In this paper we seek to take notice of the evolution and continuity of Jan Patočka’s phenomenology on the topic of the world and human existence’s relationship with it. We believe that this problem underlies and stimulates Patočka’s whole phenomenological research and we think that it is a key element to understand the ensemble of his thought.
This article attempts to bring together the life, situation, and philosophical work of the Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka in order to present his conception of philosophy and sacrifice and to understand his action of dissent and his own sacrifice as spokesman for Charter 77 in light of these concepts. Patočka philosophized despite being barred from teaching under the German occupation and under the communist regime, even after he was forced to retire and banned from publication. He also refused the official (...) philosophical categories of communism and, what is more, criticized the very manner in which its ideology allowed it to function. Against the destruction of moral and political life by communist and liberal regimes alike, he outlined the necessity of a “life in the idea” that would be responsive to the notion of sacrifice. Such a position of distance from the things of the world which remains anchored among them is meant to respond to dissatisfaction with the world as it is found and is the very movement of human freedom. Taken together, these three aspects of his philosophical practice made him a dissident, a role he took on more completely when, as part of the Charter 77 movement, he publicly opposed the state, in a course of action that led to his death. (shrink)
This response to the articles of Luzzati and Broekman (in this issue) addresses principally the character of early rabbinic legal interpretation, as viewed by the Rabbis themselves. It considers, with examples, their concept of "simple meaning'' (peshat), its place within their overall hermeneutic system and its theological presuppositions. The second section responds more briefly to thetheoretical critiques of Luzzati and Broekman, stressing that (my version of) semiotics is descriptive rather than normative; resists the reduction of textual meaning to interpretation; and (...) refuses to equate decision-making with justification. (shrink)
This paper describes the work of the Polish logician Jan Kalicki (1922?1953). After a biographical introduction, his work on logical matrices and equational logic is appraised. A bibliography of his papers and reviews is also included.
In this article the author attempts to establish whether we can find a “theory of appearance” in the philosophy of Jan Patočka. The “appearance” for Patočka is basically composed of two elements. First there is a “primeval movement” which accounts for an infinite possibility of phenomena. The second element is the relation of this movement with an “addressee”, the subjectivity. If we begin to analyse the unity of these two elements we fundamentally come across three problems: what is it that (...) appears, when appearance presupposes a certain totality of appearance; how does this total appearance come forth; and, finally, is this whole “structure of appearance” taken as a free movement, kept once and for all within the boundaries of phenomenology, which is founded on a precise and positive term of “appearance” — or do we have to stipulate a special “experience” as the starting point of a phenomenology, which accepts the abyssal impossibility to control its frame? (shrink)
Reviews : Zygmunt Bauman, Intimations of Postmodernity ; Steven Seidman and David G. Wagner , Postmodernism and Social Theory ; Stephen Crook, Jan Pakulski and Malcolm Wa ters, Postmodernization: Change in Advanced Society ; Gianni Vattimo, The End of Modernity—Nihilism and Hermeneutics in Post-modern Culture.
This paper presents a short biography of Jan Patočka, as well as biographical data of the author in connection to the life and work of Jan Patočka. The paper describes Patočka’s academic activity at Charles University between 1968 and 1972, how he continued by giving private underground seminars in the dark years of 1972 to 1976, and how his engagement culminated in the dissident movement Charter 77. The author explains how the unofficial underground Patočka Archive was established on the very (...) day of Patočka’s death, even before the terrible events around his funeral. Before the official Patočka Archive was founded on the 1st of January, 1990, many volumes of his works were edited secretly during the period of 1977 to 1989. This made it possible to continue successfully publishing the series of the Complete Works of Jan Patočka after 1990. (shrink)
By his critical reflections on the crisis of modern civilization, Jan Patočka, phenomenologist of the Other Europe, incarnates the critical consciousness of the phenomenological movement. He was in fact one of the first European philosophers to have emphasized the necessity of abandoning the hitherto Eurocentric propositions of solution to the crisis when he explicitly raised the problems of a “Post-European humanity”. In advocating an understanding of the history of European humanity different from those of Husserl and Heidegger, Patočka directs his (...) philosophical reflections back to sketch a more profound phenomenology of the natural world insufficiently thematized in Husserl and absent in Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit. By virtue of its emphasis on the structural characteristics of movement, of praxis, and of the disclosure of the abyssal nature of human existence and of the original nothingness as the (non-)foundation of the phenomenal world, Patočka’s phenomenology of the natural world constitutes an opening towards the reception of Others and other cultures, in particular that of Chinese Taoist philosophy. (shrink)
Review Essay: A Review of Tom Nairn and Paul James, Global Matrix: Nationalism, Globalism and State-Terrorism ; Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Globalization or Empire? ; Patrick Hayden and Chamsy el-Ojeili , Confronting Globalization: Humanity, Justice and the Renewal of Politics.
