This provocative book attempts to resolve traditional problems of identity over time. It seeks to answer such questions as 'How is it that an object can survive change?' and 'How much change can an object undergo without being destroyed'? To answer these questions Professor Heller presents a theory about the nature of physical objects and about the relationship between our language and the physical world. According to his theory, the only actually existing physical entities are what the author calls (...) 'hunks', four-dimensional objects extending across time and space. This is a major contribution to ontological debate and will be essential reading for all philosophers concerned with metaphysics. (shrink)
Philosophical discussions on causal inference in medicine are stuck in dyadic camps, each defending one kind of evidence or method rather than another as best support for causal hypotheses. Whereas Evidence Based Medicine advocates the use of Randomised Controlled Trials and systematic reviews of RCTs as gold standard, philosophers of science emphasise the importance of mechanisms and their distinctive informational contribution to causal inference and assessment. Some have suggested the adoption of a pluralistic approach to causal inference, and an inductive (...) rather than hypothetico-deductive inferential paradigm. However, these proposals deliver no clear guidelines about how such plurality of evidence sources should jointly justify hypotheses of causal associations. We here develop such guidelines by first giving a philosophical analysis of the underpinnings of Hill’s viewpoints on causality. We then put forward an evidence-amalgamation framework adopting a Bayesian net approach to model causal inference in pharmacology for the assessment of harms. Our framework accommodates a number of intuitions already expressed in the literature concerning the EBM vs. pluralist debate on causal inference, evidence hierarchies, causal holism, relevance, and reliability. (shrink)
This article sketches an idealized strategy for the identification of neural correlates of consciousness. The proposed strategy is based on a state space approach originating from the analysis of dynamical systems. The article then focuses on one constituent of consciousness, phenomenal awareness. Several rudimentary requirements for the identification of neural correlates of phenomenal awareness are suggested. These requirements are related to empirical data on selective attention, on completely intrinsic selection and on globally unconscious states. As an example, neuroscientific findings on (...) synchronized γ activity are categorized according to these requirements. (shrink)
The Inner Touch presents the archaeology of a single sense: the sense of being sentient. Aristotle was perhaps the first to define this faculty when in his treatise On the Soul he identified a sensory power, irreducible to the five senses, by which animals perceive that they are perceiving: the simple "sense," as he wrote, "that we are seeing and hearing." After him, thinkers returned, time and again, to define and redefine this curious sensation. The classical Greek and Roman philosophers (...) as well as the medieval Arabic, Hebrew, and Latin thinkers who followed them all investigated a power they called "the common sense," which one ancient author likened to "a kind of inner touch, by which we are able to grasp ourselves." Their many findings were not lost with the waning of the Middle Ages. From Montaigne and Francis Bacon to Locke, Leibniz, and Rousseau, from nineteenth-century psychiatry and neurology to Proust and Walter Benjamin, the writers and thinkers of the modern period have turned knowingly and unknowing to the terms of older traditions in exploring the perception that every sensitive being possesses of its life.The Inner Touch reconstructs and reconsiders the history of this perception. In twenty-five concise chapters that move freely among ancient, medieval, and modern cultures, Daniel Heller-Roazen investigates a set of exemplary phenomena that have played central roles in philosophical, literary, psychological, and medical accounts of the nature of animal existence. Here sensation and self-sensation, sleeping and waking, aesthetics and anesthetics, perception and apperception, animal nature and human nature, consciousness and unconsciousness, all acquire a new meaning.The Inner Touch proposes an original, elegant, and far-reaching philosophical inquiry into a problem that has never been more pressing: what it means to feel that one is alive.Winner of the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies. (shrink)
Narrative allegory is distinguished from mythology as reality from symbol; it is, in short, the proper intermedium between person and personification. Where it is too strongly individualized, it ceases to be allegory […]. In the community of scholars of intermedia research, the above quoted citation is commonly regarded as Coleridge’s coining of the term “intermedium” or “intermediality”. However, a short glance at the discursive strategy of his argument emphasizes that his notion of “intermedium” must be closely linked to the poetics (...) and aesthetics of 19th-century romanticism. For the romantic poet, the term of “intermedium” does not point to media relations or intermedia processes but to.. (shrink)
This paper compares different strategies of analysing economic phe-nomena, namely individualism and holism. As it turns out, a main point for which methodological individualism is criticized is its supposed reductionism and the related arbitrariness of choosing individuals as a unit of explanation. The paper shows that there exists at least with F. A. Hayek an author who presents an evolutionary theory of economic and social change that avoids the reductionism of orthodox individualistic theory. According to Hayek, the social scientist should (...) try to receive insights about collective phenomena by analysing to what extent rules of behaviour are adopted by some individuals, larger groups or a whole population. Besides the selection argument, Hayek's observation of learning processes as primary factors determining behaviour gives rise to a conception of mankind far beyond optimization models. Hayek thus overcomes a reductionist individualism by taking recourse to hierarchical selection and learning processes. (shrink)
Agnes Heller conversó con la Redacción de Areté el 24 de abril de 2003, durante una visita a la Universidad Católica para dictar la Lección Inaugural del Año Académico de la Facultad de Letras y Ciencias Humanas. En la conversación estuvieron presentes los profesores Pepi Patrón, Fidel Tubino y Miguel Giusti.
