This book provides both a historical analysis of the philosophical problem of individuation, and a new trajectory in its treatment. Drawing on the work of Gilles Deleuze, as well as C.S. Peirce and the lesser-known Gilbert Simondon, Alberto Toscano takes the problem of individuation, as reconfigured by Kant and Nietzsche, into the realm of modernity, providing a unique and vibrant contribution to contemporary debates in European philosophy.
The dreaming body -- The philosophical Jung -- Locating identities : individual and collective matters -- Projection : the mirror image -- Divine reversal -- Mimesis revisited : Demeter and Persephone -- Jung, Irigaray, and essentialism : a new look at an old problem -- Speaking of the collective unconscious.
This paper addresses the unconscious dimension as articulated in Carl Jung's depth psychology and in Gilles Deleuze's philosophy. Jung's theory of the archetypes and Deleuze's pedagogy of the concept are two complementary resources that posit individuation as the goal of human development and self-education in practice. The paper asserts that educational theory should explore the role of the unconscious in learning, especially with regard to adult education in the process of learning from life-experiences. The integration of the unconscious into (...) consciousness becomes a constitutive part of subject-formation and self-knowledge, which in turn serves as a basis for experiential self-education. (shrink)
Taking into account significant developments in the metaphysical thinking of E. J. Lowe over the past 20 years, _More Kinds of Being:A Further Study of Individuation, Identity, and the Logic of Sortal Terms_ presents a thorough reworking and expansion of the 1989 edition of _Kinds of Being_ Brings many of the original ideas and arguments put forth in _Kinds of Being_ thoroughly up to date in light of new developments Features a thorough reworking and expansion of the earlier work, (...) rather than just a new edition Reflects the author's conversion to what he calls 'the four-category ontology,' a metaphysical system that takes its inspiration from Aristotle Provides a unified discussion of individuation and identity that should prove to be essential reading for philosophers working in metaphysics. (shrink)
As witnessed by recent films such as _Fight Club_ and _Identity_, our culture is obsessed with multiple personality—a phenomenon raising intriguing questions about personal identity. This study offers both a full-fledged philosophical theory of personal identity and a systematic account of multiple personality. Gunnarsson combines the methods of analytic philosophy with close hermeneutic and phenomenological readings of cases from different fields, focusing on psychiatric and psychological treatises, self-help books, biographies, and fiction. He develops an original account of personal identity and (...) offers a provocative interpretation of multiple personality: in brief, "multiples" are right about the metaphysics but wrong about the facts. (shrink)
In this brilliantly articulated new book, ethicist Jacquelyn Kegley carefully explicates and enlarges the scope of Roycean thought and shows that Royce's views on public philosophy have direct and valuable application to current social problems.
In this book, which thoroughly revises and greatly expands his classic work Sameness and Substance, David Wiggins retrieves and refurbishes in the light of twentieth-century logic and logical theory certain conceptions of identity, of substance and of persistence through change that philosophy inherits from its past. In this new version, he vindicates the absoluteness, necessity, determinateness and all or nothing character of identity against rival conceptions. He defends a form of essentialism that he calls individuative essentialism, and then a form (...) of realism that he calls conceptualist realism. In a final chapter he advocates a human being-based conception of the identity and individuation of persons, arguing that any satisfactory account of personal memory must make reference to the life of the rememberer himself. This important book will appeal to a wide range of readers in metaphysics, philosophical logic, and analytic philosophy. (shrink)
Recent work by Frigg et. al. and Mayo-Wilson have called attention to a particular sort of error associated with attempts to model certain complex systems: structural modeling error. The assessment of the degree of SME in a model presupposes agreement between modelers about the best way to individuate natural systems, an agreement which can be more problematic than it appears. This problem, which we dub “the system individuation problem” arises in many of the same contexts as SME, and the (...) two often compound one another. This paper explores the common roots of the two problems in concerns about the precision of predictions generated by scientific models, and discusses how both concerns bear on the study of complex natural systems, particularly the global climate. (shrink)
The problem of act individuation is a debate about the identity conditions of human acts. The fundamental question about act individuation is: how do we distinguish between actions? Three views of act individuation have dominated the literature. First, Donald Davidson and G.E.M. Anscombe have argued that a number of different descriptions refer to a single act. Second, Alvin Goldman and Jaegwon Kim have argued that each description designates a distinct act. Finally, Irving Thalberg and Judith Jarvis Thomson (...) have averred that some acts are sequences of causally related events, which include both a primitive bodily action and some of its effects. All of these accounts have assumed that a simple invariantist account of act individuation captures how ordinary people distinguish between acts. For my dissertation, I devised an experiment to test the action theorists' assumptions. My data show that people's intuitions seem to depend on the valence of the consequences of the action under consideration. So, an invariantist account is not possible. In light of the empirical results, I argue that if we seek a folk account of act individuation, then that account should be able to explain the variability that seems to be present in people's intuitions about different cases. (shrink)