This essay explores connections between bacteriology and the disciplinary evolution of biochemistry in this country during the 1930s. Many features of intermediary metabolism, a central component of biochemistry, originated as attempts to answer fundamental bacteriological questions. Thus, many bacteriologists altered their research programs to answer these questions. In so doing they changed their disciplinary focus from bacteriology to biochemistry. Chester Hamlin Werkman's (1893-1962) Iowa State career illustrates the research perspective that many bacteriologists adopted. As a junior faculty member in the (...) Bacteriology Department in the late 1920s, Werkman faced a powerful professional dilemma: establishing a research identity that distinguished him from his colleagues with flourishing national and international reputations. His solution was to radically alter his research program from traditional bacteriology to a biochemistry program, which reflected the influence of the Dutch microbiologist/biochemist, Albert Jan Kluyver (1888-1956). Werkman was extremely successful in this career change. His laboratory made significant contributions to biochemistry, and Werkman achieved a notable degree of personal success. His career began in the shadow of his departmental bacteriological colleagues; within a decade he became the department's dominant research figure, as a biochemist. Werkman's personal success, however, had profound consequences for the disciplinary future of bacteriology at Iowa State. (shrink)
The political engagement of scientists is not necessarily left-wing, and even when it is, it can take widely varying forms. This is illustrated by the specific character of Dutch scientific activism in the 1930s and 40s, which took shape in a society where ‘pillarized’ social divisions were more important than horizontal class structure. This paper examines how, within this context, the Delft physicist Jan Burgers developed a version of scientific politics, built on a philosophy of value-laden science.
Gerda Leber-Hagenau, bekannte österreichische Schriftstellerin und Übersetzerin, widmete ihre Aufmerksamkeit der in Österreich bekannten Persönlichkeit des polnischen Königs. Über Jan III. Sobieski hat eine bedeutende Abhandlung u.a. Otto Forst de Battaglia verfaßt. Gerda Leber-Hagenau verfolgt in ihrem Buch das ehrgeizige Ziel, nicht die militärische Seite des Entsatzes Wiens und den entscheidenden Anteil des polnischen Königs zu zeigen, sondern sie ist bestrebt, die Psyche des Königs auf künstlerische Weise zu gestalten.
Jan Albert van Laar and Erik Krabbe’s paper “Splitting a difference of opinion” studies an important type of dialogue shift, namely that from a deliberation dialogue over action or policy options where critical and persuasive argumentation is exchanged about the rational acceptability of the policy options proposed by various parties, to a negotiation dialogue where agreement is reached by a series of compromises, or trade-offs, on the part of each side in the disagreement.
