or educative. But although they are ubiquitous and typically sincere, the precise nature of such educative experiences is puzzling—for those narratives typically lack the features that modern philosophers regard as constitutive of moral reason. I argue that such puzzlement should disappear, and the morally educative power of illness narratives explained, if one distinguishes two different styles of moral reason: an inferentialist style that generates the (...) puzzlement and an alternative exemplarist style that offers a compelling explanation of the morally educative power of pathographic literature. (shrink)
This book examines a series of common metaphors in the works of Derrida and the Sufism of Muhyddin Ibn 'Arabi, considered to be of the most influential figures in Islamic thought. The author addresses the significant absence of attention on the relationship between Islam and Derrida and also provides a deconstructive perspective on Ibn 'Arabi.
Most contemporary theorists regard the traditional thesis that perception is essentially conscious as just another armchair edict to be abandoned in the wake of empirical discovery. Here I reconsider this dramatic departure from tradition. My aim is not to recapture our prelapsarian confidence that perception is inevitably conscious (though much I say might be recruited to that cause). Instead, I want to problematize the now ubiquitous belief in unconscious perception. The paper divides into two parts. Part One is more purely (...) philosophical. It explains how standard arguments for unconscious perception rely on contentious background assumptions concerning the relation between ordinary perception and the explanatory constructs of scientific psychology. Part Two, in contrast, offers detailed engagement with relevant empirical work. It exposes how, even setting aside the concerns identified in Part One, a dilemma confronts the believer in unconscious perception. This dilemma arises because ordinary perception is an individual-level state or occurrence, yet criteria sufficiently stringent to guarantee that a putatively perceptual state is unconscious vitiate the grounds for its attribution to the individual. The dilemma foments a hypothesis, namely that the conditions for genuine, individual-level perception are sufficient conditions for perceptual consciousness. The viability of this hypothesis should unnerve anyone who thinks unconscious perception is simply an empirical given. (shrink)
The most important historical work in Latin that was actually written in the first half of the first century B C. was L. Cornelius Sisenna's history of the War of the Allies and the Civil Wars which followed it, up to Sulla's dictatorship or conceivably death-the most important one that was not written being of course Cicero's. Sallust praised Sisenna's work highly in the Jugurtba, though complaining that it was not sufficiently frank about Sulla, and his own lost histories (...) began, very probably, where Sisenna's left off. Varro's logistoricus on the writing of history, of which, alas, only a brief and unenlightening fragment remains, bore Sisenna's name. (shrink)
A growing number of authors defend putative examples of knowledge from falsehood (KFF), inferential knowledge based in a critical or essential way on false premises, and they argue that KFF has important implications for many areas of epistemology (whether evidence can be false, the Gettier debate, defeasibility theories of knowledge, etc.). I argue, however, that there is no KFF, because in any supposed example either the falsehood does not contribute to the knowledge or the subject lacks knowledge. In particular, I (...) show that if the subject actually has knowledge in putative KFF cases, then there is always a veridical evidential path meeting the basing conditions that accounts for her knowledge; if there is no such path, then the subject is in a type of Gettier case. All the recent arguments that rely on KFF are therefore based on a mistake. (shrink)
Block () highlights two experimental studies of neglect patients which, he contends, provide ‘dramatic evidence’ for unconscious seeing. In Block's hands this is the highly non-trivial thesis that seeing of the same fundamental kind as ordinary conscious seeing can occur outside of phenomenal consciousness. Block's case for it provides an excellent opportunity to consider a large body of research on clinical syndromes widely held to evidence unconscious perception. I begin by considering in detail the two studies of neglect to which (...) Block appeals. I show why their interpretation as evidence of unconscious seeing faces a series of local difficulties. I then explain how, even bracketing these issues, a long-standing but overlooked problem concerning our criterion for consciousness problematizes the appeal to both studies. I explain why this problem is especially pressing for Block given his view that phenomenal consciousness overflows access consciousness. I further show that it is epidemic—not only affecting all report-based studies of unconscious seeing in neglect, but also analogous studies of the condition most often alleged to show unconscious seeing, namely blindsight. (shrink)
We develop a broader, more fine-grained taxonomy of forms of ‘transformative experience’ inspired by the work of L.A. Paul. Our vulnerability to such experiences arises, we argue, due to the vulnerability, dependence, and affliction intrinsic to the human condition. We use this trio to distinguish a variety of positively, negatively, and ambivalently valenced forms of epistemically and/or personally transformative experiences. Moreover, we argue that many transformative experiences can arise gradually and cumulatively, unfolding over the course of longer periods of time.
Many people find themselves dissatisfied with recent linguistic philosophy, and yet know that language has always mattered deeply to philosophy and must in some sense continue to do so. Ian Hacking considers here some dozen case studies in the history of philosophy to show the different ways in which language has been important, and the consequences for the development of the subject. There are chapters on, among others, Hobbes, Berkeley, Russell, Ayer, Wittgenstein, Chomsky, Feyerabend and Davidson. Dr Hacking ends by (...) speculating about the directions in which philosophy and the study of language seem likely to go. The book will provide students with a stimulating, broad survey of problems in the theory of meaning and the development of philosophy, particularly in this century. The topics treated in the philosophy of language are among the central, current concerns of philosophers, and the historical framework makes it possible to introduce concretely and intelligibly all the main theoretical issues. (shrink)
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