A timely and penetrating investigation, this book seeks to transform moral philosophy. In the face of continuing disagreement about which general moral principles are correct, there has been a resurgence of interest in the idea that correct moral judgements can be only about particular cases. This view--moral particularism --forecasts a revolution in ordinary moral practice that has until now consisted largely of appeals to general moral principles. Moral particularism also opposes the primary aim of most contemporary normative moral theory that (...) attempts to show that either one general principle, or a set of general principles, is superior to all its rivals. (shrink)
This article will maintain that the onset of Simondon’s interest in the philosophy of Nature, examined in his thèse principale, “L’individuation à la lumière des notions de forme et d’information” and for philosophy of technics, analysed in his thèse complémentaire, “Du mode d’existence des objets techniques”, lies in his personal acquaintance with Canguilhem and in particular the reading of his Knowledge of Life, published in 1952. I will demonstrate that the element connecting Simondon’s interest in individuality and his interest (...) in the philosophy of technics can be found in the influence of the following Canguilhemian subjects: 1) the role of vitalist anti-reductionism; 2) the necessity to inaugurate a “biological philosophy of technics”; and 3) the understanding of the concept of milieu in relation to individuality. (shrink)
In this chapter, the author presents and develops his views on the philosophy of action. One main theme is the problem of acrasia: how is it possible that a person sometimes acts freely and intentionally against his own better judgement? The author criticizes Donald Davidson’s solution to this problem for being unrealistic and exaggerating the rationality of the agent. He also presents his original way of reading Aristotle’s most famous text on this subject, in Ethica Nicomachea VII 3. The role (...) of desires and reasons in the motivation of action, the individuation of actions, and the possibility of mental causation are also discussed. (shrink)
This collection of essays, first published two decades ago, presents central feminist critiques and analyses of natural and social sciences and their philosophies. Unfortunately, in spite of the brilliant body of research and scholarship in these fields in subsequent decades, the insights of these essays remain as timely now as they were then: philosophy and the sciences still presume kinds of social innocence to which they are not entitled. The essays focus on Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Marx; on (...) the 'adversary method' model of philosophic reasoning; on principles of individuation on philosophical ontology and philosophy of language; on individualistic assumptions in psychology; functionalism in sociological and biological theory; evolutionary theory; the methodology of political science; and conceptions of objective inquiry in the sciences. In taking insights of both Liberal and Marxian women's movements into the purportedly most abstract and value-free areas of Western thought, these essays chart sexist and androcentric assumptions, claims and practices in the cognitive, technical cores of Western sciences and their philosophies. They begin to identify the distinctive aspects of women's experiences and locations in male-supremacist social structures which can provide resources needed for the creation of post-androcentric thinking in research, scholarship, and public policy. Such uses of feminist insights remain controversial today, and even among some feminists. These authors were all junior researchers and scholars two decades ago; today many are among the most distinguished senior scholars in their fields. Their work here provides a splendid opportunity for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in philosophy and the social sciences to explore some of the most intriguing and controversial challenges to disciplinary projects and to public policy today. (shrink)
Within post - Kuhnian, philosophy of science, much effort has been devoted to issues related to conceptual change, such as incommensurability, scientific progress and realism, but mostly in terms of reference, without a fine - grained theory of scientific concepts/senses. Within the philosophy of language and of mind tradition, there is a large body of work on concepts, but the application to scientific concepts has been very tentative. The aim of this paper is to propose a general framework for a (...) theory for the individuation of scientific concepts. The general view about the individuation of concepts favored here is the possession - condition approach: to individuate a concept is to identify its possession conditions. The general metascientific tools for the analysis of scientific theories are model - theoretic, more specifically, structuralist: scientific theories, the entities to which scientifc concepts belong, are model - theoretic theory - nets. The general idea about the content of scientific concepts that inspires this proposal comes from: (i) our grandfathers’ "laws - plus - correspondence rules", (ii) Kuhns "laws applied to exemplars" views and (iii) moderate operationalism. The aim is to show that some clarification can be gained applying the possesion condition appproach to (an expansion of) these three elements using structuralist metascientific tools. First, I briefly present the two main structuralist ideas I shall use: the difference between observability and non - theoreticity, and the notion of theory - net. Second, I informally introduce the five components that come from my reading of the three traditional elements; these components are, or are not, plausible independently of how they will be integrated within a theory of concept - identity. Third, I present the kore of the theory of possession conditions for concept - identity that we shall use for the integration of such components. Finally, I propose the general traits of the possession condition that corresponds to each of these five components, I present some problems and point out some possible ways of dealing with them. (shrink)