An introduction to an English translation of Jan Mukařovský´s lecture The Semiology of Art. In this lecture Mukařovský, a Czech aesthetician, literary historian, theorist, and leading proponent of Czech structuralism, develops his interpretation of the semiotics of art from a detailed explanation of the basic functions of the artistic sign. He emphasizes the role of the aesthetic function, which is dominant but latently and potentially contained in all the other functions of the linguistic and the artistic sign. He then defines (...) the artistic sign as the dialectical negation of the communicative sign. (shrink)
In this article Jan Steutel's paper 'Towards a sexual ethics for adolescence' is discussed. It is argued that his dichotomous conception of 'child' versus 'adult' unnecessarily limits his conception of 'adolescence', with unfortunate consequences for the answers to his research questions. Steutel's treatment of 'competences' is discussed, in particular the competences of adolescents, and it is argued that in this respect also Steutel is hindered by his conception of 'adolescence'. His conclusion that a liberal ethics is bound to declare all (...) sexual acts of adolescents morally impermissible goes too far. Some practical-pedagogical, ethical and philosophical issues concerning Steutel's alternative sexual ethics for adolescence are discussed. The article concludes with a modest attempt to supplement a liberal sexual ethics for adolescents. (shrink)
This essay had its beginnings in my desire to reexamine the Arnolfini portrait from the perspective of Giovanna Cenami, the demure young woman who stands beside the cloaked and hated man on the fifteenth-century panel in London. Even though she shares the formal prominence with the man in Jan van Eyck’s unprecedented composition, she has been paid scant attention in the literature on the painting. I anticipated, as I began my work that inspection of the female subject of the panel (...) would, of necessity, amend the authoritative count of the Arnolfini portrait that Panofsky first published in 1934. That narrative, which focused on the event portrayed, had been recited to me by my teachers as an example of interpretive truth; I had committed it to memory as a model of our discipline’s search for meaning. I never dreamed back then that it might be “wrong.” Yet, the material I encountered as I pursued my inquiry into Giovanna’s life contradicted Panofsky’s assumptions on several key points; amendment alone would not do. It seemed necessary for me to challenge the venerable interpretation others were starting to question,4 even though two generations of students, including my own, had learned from it all they thought there was to know about “Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait.” 4. See, for example, Peter H. Schabacker, “De Matrimonio ad Morganaticam Conracto: Jan van Eyck’s ‘Arnolfini’ Portrait Reconsidered,” Art Quarterly 35 : 375-98, hereafter abbreviated “DM”; Lucy Freeman Sandler, “The Handclasp in the Arnolfini Wedding: A Manuscript Precedent,” Art Bulletin 66 : 488-91, hereafter abbreviated “H”; and Jan Baptist Bedaux, “The Reality of Symbols: The Question of Disguised Symbolism in Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait,” Simiolus 16 : 5-28, hereafter abbreviated “RS.” Linda Seidel, associate professor in the department of art at the University of Chicago, is the author of Songs of Glory , a study of twelfth-century French architectural sculpture. She is currently completing a work on medieval doorway design as an art of entry and pursuing a collaborative project with Michael Camille and Robert Nelson, Medieval Art and Its Audiences. (shrink)
Some problems concerning transcendental epistemic arguments are raised on the basis of Jan Srzednicki’s epistemological conception presented in the bookEpistemology after Wittgenstein. Jan Srzednicki’s New Epistemological Perspective by Grażyna Żurkowska. The problem of the cognition immediacy is briefly discussed. The great philosophical importance of many other relevant topics is indicated, i.e. the internal similarity of Jan Srzednicki’s philosophical challenge to the project of Heideggerian hermeneutics or the problem of mutual relations between language and cognition.
As regular readers of The Pluralist are aware, there appeared in 2008 an issue devoted to Jan Olof Bengtsson's The Worldview of Personalism.1 The issue included five articles, each concerned with a different aspect of the book; and after each article, there was a "Reply" by Bengtsson. In what follows, I shall say something about Bengtsson's reply to my own contribution, "Absolute and Personal Idealism." However, first let me briefly describe that article's argument.In "Absolute and Personal Idealism," I examined the (...) personalist attack on absolutism as formulated by Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison in two works: Hegelianism and Personality and The Idea of God in the Light of Recent Philosophy. In the first section of .. (shrink)
The paper investigates Jan Srzednicki’s epistemological conception with its main Kantian problem on the very possibility of cognition. Investigating Srzednicki’s conception the paper refers to its interpretation elaborated by Grażyna Żurkowska.
