Any worlds semantics for intentionality has to provide a plenitudinous theory of impossibility: For any impossible proposition, it should provide a world where it is true. Hence, also any semantics for impossibility statements that extends Lewis’s concretism about possible worlds should be plenitudinous. However, several such proposals for impossibilist semantics fail to accommodate two kinds of impossibility that, albeit not unheard of, have been largely neglected in the literature on impossible worlds, but that are bound to arise in the Lewisian (...) context. The proposals discussed here stop short of plenitude because they adhere to what Lewis occasionally referred to as ‘ontological truth’, as they lack the semantic ability to misrepresent ontological facts. The paper develops a framework for systematic misrepresentations on the basis of Mares’s situation-based account of impossible ‘worlds’, and which confines ‘ontological truth’ to possibility. It thus illustrates how a plenitude of impossibilities can be achieved. (shrink)
A simple argument against Lewisian modal realism as portrayed in On the Plurality of World arises from its treatment of doxastic modalities. It is easily shown that if it is true, it is impossible to doubt the theory on ontological grounds, or, that, if it is possible to maintain doubt about modal realism’s existential postulate, it has to be false. The argument hinges on the fact that modal realism’s main ontological hypothesis, if true, is necessarily true.
Drawing on ethnographic material from the Norwegian Arctic, this article explores issues of specificity, encounter, and emplacement in human-animal relations through the lens of modernizing indigenous reindeer pastoralism in the region. In turn, the main sections of the argument examine three things: first, the changing technological context of indigenous herding practice, focusing on the impact of mechanization and the emergence of “roundup corrals” in the second half of the twentieth century; second, the distinct modalities of specificity at work in human-reindeer (...) relations, exemplified particularly in practices of enumeration; and third, how ongoing controversies over supplementary feeding bring into view a herding ethic of “liminality” that cultivates distance as a precondition for maintaining the autonomy and independence of the “semi-domesticated” reindeer—opening up the possibility of reframing apparent neglect as a practice of care. In closing, some questions are raised concerning nonhuman ethics at the intersection between visibility, presence, and encounter. (shrink)
Franco Venturi famously emphasised the importance of the ‘English Model’ for Italian reformist culture in his Settecento riformatore. This essay contributes to the history of the development and evolution of the ‘English Model’ beginning with its influential appearance in Antonio Genovesi's 1757–1758 translation of John Cary's 1695 Essay on the State of England. The ‘English Model’ was not a stable concept and, in fact, one tradition inverted the model's meaning, rejecting the need for protectionism and instead embracing a providential faith (...) in laissez-faire. This tradition began with an important, but falsified footnote in Carlo Denina's 1769–1770 Rivoluzioni d’Italia. In this note and the tradition that adopted it, Lorenzo de’ Medici's imagined English wool factories became the locus of this inversion, and, through a reading of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, blaming the Medici as agents of Italy's aberrant historical development became an alternative to blaming English economic imperialism in late eighteenth-century Italy. The narrative of Medici involvement in the decline of Italy was finally realigned with Genovesi's original intention under the auspice of Pope Pius VI in 1794. (shrink)
Science is considered as an open system that constitutes a sub-entity of the total system "society" and whose functions include the production, systematization, communication and application of knowledge. Since this system is made up of individuals and groups, its functions are dependent on psychological factors. This fact serves as a starting point for a psychology of science, which can contribute to optimizing scientific practice by treating the heuristic, organizational, technological, and normative aspects of scientific activity.
This paper argues that the idea of creative destruction enters the social sciences by way of Friedrich Nietzsche. The term itself is first used by German economist Werner Sombart, who openly acknowledges the influence of Nietzsche on his own economic theory. The roots of creative destruction are traced back to Indian philosophy, from where the idea entered the German literary and philosophical tradition. Understanding the origins and evolution of this key concept in evolutionary economics helps clarifying the contrasts between today’s (...) standard mainstream economics and the Schumpeterian and evolutionary alternative. (shrink)