Philosophers often consider better compliance with prevalent pre-theoretical intuitions to be an advantage of a theory of ontology of musical works. However, despite many predictions of what these intuitions on relevant questions might be, so far there is only one experimental philosophy study on the repeatability of musical works by Christopher Bartel. We decided to examine the intuitions concerning the individuation of musical works by creating scenarios reflecting the differences in the positions of musical ontologists: pure and timbral sonicism, (...) instrumentalism, and contextualism. The results show that emotional expressivity, instrument, timbre, and images evoked in the listeners were not considered as properties individuating musical works. However, the musical works were held to be different if the composers were different. In most cases, the participants had clear intuitions. Pure sonicism, complemented with additional stress on significance of the composer’s creativity, seems to be the most intuitive position. (shrink)
When we say a certain rose is red, we seem to be attributing a property, redness, to it. But are there really such properties? If so, what are they like, how do we know about them, and how are they related to the objects which have them and the linguistic devices which we use to talk about them? This collection presents these ancient problems in a modern light. In particular, it makes accessible for the first time the most important contributions (...) to the contemporary controversy about the nature of properties. Those new to the subject will find the clearly-written introduction, by two experts in the field, an invaluable guide to the intricacies of this debate. The volume illustrates very well the aims and methods of modern metaphysics and show how a thorough understanding of the metaphysics of properties is crucial to most of analytic philosophy. (shrink)
This paper looks at the history of the problem of individuation from Plato to Whitehead. Part I takes as its point of departure Reiner Wiehl’s interpretation of the different meanings of “abstract” in the metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead and arrives at a corresponding taxonomy of different ways things can be called concrete. Part II compares the way philosophers in different periods understand the relation between thought and intuition. The view mostly associated with ancient philosophy is that thought and (...) sense-perception target different kinds of objects. The view mostly associated with modern philosophy (although it was introduced by the Stoics) is that thought and sense-perception are different ways of targeting the same objects. These differences have specific consequences for theories of individuation, which are assessed historically in Part III and then applied to Whitehead’s difficult texts in part IV. (shrink)
In this article, I challenge the dominant view of the importance of the debate over action-individuation. On the dominant view, it is held that the conclusions we reach about action-individuation make little or no difference for other debates in the philosophy of action, much less in other areas of philosophy. As a means of showing that the dominant view is mistaken, I consider the implications of accepting a given theory of action-individuation for thinking about doxastic agency. In (...) particular, I am interested in the implications for thinking about the variety of evaluative control we can exercise over the formation of our doxastic attitudes. I show that our assumptions about how to individuate actions matters for how we think about doxastic agency and, hence, the conclusions we reach about action-individuation are of greater significance than some have thought. (shrink)
This book studies medieval theories of angelology insofar as they made groundbreaking contributions to medieval philosophy. -/- The discussion of angels, made famous by the humanist caricature of ‘how many angels can dance on the head of a pin’, was nevertheless a crucial one in medieval philosophical debates. All scholastic masters pronounced themselves on angelology, if only in their Sentence commentaries. The questions concerning angelic cognition, speech, free decision, movement, etc. were springboards for profound philosophical discussions that have to do (...) with anthropology and metaphysics no less than with angelology. Angels qua separate substances were of central importance in medieval metaphysics (with questions on universal hylomorphism, the esse- essentia composition of creatures, and those regarding individuation of material and immaterial substances). The doctrine of angels has not been the subject of much study in the history of medieval thought, and the volume fills an important gap in the literature. The chapters offer a well-rounded, if not encyclopedic discussion in the chronological or doctrinal sense. They cover the history of debate from Augustine and Pseudo-Dionysius until the later middle ages, but instead of an author-by-author approach, focus rather on seminal ideas with demonstrable relevance to “secular” and modern philosophical concerns. (shrink)
A sequel to Gracia’s Introduction to the Problem of Individuation in the Early Middle Ages prepared by sixteen well-known historians of medieval philosophy, one advantage offered by this collection of essays is the broad coverage it provides: Avicenna and Averroes ; Maimonides, Gersonides, Bedersi ; Albert the Great and Roger Bacon ; Bonaventure and Buridan ; Aquinas ; Henry of Ghent ; Godfrey of Fontaines, Peter of Auvergne, John Baconthorpe and James of Viterbo ; Scotus ; Hervaeus Natalis, Richard (...) of Mediavilla, Durand of Saint Pourçain ; Walter of Burley ; William of Ockham ; Cajetan and Giles of Rome ; Javellus and Francis Sylvester Ferrar ; Francis Suárez ; John of Saint Thomas ; Leibniz. (shrink)
Universals: Loux, M. J. The existence of universals. Russell, B. The world of universals. Quine, W. V. O. On what there is. Pears, D. F. Universals. Strawson, P. F. Particular and general. Wolterstorff, N. Qualities. Bambrough, R. Universals and family resemblances. Donagan, A. Universals and metaphysical realism. Sellars, W. Abstract entities. Wolterstorff, N. On the nature of universals.--Particulars: Loux, M. J. Particulars and their individuation. Black. M. The identity of indiscernibles. Ayer, A. J. The identity of indiscernibles. O'Connor, D. (...) J. The identity of indiscernibles. Allaire, E. B. Bare particulars. Chappell, V. C. Particulars re-clothed. Allaire, E. B. Another look at bare particulars. Meiland, J. W. Do relations individuate? Long, D. C. Particulars and their qualities. Copi, I. Essence and accident. Chandler, H. S. Essence and accident. Plantinga, A. World and essence. (shrink)