This article analyzes the lectures and texts from the last period of Czech philosopher Jan Patočka, one of the last disciples of Edmund Husserl, the founding father of phenomenology. The point of departure is Patočka’s critical reception of Husserl’s concept of the crisis of European mankind. There are, however, two other elements distinctive of Patočka’s thought essential for this interpretation. First, he was a classical philosopher aiming at Socratic ‘care for the soul’. Second, he approached the theme of universal human (...) history from his own unique historic position: as a Czech philosopher, involved in the Socratic manner primarily with his own Czech national community, for whom the big question of the future of European mankind and its legacy at the end of its golden modern age is inseparably connected with a ‘small’ one: the question of Czech national existence – the question of the future of his nation in a changing world and the issue of its freedom. (shrink)
The idea of negative Platonism, first formulated by Jan Patočka in the early 1950s, can be understood as an interpretation of the history of philosophy, with particular reference to its Greek beginnings, as well as a strategy for critical engagement with the metaphysical tradition and a reformulation of central phenomenological themes. Patočka reconstructs the Greek road to metaphysics as a shift from a non-objectifying comprehension of the world as a totality to a quest for systematic knowledge of ultimate reality. In (...) light of this reclaimed background, he then proposes a new reading of Plato: the realm of ideas, separate from empirical reality, becomes a symbol of human freedom, understood as an ability to transcend the world and in so doing grasp it as a totalizing horizon. The concept of freedom thus links a submerged theme of metaphysics to more explicit concerns of contemporary thought. (shrink)
Le phénoménologue tchèque Jan Pato?ka, auteur d?une phénoménologie asubjective défendant la thèse d?un procès asubjectif de l?apparaître (d?une autonomie du phénomène par rapport à l?ego), a accordé au problème des relations nécessaires et difficiles que la philosophie entretient en son sein même avec la littérature une attention particulière qui l?a conduit à poser les fondements d?une phénoménologie de la littérature centrée autour de l?idée d?un asubjectivisme de l?écrivain. Nous suivrons ici deux axes de réflexion connexes: premièrement, nous montrerons pourquoi et (...) comment Pato?ka restaure le vocabulaire et la vision de l?homme propres au mythe et reprend ce qu?il aperçoit comme le fondement de la tragédie pour élaborer une nouvelle compréhension du phénomène de l?existence comme mouvement. Deuxièmement, nous décrirons le rôle que joue l?écrivain moderne à une époque marquée par la fragmentation de la vie. Car l?écrivain qui édifie une ?littérature métaphysique? a le privilège, selon Pato?ka, d?être ?l?administrateur propre et originel de l?intégralité de la vie et de la totalité universelle?, il est ainsi une sorte de ?quasi-phénoménologue? dont la philosophie ne peut se passer si elle veut saisir ces phénomènes qui, sans être purement et simplement subjectifs, ne peuvent néanmoins être réduits à l?objectivité du concept. (shrink)
Organized around the central concept of struggle, this paper is an introduction to the later thought of the Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka (1907–1977), with attention to the circumstances of his life. The first section of the paper presents Patočka’s description of the “three movements” of human existence, with emphasis upon the second, the movement of defense, work, and survival. The second section examines his later conception of philosophy, where he reprised elements of classical Greek thought (the Heraclitean notion of polemos (...) and the Socratic notion of “care of the soul”) for their relevance in the modern world. (shrink)
In this paper I present Jan Nepomucen Miller’s universalism, i.e. his own conception of literature, which pursues the right to compete with its Romantic model. Universalism, whose elaboration of the philosophical premises took place in the years 1923-1925, never received a complete and finite form; it only indicated a certain option for which the whole, universality and universum was more important than a part. Although this conception proved to be a Utopian project, without its driving force, being too far from (...) the reality to support the spiritual values of the Polish culture, it constitutes (especially in our interwar thought) one of unique attempts to create a culture based on a non-Romantic canon of values. (shrink)
The fundamental problem of Jan Srzednicki’s new epistemology is the question: how thoughts surpass the resistance of that what is ontologically present, how this process is possible? In Srzednicki’s opinion, thinking is a process of distancing from the pressure of ontological presence. His ideas offer a splendid inspiration for philosophy of medicine which attempts to answer the question “whether (and how) a disease is cognizable?” This question refers directly to and is translated into the question of the capacity to diagnose (...) particular diseases. Answering to the above stated question whether disease is cognizable we should answer in the affirmative, however, in a “modified” form that its pre-cognitive resistance to reality is formed at the articulated level. Somewhat intuitively we feel the presence of a disease before we express it in words as a disease according to our scientific or informal thought style. (shrink)
En este trabajo describimos las líneas básicas del análisis fenómeno-lógico de la corporalidad en Patočka. El estudio de la corporalidad es un elemento clave en el proyecto de fenomenología asubjetiva de Jan Patočka. Es en ella donde se da la inserción del sujeto finito en el mundo y es en ella donde se hace compren-sible el dinamismo del sujeto en el mundo, un sujeto que no “constituye” el mundo sino que es una fuerza en el campo de fuerzas del aparecer.In (...) this paper we describe the basic lines of Jan Patočka’s analysis of em-bodiment. The study of corporeality is a key element in Patočka’s project of an a-subjetive Phenomenology. It is within corporeality where the finite subject’s inser-tion in the world takes place and it is there that the subject’s dynamism becomes understandable; this subject does not “constitute” the world but is a force in the field of forces of appearance. (shrink)
El artículo desarrolla una hermenéutica fenomenológica de las relaciones entre historia, sentido, existencia y eternidad en la filosofía de la historia de Jan Pato¹ka. Primero determina las nociones de sentido e historia. Luego explicita en qué medida la existencia humana constituye la condición de posibilidad de un sentido problemático y concurrente de la historia. Finalmente analiza la �existencia en la verdad� como resultado de una correlación entre existencia y eternidad y comprende la interpelación de la eternidad como origen del sentido.