Written by one of the most influential figures in post-World-War-II social thought, _A Theory of Modernity_ is a comprehensive analysis of the main dynamics of modernity, which discusses the technological, social and political elements of modernism.
This paper presents the contributions of Alcindo Flores Cabral, professor of Chemistry at the Faculdade de Agronomia Eliseu Maciel, nowadays part of the Universidade Federal de Pelotas, to chemistry teaching. It is a contribution almost unknown to the Brazilian chemical community, although recognized as valuable by several renowned chemists abroad, like W. Hückel, G. Charlot, F. Strong, E. Fessenden and others. Cabral’s innovative helical representation is presented in connection not only with contemporary representations, but also an incursion is made into (...) the first helical systems proposed, those of Hinrichs and of Baumhauer. Some comments are made not only on Cabral’s Classificação Natural dos Elementos, published in 1946, but also about other texts he wrote for an efficient chemistry teaching. (shrink)
In this book, one of the most distinguished scholars of German culture collects his essays on a figure who has long been one of his chief preoccupations. Erich Heller's lifelong study of modern European literature necessarily returns again and again to Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche prided himself on having broken with all traditional ways of thinking and feeling, and once even claimed that he would someday be recognized for having ushered in a new millennium. While acknowledging Nietzsche's radicalism, Heller (...) also insists on the continuity of the story in which he does indeed occupy a central place. By considering Nietzsche in relation to Goethe, Rilke, Wittgenstein, Yeats, and others, Heller shows the philosopher's ambivalence toward the tradition he inherited as well as his profound effect on the thought and sensibility of those who followed him. It is hardly an exaggeration to say, as Heller does in his first essay, that Nietzsche is to many modern writers and thinkers--including Mann, Musil, Kafka, Freud, Heidegger, Jaspers, Gide, and Sartre--what St. Thomas Aquinas was to Dante: the categorical interpreter of a world, which they contemplate imaginatively and theoretically without ever much upsetting its Nietzschean structure. Thus it is Nietzsche's thought, so pervasively present in the themes of modernity, that gives coherence and unity to Heller's essays. What emerges from them is that, despite his iconoclastic declarations and unorthodox philosophical practices, Nietzsche deals with the human spirit's persistent concerns. His questions remain urgent, and even the answers, in all their contradictoriness, possess the commanding force of his inquiry. An example is the incompatibility of the famous extremes, the teaching of the U;bermensch and the Eternal Recurrence of All Things. These cancel each other out and yet grow from the same intellectual and spiritual roots, as is shown lucidly and cogently by one of Heller's most forceful essays, "Nietzsche's Terrors: Time and the Inarticulate." In fathoming the depth of this contradiction, Heller at the same time reveals the importance of Nietzsche for those who seek to understand the wellsprings of the epoch's disquiet, turmoil, and creativity. (shrink)
I offer a clear conception of a temporal part that does not make the existence of temporal parts implausible. This can be done if (and only if) we think of physical objects as four dimensional, The fourth dimension being time. Unless we are willing to deny the existence of most spatial parts, Or willing to accept the possibility of coincident entities, Or accept something even more implausible, We should accept the existence of temporal parts.
The Michael Heller’s article entitled “How is philosophy in science possible?” was originally published in Polish in 1986 and then translated into English by Bartosz Brożek and Aeddan Shaw and published in 2011 in the collection of essays entitled Philosophy in Science. Methods and Applications. This seminal paper has founded further growth of the ‘philosophy in science’ and become the reference point in the methodological discussions, especially in Poland. On the 40th anniversary of Philosophical Problems in Science we wanted (...) to make this paper freely available to the international public by reprinting its English version. In this issue it is followed by two additional articles-commentaries. (shrink)
The notion of common ground is important for the production of referring expressions: In order for a referring expression to be felicitous, it has to be based on shared information. But determining what information is shared and what information is privileged may require gathering information from multiple sources, and constantly coordinating and updating them, which might be computationally too intensive to affect the earliest moments of production. Previous work has found that speakers produce overinformative referring expressions, which include privileged names, (...) violating Grice’s Maxims, and concluded that this is because they do not mark the distinction between shared and privileged information. We demonstrate that speakers are in fact quite effective in marking this distinction in the form of their utterances. Nonetheless, under certain circumstances, speakers choose to overspecify privileged names. (shrink)
This book is the first attempt to think philosophically about the comic phenomenon in literature, art, and life. Working across a substantial collection of comic works author Agnes Heller makes seminal observations on the comic in the work of both classical and contemporary figures. Whether she's discussing Shakespeare, Kafka, Rabelais, or the paintings of Brueghel and Daumier Heller's Immortal Comedy makes a characteristic contribution to modern thought across the humanities.
This article investigates a class room sequence with the methods of dance studies. Hence the teacher’s behaviour is seen as a stage performance. With a main method of dance theory, the Laban Movement Analysis teacher’s handling of the classroom space, including body effort and shape, is analysed. Following Daniel Stern’s conceptualisation of forms of vitality I consider the teacher’s behaviour, focusing on the phenomenology and the temporal contour of feelings of anger. In terms of movement, this essay explores the dynamic (...) experience of vitality affects. (shrink)