Common Sense and Logic in Jan Smedslund's 'Psycho-logic'. This paper is about the efforts the norwegian psychologist Jan Smedslund made in analyzing and checking philosophically his theory called 'Psycho-logic'. I am going to reconstruct and discuss the debates between Smedslund and several critics, which have been going on since about 1978, mainly in the "Scandinavian Journal of Psychology". A result will be that the kind of modal logics Smedslund uses - a type with realistic semantics and epistemology - is not (...) the proper one for the analysis of 'Psycho-logic'. (shrink)
L?intention de cet article est de présenter la critique et le remaniement de l?intentionnalité qu?implique l?élaboration d?une phénoménologie asubjective chez Jan Pato?ka. À cette fin, nous exposerons d?abord les raisons qui amènent Pato?ka à prendre ses distances par rapport au subjectivisme de la phénoménologie husserlienne, et les conséquences de ce dépassement de l?horizon transcendantal de la subjectivité. Et dans un deuxième temps nous tâcherons de suivre les implications de cette destitution du subjectivisme relativement au statut et au sens de l?intentionnalité. (...) La nécessité d?élaborer une phénoménologie asubjective et de proposer par là une alternative au subjectivisme et à l?idéalisme implicite de la phénoménologie husserlienne découle chez Pato?ka d?une volonté de rendre compte plus authentiquement, c'est-à-dire plus phénoménologiquement, de la structure et de la modalité de l?apparaître. En effet, c?est en s?interrogeant sur le comment de l?apparaître que Pato?ka est conduit à affirmer que celui-ci ne peut pas être expliqué à partir d?un sujet qui, avant tout, est lui-même quelque chose d?apparaissant. S?il apparaît à son tour, c?est qu?il est soumis lui-même à la légalité de l?apparaître, au lieu d?en être le principe. À partir de ces considérations, il devient possible de formuler une alternative tranchée entre deux types de phénoménologie, comme le. (shrink)
Jan Van Ruusbroec (12931327) is the most prominent exponent. 1 To date however, an in-depth study of the influence of Meister Eckharts thought has not been published. 2 In this paper I want to compare their central ideas concerning the relation between God and his creation (in particular man). More specifically, I hope to make clear that the vocabulary they occasionally share (Birth of the Son in the soul, the spark of the soul, the ground of the soul, the soul (...) as Image, and so on) actually veils two very different theologies. (shrink)
Along with the notion of war in general, the so-called war on terror has been, since its inception in 2001, the subject of much debate and theorization. French thinker Gilles Andréani discusses the appropriateness of the term "war" to apply to the present conflict; Antonio Negri has argued how the State's use of the concept of peace justifies its engagement in warfare in general. I approach the conversation, however, by presenting the thoughts of 20th century Czech philosopher Jan Patočka on (...) the relationship between war and peace. Here, I utilize his views, formulated in the context of Soviet control of Eastern Europe, to deconstruct the Bush administration's declaration of war on a concept; in this case, terror. In what follows, I delineate the main aspects of Patočka's understanding of continuous warfare in the 20th century, after which I apply them to some of the central features of the Bush administration's war rhetoric. Additionally, I suggest that Patočka's notion of the solidarity of the shaken may provide a starting point from which all of those involved in the conflict may begin to move forward. (shrink)